Australia’s five Donald Trumps should shut up

When MB successfully forecast and then chronicled Australia’s great “lost decade” of the 2010s, we did not anticipate it leaving a toxic rhetorical legacy worldwide.

The political carnage of the “lost decade”, in which we plodded through six PMs in seven years has, unfortunately, populated the world with a phalanx of young(ish) and damaged political misfits carrying grudges.

Literally, daily, now we have to endure the latest proclamation of drivel from an embittered former PM. These outbursts carry the implied seal of Australia’s highest office. The press has no choice but to report them and they must be taken seriously by the political economy in general.

Like a giant bat, Paul Keating swoops upon anything he sees as anti-China from his cavernous Potts Point office via connections at the China Development Bank.

Like a crumbling sphinx, John Howard haunts the press whenever his beloved Coalition chokes on its own blunders.

Like a tide of curdled milk, Kevin Rudd washes over the world on a million bucks a year from the Asia Society whose mission it is to bring us all together with Asia, whether that’s a good idea or not.

Like a pith helmeted relic, Tony Abbott genuflects before the sarcophagus of Prince Phillip at every available opportunity. Today taking the war to Taiwan.

Like an empty jar, Malcolm Turnbull echoes with perpetual policy prescriptions and values he conspicuously failed to either represent or implement himself.

Only Julia Gillard is operating with dignity and sense, using the badge of the office to further social equity and staying out of day-to-day politics.

What are these five Donald Trumps adding to Australia and the world other than their own burnished images of themselves? They are like the Office of the Australian PM: the musical. Or, perhaps FacePollie, a new and abused social media platform for inept former PMs.

Overly dramatic, amplifying divisions, reinforcing political tribalism, unlike the protocol of dignified noblesse oblige of yesteryear, the failed and pitiful five have become outriders for their respective causes, pushing civilised normatives into the profane.

This is the very opposite of what they should be doing, on-the-ground good works repaying the people that rose them on high.

If the Trump Five can’t bring themselves to put the office that they failed to good use then at least pay Australians the courtesy of putting a sock in it.

Houses and Holes
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  1. Julia Gillard is operating with dignity and sense
    The one who never won any elections, but scraped over the line with the help of the Greens and 3 independents,
    while Abbott let her have it as a gift for helping to remove Kevin Rudd? Yep.

  2. The BystanderMEMBER

    >The press has no choice but to report them

    I disagree – the press doesn’t HAVE to report jack, and there’s plenty of examples where they’ve held back on reporting something so as not to cause a political source (or ally) embarrassment. They report on this stuff for two reasons: (i) because quoting [esteemed public figure] makes for an easy writing job compared to actual journalism work, and (ii) [esteemed public figure] draws clicks and subsequently revenue.

    If journalists had any integrity, they would stop writing rubbish clickbait and offer up actual analysis on these topics of importance. Sometimes that might include commentary from former PMs and other public figures, but that commentary would be used to accentuate the broader issue being discussed, and rarely become the focal point of the article. But I don’t think journalism has any integrity anymore – it’s littler more than a bunch of bottom feeders stirring up anger and outrage, while playing defense for the vested interests their bosses cosy up to at private functions and shareholder meetings.

    If the whole thing burned to the ground tomorrow, I doubt we’d be much worse off as a planet.

  3. Well said.
    The later three could not even lead their political party; why should they be given the dues internationally of a Australian leader?
    The taxpayer funded former PM’s should be given an mandated official title… DISGARD.

  4. I struggle to decide which if these forgettable nonentities is the worst, because the bar of badness is so high, but there’s something about Keating’s shilling for China that seems particularly foul, because it smells of treason.

    I’m reliably informed that he had a handshake like a bowl of cold spaghetti too.

    • Howard created the modern world of asset distortion.
      Malcolm is a Monday morning quarterback
      Rudd is a narcissistic, angry pig, but largely off the radar.
      Abbott isn’t that bad, really, but a bit to fake dinkum.
      Keating is a treacherous pig.

  5. Charles MartinMEMBER

    I agree that they should all just STFU.
    But what the hell is going on over at Sky News that Christopher Pyne gets his own show again? Not earning enough at EY?

  6. Like an empty jar, Malcolm Turnbull echoes with perpetual policy prescriptions and values he conspicuously failed to either represent or implement himself.

    Love this. He was such a disappointment.

  7. Jumping jack flash

    Those guys couldn’t hold a candle to The Don.
    If they somehow are attributed to him in any way, they have attached themselves to him like limpets or barnacles, at best.

    It is just a case of our ex pollies regrowing their brains, hearts and cajones after being booted from the big chair.
    Their rediscovered sense of public “decency” is mostly powered by those unrelenting chips on their shoulders.

  8. Of the five only Malcolm has little to offer in terms of insightful analysis, IMHO.

    I don’t agree with Paul on China but given his track record I do give his ideas the consideration they are due.

  9. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Back in the 70’s John Gorton got hammered for doing an advertisement for whiskey.

    At least that was an honest take . No confusion or doubt about what he got the dosh for ….

    • C'est de la folieMEMBER

      One can say what they like about his politics – a small L Liberal. But Gorton was a decent human being, and a Prime Minister who voted himself out of office – a Liberal leadership spill was called and ran 50-50 him and McMahon and he voted against himself to turn himself out – and a war hero to boot. He was a man who loved a drink. I hope he enjoyed making the advert.

      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        Australia was a decent country back then
        It had a distinct and promising culture too
        I often think peak Australia was about 1975

        But then maybe all older people think that about when they err younger

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