Tuesday 21st of August 2018

Malcolm Turnbull has offered Mr Howard an opportunity to contribute...



John Howard has intervened in the marriage equality debate, personally authorising a full-page newspaper advertisement calling for legal protection of religious freedoms ahead of the ballot result.

The former prime minister has used the full imprimatur of his status and office as a one-time Coalition leader in a public statement carried in The Australian newspaper on Saturday. The national broadsheet advertisement bears Mr Howard's photo and signature.

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"It is completely disingenuous to assert that going to war on this magnitude against a sovereign country like Iraq does not have consequences.

"It is precisely because the will of the people did not reflect Parliament that the people were sold a pup that, if anything, my Government asked no questions whatsoever and that Downer repeated 8,000 times in the press that "Saddam has Weapons of Mass destruction"... which he obviously had none.

"People were not fully informed about the real reason of the war: OIL... Actually PETRODOLLARS...

meanwhile, 16,094 kms from howardistan...

As they entered the golden room of Schöneberg town hall to the strains of Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, Bodo Mende and Karl Kreile were only doing what tens of thousands of other couples had done before – tying the knot in front of friends and family in the southern Berlin district.

But they were also making history as the first same-sex couple able to marry in Germany, after a new law came into force which finally puts gay and lesbian couples on an equal legal footing with heterosexuals.

“After 38 years together, this is a day we’ve waited a long time for,” 59-year-old Kreile told the Guardian ahead of Sunday’s ceremony. “We’ve actively campaigned for decades for the state to recognise us as equals. and finally we are able to celebrate a day we once thought may never come in our lifetimes.”

Mende, 60, said it was a “huge honour” for the couple to be the first in Germany to marry. “I remember the shame we felt when we were turned away from a registry office 25 years ago when we confronted the registrar as part of an organised protest. They made us feel like second-class citizens.”

Instead of feeling like pariahs, Kreile and Mende were on Sunday elevated to the status of heroes. Many of those who had campaigned with the couple over the years clapped and cheered alongside them as they kissed after saying their vows and signed their marriage documents.

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in turdbullshitdistan, the walls are brown...


Facing questions about the NBN and his ongoing lacklustre performance in the polls, Turnbull assumed the fail-safe position of blaming the unions and Labor, deputy editor Michelle Pini reports.


After denying allegations (in Parliament) that her office tipped off the media ahead of AFP raids, Senator Michaelia Cash has now changed her story, saying a member of her staff has admitted the leak and resigned.

FOR SOMEONE with such a dismal record of achievement in office, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is nothing if not resilient.

Facing questions about his admission of the failure of his second-rate version NBN, nearing a possible disastrous outcome over Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s citizenship and with growing rumblings of a leadership spill after the 21st abysmal Newspoll in a row, Turnbull did not run or hide.

No, he did the next best thing. Pointing to a new shiny thing in the distance, Prime Minister Turnbull did what any master of spin in damage control would do — he created a distraction.

Yesterday, the under-resourced Australian Federal Police (AFP) raided the offices of the Australian Workers Union (AWU), looking for clues of – wait for it – 11-year-old political donations to none other than the scary GetUp. No, really.

I already feel safer knowing that 11-year-old evidence of AWU donations to GetUp is off the streets & in custody.

Thank you AFP.

— Kenny Devine (@TheKennyDevine) October 24, 2017

And what better distraction than to demonise the unions (yawn) again?

According to the ABC:

The raids are part of an investigation into payments made when Opposition Leader Bill Shorten was secretary. 

The AFP issued a statement confirming it was carrying out the raids in Melbourne and Sydney on behalf of the Registered Organisations Commission (ROC), the independent regulator of unions and employer associations.

The investigation relates to whether donations made to activist group GetUp and to Federal Labor campaigns were authorised under union rules. 

In a statement, the ROC confirmed it launched the sudden raids because it was concerned evidence could be "concealed or destroyed".

GetUp lobbying on behalf of the people that voluntary donate to them = Bad; MPs being paid lobbyists while being paid by us = Goodhttps://t.co/T9Bq9exH3R

— Siren out of Brixton (@SirenofBrixton) October 23, 2017

Turnbull was quick to direct the media frenzy by announcing that the Australian Workers' Union and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten have "questions to answer".

SBS reported the following comments from the PM:

"The AWU should comply with the law," Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in the NSW town of Sutton on Wednesday.

"The AWU has got questions to answer, Bill Shorten has questions to answer."

Apparently, the earlier Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption and the re-establishment of the ABCC – for which a double dissolution election was called – failed to answer the vital question of a public donation (ten years ago) to the community organisation. 

.@billshortenmp: This is an increasingly desperate government who stand for nothing. MORE: https://t.co/WL5pMlgwuD pic.twitter.com/yIP6lqdkeK

— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) October 24, 2017

Just days earlier, Attorney General George Brandis told the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee that he considered the “remuneration” Bill Billson received from a lobby group as a government minister was fine, as it is: 

"both consistent and commonplace for politicians to receive remuneration from third parties."


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