Foreign Influence

Sinc on Cat and Janet Albrechtsen in the OZ have have well covered the whole foreign influence business and the CPAC conference.

There is much to be said about the appalling legislative drafting that led to the mess, similar to the legislative drafting architecture that has given plenty of unaccountable and opaque powers to plenty of government agencies and bureaucrats. But for another time.

But for today, reference is made to the work of Alice Workman in the Oz today:

Taxpayers have forked out more than $2m to the Liberals, Labor and the Greens for overseas trips to help their “sister parties” in the US, Britain, New Zealand and Canada during the 2019-20 financial year.

All in then. Any access to this money for independents and other parties? Perhaps not. Just another tax payer paid trip.

Why? It’s all part of the Australian Political Parties for Democracy Program created by the Howard government in 2005. The APPDP pays political staff members and politicians to attend foreign elections, networking events, conferences and training, and for overseas delegations to visit Australia.

Way to go Johnno. Another “conservative” policy from a “liberal” government.

According to Workman:

The Liberals will visit and assist centre-right parties in Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Fiji, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Maldives, Mongolia and Malaysia. Oh, and the US Republican Party, British Conservative Party, NZ Nationals and Canada’s Conservative Party.

Labor will

assist/visit the US Democratic Party, British Labour Party, NZ Labour Party, Ireland Labour Party, Israeli Labour Party, Canada’s New Democratic Party, Germany’s Social Democratic Party, France’s Parti Socialiste, Italy’s Partito Democratico, plus other “progressive, social democratic and labour parties”, organisations and think tanks in Belgium, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and more.

And the Greens plan to work towards

the “development and consolidation of Greens parties” in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East, including Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine and Jordan.

Righto then.

Who will be the foreigners our “political staff members and politicians” will be meeting? Have they registered with the Attorney Generals Department. Will there be records kept of meetings – transcripts and attendees. Has the Department demanded and reviewed all correspondence related to these trips.

Is this acceptable to the Department? These foreigners will be able to influence our politicians! Come on. Where is Chidgey and her crack team?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Foreign Influence

  1. Bunyip Bill

    About time we bought in sortition , to rid ourselves of the world wide cohort of un speakables doing what ever on our money . If we had no political parties with their advertised agenda we could diminish corruption like this .

  2. duncanm

    they may have screwed up the legislation for the ordinary man, but one thing they did ensure was that elected members are exempt.

  3. candy

    Maliciousness, not ineptness. Ms Chidgey herself may be under the influence strongly of anti Trumpism, I think.

    I remember the SMH ran a story likening the conference and Abbott presenting a speech there as being like white supremacy and Nazism.
    Quite possibly she got all worked up about it and sent out her letters. But it hardly seems legal threatening the organiser of a conference and a speaker talking on conservative issues with jail. What crime?

  4. notafan

    Labor has linked deadly gun violence in the US with a controversial conservative political conference starting in Sydney this weekend, seeking to increase pressure on Scott Morrison over the participation of senior Liberals.

    Days after more than 30 people died in shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, Labor’s Home Affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally said leaders of the influential National Rifle Association were campaigning against Australia’s tough national gun laws ahead of the Conservative Political Action Conference, beginning in Sydney on Friday.

    Senator Keneally has repeatedly challenged the Prime Minister to stop high-profile Liberals taking part in the event, the first local instalment of the landmark Washington DC conference for right-wing activists.

    On Wednesday she said the conference at the Rydges World Square Hotel came amid “the rise of alt-right, white supremacist extremism” occurring in Australia and around the world.

    She quoted National Rifle Association president Carolyn Meadows, who described the Howard era laws as “a huge overreaction that ultimately had no practical effect, other than to strip away rights from Australian gun owners”.

    Labor links right-wing conference to US gun violence

  5. I wonder how members of our Defence Department go when it comes tho this? Just about every Defence project involves foreign government meetings, staff residence in foreign countries etc, where significant foreign influence is clearly involved. For example, what of the staff that work in the submarine project?

  6. Dr Fred Lenin

    Just wondering which party will get the biggest Aldi bags ? I think , labor their donors will be using OPM as socialists always do . Gangrenes will get the least SJWs are never keen on giving away their own money ,money from a few local councils is about their stretch . The liberals dont take Aldi bags , David Jones perhaps but never Aldi.

  7. thefrollickingmole

    Australian Labor fined $14,500 over campaign push to stop Trump
    This article is more than 1 year old
    US election body penalises ALP after investigation into party delegates’ volunteering with Bernie Sanders campaign

    A complaint was filed with the FEC after a former Australian National University Labor Club president, Ben Kremer, made headlines in the US and Australia in February 2016. Kremer was identified on tape by an undercover conservative campaign group while attempting to vandalise then Republican candidate Donald Trump’s election signs.

    Kremer’s name featured prominently in the Project Veritas recording, where others identified as Australian volunteers were heard bragging about receiving taxpayer funds to volunteer on the campaign while attempting to tamper with Trump’s signage. At one point the voice identified as Kremer’s declares: “Fuck you, Donald.”

    Nothing to see here…

  8. Bruce of Newcastle

    They need to be one way airline tickets.

  9. Amadeus

    So, just who is Sarah Chidgey? The following is an extract from the Australian Government Directory, A/Gs Dept:

    Deputy Secretary
    Deputy Secretary Ms. Sarah Chidgey

    [email protected]

    Executive Adviser to the Deputy Secretary
    Ms. Rosanna Bartlett

    (02) 6141 3227

    [email protected]

    Well, bless my uber-cynical soul – Sarah’s one of the “Deputy Secretaries” – next in line to the “Secretary of A/G’s throne”. Whodathunk? Methinks that based on Sarah’s initial foray into uncovering naughty persons/and/or ex-PM’s/pollies under “foreign influence”, Sarah would qualify for the Oscar equivalent of the “Empty Head”

    Back in my Canberra days up to 1985, getting a Dep Sec gig required move than a couple of tits and a mohair style cut with streaks. How things have changed.

    Well back then, a Dep Sec position would ordinarily suggest the appointment would go to some one who’s done a lot of Canberra shit shovelling and demonstrated absolute impartiality without fear or political favour. There was no room at the top for “equality”, “affirmative action” “aboriginally”, “gender fluidity”, “climate hysteric”, etc… Although, routinely turning up at the Commonwealth Club, frequented by Departmental Heads at least once a month did your elevation to Dep Sec no harm whatsoever.

    Thanks to Gough, Labor lackies moved into the top jobs, and the coterie of socialists have maintained a grip on the reins of power. This explains why so much shitty policy comes out of Canberra – the politics dictates and voters get screwed no matter who sits on the Green and Red leather on Capitol Hill.

    And Pauline sits in the Senate not knowing which way is up from day one.

  10. jupes

    Is this acceptable to the Department? These foreigners will be able to influence our politicians! Come on. Where is Chidgey and her crack team?

    Pretty sure politicians are exempt from this law.

  11. Des Deskperson

    ‘I wonder how members of our Defence Department go when it comes tho this? Just about every Defence project involves foreign government meetings.’

    They appear to be exempt. Acceding to AGs guidelines, exemptions include:

    “Employees and contractors engaged under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 and Commonwealth public official (s16)

    This exemption applies to a person who is:
    • employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984,
    • engaged as a contractor under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984, or
    • a Commonwealth public official as defined in the Criminal Code Act 1995.

    I believe that ‘Commonwealth Public Official’ includes military personnel.

  12. sfw

    Just musing here, but is there someway that politicians, public servants etc can be made to act and make decisions in the interest of the nation and no other causes? Our migration and refugee policies certainly don’t seem to be in the interest of the nation, same with many other government actions and policies.

    If it could be done, how? I can see that there could be many unintended consequences, all legislation and policy have that problem, look at the shite ‘foreign interference’ crap at the moment. But we do need a way to ensure that politicians act in the interest of the nation and its people.

  13. cohenite

    Why are we still talking about this; haven’t the head of the AG department and the bint who sent the letter to Abbott been fired?

  14. candy

    Why are we still talking about this; haven’t the head of the AG department and the bint who sent the letter to Abbott been fired?

    It is very likely a subject of mirth to the AG and his dept and even the PMs office (no comment from there).
    Tony Abbott always the one to trust these “colleagues”. They were happy for him to be deposed in Warringah because they wanted to go the climate change way.
    It’s ridiculous they way he holds the LNP in awe as some fantastic institution. They are glad he is gone.

  15. cohenite

    Yep, Abbott was interviewed by Bolta tonight; bolta was effusive and Abbott came across as a genuinely nice human being; who politically must be seen as weak; or at least operating by a set of standards and decorum which have as much relevance to combating the left today as a headstone does.

  16. jupes

    bolta was effusive and Abbott came across as a genuinely nice human being; who politically must be seen as weak; or at least operating by a set of standards and decorum which have as much relevance to combating the left today as a headstone does.

    Neither of them have enough mongrel in them. Bolta was getting a bit angry earlier in the week but it seems he can’t maintain it.

  17. Des Deskperson

    ‘Why are we still talking about this; haven’t the head of the AG department and the bint who sent the letter to Abbott been fired?’

    It’s hard to sack a DEP SEC

    On the basis of the information available, it would appear that there is a strong prima facie case for charging her under section 13 of the Public Service Act 1999 for breaching the APS Code of Conduct, including:

    s 13(1) An APS employee must behave honestly and with integrity in connection with APS employment.

    s 13 (2) An APS employee must act with care and diligence in connection with APS employment..

    s 13 (11) An APS employee must at all times behave in a way that upholds:
    (a) the APS Values ..[in this case, the value that ‘The APS is apolitical’]

    The last time that I recall a DEP SEC being in a a similar situation to what is alleged here – it was in the early nineties – she was sent on ‘sabbatical’ to Havard!

  18. Tim Neilson

    The last time that I recall a DEP SEC being in a a similar situation to what is alleged here – it was in the early nineties – she was sent on ‘sabbatical’ to Havard!

    Was that a ‘punishment’ imposed by Labor for being too enthusiastically leftist?

  19. jupes

    It’s hard to sack a DEP SEC

    So what?

    On the basis of the information available, it would appear that there is a strong prima facie case for charging her under section 13 of the Public Service Act 1999 for breaching the APS Code of Conduct …

    Good, so she can now be sacked. But why hasn’t the A-G done it yet?

    I think we all know the gutless turd isn’t going to. Be very interesting to see what happens with Cooper. Will they charge him with disobeying their stupid command or will they let it slide?

  20. Amadeus

    I’ve stopped worrying about how to remain financially independent in retirement. I expect the AFP to knock on our door and drag me off to Goulburn supermax for being a person “under the influence”….

  21. Amadeus

    Back in “the old days”, as a senior public servant you learnt how to tin-plate your arse in case the “s%$#” hit the fan. And you kept a “C Drawer” under “lock and key” where you put copies of your own work before it got bastardised by the heavies above you or some snotty-nosed munchkin in “The Minister’s Office” screwed it up.

    I lost count of the number of times I could rightfully deny culpability when policies or decisions went off the reservation. Unfortunately for our Sarah, being in her late 20’s or 30’s (I’m just guessing that…and that she’s a tad naive) and having only her basic Bachelor of Arts/Law from the Labor camp at the ANU to draw on, she’s walked right in where wiser and smarter heads simply wouldn’t go.

    But that’s the Canberra APS of today. Full of socialist kids who never learned anything useful and certainly learnt no history.

  22. jupes
    #3205265, posted on November 7, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    It’s hard to sack a DEP SEC

    So what?

    ‘sactly. Write the notice and they can get fired and try to win a court case. Just sack the bastards.

  23. Amadeus

    Frank Walker from National Tiles
    #3205367, posted on November 8, 2019 at 6:42 am
    ‘sactly. Write the notice and they can get fired and try to win a court case. Just sack the bastards.

    Problem is Frank, much easier said than done. During the Goss/Rudd regime up here in QLDistan, they resorted to the French Foreign Legion tactic by sending senior bureaucrats that were not Labor lackies out to Camp Hill where the state archives are held and left them there with nothing to do until their contracts ran out.

  24. Mother Lode

    It’s hard to sack a DEP SEC

    Is it easier to push them out of a window? Because if it is…

  25. Amadeus

    Apart from climate emergency government-funded “green energy” projects, the only other growth industry is exponential rise in the number of public servants. Good to see our money is being spent soooo wisely..

  26. Des Deskperson

    ‘Unfortunately for our Sarah, being in her late 20’s or 30’s (I’m just guessing that…and that she’s a tad naive) and having only her basic Bachelor of Arts/Law’

    But she isn’t, at least according to her official AGs profile:

    https://www.ag.gov.au/About/Seniormanagement/Pages/BiographicaldetailsSarahChidgey.aspx

    An honours graduate, and presumably recruited through the highly competitive AGs annual graduate intake, she’s a motherly looking woman in what appears to be her late forties. She has an impressive record, on paper at least, in the central agencies, including:

    ‘positions as Senior Adviser on Immigration and Emergency Management in the Office of the Prime Minister, National Security Adviser in the Office of the Attorney-General’

    Which PM and which AG are not stated.

    it’s weird; a woman who has performed successfully in a number of sensitive positions suddenly goes after a former Prime Minister – Cooper is, I suspect collateral damage – presumably purely of her own volition and presumably because she is outraged at his association with ‘white supremacists’. It sounds, prima facie’, deranged

    Yet I have to admit it seems increasingly likely that that’s what has happened.

  27. Amadeus
    #3205397, posted on November 8, 2019 at 7:34 am

    Frank Walker from National Tiles
    #3205367, posted on November 8, 2019 at 6:42 am
    ‘sactly. Write the notice and they can get fired and try to win a court case. Just sack the bastards.

    Problem is Frank, much easier said than done.

    I don’t care. Pick fights, go nuclear, always escalate.

  28. Tim Neilson

    Des Deskperson
    #3205441, posted on November 8, 2019 at 8:43 am

    ‘positions as Senior Adviser on Immigration and Emergency Management in the Office of the Prime Minister, National Security Adviser in the Office of the Attorney-General’

    Serious question Des – are “Adviser” positions essentially accountability-proof?

    Is it possible that this frightbat is highly credentialled, great at writing essays, but not to be trusted with a box of matches?

  29. Amadeus

    Des Deskperson
    #3205441, posted on November 8, 2019 at 8:43 am

    An honours graduate, and presumably recruited through the highly competitive AGs annual graduate intake, she’s a motherly looking woman in what appears to be her late forties.

    it’s weird; a woman who has performed successfully in a number of sensitive positions suddenly goes after a former Prime Minister – Cooper is, I suspect collateral damage – presumably purely of her own volition and presumably because she is outraged at his association with ‘white supremacists’. It sounds, prima facie’, deranged

    Yet I have to admit it seems increasingly likely that that’s what has happened.

    Des, you might have guessed I was a bit tongue in cheek about her age. However, I took Sarah’s details from her own LINKEDIN profile which makes no mention of “honours” in her BA. I’d believe her own LINKEDIN data ahead of the embellished AG’s spruiking her “achievements” and academics.

    The bottom line is like many latter days senior public servants, they’ve never had a real job in the real world outside the Canberra public sector welfare bubble. Hence, the general lack of skills in policy development which leads to irrational and poor outcomes for the community combined with a massive waste of public funds. Canberra is “demand” driven world (hence the, often, reckless waste of public funds and APS growth) – whereas the business and rural sectors in the real world are “supply” driven enabling capital and resources to shift where innovation, meeting market needs, productivity and profits are maximised. The latter are largely foreign concepts in Canberra where shovelling out taxpayer funds to all and sundry equates to “successful programs”.

    By way of example, look at the muddle-headed bureaucratic responses to the drought gripping much of the country and the mis-directed and mis-managed funding assistance for regional Australia.

    Water, animal fodder and soft loans are the top priorities for rural farmers and businesses. The response?

    1. maybe we should divert a dribble of water so farmers can access the torrents of “environmental” waters flowing past their properties – that’s bound to get us huge browny points…
    2. OK, let’s also send a few bales of fodder to desperate farmers so some of their breeding stock survive. But don’t call in the military because the drought isn’t as big a problem as, say, the recent flooding up north or the global climate emergency St Greta is prophesying
    3. OK, while we’re at it, let’s lend farmers money with interest free terms for two years then hit them with an interest bill from year 3 onwards because they should be back on their feet and making truckloads of money by then…

    Meanwhile, elsewhere in the bureaucracy:
    a) let’s give BOM millions for new radar stuff so they can continue with false climate data and their proven climate hysteria
    b) let’s provide an additional $1 billion to the alt/energy outfits to sink into useless green energy projects – and don’t worry about paying the money back because it’s going to a good cause and millions of new jobs will be created sometime in the next millennia
    c) let’s spend about $4 billion to send water back uphill in the Snowy scheme – that’s a sure fire caseload backup plan
    etc…etc…etc…

    I agree with you Frank, let’s pick some fights, go nuclear, always escalate. But like every good socialist system, the same bureaucrats still hold the reins of absolute power. So while there is an appearance of change, everything pretty much stays the same. The swamp dwellers always survive unless you drown them.

  30. old bloke

    This exemption applies to a person who is:
    • employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984,

    It is most unfortunate that this act didn’t exist much earlier. Doc Evatt’s office staff would have been unimpeachable in their dealings with the KGB.

  31. Des Deskperson

    ‘Serious question Des – are “Adviser” positions essentially accountability-proof?’

    Tim, that’s my understanding of their legal positions and it is certainly true for all practical purposes.

    The Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 provides them with no detailed powers or responsibilities in law. IIRC, There is only broad stuff in the Act about performing tasks for Ministers. A lawyer once opined to me that, legally, they’re simply an appendage of the Member/Minister, no more accountable, therefore, than the Member/Minister’s chair, desk or filing cabinet.

    There is a statement of Standard for Ministerial Staff:

    https://www.smos.gov.au/statement-standards-ministerial-staff

    that is largely aspirational where it does not state the obvious , has no legal force and is supported by no processes for complaint, investigation or setting and determining sanctions. This is deliberate.

    The informal powers of advisers is, of course, a whole ‘nuther thing.

  32. Des Deskperson

    ‘Des, you might have guessed I was a bit tongue in cheek about her age.’

    Amadeus, I though you might have been, but I posted the AGs bio because because I was astounded – as I assume other cats are – that a person with such a CV – on paper – could be so, prima facie, foolhardy.

  33. jupes

    Amadeus, I though you might have been, but I posted the AGs bio because because I was astounded – as I assume other cats are – that a person with such a CV – on paper – could be so, prima facie, foolhardy.

    Or maybe rather than being foolhardy, she has correctly assessed the A-G to be too gutless to respond when she attacks conservatives. After all she used his own legislation to do so.

  34. Amadeus

    Des, I too was astonished that someone in such a senior role could have displayed such poor judgement and overstep the mark, venturing into the political arena. Going for a conservative ex-PM – seriously?

    As jupes pointed out, the A/G is sitting on his hands instead of immediately sidelining her and others who had a finger in this scandalous mis-use of legislative authority.

    Send them to Nauru to supervise the guano piles. Or perhaps drive up and down the Cooma Road doing a daily count of the kangaroo and wombat carnage, followed by counting the toll of birds shredded by the wind farms in and around the ACT.

    Sarah and her team seem well qualified for the tasks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.