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101 - Axe the tax ... staff.

This week’s episode contains some static in Dave’s audio, we’ll try to have the problem fixed before next week.

This week everyone gets a massive gets a massive cut to their power bill that you can bank on totally check your next one, Joe’s making threats, Clive’s giving himself tax cuts, Tony’s stamping his feet, the ATO’s losing its ability to chase tax cheats, Thorpey’s under attack, and most importantly the Australian newspaper is fifty years old everybody party THE FOCUS GROUP

  1. The Carbon Price is No More!
  2. But the Budget!
  3. But the Economy!
  4. Other Libs having a bad week.
  5. Civil Liberties Corner
    • Plenty of sanctimonious criticism of Ian Thorpe for not coming out sooner, by ppl who can’t imagine just what coming out would be like, and who think apparently gay ppl are no longer discriminated against (except, you know, in the law). And more generally.
    • The Australian “Christian” Lobby is appalled by news support for marriage equality is now at 72% - goes the full unhinging in its media release, asking if poll respondents were asked “if they are comfortable with children being taken from their biological mother or father” or, even more ironically given their advocacy for Christian employers being allowed to sack gay people, “Are Australians happy for fellow citizens who believe in man-woman marriage to be sued in the courts or driven from their jobs because of their beliefs?” Also some classic lying for Jesus, as they claim they supported Labor’s 2008 removal of much discrimination against gay ppl in federal law. (They didn’t.)
    • Tim Wilson, our $300+k a year “Human rights” commissioner, defends Wicked Campers’ misogynist slogans - all you have to do is not hire one, he suggests. (Missing point that the only way to be safe from the messages is to be inside said vans and never come out.)
    • Victorian AG Robert Clark and Federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews to speak at and support far-right US-based anti-gay anti-abortion conference in Melbourne, along with the loonies from Danny Nalliar’s Rise Up “demons are real” party.
  6. The Crime Beat
    • Media shower themselves in glory going absolutely bananas over the Baden-Clay trial verdict. Channel Nine has “live” crosses to the courthouse for hours after everyone’s gone home.
    • Might be time for a review of the IVO/AVO systems so protected people are advised when there’s new threatening behaviour - which didn’t happen for Luke Batty’s mum


  1. Australia holding asylum seekers at sea in windowless locked rooms, twirling moustache.
  2. Oz claims refugee advocates are encouraging refugees to self-harm; Miranda Devine declares “Someone in authority has to stop these so-called “well-meaning” advocates. They are hurting the very people they feign to protect.”
  3. The deliberate fudging of responsibility and accountability continues as OSB commander Angus Campbell cannot answer basic questions to Senators like whether customs vessels have adequate provisions for children or what their capacity, communications capabilities and supplies were.
  4. Also Australia won’t tell the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights what is happening to the Tamils on that boat on laughable grounds that “all these matters are currently before the High Court of Australia… the Australian Government will provide a full response once they are resolved.” That’s right, human rights lawyers, it’s your own fault for not leaving well enough alone and letting the government send the second lot back to Sri Lanka. (Oz publishes govt’s claim as fact that it was “never going to”, which is totally credible.)
  5. Scott Morrison spends some quality time with his new best friends, Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, defence minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and what does it matter what they did in the civil war.
  6. Tad Tieze in New Matilda questions the accepted wisdom that being cruel to refugees is actually a vote-winning vote-changer, also pointing out that Labor’s most popular period in recent memory coincided with its least cruel policy on the subject.
  7. The ABC digs up an old “white Australia” boardgame from 1914 about replacing “coloured”s with white people, back when we were, you know, a bit of a racist country, back then, so long ago, unlike now.


  1. George Brandis presents bill to parliament to jail for 5-10 years journalists who disclose Snowden-like revelations. SomethingWonky waits with breathless anticipation for the Oz, the IPA, and Tim Wilson to come thundering in to support press freedom. Any… Minute… Now.
  2. The Oz turns 50 and the great and powerful turn up to celebrate with our political leaders. Tony Abbott calls the Oz Rupert’s “gift to the nation”. Tony Windsor (not present) compares it on twitter with another Australian product celebrating a birthday: Sorbent. Others are less kind (but much closer the mark)
  3. What is with The Australian and its weird obsession with calling everything an “exclusive”?
  4. Rupert speaks through his minions about how the NBN is a shit idea and that’s totally not through self-interest, and there’s too much welfare.
  5. does a little award ceremony for who covered Palmer’s antics the best and discovers that its own papers are the best after all
  6. There will be consequences as the ABC declines Janet’s hard-hitting interview series with John Howard (Also Chris Kenny’s buddy-cop drama with Phillip Ruddock and Ray Hadley’s fantasy epic with Scott Morrison)

Download "Axe the tax ... staff.


#100 - Sea no evil

This week, the increasingly decrepit SomethingWonky leaves behind the grim news and depressing revelations to become Australia’s Cheeriest Political Podcast.


  1. Australians turn out to protest for social services
  2. High Court provides some sort of a check on the government’s plans to claim enough authority over international waters to kidnap refugees, but not enough to be subject to Australian law.
  3. Solar overtakes Coal, even briefly, in Queensland
  4. As a government backbencher likens climate change to a science fiction film plot (which it is - the one about people not heeding warnings and then there being an apocalypse), the Canberra Times, pointing out that the carbon price has cut electricity generation pollution by 10% and increased our use of clean energy by 37%, asks why kill a working carbon price? WILL ANYONE LISTEN? Well, yes. Senate says no… temporarily. Penny Wong fires up to inspire the Senate to tell the govt not to take them for granted (AUDIO ON LINK) Then, in’s analysis, Clive “bullies” Tony
  5. ABC has a totally leftist night of leftism


  1. Tony spends $4.3m of public money on spin doctors in his “strategic communications branch”
  2. Tony Abbott reveals that Australia was unsettled before the British (but it isn’t the first time - last year he said that the “first Australians” were picked by British judges).
  3. Malcolm Turnbull sending off $1m in a vulture fund in the Cayman Islands to dodge tax

STUCK IN MY CRAW Andrew Tiedt on NSW’s shamefully weak weak Bail weak laws of weakness that let people accused of crimes eat lunch by the beach


  1. Self-harm amongst asylum seekers in detention skyrockets six-fold since offshore resettlement, reports SERCO.
  2. Asylum seeker mothers reported trying to commit suicide to help their children.
  3. Mr Abbott says he won’t be “held over a moral barrel”, “moral blackmail”.
  4. Other asylum seeker mothers asking for Australians to be allowed to adopt their children
  5. Australia confirmed to have sent 41 refugees from Sri Lanka back to Sri Lanka, where they were then taken into custody to face court (It’s a crime punishable by 2 years imprisonment to leave Sri Lanka without permission). There are reasons Sri Lanka is a refugee-producing country. Reports of our on-water treatment not promising:
    Another migrant said they were racially abused and denied medication, while some attempted a hunger strike to protest their treatment. “They kept on saying ‘You fucking Sri Lankan, go back to fucking Sri Lanka’,” said the man, who declined to give his name. He said he was also refused medicine for a rash he had developed during the sea journey in a small fishing trawler. Another unnamed passenger said they were given food past their expiry date, adding: “They treated us worse than dogs.”
  6. Richard Ackland points out that handing back asylum seekers is called refoulement and it’s illegal
  7. Ray Hadley and Scott Morrison are greatly amused by the presence of a dog, because they’d have left theirs behind. (AUDIO)
  8. Scott Morrison’s new ludicrous “national interest” test for refugees
  9. Scott Morrison’s new “four question” asylum seeker test.
  10. Eric Abetz is offended at Fran Kelly suggesting that just because Australia is now taking people and refusing to say where they are, we might be “disappearing people”. Are not, he tells Insiders.
  11. Scott Morrison toddles off to Sri Lanka for mysterious reasons
  12. UNHCR slams Australia transferring refugees at sea, which it turns out we did.
  13. On the other hand, although we’ve probably contravened refugee conventions, Crikey points out there’s probably nothing they can do about it.
  14. Julian Burnside accuses the government of piracy, apparently unaware that George Brandis has already redefined that to mean copyright infringement.
  15. But we are looking more and more like pariahs - even to the Americans.
  16. Readers of The Oz want to know how do asylum seekers get the names of refugee advocate organisations that are in the phone book? It must be a conspiracy.
  17. Former Chief Justice of the Family Court, Alastair Nicholson, remembers a time when even The Australian thought imprisoning refugee children in remote camps was unacceptable. “Even Greg Sheridan expressed support for my remarks.”
  18. Essential poll reveals 54% of Australians think this tormenting refugees policy is either too soft or just right, and only 27% think it’s “too tough”. Which is still the highest it’s been for a very long time.
  19. Bolt reveals human rights advocates’ motivations - deceit, self-preening and insane hatred of the Abbott Government
  20. Meanwhile Chris Kenny thinks they’re doing it for all that government funding he imagines they get


  1. News Corp columnist still doesn’t understand why the slippery slope is a logical fallacy

Download "Sea no evil"


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#99 - Australia, you're soaking in it.

This week, the Federal Government turns its attention to people with a disability, and not in a good way. The Australian Government gets into the disappearing people business. And we dig into the political history vault to create havoc on the ABC board.

The Focus Group

  1. So much to destroy, so little time
  2. New LDP Senator comments that “John Howard deserved to be shot” for wearing a bullet-proof vest while addressing angry gun-owners in Sale in 1996.
  3. Australia won’t recognise first same sex marriage in Australia, at UK consulate
  4. Todd Carney loses his NRL contract for “bubbling”
  5. Great States


  1. Scott Morrison manages to disappear two boats of 200 or so refugees and children. “No comment”, he tells reporters. (Partial transcript) “I’m not telling you if we know about it or not .” We still don’t know if those people have been rescued or drowned. Weirdly, a government minister making people disappear does not become the major scandal of the week. Then reports we’ve handed them over to the Sri Lankan Navy, although the Sri Lankan military denies it - but then Tony Abbott makes a point of telling reporters that “I want to make this observation, Sri Lanka is not everyone’s idea of an ideal society, but it is at peace”. Refugee Council of Australia points out that sending refugees to Sri Lanka ‘risks flagrant violation of convention’. Morrison continues to refuse to comment, because “disappearing” people is okay now.
  2. We’ll be deporting refugees if there’s a 49% risk of torture or death
  3. Scott’s department snatch two Vietnamese asylum seeker children in years 10 and 11 from an Adelaide high school, to shove them in immigration detention. Seven frightened children, aged 8-18, run away, fearing they’ll be imprisoned too.
  4. Self-harm and even suicide attempts by children in detention “shockingly high” - 128 reported self-harm incidents between January 2013 and March 2014.
  5. Girl in processing centre left without glasses for 11 months, leaving her eyesight in jeopardy.
  6. Good news! Australia says it’s going to “question” ultra-rich Brunei over stoning laws before trade talks! Let’s imagine those questions.


  1. Oz working hard to convince readers that the RET will increase electricity prices, ignoring govt’s modelling saying the reverse
  2. Murdoch told editors to “kill Whitlam” in 1975
  3. Janet Albrechtsen (who’s previously argued in print that Mark Scott should resign) to oversee ABC board appointments. PM says decision was made by the secretary of the PM’s department, not the PM.
  4. Frightbat 2 - where it’s not threatening legal action to ring up someone and tell them they should have their lawyer check over what they’ve published criticising you.

Download "Australia, you're soaking in it."


#98 Clive's Troll

This week on Something Wonky, carbon pricing is back on the agenda in an unexpected way. We investigate the popularity of our PM and his cabinet, get carried away with social media outrage, and look at the reaction to putting journalists, but not editors into gaol.


  1. LAST MINUTE CLIEVSPLOSION as, moments before recording, Clive Palmer (with, bafflingly, Al Gore) announces he’ll vote for the abolition of the carbon tax, but only if there’s an ETS instead (like the carbon tax was supposed to transition into now), and PUP will vote against abolishing the RET, Clean Energy Finance Corporation, and the Climate Change Authority.
  2. The best laid plans
  3. Courage
  4. What a funny old fellow is Tony
  5. Darn those Greens
    • Greens join Labor and PUP in blocking indexing the fuel excise, because the Libs insist on putting it towards roads, or as the Greens put it a tax on the poor in areas which don’t have access to public transport.
    • (Which prompts the Oz to publish another hilarious editorial aimed at convincing all those wavering Greens voters who trust Australian editorials to abandon the party. Seriously, guys, what’s the point?)
    • Meanwhile Labor joins the Greens in vowing to vote against the chaplaincy program (but only bc they won’t accept any secular workers)
    • Labor asks a Victorian MP who’s fighting the Greens for her seat in Brunswick what they should do about their 2013 election loss - she concludes they should concentrate efforts on attacking the Greens.
  6. Social Media ANGRY
  7. Come on, Victoria


  1. Mark Latham tells Q&A that we have to persecute refugees to stop them drowning and Jeremy yells at his TV.
  2. High Court rules that Immigration Minister Scott Morrison cannot put an arbitrary cap on the number of protection visas issued in a year:

    In March, the minister signed a legal instrument saying a maximum of 2773 protection visas could be granted in the year to June 30.

    That maximum having been reached, no new protection visas could be granted.

    Asylum seekers who fell outside that quota, which was reached on March 24, 2014, were granted temporary safe haven visas but their primary applications remained undetermined.

  3. The Young Labor Left votes to withdraw campaigning and other support from candidates who do not publicly oppose mandatory detention and offshore processing
  4. Number of displaced people worldwide exceeds 50 million.
  5. Scott Morrison refuses to raise refugee intake when Labor offers bipartisan support for an increase from the pathetic 13,750 places the Liberals reduced it to, to 20,000. Morrison claims Australia is “doing its share of the heavy lifting” because he has no idea what that means or is a shameless liar.
  6. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), Law Council of Australia, and the Commissioner for Children and Young People Western Australia want to see the establishment of an independent guardian for unaccompanied [asylum seeker] children, even though Scott Morrison is totally looking after their interests.
  7. Another Tamil asylum seeker fearing torture if forced to return to Sri Lanka tries to self-immolate in Melbourne, fortunately is stopped.
  8. A refugee we forced to resettle on Nauru has drowned but the circumstances have not yet been released.
  9. Remember last week when Scott Morrison named and shamed the lawyer by name who was representing the asylum seekers suing the government over its failing to have appropriate rescue services on Christmas Island? The dog-whistle unleashes threatening abuse against the lawyer from white supremacist hate-groups.
  10. Meanwhile more religious leaders of various Jewish and Christian faiths joining together in the “Love Makes A Way” campaign are arrested peacefully protesting our cruelty to refugees by sitting in MPs’ electorate offices


  1. Coalition’s Lewis review of the ABC wants ABC to charge for iView, abandon digital radio, and otherwise just stop being something that people like and feel they’re getting value for their money from. Stop doing stuff Murdoch would like to charge for.
  2. Australian journalist Peter Greste jailed in Egypt for seven years by shameless authoritarians.
  3. Verdict in UK phone-hacking trial. Of the people at the top, Coulson found guilty, Brooks acquitted. Speculation she might be on her way to News Corp here? Meanwhile Scotland Yard want to interview Rupert Murdoch.
  4. Paul Barry RT’s something - The Oz turns it into a column

Download Episode 98 "Clive's Troll"