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New South Wales

Dec 5, 2017

Could Dastyari help keep Keneally out of Bennelong?

Dastyari is a walking crisis, and he isn't just derailing Labor's efforts to keep pressure on what should be an unraveling government; he's throwing its chances in Bennelong into doubt.

Anyone watching parliamentary question time would’ve seen etched on the faces of Labor’s frontbench, including Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, dismay over the case of the disgraced Senator Sam Dastyari.

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32 thoughts on “Could Dastyari help keep Keneally out of Bennelong?

  1. barry.hindess@anu.edu.au

    Lets not forget that the Dastyari affair is largely concocted by the Coalition & security agencies and at a time that suits the Libs. Sure he gets funds from Chinese millionaire of whom ASIO disapproves – but so do Libs – and he disagrees with ALP line on China, as do many of those not bamboozled by ASIO

    1. Hunt Ian

      The concocted bit is right, with all the echos that has of the Khemlani affair, so long ago. But getting funds from a Chinese donor to cover legal costs said to be $5K to $44K is highly odd. Did Sam wonder how this might look to others, when he allows Mr Huang to act as though he were a personal friend? The comments by Sam Dastyari at a Press Conference only contradict the ALP’s line on Chinese territorial claims if we insert at the end of his comment that “The Chinese integrity of its borders is a matter for China” the words “regardless of whether these are internationally recognised or disputed”. As for China’s claim to the South China sea, it is hard to see, with or without being bamboozled by ASIO, that China has any compelling foundation for that disputed claim

    2. lykurgus

      Suits the security services too – notice how this correspondent (like all others) hasn’t touched the fact that ASIO were caught conducting surveillance on a Senator (and leaking some of their most sensitive files), on behalf of a Gov’t that won’t learn from previous malpractices of this very type.

      The real question is, why are we paying for this fairy floss, after weeks of getting it rained on us for free?

  2. klewso

    I can’t get over the prioritising of our “news media” – how they have so little regard for things like “the leaking of intelligence” – the leaking of what one would suspect would be “classified” – and the ramifications of that, to suit a political party, usually the Limited News Party?
    Because some parts of our media has been the beneficiary of such leaking – happy to play cat’s paw for this government – for a “scoop”?

    While “Slippery Sam” Dastyari is old news – we’ve been through this months ago? But suddenly it’s fresh again because apparently he subsequently (after what he’d been through – caught the way he was?) suggested Huang leave his phone inside (or “outside” according to Alberici – vs Burke – Lateline) while they went outside, when he went to Huang’s house (apparently no one from the LNP has been there?)?
    While this heads-up to what our intelligence has been doing isn’t important- according to the media that edits our access to news?
    And of course none of us have made similar remarks to people we know – even in jest? …. How did Dastayri use it? Who’s heard that tape?
    Was Dastyari briefed by the “relevant” authorities – that he “sold Oz” out the way he’s supposed to have – the way “Wee Malcolm” and the the rest of the crew has used it and been able to get away with using it, by a complicit media?
    Not important?

    1. Kenneth Piaggio

      I agree with you and Tony Burke. The role of a security breach/leak/misuse, at a time that gives the incumbent government a ‘leg up’, needs to be clarified.
      At the moment, in spite of all the ‘huff and puff’, there is not enough evidence to suggest illegality on the part of this senator.
      The information was collected 18 months ago or so. This ‘intelligence’ being ‘kept on ice’ for use does have a touch of the PM about it. (Grech anyone?). Kevin Andrews ‘misused’ security information about a Brisbane Doctor that came back to bite the Government – or at least the Tax Payer with his payout.
      The pattern of using information, and passing it to their media ‘camp followers’, that suggests, but does not have, a basis in some illegal activity is the behaviour of desperate autocrats.
      This use of information is much more important, as an assault on Civil Society, let alone an assault on the integrity of the security organisations, than anything that the silly senator has done. How does SD’s giving so called ‘counter surveillance advice’ even come close to this government confirming to the Chinese businessman that he was definitely under intelligence surveillance (as if he didn’t know before hand).
      It is laughable that, at the same time as all this is going on, an advisor to this Chinese businessman is giving support to John Anderson in Bennelong.

  3. Marcus Hicks

    To be honest, I reckon the only people who are overly “bothered” by this are the Libs & their Media Mates. The amount of confected outrage from them-given recent dalliances with Chinese Donors by Malcontent & Julie Bishop-is probably making most reasonable people fairly sick to their stomach.

  4. Tom Jones

    I am left bemused that the media pundits who are so keen to go after Dastyari are not digging into the connections between the LNP and the Chinese donors. If it is so dreadful then it is dreadful for both sides.

    But the media seem absolutely to have double standards when it comes to the Chinese. The Government is in Government and has strong connections but Dastyari who is in opposition without briefing on matters of security is of great interest just as the Bennelong by-election is in the mix because “someone” leaked” old tapes. Who is that someone and why is the Government so unconcerned about this security breach? Why are journalists so incurious about these matters?

    The fact that a member of Parliament appears to be being bugged, tailed and watched and material gathered and then used by the government for political purposes against their opponents is very similar to the 70’s when ASIO and ASIS were interfering in the affairs of the Opposition and the Labor Party in Government. Meantime it looks as if the Labor Leadership are not being briefed on possible threats – but who would know when the material used is so selective. The timing of the release of these old tapes to harm Kristina Keneally is remarkable.

    Just who are the spooks protecting us from? Now that would be an interesting story.

    1. MJM

      Here is an explanation of ASIO’s role provided by Mr FDotM.
      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/05/brenda-the-civil-disobedience-penguin-up-against-sinister-eggplants-from-asio

      I agree that the msm is neglecting to ask the questions. The double standards are appalling and amazing.

    2. Coral SeeNQ

      The alternative govt has been undermined by the Security agencies at a time of great danger for the govt. I believe just before the police raid for the media at the AWU offices the compliance regulations allowing for that raid to go ahead was changed three days prior. In other words they are changing legislation mid stream so that people who are doing nothing wrong appear as criminals selectively. If journalist let this Security Agency interference go by maybe it’s a good thing the Jeff Bezos has arrived in this country, maybe he can help us out with a bit of cash for the journalists who are willing to do the work. The WaPo doesn’t let this ‘big picture’ stuff disappear down a right wing drain.

  5. Bob Hatton

    The first job of ASIO and tbe other spooks us not to protect Australia frrom the Chinese Government or soft Chinese power. Its number one job is to protect the LNP – the political arm of the ruling class – from the possible election of the ALP.

    1. Venise Alstergren

      Well said. And if Dastyari is being hung out to dry because money changed hands, why didn’t Andrew Robb who upon leaving politics went to work for the Chinese and for a colossal salary-draw not so much as a whisper? Strike me dead, surprise surprise, because Andrew Robb was a Liberal Party politician!

      1. Coral SeeNQ

        don’t mention that in the Murdocracy. If we had an assault like Trump here he would be whipped onto RN breakfast and feted with flowers

    2. Luckyduck

      Hit the nail on the head. We are seeing the government getting all the help it can from ASIO, AFP and other security agencies. Imagine the outrage if Labor was in government and did so to a LNP MP. We will have the foreign media ( aka News Corp ) mouthing of endlessly. The attack on China could have reverse effect. People from China may not take kindly to China being considered a threat. If you remember when Dr Hanif was arrested and deported the community was very angry and voted John Howard out.

  6. Janno

    The world is experiencing a power change from the US to China, and disruptive moves by Russia, the Saudis (the latter’s moves in SEAsia seemingly ignored) ; old certitudes and comfortable alliances are in question – but seemingly not here in Oz. The change won’t be pretty, smooth or certain. I’m not sure the Australian polity has the self-confidence and intellectual toughness to manage relations with key players. Focussing on Sam Dastiyari (apparently very successful at raising big money for the ALP) when the LNP is taking Chinese money too is just ignoring a bigger question that others have raised here. My highest expectation is that political parties will just keep taking Chinese political donations, talking up the US relationship and using intelligence ‘leaks’ as and where it suits. Great self confidence is not our forte. Sigh.

  7. zut alors

    While the Chinese are buying our politicians they are also buying up Australia’s rural properties & businesses.

    All the above purchases should raise alarm bells.

  8. Coral SeeNQ

    I explained to my son when Dastyari was not removed from the Senate in his first outing that he would damage the party that I support again in the same way and that we could only hope it would not be in the middle of an election. I told him that he is the labor party’s Hilary Clinton. For example, after advice from Colin Powell not to use a personal server she did. She lied misconstrued and caused enormous disgrace and the biggest free kick to the Republicans since Monica Lewinsky. So what does she say when asked during the primary to provide a personal anecdote, something meant to be warm and fuzzy about herself personally during the primaries in 2016. This is what she says: when Bill was president, (against all established protocol secret service advice), she would love to put on a scarf and sunglasses and sneak out of the White House and go down to the local mall and be just like everyone else because she was so goddam tired of all that surveilleance. (privildge). So after all the consequences of her stupid rule breaking on the email server, she now tells Americans via this tale unwittingly that she put her own life, the life of people in the mall, and the secret service in jeopardy (potentially) because she didn’t really understand why the rules needed to be followed. Just like Hilary, Dastyari’s total inability to understand the dimension of ‘the rules’ why they are there and why they apply to everyone is just like Hilary’s utterly stupid inadvertant confession hidden in her anecdote and I knew because having gotten away with it once he would go right out and do it again and be ‘discovered’ in the middle of an election. I was going to write to Bill Shorten and tell him this morality tale after he forgave his first misadventure but I didn’t. I wish that I had because I could have a least said “I told you so” to go with my own rictus smile”. It just demonstrates that like, other forms of moral hazard, ‘positions’ that are so powerful that a person cannot be removed cause the whole institution of the party to be put in jeopardy. That needs to be remedied. NOTE: It was Comey’s October surprize talked about by R Guiliani (how did he know except for contacts in the FBI in New York) that destroyed Hilary in the end, their bitterness that ‘she had gotten away with it’ . Political interference by Security Agencies is as dangerous to democracy as the Russians and the Chinese are make no mistake this is not an irrelevant quibble. After his press conference declaring she was under investigation, she lost momentum and never got it back, it was the end of her, and the strategic timing of the Dastyary matter is another parallel in my little saga. As the article suggests this may reinforce and incompetent tired do nothing government to get itself back on the oxygen and keep going; a totally regrettable outcome. What was Comey’s word when it was suggested by the Senate Hearing that his actions could have helped Trump get elected he felt “mildly nauseous” –yes that’s one to add to my rictus smile.

    1. Marilyn J Shepherd

      What a load of complete tosh, Dastyari is an opposition MP, he was in 2015 too. Hillary was the frigging secretary of state in Government in the US. Do you see the difference as you tried and conflate apples with watermelons.

      1. Coral SeeNQ

        Just was saying the behavior is ‘in the dog’. Hilary was not the Secretary of State when she ponced around in a scarf in malls (apple): but she was the Secretary of State when she took on a private server (orange). I am sorry you considered my opinion tosh because it was different to yours, perhaps you could just point out to me that you disagree. Load of tosh, bit derogatory for someone who it turned out had been right so much so that Sam had to be reconvicted for a continuation of the previous misdemeanour. Sorry no double jeopardy in politics, just a beying crowd. Because that’s what’s in that dog.

  9. Terry of Tuggeranong

    If Kristina loses Dastyari should immediately resign and Krisitna should fill his Senate seat

    1. Coral SeeNQ

      beautiful symmetry and she is an anglo with American roots: by golly that should satisfy the ‘security services’. The destruction of the Labor party by slur, innuendo, royal commission, the security services, the whole box and dice has been put in motion. All done without a single policy. Turnbull’s political lawlessness reminds me of Malcolm Fraser. Another person whose only freind was his wife and a kind a deeply forgiving Gough Whitlam in later life who he tried to emulate in order to find some sort of redemption. The big themes are playing out in this one and they reach back with this security agency stuff into the mid 20th century. Activism and people who care about the law will need to stay engaged lest we end up with the type of thing Republicans are doing to the poor hapless citizens in the US

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