1. Australian politics becomes completely ridiculous
Laura Tingle called it a week of low, low farce.
Must share this David Rowe cartoon:
To help with the words, Fig 1 is the West Australian Bowerbird, noted for its shrill call and political preening. Decorates its bower with pearls.
Fig 2 is the Australian Lame Duck – one known predator, the Warringah Warbler.
Fig 3 is the New England Kiwi, not to be confused with the New Zealand Kiwi. Commonly found in farmland and Australian waterways.
Here’s Bishop on the attack:
Here’s what Rowe made of it:
Someone said the truth will make you free.
Cory Bernadi says parliament should be prorogued until we can sort out who should really be there. That sounds fair, apart from the two Greens already gone.
Nick Xenophon says he’s innocent until he’s proven guilty. Seems his dad left Cyprus to get away from the Brits, which is ironic.
Tingle says the government was in full panic mode:
- The bizarre spectacle of a government in full panic mode, throwing out foreign conspiracy theories, dirt about Bill Shorten, attacking local councils about Australia Day, and rebirthing budget bills in a desperate attempt to regain its political footing, has tended to overshadow the questions of how the complexities of the citizenship issue could now play out.
Each case may turn out to be different, so this may drag out. Seems:
the Solicitor-General will only be appearing in this case representing the Attorney-General, and thus the disembodied interests of the Commonwealth, not any of the various elected representatives, who will all get their own legal representation.
It’s not clear how all that will work out.
- Equally, it is not clear who would act as the “contradictor” or friend of the court to test the facts of the five very different cases, and proffer alternative arguments which, on the face of things, would seem to be needed in the circumstances.
Labor has not decided whether it will appear. The states theoretically could involve themselves in the case of senators.
Richard Di Natale’s idea of an audit of the whole caboodle seems reasonable enough if we are not going to have surprises from here to the next election.
It will be interesting to see how the polls go next week. This week’s Essential Report indicates people want a government hard at work to help make their lives better.
Katherine Murphy says Turnbull shrivels in the spotlight as mass panic grips dead government walking. She said the government made itself a public laughing-stock, and governments generally don’t survive that.
To be continued…
2. Pauline Hanson’s disgusting stunt
Pauline Hanson wore a burqa into the Senate and then asked when the government was going to ban the thing, in the interests of security. Most think it was a cheap political stunt that misfired. Brandis got a standing ovation from Labor, the Greens and the crossbench. His own side were seen clapping also if you looked closely.
Of course, some will agree with Hanson.
Paul Toohey in the Courier Mail says her support in Queensland is falling, and she is nothing without someone to kick around.
Anne Aly told Patricia Karvelas that she personally is uncomfortable with women wearing the burka, but quite simply, this was not the way to express and opinion. Here we have a couple of clowns who think it’s a big joke:
3. Trump loses the plot in America
After Charlottesville Trump first criticised both left and (alt)-right protesters. Then, tardily, he criticised the extreme right in a scripted performance, which looked fake. Certainly the white supremacists and neo-nazis thought he had their back.
Then he freelanced in an open press conference, saying the “very, very violent” left was just as culpable. On TV you could see the frozen smiles on the face of his aides, one either side, with their eyes popping. There has been plenty said about what is happening over there, with lots of comments and links on the Saturday salon 12/8 thread.
Whatever we think, the AFR’s US correspondent John Kehoe reports that the country is being torn apart with Donald Trump feeding the frenzy. Two White House business groups have been closed down as business leaders rushed to the exit and are abandoning Trump. Many leading Republicans are horrified.
However, like Hanson, Trump is playing to his base. Today is important, because the alt-right, encouraged by Charlottesville, are organising protests in nine cities across the country.
If you want some ‘balance’ in assessing Trump, you can go to Phillip Adams’ segment Trump through his supporters’ eyes where he talks to Daniel Bonevac, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas, and Daniel McCarthy, Editor at large, The American Conservative.
4. Meanwhile Steve Bannon gets the flick
There is only room for one really large ego in the White House, so one had to go. The White House released a statement on Friday saying that Bannon and White House chief of staff John Kelly had “mutually agreed” that this would be Bannon’s last day in his job.
It’s been brewing for a while, but in the end his big mistake was to call up Robert Kuttner at The American Prospect to tell everyone what he was doing to run the country. See Bannon ridicules White House adversaries in wide-ranging interview and Steve Bannon Called ‘American Prospect’ To Talk About Politics.
This may actually be a turning point for the better in the trajectory of the Donald, if they can just lock up his mobile phone at night:
Rowe’s cartoons in the AFR are worth the price of the subscription. The caption reads:
“Donald Trump has apparently given permission to white supremacists to come out of the closet,” says University of Texas political historian HW Brands.