Monday 1st of March 2021

idiots in charge "it's just a bit of paper"...


The Morrison government has resisted a push to slap down Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly after the outspoken MP supported calls from a Brazilian medical association to use unproven drugs to treat COVID-19.

The government used its numbers in Parliament on Tuesday to vote down a Labor motion calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to condemn Mr Kelly for his “dangerous and irresponsible” comments on health.

It came after Finance Minister Simon Birmingham urged Australians to heed official health advice from experts rather than opinions on Facebook but did not repudiate Mr Kelly by name.

The government moved in Parliament to silence Labor health spokesman Mark Butler when he sought to pass a motion asking Mr Morrison to condemn Mr Kelly, the member for Hughes in southern Sydney.

While the government won by 62 to 59 votes, it did not gain support from crossbenchers. Independents Helen Haines, Rebekha Sharkie, Zali Steggall and Andrew Wilkie as well as Greens leader Adam Bandt voted with Labor. Queensland MP Bob Katter did not vote.

“The member for Hughes is a dangerous fool and the Prime Minster should have dealt with him,” Labor MP Ged Kearney said in an attempt to support the motion. The government used its numbers again to stop her from speaking further, with no speeches from Coalition MPs to defend their colleague.

Mr Kelly has infuriated fellow Liberals over his support for hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin even though Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly has warned they are not proven as treatments for coronavirus.


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rebuked and spewed by scomo...

Craig Kelly’s controversial appearance on a podcast hosted by disgraced celebrity chef Pete Evans saw the Liberal MP attack health bureaucrats who he claimed were giving “dud advice” to government, as the men bonded over what they perceived to be unfair media reporting.

Just hours after the podcast was published on Evans’ subscription-only website, Mr Kelly tangled with Labor shadow minister Tanya Plibersek in a hallway argument, before he was privately and publicly rebuked by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“Views expressed by the Member for Hughes do not align with my views, or the views of the advice that has been provided to me by the Chief Medical Officer,” Mr Morrison told the federal parliament on Wednesday.

It was the first public dressing-down of the rogue Mr Kelly, who has spent months posting disputed medical claims on Facebook which have been repeatedly shot down by Australia’s leading government health officials. Mr Kelly’s online activity, which has long been a target of fierce criticism from the Labor opposition and respected medical groups, again came to the fore this week when he was announced as a special guest on Evans’ podcast.

Evans called him a “beautiful and beyond courageous man” and a “true hero”, after a long conversation. That interview was finally published on Tuesday night, the full 75-minute video interview posted behind a paywall requiring a $10 per month subscription to access.

In the interview, viewed by The New Daily, Evans says he “can relate” to Mr Kelly, as they both claim to have been victims of a media “pile-on effect”.

The long interview shows Evans sitting in his northern NSW home, while Mr Kelly sits at a desk in his Parliament House office, flanked by a large sign reading ‘Kick Craig Kelly Out’ – a potential reference to the grassroots community campaign mobilising to oppose him ahead of the next election.

The first part of the interview sees Mr Kelly explaining to Evans how the Senate and House of Representatives work, including their systems of proportional representation.

Later in the conversation, Mr Kelly accused media of “misleading the public” and “peddling misinformation”, by not further investigating his claims about hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin as potential COVID treatments.

Both drugs have been repeatedly rubbished by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration and chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly as COVID treatments.


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Yes... blah...

a great fat big mug for cartoonists...

Tunnel vision: the media’s love affair with Craig Kelly and conflict


By GREG BAILEY | On 11 February 2021

The media’s focus on divisive figures like Craig Kelly simply excuses the equally dangerous views of his less vocal, climate change denying colleagues. It is on these politicians that the media should focus.

Craig Kelly’s presence in the media the past week has been spectacularly successful. His corpulence has been on display especially in the more elevated print media and the digital media such as Crikey. Words such as “maverick” have been consistently used to describe him.

His encounter with Tanya Plibersek, providing wonderful contrasting pictures of Liberal Party masculinity against her feminine nuances, has apparently not harmed her chances of one day being leader of the ALP. Equally it has seemingly forced the Prime Minister to rein in one of his party’s most outspoken parliamentarians.

The media are entranced by Kelly’s activities as it enables them to focus on what they do so well: treating politics as a conflict between ambitious individuals, and between parties as warring organizations, when in truth they are very similar in policy and conduct. Journalists are now focusing on the leadership implications of Plibersek and what Morrison’s reluctance to pull Kelly into line bespeaks of the power he holds as Prime Minister against his extreme right colleagues.

For instance James Massola opines that: “Plibersek insists her focus is 100 per cent on holding the government to account and won’t even accept the premise of the question when asked about the leadership of the Labor party.” Why even raise this question, unless it is to further the ongoing drama surrounding the ALP leadership of Anthony Albanese?

Equally, Jaqueline Maley argues that Kelly is a problem for the government because he is undermining its message on Covid “which has been successful because it has been orderly, centrist and unified. Kelly is also a dangerous reminder to voters that the Coalition has often been at the mercy of its conservative right wing,…”

This is, of course, predicated on the assumption that Australian politics is dominated by factional politics as well as by conflict between parties and ambitious individuals within this party. While this is certainly true, it enables journalists to evade the deeper questions about ideas of national importance that seem so lacking in contemporary Australian politics.

Kelly holds cranky, if not conspiratorial views, on Covid-19 and is a climate change denier. But are not most other members of the LNP effectively climate change deniers, irrespective if they make solemn professions on believing in what climate scientists have been telling us for decade about the dangerous increase in carbon emissions into the atmosphere? Their absolute reluctance to take any meaningful steps to begin the process of cutting back on carbon emissions by transitioning out of fossil fuels and encouraging investment in renewable energy effectively means they are the same as Kelly. He at least has the honesty to express his opinion in unequivocal terms.

From the media perspective a focus on people like Kelly or George Christensen means they do not have to focus on the great majority of Coalition members who in their legislative action are as bad as Kelly. It is true that some mention is occasionally made of Matt Canavan and Angus Taylor as obstructing real efforts to tackle climate change, but little else. Equally Joel Fitzgibbon’s apparent reticence about climate change and his preference for coal miners’ jobs receives much attention as defining a possible split in the ALP. Yet the more muted attitudes of most other ALP parliamentarians – notwithstanding the Gillard government’s important introduction of a carbon price in 2011 – is scarcely reported.

The Kelly-Plibersek encounter has been brilliantly depicted in pictorial terms in the media, with Kelly being especially amenable to pictorial representation and the contrast between the two in gender terms and belligerence impossible to avoid. Above all, this is treated as a human interest story between one figure who the media portrays as being on the outer in his own party, and the other who is projected as being on the rise in a party less substantially dominated by men. It is easy to conflate the statements of Kelly with his bullish appearance, and of Plibersek’s reasonableness with her more elegant countenance, but this wonderfully conceals the validity or otherwise of the ideas their parties are more broadly projecting.

Australian political parties need to be covered as much for their ideas – and whether their policies are evidenced based and long-term – as for their capacity to be organizations constantly in conflict within and between themselves. A focus on figures like Kelly simply excuses the equally dangerous views of his more vocally moderate colleagues and it is these upon whom media focus should be placed.



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Agreed, too much time is wasted by the media on Craig Kelly, but we must admit he's got a great irresistible fat mug for cartoonists to ignore... See at top.

pushed or pushed?...

Controversial Liberal MP Craig Kelly has resigned and will sit as an independent, moving to the crossbench.

Mr Kelly, who has represented the federal seat of Hughes since 2010, reportedly handed a letter to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a party room meeting on Tuesday morning.

The ABC reports the backbencher told colleagues he did not want to be a “distraction” for the Morrison government.

Mr Kelly’s shock defection leaves the Coalition with just a one-seat majority in the House of Representatives. He has committed to guaranteeing supply to the government, so his move will not threaten the Coalition’s hold on power.

Several journalists huddled outside the door of Mr Kelly’s Parliament House office just after news broke. The door was firmly locked, with just a black and white photograph of Winston Churchill and long-serving Liberal Prime Minister Robert Menzies in his window.

Mr Kelly is expected to make a statement to the House after Question Time about 3.30pm, to explain his reasoning.



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