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Turnbull government reaches peak bullshit in surreal week.

“Yes we have no bananas. We have no bananas today.” (Frank Silver, Irving Cohn from, Make it Snappy 1922.)

“For every person who voted for us … I just want to say how completely and utterly humbled I am,” lies Barnaby.

“This has been a stunning victory and a great demonstration of the strength of the coalition,” says the PM.

A surreal political week reaches peak bullshit, the communications strategy of our era and one of the greatest dangers we face as a people and as a nation, Saturday.

It’s the talking up of Barnaby Joyce’s victory in the New England by election Saturday. Professional political con-artist, Malcolm Turnbull gives four cheers for his side-kick Joyce. Two stooges in concert in Tamworth, he and his deputy are dressed like stock agents on a Saturday night out. Costume is vital to any Nationals’ occasion.

The duo shriek Collins St farmer chic in matching blue checked shirts and nattily contrasting cowboy hats, light for the local and dark for the Canberra ring-in dude. Turnbull grins like a barracuda. Busts his chops as if he’s just won Lotto. There’s a holler and whoop from the crowd before he’s back on the mike with another crock of whoppers.

“Thank you for getting the band back together”, says the PM to his ruddy-faced sidekick. More whoops.

The nation looks on warily. Joyce’s re-election rubber-stamp after 16 years of ineligibility in Senate and Reps is the end of a bizarre anti-campaign in which our unseated sitting candidate rarely appears outdoors. He deigns to appear in public, let alone debate the other 16 candidates. Cannily, he calculates, it’s not worth his while.

None of the out of town blow-ins, he knows, offers any real competition to Himself, a sitting member who is owed a massive Section 44 victim sympathy vote. He sets up his victimhood well. Cleverly makes it all about injustice.

It’s a complex, paradox-ridden balancing act and is part of the key to the paralysis afflicting national politics.

Despite being top dog, BJ plays the underdog who’s been cruelly and unfairly thrown from office. The ABC encourages this view.

Other media also obligingly depict BJ as another victim of ‘the citizenship crisis’, as if it were some rogue virus; negating his own responsibility. Like many other MPs Joyce was just too slack to check his own citizenship eligibility. Yet government chatter turns now to changing to law to protect the negligent.

By Saturday, Turnbull will crow. His deputy PM’s re-election represents a thumping endorsement of federal government policies. And the wisdom of allowing candidates to check their own eligibility. But who are The Nationals? Do they even know themselves? How does Barnaby re-take New England? Time for a closer look.

“Bananas” Barnaby Joyce, New England’s celebrity MP, leads a motley rural mob of likely lads, ladettes in hats, self-interested mining shills and big-noting populist con-men like himself. Despite their pretentious name, the Nationals are local and parochial. Little is as it seems in the hugely over-promoted victory in New England.

As with Donald Trump’s supporters, Nationals’ contradictions are endless. For one, the Nats’ electorates offer refuge, of sorts, to a growing rural poor, whose numbers are swollen by increasingly transient Australians forced by rising rents, falling real wages and skyrocketing utility prices to migrate to regional and country towns.

Yet our poor folk in the bush get little joy from their MPs, although George Christensen did cross the floor, in June, to vote with Labor against the abolition of Sunday penalty rates for retail and hospitality workers. Nationals are generally right behind the Liberals’ crippling war on the poor, a plan that has seen wages and welfare stagnate.

The Nats’ big role is to add a second anti-Labor party to our politics – and joy to the hearts of our business class.

Mining interests love them. Ironically, Nationals MPs obsess over their own patch of turf while remaining hostile to those environmental and climate change policies which would help them conserve it.

Naturally, like former leader John Anderson some go on to top PR jobs in resource extraction after politics. Matt Canavan, who effortlessly relays Peabody and Adani Coal propaganda is already almost a full-time mining lobbyist.

Yet they are mysterious. Barnaby Joyce is privy to the top secret Coalition agreement which gives his party total control of the Prime Minister. The government won’t show it to Labor, even under Freedom of Information. Opposition Shadow Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon mounts a legal challenge.

And they are conflicted. The Nats say they represent farmers but as primary production dwindles to 2% of GDP, they are far more likely to be lobbyists for Big Cotton and other rural, corporate interests which need the likes of Barnaby to help them suck the life out of the Murray Darling Basin, for example, at scandal-ridden Goondiwindi.

Their loyalties can be murky. Barnaby’s our nation’s Minister for Water. Yet when ABC’s Four Corners alleges Barwon-Darling valley farmers are taking more water than they are entitled to, it’s nothing to do with him, or federal government. “State issue.”

Yet in a Shepparton pub-talk, he’s every farmers’ champion, backing irrigators against greenies. Farm profits are more important than the environment. A recording shows him making extraordinary promises.

“We’ve taken water and put it back into agriculture [ministry] so we can look after you and make sure we don’t have the greenies running the show, basically sending you out the back door.”

Happily, no-one asks Barnaby about water in the campaign. But up in Goondiwindi, farmers report rorts in the “Healthy Headwaters” program. Irrigators replace water sold back to the Commonwealth with extra floodwaters caught off the plains, utterly subverting the Murray-Darling Plan’s aim.

Phlegmatic to the core, Barnaby’s not fussed. It’s not a matter for the commonwealth he maintains.

Healthy Headwaters appears to have been falsely entered on Goondiwindi invoices currently under investigation by Queensland’s major organised crime squad (rural). While Barnaby’s been looking after irrigators, there’s enough accrued evidence of corruption for SA to order a Royal Commission. “A states’ issue”, he insists.

Joyce is untroubled by awkward questions on his anti-campaign trail. A no-show means no-one holds him to account. Yet river issues form only part of Barnaby’s story. Nats are also big on fracking, a process of hydraulic oil and gas extraction known to contaminate, deplete and ruin the water table for farming and safe drinking.

In March, he endorsed a South Australian government plan to pay farmers 10 per cent of royalties for allowing gas wells on their land. The scheme should be rolled out nationally, with an exclusion of prime agricultural land.

“I can’t see people who start making hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of dollars a year having a backlash,” Joyce tells Fairfax Media. Bugger the environment, Barnaby. Buy complicity in eco-vandalism.

Joyce has also been accused of conflict of interest. In September, the Turnbull government demanded NSW accelerate approval of the Santos project at Narrabri, north-west of Sydney, to “ease a looming gas shortage”.

So its spin machine claims. Barnaby lists land at Gwabegar, west of Narrabri as part of his pecuniary interests.

He downplays his purchase of the land. He had no idea he’d bought CSG reserves when he paid $572,000 dollars for a thousand hectares of mongrel country on two blocks in 2006 and 2008. He denies receiving advice from his pal former Nationals leader, John Anderson, who became chairman of Eastern Star Gas in 2007.

Eastern Star co-owned explorations rights to PEL 428 a neighbouring area- before being taken over by Santos.

Given all his power, influence and sheer hide, however, Teflon Barnaby causes a stir with his invisible campaign stunt.

On the stump, it’s deathly quiet. You can almost hear the boys from the banks duffing cattle and forging signatures on contracts as they foreclose on farm mortgages in Tamworth’s main drag. Even the $9 per week Fijian fruit-pickers turn down their radio. Trust crafty old Bananas to run a silent auction instead of a campaign.

BJ’s fifty but the old stager uses a New Age, anti-campaign approach. Innovative. He stays up-tight and out of sight until voters re-elect him and the next episode of Barnaby goes Bananas begins all over again. Or when Turnbull goes down in harness. BJ’s mob will make a bold showing in any new coalition opposition portfolio carve-up.

New Age? No self-respecting modern local hero or anti-hero wants to risk over-exposure. Appear on the hustings? Debate the other 16 candidates? Don’t waste my time. Sagely, BJ stays right away from public fora.

His campaign team confirms the former deputy PM will “not be participating in any public forums or debates”. It’s all due to the Melbourne Cup Field of “out-of-towner” candidates, volunteers The Armidale Express.

Not even BJ can keep it up. Duty calls. He must flip off a man’s hat in The Graman Hotel near Inverell Monday. The Deputy Prime Minister then calls his bare-headed victim a “fuckwit” reports the jihadist Labor-left- wing-greenie ABC news.

“A line was crossed. The man was bringing up family matters“, Barnaby tells Fairfax. It’s a win for New England gallantry. The Nationals’ leader also sets a new community liaison benchmark to his followers.

Certainly, The High Court’s upset him. Barnaby’s stripped of his office by seven judges dim enough to claim he’s a Kiwi despite his First Fleet ancestors in the local cemetery. So unfair. No-one’s more ‘Strayan. Even Malcolm Turnbull knows that. So why is Barnaby not on the hustings? His nation needs him. The suspense is incredible.

Everything rides on BJ’s re-election, an RM Williams-Gina Rinehart-Santos-Murray-Darling cotton joint-production. But Nats are more than lobby group sock puppets. Our gerrymandered electoral system, helps too.

Nationals get seven times as many seats in parliament as The Greens for less than half the votes. Nats get at best seven per cent of the national vote, David Marr reminds viewers on ABC Insiders Sunday.

But our democracy loves a helping hand. New England receives $170m in community grants from the Federal pork-barrel, for example. Labor-held NSW seats average $3m. And Barnaby’s got some powerful sponsors.

Gina just wants to give her old pal, Barney, more money: he’s the Minerals Council’s nation’s best ever farmer. Santos needs the Resources Minister’s silver-tongue to keep spruiking the benefits of fracking while the Nats go ape-shit without a top banana in control. When Barnaby’s not on top of them, his sidekicks run amok.

NSW Nats’ leader, State Deputy-premier John Barilaro tells 2GB the PM should give the people his resignation as a Christmas gift. Barilaro’s compliments of the season come as renegade Nationals rampage without “strong leader” Barnaby. They side with Greens and Labor to force Turnbull into ignominious retreat over his long-held opposition to a banking royal commission. And it’s all his own fault.

“Turnbull is the problem, the Prime Minister is the problem,” Barilaro tells 2GB who assume he’s speaking only for himself. “He should step down, allow for a clean-out of what the leadership looks like federally. And whoever governs the country needs to make sure that they put the country and its people first.”

Quickly, “barrel of laughs” Barilaro gets a slap-down from serial cabinet leaker Julie Isabel Bishop, an aspiring leadership contender herself, it is whispered – if mainly, at this stage, by Peter Hartcher and Latika Bourke.

He’s “irrelevant”, Bishop lisps. He’s not even in our party room. So there. Yet Barilaro can give the PM as much cheek as he likes. Besides, Turnbull’s runt of a government needs Bananas for its lower house majority.

Barnaby rallies to his PM’s cause. Turnbull is a mate, he says. Besides, he did not know what Barilaro was going to say about Turnbull. If he had, he’d have told him not to. Yeah. Nah. That’s the leadership you get with Bananas. And the loyalty. Then, just so you know you can trust his judgement, Barnaby goes barking. Foams at the mouth.

Barilaro’s comment is the “worst possible insult in politics … worse than drowning a dog, worse than murder”.

Barilaro almost distracts the nation from the government’s weekly witch hunt of “Shanghai Sam”. Yet even Dastyari-bashing, 2.0 is upstaged briefly by the most bizarre PM’s presser in Australia political history, Thursday.

The PM backflips over banks. He has to. The Nationals sans Barnaby threaten to cross the floor unless they get a royal commission and he hasn’t got the numbers. Yet if he’s forced into it, he’s had time to tip off the banks.

It’s a sensational performance; a double back flip with pike. Ayatollah Turnbull and ScoMo – Where the bloody hell are you? -his all-singing, all dancing former tourist tout cum refugee jailer cum treasurer steal the political show with an amazing improvisation. It’s incoherent, illogical and ultimately inexplicable but ScoMo tries his best.

“S’ a lot of politics in this. That politics was damaging our economy. It was damaging the credibility of our banking system,” Morrison tells Coalition megaphone and One Nation comfort station, Channel Seven’s Sunrise next morning. He sticks his chin up for the camera in an alarming Benito Mussolini impression.

“Sometimes in politics you’ve got to take the least worst option.” He waves a letter from the banks. So he claims.

The truth is that the Nationals have helped force the federal government into an inquiry it doesn’t want. Labor gets blamed, of course, but no-one sees it as anything but an attempt by a PM desperate to save his political skin.

The letter is a theatrical prop too far. “Is that a permission slip?”, snorts Bill Shorten, warming up. He’s close. Yet the government has chosen terms of reference which include superannuation, one of the few areas of financial industry doing the right thing for members, as The Australian Financial Review’s Laura Tingle points out.

Tingle calls the targeting of industry super an “ideological fatwa”. It clearly an extension of the government’s war on workers and their attempts to organise their labour to protect their rights and conditions through unions.

Not only has the government allowed the banks to dictate the terms of its own inquiry, it has connived at a Clayton’s Royal Commission to take aim, equally, at the banks’ only competitor, industry super funds. It is an outrageous political stitch-up. To make it more absurd, it blames Labor.

We just couldn’t allow a politically hi-jacked inquiry to be taking place” says Matthias Cormann Thursday with a straight face. Yet that is precisely what the government has delivered.

An in-form Shorten calls it a “bank flip”. A “super bank-flip”, perhaps, also, given its designs on industry super? A super-size me (broad and vague) commission?

Of the $2.6m banks donated to the major parties last year, Labor received $1m, however. Even if the attack on workers’ savings provides fresh resolve, on past form, the Opposition is unlikely to pursue banks too far.

Best total bank receipts for a party in government, however, go to the Liberals who received at total of $12,716,470 in donations from Macquarie, NAB, CBA, ANZ and Westpac between 2013 -2016.

Money talks but best colour and movement goes to “dragged kicking and screaming” to a Royal Commission a popular offering by Nationals MP, George Christensen, who vowed he’d cross the floor to vote for a Commission and who now not so secretly promises to resign if his PM does not. He later reneges as expected.

At least he can be credited with helping supply the right imagery even if turns out he hasn’t forced Turnbull into doing anything. Is it all a sham? So far all signs suggest a bravura confidence trick. Amazingly the PM calls a Royal Commission the very day the banks write to him begging for one.

Their letter shows that the banks will set their own terms of reference. Clearly, this is no royal commission. As the terms of reference, the year limit and the appointment of Ken Hayne, QC, Dyson Heydon’s stablemate as its Chief Commissioner make clear, it not about fixing the banks but about helping banks access union super funds.

Will an inquiry damage the credibility of the banking system as Morrison and his PM maintain? The banks have done a good job of that themselves; they can thank their own conduct. Since the GFC, our Big Four banks have paid out over a billion dollars in fines and compensation for rorting their own clients.

Ian Verrender, points out, moreover, our regulatory authorities have a track record of letting banks off lightly.

Are they “too big to fail or too big to jail?”, asks former Deutsche Bank analyst Mike Mangan now CEO of funds manager 2MG. Mangan summarises our banks’ transgressions during the past decade from the Storm financial crisis to rigging Malaysian currency markets and providing bad financial advice.

Complaints are broad and range from farmers to small business and households. Issues include banks’ usurious profiteering, their fee-gouging, money-laundering and their almost complete contempt for the law.

On ABC Insiders, Mark Riley warns the government will be challenged by “expectation management”. He means the nation will be angry at its betrayal when it discovers that the Royal Commission into the banks is not the Royal commission everyone was hoping for. Already any change in regulation is ruled out as is any change in policy.

“… the Commission is not required to inquire into, and may not make recommendations in relation to macro-prudential policy, regulation or oversight… ”,

No-one but the banks and a government desperate to buy time will be happy with a Clayton’s inquiry with terms so wide and vague as the one outlined Thursday. The Coalition will quickly live to rue its chicanery.

Above all, as Marr points out, there will be no forum for story-telling, a place for farmers, for example, to share their stories of how they were sold financial products they couldn’t manage and then thrown off their land.

In stories there is part of the path to healing; part also of the process of calling to account those government subsidised and protected institutions we have allowed to grow into monsters preying upon our lives.

In its absurd theatre of calling a royal commission it didn’t want but its weakness forced it into, as in its faux self-congratulation in the New England by-election on a victory it didn’t win for policies which continue to fail even the popularity test, the government again reaches peak bullshit. The nation is ill-served by such duplicity.

Its banking commission is clearly a hoax, a poorly disguised way of pretending to heed calls for an inquiry while providing the means for banks to access Industry super while it furthers its ideological war on unions. More than duplicitous, it is an attack on some of the most vulnerable members of society in the interests of profiting the rich.

It’s shameful betrayal of trust and responsibility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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39 comments

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  1. Jarrad

    Welcome back David , I’m sure I speak for many when I say you’ve been missed .
    You could’nt be more spot on !
    This Royal Commission into our Financial System is indeed a hoax and will very intentionally be the backdoor to access the industry super funds our absurdly corrupt banks are currently locked out of .
    And Barnaby effing Joyce !! Well what else can you do but shake your head in disbelief at this utter disgrace of a human being .
    Thanks again David

  2. June M Bullivant Oam

    Spot on David Taylor, smoke and mirrors, here today gone tomorrow, that sort of thing, the problem we have that main stream media cannot see the wood for the trees, not once did I see water mentioned in the media, it should have been splashed over the front page. New England has voted again for a man who lacks ethics, morals, compassion, trust and justice. I used to like him for the way he spoke up, he has lost his way turning into a poor people hater, self interested politicians who can lie to your face with a clear conscience. HELP we need somebody to take Australia forward before it is too late and we wont even own the country we live in.

  3. lawrencesroberts

    Next! A Clayton’s Federal I.C.A.C.

  4. yahoo mail

    Really it is like a sinking ship going down with rats still clining to the hull. This government is done for the people of Australia deserve better.

  5. Joseph Carli

    A very informative and entertainingly scripted piece, David Taylor…Barnaby is the same as one of those dirty old ward politicians..glad-handing the elderly ladies with the “lamington smile” and having a go at feeling-up their daughters…But we Ozzies are always a sucker for the cheery soul.

  6. townsvilleblog

    David Marr reminded us yesterday on Insiders that the National Party only gain around 7% of the votes in Australian politics. We don’t want a federal ICAC, what we want is a federal version of Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC).

  7. Freethinker

    The coalition is banking in the someone or more that one in the ALP will do something stupid and I think that they are on the money.
    On today’s news:
    “Labor leader Bill Shorten visited Huang Xiangmo at his Sydney mansion to secure political donations several months after Labor officials were warned the controversial business figure was of interest to ASIO over links to the Chinese government. ”

    Just when the ALP can have the government on the ropes things like this happens. We know that the mud stick and the media will use this to manipulate the electorate.
    Dastyari is going to face the music in the senate and Shorten in the lower house. The media will have a ball!

    We know that the Liberals has accepted donations from Mr Huang $122,960 but perhaps that “was OK for the media.

  8. babyjewels10

    You gave me a good laugh, which was desperately needed considering the state of Australia, the US, Yemen, Bangladesh, you name it. It kinda gets a girl down at times.

  9. wam

    Since I heard a piece of the old queen mary singing: “Yes ve haff no bananas”, any reference to the song gives me a giggle every time,

    The boys clearly have a bad case of banana freckle(or the desperate need to drop their trousers which is muffling their voice)

    Sadly, barnaby’s landslide win and today’s poll shows all but the diehard laborites have heard and 75% for no change leader is a massive recognition of trumballs.

    They may not know why this nasty party needs trumball in direct proportion to the other party needing their quiet achievers to blow their bags but 75% should give the labor boys few hints about the need for a few skirls on sunrise and today..

    It would be politic for bill to go for the lnp or get a mossie bite and go

    ps if there are any duals in labor that would be an appropriate reason for billy to ‘fall on his sword’

  10. Kaye Lee

    Aside from not being able to make any recommendations into “policy, regulation or oversight”, another point in the terms of reference says:

    “the Commission is not required to inquire, or to continue to inquire, into a particular matter to the extent that to do so might prejudice, compromise or duplicate:

    a) another inquiry or investigation; or
    b) a criminal or civil proceeding.”

    Does that mean that they can’t look into anything that ASIC, APRA or AUSTRAC are already looking into? Like the money laundering for example?

  11. David Tyler

    Looks very much like it, Kaye Lee. Laura Tingle wrote a good piece in the AFR
    http://www.afr.com/news/politics/peril-in-a-banking-royal-commission-framed-in-political-desperation-20171130-gzw3uq
    As did Greg Jericho in The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2017/dec/03/shades-of-sir-humphrey-in-banking-royal-commission-terms-of-reference
    Not even a whitewash – just a load of hogwash while Malcolm got the bolshie Nats off his back – yet with the cunning plan of twisting the inquiry to attack industry super.

  12. Kaye Lee

    wam,

    The issue with the Labor dual nationals is that they sent off the form and the fee before they nominated but it took six or seven weeks to be processed. In Barnaby’s case however….

    ‘Over the course of the weekend, we went through the process of renunciation,’ he told the chamber.

    ‘We received verbal communication from New Zealand before Question Time that that has now been accepted and we’re looking forward to the written advice turning up pronto.’

    He received the paperwork confirming his renunciation on Tuesday.

    It’s handy when you can ring up the High Commissioner and get him to do the paperwork on the weekend.

  13. Jaquix

    David Tyler should get a Walkley Award. Best analyser by far. Much appreciated.

  14. Kaye Lee

    David, attacking industry super funds is going to be a tough call as they continually outperform retail super funds by a long way. When unions initially gave up a 3% wage rise in return for the compulsory superannuation guarantee, they set up funds to manage their members’ retirement savings with equal representation from employers and employees..

    At the time, Howard said “That superannuation deal, which represents all that is rotten with industrial relations in Australia, shows the government and the trade union movement in Australia not only playing the employers of Australia for mugs but it is also playing the Arbitration Commission for mugs”.

    How dare the employees in an industry and the employers run a superannuation fund for people on a not-for-profit basis when the Coalition’s mates in banks and finance could have been skimming off the cream investing the money themselves without the employees having any idea where it was being invested, by whom or who were the Trustees managing it on their behalf?

    Any attack on the not-for-profit sector will be driven solely by hatred and envy and puts at risk the retirement incomes of members of those funds. The public must be very very vigilant about this.

  15. Joseph Carli

    I remember sitting around with a group of tradies on a building site one smoko back in the 80’s and the discussion de jour was super and how much each was putting away for retirement..The sums for those days were rather modest for now, but doing a “back of the rafter-offcut” calculation, I figured that by the time the baby-boomers (of which we were) retired, there would be so much money tied up in super funds…ie; so much “blood in the water”, the sharks would be sure to move in for the kill..Time has proved me correct, but it never was more that what blind-Freddy could have figured out.

  16. David Tyler

    Brilliant quote from the lying rodent and war criminal Howard, Kaye Lee. Howard did so much damage. As you say when you compare the two types of fund, it’s immediately clear which is the rip-off.
    When Dutton starts spruiking for a review of industry super, moreover, we should all worry. Can’t for the life of me see how how it can be fitted into even the shonky – and loaded terms of reference – not that this will stop them. Nor, I suspect, will it deter Ken Hayne QC who comes from Dyson Heydon’s stable.
    Dutton’s slur implies that industry super stings members for extra fees which are kickbacks to unions. Not true and flies in the face of the fact that industry members pay less into funds which as you say constantly outperform the others. And are transparent.
    It’s not as if workers with their funds in industry super are rolling in money. It’s a despicable attempt to find a means to allow greedy bankers and their mates to raid the savings of the poor and vulnerable.
    I haven’t dwelt on it but it’s laughable to contend that the banks need a toothless Clayton’s commission into their wrong-doings to halt the loss of public confidence in banks. And that it’s Labor’s fault. Yet that’s what Morrison and Turnbull were pretending Thursday.

  17. Kaye Lee

    David,

    I was gobsmacked as I listened to them blame Labor. The undermining of confidence apparently has nothing to do with the banks doing the wrong thing. The problem is the bastards who called them out on it. How dare they besmirch their reputation by exposing their wrongdoing!

  18. Max Gross (@Max_Gross)

    Once again the LNP gang behave in a treasonous manner, betraying the best interests of Australians generally while promoting, protecting and entrenching their own privileged little clique of crooks, creeps and crackpots. Guillotine Day cometh!

  19. Egalitarian

    The hats define these 2. They are out of control cowboys. Both are drunk on power.

  20. Ricardo29

    Thanks David, Kaye and all other commenters. This is in the ‘so funny it makes me cry’ category and every new bit one reads about the ToR for the inquiry gets more depressing. The government continues its attempts at deflection with more Labor/China links and, of course the MSM ignores the coalition’s links. We need an election, and a new government for so many reasons.

  21. Kaye Lee

    Consider these statistics from financial research group Rainmaker: of the more than $2.3 trillion in Australia’s superannuation system, total fees last year amounted to a staggering $31 billion.

    But it is the way the fees are split that is truly stunning. Industry funds manage around 42 per cent of that cash. Their fees account for around 42 per cent of the total fee take.

    Retail funds, on the other hand, have their foot on far less than industry funds with just 29 per cent of the market. But their fees are much higher, accounting for half the $31 billion total. So, less than one-third of the market but half the fees.

    Industry super funds are not union dominated or union backed. Their constitutions force them to have a balance; equal numbers of employee and employer representatives on every board. Bosses and workers together.

    Immigration Minister Peter Dutton on Friday gave voice to a frequent government refrain and left little doubt about the Government’s motive for including superannuation as part of the royal commission.

    Industry funds, he said, would face more scrutiny as a result of the royal commission, given they have “union members and whatnot on the board”.

    The “whatnot” include businesspeople such as Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox, who has been a director of industry fund AustralianSuper for the past two-and-a-half years.

    Most employer representatives find the “union dominated” tag insulting, to say the least.

    As Mr Willox told ABC’s The Business on Friday night: “There are many examples of where employers have a very strong equal voice and sometimes stronger voice in industry funds.”

    For 25 years, industry funds have delivered better returns to their members than bank-run retail funds.

    During that period, billions of dollars in fees have been raked off for the benefit of bank executives and directors, many of whom have been paid obscene bonuses for pathetic results.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-04/verrender-banking-royal-commission-could-be-superannuation-sting/9221798

  22. king1394

    Joyce, and the National Party generally, plus more others than I like to think, prove themselves to be Cornucopians. There will always be more, they believe. The water in the Murray Darling system will always flow cleanly, the Great Artesian Basin will last forever. Another dam or pipeline will fix any little problems. They have no concept of limits. While they have the power to endorse programs that overuse resources, exploitation of our land and water will continue apace. Unfortunately, it’s a message that comforts many country people and which historically has led to many unwise decisions.

  23. David Tyler

    Then there’s insurance. Industry super funds challenge the inclusion of life insurance in the royal commission. They say it’s “ludicrous”. It will uncover nothing new. Yet it will help stretch out the scope of the inquiry and thus help reduce the depth of any inquiry into banking malpractice. The life insurance racket could easily tie up a Royal Commission for years all on its own.

    In AFR, Eva Scheerlinck, head of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, says the Turnbull government’s approach to industry regulation was a “dog’s breakfast.”

    “This is ludicrous, confusing for both [superannuation] members and consumers. We currently have three different government lines of inquiry and two regulator reviews going in five different directions and covering every aspect of insurance,” she says.

    “The best outcome for consumers would be to rationalise the current inquires and reviews underway into a single process with a clear objective on how to improve life insurance offerings.”

    http://www.afr.com/business/banking-and-finance/financial-services/life-insurance-in-the-banking-royal-commission-is-ludicrous-says-aist-20171130-gzvxzv#ixzz50FiQYDhO

  24. helvityni

    Top post ,David!

    Mal seems to think that Barnaby winning his seat back has something to with his ( Mal’s) leadership qualities. He also believes that he, only he, can save the Tennis Player…spend big an you will rewarded….

    Wouldn’t it be ironic, if Kristina won

  25. Paul

    Yet another brilliant piece David, love you’re work mate 👍

    @ Helvityni: it would be bloody awesome if Kristina won!

  26. win jeavons

    He is no banana; the fruit is good for one’s health, the fruitcake is a pox on the nation.

  27. Kronomex

    That photo is horrific, a mindless cretin standing next to what appears to be a tanked “leader.” I would also like to know where they did the poll that shows 71% of voters saying leaders should not be removed before an election. If the 80% of coalition voters bit is any indication then I’m betting the polls were done in heavily biased areas.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/fairfaxipsos-poll-australians-send-a-warning-to-coalition-mps-thinking-about-axing-malcolm-turnbull-20171203-gzxmf5.html

  28. Nexus321

    yahoo mail – which Australians would they be? The ones that obsess pathetically and endlessly about the value of their property(ies) or those that run ‘slave’ businesses using 457’s as they don’t want to pay or train the locals or others that are happy to use ‘rent-seeking’ services like Uber that pay no local taxes and suck millions out of the local economy. These are the I’m alright screw you jack people of Australia that believe the economic crap and myths peddled by the LNP about so called welfare cheats while corporate Australia salts away billions in off shore accounts. Australia is becoming like the UK as the health system is pushed into decline and mentally ill and disabled people that will be driven to consider suicide.

  29. Ill fares the land

    Firstly, the NSW land Joyce owned was, apparently, described by he himself as “mongrel land”. Hardly worth nearly $600K plus transfer costs if it is no use for farming. This is a classic example of corrupt use of “insider” knowledge. His claims that he had no knowledge of coal seem gas on the land are hollow beyond belief.

    Secondly, as just another National nong, Joyce was affable enough and generally seemed to be reasonably sensible when he made comments. However, I see him now as a classic example of the “Peter Principle”. He simply lacks the intellectual muscle to be both the National’s leader and the Deputy PM. Most of his comments are now drivel and many make no sense whatever, with an unhealthy serve of bulls**t thrown in for good measure. But he played the “unjust victim” card well in his campaign. The fact is he was caught out by his own failure to understand what he signed when he previously declared he was not a dual-citizen and this goes to his lack of intellect. He is not stupid by any means but he is not smart enough to be effective in his current roles.

    Joyce was caught be a very clear application of the Constitution by the High Court – the HC doing exactly what it is supposed to do. And when he was caught out, he refused to deal with his problem decisively, but continued to blunder his way through his dilemma – unlike John Alexander who displayed the characteristics that should be on display – he admitted his mistake and acted decisively.

    Thirdly, Joyce’s primary vote was very high sure. But it was no higher than the last time he won that seat and would have been markedly lower had Windsor run in that electorate. Windsor would not have won, but he would have taken perhaps 10 to 15% of the primary vote away from Joyce. Joyce’s claims about Labor showing its character by Shorten not visiting the electorate, but did Turnbull not stay out of WA during the campaign leading up to the last Federal election?

    Joyce is a great example of a nong somehow able to convince the electorate that he stands apart, when his behaviours suggest anything but that.

  30. Patagonian

    It’s not that the mainstream media can’t see the wood for the trees, it’s that they don’t WANT to.

  31. Patagonian

    The Turnbull government has abandoned its landmark industry superannuation changes for this year, bowing to intense lobbying of crossbench senators and clearing it off the table for what is likely to be the last week of Parliament.

    The changes would have forced the $600 billion industry super fund sector to appoint independent directors, compelled not-for-profit funds to disclose administrative expenses, and handed more powers to regulators to police the sector.

    Now why would they take it off the table at this point?

  32. LOVO

    Patagonia, mayhap because “there’s nothing to look at here”, except for the fact the ‘industry funds’ are doin’ better than the ‘others’…mayhap in the LNP’s ‘haste’ in regards to the RC they have shot themselves in the foot and in so doing have realised how unadult ‘they have become/were always’……the latest fracas is but an “look over there”….. oh, and it’s Labor’s fault, …sigh 🙄

  33. Patagonian

    That would be wonderful if it was the case. My thoughts are that they are betting that they’ll get what they want through the RC anyway, so why prolong the current damaging debate.OT did anybody see that loathesome specimen Breheny on Q&A tonight? His response to the young Muslim girl’s question was disgusting, but the next minute he’s getting all moralistic about Don Burke’s actions. What a creature – a fine example of the next generation of Liberal politicians.

  34. johno

    The moron (barnaby) is keen to mine antarctica. Nothing is sacred from these effwits.

  35. helvityni

    Patagonian, why does ABC think that noisy detestable upstart could add anything to the conversation, I could not stand watching him , so I turned the show off. Where’s the humanity of that silly schoolboy, and manners. Don’t good manners/ being civil, matter any more…?

  36. Kaye Lee

    I agree the performance from that privileged twat Breheny was absolutely disgusting. “I’m not interested in your pain. I want to talk about Donald Trump’s tax cuts.” He should never be given another gig. I will be expressing my disgust on the ABC page.

  37. eddietla

    I noticed Turnbull hid in the background till he was sure Barnaby won.

  38. Paul Davis

    Is it my imagination or are more and more of these IPA monstrosities being gifted forums for their bile by the ABC….. they seem lately to be everywhere – QandA, Lateline, 7.30 et al.

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