Always Someone Else to Blame

My thanks – as always – to Urbanwronski for permission to republish.

It was Getup; it was Labor’s lies about Medicare. It was the super changes. It was the electorate getting it wrong. It was a week of finding someone else to blame.

Liberal Party power broker, Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz, is almost quick enough off the blocks to lead of the Coalition’s nation-wide chorus of denial, its political feature of the week, with his bizarre defence of his party over its election rout.

For Andrew Nikolic, the 10.6% swing which lost him the marginal Bass to Labor’s Ross Hart resulted from a “dishonest, nasty, personal campaign.” That nicely clears up any confusion about the role of his refusal to talk with any but pro-Liberal voters.

Nikolic, former chair of the nation’s joint parliamentary committee on intelligence, accuses unions and Labor of deception “built around the core lie of Medicare privatisation”. He attacks GetUp! for peddling lies and frightening pensioners.

Yet GetUp! National director, Paul Oosting, says volunteers had communicated “clear facts about cuts to health education and renewable energy supported by Nikolic, whilst a funding crisis at Launceston General Hospital was of great concern to locals – as was the GP Medicare freeze which will price some families out seeing a doctor”.

The government’s nothing-to-see-here case was not helped, moreover, when Sussan Ley was put in witness protection for volunteering in May that she would lift the Medicare freeze but she was blocked by departmental red tape.

Rumours abound that Ley will be relieved of her post with some suggesting that world’s best minister, Greg Hunt, who has also been in witness protection during the campaign, will be an ideal Health minister given his outstanding success in environmental protection and his clean bill of health for the Great Barrier Reef.

One in twenty Australians already can’t afford to see a doctor. Yet the government’s extension of the Medicare freeze until 2020 means patients could face a $25 fee per consultation, according to the AMA. No mention of a red tape problem.

Dotty Scott Morrison is also quick to claim that the government was robbed. “Beam me up, Scotty” loves antics and theatrics and corny mock shock horror shows, but he has failed at the main game. He has not got a handle on the Treasury portfolio.

There’s the trust issue for starters. His PM would not even trust him with the date of his own budget. Surely he will be relieved of the post after his shocking campaign in which he sacrificed any shred of credibility remaining to him with his war on business, his childish charts and his own black hole in Labor’s hole and other loopy stunts.

The reason voters were dumb enough to be bluffed by Labor’s lies, he blusters Wednesday, was that the Coalition had run such a positive campaign.

Has he forgotten his own scaremongering: the Labor’s war on business scare; the certainty that Bill Shorten would run Australia like a union scare; the collapse of the housing and even the stock market negative gearing scare; the soft on border security leading to chaos on our borders scare; or Peter Dutton’s refugees taking Aussie jobs while simultaneously sponging up all our Centrelink scare?

Even his PM the day before is wearing what Barrie Cassidy calls his “shit-eating grin” and concedes that there was “fertile ground” for voters’ Medicare fears to grow. What he could say is that voters are intelligent enough to recognise that the Coalition’s moves amount to establishing a two-tier privatised health system.

Part of the “fertile ground” for this campaign is that Australians have heard this promise before. Many recall John Howard’s undermining of Medicare by failing to allow funding to keep up with costs and population growth.

Many others would also remember Tony Abbott’s disastrous 2014 Budget promise of “no cuts to health” and how the Liberals tried to introduce a $7 GP tax and hike the price of prescriptions while ripping billions out of public hospitals.

And surely all would recall how Turnbull took the opportunity of his very first economic statement, the 2015 MYEFO, to cut even further than Abbott, slashing $650m from Medicare rebates for pathology and diagnostic imaging, cuts which Pathology Australia, the Diagnostic Imaging Association and others said would increase the price of vital tests and scans beyond affordable for some Australians.

Yet it is still a stretch to claim that Labor tricked electors into voting for it. Scrutineers and electoral officals reveal Medicare may have cost the Coalition votes, it seems from this stage of the vote count, but did not boost Labor’s vote, as it might if people had been conned into believing they needed to vote to “save Medicare”.

In the meantime, as vote counting continues its glacial pace in marginal lower house seats as well as the senate, Tasmanians’ votes below the line on the ballot ticket for Labor’s popular Lisa Singh appear to be pushing her towards a senate seat.

Not only is Lisa popular, she, like Liberal Richard Colbeck, campaigned for a vote below the line, a trend which is likely to result in Eric Abetz, who easily accessed number one spot, receiving fewer votes than Colbeck, thereby signalling the end of party control over senate voting and some attenuation of Ubergruppenfuhrer Abetz’s authority over the Tasmanian Liberals.

The gobsmacked senator elect is on to something, however, with his suggestion that someone form a right wing Get Up, a theme also embraced by conservative party luminary Senator Cory Bernardi, who is once again said to be starting a group of right-thinking red-blooded Australians who aren’t already voting One Nation.

Cory’s new conservatives will nudge politics a little further to the right in response to the Liberals’ thrashing in the polls and the miraculous resurgence of One Nation’s Pauline Hanson, former guest of Her Majesty and latterly celebrity demagogue on the Today Show, clear signs to Eric Abetz and others that what voters are craving is another dollop of right wing nut-jobbery. A right wing GetUp would help, he reckons.

Yet there are a few hurdles ahead of Bernardi and Abetz, starting with the support the conservative cause already enjoys from the odd powerful press baron, almost all mainstream media including the ABC and all our captains of industry and commerce, their supporters, the well-funded lobbyists, think tanks, foundations and institutes.

Also on the lucky Liberal list now are Chinese language voters who get all their news from WeChat, which hosted a non-scare campaign information service which explained for the non English reader Labor’s plans for boys to use girls’ toilets.

Voters in the Victorian seat of Chisholm in Melbourne’s East were also told by WeChat how Labor was going to open the gate to refugees who would take jobs. Labor was going to increase the refugee quota at the expense of Chinese migrants.

Chisholm records a first-preference swing of 4.2% to the Liberal candidate, Julie Banks, and 5.6% away from Labor which is so low as to use scare tactics.

The volunteer-run WeChat social media campaign was organised by Gladys Liu, the Liberal party communities engagement committee chairwoman for Victoria.

Apart from being superfluous, Eric’s and Cory’s concept of popular activists telephoning voters, for example, and canvassing votes on the basis that big business really needed a tax break or that pensioners needed further hurdles to jump to get their paltry allowances may need a little re-thinking.

Voters are more likely to paint their bodies blue and lie about naked in the street to be photgraphed, an event entirely of our time in the recent “Sea of Hull installation”, another of Spencer Tunick’s, true-blue artworks.

Yet Abetz is no lone wolf. His whingeing echoes his hapless Prime Minister’s petulant victory speech at the Wentworth hotel, such an ugly dummy spit that it even causes seasoned sourpuss Laurie Oakes some grief.

“It is the first time that I have seen a bloke that has won the election give a speech that saying we was robbed,” Oakes says on a Channel Nine chat show that also doubles as an election night special.

The “we was robbed” theme is continued at the end of the week by the dynamic Arthur Sinodinos who appears on ABC Insiders to demonstrate in person that his party has learned nothing, claiming the results as a mandate for tax reform.

Oddly, none of the journos present asks Arthur whether his memory has recovered enough for him to be able to assist ICAC in what he did in the 25 and 45 hours a year he spent working as a director for AWH 2008-11 to justify his $200,000 salary.

We were robbed. Not that the candidates were out of touch or that their policies were duds. All voters were offered the usual hollow slogan of jobs and growth with the promise of a tax cut for the top four per cent – surely an irresistible package. Plus extra stability.

Denial is capably assisted by scapegoating and blaming. Already recriminations are flowing thick and fast while Tony Abbott is getting fan mail on ABC from the likes of Andrew Probyn. Is a bit of factional sand-bagging already taking place?

The consensus on Sunday’s Insiders is that Abbott played a blinder of a campaign even helping out others such as poor George Christensen, one of the Liberals’ Lost Boys, and deserves a Brownlow for best non-sniper on the field and that he cannot possibly be linked to the salvoes of criticism which underminded his nemesis Turnbull from Sky media celebrity Peta Credlin. Nor will he in any way benefit.

Abbott does have a little jab at Malcolm on 2GB in yet another on-air rub down with Cronulla riot demi-urge Alan Jones. The big issues like budget repair, national security, and border security were underplayed in his opinion, aired for everyone’s benefit, along with a lot of rugby playing analogies that leave no doubt that after a spell on the bench, Abbott is waiting to be picked again for the firsts.

Stop the press. Tosser Turnbull has claimed victory, Bill Shorten has conceded defeat.

it’s an odd speech about good government a phrase which recalls “good captain” Abbott who promised the same, not long before he, too, got thrown out.

Tosser waffles about “building on the strength of our economy”, with a bit about how we get him wrong and how he is not an unduly sentimental fellow and how he was holding his grand-daughter when Bill Shorten rang him and sod the present, it’s all about the future and our grandchildren. We are trustees for our future generations.

Has he been on the single malt again?

Perhaps Turnbull’s had a Damascene conversion. Perhaps he’s about to ring Birmingham and Sussan Ley. Tell them he’ll put back the $70 billion that his government ripped out of health and education.

Could someone get Greg Hunt on the phone? It is too late to ring Howard about getting the profits of the minerals boom back? A word with Keating about QANTAS and the Commonwealth bank, the infrastructre he sold off for a song?

There’s a bit about democracy too, just to keep the Mineral Council of Australia happy, not to mention the long list of lobbyists and powerful backers to appease.

Many of us remember what the Minerals Council of Australia did to subvert public discussion on the Mining Super Profits Tax. Or what Clubs Australia did to stymie gambling reform, or what Big Coal did to Emissions Trading Scheme – the “Carbon Tax”.

Now it’s all over bar the shouting. The blood-letting. The blaming. Will Turnbull be able to manage a slim majority and a cross bench of nine? He had the odd spot of bother with the last mob. And they had no Pauline Hanson. No Derryn Hinch.

How will he go with a leaner Liberal Party but a fatter right wing, a “broad church” with a rabble of conservatives pointing the finger at the Sinodinos faction of wets, circling cabinet positions and backbenchers bitching and ranting about their betrayal, now every one of them a king maker?

Whatever the outcome there’ll be someone else to blame.

A party room meeting is scheduled for Monday.

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256 thoughts on “Always Someone Else to Blame

  1. Sorry for my tardiness, I am currently living on a boat.and have only sporadic Internet connection
    Bk has been banned for 1 hour. Hopefully

  2. Full Essential poll here.

    https://crikey-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/blogs.dir/6/files/2016/07/Essential-Report_160712.pdf

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/12/lets-put-e-voting-where-it-belongs-on-the-trash-heap-of-bad-ideas

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/12/im-still-reeling-from-qa-but-not-because-i-was-called-hysterical

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2016-opinion/federal-election-2016-results-anne-alys-election-victory-proves-smears-dont-work-20160712-gq3ql8.html

    http://www.worldgonewrong.net/2016/07/the-isis-after-school-special.html

    http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/investing-in-the-next-generation-of-creative-talent/

    http://www.patrickmccray.com/2016/07/11/buckminster-fullers-geometric-futures/

  3. Joe6pack,

    Thank you.

    I will try to get online early tomorrow morning to see if BK needs rescuing again.

    • That has to be the funniest article I’ve read in a long while – Jim would have loved it!
      The comments are even better.

  4. Gippy, re Riverina electorate and Gundagai in particular. 20% is a big swing, especially in a rural electorate like Riv. My guess is that it might have come about because the Snowy Mountains towns like Tumut, Batlow and Tumbarumba have been reincluded in Eden Monaro for this election and were a specific target for the Mike Kelly team after having been ignored last election. Gundagai and Tumut are only a few kms apart, and share workers at places like the timber mills and paper factory. I think it is an overlapping of advertising etc in a greenfields electorate.

  5. Kambah Mick, I wouldn’t rule out the Gonski Campiagn that was targeted at the marginals like Eden Monaro. Lots of doorknocking and activity based around commnity awareness . I could be wrong but swings of 7-11% in Yass booths also occurred after a similar campaign.

    • So a bad case of small dog syndrome, as well as rampant misogyny, Trying to compensate for lack of physical stature by being an over-bearing bully.

      And he has daughters! Poor girls.

    • Leone,

      A really bad case. Most small dogs I’ve known have the syndrome only to the extent of thinking they are the same size and strength of larger dogs.

      price’s ailment is a different pathology.

    • That cloud band has given me the most depressing weather, it’s been hanging around since Sunday, and it’s not going away for a few more days. It has been oddly warm and humid today, and dull, so very dull.

      At least I’m being spared the snow and cold hitting Victoria and SA, and the wild weather in Tasmania.

  6. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Another very good contribution from Ross Gittins. We need a budget for all. And a new Treasurer!
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-coalition-must-switch-to-a-budget-for-all-australians-20160712-gq3p52.html
    Mark Kenny reckons Shorten has shifted into permanent campaigning mode.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2016/shorten-shifts-to-permanent-campaign-mode-20160712-gq43t6.html
    More from Kenny as he expresses concern over the secrecy surrounding the Liberal/National coalition agreement. This concern may have legs this time.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2016-opinion/coalition-agreement-barnaby-joyces-secrecy-strengthens-the-right-to-know-20160712-gq3xu5.html
    It was flawed policies rather than an opposition scare campaign that nearly brought Turnbull down writes Cassandra Goldie of ACOSS.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/flawed-policies-not-a-scare-campaign-nearly-brought-down-malcolm-turnbulls-government-20160711-gq3g0r.html
    Turnbull will be facing a superannuation reform revolt. An interesting early test. Google.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/federal-election-2016/federal-election-2016-pm-stares-down-revolt-on-super-reforms/news-story/3c337e0d1b3861eb2d54fb37a85b2871
    And it will be the obnoxious relic Eric Abetz who will lead the charge.
    http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/2016/07/12/pressure-mounts-turnbull-super-changes/
    The AFR editorialises on what the future for superannuation should (and should not) be. Google.
    /opinion/editorials/election-2016-the-right-direction-for-super-20160712-gq3rip
    Ben Eltham writes on how things are about to become very exciting for Turnbull.
    https://newmatilda.com/2016/07/12/things-are-about-to-get-very-exciting-for-malcolm-turnbull/
    Pauline Hanson is the symptom of racism, not the cause.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/racism-pauline-hanson-the-symptom-not-the-problem,9229
    Kroger and Costello are heading into war inside the Victorian Liberal Party. Google.
    /federal-election-2016/costello-kroger-feud-rocks-state-liberals-postelection/news-story/3e3934937c781096209d74f1ec5585ee
    Prize dickhead Steve Price insists he was ambushed on QandA. The dill ambushed himself!
    http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/news-and-current-affairs/steve-price-claims-on-the-project-that-he-was-ambushed-in-controversial-qa-comments-20160712-gq4byp.html
    Heath Aston reviews the games going on with ministries and shadow ministries up for grabs.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/labor-mps-circle-the-health-portfolio-as-bill-shorten-ponders-the-extent-of-his-reshuffle-20160712-gq4811.html

  7. Section 2 . . .

    Michael Kroger at his repugnant best puts down Kathy McGowan in a sexist manner in a radio interview.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/sexist-michael-krogers-put-down-of-cathy-mcgowan-and-independents,9228
    Greg Combet writes on how we can extract maximum value out of the submarine contract. Google.
    /news/policy/defence/australia-must-win-maximum-submarine-work-20160712-gq3um7
    This is an out and out scandal! When will a government step up and have the courage to remove funding from institutions such as this? Difficult to draw the line? Well eliminate the need for one!
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/public-funding-for-schools-associated-with-church-of-scientology-revealed-20160711-gq2ye7.html
    Here’s another franchise chain underpaying employees. No mercy should be spared on these parasites.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/yogurberry-faces-legal-action-for-alleged-shortchanging-of-workers-20160712-gq3v3d.html
    This is hardly surprising.
    http://www.smh.com.au/victoria/fears-of-gangs-on-the-dancefloor-as-club-promoters-charged-over-275m-ice-haul-20160712-gq3q7j.html
    Remember Diamond Joe Gutnik?
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/diamond-joe-gutnick-bankrupt-owing-275-million-20160712-gq46vh.html
    Google is applying a ban on payday lenders.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/google-doomsday-for-payday-lenders-20160712-gq41pl.html
    Now Coles moves to cutting prices on private label items in order to squeeze Woolworths.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/coles-sharpens-private-label-pricing-to-squeeze-woolworths-20160712-gq3xz0.html
    Ten things that could go wrong at the Republican convention.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/10-things-that-could-go-wrong-at-the-republican-convention-20160711-gq3mwc.html
    Meanwhile the Republican platform says pornography is a public health crisis but doesn’t mention guns anywhere. QED.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/07/12/republican-platform-says-porn-a-national-public-health-crisis-d/?utm_hp_ref=au-homepage
    Mass shootings are a blight the US just won’t face. Google.
    /news/opinion/mass-shootings-remain-a-blight-america-wont-face/news-story/68faa2b91d6e78570fbeb0e931b8b4bc
    It looks like Joe Biden will be at the MCG on the weekend.
    http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2016/07/12/us-vice-president-joe-biden-tipped-visit-mcg/

  8. Section 3 . . . with Cartoon Corner
    The love of a dog cannot be replaced – except by another dog.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/three-dogs-tales-stories-of-love-loyalty-and-hope-20160711-gq3475.html

    More from Ron Tandberg on the trio marching into the Iraq war.

    David Rowe with the next budget and its interested parties.

    Roy at the start of the Rio Olympics.
    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/f5ac16c04d3665e4f5acbdd2a63b29a0?width=1024&api_key=zw4msefggf9wdvqswdfuqnr5

  9. Bad collision in Italy:

    At least 22 people were killed on Tuesday and dozens injured in a head-on collision between two passenger trains in the southern Italian region of Puglia, in one of the country’s worst rail accidents in recent years.

    Emergency services raced to extract people from the wreckage of smashed carriages thrown across a single track into olive groves near the town of Andria, in what one witness described as an “apocalyptic scene”.

    http://www.thelocal.it/20160712/four-killed-in-puglia-train-crash

  10. Kenny:

    The prospect of continuous campaigning suggests talk of greater cooperation between the Coalition and Labor in the 45th Parliament may be optimistic and that the Shorten opposition has its eye firmly on the margin of political advantage.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2016/shorten-shifts-to-permanent-campaign-mode-20160712-gq43t6.html#ixzz4EEdD8w7h

    That would be Mark Kenny who called for an end to retail politics, wouldn’t it? And wasn’t it Mark Kenny who told us all that, no matter what his policies were like, Tony Abbott should be admired for giving life to the old saying (trotted out by conservative columnists whenever they need it): “An Opposition’s job is to oppose”.

    Now that Kenny’s man is in the top job, he has suddenly discovered a yearning for the Good Old Days of gentlemanly conduct, for the good of the nation, in a spirit of bi-partisanship of course, to let Malcolm Turnbull fulfill his destiny – surrounded by right-wing hyenas, with both his majority and his policy “Plan” in tatters, being shoved around by hayseeds like Barnarby Joyce, pitied even by Alan Jones, looking faintly ridiculous as he stares out into the emptiness from his $20 million back verandah, dropping like a stone in the polls and not having a clue what to do about it.

    Malcom Turnbull is going to need all the help he can get. I just don’t think that’s Bill Shorten’s job. And neither does Bill, it seems.

  11. Julie Bishop wants to keep her job as Minister for Foreign Affairs because she says she still has work to do overseas.

    Yep. I agree. I totally understand why Bananas doesn’t want a domestic ministry. Her male companion hasn’t finished reading all those Foreign Affairs briefing notes yet, and he wants another trip to the UN. The coffee there was fabulous! And Jules has lots of work still to do – on her wardrobe. One can never have too many Armani jackets and it will be summer sale time soon in Paris.
    .
    Federal election 2016: Foreign Minister Julie Bishop not interested in a domestic portfolio
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2016/federal-election-2016-foreign-minister-julie-bishop-not-interested-in-a-domestic-portfolio-20160712-gq4etd.html#ixzz4EEzaD0aM

  12. Jules would lurve the FM gig they have SFA to do apart from schmooze , smile politely when required ,repeat statements and policy positions prepared by the professional diplomat types. Policy ? The FM doesn’t make them. What’s not to like for Jules, the shopping opportunities are divine ?

  13. Blighty is in a bad state:

    The Tory party seemed to have been blown apart by Brexit, but coalesced like the T-1000, this time taking the form of a woman. Andrea Leadsom, a sort of defrosted Theresa May, said that she was withdrawing in the national interest, but the suspicion will remain that she was ordered to stand aside by some blasphemous, tentacled demigod addressing her through a screaming mirror. You would have thought that having two women competing for the job would have gone down well with the Tory cabinet, rekindling fond childhood memories of the trial-by-combat phase of their nanny selections, but May was seen as the safer pair of hooves. She immediately vowed to unite Britain – my guess is against the poor. She will no doubt introduce a cap for migrants. Probably an orange cone with an “M” on the front that gives out an electric shock if they stray too close to a golf course.

    Meanwhile:

    After being chosen as the next Prime Minister, it has emerged that Theresa May is also the final Horcrux for Margaret Thatcher’s soul.

  14. In the latest unreliable and irregular report about the Wild West’s local rag the rw ‘ Worst Australian’ something from the feature cartoon by Alston. Outside the Senate chambers Truffles is on bended knee holding a large boxed engagement ring in front of various pollies. The caption.
    .
    “Mr Malcolm Smitterton Winterton Algernon Chalmondley Rupert Tristan Jobs and Growth Turnbull is delighted to announce his anticipated engagement to Ms Pauline Hanson, Mr Scott Ludlum ,Mr Derryn Hinch, Ms Jaqui Lambie…………. and others”

  15. About what you’d expect from the Nats – they are absolute scum.

    Bernard Keane.
    Is there a secret Nationals deal to attack women in the Family Court?

    The return of Pauline Hanson could see domestic violence victims harmed by changes to family law driven by embittered One Nation voters.

    The Nationals — emboldened by their relative election success compared to the Liberals — are pushing hard for more leverage in the Coalition under a wounded Malcolm Turnbull, and the secrecy of their dealings, and agreement, with the Liberals is already coming under fire. But one particular issue should be deeply troubling: the possibility that the Nationals will secretly move to make the Family Court system even more hostile to victims of domestic violence than it currently is.

    In today’s Australian Financial Review, Phil Coorey reports that the Nationals, led by Barnaby Joyce, are considering trying to embrace elements of the One Nation agenda in order to head off the threat posed by Pauline Hanson to their far-right flank in the bush. One of the key differences this time around in relation to Hanson is that, instead of having Nationals leaders prepared to stand up to her as Tim Fischer and John Anderson were prepared to do in the late ’90s, the current generation of Nationals and LNP MPs are more likely to endorse her agenda of xenophobia, opposition to foreign investment and Islamophobia.

    One issue where there is further scope for the Nationals to co-opt the extremist agenda is family law. As news.com.au’s Malcolm Farr recently discussed, much of Pauline Hanson’s support is drawn from embittered middle-aged men who want to overturn the Family Court and the existing child support system. These are men deeply angry that their privileged social status as white males has been undermined by social and economic change in recent decades, and more equal treatment for women and children in family law is a particular source of unhappiness. Hanson’s party wants to abolish the Family Court and replace it with a body of “mainstream” community members, dump current child support arrangements, change legal aid to require losing parties to pay costs, and make joint custody the “option of choice” for the family law system.

    Coorey quotes one Nationals MP as flagging family law as an area the Nationals needed to “treat seriously”.

    This has potentially horrific implications for victims of domestic violence. The Howard government’s 2006 changes to family law — intended to appease “fathers’ rights” groups –already went in this direction: the Family Court was to ensure children have a “meaningful relationship with both parents”. That has already resulted in a de facto overriding of children’s right to safety, despite changes to the law in 2012 by Labor to give greater priority to children’s safety and addressing family violence.

    In June, former Australian of the Year Rosie Batty spoke at the National Press Club on a campaign by Women’s Legal Services Australia for amendments to the Family Law Act to address current problems with the treatment of domestic violence victims by the Family Court. She spoke of terrifying cases in which children have been ordered to live with abusive parents, including a case where a victim of sexual abuse was repeatedly returned to his abusive father by police until the boy produced evidence of his abuse.

    The campaign includes providing greater resourcing for the Family Court to help victims of domestic violence with more, and more evenly distributed, trained professionals available through the system to deal with family violence issues, and a specialised pathway for family law cases involving domestic violence. It also urges legal changes such as an end to domestic violence perpetrators being able to cross-examine their victims in court, and a greater legal emphasis on child safety rather than parental access.

    A few days after her Press Club speech, on what would have been Luke Batty’s 14th birthday, Batty presented a petition for the campaign to politicians from the Coalition, Labor and the Greens.

    The policies put forward by One Nation, which look likely to inform the Nationals’ deal with the Liberals, would do exactly the opposite. Under the legal aid changes, domestic violence victims who complain of their former partners’ abuse would be liable for the latter’s legal costs if a court is unable to determine whether abuse has occurred, providing a massive deterrent to women raising abuse in family law proceedings (which is presumably the intention). They would force children to live with abusive parents under One Nation’s “option of choice” of joint custody, and slash child support payments for women. Trained professionals and experts would also be removed from the system and replaced with “mainstream” community members picked, presumably, by governments.

    The secrecy with which the Liberals and the Nationals are cloaking their agreement is all the more alarming in this context. There’s a very real chance, so that the Nationals can co-opt One Nation supporters, that Barnaby Joyce will demand family law changes that elevate the rights of abusive parents and undermine the rights of domestic violence victims in a system already tilted against the latter. How will a weakened Turnbull, under pressure from reactionaries in his own party, respond?

    The Phil Coorey piece mentioned -Phil Coorey.
    Nationals alert to the rise of Pauline Hanson

    Senior members of the Nationals believe the party must adjust its policy settings, including its attitude to the Family Court, to keep in check the resurgence of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation

    http://www.afr.com/news/politics/nationals-alert-to-the-rise-of-pauline-hanson-20160711-gq3m4l#ixzz4EGBPP5nD

    And the Hanson policy (such as it is) on Family Law.
    http://www.onenation.com.au/policies/family-law

    (It’s odd that a woman who gained so much financial advantage from two very lucrative divorces should now be in favour of a much more unfair split of assets aimed at disadvantaging women who are divorcing. Obviously Hanson prefers sucking up to her male supporters rather than helping women who want a divorce.)

    Don’t expect any protest or help from Fizza – he has not been able to restore more than a fraction of the domestic violence funding cuts Abbott.

    This government does not care about women, unless, of course, they are wealthy, conservative-voting ‘women of calibre’.

  16. Julie Bishop wants to keep her job as Minister for Foreign Affairs because she says she still has work to do overseas.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2016/federal-election-2016-foreign-minister-julie-bishop-not-interested-in-a-domestic-portfolio-20160712-gq4etd.html#ixzz4EEzaD0aMJulie

    Bishop’s next job will be another “test” for Malcolm Turnbull.

    It’s not up to her to announce what job she would like.

    The preferred form of words is: “Whatever job I am given is entirely at the Prime Minister’s discretion, and I will work tirelessly for the good of the nation and the government in any ministry I am assigned, should I be so lucky to be offered one.”

    Turnbull might have a good reason for keeping Bishop around, if she’s as much of a “loyal girl” as she is reputed to be… although, given the number of times she has switched allegiances and stabbing her leader in the back with a stiletto-heeled shoe, one would have to doubt the provenance of that meme.

    But let’s say she is loyal to Turnbull, even if it would be a “first” for her. He will need her ear to be well and truly to the ground, head-down/bum-up, looking for traitors and discontent, if Malcolm is to survive what he’s going to have to survive in the coming months.

    If he can’t afford to have her away from the reservation for too long – and let’s face it, a Death Stare emoji over an iPhone isn’t as terrifying as the real thing face to face – then he want to give her a domestic job, no matter how much she’s likely to fuck it up. If she doesn’tlike it, she can stick it.

    It’s time for Turnbull to nut-up, or shut-up.. If he lets the right-wingers, then the Nats, and then Julie Bishop dicate to him just what and what not they are prepared to cop, then Malcolm will be permanently weakened.

    As will the nation.

    • I seem to remember that Julie Bishop, as deputy leader of the libs, is given the choice of portfolios. It would be a brave move by Turnbull to prise her away from Foreign Affairs!

  17. Pot ….. kettle …..

    Why would China take any notice of Australia’s warning to heed the South China Sea ruling handed down by The Hague? Australia takes no notice of UN conventions and treaties on the treatment of refugees, despite being a signatory to all of them, and has committed many ‘serious international transgressions’ with our treatment of asylum seekers.

    Australia Warns China To ‘Heed Hague Ruling’ On South China Sea
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/07/12/australia-warns-china-to-heed-hague-ruling-on-south-china-sea/?ncid=fcbklnkauhpmg00000001

    • and our exploitative approach (on behalf of the usual vested interests) to negotiating our maritime boundaries with East Timor’s because of their oil and gas resources..

      We have no credibility in this area with UN/International law, JBish should just stfu.

    • Yes, I’d be worried about that. Their best bean counter/numbers men needed. If Robert Ray or John Faulkner could be brought out of retirement, that might be handy. Fight fire with fire.

    • I agree. Hopefully Labor’s sending some people up there in case Brandis is trying to do things like intimidate AEC counters into declaring some Labor votes informal, that’s probably why he’s up there.

  18. I think Julie Bishop is in politics, and especially as Foreign Minister because it allows her to lead the lifestyle she enjoys

    • Who would employ her if she gave it up?

      Bananas turns 60 on Sunday, she’s unemployable. She will hang onto her seat as long as she can, another Bronnie in the making, needing to be forced out because she won’t retire gracefully.

  19. And as I should have added at very little cost to herself—-a trait that is typical of nearly all Libs.They are the gold medal winners in projecting their failings onto others

    • What we have not paid for her string of wealthy lovers certainly has. And some of them have advanced her political ‘career’ as well.

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