Showing posts with label Scott Morrison. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scott Morrison. Show all posts

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Australian Federal Election Campaign 2018-2019: the lying continues......

Trump acolyte Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised a presidential-style election campaign and he is delivering .

Like US President Donald Trump, Morrison is lying shamelessly……..

The Guardian, 14 January 2019:

Scott Morrison has elevated an obscure bill to ban cosmetic testing on animals to one of the top two legislative priorities for the Coalition in 2019, according to his office.

Speaking to ABC News Breakfast on Monday, the prime minister cited “environmental legislation … [that] is important for native species” as among the government’s priorities for the new year, second only to national security.

There is no major environmental legislation before parliament and the prime minister’s office was unable to immediately identify what he was referring to.

Morrison’s comments also caught conservation groups offguard.

Five hours later, a spokesman for Morrison told Guardian Australia the prime minister was “referring to the agricultural and veterinary chemicals legislation amendment”.

The bill – introduced by the agriculture minister, David Littleproud, in October – makes minor changes to the regulatory scheme for agricultural and veterinary chemicals to provide simpler processes for chemicals of low concern.

The federal policy director of the Wilderness Society, Tim Beshara, told Guardian Australia the bill had “stuff-all to do with native species”, a sentiment echoed bythe Australian Conservation Foundation nature campaigner, Jess Abrahams.

An hour after this story was published, the prime minister’s office clarified the first statement was in error and claimed Morrison had in fact been referring to the Industrial Chemicals Bill 2017.

That bill establishes a new regulatory scheme including banning animal testing for new chemical ingredients of cosmetics from 1 July 2018. It passed the lower house and was introduced to the Senate in October 2017 but appears not to have been debated since then.

Abrahams said: “As far as we are aware, the main government policy relating to native species is the plan for a one-stop shop for environmental approvals, which would have the effect of weakening environmental protection.”

“The government also has a targeted review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act for farmers, which could also weaken protection of the environment.”......

In September a Senate inquiry investigating fauna extinctions heard that a large proportion of staff working in threatened species management rated the government’s performance as “poor or very poor”.

The union representing staff said 91.3% of those who responded to a survey said the government was doing poorly or very poorly in fulfilling domestic and international obligations to conserve threatened fauna and 87% believed the adequacy of Australia’s national environment laws – the EPBC act – was poor or very poor.

Beshara accused the government of failing its statutory responsibility to fund and implement endangered species recovery plans. He called on the government to put “some serious funding towards saving some endangered critters and plants”.

“I am more than happy to brief the prime minister on what the government needs to do for native species if he would like.

“He might be surprised to know that the Darling River crisis is only one of many ecological crises happening in Australia right now on his watch. It’s a real mess out there.”

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Donald Trump and his Antipodean shadow

US President Donald J Trump (left) & sycophantic Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrision (right)

It is hard to tell which man is the bigger fool.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Response To Organised White Supremacist Racism 101: compare the pair

On Saturday 5 January 2019 a predominately male, motley band of openly racist people held a rally at St. Kilda Beach in Victoria, during which they expressed their xenophobia and hatred.

The organisers appeared to be members of Australian white supremacist/facist/neo-Nazi/anti-immigration groups.

Including The Lads SocietyAntipodean ResistanceThe True Blue CrewSoldiers of Odin and the Proud Boys, Whose combined ranks allegedly hold individuals who have convictions for violence, inciting serious contempt of Muslims, stalking, trafficking, assault, aggravated burglary, arson, affray, riotous behaviour and/or breaching intervention orders, according to media reports.

Nazi symbols featured on clothing worn by some members of these groups, Nazi salutes were frequently given during the rally and anti-Semitic as well as racist taunts were thrown about.

Although one of the rally organisers tries to deny his group's links to Nazi ideology 
and racism, the fact of the matter is that as late as December 2017 the founder of The Lads Society was castigating members for forgetting his game plan is to emulate Hitler by creating a political party with mass appeal, with the words:

"Seriously, just to wrap it up, too, just to wrap it up, the last fucking thing I’ll say is, do you really think that, if Adolf Hitler rose from the grave, if his spirit descended and stood beside you, put his hand on your shoulder, and he surveyed your jackboots with your red laces, and your fucking swastika tattoos, and your abrasive, fuck-the-world attitude, your little syndicate-separatist cult, do you really think he’d be proud of you? Do you really think he would say you’re a true national-socialist, well done? Do you think the man who said all great movements are popular movements and one must adjust himself to the times would be proud of you, would believe in you? Get a fucking clue!" 

There was a second diverse group of people who formed a sing-a-long & community picnic at St. Kilda Beach on the same day, in support of the ethnic and religious minorities that the first group were vilifying.

What has been reported as hundreds of police, including mounted police in riot gear as well as police dog handlers, attended St. Kilda Beach to make sure no violence occurred.

Victorian Police arrested three people who may have been at the beach for the racist rally - one for breaching bail conditions, one for a drug charge and another for possessing a dangerous article.

Independent senator from Queensland and well-known political ratbag, Fraser Anning, flew down to support the racist rally - flying business class and using chauffeured Comcar/s at taxpayers expense.

This was Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison's response to that Saturday at St. Kilda Beach:

This was the Leader of the Opposition and Labor MP for Maribyrnong Bill Shorten's response to that day: 

Now an observant reader may notice that there is something vaguely familiar about Morrison's tweet - a rather uncomfortable similarity to US President Donald Trump's infamous response to the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally, in which he attempted to assert a false equivalence between the white supremacists/neo-Nazis and those protesting against Unite the Right.

This did not go unnoticed in the USA where one political commentator pounced on Morrison's use of the plural "ugly racial protests":
Then, like Trump, when Morrsion realised that public opinion was running against his false equivalence he tried to retrieve the situation with a statement sent to mainstream media on 7 January - and just like Trump he couldn't quite refrain from hinting that that community picnic was also extremism at work.

"I support entirely the views expressed yesterday by Acting PM Michael McCormack condemning Senator Anning for attending the racist rally in St Kilda and associating himself with extreme and offensive racist views that have no place in our society. He is a repeat offender on these issues. Australians are not anti migrant nor racist. Genuine concerns held by fair-minded Australians about immigration levels, border protection or law and order should not be used as a cover or be hijacked to push hateful and ugly racist agendas. As I did yesterday, I’ll always be prepared to call out extremism in all its forms." [my yellow highlighting]

It seems that when comparing the responses of Morrison and Shorten, Morrison in echoing his hero Trump comes off a very poor second best.


The main speaker at the St. Kilda Beach racist rally has a long history of espousing neo-Nazi ideology.

This comment was posted by Cottrell n 2013 expressing the view that a portrait of Hitler should be in every classroom and every school and that his book issued to schoolchildren annually:

And again in 2014:

After Cottrell and the United Patriots Front failed to launch the Fortitude Australia political party in 2016, there appears to be no political party directly associated with the founder of The Lads Society and the alt-right's plan to infiltrate the National Party of Australia is reported to have been unsuccessful to date.

Nevertheless, there are a number of registered political parties that are anti-Islam and anti-immigration which may attract racist, fascist and/or neo-Nazi voters. For example Pauline Hanson's One Nation, Australia First Party (NSW) IncorporatedRise Up Australia  and Love Australia or Leave. Then there are the deregisterd parties which apparently continue to have a presence on digital platforms, such as the Australian Protectionist Party which was deregistered in 2015.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Quotes of the Week

“If you want to know what caused those conditions, I’ll give you an answer – it’s called climate change,” the Queensland premier told reporters. “It is only the LNP who could watch Queensland burn and then blame the trees.”  [Queensland Premier Anna Palaszczuk quoted in The Guardian, 7 December 2018]

“Last year, more Australians bought their seventh home than those who bought their first”  [Journalist Timothy Swanston quoting an incorrect statment by Queensland Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni, ABC News, 8 December 2018]

 Most people just consider Assange a spoilt-brat egomaniac with murky motives, a limelight habit and some profoundly questionable political affiliations.”  [Journalist Elizabeth Farrelly writing in The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 December 2018]

“Both Brandis and Turnbull were regularly labelled, and probably were what passes for, ‘moderates’ in the neoliberal alt-right nativist populist Trumpist tribal world, or whatever white patriarchy is called these days.”  [Academic and blogger Ingrid Matthews writing in oecomuse, 27 November 2018]

“Scott Morrison reminds me of a belligerent & angry Sunday School teacher. Protected by his Christian reputation but in reality just a nasty, angry, vengeful man”  [Elizabeth Marr on Twitter, 9 December 2018]

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Morrison goes full Trump and democracy begins to suffer

Channel 9 News online, 22 November 2018:

Scott Morrison insists police need immediate access to encrypted messages to stop future terror attacks.

The prime minister says new laws giving police access to the messages must pass federal parliament in the final sitting fortnight of the year, after three men charged with plotting a terror attack in Melbourne were accused of using encrypted communications.

"Our police, our agencies need these powers now," Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.

"I would insist on seeing them passed before the end of the next sitting fortnight."
He said the foiled Melbourne plot showed it was incredibly important for authorities to have powers to intercept encrypted messages on apps like WhatsApp.

Mr Morrison urged the committee examining the laws to wind-up its review as soon as possible so the laws can be passed.

The Liberal-chaired committee has scheduled three public hearings on the bill, with the final one set for December 4 - two days before parliament rises for the year.
To pass the encryption legislation before then, the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security would likely have to bring forward or abandon the hearings.

The next Encryption Bill public hearings are scheduled for 27 November, 30 November and 4 December 2018. In addition to evidence from the full five hearings there are 87 submissions the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security needs to evaluate before writing its report to Parliament.

Both Prime Minster Scott Morrison and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton are reportedly applying pressure to the Joint Committee to throw out standard parliamentary practice and deliver its report no later than 3 December.

It appears that both theses hard-right politicians are determined to kill off democratic processes whenever they see an opportunity to do so.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Quotes of the Week

“ScoMo’s blue bus is the perfect symbol of the man and his government – a brash, ostentatious cliché, non-functional and completely phoney.”  [Journalist Mungo MacCallum  writing in The Monthly, November 2018]

“Australians often over-estimate the proportion of the population that is Muslim, with Ipsos surveys finding respondents believe it is 17 per cent when the reality is 3 per cent.”  [Journalist  David Crowe,  writing in The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 November 2018]

“Later, Fairfax Media went to another publicly-accessible area from where the Cutaway is audible. Mr Turnbull was heard to lament the Coalition was presently "not capable" of dealing with climate change as an issue, despite it being "a profound problem".”  [Journalist Michael Koziol writing in The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 November 2018]

“If they're going to fine everyone who calls Scott Morrison a "fucking muppet" this country will never be in debt again.”  [Richard O’Brien, Twitter, 19 November 2018]

Friday, 23 November 2018

This was Australia’s faux prime minister Scott Morrison proudly pointing out that he had been fundraising at considerable taxpayer expense

This was Australia’s faux prime minister Scott Morrison proudly pointing out that he had been fundraising at considerable taxpayer expense in order to fill the election campaign coffers of the the Liberal Party of Australia.....

The Courier-Mail, 19 November 2018, p.6:

While he was on the Queensland blitz early this month, Mr Morrison confirmed he attended fundraisers. Many of the donations came from Rockhampton and the Sunshine Coast.

“I’m meeting with supporters all around Queensland and I don’t make any apologies for that,” he said.

“We’re raising funds for our campaign to make sure Bill Shorten never becomes prime minister in the country.” Mr Morrison was the special guest at Liberal National Party fundraising events in several ­regional towns.

Here is what he was not boasting about this month……

The Saturday Paper, 17-23 November 2018:

Seven years before he was sacked as managing director of Tourism Australia – amid serious concerns about his management practices – Scott Morrison was the subject of criticism in a New Zealand audit report examining his activities as head of NZ’s Office of Tourism and Sport., 14 November 2018:

A 1999 New Zealand Auditor General’s report challenged the future Australian prime minister’s handling of an independent review of the Office of Tourism and Sport (OTSp) where he was managing director.

The OTSp was a quasi-independent body offering policy advice to the New Zealand government and experienced the loss of a number of board members and officials during Mr Morrison’s tenure. He finally resigned from the job in 2000 a year ahead of his contract schedule and returned to Australia….

During Mr Morrison’s time at the helm of OTSp in the 1990s, New Zealand’s then Tourism Minister, Murray McCully, praised his input and defended importing him for the job.

“Australia actually happens to do a bit better than we do out of both tourism and sport,” Mr McCully said at the time.

But the Auditor General and the NZ Labour Opposition questioned his performance.
In New Zealand in 1999, the Auditor General found Mr Morrison had launched a PriceWaterhouseCooper review of OTSp which precluded contributions from senior staff and the board.

He had said the review was independent of them, but it seems they were not aware of this.

“Mr Morrison’s explanation came as a surprise not only to (the office’s CEO and board members) but also to the Minister himself,” the report said.

“These people had regarded the PWC report as the review referred to in the purchase agreement.”

The Auditor General’s report said the board should have been told it had a duty,  under the review arrangements, to commission its own “independent” review.
“It seems that at no point did Mr Morrison do so,” the Auditor General found.

In June 2000, the New Zealand Herald quoted the Labour Opposition’s tourism and sport spokesman Trevor Mallard as blaming Mr Morrison for problems with the OTSp and the minister.

“And a key reason for that was that it was run by Mr Morrison, an Australian who was seen as Mr McCully’s ‘hard man’,” said the report.

“Australian standards of public sector behaviour ‘are lower than ours,’,” added Mr Mallard.

He was quoted as saying: “My experience with Australian politicians is that rules and ethics are not as important to them as they are to New Zealanders.”

Mr Morrison did not respond to the claims but was supported by the Tourism Minister as “highly regarded”.

He had lifted the energy levels and the competence levels substantially above those previously servicing tourism and sport, said Mr McCully.

Australian Labor is closely examining the Prime Minister’s career before he was elected to Parliament in 2007 and the New Zealand experience could be raised.

His next job after New Zealand was as NSW Liberal Party state director but was linked to the party’s 2003 election failure.

Mr Morrison became Tourism Australia managing director in 2004 but left in 2006, again ahead of schedule….

The Saturday Paper, 10-16 November 2018:

Ever since Scott Morrison was sacked from his job as managing director of Tourism Australia in 2006, the reasons for his dismissal have been kept secret.

At the time and since, public speculation has variously attributed the now prime minister’s removal to a personality clash with his minister, a falling out over changes to the organisation’s structure, and a dispute over the agency’s contentious “Where the bloody hell are you?” campaign.

But an auditor-general’s report completed 10 years ago, which has escaped public scrutiny until now, reveals that in the period leading up to Morrison’s dismissal, his agency faced a series of audits and a review of its contractual processes ordered by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, amid serious concerns about its governance.

The auditor-general’s inquiry into Tourism Australia – which followed these reviews, and was conducted after Morrison’s departure – reveals information was kept from the board, procurement guidelines breached and private companies engaged on contracts worth $184 million before paperwork was signed and without appropriate value-for-money assessments.


The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report examines three major contracts that Tourism Australia signed while Scott Morrison was managing director. It criticises processes in all three cases but especially the contracts for global creative development – advertising campaigns – and media placement services.

Ten years since the audit, and 13 years since the contracts were signed, those two completed contracts appear not to be listed on the government’s AusTender website, where all contracts are required to be available for public viewing.

Searches, including by AusTender staff, have failed to locate them on the site this week. Procurement rules say they must be reported within 42 days of the contracts being entered. The 2005 request-for-tender documents announcing the proposed contracts are listed…..

The audit report criticises extensively the agency’s processes for drafting, executing and managing the contracts, the opaque accounting processes involved in aspects of them and poor communication with the board and regional offices, including by service providers. It details Tourism Australia’s failures at the time to adhere to guidelines – the signing of a contract without incorporating measurable performance indicators and non-existent risk assessments or value-for-money analysis.

Tabled in parliament on August 6, 2008, the report was one of more than 40 the Audit Office had produced in the previous 12 months.

It escaped public attention at least partly because it was not among the handful that parliament’s joint committee on public accounts chose to examine further in its role as chief audit scrutineer. At the time, the committee was chaired by then Labor MP Sharon Grierson with then Liberal MP Petro Georgiou as her deputy.

When the report was tabled, Morrison was a member of the public accounts committee, which was tasked with considering it for review. He resigned from the committee six weeks after the report was tabled and, it is understood, some months before the committee formally considered it. The Saturday Paper does not suggest Morrison influenced the audit’s treatment. Grierson says that as Tourism Australia had accepted its three recommendations, and nobody on the committee raised any issues, the report was not officially examined further – standard procedure in dealing with the volume of audits each year.

The Saturday Paper lodged detailed questions about the audit report with Morrison’s office but was told he was not able to answer them in the time available.

Performance reviews of the two key contracts between 2005 and 2007 – contained in the audit – revealed Tourism Australia had failed to disclose to its own board that it had underspent $3.9 million on one of the contracts in 2006-07.

It was found that in one case invoices had been raised before the contract was signed and that in another case the price paid in some areas of a contract was “more expensive than the benchmark”.

The audit report does not mention then tourism minister Fran Bailey’s sacking of Morrison in July 2006, nor any of the alleged preceding tension between them that has been the subject of public speculation since.

But The Saturday Paper understands the events and issues the audit report outlines played a significant role in Morrison’s removal. Unconfirmed news reports have since alleged that he received a payout of more than $300,000.

Asked to comment this week on the report’s contents in relation to Morrison’s dismissal, Bailey would only repeat the one comment she has made before: “I reiterate that it was a unanimous decision to get rid of Mr Morrison by the board and the minister.”

She added: “I have always treated confidential matters as confidential.”……

Read the full article here.

The Guardian, 18 November 2018:

The Morrison government has extended emergency three-month funding contracts to 16 more financial counselling, legal aid and charity groups to keep them open over the Christmas holiday period after it cut their funding with little warning.

The move was made without fanfare, logged quietly on the Department of Social Services website on Wednesday evening.

It comes as the social services minister, Paul Fletcher, faces continued criticism for his department’s decision to overhaul funding arrangements for key community services groups in the lead-up to Christmas.

In some cases, barely two months’ notice has been given to groups to prepare for dramatic cuts in the new year – a time of year when thousands of Australian families have traditionally needed more emergency assistance and financial counselling.

 On Wednesday evening, the Department of Social Services (DSS) released a document on its website saying it would extend emergency three-month funding contracts – covering the period 1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019 – to 16 organisations that had lost their funding in the latest round of grants:

FMC Relationship Services
Uniting (Victoria and Tasmania) Limited
VincentCare Victoria
Odyssey House, Victoria
Mallee Family Care Inc
Anglicare SA Ltd
Centacare Catholic Country SA Ltd
The Trustee for The Salvation Army (NSW) Property Trust
Southern Youth and Family Services Limited
Vietnamese Community in Australia NSW Chapter Inc
The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (Q.)
C Q Financial Counselling Association Inc.
Prisoners’ Legal Service Inc
Agencies for South West Accommodation Inc.
CentreCare Incorporated

Neither the government nor the department has drawn attention to the funding extensions……

Saturday, 17 November 2018

GIF of the Week

Friday, 16 November 2018

Australia’s Trump Lite is overseas seeing what other trade opportunities he can wreck

The Australian, 13 November 2018, p.2:

Scott Morrison has mounted the strongest defence of any allied leader so far of Donald Trump’s trade policies, denying that Washington has turned protectionist because of its imposition of tariffs on China.

“The US wants to see greater trade and more open trade and they want to see it on better terms,” the Prime Minister told The Australian in an interview in his Sydney office. “It is yet to be established that the US is pursuing a protectionist policy.” 

Mr Morrison said he did not agree with the protectionist ­interpretation of the administration’s trade policy.

Mr Morrison leaves today on a trip to Singapore and Papua New Guinea for APEC and ASEAN-related summits, during which he will meet US Vice-President Mike Pence, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a range of regional leaders.

He gave a distinctive reading of US trade policy.

“If I could summarise US policy, it is that what they’ve been doing until now has not produced that (freer trade) so there should not be an expectation that they’ll continue to do things the way they have been.” But Mr Morrison makes a controversial judgment: “That doesn’t mean their objective has changed — their objective being a more open, freer trading system around the world, with a rules-based order, and everybody ­respecting those rules and those rules not being stacked against any one group.

“They have particular views about how things affect them, then there are other issues around intellectual property and so on where we have said there are some real issues here and things that need to be resolved.” Stressing that it was too early to conclude that the US had made a long-term switch to protectionism, he said: “You can only judge it on the results, not the rhetoric, so let’s see.” Mr Morrison cited the trade deals the Trump administration had done with Canada and Mex­ico and said many commentators saw early Trump trade moves against those nations as indicating long-term protectionism, but the result was new trade deals.

Mr Morrison also stressed that his government was not taking a position for or against the US or China in their trade dispute: “We’re not really judging either party in this because we trade with both and we’ve been successful (with both), whether it’s staying clear of US tariffs on steel and aluminium or with China, which is our biggest trading partner.

“We maintain a pragmatic ­balance.” This is Mr Morrison’s first Asian summit season, but soon after the APEC and East Asia summits he will attend a G20 summit, where he will meet the US President.

Early yesterday, in an interview with David Speers on Sky TV, he slightly misstated government policy when he said definitively that territory in the South China Sea was not Chinese territory.

He cleared this up in a series of later interviews, confirming that Canberra does not take a position on the merits of respective nations’ claims to territory in the South China Sea……


Crikey, 12 November 2018:

Morrison’s “stop asking questions from the Labor Party” diktat to the ABC has taken Australia one step closer to a political discourse dominated by Trumpian semiotics of “fake news” and “enemies of the people”.

Like Trump, Morrison’s aim was to undermine the media — and particularly the ABC — in the minds of that mythical creature, the Liberal Party base, and help out News Corp on the way through.

It came in the same week that Trump ramped-up his own war on journalists: revoking White House clearance from CNN’s Jim Acosta, dismissing another reporter’s “stupid questions” and calling a third a “loser”.

For a journalist, Morrison’s insult is greater. Trump’s name-calling is straight out of the primary school playground; Morrison’s crack goes to the heart of personal and craft integrity…..

The “journalist as enemy of the people” trope is perhaps the most institutionally damaging part of Trumpian semiotics adopted by Morrison. But it’s not the only one.
He seems to be aiming for the Trump look, too. There’s the now-ubiquitous base-ball cap, with Australian branding substituting “Make America Great Again”. There’s the single thumbs-up to say “we’re in this together” to go along with the trademark Trump two handed thumbs-up.

The social media of choice — multi-platform video snippets — similarly taunt with a “laugh-at-me or laugh-with-me, but notice me” Trump sensibility.

His prime ministerial speech patterns reflect both the Trumpian blather of his opening press statement (“a fair go for those who have a go”) interspersed with the cut-through insults: “Bill Shorten is union bred, union fed, union led.” Morrison’s insults do have somewhat more political content than the personalised “Lyin Ted”, and “Little Marco” that Trump pulled out during the 2016 election. 

Policy commitments tend to be the same vague generalities (“we’re gonna fix this”) and he uses the same thought bubble technique (Jerusalem, anyone?) to focus the debate on him, for good or ill.

Meanwhile, Trump has shown he’s willing to learn from Australia, as he famously suggested in his “you’re worse than I am” compliment to Turnbull. The “migrant caravan” that dominated right-wing discourse in the lead-up to the US mid-terms would have chimed in Australian minds with the familiar sound:  Tampa, Manus, Nauru.

Monday, 12 November 2018

FauxMo is not cutting through so he's started the flag routine

The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 November 2018

Standing in front of two Australian flags, interim Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison has "called out" violent, extremist Islam, saying it is the biggest religious threat to Australia. Scott Morrison says radical Islam threatens Australia's way of life.

Given Morrison history of politicizing his own extreme religious views pushback was inevitable.......