1. Should Mal Brough stand aside, or just go?
Labor’s charge is twofold. One is that Mal Brough misled parliament, the other that Turnbull showed poor judgement in putting him in charge of integrity within the parliament as Special Minister of State, that he is unsuitable and should go.
At first Brough claimed he didn’t say he asked James Ashby to procure copies of Peter Slipper’s diary for him. When the Channel 9 transcript was produced, he said that what was put to air was not the full question. So Channel 9 published the transcript of the unedited recording:
- It shows journalist Liz Hayes fumbling for words at the start of the question.
“Um why then also did you um assist, seek well, did you ask James Ashby to procure um copies of Peter Slipper’s diary for for you?” Hayes said.
“Yes I did,” Mr Brough replied.
“Why did you do that?” Hayes responded.
“Because I believed Peter Slipper had committed a crime. I believed he was defrauding the Commonwealth,” Mr Brough said.
To any normal person, in Parliament he said the exact opposite.
Now he has apologised to parliament for any action which “unwittingly added to the confusion”.
Turnbull is unmoved, so there it seems the matter will rest, unless the police decide he actually did commit a crime.
2. Tony Abbott lashes out at Julie Bishop
I’m not sure anyone cares except journalists, but Tony Abbott has launched a very public attack on Julie Bishop, accusing her of telling lies about her role in doing him in.
She defended herself, saying Abbott was a victim of his own performance rather than of white-anting.
Now she has clammed up, just saying that people obviously have different memories.
Time for Abbott to button it too!
3. Ian Macfarlane says “up yours” and heads to the Nats
Malcolm Turnbull’s Christmas didn’t get any better as his good friend and former numbers man, Ian Macfarlane, defected from the Liberals and joined the Nationals in Canberra.
Many saw it as a grubby move, based on a feeling of entitlement by people like Mal Brough, Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott, who have forgotten how to behave in the real world.
People in other states may not realise that since 2008 there has been only one party in Queensland, the Liberal-National Party. Federal members have to nominate which party room they will join. So Macfarlane is not strictly changing parties.
People possibly also don’t know that Macfarlane was a farmer and president of the Queensland Grain Growers Association before entering parliament in 1998 via the Toowoomba-based seat of Groom. He says he already owns five Akubra hats and seven pairs of RM Williams boots. Many Nationals in Queensland thought he ratted on them in 1998 when joined the Libs.
I suspect he found the Liberals’ trade and industry policies not to his liking. He seemed highly discomfited when Industry minister with the attitude they took to the car industry.
The Nats will be arguing that they are now entitled to one more minister, indeed a cabinet minister. It also has implications for leadership transition amongst the Nats. Apparently Macfarlane is not a supporter of Barnaby Joyce, but may end up as his deputy when Warren Truss moves on.
4. Japanese whaling boats head south
Japanese whaling boats are heading for the Antarctic again “to resume its hunt after a year-long hiatus, prompting criticism from Australia as well as key ally, the United States.”
- The International Court of Justice ruled last year that Japan’s whaling in the Southern Ocean should stop and an International Whaling Commission panel said in April that Japan had yet to demonstrate a need for killing whales.
But the Japanese say they like to eat them, so they need to resume their research.
It looks like the Sea Shepherd organisation will be there too.
5. Greens tax deal enrages Labor
This one had me flummoxed. I couldn’t see what Labor was complaining about.
In short, Labor was working the cross bench for an even better deal on taxing multinationals when they were gazzumpted by The Greens doing an inferior deal with the LNP. Labor became irrelevant, and they didn’t like that at all!
Introduction to Saturday salon
Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.
An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.
For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.
The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.
Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.
The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:
The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.