Tag Archives: Chris Kenny

Compare & contrast: Sussan Ley and Centrelink punters

9 Jan

animalfarm1

 

Such is politics in these interesting times that it’s impossible when alerted to one scandal, to refrain from speculating if it has been confected to distract your attention from another.

So it is with Health Minister Sussan Ley’s current imbroglio which seems, at first blush, a nice little “look over here not there” moment arriving right on top of the Centrelink scandal.

In the former, federal Health Minister Ley appears to have spent an inordinate amount of taxpayer dollars travelling to the Gold Coast, including for two New Year’s Eve celebrations (what ministerial duties could she possibly be fulfilling on New Year’s Eve at the Gold Coast?) and, conveniently, at the time of the auction purchase by herself and her partner, a Gold Coast businessman, of an $800,ooo apartment close to his office.

Noice.

Here is an analysis by the ABC of Ms Ley’s spending.

Ley has agreed to in part pay back some of these taxpayer dollars, acknowledging her fraudulent misappropriation of the money was “an error of judgement.” Many of us think of these behaviours as criminal activities that ought to be investigated by the AFP, but it all swings on the narrative.

In stark contrast, the AFP has joined forces with Centrelink to distribute intimidating letters threatening punters with jail if they might possibly have at some time in the last six years fraudulently claimed welfare benefits. People are advised to pay back the amounts Centrelink determined they owed, prior to any evidence that they actually owed anything. Three debt collection agencies have been contracted by Centrelink to pursue debtors, whether the validity of their debt has been established or not. This is an action Australian Lawyers for Human Rights describe as an abuse of legal process.

It does make sense that calling in debt collectors to pursue an alleged debtor before the debt has even been validated might well be an abuse of legal process. Somehow this fact escaped the notice of the Centrelink overlords, or perhaps they simply don’t care. It’s the government’s intention to continue this extortion for the next four years, making a total of ten years illegally hunting down welfare recipients in order to raise $4.6 billion to fix the budget.

In any case, the contrast between the treatment of Centrelink punters and the treatment of Health Minister Sussan Ley could not be more stark. If it was hoped the Ley affair might distract from the Centrelink debacle, well, no. But I do understand that the LNP would think it might, as they are largely brain-dead.

And then yesterday the Australian’s star turn and renowned dog lover Chris Kenny hove into view, with a tweet on the Ley affair to the effect that “there’s a very experienced health minister waiting in the wings.” Ahahaha! the thlot pickens!

Of course that very experienced health minister must be Tony Abbott, and of course Ley was first outed by the Murdoch hacks.

And so, Turnbull is wedged. If he doesn’t demote Ley: trouble from the voters. If he demotes Ley and doesn’t replace her with Abbott, who has long been agitating for a return to the front bench, he’s in serious trouble with the far right-wing.  Ley is also one of Turnbull’s few allies, and he won’t want to lose her from his cabinet.

However this plays out, the contrast between the manner in which Sussan Ley is treated and the treatment of Centrelink punters could not be a more outstanding example of what the Turnbull government thinks of its citizens. Ley, who ought to be investigated for fraud, is permitted to apologise and pay back the money. Centrelink punters are threatened with jail and repayment of monies, whether they’ve committed fraud or not.

Some humans really are more equal than others.

Let them eat toast

13 May

 

Class War

 

By now, you’ve probably all heard the tale of Duncan Storrer, the man on $20,000 a year who asked assistant treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer on Qanda why people much wealthier than him are getting tax breaks and he isn’t.

Let them eat toast, replied O’Dwyer, but those mofos can cost up to $6000 so two good people began a fund-raising campaign for Mr Storrer to get himself a toaster bigger than his very kitchen because this is class warfare and it’s time to pick your feckin side.

Newscorpse immediately launched a savage attack against Duncan, despatching Princess Caroline Overington to find Duncan’s estranged son who when found had nothing good to say about his dad so obviously, dumbo, Duncan had no right to ask his question because his son hates him. No, I’m not linking to Overington’s piece of trash.

Chris (doglover) Kenny’s son  has also publicly proclaimed his hatred for his father but Newscorpse doesn’t see that as an impediment to Kenny’s authenticity. Apparently earning over $80,000 a year restores any authenticity one might lose as a consequence of your children hating you.

(There are in fact very many impediments to Kenny’s authenticity: his son’s hatred of him is not one of them.)

According to another Newscorpse Princess, Rita Panhini and some of her followers, the ABC needs to be pilloried for allowing Duncan entry to Qanda in the first place, and no government minister should appear on that show again until the audience is subject to an income test.

Newscorpse then attacked Duncan for not paying any net tax, overlooking the fact that Newscorpse pays no net tax either but  that’s OK because Newscorpse has a $6000 toaster it uses to burn to a feckin crisp poor people who ask inconvenient questions so it’s exempted from tax which is only for poor people anyway who have to pay it as punishment for being poor because the doctrine of predestination teaches (read this, it explains a great deal about the LNP) that if God wants you to be rich you’ll be rich and if you aren’t it’s because you’ve pissed him off so NO TOASTER FOR YOU.

Not yet satisfied with the zillion buckets of their own stinking piss they’d poured over Duncan, Newscorpse discovered his rap sheet and plastered Duncan’s offences all over the Herald Sun’s front pages today. Duncan has a record, ergo Duncan may not ask a question on Qanda about income tax.

Yes. This is our country.

Let us not pay attention to the entirely legitimate question Duncan asked, a question many millions of us would dearly love to have answered by Treasurer Scott Morrison or, if we have no other choice, Kelly (let them eat toast) O’Dwyer. Let us instead go through the questioner’s trash cans in a mammoth effort to discredit and invalidate the perfectly legitimate question  he is perfectly entitled to ask from his seat in the Qanda audience upon which he is entirely entitled to settle his bum, even if he only earns $20,000 a year, because last time I looked, asking questions didn’t have a means test attached to it.

But wait. There’s more. Newscorpse chief political editor at one of its many sordid publications, Ms Samantha Maiden, will later this month appear in court to be sentenced for drunk driving and leading police not once but twice on a drunken car chase along the Hume Highway and surrounds. In spite of being found guilty of all charges, Ms Maiden has continued to write her regular column, indeed, in one of her first tweets after appearing in court she called a respected economist a dickhead, rather a reckless judgement from an individual who’d just been found guilty of drink driving and attempting to escape not one, but two police pursuits.

For reasons not immediately apparent to this writer, Ms Maiden’s criminal activities do not invalidate her opinions, while Duncan’s do.

Why have the frothing Newscorpse contingent gone after $20,000 a year Duncan like dogs in an advanced stage of rabies?  Because Duncan’s question threatened them so profoundly they have to try kill him stone dead, or at the very least, silence him and anyone like him, forever. This is a message from the LNP to the country: Stick your neck out and we’ll set our backers onto you, your family and your life till there’s nothing left of any of it. We will exterminate you.

This is a class war. Make no mistake about it.

In case you still have doubts, yesterday Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull took flight into the exclusive “gentleman’s only” Athanaeum Club for lunch, after being confronted by single mother, Melinda, on the matter of how hard it is raising her children after family tax cuts.  As the Huff Post reports it:

The visit [to the exclusive club] comes after the PM addressed a Business Women and Working Mothers Forum in Sydney on Wednesday, and not long after he was confronted on the street by a woman named Melinda who claimed his policies were hurting families. 

Class war. Gird thy loins.

 

 

Let me pierce you with my eyes…

4 Jan

Witches

 

I swear, you could not make this stuff up.  

Late yesterday it was revealed that Immigration Minister Peter (Cabbage) Dutton sent a text describing journalist Samantha Maiden as “that mad fucking witch” to, wait for it, the “mad fucking witch” herself, in error. (True)

Apparently he was in a crowded bar after a hard day, the hour was late and he was far from home. A passing femme fatale brushed up against him with her ample breast, and his finger slipped as he was scrolling through his contacts list. (I made that bit up.)

This next bit is true, based on the information we’ve been given. Dutton’s text was meant for Jamie Briggs, who lost his ministerial portfolio only hours earlier after allegedly sexually harassing a subordinate in a crowded bar after a long day when he was far from home and she pierced him with her eyes.

Maiden had just published a column critical of Briggs’ behaviour and apparently Dutton’s text was in response to that criticism, and intended to give Briggs support in his time of trouble. After all, what man needs to listen to the opinions of a mad fucking witch?

Dutton was a member of the governance sub-committee who unanimously decided Briggs had to go, so his vehement disagreement with Maiden’s opinion appears, at first blush, odd. But we are used to odd from the Immigration Minister, aren’t we.

By now Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who seems to have retreated to his multi-million dollar bunker with harbour views to have a good think, might be wishing he’d stayed in merchant banking, as one cabinet minister after another redefines the outer limits of sleaze, sexism, and stupid.

These things frequently, like Tony Abbott’s slogans (and the witches in Macbeth, lololololol) come in threes, so who will be next? I’m keeping my fingers crossed it’s Scott Morrison.

It must be a source of great frustration for Turnbull that his ministers are unable to keep their contempt for women in check, given his recent blatherings on the need for men to show respect towards us as the first step in ending epidemic proportions of violence against us. Ordered by their leader to control their primitive urges, Briggs and Dutton have finally broken bad with the sense of entitlement and contemptuous verbal abuse we are now seeing is the default position of LNP males towards women.

Sooner or later it’s going to sink in that while they might get away with all manner of perfidy, the time when they can abuse women and get away with it is rapidly coming to an end. Or they’ll die out, like the dinosaurs they are, in the unstoppable onslaught of the Mad Fucking Witches’ meteoric wrath.

I cannot wait to see how The Australian journalist Chris Kenny writes up this latest episode. Kenny is a great believer in taking legal action against those who cause him offence. Some of you may remember the controversial suggestion made by The Chaser some years ago that Kenny was a dog fucker, the raising of which possibility landed them in court and caused the ABC to humbly apologise for any tasteless insinuations of bestiality. Logically, Kenny ought to be urging Maiden and the woman in the Hong Kong bar with piercing eyes to call their lawyers, though Kenny and logic are really not words that should appear in the same sentence.

Today we are all Mad Fucking Witches as, apparently, any woman with a mind and an opinion who doesn’t want to be barefoot and pregnant or a member of the LNP, must be. So this Mad Fucking Witch is making a voodoo dolly and buying pins while considering original places where the sun don’t shine in which she might park her broomstick while she does the ironing.

Here’s the thing. It’s very straightforward. Don’t touch us without permission. Don’t verbally abuse us, especially if you don’t know how to send a text. This is what respect means, you dumb fucking warlocks, and if you can’t get your cabbage heads around that come here, and let me pierce you with my eyes. I’m a witch. My gaze is fatal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abbott, Kenny, Greer, TERFS, and the blogger as bride

1 Nov

Failed Prime Minister Tony Abbott took the opportunity last week to second-guess Jesus Christ, demonstrating to his audience of Thatcherites and a gobsmacked Australian nation why he’s also a failed priest, and a failed journalist to boot.

The reaction of the Australian media to Abbott’s reconstruction of Christian principles was varied. Christians among them were appalled. Those who support the decent treatment of refugees were appalled. Politicians were appalled but mostly didn’t say so. The nation was temporarily in a pall.

Margie, Mrs Abbott, was by her husband’s side as he gave his sermon to the London flock and I marvelled, as I have on other occasions about other wives, how there are women who stand by their man no matter how much of a grub he is.

I use that word with some apprehension, recalling how recently The Australian’s Chris Kenny threatened Labor MP Graham Perret with something unimaginable for calling him, well, a grub over his disgraceful antics on Nauru. Poor Kenny seems doomed to suffer abuse that is in some way connected to the animal world, though I suppose a grub is an insect rather than an animal, like, say a dog.

“A joke that I am a dog-fucker does not have to be true to be defamatory,” Kenny argued to the High Court, and nobody can deny he has a point.

However, standing by your man has, I’ve observed, a tipping point. Once that’s reached it looks like collusion, delusion, and extreme co-dependence, rather than wifely support. Hilary Clinton is the only woman I’ve seen carry it off and she did it by becoming secretary of state and presidential candidate, a course not open to many women, some of whom who cling to an idiot and at times criminal male as if to an esky lid after the boat’s capsized. Let it go, let it go, I am one with the wind and the sky…

(For those of you who don’t have small people in your life, that’s a reference to a song from an immensely popular and immensely stupid Disney movie called Frozen. I have a friend who sings a bastardised version to do with farting. It’s much, much better.)

Then there was the kerfuffle over another Australian, feminist, author and rainforest regenerator Germaine Greer, who appalled the transgender community and supporters by stating that she doesn’t believe a man who is surgically reassigned female is really a woman. Greer was set upon as a transphobe, on the grounds that her remarks over time have proved extremely hurtful to transgender women. Well, toughen up, princesses, is all I can say, because if you’re going to live in this world as a woman, hurtful remarks such as Greer’s are the least of the problems you’ll encounter.

I was also called out as a transphobe and a TERF, which acronym stands for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist. Don’t worry, soothed Mrs Chook as I sobbed on her shoulder at the hurt. You’ve been called so much worse.

It did occur to me that this most recent attempt to silence women appears to originate from within a group that came to adulthood as men. Make of that what you will.

What seems to have been forgotten, and usually is forgotten when heads get hot and hearts get bruised, is that the transgender community is not homogenous and like all communities, contains some thoroughly decent people and some nasty tossers at the ready with the death threats if anyone disagrees with them.

But for me, the highlight of the week was meeting up with one of my sisters and retrieving my first wedding album. I know there’s only supposed to be one wedding album in a woman’s life, but I’ve got two and the first one has been missing for years, until my sister found it amongst our deceased mother’s stash of family memorabilia.

(Another of my sisters who lives overseas is partnered with a transgender woman, by the way. The partnership began as heterosexual, so I know something of that which I speak, in this instance at least.)

Anyways, here is the blogger as bride. I don’t know how anybody got me into all that white stuff. Have a laugh.

Blooger as Bride

 

 

Blogger as Bride Two

Bodies that matter. Bodies that don’t.

21 Oct

Chris Kenny

 

It’s profoundly concerning that Abyan, the Somali refugee currently living on Nauru and victim of a rape that left her pregnant, was forbidden to see her lawyer and denied adequate counselling for her trauma and her plight.

But now we hear that Rupert Murdoch’s minion Chris Kenny of The Australian was not only the first journalist in eighteen months to be granted a visa to enter Nauru in the last few days, he was also escorted by local police to Abyan’s accommodation, where he confronted her about her situation.

Human Rights Commissioner Professor Gillian Triggs has been denied a visa to visit Nauru, so Kenny is indeed privileged.

Kenny’s first account of his interview with Abyan, which you can access by clicking the link on Kenny’s tweet in The Guardian report above, seems to contradict Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s claims that Abyan refused an abortion and was therefore returned to the island, and instead substantiates her own claims that she did not refuse an abortion, she asked for some time, and appropriate help. Neither the time nor the appropriate help was forthcoming, and she was deported after being refused contact with her lawyer.

The likelihood of us ever knowing the truth of the situation is slim, however, no matter how you look at it, Abyan has been treated in a most despicable manner by both governments, and their agents.

Dutton has belatedly diarised appointments allegedly made for Abyan, with and without interpreters. However, there is no way at all of verifying Dutton’s claims that these appointments were in fact made, and that Abyan was offered the medical attention he claims.

I have no idea why Abyan was then subjected to further traumatisation by having to endure Chris Kenny’s pursuit of her after she was returned to Nauru.  But everywhere I look in this situation I see an extremely vulnerable young woman, stripped of all power and agency, subjected to the interrogation and control of powerful men intent on furthering their own interests. The demonstration of male power & dominance over women that the Abyan story illustrates makes my blood run cold.

In his latest report from Nauru, Kenny stresses that Abyan has not reported her rape to the Nauruan police. The implication is clear: if she didn’t report it, perhaps it didn’t happen.

There are a staggering number of sexual assaults in this developed country that go unreported. The majority of rapes that are reported don’t make it into court. Reporting sexual assault to police is a harrowing experience, even when the police concerned are highly trained and care about you, and share your language group. I had a sexual assault counsellor with me when I did it a few months ago, as well as evidence, and a great deal of loving support. With all that, it was an horrific experience from which I still haven’t recovered. Reporting sexual assault if you are a young, pregnant Somali refugee woman condemned to life on Nauru for the indefinite future, must be an almost impossibly daunting prospect.

And then there is Abyan’s history, including rape and genital mutilation in her home country.

And let’s not forget that Dutton only agreed to offer Abyan an abortion in the first place because public agitation forced him to.

There is a recent pattern of unrelenting traumatisation of Abyan by men who have descended on her, for one reason or another, like vultures on a wounded animal. Most of them are white and middle class. Their actions are validated by an entirely brutal government policy that condemned Abyan to Nauru in the first place, a policy initiated by Julia Gillard and Nicolo Roxon. I wonder what these two women now think of where their policy has led us, or if they consider it at all.

An aside: a link to an interview with Nancy Fraser, Professor of Philosophy and Politics at the New School on why the “leaning in” brand of feminism actually means leaning on other women. Quote:

For me, feminism is not simply a matter of getting a smattering of individual women into positions of power and privilege within existing social hierarchies. It is rather about overcoming those hierarchies.

Yes. Indeed.

In an uneasy corollary with Abyan’s situation Nauru is a subordinate state (read feminised) dominated by and dependent on Australia. Australia sends women and children it does not want to Nauru, where they are raped and abused. Australia, however, claims this is none of our business as Nauru is a sovereign state and we cannot intervene in its legal system, or what passes for a legal system in that lawless nation.

White, privileged, and apparently having suffered nothing more traumatic than being the butt (sorry) of a Chaser’s joke concerning sex with a dog, Chris Kenny feels he is entitled to pursue and interrogate the traumatised Somali refugee because, well, he is white, male, privileged, and works for Rupert Murdoch. He has no expertise in the matter of trauma and sexual trauma. If he had the slightest idea, and any compassion, he would not have subjected Abyan to his inquiries, and he certainly wouldn’t have arrived at her home with a police escort.

The bodies that matter are firstly, white. Then they are male. Then they are the bodies of women of calibre. They are bodies that belong to our tribe. I think, almost every day, what would the man who sexually assaulted me do if his daughter had been treated as he treated me? He observed more than once that I was “not of his tribe,” a comment I found ridiculous at the time, but with hindsight I see that his perception of me as other allowed him to behave towards me as if I was less vulnerable, less hurtable than women who were “of his tribe.”

Multiply this a million times when the victim is a Somali refugee abandoned by Australia to fend for herself in Nauru, and it isn’t hard to understand why there were difficulties reporting the rape.

The headline “Rape Refugee” says it all. Written on the body. Written on the body that does not matter, by the body that does.

 

 

 

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