1. A ray of light
A highlight for me this week was listening to the many segments on ABC RN themed with NAIDOC Week, where the theme was Because of her, we can. Fellahs too, including Archie Roach: a life in song. I loved his cosmology in explaining The Dreaming. We all come from star dust, and to star dust we will return. Straight out of Brian Cox, but he feels it in every molecule of his body, fundamentally feels connected with all living things, and wants to share. Like Buddhism, really.
The week ended with Fred Chaney on Self-determination and respect for remote indigenous communities. It reminded me of when Liberals could be liberals before John Howard got rid of all the ‘wets’. No doubt it was the party apparatchiks, but I prefer to blame John Howard for everything.
Chaney says current Labor and the Coalition are dedicated to destroying each other. There was a time, he said, when there was a bit of respect.
He also seems to think the Commonwealth public service is arrogant, paternalistic, even racist, but in any case entirely dysfunctional, unable to undertake any complex task, and certainly none that involve engaging with and empowering a target group. He also said that Turnbull’s response to the Uluru statement was like being slapped in the face with a dead fish.
2. Local politics is gruesome
Worst in the week was probably Mark Latham becoming one of the great Labor rats of history by attacking Bill Shorten in a robocall spiel authorised by Pauline Hanson in the Longman bi-election.
Longman is a conservative seat, so I’d be a little surprised if Labor won. It might encourage Turnbull to go early to the election.
Shorten has said he’ll leave the personal attacks to Latham, Turnbull, Hanson and Leyonhjelm.
Now Latham has attacked Leyonhjelm, saying he should get out of the bedroom and leave Senator Hanson-Young alone.
There is speculation now that Latham might run for One Nation for the senate in NSW. As Chris Bowen says:
- “We know how this story ends,”…
“Mark Latham has fallen out with everyone he’s ever worked with and Pauline Hanson has fallen out with everyone she’s ever worked with.”
3. The strange case of Witness K
Lizzie O’Shea writes about Witness K and foreign interference hypocrisy
We bugged the cabinet room of Timor Leste so that we could dud them on negotiations about oil, right? Well, it was clearly wrong, it stunk, but a whistle-blower who wants to tell what happened, and his lawyer, are likely to be locked up under punitive security laws passed with Labor consent.
Andrew Wilkie says that if he spilled the beans now the way he did way back then about the Iraq war, he could be locked up for 10 years and no-one could even talk about it.
Andrew Wilkie won’t shut up, thankfully, and now Wilkie says senior government officials who organised the bugging were the “real criminals”. He and three other politicians have referred the matter formally to the AFP:
- “There’s no way the Police Commissioner can ignore a referral from three Australian senators and one Member of the House of Representatives,” Mr Wilkie said.
“Today is a day of reckoning.”
Mr Wilkie has enlisted the support of Tasmanian Greens senator Nick McKim and South Australian crossbenchers Tim Storer and Rex Patrick in referring the matter to the AFP.
Witness K’s lawyer being charged is:
- Mr Collaery, who is a former ACT attorney-general, has described the charges against him as “heartbreaking”.
A conviction would mean he would be prevented from practising law.
He has fiercely criticised Attorney-General Christian Porter for allowing the charges to be laid, describing the whole process as a threat to freedom of speech.
Malcolm Turnbull will be seen by history as ruthless and untroubled by ethical principles. Chalk this up as another one for his legacy.
4. Peta Credlin wrote a book
There is a story going around that MUP has a new book by Peta Credlin called On Character. Here’s the cover:
If you Google you get a link to MUP, but it doesn’t find anything. So it’s either fake news, or it’s forthcoming in their “On” series.
Someone suggested there is a typo and it should be On Caricature. Someone else has a few suggestions:
- Kevin Rudd – On Humility
Peter Dutton – On Compassion
Barnaby Joyce – On Fidelity
Mark Latham – On Loyalty
Here’s an image I like:
5. Political strategy
Fairfax-Ipsos published a poll of polls for this year, where the combined samples are big enough to mean something in the mainland states. This is how it turned out:
It could cost the LNP 16 seats, 9 in Queensland. I believe Newspoll did a similar summary, which I can’t find, but similarly disturbing for those inhabiting the treasury benches.
Laura Tingle says Turnbull is a problem solver. So the GST changes were to buy votes in WA and massive defence contracts are supposed to keep SA voters in the tent.
So that leaves an election to fight on the eastern seaboard.
Not sure what his strategy is there, but I’ve made a tag for Kill Bill.
[A pity the tags don’t work as a search toll apart from the selected cloud on the RHS sidebar, but we live in hope.]
Meanwhile Kevin Bonham asks whether seat polling is utterly useless. Pretty much, it seems. He says don’t ignore them completely, but I have ignored them ever since they predicted Kevin Rudd to lose his seat by 10 points in 2013.
6. Trump on tour
I think I’ll do a separate post, but here’s David Rowe’s take:
Clearly a man who loves his work.