Thursday, 27th March 2014

WISE WORDS

Even John Howard thinks bringing back knights and dames is anachronistic. Even John Howard

Phillip Coorey in the AFR reports that Howard would not accept a knighthood should one ever be offered. He didn't try to revive these honours himself when he was prime minister, and his view hasn't changed since then.

The reaction of the present Coalition cohort has been, according to Coorey, "largely one of bemusement." Malcolm Turnbull certainly saw the humour in it.

Meanwhile, reports have emerged via Fairfax of the party room response to George Brandis' original draft of the Racial Discrimination Legislation changes.

One minister reportedly said, "Mr Brandis' original proposal was 'much worse' than the agreed text and he had been forced to back down." 

Another minister present at the meeting said the original bill had been ''terrible''.

A third minister is quoted thus: ''George has really drunk the right-wing Kool-Aid.''

Community groups were outraged at the draft that was released. We can only imagine how they might have responded to Brandis' original version.

Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

Sign up to get Politicoz delivered
to your email address every weekday at lunch time.

Medibank Private sale to go ahead as government announces share float

"The Abbott government has confirmed it will push ahead with the sale of Medibank Private through a sharemarket float next financial year, rejecting claims it could put upward pressure on health insurance premiums. The finance minister, Mathias Cormann, said the government would prepare for an initial public offering of Australia's largest health insurer in 2014-15, subject to market conditions."

George Brandis rolled on changes to Racial Discrimination Act

"Federal cabinet forced George Brandis to soften his original proposal to loosen constraints on racist insults and hate speech. In a lengthy cabinet meeting on Monday night - and amid growing backbench concerns - Senator Brandis watered down his proposals for changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. The Attorney-General was instead obliged to settle for only a draft exposure bill."

Queen’s man John Howard would refuse Abbott’s Sir John title

"Former Liberal prime minister John Howard does not agree with Tony Abbott’s decision to reinstitute knights and dames into the Australian honours system, saying he stands by his long-held view that such a move would be considered “somewhat anachronistic”, even by conservatives."

AlsoAustralia like esteemed republics Peru and Guatemala: Malcolm Turnbull gently mocks reintroduction of knights and dames (The Age)

Arthur Sinodinos awaits corruption ruling

"The Independent Commission Against Corruption has left the door open to a finding of corrupt conduct against Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos, potentially on the grounds that he breached his duties as a director of the company Australian Water Holdings."

AlsoICAC hearing: Senator Arthur Sinodinos' silk had something of a shocker (Kate McClymont)

Labor opens the door to change

"One of the challenges for both major parties in Australia is to stop politics from dying of apathy. Two major changes have driven people away from political participation. First, after 20 years of continuous economic growth, Australians have become more self-sufficient, more likely to try and solve their own problems, instead of seeking solutions from members of parliament."