Saturday 11th of July 2020

the ghost of sir john kerr advises the incumbent GG about the delight of the job...

sir peter

Tony Abbott yesterday announced a bold, innovative plan to deal with pressing issues from the past century. Without consulting his cabinet or party room, the Prime Minister has decided to reinstate the old honours system that was done away with in 1986. This decisive step backwards was made because the existing system was for “eminent Australians” whereas the new knights and dames of the Order of Australia will be for “pre-eminent” Australians, said Abbott.

Just three months ago Abbott said that it would be “impractical” to bring back knights and dames, after critics within the Liberal Party dismissed the idea as being a “bunyip aristocracy.” When reminded of this by reporters at yesterday’s press conference, Abbott explained, “Well, I made a quite specific comment in December. I said that we weren't intending to do what New Zealand has done and what New Zealand has done is simply enable existing companions in the Order of New Zealand to convert to Knighthoods. There is no such capacity under Letters Patent as amended. Knights or dames will have to be specifically created.”

When it was pointed out that this distinction was one that very few people would understand, Abbott replied only that, “this is a decision that I’ve made in the last few weeks.”

It’s a stubbornly regressive move, placing higher emphasis on a past that has long been done away with and was only an inherited system to begin with. Rather than “enhancing the dignity of the existing system,” as Abbott claims, it reasserts that old notion that, try as we might, Australians just aren’t as sophisticated as our colonial masters.

The new honours won’t be bestowed by a council, but by the Prime Minister, who will merely consult the chairman of the Order of Australia. It isn’t clear why the new awards system is at all necessary, what was wrong with the old system, or why changing it should be a priority now, but by consulting with nobody, Abbott’s message is clear. It doesn’t matter how much incredulous eye-rolling, Twitter hashtags, Shakespearean parodies, jokes about ‘Sir Pository of Wisdom’ or Game of Thrones memes the new announcement is met with: Abbott is in charge, and he’s thoroughly enjoying himself.


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From Bob Ellis...


Greiner, wonderfully – and what a goose he is – on radio a fortnight ago said lobbying was an essential part of the democratic process and he, himself, would have accepted the now notorious Grange and, moreover, drunk it.

He said this a fortnight ago, which shows how accepted, how smugly boasted, how self-righteously embraced and how long-standing it is.

And the treasurer and the prime minister are part of it. Bribed men who, lying, said no student, old person, ABC employee or mother would be worse off.

It is hard to imagine a GG as honourable as Sir Peter Cosgrove not demanding from them reasons why he should not dismiss them and call fresh elections if – as it seemed – their acquisition of government was so riddled with dishonest process, and dishonoured vows.

It is equally hard to imagine what they would say in response.

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and in regard to sir john kerr and the hockneyed budget...


From Gus's collection of useless stuff... The picture of Kerr taken before his top hat fancy dress... Of course the "commonwealth view" was that of a very Liberal (CONservative) government led by Menzies...

advice from uncle gus...

Liberal and Labor premiers have declared war on the federal government’s $80bn in hospital and school funding cuts, pleading with the nation to rise up in resistance against cutbacks that will result in thousands fewer teachers and hospital beds.

The premiers accused the prime minister, Tony Abbott, of getting his facts completely wrong, after he said of the funding cuts on Sunday: “We’ve got an enormous amount of time to sit down and work things out … we’re not talking about next week, or next month, or even next year.”

The premiers said the federal government’s unilateral termination of scores of national partnership agreements would have a massive immediate impact on state services – including 1,200 hospital beds and $300m in concessions to pensioners and the elderly, starting from 1 July. They demanded an immediate Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting with the prime minister to “sort this mess out”.

A spokeswoman for the prime minister rejected the premiers' demand, saying there would be no special COAG before the next scheduled meeting in September. The prime minister had already had private conversations with most of the premiers, she said.

And the premiers flatly rejected the federal government’s suggestion that they should figure out how to raise taxes to meet the shortfall, including possibly asking for an increase in the goods and services tax.

The Queensland premier, Campbell Newman, said he knew the “federal government wants us to talk about tax increases” but he rejected the strategy, saying: “Sorry, we aren’t going there … the federal government should look at their own inefficiencies and waste … instead of passing $80bn of problems to the states.”

Newman called on voters to lobby the federal government to defeat the cuts and said he had already been lobbying Queensland federal MPs to resist the cutbacks from within the Coalition.


I have no idea how the constitution can deal with this racket by Tony Abbott... Let's face it, Tony Detritus is a racketeer pushing the states like a silly Billy bully to do things that are unacceptable... Thus the State premiers should go together and pay a visit to the new GG and ask him to dismiss the Tony Abbott regime. How about that?... Swell, hey? That would sort things up a bit... See toon at top.

unfortunately, sir pete is a friend of detritus...

see toon and read at top...

queen's letters...

Letters written by the Queen before the 1975 dismissal of then Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam can be made public, an Australian court has ruled.

Mr Whitlam's government was removed by her representative at the time, Governor-General Sir John Kerr, and replaced with an opposition party. 

The dismissal is often described as the most controversial episode in Australian political history.

It is not known what the letters between the Queen and Sir John contain.

Historians have long questioned what Buckingham Palace knew about the removal of Mr Whitlam, a progressive whose reforms divided Australia after two decades of conservative rule.

More than 200 letters have been kept sealed in the National Archives since 1978, but on Friday the High Court of Australia ruled they could be accessed in the national interest.

It follows a challenge by historian Prof Jenny Hocking to have them released as state records - documents which are disclosed after a 31-year embargo.


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