March in March

Today’s Guest Contributor is This Little Black Duck, with a photo essay of his March in March in Canberra (and yes, PM Blood Oaf, we knows it’s St Pat’s day – so what was your mob doing marching yesterday? Can’t read a calendar yet?).

Mille remerciements, Monseigneur le Duck …

(What’s even better – it happened on Saint Patrick’s Day …)

480 thoughts on “March in March


  2. The sea lanes down there are littered with partially submerged containers lost overboard by ships. Sailors are forever having nightmares about hitting one that is just below the surface. Interesting to see the idiot trying to grab the limelight by reporting with faux gravitas what might just be a container full of clothes sewn in some sweatshop in Asia.

  3. Twitter’s full of idiots complaining that the datestamp on the image is March 16. It’s of a tiny bit of water right on the very edge of the extremely broad search area. It’s not as if they discovered it on Monday and held it back – they’d have been scanning thousands of images and this one doesn’t exactly jump out and scream ‘lost plane’ does it?

    If anything, I think they’re being too premature. It really could be anything. I was half hoping it turned out to be a refugee boat. Imagine the reaction if the entire world’s press descended and then Abbott had to explain what he was going to do with them. It’s a bit harder to trumpet his nonsense about border protection when the eyes of the world are on him.

  4. Speaking of Crimea. An excellent animation of Europe and who ran where over the last thousand years. Lithuania used to be huge.

  5. When he wrote for The Australian, Arthur Sinodinos’ soubriquet for Abbott was “Spartacus”.

    We all know what happened to Spartacus don’t we? A series of unexpected victories, typified by guile, daring and outright desperation. Then… dick sausage.

    I always thought at the time I read those articles that Sinodinos was showing perhaps too much man-love for Abbott. My conclusion then was that Arthur was impressionable, easily over-awed by those above him; something opposed to the “tough guy”, “head-kicker” image we heard about so much in his “Howard’s Chief Of Staff” days.

    So when some bizoid mates came along and told him he was getting the AWH gig, for $200k, no questions asked, he probably said, “Yes, SIR!”

    In short, in my opinion Arthur Sinodinos is a follower, not a leader.

    My impression is that he needs a strong man above him, giving the orders. He admires strong men.

    Taking him out of the smoke-filled back room and putting him front and center may have always been bound to end in tears. To her credit, Peta Credlin saw this and cautioned Abbott not to promote Arthur too stratospherically.

    In short, I’m starting to think that while he projects as a bully-boy, Arthus Sinodinos actually a wimp.

    While cruel and boofheaded, he is only so when he knows the Strong Man is behind him. When he realizes he’s been abandoned, he could even possibly cave to ICAC, and grass on those he terms as his “betters”, when the blowtorch is applied to his belly.

    Something about Arthur just doesn’t gel.

    He is too easily led. For instance, he accepted assurances from Nick Di Gerolimo (of all people!) that he didn’t need formal shares, just shares of the nod-and-a-wink variety. Then, when the heat was on, he relinquished all claim to them. But somebody either got them, or (perhaps more to the point) retained them, Who was it? Someone made a lot of money out of Arthur. And all they had to do was sweet-talk him.

    I think Sinodinos is a weak link. He stood down for the good of a party that – it will become clear to him eventually – has only ever used him as a gofer. When that happens, expect a hissy fit.

    There would be many in the Liberal party, and in various shadowy semi-smelly circles right now, who will be shitting themselves, wondering whether Arthur will twig that they’ve sacrificed him.

  6. bushfire bill

    Just remembered this. You are causing a stir amongst historians. If you save the second link and zoom in you can see the strong family resemblance.

    Cockatoo perched in Renaissance painting forces rethink of history

    Discovery of an animal more closely associated with Sydney than Venice is leading to a revision of early trading networks

  7. Kaffeeklatscher,

    It’s far from implausible. There is evidence of Chinese activity in Australia in the 15th century, and the Silk Road between Cathay and Venice (where Mantegna practised), although by then in its dying days, was a possible route for a rare bird like a cockatoo to arrive in Europe several centuries earlier than might be expected.

  8. Up here in sunny Queensland we have a massive fight going on between the Doctors in the Public Hospitals and the Govt over Individual Contracts. Over 2000 Doctors met in Brisbane last night and unanimously voted to reject the contracts. The Govt has set a deadline of 30 April for signature. The Doctors are threatening a mass walk out.
    Newman has resorted to claiming “Union Rabble Rousing “, it was even suggested that Queenslanders could be transported interstate for treatment if necessary. This bloke and his offsiders have surely lost the plot.

    Another attempt at complete control and cover up was the introduction of changes to the structure of the CMC
    removing the requirement of bipartisan support for the appointments to the leadership of the Organisation.

  9. I hope all those fools in the disability sector who voted Liberal/National (you know who you are) are happy with the result.

    We told you. We told you so. We freaking bloody well told you freaking so.

    Bye Bye, NDIS.
    Thanks for nothing, wangkers.

  10. Had to chuckle reading this!

    Poor old Crikey has now lost close to its best attraction. Possum rarely posts now and PB has gone to the dogs.

    I get those e-mails daily and there is no way they have enough attraction to get me in again! Especially after the way I was personally defamed on Crikey’s blog site that gets them the most hits.

    It seems that Crikey is now on borrowed time and to my way of thinking, it is all self inflicted. Trying to cater for the right wing and spitting in the face of their mostly left wing supporters is their undoing.

    Bye, bye, Crikey.

  11. As for Crikey, they have shown themselves to be a fantastic spamming organization, with inbox’s around the country filling up with desperate bids to make you pay for their version of the news at 25% off, or 30% off depending on what day you look at your spam folder. Unfortunately, aside from a great cartoonist they have little that would make you visit their site for free, let alone pay for.

  12. My latest e-mail from Crikey. 😉

    Been holding out for a sensational deal on your Crikey subscription? The wait is over. Whip out the wallet today and you’ll get a total of $129 of bonus gifts!

    The swag includes a First Dog on the Moon apron & iPhone 5 case gift pack. He’s a Walkley award-winner, a national treasure, but there are only 40 packs available. Packs are flying out the door – act now to secure yours!

    Unfortunately, First Dog on the Moon has climbed into his capsule and blasted off to The Guardian!

    How embarassment!

  13. Incestuous bunch, the Liberals. It’s amazing the things that pop up on Twitter, like this, from 2009. A long but good read, emails between Godwin Grech, John O’Sullivan (Janet Albrechtsen’s ex OH) and Arthur Sinodinos, in the months before Utegate blew up. I particularly liked Grech asking Arfur to let Eric Abetz know he was definitely a Liberal.

    From: Grech, Godwin

    To: Arthur.X.Sinodinos
    Sent: 25 May 2009 12:13 PM
    Subject: [SEC=PERSONAL]


    If possible, it would be good if you can send Eric Abetz a very short email or SMS etc before Friday this week just to let him know that I am on his side. I will explain later – but I need him to know from a highly credible source that I am Lib.

    25 May 2009

    tune in on Sunday

  15. mephisto jones ‏@mephistojones · 22m
    PM Abbott assures voters any survivors of #MH370 will be towed back to Malaysia #auspol #fuckofftony

  16. OK, I was joking before… but what if that plane had someone on it who was going to defect from the US to China? There *were* military contractors aboard, I read somewhere.

    A line from the Andaman Sea, through the Maldives, and then onto the secretive US air force base in Diego Garcia is a possibility.

    Its runways are three kilometres long. Made for B52s, and they’d be used to keeping secrets there, too.

    Nice place to hide a big plane.

  17. Good to seen Martin sticking it to Your Government

    The departing Treasury secretary says his department needs to reduce its staff by one in three workers to meet budget cuts.

    The headline is

    Treasury boss says a third of department jobs must be cut

    Reading as if Parkinson supports Tone’s whatever it is.

  18. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    When one is born to rule . . . .
    There is something smelly about the “instruments” used for Liberal fundraising.
    It’s coming down to Arfur’s only defence will be to say “OK, I was a shitty Chairman”.
    Mark Kenny on Abbott’s hesitancy on Arfur.
    Will Monday be the day that Pell meets his match? Let’s hope so.
    His Honour went after the church’s lawyer yesterday. McLellan will be keen for Monday to coe one would think.
    Andrew Dyson with some bald politicians.

    Alan Moir on transport woes.
    Nice! Cathy Wilcox.
    David Pope with Hockey’s gestational problems with the Commission of Audit report.
    David Rowe – Politics Now.

  19. And from the Land of the Free –

    Fred Phelps of Westboro Church is dead. What will his obituaries say?
    Target’s anti-union “training” video. Nice.
    Gun fetishist shows his colours.
    Only in America!
    The Young Turks laugh at the cretins on FoxNews.
    TYT with more on the ignoramuses at FoxNews.

  20. I hear “Arsenic and Old Lace” Grattan on Fran stumbling over her lines to miniailise guilt by association of Sinodinas with Tabbott!….old crow!

  21. The talk I hear is that PNG. is only a stop-over for Abbott on his way to Sumatra to visit an Ape compound to get elocution, gesture and strutting lessons from the inmates there!

  22. I don’t know what Kate McClymont is trying to do with her ‘Poor Arthur, he desperately needed the money’ story, but she has it all wrong. Ms McClymont puts it about that she is a skilled forensic journalist, yet she can’t even bother looking up Wikipedia to find a few facts.

    Here are those facts –

    Mr S became a director of AWH in 2008 and was appointed Chairman in November 2011. He stayed in that position until he took Helen Coonan’s place in the senate on 2 November 2011.

    In March 2009 Mr S was appointed Managing Director for Government, Education and Carbon Solutions, Institutional Banking, Business Banking Australia at the National Australia Bank.

    Mr S also became the Finance Director of the NSW branch of the Liberal Party in 2009 and held that position until he became a senator.

    Mr S is also a Member of the Board of Global Panel Foundation – Australasia – a respected NGO that works behind the scenes in crisis areas around the world.

    So it’s not possible for a cash-strapped Arthur to have agreed to take on the $200,000 a year position with AWH because his senator’s pay didn’t cover his expenses. He had left that position when he became a senator.

    Sinodinos’ register of interests shows he does not rely only on his senator’s salary to support his family.
    He is a member of a couple of boards – Corporate Council of the Europe Australia Business Council – board member and Sir Paul Hasluck foundation – director. Since becoming a senator has resigned from a stack of others.

    He has sold his shareholdings in NAB – listed under ‘any other sources of substantial income’

    Over the last few years Sinodinos seems to have made a lot of money from various interests, and that’s only the stuff he has declared. Sinodinos did so well that last year he was able to make a few charitable donations – Mission Australia, UNHCR, Greek Orthodox Church, Australian Opera a school building fund. He also paid off a personal loan from NAB. Not bad for the battler Ms McClymont makes him out to be.

    If it’s easy to find all this information from a bit of Googling and a look at public records then why did Kate McClymont not bother? Why did she write a piece of garbage that can only be described as lies? She did get one thing right though. I’m pretty sure Arthur is struggling a bit financially on his senator’s pay. He’s given up a lot of lucrative positions to have that job. It’s a shame he might soon lose it. There is another question though, and the answer might be the reason Abbott accepted Arthur’s resignation – what undeclared sources of income does he still have?

  23. According to Kate McClymont, Sinodinos was struggling financially, had (and still has) a “socially ambitious” younger wife, was renting a glamorous harbour-front property way above his pay grade, and needed money.

    His Liberal mates suggested he move back to his home town, Newcastle, but instead he shifted to Watson’s Bay (another high rent, exclusive harbour-side eastern suburb).

    He was, it seems, a poor Greek boy struggling to keep up appearances. High flyers in the Libs need to do that.

    Meanwhile, grubs like the Obeids and the Di Girolimos, whether their company was solvent or not, making money or not, were raking in squillions, almost literally writing their own cheques, and having them paid by Sydney Water (i.e the taxpayers) via a cosy sinecure deal that saw them recoup their costs, plus a percentage.

    Arthur is a follower, not a leader. He is naive and, despite his fearsome reputation, weak.

    He seems to be henpecked, or art least at the mercy of his young wife’s society ambitions (she’s a director of the Greek Young Matrons’ Association). He has all the usual trappings of a Lib on the way up – the plush address, the young wife, the Merc and the Jag in the rented garage. But he’s not quite the big mover and shaker we’ve been told he is.

    He’s just a nice, if impressionable Greek boy trying to carve out a niche for himself by doing the bidding of his “betters” (his word) in the four years before he hits 60.

    So he took the prize. $200,000 (with the promise of more to come) for nothing… except, apparently, looking the other way while the slightly distasteful process of fleecing the public on an industrial scale took place.

    He never saw the scrip for his “shares”, because there wasn’t any. There never is. They were an Obeid/Di Girolimo invention that might or might not pop into existence down the track, depending on whether Arthur kept them happy by smoothing the way forward with the new O”Farrell government.

    Sinodinos is your classic dupe, a patsy. You can see Nick telling him it was a sure thing; that there was no need for documentation of his shares because it might look a bit iffy. “But mate, maaaate, you’ll get the money,” Nick would have promised. “Just gotta keep it a bit on the Q-T, mate,” he wold have assured Arthur, tapping the side of his nose.

    And Sinodinos – until recently Assistant Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia – believed him. He had to believe him.

    He probably believed the spivs and shonks in the finance industry as well, as they told him that those pesky Labor regulations – declaring that they had to hold their clients’ interests closer to their hearts, than their own interests! – had to go, so as to more efficiently liberate even more suckers from their hard-earned.

    They needed a clean-skin, someone with not too much visible history of dodgy dealings, back stabbings and betrayals.

    But most importantly they needed a chump. And Arthur was “it”.

    Arthur does what his “betters” tell him to do. He always has. But as it becomes clear to him that he’s been sold down the river, abandoned to his fate, a patsy selected to do the gofer work and then take the fall, he may just reflect that there’s no real percentage in keeping his mates sweet by taking the rap for them.

    THAT is when things start to get interesting.

  24. Leone, I see your point about the McClymont article, but in Eastern Suburbs terms Arthur *was* a pauper.

    People on the move in the Libs, at his age, *own* half a dozen properties. The Vaucluse or Rose Bay houses are just their city digs. Arthur was renting, and now lives with his in-laws.

    I don’t think McClymont is excusing Sinodinos. But she does bring out an important point, in my opinion. Keeping up with the Joneses is very important for the Libs. The house on the harbour, the Merc and the Jag, the pretty young wife, the board memberships are all part of the deal.

    Of course the real money-men stay in the background. They’re the Di Girolimos of this world, those bizoid types you’ve never heard of but turn up with a lazy couple of hundred million to develop a mega coal mine, or who peddle crazy can’t-lose projects to supply the bogans of North-West Sydney with water at twice what it should be costing.

    But they’re not so crazy when they have a “respectable”, if malleable, front man.

    They picked Arthur to be that front man. He liked the attention because he’s weak. The photophobes in the back-rooms were only too glad to give it to him.

  25. L2 and BB. So if they lose their respectable ‘front man’ , where do they go?

    Back into the cracks behind the skirting boards where they came from… for a while.

  26. About Madame Speaker’s bizarre ruling yesterday – “Ministers are not obliged to answer questions, they do not have the same standing orders” – here it is for those who missed it.

    I don’t know what Standing Orders Broomhilda is referring to, but the ones for the House of Representatives are very clear on questions to ministers
    Chapter 9
    Questions seeking information
    Oral and written questions
    Section 98 – Questions to Ministers
    (b) During Question Time a Member may orally ask a question of a Minister (but not a Parliamentary Secretary), without notice and for immediate reply.

    Note that last bit – ‘for immediate reply’.

    The section on replies to questions.contains no mention whatesoever of special conditions applying to ministers in Question Time. It simply gives the time limit for answers – 3 minutes (something Broomhilda ignores) and sets out the rules for written replies to written questions.

    Click to access Chapter9.pdf

    So Madame Speaker has deliberately lied – she has misled the parliament. I have no idea what is supposed to happen when the Speaker misleads. The Speaker is supposed to rule on misleading by MPs, but when she does it herself – well – who knows?

  27. Interestingly, the name ; Girolimo…could translate as “Driving around in a limo”…Giro = make a trip / drive…limo= limo’…!

  28. free article

    AWH paid into slush fund while Sinodinos was director
    PUBLISHED: 20 Mar 2014 15:53:00 | UPDATED: 21 Mar 2014 05:58:15
    Geoff Winestock and Neil Chenoweth

    A secret Liberal Party-related slush fund being investigated for corruption received $183,342 from Australian Water Holdings while Arthur Sinodinos was AWH’s chairman or deputy chairman.

    Revelations of the payments, in ­documents filed by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, come as a former AWH investor said he had confronted Senator Sinodinos in 2010 with concerns about the company’s debts including $20,000 pledged to the NSW Liberal Party.

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