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EYE-BALL’s Harry’s Growl – Harry’s Political Updates – June 9th 2012.

June 9, 2012
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Title:
Harry’s Political Updates …
June 9th 2012.

This Editions Headings:

| June 9th, 2012 | Click on Heading’s below to go to linked story. |

  1. NSW ALP Paid $350,000 to keep Craig Thompson from bankrupcy …
  2. Joe Hockey and his ‘retirement’ agenda for all Australians …
  3. The new Foreign Affairs Minister helps out Burma … and a few other Nations …
  4. The Latest Media debacle – Channel 9′s Prostitute claims …

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NSW ALP paid $350,000 to keep Craig Thompson :

The SMH have released details about how the SNW ALP paid over some $350,000 to keep Craig Thompson from going bankrupt.  The story – [published below] – reeks of crooked deals done to allow our Duchess Julia to keep the PM job.

In any form of analysis – paying ‘hush’ money, or in this case the NSW branch of the Australian Labour Party in Government, who paid Thompsons defamation settlements fees and legal costs – so as to prevent his bankrupcy – have breeched any number of Parliamentary protocols and behaviour rules.

The Sydney Morning Herald story can be read in full below -

ALP paid $350,000 for Thomson legal costs

| June 4, 2012 | Phillip Coorey, Kate McClymont | Link to on-line story. |

[Photo: Andrew Meares]

THE NSW Labor Party paid almost $350,000 in legal costs for Craig Thomson before the troubled MP was suspended from the party in May.

More than two-thirds of the amount – $240,000 – was paid to Fairfax Media, the publisher of the Herald, under a settlement reached a year ago when Mr Thomson withdrew defamation action he instituted in 2009.

Another $108,366.87 was to cover Mr Thomson’s other legal expenses and some of Labor’s own bills related to the case, taking the total the ALP paid to $348,366.87.
Advertisement: Story continues below

The ALP will divulge the figure at its annual state conference next month after internal pressure from the NSW senator John Faulkner, who argued that members had a right to know.

Party officials contend that, had the ALP not footed the bills, Mr Thomson could have gone bankrupt. This would have disqualified him from being an MP, caused a by-election and most likely caused the Gillard government to fall.

An extract of a report from NSW Labor’s finance committee, being prepared for the state conference, has been obtained by the Herald.

It concludes: “While significant legal expenses were incurred and covered by Craig Thomson, the cost of legal expenses to NSW Labor to provide ongoing financial assistance to cover Mr Thomson’s legal expenses, including NSW Labor’s own bills in relation to these matters, totalled $348,366.87 ($240,000 of which was a defamation settlement with Fairfax).”

One senior official said the figure would be controversial but the party leaders did not want it to turn into an issue of transparency with members.

Mr Thomson sued Fairfax for first publishing the allegations concerning his use of funds when he was national secretary of the Health Services Union.

The report suggests Sussex Street was acting in the party’s interest by paying Mr Thomson’s expenses in May and June 2011 when his defamation case turned sour. “The party paid these expenses in accordance with its responsibility for the management and administration of all matters which affect the welfare of the party,” it says.

On September 1 last year, the finance committee received a report concerning the defamation settlement and passed a motion unanimously endorsing the payment of Mr Thomson’s costs.

Mr Thomson was still being investigated by Fair Work Australia and the police and on September 2, the party’s admin-

istrative committee endorsed a motion “to provide ongoing financial assistance to cover his legal expenses”.

On May 4 Mr Thomson was suspended from the party which ”ceased to provide him with financial assistance to cover his legal expenses”.

Fairfax wrote to Mr Thomson last month requesting he correct false evidence he gave to Fair Work Australia concerning his defamation action against the company.

Mr Thomson told FWA last year that Fairfax settled the case because its handwriting expert had concluded ”the signatures on the credit card forms [for brothel receipts] were forged”. He also claimed he had provided Fairfax with alibi evidence which proved he could not have used the prostitutes at the stated times.

Fairfax lawyers wrote to Mr Thomson twice last month saying those claims and others were false and deliberately misleading. He was informed in writing that unless he publicly corrected the record and informed FWA ”as to the false information supplied by you”, the company would do so.

”Despite the clear representation made by you that Fairfax had made a payment to you … it was in fact you that paid Fairfax the sum of $240,000,” the letter said. Yesterday FWA said it had received no clarification from Mr Thomson.

Comment:

This story just won’t go away – Abbott just can’t hit the ‘home-run’. Any Leader worth a pinch of salt should be able to bury the Government and force a new election given the material that is in the public domain. He does not have the ‘want’ at this stage and that might be ‘stage-fright’, or he wants to ‘slow-roast’ the Government. The latter would offer complete disdain to the rights and entitlements of the Australian people. They deserve better and if he is holding off because of a personal agenda and ego happenstance – then he does not deserve the job.

If it is the former i.e. stage-fright, then he again has no right being in the position.

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Jow Hockey and his Retirement plans … :

Hockey wants debate about raising retirement age

| Posted June 08, 2012 11:15:51 | Link to ABC on-line story. |

Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey says there should be a debate about increasing the retirement age to 70.

A report by the Grattan Institute think tank has called for the retirement age to be lifted to 70 in order to increase the numbers of older people in the workforce.

It also wants the GST to be expanded to cover food, education and healthcare.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has ruled out lifting the retirement age and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says he does not think it is worth talking about.

“I’m not saying it’s wrong but I don’t think there should be any further lifting of the retirement age without full community debate, and I’m certainly not proposing that,” Mr Abbott said.

But Mr Hockey says the change should be on the table.

“I think life expectancy is into the 80s and the pension age has only just changed in the last few years, so it’s something we should have a proper debate about as part of an ageing population,” he said.

“It’s something that we do need to have a community debate about because we are getting older [and] hopefully going to live longer.

“When you look at France, which has a new Socialist president who’s saying he’s going to reduce the retirement age from 62 to 60, this is why Europe’s in trouble and Australia progresses down the path of being able to sustain in a decent quality of life [for] an ageing population.”

Earlier this year, Mr Hockey used an address to policymakers in London to declare the “age of entitlement” was over, calling for a revision of a number of social policies and payments.

Ms Gillard says while the Government has already raised the retirement age, she does not support lifting the GST and will not be seeking to revisit the issues.

Comment:

Really Joe – you are a scatterbrain – the World hits a ‘era-ending’ financial crisis and you want to make people world an extra three years till aged 70. The age was lifted to 67 a few years back and to come into effect by 2023. See Human Services statement below:

Eligibility for Age Pension

| Link to on-line resource – Human Services. |

Age requirements

Your eligibility for Age Pension depends on your current age and when you were born.

From 1 July 2017, the qualifying age for Age Pension will increase from 65 years to 65 and a half years. The qualifying age will then rise by six months every two years, reaching 67 by 1 July 2023.

This previous ‘tweak’ in retirement ages increased woman’s pensionable age from 60 to 65, and men from 65 to 67.  For Mr Hockey to now want to have further discussions on a renewed effort to further increase pension age to 70 – demonstrates Joe’s complete lack of understanding of what his role is as a Member of the Parliamentary Opposition.

His creditability is at question here – his statement – ‘want to have discussions’ is a kite flying comment – he’s not committed to an increase – he wants to monitor the feedback before he commits to a policy.

It is a measure of the man and what he stands for – god help Australia if he is the next Federal Treasurer – Swan and the RBA have given him ample ammunition to work with over the mis-management of the rise in the A$ – yet he just shakes his head and accepts he is out of his league.

If the Government was to reverse the 15% up front tax rule on superannuation imposed when Keating introduced the 9% pay sacrifice in the early 90′s – that would immediately give back to the superannuant a cash flow and compound earn that will see superannuation values double over time.  The Government at last count – i.e. the last 12 months of Superannuation tax collections – would be giving up $6.6 billion in Government revenues.   Cheap at half the price.

If Joe is really worried about the burden of funding the aged pension – bumping the retirement age is the ‘cheap-suit’ and ‘Goldman Sacks’ way of doing business – screw everybody and make sure you get your end covered.

Fuck off Joe and go have another ‘crap-moment’ whilst you think of your next ‘kite-story’ you want to fly to get yourself some media coverage.

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Australia Pledges Millions to Foreign Lands …

The new Foreign Minister is the new Oceania Santa Clause if the gifts pledges to some of the Regions Foreign Nations are to be believed.

This week there was the announcement of an $80 million package for Burma, [see story here], then last month there was another $2.5 million pledge to Fiji, a $300 million pay-off for Afghan security forces to allow Australia to exit a failed campaign and the list goes on.

The May 2012 Budget shows Foreign Aid forecast has reduced Foreign Aid by $2.9 billion over the next four years.  [See story here.].

Given Bob Carr’s limited time in the job – his role going around selling the budget cuts and doing the PR required to keep neighbours happy,  is a baptism he probable had not considered.

It is noticed that he takes his wife with him on most of these trips – something the previous Foreign Minister was reluctant to do.  The fact that she appears to be of Asian descent probably has no attendant issue – but if it did – who actually would be the Foreign Minister?

Bob Carr is Bob Carr – he made a few gaffes early in the posting – but is now out of sight and out of mind.  Initially the media were talking up his prospects as the alternative PM – that nugget is now in the same file as Bill Shorten’s short term aspirations.

Gillard is one tough broad – she has seen off more challenges that Mohammed Ali had to as the heavyweight Champion of the world.  Not bad for a sheila.

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The Latest Media Debacle – Channel 9′s ACA …

The media have had a bad week – by any stretch of the imagination – the conversations held in the Channel 9′s headquarters at Artarmon over how they ‘cocked’ up a ‘slam-dunk’ story that made Media headlines all over the Nation for days.

It all came down to the creditability of the self-confessed prostitute – and as always they are always marked down.  The woman in question went to a rival network who broke the story – and for the same reasons that Channel 9 wanted to publish their story – the poor woman was slandered all day in ‘blog-world’ and by the mainstream press.

Channel 9 chased down what they though would be an award winning story – they were prepared to pay $60,000 to the woman until she recanted her story when she or someone discovered that she couldn’t have had sex with Craig Thompson when she said she did because her passport had her in New Zealand at the time.

Look – tis is not about the prostitute telling her story and recanting – it is about the integrity of Channel 9 and the ‘A Current Affair’ producer and Journalist who chased down the story.   Leaking the story headline before the story aired was a monumental blunder – and if the woman involved wanted to sue Channel 9 – public opinion would be on her side.  As for her legal position – who knows given what has been stated and counter stated.

The upshot – Craig Thompson gained on-air sympathy from the woman in question and the rest of Australia would also feel Thompson got screwed over yet again.   Does Thompson deserve that sympathy – of course not.  But thanks to some ‘dumb-ass’ media reporting the momentum of the Thompson ‘slow-roast’ has slowed.

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Please – if any of the opinions expressed hereto raises concerns within your own belief about how this Nation is being managed, or any other concern, please contact your State content to your Federal Member via an e-mail or a telephone call to express your concerns.

You’ll find the House of Representatives (HOR) and Senator e-mail addresses via the links below to the Australian Parliamentary website Members and Senator profiles. It is an important aspect that in our form of Democracy, that the people be heard – we should ensure the Government Representatives hear our opinions. If we stay silent, then Democracy is not served.

Use the Federal Member and Senate links below to find your Local Member. If you prefer, you can just post a comment below and let your views be heard.

Link to other most recent Harry’s Growl Posts.

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Harry’s Growl …

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