Iain Hall's SANDPIT

Home » Posts tagged 'Bill Shorten'

Tag Archives: Bill Shorten

Recognise? What precisely?

KangarooNappingAnimatedByHeatherGillWith all of the talk of changing to constitution to “recognise” Indigenous Australians in the constitution I have been doing my darnedest to find out anything about what the proposed changes to the constitution will actually be saying, some sample of the proposed words would be good but instead all we get are vagueries and platitudes:

OPPOSITION LEADER Bill Shorten has warned against waiting “too long” to change the constitution to acknowledge indigenous Australians — and said any reform should be “substantive” and not tokenistic.

“I believe that the sooner our constitution gives just recognition to our First Australians, the better,” he told The Australian.

OK Bill but what does that mean? will such changes have any practical effects in the lives of any Australian?

“It is a historical wrong that must be made right. But it must be more than a token gesture — it must be substantive change”.

“Bipartisanship is critical for any referendum proposal to succeed. I’m prepared to work with the Prime Minister on this to make sure there is a political consensus on the timing and the content”.

If I’m not mistaken the “historical wrong” Shorten is referring to is the Establishment of the British colonies , firstly in NSW and later elsewhere, well personally I just can’t see such events in the sort of negative light that Shorten shines here.

Coalition indigenous MP, Ken Wyatt, who is leading the process, has been more cautious, saying any vote should only be held when “Australia is ready.”

Mr Wyatt, the chair of the cross party constitution committee, said: “We shouldn’t go too early but we shouldn’t go too late either and run the risk of missing the opportunity.

Err OK Ken but until we see the words no one will have the slightest notion of the virtue of what is proposed now will they?

Mr Wyatt’s committee is currently consulting on the wording to be taken to a referendum.

“The Committee is considering presenting a progress report in December and is not required to present its final report until 30 June 2015,” he said.

So does that mean that we are going to get nearly another year of these endless empty gestures trying to soften up the public for an as yet unenunciated change to the constitution?

Aboriginal Commissioner Mick Gooda has called for the referendum to acknowledge indigenous Australians to be held next year.

Delivering the annual Nulungu Reconciliation Lecture in Broome, Mr Gooda challenged the Prime Minister to hold a referendum before the next federal election and avoid endless rounds of consultation on the issue.

How typically undemocratic a notion from a minion of the left.

Joint Campaign Director of the Recognise campaign Tim Gartrell praised Mr Gooda’s “excellent contribution to the debate”.

“We’ve always said we shouldn’t wait a day longer than is necessary to make these important changes to the constitution,” he said. “This also means all the preconditions need to be in place. The momentum needed for success is growing every day. There are now more than 215,000 supporters who have joined Recognise.

215,000 supporters is notthat significant when you consider that we are a nation of more than 20Million people, in fact I would suggest that  215,000 supporters is barely even all of the “usual suspects”

Labor’s first indigenous senator -Nova Peris does not back Aboriginal Commissioner Mick Gooda’s call for the referendum to acknowledge indigenous Australians to be held next year, arguing it is better to take longer than get it wrong.

Senator Peris, who is the deputy chairwoman of the committee looking at options for recognition, said rushing the issue would be devastating.

“It’s imperative we do the work required to ensure this succeeds,” he said. “To risk failure in an attempt to simply rush the procedure would be devastating.”


Well for once I agree with a Labor person about something! That said unless we have a very clear enunciation of just what words are to be added to the constitution and what the possible effect of that change could be then I for one will be campaigning against there being ANY change simply because those advancing the yes case are already being deceptive. You see I am old fashioned enough to think that there should be no laws on our statute books that privileges any individual on the basis of their race or ethnicity, or what they claim is their race or ethnicity. We live in the here and now, in a contemporary Australia whose laws apply equally to all with a blindness to race gender or ethnicity. Its not a perfect blindness to those distinctions but its close enough to sing its praises and we should resist any move that makes the law notice the colour of a man’s skin, the faith in his heart or even if he is a man. So many on all sides of politics espouse notions of equality and I think that if   we the public are being asked to agree with the proposition that some Australians are going to be considered “more equal” than the rest of us that we should just vote NO!

Cheers Comrades


Bill Short On Details

(by Ray Dixon ~ your thinking man’s blogger)

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten probably had no choice but to make some kind of public statement following Police confirmation that no charges would be laid over the allegation that he raped a 16-year-old more than 25 years ago.

But I reckon he might yet regret his words (or lack of them), and especially these ones:

“The allegation was made by someone that I knew briefly at that time.”

Put yourself in the “someone’s” position. How would you feel being described like that?

Shorten, by omission, has basically confirmed that he did have sex with the girl but then refers to her dismissively as “someone that I knew briefly”?

Making matters worse, his substitution of the pronoun “who I knew …” with “that I knew” effectively describes her as an animal or object.

That hurts.

And hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Think AFL player Stephen Milne, who in 2004 was also initially cleared by Police of rape, only to be eventually charged years down the track following the alleged victim’s persistence.

Don’t be surprised if we haven’t heard the last of this.


Electricity Bill’s polling blues

Who would have thunk it?

click for source

click for source


The Abbott government has regained the lead in the latest Fairfax-Nielsen opinion poll for the first time in two months, helped by a sharp drop in support for Bill Shorten’s performance and a Labor primary vote lurching back into the low 30s.
The result has all but restored the balance that saw the Coalition easily elected last September.

There has been something rather sad and desperate about the way that the luvvies were taking great comfort in the short lived downturn in the polling for the coalition but this poll reversal must come as a very bitter blow to those who have been clinging to the vain hope that the Labor party can come back into contention without the reformation that it so dearly needs if it is ever to be credible enough to return to office.

I also think that their parliamentary tactics are backfiring badly. Simply put they are being obstructionist to the government legislative agenda in a rather shallow attempt to demonstrate that they still have parliamentary  teeth. A sensible party would have waved through the repeal of the Carbon and Mining taxes but in an expression of political machismo Electricity Bill Shorten has just succeeded in shooting himself and keeping the very reasons that his party was thrown out front and centre in the minds of the voters.

The utter brilliance of the coalition’s proposed Royal commission into the Unions  can not be underestimated every new revelation of thuggery or other nastiness will stain the reputation of the party that is the creature of the union movement and that means that things can only get worse for the ALP under the current leadership and the truly sad thing is that none of the alternatives are likely to do much better. Shorten had a chance to draw a line under the follies of the last government and move on to rebuilding the party’s fortunes but he chose (or was instructed by his union masters) to carry on in the usual Labor style. Frankly If he is still leader by Christmas I will be very surprised indeed.

Cheers Comrades

The bitter brew

The bitter brew

More Labor sins haunting the Abbott Government


The current crisis, courtesy of The Guardian newspaper and its source Edward Snowden, has brought out of the woodwork all sorts of advice to the new federal government. One of the more bizarre ideas came from former foreign minister Bob Carr. He suggested Julie Bishop should fly to Jakarta and apologise to the Indonesians. I hope she doesn’t. That’s an absurd suggestion. It would undermine once and for all the age-old policy of neither confirm nor deny. And if The Guardian publishes another allegation, does she apologise again? Or if the allegation is serious, but false, how does she start explaining why she won’t apologise? You see the point. The Carr formula is a formula that could unravel our intelligence capabilities. As Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten should dissociate himself from this nonsense. Instead, he seemed yesterday to endorse it.

What is more, neither Bishop nor Tony Abbott was in government at the time of the alleged phone interception. The prime minister was then Kevin Rudd and the foreign and defence ministers were Stephen Smith and John Faulkner, respectively. So if there was any apologising to do, they should do it. For the reasons I’ve mentioned they shouldn’t apologise. They should do nothing.

The Snowden affair is arguably the most serious breach of security in history. It’s certainly a sad indictment of America’s capacity to hang on to its own secrets as well as those of its allies. All this comes so soon after the huge WikiLeaks embarrassment. But it says something about the ideological disposition of the left-wing Guardian that it has shamelessly dribbled out this material to maximise the pain and embarrassment to the Western alliance. That may suit The Guardian but the cost to the national interests of Western countries will be very high. As John Sawers, the head of MI6, told a parliamentary committee last week: “Our adversaries are rubbing their hands with glee, al-Qa’ida is lapping it up.” Perhaps Snowden could now tell us about the intelligence capabilities of his hosts, the Russians.

Alexander Downer was foreign minister from 1996 to 2007.

The anguished cries form the usual suspects insisting that Tony Abbott should “apologise” are about as sensible as they are sincere. Clearly its not really about  our relationship with Indonesia as much as its about seeking vindication for their claims that Tony Abbott is not up to the top job of being our PM.  Once again the current government is being saddled with a mess created on Labor’s watch and the chutzpah of leftist minions chiding Tony Abbott for sticking to the long standing convention about neither confirming or denying anything about intelligence gathering is breathtaking in its opportunistic hypocrisy. Frankly if minions of the left are so keen on an apology to Indonesia then they should be seeking one from Kevin Rudd and or the relevant  former ministers from the class of 2009 when the phone tapping is alleged to have occurred.

As Alexander Downer suggests Tony Abbott should stick to his current position and never “apologise” especially as I am rather inclined to think that Indonesia is more than likely to be attempting to do precisely what it complains about to us. Its much ado about nothing  and as much as it may hurt or beef producers were Indonesia to get up on an even higher horse the reality is that they need and want the “aid” we give them so we have no reason at all to bend the knee to their jumped up and arrogant political class.
Cheers Comrades

Labor Leadership: #QandA Sets Trap For ALP Members

Such a thorough analysis of the choice facing the ALP that I just could not ignore it and hence I reblog the post in the hope that my own readers will likewise appreciate you efforts here .
Cheers Comrade Yale !

Taxi driver and the Golem

r847085_7964883It is said that Cabbies are the political barometers of a society and I’m happy to acknowledge that. driving people around everyday lets you see and hear what is important to them. Occasionally when they drive around  aspirants for high office like Bill Shorten they can also provide insights in to the sort of leader they might  be if and when they attain that which the covet.With that in mind I was rather amused by this anecdote that my brother alerted me to this morning.

Once inside the vehicle, Mr Shorten became “abrasive” while giving directions to the Jones Street entrance of the university, David said.

“Shorten got in the front, I knew he was straight away, he didn’t say hello to me or anything.

“He kept saying ‘we’re going to UTS, it’s in the city’, he was really aggressive, he looked like Golem,” David told The Daily Telegraph. “He was quite loud, looking down his nose at me … He was very intimidating.”

David then told Mr Shorten: “You don’t have to yell at me, I’m just dropping you to where you want to go.”

The cab driver, who also shared his experience with 2GB’s Steve Price last night, also said Mr Shorten appeared to be arranging a planted question with a person on the other end of the mobile phone.

“He got straight on the phone to someone and said ‘Hey big boy, ask me this – Albo will be fine with it … ask us the type of prime minister we would like to be remembered as.”

A very similar question was asked of the two prospective leaders last night, to which Mr Shorten replied: “If I was to be prime minister I’d like to be known as the prime minister for the powerless, the disempowered, the people who don’t have a voice in our society.”

Following the prickly conversation, David said Mr Shorten attempted to apologise.

“He wound the window up. He had fear in his eyes, like he was thinking ‘oh s***, I shouldn’t have done this.”

David said one of the men in the back seat paid the fare of $15.60 when they arrived at the destination.

“The guy paid in cash, $15.60 bang on, no tip, three 20 cent pieces.”

Hmm doesn’t this story suggest a couple of things about our Bill?
Firstly it suggests that despite a career in the union movement Shorten does not treat working people like Dave the Cabbie with much respect, and secondly he and his cronies don’t seem to understand that giving a driver a small gratuity is important when they are only earning a very modest hourly rate. All in all its not a such a good look for Shorten.
I do however love the description of Shorten as Golem  which is an image that I just can’t get out of my head!
Cheers Comrades
The resemblance is uncanny

The resemblance is uncanny

Bill Shorten, the toxic tumbler of Labor leadership and happy pills

I used to rank Bill Shorten as a political talent until his rather infamous affirmation of Gillard’s position even though he had no idea what that position was. Its the sort of thing you would expect from the writers of  “Yes Prime Minister” and he has quite rightfully been pilloried for that expression of (literally )blind loyalty.  It is certainly not an example him being quick on his feet in a tight spot although it is evidence of  a certain amount internal honesty. Now with the utter decimation of the Labor party in very stark prospect there are those who rate him as a potential leader :

My conversion to the Shorten cause occurred when I was invited to listen to a group of aspiring politicians who had just returned from a study tour of Israel. I was open-mouthed that he had grasped the complexities of the conflict so quickly. It was incredible for a newcomer to the subject. A year later I dined with him in Canberra when he was the new member for Maribyrnong. He rose quickly to become Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation. At age 45 he is perfect to lead Labor in its fightback. He has the intelligence, ideas, passion, charisma and drive to inspire Australians to once again put their faith in Labor.

Barry Cohen

Looking at Shorten’s more recent media appearances we don’t see a man with leadership potential what we see is a man on the verge of utter despair. he certainly isn’t a happy camper:


On Lateline May 9 2013

He may well be what Labor will needs as a leader after the rout but I really don’t think that he is silly enough to displace Gillard in the big chair before the election. He may be depressed(who could blame him for that?) but I don’t think that he is utterly bonkers or at all politically suicidal. Gillard and Swan will still be at the wheel when the Labor ship runs aground in September and they can go down with ship while the  survivors will most likely fit into just one life boat (with space to spare) Shorten may or may not be one of them if he is then he might get the toxic tumbler of the  federal leadership. Chances are though that his current depression will not be buoyed by  winning that significant office in a vote from his fellow survivors. It will be a very long haul back into contention but who else is there to rebuild the Labor party? If he holds his seat Rudd may certainly want the job but I very much doubt that he would be the choice of the other survivors  who will certainly remember his previous leadership and doubt that he has changed enough to justify  another go. So it may  be Shorten who has to put on a brave face as leader of the opposition after September but I just can’t see him being able to shake his obvious depression to be at all effective in that role no matter how many happy pills he might take.

Cheers Comrades

Breakfast of champions

Breakfast of champions

The next leader of the opposition, or could Brother Number One rise again from the ashes of a Labor defeat?

Well this comrade has awoken in 2013 in good spirits having had a reasonably (for me) good night’s sleep and as no alcohol passed my lips last night I probably feel a bit better than most hangover sodden creatures this morning. As is my usual  practice in the morning I was checking out the mumbling in the Fairfax press when I cam across yet another piece that was off their usual pro Labor  message. I know its the silly season but if they keep this sort of thing up they might even be on the road to the sort of situation that sends shivers down the spine of every latte sipper. They might even achieve some more balanced reporting in their opinion pages .

click for source

click for source

Yes I know that normal transmission will resume shortly but allow me the indulgence of enjoying what is being presented now and the the further indulgence of wondering just who will lead a dispirited, dishevelled and much diminished Labor opposition. I won’t be Gillard or Swan because if either retain their seats they will try to hide from the world on the back bench until they can quietly resign their seats and leave politics. Frankly I think that Combet has all of the charm of a depressive undertaker and Bill Shorten is just a bit too smarmy to be viable. That just leaves that long time favourite of this blog Brother Number One (Rudd). You see I think that he has a big enough ego that he would want to be remembered as the man who twice saved Labor from the electoral wilderness and I also think that he would be up for the challenge because unlike the other contenders he is already on the reserve benches and therefore being leader of the opposition will be a step up rather than down for him.

My Good friend Ray, being a confirmed Ruddite  will be delighted, OK maybe not delighted that Labor will have been defeated, but at least hopeful that under the risen Brother Number One Labor will be at least  able to see the edge of the wilderness and  the path to resurrection. It won’t be much comfort  but a small comfort is far better than total despair that will be the lot of so many Labor supporters after the next election.

Cheers Comrades

Could the emissiins trading scheme be Brothor Number One 's "Workchoices"?

Can he rise again?

%d bloggers like this: