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.


 I guess PP readers are heartily sick of my rabbiting on over Australia’s purchase of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter but now that Donald Trump has joined the criticism of cost overruns and practicability, maybe some sanity might finally leak into our defence force? Ha, you’re kidding aren’t you!

Although I'd give my left testicle for ten minutes' flying time in one, my point has not been about the outrageous cost of an aircraft that hit the drawing board a quarter of a century ago but about the suitability of an aircraft that has already been superseded by the drone technology revolution. 

Any of today’s fighter jets can (and have been) converted to drone strikers whereby no pilot or technology is put at risk.

The days of dog fights over London or Dresden are long gone. Precision GPS guided Phantoms, or any aircraft, can deliver a hand grenade or a nuclear weapon into an enemy’s war room from the comfort of a lounge chair in the Pentagon. 

If it gets shot down, no worries, no pilot will be under waterboard pressure to disclose military secrets and anyway, weapons can be disarmed at any time, again from the Pentagon. And who wants to put a billion dollar aircraft in harm's way?

                                               "Gee it's lovely to see you guys."

Lockheed Martin has been given its own limitless cheque book by successive Administrations but the cost to Australia is prohibitive now that supporting orders from different nations are being cancelled, with Canada’s Trudeau cancelling the entire order. 

Each cancelled order raises the unit cost of each aircraft, including to Australia, which has stood firm in the face of a collapsing farce that only Trump has had the balls to identify.

Australia’s Defence Force Chiefs, safely ensconced in their shiny arm chairs at Russell Hill, have also had their own cheque book when it comes to military procurement. These F-35s are nothing more than state-of-the art big boys’ toys to be used as calling cards and to show the Yanks that we are now, “all the way with DJT”.

PP's criticism of Marise Payne’s elevation to the Defence Ministry is now apparently justified as Turnbull looks to correct a facile appointment based solely on numbers of women in his Cabinet. But in true Turnbull fashion he has made matters worse by adding to the Defence Ministry the talkative little Christopher Pyne to help her out.

The trouble is that neither of these two equal "Defence Ministers" has power over the other. It was made clear by Turnbull that the two appointments were of distinct equality. This again shows Turnbull’s total lack of political nous. 

Now the wily Defence Chiefs will be playing "equal" Ministers off against each other in pursuit of their own personal ambitions.

The truth is that the Defence establishment will soon be having both Ministers for breakfast as they have always had every Defence Minister, including the two Abbott appointments of Senator David Johnston and Abbott’s Sunday school mate, Kevin Andrews. 

                                                 "By the way, WTF is an F-35?"

Marise Payne, as predicted here, was like a lamb being led to the slaughter and the co-appointment of Christopher Pyne is even more stupid as his re-election to the SA seat of Sturt was contingent on the order of $60 billion worth of submarines to be delivered in 50 years time.

It takes a special kind of intelligence to determine what is needed militarily in 50 years, or is it a special kind of vain overreach? Pyne has just proved he believes $60 billion is a wise investment when it comes to retaining his grinning mush on the front bench. 

So justifying these F-35’s should be a piece of cake for Pyne. 

Estimated cost to Australia for 75 of the F-35s is around $1 billion each when (as is normal) the purchase price is more than doubled for maintenance, parts and on-going development costs. 

But the US Defence forces have ordered 2,400 of the aircraft for themselves and their costs are predicated on how many Lockheed Martin can flog to naive purchasers like Australia.

Trump has been the one to finally bell the cat on this farcical F-35 JS Fighter, so now let’s see which way Turnbull jumps, if any way at all.

More likely he will pull the covers back over his head and hibernate until the next sitting before facing the music. 


Can I suggest anyone interested in the fiasco that is the F15 JSF read David Archibald's book "Australia's Defence" (Connor Court). The F15 is one of the worst choices in the history of Australian military procurement. It is incapable of air superiority against contemporary and future threats. The F35 will be shot out of the sky.

Marise Payne has added substance to her now Joint Chiefs of Staff Dept.of Defense meetings, she has totally changed the range of biscuits and cake selections for these strategic meetings, out have gone the iced vo-vo's replaced by chocolate monte's, nice biscuits for bbq-snacks and cheese cake for lamingtons. A spokesperson for the Dept. of Defense commented that she has certainly brought her own imprimatur to these meetings and especially on the spokesperson, who is a very slight-chap, and who Ms Payne accidentally sat on to which they still trying to extract him from her arse.

The Clinton Foundation may be the largest charity fraud in US history - Search "Charles Ortel" on Youtube.

I do not support a Republic --but I do support Turncoat and Hanky Head to represent the cause!! That pair have put another nail in the Republican Coffin. Bit like Short ' walking eagle' Rapist representing good economic management .

R56 have patience and see what a bit more time brings. Gail, she may do well to pull her head in, and learn something: politically he runs rings around her. The dislike of her is creeping back into my psyche, bit by bit. Hope her ego isn't going to become a problem - that plus the poor judgment of males around her. Codsy I agree. And Tricky, sorry I'm not quite with you (perhaps just too tired tonight, battling shopping crowds all day).

Here's another.... The New Me! (lol)

The New Me

I used to think I was just a regular guy, but I was born white, which
now, whether I like it or not, makes me a racist and responsible for

I am a fiscal and moral conservative, which by today’s standards,
makes me a fascist because I plan and support myself.

I went to HS and have held a job
and am here not because I earned it but because I was advantaged.

I am heterosexual, which according to gay folks, now makes me a homophobe.

I am non-union, which makes me a traitor to the working class and an
ally of big business.

I am not a Muslim, which now labels me as an infidel.

I am older than 60 and retired, which makes me a useless old man who
doesn’t understand Facebook.

I think and I reason, therefore I doubt much that the main stream
media tells me, which must make me a reactionary.

I am proud of my heritage and our inclusive Australian culture, which
makes me a xenophobe.

I value my safety and that of my family and I appreciate the police
and the legal system, which makes me a right-wing, cop loving

I believe in hard work, fair play, and fair compensation according to
each individual's merits, which today makes me an anti-socialist.

I believe that our system guarantees of freedom of effort – not
freedom of outcome or subsidies which must make me a borderline

I believe in the defense and protection of the homeland for and by all
citizens, which now makes me a militant.

I am proud of our flag, what it stands for and the many who died to
let it fly so I stand and salute during our National Anthem which
takes me back to where I started – I must be a racist.

Please help me come to terms with the new me… because I'm just not
sure who I am anymore!

I would like to thank all my friends for sticking with me through
these abrupt, new found changes in my life and my thinking!

I just can’t imagine or understand what's happened to me so quickly!

Funny …it's all just taken place over the last 7 or 8 years!

And if all this nonsense wasn't enough to deal with… I'm now afraid to
go into either restroom!

Anyway Merry Christmas to Everyone.

Thought this may be of interest?
The oldest surviving "B" class (commercial) station is 2UE, which went on air on Australia Day 1925 as 2EU. The reputed reason for the change of callsign is that EU sounded like "Hey, You". 3UZ Melbourne begins broadcasting. South Australia's first commercial radio station 5DN goes to air 24 February.

codsy.. have to agree with you... a sleeping tiger perhaps? Anyone but Bishop!

Right on.. what we've seen here isn't all that great is it?

Right on Mike... Fitzsimmons is a dope.. back to the driving skills though... I do become a little irritated when people keep right on throwing the book at our young people... most are great youngsters though we know there always going to those who wish to parade themselves as Superman etc... same applies to we older bodies who think we're just sooo great, has to be be bit of 'intelligence' operable here though God knows from which it will appear??? (lol)

On my Census form there is a question "Do you have any dependents?"
Apparently putting "Hundreds of Africans, Pakistanis, Somalis, single mums,
Romanians, loafers, smack heads, and non-English speaking people" isn't the right answer.
They sent my form back.

Stoney, I think he's building his own Swamp filled with his favoured Banksters. They're all crooks and that's the problem; one crook replaces another. We need a true clean out but I don't know how we get it.

R56, thank you, thank you, thank you. That link is exactly the one BUT it leads on to so many other top stories, Gene Simmonds saying how dumb Obama is, Nancy Pelosi demonstrating how stupid she is and much much more.

Don't underrate Cory. An intelligent , experienced man and a dedicated Aussie. Of course , the best leadership would be a group of the " good guys ". TA , Cory , Peter Dutton , Hastie , Christianson - there are many others . Set up in a Party structure, say Australian Conservatives, then each member will work out the best Leader. It's not for us to say but it is for us to approve.

The prick was totally flummoxed, didn't know which way was up.

Having the locals for dinner: putting possum on the menu

I watched Omumma when the teleprompter broke, unbelievable to see the arsehole stuck for words, stuttering and as funny as hell.

Was this reported here> From UK Daily Express - One of the victims of the savage assault, identified only as Andrew, described his attackers “animals”.

The terrifying ordeal unfolded when the gang of African teenagers began destroying fencing outside the St Kilda Life Saving Club on the famous Melbourne beach, Australia.

Two landscape gardeners working on the site yelled at the men who responded by unleashing a brutal onslaught.

Andrew said: “There were about 30 of them and they all turned at once and attacked me, all of them swinging at once.

“I just told them to get out of the construction site and then they just looked at me and they just charged at me like animals, like in the wild, they were wild animals.”

I hope/pray that your right R56.

The queen says she doesn't want the traditional fruit cake at her jubilee celebrations.
Prince Phillip says he doesn't give a toss, he's still going.