November 2009

We gave Malcolm a lend of the Party, but the members want it back.

Malcolm Turnbull's first press conference as Opposition Leader in September last year, with the photos of past Liberal leaders on the Party Room wall.

This is the clear message I have received from Liberal Party members by way of 7,500 emails (and rising) and hundreds of phone calls – not to mention close encounters of the personal kind.

The claim that the Coalition Party Room agreed to support the Labor Party’s amended C.P.R.S. legislation imposing an E.T.S. Tax is not true. The Party Room rejected it.

Latest 2 of 130 comments

  • Definitely a Liberal member says:

    07:09pm | 03/12/09

    Marfa, are you sure you are a member?  You owe Liberal through and through an apology. I have been a member for more than double your length of time and I receive a card every year when I renew. Its called a receipt with perforations on it that you can… Read more »

  • DM says:

    11:58pm | 01/12/09

    Oh dear…  Some (most) of the comments are dreadfully rude.  Thank goodness they are not Liberal members - we prefer to keep the rifff-aff at bay. Read more »


In order to help people better understand the last week, an anonymous Liberal front bencher has made available excerpts of their private diary to comedians Matt Kenneally Toby Halligan.


Booked holiday flights to Hawaii for Friday evening.

Dear diary.

ETS bill before senate tomorrow. Still don’t understand it.

Air conditioning was playing up. Stood in front of fridge for a while and felt better.

Latest 2 of 19 comments

  • Patt says:

    08:51pm | 01/12/09

    Priceless. Finally the previous week makes sense. I think…. Read more »

  • Nickk says:

    09:36pm | 30/11/09

    “Nick explained that my view of the maths was wrong. He said no clear consensus exists on how to count the votes. Said he is a maths sceptic.” Funniest line I’ve seen on the Punch. Read more »


After a week when the Liberals took decisive action to reduce their political footprint Joe Hockey is sitting snugly between ‘Someone Else’ and ‘Don’t Know’ as the preferred Liberal leader.

Joe Hockey gives the thumbs up yesterday after having lunch at his Hunters Hill home with frontbench colleague and possible deputy leadership candidate Peter Dutton.

If politics really is Hollywood for ugly people, then this week’s Essential Report shows Joe is about to slip on the political swimsuit and start strutting his stuff by default.

The polling confirms what we all supected – the nation is over Malcolm Turnbull, it can’t abide Tony Abbott and it doesn’t really know who Julie Bishop or Andrew Robb are. As for Kevin Andrews, like his own party, we didn’t bother to ask. This leaves just three credible options for the Liberals: Don’t Know, Someone Else and Joe Hockey.

Latest 2 of 20 comments

  • M Cooke says:

    10:29pm | 30/11/09

    I will have Mr Abbott, at least we may see some sparks flying in Question Time , I did like Mr Turnbull but all he does is sit there like a stale bottle of piss when he should be attacking Rudd over this ETS scam , open borders, billions wasted… Read more »

  • Peter Lewis says:

    06:58pm | 30/11/09

    For the record there is nothing tricky about the party breakdown. Just count down and not sideways. What the story here is that there is no real preferred option for libs - but Joe is clearly their least imperfect option. For all you conspiracy theorists the numbers are what they… Read more »


The next 24 hours are critical for the bitterly divided Liberal Party. The Punch’s Tory Maguire is in Canberra and the team will be posting updates here through the day. Times are AEDT. Refresh this page for updates.

7.21pm: If he is elected as leader tomorrow, Abbott will ask for the ETS to be deferred, and if not deferred, rejected. “The party has a clear choice. It can vote for Malcolm and we will support the legislation. It can vote for me and we will reject the legislation. Or they can vote for Joe and we’ll have a conscience vote”.

Tony Abbott at his press conference. Happy snap by Tory Maguire.

7.19pm: Tony Abbott says he’s spent most of the day in discussions with Joe, says…

“It now seems pretty clear we could change the leader to Joe and these offensive bills could still go through the parliament. I will be a candidate for the leadership tomorrow.”

7.17pm: Ian “Macca” Macfarlane says he’s in the dark - “they’re not telling me anything”

7pm: Nick Minchin has just released this statement:

Speculation tonight by Laurie Oakes on Channel 9 news that I support the proposition that Labor’s CPRS Bill pass through the Senate upon a change of leadership are inaccurate. I continue to support the proposition that the Bill should be referred to a Senate Inquiry, to report back after the Copenhagen conference.

6.35pm: ABC news reporting the deal to install Hockey as leader includes Liberal Senators being allowed a conscience vote on the ETS, meaning it would pass. But David Speers at Sky says it’s being discussed, no decision yet.

6.10pm: Nine’s Laurie Oakes says there’s mutterings Nick Minchin may agree to pass the ETS tomorrow once Turnbull is gone as leader.

5.52am: Back in the Senate - 70 amendments done, only 140 to go. By the time it’s complete Parliament House could have ocean views.

5.45pm: Now reported Family First Senator Steve Fielding is in Joe Hockey’s office with Mr Hockey, Nick Minchin and Peter Dutton - discussing the Royal Commission? Probably not.

4:59pm: AAP reports key figures from the left and right are meeting to sort things out before tomorrow’s meeting. Meeting in Joe Hockey’s office reportedly includes: Federal Liberal Party director Brian Loughnane, and MPs Greg Hunt, Christopher Pyne, Andrew Robb, Nick Minchin, Julie Bishop, Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton.

4.49pm: Bronwyn Bishop writes for The Punch: Malcolm, we want the leadership back please.

4.40pm: Audio of Turnbull’s press conference live now, courtesy of Sky News. Listen here.

3.49pm: Reports on Turnbull’s doorstop at The Australian, The Age, and The Daily Telegraph. From Malcolm Farr at the Tele:

Mr Turnbull was careful in how he explained the outcome of his leadership meeting with Mr Hockey this afternoon.

He said: “He (Mr Hockey) said he would support me in the spill movement. He said he would vote against the spill.”

3.46pm: Steve Fielding walked into the media scrum immediately after Turnbull had finished speaking and called for a Royal Commission into climate science. Seriously.

3.37pm: Recap: Turnbull says Hockey has assured him of his support in a vote on a leadership spill in the partyroom tomorrow morning. If the partyroom votes to declare the leadership vacant, then Turnbull says he will stand for re-election. It is still unclear if Hockey will run against Turnbull but he is widely expected to.

A strong line of argument Hockey could use is that with Turnbull’s leadership doomed, it is Hockey’s duty as a committed moderate to run against right-winger Tony Abbott.

3.36pm: From Turnbull:

Joe came to see me for a chat.

We actually had a meeting on the weekend that didn’t make it into the press because neither of us rang up a journalist beforehand.

Joe and I are very good friends.

Latest 2 of 239 comments

  • wii converter says:

    12:07am | 09/07/10

    Can be. Read more »

  • porno says:

    07:44pm | 29/05/10

    Awesome post! Nothing more to explain. Read more »


At the Walkley Awards last Thursday night one of the biggest cheers of the evening was reserved for Tracy Grimshaw, who won the gong for broadcast interviewing.

As the A Current Affair host made her way to the stage, the big screen behind the presenters played an excerpt from one of the interviews Grimshaw was being honoured for - her excruciating chat with former NRL star Matthew Johns.

There 10 times larger than life was a visibly distraught Johns, flanked by his wife Trish, responding to explosive claims about group sex in the NRL contained in a 4 Corners report - another Walkley winner. Half the media executives in the country were in the room watching Grimshaw accept the well-deserved award.

About the same time, according to yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph, Seven and Ten were engaged in a bidding war to see who can sign Johns to spearhead their NRL coverage. These network bosses sure do have short memories.

Latest 2 of 52 comments

  • Rybags says:

    01:08am | 09/12/09

    Easy solution. {CLICK} Change the channel. In fact, turn the TV off, go outside and play with your kids or take your wife for a walk instead. Read more »

  • Tim says:

    09:16am | 01/12/09

    Wow Helen you really are deluded. You can keep trying to put words into other’s mouths if you like but your argument is completely nonsensical. No one here has said anything like what you are alluding to. Rape Culture? Repeating this crap doesn’t make it true. See DG’s comments if… Read more »


A roundup of key coverage from this morning’s newspapers and websites is over the jump.

Latest 2 of 5 comments

  • JAYVEE says:

    03:12pm | 30/11/09

    Turnbull is a Two Bandwagon man, Nothing personal! Probably a real nice guy at that. The problem with that policy is that sooner or later you come to a fork in the road and you inevitably find that your policy legs are no longer long enough! Like the mother superior… Read more »

  • John T says:

    10:53am | 30/11/09

    If Joe Hockey wants to continue his Sunrise spot with Chairman Rudd, cool you heels member for North Sydney.  Why would you want the job when certain electoral defeat awaits you, and with it you become tarnished, like a two dollar coin. Think back to the 1980’s after Frazer was… Read more »


The so-called “festive season” needs a new name. 

What's wrong with this picture? Christmas Day on Bondi Beach, Sydney

Because as it stands right now with it’s smug connotations of happiness, relaxation and general mirth-it’s terrifically misleading.

Take for instance, this incident one night last week.

Latest 2 of 12 comments

  • Michellemac says:

    04:21pm | 30/11/09

    @ Marley - LOL re# 4. When I lived in Europe and used to come back to Oz for Christmas one of my favourite things was going to the beach for a Christmas morning swim and listening to all the UK expats ringing home on their mobiles…“Hi Mum, guess where… Read more »

  • marley says:

    02:40pm | 30/11/09

    1.  Abolish “turkey with all the trimmings” for Christmas dinner.  Turkey is suitable for Christmas in northern climes but is horrendous when the temperature is anything over 20 degrees.  And as for the stuffing - words fail me. 2.  Get rid of any Christmas card that features snow, sleighs, reindeer… Read more »


Not since Carrie Bradshaw tapped away at her laptop has a column started with a dafter question, but here goes: Could Germaine Greer be single-handedly responsible for the complete destruction of a society and its culture?

In the firing line, again: Germaine Greer

And not just any old society, the one that has exported its language, manners and mores to the rest of the world more than any other. The British.

As ridiculous as it sounds, our expat Sheila-in-chief has been accused of bringing Britain to its knees by one of the country’s most widely-read commentators.

Latest 2 of 42 comments

  • stephen says:

    03:59pm | 02/12/09

    Yes dear. Yes dear. Yes dear…etc. Read more »

  • DG says:

    01:34pm | 02/12/09

    Faye - Not at all. The cultural context giving rise to respect and courtesy was one of mutual need. Women needed a husband to provide for and protect them, while men needed a wife to have sex and provide an heir. In that context each had something that the other… Read more »


Earlier this week, Newcastle Jets coach Branko Culina got hit with a $3000 fine for saying his team still had a chance of making the finals “because all the teams around us are pretty s**t as well.”

But that pain in the wallet won’t be so nasty after the Jets mugged Sydney FC 3-1 yesterday afternoon at Sydney Football Stadium.

The fact that the team in ninth place can hand out such a heavy defeat to the second-placed team illustrates the A-League’s great strength and biggest weakness.

Latest 2 of 8 comments

  • Glen says:

    04:31pm | 30/11/09

    Care soccer is so boring.  Too predictable, soft and a favourite with mums to protect their babies and schools to prevent insurance claims as nothng interesting ever happens.  That is why when kids grow up they look for something that actually keeps them awake and challenges them.  If you want… Read more »

  • Daniel says:

    04:18pm | 30/11/09

    This was the first game in 14 where Perth havent scored at least one goal apparently.  Fittingly, it was against the team with arguably the most solid defence in the league. Agree with the rest of your article though.  The salary cap has prevented any side from really stepping up… Read more »


“Australia generates 1.5 per cent of global greenhouse emissions and this ETS will reduce world levels by the smallest sliver, which self-evidently will have nil effect on global climate whether you believe in climate warming or not.” Barnaby Joyce – The Innate Problems With Labor’s Emissions Trading Scheme, 17/12/2008.

No smoke without ambition? Picture: File

Using numbers to lend credibility to a flimsy argument is not a new tactic. In the case of those opposing serious action on climate change however, one statistic about Australia’s proportionate global emissions forms the central flimsy plank of their argument. The argument goes that given Australia is responsible for only 1.5% of global emissions, anything we do to reduce CO2 levels is hardly going to make a dent globally. We can’t save the Great Barrier Reef, so the rest of the world is going to have to.

It must test well in focus groups because everyone opposing action on climate change has been trotting it out ever since the debate began. And let’s be honest, as a message it is working.

Latest 2 of 75 comments

  • Bob says:

    02:49pm | 03/12/09

    I don’t get it. If plus 30 dollars per month as result of interest rate rise is such a huge issue and unbearable burden to all working families, how come plus 120 billion over 10 years is totally fine. ETS will cost at least 50 dollars per month for every… Read more »

  • DocBud says:

    11:45pm | 02/12/09

    Alexandra, China and India have larger economies than Australia, as does Spain. Netherlands has a smaller one. As with all things where many factors play a role, there is no perfect correlation, but are you seriously suggesting that the rises in China’s and India’s emissions are not related to their… Read more »


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