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Whistleblower goodies and baddies

When Kathy Jackson blew the whistle on Craig Thomson for misusing union funds, she was praised by various members of the Coalition.  Tony Abbott described her as “a brave decent woman”, a “credible whistleblower” whose actions were “heroic”.  Christopher Pyne labelled her a “revolutionary” who will be “remembered as a lion of the union movement.”  George Brandis and Eric Abetz were similarly effusive in their praise.

Kathy’s “courageous” revelations quickly led to Thomson being arrested by five detectives accompanied by a huge media pack at his Central Coast Office.  The following court cases eventually found Thomson was guilty of misappropriating a few thousand dollars.  His defence has cost him over $400,000, his career and reputation.  His prosecution, combined with the ensuing Royal Commission into trade unions and dedicated police task force, has cost the state tens of millions.

In 2012, Tony Abbott said “I think it’s to the enormous discredit of some people in the Labor movement that they are now trying to blacken [Kathy Jackson’s] name.”

Unfortunately for Mr Abbott, the investigation revealed that his hero has allegedly misappropriated far more than Craig Thomson could ever have dreamed of, well over $1 million by some accounts.  Despite the matter being referred to the Victorian police, Ms Jackson remains at large living a millionaire lifestyle.  No squad of police arriving at her door with media in tow.

We also had whistleblower James Ashby choosing to reveal private text messages to accuse Peter Slipper of sexual harassment, a charge he chose not to pursue after he had achieved the goal of destroying Mr Slipper’s career and personal life.

And then there was the “unknown” whistleblower who chose to refer Peter Slipper to the police for a few hundred dollars’ worth of cab charges rather than allowing him to pay back the money, something that many members of the Coalition, including Tony Abbott and George Brandis, have been forced to do.

The prosecution of Peter Slipper once again cost the state an amount totally incommensurate with the alleged crime and he has since won his appeal.

The Coalition’s very close relationship with these two dubious characters – Abetz had Jackson on speed dial and Pyne met up for “drinks” with Ashby – shows they had a vested interest in encouraging their revelations.

But when Freya Newman chose to reveal that Tony Abbott’s daughter had been given a $60,000 scholarship that was not available to anyone else, she was immediately investigated, prosecuted and put on a good behaviour bond.  The fact that Frances Abbott’s school was a Liberal Party donor who then benefitted greatly by Abbott’s decision to fund private colleges makes the whole thing smell of corruption.

Speaking of which, when a former ASIO employee chose to blow the whistle on Alexander Downer for, under the guise of foreign aid, bugging the offices of the government of Timor l’Este to gain a commercial advantage for Woodside Petroleum who subsequently employed Mr Downer, he immediately had his passport revoked so he could not testify in the case in the International Court and the office of his lawyer was raided and all documents confiscated.

When the Guardian and the ABC reported on leaked documents from Edward Snowden revealing that the Australian Government had bugged the phones of Indonesian politicians and even the President’s wife, they were labelled as traitors by Tony Abbott who apparently thought there was nothing wrong with the deed but talking about it was a crime.

Which brings me to, in my mind, the greatest travesty of all.

When ten members of the Save the Children organisation reported on cases of sexual assault and self-harm of children on Nauru, they were immediately sacked by Scott Morrison.

When the group made a submission to the AHRC’s children in detention inquiry providing evidence of sexual abuse, the Department of Immigration asked the Australian Federal Police to investigate Save The Children for potentially breaching section 70 of the Crimes Act, which bars the disclosure of Commonwealth facts or documents.

A secret report prepared by immigration detention service provider Transfield Services reveals the company was monitoring the activities of Save The Children staff, then accused them of providing evidence to the media of sexual assaults and protests in the detention centre.  It reveals that Save The Children staff had compiled reports documenting evidence of sexual assault, which it said had become “increasingly emotive in recent weeks”.

“Two days ago, information report 280917 was written in such a manner by SCA employees, DE and FF, and some of the allegations regarding sexually inappropriate behaviour by security guards contained within this report have been widely reported across Australian media today. DE left Nauru yesterday and the allegations have appeared in the press today.”

The Transfield report also alleges that “It is probable there is a degree of internal and external coaching, and encouragement, to achieve evacuations to Australia through self-harm actions,” though it gives no evidence at all in support of the accusation, which did not stop Scott Morrison and the Daily Telegraph from publicly repeating it last October.

Morrison’s reaction was to announce the Moss Review to examine allegations that staff from the charity acted inappropriately at the Nauru detention centre.

The Moss review, which is due to be released tomorrow, examined why 10 Save the Children aid workers were sent home from the detention centre and whether they fabricated allegations of sexual abuse.

As with the Human Rights Commission’s Forgotten Children report, the message has been ignored and the messenger has been relentlessly pursued and vilified.

In the corporate world, the Corporations Act contains protections for certain whistleblowers, including making it unlawful to persecute a whistleblower for making a protected disclosure of information. This protection encourages people within companies, or with special connections to companies, to alert the company (through its officers), or ASIC, to illegal behaviour.

Where is the same protection for people who alert us to wrongdoing by the government or its agents?  Why does Morrison accept Transfield’s report but not that of the Human Rights Commission?  Will the Moss Review investigate the sexual abuse or just the people who are trying to Save the Children?

A government who is happy to destroy people’s lives for their own political ends, who silences all criticism, and who considers their own interests in front of the welfare of children in our care, is worthy of the same contempt they show for the truth.

We are being governed by a despicable group of people who have sacrificed all decency and integrity to personal ambition.

asylum seeker children protest on Nauru

asylum seeker children protest on Nauru


61 comments

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  1. nickthiwerspoon

    Superb piece, Kaye. How utterly vile and loathsome the LNP are. Hypocritical, dishonourable, mendacious, cynical, spiteful, vengeful, lying, dislikable, shameful, odious. A cancer in our culture and society.

  2. David

    All of the above proves yet again, Feds and some State Police jurisdictions are so cosily tucked up in bed with Abbott’s Govt, a friggin crowbar wouldn’t prise them apart!!
    What is HM’s ‘loyal’ Opposition doing about it? Apart from 2 brave souls in Messrs Danby (in HOR) and Perritt (letter to Feds) In a word Zilch. the silence from Team Labor is pathetic.

  3. jimhaz

    In light of it being International Women’s Day yesterday, I like to say that women in recent years are showing more moral fibre than men in terms of whistleblowing and standing up to deceitful politicians. Men just don’t seem to do it much anymore.

    Pity about Jackson using it for political reasons and to try and save herself from similar scrutiny.

  4. CMMC

    Then there is the massive ‘greenwashing’ job Hunt and Bishop are undertaking – trying to convince the various Unesco members that the Great Barrier Reef is doing just fine, and you don’t need to add it to the Endangered List.

  5. abbienoiraude

    “When ten members of the Save the Children organisation reported on cases of sexual assault and self-harm of children on Nauru, they were immediately sacked by Scott Morrison”

    This disgusting behaviour by this loathsome man should shut down his ambitions for ever.

    (Gobsmacking litany of corruption and immorality. Wish Kaye’s research was front page news on MSM every day!)

  6. Kaye Lee

    And if you keep saying bad things about our relationship with miners then we will sue you….

    “Former NSW deputy Premier Andrew Stoner is suing broadcaster Alan Jones and Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham after they criticised his actions in relation to contentious coal seam gas and coal mining projects.

    Mr Buckingham told Fairfax Media the legal action was “designed to try to intimidate the Greens and others from criticising the National Party’s failure to stop coal mining on the best farming country in Australia” just weeks out from an election.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/andrew-stoner-sues-alan-jones-and-greens-mp-jeremy-buckingham-over-mining-attacks-20150308-13y5nr.html

  7. Terry2

    Curiouser and curiouser, Kaye :

    Cheryl McMillan Procurement Manager for HSU was ordered by the NSW Supreme Court in a civil action to repay $3.7 million in funds she embezzled for the HSU – she evidently was working in association with Alf Dowling who ‘supplied services’ to HSU. The services were essentially dummy invoices : he was ordered to repay $4.3 million.

    Both shortly afterwards declared themselves bankrupt – expected police action against these fraudsters has not been forthcoming.

    Craig Thomson was finally convicted of stealing $3500 (three thousand five hundred dollars) and fined $25,000 which he is currently paying off.

    http://www.news.com.au/national/health-services-union-associates-ordered-to-pay-back-8-million/story-fncynjr2-1227153355866

  8. Kyran

    With regard to the HSU saga, it becomes more sordid when looking at the outcomes for the ‘player’s’. Wixxyleaks has done some excellent work on this, including the latest chapter regarding Jacksons delaying of due process whilst fleecing a dementia suffering QC. The two mentioned by Terry2 appear unlikely to be charged due to a plea deal.
    With regard to the Slipper matter, I recall Rabid being pleased when Slipper was announced Speaker. He (Rabid) knew what was coming. That it was a perversion of the normal process bothered him not.
    CMMC’s comments regarding Hunt and the quest to keep the Barrier Reef off the endangered list reminded me of Hunt’s trips to Germany (Chair of the Committee) and two northern European countries (one of which is Serbia) in the past six months with no other intention than the stated one – keep it off the list. Their annoyance at Obama’s reference has been well documented.
    All of the above and your article demonstrate a pattern. Distraction and hyperbole over fact and evidence.
    I read on the ABC website this morning of the UN issuing a report decrying Australia’s treatment of refugee’s as a breach of the international convention against torture. Yes, torture.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-09/un-reports-says-australia-breaching-torture-convention/6289892

    As the above article demonstrates so well, it’s all about “look over there”. The coincidence of the Moss Review and the UN Report being issued at the same time is mind boggling.
    And the imbedded “fourth estate” can be relied on to do their job. Promote hyperbole over fact.

    Federal ICAC, pretty please? Take care

  9. Douglas Evans

    As far as I am aware all of what Kaye Lee says is true and it gives ample reason for despair over the state of our democracy. But, as the man in the advertisement always says: ‘ But wait there’s more.’ Much more. Kaye Lee refers to protections under the corporations act for corporate whistle blowers and asks where are the equivalent protections for political’ whistle blowers. I would like to draw attention to another parallel between corporate and political life – the rise of cartel behavior. A cartel is defined as both:

    ‘an association of manufacturers or suppliers with the purpose of maintaining prices at a high level and restricting competition.’

    and

    ‘a coalition or cooperative arrangement between political parties intended to promote a mutual interest.’

    In the corporate world we have legal sanctions intended to eliminate or restrict cartel behavior. In the political world despite the obvious disadvantages of political ‘cartelization’ we do not. Much has been written both in scholarly circles and in the main stream media about the growing tendency to the cartelization of our old political parties. On June 4 2013 Sally Young drew attention yet again to this problem in the Fairfax papers:

    ‘The “cartel” is the basis of an important theory in political science about the way parties have been behaving since the 1990s. Eighteen years ago, two of the top researchers in the field – Richard Katz and Peter Mair – wrote an article in the journal Party Politics which declared “The Emergence of the Cartel Party”.
    They argued that although major parties usually appeared to be staunch opponents, they actually colluded on many matters of common interest. Katz and Mair noticed especially how parties in different countries colluded to use the resources of the state to ensure their collective survival.’

    Her article was written in the context of a particularly blatant bi-partisan attempt to raid the public purse for the considerable mutual benefit of both our old parties. The public outrage when this came to light prevented this particular cash grab from proceeding however Young noted:

    ‘But many deals have been done successfully – incrementally, and far more quietly – in the past. State subsidies have been increasingly flowing to parties and MPs over the past 20 years. … One important sign of this is the growth in MP entitlements such as mail and communications allowances. Being able to send promotional mail to constituents is a major advantage of being an incumbent. … Other markers of the way Australian politicians have pushed the costs of their “permanent” campaigning onto taxpayers are bigger electoral allowances, more staffers for MPs, more media advisers and larger media units when in government, and the biggest public perk of all for incumbent political parties, government advertising.’

    Young continues:

    ‘We give public funding but don’t ask for anything in return. That’s not the way it is done in other countries. Even in the US, the home of free-market political fund-raising, if a presidential candidate accepts public funding for their election campaign, they have to agree not to raise private contributions and not to spend more than the amount of public funds they receive.

    Elsewhere parties have to do something with their funding, something that will benefit the broader community or improve the conduct of politics.’

    but

    ‘In Australia, we don’t demand the parties use public money to expand their memberships, build links with the community or research better policies. We don’t even ask them to limit the amount of private money they raise. We just give them extra money for more advertising and direct mail.

    In a system like this, political parties that rail against “big government” are shamelessly hypocritical. They don’t want others to be reliant on welfare or public handouts but are heavily so themselves.’

    Anyone disagree with Sally Young? Regular attempts from the cross benches to limit the ‘rorting’ are inevitably swept aside and the competition to get the snouts in the trough steadily increases.

    I would argue that the ‘cartelization’ of our political life goes further than simply increasingly juicy ‘perks for pollies.’

    To me it seems that it extends to our electoral system which (for example) enables parties to collude to shut out competition via the ‘above the line’ vote and allocation of (mandatory) preferences. It is not just Parliamentary reform to protect whistle blowers and restrict the access of herds of political piggies to the public purse that is needed but serious root and branch electoral reform to put the geriatric duopoly back on something like a level playing field. But then what would I know I’m just an old lefty.

  10. Kaye Lee

    Terry,

    The old ploy of the wealthy – put your assets in someone else’s name and then screw your victims. I wonder if pensioners struggling to pay their utility bills or families trying to pay for rent and groceries can just say I’m broke – start over. Not a chance. Those sort of considerations are only for the rich.

  11. Team Oyeniyi

    Brilliant work as usual Kaye. Double standards abound.

  12. Kaye Lee

    Douglas,

    Ted Mack has written about this at length too. In the UK political advertising is banned. It is obvious that the current system where parties receive donations and then seem to favour their donors in political decisions is leading to corrupt practices. For example, what social services minister in their right mind would abolish gambling reform laws as one of their first acts?

    Rather than giving them millions of dollars to campaign, candidates could be given free air time on the national broadcaster and the electoral commission could produce a booklet containing a bio of candidates. Forget the glossy brochures that are so full of lies as to make them a total waste. Head to head debates or public fora where the electorate can listen to and ask questions of prospective candidates would be far more useful, truthful and a shitload cheaper.

  13. Tracie

    Don’t anyone despair. Recent circumstances are enabling an enormous body of evidence that has found its way to the International Criminal Court. They are looking at information with a view to investigate.

    It will happen. They advised me they will be prompt, but it may take a while. Hopefully it won’t take too much longer, though, as it appears everyone has sent evidence to them. The case is becoming THAT watertight!!

  14. stephentardrew

    Great article Kaye. Says it all. Makes me sick.

    Everything is expediency with this mod. Damn the morality.

    Spot on Douglas.

  15. gangey1959

    I remember watching a Q&A, late last year, which had C Pyne on it. He was crapping on about politicians and their entitlements etc, and how hard it was to keep track of what was allowed and what was not. His basic premise was that “We all do it”. He added with bleating tones that “I myself have had to pay back just over $6000.”
    No-one would question the arrest and incarceration of an armed bandit stealing a similar amount at gunpoint. A bank teller taking the same would lose their job, be arrested, and at least be on a suspended sentence.
    How is it that the highest figures in the land, our political leaders, are allowed to say “Ooops. I’ll just give it back”?
    Why are they not stripped of office and entitlements, and then locked up, like the rest of us mere mortals ?
    It seems to me that their actions are indeed frowned upon. Sadly, not for commission, but for being caught.
    It is about time that ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ take our government back. Before those with the power and money steal all of our hard earned readies.

  16. Kaye Lee

    DanDark,

    I notice in the article you linked to, Hockey isn’t denying that people who pay money to the North Sydney Forum then get access to the Treasurer. He is suing because that makes him sound bad.

    “Mr Hockey claims that, as a result of the articles, he has been “greatly injured, shunned and avoided and his reputation has been and will be bought into disrepute, odium, ridicule and contempt”. He says Fairfax Media’s “over sensational, extravagant and unfair presentation” of the articles indicated an “intent to injure” him.”

  17. Roswell

    With all the dirt on Kathy Jackson I find it strange that nobody in the media is reminding us that she was Tony Abbott’s golden girl.

    Just look at the fun they had trying to link Julia Gillard to any deviate they could dig up.

  18. Kaye Lee

    Roswell,

    “Today Tony Abbott announced a joint police task force between Victorian and Federal police that has been hailed as a union busting taskforce targeting alleged union corruption and standover tactics.

    Those with high hopes that this will also be targeting Kathy Jackson and her faction will be disappointed to know that this taskforce has been set up to deliberately avoid Jackson and the HSU and to target the CFMEU and the building industry.

    Jackson is engaged to be married into a family considered Liberal Party royalty, the Lawlers. Michael her fiancée is the Tony Abbott appointed Vice President of Fair Work Australia, his brother John Lawler was then CEO of the Australian Crime Commission and their father Sir Peter Lawler a senior staffer to PM Robert Menzies and Australia’s first Ambassador to the Holy See (The Vatican), a family with strong ties to both Opus Dei and the Liberal Party. One of the last people to receive a knighthood before they were abolished was Sir Peter Lawler, who is said to be a close friend of Tony Abbott’s father.”

    http://wixxyleaks.com/we-used-to-be-friends-the-liberals-dump-on-kathy-jackson/

  19. Kaye Lee

    Not to mention the vilification of Julia Gillard for not condemning Thomson and Slipper before their trials for comparatively insignificant misdemeanours. When and if Jackson ever decides to turn up to court, notwithstanding shovels at the front door and burning garbage bins, the Coalition’s unquestioning support for her should be remembered.

  20. Loz

    This is a fascist government who will do their very best to silence their critics. They are ruthless in their pursuit of those whose bravery and integrity are willing to shine a light on the despicable behaviour towards vulnerable people. When (not if) this government is finally thrown out there should be an inquiry into Jackson and the vengeful harassment of Mr Slipper. Abbott and co are a mongrel government who are not fit to govern Australia.

  21. Tracie

    Loz, no matter what, I’d still do it again. They may pursue many, but some don’t care as it will come to an end.

  22. Kaye Lee

    The Coalition tell us we don’t need legal protection against discrimination, that it is up to the public to “shine a light on dark places” and for people to stand up for themselves and “not become victims”.

    Apparently that only applies to Andrew Bolt because whenever the rest of us try to shine a light on questionable practices by the people we elected to represent us, and who have our combined common wealth at their disposal, we are prosecuted, punished, silenced.

    (Don’t forget, if I type the word bananas it means the white van has arrived and they are knocking on my door)

  23. Dandark

    Kaye yes what a load of crock “greatly injured, shunned and avoided and his reputation has been and will be bought into disrepute, odium, ridicule and contempt”. He says Fairfax Media’s “over sensational, extravagant and unfair presentation” of the articles indicated an “intent to injure” him.”

    That above line could be used for whats happened and happening to the unemployed, single mums ,our refugees, the disabled, and our first peoples and its got a whole lot worse in the past 18 months with The Dicktator and his henchmen at the helm
    Geeee and Smokin Joes has a big sook because…… mmm remind me again at what it his suing for,
    what an ab-sol-ute dufus Jolly Joe is….really he just needs to take a big long drag on his cigar and all will be well
    Someone needs to give the bloke a tissue and tell him to run along and tell someone who cares about his woes…..

  24. Kyran

    Douglas reminded me of various amendments made, over the last decade in particular, to political party funding by the AEC, which was acting on instruction from parliament, that being a duopoly. The two major parties have consistently redefined who gets reimbursed for expenses when unsuccessful in getting a seat in parliament. I haven’t been able to find the specific article, but recall the intent being that if you poll less than x%, you aren’t entitled to reimbursement of expenses. The two majors have increased the x% to discourage or dissuade any notion of independents or independence. With due regard to the separation of powers and simple acknowledgement of basic fact, shouldn’t the horse be in front of the cart? Shouldn’t the AEC dictate to the parliamentarians?
    Tracie’s optimism led me to look at the ICC website and charter. A point of note is that it has 122 member countries, which it relies on for funding. The funding appears reliant on how the member country is feeling at any particular point in time. The United Nations is also reliant on funding from constituent countries, and has been starved of funding by the major players.
    Also had a look at Transparency International. Seems Team Australia isn’t doing too well there either.
    I am not in despair. I am angry. I shall finish my dissertation with a quote (Thank’s Gangey)
    “It is about time that ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ take our government back”

  25. Lyle Upson.

    the appearance is that the Abbott supports child rape … if find it surprising that the freak’s minders have failed to point out this appearance that the Abbott supports child rape

  26. Tracie

    My optimism is because I have some knowledge about the ICC and where it needs to head. It’s on a shaky path at present, unless it directs its energies on a country that is not Africa. Considering the international blame on Australia right now, guess where it’s looking?

    After I received the letter from the ICC, I put the call out to all lawyers and advocates to send all information to the ICC. They now have everything, so now it’s just a matter of time.

  27. M-R

    Kudos, Kaye – as always.
    It’s hard to have to continue being ‘governed’ by these scumbags.
    But worse ! – the other day, Chris Uhlmann told ABC Breakfast that Morrison “is actually a very nice bloke”.

  28. Zathras

    It’s also illegal for people to obtain and use video evidence to expose matters in the public interest such as cruelty to animals – such as slaughter techniques, live baiting of greyhounds or illegal farming methods because it’s seen as an illegal tresspass.

    However it seems OK for Mal Brough to conspire to steal Slipper’s personal diary for political purposes because it’s “in the public interest”.
    Then again, rorting their travel allowances to attend weddings, sporting matches, book launches or fundraisers is OK – as long as they don’t get caught.

    If there’s one thing these “conservative” political parties stand for it’s that “the end justifies the means” and they will happily scrape not only the bottom of the barrel but also the sides to satisfy their personal political vendettas.

    There are still some who are chasing Gillard over her legal matters and no doubt the Keating piggeries are still being trawled over in the hope that something will turn up.

    The attempt to smear a gay Judge over ComCar records and another to get an ALP former Minister both came up empty and even suggested the falsification of evidence but both matters were allowed to simply fade from the public mind.

    However, it can work both ways. I live in hope that the Brandis/Victorian Police association with the Thomson affair and the Pyne/Ashby/Abbott links are still waiting to be revealed.

    We deserve to be governed by honest and honorable people. We certainly pay them enough.

  29. Kaye Lee

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s chief of staff has come under fire yet again for her controversial decision to ban Labor appointments from retaining their positions on government boards.

    The move by Peta Credlin has been derided by the business community as ‘unrealistic’ because nearly all of the directors on government boards were employed during Labor’s six-years in government.

    Speaking at an Australian Institute of Company Directors lunch, chairman of CSIRO, Simon McKeon confirmed the ban on Labor appointees to government boards, claiming he will lose his position when his contract expires in June.

    ‘The reality is we lost a lot of people who brought great expertise, major institutional investors, investment bankers etc, and I think it’s to the detriment of how the panel functions.’

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2981918/Prime-Minister-Tony-Abbott-s-controversial-chief-staff-banned-Labor-appointments-keeping-jobs.html#ixzz3Tr6kzxkd

  30. Terry2

    Abbott went off-piste today at a lunch time press conference.

    He wanted to talk about the two boys stopped at Sydney airport and placed in the custody of their mum but things got a little confused when he was asked about the change in indexation of the aged pension from average weekly earnings to CPI. He said that it was a temporary measure until we get the budget under control and back into surplus (insert Labor’s mess etc ………).when asked would this in fact reduce pensions he said that “pensions would not reduce”. So, exactly what is the purpose of the ‘temporary’ change to the way in indexation is applied ?

    He then went on to respond to a question on the United Nations criticism of Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers and he said that he would not be lectured to by the UN and said that they should be congratulating him on stopping the boats : that is turning boats around and sending them back to wherever without having any idea where they end up and without the cooperation or agreement of Indonesia. No wonder Joko Widodo won’t return his phone calls.

    Has Peta forsaken him ?

  31. Kaye Lee

    The Australian government has confirmed 429 asylum seekers, on 15 boats, have been intercepted and returned to the country from which they came since Operation Sovereign Borders began in December 2013.

    The government has signed a “multimillion-dollar” deal with shipbuilder Dragon Industries Asia to build 10 wooden-hulled vessels, resembling Asian fishing boats, in Vietnam.

    The boats will be used to forcibly return asylum seekers to the source or transit country from which they have come, replacing the orange lifeboats Australia currently uses.

    And then what? Are our navy going to sail these back again or are we gifting these countries with a new fishing/smuggling fleet?

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/mar/06/australia-wooden-boats-asylum-seekers-legal-challenge?CMP=soc_567

  32. rabiddingo

    Thanks for that, Kaye: really enjoy your posts, always level-headed and logical. Clearly there are two distinct groups of people occupying Oz. The hoi polloi and the privileged scions of Liberal and National party luminaries. For the masses it’s basically do as we tell you or face the consequences. For the elite it’s do what you like, open slather, go for it. No questions asked of people of substance, eh?.

  33. Matt James

    FK yeh Bring it on & look at all the feedback. God I hate bullies, great post.

  34. Wally

    Great article Kaye Lee very informative but somewhat depressing. There must be some way we can make these liars and cheats accountable. The LNP deception game has gone on for far to long and even when it is time to face the music they find a way to slither away like Alex Downer has done. If it was a Labor politician in Downers position they would be dragging them onto the plane with a special permit to leave the country to face the International court.

  35. Kaye Lee

    I know that what I write is often depressing and that is hard for me because I am not a wallower – in my real life I like to identify the problem and fix it.

    Ever since Tony Abbott became leader of the Liberal Party this country has been suffering from a malaise, a lack of morale. We are told day after day that we are facing insurmountable problems and everything we have achieved so far is “unsustainable”.

    What a load of rot. Cancel the order for the 58 extra fighter jets. The 14 we still haven’t got will do. Cancel the order for 12 new subs – we can’t staff the 6 we have now. Build a few in South Australia if we must though I really cannot get an answer from anyone as to what they are used for other than war games. Bring back the carbon tax and cancel the Emissions Reduction Fund. Instead of expanding the base of the GST, expand the base of the mining tax. Stop sending jobs offshore to those infuriating call centres. Stop offshore processing of asylum seekers and spending tens of billions to keep refugees away. Stop subsidising the fossil fuel industry. Cut defence spending. Close corporate tax loopholes.

    There we go….there’s hundreds of billions to invest in making our society what we want rather than increasing the profits of American arms manufacturers and foreign owned mining and security companies.

  36. stephentardrew

    simple innit?

    Tell that to the ethically challenged.

  37. Kaye Lee

    According to Tony:

    Australians are “sick of being lectured to by the United Nations”, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said after a report found Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers breaches an international anti-torture convention.

    You do NOT speak for Australians you insignificant inadequate little man. You are a dangerous embarrassment.

  38. Matt James

    Ah yes the subs. As horrible as armed forces are we are always going to have some version of an army, that aint away to fast as we all know. But Subs? Us?

    As for the money I would have to point the finger at the rotten finance sector & the next to useless obscenely over rated greatest Magic Money Tree of them all, The Stock Exchange. What the FK does it do?? No FK it!! ALMOST NEVER gets a grilling & yet it just has a hoard of snakes who sit around bludging off it! What R they? “Your not a socialist R U…. Hisssssss”. Sinks Trillions, does nothing.

    Wendell Potter LOATHES the stock exchange & he’s very measured with his words. He has a very deep insight into how the stock market along with the US health Insurance firms unleashed misery for the rest of the nation for 70 years. Thats it. Nothing but bludging hypocrites with their precious do nothing robbing, gutting & dumping innocent people. Its got to stop.

  39. stephentardrew

    Our glorious defense minister reminds me of the guy offered a job as deckhand on a sub.

  40. stephentardrew

    His Royal Highness try hardness doesn’t like the big bad UN telling him that he is a brute, a torturer of children and a coward so the only answer is to box your way out with feather gloves.

    Now I wonder what Jesus would have done?

  41. Kaye Lee

    Tony only heard the “suffer little children” part and he is doing his best to comply.

  42. Matters Not

    I, for one, am also;

    sick of being lectured to by the United Nations

    mainly because the UN has no other realistic, intellectual option. In short, we have provided them with all the evidence, through our own policies and actions, that demand condemnation.

    Again. I repeat I don’t want to be lectured to by the UN. I want to change what we say and, more importantly, what we do, so that their very fair current conclusions are no longer warranted.

    We must stop shooting the messenger.

  43. Wally

    @Kaye Lee “Instead of expanding the base of the GST” we could close the loop holes that allow multi nationals to send funds offshore tax free. They complain about imported goods from eBay avoiding the GST but it would be a pittance by comparison. Love every bit of your reply to my last comment. For a job I audit the work of others and I never issue a defect without offering some advise on how to fix the issues with the work and/or how to avoid future defects. We are all problem solvers to some degree BUT the idiots who have been elected to govern are so busy fabricating problems to mask their poor performance that they fail to identify the real problems that need fixing.

    To the ludicrous point where they become our biggest problem!

  44. Kaye Lee

    I have a feeling the Moss Review is not going to go quite as the government had planned and what a tawdry tale it is.

    Morrison’s response to the claims of sexual abuse on Nauru was to contact Transfield (or Wilson security, their contracted security firm) to say “we’re interested in anything you’ve got on Save the Children”. They weren’t asked about the abuse claims, they were specifically tasked to get dirt on the Save the Children employees. When pressed by Moss, the guy who wrote the report had NO evidence to prove that they had “coached” detainees in self-harm and really, it beggars belief to think they would do so.

    Morrison sacked these people and removed them on the basis of something he told Transfield to write. He publicly castigated these people with no proof.

    “There is speculation the Moss report will be released this week. Lateline understands it will detail allegations of sexual abuse as well as the trade in sexual favours between guards and detainees.”

    Gee I wonder if Scott will say sorry. If Joe can sue Fairfax for correctly saying that the North Sydney Forum allowed people to pay for access to the Treasurer, then I would suggest that the Save the Children charity and the sacked employees should sue Morrison for claiming that they encouraged asylum seekers to commit self-harm. Not only did he state it as a fact during a press conference, he also gave the story to the Daily Telegraph. I would sue his ass off.

  45. Terry2

    **NEWS FLASH**

    Prime Minister discovers magic pudding – Mr Abbott today said that he can save $23 billion to the budget over ten years by changing the indexation of pensions and at the same time there will be no reduction in pensions, “nobody will be worse off”.

  46. Kaye Lee

    He is going to have a fight with his backbench over this one. Andrew Laming has already stated publicly that they do not support changing the indexation and will be telling Abbott he must change his mind.

    He cannot get through a week without putting his foot in his mouth. Suggesting that “Australians are sick of being lectured to by the UN” has caused a lot of comment.

  47. Kyran

    The ABC claims to have had parts of the Moss Report leaked to them which support Ms Lee’s comment (8.05).

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-09/testimonies-cast-doubt-on-removal-of-save-the-children-staff/6292070

    I was trying to find out when the government actually received the report, which the UN raconteur said this morning they “had been sitting on” for some time. My theory had been the report would be released at the same time as the UN report to denigrate it. I now think I was giving them too much credit. They are just stupid, reliant on being bullies. Take care

  48. eli nes

    Dear Kaye,
    Your posts bring home the reality of difference. The people who accept this man as essential for Australia’s prosperity are different. Will they ever read accounts like this? Will they ever hear opposition to the coalition words? Will they understand the arrogance of saving $2 billion a year on pensions and nobody being worse off? How did we get these men into government????
    Come to think of it what you left out is depressing.

  49. stephentardrew

    It seems that Tony and sums don’t mix well together. We take away 2 billion and nothing changes. Do these idiots ever listen to themselves. We are going to make things better by making them worse. Good Lord (apologies to John) have they no decency or even a modicum of rational thought. It’s those bloody pensioners again who we are not going to beat up by beating them up. I can fell a canvas coat with leather straps coming on.

  50. David K

    “When and if Jackson ever decides to turn up to court, notwithstanding shovels at the front door and burning garbage bins, the Coalition’s unquestioning support for her should be remembered.”
    -Kaye Lee.

    Given Jackson’s performances throughout this saga designed to portray herself as the victim, I have little doubt that the shovel and the matches were hers.

  51. Kaye Lee

    Also included in the file is an affidavit from Lynne Russell, an HSU councillor, alleging Ms Jackson’s ex-husband Jeff had blown the whistle on the shovel incident, which is the subject of a police investigation.

    Ms Jackson claimed the shovel was left by union opponents as a warning for her to keep quiet over the allegations of financial wrongdoing.

    In the November 23 affidavit, Ms Russell said to Mr Jackson: “I read about Kathy being admitted to hospital, are her and the kids OK?”

    Mr Jackson was then alleged to have replied: “Yeah, they’re OK, the f … ing shovel has been in the shed for the last 10 years.”

    Ms Jackson denied the allegations and said she was “not commenting about any affidavit that I have not seen”

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/labors-dirt-file-on-thomson-scandal-whistleblower-kathy-jackson/story-e6freuzr-1226260056243

  52. Kyran

    The Moss Report appears to be leaking, again. I was looking for articles on Barnaby’s sacking of Paul Grimes, who has been MIA after problems with FOI applications regarding Barnaby’s altering of Hansard. Whilst that will, in my opinion, be a very big story, I came across this story.

    https://newmatilda.com/2015/03/13/inside-department-explosive-leaked-transcripts-moss-review

    No-one can be sure if the UN or Ms Trigg’s were in possession of these details when they published their reports. My limited legal expertise suggests it would at least be prima facie evidence of really serious misconduct. Federal ICAC, NOW

  53. Kyran

    Thank you, Ms Lee. That is a good summary. It’s the time line I am trying to work out. My precis is that Barnaby got caught trying to change Hansard. As the article says, a sackable offence. My premise is that he was caught by FOI requests (Fitzgibbon) and tried to get Grimes to ‘block’. Grimes then went missing and it was the Prime Miniatures office that were trying to contact him (Grimes), not Barnaby. Grimes then calls a meeting before a Senate committee, and has nothing to say. He was then sacked. I’m not big on conspiracy theories, but I reckon there’s more there.

    The Moss Report is far more significant. One issue is a fool trying to save his skin. The other is a system (fundamentally and grievously) wrong, trying to save its skin. That our First People are setting up a refugee asylum in Western Australia only highlights the pathos.

    Thanks again. Take care

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