Tim Wil­son.

The Saturday Paper - - The Week / Contents - Richard Ack­land

An­drew Sci­p­i­one. John Lyons, Sylvie Le Clezio, Nick Xenophon and Al­bert Dadon. Ge­of­frey Wat­son and Gladys Bere­jik­lian.

In the lat­est in­stal­ment of his blog, Free­dom Boy Wil­son, MP, has posted an ar­ti­cle called “My Book­shelf”.

It turns out not to be a paean to his philoso­pher-men­tor Book­shelves Bran­dis, but an en­counter with the books that have put his thoughts “onto clear tracks”.

He nom­i­nates Mil­ton Fried­man’s Cap­i­tal­ism and Free­dom, Pig Iron Bob’s Af­ter­noon Light, Friedrich von Hayek’s The Road to Serf­dom, sev­eral vol­umes on Ron­ald Rea­gan, and Or­well’s An­i­mal Farm and 1984.

The uni­fy­ing theme of these un­sur­pris­ing choices is that they ex­tol the virtues of in­di­vid­u­al­ism over “cen­tralised con­trol”, and mar­kets as the ba­sis of free­dom.

As Wil­son puts it so in­deli­bly: “Peo­ple vote once ev­ery three years in fed­eral elec­tions but they vote ev­ery minute when they con­sume things. Its [sic] ef­fi­cient in terms of the al­lo­ca­tion of re­sources but also en­vi­ron­men­tally ben­e­fi­cial be­cause we do things like put a price on waste.”

How’s that for a “clear track”? Wil­son is among the five “rebel” mem­bers of the Nasty Party, who on the is­sue of same-sex mar­riage, are boldly not cross­ing the floor, just yet.

Hitch­ing post poll

How do you think the SSM postal vote will go with peo­ple un­der 40, who have never re­ceived or sent a let­ter in their lives?

Gen Ys have trou­ble find­ing a stamp or lo­cat­ing a post­box, and there is the wider con­cern of en­trust­ing a vote to Aus­tralia Post, whose di­rec­tors waved through eye-wa­ter­ing amounts of money for Ahmed Fa­hour, the re­cently de­parted CEO, and blithely flogged off for a bar­gain price the great Vic­to­rian Ital­ianate Re­nais­sance GPO build­ing in Syd­ney’s Martin Place.

Gough Whit­lam in 1974 com­mis­sioned a Bureau of Statis­tics poll to test pub­lic opinion on the na­tional an­them. It sam­pled about 60,000 peo­ple through­out the land, 18 years and over, and was con­ducted as part of the bureau’s reg­u­lar na­tional house­hold sur­vey.

PM Trum­ble put the cost of the non-bind­ing, vol­un­tary postal vote at $122 mil­lion, whereas the 1974 an­them poll and pro­cess­ing was done for $9500. Why spend a lousy $9500 when we can spend more than $100 mil­lion for some­thing that Nasty and Cock­ies Cor­ner MPs will do any­thing not to de­bate?

For the record, in the 1974 poll “Ad­vance Aus­tralia Fair” was sup­ported by 52.7 per cent of the women polled and 50 per cent of the men.

Af­ter “Waltz­ing Matilda”, “Song of Aus­tralia” came in a poor third (14.8 per cent women and 12.3 per cent men).

Scippy screen time

Gad­fly was trapped on one of those end­less IKEA path­ways to con­sumer en­gorge­ment when we ran into re­tired NSW po­lice chief An­drew Sci­p­i­one in the TV de­part­ment. He’s look­ing tanned and re­laxed af­ter his gru­elling years as com­mis­sioner of the wal­lop­ers.

There seemed to be a de­bate go­ing on with Mrs Scippy about whether to go for the large or the su­per-large screen.

Pyne nee­dles and He­bron col­lid­ing

A crowd of rep­tiles and as­sorted celebs turned up at Berkelouw’s for olives and dips and the launch of John Lyons and Sylvie Le Clezio’s book Bal­cony over Jerusalem – a brac­ing ac­count of their time re­port­ing from the Mid­dle East.

The launch bap­tism was per­formed by Sen­a­tor Nick Xenophon, who made a stir­ring speech in which he said that many of his col­leagues in par­lia­ment aren’t so in­ter­ested in see­ing the op­pres­sion of the oc­cu­pied Pales­tini­ans but in­stead “seem mes­merised by the spon­sored ban­quets at the mag­nif­i­cent King David Ho­tel”.

MPs and sen­a­tors have been guests of Mel­bourne prop­erty man Al­bert Dadon, who has hosted Aus­tralia–Is­rael di­a­logues. Sen­a­tor Nick said that Poo­dles Pyne was on one of the ban­quet tours and “on a whim” ac­cepted a free side trip to Morocco. In fact, Poo­dles was a stu­dent of Nick’s at the Univer­sity of South Aus­tralia, where he “taught him ev­ery­thing he doesn’t know”.

The book says that Lyons and Le Clezio ac­com­pa­nied Dadon to He­bron, and even though the busi­ness­man had hosted dozens of con­fer­ences about Is­rael, “it was clear that he had never ex­pe­ri­enced the re­al­ity of the oc­cu­pa­tion”.

Af­ter walk­ing around for a bit, Dadon said he wanted to leave, and is re­ported to have said: “I’m up­set that this is be­ing done in my name … What I saw that day was not Jewish.”

Sen­a­tor Nick said, “It is no ac­ci­dent that most Aus­tralian mem­bers of par­lia­ment never go to He­bron”, which he did and ob­served that this is the place where the oc­cu­pa­tion is car­ried out with no “il­lu­sions”.

Xenophon added that to make mat­ters more mem­o­rable he went to Is­rael and Pales­tine at his own ex­pense, us­ing a Greek pass­port.

Case for fed ICAC

Stand by for a stel­lar line-up of tal­ent next Thurs­day at Par­lia­ment House, Can­berra, to dis­cuss “the case for a fed­eral an­ticor­rup­tion com­mis­sion”.

In­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ists, lawyers, cross­bench sen­a­tors and aca­demics are lock­ing horns on a topic that seems a no-brainer. Polls show sup­port run­ning at above 80 per cent for a fed­eral ICAC. Like mar­riage equal­ity, it’s an is­sue where the pub­lic is out in front of many of the politi­cians.

Syd­ney silk Ge­of­frey Wat­son is to de­liver Thurs­day’s key­note ad­dress. He’s called it “The Dark­est Cor­ners”, and mounts a com­pelling case for a fed­eral in­tegrity com­mis­sion, par­tic­u­larly as a sur­vey last year showed 3000 fed­eral pub­lic ser­vants re­ported wit­ness­ing con­duct by their col­leagues that in­cluded nepo­tism, black­mail, bribery, fraud and col­lu­sion with crim­i­nals.

Serendip­i­tously, the up­dated ICAC leg­is­la­tion in NSW took ef­fect on Mon­day, only eight months af­ter the gov­ern­ment rammed the amend­ments through par­lia­ment. Premier Gladys Bere­jik­lian said her gov­ern­ment had “zero tol­er­ance” for cor­rup­tion, while at the same time cutting ICAC’s bud­get and putting in place trip-wires that make it more dif­fi­cult to hold pub­lic in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Fox takes Sky bid down a rab­bit hole

Will Lord Moloch’s bid for Bri­tain’s pay TV ser­vice, Sky, go down the lava­tory?

The ghastly em­pire, which the wiz­ened mogul runs with an iron claw, has done it­self no favours by col­lud­ing with the White House in a fake news story broad­cast on his Faaax net­work.

The breath­less lie be­ing ped­dled was that Demo­cratic Party dig­i­tal op­er­a­tive Seth Rich was re­spon­si­ble for leak­ing the emails from party HQ that were re­leased by Wik­iLeaks dur­ing the 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

Fur­ther, it was im­plied Rich was mur­dered one dark night on his way home by Clin­ton loy­al­ists as pay­back for the leak.

The Pussy Grab­ber him­self, as well as his for­mer flack mer­chant Sean Spicer, were given ad­vance no­tice of the story by the Fox News peo­ple, with gen­eral agree­ment that it was a won­der­ful way to dis­tract at­ten­tion from the Rus­sia con­nec­tion.

Now the Sky takeover bid is fur­ther de­layed as the Poms are hav­ing an­other look at Moloch and his fam­ily’s suit­abil­ity to snaf­fle the re­main­ing 61 per cent of the shares they don’t al­ready con­trol.

For­mer Washington homi­cide de­tec­tive Rod Wheeler is su­ing Fox News, claim­ing a re­porter made up and put false quotes in his mouth to bol­ster the Seth Rich con­spir­acy story. Quelle sur­prise.

The fit­ness and pro­pri­ety of this phone hack­ing, sex mo­lest­ing, fake news or­gan­i­sa­tion should be a key el­e­ment against giv­ing it a big­ger chunk of the pie if Aus­tralia’s cross-me­dia own­er­ship laws are wa­tered down.

Trum­pette #34

For pussy grab­bers and oral self­grat­i­fi­ca­tion ath­letes, fak­ery knows no lim­its. There’s Pres­i­dent Trump busily tweet­ing away to his 35.4 mil­lion fol­low­ers, when Twit­ter Au­dit says only 55 per cent of his fol­low­ers are real ac­counts. That means about 15 mil­lion of his Twit­terati are bots or fakes.

Among his in­flated on­line en­thu­si­asts was an ac­count called @ Protrump45 us­ing the name “Ni­cole”. Ni­cole had kindly tweeted just as the pres­i­dent was em­bark­ing on his 17-day hol­i­day, “Trump work­ing hard for the Amer­i­can peo­ple … thanks.”

Trump fired back: “Thank you Ni­cole!” Ni­cole had a fake or stolen iden­tity as Ni­cole Mincey, a young black pro-Trump ac­tivist who sold Trumpem­bla­zoned tat on­line. The iden­tity photo was of a model stolen from an­other site. @Protrump45 was a bot and Ms Mincey wasn’t a real per­son. Twit­ter has re­moved the ac­count.

So it’s com­fort­ing for “the lo­cal milk peo­ple” and oth­ers to know half Don­ald’s Twit­ter fol­low­ers are imag­i­nary and he is busily re­ply­ing to non-ex­is­tent peo­ple.

As he re­peat­edly re­minds fol­low­ers who are func­tion­ing human be­ings, it’s CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, the NY Times and WAPO who ped­dle #fak­e­news. Thank god for Fox and Trump’s own “real news” show, broad­cast via Face­book and cre­ated

• by the wife of his gorm­less son, Eric.

RICHARD ACK­LAND is the publisher of Jus­tinian. He is The Satur­day Pa­per’s di­ari­s­tat-large and le­gal af­fairs ed­i­tor.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.