'The' Mandarin.

I hope someone has sent this piece of objective truth to every politician and senior Mandarin in Australia.

(01-28-2017, 07:15 AM)thorn bird Wrote:  I hope someone has sent this piece of objective truth to every politician and senior Mandarin in Australia.

(01-24-2017, 11:35 AM)Peetwo Wrote:  Being err..Trumped, Trumpefied, Trumpeted... Huh

Excellent catch Gobbles...  Wink  

Along the same theme I note that Janet Albrechtesen wrote an equally enlightening piece in the Weekend Oz Rolleyes :
Quote:President Trump: la-la land still doesn’t get the big disrupter

[Image: 40cb11c0ce03a033b1ba05a9313ac16d?width=650]New York’s finest stand guard outside Trump Tower in New York.
[Image: janet_albrechtsen.png]
Crossing Fifth Avenue on to East 57th Street in New York this past week, a policeman manning the corner grunts a rhetorical: “Where ya’ goin’?” Everyone passing through the inquisition is headed to one place — the 58-storey Trump Tower between East 56th and East 57th.

The shining gold tower that once screamed the success of a celebrity businessman now marks the remarkable arrival of Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States.

A few metres beyond the corner, a young blonde employee from the nearby Chanel store complains sales have plunged 38 per cent because gun-toting police, guard rails and cement blocks impede the joy of shopping. Her moan about Chanel losing money won’t echo beyond the Manhattan bubble.

A few steps further, at the entrance to Trump’s golden tower, a mother barks at her young son to look happy as she photographs him standing near half a dozen of New York’s finest holding machine­guns, with fingers close to the triggers.

“But I’m not happy. You haven’t bought me anything,” the child grumbles, oblivious to what all the fuss is about.

Inside, it’s arguable whether the permanent posse of journalists filling the foyer with their cameras pointed at the gold elevators comprehend what the fuss is about ­either. A coup for them is The Don­ald stepping out from the elevator.

He’s done that just five times in two months, a journalist tells me. Most days, they are lucky to see a visitor to Trump’s 26th-floor office.

A wider and longer lens is needed to understand why Trump has become President of the US. Start by juxtaposing Hollywood’s latest offering, La La Land, with Hillbilly Elegy, a book that sits at No 1 on The New York Times’ bestseller list.

The former is a movie by Hollywood about Hollywood and lauded by Hollywood’s Golden Globe awards.

In fact, it’s a second-rate, try-hard musical with an insipid plot and singing that wouldn’t pass first-round auditions on American Idol. But in Hollywood they are going gaga over La La.

Hillbilly Elegy, by contrast, digs deep into an America that couldn’t be further from the aptly named La La Land. Its a gritty, gut-wrenching memoir of a class of American outsiders worn down by lost jobs, cast adrift from a foreign culture, left behind by Wall Street and forgotten by Washington.

Without mentioning Trump’s name, the book by JD Vance, a hillbilly from Kentucky, explains why millions of outsiders were drawn to another outsider, albeit a very wealthy one, who rose to become president.

More than anything else Trump said during his colourful and controversial campaign, a few words that resonated the most: “Drain the swamp.” Three words that are as visual as they are ­visceral.


Trump’s inauguration marks the triumph of the voiceless outsider over the self-proclaimed superior class.

After decades of being ignored by institutional elites, the primeval, gut reaction of outsiders was to teach the insider class a lesson. Big-time, by embracing a man who has altered not just the tone of politics but also the locus of political power, not to mention its method of operation. And that’s why, not even a day in, Trump’s presidency already demands a prominent place in history.

No political insider could get away with what Trump has said about everyone from Mexicans to Muslims, from fat people to prisoners of war. Who else but Trump could say that he prefers a soldier who is not taken prisoner by the enemy? Establishment politicians are trapped in a rule book they have written over decades. They would be fleeced, if not outright destroyed, by the first whiff of a possible pussy-grab or a spray at minorities or the obese.

Trump has been able to break every rule because millions of Americans were ready to look beyond the literal to the symbolic — a man taking on decades of political correctness, saying things with enough of a kernel of truth to resonate not just in hillbilly Appalachian territory but the suburbs of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

While Democratic presidential heir apparent Hillary Clinton campaigned and partied with celebrities and rock stars, Trump’s rise was fuelled by outright disdain for the sanctimonious ruling cartel that has hogged politics and hijacked culture for the past four decades.

Trump breaks the rules daily, hourly, even by the minute via Twitter not just because he is an outsider who can, but because the very breaking of the rules delivers him support from voters who have had enough of the DC rule book that has sidelined their concerns.

From building a wall — a symbol of controlling borders — to speaking honestly about Islamic terrorism and blue-collar jobs sacrificed to globalisation, Trump understands human nature better than the professional political class.

When asked during a Tuesday interview on Fox News about celebrities who said they declined to attend or sing at his inauguration, Trump said they weren’t invited. “I don’t want the celebrities. I want the people.” (Big tick.)

Trump slays every sacred cow of tone and substance with delight, understanding the more conniptions he causes to the Left, the more he secures his place as the outsider willing to drain the swamp of progressive pieties that long ago hijacked politics and culture from mainstream Americans.

This week when Obama commuted the 35-year sentence of Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning, before transitioning to a woman) who leaked almost 750,000 pages of highly classified information, it helped Trump. Also this week, business and political elites decamped to Davos on someone else’s dime to schmooze. Davos delegates were invited to simulate life as a refugee by crawling around on hands and knees pretending to flee from persecution. That will help Trump.

Last week, The New York Times Magazine described Trump’s son in-law, Jared Kushner, as “president-in-law”. While political and media elites gnash teeth over Kushner becoming de facto president, beyond this bubble, it doesn’t matter a jot that Kushner, another political outsider, will be one of Trump’s closest and most trusted advisers.

The success of Trump’s presidency won’t hinge on Washington’s rule book, and what media and political elites expect of him. His presidency will succeed or fail on whether he delivers to those ignored by Washington: creating jobs and boosting economic growth, controlling US borders, eschewing political correctness and staying true to what his presidency represents.

It’s a political rupture that the la-la land Left is yet to ­understand.
Plus on twitter Brendan O'Neill seems to be in the know when the question was asked - "TRUMP?! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN??" Wink :
Quote:[Image: C2nw1ZCXAAEVRAB.jpg]
MTF...P2 Tongue

The Brendan O'neill tweep needs to be put up in neon lights worldwide. Perfect summary of the issues at hand worldwide.

The governments have created the problem
and they are too damn stupid and arrogant to realise it.

It's all unfolding ladies and gentlemen.....

Tick Tock

[Image: images.jpg]

Listen up Turdball & Short-one... Angry

Excellent article courtesy of Chris Kenny from the Oz, that IMO nails the true story with the voter discontent with the political elite in the major parties... Wink :
Quote:Politicians must learn to rediscover their faith in the voters
  • Chris Kenny
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM February 4, 2017
That a political correction is taking place in Australia and other Western liberal democracies is undoubted. Even the political/media class recognises the obvious. But perhaps because the correction is largely directed at the political/media class, it misinterprets what is unfolding.

It is all about perceptions and perspective. The establishment politicians and their media clique think mainstream voters have changed — but in reality it is the voters who are pulling back on a runaway political class

Politicians of the Left have ­drifted away from the public on fundamental issues and the prevailing wisdom of media and academic voices creates the siren song luring many centrist and centre-right politicians away too.

In Europe, North America and Australia the political establishment has understated the importance of border security and national interest, overstated the role of supranational and multi­lateral bodies, and bowed to the whims of political correctness across issues such as education, immigration, gender, climate change and law and order.

Progressive voters have gone along for the ride but mainstream people aren’t so sure; they tend ­towards conservatism. Of late they have flocked to disruptive outsiders because the political ­establishment gave them no ­alternative.

Voters in last year’s US presidential contest weren’t given much of a choice. As Mark Steyn pointed out long before Donald Trump’s victory, they were being offered a choice between the continuation of a Clinton Democratic dynasty or a Bush Republican inheritance. Middle America confounded expectations by choosing a disrupter instead.

In Australia, after the overthrow of Tony Abbott, voters ended up with the leaders of both major parties who were deferential to global climate strictures, were unknown quantities on border protection and seemingly ­uncomfortable calling out the threat of Islamic terrorism.

There was little product differentiation — except between the political class preoccupations of gay marriage and climate change and mainstream concerns about national security and the cost of living.

Pauline Hanson’s extreme plan to ban Muslim immigration became a viable protest avenue for those dismayed that the political establishment couldn’t even utter the word Islamist. One ­Nation’s simplistic economic ­nationalism was a foil to major parties incap­able of reining in debt and deficits, and determined to ­increase power prices in order to meet meaningless agreements struck in Paris talkfests.

This is less about an emergent “redneck” class than a political class becoming so caught up in gesture and identity politics that it can’t voice the legitimate terrorism concerns of voters and has forgotten that while Australia can’t save the planet, it can prosper from cheap and abundant energy.

In the political/media class there is a tendency to condemn voters who espouse nationalism, climate scepticism, traditional marriage values, reduced immigration or strong border security. Yet these values are not rare among working suburban families. Indeed, it is not uncommon to hear members of the political ­establishment use “suburban values” as a derisory term. Only a couple of generations ago public debate saw suburbia as epitomising our egalitarian aspirations.

For most people it still does — and they vote.

The political class’s disdain for mainstream values was perfectly illustrated in comments made last year by Hillary Clinton to supporters in New York. These words probably did more than any others uttered by her or Trump to bar her from the White House.

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic,” said Clinton, “you could put half of Trump’s sup­porters into what I call the ­basket of deplorables. Right? The ­racist, sexist, homophobic, xeno­phobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.” This was a searing and accidental insight.

Not only did Clinton insult much of the population but she told them Trump was their champion.

Let us be under no illusions; the same dynamic is at play in Australia. Labor, Greens, some Liberal MPs and most of the Canberra press gallery talk about the effectiveness of dog-whistle politics, confirming their belief that mainstream voters are gullible, racist or xenophobic, and easily manipulated by ugly political messaging.

Rather than reassess their own policy adventurism — demolishing our border protection regime, inflating electricity prices through futile renewable gestures or continuing to spend wildly on borrowed money — they diagnose a shift in the electorate.

More likely the electorate is ­applying a handbrake to pull back the political class closer to reality.

Rhetoric proving this point permeates our national debate. This week on Radio National, for instance, Fran Kelly talked about Bill Shorten’s “direct pitch to people who feel they’ve been left ­behind”.

This tends to be the ­preferred narrative: it is the people who are wrong; not Shorten (or other MPs) who need to ­reconnect to mainstream common sense.

Alison Carabine continued Kelly’s riff: “Much of Shorten’s speech was devoted to the way in which people are so disengaged from politics and distrustful of ­politicians — hence the embrace of people like Donald Trump and Pauline Hanson — who very ­cleverly portray themselves as anti-politician. So restoring faith in the political system is a thres­hold challenge according to Bill Shorten; it’s really a challenge for both major parties, Fran, otherwise they are going to keep losing voter support to other parties and independents.”

Kelly and Carabine describe the same political disconnect I outline, only they place their faith in the political establishment — the major parties must restore the faith of voters in what they do. My diagnosis is the opposite; the major parties must rediscover their faith in the voters.

When Trump placed his ­nation’s interest at the pinnacle of his priorities in his inaugural ­address, commentators around the world found it grating — even alarming. “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first,” said Trump.

Yet this is the least voters would expect from the leader of a sovereign state. That a leader could win such plaudits — and such criticism — for stating such a fundamental precept shows how far we have strayed.

This is why Trump was elected. This is why the Brexit vote succeeded. Voters have a visceral comprehension of the primacy of the sovereign state in a way too many of their uppity politicians have forgotten.

Who could say when watching Barack Obama or Kevin Rudd at global summits that they were ­unambiguously placing their ­nation’s interests above their ­desire for multilateral approval?

In Brussels and at UN headquarters in New York, politicians are enticed relentlessly away from practical, sovereign issues into a world of global gestures. So distorted is this world that Australia can be criticised by UN human rights bodies whose members ­include nations like Saudi Arabia, China or even Libya.

The moral equivalence and ­deformed posturing that infects this world feeds back into domestic politics, so that Abbott is decried as a misogynist for looking at his watch while feminists defend the burka and niqab as ­expressions of women’s rights.

Mainstream voters see all this happening and they want it to stop. If major parties won’t listen to them, they will vote for others — however unpalatable — who are prepared to expose these ­absurdly cosy and deeply idiotic indulgences.

Understanding this is the central challenge in contemporary politics. Demonising those who vote for One Nation or shouting down arguments from the likes of conservative senator Cory Bernardi will only entrench the trend away from major parties.

Malcolm Turnbull is not a hapless victim caught between the Labor Party and a Trumpian/Hansonist wedge. Rather, the ­ascendancy of Trump and Hanson is a reminder that he must ­embrace core values ahead of fashionable causes.

The prospects of disruption and dysfunction on the conservative side of politics are so high now that the process might be irreversible. But this has not simply happened to the Coalition; it is the result of choices it has made.

It can only retain and win back conservatives by reflecting their values. It might start by co-operating with One Nation on preferences. Or it can stay on course for troubled waters.
Classic 'nail in head' Wink - "..This week on Radio National, for instance, Fran Kelly talked about Bill Shorten’s “direct pitch to people who feel they’ve been left ­behind”.

This tends to be the ­preferred narrative: it is the people who are wrong; not Shorten (or other MPs) who need to ­reconnect to mainstream common sense..."

Until pollywaffle parasites like the alleged rapist, philanderer, union suck hole and two time PM backstabbing Shorten, stop blaming us 'disaffected' voters for their electoral woes then they're going to find themselves facing a growing population of disgruntled taxpayer/voters - Dodgy

[Image: watch20lead.jpg]

MTF... Tongue

A rolling stone gathers much dross

P2, excellent post and an excellent article. It really would appear that the aviation IOS are being joined globally by other global IOS contingents hellbent on having their voices heard! The stone has indeed started rolling and it is gathering much dross on its journey. I believe the winds of change are gathering pace faster than anybody expected.


"Until pollywaffle parasites like the alleged rapist, philanderer, union suck hole and two time PM backstabbing Shorten, stop blaming us 'disaffected' voters for their electoral woes then they're going to find themselves facing a growing population of disgruntled taxpayer/voters".

Muppets like Short'one and Turdball are permanently ensconced in a fantasy world that is far far away from reality. These clowns 'just don't get it' and they never will. Their asses are going to be voted out faster than one can shout out 'Wall Street'. Barack Obummer has lit the fuse. After 8 years in office all he managed to do was give 99% of the wealth to 1% of the population. What was going through this dickheads mind? Did he really think that you could screw 99% of the country without them eventually fighting back? Proof is in the pudding and the revolution has begun. Fistula Merkel is walking the plank and being lined up for annihilation come the German elections, and Le Pen is about to become the female 'Trump of France'. This is just for starters.

The clock is no longer ticking, it is emitting something more like a deafening roar......

PM Malcolm grows a set - Will it last.. Huh

(02-06-2017, 06:08 PM)Peetwo Wrote:  [Image: images.jpg]

Listen up Turdball & Short-one... Angry

Excellent article courtesy of Chris Kenny from the Oz, that IMO nails the true story with the voter discontent with the political elite in the major parties... Wink :
Quote:Politicians must learn to rediscover their faith in the voters
  • Chris Kenny
  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM February 4, 2017

Classic 'nail in head' Wink - "..This week on Radio National, for instance, Fran Kelly talked about Bill Shorten’s “direct pitch to people who feel they’ve been left ­behind”.

This tends to be the ­preferred narrative: it is the people who are wrong; not Shorten (or other MPs) who need to ­reconnect to mainstream common sense..."

Until pollywaffle parasites like the alleged rapist, philanderer, union suck hole and two time PM backstabbing Shorten, stop blaming us 'disaffected' voters for their electoral woes then they're going to find themselves facing a growing population of disgruntled taxpayer/voters - Dodgy

[Image: watch20lead.jpg]

Quote:Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth—Prime Minister) (15:04): We have just heard from that great sycophant of billionaires, the Leader of the Opposition. All the lectures he is trying to run are politics of envy. When he was a regular dinner guest at Raheen—always there with Dick Pratt, sucking up to Dick Pratt—did he knock back the Cristal? I do not think so. There was never a union leader in Melbourne that tucked his knees under more billionaires' tables than the Leader of the Opposition. He lapped it up—oh yes, he lapped it up! He was a social-climbing sycophant if ever there was one. There has never been a more sycophantic leader of the Labor Party than this one, and he comes here and poses as a tribune of the people. Harbourside mansions—he is yearning for one. He is yearning to get into Kirribilli House. Do you know why? Because somebody else pays for it: just like he loved knocking back Dick Pratt's Cristal; just as he looked forward to living in luxury at the expense of the taxpayer.

This man is a parasite. He has no respect for the taxpayer. He has no more respect for the taxpayer than he has respect for the members of the Australian Workers Union he betrayed again and again. He sold them out. Some of the lowest paid workers in Australia, cleaners working at Cleanevent—he sold out their penalty rates. And what did they get? They got nothing. But what did the union get? Cash, money, payments. He sold them out in return for a payment to the union. That is what he did when he was their representative. What does he do now as Leader of the Opposition? He is selling out the jobs of Australian workers every day he perseveres with his ludicrous policies on energy, which will have the result of further unsustainable increases in the cost of electricity.

I think I have seen more members of the AWU lately than he has—I saw them at Portland Aluminium—and they know that their jobs depend on affordable electricity. They know, with the closure of Hazelwood and the crazy policies of the Victorian Labor government, supported by the policies of the Leader of the Opposition, that their livelihoods are at risk.

And where is the champion of the AWU now? He is here in Canberra selling them out, just like he sold out the workers at Clean Event. He has no interest in standing up for those workers. I was also at Viridian glass. There are also members of the Australian Workers' Union there. Viridian's biggest and most volatile cost element is the cost of energy, the cost of gas. It is becoming unaffordable. They moved their plant from New South Wales to Victoria and closed their plant in New South Wales because energy was too expensive. They consolidated in Victoria, and now, thanks to the Labor Party's ideologically driven energy policies, that too is put at risk.

That is the reality. That is the front line where members of the Australian Workers' Union and many other unions find themselves today. The Labor Party cannot keep living in a parallel universe where you can preach ideological energy policies without any regard to how you are going to deliver reliable, affordable energy and, yes, meet your emission reduction targets—but meet the responsible ones we entered into in Paris, not just doubling them for no return from any other country. This is ideology. They call themselves the Labor Party. Well, 'manual labour' is a Mexican bandit as far as they are concerned. Most of them have never done a day's work in their lives. I am old enough to remember when the Labor Party's benches were filled with union officials who had actually worked. Nowadays, look at the serried ranks of apparatchiks and political hacks who are totally out of touch with the men and women they claim to represent.

This social-climbing sycophant, this would-be tribune of the people, complains about cuts to company tax. Well, let me tell you, it is pretty straightforward: if you want more investment—and we do—

Mr Brendan O'Connor interjecting—

The SPEAKER: The member for Gorton is warned.

Mr TURNBULL: then you want to increase your return on investment; you want to lower company tax. That has been the consistent policy of governments of both political persuasions for many years. In terms of consistency, let's have a look at what the Leader of the Opposition used to say about it. In 2012, he said right here:

As Australia is buffeted by economic events overseas, we understand that lowering corporate tax assists the creation of jobs.

And the social climber, warming to the occasion, went on to say:

What can be more important in this country than the creation of jobs?

I reckon he probably talked about that with Dick Pratt and Solly Lew and Lindsay Fox and all the other billionaires he likes to suck up to in Melbourne on their corporate jets. Or did he give them a blast, the good attack on the rich: down with anyone who has got a quid? Did he give them that? I do not think so. No, I think he just sucked up to them. I think he says one thing here and another thing in the comfortable lounge rooms of Melbourne. I think we all know that.

Then, the year before, on company tax—he is quite an authority on it—he said:
Cutting the company income tax rate increases domestic productivity and domestic investment. More capital means higher productivity and economic growth and leads to more jobs and higher wages.

When he said that, I reckon Dick probably broke out in an extra bottle of Cristal, wouldn't you say? They all would have been very pleased to hear that. They would have said, 'You know, he's not like some of those other Labor people. He's really one of us. He's really on side.' But now, of course, he is a wholly-owned subsidiary of some very left-wing unions. He has shifted, and he will say whatever suits his purpose from day to day. There is no consistency, no integrity.

Mr Brendan O'Connor interjecting—

The SPEAKER: The member for Gorton has been warned.

Mr TURNBULL: He is a simpering sycophant, blowing hard in the House of Representatives, sucking hard in the living rooms of Melbourne. What a hypocrite!
Going on with company tax, in 2012 he said: 'Any student of Australian business and economic history since the mid-eighties'—so that would include Dr Leigh, I reckon—'knows part of Australia's success was derived through the reduction in the company tax rate.' That is what did it! The billionaires of Melbourne would lap that up. They would love that. 'We need to be able to make life easier for Australian business, which employs two in three Australians.' It is actually more than that. More like four out of every five Australians are employed in the private sector, and they are the businesses, large and small, that need to invest, and the more they invest the more they employ. It is pretty simple. He was right then. He was right in 2011 and 2012, but now the sycophant, this sucker-up in Melbourne, is wrong. He was the billionaire's friend then, but now he is the great radical tribune, the great radical advocate of the people. Give me a break!
This bloke has no consistency, no integrity. He cannot be believed. He says he is against 457 visas. He knows more about 457 visas than anyone. He is the Olympic champion. He expanded the categories dramatically. He opened wide the door, following on from his triumph of selling out the workers at Clean Event and selling out the members of his own union in return for a backhander paid to the union. He then opened the doors as wide as he could. He also wants to talk about political donations. Let me say this: just remember it took seven years in a royal commission for him to disclose a $40,000 political donation. The Labor Party cannot be trusted with economic management. It cannot be trusted with jobs. It cannot be trusted to deliver the opportunity and the security Australian families deserve. (Time expired)

Government members interjecting—

The SPEAKER: Members on my right! The member for Reid is warned. I am trying to address the House. The question is that the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition be agreed to.

On the PM attack on Shorten: Not that I really want to weigh into the argument of should he or shouldn't he blah..blah..blah... Confused
However this slightly refreshing rant from a mostly insipid Turnbull still goes to the growing resentment to a totally out of touch political class that sit on both sides of the HoR... Dodgy

Quote: Classic 'nail in head'  - "..This week on Radio National, for instance, Fran Kelly talked about Bill Shorten’s “direct pitch to people who feel they’ve been left ­behind”.

This tends to be the ­preferred narrative: it is the people who are wrong; not Shorten (or other MPs) who need to ­reconnect to mainstream common sense..."

P2 "..Until pollywaffle parasites like the alleged rapist, philanderer, union suck hole and two time PM backstabbing Shorten, stop blaming us 'disaffected' voters for their electoral woes then they're going to find themselves facing a growing population of disgruntled taxpayer/voters..." 

And also following on from the Chris Kenny article:

Quote:“Much of Shorten’s speech was devoted to the way in which people are so disengaged from politics and distrustful of ­politicians — hence the embrace of people like Donald Trump and Pauline Hanson — who very ­cleverly portray themselves as anti-politician. So restoring faith in the political system is a thres­hold challenge according to Bill Shorten; it’s really a challenge for both major parties, Fran, otherwise they are going to keep losing voter support to other parties and independents.”

So in little more than a week after the Shorten weasel worded Press Club address, where he is blaming a growing majority of 'disaffected voters' for the rise of Trump and One nation and spruiking a 'less political muck raking' mantra, he is back sniping from the sidelines and trying to pass a censure motion on the PM - UFB! Angry

P2 verdict: Although it is probably a one off aberration by Turnbull, I found it refreshing considering his insipid performance ever since rolling Abbott... Wink

Just saying... Big Grin

MTF...P2 Cool

Ps If it lasts... Huh

 'Malcolm in the middle' could you please hold onto some of that anger and direct it towards properly oversighting the 'law unto themselves' fat cat government enterprise agencies CASA & Airservices Australia before they totally decimate small to medium businesses in the aviation industry - Dodgy

Trumpophiles 12.02.17  Rolleyes

(01-24-2017, 11:35 AM)Peetwo Wrote:  Being err..Trumped, Trumpefied, Trumpeted... Huh

Excellent catch Gobbles...  Wink  

Along the same theme I note that Janet Albrechtesen wrote an equally enlightening piece in the Weekend Oz Rolleyes :
Quote:President Trump: la-la land still doesn’t get the big disrupter

[Image: 40cb11c0ce03a033b1ba05a9313ac16d?width=650]New York’s finest stand guard outside Trump Tower in New York.
Plus on twitter Brendan O'Neill seems to be in the know when the question was asked - "TRUMP?! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN??" Wink :
Quote:[Image: C2nw1ZCXAAEVRAB.jpg]

The latest addition to the Trumpophiles, courtesy the ABC insiders... Big Grin

MTF...P2  Tongue

Of Turdball, Short'one, rose bushes and the rise of the IOS

A few stern words from Goldman Sachs Turdball means little. So he has taken to Bill Short'one with a rose bush this time instead of the traditional wet lettuce leaf, it doesn't matter. The awakening of society has begun, and traditional politics and mainstream media is on its way to the history bin. The people have had enough.

IMO websites such as this, Pickerings Post, Zerohedge, Alex Jones and Gerald Celente go to the heart of what is wrong in this world and expose it. Governments have been pushing their lying, deceitful agendas and corrupt activities for too long, to breaking point and the people have awoken and are finally pushing back. The game is up Malcolm. Tick Tock old mate.

ATO held to ransom over 9 minutes

Unbelievable. No wonder nobody has any faith or trust in governments or their departments. Out of touch assholes who need to get a real job to know what life is about. The scary thing is the CAsA rort is the opposite. They "supposedly" work an extra 9 minutes per day which accumulates yearly and they then get the extra days off at Christmas in between the public holidays. Of course these bludgers don't have time clocks and don't work the extra 9 minutes per day, so they score an additional week off in December for free, funded by you and I the taxpayer. More woeful money waste by the Government FFS.

To the ATO article;

ATO admits working hours inefficient after staff backlash over request to work nine more minutes

UPDATED MON FEB 20 07:23:35 EST 2017

The Australian Taxation Office has admitted its working hours do not meet community expectations and are inefficient.

Key points:
ATO staff have finished work at 4:51pm for many years despite management's reservations
Proposal would extend working hours to 5:00pm, an extra 4.5 working days per year
Internal ATO briefings note many staff work well beyond 4:51pm
Staff at the ATO have one of the shortest working weeks in Government but when they were asked to work an extra nine minutes a day to boost productivity, they responded with a backlash until the proposal was dropped.

Documents obtained by the ABC under freedom of information laws reveal the push to extend working hours to 5:00pm — an extra 4.5 working days a year — proved "highly contentious" and was ultimately dropped to ease concerns.

ATO staff have finished work at 4:51pm for many years despite management acknowledging the roster is out-of-step with community expectations and the rest of the bureaucracy.

The proposal would have improved productivity by 2 per cent and was made amid protracted workplace bargaining with unions that have now stretched into a third year.

"Of all the changes proposed in the enterprise agreement (EA) package, this was the one you told us you disliked the most," ATO briefing packs reveal.

"It was clear from your feedback that this had to go and I think it goes a long way to demonstrating that we're genuine about getting an EA in place for the next three years."

Staff at the ATO have now rejected three EA proposals — the latest in December 2016 with a 71 per cent voting majority — and have not had a pay rise since 2013.

They will not receive back pay.

Internal briefings show ATO management may have been caught off-guard by the level of backlash.

"The majority of feedback from our employees has indicated a willingness to work an additional nine minutes a day as they already work at or more than 7.5 hours and also — quite appropriately — to underpin a pay rise," documents said.

"It also satisfies the bargaining policy as a legitimate form of productivity to justify a pay rise as it is demonstrable, permanent and easily measurable.

"It results in an increased availability of our workforce."

The documents note that many staff work well beyond 4:51pm, particularly senior staff with more responsibilities.

Work hours do not meet 'community standards'
The documents show ATO management have known their working hours have not aligned "with broader community standards" for at least three years.

Despite this, unions campaigned for no increase in standard working hours.
The documents show the 2 per cent productivity increase would have underpinned a pay increase for staff, although this was capped at 1.5 per cent by then employment minister Eric Abetz.

"The move to a [7.5 hour] day brings the ATO in line with most other APS agencies and can be used as one of the biggest sources of genuine productivity to justify other improvements in the EA," the document said.

"An increase to the working day of nine minutes per person per day can generate significant productivity - which could be used to justify other increases in entitlements, such as a higher pay rise.
"However, it would be highly contentious with unions and employees, especially if there is not financial compensation."

In a statement, an ATO spokeswoman said the office remained committed to reaching a good outcome for staff, the Government and taxpayers.

"This includes that we meet our service commitments to the community," she said.

"We are currently seeking feedback from staff to inform the EA process and ensure our engagement and communication approaches meet our employees' needs."


Oink oink

The lucky country no more? Confused

Sandy - doing the dog with a bone thing Big Grin  - drew my attention to yet another depressing reality check article written by the Business Council CEO Jennifer Westacott:
Quote:Act now on budget
[Image: 447bf9b1cb6e73c41b3ad1c616a63564]Jennifer Westacott

Governments, agencies and their staffers must find more efficient ways of getting work done.

Quote:..A big reality check is expected in 2020, when annual real spending growth ramps up to about 3 per cent, soon outpacing projected growth in the economy. The International Monetary Fund has estimated this would progressively lock in a structural deficit of at least 3 per cent of GDP, or $50 billion in today’s terms.

The window to contain spending growth is closing rapidly. There is, at most, eight years left to put the budget on a sustainable footing before we have only bad options: extra taxes on households or blunt spending cuts. Taxes would need to rise by more than $5000 a household just to close a deficit of $50bn. Further tax hikes would be needed to begin paying off the accumulated debt. Relying on bracket creep alone would force about 1.5 million more workers into the top marginal tax rate.

This isn’t some hypothetical ­future generation of taxpayers. These are the students, appren­tices and young workers of today who would be forced to accept crippling levels of tax to subsidise the self-serving generations who came before them...

..Efficiency isn’t just for the big departments. Every one of Australia’s 1200 federal government bodies should have its rationale and performance questioned.

All levels of government face this challenge. The ditching of the federalism white paper isn’t a free pass on tackling needless duplication and unclear lines of responsibility...
Ever the opportunist this was Sandy's comment in reply Wink :

Jennifer has put her finger on one crucial point that has been largely overlooked; "unclear lines of responsibility". Minister Darren Chester has released (21st Mar.) his 'Statement of Expectations' to the Civil Aviation Safety Authourity. There are no KPIs, deadlines and no clarity between the Board or CEO ( the fatuously titled Director of Air Safety). This now all too common type of failed governance by a Commonwealth corporate body (a bureaucratic distortion of Thatcherite privatisation cleverly invented in the '80s) has seen Ministerial responsibility abrogated, vast wastage and the virulent growth of rule by regulation. CASA as a case in point, several hundred million dollars to rewrite the rules over the last 29 years, still not finished, and has managed to push General Aviation into severe decline with the loss of thousands of jobs.

This Statement of Expectations, like all the previous ones, has no sanctions for non performance and, carrying no weight whatsoever, is a complete waste of time. Meanwhile the make work programs and salary increases with CEO and top managers are being paid more than the Minister who should be in control. No mention of salary or staffing caps in his Expectations. The independent government Corporation is totally at odds with the Westminster system because the minister should be responsible. No wonder the government has budget blow out, huge expenses and falling private business are a double whammy. Alex in the Rises.

There was also this comment on our cousins over the ditch:
Quote:..New Zealand is a leader, pushing agencies to find innovative ways to deliver services. Since 2012 the proportion of citizen-government service transactions completed digitally has risen from 30 per cent to 50 per cent, along with big gains in areas such as childhood immunisation and post-school education and training...

This NZed bureaucracy envy seems to be a common theme, especially in aviation in regards to their regs (based on FAR system) versus ours... Undecided

Here is another example from the Mandarin on how the Kiwis public service leaves ours for dead with unencumbered, innovative and progressive ideas for minimising red tape:
Quote:Sharing responsibility and success: NZ’s Better Public Service Results

David Donaldson

[Image: new-zealand-government.jpg]

Setting goals publicly and holding public service executives collectively responsible for them are two of the key practices that have helped New Zealand make strong progress across a range of social indicators.

In recent years governments have realised the power of guilting people into fulfilling their duties not because the rules say they have to, but because failing to do so would let others down.

Telling citizens most people pay their tax on time makes them more likely to do so themselves. Tell them how many of their neighbours pay on time and the compliance rate jumps again.

And it turns out social pressure works on public service bosses, too.

“There are now 40,000 fewer working age people receiving welfare payments than three years ago…”

Although it might not seem fair, New Zealand has discovered that when it comes to tackling long-standing social disadvantage that cuts across agency responsibilities — an area of public policy traditionally made difficult by muddled lines of responsibility and barriers to coordination — holding public service executives collectively responsible for improvements is more effective than focusing on individual performance.

Experience with NZ’s Better Public Service Results program demonstrates that appointing a lead individual to each of five groups set up to pursue clearly articulated social outcome improvements put too much emphasis on the person in charge, resulting in weaker feelings of commitment by other team members.

A shift to collective responsibility — including the awarding of bonuses based on collective effort — in theory made freeloading easier, but “seems to produce the best outcomes”, pushing staff to ensure the group achieves something of value.

This is the interesting conclusion drawn by UNSW’s Rodney Scott and Ross Boyd of the State Services Commission of New Zealand in a new paper for the IBM Centre for the Business of Government discussing the success factors behind the Better Public Service Results approach.

The Better Public Service Results program

Responsibility-sharing is just one of the many factors the researchers believe have made the experiment a success.

The BPS Results program involves publicly committing to 10 priorities, which incorporate specific targets across five groupings: reducing long-term welfare dependence, supporting vulnerable children, boosting skills and employment, reducing crime and improving interaction with government.

It ran for five years (2012-2017) and the final status report was published in March.
Although some targets were not reached, there were dramatic improvements for all 10 results. The number of infants not receiving vaccinations fell by two-thirds, for example. Other problems were cut in half, such as the number of children not enrolled in early childhood education and the number suffering from rheumatic fever.

[Image: Screen-Shot-2017-03-27-at-12.09.16-pm-e1...043888.png]
Snapshot of the Better Public Service Results snapshot.

There are now 40,000 fewer working age people receiving welfare payments than three years ago, thanks to more intensive and individualised case management and bureaucrats actively developing partnerships with local businesses.

Following the success of the first BPS Results program, the government has committed to launching a new set of 10 results and targets in 2017. Work is currently underway to identify what these results and targets will be.

So why did New Zealand’s push work where others have failed? Scott and Boyd’s paper finds 13 practice insights that made the program a success.

Choose targets carefully

Focus on a few problems. Articulating just 10 clearly defined targets gave agencies the chance to spend time and money achieving them, lessening the chances of trying to do too many things at once. Being selective meant government chose problems that were most amenable to being resolved in this way — ones that had persisted despite many attempts to fix them and merited trying out a new approach.

Only choosing a few goals means you have to work out what’s most important. NZ’s targets were chosen for their broad impact — either directly (reducing the number of people on long-term welfare) or indirectly (reducing the number of children developing rheumatic fever, an acute respiratory disease most commonly occurring in childhood, which required making improvements to housing and health services that would benefit a wide range of disadvantaged New Zealanders).

Involve other agencies in selecting problems to be addressed. The problems selected were ultimately chosen by cabinet, but after lengthy consultation with departments. Agencies felt more committed to achieving a target they have been involved in selecting, argue Scott and Boyd. Additionally, agencies were well-placed to provide technical advice on what problems were important and what targets would be achievable.

Build on existing relationships when selecting results to pursue. Collaboration was more successful when the parties involved had developed trusting relationships through succeeding together on smaller practical projects. Trust reduces transaction costs associated with monitoring performance, and agencies are more likely to commit their own time and resources if they have confidence that their partners will do the same.

Measure intermediate outcomes. Designing the program around results raises questions about what should form the basis of the targets. Governments often monitor outputs, which are easier to determine but do not necessarily show real world improvements, though they are commonly urged to focus on outcomes.

But while ultimate outcomes are the most useful indicator, they can take
many years — even decades — to materialise. Intermediate outcomes trade the benefits of outcome measures, which are intrinsically valuable to society, with output measures, which respond rapidly and predictably to changes and allow government to adapt its approach.

Although the ultimate aim of increasing infant immunisation rates is to reduce preventable disease, it is much easier and faster to observe changes in the former.

New Zealand’s experience suggests that adaptive management was most meaningful when the impacts of new actions could be observed within six months. This also helped motivate public servants, demonstrating the improvements their own work was making to citizens’ lives.

Align results, targets and measures. Failing to specify the magnitude of the improvement to be pursued for each target can mean any progress is seen as achieving the goal, so quantifiable targets can help create a sense of urgency and ambition in public servants.

One of the targets, “New Zealand businesses have a one-stop online shop for all government advice and support they need to run and grow their business”, suffered from a lack of clarity. The target was redefined as: “Businesses’ costs from dealing with government will reduce by 25%”. Another measure was developed focusing on perceived effort required by businesses. “However, the misalignment among the three metrics caused confusion and delay, as public servants debated whether they were responsible for implementing a proposed solution (a one-stop online shop), reducing cost, or reducing required effort,” the authors note.

Commit publicly. Although governments tend to be vague about exact goals, lest citizens and the media focus more on the failure to hit targets than improvements made, doing so signalled to public servants that the targets would not be quietly retired when the minister moved onto something else. Happily, local media were more likely to frame data updates positively, focusing on what progress was being made even if targets were not reached.

Designing Accountability

Hold leaders collectively responsible. New Zealand’s trial and error experience with three different approaches to accountability — individual responsibility for outcomes, individual responsibility for behaviours, and collective responsibility — showed the latter to work best. The State Services Commission is currently exploring whether there are limitations to this technique. The authors also note that the normative importance of the results was at least as significant a motivator, too.

Get started and learn by doing. Central agencies played a role in assisting responsible agencies to overcome the barriers they faced. Previous attempts at cross-agency work showed agencies found it difficult to get started — groups were reluctant to make decisions until they were working well together, but they couldn’t work well together until they were willing to undertake decisions.

While central agencies generally allowed groups to develop their own ways of working, one requirement was that chief executives would prepare and submit an initial action plan for how they would first address the problem. This helped kick-start the process and to ensure that effort began without delay.

Managing Collaboration

Start simply. Where trusting relationships did not already exist, a partial solution to building trust developed over time. Some cases took the time to first practice working together in simpler arrangements — such as information sharing, cooperation, and coordination — to help build mutual trust before attempting more complex collaboration. These tended to be more successful than those that leapt straight to the most involved and interconnected solutions. Achieving quick wins was also important to secure group commitment to solving the problem, particularly for newly formed groups, and reinforced the need to collaborate.

Limit group size. Although some believe it’s vital to include all affected stakeholders, the most successful cases limited core decision-making to two or three agencies, utilising tiers of involvement when necessary. In some cases, more than three agencies had an interest in the outcome, but greater progress was made when two or three critical partners formed a core group and involved others on an as-needed basis for information sharing and coordination. As group size increases, the transaction costs of coordinating the group increase, while the responsibility felt by each agency decreases.

Signal shared responsibility. Public servants, who tend to work in hierarchies, may look for signals that demonstrate who is really in charge in a collaborative context — and who will be responsible for success or failure. The most successful groups carefully orchestrated equal commitment at all levels through cascading governance groups.

Reporting on Progress

BPS Results involved lots of regular public reporting. Two documents were released every six months — the ‘dashboard’ (three pages) and the ‘snapshot’ (one page). Both include a colour-coded progress assessment and a line graph, with the dashboard also including explanatory text. A mix of qualitative assessments (such as colour-coded progress indicators) and quantitative indicators struck a balance between making results easy to understand and providing transparency about what exactly is happening for those more sceptical.

Report on trends. Focusing on trends, rather than static numbers, allows for contextualisation of progress. It demonstrates the improvements that have been made, giving more information than just whether or not a target has been hit.

Share success stories. Central agencies in New Zealand deliberately engaged in positive reinforcement of departments’ work by celebrating success, so reporting was generally well received by public servants, bolstering motivation and innovation.
Beginning in 2013, agencies began to submit short text or video descriptions, showing innovations that had a positive impact. The most notable briefs from the previous six months were included in the dashboards and advice to cabinet. More detailed case studies were shared through the State Services Commission website.

MTF...P2 Tongue

Bring back the "G" for GOVERNANCE - before the bureaucrats sell the bank - Dodgy

Via the Mandarin today:

Quote:Geoff Gallop: federal ICAC needed to rescue Commowealth

Geoff Gallop

[Image: Images_Geoff-Gallop.jpg]
The Commonwealth used to be a leader in administrative reform, but the absence of a federal ICAC means it now lags behind the states when it comes to integrity, argues WA’s former premier.

A genuinely democratic system of government is not just about elections, numbers and power. We also need to know and be confident that all involved in our legislatures, executives and judiciaries are acting in the public interest and not just their own private, parochial or party interests. Indeed, in our system it is an obligation, a duty, that they do so. It’s not just a matter of choice, it’s the law.

In order to back up this principle we’ve developed a range of institutions to scrutinise government in all its aspects, including all who work for or with it. It all started with what we might call our most basic agencies of accountability — our parliaments with all their privileges, our police services with all their powers and our media, with its passion for discovery.

“The truth is, of course, that human nature is what it is and when money, power and influence are at play, as they are to a massive degree at the Commonwealth level, there’s always a risk of corruption.”

“The truth is, of course, that human nature is what it is and when money, power and influence are at play, as they are to a massive degree at the Commonwealth level, there’s always a risk of corruption.”

However, what we’ve found throughout the history of democracy is that these monitors, whilst indispensable to the system, are inadequate to the tasks at hand. Parliament has its parties and they have their factions, the police aren’t comfortable with and don’t handle these issues well. The media is limited in its power and all too often in its objectives, too. Much that we would call serious misconduct or outright corruption today once escaped scrutiny, either because of a weakness of oversight or, more tellingly, because it wasn’t then seen as such — or because the doctrine of “whatever it takes” reigned supreme.

From time to time, and when the incentive or pressure to inquire was great, royal commissions could be called into play. They often demonstrated the extent to which so much that happened within government was below the radar or off-limits. Add to that the growth in expectations about what constituted good and proper government, and new thinking about how to protect and promote the public interest was bound to emerge.

So began the long march of public sector reform with its changes to existing agencies like the Auditor-General and the Public Service Commission, and the creation of a range of new agencies of accountability like the Ombudsman and the FOI Commission, with the power to scrutinise and report on the way we are governed.

“Politicisation has moved from being an academic concept to an operating principle of government, and the general public have noticed it and don’t like it.”

“Politicisation has moved from being an academic concept to an operating principle of government, and the general public have noticed it and don’t like it.”

However, it soon became clear that all of these institutions, both basic and new, had their limitations when it came to uncovering and preventing corruption throughout the public sector, involving elected as well as non-elected officials and commercial partners, contractors and consultants as well as public servants.

Major royal commissions in Queensland (the Fitzgerald inquiry) and Western Australia (WA Inc.) recommended the establishment of permanent bodies to investigate claims of misconduct and corruption that included all involved in the business of government. So too could they become educators and advisers to government about how to create resilient organisations and prevent corruption.

Queensland, NSW and WA led the way and the other states have followed. Their corruption commissions are workmanlike bodies dealing in an efficient way with allegations, undertaking major inquiries with all the powers at their disposal when it is deemed necessary, and advising government on all matters related to corruption and its prevention.

They have their critics and their work isn’t without controversy and free of differences of opinion over design and delivery, for example on the questions of how to define corruption and whether or not to allow public hearings, but they have been effective — some more than others.

“No longer is the Commonwealth a leader, indeed it’s either lukewarm or hostile to reform and much the poorer are we as a result.”

The Commonwealth has its agencies of accountability but not an independent anti-corruption commission of the sort the states have developed. Sometimes they say they are “different” and as a result have avoided the scandals exposed in the states.

Sometimes they say it’s just a matter of ensuring better co-operation and co-ordination between the existing agencies with a brief in this area. Sometimes they acknowledge weaknesses and propose change, as for example with MPs’ travel, but resist calls for the establishment of a commission with wide-ranging powers of investigation, arguing that it’s akin to “star chamber” or, at best, just another “bureaucratic layer”.

The truth is, of course, that human nature is what it is and when money, power and influence are at play, as they are to a massive degree at the Commonwealth level, there’s always a risk of corruption. The failure of the Commonwealth to establish a commission leaves a serious gap in Australia’s governance arrangements and undermines confidence in the system, at a time in which the lack of trust is making it all that much harder to deal with a range of structural issues requiring attention.

It’s not as if there is little evidence of a “Commonwealth problem” in respect of corruption. In recent years we’ve seen a number of exposures in a range of departments and agencies. We know it exists but to what extent we can’t be sure. For example, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald in 2011 Linton Besser found “that in the past six years investigations into almost 1,000 federal bureaucrats were terminated because they resigned midway through the inquiry”. Such a finding is hardly reassuring.

He points not just to a lack of power to properly investigate many of these matters but to a disturbing lack of will. This raises the question of the culture that underpins the way our nation is governed.

Both the existing agencies of accountability and the public service are being increasingly pressured by their political masters to cut corners. Politicisation has moved from being an academic concept to an operating principle of government, and the general public have noticed it and don’t like it. Certainly, they support the establishment of an anti-corruption commission in Canberra, as The Australia Institute’s polling has clearly demonstrated. 

When I first became involved in politics in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Commonwealth was a leader in the promotion of political, legal and administrative reform. It took time but eventually the states came on board too, and in some respects bypassed what had been achieved in Canberra.

No longer is the Commonwealth a leader. Indeed, it’s either lukewarm or hostile to reform and much the poorer are we as a result. Legislating for an anti-corruption commission would be a good way to start the journey back
MTF...P2 Tongue

Wow, all those 'systems' in place, so many that it is hard to count them all on two hands, all designed to keep governments and bureaucracies free from corruption and make them accountable and transparent. HA HA HA HA. What a failure. What a complete joke. What a waste of money. What a 'wet lettuce leaf'. A crooked politican is harder to nail than Al Capone.

Bring back the "G" for GOVERNANCE - Part II

[Image: Untitled_Clipping_041617_072544_PM.jpg]

By Grace Collier, via the Oz:

Quote:Idea of government as all-powerful God is strangling Australia

[Image: 5fc158e3b238a87a42e8d8dc9a02dc1b?width=650]Do you really think Scott Morrison will make the affordability crisis, if there is one, any better?
  • Grace Collier
    [Image: grace_collier.png]
Collectively, Australians have a bizarre preoccupation with government, perceiving it to be the solution to every individual problem. No matter what happens — if someone offends us, if we can’t afford something, if we feel left out, left behind, unhappy with our lot or fearful about our personal prospects — we expect government to do something, or give us something, and make it all better.

This belief in government as the solution is more damaging to our nation than any extreme religious doctrine.

We don’t need a god to worship and follow; government is our man in the sky. The Lord’s Prayer should be amended to reflect Australian community expectations:

Our government in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Government watches over me and will make my life better day by day. Government will dry my tears; make me feel accepted, happy, safe and loved. Government will clear for me a path in the jungle of life.

Government will catch me when I fall, smite my enemies, feed and water me, and lead me safely to my destination. Blessed be thy three layers of government, and the power of Centrelink, for thine is the kingdom of the public servants that rule over us, and the Department of Human Services that sustains us, for ever and ever. Amen.

This staggeringly dumb national mindset, this deeply held conviction that government should and will solve every perceived problem or financial hardship, is dangerous, self-destructive and self-defeating. Our delusions undermine our development and sabotage our future. Frankly, I am embarrassed by it.

For the latest pathetic example of our infantile outlook, consider the “housing affordability crisis”. Some people in Sydney and Melbourne arrived at the opinion that the dwellings they would like to live in are too expensive for them. Or perhaps the dwellings aren’t too expensive for them but they anticipate they will be too expensive for their children in the future, or even someone else’s children.

The wailing started; politicians started talking, the media joined in, and every day now people are talking about the crisis and how it may be solved.

The complaints are deafening, the coverage relentless. Everyone is looking to government for the answer.

Is this housing affordability crisis real or manufactured? Or is it merely another symptom of our overtaxed, overregulated society?

Regardless, it is deemed the latest national problem that the federal government must solve. And like drug dealers dispensing meth, they cannot resist. A housing affordability package will be central to the upcoming budget, and everyone can’t stop talking about what may be in it.

Do you really think Scott Morrison will make the affordability crisis, if there is one, any better? Or do you take the view that any crisis has been caused by government anyway, so perhaps the best thing would be for the authorities to back off, reduce taxes and regulation, and let the market work?

When in a hole, it is best to stop digging. But, like all addicts, we are blind to the damaging consequences of our dependence. The more we complain about our problems, the more the government becomes involved — and involvement costs money. The more tax the government takes out of the economy, the more expensive life becomes. The more problems government tries to solve, the more regulation it imposes. And so each day life becomes a little more difficult and complicated.

Despite all this, our belief in government grows stronger by the day. Too few who should speak out against it, and most people in or seeking government encourage it. The more government we have, the worse things are; the more we complain, the more government we receive. How do we break the cycle?

This week, a KPMG report revealed that up to 60 per cent of Australia’s households are not net taxpayers, once their income taxes are netted against allowances and pensions. This information should have prompted a national outcry. Malcolm Turnbull should have had a lot to say about it, but he didn’t say a thing and the nation reacted with barely a shrug.

The few are carrying the many, but as the many are being carried, the many are not worried about the few, not worried at all.

We have passed the tipping point and are on the declining slope. The few will become fewer. People will leave, wind down their efforts or just give up, and join those rorting the system or being carried. Eventually, the many will have no one to carry them. A hard fall on rocky ground awaits millions of soft posteriors.

From my experience in aviation safety administration, I'd be more inclined to swap the word 'Government' for the word 'Bureaucracy' in Grace's enlightening article... Confused
Quote:[Image: RAAA-Jim-Davis-quote-e1491695425814.jpg]

To perfectly highlight the conundrum of having an all powerful, all consuming, 'law unto themselves' aviation safety bureaucracy, that is systematically decimating the GA industry in this country, one need to go no further than today's "K" reply post to Cap'n Wannabe on 6D's thread... Wink :
(04-26-2017, 06:55 AM)kharon Wrote:  ..By the campfire:

CW – “In a nutshell, they can't change the law unless the government tells them to, and it was suggested that letters to the Governor General would be more effective. So I'm wondering if a similar thing would be possible with aviation..”

Ah, CW, pull up a stump, take a load off, sit a spell. There have been countless polite, articulate, reasoned ‘letters’ written over the years, to all manner of important folk. Not one of those letters has made an iota of difference, except to the post office revenue stream. Millions have been spent on all manner of ‘inquiry’ (in whatever form) all to no avail. You need look no further than the cost of the Senate Inquiry into the Norfolk ditching; the Forsyth report which followed that and the Canadian TSB ‘peer review’. All of that cost a small fortune; result? You guessed it...

...Until the industry ‘big guns’ start to fire, letters to anyone who matters from folk who don’t speak the language are only an exercise in typing. You are correct. Things must change, starting with the removal of the minister, as soon as practicable. Without an Act which works, a minister with brains and backbone, a CASA board which is effective, a DAS who understands it all and the support of the ‘heavy-weights’; you have a better chance of stuffing a wet noodle up a tigers fundamental orifice than winning the endless battle for real reform...

It is high time the elected started doing their job and put back the "G" in governance, while putting the "P" & "S" back into public servants to the unelected Mandarins and their minions - just saying... Rolleyes

[Image: Untitled_Clipping_040317_102544_PM.jpg] 

MTF...P2 Tongue

Standby for a mild steam explosion. Safety first

Oh Grace, really? Government is innocent? Government aren't to blame? It's not Governments fault?
Grace, just for your memory sweetheart;

• Wasn't Kevin Rudd part of a government who loaded us up with billions in debt for pink fucking batts and BER?
• Isn't Malcolm Turdball part of a government that has loaded us up with another $60b in Submarine debt just so one Minister could retain his job and win them the right to govern?
• Wasn't it that furry eyebrow imbecile called John Howard who was happy to flog Sydney airport and in the process ensure that Australia's main airport remains a hedge fund owned shithole that gives away billions in tax revenue annually to Banksters who stash the cash in offshore bank accounts?
• Isn't it an incompetent and frightened government system that spies on us continually, regulates us to death, tells us when we can take a shit, what we should eat, what time to go to bed and whether we can even speak freely?

What's that Grace, no? It's not government who do that? It's all in my imagination? It's all us little persons doing? Dear Grace, pull your head out of ass you fool. If government really aren't accountable for all the things mentioned above then let's piss them off, sack most of them, obviously we don't need them hey?

The Chief Mandarin

Gerald Celente is a brilliant trends forecaster. Best in the business. He also calls a spade a spade and isn't afraid to tear into the crooked politicians, the elite, the rigged system and Wall Street white shoe brigade. Interesting snippet below but Gerald notes how many Presidents and Prime Ministers come from Goldman Sachs, which of course includes our very own Malcolm BS Turnbull as Gerald puts it. Explains why we are in a deepening state of government debt. The more that governments borrow equates to bigger profits for the lenders or fiancera like Goldman Sachs.


Tick Tock Malcolm. We know your game.

While the cat is away the mice will play - Rolleyes

An excellent article on the insanity of partisan politics and the damage it is rorting on this country... Dodgy

Via the SMH.. Wink

Quote:We need more politicians less obsessed with political games
  • Imre Salusinszky
Last week my Facebook timeline threw up an item by the federal employment minister, Michaelia Cash. It was a pretend media release and bore the heading, "Shorten's Comprehensive Plan for Australian Jobs." The rest was simply a blank page.

OK, maybe it wouldn't make the first cut on Fallon or Colbert, but it's a harmless lark ‒ or is it?

[Image: 1495289636047.jpg] Bill Shorten and his frontbench laugh as Scott Morrison approaches the despatch box during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Let me answer that by revealing one of the biggest challenges in political media management is putting the brakes on government ministers and MPs who simply want to go on and on about their political opponents.

During the NSW Liberals & Nationals government's first term, between 2011 and 2015, there was a point, as well as political advantage, in reminding the electorate about the contrast between how things had been during Labor's spectacularly messy fourth term, and how they were going along now.

But once a government has secured re-election, the failings of its predecessor become ancient history for the voting public. They quite rightly take the view: You own it now, and if it's still broke, you've had the time to fix it.

Unfortunately, there is nothing most politicians, of whatever persuasion, would rather do than talk to and about each other. It's what floats their boat, justifies all those nights away from hearth and family and gives them a reason to crawl out of bed on four hours sleep to front another media conference or an interview with David Speers.

A further example of this the over-estimation of the importance of Question Time by political and media insiders, versus normal people. Hand-to-hand political combat is even more fun than slagging each other off on Sky News, right? The media humours this delusion, certainly in Canberra, by periodically writing that one of the party leaders is "back in town" after an especially feisty and aggressive Q-time performance.

But hang on ‒ people don't actually like "feisty and aggressive". Do you want a "feisty and aggressive" waiter serving your breakfast, a "feisty and aggressive" accountant doing your tax, or a "feisty and aggressive" dentist poking around in your root canal? No, you want civility, circumspection, and perhaps a touch of gentle humour on the way through.

There is a similar disconnect regarding the value of passion in politics ‒ that is, passion for one's party. When Anthony Albanese shed real tears over Kevin Rudd's first attempt to topple Julia Gillard, in February, 2012, the media was beside itself over Albo's "moving and dignified" performance. Well, voters would have noticed this performance from the corner of their eyes and thought: "Now we know what he really cares about: his silly political party."

If Question Time in Canberra is susceptible to over-estimation, its state equivalents are on a different level again. Sure, when I worked for Mike Baird, we'd put plenty of energy into preparing him for Q-time, trying to anticipate lines of opposition attack. But at the end of all that, I would remind my colleagues of the tragic fate of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The black-box voice recorder from that aeroplane lies deep at the bottom of some ocean, but we don't even know which ocean. This is precisely the status of whatever has just gone down in a state parliament Question Time.

The love of talking about each other, or going "hand-to-hand" against each other, along with the over-estimation of party affiliation, reflects the narrowing demographic from which our political human resources are drawn.

Fewer and fewer of our parliamentarians have spent their lives doing anything but playing at the game of party politics. At university, while others were studying and having fun, they were already teenage mutant politics turtles, playing Spy vs Spy tricks on each other in Young Labor and the Young Liberals.

In that culture, where letting down the other side's tyres was regarded as a major exercise of statecraft, Cash's "media release" would rank as a masterstroke. And sure enough, Cash was vice-president of the WA Young Libs, back in the day.

She's merely a random example, and is perfectly entitled to her lighter moments. But switching from the substance to the party politics has become like a nervous tic for the political class, and is a free-kick to the populists.

How often have you heard Scott Morrison, at one of his four or five daily media conferences, turn on a dime and say something like: "But today's retail trade figures from the ABS also create some tricky questions for Bill Shorten ..."?

All of this political theatre, all of this chocolate soldier stuff, when what people really want to know is what you are doing to make their lives better. Isn't that enough to talk about?

Imre Salusinszky is a Fairfax Media columnist and was media director for former premier Mike Baird.
So the pollywaffles play their meaningless political games and continue to govern in absentia.. Angry

Meanwhile the Mandarins and their minions run riot feeding from an endless taxpayer funded trough, with little to no oversight from their political masters, while the country continues to slide into some bottomless black hole - God help us! Dodgy   

MTF...P2 Cool

Breaking the trail of obfuscation on recommendations - Dodgy

Q/ Is Senator Barry O the MAN??

Bit of a long tale here so my first reference goes to last Monday's excellent 4 Corners program (titled: Breaking the Brotherhood):

Quote:Moonlight State: The honest cop who helped blow the whistle on Australia's most corrupt police force
Four Corners
By Mark Willacy, Wayne Harley and Alexandra Blucher
Updated Wed at 3:16pmWed 14 Jun 2017, 3:16pm

[Image: 8607368-3x2-700x467.jpg] Photo: Journalist Chris Masters (left) with AFP officer Dave Moore, who was assigned to look after him. (Four Corners)

It was an unusual assignment, and Australian Federal Police officer Dave Moore wasn't happy about it.

"I had a call to go and visit the assistant commissioner," he recounted.

"He asked me to keep a lookout for a bloke by the name of Chris Masters from Four Corners."

[Image: 8607514-3x2-340x227.jpg]
"The Joke" was a system of protection involving illegal gambling, bookies and brothels. (Four Corners)

To Mr Moore, babysitting a journalist was not part of his remit.

"I'll be honest, I told [my assistant commissioner] I didn't want to do the job," he said.
But an order was an order.

It was 1987, and the AFP hierarchy had information that Masters was in danger.
He wasn't at risk from the criminal underworld, but from the corrupt members of the Queensland police.

"It was made very clear that they were concerned for Chris's safety," said Mr Moore, speaking for the first time about the AFP's secret role in protecting the Four Corners reporter.

"So we put the resources of the AFP, discreetly, behind keeping a lookout for Chris."
'We were being watched and shadowed'

Masters was getting too close to a brotherhood of bent cops and their network of graft and corruption, an arrangement known as "the Joke".

What was the Joke?

The Joke was a vast system of graft and protection involving illegal gambling, starting price bookmakers, brothels and massage parlours that stretched back decades in Queensland.

The dirty money flowed to the police, particularly to several senior members of the infamous Licensing Branch, who in exchange for regular cash payments turned a blind eye to vice.

In its later and most lucrative form, the Joke was administered by Jack Herbert, who, by the time it all came crashing down, was passing on nearly $60,000 a month in protection money to police.

Herbert was estimated to have received more than $3 million in payments.

In early 1987 The Courier-Mail ran a series of articles about unchallenged vice in Brisbane.

Then in May, The Moonlight State program was broadcast on Four Corners, revealing that police were being bribed to protect vice in Queensland.

The next day the acting premier Bill Gunn called a judicial inquiry.

The Fitzgerald Inquiry would run for two years and hear from more than 300 witnesses.

Evidence from the inquiry would lead to four government ministers and police commissioner Terry Lewis being jailed.

Other police would go to prison, while senior officers — including the assistant commissioner Graeme Parker — would give evidence in exchange for indemnity from prosecution.

The Fitzgerald Inquiry would also lead to the establishment of Queensland's first anti-corruption body.

Stretching back several decades, the Joke was a system of protection payments that flowed from brothel owners, SP bookies and illegal gaming operators into the hands of corrupt police.

It was worth millions, and the Joke's tentacles reached right to the top of the Queensland force.

In late 1986, early 1987, Masters had been sniffing around Brisbane's red light district of Fortitude Valley for weeks talking to pimps, prostitutes and disgruntled police.
His inquiries were making the brotherhood nervous.

"We were being watched and shadowed," Masters recalled.

"I didn't really know that until Dave started to point out people who were surveilling me."
Mr Moore says he first met Masters "up at the Tower Mill [Hotel]".

"It became quite apparent to me that there was someone paying quite a lot of attention to Chris across the road," he said.

"We later found out it was a hired vehicle which was being used by officers of the [Queensland] Police Force."

[Image: 8607450-3x2-700x467.jpg] Photo: Chris Masters had been investigating corruption in Brisbane's red light district. (Four Corners)

The plan to frame Chris Masters

As Masters got closer to cracking the Joke, the police brotherhood knew it had to destroy the Four Corners reporter before he destroyed them.

"They took him extremely seriously, to the point where they were on the brink of literally setting him up," said Matthew Condon, the author of a three-book series on police corruption in Queensland.

Quote:"The plan was that they would plant an underage boy in Masters' hotel room in the city and ultimately, whether they could prove it or not, the mud would have been thrown against Masters to discredit him."

Masters would only be told of the plan to stitch him up many months later, after The Moonlight State had gone to air.

"I learnt of it through [former rugby league player] Tommy Raudonikis. He'd heard of it from a police mate and he then tipped off my brother Roy who told me," Masters said.

"But when it was all supposed to happen I wasn't in Brisbane, I was back in Sydney."

The plan revealed the lengths the corrupt Queensland police brotherhood was prepared to go to protect the Joke.

It had flourished for years under the stewardship of a man known as "the Bagman".

The Bagman
[Image: jack-herbert-340-x-180-data.jpg]
Former Queensland police officer Jack Herbert (aka 'The Bagman') was at the centre of the state's web of cops and crooks.

Jack Herbert was a former police Licensing Branch detective who for years was the conduit between the crooks and the cops.

He doled out hundreds of thousands in bribes to corrupt police.

Masters travelled the state speaking to and interviewing people about the Joke.

On May 11, 1987, The Moonlight State went to air on Four Corners.

"The pivotal thing about The Moonlight State and why it caused an earthquake was that for the first time, what Masters achieved, was a link between criminal figures, the underworld and corruption and police," Condon said.

"That's what caused so much drama and why it was an astonishing piece of television journalism."

For Masters, the day after The Moonlight State would bring fresh drama.
"I wake up to the sounds of my own heartbeat," he said.

Quote:"These are scary moments, sometimes the worst moments because you've done your best, you're pretty much exhausted, but then a whole new battle begins."

That battle would become the Fitzgerald Inquiry.

It would run for two years, hear from 339 witnesses and see the police commissioner, Sir Terence Lewis, jailed and stripped of his knighthood.

Also convicted were senior police and Valley kingpin, Gerry Bellino, who was sentenced to seven years in prison for paying bribes.

As for Jack "the Bagman" Herbert, he escaped jail by rolling over and telling all to the inquiry.

Watch Four Corners' Breaking the Brotherhood on iview.

The Moonlight State, the 1987 report that prompted the Fitzgerald Inquiry, can be viewed in full on the Four Corners website.

[Image: 5903986-3x2-700x467.jpg] Photo: Tony Fitzgerald QC hands over the Fitzgerald Report to then-Queensland premier Mike Ahern. (State Library of Queensland)

My next reference goes to Nick Xenophon's (NXT party) policy webpage under Aviation: 


A safe and strong aviation sector is vital to Australia's needs. Having our aircraft maintained in Australia is an integral part of ensuring high safety standards and trust in the aviation industry. 

What needs to be done:
  • There should be an Inspector General of Aviation that acts as an impartial watch-dog over all aviation regulators -  in particular CASA and the ATSB - to ensure that they operate in the public interest.
  • Implement recommendations from Senate reports on aviation and safety. 
The 2nd bullet point above (in red) is perhaps the biggest bugbear for any Senators/members of parliament involved with aviation safety inquiries and nearly all industry advocate groups &/or stakeholders... Dodgy  
Now to the Barry O connection... Wink
Next reference is Senator O'Sullivans profile webpage (note the parts in bold red):
Quote:Senator Barry O’Sullivan

[Image: Bio-pic.jpg]Whether it be as a country police officer, grazier, business operator or member of the LNP executive, Barry O’Sullivan brings a wealth of experience to his role as Senator for Queensland.

During his first 100 days in the position, Barry has explained his clear objective is to advocate and initiate policies that lift the standard of living, including service-delivery and economic sustainability, across rural and regional Queensland, which has sustained generations of his family for more than a century.

Born in Gogango, Central Queensland, Barry was educated at St Joseph’s Wanda Convent and the Christina Brother College (now Cathedral College) at Rockhampton.

Upon leaving school, he was employed as an office boy at The Rockhampton Morning Bulletin and The Longreach Leader newspapers before joining a road construction crew building the Beef Development Road from the Five Ways north of Cloncurry to the Gregory River Crossing.

Barry joined the Queensland police in 1976, the same year he married Annie Van Lathum of Barcaldine.

His commenced his policing career in Brisbane serving in Inala, the City Beat, the Metro CIB the Burglary Unit, the Fraud Squad and the Drug Squad.

However, wanting to return his young family to regional Queensland, Barry transferred to the Rockhampton Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) in 1979 and later served in the Moranbah CIB region (a one man detective office), which included the districts of Nebo, Glenden, Dysart, Moranbah, Clermont and Charters Towers.

Among his achievements during this period was a research grant to attend the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) National Academy to study the profiling of serial offenders.

Following the Fitzgerald Inquiry, Barry was appointed to be among the Queensland “change” agents to implement the recommendations in the Central Police Region, which stretched from Bowen to Gladstone and across to the Northern Territory border.

He was appointed Acting Staff Officer to the Assistant Commissioner in the central region, having the responsibility of supervising the project that restructured the framework of the Queensland Police Service in line with the Fitzgerald recommendations.

In 1990 Barry worked with the Corrective Services Commission by the Queensland Public Service to facilitate the implementation of the recommendations from the Black Deaths in Custody Royal Commission and the Kennedy Review into Queensland prisons.

Over some 15 years of police service, Barry was awarded – two imperial honours (Bronze medal for Bravery, the Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal); a Commissioner’s Commendation for Bravery, an additional Commissioner’s Commendation for Service and two Commissioner’s Favourable Records.

Upon retiring from the police force, Barry established an Insurance Loss Adjusting practice which specialised in the preparation of briefs of evidence in civil litigation cases associated with world-wide catastrophic aviation accidents (principally international flights). He has worked on crash investigations all over the world.

Barry also established Jilbridge (currently NewLands) – a vertically integrated construction and development business (both civil and structural) based in Toowoomba, which currently employs over 100 staff.

Barry and his family have also operated livestock properties and contracted earthmoving services across leased and owned holdings at Cooyar, Ravensborne and Goondiwindi.
In the lead up to the merger of the Liberal and National Parties, Barry was asked to assist in overseeing the registration of the new entity, the LNP. He was appointed honorary Treasurer.

He served in role during the 2008 merger until his pre-selection to the Senate seat vacated by Barnaby Joyce, who had resigned to contest the House of Representatives seat of New England at the 2013 federal election.

Barry served on the Candidate Review Committee between 2009 and 2013, going on to be appointed Chair of the Committee in 2010, before winning pre-selection himself in 2013 to take over the senate seat made available following Current-Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce’s decision to challenge the Lower House seat of New England in regional New South Wales.

Barry was officially appointed to the Senate by the Queensland Parliament on 11 February 2014.

Barry used his maiden speech the following month to state his primary focus during his time in Federal Parliament would be dedicated to pushing for policies that enable the ‘rehydration’ of rural and regional Queensland.

As Barry said in his Maiden speech: “decades of progressive restructuring of government agencies with an emphasis on a corporatized model – compounded by the overarching principles of economic rationalism – have seen us significantly and aggressively reduce government based and government funded services to many parts of regional and rural Australia. 

“Whilst all levels of Government acknowledge community services obligations and a responsibility to distribute the wealth of our nation evenly amongst its citizens, we tend to struggle in the delivery of these commitments the further we get away from places where the postcodes end in three zeroes.

“During my time in this chamber, I will be applying the test of fairness and equity to policies and legislation that has the potential to impact the great people of regional and rural Queensland. 

“I will be particularly looking for things that support the rejuvenation of non-metropolitan communities, things that will help small family businesses and the family corporations – particularly those in agriculture and allied support industries. In short, I intend to support businesses that underpin this Nation’s wealth and economic security. Those enterprises that directly impact on the fortunes of our standard of living.”

Barry and Annie, who passed away in 2008, raised four children together. The extended O’Sullivan family now includes six grandchildren. He lives in Toowoomba.

Do you reckon there would be a more perfectly groomed candidate for the position of Chair/Deputy Chair of the Senate RRAT committee? - just saying... Rolleyes

MTF...P2 Tongue

In recent months I've been reading and learning about Carl Gustav Jung. He was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. His work has been influential not only in psychiatry but also in anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy and religious studies. Interestingly, as a schoolboy Carl experienced a vision of God, seated on a golden throne, dropping ‘an enormous turd’ on a cathedral!!!

Metaphorically speaking, perhaps Sen Barry O'Braces will be our Carl Jung and have a vision of one of the Senators dropping an enormous turd on CAsA? He seems like a smart chap, bit of a bulldog and has a good work history to boot. Personally I like the no-nonsense bloke, along with NX, Sterle, a bit of Nash and of course the intelligent and eloquent Fawcett. So what does thou say Senator O'braces oh dear friend, would either you or a fellow Senator consider squatting over your Senate throne to drop a giant steaming turd right into the lap of CAsA? Please say yes......

"Safe copraphillia for all"

JFK said it best:-

“In a time of domestic crisis, men of goodwill and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics.”

I wonder, does Australian aviation realise what a strange and unusual phenomenon we have been gifted; let alone the general public; in this Senate Estimates committee? I doubt it. We have “men of good will”, which, of itself is peculiar enough; but to have men of good will ‘united’ in the common good, despite ‘party’ is; IMO, remarkable. These are ‘true’ statesmen, those who have ‘seen’ the ‘facts’ and unlike the simple ‘political animal’, honestly seek to address the glaring waste, outstanding debt and monstrous deception, foisted on the public, thinly disguised as “aviation safety”; at their expense.

These are all ‘practical’ men, well versed in not only ‘real life’ but also in the ways of ‘politics’ for party benefit – ahead of the general good. They have put ‘party’ aside, their differing political ‘philosophy’ away – for the time being. A group simply united in doing what’s best, properly – for the benefit of the nation.

Now is the time for all good men and true to come to the aid of the nations aviation sector  and those outstanding Statesmen who have simply had enough of the platitudes, deception and obfuscation from what should be, a world class aviation safety system, not some bloody fool bureaucratic passing the parcel game. It used to be; and, gods know we have thrown enough money at it; so why ain’t it?

This committee has driven the thin edge of a wedge under a pivotal point, at just the right time. Now, it is time for this industry to speak out, put a shoulder to the wheel and push like hell. There may never be a better time to place your trust – just for once – in the democratic system of government we hold so dear. We are currently in the committee’s debt; time to pay. Facts, support and evidence are now required to back up these ‘men of goodwill’.  Whinging and whispering in the hanger tea room  achieves nothing. Hit ’em with the facts, hit ‘em hard - have some faith and put an end to the misery this industry has endured.

“Experience keeps a dear school, yet fools will learn in no other.” (BF).

Toot – and yus, - us had a couple with TOM – tooty. Sow hat?

P7  - Edit - Twas more than a couple – no matter; home safe and in one piece, again, it sleeps now. All Hitch’s fault. Courtesy of and with thanks to - Australian Flying.

(06-16-2017, 07:18 PM)kharon Wrote:  JFK said it best:-

“In a time of domestic crisis, men of goodwill and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics.”

I wonder, does Australian aviation realise what a strange and unusual phenomenon we have been gifted; let alone the general public; in this Senate Estimates committee? I doubt it. We have “men of good will”, which, of itself is peculiar enough; but to have men of good will ‘united’ in the common good, despite ‘party’ is; IMO, remarkable. These are ‘true’ statesmen, those who have ‘seen’ the ‘facts’ and unlike the simple ‘political animal’, honestly seek to address the glaring waste, outstanding debt and monstrous deception, foisted on the public, thinly disguised as “aviation safety”; at their expense.

These are all ‘practical’ men, well versed in not only ‘real life’ but also in the ways of ‘politics’ for party benefit – ahead of the general good. They have put ‘party’ aside, their differing political ‘philosophy’ away – for the time being. A group simply united in doing what’s best, properly – for the benefit of the nation.

Now is the time for all good men and true to come to the aid of the nations aviation sector  and those outstanding Statesmen who have simply had enough of the platitudes, deception and obfuscation from what should be, a world class aviation safety system, not some bloody fool bureaucratic passing the parcel game. It used to be; and, gods know we have thrown enough money at it; so why ain’t it?

This committee has driven the thin edge of a wedge under a pivotal point, at just the right time. Now, it is time for this industry to speak out, put a shoulder to the wheel and push like hell. There may never be a better time to place your trust – just for once – in the democratic system of government we hold so dear. We are currently in the committee’s debt; time to pay. Facts, support and evidence are now required to back up these ‘men of goodwill’.  Whinging and whispering in the hanger tea room  achieves nothing. Hit ’em with the facts, hit ‘em hard - have some faith and put an end to the misery this industry has endured.

“Experience keeps a dear school, yet fools will learn in no other.” (BF).

Toot – and yus, - us had a couple with TOM – tooty. Sow hat?

P7  - Edit - Twas more than a couple – no matter; home safe and in one piece, again, it sleeps now. All Hitch’s fault. Courtesy of and with thanks to - Australian Flying.

(ref: CASA Meets the press #378 )

To follow up your sentiments, on the 'men of goodwill' Senators, I happened to monitor the Drone Inquiry hearing in YMML yesterday and the tag team of Chair Sterlo & Deputy Chair was fully on display... Wink 

Unfortunately the hearing was audio only and not recorded (unless requested), so we'll just have to wait for the Hansard to come out for what I think will be some golden moments... Undecided

However I do have another example from earlier in the week at the 'Increasing use of so-called Flag of Convenience shipping in Australia' public hearing, which IMO more than adequately amplifies the effectiveness of a Senate tag team inquisition:
Quote:CHAIR: But I might do then, is go to Senator O'Sullivan. He is bursting to ask a question. I am sure Senator Rice is too. Would you like to have a go?

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  I just want to come back to the statement that there was an awareness that Captain Salas was in country at that time. I imagine that statement reflects an awareness that he was in country at that time prior to the request. I want to assume for the purposes of this exchange that the first notification you had formally was from either the police authorities or the coroner's court. When you say that, does that mean that that information—that Captain Salas was in the country—was in a system and available to you if you chose to search for it, or was it in the fore of mind of someone within the departments because a flag, an alarm if you like, had been triggered when the data went in that he would be in country on particular dates? Let us assume an intel officer had it on their desk that Captain Salas was on his way back, he will be here tomorrow and he will be here until Friday. They are two very distinct—do you accept the question?

Mr Wilden : Yes, and I will answer it in both parts. Certainly, the fact that he had a valid visa and had obviously advised he was coming in country is stored in the system, but what we do need is, exactly as you have pointed out, a reason to have that in the forefront of our mind. That reason may be a formal request, as Mr Price went to earlier.

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  Mr Wilden, the burden of my question is quite specific. Mr Price gave evidence that we were aware that he was here. I want you to tailor the answer around that awareness, if you do not mind.

Mr Wilden : I will get Mr Price to address that.

Mr Price : It goes to the earlier opening comments of Mr Wilden. You have the MCV process, which is the application for a visa to come to Australia, so that is the first step. Then there is a requirement for an impending arrival report which tells us what vessel is coming ahead of time—up to 96 hours—and included in that report is a list of all the crew and their biodata. This is happening for every vessel at every port.

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  Accepted.

Mr Price : So Mr Salas appears and it goes into our system. At the same time as it goes into our system, it goes across our alerts database. I do not want to go into too much detail except to say—

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  Sorry, not all of that data goes across an alerts database?

Mr Price : It goes to if we have an interest in particular individuals as well.

Mr Williams : To clarify: all that data is checked against our alerts, but there is obviously not an alert on everybody.

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  So Captain Salas was on alert?

Mr Williams : No.

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  Sorry?

Mr Williams : At the time of those entries that Commander Price referred to, no, he was not on alert.

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  So Captain Salas, who is a suspect for these murders and events, confessed to gun running, which I think is a very strong term.

Senator RICE:  No, gun running and two deaths on board.

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  He did not qualify for a red flag within this alert system?

Mr Williams : That is dependent upon advice from the relevant investigating authority. So, at the point of—

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  I do not want to talk theoretically, and this may help explain why he was not on alert; this is an actual question. At the time that is relevant to the time frame of my questions, was Captain Salas on alert? Was there a red flag?

Mr Williams : At the time of his entry, he was not on alert.

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  You have heard the commentary from all of the colleagues. What does it take to get oneself on the alert? If a couple of suspected murders and gun running does not make one eligible, what does one have to do?

Mr Williams : We would need to be aware of the concern or activity. So we would need to be notified by the appropriate authority, and then we would put the individual on alert.

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  Do you mean that no-one within your organisation had been aware of the Captain Salas episodes? We need to put the shovel down here, because that is even more serious than that you did know and he was not on alert. Are you telling me that, within the security framework of our nation—all of you who share responsibility for various parts of it—you did not know about a Captain Salas who was involved potentially in a couple of murders and gun running?

Mr Price : Can I just clarify? At the time of the deaths, there was a joint operation conducted with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, as it was at the time, the New South Wales Police Force and the AFP. There were two days of activity on the vessel at on the vessel at the time of the deaths. All the information and intelligence collected was then forwarded for any assessment. So, of course—

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  Forwarded where?

Mr Price : To our intelligence holdings—

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  So intel gets this body of material, yes.

Mr Price : And we assessed the level of threat posed at the time. The assessment—I have got to be careful because we are getting into methodology here of how people—

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  No, I do not want to know the methodology, Mr Price.

Mr Price : And that is the issue.

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  What you are about to tell us is that, post an assessment, when all of this information—sorry, let me not make it descriptive. Any information that was available as a result of these investigations of deaths on board and gun running and the like is passed to your intelligence section. They assess it and then they make a determination whether something further should happen—such as, we will put Mr X or Mrs X onto an alert. So are you telling us that, post the assessment of the intel that had come from those other agencies in relation to these deaths and gun running, there was not a determination to put him on alert?

Mr Price : What I can say is that that is the case. The case is that the assessment, based on the available information and intelligence collected at the time—and we do not just place alerts for our own agency; any law enforcement agency can put out an alert if they wish to. So at that time it was not assessed, and I have to clarify—

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  So it was assessed, but it was not assessed to go on an alert.

Mr Price : It was not assessed as requiring that we needed to do an intervention. Remember, we had already done an intervention, quite comprehensively, and collected all the data, plus we had looked at the evidence provided to the coroner. What Captain Salas admits to is not the smuggling, and, in fact, he clearly states in his testimony he was not smuggling guns to Australia. What he was doing was taking commission from the crew, forcing them to buy weapons through him from a person who supplied those weapons to the crew back in the Philippines. So, it is certainly not—

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  Well, there is a bit of 'tomahto' 'tomato' in there, but—

Mr Price : But it certainly is a concern, we obviously take the information—

CHAIR: This may or may not assist, but I want to quote Hansard from 30 March 2016. Senator O'Sullivan, you and I were both asking questions. This is the answer that came back from the department:

'Yes, the department has holdings on Mr Salas'—I do not know what holding are but we will find that out—dating back to 24 December 1994.'  

This is you, Mr Williams, I believe.

Mr Williams : [inaudible]

CHAIR: 1994, I am quoting you:

These holdings relate to a range of interactions the department has had with Mr Salas and information we have received about his activities and movements.

I said:

So, he has been on the radar since 24 December 1994, is that correct?

You then said:

That is correct.  

Mr Williams : They were the routine transactions of entry and departure, and his signatures, for example, on the cargo reports and vessel reporting requirements that he made as master of the vessel. They were routine—

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  With respect, Mr Williams, that is not fit with him not being on the radar. The radar suggests that there is an alert looking for that little green blinking thing that is moving around; we know where it is at all times.

Mr Williams : I agree.

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  This is not going to end here for me. You have renewed my interest in this. This is not a question but an opportunity for anybody to comment: you have left me once more very concerned about the security arrangements in your agencies, if someone like Captain Salas does not qualify for a red flag. You might not want to know, but I suspect that ordinary Australians would want to know when the Salases of the world are in our ports, whether he is gun-running or he is clipping the ticket while someone else is gun-running or he bought guns. G-U-N-S—I do not give a rat's arse where they are coming from or where they are going. We need to know when these sort of people are in our company. I am happy for any of you to reflect on it.

Mr Price : Could I just add—

CHAIR: Yes, but before you do, let's not forget there was a man missing overboard and two days prior, when the ship was just out of Newcastle, one met an untimely death. So we had one missing and one dead as they were coming in to the port of Newcastle.  

Mr Price : When we talk about alerts, it relates to specific interest that an agency wants us to act on, to take some form of action or activity. When that incident first occurred there was a full operation. Subsequent to that and without being on alert, as an example, around January or February, again, when Captain Salas arrived on the coast, we ran the data through the system and the officers picked up the connection through our intelligence holdings of this previous history that Salas has. That initiated a further interdiction and examination of the cabin. So it does not necessarily require that there be an alert; it is to do with our intelligence holdings—and this is part of the assessment process we were talking about before—and when we put in the data on a vessel. A number of factors go into our risk assessment; it is not one individual necessarily, although that can be the case. It could be the vessel itself or the crewing agency—there is a variety of factors. In that instance, Captain Salas was subject to a further intervention where nothing was found. So that was post the initial event. We continued to have an interest once it came to our attention through the unfortunate deaths on board, the suspicious deaths; notwithstanding he was not on a formal alert per se.

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  In your own evidence before this committee on your intervention: you have this body of intel—and we all accept there that there is really nothing about Salas or the circumstances around the deaths or the allegations to do with the G-U-N-S, whatever they are; it is all at your disposal. It was not as if you were deprived of any of the intel; you have it all at your disposal. Is it your evidence that after an intervention that did not produce any further evidence that would promote concern for your agencies that that was it? That is what the evidence suggests to me. You have done your intervention, you have left Salas behind you on the boat, you have searched his room and there is no trace of anything—so Salas is no longer alive. Let me put it to you this way: if there were no coronial hearing and Salas did not do anything new to bring himself to the attention of other agencies with whom you have a relationship or your own people, you would never have known. It would have been in the system that Salas was in the country again for his bimonthly visit, but you would never have known. It was not: we will have a bow peep at Salas again in six or 12 months time to see whether he is a recalcitrant and may be back to his bad old ways. He just would never have come to your attention again.

Mr Williams : That is not our evidence.

Mr Price : That is not our evidence. As I said, he came clearly on the radar at the time of the unfortunate incident. We did the operation and collected the information jointly with New South Wales and AFP. There is an ongoing investigation into that—and not just into Captain Salas but into the entire crew—as part of the coronial. We are obviously interested in further intelligence or actions that—

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  You were at that time, yes.

Mr Price : Then, when the subpoena was issued for him to front to court, again, there was another intervention with Salas—a search of his belongings. That went ahead, so we had an interest then. Then, again, and this is through no other—

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  But that was not an interest generated by your system; an interest generated—

Mr Price : Yes, but just the third intervention—

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  Mr Price, we are going to run out of time today. But, I will tell you, one thing we have a lot of is time. We can come back again and again. I am not trying to trap you. I am trying to corner you. Just work with me on the burden of this question. If the coronial request had not come to you during that particular visit of Captain Salas, you would not have consciously known he was in the country. He was in your system, for certain. Had you typed in 'Salas' and clicked search, you would have gone: 'Bang! He's in Newcastle at 3 pm tomorrow.' But, without the subpoena request, you would not have consciously known. There was nothing in the history of Captain Salas nor in the body of intelligence that we have all agreed you have access to that warranted, 'We really want to know when this guy is in the country at particular intervals.'

Mr Price : Apologies, I have clearly not communicated clearly enough. On the third intervention, there was no subpoena; there was no coronial requirement.

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  No; I appreciate that.

Mr Price : It was an assessment done by officers in, I think, January or February, but we can clarify that date, and the information holdings that we had led them to believe we should search Captain Salas on that ship.

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  I agree with that. That is agreed. Let's get—

Mr Price : They did that, and that was not at the request—

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  No. So that is good.

Mr Price : That was from—

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  I will tell you something: that would give me great confidence if were happening. And it did happen.

Mr Price : It did happen.

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  You need to be congratulated. I think it was a good decision and a good manoeuvre. But, Mr Price, forgetting the subpoena request, after you did that action, he was not booked in the diary. Look, I am a retired detective. I used to keep a diary. If I came to search your house for drugs and I was not satisfied, I went back to my office and I put you in my diary for four months time so I did not forget you. I would find you again and I would come and pay you a visit. Salas was not in any system that would promote further action by any of the agencies, based on the intel you had at that time.

Mr Williams : No, because our activities and our interventions occur when the individual concerned or the vessel they are on comes back into our—

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  Which is what happened here.

Mr Williams : Yes. If, at some point in the future, he had come back in as a master of the vessel—

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  Which he did on this day, Mr Williams.

Mr Williams : Can I just finish the answer to your question? The same risk assessment process would occur and, it is possible—probable—that some intervention would have occurred as a consequence, similar to the one Mr Price was describing.

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  Hold on. You are perhaps hearing something I am not. Mr Williams, we already have evidence on the occasion when the subpoena was served. From information buried in your database with the other million bytes of information, your agency knew that Salas was coming back into the country. But you, Mr Williams, and you, Mr Price, and you, Mr Wilden, and you, Mr Chandler, and you, Ms Poidevin, would never have known, because there was no flag on him.

Senator RICE:  No red flag.

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  No flag, so you would not have known. Had the subpoena not been issued, there is every real chance—unless you want to give me evidence to the contrary—that Captain Salas would have made his way in, had his couple of days around port and left this nation without you ever having consciously known he was there. Does someone want to contradict me on this occasion? We know the subpoena prompted you to go to a keyboard—'Salas is here. We'll go and serve the subpoena.' But, without that, he was not in your detective's diary, he was not flagged, he was not in a bring-up system.

CHAIR: I am going to add something here.

Senator O'SULLIVAN:  Just don't let them off the hook for this.

CHAIR: No, I am not letting them off the hook. But this may become very helpful, Senator O'Sullivan. Captain Salas, after the third death in Japan, was transferred to an Australian FOC coastal tanker. Are you aware of that? You are. There is nod there. You said Captain Salas and the other crew were placed on a watch list or something like that. You had them all on that. But Captain Salas was able to remain in Australia on his dedicated domestic ship for nine months on a crew visa while he was a person of interest in the inquest and identified with gun issues. Am I wrong there?

Mr Wilden : I would have to check that last detail—

CHAIR: I am not wrong.

Mr Wilden : I do not have that off the top of my head.

CHAIR: Nine months, Senator O'Sullivan.

Mr Wilden : To perhaps try to assist, I think we are straying in and out of different lanes here about how the department does its business. I spoke earlier about preparing a chronology for the committee. As part of that chronology, we will go to these issues around at what point we were using—if you like—an alert list, which is a very formal mechanism where we have been advised we want to do things, versus intel, which is live information that we manage for anyone coming in and out. We will explain, as part of that chronology, the actions we took at each stage and what we were relying on, because I just think we might be bouncing across each other.

CHAIR: I will make it easier for you, Mr Wilden. What about, with my fellow senators here, we give you two weeks for the questions on notice, which is normal—27 June. So you take that back. But bear in mind—and, just so you are very clear, you are going to put your chronology out to us—if Owen Jacques had not flown at his expense from the Sunshine Coast to Sydney because he was following the coronial inquest and then, at the smoko break, walked up to, I think, the prosecutor at the time and said, 'Hey, this bloke's in Gladstone or coming in today or tomorrow.' If he had not said that, Captain Salas, by your own admission, the very next or the day afterwards, would have been on the plane and gone.

Mr Wilden : We will address that.

MTF? - Definitely, when I can get my hands on yesterday's Hansard...P2  Tongue

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