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Bully Boys

By Ad astra

Did you notice the behaviour of Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull during Budget week? Were you comfortable with the words and actions of our treasurer and prime minister? How did you expect them to conduct themselves?

It is reasonable to expect such important office holders to be assured, confident, well informed, and articulate. But should they behave aggressively? Should they bully their way through interviews? Should they shout, gesticulate extravagantly, and abuse their opponents during Question Time to the delight of those behind them? Should they abandon courteous behaviour to take on the mantle of a street fighter? Should our democracy by tarnished by bikie gang behaviour and bare knuckle aggression from our elected representatives?

When we cast our ballot for our preferred candidate, do we want to elect a bully who will trample on opponents and rub their faces in the mud? Bullying at school and in the workplace is now considered socially, even legally intolerable. Why then should we accept bullying from our politicians, from political parties, from advocates?

Why should we accept the bullying intrinsic in pejorative name-calling? We are not surprised when children do this in the schoolyard. Is it not reasonable to expect better from our elected representatives? Yet, after his Budget reply speech we heard the Coalition channeling the old song: You’re Unbelievable’, labeling the Labor leader ‘Unbelieva-Bill’, a tag intended to augment the Coalition’s ‘Kill Bill’ strategy.

Alternatively, do we expect them to behave civilly, respectful of other parliamentarians, even if from a different party? Do we want politicians who respect those chosen by the people no matter what the political leaning of the electorate? How many of you admire the aggressively adversarial behaviour that so many politicians exhibit?

How many of you would prefer the empathic behaviour of Liberal senator Dean Smith when he introduced the bill to legalise same-sex marriage in the Senate. If you didn’t see him doing this, go to this link and watch the video. Note too how courteously Senator Brandis responded to this private member’s bill. Is this the behaviour you would favour?

Contrast this with the behaviour exhibited by our prime minister and our treasurer in the following video clip of Question Time the day after the Budget was presented.

As it’s a long video you will not wish to go through the hour-long agony of it all, but begin by listening to the first few minutes when, in answering Bill Shorten’s first question, the PM deceivingly accuses Labor of wanting to strip away the tax cuts already legislated for corporate entities that are carrying on a business with a turnover of less than $25 million for the 2017-18 income year and less than $50 million for the 2018-19 income year. Labor has no such intention of ‘stripping away’ these small business tax cuts; it supports them unreservedly.

Then skip to 7.55 minutes in, and play until 9.17 minutes. You will see our treasurer in full flight shouting across the aisle replete with frenzied finger pointing to Labor’s supposed intention of ‘ripping away’ the already-legislated tax cuts for small and medium businesses. Obviously, in anticipation of pointed questions about the Coalition’s proposed corporate tax cuts for larger businesses and corporations, which Labor opposes vigorously, he and Turnbull had decided to retaliate by hanging this accusation like a rotting albatross around Labor and Shorten’s neck, hoping the smell would persist until the next election.

Is this the sort of behaviour we want? Is Turnbull’s accusatory aggression acceptable behaviour in the leader of our federal government? Is the bullying we saw from Morrison in the QT clip acceptable from such a senior member of government?

QT is not the only place where Morrison bullies his way through. In interview after interview his strategy is to talk and talk – incessantly, assertively, aggressively, bullying his way to the end. The smirk that creases his face shows how much he is enjoying being a bully boy. If you’ve not noticed his smirk (a facial expression that we so often associated with Peter Costello in days gone by), take a look at him during his Budget interview with Leigh Sales on ABC TV 7.30.

How many more Morrisons are there in government ranks? Although, like him, Mathias Cormann is inclined to talk and talk Dalek-like, he is a gentle soul who could not be labelled a bully.

But there are others. Until he was relegated to the backbench, Barnaby Joyce’s florid bullying was legendary. Fortunately, circumstance, and a new child, has quietened him. His backbench mate Tony Abbott still smirks from his possie. His bullying behaviour when he was Opposition Leader and Julia Gillard prime minister, lead to her razor-sharp ‘misogyny’ speech that left him speechless. He became more measured as relevance-deprivation set in after he was forced onto the backbench after Turnbull toppled him. Christopher Pyne, a less aggressive bully, can still become belligerent when worked up. Even the usually benign Attorney General Christian Porter revealed his bullying side when he forcefully demanded MPs found by the High Court to be ineligible to sit in parliament ‘resign by the close of business’ the same day.

Who could go past Peter Dutton in the bully stakes? Nasty, aggressive, belligerent, punitive, vindictive, this man comes across as a mean bully every time he opens his mouth. There is nothing appealing about him. No wonder he is the butt of so many cartoons and TV spoofs.

Take a look at this short video of Dutton attacking Bill Shorten on the subject of 457 visas, where he voices his infamous slur: This Leader of the Opposition can’t lie straight in bed.

As a rule, we don’t expect female politicians to be bullies, but Michaelia Cash proves the rule. Shouting nastily while she hurled accusations, we saw her in full flight during Senate Estimates when being questioned by Doug Cameron. You can review her appalling performance in this short video.

If a schoolchild persists with bullying, he is pulled up, counseled, and eventually expelled. If an employee persists with bullying, he is counseled, then sacked or even charged with an offence. Why then should we accept the bullying by politicians we see every day? Is there no remedy? Is there no counseling available, no disciplinary outcome for repeat offenders?

When have you seen a political leader bring a bully to heel? When have you seen a penalty applied? When have you seen a public reprimand? A mild ‘slap on the wrist with a wet lettuce’ is most we could hope for.

How come the penalties for bullying don’t apply to the very people in whom hundreds of thousands of electors put their trust? Is it perhaps because the leaders are so often the most brazen bully boys?

Tell us what you think.

This article by was originally published on The Political Sword.

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29 comments

  1. Shevill Mathers

    We know the opposition has scored points when both the PM & Treasurer carry on the way they do, typical of bullies the world over. Neither are fit to be in the positions they hold. I seem to recall on day one when MT became PM, the tone and quality of Question Time would rise above the shambles it had become. It did not last long. The LNP do not have any plans, or policies of substance and seem to be focused entirely on the big end of town and the big tax give away. Let us hope that the voters think before casting their votes at the next election. I am well and truly over this pathetic government.

  2. Graeme Henchel

    I’m not all that fussed about the aggression per se. Paul Keating was adept at making the opposition look like fools. I’m sure many people wish Bill Shorten was more aggressive but I’m also sure that if it is not in his nature he should not try to manufacture faux agression.

    No what pisses me off is the blatant lying, the use of distraction and spin, the use of mindless slogans, the hubris and the incompetence.

    The other thing that pisses me off is pathetic performance of many of the political pundits that claim to pontificate on politics. Especially the lack of analysis of competing policies.

  3. guest

    Bullying is what the Coalition does. We saw that during the time of Rudd and Gillard. We saw it with Abbott. We see it also in the headlines and scribblings of right-wing media. We see it in the blatant dismissal of Safe Schools and at the same time the imposition of school chaplains.

    We see it in the headline that Turnbull is “soaring” ahead as preferred PM. No surprise there, but the reality is that Turnbull and Shorten are not high in the affection of voters. It all depends on which question is asked. But it should be remembered by right-wing advocates that Turnbull and his party has lost the last 32 polls.

    The Murdoch media has changed its method of polling and makes it look as if the Coalition is not far from Labor in the polls. One wonders how this could be, given the muddle the Coalition continuously displays. Take for example its poor attempt to sell the tax cuts for big business, at the same time yielding a tiny cut for the poor. Is that not a kind of bullying?

    The claim of the Coalition that cuts for big business would create jobs, growth and investment is not proven. What does make sense is for the lower income people to receive a good tax cut so they can spend in the market. At present, with wages low, many people are struggling to survive.

    So we come to the question about whether it is better to pay off the debt and not give ordinary voters a tax cut. There are some who would prefer the paying of the debt and the building of infrastructure, such as schools and hospitals. The Coalition seems to prefer roads and bridges.

    So how important is the debt, which in recent times has hardly been mentioned? The Modern Monetary Theory people tell us that the debt is not so important. So is any attempt to make voters decide between paying off the debt and receiving a tax break really a kind of bullying if the question is presented as the only alternative – pay off the debt or tax cut?

    In my opinion, the notion that voters should vote soon for the Coalition and receive a piddly tax break sometime in the future when a new tax scheme will see people on $40,000 pa are taxed at the same rate as people with $200,000 pa incomes is a kind of bribery bordering on bullying.

    And the best the Coalition can do to engage in discussion is call people by silly names – a pathetic kind of bullying.

  4. Matters Not

    Question Time provides opportunities for wit and wisdom – at least in the UK. Local politicians display dimwittedness and nescience. A race to the bottom no longer. Witness the arrival.

  5. helvityni

    …and some of us thought that Turnbull would be better than Abbott; a urban, civilized legal eagle, attending Venice Biennales.. How right was Albanese when calling him a Merchant of Venice…How wrong was I ,among many others…

    I miss Keating and his wit , he even managed to make his enemies laugh…

  6. Stephen G B

    On the odd occasions Keating was and I see remains really gifted – sorry but Keating to me is the kind of bully, who is so cutting as to cause real pain to the recoever of his so called wit, but that’s my opinion, many think him the greatest something or other.

    But I digress

    This particular government has taken bullying to a level of extreme verbal bullying so much so that many of their supporters, have taken it as a signal to be just as bullying, I fear these bullies though might forget that the step from verbal to physical is just such a small step.

  7. Glenn Barry

    They can and will continue to bully – that is just their method and a true sign of their cowardice and weakness.

    What I really object to is that they are so fucking dull and witless in the process – they are just crap!

    Is it a nutritional deficiency which can be remedied or a congenital abnormality which is incurable?

  8. helvityni

    Yes Glenn, ” they are so fucking dull and witless in the process – they are just crap!”

  9. wam

    Not comfortable with the use of ‘bullying’.these people were selected by the grass roots of the lnp then they got over 50% of their electorate to prefer them as individuals. As a group they are preferred by nearly half of Australia.
    Who could understand the jane prentice situation unless they remembered the joe bullock episode?
    This is the challenge to an AIMN stalwarts use of TRUTH?

    ps no non labor government can be elected with the support of the votes of workers and welfare recipients.

  10. Kronomex

    How about just doing what the National Socialists did in Germany and have them prove that their “Australianess” goes back at least four genrations? If they can’t prove it then, tough luck. Il Duttonuci could expand the rules to cover the rest of the country and all walks of life. What joy, what fun he would have when he finds new people to supress.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/new-citizenship-test-planned-for-byelection-candidates-20180514-p4zf7d.html

    I think this coiuld be construed as more bullying tactics by the LNP.

  11. Darrell

    There is no doubt in my mind that all of these fools are cowards of the highest order. Stripped back to relying only on themselves and face to face with an opponent who is not intimidated by their belligerence they would revert to the grovelling, snivelling turds that they have been all of their lives. Have a look at Turnbull with Trump. It makes me sick to think that this pissant is the so-called leader of our country. We can do much better.

  12. KenR

    I’m disgusted in the TURNBULLY governments tactics and the level of bullying in their public discourses. For someone who when elected was going to lift the level of parliamentary debate he has totally failed at this too. The Speaker Tony Smith must accept responsibility for the amount of bullying that goes on in parliament. If this was a normal private or public sector organisation he would be sacked for allowing the level of bullying that goes on in parliament to occur. He needs to set some real standards on how he interpretates some of the Standing Orders on parliamentary procedures.
    Stand up Speaker Smith and lift the level of debate in parliament and curb the LNP bullies lead by Prime Minister Malcolm TURNBULLY

  13. Kaye Lee

    ScoMo has always been an arrogant bully…..

    “Something of a bureaucratic black belt from his days in New Zealand, Morrison also fought running battles with Tourism Australia’s nine-strong board. Its members complained that he did not heed advice, withheld important research data about the controversial campaign, was aggressive and intimidating, and ran the government agency as if it were a one-man show. But Morrison thought he had the upper hand. Confident that John Howard would ultimately back him, Morrison reportedly boasted that if Fran Bailey got in his way, he would bring her down. When board members called for him to go, however, Bailey agreed, and soon it was Morrison who was on his way. “Fran despised him,” says an industry insider. “Her one big win was ousting Scott. His ego went too far.” Another senior industry figure claims that it was Morrison’s arrogance, combined with his misreading of John Howard and the power dynamics of Canberra, that proved his undoing: “He was naive to think he could take on the politicians. Howard was always going to back his ministers.” The “agreed separation” was said to have pocketed him at least a $300,000 payout.”

    https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2012/february/1328593883/nick-bryant/so-who-bloody-hell-are-you

  14. astra5

    Folks

    I thank you all for your supportive comments and links.

    Some readers may question why I have targetted Coalition members as bullies, but no Labor members. I looked at the Shadow Ministry for Labor bullies. Readers can decide it the term ‘bully’ could reasonably apply to Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek, Penny Wong, Chris Bowen, Tony Burke, Jenny Macklin, Mark Butler, Richard Marles, Anthony Albanese, Jim Chalmers, Brendan O’Connor, Mark Dreyfus, and so on.

    I ask readers to take a look at the Shadow Ministry and identify the bullies there: https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/Parliamentary_Handbook/Shadow

    My thesis is that Coalition and Labor members of parliament are different types of person. Many Coalition members fit into the ‘Born to Rule’ category and therefore feel entitled to be loud-mouthed bullies – like Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton, Barnaby Joyce, Tony Abbott, and of course Michaelia Cash. The Coalition Senator Dean Smith, who introduced so sensitively the same sex marriage debate to the Senate, stands out in such contrast to so many of his Coalition colleagues that he attracts special commendation.

    Coalition and Labor members are simply different types of personality, whose behaviour reflects their different ideologies and approaches to politics. Cognitive scientist and linguist George Lakoff contrasts conservatives and progressives with descriptive labels for their operational style: conservatives favour the ‘Strict Father’ model; progressives favour the ‘Nurturant Parent’ model.

    Their different ideologies, their different approaches, explain their different behaviours.

  15. Wun Farlung

    Now the lieberal bully boys and girls are using bombings in Indonesia as an excuse to allow Police to “ask for ID” (papers please) from anybody in an airport because of a “heightened risk”.
    I was waiting for them to start with the boogie man routine, they’ve lost the budget/economic debate.

  16. Stephen Brailey

    I can only repeat what many have said here. The Coalition use question time as a way to brow beat their opposition. Lying yelling and repetition seem to be their only tools, clever use of argument and wit are entirely absent.

  17. Kronomex

    Another step closer to full blown fascism by the LNP –

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/dangerous-times-police-to-have-new-powers-to-check-ids-at-airports-20180515-p4zfbg.html

    Gee, I wonder which potato headed politician is going to be in charge of this?

    Never fear Reserve Bank, Uncle No. 1 Malcolm and his friends who have created a million plus jobs in five years will leap into action and create thousands more jobs –

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/jobless-rate-needs-to-go-lower-for-wage-pressures-to-emerge-rba-20180515-p4zfbt.html

  18. Dale

    Yes they are going out of control and are clearly addicted to uncontrollable aggression. No matter how much I turned down the volume, Turnbulls voice still hurt my ears. I read somewhere that Schools no longer take students to Question Time for fear of the bad example that the Prime Minister and others set. As for Morrison, crapping on about a strong economy, without immigration and crazy population growth our economy would run at about 0.8 %, as it is we are equal 125th in GDP growth with Somalia…

  19. guest

    wam @12:27 am! tells us (as if we need to be reminded) that almost half the voting population supports the Coalition. One can only wonder why. Perhaps it is about the money and they think the Coalition are the best economic managers – but track record tells us they are not.

    As well, money is something people are very tetchy about and the Coalition is certainly tetchy.

    And I can’t help thinking about the tetchy bullying from the Coalition with regard to the Uluru submission which was cruelly dismissed in the blink of an eye. For me that was egregious bullying and an insult to anyone of fair mind.

    These Coalition people, as a group if not individually, are bossy, top down bullies, driven by the notion of born to rule.

  20. astra5

    Folks

    Thank you for your further comments and links.

    It feels as if we are moving ever closer to Fascism under the guise of protecting us from terrorist threats. It’s a well tried technique, which bully boys thoroughly enjoy using.

  21. jimhaz

    I’d rather call them criminals than just bullies. Not all bullies lie about everything.

  22. Andrew Smith

    This fits Australia’s penal and authoritarian attitudes, of the past and need for destroying good ideas, language and communication.

    This public narrative tactic of bullying, hectoring, lecturing etc. from imaginary pulpits in an evangelical style is very much due to US GOP and white nativist influence, tactics and/or ideology; much loved by NewsCorp. The nativism includes autocracy, preservation of WASP elites, then transmitted through compliant media targeting or gas lighting minorities, misogyny, human rights, etc. while allowing top end of town to attack government, taxes, education etc. (and their own party’s policy making being hollowed out)

    Yes, according to many Americans there is no coincidence that these tactics and ideology resonate with 1930s Germany because, unknown in Oz, there were always strong ties and influence with Nazi Germany. Meanwhile white nativism is simply a polite term for eugenics and racial hygiene to preserve the status quo and/or class system for ageing white males.

    Rather than follow media for repetitive coverage of the US election other year, one watched South Park and Family Guy. While Family Guy had Mr/Ms. Garrison acting as presidential candidate being abusive towards supporters and hence successful (conservative Christians like to be told what to do), Family Guy merely edited in brief scenes of victims being bullied for no particular reason without any reference to Trump.

    Former NYT journalist and theologian Chris Hedges describes it as unethical conservative Christianity, with followers demanding ethics and behaviour of others but not to their own leaders e.g. Trump, let alone themselves.

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/69095.American_Fascists

  23. Paul

    LawNOrder would be Il Duce Dutton’s preferred rallying cry but Indonesian terrorists are bombing churches not Australian tourists and african bovva boys aren’t running riot in our streets rioting and pillaging. What he needs is some trigger to launch his blackshirts on his own Operation Hummingbird… is there is an obvious candidate for the Ernst Rohm role…….?

  24. raped

    I am so sick of the lies and BS this government and the opposition continually spit out as far as I am concerned they have done most things to line their own pockets like a plague of parasites, at the cost of most australians that will be burdened by rampant government spending with borrowed money, obvious results, constantly leading most with a carrot on the end of a very long stick …. none are worthy of the positions they are very highly paid to do by all austalians because all pay taxes and levy’s at every level except the a 100 or more corporations that earn billions a that actually pay no tax, big oil and gas communications mining big pharma and many other basic essentials that used to be public assets at one degree or an other…

  25. Kyran

    It’s hard to know where to start with this rabble, isn’t it? You could try critiquing their policies, but then you are left with the reality that they don’t have any. You could try critiquing their style of leadership, but then you are left with the reality that they don’t have any.
    As you point out, we are left with the reality that all they have is Bully Boy tactics and personas, devoid of even a semblance of normality, let alone intelligence.
    Remember the days in the old schoolyard? There was often the Bully, the one usually devoid of intellect and reliant on intimidation, threats and the occasional use of force. What always annoyed me most were the sycophants, the enablers, the hangers on. The cartoons of the day characterized the bully as the ‘Big Dog’, constantly followed by a pack of little yappers, those keen to please the bully, if only for a passing glint of recognition. As soon as one bully is deposed, the yappers swing behind the new bully with renewed gusto, oblivious to their treachery, hypocrisy, duplicity and disloyalty.
    If our pollies can be characterized as bullies, a sentiment I unreservedly share with you, who are the yappers that enable them? Many articles (on this site and others) suggest it is the voter. The oft maligned, ignorant, lazy voter.
    If that’s the case, why do polls consistently show that the voter’s needs and wants are not only ignored, but are actively denied? The vast majority of Australians are in accord with the vast majority of scientists in recognizing climate change and wanting something done about it. Recent polling suggests over 80% of us want the ABC returned to its former glory. Polls, for decades now, have shown majority support for universal health care and education. Our First People are respected by the majority of Australians yet are treated with contempt by our pollies.
    Marches in Melbourne one week ago had 100,000 in the streets in support of a fairer work place.
    They’re just a few instances of the willful ignorance of our ‘leaders’ to the will of the people they are meant to be representing. The very same people who are so often misrepresented as ignorant and lazy. So who are these little yappers?
    For my two bob’s worth, MSM need one hell of a kicking for their encouragement of the Bully Boys.
    The Grate American Orange-y-thang (no relation to the vastly superior Orangutan) is a case in point. The American voter is concurrently represented as stupid for voting him in and ignorant for having been deceived by Russian hackers. Every so often, you get a media analyst stating that the Orange-y-thang’s genius was that he constantly issued idiotic, inane, contradictory (and often inflammatory) tweets, to which the media devoted constant headlines.
    He achieved media saturation in the ‘news’ section instead of the ‘advertisement’ section, meaning the Bully Boy was constantly being promoted. It was the media who ignored the groundswell of American opinion, giving voice instead to the moronic. As Ms Fran Lebowitz said;
    “…. Lebowitz thinks the biggest danger of Trump is that he is a moron. “Everyone says he is crazy – which maybe he is – but the scarier thing about him is that he is stupid. You do not know anyone as stupid as Donald Trump. You just don’t.””
    So why would the MSM promote a stupid Bully Boy? He had a narrative that played to their (and their benefactors) interests, an appeal to the minority who are afraid, who are vulnerable to being weakened by division.
    “Lebowitz believes naked racism is behind Trump’s election. “He allowed people to express their racism and bigotry in a way that they haven’t been able to in quite a while and they really love him for that. It’s a shocking thing to realise people love their hatred more than they care about their own actual lives. The hatred – what is that about? It’s a fear of your own weakness.””

    https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2018/mar/20/fran-lebowitz-you-do-not-know-anyone-as-stupid-as-donald-trump

    Just like our home grown Bully Boys, give a few vocal nut jobs a microphone, amplify their hysteria, and pretend that means their hysteria has multiplied. Had the media any interest in doing their job, they would have spent more time reporting on what are real issues rather than pandering to the Bully Boys.
    100,000 people took to the streets in Melbourne, with tens of thousands in other cities. The MSM gave priority to the BCA hobbling together a casual $26mill fighting fund from its few hundred members to remind the great unwashed about how business is really, really good for you and you should be more grateful. The BCA did not have 100,000 people take to the streets in support of their inane proposition.
    Whilst the behavior of our pollies is deplorable, it is the rampant encouragement of the MSM that should be criticized more often.
    In Jamila Rizvi’s book, ‘Not Just Lucky’, she recounts a period when she was working in the office of Ms Kate Ellis and was often in parliament viewing the shenanigans. One of the anecdotes related to the calls from the opposition whenever Ms Ellis approached the dispatch box.
    “Here comes the weathergirl”.
    One of Ms Ellis’s portfolios was ‘Minister for the Status of Women’.
    It was bullying at its best. Demean the person and belittle the whole cohort. There is no mention in the book as to whether anyone was ejected or cautioned. There was certainly no mention in the MSM about such behaviour. It should be mortifying for the MSM that the ‘misogyny speech’ was a global phenomenon for days before the elite squad at the Press Gallery sought fit to report it.
    Even when bullies are caught out and called out, our MSM seeks to trivialise the criticism and belittle the critic. All the while exonerating their own complicity.
    “When have you seen a political leader bring a bully to heel? When have you seen a penalty applied? When have you seen a public reprimand? A mild ‘slap on the wrist with a wet lettuce’ is most we could hope for.”
    It’s funny you should mention that. Our cousins across the ditch seem to be a bit more diligent in calling out bullying, even when it masquerades as sexism. Some ‘hero’, some absolute ‘legend’, called the NZ PM a ‘stupid little girl’. Whilst he may be proud of his great intellect, his searing wit and overall bonhomie, he is (ironically) ‘keeping mum’, whilst he scurries away, like the stupid little rat he undoubtedly is.
    At least their speaker and the press are talking about the pursuit of the cowardly bully.
    “The speaker of the house, Trevor Mallard, halted proceedings immediately after the comment was made, and demanded the man apologise for the “very sexist remark” directed towards the prime minister, who is 37 years old and expecting her first child next month.
    The MP who spoke the words has yet to own up to the incident. In doing so, he would have to issue an official apology to Ardern and withdraw the remark.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/15/mp-who-called-jacinda-ardern-a-stupid-little-girl-refuses-to-own-up

    You also have to admire the media for reminding us of Ms Ardern’s age and status as a mum in waiting, as if it has something to do with the story. Never let a chance go by, hey? We never got the same incessant reminders about Joyce’s pending paternity every time his name was mentioned.
    “How come the penalties for bullying don’t apply to the very people in whom hundreds of thousands of electors put their trust? Is it perhaps because the leaders are so often the most brazen bully boys?”
    We are about to embark on another round of bullying pending the release of the ‘Ruddock-the-ridiculous’ inquiry into religious freedom. A vocal, rabid minority are going to try and convince us that their right to tell us how to live supersedes our right to live without their holy intervention. That they should have a right to ignore the laws of the land whilst everyone else should expect no such consideration. Whether it be your right to your own sexuality or your control over your own body, they should have a right to lecture you, in defiance of the laws of the land, and you should have no right to compel them to merely follow the law.
    And, all the while, it will be the MSM pouring petrol onto their bonfire of their vanities.
    As always, thank you Ad astra and commenters. Take care

  26. astra5

    Folks

    Thank you for your additional comments and the interesting link Andrew.

    ‘Criminals’ is an apt tag. When will the blackshirts appear?

  27. astra5

    Folks
    The unseemly enthusiasm with which Tony Abbott and the Coalition instituted the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption has backfired.

    Today, blackmail charges against two Construction Forestry and Mining Union officials have been dropped.

    CFMEU state leaders John Setka and Shaun Reardon have been fighting allegations they blackmailed Boral managers Paul Dalton and Peter Head at a cafe meeting in April 2013. It was alleged the pair had threatened to blockade Boral plants and trucks if the company refused to meet union demands.

    Prosecutors finally dropped the charges today midway through a pre-trial committal hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

    You can read the details here: https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2018/05/16/blackmail-charges-cfmeu-dropped/

    If only the Coalition had shown as much enthusiasm in instituting The Royal Commission into Banking!

  28. astra5

    Kyran

    Thank you for your comprehensive comment on this piece and the links. You thoughtful contribution has extended the thrust of ‘Bully Boys’. The content of the piece about Fran Lebowitz was frightening. Someone once said that people vote for Trump because they see him as a reflection of themselves – a terrifying thought for democracy!

    You are so right about the ‘little yappers’, always ready to attack after the ‘Big Dog’ had softened up his opponent, and the role of the MSM in encouraging the Bully Boys. Murdoch relishes every opportunity to sool his dogs onto his adversaries. Bully Boys have plenty of hangers-on.

    As always, your comments are interesting and informative. Thank you for taking the time to post them.

  29. Lawrence Winder @shanewombat)

    The ruling rabble, being policy bereft in a coherent fashion are like dullard junior secondary students whose only ploy is to resort to making mischief in order to be noticed. And what “policy” of destruction they have appropriated from the IPA’s medieval agenda only suits their utter lack of imagination and humanity.

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