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Turnbull government caught between crisis and catastrophe.

I don’t know what I’m doing, but my incompetence has never stopped my enthusiasm. Woody Allen

 

The nation is spellbound this week as a Turnbull government, long-acclaimed as a leader in mismanagement and dud judgement, breaks all former records in a crop of epic, self-inflicted disasters which begin with a bungled police raid on the Australian Workers Union and ends with an inept government in catastrophic trouble.

First, the government woos us with a shaggy dog story. David De Garis, Employment Minister Michaelia Cash’s bat-eared Man Friday, hears the Australian Federal Police are about to raid the Sydney and Melbourne AWU offices. The AFP have been tipped off: The AWU is about to destroy some ten year old receipts for donations to GetUP!

Instantly, a squad of 30 AFP wallopers swings into emergency receipt rescue formation. No-one gets between an AFP and paperwork in danger. Danger? Incredibly, it turns out the AWU is diabolical Bill Shorten’s old union.

David phones journos. Happily, he gets everyone in time to make the evening news. SKY and ABC have cameras rolling at 4:30 pm just as the AFP arrive. As with all classic comedy routines, timing is everything.

Employment Minister, Michaelia Cash who has a lot on her plate managing her property portfolio as well as growing all those jobs every month, says she took Dave to lunch with Mal, Wednesday.

As the PM’s red teapot is her witness, Dave didn’t say a word about the AWU stunt, much less fess up to having orchestrated the whole damn catastrophe. It beggars belief but Cash won’t budge from her story.

Cash returns to the Senate Estimates Committee where she lies five times that no-one from her office called the cops or got the media on to the AWU witch hunt raid stunt. No-one believes her – clearly the tip-offs have got to senators, too although, by Sunday, Phil Coorey a big Cash man on ABC Insiders, will charge to her defence.

“I can also assure you that my office did not find out about the raids until after they were conducted. It is a very serious allegation that you are making and I refute it completely,” she tells a Senate estimates hearing.

Liberals do moral indignation so well. On the other hand, they do get a lot of practice. Butter wouldn’t melt. Cash’s shocked denial is a haunting performance.

By tea-time, Cash changes tune. De Garis did it, she says. He’s gone off and done it all off his own bat. Not told a soul. Not me. Not the PM. Not even the Daily Tele. Turnbull, in it up to his neck, says Shorten, clinches his complicity by faking moral indignation. It was, he finger-wags, “a very, very wrong, improper act of indiscretion”.

Keeping a straight face, Cash suggests the AFP look into it. Brilliant. The AFP should investigate the AFP. She deploys what Mark Kenny sees as the Sharon Strzelecki defence from Kath and Kim, “I didn’t know”

More credible is the pithy, down to earth Labor Senator Doug Cameron who tells the hearing: “She’s thrown her staffer under the bus”. In the process she has misled parliament, her department has clearly busted the ROC as a political witch hunt, she’s blown the Coalition’s latest Kill Bill strategy and a staffer’s career is ruined.

It may even be the end of the ROC, experts tip. Apart from that, the AWU raid’s a stroke of genius.

What better than an Australian Federal Police raid on AWU offices in Sydney and Melbourne, Tuesday, to blood the ROC (Registered Organisation Commission) the new union-bashing lynch mob on the block, smear Shorten, puts the wind up GetUp! and help disguise Turnbull’s “game-changing” brain fart as an energy policy.

Nothing shrieks “gotcha” like a shot of a burly cop lugging a bulging plastic bag of receipts. Wonderful optics. Get the photographers from the Jihadi mincer plot on to it. They have a wonderful eye for guilty before charged.

Years of images of terror busts have, doubtless, helped soften us up to accept random AFP raids. Yet AFP powers are limited to investigating crimes which fall under Commonwealth laws. Most crime is a state law matter.

In May last year, The AFP raided the home of then shadow communications minister, Jason Clare, and senior Labor Senator, Stephen Conroy in connection with what were claimed to be leaked government documents. Don’t ask what became of the inquiry. The AFP bust like all performance art won’t be rushed liked that.

Then, as now, the Prime Minister rejected any suggestion of Government interference, claiming the AFP operates “entirely independently of the Government”. His assurances ring as hollow as his energy or NBN guarantees – or indeed the heavy-handed, ham theatricality of his patently insincere censure of the dynamic David De Garis.

In a travesty of due process, the ROC says it ordered this week’s raid solely “on the basis of an anonymous call”.

No lawful reason exists for the raid. The documents the government seeks are not required to be held beyond seven years. They were documents, however, which the union was making available to the ROC.

“We were cooperating before we ended up in this remarkable situation yesterday. For our 131 years, there has not been one occasion that the AWU has not cooperated with any investigation and we don’t have any ideas of changing that,” National Secretary, Daniel Walton tells ABC’s AM.

Nor has any law been broken: this is not a criminal matter but just a routine ROC-AFP bust to see that the AWU is following its own rules. No wonder the coppers on camera are scowling.

Attorney-General George Brandis, who is still wiping the egg off his ample face over his disastrous advice to his government over its dual citizenship debacle, adds his own hint that the ROC is a kangaroo court.

“Its job is to enforce the law and if it finds the law has been breached, then its obligation is to pursue that,” Brandis, our legal Mr Magoo, tells Sky News. No law has been breached? The government does not care.

So what if the AWU says it’s happy to share the documents? It has already made them available to Dyson Heydon’s Trade Union Royal Commission, an $80 million witch hunt into Bill Shorten which spawned the ROC concept?

Nobody in a post-truth, Trumpian world is bothered by evidence any more. As the Productivity Commission’s rules this week, on its yen to change GST distribution, “An absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”.

It is an alarming trend – even if the phrase is a gift to the t-shirt slogan industry. The title of the Commission’s report – ‘Shifting the Dial’ is a clue to our brave new government’s desire to march to the beat-up of a different drum; its rush to tune out empiricism in favour of a more pliant metaphysics; the vibe, the smear and the spin.

Equally alarming, as Mark Kenny notes, is the tally of Turnbull government ministers who have entered the plea of ignorance as their defence and who have freely admitted, as coal puppet Matt Canavan does, after blaming his mother and updating his story several times, that they were prepared to stand for election and to bank the 300-400,000 salary but that they weren’t fussed checking whether they were eligible for the job.

“For … institutional conservatives, the trashing of basic parliamentary and ministerial standards through these events is even more depressing. Having lawmakers deploy the ignorance defence fundamentally erodes the power of law, and materially weakens the very project of parliamentary representation.

At the ministerial level, it renders the sanction of executive resignation hollow, by allowing a minister to simply stand with everyone else, among the great unknowing. This lack of knowledge and basic curiosity makes a mockery of the accountability mechanism central to the Westminster tradition.” He writes. And then there’s the lie of spin.

Spin? Anti-worker Employment Minister, Michaelia Cash, insists the ROC will just subject Unions to the same rules as company directors. Sure. Every day we see directors of banks, mining companies, casino operators and betting agencies being raided by AFP officers and sundry men in suits just to help accountancy teams with their filing.

Like extreme vetting, an AFP raid on your archives is positively therapeutic; a type of clerical, colonic irrigation or a form of shock treatment. Or both.

In fact, the ROC has markedly more extensive investigative powers than Fair Work, the power to lay criminal charges and impose financial penalties harsher than those applicable to businesses under the Corporations Act.

Slater and Gordon caution that ROC and supporting laws represent a significant attack on the rights of unions to self-govern. Imposing a dedicated regulator focussed squarely on Unions is an attempt to ensure that Unions are focussed on compliance with costly, unwieldy regulation at the expense of organising and representing members.

ROC aids and abets union bashing. Former shonky jobs figures shill, Senator Eric Abetz, a veteran GetUp! foe takes time out from fighting safe schools, same sex marriage and encouraging gays to come out as straight, Sunday, to explain that if the (perfectly legal) GetUp! funding “was proved inappropriate”, it raises serious questions.

” … finally issues relating to potential trade union corruption are being taken seriously and thoroughly investigated,” he says “Honest union members have the right to know that their money is being spent correctly.”

Proved inappropriate? Since 2010, Eric, who is convinced the organisation is a Greens/Labor front run by George Soros, has reported GetUp! unsuccessfully to the AEC and the ACCC. It is disingenuous to continue the smear given the publication of clear refutation by both bodies. But Eric has a record of being fast and loose with facts.

On a local radio station last year he argued that GetUP! should have its charity status revoked.

“If an organisation becomes involved in the political debates, they shouldn’t be allowed to get charitable donations — which means tax-deductibility — in circumstances where the political party against which they are campaigning cannot get that sort of tax-deductibility and charity status for their donation.”

Sadly, for the senator’s rapidly dwindling credibility, GetUP! Is not a charity.

Issues relating? While they’re after the GetUp! paper work, the police seek evidence of a $25,000 payment made by the AWU to Mr Shorten’s election campaign in the Melbourne seat of Maribyrnong in 2007, and another two payments to campaigns in the seats of Petrie (Queensland) and Stirling (WA).

Unions legitimately support Labor candidates but the raid helps create suspicion of criminal misconduct.

No-one will worry it’s a stunt. All that matters is that Shorten be smeared, somehow, because the AWU openly and legitimately donated $100,000 to GetUp! when the Opposition leader led the union over 10 years ago.

The law is now on side, too, thanks to nifty Nick Xenophon and dreadful Derryn Hinch’s vote in May. The ROC, a double dissolution trigger last election, is nothing less than a state attack on workers.

AWU national secretary Daniel Walton calls the raids “an extraordinary abuse of police resources”. “It is clear the Registered Organisations Commission has been established, not to promote good governance, but to use taxpayer and police resources to muckrake through historic documents in an attempt to find anything that might smear a future Labor prime minister,Walton tells AAP.

Wages stagnate, work becomes increasingly deskilled, part-time and casual while inequality becomes more deeply entrenched, yet the Coalition responds by attacking working people, their representatives and the many volunteers who give their time to be delegates and to generally support unions in their work.

Unions are already covered, moreover, by the Corporations Act, and lately by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Now the Coalition has imposed a third tier of union oversight. While it claims to be after union corruption, the government is interested in union governance; donations and superannuation funds.

For a divided Coalition at odds on energy, education, environment and marriage equality to name a few, policy debate yields readily to dirty pool. It’s week of defamatory personal attacks on Sponge-Bob Bill Shorten whom the PM jeers, is “Melbourne’s greatest sycophant, one of the union movement’s great sucker-uppers.”

Worse, in that perverse projection Turnbull favours, Shorten is one of Labor’s “hereditary union princelings”. “Not everybody has a privileged ride to power through a union job,” he sneers, baring bottom teeth.

The politics of sledging is a legacy of junkyard dog, Tony Abbott, whose grasp on any policy is, still, at best tenuous and whose sole, intelligible claim to remain leader, was that he could “beat Bill Shorten”.

If only politics could be reduced to a boxing match between the two leaders. If only we could sucker punch the entire Labor mob. Kill Bill with one knock-out punch. The team is working on it. Sadly, Rupert Murdoch’s rags have far less influence now.

Gutter politics are almost eclipsed, however, by the Coalition’s secret strategy to deal with Friday’s High Court verdict: complacency and entitlement. Ayatollah Turnbull, as he is known to his former fellow merchant bankers, has let his ego do the talking. You can tell he’s still personally outraged at the court’s lese majeste.

This was not the plan. Now he dithers for two days about whether he can trust Julie Bishop to act PM.

A High Court wowed by the PM’s parliamentary chutzpah ,”… the High Court will so hold…” was meant to clear Kiwi Barnaby and as many of the remaining six dual nationals as it cares, leaving himself and Lucy free to jet to Israel where he could pose as an international statesman and explain how the charge of the Fourth Light Horse Brigade at Beersheba in 1917 allows Australia to lay claim to founding Israel.

“The capture of Beersheba allowed British empire forces to break the Ottoman line near Gaza and then advance into Palestine, a chain of events which eventually culminated in the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948,” Australia Post said in 2013 It’s a popular new reimagining of the past to give Israel another link with Australia.

Clayton’s Deputy PM Julie Bishop will now hold the fort. She can deal with the backlash over Turnbull’s decision, announced Wednesday, to reject any plea for a constitutionally recognised voice to parliament. Cabinet rejects The Uluru Proposal five months on from the historic constitutional summit in Central Australia.

The Uluru statement is a rejection of symbolic constitutional reform in favour of a constitutionally enshrined voice to parliament, which would sit outside the parliamentary structure but provide advice and consultation on issues and legislation affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Establishing a Makarrata commission with a view to establishing a treaty, or treaties, between Indigenous people and Australian governments is a second, vital component of the Uluru statement.

As Paul Daley notes, the rebuff is a slap in the face to “all the linguistically and culturally diverse urban, regional and remote communities that comprise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia”, a breach of trust and a rejection more pointed by making the announcement, from on high, in cabinet on the cusp of the PM’s departure and at a time when parliament is in recess.

Above all it sends a clear signal that the Turnbull government lacks humanity and common decency as much as it lacks vision and leadership. It is by far the biggest failing of his utterly disappointing prime ministership and will be cost him dearly.

Indigenous leaders rightly feel betrayed if not duped. The Coalition has let indigenous Australia, indeed all Australians down first by having no plan for constitutional recognition of its own when it came to power – then by asking leaders to consult with communities to come up with a model – only to reject that model when so much hard work is done. At the very least, it is a consultation in name only, an act of gross bad faith and betrayal.

The PM rejects embedding an indigenous voice in the constitution as “too ambitious”. While The Referendum Council’s proposal for an Indigenous representative assembly, or Voice, is a new concept constitutional change, the PM must acknowledge the extensive and valuable work of the past decade – largely with bipartisan support.

It is a poor thing to say “too ambitious” or that the model lacked detail. A good government, committed to equality and partnership, committed to community works with people to find that detail. It is mutually demeaning, moreover, for Turnbull to retreat to a symbolic recognition.

Turnbull himself is now also disgraced by his poor form in prompting the High Court in parliament to find in favour of his deputy PM in an extraordinary moment of poor judgement when he took it upon himself in Question Time in the House in August to predict – if not lead -the High Court in its judgement. The High Court will so hold what the High Court decides and not what any jumped up Prime Minister may try to dictate.

Similarly, the AFP raid on the AWU reeks of the same poor judgement that indulged Godwin Grech in Utegate in 2009. Instead of blowing up Bill, the PM has effectively blown up his own government. By Friday, gone is his parliamentary majority, two cabinet ministers and any sign of an acting deputy PM.

No-one knows what challenges will be mounted to decisions taken by ministers who were allowed to continue while their eligibility to be in parliament remained in doubt.

Worse, Michaelia Cash has disappeared into WA for a good lie down gifting politics with an open season on backstabbing, bitching and petty vendetta, especially given she’s widely tipped to be next Attorney General.

The week ends with a government in crisis, its credibility in tatters, its majority shot and with serious questions hanging over the legitimacy of its decisions after The High Court rules comprehensively against its brilliant case that for MPs caught in the trap of dual-citizenship, ignorance is somehow an excuse, an argument which is itself indicative a deeper, postmodern malaise in which truthiness displaces truth and all is spin.

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26 comments

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  1. Andrew J. Smith

    The random recklessness of conservatives in their ‘Anglosphere’ of US, UK and Australia is due to top down nativist and isolationist policies amplified via supportive media and PR, suggests lack of independence, grounded policy development and conviction.

    Accordingly, they are compromised by lack of funding from members, weaponised think tanks and PR communication for electoral success, now very much dependent upon their media and corporate partners, rather than reflecting party, branches, grass roots and community led, policy research and development.

    Disturbing part of this from the US GOP Christianity and/or nativism movement that has permeated conservatives in Oz, is an admission of failure (easily sold the idea that ‘immigrants’ and diverse electorates do not vote conservative, which is rubbish), in their ability to persuade the electorate by playing fair; versus ‘whatever it takes’ to preserve their WASP privilege and monochrome nostalgia when the lower orders and non British ‘immigrants’ knew their place.

  2. Andrew J. Smith

    Just to add, conservatives citing ‘Soros’ like those in ‘illiberal democracies’ need to be careful, surprised to hear it coming from an Australian MP?

    The Soros conspiracies etc. are simply revised anti semitic tropes eg. replace with Rothschild, globalisation, Jewish financial cabals and good old blood libel (these should have been out of bounds post WWII in nations that fought Nazism), meanwhile requiring egregious ignorance and/or sub-optimal ethics not to see how public political narratives and imagery are being manipulated for the benefit of LNP, IPA and NewsCorp to turn us into little god fearing conservative Americans or monarch worshipping British?

  3. Kaye Lee

    And what’s the bet that the “anonymous tip off” also came from Ms Cash’s office and that the AFP will not, despite our data retention laws, be able to determine that in their “investigation” of themselves. Who’da thunk that it was so easy to mobilise dozens of AFP to go in search of decade old documents that are already part of the public record. Had I realised it was that easy I would have made a few anonymous calls myself. If the ROC and the AFP aren’t humiliated yet they damn well should be. I might make an anonymous call to tell them so.

  4. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES

    ROC & ROLL OUTLAWS. David you may have some facts wrong. It now appears from ROC’s statements in the Senate Estimates Committee, which can be viewed on YouTube, that it was ROC itself that informed Cash’s office of the impending raid during the earlier part of the day of the raid. That would have been done by ROC’s media and communications officer. Hence De Garis’s claim that the tip-off came from another person in the media.Thus, ROC were the informant to Cash’s office about the raid. ROC are under Cash’s authority as minister for Employment etc.

    It was Cash who made the initial complaint to ROC about the AWU recently in August 2017. So since August 2017, ROC have been investigating a complaint about the AWU relating to the unions record keeping for donations it made to GetUp! back in 2005. The union would be completely justified in having no such records as the 7 year period for retaining documents would have well passed by the time Cash made her complaint. Of course, as the Minister who is responsible for the ROC legislation CASH would know this. Cash has, therefore, necessarily lied and misled Parliament and abused legal process.

    ROC has also said to the Senate Estimates Committee that it was incorrect for it to state, as it had previously done, that the AWU had refused to comply with its previous notices to produce documents and records as the union had actually done so. Notwithstanding that the AWU had no legal obligation to maintain records over 10 years old, it had in fact complied. Nevertheless, ROC went off and repeated its false claim in evidence before a magistrate to obtain the warrant against the AWU. The AFP were simply obeying the warrant issued by the magistrate. ROC’s dishonest statement would have been needed as ‘evidence’ before the magistrate so the warrant could be issued as a matter of urgency and to attract the jurisdiction of the magistrate to grant the warrant. ROC has, therefore, also lied to the court. That’s a criminal offense and an abuse of process. This Government has, therefore, committed illegalities and conducted itself unlawfully and must be dismissed forthwith. The outlaw heads at ROC should ROLL with Cash’s boof head and the rest of all the LNP crims.

  5. Glenn Barry

    A wonderful read as always David – I would be enjoying the perpetual catastrophe that is the COALition government if it weren’t having such deleterious effects upon our country.
    Hopefully our nation will have learned it’s lesson with this second term, with no repeats necessary for an extended length of time

  6. Zathras

    Historically the born-to-rule Liberals always try to “play the man” rather than debate policy and look for ways to smear opponents on the basis of character.

    We saw it with Whitlam, Hawke, Keating, Beazley, Latham, Rudd and Gillard so why would Shorton be treated any differently?

    They even turn on their own when it suits, such as Slipper, or other rivals such as Hanson and call on the compliant media or any other resources as required. For example they provided pro-bono legal services to whistleblowers such as James Ashby and Kathy Jackson until they became no longer useful and then thrown on the scrap-heap.

    If they want to find flawed representation based on character, they should be looking in the mirror.

  7. Oscar

    Cash would be the sort of soul to dob her life long Jewish friends into the SS.They behave like they’re still the school yard.Desperation defines LNP.

  8. David Tyler

    OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES – thank you for your update on Cash’s duplicity and for clarifying whom DeGaris spoke with. Understand why he may have chosen to be evasive about where his call from the media had come from.
    Cash needs to explain how and why she sought to involve the AFP on a non-criminal matter. Her actions completely destroy any credibility ROC may have pretended to – something which your final insight makes clear is now totally destroyed. Agree the ROC should go and Cash should have resigned on the day.
    Head of ROC Mark Bielecki did not inspire confidence. Had to confess he was confused on at least one key detail. Tells committee union had in fact complied with all requests to produce documents and that he was mistaken. Perhaps as several have quipped, all unions look the same to him. Radiated incompetence.

  9. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES

    David. “Cash needs to explain how and why she sought to involve the AFP on a non-criminal matter.” It was ROC that involved the AFP not Cash directly. The specific ROC legislation is in the Fair Work Act and it enables and requires ROC to obtain warrants from a magistrate for warrants. Warrants issued by a court would, as a matter of course, be executed by the AFP. The ROC legislation in the Fair Work Act imposes both criminal and civil penalties upon registered organisations and their officials and the provisions relating to destruction of documents and records impose criminal penalties. Hence, a breach of criminal law has been alleged.

    It now appears that the tip off to Cash’s Office and De Garis came from either ROC itself or from the office of the Fair Work Ombudsman which is in the same building as a media officer there named Mark Lee was due to take a job in Cash’s office upon De Garis leaving

  10. Kaye Lee

    Let’s not forget Cash’s other stellar failure in appointing Nigel Hadgkiss to head the ABCC even though he was under investigation for breaking the very laws he was tasked to uphold.

    Former building industry watchdog Nigel Hadgkiss has been ordered to pay $8500 for breaching the Fair Work Act.

    In her judgement, Federal Court judge Berna Collier took into consideration Mr Hadgkiss’ contrition and remorse and the fact he had no record of previous contraventions of the Fair Work Act. She also noted that Mr Hadgkiss “has paid a high personal price in the loss of his position as a result of his contravention”.

    She said the “careless conduct” resulted in incorrect information remaining on the agency’s website for several years, “in apparent disregard of the reputational risk” to the agency.

    Mr Hadgkiss’ conduct was “at the higher end of the scale of seriousness” in terms of breaching section 503 of the Fair Work Act, she said.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/contrite-former-building-watchdog-boss-nigel-hagkiss-ordered-to-pay-8500-penalty-20170929-gyr6o3.html

    How you can call it careless when he deliberately instructed staff to not pass on the actual laws about right of entry because he thought they would be overturned by the new government. That’s not careless. He is a union basher from way back.

  11. Michael Taylor

    Another masterpiece, David. I can only aspire to be half as good a wordsmith as you.

  12. Frank Smith

    Great read David. What a week! Let us not forget that Cash went into “witness protection” immediately after requesting the AFP to investigate the source of the leaks. That enabled that great legal mind and over-inflated toad, Bookends Brandis to dodge all subsequent committee questions by claiming “public immunity” (whatever that is). And Bookends swears neither he nor his staff got their heads together with the PM overnight. Too tricky by far this shambles of a non-Government.

  13. Judith

    I would have had more confidence in Mchaela Cash’s integrity if she had looked her questioners in the eyes instead of looking everywhere but.

  14. helvityni

    Same here, Judith, she seemed nervous and looked down ; there was something shifty about her, her usual cockiness was missing…no eye contact.

  15. Frank Smith

    I have noted some commentators are suggesting Cash will replace Bookends as Attorney General when he shuffles off on his reward to London or Wellington or wherever. So in true Coalition style, the over-inflated pompous twit would be replaced by the rabid screaming Cash as our “First Law Officer”. Monty Python could not write a better script.

    Judith, helvityni, I have this ever-so-slight suspicion that she might have been telling “porkies”.

  16. Ross

    You might expect GETUP to play a much larger role in the next federal election, its coffers bulging with the monies donated from people appalled by the antics of this coalition government.
    It seems every time GETUP gets a mention from Malcolm & Co lots of people either donate or double the previous donation. Malcolm & Co just don’t get it about GETUP.
    Off course GETUP might not even have to exist if the coalition came even remotely close to good government.

  17. Glenn Barry

    If Cash does replace Brandarse, as per COALition mantra, we will at least see a continuation of the promised LNP stability in the dishonesty department

    Cash’s behaviour/body language during her answers HOWLED deceit and regret, regret, not at being deceitful, but at having been caught so easily

  18. Kyran

    Thanks to this masquerade we call government, at least the role of the media has finally been laid bare. They have now openly declared their partisan existence. At what point did the ‘media’ decide it was a filter of news, rather than a gatherer and reporter of news?
    Prior to this debacle, there were reports about Joyce’s dalliance. Ms Neate’s article was referenced by Ms Wilson recently and is an excellent read.

    http://yathink.com.au/article-display/who-exactly-is-waging-the-dirty-war-on-barnaby,207

    Of particular interest (in the context of this current debacle) was Katharine Murphy’s tweet;
    “There’s something of a convention in Aus politics: unless there’s criminality, coercion or abuse involved, private lives are private.”
    That was the first reference to ‘journalists’ seeing themselves as filters, not reporters. Whilst she could have advocated the deletion of the salacious, how can she possibly advocate for the deletion of the relevant?
    Joyce is a politician who openly lectures on morality. Aren’t the electorate entitled to know he is a complete and utter hypocrite? That his character, integrity and morality are seriously questionable? These are the sort of qualities we look for in a politician, aren’t they?
    Then, on the heels of this debacle, the bastions of the Press Gallery got into furious debate about disclosing sources.
    They have openly admitted, in their referencing ‘unwritten conventions’, that they can’t tell the difference between ‘a source’ and a ‘player’ (who unashamedly played them).
    In the off chance they missed it, the Queensland offices of the ABC got raided to locate a leaker (whistleblower?) from Newman government days.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-25/queensland-police-execute-search-warrant-on-abc-brisbane/9085120

    Somehow, our elite Press Gallery can’t discern the difference between protecting a legitimate source and covering their arses for being suckered by a media adviser.
    Ah, the media. And the most prestigious members of the media at that.
    From the ‘Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery’ web site;
    “Since the first day of the first sitting of the first Federal Parliament in 1901, the members of the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery have watched and recorded the activities of the nation’s elected representatives.”
    “The media is an essential part of democracy and something we should not take for granted. Public understanding and trust comes from the coverage and scrutiny the media provides. Even the politicians themselves rely on this scrutiny. An informed electorate is essential for democracy.”
    Even by their own standards, they cannot deny that coverage and scrutiny have long since gone by the wayside. They have now openly declared “We will decide what will be reported and the circumstances in which it will be reported”.
    They can locate a 16 year old guilty of thought crimes, but none of these geniuses can find De Garis or Cash, who appear to have disappeared under a cone of silence. This is good, in respect of Cash. There is less chance of our ear’s bleeding for a while. De Garis’s silence is curious. He is, after all, likely to serve up to two years in jail for his admitted malfeasance.
    And Turnbull? Does anyone know if Turnbull will be staying at Packer’s place in Israel? It gives him easy access to the Israeli PM, a neighbour.
    Oh, if only our ‘journalists’ could help us. They will undoubtedly be awaiting the next press conference.
    Thank you Mr Tyler and commenters. Always a great read. Take care

  19. paul walter

    Gee, I wish I could contribute to this, but after watching Palaszczuk, I just haven’t the spirit to attack a corrupt LNP without feeling I’m a hypocrite.

    I know, go take a couple of days off and think about it..

  20. Kaye Lee

    Mark Lee, media adviser to the Fair Work Ombudsman who also does work for the Registered Organisations Commission, was about to start a job in Cash’s office..

    “Now it has emerged that Mr Lee – who knew about the raids several hours before they occurred – was due to replace Mr De Garis in the media role in the coming weeks, as he moved to a different job in the office. Given the controversy, those plans have now been cancelled.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/unions-demand-answers-over-new-twist-in-michaelia-cash-police-raids-scandal-20171029-gzadu3.html

  21. paul walter

    A singularity.

    John Passant has noted this also. But really, the whole thing is no accident.. goes back months and years, heavily financed and resourced (including massively expensive Royal Commission as part of the long term process as well as the qangos).
    All like the politicised Equal Marriage survey, except that this time the wastage is on a monumental scale that dwarfs the $130 million wasted on the survey.

    Malevolent, corrupt stuff, and they would have got away with it but for Alice Workman, the brave whistleblower.

    Slander is covered in the Good Book and the Commandment as,

    “Thou shalt not bear False Witness against thy neighbour”.

    So much for all of the “Christian” government,
    the nearest to “Christian” there is Porter, a true agent of Satan.

  22. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES

    Paul: “the nearest to “Christian” there is Porter, a true agent of Satan” .couldn’t have said it better.

  23. paul walter

    It gets a bit egregious sometimes, doesn’t it OTMP?

  24. Neededagoodlaugh

    And now we have (Senator) Steven Parry (Tas-Lib) as a dual citizen. Crikey, can’t these culster-f#@ks do some basic due diligence and read the form before they put pen to paper and sign. His dear old Dad was a Pom!! It seems that the Labor Party is the only one that has a decent process in place for potential candidates re: dual citizenship. So sad…

  25. paul walter

    Too many poms. “There’ll always be a Britain”

  26. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES

    The ‘great’ Australian ‘democracy’. Turnbull signs MUA for defence co-operation with Israel. Next step is a formal alliance in which Australia will be obligated to defend the apparthied Zionist state. An MUA made in secret without the knowledge of the people. This is your democracy. NO ACCOUNTABILITY. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES

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