Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

NATION: Turnbull government loses the plot in its worst week ever …

*Pic: of Barnaby Joyce visiting Apple and Pear Australia … Labor has told the Libs it will not grant the Libs a pair when PM Turnbull is out of the country …

First published August 21

“Is ‘e an Aussie, Lizzie, is ‘e? Is ‘e an Aussie, Lizzie, eh?”, a catchy 1930s hit, could be the theme song of the entire 45th Parliament this week as three more MPs are exposed as dodgy double-dipping dual nationals under their Akubras, their RM Williams and their Drizabones. It’s like a masked ball. No-one is who they seem.

Barnaby Joyce, Fiona Nash and Nick Xenophon are all, in quick succession, revealed to hold dual citizenship.

It’s a shocking predicament. A government so over-invested on prizing citizenship, a government which has even added tough language tests and waiting periods in order to “accept the right people” as soon-to-be-Super Minister Peter Dutton puts it, a government which fetishises the “priceless gift of citizenship” (akin to Tony Abbott’s “precious gift of virginity”) may be utterly undone by alien MPs who appear lax; blasé, even, over their own nationality.

Of course it’s all Labor’s fault, at least in the case of our iconic Deputy PM, bow-yang Barnaby, as Aussie as a dog on a tucker-box, last glimpsed succumbing to the spell of the water naiads of the Murray Darling Basin.

Barnaby goes to water. Panic grips the entire frontbench. Pyne is petrified. What if the truth about Fiona Nash leaks? A fool-proof diversion is called for. A red kiwi conspiracy? Brilliant!

Turning crisis into catastrophe, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, the Turnbull government sheds any last vestige of credibility with a Kiwis-under-the-bed witch hunt.

Labor is colluding with “a foreign power” to out Barnaby Joyce as a New Zealander. It’s a stroke of genius.

Julie Bishop denounces Wellington … the Pyongyang of the South Pacific

Our Foreign Minister channels her inner Trump. Bugger diplomacy: a stunt is much more fun. Reason flies out the window. Julie Bishop denounces Wellington, now the Pyongyang of the South Pacific. Howls down the Pig Islanders. She feigns paranoid madness in a cunning ploy to divert everyone from the Barnaby Joyce disaster.

Clearly there’s a conspiracy between the Bolshevik parties on both sides of the Tasman, she implies. Demon Bill Shorten’s “sneakiness, dishonesty and disloyalty” pipes up her PM, adding his own ostinato to the Kill Bill theme, make him the cause of every self-inflicted government catastrophe, ever. Heads nod. Sinodinos applauds.

“The Australian people elected the government,” Turnbull tells Coalition MPs on Tuesday. Applause. “Bill Shorten wants to steal government by entering into a conspiracy with a foreign power.” How low can he go?

Adding a clever bit of cold war era top spin, the PM claims ALP fifth columnists are “conspiring with the NZ Labour Party to undermine the position of the deputy prime minister and the government of Australia.”

Really? So the proper, patriotic thing to do would have been to collude to cover up Barnaby’s Kiwi paternity? It’s unclear how checking the facts could “undermine” the government unless it wanted to hide its illegitimacy.

The charge is as dishonest as it is absurd. How could Joyce’s “position” which stems from his own false declaration of nationality be further undermined? Could he be more compromised? Inquiries, moreover, were not made by Labor but by a reporter working for The Australian. Fairfax journalist Adam Gartrell was also asking questions.

Yet for Bishop, a class act, who shows no signs of snubbing mass-murderer Duterte, payback doesn’t stop there.

… aiming to make a full-blown diplomatic incident out of her government’s desperately lame strategy

“I would find it very difficult to build trust with members of a political party that had been used by the Australian Labor Party to seek to undermine the Australian government,” Bishop sniffs Tuesday, upping the ante; clearly aiming to make a full-blown diplomatic incident out of her government’s desperately lame strategy.

“Forget the trans-Tasman friendship in 2017 – Australia is basically a bully,” says Jesse Mulligan, host of New Zealand’s The Project.

“Julie Bishop – when you say you’ll find it hard to work with New Zealand, what exactly do you mean? How much worse could it possibly get?”

Bishop has touched a raw nerve with New Zealanders who view the relationship as one-sided and who find it difficult to overlook evidence that access to citizenship and social security entitlements for Australians in New Zealand are not reciprocated in the treatment of Kiwis in Australia – before anyone brings up the summary deportation via Christmas Island of Kiwis in Australia whom Peter Dutton doesn’t like the look of.

Trans-Tasman relations aside, for Laura Tingle, of The Australian Financial Review Bishop descends into a “whirlpool of hysteria and conspiracy theories that would do Donald Trump proud”. It’s disturbing.

Yet Bishop’s done the government a favour. Her stunt is more than enough to dispel any delusion that she might, somehow, be a “safe pair of hands’ or a potential replacement for a dead man walking at the head of a mortally wounded government, Malcolm Turnbull. Even the smitten Peter Hartcher says she’s “over-cooked” her bid.

Deputy PM Barnaby “Bow-yang” Joyce outs himself in the House of Reps. He has to. Labor asks a leading question. Media hacks are shocked. Not Ocker Barnaby, our best retail politician? A Kiwi dual national who has, for years, been impersonating a true blue, bush Aussie? No half measures either. Hands down, he’s got the part off pat.

Just listen to him some time. The Barnaby garble is New England’s – New Zealand’s answer to Bob Katter’s rant.

… a mob of MPs rushes to point the finger and snigger

Baa-narby. Stop bleating about your Tamworth mother and grandmother, Baa-narby. You’re busted. On cue, a mob of MPs rushes to point the finger and snigger. Baa-Baa-arnby sheep noises erupt from Labor benches.

Yet things are so crook in the 45th parliament that even a ribbing is risky. Never know who’ll be next.

“Things are looking baaaaaaaa-d for Barnaby Joyce” tweets a snickering Nick Xenophon in RM Williams boot in mouth Schadenfreude of the week “that’s why an independent audit of all MPs citizenship urgently needed.”

Xenophon is visibly dismayed to learn he is a UK citizen and while he goes to some length to point out it’s through his father and a very rare blink-and-you’d-miss-it type of citizenship, his special pleading sits oddly with his decision not to resign.

He refers himself to a High Court which may not make a decision until October, a High Court which staffed by conservative black-letter judges which Turnbull oddly seems to believe will suddenly become progressives to suit his government. Joyce, similarly, seems unable to countenance anything but a favourable High Court decision.

Barnaby Joyce’s father, James Joyce – no less, hails from Dunedin, Edinburgh of New Zealand’s South, technically making his son a dour Kiwi by descent, a fact Joyce could easily have checked for himself but didn’t. It’s odd that he was never even curious. The complacency and the sense of entitlement is all his own – and his undoing.

Yet Joyce’s not the only 45th Parliamentarian whose inner voice told him not to bother. Fiona Nash can’t even bring herself to confess until the last-minute before the Senate rises. Three Nats out of a total of 20 is a lot.

Is it chutzpah? Arrogance? Agrarian socialists never read the fine print? Something tells him he’s above all that?

Joyce receives a box of finest kiwi-fruit from gal-pal, puppy-lover, Amber Heard who tweets

‘When Barnaby Joyce said ‘no one is above the law’ I didn’t realise he meant New Zealand law.’

… the $13 billion Murray Darling Basin plan, a boondoggle …

Yet Joyce won’t stand down. That’s something for others – such as his hated Greens to do. Listen to them moaning about how billions of litres of Murray-Darling water is rorted by big cotton irrigators and other National Party pals in direct contravention of the $13 billion Murray Darling Basin plan, a boondoggle which means that water paid for by taxpayers to protect the river ecosystem is, instead, subsidising local billion-dollar agricultural firms.

The notion of a Kiwi fifth column is no more absurd than the idea of leaving Barnaby Joyce in charge next week when the PM attends the Pacific Islands forum in Samoa, 4-7 September a nation with a history of resistance to European rule. Labor says leaving Joyce in charge is untenable and that it will not grant a pair for Turnbull.

But it’s about more than Barnaby. Into its regular, heady mix of state sponsored intolerance and paranoia, the government blends a swift Kiwi-kicking, a bagging of our ANZAC partners and post-colonial cousins-the soul mates we love to hate.

It’s a ritual attack, born of a complex mutual self-loathing, the cultural-cringing, sibling rivalry of two small nations upside down at the bottom of the world whose complex history is inextricably interwoven.

“Is ‘e an Aussie, Lizzie, is ‘e? Is ‘e an Aussie, Lizzie, eh?

Not only are we close, we may all now be Kiwi-aliens. According to the letter of section 44 of the Australian Constitution, no Australian is entitled to sit in Australian Parliament, given recent changes in New Zealand law.

As Sydney barrister Robert Angyal reminds us, Section 44 (i) of the constitution bars anyone “under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power” from serving in federal parliament.

“Under recent and little-noticed changes to New Zealand law, however, Australian citizens now don’t need a visa to live, study or work in NZ. Any Australian citizen is entitled to live, study and work there,” he says. All are thereby entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power.

“New Zealand law has made every Australian citizen incapable of being elected to, or serving in, the Australian Parliament. It’s not just Barnaby Joyce: It’s everyone,” he adds.

… an extraordinary prompting from the PM in parliament

Doubtless this is something for The High Court to take into consideration. Lighten things up a bit. Certainly it will have to screen out the comments made by the Prime Minister that “it will find” that Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash can remain in parliament, an extraordinary prompting from the PM in parliament. Even if he is merely reflecting the Solicitor General’s view, it appears as if he is directing the judges to a favourable outcome.

The government redoubles its efforts to keep us in a state of perpetual hysteria; alert but not alarmed. There’s always pressing national security news on hand to divert us; feed our anxiety. By Sunday, the PM is talking up bollards and other anti-terror attack preparations while praising police for arresting three men who are currently in custody over an alleged arson attack on an Islamic Centre a year ago. Cutting edge anti-terror stuff.

It’s one of the weekly terror announceables which Laura Tingle recently warned us the government has put by.

Turnbull’s backing group is a nod squad of heavily-braided, shoulder-patched anti-terror cops, a riot of silver frogging and rank insignia all over the collars and the epaulettes of their black shirts and braid on the peaks of their caps. They are on hand to add laconic gravitas. Praise policing. They also update us on their bust.

One speaks of “male individuals” with that agonisingly indirect death-in-life depersonalisation so beloved by authorities, together with an arch coyness that is practically an anti-terror weapon in itself.

Not that the names are secret. Ever helpful, Murdoch’s Herald Sun published them in a law and order piece last year complete with illustrations of the Fawkner mosque which bears graffiti reading The Islamic State.

The definite article is troubling. Islamic State would look more less like a fit-up.

Everything is not what it seems, another cop not beating things up, tells us earnestly. “This is a really complex investigation.” “These are not just arson attacks – what we are going to allege is that these were Islamic State inspired arson attacks.” “… Designed to put fear into a particular group in the community.”

“It interferes with the whole process of social cohesion that we so heavily promote,” he adds, straight-faced.”

… it’s cynical manipulation of our fear of the other …

In reality, the Coalition continues to divide the body politic with its war on terror, its rabid nationalism and its cynical manipulation of our fear of the other. Elevating citizenship into a “cherished prize” also stokes division.

By week’s end “all bets are off” in “light of the deputy prime minister’s citizenship situation” declares a shattered Bob Katter. He will no longer guarantee Coalition support on supply and confidence. He’s offended, above all, by Turnbull’s failure to even adequately consult with him, as promised, let alone meet Katter’s needs.

“I wanted and need certain things. I wasn’t delivered certain things,” he says. By this, presumably, a cryptic Katter means The Hell’s Gate Dam on the Upper Burdekin river, Indigenous land title, and the Galilee rail project. He also wins Golden Litotes for incisive political understatement of the week when he says of the PM,

“This is not a decision-maker who has a lot of political acumen.”

Failing to deliver justice also is a government which clearly expects other dual nationals to step aside or resign while its own MPs may stay on while their cases are referred to the High Court. Turnbull’s own crowing over the “remarkable” failure of The Greens’ Scott Ludlum to check his dual citizenship hasn’t helped.

The hypocrisy and injustice of preferential treatment rankles crossbenchers.

An outraged Katter protests to Paul Bongiorno at “two sets of rules at work here: one for Matt Canavan, a less senior minister in the Nationals, and one for the number two in the Coalition government, Joyce.”

“I am quite frustrated with the Prime Minister” for retaining in cabinet Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Regional Development Minister Fiona Nash, adds Rebekah Sharkie.

Now Turnbull’s government risks losing its majority. Nick Xenophon Team MP, Rebekah Sharkie, MP for Mayo, also withdraws her support for the government, saying the PM needs to stand aside two of his team while The High Court deliberates on the eligibility of dual citizens Fiona Nash and Barnaby Joyce to be in parliament.

… can it stumble along all the way to October?

While by Sunday, nifty Nick the crypto-Liberal appears to tone down Sharkie’s threat, the Coalition’s majority is still uncertain. Even if it retains its dual citizens, can it stumble along all the way to October?

The path to this impasse reveals a government whose ineptitude is surpassed only by its gift for self-sabotage.

Along with its bungling of who should stay and who should stand down, must go its mismanagement of dual-Scot, Fiona-food-label Nash who is permitted to deploy delaying tactics which only further damages the government.

“As Senator Nash admitted, she has known since Monday that she was a dual citizen, yet waited until one minute before the Senate rose for a two-week break to inform the Parliament,” protests Labor Senator Katy Gallagher .

Labor is not bluffed. “We’ve never had a government before, ever since Federation, that has had to go to the High Court because they just weren’t sure if they had a majority,” says Tony Burke, in the best zinger of the week.

It’s a line which highlights how the reality of the government’s one seat majority dictates its special treatment of Joyce.

Not to be upstaged, professional attention-seeker, Pauline Hanson stages her own bizarre performance theatre by wearing a burqa to the Senate, an act which earns her a powerful serve from Senate Leader AG George Brandis but which achieves her attention-seeking, anti-Muslim dog-whistling objective.

Brandis is open to criticism with his solely pragmatic concern that Hanson may alienate the Muslim community a first line of defence – “vital to law enforcement agencies”, although he does protest at her intent saying “to ridicule that community, to drive it into a corner, to mock its religious garments, is an appalling thing to do.”

Typically, Hanson dresses up her stunt in ways which further discredit her motives. “They’re spending $16m to put in more security because they’re worried about terrorism,” she smirks, ever eager to conflate burqa and terror.

… her clear intention to use the burqa as a cheap stunt …

Yet this is a misrepresentation. There was no security slip. She wears her senate pin. Hanson’s identity is checked by officials; she is granted access to her Senate seat because of who she is not what she was wearing. Whether or not she should have been permitted to take her seat given her clear intention to use the burqa as a cheap stunt is another matter. The same indulgence is not granted to other members who seek to bring in props.

Hanson’s not concerned with security, moreover, despite being happy to imply that Muslims are women-oppressing potential terrorists, a line not too far from some of Peter Dutton’s own remarks. Nor is she prompted to protest at any perceived subjugation of women by the garment. Rather, she is content to promote her own brand of toxic, mindless bigotry in the knowledge that any media attention at all can only help her publicity.

Never shy of publicity and not to be outbid by the crazy desperation manifest elsewhere in his government, Treasurer Scott Morrison makes his own magnificent contribution or debit entry, as Greg Jericho notes, by beginning the week accusing Labor of raising taxes and ending it with a bill to raise taxes.

Monday’s News Corp papers all obligingly relay his scaremongering that Labor’s taxes would cost the economy $167 billion based on Parliamentary Budget Office modelling, or so it seems, until Monday lunchtime.

“References in the media this morning to modelling being released today by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) are incorrect. The analysis reported in the media this morning was not conducted by the PBO”, ” the PBO’s Jenny Wilkinson says in a rare slapdown of the Treasurer.

As Chris Bowen notes ScoMo’s modelling fails to take into account Labor plans to cut income taxes for low and middle-income earners. Instead it is the quick and dirty scare campaign figuring favoured by Morrison in election mode. Could his attack of madness be taken as a sign an early election is being prepared?

Whatever his motive, the Treasurer ignores the electorate’s interest in reducing income inequality in Australia. Morrison remains fixated on the same shonky formulaic debt and deficit nonsense of the Abbott years.

Team Turnbull members may well now rue their Schadenfreude, their jeering and sanctimonious hypocrisy at the time yet The Greens did resign on discovering their dual citizenship. Set a benchmark. As the week concludes, the Coalition has succeeded only in conveying its desperation, its poor judgement and lack of moral compass.

Even should the High Court, somehow, decide to permit Joyce to remain, saving the Coalition its wafer-thin majority the verdict may not be known until October and in the meantime it has done itself irreparable harm both to its legitimacy and to its credibility.

And just how long can a nation can be distracted with national security announceables on bollard placement and breathless details of new charges being laid on last year’s arsonists?

*David Tyler (AKA Urban Wronski) was born in England, raised in New Zealand and an Australian resident since 1979. Urban Wronski grew up conflicted about his own national identity and continues to be deeply mistrustful of all nationalism, chauvinism, flags, politicians and everything else which divides and obscures our common humanity. He has always been enchanted by nature and by the extraordinary brilliance of ordinary men and women and the genius, the power and the poetry that is their vernacular. Wronski is now a fulltime freelance writer who lives with his partner and editor Shay and their chooks, near the Grampians in rural Victoria and he counts himself the luckiest man alive. A former teacher of all ages and stages, from Tertiary to Primary, for nearly forty years, he enjoyed contesting the corporatisation of schooling to follow his own natural instinct for undifferentiated affection, approval and compassion for the young.

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Tony Stone

    August 22, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    #25, Once you read section 44, which I have, like all good citizens you need to know our constitution. Along with the paraphernalia they give those who decide to run for federal parliament, it states the requirements and eligibility. Leaving no doubt what is required to serve in federal parliament.

    A responsible, caring person running for parliament, would make themselves acquainted with the entire constitution they intend to uphold and live by, in adjudicating change and reform within Australian society.

    Nothing less than that, shows they are only in it for themselves and not the people or their constitution. The old adage, ignorance is no excuse in law, should be upheld fully.

    Those constitutional requirements, are clearly laid out for prospective political applicants. It has been stated by a number of politicians, that they made sure they have no perceived allegiances by default or otherwise, even when they thought they didn’t.

    So it’s incumbent on all applicants to make sure they are constitutionally eligible and that includes them technically being entitled to foreign citizenship, or any other designated conflicts of interest, as laid out in the Aus constitution.

    Trying to make out those in this predicament aren’t responsible, is just another example of the depth of irresponsibility displayed by those who claim to represent the Aus people and only represent themselves and their vested interests.

    It’s a simple matter to address, just have a referendum to change it, so anyone with outside allegiances, from anywhere can run for parliament.

    But they won’t do that, because they would lose by a huge majority. So they will take it to the high court, in the hope their hired cronies will interpret the constitution to their advantage.

    That’s why Turnbull, has claimed the high court will support the illegitimacy of these useless political hacks. Which to me is trying to influence the courts, which is illegal.

    The outcome of this if it goes the way of the politicians against the express wording of our constitution, may bring an outcome the politicians and their blind supporters, won’t like from the people.

  2. Steve

    August 22, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    #24; Why is it corrupt for someone to not realise that, because one of their parents were born in another country, they technically have dual citizenship, even though they themselves were born in Australia and have lived all their lives here?
    I would suggest the fault lies with the AEC for not correctly scrutinising candidates as it’s apparent that this isn’t a simple black and white issue. It depends on what the current laws are in different countries.

  3. Tony Stone

    August 22, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Nothing unusual about the number of incumbents in breach of the constitution, just another example of how corrupt our political system is.

    I may come from what could be considered the bogan working class, but have yet to talk to anyone who thinks any of these politicians should remain in parliament.

    Most say they should all be thrown out and made to repay all the money, allowances and perks they have received and all their decisions reversed.

    Why is anyone supporting those that have failed our constitution, it’s irrelevant as to whether anyone thinks this section shouldn’t exist it does and that makes it the law of the land. No matter what the politicians and their elitist supporters illusionary claims are.

    What other sections of our constitution and laws surrounding election of representatives, procedure, bribery and coercion, are the politicians and corporate world in breach of.

    The entire system is corrupt, we now have lots of politicians having failed to report they are getting free pay TV from foxtel and scrambling to declare their deception.

    If that’s not a form of solicitation and bribery, what is. Especially as the pay and free tv situation is coming before parliament now.

    What odds would you put on foxtel, Murdoch, Packer and news limited, walking away with virtually the entire media ownership in Aus by the end of the year.

    Wouldn’t bet against that happening, unless you want to lose your shirt. As it is the people will lose content variety and probably all free to air sport. Not a bad payback for them from their compromised vested interest politicians, from all parties and independents.

  4. Robin Charles Halton

    August 22, 2017 at 3:03 am

    #18, Fair enough John, Shorten is not your mate and after last night with Q&A Tony Jones who kept him on his toes all night, I did not see a moment where Shorten impressed the audience for looking up to their alternative PM.

    Its a terrible state of affairs, A PM with a clutch of divided Liberals that has lead to the loss of an inexpensive remedy giving the entire Parliament a simple vote on SSM and now the ridiculous constitutional crisis now blinding the government’s ability to get on with the real business of running the country along with a point scoring ankle biting Opposition leader prepared to go to any lengths to bring down the government!

    OK we will leave it to the High Court to decide but there could be many more than 7 cases of unclear dual citizenship tested especially as some have refused to participate by providing the paper work leaving doubt!

  5. Lynne Newington

    August 22, 2017 at 12:18 am

    21. “If somebody said I was a Bastard, do I have to produce my birth certificate to prove otherwise?
    MT’s parents were not married when he was born and he has not changed since.”

    It’s a wise child who knows their father…..and believe me only a mother knows.

    I recall a Labour GG who abandoned his son so let go of the Bastard element in whatever context.

  6. Chris

    August 21, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Tony Jones interruptus , kinda shows if you are getting to the point Bill I will ask inane questions to disrupt your chain of thought.
    I wonder why he only does it with non “liberal” guests?
    If somebody said I was a Bastard, do I have to produce my birth certificate to prove otherwise?
    MT’s parents were not married when he was born and he has not changed since.
    Lets start a LNP/IPA allegation and direct it via a sympathetic journalist, who despite Pauline’s policy of ABC salary disclosure does not do what he wants bill to do…disclose,. whose next?

  7. Tim Thorne

    August 21, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    An “intact” Parliament preferable to one that is constituted according to the Constitution, Robin (#17)?

    In that case, why bother with a Constitution at all? The law is the law, and the Constitution is the bedrock of our law. If a government acts unconstitutionally, should we ignore the breach? If so, should we be selective in what we ignore, according to our party political stance?

    That way lies the end of democracy, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that is, in fact, the real aim of the far right, who are still pulling Turnbull’s puppet strings.

  8. Steve

    August 21, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    It’s definitely a monumental stuff up and realistically, the Government has no-one to blame but themselves. Perhaps they should have inspected their own glass houses before they started throwing stones?
    A mature approach would have been to ask the Greens involved to stand aside, whilst the question was referred to the High Court. There was no evidence of deliberate perfidy and to use the situation for political point scoring was monumentally stupid.
    In the long run, a more magnanimous approach would have paid dividends, even if the other cases hadn’t come to light. A Government that immediately seizes any opportunity to score cheap shots is only displaying it’s own insecurity.

  9. John Biggs

    August 21, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    #15 BS not quite my Labor mate but if the choice is between neolib-lite and neolib hard, Iid go for lite. Actually I thought Shorten didn’t do too well on Q&A.Yes, he dodged the question on producing documentation unlike Obama and he was dreadful on asylum seekers. My general feeling was that while he said some good things on inequality he dodged several questions, and was afraid of committing himself. But he’s all we’ve got between some semblance of government and chaos.

  10. Robin Charles Halton

    August 21, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    A relatively intact Parliament is preferable than one that is torn apart by the particular section of the 1901 Federation Constitution that forbids aliens entry into politics.

    Today Australia is a land of migrant classes who are worthy of entering politics and may have not completely researched their understanding of what dual citizenship means.
    I would think that the greater majority would not want to intentionly deceive but the grey area remains.

    The leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten clearly displayed uncomfortable posturing to answering the question constantly posed to Shorten’s solo appearance last night by Tony Jones on the ABC Q and A show.

    Shorten gave the same answer as my perfectly clear #15 indicates.

    There is no guarantee the High Court will he only end up testing 7 our Parliament at a federal level so far, it could end up dozens to ultimately provide proof of no lingering dual citizenship issues, this could take months with legal challenges mounted by those affected.

    Could eventually extend into previous Federal parliamentarians who are receiving Federal benefits in a retired capacity.
    Witch hunting as well, perhaps!

    As I said earlier in the meantime an intact Federal Parliament would be preferable as we appear to be tettering on the edge with much of everyday parliamentary business, for example energy reliability and pricing as summer nears, housing affordability crisis with forclosures looming due to banks loaning practices, home land security and strategic planning for ANZUS and US reaction to daily advances by North Korea.

    It is clearly not a point in time for Federal Parliament to be partly disengaged from the Australian public.
    Carry on Mr Turnbull, promote intactness over bargaining games with Shorten>

  11. Chris

    August 21, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    #15
    Will RCH prove he aint a Liebral?

  12. Robin Charles Halton

    August 21, 2017 at 3:30 am

    #7 John Biggs and #11 helen obscure:

    Guess who, your Labor mate BS.

    Alarming news that Bill Shorten wont produce UK citizenship renunciation proof!
    He says he renounced it in May 2006 just before the 2006 election but is under no obligation to provide the paperwork because he knew it to be true!

    A couple of days ago Shorten offer peace treaty on citizenship. What a laugh!

    #14 phill parsons, you forget to include as preferred PM Turnbull on 44% and Shorten on 34% and that variation has been pretty consistent over recent times.

  13. philll Parsons

    August 20, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    2 pp preferred Newspoll [Murdoch] released 21AUG17, Labor 54% – Lieberal 46%.

    These figures say it all as it’s now moving toward 20 in a row.

  14. Simon Warriner

    August 20, 2017 at 10:35 pm

  15. john hayward

    August 20, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Sir Mal is nearing the Holy Grail that Monty also quested after, in the process not only throwing down the gauntlet to the fearsome Kiwi Labor host, but also challenging the most dangerous monster in the realm, Wild Bill Milquetoast.

    Will he be the champion who will take up the crown of the mortally wounded king Donald and finally cast off the last links in the chains of political correctness?

    John Hayward

  16. helen

    August 20, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    #2 The Australian Government considers and makes decision on matters of national importance. Surely it is also a matter of importance that MPs should be elected properly and in accordance with the established rules.
    In other circumstances where MPs have seemed to break rules such as where travelling allowances have been breached, MPs have not only stepped down, but have resigned from Parliament, for example Sussan Ley. In my opinion, the only ethical MPs have been the Greens, who not only admitted the rules applied to them, but did the right thing by resigning and therefore did not create a complication in the Parliament for future legislation.
    It is all very well for George Brandis (and Mr Halton) to say that it is OK for everyone else affected to keep their positions and their seats, and that voting on future legislation would not be compromised, but I’m certain that the present situation would not pass ‘the pub test’.
    Everyone can see that it is one rule if it doesn’t endanger the Government majority and quite another if it does. What a mess!

  17. Simon Warriner

    August 20, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    re 7. But are they actually dual citizens or do they only have the right to exercise that other citizenship, a right which up to this point remains to be exercised?
    Meanwhile our entire, now apparently illegitimate, polity waits for the wheels of justice to clean the result of the meddlesome Kiwi antics off the paintwork of Australia’s democracy.

    On your definition of “honesty” I agree, Ludlum and Waters did the right thing, the others look very dodgy by comparison. They still should have seen the problem coming though, and ignorance of the law is, as we are often told, not an excuse. Even for the Greens.

  18. Chris

    August 20, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Continued…30. Triple the number of new affordable houses by 2025
    The rest will be unaffordable ??

    31. A10%increase in housing available for young people at risk by 2025
    Reduce the risk, how many at present ?

    32. A50%reduction in serious child abuse by 2022
    Keep yer hands off me kids. Ring Jacquie !

    Our new targets to keep
    Tasmanians safe
    33. The lowest serious crime rate in the nation across all victimisation measures by 2022
    Non serious to be ignored?

    34. The lowest use of crystal methamphetamine (ice) of any state by 2022
    That will be the day…. Is Tasmania the smallest state?

    35. Reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Tasmania’s roads to zero by 2050
    This policy is no accident no cars allowed!

    36. A 33% decrease in the risk to Tasmanian lives and properties from bushfire by 2022
    Where there aint no smoke there will be no fire!

    Our new targets to protect the
    Tasmanian way of life
    37. Sustain home ownership rates of 5% above the national average
    That’s going down on the big Island too.

    38. No more land lock-ups
    Clear fell the lot and the Minister for sneering will agree.

    39. The lowest incidence of litter in the country by 2023
    The Liberals are going to exile HerrBettz along with his Senate tickets and deposit on cans will only be possum S..t in the culvert.

    40. Zero net emissions for Tasmania by 2050
    Did you ask the Fizza about that and why is Climate put last?

    Our new targets to build Tasmania’s
    infrastructure for the 21st century
    41. Over the next four years, increase the long-term average investment in public infrastructure by 20%
    So the previous reductions were not necessary ?

    42. Make Tasmania energy self-sufficient with an additional 1,000 gigawatt hours of on-island renewable generation by the end of 2022
    And the price is going to be lower Hoa Hoa

    43. Bring all Tasmania’s primary freight and passenger roads up to a minimum three-star AusRAP safety rating by 2040
    Another long term eh, see the problem fixit now!

    43. Complete Tas Water’s10year capital program (from 1 July 2018) in five years
    Then we can use the non taxes at CPI rates as consolidated revenue, besides water is gunna be cheaper, more of it and the pixies in my garden can drink from the bird bath.
    Privatisation to follow, then the Government will have no say in the price, think Kennett and power and council amalgamation in Victoria and costs now!

  19. Chris

    August 20, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    43 reasons –

    Our new targets to deliver a stronger
    economy and more jobs
    1. Reduce the unemployment rate to the best State in the country by 2022
    That gives ya 5 years, hooray

    2. Reduce the youth unemployment rate to at or below the national average by 2022
    Another 5 years eh?

    3. A 40% increase in apprentices and trainees in the private sector by 2025
    But none in the Government sector I suppose.

    4. No new or increased taxes for Tasmanians
    Do not count water or Forestry cost shifting.

    5. We will remain net debt free
    We will not Borrow for anything, except water, Fish farm infrastructure and Casino rebates.
    How many public servants/services will be cut?

    6. Over the next four years, we will continue to spend less than what we earn
    Boy that will create a great big slush fund.

    7. Double the amount of water available through Tasmanian Irrigation Schemes by 2025
    More rain forecast, lakes will not dry out and Climate Change does not exist…its crap.

    8. All fin-fish farming to be 100% compliant with environmental regulations
    Sounds Fishy to me.

    9. An 85% clear-up rate on reported red tape by 2022
    Red tape is at present a reportable offence.

    10. 90% of all Government contracts to be awarded to Tasmanian-based businesses by 2022
    The rest to me mates.

    11. A 10% increase in small business employment by 2022
    On whose say so?

    12. 50,000 tourism-related jobs by 2022
    “Where the Bloody hell are you”, come on, who wrote this BS?

    13. A 50% increase in the average per visitor spend by 2022
    Have your wallets out to be inspected at the airport and private B&B legislated to charge more.

    14. 70%of all visitors to stay overnight in regional areas during their trip to Tasmania by 2022
    We will decide who comes here and where they will be compelled to stay.

    15. A 25% increase in people employed in the building and construction sector over the next five years
    Twenty more skyscrapers to be approved by GutWhiner.

    16. A 50% increase in new mining ventures over five years
    A gold Rush Goodee Goodee

    17. Double the forest, fine timber and wood fibre industry value-add to $1.2 billion by 2036
    Twenty years to grow sustainable bull s..t.
    18. Double production from Tasmania’s hardwood plantations by 2022
    Better start planting now and speed up their growth, Gay abandon?

    Our new targets to take action on
    the cost of living
    19. Ensure Tasmania has the lowest regulated electricity prices in the country throughout the next four year term of Government
    Short term fix –oh -lets privatise after that, Malcolm says a new BS Cable would be laid, rather like the previous one proceeds to go to Macquarie or other mates. we must not own it ourselves?

    20. Keep cost of living increases for Government services, on average, at or below the rate of inflation for the next four years of government
    No new taxes despite any inflation, is that Herbettz economics?

    Our new targets for health,
    education and Tasmanians in need
    21. Reduce smoking rates to below the national average by 2025, and halve the gap between State and national youth smoking rates (for under 25s)
    Smaller cigars and pipes ?

    22. Reduce Tasmania’s rate of obesity to below the national average by 2025
    Fat Chance

    23. A 20% reduction in the suicide rate by 2022
    Rope sales to be taxed? Or proper help to be given?

    24. 90% of Tasmanians will be treated within clinically-recommended timeframes for their elective surgery by the end of the next four year term of Government
    Pity the 10% who have to get on the Ferguson waiting, do nothing list.

    25. 90% of emergency presentations will be in and out of the Emergency Department within four hours by 2022
    Ferguson to give a bed a year till then.

    26. Reduce emergency ambulance response times to national average waiting time by 2025
    A minute, or is it minute delay keeps the Ambos away.

    27. Ensure the retention rate of students from Years 10-12 is at or above the national average by 2022
    . What is the 2022 is it a magic number ?

    28. 75% of all students in Year 12 to complete their TCE by 2022
    You learn something new every day

  20. John Biggs

    August 20, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    #2 “My praise for Joyce, Nash and now Mr X for coming foward and being honest about their perceived situation unlike Greens Ludlam and Waters both who abdicated their parliamentary responsibilities making them looking like thoughtless fools.”

    An interesting take on where one is coming from. My definition of honesty would have Joyce, Nash and Mr X standing down until their status had been sorted out. Technically they have no right to continue sitting because they ARE dual citizens. Ludlum and Waters on the other hand look not like thoughtless fools but honest citizens who abide by the constitution.

  21. Chris

    August 20, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    #4
    Why worry it was only a tanker and they only carry oil.
    What harm can oil do at sea?

  22. SimonWarriner

    August 20, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    re 4, errata

    should be: Damage to the port side rear of the US naval vessel,

  23. Simon Warriner

    August 20, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    And to make an amusing day even funnier, ANOTHER US warship has collided with a commercial vessel in the Straits of Mallacca. Damage to the port side rear of the vessel, which, if my understanding of the rules of the sea is correct puts the US vessel at fault due to its failure to give way.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/uss-john-mccain-collides-merchant-ship-near-straits-malacca

  24. Simon Warriner

    August 20, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Spike Milligan, even in his most insane of moments, could not have dreamed this up.

    “As Sydney barrister Robert Angyal reminds us, Section 44 (i) of the constitution bars anyone “under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power” from serving in federal parliament.

    “Under recent and little-noticed changes to New Zealand law, however, Australian citizens now don’t need a visa to live, study or work in NZ. Any Australian citizen is entitled to live, study and work there,” he says. All are thereby entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power.

    “New Zealand law has made every Australian citizen incapable of being elected to, or serving in, the Australian Parliament. It’s not just Barnaby Joyce: It’s everyone,” he adds.”

    Beyond priceless, it will have the entire NZ nation in stitches for months, or until the Wallabies win the Bledisloe Cup, which could be years on current rates of progress.

  25. Robin Charles Halton

    August 20, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    What is all of the noise about, sure its been a tough week or two across the board as parliamentarians now battle with dual citizenship issues.

    There is absolutely no reason why those affected should stand aside while the High Court decide on what is what!

    My praise for Joyce, Nash and now Mr X for coming foward and being honest about their perceived situation unlike Greens Ludlam and Waters both who abdicated their parliamentary responsibilities making them looking like thoughtless fools.

    Shortens attempt to divide the Parliament has not worked and nor it should. This bloke should never be considered as ever to continue to lead Labor as he is nothing more than a fringe dweller living off the misfortunes of others.

    In the meantime, carry on with our elected Parliament.

  26. phill Parsons

    August 20, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Parliament has moved from the farce of fancy dress to the fiasco of potential illegitimacy with one rule for some, another for some Nationals, yet another for other Nationals and honest Xenophon showing that power pips honour by not resigning like the honourable Green Senators.

    With TV bringing up so few dramas the broadcasts from Parlaiment and news of the ‘stars’ keeps political junkies and others fixed awaiting the next event.

    Abbott claimed the adults would be in charge and yet we have this where the balck letter law is bought into question whilst some of those affected by it remain on the pay roll deciding laws that we are all expected to follow.

    What is the example set by the conservatives?. Take the big bucks and twist the rules for as long as you can. No respect for the voter [punter]. Out they should go.

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