Wednesday 31 January 2017
1 I had hoped without any real conviction that Bill Shorten would announce something special at his speech to the National Press Club today. Not just another off-the-cuff speech about how Labor had and would always be the worker’s party. Then I saw the headline in the Sydney Morning Herald:
“Bill Shorten promises federal anti-corruption watchdog if he wins the next election”
Just as he had done with the announcement on Negative Gearing, he has put the people first. In this instance he has taken the political moral high ground. It is an announcement that will be tremendously popular with Labor supporters and the electorate in general.
The speech laid out – amongst other things – an agenda setting that will also flag that a future Labor government could change Australia’s workplace laws – an issue the peak union body, the Australian Council of Trade Unions, is preparing to campaign on in 2018. Mr Shorten may also outline possible changes to private health insurance.
In the many articles I have written about “What Shorten should do” I have vigorously advocated for a National Integrity Body. It now seems that it has come to fruition and Shorten signalled that it will have teeth. His speech was wide-ranging and I will cover the other stuff later.
But the Labor leader’s key pledge will be to create a National Integrity Commission.
In reply, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was prepared to consider creating a federal anti-corruption watchdog, and repeated that view yesterday before going on to attack Labor. His Deputy, Barnaby Joyce for the 1000th time contradicted him saying he rejected the need for a corruption fighting body. The Senate already performed that function. “I don’t think there is a real sense in Australia of a concern with the political system.”
i think he has the intelligence of an elephant. No that would be insulting elephants.
Labor’s announcement came just hours after the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption officially threw its support behind the push for a federal equivalent.
2 Don’t be alarmed: it is all normal. Very gradually we are wakening from our political malaise and into the normality we have come to expect. Yesterday The Poll Bludger reported that Essential had Labor widening its lead from 53-47 to 54-46. I use the word ‘normality’ advisedly because it means that 2018 is looking very much like 2017.
The government is behaving as it normally would. Having successfully closed down an industry that employed many thousands of people with some government assistance it now proposes to give as much aid as is needed to place us in the world’s top ten arms manufacturers.
Naturally it has two aims. One is super profits to reinforce capitalism’s benefits, and second, is the use of those arms to recycle more asylum seekers and then demonise them to make people scared.
Now one would think that the manufacture of arms with which to kill people might be anathema to the Labor Party and its supporters, but apparently not. It says that generally there is room to increase our supply.
The government has identified a number of “priority markets” to sell more arms and weapons systems:
… the Middle East, the Indo-Pacific region, Europe, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand.
“It is an ambitious, positive plan to boost Australian industry, increase investment, and create more jobs for Australian businesses,” the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said.
Fancy getting so excited about manufacturing weapons that will kill many innocent people. Perhaps this is part of the Australian values we were celebrating last Friday.
3 Now we all know that Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Mathias Cormann in 2014 put together the most universally acclaimed unfair budget in Australia’s history, but now we find that they were intending to go further.
The razor gang of Abbott, Hockey and Cormann wanted to identify the so-called “job snobs” and strip them of all social security benefits. In fact they wanted to do the same to anyone under 30.
They really are a compassionless lot of elitist conservative snobs whose normality is bereft of any feeling for their fellow-man.
4 Proof that Coalition infighting continues comes with the release of three documents: the latest yesterday in which we find that the then Minister for Immigration, Scott Morrison agreed to “mitigation strategies”, including asking ASIO to slow down security checks so deadlines would be missed:
“It meant refugees about to start a new, permanent life in Australia would only be allowed to stay for three years.”
What a bastard act! What a disgraceful thing for a man of God to do? But when you peruse the character of individual ministers you find that word normality entrenched in their thinking.
The source and identity of these three leeks and just who they are intended to hurt may never become known, but we have to assume it’s Abbott and the intention is to kill him off altogether.
My thought for the day
“If a newspaper article is written in a manner to suggest objectivity but subjective words are scattered throughout it together with carefully phrased unsupported statements then dismiss the article as having no cogency.”