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EYE-BALL Opinion on – Australian Political Updates – 1st May 2012.

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Title:
Australian Political Updates – 1st May 2012.
The latest Newspoll shows the ALP have slipped another 2 points to 27%,  and the Coalition rose 3 points to 51%.  This is a direct result of the continuation of the ‘Slipper’ affair and continued hangovers about Craig Thompson and the Health Services Union (HSU) matter.

Presented below is a take on the current issues in the Political arena and the mood of opinion on those issues:  Firstly …

The HSU Affair:

Yesterdays leak of the interim ‘Temby Report’ – [linked here] – into the HSU, is a document that everyone should read to gain some perspective into why so much mis-direction, and protection is being provided to suppress the full report from being made public.

The ABC ran a story today outlining the ACTU’s response to the report:

ACTU in damage control after report alleges HSU rorts

| Updated May 01, 2012 09:35:25 |

ACTU president Ged Kearney has admitted that a leaked report into the Health Services Union is a bad look for the union movement.

An independent investigation into the HSU’s East branch has uncovered a litany of alleged rorts and deficient accounting practices.

The confidential report by Ian Temby QC, which was leaked to the media yesterday, details allegations of nepotism and excessive spending on goods and services without proper contracts or tender processes.
Audio: Damning report into HSU branch (AM)

It draws attention to a number of companies that are alleged to provide services to the union at inflated rates or for dubious services, including IT company United Edge – which has suspended union general secretary Michael Williamson as its director.

And it says the union has no credit card policy or formal purchase order system despite spending millions of dollars each year.

The report says investigations are continuing into an allegation that there was a preference to give jobs to Mr Williamson’s family and friends.

Mr Williamson and his wife declined to speak to the inquiry but provided written statements.

Suspended Labor MP Craig Thomson, who is the subject of investigations into the alleged misuse of union funds dating back to his time at the HSU’s national branch, last night issued a statement saying the Temby report does not make any reference to him, that he was never a member of HSU East, that he left the HSU in 2007, and that he never engaged in the sorts of practices referred to in this report.
‘Proven right’

This morning, Ms Kearney told AM the report proved the ACTU was right to suspend the HSU.

“It certainly indicates that the strong action the ACTU took was the right path,” she said.

“Like the CEO of a major bank, I can never guarantee that there will never be any other aberrations.

“But what I can guarantee is that the ACTU has a zero tolerance to any such behaviour and we will not tolerate it within the movement.

“There’s no doubt that [the report] reflects badly on the union movement, but that’s why I am at pains to say that this is a small section of a larger well-run union and certainly not indicative of broader union movement.

“And I think we really need to remember [the people] who seem to be forgotten in this whole fiasco, the members, the hard-working members who work in our hospitals, in our health system, who rely on the HSU for good representation in the industrial sphere.”
Vindication

HSU East says the Union Council will review the report and report to members on its findings and conclusions.

But HSU national secretary Kathy Jackson says she feels vindicated by the interim report.

“I see it as a total game-changer, and more importantly I see it as a big breakthrough for the membership and particularly for the council. The council up until now were very sceptical about my allegations,” she said.

“I don’t blame them for that one minute, but what we need to do now is rebuild this union and do it quickly and efficiently and effectively.”

Investigators are waiting for more information from union management before delivering their final report.

…read story on-line here …

Opinion:

Every person, including the ‘Drovers Dog’ can smell the stench Duchess Julia is running from after having ‘shat’ her vile brand of ‘Labour Brand Leadership’ for all to see.   The flies roaming over that ‘shit-pile’ are now infecting the whole of the ALP.   Everybody is looking for a parachute to escape – yet just two months ago they burnt the only parachute that had a chance in reviving the Labour brand.

Rudd’s anti ‘faction’ and ‘limited’ Union involvement in ALP management and policy initiatives is well known – how good that would look now?

Let the ‘Duchess’ squirm in her own ‘shit-pile’ – let the flies infect all the ALP – and let the ALP die to allow a rebirth.  It happened in NSW and QLD – but the remnants of those State Parties are looking to go elsewhere to survive.  People like Peter Beattie and Bob Carr should just shut up and go away.

As for the Union movement – decades of corrupt practices are being exposed – the worker has a right to feel cheated.  Why are Unions not up for Federal reviews as are other Financial Managers who manage other people’s funds?

How did the Federal Government allow Unions to have blind scrutiny over union member funds? The Government has been asleep at the wheel on these matters.

There has to be a review into pre-selection criteria and the scope of investigations into candidate backgrounds and affiliations.

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The SPEAKER Affair:

The ABC’s Q&A last night – [linked here] – had Peter Reith, Sophie Mirabella and the ALP’s Mark Dreyfus debating the Gillard move to replace Peter Slipper as Speaker.

It was pathetic as a viewer offering in determining a way forward – both sides just took swings at eachother and the presenter Tony Jones, erred in allowing the emotive outbursts.

Q&A need to review their format – emotive TV has a place – but selecting panelist hoping and encouraging conflict only inflames public opinion, and does not allow for sensible debate that allows viewers to form balanced opinions.  The debate and snipping carried on during the whole program and achieved nothing.

When viewpoints are structured and embedded – no amount of public debate will sway opinions.  In fact – it turns people off the the whole presumption that Politicians know what their talking about,  as opposed to them spruking the Party line.

As for Peter Slipper … cringe like fingernails on a chalkboard when even imagining what his life must be …

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The Newspoll Numbers:

Primary Vote:

  • Gillard – 27% (-2%)
  • Abbott – 51% (+3%)

Party Preferred:

  • Gillard – 41% (-3%)
  • Abbott – 59% (+3%)

Preferred PM:

  • Gillard – 36% (-3%)
  • Abbott – 41% (+0%)

Voter Satisfaction:

  • Gillard – Satisfied – 28% (-0%)
  • Abbott – Satisfied – 33% (-2%)
  • Gillard – Dissatisfaction – 63% (+1%)
  • Abbott – Dissatisfaction – 55% (+1%)

The Australian newspaper published these results at midnight last night and can be [read on-line here].

Interesting right – Gillard’s low point was 26% Sept 2011 – and she is about to go lower in coming weeks.  At what point do the ALP do a ‘Rudd’ on Gillard?

Given the NSW and QLD election results for the ALP brand – nobody is expecting any different at the next Federal election.  But when push comes to shove – who else is there to vote for?  Bob Brown has left the Greens in a “Democrats’ position after Don Chipp left the party – The Independents have shown they are about self-preservation rather than using their power to force accountable Government – and Abbott is just the monkey in the cage wanting to get out and infect us all with his mediocrity and poisonous glib.

The voters are being shortchanged a every turn by Politicians who think the ‘game’ is more important than the observance and perception of ‘good government’.

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Larry’s Latest Cartoons:

Cartoons are as published via the Larry Pickering Facebook page – [linked here]

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Larry also provides a Blog and his comments are well worth reading. He has an inciteful mind as his cartoons portray – his commentary is equally witty and informative.

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To have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative and have your say – please use the links below to find your Local Member and let them know how you feel about this or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.

Link to Previous EYE-BALL Posts.

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The EYE-BALL Opinion …

May god intervene and give us a solution …

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  1. Gerry Hatrick
    May 1, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Having read the Temby report, I am wondering why the press is scared to name and shame Michael Williamson. There are many interesting elements. Temby stresses the need for absolute secrecy yet the document is leaked, within hours of being dated. There is far too much uncertainty, and regarding Michael Williamson we must use the caveat “it is alleged”. Nothing is proven or an irrefutable body of evidence is mounted against him. Michael Williamson is in many positions of trust. It is alleged he has abused those positions of trust.

    The legal fraternity is saying that without strict protocols of governance then what…. The HSU is untouchable? Sometime ago Joe Hockey was trying to explain what his side of politics did to convict both Ray Williams and Rodney Adler in the HIH debacle and subsequent Royal Commission was to pursue them through diverse laws and create laws.

    With 16 months left of this election cycle, the first party to take the high moral ground and redefine a proper democracy, will win the next election. It would start;

    For many years now both sides of our pluralist democracy have taken too much for granted, where the excesses of our governments show they are not truly accountable. This is our vision for truth in government.

    Quite Frankly these polls could be turned upside down. Julia Gillard could become the Australian equivalent of our Maid of Orlean. Australia’s Joan of Arc. What a legacy!

  2. May 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Agree totally Gerry,

    The potential for wide spread investigations into all Union activity’s as custodians of Members funds is mind blowing …

    This has the potential to be a Krakota blowup … and if so then the face of the Australian Workforce representation is about to change forever.

    Why should Union’s be exempt from all Financial Management protocols that other Fund custodians, and include the Club Industry with the Unions here – they pay themselves without accountability – they have private accounts – and the exposure of the HSU slush funds type expenditure is possibly the tip of the iceberg.

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