Rossweisse
RIP Rossweisse, HellHost and long-time Shipmate.
Please see the thread in All Saints remembering her.

OZ Politics

A beautiful bit of management by the US and Australian Governments. First, our media gets the idea that Pompeo is going to ask us to host US intermediate range missiles. That runs for about a day, with people running hither and tither and asking what will the Chinese do, and will we get nuked today or tomorrow. Then our defence services (or is she defence) minister Linda Reynolds denies that it's going to happen. Everyone looks at her suspiciously. Then PM Morrison confirms it.

Almost in the same breath, Morrison announces that Australia is considering a request from the US to send warships to the Persian Gulf. Well played. In an aside, I am revising my prediction about war with Iran before the election, but I am not sure whether it's more or less likely. It is significant though that the US is formally gathering its friends about it.
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Comments

  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Fairly typical - making generally supportive comments but not doing anything, and most certainly not spending any money
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    our defence services (or is she defence) minister Linda Reynolds

    Is there such a ministry as Defense Services? Wiki says she went from being Minister Of Defense Industry, to Minister Of Defense.

    I gather MODI is responsible for procurement?

  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    I can't be sure of that, but there was at one stage a Minister for Defence Services. Names change often as a sign you're dong something.
  • I'm getting concerned about racism in the Gladys Lew matter. Too tired to explore this or set up a discussion now but I wanted to flag it. I heard in the car that Gareth Evans has made some indirect comments about it. I see parallels between the experience of Chinese-Australians now and Irish and Italian migrants in the past.
  • I'm more concerned about ScoMo playing the "That's racist!" card to try and shut the (legitimate) questioning down, to be honest.
  • Yes, there are legitimate questions surrounding her, but there’s also more than a hint of McCarthyism about some of the commentators. I hope someone sensible is looking into it objectively. With any luck, though, Andrew Bolt will be removed from the list of “friendly” journalists...
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    edited September 2019
    Kittyville wrote: »
    I'm more concerned about ScoMo playing the "That's racist!" card to try and shut the (legitimate) questioning down, to be honest.

    Agree. It's very hard not to think that (i) she's done very well in the Liberal party because of her ability to bring in the money, and (ii) lots of the money has come from Chinese govt sources.
  • People do well in politics if they can bring in the money. Heaps of pollies on both sides make their careers on their capacity to raise funds.

    I've read an ABC article that says she was a member of the World Trade United Forum, which is described as:
    ... affiliated with China's efforts to exert influence on foreign governments and expatriate Chinese
    .

    Other Australians are, as I understand it, affiliated with this group. Bruce Atkinson is mentioned. Heaps of Australians without Chinese ancestry have business and other associations with China. Heaps receive money from China. The entire State of Victoria has signed up to the Belt and Road initiative, which I reckon has very similar aims to this WTUF.

    The other thing that concerns me here is the timing of the attack on Liu. Was it last week or the week before that people were laughing and frowning at the Aldi bag of cash delivered to Sussex St by a banned bonor? Is the ALP launching this attack knowing that because of Liu's background the story will drown out everything but the footy finals?

    I'm not saying that Liu is a cleanskin. I'm wondering though whether she is getting different treatment to Rudd, Robb, Atkinson, the Andrew's Govt, the NT Govt which leased our bloody port, Clive Palmer and the rest because her ethnicity means that the allegation of spying or whatever will stick. If so, I am not happy.

    China is problematic, because it is n adversary and because of the nature of the place. How do we know whether any personal fortune of a person who has made their money in China or HK is mixed in with Government money? My feeling is that it probably is, on the basis that you don't make money in China or HK without the express or tacit permission of the Chinese Communist Party. But I don't know, of course.

    So I'm thinking that before we start to throw accusations of spying or improperly seeking to influence policy around, we need more evidence than ASIO not liking her guest list for the PM, or her being involved in associations with connections to the Chinese Govt. We need the sort of stuff that sunk Dastyari.
  • It's the size of the donations combined with the introductions she's made. She's certainly no cleanskin.
  • @SirPalomides will you give us the benefit of your insights?
  • Gee I am not sure that it is possible to untangle the donations, the relationships and the Chinese Govt. I'm also not sure that these things are of themselves problematic unless there is something more, like in Dastyari's case, tipping off a mate that their house might be bugged and changing position on the South China Sea.

    Here is an article from a China expert on the United Front Work Department and how it works. To me, it looks like a business network with Government sponsorship, something like an Australia-America business network, or AIJAC, especially the last one, whose purpose is to foster ties between Australia and Israel at all levels of society. That's exactly how we manage our relationship with the USA. Greg freaking Norman gave us Trump's private number for God's sake. The difference is that like Ireland and the Empire in the 1920's, China and Australia are at best frenemies.

    Liu gave a shocking interview, there is no doubt. Her false denials looked insanely bad. I go for incompetence, fear of having done something that looks bad, and nerves. That's probably why labor is pushing her to make a statement to Parliament. She might do another shocker, and further embarrass the Government.

    What might fix this whole problem is that if most donations to political parties were outlawed, and a strong Federal ICAC were put in place. The Greens are right yet again :trollface:



  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    Gee I am not sure that it is possible to untangle the donations, the relationships and the Chinese Govt. I'm also not sure that these things are of themselves problematic unless there is something more, like in Dastyari's case, tipping off a mate that their house might be bugged and changing position on the South China Sea.

    Liu gave a shocking interview, there is no doubt. Her false denials looked insanely bad. I go for incompetence, fear of having done something that looks bad, and nerves. That's probably why labor is pushing her to make a statement to Parliament. She might do another shocker, and further embarrass the Government.

    I start with the hold her "fundraising" has given her over the Liberal Party. That by itself is problematic. Then the introductions for the donors, the little chats with people around the place and it all starts to add up to unhealthy influence. Normally I'd go for the dictum that you go for the stuff-up if the alternative is a wrongful act, but the patent falsity of her interview makes this very, very difficult.
  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    My feeling is that it probably is, on the basis that you don't make money in China or HK without the express or tacit permission of the Chinese Communist Party. But I don't know, of course.

    Thing is, these days, who ISN'T making money in China, one way or another?

  • By the way, how much credence is given in Australia to the idea that Harold Holt was a Chinese spy? I'm assuming it's pretty unlikely that his drowning was a secret defection(as has been alleged), but does anyone actually think he was on Peking's payroll?
  • Not that I ever heard. There were all sorts of theories, but that one was well down the list.
  • stetson wrote: »
    By the way, how much credence is given in Australia to the idea that Harold Holt was a Chinese spy? I'm assuming it's pretty unlikely that his drowning was a secret defection(as has been alleged), but does anyone actually think he was on Peking's payroll?

    Zero credence given (apart from a few frenzied journalists in the days after the disappearance, and like Arthrawes I've never heard of people thinking he was on Peking's payroll.
  • Gee D wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    By the way, how much credence is given in Australia to the idea that Harold Holt was a Chinese spy? I'm assuming it's pretty unlikely that his drowning was a secret defection(as has been alleged), but does anyone actually think he was on Peking's payroll?

    Zero credence given (apart from a few frenzied journalists in the days after the disappearance, and like Arthrawes I've never heard of people thinking he was on Peking's payroll.

    Apparently, there was a book written promoting the theory(ie.Holt was a Chinese spy who faked his own drowning) in 1983. I think that's where I first encountered the idea, possibly the only place.

    I'm sure it was all BS, but was there some reason that Holt in particular would attract such allegations?
  • I'd not known of that book. Not one I'd rush out and buy.
  • It was always considered a joke theory that comedians bring up from time to time. I put it in the same category as the theory that the CIA engineered the downfall of the Whitlam Government. Not aware of the 1983 book.
  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    It was always considered a joke theory that comedians bring up from time to time. I put it in the same category as the theory that the CIA engineered the downfall of the Whitlam Government. Not aware of the 1983 book.

    That theory about Whitlam's downfall forms the background for the movie The Falcon And The Snowman. Or at least, the characters are portrayed as believing it to be true, without any rebuttal from the script. (I'm open to correction from anyone who has seen that movie more recently than the 1990s.)
  • I can't remember that film. The idea is utter bullshit though. These days, the theory among academics is that if anybody was hiding in the background it was Justice Mason (that's now established) and the Palace. Jenny Hocking is a leading academic in the area. I'm not saying everything she says is right. It's just that I'm too scared to disagree with her.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited September 2019
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    It was always considered a joke theory that comedians bring up from time to time.

    You mean the joke theory was that Holt defected to China? What I'm wondering is, why would they make that particular joke about him? Were his policies viewed as favourable to China?

  • It was put about that Holt was picked up by a Chinese submarine. Marine experts etc knocked that one on the head.
  • No they were not - at that stage China was viewed as the arch-enemy, even more so than the Soviet was. Don't forget that Oz had troops on the ground in Vietnam and China was heavily supporting the North Vietnamese.
  • Here is an extract from the conspiracy section on the Wikki page which sums it up I reckon:
    Holt's disappearance spawned numerous conspiracy theories, most of which involve claims of a cover-up at the highest level of government. A 1968 story in the Sunday Observer claimed that Holt had been assassinated by the CIA, supposedly because he intended to pull Australia out of Vietnam.[33] There were also suggestions that Holt had been killed by the North Vietnamese (after being incapacitated by a nerve agent),[45] or that he had faked his own death to be with a lover.[46] In 1983, British journalist Anthony Grey published The Prime Minister Was a Spy, in which he claimed that Holt was a lifelong spy for the People's Republic of China. According to Grey, Holt faked his own death in order to defect to China, and was "collected" by frogmen who dragged him to a waiting submarine. Reviewers noted multiple factual errors in the book, not least that it was physically impossible for a submarine to be positioned so close to the shore. Zara observed that her husband "didn't even like Chinese food".

    I like Dame Zara's acerbic observation.

    I thought Holt was a bit of a lightweight. His wiki page set me straight.
  • Just a follow-up on Gladys Liu. It looks like she will be out of the Parliament as a result of an appeal concerning signs at polling places in Mandarin that purported to assist people in voting, and which looked like AEC notices. They in fact instructed voters in how to vote for Liu and, in another seat, Josh Friedenberg. Liu is in danger because of her razor-thin majority. Age Article
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Should we start buying the kleenex now in case either/both end up being booted out?
  • lol. Sadly Josh looks safe.
  • The narrative of the attack on Liu being racist is very simplistic. The issue is China's influence on Oz politics. This brought down Sam Dastyari, and no one was talking about racism in that case (not that bigotry was never an issue in Dasha's career). The reason casting this as racism is so problematic is it conceals the depth of the issue. Labor's candidate for Liu's seat was involved in exactly the same organisations, she is a carbon copy of Liu. Labor's attacks on Liu are therefore ridiculously hypocritical, but again this is not the point. China were going to have a representative beholden to them in the parliament no matter who won. This is a new and very disturbing extension of their influence. It is similar to the influence of the US in Oz throughout the twentieth century (depite Toad's dismissal, the CIA involvement in the Whitlam dismissal has been documented by John Pilger, and while it still may not be true is considerably more than a "conspiracy theory").
  • stetson wrote: »
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    My feeling is that it probably is, on the basis that you don't make money in China or HK without the express or tacit permission of the Chinese Communist Party. But I don't know, of course.

    Thing is, these days, who ISN'T making money in China, one way or another?

    Money is one thing, and enough of a problem. In my state of W.A., the politicians are so petrified of offending China they made a public appeal to our PM not to say anything stupid in his White House visit (read: don't agree too readily with Trump when he says anything at all about China). The reason is simple - what is left of the mining based economy in this state is entirely beholden to Chinese demand. Without it, the mining industry is stuck up shit's creek, without the necessary paddle.

    The fact we may need to do something other than dig stuff out of the ground with the stuff we dig out of the ground seems to have completely escaped politicians whose supply-side Friedmannism is bred in the bone.

    But back to the point. Money is one thing - direct influence on constitutional political power is quite another. China's play for Chisholm is a new, arrogant, and very troubling move. And if Liu goes, I am sure it will happen again.
  • Scott Morrison seems to be aligning himself more and more closely with Trump. Is this likely to be acceptable to his base? I would have thought that it was a bad move, given how unpopular Trump is in most quarters.
  • Corey Bernadi is resigning from Parliament at the end of the year. He'll be replaced by a nominee of the Liberals, so no change there. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
  • The union-busting bill did not get up, defeated narrowly after ON and Jaquie Lambie declined to support it. But at what cost? Will Lambie now support the Medevac repeal? Possibly the two are actually unconnected. Still, it breaks my heart that Medevac may be repealed. Can we really not manage the bare minimum of common humanity?

    ION: Surely Taylor has to go now? He is the dictionary definition of a liability.
  • Both are quite weird. I suspect shenanigans to get One Nation to flip, but that's only because I have no idea why they did.

    Angus Taylor baffles me. Why hasn't someone in his office fallen on their sword, like when Cash spilled the beans to the media about the raid on the AWU (was it them)?
  • I later heard that One Nation is under the influence of the CFMEU in QLD, which makes sense. Right wing working class and all that.
  • The One Nation candidate who gave Joel Fitzgibbon such a scare was strongly supported by the CFMEU, so it seems likely that there is some marriage of convenience.

  • The Australian Election Survey
    of more than 2,100 Australians has found just 25 per cent believed people in government could be trusted.

    ...

    By 2010, only 72 per cent of Australians were content with democracy.

    Professor McAllister said the frequency of elections and leadership spills had contributed to that figure plummeting to just 59 per cent in 2019.
    Wish I were surprised...
  • This is what our Home Affairs minister reckons: Parliament is a disadvantage for Government.
  • Has anyone been following the apparent debacle over the proposed Religious Discrimination laws? I thought they had gone back to the drawing board, but my social media feed is beginning to mention it again, including this Cathy Wilcox gem?
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    There's a fairly silly list on the ABC site of all the nasty things which now won't be banned.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited December 2019
    Stagnation. Stagnation. Stagnation.

    It seems our government has their fingers in their ears and are saying all will be fine. I realise the international situation is not good, but I'm not impressed with a government that does not seem to be taking the challenges seriously.

    And yesterday Crikey (paywalled, so I won't link) reported on the big consulting firms and their contracts and donations:
    Just this calendar year, according to the limited data available via Austender, KPMG has been handed $209 million in government contracts; Deloitte and PWC over $170 million; and EY around $80 million.
    ...
    In order to avoid the already minimal transparency laws around political disclosures, both major parties are increasingly moving away from straight political donations — which KPMG is insistent it doesn’t make — to rely on subscription-style contributions that provide access to decision-makers at events but with fewer disclosure requirements.
    ...
    The big four all do it. They have become, per company, the biggest donors in Australian politics, displacing the banks and rivalling the gambling industry for the sheer bulk of donations.
  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    Has anyone been following the apparent debacle over the proposed Religious Discrimination laws? I thought they had gone back to the drawing board, but my social media feed is beginning to mention it again, including this Cathy Wilcox gem?

    From the Guardian.

    That cartoon is indeed wonderful. I think in a fully neoliberalised future, there will only be fire services for those who hire their own anyway, but hopefully we can still pull out of that nosedive
  • And now First Dog is getting involved
  • TukaiTukai Shipmate
    Parliament dissolved with Angus Taylor refusing to resign even though he had published on his website fabricated figures intended to discredit a political opponent. Soon it will resume with Brigid Mackenzie also refusing to resign over her "sports rorts', pre-election "community grants" awarded with prime regard to serving only electorates held by her party or marginal ones which they were targetting.

    Most damaging of the auditor general's comments on that program was that she (as Minister) had no legal authority to award the grants, with legal authority resting in the Australian Sports Commission which is government owned but 'independent' body with its own Board.

    This has given rise to serious suggestions of legal challenges (in court) by disgruntled applicants whose applications were rated higher on the published criteria but who got no money. That would be even more embarassing than protracted questioning in parliament. Even without Barnaby in the Ministry, Morrison can rely on the Nationals, as the weak arm of the Coalition, to create a scandal.
  • I'm waiting for Angus Taylor to stump up and defend Mackenzie...

    I listened to this recording of Jonathon Biggins' show The Gospel According to Paul. It is just brilliant and I highly recommend a listen. I'm almost ready to fall in love with the bastard again.
  • I went to see The Gospel According to Paul at the Seymour Theatre last year. It was absolutely fantastic, can’t recommend it highly enough.

    Bridget seems to think she doesn’t need to resign. The stench is now appalling. But we don’t need a proper federal ICAC with teeth, just so we’re all clear.

  • Why would she feel she needs to resign? Angus Taylor didn't think he needed to resign. ScoMo will just bluster on through, never apologising, never conceding, never changing anything. He's gonna ride the train till it falls off the tracks.
  • TukaiTukai Shipmate
    edited January 28
    Has anyone else noticed that in regard to the date of "Australia Day", and how citizenship ceremonies should be held on 26 January and not shifted, Scott Morrison is insisting on commemorating a date that explicitly celebrates multiple unauthorised boat arrivals.?
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Yes - the subject of some comment and laughter around here.
  • Now that Bridget McKenzie has been dumped, which absolutely had to happen, is it really obvious to everyone else that Barnaby Joyce was totally the one behind the initial leak of the figures? Someone pointed this out to me the other day, and to my chagrin I had not even thought of it. It is so obvious! And moreso now, as he is gunning to get his old job back, having cleared the decks a bit.
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