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Sam’s stupidity shines a light on the Coalition’s cupidity

In the true tradition of Coalition governments in trouble, the Turnbull government has pulled out its dirt files and manipulated a sensationalist MSM to go on the attack. All the better if we can somehow link it to national security, the tried and true haven for those who want to use nationalistic xenophobia to create the fear needed to control the masses.

But if they are going to talk “cash for comment”, this could well have unintended consequences for the accusers.

The main complaint doesn’t seem to be the money that Dastyari so stupidly asked for, but that he subsequently said that we should stay out of the fight over the South China Sea. He has since stated his support for government and Labor policy which has not changed.

But can the same be said about Coalition donors affecting policy?

When asked what Gina Rinehart expected in return for her $50,000 donation to Barnaby Joyce’s campaign, he eventually said “I haven’t given, to be honest, Ms Rinehart or Hancock Coal anything.”

Other than the repeal of the carbon and mining taxes (assisted by Clive Palmer), ignoring the exploitation of 457 visa workers at her Roy Hill mine, exploration grants and fossil fuel subsidies, and a Northern Australia Development plan that has been lifted almost directly from Rinehart’s book “Northern Australia and then some” and her group ANDEV.

And let’s not forget that Rinehart flew our now foreign minister and deputy PM to India to attend the wedding of someone they had never met.

Mrs Rinehart was about to clinch a coal deal with the bride’s grandfather – G.V. Krishna Reddy, the founder of GVK, an Indian energy and infrastructure company. Three months after the wedding, he paid Hancock Prospecting $1.3 billion for Alpha, Kevin’s Corner and Alpha West.

Despite concerns expressed by water scientists, on November 1 2013, Greg Hunt approved the 37,380 hectare Kevin’s Corner.

In December Mr Hunt gave the go-ahead for three million cubic metres of dredge spoil to be dumped offshore in the Great Barrier Marine Park, 24km northeast off Abbot Point.

He also approved construction of the Adani-owned terminal 0 at Abbot Point and gave the go-ahead for the Arrow LNG facility on Curtis Island, near Gladstone, and its associated gas transmission pipeline whilst attempting to undermine the right to appeal on environmental grounds.

What was Barnaby’s phrase… “there’s definitely correlation, or we need a discussion of causation.”

In October 2013, an investigation into illegal mining operations in India was suddenly halted. The investigation had been set up by the government and led to the arrest of public officials for corruption, but was wound up without explanation.

Vijay Pratap, convener of the think tank South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy, said:

“The commission was exposing too much corruption at government level and risked undermining tightly woven corporate collusion with the political class, which has sadly become endemic in the mining industry. This is why the government aborted the investigation.”

It’s not just the mining sector. Banks make a big deal of donating to both major parties but in election years, or when financial reform laws are introduced, donations to the Liberal party from financial institutions spike.

Every Coalition government finds the money for Royal Commissions that find our workers are greedy and our unions corrupt, but there will never be a Royal Commission into the banking sector while they are in government and any attempts at regulation will be watered down.

Likewise, big business donors demand “industrial reform” which, to them, means lower wages, fewer workplace entitlements, the right to fire people when they choose, less regulation, and taxpayer-funded protection from failure.

In return they will give accountants and legal teams millions to avoid paying any tax regardless of whatever the legislated rate may be.

Then there is the media, and not just the Murdoch rags.

Who could forget when John Singleton arrogantly told the Sydney Morning Herald that he and Rinehart had been “able to overtly and covertly attack governments… because we have people employed by us like Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones and Ray Hadley who agree with [our] thinking”.

In 2011, Wayne Swan wrote an essay in The Monthly in which he warned that “the rising power of vested interests is undermining our equality and threatening our democracy.”

“We see this most obviously in the ferocious and highly misleading campaigns waged in recent years against resource taxation reforms and the pricing of carbon pollution. The infamous billionaires’ protest against the mining tax would have been laughed out of town in the Australia I grew up in, and yet it received a wide and favourable reception two years ago. A handful of vested interests that have pocketed a disproportionate share of the nation’s economic success now feel they have a right to shape Australia’s future to satisfy their own self-interest.

..immense personal and corporate wealth has created seemingly unstoppable lobbying power which aims to head off any effort to impose reasonable levels of regulation and taxation.

..allowing vested interests to distort the shape of economic growth for their own narrow advantage is not only bad for our democracy and our community, it is bad for our economy.”

Economists Paul Frijiters and Gigi Foster have found the majority of Australia’s rich list made fortunes in sectors such as mining, property development and banking, where success is built on favourable government decisions.

“Looking at the tax and subsidy changes that favour the rich, and considering that almost all the 200 richest Australians look like the beneficiaries of political favours rather than innovators or superstars, the article concludes that inequality is probably increasing due to changes in the political realm.”

Australia’s egalitarian society has been built on a living wage, a welfare system, public health care, mass home ownership, and accessible technical and higher education. All of these things are under attack by a government whose donors are very much dictating policy designed to protect and increase their wealth.

Look at the resistance to changes to superannuation, capital gains, and negative gearing tax concessions. Look at the resistance to needs based funding for education and the push to raise university fees and privatise vocational education. Look at the erosion of Medicare and the vilification of welfare recipients.

Marx understood that the bourgeoise gain their wealth from exploiting the proletariat and the capitalist necessity of keeping the working class in their place and under pressure.

Let’s hope Sam’s stupidity shines a light on the Coalition’s cupidity.


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  1. townsvilleblog

    A display of the taxed-not’s Kaye.

  2. Harquebus

    I came across this yesterday. Although not entirely related, the video does demonstrate unfairness.
    Hope it’s okay to put it up.

    Capuchin monkeys reject unequal pay


  3. Kaye Lee

    That was my favourite video when studying psychology Harquebus.

  4. Jaquix

    Great article Kaye – so true, so true. Also, top marks for BEST HEADLINE. Spot on. Beats the hell out of the misleading sycophantic ones we endure from the msm.

  5. johnlward010

    Prime Minister Turnbull during the election campaign, purported to have the authority to redistribute $1billion from the CEFC, to fund his ‘new Clean Energy Innovation Fund’ (CEIF).
    $1 billion was set aside to finance a ‘Better Cities fund’ announced two thirds of the way through the campaign;
    and a further $1 billion ‘drawn ‘ from the “Green Bank ” to clean up the Barrier Reef ($0.6 Bn is mentioned in an advertisement, in the Australian newspaper for jobs to deliver higher water quality in farm runoff in what looks like a subsidy to sugar-ethanol industry).
    $100 mill was set aside to prevent the closure of the Steelworks in Whyalla SA, and the University of Tasmania’s Northern Campus in Launceston received a pledge of $150 million extracted from the CEFC.
    These monies are part of the proposed omnibus legislation meant to wedge the ALP.

    Prime Minister Turnbull is fundamentally saying to ‘Tasmanians can have an expanded Northern Campus or a renewable energy industry, but not both.’

    The total pledged so far is $5.6 billion.

    Ministers have illegally planned to remove the total disposable funds from the CEFC by pledging the total amount left in the CEFC.

    So we have fallen for the ‘good old look over there at the $1 billion from ARENA being secreted away;
    while he nicks $5.6 billion of future out of the CEFC promised to our children by Wayne Swan, Penny Wong, former PM Julia Gillard & Christine Milne.

    At the same time Turnbull is subsidising the fossil fuel industry with $20 billions of taxpayer funds.

    Prime Minister Turnbull’s pledges are described in the mainstream media as‚ a pea and thimble trick‚ the shifting of committed money from funds out of the so-called Green Bank (the CEFC), into the Clean Energy Innovation Fund (CEIF) and other economic sectors favoured by the LNP and regarded by the electorate as worthwhile.
    These changes to the CEFC Act 2012, are not yet legislated. By retaining the $1.3bn in uncommitted ARENA funding over the next six years as government policy, it can reduce debt rather than enhance the renewables industry.

    Prime Minister Turnbull, Deputy Prime Minister Joyce, Former Prime Minister Abbott, Ministers Pyne, Hockey, Cormann and Hunt are attempting to convince the public that they and cabinet can re-purpose and re-direct the Acts, without going back through parliament.

  6. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    I can understand why. Hilarious and yet, one can’t help but empathize.
    No misinterpreting what the handler can do with her cucumber.

  7. Rossleigh

    Mm, I showed that to my Year 10 Psych class on Monday…

    The collective unconscious?

  8. Carol Taylor

    Here’s one that comes to mind. That Turnbull could promote Mal Brough to Special Minister of State while Brough was still under investigation by the AFP over the James Ashby Affair. And how long did it take Brough to resign? Just the fact that Turnbull could ‘reward’ Brough, yet hardly a bleat from the msm.

  9. Kaye Lee

    Hell even the Pope is on the monkey’s side….

    “[S]ome people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacra­lized workings of the prevailing economic system.”


    as is the World Economic Forum….

    “One of the [primary factors contributing to the weak global economy] is growing inequality,” Stiglitz told the audience. “Those at the top don’t have to spend as much of their income as those at the bottom, who have to spend 100 percent, sometimes even more. When you have this growth of inequality, you’re going to have a weak economy.”


    and the OECD…

    “The gap between rich and poor keeps widening. Growth, if any, has disproportionally benefited higher income groups while lower income households have been left behind. This long-run increase in income inequality not only raises social and political concerns, but also economic ones. It tends to drag down GDP growth, due to the rising distance of the lower 40% from the rest of society. Lower income people have been prevented from realising their human capital potential, which is bad for the economy as a whole.”


    and Francis Fukuyama….

    “From the days of Aristotle,” writes Fukuyama, “thinkers have believed that stable democracy rests on a broad middle class and that societies with extremes of wealth and poverty are susceptible either to oligarchic domination or populist revolution.” These are the extremes, but, as he goes on to argue, we are already witnessing “some very troubling economic and social trends … which threaten the stability of contemporary liberal democracies and dethrone democratic ideology as it is now understood.”

  10. Florence nee Fedup

    Listening to PM’s outburst today, only donations he has concerns anbout are those of little people, that come through unions & Getup. Special hatred of both.

    I can’t understand the anger we have seen from Morrison & Dutton, along with others today. How do they or PM know what Shorten did behind the scenes this week.

    I still suspect Shorten has ensured there will be a string in the tail of this one, that will come back bite the likes PM.

    I suspect the government would be better to let this one go.

    Won’t happen. I am waiting for Cash to come out to light the union bashing bomb that likes of PM, Morrison & Dutton believe they have cleverely set.

    They will attempt to tie this into ABCC bill.

  11. jim

    After the failed PM Mrabbit was sacked I thought I’d be able to listen to our prime minister again instead of hitting the mute button I was wrong my mute button gets engaged every time mr Talcum speaks I won’t listen to scripted rants by anyone. It’s obvious the LNP get by far the most cash “donations” than any other party.

  12. paulwalter

    Jim, I am getting like that as I getting older. Just as well there are remotes, other wise the room would be littered with broken TV screens.

  13. Kaye Lee

    The media seem unconcerned about Parakeelia where Liberal Party MPs fraudulently funnelled their IT allowances, worth collectively hundreds of thousands of dollars every year, through a wholly owned subsidiary into their political party. They are not interested in the NSW ICAC report handed down last week which found about a dozen Liberal Party MPs in NSW had flagrantly violated NSW’s donation laws or that Mike Baird changed the definition of “corruption” before it was released.

    So why are they going after Dastyari when, for instance, a Chinese businessman with links to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop gave over half a million dollars to the WA branch of the Liberal Party — even though his business doesn’t even operate in Western Australia? Could it be because Dastyari has been the main one advocating for corporations to start paying their taxes? Speaking out against rich people like Malcolm Turnbull dodging tax through Cayman Island tax avoidance schemes? Had been the main proponent for a banking royal commission? Had said in February, in a “fiery speech”, ten big corporations had taken control of Australian politics?


  14. philgorman2014

    The spotlight light so searingly focussed on Silly Sam and Bill Blimey is in the hands of the corpocracy that dominates the parliaments of this country. The curs of the fourth estate mostly bark to order. They know just what’s required of them. They drown out all calls for genuine reform.

    What we need, and will never get, is really big powerful watchdogs to defend our debauched democracy.

  15. SGB

    Very good Kaye, and very true.

    All in all thos debacle has been poorley handled by Labor and exploited mercilessly by the LNP.

    We need Bill to come back pretty soon else the matter will have gone too long to repair the damage.

    Mind you the damage to Labor may be great enough to call for a fedeal ICAC.ots about the only move that will save their skin at the moment!

    As for Sam, he should have resigned the minute it was out, but no he tried to ride it out, idiot!
    And Bill, how stupid not to sack Sam the minute he tried to ride it out, come on, I know Sam is decent bloke but the response you have both made has been an unmittigated disaster.


  16. Jaquix

    Sam Dastyari was also unlucky in that there was nothing else for the media to chomp on the week the news broke. They are doing it to death, over and over, several articles in the Guardian alone. ABC faithfully regurgitating it day after day. Makes me sick. If he had been really dodgy he would have asked them to put it in a brown paper bag, not declared it and nobody would be the wiser. Thats what the Libs do.

  17. Max Gross

    Party for Gina! The LNP party, that is! Feel the lurv!

  18. jimhaz

    [As for Sam, he should have resigned the minute it was out, but no he tried to ride it out, idiot!]

    Not if was actually within the rules (of which I’m not longer sure). Not as if he hid his actions.

    Resigning takes the heat out of actually making the clearly ESSENTIAL changes to the rules. Resigning gives closure that should not occur. Better he stayed on and more people got angry.

  19. Wayne Turner

    Of course the BIGGEST CORRUPT BRIBERS are the LNP’s MSM aka the mediaocracy we are.

    Sadly Labor are politically hopeless,GUTLESS and WEAK.They should be going on the attack against the LNP and their MSM.Every BRIBE the LNP gets,is how they come up with their piss poor policies.The BRIBERS of their BIG BUSINESS mates run the LNP.

    Labor must point out ALL the BRIBES the LNP take.Cause the LNP love to remind all the BRIBES Labor takes from unions.


  20. jimhaz

    [The collective unconscious?]

    I saw it as well. I think it must have been a further link from a link posted here recently.

  21. helvityni

    Sam’s not your man, it’s the people like Turnbull, Abbott, Morrison and Dutton that you should be scared of; they are the ones who are ruining this country, not Sam, not Bill…not Labor, not the Greens…

  22. paulwalter

    “The collective unconscious”?

    Welcome to Australia, 2016

  23. Noel

    Great story. Shame it will not get coverage in the MSM.

  24. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    The Coalition’s continued cupidity can be left frustrated and unquenched by the removal of private donations from the wealthy parasites and their ilk in the photos at the top of Kaye’s article.

    The Greens led the charge on having private political donations expunged but it fell on deaf ears for years.

    But, now that Dastayari’s scalp has been taken by the implausible moral crusaders like Gory Bernardi and Malcolm Cayman Muck, it’s time for Labor to join forces with the Greens to lead the charge to introduce bills for the end of rich lobbyists’ filthy financial tendrils over political policy priorities and practices.

  25. Rezenebe

    With thanks to impuetation.blogspot.com.au

    Julie Bishop and AFL games (mainly West Coast Eagles games) 2009 to 2012. Expenses or allowances were claimed for nearly all trips at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars to the taxpayer.


    Consider the 2009 season from July 2009 onwards:
    4 July 2009 Melbourne v West Coast at MCG
    West Coast play in Melbourne and Bishop happens to be in town this day.
    Fly from Sydney to Melbourne on 2/7 (it appears the cost of flights were refunded), fly Melbourne to Sydney at taxpayer expense on 4/7 (and on to Perth on the 5th $1696). No claim of Travel Allowance. Comcar costs of $80.

    22 August 2009 Adelaide v West Coast in Adelaide
    Bishop just happened to be in Adelaide on the day of this game.
    Fly at taxpayer expense from Melbourne to Adelaide on 21/8 ($409 Can – Melb – Adel). Travel Allowance in Adelaide of $350 + $117. Fly Adelaide to Perth on 23/8 ($1085). Comcar costs of $237

    There is also evidence Bishop was in Melbourne at the time of some AFL blockbuster games:
    24 July 2009 Carlton v Collingwood at MCG
    Bishop travels all the way to Melbourne for one night that coincides with this blockbuster Friday night game. Fly from Perth to Melbourne on 23/7, fly Melbourne to Perth on 24/7 ($2406). Travel Allowance of $406. Comcar costs in Melbourne of $375.

    15 August 2009 Richmond v Collingwood at MCG
    Bishop again, just coincidentally I’m sure, happened to be in Melbourne.
    Fly from Canberra to Melbourne on 13/8 and return Melbourne to Canberra on 16/8 ($2406). Travel Allowance for 3 nights of $1218. Comcar costs in Melbourne on 15th of $157.

    Then there was the travel coinciding with the finals.
    Final week 1: Brisbane v Carlton in Brisbane 5 Sept.
    Bishop was coincidentally also in Brisbane at this time.
    Fly Darwin to Brisbane on 5/9 ($1084). Travel Allowance for Gold Coast ($340). Fly Coolangatta to Sydney on 6/9 ($422). Comcar costs in Brisbane of $414.

    And the Grand final on 26 Sept 2009. St Kilda v Geelong.
    Bishop happened to be in Melbourne on the day of the grand final.
    Fly Brisbane to Melbourne on 25/9/09 (Perth – Bris – Melb $2155). Fly Melbourne to Sydney on 26/9/09 (Melb – Syd – and onto Perth the next day $1710). Travel Allowance on 25/9/09 in Melbourne ($415). Comcar costs in Melbourne of $469.

    And then there is the 2010 season.
    3 July 2010 Collingwood v West Coast in Melbourne
    Bishop happens to be in Melbourne at the time West Coast play Collingwood. I wonder if she managed to get to the game?
    Fly Sydney to Melbourne on 2/7/2010 and fly Melbourne to Perth on 4 July ($1593). No claim of Travel Allowance. Comcar costs in Melbourne of $140.

    The blockbuster games:
    22 May 2010 Essendon v Richmond at MCG
    Bishop travels to Melbourne for just one night and it just happens to coincide with this Saturday night blockbuster game.
    Fly Perth to Melbourne on 22 May ($2410). Travel Allowance in Melbourne ($415). Fly Melbourne to Canberra on 23 May ($362). Comcar costs in Melbourne of $247.

    26 June 2010 Sydney v Collingwood at ANZ in Sydney
    Bishop travels to Sydney for one evening and coincidentally there is a Sydney v Collingwood game on that very night.
    Fly Canberra to Sydney on 26 June ($226 + $45). Travel Allowance in Sydney ($415). Fly Sydney to Melbourne on 27 June ($480). Comcar costs in Sydney of $247.

    And then the finals.
    Grand final: Collingwood v St Kilda 25 Sept.
    Bishop declares gift of tickets to game. And claims official expenses for travel and accommodation.
    Fly Perth – Melbourne on 24/9 ($1177). Travel Allowance for 2 nights ($840). Fly Melbourne to Canberra on 26/9 ($257). Comcar costs in Melbourne ($654).

    Grand final replay 2 October.
    Bishop declares gift of tickets to game. And again claims work-related travel expenses.
    Fly Canberra to Melbourne on 1/10 and Melbourne to Perth on 2/10 ($1592). Travel Allowance in Melbourne for 1 night ($420). Comcar costs in Melbourne ($515).

    And then the 2011 season:
    29 May 2011 Collingwood v West Coast in Melbourne (afternoon game)
    Bishop again just happens to travel to the same city as a Collingwood – West Coast game. And claims official travel expenses.
    Fly Sydney to Melbourne on 26 May ($1233.58). Travel Allowance in Melbourne for 3 nights ($1260). Fly Melbourne to Canberra on 29 May. Comcar costs in Melbourne ($481).
    30 July 2011 Western Bulldogs v West Coast in Melbourne (afternoon game)
    Bishop is in Melbourne on official duties and claiming travel expenses, but tweets that she is at the ground watching the game. What a coincidence.
    Fly Perth to Melbourne on 28 July. Travel Allowance in Melbourne for 2 nights ($560). Charter flight from Melbourne to Wangaratta after game on 30 Julty ($3732). Comcar costs in Melbourne ($277).

    And the blockbusters again:
    8 April 2011 Collingwood v Carlton at MCG.
    Fly Sydney to Melbourne on 7 April, but no report of return flight. No Travel Allowance and no Comcar on day of game. But Comcar expenses in Melbourne on 7 April and in Sydney on 9 April.

    16 July 2011 Carlton v Collingwood at MCG
    Was Bishop able to attend this afternoon game in Melbourne prior to her flight back to Perth?
    Fly Alice Springs to Melbourne on 15 July ($759). Travel Allowance in Melbourne on 15 July ($420). Fly Melbourne to Perth on 16 July ($759). Comcar costs in Melbourne of $494.

    And the final series:
    Final week 1: Sept 10 2011 Collingwood v West Coast at MCG
    Bishop again in town for one night which coincides with a West Coast – Collingwood match! But clearly it was all about the official duties.
    Fly Canberra to Melbourne on 10 Sept ($476). Travel Allowance in Melbourne on 10 Sept ($424). Fly Melbourne to Canberra on 11 September ($317). Comcar costs in Melbourne of $512.

    Final week 3: Sept 24 2011 Geelong v West Coast at MCG (afternoon game)
    Bishop spends one night in Melbourne on official duties. Claims travel expenses. Just coincidentally at the same time West Coast play in finals. Bishop tweets how exciting it had been to watch the eagles at the MCG despite the loss.
    Fly Brisbane to Melbourne on 23 Sept ($864). Travel Allowance for overnight stay in Melbourne ($424). Fly Melbourne to Perth on 24 Sept ($1346). Comcar costs in Melbourne of $496.

    2011 Grand final: Collingwood v Geelong 1 October
    Bishop declares tickets to game. But again, it’s official duties and taxpayer funds.
    Fly Perth to Melbourne on 30/September ($1346). Travel Allowance for 1 night ($424). Fly Melbourne to Adelaide on 1 October ($266). Comcar costs in Melbourne ($725).

    And then the 2012 season
    This year Bishop really goes for it, commencing before the season even begins.
    17 March 2012 Preseason final Adelaide v West Coast in Adelaide
    WCE are in the preseason final and, coincidentally Bishop happens to be in Adelaide on the very same day – arriving the day of the match and departing the following day (at taxpayer expense of course)
    Fly Perth to Adelaide 17 March. Travel Allowance for overnight stay in Adelaide ($123). Fly Adelaide to Sydney (and onwards) on 18 March (Total flights $3364). Comcar costs in Adelaide of $80.

    15 April 2012 Greater Western Sydney v West Coast in Sydney
    WCE play the new GWS team in Sydney and coincidentally Bishop happens to be in Sydney at the same time.
    Fly Adelaide to Sydney on 15 April ($1328 includes later Melb to Sydney flight). Travel Allowance for overnight stay in Sydney ($424). Fly Sydney to Melbourne on 16 April ($574). Comcar costs in Sydney of $174.

    29 April 2012 Richmond v West Coast in Melbourne
    Another WCE match in Melbourne and Bishop is in town again.
    Fly Perth to Melbourne on 25 April ($1434). Travel Allowance for 4 nights in Melbourne, including 28th and 29th ($1696). Fly Melbourne to Perth on 30 April ($826). Comcar costs in Melbourne on 29 April ($314).

    23 June 2012 Collingwood v West Coast at MCG.
    This is getting comical. WCE in Melbourne to play Collingwood and who’s in town?
    Fly Canberra to Melbourne on 21 June (cost with Perth flight $2008). Travel Allowance for 3 nights in Melbourne ($1272). Flight Melbourne to Sydney (then Canberra $983). Comcar costs on 23rd of $158.

    31 August 2012 Hawthorne v West Coast at MCG
    What more can be said at this point. One night in Melbourne on official duties that coincides with a big Friday night match involving WCE
    Fly Sydney to Melbourne on 31 August. Travel Allowance for overnight stay in Melbourne ($424). Fly Melbourne to Perth on 1 September (total cost from Perth $2122). Comcar costs in Melbourne of $209.

    And the blockbusters again:
    29 June 2012 Carlton v Hawthorne at MCG.
    Fly Canberra to Melbourne on 28 June. Travel Allowance for 2 nights in Melbourne ($848). Fly Melbourne to Sydney (total cost flights $1465).

    And the final series:
    Final week 1: WCE play in Perth.

    Final week 2: Sept 15 2012 Collingwood v West Coast at MCG (Saturday night game)
    Fly Canberra to Melbourne on 15 Sept ($321). Travel Allowance in Melbourne on 15 Sept ($424). Fly Melbourne to Canberra on 16 September $509 plus Comcar costs $447

    2012 Grand final: Hawthorne v Sydney 29 September 2012
    Bishop spends a few days in Melbourne. On day before game flies Sydney to Melbourne ($365). Travel Allowance for three nights (26 to 28 September) in Melbourne ($1287). Fly Melbourne to Adelaide (and on to Perth, $1607). Comcar costs in Melbourne on 28th and 29th of $230.

  26. Kaye Lee

    Mr Joyce, who was given free tickets to watch a State of Origin game and two NRL finals in corporate boxes, claimed flights to Sydney, Comcars and overnight travel allowances to the value of $4615.

    It was also revealed that Mr Joyce charged taxpayers $741 for a family member to fly to Sydney and join him at the NRL grand final on September 30.

    Mr Joyce, who had previously billed taxpayers for travel to two weddings, described his travel in his expense claims as ”Shadow Minister – Official Business”.

    Mr Joyce’s spokeswoman said the then Coalition spokesman for regional development, local government and water was a guest of Westpac on June 13 and the Australian Rugby League Commission on September 14 and 30.


  27. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    If we can find so many LNP Degenerates’ examples of political donation abuses, what is the factor that differentiates them from Dastayari’s stupid decision?

    Is it the LNP’s emphasis on his desire to have:
    1) a debt covered; and
    2) from a foreign government?

    2) can be countered by Labor for the LNP Degenerates’ lust for anybody’s dollars. However, 1) is more personal.

  28. Harquebus

    “what is the factor that differentiates them from Dastayari’s stupid decision?”
    “Then there is the media, and not just the Murdoch rags.”
    Kaye Lee has already nailed it.

  29. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes, Kaye has told us what the guts of the situation are.

    But, why are those salient factors not obvious to the general public?

    Key points and key words that capture the public’s attention and spotlight the LNP’s duplicity in foreign donations, is essential.

  30. Harquebus


    Only going by those I know:
    Too tired after working to care.
    Have beer and footy on the weekend. What problem?
    Don’t use the internet for educational purposes.
    A couple that I can only guess at.
    Downplayed by vested interests.
    Political loyalty.
    Any one of dozen other reasons.

    For my part, I will talk to anyone willing to listen and put my opinions on every forum where I think it might make a difference.


  31. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    you and I know similar people.

    Kaye’s articles give people like you and me the means to spread the message further and further and further.

    It’s hard to confront struggling, tired people with such confronting imperatives. However, continual commentary and discussion work incrementally.

    In other words, keep talking, keep finding the differences, keep saying what needs to happen to implement best results for every ordinary person who we all know, including ourselves.

  32. Bighead1883

    The Greens led the charge on having private political donations expunged but it fell on deaf ears for years.
    Sure JM-S the hypocrisy deafened everyone>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Bob Brown is against corporate donations to any party but his own


    “There is a stench rising from the whole electoral donations system in Australia. We don’t want this to go the way of America and need to stop it now.”

    (Bob Brown, Press Release, 2 February 2001)

    “Australia should seize the moment and ban donations. It is an absolute blight on democracy.”

    (Bob Brown, The Bulletin, 19 October 2004)

    The Greens support a ban on all private donations. “As a matter of democratic principle, elections should give voters fair access to all parties’ policies, and public funding is the most even-handed way to ensure this outcome,” Senator Bob Brown said.

    (The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 February 2009)

    “There is a growing wave of corporate largesse that is eating at the fabric of our democracy.”

    (Bob Brown, Press Release, 14 April 2000)

    “Democracy is being eroded by money. The ideal of one person, one vote, one value is eroding under the monetarist epithet that influence is there to be bought. Your power is directly proportional to your purse, and if you are out of the power circle your powerlessness is proportional to your poverty. All democracies in this age of materialism face the same degradation of the pivotal democratic ideal of equality.”

    (Bob Brown, The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 August 2009)

    “The Australian Greens say ending all large political donations would make a tremendous contribution to stamping out corporate influence in politics.”

    (Bob Brown, Press Release, 30 July 2009)

    “Donations should only be allowed from individuals and only up to a limit of $1000.”

    (Bob Brown, Press Release, 30 July 2009)

    “We should, like Canada, put an end to cheque book democracy.”

    (Bob Brown, Press Release, 1 February 2006)

    “I challenge corporate Australia and the big political parties to clean up the system by establishing a Democracy Trust Fund through which corporate donations can be channelled and distributed to all parties and independents in proportion to their vote at elections.”

    (Bob Brown, Press Release, 1 February 2000)

    “This is insidious, it’s corrupting, it should be stopped.”

    (Bob Brown, Lateline, 16 June 2006)

    “They (the Coalition and Senator Fielding) voted against fair democratic reform aimed at reducing the influence of wealthy donors. It corrupts politics.”

    (Bob Brown, The Canberra Times, 12 March 2009)


    THE Australian Greens’ campaign at the last federal election was largely bankrolled by a businessman, the wotif.com founder Graeme Wood, who made the largest single political donation in Australian history. Mr Wood, whose wealth was estimated at $372 million in last year’s BRW Rich 200 list, gave $1.6 million to fund the Greens’ TV advertising campaign, helping to significantly increase votes for the party in key states.

    (The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 January 2011)


    “We’re in the real world . . . so, yes, we do accept donations from individuals, from small businesses, from the union sector.”

    (Bob Brown, The Age, 19 August 2010)

    Senator Brown said he would be “forever grateful” for Mr Wood’s donation, which was both selfless and hazardous.

    (The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 January 2011)

  33. wam

    kaye the media are not interested in parrakeelia because labor, unlike the rabbott as opposition, is not on the morning shows spruiking the negativity the media needs to generate interest.

  34. cornlegend

    Bighead 1883,
    Yeah, but…………….

  35. Bighead1883

    cornlegendSeptember 8, 2016 at 9:54 pm
    Bighead 1883,
    Yeah, but…………….this>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Senator Cory Bernardi, the conservative warrior who led the charge against Senator Sam Dastyari, is himself involved with a fundraising entity that inhabits a grey area in the political donations system and permits gifts from foreign donors.

    Founded by the hard-right senator in 2009, the Conservative Leadership Foundation, based in Adelaide, solicits public donations, runs networking events and trains “future political and business leaders”.

    But unlike other fundraising entities linked to senior Liberals, it has never made a disclosure to the Australian Electoral Commission as an associated entity, nor disclosed any political expenditure. The foundation is not named as a donor in Liberal Party returns.

    Associated entities are defined in the Commonwealth Electoral Act as operating “wholly or to a significant extent for the benefit of one or more registered political party”.

  36. Michael Taylor

    It would be a good idea if Bernardi left the country for a while.

    Oh, wait …

  37. paulwalter


  38. Denis Bright in Brisbane

    The LNP and its media friends are running a very nasty campaign against Dastyari. No similar campaign is mounted against the political donations of Gina Reinhart, her commitment to weaker industrial awards and her taxation practices.

  39. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    So, why didn’t the duopoly outlaw political donations in the early 2000’s when Bob Brown called for them to stop? As neither of the duopoly did so, the donation from Wood to the Greens party itself, is understandable. Otherwise, only the dinosaurs benefit from financial support. Duh!

    Clean them all up and then Gory Bernardi’s little scam can be exposed and he can be excommunicated (as the first of the ten little bottles to fall off the wall!)

  40. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Glad you agree with my comment on the dinosaurs’ duplicity.

  41. Kaye Lee

    The hatred of the Greens by some Labor supporters is counterproductive in my opinion. I have no problem with disagreement about policies but you very rarely hear that in their criticism. They want to point out examples of hypocrisy whilst never conceding that all parties are guilty of same, the Greens perhaps least of all. They resent competition instead of seeking common ground. They dig through the dirt files just like the Coalition do. And it seems it will always remain the same while we have a “winner takes all” style of government. “Whatever it takes” even if that means agreeing to torture children.

  42. Michael Taylor

    Couldn’t have said it better myself, Kaye. But I might add that the hatred of Labor by some Greens supporters is also counterproductive. Both parties have their share of supporters who, for whatever reason, hate the other just as much as they hate the Libs.

    I’m not one of them.

  43. Matters Not

    This article is worth a read re Australia’s gridlocked Parliament.

    So how do multi-party systems work? It is not that we are short of examples. Almost every European parliamentary state presents one or another version of this form of government.

    But the best one is close to home. New Zealand has been operating a very successful multi-party system since 1996. Indeed, since this time, both Helen Clark (Labour) and John Key (National) have run successful minority governments. They have deliberately turned away from majority coalition. Instead, they work with confidence and supply agreements. They then assemble majority coalitions in the parliament depending on the issue at hand.

    Working to this formula, New Zealand has raised its GST, tackled tax avoidance, withdrawn unseemly tax rorts and introduced social reform. But New Zealand is unicameral. So only in an indirect sense does it present a model for Australia. Moreover, the trigger for New Zealand’s regime change, the switch to a proportional voting system, attracts no serious proponent in Australia. …

    The conventions that now govern parliamentary practice tacitly assume that the electorate more or less divides in two. The rules of the game sustain the illusion that the winner has sufficient electoral authority to alone determine the legislative agenda. This is out of place in a multi-party context.

    IAN MARSH. Australia’s gridlocked Parliament. (Repost from 9 September 2016)

  44. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee
    They are a political party seeking the same hearts and minds as the ALP, and as such are a party in competition
    They are just another number on a ballot paper and should expect nothing less than any other party
    “The hatred of the Greens by some Labor supporters is counterproductive in my opinion.”
    I guess you don’t do Twitter or Facebook to see the reverse ?
    You didn’t keep up with the goings on in Grayndler, Sydney etc?
    ” They resent competition” No, I don’t, but they best expect as good as they give
    I am quite up front about it, I dislike the Greens, they are an opposing political party who, from me would cop the same treatment as LNP, Hanson or any of the others .
    As for digging through the “dirt files” what other Party was at the forefront of the Dastyari issue beside the LNP.?
    I have no problem with my attitude towards the Greens and the fact that it may upset some Greens apologists doesn’t bother me .
    As for “They want to point out examples of hypocrisy whilst never conceding that all parties are guilty of same,” you have to admit the sheer hypocracy of the Brown donation saga as outlined above by Bighead was worthy of mention surely ?

    Not sure if you are taking the piss, or don’t comprehend “hypocracy”

  45. Kaye Lee


    I agree about the reciprocal hatred. The problem with some Greens is that they want perfection – it’s all or nothing. They don’t seem to understand that a system, once in place, can be improved.

    Julia Gillard was so successful at negotiation, working with both the Greens and the Independents, but the boys succumbed to the Coalition dirty tactics and brought back the man that so many of them were on the record criticising. They rewarded his undermining and shot themselves in the foot.


    I have flights of fancy about what could be. I would like to see local government act as our representative in voting for legislation. That presupposes that we could make people actually care about who they vote onto council.

  46. Kaye Lee


    My problem with all that is that all Labor cares about is winning. They have agreed to some dreadful things purely so they won’t be “wedged”. The “competition” makes the election result the goal rather than agreement on policy that is in the best interests of the nation. I can understand when you invest as much time, energy, money and heart into the battle as you do that winning is all that matters – not so much for we unaligned observers. As Tony Windsor said, it doesn’t really matter who unveils the plaque as long as the thing gets built.

  47. Harquebus

    As with other types of hatred, what about outlawing political hatred? Politicians are a minority after all and who doesn’t hate or despise at least some of them?
    Myself, I would like to see politicians that represented the will of their constituents regardless of their own views or those of a party. That is what they are there for and is why they are called “representatives”.
    Political parties are not needed and are detrimental to democracy.

  48. cornlegend

    Michael Taylor
    “But I might add that the hatred of Labor by some Greens supporters is also counterproductive.”
    “I’m not one of them”

    I am !
    After many years of shitfights in Cunningham, Balmain,{most inner City seats} Grayndler, Sydney and around polling booths in general plus the online blusterings and knowing quite a few Greens personally, some gets personal.
    The had better put on their big kids pants and cop the same treatment as any other Political party.
    If my position offends, let me know and I’ll role up the tent

  49. Kaye Lee

    Discussion is about hearing alternate views. I take no offence. Do you think the system as it stands is the best we can do?

  50. cornlegend

    “Do you think the system as it stands is the best we can do?”
    No, but the fight is fought under the current constructs .
    I don’t see the system changing in my lifetime, and to be frank, I’ve heard the same arguments for “change” for decades.
    .”Discussion is about hearing alternate views”
    and political campaigning is about doing your opponent in and getting yours up .,
    They are all numbers on a ballot paper Kaye Lee and get the same treatment from me .
    Not many see the campaigns and lead up to campaigns and maybe if they did, some would lose the “squeaky clean” image they try to portray.
    I have said continually, the Greens have every right to campaign and run candidates wherever and whenever they like
    They campaign against Labor, we campaign against Greens and it get down to no holds barred by both camps

  51. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear to John Menadue’s article.


    I was being fair dinkum. So, if we all agree that political bribes are damaging our electoral system, it’s time to change it so any bribes in the form of gifts or donations cannot happen and public donations are distributed equitably to the political parties.

    Also, if there was some agreement between Labor and the Greens about how to maximise their electoral potential in the electorate, we’d have less of the competition for the same seats and more targeted opposition to the LNP in marginal seats.

  52. Michael Taylor

    Cornie, I’m disappointed with things Labor has done and I’m disappointed with things the Greens have done. They are still my preferred parties.

  53. cornlegend

    Michael Taylor
    “Cornie, I’m disappointed with things Labor has done ”
    So am I and believe me, they are the first to hear about it !
    In my lifetime I have been in and out of Labor {out for short periods} about 5 times when I could not support particular policy decisions, and some, I have refused to speak to full stop. Hawke being one.
    They aren’t perfect, but I’ll accept “pretty good” and the fact that they are the only ones capable of knocking off LNP keeps me onside and fighting for them

  54. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I, for one, can agree with much of what you just said.

    Same goes for the Greens. They don’t always get things right.

    They all need to be told or they get and/or stay complacent.

    They need to know we’re watching and we expect the bar to be set high for policy formation and political conduct.

  55. Kaye Lee

    “the fight is fought under the current constructs”

    Acceptance of the status quo, resignation to the way things are, impotence to create change….this is not the way I want to live. The fight for me has nothing to do with a political party winning but much more to do with trying to inform myself and other people and act where I can.

    Have the courage to change what you can and the strength to endure what you can’t.

    I guess it all depends on how hard we all are willing to work for the changes our society needs, something I know many of our readers do already including you cornie.

  56. Never Been There

    Sam’s problem is not that he accepted a political donation from a foreign company, but that he *asked* that company to pay a personal debt in concert with certain remarks he’d made. This isn’t a political donation issue necessarily, even though that system could use some serious tweaking.

  57. Kaye Lee

    I agree NBT. Our politicians have become used to asking others to foot the bill for anything they can get away with. “Within entitlements” or “not against the rules” should be banned phrases. If they want to live up to “community expectations” then they will change the rules.

  58. paulwalter

    Well spoken, Michael Taylor. I’d vote for them often enough; Used to love them, but I’m not into cult worship…issues first!

  59. jim

    And as well as unseating the LNP Labor is also the best party to tackle the growing inequality in Australia.

    The richest 85 people on the globe – who between them could
    squeeze onto a single double-decker bus – control as much
    wealth as the poorest half of the global population put together
    (3.5 billion people). IMO fix inequality and the rest would sort itself out.

  60. Kaye Lee

    George Brandis has defended his professional relationship with Theo Tavoularis, who provided a $1,200 donation to the Liberal National Party of Queensland in 2013. Mr Tavoularis was promoted to the AAT in the days before the start of this year’s federal election campaign.

    Alan Tudge told the ABC “Just because he happened to have provided a donation to the Liberal Party in the past should not exclude him from being appointed to such a position in the future.”


    Perhaps it should? Should political donors be precluded from appointment to public service or statutory positions?

    Turnbull government makes 103 last minute appointments before poll


  61. paulwalter


    Just reading that before coming here.

    What’s more, compared to the Unions Star chamber $370, 000 is also small beer, as Sam’s $1600 is miniscule, against Brandis.

  62. cornlegend

    BillShorten on Thursday said he would pursue the issue of foreign donations and challenged Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to work with him.

    “I say to Malcolm Turnbull, be prepared. Next week you can either work with us or oppose us, but by hook or by crook, Labor is going to propose legislation which will ban foreign donations.”

    Shorten will seek other changes to the donations laws, including reducing the threshold for public disclosure of donations from more than $13,000 to $1,000, and having them declared in “real time”.

    “I say to Mr Turnbull, senator Dastyari has stepped down now, so we can focus on the bigger picture of donations reform. And it starts with banning foreign donations,” Shorten said.

  63. Bighead1883

    Kaye Lee September 9, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Kaye Lee
    The hatred of Labor by some Greens supporters is counterproductive in my opinion. I have no problem with disagreement about policies but you very rarely hear that in their criticism. They want to point out examples of hypocrisy whilst never conceding that all parties are guilty of same,. They resent competition instead of seeking common ground. They dig through the dirt files just like the Coalition do. And it seems it will always remain the same while we have a “winner takes all” style of government. “Whatever it takes” even if that means agreeing to torture children by denying the Malaysia solution when Greens had the same policy,

    See what I did there?

  64. Bighead1883

    Geeze I`m glad the Greens commenting here don`t hate Labor and always propose a balanced viewpoint

  65. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee,
    In regards to Michaels comment earlier, and my agreement that Labor get things wrong sometimes {not often, but sometimes} there is one story with a happy ending I’ll share 😀
    Now, my main drive is a Holden Senator {much to Michael “Tinny Ford” Taylors utter horror}
    When Labor pulled the Bullock thing, I named the car “Joe” and got personalised number plates “Bolock” to remind me every single day of the absolute sheer stupidity and bastardry of the decision.
    During the campaign I spoke to Louise and told her the beast would be renamed and replated on her election.
    She was onside ;-D
    “Louise” is now the beast I drive, and when I overtake those bloody Fords, they get to read the “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted Labor” stickers in the back window 😀

  66. Matters Not

    Yes, Shorten should pursue donations reform while continuing to advocate for a Royal Commission into the financial services sector. Those issues have traction and Turnbull is feeling the heat.

    But whoever thought of pointing out that Dastyari’s ‘downgrade’ was merely temporary should have his ar@e kicked. Sure it was always going to happen but why rekindle the fires before the political heat had dissipated. The Dastyari disaster’s been given new legs. I suspect that even Dastyari can see that.

  67. Kaye Lee

    Will he also pursue a cap on donations and electoral spending? Will he stop the rorts that politicians like to call “entitlements”? Will he push to move into the technological age and limit junket trips? Will he stop branch stacking? Will he move to make preselections on merit? Will he stop using question time as a stage?

  68. Gangey1959

    I seem to recall some imitation fake gold rolex watches being mentioned somewhere not that long ago, in regards to a deal or fta being done with the chinese.
    Our talcum turdbott had best remember that everything that goes around comes around, and now that Sam has stepped down the dickheads in charge have no one left to throw their shit at, but have left themselves and theirs horribly exposed. If he doesn’t back shortarse even the joe averages out there are going to wonder why.
    The entire media-storm over Mr Dastyari was absolutely disgraceful when it is looked at in the light of what was just plain ignored during the election campaign, but lord voldemurdoch obviously has a cunning plan. (Guess what you old bastard, you are still going to die.)
    PS. M sukkar was one of those leading the attack on Mr Dastyari. He’s from my patch. He was a whiny prick bully and mick thug at school, and hasn’t changed much. Maybe he has ambitions for the front bench. Let’s face it, he must have, because his IQ is smaller than his shoe size, and he aligns himself with the mad monk. I can’t wait to see meet him again on one of his local meet and greets.

  69. cornlegend

    Shorten: Sam will come back

    Mr Shorten says Senator Dastyari will make a comeback following his resignation from Labor’s frontbench.

    The Opposition Leader said Senator Dastyari had made a mistake and paid a heavy price in stepping down yesterday.

  70. jimhaz

    [fake gold rolex watches]

    Li Ruipeng’s is the chair of the Li Guancheng Investment Management Group.

    Someone of Li Ruipeng’s standing would not give out FAKE products, nor would LNP members expect the same. It is another made up excuse. The plastic bag may have just been a convenience thing – they had to be carried somehow.

    I am actually wondering if there were any import of other duties that should have been paid for these watches. Any ordinary citizen who brought 250k worth of presumably undeclared watches into Australia would surely face severe scrutiny.

    I do not know the laws, but if it is not lawful then Li Ruipeng MUST be charged.

    Anybody know the rules for gifts?

  71. jimhaz

    [As for the rules re gifts, here’s some guidelines]

    Sorry, I actually meant the rules relating to importation of goods to be given as gifts. What I am wondering at is did Li Ruipeng arrogantly break rules as he is rich.

    I found one rule for GST – but the giving was not to an organisation but to individual LNP members.

    “Non-taxable importations
    item 23 Certain donated or bequeathed goods by an entity or organisation outside Australia to an organisation established in Australia”

    My guess is that the watches were illegally imported and some form of tax should have been paid.

    Here is more info

    Duty free concessions

    “General goods
    If you are aged 18 years or over, you can bring up to A$900 worth of general goods into Australia duty-free.
    If you are under 18 years of age there is a A$450 limit.
    General goods include gifts, souvenirs, cameras, electronic equipment, leather goods, perfume concentrates, jewellery, watches and sporting equipment.”

  72. Kaye Lee

    Stuart Robert was one of the Rolex watch recipients. That’s the same Stuart Robert who accompanied a Liberal Party donor to China to sign a deal involving a company that Robert had shares in.

    “Mr Robert announced he would step down from the frontbench on Friday, after an internal investigation revealed he had shares in a trust linked to mining company Nimrod Resources, whose chairman Paul Marks is a generous Liberal donor.

    Labor had called for Mr Robert to be sacked over the trip in 2014, during which he appeared in a signing ceremony for a mining deal between Nimrod Resources and a Chinese business.”


  73. Kaye Lee


    Childish behaviour from the rabid supporters of both Labor and the Greens sides is driving progressive voters mad (well this one at least). I don’t know how to get this through to you but most of us couldn’t give a rat’s arse about your petty party squabbles. When my kids were little and arguing I would walk into the room, say I don’t care who did what, I am taking the (whatever they were arguing about) until you learn how to behave. That’s how this bs makes me feel.

  74. Michael Taylor

    Bighead isn’t worth bothering with, Kaye. He’s a hypocrite.

  75. paulwalter

    Yes. A wasted bullet- what Paddy shot at.

    All other comments have some relevance but one is inane enough to cross a line that sees the shotgun pellets from that Paddy’s shotgun blast wedged in his or her foot…painful, later.

  76. Joe

    @Kaye Lee What a powerful piece, congratulations. It made me so angry I could not read it in one go. I feel like printing it out and letter boxing it.

  77. Matters Not

    Childish behaviour from the rabid supporters

    Yep! Intellectually, the ‘committed’ confuse ‘means’ (political parties in this case) with ‘ends’ (desirable outcomes) and in so doing make the ‘means’ the ‘ends’ in themselves. One doesn’t have to be too close to political parties to realise that the ‘ends’ are always buried beneath the ‘means’, otherwise know as the political ‘arrangements’.

    Factions and the like. Ideas get lost. Buried. But my faction won last time. And so it goes.

  78. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee, sorry for the slow response, I was away,
    Kaye Lee, this question above was about ALP/foreign donations
    I answered

    cornlegendSeptember 9, 2016 at 2:03 pm
    Bill Shorten on Thursday said he would pursue the issue of foreign donations and challenged Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to work with him.

    Not sure, was this a response to my answer?

    Kaye LeeSeptember 9, 2016 at 2:21 pm
    “Will he also pursue a cap on donations and electoral spending? Will he stop the rorts that politicians like to call “entitlements”? Will he push to move into the technological age and limit junket trips? Will he stop branch stacking? Will he move to make preselections on merit? Will he stop using question time as a stage?”

    If so, would you like me to go through them one by one, and have some comparisons with other Parties?
    Though, some hardly need a response
    “Will he stop using question time as a stage?”
    Really ?

  79. Kaye Lee

    Must everything be “in comparison to other parties”? Is there no such thing as setting a standard? Is it sufficient to be “not as bad” as the other guy?

    In my opinion, question time is a very expensive waste of time and a disgraceful display of poor behaviour that achieves nothing at all.

  80. cornlegend

    It was just you decided to throw in a whole bunch that weren’t even being discussed
    I assumed that in fairness, if you were so concerned about what Bill would do, then you may have a passing interest in what the other Parties positions were as well,

  81. Kaye Lee

    Not really. I don’t care about parties. In fact, I think the party system is the root of a great many of our problems.

  82. diannaart

    LNP stooge: “Look over there, Sam Dastyari”

    Labor stooge: “Look over there, Bob Brown”

    Greens stooge: “Look over there, Pauline Hanson”

    Public: “We preferred the stooges on TV in black and white and we knew the show would end.

  83. cornlegend

    OOH, a Green ventriloquist dummy.
    Progressive stooge” Don’t look at me. I just don’t own up”
    Sorry, won’t mention Green or supporter, that sends some into denial.
    how about “alleged progressives preferred party”

  84. Kaye Lee

    I give up. I will have to concede that Labor has become so fixated in their hatred of the Greens and their desire to win at all costs that they are incapable of listening to the voters who are pleading with them for something more.

  85. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee
    They are listening to the voters, but there are a section that would never be changed and some who just speak for their little clan and don’t listen anyway. Happier to chat amongst themselves and reinforce each others views than the broader community

  86. Kaye Lee

    We are all guilty of the echo chamber mentality but we learn more when we listen to others. It is them we must negotiate with to find common goals and common ground on how to achieve them. I find the arguing counterproductive in bringing the broader community together.

  87. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee
    But the issues differ in what is deemed as important.
    I was out with an MP {ALP} at a regular meet and greet his does at a Sunday Markets today and listened to his constituents.
    During the 8 weeks of the election campaign I spent a great deal of time in numerous electorates and got regular feed back from a team who worked in a few key electorates .
    I can assure you Labor are listening, but the message and the concerns out there don’t necessarily correspond with the corncerns I read online.
    Sometimes we assume what is important to us is also the concern of the broader community, and that is where we get it so very wrong.
    The message and answers given by some do not necessarily represent the questions and concerns of a far broader community

  88. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Kaye Lee.

  89. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Being a MP is not only responding to constituents’ concerns, although obviously that is an important part.

    Another important part is to provide effective leadership and provide enlightenment in primary imperatives that work for ever important progressive advances in all walks of life.

    Some people don’t necessarily know what they don’t know.

  90. Kaye Lee

    I would also suggest that the people who choose to talk to politicians, or take part in surveys, polls and focus groups, are not necessarily representative of the broader community either. There are usually 6 adults staying in my house and we get polled all the time being in a marginal seat. I am the only one who will agree to be surveyed.

    I also agree with JMS that our politicians have access to expert advice on everything. I expect our politicians to lead based on that advice rather than what the people at the markets said.

  91. paulwalter

    You are more generous than the rest of your family, but they can’t be blamed, self respect is involved.

    I sometimes do a survey just to study the methods, weasel wording and loaded questions.

    The late Bob Ellis used to be the master of op polls decoding.

  92. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee
    Well, “I expect our politicians to lead based on that advice rather than what the people at the markets said”.
    you twisted that to get it way out of the context of my comment.
    Rah Rah Jennifer !!

  93. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Who’s not listening now, cornlegend!

  94. Kaye Lee

    I twisted nothing. I said what I think. The context is there for all to read and I thought JMS’ comment had merit and prompted me to think further. I am not your enemy cornie.

  95. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, a good example of that was John Howard (in ignoring advice). We used to pull our hair out at ATSIC. Howard had hundreds of policy advisors at his disposal but would always ignore them in preference to the editorials in The Australian. But of course, people at The Australian had more expertise in Indigenous affairs than anybody in the country.

    Editorial opinions would be full of crap but Howard would get on his high horse and tell the country that Aborigines blah blah blah and only he could sort those immoral people out.

  96. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hence Michael,

    Howardesque politicians on all sides of politics, need to be taught by Teachers how to learn information from reputable sources and then how to impart it again to their diverse charges.

  97. Michael Taylor

    Jennifer, I never experienced that under the Labor governments. Howard was unique in that regards.

  98. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee,
    It is the people at the Markets that vote for them and they get to meet with a wide demographic.
    They aren’t restricting the message given or that received from a selective audience.
    Of course they have access to expertise, and that what they give to those who would usually take no interest in politics.
    Markets are a very effective way of engaging, and most ALP MPs know the value of community consultation.
    Shorten rammed this home during the campaign and continues to so so,
    An example of this community engagement Terri Butler, next weekend
    Saturday, September 17

    Whites Hill Shops in Camp HIll
    Mobile Office Whites Hill

    Outside Woolworths Coorparoo
    Mobile Office Coorparoo

    Outside Buranda Shopping Centre in Woolloongabba
    Mobile Office Buranda

    and this is replicated all over the joint by ALP pollies
    They are listening, just may be hearing a different message than some would like.
    And all the while Terri continues to push the big issues, being at the forefront of Labors Marriage equality push etc

  99. Kaye Lee

    Considering, in the last few years, three sitting PMs have been ousted because of bad polling, I would suggest that both parties have given up listening to experts in favour of whatever the Australian tells people to think.

    cornie, I have been accosted by politicians in many places including at work. When I am doing my job I am not going to give them a sensible answer about what I think needs doing in the country. My answer would be listen to the experts.

    In fact, during the last election my waste of space MP sent a minion to ask if she could bring the camera crews in while she spoke to us. My husband advised her that would probably not go well for her lol.

  100. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes, markets are great grassroots people places and Shorten was clever with the Bill bus.

    However, it should not be just a meet and greet and ‘kiss your baby’ exercise … but a meeting of minds and education, as well.

    Lift the expectations of the People and the performances of the politicians.

  101. cornlegend

    “However, it should not be just a meet and greet and ‘kiss your baby’ exercise … but a meeting of minds and education, as well.”
    Of course they listen to the experts, saving us from the GFC, NDIS, Gonski etc but unless they are out communicating with the masses and explaining what and why things were done they’d get nowhere.
    The people at markets etc tend to have concerns about direct affects on them in regard to things like health, education etc and that is where Labor can remind them, it was THEIR original initiatives for these things and the importance of maintaining {and strengthening} them, and they aren’t “accosted by politicians” rather have the politicians at places they are likely to be to listen to their concerns and address issues

  102. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I’m not arguing with that. But, I’m also saying the face to face interactions should be ‘meeting of minds’ and education.

    If marketplaces are not suitable, then regular public forums where people can stand up and ask influential politicians pertinent questions.

  103. Kaye Lee

    Quite frankly, those forays into public spaces by politicians serve absolutely no purpose in my opinion. They are shmoozing exercises where nothing of consequence is discussed – how can it be?

  104. Michael Taylor

    Politicians like to be seen to be listening and caring, but as soon as they get back to the party room it is all forgotten.

  105. cornlegend

    how can it be?
    In multiple ways,
    There were 8 people in attendance handing out Labor info, 17 people left contact details for follow up on issues by electorate office, 2 made appointments over issues of personal concern, 200 “Dont blame me I voted Labor” {funder raisers}stickers sold out early 2 couples showed interest in joining the ALP, people got questions answered, and they got to learn who their MP was,
    Not a bad sunday morning

  106. Carol Taylor

    Michael, I would have to agree. The politician who probably holds the World Record for getting out and about would be none other than Tony Abbott. Abbott would rub shoulders with the working class, listen to how they were doing it tough, listen to their troubles with housing affordability/job stability/kids’ education – then straight back to his office to hit them with every nasty he had at his disposal.

  107. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes Carol,

    that is the dark, ugly side of the ‘meet and greet’ mentality.

  108. Kaye Lee


    That was a very good effort and I concede it may have been worthwhile if all you are worried about is getting elected. As Michael and Carol point out, it rarely leads to good policy. I know I have a dud but my MP completely ignores every phone call I make and email I send in my capacity as a local business owner (not as a middle aged woman in jammies whinging about politics online). She even blocked me from her facebook page. So you can imagine my reaction when she wants to spruik her “small business” bs in front of the cameras at my business. And the commuters I know really hate having stuff shoved at them at the railway station early in the morning.

  109. Matters Not

    Yep, there’s ‘listening’ and then there’s ‘hearing’. I am sure you’ve heard the words:

    Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
    And disregards the rest.

    Folks, when you want to ‘dig deep’, it’s all about the meaning(s) that are given to what you ‘listen to’ or even ‘hear’ and the basis for same. For example, I both listen to and hear what Pauline Hanson has to say (and have done so for many years) but guess what, I make a ‘judgement’. I generate ‘meanings’ to what she says and in so doing I declare her ‘solutions’ to be somewhat problematic.

    As for the quote.

  110. cornlegend

    ” it may have been worthwhile if all you are worried about is getting elected”
    what about if you are keeping your electorate informed and representing them?
    I give up, white flag waved.
    Off to bed so I can head of to Canberra early and see those no good do nothing Labor pollies perform

  111. Michael Taylor

    I’m not saying it doesn’t work to mingle with the shoppers in the mall, because it certainly is better to be seen than to be absent. Getting out and about wins a lot of votes and it is therefore a priority. However, it doesn’t help formulate policy and if it did, it would be very minuscule.

  112. Carol Taylor

    As a former elected representative (a long time ago), wise choice to get out of one’s office, stop listening solely to like-minded people and start listening to things which may not be one’s priority but is of concern to the electorate. I think of the NBN, not a problem according to them as the take up is slow with a majority opting for the slower package. Out on the street, businesses lose customers, staff work longer hours, students struggle to complete assignments, and all because of 2nd rate broadband.

    On the other hand, one does hear a lot of complaints about which one can do nothing..sorry that your neighbor’s cow chewed up the azaleas…

  113. Matters Not

    soon as they get back to the party room it is all forgotten.

    If that was more the ‘norm’, then that might be both a ‘good’ and ‘right’ thing. (Ethically speaking) But we know that politicians and their party rooms operate on the basis of what ‘works’. What will win or at least retain votes.

    But we also know that it’s not about moral or ethical leadership, but what ‘works’.

  114. Matters Not

    so I can head of to Canberra early and see those no good do nothing Labor pollies perform

    No doubt a front row seat at the circus. Have you no insight as to how that statement might be interpreted? A political dilettante seems a reasonable possibility.

    Shakes head.

  115. randalstella

    ‘Politicians’ get mentioned as if they are all the same.
    The discussion has gone generalist here. It is a bit like giving up. That is, going back to old support/voting habits; like what is deplored about the public.
    If it were not for the Party machine more could be known about the personal views of Labor MPs and candidates. For example, I would expect some would personally support an ICAC. I know my MP does.
    And the Greens support one; and they don’t mean a token one.

    There are politicians and there are politicians.
    People with a serious interest in an important issue need to pick among them.
    Bleedin’ obvious lesson for the day.

  116. townsvilleblog

    In my humble opinion Sam’s actions occurred because of the sense of entitlement he gets from being a product of the NSW right wing faction. The right wing of the Labor Party is a tory-like beast which often creates scandals like this. In Queensland many years ago we had two Labor State MPs resigned both were right wingers under the Beattie govt. One of them Mike Kaiser ended up with a creamy job in NBN management, a couple of years later. Can anyone answer my question: Why does a party set up to represent labour, need a right wing?

  117. townsvilleblog

    Carol TaylorSeptember 11, 2016 at 10:00 pm I had seen a lot of negative commentary surrounding the NBN but I had never dreamed that Turnbull could cut the speed of the NBN to a tad slower than ADSL2 I’m sorry now that I got so excited about it. I’m hoping that a future Labor govt will hasten back to its original plan to connect fibre to the home.

  118. Kaye Lee

    All of the technicians who work for NBN are hoping the same thing townsvilleblog. When I was going through the debacle of trying to connect my work, every technician said the same thing – it is a nightmare.

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