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Smacked On The Nose With A Slipper

Oddly enough, 'tis Tony who's complaining this lttle balance-of-power shift was a mongrel trick. Sure, it breaks the Westminster tradition of replacing a speaker from the incumbent party. Tony, who knows a few mongrel tricks himself, apparently didn't see this one coming, and it puts him in a quandary: if he sacks Slipper from the LNP they won't even have the advantage of his vote in a tied poll.

Nature truly does abhor a vaccum, and if the goss round the net today is any indicator, the new gap between Govt and Opposition numbers will be quickly filled.  Rumour has it that a certain Labor MP is about to be charged and will have to resign.

Any thoughts?

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Total eclipse of the party?

Jay, re the pic;  hmm, but naah!  Thought it wouldn't surprise me if Harry'd asked for the meet'n'greet to be factored into the departure timing.. who wouldn't?

I'm more interested in the bastard the end of last week was.  Geting a bad dose of the front-bar-full-moon vibe last Wednesday night, I'd Facebooked out a request as to what the hell was going on?  Three days out from this most recent Solar Eclipse (Fri/Sat, depending where you were) personalities everywhere seemed to have gone pearshaped!

So, if everybody went loopy, wouldn't the Pollies?  It could well explain last Thursday! 

Whatever it takes

Is my reading between the lines wrong, or do some members of this forum believe that of most importance is that Labor remain in power, even if it means ignoring the deeds of people like Thomson and Slipper? What is this, a race to the bottom? 

They have not been charged with anything

Jay, I don't care too much about the ALP or the Lieberals, but to try and pretend that people are not allowed in parliament because of allegations is ridiculous.

Have you heard of innocent until proven guilty or do you think we should all hang 'em high because of gossip?

If the Libs hated Slipper so much why did they poach him from the Nats in the first place?

Anyway, let's face it: apart from the Greens and indies they are all the same.

Stand Up, Stand Up for Labor

I'm not talking about legals rulings, Marilyn. I'm talking about ethics. About standards of conduct and institutional culture. Consider the behaviour of Thomson and Williamson at the Health Services Union over decades. We talk about crony capitalism. This is crony unionism at its worst.

When I hear about it, my questions are not about the HSU, my question is how many other unions are as corrupt? Are these the power brokers that make up the Labor party? 

Corruption in American politics? Pot calling the kettle black?

If those who believe in the Left aren't going to keep the party honest, who is?

And the Greens and indies are not that different. They are aiding and abetting a culture of corruption.

We invaded Iraq on cooked up evidence of WMD. We passed the climate tax on the cooked up assumption that we'll have a global trading scheme by 2015. True, Bob Brown achieved what he was elected on. But he did so by getting Gillard to lie to her voters.

Yeah, that is the way the real world works. But that is because we don't speak up and demand higher standards of our politicians.

What exactly are you whining about though?

Do you seriously think that anything illegal happened?  If so you clearly have no idea of the law.

As for the ALP or Liberals and ethics, that, sir, is a complete oxymoron.

Heavens - they both voted to jail Indonesian fishing crews for helping refugees and have removed any defence - each case costs taxpayers almost $500,000 and it is all a lie.

They have no ethics, that is the point.

A Proud Whiner

"They have no ethics."

Isn't that worth whining about?

When someone claims expenses, standard practice is that they sign a claim that the expenses were actual and reasonable for business purposes. Isn't making a false statement for personal gain fraud, Marilyn?

I would expect Parliament to operate to standard practice. I understand that HSU accounting practices were a can of worms. But there are still laws about the need to keep proper accounts, including FBT rules that were probably breached. Which HSU officers are technically liable for these breaches under the law is another matter.

I appreciate that refugee policy is your personal hobby horse, Marilyn. But, policy decisions they make, however reprehensible, they arguably do in Australia's interest - and they do it in our name. What they do to line their own pockets - that is distinctly different ethics.

Australia's Shame

Have I got the facts wrong? Having to repay money implies that the original claim was wrongful. In any other organisation I know, wrongfully claiming $14,000 would be treated as prima facie evidence of deceptive practice (i.e. fraud), and treated that way. Does Parliament operate to different standards?

It is hard to know who to blame more - the Liberals for putting him in parliament in the first place, or Labor for giving him a job that represents Australia on the world stage. 

The Speaker doesn't represent us abroad

His only job is to direct the morons in the house.

A thousand (and five) words

Didn't say he did. But: 

 US President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Harry Jenkins, Speaker of the House at Parliament House in Canberra on November 17, 2011. President Obama is in Australia to mark the 60th anniversary of their security alliance and to bolster Washington's...

Tax Returns

So, if you have made a minor mistake in your tax return, Jay, that would automatically mean that you have been guilty of fraud? And liable to imprisonment? Let's hope not for your sake - after all, even when you allege - and by signature - at the end of your tax return that it's all "accurate" - it isn't, because you ain't never dealing "accurately" with the cents....

The tax take

C'mon Fiona, I know you're annoyed with me, but you're far too intelligent not to pick your battles better:

  • $14,000 in expense claims is not "minor"
  • the knowledge and professionalism expected from a person chosen to make Australia's laws is very different from that of a taxpayer on minimum wages.
  • Tax evasion is criminal, and people go to jail for it. It causes serious damage to society.
  • ATO policy is very clear. It promises not prosecute when there is a genuine mistake - otherwise all bets are off. Like I said, I may have got the facts wrong, and if you had told me that there was an independent investigation that cleared him, fine. If, on the other hand, a parliamentary administrator simply swept the matter under the carpet, that is not the way I expect our parliament to behave.   

C'mon Fiona, you didn't really believe what you wrote, did you? 

Rectitude: My belief, and fiscal...

Yes, I do believe what I wrote, Jay. As to the detail of your question, I shall get back to you tomorrow.

No charges will be laid

NSW already said there is no crime, if there is no crime in NSW the same laws exist in Victoria so there will be no crime in Victoria.

I think the look on Abbott's face was priceless and watching Pissy Pyne was most entertaining.

Meanwhile, although Adelaide missed out, Angaston has had 20 mm of rain today.

It's beautiful and cool and clear and clean.

Legal eagles

To be honest, Richard, I don't think that Albanese has any legal qualifications. If one has had such training, it's almost a matter of instinct to head to the Constitution when questions like this arise.

As for his "dodging" Jones' questions, I cannot respond since I didn't watch Lateline, other than to say that if he was dodging, that's normal behaviour from people (especially politicians) when they don't know the answer - which he possibly didn't.

Albanese dodging on Lateline

Thanks for the legal info Fiona. It's a wonder Anthony Albanese didn't look this up as another way of dodging Tony Jones' questions.  

Jones asked Albanese what had transpired had been implemented to shore up the party against Thomson repercussions. A clear answer would've been nice, its absence interesting.

Slap and tickle

Found this on a certain Dr Reynolds'' FB page..  says it all?

Just following in father's footsteps...

Really, Justin? I thought that the ALP was merely emulating the then Coalition government's tactics with Senator Mal Coulson.

Karma - when you need it

Forgot about that bit of bastardry Fiona. Thanks for the reminder. Yep, what goes around comes around.

What goes around...

A master stroke, but let's no forget that same can be enjoyed by the udder side, if and when the climate suits, as time goes by.

don duck and striking again

Abbott's aggressive conduct hasn't helped, again. I'd love to see as him as Pakistani or Indian chief diplomat after both countries have the capacity and the bomb, on a really bad day (?)

Rudd, on the other hand, is seen as the author of a united front that gives Labor its last and best chance at continued government, this cycle.

Since it's thanksgiving I do myself a favour remembering my good fortune at being born here of all places, times, people.

Sacking Slipper

Slipper has already said that he is "relinquishing" his party membership, so there is no decision for Mr Abbott (or more properly, the Queensland LNP) to make.

As to your second point, Richard, which I assume concerns the member for Dobell, don't forget that Section 44 of the Constitution states that:

Any person who:
(ii) ... has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer;
shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

A "mere" charge is not enough, and I think that Mr Thomson is tough enough to sit it out.

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