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. I think this is an interesting thread of discussion that should be worked over a tad longer..Because one is inclined to ask just why Turnbull , who was going to leave parliament a long time ago in frustration, changed his mind (or he was convinced to stay) and was dropped into the top job…I don’t think it was all for kudos..after all, for a person with multiple properties at different points of the world, it must be a tie-down…unless it is an “owed obligation.”

    ” earlyopener
    September 15, 2016 at 6:31 PM

    Capital versus Labour by nature?


    September 15, 2016 at 6:52 PM

    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?”

    So yes..why would mega capital / mega corp / mega individual wealth bother with the tiresome minutiae of domestic politics?

    • If you dig up stuff in Australia, Labor wants Two-Dollar Gina The Hutt to pay a fair wage, L/NP does not.

    • But she and any amount of other corps’ already import a hefty amount of their workforce on 457’s..the “loss” in wages has to be offset by cost of prod’ / sales price of product / tax deductability / “honest” accountancy..longevity of delivery contracts..and a host of other “soak-up” enterprises..and as you say, there could be the “insult” felt to the independence of the individual..like Gina..but then, that demand to operate outside the interests of the national workforce / citizen body would demonstrate a lack of national loyalty and a disinterest in the well-being of the country’s people..Hence no personal adherence to any one nation..no flag of loyalty.


    • Checked what checks the L/NP insist on for 457s’ “wages”, and for their coming here in the first place.?

    • Yes, but THAT system seems to operate on several planes..the legit’, the legit’ subtracting rent / costs and non legit’ (7 eleven etc.)..plus we now have non-oz crews on shipping..

  2. All I can think of is a kind of western capitalism in panic over rising China / Asia capital and power intruding on “territory”..

  3. If the L/NP wanted Labor to pass it this sitting, they should have shown them the legislation as soon as they had finalized it.

    Well, maybe they did.

  4. I wasn’t going to say anything more about Hanson, I thought the MSM hype was getting out of hand and there was more than enough comment out there.

    But I’ve read further and changed my mind.

    Here’s some very good comment on Hanson’s speech.

    Sean Kelly in The Monthly.
    Hanson is as Hanson does

    Pauline Hanson’s howlers in a speech off-key
    Daniel Flitton – Fairfax

    Saving the best for last –
    Jane Gilmore for The Feed – she does not hold back.
    Comment: Hanson’s policies on family law equally dangerous

    • Just so

      “Under Hanson’s proposals, if you are the victim of domestic violence you’d better be damn sure the court will uphold your claim before you start, because if it doesn’t, you’ll be liable for all legal costs incurred by your abuser as well as your own; “the unsuccessful party will pay the costs“.”

    • All Labor’s amendments were dealt with yesterday in the reps when the bill was passed. Bowen and Morrison shook hands on it, so Labor’s support is a given. There’s no need for Labor to drag out the debate tonight. It’s all cross-bench and Greens stuff tonight, and totally pointless.

      i’d be very, very surprised if Labor went back on their agreement and decided to vote down the bill now. It would cause a meltdown if they did that.

  5. The DNC must have outsourced their IT to the Coalition. Email password compromised, what to do ? An IT Baldrick got straight on to the job.

  6. PTMD

    My old dog Chelsea had some teeth removed today.

    I think I’ll be needing to have one done tomorrow. I’ll have to sleep that off as well.

  7. Chris Mitchell thinks Lib-Lab-La-tika is a Green.

    Also in included as obvious Tree Huggers are… James Massola and Mark Kenny!

    Sheesh, with this kind of delusional thinking a lot of what was in The Australian day after day is now explained.

  8. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    What a great thing to put on one’s achievements – being rolled by George Christensen.
    Peter Martin reckons it’s a small step forward.
    Although John Collett describes it as a cave in to the wealthy.
    Heat Aston deduces that some election promises are more important than others.
    Waleed Aly looks at the Greens’ walkout on Hanson.
    Anne Summers lampoons John Howard over gender quality.
    Liberty Sanger writes that the handling of workers’ compensation claims has been devastating.
    Victoria moves one step closer to legalised voluntary euthanasia. Bring it on! But without a plebiscite.
    George Christensen – what a shocker!
    Greg Jericho produces some horrifying statistics that do not bode well for the younger generation.

  9. Section 2 . . .

    The Irish experience points to the divisiveness and hatefulness a SSM plebiscite would lead to.
    Alan Joyce has penned an op-ed in which he says it ‘s quite simple. The parliament just can’t do its job.
    Is Turnbull secretly hoping for the plebiscite to be blocked?
    Now I’ve heard EVERYTHING! The collapsed BBY had used a bloody psychic to develop its economic forecasts. Google.
    The time will come when telco suppliers will have to better describe the speeds their broadband offerings will reliably provide.
    NSW is set to privatise five hospitals.
    More dirt comes out in court on Clive Palmer, the workers’ champion. Google.
    Yes, quite an interesting day it was!
    Daniel Flitton analyses Pauline Hanson’s “correctness”.
    Rosie Batty comes out and slams Hanson’s victim-blaming drivel.
    Laura Tingle writes on the Senate getting set to clip George Brandis’s wings. Google.
    Now Trumps daughter gets testy with the press.
    George Pell gets named again in evidence at the CA Royal Commission. Google.
    Can department store Myer remain relevant?

  10. Section 3 . . . with Cartoon Corner

    Only in America!
    More MH370 debris found. This time in Tanzania.

    Andrew Dyson reckons the politicians should do what they are elected and paid for.

    Ron Tandberg on Turnbull’s SSM stance(s).
    Scary stuff from David Pope.
    Have a look at this one from Mark Knight!!!
    Bill Leak on the Greens’ walkout.
    David Rowe and Morrison’s walk of “success”.

  11. Mike Baird’s plans to privatise five NSW public hospitals –

    You would think the Baird government would have learnt from history. Apparently not.

    The private/public thing has been tried before in NSW and every time it has been a failure.

    Greiner tried it with the Port Macquarie Base Hospital in 1992. It was the first large-scale experiment in a PPP (Private-Public Partnership) and it was a disaster. The plan was for a private company to build and run a new hospital with the NSW government paying the costs of care for public patients. The Greiner government said a private company could do it all for much less than it would cost the government. It was a lie, of course.

    The whole thing was a disaster. It’s ancient history now – The Carr Labor government bought the hospital back and it has been in public hands ever since. If it interests you there’s plenty of information online, like this –

    There have been other attempts to privatise or to co-locate NSW public hospitals, some have sort of worked, but at a cost. Federal governments have also toyed with the idea. Both Coalition and Labor governments have tried this, and it never ends well. Private companies discover they can’t make money from public health and bail out or cut public health services.

    This gives a good overall view.

    Click to access McKell_Hospitals_A4_V3.pdf

    Baird has been banging on about privatising public hospitals ever since he became premier. One of his first acts as premier was to announce his plan to privatise.

    You would think he would know the history of his own side’s past deeds, but obviously he doesn’t, or if he does he is so supremely arrogant that he believes he alone can make it work. It will be another mess for the next NSW Labor government to tackle.

  12. Could it be seriously proposed that like the Peter Andrews principle of ; “Growth to stabilise the movement of water over the land, thence allowing the soaking-in of replenishing moisture to revitalise the soil”..Likewise could be theorised about the growth of the facial beard that “holds” the skin’s essential oils and moisture that slows down the drying of the skin and slows the aging process?…something singular to the male of the species (thankfully) in some instances.

    Fair enough?

  13. One day the sad and sorry story of the privatization of at least one NSW hospital will be revealed.

    On a brighter note, the grand Snakes & Ladders game at HI’s place of employment continues…

    Confirmation has arrived (via a circuitous, but utterly reliable route) that two more of HI’s most senior nemeses have been removed from certain lists of attendees at future high level departmental governance meetings, and the free lunches they provide.

    This seemingly innocuous information confirms that at least one of this dirty duo has been “transitioned to redundancy”, with the other exiting to another sphere of influence, out of our hair at last. This brings the total of the rotated, the castrated and the plain spiflicated to six in the past year.

    Terse messages, of only a few words in length, tend to mask the brutality of life at the top. “Access Denied” is a cruel way to find that you’ve been put out to pasture.

    But such is life in the fast lane: more like a highway to hell than a yellow brick road.

    HI has been their poisoned chalice. Vale dickheads, you didn’t deserve any better.

    • Good!!!! In fact, GOOD!!!!

      That is a much better result so far than many situations I am familiar with. IIRC, sideways ‘promotion’ for the perpetrators was often the ‘best’ result that could be expected, sometimes with a “go away”.offer to the complainant/target.

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised if good news and positive outcomes continue for the super-team of HI/BB.


    • Re “Access Denied” . At a large multinational i once worked the SOP for senior management “changes” was an “Access Denied” message popping up on their screen and an “escort off the premises” arriving moments after. They had become paranoid after a sacked manager hoovered up vast quantities of IP/R&D before heading off to a rival. Understandable but still a brutal method.

      A victim of the process who had sided with the “wrong faction” told me that it was just a normal day until up popped “Access Denied” and moments later the ‘clean out you desk’ escort arrived. Never had a clue it was coming. One moment a big cheese the next just some unemployed guy on a Melbourne footpath. A casualty of what seemed to be an eternal management war.

  14. Bit of a ‘debate” going on at “Culinary Castle” about dress-sense. I say that one can dress to impress as an aged pensioner with a certain amount of style , by just using a comfortable, well-fitted “tracky-dak” ensemble with light-not-white footwear….one can “face the world” with the confidence of a youngster and a song in one’s heart!
    She looked me up and down and informed me with curled lip that in her opinion the “song” I was singing looked way out of tune.

    • Are you positive the tracky dak was well fitted?
      Many an oldie appears to have regularly carted home a bag of onions or similiar inside their dakky pants with a saggy effect.
      The curled lip can be cured with botox. Shout the missus. Many sheilas around here laughingly have gone the full hog sporting bulbous lips they can hardly pass words through.

  15. BB

    You and HI are made of bloody strong stuff. I can say Razz and I are exhausted on your behalf. I’m sure one day it will be all over for HI, and in a positive way. Many of us are hanging in there for you both. When it is finally over, I give you permission to shout about your victory.

  16. Helen, you were an early inspiration to us. Thanks.

    Although we have not been exonerated (and don’t expect to be), the monetary compensation, and the satisfaction that their smug indifference to the own rules (for which they persecute us!) will one day come to bite them on the bum, is comforting. There are already large chunks missing from several senior executive posteriors.

    We may have had something to do with it, or we may not (I’d like to think we did, of course). But at some stage the waste of just under a whopping $90,000 of public money – gone up in a smoke haze of obfuscation, denial, delay, double-talk, and belligerent corporate arrogance – will have to be explained. We will make sure of that, after we are gone. A simple complaint to the Ministry should do the trick. In the meantime, we don’t poke the sleeping dog.

    There is a chance that another nemesis has also been given the boot. This person is currently uncontactable via the telephone, and has been for over a month. No emails have arrived now for many months. So it could be a triple whammy in our favour. What if you had a pow-wow and no indians turned up? That would be fun!

    The executive Octopus in charge of all this is still pulling strings, but has clearly and incontrovertibly abandoned all pretence of process or decency. After being told over 4 months ago that it was all coming to a head – presumably by the following week – we haven’t heard a thing from anyone, on any subject, at any time.

    The information we received recently about “placements” (and “outplacements”) was indirect, but nevertheless completely reliable. Their gloating – in foolishly signed documents, which they then sent to us for our records – was unambiguous. This was a no-brainer, an open-and-shut case: apply the blowtorch to the belly and HI would crumble in days (even the number of days was specified and signed-off on). How silly it looks when you read all this now, a year – and a year’s salary (most of it for doing nothing) – down the track. And to think HI and I used to bet each other on how long this would all take. HI thought 6 weeks. I went for 2 months. We were both wrong. I had HI’s $10 stakes for only a fortnight before I had to give it back. We don’t bet each other anymore.

    Sadly The Octopus was too smart to sign off on HI’s early demise. This person didn’t get to the position held without a fair dealing of rat cunning. Let others – above and below The Octopus in rank – take the blame for signing things they shouldn’t sign… that no-one who claims to be “committed to excellence and empowerment” should sign.

    We’ve already won a victory of sorts, in that we’ve been paid out more than we could ever hope to be awarded in any industrial tribunal or court, and we’re still counting. But it’s got to arrive at an outcome. Such processes, once started, have to be finished off. We don’t think that outcome will be a grovelling apology and a begging letter for forgiveness, followed by glorious reinstatement. That time has passed. In any case, they just don’t operate that way.

    But once free of the constraints of the confidentiality that they so casually attach to everything – more to protect the unravelling of their own incompetence, rather than to protect us – all will be revealed.

    • I can understand that and wish him luck. Pity he didn’t mention Julia Gillard in his farewell speech. She should always be mentioned and only in a positive manner.

    • Understandable, especially when you read this –

      “When you resent being in Canberra because you are missing your daughter’s soccer training it is time to retire from the federal parliament,” he said.

      “It’s time for me to hang up my boots as Captain of the Parliamentary Soccer team and spend more time teaching Isabella soccer tricks.

      “I often reflect on when I was a kid, how my father who worked shifts at ICL would never miss a single soccer match from the under-11s to the under-21s. Week in, week out. You never appreciate it at the time but you realise much later how special it was. I always vowed that I would be there for Isabella like my dad was for me. At Father’s Day at her school recently Bella had to write about her Dad. She wrote that she loved it when her Dad taught her new soccer tricks.”


  17. Another non true believer surprisingly resigns.
    His bullshit reason –
    “When you resent being in Canberra because you are missing your daughter’s soccer training it is time to retire from the federal Parliament.”
    A corporate career no doubt awaits.

    • That’s a bit harsh

      Conroy was a champion of FTTP for NBN, when he hasn’t got the ability to steer the NBN and can only look forward to AFP media raids for the Channel 2 News, why hang around

      Yep I wonder which corporate gig he takes up

    • TBLD
      Agree, and has been said by me and several others on this site over the last few years, one of krudd’s big mistakes was his attempts to be bi-partisan (appointing LNP types to key boards etc) and not having a clean up of senior APS ranks following 2007 win. Just set himself and the ALP up for backstabbing and undermining of the policy agenda..

    • Exactly. But it’s even worse – over a long time of conservative appointments to top PS jobs who then appoint spivs like them and so on. 2 decades later, we have within many departments a management that is ideological to near broken – the only good part is the outrageously funny terms – “Transforming Dimensions” is what we’re doing this year and last apparently :). Yeah, no-one knows what it means other than outsourcing at ever greater expense and cutting people who might do stuff.

      When ALP gets in next time, I so hope they purge. They have to.

  18. He’s a warrior from way back. From memory Robert Ray was his hero, especially the way he could do the numbers. In the early days before programming got a bit smarter, Ray would always be more reliable and earlier than the computers in making election outcome predictions.

    Conroy was never as good as Ray as a factional warrior-numbers man but he worked at it. His passion and commitment for the NBN was much to his credit, marred only a little by a silly commitment to internet censoring (which might have come from Chairman Rudd). Despite the Turnbull and News Ltd attempts to trash the NBN project, not much in delays and cost overruns could be attributed to Conroy. It was a pioneering project bound to lead to some problems for the nitpickers just as the Opera House and the Snowy Mountains scheme had. What a pity this current government was so shallow as to destroy it.

    The departure will allow Bill and his team to continue getting a new vision from the front bench.

  19. Re Jane Halton’s resignation
    She has been in the public service 16 years, a JWH appointee perhaps?
    The payroll functions of a number of departments are being amalgamated and not even the heads knew until this week, including Halton

    I am thinking “Rats deserting a sinking ship”
    “Jumping before she is pushed”

  20. On the off chance that anybody here cares, I can report that last night’s 7.30 continued the show’s descent to absolute zero.
    In a piece on the superannuation issue, Sabra Lane informed us that if you hold it up exactly this way, look at it from this angle, squint a bit, & hold your tongue in the right position, then reneging on a core policy platform & ironclad electoral promise 75 days after the election is in fact a WIN for Malcolm Turnbull.
    Five minutes later, in a cotton wool ‘interview”, Arthur Sinodinos is pleading to be allowed to keep his party’s ironclad promise to hold a SSM plebiscite.
    O brave new world, to have such people in it.

  21. Hmm, Stephen Conroy. I admit that back when I first became interested in politics, he was probably the first one that really prickled me.

    Before the 2007 election, I didn’t follow politics that much (mainly because I was a kind of disengaged 19 year old), other than the fact that I thought that Howard’s government needed to end. Following that election when I proudly voted Labor in the first federal election where I could vote, I then had some negative feelings, mainly about how the Labor government was seemingly seriously considering putting up an internet filter that would have been both pointless and stupid. Looking back, it sounds like something that would have been pulled out of Fred Nile or Steve Fielding’s hysterical demand wishlist.

    All I knew about it back then was that Conroy was arguing in favour of it, and I never warmed to him since. I disliked Conroy and the ALP Factional Right afterward, since I thought that burned up a bit too much political goodwill for an ultimately pointless goal.

    However, I did like it in the post 2013 period when he threw things that needed to be thrown, accusing Angus Campbell of being a politically partisan lackey who fought for the success of the Liberal Party instead of Australia in his Operation Sovereign Borders; of calling out Peter Cosgrove for playing his part in Turnbull’s Double Dissolution schedule a bit too eagerly, when I realized he’s not so bad.

  22. I want Turnbull to stand in front of a camera and explain to us all why it’s perfectly OK to throw one ‘iron’clad’ election promise for a superannuation cap in the bin but it’s not OK to throw another ‘iron-clad’ election promise for a plebiscite in the bin.

    i suppose I know the answer, not that Fizza will ever admit it.

    His leadership was at stake if he didn’t ‘do something’ about super, so the cap had to go. His leadership is also at stake if he doesn’t hang on to that plebiscite no matter what, so it has to stay.

    I think I have that right.

    I just love the way the MSM are telling us Fizza’s backflip with pike and triple twist on superannuation is ‘the right thing’ and a triumph, when it’s actually a colossal reversal of his own policy. If it’s such a great idea and is exactly what needed to be done then why didn’t they tell us during the election campaign that his old policy was a crock of excrement, instead of falling over one another in their eagerness to praise it as a masterful decision?

    • It’s hard not to see this as a sort of strategic move from Turnbull. A full capitulation on the Superannuation policy may make the conservative wing of the party less hostile to him if he has to press the red button and throw out the SSM plebiscite and just put it to a vote in parliament.

      I don’t think it’d work out so nicely for him in that case. From what I’ve seen of the far right reactionary wing of the Coalition is that they find the idea of 2 blokes kissing like just soo icky that they really will go nuclear over it.

    • Thinking more on what I’ve said here, I have to admit, that if Turnbull does follow through with that plan – take the Labor-Greens-Xenophon-Hinch Senate blockade of the plebiscite on his chin, then offer an olive branch of a conscience vote on SSM right there and then in the parliament, that may give him a very strong standing in popularity if it goes through.

      Yes the Liberal/National homophobes will scream and gnash their teeth, but, if in the end Turnbull enacts SSM in Australia, then he would probably get a big boost in the polls, and that boost would keep him in power.

      I’m not saying I like that possibility, that the Coalition gets a boost, but, strategically, that may be his trump card in this political climate.

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