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Amanda Vanstone And The Thought Police!

“If you want to be completely cured of newspapers, spend a year reading the previous week’s newspapers.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Mm, it seems that Amanda Vanstone has been out of the country. She says so in her column. So her column on Zaky Mallah may be considered a little less topical this week.

Still, she has been out of the country, as she tells us, and she hasn’t had time to read all the commentary. Still, she has a point of view and she has every right to put it even if she is a little late. And what’s her point of view?

Well, that’s where I find it interesting, because she writes:

“…my initial reaction was that it was a set-up, designed to put Coalition MP Steve Ciobo on the spot.”

So, Zaky Mallah was there to put Ciobo “on the spot”. Clearly then, he’s not the sort of person we want on Q & A. What a shocking “error of judgement” by the ABC. Putting a member of the government on the spot… No wonder, Ciobo said that he’d be happy to be a member of a government that deported him…

However, that wasn’t the only poor decision according to Ms Vanstone. She continues:

“Everyone is entitled to their view, but I am struggling to see why Antony Hegarty, with an admittedly beautiful voice but no apparent expertise in other areas, was given air space on the Q&A panel that one might have expected would be accorded to experts. His pronouncements as to who is delusional may humour some, but they hardly rate as substantive public debate. “

Was this another “error of judgement”? Should the ABC launch an investigation into this one too?

The rest of Vanstone’s article was devoted to talking about the terrible “thought police” who were demonstrating their hypocrisy by complaining about Abbott standing in front of the “Ditch the Witch” signs. Somehow the ABC was guilty of a major mistake by not knowing about Mallah’s tweets and that nobody who criticised Tony for not noticing an enormous banner behind him should dare defend the ABC for not reading every single one of Mallah’s pronouncements on Twitter.

I guess that one can infer from this that Vanstone sees Abbott’s decision to speak at that rally a gross error of judgement too.

But the thing that intrigues me most is that she found no time to comment in her article on the matters raised by “Four Corners” last week, regarding her decision as Immigration Minister with regard to a certain colourful figure. Surely – as it was reported that Fairfax were seeking a comment from her last week – someone could have pointed her to the story, and suggested that it would be worthwhile for her to make some comment on the story in her column.

And to explain her position on whether Malllah being allowed to ask a question on Q & A was such a terrible error of judgement when compared to granting a visa to a senior Calabrian Mafia figure.



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  1. flohri1754

    An “interesting” omission on her part …. though not particularly surprising …. however, she has appeared on Q&A which is more than one T. Abbott has ever had the chutzpah to do ……

  2. Marian Saines

    I particularly love your last paragraph. How convenient that Amanda has been ” out of the country last week”.
    There are additional reasons for Amanda not enjoying last week’s papers, as all but her are acknowledging.

  3. Lee

    There was an article published last week re: the report from the investigation into the ABC and this incident (sorry can’t remember where) and it mentioned that Mallah had previously been given a platform in 5 other MSM outlets, including The Australian. I wasn’t surprised to learn that Paul Kelly’s criticism of the ABC on last week’s Q and A made him a hypocrite.

  4. Lee

    Thanks. Will watch when I get home.

  5. Free-Thinker

    Amanda has to deflect her fury somewhere. After all, she couldn’t comment on the ‘ Four Corners ‘ program last week, as cleverly, the ABC is running it over two weeks. She knows not what the second episode might bring this evening.

    No, her strategy therefore is to keep the LNP-inspired hubris about Zachy Mallah going, and shoot the messenger, our ABC, in the hope that it might deflect some attention from the Four Corners insights and their implications.

    A timely piece Rossleigh, which has relieved the mild nausea I developed, generated by a brief reading of Vanstone’s scattered musings in the Fairfax press this morning.

  6. lawrencewinder

    Oh , Mandy , Mandy Il patrone … smettere di attirare l’attenzione su di noi ..we’re una società segreta , non il Partito Liaberal .
    Il Padrino

  7. Möbius Ecko

    Not that I wish it on anyone but it’s worth listening to Vanstone interviewing on ABC Radio’s Counterpoint. Just as she was a terrible minister, being shuffled around several portfolios as were many of Howard’s failures, including Abbott, she really is a terrible interviewer.

  8. lawrencewinder

    Mobius Echo… agree with you about her “interview” technique….which is a “Dorothy-Dixer” carry-over from her days in parliament.. and would like to add that her journalistic skills are as minimal, too.
    But then, I suppose lack of talent and imagination is a genetic necessity to belong to the “right” side.

  9. GraemeF

    The repeated nonsense that Abbott was unaware of the banners being held up about Gillard that day have been well and truly outed as a lie. A quote from an SMH article show it for what it was:

    “However, Liberal National MP Mr Jones told Fairfax Media that he went down to the same rally but decided against appearing on stage, after reading the signs and taking stock of the mood.
    “It wasn’t pretty down there, there was no way I was hopping up on stage, the mood was ugly,” the member for Herbert said.
    “It certainly wasn’t a place where I wanted to be.”
    Asked if he had seen the offending signs, Mr Jones replied, “shit yeah”, and then added “we’re better than that”.”

  10. Bilal

    The avoidance of discussing the Mafia and focusing on the “terror” threat is similar to the FBI in the 1940s and 1950s under Edgar Hoover. It was the Communist threat which was writ large and Hoover denied there was a Mafia in America. The Mafia was better at blackmailing than the Communist threat, where some 50% of party members were FBI. Is history repeating itself here as well?

  11. kerri

    Anyone ? Please correct me if I am wrong, but Zaky stated in his initial question that he was the first person to be charged under Anti Terrorism laws. If that is true why is everyone questioning his appearance and choice to ask a relevant question? If Q&A were to do a show on Guantanomo Bay should they exclude David Hicks? If Q&A were to do a show on accidental deportation of Australian Citizens should they exclude Cornelia Rau or Vivian Solon? Yes the tweets and threats were unsavoury but Zaky didn’t punch a wall either side of a womans head so I guess Zaky will never be PM. Why are some people allowed to move on but an angry muslim youth is not? I don’t like John Howard but he was right to point out we live in a country where opinions are respected and questions are allowed to be asked! Well, that is we USED to live in that country

  12. carlo

    the hypocracy is getting unbearable

  13. Ann McGavin

    Royal commission sounds good. Phillip Ruddick is no one’s fool and did the right thing. Liberals are starting to shoot themselves in the feet.

  14. crypt0

    Why would we have a Royal Commission into things where LNP types might get an adverse mention?
    Lei’s just stick with the program and keep going after shorten and the unions.

  15. Cliff

    People should google “Malu Sara”. It was a faulty boat that Vanstone personally handed over to Torres Strait islanders, ( I was there to witness the handover). Five people lost their lives and she did not apologise for that as straight after the accident the Libs shipped her out to Italy.

  16. Grant Moss

    Amanda Vanstone – a complete waste of space and yet another commentator who totally lacks the capability to provide unbiased comment. Give me Clarke & Dawe and The Undercurrent

  17. donwreford

    I think it important to have views that are controversial and not necessarily reflecting the cultural ideology of the ideology of what most people regard as normal or proper as to the zeitgeist reflecting what is naturally so, otherwise we become a public that is requiring authority to form our views as to what our mind should be, this condescending attitude is what many do not want and for better or worst will decide for ourselves on individuals such as Zaky, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, we may include Amanda Vanstone, in this controversial bunch, who having assisted Mafia figures to enter Australia and the same having given cash to the Liberal Party.

  18. Rossleigh

    @Ann McGavin. And that’s very dangerous considering how often the front bench have their foot in their mouth!

  19. Matters Not

    From Amanda’s (linked) column:

    I am not a perfect judge of character

    I think we have ample evidence of that Amanda. And I use the word ‘ample’ advisedly. Out of the mouths of …

    Now how much does it cost to have a deportation order rescinded?

    Federal ICAC now!

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