1. Cardinal Pell’s credibility is on the line
Cardinal Pell claimed to the royal commission that he wasn’t told about misbehaving priests. Now a number of former officers of the Melbourne Catholic Education Office have given evidence that Pell was in fact told about the somewhat unhinged priest Father Searson.
- To recap: when Pell came to Melbourne as an auxiliary bishop in 1987 there was an erratic and violent priest called Peter Searson terrifying children at the parish school in Doveton.
He hit them. They fled screaming from the presbytery. He packed a gun. He hung round the boys’ toilet. He sat little girls on his lap during confession. He took gruesome delight in showing kids a corpse in a coffin. He stole parish funds.
Marr says Pell:
- did nothing effective about this vicious priest despite receiving a delegation of teachers complaining about him in 1989 and another of parents in 1991.
In the end the royal commission will have to decide whether Pell’s testimony can be believed.
2. The Government’s asylum seeker policy is broken
The PNG Supreme Court has ruled the Manus Island detention centre illegal and has ordered its immediate closure. It infringes the human rights of the interns, which are secured by a human rights bill in the constitution. Their rights cannot be legislated away.
Malcolm Turnbull says the asylum seekers can’t come to Australia. Peter Dutton says it’s PNG’s problem, they say it’s ours.
Meanwhile the Australian government faces liability of more than $1 billion in compensation claims from from people illegally detained at the Manus Island detention centre.
Labor’s policy is different in that they plan to set up a regional processing centre. That, however, would require the cooperation of countries in the region, who tend to think it’s our problem.
When parliament was recalled, pollies not in the LNP thought is was a stunt.
Because they didn’t have anything else to do the senators started a couple of inquiries, including one into the Liberal Party’s fundraising stunt, the Free Enterprise Foundation and similar federal fundraising bodies.
The LNP thought this was a stunt, so when Senator Sinodinos was called to give witness by Senate order, he tried to set up a stunt of his own by visiting the primary school he attended, to lecture Year 6 kids on democratic procedures, or something, with the media in tow. But he didn’t go through the correct protocol, so the Liberal NSW Government refused him.
He still refused to show up to the senate committee, as did former Liberal fundraiser Paul Nicolaou, former NSW party director Mark Neeham, former federal director Brian Loughnane and NSW finance director Simon McInnes.
Kristina Keneally has written a devastating open letter to Sinodinos.
The Senate committee resolved to report Sinodinos to the Senate, which, I understand, has the power to put him in jail. That would be fun, but they probably won’t.
4. Submarines built in Adelaide to save Christopher Pyne’s job?
The French have won the $50 billion contract, which is said to provide 2800 jobs. That’s nearly $18 million per job. I think $500 million each year was what the kept the car industry afloat.
Terry Barnes reckons the real aim was to save politicians’ jobs.
I understand that the subs are to be delivered between 2030 and 2060, and the real reason you need 12 is that the first will be worn out when the last is delivered. Actually the first could be obsolete by 2030.
Barnes says the Navy struggles to keep half its current fleet of six in the water. People just don’t want to go there, so the Navy is offering inducements of up to $50,000 per annum.
Christopher Pyne said it was an exciting time to be a South Australian.
The Government has announced a new, you beaut dental scheme so that everyone can afford to get their teeth fixed. Happens though that the $425 million per annum scheme replaces the Labor $615 million scheme, so there’s a cut of nearly $200 million.
The Government says that only $312 million was spent because of low take-up rates.
The Labor scheme worked by vouchers to get the work done privately. In the new scheme people will have to join the queues of state services, which are from nine months to three years, and bad luck if you live in rural and remote areas.
At least we had a visiting dentist all those years ago in our one teacher school with his pedal-powered drill!
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.