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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.

Scott Morrison And His Strange Relationship With Children (No, Not About The National Party)

“To a hammer, everything is a nail.”

MY wife hit her head yesterday and she decided that she wanted to go to an emergency department to check it out. Without going through all the ins and outs of the experience, she’s fine and, after triage, we sat in some less than comfortable chairs for the next hour, until my wife complained about her head and she was given pain-killers and sent to sit outside the “fast track” for the next couple of hours.

This was the point at which I started to wonder what “fast track” actually meant and I decided that it was just a way of making those complaining feel better. Naturally, this made me think of Scott Morrison. Sitting there, I wondered if we’d be there till the next day and, at such a point, were I to complain would the conversation go something like this:

“Excuse me, but these chairs are impossible to sleep in.”

“Well, the chairs are only temporary and people aren’t meant to sleep in them.”

“But it’s been all night and I haven’t managed to get any proper sleep.”

“Look, the best form of care is a hospital bed.”

“But we haven’t been given a hospital bed. If my wife was in a hospital bed, I could go home and…”

“We have put more people in hospital beds than the hospital down the road, so you should just think about all the people who are in bed and remember that the chairs aren’t meant to be a long term thing!”

Ok, that’s a ridiculous conversation, so why can the government get away with talking that way about raising Newstart! I mean it’s not like unemployment is going down. Generally speaking, when a government starts talking about the number of jobs that they’ve created, it’s because they have no idea how to reduce the number of unemployed. There are always jobs being created; the issue is whether more are being lost.

But that the thing about this government. It’s all about the marketing rather than the substance. Granted, some marketing is necessary or nobody knows what great things you’ve done, but when you try it without actually doing anything, the message eventually wears a little thin. Take the drought. While it sounds like the government is doing something when they talk about the billions they’re spending drought-proofing Australia sometime in the life of the next Parliament, this is only going to impress those not directly affected. It’s like turning up at an accident scene and instead of calling an ambulance or administering first aid, the politician makes an announcement about increasing the spending to remove dangerous intersections. Worth doing, but the bleeding guy with the broken leg would probably rather be in the hospital emergency room, even if the fast track is only an illusion…

Anyway, while I was waiting I came across the following tweet from Mr Morrison.

Now, if you watch it, you’ll notice that not only does Jude have a wonderful grasp of sentence structure for a prep student, but he also has some of the best fine motor skills that I’ve seen in a five-year-old.

But leaving aside the veracity of the letter and the appropriateness of a middle-aged man telling us that he wants to encourage kids to write to him, it does seem that the message we’re meant to take away isn’t very clear.

Forget the fact that it’s a kid and we’re left with the following: A constituent writes to the PM, he reads out the letter, laughs about the request and says that he’s not going to do anything about it.

Is that really the message that the PM wants to send? Or was he virtue signalling that it’s great that this kid has a similar work ethic to the one he has. Scott is a very hard worker, after all. If he’s not playing tennis, praying for rain or running water for the rugby team, then he’s telling us that we need more love and shouting at the Labor Party because they don’t show enough for his policies… Although since the election…

Anyway, I was wondering if we were likely to hear more letters from children, you know things like:

Dear Mr PM, 

My name is Charlotte and I am six, I am really pleased with your request to let kids be kids. My classmates don’t like that Greta Thunberg and not just because she’s different. It’s her views on anthropomorphic climate change, which she asserts without the benefit of peer review. 

Thanks and keep up the good work.

 

Dear Mr Morrison,

Thank you from protecting us from all the boogy men. I used to be scared but now that Peter Dutton is keeping us safe, I don’t need Mummy to leave the night-light on.

Love,

Andy, 6 and a half.

P.S. Good on you for telling those silly UN people where to put their negative globalism

.

Dear ScoMo,

I am starting school next week and thanks to your hard work with the budget, there will be more money for my education and healthcare. Good on you for ignoring those troglodyte Keynesians who don’t understand that there’s no such thing as a free lunch and refusing to jeopardise the surplus with a stimulus package. 

Regards, Timmy aged 4 and 3 quarters.

 

Dear Mr Morrison, 

Can I please go for a ride in the submarines when they are built?

Best Wishes, Christopher Pyne.

Yep, I can see children’s letters to ScoMo getting a regular spot on TV. Maybe it could replace MediaWatch…

 

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Journalists Need To Remember That Nobody Is Above The Law!

Interviewer – This week the Prime Minister told Parliament that while he supported freedom of the press, nobody was above the law. To clarify what this means in practice we have Liberal spokesman, whose name we’ve redacted to enable him or her to speak freely. Government Spokesman, do you mind if I call you Neville?

“Neville” – That’s not my name and I’m quite happy to speak freely without the need for all this subterfuge. You can use my real name?

Interviewer – I intend to ask you questions about Peter Dutton’s department.

Neville – Neville, it is then.

Interviewer – First of all, the Prime Minister asserted that nobody is above the law…

Neville – That’s quite correct.

Interviewer – Well, if that’s the case, how can the government justify that Freedom Of Information requests are falling outside the legal time?

Neville – Simply because the volume of requests is quite overwhelming and there aren’t enough staff to…

Interviewer – But isn’t this due to government decisions about the number of staffing…

Neville – Exactly. The government is committed to a Budget surplus and to ensuring that there is no waste.

Interviewer – Hang on. I don’t wish to get distracted by the obvious point that if there’s not enough people to process the requests then more staff are clearly needed. My point is simply that if nobody is above the law, then how can the government justify FOI requests falling outside the legislated time…

Neville – No, not at all.

Interviewer – Why not? I mean doesn’t this suggest that the government thinks that it is above the law?

Neville – No. They’re not above the law, they’re outside the law.

Interviewer – I don’t see the difference.

Neville – Well, something that’s like the difference between your roof and your garden shed. You wouldn’t want your shed to be inside.

Interviewer – I wouldn’t want my roof to be inside either.

Neville – Exactly.

Interviewer – But when it comes to the law, what’s the difference between being above the law and outside the law.

Neville – Well, clearly someone – let’s say a journalist like you – who thinks that they’re above the law feels that they can break it with impunity whereas somebody who’s outside the law doesn’t feel they can break it with impunity; they simply understand that the law doesn’t apply to them in a particular case.

Interviewer – Isn’t the result the same?

Neville – Yes, but the difference is that journalists are trying to suggest that they’re a special group whereas the government can just change the law if it doesn’t suit them, so while they’re getting around to changing it, they can just operate outside it.

Interviewer – But doesn’t that make the government above the law?

Neville – Exactly.

Interviewer – But wasn’t the PM suggesting that no-one is above the law.

Neville – No ONE is above the law, but because there are lots and lots of people in the government, then they’re more than one.

Interviewer – But there are lots of lots of journalists. Doesn’t that mean that they’re more than one?

Neville – Look, if you’re just going to play silly word games…

Interviewer – Let’s move on. The Intelligence and Security Committee announced its concerns about the proposed legislation to allow facial recognition because it felt there weren’t enough safeguards. Is the government prepared to consider further measures to ensure that people aren’t singled out when they’re simply engaging in legitimate protests.

Neville – No, it’s purely an anti-terror thing.

Interviewer – So, you’ll be happy to put in place legislation to ensure protesters aren’t targeted?

Neville – Definitely… Unless, of course, the protesters are doing illegal things such as holding seditious slogans.

Interviewer – Seditious slogans.

Neville – Yes, you know things that… um, let me quote the law directly. Seditious intent includes things such as using words “to excite disaffection against the Government or Constitution of the Commonwealth or against either House of the Parliament of the Commonwealth”. 

Interviewer – So you’re suggesting that people could be identified in demonstrations for holding signs criticising the government.

Neville – For example. I mean, they could also be identified and charged if they block traffic… or pedestrians.

Interviewer – But what about people’s right to protest?

Neville – They can protest as much as they like so long as they don’t use seditious language or get in anyone’s way. Nobody is above the law, you know.

Interviewer – Thank you.

Neville – Is that all?

Interviewer – I certainly hope so!

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Sometimes Even Censorship Doesn’t Help…

Most of you probably saw Monday’s papers which contained words interrupted by large blocks of ink suggesting that the inbetween bits had been redacted. Of course, they hadn’t because if you read the printed words, they still made sense so the whole thing was a little contrived.

Personally, I’m not sure that it was the way to go. It may have been far more effective to have printed a story with the best bits blanked out. To show you what I mean, look at the following hypothetical example:

Barnaby Joyce caused quite a stir while at the (redacted). After consuming (redacted) followed by(redacted), he seemed (redacted), so nobody was surprised when he pulled out his (redacted) and started showing (redacted) to anyone in the vicinity. “Look at my(redacted)!” exclaimed Barnaby, “What a beautiful (redacted)!” He was forced to stop when his (redacted) went (redacted).  He requested to put his (redacted) into a nearby (redacted) but he was told that it (redacted). He did manage to use someone’s (redacted). 

Which, of course, is a lot more worrying than the unredacted version.

Barnaby Joyce caused quite a stir while at the local pubAfter consuming a hearty main course followed by a dessert, he seemed relaxed, so nobody was surprised when he pulled out his phone and started showing  photos of his baby to anyone in the vicinity. “Look at my boy!” exclaimed Barnaby, “What a beautiful baby” He was forced to stop when his mobile went flat. He requested to put his charger into a nearby powerpoint but he was told that it was faulty He did manage to use someone’s portable charger.

Similarly, read this one about Scott Morrison so that you can see how censoring information can create a totally wrong impression.

ScoMo, as he likes to call himself, or (redacted), as many others call him, has some very interesting friends. Most people have heard about his friend, (redacted) , whose father was a (redacted) . But very few people have heard about his bestie whose part of (redacted)  group which believes that there’s a “deep state” conspiracy trying to (redacted), and whose wife is on the public payroll as (redacted) , because the media have been told not to print anything about them because it’s been declared off limits by Morrison and none of them want to print anything unless the government says it’s ok.

Oh, apparently I can’t print the unredacted version of that one without expecting the police to come and ask me to hand over my computer and show them what I had in my underwear drawer…

Anyway, I can’t wait for the media to actually show the sort of courage that I’m not prepared to because I’m worried that they’d make fun of my Sponge Bob boxer shorts. Besides I’m not a serious journalist…

I trust that last sentence won’t have me sharing a cell with Julian Assange, and not just because the Ecuadorians said that he wasn’t much fun. Whatever, if you don’t hear from me, you’ll know that I’ve been (redacted) and (redacted). 

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What The Liberals Did Next And Wasn’t It Just The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread?

Ok, I thought I might be imagining it, but I’ll show you the tweets to see if you notice what I noticed. I don’t actually follow the Liberal Party of Australia on Twitter but their tweets pop in my feed… possibly because I frequently go to the sites of various Coalition politicians to check if they really said that because I’d feel like a prized chump… or Trump… if I believed something when it was so clearly a hoax from something like The Chaser or The Betoota Advocate. Unfortunately, the answer is almost invariably, “Yes, he really said that!”. Not always, of course. Sometimes, the answer is: “Yes, she really said that!” but given the small number of female MPs in the Coalition and the even smaller number of times they’re allowed make a public statement, that’s a pretty rare occurrence. Anyway, Tweet 1 (Tweets are images and may not show on some platforms)

Tweet 2

Tweet 3

Tweet 4 – Are we noticing anything yet?

Tweet 5 – Ok, surely you must have thought what I thought by now!

Tweet 6 – If you haven’t noticed by now, you must have voted for them at the past two elections…

Tweet 7 – Still haven’t noticed? Are you Alex Downer?

Tweet 8 – Yes there isn’t a single tweet that’s about something they’ve done since 2013 until the following one. However, it is a retweet. The caption, “future of Australia” is just a coincidence because I snapped a video. It’s not mean to suggest that Mr Morrison thinks that this guy is the future of Australia. It’s certainly not suggesting that Morrison is the future of Australia.

Tweet 9 – Ah, John Howard. We’ve moved into the 21st Century… Oh wait, it’s his 1996 election campaign.

Tweet 10 – This just goes to show that they’re not racist and it’s only the lefties that think so!

All those Tweets show the accomplishments of the Liberal Party.

Who says that this is a do nothing government? Ok, none of them were about anything that the current mob have done, but they’ve only been in power a year, if you pretend that time under Turnbull and Abbott doesn’t count because we didn’t have the Miracle Man in charge until 2018.

Still you’ve got to admire his drought policy. Talk about a plan to spend money in the future, give money to councils whether they need it or not and pray for rain. When it eventually does rain, claim the credit because you’ve been praying.

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“I Shout, But Not At The Bar” – The Diary Of ScoMo…

Tuesday

I visited a MacDonalds where I got to tell them that theirs wasn’t as good as the one I visited in the USA because that one was fully automated and that saved money.

I was asked about my trip to the United States and if I invited my bestie to the dinner only to have him turned away. I told them that I don’t comment on gossip. It was such a good line that I’m thinking of repeating it in Question Time. 

Someone pretending to be a reporter (I know that he wasn’t a real one because he asked an impertinent question), wanted to know how all the automation would be dealt with and didn’t that ruin our plan for growth leading to jobs. I told him that he was part of the Canberra bubble and that people outside Canberra just want a fair go and the chance to have a go and if they get a go then they’d find that the best form of welfare was a job and why didn’t he get one instead of acting as a stooge for GetUp!

Finished the day by doing a photo of me drinking a beer to prove that I’m normal. 

Wednesday

Today I had a very important job. I went to the Queensland to announce my government’s concern for all those suffering because of Labor’s drought and I followed this up by announcing our intention to have a drought policy which will involve future-proofing this country against Labor.

When one of the journalists asked exactly when the policy would be announced, I reminded him that we had a long-standing policy of not commenting about on-water matters. He replied that because this was a drought, shouldn’t that be “no-water matter”…Many of his fellow journalists laughed. We have their names and I’ll contact Peter to arrange for Border Security to go through their underwear drawers to search for hidden items. 

Finished the day by doing a photo of me giving two thumbs up to prove that I’m ordinary. 

Thursday

Invited the Australian cricket team to come to my office. Unfortunately only two of them showed. I suggested that we take a photo where they throw the ball to me and I catch it. After the ridiculous first attempt where one of them threw it straight at me and I ducked causing extensive damage, we decided that we could just have a shot where I cupped my hands and we photoshopped the ball in later. 

Finished the day by doing a photo of me drinking a beer with the two players to prove that I’m normal and ordinary. 

Friday

Jen was photographed doing that symbol again. I’ve tried to tell that it’s just a little something we only do at church, but she tried to tell me that the church is everywhere. Poor thing. She doesn’t seem to understand that even though God has made PM, he hasn’t given me control of the godless heathens in the Senate. For some reason -probably to test me – he’s given that to Dutts, who says that he has no reason to arrest them for treason because he’s not PM yet. I put my arm around him and told him that we were on the same side but he just gave me that stare which makes me wonder if he’s angry, confused or actually trying to think. 

Finished the day by doing a photo of me drinking a beer with someone in a pub to prove that I’m very ordinary. 

Saturday 

Went down to the local football club to make an announcement about our plan to have a policy to get young people playing sport. Somebody asked me if I’d like to run water for the young boys. I politely declined because I didn’t have the right shoes. Another person suggested I could run barefoot like I did in Fiji. We all had a good laugh. I took a selfie with him while we shared a beer. I have handed the photo on to ASIO. 

Finished the day by doing a photo of me sharing the selfie on Twitter to prove that I’m normal. 

Sunday

Went to church. As my religion is a private thing, I’m not going to share it here, and I told the waiting media as much. I said that they were welcome to photograph me, but under no circumstances would I reveal that I was praying for rain so that the farmers could gain relief from the drought and that Donald Trump would continue to make such good decisions because prayer is a private matter between a man and God. 

Finished the day by doing a photo of me praying to prove that my religion is a deep and private thing.

Monday

Labor ask why I didn’t return to Parliament last week like everyone else. I grew angry and shouted at them that I’ve been busy cleaning up their mess and paying back their debt and stopping their drownings at sea and I called them a dill like I did a few weeks ago, I’ve been busy running the country, I told them, and one of them interjected, “Into the ground.” We haven’t identified him yet, but Peter assured me that it’s only a matter of time. 

Finished the day by doing a photo of me drinking a beer while giving a thumbs up to the photographer to prove that I’m very, very ordinary. 

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Ita Buttrose, Tim Wilson, Peter Dutton And The Water Boy

So, according to the chairperson of the ABC, Ita Buttrose political correctness is killing the Australian larrikin. I guess she’s probably missing old Kerry Packer who was a true larrikin and used to say hilarious things to people as, “Can you fuckers change the media ownership rules so that I can buy Fairfax and sack all those journalists who called me Goanna?” Hilarious. It was almost as funny as Ita when she announced that she was “embracing radical celibacy” in the 80s. Mind you, you had to hear her say it to fully appreciate the humour. Political correctness prevents me from pointing out that it was her lisp that made it so funny, because we can’t make fun of people any more. No longer can we mock the way someone speaks or hide people’s wheelchairs just for fun… Although you can if you’re part of the NDIS and it’s to help with a Budget surplus.

But back to Ita’s recent pronouncement, I think that this is great to hear. For too long, those sticks-in-the-mud at the ABC have censored people. Why? I’m sure you all remember how they apologised after The Chaser photoshopped Chris Kenny to look like he was having sex with a dog. Ok, it was after Kenny had taken legal action but, as he explained, he was doing it to protect free speech. Free speech means that one should be allowed to say what one likes as long as it doesn’t offend certain Australian values like ANZAC day, Australia Day or old, white men in the media.

And young Timmy Wilson did his bit for free speech by going and joining the Hong Kong protest. Some were unkind enough to suggest that this was a wee bit hypocritical, considering he tweeted that the police should use water-cannons on the Occupy Melbourne protest. However, as Timmy explained on Sky his was just a joke and besides Occupy Melbourne were permanently stationed there but the Hong Kong protestors move around. Just further evidence of Australians inability to take a joke… Of course, being a bit of a larrikin, I think the punchline would have been the Hong Kong police using water-cannons on Wilson, but I guess I shouldn’t say that. Ah, political correctness again…

Anyway, I couldn’t help but feel that there was a little bit of inconsistency being shown here. I don’t just mean because Dutton is suggesting that we should be arresting our own protestors, while Wilson is disrupting traffic in another country. I’m talking about our position on China.

Just a few weeks ago, Scott Morrison was telling us that Labor were being racist because they were suggesting that Gladys Liu was a member of a group that pushed Chinese Communist party interests overseas just because she was listed as a member, but when Peter Dutton comes out and says that there are people pushing CCP interests overseas, it’s suddenly no big deal and it’s simply “that there are differences between Australia and the People’s Republic of China, of course, there are”. Morrison went on to warn “against any sort of over-analysis or overreaction to those comments, because I think they just simply reflect the fact we’re two different countries.”

Of course, Scott Morrison can’t really be blamed when he’s just the titular head of the party and it’s Dutton making all the decisions. Morrison is there in much the same capacity as a head of state. He goes to official functions, cuts ribbons, makes speeches, visits Maccas, welcomes people, hands out awards and lets people take selfies with him. All the actual decisions are made by the man with the power to have him arrested under our anti-terrorism laws.

So while he can’t run the country Scott can do such valuable things as run the water for PM’s XIII Rugby team in Fiji, and tell them that they can spread the message about violence against women far better than politicians can. This makes me wonder, given that private industry can supposedly do things much better than politicians, exactly what politicians can actually manage?

Apart from running water to their heroes, of course…

(Before the lawyers get involved, that last statement in no way refers to either Angus or Barnaby!)

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Science And Other Unproven Theories Like Climate Change…

Now let me make it quite clear here: I AM NOT A SCIENTIST.

However, I do have a degree so that makes emiinently qualified to talk about things outside my area of expertise and have other people quote me because I happen to put forward an idea that agrees with their world view.

See, you can tell everyone, Rossleigh agrees that there is a special fairy that steals your other sock and all the biros and hides things for a few days before putting them back in the drawer where you looked about three times. I’m not wrong, Rossleigh backs me up and he has the letters B.Ed Creative Arts after his name.

Of course the fact that we both agree does not make something true. For something to be accepted as true, we need what’s called evidence, which brings me back to a thing called scientific method.

I’m not going to try to expain scientific method in any accurate way here because I’m sure that some know-it-all who actually has a qualification in the area of science will try to point out where I’m wrong just because they happen to have a degree in the topic under discussion. With that out of the way, I’m going to explain in lay terms how science works.

Science is the clash of ideas. What I mean by that is that scientists will develop hypotheses about a particular phenomenon and then perform experiments to see if their hypothesis is disproved. It’s a lot harder to prove a hypothesis, so science usually only moves forward when one is disproven.

To give you a practical example. Freddie believes that every time he wears his lucky socks, Richmond win. He argues that he can prove this because he bought his lucky socks a few weeks ago and Richmond hasn’t lost a game since. Now, I happen to have an alternative hypothesis which is: “Freddie is an idiot and his socks have nothing to do with whether or not Richmond wins.” Of course, should Richmond win the first six games of next season and lose the seventh when Freddie’s socks are in the wash, it still doesn’t prove his theory, nor does it disprove mine. However, the first time that there’s a loss with Freddie wearing his lucky socks, then my theory is starting to have more validity than his, but given my theory also included the bit about Freddie being an idiot, I have a long way to go before I can get him to accept my hypothesis.

Unlike Freddie and me, scientists don’t often get involved in name-calling just because they disagree. I’m sure that it happens, but Nils Bohr and Albert Einstein didn’t start suggesting that the other one was an idiot incapable of thinking for himself just because they disagreed over quantum physics. Generally, scientists will seek to develop an alternative hypothesis and then test it.

For example, what happens when I wear Freddie’s lucky socks? Possible hypotheses: 1. Richmond win because someone is wearing them; 2. Richmond have an enormous loss because I’m wearing them; 3. There is no relationship whatsoever between the socks and the performance of a football team.

Now given I’m relatively sane. I would try to prove hypothesis 3, but I suspect that were I to wear them and Richmond suffered a loss, Freddie would refuse to behave like a proper scientist and accuse me of actually knowing that hypothesis 2 was correct and that it’s all part of some AFL conspiracy to stop them winning.

I guess you can see where I’m going with this…

I think that it’s fine for average lay person like me to speculate about how climate change is just an AFL conspiracy to get larger crowds at games. Or that it’s the Chinese trying to shut down American manufacturing. Or a group of scientists who decided that, rather than investigate any of the thousands of real problems that the world faces, they’d rather make up something and dedicate their working lives to obtaining funding from governments because that would be so much easier than getting funding for real problems, and much more satisfying emotionally. Or a cartel of Jewish bankers and socialists… Whatever!

However, when a scientist starts to suggest that climate change isn’t real and that it’s just a conspiracy, I have to wonder why they aren’t actually putting forward an alternative hypothesis that challenges the climate scientists. When they start to argue like Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt, I can’t but think that they’re sounding about as sane as Freddie who is blaming me for the slump in Richmond’s form is a result of my refusal to give Freddie his socks back.

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Downer, The Spy Who Gave In What He Was Told…

So, let me see if I have this straight:

Alex Downer and Trump adviser, George Papadopoulos, meet in a London bar where, according to George, he doesn’t tell Alex that the Russians have damaging material on Hillary Clinton. Then Downer passes on the information that he didn’t receive to George. This led to the Mueller investigation, because there was an announcement by the FBI that they were still investigating Hillary’s emails in the days preceding the 2016 election. This action was evidence that the FBI were part of a global conspiracy to prevent the election of Donald Trump, even though the release of the material actually harmed Clinton…

Now before some of you start jumping up and down and telling me what terrible human beings the Clintons are, I want to make it clear that I have no wish to defend any American presidential candidate, I’m just trying to establish the facts here. Yes, you can tell me how “House Of Cards” is based on the Clintons and not some BBC show from twenty years ago and how they ran a pizza parlour which they disguised as a pedophile ring. Whatever! The Clintons are not the issue here. We have another global conspiracy to stop the election of Donald Trump for reasons I’ve yet to quite understand.

Anyway, according to the current narrative being pushed by Papadopoulos and the other Trumpsters, Alex wasn’t told about the damaging information that the Russians had on Hillary but Downer reported this non-existent information. The investigation into the investigation would like to delve more deeply into this because according to George – the man who pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI – Downer recorded their conversation. If there’s one thing worse than a diplomat passing on information they were given after a couple of drinks, then it’s one who records and passes on information that they weren’t given. The Australian government is only too happy to help… We’re not releasing the transcripts of anything written but we’re happy to release Alexander.

Yes, it’s all a bit John Le Carre rather than James Bond. Whatever, Scottie says that there’s nothing wrong with helping an ally with an investigation. Pity, the Ukraine isn’t an ally, I guess.

Then again, Scottie is very helpful these days. When it was discovered that one of the councils being given drought relief was actually experiencing a bumper season, our PM told us that he made no apology for being generous… which would be fine, were it not for the fact that the councils to which he was so generous didn’t seem to be in any Labor electorates. I’m mildly surprised that the metropolitan electorate of Chisholm wasn’t given drought relief, not because it’s a marginal electorate, but because city people have to pay higher food prices thanks to the drought…

And then there’s the NDIS which is so generous that it had more money than people needed. How else do you explain the $4.5 billion in unspent funds this financial year? Incompetence in its administration? Ridiculous. The Coalition is in charge! An obsession with returning the Budget to surplus no matter who suffers? You cynic! As if the government would do such a thing.

Of course, generosity has its limits and you certainly can’t go increasing money to those on NewStart. No, as Minister for Family and Social Services told us, that would just lead to more money going to drug dealers and pubs.

I don’t know what she’s got against pubs. Or drug dealers, for that matter. I mean, the economy needs a boost from somewhere and it’s certainly not going to get one from increases in the NDIS or the dole. If it has to come from some hotel owner or ice dealer buying a new car or adding to his bling, then it’s better than slipping into recession. Besides, can’t the Liberals remember that when Labor suggested putting a limit on pokie machine losses, they banded together with the clubs and pubs and told us how this would lead to massive job losses. Yet now, we can’t have an increase in unemployment benefits because it would help the pubs.

It seems just a few days ago that the Liberals were telling us how good they’ve been at creating jobs. I suppose if you use the word “creating” in the sense of a making up a thing that’s not really there, then one would have to agree.

 

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Shut Up, Greta, We Want To Hear From The Experts!

When I picked up the paper in the coffee shop, I knew what I was doing. I was going to keep it out of the hands of someone who might be easily influenced. I see it as a civic duty to prevent people from reading the Murdoch muck, but I can only do it one paper at a time.

Anyway, I was drawn to an opinion piece by education expert, Kevin Donnelly. Of course, when I say “expert”, I’m using it in the sense that he knows all about education because Kennett employed him to say that it was okay to reduce the number of teachers because   he was educated just fine in large classes and if we just went back to doing everything the way it was in the fifties, then everyone would be able to speak Latin and do calculus by the age of seven. Or something like that. While I’d never suggest that there aren’t many interesting conversations to be had about what’s the best way to organise our school system, Kevin’s ideas on education are a little strange if you’ve actually been in a school in the past fifty years. Donnelly fits into the category of those who think that most of what kids are doing in schools these days is useless, except on days when students miss an afternoon to strike about climate change, when the classes they miss will hamper them forever.

Of course, one of the biggest difficulties that schools have is reconciling the demand to turn kids into the best student possible, while simultaneously preparing them to be a functioning adult capable of succeeding in the world of work. These two things aren’t mutually exclusive all the time, but when people like Donnelly talk about the role of schools, there’s no real acknowledgement that some students will succeed at exams without succeeding in life and others will do badly as students but still shine when they leave the school system. Of course, schools should also be ensuring that they have an understanding of Australian values, have a strong civic pride, confidence, an aversion to drugs and a million other things that get added every time a politician needs a distraction from the latest stuff-up.

Fortunately – or unfortunately – Donnelly wasn’t talking about education. He was writing about Greta Thunberg. Apparently, we shouldn’t be listening to her because well, she’s only sixteen; we should be listening to the experts.

I suppose that I could pause here and reflect on how the very paper in which Kevin is writing has killed several million trees giving us the wisdom of Andrew Bolt who tells us that these experts aren’t worth listening to. Of course, it could be argued that Donnelly isn’t responsible for the editorial decisions and he’d be the first to tell Mr Bolt that he really should listen to the experts.

While Kevin didn’t actually mention Bolt, he did argue that there were people far more expert than that silly girl. No, not the ones talking about climate change. He informed us that there were experts telling us that CO2 is actually a good thing for plants so there’s no problem because there can never be too much of a good thing. Yes, there’s a group of experts – 46 in all – who have formed a group called CO2 Coalition and these experts tell us that, historically, carbon dioxide levels have been much higher and plant and animal life has survived just fine, so we should be trying to put more CO2 into the air, not less.

Now, I just thought I’d leave out the line which was responsible for the coffee shop owner having to come over and clean up the mouthful of coffee that finished mainly on the table and newspaper in order to ensure that none of you spit whatever in disbelief. Ok, empty mouth? By historically, they was referring, Donnelly told us, to the past 500 million years!

Well, yes, lots of species have thrived but there aren’t too many that have survived the past 5 million, let only 500 million.

Whatever, the CO2 Coalition have a nifty website and several of them have degrees in Physics, so that makes them an expert in climate science. Similarly, my degree makes me and expert in brain surgery, so if you need a tumour removed…

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Remember When You Thought Tony And Barnaby Was As Bad As It Got??

People often ask me, how do you decide what to write about?

Well, when I say often, I actually mean that somebody once asked me why I write about politics when it’s so boring and another person asked me how I picked what to sendup from all the material at my disposal.

I do have to admit that some weeks it’s pretty hard. For example, last night I was listening to SAD (Sky After Dark)… I should add that I don’t often listen to the Murdoch Minions, but I felt that I needed to work out which story they’d be most outraged about so that I could add fuel to the fire. Anyway, I was listening to the SAD commentators on Paul Murray and I was amazed to hear them rejecting the age of criminal responsibility. Yes, apparently Greta is just a sad, confused little girl who doesn’t know what she’s doing, but kids younger committing crimes are clearly adult and mature and sensible.

Of course, when someone says that we shouldn’t be letting a sixteen year old dictate our climate change policies, I totally agree. However, unlike those MAMs (Middle-Aged Men) on Sky, I also don’t think that anyone who’s only claim to expertise is that they have access to a microphone to be dictating our policies. In fact, the whole idea that policies should be dictated, rather than carefully thought out, is a rather strange concept.

Speaking of dictators, has anyone else noticed the attempt to pretend that the Nazis were left-wing, just because they were the National Socialist party. I mean, Liberal Party! Need I say more? Although the Liberal Party are quite liberal with the truth…

Anyway, the simple answer to the question about deciding what to write is this: I try to pick the biggest contradiction between someone’s stated position this week compared to some time ago. This used to require a good memory. You’d need to remember that the Coalition responded quite differently to Sam Dastyari when compared to their position on Gladys Liu which meant you had to remember back over a year. Or you need to remember that Jo Cox was an anti-Brexit campaigner to fully understand the sheer offensiveness of Boris telling Parliament that the best way to honour her memory was to get on with Brexit.

But these days, you often get people contradicting their stated principles within days. Actually sometimes, they apply a different principle in the course of the same speech or interview.

I’m not talking about something like Scott Morrison announcing $150 million for a space mission and then a few days later expecting the farmers to be grateful for another $100 million in drought relief. No, I’m talking about things like many of the same people who’ve been attacking Thunberg and saying we should listen to the scientists, are the very same people who’ve been telling us that the scientists are part of some hysterical fear campaign.

Take Amanda Vanstone who regularly writes for The Sydney Morning Herald/Age. Ah, ain’t it the Liberals don’t have to take out an ad to get their views put into the paper. Anyway, Vanstone begins her column with:

“It’s a measure of where we’ve come to in public debate that I have thought more than twice about writing this piece. The days of civilised debate, of accepting different opinions seem to be disappearing.

None of us likes being yelled at or chastised for our views…”

The inference I drew is that she’s worried that she may attract some hostility for the fact that the rest of her column is dishing it out to Thunberg. Yes, poor petal, she seems worried that she’ll attract vitriol for her vitriol.

Then, there’s Andrew Bolt.

Again, I’m never quite sure whether to ignore a man who thrives on drawing attention to himself or whether that just allows his rantings to go unchallenged. He wrote the other day: “Fearmongering. It’s time for our government to man up and tell children there isn’t a climate emergency.” Interesting though it is that this is what Scott Morrison was telling us, to me it’s the use of the phrase “man up” that gives away Bolt’s agenda of trying to push buttons and get noticed at all costs. Surely, he expects to be attacked for the explicit sexism in that comment. Then he can move the conversation to political correctness killing free speech, completely ignoring the fact that if criticism of what one says kills free speech, then isn’t that exactly what he and his cronies are doing to Greta Thunberg?

Yep, some weeks it isn’t easy…

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The Best Form Of Charity Is To Be A Billionaire…

This morning I saw a headline suggesting that the Morrison government was proposing to make people wait longer for welfare. Before reading the article, I presumed that this was an admission of their economic failure. After all, haven’t we heard on multiple occasions that the best form of welfare is a job? Therefore, one would presume, that if people are having to wait longer for welfare, the government is suggesting that people will have to wait longer for a job.

However, I was wrong. Apparently, it was a proposal to increase the waiting time for people who had savings from a few weeks to six months. So much for if you have a go, you get a go. Ok, ok, I know that having no savings doesn’t necessarily mean that one isn’t “having a go”, but in the prosperity gospel according to Saint Scomo, surely punishing people who’ve saved runs contrary to one of the Commandments…

Anyway, it did get me thinking about the whole ridiculousness of the slogan “the best form of welfare is a job”. I know that I have previously suggested that one might as say the best form of medical treatment is not to get sick, but I suddenly realised exactly how vacuous the phrase actually is.

Ok, I’m a little slow…

For those equally slow, let’s take this a step at a time, and let’s oversimplify so that even National Party voters can follow.

Let’s imagine that it’s your child’s birthday and instead of giving him a present you tell him or her, “The best form of birthday is Christmas!’ When he or she asks where their present is, you reply that they’ll get their birthday present on Christmas.

“Isn’t that a Christmas present,” they ask.

“No,” you reply, “it’s the best form of birthday present because everyone gets one.”

Yes, that makes no sense, but it makes infinitely more sense than the Coalition’s attempt to use the ambiguity in the meaning of the word “welfare” in order to hide their lack of empathy… (While Scottie did reach a new level of absurd with “unfunded empathy”. While any increase needs to be funded, empathy is an emotion and, therefore, free. Would the phrases “unfunded patriotism” or “unfunded frustration” make any sense?)

When the Liberals suggest that the best form of welfare is a job, they are using the word “welfare” in a way that suggests that the health and happiness of someone unemployed would be better if they were to have a job, rather than “welfare” meaning financial support given to someone in need. While this is obvious enough, it’s only when we stop and use the word “welfare” in the question and replace the ambiguous word with something else that we get the full subtext.

“Will you be increasing welfare payments to the unemployed?”

“We believe that the best way of improving their situation would be to get them a job.”

“So how will you be getting them a job?” 

“By telling them that if they have a go, they’ll get a go.”

“But what about the ones who still don’t get a job? Will you increase welfare payments to them?”

“No, because only a job will help them. Giving people financial support when they’re out of work is no substitute for that.”

“But what if they still don’t get a job?”

“Look, unemployment support is only meant to be a temporary thing, so if people don’t get a job, it’s their problem.”

If one were to apply this to other areas, it could make life a lot simpler. For example, next time someone comes asking for a charitable donation, instead of scrambling for your spare change, just say to them, “The best form of charity is for everyone to be a billionaire.”

Ok, it makes no sense, but they’ll probably just presume that you vote for the Coalition and are unlikely to ever want to help anyone in need.

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Pauline And Malcolm Understand That Male Violence Is Just Courting

Q: How do you make Kevin Andrews seem like a reasonable choice to head an inquiry into the Family Law Court?

A: You make Pauline Hanson his deputy.

Apparently, Pauline knows that women lie to get their own way from personal experience. When I first heard her assert this, I was expecting her to be making some confession about her own divorce, but no, she was talking about her son. She knows that he didn’t do anything wrong and it was all the fault of that trollope that he married. Yes, the personal experience of hearing what her son had to say and believing him, which I guess counts as personal experience because if you can’t believe your own children then what’s the world coming to. Of course, he would be a completely trustworthy source and the guilty plea for breaching a DVO must have been some sort of court error when clearly he didn’t do anything wrong.

Actually the whole court system needs an overhaul. I was recently talking to someone who works in a jail and the whole place is full of people who are innocent and are only there because the police and the judge and the jury got it all wrong and didn’t simply take their word that they didn’t do it.

Perhaps we can adopt some sort of system where, when a person tells a court they didn’t do what they’re accused of, then they can just have the presumption of innocence and there’s no need for all that red tape of a restraining order which is bound to make people very angry. As Malcolm Roberts told us, things like restraining orders can make people very angry and who can blame them if they become violent. Restraining orders can prevent fathers from seeing their kids, or people accused of crimes of visiting witnesses in the hope of achieving some sort of reconciliation where the witness agrees to forgive and forget and the accused agrees not to set fire to their house. Win/win really!

No, I can see this inquiry doing a lot of good. Pauline will be able to tell women that they should think themselves lucky that they live in Australia and Kevin will be able to recommend that nobody should be granted a restraining order until they’ve fully exhausted the counselling process which he and his wife will run for any couples experiencing difficulties.

Violence against women? Australia says No, but One Nation adds that it’s probably the fault of the Family Court.

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How Good Is Communism? OR ScoMo The Trotskyist

For years, we’ve been warned about the left turning us into a nanny state and trying to control everything. We’ve heard how the Communists want to control us and how the conservatives are the ones who believe in small government. “We are giving you tax cuts,” say the Liberals, “because we believe that people are best placed to know what they should spend their money on. They don’t need governments making decisions for them.”

Yet now we have the Indue card. Ok, I know, I know. That’s just compassionate conservatism to help those who can’t help themselves. It’s giving a go to those who aren’t able to have a go because they’re all on drugs… Unless they’re over thirty five when they’ll no longer be drug tested. Mm, does that mean that they’ll all be able to celebrate with a wild cocaine and ecstasy party on their thirty fifth birthday…

I guess that’s why we have the Undue card. To protect all those older Australians who are no longer subject to drug testing. Some people think that these trials are just a Trojan horse and combine this with the proposal to limit cash payments to $10,000, it won’t be long before everyone will have one and the government can view all our spending.

However, the government assures us that this Undue – or is Undie – card isn’t even going to be extended to pensioners even though the legislation does include aged pensioners, meaning that it’s simply an oversight, and not a way of making it easier to roll it out without needing to go back to Parliament when the time comes to say that we’re worried about pensioners being exploited so we’re going to ensure that they can only shop at stores which we approve of and who likewise approve of the government. Business that show this approval by running fundraisers or buying dinner tickets so that they can hear the PM ask them, “How good is this Indue card?” Over and over again.

Yes, good old ScoMo is quite the joker… Last night in a performance reminiscent of Heath Ledger, he made a joke about how good it was to have all the journalists in the one room so that they could more easily gather their metadata.

At least I presume it was a joke. Although now I think about it, between the metadata laws, the Indue card and the threats to forcibly acquire energy assets, ScoMo is starting to show all the tendencies of one of those communist dictators we’ve all been warned about.

Mm, and then there’s Gladys Liu. While she may not be a card carrying member of the Chinese Communist Party, she’s certainly belonged to organisations which are meant to advance China’s interests in other countries. When Scottie hears this, does he announce that he’ll ask the security forces to check it out? No, he calls her a great Australian and accuses people of racism for even suggesting that there are questions to answer.

Good on him, says the Chinese newspaper. (This is real, I’m not making it up).

Now imagine if Jeremy Corbyn or Bill Shorten had introduced a card to control people’s spending, presided over raids on journalists and then was praised by the Communists for standing up for a possible Chinese propaganda stooge. Yeah, I can see the Murdoch press calling for their extradition to Guatanamo Bay as a threat to the nation.

But Scott, it seems, is ok right up until he says, How Good is the Socialist state?

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The Wonderfully Compliant Druggie Dole Bludger!

Channel 9, when not hosting Liberal fundraisers, are one of the nation’s top investigative units. Take “A Current Affair”. More than twenty years after they found the Paxton family and managed to portray them to the nation as work-shy bludgers, they’ve found another candidate for the public pillory.

The promo for tomorrow’s episode tells us: “HE’S UNEMPLOYED, 30, ON WELFARE AND HE SPENDS IT ON DRUGS!”

After this guy, Adrian, tells us that he spends his money on other things like tobacco, rent and food first and drugs second (let’s not get pendatic about tobacco being a drug), we’re told that this is the bloke that ScoMo has in his sights. I presume that this will be explained in the episode as meaning that rather than being simply one individual, he represents the sort of person that the drug testing and Indue card are aimed at, and we can safely presume that our PM hasn’t turned into a sniper. The promo then has the guy answer the question about losing his welfare by telling us that if that happened he’d start working again. Yes, the best form of welfare is a job and I can just see employers lining up to give this guy a chance once they hear that he’s back on the market now that he can no longer afford to buy drugs… Or to eat.

So, you see, Scott Morrison is on the right track. It’s only because we give this guy money that he’s on drugs and not working. Take away the money and hey presto, he’ll get himself a job. This guy has just been scamming us for years. What a clever bastard!

Although it does seem that there is a little flaw in his genius. Now, I’m no expert at fraud but it does strike me that it’s sort of giving the game away to go on national television and confess to your sins unless you are actually planning to do a complete mea culpa. Whatever, he can be the first to benefit from Morrison’s “compassionate conservative” agenda. After all, he’s told us that he’s on drugs so he’s saved the authorities the time, trouble and expense of drug testing him. He can go straight to the rehab that’s been promised for people in his position.

Of course, some of you may think that this would put him in the same category as those boat people. It would make him a “queue jumper”. I mean why should he get help in front of all those people who’ve had to patiently wait for it. That would be unfair and maybe we should use him to set an example. Perhaps he should be jailed for his drug use or better yet, we could send him to off-shore detention centre indefinitely and that should give him a chance to clean up his act.

At the very least he should lose his dole payment. We should all write to our local member demanding that this man is ostracised and forced to find work, even if he has to move to wherever our Deputy PM says people should move to, in order to do that. I’m not sure where that is, but Mr McCormack seemed to think that there were places.

Yes, he’s taken an enormous risk to expose his recalcitrant behaviour. One wonders why he’d do such a thing. I mean, it’s not like he’d have been paid for the interview or anything. No, he would have done it out of a sense of community responsibility, just like Channel 9 did when they ran that fundraiser!

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Gladys Liu And Other Unbelievable Fictions

If the electoral boundaries hadn’t changed, then I would have been in Gladys Liu’s seat. Then again, if the boundaries hadn’t changed, it might not have been Gladys Liu’s seat because, with the same boundaries, she may not have won! We can speculate all day but one thing’s for certain, Gladys was elected under a free and democratic electoral process.

OK, there was that brouhaha where a message was written in Chinese telling people that the only way to cast a valid vote was to vote Liberal… The fact that it had a purple background like the AEC was simply because the person responsible for printing had purple/blue colour blindness and to suggest that it was a deliberate strategy to mislead voters was quite frankly a disgusting smear and quite racist. There’s no evidence and any attempt to investigate and find evidence is an insult to the billion Chinese on the planet because no other races have ever been investigated for printing misleading material in Chinese…

Now some members of the Labor Party have tried to suggest that Gladys was a member of an organisation which seeks to spread Chinese propaganda just because her name was on the list of people in that organisation. As she explained in an interview, she has no memory of being in such an organisation and, in any case, she’s resigned from it. Clearly, the Labor Party are being racist by even suggesting that such an explanation doesn’t stand up to scrutiny and this deserves further investigation. But who would investigate this? The security forces are busy raiding the homes and offices of journalists so they don’t have time to waste on this witch hunt.

Obviously, the only reason Labor have gone after her is because she’s a Chinese Australian. Penny Wong wouldn’t be attacking an Australian Australian like this. How is Gladys expected to remember every organisation she’s been an honorary president of? As Arthur Sinodinos said to ICAC, how am I expected to remember my role in every $250,000 job I have. 

And anyway, it’s quite likely that her name was added to the organisation without her knowledge by Matt Canavan’s mum.

I think Peter Dutton said it best when he said that he and Morrison were defending her and, if you had people like our PM and him defending you, then clearly you haven’t done anything wrong.

No, it’s clear that the only reason that Labor are hostile is because she’s raised a million dollars for Liberal Party. That’s even more than Channel 9. That’s the reason for their racist attack. If they really wanted to do something worthwhile why don’t they tell Dan Andrews to get on with the East/West link or do something about those African gangs?

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