Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Many Pubsters are aware of John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritations, which

… began as a blog in January 2013 because John Menadue was concerned about several important issues. The first was how good policy discussion was being crowded out by gamesmanship, personal gossip, faction fights devoid of content and a ‘gotcha’ media style. Second was the importance of political action which is so much discredited and derided by populists and conservatives.

Politics is about how power is exercised. It is a noble calling which must be restored in public estimation. The third was the preoccupation of Australian mainstream media with newsfeeds out of US and UK, to the neglect of media coverage and interest in our own region.

Those words “Politics … [i]s a noble calling which must be restored in public estimation” resonate strongly with me. The blatant venality and corruption so evident at every level of government in Australia is the worst I’ve seen in my lifetime, and I know many share my view. So I thought that it would be useful to make this new thread a tasting-plate of recent Pearls and Irritations articles that concern integrity (or lack thereof) in Australian governance.

See if budget creates a future, and beware of dirty tricks!
By JACK WATERFORD | On 6 October 2020

Close observers of Tuesday’s federal Budget will no doubt have their eyes out for evidence of the usual political chicanery towards political donors, lobbyists and friendly interests, as well as mates, cronies and relatives of senior members of government, this time in the alleged cause of stimulating demand and picking winners in the post-Covid economy.

That eye is more necessary than ever before, if only because government has become more shameless, with less and less respect for evidence, proper process and transparency. But it is not the main game. This time about, indeed, there is a risk more serious than of government shovelling money towards its friends and cronies. It is that it will be doing too little, too conservatively, and with too little imagination and open mind, with the result that economic and social recovery will be delayed. Those who will suffer most from this timidity will be disproportionately the usual suspects: low-paid workers, casual workers and people in part-time work, pensioners and welfare beneficiaries — including the young, the aged, the disabled, indigenous Australians and many temporary workers, including overseas students. But the fabled little capitalist in “small business” — the people that the coalition pretends it is all about — will probably suffer more than most as well.
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Sports rorts and muddy waters
By IAN CUNLIFFE | On 8 October 2020

Last summer, just like much of the country, the federal political landscape was ablaze.  Scott Morrison was caught out taking a secret holiday in Hawaii; and those who weren’t evacuating from bushfires were very angry about sports rorts. 

One of the cunning ways by which Morrison and his Attorney-General, Christian Porter, sought to lower the temperature on sports rorts was to muddy the waters as to whether the whole exercise was illegal.

Many observers expected that the scandal would have blown over by now.  Those observers seem to have underestimated the deep impact that sports rorts affair had on many of John Howard’s old “battlers”. They were angered that wealthy clubs of the rich and famous got the grants which, according to Sport Australia’s careful analysis, battling clubs in the suburbs and the regions should have got.  Bridget McKenzie telling us that one tennis club is just the same as another – White City of White Cliffs?  Kooyong or Quambatook? – was just petrol on the fire.  (The Quambatook tractor pull is certainly better than Kooyong’s).
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“Disgraceful” Tudge puts him self above the law
By IAN CUNLIFFE | On 9 October 2020

Late last month, the Federal Court’s found that Minister, Alan Tudge engaged in criminal conduct by keeping an asylum-seeker in detention and depriving of his liberty for five days in defiance of an order by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal that the man be released. 

The Court described Tudge’s decision to deprive the man of his liberty as “disgraceful”, and said: “The minister cannot place himself above the law”:  “The minister has acted unlawfully.  His actions have unlawfully deprived a person of his liberty.  His conduct exposes him to both civil and potentially criminal sanctions, not limited to a proceeding for contempt.”
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Michael Pascoe: Forget the ‘Daz and Glad Show’, this is the real political scandal (The New Daily Oct 15, 2020)
By MICHAEL PASCOE | On 16 October 2020

It’s the secret sexual relationship that sells the ‘Daz and Glad Show’ and elevates it from being merely yet another corrupt NSW politician before the ICAC, but it also distracts punters from the much bigger scandal.

Disgraced former National Party MP Daryl Maguire’s litany of rackets and wheezes are impressive for their breadth and, sometimes, shallowness.
Skimming the Wagga Wagga RSL’s spending on cutlery. Really, Daryl?

For all his efforts though, it’s small beer, the work of a wannabe grifting on the fringes of a vastly more professional and richer industry devoted to influence peddling, insider knowledge and structural corruption.

Actually, it’s more than that: It’s an industry steadily undermining our democracy, weakening our institutions, entrenching and reinforcing privilege.

Over time it perverts government and increases inequality. When insiders keep selling access and influence and the rich and powerful keep buying it and profiting from it, the citizens end up betrayed.

That is the core of the lobbying industry – selling access to politicians and senior bureaucrats, bending outcomes to their paymasters’ benefit. Those with the money get the inside run and the rest can go whistle, all the more so as the public service is intentionally run down.
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Morrison Government is running scared of a federal integrity body
By DAVID SOLOMON | On 16 October 2020

This week’s trials of Gladys Berejiklian only confirm the Morrison Government’s largely unspoken fears that a federal ICAC would do the government a lot more harm than good.

The Morrison Government, in theory, supports the creation of a federal version of NSW’s Independent Commission Against Commission. The proposal has been on the table for two years, following the belated (and agonised) decision of Labor nationally to include a federal ICAC among its policy objectives.

The political manoeuvrings over its creation demonstrate how resistant the Morrison Government really is to having a federal body with the powers of the NSW ICAC or Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission. Attorney-General Christian Porter is supposedly negotiating with cross-bench senators about the proposal – not with the ALP or the Greens, who have had their own legislative proposals for a strong ICAC-like body on the books for the past three Parliaments. But the cross-bench senators haven’t heard from the Attorney-General since he said he would begin talks with them.
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Why the resistance to a national anti-corruption commission?
By IAN CUNLIFFE | On 16 October 2020

Scott Morrison and Christian Porter are insisting that a new federal integrity body could not look at old corruption. What is that about? Is it because there are skeletons in too many people’s closet? Is it the extent to which Alexander Downer and other senior officials benefitted financially from their activities during the Australian Government’s shenanigans on behalf of Woodside and others over oil and helium, which should always have been Timor-Leste’s, in the Timor Sea?

Preposing the case for the commission feels like pushing against one of those beautifully crafted doors that will open to the slightest touch. Everyone supports a federal anti-corruption commission, including 85% of the population. Federal Labor came out in support in January 2018.

In December that year, Prime Minister Morrison, with Attorney-General Christian Porter at his side, announced he would move to establish one. An appropriate discount needs to be made for propensity of this Government to announce many more things than it ever gets around to doing. Indeed, the Big Announcement seemed to be a cunning ploy to buy time and do nothing. That seems a likely story with what Morrison and Porter called the Commonwealth Integrity Commission.
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The Gladys and Daryl Show. Having to squirm in open hearings acts as a disincentive to venality
By JACK WATERFORD | On 20 October 2020

If Gladys Berejiklian, and her ludicrous consort, have to take one for the team, let it not be for tiny misdemeanours but for being parties to a corrupted mindset of the spoils of public office.

One has only to look at the daily papers to see constant reminders of how the system is broke. There is a fresh scandal every other day. Beyond the Maguire (and Berejiklian) inquiry, or Hayne, we have seen in recent weeks a tribunal considering whether Crown Casino, and owners associated with it, such as James Packer, “are fit and proper people” to be allowed to operate in Sydney.
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Gladys’ arrogance paves the way for Federal ICAC
By MUNGO MACCALLUM | On 20 October 2020

The most remarkable thing about the revelation of Gladys Berejiklian’s love life was that it was remarkable at all.

It is quite incredible that every person in the Macquarie Street bubble – government, opposition, staff, journalists, lobbyists, innocent bystanders – was completely oblivious to the fact that once the day’s work was over, the premier and her paramour would regularly go off for a bit of bonking in the background.
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998 thoughts on “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  1. From Jommy Tee, writing for Michael West Media –

    Where the bloody hell is it? Did Scott Morrison lie about the report that saved his bacon at Tourism Australia?

    Bonus – video from Jommy.

    Story here: ⬇️https://t.co/dB1xrRMwjJ pic.twitter.com/KYMwjoZMAp— 💧Jommy Tee – electric HiLux owner 🔥 (@jommy_tee) November 18, 2020

  2. What a lot of “coincidences”!

    Ronni Salt on the CrimeMinister’s pub visit yesterday, and a lot more. Make sure you read the whole thread.

  3. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    John Hewson has had enough of the short-term politics and declares that we need a government that leads. He says we currently have a government that is full of talk but bereft of action. MUST READ.
    Historian Mark Hearn writes that the Morrison government is facing a character test.
    Christopher Knaus reveals that Scott Morrison’s office complied with legally imposed deadlines in just 7.5% of the freedom of information requests it received last year. In McCormack’s case it was a mighty 17%
    Adding to this, Katharine Murphy tells us that the Morrison government has refused to comply with a Senate order to produce 10 briefs associated with the controversial purchase of land for Sydney’s second major airport at 10 times its market value.
    Greg Jericho accuses the government of using the pandemic to lock in low wages and insecure work.
    John Warhurst urges for politics to be taken out of politicians’ bad behaviour. Quite an interesting essay.
    After Joel Fitzgibbon quit from the opposition frontbench last week, informed speculation had it that he would act as a stalking horse for someone, anyone, to remove Anthony Albanese from the Labor Party leadership, writes Niki Savva.
    With no transparency and no accountability, senior politicians and public servants will get away with continuing to operate as they are says this group of people concerned about robodebt.
    Melissa Cunningham writes that senior epidemiologists predict South Australia’s hard six-day lockdown will give the state enough time to contain Adelaide’s growing COVID-19 cluster but warned it was too early to determine if the virus circulating the state was a faster or more virulent strain.
    South Australia’s 6-day lockdown shows we need to take hotel quarantine more seriously, explains epidemiologist Catharine Bennett. The gig economy gets a big mention.
    The collective resolve of national cabinet that Australia should live with the coronavirus rather than try to eradicate it is anything but, writes Phil Coorey.
    Anthony Galloway does not think Australia will be out of China’s diplomatic freezer for some time yet.
    In his most direct comments on the multi-billion dollar diplomatic dispute to date, Philip Lowe says the relationship is “mutually advantageous”.
    Australia’s relations with China have never been worse and Joe Biden’s election offers little comfort, writes William Briggs.
    Meanwhile, Chinese state media has warned Australia and Japan will “pay a price” if their new defence pact threatens the Communist nation’s security, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison put the responsibility on Beijing’s leadership to reopen dialogue with Canberra.
    The snafus just keep coming says Elizabeth Knight. Crown Resorts executed a double backflip on the likelihood of dirty money being laundered through its bank accounts. Commissioner Patricia Bergin marked this belly flop – scoring it a zero.
    More merde for Gladys! NSW’s transport agency was in chaos on Wednesday night after the sudden resignation of its chief and the referral of the department to the anti-corruption watchdog about a toxic land deal in Parramatta.
    Poor Craig Kelly. The village idiot seems to be on the outer with his party.
    Shane Wright and Eryk Bagshaw tell us that, as wages growth falls to its slowest rate on record, the Productivity Commission has found working from home may hinder the recovery from recession.
    Effing Abbott! He has warned Britain against discussing climate change targets during free trade negotiations and suggested a deal with Australia could be inked by Christmas if both sides agree to phase out tariffs rather than immediately eliminate them.
    The abolition of stamp duty in NSW is a bold and welcome policy writes a surprised Jess Irvine.
    Martin Farrer explains the stamp duty change and the effects it will have on property owners.
    Mark Degotardi says that the stamp duty move is all very well, but there is a huge problem in NSW when it comes to social housing.
    Victoria’s $5.4bn Big Housing Build: it is big, but the social housing challenge is even bigger, opines Katrina Raynor.
    This is interesting. Rachel Clun reports that the country’s peak union body wants businesses and workers to take mental health hazards in the workplace as seriously as physical safety concerns, as a Productivity Commission report shows mental-health related sick days cost up to $10 billion per year.
    She also tells us that almost half of all people who get 10 annual Medicare-subsidised mental health therapy sessions use just three or fewer.
    Sarah Danckert writes that ASIC has admitted there are ongoing problems in the retail financial derivatives market and says it is conducting fresh investigations into the sector following revelations some brokers were run by an international crime gang and others had taken funding from underworld figures.
    Jennifer Hewett writes that nowadays, the corporate cop is being treated like the guilty party.
    Anthony Galloway reports that Australian business leaders are anticipating more cyber attacks in the next 12 months than their global peers, including state-sponsored hack attacks on the nation’s critical infrastructure which could shut down vital services such as hospitals.
    Australian Federal Police are targeting the head of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union NSW and his son as part of an investigation into a “serious” offence.
    Charlotte Grieve covers the Federal Court decision handed down yesterday where a test case put by the Insurance Council of Australia failed to get the result it was looking for. The decision will have far-reaching ramifications.
    Scott Morrison was sacked as managing director of Tourism Australia in 2006 with a year left to run on his contract. For 14 years the reason for the sacking has remained one of the best kept secrets in Parliament. Now, FoI documents accessed by Jommy Tee reveal the PM either lied about a critical probity report, or numerous government departments and agencies are so incompetent that all of them – together, coincidentally, jointly and severally – lost it.
    There’s a big problem with the Murdoch media no one is talking about. It’s how it treats women leaders, says Blair Williams.
    Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull believes a “pretty serious” offence may have been committed, after an Australian podcaster claimed he paid a Bangladeshi man to put 1000 fake signatures on Kevin Rudd’s petition for a Royal Commission into media bias.
    Patrick Hatch writes that Virgin Australia’s new chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka says the country’s number-two airline will be firmly focused on the middle of the travel market.
    The celebrity chef Pete Evans has a sizeable list of controversies to his name, but sharing an image linked to neo-Nazis was one step too far for corporate Australia, says Jenna Price. What a tool!
    There is a lot at stake as Donald Trump’s attempt to appoint an ardent supporter and Federal Reserve sceptic to a seat on the board of the world’s most powerful central bank hits a roadblock, writes Stephen Bartholomeusz.
    The governments of Australia are ignorant towards the significance of keeping our koalas alive, writes Sue Arnold.
    After nearly two years and a pair of deadly crashes, the US Federal Aviation Administration has cleared Boeing’s 737 Max for flight.
    Some of England’s poorest areas face being trapped in coronavirus restrictions “permanently” unless the government tackles deep-rooted inequalities that are driving high transmission, according to a public health chief.
    More than 3 million people in the United States have active coronavirus infections and are potentially contagious, according to a new estimate from infectious-disease experts tracking the pandemic. That number is significantly larger than the official case count, which is based solely on those who have tested positive for the virus.
    Matthew Knott writes that now, in the dying days of his presidency, Trump is working to fulfil a central campaign promise to be a commander-in-chief who dramatically reduces America’s overseas military presence.
    Like the deranged King George III, the QAnon lionheart, Trump, has lost America, opines Ian Martin.
    And Jimmy Kimmel says Trump’s minions are working hard right now to poison the well. Other satirists have joined the pile on.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Pope

    Cathy Wilcox

    David Rowe

    Andrew Dyson

    Matt Golding

    Peter Broelman

    Glen Le Lievre

    John Spooner

    Alan Moir

    John Shakespeare

    From the US

  4. A cool film of the ISS. Someone has one hell of a telescope in his back yard.
    Astrophotographer Philip Smith imaged the SpaceX Crew-1 Dragon docked to the International Space Station on November 17, 2020 from his backyard in Manorville, New York

    • KK it’s really just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. In 2010 we were camped at the foot of Mt Palmer in the Harts Range NT. I just happened to look up to see two satellites close together, I grabbed my small Pentax binoculars and could clearly see the space shuttle in the process of docking with the ISS. A wonderful memory at a great campsite.

  5. The CrimeMinister is back in Australia after his embarrassing (for us) and pointless trip to Japan. Now he will spend two weeks self-isolating at The Lodge, safe from having to work and from pressers where he might be asked awkward questions about robodebt and his part in setting it up, or about what his trip to Japan actually achieved.

    All that expense and organisation, all that quarantine for a photo-op and yet another announcement about a future agreement, a defence pact that has been six years in the making and still has not been finalised.


    Couldn’t the leaders meet via Zoom? What the hell was the point of the trip? Was it planned because the CrimeMinister, knowing the robodebt case was due to start on Monday, and not expecting a quick out of court settlement that day, wanted to be as far away as he could get when the shit hit the fan?

    He says he will video-link QT and whatever else he might be needed for in parliament. We can no doubt expect many “technical difficulties” when Labor asks difficult questions.

    Parliament (both houses) will sit for eight days, the last sitting of the year, from 30 November to 10 December. Minus weekends, and Fridays, of course. He should only need to hide in The Lodge for the first week.

  6. With community transmission clearly happening in South Australia and in light of the wastewater test results along freight routes in Victoria, the Government is following public health advice and has made the difficult decision to introduce temporary border controls with South Australia.

    From 11:59pm Thursday 19 November, a ‘hard border’ will be in place for 48 hours before a permit system comes into effect from 11:59pm Saturday 21 November.

    Under the hard border, only freight drivers and those with medical or emergency reasons, urgent animal welfare or as authorised by law will be able to pass through the border.

  7. However, what is described in this chapter is possibly the most disgraceful episode in Australia’s military history, and the commanders at troop, squadron and task group level bear moral command responsibility for what happened under their command, regardless of personal fault.

    And it is disgraceful that the CrimeMinister was not standing next to Campbell when he was giving the press conference.

  8. Seth Meyers –

    Stephen Colbert –

    Jimmy Kimmel –

    Brian Tyler Cohen –

    Ari Melbur – (with a good point)

  9. Very good interview with David McBride, from Paul Gregoire, writing for Sydney Criminal Lawyers –

    Military Whistleblower Not Allowed to Choose His Own Lawyer: An Interview With David McBride

    McBride’s trial begins on 2 March. Love the comment from an ACT justice who was setting the date –

    I had a good result from the judge. He said 2 March. Then the prosecutor said they can’t do that date, because the QC they’ve got from Melbourne is one of the few people with top secret security clearance, and he’s not available then.

    The judge just said, “Too bad. Get another lawyer.”

  10. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Nick McKenzie, Anthony Galloway and Chris Masters say the fallout of the landmark Inspector-General’s report into alleged war crimes by 19 Australian soldiers will go on for years.
    And Masters and McKenzie describe the Brereton report as being an extraordinary, courageous and seminal body of work, but one finding will be hard for the public and the downtrodden Digger to swallow: how did no one in senior ranks know?
    Legal academic, Dr Carrie McDougall, opines that we are facing up to our war crimes blight, unlike our closest allies.
    Michelle Grattan asks the obvious question, “How did those further up the chain NOT know?”
    According to military law expert, David Letts, the allegations of murder and ‘blooding’ in Brereton report now face many obstacles to prosecution.
    Here is Christopher Knaus’s detailed review of the Brereton report,
    Australia’s war memorial provides worthless ‘hot takes’ of our Afghan war – a true history must now be written, demands Paul Daley.
    The SMH editorial declares that the Afghan war crimes report is a step on path to justice for victims.
    We knew the war crimes inquiry would be bad – but this is gut-wrenching and nauseating, writes a clearly upset Katharine Murphy.
    Prosecuting the military is the only way to save it, thinks Phil Coorey.
    Murder and torture allegations against elite soldiers in Afghanistan have been described as more “evil” and “worse” than the atrocities at Abu Ghraib prison, prompting cries for urgent cultural change within the Australian army, writes Josh Butler.
    Nick McKenzie explains the concepts of ‘fog of war’ and war crimes.
    Anthony Galloway writes that a special fund set up by Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes more than two decades ago could be used to help members of the Special Air Service Regiment accused of war crimes deal with their legal battles.
    Peter Hannam and Alexandra Smith report that Gladys Berejiklian has dumped upper house Liberal Catherine Cusack from her role as a parliamentary secretary and announced plans to reverse changes to a key koala planning policy after the upper house MP voted against a government land bill.
    Long-time coal miner Grant Howard explains why Joel Fitzgibbon does not represent him.
    Shane Wright and Mike Foley tell us that Scott Morrison has unveiled an ambitious plan to target both IR reform and the use of carryover credits to deal with greenhouse emissions by year’s end.
    After Biden’s win, Australia needs to step up and recommit to this vital UN climate change fund, urges Jonathan Pickering.
    NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay has used her budget reply speech to call for a royal commission into mental health and suicide, breaking down as she recounted the death of a young friend. She also railed against the government’s “addiction to privatisation”.
    Pete Schmigel writes about Australia’s “bloke blind spot” and how we keep overlooking the people most at risk of suicide.
    Eryk Bagshaw writes that Scott Morrison has said Australia will not compromise on security, freedom of speech and human rights after China launched its first explicit threats of economic retaliation for Australia’s foreign policies.
    And Phil Coorey writes that the US government has mocked a series of threats issued by China to the Morrison government, saying Beijing was effectively demanding that Australia surrender its sovereignty.
    The Age tells us that the damning findings handed down by Coroner Jacqui Hawkins identified a string of police failures and ‘systemic deficiencies; in the hours and minutes before James Gargasoulas’ massacre in 2017.
    The Bourke Street tragedy unravelled in minutes, but was years in the making, says veteran police reporter John Silvester. He points to a critical comment where the coroner found” the police response was poor, inflexible, poorly resourced, badly communicated and underpinned by a ‘reluctance to act assertively for fear of recrimination’”.
    Euan Black writes that the latest unemployment figures beat expectations, but highlight need for more stimulus.
    Virus experts have rubbished claims a super-strain of COVID-19 is behind South Australia’s new coronavirus outbreak.
    Hotel quarantine is the coronavirus’s entry point. How do we fix it, asks Samantha Dick who says that South Australia’s severe lockdown could be repeated around the country if Australia does not move to improve its quarantine program, as 30,000-plus stranded Aussies still battle to come home.
    Scott Morrison refrains from criticising South Australia’s short lockdown while praising NSW’s determination to “push through.” But is COVID-19-normal possible if other states shut down whenever there is a cluster, wonders Jennifer Hewett.
    Melissa Davies reports that people living in disadvantaged areas, people with populist views and people who are more religious are more likely to be hesitant or resistant to being vaccinated against Covid-19, the first nationally representative survey of attitudes towards a virus vaccine has found. These are hardly surprising findings IMHO,
    Stephen Duckett explains how the US health-care system works — and how its failures are worsening the pandemic.
    Cash-poor retirees living in expensive properties are not tapping into their housing equity to fund their older years, writes Jennifer Duke.
    The AFR says that a long-awaited review gives the Morrison government the ammunition to seek to reverse the legislated increase in the compulsory superannuation guarantee from 9.5 per cent to 12.5 per cent of wages.
    Ben Butler and Ann Davies look at how Crown Casino got itself into the ness it is currently in.
    Elizabeth Knight reckons the race to replace Nine’s Hugh Marks will be about factions as much as it is about ability.
    Michelle Pini chronicles Porter’s, Tudge’s, Robert’s and Morrison’s shameless Robodebt record.
    And Madonna King provides five reason the Robodebt saga id by no mean over.
    According to Carrie Fellner, a Liberal Party powerbroker arranged a meeting between the Greater Sydney Commission and a developer who was having trouble getting his development plans at Camellia across the line, after failed attempts by disgraced MP Daryl Maguire to assist.
    Work on developer Grocon’s only Melbourne project has ground to halt in an ominous sign for the once-prolific developer, writes Simon Johanson.
    The Age explains how former Casey mayor Sam Aziz has conceded having undeclared conflicts of interest and inappropriate discussions when he voted on projects involving controversial developer John Woodman with whom he was secretly negotiating to sell his Berwick home. Local government and developers are a toxic mix, are they not?
    While then professor Justin O’Brien was hammering home the need for corporations to build trust and be accountability, behind the scenes he was wreaking havoc, writes Luke Stacey.
    There has been a spate of Chinese companies defaulting on their bond repayments in the past few weeks, sending anxious ripples through the market and raising fears about a credit crisis, explains Stephen Bartholomeusz.
    Matthew Knott outlines how state and city leaders across the US are rapidly introducing new restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 as infections and hospitalisations spike nationwide.
    Joe Biden’s presidency will begin with trying to eradicate a significant health crisis his predecessor was incapable of handling effectively, writes George Grundy.
    The New Daily pints the picture of Rudy Giuliani’s comic-tragic effort at a press conference about Trump’s legal challenges. Rudy is a sad, husk of a man.
    I think Apple deserve to be nominated for “Arseholes of the Week” nomination for this low effort.

    Cartoon Corner

    Cathy Wilcox

    Alan Moir

    David Rowe

    John Shakespeare

    Andrew Dyson

    Matt Golding

    Glen Le Lievre

    Mark David

    John Spooner

    Simon Letch

    From the US

  11. On the defeat of Gladys’s nasty koala-killing bill –

  12. The Hotel Quarantine issue is big and is likely to keep blowing up in everyone’s faces until we get a vaccine.

    The NT has the right idea with their quarantine, perhaps other states need to look for similar facilities. I don’t know of any in Victoria but South Australia has two that I know of, Woomera, the town, not the refugee jail. It has a airport, functioning hospital and accommodation blocks and houses. At least it did last time I was there, I know the hospital is still the local hospital for a large geographic area. Another is the town that used to support the Leigh Creek Coal Mine, it was all operational a couple of years ago, even though mostly empty.

  13. In the early days when Victoria was aware that Covid positive cases were arriving from cruise ship Gregory Mortimer the chief health officer wanted them housed at Tullamarine, he was over ridden by a health department administrator, Skilbeck?, who insisted that Rydges on Swanson St had contracted to take covid+ cases

    Central city hotels unsuitable because often have
    1. Single air conditioning system for whole building
    2. Cramped reception areas
    3. Limited common areas so staff unable to don PPE in one room & doff PPE in another room
    4. Limited recreation areas with fresh air

    Son of former Victorian governor, Hugh de Kretzer, a lawyer, was housed at Rydges on Swanson, and offered 1 fresh air break on day 13 of his stay. Must have been very uncomfortable for him, wife and small kids. His complaint included photos of their room on arrival showing discarded surgical gloves

  14. Wuhan built a 1000 or 10000 bed hospital in 10 days
    There were photos of Covid patient wards set up in a gym. Covid patients removed from home to Covid hospital, fed, checked and supervised. Patients joined in 3 aerobics sessions a day which would have helped most of them fight the infection and quickly identify those who were crashing

    Like in the 1940s TB epidemic, there is a lot to be said for removing patients from their families to halt the spread of infection. Mum told me and auntie Dulcie got TB nursing and spent 18 months in a sanatorium after have part of her lung removed

  15. Rusted Nut

    Howard Springs and Woomera are federal facilities
    Federal government has responsibility for Quarantine
    Perfect solution

    Victoria has army barracks at Watsonia and Seymour

  16. Cathy Wilcox absolutely nails it in her cartoon today.

    I admit to being an ardent pacifist, I cannot see the point of wars. Wouldn’t it be better if leaders keen for a fight got together and had it out between themselves instead of sending thousands to their death over their own greed, religious hatred, hurt feelings or whatever else they think is a worthy cause for a war?

    That said I really don’t understand why anyone is surprised at the Brereton report, unless they are faking that surprise. Yes, it’s shocking, but look at how Army officers, and especially the SAS are trained and you understand why.

    We form an elite unit of young men, already trained killers, then give them further training to become superb killers. We fete them, idolise them, show them off, favour them then we act surprised when their demi-god status results in the murder of unarmed men and children. Isn’t this behaviour what we trained them for and expected of them?

    Look at the Army types who regularly post racist, anti-Muslim, anti-women and extreme right wing views on social media. From what No 2 Son tells me about his time at Duntroon that sort of thinking is encouraged. Imagine how much worse it must get during SAS training.

    Winning a VC does not excuse participation in murder, it just makes you a coward who killed unarmed people.

    Kerry Stokes does not get it at all. Not only has he set up a fund to support SAS members with their lawsuits for war crimes, he also plans to give Ben Roberts-Smith’s medals, used as collateral for the loan Stokes gave him to fight his defamation law suit against Nine, to the Australian War Memorial if the loan cannot be repaid. Why would the memorial want what are now contaminated medals? Why would he want to support SAS members facing court over war crimes? Doesn’t he have better things to do with his billions? What about a fund for the families of Afghanis murdered by the SAS?

    Meanwhile David McBride, the real hero who started the revelations and has been totally vindicated by the Brereton report, waits for his trial to begin. The federal government really, really hopes he will go to jail . There are calls for this action to be dropped.

    Afghanistan war crimes inquiry: Calls to drop prosecution of whistleblower David McBride

  17. The SA lockdown is being eased because some bloke lied.

    What an absolute F-wit!

    So here is what happened (as far as I can see)

    A security guard at Peppers medi-hotel was infected.
    They worked at the Woodville Pizza Bar.
    A second worker at Stamford medi-hotel was infected and contact tracers couldn’t figure out how he contracted it.
    He allegedly lied and told contact tracers he bought a pizza from the pizza bar, when in fact he worked several shifts there.
    This led authorities to believe the cluster was much more widespread and more infectious than it really was, leading them to impose the wide-scale lockdown.
    Contact tracers eventually learnt his story “didn’t add up”, discovered the alleged lie and have now begun to lift restrictions


    This is still based on allegations, the SA government is still to prove them.Meanwhile all those people who bought a pizza from this place must now be traced and tested. The cluster that caused the lockdown is still there. Maybe easing restrictions isn’t such a great idea after all.

    Steve Marshall said –

    This is absolutely critical to convey to the people of South Australia, we are just back to where we were on Monday, with a dangerous cluster.

    We still need to do all of the contact tracing. What we have learnt from today’s revelation is there is a whole group of other people, other associates, that we need to trace down and put back into quarantine as quickly as we possibly can

  18. I feel very sorry for the teenage pizza bar worker who lied to police

    He is being blamed for authorities complacency in testing for Covid and (over)recaction to the outbreak, their reaction being caused by their complacency

    Well every Australian has learnt not to plan too far ahead and only travel a 12 hour drive from home

    Only plan small weddings

    • They need to sort out why he lied.

      Marshall flaring up as he did has done no good whatsoever. The comparison with Dan Andrews is stark.

      Thank goodness (for SA, and for Australia) for Professor Nicola: such a straight talker. What she said about the need to keep bottle-os open was spot on.

  19. How very ,…..erm …….Russian.

    In 1991 the Soviet Union finally collapsed. That August, state treasurer Nikolai Kruchina, responsible for Russia’s gold reserves, died by falling from his window. He had been a member of the planning group which originated the plot to steal state assets. His successor Georgy Pavlov fell to his death from a window two months later

    …….i.n September, the Russian central bank announced the Kremlin’s gold reserves had inexplicably dropped from the estimated 1000-1500 tons to a mere 240 tons. Two months later, Victor Gerashchenko announced Russia’s gold reserves had actually entirely vanished.:


  20. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Jennifer Duke outlines the Retirement income Review Report that might provide the government to opportunity to make more ideological changes.
    Peter van Onselen describes Robodebt as “a shameful moment in Australian history” and lists a raft of other failures of this government. He believes that despite all of these, Morrison’s government, under cover of the pandemic, will escape what should be the electoral consequences.
    Paul Bongiorno describes Robo-debt as a government-sanctioned debt sentence. This is in the MUST READ category.
    Nick McKenzie, Chris Masters and Anthony Galloway examine the arrogance and impunity: that was Inside the 2012 SAS deployment to Afghanistan. Hardly an enjoyable read, but quite informative,
    Laura Tingle’s contribution on the matter is headlined, “When the flag becomes a shroud of military secrecy”. She takes quite a deep dive.
    Commanders were told about possible war crimes being committed by Australian soldiers but dismissed the warnings as ‘Taliban propaganda’, reveals Karen Middleton.
    Paul Barrett says that the war crimes inquiry should make us question how we go to war and why.
    According to The Guardian former and serving special forces soldiers are frustrated at the failure of the Brereton war crimes report to sanction commanders at the highest level and incensed over a decision to strip the meritorious conduct citation for the entire special operations task group between 2007 and 2013.
    Katharine Murphy explains why mental health is a legacy-defining fight Scott Morrison can’t afford to lose.
    A landmark Productivity Commission report into mental illness provides a road map to reduce harm, but it chafes against deep-seated government ideology, explains Rick Morton.
    Malcolm Knox tells us how our leaders loved the SAS to death.
    Inspired by the success of Helen Haines and Zali Steggall, a new generation of independents are sizing up Liberal and National MPs say Anne Davies and Lisa Cox who go into considerable detail.
    Dennis Atkins opines that we should thank our island continent – not our politicians – for getting on top of COVID. Quite a good read, this one.
    Mike Seccombe details the failures behind the destruction of the Juukan Gorge caves.
    Kate McClymont reports that eastern suburbs rich-lister Ian Malouf, once the nation’s richest garbo, is the subject of a probe by the corporate watchdog into allegations of insider trading.
    According to Katina Curtis and Anthony Galloway, former Defence Force chief Chris Barrie has called for the Australian War Memorial council to be cleaned out amid concerns it has been too close to special forces soldiers who are now subject to allegations of war crimes.
    The Australian’s Ben Packham writes that special forces troopers who “pulled the trigger” could be given immunity from prosecution to convince them to testify against more senior soldiers, under a proposal to secure war crimes prosecutions against the most ­serious alleged perpetrators.
    Linda Reynolds has told a Perth business forum she was “physically ill” when she read the Brereton report into alleged war crimes committed by Australian special forces soldiers in Afghanistan.
    Paul Kelly begins this contribution on our relationship with China with, “It is a sobering thought whether Scott Morrison might end up being the first Australian prime minister since Billy McMahon not to visit China and, if so, whether that would be seen in this country as a sign of high principle or a strike against the national interest.”
    Victoria has led the charge back in retail sales in October – helping post one of the largest monthly gains since records were kept – all at a time when the tapering of JobKeeper and JobSeeker started, writes Matthew Cranston.
    Michaela Whitbourn reports that a Senate committee has recommended a bill to effect the controversial merger of the specialist Family Court of Australia with the lower-level Federal Circuit Court should be passed despite opposition from Labor and the Greens.
    While South Australia scrambles to contain its coronavirus outbreak, there are concerns whether the state – and the rest of the country – will be able to cope with the dual crises of the pandemic and bushfire season, explains The Saturday Paper’s Max Opray.
    The West Australian government has told BHP and rich listers Gina Rinehart, Andrew Forrest and Chris Ellison that a cloud hangs over their competing plans to boost iron ore exports unless an outer harbour costing about $10 billion is built at Port Hedland.
    Adele Ferguson reveals that insurers are still playing hardball on COVID-related claims of billions of dollars despite last week’s Federal Court ruling. And she says many brokers are siding with the insurance industry on this.
    Meanwhile, Insurance Australia Group chief executive Nick Hawkins has described the unexpected loss in the business interruption test court case as bad news for insurers, while launching a $750 million capital raising and bracing for a flood of claims.
    Building and development giant Grocon has placed its construction business into administration, with chief executive Daniel Grollo blaming Infrastructure NSW’s handling of the Barangaroo project for its failure.
    Crown Resorts has failed to produce to an inquiry external legal advice saying the company should not review shell accounts linked to its casinos, even after internal reports showed money laundering probably occurred in them.
    The AIMN’s Rosemary J356 issues Morrison’s 2020 report card.
    Jenna Price explores why fruit picking has become the latest front in the culture wars.
    Just 30 Australian farms have signed up to a government scheme designed to ensure workers are not exploited, The New Daily reveals – despite job-seekers continuing to be shepherded into the industry.
    Mike Foley writes that business groups have welcomed the Prime Minister’s increasing optimism on climate action as they continue to call for a commitment to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It seems that Morrison may have read the tea leaves.
    Nick O’Malley concludes his contribution about Boris Johnson’s Green Industrial Revolution economic plan with, “Johnson and Biden, the leaders of Australia’s two closest allies, are wedded to ambitious, immediate action on climate change. They might soon tire of Australia significantly under-promising, even if we do manage to marginally over-deliver.”
    Peter Hannam tells us how NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham has lodged almost 250 amendments to the Berejiklian government’s landmark energy bill in a bid to prevent its passage this year despite overwhelming parliamentary support. What a dickhead!
    The sell-off of Adelaide’s trains has become a farce, Labor says, as hundreds of workers refuse to get onboard.
    As the sugar rush of coronavirus vaccine news subsides, investors are looking to pin down what ‘COVID-normal’ markets will look like, writes Emma Koehn.
    Millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on dozens of Australian COVID-19 clinical trials that have largely failed to produce any new knowledge, writes Ian Mannix. Hydroxychloroquine was one of them.
    The SMH editorial says that Crown’s casino must not open while criminal risk remains.
    A birth certificate is a human right. Why aren’t they free and easier to get, asks demographer Liz Allen.
    Australia’s history of racism and oppression must be fought against, with lessons to be learned from shifting paradigms around the world, writes Gerry Georgatos.
    Attorney-General Christian Porter has failed to answer an Independent Australia question regarding his 10 November interview with radio station 6PR about intimate relationships with staff.
    Even Fox News’s most avid Trumpist has turned on the ridiculous, unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud.
    Gerry White thinks the war of words between the two sparring powers, the US and China, is expected to escalate in Trump’s attempt to box President elect Joe Biden in.
    Trump sank lower, but that doesn’t mean Johnson isn’t knee-deep in sleaze, opines Jonathan Freedland.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Pope

    Peter Broelman – WOW!

    Jon Kudelka

    David Rowe

    Alan Moir

    Andrew Dyson

    Simon Letch

    Matt Golding

    Mark David

    John Shakespeare

    Dionne Gain

    Glen Le Lievre congratulates Walkley winner Ross Gittins.

    John Spooner

    From the US

  21. Exactly.

    On 12 November there and everything it contains or recommends.)

    The Morrison government will establish a new Office of the Special Investigator to further investigate potential criminal conduct raised by Brereton’s report.

    The office will sit within the Department of Home Affairs, leverage the powers of the AFP and will be staffed by AFP officers, as well as state and territory police, legal counsel, and support workers. It is likely to be led by a senior barrister or retired judge with extensive criminal law experience.

    The purpose of the special investigator is to gather further evidence that can be used in court and then refer matters to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP), which will decide whether to prosecute through the courts.

    One of the special investigator’s key roles will be to triage the numerous allegations raised in the Brereton report, investigating the most serious and building briefs for potential prosecution


    Doesn’t that fill you with confidence!

    Kerry Stokes, Chairman of the Australian War Memorial, has already set up a fund to pay the legal expenses of SAS members facing charges of war crimes.

  22. Sorry about the flickering back and forth I believe it is an effort to combat bots from deleting the post??

    Bill Maher coming up soon.

    Chris Hayes –

    Rachel Maddow –

    • All I could think of while I read that was the bare-faced gall of the CrimeMinister talking about mental health on the day the robodebt settlement was reached. Robodebt caused thousands to commit suicide out of utter hopelessness and made countless other victims suffer depression.

      Maybe, just maybe mental health issues would lessen if we could do away with a government that believes persecution is the only way to deal with disadvantage, disadvantage that is often caused by or results in mental illness.

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