Simon Crean

It’s not just our politicians on the bludge

Politicians the world over just cannot help themselves helping themselves to our taxpayer cash, especially when it benefits them directly.

We have seen Paul Foster-Bell, Claudette Hauiti and now David Cunliffe trough it up on travel.

We see the two main parties working out better ways to avail themselves for?more entitlements.

Politicians, wherever they are from, become afflicted with entitleitis…they even use the same justifications.

The ”age of entitlement” is over, according to Treasurer Joe Hockey, but politicians continue to spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on flights to sporting events, study tours, recipe collections and children’s books – such as?Aliens in Underpants Save the World.

Department of Finance records show rising Liberal Party MP Jamie Briggs claimed almost $11,000 in entitlements over two years for travel to and from sporting events. For most of this period, November 2011 to November 2013, Mr Briggs was chairman of the Coalition’s government waste committee, established to highlight the mismanagement of taxpayer money.

His entitlement claims included:

? $2800 last November for him and a family member to travel between Adelaide and Melbourne, where they attended Derby Day in the Emirates marquee.

? $1600 last June to travel between Adelaide and Melbourne, where he attended an AFL game as a guest of BHP.

? $2300 in December 2012 to travel between Adelaide and Sydney, where he attended the Australian Open as a guest of Golf Australia.

Mr Briggs said: ”Each trip was undertaken within the entitlement rules and publicly declared as required. They included meetings with a range of people related to my work as a federal member of Parliament.”

Read more »

The rats are abandoning ship

The ALP ratbags are all abandoning ship…fleeing the onslaught at the election. Simon Crean is the latest.

Simon Crean is now quitting politics at the next election.

This is the man who stood for deputy prime minister at last Wednesday?s Caucus meeting and got thrashed by Anthony Albanese.

On 3AW he says he would have served under Kevin Rudd as a Minister until the election, but Rudd had told him he?d rather give the position to someone else if Crean was leaving anyway.

Andrew Leigh, a Gillard backer and former professor, has resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister.

Kate Lundy has demoted from Minister for Sport to Minister for Multicultural Relations.

The full list of former Gillard Ministers quitting at the election:

Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister

Greg Combet, former Climate Change Minister

Simon Crean, former Regional Australia Minister ? Read more »

Bludging arts wankers sticking their hands out

Have a read of this opinion piece from literary critic Peter Craven.

It really gives you some idea fo the entitlement?mentality?of bludging arts wankers.

There was a dinner at Jeanne Pratt’s Raheen mansion recently in honour of the Melba Foundation. Melba happens to produce the best classical CDs in the country and it also happens to have had its throat cut funding-wise by the Gillard government.

The dinner had a lot of donors present but it also had a number of distinguished artistic figures – Geoffrey Rush (the man who has won an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony), Barry Tuckwell, arguably the world’s greatest horn player, and Bill Henson, the photographer who was already famous before politicians decided to add slander to the mix. But the reason some of us were there was to see George Brandis, because if the polls are to be believed we will have a Tony Abbott Coalition government in September and the man who will be not only attorney-general but arts minister is Senator Brandis.

Well, the good news – piquant news for people who honour a Whitlamite legacy with the arts – is that George Brandis showed signs of being a better arts minister than we have seen in the longest time.

It was a lustrous evening with quotations from Vladimir Ashkenazy singing Melba’s praises and a clip of Barry Humphries telling us its glories. Robert Richter, QC, a man with a highly developed sense of liberty, spoke with that painstaking forensic logic of his (that would make many of us choose him if we were accused of high crimes) about the injustice that had been done to Melba which was not about making money but about recording the work of great Australian artists. Then Maria Vandamme, the head of Melba, talked about the importance of what the foundation wanted to achieve.

The incredible gutlessness and stupidity of Kevin Rudd

Kevin Rudd has said he will never again challenge for?the?leadership?of the Labor Party.?But he barely challenged the last two times such is his gutlessness.

This time round he pushed Simon Crean out in front to take the bullets and as a result Crean is now a political corpse lying at his feet, gunned down by the lack of spine in Kevin Rudd.

Sacked minister Simon Crean, who sparked Labor’s leadership crisis this week, says Kevin Rudd’s camp had fully endorsed his intervention to demand the Prime Minister call a spill.

His account directly contradicts the version of Mr Rudd, who on Friday said he had ”not expected the spontaneous combustion of Mr Crean’s” demand for a ballot, and promised he would never again seek the leadership.

Mr Rudd’s last-minute decision to back out of a challenge has led to bitter recriminations among his supporters, with Mr Crean describing Mr Rudd’s key support group as ”disorganised, unbelievable and shameless”.

“He reneged on our deal, it was gutless,” Mr Crean said. “At no stage did they say to me that Rudd wouldn’t run if he didn’t have the numbers.

Kevin Rudd must sit down to pee, bottles another coup

Kevin Rudd has bottled yet another coup, good grief but the man is a coward.

Even worse he left his numbers man Simon Crean out on a limb and he is now sacked.

Crean had previously backed Gillard and swapped in a very public fashion today to force the leadership ballot that never happened because Kevin Rudd showed all the courage of David Cunliffe.

Before the ballot took place Obeid’s mate and Labor powerbroker said:

?If she wins, she is dead in the water anyway.?

In the end Rudd bottled it. ? Read more »

Blood and Guts in Australia as ALP splits

Julia Gillard is fighting for her political life.

If Simon Crean is calling for a ballot then I’d say she is dead meat.

Mr Crean: “We need to settle this and move forward. As for the position of positions being declared open – Kevin Rudd has no choice but to stand for the leadership. He can no longer say he will only be drafted. That’s why I’m putting myself forward as part of the leadership group.”

Mr Crean: “If the PM? does not agree to it, which I suspect she won’t, I am calling on members of caucus to form a petition.”

“This is not personal. This is about the party, its future and the future of the country. I believe we can win the next election.”? Read more »

Labour?s leadership woes – Guest Post

What a shambles.??What a disgrace.

Labour?s circular firing squad reveals many things about the state of that party.??Firstly it reveals a lack of character on the part of its leader, a man incapable of leading by example, by stature, or by design.??Secondly it reveals a lack of cohesion between the caucus and its wider constituent bodies.??Thirdly it reveals the jealousies that exist at all levels of the party.

Shearer?s ritual dismissal of Cunliffe is not a new strategy.??Shearer and his lieutenants Trevor Mallard and David Parker have taken a leaf out of Julia Gillard?s book.??When faced with destabilisation from Kevin Rudd, Gillard wheeled out her caucus surrogates to denounce Rudd as a demagogue unfit to lead his party or his country.??Whereas Gillard had Wayne Swan, Simon Crean and Nicola Roxon, Shearer had Hipkins and Faafoi front the media to denounce Cunliffe as a destabilising force within the caucus.

Next Shearer demanded endorsement at the point of a gun, no debate, no dissent.??Having achieved ?unanimous? endorsement from his colleague, Shearer then dismissed Cunliffe to the back bench.??In effect Cunliffe is now the excuse for low opinion polls, a man who is to serve as toilet paper for Shearer?s failed leadership, languishing at the bottom of the Labour Party?s political long-drop.

The problem with this scenario however is Cunliffe alone is not to blame.??Labour has yet to move to a level of political support it realised when it lost office in 2008.??This is extraordinary.??Students of history will know Bill Rowling lost the 1975 election, but outpolled Robert Muldoon in 1978.??Mike Moore led Labour to a landslide defeat in 1990, but he came within one seat of winning in 1993.

Shearer leads a party approaching its fifth year in opposition and he shows no sign of leading a recovery.??Relying of a coalition of friends based on Russel Norman and Hone Harawira is a declaration of defeat, the conclusion of a failure of leadership that he Shearer?s responsibility and Shearer?s alone.

The leader of the Labour Party is incompetent, mangles his words, struggles with basic policy concepts, and has little or no feel for human behaviour.??How does he expect his diminishing band of party members to raise money and knock on doors when he has just thrown their preferred candidate for leader under the wheel of a bus?

And Shearer need not think his so-called KiwiBuild policy will make a blind bit of difference.??Communism-meets-lotto housing based on cheap homes situated on cheap land around train stations is hardly going to motivated 200,000 mortgage-paying voters to switch their party vote from National to Labour.

Cunliffe is no better off today than he was last week.??Yes he has been demoted off the front bench, but in a caucus of 34 led by David Shearer, it was never likely that Cunliffe was going to feature in a government any time soon.??Once Shearer accommodates Norman, Turei, Harawira, Sue Bradford, and a mandatory quota of feminist unionists and others from the Rainbow sector, what role would a white heterosexual male possibly have in a future Labour-led government?

However Cunliffe alone deserves the odium that he is coping.??A weak-kneed to Shearer?s ultimatum is a disappointing end.??Yes, Cunliffe should not have hedged at the weekend conference; the smart thing would have been to publicly endorse Shearer there and then.??But having been called on to front up, Cunliffe should have done just that and tested the resolve of the Labour caucus.??Having lost, he could have then resigned and moved to the back bench rather than being dumped by a political featherweight.

Cunliffe has been unwise to rely upon the likes of Charles Chauvel, Moana Mackey and Louisa Wall.??None of his core supporters represent the aspirations of mortgageville New Zealand, and none of them were likely to have the fortitude to go through the fire on behalf of their candidate.

Cunliffe is a vain and flawed man, and someone who is deserves to be disliked by his colleagues.??But Shearer is ten times worse, a leader who seeks strategic direction from Trevor Mallard.

Well might Labour members throw up their hands in horror.??As John Key rightly points out, how can they run the country if they can?t even run a conference?

The correct response now is for Labour?s rank and file to force all MPs to face selection contests.??A contest of ideas is the only way to force its caucus to align with the party that carries it.

Crean on Greens

? Sydney?Morning?Herald

The ALP assault on the Greens continues with former leader Simon Crean sledging hard:

The former Labor leader, Simon Crean, attacked the Greens as impotent purists. ”We do have to differentiate ourselves from the Greens on a range of issues because purity does not produce outcomes,” he said.

Blood and Guts, Ctd

Is Rudd lying while getting ready to stab someone in the back:

Kevin Rudd has said that there is no leadership spill ??in prospect?? and has fired a curt missive at another former party leader, Simon Crean, for getting involved in the ugly leadership brawl that has engulfed the government.

It appears Kevin Rudd has mastered this noble political art form. Either that or he is such a c*** the Labor caucus would rather lose than have him as leader.

The knives are sharpening for Gillard

Julia Gillard is in terrible trouble in Australia. The knives are sharpening?and the men are meeting in the smoke filled rooms:

Julia Gillard - Caricature

Julia Gillard - Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

This will be a long, cold autumn for Prime Minister Julia Gillard. With polling at rock bottom, an appalling run of bad press, blunders and deep rumblings among her backbenchers, the sound of knives on whetstones is growing louder.

While most talk of a coup is from anonymous MPs, former Labor leader and Regional Development Minister Simon Crean was moved to publicly warn Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd off any move to take back from Gillard the leadership he lost in 2010.

Other senior ministers, including those considered most likely to contend any leadership ballot, have equally as loudly rejected a challenge and have pledged loyalty to the beleaguered Prime Minister.

But nothing can stop the speculation. There have been some suggestions that Gillard should herself declare the leadership open for ballot within the next few weeks in the hope of catching Rudd before he musters sufficient numbers, thereby sinking his chances.

But most observers believe the danger period for Gillard will come between the March 24 Queensland State election and Parliament’s May budget session.

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