1. Bernardi demands donations ban
Have you noticed that Cory Bernardi, a right-wing backbench Senator, is these days receiving the media coverage of a Minister or even leader? Bernardi is heading to the UN for three months as one of two Australian MP representatives (the other is Labor’s Lisa Singh). But the junket is unlikely to silence his growing say in domestic affairs. [Matthew Knott/Fairfax]
Usually Bernardi is known for throwing bombs at his own side, whether that be on issues like the Coalition’s abandoned pledge to reform the Racial Discrimination Act, same-sex marriage or Islam.
Heat switches to Shorten
Lindt siege police response in question
Amelia’s parents face a ‘difficult outcome’
Q&A: Germaine Greer remembers Richard Neville
Credlin pans Turnbull’s first year
Q&A: Actress performs sonnet in Nyungar
Richmond Football Club board challenged
Youngest Tromp daughter charged
Heat switches to Shorten
The Government is turning up the heat on Bill Shorten over his response to Sam Dastyari receiving money from a Chinese linked company. Courtesy ABC News 24.
But last week he showed that when he turns his attack on the other side, he can just as effective in directing the agenda (granted a space left painfully bare by Turnbull). Bernardi’s full-frontal assault on Sam Dastyari has yielded an extraordinary result in that one of Labor’s biggest media-tarts, fond of hauling corporate Australia before the Senate’s cameras for questioning has suddenly developed an acute case of camera-shyness.
Dastyari pulled out of an event on Monday. One week after I broke the original travel entitlement story for Fairfax Media, he has has still not fronted any camera nor responded to any journalist about why on earth he sends his personal bills to Chinese donors. Now Bernardi is calling for all foreign donations to be banned [Tom Iggulden/ABC] over what he says is a “new level of sleaze.” [Sky News]
Political commentator Laura Tingle writes Dastyari should be sacked. [Financial Review]
This came after the Government finally got its act together and launched a better-than-feeble attack directing pressure on Dastyari’s factional ally – Labor leader Bill Shorten. [Fairfax]
In other political news:
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has demanded France’s ferocious commitment to securing Australia’s submarine build data in a meeting with President Francois Hollande at the G20. [Chris Uhlmann/ABC]
Peta Credlin has gone all Ronan Keating on us a la You say it best when you say nothing at all. Asked to name one Turnbull triumph the lady fell silent. It’s hard to argue… she’s got a point! [Beau Donelly/Fairfax]
While her record as an administrator will always be marred by the fact that her boss was kicked out of office by his own mob, it is also partly redeemed by the failure of those who replaced him to do any better. Credlin is proving a sharp commentator but prefers to talk to the very right-wing commentators who don’t ever challenge and indeed at times coach her on-air. Depending on how far she wants to take her media or even potential future political career she will need to expand her repertoire beyond engaging Tony Abbott’s media fan-club.
2. Rio Tinto sued over baby powder
Can Rio Tinto be held accountable for how the minerals they extract are used in products created and sold by a second company – in this case Johnson & Johnson?
That’s what the US legal system is about to test after ovarian cancer sufferers named the mining giant alongside Johnson & Johnson in a lawsuit claiming their use of talcum powder (sourced from Rio’s mines) caused their illnesses. [Sarah Danckert/Fairfax]
3. Britain rejects ‘Australian-style’ immigration system
British Prime Minister Theresa May at the G20, Hangzhou, China. Photo: Sanghee Liu
This was one of the key promises made by Vote Leave, Boris & Co’s, group campaigning for Brexit. The policy of the UK introducing its own “Australian style, points-based” immigration system was first proposed by UKIP’s Nigel Farage. He was elated when Vote Leave followed suit during the EU Referendum campaign but now Theresa May, who was in the Remain camp, has rejected introducing such a system. [BBC]
May is heading into risky territory. The phrase “Brexit means Brexit” is turning out to not mean very much at all when it comes to clear details. The biggest danger for May, the leader of a party where the Leavers have just had a big win, is that she comes to be seen to be going soft on leaving. Speaking in China at the G20, May denied this and said the Australian system doesn’t allow the control over who can come into the country as touted. [Rowena Mason/The Guardian]
In Parliament, David Davis, the minister for overseeing Brexit gave a statement to the House of Commons which was billed as a clearer explanation for what Brexit means.
Davis’ statement basically boiled down to “Brexit means Brexit” and there will be no attempt to stay in via the back door. “Naturally people will want to know what Brexit will mean, simply, simply, simply it means leaving the European Union,” he said at one point. [Emily Ashton/BuzzFeed]
All very good but time will soon be running out for the government to not only explain what Brexit means but chart a course of action to that outcome. Excellent sketch on it all from the Telegraph’s Michael Decon here.
4. G20 resolves to monitor China’s steel glut
A global forum will be established (under the auspices of the OECD) to monitor China’s promise to cut steel production. [Reuters]
The global steel glut, fuelled by cheap, subsidised Chinese production plays into domestic politics threatening the jobs of steelworkers in the UK, US, Japan, across Europe and of course in Australia at Whyalla in South Australia.
But while cutting Chinese steel may be a lifeline for struggling industries worldwide it will also lead to a lesser demand for Australian iron ore, as Turnbull has pointed out. [Philip Coorey/Financial Review]
5. Philippines president calls Obama a ‘son of a bitch’
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Photo: AP
More than 2,000 people have been killed since the Philippines new President launched his war on drugs. Asked how he would explain the killings to President Obama, whom Rodrigo Duterte is due to meet in Laos, the loud-mouthed President warned Obama not to speak to him about it, or else he would swear at him. [AP]
The phrase Duterte said he would use can be translated to mean “son of a bitch” or “son of a whore.” Obama is shrugging off the comments as another of Duterte’s “colourful” phrases. [Fairfax]
6. Secret City
After the Dastyari-Chinese revelations just about every second person I saw last week in Canberra said to me “have you seen Secret City yet?”
Secret City is the recently released tv mini-series based on the fictional political thriller novels The Marmalade Files and The Mandarin Code written by press gallery journalists Chris Uhlmann and Steve Lewis. The books are enjoyable page-turners so naturally it was very exciting when the TV-series was announced.
So when I discovered the series was available to watch on my flight home I took on the recommendations. And while I’m hugely late to it if there is a Double Shot reader who hasn’t yet seen it – you absolutely must!
Jacki Weaver, Anna Torv, Secret City Photo: Showcase
I’m so glad the screenwriters changed our hero to a heroine – Harriet – for Anna Torv’s performance alone, while Jacki Weaver makes a mean politician.
But I think my favourite part was seeing Canberra so stunningly shot, whether it be inside the Parliament House and the PM’s courtyard or the eye-catching Nishi building in New Acton – a place I would recommend to every Canberra visitor.
And that’s it from me today, you can follow me on Facebook for more.