Category Archives: politics

A Tale of Two Slogans


I am sorry if this affects you badly. Memories of past atrocities can be offensive.

It is meant as a warning, as a sombre reflection on what is happening in our society today. Concentration camps did not begin with gas chambers (The British started them during the Napoleonic Wars) Yet the carelessness for human life grew as the camps became commonplace in The Nazi Empire.

That carelessness for human life is beginning to show in our Australian society.

In the Refugee ‘facilities’, in our ‘care’ for the unemployed, in our Aged Care ‘Homes’, . Unless we, as a nation rise up and say, ‘ALL our people are valuable. All humans have worth.‘ then we are committing our nation to a path which I dare not contemplate.

They imprisoned the Refugees and I said nothing because I was not a refugee.

They forced the unemployed into crime, prostitution and drugs but I said nothing because I was employed.

They imprisoned the aged in understaffed, underfunded institutions and starved them but I said nothing because I was not old. But I accidentally lived long enough and the Old caught up with me!

 

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A Tale of Two Press Conferences


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On a Journey


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Josh Frydenthatch


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Ghosts of Economists Passed


Thatcher and Reagan are figures of hate for the left because they were so successful.

Josh Frydenberg 26.07.2020
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Family Planning


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Return Scott Morrison


Mattias Cormann – Class Traitor


EARLY LIFE

Mathias Hubert Paul Cormann was born in the German-speaking town of Eupen in eastern Belgium, [1] to Herbert and Heldegard Cormann on 20 September 1970. [1]

‘Herbert Cormann was working as a turner in a local factory when he developed health problems. “My father was a very hard worker until serious illness struck him down at a time when he and my mum had four kids under 10,” Cormann recalls. Describing it as “a very personal matter”, he adds that Herbert became an alcoholic. “It is fair to say that the most challenging time for us as a family was during that time, from when I was 10 to when I was 15.” His father overcame that addiction and has not drunk since. “That was a great achievement and something we are all very proud of.”

Mathias formed a close bond with his mother. Speaking after her son’s appointment as Finance Minister, Heldegard Cormann told Fairfax Media that her son had “learnt everything necessary to look after the other children and to do the housework . . . He became, not like a father exactly, but much more grown up. He organised all the family affairs . . . My son and I always spoke a lot about things. I liked it because he wanted to change things that are not good.” 

The Cormann household was sustained through these difficult years by a state disability pension and the support of the local church, where Mathias served as an altar boy. He performed altar duties for weddings, and after each one was given a book from the Tintin series by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, books he chose. Cormann still has all 23 books. There are Tintin prints in his ministerial office – alongside a framed, autographed West Coast Eagles football jumper. His Belgian childhood hero was an intrepid, truth-seeking, crime-busting boy reporter; his Australian heroes are men who play a code of football he didn’t know existed before he migrated. [2]

The Catholicism with which Cormann grew up reflects the deep conservatism of the German-speaking region of eastern Belgium. Formerly part of Germany, the region was annexed to Belgium under the redrawing of borders that resulted from the Treaty of Versailles. Between the wars, German-speaking nationalists agitated for reunification with Germany. The retaking of Eupen was an important symbol of Adolf Hitler’s early military triumphs. Eupen was one of the first towns the Nazis declared to be “free of Jews” after Jewish residents were shipped out to concentration camps. Because of its symbolism, Eupen became a key target for American forces after the D-Day landings in 1944 and the region, including Raeren, was the scene of some of the most ferocious fighting in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge. [2]

EDUCATION


Cormann graduated with a Bachelor of Law degree from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Catholic University of Leuven).

As part of his university studies Cormann participated in a one-year student exchange program at the University of East Anglia in Norwich in 1993–94, where he first learned to speak English. [1]

He was a law student in Belgium during the protests that marked the beginning of the end of communism in Europe. The chance to witness a great, historic event propelled him and some of his university friends to jump in a car and hurtle to Berlin just days after the Wall had been breached by huge, cheering crowds. What Cormann observed in Berlin still sits powerfully with him. Looking from the Wall to the East and then to the West, he says he saw why capitalism had triumphed over communism.

“You had two German populations divided by the Wall,” he says. “You had millions of people living side by side with the same challenges after the war, the same opportunities, same climate, same geography. All the preconditions were the same. But they were subject to different policy choices and different systems of government. On one side, you could see freedom, reward for effort and encouragement for people to stretch themselves and where that had led.

On the other side you could see where lowest-common-denominator policies had led.” These impressions were reinforced when Cormann studied in England. “There were students there from East Germany who had started to come to west European universities. I spoke to them and it was very obvious: socialism holds people back; policies based on freedom, free choice and reward for effort ultimately lift everyone.” [2]

(His) mother tongue is German. Growing up in Raeren, a small town in eastern Belgium, he didn’t speak a word of English for the first two decades of his life. His attempts to master his fourth language after German, French and Flemish came only after a solid period studying law in Belgium. [4]

 

EUROPEAN CAREER

In 1991, aged 21, Cormann joined the Christlich Soziale Partei (CSP) in Raeren, where he served as a municipal council member.

From 1994 to 1996, Cormann served as an assistant to Member of the European Parliament Mathieu Grosch. [1]  “He was my first personal assistant in Brussels; it was obvious he was intelligent, driven and charismatic but also blessed with youthful impatience and full of determination,” Grosch said in a statement on Cormann’s appointment as Finance Minister. “No road was too far for him to travel to reach his goal.” [4]

AUSTRALIA BEFORE POLITICS

Mathias Cormann vividly remembers arriving in Australia. It was June 1994, and the 23-year-old Belgian had flown to Perth to meet the family of a girl he had fallen for when studying English in Britain. “I still remember flying from Brussels to Singapore, which is a very long way, and then waiting for quite a while, and then flying for another five hours to Perth,” he says, as if recalling some sort of excruciating physical pain. If he’d had to add yet another five hours to get to the east coast, he might have been put off.

But on arrival in Perth he was mesmerised. Cormann’s first thoughts as he drove along the banks of the sparkling Swan River to a luncheon at a beachside restaurant with panoramic views of the Indian Ocean, were (that) it really felt like the edge of the world. “Perth was just amazing to me, and it remains amazing today,” he says.  The relationship with the Perth girl didn’t last, but Cormann’s love of his new country did. [4]

After his initial visit to Australia, Cormann returned to Belgium intending to make a career in law there. But he returned four months later, this time for a summer Christmas. “The sense I had at the time was that everything was so big. There was so much opportunity. It sounds like a cliché but you could literally feel the likelihood that this place was going to develop quite incredibly strongly. At the time I thought, ‘Wow, this is great. I want to be part of it.’ ” He returned to Belgium yet again but Perth loomed ever larger in his head. In July 1996, Cormann formally migrated to Australia, a country none of his family or circle of Belgian friends had ever visited.  [4]

His Belgian law degree was not recognised in Australia, so Cormann fired off hundreds of letters to all sorts of potential Perth employers asking for work. All that came of these efforts was a casual job as a gardener. “What I found was that if you just write letters, people just write back polite replies. I said to myself, ‘You have got to be a bit smarter about this.’ ” [4]

Cormann decided to take a direct approach. With two years’ experience as a political assistant to Grosch under his belt and some knowledge of international law and treaties, he approached WA Liberal senator Chris Ellison, who was chairman of the treaties committee in Federal Parliament.  “I rang him and asked for a meeting. I suggested to him I might be able to help as a volunteer while I was trying to find a job. We met, had a chat and essentially just started talking politics. Chris said ‘Yep, give it a shot.’ Within two weeks somebody on his staff got crook and I got put in as a relief staffer. The rest, as they say, is history.”[4]

Cormann became a senior adviser to Ellison, who went on to become a minister in the Howard government. Cormann struck Ellison at that first meeting as a serious person of obvious intelligence, with a savvy political brain and a willingness to commit. Ellison was emerging as an increasingly powerful figure in the state Liberal Party. After years of turmoil and ugly factionalism in the WA branch, Howard gave Ellison the task of cleaning out the stables and uniting the party membership. Ellison did well, becoming political godfather to a generation of ambitious Liberals. Eight of his former staff, including Cormann, became state or federal MPs. [4]

Bob Fisher, one of the five members of the Abbott government’s National Commission of Audit panel, has known Cormann since soon after he arrived in Australia. Fisher was director-general of the WA Department of Family and Children’s Services. In 1997 he met up with the newly appointed minister for the portfolio, Rhonda Parker, who had with her “this tall, good-looking young fellow who talked like Arnold Schwarzenegger”. Says Fisher: “I couldn’t make this bloke out. Who was he? What was a bright young bloke from Belgium doing in Perth working for a state minister?” Fisher says he took Cormann out for coffee after the meeting, during which the young political staffer told Fisher he aspired to move into federal politics. “Then you will want to get into the House of Representatives. That’s where the action is,” Fisher told Cormann. “He said, ‘No, Bob. The Senate. With my accent no one would vote for me if I tried to get a seat [in the House].’ I thought, ‘Wow. This is a young bloke who knows what he wants.’ ” [4]

Party positions

  • Senior Vice-President of the Liberal Party Perth Division from 2000 to 2003.
  • Councillor of the Liberal Party State Branch (WA) from 2000.
  • Vice-President of the Liberal Party State Branch (WA) from 2003 to 2004.
  • Senior Vice-President of the Liberal Party State Branch (WA) from 2004 to 2008.   [6]

Qualifications and occupation before entering Federal Parliament

  • LLC (Notre Dame University, Namur)
  • LLL (Catholic University of Leuven)
  • Chief of Staff, Minister for Family and Children’s Services (WA) 1997-2000
  • Senior Adviser to the State Premier (WA), the Hon. RF Court, MLA 2000-01
  • Adviser to the Minister for Justice and Customs, the Hon. CM Ellison 2001-03
  • Health services manager, HBF Health Insurance 2003-04
  • General manager, Healthguard 2004-06
  • Acting general manager, HBF Health Insurance 2006-07   [6]

 

 

PRIVATE LIFE

One of the few esoteric Cormann behaviours is that instead of writing “lol” in texts he says “ha ha”, a phrase that instantly evokes his strong German accent in anyone who has met him. [2]

‘As I arrive at his Perth home, one of Australia’s most powerful politicians has a huge grin as he produces from his fridge a perfectly decorated cake in the shape of a Number 1 for his youngest daughter, Charlotte.

Cormann tells me he was up until 11pm baking the birthday cake, before reaching for his phone and showing me pictures of another cake he has made for his three-year-old daughter Isabelle in the shape of Thomas the Tank Engine. “Just in case you don’t believe me, here is proof I actually made the cake,” he said, studying pictures of the Thomas cake in different stages of development.

“Making the birthday cakes is my job. This one (for Charlotte) was not as involved as the other one for Isabelle. “I did the Thomas cake for Isabelle’s second birthday on request. We did a fair bit of it together, which was fun.”

Cormann the baker? Where did that all start?

Cormann’s mind goes back to when he was a child in Raeren, a small town in eastern Belgium, where he grew up with his father Herbert, mother Hildegard and his three younger sisters. “I was responsible for the baking. I started when I was about 10,” he said. “They were pretty straight-forward cakes, but I enjoyed doing them a lot — apple strudel and things like that.” [5]

POLITICAL LIFE

Parliamentary service

  • Chosen by the Parliament of Western Australia on 19.6.2007 under section 15 of the Constitution to represent that State in the Senate, vice Hon. I Campbell (resigned). Elected to the Senate for Western Australia 2010. Re-elected 2016.

Ministerial appointments

  • Minister for Finance from 18.9.2013 to 23.8.2018.
  • Cabinet Minister from 18.9.2013.
  • Special Minister of State from 18.2.2016 to 19.7.2016.
  • Special Minister of State from 20.12.2017 to 28.8.2018.
  • Vice-President of the Executive Council from 20.12.2017.
  • Acting Prime Minister from 21.2.2018 to 26.2.2018.
  • Minister for Finance and the Public Service from 28.8.2018 to 29.5.2019.
  • Minister for Finance from 29.5.2019.

Committee service

  • Senate Standing: Regulations and Ordinances from 13.2.2008 to 27.11.2010.
  • Senate Select: Fuel and Energy from 26.6.2008 to 30.8.2010; Scrutiny of New Taxes from 30.9.2010 to 1.11.2011; Electricity Prices from 10.9.2012 to 3.10.2012; Electricity Prices from 4.10.2012 to 1.11.2012.
  • Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Finance and Public Administration from 20.6.2007 to 10.9.2007; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade from 17.8.2007 to 16.10.2008; Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: References from 2.2.2010 to 24.11.2010.
  • Joint Statutory: Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings from 11.3.2008 to 25.9.2008; Corporations and Financial Services from 25.10.2010 to 5.8.2013.
  • Joint Standing: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade from 14.2.2008 to 23.9.2008; Treaties from 14.2.2008 to 11.3.2008.

Parliamentary party positions

  • Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health Administration from 22.9.2008 to 8.12.2009.
  • Shadow Minister for Employment Participation, Apprenticeships and Training from 8.12.2009 to 14.9.2010.
  • Shadow Assistant Treasurer from 14.9.2010 to 18.9.2013.
  • Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation from 14.9.2010 to 18.9.2013.
  • Deputy Leader of Government in the Senate from 21.9.2015 to 20.12.2017.
  • Leader of the Government in the Senate from 20.12.2017 to 23.8.2018.
  • Leader of the Government in the Senate from 28.8.2018.   [6]

Identifying goals and systematically working to achieve them have been hallmarks of Cormann’s professional life. At key points in his career he has overtaken potential rivals by clever back-room networking and astute political judgment. His surprise elevation to the cabinet and finance ministry – over the former shadow finance minister and one-time Liberal Party national director Andrew Robb and his presumptive successor Arthur Sinodinos, the influential senior adviser to former prime minister John Howard – marked Cormann as an inside player par excellence. [4]

Appointed a Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health Administration by Malcom Turbull. Cormann repaid the honour by voting for Tony Abbott in the leadership spill of 1st December 2010, effectively sacking his boss.

NUCLEAR POWER

On 3rd December 2009, Cormann took part in a public debate on Nuclear Power in the Perth Town Hall [7]
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann’s future has been a much-discussed subject in Canberra since he famously withdrew his support for Malcolm Turnbull during the failed Dutton coup of August 2018.  But in recent weeks the scuttlebutt has been particularly intense. The well-regarded senior minister has, according to every DFAT official you bump into on the street, been weighing up the merits of running for the role of secretary-general at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The Belgium-born senior minister would certainly have been a solid candidate for the position currently occupied by Mexican economist Angel Gurria, who concludes his third five-year term at the end of 2021. Sources even contend Cormann had talked to Prime Minister Scott Morrison about having a tilt for the position, which is apparently open to a non-European. Morrison’s support would have likely helped with US government officials. Cormann’s strong grasp of French was also regarded as a selling point given the organisation’s headquarters are in Paris.

**********************

Respected political commentator Laurie Oakes this week (in 2016) described Cormann as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s “go-to man”.

Oakes said Cormann had developed a reputation as an effective negotiator with minor parties.

WA Liberal Senator Dean Smith, the Government Whip, said Cormann’s negotiating skills had been crucial to the coalition getting the Greens onboard to support the backpacker tax.

“In the last two weeks of Parliament, Mathias was at the epicentre of the Government’s success in securing passage of key legislation such as our industrial relations and tax reforms measures and the very tricky backpacker tax,” he said.

Cormann says he is somewhat “bemused” at being singled out as a crossbench vote whisperer.

“The reason I am bemused is because there is nothing remarkable, extraordinary or unusual about this,” he said.

“Firstly, it is always a team effort, I would have thought it is just common sense that if you need someone’s support for something you have to talk to them and treat them with courtesy and respect.

“The reason One Nation is there, the reason Derryn Hinch is there, the reason the Xenophon team is there is because a significant number of Australians voted for them, and you have to respect that.”

Mathias Cormann and One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson after the Backpacker Tax Bill vote in the Senate.
Mathias Cormann and One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson after the Backpacker Tax Bill vote in the Senate. Credit: PerthNow

Illustrating his political smarts, Cormann is complimentary of Pauline Hanson.

“One on one, I find Pauline Hanson very good to deal with,” he says.

Cormann is up for re-election in 2022. He says he has no intention of being a long-term career politician.

“I won’t be in politics in 20 years time. I can promise you that,” he says. “But I’m not about to leave, either.” [5]

5th July 2020

He announces he is going to retire by the end of this year.

I shall stop collecting and documenting his parliamentary history now and conclude with this iconic photo.

CONCLUSIONS

Born in a poor area of Belgium, which had been occupied by Nazi Germany, Matthias relied on church and state help to grow up.

He then chose to see that help as Communism and, having grown up and done the University thing, rejected the basis of his life and became a class traitor.

He continued this life when he arrived in Australia and joined the Liberal Party, eventually representing them in this Nation’s Parliament.

Now he is retiring from that place and will retire with an oversized State funded pension. He will spend the rest of his life in State supported comfort much more generous than his state supported youth.

MATTHIAS CORMANN

CLASS TRAITOR!

 

 

REFERENCES

 

[1] Wikipedia
[2] https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/thethingsmathiascormannwonttalkabout-20180308-h0x6il

[3] https://www.theage.com.au/national/cbd-melbourne-mathias-cormann-s-european-getaway-20200610-p551ed.html

[4] https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/mathias-cormann-a-tale-of-two-lives-20140502-zr37g.html

[5] https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/wa/mathias-cormann-family-man-baker-negotiator-ng-8a3d53c4b3cf85de6b0072a1480c6eeb

[6] https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Parliamentarian?MPID=HDA

[7] https://greensmps.org.au/articles/nuclear-debate

Whoever Fights Monsters (a repeat)


I posted this in July 2013. Since then Australia has seen the cases of David McBride, Bernard Collereay, Bernard Collaery and WitnessK, Witness J along with others which have probably escaped any reference in the media. It seems reasonable to think about this erosion of the basics of the Magna Carta now in 2020.

 

Whoever fights monsters

The USA has fought many monsters in its short history as a Nation.

Religious persecution, a battle which continues to this day. The British Monarchy which was a successful battle. Slavery where they had to fight themselves with mixed results. Spain and Mexico in successful American Imperialism. German Imperialism which was not quite so successful so they had to do it twice. Russian Communism which eventually worked after unleashing many potential horrors upon an undeserving world.

should see to it that in the process

The Founding Fathers of the USA set up an apparently fool-proof process so that the citizenry could see what was happening within a tripartite form of Government.

An elected President limited to two terms. An elected Congress subject to the will of an informed electorate. An appointed Supreme Court where the best minds in the country could rule, in Law, on the decisions of the first two branches.

All open and visible to the public.

Successfully fighting against the casual cruelties of Nazism and the secret arms of Eastern Europe’s tyrannical Governments.

he does not become a monster.

Yet somewhere along the way the USA lost its integrity.

The cruelty of mid-Century Germany was mirrored in the drug experiments by the CIA in the 50’s and 60’s.

The secrecy of the KGB became the norm in the CIA and the Gulags of Russia have found an echo in the creation of the Guantanamo Bay prison.

The stop and search and constant inspection of its and other Nation’s citizens, the intrusion of the NSA into every corner of the cyber-world and the use of drones to remotely kill people are all symptoms of the USA having tipped over the edge into becoming one the monsters it was trying to eradicate.

And if you gaze long enough into an abyss,

After looking into the Abyss created by megalomaniac rulers throughout the world; After counteracting the terror unleashed upon the world by those with extreme religious and secular ambitions; After close association with the worst the world can produce, the USA has become infected with the evil virus it has spent so long trying to eradicate.

Consider this new step in the sickness and hubris of the secret American State.

In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data . . . . . the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny, according to current and former officials familiar with the court’s classified decisions.

So now there are secret laws, secret courts and secret committees and people making the rules Americans have to live by.

the abyss will gaze back into you. Friedrich Nietzsche

st judeThe one lesson we, as a species, have learned is that bureaucracies outlive people.

They outlive nations.

The new American intelligence bureaucracy has an un-elected leader.

One whose name we will never learn.

In the coming struggle between America and China and between America and its people, there will be many casualties.

Not the least of which will be truth and freedom.

As well as those brave people who try to lift the lid on this new terror organisation.

Daniel Ells­berg, Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, Thomas Drake and Edward Snowdon are just the tip of the iceberg. There will be many more who who will try to save the ideals of honesty, openness and accountability and who will pay the price.

Yet the Abyss will almost certainly win. And the contagion which now infects America will spread, in epidemic form, to all of America’s allies.

St Jude, Pray for us indeed!

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Mencken on Trump


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Thomas Jefferson on the USA


Michaelia Cash – The Screech From Floreat Beach.


Michaelia Clare Cash was born on 19 July 1970 in Subiaco, Western Australia.[1]  Her father was Samuel Ernest (George) Cash who was a long term State politician in both the Lower and Upper House. He was a Minister and later President of the Legislative Council in Western Australia. [2] Her mother was Ursula Clare Yelland. [9]

“From an early age, I learnt that you can either talk about change or be part of the change process,” she said. “My parents brought my siblings and I up with a very simple philosophy – to achieve, you work hard, and to achieve more, you simply work harder. There were never any excuses made for me and to this day I am very glad that a strict work ethic was instilled in me at a very young age. I have been criticised by some who claim I am a workaholic but I would say that hard work and maximum effort has simply been a way of life – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” [2]

EDUCATION

Educated at Iona Presentation College in Mosman Park, Cash graduated from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Arts with a triple major in public relations, politics and journalism. [2]

While studying, she became a member of the Liberal Party of Western Australia and was an executive member of the Curtin University Young Liberals from 1988 to 1990. She was then part of the Western Australian Young Liberal Movement, where she held numerous positions including State Vice-President. Cash was also a long-time member of the Liberal Party of Western Australia’s State Council, and was President of the Moore Division. She has also served on the Party’s State Executive. [2]

With a keen interest in the law, in addition to her law degree which she received from the University of London, Senator Cash holds a Bachelor of Arts with a triple major in public relations, politics and journalism from Curtin University in Western Australia and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Western Australia.  [1]   (05:26, 27 July 2008)

EMPLOYMENT

Prior to entering Federal Parliament, Senator Cash was a Senior Associate at the law firm Freehills in its Perth employment and industrial relations practice, where she worked from 1999 to 2008.[2]

“I practiced in all areas of employment and industrial law including industrial relations, employee relations, occupational health and safety, equal opportunity, executive employment, and unfair dismissal,” she said. “In June 2001 I was seconded to the Freehills Melbourne office for 12 months where I gained valuable insight into the federal industrial relations system.” [2]

Cash moved on to become a staffer in the office of Ross Lightfoot.   Lightfoot was the Liberal maverick best known for posing with an AK-47 assault rifle in Iraq while handing over a $US20,000 donation from Woodside to the Kurdish regional government. [7]  Lightfoot was also a long-term partner of the now retired Foreign Minister and Member for Curtin, Julie Bishop.[8]

 

 

PERSONAL LIFE

Michaelia Cash Married

On 26 January 2002, Senator Cash married Richard Price, a barrister and brother of the late political journalist, Matt Price.

 

They live in Floreat, a Western suburb of Perth. The couple have no children but, according to unsubstantiated rumour, enjoy the company of their 3 cats.

 

Cash apparently enjoys a curry.

 

PARLIAMENTARY CAREER

A leading female inspiration throughout her political career has been Margaret Thatcher. “If there was a glass ceiling for women in politics, Margaret Thatcher smashed it,” she said. “In 1975 she achieved much of what the world is still trying today to achieve for women. She was a working mother. She was a professional – studying STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths based education).  She was the object of scorn and vitriol from many on the left of politics and yet she did not wilt. She towered over her critics. She got on with the job, because she was a politician of action.” [2]

Pre-selected in third position on the Western Australian Liberal Party ticket in 2007, she replaced the retiring 71 year old Ross Lightfoot at the 2007 ‘Kevin in 07’ General Election.

2008

Following her election to the Senate, she was elected to the Senate Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.

By 2010 Cash had added the the Regulations and Ordinances Committee to her CV.  Then in September 2010 Tony Abbott made her the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Status of Women and the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration.

2013

With the election of the Abbott Government in 2013, Cash was appointed the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women in the Abbott Government on 18 September 2013.

By then her CV had grown to include a number of Committees.

  • Senate Standing: Regulations and Ordinances from 2.2.10 to 7.2.13.
  • Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Education, Employment and Workplace Relations from 1.7.08 to 14.5.09; Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Legislation Committee from 14.5.09 (Deputy Chair from 2.2.10) to 23.8.11 and References Committees from 14.5.09 (Chair from 2.2.10) to 23.8.11.
  • Senate Select: Men’s Health from 3.2.09 to 12.5.09; Climate Policy from 17.3.09 to 15.6.09.
  • Joint Statutory: Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity from 16.3.12 to 5.8.13.
  • Joint Standing: Treaties from 1.7.08 to 7.7.11; Migration from 1.7.11 to 5.8.13.
  • Joint Select: Christmas Island Tragedy from 3.3.11 to 29.6.11; Australia’s Immigration Detention Network from 22.6.11 to 30.3.12.

Cash was also a Temporary Chair of Committees from 2.2.10 to 28.9.10.

2015

Following the leadership change from Abbott to Turnbull, Cash was appointed the Minister for Employment and the Minister for Women on 20 September 2015.

2016

WORK FOR THE DOLE FATALITY

In April 2016 18 year old Josh Park-Fing died from head injuries sustained when he fell from a flatbed trailer being towed by a tractor while completing a Work for the Dole program at the Toowoomba Showgrounds, for which he was paid $218.75 per week.

An internal report to Cash completed in September 2016 was not released in 2016.

2017

MINIMUM WAGE CONFUSION

Around one minute into employment minister Michaelia Cash’s interview with 3AW’s Neil Mitchell, the Melbourne radio journalist summed up what was to come over the next nine minutes.
“Oh dear,” he said, as Cash struggled to explain the Turnbull government’s submission to the Fair Work Commission’s minimum wage case, which claimed that low paid workers are “often found in high-income households”.
While it offered little by way of opinion in its submission to the FWC’s recent decision to cut Sunday penalty rates, the Turnbull government had far stronger views for the annual review of the minimum wage, arguing an increase was “not an efficient way to address relative living standards or the needs of the low-paid”.
Mitchell wanted to know “how many of the 200,000 people struggling on $17.70 an hour are coming from high income households? How relevant is the minimum wage in that case.”
“The minimum wage is absolutely relevant and no one denies that,” she replied.
So Mitchell pressed for a number. Again and again. He wanted a figure for workers going home to “fat rich parents at home” or “going home to wealthy support”.
“That’s not what the government is saying,” Cash said.
“Yes it is,” Mitchell replied.
And on it went, with Cash trying to explain that: “Often what it is, is that they will have another partner that has a high income and they are part of the contribution to that household’s income”.
She accused Mitchell of trying to “pick and choose”, before deflecting that it was a detail “provided to us from the department”.
But he was undeterred, saying “If 99% of low income workers have got higher paid houses to go home to, then it’s entirely different than if it’s 1%. Now what is it? Do we know?”
She tried to fend him off again: “I think this is where the confusion lies. Very much. You need to look at the submission as a whole, OK?” [6]

ACCC SCANDAL

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is calling for Employment Minister Michaelia Cash to answer all questions about when and what she knew about disgraced industrial cop Nigel Hadgkiss breaking the Fair Work Act.
Minister Cash has admitted to knowing for just under a year that Australian Building and Construction (ABCC) chief Nigel Hadgkiss had acted unlawfully in regards to the laws he was supposedly enforcing.
The ACTU, on behalf of working people, want to know who else in the Turnbull Government knew about this reckless law breaking and why they covered it up?
The Turnbull Government has now said it will pay Mr Hadgkiss’s legal fees with taxpayers’ money. That cannot and should not happen. [4]

“Taypayers should not be paying his legal expenses — Mr Hadgkiss was a political appointment to a $426,000 a year job, not elected by anyone, who took it upon himself to blatantly act unlawfully for years.”
“It’s evident this is a cover-up that must extend far beyond the Minister Cash’s office.”
“Despite resigning in disgrace, Minister Cash has praised Mr Hadgkiss for re-establishing the rule of law, even though she has known for almost a year about his law breaking behaviour.”
“Working people have no faith in this Government or the bodies they create and people they appoint.”
“Minister Cash has spent the past two years attacking working people and their unions, and she has never been held to account for her vicious behaviour.”
“Instead of focusing on mass underemployment, stagnant wage growth and finding a solution to the youth unemployment crisis, Minister Cash has used every opportunity as an elected official to attack unions and working people.”[4]

FAILURE TO REGISTER AN INTEREST

Michaelia Cash bought her fourth property on 4 November last year (2017) when she acquired the house next door to her home in the prestigious Perth suburb of Floreat. The Employment Minister settled on the $1.4 million property a month later. But it was only following questions from the media that Cash registered the new property – on 21 January – or eight days later than she should have. Politicians are required to update their register of interests within 35 days of purchase.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has accepted Cash’s apology, explaining she was “mortified” by the error, and emphasised the delay was only a matter of days and that Cash had been away on holidays at the time. “She is a very hard working and punctilious Minister and she’s had an oversight here and she’s very sorry about it,” he said. [3]

In a December 2017 cabinet reshuffle, Cash was appointed to the new position of Minister for Jobs and Innovation. The old employment portfolio was abolished, while her other two positions were relinquished to Kelly O’Dwyer.

AWU MEDIA LEAK

Buzzfeed 25 Oct 2017

A staff member in the office of employment minister Michaelia Cash has resigned after BuzzFeed News revealed journalists from two news outlets received a tip-off from Cash’s office ahead of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) raids on the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU). Cash told Senate Estimates on Wednesday evening she had been advised that “without my knowledge” a single staff member in her office found out from a “media source” about the raid, and then told journalists.

The minister said she was not aware of the information until the raids took place. The staffer is “very distressed”, Cash said, and has now resigned. The late admission was in contradiction to earlier statements from Cash, who had denied throughout the day that anyone in her office leaked the information. She later said she was not informed about it at the time.

The AWU Sydney and Melbourne offices were raided on Tuesday afternoon in relation to donations made by the union over a decade ago when it was led by current Labor leader Bill Shorten. AWU secretary Daniel Walton told Sky News the media arrived outside both AWU offices 15 minutes before the AWU received a phone call advising it that a warrant had been issued. Walton said that when asked, members of the media told AWU staff they were there to cover the raid.

Cash denied five times her office leaked the information, telling Senate Estimates her office was not informed about the raids until they had begun. “I found out as it unfolded on the television after I returned from a meeting yesterday about 4.45pm on the ABC,” Cash said on Wednesday morning. “My understanding was that a phone call was made to my office once the search warrant was issued just before I saw it on the television … 4.30, 4.45pm,” she said.

When asked if she or her office advised any other person about the raid, Cash said: “No, as I said I literally watched it on the television unfold myself”.

When asked again if anyone in her office had tipped-off the media, Cash said: “I said my office received a phone call from the Registered Organisation Commission notifying them that search warrants were being executed as the phone call was being made.”

When asked a third time, Cash said her office fielded media calls for her to respond after the raids, but denied it had tipped-off the media. “I have full faith in my staff,” she said.

When asked a fourth time, Cash said she could “assure” senators that her office “did not find out about the raids until after they were being conducted”. Cash then refuted the claims for a fifth time saying:

DOUG CAMERON: Can you assure the Senate that no-one in your office called any media outlets about 3.30 yesterday?

MICHAELIA CASH: Yes I can and quite frankly I am offended on behalf of my staff as to those allegations. They are very serious allegations.

CAMERON: They are questions.

CASH: They are very serious allegations and I refute them.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull later told Question Time: “The minister for employment has assured me that she did not advise any journalists about the raid … she is in estimates, I believe, this afternoon, and will no doubt have the opportunity to go into this in great detail.”

BuzzFeed News has spoken to journalists who claim they received a phone call from Cash’s office an hour before the raids, to make sure there would be cameras outside the AWU offices in Melbourne and Sydney.

The journalists say Cash’s office phoned them around 3.30pm on Tuesday with the location and time of the raid, emphasising that it would take place at a union office. The staffer pointed out the union in question, the AWU, used to be run by Labor leader Bill Shorten.

Labor has backed independent senator Nick Xenophon’s call for an independent inquiry to establish who tipped-off the media prior to the AFP raids. “If Turnbull and his Liberals have nothing to hide, then they must support this inquiry,” MP Brendan O’Connor said. “Turnbull and his Liberals need to immediately answer what they knew, when they knew it and who they told.” [11]

Buzzfeed 23.12.2017

Employment minister Michaelia Cash has been ordered by a Federal Court judge to turn over any documents to the Australian Workers Union (AWU) about her office’s involvement in tipping off media about a police raid on the AWU.

The AWU launched a Federal Court challenge seeking a declaration that the Registered Organisation Commission (ROC) investigation was politically motivated and invalid, and that the subsequent raids on their office were unlawful.

The union served subpoenas to Cash; Mark Lee from the ROC; the Fair Work Ombudsman; and Cash’s former senior media adviser David De Garis. Parts of each subpoena were challenged by the recipients on a number of grounds.

Cash applied to the court to have her subpoena set aside, but on Wednesday Federal Court justice Mordy Bromberg ruled that she would have to provide the union with materials about who was involved in the media tip off.

The judgement is mostly a victory for the union, however Cash succeeded in having some documents struck out.

The court action followed revelations from BuzzFeed News that Cash’s office tipped off media and aims to probe the validity of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) raids. The raids were part of an investigation by the Turnbull government-established watchdog the ROC into donations made by the union over a decade ago when it was led by current Labor leader Bill Shorten.

Justice Bromberg ordered that Cash and each party should disclose a number of documents and communications prior to the raids on the AWU.

Cash’s office challenged parts of the subpeona that sought any documents that “concern any offer of engagement or employment made to Mr Lee” and any subsequent decision to suspend or withdraw this offer.

The subpoena followed a report alleging he was set to begin working for Cash’s office. The court ruled that any documents that did show the details of any employment arrangement were relevant and should be disclosed to the AWU.

Several categories of documents sought from Cash’s office by the AWU were struck out by the court. The judge found: “Whilst the Minister may have an interest in the outcome of this proceeding, she is not a party to it and ought not be burdened with making substantial enquiries in the search for documents unless and until it is apparent that the documents sought may be of assistance to the AWU’s case”.

De Garis resigned in October after admitting he tipped off the media about the AFP raids on the AWU’s Sydney and Melbourne offices in October.

Media arrived at union offices before the raids took place, and BuzzFeed News revealed that media outlets had been tipped off by Cash’s office.

Cash denied her office had any involvement in tipping off media five times in Senate Estimates, before conceding after she spoke with her staff that the leak did come from her office.

Cash is using the current AFP investigation to block freedom of information requests to release communication that would provide more information as to what she and her staff knew about the raids, when they knew it, and who they told.

The union requested any correspondence between Cash, her office and the ROC, in addition to any correspondence between the minister and relevant staff members. This could include any text messages, emails, phone lists and other correspondence.

On Wednesday, Cash was promoted by prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, adding jobs and innovation to her list of portfolio responsibilities.

De Garis has taken a job with the Australian Hotels Association, which made a $10 million deal with Cash in August to take 10,000 interns under the government’s PaTH program.

Cash’s office indicated she would be in a position to produce the documents by December 22, while De Garis said he would need up to two weeks after the delivery of the judgement. Lee said he would be able to deliver them by the middle of January 2018. [10]

2018

SLUT SHAMING

In an histrionic tirade directed towards Labor Senator Doug Cameron for asking needling but legitimate questions about the name and employment “provenance” of a new chief of staff, Cash retaliated with cage-fighting abandon and lack of personal and professional control.

“If you want to start discussing staff matters, be very, very careful. Because I am happy to sit here and name every young woman in Mr Shorten’s office over which rumours in this place abound. If you want to go down that path today, I will do it.” [5]

THE WHITEBOARD

News.com.au , 1st March 2018; MICHAELIA Cash has withdrawn comments made in Parliament yesterday about female staff members “unreservedly”, but has fallen short of apologising over the remarks. The Liberal Minister withdrew her threat to “name young women” in Bill Shorten’s office in today’s Senate Estimates hearing, but also took the opportunity to call Labor Senator Doug Cameron a “bully” in the same breath.

“I am more than happy to withdraw the comments unreservedly,” Senator Cash said, before request Senator Camerons’ questions about her own staff which provoked her outburst, to be withdrawn as well.  Senator Cash’s withdrawal follows numerous requests for her to apologise over the threat.

Earlier, she made a bizarre entrance to Senate estimates, hiding behind the shield of a whiteboard in a bid to evade cameras following her controversial rant in Parliament yesterday.

 

Senator Cash appeared in the corridors of Parliament House in Canberra ahead of a hearing but could only be seen momentarily as she passed a gap between a white screen with wheels and a wall. The whiteboard had reportedly been rolled into the middle of the walkway by security to give the minister privacy as she entered the committee room.

Cameramen can he heard in video footage of the incident asking Senator Cash: “Why are you hiding, minister?” and “Why do you need protection?” The Senator didn’t respond.[12]

WORK FOR THE DOLE FATALITY

The Incompetence of Frydenberg


Slosh Tryd’nburp has announced a stuff-up in the Job Keeper program.

It seems some 3 million fewer people will be assisted than expected.

Back on 30th March when Job Keeper was unveiled, the Prime Minister (Scott Morrison) announced that, ‘He expected 6 million Australians would access a so-called JobKeeper payment for the next six months.‘  The cost was to be $130 Billion. An extra half million workers were added to that number a week or two later.

So this afternoon a hapless senior member of the ATO is wheeled out to make an explanation which will absolve Treasury and the Treasurer of responsibility. We were told that some 1000 employers (out of some 900.000 employers) made the mistake of entering 1500 instead of 1 in the box where the number of employees was to be entered. OK, innocent error replicated a thousand times. Suddenly, today, we are told that only 3.5 million people are eligible and are receiving the payment. This signals a $60 Billion saving. [The maths – 1000 x 1500 = 1.5 million. This shows an average payment of some $40,000 per invalid employee.]

All ball park reasonable. OK, in raw numbers that sort of makes mathematical sense.That number adds up to around $60 Billion. And it was not the fault of Treasury or of the ATO or of the Treasurer. The hapless ATO person said so.

BUT!!!

It is passing strange that the shortfall, from the Government’s first number of 6.5 Million recipients, is accounted for by a simple form error. It is as if the Government, led by its Prime Minister (Scott Morrison) was psychic. In its initial calculations it included a number which exactly matched the number of erroneous applicants which were made a month later. Excepting we are being told today that the shortfall is 3 Million applicants. NOT the 1.5 Million shortfall caused by careless applicants.

The REAL number of recipients was going to be 3.5 million. We were told that it was going to be 6.5 million. Yet it was not Treasury incompetence in pulling that 6.5 number out of the air. And if 1.5 million recipients were able to take the $60 Billion [as worked out on the back of a Macca’s serviette and shown above], what was left for the other 1.5 million recipients who have disappeared?

It was the fault of a thousand employers who hadn’t seen the still to be created form back on 30th March. And even then they only accounted for a half of the shortfall.

Now. I happen to have here the title to a perfectly good, almost unused, suspension bridge across Sydney Harbour. How much will you offer me for it?

(There may be errors in the maths – yet I think the basic premise of this rambling question is correct. There is something whiffy about what we are being told.)

Image

Policeman, Judge, Jury, Executioner.


A POLLIE’S LOT IS SUCH A MONIED ONE


With apologies to Messrs Gilbert and Sullivan(I think the tune is obvious  )

A POLLIE’S LOT IS SUCH A MONIED ONE

When an MP’s not engaged in robust debate (robust debate)
Or maturing his felonious little plans (little plans)
His capacity for being a reprobate (a reprobate)
Is just as great as any priv’liged man’s (priv’liged man’s)

Their feelings they with difficulty smother (-culty smother)
When parliamentary duties to be done (to be done)
Ah, take one blatant corruption with another (with another)
A Pollie’s lot is such a monied one

AHHH,
When Parliamentary duties to be done, to be done
A Pollie’s lot is such a monied one.

When Ministers are out corrupting (out corrupting)
When the Cayman Island’s filling up with cash (up with cash)
They love to hear the little man bankrupting (man bankrupting)
And listen to the growing of their cache (of their cache)

When the taxman’s told him do not bother (do not bother)
He loves the blatant lies that he’s just spun  (he’s just spun)
Ah, take one consideration with another (with another)
A Pollie’s lot is such a monied one

AHHH
When Parliamentary duties to be done, to be done.
A Pollie’s lot is such a monied one. (monied one)