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Tony Abbott’s overwhelming self-belief is astonishing to behold

Tony Abbott’s overwhelming self-belief is astonishing to behold

On Saturday, he wrote an article in the Australian which clearly indicates he believes the country, and the Liberal Party, will see the error of their ways and embrace the work he started during his short-lived and spectacularly unsuccessful stint in the top job.

He wants the Renewable Energy Target abolished.

He wants to increase GST to tax consumption rather than production.

He wants the company tax cuts fast-tracked.

He wants to get “taxes down and regulation down so that we can get productivity and profitability up.”

He wants “a ferocious clamp on all new spending other than that with a clear growth (or necessary national security) dividend.”

He gave Turnbull a serve saying that Trump’s election is a “good opportunity for the government not just to talk about agility but actually to be agile.”

He points out things have gotten worse under Malcolm.

“Although the government is in a worse position that it was 18 months ago to embark on a new round of major economic reform…”

And castigates Turnbull for not sticking with Abbott’s agenda

“…Our economic reform challenge is becoming more acute,” Mr Abbott wrote. “It’s a pity that Malcolm Turnbull abandoned the tax reform and federation reform white papers that had been well under way under my government. This process was the best hope of securing a shift from taxing production to taxing consumption and for making government more efficient.”

Either Abbott has the memory of a goldfish or a pope-like belief in his own infallibility.

It would be a huge mistake to reward this sort of public dissent with a Cabinet position. Is Turnbull strong enough to stare him down?

We shall see.

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  1. Ella Miller

    “Is Turnbull strong enough to stare him down”

    Perhaps if it was only one person Turnbull ‘had to stare down’ ,
    he might be able to.
    But I fear that there are forces working in the background that are strong and large enough to embolden this failed priest.
    His mother did say that he would either be the Pope or the Prime Minister.
    Well he failed at being the PM.
    Perhaps he should set his sights on more sacred things like the Vatican…he would fit in well with Cardinal Pell et al.

  2. Paolo Soprani

    Although I would very much like to see it for entertainment value if nothing else, Tony Abbott is finished completely. Malcolm Turnbull will never appoint him to a Cabinet position. Whatever else he may be, he is political poison and probably not the full quid – sadly. With him as a Minister, The dreadful Coalition’s electoral prospects would plummet even further.

  3. Henry Rodrigues

    The Liberal party bloodletting is well and truly on. If it wasn’t at the tragic neglect of good management of the country and our economy, one would applaud and watch the whole gory spectacle of two useless men trying to measure who has the biggest reproductive organ, and wish they’d both just disappear. But we cannot afford this luxury and so the only alternative is for our be-knighted honourable Governor General to finally recognize the dire situation, excercise his Vice regal powers to dismiss this dysfunctional government and call an early election. Are you listening Mr Cosgrove ?????

  4. Kaye Lee

    Malcolm is naturally an autocrat. He was punished for that when he previously lost the leadership. This time around he promised to be consultative and collegiate but he doesn’t have a clue how to do that. Far from pulling the team together, anarchy reigns. His team have splintered into factions playing on different fields.

    As any real leader knows, there is a time for listening, but there is also a time to exert your authority to pull the troops into line.

    Malcolm seems incapable of finding that balance.

  5. Keitha Granville

    TA will always and forever believe that his time in the top job was brilliant and he was dumped for no reason. He seems to have totally overlooked the fact that a vast swathe of the electorate absolutely hated him.
    Mal won’t know what to do. He has demonstrated that he doesn’t know how to be PM. He can’t control his party, let alone run the country.

    The GG MAY have the power to dissolve the parliament (Constitution Sec 28)but in practice this most usually is at the recommendation of the PM for a number of reasons. One of these occurred when John Ker dismissed Whitlam’s government. It can be requested by the PM, or Opposition leader, of the day if the government has lost the confidence of the house. It is not something we should be taking lightly. Whilst we are dismayed at the moment with the performance of our government and would like to see them all thrown out, it would be a dangerous precedent to set. In the event of a GG who could be convinced by corporations or foreign powers to throw out a legitimately elected government, he could point to an example of it having been done. Don’t forget how angry we all were with Sir John and Malcolm Fraser. No matter how much I want to see the LNP trounced it has to be at a properly timed election.

  6. helvityni

    If Turnbull had the ability to stare Abbott or his mates down, wouldn’t he have done it by now…?

    Strangely enough he’s quite cool about allowing the Duttons and the Porters to push the poorest and sickest and the jobless and oldest down a bit more…and seekers of asylum are chased away altogether….

    ..whilst numbers of the homeless grow.

  7. kerri

    Tony Dumb Dumb doesn’t get that if you tax consumption people stop shopping! Especially when you have lowered their wages, cut their benefits, increased their medical fees and education costs, placed the burden of rent over their heads by making housing unaffordable.
    If people have no money they can’t buy!
    Manufacturers can make all the tax free (for them) goods they want but they will still go belly up if no on can afford to buy them!
    And no Henry Rodrigues, Mr Cosgrove is not listening! They didn’t appoint him to do that and as a soldier he is well used to following orders. But just in case anyone is interested in trying here is Cosgrove’s contact me.

  8. Henry Rodrigues

    Keitha, I appreciate your reasoning. I am merely expressing the frustration that is being felt everywhere in the community. Yesterday at a party I was at, if a poll was conducted, 99% of the people there, including many LNP supporters would have given the government the thumbs down. The two most pressing issues, and I mean red hot issues, were the expenses scandal and the Centerlink debacle. The anger was red hot. And this is before Abbott latest attempt to prove his suitability.

  9. helvityni

    …here too Henry, the anger is indeed red hot, maybe it’s even the cause of the weather hotting up here in the normally summer-less Highlands.

    (I’m telling my sister-in- law in Queensland that we are now forced to buy more summery clothes)

  10. Kaye Lee

    Cuts to the pension, changes to superannuation, cutting paid parental leave, cutting family tax benefits, getting rid of schoolkids bonus, getting rid of clean energy supplement, freezing the superannuation guarantee, annual increases in the fuel excise levy……

    They are trying to squeeze blood from a stone whilst wanting us to accept spending $20 billion a year on strike force armaments and giving big business, who pay very little tax already, a further big reduction.

    Not to mention fossil fuel subsidies which seem untouchable.

    Of course they want to increase the GST – businesses can claim it back.

  11. leighton8

    I too believe that thinking that any proactive move to improve the current situation by the CG is extremely wishful thinking. The one time, apparently, when the CG did do that (in 1975) was actually entirely hamfisted as Parliament had voted confidence in Whitlam, but Kerrignored that and chose to destroy Whitlam. That false move undermined the concept of the CG intervening in such affairs legitimately. I believe that is the true meaning of Kerr being the “cur” ……

  12. leighton8

    As regards conversations through the summer …. I have never heard any support for this government in any quarters …..

  13. Pilot

    No one can take their eyes off a train wreck……….

  14. jim

    Wrong mr Failed PM Abbott you lecherous government is still doing you’re dirty work eg..The Turnbull Government has asked the Productivity Commission to investigate commercialising vital community services – a move that would divert scarce public funding away from supporting victims of domestic violence and homelessness services to shareholders of opportunistic businesses. The list is too large to fit here, Failed PM Abott.

  15. Florence nee Fedup

    This would be the first GG who is near on being invisible. I wonder why? Sadly or more to the point the GG doesn’t have or should not have power to get rid of PM just because he is unpopular or inept.

    It is said up to $10,000 has been removed annually from many families. That is a lot of money in anyone language. They want to take more to pay for childcare.

    Someone tell Abbott that power prices are rising, will consider to in spite of cuts to moving to renewals. Truth is, in renewals is cheapest route to go in the long term.

  16. David1

    I believe the ace Turnbull has up his sleeve is the ability to threaten to send the Govt to an early election. That threat alone would be enough to silence many of his in house critics, particularly Ministers and their underlings. They are squirreling away tidy sums, purchasing real estate, sending cash off shore etc. Their current lifestyles are very important to them and as we see continuously, the good of the country is secondary at best.
    Of course Turnbull has not produced any evidence of being his own man, with a spine. So when Abbott makes his move the reaction will be popcorn time.

  17. Pilot

    Leighton8, just a quick reply mate. I had an indepth conversation with a fellow who is a big supporter of the LNP. His view was at the time, that ALL unemployed people should get jobs, the sick are layabouts, all refugees are terrorists and wind turbines are a hoax, they are actually driven by electric motors and don’t generate electricity at all, but use it. He said he couldn’t believe that people listen to the likes of the ALP or the greens because they lie. Asked where he got his information, he reply was “The Australian”, “that last bastion of Aussie truth” (good grief). This fellow had the entire shop, customers and staff gobsmacked. His explanations were simply COALition statements, not a word of truth in them. His job – labourer…..
    Those who vote LNP are greedy and/or stupid with no sense of community values, imo.

  18. Miriam English

    Once in a while I privately wonder to myself if Tony Abbott is really as stupid as I think; that maybe my dislike of him has unreasonably lowered my estimation of him. And then, without fail, he pops up to do or say something so unbelievably imbecilic that he once again proves that yes, he really is that stupid.

    Amazing to behold. How the hell does such a moron gain control over an entire country???

    And then the USA has Trump. Oh dear.

  19. Wayne Turner

    Abbott is a moron.Too stupid to have the self awareness to know how stupid he is.IE: He suffers from the Dunning Kruger Effect.Just like most LNP voters.Except the minority MEGA WEALTHY who truly are voting in their greedy self interest,unlike the majority of MEGA STUPID LNP voters.

    We have gone from the dumbest Australian PM EVER,to the most GUTLESS PM EVER. NoBalls had his chance to show GUTS and LEADERSHIP.He hasn’t and clearly won’t.

  20. Ella Miller

    Kaye Lee…re cuts
    have you been quoting from the IPA’s wish list?…

  21. Roswell

    Pilot, if that’s the influence The Australian has on its readers then we can only be pleased that its readership is diminishing.

  22. Diana Lea

    I actually DO for the first time ever, agree with Abbott……when he says that Turncoat is doing a worse job than him, but that does not mean that Abbott did a good job, just that Turncoat is the pits!

  23. Klaus

    Unfortunately Kerri,

    Taxing vital goods such as food, can’t stop consumption. It simply increases the misery for most.

    Turnbull has no spine to stare anyone down. His morning mantra has to be “How do I stay in the job today?”.

    helvityni, as long as Aussies don’t go to the streets, he will always be fine with whatever measure. People below his level don’t matter to him one iota. Forget the picture of him bending down to give a homeless person 5 dollars, or whatever. Fake shit designed to win him sympathies.

    Kaye has it right. He has not even spine to keep his troupes in check. The LNP runs rampant and I like it, as long as they don’t destroy the social and economic fabric of this country. I fear I am hoping for too much.

  24. John Lord

    Trumps win has emboldened them beyond belief.

  25. Jack Straw

    Miriam:; If Tony Abbott was living in the Middle East. His leaders “Abu BakrlittleJohnnie Howard” and “Abu FatimaAlan Jones”

    would have had him do a delivery wearing in a flash new vest.Their instructions would be “now don’t forget AbuTones’ “pull the cord when

    you get through Embassy Door”.”Sure thing” AbuTones would reply.”See you tomorrow” AbuTones would say. “You bet”

    “Abu BakrlittleJohnnie Howard” would reply.and “Abu FatimaAlan Jones” would say “he’s the greatest”.

  26. Steve Laing -

    I wonder how many of these Trump converts will still be singing the mans praises six months from now when reality starts to bite? The shallowness of the Coalition talent pool is really beginning to shine through. Their only real capability was in how to rort their entitlements. Given that Tony was the master, I wonder whether the overthrow will take place when Malcolm finally decides to do something about it?

  27. Kaye Lee

    John Lord, I agree. The hounds are well and truly unleashed.

    Ella, those few examples were off the top of my head. I have a few times attempted to do a critique of the IPA wishlist – how many already done, how many suggested etc – the answer is a lot. I got too depressed to continue. Suffice to say WAY more than even the authors of the list could have possibly hoped for.

  28. Colin Fitton

    He reminds me of two Beatles songs….?? FOOL ON THE HILL???……and ??? NOWHERE MAN ???……..

  29. Jack Straw

    helvityni: As stated many times Turnball is just calculating his days in power.for him this is his only trophy. To him 450 days in office is better than 400 and he’ll sell his soul to get those extra days.

  30. Florence nee Fedup

    Shorten has returned from holidays is aggressive, strong mode attack dog. Butler out after PM and Abbott over carbon. I suspect Abbott is more about destroying Turnbull than becoming PM again.

  31. Henry Rodrigues

    I notice there was no comment about the latest Reach Tell poll on any of the TV channels including our ABC. The SMH had an article about it but way down the pecking order. No doubt everyone hoping no one will notice and it’ll be swept under the carpet.
    Yes its 54:46 to Labor.

  32. Florence nee Fedup

    Shorten said PM doesn’t go far enough with new body to supervise entitlements. Says needs to go further to cover donations and other issues. Says ICAC is needed.

  33. Alan Baird

    As was said above, the Trump effect has emboldened ex-PM. He really thinks Trump’s win has validated him and his mess. Abbott: Oz’s leading Suppository of Wisdom. Or make that just plain Suppository.

  34. David1

    The lack of interest in the ReachTell Poll from the MSM emphasises they are only interested in the Murdoch Newspoll. Their arrogance is so far beyond contempt, it is almost out of sight

  35. Ella Miller

    Kaye Lee, just had another read of the 75 wishes. Thought I could write the most alarming ones ….BUT too many.
    I could see a very effective election campaign for Labor based on the IPA’s 75 strong wish list????

  36. stephengb2014

    The problem is that this group of incompetents are so thick and so wedded to the neoliberal idiology that they are just likely to put Abbott back. His latest stab at Turnbull is pretty full on – he is not doing that without some support – he is making all the right noises to the extreme neoliberalists.
    Do not underestimate this man he is as cunning as they come!

  37. Frederick Froth

    None of this is in the least bit surprising. The mad monks beliefs and modus operandi are all written down with much detail in his book Battlelines
    Remember too that Tony is very much part of the IPA nexus. Which by the way has very close links to opus dei inspired right-wing “catholics”.
    Did you know that one of the key figures involved with the IPA John Roskam, who is also one of the principal movers and shakers with the right-wing “catholic” publishing outfit Connor Court, which is either owned by or very closely associated with opus dei. He is also a fellow at the right-wing “liberal arts” Campion College, which also has close links to opus dei.

    If you read any right-wing “catholic” website they are all full of the usual stuff about how only father-knows-best “traditional-‘catholics'” know what is right for ALL of humankind – all backed up by reference to the “authority” of the atrocious magisterium.

    Remember too the mad monk also gave a speech to the right-wing USA think tank The Heritage (lies, lies, and more lies) Foundation while he was leader of the opposition.

  38. Michael

    Delusional self-belief – shame, nothing much else going for his behaviour, poor pet – that’s my representative.

  39. jimhaz

    The one thing we can say is that any economic problems we will face will be mostly be due to conservatives.

    If you compare the cost of federal government expenditure entitlements and waste created by the Right versus the Left, you would find about a 5:1 ratio.

    The left does a lot of wasteful things, but they don’t tend to be big ticket items when compared to those of the right.

    I would struggle to come up with 10 billion per annum in recurrent left based waste, where as it is easy to find 50 billion in waste for the right. Eg. Fuel subsidies, income and capital gains reductions, super and salary sacrifice loopholes, lease novation concessions, overspending on military, destruction of viable renewable energy industries resulting from capitalist irresponsibility, privatisation and over-outsourcing (including a simple lack of fiscal care re expenditure – in gov positions those who are most right or capitalistic minded are ALL profligates and nepotists and often quite stupid (eg Barnaby Joyce moving the Ag dept) – even this one domain would cost taxpayers 5 billion pa).

    A tax deduction or loophole for someone already wealthy would be something like 70% waste – only a small portion of the additional income would end up as job creation. Not that we need jobs in any case – we have only needed much lower immigration for a decade or so.

    I’d like to see someone do a cost accounting financial review on Right V Left policies for the last 50 years. Conditions achieved by unions would be excluded as they are not gov expenditure.

    Big ticket items like Medicare that are more or less universally accepted nowadays by all except the far right radicals/lobbyists could now be classed as neutral, but it would also be possible to make estimates of savings relative to say the US Health Care system. Howards forcing of private health insurance would need to be included as 75% waste.

    Red tape is a huge expense, however many of the red tape costs regarded as being the fault of the left are actually the fault of the right or simply neutral. A socialist gov would not allow the lawyer based system we have for fault claims, nor would it require the collection of so much information if not continually driven by the right for lower “on paper” costs and centralisation and outsourcing. We’d also have a real ACCC, not the purposely made to be toothless one we now have.

    It is the capitalist systems themselves that drive the costs that the far right complains about. So many problems are occurring because the US political system was usurped decades ago by single minded shallow capitalists.

    Abbott and Bernadi’s ideas might produce real cost reductions or international competition benefits within a very finite context – but we can be certain that the long term secondary costs would make such ideas wasteful. We already have a very good example of this with his deregulation of the tertiary education market, which was always going to be blatant waste, and they knew it. Much like Howard knew that the privatisation of the CES would cost taxpayers more.

  40. Athena

    To add to the waste, the cost of privatisation should also be included. Such costs include:
    Public servants and other private companies having to do work again properly because the original private companies took short cuts as a cost saving measure.
    Important services not being performed because they were left out of the contract.
    Costs skyrocketing as soon as the service is privatised (e.g. road building).
    Companies wasting many hours to compile and submit tender documents when there has been a secret deal done to give the tender to someone else.
    Companies wasting many hours to compile and submit tender documents only to find that their documentation has been secretly leaked to help a competitor instead.
    Paying millions of $$ to private consultants to propose ridiculous cost cutting measures that leave a public service unable to function properly.
    Cost to the customer for loss of services (e.g. 60+ hours without electricity & damage to equipment contributed to by cost cutting by the private service provider).

  41. townsvilleblog

    Kaye LeeJanuary 16, 2017 at 10:19 am yes Kaye, you have covered just about everything in this post, bar the 1,101,000 unemployed and growing daily, the 1,002,000 under employed also growing daily and the in excess of 3 million (just think about that number for a moment) Aussies who are living in poverty, this number is the size of ole’ Sydney town.

    And yes we pensioners were not helped in any way losing yet another $9 p.w. from our miserable pensions. As we sink yet further into the mire, with the only item left to cut – food!

  42. Miriam English

    Florence, Shorten is calling for an ICAC??? That’s wonderful news!!
    I’d love to see him wedge the LNP nicely with that. 😀

  43. nurses1968

    ““For me, reform doesn’t just stop at parliamentarians’ expenses,” he said.
    “It must include greater transparency [and] greater accountability on political donations.

    “No discussion about electoral reform and rebuilding the confidence of Australians in the political process can take place without having an open and honest discussion about a federal ICAC [Independent Commission Against Corruption].”

    And he will be moving it once Parliament resumes in Feb.

  44. David1

    ‘…and he will be moving it once Parliament resumes in Feb’. That could be the finale` in the saga of the ‘Turnbull Disaster’.
    Will one or more of the dissatisfied members of the Govt caucus cross the floor, if Turnbull refuses to agree to its introduction and vote?
    The country wants the ICAC by a huge majority, Turnbull could face his final moment of truth?

    Many ifs and will he, but the prospect either way is very very juicy.

  45. Kaye Lee

    He will be moving a discussion? Still sounds like weasel words to me.

  46. Matters Not

    Any legislation to introduce a Federal ICAC will be closely scrutinised – and it should be, given it will be a body outside of direct democratic control. The citizens will, in all probability, have no direct say in who will lead same, how long their ‘reign’ will last, whether it will be led by an individual or a troika or – and so on.

    Will it be a creature of the legislative, executive or judicial arms of government. (In Australia, drawing a distinction between the executive and legislative arms is rather pointless). Clearly its funding will be at the whim of the budgetary process – that’s unavoidable.

    Lots of ‘issues’ to be resolved and remember its ‘creators’ will be the very people who will become the ‘targets’ – in large part at least. The politicians are not known for legislating a rod for their own backs. And this exercise will be no exception.

  47. Miriam English

    Corvus, oh dear. 🙁 That’s disappointing. I agree with Kaye. It sounds like weasel words. “We’ll look at restarting a committee to look into the possibility of maybe beginning an ICAC, if we can all agree on it.”

    Come on Bill Shorten. Here is your perfect opportunity to stick the LNP in a tender spot with a nice sharp fork and see them squirm. If you vote loudly and decisively for an ICAC the LNP will be left standing out in the cold with all of Australia looking at them and drawing the obvious conclusion about their reluctance.

    (Of course it also means exposing some of the crooks in your own party too, but that’s a good thing.)

  48. Kaye Lee

    I have been reading different opinions about a National Integrity Commission or similar body and I am starting to come to the opinion that we already have a lot of oversight bodies – it is the rules/laws/penalties that need changing.

  49. Kaye Lee

    Some things to consider….

    There were some pretty damning revelations from the NSW ICAC but if O’Farrell lost the premier’s job for forgetting a bottle of wine but Arthur Sinodinis is promoted to Health Minister for forgetting everything, there is something terribly wrong – not to mention the time-wasting (and cost) involved in pursuing Margaret Cuneen.

    Is it so impossible to draw up a definitive set of rules and penalties?

  50. Matters Not

    am starting to come to the opinion that we already have a lot of oversight bodies – it is the rules/laws/penalties that need changing

    Are you suggesting that the Dyson Heydon Royal Commission was unnecessary and there were already any number of legal avenues ( in place) that might have been utilised? Like the Police Force for example?

    Maybe so. But any new creation has loads of ‘missionary zeal’ – even though there can be some ‘road kill’ along the way. Often lots.

    Been through such ‘reforms’ over the years. Had to deal with many ‘young’ who had hearts and minds in the right place but not the ‘experience’ or ‘wisdom’ to add any value. Overall, did more damage than … whatever.

    Shouldn’t rush in – methinks.

  51. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee 7:32,
    There is oversight of federal law enforcement (ACLEI), and existing provision for initiating the investigation of allegations of serious malfeasance through the Australian Crime Intelligence Commission, but currently there is no specific body to monitor and investigate the activities of politicians or those who seek to influence them through dubious avenues.

    Arthur Sinodinos escaped worse scrutiny and censure from the NSW ICAC mostly because the majority of his dodgy activities lay outside the limiting statutes of the state anti-corruption body (they were restricted to inquiries regarding his role with AWH).

  52. Kaye Lee

    This is an excerpt from a submission to the senate committee

    The current federal system already contains a host of integrity and anti-corruption bodies.

    For example, bodies with law enforcement functions – from the Australian Federal Police through to the Department of Agriculture – are overseen by the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity. The ATO’s administration of the tax system is reviewed by the Inspector-General of Taxation. The compliance of the federal public service with their Code of Conduct is overseen by the Australian Public Service Commission. Electoral fraud is investigated by the Australian Electoral Commission. Compliance with workplace laws is overseen by the Fair Work Ombudsman. The involvement of organised crime in assisting corruption and misconduct is investigated by the Australian Crime Commission and the Australian Federal Police. The Commonwealth Ombudsman provides oversight of and investigation into issues across government, including into private health insurers, the postal industry, and the provision of education to overseas students. The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority oversees the Australian sporting world. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission investigate and prosecute a variety of corporate and commercial misconduct. The Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force and the Defence Ombudsman oversee and investigate misconduct issues relating to defence and military justice. The Australian National Audit Office oversees and investigates financial management and public administration across the federal government. The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security oversees the conduct of the Australian intelligence community.

    The current system also includes collaborations like the AFP’s Fraud and Anti-Corruption Centre – which includes agencies from ASIC to the Australian Border Force to the CDPP – and the Australian AntiCorruption Commissions Forum, which gathered integrity and anticorruption bodies from across Australia to discuss best practice in identifying corruption risks and building resistance to corruption and misconduct.

    Parliamentary committees also play an important role. Committees ranging from the Joint Committee on Public Accounts and Audit, to the Standing Committees on Members’ and Senators’ Interests, maintain a level of public scrutiny of government action and potential conflicts of interest.

    Finally, the federal administrative review system – including internal merits review mechanisms, appeals to administrative tribunals, and judicial review – provides a transparent mechanism for individuals and entities affected by government decisions to challenge those decisions, and accordingly help to prevent corruption or misconduct.

  53. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee,
    Yes, there is the option of modifying all the various regulatory/investigatory bodies so that their individual fields of operations can better defend against political misconduct through a kind of collective overlap.
    However, I would ask that, since the matter of substance abuse affecting the outcomes of competitive sports seemingly warrants maintaining a separate authoritative body, why is the serious and consequential business of national governance (and the attendant pressures and temptations to corruption of policy) not worthy of any such specific oversight?

  54. Kyran

    “Tony Abbott’s overwhelming self-belief is astonishing to behold.”
    With respect, I have to disagree. It’s pathetic. Can you imagine crossing the street to meet with him for any purpose, other than spitting?
    Nothing he says withstands any scrutiny.
    Likewise, the ACL. Check out their web site. Not worth spitting on.
    Likewise, One Notion. Check out their web site. Not worth spitting on.
    “Ella, those few examples were off the top of my head. I have a few times attempted to do a critique of the IPA wishlist – how many already done, how many suggested etc – the answer is a lot. I got too depressed to continue. Suffice to say WAY more than even the authors of the list could have possibly hoped for.”
    Likewise, the IPA. Check out their website. Not worth spitting on.
    Nothing withstands any scrutiny. Anytime I’ve tried, I’ve ended up being frustrated with my own stupidity. Fancy wasting time on trying to deconstruct nonsense?
    With all of the current oversight bodies mentioned in your 8.29 post, what are the complaints mechanisms? Those funny little things that would allow a Centrelink ‘client’ to question the validity of the letter they just received, as opposed to just having to pay the alleged debt and live within their new economic circumstance?
    If you can forgive my profanity, I really couldn’t give a shite about Abbott, One Notion, the ACL, the IPA. Not when discussing how their ‘importance’ detracts from the real issues. For what it’s worth, the articles I tried penning, on all of the aforementioned, ended the same way. Feck off, you gits.
    Why are we talking about them?
    Grateful, as always, Ms Lee (and commenters). Apologies for the rant, and the profanity. Take care

  55. 245179

    (Of course it also means exposing some of the crooks in your own party too, but that’s a good thing.)..end of quote..

    Miriam……Shorten himself has skeletons of his own, that he would not endanger by “outing” some of his crooked collegues, it would be suicide for him. Canberra and the journey to get there has corupted too many greedy individuals, too many have skeletons tucked away, and the more powerful amongst them have mass graveyards tucked away. The “club” has immense power.

  56. David1

    Ok 245179…let rip, just what would Mr Shorten be afraid of being revealed? You said it.

  57. Florence nee Fedup

    Kaye maybe the trouble is we have too many diverse bodies with no coordination and many cracks to fall through.

    Maybe time for all to be reassessed and bought under one umbrella.

  58. 245179

    david 1…….rip into shorten and his union dealings, plenty there to raise an eyebrow or 2 prior to canberra.

  59. Miriam English

    245179, I think that would be a distraction. Surely the important thing about investigating corruption in politicians is guarding the political system from corruption. Dealings from before they became politicians shouldn’t really part of the scope, I think, otherwise the damn investigation would never end. I imagine there are plenty of people who did stupid things when they were younger, which they now regret, but conduct themselves ethically. What we want is politicians who don’t rort the system and don’t take bribes.

    I’m not trying to protect Bill Shorten — if he’s been a dirty politician then screw him — I just think too deep am investigation would never reach a conclusion and wouldn’t help our political problems. Also, I think the investigations already enthusiastically pursued by the LNP, more than once, for crying out loud, came up empty, so you may be getting hoodwinked by propaganda there, 245179.

    There’s also the point that too deep an investigation would never be agreed to by any politicians. We need to clean up politics, not go on a revenge spree looking for a mythical politician who has never done anything wrong.

  60. Michael Taylor

    Shorten now supports an ICAC. He once rejected the idea, which to me inferred that he might have something hidden away in the closet. I’m not suggesting that by now supporting one that he doesn’t have anything to hide, but in my mind I don’t think he has. Besides, the Royal Commision into the unions would have rooted it out if he had, but he came out of that mostly unblemished.

  61. Kaye Lee

    Many of the things we are angry about would not make it to a corruption commission. The abuse of ‘entitlements’ has been ‘within the rules’ because all they have to do is have a chat with someone, have their photo taken, call it a study tour checking out golf tourism (one of my personal favourites), be in a corporate box sitting near business people, go to lunch or a party with a business person, talk to the owner of the cafe where you are having breakfast.

    Even when there is serious cause for concern, nothing seems to happen.

    Stuart Roberts trip to China for example … “The AFP has concluded there is insufficient evidence to support a breach of commonwealth law, and will not be taking any further action or making further comment in respect of the matter.”

    Tony Abbott personally takes James Packer to China to spruik his casinos. His Macau partner ended up in jail and his associates in China were arrested. Nice introduction there Tony.

    Tighten up the rules and enforce them including on political donations. An ICAC that trawls through the past would be very expensive and not as productive as control over transparency and accountability for the future.

  62. 245179

    Ok….point taken, events prior to canberra appointments are best filed away. Gain access to canberra with a fresh page…yea ok. Micheal that RC you mentioned, the commissioner was a tad miffed by shorten, said something along the lines of…. ” i find your statements difficult to believe ” Shortens body language was …..yea ok, but you can’t prove it.

  63. Miriam English

    Kaye, excellent points. Tightening the rules does look like a much more effective way to go.

    245179, I didn’t say that blatant crooks should get ignored just by getting into government; just that it’s impractical to do deep investigations into backgrounds pre-government. Once the worst rotten wood is cleaned out then it might be worth looking for longer-term unsavory things going on, otherwise nothing will ever get done. Triage.

    And let’s not forget that no politician is going to vote to have their entire past dug up. It would simply never happen. Everybody has some memory from when they were rash and injudicious youngsters that they’re not proud of. I have some, and I consider myself much more careful, considerate, and moral than most people.

  64. David1

    245179…your call, you made the accusation, I disagree so lets be having specifics.

    I am intrigued you were able to read Mr Shortens mind as you watched tv and his ‘body language’ at the RC. You are revealing you are quite the genius 245179. Flying the RC kite wont help.

  65. 2Bob

    Being Liberal means never having to say sorry, god said!

  66. Sam

    Tony Abbott is a puppet.

  67. 245179

    David1January 17, 2017 at 12:42 pm
    245179…your call, you made the accusation, I disagree so lets be having specifics.

    I am intrigued you were able to read Mr Shortens mind as you watched tv and his ‘body language’ at the RC. You are revealing you are quite the genius 245179. Flying the RC kite wont help.

    Ok…so reading body language is not something you possess, i’ve found most folks get that body language understanding fairly easily, can be a deadset giveaway at times.

    Mind reading…….that you’ve alluded to here, yip, you’ve got me there, i can’t mind read, never said i could. ( body language pal, body language )

    Just leaves….that honorable member of the bench, the commissioner, he certainly wasn’t impressed with shorten, and he publically said so, actually said ” i find some of mr shortens responses to questions, difficult to believe ”

    hope this clears the air here, as i’m done on the matter.

  68. David1

    245179…you prove you are just a troll, all accusations no facts. End of discussion from me.

  69. paulwalter

    Back to the default between myself and Kaye Lee..this one is spot-on.

  70. Florence nee Fedup

    I would like to remind those from the rumour mill attempting to stir up shit on Shorten to keep in mind he spent days on stand at TURC a RC set up to bring him down, All other allegations have been extensively investigated by police.

    Shorten cooperated fully at all times.

  71. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee (9:39) and Miriam English (10:34),
    Both of you, who claim to fervently support representative democracy, seem willing to entirely discard your previously stated support for the notion of a federal anti-corruption body (coincidentally at the exact same time as a credible poll indicates over 80% public support for implementing just such a body) and instead have both suddenly chosen to express touching faith in the voluntary implementation of some kind of bipartisan political reform.
    Good luck with that.

  72. Florence nee Fedup

    245179, curious, what union do you belong to? #auspol

  73. Miriam English

    corvus 🙂 “touching faith in the voluntary implementation of some kind of bipartisan political reform”

    No, it’s probably not going to happen either, but as Kaye pointed out, most of the ministers’ excesses can be excused under the existing rules. A more effective solution might be to tighten the rules. Yes, I know. Not likely to happen, but if they can’t be found guilty of excesses under the existing rules an investigation might find some cases of really bad crookedness, but it’s going to miss all the business-as-usual, day-to-day rorts.

  74. corvus boreus

    Of course, it is an entirely simple matter to implement major systemic reforms of entrenched political ‘gaming’ without any catalytic events occurring, such as revelations of criminal perfidy being unearthed through the investigation and prosecution of existing offenders.

    I mean, look at recent events in NSW; I am sure all those transgressions from within both major parties would have been investigated, and the worst proven offenders removed from office (and some even even subjected to criminal prosecution), with subsequent major reforms being implemented upon matters like transparency of political donations and allocations of governmental contracts, entirely without any influence from some costly ICAC.
    To quote the wisdom of Miranda Devine (upon the subject of the trustworthiness of Alan Jones), ‘if you expect people to be their best, they will rarely do their worst’.

  75. Florence nee Fedup

    I watched nearly all TURC and previous RC to get Gillard. I was not impressed with the commissioner behaviour and solicitor acting on his behalf. Dyson had long legal career. None of those long years were involved be criminal law. No criminal; cases at all. It showed in his attitude and behaviour. He accepted everything the bosses said, Nothing that workers said.

    Many of the witnesses against Shorten appeared top be disgruntle builders labourers. He did manage to dislodge the CFMEU from sites they traditionally had access.

  76. wam

    everything the rabbott does and says is for the glory of god – he is amoral – unable to lie because his heart and purpose on earth is for god.
    I can never thank him enough for proving that
    at least some, rhodes scholars are political appointments.
    royal comissioners are a political appointment and not independent
    msm can overcome the obvious and inculcate the impossible
    truths are more often lies within 24 hours
    memory comes from someone else to modify our own

  77. Miriam English

    corvus, that’s a fair point. If an investigation into corruption unearths heaps of rorts, but is unable to touch the pollies anyway then that might create sufficient outrage to force tightening the rules.

  78. Miriam English

    wam, please don’t take this the wrong way, but whatever you’re smoking, it must be powerful stuff. At times your meaning is virtually indecipherable. It reminds me of some of the things I used to write all those many decades ago when I used to smoke.

  79. Miriam English

    (wam, it shouldn’t need saying, but if you are then it’s unwise to say so in a public forum. I probably shouldn’t have even mentioned it. I was just amused.)

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