Tony Abbott turned his back and faced Europe changing the nature of the region. (ODT)
After riding the coattails of China’s boom for decades, Australian conservatives are now railing against China. They’re not just following a lead from Washington — the Liberal Party’s corporate backers are anxious to maintain Australian dominance in the South Pacific.
After letting its guard down in the Pacific, Australia has found that the superpower whose growth has helped to sustain the Australian economy is now staking its own claim to a region it perceives as its own. Australia’s resource giants have long enjoyed the best of both worlds: a vast Chinese export market and privileged access to resources in the South Pacific. But now both privileges are in jeopardy, and Australia is struggling to formulate a response.
After three decades of a China-fueled economic boom, the bust may have deep and dangerous consequences — especially for Pacific island peoples who find themselves, once again, caught in a game where no matter who wins, they lose.
Scott Morrison Named (ODT)
A former Coalition minister has slammed the federal government’s handling of aged care and called for major structural change in a submission that exposes years of failure to help older Australians.
One of Tony Abbott’s own ministers after the 2013 election, Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, says the government has not had the political fortitude to fix the sector after spurning calls for action when it took power.
She also names Prime Minister Scott Morrison as one of the ministers of the social service responsible for aged care in the federal cabinet during the time she says the government squandered a chance for reform.
IPA?Murdoch/LNP the triumvariate of an unhinged and diminished Democracy (ODT)
What are some of the things they succeeded in?
Many of the items can be ticked off, as having been completed, or at least attempted. Most, if not all of them, as reactionary, elitist and nasty:
Repeal the carbon tax, and don’t replace it;
Abolish the Department of Climate Change;
Cease subsidising the car industry;
Repeal the mining tax;
Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states;
Cease funding the Australia Network; and
It seems like the sort of list that very young, privileged brats would produce before they actually encountered some real life. Let us just say it is a work of stupendous lightness and the Liberal Party has been captured by it for nearly eight years now.
There isn’t one thing that would materially improve the life of a single citizen. It is all self-aggrandisement writ large, with not a thought for the weak or the helpless. We have been blaming Abbott, Hockey, Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton for a long time, but they are just dupes of three would-be intellectuals, who wouldn’t know what the words mutual obligation meant.
The IPA gave Abbott a plan for Australia and he bought it.
Another bet from a famous conservative caught my eye last week. The Times of London, owned by Rupert Murdoch, announced plans to launch a radio station. It seems likely that Murdoch, whose new station will “target those disenfranchised” by the BBC, is continuing to bet heavily on political polarisation as a major force in media.
It’s also a bet on radio and a prediction that the conservative government will not be kind to the national broadcaster. (It will be interesting to see if Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison follows British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on this, though the ABC’s coverage of the bushfires has made that harder.)
Abbott’s warnings come from an Australian Government with a history of incompetent bribery by our government agencies. Blatant lying in order to justify the invasion and destruction of Iraq along with the bugging of the Timor Leste government’s offices for commercial gain. Surely Keating has a point as does China that in dealing with this Australian government China is dealing with the mindless thugs that invaded Vietnam. (ODT)
In dealing with China, he said that Australia should get over its alarm at the speed of its rise and recognise its achievement in lifting 700 million people out of poverty.
Mr Abbott urged the Australian government to work harder on ties with allies including Japan and the “democratic superpower” of India as the best way to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific while China remains a one-party communist state.
contrasts with a warning from former prime minister Paul Keating on Monday against “pious belchings” from those attacking China when Australia’s long-term interest lay in working more closely with a vital partner.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton only managed to get three words into a substantive interview on Insiders last weekend before he started talking about the Opposition.
The question was about who had leaked classified documents from his portfolio. But his answer was all about how Anthony Albanese was only asking questions about the leak because he was trying to distract everyone from Labor’s problems.
This would have to rate somewhere between “marvellous” and “magnificent” on the irony-o-meter, since the only thing anyone in the Government seems to want to talk about at the moment, particularly this week, is the Opposition.
You know? The mob that actually lost the election, not the mob who won it and who are supposed to be springing into action with plans to lead the country forward.
The main topics this week have been the Government’s planned tax cuts, the imminent collapse (according to Mr Dutton) of Australia’s migration regime as a result of a Federal Court decision about the legislation on medical evacuations from Nauru and Manus Island, and the ongoing battle over the future in the Labor Party and the trade union movement of union official John Setka.
I suspect that part of the angst comes from reviews of internal polling, which shows a bleak picture for Abbott in particular. This is a serious repudiation of the hard right of the Liberal Party, along with their backers at News Corp, 2GB, 3AW, 4BC and elsewhere. But it also shows how precarious the position of the cultural right in this country is. They are reliant on favours and iffy government handouts to do business. They are beneficiaries and champions of middle-class welfare and rent-seeking. They are fanatically committed to outmoded forms of power, both literal and figurative. They are openly bigoted and intellectually barren. They have little to fall back on. No wonder they fear the drop. Here’s to giving them the push.
Tony Abbott? Peter Dutton? Who will lose their seat in election 2019?
First Dog on the Moon
Promoting Abbott in Warringah
“So many things that he does the cameras don’t see,” Tani Rickle says.
Please don’t turn your back on him
He’ll knife you
“These far-left activists want to weaken our borders, make our electricity bills more expensive, and divide our nation with the politics of identity and race.” Abbott
He started TEAM AUSTRALIA all Citizens aren’t included.
Muslims Africans Lebanese, LGBTQIs not Included
When Howard describes Pell as of ‘exemplary character’, of ‘strength’, and ‘lacking in hypocrisy and cant’, the back story to those words must include Pell’s extreme and vociferous opposition to any progressive reform within the Catholic Church. It must especially include his stance in relation to gender equality, to contraception, to abortion and women’s rights in general, and including condemnation of homosexuality, gay and lesbian rights and same-sex marriage.
Writing of Pell’s “strength”, Howard would have known of the Ellis case — of Pell’s attempts to shield paedophile clergy from being accountable and treating victims with arrogant dismissal and scorn.
Abbott has likened what Pell has been convicted of as a “mistake”, saying:
“If I look back on my own life … I’ve made many mistakes, we all do.”
It is amazing to consider that we have a recent Prime Minister who regards paedophilia as insignificant rather than a serious crime.
This week, John Wren catches up on Tony Abbott, gives us the details on Tim Wilson’s corruption and also the Medevac Bill passing.
Kaye Lee accurately describes what happened to my feelings as an Australian the day Tony Abbott took over the leadership of the Liberal Party and became PM in 2013. It wasn’t that IT”S TIME feeling was it. (ODT)
There have always been incidents of nepotism, rorting, broken promises, moral failures, poor decisions, and even straight out lies, in politics. So why does it feel so bad now?
In the past, despite the shortcomings of the government of the day and the failings of individuals in parliament, there was an overall feeling that progress was being made. Not in all areas at once and certainly not equally across society, but we were generally moving forward.
Until Tony Abbott fell into the leadership of the Liberal party.
From then on in, it has been a constant onslaught of combative negativity, destructive and misleading messaging, and a focus on tearing things down rather than building a better future.
Public asked to nominate which conservative Coalition MPs are ‘the worst’ to help GetUp prioritise targets
The base to which some appealed was confined to the tiny proportion of the population who are paid-up party members — some of whom, surveys suggest, indeed have views on issues such as crime, same-sex marriage and climate change that are at odds with majority opinion.
The broader constituency, however, Liberal Party supporters rather than activists, do not appear to respond to their concerns. Banks is likely more attuned to what drives this broader constituency in articulating a disgust with “the reactionary right-wing … coup … aided by many MPs trading their vote for a leadership change in exchange for an individual promotion, preselection endorsements or silence
“Their actions were undeniably for themselves, for their position in the party, their power, their personal ambition, not for the Australian people who we represent,” she said.
The Liberal Party is now so far adrift from majority opinion, and so hobbled by the most recent insurgency against Malcolm Turnbull, that a wholesale collapse appears to be inevitable.
When 9 year olds show their ability to think those politicians that don’t come racing in to the media space and declare beatings need be legalized (ODT)
Politicians are roasting an Australian nine-year-old after she refused to stand for the national anthem. They are now calling for grade 4 student Harper Nielsen, who says the anthem is racist, to be kicked out of school.
Harper, who goes to Kenmore South State School in Queensland, told Nine News that she chose to sit during the national anthem. She was given detention last week over her refusal to join her classmates in standing.
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.
All thanks to Tony Abbott’s disinterest
The Vanuatu Foreign Minister, Ralph Regenvanu, has welcomed the intensified Chinese investment and aid efforts in his country while conceding it does come with some extra diplomatic pressure. In an extended interview with Independent Australia’s Lee Duffield at his Foreign Ministry office, Mr Regenvanu took stock of incidents upsetting the Australian Government and many Australians, like the story of China wanting a naval base in Vanuatu, which his government has denied.
MAKING AUSTRALIA MORE INTERESTED
Blaming China for Abbott’s inexcusable dumping of the Pacific Islands. How easliy forgotten. Abbott dropped the ball and the ADF did too. Breach of trust. (ODT)
Defence chief Mark Binskin says Beijing’s broken promise not to militarise the South China Sea means it has squandered the trust of its neighbours and undermined its aspirations to regional leadership.
In his final interview before he hands over command of the 80,000-strong Australian Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Binskin also urged countries such as China that are moving into the South Pacific: “Don’t destabilise the region.”
Tony Abbott has used a speech to a group of climate sceptics to express his concerns about the Paris Climate Agreement, demanding to know which idiot Prime Minister signed Australia up to the scheme.
After scraping over the line two years ago, Turnbull secured the numbers in the Senate and both the ABCC and ROC were established. Soon after, the ROC’s credibility came under question when, at the suggestion of the employment minister Michaelia Cash, it chose not just to investigate the previous Labor government, but specifically something the current Opposition Leader Bill Shorten did or did not do more than a decade ago when he was at the helm of the Australian Workers Union.
It may have taken almost 16 years, but finally the whirligig of time is bringing in its revenges.
Girt by Sea: Australia, the Refugees and the Politics of Fear.
In a chapter titled “What Dare Not Speak Its Name”, I asked the forbidden question: was our prime minister, and by extension his government, actually racist?
John Howard already had form: he had amended the Native Title Act to enact the Wik response that favoured farmers over Aboriginal traditional owners, he had called for a slowdown on Asian immigration, and the entire basis of his 2001 election campaign – “We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come” – was one of jingoism if not xenophobia.
But did it go the whole way to outright racism? I offered the observation: “It is hard to believe that, had those rescued by the Tampa been white Zimbabwean farmers fleeing the brutal regime of President Mugabe, they would have been treated as hostile invaders and denigrated as economic migrants, illegals, and finally potential terrorists.”
Then I waited for the government or one of its many media boosters to offer a rebuttal. Deafening silence – until at last, some 16 years later, the emergence of Peter Dutton, blatantly and shamelessly demanding that white South African farmers should be encouraged to jump the queue in favour of those already languishing in the various camps – including, of course, those sponsored by Australia in Nauru and Manus Island.
It is worth noting that while the South African farmers may feel discriminated against by legislation that may take away some or all of their property, thus qualifying them as economic migrants, it is a big stretch to claim that they, as a class, let alone a race (as Dutton seems to define them) are facing deliberate political persecution.
Certainly there have been murders in South Africa – far more black deaths than white, if that matters, which it obviously doesn’t to Dutton. But much of South Africa is a violent, though not a lawless, society. To declare that the 74 farm murders between 2016 and 2017, which Tony Abbott effortlessly ramps up to 400, were all political reeks more of propaganda than of evidence.
Dutton is more than dog whistling; he is quite overtly promoting his own version of White Australia, in which all but unquestioning preference is to be accorded to whites who want residence, and the rest can rot away in whichever gulags they can find – we will decide.
From the man who can’t keep his mouth shut, Abbott’s advice
The Abbott government’s 2014 budget set in motion $120 million of cuts to ASIC’s funding over four years, leading to the loss of more than 200 staff. At the time, the government emphasised a greater role for self-regulation instead of government intervention.
Former ASIC chair Greg Medcraft was vocal in his criticism of the budget cuts and pushing for tougher penalties for misconduct.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott.
In 2016, the Turnbull government restored the funding and boosted the regulator’s investigative powers.
The new Monash Forum wants to get the Government to build new coal-fired power stations. Manchester University’s Marc Hudson says its all smoke and mirrors.
The coal industry has a new voice in parliament, in the form of the so-called Monash Forum – an informal government faction featuring former prime minister Tony Abbott and backbench energy committee chair Craig Kelly.
[Former PM] Tony Abbott and a group of extreme right-wing thugs conducted one of the most vicious and destructive scare campaigns in modern history on deficit and debt — which has since doubled and even tripled, in some years … And they have been aided by the Murdoch press, which has acted as a cheer squad and echo chamber.
Yes, nobody thought to ask Tones, if criticisms should be kept private, why did he not follow his own advice and call Malcolm directly?
Tony, of couse, may have had a number of reasons.
1)Malcolm never listens to advice from anyone so it would be pointless.
2)Malcolm won’t take phone calls from Tony.
3)Tony knows that hypocrisy is so common that it’s rare that anyone is criticised for it, so this was another great chance to bag Malcolm, thereby reminding people that there was a much better PM recently.
The Australian Citizenship Act currently prevents a Minister from revoking a person’s Australian citizenship if he or she is unable to become a national or citizen of another country. Despite this, Dutton and Abbott still investigated whether the revocation of Australian citizenship could be extended to natural born Australians, including second generation Australians. The proposal was so radical that six ministers reportedly revolted against the policy in a cabinet meeting. The fact that it was even considered in the first place simply goes to show just how far men like Dutton and Abbott are prepared to push the envelope in their desire to strip citizenship from as many people as humanly possible.
The national energy guarantee policy is much better than a mere surrender to Abbott and the far right’s theological attachment to coal. It’s policy devised by experts and agreed to by politicians.
The Australian media and political landscape is now awash with goons seeking to exploit the sort of far-right tone the Donald Trump presidency has helped legitimise across the West, all of them dedicated to the defence of free speech and the hurt feelings of white men.