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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853 thoughts on “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  1. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Nick McKenzie, Chris Masters and Anthony Galloway explain how a determined judge, Paul Brereton, cracked the SAS code of silence. A very interesting exposition.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/how-a-determined-judge-cracked-the-sas-code-of-silence-20201110-p56dep.html
    Jennifer Duke tells us that Morrison says he is distressed and disturbed by the damning report into war crimes allegedly committed by Australia’s special forces but warned against a “media trial” ahead of the justice system dealing with the findings.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/disturbing-and-distressing-morrison-warns-against-trial-by-media-on-alleged-war-crimes-20201121-p56gol.html
    When the Morrison government was hauled into court to face a class action over its “robo-debt” scheme, Government Services Minister Stuart Robert branded it a political stunt. This says plenty about Robert. Nick Bonyhady takes through it all went so horribly wrong.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/from-no-case-to-1-2b-settlement-how-robo-debt-scheme-went-so-wrong-20201119-p56g2k.html
    If you have a mortgage that has a “3” in front you should take immediate action, even if it’s only to call your lender to ask for an interest-rate reduction, urges Jess Irvine.
    https://www.smh.com.au/money/borrowing/should-your-home-loan-interest-rate-have-a-1-in-front-maybe-20201120-p56gih.html
    I took the Reserve Bank boss’ advice – and saved thousands off my mortgage says Greg Jericho.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/commentisfree/2020/nov/21/i-took-the-reserve-bank-boss-advice-and-saved-thousands-off-my-mortgage
    Now children are playing with wearable devices in the classroom and bypassing teachers to message parents, in a growing issue for NSW schools, writes Caitlin Fitzsimmons.
    https://www.smh.com.au/technology/smartwatch-ban-schools-crack-down-on-students-with-wearable-tech-in-class-20201121-p56gn4.html
    Victoria’s mask policy is expected to be relaxed as soon as next week, with experts anticipating that face coverings will be among the restrictions eased by Daniel Andrews today.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/mask-rule-could-make-way-as-victoria-gets-closer-to-eliminating-covid-19-20201121-p56gop.html
    Australia’s top doctors have declared a SA’s Lyell McEwin medic a hero, crediting her thoroughness with halting a deadly outbreak.
    https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/coronavirus/meet-the-junior-lyell-mcewen-ed-doctor-whose-vigilance-stopped-a-potential-second-covid-wave/news-story/6645607718cd44673b7eba7f2b56ad0d
    Bloomberg shows how Trump’s attention is directed at the moment.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/trump-tweets-about-voter-fraud-during-g-20-opening-meeting-20201122-p56gqa.html
    Melissa Fyfe looks at what happens to sex workers – and their clients – during a pandemic.
    https://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/libidos-in-lockdown-sex-work-in-the-time-of-covid-19-20201007-p562xt.html
    The Australian media industry is doomed to continue churning out controversial and often racist opinion pieces, for diminishing returns, unless newsrooms and their owners become more diverse, experts say.
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/nov/22/australian-media-more-than-half-of-opinion-pieces-found-to-have-negative-depictions-of-race
    According to the WHO, Gilead’s drug Remdesivir should not be used for patients hospitalised with COVID-19, regardless of how ill they are, as there is no evidence the drug improves survival or reduces the need for ventilation.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/not-of-use-for-much-hospitals-told-not-to-give-remdesivir-to-covid-19-patients-20201121-p56goj.html
    Invoking a fantasy Winston Churchill won’t help as Brexit becomes grim reality opines Nick Cohen.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/21/nvoking-a-fantasy-inston-hurchill-wont-help-as-rexit-becomes-grim-reality
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is set to soon receive an International Emmy award for his once-daily televised briefings on the coronavirus pandemic that killed tens of thousands of New Yorkers this northern spring. Now THAT will give Trump something to tweet about!
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/andrew-cuomo-to-receive-international-emmy-for-virus-briefings-20201121-p56got.html
    Jonathan Freedland picks out some of the highlights from Barack Obama’s book.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/21/barack-obama-donald-trump-and-i-tell-very-different-stories-about-america
    Cait Kelly explains why key Republicans are speaking out against Donald Trump.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2020/11/22/trump-republicans-election-loss/
    Richard Wolffe counts the ways Donald Trump has tried to subvert this election. He describes them as some of the most slimy steps down the slippery slope towards The End of America As We Know It.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/21/all-the-ways-trump-tried-subvert-election
    As the world watches a divided America try to sort out who’s in charge, some conspiracy theorists insist that it is all part of a grand plan. John Turnbull takes a critical look at QAnon.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/trump-centric-conspiracy-theory-qanon-lives-on,14541
    The USA, despite its foundational rhetoric in the Declaration of Independence, has a very bad image in most of the world, particularly the Muslim world, explains Bilal Cleland.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/how-the-us-election-affected-the-american-muslim-community,14543
    Matthew Knott writes about the tragic farce of Trump’s ignominious White House exit.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/a-tragic-farce-trump-s-ignominious-white-house-exit-20201121-p56gn9.html
    Jacqui Maley gives us a good insight into series 4 of The Crown.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/call-yourself-a-republican-then-why-are-you-bingeing-the-crown-20201120-p56gi0.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Pope

    Matt Golding


    Peter Broelman

    Glen Le Lievre


    Richard Gilberto

    From the US




  2. Twitter of the day?

  3. Well one country “did the experiment” as Dr Karl would say. Predictably a ‘Fail’ but at least we have a demonstration of the ‘dudness’ of what at one stage Scrott and BoJo were looking approvingly at.

    Covid-19: Sweden’s herd immunity strategy has failed, hospitals inundated

    With numbers exploding, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has been forced to swallow his pride and admit that he got it wrong.

    At a news conference on Monday, he did just that, telling reporters: “It is a clear and sharp signal to every person in our country as to what applies in the future. Don’t go to the gym, don’t go the library, don’t have dinner out, don’t have parties – cancel!”

    With three words, Sweden’s King Carl Gustaf captured the panic engulfing his country as it backflips on a controversial herd immunity strategy and coronavirus case numbers explode.

    On Instagram, he wrote, simply: “Hold on tight!”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/covid-19-swedens-herd-immunity-strategy-has-failed-hospitals-inundated/N5DXE42OZJOLRQGGXOT7WJOLSU/

    • P.S. I wonder if the thundering herd of Newscorpse orcs who were screaming how we should follow Sweden’s approach rather than lockdown will apologise to their readers and admit they were wrong? Rhetorical question only 😆

  4. The CrimeMinister was “distressed and disturbed” by the revelations in the Brereton report but was “appalled and shocked” by the Australia Post board spending less than $20,000 on watches.

    He outlined his outrage and his immediate reaction to that spending –

    I was appalled. It’s disgraceful and it’s not on. And so immediately I spoke with the shareholding minister, the Minister for Finance, and the minister responsible, the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, and from those discussions the following actions ensued: that there had to be an independent investigation done by the department, not by Australia Post; that the chief executive should stand aside immediately; and that the independent investigation should look into the conduct of the board members and their governance as well as the actions of the management and the executive. That report will come back to me and the members of my cabinet, and if there are issues to be addressed with board members then they will be addressed then.

    This all happened within an hour. So appalled and shocked was I by that behaviour—any shareholder would in a company raise their outrage if they had seen that conduct by a chief executive, a management or a board; they would insist rightly on the same thing. Now, we are the shareholders of Australia Post on behalf of the Australian people, so that action was immediate. The chief executive has been instructed to stand aside and, if she doesn’t wish to do that, she can go

    https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Hansard/Hansard_Display?bid=chamber/hansardr/f1f6ecee-f76e-46be-b279-e3d2a88da6c2/&sid=0000

    Harsh and immediate action, all within an hour. Just contrast that with his non-reaction to the SAS murders. He has brushed it all aside by setting up an office within Home Affairs, to be run by the AFP to “investigate” what went on in Afghanistan.

    No conference of ministers, no immediate demands for top level officers to stand aside or resign. Clearly the SAS war crimes come under the banner of “boys will be boys” so we can expect the AFP to move at their usual snail pace when they eventually start their investigation.

  5. Peter FitzSimons’ Sunday column, in which he takes a well-deserved swipe at Gladys and Barilaro and their koala-killing policy.

    Time to act, Premier: our koalas, and farmers, deserve better

    Sorry, what, Premier?

    “Our farmers deserve certainty,” you and your Deputy Premier John Barilaro said in statement after one of your own, Catherine Cusack, crossed the floor on Thursday afternoon to thwart what would have been yet more devastating land-clearing legislation hastening the extinction of koalas

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/time-to-act-premier-our-koalas-and-farmers-deserve-better-20201120-p56gjq.html

  6. As I watched the tragedy of the deeply unjust Robodebt disaster roll on my DISGUST and HATRED of ScottyFromMarketing hardened

    Robodebt hasn’t cost taxpayers $1.2 billion because that money was gouged out of vulnerable Australians, some of whom will be paid back

    Many more victims will not be repaid because
    1. Their debt is in hands of debt collector
    2. They supplied pay slips and bank statements as demanded by Centrelink

    97.5% of debts raised were false
    As all debts had 10% debt recovery fee added all debts are false

    The system was petty and cruel with no human oversight
    1. Debt notices sent for amounts under $100 when the cost of debt recovery much higher. IE like sending a cheque for 5cents – costs more handle & clear it
    2. System did not recognize that ABC Holdings trading as Local Shop was the same company so victims accused of not declaring income
    3. Debt notices for $135,000 sent through the mail. Common sense would suggest hand delivery by police laying fraud charges
    4. Fraud charges for large debts, over $110,000 were not laid
    5. Victims with debts of $60,000 have gone into bankruptcy, now in legal mess to sort it out
    6. 2030+ suicides
    7. Uncounted victims have damaged health

    • He still hasn’t apologised for a scheme he started. All responsibility comes back on him.

      He can bleat lies about “but Labor did this too” for ever but it won’t make those lies true.

      Yes, Labor used income matching, last time they were in government, so did Hawke, Keating and and especially Howard. The difference is those governments did their assessments with humans, not with some failed IT algorithm.

  7. Ugh!

    His minders need to persuade him to drop the “suburban dad from the Shire” fakery and get him to actually do some work. We are wise to his laziness, illustrated in particular by making every weekend a long weekend, often lasting four or five days. We know he runs away from all responsibility. Stunts like those long weekends, running off to Hawaii or staging last-minute trips to Japan are deliberate strategy to avoid media scrutiny (unless his office organises yet another photo op). They are just attracting mockery now. Time he took his job seriously, if he’s capable of that, and did something to earn his lavish salary.

  8. Leone 2,

    [ Clearly the SAS war crimes come under the banner of “boys will be boys” so we can expect the AFP to move at their usual snail pace when they eventually start their investigation. ]

    We can be assured that any final report by the AFP on this matter will be the same as any matter that the LNP have any involvement in!

    [ Nothing to see here I’m afraid. ]

    • Billie,

      I find it educational rather than offensive. And we do read/see a lot of offensive material at The Pub, given the Fed gummint we’ve had for the past 7.5 years, and the Fed gummint America has had for the past 4 years.

      If any Pubster disagrees, and wants Billie’s comment removed, you will need to give me a cogent argument.

  9. Fabulous marketing from Mr Morrison. Everyone talking about daggy photos & his shorts & not:Record low wages growth;7.0% unemployment;10.4% underemployment;Record budget deficit;Record govt debt;Bastardisation of super.The proverbial dead cat on the table.— Stephen Koukoulas (@TheKouk) November 22, 2020

    “Everyone”, I take it, is the msm.

  10. Financial regulators subject banks to stress tests to see if they have enough capital to withstand sharp downturns.

    Now America is being subjected to a stress test to see if it has enough strength to withstand Donald Trump’s treacherous campaign to discredit the 2020 presidential election.

    Trump will lose because there’s no evidence of fraud. But the integrity of thousands of people responsible for maintaining American democracy is being tested as never before.

    Tragically, most elected Republicans are failing the test by refusing to stand up to Trump. Their cowardice is one of the worst betrayals of public trust in the history of our republic.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/22/joe-biden-administration-advisers-staffers-appointments-cabinet

  11. I haven’t watched Insiders for quite some time now but am glad I watched todays to see and hear THIS!

    Enjoy!

  12. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Carrie Fellner explains how Sydney developers apparently pull the strings of the state government.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/premier-s-planning-shake-up-came-after-secret-letter-signed-by-developers-20201122-p56guw.html
    Paul Cognan looks at the increasing vacancy rates in retail premises. In Brisbane it has gone to 15%!
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/sleepwalking-into-a-spiral-of-urban-decay-why-we-need-to-get-back-to-the-office-20201120-p56gho.html
    One of Australia’s top infection-control advisers has joined growing calls from politicians and disease experts to shift the nation’s trouble-prone hotel quarantine to dedicated regional facilities.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/just-makes-logical-sense-top-adviser-joins-calls-to-move-covid-quarantine-out-of-big-cities-20201122-p56gun.html
    Nick Bonyhady writes that A 27-year-old man has become the fourth food delivery rider to die on Australian roads in the past three months, sparking an outpouring of grief from his fellow riders and calls for more protective equipment and better insurance from the sector’s union.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/ubereats-rider-killed-in-sydney-s-south-identified-as-bangladesh-student-bijoy-paul-20201122-p56gv5.html
    Nick McKenzie, Joel Tozer and Chris Masters write that General Rick Burr, a former SAS chief who commanded the special forces operations in Afghanistan in 2008, said he had not heard the allegations uncovered until well after he came home.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/how-did-this-happen-chief-of-army-saw-nothing-of-alleged-atrocities-in-afghanistan-20201122-p56gu1.html
    Echoes of plausible deniability have run through the financial services and the Catholic Church in the past. Now it’s the armed forces’ turn, says Andrew Mohl.
    https://www.afr.com/policy/foreign-affairs/defence-leadership-has-failed-us-on-war-crimes-allegations-20201122-p56grs
    Alexandra Smith tells us that Australia’s first biomethane-to-gas project will see thousands of NSW homes and businesses using renewable gas for cooking, heating and hot water.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/green-gas-to-be-produced-at-sydney-water-plant-in-an-australian-first-20201122-p56gre.html
    Epidemiologist Michael Toole explains how Steven Marshall’s demonising of the visa-holding Covid carrier broke the established rule book for outbreak investigation.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/blaming-and-shaming-breaks-a-cardinal-rule-of-public-health-20201121-p56gpa.html
    Economist Robert Carling says that Australia’s retirement income system – based on a means-tested public pension and compulsory private superannuation – is much admired from abroad. But at home, policy activists and others with an axe to grind just can’t leave it alone.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7022814/buckle-in-for-another-round-of-national-navel-gazing/?cs=14258
    Jennifer Duke writes that older renters who end up on the dole before reaching pension age are the most financially vulnerable retirees, a new report shows, as social services groups pressure the federal government to increase the JobSeeker payment.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/older-renters-on-the-dole-the-most-financially-strapped-as-calls-grow-for-jobseeker-increase-20201121-p56gnv.html
    Albanese is running out of time to solve Labor’s climate crisis. He needs a plan that works for two Australias, opines Mark Kenny.
    https://theconversation.com/albanese-is-running-out-of-time-to-solve-labors-climate-crisis-he-needs-a-plan-that-works-for-two-australias-150066
    Labor says it does not trust the Morrison government to find ways to build wages growth if it ditches legislated increases in the compulsory superannuation guarantee due to start next year.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/nov/22/coalition-cant-be-trusted-to-build-wages-if-it-drops-super-guarantee-labor-says
    The 400,000 Australians unwittingly caught up in the Robodebt scandal will get little more than their own money finally paid back, after Scott Morrison appeared to rule out any further compensation for people hounded over unlawful debts, writes Josh Butler.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2020/11/22/robodebt-compensation-morrison/
    The insurance industry’s woes with COVID-19 business interruption claims are shaping as a boon for the fast-recovering banking sector, explains Adele Ferguson.
    https://www.afr.com/companies/financial-services/insurers-pain-turning-into-bankers-gain-20201122-p56gsq
    The instant asset write-off has been extended to multinationals, putting an estimated 50 companies employing more than 150,000 Australians on track to benefit, explains the AFR’s Tom McIllroy.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/more-big-companies-to-get-capex-tax-break-20201122-p56gu5
    Angus Taylor wants to see the modelling behind NSW’s ground-breaking energy road map amid the risk of derailing investments in new gas power and worries about price spikes.
    https://www.afr.com/companies/energy/taylor-demands-answers-over-nsw-power-plan-20201120-p56gme
    In this op-ed, John Pessutto writes that for Victoria more spending is needed now but broader vision must follow.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/victoria/spending-needed-now-but-broader-vision-must-follow-20201122-p56grp.html
    Bevan Shields reveals that Mathias Cormann’s campaign to win a prized role at the heart of global economic policy has been given an important boost after Prime Minister Scott Morrison used his first conversation with US President-elect Joe Biden to push the former finance minister’s candidacy.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/biden-courted-in-cormann-s-bid-to-run-the-most-important-organisation-you-ve-never-heard-of-20201001-p5617s.html
    Growing calls by business leaders for a circuit breaker in what is now a poisonous relationship with China are little more than desperation for something to change, says Jennifer Hewett.
    https://www.afr.com/policy/foreign-affairs/australia-still-plays-piggy-in-the-middle-20201122-p56gsk
    Melodie Potts Rosevear explains the education digital divide that is opening up.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/disadvantage-and-the-digital-divide-in-education-20200930-p560tx.html
    A new koala protection policy by Environment Minister Sussan Ley may put the federal government on a collision course with state governments, explains Mike Foley.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/line-in-the-sand-koala-census-to-identify-key-habitat-for-protection-20201122-p56gug.html
    Apple is at it again with its rapacious business model, and it could come under investigation of the ACCC.
    https://www.smh.com.au/technology/apple-s-epic-app-headache-could-be-test-case-for-regulation-20201120-p56gf2.html
    The double tragedy unfolding in the United States is like a horror movie that you can’t stop watching, Writes Alan Kohler in The Australian.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/economics/americas-unfolding-double-tragedy/news-story/a833cce1d45b17cfb2bcfb54c6af19a6
    President Trump gained a number of loyal followers during his time in the Oval Office, but there are reasons why his popularity may wane, writes Paul Begley.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/trumpism-is-unlikely-to-become-a-movement,14544
    Watching Diana’s fractured fairytale in The Crown breaks your heart. Watching Trump’s fractious exit from the White House makes your head hurt, says Maureen Dowd.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/diana-and-donald-the-lady-and-the-trump-20201122-p56gqi.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Peter Broelman

    Mark David

    Michael Leunig

    Glen Le Lievre



    John Spooner

    Simon Bosch

    From the US




  13. How to destroy a once-great political party in one easy lesson – keep on chasing votes by spruiking the virtues of coal and gas in a world that is rushing away from both.

    Labor will remain in opposition for ever if they keep coming up with daft policies like this –

    Voters who actually care about the effects of climate change will flock to the Greens, to minor parties like the SFF and independents if Labor keeps insisting coal and gas are what Australia needs.

    Murray Watt is a member of Labor’s Left faction and according to The Australian is a close factional ally of Albo.

  14. Up to £1.1 Billion in British government PPE contracts awarded to firms linked to religious sect the Exclusive Brethren https://t.co/wzvCwG9cpe via @BylineTimes 19 Nov article

    — Leroy (@Leroy_Lynch) November 22, 2020

    What is it about those wacko nutters in the Exclusive Brethren and Tories. The r!#@@@#!! Rodent had quite a love fest with the bastards here.They really as a group not to be touched with a barge pole
    .
    .
    .
    Revealed: how Exclusive Brethren members secretly donate to the Liberal Party

    ………….The church first came to public attention in 2006 when it was revealed the group had raised and spent $370,461 to influence the 2004 election on behalf of John Howard, with whom they were close.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/revealed-how-exclusive-brethren-members-secretly-donate-to-the-liberal-party-20160615-gpk0nd.html

    Sect gave Howard a few tips – The Agewww.theage.com.au › National › Investigation
    Jan 18, 2008 — CORRESPONDENCE between the Exclusive Brethren and John Howard reveals the religious sect had a warm and familiar relationship……….
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/sect-gave-howard-a-few-tips-20080118-ge6mbh.html

    • I can see why it appeals to the loopier fringes of conservative parties – the PBCC, as it’s known in Australia, is deeply misogynistic and deeply hypocritical.

      Members must marry other members, contact before marriage and during courtship is chaperoned, there is no kissing, no cuddling, not even hand-holding and certainly (God forbid) no sex. Once married the woman stays at home and looks after the husband and the kids while the husband works and provides for them.

      Women must sit behind the men at services/meetings and are not allowed to read lessons in church, pray aloud or preach. Women are subservient to their menfolk.

      Oddly enough alcohol is permitted but being drunk in public is not on, so members get drunk at home or in the company of other members.

      With all these restrictions it’s no wonder sexual abuse of children is rife in these “churches”.

      It’s the sort of back to the 13th century thinking on women that would have sucked Howard in – he wanted us all to go back to a mythical Australia where the women stayed at home and the men earned the money.

    • I had a great aunt who married into the blighters. She was cut off from the family until after hubby died. Her kids had “fled” the home ASAP but she stuck with him.. I grew up hearing the ‘horrors’ of the Brethren from her sisters . Widowhood however saw her fling off all the religious nuttery and rejoin normal life.She said her biggest regret was having to abandon music when she married. She had been a fine pianist and loved music but that, apparently, was wickedly sinful.

  15. Perhaps Sidney Powell has gone too far even for Rudy Giuliani this time.

    The Trump campaign’s legal team has moved to distance itself from the firebrand conservative attorney after a tumultuous few days in which Powell made multiple incorrect statements about the election voting process, unspooled complex conspiracy theories and vowed to “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” lawsuit.

    “Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own. She is not a member of the Trump legal team. She is also not a lawyer for the president in his personal capacity,” Giuliani and another lawyer for Trump, Jenna Ellis, said in a statement on Sunday.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/23/trump-campaign-cuts-ties-with-attorney-sidney-powell-after-bizarre-election-claims

  16. Hi Ducky. Hope you and Mrs Ducky are keeping well.

    It was very pleasing for me to see that the electors of the ACT, NT and QLD were smart enough to re-elect Labor Governments.

  17. I’m not sure if this has already been posted but it is a good one. (also I’m having withdrawal symptums from having nothing to post 😁🤣

    James O’Brien –

    • P.S. symptums is a very old english way of spelling of the more modern symptoms, just so you know.

  18. I really, really hope Cormann doesn’t get this job.I read a while ago that he was unlikely to get it because of this government’s lack of action on climate change and because Cormann has little to offer the OECD.
    https://www.themonthly.com.au/today/paddy-manning/2020/08/2020/1602132484/cormann-out

    The CrimeMinister is getting behind this because he is desperate to get Cormann out of the country. Cormann supported Dutton in the last leadership spill, if there is another one he certainly won’t be supporting the CrimeMinister. It’s the old Liberal tactic of sending your enemies overseas, as Howard did with Peacock.

    Australia’s bid to secure former Finance Minister Mathias Cormann a tax-free job running the OECD is set to cost millions with a RAAF jet on standby to fly him all over Europe https://t.co/NkmnunbEVX— Samantha Maiden (@samanthamaiden) November 23, 2020

  19. If you have been hanging around since March 4, 1226 your wait is over……… Well it will be this Xmas………..
    .
    Don’t Miss It: Jupiter, Saturn Will Look Like Double Planet for First Time Since Middle Ages
    https://scitechdaily.com/dont-miss-it-jupiter-saturn-will-look-like-double-planet-for-first-time-since-middle-ages/#:~:text=YouTube-,Don't%20Miss%20It%3A%20Jupiter%2C%20Saturn%20Will%20Look%20Like,First%20Time%20Since%20Middle%20Ages&text=Jupiter%20and%20Saturn%20have%20been,diameter%20of%20a%20full%20moon.

  20. BK
    Your fave two little words leapt out at me in this headline……………………………
    .
    .
    AstraZeneca and Oxford University on Monday said their jointly created COVID-19 vaccine has proven to be up to 90% effective.
    .
    Meanwhile in the more reality based non “up to” world …………… 🙂

    AstraZeneca and Oxford University say their coronavirus vaccine has an average of 70 per cent efficacy

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/astrazeneca-and-oxford-university-say-their-coronavirus-vaccine-has-an-average-of-70-per-cent-efficacy

  21. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Bevan Shields reports that Oxford’s AstraZenca vaccine looks very promising and can be easily transported and stored.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/astrazeneca-oxford-vaccine-prevents-70-percent-of-covid-cases-study-shows-20201123-p56h96.html
    Morrison has said Australia’s pursuit of its national interests on the world stage has been wrongly interpreted as siding with the US over China.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/australia-will-not-be-deputy-sheriff-in-us-china-tensions-morrison-20201123-p56gzz.html
    But the AFR’s Geoff Raby says that our inability to chew diplomatic gum and walk at the same time has left us on the outer even amongst a host of other nations that have trouble with China.
    https://www.afr.com/policy/foreign-affairs/how-china-has-left-us-stranded-as-the-regional-outlier-20201123-p56gy6
    Paul Bongiorno says that Australia’s failed China policy is very bad business.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2020/11/24/paul-bongiorno-china-policy-bad-business/
    Australia needs a climate policy turnaround – not a pathetic crab walk declares a strident Kevin Rudd in this op-ed.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/australia-needs-a-climate-policy-turnaround-not-a-pathetic-crab-walk-20201122-p56guq.html
    Geoffrey Robertson demands that justice must be served to atone for war crimes and says that perhaps – when the process is over – we can salute the real heroes of this sickening story, namely the whistleblowing soldiers who broke the code of silence (ie omerta) and exposed the crimes of their comrades-in-arms.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/justice-must-be-served-to-atone-for-war-crimes-20201123-p56h1a.html
    In the wake of devastating allegations about members of Australia’s SAS force serving in Afghanistan – with soldiers accused on “credible information” of unlawfully killing 39 unarmed Afghans – a predictable schism has emerged in the commentary, writes Peter FitzSimons.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/echoes-of-monster-breaker-morant-in-dark-deeds-of-sas-forces-20201123-p56h35.html
    Quietly slipping by amid the welter of news last week was a particularly pathetic effort by ASIC, even by ASIC’s standards, on the matter of the buy-now-pay-later brigade – Afterpay and its fellow BNPL travellers, writes Michael Pascoe.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/2020/11/23/michael-pascoe-asic-afterpay/
    The Morrison government is not impressed by Victoria’s post-COVID plan for ‘insecure work’. The gig economy strikes again!
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/andrews-casual-worker-sick-leave-scheme-sets-up-federal-clash-20201123-p56h7w.html
    Michelle Grattan looks at Andrews’ plan to support casual workers and discusses the federal government’s response.
    https://theconversation.com/daniel-andrews-plans-pilot-for-casual-workers-sick-pay-but-morrison-government-critical-150648
    The Senate Committee investigating the sorry state of Australia’s news media has issued terms of reference and is collecting submissions, but Martin Hirst doesn’t think it will change anything regarding the Murdoch empire.
    https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/senate-media-diversity-inquiry-may-be-ineffective-against-murdoch-empire,14548
    Jennifer Duke reports that the Reserve Bank estimates another 700,000 workers would have lost their jobs during the first six months of the coronavirus-induced recession if the federal government had not introduced the $101.3 billion JobKeeper scheme.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/cushioning-the-decline-rba-finds-jobkeeper-saved-700-000-jobs-20201123-p56h0j.html
    The latest employment figures were a pleasant surprise, but we have a long way to go, says Greg Jericho.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2020/nov/24/the-latest-employment-figures-were-a-pleasant-surprise-but-we-have-a-long-way-to-go
    Nick Toscano tells us that fuel giant Ampol has described rival BP’s decision to shut the country’s largest oil refinery as a warning of the severity of the challenges facing the refining industry and threat to its future in Australia.
    https://www.theage.com.au/business/companies/ampol-weighing-all-options-as-australia-s-oil-refinery-crisis-persists-20201123-p56h5z.html
    NSW Energy and Climate Minister Matt Kean has accused the state’s biggest electricity suppliers of trying to make super profits after they said his new plan is causing them to put their investments on hold.
    https://www.afr.com/policy/energy-and-climate/federal-nsw-energy-stoush-fires-up-20201123-p56gxt
    And Jennifer Hewett says that NSW is calling AGL’s and Angus Taylor’s bluff.
    https://www.afr.com/companies/energy/nsw-is-calling-agl-s-and-angus-taylor-s-bluff-20201123-p56h7s
    Michaela Whitbourn reports that the high-profile Sydney criminal lawyer Chris Murphy has launched defamation proceedings against The Daily Telegraph and a prominent columnist over an item he alleges portrays him as being so “ravaged by age” he is unfit to practise as a lawyer.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/sydney-criminal-lawyer-chris-murphy-sues-daily-telegraph-for-defamation-20201123-p56h6i.html
    The SMH editorial puts it to us that having Cormann as OECD head would give Australia a louder international voice.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/cormann-as-oecd-head-would-give-australia-a-louder-international-voice-20201123-p56h87.html
    But Mathias Cormann’s travel around Europe to campaign for the top OECD job may be costing Australian taxpayers as much as $4,300 an hour, based on records of previous flights by the same type of air force plane that he is using.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/nov/24/flights-for-mathias-cormanns-european-campaign-for-oecd-job-could-cost-taxpayers-4300-an-hour
    Anne Davies reports that the movement to find independent challengers to Coalition MPs has spread beyond New South Wales and Victoria into South Australia, with Voices of Boothby emerging in the marginal Adelaide seat held by Nicolle Flint.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/nov/24/south-australian-community-forms-grassroots-campaign-to-challenge-coalition-incumbent
    The owner of the Jim’s Mowing franchise and former Casey mayor Sam Aziz hatched a plan to ‘take over’ Yarra Ranges Council, the state’s anti-corruption commission has heard. Choice!
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/jim-s-mowing-boss-in-ex-mayor-s-sam-aziz-plan-to-control-yarra-ranges-20201123-p56h57.html
    Ita Buttrose has let fly at those wanting to destroy the ABC.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/abc-the-embodiment-of-australia-abc-chair-ita-buttrose-defends-broadcaster-as-essential-to-democracy-20201123-p56h80.html
    Paul Keating has accused the government of using the release of the bombshell report on Australian soldiers alleged murders in Afghanistan to hide treasury report findings that he said backed increasing superannuation payments. It was a classic Keating performance on 7:30.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/nov/23/paul-keating-accuses-government-of-using-afghanistan-report-to-bury-treasury-backing-for-superannuation
    Axing stamp duty is a great idea, but NSW is going about it the wrong way, argues Professor John Freebairn.
    https://theconversation.com/axing-stamp-duty-is-a-great-idea-but-nsw-is-going-about-it-the-wrong-way-150629
    Nick Bonyhady tells us how Australians have come through a year of fire and pandemic with more faith in their country and its institutions, backing key steps taken to deal with COVID-19 in the fifth annual Ethics Index.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/we-re-selling-houses-they-re-saving-lives-the-professions-rated-the-most-ethical-during-the-pandemic-20201123-p56h3i.html
    Water infrastructure projects are being fast-tracked in NSW, ostensibly to drought-proof communities. But concerns are growing that this is a cover story to allow more water-guzzling mining operations to develop and expand, with taxpayers footing the bill. Troy Walsh reports.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/regional-dams-for-drought-proofing-or-mine-profit-proofing/
    Anthony Galloway writes that Biden’s pick for the next secretary of state, Tony Blinkin, is Australia’s choice too.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/biden-s-pick-for-the-next-secretary-of-state-is-australia-s-choice-too-20201123-p56h5j.html
    Melissa Cunningham reports that Victoria’s new digitised contact tracing system could process up to 500 new coronavirus cases a day if the state were hit with a third wave.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/sutton-tells-inquiry-contact-tracers-overwhelmed-as-daily-cases-hit-200-20201123-p56h3q.html
    South Australia’s Chief Public Health Officer says the lengthy task of combing CCTV footage is nearing completion and will hopefully reveal how the state’s latest outbreak began.
    https://www.afr.com/policy/health-and-education/medi-hotel-cctv-holds-key-to-sa-mystery-20201123-p56gxf
    Sydney-based Morse Micro is on the verge of bringing its long-range Wi-Fi chip to market, securing an additional $US13 million ($17 million) in funding from heavyweight investors falling over themselves to back the technology.
    https://www.smh.com.au/technology/awesome-and-crazy-wi-fi-potential-a-hit-with-morse-micro-investors-20201123-p56h5m.html
    Trump appears to be doing everything he can to undermine the incoming Biden administration and constrain its ability to govern effectively, writes Stephen Bartholomeusz.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/fed-spat-raises-fears-trump-wants-to-burn-the-house-down-20201123-p56h2g.html
    Tom Rabe describes how the new technology on the M4 will substantially improve traffic flow.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/sydney-s-new-smart-motorway-aims-to-end-stop-start-traffic-20201123-p56h5r.html
    Yet another Sydney food delivery rider has been killed on the job.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/fifth-food-delivery-rider-dies-following-truck-crash-in-central-sydney-20201123-p56h9y.html
    The Canberra Times editorial says Donald Trump is destroying his own legacy.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7024987/trump-destroying-his-own-legacy/?cs=14258
    Troy Bramston writes that John Bolton believes the US is entering a dangerous phase with a delusional Donald Trump refusing to accept that he lost the election, delaying the presidential transition to Joe Biden amid the possibility that he may use military force abroad or “cut a deal” with Iran or North Korea that would secure their ­nuclear weapons program.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/donald-trump-still-has-time-to-create-global-chaos-says-john-bolton/news-story/9606c4125f0c40e25e5d4fd69e419486
    These two bar owners walk away with today’s nomination for “Arseholes of the Week”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/bar-tsars-apologise-for-comments-about-self-entitled-young-workers-20201123-p56h8z.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Pope

    David Rowe

    John Shakespeare

    Cathy Wilcox

    Matt Golding



    Mark Knight

    John Spooner

    Andrew Dyson

    Tom Jellett

    From the US









  22. “Morrison has said Australia’s pursuit of its national interests on the world stage has been wrongly interpreted as siding with the US over China”

    Bullshit

    Does he ever stop lying?

    Every time he had a phone call from Trump he followed it by some new kind of anti-China nastiness. Obviously those calls were just Trump giving orders which our sycophantic CrimeMinister jumped to obey.

    The US rewarded this arse-licking by snatching up trade in the Australian goods China now refuses to take from us – barley, beef, wine etc.

    All the CrimeMinister achieved with his willingness to do whatever Trump asked was the destruction of trade and soured relations with what used to be our biggest trading partner.

  23. Now there’s a surprise. Not

    The Inspector General of Intelligence and Security, Jake Blight, has revealed Australia’s spy agencies incidentally collected data in the Covidsafe contact tracing app in the past 7 months.

    In his first report on the use of the data, the Igis found Australia’s spy agencies had policies in place to ensure Covidsafe app data was not intentionally collected, but there had been “incidental collection in the course of lawful collection of other data” and that was permitted under the Privacy Act.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2020/nov/24/covid-south-australia-nsw-victoria-qld-follow-live#comments

  24. I don’t think this Addy article is paywalled

  25. Shhlap……..
    .
    Jodi McKay
    (@JodiMcKayMP)
    To all workers who’ve taken days of work to wait for test results – thank you.

    To all businesses who’ve given their employees time off work to wait for test results – thank you.

    To the Premier – who had meetings and voted in parliament with 90 MPs – shame on you.

    November 24, 2020

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