Sunday, 22 June 2014

A quiet week so Amanda brings back the fat cats – the commentariat daily for Sunday 22 June

  • It’s been a slow news week with those dreaded Labor villains not providing much fodder for biting criticism. So what’s a woman to do for a Sunday column? Get stuck into fat cats. That’s what. Public servants are a tried and true, reliable piece of fair game. Hence Miranda Devine’s Time to take the scalpel to fat cats in The Sunday Telegraph. Did you know the head of Treasury earns $824,320 a year and the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet a whopping $844,000? Well if Miranda thinks they are outrageous sums for running the country I wonder what she thinks of the tens of millions paid to those who run the country’s banks? Maybe she’ll tell us on the next slow-news Sunday.
  • Nobody is laughing as clowns take over senate asserts Piers Akerman in his Tele contribution as he comes to terms with the Abbott government being every bit as much a minority one as its immediate Labor predecessor. Writes Piers: “AT the end of this week, the current moderately sane Senate will sit for the last time. When next it sits — next month — the Senate will be a circus unmatched in Australian parliamentary history. Former PM Paul Keating’s oft-quoted observation that it was “unrepresentative swill” will be more than justified. This situation has been created by the rise of minor and micro parties achieving some success through the clever manipulation of preferences. Thus we see individuals with little or negligible popular support taking senate seats on the basis of preference deals brokered between parties with no shared values. While the major parties will usher in a few new senators — some smart, some not so bright — the loud-mouthed Queensland self-promoter Clive Palmer will be welcoming his team of three Palmer United Party senators, led by former rugby league player Glenn Lazarus.”
  • News Corp’s Samantha Maiden in a column PM can win back votes by burning carbon tax passes on the interesting snippet that “preference whisperer” Glenn Druery has joined Motoring Enthusiast Party senator-elect Ricky Muir’s office as a political adviser and media wrangler.
  • Compromise could save Government from itself – In his column for the News tabloids Peter van Onselen speculates that a $7 co-payment that kicks in immediately for everyone has no chance of winning support. If the rate is dropped and pensioners and concession card holders are excluded, perhaps Health Minister Peter Dutton will get what he’s after. If that happens the Senate may save the Government from itself. We have seen this before. While the laws John Howard’s government sought to pass through the Senate were often made messy by compromises, the outcomes were more politically palatable.
  • Coalition under pressure from within. Everything old is new again. They are having three cornered contest problems again in Victoria. Farrah Tomazin explains in The Sunday Age how hostilities between Liberals and Nationals have broken out over the seat of Euroa, a newly formed electorate in Victoria’s north-east. “Both sides will now head to November’s poll at war in the bush, using resources that could otherwise be spent elsewhere battling the common enemy: Labor. … On one hand, the three-cornered contest gives voters more choice. On the other, the last thing the government needs is to appear as though it is at war with itself, particularly in country Victoria where issues such as TAFE cuts, job losses and ambulance response times continue to bite.”
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