The nation thrills this week to the riddle, wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma of the Morrison government, a puzzle, that includes Lambie’s Faustian bargain, Angus Taylor’s war on both Naomi Wolf and Clover Moore with Gladys Liu’s to-do tipping the government’s weekly balance from hyper-partisan warfare and union thuggery into utter skulduggery.
The one-time trombone-playing former teacher’s aide and ex-chemist-shop proprietor cannot keep mum forever about her Brighsun or Liberal associates, nor they about her, especially as she now has cause to ask for her money back.
Any sensible, practical government would demand the resignation of both Gladys Liu and Angus Taylor. Given his form so far, Scott Morrison is likely to find fifty shades of grey evasion including blaming Labor and Wolf to avoid taking any decision.
There is no individual, no institution nor any emerging crisis so big that this government cannot find a way to look past it.
The LNP focus on Unions as the greatest thieves in the country. They busted Craig Thompson for $13 mill to prove it. How can you be so conned Australia? (ODT)
The cost of misconduct for the major banks and AMP just keeps ticking up. It’s not over yet but at this stage of peak remediation provisioning, the number appears to be approaching the magic $10 billion mark on a pre-tax basis.
If that had happened, six deaths would’ve been prevented, and the remorseless mass destruction of physical and psychological health would’ve been curtailed.
Finally, ScoMo must also keep mum about Attorney-General Christian Porter’s rip-snorting new religious discrimination draft bill which pleases neither progressives nor reactionaries and which may prove a bridge too far for our star of Dili, Pacific and European diplomacy. Or our globe-trotting PM may just be plumb tuckered out; a daggy dad with bad jet-lag. On the other hand, he’s been exceptionally ineffectual and deceptive, even by his own government’s yard-stick.
The key question is when will he and his government be held to account?
The poltics of gain Andrew Robb walked into $880k paypacket with the Chinese (ODT)
“Animal Spirits” will be unleashed, ScoMo proclaims, in a dreary rehash of clichés, Monday . The PM copies The Donald, conflating Keynes’ phrase with consumer confidence and laissez-faire economics. Why? “Animal spirits” will roar like a lion when we release the cage of “regulatory and bureaucratic barriers to businesses.” But why so late?
The Coalition has had six years to deregulate. Yet it still can provide no detail. Nor point to any record of success. Perhaps it’s just too modest. In the news currently is Private Security Company, Paladin, awarded $423 million to garrison Manus, without having to worry about an open tender. Or there’s the $444 million quietly slipped to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation a mob of Liberal mates headed up by a former CBA chairman, Dr John M Schubert.
Then there’s Fossil-fuel Energy minister, Angus Taylor, who’s held talks with federal environment officials over an issue at the centre of an illegal land-clearing action brought by the same department against a company part-owned by him and his brother, reports Guardian Australia. We should cheer the healthy disregard for regulation and the way the government appears to back the Taylor family in its alleged quest to bend the rules to help the Taylors to a better life.
Thus, the next three years will reveal, as world events take control, the great lie that has captivated 51.5% of the electorate concerning the Coalition’s economic credentials. Frydenberg’s inability to react will consign him to the political scrap heap and Morrison along with him. By 2022, no longer will that outrageous claim be sustainable, even to the most loyal Coalition voter.
So, notwithstanding a likely unemployment rate of 7%, with no capital investment, the mess that an incoming Labor government will have to deal with and an economy they will have to resurrect, it’s perhaps the better result in the long run.
And so, with the 51.5%, who will get far less than they bargained for and the rest of us who will watch it play out as expected, the truth of it will finally be revealed.
44 years later, after six years of calamitous Tory incompetence and nastiness and following their campaign of lies and misinformation, there is no way I will accept this current claque as legitimate and I will not be nice to those who do
“She already told me that she doesn’t have to be nice, so why do I? Because my mother raised me right? That’s why wolves always win. Because the rest of us mind our manners and get devoured for our efforts.”
― Sheryl J. Anderson, Killer Cocktail
To reflect Ms Anderson’s sentiments – fuck you, Fauxmo; and the donkeys you rode in on!
For six years the L/NP dodged scrutiny with its “look, it’s Labor” dissembling and obfuscation – taking their behaviour as an Opposition into Government. A complacent and compliant media went along for the ride giving a free pass to a declining economy, corporate crime, a degraded environment and social disharmony.
The ABC was cowed into submission by constant attacks, becoming a timorous shadow of the once honourable organisation that held governments to account.
And in a truly ironic case of misplaced schadenfreude a journalist from the L/NP propaganda machine Newscorpse was raided by the Australian Federal Police Farce – the Gestapo of Spud’s private legion of spooks and door-breakers. The indignation of News’ L/NP groupies provided a level of grim lampoonery.
The goon squad trading as the AFP has all of the credibility of the Keystone Cops. A bought and paid for apparatus of the Lib surveillance state they somehow managed to lose the paperwork when “investigating” Michaelia Carcrash on the AWU raids tip-off. In raiding the ABC and a News journalists they are complying with standard practice – hounding sources of information that embarrass the conservative Government, intimidating potential whistle-blowers and keeping the L/NP free from scrutiny.
Dutton, ex-copper from Queensland, is resurrecting the Bjelke-Petersen-era police state cheered on by the Party nutters who’ve slipped through the crazy filter. Bullies are cowards and this platoon of poltroons is scared of accountability. Their incompetence and failures and their lack of courage is supplemented by their conviction that they have a right to rule and no obligation to serve.
A compliant and complicit mainstream media has gotten a loud wake-up call. Will they respond or will they hit the snooze button? Will a complacent public shrug this off? I’m betting they will and I will not be polite in calling out those of that kind of my acquaintance, and in less than courteous terms. This is a government for gormless dullards, the tremulous, the authoritarians, the weak of mind and dull of eye, the indifferent and the stupid.
It’s not my government. Fuck that!
Scott Morrison voted against the Royal Commission into Banks 26 times. He continued to do little or nothing since, and even after the release of the Panama Papers were banks were found to be party to money laundering and tax evasion. He’s allowed the banks to to create an industry that simply ran riot over the Australian public farming profits for itself with little and no service provided in return,and now he’s allowing that system to continue. Australia has slid 6 places on the global corruption index since 2013 (ODT)
Five of the biggest investment banks in the world, including UBS, Barclays and Citibank, have been accused in an Australian class action lawsuit of operating a foreign exchange cartel using secret chat rooms titled “the Cartel”, “the Bandits Club” and “the Mafia”.
The banks, including JPMorgan and Royal Bank of Scotland subsidiary NatWest, have been accused of colluding to fix interest rates to the financial benefit of their own banks and to the detriment of other market participants including individual investors and businesses.
Yet governments have been indifferent. During the eleven years of the Howard government, there was no major anti-corruption initiative. No federal whistleblowing legislation, no federal integrity commission, no false claims Act, no foreign corrupt practices act.
Australia could not have a Mueller-type inquiry because we don’t have the mechanism.
Not surprisingly Australia has been sliding down Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index for some time. Over the last six years, we have dropped six more places.
Last November, 34 former judges including former justices of the High Court, wrote a letter to Scott Morrison calling for the immediate establishment of a national integrity commission to restore trust in our democracy.
$80,million Spent like water (ODT)
Guardian Australia reported this week on the mystery surrounding the reason Joyce chose the companies he did for the buybacks. On Friday, Labor raised specific questions about one of the purchases, worth $80m.
On Saturday, Hanson-Young said she would write to the auditor general requesting an urgent audit.
“The auditor has a responsibility to investigate how $80m of taxpayers money was paid for water that doesn’t exist,” she said in a tweet.
The Coalition government’s use of taxpayer money for political advertising – as much as A$136 million since January, according to Labor figures – is far from an aberration in Australia. It is part of a sordid history in which public resources have routinely been abused for electoral advantage.
For example, the Coalition governments of Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull spent at least A$84.5 million on four major advertising campaigns to promote their policies and initiatives with voters. The ALP governments of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard spent A$20 million on advertising to promote the Gonski school funding changes and another A$70 million on a carbon tax campaign. Going further back, the Coalition government under John Howard spent A$100 million on its WorkChoices and GST campaigns.
Read more: The difference between government advertising and political advertising
This is also a history in which hypocrisy is not hard to find.
Paladin corruption allegations;
Royal Commission findings on banks;
no charges laid over questionable tip-offs on AFP’s union raid from Michaelia Cash’s office; and
Northern Territory’s public service corruption charges.
Scamming your money to promote herself? (ODT)
Downer was rightly universally condemned for her actions, but think about what her action suggests. Firstly, she considered taxpayers’ funds her own to claim and present (the novelty cheque clearly said the Liberal Party on it and had her image printed on it as well). This betrays how the Liberals think about taxpayers’ funds — the funds belong to them, not the public. Which is why the Libs loathe welfare. Any welfare payment made is effectively less money in the pool for them to rort.
Secondly, under the media cover of wall-to-wall coverage of Cardinal Pell’s conviction of paedophilia charges, the Liberals quietly changed the rules around how sitting MPs can use their taxpayer-funded office expenses for political advertising in the lead-up to the election. Again, this rule change takes taxpayers’ funds and allows them to be used by the Liberal Party for political advertising, something in the past they’d have to pay for themselves. Given that in the Victoria State Election the Liberals ran much of their campaign claiming that the Victoria Labor Government was corrupt for accidentally using taxpayer-paid office staff for campaigning (the red shirts scandal), this is hypocritical in the extreme.
Toby Wright, writing for Nine media recently made a comparison between Mick Young, a Minister in the Hawke Government of the 1980’s and Scott’s Government. Young, who neglected to declare a stuffed Paddington Bear at Customs in 1984, was confronted with his crime and promptly stood down from the Ministry until investigations were concluded. Scott’s Government include Ministers that seem to be connected with a mindboggling litany of unethical actions; the current list includes Ministers Cash, Dutton, Cormann, Wilson and former Minister and current Ambassador Hockey. While some of the current scandals surrounding the government commenced before Scott became the Prime Minister, he is not blameless as resignations or ‘career breaks’ could have been requested or enforced while the facts were determined. Scott in contrast continues with his ‘Everything is Awesome’ routine.
Assuming for a second there are people that really do want to enter Parliament to represent their electorate rather than become one of the pigs in the trough, a piece of advice — Scott is not someone you should attempt to emulate; don’t be like Scott.
The Paladin Group is a small company with a shack on Kangaroo Island – until last week – as its head office.
After all the media interest, as well as a PO Box in Singapore, Paladin now has an office in Canberra. The phone might even work.
According to its website, Paladin is ‘… a leading provider of project support services in the Asia-Pacific.’
Contrary to Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton the advice given to the ALP and the Government wasn’t that indicated by either of them or by the Murdoch Press. They in fact twisted the truth a polite way of saying the GOVRENMENT LIED. and intentionally SKEWED and MANIPULATED THE POLLS (ODT)
The political significance of his interventions are twofold — the first is that it makes clear the security establishment does not believe the legislative changes, of themselves, will spark a wave of new boat arrivals.
The second is that, just as Mr Lewis and Mr Pezzullo were sending a clear message to the Government to stop using their advice for political purposes, they are sending a message to Labor — as the alternative new government — that as long as they maintain a tough rhetorical and policy line on border protection, there is no reason to believe that Labor in government is a risk to border policy.
Over the border in NSW, the Barwon and Darling rivers are a series of muddy pools, and fish are dying
Apparently, the recipients of the watches, Member for Fadden Stuart Robert, Member for Warringah Tony Abbott and former Member for Groom Ian McFarlane declared them on their pecuniary interests register statements, even though they believed they were fakes. It may be difficult to believe that billionaires would give fake Rolex watches, but evidently these learned members of parliament did believe this.
More than 4,300 federal public servants believe they witnessed corrupt behaviour in one year, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison faces mounting pressure to establish an integrity commission.
These born-to-rule conservatives think nothing of using taxpayer millions to set up a supposedly independent watchdog and then immediately sicking it on their political enemies.
The matter the Registered Organisations Commission (ROC) is so hellbent on pursuing is a decade-old donation from the Australian Workers’ Union to GetUp!, which was never a secret in the first place.
The investigation revolves around whether the correct paperwork was created and kept. It is not remotely close to a criminal matter. In fact, even if the ROC’s very darkest theories are correct, it will mean the AWU will be liable of a maximum possible fine of $11,000.
However, the government thought this was deemed worthy of politicising the Australian Federal Police with a reality TV raid.
When outrage started to pour in about the use of police force to pursue such an obviously political target, Turnbull’s response was pure arrogance. Rather than provide a proper explanation he simply, accused Bill Shorten of having “questions to answer.”
Now, as we now know, the plot is even thicker.
Every month, more examples emerge of Coalition MPs and officials abusing their power for financial or political gain.
The Federal Government removed a respected veterinarian after she presented evidence of cruelty and appalling conditions onboard Australian live export ships, according to documents obtained by 7.30.
The High Court has upheld a state-wide ban on political donations from property developers, bolstering a corruption inquiry into secret donations from Nathan Tinkler and other business figures.