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. Vale the “hero” of the RW section of the “How to respond to The Plague” community.
    Covid 19 coronavirus: Sweden’s government sidelines epidemiologist as deaths rise

    The high-profile epidemiologist who led Sweden’s no lockdown strategy in the spring appears to be being sidelined by the government after his prediction that greater immunity would mean a lighter second wave proved badly wrong.


    • Leone,

      He asserts that he doesn’t hold a hose.

      I feel somewhat sorry for the Love Machine, having to clean the surrounds of the toilet.

  2. How did I miss this?

    8 March 2019

    NSW premier says deputy is Pork Barrel-aro

    The NSW premier has happily admitted it’s apt for her deputy to be nicknamed “Pork Barrel-aro” just hours after the Nationals leader went public with his desire to one day be treasurer.

    John Barilaro says if he were handed the keys to the state coffers he’d live up to the moniker “Pork Barrel-aro” by taking it to another level in the regions


  3. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Scott Morrison now finds himself ending a horrible year in an unimaginably better electoral position than when he began it and the Coalition after seven years in government is the most internally stable it has been, writes Simon Benson about the latest Newspoll.
    David Crowe tells us that more than two million workers have left the $101.3 billion JobKeeper scheme since the federal government reduced the wage subsidy at the end of September in a sign of economic recovery as fewer employers rely on the extraordinary assistance. Meanwhile the argument about the level of payment for Jobseeker continues.
    Jennifer Duke looks at the two sides of the Jobseeker argument.
    Top economists want JobSeeker boosted by $100+ per week and tied to wages, writes Peter Martin.
    And Professor Jeff Borland says that “if JobSeeker was to climb A$125 per week from $282.85 to $407.85, it would still be only a little more than half the national minimum wage. The increase would leave JobSeeker recipients at the very bottom of the distribution of earnings of full-time adult workers – the bottom percentile. This means 99 out of every 100 full-time jobs would pay more.”
    Michael Pascoe opines that what the economy needs next is redistribution.
    Michelle Grattan wonders how the ADF chief will react if the government insists that the Special Operations Task Group should keep its citations.
    Australian citizens stranded overseas due to COVID-19 and flight caps, feel abandoned by the Morrison Government, writes Candice Dix.
    NSW’s clean energy plan means the federal government is even more isolated on fossil fuels, explains Adam Morton.
    Sean Kelly reckons Morrison should heed his own advice – and fix his culture problem.
    Labor MP Julian Hill is pushing for the Auditor-General to have more independence over his budget by removing it from the Prime Minister’s responsibilities.
    Meanwhile, Australians increasingly view corruption as a major problem and their faith in the federal government’s ability to handle it is greatly diminishing, a new report has found.
    Australian grain growers have backed the Morrison government in taking China to the World Trade Organisation over its tariff on barley after Beijing ramped up its trade strikes on billions of dollars worth of exports.
    The editorial in the SMH says that Australia in recent years has been steadily pushing back against the bully tactics and threats of the government of China. In doing so, it has suffered a predictable backlash, and it believes Morrison should coax Britain into the fray.
    According to Emma Koehn, Victoria could use its unique position as a global hub for disease-fighting research, testing and manufacturing to help revive its economic fortunes.
    David Penberthy writes that Anthony Fauci has applauded Australia’s use of lockdowns to combat the coronavirus and ­lamented the fact his home country failed to take the same ­approach, fearing the worst is yet to come in the United States.
    Latika Bourke writes that ex-Huawei board member, Alexander Downer, has savaged David Cameron and George Osborne’s “golden era” China policy, saying it was “superficial”, unfit for a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and left Britain’s friends and allies unimpressed.
    As Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant says, “I have never been more fearful for the protection of our children on the internet than I am right now as governments and industry take disparate approaches to online safety”.
    Angus Campbell is working through a list of dozens of senior officers who led special forces soldiers at the centre of war crimes allegations to determine which commanders should be held accountable and how they will be punished, reports Ben Packham.
    The tender process for the Australian Army’s new fleet of combat reconnaissance vehicles totalling nearly $4.3 billion was only “partly effective”, a new Auditor-General report has found. Defence procurement continue to play blinders!
    In quite a reasonable contribution, Amanda Vanstone writes about political leadership.
    The NSW education minister declares that the reading wars are over – and phonics has won.
    The aged care sector requires an additional $7 billion per year in federal funding – a 35 per cent increase – if it is to be fixed, a new Grattan Institute report argues.
    Coronial records have found that most young Australians aged 10 to 24 who die by suicide are either diagnosed with or suffer a likely mental health disorder – but more than two-thirds are not in contact with mental health services at the time of their deaths, explains John Elder.
    The Victorian government will launch an advertising campaign this week to encourage thousands of workers to spend the summer months labouring on farms in the hope it will stop tonnes of fresh food from going to waste.
    The epidemiologist who led no-lockdown strategy appears to have been sidelined by the Swedish government.
    Asked repeatedly whether he would co-operate with an investigation into branch stacking in the Liberal Party, Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said it was a matter for the party.
    Alexandra Smith reports that money laundering by criminals in NSW drove a $305 million increase in poker machine profits in just five months.
    Academic John Hawkins writes that one obstacle remains for the US to ‘lead the world’ again – Mitch McConnell’s Senate.
    The Washington Post examines the fantasy and failure inside Trump’s 20-day quest to overturn the US election. A long and entertaining read.
    The president-elect has brought in a mix of experience and diversity – but more telling is who Biden hasn’t appointed, writes Daniel Strauss.
    Washington: In his first television interview since the November 3 election, the idiot suggested yesterday that he will never accept his loss to Joe Biden and continued to fling baseless accusations of election fraud.
    A day after Pennsylvania’s highest court had thrown out a lower court’s order preventing the state from certifying results from the 3 November US elections, Donald Trump blasted the judges’ decision. Suck it up, princess!
    Trump is going to La La Land, declares John Lord.

    Cartoon Corner

    Peter Broelman

    Jim Pavlidis

    Matt Golding

    Glen Le Lievre

    Mark Knight

    John Spooner

    From the US

  4. Everything old is new again!

    The NSW government’s new phonics test seems very like the old Schonell reading test, long regarded as too outdated to be used.

    This test (I was using it in private tutoring in the 1980s because it worked) allowed a teacher to establish a child’s reading age by asking the child to read a list of words, arranged in order of difficulty. If a child wanted to use phonics to sound out an unfamiliar word that was OK. Once ten consecutive mistakes were made the testing stopped and the teacher used a formula to calculate the reading age. This test was an Australian invention, the work of Sir Fred Schonell.

    Funny how old teaching tools keep coming back. There are a couple I hope never return – Cuisenaire rods (great for playing with at lunchtime on wet days but useless for teaching maths) and the dreadful “Breakthrough to Literacy” scheme which still gives me nightmares when I remember classrooms full of mothers and grandmothers dragged in to “help” provide the individual attention each child required during reading lessons.

    • This says it all –

      Sarah Mitchell has no qualifications whatsoever in any form of education, apart from her own schooldays. At university she studied politics and international relations. After graduating she moved straight into John Anderson’s electorate office as a staffer. She stayed there until the opportunity to worm her way into the NSW parliament came up.

      What sort of Premier puts an unqualified National into the education portfolio? Maybe one in thrall to Pork Barrell-aro?

  5. So much winning!

    Wisconsin’s presidential recount is completed in the two counties Trump challenged. After spending $3mil, which was pre-paid because this is Trump after all, the president added 87 votes to Joe Biden’s total. Joe Biden has won the state of Wisconsin. Again.
    Fun fact: Trump becomes the first presidential candidate in history to lose recounts in two different states, WI and GA.
    The average cost of each of the 87 votes that Trump added to Biden’s total was $34,482.76


  6. This tweet has outraged the CrimeMinister (More like faux outrage enabling yet more China-bashing) –

    Tony Burke says it is “disgusting” and “offensive” – most journalists agree. I cannot see anything outrageous, disgusting, offensive or dreadful about it. To me it’s saying it as it is, and all Australians should have been just as shocked.

    We should be demanding immediate action but all we get is waffling about Campbell deciding who, if anyone at all, will be punished and who should or should not be stripped of medals. You don’t have to be too bright to work out the defence powers that be are just using delaying tactics, hoping we will all forget about this appalling behaviour over Christmas.

    Why isn’t the CrimeMinister outraged about the Biloela family being in detention for 1000 days? A sad anniversary notched up yesterday, but no-one in this abysmal government or any Labor politician will say one word about this real outrage.

    • Now Penny Wong has joined the chorus, saying this –

      Can I make clear on behalf of the Opposition, we condemn the action by the Chinese Government in the strongest terms.

      It is gratuitous, inflammatory and it is deeply offensive.

      This is not the behaviour of a responsible, mature international power.

      These tactics will be met with unified condemnation in the Australian community.

      And they will be judged harshly by the international community.

      The men and women of the Australian Defence Force serve with honour.

      They deserve our respect, and the respect of our allies, friends and partners around the world.

      The allegations in the Brereton Report have horrified Australia.

      What sets us apart is the dignified, transparent and accountable manner of our response.

      That is what happens within the Australian democracy


      What utter bullshit. And this, people, is the woman widely touted as apossible Labor leader (for which she would have to move to the Reps, but no-one seems to understand that.)

      China is merely doing what Penny asked – providing harsh judgement from an international perspective, yet she seems unable to accept that. If the US said exactly the same thing would Australian politicians be so quick to condemn?

  7. Let the Twitter war commence,
    Hu Xijin 胡锡进
    It is a popular cartoon that condemns the Australian Special Forces ’s brutal murder of 39 Afghan civilians. On what ground does Morrison feel angry over the use of this cartoon by the spokesperson of Chinese FM? It’s ridiculous and shameless that he demanded China to apologize. https://t.co/QkBSXyf1uY

    November 30, 2020

  8. Two reasons the CrimeMinister needed to distract us with his totally fake outrage over a tweet –

  9. Damn right!

    Jacinda Ardern has been asked why New Zealand, which has taken positions contrary to China’s wishes on issues like Hong Kong, wasn’t experiencing the same difficulties as Australia, with its relationship:

    AAP reports:

    Asked why New Zealand wasn’t getting similar treatment China, Ms Ardern suggested consistency and predictability was key.

    “We signal we have these concerns, and in a very predictable way we will use different forums, whether it’s ministerial statements, whether it’s bilateral,” she said.

    “New Zealand is pretty predictable in these areas and that’s the course of action that we take with any country where we have concerns.”


  10. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/nov/30/what-is-chinas-endgame-thats-the-question-australia-has-no-answer-to

    The words of Morrison’s rapprochement request were weighed carefully. “There are undoubtedly tensions that exist between China and Australia,” the prime minister said. “But this is not how you deal with them”.

    “Australia has patiently sought to … address the tensions that exist in our relationship in a mature way, in a responsible way, by seeking engagement at both leader and ministerial level to ensure that we can openly discuss what are clear sources of tension in this relationship.

    “The way to deal with those is by engaging directly in discussion and dialogue between ministers and leaders, and despite this terribly offensive post today, I would ask again and call on China to re-engage in that dialogue.

    “This is how countries must deal with each other to ensure that we can deal with any issues in our relationship, consistent with our national interests and respect for each other’s sovereignty, not engaging in this sort of deplorable behaviour.

    Maybe suggesting we invade Wuhan wasn’t such a good idea?

    But Australia’s problem is not that we don’t know what our endgame is. Our problem is we don’t know what China’s endgame is – and Morrison’s problem is we are no closer to having an answer to that question.

    I have a damn good idea what China’s endgame is.

    Katharine is back to telling us how wonderful the IdiotCrimeMinister is.

  11. I remember that trip and also his 1973 trip, the first visit to China by an Australian PM. Both times the media and Malcolm Fraser denounced the trips..I also remember Fraser’s first overseas trip as PM, in March 1976, was to China and Japan. I clearly remember thinking what a fracking hypocrite he was.

    Here’s a partial (and amusing) account of the 1973 visit by Stephen Fitzgerald, Australia’s first Ambassador to China.

    Gough Whitlam’s visit to China in 1973 had a ‘sense of history’

  12. Technology experts have criticised the federal government for not using Apple and Google’s contact-tracing system in an overhaul of the Covidsafe app it announced on Monday, with one cryptographer saying they would be “astounded” if the upgrade performs as well as the framework being used in other countries.

    Experts have also criticised the government for not engaging with the tech community before announcing the app’s central change – which largely focuses on using a new Bluetooth protocol – given the app’s poor track record since its release.


  13. Jacinda is doing stuff

    And then we have the usual suspects

    The Government will start the process of giving every New Zealander an extra five days of sick leave a year before Parliament adjourns for the summer break.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the move shows the Government is getting “down to business” when it comes to implementing its pre-election policies.

    As well as the new sick leave rules, Ardern has revealed that the Government will today introduce legislation to implement a new 39 per cent top tax rate bill.

    Although the new rules are backed by unions, business groups are not happy.

    Retail NZ said the blanket increase to 10 sick days a year is “bad news” for those who work part-time.

    And National’s workplace relations spokesman Scott Simpson said more sick leave would “only make our economy crook”.

    “Doubling sick leave just piles more costs onto business at a time when they can least afford it, coming on top of minimum wage increases and the proposal for an extra public holiday,” he said.


  14. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Katharine Murphy unpicks the latest Essential poll that shows there are a lot of tea leaves the government is not prepared to read.
    Australia and China are caught in a fresh diplomatic row over an inflammatory social media post that has sent tensions with Beijing to a new front.
    Australia is the country that’s supposed to be feeling the pressure. But a look at the evidence reveals that the supposedly mighty regime of strongman Xi Jinping is the one feeling the strain. We now have three clear points of proof, opines Peter Hartcher. I somehow think Hartcher would have a bit of trouble getting a visa to visit there at the moment.
    The Australian says that China-Australia ties have sunk to a 50-year low after Zhao Lijian’s tweet.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz reckons China’s actions are just like Trump’s tariffs and will eventually backfire on them.
    But an all-out trade war with China would cost Australia 6% of GDP, say these contributors to The Conservation.
    What is China’s endgame? That’s the question Australia has no answer to, says Katharine Murphy.
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s demand that the Chinese government or Twitter delete an illustration showing an Australian soldier holding a knife to an Afghan child’s throat has been ignored, with neither the social media giant nor the Communist regime taking action, writes Josh Butler.
    The only reason Beijing’s chief Twitter troll, Lijian Zhao, knew about the alleged SAS war crimes is because they were exposed initially by a free media – something Beijing opposes, says Phil Coorey.
    Does Australia really have to be so strident when it comes to China, asks Hamish McDonald.
    Now Qatar has abruptly ended a subsidy that underpinned the lamb trade with Australia for years – a move that some see as retaliation for protests over strip searches of Australian women.
    Tomorrow’s GDP figures are likely to show that the economy grew in the September quarter but data on investment, profits and wages show that our economy remains bound up in the calamity of the pandemic recession, explains Greg Jericho.
    Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine has been found to be 100 per cent effective at preventing severe cases of COVID-19. Results from its Phase 3 trial also showed the vaccine, which the US-based pharmaceutical company designed in just two days, is 94.1 per cent effective at protecting people from the virus, reports The New Daily.
    Mary Ward writes that a royal commission has criticised Australia’s COVID-19 response, saying a serious failure to consult with the disability community led to unnecessary fear and misunderstanding, including regarding whether people with a disability who caught the virus would not be prioritised for ventilator access.
    Experts are saying that the Morrison government’s updated Covidsafe app is unlikely to improve its results.
    Jenna Price joins the long list of people and organisations pouring scorn on the government’s plan to merge the Family and Federal courts.
    A NSW parliamentary inquiry has found some health services have been historically underfunded, leading to long waits and patients being forced to travel across the city.
    Adele Ferguson reveals that two icare workers were allowed to resign despite being reported to the police and the anti-corruption watchdog over a recruitment scam that cost the scandal-ridden workers’ compensation agency more than $150,000.
    General Angus Campbell appears to have bowed to political pressure over a move to revoke the meritorious unit citation from special forces troops.
    Actions taken at lower levels to cover up alleged war crimes mean that no officer from the Australian military can be held legally responsible, writes Paul Taucher.
    The Age’s crime reporter John Silvester examines the report of the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants that will forever be known as the Gobbo inquiry. He doesn’t think the commission went far enough.
    And Chip Le Grand tells us about the lie from which the Gobbo scandal grew.
    Lawyer X inquiry calls for sweeping change to Victoria Police, but is it enough to bring real accountability, ponder two professors for The Conversation.
    Following her conviction last week for stealing money from the mostly low-paid HSU members, Kathy Jackson is now just as big a crook as those she exposed, says the AFR.
    Food delivery rider Jade Howard writes that “in a gig economy where the race to the bottom is only compounded by the stress and economic precariousness of the health crisis, we take that risk, we work for starvation wages, because we have no other choice. Our journey is one, though seemingly necessary in our contemporary world, that proves another example of our society’s valuing of convenience over the safety of vulnerable workers.”
    Cereal and snack company Freedom Foods has unleashed a write-down of more than half a billion dollars after revealing its internal forensic accounting investigation has spilled over into a full-blown probe by the financial watchdog. It’s a shocker!
    Australia’s mainstream news media is largely tied to the Liberal Party which is driving our nation towards authoritarianism, writes Richard Gillies.
    Anthony Galloway reports that Australia will begin testing hypersonic missiles that can travel at least five times the speed of sound within months under a new agreement with the United States to develop prototypes of the next-generation weapons.
    Australian governments and their defence leaders, with help from lobbyists, choose immensely complex, overpriced and overmanned weaponry. Wasteful spending has to end, writes Brian Toohey.
    According to Lisa Visentin, no state or territory has met a federal government deadline to outline their plans for the return of international students in 2021 by the end of November, with three states yet to provide any indication of when they will be ready.
    Lawyers representing the Victorian health department are being asked to explain why key evidence of a major split in the department was not made available earlier.
    Domestic violence victims would get ten days of paid leave under new rules Labor will put to Parliament next week, reports Katina Curtis.
    Looking at Albanese’s chances for the next election, Nicholas Stuart writes, “True leaders – Rudd, Hawke and Whitlam – didn’t win by default. They seized the leadership and inspired the nation. They worked Parliament, the press and the people. They worked on the micro level – what can government do for me? – and the big-picture stuff about the future.”
    A Victorian Labor MP told IBAC that she regretted meeting an allegedly corrupt developer seeking a lucrative rezoning just weeks before accepting $20,000 in donations from him.
    Santos, one of the nation’s largest oil and gas companies, will target deeper emissions cuts in the next decade with a goal to become a “net-zero” emitter by 2040, reports Nick Toscano.
    Meanwhile, McGrathNicol’s chairman Jason Preston will say today that the escalation of China’s trade restrictions completes “a perfect storm” for coal exporters, as dozens of ships carrying up to $700 million worth of coal remain stranded off the Chinese coast unable to unload their cargo.
    Fourteen Pacific leaders have jointly signed an open letter to Scott Morrison urging Australia to honour its international climate commitments and take urgent climate action.
    The SMH editorial says that the NSW government has found a way through the mire of climate policy. Trust the science, heed the market, focus on the consumer and reach across the aisle. This seems to be the exact opposite of how the federal Coalition has been behaving.
    SA’s top health official has publicly apologised to an infectious man whose shopping trip sparked a series of high-risk COVID alerts.
    The Crown isn’t making the royal family look bad. They do a fine job of that themselves, says Catharine Bennett.
    Charlotte Grieve tells us about the ongoing IT issues at the ASX. Some financial firms are saying that the outages are proof the ASX’s monopoly status has prevented it from investing sufficiently in technology upgrades.
    Ben Smee reports that the president of the Queensland Liberal National party women’s branch has emailed fellow officials to warn of a “culture of anger and mistrust”, amid an increasingly fraught fallout from the party’s state election loss.
    Boris Johnson will get a deal: but it will be a betrayal of the Brexiters, explains Polly Toynbee. She says that this is the moment when he’ll have to accept that no-deal is a disaster – and break all those fairy-dust promises.
    Joe Biden will lead the US back to international cooperation, writes Jeffrey Frankel who says that after Donald Trump, the US should work with others on the climate crisis and economic stimulus.
    Donald Trump and his allies are “undermining democracy” with evidence-free claims of fraud and conspiracy, the former head of US election security said on Sunday, discussing the effort he led before he was fired by the president.
    New research has shown how Covid-19 killed Trump’s hope of re-election.
    A top Iranian security official has accused Israel of using “electronic devices” to remotely kill a scientist who founded the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program in the 2000s.

    Cartoon Corner

    Andrew Dyson

    Cathy Wilcox

    Peter Broelman

    David Rowe

    Matt Golding

    Johannes Leak

    John Shakespeare

    From the US

  15. When looking at the situation Morrison – and by extension Australia – is currently in with China, it’s worth going back over Morrison’s previous behaviour and the way he reacted to other difficulties during his PM-ship, as they’re most likely to indicate how this is going to play out.

    If anyone can recall a time when Morrison displayed proper diplomacy when dealing with anything, let me know, because I’m having trouble recalling a single instance. And diplomacy is urgently needed right now. He has a few ways of dealing with trouble, and they’re all about his personal ego. We can take the bushfires and covid19 as the most recent examples and go from there.

    Bushfires; it’s probably not remembered by all that many, but Morrison’s first reaction to the bushfires was simply to pretend they weren’t happening. That state of mind lasted from September until mid-December, when he was mostly preoccupied with winning a battle over vilification laws. He monopolised the newsfeed with that crap, intent on ending the year with a victory on the floor before he went on holiday. In other words, he put aside a difficult situation where he would need to back down (admitting he wasn’t anywhere near prepared for the bushfire season and had pulled resources from it) and focused on a far less relevant area where he could snag a short-term victory. It’s directly analogous to what he did with covid19 (prioritising economy over health because he felt he could present more strongly that way) and the situation with China (pretending it wasn’t a problem for months while he retreated to his covid cabinet). His idea was to wait for the fires to burn out, and then carry on as if nothing had happened.

    Needless to say, the bushfires didn’t pay any attention to what Morrison wanted. They got way worse, while Morrison disappeared to Hawaii or wherever he was over Christmas. His response to that? Firstly, he got his office to lie about where he was, then when that didn’t work he promised to come home on the next flight, which he didn’t do. And then when he did get back, what’s the first matter he attended to? His image. He organised some happy snaps with the Australian cricket team at his place. This was what he believed to be the first order of business. While fires were still devastating his home state. Some bright spark in the PMO finally realised that Morrison needed to be seen to be doing something about it, so he did an announceable about money for the bushfire victims and then went to Cobargo. Where he was filmed forcibly shaking hands with people who were clearly furious with him. Once the bushfires were over, he promptly forgot all about them and the money never eventuated.

    So that’s the pattern. Ignore while engineering ‘wins’ somewhere else; hide; attend to image; promise a quick fix; forget.

    Covid19: Same pattern. Its believed that he knew about the threat posed by the virus in January, but he pretended it didn’t exist until about mid-March. There was no preparation for it at all until around the time the Grand Prix was called off. In fact, Morrison was mostly crowing about the expected ‘Budget Surplus’ up until that point. When he finally realised the gravity of the situation, his first order to business was to close down Parliament and set up a secretive covid cabinet. He had a lot of happy snaps with his family taken around that time. This was also a time when the federal government were handing out a lot of terrible advice; firstly about this being primarily an economic issue, and secondly about whether personal contact and social distancing were issues at all (the chief CMO still thought it was find to shake hands, for instance). Luckily for Morrison, he had the state leaders to bail him out. A lot of the settings were controlled by the individual states, and things like business and school closures, social distancing, and later on mask wearing and restrictions on leaving the home, were managed at a state level. Morrison actually withdrew from all of this, and we didn’t see a lot of him. He spent much of his energy hobbling the enquiry into the Ruby Princess fiasco. He also had his quick fix, the covid app, which even on the face of it was a stupid idea; the idea that a phone app which requires 15 uninterrupted minutes of personal contact to even register a risk, and only warns of that risk well after contact was made, is clearly hopeless. But it was trumpeted for ages as a government ‘win’. It still remains the only federal health initiative against the pandemic. Jobkeeper/Jobseeker were important economic initiatives, but they were pushed onto Morrison and he sought to get rid of them as soon as he could.

    The pattern repeated. Ignore while engineering ‘wins’ somewhere else; hide; attend to image; promise a quick fix; forget. Obscured a little by good state initiatives, which Morrison promptly took credit for. I might also note that he used covid19 as a smokescreen. A number of times in the past few months he waved off things like Sportsrorts, Robodebt and action on ministerial accountability by claiming he was too busy dealing with covid19. He’s not doing anything about covid19. He outsourced the whole lot of it, including things that fall under federal responsibility like aged care and quarantine.

    You can also look back to the first thing Morrison did upon winning the PM-ship. He went consciously bogan for a while, trotting about in public inviting people to call him Scomo, getting lots of shot of him drinking beer in various locations, quoting some no-name rapper in Parliament and making a meme out of it. Image first and foremost. He’s always about small wins, secrecy and image. And I almost forgot his other tactic: fake outrage. It manifests mostly as variations on “I reject the premise of your question”, but it also goes as far as a rant on the phrase “bonk ban”. He neatly sidestepped responsibility for what Porter and Tudge did by just focusing on wording. Then hoped it would all go away after that.


    So, with that in mind, how’s the China thing going to play out? Badly. Morrison seems to have spent most of this year assuming that the Trump administration had his back, and that he could say whatever he liked under that cover. When the trade situation started to go pear-shaped, he concentrated his energy on three areas: small wins, hiding, image. He arranged announceables about a covid19 vaccine that doesn’t exist yet, and called it a win. He also took a sudden trip to Japan, which seemed to surprise even them, to cobble together an in-principle agreement. This was supposed to make him look like an international player, and it had the added effect of lining him up with an adversary of China, one with a little more clout than us. For the image, mainly, as it has no real effect on our trade situation. He came home a couple of days later, and went into quarantine. Quarantine allows him to manufacture his image in a setting where he can’t be contradicted or gainsaid. And sure enough, we’ve had a welter of images coming out of the Lodge. He seems to have taken an entire PR team in there with him. It’s the personal equivalent of his covid cabinet, a place where he’s surrounded by like-minded people he can lord it over. He has also done the fake outrage. China called us out over war crimes, possible because we as a nation like to take a holier-than-thou attitude to human rights, but are just as bad as the next country when it comes to face up to our own failings. Morrison has chosen to take umbrage at it, presumably because he hopes the nation will go along with him. It’s about his image. China doesn’t have to do anything about that. They’ll feel justified enough about what they’ve done, and for them it doesn’t make much difference at all how we feel about it. They have enormous clout internationally. We, less so.

    Ok, so next up is the promise of a quick fix, and then he’ll attempt to forget about it. Nothing he promises to fix ever actually gets fixed; in Morrison’s mind the promise is the fix. In other words, our current dire trade situation is the new normal for Australia, and we’ll just have to get used to it. It’s an economic disaster, but Morrison’s not much concerned about that. His only interest is in how he comes out of it. So expect nothing at all to happen for a little bit, then he’ll attempt to change the subject.

    • Well done!

      Why can’t the so-called journalists of the MSM work this out?

      One thing you forgot to mention –

      The US signed a trade agreement with China in January this year.

      It has not worked as well as the US hoped, but the agreement has meant the US has been after increased markets for their goods all year. It’s why China has turned to the US to replace cancelled Australian exports of beef and barley and possibly, eventually, wine.

      Trump knew all about this while he was encouraging Morrison to go full-bore on hating China. He knew China would retaliate by cutting trade with Australia. Cynics might even say the whole thing was planned, a plot between the US and China with Morrison playing the role of useful idiot. Trump played Morrison, who, being 100% ego and 0% intelligence, lapped up the attention showered on him (“duchessing” is a great term to explain this) and like a good little ally did what was asked without for one second realising he was being mightily used and abused.

      As an aside, here’s a great article from 2012 that explains what duchessing means –

      Now Trump is gone and Morrison is left with a shattered relationship with China, exports through the floor and no idea how to fix it.

      Yesterday’s confected, faux”outrage” over a tweet was more about distracting the media from his bill to abolish the Family Court than about China. The media, of course, fell for it.

  16. If the CrimeMinister actually believes his latest rant –

    It is deeply offensive to every Australian, every Australian who has served in that uniform, every Australian who serves in that uniform today, everyone who has pulled on that uniform and served with Australians overseas from whatever nation, that they have done that. It is utterly outrageous and it cannot be justified on any basis whatsoever

    – then he should be profoundly grateful the Chinese did not use a photo of the two 14 year old Afghan boys whose throats were slit by the heroes of the SAS, just because they could.

    I’m sick to death of the current bout of “let’s all hate China”. The usual suspects, The Oz and Nine, with special mention for virulence going to Hartcher, are in full cry.

    Meanwhile the real issues affecting Australians get relegated to minor status or are not mentioned at all.

    To me the real scandal today is not a tweet from China but the one a week deaths from domestic violence – 48 to 30 November – the huge increase in reported cases this year and the government’s decision to abolish the Family Court. If you don’t believe those things are linked then think again.

  17. A bit of an explainer about what the numbers re vaccine ‘success’ actual means.
    2 Companies Say Their Vaccines Are 95% Effective. What Does That Mean?

    What’s the difference between efficacy and effectiveness?

    You might assume that 95 out of every 100 people vaccinated will be protected from Covid-19. But that’s not how the math works.

    In the case of Pfizer, for example, the company recruited 43,661 volunteers and waited for 170 people to come down with symptoms of Covid-19 and then get a positive test. Out of these 170, 162 had received a placebo shot, and just eight had received the real vaccine.

    From these numbers, Pfizer’s researchers calculated the fraction of volunteers in each group who got sick. Both fractions were small, but the fraction of unvaccinated volunteers who got sick was much bigger than the fraction of vaccinated ones.

  18. The Betoota Advocate writing a more accurate assessment than you will find in the MSM.
    World’s Largest Economic Superpower Oddly Unfazed By Hurt Feelings Of Cronulla Marketing Guru

    ……….While Morrison may be one of few Australians that love the Die Hard movies so much that he refuses to believe America aren’t in charge of the world anymore, it seems most financial and political experts are of the opinion that China has overtaken the US as the world economic super power during the Trump Presidency.

  19. Labor is just as bad. The group-think reaction from Labor pollies to a certain tweet has been as bad and every bit as ludicrous as the government’s overblown reaction.

    Nicholas Stuart is right in his article for the Canberra Times. If you have not read it then you should. Here’s the link again –

  20. Thanks for the response earlier, Leone. I hadn’t really considered the US trade agreement when I was writing my post. Throw that into the mix too. Morrison’s clearly posturing for domestic consumption. As usual, he has no end game in mind.

    I checked in with my control group. They’re all carrying on as if the problem is Chinese imperialism. Even the ones I thought leaned left are talking that way. I guess that’s the kind of response Morrison was after, but it’s so short-termist. Even given that prospect, what are we supposed to actually do as a small-ish country heavily reliant on our export industry? Put it this way: they think the approach should be:

    1. Get behind the earlier US-rah-rah attacks, and then stand up to China on ‘moral’ grounds.
    2. Take the hit on trade.
    3. Find new markets for our exports.

    I would have thought the approach ought to have been:

    1. Quietly line up new buyers for our exports.
    2. Withdraw trade with China in an orderly way – spread our export net wider.
    3. Then say what we like about them.

    That’s if we’re serious about making some kind of stand over what amounts to a single tweet. We probably would have been better advised to get our own house in order, human rights wise, before we start casting ourselves in some David vs Goliath fantasy. But Morrison only does fake indignation. He doesn’t do reform or anything like that.

    Anyway, I asked my control group why they’re more interested in what China thinks of us than they are about our own war atrocities. Didn’t get an answer to that.

    • Meanwhile in New Holland’s capital it was the wettest EVA November, and compared to 2019 5C lower average daily max and 2.9 hours a day lower sunshine hours. My chillie plants not impressed. Mind you Perth barely had what was supposed to be Winter.

    • Funny that, because up here in Port Macquarie we had the driest November on record, even drier than during last year’s drought. Not to worry, the rainfall for the year had been above average, the dams are full and it looks like the missing rain is going to arrive this week.

  21. Funny – I thought the GG (whoever he is, I struggle to remember his name) was the Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Defence Force. His official website says so, but apparently that’s wrong.

    Silly me! How dumb can I get? Of course it’s the CrimeMinister – apparently.

    Paul Bongiorno: Atrocious decisions all the way up the chain of command

  22. Stephen Colbert –

    Jimmy Kimmel – (from 7:00 min mark)

    Brian Tyler Cohen –

    krudd –

    Brianna Kielar –

    • In reality, Labor, and that includes Penny Wong, has no choice but to go along with the govt and condemn the cartoon.

      The initial reaction of most Australians to the cartoon would be ‘eff you, china, you bunch of hypocrites, who still have the death penalty and take the organs of the condemned hopefully after they are killed.’ And, ‘yeah well, when was the last time your atrocities were openly investigated and allowed to be printed in the papers?’

      Morrison will get a lot of support from voters for telling the Chinese CP leadership to go shove it. Those hit by trade sanctions, not so much.

      The thing is, Morrison got himself and us in this mess because he wanted to be Deputy Sherrif to Trump and jumped on Trump’s toxic bandwagon. At the time we needed to work out how to stop the virus, and not worry about how it started.

      Labor will do itself no good by siding with China. Penny got the tone just right.

      The best thing idiot Morrison could have done was completely ignore the cartoon and brushed off as a social media irrelevance not worth Australia’s attention.

      But like I said, we are in this mess because Morrison is as dumb as a box of rocks.

  23. More bad newsfor Adani.

    Amundi gives bond warning to State Bank of India over coal mine

    LONDON (Reuters) – Amundi said it has warned the State Bank of India it will evict one of the lender’s green bonds from a flagship fund if it helps finance a coal mine in Australia that has met fierce opposition from environmental groups.

    Amundi, which holds the bond in its Amundi Planet Emerging Green One fund, said it had learnt this week that the Indian bank was considering financing the Carmichael thermal coal mine in Australia.

    Carmichael has drawn strong opposition from climate campaigners because of the potential carbon emissions that would be produced by the mine, at a time when many countries are exiting coal to help fight global warming.

    Under pressure from investors, a string of banks and insurers have already cut ties to the project, with the most recent being Lloyd’s insurer Apollo.

    Amundi’s Jean Jacques Barberis, Director of the Institutional and Corporate Clients division & ESG, said the asset manager had contacted the bank to voice its concern and followed up with a letter to the management on Thursday.

    The Amundi fund – the largest aimed at green bonds in the emerging markets – looks to invest in bonds that help fund environmentally friendly projects, but also looks at the issuer to make sure its other activities are “coherent”


  24. Maradonna was one heck of a football player, but he lead a flawed life, to some extent. I was dirty on him for that World Cup semi handball, but truth be told, England could not have won that World Cup anyway. Playing as England, Scotland, and Wales instead of Great Britain split the Premier League quality British players up, along with all the outside top players making up a lot of the elite level football in the UK anyway.

    So I will forgive him “The Hand of God” and Argentina needed happiness back then.

    I was all cheers for Maradonna when he took to the press outside of his home with the air gun!

    Ggeorge Best was another one. I met him when he came as a guest of the Elizabeth City Soccer Club in SA. He was a wonderful guy, being very very well managed by his wife, With everyone inside waiting for him, dripping wet hair from his after-match (charity) shower, he stood there in the growing dark and cold and signed everything the kids brought to him. Not until the last kid had his autograph did George Best go inside to the function.

  25. 😆 😆 😆 Checked out Sky News, Paul Murray “show”. Methinks Gladys is in for a bit of trouble from the Rupert barbarians . Check out some of the “headlines” they put up during their look at NSW’s renewable plan.

    Renewable Evangelism out of control
    Climate Zealots Making Climate Policy
    Libs join climate crusade..what?
    Vote Conservative. Get a Green Agenda
    Incoming:Blackouts Under Greenie bill

    • I remember it cost ECSC and the other club involved, Salisbury united I think, 6k to have George Best for the day. Plus people paid for autographed photographs, which his manager put straight in her purse, wife? maybe. We made $6k at the gate so came out even and raised a heap of donations for our player with cancer. George played a half for each team. Plus we did a roaring trade at the bar. He was there for hours longer than he was booked for. All round decent bloke.

  26. TLBD
    There’s the fly in the ointment the requirement of “Truth-based media is the vaccine”. There has been SFA of that for a loooong time, if it ever actually existed, which I doubt. Journos report as per requirements of their media owners. Owners who have always been bigly about political power,

  27. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Paul Bongiorno examines the many questionable things done by Morrison in the name of expedient politics. He chronicles quite a lot.
    Nick O’Malley reports that one of the world’s most senior diplomats says the world is waiting for a “suicidal” Australia to reverse its stance on climate change.
    Sally McManus will outline plans to campaign against any reform that cuts pay or removes employment rights as the Morrison government prepares to reveal draft IR laws next week. Battle lines are being drawn.
    And McManus explains why we need to use the pandemic to confront the weakness in our safety net.
    Rob Harris writes that a likely Senate roadblock to establish a radioactive waste dump in regional South Australia could be used by the Morrison government as a trigger to go to an early election as it prepares to bring the issue to a vote in the coming days.
    A new cohort of young Australians is facing a perfect storm of uncertainty. But the problems started long before 2020, explains Luke Henriques-Gomes.
    Despite a rise in part-time employment, those in their late teens and early 20s are in the most precarious position of anyone in that cohort since the 1990s, says Greg Jericho.
    It is time the Australian Bureau of Statistics changed the way it reported unemployment figures, writes Alan Austin. Australia’s real unemployment rate is closer to 13% than 7%.
    Anthony Galloway declares that Morrison politicised war medals decision and now he owns the response.
    Christopher Knaus writes that the expert whose work triggered the Brereton inquiry has warned Australians against dismissing the Afghanistan war crimes scandal as the work of a “few bad apples” and expressed dismay at the tenor of the public debate since the report’s release.
    Meanwhile culture warrior Janet Albrechtsen trumpets that Brereton has undermined the rule of law.
    The CEO of the Victorian Legal Services Board, Fiona McLeay, reacts appropriately to the report of the “Gobbo” Royal Commission.
    Latika Bourke tells us that more than 200 MPs from 19 countries are telling their citizens to drink Aussie wine in December in a solidarity campaign that vows “Australia is not alone”.
    Jennifer Hewett writes that former WA premier Colin Barnett says the relationship with China is now so stunningly bad that any improvement will be up to state governments, not Canberra.
    Frontline Services Australia staff say their work is being negatively affected by pressure to meet performance targets and they don’t feel trusted or respected by their employer, a new survey reveals. This is hardly surprising.
    The AIMN’s Rosemary J#^explores the efforts of “Morrison – the crooked enabler”.
    The cashless debit card could be another robodebt-style fiasco, say Elise Klein, Jon Altman and David Tennant.
    After tens of thousands of Australians had their lives put on hold by illegal Government action, the Morrison Government announced the largest allocation of places for partner visas in Australia’s history. Abul Rizvi reports.
    William Olsen writes that unions are saying that the Morrison government has failed to respond specifically to the findings of the recent Aged Care Royal Commission and the problem points and issues revealed from it.
    Isabelle Lane explains why Telstra and Optus are going after the NBN.
    Katie Burgess reports that a new Senate inquiry will probe the use of contractors in the Australian Public Service, while a wider investigation into privatisation has been shut down.
    CPSU national secretary, Melissa Donnelly, goes into bat for the ANAO, saying that without it we would never have known about the sports rorts. She also calls for the establishment of an effective federal integrity commission.
    Meanwhile, the Victorian Ombudsman says the Andrews government is not providing enough funding for the integrity watchdog to perform its core functions and could be perceived to be undermining the agency.
    Ross Gittins writes that there’s nothing any Liberal government can do on super that doesn’t cause the unions and Labor to smell a conspiracy.
    The irony of Australia’s oldest home-grown industry is that despite a history of turning adversity into success, it continues to ask for favours from everyone else – and get them, writes the AFR’s Aaron Fitzpatrick.
    Airline prices for a one-way ticket to Perth have skyrocketed to $1000 after Western Australia announced it will open its border to the east coast and travellers from NSW and Victoria will no longer be forced to quarantine.
    When Nine acquired Fairfax, Australians were assured they needn’t worry about media diversity as Nine would be bound by the Fairfax Independence Charter but there is only one problem. Anthony Klan reports.
    Charlotte Grieve reports that the head of powerful corporate governance firm ISS Vas Kolesnikoff has called for changes at the top at ASX, as the market operator continues to take fire over a full day trading outage that crippled the bourse.
    And the AFR says that the coding problem responsible for the equities trading outage on November 16 was replicated in the back-up system, which meant there was no fail safe back-up when the Nasdaq-supplied system crashed.
    Controversial rules for class action litigation funders are at risk of falling apart with One Nation threatening to vote in favour of scrapping the scheme unless changes are made.
    Rupert Murdoch has funnelled Foxtel out of News Corp Australia to a mysterious entity in the secrecy jurisdiction of Delaware. Michael West reports on the secret transactions which appear designed to sell News Corp’s Australian media business.
    Who cares about jobs and experts? Suddenly, Brexit’s snake-oil salesmen do, says Marina Hyde.
    Poverty is still a major issue in Britain, perpetuated by the elitist attitudes of the Johnson Government, writes John Pilger.
    The bloodletting that’s taking place for US retail right now is eerily reminiscent of what happened during the Great Depression, explains Bloomberg’s Stephen Mihm.
    Trump’s legacy is the plague of extreme lies. Truth-based media is the vaccine, declares Richard Wolffe. Fair enough.
    According to the New York Times, Rudy Giuliani discussed with Donald Trump as recently as last week the possibility of receiving a pre-emptive pardon before the President leaves office.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Pope

    Andrew Dyson

    John Shakespeare

    Cathy Wilcox

    Alan Moir

    David Rowe

    Simon Letch

    Matt Golding

    Mark Knight

    John Spooner

    Peter Broelman

    From the US

  28. You might not have noticed because the media have been very quiet on this (maybe, just maybe they want to protect their adored CrimeMinister from well-deserved criticism) but a huge bushfire has burned through half of Fraser Island/K’gari and after six weeks has not been extinguished.

    ‘Catastrophic’ bushfire burns half of Queensland’s Fraser Island and threatens ecological disaster
    The fire on the world’s largest sand island, also known as K’gari, has been burning for six weeks and is encroaching on areas with 1,000-year-old trees

    Indonesia has 6 Viking CL-515s on order. (latest model). Manufactured on Vancouver Is. by Viking Aviation.He could do similar. He basically gave the ex Fire Chiefs the 🖕According to Mullins the words were ‘that’s a stupid idea’.— Babylonian Debt forgiver… (@PaulHenry524) December 1, 2020

    Not only does this lazy turd not hold a hose, he doesn’t listen to expert advice either and he certainly doesn’t charter firefighting aircraft let alone commission our own.

  29. Time for another class action?

    The cashless debit card is illegal, surely that’s grounds for action.

    A key legal protection not available to compulsory cashless debit card holders was raised in a Senate inquiry considering the expansion bill. Sending a debit card or credit card to a person who did not ask for one is prohibited under section 12DL of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Asic) Act 2001. This is aimed at protecting people from privacy breaches, anxiety and increased debt. Issuing a card in contravention of this section of the Asic Act is an offence of strict liability, attracting a civil penalty.

    To get around this issue for the original trial, Indue, with the backing of the Department of Social Services, was granted a no-action letter by Asic in 2016. The no-action letter confirmed that the commission would not take any action against Indue for sending the card to people who did not ask for or want one. Agreeing to take no action is not the same as saying that sending unsolicited cards to people is not a contravention of the law.

    The current no-action letter was limited to the first trial of the card and will not cover the ongoing and broader permanent program proposed in the bill.

    In terms reminiscent of the now-discredited defence of robodebt, the government members of the Senate committee were dismissive, and recommended the bill be passed.

    Both the Greens and Labor submitted dissenting reports that recommended the opposite. The ALP made direct reference to the serious questions raised about the potential issuing of tens of thousands of unsolicited debit cards. Labor senators called on the government to urgently clarify the legal standing of its cashless debit card policy


    The report, including the dissenting reports, can be accessed here –

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