Coalition enters ‘death-rattle mode’
By contrast, the sense that the government is now in full death-rattle mode is more of a consensus opinion, to the extent that there was a widespread view as MPs and senators went home on Thursday and Friday that — as was canvassed in this space a few weeks ago — it was just not a viable option for the government to come back and sit out a period until a May election.
In the topsy-turvy Liberal universe, just when the right is trying to tighten its grip on the throat of the party, the Government is haring off to the left, with this week’s legislation to allow it to break up recalcitrant energy companies.
As former deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop — who as a backbencher has become very forthright — said in the Coalition party room on Tuesday, “this is not orthodox Liberal policy”. Ms Bishop canvassed the danger of sovereign risk.
How the encrypted message access laws will affect you
The Government’s new laws force technology companies to let police access encrypted messages. Technology companies, human rights groups, lawyers and others aren’t happy.
To find a rationale for a frolic into what in other circumstances the Liberals would no doubt denounce as “socialism”, one might see it as driven by the veto of the so-called conservatives.
The Morrison government is a strong chance of being defeated in a vote in the House of Representatives, as a powerful crossbench joins Labor in an attempt to deliver the first such loss in almost 90 years.
The historic defeat on legislation is “not necessarily fatal” for the government, but it raises serious questions about the Coalition’s tenure.
Analysis by the Australian Election Study of the 2016 Election found 7% more women voted Labor than men. Essential pollster and Guardian columnist, Peter Lewis, has suggested the gender voting gap explains Labor’s lead over the Coalition since the 2016 Election. He says if it were not for women voters ‘the contest would be line ball’. This is because men are split 50/50 on a two-party preferred basis between Labor and the Coalition while for women the figures are 56% for Labor and 44% for the Coalition.
Take protecting our borders. We can’t have people arriving by boat because we need to protect our borders, we’re told. Compare that with their statements on globalisation and how we need to be part of the world. We need to knock down artificial trade barriers and invite the rest of the world in… even if they want to bring their own workers.
Today, the potential for economic, environmental and humanitarian change lies with workers just as it did after World War I, writes Canberra correspondent John Passant.
History can be a wonderful teacher. For example, in 1939 the U.S. turned back the boat, St Louis, with 939 Jews on board. They were fleeing Hitler and were seeking asylum.
The ship returned to Europe. Estimates are that 254 of the Jews sent back died in the Holocaust.
The “reasoning” from politicians was base and racist:
We are left disillusioned and feeling hopeless because our government is so shackled by ideology that it can scarcely move, so immobilized by fear of contravening its entrenched beliefs that it cannot solve our nation’s problems, so sterile of ideas that it cannot think clearly, plan strategically, or put into action the changes the nation desperately desires and needs.
Is it any wonder voters despair?
Aboriginal leaders say they are dismayed and disappointed by the proposal to appoint Tony Abbott as special envoy on Indigenous affairs to the Federal Government.
Malcolm Turnbull has shown he’s Abbott’s Equal(ODT)
This week, we learned that $443 million of taxpayer funds were gifted to a charitable Foundation heavily supported by the fossil fuel industry without proper due diligence. As political editor Dr Martin Hirst writes, it might not save the Great Barrier Reef, but it might just sink Malcolm (Captain Bligh) Turnbull.
MALCOLM TURNBULL has been MIA for most of the past week, but he emerged on Friday to defend his “captain’s call” decision to grant a business lobby group over $440 million in funds without, it seems, any due diligence at all.
The Prime Minister claims the funding process was above board and transparent, but this has not satisfied anyone outside of the Liberal Party.
MP’s claimed a total of over 8000 years’ worth of Newstart allowance in 2016. The minister responsible for welfare at that time, Alan Tudge, claimed the equivalent of 39 years’ worth of Newstart payments.
In 2016 Tony Abbott’s expense claims were the equivalent of more than 37 years’ worth of Newstart payments, Peter Dutton’s were more than 55 years’ worth, Scott Morrison more than 61 years’ worth and Malcolm Turnbull more than 105 years’ worth!
The biggest claimant for 2016 was Julie Bishop with nearly 113 years’ worth of Newstart payments. Bear in mind, these are expense claims only, they do not include salaries and other allowances.
Labor’s success in the federal by-elections is prompting debate within the Coalition about whether its policy to cut corporate taxes for big businesses should be dumped or changed.
The Opposition retained all of its seats at the weekend polls and the Liberal National Party’s primary vote plummeted to a perilously low level in the marginal Queensland seat of Longman.
America’s Trumpland Politics is arriving in Australia. Public Agencies are being politicized in the manner of the USA (ODT)
Chris Bowen says the government is politicising commonwealth agencies
Chris Bowen has objected to the appointment of former Liberal staffers to the Treasury and the Productivity Commission. Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAP
Labor has raised concerns about the Turnbull government’s decision to appoint former political staffers to key bureaucratic roles in proximity to the federal election expected either later this year, or in the first half of 2019.
THE ABC EARNS around $100 million a year from its commercial activities (mainly ABC shops). Its annual operating budget is more than a billion dollars.
The organisation would not exist without the triennial funding provided by taxpayers (not by Treasurer Scott Morrison, who this week ludicrously claimed that he funded the ABC). You can’t privatise a business that doesn’t make a profit. So let’s call the demand from last weekend’s Liberal Party conference for what it really is; effectively a proposal to close the ABC and sell off its assets, the prime of which would be its broadcast spectrum.
But even that is hardly practical, or likely. Ironically, while the ABC haters with their ideological objections to public broadcasting would like to see it happen, there would be little or no appetite from the commercial television sector for starters.
The Turnbull government has signed a deal to send refugees on Nauru who need urgent medical care to Taiwan, in an undisclosed arrangement aimed at stopping them from applying to stay in Australia after being treated in local hospitals.Fairfax Media can reveal Australia signed a memorandum of understanding with Taiwan – which is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention – in September last year that has so far seen about five refugees flown 5500 kilometres to the capital Taipei for high-level care.
‘The more the authorities claim their secrecy is in the “national interest”, the less it’s likely that what they are up to is in the public interest.’
The government’s continued attacks on the ABC make it seem like it’s trying to avoid scrutiny
How popular is the ABC? So popular that the Australia Institute polled voters in the contested seat of Mayo and discovered 74% of respondents think the government should increase ABC funding. So popular that while not a single Liberal at their council meeting spoke against the motion to privatise, within 24 hours of a social media explosion, Josh Frydenberg – government minister – was a-hustle on Sky News, pledging: “It is not going to be sold and it can never be sold.”
Egged on by conservative think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs (of which Mitch Fifield just happens to be a member), the Liberal-National mania to destroy independent broadcasting has resulted in 800 job losses and 60% fewer hours of factual programming by the ABC since the Abbott came to power. There’s 20% less drama, 13.5% fewer documentaries. There is no popular will for this. Losing precious, job-creating Australian content is just collateral damage in a Liberal party crusade.
“We won’t privatise the ABC,” Mitch Fifield has now said. Of course, Liberal Senator James Patterson has been calling for the ABC to be privatised since 2014, and Senator James McGrath has demanded the same. Liberal MP Kevin Andrews is a member of a “privatise the ABC” Facebook group, started by Victorian Liberal MP, Bernie Finn. And in 2008, Fifield himself there was “merit” in privatisation proposals.
The reason parliament legislated the independence of the ABC back in 1947 was among post-war realisations that political processes must be transparent or democracy is compromised.
Desperately, the Turnbull government begs the ANU to take on The Ramsay Centre; confer ersatz academic legitimacy on a cheer squad for cultural supremacists. It woos the university for six months but is flatly rejected Thursday.
Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt BS Phys, BS Astro, AM Astro, PhD Astro is polite but firm as he lets Ramsay know it’s on the nose. ANU has “serious concerns about its autonomy”, he says. His objections expose The Ramsay Centre utterly. And by extension they are a trenchant criticism of a Coalition keen to undermine if not silence a free and open society.
Professor Schmidt tells Fairfax Media, Thursday, that the Ramsay Centre had “sought a level of influence over our curriculum and staffing that went beyond what any other donor has been granted, and was inconsistent with academic autonomy”. This would set a precedent that would completely undermine the integrity of the university,” he continues, noting the ANU had declined donations before and “will again”.
As a back-bencher, Turnbull had the guts to predict Direct Action would waste billions of taxpayers’ dollars paying farmers to plant trees so industry could freely pollute, a scam he denounced as “a recipe for fiscal recklessness on a grand scale”– akin to his current unfunded corporate tax cuts.
“F…get over it” could be The Liberal Party’s motto if it had one. So much better than “Our Plan will deliver a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia.”
“F… get over it” would also be fair warning of the Libs’ abandoning any pretension to be a party of individual freedom when as coalition partner they constantly extend state power over us, be it beefing up surveillance, (Home Affairs plans to expand the Australian Signals Directorate to spy on all citizens), retaining data, censorship, human rights abuse, compulsory ID checks at airports for all, or violating our right to privacy.
The Turnbull government has hoovered up more than $2 billion in inactive superannuation accounts and claimed the revenue as its own, saying it does not trust the superannuation industry to reunite the accounts of millions of Australian workers.
As head of the Intelligence Committee Hastie has made himself a leaker untrustworthy in terms of sharing information as he’s blurted. Blurted thethe unspeakable like Mossad is spying on us or so is the USA and they are both withholding the sharing of information with us. Very unintelligent move by Captain Hastie. So yes it still makes sense this ultra conservative wanted to or was instructed to undermine Turnbull’s and Bishop’s efforts at reproachment. (ODT)
Curious, isn’t it? A parliamentarian gives a heads up to the spooks, but not to his own prime minister.
ask why a member of the government would want to sabotage the government’s own diplomatic efforts, you get a couple of theories.
1)The first one is obvious. Hastie runs with conservatives hostile to Turnbull and Bishop.
2) He sees the world in binary and black and white terms “absolutist”, a simplistic worldview which could explain the behaviour.
Andrew Hastie’s contribution to our China effort? Curious and curiouser | Katharine Murphy | Australia news | The Guardian
The protections of the refugee convention are only words, Ghezelbash argued, and their actual effectiveness is shaped with the actions of the states who implement it.
“The risk,” he said, “is we’ll see a race to the bottom as countries compete to deter asylum seekers. This competitive approach creates a vicious cycle, in which governments seek to outdo each other by implementing progressively more restrictive policies.
What a joke the government is congratulating itself for having paid out $5.4 mill in 2 weeks. That’s like the banks saying “but it was only one mistake repeated 57,000 times and we have nipped it in the bud”. Simon Birmingham shouldn’t be sacked for not knowing but simply for congratulating his department and treating the Australian electorate like idiots. (ODT)
The group allegedly backdated the children’s care by four months to a single day in March, claimed they were cared for up to 14 hours a day, five days a week, and received $5.7 million in government rebates and benefits over two weeks.
“The message today is that greed on this scale will not be tolerated by authorities,” acting AFP commander Kate Ferry said after the arrests on Thursday.
On Friday, Education Minister Simon Birmingham congratulated officers in his department for their role in monitoring non-compliance.
“The Turnbull government continues to crack down on rorters, and actions like this should send a further message to people who try to rip off the child care system,” Mr Birmingham said.
Matthew the Mafia Guy’s Man delivered on a Liberal Roll
A Liberal Party figure appointed by Opposition leader Matthew Guy to lead the state’s property development agency personally promoted the alleged head of the Calabrian Mafia in Australia to a prominent business body.
Tony De Domenico used his position last October as president of the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Melbourne to make alleged mafia boss Tony Madafferi, a chamber member.
What Abbot’s “No Mining Tax” has cost us
An Oxford University expert says Australia would be $90 billion better off if it adopted European-style resource tax policies and argues the Turnbull government has given up on collecting a meaningful amount of revenue from some of its most valuable resources.
In one of a suite of new submissions to a Senate inquiry, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies academic Juan Carlos Boué warned unless Australia “radically overhauled its fiscal regime” it would have the second lowest share of government revenue from oil and gas in the world.
Australia is on track to eclipse Qatar as the largest exporter of gas by 2020, but is expected to only earn $600 million in 2018 – the same amount of revenue the government earns in beer tax every year – compared to Qatar’s $26.6 billion.
The government would not make a decision on ending discrimination in marriage laws. They made us do it and have since formed a committee to fight for the rights of wedding retailers to turn customers away. One wonders how many of them actually want less business.
The government will not make a decision on Aboriginal recognition. They made our Indigenous People go through a lengthy and extensive consultation process to make recommendations and then threw them out without a second glance. They slashed over $500 million from Indigenous funding and then wondered why we aren’t closing the gap.
MICHAELIA CASH’S SLUT SHAMING threat of young women in Bill Shorten’s office was well out of order.
In yet another of the almost hourly unedifying exhibitions of perverted “metooism” by politicians, the Minister for Jobs and Innovation clearly needs to attend a careers night to find a job for which she is more suitable, where she can be truly innovative. Cleaning sewers, perhaps. Those of her own making.
Parliament is fast becoming a cesspit.
Her performance before yesterday’s Senate Estimates hea
When you force the ABC to take down an article that questions your logic you know something is wrong. Since when has Turnbull taken on the role of ABC editor?
On Friday, the ABC took down Alberici’s analysis, citing that it did not conform to the broadcaster’s editorial standards. Frankly, the article – which has been republished on John Menadue’s blog, is not all that different in focus from analyses by Ian Verrender published by the ABC last year, The Age’s Peter Martin and various others, including myself.
Arguing that company tax cuts may not have the impact that the beneficiaries say will result is hardly controversial.
As I noted in January, Moody’s credit rating agency said of the US company tax rate cut from 35% to 21% (compared with a reduction from 30% to 25% proposed here) that “we do not expect corporate tax cuts to lead to a meaningful boost in business investment”.
But given most people don’t get excited by business investment (or increased business profits), companies here have followed the lead of their US counterparts, and are saying a tax cut is needed to increase wages.
It’s all a bit of smoke and mirrors.
He observed “powerful elements of right-wing politics” had abandoned the liberal tradition in favour of “a belligerent, intolerant populism which shows no respect for either the rights of individual citizens or the traditional institutions which protect them”.
Senator Brandis did not name Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in his speech, but delivered a pointed barb at Mr Dutton’s recent disparaging of “un-Australian” lawyers and “weak” judges.
“I have not disguised my concern at attacks upon the institutions of the law – the courts and those who practice in them,” he said. “To attack those institutions is to attack the rule of law itself.”
Australia’s fixed broadband is below Kazakhstan on a global ranking of internet speeds, with performance continuing to be below the global average.
The Ookla Speed Test Global Index ranked Australia as 55th in the world for fixed broadband in December, with an average download speed of 25.88 Mbps.
More BS from the LNP declaring 25mbs “is all Australian’s ever wanted for the Money” 2018 sees the LNP lying on the NBN, Housing, Climate, and Youth Crime. (Old Dog)
We find a Government lying through it’s back teeth on everything and that’s what Tony Abbott did to secure a win
The Turnbull government’s climate change policy review would have you believe we are well on our way to reaching our international commitment of a 26-28 per cent reduction by 2030.
Only problem is we are not.
Previously confidential Treasury advice to the Turnbull government found Labor’s negative gearing and capital gains tax policies would likely have a “small” impact on property prices.
Also on Turnbull’s wish-list is the departure of Tony Abbott. While there is no material sign of this happening, there was a sense at year’s end, after his emphatic same-sex reversal – at the hands of the Australian people – and another reshuffle in which he was not even discussed, that his era had truly passed.
A man with severe disabilities who has been in state care since 1999, was ordered by Centrelink to prove his eligibility for a disability pension.
Did it really never dawn on Canberra’s brains trust that the royal commission should include an Aboriginal leader? George Brandis has been left looking foolish
One of Malcolm Turnbull’s strongest supporters has hit out at people unhappy with the PM’s performance.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has claimed victory in the federal election, as the Coalition edges towards a slim majority in federal parliament.
The Turnbull Government’s hasty moves to scrap the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal puts truck drivers and the public at serious risk.
The government’s $70m budget for border protection propaganda is the latest in a long line of taxpayer-funded “messaging” exercises.
Timing is, of course, everything. If you are in government, and a problem emerges, the very best time for it to occur is in a non-parliamentary week. That way, you control the timing of your responses. If the prime minister does not want to face up to questions, either because he’s still working on finding out the answers or because it’s just a plain bad look, he doesn’t have to.
I re-watched Whiplash the other day. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a terrific, morally indefensible movie about a music teacher who pushes a young jazz drummer to greatness. Its unusual central message is that abuse works. Bigoted insults, physical assault, even driving a student to suicide are all justified, if these tactics produce one Buddy Rich clone 50 years past its use-by-date.
t’s time to vote with our hearts and use our vote to stamp out the greed and austerity that underpins the destruction of a fair go in Australia by the Abbott-Turnbull Government.…
Wednesday January 13 2016 1 Tony Abbott came to the Prime Ministership with a mixture of negative malevolence, callous misogyny, lying, cheating and creating crisis when none existed. With the support of Rupert Murdoch he successfully deceived the Australian public into believing that the country would be better in his hands. The evidence of his…
The prime minister should look for new talent on the backbench rather than allow Mal Brough to cast a shadow over the government in an election year
A six to eight per cent swing in the North Sydney by-election is now inevitable as Brough, Pyne and Roy smirch the Turnbull Government with their “Ashbygate” involvement, says Bob Ellis.
Source: All the Prime Minister’s men
Lyn Bender examines the recent re-branding of Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison and finds only “lovely lies” and the same old hard-hearted cruelty.
For the new prime minister, it’s time to keep his enemies close and the conservatives closer.
The grandmaster of hyperbole, Moncrief MP Steven Ciobo, has called the Parramatta shooting by a 15-year-old ‘cold-blooded murder’. Bob Elllis says, ‘give me a break’.
When Malcolm Turnbull told the New South Wales Liberal Conference that the party was not run by factions, there was mirth, derision and incredulity: the delegates knew bloody well that it is, and for their prime minister to deny it was, perhaps, his idea of a joke. But Tony Abbott, within the audience, was not laughing; after all, it was his faction that had been splintered and defeated. A breakaway group within the conservative majority in the federal party room on whom he had relied for so long had been forced by the necessity of sheer survival to overcome ideology.
An analysis of legislation passed shows the Abbott administration was less productive than any Australian government since John Gorton