The Weekly Notebook

Departing Senator Jacinta Collins

Why exodus of Labor senator doesn’t make the news

A ridiculous amount of media space is being given to the spate of Liberal Party resignations, both male and female, on the eve of forthcoming Federal Election.

An eve-of-poll exodus by Federal MPs is not new. It has been going on for decades and it is a rort that taxpayers are subsidising. Indeed, the number of Liberal MPs quitting in 2019 is less than the number of Labor MPs who quit before some previous elections.

Why do they do it? Simple. If they stay up until the date of the election, their post-election pensions are calculated on their earnings as MPs. If their total earnings are inflated by serving in Parliament until the election, then their pensions, including superannuation, are inflated too. If they think they may lose their seats, there is an even bigger incentive to grab the money and run for the door.

Labor leader Bill Shorten

I’ve searched in vain for stories about the departure of Labor’s shadow education minister, Senator Jacinta Collins, who left Federal Parliament with a packet after serving two terms, 1995-2005 and 2008-2019.

A former national industrial officers with the right-wing “shoppies” union – a sub-branch of the Vatican with chronically low paid members – Collins is a fierce opponent of same sex marriage and a woman’s right to abortion.

When she quit the Senate in February 56-year-old Jacinta Collins was appointed head of the National Catholic Education Commission. Her salary package was undisclosed but it is reportedly substantial.

Labor’s Vatican faction

In her farewell speech to senators she said her right-wing Catholic faction still wielded influence in the ALP. “I do not represent a dying breed in the Labor Party,” she said, speaking before the conviction and jailing of Cardinal George Pell. “In some respects, we are stronger than during some periods over which I’ve served over the past two decades.”

Catholic church event 9 March

Last August Collins joined forces with factional allies Don Farrell, Helen Polley, Chris Ketter and Deborah O’Neill to defeat legislation allowing the Northern Territory and the ACT to pass laws to legalise voluntary, medically approved, compassionate euthanasia for terminally ill people.

Her service to Labor voters was overshadowed by her service to the Catholic church. Last year she persuaded Bill Shorten’s shadow cabinet to vote in favour of the Federal Coalition’s huge handout to Catholic and private schools.

It was sold to the public as a “revised” Gonski plan. In fact it was the negation of the original Gonski plan which was to raise spending on public schools to “catch up” with the one-sided, preferential funding of Catholic, private and “faith” schools by former prime minister John Howard and treasurer Peter Costello.

State funds paid into Vatican banks

When Shorten joined hands with the Federal Coalition to re-write the funding arrangements, NSW Teachers’ Federation president Maurie Mulheron estimated that private schools had been given an extra $4.6 billion while State schools remained underfunded. “On any reckoning, it’s unfair,” he said.

Private schools: massive overfunding

The funding situation in NSW also favoured the wealthy, private schools with the Sydney Morning Herald giving it front-page treatment: “State overpays private schools by $160m” (1 October 2018).

Jordan Baker’s admirable investigation revealed: “NSW is overfunding private schools by $160 million, with some receiving almost $3 million more than they need from State coffers this year while public schools remain underpaid by almost half a billion dollars.”

By early this year, Senator Collins had done her final favour to the Catholic church, whose assets, investments and properties in Australia are valued at $20 billion or $30 billion, depending what source you pick. She had a retirement package in place at the National Catholic Education Commission.

When will some people accept the fact that Australia is a secular country with a multicultural society? My earnest wish is that Catholics, Protestants, Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists and Jews keep a lively religious debate going but ultimately recognise the superiority of secularism and freedom of religion.

Chopper Read’s moment of fame

Liberal Party broadcaster Alan Jones was interviewed on television by Kerri-Anne Kennelly a few years ago on the subject of Chopper Read’s autobiography.

Jones was taking the high moral ground arguing that the TV hostess should not be giving airtime to a notorious killer who boasted he had killed as many as 19 people.

They were sitting on a studio couch chatting amiably when a floor manager alerted Kerri-Anne to the fact that Chopper was on the line. Jones agreed to take the call and the speaker system was switched on so that the audience in the studio and at home could hear the conversation.

In reply to Jones’s scathing criticism that the network should not be giving free publicity to a murderer, Chopper said: “At least I didn’t get caught in a London toilet.”

Somebody pulled the plug, Chopper was silenced and the programme switched to a commercial. You can view the exchange here.

Is this item homophobic? Apologies if you think it is but I’m using to it highlight hypocrisy in high places.

Rupert Murdoch v Julian Burnside

Barrister Julian Burnside this week announced 1) he would stand in the Federal Election against amiable idiot Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, and 2) he would join the Greens.

Rupert Murdoch’s Australian was quick to respond: “Greens’ learned blockhead, high-flying barrister Julian Burnside has work to do in order to convince the great unwashed that he’s not just another pious toff.”

Julian Burnside

The words to note are “learned blockhead”, “the great unwashed” [that’s a reference to the voters of Kooyong] and “another pious toff”. They are all phrases from Murdoch’s editorial style book for the London Sun and other contemptible tabloids.

Burnside said he was breaking a pledge never to join a political party but he was joining the Greens because he shared so many of their views. I feel the same way but I won’t be taking out party membership.

Unfortunately, I’m registered in a NSW seat otherwise Julian Burnside would be getting my vote. Wake up, Kooyong, and kick the banker’s mate out!

PS: I wonder if Jacinta Collins’ Catholic Education Commission is funnelling any campaign support to Liberal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to fight off the challenge from Green candidate Julian Burnside who supports more Federal cash for state schools? Just asking.

Julie Bishop v reality

Julie Bishop, the worst Australian foreign minister since Alexander Downer, aka Lord Downer of Baghdad, said the other day she could have beaten Labor’s Bill Shorten in the Federal Election.

Really? She couldn’t raise more than a handful of votes in her own party room to become leader, so why would anyone possibly think she could become prime minister?

Her record in parliament is woeful. She has spent millions of dollars on travel, hotel accommodation, air fares, phone calls, taxis, clothes and shoes to become one of the biggest spenders in Australian parliamentary history. She is Australia’s very own Imelda Marcos but soft-brained people still adore her. Why?

Julie Bishop: Australia’s answer to Imelda Marcos?

Split in the US Democrats

The US Democratic Party has two wings: one is allied to Wall Street, Washington’s “deep state” and Hollywood, and the other, led by Senator Bernie Sanders, is an American version of socialism.

For the moment, the two wings are co-existing after decades of left-right factional warfare. But the primaries to decide who will lead the Democratic Party in the 2020 presidential election will create a breaking point.

Oddly, the central issue is Israel. The Democratic right-wing regards support for Israel as an article of faith. But the new wave of Democratic House representatives, mainly young women, object to the Tel Aviv regime’s racism, human rights abuses and violence against the Palestinians. Some want their party to support the four-year-old BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement.

Newly inducted representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are militant BDS activists. Right-wing Democrats and Republicans have launched bitter attacks on the two women, accusing them of “anti-Semitism”, something they strongly deny.

US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib

Ms Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman to win a seat in Congress, has rejected an invitation from the Zionist lobby group, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), to join the annual summer junket to the Israeli state.

She has decided to organise her own congressional delegation for a visit to the Israel-occupied West Bank, heartland of the PLO’s resistance.

With Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his deputy Josh Frydenberg supporting the Zionist state’s policy of crypto-apartheid, it high time that Canberra’s Friends of Palestine visited the Occupied Territories as well and shamed the companies profiteering from business links to Israel.

By the way, nice to see that Australian billionaire James Packer has been exposed as a pimp in court papers in LA . Meanwhile, he has also  been cited in the corruption indictment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the midst of his re-election campaign. They deserve each other.

National Rugby League (NRL) latest

I’m submitting my list of candidates for a NRL probity, fairness and integrity (PFI) committee. It will rid the game of drug addicts, piss artists, wife beaters, domestic violence cowards, thieves, bullies, tax evaders and steroid abusers.

I propose a committee of eight with equal membership of men and women: Roger Rogerson (chair), Eddie Obeid, Todd Carney and Ivan Milat, with a women’s quota of four chosen from the corporate sector.

Do I have a seconder?

NSW election under the microscope

If you haven’t read my analysis of the forthcoming NSW election, you can find it HERE on John Menadue’s website which published it.

Gladys Berejiklian vs Michael Daley

The political assassination of John Gorton – Part 9

If you have missed the latest part of my investigation into the Liberal Party’s coup against Prime Minister John Gorton, please check it out HERE.

Prime Minister John Gorton with Australian troops in Nui Dat, Vietnam, 1968

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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