The blood­sport that is #AUS­POL

GQ (Australia) - - NEWS -

Re­mem­ber that episode of The Simpsons where Homer sold his soul to the devil for a dough­nut (“Mmm, for­bid­den dough­nut”)? It ends with time in hell and the dish­ing out of “ironic” pun­ish­ment – namely, him gorg­ing on ho­ley baked goods. Much like the portly an­i­mated pa­tri­arch, in­com­ing PM Malcolm Turn­bull’s reign could also see him eat­ing, not dough­nuts, but his own words. See, for all the pos­i­tiv­ity that shad­owed the Prince of Point Piper’s top­pling of Tony Ab­bott, we’re yet to learn of the deals made to party mem­bers on his right – you know, those coali­tion types stuck with a sub­ur­ban ’50s out­look for Aus­tralia. While the jury’s out on where Turn­bull’s key poli­cies will fall, he’s de­liv­ered some points to stand and cheer. His shelv­ing, for now, of the pro­posed higher ed­u­ca­tion bill is a win – if not for a want to make univer­sity ed­u­ca­tion an on­go­ing re­al­ity, but for the fact the an­nounce­ment was made by new ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing min­is­ter Si­mon Birm­ing­ham, mean­ing peo­ple weren’t forced to lis­ten to the al­ley-cat strains of the out­go­ing Christo­pher Pyne. Turn­bull’s min­istry is also to be ap­plauded for his recog­ni­tion of women – specif­i­cally in­au­gu­ral fe­male min­is­ter for defence Marise Payne – and trust in youth, with Wy­att Roy’s el­e­va­tion to the fed­eral front bench at just 25, along­side Josh Fry­den­berg and the afore­men­tioned Birm­ing­ham. As for the oust­ing of Ge­orge Bran­dis in the arts port­fo­lio – hooorah.

GQ INSIGHT: The jury’s out on Turn­bull – and will be for the next 12 months, though he seems to be in gov­ern­ment for the right rea­sons, doesn’t wear bud­gies and can play on an in­ter­na­tional level with­out ridicule. Still, as Aus­tralia’s fifth PM in eight years, over­seas eyes view Aus­tralian pol­i­tics as a blood­sport more of­ten as­so­ci­ated with East­ern Bloc an­tics.

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