Bill Shorten’s popularity has soared to a remarkable 15% representing a 50% increase on the tolerance afforded to Julia Gillard when she was unceremoniously dumped as leader on 29%.
This means the Federal Labor leader is essentially a hollow cadaver of a man, occupying a space that 85% of Australians would prefer to be occupied by vacant space.
Meanwhile Talcum Turnbull continues to enjoy a stratospheric level of public adulation, unseen since former Labor leader Kevin Rudd vied for the top job back in 2007.
With Talcum in charge, the latest Newspoll shows the government comfortably ahead of Labor on the two-party preferred basis, leading 52 to 48, and recording a primary vote of 45 per cent against Labor’s 35 per cent.
Shorten’s leadership is now not just terminal, but already clinically dead, recording the worst result for a Labor leader in 12 years.
The following article is by Ross Jones…
The AFP warrant served on James Ashby signals the beginning of the end of the saga that is Ashbygate, a plot hatched deep inside Liberal HQ to sacrifice Australian democracy for its own twisted ends.
It is a cluster bomb with the power to rearrange Australian politics.
Let’s start with Lewis and his then employer, News Ltd. It can be proven News paid for at least Ashby’s accommodation while he was in Sydney –
From the new Ashbygate book:
James was up bright and early on the morning of Wednesday 11 April, ready for a big day.
At 6.28 a.m. he asked Lewis:
‘Hi Steve. Do u want me to check out before I leave for the lawyers or am staying another night in the same place?’
[Lewis replied:] ‘Hi mate No stay another night OK? I will sort out paymeent etc Just tell hotel to book u in again and News will sort’
[Ashby:] ‘Ok cheers for that’
The warrant served on Ashby this week by the AFP makes interesting reading.
If it can be proven that Ashby, a Commonwealth official, had benefited from or was influenced by these payments to leak details of Slipper’s diary, that would be a breach of Section 142.1(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 which is concerned with;
‘141.1 Bribery of a Commonwealth public official’
If found guilty, Lewis could face up to 5 years in prison.
I spoke with Steve Lewis this afternoon. He reckons he hadn’t seen the warrant, just read about it. I offered to read it to him. He said he was in a meeting and was busy. I wished him luck.
It could cramp News’ style as well. While it is not mentioned in the warrant, Lewis’ phrase ‘News will sort’ makes it seem pretty clear what happened.
If found guilty, a corporation can be fined 10% of its turnover for the year following the offence. That would hurt.
The warrant also alleges Ashby was in breach of the Crimes Act 1914 when he gave extracts of Slipper’s diary to ‘third parties without authority’. Section 70 concerns unauthorised disclosure by public officers. Penalty? Two years in a green t-shirt.
The warrant also alleges Ashby was in breach of Section 478.1 of the Criminal Code 1995 when he accessed data in Slipper’s diary without authorisation. That would be another two.
I tried calling James a few times, but my calls went straight through to the keeper.
Karen could also be playing the lead role in her own personal version of Prisoner if she goes down for breaching S70 of the Crimes Act 1914 when she passed on Slipper’s diary information without authority.
And that brings us to Malcolm Thomas Brough, accused by the AFP of counselling and procuring Ashby to both access restricted data and to disclose diary extracts.
These alleged offences are in breach of S70(1) of the Crimes Act 1995 by virtue of S11(2) of the Criminal Code Act 1995, which says:
‘A person who aids, abets, counsels or procures the commission of an offence by another person is taken to have committed that offence and is punishable accordingly.’
and Section 478.1 of the Criminal Code 1995, which is concerned with
‘Unauthorised access to, or modification of, restricted data’.
All up, maybe four years.
Blind optimism I know, but if this warrant leads to formal charges and, thence, to convictions, it will change the landscape.
- News Ltd could risk 10% of annual turnover which might just blunt its bullying, childlike aggression.
- Pauline Hanson would have to walk.
- Doane, Lewis, Ashby and Brough will have plenty of time to reflect on their folly.
- Everyone will try to save themselves by blabbing.
- The Coalition will then implode.
Now the MSM are so over the shock of the AFP Ashby raid they’ve buried it. I reside in NSW and have heard nothing today on any news bulletin, nothing in the print Sydney Morning Herald, no mention in the Rupert local comic strip, the Daily Telegraph.
But no matter, things are moving along fine.
Federal Labor Party leader Bill Shorten has taken his metaphorical car wreck of a political career and turned it into a moving feast of reality after crashing his late mother’s Mitsubishi Colt into an undisclosed number of parked cars while driving on Sunday morning.
According to eyewitness accounts, the fledgling leader was travelling along Pigdon Streetin Carlton, Melbourne at approximately 10.30am when his vehicle collided with the parked cars.
It is understood that Mr Shorten apparently lost control of a cup of coffee which led to the incident, The Gutter Trash reports.
His office confirmed the accident this morning and said that no one was injured as a result of the collision and Victoria Police were notified.
You might not realise it, but the Taxi Industry is currently in the midst of an unmitigated PR disaster with its latest campaign in the war against popular rival Uber currently playing out in the ranks of the unpredictable playground of social media.
The campaign, intentionally designed to scrape back some of the market share and consumer favouritism lost to rival Uber in recent months, invites Australian Taxi users to share their “positive” experiences of using the yellow cab service on the purpose-built campaign website – http://www.yourtaxis.com.au and on Twitter with the hashtag #yourtaxis.
However since its inception some 24 hours ago, the campaign has been swamped with negative user reviews and feedback, with the overwhelming majority of complaints being in relation to poor hygiene, drivers talking on mobile phones, refusing to take short fares, and refusing to use the GPS despite not knowing where they’re going.
The twitter feed is rife with personal accounts of sexual harassment, verbal abuse and appalling customer service – representing a monumental slap in the face to the Victorian Tax Association in its desperate attempt to garner some public sentiment.
While administrators initially responded to the first few comments on twitter, it appears they have gone into hiding after the twitter feed went into meltdown.
****AN EXCLUSIVE GUTTER TRASH INVESTIGATION REPORT EXCLUSIVE****
- Christmas Island: A complete disaster zone, say witnesses
- NZ Govt demand answers!
- ‘It’s just a disturbance in the [border] force,’ says Peter Dutton
The Australian Federal Government’s Christmas Island detention centre is in absolute chaos today after an employee of Serco – the private company contracted by the Government to secure the facility – assaulted a detainee. The detainee was assaulted by a guard after asking about the death of another detainee over the weekend with witnesses claiming he was “punched in the face.”
According to eye witness accounts, the centre’s canteen has been burnt down, windows smashed, and fences and walls knocked over. Another said “everything’s on fire.”
A New Zealand detainee, Ricky Downs, told The Gutter Trash that the guards had fled the centre.
“The canteen’s been smashed to pieces, there’s no security, there’s no emergency response team, there’s no border patrol, there’s no guards, there’s nothing,” he said.
“They’ve gone, they’ve freaked out and left.”
The riots come after the death of the Iranian Kurdish asylum seeker, named by refugee groups as seeker Fazel Chegeni. His body was found on Sunday after he escaped from the centre on Friday.
The New Zealand Government is reportedly investigating the meltdown after reports of New Zealanders being mistreated at the detention centre came to light in recent weeks.
Despite the unfolding chaos, Australia’s Immigration Minister the much maligned former policeman Peter Dutton is yet to offer any clarification with the department only issuing a statement that there has been a “disturbance” at the facility.
However The Gutter Trash understands that the detainees have taken full control of the facility.
It’s understood the detention centre’s security guards have fled the facility amongst the mayhem.
Detainees are now said to be huddled together fearing for reprisals when the guards return.
Governments are liberating global corporations from the rule of law and leaving them to rip the world apart, writes George Monbiot…
What have governments learned from the financial crisis? I could write a column spelling it out. Or I could do the same job with one word: nothing.
Actually, that’s too generous. The lessons learned are counter-lessons, anti-knowledge, new policies that could scarcely be better designed to ensure the crisis recurs, this time with added momentum and fewer remedies.
And the financial crisis is just one of the multiple crises – in tax collection, public spending, public health and, above all, ecology – that the same counter-lessons accelerate.
Step back a pace and you see that all these crises arise from the same cause. Players with huge power and global reach are released from democratic restraint. This happens because of a fundamental corruption at the core of politics.
In almost every nation the interests of economic elites tend to weigh more heavily with governments than do those of the electorate.
Banks, corporations and landowners wield an unaccountable power, which works with a nod and a wink within the political class. Global governance is beginning to look like a never-ending Bilderberg meeting.
As a paper by the law professor Joel Bakan in the Cornell International Law Journal argues, two dire shifts have been happening simultaneously.
On one hand governments have been removing laws that restrict banks and corporations, arguing that globalisation makes states weak and effective legislation impossible. Instead, they say, we should trust those who wield economic power to regulate themselves.
On the other hand, the same governments devise draconian new laws to reinforce elite power. Corporations are given the rights of legal persons. Their property rights are enhanced.
Those who protest against them are subject to policing and surveillance – the kind that’s more appropriate to dictatorships than democracies. Oh, state power still exists all right – when it’s wanted.
Many of you will have heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). These are supposed to be trade treaties, but they have little to do with trade, and much to do with power.
They enhance the power of corporations while reducing the power of parliaments and the rule of law.
They could scarcely be better designed to exacerbate and universalise our multiple crises – financial, social and environmental. But something even worse is coming, the result of negotiations conducted, once more, in secret: a Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), covering North America, the EU, Japan, Australia and many other nations.
Only through WikiLeaks do we have any idea of what is being planned. It could be used to force nations to accept new financial products and services, to approve the privatisation of public services and to reduce the standards of care and provision.
It looks like the greatest international assault on democracy devised in the past two decades. Which is saying quite a lot.
So the self-hating state proclaims that it has no power while destroying its own capacity to legislate.– internationally and at home, as if the last financial crisis had not occurred, and as if unaware of what caused it, George Osborne, in his most recent speech to the City of London, told his audience of bankers that “a central demand in our renegotiation is that Europe stops costly and damaging regulation”.
David Cameron has boasted of running “the first government in modern history that at the end of its parliamentary term has less regulation in place than there was at the beginning”.
This, in a world of accelerating complexity and booming corporate crime, is pure recklessness. But fear not, they say: economic power no longer needs to be subject to the rule of law. It can regulate itself.
Some of us have long suspected that this is bunkum with bells on. But until now, suspicion is all we’ve had. This week the first global review of self-regulation is published.
It was commissioned by Britain’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, but it covers every sector from payday lenders to dog breeders. And it shows that in almost all cases – 82% of the 161 schemes it assessed, voluntary measures have failed.
For instance, when the European Union sought to reduce the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed by vehicles, it could simply have passed a law instructing the vehicle manufacturers to change the way they designed their bumpers and bonnets, at a cost of roughly €30 a car. Instead, it relied on a voluntary agreement with the industry. The result was a 75% lower level of protection than a law would have delivered.
The EU claims it will create millions of jobs and bring down the cost of living – but others say it is a threat to public services such as the NHS.
When the Welsh government introduced a 5p charge for plastic bags, it cut their use by 80% overnight. The Westminster government claimed that self-regulation by the retailers would do the job just as well. The result? A grand reduction of 6%.
After seven wasted years, it succumbed last month to the obvious logic, and introduced a charge.
Voluntary schemes designed to prevent the advertising of junk food to children in Spain, to cut greenhouse gases in Canada, to save water in California, to save albatrosses from long-liners in New Zealand, to protect cosmetic surgery patients in the UK, to stop the aggressive marketing of psychiatric medicines in Sweden: fail, fail, fail, fail.
What the state could have done with a stroke of the pen cheaply and effectively is left instead to the fumbling efforts of industries that, even when sincere, are fatally undermined by free riders and opportunists.
In several cases, companies begged for new laws to raise standards throughout the industry.
For example, those who make plastic silage wrappings for farmers tried to get the UK government to raise the recycling rate, while garden companies wanted regulations to phase out the use of peat.
The governments refused. Was this the result of blind ideology or grubby self-interest – or both? The biggest donors to political parties tend to be the worst operators, using their money to keep malpractice legal (consider Enron).
Because the parties they fund bow to their wishes, everyone else is forced to adopt their low standards. I suspect that governments know as well as anyone that law is more efficient and effective than self-regulation, which is why it is not used.
Restraining the electorate, releasing the powerful: this is a perfectly designed formula for a multidimensional crisis. And boy, are we reaping it.
~ George Joshua Richard Monbiot is a British writer, known for his environmental and political activism.