Saturday June 201 “Suspected terrorists fighting abroad should have their citizenship revoked because a court of law might let them off if they are tried”, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says.
Yes, the Prime Minister of Australia said it. Unbelievable.
2 Why is it that folk who have wind turbines on their properties and make money from them never seem to suffer any ill health yet those close by and don’t benefit financially do? Rather odd that.
3 In a speech to the NSW Liberal Party faithful in Sydney on Saturday, Abbott attacked Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s handling of the allegations, referring to boat turnarounds, and in the process, came perilously close to admitting they were true.
“On Monday, Mr Shorten attacked us for allegedly doing something to turn around boats, which it turned out that he had done exactly the same”, Mr Abbott said. Adding:
“Only it didn’t work when they tried to do it. Because they never turned around a single boat”.
Sounds like a confession to me.
4 “What the Pope points out in it is that young people have become estranged from – not just from the church but also from governments and people in positions of power, because they feel that their elders are not taking these things seriously”, said Malcolm Turnbull in reponse to the Pope’s calls for urgent action on climate change.
Turnbull went on to say that he thought the PM would respect the Pope’s encyclical which argues that concern for the protection of nature is incompatible with the justification of abortion. He also comes out strongly against the sale of “carbon credits”, which would cover emissions trading schemes and possibly some of the Coalition’s direct action policies as well.
Tony Abbott, remember, once said that although he was a Catholic “Let’s be under no illusions: the carbon tax was socialism masquerading as environmentalism”.
Where Tony Abbott wanted to lower the Renewable Energy Target to even lower levels, the Pope argues that fossil fuels need to be ‘progressively replaced without delay’. Where Abbott famously referred to carbon dioxide as an odorless, colorless and weightless gas … the Pope calls for urgent action to reduce emissions by “developing sources of renewable energy”.
Sunday June 21
I was reflecting on the previous week in politics on Sunday and what occurred to me was that we have elected a Parliament that has very little interest in servitude. Of governance for the common good. Instead what we have are politicians more interested in expressing hatred toward one another, opposition for opposition’s sake and ideological self-interest. They are destroying our democracy with their lack of respect for each other and their inability by way of intellectual argument to advance policies. The debunking of science and the trashing of fundamental law are shining examples. Our characterless Prime Minister leads the way with his insistence that policy debates are won by being at the throat of the other person rather than superior argument that wins the people over. That is not leadership. Almost two years in Government Tony Abbott has still not expressed a narrative that expresses just where he is taking the country. What we have is government for those who have as opposed to those who have not.
Monday 22 June
1 The Government is running in all directions on education policy.
“Charging wealthy parents for their children to attend public schools is not the government’s policy. I don’t support it”, Education Minister Christopher Pyne tweeted.
But the report came from the PM’s Office.
Pyne has said the government believes it has a particular responsibility for independent schools that it doesn’t have for public schools.
Yes it thinks it has every right to give the taxes of the poor to rich schools.
But on Monday, Mr Pyne tweeted: “If the states and territories want to charge wealthy parents fees for public schools that’s a matter for them.”
Mr Abbott said the federal government did not have “any role at all” in the running of public schools.
But insists on formulating the curriculum.
2 I watched the Prime Minister’s weekly YouTube address and he appeared somewhat under the weather.
3 The peak welfare lobby ACOSS group says inequality between the richest and poorest has grown alongside the nation’s run of nearly a quarter of a century without recession.
It’s true: The richest 20 per cent now earn around five times as much as those in the bottom 20 per cent and from whatever angle you look at the figures, it is getting worse.
God only knows why Labor doesn’t rip into them on this front.
4 An observation: Politicians these days can’t see beyond the next one.
5 Bronwyn Bishop is seriously the rudest women I have ever seen. After some verbal abuse from her in question time she said to Tony Burke. “I assume your point of order is on relevance”. Burke replied “I find using the word futile”
Tuesday 23 June
1 Australia is set to announce its post-2020 Emissions targets in July – possibly at the Major Economies summit in the U.S. On July 16. It is rumored that the PM wants a target more in line with mainstream targets. The problem is that it cannot be done with a Direct Action policy. Well I’m yet to hear an economist, scientist or environmental expert say so.
Remember what Malcolm Turnbull said:
“So as I am a humble back bencher I am sure he won’t complain if I tell a few home truths about the farce that the Coalition’s policy, or lack of policy, on climate change has descended into.”
“First, let’s get this straight. You cannot cut emissions without a cost. To replace dirty coal fired power stations with cleaner gas fired ones, or renewables like wind let alone nuclear power or even coal fired power with carbon capture and storage is all going to cost money. It’s just bullshit”.
Abbott also needs to tell us how much of our money he is going to waste on this futile pursuit.
The fact is that is that while this insipid Government moves to rein in renewable energy in its electricity generation mix, Germany is doing the opposite.
2 “There is no greater need than the need for equality of opportunity in education”.
3 The PM has backed down on legislation that would give Dutton final say on citizenship but only after making terrorism front and center for the best part of a week. Anyway it’s as well a failed minister like Dutton has had the possibility withdrawn.
Wednesday 24 June
1 Andrew, Andrew where are you? We need you to defend Zaky Mallah’s right to free speech. And didn’t George say that everyone had a right to be a bigot.
2 This week’s Essential Poll has Labor 52/48 unchanged from the previous week. Nothing the PM says seems to move it his way. Its weekly survey, which asks interesting questions on a variety of issues, also has the ABC as the most trusted news outlet by a country mile.
3 At the conclusion of The Killing Season one comment hits you in the face with all the subtly of a rhino charge. It came from former Tony Blair advisor and UK Labour Party MP, Alan Milburn:
“The hard question that the Australian Labor Party has to ask itself is this: how is possible that you win an election in November 2007 on the scale that you do, with the goodwill that you have, with the permission that you’re gifted by the public and you manage to lose all that goodwill, to trash the permission and to find yourself out of office within just six years? I’ve never seen anything quite like it in any country, anywhere, anytime, in any part of the world. No-one can escape blame for that, in my view”.
4 Indian coal giant Adani has halted engineering work related to Australia’s largest proposed mine, say industry sources, raising speculation that the company is set to abandon the contentious project.
There are a number of factors involved but it does point to the fact that coal is fast becoming unpalatable for investors.
5 Did you know that Murdoch papers, with roughly a 60 per cent share of Australian daily circulation, are now bought by about 4 per cent of the Australian population? And that the 4% are mostly elderly. So who is influencing who in Australian politics?
A MID MORNING THOUGHT
In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings, Tony Abbott said:
“I accept that in the course of having a robust democracy a lot of people will be offended, a lot of people will be insulted”.
It seems he has no objection to free speech so long as it’s only people like Andrew Bolt who express it.
Thursday 25 June
THIS IS NOT THE AUSTRALIA I GREW UP IN
1 The PM gets what he wants from The Murdoch papers. An utter disgrace. He knows whose side Rupert is on. Front pages of The Courier Mail, The Herald Sun and The Daily Telegraph are totality reprehensible and a leader with any character would say so.
When asked about the tabloid graphics Gerard Henderson said they were “Just fun”.
2 A week is a long time in politics. Last week in parliament the PM was enthusiastic in his praise for the ABC’s production of The Killing Season. This week he wants to know whose side they are on. Pathetic hypocrisy but totality predictable. I note that Peter Greste says Q&A with Zaky Mallah ‘didn’t cross the line’ to incitement. He says the government is shooting the messenger in slamming the program.
I thought Richard Ackland got it right with this quote:
“The hysteria over Zaky Mallah on Q&A would make Joseph McCarthy proud”.
Come on, Aunty defend yourself.
The public have faith in the ABC, as shown by this week’s Essential poll, which found the most trusted media were ABC TV news and current affairs (63%), SBS TV news and current affairs (61%) and ABC radio news and current affairs (58%).
3 “Q&A stoush: Nauruan government accuses ABC of conspiracy” It is to be hoped that The SMH can do better than this headline.
4 Tony Abbott has certainly had a surge in poles if you take my point. I would have thought his support was flagging.
5 I am assuming Andrew Bolt will come out strongly in support of Zaky Mallah’s right to free speech in his column this week.
6 Speculation about a premature election is in itself a good argument for fixed terms.
Friday 26 June
1 The deceit behind the citizenship changes. Are you aware that under Abbott’s new legislation those who support terrorism, even tangentially or unwittingly, are off Team Australia? You’re no longer a citizen. So, apparently, are protesters who damage federal government property. But Genocidal war criminals, mass murderers and paedophiles – though – are on the team. In the bill, there is no provision for them to stripped off citizenship, even with a criminal conviction.
Ten years ago, 31.3% of Australians 14+ agreed with the attitude statement: “Terrorists deserve the same rights as other criminals”. As of March 2015, that figure sits at 30.3% of the population.
2 And Abbott is facing a push from inside the Liberal Party to prevent Australia signing up to any binding emissions reduction targets at the upcoming Paris climate talks. God it never ends, this debunking of science. It seems there are enough deniers to bring on an internal debate this weekend.
A Liberal moderate who will attend the federal council meeting said the group of elected Liberals and members behind the motion should be given an audience with the Pope so they can be “brought up to speed by a new age person living in this century”.
Another said “This sort of talk takes us back to the Neanderthal age. It’s flat earth stuff”.
He is not wrong.
3 Guess who said this:
“I also remember questioning whether God was real at a similar time. Unlike the Santa question, this ended a little different. It was more along the lines of, “If you don’t believe in God, you will go to hell,” followed by a descriptive definition of demons, fire and all sorts of things which filled me with fear. So much fear that I essentially believed the boogie man was coming to get me, would pull the blankets over my head and pee the bed.”
“Now, many years later, I see the same ruling-by-fear tactics being handed down through the media by our own prime minister and attorney general.”
4 Question time Thursday we find the PM lecturing the Opposition Leader about Lying. Occasionally I am lost for words. This is one of them.
Dumber than dumb.
5 The PM visits ASIO, maps are laid out in full view of cameras for all to see. The PM’s response.
“The suggestion coming again and again from members opposite that somehow the director-general of ASIO that senior officers of ASIO would have permitted classified material to be photographed is just ludicrous”.
1 Mark Scott makes a spirited defense of the ABC as Abbott and Turnbull go for its throat. It seems the principle of free speech is one that is reserved for those on the right and their defense of it by Bolt and others is aggressive. However, their voices go silent when opinions opposite to theirs are expressed.
The Governments lead head kickers Abbott, Dutton and Pyne have called for heads to roll. Are they setting up their own death cult?
It seems like Abbott and his minister’s wake up each morning with hate in their hearts and negativity on their lips, wondering what individual, institution or part of our democracy they can attack. Their negativity spreads like rust throughout the community. The Prime Minister seems to delight in the verbal abuse of anyone who disagrees and his lying has degenerated, if that’s possible, to being no longer able to discern the meaning of truth.
2 The PM has decided to ban appearances of Government MPs on Q&A. His hate knows no bounds.
3 Thursday was significant in as much as Bronwyn (the anti-democracy speaker) Bishop ejected the 400th Labor member from Question Time. Arguably the most biased speaker ever.
4 Does Joe know what he is doing?
Rather than obsessing over getting back to surplus as soon as is humanly possible, he should be borrowing more money, raising the GST, and cutting tax concessions to the rich.
That, at least, is the view of the International Monetary Fund, the body that acts simultaneously as the world’s insurance policy and its economic policeman.
5 Fridays Reachtel Poll of 2907 people put Labor on 52% and the LNP on 48%
Preferred Prime Minister Shorten 56.3 I kid you not and Abbott 43.7
And this is the week that was. A week when Abbott and his attack dogs further eroded the principles of decency and divided the nation with its crass political language.