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Monday Message Board

June 29th, 2009

Its time once again for Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language.

buy Crazy Animal

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  1. Alice
    June 29th, 2009 at 10:28 | #1

    Well poor Malcolm really crashed the ute. As someone somewhere noted, (I cant recall who) – This is the third piece of coalition involved forged documentation that has come to light recently.
    I dont think the coalition understand – that is exactly what is putting voters right off them. Their unethical behaviour. I shouldnt say this (because its been done to death) but I do wonder if any of them are ringing up Costello BEGGING him to come home?

  2. philip travers
    June 29th, 2009 at 10:31 | #2

    N.S.W. has a car race in the treed conservation areas that has had the closure of more than some roads to make it happen,the closure of all existing law associated with various government departments and Corporations for the time of the deemed requirements of the Rally Organisers.All based on economic matters,that can only be proven after the event,whilst matters across various concerns non-economic generally have many critics.At the same time other expenditure matters like just keeping security personnel as twin jobs cleaner security at Maclean Hospital are going to be lost,and Police themselves near to the Queensland Border are unhappy with Government decisions.Not a good mix,because many people may be finding the rally joyous almost,whilst others may feel some sort of emotional pain,for various reasons at Rally time.Dismissive of interests non-economic has become a trend for Labor in Office,as they seek the righteousness of their decisions via the TV and Media interests,at both State and Federal level. [Rudd choosing a TV program rather than a meeting with ALP in W.A. whilst Iran problems continue,really stinks to me.] So what can be done,whilst Labor acts like a default dictatorship by being AWOL at State Level,and hiding in front of the TV cameras at Federal level! Simply the observation of such! And I notice this morning how the fake email thing is focused on Turnbull rather than what has happened to the not well Goodwin Gresch economist,where a statement on radio from National State Leader Stoner pointing out the presentation of the State economic requirements to the Federal Level was maybe worse in design and scope than my one finger typing.If factual we are just seeing the dirty fingernails via the TV faces,an excuse for Government,and not Government!

  3. fred
    June 29th, 2009 at 11:16 | #3

    Mind you Alice, Mal did need a little bit of help from his friends in the media in the beatup so it would be appropriate for them to share in some soul searching as to why the public has so convincingly repudiated both Mal’s and the media’s version of ‘reality’.

  4. Adam
    June 29th, 2009 at 12:38 | #4

    Its good to see that someone is posting comments about poor old malcolm. The Australian has not published any comments since 10am and the SMH is not taking any at all. Even crikey is remarkedly silent (Will have to see when the afternoon edition comes out). It must be incredibly annoying to Rupert that he is paying a stable of journalists who are becoming increasingly marginalised in the political environment. And with the incredible self destruction of malcolm Australia will be enjoying at least one more term of labor rule, probably two. After twelve years as the tories cheer squad it is time for these tired idealogues to retire and Limited News to employ journalists with integrity and a desire for fair and balanced journalism.

  5. June 29th, 2009 at 13:17 | #5

    Wondering whether people think global greenhouse gas emissions will actually increase or decrease by 2050. I put up a poll on my blog:

    http://stochastictrend.blogspot.com

    My guess on the e-mail scandal is the government created the e-mail in order to find the leak. Am I completely off?

  6. Adam
    June 29th, 2009 at 13:29 | #6

    Yes David. The AFP found no evidence of the email on any government systems. The only evidence of the email was found in Grech’s home. Since Godwin is a man with demonstrated links to the tories, it is safer to assume that he or one of his mates wrote the email.

  7. Chris Warren
    June 29th, 2009 at 13:41 | #7

    AFP “found no evidence on any government computer systems”???

    How do we know this?

    If so, it make the Liberals claims about it being sourced in Treasury, yet another Liberal lie.

  8. C.L.
    June 29th, 2009 at 14:39 | #8

    Yes David. The AFP found no evidence of the email on any government systems.

    That’s not what has been reported:

    “[The email] was, according to the Australian Federal Police, created on a Treasury computer and emailed from Treasury to the home of Mr Grech, to his computer,” Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner told Parliament yesterday.

    My guess on the e-mail scandal is the government created the e-mail in order to find the leak. Am I completely off?

    You could be right:

    Mr Grech was just one of several public servants monitored by police trying to track down Treasury leaks. He is expected to be questioned by police about some of those leaks, ABC TV reported last night.

    The report said Australian Federal Police had been quietly watching Treasury for a while, with Rudd ministers convinced there has been at least one mole working against them.

    We’ll see what happens but if Turnbull via Grech was taken in by a government-orchestrated AFP sting, the Prime Minister will have to resign. The chances of the AFP exposing the AFP, of course, are not great. Which is another reason Rudd’s police state manoeuvre (in conjunction with his refusal to countenance a judicial inquiry) is very disturbing. And there’s something very strange about the fact that Grech said on the Friday that “Treasury IT experts” had found no trace of the email and then it was traced to Treasury on the Monday.

    But yeah, when scandals are this fluid, it’s a brave man who sticks his head out. Maybe it was just a dopey Lib-aligned Treasury geek.

  9. June 29th, 2009 at 14:47 | #9

    Perhaps, I am not following what is said, but which graph in the 2007 IPCC Report(I assume) is Senator Fielding referring to when he claims that mean land surface temperatures(?) have not increased since in the last fifteen years?

  10. Hermit
    June 29th, 2009 at 15:16 | #10

    @David Stern
    Not having a General Circulation Model handy I voted for 25-50% increase. Some very credible pundits say that petroleum will slow markedly in around 5 years and that at pre GFC levels of demand coal production will start declining after 2030. Then the argument seems to be whether that is enough human induced warming to trigger a Venus or Paleocene Earth style methane release. When Steve Fielding publishes his peer reviewed paper all will be clear.

  11. ken n
    June 29th, 2009 at 18:09 | #11

    Turnbull was stupid. Quite probably, though, most politicians would have been unable to resist going for something like this. And it was really such an unimportant matter. Gee I wish politicians, on both sides, would stop playing silly political games.
    I don’t believe there was ever much chance of Turnbull or his successor becoming PM. Labor will get two and probably three terms (unless they strike the combination of bad luck and incompetence that did for Whitlam) and the Coalition will chew up two or three leaders over that time.
    What we all should hope for is a Coalition leader who can provide effective opposition – ask the right questions, challenge the government’s own stupidities. Turnbull was never likely to be that. A rampant, unopposed Labor government would be dangerous – think of the Howard government against Crean and Beazley.
    A rampant, unopposed Labor government

  12. C.L.
    June 29th, 2009 at 21:08 | #12

    Going for something like what? A senior public servant appointed by the Rudd government to head up its OzCar program testified under oath in Senate Estimates that he thought he’d seen an email from the PMO, contrary to the prime minister’s assertions in the House. And unimportant? We’re talking millions of dollars and the misleading of the House. Grech’s testimony was regarded as explosive by the journalists who reported it on the Friday. None described it as a mere frippery. Turnbull justifiably asked Rudd to explain. (With Rudd’s form for lying about inter-office communications and indiscretions, he was perfectly right to do so). As for effective opposition, what do you call an incompetent and security-tainted Defence Minister being forced to resign? What happened was that Rudd’s AFP stunt was so noisy and brash that it became a real-time trick to collate one email with the whole Rudd-Swan OzCar scandal. When the email was tracked down on Monday, Turnbull was unfairly criticised for a ‘bridge too far’ by Monday morning quarterbacks. It was a highly successful stunt but one that has come at an enormous price. We now have Federal Police monitoring public servants (and possibly Opposition parliamentarians) and a precedent has been set. If Treasury leaks its assessment of Opposition costings prior to the next election, for example, the Feds MUST be called in and the guilty bureaucrat’s connections to Labor must be fully investigated.

  13. Donald Oats
    June 29th, 2009 at 21:20 | #13

    When a politician calls for the resignation of the Prime Minister, it had damn well better be over something truly significant, and for which the evidence is exceptionally strong.

    I’m still wondering who created said email and to what end. Once it went to Godwin Grech it seems to me that it would have been unpredictable as to what would happen from that point onwards.

    As for the Liberal party and their born to rule mentality, when will they get it – that is, people hate dirty tricks and dirt units. Every time another politician tries these tactics we move a step closer to the USA, in the sense that politicians attempt to up-end other politicians by digging into the darkest nooks and crannies of their private lives.

    If there is a reason to suspect a politician of criminal behaviour, pass it over to the police and let them investigate it in an appropriate manner. Personally, I think the Rudd Labor government was correct to use the police for determining who was leaking confidential material in flagrant disregard of the public servant’s obligations. A single leak, with the intention of bringing attention to a serious issue that is in the public interest to divulge, should be protected under the whistleblower legislation. A serial leaker on the other hand should be found and punished, whatever side of politics they are favouring.

  14. C.L.
    June 29th, 2009 at 22:34 | #14

    “…people hate dirty tricks and dirt units…”.
    ~
    Mmyes.
    ~
    Ask the average RAAF flight attendant what Kevin’s like when Kevin doesn’t get what Kevin wants. The stories of this control freak’s nasty behaviour back in the days of the Goss Gloss are legion. What I didn’t realise was that he’d imbibed and admired Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s Special Branch shenanigans.
    ~
    Personally, I think the Rudd Labor government was correct to use the police for determining who was leaking confidential material in flagrant disregard of the public servant’s obligations.
    ~
    And I’m sure if the public service leaks on the costings of the Coalition’s election promises, you’ll be calling for a full Federal investigation.
    ~
    Not.

  15. Michael of Summer Hill
    June 29th, 2009 at 22:56 | #15

    John, it seems like a number of commentators have gone off half cocked without reading Godwin Grech’s email to Dr Charlton dated 17 April 2009 to realise Turnbull was on the right track before it all blew up in his face.

  16. Michael
    June 29th, 2009 at 22:57 | #16

    CL,

    I think most people are able to draw the clear distinction between leaks which produce information from real documents, in the public interest, and frauds which are ‘leaked’ for partisan interest.

  17. C.L.
    June 29th, 2009 at 23:08 | #17

    That may be so, Michael, but Turnbull isn’t responsible for Grech inventing an email (if indeed he did personally invent it). Grech was thought so highly of by the government that they put him in charge of OzCar – a multi-billion dollar scheme. When a public servant of that seniority, speaking under oath, contradicts what the prime minister said in the House, that is a bombshell. That was NOT a leak; it happened in Senate Estimates. Turnbull, though obviously led down the garden path, was certainly no obligation at the time to believe anything Rudd said. The prime minister, after all, is a man who lied about his staff inventing a phony Dawn Service. You wanna talk about fraud, contemplate them apples.

  18. June 29th, 2009 at 23:18 | #18

    Not quite CL.

    It seems fairly clear that the Libs dragged it into Senate estimates, knowing full well before hand what Grech was going to say…..and it seeems that they knew before because Turnbull and Abetz met with him. The question is, did they have a hand in the manufacture of the fraud, was it Grech alone, or did someone feed it to Grech?

    My biggest concern from this is that the current Fed Govt may take a more cynical Howard-era view of the PS and try to shove in more of ‘their own’.

  19. June 29th, 2009 at 23:49 | #19

    Michael,
    That would only happen if Rudd could keep staff. He seems to have a problem in that area.

  20. C.L.
    June 30th, 2009 at 02:17 | #20

    It seems fairly clear that the Libs dragged it into Senate estimates, knowing full well before hand what Grech was going to say.

    Standard operating procedure in Canberra. Know the answers, then ask the questions. See also ‘Humphrey Appleby’. If Turnbull knew anything about its phoniness, why did he buttonhole Charlton at the midwinter ball? Obviously, he believed the email – as leaked to Steve Lewis and him – was genuine.

    My biggest concern from this is that the current Fed Govt may take a more cynical Howard-era view of the PS and try to shove in more of ‘their own’.

    MORE of their own? The public service is virtually a branch of the ALP.

    Look, it’s very suspicious that Rudd has the Treasury under AFP surveillance looking for a mole at the very time a suspicious email emerges that outs Grech forever and has the added bonus of slamming Malcolm Turnbull. When Turnbull asks for a full judicial inquiry that would allow anyone to be called to give evidence, the government – hitherto triumphant – suddenly scarpers. Anyway, we’ll see. This one’s too close and weird to call.

  21. Michael of Summer Hill
    June 30th, 2009 at 05:53 | #21

    John, it seems like NED is at it again this time in Iran fuelling the fires in that country.

  22. June 30th, 2009 at 10:01 | #22

    MORE of their own? The public service is virtually a branch of the ALP.” – CL.

    Which can be seen by the way they appointed a Liberal Party mole to the head of the OzCar program.

    Standard operating procedure in Canberra. Know the answers, then ask the questions

    Your earlier post made it sound as though the “bombshell” was some kind of surprise stumbled upon in the process of the Estimates hearing. The Libs dragged Grech into Senate Estimates so he could make his revelation – very much a planned ‘leak’, and meant to be a very damning public one coming from the lips of a trusted and reluctant PS.

    Your conspiracy explanation may be right, but it’s probably the least likely, given the recent Liberal Party history of using fraud to attack their political opponents.

  23. jquiggin
    June 30th, 2009 at 10:12 | #23

    I must say I’d be heartened if the conspiracy theory were true. A government competent enough to pull off such a plan, requiring the active co-operation of its victims, and the cultivation of GG as a long-term double agent, should be able to manage (for example) a global financial crisis with ease.

    But, as the perennial wisdom has it, the stuff-up theory is right nearly every time, and certainly this time. Turnbull and Abetz overreached and fell in a heap.

  24. Uncle Milton
    June 30th, 2009 at 10:38 | #24

    Perhaps GG is a triple agent, actively working with the Liberals to try to trap the Government into trapping the Liberals with a fake email. When all is revealed, Rudd must resign, as per C.L.’s theory.

    Or maybe GG is a quadruple agent …

    Or maybe he’s a guy with health problems, highly stressed and overworked, who made a couple of bad calls.

  25. ken n
    June 30th, 2009 at 10:46 | #25

    Obviously you (and Turnbull) haven’t read enough spy novels. The mole who so enjoys the attention he has been getting that he starts to invent stuff is a fairly common plot line. Le Carre’s “The Taylor of Panama” is the classic version.

  26. June 30th, 2009 at 11:03 | #26

    ken n,

    That’s my favoured explanation too – GG shoots his mouth off to his Liberal contacts about all manner of Labor skulduggery re: OzCar, but in the vaguest of terms. A desperate Malcolm hears about it, and with his ‘muscle’, Erica, leans all over the poor little bugger demanding that he find evidence. GG, who was perhaps exaggerating just a little, panics under the heavy breathing of Erica in his trenchcoat, and knocks up a two-bob watch for Uncle Mal.

    Maybe.

  27. Chris Warren
    June 30th, 2009 at 11:43 | #27

    C L

    Malcolm only called for a judicial inquiry as a diversion. This would be a long drawn out affair with all players seeing the evidence in the open. It is targeted at its “terms of reference” which introduces politics.

    A police inquiry is much more efficient and effective and targets corruption independently of political interests.

    A judicial inquiry may be a good idea after the police have produced their report.

    However if Rudd called for a judicial inquiry, the criminal Libs would raise a hue and cry over the cost, the delay, and the terms of reference, as an alternative smokescreen in these circumstances.

    Geez, if Rudd calls for a judicial inquiry, the Libs would argue for the return of the Privy Council.

    Malcolm’s call is just tactical noise. The truth will out.

  28. C.L.
    June 30th, 2009 at 11:57 | #28

    Which can be seen by the way they appointed a Liberal Party mole to the head of the OzCar program.

    Yes well, they also appointed a man with odd and dubious connections to China as Defence Minister. Remember Joel Fitzgibbon? You know, he was the bloke embarrassed by a mysterious leak that suggested his own department thought he was a mole. I guess Malcolm went too far on that, right? But the idea that the public service might need ALP-boosting to offset its preponderance of Liberal sympathisers is one of the more hilarious theories I’ve ever heard. For a start, Wombat Whisperer Ken Henry is in Kevin’s pocket, as everyone knows.

    Your earlier post made it sound as though the “bombshell” was some kind of surprise stumbled upon in the process of the Estimates hearing. The Libs dragged Grech into Senate Estimates so he could make his revelation – very much a planned ‘leak’, and meant to be a very damning public one coming from the lips of a trusted and reluctant PS.

    Again, this is SOP. Know the answers, ask the questions. What’s amusing is that any commentator on politics or Senate Estimates hearings isn’t aware of this. Grech was thought so highly of by the government that they put him in charge of the multi-billion dollar OzCar scheme. When a public servant of that seniority, speaking under oath, contradicts what the prime minister said in the House, that is a bombshell. If he didn’t want to speak thus in Estimates, he didn’t have to.

    …given the recent Liberal Party history of using fraud to attack their political opponents.

    There is no evidence anyone in the Liberal Party knew the email was fake. As far as we know, all they knew was that a public servant prized by Labor claimed to have evidence the prime minister was lying. Just as the same man, Mr Rudd, lied in the fake Dawn Service affair and initially lied when it was revealed that he reduced an RAAF flight attendant to tears because he didn’t get a chook ‘n salad dinner on ‘his’ plane. As for fraud, what would most ALP branches be without it? Quiet.

    I must say I’d be heartened if the conspiracy theory were true. A government competent enough to pull off such a plan, requiring the active co-operation of its victims, and the cultivation of GG as a long-term double agent, should be able to manage (for example) a global financial crisis with ease.

    What an odd comment. GG as a “double agent”? Turnbull’s critics are the ones who’ve pushed a conspiracy theory. Remember Wayne Swan’s claim that Turnbull ‘bullied’ Andy Charlton at the Midwinter Ball? (Described even by rabid left-wing loyalist Michelle Grattan as a “bizarre” claim). Apparently, according to Swan and Tanner, Turnbull and Grech wrote the email and Malcolm pretended that he really thought Andy had written it just to hold up the conspiracy’s outward appearance. Then the Liberals ordered Grech to send the putative PMO email to himself from the Treasury building so they’d be able to establish its existence via the Federal Police (aka Kevin’s Special Branch) which they don’t control. But not before forcing Grech into Senate Estimates and making him say things using Eric Abetz’s powerful mind rays.

    …GG shoots his mouth off to his Liberal contacts about all manner of Labor skulduggery re: OzCar, but in the vaguest of terms. A desperate Malcolm hears about it, and with his ‘muscle’, Erica, leans all over the poor little bugger demanding that he find evidence.

    No – you’ve got everything back to front. It has been reported that Grech showed the email to Turnbull and Abetz on a screen but refused to allow them to print or copy it. So they took notes. Nobody “leaned over” Grech to create an email. The email existed and was sighted prior to his being leaned on to testify to its contents in Senate Estimates.

  29. Uncle Milton
    June 30th, 2009 at 13:02 | #29

    Even by the standards of the blogosphere, all this conspiracy theorising is right up there with the fake moon landings. The true story is likely to be much more prosaic. Turnbull thought his source was reliable. But he wasn’t. GG showed the email to Turnbull and Abetz, perhaps thinking he would never be asked about it under oath. When he was asked by Abetz in Estimates about it, GG fudged, knowing that he couldn’t deny its existence, but also knowing that it wasn’t kosher.

    The only remaining question is how the email came to be on GG’s home computer. Options are a)GG sent it to himself, not thinking that the his house might be raided by the Federal Police b) a third party sent it to GG, knowing that his house would be raided by the Federal Police.

    Why would GG send it to himself? We can only speculate at this stage. As C.L. says, GG showed it to Turnbull and Abetz on screen. He might have felt safer showing them stuff on his own lap top than on the office lap top – who knows?

    Why would a third party send it to GG’s home? To implicate a suspected Liberal Party in the creation of the fake email perhaps? This would really be John LeCarre.

  30. Chris Warren
    June 30th, 2009 at 13:26 | #30

    uncle

    Where do you get this “email sent to grech” stuff.

    The cops only said they found a email not created by purported author. [AFP media release - 22 June]

    If Grech created it – it never needed to to be sent anywhere.

    You just cut and paste stale email headers, and in your own subject and text.

    Easy.

    No third parties, no conspiracy, just Fraud by a Liberal-loving mole (possibly on his lonesome).

    It may have looked like an email – but was never in fact a actual email.

    Just like weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and children overboard.

    The Liberal Turnbull is simply sinking into his own stinking swamp of self-generated steatorrhoea!

  31. C.L.
    June 30th, 2009 at 14:19 | #31

    There is no debate or dispute as to whether Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. He does.

    - Kevin Rudd, Lateline, September 24, 2002.

    Oh noes – Rudd was conspiracied to say that by Turnbullian mind rays!

    Chris, the Rudd Special Branch (AFP) confirmed the email was sent to Grech’s home from the Treasury.

    That sounds plausible, Milton. That may be what happened.

    Gordon sounds like a very well liked and respected man, by the way.

  32. jquiggin
    June 30th, 2009 at 15:17 | #32

    Mind rays? Michelle Grattan as a rabid left-wing loyalist? The AFP as “Kevin’s special branch”?

    I’ll have some of what you’re having, CL.

  33. June 30th, 2009 at 15:40 | #33

    PrQ,
    The “mind rays” were, I think, a use of sarcasm. The bit on Grattan was not (she is hardly a Liberal partisan). IMHO the bit one the AFP was the only possible error.

  34. June 30th, 2009 at 15:45 | #34

    No – you’ve got everything back to front” – CL

    Not sure.

    It’s pretty clear that GG has a long-standing arrangement with the Libs. What you’re suggesting would make sense if this was a first time liasion, but they were old buddies having a face-to-face. Mal and Erica didn’t just happen upon GG with his laptop and a funny email on it. That he wouldn’t let them have a copy might suggest he at least knew it would not stand up to scrutiny, further suggesting GG as the possible author, and certainly doesn’t rule out pressure from the Libs on their inside man to ‘deliver the goods’.

    Would love to be a fly on the wall when GG spills his guts to the AFP.

  35. jquiggin
    June 30th, 2009 at 16:12 | #35

    AR, I’d suggest avoiding the non-ironical use of phrases like “rabid left-wing loyalist” if you mean to say “hardly a Liberal partisan” and to describe an archetypal centre-leftist. Otherwise, apparently paranoid references to the AFP and mind rays may be taken literally.

    I agree that it appears that the AFP stuff is meant seriously and the mind rays ironically, but it would make just as good sense the other way around.

  36. Chris Warren
    June 30th, 2009 at 16:27 | #36

    CL

    If Rudd and Co. say(?) the AFP confirmed that the email was “sent” to Grech’s “home” from “Treasury”, then please provide evidence?

    The AFP certainly never said this.

    Anyway you should not believe everything that comes out of Rudd’s mouth.

    You appear to take Rudd’s statements and then run along as if they were true.

    Don’t you know anything about the Labor Right?

  37. Uncle Milton
    June 30th, 2009 at 17:30 | #37

    The AFP probably already know who sent the fake email to GG’s home (assuming it was ‘sent’). Of course if it was a conspiracy, the conspirators could have hacked into any Treasury computer -including, but not necessarily, GG’s – and then sent the email. But this would require a lot of IT expertise, such as might be had by an intelligence agency. Or perhaps one of the Labor stooges in Treasury might have simply gone into GG’s office when he was out to lunch, uploaded the email into GG’s computer from a remote device, sent it, and deleted it, without anybody noticing.

  38. Alice
    June 30th, 2009 at 17:47 | #38

    Prof Q – Id stay right away from waht CLs having – you will never be the same..!!

  39. C.L.
    June 30th, 2009 at 19:36 | #39

    John, you started the bizarro lingo with “double agent”. I just thought I’d go in your Maxwell Smart direction for colour’s sake. But yeah, when Michelle Grattan calls a Labor Treasurer’s behaviour “bizarre”, you can be sure it was, well, bizarre. She’s pretty famously a lockstep lefty. And the AFP WAS monitoring the public service in the lead-up to the Senate Estimates hearing. Personally, I think that’s worrying but John, to my surprise, seems comfortable with it.

    If Rudd and Co. say(?) the AFP confirmed that the email was “sent” to Grech’s “home” from “Treasury”, then please provide evidence?

    The AFP certainly never said this.

    “[The email] was, according to the Australian Federal Police, created on a Treasury computer and emailed from Treasury to the home of Mr Grech, to his computer,” Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner told Parliament yesterday.

    Are you saying that Mr Tanner (too) mislead the House, Chris?

    Anyway you should not believe everything that comes out of Rudd’s mouth.

    You appear to take Rudd’s statements and then run along as if they were true.

    Um, OK.

  40. Donald Oats
    June 30th, 2009 at 19:40 | #40

    CL: You have presumed that if there is a stream of leaks damaging to the Liberals politically – but not of any particular interest to the public – that I wouldn’t want it investigated by the AFP (my post, #12). Let me correct that presumption. My concern is that someone in the public service is leaking confidential material to a political party and the members of that party are knowingly using this confidential material for political gain. I state again that I believe the appropriate response is to hand over the material to the AFP and allow them to investigate it. If the material leads to criminal charges against politicians then so be it.

    The interesting thing about this particular case is that as others have stated, Malcolm Turnbull certainly acted as though he believed it to be the real deal – he hassled Charlton about being truthful, for example – and the AFP are reported to has said that the email was created on a Treasury computer and then sent to Godwin Grech’s home computer. Now it could have been GG who emailed it from treasury, or it may have been someone else. Timestamps on the email transmission, reception, and being saved might establish whether GG could not have been involved in the sending of the email. For example, if his home computer shows that he read the email within a minute or so of it being sent, then it is unlikely that he was able to travel from treasury to home that quickly. Hence the timestamps may be able to provide him with an alibi, in so far as sending the email from treasury goes. Of course, without a witness it is circumstantial (it is possible that someone else read the email at GG’s house, which would invalidate my comments above, but I think the cops will rule this possibility out.)

    So CL, I don’t particularly like the hard right side of the Liberals that has emerged under Howard’s time in office, but that doesn’t mean I am an automatic supporter of Labor.

    What the original purpose of the forged email was, who knows.

  41. Chris Warren
    June 30th, 2009 at 20:34 | #41

    CL

    For gawd’s sake – don’t trust Tanner!

    Tanner will say whatever suits his purpose.

    Citing Tanner, is like citing Latham, and is no evidence of anything.

    Did Tanner give any source of his “wisdom”.

    Zilch.

    Same with Rudd.

    CL – if you want to make propositions – please uise evidence.

    CL – politician statements, by themselves, are not evidence.

    So what is the basis for your claims.

    “Rudd said”, and “Tanner said” is irrelevant and childish.

    What is the basis for your claims ?????

  42. C.L.
    June 30th, 2009 at 20:38 | #42

    So you ARE saying Tanner mislead the House.

    This is a new development.

  43. C.L.
    June 30th, 2009 at 20:52 | #43

    Donald, you say ‘political party’ where ‘the Opposition’ will suffice. Leaks favouring the Opposition occurred regularly during the Howard years. You think Kevin’s DFAT contacts didn’t tip him off to anything? Come off it. We’ve seen where this leads in another Labour-led polity.

  44. Alice
    June 30th, 2009 at 21:42 | #44

    CL – you ARE dreaming.

    IT was a cock and bull coalition beat up and the electorate can smell it a mile off …and they are over the dirty smears and dirty tricks of politics. Howard….was an expert at it, and at first they believed him because he looked like Mr Innocent and we had 9/11, BUT they woke up to his real agenda when he hit working families hip pockets with workchoices. BETRAYAL. Howards battlers betrayed by Howard for extreme rigtht wing ideology.

    Now the electorate has woken up …a bit slow for my liking… but the truth always gets there in the end. You cant be too extremist. It doesnt work. The electorate doesnt like it.

    So the old JH tricks of twisting and sneering and media beat ups (workchoices campaign)…dont work now. People dont want drama….anymore (which is why this beat up failed). They dont want political infighting. They want governance now. They want politicians to just stop the BS and get on with it….seriously, gravely…with dignity.

    We have a major recession to face….they want the serious stuff addressed…not the parliamentary sneering and backbiting they could tolerate in politics, when the economy was in a bubble.

    Its a mood change…people are worried. They dont need forgeries and BS. Read the polls realistically.People blame the liberals.

    The coalition isnt trusted because they havent moved on from JHs style of politics and the world has changed.

  45. Chris Warren
    June 30th, 2009 at 21:44 | #45

    CL

    Again and again you are being asked: What is the evidence for your claims.

    EG

    Which is another reason Rudd’s police state manoeuvre (in conjunction with his refusal to countenance a judicial inquiry) is very disturbing.

    And

    …Grech said on the Friday that “Treasury IT experts” had found no trace of the email

    and

    …A senior public servant appointed by the Rudd government to head up its OzCar program

    [You do know that members of Parliament only appoint under the MOPS Act and Grech would have been given his task through APS Act processes - irrespective of the Government]

    and the misleading of the House

    What misleading. Rudds statement was about an faked email he could not possibly have known about – so what is the misleading?

    What misleading? What are you going on about ???????

    Precisely tell us – What is the misleading? What is the evidence, it seems to me to be just a Liberal failure to corroborate and verify facts.

    And:

    the idea that the public service might need ALP-boosting to offset its preponderance of Liberal sympathisers is one of the more hilarious theories I’ve ever heard.

    Who expressed this so-called “hilarious” theory? Where ? When?

    And:

    With Rudd’s form for lying about inter-office communications

    What is the evidence for this? Which “inter-office communications”?

    And:

    Grech’s testimony was regarded as explosive by the journalists who reported it on the Friday.

    Which journalist regarded Grech’s testimony as explosive? Presumably only those who had talked to Grach, Abetz and Turnbull and possibly Hockey just prior. Most of these have recanted recognising the fakery. So why did you post this given the fact that most journalists do not regard the explosion as being in Rudd’s lap?

    CL gutter-tripe:

    The public service is virtually a branch of the ALP

    I would waste my time asking CL for evidence of this – but by all means, give it a go if you like.

    What is the evidence that;

    Rudd has the Treasury under AFP surveillance

    .

    It is more likely that this was an APS matter only, with Rudd only finding out, if at all, after the event. But if CL has evidence to back its claim, let it produce it.

    And:

    Ken Henry is in Kevin’s pocket,

    .

    What evidence ??????????????????

    the Rudd Special Branch (AFP) confirmed the email was sent to Grech’s home from the Treasury.

    What evidence? The AFP statement is on the AFP site – read it.

  46. Alice
    June 30th, 2009 at 21:53 | #46

    Lets make it clear on thus

    “A senior public servant appointed by the Rudd government to head up its OzCar program”

    Thats nonsense. Running the Ozcar program was a demotion. Grech worked previously in the deot of prime minsiter and cabinet under JOHN HOWARD. After the change of government, it must have been known that he was a Coalition sympathiser because he lost his job working in the dept of the prime minister – this happens as it should – so Grech went to work in Treasury – he wasnt appointed to Treasury by the Rudd Government. If anything happened actually, he was demoted (or sideways shifted) to Treasury by the Rudd Government as he should have been.

    Just to clarify on CLs incorrect assessment.

  47. Alice
    June 30th, 2009 at 21:59 | #47

    Ignore CL Chris – he seriously is on something dodgy and making it up from a fertile hallucinatory imagination as he goes along….Give him the gong.

  48. C.L.
    June 30th, 2009 at 22:05 | #48

    Yes, thanks, Alice. Actually the electorate voted for Rudd because he virtually promised to imitate Howard. A few years down the track and Julia is sticking up for Howardian IR and Labor neo-liberals in Rudd’s home state are having a Thatcherite fire sale. Next – watch for it: the restoration of Howard’s border policy. Coming soon to a spin doctor near you.

  49. C.L.
    June 30th, 2009 at 22:12 | #49

    Chris, notwithstanding that you appear to be somewhat disturbed, I’ll patiently walk you back to your question above:

    If Rudd and Co. say(?) the AFP confirmed that the email was “sent” to Grech’s “home” from “Treasury”, then please provide evidence?

    The AFP certainly never said this.

    I quote senior Rudd government minister Lindsay Tanner speaking in the House:

    “[The email] was, according to the Australian Federal Police, created on a Treasury computer and emailed from Treasury to the home of Mr Grech, to his computer,” Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner told Parliament yesterday.

    Chris responds:

    CL: For gawd’s sake – don’t trust Tanner! Tanner will say whatever suits his purpose.

    To which I – logically – respond in turn: “So you ARE saying Tanner mislead the House.”

    Chris, should Tanner resign?

  50. C.L.
    June 30th, 2009 at 22:25 | #50

    After the change of government, it must have been known that he was a Coalition sympathiser because he lost his job working in the dept of the prime minister – this happens as it should…

    As it should! So getting rid of public servants on the basis of their political beliefs is now OK. Is that correct?

    In fact, after the election Grech was offered a new position within PM&C as a policy director in a strategic policy division set up for Kevin Rudd. He returned to Treasury a few months later before being tapped to head the government’s huge motor dealer finance scheme. It was an enormous vote of confidence.

  51. Donald Oats
    June 30th, 2009 at 23:16 | #51

    C.L. :Donald, you say ‘political party’ where ‘the Opposition’ will suffice. Leaks favouring the Opposition occurred regularly during the Howard years. You think Kevin’s DFAT contacts didn’t tip him off to anything? Come off it. We’ve seen where this leads in another Labour-led polity.

    No CL, ‘the Opposition’ won’t suffice. I said ‘political party’ because I meant exactly that. Political parties should not be treated like football teams; footy fans are loyal to a fault and cannot be reasoned with when an umpire’s decision goes against their team. Political parties should not be given this sort of blind worship, yet for some reason people do this anyway.

    While we are on the subject of politicians and politics, I’ll let it be known that the practice I hate and loath is the one where a politician makes an election promise, only to ditch it or water it down once in power. I detest lies of that sort for the simple reason that it makes voting on policy a meaningless act – the winning party will just ignore the inconvenient election promises, referring to them as ‘noncore’ in Howard’s case, and we’ve yet to discover what Kevin Rudd calls them.

    That should be clear enough, CL.

  52. ken n
    July 1st, 2009 at 07:39 | #52

    DO: It’s not correct to call a broken promise a lie. How bad it is depends a bit on whether the politician intended to honour the promise in the first place.
    Even in the fairly grubby world of Australian politics, I believe that promises are seriously intender when made. What happens is that, in government, they discover facts they did not know or likely unintended consequences – in other words, reality strikes.
    I’d rather governments then break promises, preferably with a frank explanation, that stubbornly do something that does not make sense.
    The grocery price proposal was just about unworkable so it is no loss. And remember that during the election campaign inflation was the fear – the RBA increased interest rates.
    The current tax cuts should almost certainly have been cancelled. Quite soon the government will need to make substantial tax increases to help get the budget back in balance and these cuts will make those increases greater – and cause greater political damage to the government, I suspect.
    Keating had the courage to repeal his LAW tax cuts.

  53. Chris Warren
    July 1st, 2009 at 09:17 | #53

    CL

    You have 11 claims to substantiate. Just setting up smoke does you no justice.

    You now have a twelfth…..

    It was an enormous vote of confidence.

    What evidence? Looks like he was being moved to a quango to keep him out of the mainstream??

  54. Donald Oats
    July 1st, 2009 at 10:49 | #54

    It is a lie when they say that if elected we will do A, and they don’t provide any caveat. To convert it to a statement that isn’t a lie, simply requires the politician to say we will do A, if the circumstances B prevail.

    Now some election promises are pretty low level in terms of impact if they are or aren’t implemented. Other election promises however, are what set one party apart from another. Misleading, lying, “being economical with the truth”, concealing, or whatever you want to call it, on big issues it potentially affects a person’s vote. A couple of examples of truthfulness versus lying: a) Howard said that he would never ever introduce a GST. The statement he made in May 1995 was unequivocal, absolute, no wiggle room, no get-out-of-jail-free card, rock solid clear statement on the Liberal party not ever putting up a GST. A stupid statement to make, unless it is to assist in encouraging voters back to the Liberal fold.

    John Howard could have said that we will present a GST as an election commitment, should the time come that a GST is preferred, otherwise we won’t present a GST.
    Ken n, this is the kind of thing that I am directly calling a lie. It is in fact an unnecessary lie. I wish both major parties (and journalists involved in the politics) would provid the people with a more informative view about policy prior to the election.

  55. Alice
    July 1st, 2009 at 12:14 | #55

    CL – getting rid of Howards stacking of the public service (right throughout) with sympathetic political cronies instead of on public service merit IS long overdue.

    If ever there was a period of stacking of the publice service and handing out of public service salaries to mates and friends…the little bloke excelled himself.

    Its clean up time now…and as for Grech – he so conveniently unwell and incommunicado now. Godwin Wretch.

  56. ken n
    July 1st, 2009 at 12:21 | #56

    DO – would you rather that a government do something that does not make sense or no longer makes sense, just because they have promised it? I would not.
    A lie is an intentional false statement of fact, not a broken promise. A broken promise might be morally as bad as a lie but it still isn’t a lie.
    I’ve always thought the accusation about Howard and the GST was a bit of a bum rap. He was foolish to make such an unequivocal statement after the 1993 election, but I am sure he sincerely believed it. If he had then gone ahead and introduced it in his first term, that would have been a serious breach of promise. But he subsequently made it a clear policy in the 1998 election campaign. Times and circumstances change and i don’t think we can complain about a policy reversal which has been clearly set out before an election.

  57. July 5th, 2009 at 12:52 | #57

    I thoroughly recommend “The Web of Debt” by Ellen Brown. There can be little doubt that most of the world’s economic problems are due to the fact that, from the 18th century, at least, the global banking cartel has usurped from sovereign nations such as Australia, the right to issue the means to enable the exchange goods and services (i.e. money) amongst their citizens.

    This view is solidly backed by copious quotes from a large number of credible historical figures including Benjamin Franklin, US President Abraham Lincoln, Otto von Bismarck, US President Theodore Roosevelt, US President Woodrow Wilson etc, etc.

    In the 18th century, the governments of American colonies assumed the right to issue currency. This facilitated great prosperity until the British Government and the behest of private Bankers, outlawed the practice, causing the colonies to descend back into poverty. This resulted in the American War of Independence. However, the US government never fully regained the right to issue currency. This right was usurped by the private banking cartel known as the “Federal Reserve”. This caused nearly all the economic problems and indebtedness with which the US economy has been subsequently afflicted.

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