Our Guest Poster, Jennifer Wilson of No Place For Sheep, has some eye-watering images of the current
régime rabble for your delectation. I’m afraid they will be seared into my memory forever.
Thank you, Jennifer!
I don’t know if you’ve ever watched the sea lions at Pier 39 in San Francisco. I’m reminded of that querulous and stinking marine rabble whenever I encounter the Turnbull government in my media. The sea lions are a nasty bunch, and they fight a lot.
I now can’t picture Malcolm Turnbull as anything other than a self-congratulatory pinniped in a top hat, barking and clapping his flippers at his own cleverness as Lucy throws him a fish.
While the PM hastened to reassure the country that he had “excoriated” his rogue MPs (including ministers) who left parliament early on Thursday afternoon, the real issue is not that the LNP have taken this event as “wake-up” call for their one-seat majority government, but that such a call was needed in the first place.
Surely someone (a staffer, one of Dutton’s ninety, yes that’s ninety spin doctors) could have reminded the government that with a one-seat majority, everyone really needs to stay till the end.
That seasoned politicians holding powerful positions (and, apparently, their entire staff) need such a fundamental “wake-up” call is worrying indeed. What it confirms is what I’ve long suspected: the LNP perceive governing as a game weighted in their favour that they are entitled to win, without any particular merit, or even by actually playing it. Any challenges to these perceptions are dismissed as little more than the grumblings of opinionated upstarts.
Turnbull’s first sitting week after the election was woeful. First thirteen of his backbenchers defied him on the matter of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Next, for the first time in some fifty years, the government lost three votes in the House of Representatives because of the Thursday bunk-off. Thankfully, they’ve now gone home for a few days.
On the matter of Section 18C, it’s interesting that the cohort advocating a “watering down” of the section are those who are the least likely to ever need the protections it offers. Read this piece by Jeff Sparrow on the co-option of speech laws for their own benefit by those who have no skin in the game.
Similarly, those most vehemently opposed to marriage equality are those who can in no way claim to be, in reality, affected by it.
(If such people are seriously concerned about a perceived debasing of the institution of marriage, they urgently need to make infidelity illegal. Imagine that).
I think it’s safe to say that politics has ceased to be much to do with good and fair governance, and is now almost entirely to do with the furtherance of the interests and ideologies of largely (and sometimes large) white men. In this they differ little from the sea lion colony in which the dominant males rule in their own interests, biting great chunks of flesh out of dissenters and shoving them, bleeding, back into the sea. It’s every pinniped for himself.
They even savage the young, and the ones with the loudest bark win.
328 thoughts on “The Government as Sea Lions”
Hey Pol Animal
whereabouts in Tas are you now…?
St Helens, back on the ferry tomorrow night.
Had a great time but only saw 1% of what is there. Had a great time. Hope to see some of Liffey falls, devils, raspberry etc etc tomorrow.
Meals on the Spirit are expensive and crap!
More from the Danes:
Thus commences the book I was writing about yesterday, on the occasion of the announcement of Richard Neville’s death: The Justice Game, by Geoffrey Robertson, QC, ex prefect of Epping Boys High, friend to the friends of justice and foe to their foes.
Its simple proposition is that every person is entitled to a fair hearing, to the hope that if their cause is just, it will be vindicated and that in the meantime the processes and principles of law will be honestly served. He provides many case studies, one per chapter, as well as harkening back to a day when things we take for granted now were unheard of, or perhaps at best were just whispers on the wind. As Robertson puts it in the preface…
It is, in a legal sense that is not dry at all, a rattling good read.
Just to say I think BB’s comment at 10.01 today sums up the Dastyari business perfectly. Yesterday I heard the fucking ABC mentioning that the $1600 payment had been “revealed”. About as slimily disingenuous as you can get I think.
The ‘Get Dastyari’ campaign was slightly delayed by the government stuff-up in parliament last Thursday.
Fairfax ‘revealed’ the story on 30 August. No-one really took much notice at the time. I bet Libtika was miffed her little revelation did not become an instant media sensation.
Fairfax, just doing it’s bit to get rid of Labor, really. If they can’t manage to ‘Kill Bill’ they will try to inflict damage by targeting one of his team in the hope some mud will stick.
Then came other distractions like the frocks at the Midwinter Ball and Julie Bishop mistakenly thinking it was fancy dress and turning up dressed as Morticia Addams with her handbag doing a passable Lurch impersonation grabbing all the media attention.
Dastyari was supposed to be Friday’s big event, but The Fiasco In The House took over. It wasn’t until the weekend thing started to go as planned, pushed hard by a stack of Fairfax pieces all saying pretty much the same thing. One article would have done, but every parrot in the Fairfax petshop just had to have a squawk. Of course, when a few parrots start squawking all the rest just have to join in, and we’ve been deafened by parrots, galahs, budgies and cockatoos squawking in unison ever since.
This morning Neil Mitchell demanded Shorten sack Dastyari, completely overlooking the bleeding obvious – sacking a politician for taking Chinese money would mean others would also have to be sacked, leaving the Coalition reps and senate benches almost empty.
Howard had his squawk at the NPC today. He’s repeating the same crap.
Just as well all this squawking hid Fizza’s dismal performance in China. Well, almost –
‘Get Dastyari’ will blow over soon enough. Parliament sits next week. There will be more government stuff-ups, foot shootings and own goals to attract the attention of what passes for political journalists. It would be a great time for Labor to introduce their private member’s bill on same sex marriage. That would wipe the smirks from a few faces.
I hope the ‘Get Sam’ campaign blows over but the Fibs had wins with Craig Thomson and Peter Slipper and might have perfected the art of getting mud to stick on their enemies
This is delightful:
A bit like Orwell’s Urban Rides.
Remember the days when pollies went overseas and did not mention home politics?
Ms Chan is not afraid to mention the war
The whole article is more about the Chinese than about Dastyari.
It’s a very good article, and does what none of the other journalists have bothered to do – considers Chinese views. The PG pack are too busy scalp-hunting to care who they might offend and what damage they might do, both here and in China.
So what’s Waffles’ next unicorn?
Oh dear. All that over-reach by the Libs & their media fan-squad might just come back to bight them once Parliament resumes.
SD has by standing down, most likely voluntarily, removed the oxygen away from the little ammunition they had to use against Labor & Shorten and now the spotlight can be turned on the government side and their nefarious dealings with Chinese donors.
For the first four days when parliament resumes, Question Time should be taken up with question after probing question about the Libs relationships to Chinese donors and what might be the likely quid pro quo that the ever generous benefactors from the orient might have been seeking as reward for their generosity to the Liberal Party coffers.
I hope you’re right. At the moment it’s pretty depressing to see, this whole saga just looks like the MSM closing ranks around the LNP and then proceeding to advance and then beat a talented ALP member’s political career to death, and it seems tonight that they have achieved results and their goals.
Labor has to have an answer to this.
Their ABC is all over Big Bad Sam.
Decent reporting by Gabrielle
Greg “I can’t think for myself” Jennett: there’s more to come and he won’t be the last.
It’s Lib hubris.
Time for Labor to point a few fingers.
Sell her! teaser: “he finally resigned.”
“Finally”? Is your right leg too short?
The UnZud weather well and truly outdoing the windy blast we had last night in the Wild West.
Just make sure the NZ wines are OK.
Dastyari resigns – what a shame!
I suppose the PG mob have what they wanted. A Muslim (a non-practicing Muslim, but the Dirt File mob don’t care about little technicalities like that) forced off the front bench. Because that’s what this is, pure bigotry at work Dastyari was targeted because he is ‘not like us’.
Or maybe there’s more to it.
If the alleged vested interests behind this dirt campaign just wanted to hurt Labor, or hurt Shorten, they could have picked anyone, really. Joel Fitzgibbon’s embarrassing past relations with a Chinese businesswoman would have made him an obvious target. I’m sure a bit of digging around in three year old register of interests entries would have brought up other candidates.
So what was Dastyari chosen?
Apart from the Muslim angle, there’s this –
The sharks, the scent of blood and Sam Dastyari.
This was a deliberate and planned attack, it was not just some lucky journalist happening upon something in a register of interests. Information was passed on to Libtika Bourke with a specific purpose in mind. Bourke started the ball rolling, and then the media feeding frenzy, after a few distractions, really gathered speed.
Dastyari is no longer Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate. The government might come to regret that when his replacement is announced.
Dastyari will be back.
Sam will still be turning the Labor wheels in the Senate.
Oh dear, my last comment appears to have been swallowed up somehow.
I was saying that I hope Labor has an answer to this saga – of the MSM closing ranks around the LNP and proceeding to bludgeon a talented Labor MP’s political career to death. It’s just depressing otherwise.
That said, even if Dastyari has to lay low for a while, hopefully he can assist other Labor MP’s in the background to continue his fight against established business greed.
It’s bit sad with one so promising. And it’s galling to give in to a concerted Liberal-media campaign to bring this about against someone who has acted openly and not tried to hide his action.
Leone is right that it is a nasty thing, not just a distraction from their disastrous first week, but overtones of anti-Islamic dog-whistling as well.
But neither he nor the ALP takes a major hit for this over time. It’s largely a distraction. Scorps is right that Sam will emerge stronger from it. I doubt if he’ll lose much sleep over some gloating from Toad and Erica.
But there is an important lesson to be learned. No politician should accept monetary gifts or expenses-paid travel or accommodation. Incomes and allowances are generous enough. There is a serious risk of a person being compromised by accepting such. It is probably the reason for the registrar of declared interests.
Currently, Sim has put me on to Justice Bao DVDs which I’ve found on youtube. He was a senior magistrate or judge in the Song Dynasty. Over the centuries the stories have evolved through various art forms in opera, drama and novels. Most have their origins in an actual case, albeit many have taken on a mythical life.
Judge Bao put the highest premium on integrity in public office and was not afraid to challenge emperors and their relatives when they breached conditions of public integrity and fairness. He was right in expecting it.
My comment at about 4 pm has been swallowed also
Any other Pubsters having problems with MyGov or ATO websites? I have. Sat and Sun – ‘we are currently experiencing difficulties’ etc. Finally succeeded today – hooray. All this for a very straight-forward tax return for a friend with English as a second language. No lah I’m not charging them – just trying to help out and be decent. No wonder such a high % of tax returns are done by tax agents etc in this country. It really should be a simple process for most people.
And Lois Lane is doing “belatedly”.
She, too, is making a rod for her own back.
I also was swallowed
And who better to ask about that resignation than Snot?
Nice footrub, Leigh.
Again my apologies but sometimes wordpress has a fit. Nothing in spam so they must be floating around the intertubies and may pop up.
Don’t fret: we appreciate what you provide.
The social interchange over the three years plus tells you so much.
You must watch the last segment on 7.5: it is brilliant.
No teaser from me.
I posted very early in this saga about the bigotry underpinning the attacks on Dastyari.
Sam will be back and he will remember.
The Slammin’ Sam attack was primed as soon a Appalling Hanson popped up a while back and whether Dastyari was a “practising” muslim came up. I am not a fan of his. A bit too much of the NSW gold tooth rat 🙂 but I think he will be back and that would in my opinion be a good thing.
Just lost a comment.
Other voters who connect with Sam Dastyari on cultural background will also remember,
I reckon. As will some Chinese voters.
Will Labor get down and dirty with the Libs? That is the big issue in politics here.
Labor has been beaten around the head and shoulders by L/NP and all their sycophants.
There must be a time when enough is enough.
I mean, what’s to stop this happening again? What if another Labor MP starts landing some blows on the government like, say, Tony Burke if he manages to repeat his performance in embarrassing the government in the lower house?
Will the Coalition be able to push him aside by getting their MSM sycophants to start throwing mud at him so he’d end up resigning to the backbench over something “still within the rules but may look off”? What’s stopping them? They do have some dirt on Labor MP’s as shown with their attempted deflections in Bronnie Bishop’s chopper adventure, after this, it just shows that all they need to do is get their mates to do some hysterical Orwellian media smothering and before long they can have all of their opposition destroyed.
Sam shouldn’t have resigned.
While I understand Bill standing back and giving Abbott the space to punch himself in the face until he collapsed, I believe Turnbull needs a different strategy. Turnbull is a hot air balloon, he has no spine, he is never to blame and handles defeat badly. I say go for the jugular at every opportunity. Specialise in humiliating him, as he cannot handle that one little bit. Go the biffo, Bill. Nail the bastard.
Sam shouldn’t have resigned.
I am watching the last part of 7.30. I wish I knew how to use a shottie. I would load it with fishhooks and take aim at those low down fkn scum’s privates.
I mean the 2nd last part, about the pedos.
I mean the second to last part of 7.30.
The last part is awesome. what a great drama piece.m that would be a great to go to.
I don’t think you watched the bit about the deaf and blind.
Another must: Charlie Teoh just finished on ABC.
I also lost a comment. Just saying that Sam shouldn’t have resigned. Why always please the media.
WordPress seems to be having a hissy fit today.
I’ve been having problems with comments all day – not just mine. The website says people have posted, but I can’t see their comments. A couple of mine vanished, but they weren’t important.
I am in St Helens, tomorrow night back on the ferry. Have some Tamar Valley pinot noir and some east coast pinot noir. Had a great time today in Richmond, the Old Hobart model village and the (real) convict built bridge plus some nice food places. Bought several jams to take home. Spent some time in New Norfolk. Niece bought an old medical box, a wooden box with lots of intact apothecary bottles and other pieces in its numerous compartments. I bought a couple pieces of Price Bros cottage ware, a plate with 4 egg cups and a tea cup, saucer and small plate—these are pretty damn rare.
I’ve joined the swallowed up list too, in response to Kirsdarke about Sam. I hope it turns up as I liked it and don’t feel like doing it again.
I’m sad about Sam, but at least he can work behind the scenes, and keep prodding the lnp.
Shut up the baying fools in the MSM by resigning, keep working away in the background, wait until the next reshuffle and then back in the ministry.
Our journalists have attention spans shorten than that of a boxer puppy in a room full of squeaky toys. They will have found something else to turn into a scandal by lunchtime next Thursday and a week later that will all be over too.
Meanwhile the real scandals go ignored. Anyone remember Parakeelia? MalCayman?
It appears the problem today with WordPress is that it’s not allowing replies to posts.
However, GD’s reply to my post about Sam showed up in the top right hand corner. In case it doesn’t show up again, I’ll copy/paste it for him.
God, I hope this passes too, the gloating in the media in all websites is so bad I can’t even bear to look at the daily news.
If it’s going to be wall-to-wall “Dastyari just had to go because we said so, and he did, so we are wonderful journalists to have made this happen” for the rest of the week it’ll be pretty sickening.
It does seem to be replies that are not getting through.
WordPress keeps on coming up with new ways to annoy us.
Here’s your chance, people. Go for it! Don’t hold backQ
Ready The Pitchforks: ACCC Wants Your ‘Thoughts’ On The NBN
I also hope the new Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate is good at their job, and that it doesn’t go to one of the ineffectual factional seatwarmers but a really good negotiator.
The Senate is going to be key to this country’s government business this term. And if it’s left wide open by the appointment of someone so ineffectual that the crossbenchers ignore them and instead decide to side with the government in making life miserable for the bottom 95% of Australia, it’s hard to see any positive in the world.
Does anyone have any clues as to the likely new Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate?
Thanks for recovering that post Kirsdarke.
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