Diluted Sovereignty: A Very Australian Example

Australian concepts of sovereignty have always been qualified. First came the British…

The bottom feeders

There are a number of species in the animal world that survive…

National Museum of Australia launches environmental sustainability action…

National Museum of Australia Media Release The National Museum of Australia has launched…

Ticketing Woes: The Patchy Record of Myki

What is it about government contracts that produces the worst results and…

The rebirth of Donald Trump has biblical overtones.…

Who else but Florida Governor Ron DeSantis would be game enough to…

Ben Roberts-Smith: The Breaking of a Plaster Saint

It was an ugly case lasting five years with a host of…

The Strange Case Of PWC Or Where's Sherlock…

Someone has assured me today that Price, Waterhouse, Cooper did not change…

Australia's Humanitarian Visa System is Inhumane: An Open…

By Loz Lawrey Dear Minister Giles, Since my previous emails to you of 14…


Day to Day Politics: Small matters of political truth.

Tuesday 27 September 2016

1 A study by none other than the University of Melbourne has found that just one electorate in Australia is against gay marriage. The study shows that MPs are significantly behind public opinion on the subject.

It’s just another example of a plebiscite to find out something that is already comprehensively known. Or put another way, we have a leader and a Government defaulting to the public because they don’t have the guts to do what they are supposed to.

Strongest support comes in the Sydney seats held by Labor’s Tanya Plibersek and Anthony Albanese, and none other than the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s seat of Wentworth. How embarrassing that must be.

On top of that comes a report that members of the Liberal Party were involved in the distribution of a brochure which was nothing more than a smear sheet against marriage equality. The groups name is “Children’s Future”, and has firm links to the secretive Catholic religious society Opus Dei. It makes false claims in leaflets that legalising same-sex marriage would trigger the controversial Safe Schools program becoming “compulsory” in all Australian schools, even if parents objected.

The Prime Minister, in spite of his assurances of a civil debate, is yet to comment on the group’s actions.

Ultimately Labor will reject the bill, and over the next three years will periodically introduce private members bills and the Government will have to explain why the parliament can’t act. Or at the next election explain what their policy on marriage equality.

An observation.

Although I suspect that being the party of historically major reforms Labor wants to introduce this one.

2 Pauline Hanson has added to her as yet incomplete list of people she wants to leave Australia. First it was Asians, second Muslims, and now Gays. Who knows who will be next? It might be bridge players who aren’t white. Or people who have a contrary opinion to her.

An observation.

In 2013 about 10 per cent of the electorate voted for the minority Palmer United Party.

In 2016 PUP’s vote virtually disappeared, but up popped Pauline Hanson’s One Nation which won 9.2 per cent of the vote.

I hope that helps.

And talking about sending people back to where they came from I can only suggest that the One Nation Senator who appeared on The Project last Wednesday night jump back into the hole from whence he came.

He told panelists it “would be nice” if absent co-host Waleed Aly “would condemn Islamic terrorism, not condone it”.

3 As soon as the Sam Dastyari scandal dies down up bobs another one from the other side. Yes it’s that man Stuart Roberts. He is under investigation over an alleged donation scandal. It seems the Crime and Corruption Commission is interested in his ties to property developer Sunland who are building a $600 million high-rise on the Gold Coast.

It seems that he has admitted that the Fadden-Forum that he operates was used secretly to fund two independent candidates in the 2016 Council elections.

Today I read that Liberal MP Steve Irons actually charged taxpayers $2000 for travel costs to attend his own wedding.

An observation.

And conservatives don’t see a need for an enquiry into political donations.

4 Now it looks as though the Government is considering giving people who run unemployment programs the right to suspend payments to people who don’t front for appointments.

An observation.

It seems to me that the simple answer is for the Government to produce all the jobs it said it would. Problem solved.

Who wouldn’t want to work for the NBN? Chief executive Bill Morrow took home $3.6 million last financial year, including a $1.2 million bonus.

Greg Adcock received a $1.5 million termination bonus when he left after less than two years into the job.

An observation.

If we are ranked 43 in the world I wonder what the top performers are getting.

5 Just a little more on that Essential Poll last week. As I said at the time, there are many in the media and Government who use calculated language to demonise Muslims. They have a lot to answer for including Peter Dutton who so grossly and incorrectly said refugees “would be taking Australian jobs” and “languish in unemployment queues”.

An observation.

Most problems that society faces arise from the fact that men have never really grown up.

6 The Government’s reputation as being anti science has been further enhanced with the revelation that Australia’s education department paid Bjørn Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Centre $640,000 to help produce a report that claimed limiting world temperature increases to 2C was a “poor” use of money.

An observation.

We all incur a cost for the upkeep of our health. Why then should we not be liable for the cost of a healthy planet.

My thought for the day.

The progress of human thought from narrative to argument should be understood by everyone”.



Login here Register here
  1. Terry2

    So, Brandis call a meeting with his Labor counterpart, puts nothing on the table and then has the cheek to blame a lack of progress on Labor.

    Shorten should walk away from this ridiculous plebiscite and we should have a national competition on how best to spend the $175 million to help the least fortunate in our society – remember, it’s our money.

    The SMH has five suggestions:

  2. Peter F

    Pauline Hanson is so keen on defending marriage. How does this relate to the fact that she apparently has been through two marriages and two divorces? Does this fit with her 1950’s view of the world?

  3. Möbius Ecko


    That 29 minutes on political donations from ABC Rear Vision is well worth listening to all the way through, even if it’s just to see how other countries (and NSW) do it so much better than Australia, and there’s nothing stopping Australia following them except for the major parties.

    Transcript here: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rearvision/politics-and-money/7869046#transcript

    Isn’t it telling that NSW with better regulations on political donations than the Federal government is used by the Federal Liberals to launder corrupt donations to it.

  4. Kaye Lee

    Thinking about the claimed support for a plebiscite, anyone who actually wants marriage equality would surely prefer to just get it done now and for free. The only people who could want a plebiscite are those who want to vote no who everyone agrees are significantly in the minority. The Coalition’s suggestion that Labor is standing in the way of marriage equality is the most ridiculous lie. The excuse that they went to the election with that policy so must stick to it is laughable considering how that doesn’t apply to anything else they took to this or previous elections. They should not be able to get away with reframing the truth like that.

    I would like to suggest that if the no campaign feel so strongly, they should be given three months to raise the money for the plebiscite through crowd funding like GetUp! does. If they can’t raise the $160 million (small change for the churches), then we just have a free vote in Parliament. Why should this very small minority cost us so much in both dollars and emotional cost not to mention the time wasted on this already.

  5. Kronomex

    Musthave Truffles is brown trousers frightened that a simple yea or nay vote for S.S.M. in parliament would get the yea and he would be very quickly et tu Brute’d by the fanatics that helped put him in power.

  6. Möbius Ecko

    I’ve heard the excuse that Turnbull cannot back down on the same sex marriage plebiscite because it would be political hara-kiri many times now from several political commentators.

    The way the polls are running for Turnbull, now worse than when Abbott was deposed, that might be a mute point as Turnbull will probably be gutted in any case, just not by his own hands.

    On the polls, they are fairly dire for the L-NP coming on the back of a concerted effort to undermine Labor on several fronts and many grandiose statements domestically and internationally from Turnbull. That’s where his problem lies though because the public have worked out that there’s no substance or action to the words, just empty waffle that Turnbull thinks makes him sound convincing but without any action to back them up. You can sound as pretentious as you want but if the grand statements aren’t backed up by deeds then they are meaningless.

  7. Carol Taylor

    Interesting attempt by James Massola to include Bill Shorten in the blame game. http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/make-no-mistake-labor-and-the-coalition-are-playing-politics-with-samesex-marriage-20160926-groife.html

    First Failure: that Abbott caved in to the hard right and agreed to a plebiscite.
    Second Failure: that Turnbull didn’t junk the idea of a plebiscite.
    Third Failure: that Shorten now doesn’t agree with the plebiscite.

    What was that again? Shouldn’t that be, full marks to Shorten for doing the job that Abbott and Turnbull failed to do? If, according to Massola the idea of a plebiscite was wrong in the first place, why is Shorten now being criticised for not supporting it?

    And as far as Shorten initially agreeing to a plebiscite in principle, (plus Turnbull’s claim that he now has a ‘resounding endorsement’ by winning the election), wasn’t that prior to a few small snippets finally emerging, such as the fact that it was going to cost $200m, plus that the religious right were demanding payment to pursue their hate campaign? Any claim for support of a plebiscite rapidly dissolved once the price tag was finally revealed. Did Turnbull take the full facts to the election? Not to my knowledge, therefore any claimed mandate does not exist.

  8. Kaye Lee


    Labor, Greens and Xenophon all went to the election wanting a parliamentary vote. Together they got 46.7% of the vote compared to the Libs and Nats who got 42% of the vote. Why should one side abandon what they took to the election when more people voted for them than the Coalition? They really don’t have a mandate for anything because, even leaving out Xenophon, progressives (Labor and Greens) got 44.9% compared to 42% for the mish mash of parties that make up the Coalition.

  9. Carol Taylor

    Kaye Lee, absolutely. I wonder why the msm don’t run a poll and ask: would you rather an expensive plebiscite or for Turnbull to allow his party a free vote? For all his pretences of being progressive, Turnbull maintains the status quo of Labor allowing a free vote, but Turnbull doesn’t.

  10. Harquebus

    Bring on the plebiscite and let’s get this thing sorted once and for all.
    I am sick to death of it.

  11. helvityni

    Why, Harquebus, plebiscite is non binding, why spend all that money, it’s not going to get sorted, and will cause lot of hurt for many in the meantime..

    Why can’t the parliament just legislate the SSM, make it happen, Oz is ready for it.

  12. Harquebus

    At least the argument will be over and I doubt that it will cause hurt for many, that is just opinion.
    I also think that, once decided, the politicians will legislate and implement accordingly.

    I am not the only one getting tired of the whole issue which, you only ever hear discussed on the TV and in fora like this. Most wouldn’t care at all if this issue which, has been going on for years and could for many more, quietly slipped away.

  13. Wayne Turner

    Malcolm Turnbull is too GUTLESS to be PM.He’s got to go…

  14. helvityni

    ‘political truth’ , what’s that? I remember ‘truth’, but it’s not something I’d pair up with ‘political’….at least not today. 🙂

  15. Secular Spirit

    ‘A study by none other than the University of Melbourne has found that just one electorate in Australia is against gay marriage.’

    This sounds quite impressive on the face of it, till you realise the ‘study’ (it’s not really a study) is based on a 3 year old poll of ABC readers. That’s not an especially solid foundation for demographic extrapolation.


    A plebiscite will mean many more months of hearing about it. No issue of rights equality should ever go to a formal public debate let alone a public vote (other than where Constitutional change is necessary). Do you really think white Americans should have been left to decide if black Americans could sit at the front of the bus?

    The plebiscite must not go ahead. It will be yet another symbol of the death of Australia’s humanitarian and egalitarian spirit, and God knows it’s already in palliative care.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

Return to home page
%d bloggers like this: