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Some people just shouldn’t be handed the microphone

Every day, the One Nation circus sounds more and more like bad karaoke.

Pauline’s discordant screeching echoes through parliament and the media as she sings loudly to the sounds coming through her headphones – headphones which conveniently filter out any evidential noise.

At Senate estimates, Pauline appeared all guns blazing and directed at the head of ASIO, asking him whether he believed the terrorist threat was “being brought in” courtesy of Middle Eastern refugees.

But Duncan Lewis seemed to be reading from a different song sheet.

“I have absolutely no evidence to suggest there’s a connection between refugees and terrorism,” Mr Lewis unequivocally replied.

There was also “no evidence” to suggest children born to refugees in Australia were more likely to convert to radical Islam, Mr Lewis said, which should have been a relief to Pauline as her children, or at least some of them, were fathered by a refugee.

Pauline was equally disappointed when Mr Lewis said that ASIO did not have security concerns about Muslim women wearing the full burqa.

Undeterred, Pauline pushed on, asking the ASIO chief whether all the perpetrators of terrorist attacks and thwarted attempts in Australia since 2014 were Muslim to which he answered “no”, a right-wing extremist plot had also been foiled.

“But I’ve got to stress, senator – this is very important – ASIO does not make its inquiries or its assessments on the basis of somebody’s religion.

“We are only interested in people who are exhibiting or offering violence, and to the extent that there is violent extremism.”

Pauline was pissed off. She really needed some mileage out of Manchester to aid in her Muslim bashing.

Speaking of which, Pauline is claiming a win on her facebook page with the axing of Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s ABC TV show. It seems she is a selective fan of the political correctness she despises when it impinges on her racist tirades.

She has linked to a facebook feed from Stand up for Australia – Canberra which prefaces its link to the article with “Nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, goodbye (and good riddance).”

This page belongs to far right-wing extremist Daniel Evans – a thoroughly nasty piece of work.

One Nation seems to abound with nasty people. Sean Black, a media and policy adviser to Senator Malcolm Roberts, was taken into custody in Brisbane on Wednesday.

He was later charged with three counts of common assault and three counts of assault occasioning bodily harm. Details of the allegations against him cannot be reported for legal reasons.

And then there is James Ashby who seems impervious despite the many possibly illegal things he has done like stealing Peter Slipper’s diary, not declaring the gift of a plane from a property developer, and suggesting that invoices be fraudulently inflated to scam more money for Pauline and presumably him.

One of the most ludicrous examples of Pauline not having a clue was her request that James Ashby fill in for her at Senate Committee hearings on the NBN.

It had to be explained to her that only people elected to the Senate could be members of a Senate committee.

It is patently obvious that Pauline is subservient to Ashby as shown by his various interviews last week where he described Pauline as “confused” when asked about the very different stories regarding the plane and the fact that she meekly stood in the background as this staffer fronted the media about the tapes of him conspiring to commit fraud.

Pauline’s confidence in and reliance on this person shows how poor her judgement really is. She is out of her depth and easy bait for unscrupulous people who take advantage of her ignorance and naivety.

In ways Pauline is a dictator – she was furious with PHON Senator Peter Georgiou saying, when asked if he supported a ban on Muslim immigration, “If they are Muslim and they’ve passed the checks that the Australian government has on it, then I don’t see it as an issue.” Far too reasonable for Pauline’s bunch of bullies who are baying for his blood with her promising to pull him into line.

But it is Ashby choreographing the show and selling the tickets as Pauline and her band of no-talent amateurs take the stage (when James lets them).

Some people just shouldn’t be handed the microphone.


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  1. Tracie

    I don’t know whether to judge the refugee that did it with Pauline for them to have children, or to feel sorry for him.

  2. RonaldR

    She is bad but so is all sections of the Media that shove her in our face every day, this is to distract people from the real issues. 99% of the Media you come into contact each day is corrupt and some media reminds you of Wolves dressed in Sheep Clothing. Most Australians cannot tell the difference between truth & bullshit due to lack of real knowledge including true history.
    You can see how dumb they are by the Alternatives that were voted into the Senate as an alternative to LNP, ALP & Toxic Greens. 3 from One Nation, Jackie, Darren to start with. Please stop pulling the chain.

  3. RonaldR

    Kaye Lee you just handed her the Microphone – you shoved her in our face

  4. Kaye Lee

    I also handed you one RonaldR

  5. Michael Taylor

    I’d prefer it if you took it off him, Kaye. ?

  6. john ocallaghan

    I wonder why the AFP have being quite on PHON and Ashby? something is rotten and it aint in bloody Denmark!

  7. Michael Taylor

    RonaldR, you might have noticed that Pauline Hanson has been in the news a lot lately. Kaye is giving her the scrutiny she deserves

  8. Johno

    Good stuff Kaye, on the money as they say.

  9. Terry2

    Senate Estimates was cringeworthy with Hanson a national embarrassment and later with that fool Ian Macdonald trying to throw out a Senator (McKim) and then finding out that he doesn’t have the powers to do so : does he think this is Star Wars and he commands the Galactic senate ?

    Scott Ludlum had to take stress leave last year and I’m not surprised as one of the few sentient beings in our Senate.

  10. paul walter

    It has really deteriorated to repulsive with PHON.

  11. Matters Not

    Yes Ashby is driving the political bus. And it’s not unusual for that to happen. But it becomes a real problem when the advisor is seen to be the driver.

    In days gone by, it was not unusual for a Minister to appear in public with an advisor(s) clearly in the ‘shot’. Now they like to appear as the ‘one man/woman band’ with their advisors out of the picture entirely. I suspect the rise of Peta Credlin and her (reverse) Rasputin like control made Ministers somewhat ‘gun shy’ in that regard. To appear as a ‘puppet’ is certainly bad for the politician’s image but it is also bad for the future of the ‘media tart’ advisor.

    As I suggested elsewhere, Ashby is now a political back-door for Hanson. He’s now someone to be used to (potentially) lighten the load when the bus begins to bog down. As it will. But I suspect that at this stage Ashby might have plenty of illegalities he can also sheet home against Hanson. A Danse Macabre?

  12. Jaquix

    Great article Kaye. One of the characteristics of “populist” groups is that they tend to implode, and here is One Nation (how misnamed) appearing to do just that.

  13. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thank goodness for the Greens, RonaldR.


    As for Hanson, her best medicine for being nasty is to have Ashby caught out for his numerous instances of fraudulent and corrupt behaviour, particularly when done under her leadership and implied approval which then brings her into disrepute and the attention of the AFP.


    Well done to Nick McKim for ignoring Ian Macdinosaurdonald in the Senate Committee.

    Go Greens!

  14. Freethinker

    I agree with you Jennifer, and not much can be expected by RonaldR when we know which party and ideology he support.

  15. Carol Taylor

    As it seems that Ashby is pulling the strings, perhaps the trail should be followed back a bit Mal Brough for example, who at one time seemed to be pulling Ashby’s strings. Speaking of strings, all of this is nothing about grass roots populism, this is carefully orchestrated. Unfortunately for Hanson’s minders she has neither the intelligence nor the subtly to carry off.

  16. 1petermcc

    Far better to keep her in the limelight Kaye Lee. Poor Pauline gets into the most trouble when she starts talking.

    Check out her understanding of unconscious for halal meat processing.

    Even the assistance of the public servants didn’t seem to get through to her even when they took it down to kindergarten level.

    Maximum coverage wont wake her up, but the dumber she sounds, the more she loses members. Just like last time around.

  17. Max Gross

    I reckon that the slippery slimy Ashby has his own political career in mind…

  18. diannaart

    There was also “no evidence” to suggest children born to refugees in Australia were more likely to convert to radical Islam, Mr Lewis said, which should have been a relief to Pauline as her children, or at least some of them, were fathered by a refugee.


    Pauline’s confidence in and reliance on this person (James Ashby) shows how poor her judgement really is. She is out of her depth and easy bait for unscrupulous people who take advantage of her ignorance and naivety.

    Sad but true…

    Carol Taylor May 28, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Well said Carol. The strings of which you speak should be the rope to pull in all the suspects in this sophistry devised by Hanson’s ‘minders’.

  19. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Carol Taylor,

    would Mal Brough still have power to pull any strings?

  20. Michael Taylor

    Möbius, that reminded me of the time JBP was asked to explain the Separation of Powers.

    We are dealing with a pair of idiots.

  21. Kaye Lee

    I really feel for the poor public servants that have to try to answer these silly questions. That rant from Roberts is utterly ridiculous as is everything he says. There is nothing worse than an arrogant fool.

  22. Carol Taylor

    Jennifer, Brough seems to have mysteriously disappeared since resigning from Parliament however his Ashby connection makes me suspicious that it’s not just Ashby alone who’s pulling Hanson’s strings. There is a men’s rights group who are supposedly one of Hanson’s major backers and she puts in a good word for their cause on occasions, however I find the rest of her agenda highly concocted..on occasions more of a caricature based on her former persona than being the real deal this time around. Brough has a history of working behind the scenes for his own reasons.

  23. zoltan balint

    The best way to stop an idiot like Hanson is to GIVE her the microphone. The more people hear what she thinks the more they will realise … am I making a big mistake of assuming that Australians are more intelligent than she is …

  24. Anniebee

    Hanson is THE perfect example, as to why people who put themselves forward for parliamentary office, must be screened for at least, suitability. ? How do you reckon I might go if I turned up at Monash Medical, to apply as a neuro-surgeon, with no medical degree, let alone, that of a surgeon specialist ? …. LOL. .. 😀 😀

    Would be Parliamentarians should present a proper and complete CV. Full stop. Most of them don’t have too much of a clue, and they learn how to be contentious, if nothing else. …

    Enter Hanson, and her little master mind, Ashby. … That microphone is her enemy, but she has not the intellect to realise that. So, let it be. !!!

    This garbage has to be stopped. Yeah, I know – freedom of speech, democracy and all that, but please let these ‘would be’s’ prove their credentials, before entering Parliament, which at present is only to potentially become delicious fodder for the inane / insane, MSM.

    Gawd. !

  25. Kaye Lee

    I was just reading through that Senate Committee transcript where Roberts was carrying on. The feasibility study into Snowy Hydro 2.0 is going to cost $29 million. I cannot fathom how much this government has cost us with their endless inquiries and reports and studies and commissions – the figures would be mindblowing.

  26. zoltan balint

    Dear Anniebee – to become a senator or any type of politician you do not need any qualifications. All you need to do is make enough noise before an election so a lot of people notice you and if these people like your noise they will put their cross next to your name. That noise does not have to have any logic or truth or purpose.

  27. Ceridwen66

    What a fecklessly seedy partnership. The universal law of attraction states that like attracts like, ignorant redneck/bogan attracts slimy corruptible opportunist and that politics makes for strange bedfellows. It cannot be any more obvious that damaged goods such as Hanson and Ashby who both operate on miniscule frequencies would of course, out of some sleazy and toxic necessity, attract each other.

    If I didn’t loathe that whacked out scrubber so much, I would pity her for the dysfunction to come.

  28. zoltan balint

    Kaye Lee many many many years ago it was the responsibility of the public service to advise politicians on what to do about public issues. Then the public service was politicised so polititions had to privatise advice (mostly their frieds). Polititions protect themselves by saying they were advised BUT/AND if they do not like the advice they just pay for someone else to advise them.

  29. Matters Not

    zoltan balint re your comment:

    responsibility of the public service to advise politicians on what to do about public issues.

    Not quite. In theory, politicians are elected (or not) on the basis of desired outcomes – broadly defined. Generally speaking, politicians have no policy development experience or expertise. Here they should rely on ‘experts’.

    Problems arise when politicians think they have that expertise.- and then action same via legislation Take Labor’s mining tax as an example. Swan and Gillard, while desiring great outcomes, stuffed up by thinking that they could design good ‘implementation’ policies. They didn’t. The mining intertests played them for suckers. An opportunity missed.

    The same thing that Turnbull is doing with Gonski. But in his case, the intention is less than noble

  30. Anniebee

    @zoltan balint ….

    That is precisely the point I was making.

    Candidates apply for a job to help ‘run the country’ … and inundate us with flyers which proclaim their ‘alleged’ super duper credentials ( leaving out the bad bits ). …. and we the voters, either choose them ( or not ) in our electorates. We have nothing to go on, but their word. And of course, in selling themselves – their word is always going to be good, good, good. The more voluminous their claims however, ( via posters, flyers, personal post mail, overdone meet and greet ) the less I am inclined to trust them.

    I doubt anyone would employ a plumber to come into their home to do electrical work. A legitimate tradesman, should ( if / when asked ) present his credentials and licences. In the case of electrical work to be done, if it is not done by a properly licenced electrician, then you can forget any insurance claims thereafter, in the case of electrical fire. This particularly so, in the case of tree fellers …. no licence proof – should be no job, as if someone is killed during the tree felling – the subsequent liability falls to – – – – – the owner of the property.

    Again, I ask – why shouldn’t the same rules apply to people putting themselves forward to earn more than substantial salaries in Parliament, without any knowledge whatsoever as to what they speak of or have to do in the job. Some learn, others simply do not. Classic case in point – P. Hanson, with shifty advisory. … Advisors are either trustworthy, or not. And history will show that many have been in the ‘not’ category.

    Yet Hanson has managed seats in the Senate ???? from which lofty position she asks some utterly peurile questions and ‘has a go’ in a manner that shows her total lack of credibility. A waste of space.

    Something should be done about this, and very quickly. If it is desirable to present for any job, with a good CV, & very good references which can be checked quickly …. then it is surely more than desirable enough to offer the same, in front of a panel – to seek to become a member of Parliament by standing in an electorate. No-one knows the money source behind a candidate either. …. And I can attest ( having been involved in political candidacy as a member of her support group – decades ago ) that it costs a helluva lot, to launch onto the political arena, in an electorate.

    Something else to be mindful of – – who might be behind the candidate. ? We are not privy to that information btw. !!!

  31. zoltan balint

    Anniebee can you tell me which school university or institute has a course that would give a qualification for someone to be a politician.

  32. John Lord

    People fail to see her stupidity because the don’t want too.

  33. helvityni

    …and the saddest thing is: there are enough (plenty) of rednecks amongst the population to vote those rednecks like Pauline in.

    As a newcomer to Oz, I was told that one of our PMs, Bob Hawke, had cultivated a special ‘ockery’ way of speaking to be more loved by the population…. The mind boggles, as I believe he was well educated…

    Is that why Abbott took on to speak in three word slogans, and Mal stops being ‘silver-tongued’ during QT?

  34. Terry2

    But, helvityni how do you explain Pauline’s mangling of the English language : where did that come from ?

  35. Ricardo29

    The political parties have pre-selection processes which are supposed to weed out the unworthy or the plain wacky, though it sometimes takes a while for the wackiness to manifest itself and for the person to be dumped. Independents don’t have such a filter and PHON clearly fails at the first hurdle, namely PH herself. I wonder though what criteria, and who might use them, to judge the suitability of a person for election. For example would you want a panel of Supreme Court judges? Ultimately the electors exercise a choice so perhaps we need to better educate them.

  36. helvityni

    …maybe she left school after kindergarten… 🙂

  37. Möbius Ecko

    John Lord, it’s the same with core Trump supporters, one of whom I figuratively bashed heads with recently. It doesn’t matter what their leader says or does, nor how much irrefutable evidence you raise of their lying and failures, they will still blindly support them until they fail and drop out, then the supporters will latch onto another facsimile.

    There was something written on this about the Howardistas, who blinkered, ignored the blatant lies, deceit and many policy failures by the Howard government. It’s something about needing to be led and told how to think. Independent thought is almost an anathema to them.

  38. Kaye Lee

    Pauline left school aged 15 and was a mother at 16.

    Interestingly, despite her promises to hold the government to account, this is the first time Pauline has shown up to Senate estimates.

    Senator Hanson spent the first round of hearings held after her election in Norfolk Island, and the second in Queensland, holding a press conference and dining with her state leader in the Queensland Parliament. She spent the first couple of days of this round in Western Australia, where three of her party members were being sworn in to the state’s Parliament.

    After watching her performance, I can understand why she was reluctant to attend. It just shows what an ignorant fool she is.

  39. Zathras

    This will end up like One Nation Mark One, like watching a car crash in slow motion.
    David Oldfield and James Ashby are interchangeable except for political intelligence.

    A collection of amateurs drawn together out of fear, hate and ignorance can’t hold together for very long, especially under the leadership of a spiteful harridan with no common sense or decency.
    She’s done “Dancing with the Stars” so I wonder if Hanson will pop up on “Masterchef” or renovate some houses to maintain her celebrity status after this stint in Parliament?.

    It’s a pity the Estimates video wasn’t more widely broadcast or discussed on free-to-air media or followed up with Hanson interviews.
    The media still hand her a lot of free passes in that area and seem more focussed on Ashby (who will get his comeuppance eventually).

  40. helvityni


    <The political parties have pre-selection processes which are supposed to weed out the unworthy or the plain wacky …

    They had plenty of time to weed Hanson out; they didn’t. Many other weeds slip through…

  41. zoltan balint

    No no no Ricardo29 they have studied this and there is evidence that the higher the education the more the person will be progressive and lean to the left. The more intelligent vote for the greens or ALP. This is further supported by the fact that as you age and loose brain matter and you become more conservative. This is why the LNP does not want education to be universal or information to be open as they would /will loose votes. Besides the educated know their rights and will not be trated as slaves working for nothing for the … get the point.

  42. zoltan balint

    Weeds are good if haven’t got a lawn … or don’t know what a weed is.

  43. Blair

    Maybe Ashby is a Liberal plant, just waiting to explode if PHON become a real threat.

  44. zoltan balint

    Ashby is one of those weeds that even the Liberals recognised but instead of putting him in the rubbish bin they threw him over the fence. PH (funny PH sums he up both caustic and basic) doesn’t recognise him as a weed yet.

  45. win jeavons

    Once upon a time , long ago, when I went to school, there was a section of the English subject called ‘clear thinking’ . In the 70’s it seemed to be replaced by ‘creative writing’ . There are too few voters of that level of education left to understand what we have lost. Creative thinking is reduced to fiction , fed by bias and inflated self worth, this applying to voters and many politicians , who failed to see through the economic lies that let so many fall by the wayside yet called it progress . gross obscene inequality being the end product. One example ; to ‘beg the question’ meant to evade it , NOT to pose it as now it is used.

  46. stephengb2014

    I wonder how many people would want to become politicians if the remuneration was the average salary of all the constituents they were to represent?

    How many would want to be a politician if their remuneration included a pension exactly the same as required by the current legal limits for average workers.

    How many politicians would claim expense allwance if every cent had to be matched to an invoice.

    How many politicians wpuld suddly kerb their travel if their expenses were only paid on the production of flight ticket stubs and tax receipts and receipts from resturants etc.

    How many polies would want to beolies if they were not allowed fpr their spouses or any member of their family to buy a house in Canberra and then claim travel allowances.

    So few would want to be polies of they were unable to take any position as a consultant to any industry after they leave politics having served a maximum of three terms, or ten years which ever is the sooner

    I think the polies are paid far to much.

    You see Hanspn wanted back in because she got a taste of it the first time.

  47. Kaye Lee

    Hanson has been raking in the bucks even when she didn’t win.

    “Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party is on track to get almost $1.2 million in electoral funding from taxpayers. The money will add to an estimated $6 million in public funding she and her party has received since first entering politics in 1996.”

  48. Anniebee

    @zoltan … Reply to your query..

    My grand-daughter is studying politics at Monash Uni, plus two other subjects. I do not know the extent of ‘politics’ in study, but can find out.

    Hanson is a classic example of the need for some form of qualification to enter politics. Someone commented here that the more highly educated, the more inclined they would be to be progressive left. I agree. … I think many pollies put themselves up for candidacy, seeing it as the gravy train they so much want. Power and greed drive many. They are handed portfolios about which they often know little. This places them in the position of having to rely on ‘advisors’ for their proposals and questions.

    So, who really runs the country ? The incumbents, or back room / background bods. Scot
    Morrisons background is in the hospitality area, although he did attend Uni. Yet he is the treasurer ?

    He would have to rely heavily on his experts to deliver a budget. Rhodes scholars are almost automatically ‘in’. Hawke was brilliant there, Abbott barely scraped through. So that is no real indication of suitability !

    Then there is the shonky practice of preferences on voting. But that is another subject.

    An entire shake-up of the process is needed.


  49. zoltan balint

    Studying politics will not make you or qualify you as a politition. Your daughter is lucky as she will learn never to think about becoming one. She will either be a commentator or a gate keeper or an advisor. But not like Ashby you will see to that Anniebee. The only study that can help you in becoming a politician is a debating team or a law backgound (same thing).

  50. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Interesting you should say that, zoltan.

    Older Aussies with smarts and hearts are now realising those missed opportunities for not getting into politics the smooth way.

    Younger Aussies with smarts and hearts hopefully learn earlier than I for one did.

  51. Freethinker

    zoltan, also it is very important who you know more than what you know.

  52. havanaliedown

    If only more of our politicians had run something as humble as… a fish and chip shop

  53. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Fair enough havanaliedown,

    but methinks Hanson was in the right place at the right time.

    Many of us have done it tough like Pauline but we have kept our integrity and commitment to the common good without the same pecuniary benefits she has received.

  54. Kaye Lee

    All politicians have to rely on expert advice. The difference is whether they listen to it or not. Pauline’s Senate estimate appearance shows she has no intention of listening to the experts. The Coalition is likewise. Every man and his dog has told them an emissions intensity scheme is the cheapest most effective way to reduce emissions but because they ran so hard on “axe the tax” they don’t dare expose their lies.

    As for humility, the fish and chip shop owner is the furthest thing from humble that I have seen with the possible exception of Trump. Perhaps we should introduce a basic comprehension test for candidates. Give them a piece of legislation and then ask questions to see if they can understand it. Surely that’s not too much to ask when they are making decisions about our lives, our planet?

  55. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I quite like your comprehension test in your second paragraph only if it can be applied to ordinary people seeking meaningful employment openings also…

    … as opposed to those f*ckface, neoliberal designed Key Selection Criteria intended to trip honest people up from reasonable employment.

  56. Anniebee

    Jennifer M-S …. She has undoubtedly ‘done it tough’ through her life ( haven’t we all in some way or ways ? ), but if I read your comment correctly, she has not retained any integrity that she may have been initially blessed with …. well not in my opinion, anyway. She saw the opening for personal benefits, and took a plunge. Well – that takes guts I guess, but it has to be followed up with knowledge, and unfortunately she is short on that. Money I believe, was her main aim.

    zoltan …. I don’t know what avenue my grand-daughter intends to pursue. Medicine / forensics is also on her agenda. For someone who graduated with 97.85% from her final year in high school, I figure she will have the nous to follow a good and productive course. The world is open to her. She is not an avid fan, even at this stage, of the right-wing doings in politics. No way.

    I agree – a background in law and/or debating is probably a far better jump off point for a political career. Pity more doctors don’t make it to the hustings as they would have much to bring to debate, but then, they are as busy as all get out and understandably, do not take on more. I don’t push the point with them – ( 2 medico friends, and 2 professionally visited doctors ) ….. ALL denounce the right wing, 2 with great venom. ( yes, I do bring up politics in 2 professional consulting rooms !!! 😉 )

    freethinker … Yes, to a degree – “not what you know, but who you know”. That was imperative in days gone by, but not perhaps so much today. … there are many who are getting out there, protesting in increasing numbers, the slights on society that big politics, big business etc. are trying to force us to accept.

    Hope more people speak up in numbers, in this way. And it doesn’t take a degree, or some alliance with a big wig, to do it.

  57. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    As usual, Anniebee, spot on 🙂

  58. OldWomBat

    Lesley Gore (I hope I’m not the only one who remembers her) couldn’t have sung it better for ON:

    It’s my party and I’ll lie if I want to ….

  59. Anniebee

    Hey Kaye …. what an absolutely brilliant idea.

    ” Give them a piece of legislation and then ask questions to see if they can understand it. ”

    Would be a damned good start to ferret out the greed stimulated high climbers, from the real deals.

  60. Matters Not

    Understanding legislation is not the role of politicians. Indeed, for most, it’s way outside their area of expertise.

    Defining politicians and their role is fraught.

    OldWomBat – just for you.

  61. paul walter

    Crafty OldWombat.

    Yes, some of us go back that far and well remember Lesley Gore, nordic princess of the Calfornia early sixties.

  62. Anniebee

    @Matters Not …

    — again we have to disagree.

    Understanding legislation should be known by ALL politicians, as they are the bods who put forward the proposals for changes to / from legislation. Legislation is ‘laws, considered collectively’ …. law making, law enactment, law formulation – rulings, regulations, acts, bills, statutes etc. ….

    And they introduce ‘bills’ in the H of R, to be put to the Senate for ratification ( or not ). These ‘bills’ are often just a thought or a brain fart by the proposer – however, under the Constitution, and in Parliament, they become the beginning of legislation – and if passed, all persons in Australia must abide by the new rules – which in fact – becomes LAW.

    I rather think ALL politicians should have a very very good understanding of legislation – and what it actually means.

    Where do we hear that they do ? .,… nowhere that i can find.

  63. Matters Not

    Anniebee, when it comes to legislation, the best we can hope for is that politicians understand the intention of same.

    (Cynically) – Successful politicians are there to ‘sell’. Just as Ministers are. Their role is to do the political ‘heavy lifting’. Understanding is neither necessary nor indeed even desirable in many instances. After all – they have to live with themselves. And the ‘unknown’ consequences of the decisions they made. Not an easy (future) mountain to climb.

  64. Kaye Lee

    I must disagree MN. Every one of us, in our jobs, have to show certain skills – we have to know what we are doing. It is not unreasonable to expect politicians to be capable of comprehending what they are voting on. If they have insufficient cognitive acuity to do this when they have every expert available to explain things to them, then they are vulnerable to manipulation by unscrupulous vested interests and hence a danger to good governance.

    How do you “sell” something if you don’t understand how it works? How do you propose amendments if you are incapable of considering their consequences?

    By that assessment, politicians are an expensive pointless waste of space who could be replaced by an advertising campaign. Why, in this most important job, are we prepared to accept incompetent fools?

    “When the leaders choose to make themselves bidders at an auction of popularity, their talents, in the construction of the state, will be of no service. They will become flatterers instead of legislators; the instruments, not the guides, of the people.”

  65. Matters Not

    KL, what you are talking about is what OUGHT to be. Above, I am referring to what IS for the vast bulk of politicians on both sides of the aisle. Politicians are not elected nor re-elected for their legislative skill. That’s neither here nor there. Politicians survive because they get an effective majority of the vote. That’s the skill they must have. They have to win a popularity contest. And you don’t do that by becoming ‘deep and meaningful’ with the vast number in your electorate. Far too risky.

    My cynicism was reawakened yesterday because I watched and listened to the ‘debate’ on Gonski 2.0. It was all about the ‘slogans’. Never heard one backbencher who knew or understood what they were talking about. Yes, I admit it’s complicated, but there was no evidence of any of the insights required. Just talking points. Repeated endlessly – with a bit of local colour by reference to a school or two in their own electorate

    As for ‘experts’ being available – yes they are. Been there and done that. Ministers – with good intent – call meetings of backbenchers for ‘expert’ briefings. The attendance is underwhelming to say the least. Never had another Minister turn up (too busy with other matters to be interested outside their own portfolio). Usually, the only attendees are backbenchers from the Minister’s own faction who are being ‘polite’ and perhaps thinking of their own future. When you do get questions, they invariably are concerned with the ‘talking’ points they should use.

    I should stress there are exceptions to all of the above and I am generalising Something about ‘exceptions proving the rule’. Perhaps the most informed member on the floor is the ‘Shadow(s)’. They are the ones with real skin in the game. Their reputations (and futures) are on the line. A chance to be the ‘hero’. It is the Shadow (and the Minister) who does all the legwork via consultations, briefings and the like. They move the amendments and so on.


  66. Zoltan Balint

    Now you’re getting to the issue of what a politician need as a qualification. The ability to convince others about his/her idea of how we or others should act. To become a politician they have already convinced enough with what they said in public to be elected. These days controversy gets the best publicity with a 15 second news grab. Tony A. was good at this. He knew that the general public hears the first few words and do not listen to anything further thus the three word slogans. PH also knows that key words will activate the already formed opinions of the general public and she does not have to explain anything. Pick on an excluded or suspected minority and you have an audience. They do not have to have an understanding of how the system works that is for others to do. Just say something that will attract enough attention. NOW comes the bad part – for a politician (or for that matter anyone) to win an argument they have to convince them self first and believe it 110% before they open their mouth. As I said first few words, or they will be shot down from the start. But this locks them in and prevents learning or changing and the more anyone questions their idea the more locked in they become and defend their stance. If an individual can not do this by them self they seek out a pack to back them up AND only hang around with that pack, hence the often given saying ‘everyone I speak to agrees with me’.

  67. Johno

    OMG, Malcolm Roberts has been at the microphone again, crapping on about penises and holes in peer review. The guy is a complete fruitcake.

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