Preview Politics in Australia

What are the three key issues of the 2019 Federal Election?

  • The economy

    Votes: 3 27.3%
  • Tax

    Votes: 3 27.3%
  • Government Services

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • Climate policy

    Votes: 6 54.5%
  • Animal welfare

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Environment

    Votes: 3 27.3%
  • Wages

    Votes: 5 45.5%
  • Industrial democracy

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Superannuation

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Housing affordability

    Votes: 6 54.5%
  • Other

    Votes: 2 18.2%

  • Total voters
    11
  • Poll closed .

Robbo's my hero

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And here we have the forward defence back down the wicket by those who were happy to dance on Sam Dastyari’s grave and accuse him of sedition. What a ******* bunch of hypocrites!

Politics in this country is so predictable. Fun and games with none of the important issues being tackled.

 

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Robbo's my hero

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And here’s Michelle Grattan’s rational and sensible response to Liu and her Chinese connections. Don’t expect the politicians to display logic. Morrison’s majority is under threat already.

 

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And Annabel’s still my pen pal.

Good morning Robbo,

Returning to Canberra in a nauseous fug of economic uncertainty, our elected representatives consoled themselves this week with an exciting round of "reds under the beds", in an episode tentatively entitled: "Is the Member for Chisholm a Chinese sleeper agent?"

Fair to say that it was an accusation Gladys Liu herself did not quite hit to the boundary with her initial response, being: "I can't recall."

Having eventually acknowledged that she had indeed been a member of a Chinese Communist foreign influence organisation, Ms Liu then insisted that her primary loyalty was to Australia, convincing the PM to the extent that he was happy to be photographed with her in Parliament — a degree of selfie-confidence not shared by his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull , as ABC political editor Andrew Probyn revealed midweek.

The thing is, anyone in Canberra throwing a China-related punch today needs to check the backswing first lest an ally be collected in the exercise.

It's easy to find MPs who have accepted Rolexes from Chinese noodle billionaires from a plastic bag, or travelled to China to promote a business while on leave from their ministerial portfolios (OK, so both of these were on-again, off-again minister and home-internet whiz Stuart Robert) or of course have actually had to resign in a Chinese pickle, like Sam Dastyari.

This might account for the note of caution in the voice of shadow agriculture minister Joel Fitzgibbon (who as Kevin Rudd's defence minister had his own controversy 10 years ago with another Mrs Liu entirely) when asked by RN Breakfast presenter Hamish Macdonald whether he believed Gladys Liu's "I don't recall" line was acceptable. "Well, it's not a defence I'd be running, Hamish," Mr Fitzgibbon replied.

The silence of the Lambies

The week has also delivered an extraordinary insight into the strategic mind of Senate power-fox Jacqui Lambie, who wields an inordinate amount of power to make or break the fresh new legislation of the rejuvenated Morrison Government, which this week has involved a series of gently reheated plans to drug-test welfare recipients, direct the spending of welfare recipients, and embarrass the Labor Party over John Setka.

Brilliantly, Senator Lambie managed to address several of these matterssimultaneously in a fusillade of interviews disclosing that she would back the drug testing of welfare recipients if politicians also were drug tested, and that she had recently tried to convince Mr Setka to quit by cooking him a roast lamb and feeding him "coke and cream and everything else".

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the senator cooled on the drug tests by COB Monday, when she spoke to RN's Patricia Karvelas.

Here's the detail on the cashless welfare card expansion, in case you were thinking of blowing your Newstart on a stolen Maserati. And in answer to your unspoken question, yes: Barnaby Joyce is happy to be drug tested and also happy for farmers to have cashless welfare cards.

That's more or less it for this week. Hope you survived it OK.
 

Robbo's my hero

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Point of difference between the Australian constitutional crisis of 1975 and the current British malaise.

This time it’s the British PM misleading the Queen. In 1975? You can work out the rest...

 

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The ABC should vet the political candidates. The hatchet job on Liu is like a slow release fertiliser.

 

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A nice outcome for our MPs. Redundancy payments just like the private sector! Only problem is they are PUBLIC SERVANTS.

Excerpt from article in today’s Age.



“New Victorian senator Sarah Henderson says she will hand back part of the six-figure, taxpayer-funded payout she received after losing her lower house seat in federal parliament in May. Senator Henderson, who narrowly lost the Victorian seat of Corangamite to Labor candidate Libby Coker at the federal election, was eligible for a payout of up to $100,000 as a two-term MP. But after being sworn in on Thursday as the Liberal's Senate replacement for former communications minister Mitch Fifield, she said her decision to keep only a "pro rata" amount was "in line with community expectations".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently defended the right of MPs who lost their seats at the last election to be eligible for a total of $1.3 million in cash payouts, saying they were similar to redundancies workers in the private sector received.”
 
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Robbo's my hero

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Great article on the ABC news website by an expert on China. Naturally it involved the rise (and possible) fall of Gladys Liu. It demonstrated the manner in which China spreads it influence around the world through the use of organisations that, on the face of it, don’t appear political or influential.


Of course countries around the world work the margins (some just get right into the ‘thick of it’) and influence in this way. China is flavour of the month but you could mount an argument for the US and Russia as well.

I’m reminded of my own familial background and how Mussolini spread fascism throughout the world. Italians had taken off in all directions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The US was popular but so was Australia. Argentina as well.

As far as Benito was concerned no matter how tenuous the link all Italians were Italian first and must be loyal to the fatherland.

How did he do this?

A very popular way was to infiltrate cultural organisations and spread the word. One society which resonated was the Dante Society. Language is culture and vice versa. The Dante Society still operates in Lygon Street today.

So sometimes there are more important issues than simply the money.
 
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Robbo's my hero

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Tony (and Barnaby) have been let off the leash. Everyone is entitled to a view and making a choice is never easy. The language used is appalling.

 

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