How elections are rorted – NSW politician reveals all
With voters going to the polls in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia in the next 12 months, NSW in March 2019 and the likelihood of a snap Federal Election at any time, one’s thoughts naturally turn to the repeated crime of voter rorting.
All the major parties do it and some of the minnows as well.
Carl Scully, the now-retired NSW Cabinet minister who once fancied himself as a future premier, has described one case of great electoral notoriety in his privately-published memoir called Setting the Record Straight.
He recalled the March 1995 State Election which Bob Carr eventually won after numerous recounts and then picked up the support of three Independents to form a minority government.
When former union official Diane Beamer won the Western Sydney seat of Badgerys Creek from the Liberals, Scully phoned Carr’s office with the news.
“They put him (Carr) on the phone: ‘Congratulations, Bob, you have won the election. We have just this minute won Badgerys Creek by 107 votes. We are going to form a government and you are going to be premier.’ He was pretty excited to say the least. I assume others were also ringing him with the news, but I like to think I was the first.”
Incredibly, Carr’s ALP won 41.26% of the primary vote while John Fahey’s Coalition won 43.94% but still lost the election.
In the hotly contested Badgerys Creek seat, the NSW Electoral Commission designated the Scalabrini Retirement Village as a polling place “to accommodate the old folks living there”.
When the official count was completed, all 70 “old folk” at Scalabrini delivered 70 votes to Labor. Scully remarked: “It defied belief that in a fair and transparent process, every single resident would vote for one candidate above all others.
“During the count, I asked one of my MP colleagues how this had occurred and he gave me the cryptic reply, ‘Don’t ask, you don’t want to know’.”
Labor feared that the new Opposition leader Peter Collins would launch a challenge to the Badgerys Creek result and that Liberal lawyers would “have a field day questioning the old and infirm residents, one by one, on how or by whose hand they had all come to vote ALP,” Scully recalled.
But Labor’s fears were unfounded. To everyone’s surprise all the Liberal Party’s challenges to the Court of Disputed Returns (High Court of Australia) were dropped on the specific instructions of Collins.
In his political memoir written many years later, Collins wrote: “In another key seat, Badgerys Creek, an entire Italian retirement village voted Labor in an unbelievable demonstration of unanimity.”
So why did he abandon a legal challenge?
Moral of the story: On election night, instead of pushing off to election parties at 10 o’clock when the official counting concludes, stick around and watch where the ballot papers are stored and ask who has the key. And carry a camera at all times and take lots of pictures in the counting room.
Another Turnbull bungle
David Cameron, former British Prime Minister, has taken a well-paid job managing a $1.2 billion China-UK private investment fund.
The proposed fund will provide complementary finance to Beijing’s “Belt and Road” initiative which hopes to increase “international connectivity through infrastructure investment”.
Cameron’s new career option is quite different from the anti-China policy adopted by his fellow Brasnose College student, Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian Prime Minister.
Turnbull is hostile towards “Belt and Road” and when right-wing minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells rubbished the project a week ago he issued a lame rebuke.
And when he departed for a major overseas trip this week, Turnbull headed straight for Tokyo to support the right-wing Abe government’s militarism and its moves to scrap the clause in the Peace Constitution stopping Japan from re-arming.
Why not travel to Beijing to thank President Xi for stiff-arming North Korea into talks with South Korea and participating in next month’s Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games? Or even to Seoul to congratulate the South Korean government for opening talks with the North?
Unfortunately, Turnbull doesn’t take decisions, he takes orders, mainly from Washington and the banks. So Australia is left with an anti-China policy while London has grabbed a valuable slice of “Belt and Road” diplomacy.
The Donald’s real illness
Since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States one year ago, I’ve been keeping a list of articles claiming to know intimate details of Trump’s mental health.
The final score is about 20 psychological conditions. They include that Trump is a sociopath, a psychopath, a schizophrenic, a sex-obsessed satyr, a paranoid maniac, a congenital liar, a spoilt little boy who has never grown up, a racist, white supremacist or control freak. He has also been diagnosed by the media as suffering from a profound personality disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), unspecified mental unfitness, angry man syndrome, a delusional disorder, short-term memory loss, dementia, Alzheimer’s, “needy invalid” syndrome and senility and he has been compared to Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and Vladimir Putin.
Last October the Trump pyscho-babble reached a new high when 27 academics released their psychiatric opinions in a book entitled The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.
A look back at White House history reveals that JFK was a sex-obsessed satyr who sought the company of high-class hookers and Richard Nixon was paranoid.
The trouble with Trump is that he appears to possess the negative symptoms of ALL his predecessors. He has rejected the media diagnosticians saying: “I think that [I] would qualify as not smart, but genius and a very stable genius at that!”
But what is the overwhelming symptom of his crazed presidency? I think that it’s megalomania.
The Oxford English Dictionary definition of megalomania is: “Obsession with the exercise of power. Delusion about one’s own power or importance.”
Australia’s Macquarie Dictionary is importantly different: “A form of mental alienation marked by delusions of greatness, wealth etc. A mania for big or great things.”
This week the presidential physician, Rear Admiral Dr Ronny Jackson, gave Trump a clean bill of health saying his “overall health is excellent”.
“I have no concerns about his cognitive ability or his neurological functions,” said Dr Jackson, a Barack Obama-appointee. He added: “I told the president if he had eaten healthier over the last 25 years, he might live to be 200.”
His final remark sounded like a threat rather than a prognosis. It’s a pity the rear admiral medico didn’t address Trump’s pronounced symptoms of megalomania.
US war criminals at large
Last year a conga line of unindicted US war criminals visited Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne where they were treated like VIP elder statesmen.
Instead of being arrested, they gave interviews, lectures and seminars on the “war on terrorism” facilitated by the Department of Foreign and Trade (DFAT), the ASIO and ASIS intelligence agencies, the ABC and the Murdoch press.
Yet two of the visitors, both ex-CIA directors, John Brennan and James Clapper, are utterly discredited has-beens of America’s murderous intelligence community.
Brennan served as President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser where he kept the notorious “kill list” which named the overseas citizens to be “eliminated” because of their anti-American and pro-ISIS views. He was then promoted to CIA director in 2013 during Obama’s second term.
Whether or not you believe in the existence of the “secret state”, there is no way anyone can ignore Brennan as a super-spook who moves with the times … and the changes of administrations in Washington.
Beginning his career as a lowly CIA analyst, Brennan has established himself as a warhorse who knows “where the bodies are buried” stretching back through the administrations of George Bush Snr., Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama.
Journalist and author Patrick Cockburn credits Brennan with alarming paranoia about the terrorist threat of Saudi Arabian royal family member, Osama bin Laden, for a decade following 9/11.
One of his memorable “intelligence” alerts was to accuse the al-Jazeera TV network of broadcasting encrypted information on future terrorism targets. Although many of Brennan’s claims were ridiculed by colleagues, President Obama brought him into his administration and forgave his former intelligence blunders.
“The pair immediately bonded,” wrote Cockburn. When the two were jaw-boning, Obama often finished Brennan’s sentences, according to one account.
“Among their points of wholehearted agreement was the merit of a surgical approach to terrorist threats, the ‘need to target the metastasizing disease without destroying the surrounding tissue’, as Brennan put it.”
Brennan was promoted to CIA director by Obama although the president had been fully briefed about his role in the US torture programme of suspects rounded up in Afghanistan and Iraq. “You know, our president has a brutal side,” one unnamed senior intelligence officer told Cockburn.
The Clapper nightmare
James Clapper, who became director of national intelligence (surely an oxymoron? AM), was another uber-spook who believed in drone-led warfare.
John Kiriakou, former CIA analyst and now a leading intelligence journalist, explained that Clapper’s most egregious lie came during sworn testimony at an open hearing of the US Senate Intelligence Committee. “Looking Senator Ron Wyden in the eye, Clapper told him point blank that the NSA was not, repeat not, spying on American citizens.
“Lying to Congress is a crime. Spying on Americans is a crime. But Clapper paid no price for his insolence,” Kiriakou wrote.
After Clapper’s resignation in 2016 (when even Obama realised that he had to clean the chook shed), Senator Wyden remarked: “During director Clapper’s tenure, senior intelligence officials engaged in a deception spree regarding mass surveillance. Top officials, officials who reported directly to director Clapper, repeatedly misled the American people and even lied to them.”
So what is Kirakou’s view of today’s America, or I should say, quoting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and sundry ALP asslickas, “our greatest friend and ally”?
Kiriakou, who was jailed for 23 months for exposing the Bush administration’s illegal torture programme, wrote: “I have a warning for Democrats, and indeed all Americans. For God’s sake, don’t elevate the likes of former CIA directors Michael Hayden and John Brennan and the former director of National Intelligence James Clapper to the position of ‘senior statesmen’. They are not voices of reasons, either for Democrats any anybody else. They are monsters who have ignored the Constitution, the US code of law and international law. They have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. We should shun them, not celebrate them.”
Is anyone in Canberra listening? Our spineless leaders (and journalists) are not content with referring to these war criminals as “statesmen”, they refer to them as “elder statesmen”.
Israel has lost the world
When the (much smaller) UN General Assembly voted to establish the State of Israel in 1947, more than 60% of the world’s nations supported the proposal.
The two-state plan was the work of Australia’s Minister for External Affairs, Dr H. V. Evatt, who subsequently became the Labor Party leader.
After Israel’s founder David Ben Gurion announced independence in 1947, the first two countries to declare recognition were the United States and the former Soviet Union followed by Australia and Britain.
However, the world’s view of Israel has changed dramatically since then.
In December 2017 when the UN General Assembly voted to condemn US President Donald Trump’s transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem thereby making the Holy City the Zionist state’s new capital, the UN vote was 129 votes to nine with 35 abstentions, including Australia.
In the past Israel’s standing at the UN went unchallenged, such was the moral authority it wielded following the extermination of an estimated six million Jews in Nazi death camps during World War Two.
Through a mixture of racial violence against the Palestinians, thuggery against their Arab neighbours and intimidation of any criticism from whatever quarter, Israeli Zionists have now destroyed the moral authority they once enjoyed.
Apart from Donald Trump’s US, the other countries to support the peace-wrecking Jerusalem plan were a small handful of micro-states all beholden to their Israeli paymasters: Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Togo, Guatemala and Honduras. All told, they have a population of a couple of million and a combined GDP the size of Malta’s.
Meanwhile, all the major countries from across the globe, including UK, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Serbia, Turkey, Greece, South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe, China, Vietnam, North and South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, New Zealand, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Bolivia, voted against the provocative Trump-Netanyahu plan.
Instead of heeding the condemnation of the world, the Israeli Zionists are digging in. They continue to build a ghetto with exclusivity for fellow Zionists. Their apartheid-style policies are no longer an embarrassment, they are being flaunted.
In retaliation for the UN General Assembly vote (when the names of all dissenters were taken!) the annual budget to Palestinian refugees and the UN is being cut and another massive settlement-building project on the occupied West Bank has been given the go-ahead.
A new stage of Zionism’s racial and religious intolerance has been reached: it no longer cares what the rest of the world thinks and is determined to transfer its capital to Jerusalem and transfer the Palestinians – by force, poverty and oppression – to anywhere outside its own self-constructed ghetto.
As a result, this week’s meeting of the PLO Central Council voted to suspend recognition of Israel until Israel recognises Palestine and annuls its annexation of Jerusalem.
It also urged governments, businesses and concerned citizens to support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign to isolate Israel’s economy.
The PLO’s final communiqué also condemned “the arrest and intimidation of children, including Ahed Tamimi, who has become a symbol of Palestinian pride in the face of occupation, as well as dozens of other children”.
The twin track economy
- Sydney has moved up on a list of the world’s most expensive cities. Sydney has come in at No 32 up from No 41 a year ago.
- NSW continues to record the best business conditions in mainland Australia with Treasurer Dominic Perrottet claiming NSW is leading the nation when it comes to creating the right conditions for businesses to grow and thrive. “We want NSW to be the best place to get a job, run a business and build a career,” Perrottet said.