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My Thoughts on the Week That Was

Saturday June 6

1 The Prime Minister’s and Minister Dutton’s responses to Senator Hanson Young’s objection to allegedly being spied on in Nauru was appallingly sexist and political overreach of the worst kind. For the PM to say she was “looked after” was insultingly gratuitous and condescending regardless of the rights or wrongs of the situation. And Dutton’s childish temperamental outburst was a reflection on his inadequacy as a politician. He should have stayed in the Police Force. Creepy indeed.

2 It has always fascinated me that unions can be so maligned for the slightest whiff of wrong doing yet business criminals like Bond, Skase, Elliott and others are considered by many to be folk heroes.

Sunday June 7

Did I see last night an advertisement promoting the budget? Is it taxpayer-funded? That would be a first.

Monday June 8

Peter Dutton’s inability to get his facts right on the statement by Human Rights commissioner Gillian Triggs about Ministerial powers suggests that he is the last person to decide on one’s citizenship. Or anything else for that matter

1 As if to demonstrate, yet again, he and his government’s apathetic out of touch governess, Joe Hockey, the treasurer of Team Australia, in answer to a question about housing affordability said: “The starting point for first home buyers is to get a good job that pays good money”.

House

I would have thought it’s a problem easily solved. All they have to do is produce all the jobs they said they were going too. (Sarcasm intended)

2 The Abbott government appears to be running an orchestrated campaign to “destabilise or even destroy” the Australian Human Rights Commission, according to the nation’s first federal human rights commissioner Brian Burdekin.

They are at war with everyone who disagrees with them. Vindictive bastards.

GAY MARRIAGE

3 Scott Morrison said: “If you say that you don’t get on board with the same-sex marriage bandwagon, then somehow you’re a homophobe or something like that – I don’t think that’s very helpful”.

“I think it’s time for people to have a bit of a breather about this and consider what the other options are.”

Could someone tell me what the options are to inequality?

Tuesday June 9

Nile

1 In NSW it seems Rev Nile is doing a deal with Premier Baird to get his Power legislation passed. It’s a sneaky Religious one of course. Parents of public school children will only be offered the Ethics course for their children AFTER they have turned down Religious Education courses. They won’t be told they are available on the course curriculum. Now that’s Christian transparency. Lying by omission.

2 “I’m for individual freedom … to the max. So you can imagine my profound disappointment, bordering on despair, when I see some on ‘my team’ thinking it is OK for a minister alone to take away a citizen’s rights – indeed, take away citizenship – in the blink of an eye. No appeal, no judicial process, just a ministerial decision. What were they thinking?” (Amanda Vanstone).

3 The conservative Christian forces in the Coalition are gathering their forces to confront Abbott on marriage equality. Extremists like George Christensen are determined to go against public opinion and govern for the minority.

4 NBN have let contracts to try and speed up its implementation.

An observation:

On the NBN: “The problem with designing a network to meet the needs of today is that it denies you the ability to meet the needs of tomorrow”.

5 Now hear this: Labor put in place laws that guaranteed 700 companies (including Packer, Reinhardt etc) would be more transparent in terms of tax liability. They respond by saying it would make them more susceptible to kidnapping, privacy, personal security and extortion. Without any evidence from any law enforcement agency to back up this assertion, the government decided to shield these companies from any disclosure. Rotten to the core.

Wednesday June 10

1“Even as a cabinet minister, sometimes it’s hard to pay a Sydney mortgage and I know over the years I’ve earned a lot more than the average person” (Tony Abbott).

If he finds it hard, what hope the average wage earner? Just as well he got free education and didn’t have to pay University fees. Gee you have to feel for his hardship being the world’s highest paid politician can’t be easy.

Meanwhile Treasurer Joe Hockey is selling his $1.5 million farm. Umm, it all reeks of privilege and elitism. And Glen Stephens thinks the housing market is crazy.

2 Scott Morisson said yesterday: “The institution of marriage came from religion. It was adopted by the state and I have always been a firm believer in the separation of church and state and the main reason for that is it protects the church – and I think the church’s institutions do need to be protected”.

He is factually wrong on the first count and on the second I am wondering what it is the church needs protection from.

3 Bill Shorten has moved to make the gender gap an issue for the ALP’s July national conference and for Labor more widely.

“Wanted: more female politicians”

An observation:

“At some time in the human narrative . . . in our history, man declared himself superior to women. It must have been an accident, or at least an act of gross stupidity. But that’s men for you”

Thursday June 11

Wind farms

1 The PM was certainly out and about yesterday. He described wind farms as visually awful and a danger to people’s health. Of course there is no scientific evidence to say people’s health is effected and no doubt he finds the sight of coal stations spewing their filth more aesthetically pleasing.

Coal mines

I am an artist with a Diploma of Fine Arts. How anyone could say that Wind Farms are a blot on the landscape is beyond me. Thank God he didn’t pursue a career in industrial design.

A study conducted by the government’s own National Health and Medical Research Council recently found that there is no “consistent evidence” that wind farms damage human health.

On top of that he wishes a RET had never been implemented.

Farm

His ignorance of the way the world is headed in terms of renewable energy is breathtaking in its arrogance.

His new-found frankness contradicts claims he and his ministers made before and after the election about how committed they were to renewable energy.

2 Good to see the Member for Gippsland (my electorate) Darren Chester has become the first National’s MP to openly throw his support behind same-sex marriage. Not much we would agree on but on this one yes.

3 Labor is considering changes to capital gains tax rules as well as negative gearing if elected, but remains tight-lipped about the policy it will adopt before the next election.

The PM responded by saying:

“If you look at what the Labor Party is proposing at the moment they want to hit your super with more tax, they apparently want to drive down the value of your existing home and now it seems they want to put rent up by fiddling with negative gearing”.

He neglected to say they plan to raid your bank accounts.

4 It seems AMEX has not paid tax in Australia for 7 years on a turnover of 8 billion. How is that possible? I wonder if Hockey might know.

5 This week’s Essential Poll is unchanged with Labor leading 52/48.

6 Abbott’s terrorist language is becoming more alarmist and sensational every day. The adults are still yet to take charge.

Friday June 12

1 In denying to answer a question as to whether Australia paid people smugglers to turn boats back Tony Abbott has more or less confessed that we did. He just doesn’t like telling the truth. Does it then mean that we were complicit in people trafficking?

2 What a thoroughly detestable grub of a Prime Minister he is. A liar who will do or say anything that suits him at the time. His comments about wind farms are implausible. The one he referred to was on Rottnest Island, funded by the Howard Government, supplies 40% of the Islands power, and is perfectly acceptable to the residents. To say that they are ugly and noisy based on an experience some years ago is ridiculous. Any wonder international leaders call him a fool.

3 Speaking of political grubbiness. Radio shock jock Ray Hadley and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton have been accused of “sexist claptrap” after playing a song labelling Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young as the “Dumbest Politician in Australia”.

Must be Christopher’s turn next.

And this is the week that was. Well except that Bill Shorten made yet another speech about Australia becoming a republic. Perhaps he should just say that if elected a plebiscite is assured.

And I won’t comment on the Murdoch accession plan because its as clear as mud as to who is actually in charge.

 


28 comments

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  1. Möbius Ecko

    Gotta love the right wing commentators now trying to reinvent what Hockey said on housing affordability. No people, what Hockey said was clear and there’s footage of it, he didn’t say or mean your new interpretations and rewording of it.

  2. darrel nay

    Thanks John,

    A tough week for sure. To my mind a strong leader moves forward based on consensus. A weak leader is a divisive leader. Abbott et. al. continually focus on issues which divide rather than moving forward on issues supported by all. We constituents seem to have been conditioned to accept the unending focus on divisive issues.

    Cheers

  3. corvus boreus

    John Lord,
    Your weekly wrap-up is one of my favourite reads on this site.
    A combination of work commitments and an unwillingness to fully and continuously immerse myself in political events for fear of outrage fatigue means I sometimes miss some of the shenanigans that occur under the guise of ‘governance’, and your column is a fantastic ‘cheat-sheet’ summary to launch further research.
    Thank you.

    In my little province this week, the local guv voted to bury a scientific document mapping local wildlife habitat corridors. This was done at the behest of a small group of farmers concerned about the effect ‘lines on maps’ might have on their commercial activities.
    Specific amendments were tabled explicitly addressing these concerns, but this did not sway the naysayers. Two of the councillors voting to quash the document have commercial landholdings with areas included in the document as mapped connective corridors. They did not declare any interest prior to voting.
    In other business, they decided, with very little discussion, to spend 100 grand of ratepayer money on getting a soccer game brought to town, in spite of the fact that every previous subsidised procurement of professional sports matches has resulted in poor attendance and large financial losses.

    The Society for the Appreciation of Sub-mediocre Representation is a large organisation with many members and sub-branches.

  4. John Lord

    Thanks Corvus. That’s encouraging.

  5. Kaye Lee

    We also had Tony’s summit to counter violent extremism. The idea was good – looking at why teenagers fall prey to the IS message and early intervention. Unfortunately, they didn’t include senior Muslim leaders. The heads of ASIO and the Australian Federal Police, many cabinet ministers, top executives from tech companies, were all there. But there were few Australian Muslim representatives. The focus appeared to be more on the delivery of counter-extremism messages – there were more tech experts than Muslim community representatives – than the message itself. Having said that, I was quite impressed by Julie Bishop’s speech.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/abbotts-summit-to-prevent-muslim-extremism-was-missing-one-ingredient–input-from-muslims-20150612-ghmsl7.html

  6. hughwebster2014

    Thanks John. You are quite right of course, the sooner that Tony Abbott is recycled the better.

  7. stephentardrew

    John I look forward, with fear and trepidation, to your weekly roundup knowing full well that things can only get worse with this mob. You once again confirm my worst fears. Great job of reducing a mountain of bullshit to a legible and easily readable, yet physiologically disturbing, series of comments.

  8. Kaye Lee

    Another very concerning development is the gag clause about to be included in funding agreements for community legal centres. ‘Commonwealth funding should not be used to lobby governments or to engage in public campaigns’

    “It’s a gag clause that will say that community legal centres can work every day with vulnerable and disadvantaged people, but they’re not allowed to talk about it and you’re certainly not allowed to talk about it with media or with politicians,” Liana Buchanan from Victoria’s Federation of Community Legal Centres said.

    Peter Noble, from the Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre in Bendigo, said the centre’s lawyers recently made a submission to the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence on behalf of the centre, but such work could be blocked by the new agreement.

    “By prohibiting the use of Commonwealth money under the sort of vague parameters that are in this clause, the Government is cutting itself off and I think the Australian community off from sensible and measured input for reform,” he said.

    Mr Noble said part of the problem was that the Government did not want to be embarrassed.

    “Some governments don’t like lights being shined in the darker places of our system and bureaucracy,” he said.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-12/community-legal-centres-fear-being-silenced-by-gag-clause/6543148

  9. stephentardrew

    It never ends does it.

    Kill off the truth and bring out the pantomime of fools.

  10. corvus boreus

    RIP Christopher Lee (1922-2015).
    A talented man with a strong presence and a beautiful voice,
    a character actor who manifested forms of creepy that I could actually admire.
    A sad loss to be mourned, a life of achievement to be celebrated.
    Ave atqe vale.

  11. John Lord

    Kaye I wasn’t up with the Community Legal Service Secrecy but I’m not at all surprised given their secrecy in so many other areas.

  12. corvus boreus

    stephentardrew,
    That fits in with many documented observations of behavioral changes resulting from damage to brain cells (aneurisms, tumours and other degenerative causes).
    Blocking pugilists’ punches with your skull and sculling schooners on demand are probably bad ideas if you want to retain some sort of calm and reasonable mind.

  13. Kaye Lee

    John,

    It ties in with their push to strip charitable status from environmental groups. Of course the charitable status of the IPA and the Sydney Institute will be protected at all costs.

  14. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks John,

    I also appreciate your listings in case I have missed something like the ridiculing of Sarah Hanson-Young.

    Kaye’s inclusion of what threatens CLC’s is also of particular concern to me.

  15. Kyran

    It seems to me, the battle is well and truly lost. Mr Lord’s weekly wrap exposes the modus operandi of this cabal of cretins. I have no doubt as to the incompetence and stupidity of the current lot. Regardless of which party you wish to follow, an idiotic comment is made and the race is then on to see who can ‘out stupid’ the ‘last stupid’. Which becomes a perennial distraction for a public with the attention span of goldfish. Principles such as the rule of law, the separation of powers, transparency of government (and governance), equality, workers rights, essential services, etc, have been trashed for decades. The current lot are just less eloquent. We now have a prime miniature who blatantly states the rule of law is dead, we will achieve our objectives ‘by hook or by crook’. Any regular visitor to this site is well aware of the paucity of official policy when it is placed against silly little notions, like fact, evidence, science. Even the most shallow of scrutiny reveals there is no depth to policy, other than the most shallow of pools, ideology. Reading posts like this is a bit like watching ‘Insiders’. Self-flaggelation, hoping the pain of enduring the litany of stupidity will some how bear witness to a new awakening. No disrespect intended, Mr Lord. Take care

  16. Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36)

    The most alarming thing is that there are still so many rusted on right-wing supporters who see criticism of Abbott as sour grapes that it will need a real catastrophe – preferably really soon – to make them re-think their political priorities.

  17. OzFenric

    I’ve had a problem with Mr Dutton for years, well before he reached his current position of prominence. He should have been out of politics by now but he is protected and supported by others and I suspect they will not rest until he gets the Lodge. Heaven help us. https://ozfenric.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/gaming-the-democracy-system/

  18. diannaart

    John

    Thank you for your weekly summary – it is of great help – especially when I have had no choice but to absent myself form reading, hearing or seeing anything to do with Abbott and his henchmen for fear I will lash out at innocent electrical appliances..

    Kaye Lee

    Not consulting with Muslims about IS – no surprises there, Captain Abbott does not consult with First Nation people on land management, nor women, nor children, only men – a very special group of men – not your every day man – has to at least be earning in the top 1% – same goes for the minuscule number of women – they not only have to fit a select criteria but be content to serve as window dressing or camouflage.

  19. corvus boreus

    diannaart,
    I think there are 4 selection criteria.
    Male C.O.W. (cranky old white)
    There may be a single quality deviation for the sake of conspicuous diversity.

  20. diannaart

    corvus boreus

    🙂

    Loving “conspicuous diversity” – a type of high-rent tokenism.

  21. brickbob

    June the 15th is the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta,and at it’s core is the principle that Governments are not above the law,and the rights of citizens shall not be trampled on. Oh the irony””””

  22. corvus boreus

    On the subject of the proposed discretionary clauses to be attached to CLC funding (thanks, Kaye Lee), I would like the government to officially clarify their precise definition of “lobbying”, as currently the practical meaning of this word (and many others) seems to vary in application from case to case.

    Define your terms.

    Ps, An example of current trends of linguistic looseness would be the PM calling a 10% reduction in defense allocation a “holocaust” (literally ‘burning of sacrificial offerings’, with connotations of the attempted genocide of European Judaic peoples).
    Phuqqing typical.
    On one of the rare occasions that the linguistic munition of “decimation” could be deployed with some degree of derivational and contextual precision (systematic reduction of 1 in 10 of a military force), Tony ‘dum-dum’ chooses to inaccurately sling a piece of incendiary hyperbolic ‘crap’.

  23. lawrencewinder

    Nice weekly summary… or should that be “….weekly insanity”?

  24. paul walter

    Gee, looked very hard to find a word out of place and failed..well done, John Lord.

    Some examples from the audience on QA last Monday night demonstrated just how brainwashed elements of the public have become, under the welter of spin, psychodrama and elimination of accurate information and analysis under a consent manufacture regime.

  25. Steeleye

    The comment above about the IPA having charitable status caused me to google “IPA charitable status” because I could not believe that it was possible. The results confirmed my worst fears. How on earth does a political lobbying group and the cultural masterminds of the LNP – effectively what they are – manage to call itself a charity? Charitable works on behalf of Tones and his RWNJ mates?

    My gob is totally smacked.

  26. Kaye Lee

    Steeleye,

    At the risk of subjecting your gob to a further smacking, in 2003, the Australian [Howard] Government paid $50,000 to the Institute of Public Affairs to review the accountability of NGOs.

    And if you are wondering why poor old wind turbines are under attack you may want to look into another charity – the Waubra Foundation who peddle propaganda about wind farms but who have been classified as a ‘… health promotion charity …. [whose] principal activity is the prevention and control of disease in humans.’

    https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/the-ipa-and-waubra-foundations-charitable-tax-status-rorts,6649

  27. Ro Bailey

    Coal mines are so pretty.

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