Tasmanian Times


NATION: Theatre of the Absurd. ‘Sleepwalking’. The Christian Right. Greste. Bart …

‘Man overboard! Cabin boy Hunt squeals from the crow’s nest where he’s been sent to practise spotting endangered species. A waterlogged periwig bobs uselessly, oddly, among the sodden crusts, fag ends, and potato peelings of cook’s galley slop in a dirty scum off the stern.

Losing Dyson Heydon is a cruel but not unfamiliar blow. Abbott’s captain’s picks seldom stick. The ship of state, now utterly rudderless, idle, all projects stalled or shelved, drifts helplessly in foul seas listing further to starboard by the minute and leaking like a lobster pot. Now even a show trial seems beyond it.

Abbott’s ship has lost its figurehead and its fig leaf of decency. Justice Dyson Heydon, AC QC, former High Court Judge, is a respected academic and ultra conservative thinker, ‘a paragon of integrity’ to hear the PM speak, drafted because of his reputation. Now he has been dragged into the depths of Abbott’s sordid world. Nothing good can come of it for either party.

Heydon’s predicament makes him star performer in a surreal week in the theatre of the absurd that is Australian federal politics, a week which began with the leaking, to two media outlets, of an empty Cabinet agenda and a PM pep talk on unity, loyalty and not leaking.

The agenda proved cabinet had no agenda and no way of hiding it. Later in the house, with no hint of irony and less of hypocrisy the PM jeered at Labor for being non-substantive under Rudd.

Abbott got the word from a speech of Heydon’s in 2013. It was an indication of partiality best left alone but the PM was all junkyard dog. Had he been into the rozzer’s ‘roid’ supply at police barracks where he chooses to doss down? Certainly, the ex-pugilist came out fighting Monday.

…serious consequences …’

There would be ‘serious consequences,’ for leakers,’ ranted the Good Captain Abbott, now barking mad and unlikely to survive past the Canning by-election in September, despite Andrew Hastie, his ex-military candidate’s refusal to be tainted by his unit’s investigation for severing Taliban enemy hands two years ago, which he says is standard finger printing practice, and was judged appropriate at a military inquiry. All but one of his troops was cleared.

Abbott could swap leadership stories with Captain Hastie on how best to deal with subordinates. Only last week he had ambushed the lot of them over gay marriage by suddenly opening a farm gate to let in a mob of Nationals, even if it did include pink redneck Wokka Entsch, with his private member’s bill on gay marriage.

Abbott had deployed a form of ‘branch stacking’ to avoid a conscience vote, said Pyne, clearly angling for the bovine rather than the team player vote. Others in the Coalition have been off side ever since.

It was the night of the long horns; the act of a leader so desperate to save his hide he would appease the right at all costs. A rancorous, mutinous discontent with ‘the prick’ his crew’s term for him, now seethes above and below Team Australia’s decks. And will not be quelled.

Immediately leaked also by a ‘high-ranking cabinet member’ who had remained awake during the PM’s serve were the ironically entitled ‘talking points’ MPs must parrot each week.

Cabinet ministers were sent out with the line that ‘our cabinet is functioning exceptionally well,’ a satirical crack-up too ludicrous even for the Abbott government, a government in deep trouble; such dysfunctional division that catastrophe has become the new normal.

‘tough decisions of governing’

‘A few rough patches,’ Abbott and Hockey say, that’s all, just the ‘tough decisions of governing’ overlooking the reality that all tough decisions on tax, super, energy, environment are being evaded. Hockey’s broken promise to lift GST from tampons does not even come close.

Mike Baird, Abbott’s sock puppet proxy vetoed to its removal at the state premiers’ COAG GST party on Friday while Joe ‘look, no hands ma,’ Hockey, leaned in, beaming approval, squibbing any unpopular heavy lifting himself, such as raising the GST rate, but fooling no-one. Punters have not forgotten his 2014-15 Budget’s massive cuts to state school and hospital funding.

The patches were more than rough. The government was rebuked by the Federal Court for misrepresenting a court decision to fit its paranoid vigilante litigation myth. Four cabinet leaks occurred. Victorian Liberal leader Damien Mantach is alleged to have embezzled a million-plus, a scandalous charge which assails the Liberal ‘better economic managers’ myth and exposes Liberal leadership selection processes. But it was a better week than last week; funnier, too.

Cabinet crack-up, straight man, comic Eric Abetz, fearlessly attacked ‘gutless’ leakers from safely behind a microphone on ABC radio. It was Eric’s take on courage, unity and loyalty. Perhaps he should turn professional. In his day job Tuesday he failed to get two IR ‘reform’ bills through the senate. So much for the crackdown on unions. In the lower house, the riot actors were in form.

Fearless MPs took turns to jeer and smear Labor, Monday, toning up their abuse after the captain’s motivational speech. The PM led by denouncing the ‘smirking phony’ Shorten for criticising the star of Abbott’s $80 million witch hunt set up expressly to destroy the Labor leader.

Labor was racist, too, for making a fuss about Chinese workers on 457 visas taking Aussie jobs under the Free Trade deals which would now have to be amended to allow Australia to slap a GST on all online vendors.

…war on vigilante litigators…

Despite clearly enjoying themselves trashing Shorten and his party, the Labor-baiting was abruptly trumped mid-week by Brandis, Peter Pan Hunt, Abbott and the other lost boys of the Liberal leadership gang into declaring war on vigilante litigators, ‘elements within the greens,’ Labor racists and any other traitors taking the piss out of progress, jobs and growth.

‘Progress jobs and growth’ means allowing dirty unprofitable multinational coal mines which, in reality, could guarantee none of these things even if they were viable. Renewable energy was ugly and would add five thousand dollars to household electricity bills.

Wind power was backed by the same ‘well-funded’ conspiracy against King Coal, a paranoid Brandis muttered darkly into his brandy, scattering other, saner, Bohemian Club brothers who feared he’d spill their drinks.

It was ‘lawfare’ by vigilantes, Brandis ranted, amidst other bizarre lies about Adani’s coal mine being stopped by ‘extreme greens’ instead of admitting that Hunt had made a mistake.

Ultimately, a desperate Abbott was forced to put on a straight face on Friday and claim the US needed Australia to drop bombs on ISIS in Syria, a group which would immediately abandon its tactic of being embedded with civilians and rush out of hiding into the desert and other wide open spaces to present itself as an Australian air raid target.

Having Aussie top guns kill the evil death cult would do Assad a favour and allow him to continue to barrel bomb his own population without distraction.

…drummed up a diversion…

In trooping into Syria, Abbott had drummed up a diversion from his government’s ineptitude and chaos; his poor leadership and bad judgement. Yet all of this and more was on more permanent display in Humpty Dumpty Dyson Heydon’s fall from grace and in the conundrums it poses.

Can a judge we perceive to be biased be trusted to judge his own perceived impartiality – as he must – as if he were an average punter? Is a black-letter conservative, an intellectual jurist, a notorious dissenter, up to the task? Will he exercise insight or oversight? Does it matter?

Heydon’s joy in ‘beautifully clear black letter propositions,’ betrays his reverence for an idealised past of certainty and true virtue, a world ill-attuned to the squalid compromises of modernity. It also indicates a mind opposed to those who elevate contemporary values or modern concepts such as human rights above the letter of the law. Yet even Heydon cannot bestow upon Abbott’s Royal Commission the integrity it lacks from its inception. Nor is he the right judge for the job.

A complex and divisive figure, Heydon is a cultured scholar and ‘national treasure,’ a revered Solon to his admirers. To others he appears pompous, pedantic and overbearing, a fossil who has no time for ‘judicial activism’ or changing laws to suit the times. He was never a trial judge. Listening to evidence and weighing it all up as he must in the TURC must be a trial to him.

Heydon is out of his depth in this commission. An academic with no experience of unions let alone the workaday world of building construction, he is more at ease with reading and writing academic dissertation than listening to unionists’ testimony. In almost every way, he is the perfect Abbott Captain’s pick who must now judge himself from the perspective of the fair-minded observer, an everyman legal construct as impossibly far from his real self as could be imagined.

…a series of emails…

The Witch-Finder Royal has been forced down from Olympus by his own fallibility, his ‘oversight’ of a series of emails over his agreeing to speak at a Liberal Party fund raiser. Now he must plead his own case; argue that he is fit to proceed. Already the evidence suggests he is not.

Star of his own Star Chamber, Justice Heydon is Abbott captain’s pick in his Machiavellian plan to shore up the coalition’s re-electability; trash the unions, damage Labor and kill Bill Shorten. Now he may have discovered the hard way the truth of Sir Owen Dixon’s dictum that High Court Judges decline the offer of any Royal Commission.

To accept is to become a creature of the government with no constitutional protections for independence. It is also to blot the escutcheon of the High Court. Certainly this commission is bound to end badly for all parties.

Heydon will respond to a submission lodged on behalf of the ACTU, Unions NSW and four unions that he should recuse himself and resign his commission “on the grounds that he is unable to afford any union or any person associated with any union procedural fairness as a result of his apprehended bias”.

Forced to sit in judgement on himself, an awkward, uncomfortable, if unique, privilege at the best of times, Heydon has already taken a massive step down. He will, he advises, take some time to consider his case and will hand down his verdict next Tuesday.

…irrevocably tainted…

Whatever Heydon’s finding, the Royal Commission is irrevocably tainted. Should he choose to remain, moreover, the ACTU and the Unions could take its case to the Federal or the High Court.

Heydon’s credibility and that of his commission is now as bad as his memory. Sadly for a party, that has a crush on bigwigs, another Liberal idol is seen to have feet of clay.

To most ‘fair-minded observers,’ Heydon’s case surely beggars belief. A top silk, whose reputation includes his capacity to summon even the smallest detail and who clearly expects the same powers of recall from those who appear before him, a judge who is perfectly capable of applying seventeenth century precedent to acquit a husband of the rape of his wife – can ‘overlook’ things? Or not realise things?

Heydon is resisting calls for his resignation on the grounds he was not aware the Garfield Barwick address, was a Liberal fundraiser – despite the emails and despite Barwick being a Liberal legend for his 1975 role in advising Kerr in Whitlam’s dismissal.

Is he foxing? Surely Heydon must recuse himself. The damage is done. Yet the former Howard appointee to the High Court is acting like a politician, denying, pleading ignorance, making excuses, ‘ so many speaking invitations,’ denying, demurring and prevaricating.

The top silk is dancing in step almost with Bronwyn, the dance of the umpteen veils of departure until the booing is loud enough for the PM to haul him off. Yet you can understand his reluctance.
The performance was going so well. Abbott’s show trial into Gillard and Shorten and the criminals, thugs and bikie gangs that run the union movement was providing more than just dark comedy, light relief and welcome theatricality; it offered rich pickings for press and pollie alike, providing a flailing coalition with enough mud to sling at Bill to fill a coal mine.

…becoming an unreliable witness…

Heydon himself had got into the swing of his extended season, following up his mind-reading of Julia Gillard whose ‘demeanour’ he judged to contain ‘an element of acting’ by striking another blow at impartiality with his gibe at Shorten who was in danger, he said, of ‘becoming an unreliable witness.’ Bugger protocol. Heydon sets his own rules.

Senator Conroy reminded the senate, Heydon’s Royal Commission departs from precedent. It accepts hearsay but refuses objections and cross-examinations. Double standards for different witnesses appear depending which side of the pay desk they are on.

Detailed media briefings are provided to reporters minutes ahead of witnesses who may read the charges against them for the first time when they enter the box.

The PM tried hard and loud to defend his pocket colossus in parliament. Heydon, AC QC, Abbott repeatedly hectored MPs, the QC AC sounding faintly like some band, is a Justinian of Australian jurisprudence, Sydney Solon, a certainty to pick up a knighthood for services rendered.

Not only is this paragon ‘absolutely beyond reproach’ it is a criminal act to attack a serving Royal Commissioner, the PM bellowed getting up a riff: Labor must stop running a protection racket on a protection racket, stop smearing a former High Court judge.’

Abbott doth protest too much. Hoist with his own petard, his explosive Royal Commission device has spectacularly backfired disabling his mate Dyso and himself, leaving Shorten smirking.

‘chaotic as a Tupperware cupboard’

His crew in mutiny if not open revolt, his vow to beat Shorten looking increasingly like all his other broken promises, his government ‘chaotic as a Tupperware cupboard’ and utterly without an agenda, Captain Abbott appears to be up shit creek without a paddle.

All the military adventures and other diversions he can wangle, all the QCs he can commission cannot put him back together again. Not as leader, anyway. A leader would have given Heydon the heave-ho long ago. Or not appointed him in the first place.

Andrew Welder Blogspot: politically homeless …

A Disconnect between Policy and Practice: Defence Transparency in Australia

BuzzFeed: Australia’s Politicians Appear To Be Wasting Millions Booking Crazy Expensive Airfares

George Smiley Blogspot: The Entirely Unexpected Crumbling of the Ponzi Empire …

SMH: Union old boys rule Labor’s club leaving Liberals with quality candidates

Peter Martin, The Age: National Reform Summit: We are ‘sleepwalking into a real mess’, says ex-Treasury boss Martin Parkinson Australia is facing the equivalent of a recession in the next decade as incomes grow at only a fraction of the officially forecast pace, the National Reform Summit has been told. The past head of the Treasury, Martin Parkinson, told the Sydney summit that unless Australia acted quickly, it would sacrifice as much as 5 per cent of the economy in the next ten years, the equivalent of a recession.

ABC: Federal Cabinet members say Joe Hockey’s republic issue shows ‘lack of judgement’

The Drum ABC: Battlers and plutocrats: How political connections reward Australia’s super-rich Research reveals a huge proportion of Australia’s richest people amass their wealth via political connections rather than via innovative businesses – which is helping them at the expense of everyone else, write Paul Frijters and Gigi Foster.

Jacqui Lambie: I have come to the decision I can conditionally support the legislation … I have since changed my position. In recent months I have undergone intensive consultation with key stakeholders and community members affected by this legislation and I have come to the decision I can conditionally support the legislation. I have also written letters to the Royal Commissioner of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, John Heydon. In response, Commissioner Heydon todate has refused to share with the Senators all the reports and information on criminal activities and corruption in Australian politics that he has received and/or drafted. I believe these secret reports hold information vital for making an informed decision on the aforementioned legislation. The Premiers of Australia do not have the privilege to vote in the Senate, yet they have been provided the opportunity to access these secret reports. My three conditions are …

• Brian P. Khan in Comments: The Federal Executive should intervene in the Tasmanian Branch as since the passing of Jim Bacon they are inept .Tasmania deserves better and the loss of Lisa Singh will only compound the problem. State parliamentarians of the quality Rebecca White and Scott Bacon are being let down by the selection process. Can you imagine the Liberal advertising Bill Shorten the assassin from “The One Dagger Club ” wants your vote after initiating the demise of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard .We took action and cost Bronwyn Bishop the Speakership for rorting travel expenses

news.com.au: Dyson Heydon to reveal if he will step down from Trade Union Royal Commission next week

SATURDAY, August 29 …

The Saturday Paper: Abbott and the Christian Right. As Australia becomes less religious, churches have insinuated themselves into politics and gained particular control over Tony Abbott. troducing himself to the Liberal Party’s West Australian state council meeting a week ago, the newly endorsed candidate for the Canning byelection, Andrew Hastie, recalled one particularly happy memory of his childhood. “I was born in regional Victoria in a town called Wangaratta,” he said. “My father started a church there from scratch and I travelled with him in the early years around the vast parish… I have sweet memories of those times.” A little later in his speech, he identified himself as a regular churchgoer and spoke about the work he and his wife do with their church group. There’s nothing wrong with any of that, of course. But ask yourself this: how many job applicants in Australia would feel the need to stress their piety in the interview?

The Saturday Paper: Nauru’s systemic dysfunction With a new tender imminent for Nauru’s detention centre operations, and a senate inquiry report still due, stories continue to emerge of mismanagement, dysfunction and extra-judicial governance.

SUNDAY, August 30 …

SMH: Peter Greste and Al-Jazeera colleagues sentenced to three years jail by Egyptian court

SMH: Bart Cummings dead at 87: The King of the Melbourne Cup

The Age: Syria strikes: Top expert questions Tony Abbott’s motivation for air strikes in Syria

The Age: Green scare: Labor and Liberals forced to rethink strategies in Victoria

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Chris

    August 29, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Suggested on Insiders that Jeremy Stoljar QC. of TURC knew of omissions of evidence supplied to the Lawyers challenging Heydon and if Abbott is silly enough to replace Heydon with this QC then he may be seen to be more stupid than anyone knows, who else would be on board while the boy stands on the burning deck?

  2. phill Parsons

    August 29, 2015 at 11:56 am

    The strange world of Abbott is also our world.

    When the Tony government tried to make Reclaim Australia an official organization checking visa’s on Melbourne street social media rallied people and the Border Force [a TV show] crumpled dragging down the Victorian Police who were also involved.

    Tony may have to wait until the next national election for the voters judgement but the Canning By-Election will offer a measure. Interestingly Abbott’s appearance at the start of the campaign has been limited by his commitments to Australia’s first people which you can judge from the TV reports.

    No doubt other commitments will limit him as the 19th of September nears. That will be when we discover if the Theatre will continue or the Liberals will realise they have an albatross around their neck and are swimming up the proverbial outfall in 1950’s dream time.

    Perhaps this is Australia now, the land of the fair go dying with the aging of the generation that supposedly believed in it.

  3. John Biggs

    August 26, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    #9 Encore!

  4. Chris

    August 26, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Where is his CV everyone in Canning is asking, who is his leader,
    I am the very model of a modern Captain venereal,
    I’ve information general and eat my breakfast cereal,
    I make the knights of England and make the dook an imperial,
    From Cape York to Canning in order to appear really all,
    I’m very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical,
    I teach indigenous equations, both simple and hypocritical,
    About english when I’m teeming with a lot views,
    With many cheerful facts about the Hippoto muse
    I’m very good at the Mendacious and telling little porkies,
    I can tell them up here while the natives use their snorkies,
    I know the ways of soldiers in my immediate vicinity,
    In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
    I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

    I know our mythic history Menzies and Howard the monger
    I answer not to critics of my Head of Department sponger
    I’ve a pretty taste for Beer for free across a counter,
    And onions which I eat or chew in company with a bounder
    I quote in full and embellish all the crimes of Isil cult
    In parliament I can rave rave and shout like Andrew Bolt,
    I can tell undoubted lies and frolic in area of profanities
    I know the croaking chorus from Murdock printed messages
    I illuminate myself like some dark internal passages, (wisdom)
    And whistle all the airs from that tune I made of Heydon
    And hope to god the Exclusive Brethren are still in tandom,
    Then I can write a printing bill in invoices from Mantech
    And tell you truthfully that it was internal or infernal wreck
    In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
    I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

    In fact, when I know what is meant by I came a lot,
    And arrange the reception of those refugees or not
    When I can tell at sight a Jet from a tank or gunna lot
    When such affairs as sorts and surprises I’m more wary at,
    And when I know precisely what is meant by commissariat
    When I have learnt what progress has been made in cunnery
    When I know more of tactics than a novice in a monastery
    In short, when I’ve a huge smattering of elemental bastradry
    Has only been recorded as the worst in this century;
    But still, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
    I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

  5. Brian P.Khan

    August 26, 2015 at 4:35 pm


    It would appear the lefties who had been so outspoken at the A.L.P state conference have put the tin helmets on and gone back into the bunker.

    Peter Reith Sydney Morning Herald was only stating fact as did Martin Fergusson on Four Corners Labor sends on numerous occasions the dregs to the Senate rather than quality candidates.
    Shorten it appears to not have the ability of Sir William McKell former Premier and later Governor General who went out across New South Wales and attracted quality candidates.
    The Federal Executive should intervene in the Tasmanian Branch as since the passing of Jim Bacon they are inept .Tasmania deserves better and the loss of Lisa Singh will only compound the problem.
    State parliamentarians of the quality Rebecca White and Scott Bacon are being let down by the selection process .
    Can you imagine the Liberal advertising Bill Shorten the assassin from “The One Dagger Club ” wants your vote after initiating the demise of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard .We took action and cost Bronwyn Bishop the Speakership for rorting travel expenses. Labor rewarded Helen Polley and gave her number 2 on the 2016 Senate ticket.
    Just as well they do not hold election rallies in the City Hall in Hobart or Launceston’s Albert Hall any more ” imagine the irate audience re -action .

  6. Basil Fitch

    August 25, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Latest update from Morgan Poll:-
    ALP: 54.5% L-NP: 45.5%

    “In mid-August L-NP support has jumped to 45.5% (up 2.5%) cf. ALP 54.5% (down 2.5%) following extensive union attacks on the credibility of Trade Union Royal Commission head Justice Dyson Heydon and following key Government announcements on policies involving climate change and same-sex marriage. However, if a Federal Election were held now the ALP would still win easily.

    Primary support for the L-NP has increased to 38.5% (up 2%) while ALP support is down 1% to 36%. Support for the Greens has fallen to 14% (down 1.5%), Palmer United Party 1.5% (up 0.5%), Katter’s Australian Party 1.5% (unchanged), while Independents/ Others were 8.5% (unchanged).

    This week’s Morgan Poll on Federal voting intention was conducted over the last two weekends, August 15/16 & 22/23, 2015, with an Australia-wide cross-section of 3,174 Australian electors.

    Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating

    Analysis by Gender shows a majority of both genders supporting the ALP. Women: ALP 55% (down 5.5%) cf. L-NP 45% (up 5.5%); Men: ALP 53.5% (unchanged) cf. L-NP 46.5% (unchanged).

    Analysis by Age group

    Analysis by Age group shows the ALP still with its strongest advantage among younger Australians. 18-24yr olds heavily favour the ALP 67% cf. L-NP 33%; 25-34yr olds also heavily favour the ALP 65.5% cf. L-NP 34.5%; 35-49yr olds favour the ALP 57% cf. L-NP 43% while 50-64yr olds narrowly favour the ALP 51% cf. L-NP 49% and those aged 65+ easily favour the L-NP 59% cf. ALP 41%.

    Analysis by States

    The ALP now has a two-party preferred lead in 5 Australian States. Victoria: ALP 57.5% cf. L-NP 42.5%, Western Australia: ALP 57.5% cf. L-NP 42.5%, Queensland: ALP 55.5% cf. LNP 44.5%, Tasmania: ALP 55% cf. L-NP 45%, South Australia: ALP 54.5% cf. L-NP 45.5%, while New South Wales is the only State which favours the L-NP 51.5% cf. ALP 48.5%.

    The Morgan Poll surveys a larger sample (including people who only use a mobile phone) than any other public opinion poll. The Morgan Poll asks Minor Party supporters which way they will vote their preferences. *News Corp’s poll does not measure or reference the PUP vote!

    The Morgan Poll allocated preferences based on how people say they will vote – allocating preferences by how electors voted at the last Federal Election, as used by News Corp’s poll* shows the ALP (53.5%) cf. L-NP (46.5%) – for trends see the Morgan Poll historic data table.” Basil

  7. Brian P.Khan

    August 24, 2015 at 8:57 pm


    Re. Peter Reith,s article Sydney Morning Herald 25/8 and his comments on Q and A 24/8 The gauntlet has been laid down to Bill Shorten either he acts like Gough Whitlam and Lance Barnard when they took on the Victorian ALP with Federal Executive intervention over Messrs Crawford and Hartley.
    Adam Clarke stated on Sunday at ALP conference that Shorten was wrong over boat turn backs he is echoing the policy of Greens Senator Hanson Young.
    Federal Executive should intervene and recast Senate ticket Lisa Singh number 1 convince former attorney general Brian Whiteman to stand recast him to nuumber 2.Senator Urqhuart number 3.drop Senator Polley to number 4 for her waste of taxpayers money on intrastate air fares and proven bullying tactics to staff members , failure to do so will prove Peter Reith correct and Bill Shorten a weak leader.
    Blind Freddy can see how poorly Labor is represented in Northern Tasmania with one federal and one state politician .I can recall when there was Lance Barnard Deputy Prime Minister , Justin O,Byrne President of the Senate ,Senator Lamp and Gill Duthie for Wilmot now the electorate of Lyons all in the federal parliament.

  8. john hayward

    August 23, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    I, for one, am delighted to have Dyson on stage at the moment.

    In the absence of Bryan Dawe’s Murray Rivers QC, or Col Blimp, there’s no one who conveys patrician arrogance quite like Dyse. His contention that his black-letter judicial approach represents the ultimate in objectivity ranks with the lordly conviction of Tony and John Howard that climate change is crap.

    This is not to say that Dyse scorns intuition. He did, after all, find Julia’s Commission defence inculpatory for the very fact that it seemed convincingly exculpatory.

    John Hayward

  9. John Biggs

    August 23, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    It is deliciously ironic that Heydon was called to speak at Barwick’s adulation fest. Barwick was caught out tax dodging on a massive scale and even worse sitting as a judge into the dodgy affairs of one of his own companies. Gareth Evans caught him out but Fraser and his Liberal government would not proceed with a prosecution on the grounds that exposing a High Court judge as a criminal would undermine the system itself. Then, when Evans himself became AG, he refused to proceed with his very own evidence on the same grounds. The system had to be justified (see Lissa Johnson’s article above).

    Now we have Abbott making the same claim: a former High Court judge is beyond reproach. Where this ends ultimately is that whatever decision a government makes it too is beyond reproach. Enter fascism.

  10. Chris

    August 23, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Who was in command of the speedy hasty unit, who issued the orders were they written down, were they transported by helicopter, did they come from Canberra or their allies the CIA?
    What was the chain of command?????

  11. Pete Godfrey

    August 23, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Now that Poor Bronnie has little to do, she would make a perfect replacement for Dyson.
    There would be no need to worry that she would show any form of impartiality.
    I cant wait for Labor to get in, and for them to run a royal commission into the Liberal party.
    There is so much to investigate it could take years but Oh what a show it would be.

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