Wednesday 1st of December 2021

from the dog house ....

from the dog house ....

from politicoz …

QUESTION: You said Senator Bernardi’s comments were ill-disciplined. Do you think they were offensive and do you think they were wrong?

TONY ABBOTT: They are views that I don’t share. They are views that I think many people would find repugnant.

In the short press conference announcing the 'resignation' of Cory Bernardi from the Opposition front bench, Tony Abbott didn't condemn the sentiment behind Bernardi's words. 

Note the wording: In stark contrast to others (from Malcolm Turnbull to the UK Tories), Abbott simply said he didn't share Bernardi's views, and that many people would find the views repugnant. "He's a decent bloke," added Abbott.

Bernardi's sin was ill-discipline: he should have known better than to say in public what he actually thinks (a la Mitt Romney). Because he'd been warned not to.

But Bernardi and Abbott did have something in common with the parliamentary majority yesterday (which included Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull, bound by the party line): all voted against legalising same-sex marriage.

Tony Abbott has moved to reassert discipline in Coalition ranks – after forcing the resignation of his controversial parliamentary secretary Cory Bernardi for linking the gay marriage debate to bestiality – by declaring frontbenchers who want to 'freelance' can do so from the backbench … the Opposition Leader issued a public warning to his frontbenchers that 'ill-discipline is unacceptable'.

What do Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull have in common? They all voted against Labor MP Stephen Jones’ marriage equality bill in the House of Representatives today. It’s not just the PM who is out of touch with community sentiment, it’s also the main contenders for her job… the proportion of MPs who voted against the bill - 65 per cent - is roughly equivalent to the level of support for gay marriage in Australia.

Discipline. That's the thing. To be clear, Cory Bernardi's sin was not that he drew some spurious line of causality between same-sex marriage, polygamy and bestiality. No, the Senator's sin was in straying loudly from the formal Opposition line, which is presumably that same-sex marriage is simply an abomination in its own right, never mind the creatures of the field.

If anyone should be ashamed it’s not Bernardi, whose bestial argument was too hateful and ignorant for even his 'conservative' leader to stomach, but the leader himself. What fear and calculation motivated Tony Abbott to deny even the small number of Liberals who might have voted for personal freedom the chance to do so?

Perhaps it was fear of a conservative groundswell in favour of gay marriage?


you beat me to it...


I was just about to post this toon when the one above was posted... But here it is anyway...


Liberal senator Cory Bernardi resigned yesterday as Tony Abbott's parliamentary secretary. But ABC's Jonathan Green says the senator's important work for conservative politics will continue.

Discipline. That's the thing. To be clear, Cory Bernardi's sin was not that he drew some spurious line of causality between same-sex marriage, polygamy and bestiality.

No, the Senator's sin was in straying loudly from the formal Opposition line, which is presumably that same-sex marriage is simply an abomination in its own right, never mind the creatures of the field.

As writer Eliza Cussen tweeted just after Tony Abbott's press conference yesterday:

So Bernardi was sacked for lack of discipline, not for being a bigot.

Quite so.

And of course Bernardi has form on this issue, a long history of strident discomfort with homosexuality.

Back in 2008 the Senator spoke in opposition to the Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws–Superannuation) Act, a piece of legislation that had bipartisan support.


Not sacked for being a bigot  — since Tony is a big bigot as well... It's only a question of Liberal (conservative) mantra discipline as not to offend the punters more than necessary...


the mad monk ...

Sorry Gus, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to highlight the Mad Monk's deceitful & dihonest ways!

a deluded member...

Bernardi has certainly wasted no time in the five years since he was elected a senator for South Australia. He’s played a key role in killing off the former Rudd government’s emissions trading scheme, toppling Malcolm Turnbull as Liberal leader and replacing him with Tony Abbott. He’s “carved a niche as one of Australia’s leading conservative voices”, according to his website. He’s riled Greens, gays, feminists, Muslims and small ‘l’ liberals with his campaigns against action on climate change, gay equality and the burqa.

“Cory is deluded,” says a Liberal Party colleague. “He is one of the least effective or important members of the parliamentary team. Cory is a person without any intellect, without any base, and he should really never have risen above the position of branch president. His right-wing macho-man act is just his way of looking as though he stands for something.” 

Bernardi shrugs off the criticism. Beneath his Ken-doll good looks, smooth manner and radio announcer’s baritone lies a political hide as tough as any in Canberra. “I have a number of strong beliefs that I believe reflect the concerns, the hopes and I think the aspirations of mainstream Australia,” he says.

Bernardi is so pleased with how things are going that he threw a party in November to celebrate his forty-second birthday – or “second twenty-first”, as he called it – at his Adelaide home. The karaoke tragic serenaded guests with Kenny Rogers’ ‘The Gambler’, accompanied by “all the moves”, according to his wife Sinead. “He’s quite a party animal when he gets going,” says his mum Jo. “He gets into it, has a few drinks, dancing, singing – he doesn’t sit in the corner.” 

Sinead, an Irish-born economics graduate who migrated to Australia, recalls one of her first impressions while working in the Bernardi family’s pub in Adelaide: Cory in black suit, hat and sunglasses belting out songs from the Blues Brothers with the band. “Cory’s never short of confidence, that’s for sure,” she says. His later move into politics would come as no surprise. “I always knew he would never just sit in the back. He’d want to be up front and centre – right-leaning centre, of course.”

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an oar too many ....

One of quite a few things I did not understand about Senator Cory Bernardi's mad outburst the other day was his reference to bestiality.

''There are even some creepy people out there … who say that it's OK to have consensual sexual relations between humans and animals,'' he frothed to an empty Senate chamber. ''Will that be a future step?''

How does this work? OK, you have found the object of your desire, a rhinoceros or an echidna or whatever takes your fancy. But ''consensual'' implies that the wee beastie itself must also willingly agree to this dangerous liaison, and I am not sure how that consent might be given. Is it merely a lustful meeting of eyes across a crowded room - or paddock or swamp or grassy plain, wherever you happen to be struck by the urge - or does the animal actually have to say yes? The senator should explain to avoid misunderstandings in future.

He should also tell us how much of this stuff goes on. Heaps of it, judging by his remarks in the Senate and again on radio. I'd be surprised if that's so, but perhaps I have led a sheltered life. There was a court case a few years ago where a man was ordered to no longer associate with rabbits, but I don't think he wanted to marry them. Nor they him. It's also said that Catherine the Great was crushed to death by an amorous stallion, but unless the senator has evidence to the contrary, that's probably apocryphal.

Meanwhile, it might help to remember that Bernardi used to be a rower of note. As I have worried before, it may be that he was whacked across the head by an oar once too often.

The rest of the ''debate'' on same-sex marriage went as you would expect. Parliament voted to stand against social progress. Most politicians are timid little organisms who prefer to follow at distance, not lead the way, and so it was again.

Mike Carlton

judged to be an historical error...

From the Honourable Michael Kirby


This brings me to the recent publication, edited by Nigel Wright, entitled Five Uneasy Pieces: Essays on Scripture and Sexuality. The book contains five chapters, each written by an Anglican theologian. It addresses passages of Scripture which are said to be evidence of divine disapproval of homosexuality and homosexual acts. These are Genesis 19 (the story of Lot and Sodom), Leviticus 20 (the Holiness Code), Romans 1:20 (Paul's castigation of "shameless acts" of men and women), 1 Corinthians 6 and 1 Timothy 1:8-10 (lists of morally reprehensible classifications: including arsenokoites, variously translated as "effeminates," "sodomites" or "homosexuals").

If we pause and reflect upon considerations of text, we will immediately notice, both in the Old Testament and New Testament passages, the social context in which the identified words were expressed. This is a context in which some things that today are regarded as horrible, immoral and unacceptable, are recounted as the norm - such as concubinage; slavery; human sacrifice; theocratic government; capital punishment for religious and social offences; collective punishment; ethnic cleansing; unbridled patriarchy; deep gender discrimination; highly particular gender dress codes and hair styles; systemic exclusion of women; treatment of mental illness as demonic possession; understanding misfortune as an act of divine retribution; complex social systems including ritual purity codes; use of honour and shame in the public values system; celibacy preferred over marriage; sex viewed as being for procreation only; prohibitions upon receiving interest upon funds held on deposit or on loan to others; and minimal support for the poor and marginalised.

Add to this list the context of the New Testament, with its powerful and simplified message obliging us to love one another and to love God. In such a context, particularly of the words attributed to Jesus in the Gospels, the idea that the conduct natural to a certain proportion of human beings, denounced as "effeminate" or "sodomites," is alien to God's love can readily be seen as suspect, unlikely, questionable.

Once modern scientific research on sexual orientation and gender identity demonstrated their fairly stable features in human society and in the unchosen characteristics of millions of individuals, the idea that such human beings are evil and are to be denied physical expressions of love can be seen for what it is. Either it is an overbroad judgment, not intended for those whose sexual orientation or identity is part of their nature, but for others who recklessly, wilfully and unkindly acted to humiliate other persons, particularly guests. Or it needs to be treated as inessential, directory not mandatory or affected by ancient cultural norms, no longer relevant to contemporary society, like slavery or possession by demons.

The danger of slipping a modern word such as "homosexuals" into contemporary Biblical lists of wrongdoers is particularly obvious. That word was not coined until the late nineteenth century in Germany. It carries a great deal of baggage. To introduce it into a Biblical text, 2000 years old or thereabouts, is simply an historical error. 

The Honourable Michael Kirby was Justice of the High Court of Australia from 1996 until 2009. This is an edited version of the Marshall Memorial Lecture he delivered at Trinity College, University of Melbourne, on 22 August 2012.

avoiding controversy...

Liberal senator Cory Bernardi has pulled out of a speaking engagement in England after his controversial comments about same-sex marriage.

Senator Bernardi resigned as parliamentary secretary to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott after an outcry over his speech linking gay marriage to the social acceptance of sex with animals.

He flew to London two days ago and had been due to address the European Young Conservative Freedom Summit this weekend at Oxford University.

But it is understood Senator Bernardi has decided not to go because of concerns his attendance would be a distraction.

The British Conservative Party had earlier moved to distance itself from the comments, which they said did not reflect the views of prime minister David Cameron.

Mr Abbott has described the comments as "ill-disciplined" and has accepted Senator Bernardi's resignation, saying they were views he did not share.

loosing traction...

LIBERAL Party Senator Cory Bernardi has lost another parliamentary role following comments he made to the Senate last week linking gay marriage to bestiality and polyamory.
Senator Bernadi had been deputy manager of Opposition business in the Senate but was replaced by West Australian Liberal Michaelia Cash.
Senator Bernardi lost the position at the same time he resigned from his position as parliamentary secretary to Opposition leader Tony Abbott. However it was not announced on Wednesday at the same time as his resignation.
A spokesman for Mr Abbott confirmed the move and said the change had been noted in papers that were tabled later that day in both the House of Representatives and Senate.

Mr Abbott yesterday refused to comment on Senator Bernardi's decision to pull out of a meeting in Europe.

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by invite only...

CORY BERNARDI'S repugnant views on gay marriage might have seen him demoted by the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, but a group of ''young conservatives'' aligned with the Liberal Party appear to have no such concerns.

The South Australian senator, dumped as a parliamentary secretary for comparing same-sex marriage with bestiality, is being feted as a guest of honour at a ''young conservative'' dinner tomorrow.

The dinner is being held just weeks after the controversial Sydney University Liberal Club event at which broadcaster Alan Jones made offensive comments about the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

The speaker list, which reads like a who's who of the Liberal hard right, includes the NSW Attorney-General, Greg Smith, the senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and the federal member for Indi, Sophie Mirabella.

But news of the $150-a-head event has angered Liberal members and officials as its proceeds will not benefit the party.

It is also understood that one of its organisers is Christian Ellis, a former Family First candidate who has been banned from joining the Liberals for a decade.

The dinner is due to be held at the Westella Renaissance function centre in Lidcombe. The invitation promises ''unlimited drinks'' and specifies that it is not a fund-raiser and is not associated with any political party.

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