A Coalition of whingers

by Chris Becker

Following a Fairfax Media report yesterday that several cabinet members want Prime Minister Tony Abbott to dump Treasurer Joe Hockey, Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, has come out on the offensive this morning:

“I think it would be helpful if some of the commentators in the area, in this space of politics, started reporting on the incidents, as opposed to being players themselves,” he said.

“I think there’s a huge move by Fairfax at the moment to try and bring the government down, that’s fair enough.

“They aren’t supposed to be political players, they’re supposed to be objective reporters of the news and I think many of them have morphed into frustrated politicians themselves.”

Mr Dutton later told Sky News: “The reality is that there is a bit of a jihad being conducted by Fairfax at the moment.”

With respect, there would be less navel gazing and reporting on infighting if the Coalition actually had a plan for the nation and some decent policies.

Mr Dutton would be better served by stopping the whinging, manning-up about the Government’s failures, and developing some policies to see Australia through the uncertain times ahead.

There are many areas that need action – from tax reform, to retirement policy, and housing. How about less talk and more action? Australians are fed up.


  1. I am sure you all are aware of the astonishing news that a 72 year old judge of the highest court in the land Dyson Heydon, is not computer literate.
    Computers have been around for at least 25 years, so that meant at an age of less than 50 DH decided he would not bother learning the new technology.
    A technology that today carries most of popular opinion and information.(eg MB)
    And yet here he is carrying out judgement on whether the popular opinion would consider him to be biased toward his mates the Liberal party.
    How can he rule on that when he would not have access to a major source of where the popular opinion lies. This is truly blind justice. And wrong!
    Abbott and his team have just kicked another home goal. WW

    • Plain bullshit is what it is! Another pompus tosser is Commisoner Dyson Heydon AC QC, full of his own self-importance.

      • @rt,

        If a Royal Commission’s findings are to be upheld, they need to be free from any appearance of bias. If justly punishing corrupt officials is a goal, Heydon’s involvement is now an obstacle to its achievement.

        If this Royal Commission becomes tainted by a perception of bias, moreover, it will also undermine future Royal Commissions, which have, until now, been held in generally high regard in the community.

      • Goodness Stat with that comment you’ve moved beyond naive and are well on your ways to willful blindness.
        Royal commissions are the trough where the select few feast and inevitable find fault with with those that would deny them their place at the trough, a cynical view perhaps but one that every realist must eventually embrace.

      • And he’s too old for Christ’s sake. How these senior citizens can function in the system really bothers me. There are certain professions where mandatory early retirement should be in vogue. Apologies to the ageist agenda, but let’s call it for what it is.

      • @malcolm,

        He is in an occupation where there is mandatory retirement – at 70. Which is why is he a retired judge and therefore available to be a Royal Commissioner.

      • cb,

        This Commission in particular has looked like a stunt from start to finish. My comment was in response to rt’s notion that abandoning it or removing Heydon would jeopardise any fight against real union corruption that may or may not be occurring (to be clear, I am sure there is corruption, I doubt that anyone is fighting it very hard). I don’t think there is such a thing, outside the ongoing quest for fighting forgotten battles that is the Abbott governments sole reason to be.

        BUT, if someone actually wanted to fight union corruption – and no doubt at least SOME useful evidence has emerged, even if by accident – putting a line under this thing and starting again would be the best way forward.

      • Yeah I know sailor, but do we need retirees sitting on expensive Royal Commissions where peoples’ affairs are dragged into the public domain without first establishing a case to answer? He is going to be paid an enormous fee for warming a chair. Can’t we afford to pay judges now or is the RC not that important? Don’t get me wrong. I volunteer in my profession (and I’m not paid) but I don’t advise on anything requiring advanced advice – that’s for the paid full time professionals. Part time judges – pfft!

      • @malcolm,

        Maybe answer is ‘RC is not that important?’ i.e. to the people who appointed Heydon.

        I think the problem with using sitting judges is that there is a limited number, and you would effectively need to take one off the bench for the duration of the RC. I’m sure if you were serious about it, solutions could be found, but I also think that the fact that old buffers who are friends of the sitting government get paid a lot for not much this way is more commonly seen as a feature than it is a bug.

      • @sailor I reckon the judiciary needs to be better funded so the courts can operate efficiently and maybe we wouldn’t need a RC as much as seems to be the case. It has been know forever the CFMEU have a corrupt element, but corruptions take two to tango and I don’t see any corporations being pursued for handing over bribes.. Divert the funding from border farce and auction their black uniforms in some teutonic state.

    • My parents went from Microsoft to an Apple recently, similar ages to above, couldn’t do a thing – so what????

      Its all politics mate. And sort of uninteresting. Its been a pretty good outcome really. I had no idea the unions were so corrupt. The Royal Commission doesn’t actually pass any judgement. But investigates.

      A heap of these guys will be heading toward gaol in the years to come. And maybe we will get some more honesty out of these union officials who are nothing more than pigs at trough.

      What I want to see is a commission of audit on politicians expenses. Heck one the Roosters (who is not even a shadow minister as far as I know) has spent on average $400k per annum over the past four years! That is criminal. Thats the cover up. Liberal and Labour.

      The Royal Commission on union corruption is a bloody good idea. Don’t know a single person against it actually. Gaol all the corrupt bastards. Now we need one for politicians…

      • “Now we need one for politicians…”

        And the financial services industry. Stealing money from far more people than union officials.

      • The Royal Commission on union corruption is a bloody good idea.

        It probably is. That’s why Heydon has to go – keeping him now means that its findings will be on a fast track to the round file.

        If you really want to discover union corruption and excise it from Australian society, get a notorious left wing jurist (maybe Kirby – older than Heydon but can probably work a computer) so that the findings stick.

      • I get the corruption thang RT, but I don’t see why these investigations couldn’t be handled through the courts. It’s a bit like the Senate Committee hearings where all this information is pushed into the public domain in a highly political framework and a handful of proceedings arise with the usual slap on the wrist – Jackson is a case in point and now the pundits are howling for her partner to step down from the Fair Work Commission ffs. Must be contagious this embezzellment thingy.
        IMO the money spent on public Commissions, hearings et al would be better spent on funding the authorities to do their jobs properly. I have this image of Heydon with his glasses down on his nose mumbling to his blotter that Shorten’s evidence was unreliable. Ridiculous!

      • ‘Not knowing how to use email’ is a poor basis for claiming impartiality. Far better if he left that part out in his 67 page ruling.
        My biggest concern about the Royal Commission is that it’s progressing way too slow, with all the findings to coincide with the 2016 election. The corruption is pretty damn obvious to anyone with a pair of eyes, so why is it taking so long and nobody is persecuted? The link between CFMEU and George Alex came out in 2014. Took another year before he was interrogated, and then .. nothing.

      • RT,

        Where have I said “close the commision down?” Continuing with this guy is not a good idea, imo he displayed REALLY poor judgement, especially considering the guy was a former High Court judge and seemed to completely miss how this would look and play out in the press.

        I’m guessing I’m one of the layperson he’s considering when he came to his decision, well he got that wrong. He looks very conflicted in his position, how the hell he thought he could stonewall his way out of this without destroying the Commision is just stupifying.

        Edit: And his “I don’t know how to use email…” defence. Oh pleeeease.

        Unless you’re a rusted on coalition supporter this Commision looks very political. Anyone believing in its work would expect the person conducting it to be above reproach, and in my mind he doesn’t look it. To me it looks like he’s trying to hold on to a nice earner, or he’d walk.

      • I get the corruption thang RT, but I don’t see why these investigations couldn’t be handled through the courts.
        Absolutely. The problem is there isn’t a lot of political capital in letting the courts handle it as politicians lose control of the timing and terms of reference.

    • Computers have been around for at least 25 years, so that meant at an age of less than 50 DH decided he would not bother learning the new technology.

      An alternative conclusion is that he is lying, and that he is capable of reading an email. I think in Australia email was introduced in the mid to late nineties, at which time Heydon was not yet a judge, but a barrister and legal scholar (preparing six revised editions of ‘Cross on Evidence’ as a sole author from 1996 to 2014).

      • @StatSailor
        If you look carefully at footage of the commission at work you will see that the Commissioner seems to have 2 screens on his desk. It may be they are only monitors, can’t tell from the camera angle.
        If he gets all his emails printed out you would think that the attachments would also be printed out.
        I’m calling Liar.

      • Good Find. Well that is it. All over Red Rover.
        to access that screen you neeed to use a pointer.
        Using a pointer, say enabled by a mouse, or by the arrow keys, means you have the ability to use a screen and the functions which are intrinsic in that screen.
        In layman’s terms you are able to interact with the computer, ie use a computer.
        Now lets see what happens.
        Looks like DH has some retractions to make or face perjury. WW

      • A three year old child can use an iPad, yet we are expected to accept the judgement of a man who cannot use one.

        This is illiteracy and incompetence and we the Australian public insane for accepting it.

    • Aside from the legal and political issues it’s a good example of demographic and social issues Australia is facing in the future.

      Firstly ageing of the ‘commissioner’ class (in the broadest sense of the word, or the expression I hear Australian use ‘the top people’ or ‘connected’ which suggests acceptance of or desire for ‘class’) who were informed in previous times, but have missed much, and acting as a barrier to younger generations in various occupations and professions.

      Further, glaring issue of digital illiteracy in same and management classes; former head of Foxtel Kim Williams cites as one of the major barriers to innovation in Oz, in other words, how can ‘commissioners’ support innovation round digital if they don’t understand?

      Then the same classes, how do and will they preserve their right to be ignorant yet be responsible for and to Australian society?

      Perhaps the answer is already here, i.e. the demand in various sectors including govt., business, media etc. for glib face to face communication of 20-30 seconds or less with a response on the moment; this precludes analysis and reflection for slightly more complicated issues….. if you write anything beyond the bland neutral, make sure it’s a ‘Post it Note’ which can fall off a file…..

    • Team Abbott can keep kicking own goals and still get re-elected. Voters are stupid and they feel secure when fellow idiots are in charge. After all, Dubya was re-elected after a shocking number of blunders.

      The presidential term in the USA is 4 years whereas the election cycle here is 3 years. Given that voters are capable of re-electing Dubya after 4 years worth of own goals, I cannot see why they cannot do the same after 3 years worth of own goals.

      Besides, fear, greed and idiocy are the 3 main ingredients of a market and always have been. I review the share market almost daily, and am yet to see any evidence that this will change anytime soon. Even though market dynamics is highly random, there are certain patterns it follows;

      greed -> complacency -> folly -> peak idiocy -> denial -> pessimism -> fear -> capitulation -> despondence.

      I think a similar pattern exists in politics. In my view, the LNP are in the denial phase. In other words, it still has some way to go before they reach full blown capitulation and despondence (like the Republicans found themselves in 2008).

    • And remember that Abbott’s cabinet is “selected on merit” so everyone outside it is less worthy than Dutton according to Abbot.

    • His IQ got him his previous career as a QLD drug squad enforcer.
      If you want to get to know about his views google his maiden speech in fed parliament.
      One of the reptiles.

      • 1) An ex-cop
        2) QLD provenance
        3) Drug Squad
        4) Dull, Leaden Affect

        How do people like this even get SELECTED, let alone ELECTED??

      • You answered you’re own question Chuck. Such people are easily manipulated by the real powers behind the scene, they don’t rock the boat. That’s how they get ahead, they’re useful.

  2. Is that the same Dutton responsible for Border Farce in the Melbourne CBD? Can think of a word that rhymes with tanker.

    • The most terrible unmentionable insult I can think of that rhymes with ‘tanker’ starts with a ‘b’. Is that what you mean?

      • Yeah something like that. 🙂

        Also something that rhymes with uckwit comes to mind… and it doesn’t start with a ‘b’.

    • Border Farce …How about a farcical complete over reaction from biased journalists in relation to a badly written press statement over an operation involving 6 Compliance officers who would be doing data checks for VicPol. The only farce is the reaction from the press, Griggs, Winton et al and from people who naively believe everything in the media.

      • Yeah, about that Griggs…. from all of us in the NT, we would like to offer our apologies for that one.

      • “…an operation involving 6 Compliance officers who would be doing data checks for VicPol.”

        Perhaps you should do the pressers for ABF Brian. That sounds a lot less threatening, although not as fear-mongery as “ABF officers will be positioned at various locations around the CBD speaking with any individual we cross paths with. You need to be aware of the conditions of your visa; if you commit visa fraud you should know it’s only a matter of time before you’re caught out.”

  3. Many ABC commentators fail to suppress their absolute disdain for anything Abbott. No argument there. The Killing Season was good.

    I’ve no problem with privately owned media taking a particularly political skew but prefer minimal snipe in the process. Fairly clear that The Guardian is a GreenLeft tragic; Fairfax has some excellent journos, general anti-Abbott feel but occasionally goes the full retard with some Peter Hartcher hatchet jobs and the recent hand chopping smear towards the Lib candidate in Canning. The Oz fairs better, it’s Abbott govt criticisms more policy focussed, it’s interests genuinely in seeing a better governed nation.

    I’ve little doubt the Government feels under seige. It is. Often unfairly. Often by missteps of its own making. Let private media do whatever it wants. Hold the ABC to meticulous standards of impartiality, reporting not editorialising.

    • And the MB Oscar for Comedy goes to 3d1k for his call: “Often Unfairly”

      In a serendipitous twist, 3d1k also took out the irony and sarcasm sections for the same comment.

      • Mate, mere hours into the Abbott Government, ABC and Guardian release a hitherto sat on report re spying allegations in Indonesia. Events alleged took place under previous government. But the full fury of the perpetually disgruntled was unleashed on the new Abbott Government. And barely a day has gone by since without either of these two media outfits banging on about something.

        It took Fairfax a while to join the fray, and The Oz, only when warranted.

      • FiftiesFibroShack

        “Mate, mere hours into the Abbott Government, ABC and Guardian release a hitherto sat on report re spying allegations in Indonesia”

        They said they reported on the spying allegations within days of getting the story. Has evidence surfaced that shows their claims are not true?

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        I liked his “Let private media do whatever it wants”, Thats very gracious of you 3d. Freedom of the press, what a novel idea!

      • Mate good one. Heydon and his team are doing to need more that a few Panadols to slip out of this.
        Any good legal team will now rip this folly apart.
        But I agree with all above, once we have a setup which works, lets turn the flame on to all these rorters and incompetents. Its bad enough to have TOT at negative and GDP at zero, and in addition to carry all these parasites into the hard times. WW

    • So there’s a “huge move by Fairfax at the moment to try and bring the government down…” says Dutton.

      Siege mentality or a justified reaction to an overly biased media? Well who can really tell, so let’s judge on actions rather than words then. It’s paranoid governments that come up with ideas like Border Force.

    • “Hold the ABC to meticulous standards of impartiality, reporting not editorialising”

      Exactly this.

      Team Australia and what not. Probing questions, investigative reporting and criticism ist verboten.

    • You guys above should be seriously pissed off at 3d disrespecting you all like this with his 10th rate bs.

      Would the real 3d1k please return.

    • 3d1k, sometimes I appreciate your writting style and sometimes I think it should come with a “paid for advertorial” heading.

    • “Hold the ABC to meticulous standards of impartiality, reporting not editorialising.”

      Yes, clearly there’s a problem with the ABC. http://www.essentialvision.com.au/trust-in-media-8

      The most trusted media were ABC TV news and current affairs (63% a lot/some trust), SBS TV news and current affairs (61%) and ABC radio news and current affairs (58%).

      The least trusted were internet blogs (20%) and commercial radio talkback programs (34%).

      • I’m confident that you, of all those that comment here, know full well the underlying and occasionally overt bias of the ABC.

    • greedypuppyMEMBER

      the same lot who whinged about ABC bias when Howard was around..wasn’t it a Senator(?) Alston who tried to crush the ABC ..you’d think with Murdoch bending over backwards and the Daily Telegraph still running the anti Labor stories and giving Abbott free passes on every stuff up they must be aware the problem ain’t media bias…just incompetence

    • “Many ABC commentators fail to suppress their absolute disdain for anything Abbott”

      Well they’re only human.

  4. When Fairfax starts photo-shopping LNP ministers into Nazi uniforms, then they might have the ghost of a genuine complaint. Mostly, this is hypocritical whinging. Labor (rightly) copped a shellacking in the press during its term.

  5. You’ve got to see the funny side of Heydon’s comment :
    “In his judgement, Mr Heydon made it clear that he had an aversion to computers and a fear of emails.” and he goes on “Having glanced through the email on the front page, noting the time, date and place of the dinner, and noting that I was to be the guest of the organisers, it was not necessary for me to read the attachments explaining how those who were to pay would pay.” he said.”

    Huh! Let’s be clear on this. This man sits on a Royal Commission yet doesn’t have the nous to exercise due diligence with regard to the source and purpose of his speaking engagements. Is he too busy? The man’s retired FFS so his court load would surely be minimal, yet he can’t exercise the proper order of his personal life.

    This man has been handing evidence to the police as matters arise and will hand down a recommendation to Government at the conclusion of hearings. He has been criticising the performance of witnesses. He is deciding what witnesses are allowed to say or not as the case may be and yet he doesn’t vet his personal engagements. Forget the political bias – I don’t think the man is incompetent.

    Quotes sourced from https://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/news/dyson-heydon-refuses-to-go?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Volume+15+Issue+174+Daily+eNews+Tuesday&utm_content=Volume+15+Issue+174+Daily+eNews+Tuesday+Version+B+CID_2202ebba150a24f37cedf6b8d7aec68b&utm_source=campaign%20monitor&utm_term=refused%20to%20step%20down

    • Having a fear of emails would be crippling in contemporary life – no laughing matter at all.

      Lucky that he has survived through the early aughts to see email begin to recede as a preferred communication tool.

      • 🙂 I’m not sure that tweets and FB are a better substitute, but I get your point. However, people in public office have a duty of care to vet their emails IMHO. I had to do it in the public sector and I’m sure a retired beak could find the time.

  6. I like dogs. Dutton looks as though he’s survived a labotomy.
    All he can say when asked what the government has achieved is “STOPPED THE BOATS”
    “It’s all Labors fault.”, which when you come to think about it IS all they have achieved in 2 years of Government

  7. A long thought-provoking essay from Philosophical Economics that’s guaranteed to challenge what you think about large government debt and deficits.
    ..In summary, large government deficits, run for indefinite periods of time, can provide free lunches, are sustainable, do not lead to rising interest rates, and are not inherently inflationary.