Sunday, May 29, 2016

Electoral Spins: Political Dirt Units Defining Trolleys of Truths

Thoughtful and long serving journalists such as veteran Pavel aka Paul Mullins used to be the characters who most ( or PR firms) likely were aware how the political dirt unit operated in most political parties...  If the walls of the Elephant Bar at the exotic punj (five) ways of Paddo  or the aged Nippon Club at the Macquarie Street dared to talk, the story in  this Saturday Paper might also reveal who the cunning diggers are and what makes them as well as their political masters tick ... 

Four years ago, in 2012, Lucy Quarterman posted an advertisement for a nanny on the website Backpacker Job Board. It said that a family of four was “looking for an extra pair of hands around the place to entertain the lads and help with cooking and general domestic duties”. The ad offered $150 a week, plus food and board.
This was four years ago. But it was not until last Thursday evening that it became news, when a story went up on The Sydney Morning Heraldwebsite, suggesting that Ms Quarterman and her husband, Greens leader Richard Di Natale, had underpaid their domestic help.
It was a peculiar story, saying at the top that the $150 wage amounted to just $3.75 an hour “based on a 40-hour week”, and that it equated to “a quarter of the national minimum wage in 2012 of $606.40 per week, or $15.96 per hour”.
But it also noted Di Natale’s comprehensive rebuttal: that the three au pairs subsequently hired by the couple had been required to work just 25 hours a week, not 40; that the terms of employment included food and board, notionally valued at $300 a week; that the family paid $37 a week PAYG tax on top of the $150; and that they sought advice on fair terms and conditions from an employment agency before hiring anyone. Thus the package was above minimum wage and apparently fully compliant with the tax office and fair work ombudsman rules.
The net effect of the story – and the follow-up stories and commentary in other media, as well as a couple of follow-up stories in the Herald – was to do reputational damage to the Greens leader without proving any wrongdoing on his part.
The publication was, shall we say, felicitous for the Labor Party. As theHerald story noted, Di Natale had recently been critical of Labor for refusing to support a call by the Greens to legislate to protect weekend penalty rates.
And now, three weeks into an election campaign in which the Greens are wooing Labor’s traditional union support base, the old au pair suddenly bobs up, suggesting the Greens leader is a hypocrite on the matter of workers’ pay and conditions.
The question is, where did the information come from? We will never know for sure, because reporters rightly protect their sources, but ask yourself the question: How likely is it that the reporter himself found a four-year-old job ad on an obscure website, an ad that was placed not under Di Natale’s name, but that of his wife? Political dirt units defining elections

Like Paul Mullins, Malcolm Farr is a veteran who knows how to tell election story in style
What is the difference ... Analysis of Note

Election Debate ... Courtesy of Guardian ...

The first major leaders' debate of the marathon 2016 election campaign has centred around the issue of trust, with the past demons of both Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten being used as weapons in the battle

"The election is about choices. We are not convinced giving the largest banks in Australia $7.4 billion over the next 10 years is good for the budget, Medicare or the nation... These economic theories have been tested before by Thatcher and Reagan, but it's a very risky expensive gamble." The Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, summed up his populist line of attack over company taxes when he said Mr Turnbull "wants to give them [big banks] a tax cut, I want to give them a royal commission" Election 2016 Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten face off in dour debate at the national press club
A protestor at the anti-Mike Baird rally in Sydney.

A protestor at the anti-Mike Baird rally in Sydney.Photo: James Alcock
Waving placards saying “Baird Out” and “Save Sydney from Baird’s butchery”, thousands rallied on Sunday outside Sydney’s town hall to protest a swathe of policies introduced by the NSW premier, Mike BairdThe vocal crowd included opponents of the NSW council amalgamations, light rail development, nightspot lockout laws, anti-protest legislation and the WestConnex motorway project Guardian: Baird out - protestors in Sydney rally against NSW Premier's policies

"Whose city is this? Whose state is this?". Holding a sign quoting the movie The Castle - "It's Mabo. It's justice. It's the constitution. It's the vibe." - one protester, Brook Tait-Styles, said excessive secrecy over development projects and council mergers most concerned him about the government's agenda. Whose city is it ... It is Mabo it is justice It is Westconnex

"I have great confidence that the Sir Humphreys  of this world will keep our politicians on track." Unfortunately, there is a problem with the idea that "the Sir Humphreys of this world will keep our politicians on track". Sir Humphrey is dead.
There are no "permanent heads" in the public service any more. The Hawke government's changes to the public service meant that the top bureaucrats are now all employed on contracts and subject to dismissal on a whim. The alarm bells that our politicians are ignoring

Ethicists do not appear to behave better

Was Joe Hockey taken for a ride the taxi driver  cabcharge dockets and secret investigation