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Day to Day Politics: Bill had me fooled. I actually believed him.

Thursday 7 December 2017

For some time now it has become very apparent that people are totally pissed off with the attitude of politicians engaged in the body politic. We are despondent with the way we are being treated. The sheer absurdity of their lying and worse their arrogance in thinking that we actually believe them. All over the world people are saying enough is enough.

I have been writing on the subject for years now with a particular slant towards lying. So it comes as a bit of a shock, when the leader of the party you happen to support, indulges in this needless ongoing stupidity of trying to convince us that Labor is as clean as snow when it comes to dual citizenship. Words like watertight and rigorous were thrown around to represent a truth that wasn’t.

Have we reached the point in politics where TRUTH is something that politicians have persuaded us to believe, like “alternative facts” rather than TRUTH based on factual evidence and sound arguments?

For months Shorten and his ministers have conned us into believing that the Labor vetting system for pre-selections was beyond reproach. But Bill had me fooled. Such was not the case. Now, when he says a national ICAC has merit, I have doubts about his honesty. I hate being bullshitted to.

On this occasion Bill had me fooled. I actually believed him. Unless he in turn was given the wrong information.

So, now we have as many as five Labor MPs who may have dual citizenship and face by-elections. That is not to say that there are also many on the Coalition side. Nola Marino, Jason Falinski, Julia Banks, Josh Frydenberg, Alex Hawke, Arthur Sinodinos, Ross Vasta and Michael McCormack are all doubtful. As many as 13 MPs from both sides may face the high court.

But my concern is the why of it. Why has Bill Shorten been carrying on with this ruse for five months? What was to be gained? Why is it our politicians cannot raise themselves above the petty nonsense they squabble about and govern for the common good.

It is the very reason voters are deserting mainstream parties. They are all playing this stupid political game believing that they are actually fooling us. For God sake grow up. You are not fooling us at all. Why do you think you are? All Bill Shorten is doing is enhancing the appetite of those who think he is shifty.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said Labor leader Bill Shorten had been exposed as a “dishonest, sanctimonious hypocrite”

But in not supplying all the information required, like legal advice, the Coalition is being equally dishonest. Trying to set up a situation where the Coalition can name its opposition but the opposition is refused the same entitlement is just as sanctimoniously dishonest.

To see two graduates of Oxford yesterday acting like adolescents going through puberty was a shameful sight to behold. No matter what side of politics you support we should all be appalled at the behaviour of our politicians.

Bill Shorten yesterday said the public thought the parliament was some sort of sick joke. Those were the only words of truth spoken all day.

My thought for the day.

“Do you shape the truth for the sake of good impression? On the other hand, do you tell the truth even if it may tear down the view people may have of you? Alternatively, do you simply use the contrivance of omission and create another lie .I can only conclude that there is always pain in truth but there is no harm in it”


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  1. Jamesss

    John, Responsibility is the word that works for me. Responsibility to the nation, the party and to themselves. There is no defencive argument for blatant laziness. Centralised government is beyond its use by date.

  2. Jaquix

    Mr Lord I think you’re being too harsh. I believe Shorten did honestly believe their vetting system was robust. Feeney is the only one who seems to have slipped the the net, years ago, by not being followed up for the cónfirmation. The other ones they relied on previous HC ruling of ” reasonable steps”. Please note well:. Turnbull clearly pulled strings so John Alexander got his within a week! Lesser mortals like Labor backbenchers waited up to 9 weeks. They all got their renunciation statement and fees in before nomination. It was the UK which dragged it’s heels, up to 9 weeks! Note also that 4 Libs did not provide the required documentary evidence but Turnbull refused to send them to HC. Ponder that too. An interesting day and IMO Turnbull did not have the win the media painted it as. Labor now has these 4 to whack him over the head with. And now we have 16th December to look forward to. Turnbull clearly rattled, mentioned Kristina/Bennelong about 30 times yesterday.

  3. Terry2


    It could very well be that those Labor people will be found to have taken all reasonable steps to renounce their citizenship of the UK and personally I would like to hear the High Court expound on this point so that we know once and for all the time-lines that are implied by the Constitution : is it when you take the positive action to renounce or is it when the other country acknowledges that renunciation.

    I’m a dual UK citizen and if I were to participate in the political fray I would logically think that I would only renunciate my UK citizenship once I had been pre-selected.

    What disturbs me most – if I understand what seems to have happened yesterday – was that Turnbull gave all coalition politicians a leave pass and will not refer any of them to the HC and will not allow any of them to refer themselves for clarification : am I right , is that what happened ?

    I still think Labor had a rigorous system compared with the Greens and Nationals who had no system.

  4. Freethinker

    No excuses to me, it is appalling behavior and as usual within the ALP someone or few of them mange to sabotage the party when the Coalition is behind.
    I never like Shorten and he will drag the party down, but having said that the fault it is also on those that stay in the party or do not want to upsetting anything.
    Give 6 months more and the Coalition will catch up after “buying” few votes form the brainless section of the electorate.

  5. Terry2

    Following on to my post above, I note that one of the coalition possible dual citizens, Jason Falinski, submitted a letter from his lawyers firm, Arnold Bloch Leibler who said that he was not a dual citizen but qualified their advice with the following :

    “as previously discussed, we cannot conclusively advise on foreign law and recommend that you seek independent advice from foreign law experts.”

    With respect, that is not evidence that Mr Falinski does not hold dual citizenship and I have to agree with Shorten that this man should be referred to the HC together with the Labor politicians.

  6. babyjewels10

    Believe none of them. Check for hypocrisy. Always. Overdosed.

  7. Ella miller

    Jaquix, very well said , thank you.
    Mr.Lord, have you ignored the fact that both the LNP and MSM have been looking desperately for something , however dubious , to trash Bs’s reputation. Now they are beating it up. I can’t help but feel that the lack of clarity in the Law and perhaps advice he has been given has trapped him.Having watched Parliament yesterday and the desperation of the LNP to run their protection racket for their members tells me that they need this to make themselves more credible . What a joke.What do you think about the speaker voting with government despite (I hope I am right) him having said he would only support government in a threat to supply? I found it interesting the pressure being put on the cross bench to go with the government in the vote. The cross bench agreed there were issues for the Liberals in relation to this citizenship issue. If the Government cared more about the country than their survival they would have adopted their proposal. Parliament only sits for another few day all this BS could have bee dealt with over the break.I agree with Jaquix that something smells in relation to the time taken to resolve issues for some applicants but not others… Intervention by the LNP???

  8. corvus boreus

    On the federal ‘ICAC’;
    In September, the specially selected committee of politicians appointed to examine possible solutions to their own misconduct released its findings, which were basically to recommend a few tweaks and a bit of ‘serious consideration’.
    The minors present (GRN, NXT, Hinch) sided with the majority of the population and recommended the establishment of a federal anti-corruption commission, but the more established players (LIB, LAB, NAT) saw no need to inconveniently alter the status-quo.
    I wonder why more and more people are disgustedly shunning tradition political parties, and either seeking solutions in radical extremism, or embracing an attitude of apathy and indifference.

  9. Robert REYNOLDS

    John, in response you your comment that,

    “For months Shorten and his ministers have conned us into believing that the Labor vetting system for pre-selections was beyond reproach. But Bill had me fooled.”

    can I just say that as an old ALP member, this party has had many people fooled for a very long time. I joined the party in about 1966 because I supported its anti-Vietnam War stance. I resigned in about 1983 when I could no longer stomach its pro-free market policies.

    To put things into perspective John, the decision by Bob Hawke and Paul Keating to take Australia down the road to neo-liberalism was a monumental confidence trick that that makes Shorten’s lies about Labor’s vetting system for pre-selections, pale into insignificance. The acronym ‘ALP’ has for around 40 years or so, meant nothing more than “Alternative Liberal Party”. The formation of this ALP ‘opposition party’ signed, sealed and delivered, the illusion of democracy in Australia. No matter which of the two major parties obtains the majority of votes in an election, the capitalist class are the only real winners.

  10. Alpo

    So John, the Liberals are professionally dishonest and rort the system to their manipulative advantage…. and they are bad. They also believe that they can bend the rules at will and the Judiciary will support them (until it doesn’t, some times).
    Labor work hard to scrutinise their MPs and Senators thus producing far better results…. but one little mistake and they suddenly become as bad as the Libs?
    I can understand why Greens propagandists use such strategy in their comments, after all, the idiocy that Libs = Labs may work to their advantage in some electorates…. But those who expect to be taken seriously, as serious commentators, have the duty to provide a balanced analysis.

    On the issue of Bill Shorten, I would say to you to show more respect for somebody who has survived relentless attack from both the Right and some corners of the Left (the Right believing that he is a dangerous Marxist, the Left believing that he is a dangerous Neoliberal…. go and reconcile all that if you can). Also somebody who has survived the focused attack of the Mainstream Media on his persona, as they see it as their only hope to try to damage the ALP…. and finally, somebody who has survived an entire RC (the TURC), designed to destroy him in order to destabilise the ALP and thus keep it in opposition for the foreseeable future.

    Know thy true enemies!

  11. wam

    As usual, Lord, there is a smile in your thought. They real conclusion should be “make sure you know the truth before you share it’ If not there could be enormous harm
    However you are getting close to understanding the meaning of the five letter word as ‘believe’ and have used the 7 letter word that has political application.
    As for parliament here is a short list of comments on a pollie:

    Your right the greens have stepped to a disturbing lower moral base lately. Which would be a concern if they had more of a following. . Their objection regards to stopping coal and gas mining in Australia is their only redeeming feature. Their lies are permanently on their name plate. Good on you Pauline but as usual no one listens or cares what the people want. Except only for the criminal migrants.

    Hanson might not be the best speaker but it is so simple what she says I can’t understand why those morons can’t understand what she says in parliament she says exactly what the people feel . that’s why she got a large vote in Queensland

    I dont understand why the greens labor and all our government doesnt sit up and take notice of what you say your the only one that has us Australians back and you are the only one that listens to us and fights for what we want I enjoy what you have to say your the only one tnat makes sence thanks for caring ♥♡
    What CONFIDENCE: these arrogant labor PRICKS kept silent and let Shorten make a perfect FOOL of himself and labour. The judges chose to ignore the allegiance problem of joyce taking no notice of the ridiculous notion the citizenship rules of a foreign government activates section 44

  12. Jai Ritter

    Rusted on Labor supporters are just as blind as those in the LNP. I get attacked endlessly by alp supporters when I call them out on their hypocrisy.

  13. Kaye Lee

    I don’t believe there was dishonesty. The details about Justine Keay were reported in July – the form was delivered to the UK Home Office on May 23 and they formally receipted it on May 31 nine days before nominations for the election closed on June 9.

    Likewise Susan Lamb.

    “On 23 May 2016 I took all necessary steps to renounce by completing and sending the UK Home Office Form RN, “Declaration of Renunciation of British Citizenship”, and paying the requisite fee. Australia Post confirmed the Renunciation form was received by the UK Home Office in Liverpool on 25 May 2016. I was subsequently cleared to stand by the Labor Party, and nominated on 7 June 2016.”

    For Turnbull to pretend surprise at this is what is dishonest. The information was volunteered by the MPs months ago and reported in the media. As others have said, Labor could reasonably argue, on the basis of legal precedent, that reasonable steps had been taken. The Labor people took steps to renounce but the Libs didn’t even bother checking. Giving up your dual citizenship before you are even preselected is a big price to pay.

    Perhaps Bill should have been more explicit in what he said but the info was out there. He said they had taken reasonable steps and they had.

  14. Jagger

    Poor Mr Lord, someone lied to him, would that have been because Bill Shorten was convinced that Labor’s vetting was rigid but one Mr. Feeney was too lazy to check or keep his records, by the way Labor’s other referrals were told they were in the clear because they had “ taken reasonable steps to renounce”.
    It was Labor and the crossbenchers who wanted this fiasco cleaned up, but that other bloke who “fooled “ you, a Mr Turnbull soon put an end to that, now I wonder why ?

  15. Terry2

    Ella Miller

    The Speaker followed convention. When there is a tied vote the Speaker will vote for the status quo.

    That’s how it works but of course conventions are not binding.

  16. jagman48

    So Jai what exactly is your position on this post. Just anti ALP perhaps.

  17. holidaysonice

    “five Labor MPs who may have dual citizenship”
    May is the operative word here. Gallagher is the only one that I have heard any details about & on the face of them, she appears to be in the clear. The Consitution requires all reasonable steps to be taken. There mere fact that the British government did not respond to her renunciation until after the cut-off shouldn’t matter. This is not even on the same planet as say, Joyce obviously knowing he was a dual-citizen his entire political career & never doing a thing about it. Does anyone know anything about the circumstances of the other 4?

  18. Kaye Lee

    Re Katy Gallagher, her information was also made public months ago

    “Despite my clear understanding that I was not a British citizen I followed the advice of the ALP vetting team and submitted the paperwork to the UK Home Office together with required payment on April 20, 2016.

    “I was advised that submitting the declaration of renunciation with the Home Office meant that I had taken all reasonable steps to renounce any entitlement to British citizenship.”

    holidaysonice, see above for details on Justine and Susan

  19. Phil

    I think you have taken offence too easily and too quickly John Lord. After all, politics is not about truth telling – never has been and never will be – rather it is about the process of persuasion using every method short of physical violence to win the argument. When a politician claims an opponent is ‘playing politics’ that claim is itself politicking in practice ie a means to undermine an opposing argument. There are only two fundamental approaches to resolving the inherent conflicting interests of a group of individuals, a nation, or amongst nations – that is either by politics or physical conflict. Politics in practice is often ugly, conflict riddled and always compromising – its use of propaganda, deceit, subterfuge and all manner of personal nasties is to expected since politics is barely one step removed from outright war as the means of conflict resolution.

    What Shorten did and said in regards citizenship was pure and simple politics – believe it at your peril. Demanding truth from politics is akin to playing Canute with the waves – not going to happen and it suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of the art of politics. Politicians who lack the breadth of skills needed for successful political tenure are weeded out through electoral process in a democracy.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Josh Wilson….

    Mr Wilson is understood to have completed the paperwork to renounce his British citizenship on May 12 — almost a month before nominations for last year’s Federal election closed on June 9

    All of this has been public knowledge. There was no cover-up. Why the faux outrage from Turnbull? Doesn’t he read the papers? He called the election on May 8. It seems to me that Labor has done the right thing though I am not sure about Feeney.

  21. Robert REYNOLDS

    You are not for a minute suggesting that anyone should be PRO-ALP are you, jagman48?

  22. helvityni

    Their own sins and misdemeanour’s do not matter; lets jump on that naughty Dastyari, isn’t he a Muslim to boot… we sold Darwin harbour to the CHINESE, Andrew Robb got a good job from the Chinese…He’s angry now and so is Bob Carr…

    I live amongst Liberals, and my neighbours (males) tell me : that Kristina is quite a girl, no wonder Mal is worried…

    It’s getting very vindictive… What about a spot of governing the country… for a change,

  23. Phil

    Many Australian voters are often smug in their attempts to hide their ignorance of and indifference to politics in general. The politicians in this parliament are there because the political system that we readily accept has put them there. The people voted them in. If some, or many or even all of them make an art form out of the lowest forms of politics, then it is we the voters who are responsible.

    Only we, the voters can change the system and the politicians, but far too many Australians refuse to engage with the politics that determine thier lives now and in the future, choosing instead to treat politics like football or cricket where blind allegiance defines the spectators role.

  24. Ricardo29

    I am a rusted on Labor voter, I joined the party in ‘78 but declined to renew when the offshore detention centres issue came up. My problem is the failure of Labor to stand up for our freedoms in the face of all of the incursions by Brandis and Turnbull. The latest being yesterday’s security changes.while I agree with a clampdown on foreign donations and controls on lobbyists I worry about giving ASIO yet more powers. Based on Kaye Lee’s interpretations, comprehensive as always, I believe Shorten was justified in praising Labor’s vetting processes, though Feeney is a wild card. I think too many of Shorten’s, and Labor’s positions are dictated by political self interest and an eye to the benefits they will inherit in government, than the best interests of Australians.

  25. Matters Not

    KL @8.35

    I don’t believe there was dishonesty

    While Shorten may not have intended dishonesty the actual outcomes suggest otherwise. Witness those who have now been referred to the High Court with Shorten’s own blessing. (He really didn’t have a choice.) Seems to me that Shorten did not build sufficient escape clauses into his pronouncements. He spoke as thought there was no doubt. He should have been more measured. Less hairy chested. Matched the same arrogant claims that proved to be so foolish for Turnbull – the Court shall so decide.

    Would Shorten and Turnbull say the same if they had their time over? I think not. If only politicians and others would think ahead and not try to be so definite – so absolutist – about anything.

    Again the Judges on the High Court (and in other jurisdictions) tend to be precious. They value their position and vigorously defend their territory. They are fierce protectors of the Separation of Powers. Accordingly, look at what’s been happening in Australian politics over recent years. There’s been a rapid expansion in Executive power – aided and abetted by a willing Legislative arm. This expansion been at the expense of the Judiciary. Seems to me that payback was only a matter of time. Of course so much now depends on the meaning(s) the High Court gives to all reasonable steps. Neither the Executive nor the Parliament can expect anything but a strict interpretation.

  26. Robert REYNOLDS

    Phil, I think that you make some very valid points, especially in your 9.48 am post. Politics is certainly not followed with anything like the same degree of enthusiasm or interest by the community as say, sport, fashion, Hollywood gossip or various other forms of entertainment.

    I am a semi-retired teacher. Some of your other remarks remind me of a sticker that a teaching colleague of mine who taught politics, had stuck on the door of his classroom once. It read,

    “The trouble with political jokes is …..
    They get elected”

    However, what this prosaic little quip ignores, is the fact that we are the ones who elect these ‘political jokes’. What does that say about us and our political judgement?

    We live in a society where just about anything that is worthwhile is, or has been, ‘dumbed-down’. Even the ABC now, with programs such as “Q & A”, treats politics and topical issues as a form of entertainment.

    What I think will eventually focus the minds of the population is if, no, let’s make that when, this ‘house-of-cards’ free-market economic confidence trick racket finally collapses globally. The capitalist class is now in the process of squeezing every last dollar of profit from an economically and morally corrupt and degenerate system. This will not go on indefinitely. When it goes, the minds of the population will then be much more sharply focused on the real issues.

  27. James

    If these politicians are the best people for the job of governance….I would like a refund, their well aware of their responsibilities, politicians are self serving parasites, and although I believe Bill may be a better PM, I’ve not seen anything that makes me think theirs much difference between Bill and Mal

  28. jimhaz

    The clowns treat politics too much like the worst cheaters in sport. Like pretend injuries in soccer and like boxers before a boxing match, like Chinese swimmers drugged up for the competition. Abbott enhanced these ultra-competitive inanities in making the LNP even more of a cackle of hyenas.

    Although reasonable steps were taken and he is clear on that front, Shorten would appear to have been hiding “advice of renunciation came too late” issue. Still, I’d except the court to be reasonable about the reasonable steps.

  29. Shogan

    The fact Shorten was so adamant that Labor had no problems has turned into an own goal, whether the government can add to that score is entirely up to the MSM.

  30. Kaye Lee


    The judges in the last set of hearings said….

    “Where it can be demonstrated that the person has taken all steps that are reasonably required by the foreign law to renounce his or her citizenship and within his or her power, the constitutional imperative is engaged.”

    For all of the Labor people mentioned (not sure about Feeney), they can show that they did. For all of the Liberal people mentioned, none of them took any steps, just insisting that “I am Australian”. It’s a big difference.

  31. totaram

    If the High Court does not accept the “all reasonable steps” argument, a country for reasons of its own could prevent its former /dual citizens from taking part in politics here, by indefinitely delaying acceptance of their renunciation.

  32. Kaye Lee

    Good point totaram. John Alexander’s renunciation confirmation took less than a week. For all the Labor people it took months to get confirmation. Should they be penalised for that? Obviously the government must have interceded on Alexander and Joyce’s behalf to fast track their renunciations.

    In Katy Gallagher’s case, she submitted the forms in April. They didn’t get back to her until July requesting original copies of her birth certificate and her parents’ marriage certificate as part of her renunciation, a request that legal advice suggested was unnecessary.

    In other words, the fate of our politicians is in the hands of a clerk in the UK. Put the form on the bottom of the pile. Ask for unnecessary extra paperwork. Delay, delay, delay. Unless you are a conservative of course in which case it gets fast tracked.

  33. Wam

    Drivel kaye,
    These arrogant arseholes signed the nomination form KNOWING they WERE dual citizens.

    These people LIED and then sat silent taking the cash and letting billy, in his sad naivity, say he was confident that the labor party process would be effective and there would be no dual citizens.

    These people said nothing when the recalcitrant parochial judges made their frivolous ruling.

    These people deserve all they get from the court and will be lauded by the loonies.

    The laborparty is undeserving of a leader and members of this calibre. I feel ashamed of my continual ranting against idiots like, george, the rabbott, dutton, etc and raving about labor gillard, wong and the boys. The party is {|#~%}]_}{# and needs a clean out. All position should be spilled at the electorate level on july 1st next year

  34. Jack

    Imagine what went on inside the ALP when this citizenship mess first started.
    Suddenly the owner/manager of the ALP’s vetting process would have got a stream of calls around the ‘are we OK’ subject.
    I assume it was their response that prompted such confidence in BS’s media statements.
    Now in the past week, that owner/manager would have had a few very uncomfortable conversations

  35. Matters Not

    All reasonable steps is still to be defined in terms of that which approaches necessary and sufficient conditions. Does it imply a timeline re party endorsement, nomination, election or does it include ALL? Will clear intent be enough? One would think so – given certain countries don’t allow renunciation (I think). Other countries engage in retrospectivity. If it’s beyond a candidate’s power to markedly affect or effect the process then that will have to be taken into consideration.

    In the case of Alexander, I think I read somewhere that Downer intervened to hurry things up. In the case of Joyce there was government level intervention. That the government used its power to intervene will probably work in Labor’s favour, given that the High Court wouldn’t want to be seen to be partisan.

    Have to wait and see.

  36. Kaye Lee


    They signed the form knowing that they had completed their renunciation forms and that they had been received. TTey had been advised, and there was legal precedent, that that was sufficient to make them eligible.

  37. Joseph Carli

    I don’t think Labor can afford to carry those right-wing goofballs like Feeney for much longer…Australian politics is getting nailed to the wall with social media demanding clear left / right identification of the two major parties ..with the LNP going far right, there is an expectation that Labor will go as far left and pepper the policy ground with more socialist policy…Carrying people like Feeney who is more a dead-weight than useful will hurt the party..politics is no longer under the control of the party is the cry of the public in the case of Labor that is demanding policy and it is the howl of entitlement of the corporations in the case of the LNP who is calling their shots..Labor MUST radicalise further to the left and do it bloody soon!

  38. pierre wilkinson

    Disappointed in you today, John Lord. Please read Kaye Lee’s responses as she articulates what I was going to say much clearer than I could. Bill almost won the last election despite an hostile media and the COALition’s scare campaigns… regrettably the MSM still portrays malcolm as being vote worthy instead of cringeworthy.

  39. wam

    Thanks kaye, sorry for being so ebullient and I regret using the word truth and, perhaps, worse I do not know the labor procedures but the nomination form suggests it is the candidates responsibility to qualify. Sam disaster paid thousands and nigel scullion flew to pommieland to qualify.
    Did they tell the Lord’s truth to shorten??
    Does this not obviate any single renunciation of british??
    You have a right (once only) to be registered as a British citizen if you renounced British
    citizenship in order to keep or acquire another citizenship.
    You have a separate right (once only) to be registered as a British citizen by descent??
    The decision by the judges was dodgy.

    one of my uptight thoughts comes from our labor gov who seems to be bloody good but influenced by a couple of ‘sounds good run with it decisions’ that may not be well defined and rupert’s mob are like vultures.
    I had a water meter that worked perfectly for 50 years the clp decided two years ago that I needed a new one up went my bill yesterday a team came to my gate with a letter that told me ‘some time soon we will explain the super advantages of the new meter. Why? the old ones are obsolete and the computer randomly generated your property as wasteful. If the computer had spoken to me it would have realised my 50 year old pipe several leaks that caused the exotic erratic spikes in usage but i had replaced all the pipes, not a cheap exercise, and got the authority to check all outlets for leaks.
    So I am not taking the ‘new SMART meter that labor is going to install now for those randomly selected ie wam and sometime for the others.

  40. stephengb2014

    I admit to feeling the same way Mr Lord, but the comments above by Kaye has tempered my disappointment in Bill Shorten.

  41. guest

    It is interesting to read the range of attitudes here on this thread. It all starts with John Lord getting upset with Bill’s claim that the ALP had attended to the citizenship question. Kaye Lee has coolly responded in favour of Labor’s approach and the difficulties arising from the time of embassy responses (over weeks for the ALP, within days for the Coalition). .( Her comments @8.35 am and elsewhere following.)

    Feeney’s name crops up as if he is some kind of criminal because he cannot find his papers, but could his status be checked by the appropriate embassy/home office? Remember how long it took Abbott to come up with papers signed by a minor official?

    So we have John Reynolds @8.15 am attacking Labor and the Hawke/Keating adoption of “neo-liberal” economics. What does he suggest as an alternative? That Oz remain isolationist in the face of globalisation with its1950s tariffs and restricted trade? And is trade the only social policy Labor has? Yet wam @8.23 praises Pauline Hanson for her simple truths – but it is hard to tell whether wam is serious or just writing tongue in cheek.

    Phil @9.16 tells us we cannot expect the truth from any politician and jai @8.35 tells us ‘rusted on ALPs supporters’ are just as blind as Coalition supporters. James @10.47 tells us there is no difference between Bill and Malcolm. Joseph Carli @3.20 pm says the two major parties are too close together and should split further left or right to distinguish themselves, as if the two major parties can be entirely left or right. Imagine a Coalition as right as Genghis Khan and an LNP as left as Lenin – we would just love that. The last election clearly showed policies which distinguished the ALP from the Coaltion – so it is disappointing there are still people who cannot tell the difference.

    Matters Not @10.08 goes so far as to accuse the Judiciary of giving its decisions as “payback” against the growing power of the Executives! Sounds like conspiracies everywhere! wam @1.06 pm agrees, with his talk of all politicians deliberately deceiving and the ‘recalcitrant parochial judges’ making ‘frivolous’ rulings.

    Somehow our view of our own system of government has been clouded and confused. Is it that there is failure of the MSM, or too much of the static of social media, or too much misinformed pub and bbq talk, or a terrible ignorance of what is happening because politicians cannot win our hearts? Are polticians getting the bullets because we are not getting exactly what we want as individuals – an impossible task for any government?

    Or is it just all too hard for any of us to comprehend because it is all such a big insoluble mess coming at us from within Oz and from outside as well? Should we just throw our hands in the air out of despair?

  42. Joseph Carli

    Personally, guest..I’m more inclined toward Mao..

  43. guest

    Joseph, you seem to have some kind of dewy-eyed view of Mao which was held in early days, but Mao has turned out to have been a disaster . Hopefully the Left has learned from the disasters of past failed left-wing demagogues.

    Today, people are looking more hopefully towards Sanders and Corbyn. And as the failures of neo-liberal capitalism emerge, more socialist policies will become more acceptable. Citizens in the USA are realising this with regard to such policies as Obamacare. We are seeing it in the acceptance of renewable energy, along with the reality of Climate Change. And with regard to companies all required to pay tax.

    And so it goes.

  44. Matters Not

    guest at 6:16 pm – you demonstrate the real problem of writing any history (even a micro history of the above). The selections you use – the meanings you give to words (which can be particular and peculiar) and so on – including the emotive and pejorative language employed – highlight the historical problem.

    Seems to me that your contribution is at its best when you resort to questions – as you do in your final paragraphs. Constructing a history or indeed a reality acceptability to all is problematic.

  45. Joseph Carli

    guest..if I am dewey-eyed, you must be say that those past leaders were failures is to deny the current result evolved from those early years..Both China and the Russian States are two of the big three world powers on the world stage..the third is in the throes of self-destruction and while we may be told any sort of tales about the failing states of Russia, it still is a solid entity.

    Again..if I am dewey-eyed, then you are deluded if you think the right-wing power mongers are just going to fold up their tents and go away if or when the Left-wing wins the next election..they cannot afford to lose the next election..and if you haven’t seen dirty politics before, you will see in next election.

    I hope to have a new article up here soon, titled :”Knight to King4…” have a read..

  46. Kaye Lee

    “Should we just throw our hands in the air out of despair?”

    Sometimes I feel that way.

    And then I remind myself of how lucky we actually are to live in this wonderful country.

    So no, we must never despair. Great things are happening. It’s just the news focuses more on the bad things.

    We absolutely have problems we must address but we are in a position to do so provided we can convince enough people.

    We must educate each other. If our politicians are too scared to tell the truth, it’s only because we have made them that way – largely by listening to people like Ray Hadley and Miranda Devine.

    We should get to know our local candidates. If the major parties are just rewarding a party apparatchik that regurgitates the talking points then look elsewhere. Make the parties pick decent people who have the strength to tell the truth and then reward them. Let the parties know we are sicking of hearing everyone repeat the same phrases. Blow the talking points up and make them get across the topic so they can answer honestly.

    But I don’t see that happening any time soon. The nepotism is strong with this one to paraphrase Darth Vader and they seem more interested in having their photos taken than in reading up on issues.

    In the meantime, we must continue to speak out in discussions with family, friends, work colleagues, online. We must try to be civil to those with whom we disagree and respectful but that doesn’t mean roll over.

    The standards you walk past are the standards you accept.

  47. Freethinker

    Why people put hope or thing that Sanders and Corbyn are an example to follow?
    Both of them choose to be within the parties that have made any progress in their respective countries.
    Sander stepped to one side to allow Clinton to be the only option to Trump, he should have not compromised.
    Corbyn has a lot of party members that do not agree with him and are blocking his initiatives.
    Within the ALP we have the same problem, they think that be in it is the only hope to make changes.
    Or they re naive or just like to keep their seat warm.

  48. corvus boreus

    kaye Lee,
    Maybe if we can sway the other <5% of the population who, according to polls, oppose a federal ICAC, such a display of national unanimity might actually put enough pressure on our political masters that they may even consider spending a few million on a non-binding postal opinion survey on the subject, which to me is more crucial to competent governance than the current obsession over issues of ‘non-conventional’ marriage and associated religious bigotry.
    Then again, integrity and accountability within our national governance is seemingly an entirely trivial matter.

  49. Robert REYNOLDS

    Guest, I was not intending to comment further on this thread, as I basically regard this issue of eligibility on the grounds of citizenship, to sit in the Australian Parliament, as being little more than a distraction which will be resolved in due course even if it does result in a few more political casualties.

    However, I feel that your rather condescending post at 6.16 pm this evening should not go without a response. Inter alia, you single me out for.

    “ ….. attacking Labor and the Hawke/Keating adoption of “neo-liberal” economics.”

    You then ask, rhetorically I presume, what I suggest as an alternative. I do not know how old you are Guest but I can tell you that I grew up in the 1950’s and 60’s under a regime of tariffs and protection. At that time we also had publically owned essential services, viz. gas, water, electricity telecommunications and publically owned banks which were far more trustworthy institutions than the current privately owned extortion rackets are. There were excellent apprenticeship training schemes with organizations such as the Postmaster-Generals Department (PMG) or the State Electricity Commission (SEC).

    Oh, and by the way too Guest, an unemployment rate of over about 1% was pretty much a guarantee that the Federal Government would be thrown out of office. The gap between the rich and poor was considerably less at that time. Certainly, the place was far from perfect but I can tell you that many of the changes instigated by the capitalist lackeys in Canberra in the early 1980’s that you seem to be excusing, were not necessary; they were retrograde as far as the working class and middle class were concerned and only served to enrich the capitalist class.

    I put it to you Guest that there was no need to embrace economic rationalism with the alacrity shown by the likes of Hawke and Keating at the time. A genuine Labor Party would have fought strongly against those changes.

    Joseph Carli, is someone with whom I have had a few friendly jousts lately. However, I will come strongly to his defense when he calls for the so-called ‘Labor Party’ to do more to distinguish itself from the Liberal Party. He is correct to do this.

    With respect Guest, your comment that,

    “The last election clearly showed policies which distinguished the ALP from the Coaltion – so it is disappointing there are still people who cannot tell the difference.”

    is as absurd as it is risible. I can only presume that you included it in an attempt to engender some comic relief into an otherwise serious discussion.

    Finally, you observe that,

    “Somehow our view of our own system of government has been clouded and confused.‘

    I think that your post clearly indicates just whose thinking is clouded and confused.

  50. Kaye Lee

    Good point cb. They don’t listen to the majority until dragged kicking and screaming. We people in marginal seats must put pressure on our candidates. Emails and phone calls and comments on their pages. Labor should give unequivocal support for a Federal ICAC. It would make the next election a certainty IMO. I also think it should not waste too much time on things from the past, unless they are very serious, because it could just become a witch hunt (so sick of that phrase). Keep the bastards honest from here on in.

  51. Matters Not

    This Federal ICAC or indeed any ICAC shouldn’t be seen as a magic bullet. Indeed there’s the real possibility that it might become a law unto itself without any constraint of limited by due process.

    Before I would become an unreserved supporter, I would want to see the detail. Who would watch the watcher is my starting point. (By way of explanation, I was referred to a similar type of body on three occasions. That it was found I had no case to answer didn’t compensate for the perturbation caused.)

    Why are we so intent on outsourcing a responsibility that should properly lie within existing arrangements? Already we have three arms of government – are we proposing a fourth? And if so – then why? Perhaps an ICAC that watches all other ICACS. And so on. Where would it fit?

    Please explain.


    John, I would like to see an investigation done on the Israeli Law Of Return in relation to members of the body politic in Australia who have Jewish ancestry. This “ENTITLES” these persons to Israeli citizenship, which seems a clear breach of section 44, there are about 7 this would apply to, on both sides, including Messrs Turnbull and Friedenberg

  53. corvus boreus

    Matters Not-
    Sub-criminal transgressions and corruptions committed in and around federal politics are plainly not currently covered by ‘existing arrangements’, but tending to fall between the cracks of the various regulatory and investigatory bodies..
    Obviously, prior to formation, any national anti-corruption body would have stringent legal statutes attached defining and limiting scope and powers.
    On oversight, my best suggestion would be the appointment of an independent and eminently qualified foreign national, someone with impeccable legal credentials and a taint-free record.
    As for such a body being a ‘magic bullet’, obviously, as shown by the state of NSW, effective actions against the worst transgressors does not automatically end political rorts and deceptions, but it does give a far greater chance of such perfidies being brought to justice.

    I would add that as much as the practical effect of such a watchdog in helping prevent perversion of policy and process, the other positive effect would be to counter the cynical alienation felt by so much of the citizenry.
    When over 95% of people polled expressedly wish for the formation of such an investigatory body, and the routine political response is denial and bipartisan obfuscation, it erodes public confidence in democratic representation, which fuels both the rise of political extremism.and the entrenchment of apathetic attitudes.

    Given that it has become patently obvious that any such moves towards greater transparency and accountability will never be allowed to occur by those who benefit from the current laxity, I confess to surrendering somewhat to the latter.

  54. Kaye Lee


    According to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs…..

    “Essentially, all Jews everywhere are Israeli citizens by right.

    In 1970, Israel took another historic step by granting automatic citizenship not only to Jews, but also to their non-Jewish children, grandchildren, and spouses, and to the non-Jewish spouses of their children and grandchildren.”


    Kaye Lee Thanks for your reply. This is my point, I believe that under section 44 anyone with this “ENTITLEMENT” to Israeli citizenship should have renounced this right. This includes Leeser, Freelander, Griff, Frydenberg, Dreyfus, and Danby, Turnbull also claims to have a Jewish mother, which would make him entitled to Israeli citizenship also. This is something I believe needs to be investigated a lot further, there seems to be a rather large silence on the subject at the moment.

  56. guest

    Matters Not @8.9 pm, you need to do better than that. You question my history and my language with no specific mention of any of it. My reference to you is a specific reference to what you wrote @10.08 am.

  57. guest

    Joseph @8.21 pm,Thank you for your reply. I would suggest to you that Lenin was the precursor to both Stalin and Mao – all of them smashed up things and caused huge destruction and death in their own countries. Both Russia and China have risen from the adoption of capitalism – the oligarchs in Russia seized public utilities and have made fortunes; the capitalist West has exploited the cheap labour of the Chinese government’s capitalist stance.

    Yet at the same time capitalist neo-liberal economics is being severely criticised in the West for not delivering.

    Try reading Naomi Klein.

  58. Joseph Carli

    Crikey, guest! have attempted to demolish so much historical reality in five easy lines…but…; bad news..

  59. guest

    Robert Reynolds @8.51 pm, Thank you for your reply. What you have done is to describe the very economic situation which I asked about. How do we get back to that in the face of globalisation? You treat that question as merely rhetorical.

    The fact is that most of Oz has always been owned by British and American cartels and we are at their beck and call even now. No escaping from it. Yet we must, because it is not working. Neo-liberal capitalism is not delivering and is being severely criticised in the West.

    That our politics is in a muddle is demonstrated by the variety and contradictory nature of posts on this and other threads.

  60. Lord John

    I feel it’s time for John Lord to have a Bex and a good lay down. It’s been a big overwhelming year John. I certainly need one.

  61. guest

    Kaye Lee @8.28, Thank you for your reply. I asked the question about throwing up our arms in despair as a challenge. There is a great deal of despair in posts made here and elsewhere. There are people here and elsewhere who are willing to vote for anyone who is not a recognised politician. There is criticism and confusion all around us. Neo-liberal capitalism and democracy itself is under fire for not delivering.

    I am not so much in despair. i see you, Kaye, as a person who offers hope by your persistent attack on negativity and shonky thinking with precise facts and reasoned argument.

    In fact, I put you alongside the Canadian commentator Naomi Klein, who should be compulsory reading for everybody. She has things to say about Oz, too, in the world context to which we belong.

    Klein speaks about community and its power. She tells us that we are all activists. I like that idea. But at present I see that we are very much fragmented and in despair.

  62. Joseph Carli

    guest..: ” Klein speaks about community and its power. She tells us that we are all activists….” That sounds good, but it has an echo of postmodernism about it in that while each of us can hold to a central moral belief and act in our own way on our own interpretation of that belief…when we gather in a mass of protesters in the street, we suddenly morph from the “individual” to the collective and it is in that collective mass protest that change will happen…not in the individual..and I might add that beyond the personal hope of that protest, comes the authoritative reaction to the mass of people; the police, the opposition groups, the media…etc..

    I would be more inclined to back unionised protesting of targeted policy than a kind of random “flash crowds” gathered in outrage..The first will hold ground under attack, while the latter, having no central control can be easily intimidated by brute force.

  63. guest

    Joseph, you are right. Thatcher and others told us there is no society, only individuals.. From the Right, the attack is on unions and collegiate bargaining replaced by individual contracts.The attack is also against individual freedoms in the name of national security, while government actions remain secrets not for public knowledge. There are laws against protesting any action which does not directly affect the protestor. Even contrary media can be boned with steady retraction of finances , continual criticism or infiltration into the enemy boardroom.. International laws can be ignored and more favourable laws enacted to replace them in the name of sovereign powers.

    Some of the things I am describing are the kinds of things done under the left wing dictators in Russia and China – and we are seeing some of them here.

  64. Joseph Carli

    guest..not dismissing your obvious leftish sympathies, your negative obsession with Russian and Chinese communist actions demonstrates a lack of historical sense of the situation of the times of those actions that I would have assumed would be common knowledge for a leftie of much education.
    Of course there were outrages in both the Soviet and Chinese states in the early days and of course they were both fighting for their life against a continuous onslaught then AND STILL to end what the capital backed west sees as a dangerous philosophy…that of state controlled development (even if under capitalist entrepreneurs)..that can be confiscated back to the state at the will of the central government..risky business for laissez faire players.
    Mao had approx one billion people to manage and to feed and keep occupied as well as an enemy just off the coast being supported by the USA..Russia had similar problems with the threat of invasion or nuclear conflict continuously pressed..and we wonder why they were a tad paranoid.
    America..the land of the free has a murder rate per year NOW that would make those 1930’s gangsters clench their fists in envy. They interfere into every nation’s (except Russia and China) elections where it suits them and yet we still look to them as the “land of the free”…but never has living under the shadow of such liberation been so expensive..and so fearful.

  65. guest

    Joseph, I was in Hong Kong in 1969-70. People were being shot at the border for trying to flee from China. Students worked very hard in HK to get away before HK was handed back in 1997. I traveled on the Trans-Siberian railway in 1970 (the 100th anniversary of Lenin’s birth) and the place seemed very oppressed; people queuing for basics which were in short supply. Writing by Solzhenitsyn, for example, and others, had revealed the reality of the gulags.

    And do not get me onto the USA, especially under Trump. We have been sucked in by US policies. Bush, for example. The Halliburtons,etc and other money grubbers. Fear rules, OK? Be afraid, be very afraid! If you are not with us, you are against us. Remember that?.

  66. Joseph Carli

    guest…What were you doing in the Soviet in 1970?…those were pretty intense times for a westerner tourist to be travelling around the USSR without reason…

  67. Joseph Carli

    Anyway, guest..what we are witnessing now is a pattern of behaviour that cycles throughout history…in one way or another..It is why I have been writing those “historical” reference pieces up here..from the political intrigues of Rome to Machiavelli to now, the organic nature of human behaviour responds to this or that emergency in common ways..those ways have been noted and recorded through history…the difference now is that with social media, one can confect an “emergency” in any time and place and pump it up on social media and perhaps even get the MSM onside to give it “citizen cred”…so there is no point being afraid, just be ready to jump…like Yossarian!

  68. guest

    Joseph, the USSR had opened up the Trans-Siberian railway to allow people from the West to travel to Expo 70 in Japan – and to pocket US dollars.

    As for being afraid, that is the battle cry of the Right. So while we might admire the economic and industrial rise of China, we are currently being told that China is communist and is not to be trusted. It is the old bogey man policy. It was once the Russians are coming, now it is the Chinese, our top trading partner!

    I like the Yossarian example.

  69. johno

    On the subject of Labor bashing and drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight.

    Those elected to represent us are choosing to support Big Oil over you and me. This is clear from the report finally released by the Senate Committee on the future of oil and gas drilling in the Great Australian Bight.
    In a deadlock, the Labor and Liberal parties backed Big Oil while the Australian Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team said no to drilling. The Senate Inquiry report only confirms what we already knew—this is a battle between communities and fossil fuel companies.

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