1. China has arrived
The biggest story of the week was probably the Chinese Communist party congress. Leader Xi Jinping is looking to stay for at least another 10 years and putting his “socialist thought” into the party constitution, places him alongside Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping in the pantheon of revolutionary leaders. But Richard McGregor says the real star is the party itself, and the West should wake up:
- It once sought a lower profile, both at home and abroad. In the 1980s, Deng dictated that China should “bide its time and hide its light” in foreign policy while the country gained strength. A similar credo prevailed with the Communist party.
If the propaganda pouring out of the congress is any guide, Xi’s China and party have tossed such restraint aside. “By 2050, two centuries after the opium wars, which plunged the ‘middle kingdom’ into a period of hurt and shame, China is set to regain its might and reascend to the top of the world,” said Xinhua, the official news agency, at the close of the congress.
However, he says Chinese economic success is based on debt and that means a financial crisis of some kind will inevitably follow.
- For the moment, however, China is succeeding. If it continues on its current path, the world as we have known it will never be the same again.
There’s more from Hans Hendrischke at The Conversation.
2. Barnaby Joyce gone – for now
Remember when Malcolm Turnbull said that Barnaby Joyce was properly elected and the High Court would find him so?
That went well!
Here from the AFR is what is happening:
Of particular note, Fiona Nash will be replaced by a Liberal, and Malcolm Roberts is going to be a pest in the Qld state seat of Ipswich, which is where Pauline had her fish and chips shop. It’s a different place now, though.
Amy Remeikis on RN Drive said that Justin Gleeson, Tony Windsor’s solicitor, the one who had a falling out with George Brandeis, put them on the right track when he said that second guessing what was in the mind of the founding fathers, or what a budding politician knew or didn’t know, would bring a world of pain.
Labor will play it rough, because they say Barnaby and Fiona Nash should have stood aside. Mention is being made of Section 64 which could bring into question any decision made by Joyce, Canavan or Nash, and any legislation that passed by one vote since October last year.
Labor can’t do much unless someone goes to the loo. Numbers are tied, and the Speaker has a casting vote. However, they may have a crack at a banking royal commission and penalty loadings which passed by one vote, and there is some prospect of a government member crossing the floor.
Julie Bishop is going to fill in as deputy PM, it seems the Nationals have run out of people who are at all credible for the job. Turnbull will hope that she doesn’t acquire a liking for the role.
As for Joyce, Tony Windsor is not running, his missus said ‘no’, so Joyce will be back.
If you haven’t seen the comment from Ambigulous, go have a look. Superb!
3. Uluru statement gets the flick
Patrick Dodson says it’s disrespectful and a “kick in the guts”.
It took years for the First Nations Peoples to reach a consensus about what they wanted, and they were still working on the final form.
The Government just said, Nah, people won’t run with that, forget it.
They didn’t talk to anyone or tell anyone. We wouldn’t know but for a leak. A bunch of rude ignoramuses, I think.
Probably if/when Labor gets in they will legislate to establish a consultative body. It was never intended to be a ‘third chamber’ of pariament. We had ATSIC but Howard killed it. I understand a lot of First Nations people had problems with ATSIC, so it’s probably better to try again, correct the mistakes and if it works then go to the Constitution.
4. Should Senator Cash resign?
The first question is whether Senator Michaelia Cash is a human or a replicant.
On that occasion she was attacking Senator Penny Wong.
- Make no mistake, this is an existential crisis for the union movement and its political arm, the ALP. Their entire business model is being destroyed by Employment Minister Michaelia Cash, the Wonder Woman of the Turnbull government.
Cash has proved to be the toughest and most effective foe the union movement has ever faced.
Which, of course, is why they are trying to destroy her.
Funny, I could have sworn it was Cash trying to destroy Bill Shorten.
This is how it happened.
Seems it started with a referral from Cash’s office to the Registered Organisations Commission (ROC). And this referral seems to have come form a reporter (from the Oz?) who wanted a geek and the union said, no. But how did someone in Cash’s office know the AFP were going to send a bunch of people (32 on one report) to raid the AWU office, and tip off the media so they arrived before the coppers?
Andrew Stewart told Phillip Adams that there may have been a tip-off that the AWU were starting to weed their files, which legally they are entitled to do after seven years. In any case, he says, it had better contain something serious, or the government will end up with egg over their faces. And not a good start for ROC.
Which is pretty much what happened. Remember these files have already been trawled through by Dyson Heydon’s Royal Commission into trade union governance and corruption to try to find dreck on Bill.
Katherine Murphy says that the first objective of the Turnbull government is to “kill Bill”. The second to get Getup.
Opinion seems to be that, Miranda Devine and other scribes in the Oz aside, the plan backfired.
At The Conversation Yee-Fui Ng says ministerial responsibility is good in theory but not often honoured in practice, particularly in Australia:
Australia… has minimal legal and political regulation of ministerial advisers. This has led to an accountability deficit, where ministers have been able to utilise their advisers to escape responsibility for public controversies and scandals.
‘Scapegoat’ is the term.
5. Queensland off to the polls
It’s been looking that way for a couple of days, and I have just received a text saying that it is so.
I think the deciding factor was this:
- The Palaszczuk Government will no longer have more seats in Queensland Parliament than the Liberal National Party, as disendorsed Government MP Rick Williams moves to quit the Labor Party.
This will see Mr Williams move to Parliament’s crossbench, leaving Labor and the LNP with 41 seats each.
It was about “inappropriate behaviour” towards local business owners and neighbours.
I think Palaszczuk has a good chance, being, like Peter Beattie was, the best conservative leader available.
LNP leader Tim Nicholls is on the nose, being architect of much of the destruction under Newman. The LNP have little chance of governing alone. Almost certainly it would be with One Nation aboard. Mark tells me there are already signs up all over town. The image links Nicholls and Hanson, then a line underneath says this is the package on offer. Then the line, What could possibly go wrong?
Roberts running in Ipswich may lose the seat on LNP preferences, but his presence in the campaign will remind people everywhere what a circus it would be.
And, if push comes to shove, the Katter Party boys if they have the balance of power may prefer Labor to the other mob, where they would have to deal with by ON crack-pottery and extremism.
This item is an update to indicate that there is discussion about biofuels following this comment. I’ve added the tag Biofuels to the post. Seems I haven’t done a free-standing post on the subject on this blog, but have linked to items in CC along the way.