Political Infamy

A little earlier this evening there was a short debate that seemed to have at its core the origins of the worst ever Australian politicians.

This is my contribution.

State and Territory rivalry when it comes to appalling politicians?

Nah, every, but every, bit of Oz has produced them.

Queensland? “Sir” Joh has to take the pumpkin scone,


but he may even have been excelled by Sir Russ Hinze,


not to mention Candont:

Gladly, the Cross-eyed Bear

New South Wales? Ladies and gentleplums, I gives ya The Rum Corps in all its manifold manifestations up to the present day.


Especially Robert Robin Askin.


Victoria? Bolte goes without saying (pity he didn’t go without hanging someone else).

Australian Screen



The so appropriately-named Sir Thomas Bent?

Kingston Historical Website

Mania? The prize pig at the moment is obviously Erica, but


Andrew Nikolic

Launceston Examiner

and possibly Joe Lyons

Australian Prime Ministers

should get a mention. Or a guernsey. Or a life.

South Oz? Laydees and Gemmum, I gives ya Corgi Bernardi.

Daily Mail

Enuff said (but sure, there’s more – XXXXX).

Sandgropers? Brian Burke


Noel Crichton-Brown:


Ross Lightfoot (and light other things):

Penny Bradfield; Fairfax

Don Randall:

Perth Now

. . . need I continue?

ACT? Kate Carnell,

Harm Reduction Australia

Zed Seselja,

Canberra Times

but in spite of everything I adored Gus Petersilka (yeah, well, once upon a time self-government seemed to be a good idea):

Libraries ACT

Northern Territory? Hard to know where to start, given the astonishing fluidity of politics there.

Of course my bias is showing. I would be delighted if you would share your own particular biases with The Pub!

288 thoughts on “Political Infamy

  1. WTTE on ABC24

    Pyne – There is no fissure between Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott.

    Frydenberg – It was started by the Labor Party because we were starting to gain traction on industrial legislation.


  2. Thanks BK for your daily roundup
    When I was looking at the Huffpost highlights of the debate I noticed that Trump has veneers or caps on his teeth while Hillary still has her own choppers meaning Trump hasn’t taken care of himself hence the veneers and Hillary has taken care of herself and still has her own teeth. I think their teeth demonstrate their differences of personality and indicate their stewardship of the USA

  3. gravel
    I’m not sure. But they certainly won’t want to see a long debate that will tear strips off them before voting the bill down.

  4. Speaking of “Political Infamy”, James Massola tweeted this, this morning:

    Julie Bishop went “ballistic” when she was bumped by @abc730 for Tony Abbott, via @simonbenson http://bit.ly/2eWrdDJ

    Heh, heh… fighting on who gets to go on the ABC to spout the latest talking points. Imagine if she’d been booted in favour of a Labor spokesperson!

    This morning’s chiding of Brissenden on AM by some Liberal droid over not sticking to “the issue of this week” (aka “the CFMEU”), builds on Brandis telling the same interlocutor that Sam Dastyari’s $1,700 was the issue of that week, not Liberal (aka Julie Bishop) donation rorts in Western Australia.

    They see Brissenden as a pushover, there to do as he’s told, and Brissenden obliges, mostly. This morning’s stifled guffaw from him was an exception.

    He also played Chris Pyne’s preposterous statement that everyone was friends in the Liberal ranks. Pyne works on the principle that if you tell a lie, you may as well make it a whopper.

    In my view, since reading Niki Savva’s book, I have been much surer of the proposition that what appears to be a fuck-up in the Liberal ranks, is a fuck-up. All the Liberal infighting, punching and counter-punching of the Abbott era that was denied by the likes of Pyne and his ilk, turned out to be true, in spades. The perception of rolling chaos was 100% correct, despite the denials.

    The Media also participated in this cover-up. Round up the Usual Suspects when you want to list how many journalists assured us that Abbott was “statesmanlike”, “in control”, “supported by his party”, that “Turnbull had no chance of taking over” (and did not want to) etc. etc. I’ll only list one for the record: Niki Savva herself. Her book was presented as a “tell-all”. But it told all as much about Savva as it did about fear and loathing in the Prime Minister’s bunker.

    In seeking to establish her credibility as an “insider” she blew her credibility as anything but a Liberal stooge. Now she tells us!

    It’s quite possible that the 1-seat majority turnbull won in the House of Representatives was won only because he piled millions into the party at the last minute. Deprived of NSW state electoral funding by their own perfidy and double-dealing, the Libs turned to Malcolm to bail them out. He was the Florence Foster Jenkins of his own party,

    hiring the hall, printing the programs, putting up the posters, arranging for the orchestra, giving out free tickets and finally going on stage, pathetically warbling off key to the (by then) bought and paid for adulation of the party ranks.

    Idiots like Pyne and so many others owe Turnbull their arses. They’d be in the Opposition offices now, crowded up shoulder to shoulder like so many live exports, lowing in despair as they were shipped off to their fate, had Turnbull not bankrolled their narrow election victory.

    And yet he gets no thanks for it, as Florence Foster Jenkins got none either.

    This joke, this farce that the Liberals and their government have become – as industries slide beneath the waves, jobs are destroyed and pensioners are washed up on desert islands to fend for themselves – is only being propped up by a dying privately owned media, plus a compliant ABC too afraid of its own shadow to do its job: point out the bleedin’ obvious.

    No wonder the government is tanking in the polls. I can’t see a bottoming out any time soon. Turnbull is not being held back, as Katharine Murphy says, restrained by an ungovernable party room and a nasty Bill shorten.

    The “Turnbull” we are seeing now is the real Malcolm Turnbull, a yodelling political soap opera failure: vain, besotted with his own image, and craving power at any price, including his so-called principles; in charge of a sinking ship kept afloat only by his money and the deluded dreams of his few remaining fans in the media, so scared of stepping out of line that they will say anything, tell any lie, exaggerate any so-called success to prop up their hero.

  5. Now they are openly taking sides.

    You lied!
    No, YOU lied!
    It’s like watching a bunch of badly brought up pre-schoolers having a group tantrum.

    Conservative MP backs Tony Abbott’s account of Adler shotgun deal row

    Conservative MP Michael Sukkar has backed Tony Abbott’s account of the Adler shotgun importation debate, saying there were conversations with senator David Leyonhjelm but no “strong evidence” of a deal for his vote.

    Cabinet minister Christopher Pyne has backed Malcolm Turnbull’s version, saying there “was certainly a deal to put a sunset clause on the temporary ban”


  6. The fundraising big event new york Catholic Arch Bishop’s dinner is being broadcast live. Trump’s jokes are a bit flat but Hilary is laughing at them.

  7. ThevAB is looking vey embarrassed and is whispering to Hilary. Hilary is smiling and laughing it off. But there has been some booing at him, or would that be people agreeing with his sledging of Hilary?

  8. Puffy,

    A snippet about the Al Smith Dinner:

    Candidates have traditionally given humorous speeches poking fun at themselves and their opponents, making the event similar to a roast.

  9. I don’t understand this American thing with insulting people being funny. I don’t understand ‘roasts’ and stuff like the Al Smith Dinner. To me it all seems very childish and inane.

  10. Leone,

    I agree. However, the American sense of “humour” is very different from Anglo humour, and Australia is far more like Anglo than American (thank goodness).

    • No, it’s saying nasty things about the guest of honour, or your opponent, while they have to sit there smiling and pretending it’s all in fun.

  11. I do not know why Richard Marles bothers doing a show on Sky News with Pyne. Pyne just lies and lies and lies with no shame. He is just rolling out the untruths while chanting slogans. What is the point of engaging with him?

  12. Ptmd

    I thought humour was poking fun at yourself, at these things.

    George W Bush was surprisingly good at entering in to the spirit of these sort of gatherings.

    Some of his efforts at the Washington Press Club annual dinner were funny as.

  13. An elegant home with lots of greyhounds:

    Sometimes you come across a home that is perfectly created for the people who live in it. In this house in Ljugarn on the east coast of Gotland perfection meant large open areas with exciting windows that let in both sun and moonlight, and a white facade that reflects the bright limestone on the island. Not to mention a private kitchen for the owners’ 10 greyhounds, of course…


  14. http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/current-affairs/christopher-pyne-admits-a-gun-deal-was-struck-but-denied-turnbull-called-abbott-a-liar/news-story/546293aabdcebc2768ded4e261e0df5b




  15. An entertaining and informative article on Lebanon by Robert Fisk –

    Which is why Lebanon will survive. Its people have what so few Arabs enjoy: relative freedom, education, a love of books (real books outnumbered e-books at the last Beirut book fair) and an abiding belief in their history: Roman ruins, Crusader castles, ancient mosques, the Phoenician love of travel and adventure (which is why the national airline is always packed, even if does show advertisements for medical facelifts). The Lebanese are their own heroes.


  16. All that lying and finger-pointing and grand-standing, and the ban on the Adler stays exactly as it is. For now.

    States fail to reach agreement on classification of Adler shotgun, current ban remains in place

    Victoria was among the states pushing for tougher classifications to restrict access to the firearm. But NSW is understood to be the only state that refused to fall into line with the others


    Fairfax carefully avoided mentioning the name of the NSW Minister for Police. It’s Troy Grant.

    • If Katherine Murphy is being paid by the number of clicks her articles generate, she is raking it in as everyone clicks on the aticle to get to the comments so they can make disparaging comments or click on recommendations

      Either way, she wins

  17. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/pm-budget-2017-is-commitment-budget

    Malaysia Budget 2017.

    Commitment or pre-election softener from PM Najib? No sure about the growth figures. The IMF projections are lower. The ‘Gahmen’, has been running a deficit for about 19 years (and they have had some periods of impressive growth). I doubt that former PM Dr M’s “Vision 2020” is going to be achieved on time – but they have made some gains.

    Interesting approach to first-home buyers – allowing then to access some of their super (Employees Provident Fund). Similar to Singapore with people accessing their CPF (Central Provident Fund) to buy HDB Flats.

  18. Kampong Palmer Trev

    Commitment or pre-election softener from PM Najib? No sure about the growth figures.

    If it’s looking bad for him couldn’t he just chuck some 1MBD money back in …

  19. If you can’t have enough of Shorten’s speech yesterday –

    Here’s the written version.

    Shorten’s zingerthon nails Turnbull’s continuing cluster cock-ups. Masterful!

    Funny, though. Shorten has been making speeches like this – probably not quite as good – for a long time now, but after this once we are seeing lots of ‘At last he’s showing some personality.a sense of humour’ type comments. Where have all these people been? Asleep under a rock somewhere?

  20. My grandparents have given me a good book to read in my spare time, the autobiography of Senator John Button.

    I don’t know much about him since he was before my time, but from what I’ve read so far, he seems to be a wonderful person in Labor history.

    I’m thinking I might see if I can get more books about prominent Australian politicians. I’ve already got a few to start with – Julia Gillard, Arthur Calwell, Steve Bracks and now this one.

  21. Carrt

    He must be running out of places to hide, what with the US Justice Dept report and investigations elsewhere. Same for his wife and step-son and others. Pressure appears to be real for UMNO to reform itself. I’m never that confident of change in Bolehland and I like to be careful what I say. At times I’m surprised that the country has stayed together since Merdeka (independence) in 1957. There is growing discontent among the middle-class (and these days, not all of them are Chinese – and not all Chinese are rich ‘towkays’). Many educated/aware Malays are just as disturbed about the developments in recent years. Malaysians deserve much better.

    I was genuinely moved a few weeks ago when I read a comment elsewhere that said of the state of affairs in Malaysia – “Cry My Beloved Country”. Pretty much said all that was needed.

  22. Kampong Palmer Trev

    The whole thing didn’t ‘fly’ so well to start with but then seemed to get better but not so well now.

    I understand why you need to be cautious about what you say.

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