Wednesday 12th of December 2018


so alive

at the "cawliflower" club...

A cawl is a slow cook lamb dish from Wales...

Greens leader Richard Di Natale's threat to ask the Governor-General about dissolving Parliament over the citizenship crisis has infuriated both Labor and Liberal frontbenchers, with Anthony Albanese declaring he never wants to see another dismissal.

Key points:
  • Di Natale is seeking advice on calling for the Governor-General to intervene in the citizenship crisis
  • Albanese says Di Natale "stands condemned" for the suggestion
  • Liberal Paul Fletcher says Di Natale's suggestion is "not helpful … designed to be a bit of a circus"


Senator Di Natale yesterday revealed he is seeking advice from parliamentary officials about what options his party has to call for the Governor-General to intervene, referencing the 1975 Whitlam dismissal.

It evoked outrage from Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese, who said the Greens leader "stood condemned" for the suggestion.

"Anyone who was around on the 11th of November, 1975, and saw the damage that did to our democracy — the idea that this bloke would call for the intervention of the Governor-General to dismiss a government!" he told ABC's Lateline program.

"I'm not a fan of this Government but I don't want to see ever again the Governor-General's powers, reserve powers, be abused how they were in 1975, and that's precisely what Senator Di Natale appears to be suggesting."

Mr Albanese accused Senator Di Natale of using a serious moment in history for political gain.

"It's opportunist, and it's achieved its objectives which is it's got his head on the news tonight."

He found an unlikely ally in the Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher, who said it was an unhelpful contribution to the debate.

"It's not helpful, it doesn't advance the position at all, it's just designed to be a bit of a circus and side show."

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On the day the High Court’s citizenship judgement shattered Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s hopes of ending the year on a high, his predecessor Tony Abbott was at a rugby lunch in Sydney.

Abbott had been invited to make a toast at the charity fundraiser, run by the Cauliflower Club, which supports injured players and their families.

His contribution came shortly before host Peter FitzSimons told the gathering the High Court had just thrown Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and four senators out of parliament.

In the presence of the sport’s luminaries, the former prime minister and one-time university fourth-grade forward outlined his own modest club rugby career and reflected on the other road he’d travelled.

Abbott joked about having been benched – or, rather, backbenched. He continued with a metaphor his audience could well understand: the rivalry between forwards and backs.


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at the financial review with gus' annotations...

lost at sealost at sea

the big tent has been deflated by contortionists...


If you ventured across town to St Kilda Cemetery you would come across the grave site of Alfred Deakin, prime minister on three separate occasions and arguably Australia's finest PM, certainly the most intellectually gifted.

If Menzies and Fraser are rotating in their graves, Deakin would be spinning in his over what has become of the movement he inspired at the time of federation.

Deakin was the father of Australian liberalism politically speaking and an inspiration to this day for Melbourne liberals even if his legacy is subjected to negative judgment through a neo-liberal prism.

Deakin's protectionism was a product of his times.

What would Deakin and Menzies make of their handiwork today, given that both sought to straddle conservative and liberal wings of their respective movements?

The short answer and given limitations of space is that both would have trouble recognising the Liberal Party of today, riven by factional disputes, unsure of its destiny and prey to one of the most toxic personality conflicts in Australian political history.

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enough is enough...


Former New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally has announced she will stand as the Labor candidate in the by-election for the federal seat of Bennelong.

Key points:
  • John Alexander resigned from the Parliament at the weekend over citizenship concerns
  • Kristina Keneally quit state politics in 2012 after leading NSW Labor to its worst-ever defeat
  • She does not live in Bennelong electorate, but 800 metres away in Boronia Park


She will take on former Liberal MP John Alexander, who resigned from Federal Parliament on the weekend after being ensnared in the dual citizenship saga.

If she wins, Labor will threaten the Turnbull Government's thin majority in the House of Representatives, causing major headaches for the Prime Minister.

Ms Keneally quit state politics in 2012 after leading Labor to its worst-ever defeat at the election, and became the chief executive of Basketball Australia.

She was born in Las Vegas but says she gave up her US citizenship to run for New South Wales Parliament.

She tweeted a photo of her renunciation documents earlier this month.

"I am running because this is a moment, this is an opportunity for the community in which I live to stand up and say to Malcolm Turnbull, 'your Government is awful'," Ms Keneally told reporters today.

"Enough is enough."

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Despite being a Catholic, Kristina is a true progressive who, as Premier of NSW, got hindered by the old guard of old men such as Obeid and co... Our advice to her was to ditch them but the other old men in the party were reticent then. Now the slate has been cleaned up and the new guard is up and running. May she trounce the tennis player who was nothing more than a yes man to a feeble Malcolm getting feebler... Yes Malcolm, your government is awful... Enough is enough.




"Turnbull is a fucking lying disgusting and pathetic mother of all gaslighting arseholes."

I wish this honest and accurate description of the TURDBALL was allowed to be spoken on radio , television and in Parliament . Detestable man , or manlike creature , that he is . Thanks Gus . Graham .

turnbull plays a game of chicken...


The Federal Government has cancelled a week of Parliament in the midst of a citizenship crisis and a backbench push for a royal commission into the banks.

Key points:
  • Christopher Pyne says delay necessary so Senate could finish debating same-sex marriage before bill is passed to House of Representatives
  • Pushes back December 1 deadline for all politicians to disclose citizenship status
  • Government denies suggestions the cancellation is an effort to protect its numbers in Lower House


But the leader of the Government in the House of Representatives, Christopher Pyne, said once it had returned, Parliament would continue to sit until same-sex marriage is legislated.

The new schedule will push back the Prime Minister's December 1 deadline for all politicians to disclose their citizenship status in Parliament.

The House of Representatives will return on December 4, which leaves only two days for politicians to be referred to the High Court if their citizenship is in doubt.

The cancellation also puts the brakes on Government backbenchers who are threatening to cross the floor and establish a banking commission.

Nationals MP George Christensen wrote to the Prime Minister on the weekend saying he was willing to cause "political damage" on banking and support bids to roll back penalty rate cuts.

A private member's bill on banks or penalty rates has a chance of succeeding in the House of Representatives, given Barnaby Joyce and John Alexander have resigned to contest by-elections.

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Running scared:

The government has canned the penultimate sitting week of the House of Representatives, in a move Labor and the Greens interpret as a bid to prevent embarrassing votes on a bank royal commission and penalty rates.

With government members threatening a backbench revolt on an inquiry into the banks and the Coalition missing two MPs with Barnaby Joyce and John Alexander facing by-elections, the loss of the week may leave time to deal only with citizenship and marriage equality this year.

Labor and the Greens believe they could pass a motion calling for a royal commission or setting up a parliamentary inquiry by 74 votes to 73 with support from the crossbench, even without government MPs George Christensen and Llew O’Brien voting with them.

In a statement on Monday the leader of the house, Christopher Pyne, said the government had asked the speaker to cancel the sitting week beginning on 27 November, so the lower house will now return on 4 December.

He said the move was necessary because a marriage equality bill was unlikely to pass the Senate before 30 November.

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