The Public Service and the ABC seem to be seen as something very different by the LNP in a Democracy. MP’s become the “experts” (ODT)
Clearly this Prime Minister sees no role for the public service in identifying and responding to present and future policy problems that should demand attention. That role would extend to helping the Government of the day to set its policy agenda. But according to Scott Morrison, any advisory role for the public service is limited to advice on implementation.
I would contend, however, that this limited role for the public service, with its focus on implementation is very different from the role that the Australian public service, at its best, played in the past.
In summary, this piece argues that Dutton is resolutely determined to elevate his status and eventually take control of the LNP government. From the moment Malcolm Turnbull’s prime ministership came into question, Dutton believed he was the ‘better man’ to replace him, and that his bid for the top job should be supported by his colleagues. There is no evidence that he has abandoned this lofty ambition. In fact, recent revelations show how he and Morrison colluded in this shameful process. And I’m not the only one who sees it that way. Read David Tyler’s Dutton’s naked power grab in The AIM Network, and Kristina Keneally’s assessment of the ‘man who cries wolf’ in The Guardian.
I wonder how Dutton will react to the recent National Press Club statement on the AFP raids and the NPC event on 26 June: Press Freedom – On the line featuring the Managing Director of the ABC, David Anderson, the Chief Executive Officer of Nine, Hugh Marks, and the Executive Chairman Australasia, News Corp, Michael Miller?
Watch Dutton in the months ahead and draw your own conclusions.
AOC knows the archival power of social media. The current President does not.
Now you might argue Trump’s stream of consciousness approach disregards hypocrisy. Maybe. But the wider society (excluding the MAGA cultists) does not. They have the opportunity to look at the evidence and see his thousand-and-one backflips,
Conclusion: The Role of Independent Media
Governments’ reactions to critical coverage clearly shows that it hits a nerve. Whether Spud screams media bias, or Trump screeches ‘fake news’, this should encourage us. We should continue to speak truth to power. They know they are losing the war and so they screech louder. Forward, my friends. Let us show these dinosaur politicians the true power of the information age.
We have seen three leaders’ debates now (well a couple of us have), and the overarching takeout is that this election is all about Bill Shorten and Labor policies.
After six years in government, Scott Morrison has nothing to say about why we should vote for his party other than we will get him as PM as opposed to Bill Shorten.
Even the journalists are over it. Patricia Karvelas said she feels like Bart Simpson writing lines over and over – “if you vote for Labor, you get Bill Shorten, if you vote Coalition, you get me.”
“The information that’s been made available to the Senate inquiry directly by the department makes it very clear that these arrangements were conducted at complete arm’s length from any ministers,” Morrison said.
Calls mount for royal commission into controversial Murray-Darling water buybacks
He has also said it was the same as the process used by Labor.
Did Labor use the same process to buy water rights?
No. Under Labor, and during the first years of the Coalition government, water for the environment under the Murray-Darling Basin plan was either compulsorily acquired from farmers or it was purchased through an open tender process.
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.
The most notable recent evidence of this anti-Science drive is Scott Moorison’s and News Corp’s attack on doctors who are not to be trusted because they have sworn to abide universaly to the Hippocratic Oath in their application and practice of the science of Medicine to patients in their care. According the Scott Morrison those universal ar far too dangerous left in the hands of doctors and Peter Dutton is in better position to be trusted with intelligent decisions. Wasn’t he voted Australia’s worst ever Health Minister?(ODT)
Those who question whether scientists are the appropriate people to review the scientific evidence underpinning contested policy decisions may do well to consider who would be better placed to do it and what their motivations for doing it are.
Calls for inquiry as Adani confirms it released contaminated water
While the treatment of the scientists involved in the Adani review may seem shocking, it is one of many examples of people with vested interests undermining the role of experts in our discourse and decision making. We are seeing a clear erosion of trust in science around the world, driven by those entities who do not want evidence to be assessed, and do not want the frank and fearless advice that scientists will provide given to the people who ultimately make the decision.
Defence Minister Christopher Pyne has linked his damning verdict on the state of Australian politics to the overthrow of Malcolm Turnbull last August, accusing his own colleagues of bowing to “irrational pressure” from “shouty” commentators and warning this is now an entrenched problem.
He refused to define the “shouty press”, saying: “That’ll just ruin the rest of my life. I don’t need that.”
As far back as 2005 with the Cronulla riots the biggest enablers of those riots were said to be the shock jocks of 2GB and Alan Jones was singled out back then as one of the loudest Nationalist voices at the time. Scott Morrison in fact saw political advantage to be had in encouraging the ultra-right-wing division of the them and us culture wars. However there were wiser heads than his in the Liberal Party at that time who saw the party and Australia in fact as a broad church.
However that all changed with the coming of Tony Abbott and his Team Australia . Not until 2013 did we see the expanding dark cloud of Islamophobia form across Australia. Despite the miniscule number of domestic events defined largely by the media as terrorist the volume of noise devoted to Islamic hate and Islamophobia come to a crescendo that we haven’t let go of. Abbott took us to yet another war we couldn’t and won’t win, he increased National Security to a level never seen before and now Morrison is amplifying the same providing justification of hate despite the advice of all our experts.
It seems Politicians know better than experts these days on just about everything.. Conservatives have a historical record of drumming up danger that only they claim thay can manage and at times when they are particularly desperate. Wit the assistance of Andrew Bolt who can name 5 cases among 10 million people in Australia’s 2 largest cities as living proof of the danger we are living in. Forget the fact the rest of the world considers those 2 cities as the worlds most livable for their safety. The fact that Morrison 10 pts down in the polls has re-introduced Abbott’s Team Australia, Them and Us onto the front pages of our conservative influencers for profit MSM media indicates one thing the LNP are not only desperate but incapable of managing themselves let alone the country. (ODT)
Tony Abbott, who oversaw a major strengthening of Australia’s counter-terrorism laws as prime minister, on Monday said Mr Morrison was “quite right to say on the weekend that there is a problem within Islam”.
After the ATM Government’s crushing defeat in Wentworth, where to now for the Liberal Party and its propaganda arm, the Murdoch media?
… Rupert Murdoch had helped bring on the coup when he told Seven West proprietor Kerry Stokes a change was needed at The Lodge.
“Malcolm has got to go,” Mr Murdoch told [Mr Stokes]…
… Mr Stokes said a leadership challenge would guarantee a Labor government within a year.
Mr Murdoch replied: “They’ll only be in for three years — it won’t be so bad. I did all right under Labor and the Painters and Dockers; I can make money under Shorten and the CFMEU.”
~ Australian Financial Review, 21 September 2018
Scott Morrison says Australia relies more on income tax than all other OECD countries except Denmark. Is this correct? ABC Fact Check investigates.
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.
Mr Morrison claims that there are eight out of 10 income taxpayers required to go to work every day to pay for the $154 billion social services bill. ABC Fact Check runs the numbers.
The Treasurer must accept we have a revenue problem as well as a spending problem.
We’ve known for some time that the Good Ship Abbott was in trouble, and with MPs now seemingly jostling for position could it be a case of man overboard? Paula Matthewson writes.
That sound you hear is the whisper of Liberal Party MPs carefully shuffling around a Prime Minister who’s taken on water and is listing dangerously.
They’re hoping to avoid being dragged down with him into the dark waters of electoral opprobrium and are eyeing those who hope to replace the PM as potential lifeboats.
We’ve known for some time that the Good Ship Abbott was in trouble, partly because it was constructed using shonky policies and shattered expectations, but also because it was steered with the reckless abandon that comes from political hubris mixed with a misguided sense of entitlement.
The summer break provided an opportunity to put the ship in dry dock, replace the defective policies and adjust the political navigation system. At least that was the point of Tony Abbott’s “reset” press conference and the ministry reshuffle conducted late last year.
However, it would appear that no such reset actually took place. Instead Abbott pressed on, continuing to make poor political decisions like the no-media visit to Iraq while bushfires raged in three Australian states, and even worse policy decisions like the unannounced $20 cut to the Medicare rebate.
Now a leak about the Medicare cut from the Cabinet’s expenditure review committee over the weekend suggests hope is fading fast for HMAS Abbott to be successfully refloated, and that the decks are being cleared for a regime change.
Ministers are already jostling to be in the new leadership line-up, and the weekend’s leak flags that Joe Hockey, the one-time heir-apparent but now only the beleaguered Treasurer, wants to be back in contention. It would also appear Hockey is unafraid to tarnish the PM’s reputation while seeking to rehabilitate his own.
According to a newspaper report of the leak, Hockey and then health minister Peter Dutton “opposed the move during a ‘heated’ exchange with the Prime Minister” but the PM insisted on the $20 cut the Medicare rebate for short GP consults, which apparently were “developed by the Prime Minister’s Office and then costed by the Department of Finance and Health”.
This isn’t the first time efforts have been made to shift responsibility for the budget from Hockey to Abbott, particularly by drawing attention to the PM’s insistence on chairing every meeting of the Expenditure Review Committee as it put the budget together.
One well-briefed commentator wrote around that time:
The core problem with the budget is the design, and responsibility for design faults ultimately lands at the feet of the Prime Minister … Abbott used his authority to take charge of the Government’s first budget, yet he seems to be using his political skills to sidestep responsibility, leaving ownership of the document with Hockey.
Since then, the Abbott Government has begun to leak like a scuttled dinghy. Political observers have been treated to a flotilla of leaks to the media, seemingly to position ministers impatient for promotion in the best possible light, or put the case for one ambitious backbencher over another.
It would seem not even the Prime Minister’s Office has been above such shenanigans, appearing to provide leaks to the media at various times to rein in potential leadership contenders such as Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
Another recent leak, aimed at the Treasurer and suspected to also have come from the Prime Minister’s Office, was described by one press gallery stalwart as exposing the disunity, paranoia and distrust that currently exists at the highest levels of the Government.
This latest leak in Hockey’s favour won’t change the perception of omnishambles, nor will it dissuade voters from booting out the Abbott Government as swiftly as the Rudd-Gillard one if the rot is not soon arrested.
This certainty is what occupies the minds of the shuffling MPs.
The only factor that remains in Abbott’s favour is that there’s no clear front-runner to replace him. Traditionally the leadership team is agreed mostly between NSW and Victorian MPs because combined they have the most votes in the party room. Hockey re-entering the field complicates matters, but at least gives NSW MPs another option other than the invidious choice between the left’s darling, Malcolm Turnbull, and the hard-right’s poster boy, Scott Morrison. Victoria doesn’t have a leadership contender but could supply an able deputy.
And at this point it’s anyone’s guess what deals the Western Australians might do with NSW or Victorian MPs to put Bishop into the top job.
What is clear is that now Abbott has apparently single-handedly botched the “reset”, he’ll likely be deemed unseaworthy and slated for a visit to the ships’ graveyard, perhaps by mid-year.
Meantime we can expect to see a veritable ocean of leaks to the media and other forms of self-promotion as the contenders set their spyglasses on the leadership and set sail for what is guaranteed to be a deceptively perilous journey.
Immigration minister says measure will help Indonesia, which he calls a ‘transit country’ for asylum seekers
Australia is “taking the sugar off the table” by announcing that asylum seekers registered with the UNHCR in Indonesia will no longer be eligible for resettlement, Scott Morrison has said.
The immigration minister announced on Tuesday that asylum seekers who had registered with the agency on or after 1 July would not come to Australia.
“We’re taking the sugar off the table. We’re trying to stop people thinking they can go to Indonesia and wait around till they get to Australia. Indonesia is not a refugee generating country, it’s a transit country and it’s used by smugglers,” Morrison told ABC radio.
“This is designed to stop people flowing into Indonesia. It will help Indonesia.”
The measure will not reduce Australia’s overall annual refugee intake under its humanitarian program, which currently stands at 13,750. Of those, 11,000 are resettled from overseas. Morrison said the policy would encourage people to stay in countries of first asylum.
Morrison said Australia remained committed to the UN refugee convention, but said the international treaty had been “abused” by people smugglers who picked and chose destination countries.
“The refugee convention wasn’t set up so people can go forum shopping,” he said.
Morrison would not be drawn on whether the matter was discussed when the prime minister, Tony Abbott, met the new Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, at last weekend’s G20 conference. But he acknowledged that “the Indonesian government was fully appraised of this decision prior to it being made”.
Widodo was sworn in as president last month, and warned Australia that navy incursions into Indonesian waters during boat turnbacks would not be accepted, signalling a tougher approach to issues of sovereignty.
Labor has sought an urgent briefing on the matter from the immigration minister’s office and the UNHCR.
“Regional co-operation is critical to having a long-term sustainable solution to the issue of displaced people in south-east Asia. We simply cannot shirk our regional responsibility,” the opposition’s immigration spokesman, Richard Marles, said.
“Labor believes Australia has an obligation to be a generous and humane country and we need to be working co-operatively with our neighbours to tackle people smuggling.”
Marles said Labor was committed to raising Australia’s refugee intake to 20,000.
The Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said barring resettlement from the UNHCR in Indonesia was “exactly the opposite” of what Australia should be doing.
“This flies in the face of any attempt to work with our regional neighbours to find a genuine solution, a genuine approach to asylum seekers and refugees,” she said.
She warned that the move would force asylum seekers to take drastic measures.
“I am very concerned that we will now see people take dangerous boat journeys, and perhaps in fact to places like New Zealand which is an even longer and more dangerous journey.”
Taliban tortures Abbott government deportee
The first Hazara asylum seeker refouled by the federal government was taken by the Taliban inside a month.
Zainullah Naseri has been in Afghanistan three weeks when the Taliban find him. They stop the car in which he is travelling and find in his pockets his Australian driver’s licence – a memento of the country that on the night of August 26 made him the first Hazara to be forcibly deported back to the country he was fleeing.
The six Taliban also find Zainullah’s iPhone, but he pretends it is not working. They do not believe him. Zainullah is punched and kicked. “They told me they would kill me if I didn’t open it.”
The Taliban bundle him into a car and after 20 minutes’ driving, take him to a mud house ringed by high walls. They beat him with wet rods cut fresh from a tree, demanding he open his phone. Again they threaten to kill him. Zainullah relents and offers his PIN.
Immediately, they are scrolling through pictures: the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, a video of the new year he recorded in 2014. Speaking in broken Dari, the Taliban tell him, “You from an infidel country.” They mean Australia. “You infidel. We kill you. Why you come to Afghanistan? You a spy.”
He tells them the truth: he was deported after his refugee application was rejected. But they do not believe him. He is laid out on the ground and again is beaten. “I swear to God, I was deported from Australia,” he pleads. “I don’t live there anymore.” The six men do not relent. “They kept bashing me,” Zainullah remembers.
It was thoughts of his daughter that prompted Zainullah to break out. On the second night in captivity, at 10pm, he heard gunfire in the valley. He saw that the Taliban had gone out to fight and locked the gate. He realised it was an opportunity to escape but his feet were chained together. He groped in the darkness, found a rock, and brought it down onto the chain every time he heard gunfire.
At the back of the house, steps led up to a traditional Afghan squat toilet system, a hole above a chamber below. Having broken his chain, he ran for the toilet and dropped into the excrement. The human waste is collected for fertiliser, accessible with a shovel from outside the house’s wall through a hatchway. Zainullah wriggled out through the hatch. For eight hours, covered in faeces, he walked through darkness and early morning. At some point, exhausted, he heard more gunfire – the whizzing of bullets as they passed his ear.
A video captured by Afghan police shows officers firing on him, suspecting him to be a suicide bomber. A voice calling “help” is heard in the darkness. Moments later, three police speaking in Hazaragi are shown in the video, saying in angry voices, “Who are you?” and “Raise your hands”.
Mohammad Musa Mahmodi, the executive director of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, said: “It’s totally unacceptable to return a refugee to Afghanistan in this critical moment. It contradicts their [Australian] own law not to deport refugees where they face danger.”
Asked about Zainullah’s case and whether any attempt had been made to assess the ongoing safety of deported asylum seekers, a spokesperson for Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said: “People who have exhausted all outstanding avenues to remain in Australia and have no lawful basis to remain are expected to depart.”
On the day of his deportation, about 10am, he was transferred to a solitary room where he was asked repeatedly to return to Afghanistan. “A person talked so much, it was as if there was a wasp on my mind.” That night, he was taken to Sydney airport. He and six department escorts boarded the plane from a different door, away from other passengers’ eyes. “I did not know where I was. I did not sleep for two nights. My mind was not working. I just knew that my world is going to end.”
The Afghan embassy in Canberra didn’t issue a passport for Zainullah, disagreeing with his forced removal from Australia. Instead, the Australian government issued a travel document bearing his name and photo, but not his signature. The document was carried by his escorts, who showed it at every checkpoint. He was given a photocopy.
Walking alongside me, he shakes his head. “I ask why the Australian government wasted my time for so long. Made me wonder for three years. Then they dump me here. I have no future now.”