But we’ve done tax reform – haven’t we?


Here’s a tip for 2015. If the Abbott Government can remove the current opinion polls and stories of excess and incompetence from the front pages, it has been signalling that it intends to tackle ‘tax reform’ during the life of the current government. It wouldn’t be the first to attempt to do this: Governments back to the days of Hawke in the 1980’s have legislated large changes in the way the government charges for the services it provides — and the continual evolution of the Australian and international community would indicate that further changes are necessary now and in the future.

There is an implication that the governments that rate highly on ‘economic management’ also seem to be considered ‘good’ governments. The Hawke/Keating Government introduced a number of changes to tax collection practices during the 1980’s, as did the Howard Government in the 1990’s, and were still considered ‘good’ governments. No doubt Abbott would like to share the same perception.

This week’s discussion piece is a very brief overview of some of the issues with payment of taxes (charges and levies); next week we will look at some of the realities of ‘tax reform’ — why it isn’t as easy as some commentators, politicians and academics suggest.

In an ideal world, taxes would fund measures to ensure that everyone has an equal standard of living — ensuring that each member of society pays an equal amount of money to receive an equal amount of benefit. We don’t live in an ideal world.

Naturally, each member of society perceives their needs and wants to be more important than others: if for example I am retired and can’t fund my own living expenses, I expect the government to provide an allowance to make it easier to meet my ongoing commitments and live to a standard that is similar to that I enjoyed when I was employed. In contrast, if I am a parent with a young family committed to pay a mortgage and the expenses of young children, I would look to the government to give me a supplement to my income to assist in the provision of essentials to what are effectively non-productive members of the family (‘my’ children) as well as assistance towards the costs of child care, maternity leave and so on.

Both groups of people have an equal expectation of government support and an equal reason to believe the government should assist them — after all the retired person has contributed to society through their labour and payment of taxes for a considerable period of their lives; while a parent is still contributing labour and taxes while bringing up children who will in turn contribute labour and taxes to support the community into the future. The unfortunate thing is that when a government claims (probably with some justification) that it cannot afford to be as generous as it was in the past, there is a considerable proportion of the population who believe that their needs or wants are more important than other groups within the community: why are others getting some benefit which is reducing the funding that I can claim?

There is a ‘long and proud’ history of robust discussion of taxation matters in Australia. In 1854, the Eureka Rebellion in Ballarat was primarily a revolt against the imposition of a tax (licence fee) on miners, regardless of their success at their chosen profession. While it could be said that they lost the battle, the miners won the war with their leader, Peter Lalor, being elected to the Victorian Parliament along with eight other miners in 1855.

At the Print Media Enquiry in 1991, Kerry Packer is reputed to have said:

I am not evading tax in any way, shape or form. Now of course I am minimizing my tax and if anybody in this country doesn't minimize their tax they want their heads read because as a government I can tell you you're not spending it that well that we should be donating extra.

‘In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes’ observed Benjamin Franklin in 1817. There are also a number of comments regarding the morals and ethics of the Roman tax collectors in the Bible. It seems that Australians aren’t the only ones that don’t appreciate the need for taxes.

Packer altruistically assisted the funding of installation of defibrillators in most New South Wales ambulances, so he wasn’t averse to donating money to a ‘good cause’. However, he has a point: why should I pay proportionally more than the next person to the government to fund community services?

John Hewson, is the ex-Liberal Party Federal Leader who took a GST to the 1993 election as a part of his “Fightback” package, and lost. Hewson is now a professor of economics at Australian National University and an occasional media commentator. He observes when tax law was introduced into the Federal Parliament in 1915, the act consisted of 24 pages, but in the 1980s the legislation ran to some 1200 pages and today it tops out at some 5500 pages. Clearly as the government has discovered ‘faults’ in the legislation, it has amended the legislation to rectify the errors. That has led to those who can afford the cost finding additional loopholes that have yet to be plugged by the government of the day. After all, as Kerry Packer pointed out (above), tax minimisation is perfectly legal — tax evasion isn’t. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) annual report for 2013/14 runs to 266 pages, which seems to be rather a lot when all they should really be saying is everyone paid their fair share and the world moved on.

There are a number of factors for the dramatic increase in the size, and one would imagine complexity, of tax law in the past 30 years. Let’s look at two of them: tax compliance and tax minimisation.

During the 1970’s, some lawyers and accountants devised a system where companies were formed, traded, made profits and just before tax was to be paid, the assets of the company were given to another related entity and the former company shell sold to an unsuspecting person without the financial backing to pay outstanding commitments, such as tax on the original company’s income. The ATO was an unsecured creditor (a person or legal entity who is owed money by the business without legal entitlement to any of the assets by way of a mortgage or charge) to the original company, along with unsuspecting service providers and employees, and effectively got nothing as it was a pointless exercise to bankrupt the unsuspecting person. The scheme is known as the ‘bottom of the harbour’ as effectively the companies that were stripped of assets were sent there to drown.

In recent times, the ATO has prosecuted a number of ‘famous’ and ‘influential’ people as a result of Operation Wickenby, including The Masters Apprentices bass guitar player and John Farnham’s manager Glenn Wheatley and star of television comedy and movies (including Crocodile Dundee) Paul Hogan.

Tax minimisation is completely legal, but it reduces the tax revenue available to fund the services we as a community expect the various levels of government in Australia to provide. There are a number of ‘common’ schemes that are used on a daily basis including:

    • Negative gearing –To ‘negative gear’ you borrow money to purchase an asset that will not pay it’s own way (such as an investment property or share portfolio). The difference between income from the asset and the costs of the asset, including interest, can be claimed as a tax deduction. Those that use this scheme often offset the losses against other income (thereby reducing their taxable income) and also hope that a future increase in the price of the asset when it is sold will equal or exceed the losses they have claimed on their tax return.
    • Novated leasing - A three way agreement between an employee, employer and financial company where the employer nominally purchases a car (or similar) for an employee and funds the purchase from the employee’s pre-tax income effectively reducing the employees taxable income and tax liability.
    • Exporting profits - Apple is the subject of the link here as it apparently transferred around $2 billion to an Apple related entity based in Ireland while declaring and paying tax on a profit of under $100 million in Australia during 2013. Apple is not the only global company using this strategy. Other household names also move the bulk of their profits around the globe to avoid paying tax as well. How it works is the Australian customer deals with an Australian seller, but the financial transaction takes place in another jurisdiction where a significant proportion of the purchase price is claimed for the ‘production of the item’ and ‘intellectual property’ used in the product. That amount is sent directly to a related corporate entity in a country that offers the company a better tax treatment than Australia. The only part of the purchase that is ‘transferred’ to the Australian company is the price of the sale infrastructure and transport of the item to the purchaser. It is fair to say that a number of these ‘arrangements’ will cease to exist in the next few years as it has been recognised as a significant issue by governments and is now the subject of negotiations at events such as the G20.
In addition, governments of all colours introduce ‘targeted’ tax benefits or liabilities to manage social behaviours. There is a significant tax impost if someone purchases a packet of cigarettes — the argument being that there is a measurable drop in consumption of cigarettes (an arguable benefit to society in reducing smoking related illness) every time the tax rate rises. Australia also introduced a ‘Luxury Car Tax’ in 1990 in an effort to improve the viability of local vehicle manufacturing. Australian engineers can design a competitive product as shown by Ford and Holden/General Motors retaining the capacity to design a vehicle from the ground up once the current manufacturing capacity is withdrawn. A discussion on how and where Luxury Car Tax applies is here. Then GST is applied to the final cost of some products (including taxes), so we are paying tax on tax in some cases.

John Hewson claims:

… there are 125 taxes paid by Australians annually — 99 levied by the Commonwealth (recognising many agriculture and food levies), 25 by State and Territory governments, and one by local governments. These revenues are heavily concentrated with over 90% derived fro[m] just 10 taxes, reflecting 95% of Commonwealth revenue, over 60% of State revenue, and 100% of local government revenue.

Hewson also observes that over 66% of Australians use the services of agents to submit their annual tax return — surely an indictment of the perceived complexity of the system.

So we have a complicated system of taxes, charges and levies, which has been added to and amended over the past century. Is ‘tax reform’ a good idea in theory? — of course it is, but there is a political cost to doing it, ask John Hewson.

What do you think?

About 2353

The next part of this discussion will be posted next week and looks at the practicalities of introducing a fair, reasonable and easy to understand taxation system.



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22/02/20152353 Thank you for your erudite and informative introduction to taxation in Australia. I enjoyed reading it and learned from it. It seems to me that the reason tax reform is so difficult for governments is firstly that it is inherently complex, always with its winners and losers; secondly the potential or actual losers often have substantial political power to resist reform because of their wealth, their influence, or through their donations to political parties and their support for them; and thirdly politicians lack the courage to tackle the thorny tax issues that complicate tax reform. I recent times, courtesy of Tony Abbott, criticism of tax reform has been elevated to an art form. Abbott’s ‘Great Big New Tax’ mantra resonates with the electorate and brings electoral benefit to whoever utters it often enough, vehemently enough, convincingly enough. Opponents are scared witless by this condemnation, and run from tax reform with their tails between their legs. Until political leaders have the guts to tackle tax reform head on, I fear we will languish in no-man’s land indefinitely. I look forward to your next installment.

2353`

23/02/2015directcurrent - Multi-national companies (such as Apple, Google, General Motors and Ford) have a global outlook and work on a basis that they have to provide a return to their shareholders. Accordingly, they will look at the most beneficial tax and support juristictions and base their companies in those countries. It's the same as you or I doing a novated lease or negative gearing a share portfolio to reduce our tax liability (which does 'save tax' although I'm not convinced it saves money - but that is another discussion entirely). It's perfectly legal and in the case of large multi-nationals some countries will determine that the economic benefits of jobs, technology and so on outweighs the economic cost of the tax breaks the company negotiates/receives. Part of the reason that Holden, Ford and Toyota will no longer manufacture cars in Australia is the Abbott Government's refusal to assist the companies to retain the manufacturing capability - however Holden and Ford will retain a design and prototype facility. True, the local manufacturers don't seem to have read the market well - again that is another discussion entirely. Multi-nationals will only pay their 'fair share' once the economies of the world determine what the 'fair share' is - and determine that the tax breaks damage their economy more than the advantages of multi-nationals moving currency through their economy would. I wouldn't be holding my breath waiting for agreement.

2353

23/02/2015No one's saying you are wrong directcurrent. What I am saying is that companies are legally minimising their taxes, there needs to be a trans-global agreement on the 'acceptable' level of company tax with agreement from all nations to 'play the game', and thankfully we as a society have moved on from standing there and watching a house burn down because the owner can't afford or uses the 'wrong' insurance company. These things take time - and there are a number of steps to the process. It is getting fairer - but it will take probably longer than my kids lifetime for it to happen.

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23/02/2015Folks Angry Abbott has once more come out arms flailing in ‘whirling dervisher’ fashion. With today’s announcements about national security, his intention was to target terrorists or would be ones, to give the people the impression they are under an increasingly dangerous threat from those ‘who are up to no good’, ‘who would do us harm’, ‘who do not share our values’; and that we ought to be alarmed. In response, he promised that the government will take far-reaching action to protect Australian citizens. He called out Muslim leaders, insisting they ought to assist more than they are by countering radicalization. The bottom line though is that Tony Abbott will protect us all from this grave threat, for which he would appreciate expressions of gratitude from the voters. Using characteristically flawed announcements, he has managed to get Muslim leaders offside, has angered Muslim communities who feel slighted, and has messed up his rhetoric by being vague about what his legislative intentions really are, leaving civil libertarians (notably Senator David Leyonhjelm) very concerned. No one on [i]The Drum[/i] this evening applauded the Abbott moves; indeed they were dismayed. Once more, Abbott has come out aggressively, and as usual has stuffed-up. It is his default position. It will continue so long as his belligerence is his [i]modus operandi[/i].

Ken

23/02/20152353 Something I came across while researching something else suggests that Hewson's claim that the Commonwealth's original tax legislation was only 24 pages is slightly misleading. The Commonwealth introduced income tax in 1915 as part of paying for the war effort. But it was not alone. Even in 1921 every State still had its own income tax. So an accountant in those days needed not only to understand the Commonwealth's 24 pages of income tax law but their local State income tax laws as well (or depending on their clientele perhaps even the income tax law of a number of Sates).

Casablanca

23/02/2015KHTAGH Haven't seen you here for a while but if you are lurking I guess that this will interest you. Beekeepers invent device to collect honey without disturbing hive, funding target hit within seconds Ruby Cornish A new device which allows beekeepers to extract honey without disturbing the hive is to go into full-scale production, after receiving overwhelming support from online crowd-sourcing. Stuart Anderson and son Cedar, from northern New South Wales, invented the inbuilt extractor which collects fresh honey as it drips out through plastic tubes. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-23/beekeepers-devise-tap-to-collect-honey-without-disturbing-hive/6222728

Ken

23/02/2015Abbott's 'national security' announcement obviously means there are no Muslims on Team Australia. He has managed to put off side even the moderate normal law-abiding Muslims. Muslim leaders have been telling the government they need some help in curbing the radicalisation of their youth and here Abbott hands the radicals all the ammunition they need to encourage that radicalisation. Or perhaps that is his real intent, so he has a genuine threat to address going into the next election!

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23/02/2015Ken Having watched Abbott for years, I could believe what you say in your last sentence. Abbott will stop at nothing; decency and fair play are not in his DNA.

Casablanca

24/02/20151. Straight Talk for White Men Nicholas Kristof Feb. 21, 2015 ...the evidence is overwhelming that unconscious bias remains widespread in ways that systematically benefit both whites and men. So white men get a double dividend, a payoff from both racial and gender biases.....Maybe that’s because in a race, it’s easy not to notice a tailwind, and white men often go through life with a tailwind, while women and people of color must push against a headwind... Of course, there are die-hard racists and misogynists out there, but the bigger problem seems to be well-meaning people who believe in equal rights yet make decisions that inadvertently transmit both racism and sexism. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/22/opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-straight-talk-for-white-men.html?rref=opinion&module=Ribbon&version=context&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&pgtype=article 2. The Cost of a Decline in Unions Nicholas Kristof. Feb. 19, 2015 “To understand the rising inequality, you have to understand the devastation in the labor movement,” says Jake Rosenfeld, a labor expert at the University of Washington and the author of “What Unions No Longer Do.”... I’ve also changed my mind because, in recent years, the worst abuses by far haven’t been in the union shop but in the corporate suite. One of the things you learn as a journalist is that when there’s no accountability, we humans are capable of tremendous avarice and venality. That’s true of union bosses — and of corporate tycoons. Unions, even flawed ones, can provide checks and balances for flawed corporations.....Historically, the periods when union membership were highest were those when inequality was least. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/19/opinion/nicholas-kristof-the-cost-of-a-decline-in-unions.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fnicholas-kristof&contentCollection=opinion&action=click&module=NextInCollection&region=Footer&pgtype=article 3. Unions: part of the solution, or part of the problem? David Peetz. 23 February 2015, 6.12am AEDT Upward redistribution of income and power has accompanied the spread of “market liberal” or “neoliberal” policies in most industrialised countries – without any distinguishable improvement in productivity to justify it. In this grim context, are unions part of the solution, or part of the problem? Through much of the 20th century, unions’ high membership and industrial and political strategies gave workers – both members and non-members – substantial gains, helping moderate or reduce inequality. https://theconversation.com/unions-part-of-the-solution-or-part-of-the-problem-37365 4. Class warfare: would Shorten pass the test that Ed Miliband failed? Rob Manwaring. 3 December 2014, 6.21am AEDT But while they might be skilled legislators – or policy wonks like Andrew Leigh – MPs also have a representative role. That invariably means talking the language of the public and understanding – if not shaping – their concerns. And the issue is that the long-standing links between Labor parties worldwide and the working class have been diluted. https://theconversation.com/class-warfare-would-shorten-pass-the-test-that-ed-miliband-failed-34652 5. Australia secured asylum deal by staying 'silent' on rights abuses: Sri Lanka PM Agence France-Presse. 23 February 2015 15.26 AEDT Prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says former president agreed to help stop boats carrying asylum seekers if Australian government kept quiet. Australia stayed silent on alleged human rights abuses in Sri Lanka in exchange for cooperation in cracking down on people-smuggling, Colombo’s new prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Monday. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/23/australia-secured-asylum-deal-by-staying-silent-on-rights-abuses-sri-lanka-pm?CMP=share_btn_tw 6. Tony Abbott on national security: plenty of flags and rhetoric, but not much detail Lenore Taylor. 23 February 2015 14.01 AEDT There was little new in prime minister’s speech and his refusal to answer questions leaves the impression that its main purpose was to deliver soundbites on the ‘new dark age’...Tony Abbott’s rhetoric about the terrorist threat in his national security speech raced well ahead of any concrete details. And the new measures that were flagged appear to go beyond what was recommended in the two reports to which the speech was ostensibly a response http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/feb/23/tony-abbott-on-national-security-plenty-of-flags-and-rhetoric-but-not-much-detail 7. Abbott’s national security changes are unlikely to make us safer Clarke Jones. 23 February 2015, 2.44pm AEDT Aside from drawing on national security as a trump card when political popularity may be faltering, the government does seem genuine in wanting a safer Australia. But despite its intentions, the changes to Australia’s security arrangements announced by Abbott on Monday are unlikely to add to existing capabilities. https://theconversation.com/abbotts-national-security-changes-are-unlikely-to-make-us-safer-37709 8. Leaked emails show Liberal Party rift AAP. 23 Feb, 10:44 PM The Abbott government is facing another damaging leak, this time the content of emails which reveal a major rift in the Liberal Party executive. The two emails were written by the party's federal treasurer Phil Higginson and sent to other members of the federal executive over the weekend...The emails are described by Fairfax as the culmination of a long-running stand-off between Mr Higginson, Mr Loughnane and federal Liberal Party president Richard Alston. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2015/2/23/national-affairs/leaked-emails-show-liberal-party-rift 9. On asylum seekers, Malcolm Turnbull asks us to swallow the unswallowable Richard Ackland. 20 February 2015 14.21 AEDT Malcolm Turnbull’s peacock performance on Monday night’s Q&A kept his adoring audience spellbound. Surely, though, he was having a lend of us. In particular, he expected us to swallow two unswallowable assertions: Philip Ruddock was an outstanding minister of the Howard era, and it is the Coalition’s humanitarian policies that are rescuing hundreds of children from immigration detention centres. As Tony Hancock would say on Hancock’s Half Hour, “turn it up”. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/20/on-asylum-seekers-malcolm-turnbull-wants-us-to-swallow-the-unswallowable?utm_source=PoliticOz&utm_campaign=9329aeff02-PoliticOZ_Monday_23_February_2_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_673b6b002d-9329aeff02-302949185 10. What drives Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull Mike Seccombe. Feb 21, 2015 Arrogant, out of touch, lacking in honesty, but highly intelligent. Which Liberal leader are the electors of Australia describing when they tick off these characteristics?... It’s Malcolm Turnbull. Not as we see him now, but as he was perceived back in mid-2009, in polling for an Essential Report, towards the end of his roller-coaster 14-and-a-half months as opposition leader. http://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2015/02/21/what-drives-communications-minister-malcolm-turnbull/14244372001525?utm_source=PoliticOz&utm_campaign=9329aeff02-PoliticOZ_Monday_23_February_2_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_673b6b002d-9329aeff02-302949185#.VOsyFy74hM5 11. Tony Abbott's scare tactics over national security Editorial. Feb 20, 2015 But it is also about fear – about governing a polity made quiet by nervousness, willing to forfeit rights and decent presumptions to a government that would prefer subservience over debate, a government out of its depth and looking madly for purpose. http://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/opinion/editorial/2015/02/20/tony-abbotts-scare-tactics-over-national-security/14243948461517 12. Tony Abbott's foul-mouthed fury at whip Philip Ruddock Paul Bongiorno. Feb 21, 2015 Something that should already be on the [New Whip's] radar is that Tuesday, March 3, is being discussed by some of his Queensland colleagues as a good time for another move on the leader. But whatever the timetable, there is undeniable momentum building for another showdown. The view is he is incapable of change....Certainly a raft of Liberal MPs on margins of 10 per cent or less have grave concerns that the direction their leadership is taking them is towards electoral oblivion. The more thoughtful believe the non-Labor side of politics needs more than flicking the switch to khaki or banging the drum on national security. The old stand-bys aren’t working. Not even that perennial favourite: blaming Labor for everything that’s going wrong in the economy. http://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/opinion/topic/2015/02/21/tony-abbotts-foul-mouthed-fury-whip-philip-ruddock/14244372001513#.VOs3US74hM4 13. If I were Bill Shorten – on healthcare Ad Astra. February 23, 2015 While it’s easy for Bill Shorten to sit back and watch Tony Abbott and his government self-destruct, he could accelerate that process by presenting the electorate with alternative policies, visionary policies, policies that had more appeal than the Coalition’s, more inherent merit, more chance of solving our nation’s problems. http://theaimn.com/if-i-were-bill-shorten-on-healthcare/ 14. Searching for Bill Shorten's promised year of ALP ideas ... Sophie Morris. 21 February, 2015 Labor promised to be defined this year by their ideas. So where are they? Opposition MPs and advisers get defensive, or even downright tetchy, at the following observation, but so far – seven weeks into the year – we have seen nothing from Shorten to back this up. Behind-the-scenes, though, the opposition’s policy wonks have been busy, even recruiting high-profile former secretary of the treasury Ken Henry to help Labor renew its social policy agenda... http://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2015/02/21/searching-bill-shortens-promised-year-alp-ideas/14244372001522#.VOtHVS74hM4 15. Benefit of doubt - what the Minister for Women doesn't say Jennifer Wilson. 23 February 2015 If only the Minister for Women would tackle family violence with the same gusto he trumpets against terrorism. In his desire to distract the general public from the depth and breadth of the country’s increasing contempt for him (with the exception of Gerard Henderson, bless) Tony Abbott has resorted to the good old conservative standby and fear in an effort to somewhat fancifully reinvent himself as the nation’s protector. http://theaimn.com/benefit-of-doubt-what-the-minister-for-women-doesnt-say/

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24/02/2015Casablanca Thank you for another interesting set of links that I'm working through. The Manwaring article points to Bill Shorten having to do better in relating to the electorate and in formulating policy. I agree.

totaram

24/02/20152353: Your points about "tax reform" are valid, with regard to the kinds of things we should be looking at. However, I would like to point out that there is a point of view (MMT) which says that for the federal govt., which issues its own currency, taxes don't actually pay for anything. Taxes just remove money from the aggregate private sector, so that the govt has increased policy space in which to spend. Taxes also ensure that people want the govt's fiat money, because they need this money to pay their taxes. Govt. spending is unconstrained, except by the requirements of not causing inflation. This changes the whole debate about fiscal deficits (there is no debt and deficit disaster, budget surpluses are hardly ever a good thing, deficits do not necessarily imply debt, or inflation). Of course we want to alter the tax system for reasons which reflect our ideas of equity, fairness etc. and indeed to reduce wealth inequality. That is a political issue. In particular, multinational corporations need to pay their fair "share" of tax because this actually affects the nation's trade balance. A trade deficit sometimes forces the govt. to borrow foreign currency, which it does not issue and therefore cannot control. Once we free our mind of the idea that taxes are required to "fund" govt. services, tax reform becomes easier. Any mistakes in this explanation are mine; the go-to on all this is Bill Mitchell at http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/.

2353`

24/02/2015totaram - [i]The Political Sword[/i] has looked at the whole issue of Modern Monetary Policy in the last year. You are correct that there is a group of esteemed economists that would suggest there is a better way than comparing a country to a buisness or home (when it suits them). It seems that neither major party in Australia will depart from the debt and deficit mantra for some time and 'tax reform' is again on the agenda to 'balance the budget'. It's an easy concept for the leaders of each party to promote and scord points on the 6pm news (and it 'makes sense' to those that will or can not research further). I would support your view that Bill Mitchell's blog is worth a read. The kingdom of Butan measures 'happiness' rather than debit and credit balances which is also 'left field' but potentially interesting way to determine how a country is funded. There are plenty of options - next week I touch on a few of them for discussion. One thing for sure there is no absolute right answer here.

Casablanca

24/02/2015[b]Abbott Announces Plans To Cover Australia With Giant Flag[/b] The Shovel. February 23, 2015 Citing the increasing threat of terrorism, Prime Minister Tony Abbott today announced sweeping national security changes that would see the entire country covered by a purpose-built, 4,500km long Australian flag...The Prime Minister – who said there would always be more flags under a Coalition Government – said Australians would come to love the new covering for their nation. http://www.theshovel.com.au/2015/02/23/abbott-announces-plans-to-cover-australia-with-giant-flag/

Khtagh

24/02/2015Casablanca yes I'm lurking everyday, yes I did see it & helped crowd source it. Many thanks

Casablanca

25/02/20151. Tony Abbott's unambiguous anti-Muslim bigotry exposed Randa Abdel-Fattah. 24 Feb 2015 11:19 GMT Australia PM reinforces long-manufactured climate of fear and framing of Muslims as 'Other'. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/02/tony-abbott-unambiguous-anti-muslim-bigotry-exposed-150224053709399.html 2. Tony Abbott's national security address a siren call to the nation Peter Hartcher. February 24, 2015 - 7:42AM For a moment, let's give Tony Abbott the benefit of the doubt. Let's set aside briefly what we all know – that he is a failing leader trying desperately to recover. And consider his much-touted speech on national security on its own merits. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/tony-abbotts-national-security-address-a-siren-call-to-the-nation-20150223-13mmqo.html 3. Overblown attack rebounds on Tony Abbott Michael Gordon February 25, 2015 - 12:14AM The understatement came from Senator George Brandis after hours of a heated, vitriolic and at times tawdy inquisition. "I can't unscramble the egg," the Attorney-General conceded. Having declared war on the Human Rights Commission and its president, Gillian Triggs, and over-egged its attack, the government confronts a mess of its own making. The Attorney-General faces allegations that he improperly tried to secure Triggs' resignation and the claims that she behaved in a partisan manner have been exposed as overblown. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/overblown-attack-rebounds-on-tony-abbott-20150224-13nr0s.html 4. Seven ministers put Tony Abbott on notice James Massola. February 24, 2015 - 1:13PM A series of blunders by Mr Abbott have not helped his cause, with the axing of chief government whip Philip Ruddock, confusion over the tender for the next generation submarine and a suggestion Indonesia should "reciprocate" aid that flowed after the 2004 tsunami by sparing the lives of the two Australians on death row in Bali all contributing to another drop in support in the Liberal party room. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/seven-ministers-put-tony-abbott-on-notice-20150224-13mfgi.html 5. Labor refers Brandis to police over offer to Human Rights Commission president Michelle Grattan. 24 February 2015, 11.29pm AEDT After a day-long government assault on Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs, she’s still in place and Labor has asked the police to investigate the conduct of Attorney-General George Brandis. It’s not exactly been a political triumph. An embattled government has embarked on an unnecessary fight, all because it is furious about the commission’s “forgotten children” report. https://theconversation.com/labor-refers-brandis-to-police-over-offer-to-human-rights-commission-president-37984

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25/02/2015Casablanca What an interesting collection, all of which show Abbott and his reckless government for what they are. I noted in Michelle Grattan's article about Brandis' attempt to get rid of Professor Gillian Triggs that she described Abbott as 'programmed for aggression'. It seems MSM journalists are now acknowledging what sort of a man he is, something we here at [i]The Political Sword[/i] have known for years. Her concluding paragraph: [i]"Reflecting on the situation towards the end of the day, Brandis told the committee, “I don’t know where we go from here”. Indeed. The government, one might say, had stitched itself up."[/i] reads like a metaphor for this government on many fronts. The further it goes, the more it stitches itself up.

TalkTurkey

25/02/2015Comrades Sorry for my long absence. Excuses: *Been on a short trip to Mildura. *Computer email been on the blink! *Been on Dial-Up *BlackDog/WritersBlock *But probably more than anything else, this strange sad quest for my missing friend Seth Bareiss in Hawaii, and all the blind tunnels it has led us down, and the friends of his & mine who are hanging out for news about him. This post below would really have nothing at all to do with TPS if it weren't for the fact that someone named [i]Woody Leonhard [/i]( E-mail: woody@askwoody.com ) has contacted TPS re Seth, I don't just know why yet but I have just emailed him to find out. But I have just today written a sort of wrap of the SearchForSeth saga, and sent it to all those eager for news... So just to let Swordsfolks know what I've been spending so much time on I'm posting you the same wrap. Woody can read it here if he wants. You don't have to read it unless you wish but it is a truly bizarre story. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (to about a dozen people) Hi Everyone, Well there is no good news about Seth I'm afraid, though in the absence of evidence of Seth's death, his brother Alexander still holds out a hope that he might still be alive. Alexander is now going through the official channels to access records of the Health Department. But there is some Very Good News about Seth's site Tessellations.org , and it would gladden Seth himself. But you have to read the whole letter before you get to the good part. The main body of this letter is mainly recapitulation, but the whole story does need unifying. It's like this: Around a year ago, I had a few conversations with Seth on Skype. By that stage he was living in Hawaii. He knew he was seriously unwell, wondered about how long he might have to live, and asked me who I thought would be the best person to take over his site when he died. [Who? - Hold that thought.] From the first he held the site dear, and in a sense sacred to the memory of its founder, Dr Annal. And he saw it as having a potentially infinite life - as I do too. It's in the nature of tessellation that it is boundless. The name tessellations.org was obviously a brilliant site to 'peg', - not for moneymaking, but for educating people about tessellation, and exposing examples of artists' works. Seth was profoundly grateful to Dr Annal for making him the new site owner. And for many years he made it the most visited tessellation-centred website in the world. He did that without help, and with severe limitations and scant resources. And he kept working on the site all the time until last heard of. Seth & I were in touch for many years, getting closer over time. We worked a little on some of each others' designs; some of mine are on his site. We had a lot of discussions. I followed his fortunes in Thailand for years, and when I knew he was desperate to leave there, I offered to pay his fare to Japan or the USA or anywhere he wanted to go. He didn't take me up on the offer but he did make it to Hawaii somehow, and all looked quite rosy for him given his wheel-chair-bound situation. He thought his health was improving, and looked forward to decent permanent affordable accommodation. And a cat. Then he reported his health having turns for the worse, and meantime his hoped-for accommodation never eventuated. He found himself in worse and worse living circumstances - culminating in his being evicted by his landlady! - a matter of days before the last time I ever heard of him. He was so sad and angry about that; now, in retrospect, I think it might have been the final straw for his terribly weak heart. I began to wonder about him when he didn't reply to any of my attempts to get in touch. So I wrote to a few of you, and then the rest of you all came with your concerns, and offering help. Kelly in Hawaii found the hospital record where Seth was last known. Someone (Robert?) found Alexander and Lisa, Seth's siblings and next-of-kin. Stuart came through with critical information regarding Seth's personal ID. Alexander, as Seth's next-of-kin, has been trying to find the whole story for months now. And EVERYBODY has tried to help. Lovely humans you are. And all the time we have been able to find NOTHING official. I can't help wondering, if we hadn't happened to be working with Seth so we noticed he had stopped posting, when ever might anyone have realised something wasn't right? Would any official notification ever have been made to Seth's family? None has surfaced yet, so I doubt whether any would ever. It's bizarre I think. In the meantime, while we were searching, Seth's site lapsed for want of payment of hosting fees. Kevin Lee cleverly tracked down the hosts and paid the modest fee, (I paid half but Kevin did all the work.) So we got the site up again, but we hadn't the username, the password, the access codes, or anything, so we couldn't operate on it. But now for the good part. Remember, a year ago, Seth asked me who I thought would be a worthy successor to him as Webmaster? Well I was just about to reply, but Seth beat me to it - He said, Do you think Kevin Lee would be good? ... Funny that, I was about to suggest Kevin Lee! (and I did.) Seth was very happy that our opinions concurred. So when Seth was definitely missing, I worked up the courage to ask Kevin Lee if he would accept the considerable responsibility of acting webmaster for tessellations.org. I told him of Seth's own hope that he would do so, and I chewed his ear a good bit, and he has agreed to take it on "until we can find someone better"! That was a few weeks ago. But since then we had the problem of getting access. Repeated attempts by Kevin to explain the situation to GreenGeeks went round in circles for a while, as in, couldn't get access to B without knowing A, had to know B before access to C, that sort of thing. We didn't have A or B or C, so it was like the place you can't get to from here! We were (not) looking forward to a long, dreary, dumb campaign to get the necessary approvals ... BUT! The GOOD News! Kevin, (charmer that he is!), has managed to convince Greg of GreenGeeks of the unusual circumstances, and quite suddenly, almost unexpectedly, Greg has given him full access! So in a weird way, Seth's dearest wish has come true, that his site is safe in the very hands he wanted it to be. The way it has worked out takes away some of the tragic aspect of this sad case. It opens a future for tessellations.org to which we can all look forward ... a future unformed so far, like an animalesque tessellation design that has only just vaguely suggested itself in one's mind. But what I can't help thinking about is what brilliant fusion might occur involving Kevin, his programs, and his students, all brought together on tessellations.org ! Thanks everyone, and especially thank you Kevin. Bruce [ Don't think for a moment that you've heard the last from me! I'll keep you posted. In the meantime Kevin has already started working on the site to use it to see if we can find any more about Seth! An ironic twist, but logical. Alexander suggested doing that too.] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Back to TPS Comrades: Love you all, just not keeping up real well is all. But Labor is winning this contest of minds versus morons without me, so it's all alright. VENCEREMOS! :~)

Casablanca

26/02/20151. The Forgotten Children: National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention (320 pages) Australian Human Rights Commission. November, 2014. Australia currently holds about 800 children in mandatory closed immigration detention for indefinite periods, with no pathway to protection or settlement. This includes 186 children detained on Nauru. Children and their families have been held on the mainland and on Christmas Island for, on average, one year and two months. Over 167 babies have been born in detention within the last 24 months. This Report gives a voice to these children. http://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/asylum-seekers-and-refugees/publications/forgotten-children-national-inquiry-children 2. Senate Estimates Hansard. Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee - 24/02/2015 - Estimates - ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S PORTFOLIO - Australian Human Rights Commission http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;db=COMMITTEES;id=committees%2Festimate%2F7e38f3fc-ccf4-4f43-b2f4-c50ef331052d%2F0002;query=Id%3A%22committees%2Festimate%2F7e38f3fc-ccf4-4f43-b2f4-c50ef331052d%2F0000%22 3. Letter to Tony Abbott from the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (ICC) Office of the ICC Chairperson. The Chairperson, Mabedle Lourence Mushwana, concludes his letter thus: 'my office will be sharing our concerns with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and with our ICC members'. http://t.co/lPIyPlqXmF 4. Human rights in 2015 Gillian Triggs. 4 February 2015 Human rights are a vital part of the culture in Australia’s democratic and diverse community. Yet, unlike comparable nations, such as Canada, Europe, United Kingdom, USA and New Zealand, we have few constitutional protections for human rights, no charter of human rights and limited legislative protections. http://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/stories/human-rights-2015 5. Protecting children is Commission's aim, not political points Gillian Triggs. 16 February 2015 The commission had always intended to come back and review what changes had occurred in the 10 years since our landmark 2004 report, A last resort? These worrying developments confirmed that it was appropriate for us to do so come 2014.... Both sides of politics are responsible for their treatment of children in immigration detention since 1992. The focus should remain on the substance of the report. Please do not shoot the messenger. The commission is doing its job. http://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/stories/protecting-children-commissions-aim-not-political-points 6. The Forgotten Children: National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention 2014 Gillian Triggs. 12 February 2015 The Australian Human Rights Commission welcomes the tabling in Parliament of The Forgotten Children our Report of the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention. http://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/speeches/forgotten-children-national-inquiry-children-immigration-detention-2014 7. ‘Locking up children taints us all’, says Commission President Gillian Triggs. 12 February 2015 The Australian Human Rights Commission has called for all children held in immigration detention in Australia and Nauru to be released into the community. http://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/stories/locking-children-taints-us-all-says-commission-president 8. Social media users have thrown their support behind Gillian Triggs amid allegations the government asked her to resign. Stephanie Anderson 25 Feb 2015 - 2:36 PM Social media users have pushed the hashtag #IStandWithGillianTriggs to trending point in the wake of allegations that the Abbott Government offered Gillian Triggs work in exchange for her resignation as president of the Australian Human Rights Commission. http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/02/25/social-media-users-throw-support-behind-gillian-triggs 9. Children in detention: how to make it (the report, not the 'abuse') go away First Dog on the Moon. 25 February 2015 14.03 AEDT From Gillian Triggs to nasty questions in the Senate, you need to do more than just sing “LALALALALALA I can’t hear you!” to manage criticism http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2015/feb/25/children-in-detention-how-to-make-it-the-report-not-the-abuse-go-away?CMP=share_btn_tw 10. Detained children risk life-long physical and mental harm Karen Zwi 19 February 2015, 3.15pm AEDT Many refugees and asylum seekers, including children, have experienced conflict, family separation and significant human rights violations, including torture, physical and sexual violence in their countries of origin and transit. https://theconversation.com/detained-children-risk-life-long-physical-and-mental-harm-37510 11. 25 more ideas for Tony Abbott: #82. Abolish the Australian Human Rights Commission John Roskam, James Paterson and Chris Berg Following on from our 75 ideas in the last edition, John Roskam, James Paterson and Chris Berg offer 25 more ideas to reshape Australia. https://ipa.org.au/publications/2110/25-more-ideas-for-tony-abbott 12. Gillian Triggs: Protecting children is Human Rights Commission's aim, not political points http://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/stories/protecting-children-commissions-aim-not-political-points 13. Forgetting the children: Lone wolf Abbott caught howling at the dispatch box Laurence Keim. 22 February 2015, 1:00pm Perceived political threat is always an excellent way to gauge the real values, as opposed to the professed ones, of those under attack. We froth at the mouth when we think something is slipping away from us. What then is recommended in the report that spooks Abbott and Morrison so much? What unseemly stuff is Abbott so afraid of? https://independentaustralia.net/australia/australia-display/lone-wolf-abbott-caught-howling-at-the-dispatch-box,7405 14. Top lawyers and former PM Fraser slam Abbott's attacks on Triggs and AHRC David Donovan 15 February 2015, 8:00am The attacks were largely instigated by Tony Abbott himself, who launched an angry and extended attack on the integrity and credibility of Professor Triggs and the Human Rights Commission both in Parliament and the media after the release of The Forgotten Children report.... In a rare joint statement issued Saturday (14/2/15), Fiona McLeod SC, president of the Australian Bar Association and Duncan McConnel, president of the Law Council of Australia, labelled the attacks on Triggs and the Commission as "unprecedented" and "alarming". https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/top-lawyers-slam-abbotts-attacks-on-triggs-and-human-rights-commission,7374 15. Children in detention: A government without compassion Joshua Dale. 12 February 2015, 3:00pm Prime Minister Tony Abbott dismisses a damning Human Rights Commission report into children in refugee detention, saying he feels no guilt about their plight whatsoever. Human rights lawyer Joshua Dale says there needs to be complete overhaul of attitudes amongst Australia's politicians and their constituents. https://independentaustralia.net/australia/australia-display/children-in-detention-abbott-feels-no-shame,7366#.VN0pBMC4G_Y.twitter 16. Team Australian: government’s media ally has helped stitch up Triggs Denis Muller, University of Melbourne. 25 February, 2015 The attacks on Gillian Triggs are the latest in a series of campaigns The Australian has waged against those in public life with whom it disagrees or against whom it has a grievance... In our democracy, the media are meant to act as the “fourth estate” – the institution that holds to account the other three. It is a betrayal of this function to become enmeshed with the executive’s political strategy, as The Australian has done in the Triggs case. https://theconversation.com/team-australian-governments-media-ally-has-helped-stitch-up-triggs-38029 17. When is an offer not an offer? Ask Julie Bishop Michelle Grattan. 25 February 2015, 10.59pm AEDT The government’s war on Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs has deepened into a major test of credibility, with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop flatly contradicting evidence given by a senior public servant. https://theconversation.com/when-is-an-offer-not-an-offer-ask-julie-bishop-38045 18. Ian Macdonald: Great At Sexism, Not So Good At Reading And Writing Max Chalmers. 25 Feb 2015 Sometimes, angry rants are best slept on overnight, then deleted. Or you could do what Senator Ian Macdonald just did.... Triggs was forced to stare up from the witness table as Macdonald said his peace, lambasting her for the Commission’s Forgotten Children report. But just as the Queensland senator really got his ancient motor fired up, he hit a roadblock – despite his apparent fury at its content, Macdonald admitted that he hadn’t actually read the report. https://newmatilda.com/2015/02/25/ian-macdonald-great-sexism-not-so-good-reading-and-writing 19. The lioness vs the weasel Kaye Lee. February 24, 2015 The treatment of Gillian Triggs by Abbott and Brandis is the straw that broke this camel’s back. How dare they. For the chair of the Senate Committee, Ian MacDonald, the man who wore a coal mining shirt into Parliament, to say he “didn’t bother” reading the report on children in detention is indicative of the government we must endure. http://theaimn.com/the-lioness-vs-the-weasel/ 20. Immigration detention reports and photos Jane Caro ‏@JaneCaro #thedrum interesting to hear Graeme Innes repeat that 3 inquiries were run into kids in detention under ALP - he headed them! http://www.humanrights.gov.au/immigration-detention-reports-and-photos

Casablanca

26/02/201521. Attacks on our Human Rights Commission are part of a broader disturbing trend Hugh de Kretser. February 25, 2015 - 3:29PM The federal government is actively undermining a range of vital checks and balances and stifling criticism of its actions. This is corrosive for democracy and human rights. http://www.theage.com.au/comment/attacks-on-our-human-rights-commission-are-part-of-a-broader-disturbing-trend-20150225-13o6e8.html

DoodlePoodle

26/02/2015This government have always been ATTACK DOGS but now it seems they are always on the offensive in every interview.

Casablanca

26/02/2015The above articles are also available at Casablanca's Cache: Forgotten Children Obscured by Abbott's vitriol http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/The-Forgotten-Children-obscured.aspx

Ad astra

26/02/2015TT It's so good to see you back online. What a story you tell. Let me share a thought with you about our PM. There is growing consensus that Abbott is not likely to last much longer as PM. The focus of discussion is who will succeed him. Malcolm Turnbull is most people's choice - he seems so obvious a successor. But there is a very strong 'Anyone But Turnbull' movement in the Liberal Party, some of whom would sooner lose the next election than install this left-leaning liberal pro-ETS moderate. Political parties can cut off their nose to spite their face, and I suspect the Liberal Party is one. If they do cut off their nose, who will they choose instead? I believe that Julie Bishop is too smart and doing too well as Deputy and Foreign Minister to jeopardise her career by reaching too high. Hockey is a spent force. It is my guess that Scott Morrison is the most likely to succeed Abbott. He is seen as 'can do' man, he is described as 'Mr Fixit' in today's press, and he is now transforming himself from 'Mr Nasty' to 'Mr Warm and Cuddly' in his new portfolio. He is everywhere, he is articulate (my Mum would say he could talk the leg off an iron pot), and he is very ambitious. Watch Morrison!

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26/02/2015Doodle Poodle I'm writing something now about the attack dog Abbott. Casablanca I look forward to reading your enticing links when I'm finished writing my next piece.

Casablanca

26/02/2015The Islamophobia stirred up by Abbott and Bolt is a bigger threat to us than terrorism Julian Burnside. 26/2/2015 We’re being asked to give up long-held principles of justice, fairness and liberty, not to mention social cohesion. Is there any threat big enough to warrant that? http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/26/the-islamophobia-stirred-up-by-abbott-and-bolt-is-a-bigger-threat-to-us-than-terrorism?CMP=share_btn_tw Tony Abbott clutching at straws in attempt to protect remaining support base Peter Hartcher. February 26, 2015 - 8:06AM Tony Abbott has taken on the character of a punchdrunk right-wing pugilist, furiously attacking the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission and disparaging Australian Muslim leaders. It's no accident. It's his attempt to protect his remaining support base among the Liberal party's conservatives.... So long as Abbott is preoccupied with appealing to the 30 per cent of the voters who live on the conservative side of the Liberal party, he will continue to antagonise the other 70 per cent of the country. It's about the shortest of short-term survival. It's no way to win an election. It's no way to run a country. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/tony-abbott-clutching-at-straws-in-attempt-to-protect-remaining-support-base-20150225-13owou.html

Casablanca

26/02/201522. Did Brandis break the law in requesting Triggs' resignation? Brendan Gogarty and Helen Cockburn. 26 February 2015, 9.51am AEDT Regardless of whether George Brandis' action was illegal, it represents an attempt by the very institutions charged with protecting the rule of law to unduly influence it. https://theconversation.com/did-brandis-break-the-law-in-requesting-triggs-resignation-38033

Casablanca

26/02/201523. Shooting the messenger — forgetting the children Bob Ellis 26 February 2015, 11:30am There are children and young people nearing suicide because Abbott is trying to bully and shame their protector, Gillian Triggs, into resignation. https://independentaustralia.net/australia/australia-display/shooting-the-messenger-forgetting-the-children,7418

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26/02/2015Folks Posted just now on [i]TPS Extra: Abbott's master class on political pugilism[/i] http://www.tpsextra.com.au/post/abbott-s-master-class-on-political-pugilism

Casablanca

27/02/201524. The speech Abbott could have made about Triggs Jonathan Green 26 February, 2015 When the Australian Human Rights Commission released its report into children in detention, Tony Abbott attacked its president, Gillian Triggs. Here's how the transcript could have read instead. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-26/green-the-speech-abbott-could-have-made-about-triggs/6263032 25. Fact check: Triggs correct on the length of time children spent in detention 23 February, 2015 9:57am The Human Rights Commission's controversial report into children in immigration detention was tabled in the Federal Parliament in the first sitting week of 2015... The verdict: The immigration department's data shows that the number of all detainees held for more than three months started increasing in the first months of the Coalition Government. Experts say these figures also apply to children held in detention. The overall numbers of people in long-term detention - more than three months - continued to increase during 2014, and only declined in late 2014. Data from the commission's report, supplied by the department, shows the number of children detained for more than three months in January 2014 was the highest it had been in five years. Professor Triggs is correct. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-23/triggs-detention/6083476 26. Statement by the Attorney-General for Australia, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC Tabling of the Australian Human Rights Commission Report The Forgotten Children – National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention 2014 https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1671979-forgotten-children-report-tabling-statement.html 27. Triggs was attacked for defending the powerless – and one day another PM will apologise for it Richard Flanagan. 26 February 2015 Years from now we will be told that we didn’t know then what we do now about our treatment of asylum seekers. But we did know. We just chose not to hear even when our human rights champion spoke up http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/26/triggs-was-attacked-for-defending-the-powerless-and-one-day-another-pm-will-apologise-for-it?CMP=share_btn_tw 28. Another Own Goal: The Commonwealth Vs Gillian Triggs Ben Eltham. 26 Feb 2015 Sometimes, when the going gets tough, the tough get vicious. Ben Eltham weighs in on the extraordinary assault on the president of the Human Rights Commission. https://newmatilda.com/2015/02/26/another-own-goal-commonwealth-vs-gillian-triggs 29. Hal Wootten: Why I Signed Up To The Open Letter In Defence Of Gillian Triggs Hal Wootten. 26 Feb 2015 Royal Commissioner Hal Wootten comes to the defence of an honourable public servant maligned by base politics... I was not surprised by the independence, scholarly professionalism, or the poise and dignity (of Prof Triggs). But I was not prepared for the courage and passion and directness with which she spoke out for the vulnerable whose interests were trampled on by both political parties in the rush to pursue popular objectives like border security. https://newmatilda.com/2015/02/26/hal-wootten-why-i-signed-open-letter-defence-gillian-triggs 30. ICC hits out at Tony Abbott over treatment of Gillian… Michael Taylor. 26 Feb 2015 The appalling treatment of Human Rights Commission (HRC) president Gillian Triggs at the hands of Prime Minster Tony Abbott and Attorney General George Brandis has been well-documented over the last 24 hours. Her HRC report, titled The Forgotten Children, found immigration detention was a "dangerous place for children" and this obviously struck a raw nerve with the government. Their attacks on her have been relentless. http://theaimn.com/icc-hits-out-at-tony-abbott-over-treatment-of-gillian-triggs/

Casablanca

27/02/2015I recommend the articles by Hal Wootten (#29) and Richard Flannagan (#27).

Casablanca

27/02/201531. Coalition under pressure as cracks appear in accounts of Triggs 'job offer' Daniel Hurst, 26 February, 2015 After denying any job offer was made to the human rights chief, Julie Bishop concedes that ‘a role was raised that related to international affairs’ http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/feb/26/coalition-under-pressure-as-cracks-appear-in-accounts-of-triggs-job-offer

TalkTurkey

27/02/2015Ad astra You have tapped into my fear that Morriscum might become PM in the next #Libspill - he is a nasty piece of work through and through, much cleverer than Abborrrtt, capable of really leading, cunning enough to soften his hateful image. So I am deeply relieved by the apparent evident rush to Turdball, he is hollow and he is wet, like a soggy dunny roll, Labor will squash him. He will actually try to answer some questions and he will fail. And we have much ammo stored against him. People pissed off about slow internet speeds and his hypocrisy in his French Broadband shares for a start! But is it possible that the apparent evident rush to Turdy is a Trojan Horse for a spill in which Morriscum rides to surprise victory? Cripes I hope not. But I don't think so. I think now that public expectation of Turdy is too strong, 'scum is still too far on the outer, not well enough liked by the electorate. So he won't get a go until after next election, and probably not immediately even then. Good. But if Morriscum gets up - [i]Look Out![/i] Pretty nice to note that it's just under 18 months since the last election - Abbborrtt kicked out after less than half a term, ha ha! That makes it painfully hilariously true, that old saying [b]"Tony Abborrrrtt Will Never Be Prime Minister"![/b] Turning the ol' Eye of Time to a Turdball Government - Now there's a fun view! My head is full of crooked Libs running and hiding and hating and sliding and slithering and dithering over policy and explanations and backflips and admissions ... because Turdy'll get a very short Adoration and a very insistent raucous Media after that ... As for Brandis v Triggs, she emerges as sane decent heroine martyr victim - he is bloodied and sullied and ifthere is any justice in this land he will be charged, stood down, tried, convicted and gaoled for 3 years at least for attempting to misuse the highest legal position in the land. That issue be it noted is not about The Children though many on the Left think it is. The issue here is independence of statutory authorities, and it is at the core of civilization as rational humans understand it.

Ken

27/02/2015Forgive me for a sligtly more personal rant but Abbott has referred to current leadership speculation in the media as "Canberra nonsense". Over 350,000 people live in Canberra. The media has a bad habit of referring to "Canberra" when they mean "the government", or "the parliament" or "national politics". Yes, it may be a short-hand for those words but it denigrates the many ordinary people who live in Canberra. The politicians they are usually referring to when they say "Canberra" are actually FIFO workers as far as Canberra is concerned. I would hope that our politicians could actually rise above that and acknowledge the people of Canberra by not using such short-hand but Abbott obviously can't.

Bacchus

27/02/2015TT, I too fear a Morrison crusade (will we all be forced to sing happy-clapper hymns and talk in tongues?) The memory of how Abbott got to be leader in the spill from Turnbull is the stuff of nightmares - could Morrison repeat the process?

Ad astra

27/02/2015Casablanca What a rich collection of articles you are assembling over [i]The Forgotten Children[/i] report and the appalling treatment of Gillian Triggs. It is one of the most shameful episodes in the short history of this utterly shameful government. No depth seems too low for them to traverse. Paralleling their shameful behaviour is a degree of denial that exceeds normal limits. Comments this morning by government ministers indicate that denial has reached pathological levels. Perhaps this might be the subject of another piece!

Ken

27/02/2015What one has to remember about politics is that words are important. I can well see that it is "truthful' that Triggs was not 'asked to resign'. The conversation would have been along the lines that the Minister had expressed that he no longer had confidence in her and, in that light, she may wish to consider her position and may also wish to consider whether there is another role in which her skills could be used - and one or two 'examples' may have been mentioned. And there would have been a hint (but only a hint) that the government/minister may be able to assist her if [u]she chose [/u]a new role. And Bishop is also "truthful" when she said the difference between 'a role' and 'a job' depends who makes it. It was only the Secretary of the Attorney-General's department who spoke with Triggs and he clearly does not have the power to make a job offer to a statutory officer. It is a clear case of the Secretary of a department doing the government's dirty work but is also a legitimate role for a Secretary - to convey the Minister's views (or wishes). Whether that is an 'inducement' is debatable. To the lay person it would seem so but technically she would not have been 'offered' anything, only asked to 'consider'. And the hints of 'government assistance' into a new role would have been suitably vague - departmental secretaries are not stupid!

Turkey

28/02/2015Comrades By a weird twist of Fate, [i]The Political Sword [/i]has been the portal through which we have finally learnt the basic truth: Seth, my tessellating friend in Hawaii, is dead. Get this: Woody, the man who told us two days ago, found my post here on 18/12/2014, in which I talked about Seth. I guess a search engine was involved, but it's bloody amazing just the same - after all the avenues we tried deliberately, TPS took us to the truth out of far-Left field. So if you want to wade through the evolving record, my Swordie friends, well it's your story too now. Bit misty now. To: Friends [of Seth's] I have to tell you the sad news that Seth is now known to have died sometime early in October. Beyond that I have no details. I'm so sorry. * The way I have come to this knowledge is astounding. I have to try to explain it to you but I don't fully understand it myself, it's weird truly, it means there aren't 6 degrees of separation, there's about one and a quarter. H'mmm, There are just too many disparate new parties and parts to this saga to introduce all at once. First, notice the addition of woody@askwoody in the Address bar. He is the person who has provided this information. Welcome, and Thanks, and Empathy, Woody. How you reached me is spinning me out I must say. I'll go into that later. First I must tell those above what you have told me, that will spin them out too. Two nights ago I received this in my email, from one of the moderators of the political blogsite to which, under the nom de plume TalkTurkey, I often contribute, The Political Sword: Subject: Re: Seth Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 05:38:45 -0600 From: Woody Leonhard <woody@askwoody.com> To: Ken Wolff Hi, Ken.... Yes, Seth Bareiss - the subject of Talk Turkey's post at http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2014/12/14/Time-to-resurrect-witchcraft.aspx [Note: to find my post you must scroll down in the Comments section to Dec 18 at 8.55AM, then you have to go halfway down my (TalkTurkey's) post before you get to the part about Seth OK? ] I have bad news. Seth passed away in early October. I've been in touch with an administrator at Queen's Hospital. She's been trying to locate Seth's next of kin, with no luck. About a half-dozen of us in Phuket, who knew Seth well, have been trying to contact him, to no avail. Long story short, I took a guess and contacted the hospital last week. Normally the hospital wouldn't give out any information, but since their pursuit of his family didn't work, they gave me just a few details. I don't know specifically what day he died, or the cause of death. I just learned a few hours ago that it will cost about $13,000 to cremate him - storage costs at the morgue are $100/day. Although we were all willing to chip in some amount of money, the sum is just too much for us. If Bruce is interested in corresponding with the rest of the group, let me know and I'll hook him into the email discussion. Seth was a great guy, with lots of talents. We all miss him. Woody ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Gather your thoughts Folks, then I'll consider some of the wonderments. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I don't know where to start. Well, first, Woody: Thank you for the information, it's still a shock though I had come to think it almost a certainty that Seth was dead. I don't know how you came to find me via The Political Sword article, I guess somehow through Search Engines, and even then I don't know where you found my name Bruce (not that I mind in the least) on that blog where I am usually just TalkTurkey. My long-time friend Kelly, a senior nurse on the Big Island, did check Queen's Medical Centre, but was given to understand that Seth was "discharged" on 4th October, and to whereabouts unknown. I queried that word "Discharged" with a local hospital here. Could it have meant Dead? No, was the response. So I thought, well, he must be alive, and in fit condition to be discharged. Now I just wonder, what the hell? Now as you report, Woody, they say they have been looking for his kin. Well we managed to find them! There's hardly any Bareiss's in the whole USA! He has references to his family on his site! Thanks a lot Hospital! So we've been going crazy for months trying to find what happened to Seth, while all the time he is in the morgue (at $100/day?!), and no-one official trying to find Seth's next-of-kin, and everyone official beating off all attempts by us, including Alexander Bareiss his brother (whom we found!), to find what has happened. Woody I started this search, the others in the Address Bar have been added as they tried to help, I've sort of been the hub and written a lot of puzzled frustrated letters including them all. Your information, from deep left field, at least provides a sort of closure, though we still don't know the date nor cause nor circumstances of his death. I have some letters from him you may want to read, the others (above) have already seen them. I'll include you in future posts. Now: That Money! $13,000 + $100/day? WHAT! I rang a local undertaker here to ask what would be the norm in Australia. He was fully experienced, humorous and helpful. He explained he often has to preserve cadavers for days or weeks to allow for kin to return from overseas for funerals, and he says that service is provided FREE! As for the minimal cremation itself, he said that was about $2000. As he said, America's different - but surely not that different! I can't advise Alexander what to do. In his position I would not want to pay a cent.* Seth wasn't religious, wouldn't want ceremony, wouldn't want a cemetery plot, what he wanted was for his site to survive and expand forever. (Well we are dedicated to that too! - So that's OK!) And the fact that it seems that, for all his talents, he has died destitute, should entitle him to free passage to his next form. For a severely disabled struggling artist, that is surely no dishonour. And I see no reason why siblings should be liable, unless they plan to make claims on his estate - in which case he would not be destitute! It's the least, and the last thing the State can do. And they made no effort to contact Alex, keeping Seth on a $100/day ice habit, stonewalling when we tried to find the facts. *See Stop Press below Between all the people who have shown concern for Seth, the protocolic dead-ends, the sensitivities and angst, the surprise bits of info, as I said earlier - it's spinning me out all right, because for each new person I need to explain what we do know, so I have go widdershins again. And now with Woody's info, though he's ahead of the rest of us in conclusion, he might want to look at some of the most poignant ones in our Search series. So an even more brain-scrambling exercise but I'll gladly do it for you Woody if you like. Those other friends of yours you mentioned - Would you like to forward this to them? If they email back to me with something to say I'll include them too. Seth's friend and mine Kevin Lee, having rescued Seth's lapsed site, now has access to it; there are many emails unanswered, it sounds like it will take some sorting but I must say I look forward to knowing what he said, & to whom, in his last days. But those messages are first and foremost for his family's eyes. Kevin is across it all, niceties included, you get that with academics, gee that helps. (And so does Jonet I must say.) So, y'know, tessellations.org will live on, morphing as it will, while remaining true to its core. It is exactly as Seth wished - poetically so really. Me too. In a sense it's the best possible resolution, almost a happy ending. But that's the point, there is no ending, like a multi-D tessellation the site can expand infinitely in all directions, Good On You Seth, & Good On You Kevin, and Thanks. *STOP PRESS Just got this from Alexander! Alexander Bareiss 28 February 04:49 Thanks for the news. Just contacted Lisa's husband with the news. Not interested in paying for the burial or cremation.I hadn't seen or heard from him in 25 years. It is sad, though.we all know what a big fat lie it is that the hospital tried too contact next of kin. Never even answered my letter, even enclosed copy of my DL so they could verify I am his brother. Pathetic losers. Sincerely, alex Alex as you may see above, I'm with you and so is Jonet. And so, as I have just found out, is Kevin Lee. You have NO responsibility in my opinion - any moral duty you might have felt is blown away anyway by Their failure in Their prior responsibility to let you know. Seth was evicted from his accommodation only a month before his death, I have his letters to show that. He was furious and despairing about that in his last letter to me. I can't help feeling how outrageously They let him down after he had such high hopes of decent wheel-chair-friendly accommodation. For all I know he might have spent his last few days in the street. So Seth owes Them nothing, and neither do you Lisa and Alexander, they didn't help while he was alive and they hindered our search with obfuscation and disinformation, so they can stick their own $100 bills daily where the sun don't shine afa I'm concerned. Well ... Cheers for now everybody. Bruce PS Woody I'd love to know how you found me through The Political Sword.

2353

28/02/2015TT - sorry for your loss.

Bacchus

28/02/2015TT - sorry for your loss, but also happy that you may get some closure at last.

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28/02/2015TT Although you have feared the loss of Seth, now that it is confirmed, it is a sad time for you. We hope that the resolution of this longstanding matter will give you some comfort. Our hearts are with you.

DoodlePoodle

28/02/2015Sorry to hear your sad news TT. I never cease to be amazed at how much information can be attained via the internet. My sister adopted a daughter out when she was 17 and 40 years later decided to try to make contact with her. A search was placed on a Tuesday and on the Friday of the same week the daughter had been located in England. The daughter had had 5 different surnames and had lived in three different countries. I found that quite incredible.

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28/02/2015Folks After a week of rampant denialism by our PM and his ministers, I was moved to write a piece that exposes just how bad denialism has become in LNP circles. I have just now posted it on [i]TPS Extra[/i]. It is titled: [i]Denialism is destructive[/i]. \\http://www.tpsextra.com.au/post/denialism-is-destructive

Ken

28/02/2015I have been in touch with TT directly but just to clarify the circumstances and my role. Bacchus, you would recall that the contact from Woody came via the TPS Team e-mail and asked that I contact him about Seth. Which I did but only after a few days delay in which I was questioning why I was picked out (but it may only have been that I used a real name). And I did mention TT's first name when I asked Woody if he was talking abou the same Seth that TT had been chasing. For various reasons, which I have expained to TT, I also delayed before passing Woody's reply on to TT. But as TT says, it is amazing that Woody was able to track TPS as a connection to Seth. I don't know whether a search engine would throw up TT's earlier posts about Seth - perhaps they do.

TalkTurkey

28/02/2015Comrades of the Sword are The BEST! Thanks for your sympathy Folks, and especially in this case, your interest. Decency still exists in the Wide Brown Land.

Casablanca

1/03/20151. Tony Abbott running from the law David Marr. Feb 28, 2015 Abbott isn’t constrained by consequences. In government as in opposition, there is no tomorrow with this man. He is unafraid to trash conventions and rewrite old rules. There’s no plan behind this, no radical purpose. He just does what it takes to win the contest at hand...Abbott doesn’t set out to break the law. That’s not the point. But when the law stands between him and a quick win, he shows contempt for its values, its customs and the part they play in national life. http://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/opinion/topic/2015/02/28/tony-abbott-running-the-law/14250420001546#.VPHbseH4hM4 2. Plotting the anti-Tony Abbott forces Sophie Morris. Feb 28, 2015 After weeks of mutinous destabilisation by backbenchers, the fate of the prime minister is now in the hands of his cabinet ministers....From the subtle little digs to the big betrayals, it’s death by a thousand cuts when the leadership is perceived to be terminal. http://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2015/02/28/plotting-the-anti-tony-abbott-forces/14250420001548 3. Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s new leadership plan: panic Mike Seccombe. Feb 28, 2015 Tony Abbott’s security speech shows him already reaching for the last trick in the conservative playbook...Australia’s national terrorist threat level remained unchanged at high this week. The prime ministerial alarm level, however, rose dramatically to six flags....He sought, with his six flags, his martial props and his bellicose delivery, to restore his failing authority. He succeeded in presenting an image of flailing authoritarianism. http://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2015/02/28/prime-minister-tony-abbotts-new-leadership-plan-panic/14250420001551#.VPHVauH4hM4 4. The government has demonstrated that its primary concern has not been the welfare of children, but the destruction of the Human Rights Commission Malcolm Fraser 27th February 2015 Over the last week, two issues have dominated public debate. One concerns Gillian Triggs and the Australian Human Rights Commission, the other concerns the government’s efforts to tighten security and diminish human rights in the interests of security. The attacks on Gillian Triggs have been worse than disgraceful... The government has demonstrated that its primary concern has not been the welfare of children, but the destruction of the Commission...The government has been prepared to sacrifice any person, any individual, in pursuit of its policies. http://www.themonthly.com.au/blog/malcolm-fraser/2015/27/2015/1424997628/playing-blame-game 5. Tony Abbott could learn some lessons from John Key James Massola. February 28, 2015 - 6:12PM Governing a country was not easy, Abbott said, "particularly at a time when Australians are focusing on the glass half empty, rather than the glass half full. This is a particularly febrile and querulous time in our national life. But I'm just pushing on with the job". Australia's Prime Minister revealed two things with this response. The first, that he has an iron determination to dig in, ride out this current tempest and prevail, is known. The second is that, despite the mea culpas, the barnacle scrapings and the promises to listen, consult and improve, some part of Abbott blames the Australian people, rather than himself for his current woes. Abbott's belief could prove, eventually, to be fatal. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-could-learn-some-lessons-from-john-key-20150228-13rilf.html 6. Children In Detention Spending Free Time Debating Whether Gillian Triggs Is Politically Biased Or Not The Shovel. February 26, 2015 Locked behind bars, and locked in conversation, the 200 or so children being held in Australia’s off-shore detention centres have spent this week vigorously discussing the alleged bias of Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs.... One child said she found the timing of the Commission’s report a bit suspect, although she later conceded she hadn’t read it yet. “I’m only four”. http://www.theshovel.com.au/2015/02/26/children-in-detention-spending-free-time-debating-whether-gillian-triggs-is-politically-biased-or-not/ 7. I dream of Churchill: does Abbott find governing a peaceful society boring? Jason Wilson. 25 February 2015 12.52 AEDT Tony Abbott isn’t the first modern conservative politician to admire Churchill, but he may be the first to do so at Australia’s expense. “[T]hese days, Abbott sits for much of the day in his office in Parliament House pondering national security, Islamic State and reading Winston Churchill”. John Lyons’ report in the Weekend Australian gives an unmistakable hint that Abbott is becoming ever-so-slightly unhinged. As his government comes down around him, he’s indulging in reveries of statesmanship, burrowing into Churchill’s Memoirs of the Second World War and polishing up his speeches. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/25/i-dream-of-churchill-does-abbott-find-governing-a-peaceful-society-boring 8. Ruddock asked me to do my job 'without fear or favour'. Brandis ended that tradition Graeme Innes 27 February 2015 08.37 AEDT I was a human rights commissioner under five attorneys-general from both sides of politics. George Brandis is the only one to question my integrity http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/27/ruddock-asked-me-to-do-my-job-without-fear-or-favour-brandis-ended-that-tradition 9. Australia's complicity with brutal regime exposed Trevor Grant 27 February 2015, 12:30pm For some time now, the world has been watching Australia drift away from its much-vaunted democratic foundations towards a menacing authoritarianism, where a government routinely treats the rule of law and the right to natural justice as inconvenient obstacles to be cast aside at any given time. https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/australias-complicity-with-brutal-regime-exposed1,7422 10. Labor is the despicable winner in the Triggs affair Jennifer Wilson. February 27, 2015 The conditions under which the children have and continue to be incarcerated would likely make Charles Dickens flinch and look away, yet since the release of the AHRC report, nobody in the major parties has bothered so much as to mention their suffering. Abbott’s attacks on Triggs have done nothing for the: 233 assaults involving children, 33 reported sexual assaults, 128 incidences of self-harm, 34% who require psychiatric support http://theaimn.com/labor-is-the-despicable-winner-in-the-triggs-affair/ 11. Scott Morrison, Gillian Triggs and Profit, Profit, Profit Rob Marsh. 27 February, 2015 "It is simply not good enough to run a government based overwhelmingly on the pursuit and hoarding of money"...In my recent article on Basic Income and the State of Australian Welfare, I pointed out that Australia ranks 25th out of 30 OECD countries in terms of welfare spending, despite many of those countries experiencing far tougher economic situations than our own. This disparity between our ability to provide basic service for those in need and the willingness of our government to do so I believe highlights a serious problem within the leadership of this country. http://theaimn.com/scott-morrison-gillian-triggs-and-profit-profit-profit/ 12. Govt spending must match domestic violence rhetoric Stephanie Dowrick. 26 February 2015 Unreported billions are apparently available to fight extremist 'terror' abroad while the far more pervasive terror of home grown domestic violence – affecting every social class and culture across Australian society - is radically under-funded at all levels of government... What these concerns together demonstrate is that our current political leaders are willing to trivialise or ignore the fundamental needs for respect, safety and shelter that every human being feels. Whatever our background, we have those needs in common. Without those needs being halfway met, lasting wellbeing becomes impossible. This is chilling in the short-term but the long-term social costs verge on the immeasurable. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=42625#.VO-jquH4hM4 13. Liberals sweat over timing of next tilt against Abbott Michelle Grattan, 27 February, 2015 When a leadership change is contemplated, people watch keenly to see who dines out with whom. So it was duly noted when Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison and Greg Hunt were together on Wednesday. https://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-liberals-sweat-over-timing-of-next-tilt-against-abbott-38088 14. Report calls for royal commission into children in immigration detention: experts respond Elizabeth Elliott et al. 11 February 2015, 9.58pm AEDT The report found that children in immigration detention had been involved in nearly 300 instances of actual or threatened self-harm between January 2013 and March 2014. It also revealed that more than one-third of children detained have developed a mental illness requiring psychiatric care. https://theconversation.com/report-calls-for-royal-commission-into-children-in-immigration-detention-experts-respond-36299 15. Respect independent statutory bodies as central to democracy Danielle Celermajer. 16 February 2015, 2.30pm AEDT In his incautious remarks about the Australian Human Rights Commission’s (AHRC) report into children in detention, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has shown a disregard for basic institutions of democracy that should worry all Australians... However, what transcends such disagreements is a shared commitment among all Australians to our democratic system and with this to the institutions and practices that constitute and sustain a healthy democracy. These include universal suffrage, respect for the rule of law and the separation of powers. https://theconversation.com/respect-independent-statutory-bodies-as-central-to-democracy-37634 16. Why Credlin is seen to have gone too far as PM’s right-hand woman Maria Maley. 27 February 2015, 11.00am AEDT Criticism of Peta Credlin, the prime minister’s chief of staff, has been making headlines. Is she acting as a lightning rod for Prime Minister Tony Abbott, providing a safer way to vent frustrations with him and the Coalition government? Or is it her behaviour that is problematic? https://theconversation.com/why-credlin-is-seen-to-have-gone-too-far-as-pms-right-hand-woman-38038

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1/03/2015Casablanca Thanks again for a marvellous set of links. Keenly anticipating reading the first there particularly, I found I could not access [i]The Saturday Paper[/i] without a subscription. However I did manage to get access to David Marr's via Nick Minchin tweet: http://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/opinion/topic/2015/02/28/tony-abbott-running-the-law/14250420001546?utm_content=PANTHEON_STRIPPED&utm_medium=PANTHEON_STRIPPED&utm_source=PANTHEON_STRIPPED&utm_campaign=PANTHEON_STRIPPED#.VPJWAkIihHg

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1/03/2015Casablanca Thanks again for a marvellous set of links. Keenly anticipating reading the first three particularly, I found I could not access [i]The Saturday Paper[/i] without a subscription. However, I did manage to get access to David Marr's via a Nick Minchin tweet! What an indictment of our PM!

Casablanca

1/03/2015Ad Astra, Apologies for not mentioning the paywall for [i]The Saturday Paper[/i]. However, I had thought that it permitted free access to 3 articles as does [i]The Monthly[/i]. Do you know how it was that you could access it through a Nick Minchin tweet? Fancy Nick posting this article which is so damning of Abbott. After all, he was more responsible than anyone for Abbott's ascension to the leadership. Abbott loses another fan.

DoodlePoodle

1/03/2015I find that when you open the article although you are unable to get past the paywall, it is still possible to see the title of the article. I then copy the title and google it and I usually can find the article and get into it.

Casablanca

1/03/2015DoodlePoodle. Thanks. That is the method that I have used previously in relation to some MSM mastheads.

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1/03/2015Casablanca Sorry, I meant Tim Minchin, the professional comedian!
How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?