1. Two views of Bojo
This is how some people see Boris Johnson:
He sees himself like this:
I wonder how the Europeans see him.
On Wednesday his decision to suspend UK Parliament was ruled unlawful by Scotland’s highest civil court:
- The judges were unanimous in their belief the shutting down of Parliament was “motivated by the improper purpose of stymying Parliament and that it, and what has followed it, is unlawful”.
“The court will accordingly make an order declaring that the Prime Minister’s advice to HM the Queen and the prorogation which followed thereon was unlawful and is thus null and of no effect,” the ruling read.
In the summary issued by the court, Lord Philip Brodie called the decision to prorogue Parliament “an egregious case of a clear failure to comply with generally accepted standards of behaviour of public authorities”.
“It was to be inferred that the principal reasons for the prorogation were to prevent or impede Parliament holding the executive to account and legislation with regard to Brexit, and to allow the executive to pursue a policy of a no-deal Brexit without further Parliamentary interference.”
My understanding is that the people bringing the case went to Scotland because the relevant court in London was on holidays. This week they are back, and I believe will consider the case. They may do what the Scottish court didn’t – issue an order for parliament to resume.
Nothing would surprise.
2. US gives democracy a trial run
Only in an opinion poll on the Democrat presidential contenders, to find that Elizabeth Warren leads Joe Biden in ranked-choice poll.
In the first round it was Joe Biden 33%, Elizabeth Warren 29%, Bernie Sanders 20, Kamala Harris 10 and Pete Buttigieg 8%. That adds up to 100, so on that basis the preference votes for the other 15 candidates go into the bin.
Big surprise (to the Americans) – as they drop out Joe Biden gets run down by Warren 53-47. I like this:
- To the uninitiated, ranked-choice voting (sometimes called “instant runoff voting,” or IRV) might seem like a confusing and convoluted system.
Seems pretty simple to people who grew up in a democracy.
In the last debate that went on for three hours, I’m told, Warren was also the winner. Apparently she’s a natural in front of the camera.
I do think Bernie Sanders is too old, and Biden apart from being old is too yesterday.
3. Martin Hirst unloads
Martin Hirst really unloads on the Morrison government in his article The Morrison Government: It’s no longer funny:
- Despite the PM’s attempt at portraying the blokey-jokey good guy, it’s getting harder to see the funny side of Australian politics. I’m not cracking a smile, I’m seething with rage.
I have come to the terrible but sober conclusion that we can no longer laugh off the Morrison horror show. The clowns are actually ideological axe murderers in pancake makeup and funny shoes.
He’s just warming up. Later he talks about a lack of clear policy and the absence of a mandate following the close Election result are not an obstacle to achieving the Government’s ideological mission:
- It is the mission itself that motivates Morrison, his cabinet colleagues and his power-hungry backbenchers like “Freedom Boy” Tim Wilson. The mission is to remake Australia as a nation without compassion, empathy and opposition to Morrison and Dutton’s authoritarian instincts. It’s a change that started under Abbott, was briefly disrupted by Turnbull’s obsequious vacuity, but is now back in full battle dress.
The mission goal is an impoverished, embittered, divided Australia; a country where “having a go to get a go” means wealthy Liberal and National Party donors standing by the back door waiting for handouts, kickbacks and sinecures paid for by the reduction of everyone else to the status of serfs. It’s as if Morrison and company (that’s how they view the Government) are wanting to return Australia to the status of a penal colony.
He lists a string of Independent Australia articles:
Our open and egalitarian ethos is being stolen from us.
4. The strange case of Gladys Liu
Presumably Martin Hirst’s deadline meant he missed the strange case of Galdys Liu, which Jennifer Wilson takes care of in Political need overrides national security in Gladys Liu saga.
Because she had three different stories to tell in short order about her association to an association, she must have been lying at least twice. unless you believe the schtick that she couldn’t remember, and then suddenly did. Thjis doesn’t look good:
Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was advised by ASIO Director-General Duncan Lewis not to attend a meet and greet organised by Ms Liu in February 2018, on the basis of the guest list compiled by Ms Liu.
Despite the intelligence agency’s concerns with Ms Liu’s alleged links to the Chinese Communist Party, she won pre-selection and then the seat of Chisholm. During the election campaign, Ms Liu was revealed to have engaged in spreading misinformation about the Labor Party amongst the Chinese community, using the WeChat app.
The fake news she propagated included claims about the perils of the Safe Schools policy and erroneous information about how Labor would manipulate the refugee intake to disadvantage Chinese Australians.
ScoMo then pulled the race card, and went on to WeChat to assure all the Australian Chinese that he had their back.
It won’t be difficult to argue, after this debacle, that the Government has lost all credibility on national security and can no longer legitimately invoke it as a reason for anything.
Furthermore, the government itself is in danger of becoming “just as much a security risk as is Liu”.
Laura Tingle sees some hubris which may come back to bite in the way Morrison has handled the issue.
5. Drone attack on Saudi oil facilities
Yemeni insurgents ostensibly mounted a successful drone attack on Saudi oil, so we have US ‘locked and loaded’ over Saudi attack:
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier that there was no evidence the attack came from Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis for more than four years in a conflict widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Muslim rival Iran.
Of course Trump had just sacked John Bolton and moved Iran to backburner.
This is inconvenient for Trump. Bolton wanted to start wars with everyone. What Trump wants to do is announce a major peace resolution with one of his pesky problems to advance his re-election strategy.
To me it is one of the scariest things that has happened in a while. I believe both China and the US would do just about anything to avoid being entrapped in a major war. I think both understand that threatening beats doing, so here’s hoping.