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Day to Day Politics: Come on, Malcolm, confront the bastards.

Sunday 8 January 2017

There was a time in Australian politics that ministerial conduct was important. So significant that Ministers could lose their portfolio for the simplest misdemeanour.

In John Howard’s first term as Prime Minister he lost 7 Ministers after introducing a Ministerial Code of Conduct. The code required members to divest themselves of share portfolios and to tell the truth in Parliament. Tell the truth. Gee that’s a laugh.

Of the seven, Bob Woods resigned over a questionable expense claim. As Prime Minister, John Howard certainly came down hard on those who didn’t obey the rules but later, because he was losing so many Ministers, he softened them.

The question is of course is: ”What’s to stop Malcolm Turnbull from acting?”

And the answer is that the right-wing of the party won’t allow it. In the case of Health Minister Sussan Ley there is a clear breach.

Documents show that Ms Ley travelled from Sydney to Brisbane on 9 May  make an announcement at Wesley hospital of $1.3bn in funding.

“All above-board” I hear you say. You are correct to this point. Then she jumps on another plane to the Gold Coast where she says, or more correctly a spokesperson says she met with local health stakeholders about access to new medicines. Strangely no one seems to know who they are.

“The Minister met with patients on the Gold Coast, however, because of patient confidentiality and sensitivity reasons she does not intend to provide any more information on this meeting.”

Then after staying the night with her partner at the taxpayers’ expense she, on the spur of the moment decides to purchase from a Liberal Party donor, a unit worth $795,000.

It was ”not planned nor anticipated” the spokesperson said.

Well sorry, try pulling the other leg. Doesn’t even require a pub test. The practice of arranging official trips to coincide with private business is common. Attending a party fund raiser and having a conversation with a minister is also practiced.

The Ministerial Code of Conduct clearly prohibits the use of public office for private purposes.

”Ley’s explanation that the purchase ‘was not planned nor anticipated” is woefully inadequate and an insult to Australians,” Opposition shadow Catherine King said.

This of course comes at a time when the Government is attacking people’s pensions, their welfare benefits and desperately trying to justify their savage cuts to Medicare by claiming they are living within their means.

Barnaby Joyce the unqualified acting Prime Minister said:

”If they made a purchase, even though I admit it is a substantial purchase, that’s not the reason she went to the Gold Coast. She went to the Gold Coast for work.”

In recent times both sides of Parliament have been guilty of the most outrageous claims cumulating in Bronwyn Bishop’s infamous helicopter rides. It must stop.

If Turnbull has any decency, even a scintilla of leadership he would sack her. He won’t of course because he is a weak leader and the far right see it as their divine right, stemming from of a born to rule mentality, to rip off the public purse.

What is unforgivable is that the rules never change. Turnbull is in charge, ”change the rules.”

To say it has been a bad start to the year for the government would be an understatement. It’s a shocker.

“Common Malcolm show some leadership. Con front the bastards.”

My thought for the day.

”Governments who demand the people’s trust need to govern transparently to acquire it”.



  1. Michael Taylor

    I’d like to be able to say that how Turnbull handles this could be a test of his leadership. But it’s not worth mentioning it. We all know he’ll do nothing.

  2. stephentardrew

    The eviscerating of ethics is sending this country to the edge of something very disturbing verging upon corporate and political totalitarianism. To lie is immoral, to extort benefits from your political position is unethical, we are in crisis and at a moral cross roads. To ignore scientific facts, given incontestable evidence, is madness. This is truly dangerous territory exacerbated by a largely compliant main stream media. This trend in developed countries is increasing poverty inequality and unemployment will gifting the elites with absurd wealth and power.

    Meanwhile the public is so misinformed they find it hard to discriminate between lies and fact. The union movement used to play a vital role in informing workers of the injustices perpetrated upon them however these days unions are vilified on the right and largely condenseness too by the neoliberal left.

    Where is our voice to truth and fact and where is the foundation of our moral obligation to tell the truth? We live in dangerous times. To, with malice, vilify and impoverish those already in difficulty is unconscionable and immoral. We are losing our sense of justice, equity and decency at a shocking rate. Environmental degradation and increasing inequality are setting us on a path to extreme social conflict and violence.

    When will it be too late? It appears we are pretty well near three minutes to midnight.

  3. Peter F

    If this was a ‘spur of the moment’ decision, it shows very little common sense. The vendor was a fellow liberal. He could cold easily have been persuaded to have phone discussion and then formalise the arrangement at a future date when the good minister travelled privately to inspect her purchase ( after already buying !!!)

    As it turns out, she spent some time talking to unidentified patients at a hospital and some time purchasing a property. We do not know which took the more time, but I would be interested to know the relevant details.

    Which was more important, and how many of her work decisions are ‘spur of the moment’ ?

    I must be out of touch with reality.

  4. pierre wilkinson

    why all the fuss? do we not all have a lazy 800grand laying about for the purpose of impulse buying?if not, then obviously you are simply not trying hard enough – just ask the rip off merchants in government.

  5. Keith

    Integrity is not a defining feature of the LNP.

  6. keerti

    I take issue with your statement that turnouke is aweak leader. He shows no leadership at all which is one of the reasons why his band of ragtag exploiters of the public purse thunk they can get away with their rorts.

  7. Jaquix

    How convenient that the “stakeholders” Ley’s spokesperson mentions as the reason for her Gold Coast visut, are “patients” and therefore must be kept confidential. Surely Ms Ley was not giving them medical advice? And why do we see her so often visiting patients sitting up in bed in hospitals – surely those patients should get confidentiality too?

  8. Phil

    The ministers spokesperson is lying and the lie is so egregious it is not worthy of analysis. The minister holds the electorate in contempt, as does the rest of this obnoxious government. The feeling is of course mutual.

  9. Luke

    I fully agree with Stephentardrew, these right to rule elitists think Australians will never riot, wrong, that day will come.

  10. Keitha Granville

    Actually the best action right now would be for Turnbull to confront – if the right of the party has the balls they’ll dump him as leader, they are so swollen headed they will think they can do better with someone else – maybe Tony ? And then the country has them. We know from last time that TA would fail an election. So bring it on Mal, we’re right behind you !

  11. Deanna Jones

    Luke, it will come, but I fear that it will not be until the shit truly hits the fan by which time the powermongers will have built big enough barricades to shield the Haves from the Have nots.

  12. Terry2

    One Nation continues the three-ring circus with candidate Shan Ju Lin being dumped for making homophobic postings on facebook : just to be clear, homophobia is a policy of One Nation but they do not believe in facebook without empirical evidence.

    In the meantime on the high-wire is Rod Culleton who was made bankrupt by the Federal Court on 23 December 2016: the Judge ordered that “the estate of Rodney Norman Culleton be sequestrated under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth)”. The Judge went on to order that “there be a stay of all proceedings under the sequestration order for a period of 21 days”.

    So, Culleton has until Friday next, 13 January 2017, to prove that he does not owe almost everybody in Western Australia some money. So, if his crowd funding effort in the Cayman Islands doesn’t work out, it’s off to the knackers yard with Senator Rod and One Nation has the opportunity to put up another clown ; of which it seems there is no shortage.

    Meanwhile, Senator Malcolm Roberts of One Nation was somehow allowed out of Australia – slipped through the ‘ring-of-steel’ perhaps – and travelled to New Zealand where they don’t hold back when it comes to identifying nut-jobs.

    New Zealand Labour Party Member Kelvin Davis took aim at Roberts in an interview on New Zealand radio station Newstalk ZB :
    “The guy is a failure in the mining industry, he’s become a political stalker, he’s a climate change conspiracy theorist [and] he’s a racist,” he said.

    “The saddest aspect of his entry into Australian politics? Spending so much time in Canberra has denied a village somewhere in Australia of its idiot. ”

    Gotta love those Kiwis !

  13. Kaye Lee

    One Nation Senator Brian Burston said the new One Nation team was a world away from the rabble who won 11 seats in Queensland in 1998, imploded and took Hanson down with them.

    “They ran dopes, unemployed, inexperienced, not all that intellectual … we’re more cohesive than the previous bunch,” Burston said. “We’re a more intelligent bunch for a start.”

    Ya think?


  14. Ella Miller

    Luke “Australians will never riot, wrong, that day will come”
    I wish you were right.
    We are surprised , no outraged at the rorts…
    How long did it take for us to get over the view that;
    you dared not question the authority of,priests, doctors, teachers , police etc.
    It took a long time to remove the pedestals from under these authority figures…no?
    Social media is making a difference …but riot?

    One day perhaps when society is hurting enough and the ‘I’m ok Jack’ attitude is gone.
    When you look at demonstrations over seas and compare it to what happens here …we are apathetic …the she’ll be right attitude is alive and well.

    We as a society are still timid about asserting our rights….just look at how many states have banned demonstrations…where is the out cry about those?
    “that day will come” I wish I was as sure as you.

  15. wam

    Politicians believe they are automatically at work the minute they answer their phone or leave the house even if they are going to see a terrible picture like la la land, Lord.

    The rabbott, until recently, attended political weddings and political book launches but now has the good sense to call into a cancer clinic on the way to the airport. Gina’s one way passengers, coming home from an indian wedding, hired a car in KL to observe the traffic to claim fares. Susson everything has just used the ‘cannot talk about operational matters'(when you think about it this fits a health minister?) to avoid confessing her greedy rort.

    Love stephenartdrews assertion on the difficulty of knowing how to discriminate between lies and fact (thank goodness he waited a few lines before hitting the Lord’s truth’). But does anyone here actually know someone with such a difficulty?.
    Of course his ‘compliant media’ hits the spot that truth does not

    Who are the poor that will rise up and vote oops riot?
    Australians are rich and will vote to keep people poor to maintain that ‘rich’.
    Their chance of caring is nil without the trilogy:
    a kick in the wallet(lie on the economy)
    a charismatic leader able to incite disorder
    an excited, hungry for more, media
    Are any of the trilogy operational?

    As for suss on greed? We already part-pay for trips to investment properties for thousands of investors!! The question is how many pollies are involved in rorting the investment property business to claim the full cost???.
    Do you want a confession, Lord?
    Perhaps a poll might give thumbs down on the greed of suss but the truth is in the beholder.

    The answer is easy! Simply allow politicians a website where the daily diary of each pollie, state and federal, is published showing where, who with, why and how long. This would allow trolls to expose their personal polle. But that is even more pie in the sky as an interpretation of ‘truth’ being actually true.

  16. helvityni

    “The saddest aspect of his entry into Australian politics? Spending so much time in Canberra has denied a village somewhere in Australia of its idiot. ”

    LOL, Terry 2, I’m sure that the village that gave us Brian Burston, will have plenty replacements to fill the vacancy…

  17. helvityni

    Ella Miller, I fear you are right.

    I was almost envious when I saw South Koreans taking to the streets, night after night; they were not happy with their President and made clear.

    Here we talk and write, but we do not easily act…

  18. crypt0

    Ella Miller …
    You said it all.
    A’straya has no bill of rights and little history of challenging authority.
    By the time the happy day of resistance to the removal of everything worth having in this country arrives, the LieNP and their affluent supporters (and ONLY the affluent ones) will be happily ensconced in their gated communities.
    Meanwhile the rest of us will do the best we can out in Mad Max land, in between fighting over the security positions required to keep the above-mentioned safe and secure.
    And that, my friends, will become the true meaning of …
    Jobs ‘n’ growth …
    Jobs ‘n’ growth

  19. Kronomex

    Malcolm won’t do anything more than say how he trusts his ministers and colleagues because his nuts are in a choke chain of his own making when he became…hahahaha…leader and PM.

    Of course Ley and her spokespeople are lying, you know, I know it, they know it, so what else is new? Quick aside here: I know how Ley got the $800k. She went over to the US and and pretended to act as Annabelle, the possessed doll. If you look at the two side by side it’s obvious that she is the evil doll and is only, just, human when she is the Minister for Health.

  20. Kim Southwood

    Terry 2, you’ve provided some cogent highlights on parlous politicians. But most resonant is the typo in your post on Peter Dutton suggesting his new Citizenship ‘Test’ actually sucks… indicative of most else he gets his teeth into.

  21. Jerry

    Yes John “The Man in the Street” know’s she is lying ; it’s a crock of lies. Sussan Ley must resign.

  22. win jeavons

    I maintain , and will continue so to do, that in this high tech age, when pensioners can be assessed for ‘debt’ by a computer, that we should not pay for a highly paid employee to travel to make an announcement. I would suggest that all pollies have a fixed travel allowance, mainly to cover travel to and from their homes, this allowance ,if exceeded would incur a 100% ( or greater) fine. Then these ‘servants ‘ would have to budget, as the rest of us must. I see this as saving millions and unnecessary carbon dioxide emissions too. These events are clearly solely to promote the minister or MP concerned to a gullible public.

  23. Max Gross

    John, you ask Turnbull to “confront the bastards”. He IS one of the bastards!

  24. passum2013

    Come on Malcontent Turnbull You can do better Your a Multimillionaire so give us a Break Pull your party into line with their wasteful corrupt spending and donate a few million to paying to establish a fund for emergency accommodation and Free medicare basics What is wasted by all governments of past is nothing like the wroughts that your mob is now doing to australia putting all future Australians into a debt that Australia will never recover from..
    Stop The Waste

  25. @RosemaryJ36

    I am 80 and so disgusted with the rabble that claims to be our government that I would join any protest against their lack of leadership, honesty, vision or effectiveness. I am in the NT so less able to make a great impact but if people all over the country were to unite in a day of protest, surely we could achieve something? Iceland did!!

  26. Michael Taylor

    You’d think, Paul, that they have the belief that it’s only ‘wrong’ if they get caught.

    Not only do they have a sense of entitlement, but an expectation that we plebs have to be accepting of this entitlement. But I sense this could all end. The peasants are revolting.

  27. paulwalter

    Not as revolting as the politicians. Why wasn’t she sacked, given the double standard?

  28. my say

    Ley has denied any wrong doing since this story broke,now she say’s it was an error of judgement,you miss Ley are a liar and a thief ,
    Peter Slipper was denied the chance to pay back nine hundred dollars ,because it was reported to police and was a police matter ,why hasn’t this woman been reported to police for the theft of tax payer’s money,Sack her Malcom

  29. wam

    Helvityni we write but talk???
    Where and when have we heard the opposition talk?
    South Korea with a president with 4% approval in a deeply corrupt system being compared to just another greedy Australian woman?

    What about Iceland(banks, gone, currency collapse unemployment) where the president:
    ‘On the last day of 2009, Sigmundur Davíð sold his shares in the company to his wife for $1
    In the Panama Papers, released on 3 April 2016, not only Sigmundur Davíð, but also the finance minister, Bjarni Benediktsson, and the interior minister, Ólöf Nordal, were implicated in having offshore tax arrangements’

    WTF!!! are you all listening to ‘from little things big things grow?

    Get some perspective to fire Australians up – 50 billion to france to kill the south australian submarine builders, 600+ million spain’s state owned navantia to kill the rest of the SA shipbuilder unions
    Unbelievable rorting of the education tertiary system since 2014,
    strangulation of medicare in the evil coils of centrelink.

    Loonies bleating their climate/asylum worries about the head of hanson and letting right wing slimes like xenophon, shorten and the rabbott have a free ride.

    As far as the media is concerned no Australian is being disadvantaged by the coalition and the only ones in my circle are a millionaire (who keeps his racehorses and his health card) and a couple of pensioners who keep their money out of the bank but the ATO computer knows so eventually they will get burnt.
    The perennial problem(for me they are above it) of Aboriginal friends who meet racism every day of their lives seeing the trauma spent over a scarf complaint.

    paul I hope some altruistic legal firm can take centrelink to the courts on a class action on behalf of those victims traumatised by debt letters

  30. Peter F

    So now the good minister apologises: It does not seem to be a ‘spur of the moment’ decision.

  31. jeff baker

    if its that simple why doesn’t someone repot it to police and they have to follow up its your rite as australin citizen

  32. paulwalter

    WTF ??!!

  33. Roswell

    My, she has been having fun. Doesn’t matter, the tax payers have provided her with a deep money pit.

  34. Kaye Lee

    Ms Ley travelled to the Gold Coast at least 17 times between 2013 and 2016, costing taxpayers more than $40,000.

    Ms Ley billed the taxpayer for two jaunts to the Gold Coast for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

    But she refused to answer questions about what “official business” she was on and who she was meeting during the New Year’s Eve trips



  35. Ella Miller

    What will Mr. Turnbull do?
    Oh dear, she has now spoken to the PM and what did he do…not much.
    Same old ,same old.

  36. helvityni

    And our ABC hardly finds Susssan’s antics newsworthy.

    They have a program called Australian Story, usually about a Sportsman/woman….

    Time to start making them about our rorting politicians of any side.

  37. crypt0

    Ms ley had to make an $800,000 “impulse purchase” of a property on the Gold Coast in order to have a few of her “entitlements scrutinized.
    Ms bronwyn had to take a helicopter ride just down the road before her moment came.
    Does it not seem a bit unreal that serial rorters, (like most of this “government’s” members) don’t have their “entitlements” audited as a matter of course?
    If they do, it’s quite obvious that we need some REAL auditors.
    Who could forget sophie’s wedding celebrations, and the nest of rorters that uncovered?

  38. Henry Rodrigues

    Thanks for rightly indentifying them in your header, they’re are all bastards, starting from the top, like a fish starts rotting from the top. The PM sets his team an example on to make mugs of us, by not paying any tax in Australia. Call the bloody election now.

  39. Lance

    Peter Slipper –
    -Federal Police -Hounded from high Office -marriage breakdown -was not allowed reconpence under the Minchin protocol-public show trial -charged with $900 anomoly -Liberal party pitchfork tar lamp lynch mob baying for a hanging

    Sussan Ley-?

  40. Ella Miller

    Sadly Labor is all too timid on this issue…wonder what we could find …we have only scratched the surface…dare they open Pandora’s box ?

  41. Ella Miller

    @helvitiny, ABC 24 has been reporting on it all morning and are soon to run the interview with her.
    Interesting that the only LNP member to comment this morning appears to be the Education minister ? MT must still be sleeping…LOL

  42. helvityni

    Lance, also Dastiari had to go.

    Sussan has agreed to stand aside, whilst her travel expenditure is being investigated. Sinodinos will look after her portfolio .( someone referred him as $inodino$)

  43. Kyran

    “In a statement, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Ms Ley had agreed to “stand aside without ministerial pay” during an investigation by the secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.”

    There you go folks, nothing to see here, move along now.

    “Mr Turnbull said the secretary would “thoroughly investigate the travel claims”.”

    You see, we’re even going to thoroughly investigate ourselves. What could go wrong?

    “Australians expect the Government to deal with these serious matters very thoroughly and in accordance with the Statement of Ministerial Standards,” he said.
    “I expect the highest standards from my ministers in all aspects of their conduct, and especially the expenditure of public money.”

    You see, we DO have standards, and they are high, and we take this seriously, and we’ll investigate ourselves thoroughly. Honestly, you can trust us. Just move along now, we’ll get back to you when we have finished, or when you have forgotten, whichever comes later.

    “Arthur Sinodinos will act as Minister for Health and Aged Care, and Minister for Sport.”

    What’s so funny? There’s nothing wrong with Arfur Seenodonors! He did nothing wrong! He wasn’t found to be corrupt, was he? Ok, his memory is a bit dicky, his ability (or lack thereof) is a tad suss-pect and he’s not real good with looking after public money until it arrives in the ‘party’ account. Other than that, he’s the perfect replacement for suss-an. Hope he remembers where his office is.

    Seriously, Mr Lord, this high farce would make great comedy, somewhere between Fawlty Towers and Monty Python. If only it was fiction.
    Take care

  44. paulwalter

    I agree with Wilson at Sheep that Abbott is involved..Why else would Murdoch be hatchet-jobbing , except to weaken Turnbull.

    Murdoch knows Turnbull hasnt the guts to stand up to them. He should resign, go to the back bench and help bring on an election to throw out an Abbott government, while he still has time regain his reputation and self respect.

  45. Paolo Soprani

    This is how it is. I have a workplace. I work within a mixed group of some eight people. I would suspect that half of these very nice people would not even know the name of the Health Minister. The other half would know the name but could NOT CARE LESS about anything this minister does or says. They are of the opinion that it does not affect them in any way. Some of them are essentially not even interested. They don’t really understand. The don’t actually care. In the group, I am the only one who does This is the depth of the problem we have in this country and, for that matter, probably other countries have the same problem. This is why The Coalition is in power. Overarchingly, the people just don’t care. And they feel completely powerless. It has been a long time coming. The most glaring example of all this is the election of Tony Abbott to the position of Prime Minister. Dysfunctionality of a system at it very worst.

  46. Henry Rodrigues

    Paolo Soprani, the main and biggest reason for the apathy of people like your workmates is they have been ‘dumbed down’ by constant drip drip of indoctrination by the main stream media, chief amongst them is Rupert Murdoch rags. I personally know close acquaintances who still subscribe to the Telegraph in Sydney and swallow everything they read therein.

  47. @RosemaryJ36

    Apathy and the Murdoch press have conditioned too many to feel impotent and zone out. It would help if there was a viable opposition to the neocons.

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