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1  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: April 16, 2014, 08:21:24 pm
I suspect this was a genuine mistake on his part, rather than a deliberate lie, however lying under oath is lying under oath, and that's what's brought him down - not that he accepted a bottle of wine. I suspect he won't have the book thrown at him, perhaps a plea bargain, or even if not, a not especially heavy sentence.

I hope it was a genuine mistake too. As you said though, lying under oath is lying under oath.

Again... I'm conflicted. The general view is... how the hell do you forget receiving a bottle of Grange, let alone one that is that rare and valuable AND writing a thank you note, to someone that you're in fairy regular contact with?

That's the part that bothers me... it just makes so little sense. Plus, if he was unsure... why make such a strong and clear denial? 'I'm not 100% sure, please let me check records so I can be accurate in my testimony' - the media wouldn't like it... but it at least would be accurate. The look of horror on his face when the phone record was produced last night ... was special.

So, part of me thinks he either genuinely forgot (which I find odd and little disturbing) or he oversold his denial thinking he could get away with it.

I agree with almost all of this (I think it can make a bit more sense, and that there may be a reason he felt he didn't need to check records before responding, but I'll come back to that). I have also heard the look on his face was something to behold - but I think it was due to a high level of stress at realising he'd completely painted himself into a corner with strong denials that have turned out to be untrue. I still think it was mistake, rather than malicious, but regardless, he realised he'd made very strong denials and evidence has come out that they are untrue. I can understand a look of horror.

Not only is it a weird thing to lie over, it doesn't feel like it's resignation material. Very good chance that this isn't the end of it. Could just be the beginning.

I do understand... when you've spent the last what? 5-7 years running around saying "they're corrupt, we are (and most importantly I am) clean..." The scent, the whiff of something off, was going to kill his brand.

I also agree with both points raised here, well, minus the "not the end/just the beginning" bit. I think Polnut absolutely hits the nail on the head, that he has made such a stand on integrity, made it his number one issue, he really needed to put his money where his mouth is when confronted with lying under oath.


I suspect he forgot because delegations from all over bring gifts to meetings with Ministers, Premiers, Prime Ministers, even meetings with backbenchers. They do receive a fair number of gifts, and I don't think it completely unreasonable to forget it - we found a bottle of wine in our wine rack on the weekend, which was very clearly a gift, and I have absolutely no idea from whom I received it nor when (Grange, I'd probably remember, but then again, perhaps Grange isn't as big a deal to someone who has reached the top of state politics). Anyway, this is the reason we have a Register of Members' Interests in all Parliaments across Australia - to avoid gifts being used as bribes, it's harder to do that if you have to declare gifts.

Members do forget (occasionally) to enter something into the Register. They normally add it on at a later date, when they realise, and make a very brief statement to Parliament in which they apologise for the error. It's no big deal to occasionally forget to add something, at least, not if you remember to add it later.

Given that he received it as a "congratulatory gift" following the election, it doesn't strike me as odd to think he received probably a fair number of gifts and notes and the like at about that time, plus all the briefings to get him up to speed on forming government - that transitional period is very busy. I can completely understand why he may have forgotten receiving it.

I think he felt he could make such a strong statement, both to ICAC and to the media, because he checked his Pecuniary Interests forms beforehand - he was called to give evidence, not just for the sake of giving evidence, but because a previous witness testified that he'd sent this bottle of wine. I think that as soon as that witness's testimony was given, someone in the Premier's Office would have been checking the Register for that item, and not finding it. The Premier would have been fully briefed that it doesn't appear on the Register, and he would have prepared specifically for that question prior to giving evidence. Remember: the question didn't just pop up at a media conference, or when a journalist asked to follow up a lead - he wouldn't have needed to say "I'll go and check my records" because he would already have done so. His failure here doesn't relate to not giving a tentative answer when he should have, the failure is in the record keeping.


I am most likely biased, and I do have a tendency to trust people and take them at their word - or at the very least, look for a way in which they aren't deliberately being untruthful, but maybe through a misunderstanding or through miscommunication may be attempting to be honest but mistakingly giving a false answer. I try to over-ride my biases when it comes to MPs caught out on issues in their personal lives (as opposed to policy - and I consider bribery and corruption a personal flaw, not a policy flaw) by trying to objectively ask myself how I'd respond if the MP was on the opposite side - if a criticism is levelled at a Liberal MP, I ask myself if I'd be defending their actions if they were a Labor MP, and if it's a Labor MP, I ask myself if I'd be criticising them if they were a Liberal. I may not actively criticise a Liberal/defend a Labor MP publicly, or here on the Forum, but I certainly would in private with close friends (and the absence of recording devices!!!). Indeed, there was a Labor MP criticised for something in the past twelve months, where I refused to comment on the allegations because I believed the MP's version of events, and in private I did comment on them because when people asked me what I thought, I thought it important to voice my opinion that I thought the MP was being a bit hard-done-by (for reference, I don't think anyone on here would even remember the MP/incident, it was in the paper for about a day or two before it died down).

Anyway, that said, I may be biased in this, but I honestly think O'Farrell has done nothing maliciously wrong. I certainly don't believe he acted corruptly: there is nothing wrong with accepting a bottle of wine, even a $3,000 bottle of wine (assuming it is declared). There is also nothing wrong with honestly forgetting to declare it (though there are very important reasons why it needs to be declared, especially when it's received from someone so caught up in corruption allegations - I don't think it's resign-worthy, though). I think he honestly had forgotten that he'd received the wine, that he checked to make sure, that he felt he could make these statements under oath and again to the media. I think that the mention of the phonecall and his look of horror was not that he'd failed to bury the evidence, but that moment when the penny dropped that obviously he had received it and that he was now in the position where his entire career was unravelling before his eyes. I feel terribly and utterly sorry for the man and I empathise with that punch to the guts he must have been feeling.

Having therefore lied under oath, even if unintentionally, although I think he may have been able to weather the storm (at a greatly reduced popularity in the polls), he really had to resign. I think most people would have tried going on, but I think O'Farrell knew the horrible decision he had to make and I think he followed his conscience and felt it was the only way he could maintain at least part of his integrity.

If further evidence comes out that he had, in fact, acted corruptly, I reserve my right to change my opinion of O'Farrell, but I honestly believe he did the right, honourable and noble thing in resigning, and that he did so at great personal cost, and I think that demonstrates the importance he places in his own integrity.
2  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Game of Thrones on: April 15, 2014, 10:17:44 pm
Redacted.

Spoiling Game of Thrones isn't going to get you on the most notorious posters list.

Quoting spoilers from a poster on ignore isn't so crash hot, either...
3  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: April 15, 2014, 09:34:09 pm
I suspect this was a genuine mistake on his part, rather than a deliberate lie, however lying under oath is lying under oath, and that's what's brought him down - not that he accepted a bottle of wine. I suspect he won't have the book thrown at him, perhaps a plea bargain, or even if not, a not especially heavy sentence.
4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Dad's Kiss. on: April 15, 2014, 02:10:50 am
Hahahaha. They were very popular here in the south back in the day. (90s)

They seemed to be especially popular among salespeople. I was doing sales for a company back in the late 90s, and they had the full collection in the sales office break room. I may be mis-remembering, but I'm pretty sure the sales manager would read a story from the book during each sales meeting as an illustration for a point he was trying to make - and if it wasn't used sometime during the meeting, he'd read one at the end of the meeting to make up for it. I don't think I've ever known a sales manager with any real substance, they've all been so superficial. Spinning the bulltish may help you get girls sales, but it seemed so fake to me (mods - happy to [Inks] that word, but it was used recently in Parliament and was not considered unparliamentary, so I suspect it passes the standard to be used here).
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Happy Birthday ChairmanSanchez! on: April 14, 2014, 11:53:44 pm
Happy Birthday, mate!
6  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of walking on: April 14, 2014, 08:15:41 pm
I love it, although not quite so much as strolling.

Wouldn't that be a type of walking?

Yes, I was splitting hairs.

Smid strolls with the beautiful Mrs Smid so it counts. Smiley

She actually hates walking. She runs to keep fit, but strangely hates walking. I think probably has something to do with wearing heels or something.
7  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of walking on: April 14, 2014, 07:12:15 pm
I love it, although not quite so much as strolling.

Wouldn't that be a type of walking?

Yes, I was splitting hairs.
8  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How many British Prime Minister can you name? on: April 14, 2014, 07:10:44 pm
Yeah, I was pathetic. I completely blitzed the Australian one, though (not quite as well as I once would have - I used to name them in order, I had to stop and think and come back on a couple of them this time).
9  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Bacon King Institute of Comedy on: April 14, 2014, 07:09:19 pm
British comedy is much more subtle than American comedy.
10  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of walking on: April 14, 2014, 06:35:22 pm
I love it, although not quite so much as strolling.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Australian electorate maps - by poll/locality/postcode on: April 14, 2014, 06:16:20 pm
Awesome job, mate!
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Canadian by-elections, 2013 on: April 14, 2014, 06:15:48 pm
Great work, Krago!
13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: April 14, 2014, 02:01:20 am
Former independent Senator Brian Harradine has passed away

Quote from: The Australian
BRIAN Harradine, Australia’s longest-serving Parliamentary independent, who used his position in the balance of power of in the senate to help pass the Howard government’s Wik legislation on indigenous land title but opposed the GST, has died in Tasmania.

The former independent Tasmanian senator died this afternoon surrounded by family members.

A family spokesman said Harradine, 79, died after a long illness.

“Brian Harradine was a great politician of the old school who connected with people from all walks of life,’’ he said.

Harradine, a trade union executive who was expelled from the ALP as part of the infighting over communism in the 1950s, was elected as an independent senator in 1975 and served in the Senate for 29 years before retiring in 2005.
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update Season XIV: The new chapter on: April 14, 2014, 12:01:09 am
Today's message and this evening's Palm Sunday Prayer Service at church really hit home for me in a lot of areas we've been discussing here on this Update thread so I'm going to try something over the next week.  I'm going to try to Update less and live more and continue doing something about the mess I'm in.  I know there's an easy way out of it, I just have to find the path that works the best for me.  I can't talk my way out of this paper bag.  I'm going to try to slither out of the bag for a while.  I'll post occasional updates here, but, at least for a while, I'm going to try to focus on climbing out of this rut.  When I say things could be a lot better or a lot worse.  That is true, but while God gives me the breath and the health, why not at least attempt to make things better?  It won't happen overnight, but by God's strength and some hard work on my part, I can do it.  Everybody agree?

I think this is the point that everyone has been trying to make.

Edit: Just on this page is a quote that is perhaps harder-hitting, but still seems to be similar to the message at your service:

...I have a great God who loves me and is with me every step of the way and is in complete control of my life.  I'm not a perfect Christian (nobody is), but I do the best I can and I trust my God will make my job search fruitful.

Stop. Stop. STAHP!!! This is why Oklahoma is full of people like you - un(der)employed, overweight people who spend an absurd amount of time and resources on unhealthy, counterproductive behavior but insist it's all okay because "we're all sinners"/"Jesus loves me"/"If God didn't want me to be a fat f#$%, he'd send a sign from the Heavens that I need to stop being a fat f@#$."

Yes, God loves you, Bushie. But guess what, God loves everyone. There's nothing particularly distinguishing about God loving you. But God also dealt you a lot of very high cards in life - you're not physically or mentally disabled, you grew up in an intact family, you were born in America rather than, say, Rwanda or East Timor. And what have you done with all of that? Nothing. You've taken a perfectly able body and ruined it with an awful diet and a lazy lifestyle. You have a mind but don't seem interested in using it. You take advantage of your parents' means and generosity. Did I miss anything?

Bushie, the only person or entity who can or should have control over your life is you. And it's high time you actually took some control over the rudderless, drifting boat that is your life and found a port to steer it in to, because if you don't, sooner or later it's going to sink. You are the master of your fate, you are the captain of your soul, blah, blah, blah.
15  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Canada General Discussion 1.5: The Countdown Begins on: April 13, 2014, 10:46:05 pm
On the flip-side, I have heard that Joe Comartin is a genuinely nice guy.
16  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Canada General Discussion 1.5: The Countdown Begins on: April 13, 2014, 08:15:03 pm
Good riddance to the worst specimen of human scum.

No, if he were human scum, we would've given him the Order of Canada.

Now we just need to get rid of the Member for Vancouver East.

What's wrong with Libby Davies? I would've thought the most hated NDPer would be Pat Martin.

I haven't had any personal interactions with her, but from what I've heard, she's very intolerant of conservatives generally - so her attitude more than anything. Plus, her stance on Israel makes her pretty much the left-wing version of Rob Anders.
17  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Canada General Discussion 1.5: The Countdown Begins on: April 13, 2014, 06:25:03 pm
Good riddance to the worst specimen of human scum.

No, if he were human scum, we would've given him the Order of Canada.

Now we just need to get rid of the Member for Vancouver East.
18  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Canada General Discussion 1.5: The Countdown Begins on: April 13, 2014, 06:21:56 pm

I'm a big fan of James Rajotte. If he won the leadership, I'd have to seriously consider my provincial party support.

But, as you say, the real nomination of interest is Edmonton-St Albert, and I have my fingers crossed for a good result there.
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: By-elections of the 44th Australian Parliament (2013-2016) on: April 11, 2014, 10:06:32 pm
So ... this isn't technically an election of the current Federal Parliament - but there is the risk that if the NT Country Liberals do not win the Blaine by-election today - since they'd technically go into minority status (12/25) it could trigger a motion of no-confidence and an immediate election be called.

There's only been one poll (electorate-level polling caveat considered) and it has the CLP up 51-49 (off a previous CLP margin of 15%)... so a big swing it probably on, how big and it's impacts remains to be seen.

Antony Green also discussed it. Electorates are exceptionally small, so relatively few voters can result in massive swings, hence why margins up there are notoriously poor indicators of potential performance in a by-election. Personal vote is very important, too, for the same reason, so a by-election (or other retiring member at a general election) typically sees a strong swing against. Bearing in mind this was one of the few seats the CLP held in the landslide loss a few elections back, and the retiring member is the former Chief Minister (for foreign posters, the Territories don't have Premiers, they have Chief Ministers).
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Quebec: April 7, 2014 on: April 11, 2014, 10:03:27 pm
QS vote map very interesting. Looks like improvement in the Francophone areas and decrease in the Anglophone areas, suggesting it was possibly a protest party last election for disaffected Liberals (who returned home this election) and a protest party for disaffected PQ's this election.

And a good deal of the CAQ decrease was likewise in the Anglo areas; where they, too, acted as a token viable/non-separatist "protest vote" safe zone in 2012...

That makes a lot of sense, too. I had mis-read the CAQ vs PQ map (was looking at it on my phone on the train this morning) and had got the two parties in the reverse order, which made some sense to me, given the number of seats the CAQ lost in and around Quebec City.

Remember Smid, I use "Atlas colours" Wink Much like Dave Leip's colour reversal, I have reversed the PQ and CAQ colours (Wikipedia agrees with me though). I'd prefer to keep all conservative parties blue and all separatist parties in teal.

I completely agree with your colour usage. Not sure why I confused them initially - possibly due to the vote in Southern Montreal (specifically, the area adma refers, above), since those are areas where PQ is particularly weak.
21  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Which kitchen would you prefer? on: April 11, 2014, 02:06:23 am
Good job! I didn't pick up on your use of parody until your comment about those stools with the thick cushions, as being uncomfortable. I should have realised earlier, in hindsight, describing cramped as "functional" should have been something of a giveaway, especially when the first kitchen has so much prepatory space, and also your reference to a cluttered pile of unwashed dishes in the sink as something desirable, rather than as a hygiene issue.

The microwave in the second picture is also a safety hazard - completely insane to heat, for example, a bowl of soup in the microwave - and then burn your fingers and let go of the bowl... while it is over your head.

As for the skillet and olive oil, as MaxQue said - the olive oil is probably in the cupboard next to the stove, and the skillet is probably in the deep drawer below the stove top. That other kitchen is so cluttered it would be a challenge finding anything. The neat order of the first kitchen is much easier to navigate.

What is it like being awful ?

My apologies, I didn't mean for you to take it that way. I didn't expect you to take my criticism of the second kitchen so personally. I'm sorry for any offence I caused.

I'm led to believe than it's a picture of his kitchen.

Ah, I guess that makes sense, I hadn't realised. I'd assumed they were just two pictures posted off the internet. The initial post read to me like an "I'm so humble" boast, as in "I'm so humble, such a good little social democrat. I wouldn't want to live in this mansion, even if it was offered to me", which is very easy to say when no one is offering it to you. It just felt a bit contrived.

Given that it's actually his place, there is a real virtue in being satisfied in your own belongings, without constantly being jealous of what others have.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Quebec: April 7, 2014 on: April 10, 2014, 09:58:44 pm
Thanks. I hope PKP runs and they elect him leader.

On that point, I obviously disagree with you.

I can't support that enemy or labor and workers. He was a terrible and oppressive boss at Quebecor and is still the owner of Sun News, home of Quebec-bashing.

I can't neither support Bernard Drainville, the father of the Charte.

Given RB's opinion of PQ, I suspect he wants him to be elected leader due to the damage it would cause the party. I could be misinterpretting, though.
23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Which kitchen would you prefer? on: April 10, 2014, 09:52:07 pm
Good job! I didn't pick up on your use of parody until your comment about those stools with the thick cushions, as being uncomfortable. I should have realised earlier, in hindsight, describing cramped as "functional" should have been something of a giveaway, especially when the first kitchen has so much prepatory space, and also your reference to a cluttered pile of unwashed dishes in the sink as something desirable, rather than as a hygiene issue.

The microwave in the second picture is also a safety hazard - completely insane to heat, for example, a bowl of soup in the microwave - and then burn your fingers and let go of the bowl... while it is over your head.

As for the skillet and olive oil, as MaxQue said - the olive oil is probably in the cupboard next to the stove, and the skillet is probably in the deep drawer below the stove top. That other kitchen is so cluttered it would be a challenge finding anything. The neat order of the first kitchen is much easier to navigate.

What is it like being awful ?

My apologies, I didn't mean for you to take it that way. I didn't expect you to take my criticism of the second kitchen so personally. I'm sorry for any offence I caused.
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Bacon King Institute of Comedy on: April 10, 2014, 09:08:53 pm
write-in: kljackson

Good catch.  I can't think of a single kljackson post that isn't notorious on its own.  Then combine all those notorious posts into his entire posting history, and, well…..

25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Quebec: April 7, 2014 on: April 10, 2014, 09:05:47 pm
QS vote map very interesting. Looks like improvement in the Francophone areas and decrease in the Anglophone areas, suggesting it was possibly a protest party last election for disaffected Liberals (who returned home this election) and a protest party for disaffected PQ's this election.

And a good deal of the CAQ decrease was likewise in the Anglo areas; where they, too, acted as a token viable/non-separatist "protest vote" safe zone in 2012...

That makes a lot of sense, too. I had mis-read the CAQ vs PQ map (was looking at it on my phone on the train this morning) and had got the two parties in the reverse order, which made some sense to me, given the number of seats the CAQ lost in and around Quebec City.
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