Michael Burrill

Current Affairs Wrap: ICAC, Brandis, asylum seekers and GOT

GOT
Image: Deviant Art

The TBS fortnightly Current Affairs (and GOT) wrap…

It seems silly to start with anything other than the biggest story, the news so momentous it briefly silenced the drums of war in eastern Ukraine, momentarily stopped children’s hands hammering in Apple factories…

The return of Game Of Thrones (GOT).

The start of another season of political intrigue and gratuitous nudity was heralded by Ex-PM Julia Gillard, who claimed the show shared parallels with her time in office. It is unclear whether the Current PM or Leader of the Opposition could be reached for comment.

The ICAC inquiry into political corruption in NSW has rolled on, with one witness claiming the Obeid family planned to “effectively control all of Sydney’s water”. A chilling insight into how bad things can get when power or privilege are abused for personal gain, though luckily this kind of thing seems to be confined to a state level. Imagine if, say by chance in some fantasy world, an unscrupulous billionaire used their fortune to buy them and their minions seats in the federal parliament or bought up shares in a large media company in an attempt to change editorial policy.

Scary thoughts…

In the war against scary thoughts, or “terror”, as some people refer to them, both Labour and the Liberals seem to agree the best way to put everyone’s minds at ease is increased powers for Intelligence Agencies accessing metadata or engaging in telecommunications intercepts. And what could go wrong with an unsupervised intelligence bureaucracy granted ever wider powers? Tanya Plibersek further fought any scary thoughts by saying “There continue to be threats. Those threats may increase.” George Brandis continued to soothe, adding “the more intelligence I read, the more conservative I become…”

In a seemingly novel attempt to remind her colleagues they are supposed to be an “Opposition”, party Labor MP Melissa Parke has suggested the party should re-examine its policies after a record low vote in the West Australian Senate election. She went on to suggest Labour should drop its support of offshore processing, saying “It’s much more than about process. It’s about showing that Labor is still a party of values.”

(Ed’s notes – after the reaction to Julian Burnside’s article on TBS on Monday, maybe it’s time for the ALP to chat to him…#justsaying)

And what values! Only embracing xenophobia when it’s politically expedient, bloody saints!

Parliamentary secretary for Agriculture Richard Colbeck has suggested a review on competition laws may lead to a ban on campaigns against companies that damage the environment. Some may suggest this and other recent government moves, such as the new guidelines that ban public servants from making political posts on social media, contradict their free speech stance. But obviously they are just supporting free speech up until the point it is used to persecute the weak in our society like multinational corporations, politicians and bigots by privileged groups like racial minorities and environmental activists.

And people say the Liberals are just a bunch of private school boys that stamp on the little guy…

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