Fitzgibbon – first Rudd minister to fall?

Will Joel Fitzgibbon be the first minister in the Rudd government to fall on his sword?

Tonight he has said that he did in fact receive gifts from Helen Liu. This morning a spokesperson said:

The minister has not accepted any gifts that would require a declaration on the members’ interest register.

It turns out he did accept gifts that fall under the declaration guidelines and tonight he has said:

I have taken immediate steps to declare this sponsored travel to the clerk of registrar of members’ interests.

These trips were paid for by Ms Helen Liu either personally or through her associated commercial interest. I failed to disclose those trips. This was a mistake and for that I apologise.

Sorry Minister. I think it is time to go.

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99 Responses

  1. He’s toast.

  2. Yes, let’s hope Joel Fitzgibbon doesn’t go down the path of so many Ministers who set bad examples & stayed on to the detriment of their Party & their own reputation…& the Country as a whole of course:

    In 2003 Downer was accused of not passing on intelligence reports he received before the 2002 Bali bombings. He countered that the warnings were not specific enough to warrant their further release to the Australian public.

    In August 2006, it was claimed by a former weapons inspector Dr John Gee, that Downer had in 2004 suppressed information that the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was fundamentally flawed.

    In March 2006 said the Australian Government opposed selling uranium to India. Downer is quoted as saying “Australia had no plans to change a policy which rules out uranium sales to countries like India which have not signed the UN’s nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).” Following the conclusion of the US-India nuclear agreement the Australian Government said it would export uranium to civil nuclear facilities in India subject to several conditions one of which was the conclusion of a bilateral safeguards agreement.

    In April 2006 he appeared before the Cole Inquiry regarding the Iraq oil for food scandal and testified that he was ignorant of the kickbacks paid to the Iraq government, despite claims by the Opposition Labor Party that several warnings that had been received by his department from various sources.

    In September 2007, on the sidelines of the 2007 APEC in Sydney, Downer indicated that Australia plans to launch bilateral ministerial-level security talks with the People’s Republic of China.

    Downer also stated, “China is a good partner of Australia. Whatever the differences there are between us in terms of our political systems, human rights issues, China is a very important part of the strategic architecture, the security architecture of the Asia-Pacific region and it’s important we have good forums to discuss any issues of that kind with them.”

    In 2005 Australian members of the spiritual group Falun Gong launched action against Downer in the ACT Supreme Court alleging that his department has unfairly limited their FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.

    (Wikipedia)

    Ya know, this relationship some pollies have w/ China (sweeping eh?) can be so troubling. Unlike the one w/ the UAE, America etc…

    My Dad always said: “it’s usually about the money in the long run.”

    8)
    N’

  3. Well I reckon he should have declared the trips.

    Whether it’s a hangin’ offense to fail to do so, I’ll leave to others to determine.

    In regards to his having a “close family friend” who has “close ties to Beijing” (or Washington, or London, or whatever), Since when has one’s family friendships been a determing factor for public office?

    I seem to recall a short little bastard who, as a recent Aussie PM, had his nose so-far-up a certain US President’s backside that you couldn’t tell where one ended and the other began. Talk about a “close friendship”.

    As for his being “disgracefully incompetent” as alleged by Turnbull, well I suppose he’s gotta say something to sound relevant, although it would be better if that something made sense.

    If you look-up “disgracefully incompetent” in the Shorter Oxford, there’s gotta be a picture of Downer, hasn’t there? As nasking points-out above, he pretty-well defines the term.

    And compared to someone like that, Fitzgibbon’s a rocket scientist.

  4. Ummm, nope. Not having my NLP buttons pressed by a thinly-veiled Anti-China agenda. If anyone wanted to discuss why politicians of any and all sorts should not be going on subsidised ‘study tours’ at all, except on the public purse and for public business, and not just get to sign a little register or be spanked for not signing it, that would perhaps be a useful thing.

  5. And let me say the reason I think he should resign is not because of his relationship to Helen Liu, but because I feel that ministers have an obligation to correctly declare on the register. Just like we demanded that coalition ministers should resign.

  6. I agree joni

    We were told that this government would be different from the last one, but, if they do not set a precedent about this sort of offense, then we will be in for much of the same.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t they make a big deal about declaring interests both in the run up to the election, and in the weeks following their victory.

    You cannot tell me that he ‘forgot’ about something like being paid for a trip overseas…..twice??

    By by fitzy

  7. More interested in who is doing the leaking and why, Joni. Going on holidays with a family friend twice years ago is hardly topical.

  8. Kevin Rudd is much in demand in the US because of his good relationship and understanding of China. Perhaps more Western politician should be taking trips there.

    Incidentally is Helen Liu an Australian citizen? The media refer to her as Chinese.

  9. Yes Legion, that is not the issue, failing to declare something which could be construed as a favour is topical.

    And they are presently calling for accountability of CEO’s. Set the example, and others will follow (well, so goes the theory)

  10. Legion

    Wasn’t it Nelson who said that the culture of defence made it hard for a minister to get things done? And maybe Fitzgibbon is stirring things up too much – but leaks aside – the reason (IMHO) that he should resign is as Tom R said – that they made a number of coalition ministers resign over seemingly trivial matters and therefore he should go.

    And I need to declare something on the blogocrats register – my brother is a friend of Joel’s and finds him a passionate and effective local member.

  11. And why do I keep singing:

    # Do… do… do… the Fitzzy Gibbon – oo oo oooo #

  12. I think there are two major issues in this story:

    1. Undeclared Favours:
    Fitzgibbon should resign over this. Just as we would all call for the head of a Coalition MP were he dishonest, so too do I call foul when a Labour MP falls from grace. In this case, the issue of travelling overseas on someone elses dime is not a big issue (especially given the long-term family friendship); but not declaring it is a big issue, and should have big consequences.

    2. Defence Discrediting a Minister:
    Once Fitzgibbon resigns, Rudd should bring in someone equally hard-nosed to drive through the same reform in the Defence Dept. The military serves a civilian government and the only chance they should get to choose which one is at the electoral box. Taking out ministers they don’t like is a very bad action that should not be condoned.

  13. BT

    And you know who I reckon would be good for the new minister – Belinda Neal. “Don’t you know who I am?” LOL

    Seriously – someone like Sen Faulkner would be great as the minister.

  14. Yes, my local member has the reputation and looks of a pit bull (did I just say that? Yes, yes I think I did *evil grin*). However, Belinda Neal would be ground into a fine paste by the Defence department – she simply hasn’t got the brains to take on a department gone rogue.

    I’d give you John Faulkner, but (and I I know this shows my ignorance) doesn’t the minister have to be from the House of Reps?

  15. BT – just an aside – you can get an evil or twisted emoticon by using the following (just remove the space between the colon and the word.

    👿 = : evil :
    😈 = : twisted :

  16. Ah, thanks – didn’t know they were enabled in this blog 🙂 Much appreciated

  17. Looks like the Opposition are doing their utmost to be relevant in the current debacle: Opposition wants Fitzgibbon’s head

    I can think of a number of things the Opposition wants but isn’t likely to get (decent polls, people to just “understand WorkChoices is for their own good”, etc). However, on this one they might get their way (as the heat is being piled on by media devoid of real political battles). The best thing they could do if/when Fitzgibbons “gracefully resigns” would be to keep their mouth shut. They just spoil any illusion of competency when they crow like roosters over small victories.

  18. I’ve got a lot of mates. None of them has ever funded an overseas trip for me. This is what I simply don’t get. I don’t care that pollies get some perks, but why is this lady buying plane tickets for her mate? I’m not sure yet whether he should be sacked, there should certainly be some sort of reshuffle because his relationship with his department is now untenable, but this “paid for” flights thing certainly warrants a close look. Rudd has done well here, from what I can tell. You shouldn’t just sack a Minister just because everyone is calling for it.

  19. Rudd and Fitzgibbon are bound to be glad that parliament is in recess. Like it or not parliamentarians regularly take trips overseas at the expense of private individuals or companies.

  20. I have been half waiting for this topic to come up. I knew it, knew it that as soon as Fitzgibbon started making waves that he could be in deep poo.

    One of the worst moves by the Rudd government was moving Greg Combet from Defence Procurement to assist Penny Wong. Ok, I can see the logic behind this but this meant that Fitzgibbon was having to fend off the monkeys in defence all by his lonesome.

  21. I think a lot of people miss the real issue – when asked if he had received an Italian Suit and other gifts from the lady, his initial response was to deny it and tell lies. That alone should be enough for him to resign. The rest can be debated for ever but the lies are fact.

  22. The Defence department is a complete mess. And Neil James [Australian Defence Association] stated it precisely last night (sorry, I can’t find a link). Neil James isn’t exactly known for any leftie leanings.

    Recent comment is at: http://www.ada.asn.au/LatestComment.htm

  23. “when asked if he had received an Italian Suit and other gifts from the lady…”

    Maybe he’s the Manchurian Suit Candidate.

    For the price of a Zegna, The Dreaded Chicoms have finally got someone who will give them all our vital Defence secrets.

    Like where Agus Houston keeps that bottle of Gilbeys hidden in his office.

  24. Sorry, took a tipple myself. That should be Angus Houston, not Agus.

  25. Kevin – “Like it or not parliamentarians regularly take trips overseas at the expense of private individuals or companies.”

    I’d imagine they’d also normally own up to this funding, to prevent any appearance of petty bribery or influence peddling.

    Min – “this meant that Fitzgibbon was having to fend off the monkeys in defence all by his lonesome.”

    So do you think his action and his lack of truthfulness should be excused?

  26. If the last government was still in and a minister LIED people here would be outraged instead of deflecting blame by stating that Downer did it too, so that makes it alright?

    It has become patently obvious this government is not really any better than the last lot but the difference is they wear the red Guernsey so they are receiving blind support!

    I find it quite amusing that there has not been one mention in regards to that covert meeting between the PM and the Chinese Minister (or whatever he is) for Propaganda just before the PM flew off to do their bidding.

    Yet again, if it was the last government there would have been outrage here.

    Double standards???

  27. scaper and Barge

    I agree wholeheartedly

    He lied, sack him.

  28. “there has not been one mention in regards to that covert meeting between the PM and the Chinese Minister (or whatever he is) for Propaganda just before the PM flew off to do their bidding.’

    Oh for Gawd’s sake Scapes. Flying-off to do their bidding? As Tom might say: Where’s your evidence for that?

    Do try and cool-off a bit.

    The last time the Conservatives got so worked-up about an Aussie Labor PM talking to the Chicom leadership, it kinda blew-up in their faces a week or so later when the US President of the time (one Richard Milhous Nixon) announced that he too was gonna have a chat with the same mob of Godless Commies.

    Of course, once Nixon made his announcement the hysterical criticisims levelled at Gough by the Libs of the time disappeared faster than an 18 gallon keg at a wharfie’s picnic.

  29. No Tom. I agree that Fitzgibbon is in deep poo, however and likewise I would not like a disfunctional Defence Department to be ‘rewarded’.

    And after all, this is where it all started, Fitzgibbon investigating all the rorts.

  30. I, for one, welcome our new Chinese overlords. If they should all be so generous as that one-woman fifth-column operating under an Australian flag of convenience, Mata Hari Liu, so much the better. We’ll have them under the beds, in the beds, and making all the tres chic silk sheet sets, and the Pacific Brands underwear, too, before we’re done. Up with Chino Tinto and down with the JSF!

  31. Whoops..the addendum was supposed to be: You show the public ours and we’ll show ’em yours.

  32. Mata Hari Liu. lol legion

  33. Scaper

    What do you mean “the difference is they wear the red Guernsey so they are receiving blind support”.

    I and others have said that he should go.

    What more can we say?

  34. scaper…, on March 27th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Do you think we have short memories or something, Scaper? Do you think we don’t remember as far back as, oh, last year when a bunch of whiners from the Opposition side of the bench had their snouts up front companies’ ‘cultural exchange’ fundaments when they were meant to be IN PARLIAMENT. At least Joel had the good grace to go on his ‘cultural exchange’ tours on Parliamentary AND Australian public holidays, not on the taxpayers’ time. Try to pretend that some of us are not quite blind, if somewhat one-eyed, and care more about Joel getting on with the job he’s paid to do, including the work on the 20 year blueprint for Defence post a very much resisted external audit, than xenophobic beat-ups.

  35. I understand your reluctance Min, and, I hope a replacement continues with what has been started.

    But no matter how this started (and can you believe a minister is going to cause this much of a stir in a department and still have something as obvious as this in his closet)

    He has lost his position. How can he try and reform a department when he himself is in bad need of reform (not the fact that he took a holiday, the fact that he did not disclose it, and then lied about it)

    Hypocritical springs to mind.

  36. I knew it, knew it, knew it. Grrrr (Min rampant). Disfunctional Defence Department gets itself off the hook via a major distraction. High Fives all round.

    The Defence Department is a complete MESS. The only one who came close to a fix was Big Kim. None of the Liberal Defence Ministers came close.

    Examples of the messes are: only 1 submarine is able to be put to sea at any one time, only 2 patrol boats out of Cairns are able to be put to sea at any one time (not sure about Darwin but similar). And that’s what we have standing between us and a major security threat.

    And yet we have the Big Brass raving on about spending squillions on funky new hardware..pity that there’s no one to man ’em.

  37. That should have read ‘He has lost his position of integrity’ 😦

  38. Tom R, on March 27th, 2009 at 1:25 pm Said:
    I understand your reluctance Min, and, I hope a replacement continues with what has been started.

    Tom R, I would certainly appreciate you opinion. If Fitzgibbon can’t do it..what about a promotion for Combet? He has the experience working with enlisted personnel and liasing with management, just the ticket for Defence.

  39. Now, now, Min. Get your priorities right. Implementing the recommendations of a major review on Defence and prosecuting a war in Afghanistan is far less important than pillorying a man for omitting two, three-day holiday jaunts from back in 2005 and 2002. It’s about integrity; not of the Defence Department, or Government and good governance, but the relationship owed between all Australians and a Minister who serves them; and I, for one, think the public deserves the head on a platter of the man who has spent the last year or so getting abreast of all the issues and petty intrigues.

  40. B.Tolputt, on March 27th, 2009 at 8:51 am Said:

    What you said.

    I will add that I would have no problem with JF getting a Ministerial position in the future after he has done his time on the backbench for his failures to disclose.

  41. I see he returned the suit. Why? I didn’t know Lowes gave refunds.

  42. Legion – “At least Joel had the good grace to go on his ‘cultural exchange’ tours on Parliamentary AND Australian public holidays, not on the taxpayers’ time.”

    So he went on a “holiday” at the expense of a rich person and this is better? He was then untruthful about this.

    Do you think this should be accepted?

  43. I suspect I’d be inclined to accept Fitzgibbon’s explanation somewhat reluctantly, and also endorse Rudd’s heightened expectations for future behaviour. I guess it’d be a line call as between whether it was an instant dismissal occasion or one for a warning, much like any other workplace. It’s also something for Rudd to cipher, given it will cost some political capital; how important does Rudd think it is that Fitzgibbon remains in position and gets on with the job?

  44. Legion, on March 27th, 2009 at 1:40 pm Said:… I, for one, think the public deserves the head on a platter of the man who has spent the last year or so getting abreast of all the issues and petty intrigues…

    If Fitzgibbon came even close to know the full extent of THE MESS then he would have been doing well.

    You have The Military who are supposed to be non-political (but Howard dragged them into it and there is still a lot of underlying resentment re Children Overboard) – but then you have Outsourcing to civilians where the military instead of getting easy answers have to sit on the phone for 2 hours in order to work out why their rental assistance has been missing from the bank account for the past 2 months (think of Telstra and you have it). Above is just one example of THE MESS.

  45. Legion – “I guess it’d be a line call as between whether it was an instant dismissal occasion or one for a warning,”

    I’m sure Evan is familiar with the saying “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept”.

    I think Rudd would be unwise to accept this standard, he minister accepted a gift that should have been disclosed, and he then sought to be less than honest with the public.

    Rudd has to either rigorously enforce a high standard, or drift into accepting lower ones.

  46. Yep sack the liar, then charge him for fraud. About time these pollies didnt live above the law. Hope an example is made of him and others from here on in.

    Min
    A collins sub can be baught privately for around $20,000,000. These days the army cuts back so much a toyota would provide better cover in a battle field.

  47. Tom of Melbourne, on March 27th, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Indeed; but your initial question was of me, and I can’t answer for Rudd or any other member of the public.

  48. Precisely Aqua..while there is all this fluffing around about a minister there is an entirely disfunctional Defence organisation.

    Example: how many contractors do the Defence Department now have to employ due to failure to meet recruitment targets for the past 10 years?

    But this isn’t nearly as exciting as a wee bit of titilation about a Minister and a Chinese lady is it. And this is what everyone will be concentrating on.

  49. Min, on March 27th, 2009 at 2:50 pm Said:

    But this isn’t nearly as exciting as a wee bit of titilation about a Minister and a Chinese lady is it. And this is what everyone will be concentrating on.

    Exactly Min, and this is what makes his position now untenable (IMHO)

    Too easy to discredit him.

    They are going to need somebody else to do it know I think ,although it looks like Rudd is sinking his feet in, mores the pity.

    Tony Zappia for minister?? 🙂

  50. Tom R..refer to the top part of the question..there is an entirely disfunctional Defence organisation.

    Fitzgibbon is but a minister, there is a HUGE, GIGANTIC AND DISFUNCTIONAL organisation out there which is the important thing! (and a couple of other exclamation marks to kick on with).

  51. Re the titilation bit Tom R. Newspapers of course know what pushes button in order to get some people all hot and sweaty. One just has to say Chinese lady even though it’s a family relationship via Joel’s father and this family spanning over 16 years.

    I guess that everyone should immediately sever all ties with anyone with slanty eyes.

  52. Min you seem quite accepting of a politician that declines to tell the truth.

    You were entirely willing to accept that Rudd could decline to tell the truth about his recollections … because he would have been asked annoying questions if he had owned.

    You now think that a politician, whose first inclination was to not tell the truth, should be excused because it would otherwise be inconvenient.

    Really Min, are you willing to accept this lack of candour in all politicians?

  53. …owned up

  54. Yes, I understand that Min, but it has been like this for much of the previous decade.

    I would hope that our government is cpapable of replacing someone ‘on the run’ so to speak.

    As I see it, the organization will remain dysfunctional longer as long as there is a minister with whom they can keep throwing up stories like this with. Even if they just keep recycling this story.

  55. You seem very certain about the truth, Tom. What guilty mind exactly is Fitzgibbon meant to have IF one accepts his explanation? What are your thoughts on this hard and fast truth if the explanation were true?

  56. Min, I agree that the bit about ‘Chinese lady’ is low, and entirely unwarrented. But hte fact remains, he has done something wrong in this regard (not disclosing the travel) which leaves the door open for continued exposure to this kind of gutter press.

    This is what I think will undermine his ability to successfully do his job.

    Which is unfortunate, as I thought he was doing quite well in a difficult position.

  57. “everyone should immediately sever all ties with anyone with slanty eyes” 😯

    give up the boyf? never!

  58. joni, on March 27th, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    I’m not even beginning to imagine what you and the bf might be up to which might involve the use of ties; although, the idea of starting a new ‘cropped’ tie fad is intriguing.

  59. Legion – LOL

    Sticks and stones may break my bones,
    but whips and chains/ties excite me.

  60. Legion – I think most people became quite tired of the political double speak, and distortion of the previous government.

    Most would wish this government to set a higher standard, and maintain that standard even under difficult circumstances, that after all is what characterises ethics.

    If people wish to accept a lower standard of ministerial honesty, that’s fine. But best they don’t bother to yack on about ethical standards in the future.

  61. Tom of Melbourne, on March 27th, 2009 at 3:21 pm Said:
    Min you seem quite accepting of a politician that declines to tell the truth.

    Did I say this? No of course I didn’t. My original post at 12.55 was: No Tom. I agree that Fitzgibbon is in deep poo, however and likewise I would not like a disfunctional Defence Department to be ‘rewarded’.

    My current upset is that a VERY DISFUNCTIONAL DEFENCE DEPARTMENT might get away with it due this ‘diversion’. This is not to say that the issue re Fitzgibbon isn’t a sacking offence, just that the concentration on Fitzgibbon gets High Fives from a number of people in the Defence Organisation (my thoughts are civilian rather than military).

  62. Indeed, that is why I posed a potential dichotomy between two kinds of ‘ethics’ and a certain kind of justice which flows through and from them…

    In Stage five (social contract driven), individuals are viewed as holding different opinions and values. Similarly, laws are regarded as social contracts rather than rigid dictums. Those which do not promote the general welfare should be changed when necessary to meet “the greatest good for the greatest number of people”.[8] This is achieved through majority decision, and inevitable compromise. Thus democratic government is ostensibly based on stage five reasoning.

    In Stage four (authority and social order obedience driven), it is important to obey laws, dictums and social conventions because of their importance in maintaining a functioning society. Moral reasoning in stage four is thus beyond the need for individual approval exhibited in stage three; society must learn to transcend individual needs. A central ideal or ideals often prescribe what is right and wrong, such as in the case of fundamentalism. If one person violates a law, perhaps everyone would—thus there is an obligation and a duty to uphold laws and rules. When someone does violate a law, it is morally wrong; culpability is thus a significant factor in this stage as it separates the bad domains from the good ones. Most active members of society remain at stage four, where morality is still predominantly dictated by an outside force.

  63. Fine Min, then we agree that he should be cut. Leave him on the backbench for a year.

    Right now give Chris Bowen a go at defence. He’s tough enough, ambitious and smart.

  64. Clearly Fitzgibbon should have declared these ‘interests’ years ago not because they are legally required (they aren’t), but because they are part of the political convention.

    All Ministers would have warned by Rudd to ensure that their Registers were accurate and kept up-to-date. Fitzgibbon hadn’t disclosed this interest for years and perhaps thought a late disclosure would also draw the flies. Bad call.

    Rudd is now caught here between a rock and a hard place. Sacking Fitzgibbon would signal that operatives in the Department had won the day. That would be intolerable, given that those same operatives probably acted illegally. Patrick Walters points out:

    However, it is inconceivable DSD would do anything to assist a covert probe into the minister without an ASIO warrant. DSD operates on a tight rein and its operations are regularly reviewed by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.

    What is more likely in this case is that a defence intelligence officer or someone from DSD or DSA decided to conduct their own unauthorised investigation.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25248984-5017272,00.html

    Well we’ve been assured that there was no ASIO warrant. It was probably some Inspector Clouseau type who decided to help out and didn’t realise the consequence of his/her actions. I suspect the person(s) is about to find out.

    Rudd should but can’t sack. He will have to wear the heat.

  65. Evan, are you serious when you enquire what evidence I have to back my statement that the PM is doing China’s bidding???

    Joni, fair enough…I believe this government is getting too much of a free ride, especially by the MSM…boy, I could let on the extent here but that will do me no favour so I will keep it to myself.

  66. “but that will do me no favour so I will keep it to myself.”

    …a man in the know and close to the powerful.

  67. Tom, And did a hammy 3/4 time…whoops wrong thread.

  68. Evan, on March 27th, 2009 at 12:52 pm Said:
    “The last time the Conservatives got so worked-up about an Aussie Labor PM talking to the Chicom leadership, it kinda blew-up in their faces a week or so later when the US President of the time (one Richard Milhous Nixon) announced that he too was gonna have a chat with the same mob of Godless Commies.”

    Of course it’s been well reported in the Australian MSM that Malcolm Turnbull also met with Li Changchun during his recent visit. /sarc>
    Li Changchun, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Monday called on China and Australia to increase exchanges between young politicians of the two countries.

    Li, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks during his meeting with Malcolm Turnbull, leader of the Liberal Party, now the opposition party.

    Li said that inter-party exchanges constituted an important part of state-to-state ties, noting that he made positive remarks for the role played by the Liberal Party when it was the ruling party.

    Turnbull said his party attached high importance to Sino-Australian ties either as ruling or as opposition party. He highly spoke of the measures taken by China to mitigate the adverse effect of the financial crisis and pledged to make continuous efforts for the growth of bilateral ties.

  69. One of these years I’ll get the hang of this linking thingy:
    http://www.china.org.cn/international/2009-03/23/content_17488142.htm

  70. scaper…, on March 27th, 2009 at 5:25 pm Said

    boy, I could let on the extent here

    Blogocrats answer to Walter Mitty.

  71. Go on…give it to me as I need a a bit of shit so I can give away blogging.

    I’m really a nobody you know…not one politician has ever heard of me or my silly fantasy either.

    I’ve got no friends in the media and get my facts from old mags in the doctor’s surgery whilst waiting for colonic irrigation fed through the mouth!

    That should make you happy.

  72. Feel better now scaper..?

    We luv you..and everything you dooo…

    can’t you see it’s truuuuueee…

    We all luvs yooouuuuuu…!

  73. Reb, blogging has become a problem…I thought I was strong (gave up drinking) but I can’t beat this thing!

    I’m serious!

  74. “That should make you happy.”

    No, I want to hear more about botox, and what happened at the top secret, highly confidential meeting you had with Rupert Murdoch and Kevin Rudd.

  75. Scaper,

    Yeah, I remember you saying you had given up drinking a few days ago. Well done. That’s a tough call.

    I’ve cut back a lot and just limit myself to weekends. Actually I’ve really just grown bored with drinking.

    Funnily enough my father quit drinking at exactly the same age as I am now, which I reckon supports the idea that “it’s in the genes”.

    Anyway, is “blogging” really that bad? It doesn’t do your health any harm. But then if it’s affecting your relationships, perhaps it could be a problem.

    I guess blogging can become addictive, just like people become addicted to eBay…

    Anyway, time for another glass of red.

  76. Jeesus Tom,

    Here I am trying to be nice to Scaper and you have to go ahead and bring up the botox. 🙄

    Next it’ll be his wife’s tits.

    Can’t you leave well enough alone….?

    🙄

  77. Scaper,

    Why not write a thread about your addiction? It might be cathartic for you, and could help some others of us who spend more time arguing with our imaginary friends than we think is good for us.

    🙄

  78. Don’t you mean imaginary enemies, Tony..?

  79. Ahem, of course you’re right, Reb. Enemies!

  80. Reb – “Here I am trying to be nice…”

    How quaint. I’ll try it one day, but not here.

    I want to know more about top secret meetings, more about artificial enhancemenst, HOT wives!!

  81. Professor Clive Williams from ANU warns:

    “there are dangers in powerful Australians having links to people close to the Chinese Government.

    “China is very adept at manipulating people and one of the things that they often do is to get people to visit China and during the visit they’ll try and compromise them”
    (ABC on-line)

    Dangerous times…

    before we know it our Aussie kids will no longer be wearing baseball caps…this’ll be the new Hip Hop look:

    N’

  82. Tony, on March 27th, 2009 at 7:07 pm Said:

    Why not write a thread about …

    Privacy perhaps? Judgement? Or lack of same? Topics abound.

    Then again, I am somewhat sympathetic to this ‘cry for help’.

    not one politician has ever heard of me or my silly fantasy either

    Scaper, I am sure they have heard from you and I am sure they humoured you in their correspondence. Indeed it would be a very naive politician who told you that your ‘vision’ was delusional. Simply, How would their political position be advanced by raining on a delusional tea-party?

    Yes I know, those who ‘encouraged’ you ought to be sacked because they told an untruth. In that vein, would you care to reveal that correspondence on this blog? Will you also grant permission for me to access ministerial diaries that document your meetings. Or if I seek FOI will you object to my accessing that info?

    LOL. Talk about out of one’s depth.

  83. By way of spring-boarding from nasking’s ref to Professor Clive and the compromising-ness of, erm, digital cloning…

    MICHAEL JOHNSON: Most of my trips would have been covered for either by the Australian Chinese Business Forum or sponsored on one occasion by the Chinese Government when I went to Tibet.

    ALEXANDRA KIRK: Did you ever suspect that you might have been manipulated?

    MICHAEL JOHNSON: Well, I was certainly under the impression that the Chinese Government in the case of Tibet was keen to cultivate my position as a member of the Australian Parliament. You know, China is one of the major nations of the world and it’s seeking to have influence in Australia.

    It is the nature of international relations and geopolitics that countries like China want to have influence over countries like Australia, just as the US wants to have influence over Australia and I would say that perhaps not totally understood but countries like Australia wanting to have influence over smaller states like PNG or the Solomon Islands or even East Timor.

    Which was the larger point I attempted to make earlier about uncritical acceptance of a pecuniary interest register for the ‘way things are done around here’; ‘cultural exchange’ is obviously a plus, but it would be very, very nice if it were to be stripped of the element of ‘patronage’, and if ‘positions’ were to be adopted without ‘cultivation’, in general. Perhaps, it really isn’t good enough in a democracy to get uppity about an omission from the public records without any routine attention lent to scrutiny of the totality of those records themselves.

  84. Legion, how advanced are cloning procedures? Any possibility of creating an adult? Imagine a few well-off media moguls would consider instilling in a child that they were part of an ongoing experiment.

    Go to “psychic” thread.
    N’

  85. Scaper, im drunk and your comment at 6.48pm caught my eye. I hope you wernt implying what i thought.

    (in a friendly way)What did you mean?

  86. Heres a story from todays SMH that some might find interesting:

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/mps-hooked-on-chinese-junkets-20090327-9e6q.html?page=-1

    Seems Fitzgibbon is far from alone.

    And the SMH has even published a helpful list of MPs who have been the subject of this sort of largesse:

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/list-of-overseas-trips-and-hospitality-accepted-by-federal-mps-20090327-9e99.html?page=-1

    All your favourites are there: Abbott, Costello, Downer, Ruddock and Julie Bishop.

    Michael Johnson (quoted above) has been particularly busy, with a total of some 13 trips, mostly funded by the Australian Chinese Business Association, a body he was apparently instrumental in setting-up. Thus far, he’s evidently been the only recipient of their generosity in this fashon, but you can bet your life that the others are all standing in line hoping for a piece of the action too. And they reckon Rudd is out of the country too often.

    So, I have a question for those calling for Fitzgibbon’s head on the ground that he may have left himself open to “undue influence”.

    If he ought to go, what should happen to these other junketeers? Do they go too? If not, why not?

  87. Word N5 10:47, March 27

    No need for me to untie my shackled typing fingeroonies when you’ve been so succint.

    Taint ever about legitimate differences of opinion.

    Tis about the wankery.

  88. Legion, on March 28th, 2009 at 12:21 am Said:

    without any routine attention lent to scrutiny of the totality of those records themselves.

    Wood from the trees and all that? Missing the big picture by being blinded by the detail?

    As for the ethics. Should Rudd adopt a Deontological stance with its emphasis on the Right and Wrong dichotomy or should he adopt a Teleological position where the dominant values tend to be Good and Bad?

    IMHO, practical politics (the art of the possible) cannot afford the luxury of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ but must always be occupied with the overall ‘good’.

    Just sayin …

  89. Tom, I detect jealousy in your musings of me.

    I also find it absolutely breathtaking that you pontificate honesty and ethics when you profess to having a ‘MISTRESS’ that you constantly brag about!

    HYPOCRIT!!!

  90. ABBA5…do you really expect me to publish correspondence that I have received to prove anything to you…you are an insignificant piss-ant that quite obviously suffers from an unrequited life, I can see it now…crying into your glass and screaming, “I could have been the champ”…lol!

    I know some here have seen bits of correspondence but I don’t expect them to verify it for you either.

    Me, grant you permission to access ministerial diaries???

    I put it to you that you not only deluded but way out of you depth…pathetic actually.

  91. Oh, Toiletboss, such an apt moniker you display.

    Your one eyed-ness in politics and sport is on display yet again…barking from the sidelines like the gutless dog that you have displayed on several occasions.

    This is you…sport.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/gallery/0,26637,5024288-20581-1,00.html

  92. when you profess to having a ‘MISTRESS’ that you constantly brag about!

    Tom you’ve hooked a real live one! May as well flog him a couple of bridges. Lol.

    an unrequited life

    Another one for the Eggcorn database. Then we have:

    barking from the sidelines like the gutless dog that you have displayed on several occasions.

    Toiletboss, I didn’t know you had a ‘gutless dog’ and displayed it on this blog ‘on several occasions’. Care to provide a link?

    And he says he’s off the piss. No wonder the wife imbibes.

  93. “Tom, I detect jealousy in your musings of me.”

    My real motivation has finally been detected.

    Yes, I realise my artificially enhanced wife is HOT and my mistress is HOT as well. But despite being surrounded by all this HOTNESS I remain a lost soul. Jealous of the delusional, that’s me.

    I’ve always wanted to be a MAN with a vision, teetering on, or just beyond, the brink of reality.

    A head full of botox is a start, my manhood artificially and surgically enhanced to the delight of HOTTEST of the HOT, is progress.

    But I need more, I have to practice my slightly deranged look.

    I’ll build my city on the banks of Lake Eyre, as surely global warming will finally flood it permanently. Water front property, I’ll make a killing – it will be the new Gold Coast.

    I HAVE A VISION!

    Scarper – would you like to buy some waterfront property?

  94. Tom of Melbourne, on March 29th, 2009 at 8:45 pm Said:

    would you like to buy some waterfront property

    Tom with a sales pitch like that, you can put me down for two at least, provided they are not fly blown or dusty. I think I should get in on the ground ‘flaw’. LOL>

    Nevertheless. given your marketing strategy and the Gold Coast’s affinity with ‘prawns’ in all their manifestations you may consider stressing that Lake Eyre when full abounds with the freshwater fish Nematalosa erebi and the freshwater prawn Macrobrachium australiense.

    And as any Pelican will attest, it’s always ‘all you can eat’.

    Will depart tomorrow to ‘steak a clam’. Hope you have no ‘alterior’ motive. I couldn’t tolerate another ‘bear-faced’ lie because it would be beyond the pail.

  95. Of interest is this article from The Oz which includes:

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25260907-601,00.html

    At the end of a week of parliamentary pressure over the SAS pay bungle this month, which included Opposition calls for his sacking, Mr Fitzgibbon accused parts of the department of incompetence and said he expected improvements.

    He then took the extraordinary step of appointing accounting firm KPMG to examine the pay system at Defence.

    KPMG’s findings will be released this week and, according to a senior Defence source, “it’s not going to be good (for Defence)”.

  96. Very funny N5.

    On the banks of vision of a full to the brim Lake Eyre (finally some good news from rising sea levels), there will be a FFF (Fried Flies Franchise). The menu will include the various water species available and all the land creatures squashed by both road and very fast train, instantly tenderised.

    The counter staff will be instructed to “arks” the customers – “would you like flies with that?”

  97. “would you like flies with that?”

    LOL. Tom, your jealousy of the founding father of Crapperville is showing again.

  98. There’s a profound difference in the way the two super powers resolve internal conflicts.

    The thankfully recently-departed national socialists of Washington – Bush, Cheney, Pearle, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Zoellick, etc – were booted-out by an army of American people at the ballot box. Not a drop of blood was spilt.

    In 1989, up-country-elements elements of the so-called Peoples Liberation Army opened fire on Chinese protestors seeking democratic reform in Tiananmen Square.

    Senior Journalists on the ground at the time are convinced that anywhere between 250,000 and 400,000 unarmed Chinese civilians died in the following blood-splattered hours.

    Eye witnesses have testified that in the immediate aftermath of the massacre, large piles of bodies were bulldozed into heaps, soaked in petrol and burnt in the back streets surrounding Tiananmen.

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