Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Laurie Penny and Tariq Ali on Q and A

For last night's Q and A I suspect that the team of sneering hipsters who monitor the tweets had been told to lay off the bongs so they didn't let any obscene handles through. And yes, there were no disasters there. So, well done kids!

Basically, they got it back to business as usual: A constant flow of PC cant and infantile abuse from quarter-witted pinkos without the spine to use their own names.

The guests, and their views, repeated the show's notoriously dreary right-on bias. The panel included three of the Left's most well known slebs. Renowned on the festival circuit as big thinkers, all they offered on the night was a barrage of bolshie bollocks. Most of it was funny. But some was kinda sinister. Can't cover it all but here's a bit of a roundup:

The show began with a discussion of the Ashley Madison hack and its social ramifications. Feisty feminist pixie-person Laurie Penny was the first to offer her wisdom:

BRIDGET DOMINIC: Hi. In a recent case in the US involving Tinder, a judge handed down what many considered to be an extreme punishment calling the use of the app totally inappropriate behaviour for which there is “no excuse whatsoever. Vanity Fair also published a scolding article criticising the hook up culture of the app. The moral outrage seems to mirror that which surrounds the Ashley Madison hack. Do you think technology breeds cheating and casual sex or merely facilitates inevitable human behaviours? 

TONY JONES: Laurie Penny, this question was made for you, I think.

LAURIE PENNY: Well, when people ask about hook up culture and is it good or bad, I think what people mean by hook up culture is casual sex and generally I'm for that. It’s not a political position per se but the idea being promulgated is that sex itself is bad for women and I think, as a feminist writer, this is kind of what I'm expected to say but actually it’s not sex that's bad for women. Sexism is bad for women. What is disturbing about the Ashley Madison hack is that we are using very new technology to, sort of, promulgate Victorian moral values which are around shame, around punishing people for private behaviour which is not abusive. I mean, cheating on your partner, lying to your partner, makes you a dick. It doesn't make you an abuser and let's be very clear on the distinction here. What I'm learning from this is that, really, monogamy isn't working for a great many people and people are using technology to get around that and I don't have a problem with that really.

She clearly has a very cynical attitude to relationships if she thinks that cheating does nothing more than make you "a dick". But while it couldn't be called abuse in a legal sense it's still very destructive. Infidelity breaks hearts, ruins relationships and makes it very difficult for those who've been so betrayed to trust again. If she thinks that such major deception of someone you're in a deep and intimate relationship with is no biggie, what does she think of using falsehoods in other contexts?

Penny's swipe at Victorian morality was echoed by Tariq Ali and Naomi Klein to some degree. They seemed to think that monogamy was too big an ask.

But this is one of the key tenets of marriage, as we all know. Given that, it seems odd they'd they be supportive of "marriage equality" (which I'm sure they all are). Do they think it's liberating for homosexuals to endure the same sexual, emotional and spiritual incarceration the straight Ashley Madison members found so unbearable?

Snowcone Tony Jones was clearly impressed by Penny's erudite elfin insights because he asked her: "Did you think the hack was some sort of backlash from moral conservatives?" 

You can understand why he'd think that. But it did seem a bit of an odd link to make even for him, given that the Left love to see themselves as sleek geeks and conservatives as mouldy ol' Luddites. Maybe Snowcone thought the hacker was from Tony Abbott's PR office?

Never know. Coulda been. Anything's possible, I s'pose ... Well, one thing's for sure. It wasn't Dyson Heydon.

In her answer, the sassy social media sprite was closer to the mark:

LAURIE PENNY: I think the hack was chancers trying get hold of people’s private information and that is the thing we should be worried about when it comes to services like this and instead of being outraged that people's private data is being stolen by criminals and that all of our data is increasingly insecure and could be used for all kinds of nefarious purposes, including by States, we are jumping on this band wagon, shaming people saying gleefully rubbing our hands trying to figure out who has been cheating on who. You know, three people have committed suicide after being exposed by the Ashley Madison hack and I'm sure, sadly, that there may be more and this is a serious matter and instead of, you know, asking ourselves, you know, are we sliding into some kind of moral decline because of technology, I think the real moral decline is that we are still prepared to shame each other in this way.

Hmmm. If suicides have resulted from a dating site being hacked, then you can only wonder at the collateral damage caused by Wikileaks. Wonder what her views on this issue are?

Penny supplied more clangers as the night went on, including a completely irrelevant, utterly cringeworthy nod to land rights. Her insincerity was obvious from the self-conscious manner in which she acknowledged the area's "traditional owners" and struggled to pronounce their tribal name correctly.

But she did make the effort. So Jones approved, natch.

When the discussion turned to Border Force, Veteran Tariq Ali beclowned himself with his predictable regurgitation of the local loony Left take on the exercize.

Interestingly he was much more ambivalent about bona fide tyranny. He even waxed lyrical about Iraq under Saddam Hussein:

TONY JONES: Tariq, would Iraq be better off with an authoritarian regime is the question the questioner asked? 

TARIQ ALI: Compared to now, without any doubt. I have no doubt about that at all, and ...

TONY JONES: So what about Syria under Assad? 

TARIQ ALI: Saddam was at his worst when he was an ally of the West. That's when the Kurds were attacked with poison gas, during the Iran Iraq War when the West was backing him. But of late, despite the sanctions and all that, he kept that country together and people have no idea now, because we live in a world where amnesia is more or less encouraged, but that effectively the social gains made in Iraq during Saddam's period, and others before him: education, health, women's rights, that in the 1980s, Baghdad University had more women teaching at every level than there are women teaching at Princeton today. These are the figures. So, there were lots of social gains made and these gains have all been lost by this crazy war. There is no rational logic for that war, except the maintenance of American power and probably Israeli pressure put on the United States to destroy larger countries who have independent armies. There was no other real reason for that war and we are now paying the price.

Gawd, he sounded like that Sean Penn puppet from Team America. (He'd been to Iraq, you know!)

The unshockable Ali went on to say ISIS should be left alone, too. Maybe he thinks that like Saddam they'll eventually be able to hold Iraq together? Given their propensity for separating individuals' heads from their bodies, I find it hard to get enthusiastic about their plans for uniting the nation.

There was another telling little interchange that showed where Ali's sympathies were. That was right at the end, when talk turned to the Virginia shooting after a questioner asked if extremely violent images should be shown on mainstream media:

TONY JONES: So there’s a case for actually suppressing press freedom in this instance, is there? 

MIROSLAV VOLF: I don't think suppressing press freedom, I don't think that’s going to happen, but there is a moral case for appealing to people not to show.

TARIQ ALI: I agree with that actually and I found it very repulsive, for instance, when Saddam Hussein was being hanged, all that footage was shown on the screens, when Gaddafi was being butchered, without any trial or any attempt even to have a serious trial.

He said more but I found that first bit most intriguing. The question related specifically to the horrific slaying of two completely innocent people. Yet the first thing that came to Ali's mind was the rough justice meted out to those two mass-murdering arseholes. Revealing, eh?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Emotive, anti-democratic "marriage equality" barracking on Q and A

Last night's Q and A was a bit more balanced than usual. They had three sane adults on and a couple of mental infants. If you include Tony Jones and his obvious leftie bias it was sorta evenly balanced.

They covered several topics as usual. But of most interest to me was same sex marriage. The speed with which this issue has become a global revolution for the cutural Left is alarming. I don't think that many of its proponents believe in it to even half the extent that they claim. Seems to me that they've gotten behind it in major part because it's a good way to bash conservatives and Christians. And their emotive tactic of saying marriage is "all about love" (and what a crock that is!) has been very successful. So they'll keep banging that drum.

And the usual suspects on Q and A did just that. Greens Leader Richard Di Natale used the tired ol' tactic of saying "society has moved on. It's all down and dusted. Why are we even talking about this?"

RICHARD DI NATALE: The simple answer is that Parliament should deal with it. Tony Abbott had a chance to drag the country into the 21st century and end discrimination, to end prejudice and he used every tactic in the book to block it, to continue to support prejudice and discrimination in marriage, to not recognise that the love between two people is love, regardless of their gender or their sexuality. He stacked his party room with National MPs. He has now come up with this tortured position it might be a plebiscite. It might be a referendum. No, we just should have the Parliament deal with this. We could have this done so quickly. We could have this done this week. We could have a bill before the Parliament supported by a majority of parliamentarians. If Tony Abbott did what he espouses and that is to respect the freedom and liberty of his own backbenchers and allow them a free vote and he won't do it. He won't do it and it’s part of the reason that he is languishing in terms of public support because he is a man stuck in the past. He belongs to another century and the sooner the Liberal Party change the Prime Minister, I think the country will be better for it.

TONY JONES: Richard, aren't you, from your point of view, at all nervous in advocating that? At all nervous about the fact, given the numbers of the Coalition party room, just on the conscience vote issue, aren't you nervous that it wouldn't have gotten up in the Parliament anyway? 

RICHARD DI NATALE: No, I think it would - it will get up and I think there are a lot of MPs who do what they do in that place and that is sniff the breeze. There will be a lot of nervous backbenchers who will be worried about winning their seats back at this election under Tony Abbott and they'll go where the political breeze takes them and on this issue, the public are overwhelming in support of ending discrimination. Just move on and do it. I don't understand how we can be here in the 21st century arguing for a position that is based on prejudice but that’s what this is.

He has a very simplistic view of marriage. He also clearly doesn't like debate. The thought of the people getting to decide on this issue directly annoys him, obviously.

The same could be said for Sam Dastyari. He was extremely rude to the anti-gay marriage panellist Katy Faust. Again he used no actual argument, just emotive judgements that implied she was a bad, hateful person:

SAM DASTYARI: There is so much with what you have said just then that is so offensive, it’s hard to know where to start. The politician in me tells me that I should be saying that while I disagree with your views, I wholeheartedly respect them but I find that very hard. I find it very hard to respect a lot of your views on what you have said because I don't think it comes from a place of love. I think it comes from a place of hate and I think that there is so much I can't accept the fact that you believe that Gini's parents, who I have no doubt love each other, you know, that they’re hurting their child simply because of the love they have for one another. I can't accept that. I think so much - I worry that so much of your views stem, not really with an issue with just marriage. I think some of it stems from an issue with homosexuality and you’ve described homosexuality as a lifestyle. You have said that homosexuality drives us further away from God. These are your comments. You run a blog called Ask the Bigot. And I think that there are people in this country who have different views on same sex marriage. They’re entitled to have different views on same sex marriage. People are going to have the debate but I think we have to have that debate at a higher level and, I’m sorry, but I think this American evangelical claptrap is the last thing we need in the debate.

The sheer gall of this guy is stunning. He pretty much says she's a hateful person, and accuses her of homophobia simply because she doesn't toe the PC line.

Hell, she's the one with the lesbian parents! If anyone has the right to speak her mind about same sex relationships it's her. And she's not abusive. She makes criticisms that are not nearly as mean-spirited as those he makes of her.

And dropping the line in about the name of her blog was a nasty bit of dog whistling. It was as if he was saying: "You said it lady. You are a bigot!"

Careful not to seem anti-democratic, Dastyari talked about a "debate at a higher level". In other words: No debate at all, thanks. We'll just tell people what's good for them.

So funny that his union head kicker says Faust is the mean-spirited one! Were the machinations that he engaged in during Labor's disastrous reign, and that he was so chuffed to be divulging in The Killing Season, coming from a place of lerve? Hardly.

Thankfully, Brendan O'Neill cut through to the heart of the issue:

BRENDAN O’NEILL: Here is what freaks me out about gay marriage. It presents itself as this kind of liberal civil rightsy issue but it has this really ugly intolerant streak to it. Anyone who opposes gay marriage is demonised, harassed, we have seen people thrown out of their jobs because they criticised gay marriage. We have seen people ejected from polite society. You know, 200 years ago, if you didn't believe in God, you wouldn’t have a hope in hell of getting ahead in public life. Today, if you don’t believe in gay marriage, you don’t have a hope in hell of getting ahead in public life. There’s a real, ugly element to this and I think, you know, you really see it with the whole cake shop phenomenon. This whole thing around the western world where people are going to Christian traditional cake shops and saying to them, "Hey, you stupid Christians, make this cake for me", and if they don't they call the police. There are equality cases. Shops have closed down. It’s like a 21st century form of religious persecution. It’s horrendous and I think, you know, of course some people support gay marriage, as we’ve heard. That's absolutely fine. But what's extraordinary and unacceptable is that they cannot tolerate the existence of people who do not support gay marriage and I think we sometimes fail to understand how extraordinary that is and I think the reason Tony Abbott is very defensive on this issue and is erming and ahing and shifting from the free vote to the not free vote and all this stuff, he clearly has a problem with gay marriage but he can't articulate it because we live in a climate in which it’s not acceptable, as we have just seen in Sam's attack on Katy, calling her hateful and saying she’s talking claptrap, it’s not acceptable to express this sentiment in public life.

SAM DASTYARI: Well, hang on, no, Brendan...

BRENDAN O'NEILL: And I think so Tony Abbott - Tony Abbott is now being described as someone from the dark ages for believing what humanity has believed for thousands of years. Within the space of a decade, something that humanity believed for thousands of years has suddenly become a form of bigotry, a form of hate, something you’re not allowed to express in public life. That extraordinary shift in intolerance is something I think all Liberals like me should be worried about. Gay marriage is not a Liberal issue. It has a deeply illiberal streak.

Spot on.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Thoughts on Jacqui Lambie's son's meth addiction

Jacqui Lambie is a pretty colourful character who has copped a lot of derision. This is understandable as she's clearly not the sharpest pencil in the box and can at times be quite alarmingly aggro. Then there's that voice of hers!

But you'd have to be a very cold person not to feel pity for her in her current predicament. The poor woman's son is a meth addict, and she's at a complete loss about how to solve the problem.

I don't know that opening up to the meeja about it in the way that she has was a wise decision. I'd imagine that most pollies in similar situations would do all they could to keep the details out of the public eye. Still, she's just trying to do the right thing. And given how destructive the drug is, I doubt her recent pronouncements could make things any worse than they are already.

The way she talks about ice's effect on her son is very sad and disturbing. She says the young man she knew is gone; that she may as well be talking to a drug.

The way that meth seems to completely possess the addict is truly frightening. I have seen this at close quarters. Several years back I lived in a small bock of units in Leichhardt in Sydney's inner west for a few months. A young couple living there were clearly addicted to ice. They were like manic zombies. They would walk past my window at all times of the day and night, muttering crazily.

Through that same window I once overheard the mother of the female addict talking to the landlord. It was a heartbreaking tale. She said her daughter was a sweet, stable girl who did well at school, had heaps of friends. Now it was like she was a completely different person, lost to her for good.

Not sure what happened to this young woman. But I hope she got some help eventually and has managed to find her way back to normality. Still, given the sheer ferocity of the drug, I doubt that this was the case.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Andrew Bolt, Charlie King debate booing of Goodes on The 7.30 Report

So Andrew Bolt was on The 7.30 Report last night in a debate about the Adam Goodes furore. Pretty unusual thing to see. And I suspect it had something to do with the Government's recent attempts to have the organization obey its own charter and be a bit more balanced.

You'd think that this appearance might prompt lefties on social media to say, there you go, not so biased after all! I think a few did that. But the overwhelming reaction on Twitter at least was one of white hot rage that Bolta was even allowed in the ABC studio!

Funny that many self-described supporters of free speech were okay with an odious misogynist with terrorist sympathies being given a platform on Q and A. But when a prominent conservative puts forth a reasonable and thoughtful position on a huge story about race relations in this country they go into collective social media meltdown.

Much of this childish tantrum throwing was due to their belief that they own the ABC; that only views they deem acceptable can be aired on it. No doubt, many would have much preferred a "debate" between a couple of leftie quackademics, say, one of whom believed that all those booing Goodes were racist and should be pelted with eggs, and one who, er, "disagreed" by saying: "No, only 70% were racist! And compulsory counselling would be a better option."

The other reason they detest people like Bolt being allowed to put contrary views is that they know how stupid he will make theirs look to any reasonable person. If given a choice, people will eventually see how shallow, emotive, divisive and toxic the Left's agenda truly is -- especially on race relations. They can't afford to have that happen, and so will try to prevent it at all costs.

So good on the ABC for putting Bolt on. He certainly showed the politically correct view for the tosh that it is. Charlie King's arguments were very weak and sentimental. Look at the transcript you'll see. The number of times he invoked emotions was remarkable. Here's a sample:

CHARLIE KING, ABC SPORTS COMMENTATOR: Well I think - I mean, I see an undercurrent of racism here and I think it all stems from comments that were made to him at the MCG when a young girl made a racist comment. He was responding to rants, racist rants from the crowd. He didn't know the age of the young girl obviously and he pointed her out and I think that hurt him and it hurt him deeply. And I wonder whether racism has an age limit or not and I think it's more about what's said and the impact of what's said rather than anything else. I think he was offended by that. I think he was offended later on by comments that Eddie McGuire made comparing him to King Kong and then I think the booing has just gone on and on since then and then he did a dance to celebrate his Aboriginality and that wasn't liked by the crowd either and so he's just found it really difficult, really difficult.

CHARLIE KING: Well, look, Adam Goodes I think is a great hero of Aboriginal people. There's no doubt about that. I mean, what he has done has been magnificent. When you start attacking Adam Goodes with racial comments, as the young girl did and as the booing signifies yet again, then you're actually destroying a hero of Aboriginal people, so the racism actually spreads not just to Adam , and I feel for Adam Goodes tonight, but I feel for all Aboriginal people in Australia who are hurting, Sabra, just like I am tonight and have been since I've heard the booing levelled at Adam Goodes. I understand what he's going with - going through and I know how that feels. I've been there myself and I know other Aboriginal people who've been there as well.

So, it's all about feelings -- Adam's especially. Sooo leftist. They're always trying to turn politics into a sensitivity competition. Amazingly subjective. And if emotions are the prism you see everything through and they are your criteria for what you deem acceptable and what you think is not, well, you can basically demonize (or condone) anything.

Call me old fashioned but I believe it's much better to at least try and think things through. Doesn't mean you don't care. Just means you care enough to think.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Quota crusader Sharman Stone is the Government's odd woman out

If you have even a modicum of common sense, you can see how silly gender quotas are. Hell, the whole concept is ridiculous.

We need more women in Parliament, the frightbats cry. "Give so and so a gig 'cause she's a woman!"

Then when so and so does get the gig and you point out that she didn't get there on merit but because she's a chick, the same frightbats cry "How dare you say that? She's eminently capable you vile misogynist!"

Eh?

There's another silly argument used by quota apologists. Attempting to appear rational, they say, "Your argument about merit would be valid if there was a level playing field. But that's clearly not the case. That's why we must place gender over merit, so as to reward merit."

Yeah, sure. Kinda like that classic line "we had to destroy the village in order to save it".



Anyhoo, the very fact that feminists can demand quotas and get them proves there is a level playing field. You could even argue it is in women's favour. So, if they can get a gig by whining, why can't they get a gig by being good at what they do? (And if you say that women can only get a gig by carping then all you'll ever have is ghastly frightbats in positions of power -- 'cause, hey, that's all they do.)

So why not forget all this PC tosh and reward merit? Generally speaking this is what happens in the current Government. Love 'em or hate 'em, LNP women are generally competent and strong. They don't fall back on silly victimhood arguments because they've never had to use them to get where they are. (The same could not be said of the handbag hit squad and their ilk on the other side.)

But then there's Liberal Sharman Stone, who's been waging her own affirmative action, er, she-had. And she reckons those frightbats  are the bomb:

 LOUISE YAXLEY: She says Labor's system appears to be working.

SHARMAN STONE: So I look across the chamber at those Labor Party women. I can see them having merit equal to the men who are sitting beside them. It certainly hasn't produced for them two classes of parliamentarian at all.

Well, yes, that's because they're all mediocrities. Labor women get there by hiding behind their skirts and acting like damsels in distress, and the men gain power by sucking up to faceless union power-brokers and knifing each other in the back. Merit barely gets a look in.

So enamoured of child-brained PC feminism is Ms Stone that she thinks Parliament Question Time should be abolished.

Disturbingly dippy. So out there, in fact, it goes beyond Labor lunacy. It's more something you'd expect from the child-brained totalitarians in the Greens.

Gotta wonder how she got so far in the Liberal Party. Must be the exception that proves the rule.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Gary Johns's "cash cows" comment causes predictable twitstorm

It generally holds true that if you want to provoke a lefty all you need to do is say something eminently sensible. And if you wanna make 'em go howling at the moon mad, then make that point brutally clear in, er, colourful language.

The latest #Auspol related social media meltdown is a case in point. In it, former Labor MP Gary Johns said this on The Bolt Report:

"Look, a lot of poor women in this country, a large proportion of whom are Aboriginal, are used as cash cows, right?" Mr Johns said. "They are kept pregnant and producing children for the cash. Now, that has to stop."

Needles to say, the usual suspects went batshit insane with rage on Twitter. (And considering how batshit insane they are already, that's saying something!)

Now, you may disagree with his analysis and think that it's simply not true that Aboriginal women are being abused in this way (presumably by their menfolk). However, given the extremely high rates of welfare dependence and the truly sickening levels of sexual and physical abuse that plague these communities it seems like a reasonable point.



Now, if he'd made it in a less colourful way it would have attracted condemnation from the Left. And knowing how self-indulgent and mean-spirited socialists tend to be, some of it would surely have been vindictive and personal.

But the thing that really set the leftist trollective off like fireworks on the 4th of July was his use of the term "cash cows". As we all know these child-brained purveyors of political corectness live their entire lives in a perpetual state of hair-trigger sanctimony. They are just hangin' out for even the flimsiest excuse to chuck a massive tanty that shows the world how much they abhor sexism, racism, etc. It's always all about them, you see.

Since "cow" is often used as a derogatory term for a woman, they piled on with false accusations of sexism, as well as racism. Intoxicated with lefteous indignation, they were in a state of billious bolshie bliss:



And on and on it goes ...

The gruesome opportunists would rather fulminate over his use of a common figure of speech so as to advertise their own spurious moral virtue than actually engage with his argument. So childish, so petty, so leftist ... and so sad.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Aaron Patrick on Bill Shorten's ambitious character on Lateline

It's long been obvious that Bill Shorten is an extremely ambitious, egocentric character. Of course there are many of those in Canberra, on both sides of the political fence. But they're usually complicated, multi-faceted folk as well.

Look at Malcolm Fraser. He was ruthless and domineering, but also compassionate and deeply sensitive to criticism. And take Bob Hawke. Charismatic as all get out, with a real sense of entitlement to the top job. But he also had a genuine concern for working people and that made him an extremely effective PM as well as a popular one.

Basically these guys, along with others, didn't just seek power for its own sake. They wanted to do something good with it.

But I don't think that Shorten is like that. He appears to be driven almost entirely by his own ginormous ego. Seems to me that, not unlike Julia Gillard, he's been dreaming of being PM his whole life. But he hasn't given much thought to what he really wants to do for Australia if and when he snares the gig.

His very unimpressive performance in the witness box at the Trade Union Royal Commission certainly confirms that reading of his character. And this Lateline interview with Aaron Patrick, who wrote the book Downfall: How the Labor Party Ripped Itself Apart, constitutes evidence of this as well.



The interview reveals that Shorten certainly wasn't from Struggle Street. He was born into a world of privilege, actually. That would explain that conspicuous absence of fire in the belly (er, unless his belly contains something to fuel the fire, that is!).

TONY JONES: Now, his career, you're right - this is something you were just touching on there, but you're right it encapsulates many of the contradictions of modern Labor. A young, aspiring politician from the right side of the tracks, not the wrong side of the tracks, with an entire - an entree in fact to the world of mega rich people, business people like Richard Pratt, the billionaire.

AARON PATRICK: One of the things that I don't think people appreciate about Bill Shorten is that, sure, he has his union background and he presents this sort of blue-collar image, but he likes hanging out with rich people. He's always liked it. He'd always enjoyed socialising and mixing with business figures. Now you could argue that that's good. That's a legitimate thing and Bob Hawke used to do it too and Paul Keating as well. So I don't think we should think negatively of him for that. But it's still a bit incongruous. And I remember once in research for my book his relationship with Richard Pratt is very well known, but what isn't known is that him and Debbie Beale, his wife at the time, went and stayed in the apartment in Manhattan, which - you'd go there and you'd say to the doorman, "I want to go up to Mr Pratt's apartment and it's on the ..." - this floor, "Which door is it?" And the doorman'd say, "It's the whole floor." 

TONY JONES: (Laughs)

AARON PATRICK: OK! And then when they - when he went with the Pratts to visit Cuba, Communist Cuba, they did it in Pratt's private jet.

The young Shorten also tried to take over a union. But it was functioning very well. So it seems that personal ambition was the main, if not sole motivation there:

AARON PATRICK: Well, thank you, yes. The Young Labor Network, which Bill ran, tried to take over a union called the Theatricals Union. It employed - or, sorry, it had members of people working in the entertainment industry. Some may have even worked at the ABC. And it was seen as a far-left union. And what Bill Shorten and the other guys wanted to do was seize control of this union and use its votes within the Labor Party as their own power base and flip it from the left faction to the right faction. So, they all went and got jobs. And Bill Shorten got a job at Flemington Racecourse, which now abuts his present electorate, and also Victoria Park, where he became an ardent Collingwood fan. There was one problem with the plan, which was: it was quite a good union.

TONY JONES: Yeah. The leadership was actually well-liked and evidently doing a good job, so the whole thing failed. But it's kind of prophetic, isn't it? I mean, if the idea was simply to use the union as your toehold into Labor politics at a high level, was that also the motive for going into the AWU?

AARON PATRICK: Well, what I think Bill Shorten learnt through that experience was: you weren't going to obtain political power by going and taking over at the enemy's trade union. You were going to do it by going into a union that was already on your side which was weak, taking it over from the inside. And that's what he did at the AWU. And the AWU made Bill politically because he managed to grow the membership of it, increased his power base within the Victorian Labor Party and developed a national profile, partly through assiduous networking with journalists.

The guy clearly has big time tickets on himself. And that can lead him into situations in which he looks very foolish indeed, like recently in the RC witness box:

AARON PATRICK: I thought - in all honesty, I thought it was one of the more, if not most damaging moments in his career. The thing about Bill Shorten's psychology is that one of the reasons he's gone so far is that he has this unshakeable belief in himself. And he walks into a room and he's convinced that he's the smartest person in the room. And that's served him well throughout his career and his life. He was in that court - in that Royal commission today in the box and he was at the mercy of those - of that ex-High Court judge and that barrister. And he couldn't talk his way out of it. And he was held to account for what he was saying in a way that he can't be held to account in any other part of his career.