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My Thoughts on the Week That Was

Saturday 15 August

1 Tony Abbott’s dilemma on Marriage Equality is much like Malcolm Turnbull’s when he was Liberal Leader. Abbott could have allowed a conscience vote but in doing so would have lost the support of those who keep him in power. The homophobes.

Conversely, the dilemma is that the public would support gay marriage. He is caught between a rock and a hard place and can’t win either way. Turnbull had the same problem with climate policy and got dudded for it. The feral extremists are very powerful. If Turnbull were ever to regain power he would have to do a huge about turn on climate policy and gay marriage. How hypocritical would that be?

2 One of Abbott’s most annoying characteristics is his propensity to repeat himself. Is it intentional? I have no idea but it is irritating. Anyway there is a word for it. Battologist, which means ‘wearisome repetition of words in speaking or writing’.

mediaSunday 16 August

1 Australia’s media yesterday was universal in its condemnation of the performance of the Abbott Government. Why has it all of a sudden woken up to the realisation that Abbott was not emotionally equipped for the job?

His ill spoken thoughts were legendary. He had confessed that he was a liar. His history of arrogance, misogyny and general bad behavior was known to all and sundry yet the media promoted him as a messiah. Now they want his scalp while at the same time ignoring their own incompetence.

2 “Tony Abbott’s Climate Policy in effect ranks Capitalism and Economics much higher than the biosphere that enables us to survive. Only fools would countenance such stupidity“.

3 Not surprised that Peter Dutton spent $7210 last July on business class flights, car hire and accommodation for his wife and three children for a three-day trip to Cairns. He was on business. of course.

Yes, he is the failed Health Minister who did a bad taste hatchet job on Gillian Triggs and Sarah Hansen-Young. He is but one of many Government members who have not yet realised they are in Government, not opposition. In both cases the accusations spewing from his filthy mouth were unsubstantiated.

Spying on Senator Hanson-Young on Nauru was far more extensive that initially reported, continuing throughout her three-day visit and including filming her in her hotel room.

He should apologise unreservedly. But he won’t. This Government doesn’t do apologies.

womenMonday 17 August

1 Just a few days after expressing the need for more women Liberal parliamentarians (and not knowing how to go about it) the Party endorses a total alpha male in former NAS soldier Captain Andrew Hastie for the Canning by-election.

2 Tony Abbott’s speech on Saturday to the South Australian Party faithful was described as weird by the panelists on Insiders. In it he said we had, had “two years of very good government”. For any leader to say such a thing in the full knowledge that the evidence was to the contrary is lying in its purest form, or suggests that the person making it is completely deluded. Or both.

Tuesday 18 August

I I listened intently yesterday morning to Joe Hockey being interviewed on AM. The economy is going fine, he said. The Government has everything under control and the future looks assured. Just thought I would pass that on to those who bother to read my thoughts each day. I know you will all be reassured. You have nothing to be concerned about.

2 As one of my friends said, Gillard, Rudd and Shorten when giving evidence at Royal Commissions were expected to remember events in a timeline that would test anyone’s memory. It seems though that Commissioner Heydon can overlook current events that directly affect his stewardship but is by comparison unimportant. The fact that he once sat on a panel to select Abbott for Oxford may seem inconsequential but never the less is more evidence of his Liberal Party sympathies.

gg3 As the father of polling, George Gallup, once famously said. “Let me frame the question and I will get you the answer you want”. Besides the fact that the PM is taking the Australian public for a ride on the question of Gay Marriage the composition of any question for a referendum or plebiscite should be taken out of his hands.

Incidentally George had four principles for creditable polling: A scientific principles, B correct sampling, C clear questions to measure opinion, D refused to be funded by people who had interest in the outcome of the polls.

4 An example of how well the Abbott Government is travelling. Federal Cabinet met on Monday night without a single formal cabinet submission to consider. That’s taking small government too far.

5 We exercise our involvement in our democracy every three years by voting. After that the vast majority takes very little interest. Why is it so?

Wednesday 19 August

1 Independent Commissioner Heydon to rule on the authority of his own independence. Now that’s independence for you.

If an unbiased view is sacrosanct for fair judgement then he should resign. That is not to say that some revelations by the Commission thus far, particularly in relation to the CFMEU, don’t require further action.

2 This week’s Essential Poll has Labor on 52 and the Coalition on 48 which is rather surprising given the results of other polls. The disconcerting thing with Essential is the amount of people without an opinion. For me it reflects the malaise of the electorate. For example when asked: “How likely do you think it is that Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party would try to bring back industrial laws similar to Work Choices?” 29% didn’t have a view.

3 The Minority Gillard Government was in power for three years. In that time they were never defeated on the floor, passed a mountain of legislation together with three major reforms. A price on carbon, the NBN and the NDIS. On the basis of a commitment to reform it out performs the Abbott Government by a country mile. Abbott has led a Government for undoing. Even with a large majority they are unable to even bring discussion papers to the cabinet table.

4 The obvious answer to this Tony Abbott warns ministers they will face consequences if caught leaking” headline on The Guardian Webb site is.

Well you piss me off. And you shouldn’t be perving on me anyway.

5 After listening to Gerrard Henderson’s wife on The Drum last night I have concluded I need psychiatric help or she is a public relations genius.

6 Good Lord (pardon the pun) our citizenship rights under threat. The FOI Commissioner works from home and now they want to take away the rights of ordinary citizens and environmental groups to challenge projects in the courts

Thursday 20 August

1 The Adani Mine project didn’t go ahead because Greg Hunt’s Legislation was so poorly drawn up. Not because of some green vigilante litigation.

2 Jobs and growth. The fact is that there are now 800,700 more people without a job. The Government is correct to say that it is their major concern. My concern though is that it has just occurred to them.

3 Kathy Jackson finally exposed as a thief, liar and hypocrite. Many in the labor movement were deeply suspicious of Jackson being portrayed as a “whistleblower”. Their instincts and inside knowledge were right.

4 The Trade Unions have decided to push ahead with an application for the Royal Commissioner, Dyson Heydon, to disqualify himself from heading the inquiry into union governance and corruption. Do pigs fly?

I wonder how many witnesses will now say: “I overlooked it”.

TerrorismFriday 21 August

1 Peter Dutton giving yet another press conference about young people flying overseas but disclosing nothing but then digressing into a lengthy tirade about terrorism. The default button has been pushed again.

2Our cabinet is functioning exceptionally well” says Abbott as government talking points are leaked again. Someone has a permanent spot at the urinal.

NOTE: Next week’s meeting has been cancelled because cabinet members have no ideas. Or should that be idea.

3 Tony Abbott has changed his mind (what’s new) on support for Indigenous meetings on recognition of Aboriginals within the Constitution. Rumour has it though that a handful of Government MPs are completely opposed to any Constitutional change, and a growing and broader group within the Coalition is questioning the merit of going ahead with the referendum as proposed in May 2017. White middle aged men putting others in their place.

Midday thoughts

1 How does one describe the Abbott Government? I am of course tempted by the anger within me to let my frustration out and fire with both barrels. What we have though is a government of political reaction. By that I mean that every reaction on whatever topic has the measure “how will it affect us politically” attached. Its first reaction is to always act rather than control situations. Some governments manage to negotiate the inevitable potholes of office with a modicum of grace. This government has been hopeless at crisis management. It has repeatedly failed to foresee obvious perils, and struggled to deal with soluble dilemmas.

2 In a recent Essential survey only 16% of Australians trusted politicians. In fact they were at the bottom of the list. Below is a comment posted on Facebook by a young friend of mine? It is representative of the thinking of many young people. Who can blame them?

“I swear Australian politicians are just a bunch of stupid people who get paid way too much, to sit in a room and abuse each other. Ridiculous”.

3 At the close of play (a cricket term) the Trade Union Royal Commissioner Dyson Heydon had heard an application to disqualify himself as Commissioner saying he would deliver a verdict on himself by Tuesday, saying that it was an “interesting and…complex matter”.

And this is the week that was. Dismal, wasn’t it?

 

15 comments

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  1. David Bruce

    We don’t have long to wait for the next economic supercycle, so it will be interesting to see how the Abbort Government will handle GFC Mark II. The expected date is now 7 October 2015. Perhaps they will announce support for the US attacks on Syria and commit Australian forces to the expanding war zone before 6 October?

  2. John Kelly

    Dismal indeed. The last three weeks have been dismal. With no legislative proposals on the agenda, how excited everyone became when some bright spark suggested “law fare”. No cabinet meeting next Monday suggests next week hasn’t got much mojo either.

  3. Blinkyewok

    What are the chances of Haydon dismissing himself?

  4. win jeavons

    We should rename the party now in power ” the war party” . Their boring , expensive, dangerous addiction is SO predictable! When the can’t find a war elsewhere they declare war on their less powerful citizens , as we saw in 2014.

  5. mars08

    I suspect that Abbott and Credlin were miffed that no Australians were caught up in the recent Bangkok bombing. Would have been a great opportunity for yet another chest-thumping flagfest…

  6. brickbob

    I had the same thoughts as mars08,Abbott would have been praying to his god that Australians would have been among the casualities in Bangkok,and when you get to the stage where you hope some of your own people get killed or maimed to further your political career you have reached the depths of depravity and pure evil,and some may think i have used emotive language to express my opinion and i would agree,but at all times you must call it out for what it is.”””””

  7. Terry2

    Interesting that a week ago Dan Tehan, a Liberal back bencher came out of the blue and said we should start bombing Syria. Several journalists suggested that he had been sent out to test the water.

    Now we have the Prime Minister almost busting to say that we will start bombing Syria but he won’t make a final decision until all matters have been considered.

    What matters will he consider ? Well it’s safe to say that he won’t consider that we have not been invited by the Syrian government so we could be engaging in an act of aggression.

    He won’t consider that the war in Syria poses no perceived threat to Australia’s security although it may encourage terrorist retribution on our soil.

    He probably won’t consider that there has been no UN Resolution on this matter but then, he doesn’t have much time for the UN.

    Will he take into account that there are already 3.8 million displaced persons streaming out of Syria for sanctuary in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey and that some 230,000 Syrians, mainly civilians have died so far in this conflict.

    Will he consider the fact that if we kill innocent civilians – we know that Daesh melts into the civilian community – we may be guilty of war crimes and bombing is very indiscriminate.

    Tania Plibersek said during the week that we might be better off dropping food aid only to be shouted down in parliament and accused of wanting to set up a terrorist picnic.

    For all our sakes I hope that reason prevails and we do drop food parcels and not bombs.

  8. Florence nee Fedup

    From what Abbott said today, we are already involved in bombing Syria. Then it is hard to decipher whatever Abbott says. Generally all over the place,

  9. corvus boreus

    Thus ends another week under Abbott,
    This week he also used parliamentary privilege to accuse Bill Shorten of sending death squads to assassinate people, and called legal action upon improper proceedures ‘sabotage’, and expressed enthusiasm for dropping more bombs.
    Sigh.

    Ah well, at least there’s still some beauty left in this world.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD6ELanidTc

  10. Matters Not

    I think that Terry2 is on the money. Trying to resolve a religious divide that’s been around since (approximately) 632 by bombing here, there and everywhere is naive at best. And criminal at worst.

    While one shouldn’t deny the ‘brutality’ (and any other pejorative descriptor you care to choose) of ISIL, one shouldn’t forget how ISIL came into being. While the historical roots of this conflict can easily be traced to the 7th century, its more recent ‘flare up’ can just as easily be traced to the invasion of Iraq by the US, aided and abetted by others, including Australia under the tutelage and guidance of John Howard.

    Certainly it’s mess. But for a relatively small nation (in terms of power) to simply disregard international law will be a ‘courageous’ decision.

    How can we condemn China, for example, for ‘misbehaving’ and ignoring international conventions re its claims of ‘sovereignty’ over the South China Sea , while we are prepared to do exactly that (misbehaving) when it’s perceived to be in our interests, or at least in the interests of the US re Syria?

    It’s a strange, strange world we live in Master Jack.

    https://www.google.com.au/?gws_rd=ssl#q=it%27s+a+strange+strange+world+we+live+in

  11. Gordon Ferraby

    Of course, let’s not forget the last sitting of parliament reached even new depths; with a prime minister of questionable ethics and morals accusing his fellow MPs (in the opposition naturally) of racism and an outlook that desires a return to The White Australia Policy. Unbelievable..just add it to his previous and consistent form of insulting and abusive use of language just to score a point; (eg. invoking holocaust comparisons).

  12. stephentardrew

    Nice summary John:

    At least it has been an interesting week watching the farce unfold as the media nominally does its job. A lot more fun to be had in the next few weeks me thinks. The racist charge over the TPP was appalling yet we hardly hear anything from the media. I find a certain calmness settling over me as our predictions have come to pass. Better than being in no-man’s land enforced by a silent media and low profile opposition. Good hunting this week.

  13. Jollyjumbuck

    Just because some of us do not believe in SSM DOES NOT make us all homphobics!

  14. Florence nee Fedup

    Correct, as long as you do not force your beliefs on anyone else. Others do.

  15. corvus boreus

    Jollyjumbuck,
    You should watch the gastropod porn that I posted earlier.
    The hidden beauty of that scene is that the snails are hermaphroditic, and are simultaneously fertilizing each other.
    That’s a relationship of true equality.

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