Blind trusts and dark days in Parliament.
OCTOBER 23, 2021

Just for a bit of weekend relief, let’s apply the pub test to the matter of Christian Porter’s blind trust.

A minister of the crown, receiving secret donations to fund a legal case, says, “I don’t know where the money came from, nothing to see here.” The speaker of the House reckons the parliamentary committee that exists to keep MPs on the straight and narrow should take a squiz — after all, that’s what the public expects. Standards, transparency, accountability, and all that.

But no, the government votes down its own speaker. To which we say, “really?” and many of our readers seem to agree.

Check out Crikey‘s best reporting from the week, covering Christian Porter, the Nationals, the Victorian ALP — and for some light relief, what Kevin Rudd thinks Scott Morrison should do about his religion.

As for the actual pub test, give your score at the next election.

Have a great Saturday,

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey


Porter in a storm

Exposing Christian Porter’s donors is so scary Morrison will do anything to avoid it

BERNARD KEANE 3 minute read

Why are Christian Porter and Scott Morrison so desperate to cover up the identity of Porter's donors? What power do they wield over the government sufficient it will do almost anything to protect them?

Porter’s blind trust inquiry block proves how many are willing to protect his reputation

AMBER SCHULTZ 4 minute read

Rarely are accused men’s careers curtailed by allegations of sexual harassment or discrimination.

‘This is a very black day for Australian parliamentary history’


The Morrison government is so desperate to protect Christian Porter it used a tactic unseen since Federation.

Guys, dolls, mods: catching up on the branch stack inquiry

GUY RUNDLE 5 minute read

The IBAC hearing into Victorian Labor branch stacking has been a history lesson in the dirty business of faction-building.

First, Parliament was unsafe for women. Now it is unsafe for democracy itself

MICHAEL BRADLEY 3 minute read

If parliamentarians refuse to govern themselves, Parliament becomes a place where literally anything goes.

The stack, the rort and the backhander: the self-serving plays corrupting government


Taken together, these peculiarly Australian practices are taking the ideological conflict out of politics, replacing it with debates about process and administration.

National shame

The National Party is based on a myth. Here is why

JASON MURPHY 3 minute read

Jobs in regional Australia have been transforming for years — and the pandemic is set to push them even further. So who has their eyes on the road?

The Nationals don’t give a damn about the regions. Here’s the proof

BERNARD KEANE 4 minute read

The Nats are guilty of a litany of failures in regional communities. Instead they've abandoned farmers and sucked up to the fossil-fuel industry.

Just what is the point of Barnaby Joyce?

MADONNA KING 4 minute read

For someone said to be one of the country's best retail politicians, Joyce and his National Party have few achievements to brag about.

Rudd: Morrison should not be attacked for his faith. But he should tell us how it affects his politics

KEVIN RUDD 5 minute read

It's not unreasonable or intrusive for Australians to ask how Scott Morrison's religious faith impacts on his political behaviour and decision-making, writes former prime minister Kevin Rudd.

No shame, no accountability — Victorian Labor’s shameless cesspit on display

BERNARD KEANE 4 minute read

Politicians have far too much discretion in their use of taxpayers' dollars, and that makes the system ripe for abuse.

Perrottet’s act of faith as Catholic Church circles on voluntary assisted dying laws

DAVID HARDAKER 3 minute read

Does the socially conservative and staunch Catholic NSW premier take holy orders from above?

Australia is the land of shonks, spivs and charlatans — and that’s just Parliament

BERNARD KEANE 4 minute read

Our broken politics was on full display this week at both the state and federal level — systems of government that encourage politicians to misbehave with our money.

Don’t ignore TikTok, where Australians clocked up 42 million hours each month

CAM WILSON 3 minute read

Politicians and parents should be keeping an eye on the massively popular platform that needs scrutiny and perhaps regulation.

This rorting nation: government hands out $25bn in non-competitive grants

GEORGIA WILKINS 2 minute read

A new report shows the number of confidential 'closed non-competitive grants' by the Morrison government has surged in recent years.

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