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As rankings of Angus Taylor controversies go, this one would likely not even break the teens. It doesn’t involve the energy minister seeking money for coal-fired power plants via renewable energy funds, or documents of bizarre providence regarding the Sydney lord mayor’s imaginary travel expenses, or the illegal destruction of endangered native grasslands. If nothing else, one must admire the magnificent variety of dramas which so bedevil him.

However, it’s still worth noting that one potential scandal has been offloaded with the winding up of Agricultural Managers Limited (AML), a mysterious entity which resided in the not-especially-agricultural surrounds of the Cayman Islands.

The paper trail is both exhaustive and exhausting, but Jommy Tee has been keeping tabs on developments over at michaelwest.com.au. And it should be added that the appeal of keeping one’s company in a tax haven like the Caymans is that the details remain tantalisingly opaque, so it’s impossible to know whether the sole shareholder of AML was ol’ Angie at the time of wind-up.

Then again, Taylor copped to being the company’s sole director in 2010, but what’s happened since is anyone’s guess, since he’s failed to answer questions about his involvement whenever asked, beyond claiming that he gave up all involvement in Eastern Australia Agriculture (the company that made a cool $80 million selling ghost water to the government in 2017) and its offshoots, which include AML, when he entered parliament in 2013.

If the company’s deliberately bland name rings a bell at all it’s because it was involved in the failed attempt to buy out Cubbie Station and its lucrative water rights. Once that fell over the company has apparently languished, until finally being put out of its misery last December.

Anyway, it’s just nice that Angus can focus his energy elsewhere. As the man himself would no doubt say: “Fantastic. Great move. Well done Angus.”


While there are many fine, perfectly valid debates about certain government apps which have questionable functionality and worryingly porous privacy protections, the busiest place in the scammosphere remains the social medias, especially Facebook, where entrepreneurial fraudsters are advertising positions to the newly jobless that require only a can-do attitude, a disciplined work ethic, and a willingness to share their passport and banking details with strangers. 

Yes, nothing brings out crims like a crisis and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has been alerted to over 2000 online coronavirus scams. Furthermore, InDaily reports that March 2020 had seen Australians defrauded out of a staggering $14.7 million, almost a third more than in the same month last year.

In normal times we’d be decrying this as a horrible situation where desperate people are being preyed on by the unscrupulous, but right now the scamming industry is one of the few productive sectors of the economy. Say, are they eligible for JobKeeper support yet?

Vax populi

When the extent of the current global pandemic first became clear to me, I, in a flush of uncharacteristic and indefensible optimism, opined that one of the good things that might come out of the disaster was an end to the anti-vax movement.

Surely, I thought, even the most jab-averse people would be clamouring to get a vaccine all up in their T-cells after watching friends, neighbours and colleagues sicken and die — or, at least, if they wanted to ever go to a goddamn pub again.

And yet we are confronted again by the unpleasant fact that people’s opinions are generally not changed by facts — and if that seems implausible to you, then you’re ironically part of the problem.

The Conversation revealed some of the world’s most depressing research, which found that 23% of Americans asked whether they would be willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 once a vaccine was available said “nup”.

Bizarrely, those who called themselves “sceptical of vaccines” were the least likely to get the shot (62%), more than people who literally considered themselves actual anti-vaxxers (44%).

In round numbers, these results are about where vaccine scepticism was hovering before the pandemic and raises a fun question of “what happens if we get a vaccine but need it in more than 77% of the population in order for it to provide any benefit?”

Now, it’s worth adding that this is a single study and that it was done in the US where protesting against the very notion of public health is a thing, so whether it can be applied the enclaves of Byron Bay and your auntie’s Facebook page remains to be seen.

Of course, we don’t have a vaccine, and don’t even know whether one is possible. But it’s reassuring to know that even if researchers manage one of the greatest triumphs in scientific history, a sizeable number of people will be ready to school us sheeple in how it causes 5G mobile towers to pop up.

And anyway, Australia’s got a proud history of embracing science and standing up to anti-vaxxers and the risk they pose to the rest of the population by… still letting them play rugby?

Oh sweet Jesus, we’re all going to die.