The Deep State emerges

There is a very troubling story in The Australian this morning:

On Monday, Allan Gyngell, former head of the Office of Nat­ional Assessments, foreign policy adviser to Paul Keating, hon­orary professor at the ANU and a board director of the China Matters institute, briefed the Labor frontbench on the need for “sensible engagement” with China.

Professor Gyngell also told a virtual meeting of the shadow cabinet that The Wolverines group was “immature, juvenile and destructive”.

Dennis Richardson, a former ambassador to Washington and head of ASIO, Defence and Foreign Affairs, addressed the ALP legal and foreign affairs caucus on Australia-China relations.

Mr Richardson, who advocates firm Australian stances on China, said in a Zoom meeting that The Wolverines ginger group of MPs and senators — including Liberal MP Andrew Hastie, who is chair of the intelligence and security committee — “adds no value” to the Australia-China debate.

Now it doesn’t worry me that private citizens might think that politicians are “immature, juvenile and destructive” and “add no value”. I’ve probably thought that myself.  It might even be true.

What worries me is that these individuals have held very high ranking positions in the security apparatus of the state. They seem to be contemptuous of elected representatives of the Australian people. To be fair, I’m sure they could and would argue that they scrupulously performed their duty in their jobs. They probably did and I have no reason to suggest that they didn’t. Nonetheless, reading the story makes me uncomfortable.

The irony, of course, is that the leaking of the story itself is “unhelpful”.

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81 Responses to The Deep State emerges

  1. Louis

    What I find interesting is that a former head of ASIO uses ZOOM to talk about how bad the anti-china group is.

    Am I talking into the microphone loud enough?

  2. Tim Neilson

    If they didn’t realise that their comments would be leaked, they are clearly incompetent buffoons who should be ignored.
    If they did what they did knowing that their comments would be leaked they are clearly part of the Deep State and should be ignored.

  3. Anonandon

    Someone is asking to be sacked

  4. Rob MW

    Tik Tok………….who’s there ?

  5. Behind Enemy Lines

    Nothing new here. Senior Australian intelligence officials have been either weak on China or actively in favour ever since Paul Dibb was writing strategy in the late ’80s. And they’re also some of the worst leakers, too.

    The reason they pull this crap is because they keep getting away with it.

    So, you’re right to be worried, but perhaps a bit behind the times.

  6. Natural Instinct

    They just carry on “their” chosen course of action regardless of elections and ministers, as they know these irritants will pass.
    And that is why they hate Trump, or any disrupter. They just don’t play according to THE rules.

  7. The Zoom security settings were naturally checked and monitored by the Chinese ambassador’s staff.

  8. nb

    Funny how the China virus, with the China app (TikTok used to crash Trump’s rally), and the China fentanyl (Floyd was on it), with the China counterfeit money (Floyd was passing it), with the China breach of treaty (Hong Kong), with the China invasion (India), with the China hack (attack on Australian targets) mean nothing to our China party (ALP and friends ), and the China Belt and Road state (Victoria).
    Guess whose side they are on.

  9. Frank

    Allan Gyngell, former head of the Office of Nat­ional Assessments, foreign policy adviser to Paul Keating, hon­orary professor at the ANU and a board director of the China Matters institute,

    The bolded bits are all manner of red flags. So looking at the China Matters Institute website we see things like:

    We now have our own policy brief publication China Matters Explores. This series focuses on individual tough issues in Australia’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China. Check out our latest edition, ‘What should Australia do about its politics being too white?’ by Mr Osmond Chiu. Other policy briefs include ‘What should Australia do about research collaboration with the PRC?’ by Mr Dirk van der Kley. In June 2019, we published ‘A New China Narrative for Australia’, written by Ms Linda Jakobson. This was the culmination of a six-month process which included several brainstorming sessions with our supporter circle members, an event in Canberra to launch the next-to-final draft of the Narrative, and the soliciting of public commentary online.

    From a quick perusal of some of the articles linked in the original of that paragraph (bolded here but left out to avoid the ire of the spaminator) it looks pretty much to be a case of learn to relax about it all and there will less tearing. In particular A New China Narrative for Australia is some listicle based argument invoking the ‘if you know what is good for you just go along for the money principle’.

    Then there is Keating. Enough said.

    Then there is the Office of National Assessments.

    What worries me is that these individuals have held very high ranking positions in the security apparatus of the state.

    To put it too politely.

    Fuck!

  10. Roger

    The irony, of course, is that the leaking of the story itself is “unhelpful”.

    The sort of thing juvenile schoolgirls might do to derail someone whose star is ascending while theirs is fading.

  11. MACK

    What do these blokes think about the Port of Darwin? Are they relaxed, or concerned like Obama was?

  12. Bronson

    If they are dumb enough to use Zoom for confidential conversations then they deserve nothing but ridicule. Keating is owned by China and by association so is Gyngell apparently. They must be getting curry from their handlers about not protecting their masters’ interests in the greater China prosperity zone.

  13. C.L.

    Paul Keating’s disappearance since addressing that strategic forum last November is very odd:
    ——————-
    See Catallaxy:

    PRC Spokesman Missing In Action.
    Concerns Grow.
    ——————-
    Note at the first link a November 2019 Fairfax report on Keating and Abbott being “at odds” re China.
    Pretty clearly, the deplorable Abbott was right and darling Keating was spectacularly wrong.

  14. Rohan

    I note that these two clowns are former heads of this or former bureaucrats for that. Why is the ALP getting it’s national security briefings directly from former hacks with obvious links the the CCP?

  15. Des Deskperson

    ‘What worries me is that these individuals have held very high ranking positions in the security apparatus of the state.’

    As Professor Davidson himself points out, Gyngell and Richardson are now private citizens. Gyngell left the APS seven years ago. The fact that he worked for Keating over two decades ago means nothing. High fliers covet these jobs, regardless of the personal politics.

    There is, as Professor Davidson also has to admit, no evidence that Gyngell or Richardson were other than completely professional in their advice to the governments of the day.

    Of course, who knows what sorts of influences and contacts have impacted on them now as private citizens, but they remain entitled to their current views and their rights, as private citizens, to criticise politicians.

    The idea, as some of the commentators have expressed here, that they were, as officials, part of some possibly Chines-Influenced deep state, is fanciful.

  16. Sinclair Davidson

    Ouch.

    Why is the ALP getting it’s national security briefings directly from former hacks with obvious links the the CCP?

    I think getting briefings from former spooks is sensible. Promoting trade with China is a good thing.

  17. Sinclair Davidson

    Dot – No. Behave.

  18. Rohan

    I think getting briefings from former spooks is sensible. Promoting trade with China is a good thing.

    Not when they’re whitewashing legitimate security concerns from an overtly Marxist state with an appalling track record on human rights.

  19. Tintarella di Luna

    Front Door of unnamed Deep Staters: Ding Dong
    DS: Who’s there
    AG Rep: I am from the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Office — I have a form here for you to complete and sign
    DS: What form is that
    AG Rep: It’s a form for you to register as an agent of foreign influence

  20. I consider the Huaiwei deal very crooked and I don’t expect the majority of the ranks of high flying public serpents to be much better.

  21. Des Deskperson

    ‘AG Rep: It’s a form for you to register as an agent of foreign influence’

    Signora, what evidence do you have there either Gyngell or Richardson are undertaking activities on behalf of a foreign principle??

  22. Sinclair Davidson

    an overtly Marxist state with an appalling track record on human rights.

    Trade doesn’t require us to like the people we trade with.

  23. Behind Enemy Lines

    Sinclair Davidson
    #3492732, posted on June 22, 2020 at 1:26 pm
    an overtly Marxist state with an appalling track record on human rights.

    Trade doesn’t require us to like the people we trade with.

    Trade doesn’t require us to sell them the rope to hand us with, either.

  24. Gerry

    What happened to the left who chastised our usually conservative leaders about not standing up to China about human rights ?

  25. calli

    Trade doesn’t require us to like the people we trade with.

    No. But we do have to trust them.

  26. John Comnenus

    Don’t forget Richardson was brought onto the Canberra Raiders Board with former Keating Chief if Staff and Defence Department boss Allan Hawke. The Raiders biggest sponsor is Huawei. Why did Huawei choose the Raiders? Well this article claims it was so that Huawei would have access to Hawke and Richardson. Richardson claims the allegations are bizarre, but notably he doesn’t outright deny them.

    Seems like the Chinese know we have a deep state and know how to use the deep state to push their interests. Obviously Gyngell and Hugh White are two other well known Defence and intelligence types happy to take Chinese coin and push their US alliance interests.

  27. John Comnenus

    Last sentence should have read China’s anti US Alliance interests.

  28. wozzup

    “The irony, of course, is that the leaking of the story itself is “unhelpful”.

    Whenever I hear leftists or members of the new establishment (but I repeat myself) say that something is “unhelpful” or “problematic” in that anodyne and yet contemptuous manner they have, it sends shivers down my spine.

    And as to this point: “They seem to be contemptuous of elected representatives of the Australian people. To be fair, I’m sure they could and would argue that they scrupulously performed their duty in their jobs. They probably did and I have no reason to suggest that they didn’t.”

    Yes, that is the very definition of the deep state.

  29. Rebel with cause

    They seem to be contemptuous of elected representatives of the Australian people.

    The horrors!

  30. Chris M

    the need for “sensible engagement” with China.

    Oh yes! And it’s not as if they have been acting like an emotionally unstable toddler. A very mature approach is needed, of course – that’s all the problem was. Wonderful we can have such clever chaps that are not at all foreign operatives like Gyngl to guide us.

  31. Leo G

    Now it doesn’t worry me that private citizens might think that politicians are “immature, juvenile and destructive” and “add no value” …

    Add no value to what?

  32. Harry Truman

    We, the quiet Australians, have been watching a slow-motion wreck on a global scale. A bunch of ex-bureaucrats, career executives of private businesses, and a plethora of billionaires (DAVOS comes to mind) have been in a queue to demoralise the free people and weaken the base of democratic societies. What’s more, the utter hypocrisy of saving modern slaves or rectifying past slavery does have a common platform with these elites. Unsurprisingly though, we find something is missing from the picture, and that is the fact that there are about 2-3 billion modern slaves (irrespective of their skin colour) living like ants without any freedom, under a host of autocratic regimes. These elites, never utter any word of that indignity of such living conditions, why? We know the reason behind such status. Make no mistake, the status quo is not acceptable to the free people of this world. Period.

  33. John Comnenus

    The most important element of the story is that which was not commented about. The ALP gets two reputable former very senior Defence and or Intelligence related mandarins to brief in favour of not strongly resisting China. Did the ALP invite anyone to brief in favour of a strong stance on China? Doesn’t look like it.

    The selection of briefers, who’s positions would be well known amongst cognoscenti, confirms that the ALP is the pro CCP – pro China party. All those Aldi Bags of cash are being cashed in right now by the CCP?

    Imagine the danger posed by a pro CCP Party in Office supported by a pro CCP Deep State? Terrifying.

  34. Rex Anger

    Trade doesn’t require us to like the people we trade with.

    Agreed, DoomLord. But it does require that one’s administrators and negotiators be wise and shrewd in their dealings, and remember the interests of those on whose behalf theg administer and negotiate.

    I regret that the behaviour of our administrative classes does not appear to match with these ideals.

  35. Richard JH

    I wonder if China Matters shares the same financial backer as Media Matters whose stated aim is to bring about the downfall of all conservative news organisations – G Soros?

  36. John Smith101

    This has become the modern face of realpolitik as it subsumes corporate tyranny interlinked with an intransigent bureaucracy and an influenced parliament. It has created a stable and near indestructible iron triangle. Each side of the triangle controls a certain sub-sect of power brokers. This has created a centralised power over thought, action and deed. We have allowed our bureaucracy to become an unelected arm of government; similarly, government-funded NGOs as well. And we have not made sure that its influence is in accord with our nation’s societal values, those that were built on the freedoms of speech, association and religion, and sovereignity. Consequently, to quote Janet Albrechtsen:

    We’re not having a debate over ideas. We’re having a contest over whether there should be a contest of ideas. Increasingly, words and ideas are being censored for psychological reasons, where they are treated as a form of emotional violence, and those who utter such words are seen as not just wrong but evil.

    Willing trolls and seditious dupes unwittingly reinforce this narrative that is driving the subversion we are witnessing. It all comes from within. The enemy is here, now. We are all affected – it has become a part of us. Welcome to the NWO: the nihilistic world order. It’s time to call them out. That is what Trump and the worldwide global movement of Anons are currently fighting for.

  37. Carbon Emitter

    Des Deskperson

    The greatest danger to Australia will come from within and it has started well before today. Some could argue that it started under the watch, perhaps unknowingly, of those now advising the ALP

  38. liliana

    Trade doesn’t require us to like the people we trade with.

    True. But there is a problem when the people we trade with are actively trying to subjugate us.

  39. liliana

    FMD can we get any stupider as a country?

    I have been asking myself the same question for years and clearly the answer is
    “yes – we seem to be doing our best”.

  40. Roger

    So while Australia is actually under cyber-attack from China, two traitorous hacks brief the ALP on the goodness of the Chicoms.

    FMD can we get any stupider as a country?

    Public sentiment is running very high against the Chinese Communists.

    It’s only among our political class that there seems to be some lack of understanding of China’s goals.

    And I wonder if ‘stupid’ is the word that best describes them?

  41. Fisky

    It’s all well and good to call for “engagement”, but maybe someone should run that by the CCP, who are applying trade sanctions on our top export industries (beef, barley, wine) not because of any material dispute, but because they don’t like the tone of some of our elected politicians. It was an “insult to the feeeeeeelings” of the Chinese people, etc etc so they have no choice but to sanction us.

    That’s the regime we are supposed to be besties with, according to globalists. Really smart!

  42. Cassie of Sydney

    “FMD can we get any stupider as a country?”

    We’re on a suicide mission

  43. Sinclair Davidson

    I think you’re all focused on the wrong thing – my disquiet is not related to China. My disquiet is that former public servants hold elected politicians in contempt. Is this a habit of the public service? A new thing? Quite alright because elected politicians are contemptible anyway?

  44. calli

    “Yes Minister” was a documentary with a laugh track, Doomlord.

  45. JC

    That’s the regime we are supposed to be besties with, according to globalists. Really smart!

    This is a delusion. You’re imagining this.

  46. Sinclair Davidson

    “Yes Minister” was a documentary with a laugh track, Doomlord.

    Yes – I understand.

  47. Fisky

    This is a delusion. You’re imagining this.

    No it’s not a delusion, it’s really what globalists think. Here’s Twiggy Forrest, calling for Australians to shut up and kowtow to our ‘friends’ in Beijing.

    Mr Forrest – Fortescue’s billionaire founder, chairman and largest shareholder – addressed a media conference yesterday to announce he had secured 10 million coronavirus testing kits from China and urged Canberra to maintain close ties with Beijing. The calls came amid signs of rising diplomatic tension as the Morrison government seeks a global inquiry into the origin of the COVID-19 outbreak in China. “Australia needs to walk that line where we have a best friend in America, a best friend in China, best friends across South-East Asia,” Mr Forrest said

  48. jupes

    I think you’re all focused on the wrong thing

    No, we get the deep state. They’ve been doing it for years. Remember Duncan Lewis ‘intervening’ when some Liberal politicians mentioned the RoP in a less than favourable light?

    Now the deep state is shilling a bit more loudly for the Chicoms, so we focus on that.

  49. H B Bear

    Twiggy knows exactly on which side his bread is buttered – and who does the buttering.

  50. Ed Case

    Trump A/G William Barr says the conversation Trump adviser George Stephanopoulos had with Alexander Downer in a London wine bar in 2016 was the catalyst for the RussiaGate Investigation.
    At 8:40.

  51. JC

    Fisky

    Forrest speaks for himself and his shareholding. He doesn’t speak for a group of people.

  52. Suburban Boy

    Sinc, I understand your concern and agree with you entirely.

    I have dealt with a number of very senior public servants over the years, and when they trust you enough to share their private views it always turns out they despise our elected representatives.

    Obviously they are not alone in that view, but the contempt they show is not limited to pollies of one side or the other, or individual pollies who are especially deserving of scorn. It seems to be an institutional attittude, and that is unhealthy for a democratic state.

  53. Behind Enemy Lines

    Sinclair Davidson
    #3492814, posted on June 22, 2020 at 3:37 pm
    I think you’re all focused on the wrong thing – my disquiet is not related to China. My disquiet is that former public servants hold elected politicians in contempt. Is this a habit of the public service? A new thing? Quite alright because elected politicians are contemptible anyway?

    Well, it’s an occupational hazard. Beyond that, probably ten per cent of the APS (the ideological types) hate the Coalition so much that it impairs their judgement. Des Deskperson might offer a different figure, but it’s at that end of the spectrum.

    I think the real message is that former senior public servants who used to engage one-on-one with high-level politicians are taking what looks like a party stand in public. It’s not a good look for someone who used to be (at least nominally) paid to serve the government of the day. Sure, go ahead, retire, offer public comment or run for office. But it’s another matter to go on to advise one side of politics while being nasty about it to the other. It suggests (perhaps reveals) a level of concealed past bias that undermines their successors’ efforts to get the job done.

  54. Des Deskperson

    ‘My disquiet is that former public servants hold elected politicians in contempt. Is this a habit of the public service? A new thing?’

    Professor, in these days of a ‘responsive’ public service, senior public servants, at least in their interactions with Government and Ministers, are expected to be less ‘contemptuous’ than ever. They are expected to do what the Minister wants. Failure to be sufficiently ‘responsive’ will get them sacked, as reportedly happened to five portfolio secretaries after to 2019 election.

    Which reminds me of an anecdote. A former colleague of mine in the APS was, in the late seventies, Executive Officer to Sir Arthur Tange, long time Secretary of the Department of Defence. Late one afternoon he had to take a bundle of last minute briefing notes out to RAAF Fairbairn where Tange and the Minister – the hapless Jim Killen – were waiting to take off for overseas.

    When he arrived on board the VIP jet, he found the following configuration; Tange an Killen were occupying four seats, one pair facing the other like an old railway carriage. Tange had one window seat and he had his feet up on the window seat opposite. Killen was in the aisle seat, next to Tange and there were a pile of papers on the aisle seat opposite him.

    My friend needed to sit close to Tange to go through the new papers. He had therefore expected Tange to take his feet off the opposite seat. Instead, Killen had to vacate his seat and, presumably, stand or tramp about the plane while Tange was briefed in ensconced comfort.

    It is impossible to imagine such a scene today.

  55. Bruce

    I think “Yes, Minster” summed it up concisely.

    “The ship of State is the only ship that leaks from the top”.

    Of course, the slavering bands of churnalists are in this up to their eyeballs, being “opinion-shapers” and all.

  56. DrBeauGan

    They seem to be contemptuous of elected representatives of the Australian people.

    #MeToo.

  57. liliana

    I think you’re all focused on the wrong thing – my disquiet is not related to China.

    No we are not and my issue is with China and it’s network of ‘supporters’. China’s behaviour seems to be very very similar to that of Germany in the 30’s.

  58. Rebel with cause

    In my experience public servants tend to hold MPs in contempt, considering them to have crazy policy ideas and to be narrowly focused on their own electoral fortunes.

    Politicians generally hold senior public servants in contempt, considering them to be out of touch with the real world and to maddeningly respond to every policy initiative with a budget request.

    It’s a feature, not a bug.

  59. Ed Case

    He had therefore expected Tange to take his feet off the opposite seat. Instead, Killen had to vacate his seat and, presumably, stand or tramp about the plane while Tange was briefed in ensconced comfort.

    Needed urgently: More Tanges.

  60. Tintarella di Luna

    Signora, what evidence do you have there either Gyngell or Richardson are undertaking activities on behalf of a foreign principle??

    absolutely none Des Deskperson I was merely suggesting that the AG’s office apply the same reasoning as they did in pursuing Mr Abbott and Mr. Cooper over CPAC

  61. Sinclair Davidson

    China’s behaviour seems to be very very similar to that of Germany in the 30’s.

    An over-reaction. There is a wave of patriotism sweeping the world and the Cinese authorities are swept up in it the same as everyone else.

  62. Sinclair Davidson

    Des Deskperson – yes that is a good story.

  63. Fisky

    An over-reaction. There is a wave of patriotism sweeping the world and the Cinese authorities are swept up in it the same as everyone else.

    Only one regime is invading and annexing neighbouring territory and putting ethnic minorities in re-education camps. So we’re already up to the late ’30s in a sense.

  64. Robbo

    Another couple of so-called high flyers happily working to sell out their country. What a miserable pair of bastards.

  65. Fisky

    Keeping in mind that, according to “engagers”, China should basically have evolved into a liberal democracy by now. 20 years after the WTO, market reforms, the unstoppable force of the internet etc etc. So long as we hand our jobs and industries over to them first of course.

  66. Boambee John

    Sinclair Davidson
    #3492814, posted on June 22, 2020 at 3:37 pm
    I think you’re all focused on the wrong thing – my disquiet is not related to China. My disquiet is that former public servants hold elected politicians in contempt. Is this a habit of the public service? A new thing? Quite alright because elected politicians are contemptible anyway?

    It is not new. I first noticed the attitude becoming overt around 25 years ago.

  67. Boambee John

    Des D

    Any lesser being working for Tange who even inadvertently caused a minister to mislead Parliament was taking a big risk.

  68. Frank

    Des,
    they are all able to hold whatever views as private people that they want but nobody is going to accuse them of suffering under the weight of an excess of patriotism are they.

  69. Kneel

    “…London wine bar in 2016 was the catalyst excuse for the RussiaGate Investigation.”

    FIFY.

    The real questions are:
    Who will do a deal first?
    Will they then “commit suicide” or have “an accident”? (almost certain if it’s not HRC!)

    If they don’t hang together, they’ll be hung separately – and they know it. They also know who they’re dealing with as “partners” – main chancers who’d throw them under the bus in a second to save themselves. The shenanigans prior to the perp walk will be amusing – at least from a distance.

  70. Procrustes

    My career gave me the opportunity to observe such fine fellows at close quarters over a number of years. They are without doubt a club. To avoid confirmation bias (and noble cause corruption), they need a lot more external scrutiny and challenge – even from people who may be wrong headed – so that they can better hone the policy advice to governments.

  71. Squirrel

    It’s all OK, with the polls improving for Biden, we can look forward to resuming the policies of peaceful co-existence, and amusing ourselves with imported gadgets, while contemplating what next we can sell off (must be another port, or two, we really don’t need to run ourselves) to pay for all the goodies – including fat pensions for former mandarins.

  72. Des Deskperson

    ‘absolutely none Des Deskperson I was merely suggesting that the AG’s office apply the same reasoning as they did in pursuing Mr Abbott and Mr. Cooper over CPAC’

    As I have explained before and as I understand it, technically, Abbott and Cooper’s involvement in CPAC was activity on behalf of a foreign principle for the purpose of political influence under the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act 2018. In the absence of action from then Minister Porter – who could have rung Dreyfus to tell him that his complaint was frivolous and vexations – the AGs officials had no choice but to follow it up.

    In the case of Gyngell – Col’n Carpenter’s brother – and Richardson, though they may or may not have views that are sympathetic to the PRC, there is, prima facie, no evidence that they are specifically acting on behalf of a foreign principle.

  73. Sinclair Davidson

    Only one regime is invading and annexing neighbouring territory and putting ethnic minorities in re-education camps.

    That’s no way to talk about Australia’s offshore detention program.

  74. Sinclair Davidson

    … there is, prima facie, no evidence that they are specifically acting on behalf of a foreign principle.

    Yes – People here are so obsessed with China that they fixate to the exclusion of everything else.

  75. Siltstone

    Sinclair Davidson
    #3493151, posted on June 22, 2020 at 9:18 pm
    … there is, prima facie, no evidence that they are specifically acting on behalf of a foreign principle.
    Yes

    But, Des “two offcie chairs” and Sinc “Malcolm is a potentially great PM”, they are acting on behalf of a foreign principal.

  76. Perfidious Albino

    Des – I’d suggest there is ample ‘evidence’, just perhaps not incontrovertible proof. Also, perception is reality and your former colleagues should no better.

  77. Perfidious Albino

    Know better

  78. Hay Stockard

    Went overseas to resist Red Chinese proxies. Don’t know why any of us bothered now..
    Our politicians are just roosters on a dung heap. Cheap and nasty little villains.
    And the apparatchiks are even worse.

  79. Rex Anger

    Only one regime is invading and annexing neighbouring territory and putting ethnic minorities in re-education camps.

    That’s no way to talk about Australia’s offshore detention program

    Does it qualify as invasion and annexure if you asked nicely first and are paying the hosts handsomely for the privilege, as well as paying third parties equally handsomely
    to administer the camp and its inhabitants, and then mostly settling them in Oz anyway because no straight answer can be obtained either way? 🤔

    Anyway, you need to have something for the feral ratbag crowd and Their ABC to virtue-wank themselves into a stupor over. Otherwise they might find themselves into something that the Powers That Be would prefer remained untouched (despite being predominantly political fellow travellers), and they can’t have that… 🤪

  80. Boambee John

    Procrustes
    #3493016, posted on June 22, 2020 at 7:24 pm
    My career gave me the opportunity to observe such fine fellows at close quarters over a number of years. They are without doubt a club. To avoid confirmation bias (and noble cause corruption), they need a lot more external scrutiny and challenge – even from people who may be wrong headed – so that they can better hone the policy advice to governments.

    I remember a time when so-called “progressives” despised the Commonwealth Club as a cabal of conservative public servants who ran its own agenda.

    Now the “progressives” lurrrve the Deep State, which actually does that.

  81. Des Deskperson

    ‘But, Des “two offcie chairs” and Sinc “Malcolm is a potentially great PM”, they are acting on behalf of a foreign principal.’

    Ah, yes, ‘principal’: my bad. like ‘offcie’ chairs.

    My point was about registration under the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme. There is no evidence that either Gyngell or Richardson have entered into an arrangement with the Chinese government, a Chinese political organisation or a Chinese government-related entity or individual for the purpose of political influence.

    And even if they had, that shouldn’t automatically brand them as traitors. The Transparency Scheme is simply about openness.

    Perfidious Albino, I agree that if these two were still senior APS officials advising government, than perceptions of their bias toward the Chinese government would be a serious matter. But they aren’t anymore.

    As for the office chairs, I’ve already explained my position at length. If any Cats are aware of a court or FWA decision that exempts private sector employers from any duty of care – including OH&S – in relation to their home based staff, I’d be keen to hear about it. Otherwise STFU!

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