Thursday, 26 October 2017

A clear example of political prostitution - with Malcolm Turnbull acting as 'the john' and One Nation playing 'the tom'

 The Courier Mail, 19 October 2017:

BARNABY Joyce has warned Malcolm Turnbull to stop gifting Pauline Hanson cash to make Government announcements.

The warning came during a face-to-face meeting sparked by ropeable Queensland Coalition backbenchers.

The frank discussion, held on Monday at 8am in the Prime Minister’s office during a scheduled meeting, was in part dominated by the decision to give the One Nation leader $15 million for projects Coalition MPs wanted to announce themselves.

Mr Joyce, who has a good relationship with the PM, laid bare his fury after he was bombarded with complaints from the Queensland backbench.

It is also understood Mr Turnbull’s office received complaints but the PM did not know intimate details of the deals with Senator Hanson.

Highly-placed sources said Queensland Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls and the state LNP had been thrown under the bus so the Turnbull Government could curry favour with Senator Hanson to get votes through the Senate.

Outraged state and federal Coalition MPs and Senators — plus the organisational wing of the LNP — said it looked like the Turnbull Government was bankrolling One Nation election announcements, which sparked the warning by Mr Joyce.

Some protagonists have threatened to go rogue in federal Parliament if it continued….

Queensland MPs are threatening to cause the Government trouble — and work as a separate bloc — if the sweetheart deals continue.

“Queenslanders in the House and the Senate will make sure Queensland’s interests are coming first,” one source said.

With the Government’s tenuous hold on both the House and Senate, Queensland Federal MPs hold significant power if pushed to use it.

Another warned “voters punished the Liberal party for dealing with One Nation in WA” and feared the same would happen in Queensland.

They also warn that allowing Senator Hanson “to stand with big cheques with the Australian Government crest” undermines arguments that voters should not vote for One Nation because they are not in power and cannot get anything done.

In the past month, Senator Hanson has announced a $8.9 million convention and evacuation centre in Ipswich and $5 million for a Driver Education and Motorsport Facility.

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