Weekly salon 23/3

1. Jacinda Adern stars as PM

And just a top human being.

Jacinda Adern wears a headscarf in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks Photograph: Kirk Hargreaves/Christchurch City Council

Ambigulous drew our attention to the New York Times editorial America Deserves a Leader as Good as Jacinda Ardern largely repeated in the NZ Herald.

Eleanor Ainge Roy at The Guardian has an excellent piece, ‘Real leaders do exist’: Jacinda Ardern uses solace and steel to guide a broken nation:

    Walking hand in hand with those affected, Ardern’s focus was on grieving and commiserating with the affected community. The alleged killer Brenton Tarrant was not representative of New Zealanders’ values and beliefs, she said. Quite simply he was: “Not us”.

    “The everyday discourse in New Zealand since the attacks hasn’t been one of hate and anger, it’s been we can do this, we can heal, we can come through this,” says Professor Jennifer Curtin, director of the Public Policy Institute at Auckland University.

    “She has shown a quiet, strong leadership, and been very focused on looking after the people who are most affected straight away. The killer has barely been mentioned.”

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern hugs a mourner at the Kilbirnie mosque in Wellington. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Then:

    Paul Buchanan, a security expert for 36th Parallel, says Ardern’s strength was her empathy, and she has “excelled” in this arena during a time of crisis. She is also an expert delegator, Buchanan says, and has delegated security reviews and inquiries about how the killer was missed to senior, trusted colleagues, allowing her to focus on healing a traumatised country.

    “She is like the mother of the nation. When it comes to events like this I think her touch is near perfect,” says Buchanan.

My feeling has been that politics is largely broken because we lack good politicians. Her Wikipedia entry shows she grew up in small-town New Zealand, her father a police officer, her mother a school catering assistant. She graduated with a Bachelor of Communication Studies (BCS) in politics and public relations, then worked for Labour in NZ and Blair’s government, fitting in time as soup kitchen volunteer in New York. Then:

    In early 2008, Ardern was elected as the President of the International Union of Socialist Youth, a role which saw her spend time in several countries, including Jordan, Israel, Algeria and China.

In Book extract: What matters most to Jacinda Ardern she says that empathy and kindness matter most to her. She sees them as tools that can drive social change rather than just sentiments.

“Kindness” is the word she relates to most, and happiness is fixing problems for people:

    Particularly when I see people unexpectedly responding to need around them, I am reminded that we haven’t all forgotten that we are connected as a community. Imagine a country in which everyone is earning, learning, caring or volunteering. That’s the kind of place that breeds happiness.

From Wikipedia:

    Ardern has described herself as a social democrat, a progressive, a republican and a feminist, citing Helen Clark as a political hero, and has called capitalism a “blatant failure” due to the extent of homelessness in New Zealand.

And:

    On social issues, Ardern voted in favour of same-sex marriage and believes abortion should be removed from the Crimes Act. She is opposed to criminalising people who use cannabis and has pledged to hold a referendum on whether or not to legalise cannabis in her first term as prime minister. In 2018, she became the first prime minister of New Zealand to march in a gay pride parade.

Meanwhile, there are articles aplenty on the Christchurch Mosque shootings at The Conversation and everywhere.

2. Australian politicians come up short.

The deadly attack in Christchurch put a jolt through our psyche, but Laura Tingle in Scott Morrison said all the right things after Christchurch attack, but his history tells another story believes our leadership has come up short.

    On Monday, the Prime Minister called for an end to tribalism: a welcome development which would have been more potent if his side of politics had not made it their standard modus operandi in the past 25 years.

    We have to learn to disagree better, Scott Morrison said. Also true.

    And it is true that the tribalism, whoever started it, has become too endemic across our political spectrum.

    But if you are really trying to stop it, you don’t immediately respond to someone else attacking you with dodgy moral equivalence that begins in sentences like “I’m not going to be lectured by a party that…..”, rather than acknowledging possible fault, or at least arguing your own position rather than simply attacking the other side.

    And you don’t, just now, try to find the positive side to a politician who refers to Islam as a disease.

Tingle was, of course, referring to One Nation.

On the other side:

    Opposition Leader Bill Shorten had responded to the Prime Minister’s call for an end to tribalism with his own call for an end to “dog whistling by political leaders about immigration and asylum seekers” and for the major parties to “form a ring, a bond” to stop “the crazy extremists from getting oxygen, both by our commentary and by our preferences at the next election”.

    Putting that into practice, Mr Shorten said Labor would put Pauline Hanson, or Senator Fraser Anning, last on all its “how to vote” cards.

As Amy Remeikis reports at The Guardian Scott Morrison won’t say if Pauline Hanson is racist, rather emphasising that the Coalition has worked with One Nation leader on ‘a lot of important issues’, choosing to accept that Pauline Hanson has extreme views on certain topics.

The Saturday Paper had three articles on the issue:

Tingle reminds us that Morrison questioned Labor’s use of taxpayers’ dollars to fly families to Sydney to attend the funerals of loved ones killed in a horrific shipwreck off Christmas Island in 2010. Seccombe gives us the dollars. It cost us $300,000, or “about two cents for every Australian”.

New Zealand has announced that every bereaved family would be eligible for a grant of $10,000 to help cover funeral costs. That’s up to $500,000 for an economy smaller than Queensland’s.

Seccombe goes back to John Howard’s “One Australia” immigration policy announcement in 1988, where he suggested that social cohesian would benefit by cuts to Asian immigration.

One of the first things Howard did on gaining power in 1996 was:

    the abolition of the Bureau of Immigration, Multicultural and Population Research. He also restricted access to unemployment benefits and the Adult Migrant English Program to new migrants, and reduced funding and consultation of ethnic organisations, among other things.

Bongiorno explains that the Sydney Morning Herald article Waleed Aly, co-host of The Project, recalled to hold Morrison and his colleagues to account for helping to create a climate of fear and loathing of Muslims was in fact written by Lenore Taylor, one of the most respected journalists around. Taylor says she had multiple sources and is sticking to her story. I believe her, which makes Morrison’s performance awful and completely disgraceful.

Middleton looks at the virtually complete neglect by security authorities of the terrorism threat of nationalist white supremacism. For example:

    In a speech to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute on the day before the Christchurch shootings, Home Affairs Department secretary Michael Pezzullo outlined what he called the seven greatest security threats to Australia in the next decade, describing them as “gathering storms”. All were on a global scale, with number six being “radical extremist Islamist terrorism”.

White supremacism was missing.

She wrote about the need to stop “shitposting” of hate-filled material on social media, mainly targeting Muslims, Jews, people of colour, the LGBTQIA community and women.

Blair Cottrell, former leader of Australia’s United Patriots Front, was banned permanently from Twitter for comments he made about the New Zealand murders. He simply moved to the social media platform Gab, which advertises itself as preserving liberty and free speech. There he opposed the Christchurch attacks, because they might create sympathy for Muslims. He was with Anning at the speech where the latter was egged, and was one of the bozos who jumped on the teenager.

Tingle reports that NZ artist Ruby Jones shared a simple drawing online last week that has gone viral and now adorns buildings all over Christchurch:

3. Despite U.S. Pressure, Germany Refuses To Exclude Huawei’s 5G Technology

    The Trump administration insists that Chinese firm Huawei, which makes 5G technology, could hand over data to the Chinese government. The U.S. has warned European allies, including Germany, Hungary and Poland, to ban Huawei from its 5G network or risk losing access to intelligence-sharing.

    Germany has refused to ban any company, despite pressure from the U.S. Instead, Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated that her country would instead tighten security rules. “Our approach is not to simply exclude one company or one actor,” she told a conference in Berlin on Tuesday, “but rather we have requirements of the competitors for this 5G technology.”

    Germany already has plenty of specialists who can monitor the current version of 5G software for security bugs, says Jan Bindig, a data security expert and director of Bindig Media in Leipzig.

Huawei, on its part, is opening a lab in Bonn where security officials can check its products:

    “The idea of this lab is that the responsible IT security authority of Germany but also other interested parties like independent auditors or our customers could go to that lab,” says Huawei Germany spokesman Patrick Berger, “and, for example, verify our source codes and see that there are no malicious things in our codes.”

I understand that is what Huawei is doing in Britain, where the lab has actually helped by picking up mistakes in the code.

I understand Huawei is cheaper and a little more advanced than US products, and is spending $15 billion pa on research to maintain their advantage.

4. NSW election

A report on the radio said that in TPP terms Labor gained 2%, the LNP lost 2% and nothing much changed in terms of seats. Seems NSW will have a Gladys Berejiklian’s government, perhaps needing help from a sympathetic independent. However, a couple of things to note.

From the New Daily report, the Liberals sat on the TV story of Labor leader Michael Daley talking about Asians with PhDs taking our jobs until the last week. It seems to have cause anti-Labor swings in at least four Sydney seats, including 10% in Daley’s own.

This tactic seems to have blocked Labor’s advance in the Sydney basin, which would have been essential to unseat Berejiklian’s government.

The Shooters and Fishers appear to have firmed their foothold in the lower house with a second seat at the expense of the Nationals. They appear to be the right-wing party of choice now to represent dissatisfaction with the Nationals.

The Legislative Council looks difficult for the LNP, but only half is elected. Don’t know the totals. Mark Latham was elected as expected.

The Greens with three seats appear to be treading water, but given internal ructions, that’s not too bad.

I don’t know a lot about NSW elections, but climate change appeared as a frontline issue for the first time I can recall, but it did not translate significantly to votes, except in the bush where people want more water.

Back in 2011, corruption was endemic in Labor and it was turfed on a 16% plus swing. I’m told not many remember that, but it’s obviously a long way to come back from there. Luke Foley was never going to make it. Daley says he wants to stay, but there in not a lot in this election for lefties to cheer about.

Perhaps the demographics of the Sydney basin are such that you have to be middle class to live there.

Scott Morrison and the national Liberals will take heart, but if Labor holds the line in NSW and makes advances in Victoria or Queensland or WA he’s still in trouble.

Update:
Kevin Bonham has an excellent wrap of the election.

114 thoughts on “Weekly salon 23/3”

  1. Don’t know about the rest of NSW but the Green MP for my new electorate got reelected with a 4.2% swing in her favour. (In our top booth the Greens got 90% of the vote.) The Sydney Green ructions did’t appear to be having an effect.

  2. John, northern NSW is its own little paradise, as I’m sure you know. I imagine Sydney is like another planet.

  3. With around 73% of the vote counted, the Greens are down 0.8% to 9.7%, not as much as the other traditional parties which all lost ground, Liberals most at -2.5%. I suppose Sustainable Australia at +1.5% and Animal Justice at +1.3% are greenish.

    Good to see ON at 1.1%.

  4. A minority government with the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party ( started by Laura Tingle’s Dad ) hasn’t been ruled out yet.

    If so they may force the LNP to move on dams, gun rights and access to National parks that the Nats haven’t had the ticker to do.

  5. Charles Richardson gives the likely final numbers:

    It looks like finishing with 48 seats (35 Liberal and 13 National), down four, against 36 Labor (up two) and three each for Greens (unchanged), Shooters (up two) and independents (unchanged).

    He is interesting on the national implications compared with Victoria:

    There, the federal leadership change was admitted on all sides to be an important issue. More to the point, the Victorian Liberals were following Canberra’s script: running on racial issues, scaremongering about crime and denying the need for action on climate change.

    Like Victoria, the federal election will be, at least to some extent, a referendum on right-wing populism. It played very badly in Victoria, and on current indications it’s not going to do too well federally either.

    Berejiklian distanced herself from the feds on race and climate, and kept her nose clean from the Shooters and Fishers.

    And he seems to think being a migrant woman may have helped.

  6. And he seems to think being a migrant woman may have helped.

    That’s a pretty stereotypical judgment I would say.

  7. Not really in the mood for your trolling zoot, try again tomorrow, you’re wasting your efforts today.

  8. Gladys herself said after the election she thought it remarkable (and heartening) that a woman with a very long surname (translation: non-Anglo, likely a migrant) had been elected Premier. I heard it on the wireless this morning.

    Are you disagreeing with the NSW Premier, Mr Jumpy??

    It sounded like she thought her femaleness and migrantness might both have worked against her.

    The times, Jumpy, are they changin’?

  9. The passage to which Brian referred and which triggered Jumpy’s comment:

    Optics matter. New South Wales pitted a woman from an immigrant background against a very conventional white male.

    I interpret this to mean we (the electorate) are getting tired of the usual conventional white men.
    Just where the “stereotypical thinking” arises escapes me. Was it on the part of Brian?, Richardson?, Berijiklian?, …

  10. Ooh, pretty close.
    That’s part of Ballina electorate like Byron I think but hilly not coastal.

    Anywho, thanks John.

  11. Mr A.
    It seems the times have changed to the extent that folk can generalise and stereotype about themselves but others may not.

    And she’s not a migrant, she was born in Sydney.
    Not that that or her gender makes any difference at all to folk like me.

  12. My take is that Labor won in Vic largely because the Andrews government was doing a good job and, in particular, was making things happen. Much the same could be said for the state Liberals, but not the Nats who were not helped at all by the rantings of Barnaby and the Qld Nats and the Sydney centric nature of the NSW government.
    I may have a different view after living in NSW for a bit longer.
    Morrison is kidding himself if he thinks the state sort of a win is a good sign. Voters seem to be able to tell the difference between a functional state government and a disfunctional federal government and, if anything, favour having different parties running state and federal governments.

  13. John
    I wish the voters could learn the distinction between State and Federal responsibilities to help them tell the difference.

  14. Optics matter. Gender matters. It matters to me, I love it!

    Zoot is right in identifying exactly what Charles Richardson said and meant.

    I think Ambi is right in what he heard, and they are not quite the same.

    Gladys Berejiklian was claiming to be part of the immigrant story. I know she was born here.

  15. Jumpy, I noticed the Morrison government was setting up a special grant to teach civics in school. I think that is hand-waving and a waste of money. I’m betting that there is civics in the curriculum now. Problem is it’s boring to most.

  16. Now look here, John.

    We in the State of Victoria are of course contented and reasonable generally, but there is one Eternal Truth we hold dear: there must always be rivalry between the metropoli of Melbourne and S**ney.

    To suggest that Her Majesty’s Govt in Victoria is S**ney centric is reprehensible and demeaning.

    Soon you will have individuals braver than me demanding satisfaction, and it will be blunderbusses at 20 yards. I give you fair warning. We are a sporting and gentlemanly State.

    Harrrrrrrrumph!!

    Jump eye,
    A person retains her migrantness as long as she carries a non-Anglo name and (perhaps) is reminded regularly that her ancestors are recent arrivals.

    I would prefer that she didn’t find that a hurdle or challenge.
    (I too am of migrant stock.)
    But it’s not entirely up to her and her resilience, is it?
    She lives in a society, pace Mrs Thatcher.

  17. AMBI: Have changed my comment at your suggestion since you may not be comfortable with my choice of weapon as the challenged person. (Shovel nosed spears at 20 paces, no shields.)
    However, Victorians Sydney centric need to challenge the superiority of NSW is a bit tiresome at times.
    Sydney, at least, did not begin on the basis of a rather tightwad trade of questionable legality.

  18. Just saw a headline claiming “progressives” in the US are devastated because the Mueller report says no collusion, only corruption.

    I take a dim view.
    “Progressives ” would be better to work at new policies and Congressional progress rather than aiming mainly at the Unholy Grail of Impeachment.

    What’s that old saying about “not having all your eggs in one basket”?

  19. Here’s a thought provoking meditation on democracy from David Byrne. It’s US-centric (of course) but there are many excellent points to ponder.

  20. The Conversation said that the Greens did fairly well despite their recent internal turmoil, and competition from new animal justice and sustainable development paryies:

    The Greens made a strong showing in lower house voting. Jamie Parker (Balmain) and Jenny Leong (Newtown) substantially grew their base, securing swings of 6.4 and 5.1% respectively. While in the north, Tamara Smith expanded her two-party preferred vote to over 57%.

    The struggle to take neighbouring Lismore is going down to the wire, with former federal Labor MP, Janelle Saffin a chance to pull ahead of the Greens and Nationals in a complex three-way preference contest.

    In Ballina, Animal justice got 2.38%, Sustainable Australia 1.05% and Keep Sydney Open 1.58% so there was plenty of competition from minor parties.

  21. Ambi: Are you capable of using a Woomara to give your spears force and range.
    My wife found herself in the middle of of a spear fight between two groups of Aborigines once. She found it interesting, but not enjoyable even though she knew they weren’t trying to spear her.

  22. Ummmm is your wife available for some pre-jousting coaching?

    For me, I mean.

    She has more spear experience than me.
    Perhaps it’s yet another instance of the superiority of the Penal Colony to my North??

  23. Interesting article Zoot. A well governed country has checks and balances to protect minorities and allow governments to govern to a broad plan, not one issue at a time.
    The US has direct democracy where state propositions are voted on directly by the people. My informer on US matters said one of the problems is that people tend to favour governments spending money while opposing measure to pay for this spending. The result has been chronic budget problems in some states. He also said that campaigning on a proposition requires money. Some of the big donators provide money in return for a little bit in the proposition that favours them.
    There are lots of things that are good about Australian democracy but it doesn’t always deliver power to the winner of the two party preferred and, particularly in lower houses gives too much influence to the major parties.

  24. My immediate (knee jerk?) reaction to the article was to agree that the influence of money means our governments (of both flavours) enact legislation that is not in accordance with the wishes of the electorate.
    I believe Australia’s biggest problem is that there are only two main parties. I would like to see multi member electorates in the lower house (your idea JD if memory serves) and parties banned in the senate so it is a genuine house of review. Senators appointed by sortition (hat tip to Jumpy) would help eliminate the parties’ domination of the upper house.

  25. Whale oil beef hooked !
    Zoot and I agree on something.

    I also agree with John about big donations for favours.

    When a cycle of corruption starts its extremely hard to stop if the only ones capable of stopping it are involved. All political parties try and succeed to some degree.

  26. Ambigulous: Despite my thoroughly “anglo” name, I’m probably closer to my own migrant heritage than many with genuine “ethnic” names. It’s a case-by-case matter.

    John D. : Shovel-nosed spear-tips and no shield? Heck, I’m not getting into a duel with you! I’ll behave; promise.

    Anyway, one effect of the NSW election is that Ken O’Dowd, LNP federal member for Flynn, in Central Queensland, is giving preference over Labor and Greens to whoever One Nation puts up. Haven’t yet heard the reaction of ScoMo and the monks of the Canberra Monastery. O’Dowd had a choice of three brand-name minority parties – but I’m surprised he didn’t pick Katter’s Australia Party. Flynn is of those dreadful electorates where, in the interests of whimsey and fake fairness, the electoral boundaries make no real-world sense whatsoever.; such electorates are at the opposite extreme from the rotten boroughs of early 19th Century England. Flynn includes the manufacturing and port city of Gladstone – it used to be a Labor stronghold – and then wanders all over the place out to hundreds of Km west of Woop-Woop. Watch this space ….

  27. Graham, Flynn is an interesting electorate. Bits of a lot of places, but no cohesion, so very hard to service, and to pick at election time.

    Not much danger of Liberal preferences being counted, but they are trying to maximise ON preferences, which can run up to 50% to Labor at times.

    Essentially, though, the Libs are saying that PH and the nut-cases ON throws up are acceptable as politicians. I think they are not, and that is the line the Greens and Labor are taking.

    It’s a matter if principle rather than winning.

  28. If I may throw a non-spear into the works, does Katter’s Party also throw up some strange ones? Look, I’ve heard he has Afghan heritage, and some of my best friends are cameleers,…. just wondering about the minor party groups in Queensland.

    (The LNP is its own very special story too, they tell me. And don’t get me started on Breakfast Creek.)

    ***
    By the way, zoot: it’s a bonzer idea to have a non-Party Upper House, but how would that be achieved in practice?? [see the history of the slow rise of political parties in European democracies]

  29. Atop a story following up on the Mueller Report Summary Release, the New York Times has a headline:

    Report Puts Pressure on 2020 Candidates to Empasize Issues

    Ya gotta hand it to ’em, them folks Stateside are always at the cutting edge! Imagine that, candidates jawbonin’ about issues ‘n policies, ‘stead of hangin’ chads ‘n troll factories. Gollllyyyyyy!
    Issues?
    Policies?

  30. Ambi, There was a story around about Katter being Afghan, but it’s Lebanese Christian Maronite.

    In 20012-15 Palaszczuk governed as a minority government for much of the time, often with Katter Party support. Young Katter is not as mad as his dad, and they were reasonably pragmatic and sensible.

    They don’t have much money, and pick their targets, but get more value for money than ON in success in the Qld parliament.

  31. GB: It may give you some comfort to know I haven’t used a woomara to throw spears for about 40 yrs. However, if young Ambi gets too carried away about imagined wrongs to Victoria I do still own two lamas (shovel nosed spears.)
    One of the young Aborigines who worked for me said that his father didn’t teach him to fight with spears but did teach him to dodge spears.

  32. Brian, you post:

    The Shooters and Fishers appear to have firmed their foothold in the lower house with a second seat at the expense of the Nationals. They appear to be the right-wing party of choice now to represent dissatisfaction with the Nationals.

    It looks like the Liberals have held their seats (except Coogee); the Nats have lost, Labor has lost, the Shooters have gained, the Greens vote has been diluted by other minor parties (except in Balmain and Newtown) including Sustainable Australia and Keep Sydney Open.

    Independents have increased their margins:
    Lake Macquarie: Greg Piper +12.7% swing TPP so far;
    Sydney: Alex Greenwich +5.8% swing TPP so far;
    Wagga: Dr Joe McGirr +28.6% swing TPP so far.

    Paul Toole (Nat) held his NSW seat of Bathurst with a swing to him of +2.3% TPP so far, one of the few positives for the Nats. Labor’s primary vote swing was -6.6%. It appears SFF gained votes at Labor and the Greens expense.

    I think Tony Abbott should be very worried about Zali Steggall taking his seat of Warringah.

  33. The ABC 7:30 programme is running a 3-part series on power this week.

    Last night was part 1: “Power Shock”:

    One of the nation’s biggest energy companies has used the closure of Australia’s dirtiest coal-fired power station to gouge its customers, an expert report has found. Energy companies say the Hazelwood closure meant a shortage of coal fired power, which forced them to put up prices.

    Parts 2 and 3 are scheduled for tonight and tomorrow night. Check it out.

  34. By the way, zoot: it’s a bonzer idea to have a non-Party Upper House, but how would that be achieved in practice??

    Agreed it’s almost impossible, but I think sortition offers the best chance of at least reduced partisanship.
    An overwhelming majority of us don’t give a toss about politics and/or instinctively distrust political parties. By choosing senators at random from the general population we would hopefully ensure that the senate would reflect these values.

  35. Thanks zoot and Jumpy.

    John: at my age, I can’t pick up a llama, let alone throw him at anyone. Nor an alpaca. You win by default. I’ll say no more about S*dn*y.

    At least M*lb**rn* had the Olympic Games in 1956.

  36. Mr J Ashby and his friend are seeking exoneration after seeking a $20 million donation from the Northern Roads Association National Rifle Advocacy [NRA] in the US.

    They claim that they were “on the sauce”.

    Is that an explanation tending to be worth full exoneration? Do Queensland political apparatchiks generally “do politics” in this fashion? Was St Joh an outlier or an exemplar?

    Yours Sincerely,
    Puzzled
    Victoria

  37. Oh, unpaid too, zoot?

    ***
    I’ve now seen parts of the James Ashby video.
    Remarkable.

    We could do plenty with $2 million.
    But with $20 million we could buy lots of seats and have the balance of power.
    Then we would have the govt by the testicles.

    Australian poetry has found a new voice.
    He is simply marvellous.

  38. With political donations it’s impossible to determine motive.

    Did the donor donate in support and encourage a held position?
    Did the donor donate to change a held position ?

    Here’s ONs policies on firearms, you decide.

    I’m not sure the NRA is trying to change their position.

    Of course the media are trying the “ lock her up “ again but it’s realy a nothingburger in my opinion.

    Let’s not forget it was an Al Jazeera journalists ( Saudi funded ) that arranged the meeting through a sham gun rights organisation.

    The media really suck nowadays.

  39. Ambi: A dray full of spitting Llamas charging towards the border on a matter of honour creates some interesting images but could come to a very messy end with the loser drowning in the spit of those camels.
    I accept your graceful back-down.

  40. Jumpy, for many years News Ltd’s biggest shareholder after the Murdochs was Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal.
    Juat sayin’

  41. John D.: Learning to dodge spears is an excellent skill, well wort acquiring: there’s definitely a future in it! 🙂

    Ambigulous: A non-Party Senate? I’ll second that motion. Carried! Don’t worry about how we can implement that – we’ll find a way, by hook or by crook.

    If everyone needs any confirmation at all that the Canberra Monastery and their Claque-Clique are completely out of touch with the voters, you need look no further than the reaction to the One Nation yankee fund-raising farce.
    All these media monks have done, with their confected outrage, is to prove to all and sundry, that One Nation is indeed a typical mainsteam political party and, as such, it now has the licence to behave way as the other mainstream parties. That probably was not the intention of the devout monks in The Closed Order Of Contemplative Journalists, but those damned voters simply refuse to think the way they are supposed to. As for “being in their cups” during the conversation about foreign funding , that simply confirmed the participant’s position as Shadow Minister For Dodgy Excuses – definitely a ministerial-level response to being caught out. Wonder if this isn’t all part of a BBC plan to have a new series of “Yes, Minister” set in Australia?

    Brian: Spot on about the Katters’ Levantine heritage. Their success is due, in part, to the old grandfather, a very successful merchant who conversed with and listened to his customers Years ago, I had to chuckle to myself when talking with one of Independent MHR Bob Katter Jr’s constituents, “We cant let them get rid of Bob because we would get a @@@@ politician instead”. You can’t put a dollar-price on that sort of customer loyalty.
    Cheers.

  42. Zoot

    Jumpy, for many years News Ltd’s biggest shareholder after the Murdochs was Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal.
    Juat sayin’

    I’m wondering why you focused on that bit instead of the guts of my comment for your “ Juat saying “.

    I’ll have a sleep on it now.

    I’m assuming it wasn’t anything to do with the Juat Indigenous folk over in your general area.

  43. Geoff M, I await part 3 of the Power special, but it’s been a bit all over the place.

    My working assumption is that a truly knowledgeable and dispassionate expert on power issues does not exist.

    Bruce Mountain is one of the best, but I think he may regard any company making an acceptable profit as “gouging”.

    Rod Sims, chief honcho at the ACCC, has credibility problems for me because I found in 2017 that he got Qld electricity prices around $500 pa wrong.

    All these guys may have important insights, but it’s hard to work out what the real deal is.

    I go back to Peter Martin who showed that as a percentage of income electricity is cheaper now than it was in the 1980s. People on pensions and welfare who can’t afford their power bills are in trouble because their incomes are too low.

    I’m not saying electricity shouldn’t be cheaper, just that I’m not getting a solid point from the ABC investigation.

  44. Jumpy, Al Jazeera is owned and funded by the Qatar government. My impression is that they are a serious truth-seeking media organisation with pockets deep enough to run the kind of investigation we are seeing on ON and the IRA.

    You must have missed the bit about the Saudis organising sanctions against Qatar because they didn’t like what Al Jazeera was saying about them. The ostensible reason was that they were complaining about Qatar funding Islamic terrorism, which I thought was a Saudi specialty. I think.

  45. I’m wondering why you focused on that bit instead of the guts of my comment

    And I’m wondering why you focused on my obvious typo rather than the guts of my comment.

  46. OK John, let’s sell the llamas and call the whole thing off.
    I will refund ticket holders who wanted to spectate at the duel.

    Graham and Brian: apologies for repeating the erroneous attribution of Afghani heritage…. some stories are prized for being exotic, and I am occasionally a purveyor of the most monstrous fictions. Back to Lilliput.

    On sortition, if the selection is completely random, and with Party membership static or dwindling, it would be unlikely to find as many as one or two actual Party members in the House of Review. Could be a few fierce Party loyalists…. But the mix of trades/professions and life experiences would be much broader than the current crop can offer. (Fewer skilled backstabbers, for starters.)

  47. In moderation, can’t even spell his own nickname now……..

    Jumpy: add it to your Compendium of Typographical Errors. 2019 edition

  48. Late to the thread again…

    I was piqued by the reference that the NSW Premier was a migrant. Then it turns out she was born in Sydney but seemed to carry a “migrant” tag. If I understood correctly, that was a plus, the inference that migrants bring a different and positive contribution to their art, whatever it may be. I like to think that is the case.
    I then questioned my own heritage – a bizarre mix of Scot, French, Swede, Dutch and (apparently) some Portuguese or Sri Lankan. I joke that my dog has a better pedigree than I do. So I am clearly from migrant stock going back even though my parents were born in the early 1920s. Given my grandparents arrived late 1800s I perceive myself as Aussie and have never been challenged on that. Nor should Gladys Berejiklian.
    But given that First Australians have been dated at least 60,000 years (some say 80,000+), I think that sort of makes us all migrants in a sense.

    Zoot 25/3: “I believe Australia’s biggest problem is that there are only two main parties.”
    Certainly a big problem, but I have watched countries with many parties struggle (e.g. Italy) to have a cohesive government, so I wonder how it would work here. We are getting some hints where we see hung parliaments and as a result a great loss of certainty/confidence in government. Then there is the role of voters – perhaps we are not critical enough and tend to vote along historical lines until we get annoyed with the incumbents.
    Let me also add the role of political funding to the mix. Its way more apparent in the US where huge money is given to the major parties to campaign for votes. Of course much of the money is actually to purchase influence over the legislative agenda – same as in Oz. As long as we allow that, we will always have two parties and always be influenced by the large donors and be blighted by skewed “bought” policies.

  49. Brian (Re: MARCH 26, 2019 AT 10:44 PM)

    My working assumption is that a truly knowledgeable and dispassionate expert on power issues does not exist.

    Yep. That’s why multiple sources are important (where possible) to gain a more comprehensive picture. That requires work that few people are willing (or able) to do.

    All these guys may have important insights, but it’s hard to work out what the real deal is.

    Start from first principles, checking that these are not compromised by what the “experts” are telling you. If first principles are compromised then you need to question what the “experts” are telling you.

    Rod Sims, chief honcho at the ACCC, has credibility problems for me because I found in 2017 that he got Qld electricity prices around $500 pa wrong.

    Published in the SMH is an article by Peter Hannam headlined AGL’s use of ‘huge’ market clout costs consumers $3b a year: report. Rod Sims is reported to have said:

    “It’s irritating and it has caused energy consumers to pay a lot more for their power, but it’s not illegal,” he said, noting the ACCC had gone to court to stop the sale of Liddell and Bayswater to AGL. “They’ve taken advantage of their market power.”

    NSW citizens were promised by the NSW Coalition government that the sell-off would bring electricity prices down and privatisation would be more efficient. Electricity prices have headed in the opposite direction and supply has become less reliable, particularly during summer heatwaves.

    1,000 MW Wallerawang (that promptly ceased generating in March 2014) and 1,400 MW Mt Piper, were both sold together to EnergyAustralia in September 2013 for $475 million.

    1,320 MW Vales Point B was sold to Sunset Power International in November 2015 for $1 million – around the median price of a Sydney property at that time.

    On 18 June 2018, at a NSW Parliament Select Committee public hearing it was reported under oath by Greg Everett, Managing Director of Delta Electricity, that the latest valuation for Vales Point B power station “was around $720 million”, and for selling electricity into the market: “Last year it was in the order of $90 million profit”.

    I think it’s bad enough that NSW citizens have copped a very poor deal in the sell-off of state-owned generator assets, and Lithgow has seen hundreds of local jobs go as a direct consequence (i.e. no transition plan for workers and businesses impacted). But there appears to be no credible vision (that I’ve seen so far) offered for how affordable, reliable, ‘dispatchable’ electricity supply can be adequately maintained to keep the lights on in NSW after Liddell power station closes in 2022 (in less than 4 years), and beyond.

  50. My attitude to sortition depends on what powers the house of sortions would have. what majority would be needed to block legislation, the expert support provided, min level of education for sortionees etc. Can’t warm to to the idea of a simple majority of randomly selected sortionees blocking supply or the amount of tax the government of the day can raise.

  51. Geoff Henderson (Re: MARCH 27, 2019 AT 10:12 AM)

    Zoot 25/3: “I believe Australia’s biggest problem is that there are only two main parties.”
    Certainly a big problem, but I have watched countries with many parties struggle (e.g. Italy) to have a cohesive government, so I wonder how it would work here.

    I think the two main parties are not listening to the electorate. That’s why minor parties and strong independents are gaining ground.

    Then there is the role of voters – perhaps we are not critical enough and tend to vote along historical lines until we get annoyed with the incumbents.

    We are an apathetic bunch until it really hurts.

    Posted yesterday in the SMH is an op-ed by Rowena Macrae (a farmer from Coonamble, with a CSG pipeline slated to be built on her land) headlined Premier – we cried for help and you didn’t listen. It includes:

    Our cry for help was the countless attempts of organised bodies, groups and community members to get the Premier’s government to listen to us in the years leading up to the election. We asked and pleaded to be heard on issues like water management and security, policing, health and the threat of CSG mining – and it fell on deaf ears.

    The loss of Barwon was an overwhelming rejection of the government’s inability to listen. The Barwon electorate is furious and an approximate swing of 21 per cent against the Natonal Party is confirmation of this.

    The electorate needs to realize that the politicians work for us – if they don’t listen and act for our “common good” then they get voted out.

  52. Jumpy (Re: MARCH 26, 2019 AT 6:38 PM)

    Here’s ONs policies on rearms, you decide.

    I put it to you that’s the policy ON wants you to see – the palatable version. Al Jazeera’s How to sell a massacre (part 1) exposé of Ashby and Dickerson reveals the uninhibited intent and thinking of key people in ON.

    I’m not sure the NRA is trying to change their position.

    Really? It seems to me the NRA see Australia’s strict gun laws as a major disruption to the NRA’s ideology and narrative in the US. The Al Jazeera exposé includes an NRA TV clip that includes some NRA spokesperson saying:

    It’s the left-wing anti-gunners who literally point to Australia, using the mainstream media, as this shining model as to why we need gun bans and gun confiscations.

    And the clip includes the caption:

    When they’re talking about
    AUSTRALIA
    they’re talking about
    BANS & CONFISCATIONS

    It appears the NRA is so troubled by Australia’s strict firearms laws it is producing messages to demonize Australia’s gun laws. It seems to me the NRA would like to weaken Australia’s gun laws and if ON could achieve that then it’s a “mission accomplished” for the NRA.

    Let’s not forget it was an Al Jazeera journalists ( Saudi funded ) that arranged the meeting through a sham gun rights organisation.

    Jumpy, get your facts right – Al Jazeera is “in part” funded by the Qatari government. The Saudi, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt governments would like to shut down Al Jazeera.

    Do you really think Ashby, Dickerson and the NRA would have talked freely to Al Jazeera if they had declared themselves? I don’t think so. How naïve of you, or are you just making excuses for key ON people’s actions?

    I suspect, like Trump supporters, ‘rusted-on’ Pauline Hanson supporters will call the Al Jazeera exposé as “fake news” – facts are irrelevant to these people.

    The media really suck nowadays.

    I would call that a sweeping statement. For you, Jumpy, does that apply to all media? Where do you rely on getting credible news from, or are you only looking for information that confirms your own biases and ideologies? Or do you wish to be blissfully ignorant?

    This afternoon, David Ettridge was interviewed on ABC-TV-Ch24 Afternoon Briefing by Patricia Karvelas. Ettridge said he thought Ashby and Dickerson were behaving like “drunk bogans”. Karvelas then cheekily asked whether ON was being run by drunken bogans.

  53. GM, you honestly read One Nations firearm policy and determin it’s the “ palatable version “ in your eyes ?

    If so we may find common ground on what is palatable firearm policy.
    Others here, I’m sure, will disagree, but you like that a lot.

    Would you like to do a detailed analysis of where we agree and perhaps disagree on ON’s firearm policies ?
    Or any other parties for that matter.

  54. John D.: I’ve always thought that a competent hunter armed with a well-balanced Aboriginal spear and a woomera would always beat an intruder armed with a simple straight bow and unfletched arrows or with a thrusting spear and a short club, hence, no Melanesians or Polynesians in Australia until the white fellas came along..

    Ambigulous and John D.: House Of Sortition And Divination? Easy. Don’t bother with those festivals of rortery and shonkery: party pre-selections. Instead, choose seat-holders by electoral roll raffle. Yes, we would get a lot of duds that way but fewer than in current Houses, and more likely to be more honest and cause less harm too. 50:50 often fails to reflect the needs and desires of the community, would a 60:40 division of votes on bills be a bit better?

    Geoff H.: Go on. You’re a blooming Pure Bred. Now, if you want a fair-dinkum mongrel mixture, just cast your orbs over my family tree, …. 🙂 Seriously though, you hit the underlying cause of so many of our political – and resulting economic problems – when you said, “Then there is the role of voters – perhaps we are not critical enough and tend to vote along historical lines until we get annoyed with the incumbents.” Voters who, in the main, are too lazy to do anything but condemn politicians without bothering to learn about how we are governed; how policies are made and changed; what alternatives there are; how best they can get their own ideas heard; how to get past all the spin, the bare-faced lies and the urban myths – and, in a lot of cases, dodge enrolling to vote! Heck, there are enough non-enrolled citizens to win a few seats if they had been enrolled.

    Geoff Miell: Thanks for that quote by Rowena Macrae of Coonamble. How apt.

    Brian: Delving into the convoluted power racket? You’re not aiming for a Rhodes Scholarship or a Nobel Prize for Economics, are you? Thanks for your efforts. Best of luck.

  55. The actual guts of my comment was this,

    With political donations it’s impossible to determine motive.

    Did the donor donate in support and encourage a held position?
    Did the donor donate to change a held position ?

    Here’s ONs policies on firearms, you decide.

    I’m not sure the NRA is trying to change their position.

    Just in the event that someone may care to address it genuinely.

  56. I’m absolutely sure the NRA is a front for the firearms manufacturers. So their donation would be an effort to sell more guns. Cui bono!

  57. Graham Bell, could you please change your gravitar ?
    I’m asking nicely 🙂

    The blue makes me confuse your good self and Geoff Henderson.
    And it does look a bit swastika-ish.

    A very polite request, nothing more.

  58. GB: Interesting theory:

    I’ve always thought that a competent hunter armed with a well-balanced Aboriginal spear and a woomera would always beat an intruder armed with a simple straight bow and unfletched arrows or with a thrusting spear and a short club, hence, no Melanesians or Polynesians in Australia until the white fellas came along..

    Gardening was an important source of food to the Melenisians. Ties them down and makes it hard for a strategic retreat. In addition, when it comes to stopping a kangaroo, spears would be more effective given that is hard to stop a kangaroo with a gun.

  59. Zoot the NRA are a firearm owners Union that represent their members.

    Or do you have a problem with Union donations all of a sudden ?

  60. Jumpy: I have a problem with donations from an association that support the availability of weapons that are used to make mass shootings so effective in the US. I also have a problem with an Australian party that actively seeks donations in return for introducing getting rid of the gun laws the foreign union hates.

  61. the NRA are a firearm owners Union that represent their members.

    That’s how they present themselves.
    But their function is to funnel money from the firearm manufacturers (and the occasional Russian) to politicians in a generally successful attempt to stop laws that most Americans agree with from being enacted.

  62. From Junkee:

    One Nation Reps Say They Only Wanted To Sell Out To The NRA Because They Were Drunk.

    From The Betoota Advocate:

    Barnaby Reveals He Was On The Sauce The Whole Time He Was Illegally In Office From 2004-2017.

    More seriously, Peter Greste has called the Al Jazeera investigation unethical:

    The peak Australian journalism union – the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance – outlines a Journalist Code of Ethics for its members, which states that journalists should: “Use fair, responsible and honest means to obtain material. Identify yourself and your employer before obtaining any interview for publication or broadcast.”

    I think he’s saying that Al Jazeera was making the news rather than reporting it.

    Greste of course worked for Al Jazeera and was banged up in Egypt for a couple of years. He is now UNESCO Chair in Journalism and Communications at UQ. I’m not sure how that position came to be or how he was chosen, but I don’t think it was on academic performance. I’d like to hear more on the issue he raises from those who are supposed to be guardians of ethical journalism.

  63. Jumpy (Re: MARCH 27, 2019 AT 7:45 PM)

    If so we may find common ground on what is palatable firearm policy.

    Jumpy, do you agree/disagree with the current firearms policy enacted in law? Please elaborate.

    Would you like to do a detailed analysis of where we agree and perhaps disagree on ON’s firearm policies ?

    I suspect that would be a hiding to nothing.

  64. Brian (Re: MARCH 27, 2019 AT 11:20 PM)

    Identify yourself and your employer before obtaining any interview for publication or broadcast.

    I don’t think that would work with duplicitous people who say one thing in public (or “on the record”) and say and do other hypocritical (and deplorable) things in private. It’s a murky area trying to catch out hypocritical people.

    Posted in the last few hours at The Guardian is an article by Paul Karp headlined Pauline Hanson suggests Port Arthur massacre was a government conspiracy. The article begins with:

    Pauline Hanson has implied that the 1996 Port Arthur massacre was a government conspiracy, in comments recorded secretly by al-Jazeera.

    Hidden camera footage, released by al-Jazeera as part of the undercover operation that revealed One Nation had sought a US$20m (A$28m) donation from the US gun lobby, showed the party’s leader saying she had “a lot of questions” about Port Arthur.

    “An MP said it would actually take a massacre in Tasmania to change the gun laws in Australia,” Hanson told the al-Jazeera reporter Rodger Muller.

    Do you think Pauline Hanson would have been as forthright (I use that word advisedly) if she knew her statements were to become public? I don’t think so. The Al Jazeera exposé has revealed the true thinking of these people that would probably not have come to light without the use of hidden camera techniques. It’s now impossible to deny the veracity of what was said in the videos.

    As for ON’s James Ashby claiming he was “on the sauce” while he was selling out Australia’s well-being, I ask was he also drunk when he had his meetings at the NRA that were also secretly videoed and recorded?

  65. Hidden cameras have been used occasionally to catch out illegal gambling spivs approaching top international sports players. Journalist poses as Mr Money Bags. Cricketers caught out (only cricketers?)

    After the fall of a corruptish sort of President of Peru, the head of the internal secret service began releasing videos of congresspersons receiving bribes. Now I recognise he wasn’t a journalist, and the Peruvian Secret Police probably have a different code of ethics… but was the Peruvian Polity* well served by the release of those videos?

    Was the US polity served by the partial release of audio tapes secretly made by President Nixon in the inner sanctum of the Off White House circa 1972, 1973…?

    I think so.

    *try saying that three times if you’re on the sauce.

  66. Oh dear oh dear

    They say the PM wants all Liberal candidates to put ON below Labor, but the Deputy PM doesn’t want Nats candidates to do so.

    Are there differences appearing inside the Coalition?

  67. They say the PM wants all Liberal candidates to put ON below Labor, but the Deputy PM doesn’t want Nats candidates to do so.

    Does this mean that it is still OK to put the evil Greens last?

  68. Disclosure: I avoid the shenanigans of Pauline’s ferals like the plague (never know what you might catch) so I am completely unfamiliar with the details of this latest snafu.
    As far as I’m concerned the use of hidden recording devices to entrap dodgy operators is quite ethical as long as the person making the recording doesn’t incite the illegality. There’s a fine line between exposing corruption and entrapment.

  69. GM,

    Jumpy, do you agree/disagree with the current firearms policy enacted in law? Please elaborate.

    In full I disagree.
    There are some things I would keep like background checks and secure storage.
    There are more things I would change like, for a start, take out things that aren’t even firearms, increase some penalties and have the registration system way less difficult.
    Just for starters.

    Now could you please reciprocate and answer the question you evaded earlier, being,

    GM, you honestly read One Nations firearm policy and determin it’s the “ palatable version “ in your eyes ?

    In fairness you did address the other bits of my comment to you so thanks for that.

  70. Best to steer clear, zoot.

    On election consequences, the Nine press reports that a former Liberal PM, the Member for Waringah, thinks his Party should preference the “constructive” Ms Hanson above Labor and The Greens.

    Now of course the gentleman is but an ‘umble backbencher, and his views may not influence PM Morrison….

    It’s quite a backflip fir the Member; if memory serves, he was the attack mongrel nominated by PM Howard to extirpate the ON marauders, back in the 90s.

    Golly, was it more than 20 years ago?
    (PH Maiden Speech.)

  71. About the ethics of secret recording.
    There was a radio discussion this week that dealt with that – I think it was on 101.1 late afternoon. I did not catch all of it, but did hear the discussion consider consequence(s) of secret recording. Suppose the “secret” recording foretold of 9/11? Like I said I did not hear all the discussion (grand kids babbling) but the ethical discussion about that recording may well have been quite different from listening to the ON tape.
    The 9/11 example would likely be seen in the beneficial public interest and whilst the ethics may have been dodgy the perpetrators of the recording would not be much less than national heroes. I don’t see that the ON tape carries the same justification as my 9/11 example, and I don’t think that the public interest was well served.
    News used to be about informing us about what we should know. These days its primary function is to entertain using what might be adjudged as “news”as its grist. Like whom was Barnaby screwing in the back room? Really important stuff indeed.
    I see the possibility that we will become increasingly threatened by the possibility that our person will be secretly taped at any time and way beyond CCTV.

  72. John D notes that the PM wants all Liberal candidates to put ON below Labor, but the Deputy PM doesn’t want Nats candidates to do so, and asks:

    Does this mean that it is still OK to put the evil Greens last?

    I’d say, definitely, for the Nats, and most likely for the Libs.

  73. Peter Greste said the investigation was valid in public interest terms.

    I tend to think it revealed the true character of the people behind Pauline Hanson and is hence justified. However, I’m very open to other lines of argument, and would like to hear from the Press Council, academics who teach journalism and ethics, legal implications if any, plus people like Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens who pass as public intellectuals.

  74. I’ve had a strange couple of days with experiences related to how people conventionally mark the passage of time in their lives, whereas I think every day we are one day older, and I can confirm that perceptually time speeds up as you get older.

    Tonight I’m going with my younger bro to “The Cauldron”, formerly known as Lang Park where with about 50,000 others we’ll see the Brisbane Broncos take on the St George Dragons on a slippery track.

  75. people like Waleed Ali who passes himself off as a public intellectual……

    Lightweight, I think.
    Scarcely troubles the weight scales after any big race.

  76. Brain

    Tonight I’m going with my younger bro to “The Cauldron”, formerly known as Lang Park where with about 50,000 others we’ll see the Brisbane Broncos take on the St George Dragons on a slippery track.

    I’m sincerely envious.
    Interesting to watch how the McGregor/Seibold game plan tactics unravel.
    Enjoy you fortunate barstard.

  77. Is anyone else wanting the Pulitzer Prizes awarded for journalisming all over the place about Trump/Russia election collusion stripped and reallocate ?

  78. prize committees sometimes have to live with their own embarrassment:

    “Helen Demidenko” awarded a major Australian literary prize for an antisemitic concoction

    Nobel Prize in Literature not awarded recently because the Prize panel was in a state of disarray (and some of their clothing hastily being rearranged)

    Le Duc Tho refused a Nobel Peace Prize while his co-awardee Mr Kissinger accepted his

    The Lady refused to leave Burma to receive her Peace Prize, lest she be locked out of her own country

    Pres Obama awarded a Peace Prize for not being G.W. Bush

    Bob Dylan…. an outcry!

    Don’t worry about the Pulitzer Jumpy; you’ve already won today’s prize by calling Brian Brain.

    No greater accolade; and richly deserved.

    😉

  79. Is anyone else wanting the Pulitzer Prizes awarded for journalisming all over the place about Trump/Russia election collusion stripped and reallocate ?

    What, you mean the (single) prize awarded

    For deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration.

    ?

  80. Jeez Jumpy, ask a question like that? Right now?
    I have previously confessed to spending too much time on Trump/Mueller and I think what has been released thus far brings way too little attention to the matter. Perhaps the full report will emerge – we will see. More important for now are the various lawful demands from committees to the administration that are being denied. This is reflecting an abandonment of the rule of law characteristic of dictatorship. Thanks to the Republican f*cktards who are protecting their incumbency falsely believing that Trump is a messiah.
    No good will come of all this, and the geopolitical issues will last decades or longer.
    So did the journalists really look ahead and warm the world? Perhaps, but mostly we see very well presented programs intended to feed the anti Trump people. Fox, for their part, we’re just as partisan as them all, following or dictating Trumpism in their Rupert fetish.
    Someone told me that Xi was asked if the French Revolution was a successful. His response, so I was told, was: “Too soon to tell”.
    So really, Trump’s influence could last for centuries.
    There Jumpy, you got me excited.!

  81. skulduggery should be reported on, don’t you think, Jumpy?

    Even if it doesn’t quite reach Watergate proportions, in the US case.

    Better for the polity if the bar is set low, then the public can decide what they think of the revelations. For instance, should the Miss Lewinsky matter not have been reported, because even after it was reported, the polls didn’t move sharply away from the Philanderer in Chief?

    Or closer to the present, should Russian dirty tricks not be revealed, because – aw shucks – he got elected anyway?

    Should the existence of extra Hillary Clinton emails on Mr Wiener’s computer not have been mentioned because there was a big election on, and she was a candidate in that very election??

    Tricky stuff, investigation.
    Difficult profession, journalism.
    A gaggle of editors right now has to answer accusations of “contempt of court” over the suppression order in the Pell matter. Difficult.

    By the way, on privacy and hidden cameras: every time an “incident” occurs these days, folk whip out their tiny video cameras and go posting shaky video online.

    Not hidden cameras, but certainly a complete breach of privacy for the would-be shooter, terrorist, road rager, fool on a train, etc.

    And don’t get me started on blogs!

  82. Golly Geoff H

    It’s a good quip, but I’ve heard it alternatively attributed to
    Mao
    Chou En Lai

    now Xi?

    The Wairarapa Academy of New Sinology* might know.

    * no kidding

  83. I think this is the definitive response to AG Barr’s 4 page letter – you know, the one that said “no exoneration”.

  84. Would I be kicked off Climate Plus if I admitted leaning towards the use of secret recordings (provided the full undoctored recording was available to the general public)? However, I do realize that such secret recordings are wide open to abuse, especially to blackmail and to spoiling elections. Just now, I’m watching the ABC special program using such a secret recording, one edited to billy-o, of course. And I’ll bet I’m not the only voter who is wondering what our political scene would be like if similar secret recordings were made of other politicians toddling around overseas, trying to or actually making harmful deals behind our backs?

    Jumpy: Thank you for your suggestion about changing my gravitar – not this evening though. 🙂

  85. Just on gee-five, hwar-whey and the merkel democratic republic: My guess is that their decision-makers are either popping too many nightclub pills, or, they have already secretly recruited thousands of utterly reliable couriers, each handcuffed to a secure satchel in which will be carried their nation’s technical drawings, military secrets and commercial documents in non-digital formats.

  86. Anyway you look at it this week was brilliant for Trump and terrible for left wing media.

    In fact I’d say since the Covington, Smolette and the 2 year Wusssia collusion conspiracy theorists fake news collapsed in an embarrassing display of brainlessly biases journalists, their credibility is under the toilet right now.

  87. Harsh, strong words from the grieving mother of a young girl killed at Port Arthur in 1996, to the ON crew who cruised Washington looking for pro-gun donations:

    What on Earth do you think you are doing? There are other people on this planet, and we count too. Back off!

    (near the end of Part 2 of the Al Jazeera Investigation doco)

  88. And the vote on AOCs Green Nude Eel had zero votes for it by any Democrat.

    Another win for Trump.

    But hey, not our monkeys right.

  89. Enjoyed Broncos game, apart from the Dragons winning field goal in the last few seconds!

    I forgot how noisy the place was. Also you can actually see better what is happening sitting home watching TV.

    The Broncs made too many unforced errors. At one stage the young bloke sitting next to me suggested I might do better than what we were seeing.

  90. That meant I haven’t watched Pt 2 of the Al Jazeera thing. PH reckons we have interference in our politics by a foreign (Muslim) country.

    I did hear on radio the bloke who wrote the ON policy on guns disowning those two clowns. Reckons they know diddly squat about guns or ON’s policy.

  91. Ambi, I’ve always thought it was Chou Enlai who said it was too early to tell about the French Revolution, but there are some who want to spoil the story by saying it was all a mistake, he was talking about French students in 1968.

  92. Jumpy:

    Anyway you look at it this week was brilliant for Trump.

    The big risk for Trump is that the democrats will now have to focus their minds on convincing enough voters that the Democrats have more to offer ordinary Americans than the Republican alternative.
    Kennedy, Hawke, Bill Clinton and Trump seem to be able to do quite well despite (because?) of reputations for being a bit disreputable.

  93. John

    The big risk for Trump is that the democrats will now have to focus their minds on convincing enough voters that the Democrats have more to offer ordinary Americans than the Republican alternative.

    I can’t see the current lot of Dem candidates doing that. Every one of them were shouting passionately about the urgency of The Green Nude Eel but when a vote was held none of them put their hand up, not one.
    That’s not going to convince undecideds.

    The best thing Trump could do turn off the Twitter and let them have the focus. They’re damaging themselves without him.
    Even old creepy hands Biden is smart enough to stay out of the fray till the last minute.

  94. What was found by the sting apparently was not serious enough to justify putting ON below the Evil Greens on the LNP how to vote card. One Nation is whingeing about nothing.

  95. Hey, zoot, where can I buy shares in the Betoota Advocate’s legal firm? 🙂
    As an ex-soldier – who, many decades ago, had also hunted crop-destroying pigs through thick scrub with nothing more than a single-shot centre-fire rifle – I can’t help despising the wannabe super-heroes who lust after semi-automatics with 30-round magazines. So, after these nong-nongs loose their first unaimed round towards a target, what the blazes are they going to do with the other 29 rounds? Duh!

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