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Day to Day Politics: Give and it will be given unto you.

Saturday 10 September 2016

Luke 6:38:

“Give, and it will be given to you. A large quantity, pressed together, shaken down, and running over will be put into your lap, because you’ll be evaluated by the same standard with which you evaluate others”.

1 Sam Dastyari’s misdemeanor has certainly put the cat among the pigeons. From a relatively minor transgression has sprung a debate that will have to be resolved. It has revealed the hypocrisy of both sides of the political divide. In doing so it has also exposed the corruption that exists in our political system.

Many instances or similar occurrences to what Dastyari has pleaded guilty to have been again unmasked for purpose of comparison. They only serve to remind us of how fraudulent the system is. In other instances donations or expense claims of a more insidious nature have been exposed. If I, and the readers of this post put our minds to a list, it would be as long as a toilet roll.

Now we have Attorney General George Brandis being asked why he appointed to a lucrative government job a Liberal donor and criminal lawyer who had defended the Senator’s son.

The Opposition has thrown it back on the Government with Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus saying the decision involved a “clear conflict of interest” and calls into question the integrity of the Turnbull government.

But jobs for the boys (both sides do it) has a long history in Australian politics and is just another area that urgently needs cleaning up.

Even the main prosecutor of the case against Dastyari, Senator Bernardi, is himself embroiled in an accusation that he is involved with a fundraising entity that inhabits a grey area in the political donations system and permits gifts from foreign donors.

And later on Thursday we had the mouth that roared, Christopher Pyne, defending himself against an accusation that a $65.000 donation to the Liberal Party from the same Chinese company that paid Dastyari’s bill, was rewarded with Mr Pyne, the then Education Minister, extending the streamlined visa program from universities to the private sector.

Pyne in his inimitable fashion feigned indignation and claimed innocence, but ask someone in the pub tomorrow.

We hear members of the Government throwing their hands in the air saying it’s all too hard raising questions of constitutional law and other matters that would prevent change.

To hell with all that. They claim to be the most educated Cabinet in Australian political history but I would suggest they are also the laziest.

If they cannot fix donations, expenses, jobs for the boys and other assorted matters of money for favours then what hope the environment, a republic and an Indigenous treaty?

Is it any wonder that on the ‘Essential’ trust measure they manage 12%? The way they conduct the business of government is woefully inadequate, dishonest and untrustworthy.

There is only one way to correct all this corrupt political behaviour and that is to have the rules changed by an independent enquiry. Then the political system – our democracy – needs the oversight of a National ICAC similar to NSW. But it must have a full set of teeth with the authority to take large bites.

All of us are subject to societal laws of honesty. Why shouldn’t politicians?

An observation.

“Honesty isn’t popular anymore. It doesn’t carry the weight of societies approval it once did”.

3 As for Sam Dastyari, the senator is not the first powerbroker from the NSW right to get into difficulty. Senator Arbib did. Richo did many number of times. Richo wrote yesterday about a similar thing that happened to him regarding the infamous Marshall Islands affair. He came back. So will the senator.

4 There can be no doubt that Tony Abbott, who has no good reason to be in parliament other than retribution or the reinstatement, wants to continue stalking Turnbull. He has an opinion on everything and usually they are mooted criticisms of his leader.

He had a view about political donations that was in line with public opinion. Curiously when he was PM he opposed any change to the system.

A psychologist might be able to tell me but in the meantime it is a fascination to me as to how he can be told that he was arguably the worst PM in our history by both his party and the electorate yet parade himself as a PM in waiting.

He opposed everything as Opposition Leader and now he is opposing everything his government does. Must take an ego of monumental proportion to behave like that.

5 I notice the Government will miss its self-imposed deadline to come up with a draft bill for the Marriage Equality bill. It’s a fairly simple change to the marriage act. They are not rewriting the constitution. Just another example of their laziness.

6 One year on while Canada and the US have settled their quotas of Iranian refugees. Both in excess of 10,000, we have managed 2,500 of our 12,000 commitment. I can only think they are more practiced in goodness that us.

At the time Mr Abbott promised the decision would reflect “Australia’s proud history as a country with a generous heart”.

And I believe Mr Dutton is still searching for a first world country to take the refugees from Manus and Nauru.

Quoting Shakespeare he said ‘’Time is but the essence of history’’

6 Glenn Stevens, the outgoing Reserve Bank Governor has warned the government not to be complacent. He reckons the next economic shock will be more difficult to manage than the one Australia had in 2008. The Budget was in surplus at the time and the official cash rate was 7.25%. Stevens says Australia needs greater fiscal discipline. His successor, Philip Lowe, will take over on 18 September 2016.

7 Talking about the time things take. The Fair Work Commission has delayed its decision on reducing Sunday penalty rates until at least December 2016. A special hearing will be held in late September. Tribunal president Iain Ross has invited employers to provide more evidence of the benefits of reducing penalty rates.

8 Talking about donations. Why on earth would Packer donate $250,000 to the Australian Republican Movement?

My thought for the day.

“Never be overburdened by accomplishment. Spare some time to think”.


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  1. John Wilburfoce Howard

    An ego of monumental proportions


    One that is criminally insane (allegedly)

  2. Geoff Andrews

    It’s funny that there’s been no big welcome for the 3000 Syrians. You know, photo ops with Dudley Dutton with his arms around a litle kid; news clips of a grateful family being given the keys to their apartment – that sort of thing. Why would the MSM pass up such wonderful human interest stories? Somehow they’ve been able to sneak 3000 people in the back door without anyone from Reclaim Australia noticing.
    Mind you, we still only have Dud’s word that there are any Syrians here at all.
    I believe him. I believe him. I believe him. And so should you, you lefty doubting Thomas.

  3. Freethinker

    quote: “To hell with all that. They claim to be the most educated Cabinet in Australian political history but I would suggest they are also the laziest.
    If they cannot fix donations, expenses, jobs for the boys and other assorted matters of money for favours then what hope the environment, a republic and an Indigenous treaty?”

    I disagree with that, they are effective and have managed to govern with the approve of the people to serve their own interests and ideology.
    So far they are doing very well for themselves and their “friends”
    For some reason the people in the minority still blame the government when the blame is on the majority of the electorate that elected this mob for a second time together with some senators and micro parties that have similar agenda.

    Until, we the minority do not ask the opposition to have more disciplinary behavior we do not have the chance to change this situation.

  4. Colin

    Only one thing wrong with that article. The use of the word “arguably” in item 4.

  5. Peter F

    Greater Fiscal Discipline includes getting those who owe tax to actually pay their fair share. I am not certain that this is what was conveyed in the message. I had the impression that Stevens was more interested in cutting payments than actually collecting what is due. “Stevens says Australia needs greater fiscal discipline”

  6. Terry2

    Refugees :

    ” Peter Dutton said 3,532 people had been resettled, while an additional 3,146 visas had been issued.”

    What he failed, as always to clarify was what our overall intake of refugees has been for 2015-2016.

    Our existing intake target for the year was 13,750 to which Abbott added a further 12,000. So why does Dutton fudge the numbers in this way, why is it so difficult to get anything factual from this man ?

  7. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Politicians should be kept to a higher standard of integrity and if they are found wanting, the penalties should be stricter. Besides loss of job and reputation, they should be bankrupted.

  8. Harquebus

    All politicians should be able to speak freely. Their votes on the other hand should be restricted to “representing” the majority will of their constituents.

    All major political parties have the wrong ideology and they will all fail as they take their turns destroying piece by piece the very thing that keeps us alive.
    Wanna be a dead maggot on a dried up corpse? Just keep voting for party politicians and you will get your wish.

    “Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.” — Richard Feynman

  9. paulwalter

    First, Dutton lies on principle..that is what he is.

    Secondly JMS, “Politicians should be kept to a higher level of responsibility”

    One. they do have a sense of responsibility, it is just that it is not to the voters. Two, you can’t make a jellyfish walk.

  10. Trev

    You are correct John, the whole Sam Dastyari media circus has “exposed the corruption that exists in our political system.” – but not exclusively our political system!

    Thanks for the Luke 6:38 quote, I decided to become a Bible tragic for today.

    For a little context I checked Luke 6:37 and Luke 6:39.
    Luke 6:37 –
    Do not judge, and you will not be judged.
    Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.
    Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

    Luke 6:39 –
    Jesus also told them a parable:
    “Can a blind man lead a blind man?
    Will they not both fall into a pit?

    All sensible: especially the advice to not follow the ignorant, eg. mainstream media MSM.

    The whole bribing thing seems to have infected politicians and MSM alike.

    There seems to be a distorted neo-con agenda at play, rooted in the fear of losing a grip on power.
    The players are trying hard to stall the evolutionary process – good luck with that.
    Chinese or the Western vested interests? Irrelevant.

    One of mankind’s predominant virtues is that s/he has the power of discrimination and a natural tendency towards empathy. If you don’t believe that, ask yourself – why do we have doctors and nurses and hospitals?

    Why is it that MSM has taken upon itself the role of holding back our most natural of evolutionary instincts – the yearning to be empathetic, by constantly promoting the neo-con ideals of reducing people to units of labor or debt-peons or whatever kind of utilitarian object they can squeeze some tribute out of?

    Looks like China wants poll position and is out to bring all under its control.
    That our politicians and MSM seem to be on board with this idea says something about the insight of our ‘leaders’.

    On the surface we have the much-lauded prospect of mutual trade benefits thanks to CHAFTA free trade deal, but overarching this is the bribing process and the infiltration of our MSM by the Chinese propaganda bureau which has now reached epic proportions.

    Insights into Beijing propaganda machine can be seen here:
    Professor Fitzgerald – Swinburne Uni from 12:16sec and again from 19:53sec

    Transcript not found but what was said was to the effect:
    ‘a decade ago Beijing spotted a weakness in our national leadership and decided to drive a wedge down the middle by offering cash for comment . . 6 media organisations (includes Fairfax conglomerate and Bob Carr’s Australia-China Relations Institute) entered into a deal overseen by the Chinese propaganda bureau in Sydney – signing a commercial deal’.
    That is, we are on the receiving end of some heavy duty propaganda and the MSM is into it.

    “Times are tough, especially for newspapers and we can only assume that’s why Fairfax Media has recently agreed to take money from the Chinese for spreading their propaganda.”

    Sam Dastyari is actually lucky to have removed himself from the shooting gallery.
    When the public awakes to what is happening, if it ever does, pass the popcorn.

  11. Never Been There

    “Quoting Shakespeare he said ‘’Time is but the essence of history’’

    Ah, yes, Shakespeare, the man who invented the word “but”.

  12. randalstella

    Of course the general Media response on Dastyari has been disproportionate and even partisan. Whatever dirty compromises might make Labor questionable, the Libs on the evidence available are worse, even much worse. But their morality is hardly a live issue. Labor’s is, or fairly should be.
    I ask people here to reconsider the attitude ‘our dodgy deals are better than yours’.

    The general impression that Dastyari’s compromise is relatively minor is simply wrong.
    It is not oversight. it is not trivial, compared to anyone. It compares poorly on even the loosest principle of political independence.

    Dastyari sought out the repayment of travel expenses. And the Yuhu Group, linked to the Chinese Government, paid $40,000 towards a personal legal settlement in 2014.
    And there is more. There are established ties between Labor identities and the Yuhu Group.

    There is a sense of presumption in these actions, on established contacts.
    It has to be fairly said that Dastyari does not possess a significant regard for independence and avoiding compromise. What was exceptional was not this presumption and the compromise, but its exposure. Furthermore, this particular indebtedness reaches into notions of sovereignty.

    That there are supportive calls on this site for his rapid reinstatement, and that this seems to come out of the ALP itself, is a very bad signal.
    It suggests that Dastyari’s compromise does not matter that much, and his demotion only occurred by political pressure and not how it should have occurred, on principle.
    The evidence suggests that the principle may be a bit beyond Dastyari. Is it beyond Labor generally?

    Why did it take the woeful Bernadi to expose this? Where were the Labor insiders to deal with this?
    The Libs are morally empty hypocrites. But what are Labor?

    Dastyari is something of a powerbroker in the ALP. Does this give him privileges others would not get? What direction is this taking Labor?

    The Yuhu Group, linked to the Chinese Government, have paid large sums in donations to the Liberal and Labor Parties. The Tweedledee and Tweedledum theme should strike up here.

    If the institutional political terrain is widely or pivotally compromised, this makes the voter a complete mug.

  13. Kaye Lee

    “paid $40,000 towards a personal legal settlement in 2014.”

    They actually made an out of court settlement for $5,000 but that didn’t stop Barnaby Joyce from perpetuating the lie that it was $40,000 this morning on Insiders. I agree the amount is not the issue but they should not be able to blatantly lie about it. Also, the legal settlement was to an advertising company who were to make some multicultural campaign ads for the Labor Party but the contract did not eventuate due to the change of leadership from Gillard to Rudd. I don’t understand why Dastyari was even considered personally responsible – he may have been the contact person but it was hardly a personal expense.

  14. randalstella

    Kaye Lee,
    OK. Omit ‘personal’, for the sake of avoiding distraction. What about the rest?

    The issue of donation, foreign or local, and funding generally, will get no proper attention without disinterested examination of a more generic concern over independence and avoidance of compromise.
    Who’s going to call for that examination; and moreover who’s going to supply it?
    The calls for the quick reinstatement of Dastyari suggest they don’t really care.
    Where does policy come from? Who is it for?

  15. Kaye Lee


    I doubt we can achieve any reform as the system stands. We continually hear the phrases “within entitlements” or “no rules were broken” while they concede that their “rules”, such as they are, fail to meet community expectations. There have been endless reviews of entitlements and such, the last one prompted by choppergate, but they are a panacea – nothing changes. Even ICAC cannot make findings of corruption over political donations.

  16. randalstella

    Kaye Lee,
    I have no doubts. I am certain. I am certain that there will be no effective reforms under the present effective duopoly of Lib and Labor.
    That means there has to be change; and the people who will fight for that change need to supported. They won’t be people attracting major donors.
    Rather than, as I wrote above, ‘our dirty deals are better than your dirty deals’. That approach will only mean that such a claim itself becomes increasingly specious. It is childish nonsense, fit for hacks, with the morality of the footy barracker.
    I’m confident that you agree.

  17. Kaye Lee

    There will be no change while we have a “winner takes all” system of government. There will be no change while politicians make the rules. There will be no change whilst the government of the day makes political appointments. There will be no change whilst parties think they must spend a fortune on advertising.

  18. randalstella

    It needs to be more specific than that. The two major Parties are overwhelmingly responsible for this. They and their ‘politicians’.
    There is next to nothing that can be done about the Libs. They are bought before they start. It’s about Labor. The alternative Government – on current funding models.

    There will be no change while Labor members and supporters not only condone all this, but support it; and attack others who oppose it. The trivialisation on Dastyari is the trivialisation of a principle on integrity and independence. The people who lose out on this dealing are the powerless.

    Now, on the matter of Dastyari’s ‘personal’ legal bill. It was ‘personal’ enough to be included on his own pecuniary interest register. The original bill was $40,000 – for some bullshit Labor promotion. What was settled on does not make any difference to the fact that he sought and gained cover by Yuhu. That the LIB/NATs are complete hypocrites on this, also makes no difference.

  19. Kaye Lee

    And how do you propose to change any of that under our current system of government? Labor are not going to make any substantive change.

    “I am definitely supportive of the federal Labor Party, if we form a government, of reconvening the Senate committee investigating the value and the benefit and the pros and cons of a national integrity commission,” says Bill Shorten.

    What a useless response. Yet another committee of politicians investigating themselves. In my opinion, we should be devoting our energies towards becoming a republic and coming up with a model that shares power and keeps the bastards honest.

  20. randalstella

    For a start, I would not pander to arseholes. Far too much pandering to arseholes.
    But that’s just me. A practical kind of bloke.

    On another level; an ICAC, properly funded, legally armed, and with the power to require changes to law to pursue the tributaries of dirty dealing.
    There are ‘politicians’ who do promote such an entity. I wonder if that’s not the sort of thing that gets them attacked by hacks.
    You know who I mean.

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