Saturday 23rd of August 2014

"politically motivated"...

politically motivated

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is expected to announce a royal commission into unions and their finances as Federal Parliament prepares to return this week.

The judicial inquiry was promised by the Coalition in opposition, as part of the fallout from the political brawl over the AWU slush fund former prime minister Julia Gillard says she unknowingly helped establish for her boyfriend during her time as a lawyer at Slater and Gordon.

Mr Abbott has been urged to widen the scope of any inquiry to look more broadly at union corruption following new allegations uncovered by the ABC and Fairfax of systemic corruption within the construction industry.

However the royal commission, to be announced this week, is expected to narrow the focus on how unions use their members' fees.

Attorney-General George Brandis says there has been growing public concern about corruption within trade unions.

"I think it would be, frankly, irresponsible for the Government not to respond to that growing demand in a very thorough way," Senator Brandis told Sky News.

It has been reported that the royal commission would be led by retired High Court justice Dyson Heydon and would carry out its investigations over a 12-month period.

Labor is opposing the royal commission, which it says is politically motivated, and favours a police taskforce instead.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says no-one is above the law and that criminal issues are a matter for the police.


Beyond this, if one needs "royal" commissions to pass the time of day, before investigating Unions one should start to have a Royal investigation in:

Tony Abbott secret trust with which he attacked Pauline Hanson with.

All agreements "in confidence" between private business and any public government.

The "competition" between Coles and Woolworths driving farmers to the wall.

Sugar and salt in fast food, junk food and fizzy drinks.

Most business practices, including "selling" Crown Casino to Bazza.

Kathy Jackson...

The media bias against anything slightly left of Genghis Khan.

The fringe benefits of Tony Abbott pedalling "for charity" as well as all the perks for Liberals (CONservatives) going to friends weddings at the crown expense, here and overseas.


The funding and networking of denialists of global warming.

The law industry that tends to bleed clients through lengthy litigation rather than the truth.

Tony Abbott relationship with "big business" that is designed to leave ordinary Australian in the lurch.

The RAN towing back boats when Abbott told the Indonesains this would never happen.

Dropping of the Gonski reform to education in favour of a clapped-out model, designed to prop up private schools, make public education beg and destroy a proper curriculum.

Our treasurer ability to count — after telling us there was no money in the kitty, told us to tighten our belts, gave the rich some ugly tax cuts and voted himself a huge deficit, while telling us the budget will be in the black by blah blah blah

Why did the ...


fries with that ...?

Yes Gus, & what about "shining the light" on allegations of corruption against BHP-Billiton, the Reserve Bank & Leighton Holdings or the myriad of other corporate cover-ups stashed where the sun don't shine?

What about a royal commission into the illegal actions of ASIS in East Timor or the corrupt actions of ASIO in raiding the offices of the legal representatives of the government of East Timor & seizing records that were to be used in evidence in proceedings in the International Court of Justice?


and sugar buns...

Yes John, the list of corrupt activities in the big bucks department is there to be looked at. 


From Mungo:


The circus is in town and the antics of the Abbott and Howes sideshow is providing plenty of laughs and tears, writes Mungo MacCallum.

Last week Australian politics ceased to be a contest of ideas or even of emotions. Principal players from both sides decided to turn it into sheer entertainment - a circus, in fact.

So roll up, roll up, to the greatest show on earth. Well, in the Australian silly season anyway. Gape with astonishment as our performers undertake stunts too outrageous, too improbable, too just plain crazy for the rational mind to contemplate.

And here, entering from the right, the boneless wonder, the master contortionist, please put your hands together, or perhaps keep them securely on your wallets - yes, it's Tony Abbott.

Marvel as he ties himself in seemingly inextricable knots explaining why a handout of $16 million to Cadbury is sound economics but a rescue package of $25 million to SPC Ardmona would be totally irresponsible.

Now watch as plastic Tony takes up his first position: SPC Ardmona is a subsidiary of a profitable multinational. Well, yes, but can't the same be said of Cadbury? Yes. And Tony's twisting again - this time it's the reverse wriggle, asserting that Tasmania is different because it has the highest unemployment of any state. True, but as Dr Stone points out, the rate in Shepparton, where SPC Ardmona is based, is even higher.

So Tony's at it again with the convex convolution: The handout to Cadbury was not about a bailout but about tourism, which makes it OK. So promoting tourism is more worthwhile than saving an industry and the jobs that go with it?

Wait, Tony's still on the move. Now it's the warped wangle: Workers' conditions at SPC Ardmona were absurdly generous, so it was all the unions' and the management's fault. However, as it turns out, the Cadbury agreement with the union United Voice was, if anything, even more lavish. Can Tony untangle himself from this position?

But we have an interruption, from Tony's own side of the tent. What was that, Sharman Stone? Hypocrite?Lies? The only real difference is that Cadbury is in a marginal electorate and SPC Ardmona is in a safe one? Not only that, but the Cadbury pledge was before an election and SPC Ardmona after a comfortable win. Would the crowd please stop chanting "pork barrel". Well, I think we'll have to leave our screwed up star for the moment, he seems unable to remove his head from his bottom.

But don't go away, ladies and gentlemen, there's more, because entering from the left we have the high-flying whiz-kid from the AWU, the amazing trick cyclist, Paul Howes. And yes, Hot-head Howes is ready for his unprecedented balancing act; perched on the highwire of lofty ambition, he will attempt to juggle the unions, the employers and the ALP while at the same time pretending to be serious about his unsupportable position.

And please stop laughing. There, he's away, possibly with the pixies. He's tossing up the unions, accusing them of corruption and unsustainable wage demands. Now Flexible Tony, suddenly sensing the distraction he needed, has extracted his head and is cheering wildly. And now Preposterous Paul has the employers in the air, challenging them to come to a non-aggressive consensus. And what's more, he wants Tony, who is in the process of launching a Royal Commission to expunge the unions from the political landscape forever, to come to the party too.

What was that, Tony? A very 1980s idea? Not quite medieval enough for you? Never mind, I can just detect a murmur from a barely visible figure on the left - at least I think he's on the left. Bill something? Oh, you think Tony can't change his spots. Well, it must be the only thing our India rubber man can't change, but we'll take your word for it.

Back to Perilous Paul - oh dear, he's teetering - someone must have told him that with union membershipdown to about 15 percent of the workforce, the unions couldn't deliver consensus even if they wanted to, which they don't. But look, despite the showers of excrement coming from all sides, Paul is completely undeterred. He's pressing ahead, he's heading the press, he is satisfied just to be the centre of attention.

And he wants a new baby grand - no, I've misheard that, what he actually wants is a new grand compact. Perhaps one combining recovery, reconciliation and whatever the other 1983 thing was. Rhubarb, was it? But never mind, Posturing Paul is now putting on another new persona - yes, he thinks he is the new Messiah. More, he thinks he is the new Bob Hawke!

Paul, you're presumptuous. To steal a great put down: I knew Bob Hawke, I drank with Bob Hawke. And let me tell you, Paul, you're no Bob Hawke. Oh, now I've done it - Paul has plummeted. But don't worry ladies and gentleman - I'm assured that it's only a bruised ego, and Paul has recovered from plenty of those in the past. By tomorrow he'll be as good as new, back to his insufferable best.

And how's Twisted Tony? Well, he's in the hands of a large man who appears to be a sort of trainer and is offering him some advice. I think I can make it out ... the age of entanglement is over? No, entitlement - but Joe, say it ain't so. No more handouts for the miners, the financial planners, the polluters, the private schools, the private health funds, the big banks, the rich mothers ... oh, Joe just said it ain't so. Well, we never really thought it was.

But before we close down the tent and get back to business - and politics - as usual, let me remind you that the carnival is not over.

In fact the big one, the twin ring circus with the all-star case of hundreds, is back in Canberra. Yes, this week parliament resumes. Our little sideshow was just the curtain raiser. Happy stunting, and send in the clowns.

Mungo Wentworth MacCallum is a political journalist and commentator. View his full profile here.