After being dropped by virtually every media outlet in the country, Mark Latham is aiming to return to what he (thinks he) knows best – sucking on the public teat.
After finishing an economics degree, Latham was elected to the Liverpool City Council at age 26, becoming mayor at age 30. At 33, he was gifted a safe seat in federal parliament via a by-election and nine years later, became leader of the Labor Party, leading them to an ignominious defeat in 2004 and resigning a year later.
And it’s all been downhill from there.
Latham is, to use the words of Media Watch’s Paul Barry, “offensive, abusive and a bully.”
I would add a misogynistic, racist, homophobic boor with a vastly over-inflated sense of his own intellectual capacity which seems to have been spawned in the front bar of pubs in Western Sydney – oh for the days when the snowflake sheila’s were banned from darkening the doorstep.
I mean a man want’s the right to say “fuck, cunt, poo, bum” whenever he feels like it as Latham told a bemused audience at the 2015 Melbourne Writers Festival.
Instead of accepting free tickets to attend sporting and cultural events, instead of posing for photographs, instead of marketing your family, instead of calling yourself by a nickname and putting your arm around anyone you are standing next to, how about you get back to the office and do the job you are being paid to do.
News Corp’s good guys (ODT)
I had been noticing this sleight of hand for a while but it was finally crystallised last week after the climate zealot and federal politician Craig Kelly declared in a widely reported speech that we shouldn’t worry about climate change and that, rather than being the cause of global warming, “fossil fuels actually protect us”.
While this statement is incendiary, and stoked the outrage Kelly no doubt expected, there is nothing new or strange about it.
Australian government backs coal in defiance of IPCC climate warning
Kelly has made extreme statements like this his stock-in-trade and you could substitute his speech for those by Tony “climate change itself is probably doing good” Abbott or Barnaby “people in the Kmart don’t care about the Paris agreement” Joyce.
Polarising figures win the numbers game almost by default – and not just with climate.
In the U.S. election, Republican Donald Trump took lying to an unprecedented level. Obamacare, the Mexican wall, the war on coal, the environment and many more. And he’s still doing it at an alarming rate.
The same fascination for untruth by conservatives in America has been exported to Australia.
Think about this.
Do you shape the truth for the sake of good impression? On the other hand, do you tell the truth even if it may tear down the view people may have of you? Alternatively, do you simply use the contrivance of omission and create another lie?
I can only conclude that there might often be pain in truth, but there is no harm in it.
So, I have no hesitation, when identifying political liars, of placing the Prime Minister with other serial liars such as Greg Hunt, who continuously lied by omission when Environment Minister. Peter Dutton, who has recently mislead parliament and has lied about conditions on Nauru and Manus. Josh Frydenberg when Energy Minister and Malcolm Turnbull with reference to the South Australian blackouts.
And, of course, the greatest liar to have ever walked the sacred halls of Government House, Tony Abbott.
It’s hard today even to imagine that, in the late 1980s, the rightwing Christian Voice Magazine published a “candidate’s biblical scoreboard,” urging its readers (and potential voters) to rate their politicians by how “biblically” they cast their ballots in Congress. One key measure of this: Did that legislator support the anti-Communist Muslim jihadis in Afghanistan, a cause warmly supported by evangelist Pat Robertson in his 1988 presidential campaign? Now, attempting to appeal to twenty-first-century evangelicals, President Trump has announced that “Islam hates us.”
The kaleidoscope of geopolitics and Islamophobia is now spinning so fast that it should make our heads spin, too. At times, it seems as if Donald Trump is the anti-Ronald Reagan of the twenty-first century, idolizing former KGB operative Vladimir Putin, but seeing former U.S. allies in the Muslim world like Pakistan as purveyors of “nothing but lies and deceit” — until, that is, with bewildering rapidity, he suddenly gives us the “good” (that is, oil-rich) Muslims again, willingly performing a sword dance with the Saudi royals, seemingly entirely comfortable with the scimitar of the Saracen.
like a modernized version of the rabidly anti-Communist McCarthyism of the 1950s. In fact, the endless demonization of Muslims may be less a cudgel to wield against the small Muslim-American community than against Democratic opponents who can be lambasted as “soft on terrorism” if they resist demands to demonize Muslims and their religion.
Endorsements of Democrats blasted by Republicans, white supremacists and Trump, who now likes her music ‘25% less’
Political attack ads can be vicious – but the jabs don’t normally come from the candidate’s own family. That, though, is what has happened to the Arizona Republican Paul Gosar. And then some.
Beto O’Rourke v Ted Cruz: debate heats up in Texas Senate race
Six of Gosar’s nine siblings are helping his Democratic opponent by starring in a series of campaign messages. As news of the ads spread on Saturday, Gosar responded defiantly, calling his brothers and sisters “disgruntled Hillary supporters” of whom “Stalin would be proud”.
A country left out in the cold (ODT)
But the reality is, of course, that leadership coups have nothing to do with actual leadership.
The perplexing ugliness of the last few weeks — and indeed much of the past decade — concerns struggles for power rather than leadership. They have involved struggles for jobs that give the authority and power of a leader.
It says much for the derelict state of our politics that the focus is on how he learns to lead his own party, rather than the country.
It was all rather … chummy. So much for the supposedly fierce opposition between the two leaders and their parties; so much, indeed, for the notion that politics is fundamentally divided along lines of conflict (most notably, the conflict between capital and labour), and never the twain shall meet. Reading Shorten’s statement, it was hard not to feel that the sound and fury regularly witnessed in parliament was all for show: a rather hollow performance, after which the actors retired to some backstage party to which we were not invited.
Finally, it is worth recognising that the insistence on respect and basic camaraderie reflects only the interests of politicians, not the mood of the public. To return to the Liberal leadership spill, it’s telling that the only statement to really ‘cut through’ – that is, to genuinely connect with how people outside the Canberra bubble were feeling – wasn’t Shorten’s sycophantic statement about Turnbull or any of the other platitudes mouthed by politicians and figures in the media. It was Richard Di Natale’s screaming rant in the Senate, in which he eviscerated the Coalition as self-interested, power-hungry egoists who ‘deserve to be turfed out’. This was enthusiastically received by a public who had, perhaps, grown a little weary of all that respect.
Joyce is correct that many people have no feeling for the Paris Agreement. But I want, and this nation needs, leaders who are high-minded enough to pursue what is right. In the case of the Paris Agreement, the best scientific minds in the world have come up with this international accord to reduce emissions as our best hope of limiting the damage of climate change.
The Labor Party has referred a number of Liberal and National Party MPs to Victoria Police for investigation, claiming they inappropriately used electorate office staff for political campaigning during normal business hours.
“It’s clear that a significant number of ministerial advisors did not take leave during the caretaker period and instead worked at the direction of then Liberal Party state director, and now convicted criminal, Damien Mantach.
“This allowed the Liberal Party to access taxpayer-funded expenditure in the order of $2 million for the Liberals’ re-election campaign.
“The Liberal Party and National Party refused to have the behaviour of their own MPs investigated by the Ombudsman – they can no longer hide from that scrutiny.”
Victoria Police confirmed it had received a letter from Mr Merlino requesting police investigate payment of government ministerial staff during the election campaign period of 2014.
Democrats need to learn what the Republicans have understood for decades: that to win, the party needs a message that embraces the passions, values, and agenda of grassroots leaders.
Undeterred by a shortage of drugs used for lethal injections and capital punishment’s waning popularity, states that still practice the death penalty are seeking alternative ways to kill death row inmates. The latest suggestion? Death by nitrogen gas, a method that has never been used before.
Tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes has said the federal government migration policies may force his software company Atlassian to move its global headquarters away from Australia to attract talent.
Cory Bernardi on RN Breakfast this morning that he was aware of other ministers having sex with staffers. Paul Keating used to say good policy was good politics. Those were the days.
Apparently MP’s according to MP’s is that they are not bound by any rule other than don’t get caught. Journalists align themselves for information from inside of politics on the understanding that they never publicize or inform the public on the true nature of those that help them in their craft. It seems it’s a very closed industry which makes the public despondant and wise due to the fact that they above all are most aware of their ingnorance. It’s strange that silence is the currency of the elite wealthy corporate and political classes. Andrew Bolt readily attacks those he regards as the left on every singular aspect of their lives and trangressionsthat go back in years and never accepts the changes that have occurred in their lives. How often have we seen him reveal the past lives of people in the audience of Q&A no quarter given or the rule of privacy there.
“In this ideas vacuum, and apparently timed minutely to the PM’s departure overseas, former prime minister Tony Abbott is grabbing headlines again [$], with a new big idea of winding back Australia’s annual immigration intake to the levels seen in the Howard years, from 190,000 to about 110,000 a year. In typically partisan fashion, Abbott says if the policy outrages the Labor Party, “so much the better”. ” This shows the impossible problem solving nature of Mr Nope Nope Nope when it comes to politics of Abbott compared to what we once experienced with Bob Hawke and Australia moved forward.
With the hounding down of Sam Dastyari today we saw the reality of a new political low in Australian culture. We witnessed for the first time in our political history the mainstream media (MSM) take control of political agenda and with the least assistance possible from the political opponents of the ALP, hunt down and destroy a member of the Senate of the Democratic state of Australia.
This throws a new light on the MSM and whose interests it is serving … in particular concerning the National Broadcaster – which is supposed to run neutral on political issues – yet we witnessed time and again a unilateral position taken on the cause of the Dastyari affair … while scant mention of the members of the Government receiving and even inviting donations of sometimes much greater figures from the very same source.
Neoliberalism is in its death throes around the world. In the United States the wealth gap between the poorest and the richest is at an all time high, and in Australia – though the gap is not yet as bad – we are heading in the same direction. Increased globalization has led to a massive offshoring…
Constitutional law professor George Williams said a postal vote would be “dangerous and unwise”.
Does Abbott ever look anybody in the eye?
Moreover, as opposition leader, Abbott elevated negativism to an art form, so it was a big ask for voters suddenly to accept his credentials as a reformer. He wants them now to accept that he is the champion of low priced energy, when his attempt to close down the renewables industry saw investment fall by about 80 to 90 per cent, and about 15,000 jobs squandered.
Back with headland speeches and a renewed manifesto, Tony Abbott has taken off the gloves in his fight to knock out Malcolm Turnbull.
Hamas new ‘Document of Principles’ ditches Islamism for frank positions on borders, international law, and human rights. But can the movement maintain unity as it inches closer to the ideas held by its rivals in the PLO? By Menachem Klein (translated by Philip Podolsky) Hamas’ recently-revised charter, titled “Document of General Principles and Policies” sees the group go down a path that could eventually result in its fracturing. Once it chose to depart from the simplistic and monolithic guidelines of the Islamic Charter, it had no choice but to acknowledge the ideological differences that drive the movement’s leadership apart (as do the inevitable power…
By Christian Marx In the past 40 years the Western political narrative has shifted sharply to the right. Since the late 1970s left-wing governments have become proponents of Neoliberalism, while right-wing governments are on the verge of Fascism, in some cases, such as America, they are now indeed Fascist. The Labour parties around the world…
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party is accused of intimidating and financially pressuring its own candidates and senior staffers.
By Brian Morris Religious institutions will feel a pressing need to regain the initiative following damning revelations from the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse. With renewed calls for a parliamentary conscience vote on marriage equality — and foreshadowed legislation on voluntary euthanasia in three states — one may assume the churches will resume their…
“SNL” becomes a target as Donald Trump and his aide Sean Spicer don’t find the show’s attacks funny VIDEO
By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – – We are now on the brink of a new form of …
Tuesday 6 December 2016 Author’s note. The arrival of a blatant liar, one who has taken it to unprecedented levels, as the 45th President of the United States necessitates close scrutiny. The Trump report will appear regularly in Day to Day Politics. We have reached the point in politics where TRUTH is something that politicians…
Conservative Turnbull Government MPs are recruiting members of hardline micro parties such as Family First and the Australian Christians, in a move described as a “horrifying” lurch to the right that could thwart the Liberals chances at the next state election.
Tuesday November 8 How did it come to this? Australians have always had a sort of love-hate relationship with America. Whilst we come from an English heritage, it has been the United States that has had the most influence on our maturing as a nation. You agree, guys? Rightly or wrongly we have blindly followed them…
Monday 17 October 2016 Words crafted with logic and delivered with emotion have throughout history, by their authority, often changed the course of history. In my library I have two books of great speeches. The first is called ”Great Speeches”- words that shaped the world. The second is titled ”Great Australian Speeches”. They contain the…
That question sounds like the start of a bad joke. And if you look too closely, you’ll realise your society might just be the punchline. Sean Hosking picks at the bones of neo-liberalism and fear-based politics. If you thought the Donald Trump presidential campaign couldn’t get any more bizarre, the documentary maker Michael Moore recentlyMore
You have to hand it to Tim Wilson. He is the archetypal dilettante – a man who swans around the world at other people’s expense having a fat old time doing SFA. In a 2014 interview, he revealed his tactics for self-promotion. He became heavily involved with student politics, eventually becoming president of the Student…
Day to Day Politics: What others say about? Friday July 22 2016 A selection of thoughts from my many friends who express opinions. 1 Tim Leeder: ”Less than half of Australians want a plebiscite on same-sex marriage, with support plummeting once voters are aware that the Turnbull Government’s proposal will cost $160 million but not…
The first Indigenous woman elected into the House of Representatives labels Pauline Hanson ignorant.
Australia’s political duopoly only perpetuates a watered down democracy, which is now little more than a regional office for corporate interests, writes Andrew Chambers.
A world-leading system of Marine Reserves to protect Australia’s oceans, which was put on hold when the Abbott government came to power, is back on the cards after Labor announced that if elected it would seek to finish what it started. The plan was unveiled by Tony Burke in 2012, and involves protections for anMore
Predictably, though lamentably, before his body had even grown cold, they started clamoring to attach themselves to Muhammad Ali and his legacy.
Labor is hoping to capitalise on rumblings about Liberal MP Fiona Scott to recover the western Sydney seat of Lindsay she won at the last election. Ms Scott won with help from then prime minister Tony Abbott, who famously declared her to be feisty and to have a bit of sex appeal. [node_list title=”related reading” uuid=”7359fddc-f03f-41f1-b14c-028b01aafb6e”] Marcus Cornish, a councillor on Penrith Council, said she only won because of Tony Abbott’s support for her campaign, including his “sex appeal” comment.
Sunday March 13 2016 The Insidious Invasion of the IPA into Australian Politics, or Public Apathy and 75 Ideas to Make You Shudder. The Institute of Public Affairs is a free market right-wing think tank that is funded by some of Australia’s major companies and is closely aligned to the Liberal Party. In April 2013…
Guardian Australia’s Indigenous Affairs editor tells ABC’s Q&A program the positive response to his racism speech made him consider the ‘responsibility and obligation to the words in that speech’
Populist politicians are on the march, first in Latin America, then in Europe and the US. They are on both the left and right, and their policies vary, but their approach carries the same risks.
PM says police report’s failure to mention incidents at 2014 event amounts to ‘double betrayal’, while reports emerge on New Year’s Eve attacks in Malmö