Everything old is left again In among the white noise of yet more tawdry news out of Canberra, you may have missed this moment of genius from Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells. After ASIO’s recent declaration that terms like “far right” and “Islamist” terrorism were no longer “fit for purpose”, she hit director-general Mike Burgess with a classic: “I have a comment and then a question.”
She asked if the language change would help “educate” those “who do not know their history and do not want to admit that national socialism and Nazism are not right-wing” before insisting, yep, national socialism is a movement of the left.
Senator, we’ve been here before. The Nazi party was purged of any socialist influence by 1933, and formed and maintained links with big business for the entirety of its time in power. Hitler launched the disastrous Operation Barbarossa against Russia, which would prove a turning point in World War II, partly out of a hatred of “Jewish Bolshevism”, a belief that communism was a global Jewish conspiracy.
So yet more meaningless culture war point-scoring — but then what should we expect from someone who this time last year was arguing that referring to right-wing terrorism (long the fastest-growing terrorist threat) was “offensive” to conservatives?
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The big stack Last week Steve Knott, chief executive of mining resources representative group AMMA, argued business would see a Fair Work Commission with greater powers of arbitration as a hostile environment as “most FWC members have never run a business”.
We pointed out at the time this was disingenuous at best, given the relentless stack-a-thon that has characterised the Coalition’s approach to the commission (and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal while we’re on the subject).
And right on cue comes the news that former Liberal member for Indi and WorkChoices spruiker Sophie Mirabella has been hand picked to join the Fair Work Commission on a starting salary of $387,000.
Tricky tactics Another small but illustrative moment in Parliament yesterday. Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of misleading the Parliament on the status of Phil Gaetjens’ inquiry into the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins. Morrison insisted he did “no such thing” and challenged Albanese to move a motion against him.
Albanese called his bluff, moving to suspend standing orders to do just that, only for acting Leader of the House Peter Dutton to deny leave for that motion. Imagine dealing with issues as serious as alleged rape and harassment in the workplace you are responsible for and deciding the best approach is tricky stupol bullshit like that.
Landry service Given the standards that have been set, we aren’t going to be absolute about this, but Nationals MP Michelle Landry’s response to last night’s revelations on Channel Ten and the firing that resulted is certainly an early contender for the most shockingly tone deaf response.
“The young fellow concerned was a really good worker and he loved the place,” the assistant minister for children told the media this morning.
In case you missed last night’s show, the particular form of love expressed itself through masturbating in your boss’ office and sending pics of it to your colleagues.
Does this mean we have one more staffer who can rely on a reference regardless of the circumstances of their departure?
The WAit is over After its wipeout at last week’s election, we pondered who would draw the short straw and lead the Western Australian Liberal Party’s double act.
Member for Vasse Libby Mettam, in confirming that she would not run for leader, guaranteed the role would go to the only other Liberal in WA’s lower house, David Honey.
Perhaps conscious this wasn’t the most exciting way to become leader, Mettam provided a masterclass in focusing in on the positives: Honey was the right man for the job, she said, because he “has the overwhelming support of the parliamentary Liberal Party”. A ringing endorsement, in the circumstances.