Malcolm Turnbull is meant to be the man. He’s the minister ultimately responsible for the National Broadband Network. So why did he jump on Twitter and bash someone for not being fortuitous enough to live in an area with decent broadband? It’s smug, and wrong.
So what’s he done?
Malcolm Turnbull went on Twitter yesterday and responded to a small business owner who was commenting about lack of access to communications infrastructure in her area.
Her name is Julia Keady, and she wrote:
Bought a house in Ocean Grove. No NBN. No Cable. No ADSL 2 or 1. Back to the dongle. Prehistoric. @TurnbullMalcolm. Not good enough! #nbn
Sure, Julia probably could have been nicer about her complaint, but nevertheless, she probably didn’t expect the Minister for Communications to belittle her because of where she chooses to do business.
@SaysJuliaKeady just curious:- if connectivity was so vital to you why did you buy a house where there was no broadband available?
— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) March 20, 2014
Australia’s a big place, and getting communications out to regional areas was always the plan of the National Broadband Network: to cut down the tyranny of distance to make Australia the smart country, but instead we’re stuck in dumb fights with each other.
The tweet shows an odd two-facedness from the Minister, who usually proclaims himself as a man of the people
He’ll stand up in Parliament and profess to be the man to get the job of the NBN done, unlike the time wasters in the previous government.
He put out a broadband speed test and report card for the nation, and pledged to install the new fibre-to-the-node National Broadband Network in the areas with the least amount of access. Presumably, Malcolm wants to be looking out for people like Julia in Ocean Grove.
But instead, we get petty insults traded between constituents and ministers online. It’s rude, and out of touch.
Newsflash, Malcolm: not everyone is a dot-com multi-millionaire. Not everyone can afford to buy a house in Mosman and run a cable connection to our homes. Nor can all of us afford a decent wireless plan with adequate usage that can stand in for a wired broadband connection.
Abusing constituents and small business owners on Twitter isn’t the way to get your message of progress out to the people.
We won’t be reaching out to the Minister for a comment on this one. Who needs another meaningless sound bite, anyway?
Shape up Malcolm, your privilege is showing. [Twitter]