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Finding the truth and reporting it is more important than creating a narrative where controversy matters more

1 The journalist who broke the story about the rape in the Minister’s office, Samantha Maiden said on ABC Insiders last Sunday that she first approached the government to comment on the allegations at 2.30pm on Friday 12 February.

Every programme I have seen her on, I have gleaned a sense of professionalism where the truth mattered more than the controversy.

She has shown sensitivity and warning toward the young women involved and was let known the trials and tribulations that would follow.

She added with a hint of ridicule that they “spent the entire weekend, for which we’re very grateful, seeking facts and information” for the article.

“And yet nobody told the prime minister, and his evidence is that he didn’t know about this story until we published it at 8am last Monday.”

During one of the seemingly endless door stops on Sunday, the Prime Minister was asked whether people should believe that his office did not inform him for more than 48 hours. “Correct – that’s what happened,” as quick as his tongue could shape the words they leapt from lips practised in the art of the lie.

He was asked again why his staff had not informed him, he answered:

“I expressed my view to my staff about that very candidly on Monday.”

Another reporter more forcibly asked Morrison whether his staff were reprimanded for not bringing such a serious allegation to the Prime Minister’s attention.

“You can be assured they know exactly my views about that matter.”

Then he changed his tone. And this is important.

“But you know, it’s not about how I feel. It is always about the person who is at the centre of this.”

This quick change of emphasis where he dismisses himself from the matter at hand (I wasn’t told, and I’m upset) is a familiar ploy, and it is one that the general public overlooks, even forgives him for.

He is not only untrustworthy, but cunning in the Howard mould.

Our society’s true Christians must be dismayed at the damage he is doing to their faith.

After a disastrous week for the Government Mondays, Newspoll result did Morrison and his government little harm. They remain on 50/50. How this happens is beyond most commentators.

Anthony Albanese is even further behind as preferred Prime Minister. Is it time for him to stand down? No. Not on 50-50. At this stage of the cycle, with COVID-19 thrown in, that is a good result.

On Tuesday, The Guardian reported that a second staffer in the governments employ knew about the incident. Another headline in the same news outlet suggested that Brittany Higgins partner David Sharaz would leave his job. It was correct; Sharaz has resigned from his position dealing with federal government clients, saying he could no longer continue the role.

Finally, Clare O’Neil, the Labor member for Hotham, says this about the men in parliament in an excellent article again for The Guardian:

“The problem is simply and coldly this: in the Australian parliament, a man allegedly believed he could rape a woman metres from the Prime Minister’s office and face no consequences. His belief was entirely reasonable because, as we know, he was almost right.”

However, with 4000 people working at Parliament House, they are not all going to be bastions of moral virtue. That’s the reality.

The ability of thinking human beings to blindly embrace what they are being told without referring to evaluation and the consideration of reason never ceases to amaze me. It is tantamount to the rejection of rational explanation.

2 Two things stood out last weekend that further confirmed to me the success that Rupert Murdoch has had in the indoctrination of Australians. The first was the crowd’s reaction to the mention of vaccines at the men’s final of the tennis, and second, the same vile response at the words “Victorian government”.

When we booed Hawke at the G years ago, it was a term of endearment; now we boo Goodes, and it is sarcastic racism.

It is a travesty that one man’s lifetime could have caused so much societal upheaval.

3 After having used Facebook for only a short period, I wrote the two paragraphs at the foot of section 3 in 2013. I’m not sure that I would do so now. There are many rights and wrongs to this story, but under it, all one word stands proud and tall, and that word is greed.

Perhaps the mainstream media barons should be paying for free exposure and advertising Facebook gives them.

Perhaps Facebook is entitled to charge for the news that finds its way onto Facebook.

4 As a midfield contributor to the political news cycle, opinion and discussion, The AIMN should not be dragged into this argument that Facebook and the Government are having.

Anyway, in greed is good argument; I thought my voice for The AIMN would be “no longer heard.” Still, I never anticipated the technological brilliance of The AIMN’s back room, who quickly rescued me.

My voice and those of others will still be able to be read as you have been used to.

However, you may have missed one or two pieces titled “When will Conservatives ever treat women with a modicum of decency, even dignity?” and “A tale of two wrongs: A rape and the Prime Minister’s response.”

Facebook makes you dive into humanity, hear things you do not want to hear, and defend what you have to say. It is for those with opinions or those without the courage to share them. And Fence-sitters, of course.

It attracts the reasoned, the unreasoned, the civil and the uncivil. The biased and the unbiased. It is for people with ideas and, sadly, those without any. It whispers or shouts dissent. But mostly, it’s a society of our own creation.

At the moment, it borders on a being hotchpotch of nothingness.

5 A gold-plated National Broadband Network may have cost $10 billion less than previously estimated by the Coalition government, with hidden figures from a review showing considerable savings expected from technological advancements for a full-fibre rollout.

Then-Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in 2013 that continuing with Labor’s full-fibre approach would mean “wasting well over $50 billion,” helping justify moving to the multi-technology mix.

6 Well, to finish on a good note my computer has just advised me that Craig Kelly has resigned from the Liberal Party. A joy to behold.

My thought for the day

On this occasion I have chosen to step aside for the Prime Minister.

“We think through the consequences of our policies. The Labor Party don’t.” (Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia).

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  1. Andrew J. Smith

    Regarding ‘confirmed to me the success that Rupert Murdoch….’, a key line in the sand for Australia’s steady march into becoming, in the eyes of many, arrogant and prejudiced pariahs; supported by media friendly legislation via Australian governments (both intimidated and supported by media power).

    It also reflects from the ’80s, the ascendancy of Howard, representing WASPish oldies and ageing baby boomers, led on by imported US radical right libertarian ideology via the IPA, and white nationalism, encouraged by Howard’s eugenics based dog whistling of anything post 1970s (wink wink, post white Oz and empire) e.g. people of Asian heritage, refugees, immigrants etc. (too many others to mention)

  2. Lurline

    I didn’t realise the Prime Turd was a comedian. I might retire now.

  3. Kaye Lee

    “The Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, will take a period of medical leave.

    This follows advice from her cardiologist relating to a pre-existing medical condition.

    As a precautionary measure, Minister Reynolds has this morning been admitted to a Canberra Hospital.”

    Guess the thought of facing the Press Club today was too much for her. Guess she won’t have to answer questions from the four investigations either. Go figure.

  4. Vikingduk

    Advice from a cardiologist. Really? You mean she has a heart? Here was I thinking she would make an excellent bar of soap, really anything that didn’t require the faculties that most humans possess, and now I learn she has a heart. Jeez, the crime syndicate masquerading as government dropped the ball on her selection. But, hey, how good’s $3.57 extra a day. Party time. Well, seems we have the scapegoat, retirement time for reynolds, spend more time with family, just need time to line up juicy job. Here’s a thought, one day they may even allocate the rest of the bushfire relief money, maybe even share it into labor electorates. Yeah, birds will swim, fish will sing and the little porkers will fly and saint scotty of the sanctimonious smirk will never lie again.

  5. Kerri

    The thing that seems to have been forgotten in all the criticism levelled at Facebook for shutting down pages, is that it is a commercial enterprise that makes it’s own rules for users to abide by. It’s decisions are in it’s interests and if you operate a busniess, charity or even a government department that relies on Facebook to convey knowledge then you are under their rules not your own and they will do whatever best suits them.
    A bit like News Corpse really?

  6. Gangstas Paradise

    “The ability of ….. so many (sic) ….. thinking human beings to blindly embrace what they are being told without referring to evaluation and the consideration of reason never ceases to amaze me. It is tantamount to the rejection of rational explanation.”

    Fascism raises its head again …… and once again so many are blindly embracing it.

    Note the media & right wing govt emphasis on “an” followed by “tifa”, one could be forgiven for thinking fascism had been killed, dead and buried in 1945according to that same media/govt and had now been replaced by some left wing Nazi organisation that was hiding in the shadow of Antifa just waiting to lead us into ww3 …….. and thankfully enough Americans saw that danger and rejected it (mind you after events of Jan 6 many, many more Americans had the scales fall from their eyes).

    Such is the way the world, and use of language, has been turned upside down by these WASPS who are so afraid of losing power they would rather “destroy the joint” then accept the world has changed and no matter how much they rail against it their place in the annals of history will be right there alongside slavery.

  7. Dada Martin

    He is not only untrustworthy, but cunning in the Howard mould. A typical Polly then -Arn’t they all ?

  8. Matters Not

    It was Thomas Cooley who theorised re self-concept (and with Senator Reynolds in mind note well):

    “I am not who you think I am; I am not who I think I am; I am who I think you think I am

    Yes Reynolds’s ‘self-concept’ has suffered a battering of recent times with the corridors of the parliament alive with (shouted) whispers that she’s not up to the job – and never was. This latest ‘failing’ is the mere evidentiary icing on the cake.

    In the eyes of Liberal power-brokers, having a woman as Minister for Defence was always anathema. (That she followed Pyne whose sexuality was much debated only compounded the problem.) You see – the Defence Forces is a man’s world and never mind she had a distinguished career in the Army Reserve. That counts for naught. She was nothing more than a desk-jockey, involved in strategic matters and real fighting men don’t even know what strategy is. If it moves – just shoot. And don’t even bother asking questions afterwards. Reynolds was never one of those.

    So Reynolds is off to hospital with a heart condition but the insiders know that this is just an escape hatch. A plausible excuse, perhaps generated by the PM himself. Parliament offers unlimited sick leave for eligible members and Morrison will ensure she jumps that bar.. Her damaged self-concept will take months to repair even with the highest praises from the most distinguished sources.

    The problem then becomes how to find a suitable (female) replacement with the right credentials and perhaps from WA is at the top of the list, always remembering that sometimes the Price isn’t always Right.

    But as Defence Minister, Reynolds is history!.

  9. wam

    The usual giggle at your truth, lord but what a belly laugh at your thought companion. ““We think through the consequences of our policies. The Labor Party don’t.” (Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia).” The absolute tragedy is that no matter how many intervention, work choices, robodebts, family courts, penalty rates and indue cards or the other pieces of ‘it sounds good let’s do it’ legislation we show to be flawed the ‘labor don’t’ will give the truth to the lie that scummo does. Truth depends solely on belief. If you watched kelly his is NOT lying and if you check hydroxochloroquine you will find evidence enough for a man like kelly. Indeed a little arithmetic will suggest both the poms and the italians killed more than trump. Any of your posts suggest that, lord???
    ps excuse the FB side track but this ‘truth’ was shared some years ago, (as number 7 shows)from an American friend, it recently appeared on my past memories First Septic tank I have admired for years: There’s a lot to admire about Australia, especially if you’re a visiting American, says David Mason. More often than you might expect, Australian friends patiently listening to me enthuse about their country have said, ”We need outsiders like you to remind us what we have.” So here it is – a small presumptuous list of what one foreigner admires in Oz. 1. Health care. I know the controversies, but basic national health care is a gift. In America, medical expenses are a leading cause of bankruptcy. The drug companies dominate politics and advertising. Obama is being crucified for taking halting baby steps towards sanity. You can’t turn on the telly without hours of drug advertisements – something I have never yet seen here. And your emphasis on prevention – making cigarettes less accessible, for one – is a model. 2. Food. Yes, we have great food in America too, especially in the big cities. But your bread is less sweet, your lamb is cheaper, and your supermarket vegetables and fruits are fresher than ours. Too often in my country an apple is a ball of pulp as big as your face. The dainty Pink Lady apples of Oz are the juiciest I’ve had. And don’t get me started on coffee. In American small towns it tastes like water flavoured with burnt dirt, but the smallest shop in the smallest town in Oz can make a first-rate latte. I love your ubiquitous bakeries, your hot-cross buns. Shall I go on? 3. Language. How do you do it? The rhyming slang and Aboriginal place names like magic spells. Words that seem vaguely English yet also resemble an argot from another planet. I love the way institutional names get turned into diminutives – Vinnie’s and Salvos – and absolutely nothing’s sacred. Everything’s an opportunity for word games and everyone’s a nickname. Lingo makes the world go round. It’s the spontaneous wit of the people that tickles me most. Late one night at a barbie my new mate Suds remarked, ”Nothing’s the same since 24-7.” Amen. 4. Free-to-air TV. In Oz, you buy a TV, plug it in and watch some of the best programming I’ve ever seen – uncensored. In America, you can’t get diddly-squat without paying a cable or satellite company heavy fees. In Oz a few channels make it hard to choose. In America, you’ve got 400 channels and nothing to watch. 5. Small shops. Outside the big cities in America corporations have nearly erased them. Identical malls with identical restaurants serving inferior food. Except for geography, it’s hard to tell one American town from another. The ”take-away” culture here is wonderful. Human encounters are real – stirring happens, stories get told. The curries are to die for. And you don’t have to tip! 6. Free camping. We used to have this too, and I guess it’s still free when you backpack miles away from the roads. But I love the fact that in Oz everyone owns the shore and in many places you can pull up a camper van and stare at the sea for weeks. I love the ”primitive” and independent campgrounds, the life out of doors. The few idiots who leave their stubbies and rubbish behind in these pristine places ought to be transported in chains. 7. Religion. In America, it’s everywhere – especially where it’s not supposed to be, like politics. I imagine you have your Pharisees too, making a big public show of devotion, but I have yet to meet one here. 8. Roads. Peak hour aside, I’ve found travel on your roads pure heaven. My country’s ”freeways” are crowded, crumbling, insanely knotted with looping overpasses – it’s like racing homicidal maniacs on fraying spaghetti. I’ve taken the Hume without stress, and I love the Princes Highway when it’s two lanes. Ninety minutes south of Bateman’s Bay I was sorry to see one billboard for a McDonald’s. It’s blocking a lovely paddock view. Someone should remove it. 9. Real multiculturalism. I know there are tensions, just like anywhere else, but I love the distinctiveness of your communities and the way you publicly acknowledge the Aboriginal past. Recently, too, I spent quality time with Melbourne Greeks, and was gratified both by their devotion to their own great language and culture and their openness to an Afghan lunch. 10. Fewer guns. You had Port Arthur in 1996 and got real in response. America replicates such massacres several times a year and nothing changes. Why? Our religion of individual rights makes the good of the community an impossible dream. Instead of mateship we have ”It’s mine and nobody else’s”. We talk a great game about freedom, but too often live in fear. There’s more to say – your kaleidoscopic birds, your perfumed bush in springtime, your vast beaches. These are just a few blessings that make Australia a rarity. Of course, it’s not paradise – nowhere is – but I love it here. No need to wave flags like Americans and add to the world’s windiness. Just value what you have and don’t give it away. David Mason is a US writer and professor, and poet laureate of Colorado.

  10. Williambtm

    Mr. John Lord, thank you for all your contributions to The AIMN and yes you have been understood and appreciated.
    An old English film comes to my mind each time I read another of your very well presented and expressed articles.
    That English film I speak of was “Goodbye Mr. Chips.” Each time I have watched reruns of this same it leaves me teary in both my eyes, then most times midway through a box of tissues.
    I see in your articles, a life of devotion to what is best for all in our world… yet difficult it is and will remain so, to count up these you have inspired to go on to be far better and more honest human beings.
    Do not be disappointed in your work, you will have inspired many junior to your good self along your journey through the years you continue to amass.
    Please remain a proud person with the knowledge that you have always been and will continue to be a noteworthy respected gentleman.
    William Boeder.

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