Turnbull government takes high stakes risks in Dastyari-bashing

Urbanwronski has been kind enough to share his latest analysis with The Pub. As always, many thanks!

“Back home Bill Shorten is standing up for Sam Dastyari’s right to take from a company associated with a foreign government.”M. Turnbull, Hangzhou September 2016

Sweet Custard Bun, as Malcolm Turnbull is known in Hangzhou, checks in to the G20 club, for an annual, ritual mutual tail-sniffing of capitalist running dogs, this week. Suddenly he rears up on his hind legs.

Along with a yen for dressing up as a statesman, Bun loves the idea of one day taking a trick against Labor. Any trick will do for The Great Dilator, whose foghorn of lofty aspiration and fear-mongering of disaster by debt or by terror belie an abyss of empty promises within. Impulse overtakes him. It’s one way of breaking his perpetual, crippling indecision. He lashes out at Sam Dastyari and Bill Shorten for lacking judgment to dismiss Sam immediately, unlike his own excruciatingly slow response to Stuart Robert’s scandal involving a Chinese business in February.

Polling this week shows Turnbull is now Australia’s least popular Prime Minister in forty years. Something must be done. Bun lashes out. Never shy to sink the slipper but hopeless when it comes to timing, Turnbull joins in Cory Barnyard Bernardi’s gang-bashing of Sam Dastyari, the best political game in town, all week.

Double-agent Dastyari is “…associated with a foreign government…,” claims the PM in a shrill dog whistle to all Sinophobes, anti-communists and members of the lunatic right of his own party within earshot. It will do Turnbull little good in the end to paint Dastyari as a traitor. It is impossible to throw stones at Labor’s venal Chinese mole Dastyari without smashing some glass in his own party’s hothouse.

Bashing Dastyari is, nevertheless, top story for a mainstream media pack which sniffs blood. Mal’s pal, Michelle Guthrie’s ABC is well in the hunt, despite a bit of yapping for attention from junk-yard dog Abbott who howls down Turnbull’s impulsivity in calling his Royal Commission into juvenile detention in the NT.

A Royal Commission is an “over-reaction” to news of abuse at the Don Dale Detention Centre, says the former PM, a politician whom Eddy Jokovich playfully describes as a Derridan paradox: a nihilistic choice between the absence of presence, or the presence of absence.

Abbott defines himself by not being Labor. Turnbull defines himself by not being Abbott. A protegé of lying rodent Howard, Abbott must play while the cat’s away despite his promises of no sniping, no undermining. Some fancy Abbott will replace Turnbull, a PM whose only real appeal was that he was not himself – but this takes nihilism too far.

Others appeal more in Liberal leadership stakes. Perennial bridesmaid Julie Bishop is keeping herself nice. What seems clearer each day, however, is that after his failed election double dissolution gambit, Turnbull is now Liberal leader in name only. He’s a dead man walking.

Whilst the Turnbull experiment has clearly failed, it would be impossible for Abbott to regain the leadership. Not only does he have few followers, he continues to reveal himself to be more of a poseur than the current, incumbent. Witness his hypocritical pretensions to advance the cause of Aboriginal communities.

Abbott goes bush for a week a year. His much publicised ritual bonding with Aboriginal peoples and the odd smuggled-in Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz enables him to tap into their condition; be their advocate in a mutually demeaning show of friendship which masks a patronising condescension, if not contempt, when it comes to consultation or funding.

Abbott set up his own Indigenous Advisory Council headed by Gerard Henderson’s son-in-law, the conservative, god-fearing Warren Mundine who was elevated over more representative leaders while he slashed $534 million from Indigenous Affairs funding, chiefly from health and justice budgets in 2014.

Aboriginal people have suffered friends like Protector Abbott before. His paternalism is as unwelcome a stunt as is his latest outrageous accusation that his PM has been frightened into an over-reaction. Is he suggesting that the abuse of human rights and other injustices revealed in the Four Corners documentary on Don Dale Detention Centre should be downplayed? Is this how he advocates for Aboriginal peoples? We should be complacent that over half of children in detention in Australia are indigenous?

Abbott should spare us his own panic attack at increasing relevance deprivation. Retire. Spare us his hypocrisy. Many of his own calls, such as his plebiscite on gay marriage were equally desperate and just as cynical a delaying tactic as his PM’s Royal Commission. Is Shorten’s mob paying junkyard to stay on just to cruel Turnbull’s faint hopes of success?

Abbott does not revisit marriage equality this week, preferring instead to reheat an IPA leftover. The government should be “very careful” he says about making retrospective superannuation changes. Very careful. Junkyard has no hope, however, of upstaging Dastyari who is in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Sam puts on a shocker of a show of public confession and contrition, “What I did was within the rules but it was wrong,” he says as if somehow he can still bet each way on his own culpability.

Dastyari declares that Labor doesn’t need his distraction. More fish to fry. He resigns. Cue J S Bach’s St. Matthew Passion depicting Judas’ guilt on betraying his Lord. An already frenzied media pack goes feral.

Senator Sam Dastyari or Dasher, as he is to his NSW Right pals (Nifty was already taken), is the new anti-Christ according to Murdoch papers which have him in bed with communists. “Dastyari’s donor has party cell,” thunders The Australian. Leigh Sales savages him. It’s not so much that he took Chinese money, a practice “unknown” to Liberal MPs, but that he spruiked Chinese policy. He must be hanged, drawn and quartered. And burnt in effigy.

Sam, it seems, didn’t parrot the US line that China needs to get out of the South China Sea, which amazingly is also Australia’s own position thanks to ANZUS, the lynch-pin of our independent foreign policy, and why we follow the USA in regime change in Iraq or invading Syria. Suddenly, it seems, Dastyari’s inspiring a Chinese takeover. An AFR opinion writer claims that Chinese tourists pose a Yellow Peril security risk.

Dasher can’t remember what he said about China’s policy, he says. Amnesia’s always a bit of a worry, tuts AFR’s Laura Tingle on last week’s Insiders, thinking doubtless of Arthur Sinodinos, an MP who does not recall receiving funds from anyone anywhere, even if he were treasurer of The Free Enterprise Foundation, an organisation set up solely to receive funds from property developers and other donors to the NSW branch of the Liberal Party in 2011. The AEC was obliged to freeze four million dollars of Liberal campaign funds.

Memory lapse aside, Dastyari always backed Labor’s policy, he claims. Sadly the record tells against him. He softened Labor’s stance. “The South China Sea is China’s own affair,” he is quoted as telling Chinese media on June 17. “Australia should remain neutral and respect China on this matter.”

Bill Shorten’s been tough on Sam, he says. Next sound bite he promises Sam another portfolio sometime later. “Sam is a young bloke with a bright future ahead of him. He has a lot more to offer Labor and Australia,’’ Shorten says, but clearly Sam’s offerings are to be put on ice for some time.

Bun sounds as if he’s insulting his Chinese hosts, the ones he’s just bragged he’s done a deal with. Or does he mean the ChAFTA “spectacular,” the best thing since Marco Polo, especially if you are a Chinese investor seeking to deploy a Chinese work force in Australia? With few tariff restrictions left as bartering chips, the negotiators traded away Australian workers’ conditions, but don’t expect to hear this explored much in parliament at the moment.

The lugubrious former trade minister Andrew Robb is, however, refreshingly untroubled by his own legendary friendship with the very same Huang Xiangmo, head of the Yuhu group that was so quick to come to the party when Sam couldn’t quite pay his $1700 travel fees or his $5000 legal bill, a fee The Australian has as $40,000. You will hear that in the house Tuesday.

Yuhu group companies made $500,000 in political donations, including $100,000 to Andrew Robb’s Bayside Forum – a fund-raising entity – the day the trade deal was signed. But this is quite a different matter, says the Liberal-News Corp-ABC affiliated slayers of Sam and no defence at all of his conduct. Nor does it matter that the PM himself was a keen comprador for a Chinese firm with equally inescapable links to the Chinese government.

Nor is it relevant, it seems, to dwell on the power of Huang Xiangmo, a Chinese-Australian billionaire who has given $1.8 million to the University of Technology in Sydney to help establish an Australia-China Relations Institute, replacing a more independent body. Now both sides of parliament are supplied with pro-China “research” to enable them to come to the right decisions on such matters as ChAFTA and how it’s great for Aussie workers.

Not so long ago Bun wanted Chinese electronics giant Huawei to be permitted to bid for what would be our national telephone carrier if we hadn’t flogged it off to Telstra, a mob that models its customer relations on the big four banks. Labor raised issues of national security and the thought-bubble was pricked. Sam’s pitch pales by comparison.

It seems unwise for the Coalition to go so hard after the senator over a two-year old matter he did declare at the time. The PM delays a couple of days before joining Bernardi’s attack on Dastyari, although this may just reflect his lame duck leadership, especially when overseas. Labor is calling for a ban of all foreign donations to politicians or parties, calling upon Malcolm Turnbull for support. Expect more noises about reforming the system to be upstaged by further revelations when Parliament resumes, with more MPs ducking and weaving for cover.

Leigh Sales raises the $50,000 Gina Rinehart put into coal mining champion Barnaby Joyce’s campaign coffers in 2013. This is clearly a different matter, the funny-man-cum deputy PM huffs and puffs, because it was at arm’s length and auditable. He’s a crack-up. Did the money affect his support for mines? Did his support attract the money?

“What do you think that you have to give her in response? Is it access? Why does she give that money? What does she expect?” Sales asks on her ABC’s 7.30. She could have also raised the $500,000 in donations received over two years by Julie Bishop on behalf of the WA Liberal Party from the same Yuhu group of property developers. The donations cannot possibly be linked to Ms Bishop’s public gushing admiration of Huang’s entrepreneurship or business skills.

Cory Bernardi has opened Pandora’s box. Now the target will shift from Dastyari to donations themselves, and some key Liberals may be asked to do some explaining. The government will struggle to put the lid back on when Parliament resumes Tuesday. Expect a volley from an opposition that’s had a week to prepare.

George Brandis is already targeted over his May 2016 $370,000 appointment to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Queensland solicitor, Teo Tavoularis, a Liberal Party donor and a lawyer who also defended George Brandis’ son.

The bashing of Dastyari will help conceal the government’s real agenda of making it almost impossible to check the operations of private companies, as the Turnbull Government’s plans to privatise ASIC’s corporate database move closer to fruition next month. Only two companies are listed on the stock exchange. The database currently permits public access to details of millions of other companies.

The move will frustrate journalists’ and academics’ attempts to hold corporations to account; to investigate corporate illegality and will deny a means to the detection of illegal activities discovered in past scrutiny such as money laundering, financing terrorism, labour exploitation and human trafficking.

The ruckus over donations will also displace attention from the way in which the government has helped keep a lid on CUB’s sacking of maintenance workers at its main brewery in Melbourne. It’s a move reminiscent of Dollar Sweets’ 1985 landmark lockout of workers, where young lawyer Peter Costello successfully brought a common law action against a union for damages suffered by the employer during the course of the strike.

CUB expects its workers to sign up again with a 65 per cent pay cut. To help play its part in promoting jobs and growth, the government through the Fair Work commission has ordered the striking workers to refrain from insulting or offensive language.

Suddenly the raucous far right of the Coalition, sundry senate cross benchers, and the other outspoken advocates of the abolition of section 18C who claim the law curtails freedom of speech, all fall silent.



575 thoughts on “Turnbull government takes high stakes risks in Dastyari-bashing

  1. Section 4 . . . with Cartoon Corner
    Latika Bourke’s weekly curation.

    I just LOVE this one from Mark David!

    David Rowe with a classic on SSM. Look at the boys in the band.

    Peter Broelman on Turnbull’s Senate problems.

    David Pope gets it right about Turnbull’s internal troubles.
    Mark Knight with birthday wishes for Turnbull.
    I wasn’t prepared to link Bill Leak today.

  2. Goodness me , there was a time when Libs were sensible.The Rodent must have got stuck into the communion wine before addressing the RWNJ god botherers.

    Marriage equality history lesson in the wake of plebiscite debate

    After yesterday’s debate on the proposed plebiscite on marriage equality, it’s worth remembering a similar debate that played out 55 years ago when an amendment to the Marriage Act was first considered by parliament. Then, it was a Country Party senator who wanted to change the act to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

    The amendment was voted down 40 to eight by the Senate.

    Liberal Party founder Robert Menzies’ government introduced the Marriage Act 1961 to bring marriage under the jurisdiction of the commonwealth. At the time, parliament’s guidance on marriage did not go beyond stipulating participants be of legal age and of sound mind.

    Most were content with this state of affairs. As Liberal senator John Gorton (before becoming prime minister) remarked: “In our view it is best to leave to the common law the definition or the evolution of the meaning of marriage.”

    That 1961 vote on the amendment certainly was not about supporting marriage equality (it would be many years before any lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights materialised). Rather, it was about the parliament not overplaying its hand about a Marriage Act that was a framework, which society was free to shape as and when required.

    ……………………….On August 4, 2004, John Howard was addressing a meeting of the National Marriage Coalition (which included the Australian Christian Lobby) when he announced the Marriage Act would be amended to include a definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman. The 1000 attendees lapped it up and gave Howard not one but three standing ovations.

    Less than an hour later, enabling legislation was rushed into parliament. Caught on the hop, the Mark Latham-led Labor opposition fell into line and supported the amendment.


  3. jaycee@jaycee ‏@trulyjaycee 1m1 minute ago

    A prayer:”Dear Jesus,was it really worth the lives of so many innocent Iraqi children so John Howard could be feted by an obsequious media?”

  4. The many different contortions in the face of Emma Alberici when she interviewed John Howard last night was a very good example of a person divided between legitimate inquiry and servile obsequiousness.

  5. Abbott and ‘the Queen made me do it’.

    Lying bastard. He’s lucky Her Majesty doesn’t demand his head on a pike for that porkie.

    Prince Phillip was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, the highest honour this country gives (except for the aborted knights and dames rubbish) in 1988.

  6. It’s always so easy to know when a Coalition government is in deep, deep trouble. They drag out the dessicated little coconut.

  7. Proof of Prince Phillip’s award – at the bottom of the first page.

    Someone should show it to Abbott.

    Click to access QB88.pdf

    This award allows Phil the Greek to stick the letters ‘AC (Mil)’ after his name, if he wants to. I can’t imagine he’d ever bother. He has so many awards he would need pages just to list all the letters.

    • I would hesitate to suggest that Phillip has MORE “titles” adjectivally added BEFORE his name than after..

  8. Julian Leeser’s speech yesterday was wonderful. It should have been given front-page, head-of-the-news attention, as should Malarndirri McCarthy’s excellent speech.

    Instead the frackwits in the MSM decided we wanted to hear from that vile bitch from Queensland, and her repulsive, bigoted rubbish was given all the attention. That attention isn’t going to stop, it hasn’t in 20 years so why would that change. Every time that cow opens her mouth we are going to be seeing endless media reports on every nasty word.

    The worst of it – we are stuck with it for six years. I might be dead before she gets kicked out of the senate. Death could be considered a blessed release from the media torment ahead.

    • Can someone please advise on how to explain to a dear friend why Ms Hanson is not an ‘actual nice lady’ with ‘common sense’? And who’s utterances are (apparently) manipulated by the media so that only the nasty highlights are shown, because she is just such a ‘nice lady’? *angry frustrated sighs*

      I dug out a copy of Margo Kingston’s book of the first bout of One Nation and had a reread recently. I really don’t think much has changed in the way Ms Hanson approaches life, except that she has been a smart little cookie in getting well paying gigs (and being a snappy dresser – better than Ms Bishop).
      I haven’t seen a list of who drew the short straws for the next half Senate election, but I’m still praying that One Nation senators are on that list!

  9. Well, I’ve already had some illuminating moments this morning. Somebody shared Lee Rhiannon’s Facebook post regarding the Greens walkout, and in a rare moment of complete boredom, I read through the comments. Sheesh.

    Ok, so nobody, from either side, understands the Greens’ role in facilitating the current Senate configuration. The Greens made the Senate better! Just as they made carbon pricing and our refugee intake better in the past – by making it worse and saying it’s not their fault. So that’s a good start.

    One person pointed out the Greens’ complicity in opening the Senate up to four One Nation fruit-loops. She was laughed at and ordered to “prove it”. She was also told that she had no idea how Parliament works.

    The walkout was apparently a good thing, because the images will be seen throughout the world, and they’ll all understand that not all Australians are racist and that some are against it. We just vote that way. Tra la la, daisies and butterflies.

    On the other side, I learnt that it’s rude to walk out of Parliament while somebody is speaking, and isn’t that just typical of the Greens to be so rude and all. We pay these people good money, and they should be there to hear what’s going on. If it was a business, those Greens would be sacked! Sacked I tell you! Because as you know, MPs are always in Parliament for everything.

    It is fun (in a limited way) watching people who clearly know nothing about the workings of politics – and get their information filtered via tabloids, commercial news and email subscriptions – telling each other they don’t know what they’re talking about. But it tends to make one despair for the country.

  10. I wrote this little poem a long time ago for a young person who set out on a long journey to another country to try and make a new life far from home. I thought them very courageous. Braver than I ever was. They did established themselves overseas and I can only admire them for it.

    A Place of One’s Own.

    Within everybody’s heart ,
    There is that little pump.
    And in the still of the night,
    You can hear its tremulous thump.

    Within everybody’s heart,
    There is that little room.
    Upon the wall there a picture
    Of a place we silently yearn.

    To some it is just a fantasy,
    A desire they can’t fulfill.
    Some will strive to seek it…
    Some have not the will.

    And some will substitute
    A lesser philosophy
    To dull and blind the senses
    To a love they will never see.

    Within everybody’s heart,
    If ever a heart is known
    Is the one place one seeks;
    A place of one’s own.

  11. BK’s links –

    If you haven’t read David Donovan’s piece on Howard then you should. It is fantastic.

    Here’s the link again.

    I won’t be watching Howard’s thing on Menzies. Listening to that voice for just a few seconds turns my stomach.

    I’m hoping regular Sunday night ABC viewers, the lot who settle down in their recliners at 7.30 and watch whatever is dished up, no matter what, will decide they have better things to do and break the habit of 50 or so years. A national boycott would be a good idea.

    The ABC’s 7.30 spot on Sunday is really, really dreary. for years it’s been a stream of animal and nature programs with a few varieties of Grand Designs thrown in for a change. Maybe the programming department thinks their viewers won’t get home from church until 8.30 so there’s no need for decent content at that time.

    The only time there’s a bit of a buzz around that slot is when the ABC gets a new series of Dr Who. The animal/nature/Grand Designs viewers must really hate that disruption to their cosy Sunday night after-dinner cups of tea.

    Howard is no Dr Who. I can’t see half the country eagerly cancelling all Sunday night plans to stay home and watch, or setting up their recording devices so they won’t miss a second, as they do for The Doctor.

    A dreary timeslot for a dreary program featuring a dreary and irrelevant old man – that seems fitting.

  12. Fizza has back-flipped on superannuation.

    Superannuation reform package 2.0: lifetime cap is gone

    The new measures, by Scott Morrison, are:

    Replace the lifetime non-concessional cap with an annual cap of $100,000 with a three-year bring forward, limited to those who have a balance of $1.6m. The cost of reversing the other measure and introducing the new measure is $400m to the budget.
    In addition to pay for this, we will be reversing the abolition of the work test measures for those aged 65 to 74 and that means the existing arrangements for those who are aged over 65 will continue. That is a saving of $180m.
    We will also defer commencement of the catch-up concessional contributions by one year to 1 July 2018, which provides a saving over the budget and forward estimates of $400m. That provides a net improvement to the budget of what we announced today of $180m over the forward estimates and some $670m over the medium term


    Remember this talk about ‘iron’clad’ policy? It was only three months ago. How quickly things change. That iron corroded into a heap of rust so very quickly.

    Malcolm Turnbull has reinforced the government’s determination to push ahead with a crackdown on superannuation tax concessions, describing it as “absolutely iron clad”.

    The prime minister is staring down coalition critics amid claims by tax accountants the changes will impact more Australians than the government claims.

    Mr Turnbull insists the measures, which include limiting the tax-free status of retirement accounts over $1.6 million and changing transition-to-retirement arrangements, will be implemented if the coalition retains government on July 2.

    “It is absolutely iron clad,” he told radio FIVEaa in Adelaide on Friday


  13. People ask ; “how could it be that Australia has come to this?”..But the answer is right there, revealed in one generations lifetime..From the Fraser treasonous “gaming” of a drunken, deluded sot of a Governor General, to the conservative machinations of High-Court judiciary and cemented in situ by the sniveling bile of a store-keepers son to “…choose who will come to this country and the means by which they do it”…and to that whine of desperate acknowledgement of the insignificant, was added the beggars chorus of the once hid-in-shame racist bigotry of redneck, bogan “battlers” from the rest of the drunken deluded sots of the nation.

    This “movement” of racist insistence to be heard, not unlike any other rush of need to relieve one’s bowels of waste of space, has it’s roots, it’s “philosophy”, it’s creed, it’s demands, it’s blind obedience to the guiding hand of imbecility and callous disregard, in the party-room of conservative politics. The root and branch of such nation destroying vomit (one can not honestly call such ; philosophy) has been copulated, promulgated , incunabulated from the guts of the whoredom of LNP. ideals. These thieves of both dignity and booty do now wallow and embrace all that which once was seen as dis-honourable and disgusting in our land.

    “The notion of honour in theft too was already developed ; the big robber looked down on the little, and the latter on the mere thief, with contempt ; anyone who had once for a wonder been condemned boasted of the high figures he had extracted. Such was the behaviour in the provinces of the successors of those men who had been accustomed to bring home nothing from their administration but the thanks of the subjects and the approbation of their fellow citizens.” ..Mommsen.

    I fear that the progression of hate and debasement of minorities and the vulnerable, encouraged by a servile MSM. will reach a pace unstoppable save for the release from this life of certain media moguls, redundant political figures and a forced submission through charged commissions royal of many members of the above Party and it’s affiliates.

    Their criminal intent is obvious, their division of the nation is obnoxious and their persons not wanted in any society that seeks conciliation and integration into a fair, just and equal community. NO country, NO society and NO civilization survives on a diet of cruel oppression for any longer than the oppressed take up whatever arms are at hand and wreak havoc on the very structures that support that society.

    THAT is not an opinion, THAT is example of the entire history of human existence…NOT an if or but, rather a : WHEN.

  14. France Politics.

    Bearing in mind the general move to the right in European politics you’d think that Sarkozy would be a much more acceptable face to this than Marine Le Pen.

    Almost a ‘special’ for May –

    French President François Hollande and his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, are angling for a second face-off in the presidential elections scheduled for May of next year. Over the past few weeks, they’ve traded barbs, first and foremost about their prowess to fight terrorism. But there is no guarantee whatsoever that they will make it to the second round, or even to the election. Their rivals are actually counting on the public’s rejection of such a duel to push them out of the running.


  15. gigi

    I’ll do some more but a cursory quick look says he seems to be a supporter of many things good and has lots of political experience.

    I see he worked for Segolene … every time I see her name I wonder how many of the French Left must regret ‘wasting’ her.

    • You’re right. I’ve noticed that many ideas of his are quite opposed to Hollande’s. One example: he wouldn’t align himself automatically with the US as H does. And that can only be a good thing. As for Segolene, I don’t believe she’s all that popular, just that I haven’t heard of any regretful ones.

    • I was out taking some pics of small native flowers and i heard a “thump thump!” behind me and i turned to see these.

    • The thing is they didn’t run away from me…I’m thinking of adopting a more striking moniker on the strength of it!..say : oh..”St.Joe of arsi-is-he?”

  16. gigi

    Interesting. What is also possible is that people don’t know him quite enough to decide.

    Then he’s got a lot of work to do before January.

  17. Even Christopher Pyne is feeling the love. He says the government will work with anyone who wants to work with them. Labor, Greens, crossbenchers, the Coalition will take on all comers.

    Sounds like a prostitute.


    Supplement to Daily Program for Thursday, 15 September 2016


    Mr Bowen (McMahon)

    “The Government’s failure of economic leadership.”

  19. TLBD

    Hastie on the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security!

    That’ll lower the average IQ on the committee.

  20. I didn’t notice this interesting bit of gossip last week.

    George Brandis tipped to take London posting
    Joe Aston

    It’s just seven months now until our man in London, Alexander Downer, returns home to Adelaide (or perhaps Melbourne). Barring a last-minute extension (something neither Downer has sought or Malcolm Turnbull has offered), May 2017 will be the second time His Lordship has vacated Stoke Lodge, his childhood home under his father Sir Alick’s stint as High Commissioner.

    The job is Tony Abbott’s for the taking – well, at least it was, until the prospect of a Warringah by-election became such a terrifying prospect for the PM and his somewhat fragile administration. Anyhow, Abbott has made his disinterest in the plum role abundantly clear. Sitting there grinning on the backbench next to Kevin “Schwarzkopf” Andrews, he almost looks content!

    No, it’s another Tory who covets the Downers’ Kensington Gate address: Attorney-General George Brandis. The government’s Senate leader has made his availability well-known to the PM and foreign minister Julie Bishop. After (by then) 17 years in Canberra, a decade in his portfolio, four years in Cabinet and two years as upper house leader, what’s more to achieve?! And Brandis could, of course, depart Parliament mid-term without triggering a by-election – the LNP in Queensland would simply fill the casual vacancy.

    Brandis’ old bestie, Brett Mason, is ensconced safely across the channel at The Hague. Boys weekend in Amsterdam? Not bloody likely…

    It’s telling that Brandis, like Bishop, was vocal in his support of Kevin Rudd’s nomination for the UN Secretary-Generalship last month. That’s on the record for when an incoming Shorten government considers recalling His (then) Excellency early, Steve Bracks style


    The Guardian/Gabrielle Chan says what Brandis really wants is an appointment to the High Court.

    Even this farce of a government is smart enough to realise how dumb it would be to grant Bookshelves his dearest wish. The London appointment is a consolation prize – if it happens.

    Has Bookshelves already sought Alan Jones’ advice on the best public toilets in London, or will he just ask for Fishnet’s’ list?

  21. Exactly how many first preference votes did Hanson get? …They keep saying 500,000..but if Roberts only got in on 77 votes..just how many did one nation get?

  22. Hanson got 20,927 first preference votes. But the party got 229.056 ticket votes in Queensland.

    In the Lower House, One Nation got a total of 175,020 first preference votes. Which represents 1.29% of all voters. They were the 9th most popular party overall, behind Family First and the Christian Democrats, and ahead of the Animal Justice Party.

    In the Senate they got 593,013 first preference votes. which is basically first behind all the well-known major parties, but ahead of the Xenophon Party. It’s 4.29% of all voters. 250,126 of their first preference votes came from Queensland alone, where they were the third most popular party. They got 184,012 votes in NSW, which placed them 4th. They didn’t do anywhere near as well in any other state.

  23. Interesting little snippet from the UK on postal votes..: “The ease of postal vote fraud and the difficulty of policing it led to such a great upsurge in personation that, in the Birmingham case, the number of false votes was virtually half of all votes recorded as having been cast for the winning candidates.”

    In 2005 Mr Mawrey found six Labour councillors in Birmingham guilty of “massive, systematic and organised” postal voting fraud to win two wards during local elections.

    He said that the scale of fraud would disgrace a “banana republic”, and heard evidence that thousands of postal votes had been stolen to be changed or filled in by Labour supporters.

    In 2009 a former Tory candidate and five others were jailed for using “ghost” voters to win a local council ballot.

  24. I wonder if Waffles got his DCM today.

    He looked and sounded as if he had been drinking and there was a last-hurrah feel about his performance in QT.

    Parly is having two weeks off.

  25. I saw a comment somewhere about there being an emergency meeting of Cabinet last night. There was some speculation as to what that might have been about. I’d guess at a strategy meeting due to the current approach being so dismally inadequate. And maybe some of the hard right faction stepped in and said “Do it our way or you’re a goner.”

    Turnbull’s starting to look as if he’s already on the long march to oblivion.

    • If he gets tossed there’ll be a bye-bye election in his electorate.

      Rock and a hard place for the Libs.

    • I saw that too, and for a few minutes thought a spill might be on.

      It was all a false alarm, just a routine cabinet meeting, probably called to discuss the superannuation changes.

  26. Aguirre

    ‘he’s already on the long march to oblivion’ and it’s well deserved.

    The man who wanted to be PM just so he could tick the job off his ‘list’.

  27. UK:

    Theresa May has given the go-ahead to the Hinkley nuclear power project but with new security conditions on the £18 billion deal.

    Her decision, to be officially announced in the Commons on Thursday, ends weeks of speculation over whether the two reactor scheme would go ahead.

    But critics hit-out as it looked likely that the price promised to French-firm EDF for Hinkley’s electricity had not been lowered under new terms.


    • No wonder our gummint has been so keen on an FTA with the poms. All those increased uranium sales …..

      Now where is the waste going to end up? No prizes for the correct answer.

  28. Why is it, I have to ponder, that certain corporations like Big Mining or Big Banking…and those individuals whose personal wealth is so large that it is beyond risk..and BOTH entities using the global shifting of capital system from one tax haven to another to finance their projects with no REAL home-base..Why do these oligarchs bother with interfering in their own nations domestic politics?

    I mean; would it really be of any interest to them whatever party runs the country when they are basically immune from tax payments and operate from a mega development platform almost independent of political machinations as THEY are the machinators themselves.?

    Why is it so?


    • But capital can buy it’s labour at whatever price it wants and ship them around the world..as they do..as they move factories about as well..

      So if labour supply has no “home”,
      Money supply has no “home”.
      Manufacturing base has no “home”.
      Corp’ HQ. has no “home”.

      One could no doubt go on…but what then is the advantage of drawing attn’ to oneself by rocking the domestic political order?…Oh, I don’t doubt there is some reason there..but by jingo..it would want to be good..because where time is money, and this conservative govt’ has not passed a budget in it’s terms of office that appears could benefit ANY particular corp’ or individual, save a certain amount of stalling or anarchy..one has to ask..why bother?

  29. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-15/nsw-liberal-party-president-trent-zimmerman-resigning/7847950



    http://australianpolitics.com/ lots more has gone up recently

    http://www.tallyroom.com.au/30276 worth a read



  30. Apart from the inherent interest of the story, this is interesting because of who is writing it, but more importantly who probably gave him the story to start with. A few targets direct & indirect – orgs like GetUp, Unions, the charity regulator (remember they tried to shut it down), opponents of a SSM plebiscite & public funding of a No case.


    Catholic organisation accuses charities regulator of mounting ‘fishing expedition’ over reports of political campaigning
    Exclusive by political editor Chris Uhlmann and political reporter Matthew Doran

    Updated 19 minutes ago

    The charities regulator has threatened the tax-free status of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) after it urged parents not to vote for the Greens at the federal election.


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