Craig Thomson's....what would you call it? ..."speech" to Parliament seems to have left most here speechless.
Outside Parliament, they should also make much of Albanese, as Labor Leader of the House, gagging all debate on Thomson's accusations.
He can gag the Parliament all he likes, but he can't gag the media, the internet or the general public, and they're still talking.
I wouldn't call it debate either; more of a consensus . Thomson can blame Abbott, Richo, his dog and the media until he's blue in the face, but nothing he said yesterday changed anyone's opinion that I know of.
The statement re CCTV was simply ludicrous (unless anyone can confirm that the NSW government does, in fact, require brothels to keep 52 416 hours (six years worth) of saved CCTV footage)? Sky News: Thomson asks cops to review CCTV footage As a comparison, the Qld Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation requires footage to be kept for a minimum of 28 days, or one year after an identified incident. Pubs and clubs have a lot more incidents than brothels, so I don't see why there would be a substantial difference in the requirements or much variation between states. http://www.olgr.qld.gov.au/resources...TVguideWeb.pdf
Last edited by Worrals in the wilds; 22nd May 2012 at 04:30.
Drawing inspiration from the literary classic To Kill a Mockingbird, which champions the integrity of the law, Mr Thomson accused Mr Abbott of using parliamentary mob rule to trample on an individual's legal rights.
"You have unleashed the lynch mob. And you (the media) have fanned it. And for that you all ultimately are responsible," the Labor-cum-independent MP said.
Describing the case against him as a witch hunt the member for Dobell said he was suffering a trial by public opinion.
Instead of being accorded legal rights such as a presumption of innocence, he was in a situation where a majority decision of parliament could overrule his rights.
"What you have done is not just damage to an individual or their family, you have damaged democracy," he said.
"What it shows is the Leader of the Opposition, that man, is not only is he unfit to be prime minister but in my view, he is unfit to be an MP."
Quite undeterred today the Liberals shamelessly continued to trash the majority of Question time with further salacious muckraking rather than address the broader issues of running the country.
ASYLUM seeker numbers are dwarfing government estimates, leading to speculation of future budget blow-outs.
At a budget estimates hearing in federal parliament yesterday it was revealed the Department of Immigration will continue to base cost estimates on an average of 450 arrivals a month.
Since November, in the wake of the collapse of the Malaysian people swap deal, the government announced asylum seekers would be released on bridging visas.
An average of 724 people have arrived each month since then.
About 100 asylum seekers were expected to be released on bridging visas each month but that is expected to rise.
It was also revealed 1126 refugees had been accepted from Malaysia this financial year, mostly to fulfil Australia's end of the people swap deal. This is despite no asylum seekers sent to Malaysia.
There'll be another 3000 to follow, for the agreement was (hard as anyone except our friend Matt from Canada might find to believe) that we would take an extra 4000 even if Malaysia refused to accept any of the 800 Australia attempted to send back.
I don't ask whether you or anyone else thinks he should be punished/censured et al, because the obvious (and correct) answer is that presumption of innocence applies. Of course it's hard to establish whether a fraud occurred in the first place when the organization concerned allegedly had NO guidelines regarding the use of its funds, but that's another can of worms.
Aside from all that, do you believe his story, as presented to the Parliament?
Last edited by Worrals in the wilds; 22nd May 2012 at 08:25.
.....do you believe his story, as presented to the Parliament?
Good heavens Worrals why on earth would you consider my humble opinion of any relevance whatsoever?
FWIW Andrew Wilkie was asked the same question at a presser this afternoon and his response pretty well reflects my own.
"I won't mince my words, I think the whole Craig Thomson saga stinks, absolutely stinks," he told reporters in Canberra.
"I think a great many Australians think it stinks."
But Mr Thomson had a right to sit in parliament.
"He is innocent until proven guilty in a properly constituted court where he has a right to defend himself," Mr Wilkie said.
To which I would add that Ben Eltham on newmatilda.com squarely nails the naked political ambition of the individuals driving this grubby race to the bottom in Australian politics ....
"........... almost entirely a construction of Tony Abbott’s Opposition, which has refused to accept the legitimacy of the 2010 election from the very start.
The Opposition’s constant campaign of destabilisation, taken up willingly by many in the media, has borne rich fruit for the Coalition, at least in so far as the government’s standing in the polls are concerned. But it has also, as Thomson himself pointed out yesterday, damaged the perception of Australian democracy amongst ordinary citizens.
Ruthless pursuit of political office without regard for the consequences is the mark of Abbott’s tenure as Opposition leader. It will almost certainly result in a nastier and dirtier style of attack politics than most citizens say they want. It may also result in some uncomfortable blow-back for the Opposition, with the government reportedly preparing to launch its own grubby assault on the personal probity of a conservative parliamentarian. The 2013 federal election will probably be the nastiest and most negative in history.
Is that a good outcome for Australian democracy? No. Is it a future we will have to get used to? Sadly, the events of recent months suggest that the answer is yes."
almost entirely a construction of Tony Abbott’s Opposition
Ah, ha! It was Tony Abbott wot did it! It was Tony Abbott who snuck in and stole Thomson's phone and visited those hookers. So, that lets Thomson off the hook then.
But it has also, as Thomson himself pointed out yesterday, damaged the perception of Australian democracy amongst ordinary citizens.
The 'ordinary citizens' that I have spoken to since Thomson's appearance have certainly NOT regarded their perception of democracy damaged. In fact, to a man (and woman), they regard him sitting in Parliament and being supported by Gillard to prop up her failed administration as being a greater damage to democracy (but Gillard will find out just how much at the next election).
It will almost certainly result in a nastier and dirtier style of attack politics than most citizens say they want
It might do wonders for the Gillard team if they were to say, "No, we won't go there." But then again they're saddled with Albanese. I wonder if he was the target of schoolyard bullies? It might account for his fearlessness in the protection of Parliament.
Immigration Department acting secretary Martin Bowles told a Senate budget estimates hearing on Tuesday that a regional arrangement, like the Malaysia solution, was the best way to combat people smuggling.
He said fewer boats carrying asylum seekers reached Australia in 2011 after the Labor government announced the Malaysia people-swap deal, under which 800 people would have been sent to Malaysia for processing in exchange for 4000 processed refugees.
Once the plan stalled, after an adverse High Court decision and the opposition's refusal to back legislation to legitimise it, boat arrivals rose again.
"What the numbers are telling me is that it did have a deterrent effect at the time," Mr Bowles told the committee.
He also spoke of his recent visit to Indonesia, saying people smugglers there had strong networks and were attuned to policy decisions made by the government and other regional countries.
"Their network is better than Telstra," he said. ninemsn
Good heavens Worrals why on earth would you consider my humble opinion of any relevance whatsoever?
Why wouldn't I? I'm always interested in people's opinions.
Anyway, fair enough. The whole thing certainly does stink and is doing enormous damage to the integrity of the union movement.
He may have the right to sit in Parliament but that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. Nor is it doing anything for Gillard when the dogs were already barking about her lack of integrity. I don't agree with him that the average person sees this as an assault on democracy; I think the average person thinks he's a grub and the dodgies in the HSU should be collectively taken out back and dealt with.
One of his fellow MPs wrote a song that contained the words, 'It's better to die on your feet than live on your knees'. IMO federal Labor are living on their knees day by day, and having Thomson hanging around their neck like a whining mill stone is a big contributor.
Last edited by Worrals in the wilds; 22nd May 2012 at 13:32.
Mat grey - the aboriginal gentleman in your post is not typical of the modern urban aboriginal (who are mostly of european blood as you would know if you are an Aussie expat who at least didnt scab in the olden days)The Frogs Dutch Spanish would have taken them out ,as is evident elsewhere, and if it were not for good luck, the allied war machine, and the AIF those other little Greater East Asia Co -Prosperity Sphere colonists,the Japs ,would have exterminated them all as being not fit to be slaves (before you sack me again MOD see Knights of the Bushido by Lord Russell of Liverpool, author of The Scourge of The Swastika)Would suggest , if you are not an expat Aussie on temp detachment ,you bag yrr fckn head and just let us ear wot knows best how to get the rats out of the chook yard without having to shoot any one like the lesser types tend to do ---like a good chap.
Who said better to live standing up than die on you re knees?I would think the other way --- to go out in a good fight is a better way than dieing a slow death as a slave or am I just an old fashioned Aussie like it used to be?
Matt, why not direct your thoughts about the Malaysia "solution" to the Greens? Would the High Court have overturned it even if the Greens had agreed with it? I certainly hope so, it was an outrageous idea and still no word from the govt about what would have happened to person # 801.At least Abbott offered an alternative.
As for Thomson, I watched it up to the crocodile tears about the journos staking out the bathroom. Then I had to go and get a bucket. Came back to see Albanese looking like a cross old chook.
Ruthless pursuit of political office without regard for the consequences is the mark of Abbott’s tenure as Opposition leader
I have to agree with Chairman that this is a more apt description of labor's performance in recent years.
Capitalising on labor's many failings is more the mark of Abbott's tenure. However, it could also be argued that the drover's dog would have done just as well, given the glut of opportunity that labor has provided.
In 2007, I commented that Abbott and Julie Bishop being in the shadow ministry clearly demonstrated the lack of talent available to Brendan Nelson in forming an opposition. I remain unconvinced of their ability to lead Australia and will watch their future performance with interest.
Contributors here were also perceptive in forecasting Rudd's fall from grace and the potential disaster of a labor/greens alliance.
Another subject where we have been pretty close to the mark has been the counterproductive nature of labor's continued diatribe against Abbott. That is, counterproductive to labor. It certainly doesn't appear to have swayed the views of any here and I haven't found anyone in the real world who is giving any credence to labor's diatribes.
We are now in a position of having to choose between a party which has clearly demonstrated that it is unfit to hold office and to which very few are listening and a party that we fear might be unfit to hold office but can't be sure until they sit on the Treasury Benches.
The broad consensus appears to be, on this occasion, better the devil you don't know, than the one that you do.
The one area where we have probably been least successful is in identifying what labor may have actually done to warrant support. But I live in hope...
The questions for the future are, who will lead labor to the next election, when will it be held, will Ms Gillard PM MP take a low profile role for the time being and how effective will the blatant vote buying exercises....sorry, compensation/support policies...be in improving labor's vote before the election?
Matt and Lex, it's good to have you around. The thread tends to be a bit boring when we are all agreeing with each other.
The questions for the future are, who will lead labor to the next election, when will it be held,
I don't think it matters all that much. Barring something really untoward happening I don't think they can come back from this. Nor do I think they deserve to.
It's fashionable to think that people vote purely with their wallets and no-one in the brave post modern world cares about integrity; that people expect politicians to be purely opportunistic. While that may have been the case for the last two decades or so, I think the mood is changing.
In relation to the allegations of rorting, the only argument they seem to be able to muster is 'well the Libs are as bad.' The problem with this argument is that firstly if it's true then the Libs are a lot better at hiding it (Coulston notwithstanding, but that was a while ago, and Thomson / Slipper are in the here and now). We're not seeing Tone's credit card statements all over the nightly news. Presumably if the Labor machine had been able to dig up any useful dirt they would have done so by now, but the best they could do was the uni story, which wasn't very exciting.
The second problem with that argument is that if you're a traditional ALP supporter, the obvious retort is that of course the Libs are dodgy. They're Libs. They're the white shoe brigade (or insert insult of choice) which is why Labor supporters don't support them. When Labor start getting caught with their pants down and their hands in the members' piggy bank (not to mention state issues like property deals and asset sell offs), the excuse 'they do it too' just doesn't cut it and achieves little except an erosion of trust and anger from traditional supports. It makes the Labor Party look as unattractive to their supporters as the Liberal Party, which doesn't win votes.
I don't think Gillard and co were nearly quick enough to condemn the allegations, which they could have wrapped into the 'innocent until proven guilty' message quite easily. By failing to do so, they gave the impression that they condone the alleged misbehaviour. Whether they actually do or not is irrelevant; people believe what they believe. Gillard's belated attempts at the ACTU conference to play catch up were too little too late.
As for the policies from either side, the budget and the rest of it? To ordinary people I think it's become white noise. The two things that seem to rise above the malestrom are Carbon Tax and industrial relations. The tax is a negative for Labor and IR is variously a negative for both the Libs and Labor, depending on the view point (and work status) of the individual. Apart from the party faithful on both sides, when people talk about the government at the moment it's about scandals and rorts. Everything else comes second, or not at all. As several media commentators have said, people have simply stopped listening. It's no use touting how good the policies are, how big the handouts will be, how little the Carbon Tax will affect people (etc) because people aren't listening.
Last edited by Worrals in the wilds; 22nd May 2012 at 15:56.
To suggest that people will vote with their wallets is well off the mark. Labor appears to think that a few 'free' dollars wil bring the masses back on side, but that is not only demonstrably wrong (a minor upward blip only after Labor's round of carbon tax compensation), but it is an insulting underestimation of the political awareness of the average Australian.
Labor seems blind to the sensibilities of the voters it's trying to woo, just as it is blind to the major problem facing Labor: Julia.
Here's the start of an article from the Aust Fin Review, a 'friendly' Fairfax paper to boot:
The Gillard factor makes Labor a pariah
PUBLISHED: 04 MAY 2012 00:50:13 | UPDATED: 04 MAY 2012 09:15:36
In November 2007 Kevin Rudd won 5.4 million primary votes for Labor candidates, and in August 2010 Julia Gillard’s team won 4.7 million primary votes, a drop of 700,000 votes for Gillard after only a couple of months in the top job.
In the recent Newspoll and Nielsen polls, Gillard is now winning 27 per cent, or 3.3 million, primary votes for her Labor candidates.
So, the Gillard leadership is costing the ALP caucus members who voted for her about 2.1 million of the 5.4 million primary votes won under Rudd’s leadership not quite five years ago.
That’s almost four in 10 former Labor voters lost, or a bit under 100,000 Labor voters in 2007 lost every month since Gillard was elected leader in June 2010. This in itself is bad enough, but the devastating truth here for Labor’s caucus members is that these 2.1 million angry former Labor voters aren’t spread evenly across all electorates, but overwhelmingly live in the 61 seats held by Labor MPs with two-party preferred margins of up to 15 per cent.
This means the swings against Gillard Labor are not likely to be uniform, but instead range up to 30 per cent in the 61 ALP seats held by margins of up to 15 per cent, wiping out all but 17 of these 61 seats and ripping the heart out of Labor’s suburban base across all capital cities.
Labor strategists can’t sandbag these seats against a rising electoral tide because the tide just keeps rising over the sandbags whereas, in the safe Coalition seats, the swings against Labor are a derisory 2 to 3 per cent two-party preferred. For Labor candidates, this isn’t a swing, this is a malevolent force.
The most obvious reasons for this extraordinary result can be seen in the dissatisfaction/satisfaction ratings for Gillard, which are now approaching a ratio of two to one.
Under my rough rule of thumb this means Gillard’s unpopularity, in and of itself, is costing Labor about 8 to 9 per cent of the primary vote.
Today in question time, Swan cranked up the 'jobs created by Labor since coming to power' from the 700,000 quoted this month by Gillard and Roxon among others to 800,000. Where are all these jobs?
Then Swan dissed a Liberal question about the record number of irregular arrivals by boat this month (about 1600).
Swan's response was to bark that 'nearly all of Howard's Nauru asylum seekers ended up in Australia' then hurriedly sat down and looked busy. Maybe they did, but then only a relatively small number of asylum seekers was ever sent to Nauru. After the first few boatloads disappeared into the Pacific, the boats stopped coming. Cunning old Howard outfoxed the people smugglers, sending their clients into a media blackout in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, never to be heard of again. Not much of a sales pitch for the smugglers. That was the system dismantled personally, and very publicly by Julia Gillard.
Because of her god-awful judgment and woeful numbers, Gillard personally has been like kryptonite to the once super Labor Party, or like Ratsak if you prefer.
It's ironic that two commentators who have seen this most clearly are Mark Latham and Graham Richardson, both of whom have been cast off in varying degrees by Labor.
It seems that if the people have stopped listening to Labor, Labor has stopped listening to anyone at all, except perhaps John Mcternan's rhetoric of class warfare. That strategy looks aimed at Labor emerging from the rout of the next election at least with its unthinking, rusted on voters still rusted on.