Rules are things you apply to other – lesser – people

Stalwart of The Pub, Aguirre, today ‘penned’ yet another of his exquisitely insightful comments. It was greeted with much acclaim, as post of the week, and I agree. So – with our guest author’s kind permission, the comment now morphs into our latest threadstarter. Thank you so much, Aguirre!

Photo credit: Alamy Stock Images

Looking around the discussion regarding MPs and citizenship, it seems to me a lot of people out there are still missing the point. It’s not really about how this government can or cannot hang on to power, or about whether the constitutional rules are arcane, or even about the timing of renunciations. It’s about something a lot larger than that, and something that strikes at the heart of everyone’s lived political experience.

It’s about short-cuts, privilege, and the idea within right-wing circles that rules are things you apply to other people. I think we’ve seen enough to know that a lot of MPs were aware all along that they had citizenship issues – they just didn’t care because they thought it would never come up. The key to this is that that is their attitude to everything. You do as little as you need in order to become an MP – that includes not only just ticking boxes on a form whether or not you’ve done your due diligence on them – but also trotting out whatever empty promises get you across the line, only considering what’s strategically effective as a message and not what’s practically effective as a policy, and just generally riding in on a tide of slurs, lies, and slogans. As a party, the Liberals also have that attitude to expense claims. Take, take, take, and justify later on – when and if necessary. It’s what got Bronwyn Bishop kicked out of her job.

Coalition MPs simply aren’t across the details on anything. They think things will work out in the end, but at that level they simply don’t. They spent a lot of time in opposition focusing on minor details, which gave the impression that they were into fine print, But that was just concentrating on gotchas, and even most of those were based on shonky information or misconstruing data – think of any of Hockey’s presentations as Shadow Treasurer: they were all based on distorted information made to look like real research.

What we’re seeing at the moment is a bizarre manifestation of that general laxity of discipline and accountability. It’s the same attitude that brought us the Census, the NBN, all of our policy-on-the-run asylum seeker bastardry, Robodebt, and pretty much everything they’ve touched since gaining power in 2013. Even their Royal Commissions were half-hearted and shoddily researched. Their Productivity Commission reports were constructed around … you couldn’t even call it ideology: mere assumptions, as was more or less admitted in the aftermath. Robodebt is almost the textbook case for their double-standard on accountability. Welfare recipients are held to the strictest standards based on data that’s wildly inaccurate, and designed to be that way. It was a rush job treated as a kind of economic gospel, and of course it ran into problems at once. The recent raid on the AWU is another good example of the Liberals’ holding somebody else to strict standards – an internal procedural issue from a decade ago? – while leaving themselves wide open to attack because their own organisation of the raid was so cack-handed. In fact, this pattern goes all the way back to Utegate.

And that’s what the citizenship mess is telling us. These guys don’t check anything beforehand. They guess at things, expect it all to go swimmingly because they’re Important People, and only energise themselves when it’s time to organise a cover-up to save their arses.

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WELL THEY DIDN’T HOLD MAL.

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Remember him shouting an QT. almost ordering the High court judges that ” SO THEY WILL HOLD”

Well the judges didn’t like being told what to do so they came back with a big

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Todays results were are disaster for these useless incompetents and especially for the so called PM.

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Deputy PM and leader of the Nats is gone along with 4 others. All members of the Coalition or greens. Not 1 labor person has been found to be in breach of the rules despite I am guessing some pretty thorough digging by the opposite side

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The Govt still has a Majority because the speaker can vote in case its a tie and I don’t think he would go against his mates.

All this on top of cashgate and the failed AWU raids.

IT sure is a exciting time to be alive Mal.

wanker

Vale GMH Elizabeth. Holden, You Served Australia Well.

Today’s Guest Author is the redoubtable Puffy the Magic Dragon. Thank you so much for this – it is, unfortunately, an occasion to be commemorated.

On November 29, 1948 Prime Minister Ben Chifley unveiled the first Holden 48-215, which became affectionately known as the “FX”.

On October 20, 2017, the last Holden was built in Australia.

Think about that a moment.

Today, no Prime Minister witnessed the closure of this proud industry. Where was our Coalition Prime Minister? He was on a Victorian radio station this morning declaring how ‘sad’ he is about it. PM Turnbull assures us the workers have found jobs, are studying or are retired. He has little to say about the effects on workers in related businesses, or the emotions and circumstances of the former workers saying goodbye to an era.

Now General Motors Holden is no longer manufacturing cars in Australia. To be accurate nobody is manufacturing cars in Australia anymore. No more of these will be exported.

The Elizabeth factory is the reason the Town of Elizabeth was built. But it is not just Elizabeth that suffers or South Australia. Our nation is the lesser for this loss. These manufacturing enterprises are as much research centres, trade schools, design hubs and robotics developers as they are car-builders. How dumb do you have to be not to support that? Today I watched with many others from all over Australia. I spoke to one family who flew in to Adelaide just to be here today to say goodbye. Anger at the politics behind this disgrace is high.

So many people including those from allied industries and businesses were employed because we made vehicles.

But a short-sighted union-hating Liberal/National Coalition government brought that to an end. We lose an industry, we lose the expertise, the skills and the manufacturing base because of their ideology. None of it made economic sense.

The last Holden rolled off the line today, and the workers were bussed out to a farewell shindig.

The media cameras recorded the event. Maybe Joe Hockey can run it on loop while he smokes his cigars.

Labor Opposition Leader Bill Shorten hit the nail on the head talking to a group of school children.

“Look over there, kids, at that old Holden. Australia used to be a country that built cars,” Mr Shorten said.

“As of tomorrow, we’re not building cars anymore and the silly old government of the Liberals just couldn’t give a stuff.”

He assured his 20 pupils that manufacturing, engineering, maths and science jobs would still be around into the future. (source SBS http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/10/19/shorten-gives-kids-holden-history-lesson )

Labor says Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s lack of comment on the closure is proof his government does not care. Amen to that.

Finally, let’s pay a tribute to the workers who made the whole thing work. My late husband, with 20 years of service after his immigration from England being one of them. A member of his union, of course, as a Spares Chaser, (he found parts to fill orders from dealers) he enjoyed his work and made a good life on a worker’s wage.

A proud working-class man alongside proud working-class women. Building Australian cars.