richard.obrien's blog

How to get away with murder

The government won't be telling us how an asylum seeker under their care was murdered and scores of others beaten and terrorised. They won't be telling us why the Federal police are refusing to cooperate with the PNG police investigation. They won't be telling us why the organisation responsible for the brutal treatment of detainees is now also also the organisation responsible for monitoring their welfare. They won't be telling us why those detainees will now be denied access to legal advice and representation.

Economic migrants

Tony Abbott arrived in Australia from the UK as an assisted migrant in 1960 yet it was not until 21 years latter that he finally applied for citizenship. At that time Abbott was applying for a Rhodes scholarship, which stipulates that the applicant must be an Australian citizen.

Joe Hockey's contribution

It's not often you'll hear me say this but the Government have been pretty clever this week. You see while we've all been distracted by George Brandis defending bigotry, Scott Morrison dismissing more evidence of torture and Abbott wanting to bring back knighthoods, no one noticed Joe Hockey's contribution.

Australia and the British Empire, a history lesson.

During the First World War over 10% of the Australian population enlisted to defend the British Empire. More than 60,000 Australians were killed and another 137,000 were wounded, one of the worst casualty rates of any of the British Empire forces. The war cost Australia £188,480,000, about $20 billion in today's money.

Sued for incompetence?

The Federal Environment minister is pushing legislation through parliament to protect himself from potential legal action for failing to ignore environmental advice before approving mining projects. As if suing this inept jerk is going to repair the Barrier Reef!

Bullying Qantas

Last week I criticised the Abbott government for taking four days to pass two insignificant pieces of legislation. This week they have passed none.

This week's excuse for the government failing to govern is that they have been busy bullying Qantas into changing their position on the carbon tax. On Monday Qantas released a statement which said that their financial problems "were not related to the carbon tax". This angered a government who on the same day were claiming it was the primary reason.

Conservative Salaries

Alan Joyce became CEO of Qantas in 2008. Prior to joining Qantas in 2000 Joyce served on the board that oversaw the collapse of Australia's other domestic carrier at that time, Ansett Airlines. Joyce was one of the few people to walk away from Ansett with full pay and remuneration.

Immigrant 5265617

The position of Opposition leader was declared vacant by Bill Shorten earlier this week. As a self appointed spokesperson on immigration for the non-existent Opposition, I request, for the sake of departmental consistency, that Tony Abbott henceforth be referred to by his boat arrival number, 5265617. Further to this I propose that he be detained indefinitely until his status as a genuine refugee can be determined and processed with the due diligence we have come to expect from the Department of Immigration.

The ALP and Manus Island

The ALP has called for asylum seekers to continue to be sent to Manus Island. Shadow Immigration Minister Richard Marles has praised Manus Island as playing a vital role in border protection.
Since Manus Island was reopened by the Gillard government in 2012 it has cost over $1 billion dollars, holds approximately 800 people in conditions the UN has described as "violating prohibitions on torture" (a polite way of saying torture) and processed just one asylum seeker.

The government's chief performing seal

Thanks to a government hell-bent on destroying the country in its first year and an opposition which needs a week to prepare for question time, parliament predictably descended into chaos last week. Equally predictable was the star performance in this farce being delivered by the government's chief performing seal, Christopher Pyne.

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