Foreign Affairs Minister versus Foxtel Prime Minister

First Mademoiselle Mesothelomia got vewy vewy cwoss with The International Embarrassment about being sent to Lima with Andrew Robb as chaperon to make sure she didn’t make any wrong mistakes about climate change and GLARED at him with her trademark death stare:

before singing him

Sometime during the week (Monday, was it?), The International Embarrassment said it had been a “ragged fortnight”, and hit

Oh, what the heck, Tony Burke puts it so much better than I can:

Last week Tony Abbott wanted to scrape a few barnacles off the ship of state. This week he wanted to try and turn the whole ship around – things didn’t quite go as planned.


1. What a year for the Government. Broken promises as far as the eye can see, no Assistant Treasurer for nine months, a Defence Minister on the chopping block and no clear answer to who will be Prime Minister at the next election. None of these things are good, but Bill’s speech summing up the year is definitely the best moment of the week.

2. The week began with Christopher Pyne and the Government telling anyone who would listen, the big victory in the final sitting week of Parliament for the year would be passing its unfair Higher Education changes and $100,000 degrees. Well, they tried and they failed.

3. Joe Hockey’s mini-Budget comes out soon. On Thursday the Treasurer, for now, tried to claw back some of his lost economic credibility in a speech to Parliament. Chris Bowen fired back saying Labor will never accept the false premise that Governments can choose either growth or fairness.

4. On Thursday, just as we were all walking in to Question Time, Terri Butler stood up and tore the government apart for its cuts to education. It’s only 90 seconds to watch, but will be felt by the Government for a very long time.

5. After the Senate Crossbench complained that Christopher Pyne wouldn’t stop texting and begging for their vote on Higher Education, Labor decided to give people the chance to text back. We set up a text only line where all messages get passed on to Christopher Pyne. Well, nearly all, we have had to censor a couple. More than 6,000 people have already texted him on 0477 333 555.


1. Last week was the worst week in the Abbott Government’s history, so far. On Monday Tony Abbott tried to hit refresh by holding a 45-minute press conference. So what’s he changing? Nothing.

2. In the same press conference on Monday, in his first answers talking about the change of Government in Victoria, Tony Abbott made an appeal to Labor Premier Daniel Andrews – what was the appeal? For Premier Andrews to break an election promise.

3. We’d be a better country if books like this weren’t required. The “Little Book of Lies” goes through, policy by policy, Tony Abbott’s year of broken promises. There are a lot.

4. The cuts to Australia’s foreign aid budget continue, with Julie Bishop claiming ‘if the Government keeps cutting, it won’t be the Government’s fault’. It seems like Ministers are starting to wish they were no longer in charge. Click here to add your name to the campaign against foreign aid cuts.

5. The Liberal MP for Gilmore discovered it’s sometimes best to say nothing this week, when Tanya Plibersek referred to 97% of scientists agreeing on the connection between human activity and climate change, Ann Sudmalis interjected “but that’s only climate scientists.” Well she’s right. It’s only 97% of the people who are experts in the field.

This afternoon, Sam de Brito wrote:

Comedian Chris Rock said recently of former US President George Bush: “He was the first president who only served the people who voted for him. He literally operated like a cable network. You know what I mean?

“He’s the first cable-television president, and the thing liberals don’t like about Obama is that he’s a network guy … He’s trying to get everybody.”

Abbott is our first Foxtel Prime Minister. If you’re not a subscriber, too bad.

Can anyone taste blood in the water yet?

Meanwhile, Dan Andrews’ new Victorian ministry was sworn, with a record number of nine women on the front bench:

Maybe it’s time for The International Embarrassment to think on Beyonce’s lyrics:

Enough of this seriousness.

Join in The Pub’s usual amazing Friday evening festivities, help yourselves to drinks until I get there, order your raffle tickets from Maestro CK Watt, put your coins into the jukebox.

And have a good time or

646 thoughts on “Foreign Affairs Minister versus Foxtel Prime Minister

  1. BK, it’s all about the abbott attempting to save his own hide. The longer the press keep him there asking questions, the bigger the chance he adds lie onto lie and digs himself further into the shite pit.

    Puffy, I agree.

  2. The questions got a bit hot for him when they asked him to explain the meaning of ‘sovereign subs’ and the govt. advertising campaign. Presser ended promptly.

  3. foreverjanice

    Bugger. Ever since hearing the pet rock currently our defence minister talk about the “sovereign submarine” business I’ve been dying to find out wtf that is meant to mean.

  4. A sovereign submarine is one where we pay our sovereigns so that another country can have a vibrant ship-building sector.

    Youse nose it makes cents.

  5. This might explain the ‘sovereign submarines’ mystery – it’s just gibberish to cover up the bleeding obvious – the minister or the PM has NFI.

    When in doubt – which seems the Abbott government’s starting position these days – ministers descend into gibberish rather than attempt a leap into the blue sky.
    And here’s the Defence Minister, David Johnston, who believes Australia couldn’t build a canoe, not telling us what he means by his intention to build a “sovereign industry” around submarines.

    “…submarines are a vital strategic platform for Australia going forward. What we are seeking to do is to set up the necessary foundations for us to have, as I say, a sovereign industry. Now in the near future there will be further announcements as to exactly the nuts and bolts and mechanics of precisely what we intend for that. But may I say this is a very important, front-of-mind issue for myself and for the government.”

    Verbal tics, in short, meaning “wouldn’t have a clue” and “we’ll get back to you”.

    I hadn’t heard about ‘soverrign submarines, probably because I won’t waste my time listening to the wafflings of Johnston or the stammerings of Abbott. I’m still trying to work out another bit of gibberish – what a ‘retail politician’ might be. An MP who moonlights in Colesworths? A senator who is a part-time door-to-door electricity salesman? No-one has ever explained what the words mean but journnalists and politicans fling them around constantly, as in ‘Barnaby Joyce is a great retail politican’. Whatever they re selling I’m not buying.

  6. That’s really disappointing about the count in Fisher.

    Also, in Prahran, the Greens candidate appears to have overtaken the Labor candidate by 39 votes for 2nd place.

  7. The co-payment thing. Abbott will make it ‘optional’. Doctors will get $5 less rebate from Medicare every time they bulk bill someone who is not a concession card holder or a kid and it will be up to the providers to decide if they want to impose an additional $5 fee or find some other way to claw back that money.

    Shoddy, ill-considered policy on the run, made up this morning to try to take some of the pressure off a failing PM. So shoddy Abbott can’t answer questions about it.

    It’s simple, really. If this latest brainfart gets through the senate providers will have to put up their fees to compensate. So much for that ‘keeping the cost of living down’ crap Abbott keeps going on about.

  8. Delusional? Barking mad? Bananas tries to take Abbott’s place as International Embarrassment.

    Julie Bishop lobbies nations with heritage sites to block Great Barrier Reef danger call

    FOREIGN Minister Julie Bishop will declare the Great Barrier Reef is not “in danger” as she today heads off an international push to blacklist the national icon.

    Ms Bishop will warn world leaders to back off, arguing a push to list the Australian icon will put their own heritage sites in the firing line.

    The Foreign Minister believes a successful ruling against Australia would set a precedent activists will use to list key world heritage sites across the world.

    “Every country that has an environmental icon that activists seize upon would be at risk,” she said.

    In a bid to prevent UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee declaring the Reef “in danger” next year, Ms Bishop plans to lobby each country on the committee that the ruling would set a precedent for their own nations.

  9. More secrecy, more cover-ups, more bulldust, more lies, it just makes you wonder what they are so keen to hide.

    Release of ministerial travel costs could damage our international standing, government claims.
    The Coalition has ignored pre-election promises to improve transparency and refused to release ministers’ travel expense details.

  10. Bad news in Fisher, I expect there’ll be relief all round on the faces of the newsreaders. Plus they’ll be able to run their prepared “Government on a knife edge” stories.

  11. Was a bit sad about Fisher, & then I read about the latest broken promise about entitlements & now I’m just angry. Angry that there are enough people in this country sufficiently fucked in the head to vote for this bunch of lying spivs, state, federal, council, whatever.

  12. BSA Bob

    Totally agree, I just don’t understand how people can be so F.I.T.H. myself. It is a scary thought to know that they live among us.

  13. How the ferk did anyone vote for this mob of ferkwits? My son has a friend who voted Lib at the last federal election, because it was time for a change. (ffs) and when the super guarantee was not increased as it should have, he emailed his friend (in a good govt job) telling him that Abbott had just cost him $30,000 in super he would never get.

  14. BSA Bob
    What makes me even angrier is that over 4000 voters were too lazy to get off their arses and vote, and another 800+ voted informal.

    Last federal election there were record numbers of no-shows and informal votes. The MSM put it all down to people being turned off politics by Labor’s leadership woes, it was, of course, ‘all Labor’s fault’. I put it down to the Great Australian Stupidity. We are a dumb, lazy lot.

    Ask around, you will be amazed – in a bad way – by hpw many seemingly normal, sane, people have no idea who is their local federal or state MP, what party tey belong to and even what party is in government. Politics, they say, is ‘too boring’. I have no idea how we can change this disinterest.

  15. puffy
    That Abbott policy was out there well before the election. Again, the Great Australian Stupidity. Why read about policies going into an election? It’s soooooo boring. All you need to do is listen to a shock jock, pick up a few slogans and vote the way they tell you. Saves using your brain.

    Your son’s friend has what he voted for. May he enjoy the fruits of his stupidity.

  16. Puffy,
    Because some of them know full well they’ll always do better with the Randians in charge ( they have the big bank balances)
    Because some people bought the bullshit about Labor being incompetent.
    Because Rudd white-anted Julia Gillard to (political) death.
    Because the morons and shysters in our MSM spent three years either ignoring or not seeing the evidence of what was occupying the Opposition benches, or actively performing journalistic fellatio on them.

  17. Finally. An LNP type has discovered how to fix Climate Change. Welcome to the 15th century folks.

    Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has intervened to force the removal of all references to climate change-derived sea level rises from the regional plan of Moreton Bay Regional Council, a decision experts say could have wide ramifications.

    In a letter to the council dated November 28, Mr Seeney wrote: “I direct council to amend its draft planning scheme to remove any assumption about a theoretical projected sea level rise from all and any provision of the scheme.”

    The council is obliged by law to obey the direction.

  18. kaffeeklatscher @ 5.42
    Rings a bell, I’m sure I read a reference to a Republican edict along the same lines in the U.S. Can’t be more specific.

    Oh yes indeedy, I’m always a bit surprised how little interest most people take in the country’s governance.

  19. Just got this email and I feel quite chuffed –

    Thank you for your invaluable gift of bringing knowledge to every human around the world.

    My name is Lila Tretikov, and I’m the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. Over the past year, gifts like yours powered our efforts to expand the encyclopedia in 287 languages and to make it more accessible all over the world. We strive most to impact those who would not have access to education otherwise. We bring knowledge to people like Akshaya Iyengar from Solapur, India. Growing up in this small textile manufacturing town, she used Wikipedia as her primary learning source. For students in these areas, where books are scarce but mobile Internet access exists, Wikipedia is instrumental. Akshaya went on to graduate from college in India and now works as a software engineer in the United States. She credits Wikipedia with powering half of her knowledge.

    This story is not unique. Our mission is lofty and presents great challenges. Most people who use Wikipedia are surprised to hear it is run by a non-profit organization and funded by your donations. Each year, just enough people donate to keep the sum of all human knowledge available for everyone. Thank you for making this mission possible.

    On behalf of half a billion people who read Wikipedia, thousands of volunteer editors, and staff at the Foundation, I thank you for keeping Wikipedia online and ad-free this year.

    Thank you,

  20. How is it a policy back flip when essentially its simply a re arrangement? General patients can expect to be charged $5 by their GP- as would have happened under the previous plan- only this time the GP is now the bad guy. Money will not go to cut ‘debt and deficit’ but again into a medical fund- so why is it supposed to help the budget? The sane solution would be to lift the Medicare levy but then high income earners would have to pay more and we can’t have that!

  21. GL,

    Could have been worse.

    You’re right, the Libs could’ve won, and Greg Barber would’ve blamed Labor for it.

  22. also see

    Yarra and Moreland consent to State Government Request for Adjournment of East West trial

    10 December 2014

    Yarra and Moreland Councils have agreed to a request from the State Government to adjourn the East West Link proceedings in the Supreme Court.

    The case was due to be heard in court on 15 December.

    The adjournment will allow the new State Government time to have discussions with the successful bidders for the EWL to achieve its election promise not to build the eastern part of the East West Link.

    Yarra Council remains opposed to the East West Link and is looking forward to its communities having certainty about the East West Tunnel project.

    In July 2014 Yarra Council voted unanimously to join Moreland Council in seeking a judicial review of the Minister for Planning’s approval for the East West Link (under section 77 of the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act) and the assessment committee’s recommendation to the Minister.

    Under the Local Government Act, Yarra has an obligation to act in the best interests of its community, which is why Council is taking this important action.

    Yarra has long opposed the East West Link because of the absence of a transparent and viable business case and the devastating impact it would have on our local community, local heritage, inner city traffic and many other important aspects impacting liveability.

  23. Re Phillip Hughes, the family had indeed “had enough”. It was their decision, not Baird’s. Baird, to his credit, was going to go along with whatever the family wanted. They thought the Macksville event was the ultimate and they decided that it was enough. Without trying to get into any deep and meaningfuls, the reason for the outpouring of grief is that this has simply never happened before. People have died playing cricket but never at that level.The same will happen to the first AFL/NRL player to be killed, the latter being more likely. In fact, it would not have been outside the bounds of possibility that it could have happened in this years Grand Final, given the behaviour of one player. I’m sure a few wise words have been spoken to that person in the past week or so regarding the danger of leading with the head, to the head.

    As an aside, I was in SE Asia when the Hughes accident happened. It made all the headlines there, was the lead story on BBC worldwide for two days either side of his death and made it to Fox Sports, which ordinarily never looks past the big four US professional sports. It wasn’t just a local sports story.

  24. This comment from over the road I think is a very good one

    Anyway as a Laborite, I’d like to see the Greens put a little skin in the game and go for Liberal seats – if this result holds then it shows that the Greens can win over some Libs who, for whatever reason, won’t vote for Labor. I know its not necessarily in their immediate interests to compete in seats where they don’t have an instant chance – but this was the case a decade ago when the Greens first started standing lower house candidates. Over time they have seriously started to challenge Labor. Now they need to start seriously challenging the Liberals. If they do, then they will find that Labor becomes a lot more trusting and cooperative with them. I’d love to see Labor and the Greens act less like frenemies and more like allies, but it won’t happen while the Greens seek growth solely at the expense of Labor.

    I think that the problem for the greens is that if they want to target safe Liberal seats where Labor is non-competitive, they will most likely have to either dump or alter some of their policies, which will bring them into conflict with their base.

  25. Follow-on from the Mike Carlton story this afternoon.

    Prime Minister’s Literary Awards panel accused of political bias

    The panel of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards has been accused of political bias after presenting the top history prize to a book trade unionists and left-wing commentators say is a “union-bashing” rant

  26. Can anyone explain to me why pre-poll votes can’t be counted on election night.

    After 3 days of saying ” nah nah nanah nah blrrrrrt” to abbott it seems the good guys may not win Fisher after all when before that it seemed almost certain and even lib booster WB had almost given up the seat.

    It’s wrong I tells ya!

  27. CK,

    I certainly can’t see any reason why pre-polls can’t be counted as soon as the polling booths close on election night.

    They could be in a separate stream – easy enough to do these days – but they really should be amalgamated in the general count.

    Postal votes are a different matter.

  28. Fiona I haven’t heard any mention of court of disputed returns

    In the recount Newton Browns count will fall, because the votes to him have not been rechecked so invariably the mis sorts will be uncovered

    Greens and minor party ballots have been checked 5+ times

    Liberal votes have been viewed once – there will be some mistakes, probably 19 ‘missorts’ increasing the margin of the Greens win by 38 to 300 votes

  29. CKWatt prepoll votes can’t be counted on election night because there isn’t the manpower. You can’t count prepolls as they come in because the result could influence other peoples vote

  30. CK and Billie11
    The only reason the electoral commission be it under state or federal legislation don’t do as you suggest is because of the politicians themselves! They make the rules.

  31. billie11

    I figured as much but it seems to me that if there were no such thing as prepoll votes then they would have a heap more to count on the night anyway. Anyway it was probably just sour grapes on my part after having had such high hopes only, it seems, for them to be dashed.

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