Margaret Court is a dangerous heretic.

You may wonder why I would make such a bold statement?  Let me tell you. She is a charlatan and a hypocrite. Margaret Court preaches hate, disguised as Christian teaching and is making a great deal of money from it.  For a woman whose prior claim was hitting tennis balls with a racquet, there is much to ask about her beliefs and their genesis.

I don’t question her skill as a tennis player, nor the accolades she has been awarded for that skill.  She is, to date, the greatest ever Australian female tennis player.  But she doesn’t preach her hate because of her ability to play tennis – she reserves that for speaking on behalf of god. I also don’t believe for a second we should have her name emblazoned on a venue when her stance is so at odds with a majority of the community. Imagine a gay or lesbian tennis player who has to commit their sport on that court, knowing the woman for who it is named hates the idea of love?

This week, Margaret wrote a letter to the paper saying she wont fly Qantas because of their support of Marriage Equality.  It seems she will be walking everywhere as Jetstar is owned by Qantas, Virgin supports marriage equality and Virgin own a majority stake of Tiger Air, ergo, supporting Marriage Equality.  Its a a long walk from Sydney, where she lives, to Perth, where her non tax paying church, Victory Life Centre, is headquartered.

Court claims she supports a traditional view of marriage, which she is entitled to do.  She does claim, although not in this letter, her view is founded on her religious beliefs, and she will quote good old Leviticus about ‘man lying with man being an abomination’. The first two chapters of the bible are where she draws her values from. These two books of the bible might lead us on a merry dance however. According to many scientific dating methods, this planet earth is many millions of years old. However, from biblical chronology (Genesis 1 & 2) we can calculate that the span of time from the creation of Adam and Eve to the present is about 6,000 years, and involved a major flood where only Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives survived. So we are all the result of incestuous relationships, which the bible frowns upon.  You see where I am going here?

There’s loads of old testament for Margaret – she laps it up and the old book is quoted on her website everywhere.  There is a problem there though – the old book also says that women are not to teach the word of their god.  Oops.  Oh and women shouldn’t wear pants – Oops again. I wonder if she likes to tuck into a bacon sarni before mass on Sunday or hops in to a lovely plate of prawns and oysters on that holiest of holy days, good Friday.  Oops – also sins! If she has capsicums and tomatoes growing in the same garden bed – oops another one there.  The biggest of her sins, of course, is that Margaret wears glasses. It says in the bible one may not approach the altar of God if one has a defect in one’s sight. Big Ooops there!

The book of Exodus tells us we can sell our daughters in to slavery and that we should have no contact with a woman when she is having her period.  I would like to question Margaret Court on these subjects as well as knowing how many slaves she thinks it ok for me to have, how often I should be put to death for trimming my beard and hair, especially there at the temples where it gets super annoying.

Court preaches a destructive supernatural creed that is considered heresy by mainstream Christendom. There are very few people she doesn’t preach against – she is not a fan of single mothers, drug users, muslims, non liberal voters and homosexuals – and has publicly spoken about each of these groups.

Margaret Court read a bible from cover to cover to see her through illness. After retiring from her international tennis career in 1976 and while raising her young family, she slipped into a period of deep depression, feeling ‘guilty, unworthy, fearful and totally insignificant’. In 1979 she was hospitalised for depression and a torn heart valve.  It was after this and after watching a Fred Price video (Price is a fundamentalist pentecostal Word of Faith advocate), Court starting talking to her god – or herself perhaps. In 1982, after enrolling in the Rhema Bible Training Centre, court had her miracle.  Her heart valve was declared okay (probably an initial misdiagnosis but she claimed it was god).

Court claims god told her to start her church, Victory Life Centre, one morning when she was washing the breakfast dishes. Or she was having an episode – up to the elbows in suds and gloves, she heard god tell her ‘I want you to start this work. Step out [ie, in faith] and I will show you how to do it as you go.’ It was clear and it was definitely God, according to her book.

Margaret Court, in the days of christ, would have been crucified for such thoughts – and considered a heretic. Courts website for her church asks people to tithe or donate a % of their income to keep her good work up. How much of this is income is taxed is a very good question, and I am hoping to find some answers. Churches are exempt from tax.

What does all of this have to do with me and why am I getting cranky?  Court and other fundamentalists see their view as the only view.  Every poll for the last 5 years has seen support for marriage equality grow – among christians, (the real ones) among conservatives and among Liberal voters.  Most of the other side and the centre has seen common sense prevail. More than 65% of Australians support marriage equalit.  In a democracy, this is a majority view, and although Margaret court has every right to express her opinion, it doesn’t make it fact! I dont believe in god, the bible or any of that other hocus pocus hooey, so why should I, in a secular society, have my relationship determined by something to which I hold no faith?

Margaret Court is both delusional and a charlatan.  $M180 of taxpayer funds were spent upgrading the tennis court which bears her name – and Ms Court, presumably as a non tax paying senior religious figure, should not have her name adorn a building funded by taxpayers.  Single mothers, muslims, homosexuals, non liberal voters and possibly even drug users paid for that stadium upgrade – lets award a more deserving Australian the honour Court does not deserve.

Court feels the first two chapters of the bible explain everything, as she says in this interview with The Project on Channel Ten.

Lets rename the arena for Evonne Goolagong.. one of our most successful indigenous athletes, an incredible tennis player and someone who has been at the other end of bigotry.

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Its been a while since I dropped in – and I am thankful.

I haven’t been here in a while, and much to my surprise, people are still logging in and reading, presenting me with some confidence that a new post is warranted.

I love to write, and I do so much for work that I often forget how wonderfully cathartic it is to sit and tap out a few words in the hope that someone, somewhere, finds those words interesting enough to go to the next post, or at least paragraph.

My partner in life is now studying professional writing and editing on his way to a Bachelor’s degree. I am so proud of how far he has come as a writer and I know that he is determined to do it professionally.  It has also got me off my ample ass on a Wednesday night and with the TV a dark black square in the lounge, its time I took some time for me to write – to do what I love for the simple pleasure of it.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pen another crazy rant at our government.  I did give them some air when they were in opposition, however, I have saved my rage for my social media portals where I am wont to use words that should not be used in polite company.

Then there is the Australia wide discussion happening among key influencers in food and wine – two of Australia’s most noted food critics and a handful of citizen journalists who have taken up the discussion around food blogging.  I hosted a radio show about it last week  and I don’t think we are much further. The general consensus is that we are not going to have consensus on this topic.  It seems each agitant in this online and print discourse has an opinion on what, if anything, should be done.  Others have simply given up because the subject is so fraught.

thankful

With what few words I have left, I wanted to simply write a few words about how thankful I am about life. I have a great life and everything in it seems to be positive, uplifting and makes me happy.  The aforementioned life partner – the chef and writer, the father, the lover, the man who I trust with my life above all others.  He makes my life a wonderful place to live – and I am thankful I have him.

My family – large in number and in personality. They are spread far and wide, we don’t get to see one another but we have a remarkable bond among us.  We don’t all get on all of the time – it is not human nature for a bunch of people with differing opinions and outlooks on life, to get along all of the time.  But I am thankful I have them all.

My job is terrific.  I have moved from being self employed for almost 5 years, to working in a dynamic, growing agency where there are terrific leaders, great colleagues and an energy unlike many other places I have worked.  We have one another’s backs, we care about what we do and how we deliver it. It’s a joy to go there every day – I have rarely worked this hard but I am thankful I have the job and the people I work with.

I am a step dad to two great kids.  Our boy is 17, has Down Syndrome and is in remission from leukemia. He can be a challenge some days, he knows how to push our buttons on other days but for every day he is in our life, he is a joy. He is filled with love and trust and I am thankful that he is here.  Our daughter is 6 going on 20 sometimes.  She is funny, smart, cheeky and loves to test us.  We don’t get to see her as much as we would like, but I am thankful she is in my life.  They have both taught me how to be a better man, a more patient man and yes, a good dad to them in the best way I can.

My partner and I are soon to buy a house.  There are many fun times ahead, agreeing on what we want, where to buy and what colour to paint walls, but I am thankful that I am in the position to be able to even think about it.  We earn good money for what we do – we work bloody hard for it but we are thankful that we can look forward to one day soon owning our own patch of Australia.

There is so much more to be thankful for – that I live in a country where I am not persecuted for who I love.  I want to get married here one day but at least I am not in fear of death torture, imprisonment or hatred for who I am.. for that I am thankful too.

I will come back and read this on those days that are darker than today, those days where I feel things are not so good.  Just to remind me that for so many reasons, I am thankful to be alive.

The Terminal Man

I think I am The Terminal Man

I have just, unwillingly but oddly rewardingly, spent several hours in Adelaide airport. I took a chance that the good people of the flying kangaroo might reward my support of and loyalty to them with an empty seat on an earlier flying carriage to my home town. Alas this was not to be so, there I sat with several free hours up my sleeve and not a lot else to do but plot the best way forward for our new Federal Government and determine how to best save humankind from itself. 

My 5 hours there was nothing like the 17 years spent at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris as experienced by Mehran Karimi Nassiri (made famous by the Tom Hanks film, The Terminal Man, loosely based on the book of the same name by Nassiri and author Andrew Donkin). Although for some time late in to the third hour and early in to the fourth, I was sure I had been here for a day and a half. 

 

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Unencumbered by anyone to whom I had to provide attention or to engage in meaningful or mindless conversation, I afforded myself the pleasure to simply spend the time doing something I just love – to people watch. I love this passive, sometimes lazy pursuit of people watching – wondering about or creating the stories of the short term occupants of a small city airport. 

The epic was filled with a variety of exciting moments, the one most curious distraction was the supposed arrival of 1/5 of one of the worlds most popular pop boy bands. Shouting young girls, women, the odd gay fellow, amateur and professional snappers all gathered  and shouting “Harry Harry!” in a cacophonous chorus. I don’t know if he arrived and was whisked away privately, but the sudden departure of a number of police and the thundering stampede of hundreds of the assembled running through the airport to another gate or arrival spot would suggest that perhaps he had arrived.

But what of the remainder? Witnessing teary farewells from children to parents on a Sunday at the terminal as they commute off to places to far away to drive… The robust reunions of lovers and partners, husbands and wives, parents with children and grandchildren, are sights that are enjoyed in airports the world over, and are always heartwarming. 

The most, though, are the stories one has to fantasise to one’s  self. A woman in her early twenties arrived from who knows where and is sobbing and sniffling in to a telephone.  Has she lost someone to death or to failed love? Has a simple plan gone awry? 

The morose young man with headphones blaring some thing that can barely be called music, piercings profuse as they are prolific and tattoos a plenty… I cannot judge him and I have no idea of his lot in life. Do I assume that I know these stories or can I let my imagination run wild, or am I just having a sugar rush from the donut that I should neither have purchased nor consumed. 

There are still girls with cameras and iPads, determined and possibly convinced that, as yet, the pop star has not arrived. Their sentences are punctuated with the word like used too many times in each. They eat from brown bags filled with fries and others trans fats, staving off their hunger as they wait, hoping for a glimpse of their idol. Their muted discussions are proof that they are sure the star has not arrived, and according to one miss, Harry tracker on her iPad is positive that he is somewhere over Bordertown as we speak. 

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I remain ever fascinated by these microcosms of humanity, where regardless of what we assume, each traveller here does have  their own unique story to share. I remain more curious than when I started. 

The Gay dining agenda

Those that have known me for a long time know that I have been on the elusive search it seems, for a gay winemaker.  There is no ulterior motive here other than I have thought for a long time that the creativity and artistic drive it takes to make wine, as well as the precise science in getting it right, should appeal to the gays like me…

When I was an apprentice chef, it was an industry of flamboyance and personality, and gay chefs were everywhere.  Now it seems they are rarer than rocking horse shit and I often pause to consider what ever happened to them all?  Front of house still has its fair share of representation and I am sure there are lesbian chefs across the country ready to remind me that they are part of our community as well, and yes, that point is taken. So it has been a nice experience to find some gay owned or operated.

There are also many venue owners and operators who are gay or lesbian, and so I thought it was time to have a look at the gay dining agenda in Melbourne.

There are literally hundreds of venues that are GLBT owned in Melbourne where you can enjoy great food, excellent wine and terrific service. Happy for more to be added to this list – maybe it can become the definitive lesbian and gay dining guide to Melbourne.  Feel free to offer a comment or two if you have found a venue where you live.

With the  Melbourne Food and Wine Festival kicking off this week, there may just be some visitors to the festival who want to support the LGBT community that they may or may not be a part of.

 

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Jason McLaren Jones and his partner Brahman Perera are the people behind four Melbourne venues – Porgie and Mr Jones in Hawthorn, Friends of Mine in Richmond, Snow Pony in Balwyn and Mazzitell in in Richmond.  All are terrific venues and cover breakfast, lunch and dinner so check them out.

On the south side  is Fitzrovia on Fitzroy Street in St Kilda.  Owned by chef Paul Jewson and front of house Manager Marco, these partners in life have lived and worked together for 20 years or more.  Their food is impressive and the service is impeccable, so it is well worth a visit for some seasonal fare. A commitment to fresh, local and seasonal produce is paramount to them and it is prevalent in their ever changing menu.

While in this area, also check out Illona Staller in Balaclava and Cicciolina in Acland Street, St Kilda.  Owned by some lovely ladies, these venues have cemented their place on the Melbourne culinary landscape and are highly respected in the industry. Great spots to eat for sure.

Longrain, with venues in Melbourne and Sydney, are regarded very highly for their impressive Thai food.  Chef and partner in the business is the very lovely Martin Boetz, a proud member of our community and a terrific chef with an extraordinary understanding of the nuances of Thai food.  You can find Longrain in Melbourne in Little Bourke Street, at the Paris end of Chinatown and in Sydney’s Surry Hills.  It should be on everyone’s list of dining options at least once.

Then there is the amazing empire of the indefatigable Vernon Chalker.  His venues include Madam Brussels in Bourke Street, Collins Quarter and Ra in Collins Street, Bar Ampere  and The Gin Palace in Russell Place in Melbourne.  Each of them with their own wonderful history and personalities, they are all excellent venues in which to eat and drink in Melbourne town. Some of the best spots for a cocktail once your done with everything else.

If you are on Commercial Road in South Yarra, the Hotel Prince Max is a great place to stop for a beverage or a meal. Owned by the effervescent Michael Broderick, it’s been a stalwart on Commercial Road for decades and has been restored somewhat to its former glory.  A great operator and a terrific venue for a pre show or event dinner. They have a tidy wine list and a great outdoor area for sips and nibbles.

On Cato Street in Prahran you will find Ice Café. Open for breakfast and lunch every day, and dinner on some days, this is another community hangout.  Owned by everyone’s favourite lad, Liam Quinn, the venue is well worth a stop in if you need to cure yourself from the night before, or if you need to recover from the  gym across the other side of the street.  Either way, it’s a great place to see and be seen.

Aptly named The Bottom End at the Spencer Street end of Little Collins.  The love child of an honest pub and a down home party girl, this venue is the brain child of Michael Delany Korabelnikova. It’s the home of Poof Doof so a great place to get your boogie on, as well as a US style diner to make sure the stomach is lined.  I can attest to the mac cheese balls and warn they are addictive. Delaney Korabelnikova has been behind some other terrific Melbourne venues and is quite smooth operator.

There are many more venues that have a strong GLBT flavor and I suggest you ask your friends for recommendations of any they know – these are but a few that are worth looking at if you are here for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and want to join the Gay dining agenda.

 

Getting hitched in the old dart.

Getting hitched in the old dart sounds like fun to some. To others, they will start rolling their eyes and asking do we need another opinionated homo banging on about marriage equality yet again.

Short answer, yes!

A number of friends are already planning their escape to old Mother England to get themselves wed.  I am not sure what sort of legal requirements there will be around colonials from the antipodes schlepping themselves and a few dozen keen friends and loved ones across to London or Somerset to espouse themselves to another. I think you might need to be a first generation Australian or can claim some sort of ties to the old dart. I am English on my Maternal side and therefore I think I would be excluded.

But, given the turning tide around the world and the continuing news of marriage equality in places like the UK, France and elsewhere, should we not be patient and get hitched here when we can.

The legislation from 2004 that the Howard government introduced and passed at midnight on that very dark Friday 13th August states that marriages between same sex couples that are solemnised overseas will not be recognised under Australian law, or something to that effect:

A union solemnised in a foreign country between:

                     (a)  a man and another man; or

                     (b)  a woman and another woman;

must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia.

 

So even if we do pop across to the old dart and extend our betrothals to marriages, there is no form of recognition here.  And thats just plain sad.

same sex couples

What to do?

Firstly, we must continue to try and bring Australia in to line with the emerging trend in the developed world.  Argentina and Spain, with combined predominantly Catholic population of about 90 million , have equal marriage. Add the 10.5 million Portuguese into that mix and there is 3 nations with about 100 million people where no plague nor pestilence has followed the legalising of Equal Marriage.

I like what the UK has done, and this should appease the crazies out there who think that allowing two consenting adults who love one another to marry will open the doors to people marrying donkeys, dolphins or some other non human species. Their draft law says two people – and I am sure that this does not include livestock, seagoing creatures or in fact, children. The legal age for marriage in the UK is 16, but there must be parental consent until the age of 18.  Nor will folk be now willy nilly marrying inanimate objects like a favourite armchair or the fire hydrant out front of their pad in Notting Hill. Their law states that two people can get married… nice.

There is no logical argument as to why two consenting adults, who happen to love one another, should not be able to marry.  We are  seeing the developed world embrace this idea.  France is preparing to see legislation through its parliament, now 10 states of the United mob have legalised equal marriage, some parts of Mexico and Brazil (population collectively of close to 300 Million) have made it  legal, and the western European and Scandinavian nations of Norway, Sweden, Iceland, The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and jolly old Canada have all voted in favour of Equal Marriage – and let me bring you in on a little secret – none of those societies have descended in to Sodom and Gomorrah!

I want to get married to my partner – and to let the kids share with us as we commit ourselves to one another as their Mum has done.  I want to spend the rest of my life with this one amazing human being for whom I would do anything – without question or reason.  But I don’t want to have to sneak off to the other side of the world and do it.  I don’t want to have to make an excuse for why I would do it overseas.  I think, for me, that would be a cop out.

I have been agitating for equal marriage in Australia since little Johnny with the assistance of Labor I might add, passed that awful piece of legislation – Marriage Amendment Bill, 2004 and I will continue to do so until such time as the people elected to represent all Australians understand that it is now the will of the majority.  Latest polling suggest about 64% of Aussies are in favour – most simply want it out of the way so we can focus on some of the bigger issues.  And 52% of coalition voters support the idea. 

 

So instead of packing our bags and shuffling off to the old dart to pledge our troth, we should stay and fight the good fight so that we can live in a society where we are no longer second class citizens because of who we love.

 

 

 

sensational sandwiches

What is it about the humble sanger that has a boy like me in raptures?  I am not talking any old shop bought thing that is a couple of lumps of ordinary bread, unthoughtfully stuffed with a myriad of ordinary ingredients. Oh nooo! I am talking a well crafted taste sensation that leaves me wanting, nay begging, for more.

I ask this question as, last night, I partook of a simple but spectacular offering that had me salivating before it hot the table. Just three ingredients – slow roasted lamb, fontina cheese and somebody’s grandma’s tomato relish. It doesn’t sound much but perfectly grilled, with lashings of butter on the outside, and the cheese oh so perfectly melted inside – it was a taste revelation.

Where? I hear you ask? Trocadero at the newly refurbished Hamer Hall.  It was a small bite (or I thought a small bite) before we hit the theatre to see a show.

Sandwiches are ages old. This scrummy little item was named for John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich.  The Earl was an aristocrat, and it is rumoured that he instructed his valet to slap something together that he could eat while playing cards – cribbage in fact.  He didn’t want to get his cards greasy and grubby whilst munching on meat with his bare hands, and so instructed the valet to tuck the meat between a couple of slabs of bread.  Others seemed to like the idea and so asked for ‘the same as Sandwich.’ The rest, as they say, is history.

I consider myself the master of the toastie and it is something that goes down particularly well, late at night after a few social libations. I generally start with some very good, dense bread like a sourdough.  Between the slabs of bread, I smear both horseradish and a very good quality mayonnaise.  I don’t make my own – remember the social libations? Right.

I then add quality cheese – really good aged vintage cheddar tends to be my most used.  Dont be stingy with it mind! It is then cooked in a frypan, with loads of butter.  Make sure the pan is not too hot for the butter will burn.  Allow it to simmer and steep in the pan until you are sure one side is done, then with more butter in the pan, turn and grill the other side. It sounds simple but this is the food of the gods and my late night cheese toasties are known in four states.

If you dont fancy making your own, be sure to find a purveyor of fine sandwiches that knows what they are doing.

In Melbourne, there are many venues that can cater to your taste, and are serving some very fancy gourmet offerings. There is nothing better than a trip to Earl Canteen for a pork belly sandwich with apple, cabbage and fennel slaw and wilted silverbeet.  If something more exotic is your thing, then check out a Vietnamese offering of Banh Mi – usually made with pork cold cuts, pate and some cucumber, carrot and coriander.  There are many to be found across Richmond and Footscray.  To’s Bakery in Hopkins Street, Footscray gets my vote for sure.

Po Boys are classic American, with prawns creole flavours, aoli or mayonnaise and some iceberg lettuce.  I discovered one of these at My Mexican Cousin and fell in love with it. Of course, traditionally American as well is the Reuben – layered corn beef or pastrami on rye bread with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing. 

You will find something that takes your fancy I would guess.  Maybe the perfect salad sanger is your thing. Whatever you have, it can never contain tomato sauce, plastic cheese slices or fish or meat from a tin – these are all travesties of diabolical proportions.

There is nothing more heartwarming than the grilled cheese toastie however, to warm the cockles of your heart.  Now if you will excuse me, I am off to the kitchen. Mmmmm, cheese.

Are the Turnbulls the new Kennedys? I think not.

I am rather chuffed for  Elizabeth Farrelly of the Sydney Morning Herald and her opinion piece from today.

Read it here http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/our-clintons-why-australia-needs-the-turnbulls-20121017-27qht.html

I am chuffed that things are all nice and Pollyanna in her world and that if we were to have Malcolm Turnbull elected as the next Prime Minister and his lovely wife Lucy as our first lady, that things might go all so terribly swimmingly. As Elizabeth so delightfully suggests “For if I’m right about them (and I’d like to be) they could be our Clintons. Or maybe our Kennedys.”  How terribly marvellous that would all be, as Mr and Mrs Money solve all our political issues by being so, well terribly lovely.

I am afraid my glasses are of a different tint than Elizabeth’s.  You see, Malcolm, who I assume is a lovely fellow (and in my dealings years back with Mrs T, she seems equally as likeable I suppose) actually has a problem with all of the principles that Elizabeth Farrelly suggests he is so willing to defend.

Lets start with a snippet from Ms Farrelly’s editorial:

Climate change, bike lanes, gay marriage, anti-censorship; many people think Turnbull joined the wrong party. That can happen. Like putting on the wrong shoes in the morning, you just accidentally go right instead of left.

Rather than suggest this is principle based, I see it more as political opportunism.  If Mr T was so fussed about all of these issues, he would have in fact become a Labor Party member and used his considerable clout for good. Rather than accidentally joining the Libs, or putting on the wrong political footwear as Elizabeth suggests is so easy to do, he would have joined the party with whose policies and principles he actually identified.  Lets look at some of areas that Mr T is not sure where he stands.

Climate change for instance.  Malcolm is one of those on the opposition front bench that actually believes it exists but voted against the bringing in of a carbon tax. He is most vigorous in his defence of climate change and has made some pretty impressive speeches about it.  But, he voted against the carbon tax.

Gay Marriage is a classic example of Malcolm’s popular politics. On the 10th of September in the big Punch and Judy house (Elizabeth’s analogy, not mine), Mr Turnbull spoke about Stephen Jones’ Gay Marriage Bill. He said afterwards “Were a free vote to be permitted, I would support legislation which recognised same-sex couples as being described as a marriage.” Now lets be blatantly honest here.  If Mr T was so principled, he could have crossed the floor and voted with the yes vote to allow this.  Okay, he would have sacrificed his front bench portfolio’s and been relegated to the back benches but, its not like he needs the money folks. And imagine what a move that would have been? The moderates in the LNP would have applauded him and perhaps one or two might have followed, the pundits in the media gallery would have made a spectacular chorus about political martyrdom, but more importantly, Malcolm would have made one hell of a point that he was not going to be bullied by the leader.

The Libs have never  been in a situation like this before where their esteemed chairman Leader has told them they can not vote with their conscience. They have never had their own conscience vote disallowed for fear of being relegated to the interchange bench, excepting for this vote on Marriage Equality that the mad monk is so bloody scared of.

Malcolm Turnbull has had numerous opportunities to step up to the plate and represent the wishes of his constituents.  Some 78% of the good people of Wentworth have voted in support of marriage equality.  Mr T thinks that means civil unions.. the diet coke of marriage for us.

What about the good old NBN? Our comrade in arms, Senator Steven Conroy champions this and it could well be the thing that revolutionises our communications capability.  Malcolm has, for some time, been ranting that the Government’s NBN is, at best, shambolic. But what he presents as the oppositions broadband network will be slower, a bit cheaper perhaps but we can build it quicker.  This is another failure to stick to principle.  Mr T believes in an NBN, just not Comrade Conroys.  This is political point scoring and not in the best interests of Australians, who by and large overwhelmingly support the NBN.

Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull are exceedingly wealthy, charming and charismatic, but for this scribe, Malcolm is not really committed.  Until he has the cojones to stand up and have a tilt at the leadership, to put this principled manner into being as the leader of the opposition and until he is willing to actually be more principled in action rather than in thought or word, he is no more than a henchman for the mad monk.

Elizabeth Farrelly is quite right when she states “The Liberal Party insists on seeing Turnbull’s popularity with the non-Liberal masses as a threat. Had they half a brain between them they would seize the opportunity, make Turnbull leader tomorrow and sweep into power the first consensus government for decades.”

If we are to be governed with principle and we are to live in a society that values sticking up for those principles regardless of what that means to one’s political gravy train, then I possibly think that Mr T is the man.  I wouldn’t vote for him as he still would have the rabble of Tories to deal with now – the likes of Christopher Pyne, Sophie Mirabella and Kevin Andrews – each of whom in their own right are on my list of least admired humans for various reasons. he still has to govern with a government and if the current opposition make up is what will make a government, then perhaps it is too early for Malcolm to pull the sword from Excalibur and become the next knight of the despatch table.

I hope, for Mr T’s sake and that of Australians, that he does something soon if he is going to do anything, because if I am to live in Australia under an Abbott led government, then I will be joining many people I know who will want to be on a leaky boat to Indonesia.  Things might be better there.