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Day to Day Politics: I have never done this before (quote Andrew Bolt)

Thursday 3 February 2016

1 Last Month, long-time admirer and defender of Cardinal George Pell said that Pell was a victim of ‘one of the most vicious witch hunts to disgrace this country. It is shameful. Disgusting. Frightening.’

‘People pretending to be moral have competed with each other to slime Pell as the defender of paedophiles, if not a paedophile himself.’

‘One would hope that this inquiry can go forward in the spirit of actually finding the truth, not being a witch hunt and perhaps giving George Pell more benefit of the doubt than a lot of media has given him.’

After listening to Pell’s evidence.

‘Those words about the Ridsdale case – where George Pell said that it was a sad story but it was not of interest to me – I just think those will be hung around his neck for the rest of his career.’

‘Whether or not he directly knew – and the case against him is circumstantial – did he actually do what was necessary for any moral person and pursue the interests of the children being abused? And on that ground I think the case against him is very damning.’

‘I think it’s a disaster I really do. I thought it was awful and in once sense it was so awful because it fit into the narrative but it also seems to confirm a pattern … that he hadn’t picked up hints.’

‘Either he is lying when he said he never knew … was never told or that he wasn’t diligent in following up the kind of clues that were picked up by a number of other people.’

‘Here is the question now for the royal commission into sex abuse of children: is the Vatican’s third-most powerful leader a liar when he says he never knew what Ridsdale, his colleague, was doing in Ballarat?’

‘Or was he just dangerously indifferent to his responsibilities and to the warning signs that children were being raped?’

Bolt wrote in his column that his evidence would:

‘Stain his reputation forever.’

‘Or was he just dangerously indifferent to his responsibilities and to the warning signs that children were being raped?’

‘But the devastating admission drawn from Pell by Gail Furness SC, counsel assisting the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, was that he never bothered to ask.’

‘Now a royal commission seems poised to consider whether this prince of the Catholic Church is a liar.’

Not surprisingly, Bolt has secured ‘an exclusive, one-on-one interview with Cardinal Pell’ which will air on Friday morning on 2GB and Sky News.

Leigh Sales tweeted: If Cardinal Pell decides he no longer wants to honour his interview with Andrew Bolt, I’d be delighted to welcome him on 7.30 for a chat.’

I make this point: What Bolt said in essence is correct. In Tuesday’s evidence Pell again blamed everybody else. He was the most uninformed man on the planet. Everyone was so afraid of him they wouldn’t tell him a thing. Everyone knew but it was all hidden from him.

The evidence has not surprised anyone who has followed his evidence and his character over a long period. Was Bolt that naive, that ignorant, that this all comes as a surprise to him? His obliviousness matches that of the Cardinal.

Did he go to Rome with the intent of defending his friend of the right only to be informed of his culpability?

Bolt’s posture of blind ignorance is as hard to believe as is the Cardinal’s. It’s the greatest backflip since I, as 8-year-old, accidentally fell from the high tower at the Brunswick baths in 1950.

2 So much happens on a day-to-day basis that it’s difficult at times to keep abreast of it all. For example, you will recall that Tony Abbott wanted to be rid of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. The good news is that it is now not the Government’s agenda even though the Government could still call a double-dissolution election on the matter.

3 Speaking of Double Dissolutions the Senate Reform Bill now looks like being passed. Yes, a Bill that three days ago couldn’t possibly be changed, now with the support of the Greens has been amended in two significant ways. Yep we can move fast when it suits us. A 4 hour inquiry and a report 12 hours later did the trick.

Nothing like a quickie when you’re frustrated.

4 Now, more about that 50/50 Essential Poll. This Poll is important. A Facebook friend explains:

‘The thing about the Essential Poll is that it is a rolling poll it averages out over several polls. So the 50 – 50 result in this survey compares to the 52 – 48 to the LNP in the last one. Then that necessitates that the raw figures are a whole lot worse for the LNP than even these numbers suggest. I would love to see what those number are!!!! So the Essential Research rolling aggregate records an unusually sharp move away from the Coalition, and finds strong support for Senate reform legislation.

The normally placid Essential Research fortnightly rolling average records a rare two-point shift on two-party preferred this week, which eliminates a settled 52-48 lead for the Coalition over previous weeks. Particularly remarkable is a three-point increase in the Labor primary vote, from 35% to 38%, although the Coalition is down only one to 43%, and the Greens are steady on 10%.’

5 Essential also features is a very detailed question on Senate reform, in which the legislation was explained to respondents in meticulous detail, producing a result of 53% approval and 16% disapproval.

6 A question on election timing finds 56% wanting the election held later this year versus 23% who want it called early, although the distinction is an increasingly fine one.

7 Also featured: most important election issues (health topping the list, followed by economic and cost-of-living concerns), best party to handle them (Labor for industrial relations and environment, Coalition for national security and the economy, although Labor has a slight lead on housing affordability) and perceptions of the parties as right or left-wing (indicating Labor is seen as more centrist than the Coalition, although there is little sense that this has changed in recent years).

Essential conducts it’s polling weekly and is accompanied by a survey. For me the stand out figure in its surveys is always the very high ‘Don’t know’ answers.

8 This month in 2013 the then Prime Minister said: ‘There is a budget emergency.’

Since then:

The deficit has doubled.

Net debt is up 59.8 billion.

Spending is at GFC levels.

Unemployment is up 74,500

Wages growth is at an all-time low.

9 There will be many in the Labor Party happy to see the back of the much hated Union backed Catholic Senator Joe Bullock. His replacement, ‘the father of reconciliation’ Pat Dobson is an excellent replacement. One MP summed up his feelings saying:

‘Good riddance to the big fat rat.’

Bullock got the Senator’s position with a factional stitch up mired in controversy at the time. He is well-known as being anti things not Catholic.

My thought for the day.

‘Leadership is a combination of traits that etch the outlines of life and grow over time. They govern moral choices and demonstrate empathy toward others. It is far better for those with these qualities to lead rather than follow. In fact it is incumbent on them.’


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  1. Terry2

    Joe Bullock fails to understand that, as a senator, he represents the people of WA. His personal views are relevant only to him and he must overcome his personal prejudices in favour of the majority that he represents.

    He has obviously been in the wrong job : good riddance.

  2. Möbius Ecko

    Huh? “Wages growth is at an all-time level.”

    On another note, except for the ABC the major news outlets led with this headline; “$19bn hit in Labor negative gearing strike on investors.” and “Labor’s 19bn negative gearing disaster.”

    Not behind a paywall of course as it damns Labor, this from the Australian.

    Now read the article. Here’s a perfect example of where a headline and opening paragraphs say something damning, but reading the complete article tells you the truth of the matter, and it doesn’t agree with the headline.

    Now read this for a contrast to the Murdoch crap above:

    Expect this type of thing from Ltd News to really start to ramp up from here on in, especially if there is going to be an early election, something Murdoch and Ltd News will already have an inside to.

    Murdoch might not be selling many papers or getting a lot of online subscriptions for his right wing propaganda outlets nowadays but as can be seen from the above Australian piece, his propaganda reverberates around all the MSM, and that’s exactly has he and the Liberal Party he controls wants it.

  3. John Lord

    Fixed Mobius.

  4. thebustopher

    On election timing, a couple of days ago the Australian Electoral Commission said that they would need a MINIMUM of three months to implement the senate voting reforms and be able to hold the election. If there were further changes made to the proposed changes (and yesterday there WERE) then even longer would be required.

    So what this means is we ARE going to see a budget before the election is called (so much for MY earlier predictions it would be election first, THEN budget). If they do a 2014 “best budget ever” effort, no doubt we’re going to see the Abbott/Turnbull government as the Abbott/Turnbull opposition.

    And amen to that.

  5. Michael Taylor

    I have often quoted Andrew Bolt! But only to prove that his words were invalid. 😉

  6. Matthew Oborne

    The question is could Bolt have continued to support Pell and attack those going after Pell without damaging his loyal following? It was impossible to defend Pell, yet I believe Bolt gets pleasure from his manipulations to defend the indefensible an almost lone wolf, popular among those whose realities are of the parallel flavour.

  7. Möbius Ecko

    John can you now fix Modius? 🙂

  8. Michael Taylor

    Fixed it for ya. ?

  9. lawrencewinder

    Joining the dots ….Pell was a guest at the IPA anniversary bash, Pell was confesser to Rabid the Hun, Brandis goes to a secret meeting with Pell and will not release his diary…. What a stinking corrupted lot this ruling rabble are!
    And Bolt ? always late to the truth, always the follower….hypocrite.

  10. kerri

    How can this man who claims to be in touch with his God?
    Chosen by his God?
    Ever answerable to his God?
    A stalwart representative of his God?
    Profess that no one told him?
    Didn’t his God tell him?
    Or did his God just say
    “Forget the rapist priests George, and the abused children George. Just keep on praying for prettier clothes and a better station in my church and keep doing my work by preventing any monetary loss to my church!”
    That’s a line of questioning I’d lobe to see Gail Furness prosecute!

  11. kerri

    Has anyone heard from Miranda Devine?

  12. John Lord

    The Australian ripped it from their front page very very quickly.

  13. Chris Pettitt

    Pell is either a liar or the stupidest most unintelligent representative of God on the planet. No one wants to believe it because it will make it true for thousands of children whose lives were destroyed by men and women of religion. Join the dots. Bullock is Catholic and so is Abbott who wanted to give $380 million dollars of Australian tax payers money to the clergy. Why? There was no need to give the wealthiest organization on the planet money. Keep religion out of politics.

  14. Möbius Ecko

    Jeff and John but the damage is done. The MSM radio and TV screamed the $19bn negative gearing disaster headline this morning just in time to catch the waking and going to work pundits, just as Ltd News would have wanted. Right or wrong it’s now stuck in many minds.

    Ltd News has been long playing this deceitful game of screaming bogus headlines and then pulling them after they become widespread news.

    To give ABC their dues, they didn’t follow the Ltd News lead this morning but reported a neutral stance on Shorten’s proposal.

  15. stephentardrew

    Every time I see this I want to puke. “Coalition for national security and the economy”. What frigin bloody economy? Australian people of the sheeple repeating every lie they hear.

  16. diannaart

    Excellent analysis, (yet again) John.

    Bolt did indeed back flip – not so far that he would apologise for calling the RC into child abuse a witch-hunt on Catholics and specifically Pell. I would also love to have a chat with Amanda Vanstone who complained to Raff Epstein on 774 Drive, that she thought the entire event a which hunt on poor Pell. What is she saying now?

    I feel for the survivors in Rome (and everywhere) watching this cold heartless shard of a man blame everyone but himself. Imagine all those years ago getting enough courage to go to Pell for support and comfort… imagine what you got…

  17. Dr I C Spots

    lol @ people who dont know how to beat the ridiculous paywalls @ theaustralian…. it is very easy, but if youre not bright enough to work it out for yourselves, I think it is best you dont know, think of it as a safety barrier.. it is for your own good.

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