Resignations and revelations this week in Aussie politics

It’s only Tuesday, but this past week has been an eventful one for Australian politics.

Resignations and revelations this week in Aussie politics

Australian politics has had a tumultuous start to the week, with shocking resignations and scandalous revelations – oh, and let’s not rule out a Tony Abbott comeback either …

Australia’s 2IC lawyer resigns
Solicitor-General Justin Gleeson, SC, yesterday notified the Government of his intention to resign, ending a long-running spat between the country’s two most senior lawyers and further fuelling the fire under Attorney-General George Brandis’s hot seat.

Mr Gleeson wrote a scornful letter stating that his relationship with Mr Brandis was "irretrievably broken", but he was not backing down from "any position I have taken in relation to matters of controversy between us".

Mr Gleeson also said he flatly rejects "absolutely each and every attack and insinuation that has been made in recent times upon me personally, upon my office, [or] by government members of Parliament".

The pair have been at odds over a directive from Senator Brandis that prevented all ministers, including the PM, from seeking legal advice without his written approval. Mr Gleeson claimed that Mr Brandis never consulted him about the move, which would effectively ‘freeze out’ Mr Gleeson from offering independent advice and enhance Mr Brandis’s power.

Mr Brandis insists that the direction was simply "administrative housekeeping", but Mr Gleeson told the Senate Standing Committee that the directive was unlawful and could have insidious consequences.

While Mr Brandis believes that Mr Gleeson’s resignation is “the proper course of action for him to have taken", many are calling it unfortunate. Former Attorney-General Mark Dreyfuss says it is “a direct result of the Attorney-General's disgraceful treatment of Mr Gleeson and his office."

"It is not Mr Gleeson who should have resigned today – it is Senator Brandis," said Mr Dreyfus. "The Commonwealth has lost from its service a great legal mind and one of the most experienced constitutional lawyers in this country as its most senior legal adviser."


Did Barnaby Joyce sack department head to save his own behind?
A one-page letter from the former head of the Agriculture Department, Paul Grimes, was released this week, which could be considered evidence that Mr Grimes was sacked by Barnaby Joyce because he called into question certain actions of the Deputy Leader.

The Guardian reports that the Federal government has spent tens of thousands of dollars to keep this letter from being seen by the public, as it raises questions about Mr Joyce’s conduct and ‘integrity’.

The dispute revolved around claims that Mr Joyce changed ministerial details in the Hansard parliamentary record. After Mr Grimes called into question this act, he was allegedly bullied and subsequently sacked for ‘trying to protect the reputation of the department’.

"I am writing to advise you that I no longer have confidence in my capacity to resolve matters relating to integrity with you," stated Mr Grimes. "This follows the sequence of events before and following the alterations to Hansard that were made in October 2014."

"I am heavily conscious of my obligations to act ethically and impartially discharging my duties. There are established processes under the Public Service Act for resolving circumstances where a relationship between a secretary and a minister has broken down irretrievably," Mr Grimes wrote.

"This letter shows Paul Grimes was deeply concerned about Barnaby Joyce's behaviour. He was challenging Joyce's integrity," said shadow agriculture minister, Joel Fitzgibbon. "He clearly thought what Joyce did was not appropriate. This letter indicates he was being bullied.

"What Barnaby Joyce did was to sack Paul Grimes to save himself."

Read more at The Guardian

Arthur Sinodinos says there could be an Abbott comeback
On the ABC’s Q&A last night, Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos refused to rule out a Tony Abbott comeback as prime minister.

Although Mr Sinodinos said he "wouldn't put money" on an Abbott return, “bitter experience” had taught him not to rule out such notions.

"At the end of the day [politics] is about being pragmatic, and governing for as many people as we can, and that's what I think Turnbull is fundamentally about," said Mr Sinodinos. "Do I think we'll ever go back to Tony? In politics, I've learnt through bitter experience, you never rule anything in or out.

"Because in life, I've learnt, in politics, it's the thing you least expect that can come back."

Read more at The Age

Speaking of coming back, it’s probably for the best that Parliament isn’t back this week, as Labor would be having a field day with this political pantomime. What are your thoughts about these matters? Is Mr Gleeson’s loss unfortunate? How do you see Mr Brandis’s future panning out? Is the Deputy Leader’s integrity in question? And how about a Tony Abbott comeback? Is it out of the realm of possibility? Does all this make the Opposition look good?



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    25th Oct 2016
    Like bloody school kids.
    When will these overpaid idiots get oh with the job they are paid to do?
    25th Oct 2016
    Actually it tells a story.
    Brandis was upset that Gleeson responded to Labor during the election. You must remember that Labor has no rights under any coalition government and this and the Abbott governments are particularly bad and are happy to behave in the worst manner I have seen in living history.
    Brandis expected Gleeson to be another Liberal Party stooge like the rest of the front bench and every person put into positions of power by the last 2 governments. He refused. So he went.
    The other issue is that what Brandis demanded was from all accounts illegal and he refused. Rightly so. He will be vindicated in the passage of time I suspect but the whole episode reeks of the Whitlam dismissal in its corrupt execution.
    26th Oct 2016
    Brandis is is another professional politicianl who will soon be gone and given a plum job o/s, just like many others who have milked the public purse for years and will continue so for many years. At least Brandis won't have child minding fees that the Australian public will have to pay for, as we do with Uncle Joe in Washington.

    When our children were young and on the odd occasion we has baby-sitters, it was us who paid for it. When Uncle Joe hires baby-sitters we pay for it. I suppose that we were the leaners and he is the lifter.

    Goegous George will have to come up some other way to get us to pay for his domestic affairs.

    25th Oct 2016
    Has this government actually achieved anything positive?
    25th Oct 2016
    Yes Barak, I am positive that I have been dudded by this government, I am positive about an early election or change of leader, and I am positive that they have achieved nothing positive.
    25th Oct 2016
    I feel very sorry for the Solicitor General. A highly qualified professional who has been intimidated by George Brandis. Why does Brandis need this level of control? Would Brandis really look at every case, or pass it on to his advisers who are unelected and accountable to no-one! What happened to public servants being able to give impartial advice
    26th Oct 2016
    I suspect a few of the legislative changes occurring are unconstitutional. Including some of the proposed superannuation changes.

    This government has no respect for the law or the commonwealth.

    They are entirely focussed on selling the People's property and pocketing the spoils. Including plum appointments from their masters after the job is done.

    It is the nature of the ideology they believe in.

    The impartial, experienced public servants no longer exist except for a very few like Gleeson.

    Make no mistake this is an attack on democracy itself and it is slowly destroying the strength of western nations.
    25th Oct 2016
    The last thing we need is the mad monk back as leader (his followers are responsible for the current mess in this parliament). The Libs need to ask themselves if they want to remain in government. If they say yes then they must take control of the agenda away from the Nationals and the right wing Thatcherites. Sack the bullies from front bench positions, and get on governing for Australians rather than their own self interests.
    25th Oct 2016
    I don't know, the 'mad monk' might be actually be better than Turnbull. As justification I will give you a piece of my conspiracy theory. Look back and remember what was in the sights of Abbot and Hockey before Turnbull ousted them. I recall it was the large scale tax avoidance by big busines, that amounted to billions of dollars a year. Once Turnbull took over this agenda was quickly and quietly shelved. My theory is that the big business backers of the Liberal Party no longer trusted Tony or Joe and got their parliamentary vassals to get rid of them. Tony to the back bench and Joe to Washington where, as a government employee, he was not at liberty to comment publically on political matters.
    26th Oct 2016
    4b2 - you didn't actually believe Tony, did you?

    Especially after "no cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS" from him.
    26th Oct 2016
    No, I didn't believe Tony or Mal. By the way you forgot the centrepiece of his election 'promises', the generous paid parental leave scheme which never even got put to a debate in parliament,. let alone a vote.
    No I merely suggested that Tony 'might' have been better than Mal. I merely theorized, without any evidence of course, that the overthrow of Tony may have been to protect the wealthy's tax avoidance schemes.
    I think the last liberal PM I had any faith in was Malcolm Frazer, notwithstanding his seizing power from Whitlam in a grubby coup. I often wonder how Andrew Peacock would have been as PM.
    25th Oct 2016
    Leon do you REALLY read the Guardian?

    That explains a lot of things.
    25th Oct 2016
    Hasbeen, I think The Guardian is a reputable media outlet.
    Recommended reading!
    25th Oct 2016
    The Guardian is left leaning, but it makes good reading as it balances
    the rightwing claptrap of many other papers. You need to read both sides, and yes I know, we shouldn't have sides being taken in a newspaper. SO...

    Rule 1: believe nothing reported in the Press.
    Rule 2: If something is reported it means that something worse is happening and is not being reported
    25th Oct 2016
    Better than the Telegraph!
    25th Oct 2016
    Leon: I post on the Guardian. It is highly moderated. Anybody who disagrees with homosexual marriage, immigration/refugees, etc. are removed. That is what the Guardian considers 'free speech'. Rather sad.
    26th Oct 2016
    I find that hard to believe MICK. Might have to have a look.
    26th Oct 2016
    I have made an issue of moderation with the Guardian. The outlet seems to have ceased running the Nauru blog with its unsubstantiated claims, its pro homosexual marriage debate and its pro refugee rhetoric.
    The Guardian claims to be a free speech advocate but then runs one sided blogs where dissenting comments are removed because they do not comply with the agenda being pushed. At the same time you get some pretty abusive comments which are not removed. As I said above: that is not free speech.
    26th Oct 2016
    My experience on several forums is that those opposed to "refugees" tend to denigrate all Muslims, and those opposed to gay marriage tend to denigrate gay people in general.

    That may not include you, but I would hate to have to be a publisher defending "free speech", but opposing hate speech. It's a fine line.
    26th Oct 2016
    Actually no Barak. I have no ill feeling to any of these groups but I do object to the push to allow limitless numbers of people from the third world into the nation, to grant marriage rights to homosexual people when the nation has not agreed on this and to restrict immigration from islamic countries.
    Whilst I argue the point others attack with the most vile language and accusations, the weapon of choice for those trying to inflict the majority with views they do not hold.
    Free speech is what it is: opinions from both sides of an argument. I have no problems as long as both sides are civil, respectful and argue facts. That is not the policy of the Guardian though as clearly moderators are genYs with a different view of the world who will not tolerate any view other than what they are pushing. And that is not Freedom of Speech.
    The media for the most case has a lot to answer for.
    26th Oct 2016
    Nobody wants "to allow limitless numbers of people from the third world into the nation".

    When you post that, you are breaking your own rule of being "civil, respectful and argue facts".

    Comments like that are stupid, wrong and inflammatory. They never add to the quality of a forum. If I was a moderator, I would delete them too.
    26th Oct 2016
    Come off the grass Barak. I am only offending those who feel it is their right to offend me and others with THEIR opinion whilst refusing the other side the right to express their own. Welcome to genY!

    I know where you stand on this issue but there are many reasons why Australia needs to think about who it lets in and how many. You can take offence it you choose but none was either given or intended. The point I am making is that YOUR view of the world is just that your opinion! Mine comes from intense thought, logic and taking note of what is happening in our lovely country. You clearly choose to ignore all of those irrelevant issues. Quite sad.
    26th Oct 2016
    Well, my opinion is certainly NOT "to allow limitless numbers of people from the third world into the nation".

    I have never met anyone who has that opinion. I seriously doubt if you have. Yet you used that expression to describe those with whom you disagree.

    26th Oct 2016
    Interesting Mick – But I feel a website or media outlet has the right to moderate as they see fit. And, as much as we may not want to admit it, there is no guarantee of free speech in Australia – if you want that you need to head to the US.

    What is possibly more unhelpful are arguments that go nowhere and mean very little and end up being all 'he said she said' and 'prove it' with no real added value to a discussion.
    26th Oct 2016
    There is a place for moderation leon. Mainly to break up brawls, stop bad language and end vicious unfair attacks.
    What I shared about the Guardian was dead set one sided propaganda intended to get people to support an issue which they, under any other circumstance, might not agree with.
    I agree with the 'he said she said' argument put concerns with a basis do not fall into that category if the reasoning is sound.

    The older I get the more I learn about human nature. I think I should have stayed 21. So does my dear wife.
    25th Oct 2016
    I remember my father saying to me 60 years ago that many a good man was ruined by party politics. The difference now is that most party politicians grew up with politics as their second names, so they didn’t even start out much good.
    25th Oct 2016
    Six months ago I wrote suggesting the need of a complete change of the incumbent federal government. This matter is yet another example of why that needs to occur. cheers
    25th Oct 2016
    Great Choices we have between, Malcolm Turmoil, Tony Rabbit with Barnacle Joyce - This Government is totally inept
    25th Oct 2016
    Excellent foundation for the current "Dictatorship".
    Finally the "True Colours" are displayed.

    Just think, if they do these things to their "Fellow Elitists" what are they doing to us "Mere Mortals" without us either knowing it or being able to change/avert it!?!?!?
    25th Oct 2016
    Ropping and his merry men , take from the poor and give to the rich what a bunch of thugs.
    25th Oct 2016
    God help Australia because the Libs can't.
    25th Oct 2016
    It is clear to me that Brandis is all about control, and is unwilling to allow the solicitor general any opportunity to act independently. Wants his finger in every pie that comes into view. I don't blame Gleeson for resigning, and for being furious at this level of disrespect; I would have been very surprised if any self respecting expert who had been treated this way did not react in a similar manner. This demonstrates Brandis' feeling of supreme authority which needs to be curbed. Come on Malcolm, do your duty! Huh, fat chance of that.
    25th Oct 2016
    While this is going on and the Liberals are falling apart, Turnbull can't be seen anywhere where is he hiding. The trouble is we all thought that Abbott was bad,i'm starting to wish he stayed on. I just wish that Malcolm Turnbull will have to guts to stand up to the right wing of his party. He needs to tell them to HEll With You,i'm going to Govern for Australia.
    25th Oct 2016
    This seems to be quite a dangerous government no matter what your leaning is. Is it because they have a leader who is unable to lead because he is concerned at the power that others have (and he allows them to have). People voted for him because they thought he was a fair man with a social conscience who was wealthy enough not to be bought by big money. However, what we see is a businessman who is not able to lead a country and is almost frozen in his indecision, rather than being a principled PM. We need someone strong and genuine but he is surrounded by dumbed down suits obsessed with their own salary, agenda, ambition and future. All they need to do is focus on the good of the country and their future will be assured.
    25th Oct 2016
    To my way of thinking there is no one in politics from either side who is capable of leading this country
    26th Oct 2016
    Yes Kaz and very few experienced Public Servants left who are not yes men and steeped in neo liberal beliefs.

    I was astounded that they were reelected but though at the time it could be good for people to see exactly what they believed in.

    Now I am concerned they could destroy the place in three years the way they are going on.

    In NSW for example they are selling the Lands Title Office to private owners. This will mean you will need title insurance to ensure ownership rights. It is crazy stuff.

    Another example is the sale of the administrator of State Super.

    They are literally putting the foxes in charge of the hen house and we are the hens.
    25th Oct 2016
    What that FFFFFFG ....GGG hell is going on in our country I fo not believerwe paying this stupid idiots to stuff up our country for there own personal benefits ....WE SRE STUFFED ...THEY KILLING OUR SSMALL FUTURE AND OUR KIDS TOO

    They do not love Australia they do not give a shit selfish bastards
    25th Oct 2016
    Agree. You need to have a read about the secret Trade Deal this corrupt government wants to sign. Got this today from independent researcher paid to analyse the deal:


    Dr Tienhaara, a trade expert from the Australian National University, uses Canada's experience under the North American Free Trade Agreement to predict how ISDS could play out in Australia under the TPP – and the findings are chilling: 
    In the last decade, there has been a significant increase in predatory behaviour by multinational corporations. In 2015, there were 70 ISDS disputes worldwide, the highest number in any one year. 
    Corporations based in the US and Canada are the biggest users of ISDS, making up the majority of global cases between them. Under the TPP, Australia will be at risk from both. 
    Governments lose or settle ISDS cases far more often than they win them. Cases are settled or the corporation wins 52% of global ISDS cases,whilst the state wins a mere 36% of suits. 
    The Canadian Government has lost or settled 62.7% of the ISDS cases brought against it. More than half of these involved claims against provincial or territorial government measures. 
    Canada was forced by an ISDS lawsuit to reverse a precautionary ban on a dangerous fuel additive exposing citizens to a neurotoxin for six years longer than they would have been otherwise. 
    Canada is currently being sued under ISDS for introducing a fracking ban in Quebec. If Canada loses the case, it could jeopardise their ability in introduce new environmental safeguards.
    26th Oct 2016
    Well MICK we may need to follow what happen in PERU years ago with a military government that took over an democratically elected president (Belaunde) because he was the same as dear Malcolm and his bunch of idiots are doing to the country today exactly the same.

    After many many year of Peruvian people suffering from the USA and other powers total economical and social control the Army General decide to Kick them out of the country and they send 2 Helicopters and took the elected president and send him to Argentina within 24 hours.

    Then he nationalized the International Petroleum Company (From USA) that had full control of all the Petrol in PERU and totally exempt from paying any taxes and send all the Stupid Americans out of the country.

    He also make many many more reforms in the agrarian and banking sectors.

    Today according to what I have been reading Peru is the best and more progressive economy in South America and all the national resources are Peruvian own under government control (Rail, Buses, Electricity, Water, Mining etc etc).

    I have been following the Peruvian History for many years now and is getting better and better.

    I am not sure where we going now the way is projecting is not very good for our kids ..... maybe we need a Peruvian style revolution and amend the country and restart again ....
    27th Oct 2016
    Mick & Aussie

    Both your discussions make much sense and – unfortunately - are very valid in today’s “Day & Age”. !

    Australia has been enduring the Reforms to "Bow Down" to Global Corporatism" since the mid 19020's when OUR Commonwealth Bank (than the Aust Central - Reserve - Bank was "Toppled" and the Reserve Bank (RBA) was established as OUR (???) Central Bank now being the MASTER of CEREMONIES (owned by International Banksters).
    This was the Initial action in the LONG (recently vastly accelerating) process of "Selling Australia" and converting the Australian People to "Serfdom".

    I have personally been involved with sports at a National & International level for many years and have - many times - witnessed that the easiest way to "Utterly Destroy" an organisation is via 2 mechanisms:
    1 It is much easier to "Take Down" an organisation from the "Inside" via "Infiltration & Undermining processes" rather than from the "Outside" via processes of Direct invasion and submission".
    2 As Hannibal proved when he finally destroyed the Roman Empire, instigation of "insidious under-handed & covert- processes" might take somewhat longer, but the power of the Aggressor will suffer minimal losses and "Sap the Strength" of the opponent over time in order to ensure that the final battle to secure "The Prize" will be easy, swift & ensure total annihilation of the enemy!

    To compare this with the current Australian situation:

    1 Infiltration of the Public Service & OUR Government has gradually taken place by introducing "Stooges" who are vassals of the Corporations and - ever so slowly - change the direction and I quote from bob Hawke's Fabian Speech (1984):

    The philosophy of the Society was written in 1887 and each member is obliged to support it. It reads:
    “It (the Fabian Society) therefore aims at the reorganisation of society by the emancipation
    of land and Industrial Capital from individual and class ownership . . . .”
    The Society accordingly works for the extinction of private property in land . . . “

    TPP is “Just another NAIL in OUR Coffin”.

    2 Our Political 2-party-system is really a ONE-Party system as BOTH sided implement almost identical measures achieve via slightly differing methods and play “Musical Chairs” with the “Control of the Whip (Fear)” which drives us all! In other words, not much different from the Russia and/or China” of “Olden Days” with the exception that - so far – the process if completed without “Shedding OUR Blood”.
    During the past years, this site has reported MANY “attacks on OUR Liberty & Livelihood” which would potentially have meant severe degradation of “standard of Living” for our demographic of the population. Some have been achieved and implemented whilst others – after drawing much VISIBLE resistance – have been shelved for the time being in order to be tabled in the future in a slightly modified version to be “Tried yet again”.
    Our Public Servants & Politicians (with the exception of a few) are just the “Slave Drivers” who manipulate US (the slaves) into “Situations & Conditions” from which there is NO Escape. George Orwell describes it very well in “Animal Farm & 1984”,d.dGo

    However, these “Slave Drivers” should not forget that they also are slaves to the Corporate Monster and ultimately also will “Rise Up” to regain the one value which has an “Over-riding” importance for the Human Race collectively: “The freedom to Think & Enact” one’s life within the Morally Acceptable Boundaries of Human Dignity.
    History “Time & Time” reveals that shackling of the Human Entity will not endure.

    Until – and WE (collectively) get our “Buts into gear” and “Lock up the Criminals” (Like Iceland did), evict the International Banksters & the IMF (Like Hungary did recently) and take control of generating finances for the “Benefit of The People” rather than the BANKSTERS (like befor the mid 1920s) the level of SH*T will gradually rise enforcing us to extend “the Straws through which we breathe” in order to survive.

    The Collapse of the German Bundes Bank (Central Euro Bank) is near and will be the KEY to the collapse of the Global Financial System.
    This will leave us with 2 options of which the (initially) easiest will be to believe the LIES of the ”Powers that Be” and submit to the “New World Order” as (not so) covertly enforced by the BANKSTERS.
    Or, we will take the “Courageous & Adventurous” steps to force their SLAVES ( Banksters) into exile , lock the BAST*RDS up and reclaim our “Freedom and Dignity” as Intelligent Human Beings!
    27th Oct 2016
    Thank you for the comments and yes is a disgrace what is happen to our beautiful country, I am getting very close to beleive in what Pauline is saying this days Bad or Good she is making some sense for the country and the people ????.

    Mate what can we do ???? people still vote for them.
    We do not have politicians with Balls to love this country, Support the Country and the People, Love the Aussie people shit mate .......
    27th Oct 2016
    I really hope we never get this bad but I have been very close .......I had to sleeping on my car for a while because I couldn't afford the rent until I got small job then ok

    This idiots pollis playing with all our welfare (Pensions, unemploy, mothers in need, Hospitals, Insurances ...bla bla bla and many many more issues like SUPER ) many people will suffer this way .... maybe some already are ???? have a look and think what can we do to make our country safe and livable in peace like it use to be.

    We have a great country Rich, clean and most beautiful in the world but is is the process of destruction politically and socially ..... giving a terrible future to our kids.

    We need real politicians that Love the Country and the People and work for us ..... We need a revolution of some kind to fix the country ...................change some old and new laws and stop playing with our lives and our kids lives.
    27th Oct 2016
    Resignations and revelations .....ok

    So a revelation that Vic minister use the chauffeur and the gov car to transport his bloody dogs 120Km and also use the chauffeur to walk the Dogs.

    Wowowowowowo This is just too much but they want to reduce our pensions so they can walk the Dogs and use the Cars to transport them.

    &*((*&^%$%^&& What can I say that is not FFFFF IIIII NNNNGGGG offensive I do not know any more This is the maximum insult we can get.

    That is why I am leaving the country soon ...... I can not take this shit and insults anymore

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