19 January 2014

Scott Morrison should be sacked

... but he won't be, and that's why the Abbott government is pretty much done for.

It is not OK to conduct military incursions into other countries' territories. It has never been OK. Morrison promised never to comment on operational matters, but he had to comment on these 'repeated incursions' before the full details came from Indonesia, or from some source other than his own mouth.

All the PR smarties tell you that if you have bad news, get it out early and get it out yourself. Some news, however, goes beyond mere 'bad news' or even a misunderstanding. Military incursions into other countries' territories is in this category.

The other category error that Morrison made was to blame the Navy, as though it blundered into Indonesian waters:
It was brought to my attention at just after 4.00pm Wednesday that Border Protection Command assets had, in the conduct of maritime operations associated with Operation Sovereign Borders, inadvertently entered Indonesian territorial waters on several occasions, in breach of Australian Government policy.

I should stress that this occurred unintentionally and without knowledge or sanction by the Australian Government.
It strains credibility that the Navy veered off course and did not realise its vessels were in Indonesian waters. The Navy sent its vessels where government told them to go, and did what government told them to do. It is not OK to blame the military for government policy blunders, and ultimately such a tactic will work against the government rather than the military.

From now on people in the military are more likely to leak against this government. People in the military are more likely to have credibility that politicians lack. Any difference of opinion between a politician and the military will be resolved in favour of the military (with the possible exception of bullying allegations). When you consider that military personnel vote Coalition more than any other occupational grouping, this is a political own-goal as well as a governmental one.

Australia needs a long-term relationship with Indonesia more than it needs this or that lot of politicians in government. That relationship will change as Indonesia grows in economic and political power. A big part of Australia's economic growth prospects lie in our increasing engagement with Indonesia. This government has no capacity for improving relations with Indonesia. Even after this government loses office, the silly-buggers of the past four months will be hard to live down.

Almost every Prime Minister in Australia's history has been confronted with the prospect of politicising the military. On almost every occasion, they have flinched and backed down from doing that; indeed, the Coalition went too far in not standing up for service personnel returning from Vietnam and giving them fewer benefits than returnees from World War II got from the cash-strapped Chifley and Menzies governments.

Veterans from Afghanistan will get fewer benefits still, and naval personnel injured at sea while intercepting boats will get less than that. This is worth remembering when watching Abbott and his ministers proclaim themselves strong supporters of the military, and when the press gallery simply pass on words and images to that effect without comment or qualification.

If Howard had been Prime Minister, he would now be in Jakarta apologising, particularly to Mrs Yudhuyono. His smarter advisors would be casting around for someone with the same credentials with Indonesia that Dr Marty Natalegawa (PhD, ANU) and Dewi Fortuna Anwar (MA, Monash) have with this country. He would realise that a strong relationship with Indonesia is important and that anyone who had to go to maintain that would go.

Peter Reith lied about the military to advance the political prospects of the then government, and his own career. He left politics abruptly, suggesting that Howard basically lost confidence in him. Today, in the emerging Fairfax tradition of commissioning jowl-wobbling outrage from grumpy old farts as clickbait, he can make catty remarks about the Liberal Party presidency but he has little to offer (either from his own mouth or as an example) about how an elected government can and should relate to the country's armed forces as part of governing. Always be suspicious when a media tart goes to ground.

Peter Reith was once regarded by inside-Canberra sages as a potential future leader (while Reith has gone, many of said sages are still there). Senator Ian Campbell was pretty highly regarded when Howard sacked him for, um, whatever he sacked him for. David Jull was highly regarded within the Australian tourism industry, as Morrison was. None of the inside-Canberra reasons why Morrison is Too Big To Sack stand up.

The Liberal Party is organised around strong leaders; Labor has institutional checks and balances, but the Liberals are all about the Fuehrerprinzip. The Nationals can get a look-in when they bring quality to the table, as they did in the '70s with Peter Nixon and Ian Sinclair, but mostly they are passengers in a Coalition government.

Abbott is a weak Prime Minister: weak on ideas, weak on execution, weak on resolving conflict, weak on insisting that his team deliver more and better. The fact that he talks slowly is almost beside the point because his words seem to carry no weight. Because the press gallery are mugs, they agreed that his strutting around and declarative statements would make him a strong leader, and they are puzzled that the evidence before them contradicts their convictions. By this point in her Prime Ministership, Julia Gillard was pretty much written off by the press gallery.

What, then, should Abbott do?

Abbott isn't going to get rid of himself, though perhaps he should. When he was in South Africa, the big decisions on Holden and Graincorp were taken in his absence. He can commentate on the cricket, but not apparently on incursions into Indonesian waters. When the big decisions have to be taken, he's not exactly stamping his authority and nor is he conferring to find workable solutions. He's a passenger in his own government, not the pilot or even the navigator.

Getting rid of Bishop would be too hard. She would become a lightning rod for everyone who has their doubts about Abbott. We could end up with an unmarried woman who was a former law-firm partner in the Lodge with her male partner, and my goodness we can't have that.

Getting rid of "three star" General Angus Campbell would be too soft. Campbell was always human window-dressing and nothing would be achieved in scapegoating him, except to antagonise the armed forces still further.

Abbott hasn't thought through the implications of appointing Peter Cosgrove as Governor-General for our relationship with Indonesia. After hyping Cosgrove so much Abbott can't afford not to appoint him, as appointing anyone else would look like a slap in the face to a man widely admired in this country.

Getting rid of Morrison would be just right. The longer Morrison stays in office, the clearer it is that Abbott is not really sorry for the incursions, and that the whole policy of patronising Indonesia like we do Vanuatu or New Zealand will continue. Within the Liberal Party, nobody trusts Morrison: the right hate him because they regard him as a smarmy, self-promoting turd, while their opponents on the lesser right know him to be a smarmy, self-promoting turd. Right now he's doing nothing to turn around dicey polling numbers, but if he backs down altogether and starts weeping for the wretched cast upon the waters he is gone.

Like Kevin Rudd on 'the greatest moral challenge of our time', Morrison is finished no matter what he does. He isn't big enough to reinvent himself and spring clear of this current imbroglio, which is why he can't really 'resign' in any meaningful sense. He's just treading water and getting away with it. If you're the head of this government and you don't want the whole government to be similarly stuck, then you have no choice but to cut him loose and reframe the debate.

Mind you, Tony Abbott isn't one for public debate. He's never seen any good thing arise from public debate. Since he was at university, Tony Abbott aligned himself with powerful people and articulated their interests. The Catholic church and the monarchy are not democratic institutions, and neither is the Liberal Party in any real sense. As long as he's in with the decision-makers, he's happy to let what he regards as idle chit-chat run and run - but when the impressions of this government are so fluid and when simple declarative statements are contradicted by observable facts, he runs the risk that his own statements will be regarded as just more idle chit-chat, rather than the desired effect of Shut Up And Listen This Is Your Prime Minister Speaking.

It would be surprising, but not beyond the realms of possibility, for the Commission of Audit to decide that onshore processing is more cost-effective than Nauru or Manus Island. In the same way that only Richard Nixon could go to "Red China" without being red-baited by Richard Nixon, Tony Abbott could come to welcome boat-borne refugees without any of your "pick up the phone!" nonsense - but then, for the first time in his life, he would have to run a positive campaign and become a bigger person than he is. If you still believe that's possible, read this. Fat chance - not even with the considerable power of the office that he currently occupies.


  1. Could the whole lot of 'em be sacked? It's pretty obvious that they have no idea and are completely out of depth in what they are doing, and all that lays in the pipeline are cuts, tax rises and more jobs for the boys. As you pointed out, their chest-beating leader is nowhere to be seen when the going gets tough - not even a peep during the current bushfires from the die-hard volunteer...

    1. The only volunteering Abbott does is wear the clothes to pose for the photographs.

    2. the new GG should really be considering what he will say to abbott and Morrison he is military man after all

  2. Abbott has achieved the lofty goal his mother set him.

    What happens now is utterly unimportant to him. The goal was only to achieve power, not to wield it.

    Expect little change from what is happening now for the rest of the term.

  3. Couldn't agree more Andrew. Even if Abbott got shot of Morriscum, which he won't, who is there in the Coalition with the wit or talent to do any better than 'scum?

    Abbott has finished what Howard started; stripping the Coalition of anyone with principles, morals or talent and replacing them with rorting dullards with an enormous sense of entitlement to public funds and in thrall to the likes of Rupert Murdoch & the IPA.

  4. I agree with you on Abbott.

    At every point he has sidled up to the rich and/or powerful.

    He has always sought the patronage of older men.

    He is nearly 60 and remains a petulant boy.

    In my opinion Morrison is doing Abbott's bidding.

    Abbott has no sense. He just likes winning. Anything will do. Aggressive competition drives him. He is nothing without it.

    1. Petulant boy....??

      He's an emotionally stunted creep of a man

      It's embarrassing for him as a father and his idiotic dad jokes

      It's more akin to Hey Dad with his daughters.

      Peta Credlin needs to do something before he really embarrasses himself

    2. One point of reference is his sister Christine Forster
      The animosity from the gay community towards her is astounding! !!

      They can't stand her and that's a sad indictment if the whole family.
      Shallow creeps both straight and gay

  5. The eerie silence of the MSM. press is "deafening"!...Have they got their "mouths" too chock full of those little Jatzy things w / cheese cubes and cocktail onions on a toothpick?

  6. why would I bother reading anything but ind, pres, thanks Andrew only just realised I was not following you so have not seen your comments of late. the thing that really get me with the media they can write all the they like but I am wondering Why NOT screaming where is abbott , till then I find it hard to take them serious, even the bushfire events he is on holidays while JG came off holidays to visit bushfire areas.
    No empathy from any of them as we long suffering readers of the ind media could foresee.
    thank you again

    1. Thanks Anon, but the last thing I'd want in a fire area is Tony Abbott and his entourage.

  7. Toady Rabbott's entire Cabinet is like the dog that caught the car it was chasing - hard.

  8. Think Tony Abbott is the Most Boring Politician certainly no content to be Australia's Prime Minister. Say what you like about Julia Gillard she has a real commonsense Brain who thinks things through before opening her mouth. Heaven help this Country now.


    Things are stirring in SA - Amanda is not happy with Cory.


    1. She was never happy with him, and now she's landed the telling blow. Should've written that last year.

    2. Cory Bernardi was Tony Abbott ten years ago...

      Sleazy and weird ideologue
      Food for thought

    3. Yep - and I know for a fact Amanda couldn't stand Tony then either. In fact I was present when she made a surprisingly witty observation about his general sleaziness.

  10. Hillbilly Skeleton20/1/14 10:16 am

    There is another quality that Abbott appears to be good at. Corrupting the less than evangelical for the Conservative cause in the 'Liberal' Party, by making them carry the can publicly against their oft-stated principles in the past,such as we hear that Turnbull is now not raising a peep in Cabinet against the Abbott Fossil Fool phalanx in his Cabinet to virtually dismantle all of the Renewable Energy initiatives put in place by the former Labor government and get rid of the RET, just so he can be allowed to remain in Abbott's Cabinet. With Hunt & Macfarlane the only two with balls big enough to stand up for what they know is the correct thing to do, is, maintain the economical RET, even though they still ended up getting rolled.

    Thus do we see in action how the Lunar Right of the 'Liberal' Party advance their creepy creeping Conservatism within their party and grind down the bona fides of their counterparts in the so-called 'Moderate Wing' of the 'Liberal' Party.

    Such as we see today with Senator Simon Birmingham being made to carry the can for the Irrigationist lobby in the government, who have decided that they want THEIR water back from the Murray-Darling River System. That would be Simon Birmingham, the South Australian Senator who was the only one willing to support the previous Labor federal government to try and get good outcomes for South Australia as a result of the MDB Plan.

    Truly,is power such an overwhelming aphrodisiac that one is willing to compromise one's core beliefs just to hang onto it? It appears so.

    Which is how Scott Morrison got where he is today. A truly hollow shell of a human being. And emblematic of the Big Business/IPA-grovelling government we have been cursed with. For all our sins.

    As such, I predict he won't be going anywhere fast because he is a 'good boy', and follows Abbott's core principles for getting and holding onto power to the letter. Birds of a feather always stick together. Even if the public is ranting and raving away in the background, they believe enough in their modus operandi for hanging onto that power, to know that in an election year they will go all soft and cuddly,like Napthine is doing now, amp up the hating on Labor, as Napthine is doing now, and all will be forgiven by the electorate. Who,in the main, and with Murdoch's media guidance,have the attention span of guppies.

    Eventually, one hopes, the Canberra Press Gallery will rediscover their moral compass, and not allow themselves to be bought with a few pieces of silver manifest as a big,shiny airplane with all the cushy mod cons.

    If not,then we can only count on the bad karma which this government is building up at the rate of knots,hitting them square in the kisser.

  11. "Peter Reith lied about the military to advance the political prospects of the then government, and his own career. He left politics abruptly, suggesting that Howard basically lost confidence in him."

    As far as I remember (which isn't very far), Peter Reith elected not to stand at the 2001 election, but stayed on as Defence Minister until the last moment. This made him the ideal person to shoulder the blame for the "children overboard" fiasco, as he was no longer in the Cabinet when it all came out. I'm not so sure that Howard "lost confidence in him." More like Howard used Reith to do the dirty work, so that Howard could claim that he wasn't informed that the photographs weren't of children being thrown in the water, as he had previously told the Australian electorate.

    Howard kept Reith on after the phonecard debacle, and the waterfront conflict.


    1. Reith let abruptly, which suggests he had the rug pulled out rather than sliding gracefully into retirement. You can support someone up to a point, but not when you're defending a wafer-thin margin and they're still a liability. If Reith didn't want any more to do with public life he wouldn't be so active now.

    2. Reith,achieved Howard,s agenda to smash the Painters & Dockers & MWU ! He got the Dockers ,MWU limped away !! Jack Boot Reith ..He disappeared into thin air .Maybe Howard thought the wharfies would take him out .Wouldn,t surprise anyone if they did , .at the time !! I think Howard gave him an overseas posting somewhere !! That was a bitter dispute, that one !!

  12. "Open and transparent" government. What a terrible joke that is.

    With regard to Morrison, all we see is more of the same: blame anyone or anything else, when the going gets tough. Seems to be a characteristic amongst conservative ranks.

    One of our greatest tragedies at this point is our gormless media. Collective memory of a flea it seems.

    The other notable feature of this very new government is sheer laziness...on a daily basis we see them outsourcing work to their cronies, as opposed to using the significant resources already available to them, and rolling up their own sleeves.

    Tony Abbott should NEVER have been our Prime Minister, and is proving to be worse than we could have imagined. That is quite an achievement.

    1. Hi Pia,

      Not worse than we imagined, but certainly the wheels are coming off way faster than I expected.

  13. We should all and I mean all get together and get rid of this farce!
    Now 'they' have sacked a magistrate on Nauru, probably by accident....
    and revoked the Chief Justice's visa to Nauru, probably another 'accident'!
    Now Nauru has no legal representation, i.e., is lawless, does this get covered in the Constitution??? Or does that simply fall under the heading 'accident'? Is the Constitution an accident? u bet ya!

  14. I think most Australians don't realise that our Navy ships are relentlessly patrolling up and down Indonesia's maritime border, intercepting boats when and as they please as any cross it. If their Navy was patrolling up and down our borders, interfering with Australian shipping and fishing vessels I think we would not be pleased, even without the added insult of crossing that boundary whenever it suits them.

    I think there is a real problem with a descent into jingoism; it is very popular with the nationalistic flag wavers as well as elements of mainstream media. An LNP insider likening Indonesia' president to a porn star is not lack of discipline, it's an appeal to the 'real Australians', who's narrow mindedness did so much to boost Abbott's popularity and get him elected. Insulting Indonesia's president is actually going to be popular with this demographic and I suspect ignoring Indonesia's boundaries will be popular too. If it affects relations with Indonesia, this demographic will only love Abbott more if he refuses to apologise and adds insult to insult. They would happily cheer Abbott on into a quagmire of spoiled opportunities for co-operation and potential for conflict.

    1. Cashed up bogan demographic. ...

      Far right racist prick idiot

      Love Helen Razer s new meme

      It's not Australia day but
      I'm a racist prick day


  15. Shamelessly borrowed this and reposted at

  16. Great article, Andrew. You have left no room for comment - you have covered it all superbly.

  17. While i agree with some of the sentiments, polling suggests Morrison has overwhelming support from the broader public while most Australians say it is worth ruining the relationship with Indonesia to make them stop people smuggling.

    i don't agree with things Morrison and Abbott have done, i didn't vote for them, but i do believe in democracy.

    1. I was quite specific about the incursions into Indonesian territory, and it simply does not matter what polls say about that. Polling is not democracy.

    2. And telling Australia to go jump is very popular in Indonesia! Most serious conflicts are entered into with popular support on both sides Mostly because people don't really know better. It requires adult restraint and civility when it comes to sorting out international differences. A willingness to ruin Australia's relationship with Indonesia in order to stop people smuggling , because that's popular is a dangerous course. A lot of presumptions built into it - apart from unproven belief that there are no less damaging options - including that the consequences of a ruined relationship between our nations will be of little ... consequence. Polling is not diplomacy.

    3. There is no people smuggling, I fail to understand why Australian's can watch millions of people around the world flee from wars and still maintain it is smuggling if they come here but not if they go everywhere else.

  18. Another entirely predictable problem (that was explicitly pointed out by Kevin Rudd, leading to much derision amongst the imbeciles in the press gallery) from an incoming government whose obvious flaws were so clearly visible to anyone who bothered to look with both eyes. Thank God for blogs like this

  19. Razor sharp analysis. Thanks for the Syd Hickman link too - further proof if required.

  20. Well said. The divisiveness the libs flagrantly foster is quite alarming. I see it as deep damage to the fabric of our society. Others probably wouldn't because they have the political representatIon. I really dispair that there is an audience in the country for this show and that there is a government willing to perform it.

  21. Surely even those who support the government's motives and methods must be embarrassed by this bush-league performance.

    They have now killed their "we don't comment on operational matters" excuse by commenting on something that sounds pretty damn operational to me, for the purposes of absolving themselves. Morrison also specifically denied that any shots were fired at or near asylum-seeker boats which tells us that anything they don't specifically deny, probably happened. We're not as stupid as he thinks we are.

    Even if we were to believe that the Navy was at fault, it's still completely the wrong message to send by the government's own parameters. It tells the people smugglers that the force we have dispatched to intercept them are just ambling around the sea not entirely sure of where they are. We knew from the beginning that the Abbott government were going to use the defence force as toy soldiers over this made-up problem but to use them as diplomatic cannon fodder like this is... well, is 'treason' too strong a word?

  22. There's a young liberal I know of that comes from a real ethnic redneck background

    That's why they're narrow minded and it's that demographic who vote for them

    I avoid them at all costs as I don't want my family being influnced by money hungry d....heads with vslues so immoral this blog would need a r rating...
    Cheers Andrew and bless you with this blog

  23. Can't other countries put sanctions against the government regarding the repugnant Asylum Seeker policy??

    Thank goodness Putin is nastier and crazier and might really scare some of
    the gay liberals who are Uncle Tom's to do something...

    They might have a conscience and wake up to reality

  24. Are you kidding? Picking a quarrel with foreigners - particularly ones that are of a different skin colour - is always and everywhere good politics. It resonates particularly well with what a cabinet minister once described to me as "the deadshit vote" - the same vote that is driving the asylum seeker policies in the first place, and a highly numerous and influental segment of the population that Mr Morrison is tasked with locking in to the coalition.

    I mean you're absolutely right that this is disastrous foreign policy that could easily cost the country bigtime - including those deadshit voters - in all sorts of ways. That won't stop it from being widly popular if the Indonesians choose to be provoked (which they may - they're a democracy now and "picking a quarrel with foreigners...etc".)

    1. That theory explains things like this, but the trouble is the deadshit vote never holds. If it did, Howard would still be PM. Deadshits, by definition, aren't loyal and are easily distracted.

      It's one thing to idly cheer someone taking it to Johnny Foreigner. It's quite another to face an economic downturn - and welfare cuts - with no real clue about where the jobs are coming from. I think you underestimate how much said folk like going to Bali - turning around a Jetstar flight to Denpasar will have a catalytic effect on this debate, and not perhaps in the way you suggest.

    2. Gosh Andrew I wish I had not read that DT link above.

      I hadn't realized how bone-heatedly virulent that paper had become. It is one thing to pick on the side you do not support but another entirely to disparage our nearest and most important neighbour.

      Do you really think Indonesia will ban Australians from Bali? I find that difficult to believe.

    3. 'Do you really think Indonesia will ban Australians from Bali?'

      Maybe, maybe not, but they could be more subtle than an outright ban. Ceasing the issue of visas on arrival would be a huge diplomatic slap. Requiring Australians to jump through hoops/pay through the nose to get visas, more searches at customs heavily weighted towards Australians, can't see the bogans embracing that.

    4. Do you really believe that the Indonesian politicians up for election this year in the world's largest muslim democracy aren't orders of magnitude smarter and slicker than Toady Rabbott's band of third rate lickspittle lobbyists? I suggest that you don't get on a plane (particularly a bright shiny new one that we bought for Toady's special mates in the Swine Gallery) bound for Bali if any of Murdoch's minions are aboard, 'cause if I was one of SBY's staff, I know when it would look very good in Djakarta to discomfort Arrogant Aussie Arseholes in Denpasar.

  25. John Highgate 600322/1/14 1:18 am

    While they have the overwhelming support of the public on the immigration/refugee issues other than being too soft then Morrison is not going anywhere. Abbott will be one term but for hip pocket issues.

    What's needed on the Morrison issues is for stakeholders to actively support asylum seekers; churches, unions, AMA, Greens, CEOs. To me the only time these groups speak is attach each other. Protest marches are "anti" government, especially the ALP. Never really pro asylum seekers.

  26. "a smarmy, self-promoting turd" .. gold.

    Can I use that elsewhere? In fact it already Googles beautifully.

  27. Julian Burnside has written an excellent piece for the Drum on the goings on in Nauru.

    Curiouser and curiouser.

  28. VoterBentleigh22/1/14 11:36 pm

    The Indonesian leadership also agree that the “inadvertent” excuse is not credible (and whatever happened to “no excuses”?!). It is the Indonesian viewpoint which is important, but Minister Morrison focuses on the Australian audience. It is also amazing that a three-star general can front a press conference claiming that he did not know what his troops were doing - what exactly is his role - apart, that is, from being a PR man.

    The cost of the offshore detention centres was brought to mind with Minister Morrison claiming that he was saving nearly $89 million by closing detention centres in Australia. The costs of offshore detention and the newly acquired lifeboats would be high and so, at the very least, what he is “saving”, he is actually spending.

    No-one in the media questioned the PM 's claim that “we” are in a “fierce contest” with people smugglers or Minister Morrison's claim that the boats have stopped. Given that it is the asylum seekers who are being detained/deported, not the people smugglers, and the boats have not actually stopped leaving Indonesian shores, the claims are not strictly true. The people smugglers are still making money and the boats still come, but do not reach Australian shores apparently because we have been acting illegally under international law.

    In public interviews, Minister Morrison keeps disparaging the United Nations. If we act against the United Nations - including disobeying international law when we are part of the UN Security Council ! - we can expect little help from the UN when required, let alone remaining on the security Council. Perhaps PM Abbott's aim is to obliterate that Labor legacy, too! The extreme irrationality of the Citizens Electoral Council, with its anti-UN and conspiracy theories, has spread to the Liberals and their supporters.

    Tony, the warrior conservative; by the end of his first term, it appears that he will be “in a fierce contest” with just about every neighbouring country and a great many people in his own.

  29. Tony Abbott seems more interested in strutting about in budgie smugglers than actually governing, which doesn't blow my skirt up one little bit, personally.

    My impression (not just of him, but of pretty well all politicians) is that he's merely mouthing platitudes and hot air, biding his time before he can claim the eye-popping, unearned, lifetime pension, compliments of the Australian taxpayer - as they all do.

    Many people have stopped listening to either side of the fence anymore because there's altogether far too much bickering, back-biting, insincere and idle 'talk', broken promises, 'under the table' deals, and far too much damage done to the nation and it's people as a whole, educationally, ecologically, socially, financially - you name it, it's been increasingly eroded and (almost) damaged beyond repair.

    In other words, they're in politics to feather their own individual nests for as long as they can get away with it, and then retire with even more. Like a corporation, they don't care who they step on and hurt to achieve it.

    If anyone had the balls to actually ask the nation, it wouldn't surprise me to hear the majority of us declare that we're fed up with the limiting "two party system". (And why have those two parties banded together now to make it increasingly difficult and expensive for fresher, newer, younger, more passionate parties to enter the arena and run for government?)

    Let's get back to basics here: Politicians are SERVANTS OF THE PEOPLE, not the other way around.

    It's really time they were reminded of that and had 90% of their lifetime 'toys' (lurks and perks) taken away from them. They haven't earned any of it and they certainly don't earn any of it after they retire from politics.

    That alone could save the country absolute BILLIONS. You want to balance the budget? Start culling politicians, their salaries, retirement perks, and assorted hangers-on from the ranks.

    We should be upending the whole political system in favour of one that's just, fair, transparent and honest - one where the door slams tightly shut against the corrupt and wealthy few attempting to grease palms in order to influence policy to benefit big business and the political agendas of other countries.

    It's PEOPLE who make a nation. Together. Not media moguls and their political mates, although they've gotten away with it for a long time now.

    It's the PEOPLE who have the right to overthrow corruption and those self-serving, supercilious, lying, windbags who flatly refuse to serve the best interests of the nation and the people they're supposed to nurture and protect.

    Isn't it time to take out the garbage?

  30. Another day, a new nightmare. This government simply beggars belief.

  31. Good points although the reference to veterans' benefits is incorrect. The MRCA is vastly more beneficial than the VEA and possibly SRCA which applied to Vietnam veterans and has recently been reviewed and is now even more so. Veterans receive far greater assistance and compensation than comparable countries such as the UK, US and Canada.

  32. a lot of hate here. Lots of school yard mentality put downs.
    pretty much what i expected.
    hope everyone is enjoying their interaction here at the sheep trough

    1. Having expected it, how puzzling that you are unable to rise above it.