A Fig for Contempt!

Urban Wronski, with his *ahem* urbane take on the state of the rabble, is today’s Guest Poster. As always, thank you from The Pub, and please drop in for a drink soon!

Photo credit: Fairfax

Turnbull government in crisis as ministers face contempt charges and Abbott stages a revolt over Finkel

A life-threatening political and constitutional crisis is brewing for the Turnbull government this week as three Ministers of the Crown face contempt proceedings in Victoria’s Supreme Court.

No big deal; just a politically motivated, orchestrated attack on judges for being hard left activists who are soft on terror, while, off Broadway, the Coalition’s out of court settlement of a class action on behalf of all those it detains illegally on Manus Island blows the lid off its regime of secrecy, cruelty and denial of responsibility in a week where federal government with economic management in its DNA racks up a record debt of over half a trillion dollars.

Adding fat to the fire, Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus QC calls on Malcolm Turnbull to explain why he publicly backed Health Minister Greg Hunt, Minister for Social Services, Robo-Claw and the War on the Poor, Alan Tudge and invisible assistant treasurer, Michael Sukkar.

Dreyfus demands Turnbull explain why, the day before last Friday’s court hearing, the Prime Minister “backed in his ministers’ comments, on 3AW, despite knowing this matter was before the court the following day”.

Helpfully he notes the court proceedings could have “potentially serious” results. “It is incumbent on the Prime Minister to explain why he thought it was a good idea to validate the criticisms.”

Turnbull waffles “… in a free society a person is entitled to criticise the conduct of the courts or of a judge,” but this diminishes a concerted attack by three of his cabinet ministers on judges over an appeal which was still sub judice and, therefore, prohibited from public discussion.

Criticising conduct might, at a stretch, include the lads’ orchestrated slagging off at judges for being “hard-left activists”, “divorced from reality,” and conducting an “ideological experiment”

It might still have to contend with the judges’ view that the comments were “unfounded, grossly improper and unfair”, but Turnbull’s gloss cannot, surely, accommodate Michael Sukkar’s slur?

“It’s the attitude of judges like these which has eroded any trust that remained in our legal system …”

It’s all part of an action packed week of diversion, denial and disinformation. Oh my, Gonski 2.0 will rip $ 4.6 billion from Catholic Schools. But, look over here. Someone’s thrown a dead moggy.

“We’ve got a judiciary that takes the side of the so-called victim rather than the side of common sense,” suppository of nonsense, Tony Abbott pipes up, helpfully, articulating the Trumpish contempt for the rule of law that features in the Coalition’s approach to government this week.

Bugger the humdrum stuff of responsible government when lads can play politics instead.

Best Crosby (dead cat on the table diversion) goes to Peter Dutton’s secret citizenship test, a solution dog-whistling a problem, which is finally revealed to include a written English language test in a nostalgic bid for the official bigotry of White Australia. Anyone can become a citizen provided he or she has a university level of written language proficiency. And if Dutton says so.

No matter that Australia has no official language. It’ll help keep the Muslims down.

Illiteracy and innumeracy or cultural ignorance have seldom held back any conservative politician, while proposed changes to the law will set up the former Drug Squad detective, an acclaimed model of fairness and openness as final arbiter. He’ll get to decide who becomes a citizen and who’ll be deported. The bill gives Dutton the power to overrule decisions of the AAT.

Creating broad executive powers with minimal review undermines the rule of law, ironically, said to be one of the fundamental values which underpin Australian citizenship, writes Sangeetha Pillai, Senior Research Associate, Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW Law School, UNSW. Clearly, she fails to appreciate Dutton’s value to the PM.

More changes, in fact, are afoot to increase Benito Dutton’s arbitrary power by bestowing upon him a Homeland Security Department, merging several government outfits such as the AFP and ASIO in our fight against terrorism as the price of Dutto’s loyalty to Turnbull in the climate wars.

News comes this week, however, that the US style mega-department model which incorporates intelligence, police and security agencies is out of favour with the PM who now favours something akin to the bijou British Home Office, whose recent brilliant success in preventing terror, safeguarding citizens and accounting for lives lost in an entirely preventable fire in a high-rise building is matched only by its success in breaking up families in the name of immigration.

Happily, the government has far too much on its plate at present and the decision can safely wait until December when it can be announced when everyone is on holiday. Unlike the despatching of junkyard Abbott who goes barking, frothing mad over Finkel and demands urgent attention.

“Go fuck yourself” Abbott tells Craig Laundy. It’s an “ugly” bust-up, Liberal MPs report, in a three-hour session held Wednesday. All of Finkel is reduced to how we need to keep coal at any cost. Besides, coal is OK now. It’s clean and there’s carbon capture and storage. Low emission coal.

It’s clear this week that if the boys have read Finkel they have not understood a word. The discussion of the blueprint becomes an excuse to air the same stale platitudes and lies. Renewables are too expensive. We will always need coal because it’s cheap and reliable.

Reductive? Utterly deluded? Never. It’s all part of the cut and thrust of the Coalition’s richly democratic, inclusive joint party room; the fabled broad church, where any member can howl another down. It’s Liberal individualism. Abbott’s tantrum will foster party unity and goodwill.

Laundy tries to speak. Abbott prevents him by repeatedly interjecting. A slanging match ensues which leads to chaos. Government hacks speed to brief the Press gallery how it’s just a vital exercise in democracy. The Finkel fracas degenerates into another Turnbull proxy war on Abbott.

There, there, Tony don’t hold yourself back. Tell us how you really feel. Really? Never mind.

It’s enough to get any boy band back on the road. Cap’n Abbott and the Carbonistas, a gospel rock revival group are all over Canberra airwaves this week. The boys reprise “gimme that coal-time religion” a toe-tapping gospel hymn of praise to blind faith in a toxic black rock as the nation’s true salvation while still maintaining their trademark grievance and sense of entitlement.

Dr Finkel has winkled out Malcolm Turnbull’s opponents en masse in what may be another crafty manoeuvre in our wily PM’s crafty plan to establish his leadership over Tony Abbott. Whatever his plan, the “sensible centre” is rendered insensible all week by Old King Coal and his chorus.

What is too silly to be said can be sung, Voltaire once observed, but even he did not foresee the Coalition’s holy coalers, its mad right-wing. All croon such complete nonsense in response to Finkel, a fudged blueprint for the future that ignores new technologies and cheaper renewables, that they reveal a damning incapacity to engage in any responsible, rational or informed debate.

Cult claims, moreover, show breathtaking levels of wilful ignorance and brazen deception. Just one example will suffice.

“Coal is by far the cheapest form of base load power,” Abbott cons 2GB listeners on Wednesday, recycling Peabody fossil-fuel propaganda. The problem is not base load but peak load but Abbott wouldn’t know the difference. Nor does he seem to know that even Finkel concedes networked renewables are more than capable of supplying cheap, reliable base-load power.

As for cheap, experts forecast a doubling in electricity prices if new coal-fired stations are built while coal is no longer seen as a form of base load even in China.

Last year China’s State Grid’s R&D chief Huang Han dismissed coal’s claim to be an indispensable source of “base load” generation. As the network operator builds out its clean power sources, coal-fired generators could only serve as “reserve power” to supplement renewables.

Incapable of little more than sloganeering, the vacuous Abbott’s role in the climate wars is to set a back-marker in our national conversation. After decades of paralysing, time-wasting “debate” the government can then achieve a compromise; build a few coal-fired power stations itself. The media is full of constructive suggestion on how the politics should be taken out of energy.

Both sides need to come to a sensible compromise; adopt at least half of government idiocy?

Coal? As even a failed former Health Minister, impossibly indulged by his crafty mentor John Howard, Abbott should know, coal poses one of the most significant health issues of our time.

While mining, transport and burning must be included in any cost calculation, coal imposes an incalculable cost on the health and well-being of those whose lives are affected, if not ruined by pollution, economic losses and environment damage to water sources, land and food production.

No-one on Coalition megaphone 2GB will challenge Abbott’s blatant lies but they could also point to huge costs in climate change and extreme weather events caused by coal burning.

Cheapest? Costs of coal are soaring across the globe. All published studies indicate that the true cost of coal is much greater than the market price. There’s complete consensus. Coal is crap, Tony.

Energy ministers and other coal lobby lackeys typically pretend coal is cheap. Yet its real costs are passed on to the long-term budgets of other departments. Even our Chief Scientist admits this.

In a Senate estimates hearing at the start of the month, Alan Finkel noted: “The actual cost of bringing on new coal in this country per megawatt-hour is projected to be substantially more expensive than the cost of bringing on wind or solar.”

Abbott has not read Alan Finkel’s work. Nor will he. His mind is made up. He and Russell Broadbent are convinced, moreover, that any emissions-lowering policy will boost power prices.

Abbott and his Carbonistas show a Malcolm Roberts’ level of scepticism on climate change.

When Senator Roberts asked if it were a scientist’s role to be sceptical, Alan Finkel replied: “All the scientists I know have a healthy degree of scepticism, but healthy is an important word there.

“You have to have an open mind, but not so open your brain leaks out.”

Doing the coal lobby’s bidding involves a type of lobotomy but the Coalition has been at it for some time. Denying reality in climate change is another proud tradition which goes back to St John Howard who squandered the entire proceeds of a mineral boom while weaseling out of any real responsibility for the environment or climate. It’s never been serious about either.

Half of Alan Finkel’s panel may be well be power corporation representatives but pandering to vested interests in energy is a long-term trend for us. In 1997 we took an industry lobby to negotiate Kyoto. As Sarah Gill notes we “comprehensively cheesed off” the European Union by demanding a free ride and, after almost derailing consensus, we refused to ratify Kyoto after all.

Gill makes the case we out-Trumped Trump in dodgy deals on climate change. Kyoto was set up for nations to agree to reduce emissions yet Australia secured permission to increase them by eight per cent. By including emissions from land clearing, we were able to inflate our 1990 baseline by 30% which made our 2012 target impossible to miss.

Direct Action dweeb Greg Hunt was fond of crowing about how we’d meet or beat our target, which amounted to 0.5% of our 1990 emissions yet our absolute emissions are rising. In 2020 they will be higher than they were in 2000. How’s that for emission reduction?

Greg’s Direct Action scam doesn’t get much airplay these days and Greg’s been shunted sideways to Health where he’s got us all on side with his declaration of love for private health insurance and how we could learn a lot from the US Health system. We’ll all heed his warning, too, on how the recent Senate easing of rules for medicinal cannabis for terminally ill patients could be fatal.

Yet Greg has voiced no regret at wasting $2.23 billion on a scheme that paid beneficiaries to plant trees that may have been planted anyway while relaxed land clearing laws in NSW and Queensland wiped out any of the gains. No apology. We understand. Taking cheap potshots at the judiciary would make big demands on your time. In the meantime, emissions continue.

As Reputex reported, last year, “the rate of annual emissions growth continues to outpace credits contracted by the [fund].” In other words, DA did less than sweet bugger all to stop polluters.

“This growth is driven by Australia’s largest emitting companies, which have … not participated in the [fund] due to the voluntary nature of the scheme, and the large up-front costs.”

Always careful with expenditure and a stickler for accountability, Captain Kangaroo, Peter Dutton, meanwhile joins Tony Abbott in continuing his government’s attack on the legal system over the momentous decision to award $70 million damages plus $20 million legal costs to 1905 Manus Island detainees in an out of court settlement this week.

Slater and Gordon, Dutton says are “ambulance-chasers”. Labor lawyers.

Abbott madly attacks the presiding judges, for siding with the victims despite the settlement being negotiated between the government’s and plaintiff’s lawyers. Dutton is in denial.

It’s no admission of liability, he claims. Rather, in the parallel universe he and his government inhabit, it is a “prudent outcome”. Certainly, it averts a six-month damages trial in which the Commonwealth and its contractors would be accused of negligence and false imprisonment.

In the real world, however, it is a momentous decision and a landmark admission of liability which blows the whistle on years of Coalition pretence that Australia’s offshore detention is the responsibility of the nations hosting our camps. It also provides direct refutation of government claims that detainees were well looked after.

Mr Kamasaee, a 35-year-old Iranian, who needed treatment for severe burns he suffered as s child, described his experience as degrading and cruel.

“I came to Australia seeking peace, but I was sent to Manus, which was hell,” he said. “Every day in the harsh sun, my skin felt like it was on fire. I was in pain every minute of every day … I cried every night until I had nothing left.

“This case is not just about me, it is about everyone who has been trapped on Manus Island. Our voices have never been listened to, but today we are finally being heard.”

No compensation can make up for the torture endured by the men on Manus. Now that the legal fiction that they are not Australia’s responsibility has been destroyed, the men should be brought to Australia immediately. PNG warns that it will close the centre permanently 31 October.

Dutton ought to resign immediately for failing his duty of care while the government needs to abandon its secrecy and explain clearly what it intends to do after the centre is closed. As in so many areas of this chaotic government, the plan seems to be to wait and see what turns up.

Backward-looking, ever desperate for evasion and diversion, the Turnbull government is beset with a series of crises. There’s more to it than nostalgia or simple coal-lust. A retreat into the past is the only option for a Coalition government caught with no policy, let alone an environment or energy policy.

It has relied instead on populist posturing on border protection and punitive detention in a regime of secrecy, unaccountability, evasion and bare-faced denial – and it has been caught out.

Time to face the music. Instead, a battle of the bands erupts as the Point Piper Set amps up its catchy Blueprint for the Future: Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market, a concerto fantasy for two conductors in homage to Philip Glass, another innovator, whose music some find challenging because it doesn’t go anywhere.

The Turnbull government’s bastardised Blueprint for a world class electricity system, widely reviled by Carbonistas everywhere as The Finkel Review may fail to provide a political road map to allow an endangered coalition a safe exit from an energy policy highway as intended but it is to be praised at least for highlighting a terminally conflicted and out of touch government devoid of ideas or real plans hell-bent on substituting politicking for policy.

Serious questions are raised over Turnbull’s lack of leadership, finally, in his endorsement of his three ministers’ extraordinary, co-ordinated political attack on the Victorian judiciary. Any democratically-elected government which sets itself above the law; which fails to respect the separation of powers between the judiciary and the parliament forfeits its legitimacy.

There’s a better than even chance, according to some experts that Hunt, Tudge and Sukkar may help it out of its misery.

Advertisements

639 thoughts on “A Fig for Contempt!

  1. Duckies comment, from last night re Q&A.

    [ Jerry Fernandez is doing a fine job.

    No interruptions. Equal time. No bitchy comments. ]

    It was certainly a difference when Lateline came on. Emma Alberici wouldn’t let SHY finish a sentence without interrupting & cutting most answers off. (that many listeners wouldn’t have minded hearing the full response)

    I can’t remember one interruption of the responses from the two “male” panelists. Funny thing that! 😉

  2. Here’s The Pauline Hanson Senate Motion Calling For The Withdrawal From The Refugee Convention
    Happy World Refugee Day!

    One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has teamed up with Australian Conservatives senator Cory Bernardi to introduce a last minute motion calling for Australia to pull out of the UN Refugee Convention

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/markdistefano/a-very-australian-world-refugee-day?utm_term=.eoG581Z5L#.xoBmLP5mY

    Bernardi the devout Christian needs to remember the founder of his faith spent the early years of his life as a refugee in Egypt.

    • The union movement must grow and strengthen to push back against the low wages growth and casualisation trends favoured by the empowered classes. Sad that our indigenous brothers are being exploited as well.

  3. We have a new president of the Human Rights Commission, Rosalind Croucher. I don’t know if she realises what she is in for.

    There are expectations.

    Her task will be to take the AHRC off the front pages, restore its credibility and ensure it focuses on its core tasks rather than major public debates.

    However, after conducting a report for the ALRC, Professor Croucher has expressed her support for reform of the controversial Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

    “While recognising the need for racial vilification laws, the ALRC has concluded that section 18C may be too broad,” she wrote for The Australian in 2016, “because it can capture conduct that “offends” people on the basis of their race. “Offence” may be too low a threshold

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/rosalind-croucher-to-replace-gillian-triggs-as-human-rights-commissioner/news-story/47ed1ee1cd5584f6f96282b8d72088cf

    Not everyone is happy, some see her as ‘Triggs Lite’.

    “Rosalind Croucher would be a Triggs-lite appointment. Appointing a person with no apparent commitment to freedom of speech would undo the government’s good work in attempting to expand our liberal democratic rights by reforming section 18C,” Mr Breheny said.

    “The choice is to appoint someone who will defend individual liberties such as freedom of speech, or to appoint someone who will manage or advocate policies that will see the continued erosion of our freedoms.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/lawyer-tipped-to-replace-gillian-triggs-has-been-labelled-triggs-lite/news-story/1a83fccfa4b062db22af535451cd51d4

  4. Disassociated ?????

    Immigration Department suffers morale slump with management blamed for cultural problems.

    “Staff have become increasingly disassociated from the department’s culture and achievements and its leadership,” an internal review of the survey said.

    FFS – Staff think the departments ‘culture’ is shit and management incompetent and not to be trusted.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-20/immigration-department-blames-management-for-morale-slump/8632470

    • Shifty as …. It took them all this time to realise there was an ‘error’?

      Somewhere there are records – bank records, metadata, whatever to prove where that money went. Someone should get a court order organised ASAP.

      Why is Lucy supposed to be THE expert on ‘cities’? Her degrees are in law and business admin. Her only qualifications for urban planning are spending a few years on Sydney City Council, the last year as Lord Mayor. She and her council were so inept that Bob Carr sacked the lot of them in March 2004 and amalgamated the council with South Sydney. Lucy never went back.

      It’s not her abilities or her knowledge that got her onto council, it’s the good old who she is, who she is married to and how much money she has thing. Lucy is living proof that money can buy important positions in public life as well as the odd AO.

  5. The Dept of Prime Minister & Cabinet would have made the payments and have the records.

    That the published detail would be the requirement that govt agencies publish the details of ‘contracts’ let (This includes even simple purchase orders) over a certain amount. That the payee on this was not correct is quite possible.

    Later when they actually went to make a payment it could have been corrected for payment purposes.

  6. carrt2016

    Thank you for picking that detail. i could not read it. So apt.
    .
    Thnaks TLBD

  7. In UnZud one of the people featured in world Refugee Day was this guy from Iran. Good point and true. I know one side of my family were bloody reffos at one stage , one of them thar Huguenots who fled the’continent’ .

    Iranian refugee Yousef Mazraeh speaks out for World Refugee Day

    Mazraeh believes all people are refugees – because, he says, if you look through your lineage long enough you will find an ancestor with the same experience.

    “All of us, we have this experience. Our needs are a little different, but we are the same as other people.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11879283

  8. Hmm. Someone did some careful counting first.

    The LNP backbencher George Christensen has broken ranks and crossed the floor to vote with Labor on a penalty rates amendment, but the proposal lacked the numbers to pass into law.

    After trying to flush out Christensen on a banking inquiry bill during the last parliamentary sitting week, Labor on Tuesday night pulled on a second procedural stunt by seeking to amend an industrial relations bill to reverse the impact of the Fair Work Commission’s decision to cut Sunday penalty rates.

    The move caught the Turnbull government flat footed, and there was a scramble and a short filibuster in the House of Representatives to ensure there were sufficient numbers in the chamber to prevent the government legislation being successfully amended.

    Christensen on Monday introduced a private members bill designed to stop the Sunday penalty rates cut. His bill would also stop penalty rates from being cut under enterprise agreements if an employee was worse off than under an award wage.

    Labor on Tuesday night initially moved amendments to a government bill which reflects the opposition’s position on penalty rates.

    Christensen was absent from the chamber for that vote.

    Labor subsequently moved a second amendment which mirrored the terms of Christensen’s private member’s bill.

    The LNP backbencher attended the chamber for that vote, and crossed the floor to vote with the opposition, but the amendment fell one vote short.

    Last week, Labor attempted to lure Christensen into crossing the floor to support a bill which would have initiated an inquiry into the big banks – a proposal for which the LNP backbencher had been signalling support – but he ultimately backed out.

    Research from the McKell Institute indicates the key Coalition-held Queensland electorates of Leichhardt and Dawson – Christensen’s seat – will be hit hard by the decision of the Fair Work Commission to cut Sunday penalty rates for workers in hospitality, retail, fast food and pharmacy.

    According to that research, Christensen’s seat was the third-worst hit on a list of regional electorates, and faced potential income losses across the electorate of approximately $19m.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jun/20/george-christensen-crosses-floor-to-vote-with-labor-on-penalty-rates

  9. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. The Australian has gone full throttle on the appointment of Triggs’ replacement and is still banging on about “free speech”. Go and have a look for yourself.

    Here we go again! Just a few hours ago there was an explosion in the Brussels railway station and a man has been “neutralised” by army personnel.
    http://www.theage.com.au/world/brussels-explosion-police-cordon-off-central-station-20170620-gwv5pj.html
    Paul McGeough is concerned that we might be sleepwalking into a major war in the Middle East.
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/facing-old-foes-could-the-fall-of-is-caliphate-be-the-start-of-iranus-war-20170620-gwuk1x.html
    The RAAF has packed the shits and has withdrawn from the tense theatre.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/raaf-stops-air-strikes-over-syria-after-russia-threat-20170620-gwuu5s.html
    Big George did it! He crossed the floor to vote for an ALP amendment on penalty rates legislation – but the motion fell one vote short.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/blow-to-malcolm-turnbull-as-mp-george-christensen-crosses-the-floor-votes-with-labor-on-penalty-rates-20170620-gwv2tp.html
    You just KNEW it would happen didn’t you! The Turnbull government has buckled to demands from conservative MPs to delay the introduction of less-generous funding arrangements for Catholic schools. The Catholic mafia lives on.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/turnbull-buckles-to-catholic-schools-concessions-offered-to-head-off-party-room-brawl-20170620-gwujmk.html
    A representative of Catholic Education puts its case.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/lots-of-dollars-but-little-sense-in-gonski-20-squabble-over-catholic-funding-20170620-gwuuut.html
    Michael Koziol writes that Labor has drawn a dramatic line in the sand on Australian citizenship, vowing to block the Turnbull government’s proposed crackdown and resolutely denying any link between citizenship policy and national security. Labor has described it as a “bizarre act of snobbery”.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/a-bizarre-act-of-snobbery-labor-opposes-turnbull-governments-controversial-citizenship-changes-20170620-gwujhd.html
    Dutton is paying “hush money” to refugees, the climate wars continue over Finkel’s report and Turnbull is scrambling to appease the “demented Right” — Abbott is clearly winning, says Mungo MacCallum.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/mungo-maccallum-abbotts-climate-wars-and-duttons-hush-money,10420
    James Massola tells us that the Turnbull government has announced measures to force down electricity prices and could even invest in a new coal-fired power plant, after the Coalition party room ticked off on most recommendations in the Finkel review. The Minerals mafia lives on too.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/turnbull-government-moves-to-force-down-power-prices-could-back-new-coal-plant-20170620-gwuo41.html

  10. Section 2 . . .

    Phil Coorey says Turnbull has green lighted direct intervention in the energy market and has embraced “clean coal”. Google.
    /news/malcolm-turnbull-green-lights-direct-intervention-in-energy-market-20170620-gwv09f
    Richo reckons that Dutton’s “sly wedge on citizenship” may well backfire on him. Google.
    /opinion/columnists/graham-richardson/peter-duttons-sly-wedge-on-citizenship-may-yet-backfire-on-him/news-story/8008f0d27cef4b83d07bb45129407c61
    The long-awaited new payment system for Australia’s $3 billion child support program has run into trouble almost immediately after its launch, with one frustrated operator dubbing the roll-out a “sh*t show”. Child Support Agency staff report the new system, called Pluto, is slower and clumsier than the obsolete technology it was supposed to replace. Another triumph for Porter’s Department for Human Services!
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/public-service/new-child-support-pay-system-a-dog-say-public-servants-20170620-gwup4d.html
    Justin Smith writes that it’s time we threw the book at ludicrous, unjustified booking fees. Google.
    /news/opinion/justin-smith-time-we-threw-the-book-at-ludicrous-booking-fees/news-story/f9c5b44084463858c7ea9ad7e5ba34a2
    Owen Jones in The Guardian writes that far right extremists are cornered and dangerous and they must be challenged.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/20/far-right-extremists-finsbury-park
    Competition in electricity pricing has led to skyrocketing profitability for network service providers at the expense of the public good, writes Mark Zanker.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/skyrocketing-electricity-costs-fuel-network-provider-profits,10411
    The “embattled” Sean Spicer is about to be shoved backstage at the same time as the White House adopts the armadillo defence posture.
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/embattled-sean-spicer-may-be-moving-backstage-20170620-gwuldm.html
    Australia’s lobbying laws are inadequate, but other countries are getting it right.
    https://theconversation.com/australias-lobbying-laws-are-inadequate-but-other-countries-are-getting-it-right-78550
    This aspiring Liberal politician in Adelaide has got his hands full. Google.
    /news/south-australia/adelaide-city-councillor-houssam-abiad-ato-pursuing-money-from-companies-he-owns-half-of/news-story/a3e55764b11e0fd14048b82e1d4982ee

  11. Section 3 . . .

    How the corporate veil is motivating misbehaviour and obscuring who should take the blame.
    https://theconversation.com/how-the-corporate-veil-is-motivating-misbehaviour-and-obscuring-who-should-take-the-blame-79752
    Macquarie Group faces a major class action over allegations some of its investment advisers artificially inflated the price of a small mining company before a sudden collapse wiped out many of its investors. Many years ago I cut this outfit from my superannuation portfolio in an ethical basis.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/macquarie-advisers-ploughed-clients-into-worthless-brazilian-mine-20170619-gwu2m0.html
    Oh dear! Rio Tinto director John Varley, 61, has resigned from the mining giant’s board after being charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by the UK Serious Fraud Office.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/rio-tinto-director-john-varley-charged-with-conspiracy-to-commit-fraud-20170620-gwv3e0.html
    Yet another man behaving badly!
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/former-mayor-paul-pisasale-arrested-taken-to-brisbane-police-watch-house-20170620-gwuxbg.html
    Make no mistake, the Australian Government is currently being held to ransom by billionaire media moguls and the hostage is Channel Ten.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/media-moguls-hold-network-ten-hostage-and-turnbull-government-to-ransom,10419
    Republicans are promising to make healthcare worse for the people who need it most. Democrats are left with a mealy-mouthed defence of the status quo. Really, the US is in a mess when it comes to health care.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/20/us-healthcare-democrats-plan-missing-republican-bill
    The leaders of some of the world’s biggest tech companies met with President Donald Trump in Washington on Monday, but it didn’t look like a happy little get-together. It looked more like only one person wanted to be there.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/06/20/tech-leaders-met-with-trump-and-the-looks-on-their-faces-said-i_a_22491562/?utm_hp_ref=au-homepage
    It only took an hour for the knives to come out for Rosalind Croucher. Barely was the ink dry on her appointment as the next Australian Human Rights Commission president when the Institute of Public Affairs think tank denounced her as a “Triggs lite” choice who would likely continue “the erosion of our freedoms”. What hope has this woman got?
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/rosalind-croucher-takes-on-the-poisoned-chalice-of-human-rights-roles-20170620-gwurhu.html
    Take the time to look at this latest research from the Lowy Institute on Australians’ attitude to the threats we are facing. Trump doesn’t come out of it too well either.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jun/21/australians-think-trump-presidency-a-critical-threat-to-the-nation-lowy-poll-finds

  12. Section 4 . . .

    A parliamentary committee has called on the Inspector-General of Taxation, Ali Noroozi, to conduct a review into the Australian Taxation Office after the alleged abuse of position by one of its highest-ranking officers, Michael Cranston.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/senate-committee-calls-for-review-into-ato-post-130-million-tax-fraud-case-20170620-gwutah.html
    As the Senate launches an inquiry into the national security ramifications of climate change, a new report has warned global warming will cause increasingly regular and severe humanitarian crises across the Asia-Pacific.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/21/australia-warned-it-has-radically-underestimated-climate-change-security-threat
    If you were intending to book a return flight from Perth to Broome for the July school holidays, it may be time to re-think. It’s cheaper to go to Japan!
    http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/cheaper-to-go-to-japan-inquiry-into-skyhigh-wa-regional-flight-fares-20170620-gwuqra.html

  13. Section 5 . . . Cartoon Corner

    A powerful contribution from Cathy Wilcox.

    Ron Tandberg on the proposed change to citizenship requirements. Ouch!

    Mark Knight with his version of Dutton’s new citizenship test.
    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/654f523a222651f4df1a518f542f8786?width=1024
    Jon Kudelka also has a crack at it.
    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/be7725a7708d527b84dc933f49390cf0
    David Pope on the media’s characterisation of terrorists.
    http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/david-pope-20120214-1t3j0
    Alan Moir on social standing.

    David Rowe takes us into the back alley. Look at the rat!

    Matt Davidson reminds us of what Trump is doing to the world.
    http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/illustrations-by-matthew-davidson-20090928-g8gc.html

  14. tlbd

    If I remember rightly, they used to pull that trick with barnaby, he used to cross the floor, but only when it wouldn’t pass. I don’t think Labor are fooled by this, but the msm sure are.

  15. I really, really wish everyone would stop referring to schools funding as ‘Gonski’. None of it , not Labor’s original version, not the deceptive mess Birmo is trying to get up is anything like the scheme David Gonski proposed.

    Call it what it is – schools funding.

  16. The NBN is being unrolled here. Last Saturday my son lost his landline phone and attached internet access – they thought it might be something to do with NBN works in their area, didn’t worry too much, although the resident 15 year old was very twitchy about no internet, and just got on with enjoying their weekend. When it was still going on yesterday it was clear complaints had to be made. Turns out Telstra had reinstated the cut-off residences (it really was to do with the NBN work) but in doing that had given my son’s number and internet access to some other residence. It’s all back now. My son hopes whoever it was enjoyed their unexpected broadband access. Just how many other customers were affected in the same way is just one of those deep, dark Telstra secrets we will never hear about.

  17. Been in and out of the car until we just got home. Sounds like the school funding has been flushed down the sewer. No one can say the Labor didn’t try to improve things. Let this be on the heads of the so called independents and lnp.

    • Done and dusted without the Greens votes mattering at all.

      The AEU combined state public school, TAFE and early childhood teachers unions) has threatened to campaign against NXT and the other crossbenchers in the next election campaign. That’s a hefty amount of negative campaigning. They are already going to campaign on other education issues like TAFE and funding for early childhood education.

      Labor could run a very strong and positive election campaign just on education and reversing the damage this farce of a government has done in that area.

    • That sounds good, Leone. I can’t believe how this lot have managed, probably intentionally, to stuff everything up so completely. It is all such a mess. I don’t know how Labor will be able to sort it all out, I know they’ll give it their best, which is all we can ask for.

  18. I’d like to share an observation I have recently made, during the rehab phase of my hip replacement I have been told to restrict my movements until my prosthesis is thoroughly embedded in place. So my observation is thus : –

    “When you can’t bend, gravity is not your friend”.

  19. Same old, same old

    Q: Why use these kids for a photo opportunity and then cut funding to their school?

    A: I’ll get back to you in this QT

    Q: When will the Prime Minister simply withdraw this rushed legislation, go back to the drawing board, and stop $22 billion worth of cuts to schools?

    A: $22bn was funny money. No one ever believed you.

    Q: what would the Prime Minister say to the parents of the students in those schools about these cuts?

    A: All schools in the electorate of Gilmore [Ann Sudmalis] will receive more money. [Err, more money than what?]

    Lots of toing and froing about school funding. Gabrielle gives a virtual sigh.

    Q: Why is the Prime Minister making parents of Catholic school children pay more while giving millionaires a tax cut in just 10 days’ time?

    A: You are mocking children.

    But what is interesting is the PM is still using the $18bn of additional funding over the decade – which was the original bill.
    The Greens and the crossbench were negotiating more money at a faster rate, some $5bn on top of the $18bn. It may be that the extra funding needs to be ticked off by expenditure review committee. Or maybe there is something different in the compromise package.

    Q: Why won’t he take it back to the drawing board and start again?

    A: Flicks to Josh who does rinse and repeat.

    Q: On Monday in Question Time the Prime Minister claimed funding for students with a disability in Tasmania would not be cut by one-third or $12 million in 2018. Yesterday the Prime Minister again refused to admit he was cutting their funding. Has the Prime Minister now seen this answer to a question on notice issued by his own education department which confirms his cut? Will the Prime Minister now admit that he mislead the House on Monday, or is he so arrogant that he can’t admit he got it wrong?

    A: [Looks like they have changed the funding structure so it’s impossible to get a decent comparison. They have moved the goal posts.]

    Q: Why is the Prime Minister hanging the parents of school children out to dry just because they choose to send their children to a Catholic primary school?

    A: The Catholics will get much more money.

    Q: Given real wages are going backwards, will the Prime Minister use what’s left of this Parliamentary sitting week to stop millionaires getting the tax cut and stop ordinary workers getting their pay cut?

    A: John Setka.

  20. Disappointing results to hear in the US special elections, but, that was some big swings achieved. Georgia’s 6th was held 62/38% at the election last November, that’s nearly a 10% swing.

    For a comparison that would be like a 10% swing against the Liberals in Warringah in Australia. I highly doubt they’d be crowing much if the Liberal candidate only held on by 52/48% against Labor.

    Part of me is still fuming that there hasn’t been a scratch on Trump and the Republicans no matter how disgusting they act, but, the other part of me sees that a 10% swing next year would flip around 40 seats to the Democrats and that’s where hopefully they’d at least put a stop to further trashing of the country. I don’t expect impeachment to succeed but at least a Democrat controlled house would put greater scrutiny on things.

    • Impeachment, if it happens,and it won’t, won’t get rid of Trump.

      For an impeachment to succeed it needs two thirds of the senators to vote for a conviction. With senate numbers as they are now neither side has anywhere near those numbers and it’s unlikely the Democrats will win enough senate seats next year to make such a vote possible.

      If Trump does go for whatever reason then Pence becomes president. That’s a real out of the frying pan into the fire situation.

  21. Plibersek to Turnbull: On Monday in question time the prime minister claimed funding for students with a disability in Tasmania would not be cut by one-third or $12 million in 2018. Yesterday the prime minister again refused to admit he was cutting their funding. Has the prime minister now seen this answer to a question on notice issued by his own education department which confirms his cut? Will the prime minister now admit that he mislead the House on Monday, or is he so arrogant that he can’t admit he got it wrong?

    Turnbull says under Gonski 2.0, the funding loading for disabled kids will change. Previously students with disabilities were funded at the same rate no matter what their level of disability.

    Now there will be three different loadings from:

    supplementary: 42% in primary, 33% in secondary.
    substantial: 146% in primary, 116% in secondary.
    extensive: 312% in primary, 240% in secondary.
    It is a nationally consistent measure and what it means is that more students in Tasmania and across the country will be receiving supplementary support

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2017/jun/21/australia-politics-live-turnbull-shorten

    So now kids with disabilities will be graded and their schools will receive special disability funding based on how some anonymous person in an office in Canberra decides how disabled they are

    Isn’t that just wonderful – Not!.

    This is just Fizza government cost cutting dolled up as targeted funding for disabled students. “See how much we care – we are giving money to students with disabilities. Aren’t we just fabulously wonderful to care so much? Just show your thanks by voting for us ….. ”

    While I’m on the subject of education –
    Pauline Hanson believes kids with autism should be taken out of mainstream classrooms. Her words were ‘should be got rid of”. What an appalling bitch that creature is.

    Pauline Hanson says autistic kids should be removed from mainstream classes
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/pauline-hanson-says-autistic-kids-should-be-removed-from-mainstream-classes/news-story/9aca507ace3efc707dfa0d7648fc6180

    Persons who abandoned their education at age fifteen to become pregnant and trap some poor bloke into marriage do not have the right to comment on what schools and teachers should or should not do because they have NFI when it comes to education – or just about anything else. .

  22. Medical and welfare groups are trying to head off a Turnbull government move to strip disability benefits from people whose health problems were caused solely by their own substance abuse.

    The reform will take effect from July 1 unless it is disallowed. A vote on it is due in the Senate this afternoon.

    The groups opposing the measure include the St Vincent de Paul Society and the Royal Australian College of Physicians

    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/the-pulse-live/politics-live-as-malcolm-turnbull-goes-to-the-wire-over-gonski-education-reforms-20170620-gwv7j0.html

    Welfare groups object to move to strip disability benefits from substance abusers
    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/welfare-groups-object-to-move-to-strip-disability-benefits-from-substance-abusers-20170620-gwv7ov.html

    It seems that vote didn’t happen today.
    http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Chamber_documents/Dynamic_Red

    • Love it!

      i was told I should respect Hanson because she was democratically elected by Queensland voters. My respect has ti be earned. With every day that passes I loathe Hanson more, and I didn’t think that was possible until she got herself re-elected.

  23. I’m relaxed about Conski as i saw MSM articles declaring it a Yuuuge win for Malcolm the Magnificent. Going by experience it will all turn to custard in 10,9,8,7,6……………………….

Comments are closed.