richard.obrien's blog

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.

Political Bias At The ABC

Political bias at be ABC? Here is a list of all ABC board members appointed since 1996.

Howard government appointments:

Donald McDonald - Liberal Party member and long-time friend of the Howard Family.

Michael Kroger - Liberal party powerbroker and former president of the Victorian Liberal party. Member of the right-wing think tank the Institute of Public Affairs ("Ding!")

A Seminarian

In 1987 a young Tony Abbott turned his back on St Patricks seminary and a future in the Catholic priesthood. Six months later he wrote an article for the Bulletin. Apparently the modern Catholic Church had failed to live up to the ideals of the young Tony who admired the judgemental, homophobic and sexists traditions of the church but was not comfortable with what he saw as more modern concepts like caring for the sick and poor, forgiving sinners and generally carrying about other people.

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