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My Thoughts on the Week That Was

Saturday May 23

“Love has No Gender”

Irish voters appear to have voted heavily in favor of allowing same-sex marriage in a historic referendum in the traditionally Catholic country.

Will our Catholic Prime Minister at least give his ministers a conscious vote?

Posted my essay Marriage Equality and Why I Support it.

Sunday May 24

1. The PM is showing the same inflexible attitude with Superannuation as he did with his PPL scheme. It can only end the same way. Yet another backflip, another broken promise. As Katherine Murphy said on insiders. His decision to never change Super in the future is “epically stupid”

2. 115 thousand dollars for Harry’s month-long sojourn. That’s a right royal amount. Republic plebiscite please.

3. “Inside the Abbott family I’m probably the last holdout for the traditional position,”

Is that not admitting that he is on the wrong side of the argument? Government is supposed to reflect public opinion. Well that’s if they are listening.

Monday May 25

1. Our Prime Minister said:

“We need to bring the same drive, focus and clarity of purpose to countering terrorism that resulted in stopping the boats under Operation Sovereign Borders”

On the other hand:

“We need to bring the same drive, focus and clarity of purpose and resources to countering domestic violence that resulted in stopping the boats under Operation Sovereign Borders”

Since Christmas 2 women every week have died as a result of Domestic Violence while funds for support services has been reduced. A billion dollars has been allocated to Terrorism.

2. Voters should not judge a budget by its glossy brochures.

Joe and toneModelling by Natsem – the national center for social and economic modelling at the University of Canberra – and analysis by the Australian Council of Social Service (Acoss), both released at the weekend, sheds light on the small print.

What we can see so far is that the extra money many low and middle-income families get in childcare assistance is more than taken away, especially by the cuts to family tax benefits (first outlined in last year’s budget) which the government now says are the only way it can pay for its childcare plan.

Will the independents fall for something that is as unfair as last year?

3. If there is one thing that Politicians are extremely good at it’s delaying the inevitable. Abbott cannot delay it indefinitely.

“Same-sex marriage debate must be this year”

Tuesday May 26

Posted some observations on Question Time.

1. Bill Shorten will next week take it up to the Government with a private members bill on marriage equality. Will Government members take it up to Abbott and insist on a conscience vote.

Observation

Change sometimes disregards the longevity of stubbiness and becomes a phenomenon of its own making. With Its own inevitability

Posted some thoughts on this subject.

2. Q&A Observations. “I’m no financial adviser” said Joe Hockey inviting the obvious question. What are you then?

joe hockeyIt’s unusual to hear a conservative politician use it but Joe did use the word “sorry” on three occasions.

Yes Humble Joe offered it up no less than three times in dealing with a barrage of criticism over the branding of women as double-dipping rorters. “I’m sorry if that’s the way you feel and certainly it was never intended,’ was the treasurer’s attempt to placate one questioner. To another woman: “I understand your concern about the words and I’m sorry you took offence.”

What utter bullshit I thought to myself. Every lie and misleading statement is calculated to have the maximum effect. They still have a massive “women” problem.

Another awkward moment came with an inquiry concerning one woman in about the treasurer’s wife. A questioner wanted to know how he could accuse voters of being rorters when he himself trousered an allowance for living in a house owned by his spouse.

Joe negatively gears houses and one in particular in his wife’s name is being paid for by the use of Joes living away from home allowance. All perfectly legal but morally reprehensible. He isn’t the only one.

The audience wasn’t buying his protestations that it was all entirely fair, which gave rise to the third apology of the night. “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Perhaps not half as sorry as he was when he asked Tony Jones if the ABC paid him travel allowances. “They do,” Jones replied. “But the hotel’s not owned by my wife.” Beat that.

InequalityAnother awkward moment came when he tried to defend the conflict between superannuation and pensions. His defense for taxpayer-funded tax breaks for the wealthy and privileged was incomprehensible. It also deserved a sorry.

3. Tuesday’s Essential Poll comes in at the usual 52/48 for Labor. I fail to see this bounce that everyone is talking about.

4. In his desire to make terrorism front and center on a 24/7 basis all Abbott has succeeded in doing is creating a cabinet revolt.

The idea is that even an Australian-born citizen, without any other citizenship, could be stripped of Australian citizenship at the discretion of the immigration minister alone, without a suspect being charged or facing a court.

IS THIS GOVERNMENT INTENT ON WITHDRAWING US FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD? Remember we no longer accept anyone seeking asylum.

Wednesday May 27

An observation.

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

Thursday May 28

1. In an answer to Bill Shorten, in Question Time did I detect a hint that the PM has seen the light of day on Marriage Equality and if it’s passed wants it done so on his watch, under his control:

Abbott and Shorten“If our Parliament were to make a big decision on a matter such as this, it ought to be owned by the Parliament and not by any particular party”.

2. Yesterday the Government introduced its 20 billion dollar Medical Research Fund. However, it seems to me that the most cost-effective way to improve the health of Australians, particularly the young, would be to over time, legislate to lower the amount of sugar, salt and fat in processed and fast food. Medical Science has already proven that it is these products that cause the majority of major health problems.

Or will it wait until the health bill of the nation becomes such an impost on the budget, that it will have no other option.

3. Labor has enlisted the former climate change minister Greg Combet to help develop policies for the next election – including a new climate change stance – as the party debates how to make good its promise to reintroduce an emissions trading scheme.

Observation:

“If we’re not raising new generations to be better stewards of the environment, what’s the point?”

4. As if to confirm my contention that our PM is the greatest liar ever to walk the halls of parliament comes this.

abbott liarIn February the Murdoch Press splashed on its gutter pages that people fighting overseas were receiving welfare payments. They played merry hell with it for days.

On 23 February, asked about reports that no foreign fighters had actually had their welfare payments cancelled, Abbott told parliament:

“This is not correct. To the best of my knowledge and understanding, all of the foreign fighters who are currently overseas have had any welfare payments that they were receiving well and truly cancelled … the last thing we want to see is Australian taxpayers funding terrorism.”

In Senate Estimates it was revealed that:

“ … no individual was in receipt of any welfare benefit payments and it was therefore unnecessary to use the welfare cancellation on security grounds provisions.”

5. And it seems like the double dipping has not been confined to the PPL. Again in Senate Estimates over the course of the week it has been revealed that about three-quarters of the abatement that Greg Hunt said was “stunning” only a few weeks ago was from projects that had already existed. So, taxpayers are now footing a bill to underwrite projects that in some cases have been in place for many, many years, operated by some of the biggest polluters in the country.

The lies continue unabated.

Friday May 29

1. The PM has come a long way. He was such a Luddite a short time ago that he appointed Malcolm Turnbull to destroy the Internet. Now he knows what coding is.

2. The audacious statement by the PMs Sister on Lateline that “it would be wonderful if the change to marriage laws came under a conservative, deeply religious Prime Minister” is conflicted by the fact that he has fought against it all his life. Trying to take the political moral high ground at this stage is deplorable.

3. Gina Rinehart’s son John rightly gave Barnaby Joyce a decent serve after winning a court battle over a $5 billion trust.

“This character sits three chairs down from the Prime Minister. To have someone so easily manipulated, or alternatively so naive, is dangerous in such a position”.

If the Coalition were to win the next election Joyce would probably be deputy Prime Minister. I really struggle to get my head around that.

This is the week that was.

GAY MARRIAGE

 

11 comments

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  1. John Knight

    I don’t think Tony Abbott will ever allow his ministers a “conscious vote” on anything!

  2. Terry2

    The 2004 amendments to the Marriage Act :

    1 Subsection 5(1)
    Insert:
    marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
    2 At the end of section 88B
    Add:
    (4) To avoid doubt, in this Part (including section 88E) marriage has the meaning given by subsection 5(1).
    3 After section 88E
    Insert:
    88EA Certain unions are not marriages
    A union solemnised in a foreign country between:
    (a) a man and another man; or
    (b) a woman and another woman;
    must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia.

    This amendment was enacted by the Howard government at a time when marriage equality was gaining momentum around the world and Howard sought to put a lid on it in Australia : Abbott was a member of that government and would have been active in seeing it passed.

    The biggest challenge now for Abbott is not that he change his stubborn adherence to outdated religious values but that he shows the courage, not evident in his prime ministership so far, to allow his colleagues a free vote, So far his political instincts have shown that he will walk away from prior commitments when it is politically expedient to do so and in the interests of his own political survival.

    We shall see.

  3. Grant Moss

    “Science has already proven that it is these products that cause the majority of major health problems.”
    The LNP do not believe in science so, unfortunately, such a rational argument carries zero weight.

  4. Florence nee Fedup

    I hate to say it but it appears Pyne and Joyce are the ones that show sense in cabinet this week. Pyne’s no to Abbott’s and Dutton’s brain fart of taking peoples citizenship away. Pyne said that is what the courts are for. Joyce saying they are our criminals, we look after them. Charge them, leave it up to the courts. Dutton’s reply that is the problem, evidence is needed. Joyce, well get it. (Words to that effect.
    Other ministers reported as saying, there is still a handful that believe in the law and separation of powers.

    What Abbott and Dutton is seeking, is the power of a dictator.

    Most of Abbott’s new regulations, restricting our freedoms are unnecessary. A big example was the one restricting welfare benefits to so called terrorist that leave our shores. No one on benefits can receive them after a short period, while travelling. Not sure, but I think it is about a month. Therefore no need for special laws. .

    They are the real enemies of this country, this democracy.

  5. Marie Anderson

    Look forward to reading your column every week. It’s a shame we can’t revoke Tony’s Australian citizenship and send him back to where he came from.

  6. Ginny Lowndes

    UKs Tony Abbott & the LNP on Australia’s citizenship laws:
    We will decide who is a citizen of Australia and the manner in which they stay one.

  7. Maureen Walton (@maureen_walton)

    Great article much food for thought.
    Re Hockey A LNP male voter said that to me “it was great that Hockey claims $270 a night for his wife, as that is How you do Good Business. Better to go to Hockeys wife instead of some rich hotelier”. When I said no as it can pay wages to keep other people employed several LNP people yelled me down. Tells me time and time again most LNP people are either Business people or ex as they are all into their selves….

  8. Anomander

    Despite the fact the Greens have been pushing marriage equality for decades,and the ALP have jumped onto the wagon at the last minute, there is no way Tony could ever allow them to steal his thunder – hence the statement that is needed to be “owned by the parliament”.

    To allow a minor party to dictate legislation shows how out of date his thinking is and demonstrates how irrelevant both major parties are – that they have both been dragged kicking and screaming to the table of public opinion.

    It also shows how the Greens policies are quite mainstream, where as Abbott and his mates are actually the extremists.

  9. Florence nee Fedup

    We have FM Bishop out today, telling/lecturing Indonesia and Malaysia what their duties are when it comes to ISIS. Cannot help but think her theatrics are for our benefit.

  10. Mercurial

    “Observation

    ‘Change sometimes disregards the longevity of stubbiness and becomes a phenomenon of its own making. With Its own inevitability’”

    Do you mean stubbornness?

  11. Florence nee Fedup

    Maybe pig headinesses.

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