Adem Somyurek
Adem Somyurek (Image: AAP/Julian Smith)

The hard right goes hunting, The West Australian shows how it’s done, and is more pain coming at Emirates? Plus other tips and murmurs from the Crikey bunker.

So who killed Somyurek? The source of the damning videos that ended the political career of Victorian ALP powerbroker Adem Somyurek is the hottest topic in Canberra and in Spring St (and probably nowhere else).

Much of the speculation centres around normally low-profile Holt MP Anthony Byrne, in whose office much of the filming appears to have been done. While some outlets were coy about naming names, James Campbell and colleagues at the Herald Sun identified a Byrne staffer (and, like Byrne, notional Somyurek ally) as a possible source, prompting the question of whether Byrne knew of, or even masterminded, the operation.

The Herald Sun notes that allies of the reticent Byrne have dismissed this as “bullshit conspiracy theory”. But it leaves the serious question of who was filming inside the offices of the deputy chair of parliament’s most powerful committee, the intelligence and security committee?

For, low-profile as Byrne is, he’s been central to the workings of that committee for a decade, during which major extensions of security agency powers have been granted. He also has extensive connections with not merely security agency bureaucrats (not all of them friendly) but with his Five Eyes counterparts. That raises the stakes a very great deal for the question of why there were surveillance cameras in an ordinary electorate office.

ACT like you know, man Hard-right Liberal Senator Zed Seselja, who last contributed to the public discourse by resolutely failing to affect the marriage equality debate, has thrown himself back into battle. He’s done the same doh-see-doh on restrictions as many conservatives — silent on 5G protests, awfully keen to get businesses up and running again, and horrified, just horrified by Black Lives Matter protests.

But the protests (by all measures extremely carefully organised) haven’t yet produced any spike in cases to speak of. So, Seselja is canvassing his constituents for evidence of double standards in the form of heavy handed policing of the social distancing imposed on small businesses:

Seselja knows there were cops monitoring the protests too, right? In Melbourne, they issued fines to the organisers and in Sydney they did a lot more than that. No matter. Seselja clicks send on another missive, and sighs heavily: “Some day, this culture war’s gonna end.”

View from the West Never let it be said we don’t give credit where it is due — recently, The West Australian has been doing some fine, considered and thoughtful work. As collected by the ABC’s Alex Mann — there’s been a serious reckoning with systemic issues concerning race, one that that avoids pandering to any real or imagined prejudices in the readership.

In recent years there have been serious worries the West has been shifting towards to the more frenzied tabloid style of The Daily Telegraph, particularity since content sharing arrangements put the likes of Andrew Bolt and Miranda Devine in the paper.

But while the Tele slides further off the deep end, the West’s coverage has been impressive, with front page coverage regularly giving primacy to Indigenous voices and issues:

Aviation watch Following on from our news about Emirates yesterday, we understand the airline is planning to make another 600 pilots redundant today, and 600 more on Thursday as the bloodletting continues at the Dubai-based airline. 

Peter Fray

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