Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Sophie makes her move

with 21 comments

Sophie makes her move

Federal member for Indi Sophie Mirabella has resigned from the opposition shadow ministry because she says she cannot support Labor’s emissions trading scheme.

Her resignation follows senior Liberal Tony Abbott’s decision to resign from the shadow ministry, sparking a new round of leadership speculation.


I have never understood how the Liberal and Conservative parties can operate as a single entity.  Since losing government, the conservatives have been on the nose and the opposition has been controlled for the last two years by the small l liberals.

Now, the conservatives are making a comeback.  Whilst many of theme are tainted by their association with John Howard, we can only hope that – under a generational change in leadership – the conservatives offer a more acceptable alternative than the Liberals have to date.  Are the voters ready to accept a conservative option?  Let’s wait and see!

Why I had to resign: Sophie Mirabella (Border Mail 27 Nov 09)

Sophie’s Latest Speech to Parliament

Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Student Services and Amenities) Bill 2009: Second Reading (26 Nov 2009)

Sophie Mirabella: On indulgence: I am compelled to speak on the Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Student Services and Amenities) Bill 2009, because it is a broken promise. We had the former shadow minister for education just five months before the last election say in black and white that he was not considering a compulsory HECS style arrangement, that he was not contemplating a compulsory amenities…


Written by Greg Naylor

27 November 2009 at 10:21 am

Posted in PERSONAL

21 Responses

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  1. Just remember there are no jobs on a dead planet, except one for selfish Sophie of course. What kind of role would she be suitable for do you think?

    Some have suggested she could even become the deputy leader of the Libs now, oh dear what a disturbing thought.

    I hear all her camp followers are on the radio praising her virtues, what a sad bunch of simple people they are!


    27 November 2009 at 10:46 am

  2. You cannot equate the spill of the leadership with a dead planet. The conservative rebels are not denying the need to save the planet. They are opposed to this proposed legislation that simply imposes extra taxes on the people and does nothing to reduce energy use.

    There is no doubt that Sophie has leadership ambitions or that she is very good friends with Tony Abbott. We simply have to wait to see if the opposition’s future is heading left or right.

    Greg Naylor

    27 November 2009 at 11:25 am

    • The alternative options from the ‘conservative rebels’ are what Greg?

      John Howard did nothing for 11 years on this issue.

      Tony Abbott will not even give an honest answer on the issue ditto Sophie.

      The argument about imposing taxes on the people is a furphy pushed by conservatives for their own political purposes.


      27 November 2009 at 12:47 pm

      • It’s interesting to note that Malcolm Turnbull turned to John Howard for advice on a spill.

        What John Howard did or did not is irrelevent as he is no longer there and there is no obvious ‘proxy’ in the current liberal party.

        The increased cost of essential services to all but the low income folk is estimated at a minimum of $1,000. Did you notice that “the deal” took $5 Billion from the people and gave it to the big polluters.

        Who knows how Tony Abbott and Sophie will perform under a different leadership? I think those taking swipes at them might be worried that there has been a swing back to the right brought about by the government foisting the ETS legislation upon us when the community is clearly divided on the issue.

        Greg Naylor

        27 November 2009 at 1:39 pm

        • Greg, without going into the intracacies of the ETS, which I think no one really understands and which has been greatly undersold, the point is that the vast majority of the electorate DO want the Govt to take action on climate change. And these latest moves by the conservatives are seen as having a strong element of “denial” on climate change and a policy of “doing nothing” about it.

          Whether that’s the reality or not is beside the point. The people will not accept a political party as a viable alternative Govt when that party is going out of its way to disrupt the Govt’s climate change reforms.

          It’s as simple as that – Turnbull is right (but it seems he’ll get rolled).

          As for Sophie’s attitude, I would suggest she is a disaster looking to happen and that she represents just about everything that is wrong with the Liberals. She might even lose her seat at the next election – big chance now.

          Ray Dixon

          28 November 2009 at 1:35 pm

        • Greg – and the compensation for ‘low income folk’ (everyone with an income of less than $100,000+) is well above this.
          The government is not foisting anything upon anybody. They went to an election with this policy (as did Sophie). Governments are supposed to honour election promises.
          Furthermore, even more disturbingly, these actions see the Opposition walking away from their own election promise.


          15 December 2009 at 9:37 am

  3. Of course the great majority of voters want the government to take action on climate change, but this particular legislation DOES NOTHING to slow down climate change.

    What the average person does understand about this ETS is that a new commodity market will be established for the ‘money players’ (read Turnbull and his ilk) and that they will be paying a premium for essential services to fund the big polluters.

    I disagree that the Liberal turmoil will be seen as denial of action on Climate Change. After all this is over, they might introduce a policy of a carbon tax. I think you would agree that would be a viable option to an ETS and would put the responsibility where it should be – with the polluters.

    Whilst it is now a power struggle between the liberals and the conservatives, I don’t see it is a bad thing. This type of conflict has to be played out if they are to find out who they are and what they represent post John Howard.

    Greg Naylor

    28 November 2009 at 3:05 pm

    • Greg, you’re almost sounding like a Liberal party apologist. I don’t believe the electorate is as sceptical about the ETS as you say. Moreover I think they see that Rudd at least acknowledges climate change and has a plan for it, albeit perhaps a flawed one.

      It doesn’t matter at this stage how flawed it is, they can iron it out as it goes. The electorate just wants to see something being done. And the clear perception is that the hard-liners in the Liberals are simply denialists and of course they’ll attack any plan the Govt puts forward.

      I can’t believe that anyone would see what the anti-Turnbull forces are doing is anything but committing political suicide. The only ‘good’ that might come out of it is if we get rid of the old school for good. As it now stands the Liberals face anihilation at the next election and Joe Hockey, if he stands and wins the leadership will have consigned himself to political oblivion.

      The best solution for the Liberals is to retain Turnbull, back him, and then, after he loses the next election, they’ll still have a chance to elect a new leader and regroup. Unless they do that they’re looking at 10 more years in opposition.

      Ray Dixon

      29 November 2009 at 8:38 pm

      • Let’s get real Ray. We all know the opposition has been in disarray since losing their leader (Howard). We all know that they could not run achook raffle at the moment. So there has to blood letting to let the prevailing forces come forward.

        Turnbull has committed suicide through his vitriole against senior liberal members. If he wins, they will have to walk. If he loses, I suspect Kevin Rudd will offer him a job when he if forced to resign his seat.

        Frankly, they have nothing to lose – they were never going to be an effective opposition. Let the blood be spilled for it will be a day closer to the liberal & conservative parties being a true opposition.

        I have said before that we need to watch out for a new far right party to emerge from this rabble and the unpredictable reaction of the voting public.

        Greg Naylor

        29 November 2009 at 10:34 pm

        • Well if they dump Turnbull, the hard-right will have prevailed and we’ll have as opposition leader either the hard right Abbott, or a puppet of the hard right in Hockey. And that is merely turning back the clock to John Howard’s years.

          Ray Dixon

          1 December 2009 at 9:22 am

        • Well Turnbull lost – but he actually won. He’s only gone down by one vote and someone (Joe I reckon) voted informally!

          Turnbull is unscathed and will now retire to the back benches and wait for Abbott to stuff up, as he surely will.

          And he’s destroyed his only real opponent, Joe Hockey, in the process. The Liberals are a total mess.

          Ray Dixon

          1 December 2009 at 11:32 am

        • Ray, I think you protest too much. Are you afraid of the conservatives actually getting their act together and taking on the Government at the next election?

          I think it is a great day for politics and the country. At last we have a defined policy difference between the parties. The only question in my mind is whether the conservatives have moved on from the extreme position held by the Howard government.

          Greg Naylor

          1 December 2009 at 1:02 pm

        • Afraid? No, I’m disappointed that the Libs have moved further away from being a credible force, and thereby have given Rudd a right to rule unchallenged. Well, that’ll be the end result of this, I believe.

          Ray Dixon

          1 December 2009 at 9:32 pm

        • I can only hope you are wrong and that this change is for the better of Australian politics. A big ask, I hear you say? As I said elsewhere, ‘let the games begin’!

          Greg Naylor

          1 December 2009 at 10:02 pm

  4. and at this point ladies and gentlemen we must leave this debate and focus on what is the social event of the year. yes its the wedding of the former man of medicine, the former owner of the Sydney Swans Dr G Edelsten and his bride to be the one and only (hopefully)
    ‘I only have 1 brain cell and it still works’ Brynne Gordon.
    What a lovely couple ladies and gentlemen she a mere slip of a girl at 26 years of age while the good Dr is weighing in at 66.
    If there is any suggestion of offspring then let me go under please…………


    29 November 2009 at 9:07 pm

    • Looks like you’re going under elephantandrat as the good doctor, in an interview, confesses that the sweet young thing wants a child and he is pleased to accommodate her. You never know, he might call on you to be his surrogate!

      Greg Naylor

      29 November 2009 at 10:27 pm

  5. Greg, you fail to point out that anyone on a ‘low income’ (less than $100 000) will receive more compensation under the ETS than they pay in higher prices.
    Secondly, as a conservative, I would expect that you’d believe in the power of market forces.
    The ets is about harnessing market forces to reduce carbon emissions. Regardless of the compensation receieved, individuals and companies will still be under pressure to reduce prices; this will in turn put pressure on power companies to reduce their costs. They will only be able to do this by moving away from high carbon emitting power sources.
    The carrot for them in this is that they will then be able to sell on their free permits, allowing them to make money.

    You also talk of the ets being imposed by the government. No, the government took an ets to the election and won; this obliges them to either institute an ets or break an election promise. I would have thought you would have preferred to see the former happen.
    This also makes Sophie’s action all the more heinous. She went to the last election supporting the ets. She has never gone back to her electorate and asked them for their input. She is clearly betraying her mandate, not behaviour I thought a true conservative would condone.


    15 December 2009 at 9:45 am

    • Thanks for your views Zuvelle. Whilst ‘most low income earners’ (according to Mr Rudd) would receive the compensation against higher energy costs, the cost of production will increase across the board and everyone will pay more for food, clothing and every other item they purchase.

      Being a conservative does not mean that I must believe in the power of market forces. In fact, I see market forces as a capitalist corruption of democracy diluting the wealth of the population for the sake of the wealthy – and the ETS is a prime example of this.

      The government’s election promise was to tackle global warming. I believe the ETS came later. In fact it is said that the government took Howards ETS concept and reworked it. At least Howard was definite when he said that he would do nothing that would damage the Australian economy.

      If the ETS is about harnessing market forces, the population have certainly not been informed. As a result of a lack of information, is it any wonder there is so much confusion and scepticism in the electorate.

      As to Sophie’s action, we all know that she is from the far right of the party. At least she has stood against the previous leadership for what she believes in and, in Indi, I don’t think it will harm her future prospects at all.

      Greg Naylor

      15 December 2009 at 4:12 pm

  6. Greg
    all of those flow on effects have been factored into the modelling. From memory, the anticipated rise in the cost of living for the average family is about $650. They’ll receive about $1000+ in compensation.

    No, both the government and the present Opposition went to the election promising an ETS. There was little argument about this during the election campaign, because both proposals were so similar.

    As for damaging the Australian economy – all of the economists of note agree that this requires action on climate change, and that this action involves a cost on carbon – it is the only way which will reduce emissions sufficiently. All agree that lack of action will result in greater damage. And our economy is suffering now and will continue to suffer because of the effects of climate change.

    The population has been informed and is being informed on an ongoing basis. However, very few people really care to be informed on political issues – they trust the pollies to get it right. Thus they wanted action on climate change, and as long as they know that’s happening, then that’s OK by them.

    Survey after survey after survey has shown that the general populace understands that such action will cost them directly, one way or another. They still want it to happen.

    Sophie’s action was (in my opinion) dishonest. She went to the last election on the platform of an ETS. She has had many opportunities over the last year or so to openly express her feelings on the issue. It is unprecedented for someone to cross the floor (or declare that they would do so) without previously making their concerns known. Doing so would have allowed her constituents a chance to tell her what they thought.

    I myself have asked her several times to put her opinions about climate change on the table. She has always shirked doing this. If she was the courageous convinction politician you would like to portray, she would have made her feelings known long before this.


    15 December 2009 at 10:13 pm

    • I believe the anticipated rise in the cost of living for the average family is more like $1500.

      I am not an apologist for Sophie. Whenever she takes a decision that I disagree with, I say so here.

      I agree that she has never offered her opinion on contensious issues and has become quite expert at dodging some of them.

      At the last election, I am not sure that an ETS was something the electorate did not understood as no detail was offered. That election was about removing the neo-con, Bush inspired, Howard government from office. When a sitting Prime Minister loses government and his seat in parliament, it had to be a big message from the electorate.

      With the rise of Tony Abbott, all bets are off and we will have to wait to see if he can offer an alternative that gets the publics approval. At long last, we should have some definable policy differences between the two major parties.

      Greg Naylor

      15 December 2009 at 11:31 pm

  7. Greg – just double checked, as one does. A quick google confirmed that both parties went to the 2007 election proposing an emissions trading scheme.


    15 December 2009 at 10:45 pm

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