Making another run

Ladislaus Meissner, also known as Joe Meissner, of “Love Boat” notoriety has, after a decent interval, resurfaced. Joe has moved on from his days in the 1980s as secretary of the Enmore branch of the Labor Party and former world karate champion when his putt-putt, the Kanzen, hosted riotous onboard parties, where politicians mingled with even shadier figures.

Virginia Perger, a sex worker, said she had slept with the adorable Graham Richardson on board the Kanzen only to withdraw her statement, after much thought.

Joe has been back in court in another attempt to trouser some of his former and deceased wife’s money. A New South Wales Supreme Court judgement this month from His Honour the Earl of Pembroke didn’t start hopefully for Joe:

“There are many problems facing the plaintiff. I’m afraid to say that the claim is virtually hopeless.”

Joe and Sharron Meissner divorced in 2008. There was evidence she didn’t want anything further to do with her ex, who at that stage was ensconced with his secretary, Ms Shi.

In 2013, Joe began proceedings against the executor of Sharron’s quite large estate. He produced a photocopy of a will allegedly made in 2010, well after the 2008 will on which probate had been granted. Justice Stephen Robb had trouble with Joe’s credibility and arrived at the conclusion that the 2010 document was a fabrication.

The Earl of Pembroke then had to deal with an application for a family provision order during which some of Joe’s priors resurfaced: jailed for attempting to pervert the course of justice; break, enter and steal; assault occasioning actual bodily harm and various counts of larceny including the theft of machineguns.

His Honour felt the plaintiff’s evidence was “replete with exaggeration and falsity” and to top it off he still hasn’t paid the costs of his failed foray three years ago with the 2010 “will”.

Credits where due

Most semiconscious citizens by now know that Schmo Morrison is full of puzzling contradictions. On one hand, he is the greatest friend retirees could have, campaigning against Labor’s plan to end the tax-free bottomless pit of franking credits.

Back in the Keating era, retired public servants were allowed a special discount on their superannuation when they applied for Commonwealth benefits, a recognition of the fact that tax had
been paid on super contributions as part of income.

Income from super was discounted so as to allow a retired public servant also to qualify for a small pension and associated benefits.

In 2015, a budget-cutting treasurer came along and abolished the special income discount and as a result probably close to a couple of hundred thousand retired servants of the people, schoolteachers, nurses, police, pen pushers and astrophysicists, lost their Commonwealth pensions and associated benefits.

That piece of nip and tuck was performed by Schmo himself, the retirees’ friend and saviour.

No to Rocky horror

It’s uplifting to see a judge take on global warming. The politicians have failed so dismally that it has fallen to the judicial arm of government to do some heavy lifting.

Brian Preston, the Chief Justice of the Land and Environment Court (aka the Parks and Gardens Court), ruffled plumage earlier this month when he rejected Gloucester Resources’ submission to go ahead with the Rocky Hill open-cut coalmine in the Gloucester Valley of New South Wales.

Among the reasons Preston gave for not granting approval was the mine’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.

Ever since, there has been wailing and gnashing of teeth from predictable quarters, especially Lord Moloch’s flock of inbred parrots. The judge was a greenie and therefore biased; this Green “lawfare” decision will deter global capital; it’s a “worrying example of judicial overreach”; and it’s against “the national interest”.

Even the Fun Review, which has long vacated the sensible centre, complained that, once used, the coal from this mine would only emit 36 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, “which is 0.1 per cent of the world’s total oil and gas emissions last year”.

This comes from the L’il Kris Kenny school of climate science that our emissions are only 1.3 per cent of the global total so there’s no point in Australia even thinking about meeting the Paris emission targets.

This cretinous excuse for not doing anything ignores the cumulative effect of carbon emissions and the fact all the countries that emit 1.3 per cent or less amount collectively to a not insignificant 26 per cent of total emissions.

We’re fast sinking in a fake news world, so error-ridden output should not surprise. It was left to Governor Game, the president of the dear old bar ’n’ grill club, to point out a few home truths – the mine was also opposed by the government; the judge was required by law to consider climate change in his reasons; and the parties to the case never asked the judge to recuse himself because of any prior involvement in environmental causes.

So much for judicial overreach. 

False prophet

It’s worth pondering all the wrongheaded and ultimately calamitous causes Lord Moloch has inflicted on societies around the globe.

The Iraq war with oil falling to $US20 a barrel (currently it’s $US66 a barrel); getting Britain out of Europe; the perfection of free markets; the fiction of anthropogenic global warming; the importance of cruelty signalling about refugees, particularly sick ones; the backing of dud governments here and abroad; and being significantly responsible for foisting Trump and his kleptocrats on the world – to mention a few and still counting.

Other countries, such as Canada and New Zealand, which have escaped the old buzzard’s childlike nostrums, seem to conduct their affairs relatively free of bilious distortions.

Parsons of interest

One name that vibrated in Gadfly’s shell-like ear, in connection with the ABC chair, is that of long-time media and advertising executive Anne Parsons.

Parsons is an alumnus of various branches of the advertising, media and marketing world including George Patterson Bates, Zenith Media and MediaCom. Now she commutes from her base in Gay Paree to a London branding outfit named “Cherry”.

She’s been a pal of Channel Seven’s Kerry Stokes and has many other high-flying connections in the media caper. In 2016, Parsons was anointed into the Media Federation of Australia’s Hall of Fame – the first woman to bust through the bling ceiling.

Word is the Human Toilet Brush and minister for communications approached her to put her hand up for the ABC chair job, an invitation she declined. Interesting that he thought a senior advertising figure might be the right fit for Aunty.

Gadfly found an old email address and asked Parsons for confirmation but has so far heard nothing back.

Out of the closet

Cleaning out a cupboard in his great aunt’s disused house in Hobart, one of our field agents found a fading yellow flyer from 1980 bearing the photo of a young man in a jumper, a full head of hair and strangely piercing eyes.

It was Otto Abetz urging inmates at the University of Tasmania to return him to the students representative council.

Already he held the lofty position of chairman of the refectory management committee and was in a strong position to know his way around the pressing issues facing the rank and file of the student electorate.

Abetz said he would be a “check” on the Labor group that had taken over the SRC, he wanted a bigger Refectory (capital R) and more car parking. Otto promised “services not politics” plus “balance and moderation” – qualities which to this day have made him a household name.

It’s a crying shame he had to waste the past couple of years of service, using all his balance and moderation, to try to defenestrate GetUp!

Puffing bully

No laughing or sniggering at the Radge Bampot, please. Like the president of Kazakhstan, the “dignity and honour” of the office of the United States president shall be “inviolable”.

Alec Baldwin from Saturday Night Live has crossed a line, with blond wig, pout and mimicry – this time sending up the state of emergency over the wall/fence/barricade/moat/ha-ha.

“How do the networks get away with these total Republican hit jobs without retribution? ... Very unfair and should be looked into. This is the real Collusion!” tweeted the wretched leader of the not-so-free world, adding with his thumb on the upper case button: “THE RIGGED AND CORRUPT MEDIA IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE.”

Not bad coming from someone who understands from the inside about corruption. This is ugly stuff even in a sea of ugliness, taking us into a new paradigm – a president who threatens retribution and labels satirists as enemies of the people.

Already we have seen reporters and cameramen at Trump rallies and events abused and beaten. Further and deeper there is a slide into a state where independent institutions within a democracy are expected to march in step with a narcissistic bully: the judiciary, the media and even elected representatives.

The Pussy Grabber has taken a few cues from President Nursultan Nazarbayev about the inviolability of supreme authority. It’s not a laughing matter.


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This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Feb 23, 2019 as "Gadfly: Making another run".

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Richard Ackland is The Saturday Paper’s legal affairs editor.