Tuesday 25 April 2017
1 The headline in the Monday Australian read ”Support for PM on the rise“. ”The Coalition has gained an increase in support over tougher citizenship rules while PM’s voter satisfaction improves.”
Here we see an exercise in Murdoch propaganda. ”On the rise” – what on earth does that mean? The poll results were nothing more than normal fluctuations at this time in the cycle. The three words are intended to suggest that things are on the improve for the conservatives.
On the contrary, the poll results are still a disaster for the Coalition.
The latest result from Newspoll records Labor with a two-party lead of 52-48, down from 53-47 in the last poll (which was three weeks ago rather than the usual two, owing to Easter). Labor and the Greens are both down a point on the primary vote, to 35% and 9%, with the Coalition and One Nation steady on 36% and 10%. Malcolm Turnbull is up two on approval to 32% and down two on disapproval to 57%, while Bill Shorten is up one to 33% and down one to 53%. Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister shifts from 41-32 to 42-33.
After spending the entire week trying to influence the poll with nothing more than populist racist policies on migration and citizenship reform it has made no net gain that can be demonstrated to be as a result of their racist policies.
The movement is within the poll’s margin of error. The latest Guardian Essential poll had Labor leading the Coalition 54% to 46% a week ago.
Mind you, the Coalition’s attempt to influence the poll may have been disrupted by continued displays of disunity. In particular Tony Abbott.
What can be taken from the poll is the unpopularity of both leaders? As in France, if a credentialed Independent came along willing to start a new party then all manner of things might happen.
2 Further thoughts on the Dutton disaster. Now for the third time his “alternative facts” have come into question.
Ronny Knight the local MP has called Dutton’s view of the violence and the linking of the incident of the boy as just ridiculous. There is CCTV footage of the boy and Dutton has been called on by Mr Knight to release it.
“His comment that he knows more than we do is ridiculous.”
“I’m on the ground, I’m the MP from here. If he knows more than I do then he must have a really good intelligence organisation and it must be Australian, not PNG.”
Incidentally, Dutton has always claimed that PNG is in charge of all facets of the administration of the camps. If that is so why is it that Australia has control of the CCTV footage?
Here is a transcript of the Cassidy interview. Dutton can be seen as lying through his teeth. If he has an alternate truth why won’t he release his facts?
CASSIDY: I want to ask you about the recent disturbance at Manus Island. You recently linked that to a situation where you said that a 5-year-old boy was led away by three asylum seekers and that caused the mood to elevate quite quickly. Now, that’s not true, is it?
DUTTON: Of course, it is true.
CASSIDY: It’s not true.
DUTTON: It is true. And the briefing that I’ve had is particularly succinct and clear.
CASSIDY: Who gave you this information?
DUTTON: Well Barrie, I have senior people on the island. We also have obviously, significant contacts with the governor and people of Manus.
CASSIDY: You didn’t speak with the police commander, clearly?
DUTTON: I can give you the facts in relation to it or you can take the Twitter version.
CASSIDY: Well let me give you what I understand the facts to be. The boy wasn’t five, he was ten. It didn’t happen on the day of the disturbance, it happened a week before the disturbance and there’s CCTV footage outside of tent number one that shows the boy went inside and the people are packing fruit into plastic bags. They gave him the fruit and he left.
DUTTON: So let me give you the facts. The fact is that as people would understand, Manus Island is home not only to the regional processing centre but also to the naval base there as well. The point that I was making and certainly the clear advice that I received was that there had been a ramping up in terms of the mood on the ground over a period of time which included a sexual assault, to which you’ve made no reference, separate to any incident that we’re talking about here.
CASSIDY: The sexual assault, that you’re talking about two people have been charged with sexual assault but deny the charges.
DUTTON: So as you imagine …
CASSIDY: You’re an ex-Queensland policeman. You know that you’re presumed innocent don’t you?
DUTTON: Of course, but you’re going to the mood on the ground which is not something that you need to prove beyond reasonable doubt in court. You’re talking about what the elevation of the mood was on the ground and it was elevated by these allegations around this sexual assault. Now let that go through the courts.
CASSIDY: Elevated by the incident involving the 5-year-old boy?
DUTTON: Well just let me finish. So you’ve got the sexual assault, which as you say, can be heard in court. Everybody deserves innocence and I don’t make any judgement about that. But I’m saying that that it did elevate the mood on the ground. And second to that, there is this incident which is being investigated by the police. Now, that will run its course.
CASSIDY: The police are investigating this incident around the 5-year-old boy?
DUTTON: Yes, they are.
CASSIDY: Do they understand that he’s 10 and not 5?
DUTTON: I’ll leave the detail to them.
CASSIDY: The detail is important in these matters?
DUTTON: It is. But if your claim is that the mood on the ground hadn’t been elevated …
CASSIDY: It’s not my claim. The police commander says that there’s CCTV footage showing that the boy was waiting outside the gate, he was looking for food. Food was placed into a plastic bag and given to him. He was ten years old and it happened a week before the disturbance and he left. That’s the extent of it. Now how is that relevant to anything?
DUTTON: Well Barrie, I’m not sure whether you can be the judge, jury and executioner in this matter.
CASSIDY: The police commander said this.
DUTTON: Let’s allow the police investigation to be conducted.
CASSIDY: Well why didn’t you do that? Why didn’t you let that happen?
DUTTON: I received different advice from that.
CASSIDY: Why didn’t you let the investigation happen before you pre-empted it?
DUTTON: I was asked why the mood had elevated on the ground on Manus Island. These two incidents fed directly into that. That is indisputable. So if you’re asking me about why there was an elevation of the angst between those that are living, including on the naval base on Manus, this was part of it. And that was the clear advice to me.
CASSIDY: Do you accept that you got some of the information badly wrong?
DUTTON: No, I do not. And again –
CASSIDY: The age of the boy? The intentions, whether he was led into the facility? He went in and took a plastic bag of fruit and left?
DUTTON: Again Barrie, I think that there are facts that I have that you don’t so why don’t we let the police investigation run its course and allow them some independent analysis of it because if you’re asking me why the mood elevated, these two incidents fed into it and I have that on very good authority on the island. The parents of the boy involved in the incident might have a different view to the one that you have read off tweets and that’s fine.
CASSIDY: The police commander said that this happened because there was a soccer game going on beyond a six o’clock curfew and that’s what caused the disturbance and he said that some of the PNG soldiers were drunk. And yet, you put all of the blame on the asylum seekers.
DUTTON: I didn’t put any blame anywhere. I was asked a question as to why the mood was elevated, I’ve answered that question honestly and on advice. In relation to the soccer game and the incident otherwise, yes absolutely, that’s part of the facts of the whole lead-up to this unfortunate incident. Now, it’s being properly investigated by the chief of defence in PNG, by the police commissioner, as it should. I also make the point — in that interview, which you don’t note, I make the point that shots being fired or behaviour as it is reported is completely unacceptable and it should be investigated. I made that point, which you neglect to make reference to. And it is important that this investigation take place, that it is properly looked at and if people are charged or whatever comes out of it, as you say, let them have their fair day in court.
CASSIDY: What would clear it up and it would help to clear up any reflection on you over your version of events is the CCTV footage. Would you allow that to be released so that everybody can be clear on what happened?
DUTTON: Barrie, the police investigation will take place –
CASSIDY: And after that, do you think that it would be appropriate to release the footage?
DUTTON: – if people are charged in relation to it to allow the course to be run.
CASSIDY: But if there’s no charges and nothing happened here? Are you happy to have that footage released?
DUTTON: Well we will continue to release footage as is the normal practice now. I’m not making an exception one way or the other in relation to this case. If it is appropriate for it, and that’s been the practice in the past, then that will happen. But that is an issue for the PNG Government. They run Manus Island, as you know. We inherited the mess of Manus Island from the Labor Party. We’ve stopped the boats and we want to get people off Manus island as quickly as possible. We’ve done that in terms of the negotiation with the US. Kevin Rudd’s deal with the PNG Government had no outcome at all for people on Manus island. We are not adding to people on Manus island. We’re not repopulating through new boat arrivals because we have stopped boats. But our job now is to get people off. We’re doing that as quickly as possible. But we face all of the barriers in terms of returns that we spoke about before.
. . .
As I said yesterday, at another time in our political history, Mr Dutton would no longer be a Minister. However, the Conservative leader is so weak he cannot say anything LET ALONE SACK HIM.
3 To all who believed Donald when he said Mexico would pay for the wall. He is now ready to shut down US government if Congress doesn’t fund it.
Today the characteristic that most defines modern Australia is “diversity”.
In all its forms, together with multiculturalism it defines us as a nation.
People of my generation and later should divest themselves of their old and inferred racist superiority. ‘’
My thought for the day.
Truth a causality
Faith is lost
But Hope survives
And Only the dead see the end of it
Lest we forget.