Julia Gillard

Brutal editorial in SMH on Shorten

The Sydney Morning Herald editorial is brutal on ALP leader Bill Shorten.

The position of Bill Shorten as federal Labor leader is becoming untenable. The latest revelations of his union past published by Fairfax Media on Wednesday afternoon raise further doubts and questions about his suitability as alternative prime minister.

Mr Shorten should respond to the questions immediately, in full, rather than wait until he fronts the royal commission into trade union corruption in late August.

The Opposition Leader should also reflect on the damage his continued leadership is doing to Labor, and as such to the interests of the people he claims to represent.

As long as the Australian Workers Union stain lingers and/or grows, Labor cannot hope to win an election next September, let alone a snap poll that Prime Minister Tony Abbott may well call to capitalise on the Shorten malaise.

Last week Fairfax Media identified tens of millions of dollars of largely unexplained employer payments to the AWU’s Victorian branch from January 2004 to late 2007. Mr Shorten was state secretary from 1998 and federal secretary from 2001 to 2007.

Mr Shorten called the reports “an unfair smear”. They were not. They reflected legitimate investigations into a man asking voters to trust him.

The latest revelations are even more damning.

The fine print in documents lodged with the Australian Electoral Commission and AWU bank records show the giant builder Thiess John Holland paid Mr Shorten’s union nearly $300,000 after he struck a landmark workplace deal that saved the company as much as $100 million on the Melbourne Eastlink tollway project.

The deal was hugely favourable to the employer, just like other deals struck by the AWU during Mr Shorten’s reign. Some deals involved payments to the AWU, or the payment of member’s dues. The AWU struck agreements with companies when it suited the union’s political purpose, which was to bolster membership. This allowed the AWU to assert its dominance over rival unions and bolster the power of its leaders in the Labor party’s corrupted, undemocratic structure.

Mr Shorten has described as completely unfair and false any implications that he is not completely motivated and committed to getting a better deal for workers, for productive relations at companies and for standing up for people.

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How long has Bill Shorten got?

Julia Gillard was told to never trust Bill Shorten…she did and he stabbed her.

He also stabbed Kevin Rudd.

Now it looks like it is his turn to cop a stabbing. It was pretty bad that Tanya Plibersek looks like she set him up on the boat people saga yesterday but the real killer for Shorten is the unfolding corruption and bribery scandal yet again engulfing the union movement and the ALP.

Bill Shorten’s factional ally Cesar Melhem made a $2000 donation through his Industry 2020 slush fund to the ALP leader’s campaign to keep the seat of Maribyrnong on June 30, 2009.

Another political ally of Mr Shorten and Mr Melhem in the Victorian Right’s Labor Unity faction, federal member for McEwen Rob Mitchell, received a $5000 donation on May 19, 2010, from the same slush fund.

Mr Shorten was, after receiving that $2000 donation in 2009, the star attraction at two fundraisers for the Industry 2020 fund in 2011 and again in 2012 while serving as a senior minister in the Gillard government.   Read more »

A good keen bloke not afraid to call things as he sees them

Aussie politics is a thing of beauty, raw, unblemished and visceral.

Like David Leyonhjelm, the Liberal Democrats senator for NSW…who isn’t afraid to call things as he sees them and is unapologetic about his views.

Crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm says he can’t recall whether he once referred to former prime minister Julia Gillard as a “mangy dog” but says he “doesn’t give a f—” about it either way.

Senator Leyonhjelm posted the comments in 2011, before his election to Parliament, on the blog site Catallaxy Files.

Another comment he posted in the same year on breast cancer awareness day included a crude joke saying “It’s not enough to perve” and advocating groping a woman’s breasts instead.

When contacted by Fairfax Media to confirm if he authored the comments, Senator Leyonhjelm confirmed he published the breast awareness joke but could not recall if he had called Ms Gillard a “mangy dog”.

But the Liberal Democrats senator for NSW said critics should “get real” and that it was “absolute crap” to expect politicians not to say things an ordinary voter wouldn’t say.

“I don’t remember [writing] it but I don’t give a f— if I did,” he said.

“Get real, Australians are rude about their elected politicians,” he said.

“Calling Gillard a mangy dog is mild and absolutely nothing compared to what others have said about her and what people say about Tony Abbott,” Senator Leyonhjelm said.   Read more »

Trotter gets a bit wonky with his thinking

Chris Trotter looks at Winston Peters and at John Key.

It’s a good article but gets some things dreadfully wrong.

The successful populist politician’s response will always echo that of Alexandre Ledru-Rollin, one of the leaders of the February Revolution of 1848 in France: “There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.”

To carry off this leading-by-following trick, the populist politician requires both a vigilant eye and an unusually sensitive ear. In present-day New Zealand, for example, only a blind, deaf and extremely dumb populist would assume that to stay behind the rage he has only to hurl abuse at John Key’s government. All he would demonstrate by such tactics is how thoroughly he has missed the fact that John Key is, himself, an extremely accomplished populist leader. What’s more, John Key, unlike Alexandre Ledru-Rollin, has no need to go running after the crowds. Thanks to his pollster, David Farrar, and focus-group supremo, Mark Textor, the Prime Minister knows exactly where the people are going. That’s why he’s so often to be found parked there, waiting for them to arrive.

David Farrar is probably New Zealand’s best pollster…he keeps John Key and Steven Joyce focussed.

Though the article is wrong and shows it clearly in this statement.

Mr Key’s Cabinet’s slavish adherence to neoliberal ideology has meant that economic and social policies that could have really assisted the “average Kiwi” are consistently ruled out of contention

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The hypocrisy of Andrea Vance

Andrea Vance was at great pains to keep her door swipe card data private, she also refused to cough up texts and phone records between her and a minister.

But now in true typical media and left-wing hypocrisy she is demanding the PM coughs up his texts.

In the vaults of Archives New Zealand lies a unique collection of several thousand fading letters, photographs and papers. The Nash Collection offers a window into a world gone by.

Former prime minister Sir Walter Nash became involved in local politics from his arrival in Wellington in 1909. His personal papers are a treasure trove of information about World War II, the birth of the New Zealand Labour Party, as well as every noteworthy issue of the day.

Without them, a hole would exist in the nation’s historical record.

From the same building, chief archivist Marilyn Little will soon start an investigation into the deletion of Prime Minister John Key’s text messages.

Her inquiry stems from a request by the Green Party. It is a spot of political point-scoring, exploiting Key’s embarrassing friendship with hit-job blogger Cameron Slater. But politicking aside, the investigation is truly important.

In the age of the spin doctor, we now rarely know what a politician really thinks. Their response to a crisis is packaged up into palatable soundbites for news bulletins. Biographies, sympathetically penned by acolytes and admirers, have become another election campaign weapon.   Read more »

Australia, the first ever nation to win a Darwin award?

Well one columnist in Australia thinks they should win a Darwin Award for being dumber than a sack of hammers.

I’M THINKING of setting up a national version of the Darwin Awards; you know, where they give an award to the stupidest way people manage to kill themselves each year, or, as the website puts it, “contribute to human evolution by self-selecting themselves out of the gene pool via death or sterilisation by their own actions”.

When I say “national”, I mean it literally – my Darwin Awards aren’t for people, they’re for nations. I’m going to hand out an annual prize for the dumbest, most imbecilic country on the planet that is setting out to destroy its own comfortable way of life via its own moronic actions.

I’m going to find the one nation that’s doing the equivalent of putting its head out of the train window to see if there’s a tunnel approaching.

And right now, Australia looks like being the 2014 National Darwin Award winner. Why? Because we are among the most collectively stupid people on the planet. Just look at the statistics – or rather, the opinion polls.

Apparently, a majority of us think Bill Shorten would be a better prime minister of our country than Tony Abbott.

Let me run that past you again – slowly this time, really slowly, because it’s obvious there are some pretty slow people out there: a … majority … (in other words, enough voters to win an election) … think … (i.e. have apparently used what passes for their brains and come to this conclusion) … that Bill Shorten … (a bloke who is so empty-headed he once said: “I don’t know what Julia Gillard said, but I agree with every word of it”) … would be a better prime minister … (in other words, be making every single decision every single day for three years that will determine the prosperity and financial success of every one of us and all our children) … than Tony Abbott (a bloke who, regardless of whether you like him or not, has as his sole focus a single-minded determination to fix the economic mess that this country is in).

Come again? Are we for real?

The best Darwin Awards always have a neat slice of bitter irony to them; like the guy who tries to impress his fiancee by climbing on to her balcony – on the 101st floor.

The irony with our National Darwin winner – Australia – is that the very bloke Australians want as their next prime minister was part of the team that got us into our financial mess in the first place.

Worse, Shorten is either so dumb or so devious that he is now opposing the very same $5 billion worth of cuts to spending that he supported when he was in government.

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An evening with Julia Gillard

I went to listen to Julia Gillard last night with Mum. It was enjoyable. Mum like me is a conservative but she appreciates women in positions of power and what we can learn from them. I didn’t agree with Julia’s position on ‘Affirmative action’ to get women into politics. Affirmative action whether applied to race or sex is reverse discrimination in my opinion and my Mum agrees.

My Mother heads a very large business and she built it from the ground up. She earned the respect she now commands and nothing was handed to her on a platter. We both find the idea of ‘ giving ‘ women a quota disrespectful to women’s abilities. As far as I know Julia Gillard got to the top job on merit yet she doesn’t expect other women to achieve what she achieved in the same way.To be fair I think her real problem was the number of women currently in Politics. She reasoned that if only a few are in it then that reduces the chances of a leader being a woman. Sure it does but it also ensures that when women like her and Helen Clark do make the top job,they will be more than equipped to handle it. As she said last night, Politics is an adversarial environment. Julia made it very clear that she did not think as some women do, that more women in Politics would make the environment more consensual. She believes that you should fight passionately for what you believe in and she makes no apology for doing that.

That aside, Julia had plenty of pertinent things to share with the audience and some of it was very relevant to why I am so excited about Freed.

She pointed out how the Media in Australia had become Protagonists in Politics instead of interested observers reporting on the action. Julia herself described some of the ways in which she was attacked in the media and media campaigns against her.

During the evening Julia’s world famous Misogyny speech  was discussed so I just had to watch it today. It was a very well structured and argued speech. Her experience as a lawyer was obvious as she used evidence to build her case with skill. I appreciate a good speech or debate because I understand the techniques used to make it good and the skill required to deliver it effectively. When I was at primary school we had a speech competition every year at every level. My brother made his first speech at only 5 years old. I was 9 when I started at that school and I took part every year until I was 12 and won every competition. At High School I won every year bar one when I came second to a guy called Grant who went on to become a lawyer.

 

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Fran O’ on the Graceless Green Taliban

In many of our cultures we had the notion of allowing people we didn’t agree with, even at war with, safe habour so a conversation could be had.  While under the protection of the host, the guest was treated with respect and dignity.

For an MMP party that never has been part of working together with anyone unless it suited their selfish ends, the Greens are the the problem yet again.

It’s time that we grew up as a nation when it comes to diplomatic courtesy. It’s time the Greens revoked their “unofficial ban” on visiting political leaders addressing the New Zealand Parliament.

Some of the world’s most powerful leaders like Germany’s Angela Merkel and China’s Xi Jinping are headed our way later this month after they’ve been to the G20 Summit in Brisbane.

Having political leaders of such calibre addressing our Parliament while it is sitting is not going to subvert our democracy. But the Greens’ overblown and juvenile stance that only New Zealand politicians should be allowed to address a sitting session makes us look absurdly pretentious…

“GIVE ME BACK MY FLAG!”

Enough said?   Read more »

Just go now you fool

David Cunliffe continues to fail the no dickheads rule.

Labour’s former leader David Cunliffe says he will never run to be leader again and has not decided whether he will stand for Parliament in 2017.

Mr Cunliffe told the Herald that speculation he had not completely given up on his leadership ambitions despite pulling out of the leadership contest was misplaced. “I’m out. Otherwise I would still be running. I’m not running, I have no intention of ever being leader again. I’m out.”

While he intended to stay in Parliament this term, he was yet to decide whether to stand again in 2017.   Read more »

The advent of The Ruddliffe

ruddliffe

David Cunliffe has morphed into The Ruddliffe.

Like Kevin Rudd he is tone deaf to his caucus, thoroughly disliked by the majority of the caucus and the general public and so narcissistic he believes that he alone is blameless.

His career path and ending are remarkably similar as well.  Read more »