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95 responses to “44/28 Watch: finally a sitting parliament”

  1. Ronson Dalby

    Although I posted this in the other 44/28 thread, it might be more appropriate as a starter for this new one.


  2. Katz

    Bronwyn Bishop as speaker and Christopher Pyne as manager of government business: they are the perfect pair for inducing 30,000 voters to turn from the Coalition and to boot them out.

    It is up to the opposition to induce them to perform at their strident worst.

  3. tigtog
  4. Di

    I’ll be switching on the TV this afternoon here in the still wintry gloom of the Victorian highlands.

    It’s too wet and cold to go out in the garden so I’ll grab my knitting and sit back stewing over all the Coalition faces looking like the cats who got the cream.

    What is this madness, this form of desperate exquisite torture I cannot resist?

  5. Moz of Yarramulla
  6. Ronson Dalby

    Di @ 4,

    You’ve got a stronger stomach than me, Di. If Question Time was on, I’d watch but all that ceremonial stuff they can keep.

  7. Brian

    I listened to the GG’s speech, written of course by Abbott’s speech writer. Generally a reminder of why we shouldn’t have voted for them, but the $200 million to be spent looking for a cure to dementia could be handy in my later years.

    On schools the only mention was on school autonomy. Those thinking the LNP signed up to Gonski will be disappointed.

  8. Terry2

    I see that Abbott is introducing his legislation to repeal the Clean Energy Act 2011 but with nothing to replace it. I really cannot see, no matter your politics, how he can in good conscience expect our parliament to repeal a piece of legislation with nothing to replace it.

    Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I haven’t been keeping up but I had always understood that the coalition were committed, since Abbott assumed the leadership, to repealing the carbon pricing mechanism and abandoning emissions trading and in place would be introducing their infinitely superior Direct Action plan.
    Where is that new legislation; what is the strategy ?

    I’m not surprised that nobody is going to Poland for climate talks; we would be laughed at.

  9. Fran Barlow

    Quick BOTE calculation on abating 165mTCO2e equivalent at the budget cited for 2020 under DAP ($7.7bn) puts the abatement cost at $4.66 per tonne.

    As the saying goes, I’ll be keen to see how they can abate at that cost without buying cheap offshore permits. Planting and maintaining enough trees to abate a tonne of CO2e for a century or so is going to cost a lot more than $4.66. And it it isn’t, I’d like to see Abbott’s horticulturalist and land purchaser.

  10. Helen

    Just saw a snippet of today’s sitting on Sky News. Bronwyn Bishop blatantly favouring Christopher Pyne. Settle back for more of the same.

  11. Bernard J.
  12. Ronson Dalby

    The Speaker of Federal Parliament, Bronwyn Bishop, has ruled that it is OK to refer to the Opposition Leader as “Electricity Bill Shorten”.


  13. Terry2

    So much for a more polite parliament; if “Electricity Bill” Shorten is acceptable language then I suppose “one term Tony” is also acceptable.

    Madam Speaker should have jumped on this name calling from the outset, now it seems to be open slather.

  14. paul burns
  15. Ronson Dalby

    Mike Seccombe is wasted hidden away on The Global Mail:

    Love this para:

    “Minister for Immigration, Scott Morrison, a man whose personal convictions always bring to mind a bumper sticker I once saw on a car in America. “The Christian Right is neither,” it said.”


  16. Bernard J.

    Burke made mince-meat from Bishop’s bad judgement, and Christopher Pyne had to step in with a gag rather than to defend Bishop’s ruling. More inept political handling and desperation to silence valid criticism from the Coalition.

    Oh, and what’s this? It doesn’t stop there? Surely not?!

    The new battle erupted on Wednesday after government house leader Christopher Pyne introduced a raft of changes to standing orders.

    While most were uncontroversial, Labor and the cross-bench bitterly opposed several.These included cutting the time allocated to private members’ business, reducing the time devoted to matter of public importance (MPI) debates, removing the right to ask supplementary questions and authorising the Speaker to act against remarks thought critical of other members.

  17. Bernard J.

    Probably should have said “More inept political handling from the Coalition, and desperation to silence valid criticism”.

  18. Fran Barlow

    then I suppose “one term Tony” is also acceptable.

    That would be OTT 😉

  19. Casey

    Who watched 7.30? I’m afraid Abbott is off his face. First he blames the last govt for Indonesian spying incident then says Australia spies for the good of Indonesia or some such shit. Can you imagine the Indonesians dealing with this dickhead? I feel sorry for me, you, Australia, and the universe. This is going to be so much worse than anyone imagined.

  20. Katz

    Without doubt, the most inept performance by a PM since Billy McMahon.

    He actually owned up to spying on Indonesia and then proceeded to suggest that we were doing it for their good. Astounding.

    Rivetingly fascinating slow motion train wreck.

    The next three years promise to be Fawlty Towers quality comedy.

  21. Graham Bell

    Kevin Rudd resigning from Parliament?
    Wonder what he is up to? Which stratagem?

  22. Doug

    Kevin Rudd has announced he is retiring from Parliament. He has probably stayed long enough to ensure there is not a by-election before February.

  23. Casey

    I loved it when he accused Sales of having a testosterone contest with him.


    Has Kevin Rudd resigned from Parliament? I think he has.

  24. Casey

    Ah well, as Latika says ‘The Rudd/Gillard era now really is over’.

  25. Fran Barlow

    Better late than never I suppose.

  26. zorronsky
  27. Terry

    Presumably Nicola Roxon is happy.

  28. GregM

    Kevin Rudd has resigned?

    Scenes breaking out right across Australia:


  29. John D

    I have thought of a number of titles but most of them are unacceptable for a family blog. Milder versions include:
    Tea party Tony
    No future Tony
    Tony the planet destroyer
    My take is that Labor put up a fuss about “Electricity Bill” so it will stick instead of something much worse that comes . It may actually start looking good as soon as people realise how little difference getting rid of the carbon tax will make to their bills.

  30. John D

    Gillard used to irritate me when she spoke so carefully instead of being her spontaneous, witty self. Sounded like a head prefect who had just had a course in elocution and was talking down to the troops.
    Funny thing is that was the way Tony came across on the 7.30 report tonight. The big difference was that shifty look he has started using when he is being careless with the truth. (Not sure what look he uses when he is being honest.)

  31. Val

    Thank the goddess. Maybe the left can make a fresh start.

  32. Val

    Thanks the goddess that Kevin Rudd has resigned …

  33. Brian of Buderim

    I thought Tony Abbott was over the top when he proclaimed “the adults are [back] in charge”, but Joe Hockey over-trumped him with the comment “the tenants trashed the house” when referring to the need to increase our country’s debt ceiling by 200 million dollars.
    Never has there been a clearer statement of the born-to-rule brigade than this: the alternative government are called “tenants”, with all that that term implies.
    We should be grateful he didn’t call the previous governments “squatters”.

  34. Terry

    Good on Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese in being gracious in recognising Kevin Rudd’s contribution to Australia public life. The battle for the seat of Griffith will certainly be a tough one for Labor.

  35. GregM

    Yeah Terry. This is from the Australian article you linked to :

    PRIME Minister Tony Abbott is convinced that one way or another his former political foe Kevin Rudd will continue to serve Australia.

    I’ve got to say that Kevin Rudd made a number of principled and excellent appointments to positions representing our country from the defeated opposition when he became Prime Minister. For that he should be applauded and his example should be emulated.

    But would Tony Abbott be capable of that? I don’t think so.

  36. adrian

    Yes, and even Bronwyn Bishop showed more grace and eloquence than I thought she had in her.

  37. Terry

    However, if you hate Kevin Rudd and have FOXTEL, Paul Howes will be offering a “frank and fearless” assessment of the guy on Australian Agenda this Sunday.

  38. faustusnotes

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Kevin.

  39. faustusnotes

    … and don’t kid yourself that 17 years from now people will be applauding you the way they are a certain other labour politician at the moment. You’re a loser. Suck it up and go away.

  40. Graham Bell


    Whether you liked or disliked Kevin Rudd …. it’s not a good idea to cheer or weep over his abrupt change of career until it becomes clear what his next career will be – and where.

    One of Kevin Rudd’s main characteristics is his Chinese-like deviousness: he probably has The Art Of War(sunzi bingfa) and Hundred Battles (baizhan) on toast for breakfast each morning.

  41. Katz

    Rudd wants to spend more time with his family.

    Poor family.

  42. Casey

    One of Kevin Rudd’s main characteristics is his Chinese-like deviousness:

    And why not close off the end of a turbulent political era with another despicable racist comment from Graham Bell? It seems to be the tradition on these threads these days.

  43. zorronsky

    The two-timing ex-Prime Minister was given extremely generous praise by Phoney Tony and his Ministers. You’d have thought he’d put them there…..

  44. Terry

    There is a high personal vote for Kevin Rudd in Griffith, , albeit one that has been diminishing over time. Given that Bill Glasson is a high profile LNP candidate who has run twice and got significant swings to him, the by-election is probably line ball.

    Anyway, it appears that it cannot happen until February, where it may yet coincide with a WA Senate election.

  45. paul burns
  46. Graham Bell

    Oh, Casey, Casey …. that was absolutely hilarious.
    You’re not considering offering your services to Mr Abbott as a Senior advisor on Indonesian, Chinese, Vietnamese or Japanese affairs, are you? I’ll happily write a reference for you, if you like. 🙂

    Are we not in the Asian Century?

    Didn’t Kevin Rudd learn (or acquire) an understanding of applied Chinese tactics, strategy and doctrine along with his formal learning of the Chinese language and of Chinese history and society?

    Do not the Chinese themselves hold up the devious, cunning, observant, resolute, patient, lightning-fast Zhuge Liang (Chu-Ko Liang) as one of their greatest heroes? Hell, and why not? We could do well to learn from him; after all, the Japanese are avid readers of the Chinese classic Romance Of The Three Kingdoms (Sanguo Yanyi – San Kuo Yen I) too and it hasn’t done them any harm at all.

    “racist”? – quick, Casey, old chappie, run the Union Jack up the flagpole, sing “God Save The King”, tell all those dusky fellows in turbans not to resist the benevolent Pax Britannica, …. and thank you for your very amusing but horribly out-of-date comment on this rather dull morning..

  47. Graham Bell

    Terry @44:
    Whoever wins the Griffith by-election, it will be irrelevant. Either because the Abbott government will soon collapse under the weight of its own mediocrity, or, because it will find some sneaky way or another
    to entrench itself for a couple of generations.

    Zorronsky @ 43:
    Politics is a dirty game. Kevin Rudd was no worse than many others – what made his actions stand out was that he did not follow the stale old methods of operating, that’s all.

  48. faustusnotes

    Yeah Casey, “chappie.” Don’t you know our resident concern troll has a reason for calling the Chinese devious? It’s completely different to every other person who ever did it. Just like his quaint objection to the word “Indigenous” – it may happen to coincide with the attitude of the RWDB, but it’s different when our resident concern troll objects to it.

  49. Casey

    Graham Bell, I repeat: Your initial comment about ‘Chinese-like deviousness’ is racist. You should not think that your racist bullshit comments are acceptable. They are not.

  50. Fran Barlow


    Your attempts to rebut objections that attributing to the Chinese the quality of deviousness entails racism are unconvincing. Stripped of the furious handwaving and attempted misdirection, you don’t actually offer a rebuttal.

    Whatever you imagined you were saying, it is indeed racial steretyping and would be recognised as such by pretty much any properly socialised adult, including those who furrow their brows and gnash their teeth at ‘political correctness’. You should withdraw it and apologise as there is no defence you could mount, apart perhaps from being morbidly socially incompetent.

  51. Paul Norton

    Graham, everyone makes an arse of themselves at some time or other. The important thing is to be able to recognise when one has done so and offer the necessary apologies and restitution. Here’s your chance to show us what you’re made of.

  52. jules

    Do not the Chinese themselves hold up the devious, cunning, observant, resolute, patient, lightning-fast Zhuge Liang (Chu-Ko Liang) as one of their greatest heroes?

    Do not they?

    No. Not they do.

    Are you referring to the fictional account of Zhuge Liang conning someone … a rival general, into thinking he had a devastating ambush planned? While he sat alone in an empty fort?

    If so, it never happened. The details are probably on wikipedia if anyone cares enough. Bluffing someone is not “Chinese deviousness”. If its “deviousness” of any sort, its the human sort. The first 2 adjectives I’d use to describe him would be intelligent and thoughtful.

  53. drsusancalvin

    @30 Regarding the style of verbal delivery by Prime Ministers past and present, Abbot seems to be developing a Q & A routine. Interviewed on Fairfax radio on Thursday he was quoted in the Age as saying:

    ”Do I think that a Coalition government is going to rush to find a job for him? No I don’t,” Mr Abbott said.
    ”Do I think Kevin Rudd was a good prime minister? No I don’t,” Mr Abbott said.
    ”Do I think Kevin Rudd left the Labor Party in good shape? Absolutely not.
    ”Do I think Kevin Rudd’s policies on a whole host of issues were effective? No they weren’t.

    I guess it gives him some control, eats up time, and it is really bloody annoying. Is it going to provide a rich vein for parody? Yes it is. Do I think he should keep it up? Yes I do.

  54. Graham Bell

    Casey, faustusnotes, Jules, Fran Barlow and any wannabe sinologists – let’s not derail the interesting discussion here on the spectacular triumphs of our 44th Parliament (what a horribly unlucky number!). See you at the Overflow Thread this evening..

  55. Casey

    Graham, everyone makes an arse of themselves at some time or other. The important thing is to be able to recognise when one has done so and offer the necessary apologies and restitution. Here’s your chance to show us what you’re made of.

    At SOME time or another? How about every chance he gets he makes a racist comment then attempts to divert the conversation with his Absinthe tinged lunacy, which makes no sense to anyone and never ever once offers an apology for his bullshit?

    Well. At least he’s not offering a feminist take on his racist comment. One should be grateful for small mercies and any moderators that may wish to call a halt to things.

  56. jules

    Am I waiting with baited breath for the last day of the november sitting to see what entitlements (if any) Phoney Tony Baloney claimed in nearly January last year? Yes, yes I am.

  57. jules

    (Its not a typo its an experiment.)

  58. faustusnotes

    Do I take answering your own questions as a sign of dishonesty? Yes, I think I do.
    Will I be visiting our resident concern troll on the overflow thread? I really oughtn’t, but probably will.

  59. Bernard J.

    Drsusancalvin at #53.

    I’ve taken to referring to him as the Black Abbott, but I think that I shall keep Dewey Abbott as a regular backup – his “do I…” has been grating on me also for a while now.

  60. Ambigulous

    Mr Rudd was also an exponent of answering his own questions, and irritated many by his programmatic self-interrogation specificity.


    But there’s a looming “crisis” I’m more interested in. Mr Hockey claims that the debt ceiling level the ALP/Greens want his Budgets to work within is too low.

    And so he has threatened to penny-pinch by closing down some government services. Does that make him the first Treasurer to threaten his own Government’s Supply?

    Worked a treat in 1975, Mr Hockey. (Just Google it.)

  61. Chris

    drsusancalvin @ 53 – at least politicans asking and answering their own questions is clearer than what normally happens where the interviewer ask a question and then the politician answers what they wanted to be asked instead! 🙂

    Oh and Julie Bishop when interviewed was sounding quite positive about Rudd. So he might not get foreign affairs gig soon, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up with one in say Abbott’s second term.

  62. faustusnotes

    I just watched question time and Hockey actually said:

    The bottom line is the tenants trashed the joint

    when talking about Labor’s term in office. That’s right, for the Liberals the ALP were “tenants” of govt. Gee I wonder who the owners were?

    Born to rule arseholes …

  63. Terry2

    I just came across the LNP pre-election billboard counting down the “illegal boat arrivals”. This billboard has obviously now been trashed as we move in to a new era of obfuscation, deception and secrecy. How things have changed and, sadly, how the military are being used as a shield to support this pernicious policy.
    Perhaps we need to bring Julian Assange home: Wikileaks performs an important social function when a government seeks to manage the media:


  64. Graham Bell

    [email protected]:
    Bringing our Australian citizen, Julian Assange, safely home then employing his skills and experience (regardless of whether he is a nice person or not) would be one way of asserting our national sovereignty. That will never happen, of course. At least, so long as our government remains infested with forelock-tuggers, collaborators, blustering bullies and other assorted vermin.

    ([Stoushbait deleted ~ mods]).

  65. paul burns

    WTF is this thing with the $2 coin?


  66. drsusancalvin

    @65 Am I holding a $2 coin? Yes I am. Is it to control my irritating and unconsciously dismissive and hostile gestures? Yes it is. Would you feel safer if it was a lace hanky? Well, erm, well, yes you might. Does it stop me from clenching my fist? Possibly, but I dare you to ask that question again, especially if I’m holding a roll of $2 coins.

  67. faustusnotes

    It seems to me that every project Assange has touched has gone tits-up pretty fast. I don’t know if they’re the skills and experience Australia is looking for – we have it in spades in the Federal Government already.

  68. paul burns

    drsusancalvin @ 65,
    You’ve got him. Love it.

  69. Ronson Dalby

    On Scott Morrison, is there any better example of the political forked tongue?

    “Further to Morrison and the Liberal Party directives and actions regarding the mother with govt imposed restricted access to her ill new born child.

    Extracts from Scott Morrison’s maiden speech ….

    “I turn now to the most significant influences on my life—my family and my faith.”

    Hmmm. It appears he is only concerned with his family. And his faith is limited to how it impacts on his family.

    “Family is the stuff of life and there is nothing more precious.

    “From my faith I derive the values of loving-kindness, justice and righteousness, to act with compassion and kindness, acknowledging our common humanity and to consider the welfare of others; ….”


    It is obvious that Mr Scott Morrison MP is suffering from either a complete disconnect from the values he both believes in and espouses or he is simply a cynical, hypocritical opportunist.

    There can be no other excuse or reason.”


  70. Ronson Dalby

    Too late Mr Abbott and Mr Morrison:

    “The Federal Government is changing the way it involves the military head of its border protection operation in its weekly media conferences, saying it wants to protect the integrity of the Australian Defence Force.”


    I’ve never understood how the military let itself get involved in the first place.

    And today we have retired Air Chief Marshal Houston defending the government. Isn’t he on the list of those who might be considered for the next G-G?

    “But former Defence Force chief Angus Houston, who advised former prime minister Julia Gillard on asylum seekers, has defended the Coalition’s tight control of information.”


  71. Ronson Dalby

    Some may not be in the ‘finally sitting parliament’.

    “The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has announced it is challenging the West Australian Senate result to try to bring about a fresh election.

    The AEC lodged a petition with the Court of Disputed Returns this afternoon, seeking an order that the election of six senators in WA be declared void.”


  72. Katz

    Does this sound like a member of a non-political ADF:

    General Campbell today sought to explain why he has been so tight-lipped, saying people smugglers use “official announcements” of boat arrivals to persuade potential customers that “the way to Australia remains open”.

    Since when was the ADF concerned about customer relations?

    And in any case, do Campbell, or his Coalition string-pullers, have any evidence that “official announcements” are used in the way alleged?

  73. Ambigulous

    If Hockey is prepared to damage Australia’s reputation for sound government, to take us down to the US level, to hurt people dependent on federal services, just to avoid a little political embarrassment down the track, well, you see why I have found it hard to believe – that he would so quickly earmark himself as unfit for his position.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/joe-hockey-goes-a-step-too-far-20131115-2xll6.html#ixzz2kgnVLw8C

    Michael Pascoe in “The Age” online, c.f. comment 60 above

  74. paul burns

    Katz, RD,
    So what’s Morrison going to do? Ban Twitter and Facebook?

  75. Ronson Dalby

    I wonder how long LNP parliamentary members will put up with Morrison? There must be still some with a conscience.

    “Boat secrecy to continue as Scott Morrison dismissive of Senate order”


  76. Ronson Dalby

    The more I learn about this government daily, the more worried and frightened I’m becoming:

    “It also makes you wonder what his [Hockey] offsider, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, was doing visiting all those Tea Party types in Washington. It looks like he was there to learn from them, not about them.”



  77. Katz

    Thanks for the updates RD.

    Is stronger proof of Scott Morrison’s stumble-bum desperation than this?

    He added ‘‘we know that passengers have been told on occasions by people smugglers not to be concerned by the poor state of their vessel, by the inexperience of their crew, by the lack of provisions on board, because their voyage will be short and they will very quickly marry up with an Australian vessel nearby. These false assurances place people’s lives at considerable risk.” He added that on occasion “this had led people to sabotage their own vessel”.

    Can there be a more succinct summary of Morrison’s “Operation Sovereign Borders than this: “their voyage will be short and they will very quickly marry up with an Australian vessel nearby.”

    Scott Morrison, unintentionally but with stupefying clumsiness, has become an enabler of the people smugglers!

    The Abbott regime is a gift to satire.

  78. Debbieanne

    The Project on Channel Ten did an interview this evening with Amanda(of the heartless) Vanstone. She was disgusting, Charlie did a pretty good job.(sorry i.m no good at links) She actually compared our ‘having to put up with’ asylum seekers to slavery! I want to scream. As RD mentions earlier, this really is scary.
    It gets more obvious, day by day, that our current gov’t has had lessons from their ‘esteemed’ colleagues in the US. From the press advisors during the election to the gov’t shutdown. Doesn’t look good.

  79. Katz

    Britain’s David Cameron wishes to highlight human rights abuses in the Tamil regions of Sri Lanka.


    Both the post 2007 ALP governments and the Abbott government deny these abuses.

    Australian official denialism of Sri Lankan human rights abuses is particularly pointed because alone of all asylum seekers to Australia, Sri Lankan refugees arrive in Australia without passing through a third country. In other words, these unfortunates have pristine qualifications to be regarded as “genuine” refugees, even by the lights of the most dedicated Australian xenophobes.

    Hence, the vehemence of Australian denialism over Sri Lankan Tamils.

  80. Ronson Dalby

    something interesting to watch for in the future:

    “Tony Abbott, by the looks of it, wore an ear piece during his interview with Leigh Sales on the 7:30 Report on Wednesday night.”


  81. PavCat

    Ronson Dalby at #80: that is fascinating. I thought that pushback to Leigh Sales about “loaded language” didn’t sound like him.

  82. Bernard J.

    The earpiece is probably just so that he can hear the interviewer. Abbott doesn’t usually front an interviewer in person.

  83. Casey
  84. Ronson Dalby

    Thanks for the clarification, Casey.

  85. Casey

    It was actually in the blog comments, that’s where I saw it Ronson. It’s a bit funny if you think about it because if it were true then the person giving him the words just made him look as stupid as he always is, because if you ask me he did pretty poorly, accusing Leigh Sales of having a testosterone contest and and all, blaming Labor for spying, assuring us that we spied on Indonesia for its own good. I love it when Leigh Sales interviews him.

  86. paul burns
  87. Doug

    Scott Morrison is pushing his luck with the Senate – in response to a Senate order for information on operations related to asylum seekers he has provided a collection of press releases and transcripts of his totally uninformative media appearances.

  88. Bernard J.

    There’s an interview with Bernard Collaery being broadcast on PM right now that indicates why Alexander Downer was so shrill about the ABC and the Guardian revealing Australia’s spying on Indonesia…

    Strap yourselves down folks.

  89. paul burns

    That whole Timor treaty negotiation was always so obviously conducted with dishonesty and foulness by Downer and Howard.
    Abbott, will, I suppose continue to denigrate ABC coverage of all this, hopefully to the point he will totally destroy his own credibility.

  90. Bernard J.

    The Collaery interview to which I referred at #88 is here:


  91. paul burns

    Mwethinks Downer must be in a bit of a funk by now.

  92. Bernard J.

    So now it appears that Cory Bernardi is joining in the fray about the ABC, with cries of “it’s a behemoth!” and that it should be defunded and broken up.

    Apparently Abbott is right behind his crazy senator.

  93. Bernard J.
  94. Bernard J.

    On the matter of the government/corporate spying on Timor, George Brandis is saying that the raids on Collaery’s office and the arrest of his witness have nothing to do with the proceedings in The Hague tomorrow.

    How stupid does Brandis think the Australian public is?

    And Alexander Downer is keeping tight-lipped out his ordering of ASIS to conduct the spying…

    Expect much venomous and vituperative vitriol sprayed at the ABC over the coming weeks…

  95. Ronson Dalby

    Probably the best up-to-date summary I’ve seen of the Abbott government so far: