On Sam Dastyari 

Greg Poropat writes:  Re.“Dastyari’s demotion puts increasingly exposed China lobby on notice” (Thursday)

Sam Dastyari is a fool and deserves what has come his way. But Dastyari’s idiocy should not allow another serious matter to go unaddressed.

It hasn’t been contested that the Dastyari material Fairfax published was created by one of our intelligence agencies. How and why it came to be in a journalist’s hands are serious questions that need answers. Another question that also must be asked is why this material came into the public domain now, more than 18 months after Dastyari’s indiscretions. It smacks of police state behaviour: a secret agency gathering intel on a citizen and that information then being used for what appears to be a political purpose. (In Dastyari’s case, no criminal offence has been alleged.) This government has disturbing form in using confidential information to attack its political opponents. If we value our political freedoms, it’s a trend that has to be stopped now.

John Richardson writes: Re.“Dastyari’s demotion puts increasingly exposed China lobby on notice” (Thursday)

While Bernard Keane might be right about the message he thinks was sent to Beijing via the brutal and public clubbing of Sam Dastyari, it’s surely not the only message that can be taken out of the latest episode in this affair 

While our noble Prime Minister claims that “we don’t do witch hunts in Australia”, he shamelessly stood ready to deflect attacks on his leadership from within his own party by dishonestly accusing Senator Sam Dastyari of undermining national security and being disloyal to our country.

And in what must be a new “journalistic” low point reached during the course of the absurd and carefully orchestrated hysteria, the ABC managed to ask the Attorney-General if Senator Dastyari’s behaviour amounted to treason!

It would now seem that Australia has become a place where anyone who does not slavishly support the interests of the US and Israel, let alone harbour ambitions that our government might demonstrate independence of thought, must represent an existential threat to our precious pretend democracy.

If Senator Dastyari is really deserving of the scorn and derision that has been heaped on him from all quarters, then surely the same must be true for all the self-important, self-serving, hypocritical poseurs who are a plague on our nation’s capital.

On the royal commission into financial services

Les Heimann writes: Re. “Banks put Turnbull out of his misery on inquiry” (Thursday)

“Give us a Royal Commission” the big four cry.  A convenient sword swallowed for what? That is the real question. There is no doubt in my mind that a cosy little stitch up has been concocted between the big four and our PM. Let’s see the terms of “white wash” and who heads up the Commission. I suggest our good Malcolm is quietly sipping his scotch proud of his latest manoeuvre.

No one is fooled and there is everything to see here. Poor little Sam, caught doing; well what was he doing? Nothing illegal and nothing much really. I recollect a time shortly before the dismissal of the Whitlam government when the Canberra corridors were awash with American CIA rumours. Actually we soon learnt they were not rumours. “Any government that in any way gets in our way will be brought down by us and that includes yours”. Who knew? Nearly everyone knew the axe would be made to fall — and it did.

Now, even from afar, I sniff a whiff of conspiracy. However, is any journalist today game enough to follow the smell of what I call the “dastardly demolition”. The same fate will befall anyone,  or group who, in any way, dares to favour China — which I don’t for one, they are all just as bad as one another. That’s the CIA way. Wait for the swell of misdirection and misinformation that will surely follow.

Peter Fray

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