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Day to Day Politics: Getting Bill Shorten has begun

Saturday 3 March 2018

It was but a few days ago that I wrote at length about the deplorable state of our democracy. At first I hesitated because to some degree I was repeating a previous post. In it I wrote:

“The public might be forgiven for thinking that the chamber has descended into a chamber of hate where respect for the others view is seen as a weakness. Where light frivolity and wit has been replaced with smut sarcasm and even hatred. And in so doing they debase the parliament and themselves, as moronic imbecilic individuals.”

Then on Thursday I wrote:

“I would not want to be on the end of a barrage of hate filled vile accusations from anyone but this lady seems to have an intensity to her that is unbecoming of any lady. Now the media will be filled with rumours and gossip about Shorten and his staff and he will be called on to deny them. Was it deliberate. Well, when you put the Joyce affair under the microscope and analyse the sequence of events, you would have to wonder.”

I was of course talking about the verbal barrage of hate-filled vitriol directed at the female staff of the Leader of the Opposition. And it was but a week after the Prime Minister gave the nation – and in particular our politicians – a lecture on decency and manners. Why he keeps making a hypocrite of himself is beyond me. The hypocrisy of an unedifying Turnbull is staggering. Last week he was proclaiming the essence of love and goodness and this week his former Minister for Women is ranting about rumours of  sexual behaviour in Bill Shorten’s office.

He leads. Perhaps that’s a bad word. He heads a government of mediocrity and no one bothers to feign shock any more at what repulsion might be around the corner.

There is no doubt in my mind that we have now entered the American phase of politics. Its practice includes lying and slander with an edge that is rancid to the nth degree. To the right-wing conservatives these are legitimate tools in the armoury of political tactics. All that matters is that you create in the minds of the electorate a picture of a man you wouldn’t trust with your wife. If you can drag others in, so much the better. Present them in a tabloid manner of sexual tempestuousness. But I have a hunch that people are over all the personal stuff unless it’s affecting the job or the character of the person you voted for.

As in my piece on Barnaby Joyce where I connected the dots for his dismissal now I suggest for your consideration that the Michaelia Cash explosion is part of a deliberate plan of attack on the character assassination of Bill Shorten.The questions from Doug Cameron didn’t seem to warrant her reaction.

I have no proof of this other that sixty of so years of nose sniffing the Australian political scene. Has the Prime Ministers Department issued a directive to its MPs to attack Bill Shorten’s character at any opportunity. Proof of circumstance is not required and the more personal the better.

Of course a milder form of this tactic has proceeded this more vicious form for some time now but when Peter Dutton entered the fray so spontaneously without any facts I was convinced that it was a set up. Even if Cash stuffed it up.

Now allow me to walk you back on the history of this. Michaelia Cash in another time would not now be a Minister in the Turnbull government. Her actions as Employment Minister would have been so serious as to warrant instant dismissal. Her continuation in the position illustrates just how far ministerial standards have declined. On top of her deplorable performance at a Senate Estimates Committee meeting on Wednesday she is obviously guilty of misleading the Parliament 5 times over whether her own staff had tipped off the media ahead of a raid by the federal police on the offices of the AWU.

Instead of resigning she returned after the dinner break and made a brief statement:

“Chair, during the dinner break I sought further assurances from my staff. I have just been advised that, without my knowledge, one staff member in my office, in the course of discussions with journalists, indicated that he had received information – indicated that he had received information that a raid may take place. I am advised that this information came from a media source. I was not aware of it at the time and was not aware of it earlier today in estimates. This took place without my knowledge and was not authorised by me. As previously indicated, I was not notified of the raids until I watched them unfold on the television. My staff member has resigned.”

According to the Westminster System she should have resigned without hesitation, but she didn’t. She simply blamed somebody else and moved on. And so she remains in office despite repeated calls for her to resign.

Now she maligns women in Bill Shorten’s office with innuendo about unsubstantiated rumours also calculated to harm Shorten’s character.

As if on script the Prime Minister, playing good cop, defending the indefensible, steps in and rather than sacking her, says that she had been bullied by the Scottish bloke Doug Cameron. As the laughter was dying down Peter Dutton, as if it were magic, playing bad cop, steps in for his turn:

“We’ve sat here taking a morals lecture from Bill Shorten in relation to Barnaby Joyce over the last few weeks and people know that there’s a history of problems in Bill Shorten’s personal life, Tony Burke’s personal life. And to be lectured by the Labor Party really sticks in the craw.”

The fact is that the only person giving anyone a lecture on morals was the Prime Minister. Shorten had never morally lectured Barnaby Joyce or anyone else. Burke always said pointedly Mr Joyce’s extramarital affair was none of his business and Labor had always focussed on the misuse of office funds and resources associated with Mr Joyce’s affair.

Dutton was trying to escalate the matter as much as possible even when reporters repeatedly asked him for evidence of what he was suggesting.

In Question Time the so-called leader of this great nation said that the lady with the savage tongue had been “bullied and provoked.” He showed no interest what so ever in the finer points of the Westminster System. They know that focus groups or private polling has shown them that their only chance of winning the next election is by attacking the character of Shorten. Or a very large whiteboard.

New Matilda’s Ben Eltham wrote: “no one resigns for misleading parliament anymore. It’s just another example of the declining standards of political integrity in this country.”

My thought for the day

”We would be a much better society if we took the risk of thinking for ourselves unhindered by the unadulterated crap served up by the media and self-interested politicians.”

PS. BuzzFeed reports that the Department of Home Affairs has been ordered to release documents that will reveal whether Australian Border Force commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg disclosed his alleged romantic relationship with a staff member to Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton. Quaedvlieg has received close to $500,000 during his time on forced leave since May 2017.


  1. Bert

    What bothers me through all these stuff ups is that there is a clear percentage of Australians who will still vote for these clowns no matter what or how they screw up.

  2. Maureen Walton

    All this crap from the Turnbull and others in the LNP gives proof to people that all Politicians are on the nose and will help the nutters like Pauline Hanson get more votes much more easier.

  3. Anomander

    That has me flummoxed too @Bert. I’m sure the entire front bench of the government could be revealed as a paedophile ring and many people would still vote for them.

  4. Alex Stevens

    We vote for these Monkees because we have no choice. We get fined if we don’t. Both sides are rotten to the core but come polling day we have to make an extremely difficult choice. Either Labour with their grubby union buddies and who side with the unbearable greens. Or the libs with as you say with their hyper corporate American style greed. You start looking at independents which in turn destabilises the whole thing even further. I’m ashamed at what the political landscape has become in Australia. IMHO it all started when Keating de regulated the banks. Its been a very slippery slope since.

  5. paul walter

    Has any one worked out yet who this adviser or press secretary appointee was that Cash would not name?

    Why would she not name him..why would a simple appointment be of such concern as to panic Cash?

  6. Glenn K

    the LNP will not “get Bill” and the more time they waste trying then the deeper they dig their own political grave.

  7. corvus boreus

    paul walters,
    By the time the Cash cow threw a shrew, senator Cameron had shifted his line of questioning as to through exactly what avenues (eg internal party or broader) the recruitment of Cash’s replacement press honcho (gender unknown) had taken place.
    Given the circumstances of misconduct surrounding the resignation of her previous press person (David De Garis), such queries were well within the scope of the senate inquiry within which her screeching slurs occurred.

  8. Terry2

    Michaelia Cash let the cat out of the bag, there is a dirt file on Labor (both staffers and ministers) and as she demonstrated, she is ready and willing to name names and spread rumuours. Dutton relishes this, it’s why he entered politics and I have no doubt that the dirt file is being carefully cultivated and tended by operatives in his department.

    It’s going to be rough for Labor but given the propensity of the coalition for putting a foot in its mouth, there will undoubtedly be another major gaff by the likes of Cash.

    Turnbull is now generally seen as a puppet , a leader in name only. Incredibly he sat down with Trump just a few days ago and didn’t find out whether Australia would be exempted from the new tariffs on steel and aluminum : that’s embarrassing !

  9. paul walter

    Yet no one seems to know anything of this new staffer (De Garis’ replacement?)… seems strange.

    What is the mystery?

    I did glance at a tale that the staffer maybe an undesirable removed from another minister’s department for their sins. If such a person were so, why would they not be removed rather than dumped on another minister, Joyce/Canavan style?

    If all is above board, what is this thing with obsessive and paranoid secrecy?

    Also, if Cash lost the battle to avoid handing over records, have the documents been handed over and if not,why not?

    Is the government in contempt of court?

  10. paul walter

    Re the SMH link, didnt really do it for me..the truth really must lie within the previous and sordid AWU sleaze,surely?

    But even that cannot explain the panic as to an appointment of someone as miniscule as some staff adviser, unless something has been missed in the wash?

    And Wtf are the media and press doing re these obscured issues, surely a story in it somewhere?

  11. paul walter

    Ho hum..go back to bed.

  12. Matters Not

    “So I made some calls myself about the revolving door. Looks like Cash has just appointed a brand new chief of staff, Gisele Kapterian, who will leave the office of Trade Minister Steve Ciobo, where she is deputy chief of staff.”

    Kapterian, who has a lengthy and brilliant CV with expertise in trade, is leaving that office to join the staff of a more junior minister (yes, I know Cash looks senior but there are not too many women for the Liberal Party to brandish so needs must).”

    There’s more

    “It is wrong to leave Ciobo’s office on the eve of important trade negotiations to join the staff of a minister for employment who has just had responsibility for the Fair Work Act stripped from her. Pay rises are just not that important.”

    Reference to that appointment was made yesterday

  13. Zathras

    Historically and since Whitlam at least, the Coalition has made personal attacks on every single ALP leader – it’s simply how they play the game.

    The standard political technique goes –
    “If you don’t have the facts on your side, argue the law.
    If you don’t have the law on your side, argue the facts.
    If you don’t have the facts or the law on your side, call the other person names”.

    This is how politicians and shock-jocks operate and when they reach this stage it’s an indication that they have lost the argument.

    Mounting personal attacks on Shorten rather than defending their own policies is proof of a government in decline and with nowhere left to go.

  14. Locals

    There is always a choice. What are you talking about??? ? Whole country goes to polling and just tears apart all ballots papers. You get penalized for not coming, not for your choice what to do at the moment when you hold ballot paper in your hand. Typical Australian excuse, no choice. Period. That is why nothing moves here for last 20 years

  15. Graeme

    Surely the questions from Doug Cameron were alluding to the possibility that Cash’s newly appointed staff are rotating out of other ministerial offices where they might be accused of failing the PM’s new No Bonking rule. That’s why she reacted with such threat and panic.

  16. Kyran

    Indeed, Matters Not and Mr Walters, Jenna Price’s piece is most interesting.

    “Labor Senator Doug Cameron asked her about the staffing of her office, which some of us might be tempted to call a revolving door.
    So I made some calls myself about the revolving door. Looks like Cash has just appointed a brand new chief of staff, Gisele Kapterian, who will leave the office of Trade Minister Steve Ciobo, where she is deputy chief of staff.
    Kapterian, who has a lengthy and brilliant CV with expertise in trade, is leaving that office to join the staff of a more junior minister (yes, I know Cash looks senior but there are not too many women for the Liberal Party to brandish so needs must).
    It is wrong to leave Ciobo’s office on the eve of important trade negotiations to join the staff of a minister for employment who has just had responsibility for the Fair Work Act stripped from her. Pay rises are just not that important.
    Now Cash has had trouble at mill with staffers. They come and they go, in good times and in bad.”

    Ms Kapterian’s LinkedIn profile is impressive, to say the least.

    Back in 2008, Ms Kapterian was co author of a paper, “Reducing Emissions from Coal in Australia: Fiscal and Related Instruments – the Current State of Play”

    Back in 2010, Ms Kapterian wrote a piece on trade, “A critique of the wto jurisprudence on necessity”
    This paper examines whether the evolving jurisprudence on necessity as developed by the WTO adjudicatory bodies reflects the same balance between trade liberalization and regulatory autonomy as that contained in the WTO treaty texts, particularly with regard to the GATT. It is argued that a divergence can be observed which raises questions of competence, legitimacy and transparency. Specific amendments to the prevailing test are also proposed in order to achieve what the author suggests is a textually consistent, and thus legitimate, necessity test of equal efficacy.

    The Press Gallery was already aware of this before Mr Cameron started his questions.

    From anything available on the internetty thingy, Ms Kapterian appears to be eminently qualified in Trade related issues, although her previous employment in Julie Bishop’s office would suggest a political affinity with conservative politics. Under the circumstances, such an affinity is to be expected and I am not suggesting, for a second, any impropriety.
    As Ms Price postulates, why would someone with such qualification and experience leave a relevant senior ministers office (when there are numerous trade deals being negotiated) to work in an office that has been stripped of authority and is presided over by a fool?
    A pay rise?
    None of the foregoing is intended to cast any aspersions whatsoever on the character, integrity, ability or competence of Ms Kapterian.
    Thanks to her new boss, this is now the prism through which such appointments are viewed. And, as Mr Lord has pointed out, Captain Tremble is presiding over this farce.
    Bill who?
    Thank you Mr Lord and commenters. Take care
    PS. Many happy returns and congratulations to you and your partner on the anniversary, Mr Lord.

  17. Keitha Granville

    We MUST make sure that we write to our Labor members and let them know they will continue to enjoy or support as long as they stay out of the mud. “sticks and stones . . . “- name calling eventually only hurts the caller unless there are facts behind them. It is the last resort of the scoundrel.
    The daily embarrassment of the LNP is staggering, how can we get an earlier election ?

  18. ajogrady

    Corruptness is the love child of Neo Conservatism, adoringly nurtured by its architects, corporations and the media. News Limited in particular is a life support system for this odious practice that attacks the basic fiber of our democracy and if this deterioration continues its ultimate demise will occur. News Limited is not a lone soldier in the war on the hearts and minds of the populace. There are many but The Guardian is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The Guardian promoted itself as being unbiased but their political editor, Katherine Murphy, has put a stop to that bullshit. Most people do not bother to read her articles anymore and go straight to the comment section to lambaste and ridicule her biased and unprofessional reporting. The impropriety of her journalistic values and principles is an open sore at The Guardian.

  19. helvityni

    Where is Lucy in this mess? Not a peep from her…

    Margaret Whitlam was a public figure on her own right, and had plenty to say on important issues. Even Keating’s wife, Anita, became a promoter of Australian made, in fashion and design. Hazel Hawke was much loved and started appearing in public.

    When Mrs Howard was stressed she put her washing machine, and as I don’t watch commercial stations , I missed the public love-in between Mal and Lucy. The ex Sydney Lord Mayor has gone eerily quiet…

  20. Freethinker

    ajogrady, I agree with you 100%

  21. helvityni

    Freethinker and ajogrady, I don’t read her articles any more, Mal can do no wrong…

  22. Freethinker

    helvityni, I also stopped reading her articles since the last election coverage. She acted like Sales in ABC 730.
    But is not only her, the chief editor is also happy with her articles.

  23. Terry2

    I’ve just been researching what Cash actually said at Senate Estimates :

    “If you want to start discussing staff matters, be very, very careful, because I am happy to sit here and name every young woman in Mr Shorten’s office over which rumours in this place abound. If you want to go down that path today, I will do it. Do you want to start naming them… for Mr Shorten to come out and deny any of the rumours that have been circulating in this building now for many, many years?” “He’s broken trust with so many people across his adult life.” “I’ve got a number of names I am happy to put on the record in a particular leader of the Opposition’s office. If you want to play that game, it is a very dangerous game to play.”

    later she said :

    “Rumours circulate in this building,It does not mean they are true. I merely referred to rumours.”

    So Michaelia doesn’t know if the rumours are true but she” just spread them anyhow.

    I expect Turnbull to come out and tell us that he has called on her to consider her position : she should resign.

  24. Diane Larsen

    Perhaps the way to fix this slide into the gutter that mark kenny describes in his opinion piece is to recind parliamentary privelege so if you have something to say you better be able to back it up with facts no more lying or smear or you will have to fend off your remarks before a judge so sick of the snide remarks and yelling of insults that now rules the chamber and other avenues of government. People need to value language and use it wisely

  25. Glenn Barry

    The LNP has become thoroughly desperate, shrill and belligerent, now they are devolving to completely hysterical. The LNP has constructed an endgame they simply cannot win.

    It is beyond comprehension that anyone with one iota of judgement would send Dutton out as a re-enforcement, I did watch much of his original interview and astonishingly, journalists challenged his lies. The zombie like demeanour remained, however even he realised that he was achieving nothing and finished it abruptly

  26. diannaart

    The fact is that the only person giving anyone a lecture on morals was the Prime Minister. Shorten had never morally lectured Barnaby Joyce or anyone else. Burke always said pointedly Mr Joyce’s extramarital affair was none of his business and Labor had always focussed on the misuse of office funds and resources associated with Mr Joyce’s affair.

    Some excellent consideration, John.

    I nearly had a conniption (or something like more uncontrollable Tourette’s) when I heard Dutton make his claim about Shorten’s moralising, now I do not follow every twist and turn of the federal government, I have better things to do, like vacuuming, but I do not recall Shorten banging on about bonking – I concur with you, John, that has been the stand taken by “Father know’s best” Turnbull.

    … and the unedifying display by Cash as she switches focus from herself (which has been known to happen) to Bill Shorten.

    Yup, the game is on. The Libs know Shorten is very likely to win tho next election – all he has to do is maintain a steady course and avoid potential scandals. We have learned from the bullying of Julia Gillard, exactly how the Libs will find or concoct anything even a little bit smelly and conjure it into a world shattering shit-storm.

    One prediction I will make, we will see little to no attention given to stuff like governance – unless distorted into blame Labor or, when applicable blame those “crazy” Greens.

  27. wam

    Great photo Lord John!
    Hasn’t his zealous hard work paid off with promotion? (notice that dutton, hawke, tudge and taylor can order under the terror act??).
    Notice you had one last go at a ‘lady’ or are you ignoring the opinion of women?
    We can all be grateful that labor treats the lnp as colleagues and consequently just languishes till a leader emerges. We are quietly and patiently waiting till a winning charismatic leader appears who will take advantage of the reported errors of the lnp.
    In the meantime we eschew pot stirring or media directing questions that may expose a personal weakness. Very noble method of reaching second place. Burke and Shorten are unfettered by innocence and prefer silence on such personal conditions.
    Diannaart has the matter in hand but unless billy says that which is not hypocritical he cannot win for osmosis needs a pressure gradient??

    ps You left out margy, Helvityni. Why? Still when the rabbott gave up sex for lent she may not have???

    pps Alex we have plenty of choice includingt: as before these politicians are elected they are selected. The selection is by so very few people
    that ‘stacking’ by the likes of you and me.
    In your case your spelling denotes you are not familiar with politics. Your opinion is unlikely to have a considered base

  28. helvityni

    So sorry Wam, totally forgot about Abbot…Anyhow ,I used to think his sister was pretty careful about she what said in public when Tones was our PM; lately she has come out and is not scared to express her opinions….

    I don’t see or hear much about Marge, but I assume she is still busy working…?

  29. Salina Florek

    If this government did what they are supposed to do and be there for the good of all of us, they would not need to spend time , money and effort in trying to be re elected, this government would be there forever ,all that is happening now would be unnecessary,. I know, I know I am a dreamer, but my status as a pensioner and great-grandmother allows me to share this little bit of wisdom with you.

  30. Doug Steley

    Ms Cash MP
    Objects to male workers swearing
    Threatens female workers herself

    Double standards much ?

  31. Zathras

    When it comes to double standards, where is the outrage over Jewellery Bishop taking her boy-toy on overseas jaunts at taxpayers’ expense?

    He’s officially “not her partner” so must be there for other undisclosed personal reasons.

    In a time when the importance of political morality is being examined I think that one has slipped by.

    Imagine the uproar if a male took along a drinking buddy or a “comfort woman” prostitute and charged it to the public purse.

  32. paul walter

    That last comment from Terry2…remarkable. The Minister is quite clearly demented.

  33. Aortic

    Ironing I think helvityni.

  34. Norman Jorgensen

    The Libs must be mad to go after Bill. If they succeed and he is replaced, it will be by Tanya or Penny, and that is not a scenario that they will be able to handle.

  35. diannaart

    Imagine the uproar if a male took along a drinking buddy or a “comfort woman” prostitute and charged it to the public purse.

    No man has EVER behaved like that, Zathras, after all men are always paragons of virtue and all women are conniving hussies. Just ask Barnaby…

  36. helvityni

    Norman Jorgensen, I like the combination of Tanya and Penny, and if Labor would finally realise that they need the Greens, they could form a mighty female force together with the Green girls…..

  37. James

    Do you think these systemic parasites like Cash and the rest of the grubs will ever get back to running the country? I doubt it…their woefully incompetent, a embarrassing group of disgusting vermin and nothing more…a pox on them all

  38. Roswell

    James, do you mean “get back to running the country”? or “start running the country”?

    Or did you mean “get back to ruining the country”?

  39. irascibleexaminator

    Running the country is fine but my question is where are they running to other than Down the civilised toilet!

  40. paul walter

    The voters in Tasmania like them, custard-gutted sheep.

  41. olddavey

    John, please don’t refer to Cash as a woman.
    She is a f#cking harpy, and has proved it time and time again.
    And Turnbull just sits back and burps and farts about how it is “ALL LABOR”S FAULT” because he’s too gutless to be an actual leader.

  42. Glenn Barry

    Olddavey, is guttersnipe a suitable description

  43. Freethinker

    The libs won the election in Tasmania.
    Seems to me that the electorate is happy with the state of the hospitals and education and the cost to lose their enjoyment plying the poker machines is to much to bare.
    Plus now they will have more guns to ply as well.

  44. Roswell

    Freethinker, when it’s good Labor policy versus Liberal scare campaigns, it seems that people buy the scare campaign and not the good policy. 😟

  45. Roswell

    Waiting now for Malcolm to publicly condemn their gun policy.

    Shan’t have long to wait. 😳

  46. paul walter

    ” ..responsibility for the Fair work Act stripped from her”.

    That tells us what the upper echelons REALLY think of her. Although I do have problems with why “Kapterian Kourageous” is seemingly demoted to run this dud unless she is there as a minder. Presumably she gets an increase to pay for loss of status?”

  47. Wayne Turner

    Get Shorten = COALition can’t talk about achievements because they have none.The predictable emptiness from this crap mob.

    Sadly, there is enough idiots,that they did and continue to vote for this mob.It is these morons that get us such a crap excuse for an alleged government.

  48. Florence nee Fedup

    The Kill Bill campaign is pure stupidity. It will gain the government nothing. He would be replaced with a leader just as competent, posibly even more popular with the public.
    At this time Labor is not their enemy.
    Their own policies, inability to provide good goverance is.
    They are their own worse enemy, obsessed with hatred of Shorten, workers & unions.

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