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Will the Libs stick with Abbott towards Election Oblivion?

July 27, 2015

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There is a remarkable unhinging taking place in the Liberal Party right now and it extends to its fractious relationship with the Nationals.

Despite the Tony Abbott’s public bravado, cracks are appearing with the ranks of the LNP and spilling over into the public domain as the reality sinks in that the LNP is heading for an electoral annihilation sometime within the next 18 months.

Although the date is yet to be set, consistent polling shows that Labor would romp home if an election were to be held anytime during the past 14 months.  The writing’s on the wall for the Abbott government and it’s not going to be pretty.

Despite promising to “end the age of entitlement” and bring the budget back to surplus within its first term of office and every year thereafter, the Abbott government has presided over a period of a burgeoning budget deficit with no end in side for what Treasury calls “decades to come.”

By almost any measure this government has been a failure of unprecedented scale.  Pre-election promises not to slash funding for the ABC, SBS, health and education were dumped as soon as they came into power with a fervent disregard towards the public outrage that followed.

The manufacturing industry has collapsed and Abbott’s self-proclaimed title to be “The Infrastructure PM” has seen him preside over a falling investment in infrastructure spending.

Some within the ranks of the born-to-rule mob now find themselves in the unenviable position of considering their respective futures beyond the next election with an impatient public becoming increasingly disillusioned over the Abbott government’s backward position on issues from marriage equality and renewable energy.

Recently, Joe Hockey declared that the Liberal Party “could not be bought” presumably as it has already been sold to the mining industry on a no returns no refund basis.

Nationals Leader Barnaby Joyce has been well and truly shafted by the Libs and is now just a walking talking shell of man.

The Bronwyn Bishop scandal has taken a life of its own, so much so that she has becoming a living caricature of the arrogance and born to rule mentality that so accurately characterises the Liberal psyche.

Abbott hoped to pin his hopes on issues of national security and fear mongering over terrorists and asylum seekers but even then, the public can only be bludgeoned over the head with that hysterical rhetoric so many times before it just becomes blasé.

No, it’s all over for Tony Abbott, and the Libs are now beginning to realise they missed the opportunity to oust him when the chance arose earlier in the year.

The question remains as to whether they’ll have the gumption to come close to a challenge again, but with Labor showing no signs of losing its election winning lead, many within the LNP must be becoming increasingly anxious.

At The Movies with TB: Ant Man Movie Review!

July 22, 2015

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A bloke goes to jail and gets out … for whistle-blowing, being sacked and burgling the bosses that sacked him after he dobbed on them … or something.

A scientist can make little people … shhhh … it’s been a secret for decades …

The scientist’s assistant now runs the scientists lab after the scientist thumped the assistant and was then sacked from his own business (? yeah, that’s what I thought too).

The assistant finally finds out how to shrink living cells … notwithstanding the – Experimental Death of cuddly lambs C34 and C35 (one can only assume 33 preceded them).

The scientist’s daughter works for the assistant but plots with her dad.

The scientist’s tricks the ex-con into burgling his house – and putting on the Ant-Man suit …

The ex-con “accidentally” shrinks himself … Whoaa!

Now the ex-con has an ex-wife and a little daughter who he can’t visit ’cause he doesn’t have any money … so he agrees to become the Ant-Man to make a few quid (so he can see his daughter once in a while) and control lots of ants … ’cause they can lift fifty times their own weight y’know!

The scientist’s daughter gets ropey ’cause she wants to wear the ant suit and she knows the lab “inside out”.

The Ant-Man has three dopey mates … naturally … the Latino bloke can throw his voice into many other actors as he tells his tales … funny …

Ant-Man and the other three … one’s a Russian … finally blow up a big lab while the assistant scientist who has managed to shrink himself to look like a wasp goes around zapping stuff with two blue laser weapons …

The Wasp Man visits the little girl and Ant Man is not happy, there’s a big ant made who lives happily ever after …

Ant Man and the Wasp fight. Ant Man wins.

Ant Man is really good friends with his wife and her new fiancé – (did I mention he’s a cop?) – and his little daughter is happy and has a new pet …

Ant Man is then in the scientist’s house and the scientist catches his daughter and Ant Man.
Pros: Funny script, great graphics, well acted (even Michael Douglas), worth a big screen visit, The Minister likes Marvel movies (credit for TB :) )

Cons: Bit slow in places, it is a fkn Marvel movie FFS!

TB :star: :star: :star:

The Minister :star: :star: :star:

 

 

 

Lawyers the only winners in Joe Hockey’s Defamation Case

July 22, 2015

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Oh, the ignominy of it all, Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has been left red faced and out of pocket to the tune of $340,000 after “winning” a defamation case against Fairfax Media over its “Treasurer for Sale” article.

Federal Court Judge Richard White ruled on Wednesday that Fairfax, publisher of The Australian Financial Review, should pay a mere 15 per cent of Mr Hockey’s legal costs.

Justice White said his assessment took into account Mr Hockey’s limited success in relation to the SMH and The Age and the failure of his claim against The Canberra Times.

The amount is to be payable by the SMH and The Age, while his proceedings against the Canberra Times were dismissed with no order as to costs.

“HOCKEY FAILED” SAYS JUDGE
“It is plain that Mr Hockey is not entitled to his costs in full against the SMH and The Age as in those proceedings he failed on the matters which were the real core of his claim,” Justice White said.

“Had Mr Hockey sued only on the SMH poster and the two tweets of The Age, the proceedings would have been much more confined and, possibly, may not have involved a trial at all.”

Mr Hockey failed on a number of legal and factual issues in the trial, Justice White said.

The court ruled in June that Mr Hockey was defamed in a Sydney Morning Herald poster and in two tweets by The Age which labelled him as a “Treasurer for Sale” – but dismissed his claims about the articles themselves.

Mr Hockey’s legal team had sought for Fairfax to pay the entirety of the his legal costs on an indemnity basis, while each side paid their own costs in relation to the Canberra Times publications, which were not found to be defamatory.

Alternatively, Mr Hockey’s team argued if the publications were to be assessed together, Fairfax should pay 90 to 95 per cent of Mr Hockey’s costs.

Fairfax argued Mr Hockey should pay 60 per cent of its costs. Indemnity costs would be “manifestly unfair” given Mr Hockey lost the majority of his claims.

Mr Hockey’s submission for a permanent injunction to restrain Fairfax from re-publishing the defamatory imputations found to have been conveyed by the poster and the tweets, was also rejected by Justice White.

Speaking generally, Griffith University professor Mark Pearson said speaking generally of defamation actions, prospective plaintiffs must bear in mind a victory in a defamation action did not necessarily mean a victory financially.

“Too often people’s pride and ego are driving defamation. Some people rush into action because they overlook court costs involved,” Mr Pearson said.

“It could well be that your award of damages is much less that the costs you have to pay.”

Plaintiffs also had to weigh up the risk of further damage to their reputation in  pursuing legal action.

“Everything comes out in a defamation case and normally there are few winners.”

Flying High with Bronwyn Bishop!

July 19, 2015

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****A DRAMATIC GUTTER TRASH INVESTIGATIVE REPORT EXCLUSIVE…!!!*****

  • Bishop digs in as office confirms she signed chopper ride expense claim
  • Claims she “didn’t know what she was signing”
  • Scandal has Liberal MPs seething!

With thanks to our exclusive sources, the Gutter Trash can reveal that embattled Speaker Dame Bronwyn Bishop didn’t bother to check her expenses before she signed off on the six-monthly Finance Department report which contained details of the scandalous $5227 helicopter charter flight.

Instead, she left her expenses to be checked by her minions before details of the lavish joyride were made public on the  department’s website.

Bronwyn’s failure to check her own expenses occurred despite the form specifically requiring MPs to “check the information detailed” as part of the regular reporting process and stating that MPs must “certify that my use of each entitlement … administered by Finance, is in accordance with the provisions legislated for each respective entitlement.”

A spokesman for Mrs Bishop confirmed she had not checked the expense report and said “our staff reconcile the report against the Speaker’s own diary to ensure the accuracy of the certification. Once we have done that we provide assurances to the Speaker that the report is correct and she signs the certification”.

Mrs Bishop insists that the $5000 joyride is well within her entitlements, despite the taxpayer funded jaunt being incurred to attend a Liberal Party fundraiser.

However current and former MPs including Treasurer Joe Hockey, Environment Minister Greg Hunt, former treasurer Peter Costello, former leader John Hewson and former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett have all publicly condemned the flamboyant Speaker’s use of taxpayer funded expenses.

Despite the public outrage, Tony Abbott remains resolutely in support of his hand-picked Speaker.

However The Gutter Trash understands that Government ministers are seething over the scandal, particularly as the furore diverts attention away from Bill Shorten’s recent appearance at the Royal Commission into Union corruption.

A defiant Mrs Bishop made it clear that she does not intend to resign, or apologise, despite agreeing to repay cost of the charter flight, plus a $1300 penalty.

She also defended a recent two-week trip to Europe that cost taxpayers close to $90,000, declaring: “It wasn’t $90,000, it was 88 [thousand]. Indeed the President of the Senate who led the delegation to exactly the same meeting, the 12 months before, spent $92,000. So it is simply the way that delegations are arranged.”

“When we talked about the helicopter, that is now with the Department of Finance, so I don’t think it’s appropriate to talk about it any further,” she said and insisted “the best form of apology is to repay the money”.

Federal Treasurer, Smokin’ Joe Hockey is said to be livid over the affair saying that the scandal was sucking the oxygen from political debate and that “I haven’t heard of anyone who has taken a helicopter to a fundraising event”.

“She recognised that what she did was an error of judgment, paid the money and is co-operating with the Department of Finance, and that’s all happened since I had that interview with 2UE,” he told the Ten Network, referring to earlier criticism that the flight didn’t pass the “sniff test” (what even is that?).

Former Liberal John Hewson believes Tony Abbott is “defending the indefensible” and issued a stark prediction that ChopperGate will come at an “enormous political cost” to the government.

Will the Abbott Government call an Early Election?

July 13, 2015

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The word on the street in Canberra is that senior MPs from within the skanky ranks of the Abbott government are feverishly plotting a secret plan to unleash a premature election on an unsuspecting Australian public.  (It worked it Queensland didn’t it?).

Apparently, and at this point we acknowledge the tireless efforts of our exclusive sources, the Gutter Trash can reveal that plans are definitely afoot in the wake of a conga line of consistently poor polls for the government despite nuclear efforts to ramp up the Government’s credentials of national security, boat people and its erstwhile pass times of Union bashing and weeing on the ABC.

In fact, the Abbott government has lagged in national support for the last 18 months, and currently sits on about 47 per cent after preferences. Give or take a per cent or so, that’s what the pollsters are mostly saying. Week in, week out.

The latest results from Newspoll, typically the most LNP sympathetic pollster, put the national outcome at 53 to 47 in the opposition’s favour. Swing-wise the biggest contributing states were the ones the ALP did particularly poorly in 2013, Queensland and WA. The smallest movers were NSW and South Australia.

The Government had hoped that the Royal Commission into Union Corruption would have landed some killer blows on Bill Shorten’s political fortunes however it fizzled out without fanfare.

The Government also underestimated the considerable public sentiment in favour of supporting the ABC which has amounted to an extraordinary own goal of momentous proportions all carried out in the mainstream media.

More recently, Tony Abbott has shafted Nationals Leader Barnaby Joyce with the approval of the Shenhua Watermark coalmine to be built near Gunnedah in northern New South Wales.  The plan will see a large open-cut coalmine constructed across about 35sq km with three large extraction pits.

Coalmines have rarely been popular with local communities but this one has been particularly controversial because it is situated in the Liverpool Plains, an area of sorghum and legume farms, which is often described as a food bowl for Australia.

Whether the Government goes for an early election remains to be seen, however it is certainly preparing the groundwork for a double dissolution trigger, which suggests it’s keeping its options open.

Blib on the Block

July 9, 2015

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Opposition leader Bilbo Hootspeak is facing a Royal Commission into so-called Union Corruption.

Mr Shorten drinking water, is facing allegations that he failed to declare a $40,000 donation to his 2007 election campaign.

Commissioner John Heydon QC is finding the enquiry hard going, struggling to land any sort of killer blow.

Frustrated by his own conduct, Mr Heydon turned on Mr Shorten accusing him of deliberately delaying progress of the enquiry.

“I think it is partly your fault that we are proceeding rather slowly through the material,” he said.

This, despite the fact that Blib is really just there to answer questions.

Barnaby Joyce: “Gay Marriage could damage our Cattle Exports”

July 7, 2015
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A cow pictured on a farm in Surrey, England (left) and Barnaby Joyce (EPA/DANIEL HAMBURY)

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has issued a stark warning that the prospect of gay marriage could have a devastating effect on Australia’s cattle exports.

The colourful Nationals MP recently gained international notoriety when he threatened to destroy Johnny Depp’s pet puppies Pistol and Boo.

No stranger to controversy, Mr Joyce now finds his comments on marriage equality making international headlines.

“Where we live economically is south east Asia, that’s where our cattle go,” Mr Joyce told an intrigued Barrie Cassidy on the ABC’s Insiders program.

“When we go there, there are judgments whether you like it or not that are made about us. They see us as decadent.”

Barrie Cassidy replied: “Would they see us embracing gay marriage as decadence?”

“I think that in some instances they would, yeah,” Mr Joyce then answered.

The issue of gay marriage has returned to the political agenda in Australia after a Liberal MP revealed he would introduce a private member’s bill to legalise it when the country’s parliament resumes next month.

But Prime Minister Tony Abbott suggested the bill would be unlikely to reach voting stage.

“It’s quite unusual for private member’s bills to come on for debate and vote in the Parliament,” he said.

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