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Tag Archives: Andrew Bolt

The List Of Strange Bedfellows – If You’ll Pardon The Expression.

Sorry, but I’m off to New Zealand in a couple of days and this may be my last post for a couple of weeks. The trouble is that I’m having difficulty working out which of the interesting potential targets to write about. I’ve started to compile a list.

  1. Peter Dutton calls asylum seekers, “Armani refugees” and tells us all that they’re not fleeing war but are, in fact, economic refugees. How then have they been judged to be worthy of asylum? Surely this is a failure of his government to identify them and send them back.
  2. The “No” Campaign expresses outrage that people are being sent one text message urging them to vote “Yes”, labelling it an invasion of privacy. Cory Bernardi announces his intention to robocall a million homes with a two-minute recording of him speaking, which he then follows with a survey of voting intentions. I suspect that he’ll achieve a 100% “No” vote with his survey, as nobody else would listen to him for three minutes. Actually I suspect that he’d get close to 100% if the question was are you my wife or a paid supporter?
  3. Tony Abbott has a column in the paper telling us that Australians don’t like being told what to do and think and the fact that the “Yes” campaign is trying to influence us could backfire. Leaving aside the obvious point that the “No” campaign is also telling us what to think, this could be a valid point. Abbott follows it up, however, by telling the NRL that they shouldn’t have Macklemore at the Grand Final. Apparently, only ex-PMs are allowed to tell us what to do… And only if they aren’t members of the Labor Party.
  4. Malcolm Turnbull goes on “The Project” and gloats that Waleed Aly was wrong about suggesting that Australians couldn’t conduct a civil debate on marriage equality. When Waleed says hang on and points out that there’s been violence and bullying and some really nasty comments, Turnbull bristles and tells him that this has only been from a minority and most people have been ok. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think that anybody was suggesting that the majority of people would conduct themselves badly; it was always about the minority.
  5. Tony Abbott, a free enterprise champion, suggests bringing in the army to take over gas supplies.
  6. Malcolm Roberts argues that a) he believed that he was never a British citizen and b) that he attempted to renounce any claim by sending of an email headed “Am I Still A British Citizen?” This is akin to arguing that I’m not guilty of bigamy because I never believed that I was married and sending off an email with the words, “Has the divorce come through yet?”
  7. Andrew Bolt. Almost anything he says about the Liberal Party/Churches/big companies when compared to anything he says about the Left/Bill Shorten/The Greens/companies that aren’t doing what he thinks that they should.
  8. Turnbull tells us we have a gas problem. Then he tells us it’s Labor’s fault because they should have done something about it four years ago even though, nobody in his government has done anything about it in the past four years. Then he tells us that it’s worse than he thought. Then he tells us he’s solved it becasue the gas supplies have agreed to sell to Australian companies for only a little bit more than what they’re selling to overseas companies.

The list goes on…

I have a plane to catch.

See you in a week or so!

Pell Arrives Back; Turnbull Hitches A Ride And Jeff Spills The (Coffee) Beans!

The ABC news this morning told me that Cardinal Pell had arrived back in Australia to face “historical sexual assault charges”. Now, I’m not commenting on the veracity of those charges because – as many people have pointed out – it would be wrong to deny the man a fair trial. Commenting on trials in progress is something that’s reserved for terrorism offences, but it’s the use of the word “historical” that has me bemused.

historical
hɪˈstɒrɪk(ə)l/Submit
adjective
-of or concerning history or past events.
-belonging to the past.
-(especially of a novel or film) set in the past.

Assuming we can eliminate the idea that the ABC is trying to suggest that this whole thing is a novel or film, we are left with two definitions both of which suggest that these are charges concerned with events that happened in the past.

Which is, of course, only fair because I’m sure we’d all have concerns if anyone was being charged with events that were allegedly happening in the future.

So, given anyone with half a brain and even members of the right faction of Turnbull’s government would presume that these were charges relating to things that have happened in the past, one wonders why the ABC feels it necessary to emphasise the “historical” nature of the events.

Do we get that with any other news?

“Youths charged with causing historical damage at detention centre”
“Liberals announce historical policy on marriage equality”
“Man charged with historical murder”
“Turnbull gets historical ride with Donald Trump”

Which reminds me, I meant to spend this morning writing about the great example Turnbull has set for saving money.Yep, he’s learned from Bronwyn’s infamous helicopter ride, and not only did he hitch a ride with Donald Trump, but he managed to get Macron to take him in the French plane by suggesting that because of the parlous position of Australia’s finances, both he and Lucy would be walking unless they could raise bus fare by passing round the hat, at which point the French president told him that there was room for an extra couple of passengers so long as he didn’t tell the story about how his good mate Donald gave him a lift from the hotel because everyone at the G20 had heard it at least twice.

As for his time in “the Beast” (which is the nickname for the US President’s car and not some strange initiation ritual a la David Cameron), Malcolm tells us that it was a great opportunity for some private conversation. Of course, given the famous “private conversation” where Donald was caught on tape giving his advice on “pussy” grabbing, one wonders whether it’s a wise move to accept a lift from from the Trumpeter. However, I do appreciate that the journey from the hotel to the venue would be plenty of time for both men to share all they know and to talk about the principles that they both hold dear.

But I digress… I was speculating about the use of the word “historical”.

I wanted to make it clear that I didn’t see it as an attempt by the ABC to make the charges seem less significant. Just as I didn’t mean to suggest that Miranda Devine’s suggestion that the police had made the whole thing up to distract us from the fact that there are crimes being committed as we speak, and they’re failing to catch and charge people with these historical crimes. Similarly, Andrew Bolt’s defence of George as a top bloke who historically did a lot of good historical things like launch the historical Melbourne Response just because someone needed to do something.

Jeff Kennett had a few words to say about the Melbourne Response in his column, by the way. According to Jeff:

“When evidence of pedophilia within the Catholic Church was getting increasing publicity in the mid-1990s, I invited the then archbishop Pell to my office for a coffee. It might be said that two robust individuals had a robust discussion. I suggested to the archbishop that it would be advisable if, as head of the Catholic Church in Victoria, he addressed the charges of pedophilia in a public and vigorous way.

“If not, I told him, the state of Victoria would. I did not want to take that action because I thought the church should address its behaviour and assist those it had abused, and it was not an area I felt comfortable that politicians could address. Fortunately, Pell accepted my invitation, went away and delivered what was called the Melbourne Response.

“Whether those initiatives were as complete as required, I do not know. But Pell was the first leader of any church or organisation confronted by pedophilia charges to act and he did so quickly and firmly. George Pell is innocent until found guilty of any offence. Until then he has my support and friendship.”

Now one of my nasty left-wing friends – and let’s be clear here, as Andrew Bolt tells us all left-wing people are nasty – had the temerity to suggest that the sentence: “It might be said that two robust individuals had a robust discussion” suggests that the Melbourne Response wasn’t something that George was all that keen on and that it was only with pressure from Kennett that he instituted something.

However, I imagine that the conversation was robust because they were both such robust characters.

“George, I’ve invited you here for coffee because I want to discuss your response to the accusations!”
“Jeff, I want to discuss my response!”
“Good, you do that!”
“I will!”
“SO WILL I!”
“I intend to respond strongly.”
“OK, BUT I THINK YOU SHOULD RESPOND ROBUSTLY.”
“I ALWAYS respond ROBUSTLY!”
“Great! Now, MILK?”
“PLEASE!”
“Sugar?”
“Definitely not!”

Or something like that. Anyway, what does it matter whose idea it was. It’s all historical.

Abbott Supporters Still Pyning Away!

Well, thank god those days of dysfunctional government are over and the adults are back in charge. No, really, they’ve told us many, many times that they’re the awesomest government and they’re really good and besides Bill smells and has no friends and nobody likes him and we’re going to call him names until he cries because that’s the way adults do things…

Anyway, I must say that the events of the past few days remind me yet again of why people are rather cynical of politicians. For those of you who haven’t followed the events surrounding Christopher “The Fixer” Pyne, it goes something like this.

  1. Pyne was speaking to a group of like-minded Liberals. An amazing thing in itself. He not only mentioned that he and George had always voted for Malcolm the Magnificent, but that changes to the marriage laws may not be all that far away.
  2. Even though this was not a public forum somebody leaked it to Andrew Bolt.
  3. Tony Abbott immediately suggested that Pyne’s “confession that he has made to his close colleagues in the Left faction” demonstrated that he’d been disloyal while a member of his leadership team because, well, you shouldn’t be allowed to vote for someone else when you’re a member of Cabinet apparently. (Let’s leave aside the rather strange idea that there is a “left faction” in the Liberals. Ok, there may be some that are less right, but it’s a bit like talking about the intelligent faction of One Nation.)
  4. There are lots of anonymous sources suggesting that Pyne must be replaced because his comments suggested that he wanted to change government policy and that he should support government policy at all times.
  5. Turnbull and Pyne both come out and say that there’ll be no change to government policy, which is nicely ambiguous because the suggestion from some was that a couple of Liberals were going to introduce a private member’s bill and attempt to get legislation through with a few committed souls crossing the floor. That, of course, wouldn’t require a change to government policy.
  6. There is still anger towards Christopher Pyne for suggesting that he supported something that isn’t government policy.
  7. Tony Abbott puts aside his anger to publicly release a manifesto of exactly what the government should do, which is somehow different from Pyne’s sin of saying it behind closed doors, because nobody has a problem with this at all, even though, at face value, suggesting that the government policy needs to change doesn’t seem to be supporting current government policy.

That about catches you up. So now we can carefully examine Tony’s manifesto without being all caught up on whether Malcolm will sack Christopher or whether a whole bunch of Liberals will join Cory Bernardi’s party and bring down the government.

I did notice that the headline on one of the articles about Tony’s plan implied that it was a plan to help the Liberals get re-elected. Now, if he simply wants to help the Liberals get re-elected, I have a very simple one for him. It’s what they told the sheep farmer: “Just shut the flock up!”

However, I’m sure that Mr Abbott would argue that his ideas are not simply about being returned at the next ballot (whether that’s the ballot for Liberal leader or the next federal one), but that they’re real solutions that will take Australia back to its glory days when men were men, the Queen was beloved by all and we all rode on the sheep’s back… in a purely economic sense, of course, because nobody – not even Cory Bernardi – would have even thought to suggest that we were on a slippery slope toward bestiality.

Mr Abbott, as he usually does, covered a range of ideas. Yep, that is a euphemism for saying that the poor man is unable to stay on any given topic for more than a couple of minutes without exhausting his knowledge. Young Tony asserted the need to cut immigration before following up with complaints about political parties surrendering to populism. Now, I guess some will think that this is a bit hypocritical, but let me remind you that it’s only when somebody else does something that a lot of people agree with that it’s populism, when one does it oneself, it’s bowing to the will of the people in line with democratic principles. Along with Mr Abbott’s misgivings about populism and the whole political spectrum moving to the left, he was also concerned about school funding and energy targets. School funding, he speculated, had moved in the wrong direction, although he wasn’t clear about what he meant by that, although he has made it clear in the past that he thinks that private schools should be getting a lot more than they are. And the Senate shouldn’t be have so much power to block the government and he proposed measures that would enable a joint sitting without the need for a double dissolution. Nobody asked him why he tried to block so much government legislation when he was in Opposition, if he felt that the Senate was an unnecessary obstacle. Similarly, nobody suggested that this might be a problem when those silly Labor people get back in. Perhaps, Tony has a plan to ensure that only conservatives can be elected in future; perhaps he’s quite happy to allow Labor to introduce all those things that the Senate has rejected in the past. Whatever, it surely couldn’t be because a man who was once our PM wouldn’t have thought his idea through.

And then, there were his ideas on energy. Listening to Finkel – whom the current government commissioned to work out the best solutions, or at least some solutions, because we’ve already rejected some even if they are the best – would be a terrible mistake. No, it’s better just to make up your own mind because that way you don’t get confused by a lot of nasty facts. No, we should freeze the renewable target at 15% and stop any new wind farms because we may have an energy shortfall and building more wind farms would help reduce this shortfall, but not by using coal and so, therefore, it doesn’t fit the criteria of good energy policy. Let’s be quite clear here, renewables are being subsidised and we don’t like that. We think that the market should decide and if the market doesn’t want to build any new coal-fired power stations then the government should go it alone and build one itself. There now, that’s perfectly consistent, isn’t it?

A spokesman for Mr Turnbull said that he had no plans to change government policy. When asked if he had any plans at all, the spokesman said that he’d check with the PM but he was almost certain that he had been talking about his intention to develop a plan at the first available opportunity.

Labor’s Scurrilous Lie On Medicare!

Ok, we all know that if Labor is elected that our borders will be weaker, the deficit will blow out, the tax cuts for companies won’t go through, it’ll rain all day except in drought areas and the chooks will stop laying. Not only that, we won’t have the stability that we now have because Labor changed Prime Minister twice in six years and the Liberal have only done it once in three years.

However, it’s the Labor Party who are running a scare campaign on Medicare. The Liberals have no plan to privatise it. Didn’t Malcolm say “never ever” and while some people are reminded of John Howard’s “never ever” on the GST or Tony Abbott’s “ironclad guarantee” on the Medicare safety net before the 2004 election, that’s rather unfair on Mr Turbull. He’s not the sort of man to say one thing one moment, and another the next. He said that he supports same sex marriage and the Republic and action on climate change, and he still supports all those things. Ok, he may not do anything about them but that’s because he’s been busy with the job of being PM. It’s a big job which involves working very, very hard to ensure that Labor isn’t elected because they’ve promised action on all the things that Turnbull supports, and if that happened there’d be nothing left for Turnbull to do if he ever actually gets into power instead of just being the figurehead.

Some people have unkindly suggested that the Brexit vote should be good for Labor because it should show the people the consequences of not thinking before you vote and just blindly taking your lead from the Murdoch papers. Only after the vote to leave the EU, the argument goes, did Rupert’s papers start to explain what the consequences of leaving would be. Surely it should be a wakeup call to the people of Australia. However, this overlooks the fact that most people who read Andrew Bolt will hardly be aware that the vote took place, let alone the fact that many of the “Leave” voters are rather unhappy now that they’re discovering that it may have consequences that they hadn’t considered. Not only that, but the leaders of the “Leave” campaign, such as UKIP’s Nigel Farrage now saying that they never promised that there’d be oodles of extra cash for spending on Health… Somebody else painted that “promise” on the side of buses.

But let me be quite clear here. Labor’s suggestion that just because the Liberals have a Medicare Privatisation unit set up is no reason to think that Medicare would ever be privatised. If you’ve still got doubts I suggest that you read this article from “The Guardian” written last year:

There now, what could be clearer than that. They don’t want to privatise anything. They just think it would be better if the whole thing were opened up to competition from the private sector. I mean, look how long you spend waiting to speak to someone at Centrelink, whereas when you ring any private company, your call is answered by the next available operator.

No, there’s no doubt at all. The Government has given us their assurance and they know that if they lied to us, there’d be consequences. Why just remember how people over-reacted when Tony Abbott’s “No cuts” statements were misinterpreted as meaning that they wouldn’t cut spending. People got very cross and they had to change Prime Ministers. If Turnbull was lying, why the Liberals would just have to change leaders again to appease people. And Malcolm certainly doesn’t want that. As he keeps saying, “It’s a very exciting time to be Australian now that I’m PM and anybody who isn’t saying how lucky they are is just an ungrateful whinger!”

So vote Liberal this Saturday. You know that Medicare is safe and will “never ever” be privatised and that the plan to let Telstra manage the data has been shelved and was never a real plan like the one where they support jobs and growth. You know the one; if we create enough jobs at $4 an hour then there’ll be a really big growth in the bank balances of the people employing them.

Day to Day Politics: I have never done this before (quote Andrew Bolt)

Thursday 3 February 2016

1 Last Month, long-time admirer and defender of Cardinal George Pell said that Pell was a victim of ‘one of the most vicious witch hunts to disgrace this country. It is shameful. Disgusting. Frightening.’

‘People pretending to be moral have competed with each other to slime Pell as the defender of paedophiles, if not a paedophile himself.’

‘One would hope that this inquiry can go forward in the spirit of actually finding the truth, not being a witch hunt and perhaps giving George Pell more benefit of the doubt than a lot of media has given him.’

After listening to Pell’s evidence.

‘Those words about the Ridsdale case – where George Pell said that it was a sad story but it was not of interest to me – I just think those will be hung around his neck for the rest of his career.’

‘Whether or not he directly knew – and the case against him is circumstantial – did he actually do what was necessary for any moral person and pursue the interests of the children being abused? And on that ground I think the case against him is very damning.’

‘I think it’s a disaster I really do. I thought it was awful and in once sense it was so awful because it fit into the narrative but it also seems to confirm a pattern … that he hadn’t picked up hints.’

‘Either he is lying when he said he never knew … was never told or that he wasn’t diligent in following up the kind of clues that were picked up by a number of other people.’

‘Here is the question now for the royal commission into sex abuse of children: is the Vatican’s third-most powerful leader a liar when he says he never knew what Ridsdale, his colleague, was doing in Ballarat?’

‘Or was he just dangerously indifferent to his responsibilities and to the warning signs that children were being raped?’

Bolt wrote in his column that his evidence would:

‘Stain his reputation forever.’

‘Or was he just dangerously indifferent to his responsibilities and to the warning signs that children were being raped?’

‘But the devastating admission drawn from Pell by Gail Furness SC, counsel assisting the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, was that he never bothered to ask.’

‘Now a royal commission seems poised to consider whether this prince of the Catholic Church is a liar.’

Not surprisingly, Bolt has secured ‘an exclusive, one-on-one interview with Cardinal Pell’ which will air on Friday morning on 2GB and Sky News.

Leigh Sales tweeted: If Cardinal Pell decides he no longer wants to honour his interview with Andrew Bolt, I’d be delighted to welcome him on 7.30 for a chat.’

I make this point: What Bolt said in essence is correct. In Tuesday’s evidence Pell again blamed everybody else. He was the most uninformed man on the planet. Everyone was so afraid of him they wouldn’t tell him a thing. Everyone knew but it was all hidden from him.

The evidence has not surprised anyone who has followed his evidence and his character over a long period. Was Bolt that naive, that ignorant, that this all comes as a surprise to him? His obliviousness matches that of the Cardinal.

Did he go to Rome with the intent of defending his friend of the right only to be informed of his culpability?

Bolt’s posture of blind ignorance is as hard to believe as is the Cardinal’s. It’s the greatest backflip since I, as 8-year-old, accidentally fell from the high tower at the Brunswick baths in 1950.

2 So much happens on a day-to-day basis that it’s difficult at times to keep abreast of it all. For example, you will recall that Tony Abbott wanted to be rid of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. The good news is that it is now not the Government’s agenda even though the Government could still call a double-dissolution election on the matter.

3 Speaking of Double Dissolutions the Senate Reform Bill now looks like being passed. Yes, a Bill that three days ago couldn’t possibly be changed, now with the support of the Greens has been amended in two significant ways. Yep we can move fast when it suits us. A 4 hour inquiry and a report 12 hours later did the trick.

Nothing like a quickie when you’re frustrated.

4 Now, more about that 50/50 Essential Poll. This Poll is important. A Facebook friend explains:

‘The thing about the Essential Poll is that it is a rolling poll it averages out over several polls. So the 50 – 50 result in this survey compares to the 52 – 48 to the LNP in the last one. Then that necessitates that the raw figures are a whole lot worse for the LNP than even these numbers suggest. I would love to see what those number are!!!!  So the Essential Research rolling aggregate records an unusually sharp move away from the Coalition, and finds strong support for Senate reform legislation.

The normally placid Essential Research fortnightly rolling average records a rare two-point shift on two-party preferred this week, which eliminates a settled 52-48 lead for the Coalition over previous weeks. Particularly remarkable is a three-point increase in the Labor primary vote, from 35% to 38%, although the Coalition is down only one to 43%, and the Greens are steady on 10%.’

5 Essential also features is a very detailed question on Senate reform, in which the legislation was explained to respondents in meticulous detail, producing a result of 53% approval and 16% disapproval.

6 A question on election timing finds 56% wanting the election held later this year versus 23% who want it called early, although the distinction is an increasingly fine one.

7 Also featured: most important election issues (health topping the list, followed by economic and cost-of-living concerns), best party to handle them (Labor for industrial relations and environment, Coalition for national security and the economy, although Labor has a slight lead on housing affordability) and perceptions of the parties as right or left-wing (indicating Labor is seen as more centrist than the Coalition, although there is little sense that this has changed in recent years).

Essential conducts it’s polling weekly and is accompanied by a survey. For me the stand out figure in its surveys is always the very high ‘Don’t know’ answers.

8 This month in 2013 the then Prime Minister said: ‘There is a budget emergency.’

Since then:

The deficit has doubled.

Net debt is up 59.8 billion.

Spending is at GFC levels.

Unemployment is up 74,500

Wages growth is at an all-time low.

9 There will be many in the Labor Party happy to see the back of the much hated Union backed Catholic Senator Joe Bullock. His replacement, ‘the father of reconciliation’ Pat Dobson is an excellent replacement. One MP summed up his feelings saying:

‘Good riddance to the big fat rat.’

Bullock got the Senator’s position with a factional stitch up mired in controversy at the time. He is well-known as being anti things not Catholic.

My thought for the day.

‘Leadership is a combination of traits that etch the outlines of life and grow over time. They govern moral choices and demonstrate empathy toward others. It is far better for those with these qualities to lead rather than follow. In fact it is incumbent on them.’

 

Day to Day Politics: Hunting with hypocrisy.

Thursday 11 February 2016

1 The news that Greg Hunt has received an award as ‘Best Minister in the World’ will be received with much scepticism by many Australians. Even hilarity.

Mr Hunt told Fairfax Media he was “genuinely humbled” by the prize, but noted “this is really an award for Australia”.

The criteria for winning the award, according to the organisers, is that the minister should lead quality successful initiatives that serve the needs of citizens.

Any economist, environmentalist or climate scientist or journalist specialising in the subject would be aghast that a person who has done so much harm to environmental policy could be honoured with an award.

Politics in this country is rapidly turning to farce. First we make Philip Ruddock our Human Rights Envoy, and now this!

Internationally, in environmental gatherings Hunt is referred to as the man for all seasons. He has long been admired for his ability to put the case for Direct Action without ever explaining exactly how it might work. Or how it might be paid for.

He gained a masters with honours in 1990 with a brilliantly argued thesis for a carbon tax to reduce carbon emissions. Then he did an about turn when Abbott gained power supporting Direct Action. It was then that he lost all credibility and has been ridiculed ever since.

There is an award at every climate summit called ‘The Fossil of the Day’. The award is given by the international Climate Action Network to the country which has done the most to block progress at the climate change negotiations.

We are a regular recipient of this award.

2 The Polls are beginning to reveal the electorate’s disapproval of the government’s pathetic handling of the GST proposal and general Tax Reform.

It has become so silly that the State Ministers and Chief Ministers had to recently cancel a meeting on tax reform because they had no idea what on earth they should be talking about.

Essential this week has the Coalition 51/49 and Morgan 52.5/47.5.

“Morgan finds serious slippage in support for the Coalition for the first time since Malcolm Turnbull became leader, bringing it more closely into line with Essential Research, which continues to find the Coalition with a narrow lead. Morgan also finds serious slippage in support for the Coalition for the first time since Malcolm Turnbull became leader, bringing it more closely into line with Essential Research, which continues to find the Coalition with a narrow lead.’’

An observation:

Is it morally sustainable that in order to protect our borders that we should allow the indefinite incarceration of people? The sexual abuse of children. The rape of women and the murder of men. If it is so then by any fair judgement we must be a decadent society.

3 Health Minister Susan Ley said her department may outsource Government healthcare payments using innovative high-tech methods. I’m ok with that provided substantial safeguards are built-in and the work is conducted within Australia.

But the continuous floating of thought bubbles on top of an as yet unexplained narrative of why all these changes are warranted, is disconcerting.

4 The Stuart Robert scandal is taking a highly familiar road to nowhere. We have to wait on yet another report. The AFP are still to report on Mal Brough. We are still waiting on the report on parliamentary expenses and ICACs ruling on Arthur Sinodinos. Mounting a paper bill that might yet keep the paper mill in Morwell open. It is struggling because the government won’t buy its Reflex copy paper.

That aside, with the imminent retirement of Nationals leader Truss and Trade Minister Andrew Robb, Turnbull faces a nightmare of a cabinet reshuffle.

5 The ABC made a mistake in falsely reporting that a 5-year-old had been raped on Nauru. When it confirmed an error had been made it apologised. And correctly so.

I made the following remark on a Facebook debating site:

It’s a pity other news sources didn’t apologise when they make mistakes.

The following transpired:

Jack: Perhaps you could lead by example, John.

Me: Healthy thing to do, Jack.

Jack: You would be busy for quite some time bringing things up to date.

Me: How long do you think it would take Bolt, Jack?

Jack: I don’t believe Bolt lies – in fact the press would rip into him if he did. And that is irrelevant. We are talking about you.

Me: Two court cases and the Press Council think he does, Jack.

Me again: It would be a good idea if all media outlets corrected their errors.

Jack: Well that means nothing until proven guilty and I know you’re spreading lies and bullshit every time you post.

Jack again: We are talking about you, John Lord. Like all lefties you love to deflect and not take responsibility for your own actions.

Me: Two courts found him guilty of lying and the press council asked him to retract.

Jack: We are talking about you, John Lord. Like all lefties you love to deflect and not take responsibility for your actions.

Me: Jack, you are talking about me. I am not.

Jack: Like I said you deflect and won’t take responsibility for your actions.

Me: What am I deflecting from, Jack? All I suggested that it was a good idea for media outlets to own up when they make a mistake.

Geoff: Send them a terse letter, John. Let us know the response.

Jack: You are deflecting from my comment you should lead by example.

Rohan: That’s the AIMN guy’s modus operandi. Call all the media liars and de-flectors, then double down on lying and deflecting. Shouldn’t be surprised, Jack. It’s the only way they can cobble together their contrarian views.

An observation:

Social media has opened the world to a new method of communication. Unfortunately it has also given a voice to the nutters.

I recalled some lines from an old West Indian folk song:

‘It was as clear as mud and it covered the ground. And the confusion made me brain go round.’

6 Former PM Tony Abbott has warned disenchanted voters may be tempted to “flirt” with extreme right-wing parties.

What was it he was leading?

7 Gillian Triggs is reported as saying that the PM reversed a decision to include her on the selection panel for the sex discrimination commissioner and was not consulted about Ruddock being appointed Human Rights envoy:

My Thought for the day:

Never be burdened by the negativity of others. Wear positively as if your life depended on it’.

 

Day to Day Politics. We have two Prime Ministers. Get used to it.

Friday 11 December

1 Tony Abbott as opposition leader was considered by many commentators as the best ever. What criteria they used for making this judgement is beyond my comprehension. He was however, successful at grabbing headlines with slogans.

How anyone could be judged efficacious by being constantly negative, sexist, ill-mannered and devoid of any policies is difficult to understand.

For me his negativity and lying made him unfit for public service.

That said, he did become Prime Minister. Then something truly remarkable happened in Australian politics. The Australian Prime Minister who was as opposition leader a person devoid of character, attempted a personality conversion to rival nothing hitherto seen in an Australian leader.

During his tenure as opposition leader he used colourful aggressive language. He was bullish in his attitude to others, particularly to the female Prime Minister of the day. His negativity was legendary. He was a repetitive liar by evidence and by his own admission. He held in contempt procedures of the House of Representatives and the conventions it upheld.

Prior to becoming opposition leader his reputation was of someone with a gutter mentality determined to obtain power at any cost.

One month into his term of office we were expected to believe that he had transformed into a mild-mannered, cultured man of some distinction. Walking the global stage as a gentleman with noble intent.

We were expected to put to one side the old Tony Abbott and embrace the new one with unbridled fondness.

We now know the attempt was an abysmal failure.

So lacking in leadership skills was his performance that his party did something it had never done before. They sacked him.

In his farewell speech he indicated that there would be no recriminations, no back stabbing or gossip. In true Abbott style he was just telling more lies. Just laying the groundwork for a future comeback. Well in his eyes anyway.

Every utterance since gives every indication that rather than exit the door of public service with dignity and grace, he plans to hang around, write opinion pieces, make speeches and generally make life as hard for Turnbull as he possibly can.

He intends to be himself, offering an alternative, probably negative view on everything. It almost seems like he has elected himself as the de facto PM in waiting for a bunch of weird right-wing supporters whose world view is a relic of a time long past.

From now on we should become used to Turnbull promoting his and his government’s views followed by Abbott’s conservative version of the same thing.

And I don’t think it will be just the occasional comment. He will adopt his opposition style of gutterish, in your face politics. He will say that we play our politics hard and in his own deluded way pretend that in some strange way it is legitimate.

Should make for exciting times. Andrew Bolt will of course appoint himself to the position of media advisor.

2 Australia wins ‘fossil of the day’ for Julie Bishop’s coal speech at Paris climate talks.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has told a sideline event at the climate talks in Paris that there is a long future ahead for fossil fuels.

At an Indonesian event on transitioning to a low-carbon economy, Ms Bishop indicated long-term change would come not through immediate action, but through as-yet-undiscovered or undeveloped technologies.

Technological breakthroughs and innovation will drive much of the change that will underpin the transition to a low-carbon economy.

That means coal-fired power generation is here to stay,” she said.

Ms Bishop went on to underline the importance of fossil fuels for economic growth.

Fossil fuels will remain critical to promoting prosperity, growing economies, alleviating hunger for years to come,” she said.

It is a fact that energy is a mainstay of our respective countries’ export markets and underpins economic growth.

3 As if to empathise the so-called ‘Broad church’ absurdity of the Liberal Party,  Bronwyn Bishop says she will recontest her seat of Mackellar, telling Liberal Party supporters on Sydney’s northern beaches that the “threat of terrorism” had convinced her she needs to remain in Parliament.

The 73 year-old former Speaker told guests at a Christmas drinks party at her Newport home on Tuesday evening that she had been “exonerated” over the “choppergate” expenses scandal and was energised to serve another three-year term as an MP.

4 Diagnosed with early onset dementia young Wyatt Roy says he can’t recall asking Peter Slipper’s staffer James Ashby to illegally copy his official diaries.

5 In Victoria the acting Auditor-General Peter Frost found the business case for the East West Link:

. . . did not provide a sound basis for the government’s decision to commit to the investment.

Key decisions during the project’s planning, development and procurement phases were driven by an overriding sense of urgency to sign the contract before the November 2014 state election. Signing the contract in these circumstances was imprudent and exposed the state to significant cost and risk.

6 I quite liked these lines, amongst others from Bernard Keane on the Abbott prescription from Islam:

“Islam never had its own version of the Reformation and the Enlightenment,” Abbott wrote in the Telegraph.

“It’s commendably broad-minded of Abbott to suggest that the two signal anti-Catholic events of the last 500 years were such good things that Islam should ape them. But perhaps Muslims in the Mediaeval era were too busy developing algebra, inventing effective surgical techniques, revolutionising optical theory, understanding that the Earth revolved around the sun, trading with China, discovering coffee and keeping key classical texts that the West had lost so they could be rediscovered in later centuries, to fit in a Reformation.”

“Oh, and the Reformation had a death toll in the millions as Europe tore itself apart over nuances in superstition, including perhaps 11 million casualties in the Thirty Years’ War, during which the population of many German states was reduced by up to 40%. Is that what Abbott has in mind for Muslims?”

And on that subject the Grand Mufti says Tony Abbott’s call for Islamic Reformation plays into extremists’ hands by conflating Islam with terror. He is correct of course.

7 The unemployment rate fell to 5.8 per cent in November after the jobs market added another 71,400 positions to October’s extraordinary gain of almost 60,000.

The only negative is that the ABS is still working on its methodology. These don’t add up.

Read this summary by John Kelly.

MY THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

“Our lives should be subject to constant reflection, otherwise the way forward is locked into the constraints of today’s thoughts”.

PS: IT REALLY DOES HELP IF YOU SHARE. Thanks.

 

Day to Day Politics. Climate Change: A lay person’s dilemma

Wednesday 9 December.

1 The Paris Climate talks are now in their third week. The coverage of this most important and crucial event in the Australian media has been simply sickening. Only the ABC, The Guardian and Fairfax have given it the treatment it so earnestly deserves. Murdoch has given it little coverage.

In a piece for THE AIMN I said this:

“How does the layperson like me reach a view on such subjects without any formal training? It’s simple. There are many areas (medicine for example) that I don’t have a deep analytical grasp. Like many others I listen to experts, apply common sense, observation and what my life experience tells me. It is not difficult to understand a theory. Generally people assume that a theory (for example the theory of evolution) is something unproven”.

In the scientific world, a theory is something that has evolved to fit known facts.

Conversely, those who deny Climate Change and the overwhelming scientific consensus seek to justify their belief by attaching themselves to a minority of science deniers with obscure qualifications or worse, to right-wing shock jocks and journalists with no scientific training what so ever. These people have no way of evaluating the volume of data produced by the various scientific institutions. One of the most outspoken deniers (Andrew Bolt) has, in recent times, been found guilty of deceptive lying in that he defamed some white skinned aboriginals. The Press Council also made him correct misleading figures in one of his articles. One has to wonder how many he has told when writing about his favourite topic climate change.

So for the layperson the choice is to listen to the science or default to the opinions of the Bolts of this world.

And in Paris the latest news is that the world’s biggest climate polluters rallied around a stronger target for limiting warming on Monday, saying they were open to the 1.5C goal endorsed by the most vulnerable countries.

In the final push to a climate agreement, the US, Canada, China and the European Union declared they were now on board with demands from African countries to adopt an even more ambitious goal to limit warming.

Now they are taking it seriously. Julie Bishop must be wetting herself.

2 Guardian Australia has two years to prove itself commercially viable according to a headline in Tuesday’s Australian. Now that a bit of a shocker coming from a newspaper that loses 25 million annually. If fact the only reason it is still in business is because of the power it yields. It has very little public readership but is the go to source for every conservative commentator in the country. It will die with Murdoch.

An observation.

‘It is a pity that fact in journalism cannot be made compulsory and decency legislated’.

3 Joe Hockey has said if he did not retire from the Parliament he would have been focused on “getting even with people” who contributed to his downfall as treasurer. What a shocking indictment of politics in general and his party in particular.

4 Donald Trump wants to close the United States borders to Muslims.

“Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people who believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” the billionaire real estate developer said.

I wonder if that should also apply to adults entering schools. Maybe tattoos next.

5 The Vladimir Putin Shirtfront won the Insiders Matt Price award in 2014. This year it was given to Christopher Pyne for his ‘I’m a fixer’ comment. There were some excellent entries. Abbott got the most nominations with his onion eating (without tears) act. Knighthoods, Good government starts today and in my opinion he should have been on a winner when he outrageously said that his ministers were performing fantastically well and it was all due to his magnificent leadership. Oh I forgot one. ‘Good government starts today’ Others nominated were Hockey’s ‘Just get a job. ’Scott Morrison for ‘There’s a boom up there’ Bronwyn Bishop ‘It was within the guidelines’ Then there were mentions of ministers with large packages, even snakes. There were many others but for the breadth of its audacity I’ll stick with my choice.

6 Now here is a conspiracy theory to end them all. Tony Abbott was toppled by Malcolm Turnbull, not because of gross incompetence. According to climate sceptic Christopher Monckton it was the UN who brought down Tony Abbott because of his anti-global warming views.

Wrong of course but he tells the truth about Abbott’s denialism.

MY THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

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

PS. Early warning. Day to Day in Politics will be taking a break over the Christmas and New Year Periods. I will however be posting some of my short stories, poetry and other things of interest.

 

George Brandis obviously wants two laws

Oh, shoot me, please.

Attorney General George Brandis has:

. . . hit out at criticism of Tony Abbott’s religious beliefs, describing the “ridicule” to which the former prime minister was subjected as “bigotry at its most shameless”.

He is further quoted as saying:

“The incessant sneering and ridiculing of the former prime minister, Mr Abbott, on account of his religious faith was bigotry at its most shameless – made worse, if possible, by the added hypocrisy of the fact that many of those who engaged in that sneering were the very same people who like to pose as the enemies of bigotry.”

Hypocrisy! Oh dear.

This is the same George Brandis who in 2014 (in defence of Andrew Bolt, one assumes) declared that:

”People do have a right to be bigots, you know,” Senator Brandis said.

“People have the right to say things that other people would find insulting, offensive or bigoted.”

So who is the hypocrite, George?

It seems that there are two laws in this country: one for ‘them’ and one for ‘us’.

You can count me as one of ‘us’.

Bill Shorten takes climate change seriously, so guess who isn’t happy with him?

‘The frontline of climate change’ was the appealing subject of the email I received from Labor this morning. It read:

We often talk about what effects climate change will have on our economy, or on agricultural land, or how many more natural disasters we’re likely to suffer.

What we talk about less is how climate change is affecting some of our closest neighbours right now. And it’s devastating. The Papua New Guinea and island nations in the pacific are facing real, existential threats from climate change.

Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek and Richard Marles are visiting these islands this week and talking to people about life at the frontline of climate change.

This is an issue that isn’t going to go away – we’re likely to see and hear a lot more about it as the International Climate Change Conference in Paris approaches at the end of this month. We’ll keep you informed as much as we can.

Now you’d think that’d be a good thing. Here we have a group of politicians and a political party taking climate change seriously and placing it front and centre on the table. And added to that, they are engaging with counties that are most likely to be the first victims of rapid change.

In most countries this concern and their initiative would be applauded. But they might just happen to be countries where the Murdoch media doesn’t have the same influence as it does here. Instead of it being applauded, we see it derided. Andrew Bolt of The Herald Sun led the way:

LABOR leader Bill Shorten will test the honesty of journalists this week when he tours Pacific Islands he claims are drowning.

Will they dare report that most of the islands are in fact growing or stable? Or will they again prove they cannot be trusted to tell the truth about the global warming scare?

Shorten and deputy Tanya Plibersek plan to visit Kiribati and the Marshall Islands.

As the gullible Sydney Morning Herald announced: “Labor wants to put climate change at the centre of public debate in the run-up to a major United Nations summit in Paris later this year.

Sister paper The Daily Telegraph could only feature the story as one that will see ‘Bill Shorten . . . fly 16,000km on a private jet . . .’ and mock him with the image above with the caption ‘Labor overboard with private jet tour‘, while all that news.com.au wanted to tell us was that Bill Shorten danced awkwardly while in Kiribati with suggestions that it might give us a good reason to laugh at him.

One would think that the Murdoch media don’t like the idea of someone taking climate change seriously.

Personally, I’ve had it up to my teeth with the Murdoch media. How can any important issue or any non-Coalition politician get a fair run in this country while the Murdoch media has so much power and so many right-wing fanatics spreading the Murdoch gospel?

Abbott To Be Next High Commissioner To The United Kingdom?

Image from smh.com.au

Image from smh.com.au

OK, early last year when I told you that Malcolm Turnbull would be Prime Minister and lead the Liberals to the next election, I doubt that anybody believed me.

So when I tell you that Tony Abbott will be the next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, I suspect that many of you will find it difficult to believe.

“Tony?” you’ll be saying. “Our Tony giving up all that volunteer work with the fire brigade when he’s wanted to play fireman since he was a little boy? And leaving Australia for Britain where he’ll have precious few chances to wear his speedos? Impossible.”

“Besides,” you say. “He’s planning to come back. He’s probably gathering his storm troopers, putting on his Darth Vader mask and re-watching ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, all the while thinking that he can rid Australia once and for all of that troublesome republican if he can just master the Jedi mindtrick of making us all forget anything he’s ever said, like no cuts to health or education.”

“And,” you add, “what about poor Andrew Bolt. If he was heartbroken when Tony was dumped as PM, how will he cope if Mr Abbott leaves the country. His column will lose its edge and he’ll just become a blubbering, pathetic crybaby who won’t have the strength to continue his difficult juggling act of supporting Aussie values like a fair go for everyone and free speech, while arguing that anyone who disagrees with him shouldn’t be heard at all and that they’ve forfeited any rights by their refusal to join Team Australia.”

Yes, I understand. All true.

But just wait. The good wishes extended to Joe have mellowed our Tony. Even though he wasn’t there to see his old buddy’s farewell speech. Yep. Mr Abbott’s moving on to the next stage of grief – acceptance. He’s thinking how pleasant it is not to have your every move criticised. Time to lead a more sedate life as a High Commissioner.

Of course, how this will affect Margie’s business operations is a minor problem. Perhaps she can stay in Australia and he can stay in some police barracks in London. Or perhaps, Sir Philip of Edinburgh can put him up in one of the spare palaces … Whatever … Not important.

The important thing is that Abbott is going back to the mother country. As he said about his time over there in ‘Battlelines’, it’s like a homecoming.

Yes, just like with Mr Turnbull, I’m making it up.

And when it happens, it was just coincidence.

 

Why don’t they just go back to where they came from?

There was a protest against the proposed mosque in Bendigo.

I know this because, not only was it front page news this morning, but for the past few days various news sites -including the ABC – have been telling me that a protest was planned.

Well, estimates put the total number of protesters at about 600. And that includes the anti-racism protesters who went to protest the protest.

What other protest could get all that free lead-up publicity? Some of you lefties probably remember March in March and how extensively that was covered by the mainstream media. One can’t help but wonder why the Repulsive Right are given free advertising in the lead up to the event.

And, it’s not as though the organisers of the mosque protest were simply wishing to rid Australia of mosques. If they left their demands at “We can’t have Muslims in this country because they’re too intolerant”, I could simply say: So far, so hypocritical. But they want to silence lefties, greenies, Malcolm Turnbull and pretty much anyone who disagrees with them.

Racists we’re not racists, we hate everybody who isn’t part of our group … And even some of them are looking a bit dodgy lately. 

I could say that if they don’t like Bendigo’s laws – which after due process including an appeal to VCAT – allow a mosque to be built, why don’t these people go back where they came from? But I would never say such a thing because then I’d be a hypocryte.

And speaking of hypocrites. Do you remember the whole 18C thing? At least, I think it was 18C, it was a long time ago and like most people I’ve forgotten all about it. Now what was the problem?

That’s right. Andrew Bolt had been told that just because he wrote for a newspaper, he wasn’t allowed to make inaccurate claims when suggesting that people were claiming to be black for their own advantage. Or something like that. If I’ve got that wrong, I’m sure that I’ll have the same people springing to my defence saying that any attempt to demand accuracy is a flagrant violation of my first amendment right. (OK, I know we don’t have a first amendment right – or indeed any specific rights – in this country, but if Abbott can tell listeners that he’s taking the fifth amendment on Ray Hadley the other day, then what’s a little Americanisation between friends?)

Wasn’t the basic concern with 18C? Something like, if people (even people with a Dutch heritage) had to be concerned about whether their comment was racist – or accurate – then we were shutting down free speech. And remember the eloquent George Brandis when he reminded us:

“People do have a right to be bigots you know, In a free country people do have rights to say things that other people find offensive or insulting or bigoted.”

Mm, so I guess that’s why George Christensen felt it prudent to address a Reclaim Australia rally a few months ago. To reassure them that, even though the Liberals have gone cold on the whole repeal 18C thing, they still support people’s rights to be bigots.

But not everyone has the right to be a bigot or racist it seems. According to Tony Abbott in August, Bill Shorten shouldn’t be silent where racism is apparently present.

“This Leader of the Opposition is silent in the face of racism,” Abbott told us.

And according to a leaked copy of the script we’ll be seeing this ad from the Liberals:

The couple are watching the union attack ads on TV with the man’s parents.

Father: They’re at it again

Son: Who?

Father: A ratbag union in the building industry is running racist TV ads against the Chinese. Last year Bill Shorten was attacking the Japanese

Girlfriend: I thought Australia wasn’t like that?

Mother: Most Australians aren’t, love

Father: But some unions have been running racist campaigns for years

Son: Why doesn’t someone stop them?

Father: Bill Shorten should stop them.

Yep, that’s something that a lot of people agree on. Everything’s Bill’s fault… Although, I’m having trouble remembering Shorten attacking the Japanese. He did make reference to the fact that the last time we had Japs subs they were in Sydney Harbour which sounds more like one of his famous zingers than anything. I mean, it’s not as if he was actually critical of the Japanese for their attempted World War Two invasion, it was just an observation. He may have actually been praising them for their “skill and honour”, as the then PM, Tony Abbott did.

Ah, “as the then PM, Tony Abbott”. >Sigh<  Can’t wait to write “ex-PM” a few more times. By the way, did you see where he got a standing ovation from the NSW Liberals and Turnbull was heckled. And they mocked Labor, who only had Rudd working for his reinstatement. The Liberals seem to have a whole group who think that Shorten would be preferable to Turnbull.

But I digress …

Maybe instead of running a $25 million ad campaign, they should just invoke good ole 18C. Or would that be just too much of an about face?

Or is that if you tried to pin an actual racism charge on the CFMEU, you might find that trying to ensure that there’s adequate testing to make sure that jobs just don’t simply go to overseas workers has nothing to do with the race of the workers, and that the CFMEU would be attempting to ensure that they’re members were the ones getting the work even if the suggestion was that it would go to other Australians.

Whatever, I’d like someone to ask Mr Brandis whether the CFMEU have the right to be bigots or is it only Reclaim Australia and newspaper columnists?

 

My Thoughts on the Week That Was

Saturday 3 October

1 An observation:

“The exchange and intellectual debate of ideas needs to be re energised and it is incumbent on the young to become involved”.

2 Tony Abbott is the worst liar to ever have led our nation. His current round of radio interviews serves only to reinforce the public’s view of his lack of character, judgment and leadership.

3 Turnbull’s accession as Prime Minister seems to have cut the supply of crap to the shock jocks and other associated feral right wing commentators. It would be a shame if they went out of business altogether.

Turnbull’s focus on rhetoric at this early point is a sign only of a government acting carefully and slowly, as it should. It is no reason to be cynical. And his words are the right words, mostly; they give some reason for hope that Australian politics might be reinvented. I hope my side of politics is up to the challenge.

4 The news that Malcolm Turnbull plans to ditch Abbott’s harsh tone toward Muslims is to be welcomed. Abbott with disguised propaganda baited them at every opportunity.

5 Rosie Batty takes on Malcolm Turnbull over detention centers: “They must be shut down” she says. Of course she is right but he won’t act.

obama

6 I have never seen President Obama so angry. If ten people were killed in Australia, it would consume national attention for weeks. In America, the news cycle is likely to move on within days because fatal shootings have become almost routine. And that, in turn, is due to a complete failure by the political classes to change gun laws, even in the face of frequent tragedies and overwhelming evidence that gun restrictions work. The US might be the most technologically advanced country in the world but they are morally bankrupt.

Sunday 4 October

1 The most damaging indictment of Abbott’s post Prime Ministership comments so far is that he still believes his 2014 Budget was a fair one. He may have pledged there would be “no sniping” in his final prime ministerial conference. But he didn’t say anything about self-serving interviews, did he?

2 If Tony Abbott could justify having a Royal Commission into Unions for no other reason than political vindictiveness then surely Malcolm Turnbull should commence one into the Financial Planning of banks. How many lives have they destroyed as a result of bank corruption it makes Unions almost saintly?

3 Malcolm Turnbull’s managed to call a terrorist act by a 15 year off boy for what it was without vilifying Muslims and creating racist I’ll feeling. What a stark contrast to the manner in which Tony Abbott would have reacted.

4 Economic summits, Green papers, white papers, dunny papers, meetings, conferences, inquiries, advice, lobbyists, vested interests, ideology, budgets etc etc etc. Come on, Malcolm, it’s time for some action.

jeb5 Jeb Bush responds to Oregon mass shooting by saying “stuff happens“.

“Look, stuff happens. There’s always a crisis and the impulse is always to do something and it’s not always the right thing to do”.

Bad stuff happened in the Bush family. That’s for sure.

6 It looks like only two refugees will now be settled in Cambodia at a cost of $55 million. Your taxes at work.

Monday 4 October

1 Dick Smith says Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be “ratting on typical Australians who pay their tax” if the Coalition goes through with plans to shield large private companies from having to disclose how much tax they pay. Their excuse is that disclosing their tax affairs would place them at risk of kidnapping and ransom attempts. What bull.

2 A phone hook up with Muslim leaders the PM and other concerned parties following the shooting by a 15 year… old boy has impressed the Muslim community. A bit different to Tony’s approach.

3 Switching from Insiders to The Bolt Report on Sunday was an experience. Mind you, I only lasted five minutes. It has transformed into the anti-Muslim anti-Turnbull hour. I think he realises Turnbull’s natural inclination toward thoughtful intellectualism and reason will be unsuited to his particular audience.

4 An observation:

“We expect democracy but we don’t demand it”.

5 State governments are being encouraged by Morrison and Coreman to open up the delivery of health and education services to the private sector. Private enterprise might do a lot of things better than government but it should never be let near health and education. When profit becomes the sole motivator the system fails everyone. They adhere to the privatisation of everything.

Tuesday 6 October

1 Andrew Bolt is reported to have said. “I have never understood why Rosie Battie is an oracle on violence against Women”. Invites a rhetorical question doesn’t it? Anyone dare me.

2 Water has been discovered on Mars. The bigger question however, given the way the affairs of life are conducted is – is there any intelligence on earth?

3 Isn’t it a pity that Peter Dutton couldn’t pursue the perpetrators of violence against asylum seekers on Nauru with the same vigor he shows for whistle blowers.

And now we are told that the Nauru government says 600 refugee claims to be processed in a week. Really, how is that possible? Does that mean that they will become permanent residents of Nauru? They won’t be settled in Australia. Where else could they go? What an immoral cop-out by an immoral Government. A life sentence on an island that has no future.

4 Tony Abbott didn’t lose the leadership of the Liberal Party because he was a failure or because he was “a woman hater” or a “crash-through insensitive bully with no people skills” or “too loyal” or “a homophobe”.

The real reason was because he listened to people like, Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones, Janet Albrechtson, Miranda Devine, Dennis Shanahan, Paul Kelly, Chris Kenny, Tom Switzer, Gerard Henderson, Paul Sheehan, News Corp editor Col Allan, The Australian editor-in-chief Steve Lewis, Michael Smith and Maurice Newman. Whoops, I nearly left out Rubert and the IPA?

Then he wondered why middle Australia could only conclude that he was the weirdo they always suspected he was. That’s why Abbott failed, and you don’t have to be a leftie – not even a little bit – to think so.

5 Morgan Polling has the LNP a mile in front of Labor at 56/44.

Wednesday 7 October

1 Hate to be cynical but the US has never signed a Trade Agreement that hasn’t in the first instance advantaged them. All the countries involved have said that they are winners which of course by definition is impossible. It is said that the agreement captures 40% of world GDP but no one mentions that 25% of that belongs to the US. Looking forward to the fine print. And because no independent assessment has been made how do we know the truth of its supposed benefits? As the saying goes; Look for the devil in the detail.

2 It seems Tony offered Malcolm the US Ambassadorship earlier this year. So he knew he was in danger only a year into his term.

3 The Prime Minister says it is inevitable that Sunday penalty rates will have to be cut. Why? The tourist sector has grown by 13%. Someone’s doing something right.

4 To those who have interpreted my support of the change in Government as pro Turnbull let me say this: My personal political philosophy is and has always been centred on the common good. I am particularly adhered to the following: “each according to her/his ability, to each according to her/his need”. Only the Left can deliver on that.

5 A billion dollars on armored combat vehicles. I thought we had a spending problem. Oh, I see; it’s just on things like education and health.

6 Tuesday’s weekly Essential Poll has the LNP 52% and Labor 48%.

Thursday 8 October

1 Malcolm Turnbull has always been a user of public transport. It is hoped that this form of mass transport might get a higher priority by his government than the silly conservative ideology that only supports roads.

2 Tony Abbott confident his time as PM will be ‘well appreciated’ as time goes by. We might need a search party though.

3 Liberal MPs believe the party’s federal director Brian Loughnane is set to resign in the wake of the recent leadership spill. Mr Loughnane is married to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s chief of staff Peta Credlin. Given her performance I suppose his position also had to become untenable. A Nutt job is set to replace him.

4 America spends more on defence than the rest of the world combined and is the largest manufacturer and supplier of arms. At the same time it is expected to act as the world’s policeman. How is it possible?

5 Clean energy investment has risen by 8 per cent in the US, 12 per cent in Japan, and 35 per cent in China last year alone. In Australia, however, under the Abbott Government’s overtly pro-fossil fuel/anti-renewables stance, it went backwards by 35 per cent.

Investment in large-scale renewable projects fell by a staggering 88 per cent. Two million jobs were created in the renewable sector globally while Australia’s clean energy sector contracted over the same period, shedding 2300 full-time positions.

An observation:

“In terms of the environment. I wonder what price the people of tomorrow will pay for the stupidity of today”.

6 on the same subject. Rival banks are under pressure to match the ANZs tough new lending policy on coal.

An observation:

“We all incur a cost for the upkeep of our health. Why then should we not be liable for the cost of a healthy planet”.

7 I read this morning that gay marriage would deliver a boost to the national economy worth at least $500 million a year in additional weddings alone, a major bank has calculated. Perhaps Conservatives should treat it as an economic issue. Then they might pass it.

Friday 9 October

1 Three weeks into a change of leader and the angst has gone out of Australian politics. My anxiety level has decreased. The shock jocks have so far lost their absurdity and a quieter discourse has developed. The Labor Party is even announcing policy.

2 Bill Shorten unveils an ambitious well-thought out plan to turbo-charge major public works infrastructure projects. These will include such contested developments as the $11 billion Melbourne Metro urban rail project – to which federal Labor had already committed – and Sydney’s Airport to Badgerys Creek line.

The full list:

Brisbane’s Cross River Rail Light Rail on the Gold Coast The planning work on the Ipswich Motorway, from Darra to Rocklea Fast-tracking the Pacific and Bruce Highway packages Airport Rail for Badgerys Creek, connecting the Western and South lines The Melbourne Metro Upgrading Tasmania’s Midland Highway Investing in public transport in Perth, such as the Metronet plan The Gawler Line electrification.

3 Hillary Clinton now opposes the Trans Pacific Partnership. Something she was instrumental in setting up. It’s the drugs component that concerns her. It concerns me also and it’s about bloody time the Government let us in on what’s in this contentious deal.

4 Turnbull is still in trouble on the Climate front. Hunt and Abbott wanted to get rid of the Climate Change Authority altogether but now it seems it may get a reprieve. Only problem is that they are stacking the board with members sympathetic to the Coalition. The authority’s former chair, Bernie Fraser resigned last month and had described the government’s post-2020 carbon reduction efforts – a pledge to cut 2005-level carbon emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030 – as putting the country “at or near the bottom” of comparable countries.

An observation:

“Personally, I find the most objectionable feature of conservative attitude is its propensity to reject well-substantiated new knowledge, science in other words, because it dislikes some of the consequences which follow from it”.

5 The Smorgon family has topped the 2015 “BRW Rich Families List”, with estimated wealth of $A2.74bn. The combined fortunes of the 50 families on the 2015 list is $A41.18bn, compared with $A40.1bn in 2014. Many families on the list are expanding into the property development sector, after making their fortunes in other industries.

There are families and then there are families.

6 Could it be that Asylum Seekers on Nauru will end up in the Philippines?

7 Murdoch suggests US President Barack Obama is not a ‘real black person’. That’s not bad coming from someone you would hardly describe as really human.

the week that was

And this is the week that was.

Interview With Mr Rabbit After Mr Bull Has Taken Over!

Andrew Boar Column

Why The Removal Of Mr Rabbit Is A Tragedy Not Just For The Farm But The Worst Thing To Happen To This Country Since… Well Actually Nothing Worse Has Ever Happened!

Now that Mr Rabbit is gone I can finally tell the truth about him. Folks, you made a big mistake.

No, no. The mistake wasn’t that you voted for him.

In fact, you got one of the finest animals ever to be in charge of the Farm. As my boss Mr Fox, the other finest being to have ever lived, said “He’s a decent rabbit!” Far too decent for the job which requires the sort of animal cunning that Mr Bull has displayed in ripping the job from his hands.

And I know some of you will say that I’m just saying this because he’s my friend. But the truth is that he’s my friend because I’m saying this.

He’s had a rotten couple of weeks. In spite of stopping the goats and removing the tax on animal droppings, the animals have deposed him. And it wasn’t even all the animals. Just the ones he thought had his back.

Little did he realise that was where they were going to sink the knives and that they were only behind him so that he wouldn’t suspect.

Yet how glorious was he in defeat. While other defeated leaders of our farm have rushed out and congratulated the winner quickly, Mr Rabbit took fourteen hours to compose a speech that rivals the Gettsburg address or Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech.

“Quite a crowd here today, thank you for being here.

“This is not an easy day for many animals  in this building. Leadership changes are never easy for this country. My pledge today is to make this change as easy as I can. There will be no wrecking, no undermining, and no sniping. Quite unlike the other people who’ve become Head Farm Animal.

“I have consistently said in opposition and in government that being the Head Animal is not an end in itself – it’s about the animals you serve. And how you prepare and cook them. Of course, sometimes there have been complaints that it was only the chickens that were being served and that some of the better fed animals were just getting fatter. Certainly, I reject this because without fatter animals people would have nothing to aspire to.”

He went on to list his many achievements and to thank people before quietly hiding in the barn so that Mr Bull could get on with the job without the focus being on the unscrupulous way he seized power.

Fortunately the time for silence is over and Mr Rabbit is again showing that he keeps his word by giving me this interview and demonstrating that, in all of this nastiness, he’s still the bigger animal.

Boar -Thanks for joining me, Mr Rabbit.

Mr Rabbit – Oh come on, we’re friends. You can call me “sir”.

Boar – I can’t tell you how impressed I am by the way you’ve handled yourself over the past… Well, you’ve always impressed me. You’re just wonderful, but the way you haven’t done anything to undermine the current leader has been a credit to you.

Mr Rabbit – Well thanks, Andrew, and just let me say that I’ve always been pretty good. I’ve been prepared to own up to my mistakes unlike some people who are now leading the farm and I’ve been committed to improving things around here, so I didn’t expect to be stabbed in the back.

Boar – So you feel Mr Bull stabbed you in the back?

Mr Rabbit – They’re your words, not mine. I’d just urge all the animals to now get behind Mr Bull no matter how hard it is to get behind such a two-faced hypocrite. After all, the thing that matters is that we all work together to improve things. I’ve always encouraged cooperation and it’s only been those who’ve disagreed with me that have stopped this being one big, happy team.

Boar – So you don’t feel bitter at all?

Mr Rabbit – No, Andrew, just disappointed when we’ve done exactly what we criticised Julia Rhode Island and Kevin Rooster for doing. And let me add we were absolutely right to criticise them for doing something as idiotic and undemocratic as replacing their leader because of poor polling… But I don’t mean this as a criticism of Mr Bull.

Boar – You’ve forgiven him?

Mr Rabbit – If I say “no comment”, that’ll be blown up and put in tomorrow’s news, so I’d rather not say “no comment” and just leave it at that.

Boar – So you have forgiven him then?

Mr Rabbit – No comment.

Boar – What if you’d acted on the concerns about Joe Hoggey and Peta Peahen?

Mr Rabbit – Look, it’s a bit of a myth that if it’d removed either of them that animals keen for advancement would have been satisfied. Peta was doing an excellent job and Mr Hoggey had my loyalty.

Boar – What are your future plans?

Mr Rabbit – Well, I plan to do lots of interviews like this one where I urge my supporters to get behind Mr Bull – even if they don’t like him because we know that deep down he’d be prepared to work with those chickens who ruined our farm. 

Boar – Well, I for one wish to tell you how your removal has just broken my heart and I just hope that one day we all wake up and realise what we’ve tossed away.

Mr Rabbit – Could you repeat that last bit? It sort of got lost when you threw your face on the floor at my feet.

Boar – I just said that this is a time of great sorrow and I’m not sure that I can continue with the interview because I can’t see to read my questions through the tears.

It was a shame that we had to end it there, but I’m thinking that I could offer to help write a book on Mr Rabbit’s time as Farm Leader where we remind people of his achievements and his great humility.

This farm has rejected and despised a great rabbit. You should all have a good hard look at yourself. And I don’t mean in the mirror, Mr Bull!

 

Abbott, Bolt And The Stages Of Grief

Most people will have heard about Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and the five stages of grief. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been having trouble working out where Tony Abbott in terms of what stage he’s at.

Listening to some of his comments, I have to conclude that he’s just like he’s always been: all over the place and not at all consistent.

Then we also have his great friend Andrew Bolt. Bolt is easier because, consistent with nearly everything else in his writing, he’s fluctuating between the denial and anger stages. I call Bolt, Abbott’s friend because that’s exactly what Bolt wrote earlier this week.

“See, I don’t think Abbott is a great man because he’s my friend. He’s my friend because he’s a great man.”

So, in Bolt’s world, greatness is a prerequisite before you attain his friendship. Mm, anyway back to Mr Abbott.

Evidence of the first stage is everywhere.

Denial — The first reaction is denial. In this stage individuals believe the diagnosis is somehow mistaken, and cling to a false, preferable reality.

This explains his non-attendance in Parliament, although this could be more consistent with a much later stage, depression:

Depression — “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?” During the fourth stage, the individual becomes saddened by the mathematical probability of death. In this state, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time mournful and sullen.

The denial stage also explains his rather bizarre interview with Ray Hadley where he expalined that he could have won the next Federal election because – in spite of a losing poll streak resembling The Generals against the Harlem Globetrotters – people were going to change their minds and vote for him in the only poll that counts. Just look at the great result in the Canning by-election. A mere seven percent swing. The change to Turnbull had no effect. No sir, I, Tony the Great would have achieved a similar result.

And in the same interview, we have a swing to stage two:

Anger — When the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue, it becomes frustrated, especially at proximate individuals. Certain psychological responses of a person undergoing this phase would be: “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; ‘”Who is to blame?”; “Why would this happen?”.

According to Tony, the forces plotting against him knew that they had to move before Canning because if they waited, there’d be no reason for a change. A mere seven percent swing would have been viewed as time to pop the champagne and dance in the street. As for replacing Credlin or Hockey, well, it was a myth that doing that would have changed things. You see, this was brought about by individuals “keen for advancement”. It was nothing to do with his performance because, well, none of the policies have changed.

See, it wasn’t because of his performance as Prime Minister that anyone moved against him, The lack of a change in policy just proves what a commendable job he was doing. Said quickly this sounds all right, although to me it’s a bit like a sacked policeman arguing that the law hasn’t changed so there was no reason to remove me from my job. Actually, it’s probably more like a sacked football coach telling us that the game plan hasn’t changed in the week since his sacking so the score is irrelevant.

As for the other two stages, let’s start with stage three:

Bargaining — The third stage involves the hope that the individual can avoid a cause of grief. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek compromise.

Mm, now isn’t this what he did when he survived his “near death experience” back in February? “Give me another six months and I’ll change. I’ll turn things around. Just give me another chance.”

Of course, the final stage, acceptance, doesn’t seem to have happened unless one counts his speech the day after his party room defeat. You know, the one where he promised no “sniping”. Still, this one does take time and maturity, so I don’t expect to see it in the days before Christmas.

But I’ll let Andrew Bolt have the final word:

“Those I love best are people of honour, warmth and kindness.

“Tony Abbott is one such man, and that he has been betrayed and deposed doesn’t just break my heart. It makes me fear for this country. I can only hope that Australians will one day wake up to what they’ve tossed away.

“Sorry to sound so melodramatic, but here are some glimpses of the man I know — ones that put the lie to the trash that even big-name correspondents peddled about him.

“A woman hater? Ask his daughters or female chief of staff. Ask the many women on his staff, so loyal that he had one of the lowest turnovers of modern prime ministers.”

Yeah, sort of gives new meaning to the term “hard right”…

Actually, I wonder why his wife was left of the list of people to ask in that “woman hater” paragraph.

 

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