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Day to Day Politics. Is the Ashbygate now open?

Thursday 3 December

1 Ashbygate refuses to go away. Brough is contrite for misleading parliament. Turnbull would know only too well what happens when you allow controversial cover ups to fester.

A heavily qualified apology to the House of Representatives on Wednesday changed nothing, merely confirming what was already obvious: that he had misled the Parliament. He should cast him aside but I bet he won’t. He has much to thank Brough for. In fact his leadership.

And the real concern is that despite the AFP investigation, Turnbull rewarded Brough with, of all posts, Special Minister of State – the singular portfolio concerned with the protection of ethical standards and the maintenance of parliamentary integrity.

Very sus, Malcolm. In fact atrocious judgment in the first place.

2 The threat of terrorism is now so serious that the traditional debate between civil liberties and the protection of society is “redundant”, Liberal MP Andrew Nikolic has said.

There is no doubt that it is a serious issue. In 36 years113 people have died from terrorism.

Conversely this year 730 will die from Domestic Violence and around 2500 will take their own lives.

I do wish ultra conservatives MPs like Mr. Nikolic would shout equally as loudly on these issues.

3 President Obama thought very highly of Kevin Rudd’s knowledge of climate change. Rudd is in Paris and makes these observations.

“I am a believer in climate change action. Let me say it again in print, I believe it is the greatest moral challenge of our ag”.

“The world’s climate is in the hands of just three nations”.

“There is a ‘palpable sense of relief’ that Tony Abbott is not directing Australia’s climate change policy in Paris”.

All the countries of the world constantly fight internal corruption and Illegal activities. Countries break agreements, treaties and constantly bicker about who is right and wrong. Pacts are mindlessly broken. All have their own best interests at front of mind. They are more interested in nationalism than internationalism. Wars are being fought over all manner of disagreements. The UN Security Council rarely agrees on major disputes.

Against this picture of worldwide self-interest, in Paris it will be agreed that the nations of the world will take individual ownership of their carbon reduction efforts. There will be no compulsion. No binding commitment. It’s all based on goodwill. Do what you want, using whatever method you want, when you can, and if your budget can afford it. Certainly don’t let it hinder capitalism’s March.

My optimism is greatly tested.

4 Some food for thought:

During the post Abbott period I have taken the opportunity to cast my eye over some of the pieces I have written over the past three years.

The following came from a post titled Hidden Persuaders.

Margret Thatcher said this (paraphrased):

“There is no such thing as society. There are only individuals making their way. The poor shall be looked after by the drip down effect of the rich”.

Abraham Lincoln said this:

“Labour came before capital and is not related to it. Capital is what’s acquired from labour, and would never have come about if it were not for labour. Therefore, labour is superior to capital and deserves the higher significance”.

Franklin D. Roosevelt said this:

“They who seek to establish systems of government based on the regimentation of all human beings by a handful of individual rulers…call this a new order. It is not new and it is not order”.

This is one of mine:

“The GST burdens the poor and those with the least capacity to pay. It discriminates against the poor and the pensioners who are living a hand-to-mouth existence and spending the bulk of their income on the necessities of life—food, clothing, rent, heating, power etc”.

5About the media

Do people ever stop to think how manipulated we have become? Everything the media does, displays or says is for its own self-interest, not ours. It does so because it gives it influence, power and control. Certainly not for the ideals of truth, justice and the common good. It never considers that reporting truth alone might give it all the influence it needs. Finding the truth and reporting it should be more important than creating a narrative where controversy matters more.

6 Cory Bernardi asserted on Kitchen Cabinet that two-thirds of the Coalition were against marriage equality and that all polls are generated from people who tell lies.

Might I remind him that he was elected to represent the opinion of the people.


“To those who think they can win a debate by being loud and crass I say be quiet. To those who think they can win with a perceived superior intellect I say be humble. Discourse requires civility in order to produce reasoned outcomes”.



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  1. Terry2

    With the parliament about to rise for the summer break – and not meeting again until February – it seems that Turnbull is pinning his hopes and his own reputation on the AFP clearing Brough of any wrong doing during the Christmas break.

    It is inconceivable that the AFP would allow this matter to be unresolved into the new year.

  2. Kaye Lee

    When Turnbull first appointed Brough, this story was published….

    A spokeswoman for Mr Turnbull said Mr Brough had told the government he was not under investigation.

    “Mr Brough has advised that the AFP has not approached him and that he is not being investigated,” the spokeswoman said.

    If it was relevant to make that comment then, surely now that it is confirmed that he IS under investigation, he should be stood down. It implies that the question was asked of him and hence it was a relevant consideration.

  3. Peter F

    How could anything done by the Coalition be questionable, I ask?

  4. Adrianne Haddow

    Given the woeful decisions made by many of the Coalition ministers, and some of the independents who help them achieve their questionable policies, I suggest that it should be a requirement that anybody who wishes to represent their electorate should be required to undertake a political science and ethics course of study.
    Obviously not a full academic course but a short course such as is given by most employers during induction of new employees.

    As many of the ministers seem not to bother reading reports regarding their portfolios, they should be required to demonstrate their comprehension of issues contained within their area of ‘expertise’ and log any reports as read and have them signed off by a second party. A similar process to that which teachers have to undergo in proving professional standards through the Institue of Teachers.

    It is beyond belief that a Minster did not bother to read a report that expressed strategic concerns regarding the sale of the Port of Darwin before signing off on it. My personal favourite was the Health minister who told a terminal cancer sufferer campaigning for access to medicinal marijuana, “but smoking marijuana will give you lung cancer”.

  5. Joe Eisman

    Doncha know that Mr Turnbull is just demonstrating his active, but weird, sense of humour. His first major demonstration of this was the NBN that probably still has him giggling hysterically whenever he thinks of it, and making Mal Brough responsible for parliamentary integrity probably has him just about choking with glee over his morning muesli. Most amusing, Prime Minister, very droll.

  6. Mick

    The earth came before labour, therefore the earth is superior to labour. All labour comes from the earth.

  7. Sir ScotchMistery

    I think the whole point of Malcolm appointing Mal is the name business.

    Every Malcolm desperately wants to know someone else with that name so they don’t feel alone.

    In many respects, it’s exactly the same as if he was named Nigel. Most Nigels spend their lives looking for someone to love and trust who is also called Nigel.

    Also what is the genesis of 113 people in 36 years. I assume you mean Australia, and all I can come up with is almost 1.

  8. Stephen

    Adrianne your idea sounds good but it assumes they dont realize what they say and do is not selfserving and hypocritical and would answer honestly.

    Seems to me more likely and obvious that they do know and that is why they are there and seeking power for their own interests,.

    They would just lie and prevericate in the tests and once in power go back to the default settings, pretty much as they do now with election promises.

    The justifications would come quickly as they do now all the usual tired excuses dragged out yet again for their seasonal display.

    We would be adding another layer of complexity that many people would believe, and the politicans would wave around as as proof of honest intent.


  9. Maureen Daley

    We need an Honest Justice System who are Brave enough to stand against all who are a Corrupt .Government decisions should be Challenged by the High the Court not a law unto themselves instill Contempt Hate Wars disrespect within Society !!

  10. Mick

    Perhaps we also need a review of what Parliamentary privilege allows people to get away with. I don’t see why unsubstantiated, hate filled rants and evasion of questions should be permitted.

  11. Wsherlockscottholmes

    113 people in 36 years. I don’t have figures to hand, but if you include the so called ananda marga Hilton bombings, the Bali bombings and the very questionable Lindt cafe, that might get you close.

  12. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Joe Eisman,

    I have to agree with your assessment of Bad MAL Turnbull’s appointment of the other Bad Mal Brough for Special Minister of State.

    I suspect Bad MAL #1 thought it was a great joke, and a great incentive for intra party support, to promote Brough aka Bad Mal #2, into this position especially considering his dubious reputation in ethics.

    It reminds me of the offensive insult Abbott paid ALL Australian women, even the deluded LNP kind, that he was an appropriate Minister for Women.

    Bad MAL Turnbull has proven that he is NO better than the rest of the LNP Degenerates by this act alone, and if he Bad MAL #1 is too stupid or vane to admit to his mistake, he will be committing political suicide. Oh glory be!

  13. Friday

    Sadly, debates are won and lost by the decision of adjudicators.
    Who are they?
    How susceptible to the volume of crass repetition, are they?
    How many watch the ABC or question time?
    How many think about what they are told?
    ps what did the greens get for their yes???

  14. Pingback: Day to Day Politics. Is the Ashbygate now open? – » The Australian Independent Media Network | olddogthoughts

  15. Mark

    Get rid of political parties, go back to a minister for each electorate who asks his electorate what they want when it comes to voting on legislation and piss off the party vote. No point voting for anyone on their own personal beliefs or opinions as they are not considered but only the party line is. Also if they introduce a law, repeal an old one. Ignorance of the law is an excuse these days as not one person would know all the bloody laws they introduced. It shows they think we are incapable of making informed decisions by ourselves and have to list rules and regulations for everything.

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