The Pickering Post
Thursday, 13th December 2018

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Larry Pickering

Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.


It was Tony Abbott’s lack of support for Bronwyn Bishop that made her position as Speaker untenable. I and most other commentators agreed she had no choice other than to resign. Once your leader fails to support you there’s nowhere to hide, it’s an automatic death sentence.

The damaging shit fight that has ensued need not have happened had Abbott stood his ground like a man in charge.

It would have taken no more than a quick phone call to Shorten telling him to call off the dogs or all hell would break loose over either side’s outrageous expenses claims... sending him copies of his Front Bench cheat sheets.

Instead Abbott hid behind a rock for over a week hoping the Bronwyn thing would blow over.

Abbott could have confronted the Bronwyn chopper trip immediately and called for an inquiry into the entire Parliamentary system of legal entitlements. At the same time he could have defended her in the same way as Shorten is now defending Tony Burke.

With both sides of Parliament calling for an immediate inquiry and refusing to pre-empt the eventual findings of an inquiry by commenting, the wind would have disappeared from media’s sails.

When both sides agree that there is no story it’s hard to sustain the story, there is no-one to quote!

Yes, of course Labor’s Speaker, Anna Bourke was equally biased in protecting Julia Gillard and her Front Bench from acerbic Opposition attacks, that was obvious, but the rift between Bronwyn Bishop and Tony Burke was a personal one that demanded loss of blood.

Either Burke is a demented fool or he was fully prepared to lose an equal amount of blood. The former being more likely.

The truth is that Shorten and Abbott had shat themselves and taken to the hills in an attempt to limit personal damage while accepting there would be collateral damage to their respective Parties and close friends. Damned cowards! All good political friends are dispensable.

Tony Burke should now join Bronwyn in oblivion, his lack of probity is far worse than hers.

She didn’t take her kids on first class holidays to Uluru on the pretext of needing to shake hands with an Aborigine. She didn’t get a young staff member into the cot by taking him on a first class European tour. No, she hired a helicopter because she had no other way to get to that Geelong fundraiser in time.

Absurd? Yes of course it is. But it’s within the rules, as were Tony Burke’s taxpayer funded dirty weekends and an extended tour of European tourist spots... it’s the system that’s wrong!

Abbott’s handling of this debacle has cost him and a close friend in Bronwyn Bishop dearly, and his blustering over an inquiry concerning “community expectations” is all bullshit and all too late! 
The damage has been done with a lot more to come.

Abbott’s February renaissance has run out of steam, as has Australia’s cricket captain, so the captain must fall on his sword to allow someone new to regather in time for the next Ashes series.

It is Abbott who is making Shorten look acceptable, and that takes some doing.

The new Speaker should not be a Party appointment... there are plenty of old retired judges out there playing with their wrinkly unemployed dongers who would jump at it.


'so the captain must fall on his sword to allow someone new to regather in time for the next Ashes series' - sounds like what Abbott should be doing to allow Morrison time to get ready for the election.

Burke should go to the Chair - the Electric one.

Pell is not a pedofile. Get that straight.

The welfare class has a new hero. Burke and his missus have set the bar high, what grubs they are.

Mr Shorten does not have to do anything whilst ever Mr Abbott is at the wheel...around the coffee urn Mr Abbott is being seen as Captain Calamity....a jelly fish.....Mr Shorten is a shoe in and all we get is another set of politicians at the next election....bah humbug

Her colleagues are a bunch of snivelling cowards, they knew what that mongrel berk was up to but preferred to back up the labor snouts in the trough. Pack of pricks the lot of them.

He looks and sounds like a "rainbow" warrior darlings.

With a year to go, why get excited, one way or another about polls ? There are only two polls worth giving air. The election result and the Bookmakers ......

Abbott is being badly advised. It has been thus from day one, and will probably continue untill he is defeated next year. The imminent collapse of the stock market and break down of global banking systems next month may change things, but probably only for the worse. In times of dire trouble (and they won't get much dire after September's melt down) swinging voters usually vote out the sitting government. That's what the stupid Greeks did, and it looks like Australia may well repeat their mistake.

Bull Shit Shorten is nothing but a school room snitch.

O.T. To: '[email protected]'
Subject: From Australia Re the debate

We have been a huge fan of yours but we are so disappointed in you and your moderators in the second debate. The whole organisation of the debate was a great disappointment.
We wanted to hear what each one thought about every question. We won’t be hanging out to watch the next one that is for sure.
We don’t give a hoot about Trump but from the very first question it was so obvious he was set up.
That first question about anyone standing as an independent could have been asked at the end.
We are facing a holocaust in the Middle East--- Jihadists killing the public everywhere in the world (some being beheaded)—China, Nth Korea, Russia, and Iran becoming a threat to world peace.
Your country is in huge financial trouble—Americans are being killed and raped by illegal immigrants—Obama and Clinton leading the country down the drain and the list goes on and on.
What do you do-- ask a question about someone calling women “Fat pigs” and ask another candidate what he would do if his daughter or son were gay “How would he react”.
Hullo!!!! What the hell were you thinking? What a waste of time after looking forward so much to a meaningful debate about who would best help the USA and with that the rest of the world. Do you want us to believe you or your husband or friends have never ever called or thought of calling someone an unkind description? Ever? Ever?
The two moderators in the first debate were good but the three of you in the second debate were a great disappointment. It was as if it was all about you three and like a type of game show.
OReilly and Hannity were wise weren’t they not to take part.
Sorry but you have lost many fans here in Australia.

Excessive entitlements do not meet community expectations and Tony Burke has a nerve to criticise Bronwyn Bishop

Rowan Dean | The Courier-Mail | August 10, 2015

I’M CONSIDERING writing one of those trashy female romance novels that has a cheesy drawing on the front cover of a girl swooning into some guy’s arms.

In the background there’s this amazing location – like Monaco, for instance – and the title is “A First Class Romance” or maybe “Passion At The Pointy End”.

For some reason, I’ve got it in my head that the man – I think I’ll call him Terry – is this married politician whose attractive young female assistant falls in love with him while they fly first class around the world at taxpayer expense.

How can she resist him? He leaves his wife and the two of them fall in love, get married and live happily ever.

Not sure if it will be a bestseller or not, but you never know your luck in the world of fiction and fantasy.

Meanwhile, on an entirely unrelated subject, what are we to make of the ongoing grubby entitlements scandals in Canberra?

First Bronwyn Bishop, then Tony Burke, Christopher Pyne and now Joe Hockey have fallen foul of the new test: whether or not your expenses “match community expectations.”

This a preposterous test, but there you have it. So how do they all compare?

Bronwyn Bishop’s biggest transgression appears to be that she was always in a hurry to get on her with job, rushing around from meeting to fundraiser on the public purse.

On one occasion she even hopped on to a friend’s helicopter, who then charged her (i.e. us) five grand.

Now, I’ve been in helicopters and I can assure you of the following: a luxurious mode of transportation they are not. They are deafeningly noisy, unbelievably cramped, and if you don’t have a good head for heights downright scary. Give me a stretch limo any day.

But what is clear, is that the former Speaker didn’t exactly “benefit” personally from the experience. Still, she fell on her sword nonetheless.

Christopher Pyne has come under fire for spending the same amount, five grand, taking the family to Sydney for the fireworks, and yesterday it was revealed Joe Hockey spent $14,000 flying his family to Perth.

As senior members of a government that promised to take good care of every taxpayer dollar spent, both should immediately repay the money, even though the entitlements were “within the rules”.

More importantly, as the Treasurer who wants to end the “age of entitlement”, Mr Hockey must surely appreciate how hypocritical such expenditure appears.

Hats off, though, to Tony Burke, the unabashed master of excessive entitlements.

Mr Burke seems to have developed a love of travel, preferably in Business or, even better, First Class, on the public purse.

Now, I am also fortunate enough to have travelled both First and Business, and I can also assure you they are fan-bloody-tastic! First Class is sheer bliss.

You are treated like a god, the bubbly is on demand from the moment you board, and they even make your bed for you and tuck you in.

There’s also the First Class lounge where you get a free slap-up Neil Perry meal, showers, massage ... you name it.

Skye Laris, Mr Burke’s current wife and former adviser, was fortunate enough to be “upgraded” to First when she travelled with him on a $48,000 taxpayer-funded jaunt to Europe back in 2009.

Mr Burke has also used his “entitlements” to take members of his family to rock concerts and to exotic places like Uluru.

Then there was more than $50,000 blown on 20 lavish, taxpayer-funded parties as Arts Minister. His office, too, must be pretty swish, because he’s spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on it.

So on the one hand we have Bronwyn, the workaholic who has served with distinction in two different Liberal governments, who ends her career being booed and hissed worse than Adam Goodes on a bad day, for being in a hurry.

AN RAAF Challenger 604 was used to fly Tony Burke from Hobart to Newcastle, where he picked up two female staffers, and flew on to Dubbo and Sydney at a cost of more than $12,000.

On the other we have Tony Burke who has also served in two governments – the disastrous Rudd and Gillard ones – where his greatest claim to fame is that he was an Immigration Minister who continued the spectacularly successful Labor job of failing to stop any boats whatsoever and encouraging people smugglers to let asylum seekers drown at sea.

In terms of value for taxpayer money, I’d opt for Bronny any day.

In terms of integrity, Ms Bishop did the decent thing and fell on her sword.

Meanwhile, Mr Burke gives us his well-practised look of injured innocence and makes it obvious he intends staying right where he is.

In terms of a pin-up boy for Labor hypocrisy, it would be hard to find a more suitable candidate.

Looks like the Australian cricket team should have their expenses scrutinized with our politicians./Michael Clarke not travelling on the team bus for games but opting to use a limo service, who the hell does he think he is! Notice their partners looking opulent in a photo shot, wonder who paid their freight? Friction between two of the girls flowed over to their playing partners to affect their playing performances. on Bradman would be turning over in his grave.

Gay Paree; Herman's Hermits #1 Hit, No Milk Today - "the company was gay". There was no proper reason to usurp "gay" for their perverted usage - "homosexual" is the proper description, and it can only be derogatory if they admit PRACTICING homosexuality is perverse.

He looks like a sook with no backbone. Hope he proves that wrong.

At least they still have car chases there, unlike the joke that is QLD

I'm hoping for the best but expecting the worst with the new speaker.

Well the cup for a damned hide goes to Tony Burke who uttered the following - "Congratulations on your appointment , and if I may notwithstanding the disagreements I had with the member of McKeller it has always been acknowledged her role as a fearless warrior for her side of poitics, and parliament is well served having people within it who hold views and hold them fearlessly and we wish her well in that.."

Larry, I think it was great that Tony Abbott showed great loyalty to a friend and a colleague. In the long term it will show that T A is certainly no Bill Shorten. A question of Character. Tony Abbott and his government have also achieved a great deal in this 2 year period. He is also the elected Prime Minister. He will go to the next election as our Prime Minister.

Larry, I think it was great that Tony Abbott showed great loyalty to a friend and a colleague. In the long term it will show that T A is certainly no Bill Shorten. A question of Character. Tony Abbott and his government have also achieved a great deal in this 2 year period. He is also the elected Prime Minister. He will go to the next election as our Prime Minister.