Like clockwork, the Turnbull government keeps making bad decisions that only result in humiliation. Bernard Keane at his cracking best. ONE OF the staples of parliamentary theatre is confected amusement, when MPs on one side or another, on cue, roar with laughter like extras in an opera. With Labor MPs struggling to stop themselves grinning from ear to ear this week, there’s been little need for fakery. The government’s conspiracy theory about Barnaby “The Maungatapere Candidate” Joyce, and its insistence on doubling down on it yesterday in Parliament, turned question time into a farce of an altogether higher order than it normally is. Labor’s...Read More
Author: Sandi Keane
The financial clout of Australia’s billion-dollar gun industry is increasing with firearm sales, membership revenues and political donations all climbing according to an investigation for ABC RN’s Background Briefing and michaelwest.com.au by Paddy Manning. EMBLEMATIC OF the increasing power of the firearms industry is the substantial investment by five powerful players in a new peak body the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA), established in late 2014. SIFA’s first accounts, lodged in May, show revenues from membership nearly trebled from $125,000 in 2014-15 to more than $350,000 in 2015-16, as the Association geared up for a major lobbying effort. SIFA made donations of $84,035...Read More
The control of Australia’s insurance market wielded by Warren Buffett’s General Re makes his continuing health a subject of real import for the Australian financial system, write Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane. ITS’ NOT as if governments and financial regulators don’t have plenty to worry about at the moment, but the health of an 86-year-old man in Omaha, Nebraska, should be high on the list, especially in Australia. The answer to the question “what happens when Warren Buffett dies” is extremely important to our financial sector and entirely unclear. We aren’t being ghoulish. There is simply no other businessman anywhere in the world with the clout or...Read More
AN EMBATTLED Matthew Guy, desperate to rebadge himself as the great donation reformer is urging adoption of “real time” donations. But that doesn’t quite cut it, says Nichola Cooper, who reminds us that Australians are demanding an end to “policy capture”. Had Guy been seriously concerned about his political future (and he should be after the latest Fairfax Media-ReachTel poll, he’d have taken a leaf out of Annastacia Palaszczuk’s book and advocated serious donations reform. We note no mention, for example, of reducing the disclosure threshold of $13,200 to $1,000 (now a policy of federal and Qld Labor). Increasing the transparency threshold from...Read More
It beggars belief that the “tough on crime” campaigner Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy dined on lobster and Grange with the alleged Godfather of the Melbourne Mafia, Tony Madaferri. Worse, we now we hear that the (now former) Victorian Liberal Party’s fundraiser, Barrie Macmillan, suggested “splitting” donations from the crime boss in order to hide them from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). The story has prompted our editor-in-chief, Sandi Keane, to question how much of a sham is our so-called “democracy”. According to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald by Adam Gartrell on 2 February 2017, 66 per cent of donations to the Liberal...Read More
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New Michael West Podcast
Created by PodcastOne, this 3 part series looks into how Australia has gone from one of the cheapest countries in the world for energy to one of the most expensive, and reveals just what has happened with our gas and electricity supply and why we are on the verge of an energy crisis.