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Day to Day Politics: So, Bill, where do you stand now?

Saturday 20 January 2018

It was around a year ago that I was suggesting a number of things that Labor, in its lead up narrative to the next election could advocate for. The most popular thing, amongst many Labor supporters and others, was to advocate for a National ICAC or something similar. Almost on cue at the time he started to advocate for an inquiry into the viability of such a commission.

But there were no headlines that shouted ”Shorten advocates ANTI corruption body?”

Shorten, at the time, was unequivocally robust in his support, saying that any reform needed to go beyond an independent parliamentary expenses system.

He supported “an open and honest discussion” about whether Australia should have a federal Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC). He said:

“For me, reform doesn’t just stop at parliamentarians’ expenses,”

“It must include greater transparency, greater accountability on political donations – and no discussion about electoral reform and rebuilding the confidence of Australians in the political process can take place without having an open and honest discussion about a federal ICAC.”

“Before the last election there was a Senate committee set up to examine the existing capacities of the anti-corruption regime in Australian federal sphere of government.”
He referred to a Senate Committee that lapsed after the last election. That inquiry received written submissions and held two public inquiries in April 2016, but lapsed before a final report could be handed down. It received little media attention.

“We need to get that Senate committee back going again.”
“We need to demonstrate to Australians that we’re working for them, not just for ourselves.”

There is no reason why, with the support of Labor, the Greens the crossbench senators with the Nick Xenophon Party, and others that a Senate inquiry could not be set up NOW.

There is genuine overwhelming public support for some sort of inquiry. With trust in politicians at an all-time low it would be in their own best interests to go beyond a Senate inquiry, which often go nowhere, and support a fully “independent” one. We are sick of the scandals and constant allegations of political corruption.

Labor should get cracking, take the moral high ground, and announce that a National ICAC with bite will be part of its policy platform for the next election. Shorten has a chance to lead on policy as he did prior to the last election and would be foolish not to take up this opportunity.

An observation

“The simplest way to turn the profession of politics on its head would be to demand they tell the truth.”

Shorten also said:

“I think it is no surprise that Australians get frustrated with the mainstream parties because they perceive that they are all the parliamentarians are behaving in the manner that we have seen the former health minister behave in,”

“I will work with Malcolm Turnbull to reform the expenses regime of parliamentarians.’’

“If he doesn’t have changes ready to go when parliament starts, we will be up for making those changes.”

A review of parliamentary was supposed to have been presented to the house prior to Christmas but as of now, we have had nothing

One would have thought that if the Opposition leader comes out, next week in support of a standing commission to look into corruption within our political system that the media would also come out in support.

After all it might supply them with some juicy gutter stories. So why wouldn’t all the journos be writing endless reams about Labor’s enlightened preparedness to tackle corruption within the political system? Why wouldn’t the news be full of stories and interviews with Shorten outlining Labor’s plans for reform?

My cynical mind tells me three things. Firstly that the media isn’t much interested because they themselves might be involved in some corruption.

Secondly, is just how fair dinkum is Shorten. Does he really want a department or commission overseeing politician’s ethics? And of course, thirdly, the Government wouldn’t be open to declaring where their donations come from.

It will take more than a few fine words spoken in the midst of an expenses or donations outrage, to achieve an equivalent to ICAC. It would take a determined effort by those in the Labor Party who are of good conscience who want to see the once noble profession of ”Member of Parliament” really mean something. That when the term ”Honourable member” is used that it would have some meaning or servitude attached to it.

My thought for the day

“Time never diminishes the crime.”

 1,169 total views,  4 views today


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  1. corvus boreus

    Both Shorten and Turnbull have publicly announced their willingness to conduct ‘open and honest discussion’ on the subject of a federal anti-corruption commission, but as yet no such discussions have taken place.
    The senate select committee Shorten mentioned concluded without officially endorsing the formation of a federal anti-corruption commission (dissenters noted), nor is such.a measure part of the policy platform of either major political party.
    No doubt next time pollitical perfidies (rorts and snorts) make a few headlines, the pair will once again front the mics to mumble some semi-appropriate words about their willingness to talk, then lapse back into a meaningless silence.
    Why would they undermine their own perks and privileges just to satisfy the will of the majority electorate?

  2. Terry2

    I thought Annabel Crabb’s observation on Jacinta Ardern having a baby was spot on :

    The weird thing about having a baby as a female elected representative is that it is — historically speaking — an offence only rivalled in seriousness by the offence of not having one.

    Remember how Julia Gillard was mercilessly pilloried when in office ; theses are just a few of the comments made about her :

    “I mean anyone who chooses to remain deliberately barren… they’ve got no idea what life’s about.” Senator Bill Heffernan. The Bulletin. May 2007

    “You won’t need a taxpayer-funded nanny, will you?” Sophie Mirabella. Parliament. May 2008

    “She has chosen not to be a parent… she is very much a one-dimensional person… she just doesn’t understand the way parents think about their children when they reach a particular age.” Senator George Brandis. ABC Radio. January 2010

    “She has showcased a bare home and an empty kitchen as badges of honour and commitment to her career. She has never had to make room for the frustrating demands and magnificent responsibilities of caring for little babies, picking up sick children from school, raising teenagers. Not to mention the needs of a husband or partner.” Janet Albrechtsen. The Australian. July 2010

    I hope that all is going well for you Julia, you are an amazing woman.

  3. Graeme Henchel

    That a federal ICAC is needed is blindingly obvious. That a federal ICAC would be a “winner” in electoral terms is blindingly obvious. The half arsed, weasel word support from labor and Bill Shorten reinforces the view that he is not to be trusted.

    Say what you want about Abbott, and I’ve said plenty, he was an effective opposition leader because his messaging was simple and direct. Whilst I didn’t support either stance, his “stop the boats” and “axe the tax” slogans were effective communication devices no matter how much of us on the left despised his three word simplicity. They were effective because they were definitive.

    Under Turnbull the political discourse has reached a peak of obscurification, waffle and sheer bullshit. People are crying out for candour and directness. Weasel words and wish washy fence sitting reek of dishonesty.

  4. Freethinker

    It is refreshing and bring hope that now in AIMN people start seeing what it is happen in the ALP and the suspicious behavior of the ones at the top or those that are controlling the party.
    It is not only the ICAC issue, is their position against Sally MacManus and some union leaders, it is the position of Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen insisting on neoliberal policies, it is the position of the right faction trying to put their candidate every time that there is a vacancy, is the position of the right trying to remove seating members that are against Bowen’s policies like now with Wayne Swan, saying that he is the rot wood from the Gillard’s team.
    What about Shorten then, he was also in Gillard’s team?
    Until the left not do a drastic move the ALP will become less and less attraction to the electorate that looks for something new.
    Those that think that by being in the party they can making changes have to weak up.
    I would like to see more articles like this in the future, keeping on and on saying the truth about this government will no change their behavior and there are no AIMN readers that need to convince that the Coalition is bad.

  5. wam

    Great day, Lord!, good read. Not a truth to be seen but heaps of honesty.
    The media is not interested because the opposition leader, unlike the rabbott, does not pose the simple problems with complex answers that excite the media and sell,advertising.

    Such, ‘leave it to beaver’ benign behaviour is pretty normal in labor and was tried once by Hewson. (Was keating worth getting Howard??)

    As for a federal ICAC, the reticence of even the loonies hitting the ether shows their political fear of such exposure? If there was a quid or a seat di’s boys would be squealing to the public.

    For me it is too costly and the police have the power and could do the job on corruption. Nothing will change a rorter into an honest pollie because rorting government money is a time honoured practice amongst all with access to it.

    The only way to honesty is for pollies to provide the evidence of their daily work, open and honest publication of their diaries showing who with, where, how long and why. This could show just how hard the work and how much they are away from family and would give the public evidence to be sympathetic.

  6. Kyran

    In the interests of being fair, the committee was restarted. It submitted its report on the 13th September, 2017.

    Not surprisingly, the report made recommendations, which equated to kick the can down the road, ie wait for another report to be concluded and then we’ll start again.

    Funnily enough, there are currently 65 committees and 124 public enquiries by this government, many of which pertain to oversight, corruption and integrity.

    Given the track record of this government, holding one’s breath whilst waiting for a decision is not to be recommended.
    Transparency International (TI) prepared a discussion paper some time ago on the issue.

    Given that more than 80% of the population think this is a necessary and urgent issue and that both major parties remain insistent on ignoring the ‘will of the people’, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to simply ignore the politicians and their media lackeys? They still want to discuss the ‘why’ of such a body, whilst the rest of Australia screams for a ‘how’ and ‘when’.
    The TI paper gets into the how and when, with a series of questions at the end of the paper that should be addressed. It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Australian people are well ahead of the government.
    Thank you Mr Lord and commenters. Take care

  7. corvus boreus

    If you seriously think that the greens (“loonies!!!”) have not been vocal in their advocacy for a federal ‘ICAC’ then you have either not been paying attention, or have viewed the issue with eyes blinkered by bigotry..
    Not only have the greens (“loonies!!!”) consistently called for a federal anti-corruption commission in both the media and in repeated parliamentary motions, but they, along with the NXT and Hinch reps, were the dissenting voices on the senate select committee, all 3 explicitly calling for the formation of such a body.
    FYI, the federal police et al cannot investigate political corruption at the sub-criminal level, nor is there any current means of forcing politicians to publish the diaries of all their doings.
    If you are happy with the current lack of independent oversight, that puts you on side with a clear minority.

    Ps, Don’t you think that perhaps it is time for you to display some rational maturity and dispense with your habitual deployment of a mindless sledge that is stale, boring and counterproductive to reasonable discussion?

  8. Keitha Granville

    Thanks for that Terry2 – interesting isn’t it how quickly people forget the abuse and rubbishing handed to Julia Gillard. Reckon the same folk will have the knives out for Jacinta.

    Wonder why they don’t treat Julie Bishop with the same contempt ?

  9. Jon Chesterson

    I agree but as you (the article) alludes to, who is going to champion this when all are tarnished to some degree and given the unpredictable menace of self serving behaviour of politicians and political interests, it is likely smaller indiscretions of the the ALP when in government may bring it down overlooking the horror of Liberal LNP corruption and excess. The adversarial approach combined with unchecked private interest and self righteousness, with a squeeze of unbridled narcissism is the undoing of constructive democracy.

  10. Freethinker

    Keitha Granville , read this article and you will see what happens inside the ALP regarding Gillard and Swan.
    ‘It’s time’: Wayne Swan weighs up future as Labor sources urge retirement

    “It’s time and I think Swanny knows that,” one Labor source said. “He has had a lot to contribute, and he is still active, but he is also one of the last relics of the Rudd-Gillard years and we are looking to move past that. I think he feels that too.”

    And the real issue is what in another article one : “Labor MPs who declined to be identified said Mr Swan’s continued presence was undermining current Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen’s work in restoring the opposition’s economic credentials”

    Shorten, Bowen and others like to have control and do not tolerate the Macmanus and Swan’s type of people in the party.

  11. wam

    You are right corvus many are too young to understand the loonies as a term of endearment for a group of people who 50 years ago were dedicated to the preservation of the communities natural habitat.
    A Tassie group of principled, passionate and active, like my loonie sister(, that commanded respect throughout Australia, even from conservatives mason, deane in the high court, for their fight to save the franklyn. They were supported by Jack mundey and the blf. They were important to hawke and labor and I was proud of my sister and her loonies

    Today’s greens have a political hunger with a pragmatic attitude to varying ‘principles’ and are no longer such dedicated powerful advocates.

    Rather Di’s boys are cold calculating pragmatist intent on power and that is politics.

    Vale loonies, benvenuto el duce

    ps it is sad that gillard and swan are such millstones but shorten completes the trilogy can labor win government with him?? No???

  12. corvus boreus

    I honestly don’t give a rats shriveled scrotum about your rambling self-justification for your pointless sledges, I would rather discuss means of mitigating against the evident corruption in and around federal politics..
    One effective measure would be for federal Labor, the dominant opposition party, to accede to the desires of the majority of the population and come out, loud and clear, in support of instituting a federal ICAC.

  13. Kronomex

    “… the time he started to advocate for an inquiry into the viability of such a commission.” Almost like a script he trots out the now tiresome weasel words which ultimately mean bugger all when Labor takes over the ruins, oops, reins of gubmint.

  14. townsvilleblog

    It’s time for the ALP to announce serious policy plans to create a Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) such as Queensland has. The NSW ICAC found far too many tory (LNP) politicians guilty of corruption and had to be weakened by their tory government. Yet we see examples recently in the news (Guardian) of the tories selling a coal fired power station to one or more of their ‘mates’ for a million dollars, later found to be worth something like seventy times that amount, no heads have rolled, solution found by tory government!

  15. Jack Russell

    In my days with both state and federal public service, reimbursements were on a sliding scale that amounted to (from lowest to mid-levels) a pie and a coke, or a sandwich and a coffee, and 2 or 3 star accommodation, on production of receipts, after the fact – and with layers of oversight and verification. My my, how the mighty have risen . . .

  16. Kerry F

    Would you please stop asking us leading questions about American politics on your asinine “polls”. I don’t care about Michelle Obama, or Oprah Winfrey for president of the US or how stupid Donald Trump is on any given day. I do care about how many wars are raging on the planet mostly at the instigation of the US, I care what’s happening to our environment and our own citizens, i do care about truth and transparency in our media and government over BS propaganda. Do you ever ask any questions on these topics? Not so far.

    Who is paying you to publish these “polls”? Are you funded by overseas lobby groups?

    To support either side of American politics is to support war, corruption and undermining of the rights of the ordinary people. its becoming the same here too. Case in point is this article: What exactly does Bill Shorten stand for? In lieu of him actually ever standing up for anything we have to conclude he is on the same “side” as the government”. Big Money. Ditch the fake “polls” AIMN and lets aim to be far less like America, not clones.

  17. Michael Taylor

    Kerry, you must have missed those questions. There’s plenty of them there. Most polls are random, so you’ll see them eventually.

    A lot of our readers are interested in US politics, even if you’re not. In regards to Trump’s madness, it corresponded to an article we ran about it, plus it was – and still is – topical.

    Some polls are included for a bit if fun. Ignore them if you don’t like them. Overall though, emails we receive indicate they are all hugely popular (as the poll numbers confirm).

    We ran an article asking for poll suggestions. You are free to submit some to

    And by the way, nobody pays us to do these polls. We are under a bit of pressure to have video ads in them (like you see on some YouTube clips) but we’ve resisted the push as we don’t want it to impose on our readers. Mind you … we do need the money.

  18. Carol Taylor

    Well Kerry, if you care about wars raging on this planet many of which have been at the instigation of the USA, then surely you would care about who is President and other candidates who are being mooted as future Presidents?

    Sadly no one pays us for anything on this blog, we are supported solely by a band of extremely dedicated authors and volunteers, donations from generous supporters plus the pittance from Google Adsense which hardly covers our running costs.

  19. ace Jones

    Shorten knows he is as appealing as bat-shit to the electorate and nothing can change that
    Bill is rancid, dead in the water yet the Party keep pumping hot air into him to stay afloat
    Whichever way the wind is blowing that’s the direction you will see Bill kicking the ball

  20. Carol Taylor

    Ace, funnily enough I have a great deal of time for Shorten. If you want charm, then you can have Turnbull. Shorten is given about as much media exposures as every other Labor leader..meaning zero except when it’s negative. Now if was Abbott or Turnbull who visit Aboriginal communities and sat and talked with the Elders, the msm would be running the story for a week. Shorten? Not a mention of course.

  21. crypt0

    “The Greens already have a bill to establish a National ICAC before the Parliament — now the Labor and Liberal parties just need to support it.”
    That’s all Bill has to do. Support it.
    Everyone knows the LieNP will NEVER support a federal ICAC
    In my view, federal ICAC is the single most important issue in the up-coming election.
    Hope you’re listening, Bill …
    It really is a no-brainer.

  22. Freethinker

    With all respects, Carol, I do not think that the AIMN readers are looking for a leaders because his/her charm, they generally are well educated and informed on political issues. The problem it is deeper, it is that the electorate is looking for something different, the ALP looking after the workers and people in need appears to not be enough, people like to see a chance in macroeconomics that will change not only their life but also in the way that the country is heading.
    So far the neoliberalism does not work and the “moderate neoliberalism” from Bowen and supported by Shorten do not have the support of the union movement and important members of the party like Sally Mcmanus and others.
    That have to change, we need a leadership in the opposition that it is prepared to do drastic changes.

  23. ozibody

    Good reading … thank you John !

    The picture that comes to my mind about the ICAC ‘ business ‘ and corruption is this …. there’s Foxes regularly raiding a busy Chook run poorly contained by a standard chook run ( loop holed) fence !!

    The Farmer has basically TWO options … .a) continue (ineffectively) repairing / patching up his fence (life time job) ! ….b) Institute a Fox eradication (containment) policy along with his neighborhood Farmers … so as to strike at the Problem rather than the Effect !!

    With neo-liberalism becoming more ‘ on the nose ‘ World Wide ‘, the way ahead is open for some practical action.

    Should Bil Shorten led Labor plan to allow the $ $ Corporate / Business $ $ crowd to continue running this country, it will be a clear indication that the Social Media has it right … and ALL Politicians are BENT !!

    My Head wants me to enlarge on the above … and my Heart says ” simply be the way you want the World to be ” !

    ‘ nuf sed !

  24. Zathras

    OK, I know it’s the non-political time of year and the media are disinterested but this is the time for Shorten to make a serious move and be seen as a leader and not a follower.

    Considering the endless stream of blunders coming from the government, how many free kicks is he going to waste?
    NBN shortcomings, submarine cost overruns and military sabre-rattling will be old news by the time they go back to work.

    They may both talk the talk but I doubt that either leader will want to initiate a meaningful Federal ICAC process.
    Both must have things they want to keep quiet so it’s a stand-off.

    Their entitlements (called rorts for the rest of us) shouldn’t be too carefully scrutinised or placed under threat. Who wants to be the one to piss in the soup?

    Both want to control the agenda and both want headlines but not bad ones about themselves.

    The eternal game will just pick up where it left off and the mug voters will go on booing and cheering it up as they always do and nothing will change.

  25. @RosemaryJ36

    Ozibody – I thoroughly agree! I think we need a viral #ICAC-NOW!

  26. corvus boreus

    For the vocal minority who still reckon the current anti-corruption measures are perfectly adequate, I suggest they take a look at the arrangements for the oversight of federal law enforcement integrity;
    The ACLEI, who are mandated to investigate corruption in the various federal law enforcement agencies, are already reliant upon the AFP (whose integrity they investigate) for allocation of resource, and are slated to become part of the new Dutton super-ministry (Home Affairs), thus placing them squarely under the control of the very people they are supposed to keep honest.
    Yep, the system seem to be working just fine.

    Ps, Thanks for the link Freethinker (20/1 1:32), a very succinct summation.

  27. guest

    @Graeme Henchel: “…Shorten reinforces the view that he is not to be trusted.”

    @ace Jones: “Shorten knows he is as appealing as bat-shit…rancid, dead in the water…”

    Who needs the Murdoch assassination team when we have people expressing these views? Have they forgotten how Labor missed in the last election by a seat? That when Shorten gets the chance to speak at length on a forum such as QandA or a Royal Commission, he is clear and forthright.

    Then we have Graeme Henchel’s claim that Abbott’s three-word slogans were “effective because they were definitive”. Definitive? Really?

    Think about them: Axe the tax. Stop the boats. Repay the debt. Stop the waste. A stronger Australia… The ‘tax’ was not a tax. Stopping the boats attacked the refugees and defied UN Human Rights. The debt has doubled. Waste has not been diminished. Australia is not stronger; it is on a slippery slide…

    So we have some demands made on Shorten; for example, to change the macro-economics. Oh yes, do that overnight! Uncouple from the world. But completely neglect the fact that Labor went to the last election with policies clearly defining itself from the Murdoch/Coalition/IPA miasma.

  28. Wayne Turner

    Spot on Guest. Abbott was never an effective opposition leader – He was/is a serial liar,that was give a free ride by ALL of the COALition promoting MSM,and aided by a largely gullible electorate.In fact their MSM treated him more like a (respected) PM,while bashing Labor or ignoring Labor all together.ABC was one of the worst when Gillard was PM ie: News stories of “The Opposition leader says…..”. Then failing to report what Gillard or anyone from Labor said.Repeating ALL of Abbott and the COALitions LIES without question.

    Most (Rudd cut a deal with them,for the 2007 election.Hence the MSM were on Labor’s side briefly.) federal elections = MSM + COALition vs Labor, to govern.

    ALL of the MSM are the promotional wing of the COALition.

  29. Michael Taylor

    Freethinker, I agree.

    But we can blame the mainstream media for a lot of the propaganda about both parties. Turnbull can sit on a train taking selfies and they are plastered all over the Murdoch media. Whereas Shorten visits an Aboriginal community and what do you see about in in the mainstream media? Nothing.

  30. ozibody

    In the ‘ World ‘ there’s a country named Alaska … which uncoupled from the world ! … A small country indeed and not counted as having consequence in the ‘ Global Structure ‘ !!… the msm regularly makes NO comment pertaining to this Country ! … .. hence the country lacks ‘ Global Consequence’ ! … and a Reserve Bank !!!

    Had Labor ‘ won ‘ the last election by the same One Seat ‘ majority ‘, might one be excused for wondering whether the mess would have been any different in overall effect.? The consequent Opposition , partnered by the Murdoch msm could have been wreaking devastation far and wide ! Blood & Feathers to the horizon ! … the Nation still in no-mans-land !!

    The same ‘ standard chook run ‘ construct with another name above the door … the same Fox plague prowling the yard !

    Labor in power with a slender majority is a vote for SNAFU ! …

    My Heart says … ” BE the Change you wish for in the World ” ….. be Bold for Enduring Change and bring households along !

    ” Global ” sheds NO benefit upon Individuals, erodes ” Common Good ” …. destroys ” Fair Go Australia ” !!

    ‘ nuf sed ?

  31. guest


    your whole argument is based on the hypothetical premise that Labor won by one seat. It is a common tactic use by such Murdoch scribblers as Chris Kenny, who asks the reader to “imagine” this, that and the other.

    A waste of time. Alaska is a state of the USA, heavily involved in neo-liberal economics. “Be the Change you wish for in the World” sounds like a religious mantra.

    I remind you that Julia Gillard was PM in a hung parliament and achieved a great deal. But the Murdoch/Coalition/IPA miasma sets out to obfuscate and spin everything.

    These imaginings and Aesop tales are not the real thing and simply distract us from reality. I believe the latest description is: “fake news”.

    “‘nuf said”.

  32. paul walter

    I gather this is all about an ICAC. Roflmao at he thought that the politicians would let that idea gain traction.

  33. corvus boreus

    paul walter,

    Yes, the main thrust of Mr Lord’s article was about possible measures to reduce political malfeasance (eg a federal anti-corruption commission), and how the Shorten ALP’s designs for governance could possibly include campaign policy coherently incorporating such an idea (which is a popular notion with over 4/5 of the ‘strayan lectut’).

    I entirely understand and somewhat share your sceptical ‘roflmao’ about all the inherent difficulties (eg self-interest), if not impracticalities, that significantly reduce the likelihood of any such measures towards accountability of governance being undertaken.

    Personally, based on current trends, I feel pretty the same lack of optimism regarding the prospects of human beings reversing our current global habits (too many wanting too much too quickly), which have already damaged and destabilised our planet’s biospheric and climatic processes, which we, as a species of terrestrial animal, entirely rely upon for continued existence, to the stage that there is a distinct possibility that we have already engineered the circumstances of our own species suffering catastrophic population collapse, if not outright extermination, through a self-induced planetary mass-extinction event.

    We could both indulge in ‘rolling on the floor laughing our arses off (aka doin’ the worm’) in a mutually hopeless and futile fashion.

    However, I gather that the main desired function of this site is supposed to be about exchanging information and opinions to aid and encourage the implementation of positive progress, rather than providing a medium for the disparagement of hope.

    Hope that might help.

  34. Trish Corry

    There is an incredible amount of ill informed belief that Shorten and Labor are against a federal ICAC. We are supposed to participate in Independent media because the main stream media are slanted away from many important facts that provide real context. Not sure if anyone has noticed, but Shorten is very policy driven. He also seems to me to be a leader who likes to dot his i’s and cross his t’s. In short, he takes a risk management approach.

    A while back his official position was to review the existing framework to understand if that needed reconfiguring or if a new system should be put in place. In my view, that is what good leaders do. They ensure they will implement the most effective model for the job. To do that one must seek to understand the gaps in the existing framework.

    A good politician who wants to Govern for the people (because winning is important to do that) will leave no room to be caught off guard on policy, because they don’t fully understand the problems with the existing system.

    In addition, a federal ICAC is a very serious mechanism. Loathe them or love them, this framework will hold in the balance the future of some very dedicated and genuine people on all sides and from various corners. It should be appalling to anyone who has a respect for justice to have a rushed framework that may not just find the guilty, not guilty, but more so, the not guilty, guilty. My fear is a gap which allows trial by media. We saw that with TURC.

    I know it might be boring for some people that there isn’t a lot of finger pointing, screaming and meming, but I am excited at the prospect of a Shorten Prime Minister. I’ve had a gutful of reactionary politics and I’m looking forward to a leader who actually appreciates the detail.

    Or as I call it “Tenacious Nerds who get sh*t done.”

  35. corvus boreus

    Trish Corry,
    Bill Shorten has been leader of the opposition since 2013 (5 years).
    During that time several motions calling for the establishment of a federal anti-corruption commission have been soundly defeated, always with the help of Labor senators (although Labor did vote to form a discussion committee).
    The Labor members of the select committee examining the subject did not recommended the formation of such a body.
    The establishment of a federal ‘ICAC’ is not currently part of ALP policy.
    One could almost be forgiven for thinking that the ALP were unenthusiastic about the idea (ie; “couldn’t give 2 shits about ICAC”), or even that they were opposed to the notion.

    Perhaps you are right, and Bill Shorten has merely been quietly using his 1/2 decade as LOTO to diligently formulate the framework for creating the bestest, tightest, fairest federal anti-corruption commission anyone could ever imagine.
    If such is the case, I (along with many of my fellow strayans) shall be delighted when Shortens ALP release a policy platform explicitly calling for the establishment of an effective anti-corruption body.
    However, given their track record on the subject, I won’t be holding my breath.

  36. Trish Corry

    Corvus. Yes indeed it has been discussed in the senate previously and the Greens did a lot of their regular anti Labor meme work, telling people that Labor rejected a federal ICAC. However, as Doug Cameron will rightly tell you, the Greens gagged the debate. He has a video on it. I think the other times (I would need to check) is it was rejected because the stance by Labor at the time was to review the system first, or it may have been going through investigation at the time. These are called “Political stunts by the Greens.” Yes, some may not realise, but the Greens are politicians, positioning for Labor seats. Not some halo wearing group of angels, sent to earth to “Keep Labor in line” as many believe. As I say often, context matters. Unless of course, you have the detail of why Labor have said they outright reject a federal ICAC, which doesn’t include “we need to review the system first” then that could be discussed. In Five years, this has not been the only issue on Labor’s agenda. Shorten has hardly been twiddling his thumbs.

  37. Kaye Lee


    “Australia remains outside the top 10 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 for the third consecutive year. Australia’s performance is marred by the recent foreign bribery scandals and threats to independent institutions. Following the report of the Australia Human Rights Commission (AHRC), which documents evidence of profound physical and sexual abuse in asylum seeker detention centres, the AHRC president’s credibility and integrity was unrelentingly attacked. Such intimidation undermines the independence of institutions like the AHRC, which are critical to functioning democracy.”

  38. Kaye Lee

    Matthias Cormann even said “Only Australians, Australian businesses, Australian organisations should be able to influence Australian elections via political donations.”

    So there we have it out of the terminator’s own mouth. Political donations buy influence as admitted by the Minerals Council who told a Senate committee that they make donations to gain access to politicians.

  39. Michael Taylor

    … Greens did a lot of their regular anti Labor meme work, telling people that Labor rejected a federal ICAC.

    I saw that meme in an email from the Greens (not to me). I was appalled at the lie.

  40. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, I think he meant to say; “Only wealthy Australians and Australian ex-patriot media moguls should be able to influence Australian elections.” 😜

  41. Kaye Lee

    The Labor frontbencher and former ALP national secretary Gary Gray rejected a push for an Icac-style national integrity commission at the party’s conference because he says existing federal bodies are working.

    Asked by Guardian Australia why he did not support the concept of a federal Icac, Gray said the ALP national conference had never done so.

    “The [final] resolution spelled out in detail the multiple levels of integrity and assurance in place at the federal level which already work,” Gray said. “An Icac-type body is needed where there is a lack of institutions to protect the integrity of public processes and the public interest. This is not the case federally.

    “Although the need for an Icac-type body has been discussed for 30 years, the ALP has always rejected a federal Icac while supporting and reviewing existing integrity measures.”

    18 months later….

    “No discussion about electoral reform, and rebuilding the confidence of Australians in the political process, can take place without having an open and honest discussion about a federal ICAC (independent commission against corruption),” Mr Shorten said.

    “Before the last election there was a Senate committee set up to examine the existing capacities of the anti-corruption regime in Australian federal sphere of government, and I think we need to get that Senate committee back going again because we need to demonstrate to Australians that we’re working for them, not just for ourselves.”

    10 months later still….

    A national integrity commission or federal ICAC is now under serious consideration by the Labor Party.

    Sources have told The New Daily that recent events – the failure of the Westminster convention of ministerial responsibility to hold Michaelia Cash accountable for the politically compromised AFP raids; the citizenship High Court scandal; and the Turnbull government’s refusal to protect Crown Casino whistleblowers – were breaking down that resistance.

    Pockets of resistance reportedly remain within the NSW Labor Party where the work of the NSW ICAC in exposing former ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald, now Her Majesty’s prisoners, had devastated voter support, only now recovering after six “wilderness” years in that state.

    If Shorten has announced that a federal ICAC is now Labor policy then I must have missed it.

  42. Trish Corry

    Wasn’t he National Secretary in the 90’s? How is that relevant?

  43. Kaye Lee

    Gary Gray? The quote was from the 2015 National Conference

    “Tony Sheldon, national secretary of the Transport Workers Union and a former party vice-president, had included a motion for a federal independent commission against corruption at last weekend’s national ALP conference but it was taken down at the last minute.

    It failed to get internal parliamentary party support, including from Gray, Labor’s shadow special minister of state.”

  44. Trish Corry

    Yes, National conference debates motions all the time. He isn’t the be all and end all, it’s a democratic process. What was the reason for conference rejecting the motion? Importantly, what was the wording of the motion? Who voted for the motion?

  45. Kaye Lee

    As I already explained, the motion was withdrawn at the last minute because it did not have support so it wasn’t debated or voted on. The reason for rejecting it I have also already quoted – they believed the existing integrity measures were adequate.

  46. Trish Corry

    But that goes to my entire issue. You assume the reason is something negative; where it may be details within the motion etc. Personally, I’d like to see the details of the motion and why it did not get support to put forward. In my experience, even at a regional level, these things are not straight forward.

  47. Kaye Lee

    The final Labor conference motion agreed to review “existing commonwealth institutions to adequately capture a national system”. Those bodies included the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, the Australian National Audit Office, the inspector-general of intelligence security, the public accounts and audit committee, Senate estimates committees, the Australian Public Service Commission and the Australian Crime Commission.

    Seems to me it would be a damn site easier to just establish a federal ICAC which they seem to be hesitantly talking about talking about now.

  48. corvus boreus

    The controversial ‘gag motion’ (aka ‘filibuster-buster’ or ‘STFU & vote’) occurred on 15/5/2014.
    Here is the original bill about which ex-senator Waters wished an expediated vote.(National Integrity Commission Bill 2013);query=Id:legislation/billhome/s936
    Note that although the bill was first tabled in 2013, 5 years later no vote has occurred.

    However, there have been a few other recent motions / votes upon the subject of a ‘fed ICAC’..
    On 12/4/2016 Labor voted against establishing a federal anti-corruption commission.
    On 2/2/2017 Labor voted against establishing a federal anti-corruption commission.
    On 15/9/2017 Labor voted against establishing a federal anti-corruption commission.

    Regarding an anti-corruption watchdog, Labors current policy of ‘No / ‘not yet / not sure’ is consistent with the view of <20% of the electorate. I hope, sometime in the near future, Labor finalises its ‘process reviews’ and changes.its policy to one more in line with the express wishes of the overwhelming majority.

    no info was sourced from twitter or meme..

  49. paul walter

    Ukrainians have a more direct way of dealing with political corruption:

    Some folk just don’t understand the hardships politicians face in raising funds.

  50. corvus boreus

    I’ve already read Doug Cameron’s account of the senate session of 15/5/2014 as part of my efforts to put together some kind of logically coherent picture (aka ‘truth’) regarding some events that occurred around an issue (the various forms of corruption occurring within and around governance) that I give a hell of a lot more than 2 scats about.
    This perusal was in addition to reading the (slightly conflicting) account of ex-senator Waters, and, more importantly, checking he transcripts of Hansard (probably the best primary source). No focus was given to tweets and memes.
    The ever-present reality of partisan perspectives and party politics aside, my biggest issue with Senator Cameron was that, on his website, he did not offer any response to the many comments below asking for commitment to positive action (ICAC now/soon) rather than offering self-justification and a few words of highly quantified and purely theoretical support..
    However, despite my disappointment with Doug Cameron regarding this single issue, last election round I still threw him a strategically numbered bone on the big sheet, mainly in account of some solid representative performances like this one;

    Silly me?

  51. Trish Corry

    I don’t believe Senator Cameron personally responds to comments on his Facebook much at all. Many politicians do not.

  52. Trish Corry

    Kaye, I looked up what you posted from the 2015 conference. This appears to be the beginning of where we are now. Progressive politics does not happen overnight. Particularly when some are of the view, that x doesn’t need to change, or we don’t need x. The article clearly said there was a push for an ICAC at the Labor conference.

    Perhaps Labor’s model, rather than reactionary thought bubbles the Liberal Govt does, might attribute to why Labor has a list of successful National Reforms a mile long and the Govt, doesn’t.

    The other section of the article shows the result of the discussion. This goes back to my point. Labor’s formal position was announced as a review of the existing system. Your comment adds nothing to this. All you are doing is stating how the decision to support a review was formed.

    “It (Labor) agreed to review “existing commonwealth institutions to adequately capture a national system”. Those bodies included the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, the Australian National Audit Office, the inspector-general of intelligence security, the public accounts and audit committee, Senate estimates committees, the Australian Public Service Commission and the Australian Crime Commission.”

    Also as above, donation reform. Clearly, large steps forward.

    As the next Prime Minister, if Shorten does reject ICAC for a different model, he will need to explain in great detail why, and why that model will work. Because no Prime Ministers are hounded like Labor Prime Ministers, or opposition leaders for that matter.

    Shorten, will do this with openness and honesty about the detail, as he has done with everything else so far. That, you can bank on.

  53. Kaye Lee

    ” Progressive politics does not happen overnight.”

    They’ve been discussing and rejecting it for over 30 years.

    “Your comment adds nothing to this.”

    I dunno…it got you to read what actually happened.

    Labor made some great steps forward – a carbon price, marine parks, Murray-Darling, Gonski, the NBN, National Partnerships, the NDIS, a mining tax albeit poorly designed, a start at least on gambling reform etc. The list is indeed long….the Apologies, increasing the tax free threshold to $18,200 and the superannuation guarantee to 9.5%, the stimulus that allowed us to survive the GFC.

    But what one government puts in place, the next can pull asunder.

    Shorten seems to be getting closer but a federal ICAC is still not Labor policy. He has had more than enough time to come up with a plan if he didn’t like the ones on offer. I find it hard to accept that he needs more time to look into it and think about it.

    My suggestion is that they make its jurisdiction from here on in rather than examining things from the past. That would free up the existing bodies to pursue past cases if necessary and be more likely to get support from the current crop of pollies if they just have to be good from now on and not think about what they might face if their past behaviour was examined which could degenerate into a tit for tat witch hunt.

  54. corvus boreus

    Ta for trying to assuage my hurt feelings by sharing your personal belief.on why Senator Cameron wouldn’t respond to comments.
    Within all the information (+ opinion) that I have posted on this thread, Doug’s discourtesy was obviously my primary concern.

  55. Trish Corry

    A federal ICAC has only gained real momentum in recent years. Your point is moot.

    No, your comment adds nothing, because it presents no case whatsoever to support that Labor is against a Federal ICAC. I won’t comment on the pretentiousness of “making me read something”

    I knew what had happened, as per my previous comment obviously, where I stated Labor’s position was a review. Your cherry picked comments, omitting the important stuff, only confused things. Its that simple.

    No, it isn’t in Labor’s platform, because the platform is decided at conference and you have just referenced the last conference where they decided on a review. The next conference hasn’t happened yet. In addition, it may just be an election year. Labor will release their position on certain things when they think that timing is right; because timing is crucial in politics. No one knows what the inner sector of Labor is working on following the Senate committee review.

    There is clearly support for an ICAC within Labor. Shorten was the one who facilitated the review, using the proper process. As I said earlier. I know all this proper process stuff might be boring for some; particularly those who think yelling and screaming by politicians, is some quality way forward.

    From memory, I am sure that the review did state that the current system was not adequate. But at that level to just say “Yeh chuck it to an ICAC” in my opinion is irresponsible, when what that looks like is yet to be decided upon. Clearly there is support from the Senate committee for a new system of review, but the detail does need to be sorted first.

    I often wonder, what people get out of casting doubt over Shorten and Labor time and time again. Particularly pushing out of context opinions as some type of fact; when the alternative to Govern is the Liberal Party.

    For those who keep chomping at the bit, trying to paint Shorten as some dodgy brother; if a Liberal led Royal commission, with a Liberal party supportive judge, found nothing against Shorten; then what will it take for people to accept that he is a decent and honest man? For some, it appears, the Blue-Green cool-aid has worked far too well.

    As previously: Shorten, will address the issue of ICAC with openness and honesty about the detail, as he has done with everything else so far. That, you can bank on.

  56. Roswell

    Trish, you may be able to answer a question for me. And yes, this is a genuine question, not meant in any way other than to answer my own musings.

    What happens if a Labor politician speaks on an issue that has not had a policy formulated on it, or the politician’s opinion goes against Labor’s policies?

    For instance:

    States that an ICAC is needed.

    Opposes offshore detention.

    Says that Labor will rip up Turnbull’s NBN and start again.

    Opposes data retention.

    Actually, on anything.

  57. Chris

    So Jay Weatherill, Where DO You Stand ?

    Banned in Queensland, but OK for SA?!

    I also just discovered that Labor’s Significant Tree Legislation does not apply to any regional areas outside of the Adelaide Hills and Mt Barker council areas. It has other failings also.

    What is wrong with SA Labor ?

  58. Chris

    Where did my post go, then ?

    Too much legitimate criticism of SALabor for you ?

  59. Chris

    Pathetic…..and you call yourself independent media….

  60. corvus boreus

    Sometimes words can seem well spent yet feel utterly wasted.
    Especially true when the accurate delivery of validated information bounces straight off topical disinterest combined with brand prejudice.
    Time for this one to shrug and exit the thread lest I start opinionating too honestly.

  61. Matters Not

    TC, let me state at the outset that I expect and hope that Labor will win the next election and many, many more in the future. Further, I am not interested in comparisons along the lines – but the LNP would be worse. I know that! I am only interested in discussing the ALP and how it can do better.

    Having said that, I take issue with the claim that:

    Shorten, will address the issue of ICAC with openness and honesty about the detail, as he has done with everything else so far. That, you can bank on.

    Re openness and honesty … as he has done with everything else so far. Can I then draw your attention to this quote:

    in the final few weeks of government, it touted Gonski around the country in an unholy scramble to entice states to sign up to deals in which the fundamental principles were entirely secondary.

    The it cited was Bill Shorten – the deal maker who completely ignored the fundamental principles underpinning Gonski and in so doing lost Gonski as a winning strategy for Labor in both the immediate and long term future..

    Shorten’s career is characterised by tactics, deals, pragmatism and the like. He needs to think beyond the immediate.

  62. Roswell

    Chris, your comment was caught up in the spam folder.

  63. Matters Not

    Re political donations and who should be permitted to make same, under what circumstances and what should be disclosed.

    Seems to me that we need some conceptual clarification re donation as a starting point. For most people donation begins and ends with the dollars recorded on a balance sheet somewhere. But that’s just the tip of a much larger ice-berg. By way of example. Gina helped her mate Barnaby in times gone by, not only with direct financial assistance but also indirectly by paying for people on the ground – flown in from WA, accommodated, fed and clothed, vehicles supplied and the like. Is that a donation? There’s nothing on the books of the Nationals is there? Yes or No?

    What about an editorial or two in a national newspaper that endorses one party over another? Is that a donation? Does it attempt to influence the outcome of an election? Should that be recorded?

    What about GetUp and its efforts to resist the Adani mine? Is that a donation to the ALP or the Greens? Or neither. What about the CFMEU, the IPA. the … ?

    Without some conceptualise analysis, we won’t have any clarity – will we.

  64. paul walter

    Chris, having largely sided with the multitude of posters who remain sceptical of the Trish Corry, position I’ll mitigate a little for her position against the contextual backdrop involving certain real world realities by suggesting that implicit in her position is the tacit understanding that funding for political parties is a murky thing involving the “natural” tendency of large corporations and individuals to finance an overtly conservative organisation, the LNP, in return for it eschewing policies that favour the self interest of these bodies and individuals even against the existential interests of the majority…Tax cuts for the wealthy funded by welfare cuts is an example that comes to mind. The Trump, Rinehart, Murdoch and high finance types and several international powers, have huge political clout on behalf of their caste.

    With de-industrialisation and the deterioration of the financial and physical clout of the trade union movement, Labor AND the Greens have already had to compromise on certain policies to gain necessary funding from groups like the forestry industries, say, or agribusiness, for imperative financial support, at the cost of what many of us would consider to be rational labour, welfare and environmental policies.

    Some of the reactive policies of the last generation have proven a bitter pill for many thinking people, yet reflect certain realities involving both local and global power formations and structures.

    So. with human nature, some of the “donating” to ALL major parties could best be described as crass soft or actual corruption conducted under the aegis of financing that has amounted to obvious bribery for favours, yet this current situation is based on a certain mucky reality as to human affairs.

    I’m sure people like Corry would agree in private that much of what has gone on this century has a redolent ambience of utter rancidity, yet the rest must pause for moment to consider the underlying view that further fund cutting for Labor and the Greens can only accelerate the movement toward oligarchy already apparent this century and this decade in particular. If we are collectively fighting a defensive or rear guard action, Trish Corry’s argument begins to be take on a different significance.

    An after thought: Just how murky it gets involves the latest example of the QLD governemt and alternative means of Adani. I find it difficult to beleive that any one could bebelieve that the ALD governemt was not offering tacit assurance that Adani would be iether done rationally or stopped, yet news the last coupleof days indicates they are trying to dodge it by seeking alternative finance for the project

  65. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee,
    I certainly did not think that the info you posted at 10:01 am was irrelevant or worthless.
    Up until then I had been under the impression (possibly misinformed) that the 2015 ALP conference had rejected the question of the ALP adopting policy towards forming a federal anti-corruption body via defeat by general party vote,(caucus / rank & file.).
    Now I know that the ALP bigwigs decided that the issue of corruption in positional power was unworthy of putting to the plebs.
    It is a good thing to be corrected in one’s opinion by exposure to evidential fact.

    Meanwhile, back to the review eternal…

    In the case where the ministerial office colluded with the ROC & AFP to instigate a heavily armed and politically motivated raid on AWU offices, seeking non-criminal documentation that the union was not legally obliged to keep, and also conspired to leak operational information to selected media outlets to ensure cameras were present to record the drama…

    Methinks t’would be good to have a sharper, nobler hound than the ACLEI (aka Dutton’s gummy lapdog) available to lay it’s nose onto the scent of that weasel trail.

  66. Trish Corry

    Roswell, what an odd question. I assume if anyone in Labor has a free thought, I guess they are banished to purgatory, where the union boss demons munch on their souls for eternity.

  67. Trish Corry

    Matters Not: What about GetUp and its efforts to resist the Adani mine? Is that a donation to the ALP or the Greens? Or neither. What about the CFMEU, the IPA. the … ?

    I hardly think that Get UPs and the Greens attempt to remove one of the best Premiers QLD has ever had, with a massive campaign with I would estimate thousands from down south, jumping onto social media and derailing every single important post about health or education etc., with Adani stuff (they have all gone away now the election is over….funny that, such dedicated ‘activists’). is in any way shape or form a donation to the Labor party. The Greens candidate on Twitter, basically admitted to me that Stop Adani was a campaign to try to win 3 inner Brisbane Greens seats in QLD.

    The person behind this campaign, is now….shock horror….now going for a QLD senate seat for the Greens. What an arrogant douche he is.

    The alternative to Labor in the QLD election was the joint governance of LNP and PHON. Never once did these Greens or Get Up, attack, warn or campaign against the destruction that would have brought to us. They have every right to campaign, but they are selfish, ideological garbage, who never see the big picture. Get Up and the Greens can go die in a hole.

    Union donations, like all donations to Labor are reported in real time. Unions are central to Labor. It is why Labor exists. Without unions, Labor may as well pack up and go home. It is different to say a business group lobbying, in my opinion.

    Should paid appearances on Breakfast TV for Pauline Hanson be a campaign donation? Should the Business Groups lobbying for certain things, as we will see with the hotels? association or similar in Tasmania, will be funding a campaign against Labor. How the mining industry campaigned against a carbon tax?

    The Libs are trying now to stop union activism and Get Up activism. Activist groups are not always in lock step with a party. It is usually a single issue. Unions were not in lock step with Bligh when she sold the railway and rightly so. Activism funded by individuals should remain untouched.

  68. Roswell

    Trish, what an odd answer.

  69. Chris

    So Trish….should the Conservation Council of SA also “go die in a hole” ?

    Should my town that has a proposal current for a novel in-situ leaching project for radio-active rare earth elements within the town itself also “die in a hole” ?

    Should anyone who cares for our coastal reserves “go die in a hole” ?

    Should the people cut off workers compensation in SA and left with no income “go die in a hole” ?

    From my one response from John Rau that seems to be his attitude.

    I’m sorry but Labor deserves criticism in SA, the Liberals are forever shit and Xenophon is an egotistical moron who cares for nothing but himself…

  70. Chris

    @Roswell “Chris, your comment was caught up in the spam folder.”

    Ok I’m back now and not quite as grumpy…..except with SALabor

    Labor is forcing its adherents to defend the indefensible in many areas because they have no internal logical ethical stance on probably anything (the Labor Party that is…)

  71. Matters Not

    Activism funded by individuals should remain untouched.

    So it’s legitimate that Gina can donate what she likes regardless of type? And Rupert, as an individual, should also remain untouched when it comes to his many and varied donations to the LNP?

    Yes it’s difficult but the present arrangements need review. And urgently. Or should we just admit it’s all too hard and continue down the US track where governments are bought and sold on a regular basis?

  72. Trish Corry

    That’s a good point matters not. However I meant activist groups, rather than billionaires with vested profit making interests.

  73. Trish Corry

    Chris, are the SA conservation group trying to create an air of distrust towards Labor to pave the way for a PHON LNP Govt?

  74. Kaye Lee

    You can’t always meet criticism with threats that the other guys would be worse. Labor would do well to listen to people’s concerns. Also, the constant vitriole towards the Greens isn’t helpful if you want to win votes from the people who are vascillating between the two. Most of us are more interested in policy than party shenanigans. We should be able to point out where we think Labor can improve or decisions that we disagree with without being aggressively dismissed.

  75. Chris

    It is possible wealthy and corrupt people are members of the Conservation Council SA… The whole of SA is full of corrupt individuals.

    “”It’s hard to imagine a more irresponsible plan,” said Craig Wilkins, Chief Executive of Conservation SA.

    “Last year, Queensland made Underground Coal Gasification illegal after it contaminated hundreds of square kilometres of the Darling Downs with harmful gases.

    “Yet on Friday, despite the objections of energy experts, environmental groups, nearby residents and Traditional Owners, the Weatherill Government accepted for public consultation a potential trial at the old Leigh Creek mine site,” he said.”

    “”Allowing this dirty technology in our state is completely at odds with a Government that regularly flies to Paris and New York to trumpet their climate change credentials,” said Wilderness Society SA Director Peter Owen.”

    Their statements give no evidence for that though…. I can only judge them by what they say and I have no idea who they are personally.

    I totally distrust Labor in SA….with good reason(s). No one needs to “create an air of distrust”.

  76. Roswell

    We should be able to point out where we think Labor can improve or decisions that we disagree with without being aggressively dismissed.

    Can we please pin that to the top of the page!

  77. ozibody

    I have thoroughly enjoyed the overall experience of reading this Comments Thread.

    In line with my thinking in respect of this Federal ICAC discussion i have started to list a number of my random thoughts … before posting may I draw attention to an article I recently read ?

    ” Just a couple of extracts : In 1742 the Scottish philosopher David Hume wrote, “Parties from principle, especially abstract speculative principle, are known only to modern times, and are, perhaps, the most extraordinary and unaccountable phenomenon that has appeared in human affairs.”
    Hume’s observation is a useful insight into the kinds of division and polarization that characterize the American political landscape today ”

    O.K. so it refers back to the 1700’s … so does Adam Smith’s Neo-Liberalism …. which I firmly believe devotees strictly adhere to today !

    Then , the article refers to the U.S. … yet when I read the content, it appears to reflect Australia today/tomorrow (yesterday ?) … …. corporatisation (in a wide variety of guises) dates back centuries ….. Kings / Emperors.

    Following is another extract in case the above link does not work … or there’s some lack of initiative to explore it…

    ” Very little has been said by the right or left in recent years about the virtues of mediating institutions, those bedrocks of a civil society that stand between the state and the individual, such as local associations, schools, houses of worship, neighborhoods, and families. The Contract with America that defined the Republican revolution of 1994 was anchored by policy goals presupposing the centrality of families, neighborhoods, and personal responsibility and action at the local level. Today, listening to the most prominent talking heads and politicians on the left and right, it is as if America is a nation full of unsheltered individuals seeking protection from a federal overseer. The sacred middle layer of protection between the state and the individual has largely disappeared from political rhetoric.

    This problem is compounded by the incompatibility of a politics of abstraction with American institutions, which is a second problematic development. Our institutions are supposed to be vehicles through which publicly minded individuals engage in the give-and-take of solving common problems and pursuing commonly held goals. And yet our fundamental institutions such as Congress, universities, the executive branch, the media, and even the courts have increasingly become platforms for ideological expression in lieu of serving their core public purposes. It is no surprise that public confidence in them has declined significantly in the past few decades.”

    I was not aware of obvious Politisation of Local Councils in my early days … tho’ Religion / Lodge was a factor in those times ! … In the Queensland bush the pollies pitched from the back of a truck, on the street corner … under the light ! … talked up their achievements / philosophy DIRECT to interested voters ! … 🙂 …Then … from (around) the 1950’s along came $$ MONEY $$ / easy street !!

    I have the feeling that part of the reason for current electoral dissatisfaction lies in the smothering / suffocation of the Individual !

    In today’s society, there’s a plethora of ….. Rules – Regulations – Restrictions – (unjust) Legal Factors – etc. etc. which can be & ARE used to bind Individualism ! … consequently Individuals feel locked out of having much / any say in their day-to-day-affairs !

    So to reiterate from the above … “The sacred middle layer of protection between the state and the individual has largely disappeared from political rhetoric.”.

    Could this be part of the reason why PHON and other ‘ partycles ‘ find a receptive ear ?

    Come on Labor. … Go Bold … Go Deep … Go Households … … , nuf sed … lunchtime … 😉 …..



  78. Trish Corry

    Kaye Lee “You can’t always meet criticism with threats that the other guys would be worse”

    I welcome your calm acceptance of a possibility of a Pauline Hanson led state Government wherever you live and calmly say nothing to those who risk making that a reality.

    Me? No way in hell will I ever remain silent while that is a risk.

  79. Trish Corry

    Well Chris, I hope you cope well with a Liberal Government, because that is what you will receive. Let us know how much they shaft you and how you are coping when that happens.

  80. Trish Corry

    Roswell, who is aggressively dismissing anyone?

  81. Roswell

    Trish, we get it here a lot. And often!

    People don’t usually see the comments though because they don’t make it past moderation.

    If you were one of the moderators, you’d know what I was talking about.

  82. Trish Corry

    Kaye, if you so desperately want to change Labor. Join Labor.

    The Greens are not an extension of Labor, they are an opposition party to Labor. People need to get used to that idea. Their campaign in QLD was the most disgusting, deceitful, aggressive campaign, I have ever witnessed in my life. When the Greens are more repulsive than the regional QLD LNP, people need to look at who the Greens REALLY are and stop shoving them on the end of Labor, as if Labor needs them to ‘be a good party.” If you want to vote for a party who will Govern and have the power to effect change, vote Labor. If you want a party with a history of national reforms that have made all of our lives better, vote Labor. If you want a Government with the workers interest embedded in their values. Vote Labor.

    If you want a party who will be open, transparent, conduct the proper investigations with experts etc and explain everything in detail as to why whatever model of ICAC or similar will work, then vote Labor.

    If you like the idea of protesting against anything and everything, without ever having the possibility of that party Governing, vote for Greens, Katter or PHON. If you are rich or stupid. Vote Liberal. It is that simple.

    and Kaye when someone disagrees with you, you aren’t being aggressively dismissed.

  83. Mick Byron

    Kaye LeeJanuary 23, 2018 at 10:23 am
    “Also, the constant vitriole towards the Greens isn’t helpful ”
    Kaye Lee I was in Queensland from prior to the Queensland State election being called right through to its conclusion.
    The thing that struck me most was the almost total campaign against Labor by the Greens and hardly a mention of the Nationals Liberals One Nation or the Katter Party unless the were added to the Labor attack almost as an afterthought,Some of the Greens doorknockers let truth fly out the window and would probably been actionable legally particularly in the seat of the then Deputy Premier Jackie Trad as to her “alleged” my emphasis, corruption.When challenged they just walked off.
    The old saying “know your enemy” bears true in Queemsland pollitics and Queensland Labor seems to have done due dilligence and identified the Queensland Greens as the enemy.After what I personally witness in their campaign methods I will certainly never have Greens in the top ten of any ballot I ever lodge and will be doing my utmost to ensure my friends are well aware of those Queensland tactics
    I did find of interest that after the all out attack on Labor by the Queenland Greens in the last days of campaigning the Greens issued a list of demands for Labor and the others Parties to gain Green support for minority Government.The hypocracy was noted and the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had already made it clear there would be no deals with the Queensland Greens

  84. corvus boreus

    I wouldn’t say that calling both GetUp and the Greens (and presumably all who support either organisation/party) ‘selfish garbage’ who can ‘go die in a hole’ is an ‘aggressive dismissal’, but then again I don’t think that Labor consistently voting against a federal anti-corruption commission means that Labor opposes a federal anti-corruption commission, and I also believe that you can be in favor of the Adani Carmichael mines project without being pro-Adani.
    I only mention this because I secretly want Pauline Hanson to become PM.

  85. Chris

    “Well Chris, I hope you cope well with a Liberal Government, because that is what you will receive. Let us know how much they shaft you and how you are coping when that happens.”

    You don’t seem to get that there is not much more shafting to be done….and all the Labor polis who lose their seats will all leave the state like the ones before them….
    …and it won’t be any of my fault if the Liberals win it is all down to Labor MPs being crooked, unaccountable and a bunch of general f..wits.

  86. Trish Corry

    No Corvus. Get up and Greens go die in a hole comment was not an aggressive dismissal, it is my personal feelings towards both of them. In fact when I unsubscribed from Get Up, I personally wrote to them and told them basically to Get F…. so bring them here is you like, I’ll say it to their face. I officially loathe them. After the QLD Campaign, both of them can go die in a hole. Take a good look at Micks comment, as every comment I make is met with snark. If you don’t believe me, believe him. Every word is true.

  87. Trish Corry

    No Chris. In a democracy the voters decide the Govt. So if you vote so the Liberals beat Labor, you have decided that. You are a free agent.

  88. corvus boreus

    I notice that the central topic seems to have been shifted from possible practical remedies for evident corruption in federal politics (eg Labor adopting the policy of establishing a federal anti-corruption commission) into a slag-fest about why some people reckon the Qld Greens and GetUp were horrible during the last Qld election.
    I also note that, although opinions are running strong and slogans being slung, backing of supportive evidence is mostly lacking.
    MC Trish is in da house!.

  89. Trish Corry

    You are a very nasty person Corvus.

  90. Chris

    I’m in a safe Liberal seat …..i’m tempted to screw up or set fire to my voting paper. My vote will be pointless once again.
    South Australians are a hopeless bunch of ignorant morons.
    I’d happily post the pathetic response letter I got from John Rau….it gave me very much the impression he’d be surprised if he held his seat and consequently didn’t have to do anything. No joke. I wonder whether he could lose it ? We’ll see.

  91. diannaart

    The Greens are not an extension of Labor, they are an opposition party to Labor.

    If the Greens are in opposition to Labor? What does that make the LNP, Katter & Hanson, et al?

  92. corvus boreus

    I know, hateful, nasty me.
    Perhaps I should just ‘find a hole and die’.
    You on the other hand, are the pinnacle of reason and decency.

  93. Mick Byron

    ChrisJanuary 23, 2018 at 10:25 am

    I note you seem to be concerned about clean energy but have a clear dislike of S.A. Labor .
    I read in New Energy just a day otr two ago
    “For much of its first weeks of operation, most of the Tesla big battery’s activities were a mixture of tests, trials and just a little showboating – going from zero to 100MW in 140 milliseconds, jumping in ahead of contracted generators to arrest falls in frequency as big coal generators tripped off-line, and just generally being smart and fast.

    Some of its early manoeuvres were spectacular but didn’t appear designed to be making money, focusing more on testing its capacities and abilities, particularly its speed of response and reliability, as much for the satisfaction of its builders (Tesla) and owners (Neoen) as for curious third parties.

    That phase seems largely complete, and in the midst of the heatwave and the gyrations in supply, demand and pricing last week, it seems that Tesla is now able to demonstrate its ability to cash in and make money for its owners.”

    With the outstanding success of this and Premier Wetherilll bringing world leading clearer reliable energy to South Australia, I assume you are a South Australian so could you tell me the Liberals plans for the Tesla Power producer?
    Do they intend to disasssemble or decommission it,?
    I did read through the South Australian Conservation Society site but they seem do ignore or skip over achievements of the Wetherill Government.
    As one from the Eastern states I would like to know the Liberal plan for “world leading” Tesla technology

  94. Matters Not

    Re membership of the ALP, Butler has some ideas:

    He called for creation of a new category of “ registered supporters ” who would be allowed to vote alongside members in important party ballots. He said that would reflect the way many people chose to take part in progressive politics and would make the party more representative

    Note his reference to people choosing ro participate in progressive politics which is an encouraging sign. Ideas before party. No wonder the factions don’t like him and his ideas.

  95. Chris

    @Mick Byron Really apart from renewables being the cheapest and most sensible option the Labor government didn’t exactly have many other options anyway. They had just ‘built’ a supposedly demand responsive gas power station at Pelican Point. Which generally ran much under capacity. No one was going to build anything else and our coal is really just dirt.
    They don’t deserve a medal for choosing the only available option, I reckon.

  96. Trish Corry

    I do not like Mark Butlers idea at all.

  97. Matters Not

    Not surprised TC. Not surprised!

    Can’t let progressive ideas get in the way of party affiliation and political games. That would never do.

  98. Chris

    I also don’t know that the Liberals have the collective imagination to have formulated any real plans apart from the usual pillaging and moralizing.

    @Matters Not “He called for creation of a new category of “ registered supporters ” who would be allowed to vote alongside members in important party ballots.”
    Kind of like the people with blue ticks on twitter ? Cos we’s a classless society….

  99. Roswell

    Sounds like a good idea, MN.

    I know people who did belong to the party. One had been a member for 20 years. The only thing they have in common is that they have all left the party in the last 18 months.

    And why?

    Because their membership and their voice were worthless. They wanted change, but they weren’t getting it. They wanted an end to offshore detention, but the party didn’t.

    It appears that if the party doesn’t want to end offshore detention, their experience has taught them that no amount of agitating at the grassroots level will change that.

    What’s really disappointing is that a couple of these people will not be voting for Labor at the next election.

    PS: I’m sure that if Labor did a poll of their supporters to find out if they support offshore detention, the result would be a firm ‘No’.

    They’re not listening.

  100. Chris

    This is part of my email’s to Mr Rau (with no identifying names of businesses or people). in his response he asked me to prove something before he would do anything. I provided the proof with another letter and have heard nothing for months (with no income or capacity to work or lead a normal life)

    ‘When I was injured my employer, a labour hire company employed the services of a private/for profit paramedic instead of an ethical ambulance service. I was then taken to a Private Hospital where I was treated by a Dr . The circumstances of my treatment at the private hospital were rather strange and considerably irregular compared to the treatment you might expect at a hospital.

    the doctor was totally unfamiliar with the layout of the emergency theatre. It was not his usual workplace…

    the paramedic who had just been yelling at me because i had gone around the corner to the service station to get phone credit even though i had asked at reception and had been told the wait would be considerable had invited himself into the emergency theatre where the doctor points to something in the wound with the irrigation syringe and says : “Let’s just pretend it will get better and lets just sew it up anyway.”

    the doctor acted very much like he was reporting to the paramedic and that my presence was entirely incidental. I think they were covering up an injury to the ulnar nerve.

    I was obviously greatly concerned about this and complained to the duty nurse . I was also concerned that they intended to send me directly back to work possibly risking further injury. She came back very flustered and refused to say anything. She had obviously been bullied.

    It seems to me that I was not treated by an employee of the private Hospital and I received no documentation that I was a patient or client of anyone.

    I attempted to make a complaint about my treatment to the private Hospital where I spoke to the Emergency Manager, who promised to get back to me but never did.

    Within hours my right hand had swollen up considerably and stayed swollen for more than 6 months

    My regular GP was not allowed to see workcover patients and I became stuck in the parallel health system of the spineless shysters, idealogues and crooks that populate the approved workcover medical system and a particular a corporate health provider.

    Despite repeating this account of what happened to every doctor, lawyer, everyone, no one will even document my version of events.’

    Also a quote from my former rehabilitation consultant who tortured me through my work placements.
    On his cessation of ‘providing rehabilitation services’ he said, “They have treated you worse than a dog.”
    That is a pretty damning statement and I was obviously shocked. I did not like this guy at all as he had continually brought up anecdotes of his former clients suiciding and he was generally not a nice guy. He had seen however how bad my condition could get on a number of occasions….etc. lots more…

    You see how badly these cretins are willing to screw someone over ?

    Oh yeah and all these complications of my condition that all doctors I have been allowed to see claim cannot happen but here they all are in a medical paper.
    What am I to make of all this ?

  101. Chris

    And also if anyone’s curious I got injured by someone else mucking around and being an idiot.

  102. corvus boreus

    Methods of dealing with unauthorized sea-borne immigration arrivals is, for both Labor people and the broader public, a somewhat divisive and controversial issue, with few clear practical options available as solutions that would please the majority..

    The formation of an independent body to reduce corruption in federal governance has near unanimous public support, is obviously in the public interest, and various ‘trial’ models for potential solutions are already in place at state level to examine relative flaws/merits.

    That is why I, as a voter who thinks political corruption is a malignant, systemic cancer, acting to pervert even the most decently intended public policy, get rather pissed off at all the years of empty words, and cynical ‘cunctator’ strategies of eternal reviews.

  103. Kaye Lee


    Tony Fitzgerald summed it up well in his article “The body politic is rotten”

    “insiders see problems with insiders’ eyes, recognise only some of the problems and few of the causes and suggest insiders’ solutions with voters as mere bystanders. The usual, and sometimes intended, outcome is a flurry of superficial activity, appointment of a suitable group of other insiders to report, lengthy discussion of their report, considerable navel-gazing, a feel-good pronouncement and business as usual.

    Realistically, since politicians are unlikely to support any significant change which might reduce their power, genuine reform will be extremely difficult. However, it is not impossible if it is owned and driven by the community.”

    Democracy, ethics, tolerance and public civility

    Unfortunately, some think the community should just hush and leave it to the party members.

  104. Kaye Lee

    Tony goes on to say….

    “Those elected are not chosen to exemplify society’s flaws and vices but to act with integrity, make decisions for the public benefit and, as it was put by the late Professor Julius Stone, exercise power ‘subject to the restraints of shared socio-ethical conventions’. The cynicism and debased standards of modern party politics totally disregard those principles.”

  105. Trish Corry

    What a huge assumption Matters Not. You have no idea why I don’t like his idea.

  106. corvus boreus

    “some think the community should just hush and leave it to the party members”.
    Based upon what you previously posted, rank and file ALP membership seems not to have had any ‘insider’ opportunity to express their wishes regarding the generally perceived need for a ‘fed-ICAC’ (or similar).
    I gather that the ALP upper echelon decided upon ‘review’ rather than ‘reform’ without bothering to consulting their fan-base.
    Such is politics.

  107. Matters Not

    TC re:

    You have no idea why I don’t like his idea.

    Possibly so. But you do have a history of sorts when it comes to existing structural arrangements within the ALP. An emotional investment and all that because you are an active participant. That’s understandable. It’s why some are conservatives and don’t want to change (too much).

    Nevertheless, it’s over to you so you can explain your objections and wipe away my ignorance.

  108. Chris

    For some reason copy pasting is not working correctly.

    this bit “the paramedic who had just been yelling at me because i had gone around the corner to the service station to get phone credit even though i had asked at reception and had been told the wait would be considerable had invited himself into the emergency theatre where the doctor points to something in the wound with the irrigation syringe and says : “Let’s just pretend it will get better and lets just sew it up anyway.””

    or is it the moderator being a dick again ?

  109. Chris

    nice how you had nothing to say about it anyway Trish.

  110. Roswell

    Chris, there’s a comment of yours in the deleted folder. Did you put that there, or do you want it cleared?

  111. Chris

    Yeah i was trying to work out why the copy pasting wasn’t appearing correctly after posting. The same thing happened again where it cut the ends of all the lines and skipped some as well… It looks fine before you ‘post comment’

    Maybe it is because they were dot points or something.

  112. Roswell

    ozibody, it case you’re wondering what had happened to your comment, It had been caught up in the spam folder. This can happen sometimes with comments that include links. Not often, fortunately, but it happened to Chris last night too.

  113. Roswell

    Let me check it out to see why it happened.

    And no, I wasn’t being a dick. I’m trying to be helpful.

  114. Roswell

    I can’t check the coding unless it is a published comment. Is it OK to re-post it for you?

  115. Chris

    it was the same as the one above that didn’t work out (@4.57) If that is fixable, that would be better.
    the discarded one was only part. the bit that didn’t work

  116. Kaye Lee


    It is something to do with the apostrophes as I explained yesterday. They are inserting some sort of code. I fixed it.

  117. Mick Byron

    corvus boreusJanuary 23, 2018 at 6:43 pm
    “some think the community should just hush and leave it to the party members”.
    I assume that the few on this site wanting imput into Labor policy without membership.are asking the same questions of the other 80 or so registered Parties as well?
    As {it seems} Greens sympathisers have you requested imput into Greens policy without the need for membership?
    Would it help to start by asking at least for the public to be allowed to attend State and Federal Greens conferences {as Labor does} or at least have limited Media coverage.
    or at least have some knowledge of Leadership changes as even Greens members only find out after the event and from a Tv or Newspaper report, or is it just Labor who need to be influenced from without?
    An interesting Four Corners episode still available on ABC,Inside the Greens may make for worthwhile viewing

  118. Roswell

    Thanks Kaye.

  119. corvus boreus

    Mick Byron,
    Not being a member of the Greens, I have no real opportunity to input into their stance on a federal anti-corruption commission.
    However, given that their policy objectives on this matter already align quite closely with my own, I see little need to attempt to exert significant influence upon the Greens anti-corruption stance.

  120. Chris

    Thanks heaps Kaye. I wasn’t sure that it wasn’t being auto-moderated somehow because of too much pasted text or something.

  121. corvus boreus

    Ps, Mick Byron,
    Given that you have given us your opinion on Greens/GetUp tactics in the Qld election, the SA gov’s renewable energy achievements and the internal policy processes of the Greens & other minors, any chance on getting your views on the validity of the idea that our federal parliament needs a better watchdog than the current system of predominant self-regulation, and ideas on how Labor could be convinced to accommodate the view of the overwhelming public majority (which was, after all, the main thrust of the authors article)?

  122. Mick Byron

    corvus boreus
    “some think the community should just hush and leave it to the party members”.
    So this was only in regard to ICAC, not other policy or leadership as I had read on previous occasions?

  123. corvus boreus

    Mick Byron (January 23, 2018 at 9:38 pm),
    Since the words you put in quotation marks were not originally posted by me (you quote me response-quoting Kaye Lee), it is not really my place to explain the initial intent or context of those words.

  124. Mick Byron

    corvus boreusJanuary 23, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    Ps, Mick Byron,
    “Given that you have given us your opinion on Greens/GetUp tactics in the Qld election,”

    I made absolutely no comment about Getup or its tactics
    .I commented directly on the Greens campaign and what I personally witnessed from advertising,online, Candidates and Greens volunteers.and from observations of relatives friends and work colleagues I was with at the time
    My desire that Labor never have any association with the Greens was compounded after that experience

  125. Kaye Lee

    If Labor don’t want community input into their policies then why conduct polls, focus groups, town hall meetings, social media monitoring etc?

    And why is any criticism of Labor always interpreted as an attack by “Greens sympathisers” as opposed to an appeal for Labor to do better?

    There HAS to be a solution for the people stuck on Manus and Nauru.

    There HAS to be action on the corruption that we see so often.

    There HAS to be unequivocal and urgent action to combat climate change – not throwing the one person who had the courage to tackle the problem under a bus.

    There HAS to be a better approach to actual needs-based education funding – the “no school will be worse off” was madness.

    There HAS to be better vetting of candidates for pre-selection and senate tickets – Joe Bullock? Seriously?

    There HAS to be some questioning of the value of defence spending and ministerial power without oversight or appeal.

    There HAS to be a plan to save the NBN and help those of us stuck with FttN – it will unfairly become a property value issue as well as a PITA.

    There MUST be a stop to the rorting of 457 visas and the exploitation of overseas workers.

    I could go on but I am not a card-carrying member so what would I know.

    I also do not understand how the Greens winning seats in Queensland would deliver government to a Lib/PHON coalition. It might deliver a Labor minority government who governed with support from the Greens but the only people who could hand that to the Lib/PHONS would be Labor if they were too arrogant to work with others.

  126. corvus boreus

    Mick Byron,
    I, upon a quick review, acknowledge that, in your account of the Qld election, you did not mention Getup.
    Now, would you care to comment upon the substance of Mr Lord’s article?

  127. ozibody

    Roswell 8.16 p.m. …Thank you for your info. abt the fate of my comment. Can the original be resurrected, or should I start over again ?
    It’s a bit late now …. will come back in the morning ‘ cos this thread is highly interesting !

    Kaye Lee 8.40 p.m. Indeed ! I was editing an apostrophe (with 3 + minutes available time) on my comment, when I was informed I was out of time. My comment did include a link, which could throw some light on the topic of this thread.

  128. Matters Not


    desire that Labor never have any association with the Greens

    Does that apply to the current administration in the ACT? You know the agreement between Rattenbury and Barr et al?

    To suggest that Labor elected representatives would let a chance go by (to form government or not) is just pie in the sky.

  129. corvus boreus

    ozibody + Chris,
    I recommend that, particularly if the post is laboriously constructed or complicated by multiple links, you copy/save before posting.
    That way, if a missive gets lost/delayed at either end, or in the cyber-ether in between, it can easily be re-posted
    This can reduce stress, save the time and effort of reproduction, and help avoid making false accusations of site censorship.

  130. Roswell

    ozibody, your comment was resurrected prior to my comment about it being caught up in the spam filter. Scroll up.

    corvus, sound advice. 👍

  131. Matters Not

    CB, good advice. But if the entire post is refused, then just post the first sentence or so and if that gets through – using the edit function will allow the rest of the post to be added via cut and paste from your saved scribblings.

    Try it. Works every time for me.

  132. Chris

    @corvus boreus The first accusation wasn’t false as my post was sent to the spam bin automatically or otherwise. Whether you call that site censorship….I really don’t care.

    As for the lack of any real response to my partial story by anyone, it is what I have come to expect. Stony (or dopey) faced silence in the face of corruption. malpractice and corporate and government collusion. We have no community.

  133. corvus boreus

    You are right, I shouldn’t have said ‘false’.
    It is not my place to adjudge the validity of grievances posters express towards this site’s administration.

    As for your recount of encountering medical malcompetence, I read and sympathized, but in reality, on matters regarding the SA health system, I have no valid information, advice or practical assistance available to offer you.

  134. Chris

    never mind. I was just being ‘professionally grumpy’. I hope you see though how it is generally non beneficial to me to explain anything to anyone ever…. 😉
    I know I was a bit rude but in the end it achieved the right result and no one was hurt too badly. Thanks Roswell… and Kaye again (i take it it is a bbcode thing and don’t put 2 quotation marks together ? Is that right ?)

    It is more than “malcompetence” it is conspiracy.

  135. ozibody

    My thanks to Roswell for retrieving my comment ( 1.38 p.m. Jan. 23 ) from the spam filter … in the event that other readers are like me , and tend to read only the ‘latest’ comments as they arrive, I will reprint the link along with some comment from the original, because I feel readers may be interested in that linked article.

    REPRINT : I have thoroughly enjoyed the overall experience of reading this Comments Thread.

    ” Just a couple of extracts : In 1742 the Scottish philosopher David Hume wrote, “Parties from principle, especially abstract speculative principle, are known only to modern times, and are, perhaps, the most extraordinary and unaccountable phenomenon that has appeared in human affairs.”
    Hume’s observation is a useful insight into the kinds of division and polarization that characterize the American political landscape today ”

    O.K. so it refers back to the 1700’s … so does Adam Smith’s Neo-Liberalism …. which I firmly believe devotees strictly adhere to today !

    Then , the article refers to the U.S. … yet when I read the content, it appears to reflect Australia today/tomorrow (yesterday ?) … …. corporatisation (in a wide variety of guises) dates back centuries ….. Kings / Emperors.

    I was not aware of obvious Politisation of Local Councils in my early days … tho’ Religion / Lodge was a factor in those times ! … In the Queensland bush the pollies pitched from the back of a truck, on the street corner … under the light ! … talked up their achievements / philosophy DIRECT to interested voters ! … 🙂 …Then … from (around) the 1950’s along came $$ MONEY $$ / easy street !!

    I have the feeling that part of the reason for current electoral dissatisfaction lies in the smothering / suffocation of the Individual !

    In today’s society, there’s a plethora of ….. Rules – Regulations – Restrictions – (unjust) Legal Factors – etc. etc. which can be & ARE used to bind Individualism ! … consequently Individuals feel locked out of having much / any say in their day-to-day-affairs !

    So to reiterate from the above … “The sacred middle layer of protection between the state and the individual has largely disappeared from political rhetoric.”.

    Could this be part of the reason why PHON and other ‘ partycles ‘ find a receptive ear ?

    Come on Labor. … Go Bold … Go Deep … Go Households … (may have a familiar ring !) …:-)

  136. Roswell

    ozibody, think nothing of it.

    If anything, I’m embarrassed that I wasn’t doing my job properly by checking the spam filter more regularly.

  137. Roswell

    Chris, just so you know, nobody sends comments to the spam folder. They are ‘captured’ by the spam protection software and until one of the admins or moderators checks to see what’s in the spam folder then we never even knew that the comment existed.

    It has nothing to do with censorship.

    Up to 10,000 comments a week get captured by the spam software. On average, one of the comments captured will be a genuine comment – such as yours. It’s regrettable that genuine comments get caught up, but the software stops those other 10,000 comments from being published. Imagine the mayhem if the site didn’t have the software in place!

    Why do genuine comments get caught up? More often than not it is due to a link that the comment contains. True, thousands of comments with links are published without incident. It just happens. Nobody knows why.

  138. Kaye Lee

    I’m not sure Chris but the same thing happened to ozibody’s last post (which I have fixed again.)

    Did you enclose the link in quotes? What I see is (code). If I delete that, the box goes away. as I said, I think it is something to do with apostrophes or quotation marks that get read as some of quote code that doesn’t quite work.

    Other times, if you cut and paste a large section or include several links then it sometimes gets caught up. Other times the gremlins just eat it and don’t let you post at all.

    We do our best.

  139. diannaart


    I read your story and I am sure most AIMers did. I am also sure many of us could recount similar example of incompetence. No comment does not mean a lack of community. People don’t always respond how and when we wish they would. So it goes.

  140. Chris

    Really don’t be ridiculous @dianaart . How is the doctor saying “Let’s pretend it will get better and we’ll just sew it up anyway” not deliberate. Surely you can’t be deliberately incompetent. That would be called something else I’m sure. 🙂

  141. diannaart


    I agreed with you – what happened to you was appalling. I tried to explain, on a public forum, we do not always get the responses we want. This does not mean you are being ignored.

    I feel for you, but I do not wish to engage further, if you call me “ridiculous” or other insults.

    Please target those deserving of your bile.

  142. corvus boreus

    Ä reiterive summation regarding Shorten and “ICAC” (aka federal integrity / anti-corruption commission.

    An ‘ICAC moyion was moved and rejected in 2009, but that was per-Shorten as LOTO
    Bach then, there were greater gaps ithe state/territory anti corruption coverage, and fwer compoarative models to examine.
    There was also not such an obvious and clamorous public desire for such a federal anti-rot investigator to happen

    On 2013 a senate bill was tabled calling for the establishment of a ‘Federal Integrity Commission’.;query=Id:legislation/billhome/s936
    A ‘gag motion’ (aka ‘filibuster-buster’ or ‘STFU & vote’) occurred on 15/5/2014 in an ateempt to force a vote but it was defeated..
    Although it was first tabled in 2013, 5 years later there has still been no vote upon the 2013 Federal Integrity Commission Bill.

    There have been a few other recent senate motions / votes upon the subject of a ‘fed ICAC’..
    On 12/4/2016 Labor voted against establishing a federal anti-corruption commission.
    On 2/2/2017 Labor voted against establishing a federal anti-corruption commission.
    On 15/9/2017 Labor voted against establishing a federal anti-corruption commission.

    On 24/2/2016 a senate select committee was established to examine the notion of creating federal watchdog (+ other options)
    This committee was dissolved for the 2016 election, but a 2nd committee was convened.
    The Committee (2 COAL, 2 LAB, 1 GRN, 1 NXT + HINCH) handed down it’s findings on 13/9/2017.;query=Id:legislation/billhome/s936

    Labors current policy position is to ‘review existing procedures and examine possible reforms’,.although, as BS has stated, an ICAC isn’t something they “necessarily rule out”, just something they don’t currently support.
    This position is statedly based upon “insufficiently demonstrated need” for such a body.

    Credible opinion polls put public support for a federal anti-corruption commission at over 80%

    I guess I will just have to leave it up to our elected representatives to actively demonstrate enough extra corrupt behaviors to sufficiently convince to <20% of polled people who do not see the need for independent oversight of political conduct.
    In this, at least, I have faith in their abilities.

  143. corvus boreus

    PS, I have a comment in moderation here (7 links).

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