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Friday Frolykz

Hi everyone,

I’ve opened up the shop early today, cos I’ll be flying off to Melbourne shortly to attend the Blogocrats Pty Ltd inaugural meeting of WCPs.

Actually I’ll be going to see the Salvidor Dali exhibition, Wicked and have dinner at George the Car Thief’s restaurant The Press Club.

In breaking news, Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has accused Sir Malcolm Turnbull of threatening a government staffer. Can’t wait to find out more of the juicey details on that one!

There’s also a bit of hoo-ha going on about how Prime Minister Kev was part of a now “mysterious” and sinister group called “club 51.”

Sounds like a bit of an S&M club. I wonder if Alexander Downer’s a member?

Speaking of men behaving badly, liberal staffer Anthony Scrinis has also fallen on his sword after feeling up a number of women’s breasts at Parliament’s mid-winter ball. Apparantly he was seen floundering about the dance floor staggering from boob to boob.

One woman claimed that when she told him he couldn’t touch her breasts, he replied: “Well if I can’t grab your boobs I’m going to go grab someone else’s.” Before that, Mr Scrinis was heckling the speeches and comedians.

What a class act!

On another note, it looks like we’re on our way to half a million hits! Who would’ve thunk it??

Remember to check out Tom’s Footy preview and Scaper has a guest post on an Alternative ETS strategy…




154 Responses

  1. Reb, welcome to civilisation!!

    Here are some helpful hints, specifically for thsoe from Tasmania.

    • In Melbourne people wear socks under their shoes!
    • The tall buildings have “elevators”, so there is no need to use the stairs.
    • Traffic lights are really quite simple – red means “stop”, go when lights are green.
    • Don’t bother to wear the woolly cardigan with a collar and tie, when going to a nice restaurant.

    Have fun!

  2. Tom,

    You forget that I am from Sydney and am a well-travelled and wordly executive.

    I can only assume you are confusing me with someone from Queensland.

  3. Of course reb.

    The Tasmanian culture is particularly pervasive and insidious. Only strong characters are able to withstand it.

    Most people that move there eventually let their (unwashed ) hair grow, stop looking after their teeth, stop wearing socks.

    Congratulations on your strength of character!!

    Have fun!!

  4. Is that bullying?

  5. Don’t worry Tom.

    I am familiar with the dress code in Melbourne, where black is the new black, and charcoal grey is the new charcoal grey.

    It’s nice to know that some things don’t change.

  6. “You know and I know there is documentary evidence that you have lied,” Mr Turnbull is quoted as saying.

    That’s harrassment.

  7. Reb..this year the fashion code dictates beige and preferably beige on beige with lighter beige accessories..however the choice of shade of beige is yours.

  8. Not only harrassment but intimidation by an elected official of a staffer.

  9. Thanks Min.

    I’d better quickly get on to TB in Queensland to see whether he can lend me one of his outfits for the weekend..

  10. Why any sane person would want to visit Victoria by choice, much less choose to live there, is one of life’s great mysteries.

    I do concede that it is far & away preferential to Queensland though.

  11. The man on the land…

  12. Reb..you would freeze in those Joffa Boy checked shorts and knee high socks 😉

    For the young’uns, this is Joffa Boy http://www.derhamgroves.com/2007/05/07/the-tarax-shows-joffa-boy/

  13. Well I wouldn’t be in Melbourne by choice.

    It’s a wife, mistress, breast augmentation, botox thing.

    A bit complicated.

    I’d be swanning around in some sunny tax haven, with an attractive local on one arm and a blonde tourist on the other.

    I’d now be saying – “Just off to get a colourful drink with an umbrella in it!”

  14. My brother brought this to my intention earlier in the week.

    Apparently Death Metal Titans Cannibal Corpse have recently been prohibited from entering Australia to tour on their new album “Evisceration Plague”…& what a fine album it is too.

    I haven’t looked into it to verify the truth of the matter but judging by the Chaser skit below in reference to it I assume it is the case. WARNING: Some may consider the lyrics to be highly offensive; at best they are (as all CC songs are) in poor taste.

    This is intriguing to me because Cannibal Corpse have actually been to Australia multiple times over their 20+ year reign & never been prohibited before. As far as I know the only country with a long standing ban on them (recently lifted I believe) is/was Germany.

    What has changed? Who influences the censors?

    To the best of my knowledge the only thing different to last time they came here is our Federal Government. Everybody’s favourite Lying Rodent didn’t mind us hosting them during his tenure.

    Food for thought.

    The Chaser takes the lyrics out of “context”, ahem, & if you were to listen to the song they’re lampooning (Rancid Amputation) by CC you would discover that the lyrics are virtually unintelligible to all but a trained ear.
    An amusing pisstake nonetheless…

  15. What if Turnbull’s right, and there is documentary evidence that Rudd has misled Parliament? Would it still be harrassment or would it be some well directed advice?

  16. Yes James, even if it is proven that Rudd misled parliament this would still be harrassment from Turnbull. Two wrongs not making a right…

  17. Oh well, we’ll just have to watch the Seante Estimates hearings. Smells of a double standard, though, Min.

  18. Senate…

  19. This should get the blood boiling (wink). I’ll quote myself from a few days ago:

    Okay, government debt aside for a moment: my central view is that our economy (with its high level of personal debt and low savings) is extremely fragile, especially when it comes to consumer spending and investment. Triggers such as increasing interest rates, unemployment, or increased fuel prices often can act in isolation or in combination to trigger major shifts in consumer spending as well as asset price and debt deflations (i.e. an avalanche of personal and business bankruptcies claims and/ or property foreclosures – the consequences of which could see a drastic fall in housing prices). In other words, the property market is teetering on the edge

    Now, Steven Keen

    …private debt now stands at $1,917 billion. Households owe over $1 trillion on mortgages and $139 billion on personal debt, and businesses owe the remaining $755 billion.” Steven Keen

    Smart move by The Punch to get Prof Steven Keen on board as an author. I’m thinking his predictions are close to the mark than any other economist I’ve come across.

    Private debt is the muddy pig in the farmyard
    The debate the government deficit reminds me of the slogan that The Sheep from Animal Farm chanted in support of The Pigs: “Four legs good, Two legs bad”. Anything The Pigs did was OK, because they were Animals, and therefore good. Anything Humans did was not, because they walked on two legs and were therefore bad. Ditto the debate over the debt levels being accumulated by the Federal Government in response to the Global Financial Crisis: it seems that Government debt is “two legged”, while private debt incurred is “four legged”.
    How else can you explain the complete indifference that both sides of politics have displayed to the explosion in private debt over the last two decades, and the scorn and shame associated with the recent increase in government debt?
    For the record, “two legged” private debt now stands at $1,917 billion. Households owe over $1 trillion on mortgages and $139 billion on personal debt, and businesses owe the remaining $755 billion.
    “Four legged” government debt currently stands at a comparatively trivial $47 billion, and is projected to rise to $188 billion by 2013.

    Brian Johnson’s also spot on, in my opinion. And there’s a lot of bad debts to be unwound – especially in the housing and small business sectors.

    VETERAN banking analyst
    Brian Johnson has warned of more bloodletting in Australia’s banking sector. He recommends investors go underweight in banking stocks as loan defaults begin to climb.

    Mr Johnson, an analyst at CLSA, says that for the first time in 17 years, Australia is facing a loan loss cycle, where growth in bad debts outpaces growth in lending.

    In a markedly bearish 200-page report, Mr Johnson has slapped price targets on the four major banks that are dramatically lower than their current trading levels.

    Commonwealth Bank of Australia is especially vulnerable, Mr Johnson said, and he’s given it a sell rating with a $27.44 price target versus its latest trade of $38.32.

    “Having largely avoided the pitfalls associated with securitization assets that have plagued global institutions, Australian banks are now facing their first loan-loss cycle since 1992,” said Mr Johnson.

    Mr Johnson said real asset values were falling and bad loans were rising as highly geared households and businesses unwound their debt.

  20. John, just perhaps the message is getting through..


    AUSTRALIAN credit card balances have fallen for the first time since records began 14 years ago.

  21. All the mudslinging and sledging to character only works if you and your side are squeaky clean, which is never the case.

    A lot of the mud the opposition have been throwing around is being noted and stored to throw back and Swan’s little go is an indication of this. Just as the opposition have been going on about the people not knowing Rudd it can be equally stated they know less about Turnbull, and his little outburst gives ammo to that.

    Having said that, if evidence can be produced that Rudd did favour the car dealer by getting Ford to assist then that’s grounds for Rudd standing down, no ifs and buts in my book. To think a PM might be bought down by an old beat up ute, whilst the previous PM got away with giving a dictator he was at war with $300 million, mislead parliament over a dictator having nuclear weapons and over refugees throwing children overboard just to name some of the major breaches,

  22. Min

    I noticed that yesterday. It’s a serious development given that so much of our economic growth is driven by consumer credit.

  23. John, but isn’t this what has been wrong..record household debt.. If people are cutting back on using the plastic, then maybe, just maybe they are spending more wisely. Then if sellers want to sell then they will have to come down to meet the market which has of course multiple implications but one of the good’uns is downward pressure on inflation.

    Another small goodnews item from the link is:

    Consumers were shunning cash advances on credit cards, with the number of advances falling by 10.9 per cent to 2.377 million in April, a 11-year low.


    Less cash advances to me means that people are able to live within their means.

  24. Min

    Less cash advances to me means that people are able to live within their means.

    And it could mean that many realise that they’re no longer able to live outside their means, and they’ve not been able to do so for some time,and the dominoes are falling (rising banruptcies etc, and those who are hoping they’ll avoid becoming insolvent). Whereas personal debt was ignored in good times, the realisation that debt needs to be paid down in order to survive has moved up the order.

    In other words, major reductions in credit driven spending will also ensure that job losses mount, which in turn will increase the level of personal bankruptcies etc. It could become a vicious cycle.

  25. Min

    Forget inflation for the moment, it’s deflation we have to concern ourselves with first.

  26. From Min’s link.

    “The average balance on a credit card declined by an annual 1.2 per cent to $3,080 in April – the first fall since records were kept more than 14 years ago, Mr Sebastian said. ”

    How many people had credit cards 14 years ago compared to today?

    Gee, my bird even got an application sent to him a couple of years back and I was tempted to fill it out to see how lax the lending criteria had become!

    I believe the criteria is tightening…when I went to the bank today I enquired about a debit card and was told that I could not have one in my business name, then I enquired about a credit card and was told that I had to supply tax returns, a licence as ID for this.

    I have been at the same bank for at least fifteen years and have known the teller for at least ten, have a vehicle loan and a balance of six figures in my business account and they want me to go through that shit for a lousy $2,000 credit card?

    The new manager is playing down the line to a point that if a client accidentally writes a cheque using my name instead of the business name they won’t accept it.

    From one extreme to the other!

  27. …in fact, the government stimulus package has been aiming to stave off deflation, despite many warning that inflation is a major threat. Once the economy has shrunk and demand picks up the threat of inflation could raise its head in a nasty way.

  28. …scaper, the banks know what’s coming: major write-downs of bad debts. They’re going into debt recovery mode. Debt recovery will become more important than lending.

  29. Min

    Soros got it right last year, in my opinion:


    He warns the current financial crisis resembles other crises since the end of the second world war at intervals ranging from four to 10 years.

    But he added: ‘There is a profound difference: the current crisis marks the end of an era of credit expansion based on the dollar as the international reserve currency.

    ‘The periodic crises were part of a larger boom-bust process. The current crisis is the culmination of a super-boom that has lasted for more than 60 years.’

    Writing in the Financial Times, he says each time credit expansion ran into trouble authorities intervened to stimulate the economy.

    This ‘moral hazard’ encouraged more borrowing and expansion and led to widespread belief in ‘market fundamentalism’ in the Eighties – ‘regulations have been progressively relaxed until they have practically disappeared’.

  30. John..you’ve probably already read this one but by Ross Gittins at: http://business.smh.com.au/business/early-rate-rises-threaten-recovery-20090616-cghe.html

    Gittins is obviously not a fan of Hockey’s.

  31. John, inflation due to the increase in crude oil pricing might just hit before demand picks up which means that demand could be somewhat stifled.

    If this eventuates then rising interest rates will put the economy into shock.

    The boom/bust cycle is askew this time around which could spell disaster!

    The government has spent their kick already so it will be every man for himself.

  32. Min

    Hockey’s a goose (wink)

    Here’s the problem, the RBA may want to reduce interest rates to stimulate the economy, however, banks will seek to increase them in order to offset higher lending costs. Then you’ve got the debt laden consumer in the middle, squeezed from all angles – to spend or not to spend that is the question? Not at the record rates we’ve experienced for well over a decade that’s for sure.


    You make a good point, how much debt is the government willing to go into to help support the economy in the long run?

  33. And what is the potential for collapse of business should the government not support the economy?

  34. Talking about radical, take a look at Japan:

    WITH recovery elusive, a population doddering into old age and perhaps a decade of deflation in prospect, Japan may start mulling the most radical monetary policy of all – the abolition of cash.

    Unorthodox, untried and, said one Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi strategist, “in the realms of economic science fiction”, the recommendation has nevertheless begun floating around Tokyo’s corridors of power and economists have described Japan as particularly suitable as a testing ground.

    The search for more unconventional economic policies continues, despite the recent surge in the Nikkei 225 index. The market may be reflecting soaring Chinese investment, rising consumer confidence and other cheerful data but economists see few long-term beacons of hope for Japan.

    Other extreme ideas mooted by the financial authorities include a tax on physical currency or introducing one to operate alongside the yen.

    All three ideas are based on a theory concerning interest rates and the concept that a nominal rate of zero – as Japan has now lived with for much of the past decade – may be too high. In Japan’s case, the theory would suggest that nominal rates of -4per cent might be closer to what is required to rescue the economy from another deflationary spiral. Having agreed that this might be necessary, the next question is how it could be imposed.

  35. …exactly Min…what is the downside? There are so many unknowns.

  36. Oh my God……………Oh my God………………….Oh my God

    Piers is running a blog over at the Telegraph alleging a stunt by that Greens senator with her baby in the Senate chamber yesterday.

    For once I’m agreeing with him.

    But it makes me feel really really dirty to admit agreeing with him.

    Eh Yuk…………….I just feel so filthy……………..!

    Someone show me where the showers are. I feel a ned to scrub and scrub and scrub my body clean.

    I must check as to when I last had a tetanus shot.

    Eh Yuk……………!

  37. I’d better quickly get on to TB in Queensland to see whether he can lend me one of his outfits for the weekend..

    reb, on June 19th, 2009 at 12:14 pm Said:

    At this time of year Melbourne is a bit cold for a Safari Suit !

  38. Walrus

    Every now and again, he does make sense (Lol)

  39. Something I’ve pondered is the predetermined image one gets of people on this blog and it might even be worth a thread somewhere down the track.

    I had a complete different image in my mind of TB before I met him…he looks younger than his age and when I visualise him in a safari suit it works for me.

  40. Oh, oh, I see he has made an appearance here…quick, a back pedal…he’s pretty hip for an old coot!

  41. sreb and IATW – now you both know I only wear “shades” of black … beige! Now you’re just taking the pi$$!

    scaper…, on June 19th, 2009 at 3:35 pm Said:
    The government has spent their kick already so it will be every man for himself

    Right on the first statement but the second is a giggle – its always been everyone for themselves – I’ve NEVER know a government of any colour or juridiction to do me a favour … or anyone else for that matter (unless it was a mistake!)

  42. WSJ:

    Under [Peter Costello’s] leadership, Australia balanced its books, paid down the national debt and made the central bank independent. He helped liberalize the labor market, reform the tax code and privatize state-run companies. During his 11 years as Treasurer, Australians saw net household wealth triple and unemployment fall to 30-year lows. . . .

    The current Labor government is taking the opposite tack. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has spent the country from a projected 23.1 billion Australian dollar ($18.3 billion) surplus into a A$32.9 billion deficit in a year. He is re-empowering unions and planning to enact a damaging cap-and-trade scheme that would tax every corner of the economy. Significant tax cuts are off the agenda.

  43. … and I was gentle on your leg story, ‘tother night, scaper, remember I know what you look like too! 😉

  44. Tony, on June 19th, 2009 at 4:29 pm Said:

    LOL! Where do we start?

    Leadership – WF leadership – Tip Custard couldn’t lead a pre school screaming match!

    Liberalise the labour market? Workchoices he promoted cost the government office!

    Reform the Tax Code – have you ever seen the legislation, regulations, codes of practice, protocols etc. You’ve gotta be joking!

    Privatise state run “institutions” is a PLUS!!!

    Household wealth? mmmm … debt more like …
    ask a round … oh! Middle Upper crust welfare wealth …

    I’m sure I won’t be the only one you’ve snagged Tony … well done! Even you couldn’t believe that tripe!

  45. What about the second paragraph, TB? 😉

  46. No Scaper, it doesn’t look good. More here:

    Under questioning from senior Liberal Eric Abetz, Mr Cohen admitted no other phone numbers were provided by Treasury and Ford Credit wouldn’t normally look after Kia dealers such as Mr Grant.

    Ford Credit is seeking up to $550 million from OzCar.

    Senator Abetz said all the discussions occurred “prior to the Government determining whether or not Ford credit would be able to participate in OzCar”.

    The Government announced Ford Credit’s involvement in OzCar on May 13, the day after Treasurer Wayne Swan handed down the Budget.

  47. “Something I’ve pondered is the predetermined image one gets of people on this blog ”

    B.Tolputt – http://blurandsharpen.com/images/computernerd.JPG

  48. Hey TB, my wife thinks I look quite dapper with my white safari suit with matching shoes, fedora hat and of course my presidential sash.

    Next Wednesday I will be donning my maroon suit.

  49. Just a thought, but scaper’s mention of the image we may have of other blogocrats, has made me think that a weekly competition (we all want that c&w disc that reb has been promising) might be in order.
    How about blogocrats email a picture of themselves to reb or joni, with any part deleted if privacy is a concern (e.g. scaper’s now infamous legs). Once a week a picture is exposed, say on ff and all are given the op to suggest who it might be.
    Sound like fun?

  50. RE: scaper…, on June 19th, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Indeed scaper, I watched the hearing on APAC and was a bit gobsmacked by the attempts of Martine and the Labor Senators to prevent Grech from answering the question… and when Grech did answer I thought he was going to cry.

  51. kyxzil, my biggest problem with this is the PM lied to Parliament knowing full well that the facts would come to light.

    Although it might be dodgy I believe if he admitted his bias towards his acquaintance and apologised it pretty well would have been dismissed by the public.

  52. Tony, on June 19th, 2009 at 4:41 pm Said:

    What about it? …

    … THe World’s Greatest 😯 Treasurer didn’t build a bloody thing! Anyone can stock pile money … he even stuffed that up, “lost” $10billion if I reacall …

    The Wall Street Journal … who’d a thunk they “miss” a wannabe capitalist … they big fans of Obamas lot too …

    … no wonder Malcolm Turncoat gives Custard the
    $#!t$ 😆

  53. scaper…, on June 19th, 2009 at 4:44 pm Said:

    Shades of Casablanca and those Pommie spies in shorts, scaper!

    Migs, if your listening hang in there, son …

    handyrab, on June 19th, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    …but, but some of us have an advantage if we’ve met!
    … and, and Gawd knows what “bits”, sreb, would submit … could be quite dangerouse …still if its for the Best of CW CD, (*sighs* and stares dreamily into the distance … mmm … that reminds me Brokeback Mountain …) 😆

  54. Scaper,

    The question is: Have Rudd and/or Swann lied to parliament, and, if so, what should happen?

    Adrian queried me the other day when I said there are grave consequences for misleading parliament; we might be about to find out what they are.

  55. You know, I’ve mentioned before Rudd’s default position of dishonesty. Here we see it again. If he had just said that the bloke was a constituent in his electorate and he was helping him out, I think it would be forgiveable. But he appears to have lied. Again. Julia, come on down.

  56. I’m sure they are all having a “meeting” right now to discuss who will volunteer to be “outed” as the rogue emailer/staffer that Kevin and Wayne had no knowledge of…………..!

    With suitable “compensation” to be paid to that person after the dust settles.

  57. I just watched Grech on SKY, Turnbull has called for the Treasurer and the PM to explain or resign!

    This is pretty serious.

  58. Swan dive???

  59. Rudd press conference live on SKY News now.

  60. Looks like he’s going with plausible deniability.

  61. Looks like without the email, he’s going to continue to deny the accusations.

  62. Is the Treasurer going to give a news conference to deny the allegations levelled at his department?

  63. Don’t know, but I notice the PM was careful to say he couldn’t find any such email; he didn’t actually say he never sent one.

  64. Tom of Melbourne, on June 19th, 2009 at 11:32 am Said:

    “• In Melbourne people wear socks under their shoes!”

    And as an exciting knee-length accessory with their sandals and shorts!

    James of North Melbourne, on June 19th, 2009 at 12:51 pm Said:

    “What if Turnbull’s right, and there is documentary evidence that Rudd has misled Parliament? Would it still be harrassment or would it be some well directed advice?”

    What if Malvolio’s wrong? Will we hear an apology, or even a falling on the sword? My bet is it will be the same old Libtard bull.

    I refer to the hounding of Lionel Murphy even beyond the grave and finding sod-all, and the piggery bullsh@t which, even after extensive and minute muck-raking by the Howard dirt police, couldn’t find anything remotely corrupt or criminal about Keating’s dealings.

    For Kevin Rudd, now might be a good time to launch an in-depth wide-ranging investigation into children overboard, AWB and the Haneef affair.

  65. I think the PM has another investigation on his mind at the moment.

  66. “For Kevin Rudd, now might be a good time to launch an in-depth wide-ranging investigation into children overboard, AWB and the Haneef affair.”

    Thats a really great idea Jane. For once I agree with you. When you have any hard evidence of any wrongdoing please tell me.

  67. Good for the goose, good for the gander.

    While I admit this stinks to high heaven (where there is smoke there is fire and all that); where is the “hard evidence” linking Kevin Rudd to this?

    Funnily enough, should this take Rudd down – it will be another case where the initial offence was excusable but the cover-up was the killer…

  68. I have a “hunch” there is more to come.

    Badly handled…a scandal!

    But there is no evidence thus far so it is best to see what comes out in the investigation.

  69. Tim Blair’s calling this ‘Tailgate’.

    (You know, because of the ute the car dealer gave…oh, never mind.)

  70. Jane, if Turnbull is wrong, then I reckon he’ll need to resign. But it seems pretty clear he has a copy of the email from the PM’s office. And he certainly has copies of emails to Swan personally.

  71. It’s not emails going TO Rudd/Swan which will get them nailed. Anyone can send emails to someone else, they only need to get the address. there need to be emails sent BY Rudd/Swan to nail them to this.

    I think if there were such an email in Turnbull’s possession – he would have leaked it to the press already. It’s possible Malcolm is playing a long game (getting Rudd to make a deliberate & obvious false statement he needs to resign over), but it would be a change from his previous tactics.

  72. I will try and get a thread up tomorrow on this (*), but I think that Turnbull is playing a dangerous game here – if he does have an email, then he better be bloody certain that it is real.

    If it is real, then what is the big misleading that Rudd did to parliament?

    * been a stressful couple of days at work, and I need to head out for some dancing tonight.

  73. There’s no doubt there’s an email, the question is whether it’s the real thing. It’s an email I think from Charlton to Godwin. Rudd is saying they’ve checked their records and have no record of it. So either there is a massive cover up, or a massive set up.

    Joni, Rudd has stated twice in Parliament that neither he nor his office made representations on behalf of Grant.

    As I’ve said repeatedly, it’s not the actual offence (like in Burke, Scores, Borrowman) it’s the propensity to lie about it that will bring him down, if of course he has lied.

  74. Oh and I think Swan is gone regardless.

  75. James – very true on the email.

    Not sure if Swan is gone – but it certainly does not look good for him.

  76. Please explain re Swan – he seems to have answered everything honestly and not denied that his department had made representations on behalf of Mr Grant… Why is he “gone” James? Wishful thinking? Hysteria?

  77. But what has Swan actually done wrong? Swan admitted he had been approached by Grant about the scheme and that is consistent with what the Treasury bloke said. Besides, the scheme benefitted almost every car dealer in the country, not just Grant’s and there is no suggestion that Grant got more than anyone else. Essentially all we are talking about here is a local member being lobbied to look after the car industry – this sort of thing happens every day, in every electorate office of the Libs, Nats (esp the Nats) and Labor. It is simply a way of airing a concern. The drama here seems to be that Rudd had a loaner vehicle from Grant some 12-18 mths before the whole financial crunch hit the car industry and yet Rudd is somehow tainted by this loan? Give me a F’n break.

    OK, I get that lying to parliament is a big problem and if Rudd did this then he should resign, however, Rudd was answering a direct accusation from Turnbull and we need to be careful that Rudd’s response to that question is actually in conflict with what he is alleged to have done here.

    Here is the hansard in question:

    Mr TURNBULL —Thank you, Mr Speaker, I will start again. I refer the Prime Minister to Mr John Grant, who has supplied him with a free car for almost all of the time he has been Leader of the Labor Party, and to the Prime Minister’s answer in question time on 4 June where he most indignantly denied that he or his office had spoken to Mr Grant in relation to OzCar, the taxpayer funded finance company, or had made any representations on behalf of Mr Grant. Does the Prime Minister stand by this denial?

    Mr RUDD (Griffith) (Prime Minister) —My answer is as it was the last time the honourable member raised this question because that is the advice I have received from my office. Furthermore, can I say to the honourable member that, since this particular vehicle was provided by the individual concerned, the declaration on pecuniary interest was made. The ute was valued at around $5,000; it was put in my pecuniary interest statement on 3 July 2007, as is required by the Commonwealth parliament. Furthermore, I would say to the honourable member that, in terms of representations that have been made by various members in this place, I am also advised that in addition to the car dealer from Sydney who spoke to me, Mr Kaplan, from Hunter Holden in Sydney, which I referred to the other day in answer to the honourable member’s question, there have also been representations to the government from the member for Riverina, the member for Dunkley, the member for Murray and, of course, the member for Dawson as well. It is entirely normal for representations to be made to OzCar because this is the sort of thing that members of parliament are required to do if they are asked to actually get out there and support the industry.

    The reason this particular facility existed was that we were approached as a government by the industry at the end of 2008 about the collapse in normal supplies of motor vehicle finance. As a consequence of that, the government took the view that a co-investment vehicle, the special-purpose vehicle, between ourselves and the banks was an appropriate way to step into the marketplace and to provide, therefore, an alternative source of finance. We have also been advised that, had we not done so, the impact that would have had in terms of confidence across the industry would have been significant. Therefore, I would say this has been a worthwhile measure on the part of the government, and any member of this place, if they are approached by a business seeking to access a government program, would be entirely entitled to make representations. But to go back to the honourable member’s question: the advice that I received from my office remains current on the matter which the honourable member raises.

    The evidence that Rudd has lied relies on a Treasury official thinking he got an email from the PMO but admits he could be wrong and there is no electronic record of this email. WTF is going on here? Either it is a massive cover up of IPCC/AGW proportions with email systems being deleted to save the PM or, as the Grech himself admits, he could simply be wrong. If Turnbull has this email – just release the bloody thing – enough of the theatrics.

  78. Well, Rudd has come out and stated that the email is a fake now (rather than relying on the “we can’t find it” deniability schtick).

    This means one of two things, either it is a fake and Malcolm is up shit’s creek without a paddle or Rudd is confident that said email will never be found/revealed to the public as being definitely from his office.

    If Rudd is wrong and the email is found to have come from Andrew Charlton – his career is over. If Malcolm has been duped (or Rudd has successfully removed the email from discovery) – his leadership is over. Both men have now gone past the point of no return in their statements. Either way – it’ll be interesting.

  79. Wow Ben – you get the news before it is released. That article is dated tomorrow morning at 12.01 (or 12.31am EST)!

  80. I haven’t been following the story in the press so I don’t know what it’s about, relying instead on getting my news from Blogocrtas.

    Most Blogocrats might be interested to learn that grant funding was approved to one of Turnbull’s constituents after the last federal election was called and the Howard govt was in caretaker mode.

    Very bad.

    PS – Thanks TB.

  81. I don’t know anything about the underlying political currents, but my take form the senate hearing today is that somebody was hiding something. Specifically, IMO, there was an email, and it has been deleted. Concusion = cover up.

    Again I repeat, IMO

  82. P.S The Senate inquiry is currently showing on APAC.

  83. It looks like either Rudd or Turnbull will fall over this.

    If the email is true – then Rudd must go.

    If the email is false – then Turnbull must go.

  84. I wonder (maybe it is too late and my judgement is a bit off) but if Turnbull goes – will Costello rise and reconsider not standing at the next election?

  85. Another Texan shonk bites the dust. Giving Bernie Madoff a run for his ill gotten loot, the ennobled Allen Stanford has been detained in the USA on 20 charges of acting with colleagues to misappropriate around $US 7 billion of investors funds invested in the Stanford International bank.


    Mr Ponting and Michael Clarke should be warned that this is what happens when you mess about with the English cricket team’s wives.

  86. Hang the politics, we’re talking cricket now. Ashes cricket. Putting you colonials in your place again. If Freddie Flintoff is fit, the English has a great chance of beating you lot over the coming two months and repeating the drubbing we gave you in 2005.

    Come on England!

  87. My 12 years of schooling was in private schools so my feelings on this topic are not from tall poppy syndrome, envy or whatever.

    There is something so very,very wrong with this:


    ALP continues to be Another Liberal Party.

    Excellent column by Lisa Pryor on gay marriage in the SMH today:


  88. Just had a thought, because I have no life and thus think about these things. I wonder whether Rudd did have any personal knowledge of this? I reckon there’s a possibility that Grant approached Charlton direct. If they had met, which is entirely possible, Grant could have gone to Charlton as “the PM’s mate” and asked if he could help out without Rudd’s knowledge. In which case, I wouldn’t be advocating the PM’s resignation.

    I do think Rudd’s a pathological bullshitartist but I wonder whether even he would be stupid enough for this. The reason I think Swan’s gone is that he denied making special representations on Grant’s behalf and it is clear from the documents that his office were treating it as a special case, being reported specially back to Swan personally.

  89. Looking at the ute in question, a 1996 Mazda, I think that the car dealer is probably the one who owes the other a favour for taking it off his hands. Vehicles that old are more of a liability than an asset.

  90. Johnd, that’s what’s so stupid about it. Minor gift. And if Rudd made the referral, it was a minor favour helping out a local constituent. Shit who out of us hasn’t sought or delivered a favour from or to a mate? But it’s the lies as a default position. Certainly from Swan and probably from Rudd.

  91. If there is nothing to this scandal then why did Martine and co go to great pains to attempt to prevent Grech from answering the question?

    I watched Grech at the Senate hearing and it was obvious he was torn in half having to answer the question and I suspect his career will be over so he had nothing to gain.

    Turnbull has known about this for a month and I reckon he gave the PM and the Treasurer enough rope to hang themselves!

  92. Turnbull has known about this for a month and I reckon he gave the PM and the Treasurer enough rope to hang themselves!

    I think you’re right, Scaper. Turnbull probably couldn’t believe what he was hearing when Rudd and Swann made their denials in parliament.

    My instincts tell me the lawyer in Turnbull would have made certain the email was genuine, before ever-so-gradually tightening the nooses around the dastardly duo’s necks.

  93. And how desperate does Swann’s attempt at deflecting attention onto Turnbull’s ‘harassment’ of the staffer look now?

  94. Gee, I hope this is a Prime Ministerial cover up. Not because of any ill feeling towards Kevin Rudd (although a have plenty) but because the alternative explanation would stuff any political balance in this country for decades.

  95. This also might explain Costello’s kind of sudden decision to give it away. He might have decided that Turnbull, with a weapon like this, should be given a clear shot.

  96. James, where is Morbious Echo now?

    My eggs are at the ready!

  97. *Swann*

  98. James, where is Morbious Echo now?

    He’ll be here soon to tell us how all politicians lie to parliament all the time, and, far from suffering grave consequences, are actually rewarded for it. I kid you not.

  99. Tony & James,

    I really think you’ve woken up on the yellow brick road in Oz.

    Full marks some of the best wishful thinking and projection I’ve seen in a long time.

  100. It is kind of funny to wander around the blogs and see the tumbleweeds flying along the deserted streets.

    Pure Poison has no mention of it apart from Turnbull’s bullying. Someone even said how convenient it was that Bolt had gone overseas. I reckon Bolt would be absolutely spewing he’s missing this one.

  101. LOL Daphon. All will be revealed in the fullness of time. And I, for one, will prostrate myself at the altar of St Kevin and declare my wrongness, should such ‘wishful thinking and projection’ turn out to be only that.

  102. James, Bolt’s blog will be closed for nine days so I expect some to wonder over here for their daily fix.

  103. Why, have you left a ‘message’ there, Scaper?

  104. James, Joni has promised to put up a thread on the topic. (I’m tipping it will generate a few comments, too.)

  105. No, I have not left a message…lately.

  106. Oh well, off to do my Community work. I wonder whether I’ll be umpire, runner, water boy, Full Forward, or chef today?

    I’ll say this, though, before I go. If it turns out that I have been right regarding Rudd’s pathological lying, it’s not one where I’ll be popping champage. Rudd has an apparent pattern of lying and deception going back years. Only people high up will have a true handle on how deep it goes. And it’s these people who put him in the leadership. You’ve really got to wonder about a desire for power so strong that you will place people like Rudd and Latham in the leadership because of their “electibility” in complete disregard for the people they are elected to represent.

    There’s no happy outcome to all of this.

  107. Well the topic deserves it’s own article. Whichever way this falls – it is going to end the career of either Rudd or Turnbull.

    I have my bets that it will be Turnbull, because Kevin has moved from “plausible deniability” to “it’s a fake”. It would be completely brainless to do this if there was even a remote chance of getting caught in this lie. I’m not stating the email exists and/or that it is genuine (I have no proof either way); only that Rudd either knows it’s a fake or he has covered it up in such a way as to make it impossible for Malcolm to prove.

    If Rudd goes down for this – he’ll deserve it. If Malcolm does, I don’t necessarily think the same. If Turnbull falls from grace on this – it’ll be because he was setup or his smoking gun was covered up.

  108. Call me a sceptic but isn’t it amazing how an email mysteriously appears a month or so after Turnbull thought that he was on a winner over Rudd’s use of a ute to the value of $5,000 (and declared in pecuniary interests). Ah well, there is now to be an enquiry and so all else will be just speculation.

    On this morning’s Sky News, David Spears pointed out that although news.com said that it had sighted a copy of the email, that The Herald Sun had corrected this stating that the contents of the email had been read to them over the phone.

  109. Actually Min, I reckon the “email” in question was given to Malcolm in order for him to pursue the subject of the ute. Either Malcolm was carefully setup for a fall (in which case, you have to ask “Who did it?”) or Rudd has been able to purge the system of the email and feels safe denying it’s existence.

  110. Daphon..a wonderful effort by Lisa Pryor. Love it: Let’s introduce voluntary gay marriage..

    Mind you, gay marriage is going to play havoc with we family historians..but it’s about time that instead of husband and wife that hetero marriages were also registered as partner to partner.

  111. B. Tolputt,

    Seeing as you’re a ‘computer nerd’ and everything: is it even possible to completely purge – as if it never existed – a digital communication on the internet?

  112. scaper@ 10:28
    ‘James, Bolt’s blog will be closed for nine days so I expect some to wonder over here for their daily fix.’

    I hope not. This is a relatively sane part of the net.

  113. If Freddie Flintoff is fit, the English has a great chance of beating you lot over the coming two months and repeating the drubbing we gave you in 2005.

    Terry, Australia’s loss in 2005 was hardly a drubbing. Now I call a 5 – 0 loss a drubbing. Do you remember that, it was only a couple of years ago, or have you blanked it out of your mind?

    Pure Poison has no mention of it

    And why should they? It’s an absolute non-event. Only uncle Rupert and the RWDBs have an issue with it. The current government staved off a recession in this country and you guys want them gone over something as trivial as this.

    I worked for the previous government. I can tell you about lies and misleading parliament. Rudd and co are sqeaky clean compared to Howard’s mob.

  114. And so Ben, why hasn’t Turnbull yet released a copy of the email. Just reading the press this morning, it seems as if Turnbull has gone to ground on this since yesterday.

    Reminds me a bit of the comcar affair with Heffernan obviously being set up with a fake document so that he could attack one of Heff’s less than favorite people, former Justice Kirby.

  115. Seeing as you’re a ‘computer nerd’ and everything: is it even possible to completely purge – as if it never existed – a digital communication on the internet?

    If you have control of both ends of the communication (i.e. have access to the mailbox of both sender & receiver) and the backup policy for mailboxes is either lax or not strictly enforced (for reasons of national security or incompetence, it doesn’t really matter) – then yes, it is possible to remove the communication from the system.

    Assuming that the Treasury official no longer has the email and it was not backed up on their end (or removed); it would be trivial for someone to remove it from the records of Rudd’s servers. The difficulty is not in the technical requirements of doing so (which are trivial), but in whether the official policy allows this. I know in the USA there are laws surrounding what can & cannot be removed from the system of politicians (hence Palin’s use of a Yahoo! email account) – I am not sure of the Australian rules.

    I assume though, that if it were removed (and hence not a setup), it would have been an illegal act.

  116. To be completely clear – digital communications are only as secure as the media on which they are stored. I could remove all existence of Tom & my disagreements from this blog if I had access to the WordPress servers. What I could not do is erase something you may have saved. Then it comes down to who you trust.

  117. Hi Miglo..you sound very chipper. Hope that you’re feeling much better now.

  118. Ben..are you saying that even if it’s true that Turnbull might be up the proverbial trying to prove that an email ever existed. That is, if they have a copy then it’s very very easy to claim that an email is a forgery..no original signature, if any signature at all. Which is why of course no legal documents requiring signatures can be accepted as emails.

  119. I’ve seen discussions in the last 24 hours where’s it suggested that it’s almost impossible to completely remove all traces of an email because of the number of servers they pass through, regular backups etc.

    I believe telecom companys can retrieve SMS messages for up to three months.

    Also mentioned somewhere that there is a legal requirement for all correspondence in and out of the PM’s department to be backed up/filed/archived.

  120. New thread up now….

  121. Thank you joni..did you have a good time out dancing last night, and how is your back (from dancing) this morning 🙂

  122. I suppose the communications that was tabled in the Senate hearing yesterday were fake too???

    Two emails from Mr Grech about the case, released yesterday, were sent to Mr Swan’s home fax and to Treasury chief Ken Henry, as well as to senior public servants and ministerial staff. In one Mr Grech mentions in only three paragraphs Ford Credit’s need for $500 million of finance to save its entire car dealership business, but devotes 10 paragraphs to whether Ford Credit will take on Mr Grant’s business.

    And he promises that if Ford shows “concerns or resistance” to taking on Mr Grant he would speak to them again to “push it through”.


  123. I was home quite early min, the boyf got in at 6am and is still dead to the world.

  124. Not home until 6am..must be about time to rev up the vaccum cleaner.

  125. Nah – he deserves some sleep.

  126. Joni, I’d blast up the Neil Diamond cds. Teach him a lesson.

  127. That’s a very good idea Miglo, what about some music. Something mello for joni’s partner..some nice waking up music.

  128. Joni, put the speakers next to his ear and turn up the volume. I assure you, he will never sleep again.

  129. Migs..it’s an improvement on the vacuum cleaner..but as far as a rendition of Baby Please Don’t Go..well..it’s..(begrudgingly) quite good.

  130. James of North Melbourne, on June 19th, 2009 at 8:27 pm Said:

    “Jane, if Turnbull is wrong, then I reckon he’ll need to resign. But it seems pretty clear he has a copy of the email from the PM’s office. And he certainly has copies of emails to Swan personally.

    Well James, Malvolio now claims that he only heard about the alleged email from the next-door-but-one of his cleaning lady’s ex-boss’s 12th cousin twice removed who read it out over the school PA system, recorded by a passer-by on his/her iphone and thence delivered to Malvolio by hieroglyphics from a ham radio operator in Iceland.

    He now also claims that he has never seen the email, or a copy of it, or a kindy drawing of it, but somehow by channeling the ghost of Mad Dan Eccles, he KNOWS all about it! So it’s OK, he didn’t have sexual relations with that email and he didn’t inhale when he smoked the funny cigarette.

    Malvolio’s been set-up and like his SA counterpart Martin Hamilton-Smith, charged in full of bared fangs and confected outrage and will shortly trip over the foot in the aisle and land face down in the egg pile carefully set out for him either by his own colleagues or the ALP.

    Either way, he deserves everything he will get. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke apart from Tony Abbott, Wilson Tuckey or Christopher Pyne.

  131. Min, on June 20th, 2009 at 12:42 pm Said:

    “Migs..it’s an improvement on the vacuum cleaner..but as far as a rendition of Baby Please Don’t Go..well..it’s..(begrudgingly) quite good.”

    Yes, Min. It’s OK, but that had to be dragged out of me with red-hot pliers. I know I’ll hate myself in the morning!! lol

  132. If you have control of both ends of the communication (i.e. have access to the mailbox of both sender & receiver)…

    I would add … and the communication doesn’t go through any intermediate server, and the communication wasn’t automatically backed up (most critical computer data in well-run IT organisations is backed up at least once per 24 hours)…

    Then again, we don’t really know whether the government is a well run IT organisation, do we?

    And the Bush White House claimed it somehow forgot to back up huge swathes of e-mails that it would have been forced to reveal by a court case, so there’s a “precedent” 😉

  133. Apparently in the US, if you’re a wrongly convicted prisoner and the State has DNA evidence that would exonerate you but denies access – then you have no constitutional right to access it, even if you offer to pay for the testing yourself. You get to stay in prison, and the real criminal gets to roam free amongst the unsuspecting community!

    There have been a couple of hundred exonerations (and a hundred real criminals identified) in various States due to DNA testing already.

    Anyone know what our position is on that issue?

  134. Speaking of losing e-mails that are of interest to courts and others…

  135. [Scroll on by…CIA admitted – at the time – that their heaviest torture case produced a bunch of lies. Bu**er.]

    When the torture results didn’t match their preconceptions, they assumed it was a lie, even if it was true. When it did, but was a lie, they sent people on wild goose chases. The use of torture meant they had no way to figure out which was which.

  136. Congratulations on the 500,000 hits everyone! Long may you run!!

  137. A new study claims homosexual behaviour is widespread in animals.

    …the authors claim the phenomenon is not only widespread but part of a necessary biological adaptation for the survival of the species.

    They found that on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, almost a third of the Laysan albatross population is raised by pairs of two females because of the shortage of males. Through these ‘lesbian’ unions, Laysan albatross are flourishing. Their existence had been dwindling before the adaptation was noticed.

    Other species form same-sex bonds for other reasons, they found.

    Hmmm, if not refuted that’ll freak out a whole bunch of people…better get the Heartland Institute onto it right away! 😉

  138. I missed this at the time. The OECD surveyed various countries on “life satisfaction”, or (roughly speaking) happiness.

    The top three countries are “high tax/high social security” countries, and the author of this post draws a tentative connection, whilst noting that other factors may also play a part.

  139. Lotharsson, on June 21st, 2009 at 1:47 am


  140. Why are there so many ads (from two companies) for hair loss during the F1 broadcast? Are motor-heads all bald?

  141. You want pokies in Crapperville scaper? Perhaps you can offer this fellow a role on council…


    First-term Beaudesert MP Aiden McLindon says he has a seven-point plan for Queensland that includes moving all poker machines to a new Las Vegas-style city – somewhere like Roma in the state’s southern inland.

  142. Tony, my curiosity is this…

    If CC have toured here at least 3 times over the last 20+ years why have they only now been banned/prohibited?

    It just doesn’t follow logic.

    If you’re well aware of their output (which I am & a vast majority could care less) I’d say they’ve gotten less “dangerous” rather tham worse (ie. not warranting a ban).

  143. Roma? Reno?

  144. For the wine snobs…

    I’ve consumed 2 bottles ofHardys OOMOO 2007 McClaren Vale shiraz almost singlehandedly

  145. Las Crappas?

  146. Yo, Paleface, Oomoo is Aboriginal for “good”, although I don’t know what language group it is from.

    Talk about a misnomer.

  147. (Not that I buy into the ‘Crapperville’ baiting, but I assumed the gambling in ‘Crapperville’ revolved around flies climbing walls.)

  148. Paleface, did you see my comment on Blogocrtas footy tipping that I forgot to enter my tips for last weekend’s games? This leaves you 4 clear of me.

  149. Migs. All I need to know is did mum give my wife/partner of 10 years a cheap arsed shit bottle of wine or not?

    I do appreciate the insight into the language though. I love extra-english-interests. I may be a pale face but I can speak fragments of French, German, Indonesian/Malaysian, Cantonese & look at the world accodingly. ie….with genuine interest.

    Tasted good anyhoo.

    Maybe we’ll share a bottle one day?

  150. Oh f@ck migs. It was/is a good contest too!

    neck & neck.

    Not sure how I come across in type but I’m not cocky as a rule & am enjoying the tipping. Nothing’s to say I won’t get routed this week.

    It would be typical of the Crows to go into the break well & come out overconfident & therefore rooted. A big month ahead for Port eh? Good luck for the 2nd half of the season; I mean it.

  151. “accordingly”…

  152. “Talk about a misnomer”

    Maybe not?!

    Something from closer to Penola then?………………….& older perhaps?

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