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.
Modelling 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.
‘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?
It’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.
Another 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
‘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:
“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.
“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.
In 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.