1. Cardinal Pell to face the music
Cardinal Pell is to come back to Australia to face “historical sexual assault offences“. There have been and will be many words written about Pell, but I liked Sean Kenny at The Monthly. Kenny is worth reading on the current political follies, but he says the Pell case reminds us that there are more important changes happening in society.
Charging someone so senior in the Catholic church would have been unthinkable not so long ago. Sexual abuse of minors is finally being taken seriously.
Pell is said to be the third ranking officer in the Catholic Church.
As I read him, Pope Francis is being exemplary in holding Pell innocent until proven guilty. Our practice in Australia is too often to throw people to the wolves. For example, Peter Slipper should have had full government support in defending himself.
Last year Pope Francis when asked about against Pell told reporters:
- “It’s true, there is a doubt. We have to wait for justice and not first make a mediatic judgment – a judgment of gossip – because that won’t help. Once justice has spoken, I will speak.”
Pell is facing “multiple charges” and there are “multiple complainants”, so he will most likely never get back to the Vatican where he was apparently doing good work cleaning up their finances, even if the court clears him.
In commenting please remember the case is sub judice.
2. Australia’s census shows a few tipping points
The Census shows 49% of population are either first- or second-generation migrants. Australia had the highest proportion of its population born overseas – 26%, ahead of New Zealand (23%) and Canada (22%).
- There was also a decline in the proportion of people who spoke English as their main language at home (76.8% in 2011 to 72.7% in 2016), an increase in those reporting no religion (21.8% to 29.6%), and a very rapid increase in the number of same-sex couples (a 39% increase to 46,800 couples).
He was a big hit, apparently.
Ian Dunt talking to Phillip Adams had some worries about a crowd repeatedly chanting the name of a political leader of any stripe.
The New York Times has an article The Rise of Jeremy Corbyn and the Death Throes of Neoliberalism
- “We do not believe in untrammeled free markets. We reject the cult of selfish individualism. We abhor social division, injustice, unfairness and inequality.”
Remarkably, that’s from Theresa May, not JC. However, it’s like May starting a campaign based on personality rather than policy when she doesn’t actually have one.
4. Trump gets down and dirty
The US Presidency sank to a new low when Trump launched an attack on two TV presenters. Trump “unleashed a brutal personal attack on respected female television host Mika Brzezinski”, and her co-host Joe Scarborough, sparking an instant backlash including from senior Republicans. Some say he’s “unhinged”, certainly he is bringing the office into disrepute.
Now he has admitted that he misled everyone about whether he might have taped his discussion with Comey in order to influence Comey’s testimony.
- In President Trump’s first interview in more than a month, he admitted that he falsely suggested his conversations with former FBI director James Comey were taped to influence Comey’s sworn testimony.
Ezra Klein has an article on how Trumpism died. In essence, Trump doesn’t care about all the promises and policy positions that he enunciated to get elected. In fact the people he has appointed mostly oppose his former positions. What’s happening on health care represents long-time Republican Party policy:
- Both bills reflect longtime Republican health policy thinking and break Trump’s promises. They cover fewer people than are covered now with worse health care that carries higher deductibles. They feature massive cuts to Medicaid. And Trump has meekly fallen in line. The insurgent campaigner who relished confrontation with the congressional GOP during the election has been surprisingly low-energy in pushing his own agenda.
What is true on health care is true elsewhere in Trump’s presidency.
- This, then, is how Trumpism died: Trump didn’t believe in it, his staff didn’t believe in it, and his political strategy made it impossible.
So we are left with an ineffective president grumpily tweeting.
Republicans in Congress are likely to keep him, rather than impeach if it comes to that, because he’s effectively a tool, albeit embarrassingly bad-mannered.
During the last election the Liberals’ digital campaign was sadly lacking. So they’ve stared a site ‘The Fair Go’ which will take aim at organisations such as Getup!
I think these things work better when they come from the bottom up, rather than top down. There’s more at The New Daily:
The Fair Go is edited by Parnell McGuiness, managing director of PR firm Thought Broker, who is a regular on The Bolt Report and who writes commentary for The Spectator, News Corp, Fairfax Media and the ABC.