Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Liberals cave on live exports

Two Liberal MPs with a history of speaking in favour of banning live animal exports have voted against a bill banning the practice. Sussan Ley and Sarah Henderson, who were promoted to outer ministry positions in August’s cabinet reshuffle, voted down a private member’s bill banning live exports, and also blocked moves to bring forward debate on a similar bill they introduced in May. Henderson and Ley’s votes decided the bill’s fate, which was defeated 72 votes to 70. Shadow agriculture spokesperson Joel Fitzgibbon claimed the pair “put their own political careers ahead of their policy convictions”.

Home affairs minister Peter Dutton has denied misleading parliament over his role in approving visas for several foreign au pairs. Speaking in parliament on Monday, Dutton said he “did not have a personal connection or any type of relationship with the people involved in these matters”, despite tabling an email from former Queensland Police officer Russell Keag that revealed the pair knew each other professionally. In a submission to the parliamentary inquiry into the au pairs affair, former Australian Border Force commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg reiterated his previous claim that Dutton’s chief of staff, Craig Maclachlan, asked him to prevent a young woman’s deportation “between October 2015 and the end of calendar year 2016”. Quaedvlieg also claimed he may have been asked to intervene in another case involving “a young European female”. Meanwhile, Fairfax reports that Dutton personally asked Quaedvlieg to help two Queensland police officers, Matt Stock and John Lewis, get jobs with the Australian Border Force.

The presumed frontrunner in the Liberal Party’s preselection process for the seat of Wentworth has withdrawn from the race, saying the position should go to a woman. In a social media post, former Business Council of Australia lobbyist and marriage equality campaigner Andrew Bragg said outgoing Liberal MP Julia Banks’ claims of gendered intimidation and bullying during August’s leadership crisis “genuinely shocked me”, and that her “exit from public life is a loss for all of us”. Citing former foreign minister Julie Bishop’s comments regarding the low level of female representation in Liberal ranks, Bragg said “these recent events and comments have changed the mood and accordingly I will withdraw my nomination”. City of Sydney councillor Christine Forster withdrew from the race to replace former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in Wentworth earlier this month.

And the man who defaced a memorial to murdered Melbourne woman Eurydice Dixon has been ordered to pay more than $19,500 and do 200 hours of community service. Andrew Nolch, 29, was arrested after defacing a memorial to Dixon on the site where she was raped and murdered in June. Speaking in Melbourne Magistrates Court, Magistrate Olivia Trumble told Nolch “the emotional damage of your conduct is immeasurable”. Speaking outside court after the sentence, Nolch said the act was a protest at how “the mainstream media and feminists turned the tragic murder of Eurydice Dixon into one giant political man-hating event”, and that “not all men are bad”. Nolch was among attendees at former United Kingdom Independence Party leader Nigel Farage’s Melbourne speaking event on Saturday.



“The most elite publications are ceding control to the celebrities they rely upon to prop up their dwindling print sales. One need look no further than an Elle cover story in which Jennifer Lawrence ‘interviewed’ Emma Stone to understand that magazine journalism frequently takes a backseat to booking big names.”


“Until the final decades of the 20th century, artists who achieved financial success risked being branded sellouts. The art world administered litmus tests to assess purity and ran interference between its anointed darlings and the commercial sphere. It took a quintessential outcast, Andy Warhol, to openly embrace celebrity culture.”


“Since my ordination as a Catholic priest in 2011, I have celebrated Mass 2,803 times – unless I have made some mistake in the little book in which I record each celebration. The celebration of Mass is the main reason why Catholic priests exist, and so people often ask me: what is it like to celebrate Mass?”


“Julie Bishop said the events that led to the ousting of Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister ‘would not be tolerated in any other workplace in Australia’ ... ‘I have seen and witnessed and experienced some appalling behaviour in Parliament, the kind of behaviour that 20 years ago when I was managing partner of a law firm of 200 employees I would never have accepted. Yet in Parliament it’s the norm.’ ”


“Internal divisions in the Conservative Party have exploded into a bitter public row over Boris Johnson’s ‘disgusting’ criticism of Theresa May. Some senior Tories furiously denounced the former foreign secretary after he accused the prime minister of having ‘wrapped a suicide vest’ around Britain.”


“You’ve probably seen gifs from the infamous ’96 Democratic National Convention, where Hillary Clinton was made to dance to the song. Friends, I’m pleased to report that the full video is incredible, and the trend runs so much deeper.”