Thursday 2 June 2016
1 Politics is a murderous beast that can destroy people’s lives over seemingly trivial matters. Former House of Representative’s Speaker, Peter Slipper saw his political career and his marriage implode over some cab charges that could have, had he been given the same opportunity as other politicians, easily been repaid.
Instead the Party for which he had worked for so diligently for many years decided for reasons of revenge, to annihilate him. And so they did, publicly with devastating effect. They ruined him financially and some may argue, mentally.
Now it has been revealed that Joe Hockey at the time when he was talking about “reckless spending” and that “the age of entitlement is over” was indeed himself taking advantage of taxpayer-funded entitlements. It has been alleged that his Cabcharge card was being fraudulently used for “phantom journeys” amounting to thousands of dollars.
You might recall that Joe was at the centre of a push to have Slipper removed as Speaker:
“I’m a Member of Parliament, I have standards, this is not up to my standards,” he said.
The “commonsense view” was that Slipper should stand down from “the most significant position in the Parliament” until he was cleared of allegations against him. He went on.
The Cabcharge company apparently told Hockey they intended reporting it to the Federal Police. The then Department of Finance and Deregulation investigated. Fairfax Media under FOI found that in relation to Mr Hockey’s account the rules for MPs using privately chauffeured hire cars were repeatedly broken. Cabcharge dockets upwards of $10,000 were signed with a hand written signature of the driver. The same method used by Slipper.
Hockey went to extraordinary lengths to not have the information released, even claiming to do so would put him at risk allowing the prediction of his movements in a heightened terrorism environment even though the events took place years before.
Hockey withdrew his objection to the release of the information when he decided to quit Parliament.
The point of course is how he could sit through the assassination of Peter Slipper knowing that he was guilty of the same crime. Unbelievable isn’t it, but there were probably more like him.
2 Petra Credlin is making her presence felt at Sky and her demeanour fits in with the station’s “let’s be controversial” format.
This time she is saying that the Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce’s comments about Abbott wanting his job back as “horse shit”. ’She went onto tell Barnaby, “Honestly, Barnaby, get back on the wombat trail – please leave this alone”.
3 Isn’t it remarkable that more Commonwealth collected taxes are going to private schools than public schools? That the taxes of middle and lower paid workers are going to the richest schools.
A paper by The Centre for Policy Development has called for the Government to arrest the growth in inequality in schools. It says that privilege and social status in schools is becoming more entrenched and calls for a Gonski consensus to fix the problem:
“The data also reveals that we are in fact over-investing in many advantaged students. They receive, depending on sector and level of advantage, between $1,300 and $14,000 extra per student each year in funding from both parents and governments, but have similar achievement levels to lower-funded equivalents.”
4 BludgerTrack: 50.2-49.8 to Labor. Essential Research and Roy Morgan have both reported over the past few days, in accordance with their usual weekly and fortnightly schedules, giving BludgerTrack a completed weekly cycle’s worth of polling results to play with. The results indicate no real change on last week, with the recent ReachTEL, Essential and Morgan results exciting the aggregate neither collectively or individually. ReachTEL and Essential in particular recorded less week-on-week movement than their headline figures might suggest. The seat projection has ticked a point in favour of Labor, the gain coming off Tasmania in response to a fairly radical result in the Morgan breakdown this week. The only new data on leadership ratings since last week is from Essential Research, and it’s strengthened the impression that Malcolm Turnbull’s polling plunge has levelled off at a net value of zero, while slightly blunting Bill Shorten’s recent trend up
5 The Canberra Times today has this headline: “Australian Christian Lobby likens gay marriage and Safe Schools to ‘unthinkable’ Nazi atrocities”,
If you think the plebiscite will simply be an endorsement of what the majority of Australians think, then think again.
My thought for the day.
“Love is when there is an irresistible urge for the need of the affection of another and the irresistibly is of its nature mutual. It has no gender“.