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A Whale of a Taylor – too.

“People aren’t spending” sighs Fran Kelly at the end of ABC Insiders Sunday, blaming us for the government’s epic failure to manage the economy. It’s always the victim’s fault. Yet if you don’t have it, you can’t spend it.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) records a snail’s pace in the latest increase in household incomes. ABS data shows a healthy increase from 1995 through until 2012, the period of the Howard and then Rudd/Gillard governments. Then it collapses in 2013. It is yet to recover. No wonder 9,300 retail stores will close their doors this year.

Average wealth per adult Australian, also fell by $US28,670 in 2018-2019 reports Credit Suisse in its annual global wealth report. Although Credit Suisse’s calculation includes falling house prices and a falling Australian dollar – and despite Australians remaining among the wealthiest in the world, the report confirms economic mismanagement.

We are one of a tiny minority of countries with wealth per adult lower in 2019 than back in 2012.

Vast amounts of wealth are being shunted offshore with little or no benefit to the people of Australia.

“There is no mineral resources rent tax, no other scheme to retain wealth in Australia, tax avoidance and evasion are rife, the Tax Office’s audit and enforcement divisions are severely understaffed and the Government keeps giving handouts to its foreign corporate mates,” writes Alan Austin.

What is improving is the Coalition’s strangle-hold on the media, helped in the ABC’s case by $84 million budget cuts, intimidating calls to head office, stacking of the board and a PM’s captain’s pick of Ita Buttrose as ABC Chair. AFP raids on working journalists help to increase the state’s pressure on everyone not to criticise; step out of line.

Journos pick up the vibe. Last week, Kelly’s love-in with work experience kid, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg aids and abets Coalition’s lies about its comprehensive, colossal failure to manage the Australian economy.

“When we came to government, unemployment was 5.7%. Today it’s 5.3%. We have a record number of Australians in jobs. We have just produced the first current account surplus since 1975 … the budget is back in balance, already delivered, for the first time in 11 years. And we’re going to deliver a surplus. That means paying down Labor’s debt. Right now we have an interest bill of around $19 billion a year …”

 “So what we need to do is build the resilience of the Australian economy and face those domestic and global economic headwinds that all countries are facing, particularly the trade tensions,” Frydenberg lies.

OK, Josh. Perhaps you’d like to take credit for at least half of that debt and rising interest yourself. Hey Big Spender, your government spends like a drunken sailor. Since March, Australia’s gross debt was $543,409,430,000. Double all debt accumulated by every government from Federation to the 2013 election. Just tell the truth.

Global headwinds? Mathias Cormann – who’s never been the same since his arithmetic failed him as Dutton’s numbers man in the Liberals’ last leadership coup – has been wearing out this excuse since he become finance minister. Luckily, he need suffer no longer. He’ll quit politics at the end of this parliamentary session according to Paul Bongiorno. Cormann should go. Ten years ago, the nation was praised for its success during the GFC.

Now we lag the field. Global wealth grew during the past year as the five-year international boom in trade, jobs, investment, corporate profits and government revenue continues, although Alan Austin reports some easing with the new record high adult wealth reaching $70,850 or just 1.2% below last year’s record.

There are no global headwinds. The excuse is invoked whenever jobless figures rise, interest rates are cut, GDP per capita is lower than last year and declining productivity, among other factors, show our local economy stalling.

We’re all at sea. The mutinous dog in the captain’s rig may have seized the helm in last year’s dirty double, double-crossing of Turnbull. But the usurper has no charter; no vision. His first mate can’t read a compass and the crew are frigging in the rigging or sleeping in a cabin far below. No wonder Chief Purser Cormann is about to jump ship.

With Fran’s help, Frydenberg’s farrago of lies includes his party’s whopper that it has a record number of Australians in jobs. Yet Australia’s population growth of 1.7 million people (over 15 years old) during the same period, “created” those jobs. And a record number of deaths, too, not that you hear any boasting on that score.

Even if you take figures at face value, ABC, you could query the quality of those jobs. As in the US, many Australian workers are waiting up to a decade for a pay rise, income inequality is at record levels, working hours are long or unpredictable and penalty rates are being cut or do not exist. Conditions are also rapidly getting worse.

Wage theft is becoming the new normal as every month another corporation is found underpaying its workers.

“For many workers, there is no on-the-job training or chance for career progression, stress related illnesses due to intense work pressures are common and large sections of the workforce live in fear of being sacked without notice or redundancy pay because employment security provisions have been eroded,” reports the ACTU.

Above all, as The Australia Institute’s Richard Denniss asks, “… if the Coalition is managing the economy, why did they grow the population rather than create jobs for those who were already unemployed?” We need to explode the pernicious myth of the coalition as good economic managers.  And as Denniss puts it, the economy’s effect on the budget vastly outweighs the effect of any budget on any economy.

Budgets are important but budgets are not central to the management of the economy.

Context matters. Unemployment was indeed 5.7% at the end of the financial crisis or global recession of 2013 but that rate still put us eighth in OECD rankings – as contrasted with our 21st place today at 5.3% as shown in last month’s ABS data. That’s our lowest ranking since records have been kept. But no-one holds Josh to account.

The budget is not back in balance. As Finance Dept data reveals, the deficit at the end of October is around $14.7 billion. A surplus is predicted for next June. Alan Austin spells it out, that’s seven months away.

Above all, as Ross Gittins and others point out, any surplus requires a series of heroic assumptions which include expecting government spending to grow by just 0.1% in real terms – as opposed to 4.9% last financial year.

Then there are the decidedly unheroic calculations and assumptions of this government. Helping create a sacred surplus are cuts to NDIS, although the preferred term is “underspend”. Chief amongst these is the $4.6bn that has not been spent on NDIS, or to use the bureaucrats’ jargon, the “… slower than expected transition of participants into the NDIS and lower utilisation of participants’ individual support packages”.

In other words, our most vulnerable experience delay or denial as more stringent assessments reduce the numbers who qualify for NDIS. Wheelchair Basketball and Tennis, Paralympian Dylan Alcott is disgusted.

“I see the heartbroken families of people who try and try to get funding but can’t, robbing them to be independent, contributing members of society. Fix it.”

Then there’s the timing of receipts. Bringing forward the collection of tobacco excise collections, for example, Shane Wright reminds us, boosts the bottom line by several billions in the new financial year. But wait!

Look over there! In an “explosive allegation”, a Chinese spy ring, exposed by Nine’s 60 Minutes, Sunday, may involve the late Bo “Nick” Zhao, (32) a former luxury car-dealer in leafy Glen Iris in Melbourne’s sleepy eastern suburbs who was offered one million dollars to be a Chinese agent of influence in Australian federal politics.

Or so the self-professed Manchurian candidate, Bo told ASIO a year ago. Is Glen Iris the den of sedition, our ex-pat local sage and dramaturge Barry Humphries, has always warned us about?  Sandy Stone now a suburban guerrilla?

A nation is shocked to learn of the plot to parachute Bo into the Liberal seat of Chisholm. Bo would then be injected like a bacillus into the fibrillating heart of our body politic, our parliament, like Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin) in the train to the Finland Station in April 1917. Seriously? More panic from Canning MP, Andrew Hastie.

“I heard that he was a 32-year-old Melbourne resident cultivated by the Chinese Government to run as a Liberal Party candidate,” Chair of Parliamentary Joint Subcommittee on Intelligence and Security Hastie breathlessly tells Channel Nine whose chairman is former Liberal Treasurer and current chair of the Board of Guardians of our $148 billion (that won’t be invested in education, health or welfare) Future Fund, nest-egg, Peter Costello.

Sadly, it turns out Bo’s in jail awaiting trial for fraud in October when Chisholm’s preselection takes place. Gladys Liu, who also boasted she could raise a million dollars for the cause, takes his place. Bo’s bid would be a Chinese Communist Party long-term strategy, helpfully suggests Alex Joske, Australian Strategic Policy Institute analyst.

Did Bo know too much? Tragically, he is found dead of a drug overdose in a Mount Waverly motel after tipping off ASIO that Chinese intelligence operatives would give him a million dollars to run for Chisholm. What could possibly have gone wrong? The party would even have given him a hand with the odd fake AEC polling booth or two.

Mandarin language electoral booths in Chisholm and Kooyong and in several other electorates with Chinese speakers instruct unwary voters to unwittingly tick the box to elect the Liberal candidate. These appear to be authorised by the Australian Electoral Commission. Prove they affected one vote say government lawyers.

Cases have been brought against the two candidates by climate campaigner Vanessa Garbett and unsuccessful independent Kooyong candidate Oliver Yates. The fake poll booth case is currently before the full federal court.

Former acting Victorian Liberal party state director, Simon Frost, has testified that signs written in Chinese at polling booths on election day were designed to look like official Australian Electoral Commission signage. Preliminary comments from the bench are not encouraging. At least the spy scandal gets our PM’s attention.

“Deeply disturbing”, Scott Morrison finds the spy claims, he says, while Liberal MP for Canning, first talent-spotted by Greg Sheridan, and an Abbott, captain’s pick, former SAS Captain, Andrew Hastie, cranks up the hysteria.

A state-sponsored attempt to infiltrate our Parliament using an Australian citizen and basically run them as an agent of foreign influence in our democratic system,” cries Andrew “handy Andy” Hastie, who chairs the Australian Parliament’s oxymoron – its intelligence and security committee.

It seems to give Hastie a lot of prominence if not power.

Incredibly, another self-proclaimed Chinese spy, Wang Liqiang, who also comes to Hastie’s attention, is the star of a 60 Minutes’ show when he comes forward with sensational allegations. Wang claims he worked as a secret Chinese operative for five years. Worse, Beijing has directed overseas assassinations, including on Australian soil.

Yet barely a week passes before our spooks conclude the self-proclaimed Chinese spy is not a highly trained intelligence operative dispatched by Beijing to wreak havoc on China’s enemies. At most, they suggest, he may be a bit player on the fringes of the espionage community. But what a star. Let’s hope he’s awarded asylum.

“We develop friendly co-operation with Australia and other countries based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit,” a foreign ministry spokesman says. “We have not interfered and are never interested in interfering in other countries’ domestic affairs.”

That settles that, then. Meanwhile, it seems Wang may have some charges to face should he return to China. The Chinese Embassy insists he is merely a “self-proclaimed intelligence agent” and a convicted fraudster who was sentenced to one year and three months in prison, with a suspended sentence of a year and a half.

The embassy cites a Shanghai police statement of an investigation into Mr Wang they opened in April, after he allegedly cheated 4.6 million yuan ($960,000), in a “fake investment project”, involving car imports in February.

Chinese spies is the latest episode of Morrison’s Police State which stars our fearless anti-hero the PM as daggy-Dad, a NSW copper’s son, making yet another dud judgement call. Rather than get his Minister for Energy, Emissions, water-rorts and Round-Up, Angus Taylor, to explain who cooked up the dodgy document Taylor used to falsely impugn Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore – he rings Mick’s mobile. Is Mick’s number on Scott’s speed dial?

So our PM phones a friend; his former neighbour and bin brother, top cop, Mick Fuller. Mick’s NSW Police Commissioner, a passionate advocate of strip-searching minors, the separation of powers and augmenting the rule of law with a little bit of fear.

Young people should have a “little bit of fear” of police he tells the fear-mongering Sydney tabloid The Daily Telegraph. It’s a view which former AFP chief Mick Palmer does not share. He says it is frankly frightening.

Morrison tells parliament that Strike Force Garrad (SFG) won’t be going anywhere. He implies Mick’s told him.

SFG is the NSW police investigation of Gus Taylor’s use of doctored documents to ridicule Sydney’s Lord Mayor, Clover Moore for declaring a state of climate emergency over some forged travel figures, Gus swears were downloaded from Sydney City Council’s website, a claim contradicted by the council’s website metadata.

Doubtless, no crime will be found to have been committed but no-one will believe Morrison hasn’t leaned on Fuller to back off.

Happily, our spooks are up to snuff. The Australian even suggests that Morrison could learn from their approach. Don’t turn crisis into catastrophe.  Spymaster, ASIO Director-General Mike Burgess looms up late Sunday night to assure all loyal Australians that not only is ASIO aware of the matters but is “actively investigating them“.

A former Telstra information security chief, Mike’s a top bloke says Peter Dutton. Last August Mike “moved across” to head ASIO after heading the Australian Signals Directorate, (ASD). He was on deck to News Corp Annika Smethurst whose scoop, April last year busted an ASD plan to spy on all Australians. Mike says it’s bollocks.

Mike Burgess and two departmental heads, (always better than one) issued a rare public statement disputing the report. Later Smethurst’s home was raided by the Australian Federal Police, reports Michelle Grattan, looking for anything which would lead them to her source.

Since then, there’s been a lot of fuss and bother about the role of the free press, a debate in which News Corp is handicapped by the baggage of having urged Coalition governments to increase state powers to spy on us all.

News of the Chinese plot is enough to put a nation off its Uncle Toby’s Weeties, Monday morning and quite upstages Evangelical Stuart Robert’s frantic attempts to hose down the government’s dumpster fire which erupts when, as it knew would happen, its Robodebt assessment or extortion of the poor is ruled illegal Wednesday by the Federal Court. The Morrison government may have to repay hundreds of millions of dollars.

While MSM faithfully report that it’s a shocker of a week for Morrison, it is, in fact, a very positive week for the Australian worker. Bill Shorten also is in top form. He raises the following matter in parliament. He asks

“Given that the government has now suspended robodebt after three years of operation, is it because the Coalition government at the time of creating it either, a) didn’t seek legal advice, or b) had inaccurate legal advice or c) received legal advice but just didn’t think that Australians would notice the government unjustly enriching itself at the expense of the most vulnerable in Australian society.”

It’s a bad week for Scott Morrison chorus Nine Newspapers following News Corp’s lead. But it’s far from that. It’s a good week or at least a hopeful week for ordinary Australians. What is bad is that Ensuring Integrity and repeal of Medevac are not remotely necessary.

Worse, Jacqui Lambie and Pauline Hanson note the hypocrisy, the double standard applied to workers and Westpac bankers who have just been called out by AUSTRAC on twenty-three million counts of money-laundering.

“The Prime Minister himself came out and said ‘it’s not up to us to deal with it, it’s up to the board to deal with the banks’ – but that’s not good enough,” senator Hanson says.

In the end, the Morrison government’s just not good enough, Pauline Hanson nails it. Or big enough.

One bill before the senate extends the government’s campaign to cripple unions; reduce further the power of workers to organise and exercise industrial action while the other is more a fit of pique – a sure sign that petty political point-scoring matters more than the human rights of asylum-seekers – or our compassion, humanity – or our doctors’ Hippocratic oath. Morrison’s government hates any law that Labor may have had a hand in.

Finally, there’s the robodebt debacle. The government has been happy to connive at extortion but even when called on it’s illegal averaging to raise a debt, all its Government Services Minister Stuart Robert can offer is;

“This government does not apologise -” Yet apologise it must. And fitting restitution must soon follow. No government can treat its people with such contempt; nor in reversing the onus of proof put itself above the law.

As for Yellow Peril 2.0, its spy drama, cooler, wiser heads must prevail. Andrew Hastie’s Sinophobia has all the hallmarks of an orchestrated diversion, designed to distract us from a government in deep trouble.

This week Scott Morrison reveals he understands neither the separation of powers nor the rule of law in our democracy; he acts the can-do PM; markets himself as a man of action. Yet this does not give him permission to ring the NSW Commissioner of Police in the midst of a parliamentary sitting to seek details of an investigation it is not his business to ask nor the Commissioner’s business to tell. Both parties are now irrevocably impugned.

Viewed in conjunction with his eagerness to silence dissent and his government’s passage of at least eighty laws increasing the powers of the state to spy on its citizens, his behaviour is not only entirely inappropriate it is truly alarming. The road toward a police state is paved with such incursions into liberty, democracy and justice.

Just as the incessant repetition of party propaganda and lies mask a grave unwillingness to consult others, let alone fairly and effectively manage our nation’s economy and resources whilst elevating illusion over truth.

Yet this tyranny is not inevitable. Armed with knowledge we can resist. We must. Our democracy depends upon it.

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49 comments

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  1. Denis Bright in Brisbane

    From David Tyler’s great article:

    Vast amounts of wealth are being shunted offshore with little or no benefit to the people of Australia.

    “There is no mineral resources rent tax, no other scheme to retain wealth in Australia, tax avoidance and evasion are rife, the Tax Office’s audit and enforcement divisions are severely understaffed and the Government keeps giving handouts to its foreign corporate mates,” writes Alan Austin.

    Count me in as part of the Resistance, David Tyler!

    Chance circumstances gave some momentum to the Howard Vision for a prosperous future in Australia. The old magic is not working as the LNP is stuck in the past with Scott Morrison now desperately clinging onto the miseconomics offered by Donald Trump with his trade and investment wars and more military hardware for Taiwan which the USA and Australia stopped recognising as a country almost 50 years ago.

  2. whatever

    And the electricity blackout continues on Sydney’s North Shore, about 4 days after storms brought down power lines.
    No word from the Coal cheer-squad about how reliable their power supply is compared to renewables.
    It is a terribly old-fashioned form of Reticulated supply, a ridiculously complex system like a Dr Seuss drawing.

  3. Graham

    So we have $540 billion in gross debt and are paying interest of about $19 billion a year. That is an average interest rate of 3.5 percent.

    Back in 1982 when Howard was Treasurer, if the Government could not borrow the amount it needed at the interest rate the Government offered and the overnight cash rate was north of 16 percent , it borrowed the excess it needed from the Reserve Bank – at an interest rate of 1 percent.

    The overnight cash rate is now 0.5 percent

    The Government could borrow that $540 billion from the Reserve Bank tomorrow at 1 percent and save $15 billion a year in interest costs.

    So why doesn’t it do it?

    For the same reason Howard didn’t get get all his borrowings from the Reserve Bank: to protect the local bond market run by – you guessed it – the banks.

    Great economic managers in their own interest.

  4. wam

    Albo’s most important task is to right shorten’s folly and heed your words:
    “We need to explode the pernicious myth of the coalition as good economic managers.”

    He needs to point out labor’s AAA and debt was successful in avoiding GFC, which devastated the economies of most of the world, whilst scummo’s mob with no crisis::
    ‘Josh. Perhaps you’d like to take credit for at least half of that debt and rising interest yourself. Hey Big Spender, your government spends like a drunken sailor:’
    ps
    labor has to forget the ABC and concentrate on the watched morning shows who have ratings to worry about. So, albo, get them excited and they will fall over themselves to ‘rate’.

  5. Peter F

    I was alarmed more than six years ago: I still haven’t calmed down.

  6. Baby Jewels

    The sad state of our nation. How much worse can it get in just this term? What will happen to us if the dolts vote them back in next election? I grieve for the country I once loved.

  7. Kaye Lee

    Don’t blink. AGS on issue (gross debt) is now $555.2b with another $2.6 billion to be issued this week.

    https://www.aofm.gov.au/

    It was about half that when when the Coalition took over. During a time of global recovery, they have more than doubled our debt.

  8. One Foot In The Grave

    I actually think they are worse than you describe David.perhaps we can begin a reset with an invitation for the wizened toad of New York to step out of his apartment window,it would be a breath of fresh air for everyone.

  9. Phil Pryor

    Here’s an announcement.., I will not support, where possible, corporate thieves, advertisers who interrupt, use children, animals, fantasy, cartoons, lies; and, I will not support any finance or banking group at all, except my own ex-credit union. We must not spend to fatten up wallets of thieves, liars, nohopers, ambitious duds, conservative con men, crooks, manipulators and especially, media maggots and mischief makers. THEY CAN ALL GET STUFFED. A Morrison Murdoch country party Australia is a bastard child, wrongly managed. Imagine a great circle of mates, all angled to get up each other for their own fun…The nation needs truth and leadership .

  10. Keitha Granville

    Baby Jewels – I am sure they will be back next time, too many self interests to bother about the stuff that matters. The planet, the country we loved.

  11. Flogga

    Average wealth per adult Australian fell BY (not to) $US28,670 to $US386,058 (Credit Suisse)

  12. Kaye Lee

    In September 2013, trend unemployment was 706,400 people.

    In October 2019, trend unemployment was 722,400 people.

    We might have a record number of people in jobs but we also have 16,000 more people unemployed now than when the Coalition took over.

  13. wam

    keitha,
    KISS is the answer for labor a simple message of scummo’s errors robodebt, angus, economic debt doubled, the splashes of $400+m steady consistent repetition and, barring a repeat boobby, labor has a chance.
    ps
    wow kaye another great example of your research skills. It seems a bit of a slack site with willynilly posting but with all the cuts it is probably the third task of a A1 junior clerk.

    pps
    which dolts are you talking about bub? The workers of townesville?

  14. Kaye Lee

    wam,

    I will give them the benefit of the doubt noting the cuts to the public service and constant “efficiency dividends” which just make things less efficient from what I can see.

    But the cynical part of me notes that the omission means we can’t check what net debt was when the Coalition took over (which was how I noticed the error), and wonders why the site was changed in the first place. It happened in October.

  15. David Tyler

    Fixed. Thank you, Flogga.

  16. John lord

    Yes. Truth does matter.

  17. whatever

    “People aren’t spending”

    Right now on Radio National they are having a panel discussion on this very topic, mostly the problem seems to be that we are not responding to the LNP’s brilliant economic management.

    Here is a hint that most of the panel are actually LNP stooges, they keep using Conservitard phrases like “Circular Economy” and “Incentivation”.

  18. Andrea Weymouth

    I totally agree with all you’ve said but a small piece of the puzzle of the Angus Taylor debacle is missing.
    WHY would he seek to attack Clover Moore in the first place? Dig deeper and you will find word has it that Barrister Louise Clegg intends to run against her as Lord Mayor next year and (wait for it!) she is Angus Taylor’s wife!

  19. TuffGuy

    I read yesterday on Facebook that Angus Taylor’s wife is shooting to be Lord Mayor of Sydney, which aptly explains why he would be trying to discredit Clover Moore. An entire truckload of pennies dropped when I read that.

  20. Kaye Lee

    I have not been able to find any verification about Louise Clegg and a tilt for the Lord Mayor position despite the rumour doing the rounds but she did pressure George Brandis to give her the sex discrimination job at the Human Rights Council.

    She also posted this on facebook which was picked up and mentioned in an article at the AFR in December last year when her husband was already energy minister:

    “Recession, rolling blackouts, youth unemployment all necessary for people to realise left populism/culture, unrestrained spending, outlawing offensive speech, etc. not the answer,”

    A nice piece of work she sounds. She also seems to ignore the fact that the Coalition had been in government for over 5 years when she made her comment.

    https://reneweconomy.com.au/energy-ministers-wife-says-rolling-blackouts-needed-to-teach-lefties-a-lesson-15482/

  21. pierre wilkinson

    The sad litany of desperate doings of this government is only matched by the obscene quiet from our media.
    Even the overseas media acknowledges the disaster that is the Australian economy,
    the wages stagnation, huge deficit, low interest rates, wholesale free export of our minerals to companies that do not pay their fair royalties, never mind tax
    our woeful attitude to climate change
    our woeful treatment of legitimate asylum seekers whilst allowing record numbers of people to fly here and then claim asylum,
    oh the list is a journalists delight
    but zzzip, nada, chirrup
    in the MSM

  22. Matters Not

    Seems like there’s more important things than truth-telling. As Katrina Ann Hodgkinson argued on The Drum tonight re Taylor and his (alleged) serious legal indiscretions. But he’s so popular and besides he apologised.

    One wonders what Ms Louise Clegg would think of that defence. Perhaps it’s the new standard for integrity? Does the apology become the new, all absolving confessional?

  23. Kaye Lee

    Would that be the Katrina Hodgkinson who resigned after the Four Corners program exposing her involvement as NSW Minister for water in siphoning off water for irrigators against all advice? Apparently she wanted to “spend more time with her family”….until the heat blew over and they offered her preselection for Gilmore.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/08/nsw-minister-altered-barwon-darling-water-sharing-plan-to-favour-irrigators

    Having her for a character witness is like asking Barnaby Joyce for a reference.

  24. Matters Not

    Just watched Birmingham take Sales on an extended Gish Gallop re Taylor. She finally interrupted to tell Simon that: Sorry we are out of time. Effing unbelievable.

    And Sarah Ferguson is being sent to China in the new year while her talents are badly needed here and now.

  25. Kaye Lee

    MN,

    I get really angry with the 7:30 report. Sales has a list of prepared questions and is given at most 10 minutes (on a really good day) to ask them. She can’t react to answers and pursue them like Kerry O’Brien used to do because we have to go to the next segment.
    SHE’S out of time (?????) so we can fit in some simpering interview with a travelling celebrity. Aren’t there enough programs already doing that?

    An interesting insider tidbit….

    When Sales was returning from maternity leave, she insisted Sarah Ferguson be replaced by limp lettuce Chris Uhlman before she came back so the contrast would not be so apparent.

  26. Matters Not

    ABC current affairs is in serious decline in my opinion. Take The Drum as an example. Was once about the politics of the day. Now, too often, it’s about specials which be better placed elsewhere.

    Thought it was a good idea to extend the length to an hour but probably a mistake. Further, this quest for balance – for the sake of balance – translates regularly to the appearance of commentators who are way out of their depth. Let’s have more open disagreement. More ideological warfare. Greater slicing and dicing of issues. More conflict. More passion.

    Re Sales and Ferguson, I’ve heard that tale before. Time for Sales to be promoted to Gardening Australia. She could feature as the Plant Whisperer but only on alternate Fridays in the Summer Edition.

  27. king1394

    Kaye Lee
    From The Bulletin, a news and journalism site: see 7th paragraph.
    THE LIFE OF THE TAYLORS

    This is a glimpse into the Taylor’s life.

    The NSW Police Commissioner said the investigation will be finalized by the end of the next week.

    Now that’s quick.

    It’s because the NSW Police are not allowed to go through Angus Taylor’s computer only the Australian Federal Police can.

    Now we all know that is not going to happen, Dutton isn’t going to demand that Angus personal belongings been thrown around his home as they did with Anita Smethurst.

    The LNP, with the assistance of all the AFP are a law unto themselves.

    It’s disgraceful behaviour and so many comments about the friendship of Angus Taylor’s wife, Louise Clegg, with Fran Kelly, from Insiders, especially when it has been brought to everyone’s attention that Ms Clegg, a Macquarie St Lawyer, wants to run for Lord Mayor of Sydney.

    One can look at this and see this smells really bad.

    There is no honesty with our politicians, there is no honesty with our MSM journalists and now our police forces and investigation units have their hands tied so the Australian public never hear the truth.

    Our prediction
    This case will be closed by the end of next week at 5pm. That’s the last day before the summer break. The Opposition will not be able to ask any questions regarding the investigation until February.

    We believe Taylor was told by Morrison to have some sick days to avoid anymore questions which he obviously isn’t handling very well.

    https://www.aph.gov.au/~/media/03%20Senators%20and%20Members/32%20Members/Register/46p/SZ/Taylor_46P.pdf

  28. Matters Not

    Re:

    Taylor was told by Morrison to have some sick days …

    Really? Morrison is prepared to risk a confidence vote of his own making while he already has only a wafer thin margin? What a compassionate man. Lol.

    Seriously, I find that hard to believe. And how would a ‘cut and fun’ tactic look at this stage. But I hope it happens!

    BTW, that link does not relate to the issue at hand.

  29. paul walter

    Taylor actually is like that Sperm Whale just found dead on a beach that, when examined, was discovered to have hundreds of pounds of rubbish lodged in its guts.

    Full of crap, the subject was.

  30. Matters Not

    Abbott visited Pell for confessional reasons as he’s often done in the past. And to discuss the fires of hell he’s experiencing in his firefighting role. Not that there’s anything new about what’s happening re bushfires.

  31. LOVO

    When I read the title of this post I imagined it was a story about Migs at the beach…….jest sayin’😆
    I know,…😲 silly me. 😊

  32. Barry Thompson.

    Nobody does it better David. Thank you for a great read.

  33. Wobbley

    Wam, go home to Turdoch!!!!!!!!!!

  34. whatever

    There is a lot of leaking within the LNP, Ken Wyatt awarding Indigenous Health contracts to LNP donors and news about the super-sized sleaze George Christensen.

    Methinks there is a Dutton leadership putsch going on.

    With no ‘Good News for the Govt’ stories to circulate, our ABC is directed to go into ‘undertaker’ mode and bury all mention of politics under shovelfuls of Tabloid nonsense. They have broadcast at least 4 different ‘Are you getting enough sleep?’ stories in the last 2 days.

  35. Terence Mills

    Just looking at the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) : if you accept that Angus Taylor was the patsy in this and that somebody else forged the document and fed it into his department with the intention that Taylor would use it then, section 253 (a) (b) (iii) could just do the job.

    253 Forgery—making false document

    A person who makes a false document with the intention that the person or another will use it—

    (a) to induce some person to accept it as genuine, and

    (b) because of its being accepted as genuine—

    (i) to obtain any property belonging to another, or

    (ii) to obtain any financial advantage or cause any financial disadvantage, or

    (iii) to influence the exercise of a public duty,

    is guilty of the offence of forgery. Maximum penalty—Imprisonment for 10 years.

    Judging form the way Taylor has avoided answering questions in the parliament and has been generally misleading and deceptive on this issue it would seem that he is covering for somebody else ; possibly somebody within his department. It’s not as though the false information was just hearsay, it actually required human interference with an existing document to create a false document and that is forgery. Perhaps when they embarked on this adventure it was just a bit of mischief and they didn’t think of the criminal implications but it’s too late for that now.

    if the NSW police cannot trace who forged this document then Morrison’s phone call has worked but if they do their job properly then, it’s ten years in the nick with time off for good behaviour for the culprit !

  36. Michael Taylor

    NEC, that article annoyed me a bit when I first saw it.

    Alan Austin has sourced all his data from Alexa, which just shows website rankings based on readership numbers. He mentioned that The AIMN’s readership numbers have fallen. He is sort of correct, but there is a perfectly valid reason why.

    A bit over a year ago we asked our web hosts to put a block on readers coming from VPN servers. (VPN servers are untraceable and become hugely popular after the government introduced their data laws).

    People trying to access our site from a VPN server get a message that our site doesn’t exist (or something like that).

    So, why did we block access to them?

    Nearly all our hackers, spammers and trolls come from a VPN server. We just didn’t have time to deal with them. For example, we were getting 1500 spam comments a day. (That’s 1500 comments a day that Carol and I had to go through).

    The end result is that traffic to The AIMN fell by over 50%. But I don’t really mind. Life is easier without the 50% that was rubbish.

    So I guess that Alan was technically wrong. Traffic is down, but I wouldn’t say that readership is.

  37. Kaye Lee

    Michael,

    I am one of the few people left who has a landline as we still live in a mobile blackspot despite Lucy Wicks having told me for three elections now that she has or will fix it.

    Consequently I get constant scam calls. I rang Telstra to ask how to stop them. The only thing they would suggest was to block calls from certain countries.

  38. Terence Mills

    Kaye

    We too are in a black-spot and whilst we decided to scrap our landline in 2008 in favour of smart phones, we soon realized that they would not be upgrading our service to accommodate mobile connectivity. Somebody at Telstra in the Philippines told us that they had detected trees in our area (duh !) and thus we were not suitable for a mobile tower

    We reinstated our landline last year !

  39. Michael Taylor

    LOVO, last time I went to the beach I was laying there, ready to doze off, when these people out of nowhere start pushing me into the water. I could here one of them shout out; “Help us, somebody! We can save this one.” 😳😳😳 🐋

  40. John L

    “ABC current affairs is in serious decline in my opinion” Indeed, this last year in particular, I’ve noticed a marked deterioration. Fran Kelly – Sunday’s answer to Leigh Sales, most programs now very friendly to the LNP and as for foreign news – I can’t watch or listen to it now – if I want that sort of “analysis”, I’ll watch Fox News……

  41. Lambchop Simnel

    I’ve kept my landline out of sentimentality and to allow the system to iron out its bugs before I have to be involved. Seen too many tantrums over SIM cards just as one reason of many.

  42. Kaye Lee

    Michael,

    You and Carol must come to my beach sometime. We are very inclusive. The locals would be more likely to push you towards the bar.

  43. Michael Taylor

    Might as well just start at the bar, Kaye. 😉

  44. Kaye Lee

    I have always called that shark watch Michael. I sip my champagne as I overlook pool or beach, in the past with kazillions of little squealing kids. I paid a shitload for swimming lessons and spent Sunday mornings at nippers for years in order to equip the kids to take responsibility,

    All of which is justification for shit yeah…I’m there. The view from the bar is great and not many people know about it. And it’s quicker and cheaper than going to Scotland or Las Vegas. Come.

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