Bill Shorten and the general election

Bill Shorten in the Batman by-election with candidate Ged Kearney

Why I can’t possibly vote for Bill Shorten

As Australians draw nearer to a general election – it must held before May next year but can be called any time sooner – I am frequently asked whether I will be voting Labor.

The answer is “No”.

ALP leader Bill Shorten is congenitally weak-kneed; if ever he reaches The Lodge, he will be positively spineless. Does Australia want a craven opportunist as its leader? I don’t think so. Does anyone know what he believes in? Except himself, that is.

In that respect he is not unlike current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull whose over-ambition and vanity is in marked contrast to his cowardice in the face of enemy fire from Tony Abbott supporters, the Nationals, Pauline Hanson’s crazies and the Murdoch press.

This presents a dilemma for voters because neither Turnbull nor Shorten are leaders in the true sense of the word. They are followers, always hedging their bets, speaking differently to different audiences and forever watching the polls and looking into mirrors.

But people keep telling me: “You are not voting for Bill Shorten, you’re voting for the party.” This is like saying: “You may not like Cardinal George Pell but we all have to rally around the Catholic church.”

No we don’t. I refuse to vote for Shorten or his party. And I don’t like Pell or the Vatican either.

My voting intentions became 100% clear this week when it was revealed by Philip Spratt, president of the Australian Council of State School Organisations, that Shorten had given a private assurance to the Catholic bishops that if elected his Labor government will give Catholic schools an extra $250 million in the first two years of government with billions of dollars more to come over the next 10 years.

The Australian Catholic church has upwards of $30 billion in property, investments and trusts and yet they want taxpayers to subsidise their schools, inflated teacher salaries, sports fields, swimming pools, assembly halls, libraries and chapels.

I supported state aid to Catholic schools in the 1960s and 1970s but I had no idea that the bludging, blood-sucking Vatican would then blackmail politicians into making taxpayers pick up the bill for turning their schools into palaces of privilege, preferment and paedophiRlia.

The Catholics must be celebrating with crates of Bolly after Shorten’s pre-election promise and when he signed up to the giant giveaway in Gonski 2.0 brokered by multi-millionaire corporate tax adviser David Gonski and Turnbull, aka Mr Goldman Sachs.

How Putin became new Hitler

Putin wins presidential election

Hands up all those who believe Russian President Vladimir Putin stole the last US Presidential election from Hillary Clinton and put Donald Trump in the White House.

Now hands up all those who believe Russian President Vladimir Putin was responsible for the attempted assassination of Soviet double agent Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury on March 4.

Those who believe the first proposition about America’s “stolen” election are rusted Clinton Democrats who are so acutely disturbed by the defeat of their candidate they are prepared (and do) believe anything.

Those who put their hands up for the second proposition are English Tories desperately clinging to the continuation of Conservative Party rule at No 10 Downing Street. They are unwilling to consider any other perpetrator for the nerve agent attack despite not a shred of evidence linking Putin to the crime.

The deep-going scepticism in the United States and the United Kingdom is understandable. Citizens of both countries have been told lies by their governments for decades and now they are like people coming out of an induced coma.

They just don’t believe the official version any more. The blatant propaganda being fed to them by the mainstream media is no longer considered reliable. People want proof, they demand evidence and they maintain that the burden of proof is on the government. In the meantime, they are embracing the age-old legal principle of the presumption of innocence. Who can blame them?

Colonel’s bungled murder

Sergei Skripal arrested in Russia

Here’s a few points about the assassination attempt in southern England:

  1. Salisbury is a military city just a few miles from Porton Down, the UK’s chemical and biological warfare establishment where the chemical agent used in the attack was developed and stored;
  2. About five countries in the world have stocks of the nerve agent used in the attack. The UK is one of them.
  3. The deadly nerve agent cannot be made in a suburban kitchen or a backyard shed. It can only be manufactured in controlled laboratory conditions by trained and experienced personnel.
  4. The agent cannot be carried in a shopping bag or a plastic bag and then released to kill a victim. It has to be handled by trained and experienced military personnel.
  5. The agent is not an assassination weapon; it is an anti-personnel weapon designed to wipe out enemies, military and luckless civilians, in a city or town under siege.
  6. When Colonel Skripal was in jail in Moscow, Putin had the perfect opportunity to have him killed. Why did he wait until Skripal was released and living “in retirement” in England to put an assassination plot in motion?
  7. On March 13, nine days after the nerve agent attack in England, CIA director Mike Pompeo, a leading Tea Party right-winger, was promoted by President Donald Trump to US Secretary of State.

Since the British investigation began much crime scene evidence has been destroyed or taken away to heaven knows where.

With the local cops, Scotland Yard, the Home Office, MI5 and MI6 all conducting competing inquiries and keeping information from each other, the investigation is heading for a cluster-fuck of Profumo/Captain Ivanov/Christine Keeler/Dr Stephen Ward/Cliveden/Astor family proportions.

Where is the media?

The mob-handed media hangs out every day for a new press release from the Tory Government, the Home Office or Scotland Yard – their only sources of information. They don’t bother to mount their own independent investigation.

With Darkest Hour starring Gary Oldman as Churchill and Churchill with Brian Cox both playing in cinemas in the West End, Prime Minister Theresa May is doing an hilarious imitation of Margaret Thatcher quoting sound bytes from Winnie. “We will fight Putin on the beaches, in Soho, in East Cheam, in Tooting Bec – we will never surrender (except if it involves Japan invading Hong Kong or Singapore).”

Incredibly, it seems to be working. All the talk about overthrowing Mrs May has vanished and the naughty boys in the lower forms have shut up.

The constant media talk about another royal wedding has arrived just in time as well. Meghan’s conversion from half-Jewish TV slapper to fully inducted Anglican has prepared her and Harry for a life of partying at the Governor-General’s residences in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne.

The royal circus has middle-England Tories playing Vera Lynn songs on their gramophones and family albums are being dragged out of the attic.

When will economic and political reality catch up with these comic delusions?

Not Putin after all

On Wednesday, March 21, I awoke to the news that Russian President Vladimir Putin did not steal the US presidential election from Hillary Clinton and give it to (now President) Donald Trump.

No, it was all the work of an English digital data consultancy called Cambridge Analytica. The snake oil salesmen behind this outfit claim to use “psychographic profiling” to direct voters to a particular candidate or party.

It sounds like the synopsis from a science fiction novel by the late L Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, and it might be.

That hasn’t stopped the “quality” press in the US and the UK swallowing this horse shit and trying to explain to readers how Cambridge Analytica “fixed” the US presidential election, Britain’s vote in favour of Brexit in 2016 and even the 2017 election of President Emmanuel Macron in France.

Maybe while Putin was plotting with Cambridge Analytica in 2016 to arrange the Brexit vote he also took time out to plot the assassination of Colonel Skripal whose freedom from Moscow he had arranged in 2010 in a prisoner exchange with the CIA and MI6. And during all this time he was arranging to stop ISIS in Syria and protect his ally, President Bashar al-Assad, whose despotic rule was under challenge from terrorist groups financed and armed by British and American intelligence and Gulf Arab regimes led by Saudi Arabia.

Why isn’t this being explained? Is critical journalism dead, or am I just growing older?

Neo-cons shutting libraries

Book burning is no longer practised in Western “democracies” because of its historical association with Hitler, Mussolini and Franco, so they do the next best thing – shut public libraries.

Right across Australia, Britain, parts of Europe and the US, shutting libraries to “save money” is happening on a shameful scale.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian – spending on stadiums, shutting libraries

In NSW, the library vandalism practised by the Coalition government of Premier Gladys Berejiklian is particularly lamentable.

Although the State is drowning in revenue from three sources – the power sell-off, a windfall in stamp duty from the real estate boom and the privatisation of historic buildings and state-owned land – the Coalition is shovelling contracts to its developer mates while strangling spending on libraries, science and the arts.

Dumbing down society

Since coming to office in 2011, the Coalition has turned “asset recycling”, aka privatisation of public assets, into an art form.

The sale of three public assets – state-owned ports, “poles and wires” and the NSW Land Titles Office – has furnished the NSW Treasury with $54 billion which has been spent almost immediately on regressive infrastructure such as Sydney motorways, simply adding to traffic congestion.

In its first financial year in office 2011-12, the Coalition sold public property worth slightly less than $1 billion and the figure has been greater ever since.

In 2015-16 during Premier Mike Baird’s era, property sales reached $2.15 billion and then fell to $1.65 billion last year.

Despite this economic “boom”, public libraries are being starved of funds and shutting down at an alarming rate.

Congratulations to Labor’s Peter Primrose MLC who has used an adjournment speech to highlight Coalition economic policy. “While the NSW Liberals and Nationals are prepared to spend $2.5 billion tearing down and rebuilding stadiums in Sydney, our great public libraries are being starved of funds,” Primrose said.

“In 2016-17, the State Government provided only a little over $28 million, or 7.8 per cent of funding, while cash-strapped local councils had to find more than $335 million. “State funding to public libraries remained at a little over $28 million in this year’s budget. The NSW Government provides funding of only $3.76 per capita to our public libraries. That is the lowest per capita funding for public libraries of any State in Australia.”

While decreasing their own funding, the Coalition has cost shifted the responsibility almost entirely onto local government, he said.

“The starving of funds for our great public library system is another example of just how wrong the NSW Liberals and Nationals have got their priorities,” he concluded.

UK shuts libraries too

In the UK, hundreds of local libraries have been closed as a result of budget cuts first initiated by Tony Blair’s New Labour government but then pursued more savagely by the Tories under David Cameron and Theresa May.

Protest against UK library closures

In the 2000s neo-con clowns argued that private investment firms would privatise libraries and make profits from book borrowers and library users but the private sector never showed any interest.

According to official figures, there are currently about 100 central library services in NSW, 267 branch libraries, 65 service outlets and 20 mobile library services. In 2016, there were 34.8 million visits to our public libraries, 42 million loans including 861,000 e-books, 8.5 million onsite internet sessions, and 11 million website visits, and around 1.3 million people attended public programs and events.

This is the book-reading community nurtured over two centuries that the Coalition has set out to decimate. It represents a direct blow at The Enlightenment and recalls the rise of Kulture in Hitler’s Germany when the Nazis were constructing the totalitarian state.

Come on down, Mr Murdoch

Two of the Canberra Press Gallery’s heaviest hitters, Chris Uhlmann and Laura Tingle, have recently changed jobs.

Uhlmann quit as the ABC’s national political correspondent to fill the same role with Channel Nine in place of the inimitable Laurie Oakes.

Laura Tingle left Fairfax Media’s Australian Financial Review after a very distinguished career to join the ABC current affairs programme, 7.30.

Rupert Murdoch

Since moving jobs they have been subjected to unrelenting blackguarding by Rupert Murdoch’s Australian and the rest of his sick-minded media.

Question: If Uhlmann had joined Murdoch’s Sky News or Ms Tingle had joined The Australian do you think that either would have been monstered in such an egregious fashion?

Of course not. Their move to the Murdoch archipelago would have been the subject of jubilation and much breast-beating about the “continuity of quality journalism”.

If anyone ever needed proof of the psychotic malevolence of the Murdoch press, its shameful treatment of Uhlmann and Tingle, because they shunned Murdoch’s shilling, is there for all to see.

Pseud of the Week

“After yet another bizarre night in a series of weird and possibly problematic sexual experiences last year, I started telling my friends I was ‘volcel 2018’ [voluntarily celibate]. I even posted my status on the internet. Against a purple background framed with balloons, my declaration read: ‘btw I am volcel 2018.’ You see, I grew up on Sex and the City. I bodysurfed the third wave into my teens and always believed sleeping around was empowering. Now I will admit, two days after I pitched this article, I had sex with an old flame. My volcel lifestyle had lasted exactly two months and three days. Now I am into mindful dating. It’s like dating but with mindfulness and possibly self-compassion meditation. I am going to check in with myself more, be more honest about what I am feeling, and refuse to let the culture of choice feminism dictate to me anything other than what it actually advocates: my choice.”

  • Victoria Zerbst,”Why I gave up sex in 2018”, SMH, 16 March 2018

Heard in the House

I move the Modern Slavery Bill 2018 be now read a second time. Before I start, I acknowledge Our Lord Jesus Christ and how good he has been to me. I acknowledge my mentor and colleague Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile and, finally, all members of the Christian Democratic Party and the people across NSW who have made it possible for me to be here today to introduce this very important bill.

  • Paul Green, Christian Democrat MP, NSW Legislative Council, 8 March 2018

Mr Deputy President, this morning you may have had a shower, used soap, could have even used detergent, and probably used after-shave and some deodorant.

I presume all Members have done the same, although I cannot speak for the personal grooming of The Greens.

Dr Peter Phelps, Liberal Party MP, NSW Legislative Council, 8 March 2018

3 comments

  1. You speak (or write) with perfect pitch on matters politic!

    I am confirmed in my “reading” of international and domestic politics – as I read each of your pertinently pointed perspectives.

    Thank-you.

  2. At a press conference in the Batman by election the Greens proposal to nationalise the power grid was raised. Candidate Ged Kearney said it was an idea worth considering. Bill then stepped in and said such a policy would be “turning the clock back to 1982.” Interestingly this is exactly the same line the British Tories and other groups such as the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) use when they speak against Corbyn’s plans to bring essential services in Britain back into public ownership. Amusing to see Shorten and the British Tories use the same lines when expanding public ownership is concerned. The retort to Shorten’s pro privatisation rhetoric is that keeping essential services in private hands is winding the clock back to before World War Two. Such services were brought into public ownership in the interests of economic democracy and a fair deal on the basics for everyday people. Bill of course does not believe that and his counterpart, Chris Bowen is tinder dry on economics as well. Bowen recently said he is on the phone to Keating all the time, the patron saint of neo-liberalism in Australia. One of the admirers of Keating’s economic policies was none other than Margaret Thatcher who said on meeting Keating in 1988 that she found his stance on economics “refreshingly orthodox.” Corbyn is a name never to be uttered by the likes of Shorten and Bowen of course.

  3. With respect, I trust the American intelligence agencies unanimous views in defiance of Donald Trump that Russia was directly responsible for his election through cyber (fool you, the American public)
    intervention!

    MICHAEL ROSS

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