Saturday June 13
1 I am an artist with a Dip of Fine Arts. How anyone could say that Wind Farms are a blot on the landscape is beyond me. Thank God our PM didn’t pursue a career in industrial design.
The Prime Minister’s scathing comments on wind-farms and renewable energy put him out of step with the way the world is moving.
2 It would be remarkable, if true, that a Government so intent on destroying people smugglers, actually paid them to turn boats around so as to protect its own reputation of “stopping the boats”. Absolutely incredible but I suspect most Australians won’t give it much thought. Such is their apathy.
Sunday June 14
1 Hockey’s advice to first home buyers looking to get into the housing market may have been self-evidently correct but on top of his other gaffes and those of the Prime Minister’s one wonders how around 48% of the population would willingly still vote for them.
2 The polls next week will be revealing.
3 “Given her own story and connection, I had hoped to see a more courageous and compassionate response.”
These are the words of the brother of Nats Senator Bridget McKenzie, Alastair who is gay. It seems the Senator is committed to traditional marriage but not the conservative rights of individuals and the voice of equality.
4 Bill Shorten has agreed to appear at the Royal Commission into Unions. John Howard felt that Royal Commission witch hunts were a bad idea and usually came back to haunt you.
Given no evidence has come forward, at this time, of any wrong doing on his part I shall not comment further other than to say I hope the companies involved had a very good reason for not reporting to the police, any alleged bribe.
An observation: Saturday night 10 News leads with Shorten dragged into appearance before Union Royal Commission. At the end of the news service there is a short prom for the Bolt Report asking the question “Did Shorten break the law?” Talk about media manipulation. Conversely 7 opens with a story on Abbott’s refusal to come clean on payments to people smugglers.
5 From the “US Catholics” blog:
“As Catholics, we believe that housing is a human right, and that society has a shared obligation to ensure that individuals and families have access to safe and affordable housing. We see firsthand in our communities and in our parishes, the pain and suffering caused by homelessness and the lack of affordable housing”.
And we have a Catholic Prime Minister who supposedly follows his faith.
Monday 15 June
1 To think that an “Australian Government” who has so demonised both asylum seekers and the people who smuggle them, now openly pays them to turn boats around, is insulting the very people who elected them. This act of consorting with criminals to achieve a political purpose is reprehensible. If the Australian people condones its government doing deals with known criminals then they are as stupid as the government they elected. And flippantly avoiding the people’s right to know further insults every citizen’s intelligence.
2 Happened to catch the Bolt Report on Ten Sunday afternoon.
Peter Costello is a panelist and I cannot help but make a comparison with the ABC’s Insider program on which the panelists were measured and factual. His program simple caters for conservative rednecks and displays no objectivity. In fact the panel seemed to approve the alleged payments to people smugglers.
Piers Ackerman the discredited duplicate of Bolt in Sydney appeared giving his OK to the behavior of Joe Hockey. Every guest reinforces conservative values with vigorous, loud enthusiasm. Not one difficult question from the host.
Christopher Pyne, the mouth that roared, astonishingly admitted that he doesn’t trust his colleagues in cabinet.
“No fears no favors” he signs off with. Please explain.
3 Todays IPSOS Fairfax poll has Labor 53 with the LNP on 47. Bill Shorten has regained his lead as preferred PM.
Tuesday 16 June
1 The IPSOS poll has now fallen into line with all the other published polls to indicate the government has not achieved a budget bounce. (It must be said that governments only gets budget bounces on very rare occasions. However, this one was deliberately framed to do so. It confirms my previously stated view that the budget did nothing for the Government. Following them Morgan Poll has Labor at 54.5 and LNP 45.5
2 Last week both the Foreign Minister and the Immigration Minister said in public interviews that the Government didn’t pay criminals to turn boats around. In parliament they couldn’t answer the same question because of security reasons.
And the PM’s failure to answer the question for the same reason leaves the Australian public with no other option than to conclude that it is yet another lie. Or a lie about a lie. But then he told us he was a liar before we elected him so we shouldn’t be at all surprised. He may think he is on safe ground because he is pumping up his security measures but breaking the law to do so is beyond the public’s acceptance.
It raises the question, have they really stopped the boats, or have they just been paying to have them turned around?
“We asked the Minister if he agreed with himself and he wasn’t able to answer” (Tony Burke).
“1942 John Curtin stood against the might of the Japanese empire. 2015 Tony Abbott wants to terrify you about a few loopy kids from Lakemba” (Mike Carlton).
“I wonder if in Tony Abbott’s war on ice he would be willing to bribe drug dealers” (Richard Dennis).
“Who would have thought that Tony Abbott would get to a point where he can’t say NO” (Tony Burke).
“Bit messy in Parliament House, and it’s not just because the cleaners are on strike” (Tony Burke).
8 “Paying off people smugglers would save money” (Philip Ruddock).
Tuesday 17 June
1 Is it really possible, as some commentators are suggesting, that the PM is deliberately using the boat bribery accusation as a diversion? If the results of the Lowy Institute poll are correct the public are shit scared of terrorism and why are the media not reporting on government negotiations with Senate independents regarding important budget legislation?
This PM, If he hasn’t already, is dragging this country’s international reputation through the mud.
Who is drawing attention to the ABC’s Four Corners program on coal or the Pope’s speaking out on the dangers of Climate Change? Both an embarrassment to the LNP.
2 When I finished writing this I watched an interview with Abbott in which he said for the millionth time “we have stopped the boats” and we have done so within the law. Now I ask myself: “It’s illegal to bribe people and given he has said they have acted within the law hasn’t he answered the question with a NO”. I believe he has implied that.
Maybe it is just a diversion but gee, can our politics get any lower?
3 Bronwyn Bishops performance on Q&A did nothing to enhance the dignity of the office of the Speaker. I think the audience said more than I can say in words
4 The final result for Newspoll-as-we-know-it is much better for the Coalition than IPSOS or Morgan, 51/49 to Labor. It’s the last Newspoll before it switches to Galaxy.
Wednesday 17 June
1 The shenanigans of the last couple of days is but an illustration of the depths our political system has slipped. Labor might be able to claim the slightly higher ground in that they may not have paid to have boats turned around whereas the Liberals very well may have.
The biggest loser, however, is the state of our democracy. Politics must be the only institution that never seeks to improve itself.
Here is just one example: Bronwyn Bishop appears on Q&A and totality trashes the traditions of the position of Speaker by making political comments about issues that could appear before the Parliament. Speakers simply don’t go into the media to talk about the current political debate.
The state of our democracy is badly in need of repair.
2 This week’s Essential Poll comes in with Labor leading 52/48. The more interesting part of it was the status of institutions. On the question of who do you trust political parties came last at 12%.
Thursday 18 June
1 An observation:
“Why is it politicians are given the title ‘the honourable'”?
2 Addressing pension sustainability without addressing superannuation tax concessions is futile and will achieve very little. That is why Labor was saying “no”. They were trying to force Abbott into addressing the problem. The Greens have made a naive decision.
3 I have written much on the subject of the state of our democracy and I don’t think I have ever been in such despair about it. Whilst I am tempted to repost my previous post I will leave it to those wishing to read it to do so. Does Aussie Democracy Exist Anymore?
4 George Brandis is in a bit of trouble with all eight crossbenchers voting with Labor and the Greens to establish two Senate inquiries. Both will scrutinise the actions of the Attorney-General.
The legal and constitutional affairs references committee will now review the handling of the letter sent by Martin Place siege gunman Man Haron Monis to the Attorney-General and, separately, Senator Brandis’ decision to divert $105 million from the Australia Council to a new program that has been branded by Labor as his own “arts slush fund”, the National Program for Excellence in the Arts.
5 At the risk of repeating myself, when the PM says he has stopped the boats and has done so legally he is in effect saying that they have not paid people smugglers. How about a question beginning with “given that you have said you don’t pay people smugglers … ” Abbott interrupts “but but but”. Journalist: well you said you did everything legally.
6 LNP branches using the ABC’s The Killing Fields for fund-raisers is yet another example of the decline in respect and civility between political parties.
Friday 19 June
1 Tony Abbott has accused the ALP of “rolling out the red carpet” for terrorists to come back to Australia because it is questioning whether a decision to strip citizenship from foreign fighters should be made by a Minister without the involvement of the courts.
That of course is another lie. For a PM seeking bipartisanship on these matters to say such things is reprehensible. It’s just that they are opposed to legislation that was not informed by any documentation, cabinet submission or legal advice. Legislation that would enable an incapable Minister like Dutton to decide on the citizenship of anyone. In other words they want us to respect the law of the land.
They want to keep the Australian people safe, they say. I hope that includes victims of child abuse, domestic violence, those contemplating suicide etc etc. and I hope they put in equal resources.
2 Australian politics has degenerated into a daily dose of conservative negativity. Every day we are subjected to the drug of Tony Abbott’s morose personality of shock and awe politics. Thrust upon us is a constant stream of we “know what’s best for everyone” that disregards the common good with a determination to govern for those who have and ignore those who have not.
3 By the way. The Killing Fields rated abysmally.
4 Bill Shorten is again accused of another dodgy union deal but former chairman of toll road operator ConnectEast Tony Shepherd, who recently led the Federal Government’s Commission of Audit, at the time congratulated Thiess John Holland, the AWU and construction union on the industrial agreements reached.
“It’s a unique outcome for a massive and unique project and it will provide the contractor with the flexibility required to achieve completion on time and on budget” , Mr Shepherd said.
It’s important to point out that this is exactly what the Prime Minister wanted when he announced the Trade Union Royal Commission. While there may (may) be other, worthwhile things that spring from the Commission, I doubt anyone really doubts that Tony Abbott’s aim all along was to drag Labor figures onto the stand, and thus through the inevitable media storm that accompanies such events.
1 Can we please also have a Coal Commissioner? I for one have many complaints to register. A wind farm commissioner represents a new low in Abbott’s relentless anti-renewables campaign”. Anyone who thinks he is remotely interested in Climate Change has rocks in their head.
2 The Pope has said nothing factually on the state of our planet that is not already known. The force of his argument however is in the moral position he puts to his millions of followers. But of course the moral argument is always confronted by the evils of capitalism, greed, power and privilege.
3 In yet another example of the PM telling blatant lies: Former national security law watchdog Bret Walker, SC, has launched a blistering attack on the government’s “absurd” handling of the citizenship debate’’ and demanded Prime Minister Tony Abbott apologise.
4 Bill Shorten today gets another drubbing from the MSM. This time about campaign funds. Of course they don’t mention Hockey’s dubious funding or Reinhart funding Joyce. Have any laws been broken? I’m waiting for some facts.
Having said that, wouldn’t it be nice to have some squeaky clean leaders?
There have been four polls released this week. The IPSOS and Morgan polls both showed a substantial increase in the Labor vote share, but Newspoll and Essential have not supported this trend to Labor. Here is this week’s poll table. Note that Morgan leans to Labor by about one point, while IPSOS leans to the Coalition by a similar margin. The last Ipsos was the 50-50 tie following the budget, while the other polls are weekly or fortnightly.
Newspoll 51/49 for ALP, Essential 52/48 for ALP, Morgan 54.5/45.5 for ALP, IPSOS 53/47 for ALP.
And this is the week that was.