Wednesday, 15 July 2015

I Dare Not Speak Its Name

There was a time when I used to comment on Sinclair Davidson's Catallaxy blog.

It is a refuge for a weird bunch. Regular contributors include bitter ex-service personnel who never left Australia, raving imperialists, absolute nutters, and the occasional psychopath, but it was always excellent entertainment.

Then I was banned.

The reason for this was my mention of the fact that mining companies receive a rebate on diesel fuel costs, which amounts to a fair old whack (it will amount to $14 billion in the next four years). This was in the context of complaints about the taxpayer subsidising alternative energy investment through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

This issue is being kicked around again. Metronome Tone has thrown a tanty because he has been unable to shut down said CEFC. The senate won't let him.

The point is, the extent of subsidies to the mining industry to those with a finger in the pie like Davidson is censored information. You dare not speak its name. There are too many irons in the fire - too much vested interest. The truth spoils the narrative.

The report of the Australia Institute is lengthy, but this extract from the introduction gives you an idea of the extent of the taxpayer support for these profitable enterprises -

This paper is the first attempt to put a dollar figure on the value of state assistance to the mining industry. It shows that over a six-year period, state governments in Australia spent $17.6 billion supporting the mineral and fossil fuel industries. Queensland’s assistance was by far the largest of all states, totalling $9.5 billion, followed by Western Australia’s at $6.2 billion.
State government assistance to the mineral and fossil fuel industries appears substantial even when compared to big budget items, such as health, education and law and order. For example, Queensland’s expenditure on these industries in 2013-14 is similar to the amount to be spent on disability services and capital expenditure on hospitals. Queensland will spend as much on supporting the mining industry as it does on supporting some of its most vulnerable citizens. Similarly, industry assistance in Western Australia is substantial when compared to police and health, and in New South Wales, it is comparable to other important budget items such as managing the state’s national parks and providing accommodation for those with disabilities.

If you are interested in the history and quantum of these subsidies, read this. 

You'll need to put some time aside. It's 70 pages long.

The amount of these subsidies is eye-watering.

But, whatever you do, don't speak or write about it in public. 


Bob's a fool said...

So Bob your beloved labor party splashed buckets loads on miners and it's the Tories fault? Once again too long on the government teet, get some perspective old boy.

1735099 said...

too long on the government teet (sic)
It's "teat".
Your literacy skills are on a par with your cognitive capacity.

Bob's a fool said...

Sorry Bob I didn't realise this was a spelling bee, let's try to deal with pertinent facts next time. Let's start with the fact that labor tipped in much more funding to miners than the LNP, inconvenient but true.

1735099 said...

I really couldn't care less if the Calathumpians subsidized mining. It's a completely disgraceful exercise. Unlike some, I don't see Australian politics as binary.
You could always try to back up your "facts" with references, by the way.
Another pertinent fact is that the Coalition are in government federally - not the LNP. They used to be the government in Queensland until voters got Jack of arrogance and corruption.

Bob's a fool said...

Read the report you cited Bob it's pretty obvious, the report focuses on state funding not federal funding. I doubt you read it frankly, even a one eyed Union stooge like you could decipher these facts.

LNP corruption, I must have missed that, care to cite any evidence of this? Union corruption well we're rolling in evidence there aren't we Bob, Old backstaber Bill has been cooked like a chock and some interesting evidence on the front page of the Fin. Review today, you should broaden your narrow view of the world and shout yourself a copy.

1735099 said...

the report focuses on state funding not federal funding
It makes no difference whether the subsidies are state or federal, they still come from the taxpayer. Our hard-earned is being handed to very profitable multi-national mining companies.
LNP corruption, I must have missed that, care to cite any evidence of this?
Happy to -,6794
There's plenty more........

Bob's a fool said...

Heres a tip for you champ, none of your references related to any specific legally tested incidence of corruption, go search your beloved unions, you'll find plenty of legal judgements proving their bullying, rorting and corruption. It scares me that the government allows you to influence young minds.

1735099 said...

Heard of the Fitzgerald Inquiry? Was that a tough enough legal test?
The last LNP government were well on the way back to that culture. Remind me, who was Newman's top election fund raiser, and what became of him. Does the name Scott Driscoll ring any bells for you?
Then there was Ray Stevens' clear conflict of interest over the cable car project. When questioned about it he did a weird kind of Watusi. Remember?
Of course the corruption commission had to be subverted. It was a threat to the rotten white shoe culture. The donation disclosure rules were emasculated to the point that they were useless. Acland mine stage 2 got the go-ahead after a massive donation.
Carl Judge (an ex-copper) was so uncomfortable in the environment that he pulled the pin.
In Queensland we were well on the way back to pre-Fitzgerald days. The Ex-commissioner said as much. Fortunately, there were enough older Queenslanders who could remember Jo's glory days to vote accordingly. We dodged a bullet at the last state election.
As for subverting young minds - that remark reveals your deep ignorance of the teaching and learning process. Young minds these days think for themselves. The notion that they could be influenced by teachers is ludicrous. Spend some time in a modern classroom. Any teacher stupid enough to advance a political opinion whilst teaching would be immediately challenged by his/her students.
How long is it since you spent time in a classroom?

Bob's a fool said...

So in order of appearance:

Heard of the Fitzgerald Inquiry? Was that a tough enough legal test?

Yes I have and I was very excited to see the end of Old Queensland at the time. Campbell Newman was ~24 years of age when the inquiry was held – are you going for the “original sin” angle here Bob? I don’t recall any other Liberal or Country Party members from this era that are still active in the Parliament.
In more recent years we had the Sheperdson Inquiry into electoral cheating, labor featured fairly strongly, check out Jackie Trad’s alleged quick exit from Queensland for a few years.

Does the name Scott Driscoll ring any bells for you?

Yes it does although I don't recall him being Newman's number one fundraiser, he was a first term representative who wasn’t expected to win a safe Labor seat, a bad fellow who deserves everything coming his way without a doubt. The LNP acted accordingly and suspended him pending due process and he was severely fined by the LNP controlled parliament for his contempt, I assume the courts will send him to jail for his crimes outside the parliament and justifiably so. On a comparative basis let’s compare recent history, Gordan Nuttal 14 years in the parliament representing Labor and convicted of corruption while a Minister and jailed for a record period. Merri Rose 12 years in the parliament and a former Minister, jailed for attempting to blackmail an elected member, some would say after an affair with the premier of the day. You might remember that other party money man, Bill D’Arcy from the ALP, if my memory serves me correctly he is a jailed convicted paedophile whilst teaching and his electoral successor Mike Kaiser lasted less than a year after being found branch stacking, the poor people of Woodridge continue to vote in Labor hacks.

Then there was Ray Stevens' clear conflict of interest over the cable car project. When questioned about it he did a weird kind of Watusi. Remember?

Indeed I do, somewhat silly dancing but was he convicted of any corrupt activities?

Carl Judge (an ex-copper) was so uncomfortable in the environment that he pulled the pin.

Carl was probably a good copper but he went through 3 parties and acted as an independent, all in 3 years, not re-elected and probably not suited for the job.

In Queensland we were well on the way back to pre-Fitzgerald days. The Ex-commissioner said as much.

A matter of opinion, no member of the government was charged with official corruption and lets not forget that Bligh and Co, ran a whole campaign aimed at trying to smear Newman and his wife's family - actions that were as low as any decent person of this state could recall and they still couldn't make a case and were resoundingly dismissed by the voters for their troubles.

Subverting young minds

Your words not mine Bob, my comments didn’t simply relate to politics, they relate to your singular vision – get some perspective man. And to answer your question re classrooms, quite recently in fact.

1735099 said...

Bligh and Co, ran a whole campaign aimed at trying to smear Newman and his wife's family

The following verifiable facts about Campbell Newman and his family are all out there. All of this is reported fact from a variety of media, including News Limited. None of it is sourced from the ABC. Check it out.
Seb Monsour (Newman’s brother-in-law) –
Investigated by the FBI for inappropriately obtaining technology developed by the US Department of Defence. The allegations related to claims his company Majella inappropriately gained technology, used in war zones and after natural disasters, from an employee of US company Global Relief Technologies. His sister, Mr Newman’s wife, Lisa, was briefly the secretary of the company. Insufficient evidence was found for a conviction, but somehow or other Seb ended up with the technology. This technology was to be used in winning a contract for managing the cleanup after the disastrous 2011 Brisbane floods, but more about that below.
His bid for preselection for the federal seat of Ryan fell in a heap when he was found to be falsely big noting himself on his website by claiming to have played for the Queensland Reds.
This was after the member for Ryan, Michael Johnson, was expelled from the Liberal Party for bringing the party into disrepute. The question to be asked here, of course, is who blew the whistle on Johnson. (Refer Bruce McIver’s black folder). The Newmans have plenty of influence on the organisational wing.

1735099 said...

Seb made the news over an incident on the night Newman was elected in Lord Mayor in 2004 when he entered the Brisbane Water offices apparently because he thought documents were being shredded by the outgoing Labor administration. He was caught on security cameras. No documents were shredded. Question is – who put him up to it?
An email obtained by The Australian in 2011 showed that Seb Monsour wrote on January 20 to John Bradley, then director-general of the Department of Environment and Resource Management, boasting that his company’s products had been used after Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake. “We are the Asia Pacific representatives of Global Relief Technologies . . . we simply belief (sic) our product can provide immediate benefit in the support of the recovery efforts in Queensland,” he wrote. An American company, GRT, threatened to take legal action against Seb Monsour for falsely representing himself as part of GRT. Mr Monsour was the chief executive of Majella Global Technologies, which first established as Invictus Solutions Pty Ltd and traded as GRT Asia Pacific in its correspondence with the state government. Global Relief Technologies chief executive Michael Gray and Mr Monsour were embroiled in a public spat about approaches made to the state government by Mr Monsour, purportedly on GRT’s behalf.
GRT said it was prepared to take legal action against Mr Monsour for falsely representing himself as part of the company and for using former GRT employee Art Cleaves to set up a similar company to GRT called Majella Global Technologies.
Mr Gray said he sent Mr Cleaves, an employee of GRT at the time, to Australia during the Queensland floods to see if the company’s technology could be used here. While here, Mr Cleaves met Mr Monsour and returned to America telling his boss they should go into business with him.
Mr Gray said he spoke to Mr Monsour once on the phone and immediately decided he was not someone he wanted to partner with in Australia. “He kept making remarks about how they have this presence and he was very involved with the government and knew everyone in government,” said Mr Gray. “He said he had a lot of contacts in high places and was very well connected.”I immediately terminated [any business interaction with him].”
We know who Seb’s major “contact” was……
So this American executive immediately detected the stench of corruption. It’s a shame more locals weren’t so prescient.
Heidi Monsour (Newman’s sister-in-law) –
Heidi Monsour is the Director of Marketing and Fundraising for the Brisbane Anglican Archdiocese. The Anglican Church worked closely with Mr Newman when he was Brisbane’s lord mayor during the floods. Majella, set up initially with Mr Newman’s wife, has courted controversy since the floods. The company, sought up to $30 million from the Queensland Reconstruction Authority to provide disaster recovery expertise. Majella was the only company asked to make a pitch to develop the Spiritus disaster management plan.
Campbell Newman –
Paid a retainer of $12000 per month to tide him over between resigning as Lord Major, and being elected Member for Ashgrove and subsequently Premier. There is nothing illegal about this of course, but it reinforces an understanding of the connection between the organisational wing of the party and Newman. This practice completely subverted the Westminster notion of democratic representation.
This material ended up before the CJC (before it was disbanded by Newman). There was enough evidence to investigate, but not enough to for a finding of misuse of public office. It doesn’t take an Einstein to make a connection between this and the LNP’s treatment of the CJC.

Bob's a fool said...

All very interesting but where is the proof that any of this makes Newman corrupt and where were the claims tested in court?

1735099 said...

Newman emasculated the "court" by dissolving the CJC. The LNP had always seen it as a construct developed by Tony Fitzgerald, and with the exception of a few members with integrity (e.g. Rob Borbidge) couldn't wait to see the end of it.
It was always an encumbrance to the whiteshoes that are the puppeteers pulling the strings that have always been behind the conservative forces in Queensland.

Bob's a fool said...

The CJC ceased to be in 2002, your ability to spout half truths and innuendo speaks volumes about your credibility.

1735099 said...

Irrespective of what the Queensland anti-corruption body is called, the (credible) fact is that the LNP did everything in their power to nobble it in its various iterations.

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