Sep 28, 2012

Tanner, Assange, Slipper and Labor: think globally, hacks locally

Lindsay Tanner's critique of Labor has much to recommend it, but the week saw some interesting twists on one of his themes.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

While Lindsay Tanner and his publisher would be delighted with the fiery reception his barbs aimed at Labor and the deposers of Kevin Rudd received, and Tanner was altogether more light on with the solutions than with the problems, there are still some stubborn elements at the core of Tanner’s analysis that won’t go away.

Much of the “Labor has lost its way” critique (I’m putting my own hand up for blame on this) has been cast in pejorative terms, as a fault of Labor powerbrokers who have centralised control of — and demonised — genuine policy debate in the party while broader social trends hollowed it out.

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3 thoughts on “Tanner, Assange, Slipper and Labor: think globally, hacks locally

  1. zut alors

    Note Bob Carr’s par for the course cursory response to Assange’s speech with that tired old parrot-like ditty ie: The Australian Consul Has Had Sixty Points Of Contact With Mr Assange.
    Gee, Bob, perhaps it’s worth making a couple more because apparently Mr Assange doesn’t feel the love.

    Frankly, I couldn’t give a toss if Australia attains a seat on the Security Council, our vote will always be decided by Uncle Sam hence any contribution will be of nil value. Protecting Australian citizens is a noble cause and I’d prefer the government apply themselves to that instead of posturing and pretending to be statesmen at the UN.

  2. linda domaschenz

    So now for all to see,JA is public enemy NO 1 to the US and what does Carr do?
    Zilch, what poor little puppets we truly are.
    Even if they don’t want JA causing further embarrassment, he should at the least be given dimpomatic immunity to get to Ecuador.
    I realize not so simple legally, but how long is this fiasco going to drag on for?
    The aid worker in Libya is garnering more attention.

  3. Serenatopia

    The Commonwealth is under a legal obligation pursuant to the Legal Services Directions 2005, which are ironically administered by the Attorney-General’s Department, to pay legitimate claims without litigation (please refer to Appendix B paragraph 2(b)). Note 3 of the Model Litigant Rules in the Legal Services Directions state ‘the obligation to act as a model litigant may require more than acting honestly and in accordance with the laws and court rules. It also goes beyond the requirement for lawyers to act in accordance with their ethical obligations.’

    If the Commonwealth believes that a vexatious claim has been brought against it, then in accordance to the Legal Services Directions, it is incumbent on the Commonwealth to protect its interests (please refer to note 4).

    By virtue of settling the claim with Ashby, and the fact that this has happened as a result of the Commonwealth approaching him, the Commonwealth has acknowledged, to some extent, the genuineness and legitimacy of his claims.

    What is perturbing about all of this is that we have an Attorney-General, who is the first female in that role, who appears not to be across the legislation she is supposed to administer.

    What is more perturbing is the fact that she has endorsed the spending of over $700,000 on a case that should have been settled over a year ago.

    I think there is a name for such behaviour and it is called ‘maladministration’. I also believe that this is the very thing that whistleblowing is all about.

    Effectively, we have a case of ‘maladministration’ playing out before our eyes…and all that Roxon can do…is continue to blame the victim!

    One question remains- who makes the people that run our nation accountable?

    I also refer you to blog post:


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