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Crikey says: partisan political picks probed

The winners and losers from the ASX: Paddy Manning hands out his awards. Bernard Keane on the MYEFO challenge. Inside Darwin’s detention centre and the neglect of pregnant women. Our distrust for the media — especially The Daily Telegraph. News from the Ten AGM. Why Tim Wilson could prove to be a freedom fighter. And Jane Caro’s weekly take.

Maybe we need Congress-style confirmation hearings to sort through the federal government’s appointments …

Natasha Stott Despoja as our new ambassador for women and girls? An admirable aisle-crossing pick for an eminently capable advocate (even if we’re not entirely sure what the role entails, and we’re fairly sure the Asian nations we’re going to lecture on female political participation might just have something to say on the female representation in Tony Abbott’s cabinet).

Institute of Public Affairs ideologue Tim Wilson as a “freedom commissioner” at the Human Rights Commission? You know what, there’s merit in that, too. As Bernard Keane argues today:

… there’s no doubting the IPA has an instinctive distaste for anything that limits civil liberties or free speech, and that’s not something we’re exactly over-endowed with in Australia. If there’s going to be a body like the HRC, it should focus on free speech as well as other rights.”

But Sophie Mirabella, dumped by her electorate for arrogance and neglect, appointed to the board of a government-owned naval shipbuilding firm? A soft landing indeed for one of their own, with a $71,680 salary to attend 12 meetings next year on a subject that, frankly, she doesn’t know a great deal about.

But then, one-and-a-half out of three ain’t bad …

(We were kidding about the confirmation hearings. Terrible idea.)


Angry about Sophie Mirabella’s plum new post? You could always vote for the woman who unseated her, independent Cathy McGowan, in our 2013 Crikey Person of the Year. McGowan has been nominated along with the likes of Peter Fox, Edward Snowden, Ita Buttrose and Satoshi Nakamoto to take out the gong. And don’t forget to vote for our Arsehat of the Year while you’re at it. Have your say here; voting closes at noon AEST tomorrow.

  • 1
    Posted Wednesday, 18 December 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    You’d think Murdoch would be all over this sort of stuff …… if it was Labor?

  • 2
    zut alors
    Posted Wednesday, 18 December 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Mirabella on a board of shipbuilders?

    I assumed that, post election, she’d be running a charm school.

  • 3
    Electric Lardyland
    Posted Wednesday, 18 December 2013 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    …more likely a harm school.

  • 4
    Posted Thursday, 19 December 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Is there any chance of using PappaBella to test the torpedo tubes?

  • 5
    Posted Thursday, 19 December 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    On the bright side, “No Surprises and no excuses” with this sort of party policy?
    They’ll campaign against “the excesses” of their opponents then, when they win, justify their own by citing those same excesses?
    What was so wrong becomes justification?

    Anyone, who thinks their one side of politics has all the answers, has got rocks in their heads and multiple G-spots.

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