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Whatever The High Court decides, Turnbull’s lost the nation already.

“If you look at the examples across Europe, socialism is a recipe for failure, is a recipe for mediocrity and for inferior outcomes. There is no doubt Bill Shorten has taken the Labor Party down the path of a socialist agenda,”

Senator Matthias Cormann.

 

Undermined by a dual-citizenship debacle that threatens its legitimacy and which could well drag on until Christmas, besieged by a marriage equality survey that is at best postponing of a reckoning with popular opinion – and at worst an abdication of leadership, the Turnbull government is paralysed by indecision and ineptitude. Almost.

Luckily, it has hidden reserves. Wannon MP, plucky Dan Tehan, is on hand to deplore the “defacing of public statues” and two councils’ decision to change the date of Australia Day. It’s his way of advancing public debate.

“The behaviour of these councils is appalling”, he says, showing all the open-minded empathy a Liberal MP can muster.

Darebin Council, in Melbourne’s north, says it decided to replace citizenship ceremonies on January 26 with “more culturally appropriate” activities out of “compassion and empathy to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people”.

Accordingly, the federal government has, fairly and reasonably, removed Melbourne’s City of Yarra and Darebin councils right to host citizenship ceremonies, ever, after the local governments voted not to hold them on January 26.

The bizarrely high-handed, over-reaction to what is a local issue reveals a government losing its sense of perspective long with its legitimacy and its authority. Worse. In the hothouse anti-terror climate of official aussie values, hypervigilant citizenship and constant, state-sponsored paranoia, a type of madness thrives.

The Turnbull government is increasingly, alarmingly intolerant of dissent. In its recent Australia Day actions it seems unduly, unreasonably, threatened by local independence which includes a healthy disrespect for authority and state control – surely the very lifeblood of the Aussie values or the peoples- it professes to respect.

Professor Roberta Ryan, Director the The Institute for Public Policy and Governance at Sydney’s University of Technology, cuts to the chase.

“I really do think the outrage is about people not liking what councils are saying … and what these councils are saying is ‘Australia Day is ‘Invasion Day’ for Aboriginal people and we don’t want to be a part of it’.”

“It’s ironic that the PM has said changing the date is a national debate we need to have, yet his government appears to be working to silence it by punishing councils for taking a stand in support of their Indigenous communities,” says Darebin’s mayor, Kim le Cerf, exposing a favourite Turnbull buzz-phrase – on a par with “national conversation” .

Dan hasn’t got the memo about debate or dissent. Someone has written “change the date” and “no pride in genocide” on a statues, including one of James Cook in central Sydney. Dan hopes they are arrested. You can’t change history. You can look at the facts at the time and you can say this is what we know now. “But you can’t deface statues.”

Australia Day’s date and the statues are huge in the news. The PM is quick to condemn the “cowardly criminal attack” on the defenceless statues. He sees it as nothing less than “a Stalinist attempt to rewrite history”, which fits his government’s attack on socialist Bill Shorten this week. You can tell he’s always up for measured, respectful debate.

Dan’s can-do attitude and his nose for true Aussie values illustrate the resilience and agility of a Turnbull team with its backs to the wall. The statues help remind us how we are up with latest overseas trends in statuary conservation.

Donald Trump, for example, has recently deplored the toppling of beautiful statues of confederate generals and slave owners. He tweets that he is “sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart”. No danger that the Donald will acknowledge his own part in that ripping apart. Our self-righteous rulers share the same blind spot.

Minister for Defence personnel and for assisting the PM on cybersecurity, when he’s not deploring local vandalism, Dan is also helping his government devise laws to make telecommunications providers take responsibility for what he describe as “scrubbing the Web of viruses and malware”. With those aims he easily wins Sisyphean hero of the week.

Sinking further with every poll, racked by internal division, a rapidly disintegrating Coalition desperately tries to rally; forge some superficial unity or purpose by picking on others. A week of absurdly overblown posturing is on show all arenas – in the theatre of its war on terror, refugees, the poor or Bill Shorten, led by the PM’s bullying of the High Court.

Barnaby Joyce is “qualified to sit in the house and the High Court will so hold. “Turnbull trumpets. He goes way too far, even given his gift for hyperbole. Better to have stood his Kiwi ring-in aside. Called a bye-election. Bluster won’t cut it.

In three months, tops, Aussie Barnaby, would canter back in – well in time for office Christmas drinks and parties.

The PM’s dud call upsets backers. Shocks their Murray-Darling cotton socks off. Even Barry O’Sullivan goes quiet.

Bazza reckons BJ’s a rock star. A real celebrity. Books him to campaign in the QLD state election in October or next March. Across the Tasman, Joyce’s just as big. He’s running second in nominations for 2018 New Zealander of the Year.

Huge as Barney is, nevertheless, Turnbull is out of order. Did the former savvy, Spy-Catcher barrister really try to sway the High Court? Abuse parliamentary privilege to get an expeditious hearing or a favourable outcome? Surely not.

Turnbull says he has “very clear advice” from the Solicitor-General that Joyce need not stand down; that his future’s safe. But does he? Could it simply be its George Brandis-friendly S-G 2.0, Dr Stephen Donoghue QC, our second most powerful law officer, telling it what it wants to hear? Could getting rid of Gleeson have backfired so quickly?

Other constitutional legal experts are much less upbeat. Spencer Zifcak, Professor of Law at the Australian Catholic University says the PM has badly miscalculated:

He should have known better than to preempt the court’s decision. The judges will not be impressed. And anyway, in this instance, he’s likely to be wrong. In constitutional matters, unambiguous words usually win out.

Notorious for its secrecy, the Coalition will not release its advice, yet the public has a right to know. AG Brandis, maintains that publishing advice could scare off the silks; jeopardise the Coalition’s future access to legal opinion.

Yet “…why should the nation trust the government on the basis of legal argument it has not seen?”, asks UNSW’s Gabrielle Appleby.

Government should release its case out of respect for the upcoming High Court hearing, for the right of the Parliament and public to know the full detail of advice that we are being assured we can rely upon. Secrecy, she concludes, risks further undermining the reputation of the office of the Solicitor-General, tarnished by Gleeson’s treatment.

Help is on its way. Nuanced News Corp hacks invade the field; stiff-arm tackle a rogue constitution for tripping up the lazy or unwary. Laurie Oakes calls section 44 “a silly tangle” and calls for change in the next election “if we value parliament.” Law’s an ass. A referendum will fix it. Let’s do away with anything that gets in government’s way.

Whatever Turnbull’s tactic, his rush to prejudgement backfires, Thursday. Chief Justice Susan Kiefel sets a hearing for October 10, 11 and 12, a month later than Attorney-General George “bring-it-on” Brandis bargains on. Everything about the Chief Justice’s demeanour suggests that she is reluctant to allow proceedings to be hurried along by anyone.

Justice Kiefel asks the Solicitor-General Dr Stephen Donaghue QC, who represents Brandis, if there is any “practical difficulty” or “issue of governance” if the court hears the matter in October. No. There is not, young Donaghue meekly replies. The real possibility that the government could lose its majority over Barnaby is not something to bring up here.

It’s a stiff rebuke from the chief beak; yet another miscalculation by a government with a genius for self-sabotage.

In a further blow, the court grants Tony Windsor permission to appear “as a contradictor” because he polled second in New England in 2016. Windsor may challenge the government’s arguments and put forward contrary views.

Windsor will argue that Joyce, a dual citizen of New Zealand, has breached the constitution by standing as a senator. His lawyers have also argued for the right to cross-examine Joyce, if needed, for their case.

Even more damaging to the government’s cause, Signor Canavani, our Italian Senator, changes his story. No longer does he blame his mother, Maria, for his Italian citizenship. Instead, it’s his mother country. Italy changed its law in 1983 conferring citizenship by descent upon him when he was but two years old. He knew nothing. Besides the law is an ass.

“Assolutamente ridicolo” Matteo’s lawyer, Barrister David Bennett QC, contends that to apply section 44 (i) to citizenship by descent is ridiculous. He’ll use ABS statistics to show that citizenship by descent could apply to half the parliament.

Absolutely. The Law’s at fault; not the responsibility of the candidate to check he makes an true and accurate declaration. And follows procedure. A novel twist is introduced by one (former) dual citizen amongst the magnificent seven now awaiting clarification. Malcolm Roberts says he emailed The British Home Office to renounce his citizenship.

Roberts did not hear back and emailed his renunciation again. His lawyer, Robert Newlinds, SC says the Senator was sent a form by the Home Office after the election, and sometime later, the British authorities accepted his renunciation.

Mr Newlinds said it remains unclear whether the Home Office “were accepting the renunciation by the form, or the earlier email”. To the non-legal observer it would seem, by his own admission, nevertheless, that Roberts was still a dual citizen at the time of his election and that the supply of a form indicates that there was a process yet to complete.

The political stage is set for a bean-feast of casuistry, pettifogging and bush-laywering. Until Roberts’ case is thrown out.

The notion that the Leader of the Opposition must disprove his dual citizenship is irresistible to a government desperate to distract. The week begins with a series of government MPs demanding Bill Shorten produce documentation showing he’s renounced the British citizenship he inherited from his Tyneside father William. It’s a game anyone can play.

Coalition climate change guru Craig Kelly calls for an audit of all MPs eligibility to sit in parliament. He believes all MPs “should be forced to prove” they are not dual citizens of another country, thereby reversing the onus of proof in an imitation of the American birther movement. Others chime in, assisted by the ABC’s Tony Jones on Monday’s Q&A.

Liberal Fran Kelly pesters guests on her RN breakfast show over several days as to why Bill Shorten won’t provide proof he’s renounced British citizenship. Bugger justice. Sabra Lane also badgers Labor MPs who appear on ABC AM.

The onus or burden of proof is borne by the prosecution in a legal tradition which is hailed as the golden thread of English criminal law and is fundamental to the presumption of innocence. As the High Court put it three years ago:

” …[o]ur system of criminal justice reflects a balance struck between the power of the State to prosecute and the position of an individual who stands accused. The principle of the common law is that the prosecution is to prove the guilt of an accused person.”

Shorten’s in trouble -as we all know – just for being Bill Shorten, a predicament created by Tony Abbott whose sole political legacy is his capacity to see clear past policy to focus solely on persecuting his opponents by any means possible. It hurt Rudd and worked a treat with Gillard, thanks in no small part to the support of the Murdoch press.

After Abbott wasted $50 million on the witch hunt that was the Heydon Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption a circus which failed to find Shorten or Julia Gillard guilty of a single criminal offence, this week, in desperation the Coalition allows its ferocious Belgian Schutzhund, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann off his leash.

Cormann takes the lead in demonising Shorten in a speech at Gerard and Anne Henderson’s tax-deductible, home, also grandly titled The Sydney Institute. Not only is he a socialist, the Labor leader is taking his party back to its failed socialist roots, barks Matthias. No-one is rude enough to point out that Shorten is a member of the Victorian right. Nor dare anyone suggest that Coalition proposals to build state coal mines or Adani a railway are very much socialist ideas.

Cormann shows a slide with a link to a quotation from Karl Marx. The clue is in the key word inequality.

“Bill Shorten says he will fight inequality everywhere. Who else used that sort of language?” The Messiah?

Smart as a whip, Julie Bishop calls Shorten the most left-wing Labor leader than Arthur Calwell, Gough Whitlam’s predecessor, a gibe which is sure to create mass panic amongst the over seventies. Or amuse those who attend Liberal Party meetings. A delinquent focus group somewhere, surely, must be laughing at its mischief.

Cormann’s evidence is equally laughable. Shorten’s keeping the deficit levy which the Coalition itself brought in – at a whopping 49.5%, a whole half a percent higher than under Abbott’s regime. Then there’s his restriction of negative gearing, his limitation of self-managed super funds to borrow from the fund to buy property, itself part of the government’s Murray inquiry into the financial system.

In brief, even after a scare about the tax cuts for business which Labor may even keep for small business, Cormann’s case is light on for detail – and substance. Much like his government’s economic policy. Yet then again, in a post-fact, fake news era, it’s more the vibe of the thing that matters. Bagging Bill does leave less time to spin your own lies.

Of course to hit any political target you need a good aim. So far the war on Shorten has failed to even identify its target, let alone score any hits. A large part of the problem is that the Coalition has two Bill Shortens in its sights. One is a dangerously lunatic leftie who will socialise everything from the local milk-bar to the banking system.

The other is a regular visitor to the Pratt household, a class traitor who hobnobs with millionaires and who does dodgy deals with rich employers to rip off workers for union benefit and to line his own pockets. “Slithering snake.”

This caricature overlaps, it is true, with our PM himself who features this week in the media in ecstatic sycophantic communion with a member of the Pratt family. Demonise Bill all you will – but two demons is one too many.

While the war on Bill Shorten is waged, Bernard Keane suggests, the government wastes time it could put into promoting its success in employment growth. Or could it? 220,000 new full-time jobs since September 2016 sounds impressive, as Alan Austin notes unless you are also told that the adult population increased by 265,300 over that time.

Or might just as well explain its half a trillion debt due entirely to its mismanagement of the economy something which mainstream media ignores scrupulously because -as everyone knows – Coalition governments are so much better at economic management and have been ever since Howard made up the lie.

Kill Bill or the war on Shorten will continue at least for another week because, as Tony Abbott capably demonstrated, it’s so much easier to survive in Coalition politics if you focus solely on attacking your opponents and let the IPA do the policies. And there’s a most obliging media who are only too happy to publish scare-mongering and slurs.

In a month’s time, however, all the distraction in the world won’t help a government which may not get to keep its deputy PM and which may – for a while at least – have to govern without a majority. Yet even if it retains Barnaby Joyce and no other dual citizen is uncovered on its lower house benches, it will have lost.

Even should it retain government, the mean and tricky Coalition’s citizenship fiasco with its one set of rules for the Greens and another for its deputy PM and Minister for Resources has helped it lose the electorate. You can see by its responses to local councils and its judgemental dismissal of protesters that it is well down that road already.

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35 comments

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  1. jamesss

    They’ve given up on the shovels and using a backhoe to dig their hole deeper by the day. Expect numerous revelations of misdeeds, scandals and corruption to follow. What joy it is to see the Dark destroying itself.

  2. Terry2

    Peter Dutton has come to the Prime Minister’s aid by mounting another effort to demonise refugees helped along by the Daily Telegraph and I don’t doubt, Ray Hadley during their weekly hate session.

    These guys are so predictable.

  3. Pilot

    This pack of Lying Nasty People have crossed the line from rightwing to Nazism. They are a complete and utter disgrace!!

  4. Johno

    Let Aboriginal Australians decide the date.

  5. wam

    A great read, David, backed up by this morning’s ABC where cormann spray was aired followed by the death of a child followed by the xstian lobby. The ABC morning show is as inane as ‘sam’ and ‘karl baby’.
    But ahead of commentators who attempt to put joyce, cavanan and the loonies in the same boat.
    Cavanan is a frightened liar – who blamed mum then realised she could be telling her story under oath,
    The loonies were born overseas and were negligent.
    QED , your last sentence is in the disingenuous mold of the murdoch’s press and the ABC.

  6. Miriam English

    The quote from Matthias Cormann at the beginning of this article is interesting in that it so completely misrepresents reality. Just last night I was reading an article by Jeffrey Sachs in Scientific American on this very topic. It points out that the northern European socialist democracies greatly outperform the more unregulated market economies. It is a short, to-the-point, extremely interesting read:

    The Social Welfare State, beyond Ideology
    Are higher taxes and strong social “safety nets” antagonistic to a prosperous market economy? The evidence is now in.
    http://archive.is/JbxKF

  7. Kronomex

    Turnbull and LNP are carefully treading water and hoping that the piranha of discontent that have been sleepily nibbling really don’t wake up.

  8. helvityni

    “Adults in charge ”

    Where? Sadly not in Australia. I see a big sandpit, I see, Mal, Tones, Piet, Mat, Scottie, Chrissie…and Jules throwing sand at each other, and then for a moment they forget about their differences….”Let’s get at the stupid new boy, Bill”, says Piet, the King in of the sandpit…

    They are all on the same side now…ok, Jules’s only a girl, Mat is a wog,who speaks funny, and Tones has the biggest ears…

    The have found a new enemy…

  9. wam

    wow miriam a great article I have been caught up in vanity fair’s anti trump pieces and haven’t read scientific american since retiring 15 years ago. Very slack as I go to the library to read the southern newspapers, I should check the science first.
    Matty his cigar and his ‘girly man’ embodies the the ignorance of slogans about labor. Sadly they do their work in re-inforcing mind clouding stereotypes.

  10. Harquebus

    This High Court thingy is like Christmas. Can’t come soon enough and will bring much joy.

  11. mk238TB

    Possibly the worst ever set of politicians ever to govern our country, Unless a strong leader shows up sometime soon Australia is sunk.

  12. Kevin Michael

    Great article. The constant “Turnbull is bad BUT Shorten is worse” trope is wearing very thin.

  13. Keith

    Captain Cook was not the first European to discover Australia, a more appropriate comment on the plinth of his statue might be something like … first British Captain to make landfall on the East Coast of mainland Australia. Captain Cook was clearly a brilliant seafarer.

    There is no doubt that the first Europeans did horrendous things to aboriginals; there is a blood stained history that cannot be denied.

  14. Michael Taylor

    In a month’s time, however, all the distraction in the world won’t help a government …

    Nonetheless, it’s time for ‘Distraction Bingo’. There will be a lucky dip of distractions between now and the election.

    Great article, by the way.

  15. Shogan

    “De Labuur Pardy under Bill Shorten iz de mozt levt ving pardy zinz Harpo Marx, vell vun of de Marx family anyvay” cries Mathias ConMann.

    That’s a bit rich coming from the most fascist party Australia has ever seen in power, or should I say powerless seeing that in their haste to paint Bill red they completely lack any policy of their own that might confirm their shrill attack.

  16. Zathras

    Schools, hospitals, public roads, Medicare, NBN – all part of a sinister socialist plot set out to destroy us all.

    Fortunately other socialist-generated items like power generation are being saved from their clutches by Governments selling them off to their mates with remarkable effect and benefits for us all.

    Thanks for reminding us of what we have already lost and what’s still to come, Matthias.

  17. Susan

    Thank you for another great article.

  18. diannaart

    it’s so much easier to survive in Coalition politics if you focus solely on attacking your opponents and let the IPA do the policies

    …and also leaves plenty of time for a few beverages and a good lie down.

  19. Glenn Barry

    There’s a few highly qualified voices now appearing in the media saying the dual citizens have no chance whatsoever – and that to state otherwise is disingenuous and farcical, basically they’re “OUTA THERE”.

    It’s interesting to witness the level of Malcolm’s self delusion – he shares many personality traits with Trump

  20. kristapet

    I love this sentence:
    “The political stage is set for a bean-feast of casuistry, pettifogging and bush-lawyering. Until Roberts’ case is thrown out.”
    Thank you for your article

  21. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES

    There was no such thing as an the state or nation of ‘Australia’ before 1 January 1901. Before that it was officially various colonies. ‘Australia in practical effect only came into existence in the hearts and minds of the people on 31 July 1900 when Western Australia finally said ‘yes’ to Federation at its referendum after which time all the people of all the colonies eligible to vote had voted and the vote was passed in favour of federation. Hence 31 July 1900 is the date at which Australia in practical effect came into existence and the people for the first time saw themselves as one country. Further, the 26 January is not the date the first fleet landed. It landed on 19 January at Botany Bay. My convict ancestor was on board the Scarborough which was the second ship of the fleet to arrive at Botany Bay. They remained at Botany Bay for a few days avoiding La Peruse and then snuck out at night to land at Port Jackson because the water supply was slightly better there and Sydney Cove offered greater protection from rough seas etc. Philip hoisted the Union Jack and again claimed the area for Great Britain etc but that had already been done by Cook so Phillip’s raising of the flag was merely symbolic. Thus, the 26 January has little to do with Australia and is an arbitrary date. It should be changed in my view to 31 July to reflect the will of the people agreeing to become one country called ‘Australia’.

  22. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES

    “Dutton is, and I make no apologies, a f#cking lunatic!” Hear hear. Contrary to luneball Dutton’s view. It is unAustralian to deny people the right to a fair trial or hearing as Dutton wants to do. The right to a lawyer is part of a fair trial. The Hugh Court has held that. These idiot politicians do not know the law of the country they govern or what constitutes democracy. Neo Nazi’s the lot of them.

  23. roma guerin

    Oh do click on the latest Dutton link, you will laugh yourself sick. He is SO frustrated by the Constitution! hahahahaha!

  24. paul walter

    Turnbull some times almost has me sympathising with him till he comes out with something and petty like he did on 7.30 with that spiteful exclusion of Waters and Ludlum, who have far more moral right to sit in the Senate than the scum from the LNP waiting for the court case.

  25. havanaliedown

    Waters and Ludlum were born overseas. A “far more moral right”?

  26. Miriam English

    havanaliedown, I’m reluctant to respond to you because you’re pretty clearly trolling, but paul walter was obviously referring to the fact that Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlum immediately resigned their positions as soon as they found out they were dual citizens. Compare the morality of those in the LNP who are trying to pretend they’re above the law.

  27. Michael Taylor

    Abbott was born overseas too, but unlike Waters and Ludlum he has been far from transparent about his citizenship.

  28. Rossleigh

    Yes, Peter Dutton, it’s very “un-Australian” to be defending our Constitution.

  29. havanaliedown

    “Far from transparent”… I get the feeling you would only be satisfied with my beautiful Tony if he saved a refugee orphanage from a bushfire, rescued some dole bludging ice smokers from a rip, then surfed straight into the open jaws of a great white shark.

    I would welcome Barnaby’s New England election being declared invalid, then him having to re-contest a by-election, where an energised Tony Windsor returns to the fray, only to be once again soundly beaten like a red-headed stepchild on behalf of the good people of Tamworth, and a grateful nation.

  30. helvityni

    paul walter, you are too kind, sorry for Turnbull…? He said Leigh Sales was a commentator, and he was a Leader.

    Yes, he is indeed our PM, and as I see it Sales is an interviewer, not a commentator….

  31. Kyran

    Does it strike anyone else as passing strange that the Minister for Finance never talks about finance? He must be an expert by now, having served under two treasurers. By any account, the economy has been going backwards for years. If that is the level of his expertise, it is little wonder that he should consider himself an expert on other people’s character, social and societal developments for the past few decades. Anything but his ministry.
    With regard to Bananas, it should be noted that nominations for Kiwi of the Year close on September 18. After that, the ‘panel’ will adjudge the eligibility of the nominees. Whilst the ‘shortlist’ of 10 won’t be released until December, it is likely his ‘eligibility’ will be decided fairly quickly. Otherwise the Kiwi of the Year award is likely to descend into farce. Heaven forbid the Kiwi’s would appreciate their award being likened to our parliament.
    The High Court was initially asked to hear the matter on 13-14 September. Presumably, Brandis allowed the deferral to allay any suggestion they were attempting to interfere with the Kiwi awards process. It is hardly surprising he doesn’t consider the outcome of the Kiwi awards process will interfere with the High Court’s deliberations.
    “Justice Kiefel asks the Solicitor-General Dr Stephen Donaghue QC, who represents Brandis, if there is any “practical difficulty” or “issue of governance” if the court hears the matter in October. No. There is not, young Donaghue meekly replies.”
    Does their legal advice include an opinion as to whether these politicians can participate in and vote on any deliberations of both houses? They will both be sitting for 8 days between 4-14 September.
    The argument that all of these politicians should have their votes recognized to date relies on them not being aware of the cloud over their entitlement to sit. They cannot rely on this reasoning again until the High Court adjudicates.
    Will they all abstain from participation for the eight days of sittings? Will Mr Kelly’s question (Should Parliament be Prorogued?) be revisited? Should we have a postal survey on what to do with this rabble? Our government is, after all, saying that a survey is as effective a representation of what the people want as an election.
    Oh dear, talcum. What will you do? Wibble? Wobble? Fizz?
    Whether he has, or hasn’t, lost the nation is a matter of contention, apparently. There appears to be no ambiguity as to whether he has lost the plot.
    Thank you Mr Tyler and commenters. Take care

  32. Maeve Carney

    The outrage isn’t that the people don’t like what the councils are saying. The outrage is because the council did not poll the people in any reasonable or adequate way and pretty much dictated to the people what the council wanted. It was not a democratic decision but an autocratic one. The outrage is fully and undeniably justified.

  33. Jaquix

    Just watched Professor George Williams speech to the National Press Club about the High Court actions on dual citizenship, and the use of ABS and the Minister of Finance “emergency expenditure”: trick to get the postal vote going. He didnt seem to have much confidence that the High Court would share Malcolms confidence in any of the matters. What a great speaker, he didnt get boring at any stage, answered everything extremely well and Im sure we were all very much wiser about the whole process after hearing him. I got the feeling he doesnt think much of Turnbulls government !

  34. David Tyler

    Totally agree, Jaquix.
    Gripping address. Incisive, authoritative yet with a lightness and sureness of touch. – and timing.
    One of the best. Williams is a national living treasure. Quite put the lie to Turnbull’s desperate rhetoric on The High Court’s likely decision whilst opening up a chasm under the postal survey – for good measure.

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