Showing posts with label politicians and other balfastards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label politicians and other balfastards. Show all posts

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Every journalist,political commentator, blogger & tweeter who has ever been critical of government - be afraid, be very afraid

The Mercury, 29 July 2019: 

Last week the rise of authoritarian government was confirmed with the Morrison Government, aided by the as usual spineless Labor Party, passing legislation which would allow the Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to block any Australian from returning to this country for up to two years on the grounds they are associated with terrorism, even in the most tangential way. And as Crikey, a news site, revealed last week, the Morrison Government revealed its complete contempt for the rule of law and independent scrutiny of the power Mr Dutton now has vested in him. 

While the Counter-Terrorism (Temporary Exclusion Orders) Act, to give the law its formal name, is designed to stop Australians who have fought in Syria, Iraq or elsewhere for organisations deemed to be terrorist, from returning to this country, one section in the Act appears so broadly drafted it could be used to prevent whistleblowers, journalists and others who reveal the secrets of the US, Australia and other allies in the so-called war on terror from re-entering Australia. 

Section 10 of the Act gives Mr Dutton the power to prevent a person, aged 14 or over, from coming back to Australia for up to two years at a time on a number of grounds. 

One of those grounds is that “the person has been assessed by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation to be directly or indirectly a risk to security … for reasons related to politically motivated violence.” This provision is extraordinarily broad. How might ASIO think that a person is “directly or indirectly a risk to security” because of some link to terrorism, which is what politically motivated violence means. 

Does it include a whistleblower who reveals US and Australian misconduct in the context of the ongoing military operations in Afghanistan or Iraq? 

Or what about a journalist and publisher who lets the world see cables, emails and other forms of communication to and from Australian security and defence agencies and which relate to terrorist activity? 

The answer is yes, it could apply in both cases. When whistleblowers, media organisations and journalists have published material such as in the case of WikiLeaks, the Iraq War Logs, or the trove of materials that former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden smuggled out in 2013 such exercises have been labelled as irresponsible and assisting terrorism…... 

If ASIO answers yes, and of course its reasons for the assessment cannot be challenged because they are secret, then the loose wording of section 10 suggests that Mr Dutton would be prepared to issue an order preventing those individuals from entering Australia for up to two years. 

To give a minister such enormous power to interfere with the right to freedom of speech and free movement is indicative of a mindset that cares nothing for the rule of law or democracy. 

Even the parliamentary committee which looks at security legislation, and which is chaired by a Liberal MP Andrew Hastie and includes Tasmanian Liberal senator Eric Abetz, was ignored by the Morrison Government in this case. 

The committee in question, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, is a highly regarded bipartisan committee that routinely looks at security legislation and whose recommendations are adopted by government because of its expertise. 

Bernard Keane writing in Crikey last Thursday revealed that the committee had recommended that an independent person be given the role of considering banning returning citizens. 

But Mr Dutton justified ignoring the committee’s recommendation in what can only be described as an exercise in gross manipulation of the facts….. 

The Morrison Government would only accept the bipartisan committee’s recommendation if “it was in the national interest” to do so. 

In other words, Mr Dutton and the Morrison Government generally do not believe in a fundamental premise of the rule of law. It is anathema to democracy for ministers to have unbridled power when it comes to dealing with people’s lives. 

Another bad week for Australian democracy. [my yellow highlighting]

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

The reason Peter Dutton is looking so smug lately

Peter Dutton, 4 May 2016
Photo: Stephanie Peatling

Already a sitting member in a predominately 'white bread', somewhat politically disengaged Queensland electorate with a relativley large workforce and a stable employment rate, Liberal MP for Dickson, Minister for Home Affairs & Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton is exuding confidence bordering on arrogance.

Well he might - the Liberal Party having strongly lobbied the Australian Electoral Commission in last year's redistribution thereby slightly increasing the slim margin by which he holds the seat of Dickson, with $650,000 pledged to his 2018-19 election campaign chestlegislation transferring ASIO into the Home Affairs portfolio having received royal assent on 10 May 2018, on track to gain unprecedented control over the criteriagoverning citizenship acquisition, the time it takes for a person to gaincitizenship after their application has been approved, and even the circumstances in which citizenship can be revoked and, exercising his political muscle within his own party, he looks to be firmly in the driver's seat

The people of Kurwongbah, Petrie, Strathpine, Albany Creek, Ferny Hills, Everton Hills, Murrumba Downs, parts of Kallangur, Lake Samsonvale, Lake Kurwongbah and the rest of Dickson need to take a good hard look at their sitting member and ask themselves; do they really want to be responsible for re-electing Peter Dutton who is on his way to be the next far-right, authoritarian 'Trump' to head a federal government?

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

FACTS OF THE MATTER: Trump, Russia and the 2016 U.S. presidential election


GRAHAM: OK. Do you stand by your testimony that there is an active investigation counterintelligence investigation regarding Trump campaign individuals in the Russian government as to whether not to collaborate? You said that in March...
COMEY: To see if there was any coordination between the Russian effort and peoples...
GRAHAM: Is that still going on?
GRAHAM: OK. So nothing's changed. You stand by those two statements?
COMEY: Correct. ……

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, D-CONN.: Thanks. Thank you Mr. Chairman. Thank you Director Comey for being here and thank you to you and the men and women who work with you at the FBI for their extraordinary service to our country, much of it unappreciated as you've wrote so powerfully in your opening statement. You have confirmed, I believe, that the FBI is investigating potential ties between Trump Associates and the Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, correct?
BLUMENTHAL: And you have not, to my knowledge, ruled out anyone in the Trump campaign as potentially a target of that criminal investigation, correct?
COMEY: Well, I haven't said anything publicly about who we've opened investigations on, I briefed the chair and ranking on who those people are. And so I can't -- I can't go beyond that in this setting. [FBI Director James B. Comey responds to a questions from Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican-South Carolina) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (Democrat-Connecticut) during the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee investigation into “Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation”, commencing 10am US EDT 3 May 2017, transcript published in The Washington Post]

With respect to the Russian investigation, we treated it like we did with the Clinton investigation. We didn't say a word about it until months into it and then the only thing we've confirmed so far about this is the same thing with the Clinton investigation. That we are investigating. And I would expect, we're not going to say another peep about it until we're done. And I don't know what will be said when we're done, but that's the way we handled the Clinton investigation as well…….
In that particular investigation, my judgment was that it — that the appearance of fairness and independence required that it be removed from the political chain of command within the Department of Justice, because as you recall, it seems like a lifetime ago. But that also involved the conduct of people who were senior-level people in the White House, and my judgment was that even I, as an independent-minded person, was a political appointee and so I ought to give it to a career person like Pat Fitzgerald.
The Russians used cyber operations against both political parties, including hacking into servers used by the Democratic National Committee and releasing stolen data to WikiLeaks and other media outlets. Russia also collected on certain Republican Party- affiliated targets, but did not release any Republican-related data. The Intelligence Community Assessment concluded first that President Putin directed and influenced campaign to erode the faith and confidence of the American people in our presidential election process. Second, that he did so to demean Secretary Clinton, and third, that he sought to advantage Mr. Trump. These conclusions were reached based on the richness of the information gathered and analyzed and were thoroughly vetted and then approved by the directors of the three agencies and me. [JAMES R. CLAPPER JR., former Director Of National Intelligence August 2010–January 2017, giving evidence before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee investigation into “Russian Interference in the 2016 United States Election”, commencing 4.30am AEST 9 May 2017, transcript published in The Washington Post]
When the Intelligence Community obtains information suggesting that a U.S. person is acting on behalf of a foreign power, the standard procedure is to share that information with the FBI. The Bureau then decides whether to look into that information and handles any ensuing investigation, if there is one.
Given its sensitivity, even the existence of a counterintelligence investigation is closely held, including at the highest levels. During my tenure as DNI, it was my practice to defer to the FBI Director – both Director Mueller and Director Comey – on whether, when, and to what extent they would inform me about such investigations. This stems from the unique position of the FBI, which straddles both intelligence and law enforcement. As a consequence, I was not aware of the counterintelligence investigation Director Comey first referred to during his testimony before the House intelligence committee on March 20th, and that comports with my public statements[JAMES R. CLAPPER, former Director of National Intelligence, giving evidence before the U.S. Committee On The Judiciary Subcommittee On Crime And Terrorism United States Senate investigation into “Russian Interference in the 2016 United States Election”, 8 May 2017, transcript]
I had two in-person meetings and one phone call with the White House Counsel about Mr. Flynn. The first meeting occurred on January 26, called Don McGahn first thing that morning and told him that I had a very sensitive matter that I needed to discuss with him, that I couldn't talk about it on the phone and that I needed to come see him. And he agreed to meet with me later that afternoon.

I took a senior member of the national security division who was overseeing this matter with me to meet with Mr. McGahn. We met in his office at the White House which is a skiff (ph) so we could discuss classified information in his office. We began our meeting telling him that there had been press accounts of statements from the vice president and others that related conduct that Mr. Flynn had been involved in that we knew not to be the truth.

And as I - as I tell you what happened here, again I'm going to be very careful not to reveal classified information…..

So I told them again that there were a number of press accounts of statements that had been made by the vice president and other high-ranking White House officials about General Flynn's conduct that we knew to be untrue. And we told them how we knew that this - how we had this information, how we had acquired it, and how we knew that it was untrue.

And we walked the White House Counsel who also had an associate there with him through General Flynn's underlying conduct, the contents of which I obviously cannot go through with you today because it's classified. But we took him through in a fair amount of detail of the underlying conduct, what General Flynn had done, and then we walked through the various press accounts and how it had been falsely reported.

We also told the White House Counsel that General Flynn had been interviewed by the FBI on February 24. Mr. McGahn asked me how he did and I declined to give him an answer to that. And we then walked through with Mr. McGahn essentially why we were telling them about this and the first thing we did was to explain to Mr. McGahn that the underlying conduct that General Flynn had engaged in was problematic in and of itself.

Secondly, we told him we felt like the vice president and others were entitled to know that the information that they were conveying to the American people wasn't true. And we wanted to make it really clear right out of the gate that we were not accusing Vice President Pence of knowingly providing false information to the American people.

And, in fact, Mr. McGahn responded back to me to let me know that anything that General Flynn would've said would have been based -- excuse me -- anything that Vice President Pence would have said would have been based on what General Flynn had told him.
We told him the third reason was -- is because we were concerned that the American people had been misled about the underlying conduct and what General Flynn had done, and additionally, that we weren't the only ones that knew all of this, that the Russians also knew about what General Flynn had done.

And the Russians also knew that General Flynn had misled the vice president and others, because in the media accounts, it was clear from the vice president and others that they were repeating what General Flynn had told them, and that this was a problem because not only did we believe that the Russians knew this, but that they likely had proof of this information.

And that created a compromise situation, a situation where the national security adviser essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians. Finally, we told them that we were giving them all of this information so that they could take action, the action that they deemed appropriate.

I remember that Mr. McGahn asked me whether or not General Flynn should be fired, and I told him that that really wasn't our call, that was up to them, but that we were giving them this information so that they could take action, and that was the first meeting.
[SALLY C. YATES, former Deputy U.S. Attorney-General & former Acting Attorney-General January 2015-January 2017, giving evidence before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee investigation into “Russian Interference in the 2016 United States Election”, commencing 4.30am AEST 9 May 2017, transcript published in The Washington Post]



HOLT: Monday, you met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Did you ask for a recommendation?
TRUMP: What I did was, I was going to fire. My decision. I was not...
HOLT: You’d made the decision before they came into the room?
TRUMP: I was going to fire Comey. There’s no good time to do it by the way.
HOLT: In your letter, you said, ‘I accept their recommendation.’ 
TRUMP: Oh, I was going to fire, regardless of recommendation. He made a recommendation, he’s highly respected — very good guy, very smart guy. And the Democrats like him, Republicans like him. He made a recommendation, but regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey. [Excerpt from NBC News Lester Holt interview with Donald Trump on 11 May 2017]

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Remember the NSW Premier who needed to urgently & immediately retire because he was needed by his family?

On  19 January 2017 then Liberal MP for Manly and NSW Premier Michael Bruce 'Mike' Baird announced that due to serious illness in his extended family he needed to quit politics right now.

Despite a generous parliamentary pension calculated on 9 years & 10 months as a member of parliament, 7 years as a shadow minister, over 4 years as a minister and 2 yrs, 9 months & 7 days as state premier, he immediately started to look for a high powered job in the private sector.

Forty days later it was reported that Baird had been made part of National Australia Bank's senior executive team as head of its corporate and institutional banking division.

Where his parliamentary pension will be topped up by a NAB annual remuneration package which includes cash salary in the vicinity of $1 million (based on executive remuneration in NAB 2016 Annual Financial Reportand benefits such as superannuation and performance rights. 

A cash salary around three times more than he received as NSW premier.

It seems that having decided that he didn't want to fulfil his commitment to his electorate and serve his full term Mike Baird came up with a 'reason' for going that doesn't bear close scrutiny.

One again a Liberal Party politician played New South Wales voters for fools.


According to one South Australian reader on 1 March 2017 Mike Baird admitted to the ABC that his total annual remuneration package was $2 million.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The hypocrisy of Australian politicians is mind boggling

In March 2016, in the wake of a string of abuse of parliamentary entitlement scandals during the mercifully short Abbott Government term in office, the Turnbull Government was handed An Independent Parliamentary Entitlements System Review (February 2016) by a government appointed, five-member committee.

Since then the federal government appears to have conveniently forgotten the other thirty-three recommendations – although the fact that a handful of these may not have been implemented might in part be due to decision making processes of the Remuneration Tribunal.

Although cynical voters could take the view that the lack of timely implementation is more likely due to the fact that these recommendations included clearly separating parliamentary entitlements into “remuneration” (salary package) and “work expenses” such as “travel expenses, travel allowances, vehicle allowances and electorate allowances”, as well as MP expenditure reporting to be changed to every 30 days and a clearer definition of “parliamentary business” applied.

Now in light of further alleged rorting of the entitlement system by his ministers, Malcolm Turnbull has announced the government will implement the remaining review recommendations by the end of June 2017.

Given there have been two previous reviews of parliamentary entitlements - in 2009 and 2011 - which have not even made a dent in the sense of personal entitlement which exists within the corridors of the Australian Parliament, I won’t be holding my breath in anticipation.

Especially as the Prime Minister in his press conference on 13 January 2017 was careful not to mention establishing stiff financial penalties for such blatant rorting but did mention creating an independent parliamentary expenses authority which would in effect distance government and parliament from any poor decisions made concerning implementation of the 'new' rules.

The thought of the type of person who is likely to end up on the board of this authority makes one shudder - political cronies of the government in power, MPs & senators who lost their seats or were forced by scandal to resign, former political staffers in need of an income and the worthless scions of big political donors .

The hypocrisy of Coalition Government MPs and senators (who since 2013 have consistently signed off on budget measures and legislative/regulation rule changes which border on thinly disguised class warfare) continuing to line up at the overflowing entitlement trough is quite frankly mind blowing.

While the thought of these same politicians attempting what may possibly end up being a legislative change charade, leaving them still able to use taxpayers as personal cash cows, is more than a little depressing.

* Image found on Twitter

Friday, 2 December 2016

#TurnbullGovernmentFAIL: let's threaten to sue the little bloke

Snapshot 23 November 2016 7:48pm

The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 November 2016:

The Turnbull government has threatened to sue a retiree who established a little-visited website that campaigns against cuts to Medicare, accusing him of unauthorised use of the healthcare system's green and yellow logo.

The use of Medicare against the government has become a point of extreme sensitivity for the Coalition since its near-death experience in July and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's angry election night claim that unions "peddled lies" to voters in text messages purportedly sent by Medicare.

But Mark Rogers, a Sydney grandfather of two, said it was "beyond over the top" and "Monty Pythonesque" for the government to threaten him with court and damages for his part-time personal crusade to protect Medicare.

On Wednesday last week he received a legal letter from the Australian Government Solicitor giving him less than 48 hours to shut down his "Save Medicare" website and agree to never use Medicare branding again……

Mr Rogers's website and domain name is similar to Labor's "save Medicare" campaign website but the ALP has not been threatened with legal action, Fairfax Media has confirmed.

Wellington Times, 24 November 2016:

Mr Turnbull was asked for a second time on Thursday why his government was targeting a retiree with a little-visited website that campaigns against cuts to Medicare.

"I will speak to the minister, I will have a look at the legal advice and I will review it," Mr Turnbull told Parliament.

Earlier, Human Services Minister Alan Tudge indicated he backed the department's pursuit of Mr Rogers, insisting it was not a matter of seeking to shut down free speech as the retiree and some legal academics have insisted.

"The Department is concerned about the misuse and misrepresentation of the Medicare brand, not legitimate use in public debate."

On Melbourne radio on Thursday, Mr Tudge could not say if any member of the public had complained about being misled by Mr Rogers' website.

Mr Rogers said he had been flooded with offers of legal assistance and financial backing to fight the government.

In less than 24 hours, more than 26,000 people had signed a GetUp! petition in his support.

"The feedback is that the government does not have a valid case on the basis of copyright and they are just trying to crush me," Mr Rogers said.

Matthew Rimmer, Professor of Intellectual Property at Queensland University of Technology said he was "puzzled" that the government would push so hard against an individual who was clearly not trying to misrepresent Medicare in any commercial sense.

"I'm not sure they have picked the right target here. I'm concerned it's overreach in terms of copyright law and trademark law," Professor Rimmer said.
"Medicare has been politically contested and used in all sorts of advertising, particularly in during the last election.

"This whole thing would have a much different complexion if it was a commercial player like a bank or insurer using the name Medicare but if you look at Mr Roger's website, it is clearly not pretending to be Medicare, who is it going to mislead?"

Obviously the Turnbull Government doesn’t really care how much of a petulant bully it looks to the national electorate.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Website launched to remove Australian Human Rights Commission President Professor Gillian Triggs

This suburban home appears to be the West Australia headquarters of,, Easy Web Guy, Free Play Deals and presumably of one Bradley David Curnow who has recently registered the website – a petition site dedicated to removing Australian Human Rights Commission President Professor Gillian Triggs from office.

One presumes that the decision to register this site was a commercial one on the part of Mr. Curnow acting on behalf of an as yet unknown client.

Though this tweet by Nationals Chief Whip and their MP for Dawson George Christensen may point to the particular group behind this political attack on a senior public servant.


Whois Record ( last updated on 2016-10-29 )
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Registry Registrant ID:
Registrant Name: BRADLEY CURNOW
Registrant Organization: NEXUS VIRTUAL NETWORK
Registrant Street: 20 BARNSBURY RD
Registrant Street: WARWICK
Registrant City: PERTH
Registrant State/Province: WA
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Registrant Country: AU
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URL of the ICANN WHOIS Data Problem Reporting System:

Thursday, 20 October 2016

It's spring and the smell of entitlement is thick in the air......

The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 October 2016:

At least four Liberal MPs thrown out by voters at the July federal election have picked up plum jobs as taxpayer-funded advisers to their former colleagues. 
Senate President Stephen Parry revealed in Senate estimates hearings on Monday that he had hired his former Tasmanian colleague, Eric Hutchinson, for a newly-created role in his office.

Mr Hutchinson could be paid up to $160,000 a year including superannuation, depending on his grading. 

Fairfax Media can also reveal that Matt Williams and Karen McNamara, who were both defeated at the July poll, have been employed as advisers by their former colleagues.

Mr Williams, who held the seat of Hindmarsh, is working as a policy adviser to fellow South Australian Simon Birmingham, the Minister for Education.

Ms McNamara, the former member for Dobell on the NSW Central Coast, is working as a part-time adviser to NSW senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, the Minister for International Development and the Pacific.

A spokeswoman for Senator Fierravanti-Wells said Ms McNamara, a former lawyer, was advising the minister on seasonal worker policy.

Former Eden Monaro MP Peter Hendy was hired by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as his chief economist after losing the marginal seat.

The practice of "warehousing" - which sees former MPs employed as advisers before making another run for office -  has been used by both sides of politics…..

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Thank the gods! Senator Bob Day resigns

The Australian: Senator Bob Day at a home being built by his family firm in Broadview, Adelaide

Far-right politician and former Liberal Party member, Family First’s Senator Robert “Bob” Day, having run his building company into liquidation has resigned from the Australian Senate.

He had been a senator for just over 28 months and was the only member of the senate with a Facebook page dedicated to a financial disaster he oversaw.

During his time in office he strongly voted for:

He voted against:

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Tony Watch (4)

Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott slowly inching his way towards political center stage......

Using the one step forward, two steps back method of advancing. 

The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 October 2016:

Tony Abbott's world tour arrived at the Tory conference in Birmingham where he is appearing at an event hosted by the conservative magazine The Spectator to talk about the opportunities about Brexit. Never mind he opposed Brexit in an opinion piece forThe Times – much to the dismay of his supposed natural base of hard-right Leave supporters – but now he is  "quietly thrilled" with the result because that was then, this is now, he's a politician and on we go. 
I've learned that Abbott has been privately telling Tories he thinks he has a reasonable chance of making a come back to the PM's job. What's more, in every conversation I've had with Liberals, they are no longer ruling out the prospect, saying with Malcolm Turnbull's continued dismal performance, anything is possible. Now hopes does not a leadership change make, but this does put one thing to rest: Tony Abbott's claim that his leadership is "dead, buried and cremated" is more "Lazarus with the triple bypass." [My report/Fairfax]

Business Insider, 5 October 2016:

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has claimed London-based Fairfax Media journalist Latika Bourke is “making things up” in a report that he told right-wing allies in the UK that he thinks he has a “good chance” of returning as PM.
While the Coalition backbencher did not respond to Bourke when asked about the claim before publication, he used Twitter to subsequently deny it, saying: “As for unsourced, unattributed, unprofessional reports, the journalist in question is yet again making things up.”

Express UK, 5 October 2016:

Speaking at a fringe event at the conference on Tuesday, the former Liberal Party leader said his proposed deal needs to have "full recognition of each country's credentials and standards".
He added: "There should be an entirely seamless economic relationship based on free entry of goods, mutual recognition of services and standards, and easy entry of qualified people.
"If a motor car, say, could be registered in the UK, it should be registrable in Australia; if a trade qualification, say, was recognised in Australia, it should be recognised here."
He said the deal should include free travel between the UK and the Commonwealth country.

Financial Review, 11 October 2016:

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has blamed the NSW Liberal Party for almost losing this year's federal election and challenged his successor, Malcolm Turnbull, to back the conservative wing's attempt to overhaul the state division.
Mr Abbott challenged Mr Turnbull in person on Tuesday morning to support greater democracy in their home division, a shift that centrist Liberals fear will lead to the selection of more conservative political candidates, and shift the balance of power in the division, which is controlled by moderates.
"This is going to require leadership from the top," Mr Abbott told The Australian Financial Review. "The problems of the NSW party are quite extensive and one member, one vote is not a panacea but a first step to revitalising the party in NSW."
Demonstrating that he intends to remain a prominent figure within the party, Mr Abbott used a meeting of federal Liberal MPs to argue for "democratisation" of the NSW party and asked Mr Turnbull to respond, sources said.
A source said Mr Abbott and Defence Minister Marise Payne, a leading NSW moderate, traded pointed comments during the discussion, which is part of a campaign by Mr Abbott and other conservative Liberals in NSW, including Assistant Minister for Cities Angus Taylor, to introduce grassroots votes for all state and federal candidates in NSW and the party's executive committee.
Mr Turnbull gave a positive but non-conclusive response, the source said, which was followed by a complaint from Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne that federal Liberal MPs should not have to discuss the party internal matters of one state.

The Guardian, 11 October 2016:

The former prime minister told Guardian Australia he was “dismayed” by the leaks after Tuesday’s regular party room meeting in Canberra. “It’s a cancer on our polity – this culture of leaking.”
“The fact that people readily leak pejorative stuff to damage colleagues is pretty dishonourable I think,” Abbott said on Tuesday afternoon.
“Leaks are poisoning our political culture.”
Shortly after Tuesday’s regular party room gathering of Liberal MPs, reports surfaced, including in Guardian Australia, that Abbott had been slapped down by the defence industry minister, Christopher Pyne, for raising a proposal to democratise Liberal party preselection procedures in New South Wales.
Pyne rebuked Abbott on Tuesday after he exchanged cross words with Liberal backbencher MP Julian Leeser about plebiscites in NSW preselections.
According to party room sources, Abbott had declared angrily that Leeser “did not believe in democracy for Liberal party members” before Pyne expressed an objection to Abbott bringing state organisational matters into the federal party room.
Abbott later told Guardian Australia it was “absolutely appropriate” for issues within the NSW division to be ventilated in Canberra because the Coalition had “almost lost the [federal] election in NSW”.
He remarked that it was “just crackers” to say state organisational issues could not be considered during party room meetings in Canberra given organisational issues in electorates and in various states were considered all the time.
“This line that it shouldn’t be raised in the party room is self-serving at best,” Abbott said – returning the rebuke to Pyne.

The Australian, 12 October 2016:

Tony Abbott has received cheers and applause from across the chamber as he asked his first question in parliament since returning to the backbench.
The former prime minister, who was ousted by Malcolm Turnbull in September last year, rose on Wednesday during question time to ask Trade Minister Steven Ciobo how the Singapore-Australia free trade agreement is supporting jobs and growth.
"Nice to be popular, Mr Speaker," a grinning Mr Abbott said, to ironic cheers from Labor and more supportive cries from the government benches.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 October 2016:

He looked as relieved as a schoolkid who's been excluded from the cool bunch for months...and out of the blue, someone offers to share sandwiches at lunch, or maybe a smoke behind the shelter shed.
"C'mon down," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull motioned to ex-prime minister Tony Abbott. Abbott's grin could very nearly have split the air. He rolled into an "aw shucks" shuffle as he made his way down from the loneliness of the backbench.

The prime minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, was visiting the Parliament. Lee and Abbott shook hands and Abbott patted Lee on the shoulder, Turnbull overseeing it all, before the little official party moved on. 

The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 October 2016:

"The point that I want to make is that the vast majority of Trump supporters are not deplorables, they really aren't," he said.
"They are decent people who want to see change inside their country and that's fair enough."
Democratic presidential Hillary Clinton was forced to apologise for attacking half of Mr Trump's supporters as belonging in a "basket of deplorables" who were "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic".
Labor leader Bill Shorten has launched an unprecedented attack on Mr Trump in recent months saying the Republican nominee is "entirely unsuitable" to lead the United States and describing his views, including his threat to ban Muslim immigration, as "barking mad."
But Mr Abbott defended Mr Trump's policies, which include building a wall between Mexico and the United States to repel migrants, as reasonable.
"Many of the Trump positions are reasonable enough," he said.
He warned that if Mr Trump loses the November election, hundreds of millions of American voters would still support his views.
Describing himself as an "admirer" of America, Mr Abbott said it was in the international community's interests to have a "great and strong" America because the world would be worse off without Washington's leadership.
"America is the one country in the world with the strength and goodwill to be a relatively acceptable arbiter of all the problem the world faces."
Mr Abbott's defence of Mr Trump will be interpreted by his colleagues as another attempt to reach out to far-right voters who abandoned the Liberal party at the last election following the installation of the moderate Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister, and a further sign he is jockeying to be returned to the leadership.
An upcoming meeting of the NSW division of the Liberal party will be closely watched with sources saying a showdown on party democratisation will be seen as an opportunity for Mr Abbott to showcase his strength amongst the so-called "base" or party membership.
Mr Abbott is pushing for NSW members to be allowed to preselect their parliamentary candidates, which would strengthen the hand of the conservative membership.
But his motion has been scheduled 11th on the agenda.
Mr Abbott said he would speak to party officials about making his motion a priority for discussion at the October 22 meeting.
"I'd like to assume that's there's no malice or manipulation here, I'd like to assume that it's just inadvertence."