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Archives for May 2012

An Australian Political Scientist

John Howard Collects His Order Of Merit

Former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard has received the Order of Merit from the Queen.

In London for the Jubilee celebrations, Howard met with the Queen to receive the award which is solely within the gift of the monarch.

Howard told the Queen: “It was an enormous privilege to be your Australian prime minister.”

Julian Assange Appeal Against Extradition Dismissed

By a vote of 5-2, the UK Supreme Court has dismissed Julian Assange’s appeal against extradition to Sweden.

Government Expels Syrian Diplomats

The Syrian Chargé d’affaires, Mr Jawdat Ali, has been given 72 hours to leave Australia.

The decision was announced at 4.30pm today by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr. One other Syrian diplomat has also been expelled.

The expulsion is in response to the massacre of 100 people in Haoula. [Read more…]

Mabo Madness From 1993

With the 20th anniversary of the High Court’s Mabo decision approaching on June 3, it’s timely to remember the atmosphere of the times.

This is a Jeff Hook cartoon and an editorial from the Sunday Herald-Sun on June 6, 1993.

A High Court Challenge To The Murray-Darling Water Plan?

The South Australian government says the revised Murray-Darling Basin plan is unacceptable and it is preparing a legal challenge.

“We are left with no choice,” Premier Jay Weatherill said. “We must act.”

Weatherill said the government would campaign against the plan. “I have instructed our lawyers to draft a legal challenge to this plan – so that if this plan is made law, we will be ready to fight it in court.” [Read more…]

Abbott: This Is An Important Week

This is an important week, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says.

Tony AbbottAbbott’s comment comes as Federal Parliament met today amidst continuing speculation about Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s leadership.

Gillard’s political judgement is in question again over her handling of the controversy over foreign workers for the mining industry. Gillard told unions she was kept in the dark about the decision to allow Gina Hancock to import 1700 workers. The decision was announced by Immigration Minister Chris Bowen on Friday. Other government sources claim Gillard was aware of the impending announcement.

After last week’s aggressive preoccupation with Craig Thomson, today’s Question Time in the House of Representatives was subdued. The Opposition did not move to suspend Standing Orders as they often do during Question Time.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott held a Cabinet meeting and posted this statement late today.

Transcript of Tony Abbott’s remarks to the Shadow Cabinet meeting in Canberra.

This is an important week. I think that it’s more and more obvious that this is a divided and dysfunctional government.

It’s also obvious that the faceless men are gathering around the Prime Minister. Now, we all know that the Labor Party is run by faceless men. We all know that the faceless men essentially decide who the Labor Party is, but it’s really up to the Australian people rather than the faceless men who should decide who should be the Prime Minister of this country. [Read more…]

Gillard Questioned Again About Leadership

Julia Gillard’s leadership is under persistent media questioning, just three months after her crushing defeat of Kevin Rudd in a caucus ballot.

Julia GillardAppearing in Canberra today to promote carbon pricing compensation and assistance for pensioners, Gillard faced media questions about her leadership in the light of reports that the government Whip, Joel Fitzgibbon, is promoting a leadership change to Kevin Rudd.

She was also questioned about Cabinet divisions over immigrant workers for the mining industry. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has announced a scheme of Enterprise Migration Agreements for a Gina Hancock mining project. The scheme has been attacked by union officials such as Paul Howes who has been dealing with retrenchments in the aluminium and manufacturing industries. [Read more…]

Craig Thomson: Enough Is Enough

Craig Thomson has made a brief statement to journalists in Canberra today, attacking media coverage of allegations against him

“Enough is enough,” Thomson said. At one point he asked: “Is this about trying to push someone to the brink?” [Read more…]

Dealing With Craig Thomson: An Impressive MPI Debate

An impressive Matter of Public Importance debate took place in the House of Representatives this afternoon.

The MPI was devoted to the issue of how the House should treat Craig Thomson, the member for Dobell, in the light of allegations against him and his statement to the House yesterday.

Debate revolved around the nature of a censure and the arguments for and against suspending Thomson from the service of the House. [Read more…]