Abbott out; Turnbull buys in as Coalition heads toward civil war

The inimitable Urbanwronski has done it again. Many thanks as always.

Andrew Meares/Fairfax

Father of the house, Kevin Andrews conceived crackdown on pensioners.

Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz fearlessly leads the charge of the right brigade this week into a stoush between his beloved team Abbott and the Pollyanna faction led by tub-thumping, sub-stumping $50 billion dollar man Christopher Pyne. Eric is out to keep the bastards honest

Abetz takes a pot-shot at the Turnbull’s government’s legitimacy, the issue of the political week if not the forty-fifth parliament’s lifetime, after sub-Marathon Mal’s hamstrung election performance, which saw the PM forced to fund his party’s manifest destiny to the tune of a million dollars.

Can he just do that? Millionaire Mal’s DIY fund-raising does not raise an eyebrow on ABC Insiders Sunday. Fran Kelly, Nikki Sava, Karen Middleton, all senior journos, see no problem posed to our democratic processes by a rich man buying a prime ministership. If Laura Tingle has reservations she keeps them to herself. “Do I look bothered?” Catherine Tate would say.

“He’s done it before,” Karen Middleton sighs, “and he’ll do it again.” Perhaps she recalls Turnbull’s desperate battle for Liberal preselection for the blue-ribbon seat of Wentworth thirteen years ago, when his opponent, Peter King, says Turnbull told him to “fuck off and get out of my way.”

Money talks – and often – in the Turnbull story. In 2003, Turnbull paid Alan Jones $5000 a plug to support him on radio, and won. Perhaps this time, too, his million dollar investment may help to stem rising Liberal Party disquiet. The election’s cost him too much personal authority to do it any other way.

. . . wept on camera . . .

Some say millionaire MPs do this sort of thing. Queensland Nickel donated $288,516 to PUP last December, a fortnight before sacking staff at the Yabulu refinery near Townsville. Nothing was left in the kitty to pay wages. Ewen Jones, then member for Herbert, wept on camera.

Pity us poor Liberals, Julie Bishop pleads on ABC’s Insiders, “we don’t have the rivers of gold that come from the union movement.” AEC ALP records do not match the Foreign Minister’s fantasy, showing instead a broad set of donors. In 2015, the CFMEU donated $50,000, yet WestPac gave $1.5 million. No-one challenges Bishop.

Most likely, however, Turnbull’s party was just caught short as its uber-rich supporters; fearing penury if super rules were to change, withheld donations.

A $500,000 lifetime limit on how much of one’s after-tax contributions one can make to one’s super is at issue. Currently the limit is $180,000 a year.

The IPA opposes the “diabolical” changes along with Coalition plans to impose 15% tax on income generated by balances above $1.6m. Director, John Roskam, says the changes are also clearly retrospective. So central is the IPA to controlling Liberal policy, this means the government is at war with its own brain stem.

Its civil war with the IPA aside, most of the Liberals’ pain is self-inflicted.

. . . Arthur is unable to recall.

In March the NSW Electoral Commission denied the party $4.389m in public funding because it accepted illegal developer donations for the 2011 NSW election via its “Free Enterprise Foundation”, a matter the ICAC needs expert help to sort out, hence its request to then Liberal Party Treasurer and President, now Coalition Cabinet Secretary Arthur Sinodinos. As yet, Arthur is unable to recall.

No big fan of Arthur, who was numbers man in Turnbull’s coup, an ear to the ground Abetz reckons the super changes were never properly ventilated and massively cost Liberal votes in Tasmania, an insight he has gained by door-knocking and national report.

“From right around Australia I got very strong feedback that that was not the way to go forth and I trust that we will revisit aspects of that policy.”

Can a party change its policy after the campaign? Abetz seems to think so. He’s not alone. Mad Dog Morrison, our reverse Robin Hood Treasurer, is on standby with a solution which may see the super changes watered down. Protect the rich.

In the real world over 31,000 people have lost their disability support pension in the past year, the biggest annual drop on record as several years’ worth of government crackdowns begin to bite. 90,000 may expect to undergo a medical review in the next three years. More “savings” are promised as Mad Dog Morrison has promised to find another $3.5 billion.

Don’t expect schools or hospitals . . .

It costs money to keep negative gearing for speculators and then there’s the cost involved in “fine-tuning” its super changes to protect the wealthy. Don’t expect schools or hospitals from this mob.

All of this challenges the notion of a mandate on policy his party took to the election; the current Liberal Party mandate mantra. “What mandate?” says Eric.

Unhappy Abbott camper Eric is bucking his party’s line on its campaign, a failed gamble on an early election double dissolution which has left its PM’s authority in tatters; its future on a knife edge.

“A lot of our colleagues see the election result as the barest of victories, if we can a call it a victory having declared victory two weeks out,” he growls.

For Turnbull toy dog Christopher Gertrude Stein Pyne, however, “a win is a win, is a win” and the whole election thing is just a game of footie, really. Bugger what the people actually wanted or what they thought they were voting for.
Mincing poodle, as Julia Gillard so aptly dubbed Pyne for his performances as Abbott’s yap dog in three years of relentless negativity in opposition, has done well out of our defence policy.

Pyne’s SA seat of Sturt is now secure thanks to the government’s astonishing flip-flop on protectionism to the tune of a $50 billion industry subsidy. The ASC will assemble a dozen frog submarines in the SA rust belt state, when it would be so much cheaper to have them made in France.

For half the price we could have had them made in Japan. and Germany quoted $20 billion and the subs to be delivered six years earlier.

. . . $490,000 for every vote . . .

Winning has not come cheaply. The $50 billion amounts to $468,000 per potential vote in Hindmarsh, $490,000 for every vote in Pyne’s Sturt and $480,000 for each potential Boothby vote.

It may sound expensive but it’s an investment not just in Pyne’s seat but in the democratic pork barrel itself, so vital to mandate creation. And it’s not a subsidy to car-makers, a prospect former Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey, amen, hated.
For one per cent of the sub investment, car manufacturing would still be able to employ 200,000 Australian workers, directly and indirectly.

To be fair it wasn’t all about boats. Pyne does admit, along with dog-catcher Barnaby Joyce and other National Party campaigners, that they threw campaign talking points away – departing from the official script. Yet, although success came from not plugging policy, he does not hesitate to claim a mandate.

Also leading the charge in the battle of the mandate is lynx-eyed Attorney-General George Brandis, a chap who may have failed to explain metadata and who was unable to open a spreadsheet warning of a terrorist threat but who has got a safe pair of hands on everyone’s metadata, nevertheless.

. . . signed letter of permission . . .

Just in case, four days before the election, Brandis elevated the attorney general’s status. Anyone, including the PM, who needs to see Justin Gleeson, the Solicitor-General, now has to get a signed letter of permission from himself, a move which has legal experts legal experts describe as an “unnecessary impediment” to expert advice.

Members of the legal community point to a growing tension between the nation’s first and second law officers over various matters, including the 2013 same-sex marriage High Court case, the 2015 advice Mr Gleeson provided over changes to citizenship laws, and over the drafting of same-sex marriage plebiscite legislation, a matter which Brandis is overdue to report back to government on.

One of the new Cabinet’s first tasks after Governor General returns from France to swear them in after arranging armed transport and a special security detail for Mitch Fifield’s massive family Bible will be the wording of the plebiscite so that it is unlikely to succeed.

Of course, it may be that we never see the plebiscite at all – just as we will never see the secret agreement between the Liberal Party and the Nationals. It may request the government not to budge on same sex marriage, given that it can lead to polyamory, as Eric Abetz attests, or to bestiality, one of Cory Bernardi’s big bugbears. There is no mandate for a secret coalition agreement.

What the secret agreement is also likely to reflect is a Nationals push to nudge the Coalition even further towards Hansonism, given that One Nation’s support base comprises a fair muster of alienated single fathers who blame their marriage and relationship breakdowns on the Family Court.

. . . a kangaroo court . . .

One Nation which, apart from its familiar figurehead, is now a blokes’ party, attracts such voters with its policy of abolishing the Family Court and replacing it with a kangaroo court which it calls a community panel.

A mandate man, Brandis was under the illusion on Monday’s Q&A that this is Turnbull’s second term as elected PM. His memory lapses are eclipsed, however, in the company of Cabinet secretary Sir Arthur Sinodinos, who is appearing all over the media to talk up his government’s mandate while awaiting a call back from ICAC on Australian Water Holdings and the Free Enterprise foundation.

Now that the Turnbull government may attain a whopping seventy-seven seats in the House of Representatives of the forty-fifth parliament while the vote count continues in the Townsville-based seat of Herbert, shows Labor’s candidate Cathy O’Toole behind the LNP’s Ewen Jones by only a dozen votes, Liberals have been vigorously pumping the handle of the mandate organ.

Soon hagiographers rewriting the history of Australia Pty Ltd will be telling us this is Chairman Mal’s finest hour. Expect ballet and epic theatre to be commissioned in the Great Helmsman’s honour.

Mandate? Michaelia Cash is dashing into TV studios to madly impress us with her claim that the government has 700,000 more votes than Labor. Yet it is only true as a Coalition. Labor’s 4.3 million first preferences put it ahead while, if you total all minority parties, the government is outstripped.

As Guy Rundle points out, the mandate issue becomes even more vexed if you consider the fundamentally flawed nature of our democratic voting process where the Nationals with one million votes get 23 seats while the Greens get one seat after receiving 1.2 million.

. . . almost another million dollar man . . .

Amazingly making the same claim to a mandate is a pin-striped Malcolm Turnbull who is careful to be photographed with Martin Parkinson, Head of Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and on $860,000 PA – almost another million dollar man proving to all Australians that because they are both using iPads this whole 21st Century innovation thing will be just a doddle.

What they are doing is not revealed because like the Coalition agreement it is secret and like our imports of asbestos in portables from China none of our business. What is likely to be on the iPad, however, will include the promotion of Zed Seselja whose opposition to same sex marriage is but a small element of his valuable contribution to good government in the forty-fifth parliament.

Team player and good captain, Tony Abbott will not be attending The Lodge for pre-blood-letting drinks Sunday night, says Julie Bishop. Nor will he find himself back in the cabinet, in a welcome sign that some sanity at least has prevailed in Mr Harbourside Mansion’s Point Piper decision making processes. Expect press releases to tell us he has a contribution to make in other areas.

Expect to hear a lot about the Coalition’s mandate to provide stable government; how we must knuckle under; pull together; go without to get us all on a “credible path back to surplus” and other unreal stuff. Watch out when Eric, Tony and Kevin find themselves surplus to requirements.

What is real is that the first shot in the Turnbull government’s war with itself has just been fired.

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399 thoughts on “Abbott out; Turnbull buys in as Coalition heads toward civil war

  1. Well, if Herbert goes to a by-election, I maintain that it will be advantageous to Labor.

    After all the Court of Disputed Returns cases go through, a by-election will only occur next year at the earliest, given the timetable for the Mundingburra 1996 case. By then, the only case there would be a status quo result or swing to the Liberals is if Malcolm Turnbull’s government manages to stay in control of the narrative, remains united, and provides a positive result for Townsville. And those outlooks aren’t looking good.

    Hopefully Cathy O’Toole’s team is keeping up its doorknocking campaign just in case. That’s what got Frank Tanti (the winner of the Mundingburra by-election that brought down the Goss Government) over the line. And yes, it’s only a difference between 77 or 76 seats to the coalition, 76 seats means that it’s much more vulnerable to backbench warfare which will inevitably occur if the Monkey Pod gets too restless or if the Monkey Pod actually wins and Turnbull decides to bring the party down with him like Hughes did nearly 90 years ago.

  2. Air Un Zud’s latest ad almost as long as LOTR. they do them well thought. Almost worth watching.

    .

  3. The way they keep banging out the word “mandate” and going on about their legitimacy, and looking at the size of the team Turnbull has had to put together just to keep everyone on side – and the haste with which they pressed the ‘race’ button in order to grab the narrative early – I’d say this Turnbull government is going to fall apart a lot sooner than expected.

    There’s not even a pretence that Turnbull is in charge of his team. The Right faction are already in full voice, and throwing their weight around. Nobody’s in control, so everybody thinks they’re in control. Turnbull is absolutely useless at herding factions, wouldn’t know the first thing about it. He thinks talking a lot in a snooty voice is the answer to everything.

    And if you thought they were out of order in Parliament under Abbott, that’s nothing. They’re fighting for their political survival here, and the gloves will be off. This team are, I expect, going to be the most phenomenally badly behaved party we’ve seen federally. I’m expecting something of the order of the last days of the last Liberal government we had in Victoria, where they tried every trick they could think of to maintain a majority. I imagine the word ‘farce’ will be employed a lot.

    And they will of course blame all this chaos on the ALP, using the argument that the ALP are obstructing democracy and ignoring the government’s mandate to rule. I reckon they’ll try to avoid having to hold an election for as long as they can – they’d far prefer chaos and inaction to being voted out of office before their time.

    The only question is how long they’ll be able to keep it up for. Given the paucity of quality in the party – there really is no-one qualified to conduct their portfolio, and I think most of them are unqualified to even be the shadow minister for anything – it could be the slow death of the Liberal Party as we know it. They’re basically a party of antics as it is.

    We’re not seeing it yet, because they’re not required to do anything yet. But if you remember the calm before the Abbott Coalition took to Parliament, and the immediate mess they caused immediately they were back in Canberra and responsible for things, you can see what’s going to happen.

    • It’d be interesting to see just how long they can last if that’s the case.

      The next Senate election is due before July 1 2019, but the next House election won’t be due until around September-October 2019. If Turnbull goes as far as calling separate elections in that year (assuming he can hold it all together for that long), that’d definitely be a sign of desperation.

  4. A man with mental health issues attacks Merrylands Police Station, in Sydney. Their ABC immediately calls it a ‘terrorist attack’, Georgie Porgie leaps on to Twitter to rant about Muslims. Then has to retract when police say it wasn’t terrorist-related, and blames the ABC.

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/nsw/'very-deliberate-attack-at-merrylands-police-station-in-western-sydney-report-20160721-gqb3ve

  5. After being in an even better paddock he is nowadays Georgie Morbidly Obese rather than Porgie.. Which gives one hope his reign will not last long.

  6. Ready for some more invasion of your privacy by this despicable government?

    Check the stupidity of the second-last paragraph.

    The Government’s top anti-terror adviser has been asked to investigate Australian terror suspects’ potential links with mental illness and past criminal behaviour.

    The Prime Minister’s request to counter-terrorism coordinator Greg Moriarty is part of a full “lessons learnt” review of Australia’s defences against so-called “lone wolf” attacks, such as those carried out with a truck in Nice, an axe in Germany and guns in Orlando.

    In ordering the review, Malcolm Turnbull wrote to Mr Moriarty, noting “the extremist narrative and ISIL’s slick propaganda are clearly luring some Australians to support terrorism, but we need to ensure that we are actively looking at all the areas of potential vulnerability”.

    The coordinator was specifically tasked with checking “the full range of persons of interest who we are watching” as part of terrorism investigations “to see if there is a significant connection with mental health concerns or … patterns of criminal behaviour”.

    A recent phenomenon in terrorist strikes such as the Bastille Day killings in Nice has been the emergence of “rapidly radicalised” individuals not previously on authorities’ watch lists.

    Mr Moriarty described them as people “not necessarily deeply committed to and engaged with the Islamist ideology” but who find ISIL’s “warped views … justify their anger at society and give meaning to their existence”.

    Although authorities have disrupted nine terrorist attacks in Australia in the last two years, there is now a heightened awareness that lone-wolf attackers are becoming harder to identify.

    The review will look at terrorists’ use of encryption technology to hide their online communications.

    It will also assess whether simple but deadly methods, such as driving a truck into a crowd, could be prevented.

    Mr Turnbull has asked his adviser to investigate the “vulnerability of, and means of protecting, open areas where large numbers congregate” against the threat of a truck maliciously being driven into them.

    Topics: terrorism, federal-government, law-crime-and-justice, australia

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-22/terrorism-link-to-mental-illness-and-criminal-behaviour-probed/7650258

  7. Geez… is it ALWAYS so miserable in Melbourne?

    Yesterday in Benalla it was still dark at 7am. This morning in Kallista was the same.

    WHAT IS GOING ON DOWN HERE???

  8. BB

    You should visit us up in East Gippsland, beautiful sunny days, bit chilly last night, but warm at 6am when I got up. You are just in the wrong areas. 🙂

  9. An inside day in Your Nation’s capital

    ACT for Friday Cloudy. High (80%) chance of rain. Winds NW 25 to 35 km/h increasing to 35 to 50 km/h in the morning then tending W 25 to 40 km/h in the evening. Possible rainfall: 6 to 25 mm Chance of any rain: 80%

    • Lovely weather up here today. Foggy earlier, now brilliant sunshine with an expected high of 25C. It’s not usually this warm here in July. Next week is supposed to be a return to winter weather.

  10. The Christensen thing is further evidence that this government is leaping to play the Race Card right from the get-go. Anything that can be described as Islamist, even erroneously, will be. And Turnbull doesn’t plan to do anything to curb it. They want to scare us into submission. Fat chance of that, but they’re going to try anyway.

    Can’t begin to describe the massive difference between what Turnbull represented to the electorate last September and what he’s happy to see himself portrayed as now. Every illusion he brought with him back then has been shattered, mostly by his own hands. There’s no reason to expect he’s going to bring any influence to bear on the Liberal Party. Not even symbolically. The net effect of the past nine months or so has been to remake the image of Turnbull into that of his party, not the other way around.

    Watching the press gallery try to make something out of him is going to be amusing, at least.

    • “Watching the press gallery try to make something out of him is going to be amusing, at least.”

      A suggestion for the CPG

    • Anyone who believed all the media hype about Turnbull last September, and for so long before, was a fool. Anyone who had been paying attention would have known just what a poor choice as leader he was, and would have known it would all end in disaster. The MSM, of course, never mentioned a word about his stuff-ups, not one word. Nothing about UteGate or Gretch and his emails, nothing about HIH/FAI and Goldman Sachs saving Turnbull form a prison term, nothing about Nessie the cat, nothing about all the other scandals and financial disasters in Turnbull’s past. Not one owrd about Turnbull’s early flirtations with the Labor Party, and his swap to the Liberal Party because he thought that would allow him an easy ride to the top. There was a deliberate plan to keep all that quiet. We were supposed to believe the evil Tony Abbott had knifed the innocent and highly intelligent St Malcolm to become leader. Now Turnbull was back in his rightful place as God-King-Messiah everything would be faaaabulous. The PG pack reminded me of a flock of ancient Roman virgins strewing rose petals before Caesar as he returned after a triumphant conquest. Remember all those gushing articles about Turnbull being PM for at least a decade, or maybe longer if he wanted to stay?

      Turnbull became PM for two reasons –
      1. The Liberal Party believed, because Malcolm’s supporters told them so, that Tony Abbott (another brilliant choice) would lose them this year’s election.
      2. There was no-one else, they had to hold their noses and go with Turnbull.

      That brings up the question the PG pack really don’t want to deal with. If Turnbull’s polling figures keep heading south, if he is knifed (again) or just spits the dummy and retires to spend more time kayaking on Sydney Harbour what then? Who is there left? Julie Bishop is being touted as a possible leader now. That just shows how desperate things are for the Liberal Party. A divorcee, deliberately barren, with a string of lovers in her past, not all of them exactly squeaky clean, and currently involved with a younger man who she drags around on her international trips, seats beside her in the UN General Assembly, kicking out our diplomatic representative to do that and allows to read her confidential briefings. What a scandal in the making that would be.

  11. True, Leone, all true. I’m just surprised that the Liberals, knowing exactly what this supposed ‘appeal’ of Turnbull’s was, gave no thought as to how they were going to keep up the pretence. They didn’t even try. They just said, “Here, here are all the Abbott policies, let’s see if you can defend them any better.”

    Not even an interim period for Turnbull to pretend his leadership was going to be a softer, more progressive one, before he reverted to his true self. The plan just carried on with a new figurehead.

    And having done that, having swapped leaders purely for the sugar-hit to the polling, they then waited and waited and waited until his own figures threatened their election chances before going to an election. And they insisted on a DD as the way to go, when it was clear (surely?) that they weren’t going to get the numbers in the Senate either way, and that a DD would only make it more unmanageable. You don’t get more deluded than that.

    And now they’ve had the scare of their lives, barely scraped across the line, the lower house in on a knife edge and the Senate is a mess. So what do they do? They decide it’s time for the loony Right to start dictating policy positions. The guys most to blame for the diminution of the party.

    They’ve shattered any illusions people might have had regarding their economic capabilities. They’ve destroyed the idea of ‘stability’ they were hanging on to – one they were still trumpeting in the campaign. Those were the only two areas they might have been able to counter the ALP, because they’re behind everywhere else. And they’re gone now. And they systematically dismantled Turnbull’s personal popular appeal No wonder they’re turning to naked racism – it’s a weak card, but it’s the only one they have left to play.

  12. My Twitter timeline is generally full of thoughtful, considered posts, because I’m careful about who I follow. As I’m sure we all are. Since Monday, about four fifths of the tweets I’m seeing have something to do with Muslims. That’s the conversation this country is having at the moment, and it’s not even due to something actually happening. It’s because of what public figures are saying, mostly apropos of nothing. Provocative comments from media figures and the odd politician are being discussed at length.

    I have no doubt in my mind this is deliberate, that the motivation is to spark debate in and around racism, and to give hateful voices a platform.

  13. If anyone complains to me about the NBN, I tell them immediately they should have voted Labor, that Julia Gillard had been right all along. If they rejoice at the weather being so warm, I tell them not to, that it will have dangerous repercussions. And that again Julia gillard had been right, once more, with her bl**dy “carbon tax”.

    End of rant. I’m angry. I despise this govt.

  14. And just how are you going to do that? Give everyone a gun or two?

    “I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored,” Trump will say, according to extracts of the speech circulated by the campaign after an unconfirmed full draft was leaked online.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/21/donald-trump-republican-national-convention-speech

    • …to make our home grown political psychopaths look marginally less crazy in comparison..?

  15. Welcome to the National Broadcasting Service of the Liberal Party of Australia..

    The ABC appears to be shoring up its Liberal credentials with the appointment of Josh Faulks, the deputy chief of staff to the attorney general, George Brandis. Faulks takes up the role of head of partnerships and policy at the broadcaster, working with head of TV, Richard Finlayson, to secure funding for content.

    Finlayson says Faulks will “ensure that we have open and constructive relationships with our stakeholders and partners in the sector”. In other words, he will be a lobbyist.

    The senior government staffer certainly has experience in handling budgets for the arts as he was a ministerial staffer when Brandis slashed the arts funding in the 2015 budget.

    He also made news last year when Brandis insisted Faulks sit in on a meeting between the human rights commissioner, Gillian Triggs, and the shadow attorney general, Mark Dreyfus. Faulks turned up at the commission’s Sydney office and refused to leave when both Triggs and Dreyfus asked him to, saying he was acting on the instructions of the attorney general. Brandis later said Faulks “did not in any way, shape or form seek to interfere with the conversation. He was merely present, as is appropriate”.

    Faulks was also a senior adviser to Malcolm Turnbull when he was leader of the opposition in 2009.

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/jul/22/top-liberal-aide-takes-senior-role-at-abc-to-ensure-constructive-relationships?CMP=soc_568

    I don’t think I can maintain the rage anymore..

  16. I just stumbled on some new figures for Herbert. A slight increment on the original count, I guess.
    Anyway, Cathy O’Toole is 13 ahead on these numbers.

  17. I don’t care what happens to Their ABC, sod them and their right-wing bias, but this latest Turnbull/Brandis brainfart has me hopping mad.

    Malcolm Turnbull and the attorney general, George Brandis, have defended a counter-terrorism review that will consider giving security agencies greater access to mental health records.

    The prime minister has asked the counter-terrorism coordinator, Greg Moriarty, to review the threat of lone-wolf terrorist attacks, including consideration of safety in large public areas and the contribution of mental illness to radicalisation.

    On Friday, Turnbull said the review was necessary following terrorist events in which attackers had attached themselves to the “murderous ideology” of Islamic extremism because of other problems such as addiction, anti-social behaviour and mental illness

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/jul/22/counter-terrorism-turnbull-defends-plan-to-allow-greater-access-to-mental-health-records

    So now anyone with a history of some sort of mental health problem, even just something simple like dealing with mild depression or post-natal blues, will be placed on some sort of government terrorist watch list and even worse, it will be overseen by Brandis, who has stuffed up every single thing he has done in government. Brandis’ tame Mr Plods, rummaging around in your medical records, spying on your Facebook page, and for all we know following you to the shops to see if you are buying anything suspicious, like plastic swords or prayer mats.

    What on earth is happening in this country? Does anyone even care?

    • That was also my thought this morning when I first heard it. Instead of spending more money into mental health, the patients are now regarded as terrorists.

  18. I just hit a milestone today with my wikipedia work. As of today, all results of NT elections since 1974 are now available. I haven’t yet been able to move on to by-elections, but that should be easy enough to do later on.

    The 1974 NT election was particularly painful to do, mainly because Labor didn’t win a single seat. But hopefully the results of the election there in 5 weeks will be fun to watch.

  19. I don’t know if anyone here is away of the ‘Save Eaten Fish’ campaign. You should be.

    Eaten Fish is a cartoonist named Ali, a 24 year old Iranian artist who has been held in Australia’s immigration detention centre for 3 years now. 18 months ago First Dog on the Moon began mentoring Eaten Fish and they have since kept regular contact.
    Throughout the three years that Eaten Fish has been incarcerated on Manus Island he has suffered from ever worsening and extreme OCD, panic attacks – that can leave him literally paralysed, and Complex PTSD. Earlier this year Eaten Fish was seriously sexually assaulted. Since this assault he has continued to endure ongoing sexual harassment from guards, staff and some other detainees. This compounds the effects of the sexual assault and his serious mental health conditions.

    Eaten Fish is now under 24 hour watch and remains in the isolation area, Green Zone, of the detention camp. He continues to be propositioned and sexually harassed and his state continues to deteriorate. Eaten Fish needs to be brought to a safe place where he can receive the specialised treatment for the serious conditions he suffers from.

    We are launching this website as part of a campaign urging the Australian government to immediately remove Eaten Fish from the Manus Island detention centre and bring him to Australia for the specialised treatment he requires

    https://eatenfish.com/

    I don’t know if the petition will do any good, but at least knowing there are Australians supporting him might give Ali a bit of a boost.

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