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Rossleigh is a writer, director and teacher. As a writer, his plays include “The Charles Manson Variety Hour”, “Pastiche”, “Snap!”, “That’s Me In The Distance”, “48 Hours (without Eddie Murphy)”, and “A King of Infinite Space”. His acting credits include “Pinor Noir Noir” for “Short and Sweet” and carrying the coffin in “The Slap”. His ten minutes play, “Y” won the 2013 Crash Test Drama Final.

The NSW Result, Mark Latham And Why This Means That We’ll Have A Terrible PM After May!

Ok, first things first. I’m not advising that anyone bet on politics, but the media have a vested interest in telling us that elections will be close because they want us to get interested in the coverage. In Victoria last year, the media was telling us that it would be close, but some betting markets paid out the day before.

I ALWAYS check the betting markets when it comes to elections. They’re not infallible, but they always tell you the truth about expectations. Nobody, for example will give me 100-1 on Bill Shorten being PM after the next election, even after they’ve said that they just don’t think he’ll win. Several months ago, the betting markets told us that the Liberals would most likely be returned, with Labor a slight chance of winning. After Luke Foley ceased to be leader, there was a period where Labor’s odds firmed to the point that the markets were telling us they really didn’t know who’d win. Last week, the odds firmed to the point that anyone who used the odds as a predictor knew that a Liberal win was very, very likely.

I mention this because I’m sure that some people will now be saying that the NSW result is the turning point and that Labor may very well lose the coming election and that it’s terrible and people are terrible and how could people vote for the Liberals and they deserve everything they get and…

But let’s talk a deep breath and look at the current odds: Labor $1:18, Coalition $5, Greens $200, One Nation $250…

Now I am aware that Donald Trump was elected and Britain voted for Brexit and Jeff Kennett lost in 1999, so don’t withdraw your life savings and put them all on Labor, but it’s probably a safer bet than Winx because she’s a horse and, if she loses her jockey, she can’t win the race, whereas if Labor did buck Bill Shorten off, they’d be able to get someone else to remount and canter to the finish line.

Now I can’t let the NSW election result be forgotten without mentioning the “extraordinary personal triumph” (to quote Alan Jones, which is mandatory in NSW) of Mark Latham. He was standing for One Nation but, in spite of that, he managed to get elected. I mean, was that why it was a “personal triumph”? I’m sure that Pauline would like to think that he was riding on her coat-tails… in a totally non-sexual harassment sort of way… Or was it the fact that he managed to overcome the handicap of a thoroughly objectionable personality?

I guess I shouldn’t say that he has an objectionable personality. Some people may like him, just like some people think Pauline Hanson is great. I read some comment on social media where a person said: “I’m not racist, I just admire Pauline because she speaks her mind.” I wanted to reply with: “You brain-dead halfwit, you piece of trash, you oxygen thief, I suspect that your parents probably wish they’d tried almost any other sexual position on the night you were conceived because it would have given one of the more intelligent sperm a chance to fertilise the egg” but I refrained, not because I was concerned about social media being either an echo chamber or a shouting match. but because I realised that speaking my mind like that would have said person admiring me so much because I speak my mind, that they may have encouraged me to form my own political party and name it after myself so that we could have “Rossleigh’s Other Nation” as alternative to “Pauline Hanson’s One Nation” and the semantic contradiction that would cause at election time would be enormous. Actually, when I think about it “Rossleigh’s One Nation” may be even more of a semantic contradiction and then it would confuse people because they’d wonder how there could be two “one nations” in the one nation…

Anyway, all things considered, I have to predict that, as things stand at the moment, we’ll have a terrible Prime Minister after May. I’ve heard Labor people tell me that Bill Shorten won’t make a good PM. And, according to Liberals, Bill has been responsible for all of Labor’s sins and misdemeanours going back to before he was born.

And, in spite of Scott Morrison sitting on God’s right hand… Yes, he is to the right, no matter what the media tell you… that demonic left-wing, social-climbing, Bill Shorten will be our next PM.

Unless the Liberals have another leadership change before then!

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Yo-yo Morrison And The Ups-And-Downs Of Making A Decision!

Remember when Milo Yiannopoulos was banned, then he was personally approved by that “lefty” David Coleman before being banned again. (Our Immigration Minister was referred to by Yiannopoulos as a “lefty”… That’s David Coleman, in case you didn’t know…) 

I guess there’d be more commentary in the media if it weren’t for the fact that this seems fairly typical of the current…

Look, I don’t want to refer to them as a “government” because that’s insulting to people are actually governing and as the PM told Waleed last night, they didn’t have any control over the Medivac bill and they can’t control which murderers and rapists and paedophiles come into the country because they don’t have the numbers in Parliament. Ok, he didn’t say that quite as directly as that, but if you check the tapes that’s exactly what he said.

You only have to compare the Milo situation with their performance on energy policy. Or choosing a leader.

Yes, leadership has its ups-and-downs, but I don’t think that I’ve ever seen someone who moves up and down as much as the human yo-yo, Scott Morrison. You know how the yo-yo works: it reaches the end of the string and it hurries back up to the top only to immediately sink again.

I guess the thing that struck me about Yo-yo Mo’s threat to sue Aly was the simple fact that Waleed was reporting something that had been widely reported in various sources years ago. When it was first reported, our PM told us that he didn’t comment on Cabinet discussions. Not so last night, where he assured us that he brought up concerns about Muslim immigration because he wanted to “address them”. He didn’t explain how he hoped to address them as Shadow Opposition Immigration minister. Maybe he planned to help promote unity by complaining about the taxpayer funding flights to the funeral services of asylum seekers who perished when the ship crashed on Christmas Island.

Or perhaps he was trying to help last night when he assured us that there were over fifty people on Manus and Nauru who had “character” concerns. When asked how many of them were actually “rapists, murderers and paedophiles”, he was less clear, but it was clearly “significantly more than one”…

Is three significantly more than one? It is 300% after all.

Still, I’m not sure what the point is. Is he suggesting that a non-convicted paedophile with a life-threatening condition which couldn’t be treated on Nauru would be allowed to die because we couldn’t keep them under control if they came to Australia? I mean, George Pell was taken to hospital because he’s got the flu and he’s an actual convicted sex offender.

Watching last night, I couldn’t help but think that this Waleed Aly interview will be called a “trainwreck” which – as I wrote a few weeks ago, trains actually have tracks which they go off; this mob in Canberra resemble a car where the fighting for the steering wheel has become so intense that the wheel itself has ended up in the boot.

Speaking of trains, did you hear Morrison say, when “announcing” the last resort of the desperate government, a fast train, “The train never leaves the station unless people get on board”? This must be news to train drivers the world over who thought that they actually had a timetable that wasn’t dependent on whether people were there or not. Still, I don’t suppose the poor man has ever relied on public transport and probably thought it worked the same as the Commonwealth cars where the drivers wait for you.

I suspect that the reasoning behind the interview was the idea that if Scottie goes on and acts all friendly and calls Waleed “mate” (which he did), then it would seem like this was a difference of opinion between friends where they could agree to disagree and not the result of the PM getting all hot under collar because a popular Muslim called him out. Instead, he grew prickly and talked over Aly, shouted him down, told him that his question was poor, and looked smug after each moment of aggression.

And I’ve been trying all day to work exactly what this means: “And on bringing Australians together, I think you’ll find it hard to find another Member of Parliament who has not made at least the same effort that I have to build these bridges between these communities.” Simplify this down, he said: It’s hard to find another MP who hasn’t made the same effort to bring communities together.

But there was a moment in last night’s interview when Yo-yo Mo said something I agreed with. When I heard Scottie say, “I’m sorry, I’m the Prime Minister”, I felt that he spoke for all of us!

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All Options Are On The Table, But Clearly Not Scott Morrison Answering A Difficult Question!

Writing satire is easy…

Well, sometimes it’s hard because you begin by trying to describe something in a totally calm and rational way, and then you get halfway through and you suddenly think that if I hit publish now, people will think that I’m just trying to send up the government when every word I say is accurate…

So this is an opinion piece. No satire intended. I just want to ask what did our elected leader mean when told Turkey’s president, Tayyip Erdogan:

“I will wait to see what the response is from the Turkish Government before taking further action but I can tell you that all options are on the table.”

Mm, does that include sending Peter Dutton over there to explain the finer points of our foreign policy?

I mean all options are on the table! 

Sending Fraser Anning over to show how he can not only stand up to eggs, but also whatever the Turkish leader wants to use to send back Australians back in body bags…All right, he needed the help of several neo-Nazis because the silly boy was just filming him and not realising that when you put egg on the face of those who know how to do it for themselves, they tend to over-react, as do his Nazi mates… Any connection to any Scott Morrison, living or dead, is just coincidence…

Ok, I’ll get back to opinion and stop the rhetoric…

Erdogan was obviously talking emotionally… All right, some may like to think of it as talking tough. You know, being a strong leader and all that jizz… But he was reacting to the Christchurch obscenity in an emotional way.

So what does our Scottie do? Say, well that’s a bit of an over-reaction and not all Australians should be judged by this one guy? Does he say We need to understand that this guy is a bit of an emotional wreck because of the events in Christchurch…

All right, I actually doubt that he’s actually an emotional wreck and I suspect that he’s playing to his crowd…

Anyway, what does the work experience PM do?

Nah, Morrison says, bring it on, sister, I can out trashtalk shit with anyone. I’m going full Trump here. How do you like that? 

Scott tells us that all options are on the table! I mean, really? Come 25th April we’ll invade Turkey and get it right this time? FFS.

That should calm things down!

Scott Morrison! The leader who makes Bill Shorten seem like a statesman. Whatever else, that’s quite an achievement!

Anyway, I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s interview with Greg Hunt where he tells us that went on the record as saying that he never heard Scott Morrison express anti-Muslim views at a Cabinet meeting and the revelation that he wasn’t at the meeting only proves that he couldn’t possibly have heard anything that ScoMo said, before telling everyone that he’ll be available for speaking engagements in a couple of months… Or, if you like, he can twist balloons into whatever shape you want and entertain the kids because he’ll have a lot of time on his hands come post-election.

Just in case you haven’t seen it! Worth watching just the disappearing act after he can’t work out how to answer the potential questions!!

Only 736? This should go viral!

Cheers~

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He Who Must Not Be Named… No, Not ScoMo… Well, him too, but the other one!

The media is pox-ridden whore!

Ok, perhaps that’s a little bit politically incorrect and maybe I should start again…

The media should stop and take a long hard look at itself…

Nah, that doesn’t really express my outrage.

I guess, if anyone reads this in future years, they’ll wonder who on earth I’m referring to here, but I couldn’t help but wonder why a certain senator was given the lead story for the nightly news yet again, when all he’d done was call a press conference to tell us that he wasn’t sorry.

Now, let’s stop and think about that. HE called a press conference to tell the media how he felt and they dutifully lapped up his comments, before giving people the chance to condemn them. Yes, let’s whip a bit of anger. I mean, that would have been the last thing that he wanted. Lots of publicity for the forthcoming election. And lots of people telling us not to vote for him, because, well, the sort of people who are likely to vote for the senator in question are clearly going to listen to other politicians.

Yes, I’m sure some of you are thinking what’s the point of not naming him when everyone knows which senator has created all the fuss with his “Those who live by the sword, die by the egg” comments. I just couldn’t bring myself to give the man even one more mention of his name. Perhaps, even this helps in his drive to be noticed, but at least if you’re reading this and you don’t know who I’m talking about, I haven’t alerted you to his existence.

Of course, I did delete a certain senior politician’s name from a recent piece that I wrote. Apparently, the PM’s office got all hot and bothered when Waleed Aly suggested in a response to Christchurch something that was widely reported in 2011 and threatened defamation action.

A rather interesting response, given Scott didn’t threaten to react so litigously when it was reported way back in 2011. I guess it was different then. It wasn’t being said by a Muslim.

A couple of Liberals suggested that we should look at Scott Morrison’s response to Christchurch. Personally, I’d prefer to watch the end of “The Great Dictator”.

Morrison Tells Us That We’re Doing 23% In A Canter, But 45% Would Be Armageddon!

Typical ABC! I was listening to Jon Faine the other day and he openly admitted that he did something which will greatly benefit the Labor Party. Scott Morrison was his losing voice and Faine admitted that he gave ScoMo’s minders advice that would help get it back! It’s almost as if Faine realises that a silent Scott would be a great boon to the Labor Party so he felt the need to do all he could to help restore Morrison’s speech.

Just recently our fill-in PM was getting all hot under the collar and telling us that a 45% target was impossible…

Now I feel that I need to point out that he was talking about a renewable energy 45% target and not the two-party preferred vote for the Coalition in the coming election. The way ScoMo’s going, he looks like he may achieve that.

Of course, nothing seems to be working for the Coalition at the moment. Whether it’s their Barnaby Joyce saying he really should be leader, or calls for coal-fired power stations, everything they touch seems to turn to excrement. They even lacked the ability to simply say, “Look, we understand that these kids are upset and we are doing all we can to reduce climate change, so it’d be better if they just went to school and prepared themselves to be educated enough to seek the solutions when their time comes”, which have been far better than belittling the protesters and suggesting that they’d been “brainwashed” by all these Trotskyite teachers who have such appalling communist leanings as thinking that scientists who had studied the situation might be worth listening to. Or at least, have a more informed opinion than radio personalities who grow confused about which penis is theirs in public toilets.

The government seem to have a simple strategy for making us forget all about their latest stuff-up: they make an even bigger one so that we quickly move on and don’t dwell on that minister who did something inappropriate and would have resigned straight away in those days when ministerial integrity meant something…

You know the funny part is that I’ll bet you could try to name all the ministers I’ve just described, and someone could probably come up with another one.

But in some ways, this is an effective strategy. It means that we don’t dwell on the absurdity of Morrison’s statements about the renewable energy targets. For months, we’ve been told that we’ll easily meet our Paris targets and there’s no need for any further action. And the 23.5% renewable energy target is like Baby Bear’s bed. It’s just right and we can go to sleep.

Now let’s think about this for a second. If this was anything else would we say that we’re going to meet the target easily so there’s no need for a higher/lower target figure? For example, does this make sense? “We aimed to cut the road toll by ten percent, and it looks like we’ll do it easily so we’ll be taking booze buses off the road for the rest of the year.”? Or “We planned to save $300 million with target efficiencies, and it looks like we’ll do it easily so we’re going to ease up and just let people waste a few dollars here and there.”

While we’re able to reach 23.5% renewables without a worry, the slightly higher figure of 45% will destroy the economy, according to Prophet Scott. There will be great winds and a terrible shaking and the temple of Mammon will be split in two and your neighbour will take your job and then loseth his own because…

Because we had more renewables in the system.

Of course, nobody is asking Scott the Bewildered to explain exactly how the greater reliance on renewables would ruin our economic health. We’re just meant to accept it as a given because even the most basic questioning tears it to shreds.

  1. Cost? Renewables are now cheaper than coal.
  2. Reliability? Battery storage is pretty well advanced and by 2030, there should be more efficiencies. Compare the mobile phones of today with those of eleven years ago. Yes, we did have the first iPhone, but it didn’t do half what today’s will do. Besides, it’s only 45%. There’ll still be 55% relying on fossil fuels which should be enough to provide that mythical baseload power that renewables supposedly can’t supply.
  3. People in the mining industry losing their jobs? Well, mining only employs a fraction of our workforce and coal is only a small part of that. How many jobs will renewables create?
  4. People in the coal-fired power station becoming redundant. Again, will this be balanced by jobs in the renewable sector?

Now, maybe there’s some other reason that I haven’t mentioned. Perhaps Scott knows something that I don’t. If so, I think that it’s incumbent on him to share how and why he sees Labor’s target as the wrecker that he promises it’ll be.

Whatever, we shouldn’t dwell too much on this. With this government, you know that everything changes. Take Milo Yiannopoulos. First, he was banned, then our Immigration Minister personally approved his visa, but now Milo has been banned again. So, I’m sure that there’ll be something in the coming days to focus our attention away from climate change and terrorism and Barnaby.

Another poor Newspoll and a challenge from Dutton? But before you decide that’s too ridiculous to even consider, let me remind you, these are the people who didn’t see a problem with voting for the “It’s Ok to be White” legislation, and then defended it by arguing they weren’t even aware of what they were voting for.

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Fraser Anning Is A Human Being!

Ok, I realise that’s a bit controversial at the moment. Last night, like anyone who read his statement I was ready to write something attacking him as scathingly as I could but I’ve had a night’s sleep and I’ve realised that like all human beings, Fraser is a flawed creature.

Ok, Anning is more flawed than most, but let’s take a big deep breathe and remember that – at times like these – we feel both compassion for the victims and enormous anger. That anger needs to go somewhere and it’s often directed at the sideshow and not the main event.

Fraser Anning wasn’t the one pulling the trigger. He didn’t kill anybody.

Ok, you might argue that his rhetoric, his use of the words “final solution” in the Senate when refering to Muslim Immigration, his dancing with devil in the form of neo-nazis all contributed to this. But, again, let me emphasis, he didn’t pull the trigger.

If you’re going to condemn Anning for his, “I’m not a nazi, but didn’t Hitler have some great ideas” stance, then we have to start looking at a whole range of people who are now peddling back as fast as there little legs can carry them. We’d have to blame a current politician who can’t be named because he’s now threatening defamation action over a story that’s frequently appeared in the past which alleges that he suggested to Cabinet in 2011 that the Coalition should be taking advantage of anti-Muslim sentiment or Peter Dutton for his demonisation of the other.

No, you can’t hold people responsible when other people act on their words. If you did that, you’d be also blaming Andrew Bolt and Mark Latham and Sky News and…

Well, the list is endless.

No, we need to remember that this is crime committed by one human… Ok, he may have possibly been part of a group. But they’re an outlier. We can’t hold all those responsible.

If we start holding people responsible for what they say, we’d start to blame polticians and not those who were the foot soldiers carrying out the orders of their extremist group.  Their very small group, because the rest of us aren’t like that. But, I must say that if the terrorist turns out to have ever atttended a Christian church, I’m disappointed that church leaders haven’t condemned him yet.

No, at times like this, we need to remember that we’re all human beings. Yes, even Fraser Anning. A stupid, ignorant one who’s too weird to even get a gig on Sky After Dark when his Parliamentary term finishes… At least, I presume so.

Anger and outrage just feeds the publicity machine which sets an agenda of “us” and ”them”. It’s hard not to be angry, but it’s what the terrorists want. Anger stops us thinking.

And, if you don’t believe that’s bad, just take a long hard look at Fraser!

 

Ban The Necktie; It’s A Symbol of Male Oppression!

Watching the Hanson/Latham mutual admiration society on “60 Minutes” last Sunday night…

Actually that’s not really true, I didn’t watch it. I happened to switch back to the channel accidentally and like most people, when you think you’re about the witness an accident, you find it hard to look away until that moment when you go: “Oh no, that’s just too horrible.” In the case of last night’s program, it only took about “60 Seconds” before I’d had enough and would have changed to almost anything had it not been for them flashing to shots of Pauline in her burqa.

Now, I know that Pauline’s point is that the burqa should be banned for security reasons. Of course, there is some truth to the argument that you don’t know who’s underneath the burqa and if it were a suicide bomber, you wouldn’t be able to get an accurate description so when you reached the Pearly Gates, St Peter would turn you away because you couldn’t describe your assassin…

Ok, maybe not.

Let’s be quite honest here. There’s no reason to specifically ban the burqa on those grounds. It would be one thing to make laws which insisted that faces couldn’t be uncovered in public; it’s quite another to be specific about a particular garment when there’s no evidence that anyone wearing a burqa in Australia has ever committed any atrocities, with the possible exception of Pauline and her destruction of the English language.

Now, I don’t really want to dwell on Latham and Hanson. I am aware of the difficulty of finding the balance between not allowing their nonsense to go unchallenged and ignoring people like that so that you don’t give them the oxygen they need. Of course, it’s hard to ignore them when “Sunrise” gives Pauline airtime on a regular basis and “60 Minutes” give them the “Married At First Sight” treatment. Of course, I’ll stick with Pauline, says Mark, as if I’d leave her party before the election!

Anyway, the segment reminded me about all those other arguments for banning the burqa that I’ve heard over the years. It does strike me as ironic that many of those I’ve heard arguing that wearing it oppresses women, are the same people who argue that feminism is just political correctness gone mad.

But when it comes to oppressive clothing, I couldn’t help but notice Mark Latham was wearing a necktie. I mean, why on earth was he doing such a thing?

Clearly the necktie is a symbol of male oppression. Men are forced to wear neckties which contricts the blood flow and that stops oxygen getting to the brain. If you think about it, most of the world’s problems have been caused by men wearing ties!

You only have to look at Latham’s statements about DNA testing of those claiming Aboriginal heritage. I mean nobody who had blood flowing freely to the brain could possibly be that stupid…

Ok, Pauline Hanson doesn’t wear ties but she’s an exception. It may be something to do with the chemicals she inhaled while working in the fish and chips shop, but if we could just ignore her for a moment… Actually, could we just ignore her forever.

Anyway, I don’t blame the men wearing the neckties. I mean it’s not really their fault. They were persuaded by people who didn’t want them to think for themselves and once they started wearing those ties, they couldn’t really see the damage that it was doing.

I think the best thing we can do is when we see a man wearing a tie and giving a speech, we should all shout: “Loosen the tie, there may still be hope. Quick, before the damage is permanent.”

But don’t do it to Latham. He may tighten his, just to show that he doesn’t need oxygen and that he can manage just fine on…

On second thought, do it to whoever you see wearing a tie.

sigh

How many days till that election? I don’t have hopes that Labor will solve all our problems, but I do feel that they may stop making them worse.

At least there’s a couple of Labor ministers who don’t have those blue ties stopping their capacity to think!

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Scott Morrison, Free Speech And Too Much Milo

When I hear people talking about Milo, I instinctively think of that chocolate beverage that my housemate used to drink because she believed coffee was sinful and dangerous, so when someone asked me if I thought that Milo should be let into the country, my first reaction was to ask why on earth would anybody object to such a harmless thing. But then I realised they were talking about Milo Yiannopoulos.

I guess we’ve got a pretty simplistic view of human rights in this country. A lot of that stems from having so many. No, I don’t mean that we’re perfect or that there aren’t people having their rights impinged. I just mean that compared to a place where people can be whisked off the streets and be questioned by the security forces and tortured for days on end without the need for them to lay charges, we’ve got it pretty good…

Actually, under the anti-terror laws passed by John Howard, we can be whisked off the streets and be questioned by the security forces for days on end without the need for them to lay charges, but I’m sure that they wouldn’t torture anyone in their custody because this is Australia. Mind you, if they did, a person wouldn’t be allowed to say because it’s illegal to reveal that you’ve been taken in and questioned, so telling people that you were tortured would be a little difficult when you’re not allowed to say who was questioning you or why.

Anyway, part of the problem when discussing human rights is that they sometimes overlap. I may assert that I have the right to sing, but according to the UN, cruel and unusual punishments are a breach of human rights and some would argue that my singing falls into that category. When it comes to free speech, it’s often said that people shouldn’t be allowed to scream “Fire!” in a crowded theatre, but I would argue that even this would be all right if a fire had actually broken out.

So when governments ban someone like David Icke there’s always two ways of looking at it. David Icke, in case you’re unaware, is one of those people who started hearing voices but instead of going onto medication and getting help, he developed a following. He believes that a race of inter-dimensional lizard people have hijacked the Earth. While this may sound like the ravings of a madman to most of you, to others it’s a perfectly valid theory. Of course, the election of Donald Trump, Tony Abbott and various other leaders does make me pause before I dismiss the idea of lizard people altogether. However, I remind myself that if there really were such a race, surely it would have developed a more appealing set of world leaders.

Of course, the point isn’t whether or not I agree with the person. The point is should they have the right to come to Australia and share their message because once a government starts banning people just because they don’t like their message we have the old slippery slope problem. How long is it before Craig Kelly is arguing that we should ban Al Gore? Oh wait, I think that might have already happened. Ok, for a better example, remember Kisch.

Generally speaking, I don’t think governments should be banning people just because they don’t personally like their views. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t sometimes good reasons to stop someone from entering the country. Someone, for example, who’s likely to promote violence. Or someone who ignored the laws on a previous visit.

So, I was right behind the decision to refuse Milo Yiannopoulos a visa, and not simply because his visit could “incite discord in the Australian community or in a segment of that community”, Not only has Milo made offensive comments about Muslims, Indigenous Australians, African Americans and the LGBTIQ community, but he used PayPal to send a Jewish journalist $14.88 a number used by neo-nazis where the “14” represents a future for white children and the “88 “means “Heil Hilter”!

He was also issued with a bill for $50,000 from Victoria police over security which he failed to pay. If a music festival in NSW had to be cancelled because of the promoters’ inability to come up with enough money to pay for police security, I don’t see why a foreign speaker should feel that they have the ability to just ignore payment and go ahead with his tour. (The issue of whether people should have to pay for a police presence is another issue altogether, I’m just arguing for consistency)

However, I didn’t realise that the people in charge of this country were likely to overrule the decision on Milo’s visa. Yes, Andrew Bolt and Pauline Hanson quickly sprung into action with Pauline suggesting that government was “acting as an arm of AntiFa.” Outrageous! Government going along with an anti-fascist group. Which side are they on? 

Ok, free speech and all that. But given the Minister can ban anyone on “character grounds”, do we really need to import another offensive racist bigot when we’ve got more than enough of our own? Jobs for Australians first, I say, and I thought surely Pauline would support me, but no. Pauline called the decision “weak” and “gutless” and lobbied the Immigration Minister, David Whatshisname. who responded with a show of strength and reversed the decision. In fact, we were told that he’ll “personally approve” the visa – I’m trying to work out how one could impersonally approve something – which makes it sound like it’s practically a character reference.

Yes, nothing demonstrates the resolve of the Morrison government like their handling of Milo. Honestly, if they were a jockey they’d be up before the stewards to explain why they were running dead…

Actually, when I look at the betting odds on the election and their performance, I do have to wonder if a large number of them haven’t put their money on Labor.

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Could A Prime Minister Be Worse Than Tony Abbott? Unfortunately, YES!!!

Last week, we had Julie Bishop telling us that she could have beaten Bill Shorten, but she didn’t get the backing of her party, while this week we have Malcolm Turnbull telling the British that his party got rid of him because he was going to win the election.

When it comes to politics, you’d have to say that Malcolm is a good loser. He’s done so much of it. He led the republic movement and lost that. He became Liberal leader and lost that. He became PM and lost that. But hey, he thinks he would have won the election and if it makes him happy in his irrelevant post-political life, then it’d be a very nasty, spiteful person to point out he’s wrong. Therefore I think we can say nothing and leave that job to Tony Abbott and Alan Jones.

And I must say that I did think it a bit of a stretch for Julie to suggest that she could win a federal election when she couldn’t muster more than eleven votes amongst people who knew her. However, I guess that she may have had more success with people who don’t actually deal with her on a day to day basis.

Still, Julie did have an uphill battle. After all, she would have been putting a man out of job and while we all support women’s rights, we don’t do so at the expense of men. No, really. Scott Morrison told us that today, as his contribution for International Women’s Day.

What he actually said was: “We want to see women rise. But we don’t want to see women rise only on the basis of others doing worse.”

Now when he speaks about “others” doing worse, it took me a while to work out who he could mean. For a moment, I just couldn’t think of any minority group that might do worse if women were to “rise”. But then it was as plain as the nose on my face. Or rather, it was as plain as another body part which isn’t usually attached to the head, except in the case of a number of the current government. He obviously meant that terribly oppressed group: Men.

Yes, of course. Scottie is actually a man himself. No, really he is. As people having been telling us lately, it’s really a tough time to be a man. Centuries of privilege are being tossed aside without a concern for the feelings of some men when they lose the right to simply be themselves. Thanks to political correctness, it’s no longer acceptable to do such things as scream obscenities at strangers, kidnap women walking alone or sell your daughters into slavery.

There’s actually more men than you realise and if women were to rise to things like Prime Minister, that would mean that some man would have to miss out, and that would mean that men were doing worse. Specifically, him! But I’m sure he’d still support the general principle that being PM is a man’s job and if Julie had been elected, it wouldn’t have been on the basis that nothing was worse for someone else.

It’s the same in preselection contests. The Liberals are against quotas because they think that women should get their positions on merit, while men should get them on the basis of who their friends are. (Warren Mundine, anyone?) Quotas, it’s argued, don’t allow the best person to be given the job. This sits oddly with the idea that the Nationals are entitled to certain number of ministries based their seat numbers, but there’s surely a reason why quotas are good for the divvying up of ministries but not for ensuring female representation.

Yes, sorry, girls… Is it all right to call you “girls” or should I say “ladies”?

Anyway, sorry. Apparently, you’re allowed to “rise” but only if your success doesn’t come at the expense of a man.

Happy International Women’s Day

!weeks

If Tony is “A Man’s Man”, who is the man who can say, “Tony is my man.”

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The Liberal Party: It’s A Broad Church But It May Get Narrower!

I did think of running a quiz: “Which Scottie said it: PM guy or Star Trek dude?” However, the only quote from the Star Trek dude that I could find was: “She’s fully automated, a chimpanzee and 2 trainees can run her” and that clearly isn’t about the Liberal Party… although it could’ve argued that over the past five years, they have tried to discover if, in fact, a chimpanzee and two trainees could run it.

But you do have to think that the government has boldly gone where no government has gone before when you have a news article that begins:

Scott Morrison insists his frontbench is a “very strong and stable team”, despite five ministers announcing their retirement in the past month.

Yes, I can’t help but think that the Liberals are aiming their strategy at those who are easily fooled. H. L. Menken is meant to have said, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public”! He may be right, but there’s a difference between making money out of gullible people and actually convincing a majority of people to trust you. And let’s be real here, the forty something percent of people who still intend to vote for the Coalition fall into four categories:

  1. Wealthy people who only care about themselves.
  2. Those who are opposed to action on climate change because scientists are experts and you can’t trust experts which is also why they never listen to doctor’s advice and the fact that they’re still alive proves they don’t need to give up smoking and/or lose weight.
  3. Those who are already gullible enough to believe that the Coalition has fixed the Budget (after the election, we’ll have a surplus, trust us) in spite of net debt doubling since they took office.
  4. Those who are related to a Federal Coalition MP, those who work for one, or those who are carrying their illegitimate child. In some cases, a combination of two of the three, though not the first and last as far as I’m aware.

Now, I was quite staggered to read SmoGo’s attack on Bill Shorten for having the temerity to presume he’d win the election. Shorten had suggested that some of the recent Liberal appointments to diplomatic posts and other plum jobs would be looked at under a Labor government. This is outrageous and not just because it was totally unlike when the Liberals cancelled Steve Bracks consul-general appointment. This is an example of Labor presuming that they’d be the government.

They shouldn’t be making plans for government because, well, it’s taking the electorate for granted. We’d never take the electorate for granted, Scottie seems to be implying.

Except he then goes on to tell us:

“I am still waiting to know, who is going to be their home affairs minister, who is going to be the Labor minister, if they are elected, who is responsible, for keeping our borders strong? Who is going to be the defence minister, because apparently Richard Marles might be the home affairs minister.

“In my team, you know who the defence minister is. You know who the foreign minister is, you know who the treasurer is, you know who the deputy prime minister is. It is a very clear and stable team. In Labor we don’t know who is running in these important positions and it is about time Bill Shorten ended the speculation around this. Tell us who is going to keep the borders secure Bill, because at the moment, you don’t seem to know and the Australian people don’t know.”

Apparently not only should Labor be telling us who the ministers will be, which does seem a little bit like taking their election for granted, but Scott is making a virtue of the fact that he can tell us who the home affairs minister will be (No, not Barnaby, different sort of home affairs). Yes, it does seem that Scott is presuming that all his ministers will be re-elected. That might sound like taking the electorate for granted too, but I’m sure he only meant exactly what he said which was “you know who the defence minister is”. It’s Chrissy Pyne. Of course, he won’t be there after the election, but you know who’ll take his place. And you know who the foreign minister is. Come on, I know it’s not Julie any more, but you know! They’ve been there since the leadership change. And we all know the Immigration Minister from all those times he hasn’t done an interview. You know, David Coal-man. Mm, I can see why he didn’t get the energy portfolio.

Now I know that making predictions is difficult and that a week is a long time in politics and anything might happen, but in spite of all of that, I’m going to tell you one important thing about myself. I can’t sing. It’s true. When I try to sing it’s woeful. I simply mention this because while nothing is certain, I can predict with a fair degree of accuracy that me being offered a recording contract for my vocals is slightly more likely than Morrison running a convincing election campaign. (Autocorrect suggested “conniving” because I accidentally hit the “n” twice… At least, I think that was the reason!)

Train wreck may be the wrong metaphor here because that suggests a train leaving the rails and this more like a ship being tossed from side to side in a storm, while the crew occasionally change the person steering completely ignoring the fact that the rudder broke off sometime in between the second and third change of captain.

So what happens if the Liberals lose badly? Will they reflect and decide that they may need to actually change their ways? Or will the broad church split down the middle? Will some say that if we leave the ideological dinosaurs and form a new party with those who are like-minded independents, we’d actually have more chance of being elected than if we continue to argue not only that night was day, but that there’s quite a case for having more night time and we really don’t need to do anything differently.

We’ll see. There’s still a Budget to get through and ANZAC day, where the Liberals will surely find some way of suggesting that Labor are politicising a sacred day. And, of course, there’s the terrorist attack that they’ll foil. Or the boat arrival. And the decision to send our troops somewhere. That last one may be hard, because we usually follow the US and Trump seems a hard man to follow because he keeps agreeing with all the leaders when they say that they haven’t done anything wrong… Perhaps we could send the army into remote indigenous communities again…

No, I can’t see Scottie managing to save this one, but anything is possible. Mm, maybe I’d better start working out which songs I’m going put on my album!

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Dutton Clutching At Non-existent Straws To Prevent “Dangerous Criminals” Drowning At Sea!

Creating a political narrative doesn’t mean that you have to be consistent with your previous political narratives. There’s no problem with, for example, the Liberals abandoning their view that “the invisible hand of the market” is the only way to go and announcing that, when it comes to energy prices, they’re prepared to intervene and subsidise and take big sticks to companies that have the temerity to put profits before people. Greed, it seems, is not good when it threatens you electorally. No, you can flip-flop all around the ideological dartboard when it suits you. Both Liberal and Labor have done this, while the National Party have made it a fundamental tenet to be anti-socialist except when it comes to primary industry.

However, it’s usually pretty important to ensure that your narrative is consistent with itself. Yes, Andrew Bolt and his fellow travellers can squawk about dangerous people being out on bail and call for tougher sentences when it comes to minorities, but George Pell being sentenced is a travesty. While some are suggesting that the jury is still out on Pell because we need to wait on his appeal, I’d like to point out that the jury is not still out. The jury has made its decision and if that decision is overturned on some point of law, it doesn’t alter the fact that, at the time of writing, Pell is a convicted criminal.

When it comes to the whole asylum seeker issue, the Coalition have flipped between them being illegal queue-jumpers who don’t deserve any consideration of such nebulous things as human right,  to arguing that it’s really out of concern for those who drown at sea that we need to lock people up indefinitely. This not-so-subtle change happened over years and if you weren’t paying attention, you may have missed it changing.

Lately, though, the Liberals seem to have either lost their talking points sheet or issuing a new one every day. We were told that life on Manus and Nauru was like a big holiday resort and that conditions there were better than these people had a right to expect. However, it quickly became a source of concern that there were children in detention and that it was a priority to remove them. As for removing anyone who wasn’t a child, just because doctors thought that they were ill, well, that was outrageous because these are dangerous people and we would need to check them out thoroughly before we let them into an Australian hospital. We knew that they were pretty much okay when Turnbull was telling Trump that they were, but they’ve since become dangerous criminals. Probably because of refugee advocate groups. But still, we need to spend billions of dollars on them in order to prevent people like them making the risky journey and drowning at sea.

By this stage, I’m a little confused because part of me thinks we should be letting the bastards drown, while another part thinks we should be sinking the boats as a deterrent in a totally caring and compassionate way to save the lives of those who are yet to attempt the risky sea journey.

Now I guess most of you have heard something about Peter Dutton’s assertion that thanks to the Medivac bill, these people will be pushing Australians off the waiting list for medical treatment. Ok, I can sort of see how this scare campaign…

Oh, I guess I shouldn’t be calling it a scare campaign. That sort of thing is what Labor does. Remember Malcolm on election night telling us that he was going to refer the Opposition to the AFP for fraud over their Mediscare tactics… Whatever happened to that? Did Turnbull drop it for fear that if they started charging politicians for fraud over what they’d said, hardly any of his front bench would be there for the next election? Actually, come to think of it hardly any of his front bench are there for the next election – including him! No, I shouldn’t call it a “scare campaign”, Let’s say, we call it a “government information campaign” like the one about how they’re making the tax system fairer. Yes, I think we’ll see lots and lots of such ads over the coming weeks… Anyway…

I can see how this sort of “government information” campaign might concern Nana who’s waiting for her hip replacement… particularly now that she may no longer get her forty thousand in franking credits and will have to give up her private health insurance. There is a sort of logic to this particular part of the scare campaign… whoops, government information campaign. Of course, when Petey added that we’ll also have people kicked out of public housing that I really had to wonder if the man had lost more than his hair over the past couple of years. Why on earth would any government do that? Can you believe that it would not be in every tabloid that Mr and Mrs Ordinary, with their Australian kids, were made homeless so that some foreign queue-jumper could move in? Still, even suggesting this could make a consistent narrative by itself. Note, I said “consistent”, not a “convincing” one. Yes, you can put forward a narrative that Labor care more about these evil people than they do about you. At least you can if you hope that people have forgotten that you were saying earlier in the week that Labor were the ones who were responsible for locking up thousands of children and it’s only thanks to the compassion of the current government that these kids are free.

Then, of course, we have the slight problem of the re-opening of the Christmas Island detention centre. According to the Liberals, that’s where any sick refugees will be going – unless they’re too “dangerous” in which case, apparently, we leave them to die a slow death on Manus or Nauru. Now, if Nana was planning to go to Christmas Island to get her hip done, then she’s got an even looser grip on reality than our Minister for Border Distraction. Similarly, I don’t believe that many people are expecting public housing to set them up on Christmas Island.

But hey, according to Mr Dutton, not only will these people be placed ahead of good, loyal Australians, but Nana and Mr and Mrs Ordinary will be “kicked off the waiting list”. You don’t just get pushed lower down, you get removed.

Asylum seeker policy has been tying Labor in knots for years but mainly because any deviation from Liberal policy has been portrayed as weakness on borders and there’s been a battle between the pragmatism of winning elections and the morality of using vulnerable people to make political mileage. While this has worked well for Coalition in the past, it may not work in the future for two reasons. First, it was fine to lock people up temporarily for their “jumping the queue”, but after five years people were starting wonder just how long the so-called queue was. The Liberals no longer have a coherent narrative. It’s fine to say that “We will decide…” etc. However, currently we asked to believe that they’ve lost control of the borders thanks to Labor and all these terrible things are likely to happen, but they’re still in control of the borders and they won’t be letting these things happen. We’re being asked to believe simultaneously that the Medivac bill has caused enormous problems but the adults are still in charge and our borders are safe. A sort of Schrodinger’s Cat-type arrangement where we’re both in danger and not in danger.

I’m looking forward to hearing Mr Dutton’s thoughts (if you’ll pardon the oxymoron), in the coming days. Which following proclamations from Il Dunce will be next?

  • Asylum seekers to be given your job even if they have no qualifications.
  • Asylum seekers to be given free Maserati and allowed to drive without a licence
  • Bill Shorten to introduce quotas to ensure that only Asylum seekers can be elected to Parliament
  • Asylum seekers to be given priority for a place on “Married At First Sight”
  • John Howard will be required to write character references for every single asylum seeker
  • Sharia Law to replace all existing school rules.
  • Laws giving women equal rights will be enacted if Shorten is elected.

Ok, that last one has sort of already happened, but I’m not sure that the current federal government is aware of it, so they may try to use it as a scare campaign.

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Leave John Howard Alone Or Character References Throughout History…

Poor John Howard is copping a lot of flak this week for his decision to write a character reference for convicted pedophile George Pell. Like a number of Pell’s referees, Howard suggested that Pell was a completely different man in private compared with his public image. Actually, I thought that’s exactly what the trial had just decided.

While some are suggesting that this doesn’t really count because he may appeal, the fact is that Pell has been convicted in a court of law; he no longer has the presumption of innocence, many criminals have been convicted and don’t appeal. We don’t say, well, they’ve got the right to the presumption of innocence until they decide whether or not they’re going to appeal. In reality, jails are full of people who pleaded not guilty but were convicted. We don’t say that prisoner X has been there ten years, but we shouldn’t judge him in case he appeals and gets off thanks to his lawyer working as police informant.

It should also be noted that John Howard is showing remarkable consistency here. I don’t mean by supporting Pell in his hour of need. I mean that John Howard has never been one to place much store in legal processes. If one remembers he asserted that we didn’t need to worry about David Hicks being held indefinitely without charge, because, well, we know he’s guilty so there’s no need for a trial to determine exactly what he’s guilty of. In fact, Howard told us that Hicks hadn’t actually done anything that was a crime when he did whatever it was that led to his incarceration so we had to hold him without charge because we had nothing to charge him with.

Of course, telling us that Pell’s conviction didn’t alter his opinion of the Cardinal seemed a rather ambiguous statement. I’ve spoken to plenty of people who say exactly the same thing, but they didn’t seem to mean it in quite the same way. And I fail to see why Howard thought that Pell being a “lively conversationalist” was something that should be taken in to account as part of the sentencing. “Your honour, Don Corleonne has been convicted of murder, drug trafficking, corruption and theft, but before you sentence him, please be aware that he frequently has us in stitches with his dinner repartee and he makes a great lasagne…”

Howard is not the first person to write a character reference for someone whose conduct was less than perfect. I’ve been trawling through famous people throughout history and I’ve discovered the following:

Character references for historic figures

Judas: “I have known Judas Iscariot for a number of years. He’s been meticulous in looking after the finances of the disciples and he recently acquired thirty pieces of silver which he spread around.”

Jim Jones (Jonestown) “Jim mixes up a mighty mean Kool-Aid. It’s a drink to die for.”

Osama Bin Laden: “When it comes to games, Osama is the bomb. He almost became the World Hide-and-seek champion but unfortunately, thanks to a vaccination program (see they are dangerous!), he was discovered the week before he set a new world record. He still holds the title for the Saudi terrorists over six foot.”

Nero: “Not only is Nero a great ruler but when he fiddles the whole room lights up. In fact, the whole city.”

Charles Manson: “Charlie is a real family man, and inspires great loyalty.”

Adolf HItler: “Adolf is a great prankster and the way he tricked Neville Chamberlain with his assertion that once he was handed control of the Sudetenland, there’d be no more terrotitorial claims was genius. When Adolf called out April Fool and invaded Poland, he gave his generals amusement for weeks. For the rest of the year, one only had to say, ‘Peace in our time’ and they’d roll on the floor laughing. Not only that, but he has very shiny shoes and keeps his moustache trim and tidy.”

See, I told you that they wouldn’t be able to keep boats on the front page till the election. Speaking of which, I must say there’s quite a few Liberals I’m sorry to see go. When writing about Australian politics and I was short of something humourous, I could always rely on Chrissy Pyne. Just saying Christopher Pyne was enough to send some people into fits of laughter and now I’ll have to actually wait until Abbott or Barnaby or ScoMo says something before I’ve got a good punch line…

Still, I can be sure I won’t have to wait long.

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A Plausible Defence; Improbable Events And Vanilla Offences…

There used to be an expression, “If you’re guilty, get Galbally!”

Mm, I don’t know why that pops into my head because I wanted to remind everyone that people have the right to a presumption of innocence… Unless, of course, they’re people on Nauru and Manus needing medical attention.

Now I know what some of you are thinking. How come Georgie Porgie was granted bail to get his knees done after he’d been convicted of a sex crime? Ok, I realise this was probably why the Murdoch press was squealing about dangerous people being allowed out bail, but it seems strange to you lot reading this. It’s simple really, We suspect asylum seekers of terrible crimes but if they’d been found guilty, they’d be entitled to medical treatment. After all, just because someone is a criminal doesn’t mean we should deny them basic rights.

Cardinal Pell raised ten things in his defence…

While I’m no lawyer, I wasn’t in the trial and I don’t have the benefit of omnipresence, I can certainly say that the last of them that I read was hardly a defence at all. The final defence was that the accuser hadn’t mentioned it before he did…

Taking a very deep breathe, I have to tell you that one of my best friends was sexually abused as a young teenager. He didn’t tell me for a number of years. He didn’t tell his mother until she was asked to be a character witness for the man who’d abused him. He didn’t tell the authorities until he was prepared to be a witness in a trial where the perpetrator was on trial. He was in his forties by then. He’s dead now.

As a defence, being late to tell those who love you and actually believing that you’d have the power to do something about it, is hardly something I’d bring up as a defence. Rape is about power, and powerful people can convince you to say nothing. If you believe that – for even one moment that’s a defence – I would like to say, fuck you, Cardinal Pell and all who sail with you.

However, I’m a fair man and Pell had other defences. For a start, he suggested that he may have been observed in the sacristy. It was a “public” place with priests going to and fro…Someone may have seen what he was up to.

Mm, well that’s quite a defence. Yes, I can see that being caught would be a deterrent. I mean. let’s go back to the last century and remember how priests caught by other priests were treated. Remember how all those priests were defrocked by their bishops…So many priests were caught and reported by other members of the church. And they were disgraced and defrocked and shunned by the Church and… Oh, sorry, that – like Pell suggested about the accusation by the victim – is one of those fantasies that people would like to believe.

If Pell had been discovered, he would have been reported to the Archbishop… You know, himself. Of course, I suspect that like Pell in Ballarat who didn’t “take much interest” in such things, they’d have just looked the other way and presumed that he had God on his side.

Still, Pell is appealing…

Ok, not to me, but certainly to John Howard who told us that he knew about the conviction but he’s still get’s a thumbs up from old “we shall decide who enters and the circumstances in which they enter”! And Mandy Vanstone expresses her disappointment that she couldn’t give Pell the thumbs up… in a figurative, not literal sense.

Are these people lacking all understanding? Have they decided to destroy the Liberal Party in the hope that they’ll be able to form the IPA party or join Cory Bernardi’s Conservative Party?

I mean, were I standing for the Liberal Party… And believe me, I’m not standing for this pack of pedophile apologists any longer… But were I standing for the Party, I’d be very concerned that a reference from John Howard would be a kiss of death.

BUT VANILLA FFS

When Richter suggested that it was on the vanilla end of offences, I couldn’t believe my ears. It was apparently quick and simple.

“You’re honour, I wish to put forward that my client has always suffered from premature ejaculation and so any rape offence convinction should take this into account when sentencing.”

VANILLA FFS

And we hear those who’ve been squawking for toughter sentances and bail being too easy to get defending a convicted criminal on the grounds that they don’t want him to be guilty because it just makes them look foolish.

I remember reading a column by Bolt where he wrote that people just weren’t prepared to say that the emperor had new clothes… Of course, I did wonder whether he was aware that the whole point of the story was that it was the sycophants who weren’t prepared to say that he didn’t, and that it took a child to point out the truth. I thought it may have been a cry for help. You know, don’t blame me for what I write. I know that He is naked but I’m forced to write nonsense by my editor…

But now I know. Bolt, Howard and others are prepared to tell us that the Emperor is, of course, the Emperor and any judgement by lesser mortals is wrong.

Look, look, the Emperor has removed his sacrificial robes sayeth the Child.

Impossible, he’d need the help of his Master of Ceremonies who never left his side for even one momentary toilet break in all the time they celebrated Mass.

What would a child know? Even after a judge and jury, we support him; he’s fully clothed.

Naked emperor? A fairy story…

Buying The Liberals On Interest-free Terms While Andrew Bolt Tells Us That Courts And Scientists Are Wrong!

Georgie Pell has been the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice! I know this because Andy Bolt told me. Andy Bolt knows this because this isn’t the first time that old Tiger Pell has been accused and he hasn’t been convicted before. As we all know if someone is accused of something more than once and it isn’t proved the first time, than it probably means that their innocent of all future charges.

There’s no way, of course, that our court system wouldn’t be biased against Pell. After all, he told us that climate change wasn’t real, so those scientists that are rigging the weather so it seems to be hotter are probably now extending their conspiracy to the judicial system. Yes, Bolt can declare Pell innocent even though he wasn’t in court and didn’t hear the evidence. It’s rather like his position on climate change. He doesn’t need a degree in climate science to know that it’s all a scam. In fact, Bolt doesn’t even have a degree in anything having dropped out of university.

Now I’m not saying that one needs a degree to have an opinion. Quite obviously, in spite of any educational qualifications I have, I’m not going to argue with the electrician when he tells me not to pick up the wires because they’re dangerous. In fact, I wouldn’t even argue with the electrician’s apprentice. No, I support Bolt’s right to express his scepticism on climate change and his right to tell us whatever he likes in the name of free speech . Yes, as far as I’m concerned, he can go all the way and tell us the conviction is all because of some conspiracy created by climate scientists and those who wish to see George behind bars because of his views on the topic…

Let’s face it, climate scientists have a vested interest in what they do, because unlike Bolt, they’re living on the same planet as the rest of us.

But speaking of vested interests, I must say that the Liberals’ capacity to generate interest-free terms is convincing me that they were right when they said that interest rates would always be lower under a Liberal government. First we had Mathias “I didn’t check my credit card and they didn’t check their bookings” Cormann. Now we have the buses in WA – which aren’t free even though the guy “selling” them just got appointed to a well-paid job by Christian Porter. Ok, they’ve been purchased. They just haven’t been paid for. The invoice is in the mail. They’ll be paid for before the election at some price which is surely none of our business, unlike the novelty cheque which Georgina Downer presented to that bowls club.

Remember Utegate? How outrageous it was that Rudd had been “given” the free use of a second hand ute? Ok, it was pretty much fabricated with forged emails, but imagine if he’d claimed that he’d bought the ute; he just hadn’t been charged for it until the media started asking questions. Remember Godwin Grech who disappeared from view until he reappeared in the Harry Potter films as Kreacher?

No…

I suspect that they’re hoping you’ve all been hypnotised so that you forget. How else could Scott Morrison and company expect to get away with pretending that they didn’t have more PMs in five years than Labor had in six How else could they ask you to believe that they can’t tell whether or not someone they’ve had in detention for over five years is a security risk. How else could they expect you to buy their concern about climate change when they were handing around a lump of coal in Parliament and laughing because it seemed that it didn’t make their hands dirty.

Or maybe you haven’t. Maybe the polls are right and the only Liberals who’ll be elected are the ones in safe, safe seats and the ones with enough sense to stand as independents.

 

Labor Votes For Something Most People Agree Is Right; Morrison Gets Bounce In Poll!

Now I have been alive long enough to know that things don’t always make sense. I’m not just talking about politics here. When Joe Jackson sang, “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” it certainly struck a chord with me. However, listening to Scott Morrison talk about the “Canberra bubble” I couldn’t help but think that I’d sunk a couple of floors in Dante’s levels of Hell.

When Abbott was elected were fearful and there was some hope when Turnbull replaced him that things would improve. I never thought Turnbull was more principled, just more pragmatic; I used to point out that he’s not taking courageous, “left-wing” stands: he’s going along with what most people think. Republic? According to the polls, that had majority support. Marriage equality? Again, majority support. Action on climate change? Majority support. (Ok, he may not have actually done anything, but he would occasionally argue that it was a good idea and that he was prepared to stand on Abbott’s record.)  It’s when the rest of the party think that mainstream thinking is radical even though it’s what most people believe, that we really have a “Canberra bubble”. When you think that Alan Jones, “The Australian” and “Sky After Dark” have a grip on the pulse and you’d better listen to them, you’ve really lost touch with the rest of the country.

So last week, I found it rather strange that we were given an opinion poll that showed a boost to the government when all that had happened was that Labor had supported Phelps’ Bill on medical treatment for people on Nauru and Manus.

Yes, I get that most people may not have understood the “nuances”.  However, it just seems amazing that so many people would suddenly start to support a government that was looking more and more like a train wreck with each passing day. “We’re reopening Christmas Island because of Labor! We’re not sure exactly who’s going to be sent there, but thanks to Bill Shorten we don’t have money to help with the Townsville floods.” Upon hearing this, we’re asked to believe that a significant number of people forgot about all sorts of things and just went back to supporting the bunch of boofheads, who’ve demonstrated time and again that they have no competence when it comes to… well, just about anything, apart from occasionally framing the debate so that we’re talking about issues of no relevance to the vast majority of Australians.

In the case of asylum seekers, were it not for headlines trumpeting every boat arrival, how many people would have even known the problem existed? Compare it with “illegals” arriving by plane, which is only now starting to get the odd mention in the media. Yet, somehow this meant to be so important that we’ll change our votes because “stronger borders” is the number one issue for Australians.

In the case of franking credits, it’s being framed as taking people’s retirement “savings”. Even if you ignore the fact that some of the case studies had people receiving a larger refund of franking credits than someone on the full pension would get, nobody is having any “savings” taken off them. It simply means that they won’t receive a refund on future income from share dividends. Yes, I know, this is outrageous because some people who’ve worked really hard to ensure that they pay no tax in retirement are now expected to pay tax just because they’re receiving an income that would put them in the middle income earning level if they were still working. As one person at Tim Wilson’s taxpayer-funded outrage sessions put it: “This is a death tax by stealth!”  Yes, we’re expecting people who’ve saved for retirement to use some of that money for their retirement and not to simply build a larger inheritance for the kids. (I know that there are some exceptions, but pensioners are exempt so the number of people who’ll actually struggle and not simply be forced to start drawing down more of their super will be smaller than the number of women in the Liberal Party… Ok, maybe not that small after the election!)

In the case of negative gearing, it only applies to new loans, so any current investors will still get their tax advantages.  Of course, the fear is that it’ll reduce house prices overall. Given that house prices are coming down anyway, this is a legitimate fear for investors who were planning to sell and people who’ve recently bought their own home. However, for most homeowners, while it’s nice to have a more valuable home each year, this only helps you financially if you’re planning to sell and buy something cheaper… Whether my house is worth three times, four times or five times what I paid for it doesn’t really affect me now that I’ve been living here for more than fifteen years? Nonetheless, falling house prices could contribute to a slowing of the economy and… Oh, wait! They’re already falling. What plans do the Liberals have for any fallout? Oh, a contractionary Budget SURPLUS! Ah austerity, the perfect thing for a looming recession.

And energy prices! ABC radio led with a story yesterday about the Coalition’s plan for lowering energy prices. It was headline news. Yes, energy prices are really, really important and it’s only the Coalition that have a plan to bring them down. In fact, they have several plans to bring them down. First, there was the axing of the carbon “tax”, which saved us all $500 a year apparently. Then there was the National Energy Guarantee, which was dropped because it didn’t do enough to prevent clean energy. It was followed by NEG 2, which was sort of lost in the Canberra bubble. That was followed by some sort of commitment to come up with something at some future date, AND… Drum roll please, that day is now here. We have a new, new plan which will be implemented after the election, but you can trust us on energy because we’re agnostic. The new plan concerns “standing offers” and seems a wee bit socialist to me, but that’s ok because it won’t happen till after the election and then energy prices won’t be so urgent so it probably won’t happen because it’ll be more important to build that new coal-fired power station to use the coal that China won’t take.

I could go on. Free speech and 18C, leadership tensions, quotas… but then I’d just sound like I was in the Canberra bubble. So instead I’ll speculate on the Newspoll tomorrow. I predict that it will be interpreted as a great result for Scott Morrison even if it is moving closer to being the hundredth losing Newspoll for the Liberals. (Yes, we’ve still got a way to go, but I have faith that Scott will go a long way towards getting them there.) After all, we’ve had the Cormann affair, Cash refusing to talk to the AFP, Paladin and other things that all make it hard for the Liberals to actually win one. In those circumstances, it’s amazing that Morrison is still doing so well. And the boats, we hardly mentioned the boats this week. This, we’ll be told, will be a close election.

TOMORROW’S MURDOCH HEADLINE: MORRISON STILL HAS LEAD OVER SHORTEN AS PREFERRED PM

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