Taken at the Flood?

Urban Wronski has again agreed to be The Pub’s Guest Author with, once more, an incisive analysis of the week that was. Many thanks!

Wading around deep water in Launceston last Thursday were Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman and federal Liberal MPs Andrew Nikolic, Brett Whiteley and Eric Hutchinson, who turned up to ensure that the PM did not spoil his visit to the Onion Isle by getting out his depth on climate change and rashly linking global warming with the devastating floods.

Turnbull rebuffed Bill Shorten’s shrewd offer of a bipartisan visit. Launceston was thus blessed with two successive media circuses, although they visited different flood-struck areas. Yet, despite the mud and the wheel-churning, it was spared the impression that Shorten was Turnbull’s equal. Or an alternative Prime Minister.

The PM was resolute. Bugger the pre-election caretaker convention of equal access to information and consultation on important decisions. It was only day 34. There was an election dance marathon to be won. Policy to be got out.


As both major parties waltzed around the elephant in the room of the coalition’s bogus climate policy, the PM spoke up to stop anyone joining any dots between the disaster and climate change, before anyone brought up the clear global trend of increased Intensity of rainfall with climate change.

They were too late. In response to one journalist’s question that we would see more storms of this nature with climate change, Turnbull generalised and obscured the link. “Larger and more frequent storms are one of the consequences that the climate models and climate scientists predict from global warming.”

If only we could get rid of those models and those scientists, we’d be OK. (The Coalition’s working on it.)

“. . . you cannot attribute any particular storm to global warming,” the PM continued arrestingly, obscuring the point the reporter was making, “so let’s be quite clear about that. And the same scientists would agree with that.”

Encouraged by his PM’s form of words, but picking up on only some of them, embattled member for Bass, Andrew Nikolic, a highly vocal climate sceptic in parliament who enjoyed a key role in the slashing of our Renewable Energy Target (RET) went further. No-one would be “silly enough to try and link a single event to climate change.”
No-one is arguing for simple causation

Of course they are linked. No-one is arguing for simple causation. Climate Change Council scientists warn that global warming and rising sea levels are major contributing factors to the kinds of storms that recently caused so much damage to the East coast of Australia.

All extreme weather events have a climate component. A warming atmosphere has a greater capacity for carrying more moisture resulting in more intense rainfall and floods. Accelerating sea level rise also increases the impact of storms in coastal areas as witnessed recently at Collaroy.

Professor Lesley Hughes explains the heavier rainfall. “These east coast lows, while they’ve also been around for some time and often deliver intense rainfall, are occurring in an atmosphere that has about 7% more water vapour than it did fifty years ago. This increases the risk of more intense rainfall.”

What should be bipartisan is an understanding that our only choice is to stop burning coal and embrace renewable energy. This election is the last chance we have to get serious about our climate change policy. Yet there is nothing to see here from either major party in this Clayton’s election campaign, despite some urging from the sidelines.

The Frog That Jumped

Some ratbags will got to any lengths to spoil a disaster zone media opportunity even with our beefed up national security and metadata retention laws, including the Border Protection Act 2015 which makes it illegal for professionals to speak out about conditions in detention centres, a law which some doctors have chosen to defy.

And so it proved in Sydney later that day. A British television crew ambushed the PM as he left the American and Australian US Studies Centre tenth annual benefit dinner, a black-tie function in Sydney where Turnbull had been insulting the intelligence of his audience by repeating the lie that he had to call the election because of vital ABCC legislation blocked by the senate which his government needs to restore the rule of law.

“Australia’s actions were illegal..”

Jonathan Miller, Channel Four Foreign Correspondent, wanted to know if the PM was alarmed by the recent spate of self-immolations by asylum-seekers on Nauru and whether he agreed with observers that Australia’s actions were illegal under international law. The PM is reported to have stone-walled the BBC reporter.

He would have been just as forthcoming had he been asked about the government’s position on PNG, a failed state whose PM enjoys our loyal support despite evidence of considerable popular unrest and unconfirmed reports of police shooting protestors. The ugly spectacle of our support for a corrupt regime because our government needs desperately for Manus Island detention centre to at least remain open is one which with bipartisan agreement seems to be swept to one side. Just as with the gulag on Nauru.

Nothing to see here. As in the days of the Tampa crisis, when John Howard refused point blank at a press conference to reveal the source of his categorical assurances to the Australian people that SIEV-X sank in Indonesian waters and that the drowning of 353 people was somehow someone else’s responsibility.


Turnbull had just come from praising John Howard as the gold standard in his own cabinet government and singled out Arthur (Amnesiac) Sinodinos for his architectural virtues in two governments. A pillar of the Howard government, Sinodinos, he said is “a flying buttress in mine.”

Perhaps this curiously phrased praise will cause a restorative flow of blood to Arthur’s head and enable him to recall the answers he was unable to provide the ICAC concerning his role in setting up The Free Enterprise Foundation which was established to permit property developers to make illegal donations to NSW Liberal Party funds.

The NSW Electoral Commission continues to withhold $4.4 million in public funding from the NSW Liberals until it formally discloses who donated $693,000 to the party via the Free Enterprise Foundation before the 2011 election. If Sinodinis is Turnbull’s flying buttress, however, in foreign policy the US is Australia’s anchor, the caretaker PM declared dipping into maritime analogies on Thursday, despite Malcolm Fraser’s view that it was a ball and chain.

…a strategic captive of the US…

John Howard, set up the US Studies Centre, according to Turnbull on Thursday because he ‘…understood that the United States is the irreplaceable anchor to the global rules-based order, an order built upon shared political values and common economic and security interests.’ Yet for Malcolm Fraser in his book Dangerous Allies, ours is more of Stockholm syndrome relationship. Australia is “a compliant partner, a strategic captive of the US,” in Fraser’s view.

To those perverse few who still see Malcolm Turnbull as a type of enlightened and progressive rationalist, a “small l” Liberal, his sycophantic embrace of Howard and the US Alliance in Sydney this week may be a rude shock. On the other hand, the latest Reach-Tel suggests a 2 point increase in Turnbull’s popularity which will, no doubt, be taken as a vindication for his release last Sunday of a brief Facebook video which asks us to accept him, perhaps even to let him lead us, because of his poor, deprived childhood.


“How poor was my childhood” could be the start of some competitive bidding from other political hopefuls and millionaires although it could be argued that Gina Rinehart, a major backer of the IPA which is enjoys an extraordinary influence over Liberal politicians both in and out of parliament, has already set the gold standard.

Her ABC Australian Story documentary appearance in 2015 reinvents her father, Lang Hancock, as a noble and heroic Aussie battler and devoted father. His stoic and selfless determination to fly out on endless self-punishing mineral prospecting odysseys over the Pilbara enabled him to reap obscenely large profits from the sale of minerals extracted from lands far below which did not belong to him, as if this were somehow his just reward. It was an astonishing piece of hagiography even from a loving daughter.

Similarly, the Turnbull video is ostensibly a tribute to Bruce, a father to whom he owes everything. Yet below and even on top (- a part of the surface gloss) is a calculated bid for our sympathy from a politician whose ruthless ambition is well documented.

… see the mythic reinvention as a quest…

The spin is defended by Karen Middleton and others who see the mythic reinvention as a quest to present a more authentic Malcolm to his adoring fans. Besides, her argument goes, Bill is doing the same type of thing.

True, there are images of Shorten’s mother, a former teacher, in some publicity material canvassing us to vote Labor because education matters but it is a long way from the PM’s recent desperate pitch in which he reinvents himself as some sort of ordinary battler. It’s an ill-judged bid for sympathy and the women’s vote which Turnbull’s been advised he will need.

Some offer a blunter appraisal; if you have to make a video like that, you are admitting you are in serious trouble. The feminist bid just smacks of desperation and will backfire when it is measured against the poverty of the PM’s achievement on behalf of women.

Coming out as a feminist is not a new thing in recent Liberal prime ministers, but it still has some novelty value. Turnbull the feminist was unleased on an unwary electorate this week, raising some very awkward questions about a Liberal Party leadership which as Annabel Crabb notes, only the men are feminists, because the women don’t want any label which might get some of the unreconstructed males still left on front and back bench offside.

…where there is a war on women…

Al Jazeera

The nation now awaits Turnbull to respond to the promptings of his feminist sensibility and release all those women imprisoned on Nauru where there is a war on women. If he really wants to be a leader, he will bring home all the asylum seekers and refugees immediately. At home, he will pushing for equality in workplaces. The gender pay gap of $277 per week between women and men’s average weekly earnings will vanish at one stroke.

What is increasingly apparent, however, at least to some in the Labor camp, is that the caretaker PM is content to “run down the clock” to the election. He is just playing a dead bat, happy to sacrifice ten marginal seats if it brings him the office of elected Prime Minister that he covets. Or that Bruce would have wanted for him. Certainly his failure to turn up at a Sky News Peoples’ Forum debate on Wednesday, a “long-standing invitation” made him look flaky. Or scared. Or both. Or perhaps, he just couldn’t be bothered.

Sky News showed its displeasure sending presenters Paul Murray and Andrew Bolt out to condemn Turnbull for his snub. Sky is, however, getting great value out of the Liberals and ought not to be so churlish, especially when recent recruit, Tony Abbott’s former boss Peta Credlin’s stellar performance is taken into account.

Voters don’t like Bill Shorten and don’t trust Malcolm Turnbull according to Credlin’s piece in The Herald Sun on Saturday. Abbott’s former chief of staff has let the nation know that Turnbull is not doing enough to win over uncommitted voters and that the result could be chaos in the senate.


Credlin has a way with words and her freely dispensed advice is doubtless as powerfully motivating to the PM as any desire to prove worthy of the memory of his father’s sacrifice. She has homed in on an arrogance which is perhaps a key part of the caretaker PM’s campaign strategy so far. In her view, Turnbull’s “superannuation changes still tell the Liberal base you don’t really matter because you have nowhere else to go.”

In the campaign so far, the PM has avoided anything of substance while challenges that clamour for real leadership, such as climate change, closing the gulags that are our offshore detention centres, or providing a fair and just society for all Australians, issues which might truly define a worthy political leader lie well beyond his grasp.

His opponent, for all his affinity with the workers and all his rhetoric appears just as imprisoned by the corporate state – a compliant partner, as Fraser would have it, in an abusive and mutually demeaning relationship.


490 thoughts on “Taken at the Flood?

  1. While I’m not a fan of murpheroo, she’s having some fun baiting Chris Kenny on twitter this morning… presumably he’s written some vile patronising piece about the indigenous recognition/treaty debate.(apologies if the tweet copy thing doesn’t work..) If you’re on Twitter, just search for Katherine Murphy to see the whole conversation…

    (P.S. in case its not obvious, having a really boring day at work..!)

  2. I have just left a twitter exchange with PVO re parakeelagate. I might as well try to inject some sense into my floor rug.

  3. It appears the PVO thing is all about this (not sure what posting a link to an on-line PDF does in WordPress exactly, but here goes…)

    Click to access FOI14-11-document.pdf

    The point is apparently that short piece of info, where Parakeelia are listed as the software provider for the LNP, and the ALP for the ALP.

    Cormann has cottoned onto it now, and he’s been tweeting about it as if that’s the end of the issue. However, that thing tells us nothing about who from the ALP pays, how much gets paid, where it comes from or where it goes.

    My best guess on short notice is that that must be a reason why the Liberals do it the convoluted way they do. I wouldn’t know for sure, but I guess there’s more oversight and a greater need for justification for the expense the way the ALP do it. Liberal MPs can just say, when questioned, “that’s what this external entity charges for their service” and leave it at that.

    They’d need to get a list of expenses, detailed in the way it has been with the Liberals and Parakeelia, before there’s any meat on this claim that “the ALP do it too”.

    And at any rate, if Cormann were correct that the ALP are running the same scam, then that’s not a justification for what the Liberals are doing, it’s justification for a federal ICAC to rid us of the whole steaming pile of poo we’re dealing with.

    • The Liberal Party uses an organisation set up by the party, run by the party and wholly owned by the party. Liberal MPs are compelled to pay Parakeelia Ltd $2,500 a year out of their taxpayer-funded electoral allowances and in return they receive voter-monitoring software known as ‘Feedback’. No-one else uses the services of Parakeelia, just Liberal MPs.

      Parakeelia has donated over $1 million to the Liberal Party in the last three years, despite claiming it does not make a profit.

      If it looks like money laundering then that’s exactly what it is, a sneaky scam that transfers taxpayer funding to a political party.

      The Labor Party uses an independent company called Magenta Linus to provide their monitoring software.

      That company is not owned by the ALP, it has many other clients which include unions, state governments, Charles Sturt university and BHP Billiton. I don’t know if it donates to the ALP, I don’t think it does.

      PvO kept waffling on about the ALP collecting the money from MPs, so, to his tiny mind, that means both sides are doing the same thing. The ALP may well collect the funds and pass them on to Magenta Linus, the Liberal Parry may well do the same, but that doesn’t prove anything. It’s the donation back to the Liberal Party that’s the issue, not who collects money and forwards the total payments on to the companies.

      Cormann and his mates are scrabbling around trying to find something, anything in the fine print of obscure documents to ‘prove’ there is nothing sneaky going on. It’s all weasel words and obfuscation, they hope to bore us to tears so we will stop looking at what is a very damaging revelation for the government.

    • Exactly. The Liberal response (what there is of it so far) seems to be along the lines of “Look at what the ALP do! They employ software services and pay for them so, like, you know… If we were doing it that way we’d totally exploit it so we’re within our rights to accuse the ALP of whatever we can come up with!”

  4. BTW, I’ve been enjoying watching the Greens squirm. I’m glad the ALP said they’d preference them this election, because ALP preferences are going to mean diddly squat to the Greens in the lower house. Maybe Kelly O’Dwyer’s seat comes into play, but it’s not really in left heartland and it would have to be a tenuous gain. What they need are preferences that are going to unseat sitting ALP members, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to get any of that. So all their machinations have come to a grinding halt, and they’re a bit pissed off about it. Of course the Liberals sold them out, they’ve got everything they needed from the Greens when they got the Senate changes through.

    What did they expect? Talk about naive.

    • It was easy to see the Greens, and especially Dodgy Dick, would be shafted by the Liberal Party. Dick just loved all the attention and the publicity, he was dazzled by it all. He gave the government what it wanted, and annoyed many of his party’s supporters in the process. Now the penny has dropped and he’s having a big sook.

      it’s all so very reminiscent of Meg Lees being conned by Howard and Costello.

    • And I doubt if he has learned much from it. In his sook he seemed to be blaming Labor for this ‘dirty preference’ dealing, without understanding that each party stood to gain by it at no great cost to themselves.

      For Labor they were coalition seats where they were giving Liberals preferences. Wherever the preferences went they were going to help the enemy. It was just plain sense to use that leverage to get a deal from the Liberals in their inner suburban seats. For the Liberals it matter little how these panned out, but it was to their advantage to preference Labor if they could gain Labor’s preferences in three-cornered contests.

      In years past, Labor would mostly have gone for Nationals in these contests, as the coalition party with some responsibility for the smaller settlers. But the Nationals have long gone over to the big donors of mining. So there is no advantage to preferring either, and it rests on what Labor can get back,

      It’s almost like the football trading of players. You give up or are forced to give up some but can use that trade to compensate by getting others. If Dick can’t grasp that, it explains a lot.

      That was where the Greens missed out so badly on Malaysia. They could’ve got almost any conditions written into the safeguards, and such a deal might have spared the country from this reckless destructive government while retaining a very good PM and ministry. Instead they took the high ground (possibly hoping to steal more of the ALP Left vote) and ended in aiding the legacy for AS that we finished up with.

    • Any one with any political memory knows how Micheal Kroger screwed Felicity Kennett
      I can’t imagine why any one would trust such a slug

    • What do you think the Greens are doing in Melbourne Ports?
      They are attempting to unseat Micheal Danby[ALP] over his Zionist stance.
      Micheal Danby who is 65 commands a strong Jewish vote and the Greens pro-Palestine 2 party state in Israel has alienated ALL the voters in Jewish neighbourhoods. I think the Greens campaign in Melbourne Ports is being wound down, even though the candidate might be good

    • I don’t think I would gave had the patience to do that, but good on her! Such fun, seeing how angry the scumbag became.

  5. A big round of applause for the staff at Port Macquarie airport –

    Barnaby Joyce’s airport snafu
    Did the Deputy Prime Minister have his own Johnny Depp moment?

    Is Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce going to be the next to feature in a tortured apology video for disrespecting Australia’s laws? A tipster tells us that Joyce was in Port Macquarie recently and hit a bit of a snag at the airport when he went to board his charter plane to move to the next stop on the campaign trail. We’re told a report was made “for not going through Commonwealth security screening and walking straight out onto the tarmac. AFP argued with local airport officials for pulling him up, until he finally agreed to go through commonwealth screening process.”

    Joyce’s media people say they had no issues at the airport and went through security as requested. And we were so looking forward to a Joyce channelling Johnny Depp on video.

    No-one gets past those blokes.

    Then there’s the charter plane. There are several flights in and out of Port Macquarie every day. Why did the arrogant oaf need to charter an aircraft? He flew in, did a pork-barrel presser and left. Didn’t even leave the airport.

  6. Nobody declares victory in a political contest, not until it’s already decided. Even a party that’s got an unbeatable lead. It’s always “a close contest” where “every vote counts”. The only circumstance I can think of where a party would claim victory is when they’re about to lose the unloseable election. A desperate attempt to take the heat out of the coverage would be the aim, and a gambit on getting people to stop reporting on and listening to what the opposition have to say.

    You certainly don’t say you’ve got it in the bag when the polls are telling you you’re behind. Even if you think the seat distribution is in your favour. You’d be insane to really buy into that idea.

    The aim here is to get as many media figures to declare this thing over as possible, in the hope that the electorate will simply believe it and lose interest in who they vote for.

    But it’s not over, and I don’t think anyone is buying the talk that it is. What are we expected to do, ignore the polling and submit to our fate? Ridiculous.

  7. Here we go:

    And now they’re all going to ask Shorten about that from now on, and strangle any momentum he might have had talking about issues.

  8. If a quarter of SA Labor voters were smart enough in all seats to vote NXT1, ALP2, the libs would be wiped out. Labor would probably hold on to its 5 seats, and Libs would probably be left with 1. Then, LNP would at very best have to govern in a hung parliament.

    Although on the face of it , Labor’s decision not to preference NXT in SA is dumb, enough Labor voters should hopefully be smart enough to see the strategic benefits of placing NXT above Labor.

    • I don’t understand. Why is it ‘smart’ to vote 1 for someone you don’t want to win? It seems nuts to me.

    • Ok. In a seat where Labor has no chance of winning, eg Pyne’s seat of Sturt, the next best thing is to have the LNP lose that seat to another party or an independent. I think that proposition is not controversial.

      So: in for example the seat of Sturt, if enough “smart” Labor voters were to vote NXT 1, Labor 2, and all the other Labor voters (which would be the majority of Labor voters) were to vote Labor 1, NXT 2, then NXT would go to second place in the first preference count. Then, the voters who voted Labor 1 would be knocked out, and their preferences would go to NXT. This effectively would completely aggregate the ALP and NXT votes to outweigh the LNP votes.

      This would be the only way that NXT could accrue enough votes to pass the LNOP candidate.

      Voila! Pyne is defeated and we have a NXT member for Sturt.

      Net result: a more likely LNP minority govt, as insurance if ALP does not win outright itself.

  9. I can remember Chris Uhlmann in 2007, saying that Labor’s lead was ” a house of cards” about to implode on itself leaving John Howard triumphant.

    Didn’t happen, did it?

    As far back as I can remember, I’ve read political “analysis” saying that so-and-so was a shoo-in. We heard it in the 1993 election (Keating v. Hewson), the 2010 election (Gillard v. Abbott), the recent Queensland election and the one in Victoria.

    As Aguirre says if you think you’re heading for a comfortable win, the last thing you want to do is brag about it, because every nutter with a protest vote will feel free to cast it against you, thinking it won’t matter anyway.

    And don’t get me started on the number of times I’ve heard the experts tell us how interest rates are going up, or unemployment is going down. They’re usually wrong, or at least are wrong often enough to make their prognostications worthless as any kind of guide.

    Another reminder: Labor was on $7.00 in the last Queensland election. Turned out well for the prophets,the LNP and the punters, didn’t it?

    Humbug to all of ;em.

  10. Liberals desperately scrabbling to deal with a ‘clerical error’ which has gone un-noticed for years. It may even be Turnbull’s fault!

    Federal election 2016: Parakeelia disclosure failure raises questions as Liberals scramble to adjust ‘clerical error’

  11. More dodgy goings-on around Parakeelia.

    This says it all –

    Documents seen by Guardian Australia show between 2014-15 and 2015-16 the finance department increased the office allowance for software from $1,650 to $2575.50. Liberal MPs and senators pay Parakeelia $2,550 a year for use of the Feedback database


    Someone realised the payments to Parakeelia were exceeding the allowance for software and acted to make those payments follow the guidelines by changing to more generous guidelines. Cute, isn’t it.

  12. Aguirre,as with your post today the libs have no one after Turnbull to lead. I’m thinking it may go back to Howard who did control and didn’t really leave anyone to succeed him.

  13. When you think about it, the NE is a more successful politician than Waffles.

    Waffles is a failed LotO and a failed PM and the NE is just failed PM.

    If it happens that Waffles wins on 2 July he’ll be replaced faster than you can say “Did anyone get the number of that bus?”

  14. Further to my earlier post about strategic voting for NXT in SA.

    In most federal elections, the total number of votes for progressive parties is greater than the total number of votes for conservative parties. (I’m including independents here.)

    This is even more pronounced if you discount the inbuilt gerrymander (the numbers imbalance between rural and urban electorates).

    If all progressive parties could somehow cross preference each other intelligently, the LNP would never — nay, COULD never — win government in this country.

    But it won’t happen. Why? Power struggles between the progressives. This leads to a vote leakage.

    By contrast, the Coalition parties always seem to get their shit together.

  15. http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/politics/national-party-stalwart-ken-jasper-dishonourable-says-sophie-mirabella/news-story/504780f5972cc4fa6f7db5831e695e20




  16. Tony Burke obviously doesn’t understand that the Libs are not mere mortals but gods that can do as they want.

    • You obviously don’t understand just how important the Terror Australis campaign is.

  17. Just caught the end of Michaelia “Effie” Cash with A bell.

    Dear oh dear!

    • it was interesting on mute, actually it was sad. Cash has a cat fetish and [sob] rheumatoid arthritis

  18. Lord Sauron Rupert has sent out The Memo alright. Just saw Britney Speers, pencil neck Hartcher and His Eminence Kelly. Whole lot was a slagathon of Shorten and Labor. Apparently he and they can not get anything right. Shorten mentioning a treaty ? A sign of an opposition leader seeing the election slip away…………apparently.

    • Just as well only a dozen people, a few sleepy cats and a couple of demented dogs bother watching that drivel.

  19. This Kitchen Cabinet is all about Cash spruiking Turnbull and Cash complaining about Labor. Pure electioneering, a thirty-minute election advertisement.

  20. It gets worse –

    Brisbane councillors give ratepayer funds to LNP-linked company and donor

    Brisbane City Council’s Labor opposition has estimated tens of thousands of dollars of ratepayers’ money would have flowed to Parakeelia, a controversial company with Liberal Party links, since 2009.
    Brisbane’s LNP council administration has confirmed some of its councillors used the software, but a spokesman for Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the annual cost for councillors was $750


  21. Meoldema changed the channel away from Kitchen Cabinet, She had enough. My ears were relieved too. And who wears those ridiculous heels inside a house? And they can’t wear them properly. One does not crouch and crab along in heels, walking from the knees. One walks from the hip, swinging your legs confidently through each stride. Otherwise, put your slippers on.

    • Dead right, Puffy! Slouching or wobbling in high heels is just gross.

      We need a breath of class

  22. The new Garbage album, Strange Little Birds, is a bit disappointing.

    “Even Though Our Love Is Doomed” seems to be the track closest to the hype – but overall pretty bland and/or unfocused.

  23. Interesting in the Euro football. I don’t think the Russian thugs will be letting up: Russia just might be heading for the exit: Slovakia 2 Russia 1.

    If Wales beats England it’ll be even worse.

  24. What have we become?

    Part 1 – Food sales dropping in remote communoities because of the government’s work for the dole penalties.

    Department confirms work for the dole penalties are permanent, contradicting Indigenous Affairs minister

    Part 2 – a message from Kon at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

    So this hapened today. I had a person (who is seeking asylum) come up to me at the ASRC and profusely apologise for not being able to donate to our Winter Appeal. They told me how they hoped one day to be able to give back to us.
    They explained they couldn’t donate because they were about to be cut off from all income support & lose their right to work (due to the legal stage they were at in seeking asylum).
    What does one say to this? I tried my best to reassure them that it was ok and there was nothing at all to apologise for.
    But it just left me feeling so angry afterwards. While my government tries to leave this person seeking safety in total poverty to perish, all they could do was apologise to me. How is this person meant to survive on no income or right to work? The answer is they are not meant to.
    While the Turnbull Government launched today more racist propoganda to make us scared of letting refugees stay all I could think of how our country needs many more brave and generous people like this.
    – Kon ASRC CEO


  25. More on the football. You really have to wonder what’s going on

    The head of the official Russian supporters group, who was revealed this week to have far-right affiliations and be travelling with the official delegation, is among 20 fans being deported from Euro 2016 by the French authorities.

    Alexander Shprygin was among 43 fans detained on Tuesday in southern France after serious violence marred Russia’s clash with England in Marseille.


  26. I’ve been hitting the phones for the ALP over the last couple of weeks, and would love to know why Ms Gillard is responsible for the current fiscal situation of this country … four years after she left parliament and we have had an apparently fiscally responsible government in power?

    Some of the things people accuse the ALP of makes me wonder just how many people are suffering from recto-cranial inversion!

    Which reminds me:-
    How can you tell there is a closet Liberal in the house?
    They have a blue wardrobe!
    (at least some Labor leaning households have a suitably warped sense of humour *sighs* Thank Goodness!)

    • Curioz,

      Ms Gillard is responsible becoz we all knows wimmenz are witches so they can do anything like they can fly and suck our blood and kill people and babies and they are horrible and they make the milk go bad and the butter won’t turn and the cheeses go bad and the meat goes off and the fruit doesn’t ripen and the crops fail.

      If you want other reasons, I will do my best to supply them.

  27. “why Ms Gillard is responsible for the current fiscal situation”

    Very simple: because she is a woman. It’s visceral.

  28. Must be because Labor suspended exports and didn’t stop the boats and and and …

    Footage has emerged of what is believed to be Australian cattle being bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer in a Vietnamese abattoir.

    One of the videos shows a distressed cow, with a rope around its neck, being beaten on the head with a sledgehammer. The cow falls to the ground and is beaten again until it is dead.

    In the footage aired on ABC’s 7.30 on Thursday night, workers in the non-approved abattoir then pull another cow out of a caged area to receive the same treatment. The animal appears frightened and is then bludgeoned to death.

    The federal government said the videos showed “abhorrent animal cruelty” and launched an immediate investigation.


  29. The government is lazy; I know that.

    If they had just developed one or two palatable policies over their reign then they would win 2 July comfortably.

    It is beyond my comprehension.

  30. They put everything into tactics. Started in late 2009 and didn’t let up under Abbott. I’d assume that’s down to the Credlin approach, which was all about focussing on political opponents as the way to secure and retain incumbency. The way it was supposed to work was to restrict positive talk to very few strengths – basically tormenting asylum seekers and getting rid of carbon pricing – and to force every other issue back into the hands of Labor. Maybe it came about because it was all Abbott was capable of, but it necessarily entailed them stripping themselves of anything resembling a policy, as it might expose them and allow questions to be asked of them.

    The last time attacking Labor actually worked for them was probably early 2013. Back then they were banging on and on about carbon tax, electricity bills, budget blowouts etc. With the odd bleeding heart moments over asylum seekers (which was of course pure hypocrisy but won over – surprise surprise – the Greens, who thought they had an ally).

    The attempts to continue bashing Labor in office have been an unmitigated disaster. Nothing came of either RC, and they were supposed to be the centrepieces of this term. Once they fell apart, nothing was left for them. But because Abbott was still in charge in mid-2015, no policy work had been done. They don’t care about policy work. They care about hanging on to power, and the only way they know how to do it is via machinations.

    We’re still seeing the aftermath of that. Their election campaign has been abysmal. They ran up a couple of slogans and beyond that tried the old “you can trust us more than Labor” approach, which is becoming a laughable idea.

    And all the while the gaffes and miscalculations and fiascos have been rolling out for them. They’ve been coming at the rate of one a day. The silliest thing of all is that they’re not even trying to mount a rearguard action to control the bad news. They just let it happen and then pretend it didn’t. And then they shake their heads at the polls drawing level. They can’t figure it out – they’ve kept on message, haven’t they? They’ve blamed Labor, haven’t they? They’ve told us we can trust them, haven’t they? They’ve nobbled the Senate and engineered the DD, as they were supposed to.

    Their final acts of desperation are coming now. Pretending it’s all over, and sending out all the attack dogs onto Shorten. They’re just going to hate on him for a while and see how that works. It won’t either. Not in an atmosphere where Turnbull’s ratings are falling and Shorten’s are rising. You’ve gotta kick him while he’s down, you idiots. He’s not down any more.

    So we’ve got these ultra-stupid journos on Sky pretending that Shorten’s had a bad campaign, preferring to ignore everything they’ve already given him credit for (well, they were forced to, they couldn’t ignore what was right in front of them) thus far. We’ve got Turnbull doing his Black Knight impression. We’ve had about four weeks of non-stop Morrison shouting – for Gawd’s sake, he’s our Treasurer, could he not at least give a semblance of being in control? It’s been utterly pathetic.

    • Very good points, Aguirre.

      As to the earlier comments of some that Ms Gillard seems to be getting the blame for the state of the economy and live cattle cruelty (I had a Twitter troll trying to do similar to Wayne Swan despite also being off the scene for over 3 years), that seems to be a standard tactic.

      A few years back at the 1983 election, someone pointed out the number of times Fraser could mention the name Whitlam in a speech (despite him being gone from office for 8 years) was quite amazing. Although the coalition hated Ms Gillard with a passion, which made the demonising come so easily, I think intuitively they recognised she was a talent and an iconic figure of hope. So even now it’s her fault whenever the opportunity occurs to shift blame or exercise scares or hate.

      I’m not sure how Greens fit into the Morrison madness, since they have been as much a trouble as a help to Labor. But they did help to get a carbon price started and maybe they can’t be forgiven for it.

  31. Aguirre,

    This – unlike any election campaign I’ve seen before (and I have watched them avidly since 1961, albeit with a degree of intelligence since 1969) – has nothing to do with policy, common sense, even an appeal to which might be the better government.

    Last election was all smoke, mirrors, and slagging.

    This one?

    The preferred tactic from the CONservatives appears to be a disappearing act – we had nothing do with it, nothing to do with us, who???

    Hollowed hollowness, to put it mildly.

    To be honest, I don’t know what will happen on 2 July.

    If Australia takes the (NEOLIB)CONservative path, we centrists/leftists should activate our escape plans. While sometimes hiding in plain sight works really well, I’m not all that confident about that. Remember dutton’s advocacy of bbtt as defence minister.

  32. If they win they won’t be able to do anything with the win. No chance of a majority in both houses. The polls will either stay where they are (and they really haven’t moved since the start of the campaign so that’s a pretty good bet) or they’ll move a bit more toward the ALP.

    The only real strategy I’ve seen from the Coalition (that doesn’t involve general slagging off of the ALP) is just “but I’m Malcolm Turnbull, of course you’ll vote for me!”

    In the absence of anything definitive, I’d have to go with the mood. The mood is one not of anger but disappointment. People obviously expected a lot more of Turnbull than this, and they sound as if they really can’t be arsed with him. It doesn’t amount to a big tick for the ALP, but it does suggest nobody’s going to give Fizza free rein, he is going to get a kick in the pants with the loss of a fair number of seats, and the Senate will have a sizeable cross-bench for insurance. That’s based on the mood.

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