Sunday, 18 February 2018

Singalong with Barnaby while he waits another seven days as his National Party mates “talk to the public” and get feedback before holding a ballot on his future.

There's nothing like speculation about a leadership challenge to drive journalists into a frenzy. I notice this afternoon that our press gallery brethren, like me, have decided to adopt Daily Mail website rules and start quoting each other as sources.

An example from the website of The Australian:
Party members have been using the messaging service WhatsApp to try to oust Mr Joyce on the basis that “disunity is death”, the Daily Telegraph reports.
And again:
On Friday, Nationals MP Andrew Broad said that while Barnaby Joyce had made an error of judgment, his leadership of the Nationals remained safe for now.
“But I’m still waiting to see if there’s been an abuse of power. If I see that and it’s clear, then I’ll be one of the people talking about what should be the action as a result of that,” he told the ABC.
And from the ABC News website:
He may have survived an open mutiny on his leadership last week but Nationals colleague Michael McCormack, who has been touted as a possible replacement, has made it clear a challenge is still on the cards.

Mr McCormack told Fairfax Media that while he did not want to get ahead of himself, his colleagues would use this week to "take a temperature reading and see what their own constituents are saying and make considered decisions based on that".

"Obviously what else transpires — not just in our electorates but obviously on a national front — has to be thought through," he told Fairfax.
All jolly good fun unless you are Barnaby Joyce. For him it's "Seven Lonely Days" but it does make for a wonderful political singalong.

Will Barnaby Joyce sing this song come Monday week?

There's always a risk in voting a man out of his job when your government only has a majority of one. Would the National Party party room on Monday week take the risk of Barnaby Joyce singing this song if the numbers went against him?


An update on the Sydney Tele's great Barnaby Joyce coverage


An update on the Owl's coverage of the way the Sydney Tele has been leading the way on the Barnaby Joyce story.
It's still on page one this morning for the 12th consecutive day.
And here are some of the gems from inside.

Annika Smethurst, National Politics Editor:

EMBATTLED Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce is refusing to step aside despite being called to Sydney yesterday for an emergency summit with the Prime Minister. Malcolm Turnbull emerged from the crisis talks “frustrated that Barnaby still doesn’t get it”, according to senior sources.
A GROUP of National Party MPs secretly discussed a plot on the messaging service WhatsApp to try to oust embattled leader Barnaby Joyce this week.
And the Nati o na l s are still considering a coup, with Veterans Affairs Minister Michael McCormack refusing to rule himself out when asked.

Miranda Devine, columnist:

Suddenly everyone is a libertarian, sneering about “bedroom police”. Even the most prominent proponent of the sanctity of marriage, such as Liberal backbencher Kevin Andrews, couldn’t bring himself to support the PM’s principled stand, instead laughably demanding he cancel his meeting with US President Donald Trump to deal with Joyce.
Well the fact is, the PM had already dealt with Joyce, very effectively.

Piers Akerman, columnist

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull will have to skip his visit to the US this week if he wants to save the Coalition and his government.
The crisis created by what should have been a private family breakdown in the wake of National Party leader Barnaby Joyce’s affair with staffer Vikki Campion has broadened into all-out civil war.
Joyce’s unfaithfulness to his wife Natalie is not admirable but the virtue-signalling sanctimonious preaching from Turnbull was over-the-top — nauseating, actually — and undoubtedly designed to play to the frenzied feminists who have weaponised the #metoo crusade since it emerged in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal late last year.
That campaign, which sought to expose sexual predators in the workplace, has now morphed into a virulent antimale movement.
Turnbull has pandered, again, to the politics of the softleft as he scrambles to ascend to the moral high ground.

Peta Credlin, Sky News presenter

The Barnaby Joyce imbroglio has moved beyond the matter of the Deputy Prime Minister’s moral character, following an admitted, messy and badly managed affair with a former staffer, to a crisis that’s engulfing the Coalition relationship and threatening the Turnbull government.
Barnaby Joyce might have lit the fire with his personal behaviour in recent months, but it was the Prime Minister who threw petrol on it when he strode out on Thursday and delivered a well-planned rebuke designed to elevate his moral standing at the expense of his deputy. ... Malcolm Turnbull always goes too far. He climbs up too high, he allows his ego to cloud what little political nous he has and when he fears he’s being judged for the failures of others, his glass jaw is evident and his over-reaction has deadly consequences.

Annette Sharp, columnist

... an unrestrained member can destroy decades of hard work.
Case in point, the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, a man at the mercy of his own rogue manhood who now finds himself clinging to the wreck of his life after blowing up his marriage, his family, his reputation and probably the careers of both he and his girlfriend Vikki Campion and all for love — or love of nookie.
Despite his high office, Joyce is merely the latest Australian titan to be accused of engaging in a sexually inappropriate workplace relationship.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Reader objects to Tony Abbott being called the "winged warrior". The Owl says judge for yourself

This email from a reader has just been received.
The Owl’s description of our Tones as the “winged warrior” [see The joke about a Tony Abbott comeback] is out of order,
NOT HAPPY,
Andrew of Adelaide
Look at this introductory episode of he white winged warrior - The most fantastic crimefighter the world has ever known- and judge for yourself.


A sex and politics edition of the politicalowl's news and views.

It's a scandal! Illicit sex, spying, embezzlement, perjury and murder conspiracies — from Profumo to Jeremy Thorpe, why are politicians so very self-destructive? - Daily Mail


Author Theo Barclay collates a series of political resignations in a new book "Fighters and Quitters"
Perhaps the funniest story in this book concerns the plight of Lord Lambton, Minister for the Royal Air Force, who, using the alias ‘Mr Lucas’, visited call girls in Maida Vale in London.
His marriage was disintegrating, not least because his wife, Bindy, after she left hospital having broken both legs go-karting, ‘drove the wrong way down the A1 and veered straight into the path of a lorry’. Nearly every bone was shattered.
In Maida Vale, a tabloid newspaper, tipped off by Lambton’s pimp, concealed tape recorders and cameras in the walls and ‘inside a teddy bear on the bed’. Photographs were passed to the police, who were upset to see Lambton smoking cannabis. Upon being cautioned, Lambton said that ‘the sheer tedium of his ministerial job’ had driven him into the arms of prostitutes.
‘Surely all men visit whores?’ he asked an incredulous Robin Day in a television interview.
Lambton moved to Italy and held spectacular parties where Tony Blair and Kate Moss were among his illustrious guests.


Donald Trump, a Playboy Model, and a System for Concealing Infidelity - The New Yorker
One woman’s account of clandestine meetings, financial transactions, and legal pacts designed to hide an extramarital affair.

Politicians urge ‘buddy system’ in wake of hooker scandal - New York Post
In the wake of a hooker scandal that forced one Utah lawmaker to resign, the state’s politicians are now urging members to use a “buddy system” to prevent being entrapped by a “honeypot.”
“We feel like it’s appropriate at this time to put everybody on alert there may be people with malintent [sic] that are trying to, for money, try to put us in a situation,” Republican Senate President Wayne Niederhauser said in a meeting with reporters and Senate leadership on Friday, referring to call girl Brie Taylor’s claims to the DailyMail that GOP Rep. Jon Stanard paid her for sex twice, Fox 13 in Salt Lake City reported.
The warning from the state’s House of Representatives came after a Republican lawmaker claimed on Friday that a manipulative maneater tried to lure him into a hotel room the night before at the same place where Taylor claimed Stanard met her for sex, the outlet reported.

Australia bans sexual relations between ministers and staff - Financial Times
‘Barnababy’ scandal involving deputy PM prompts change to ministerial code of conduct
Oxfam sets out reforms to ‘stamp out’ staff sexual misconduct - Financial Times
Charity director says Haiti prostitutes scandal ‘will shame us for years’
Why Sex Scandals Persist In The Humanitarian Aid World - NPR

Why Trump's Playboy Playmate sex scandal is just another ho-hum day in his presidency - Los Angeles Times

Trump Administration Sued Over Ending Funding Of Teen Pregnancy Programs - NPR
Several Planned Parenthood chapters and other groups involved in prevention of teen pregnancy are suing the administration for halting funding for their programs.
White House's Kelly tightens security clearance procedures post-scandal - Reuters
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, under pressure to act, strengthened the process for security clearances for President Donald Trump’s aides on Friday in response to a scandal involving a former official accused of domestic abuse by two ex-wives.
Max Mosley threatens to sue papers over orgy story under data laws - The Guardian
Former Formula One boss says references to ‘private party’ breach Data Protection Act
Leave sex ed to the experts, not fear-mongering politicians - The Star
"The sex-ed curriculum should be about facts, not teaching liberal ideology," Tory leadership candidate Doug Ford said recently. Of course the curriculum is about facts. It’s also disappointingly lacking in liberal ideology. Read it and yawn because it is positively unsalacious


The joke about a Tony Abbott comeback


And it is not just Tony Abbott's leading Twitter supporter who is calling for his return.
“It could not be worse. This would never have happened under Tony”
Thus spoke a worried government backbencher to The Owl late last reflecting on the sacking of Tony Abbott as Liberal Prime Minister and the current crisis besetting the coalition.
And he is not the only Liberal thinking the unthinkable - that a man the party got rid of after he spent 30 consecutive Newspolls well behind Labor is the man to lead the resurrection from Malcolm Turnbull's dismal position.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blessed:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expiates in a life to come
Those Alexander Pope believers in the Coalition must think there now is a far more reflective Tony Abbott - one who fully comprehends the wilderness years of Churchill, Menzies and his confidante John Howard.  The shenanigans and possible death throws of this week’s events undoubtedly are giving the Abbott team a renewed purpose.
And the man himself is trying to show he has learned a new maturity while declaring he would handle that Barnaby Joyce business in a different way.
That Prime Minister Turnbull understands the potential for a challenge is confirmed by the reports this afternoon of him holding a peace meeting with his Deputy Prime Minister. He needs to.
With Labor now strongly odds on to decimate scores of Government back benchers and Ministers at the next election the prospect of the winged warrior Abbott returning to take on the union leader Shorten in the next bout is now back on the agenda.

Barnaby Joyce has hogged the headlines for 11 days in a row and on every one of them Sydney's Daily Telegraph has led the way

In 65 years in journalism the Owl cannot remember a political story that has dominated the news for so long as the current Barnaby Joyce affair. It is a yarn that has something for everyone. There's a dash of cheerful smut, a sprinkling of rorting to accompany the rooting and now the excitement of a government on the brink of collapse. Who could ask for anything more.
And leading the way in bringing this yarn to the masses has been Sydney's Daily Telegraph. Its coverage has been first, special and best with its political correspondent Sharri Markson the new herd leader of the Canberra Press Gallery.*
As it's such a fast moving story a weekend update seems in order. And there's no better to do that than this collection of Tele front pages from the last 11 days

Wednesday 7 February
Thursday 8 February
Friday 9 February
Saturday 10 February
Sunday 11 February
Monday 12 February
Tuesday 13 February
Wednesday 14 February
Thursday 15 February
Friday 16 February
Saturday 17 February


*Look I know that some outside the mainstream media were well and truly on to the Barnaby story well before the Tele. The sad truth for them, and for a blog like this one of the Owl's, is that it takes the big fellas to really influence public opinion. That's where the Tele showed the way.
And just as an aside, how silly do those press gallery journos who poo-pooed Ms Markson's original efforts look now that the very future of a government looks threatened?
In closing please help the Owl gauge the impact all these Barnaby stories are having on public opinion by casting a vote at

What impact will the Barnaby Joyce affair have on Newspoll? Give your opinion in politicalowl's own poll








Friday, 16 February 2018

New Zealand reviewing its whistleblowers law and links to other news and views

Review into whistleblowers law begins - RNZ
State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes was highly critical of the law last year after it failed to protect staff who spoke out about the convicted Ministry of Transport fraudster Joanne Harrison.
Mr Hughes said the system was substandard, inadequate, and "was very out of date and no longer reflected international best practice".
The government is now exploring whether the Protected Disclosures Act needs to be strengthened.
Does aid do more harm than good? - The Spectator
The Oxfam abuse scandal has revealed a sinister side to international charities
SA's free solar not what it seems - Eureka Street
It sounded like the ultimate election sweetener. Six weeks out from polling day, South Australian Labor Premier Jay Weatherill announced a plan to install free solar and Tesla batteries on 50,000 homes. ... Ah, but here's the catch — Tesla and a yet-to-be-appointed electricity retailer would own the power and sell it back to the household at a discounted rate. As the ABC explained: 'In effect, the householder is simply leasing Tesla and another power company some spare roof space and garage space in return for a discount on their power bills.'

The UK's offshore wind boom is great for the climate. But what about the fish? - PRI
Fisherman Steve Barratt says the area just offshore of the English port of Ramsgate was a prime fishing ground until a wind farm was built there a few years ago. Now he says he has to steam for three hours to get a good catch. But scientists aren't so sure the wind farm is to blame.
Ethiopia's prime minister resigns after mass protests - France 24
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn suddenly resigned on Thursday in what he described as a bid to smooth reforms, following years of violent unrest that threatened the ruling party's hold on Africa's second most populous nation. The prime minister leads the nation under Ethiopia's political system and Hailemariam's decision to quit underscores the depth of division within the ruling coalition over how fast to pursue political openness.
Senate deal on cannabis bill timeline means no sales before August - CBC News
Leaders in the Senate have reached a deal on a timeline for the legalization of cannabis — a schedule that pushes the start of retail sales past July 1, the date that has been floated in the past as the government's target.
Opinion: South Africa's lost decade - Deutsch Welle
South Africa had entered a promising new era with Nelson Mandela at the helm in 1994, but Zuma represents a lost decade in the country's history.

Singalong to Barnaby Joyce's really important divorce

The ABC reports: "The Coalition is in dangerous territory, with Barnaby Joyce and Malcolm Turnbull exchanging barbs over the fallout from the Deputy PM's affair with a staffer."
Will the political marriage end in divorce?


And don't forget to vote in the Owl's poll:

What impact will the Barnaby Joyce affair have on Newspoll?

What impact will the Barnaby Joyce affair have on Newspoll? Give your opinion in politicalowl's own poll


Thursday, 15 February 2018

New anti-sex ministerial standard - Malcolm Turnbull tries to make the best of a bad job

That's what Malcolm Turnbull said but the Owl thinks some translation is needed.
I am terrified by what the next Newspoll will show. If it's really bad my team might sack me.
I tried to get Barnaby to fall on his sword but he told me to get stuffed. If I sacked him he might quit and I'd not have a majority and be forced to an election where I'd lose my own job
I tried to humiliate him into quitting peacefully by telling him I would not let him be the acting Prime Minister while I was away but that didn't work either.
So now I'm pretending that I can put a stop to human nature by announcing a ban on ministers getting a bit on the side in future.

Does the job need Barnaby? No. Barnaby needs the job

It is not a matter of the job needing Barnaby Joyce, it is Barnaby Joyce needing the job. Clearly the Deputy Prime Minister is not intending to move anywhere. He will cop the humiliation of being passed over for the honour of acting as the real Prime Minister. He will fight to the very last to keep what he's got.
Which is not strange really. The man now has two families to support with a property settlement not far away. Under those circumstances halving your income by becoming a backbencher would be a horror scenario.
Malcolm Turnbull, leading a government with a majority of one, realises how carefully he must deal with a deputy in Barnaby's position. The Owl has written about it this week at Barnaby Joyce has the power of one and Barnaby Joyce and tearing the joint apart. Desperate people do desperate things.
In my book the Prime Minister has done exceptionally well to get his colleague to take a week off. That might avoid a tiny bit more of the odium the Coalition experienced this week but it will be a problem postponed rather than solved. When the House of Representatives resumes in just over a week the defiant Barnaby Joyce will still be centre stage

UK Labour proposes a ban on live animal exports and links to other news and views

Labour calls for ban on live exports and foie gras - Financial Times
The Labour party has called for new laws to strengthen the hunting act, a total ban on foie gras and an end to the badger cull as it seeks to distinguish itself from the Conservatives as the “party of animal welfare”. Labour on Wednesday published a 50-point animal welfare draft policy which also proposes a ban on exporting live animals for slaughter and expanding affordable veterinary care. 
Japan maintains tough stance on refugees, only 20 accepted in 2017 - Asahi Shimbun
Japan received a record 19,628 asylum applications in 2017, but only 20 were successful, according to preliminary figures released by the Justice Ministry on Feb. 13.
Why there’s so much chaos in the Trump administration - Vox
Dysfunction at the top, inexperience below: the White House’s management crisis, explained by Ezra Klein
Peter Thiel’s Unfortunate World: On “The Know-It-Alls” by Noam Cohen - Los Angeles Review of Books
A review of Noam Cohen's book  The Know-It-Alls - The Rise of Silicon Valley as a Political Powerhouse and Social Wrecking Ball
... the crisis brought on by the neoliberal hegemony that enables Republican and Democratic administrations alike, alongside Congress, to decide against effectively prosecuting, regulating, or taxing these giant monopolies. Maybe the technology world advanced too rapidly for lethargic bureaucrats who lacked the imagination to see that the consumer-focused anti-trust position advanced into consensus by Robert Bork, the coward infamous for his role in the Saturday Night Massacre, was and is woefully inadequate. They couldn’t see or they did not care to see that consumer interest was not a functional frame when hundreds of millions of people are not the consumer, but the thing being consumed. ...Their ideologies are corrosive and would always have been problematic, but the crisis is that their ideology or competency was relevant in the first place. Their level of power — so vast and so undemocratically amassed — is the problem. A healthier and more democratic society would be one where such a thing is not possible in the 
first place. All there is to do now is to break up the companies and aggressively tax the über rich, though neither is particularly likely anytime soon. What comes next, instead, will be further concentration. More power for fewer people. The longer it goes on, the harder it will be to strip away.
Network Effects, Big Data, and Antitrust Issues For Big Tech - Conversable Economist
In the case of big tech companies, a common theory is that they hold a monopoly position because of what economists call "network effects." The economic theory of network effects started with the observation that certain products are only valuable if other people also own the same product--think of a telephone or fax machine. Moreover, the product becomes more valuable as the network gets bigger. When "platform" companies like Amazon or Facebook came along, network effects got a new twist. The idea became that if a website managed to gain a leadership position in attracting buyers and sellers (like Amazon, OpenTable, or Uber), or users and providers of content (like Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter), then others would be attracted to the website as well. Any potentially competing website might have a hard time building up its own critical mass of users, in which case network effects are acting as an anticompetitive barrier.

Of course, the idea that an already-popular meeting place has an advantage isn't limited to the virtual world: many shopping malls and downtown areas rely on a version of network effects, too, as to stock markets, flea markets, and bazaars.
But while it's easy to sketch in the air an argument about network effects, the question of how network effects work in reality isn't a simple one.

Shoot Resisting Drug Dealers Dead on Spot: National Police Chief - Jakarta Globe
National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian ordered his subordinates to shoot drug dealers,  especially foreign nationals, dead on the spot if they resist arrest, as police look to ramp up anti-narcotics efforts.

Will angry National Party scone bakers be the ones who bring Barnaby Joyce down when they learn that their fund raising efforts paid his by-election salary?

James Massola reports for the Fairfax papers:
Grassroots Nationals members had to foot the bill to pay Barnaby Joyce a salary for six weeks after the Deputy Prime Minister was thrown out of Parliament and lost his $416,000-a-year job. ... One Nationals MP, when told of the arrangement on Wednesday, said it was "extremely unusual" and questioned why Mr Joyce "couldn't cover his own expenses for six weeks" given he had only just departed a $416,000-a-year job. Another MP who declined to be named said it was likely party members would be disappointed they had to pay Mr Joyce's salary.

Among those disappointed National Party members there are sure to be some who slave away over a hot stove making scones like Lady Flo to sell at election time fund-raisers. There are a lot of scones needed to give Barnaby the $48,000 foregone as Deputy Prime Minister while he was ducking in and out of pubs for six weeks on the campaign trail needed because he was thrown out of Parliament for being a kiwi.
The grand daughter of one of those key fundraisers has told the Owl that her grandma was “filthy” about Barnaby putting his hand in the party's cookie jar because the amount was like having to cook and sell the equivalent of 100,000 scones. If the ladies are not amused perhaps this will be the rock that Barnaby finally perishes on.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

The OECD reports how coal, accounting for almost half of carbon emissions, goes largely untaxed everywhere

Taxing Energy Use 2018 - OECD
An OECD press release issued at the release of the report:
Taxes are effective at cutting harmful emissions from energy use, but governments could make better use of them. Greater reliance on energy taxation is needed to strengthen efforts to tackle the principal source of both greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, according to a new OECD report.

Taxing Energy Use 2018 describes patterns of energy taxation in 42 OECD and G20 countries (representing approximately 80% of global energy use), by fuels and sectors over the 2012-2015 period.

New data shows that energy taxes remain poorly aligned with the negative side effects of energy use. Taxes provide only limited incentives to reduce energy use, improve energy efficiency and drive a shift towards less harmful forms of energy. Emissions trading systems, which are not discussed in this publication, but are included in the OECD’s Effective Carbon Rates, are having little impact on this broad picture.

“Comparing taxes between 2012 and 2015 yields a disconcerting result,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “Efforts have been made, or are underway, in several jurisdictions to apply the ‘polluter-pays’ principle, but on the whole progress towards the more effective use of taxes to cut harmful emissions is slow and piecemeal. Governments should do more and better. ”

In 2015, outside of road transport, 81% of emissions were untaxed, according to the report. Tax rates were below the low-end estimate of climate costs (EUR 30/tCO2) for 97% of emissions.

Meaningful tax rate increases have largely been limited to the road sector. Fuel tax reforms in some large low-to-middle income economies have increased the share of emissions taxed above climate costs from 46% in 2012 to 50% in 2015. Encouragingly, some countries are removing lower tax rates on diesel compared to gasoline. However, fuel tax rates remain well below the levels needed to cover non-climate external costs in nearly all countries.

Coal, characterised by high levels of harmful emissions and accounting for almost half of carbon emissions from energy use in the 42 countries, is taxed at the lowest rates or fully untaxed in almost all countries.

While the intense debate on carbon taxation has sparked action in some countries, actual carbon tax rates remain low. Carbon tax coverage increased from 1% to 6% in 2015, but carbon taxes reflect climate costs for just 0.3% of emissions. Excise taxes dominate overall tax rates by far.

“The damage to climate and air quality resulting from fossil fuel combustion can be contained, but the longer action is delayed the more difficult and expensive it becomes to tackle this challenge,” Mr Gurría said. “Aligning energy prices with the costs of climate change and air pollution is a core element of cost-effective policy, and vast improvements are urgently needed. While in some cases compensation for higher energy costs faced by households or firms may be deemed necessary, especially to those more vulnerable, lower tax rates or exemptions are not the way to provide it – targeted transfers should be favoured.”

Only seven more sleeps while Australia awaits the spectacle which will be BARNABY JOYCE ACTING PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA! SINGALONG!


The Barnaby Joyce story will just keep on giving - watch for the estranged wife on television

Caroline Overington in The Australian this morning writing on whether Barnaby Joyce's story passed the pub test:
His former wife has been forced to engage a crisis management professional to handle the volume of media calls, and to try to protect her daughters from the onslaught.
She isn’t negotiating a fee for her story, but she does want to tell it. Sixty Minutes, as well as Sunday Night, among others, are more than happy to help in that regard.
And wait. There'll be more. The weekly gossip magazines are yet to buy in to the story.
Just wait for them sooling the paparazzi on to get those April baby pics.
Coalition MPs, meanwhile, will have a week at home when Barnaby Joyce is acting Prime Minister to consider what the new opinion polls are saying.

Barnaby Joyce and tearing the joint apart

If you are wondering whether Barnaby Joyce will continue to play hard-ball (see the Owl's earlier comment Barnaby Joyce has the power of one) this tweet from Samantha Maiden yesterday is worth noting:



Are things different now? As the lyric from "Me and Bonny McGhee"  puts it - Freedom's just another word for nothing less to lose.

Barnaby Joyce has the power of one

A government with a majority of one has to be careful how it deals with its members. To be avoided at all costs is having one quit. So a strong-willed individual MP potentially has the power to make or break.
Just something to keep in mind while wondering why Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has not acted decisively to get Barnaby Joyce replaced as leader of the National Party and Deputy Prime Minister.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

A political version of "The Look of Love" to accompany The Sydney Telegraph's front page.

Methinks that it is not always a good idea to threaten the Sydney Tele with legal action.


The Owl thinks this is an appropriate musical accompaniment:


Murdoch's Wall Street Journal sings the praises of solar plus storage projects. When will The Australian follow suit?

Big Batteries Are Taking a Bite Out of the Power Market - Wall Street Journal
Batteries charged by renewable energy are nibbling at power plants that generate extra surges of electricity during peak hours. ... Numerous big batteries are under construction or consideration in the U.S., especially in the Southwest, where some companies see a shiny future for “solar plus storage” projects.
Capital Offense:  How Sexual Harassment Shapes Politics in Washington - New Republic
Eight essays from women in policy, public affairs, and media
The Joyce affair: Media say they didn’t know about it until this week. No, really! - Independent Australia
The mainstream media claim they didn't report on Barnaby's affair when it mattered because they didn't know for sure. Jennifer Wilson calls them out.
Barnaby Joyce and the hybrid space of new media - Meanjin
In the hybrid space of social media, where journalists and their audiences rub shoulders and can argue the toss about news values—about what counts and what doesn’t—the decision about what to publish and how to cover it no longer belongs exclusively to journalists and editors. This is not just a good thing, it is an essential precondition for the proper functioning of a free press.
‘Sinking’ Pacific nation is getting bigger, showing islands are geologically dynamic: stud - Japan Times
The Pacific nation of Tuvalu — long seen as a prime candidate to disappear as climate change forces up sea levels — is actually growing in size, new research shows.
A University of Auckland study examined changes in the geography of Tuvalu’s nine atolls and 101 reef islands between 1971 and 2014, using aerial photographs and satellite imagery.
It found eight of the atolls and almost three-quarters of the islands grew during the study period, lifting Tuvalu’s total land area by 2.9 percent, even though sea levels in the country rose at twice the global average.
Lebanon: About to Blow? - New York Review of Books
Lebanon is a tiny country, with a population of around six million; it could fit neatly between Philadelphia and Danbury, Connecticut. It has survived many crises over the past several decades: a brutal civil war from 1975 to 1990 that left 100,000 dead, a string of political assassinations since 2004 whose perpetrators have gone unpunished, and occupations by Israel and Syria. But Lebanon’s resilience is fraying. Its infrastructure is badly damaged and unemployment is high. It is also struggling to accommodate a large refugee population—500,000 Palestinians, many descended from those who fled the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and nearly 1.5 million Syrians, a majority of them Sunni Muslims.
Three Questions About the Outlook - Reserve Bank of Australia
... some of the questions we grapple with as we consider the outlook for the domestic economy. ...
How much spare capacity is there?
How much (and how quickly) will wage growth and inflation pick up as spare capacity declines?
How resilient will consumption growth be if income growth stays weak?
Xenophon may not govern in his own right - but he can still be Premier - InDaily
Symbols, rather than policies, may be the currency of the March election, with the major parties' attacks on Nick Xenophon failing thus far to make a dent. The electorate appears in the mood for change, writes Tom Richardson - but it could be a change not just of government, but of how we're governed.

Watch the National Party planning a raid on Barnaby




The Greens a firming favourite to win in Batman

The punting mob are turning to the Greens being the winner of the Batman by-election. Averaging out the odds offered by the major corporate bookies gives the Greens just over seven chances in 10 of beating Labor.

The Barnaby Joyce National Party singalong

Falling share prices, shrinking wages and super, housing shortages, the Barnaby National Party fiasco is just what Australia needs....a bloody good laugh!!

Queensland Nationals Barry O'Sullivan's advice on the Joyce affair: 'don't shoot your best horse'

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

Outspoken Queensland Nationals senator Barry O'Sullivan has declared Barnaby Joyce a “once-in-a-generation type of politician” who remains a big asset to the Nationals despite the sharp grassroots reaction to his affair with his former staffer.

With some Nationals reeling from the backlash to the revelations amid speculation about Joyce’s future, O'Sullivan went on the front foot on Monday night.

“We’ve not seen any government that has done more for the bush than this one, with Barnaby Joyce as deputy prime minister,” he told The Conversation.

“I don’t want to lose one of the best politicians we’ve had in my lifetime. Are you going to shoot your best horse because he jumped the fence and was found in the neighbour’s paddock?”

O'Sullivan’s strong defence came as Malcolm Turnbull was forced in parliament to express his confidence in Joyce.

When Opposition Leader Bill Shorten asked Turnbull whether Joyce would be acting prime minister when Turnbull visits the US next week, and whether he still retained confidence in Joyce, Turnbull kept his answer as brief as possible.

“Yes in response to both questions,” he said.

Turnbull is known to be furious with Joyce, whose affair with Vikki Campion, now expecting his child, has dominated headlines and distracted the government since the story broke in the Daily Telegraph mid-last week.

Turnbull and his office struggled on Monday to avoid being ensnared, as questions were put about the movement of Campion, who was shifted to the office of Resources Minister Matt Canavan after her relationship with Joyce started to cause problems in his office. Later she took up a position in the office of then Nationals whip Damian Drum. She left government at the end of last year.

Under the ministerial code of conduct, a minister’s “close relatives and partners are not to be appointed to positions in their ministerial or electorate offices and must not be employed in the offices of other members of the executive government without the prime minister’s express approval”.

The opposition asked whether Turnbull or his office was involved in creating a new position last year in either Canavan’s or Drum’s office.

Turnbull said he was advised the Nationals were provided with a number of personal staff positions as a share of the government’s overall staffing pool. “The distribution of those staff members between Nationals’ offices is a matter for the National Party,” he said.

“I’m further advised that at no time did the Nationals fill all vacant staffing positions.”

The government is arguing that Turnbull was never officially informed that Campion was the partner of Joyce – who remained married to Natalie Joyce – and so the question of prime ministerial approval did not arise.

O'Sullivan said the Nationals base had expressed disappointment and frustration at Joyce’s behaviour.

“But no-one is challenging his ability to do the great job he has done,” O'Sullivan said. “Do we want to chip away at him until he’s gone?”

O'Sullivan, who said he was not personally close to Joyce, has a reputation as a straight talker. Last year he spearheaded the backbench Nationals move that led to the government capitulating to pressure for a royal commission into the banks, which commenced on Monday. He was critical of Joyce’s demotion of fellow Queenslander Keith Pitt in the December reshuffle.

Treasurer Scott Morrison told the ABC on Monday night: “There’s no-one I know in the parliament who is a stronger advocate for rural and regional Australia.

"While events regarding Barnaby’s private life … are disappointing, most importantly to his family and others, that doesn’t change the fact that Barnaby, over a long period of time in his public life, has dedicated himself to public service and the people he represents.”

The ConversationAsked about the code’s provision about partners not being employed without prime ministerial approval, Morrison said Joyce “can’t have two partners at the same time and he was obviously still married”.

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Barnaby Joyce's bottom pinch - did he or didn't he?

A difference of opinion last night about whether Barnaby Joyce was a "bottom pincher." First up this story in the Sydney Daily Telegraph:
MALCOLM Turnbull’s top adviser was warned about the drunken public behaviour of Barnaby Joyce two years ago after a woman claimed the Deputy PM pinched her on the bottom following an official function. The Daily Telegraph can reveal Mr Turnbull’s closest adviser, Sally Cray, looked into allegations in 2015 but didn’t take it any further.
And then the denial as reported by Nine News:
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has denied he drunkenly pinched a woman's bottom after the accusation was made public seven years after it is alleged to have occurred. The Daily Telegraph reports that the woman claims Mr Joyce was "very, very drunk" when he pinched her after she confronted him about concerns about his interaction with another woman at an event following the Rural Women's Agricultural Awards in Canberra in 2011. ... The newspaper and Fairfax Media both quote text messages sent to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's senior adviser Sally Cray in 2015 in which she was warned of Mr Joyce's behaviour four years earlier.
The text messages were from John Clements, a former chief advisor to Mr Joyce's political nemesis Tony Windsor. The conversation in text messages reportedly includes Ms Cray saying "it's hard if there was not an official complaint at the time to act".
A spokesman for Mr Joyce has denied the incident and said the minister did not attend a pub or nightclub — where it is alleged to have occurred — after the awards.
The spokesman said the fact the allegations came from a long-time political rival should give people pause for thought.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Barnaby Joyce a no-show at the Lodge's family fun day

Labor moves in on the Barnaby Joyce affair



Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

The Labor Party, which started with a hands-off approach to the Barnaby Joyce affair, has now segued into making it a political issue, while trying to still argue that its “personal” aspect should be private.

The opposition is eyeing possible openings to exploit in the liaison between Joyce and his former staffer Vikki Campion – who is expecting his child – by pursuing questions about processes and taxpayers’ money, as well as harbouring the hope of dragging Malcolm Turnbull into the matter.

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek walked the fine line on Sunday.

“I don’t think [Joyce] needs to account for his personal behaviour, his relationships, to the public,” she told the ABC.

“The only area in which there is a genuine public interest is in the area of the expenditure of taxpayers’ funds, and there have been questions over the last couple of days about jobs that have been created for Vikki Campion, the expenditure of taxpayer funds on travel.

"I think those are areas where the prime minister and the deputy prime minister ought to be fully transparent,” she said.

Turnbull last week tried to keep away from the Joyce matter by saying it was private.

“These private matters are always very distressing for those involved, I don’t want to add to the public discussion about it. I’m very conscious of the distress this causes to others, in particular Natalie Joyce and her and Barnaby’s daughters. So it’s a private matter, a tough matter. I don’t have any more to say about it,” he said on Friday.

Pressed later, he said he was “not aware of any inappropriate expenditure of public funds”. But the issue of “public funds” is becoming murkier.

When the Joyce-Campion affair was creating problems in Joyce’s office, she was moved to the office of Resources Minister Matt Canavan. Later a place was found for her with Nationals then whip Damian Drum.

Questions are now being asked about the pay and arrangements in relation to these positions. On Friday, Turnbull was being quizzed about whether he’d counselled Joyce to remove Campion.

One can only imagine the Turnbull anger about the situation. He comes at it from a personal position of being very family-oriented and his sympathy is clearly with Natalie Joyce and the daughters. Also, with the government starting the year looking better, the last thing Turnbull wants is to have this becoming another distraction, let alone have any suggestion of a role in it.

Joyce by Saturday had publicly taken sole ownership, with a statement “that he had not discussed Ms Campion’s employment with the prime minister or his office.

"He confirmed that the Nationals were responsible for decisions relating to staffing in the offices of Nationals’ members. The Prime Minister’s Office has an administrative role in informing the Department of Finance.” Labor no doubt will be probing this “administrative role”.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, appearing on Sky on Sunday, was clearly uncomfortable. He maintained that “all of my advice is that everything was absolutely above board”, while also saying: “I am not aware of the specific staffing circumstances of every single one of my colleagues”.

The next few days will reveal whether there is anything to see, in terms of untoward arrangements or costs. Nationals sources point to the obvious implications for Joyce if there were any such revelation.

The big question – assuming there is no public money time bomb – is what this will do to Joyce’s leadership. There are mixed opinions.

He can point to the fact that in terms of retail politics, he has been highly popular, and led the party to a very good result at the election, in contrast to Turnbull’s below-par performance.

His position is protected (even more than Turnbull’s, in the Liberal Party, is protected) by the absence of an alternative leader. But the Nationals are at present an unhappy bunch.

There’s criticism of Joyce’s recent performance, including his handling of the Nationals’ part of the pre-Christmas reshuffle, which saw Victorian MP Darren Chester dumped from cabinet and assistant minister Keith Pitt ending up on the backbench.

There’s ruminating about how his new circumstances will play out in the wider Nationals’ constituency, which tends to be conservative and family-oriented. Will people have long memories or will they just move on when the fuss dies down?

Perhaps most relevant is whether Joyce will lose his political energy as he deals with new personal circumstances and some loss of respect.

With a bitter separation behind him, it won’t be easy.

Tony Windsor, Joyce’s old enemy in the seat of New England, is turning the knife, predicting in a tweet: “The Eagles are circling, don’t be surprised if Joyce resigns "for personal reasons” before the main story claims him … he will know it’s getting close to a one-way street to a job with Gina".

The ConversationWith unfortunate if exquisite timing, Turnbull held a family fun day for Coalition MPs at the Lodge on Sunday. Unsurprisingly, there was no sign of his deputy prime minister.



Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

A reader criticises the Owl and suggests Ms Gina Rinehart might provide a solution to Barnaby Joyce's welfare



The Owl, 
Sadly your well meaning suggestion that Barnaby seeks psychiatric help will solve absolutely nothing in the short term.
If you are genuinely concerned as to his welfare, why don’t you “discuss” his appointment as special advisor (rural affairs) to his professional colleague and friend Ms Gina Rinehart asap. I am assured she can easily find the $400,000 a year which would be a bargain for what he could bring to the vast investments she has recently made in Australian primary industries especially cattle.
If you were a punting journalist, and thankfully you are neither, you could write that the phone call has already been made.
It would be a professional marriage made in heaven (or wherever the contract documents are signed) and if you are fair dinkum as to your concerns as to Barnaby’s mental and financial health you should put forward this possible breaking news as a matter of urgency in what could be a highly read edition of the prestigious Owl,
                                                                                           Yours etc.,
                                                                                            Andrew of Adelaide.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Donald Trump's bad hair day while Barnaby Joyce just had another bad day



Why did India deny Australian radio legend Phillip Adams a visa? - Hindustan Times
Why was Phillip Adams not allowed by our Government to visit India? He is not a drug smuggler, terrorist, or tax evader; on the other hand, he is a venerated public figure in a country that is a democracy like ours, a country with which we have close ties and hope to have even closer ties.
Donald Trump’s Hair Illusion Came Undone and We All Missed It - New York Magazine
Last Friday, at the end of one of those frenetic weeks of news that now happen every week, President Trump boarded Air Force One. The wind whipped across the tarmac with unusual force. Trump, who normally has a MAGA hat for such occasions, was unusually unprepared. As he ascended the stairs, cameras had a rear-facing view of the president’s scalp as the howling gusts lifted his combed-over strands straight into the air, and the long-concealed bare scalp below was briefly exposed. ... It was the worst hair day of what has been a bad hair life. And it may seem cheap and low to mock Trump’s absurd efforts to conceal his hair loss. But Trump is a man obsessed with image in ways that go beyond the normal human concern with looking presentable. Image is Trump’s moral code.
Reuters Publishes Story Of Myanmar Massacre After 2 Journalists Arrested - NPR
Reuters has published an extensive report into the killing of 10 Rohingya men in Myanmar in September, pulling from photographs and eyewitness accounts to describe how villagers and paramilitary forces killed the men execution-style and buried them in one grave.
The investigation made headlines long before it was published.
While working on the story, two Reuters journalists were arrested by Myanmarese authorities and accused of violating the Official Secrets Act. The men, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, have been detained since December and face up to 14 years in prison.
New German government plans to clamp down on advertising with skinny women - Deutsche Welle
Germany wants to introduce new measures to rein in on advertising campaigns featuring extremely skinny models. The move is designed to curb anorexia - especially among young women.
Maumela calls for national shutdown - SABC
Gauteng African National Congress (ANC) member Hangwi Maumela has called for a national shutdown in the country on Monday, if talks about President Jacob Zuma’s exit plan are not concluded.
Maumela has told the media in Pretoria, that Zuma’s intentions are harming the images of the country and the ANC.
Maumela who is the spokesperson of a group calling itself ‘Concerned ANC and SACP members’, says Zuma must leave immediately.
Pope decries "modern-day scourge" of human trafficking - Vatican News
Human trafficking is a “modern-day scourge, which continues to cause untold human suffering,” Pope Francis said on Friday.
The Holy Father was speaking to members of the Santa Marta Group, “an alliance of international police chiefs and bishops from around the world working together with civil society in a process endorsed by Pope Francis, to eradicate human trafficking and modern day slavery.”

To me, and I might be quite wrong because I have never met the man, our Deputy Prime Minister needs help just like I did.

The Owl is not a psychiatrist though over the years he has had a few dealings with them.  They have helped me overcome a personal crisis or three. And their miracles of modern medicine and a little therapy have helped overcome some extraordinary irrational behaviour. Which makes me look at Barnaby Joyce with a sympathetic eye. To me, and I might be quite wrong because I have never met the man, our Deputy Prime Minister needs help just like I did. I hope he gets it.
And in the mean time here's an update on the media reports and links to some other news and views.

Pressure mounts on Barnaby Joyce over involvement with staffer - Sydney Morning Herald
Labor has ramped up pressure on the government over allegations surrounding Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's affair, demanding Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull explain the creation of a series of well-paid jobs for Mr Joyce's partner. ... Politicians on all sides have declined to cast judgment on the Deputy Prime Minister's affair, saying it was a private matter but expressing sympathy for Mr Joyce's wife and daughters.
Bill Shorten queries Barnaby Joyce partner’s promotion - The Australian
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is facing mounting pressure to explain implications stemming from Barnaby Joyce’s affair with a younger staffer, including suggestions highly paid positions were created for her in other offices.
Barnaby Joyce’s affair with a staffer needed to be made public - The Australian
Maybe this is a midlife crisis. Maybe it’s something worse than that: maybe he’s an ego on legs, drunk on power and indeed on ­alcohol, who thought he could have his cake and eat it too.
Maybe he really did just fall in love.
The question this week has been how much we — the poor punters paying the bills while all this goes on — needed to know about what he was doing after the lights went out.
Some journalists, mainly from Canberra, have been arguing for silence on the matter, which is curious. Uncovering is what they’re meant to do. The logic of their argument, as far as it could be followed, was that affairs between politicians and their staff — or journalists — are “private” or else “not in the public interest”.
That may be right at times, perhaps even most of the time, but not in this case.
Barnaby Joyce: I didn’t report it because I couldn’t verify it - The Guardian
Katharine Murphy writes how Joyce was clearly preoccupied, but 2017 drove parliament to insanity – and I didn’t want to be the Canberra sex correspondent
The remarkable privilege of being a male politician - Sydney Morning Herald
Julia Baird writes there can be few greater examples of the double standard of reporting in Australian politics than that of Barnaby Joyce's "love child". If it were, say Barbara – or Joyce – Joyce, a married female party leader and deputy prime minister who became pregnant to a younger staffer, the story would have been pursued with great vigour and determination months ago.
Barnaby Joyce's other betrayal - Sydney Morning Herald
Jenna Price writes: If you think what Joyce did to the gay and lesbian community was terrible, let me frighten you even further. In 2006, Joyce was prepared to condemn women to death.
Joyce, then just a Nationals senator in the Howard government, opposed the free provision of a drug which would save the lives of hundreds of women a year.
What Bitcoin Reveals About Financial Markets - New York Times
John Quiggin writes: The spectacular increase and recent plunge in the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have raised concerns that the bursting of the Bitcoin bubble will cause financial markets to crash. They probably won’t, but the Bitcoin bubble should finally destroy our faith in the efficiency of markets.
Riding high on the oil boom of the late 2000s, the state followed the Kansas model and slashed taxes. But the promised prosperity never came. In many cases, it was just the opposite. Around 20 percent of Oklahoma's schools now hold classes just four days a week. Last year, Highway Patrol officers were given a mileage limit because the state couldn't afford to put gas in their tanks. Medicaid provider rates have been cut to the point that rural nursing homes and hospitals are closing, and the prisons are so full that the director of corrections says they're on the brink of a crisis.In her State of the State address Monday, Gov. Mary Fallin expressed the state's frustration." We have two clear choices," she said. "We can continue down a path of sliding backwards, or we can choose the second path, which is to say 'Enough is enough! We can do better! We deserve better! Our children deserve better, too!' " Many of the tax cuts and subsequent revenue failures have happened on Fallin's watch. Now she wants to fix it, and she's gotten behind a large coalition of business leaders who have come up with a plan to raise taxes and enact reforms.
‘Living a catastrophe’: Post-ISIS, Syria’s civil war rages on at a horrific pace - Think Progress
While government and opposition forces continue to fight, a new front has opened up on the Turkish border. 
Study: Climate Change Probably Won’t Kill All of Us - New York Magazine

Friday, 9 February 2018

Refreshing your memory about how the Owl covered Barnaby Joyce and his New England by-election campaign

As the main stream media tries to explain why it said or wrote nothing about Barnaby Joyce and his mistress during the New England campaign, here are some of the Owl's posts last year.

30 November 2017:

The remark of a personal nature that angered Barnaby Joyce

Barnaby was halfway out the front door when the environmentalist bloke bade him farewell by saying:
“Say hello to your mistress for me.”
It wasn’t said loudly, but Barnaby, who is clearly not hard of hearing, spun on his heels as if stung and, fists clenched, stormed back into the bar.
Face bright red and spitting chips, Barnaby loomed his 1.85-metre frame over the smaller man and demanded:
“What did you say?”
There was silence in the bar. Slack jaws all around, including Barnaby’s minder, who you would think would be equipped to handle these kinds of situations — it’s hard to think it was his first.
The martial arts guy stepped in. He took a gentle hold of Barnaby’s elbow to stop his arm moving about and said something like,
“Mate, he said don’t miss us, now calm down.”
Barnaby sort of did but, in a final act of petulant defiance, reached down and knocked the environmentalist’s hat from his head.
It was a near thing.
29 November 2017:

Hats off for Barnaby - Is New England all over bar the voting?

Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce claims he is being stalked but won't deny flicking a man's hat off during a heated encounter in a New England pub.
28 November 2017:

Singalong for the prospect that a politician's child will be Australia's number 25 million
Twitter tells us that a politician will be father of a child due in February or March. The ABS population clock predicts the country's population to reach 25 million about the same time. So singalong and wish him luck.

Barnaby Joyce faces death threats on his campaign trail

He’s had death threats and a bullet sent to his office but said it wouldn’t change the way he worked (in the video, it’s his first answer).
Is he shunning big public events? “I’ve done a number of forums. I’m here. I’m walking up and down the halls. I’m making sure I’m publicly available.

26 November 2017:

Barnaby Joyce's behaviour finally becomes a New England campaign issue

Perhaps now the mainstream media will break its silence and start reporting on the allegations being made in New England about unseemly behaviour by former deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. The former independent member for the electorate Joyce is standing in this Saturday took to Twitter today with this comment:
While it is just the latest in a series of tweets by Tony Windsor, it is one of the most specific. You can put it into context by reading this item by the Owl on 21 November "Trying to make sense of the social media references to the problems of Barnaby Joyce." As Mr Windsor has tweeted, "If sexual harassment to be really dealt with ppl need to out these people ..silence means complicence , time to stare it down." And in another tweet from Mr Windsor: "Petrified girl ,Mother worried about consequences , prominent figure ...frightened ppl believe the system will fail them."
The members of the federal press gallery have squibbed writing about these issues which involve allegations that that an MP chased a young women into a toilet & molested another after the 2012 Rural Women Awards.
24 November 2017:
What we call the mainstream media has largely been absent from the New England by-election. The consensus wisdom apparently is that Barnaby Joyce will win easily so there is nothing to report. Let the yokels of the local papers do their thing reporting on the 16 other candidates. We smarties of the Canberra press gallery will get on with covering important matters while the deputy Prime Minister coasts to victory. Not for them to stick their bib into the questions of sexual harassment and worse that are continuing to surface in the wilds of the social media. The commentators on what they regard as the important matters of political life have decided that the private life of a politician should stay private and is not a legitimate concern for the voters.
This attitude of the Canberra press gallery stands in stark contrast to the approach of their peers in other countries to matters of sexual harassment by elected politicians. And I am not writing here about the stories of a Coalition minister having a sexual liaison with a member of his staff that did or not result in an abortion. The seemingly uninvestigated matter is one alleging that an MP chased a young women into a toilet & molested another after the 2012 Rural Women Awards. And the allegation comes not from some anonymous miscreant on Twitter but from the highly regarded former independent member for New England Tony Windsor.
You will find references to the incident in my report Trying to make sense of the social media references to the problems of Barnaby Joyce. As Mr Windsor has tweeted, "If sexual harassment to be really dealt with ppl need to out these people ..silence means complicence , time to stare it down." And in another tweet from Mr Windsor: "Petrified girl ,Mother worried about consequences , prominent figure ...frightened ppl believe the system will fail them."
Surely that's a matter of sexual harassment deserving of investigation.
But in one sense, I suppose, it does not matter. In small cities like Armidale and Tamworth it does not need a report on the National Nine News or in the Sydney Morning Herald for news to spread. Rumours true and false spread widely enough by word of mouth.
The issues raised by Mr Windsor will have their influence on the result on 2 December despite the virtual mainstream media blackout.

Trying to make sense of the social media references to the problems of Barnaby Joyce

If you are trying to sort out the social media references to Barnaby Joyce, this collection of recent tweets by Tony Windsor might help.





What it is tho Sean is more poor judgement from Turnbull , he knows the time bomb Joyce is sitting on ...Turnbulls office were informed in 2015 . Turnbull went berserk when Joyce told him of citizenship position and personal issues on same day--that's Malcolm's model Australian!! https://twitter.com/mrseankelly/status/928113228311171072 



May like to ask Canavan who is sending the legal letters relating to " prominent public figure" and harassment allegations ? https://twitter.com/BernardKeane/status/928060615892930560 



Does the ABC Board listen to AM ...sexual harassment story ...standard you walk past is the standard you accept .



Why would a Board member of the ABC make a tweet about sexual harassment "unavailable "...perhaps those who follow this woman could check. https://twitter.com/TonyHWindsor/status/922786495324237824 



Who was the drunk politician who chased a young women into a toilet & molested another after the 2012 Rural Women Awards ? https://twitter.com/GeorgieSomerset/status/911794290644336640 



If sexual harassment to be really dealt with ppl need to out these people ..silence means complicence , time to stare it down .






Who was the drunk politician who chased a young women into a toilet & molested another after the 2012 Rural Women Awards ? https://twitter.com/GeorgieSomerset/status/911794290644336640 



Confucius say " people's private lives are their own business , their predatory lives are not "



Petrified girl ,Mother worried about consequences , prominent figure ...frightened ppl believe the system will fail them .. https://twitter.com/TonyHWindsor/status/918787577276129282 



Happening in v high places , women reluctant to out ppl in power ..18 yr old chased by drunk pollie into toilet , mother won't out him.Why? https://twitter.com/MikeCarlton01/status/918785272996708352 



Happening in v high places , women reluctant to out ppl in power ..18 yr old chased by drunk pollie into toilet , mother won't out him.Why? https://twitter.com/MikeCarlton01/status/918785272996708352 
2012 Rural Woman of the year award,pub afterwards,brought her to tears,I told the idiot to get out of the pub.Great Respect for Rural Women






Don't blame Weinstein's crimes on his victims' "silence". Their complaints not beleived. He was powerful. Power = impunity. It's same here















Interesting article re heritage but also Mr Joyces view on abortion...I wonder if that has changed given recent events . https://twitter.com/FightingTories/status/913209266831364096