James Murdoch’s resignation is the result of News Corp’s increasing shift to the right – not just on climate



In happier times: Lachlan, Rupert and James Murdoch at Rupert’s marriage to Jerry Hall in 2016.

Rodney Tiffen, University of Sydney

James Murdoch is not the most obvious candidate for editorial heroism. His route to resigning from the News Corp board because of “disagreements over certain editorial content” has been circuitous and colourful.

James’s first major managerial role in his father’s media empire was to run the Star satellite services and News Corp’s Asian operations in Hong Kong from 2000 to 2003. He had mixed commercial success in this period, which is best remembered for his determination to gain access to the Chinese market by currying favour with the government.

He accused Western media of painting a falsely negative portrayal of China through their focus on controversial issues such as human rights and Taiwan. In 2001, he advised Hong Kong’s democracy movement to “accept the reality of life under a strong-willed absolutist government”. In one of his dealings with China, he agreed that Murdoch’s cable channels around the world would take China’s propaganda channel CCTV9.




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In 2003, he was promoted to run BSkyB in London, where he lived for the best part of the next decade, and where he successfully expanded Murdoch’s satellite services.

He gained early notoriety with a confrontational speech at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. Here he celebrated the digital age and the dynamism of the market, and equated people who still believed in regulation with “creationists”. There was no doubt about his primary target:

To let the state enjoy a near monopoly of information is to guarantee manipulation and distortion.

Yet we have a system in which state-sponsored media – the BBC in particular – grow ever more dominant. That process has to be reversed.

It takes a particularly agile propagandist to find the Beijing regime so benign and the BBC so sinister.

James’s main aim at the time was to effect a total takeover of BSkyB, raising News Corp’s current share of 40% to 100%. The importance of BSkyB to the Murdoch empire was demonstrated by James’s boldest and most ruthless action. In 2006, the newly formed Virgin Media group was negotiating a merger with ITV. The new group’s cable operations would have the potential to provide tougher competition for BSkyB’s satellite service.

Overnight, James swooped, buying 17.9% of ITV for a cost of GBP 940 million. This made News Corp ITV’s biggest shareholder and messed up the intended deal.

News’s move was always likely to be deemed illegal, but by the time this was finally decided nearly four years later, the challenge was dead. News lost GBP 340 million pounds on its forced sale of ITV shares, but no doubt Rupert and James thought this had been a good investment to protect BSkyB’s market share.

After the 2010 election of the Cameron government in the UK, BSkyB looked to be within reach, but James was increasingly impatient with any procedural obstacle or criticism of the attempt. His mentality at the time was on show in an incident in the lead up to the election. The Independent newspaper ran a series of advertisements proclaiming its independence and urging its readers to consider their vote. One such ad ran “Rupert Murdoch won’t decide this election, you will”.

James’s response was bizarre. He and Rebekah Brooks arrived unannounced at the paper, and James yelled at the editor, Simon Kelner, in front of bemused journalists that he was a “fucking fuckwit”, among other things.

AAP/AP/Sang Tan
James Murdoch with Rebekah Brooks in 2011.

Phone hacking scandal

James’s hopes for BSkyB were about to be washed away by a scandal, which did him and the company enormous damage. After the outstanding investigative efforts of Nick Davies, the Guardian published that Murdoch’s News of the World had hacked the phone of a kidnap victim Milly Dowler. This not only created immediate outrage but opened the door for many further revelations about the illegal methods and invasions of privacy by the tabloids to follow. Parliamentary hearings, court cases, and eventually the Leveson inquiry all put the company’s illegal and unethical practices into public view.

At first the arrogance of the Murdoch camp was undented. In private, chief editorial executive Rebekah Brooks said the story was going to end with Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger on his knees begging for mercy.

James, as News Corp’s senior executive in Britain when the scandal broke, found his own actions under scrutiny. His denials, prevarications and lack of remorse did not help the company’s cause. His appearances before the parliamentary committees were disastrous. At the end of his testimony, Labour member Tom Watson said

Mr Murdoch, you must be the first mafia boss in history who didn’t know he was running a criminal enterprise.

Climate change denial

James left London for New York and his promised promotion in the company. But his reputation was in tatters, even with other members of the family. His public persona at this time consisted of neo-liberal politics and corporate ruthlessness, with his actions untroubled by ethical considerations.

Yet, now, this corporate and family loyalist has resigned from his last official position with the company. James has long seen the urgency of combating global warming. As early as 2006, largely at his urging, Rupert also embraced the issue. Rupert soon retreated from the cause, but James’s commitment continued.

Rupert’s conversion had surprisingly little impact on the company’s journalism. Its upper editorial echelons contained a large number of climate denialists, and Rupert seems to have never made any effort to change their views.




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In addition, James’s wife, Kathryn, is by the rather special standards of the Murdoch family, a liberal and a progressive. She has been involved in several environmental organisations, and James and Kathryn have donated to several Democratic candidates, including most recently the presidential campaign of Joe Biden.

James made a rare public criticism of the company last Australian summer. He accused News Corp of promoting climate denialism during its coverage of the Australian bushfires.

Out of step

However the key events are probably in America. At the same time that James and Kathryn have been edging left, the Murdoch organisation has been moving ever further to the right. The commercial success and political impact of Fox News have doubtless shaped Rupert’s thinking and the whole company’s journalism has become more Foxified.

There has rarely if ever been an alliance of president and media company like that of Trump with Fox News. He is their chief publicist and they an uncritical avenue for his views, especially to his base. So far, it has probably worked out well for both.




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However, the dangers are acute, especially as Trump’s popularity wanes. Moreover, an erratic president such as Trump poses problems for the credibility of those who seek to embrace his every twist and turn.

This year’s pandemic, economic and racial problems have given a new urgency to these issues. Over the past six months, there have been more than double the fatalities Americans suffered in over 12 years in the Vietnam War. It is hard to remember any leadership failure approaching Trump’s catastrophe on COVID-19. Some early studies suggested Trump’s denialism, echoed by Fox, meant their viewers had more false beliefs about the pandemic than Americans who consumed mainstream media.

After Trump’s comments after a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, James donated $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League.

James has taken a principled stance, but it is also pragmatic. Since the sale of the bulk of Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox assets to Disney (of which James was chief executive), there is no future role for him in the corporation.

By also resigning from the News Corp Board, he will be freer to express his own views, and perhaps have the chance to watch from a distance as Trump is defeated and Fox heads into decline together in the coming months.The Conversation

Rodney Tiffen, Emeritus Professor, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Russian government resignation: what’s just happened and what’s in store for Putin beyond 2024?


Graeme Gill, University of Sydney

News came from Moscow overnight that the Russian government had resigned, followed by the announcement that Putin would be recommending the current prime minister Dmitry Medvedev be replaced by the head of the tax office, Mikhail Mishustin.

Why has the government resigned, and what does it mean for the future?

Prior to the government’s resignation, President Vladimir Putin announced a series of proposed changes to the constitution to be placed before the people in a future referendum. In announcing the government’s resignation, Medvedev hinted that their resignation was to facilitate the progression of the proposed constitutional reforms.




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What changes did Putin propose?

Among others, Putin proposed that in the constitution:

  • international law should apply in Russia only if it does not contradict the constitution or restrict peoples’ rights and freedoms. This, he said, was a question of sovereignty

  • leading political figures should not have foreign citizenship or the right to live permanently in another state. As well as these qualifications, the president must have lived in Russia for the last 25 years

  • the president should not be able to hold the presidency for two consecutive terms (although Putin said he doesn’t think this is a matter of principle)

  • the prime minister and all ministers should be appointed by the State Duma (parliament) instead of the president, who would have no right to reject those appointments

  • the role of the State Council (an advisory body) should be expanded and strengthened

  • the independence of judges should be enshrined and protected.

The most important of these proposed changes (along with that of judicial independence) is that of moving the power to form the government from the president into the legislature.

If this was done and a truly accountable form of government was established, it would be a major advance on how the system has worked up until now.

But in the same speech, Putin argued that Russia needed to remain a presidential, not a parliamentary, republic. These two positions seem at odds with one another and a potential recipe for constitutional confusion.

Why has Putin suggested this change?

One reason may be dissatisfaction with the government’s performance. The implication from Putin’s speech, and from many other comments, is that both the governance of Russia and the current government have been deficient.

Governance is seen by Putin to be hampered by the lack of a direct constitutional line between president and ministers, and this would be resolved by making the prime minister the key person in the policy sphere rather than the president.

This would be facilitated by removing the president’s power to choose the identity of the prime minister and some ministers. The government’s resignation could be seen as a response to the dissatisfaction with its performance.

But also relevant is power politics. Putin is due to step down as president in 2024. Thoughts are already turning to the question of the succession, in particular, will Putin go, and if so, who will replace him?




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The current Constitution forbids Putin from standing for another presidential term in 2024. The last time he faced this question in 2008, Putin stepped down as president and became prime minister. The potential beefing up of the prime ministership under these proposals might make this strategy again attractive.

But in 2024 Putin will be 73, and it is not clear that he would really want to be involved in the sort of day-to-day policy discussions a prime minister must involve himself in. He has already been showing some irritation with the policy process.

However beefing up and reshaping the State Council could provide a slot into which a post-presidential Putin could move, giving him some continuing oversight powers while not making him drown in policy details and paper.

This is surmise. But what is undoubtedly true is that this is only the first public move in what is likely to be a prolonged process of succession and power transfer in Russia.The Conversation

Graeme Gill, Professor, Department of Government and Public Administration, University of Sydney

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Liberals lose yet another high-profile woman, yet still no action on gender


Mark Kenny, Australian National University

Liberal women must surely be asking why their party is so clear-eyed when facilitating the departure of competent women, and yet so mealy-mouthed about recruiting and promoting them.

Prominent among Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s comments on Kelly O’Dwyer’s retirement to pursue family life, was to say he supported his minister’s decision, and indeed supported all such choices by women.

Such clarity has been conspicuously absent from the Liberal Party’s leadership since its now widely accepted “women” problem came to the fore in 2018 amid claims of bullying, implied career threats, ingrained gender bias, and other generally oafish behaviour.

Even more opaque has been the Liberal Party’s puzzling refusal to broach any corrective action to address a powerful internal preference for men, when selecting candidates in winnable seats. This, despite a miserable return of just 13 female MPs of its 76 in the lower house after the 2016 election.

It is even worse now, and voters are on to it.

Not the first such departure

O’Dwyer is the second female Liberal from Victoria to call it quits in six months after her friend, the talented rookie backbencher Julia Banks, spectacularly called time on the party in the wake of Malcolm Turnbull’s brutal ouster.

Banks went to the cross bench to form a quartet of competent female moderates with past ties or sympathies to the centre-right – Banks, Kerryn Phelps, Rebekha Sharkie, and Cathy McGowan.

There have been other high-profile departures this term also on family grounds with two frontbenchers on the Labor side – former minister Kate Ellis, and rising star Tim Hammond – both bowing out.

That federal politics is hard on families and relationships is hardly news, but the slew of resignations / defections underscores how little has been done to change things.

And poignant, given her portfolio

In any event, O’Dwyer’s retreat is arguably the most pointed given the current debate, her particular government portfolio, her hard-won ministerial seniority, and her party’s woes.

It makes Liberal retention of her previously safe Melbourne seat of Higgins somewhere between problematic and unlikely.

On the social media platform Twitter where cynicism and vitriol flows freely from people hiding behind false identities, her departure has been met with some appallingly personal abuse, exaggerated outrage, and claims she was merely a rat leaving a sinking ship.

It is true that retaining the seat would have been no certainty even with O’Dwyer still as the candidate, especially given Victoria’s recent anti-conservative tendencies in state election races, but with a new candidate, the Liberal jewel is undoubtedly more vulnerable.

Feminists will be aggrieved to see another senior woman go but they might also be quietly disappointed in her stated reasons.

In contradistinction to some of her predecessors, O’Dwyer, did substantive work as minister for women, and unlike some, gave the impression of actually believing in the mission.

She also garnered respect from across the aisle and within the press gallery as a person of warmth and humility – stand-out qualities on Capital Hill.

It is a portfolio she believed in

O’Dwyer created enemies however on her party’s increasingly reactionary right flank by outlining the challenges for women – especially in politics – acknowledging the Liberal Party’s poor image in some quarters.

She was even reputed to have told colleagues they were seen as a bunch of “homophobic, anti-women, climate change deniers”.

Her introduction of a women’s economic security statement last year was another material achievement resisted by some as political correctness.

But in declaring her job’s incompatibility with family life, there was an unmistakable note of resignation, even defeat in O’Dwyer’s “choice”. And coming from the minister most directly involved in remediating that problem for women, her resignation cannot help but reinforce the message that politics may well be no place for women.

Morrison’s superficially virtuous support for the choices for women, was no help either – typical of much conservative sophistry around this whole issue.

Morrison isn’t helping

Masquerading as a pro-choice feminist while endorsing a senior colleague’s decision to give up her career for child-rearing and home duties takes some chutzpah.

An alternative approach might have been to lament her departure as symptomatic of a flawed representational system, acknowledge the failure of politics to renovate its male paradigm, and vow to change the culture in material ways.

It might even be called leadership.

For a government laced with longstanding (if undeclared) quotas for ministerial selection – think ratios in the ministry applied to the number of Libs to Nats, House to Senate, moderates to conservatives, and even between states – the blind spot over women’s under-representation and the philosophical objection to corrective action (quotas) is all the more bizarre.

It is a mark of how far conservative Liberals have drifted from contemporary public attitudes and even their own philosophy that some would countenance re-nationalising of energy assets and building new coal-fired power stations before correcting a clear market imperfection within their own organisation.




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And with speculation that Julie Bishop could also withdraw from the 2019 field, the situation facing Morrison’s Liberals threatens to deepen.

Through all of this, voters’ views come second.

Not so long ago, Bishop was easily the most popular alternative to Malcolm Turnbull in voter land but such unrivalled public support was good for just 11 votes in the party room.The Conversation

Mark Kenny, Senior Fellow, Australian Studies Institute, Australian National University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

View from The Hill: O’Dwyer’s decision turns the spotlight onto Bishop


Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

The political down time over summer can be something of a respite for
an embattled government. But for Scott Morrison, it has just brought
more setbacks. The weekend announcement by cabinet minister Kelly
O’Dwyer that she will leave parliament at the election is the latest
and most serious.

O’Dwyer says she wants to see more of her two young children, and
would like to have a third, which involves medical challenges.

Her decision is understandable. The first woman to have a baby while a
federal cabinet minister has been juggling an enormous load.

But with the general expectation that the Morrison government is
headed for opposition, many people will think (rightly or wrongly)
that O’Dwyer was also influenced by the likelihood she faced the grind
of opposition, which is a lot less satisfying than the burden of
office.

Bad timing for the minister for women

Her insistence at Saturday’s joint news conference with Morrison
that he will win the election won’t convince anyone.

If the Liberals didn’t have their acute “woman problem”, O’Dwyer’s
jumping ship wouldn’t be such a concern. She’s been a competent
minister, not an outstanding performer. She was not in “future leader”
lists.

But it’s altogether another matter to have your minister for women
bailing out when there has been a huge argument about the dearth of
females in Coalition ranks, damaging allegations of bullying within
the Liberal party, and high profile Victorian backbencher Julia Banks
deserting to the crossbench.

All in all, the Liberal party is presenting a very poor face to women
voters. It was O’Dwyer herself who told colleagues last year that the
Liberals were widely regarded as “homophobic, anti-women,
climate-change deniers”.

Anti-women climate-change deniers?

An effort earlier this month to have assistant ministers Sarah
Henderson and Linda Reynolds talk up the Liberals’ credentials on women looked like the gimmick it was.

O’Dwyer says she has “no doubt” her successor as the Higgins candidate will be a woman. Morrison also says he thinks there will be a female replacement.

But this just highlights how the Liberal party’s failure to bring
enough women through the ranks now forces it into unfortunate corners.

The candidate will be chosen by a local preselection. As one
journalist quipped at the news conference, is the situation that blokes needn’t apply?

And what if a man happened to win? Remember Morrison’s experience in the Wentworth byelection, where he wanted a woman and the preselectors gave him Dave Sharma?




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Sharma was generally considered a good candidate – and Morrison is happy for him to have his second try against independent Kerryn Phelps at the general election.

Assuming, however, that Higgins preselectors heed the gender call,
it seems they will have some strong female contenders to choose from.

Paediatrician Katie Allen, who contested the state election, has
flagged she will run; Victorian senator Jane Hume is considering a
tilt.

There is inevitable speculation about whether former Abbott chief-
of-staff Peta Credlin might chance her arm for preselection.

But her hard-edged political stance would be a risk in an electorate
where the Greens have been strong – savvy Liberals point out a climate
sceptic wouldn’t play well there. And it would be embarrassing for her
if she ran for preselection and was defeated.

O’Dwyer rejects the suggestion she was swayed by the possibility she
might lose Higgins. Some Liberals were pessimistic about the seat
after the party’s drubbing in the Victorian election, and Labor was
ahead in two-party terms in a poll it commissioned late last year.




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But the government has a 10% margin in two-party terms against Labor, and despite the polling the ALP doesn’t expect to win the seat. (In 2016 the Greens finished second.)

O’Dwyer, who is also minister for jobs and industrial relations,
remains in her positions and in cabinet until the election.
Understandably Morrison would not want a reshuffle. But having a lame
duck minister in the important IR portfolio is less than optimal.

Attention turns to Bishop

Inevitably O’Dwyer’s announcement has turned attention onto the future
of former deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop. Bishop has said she is
contesting the election but there is continuing speculation she might
withdraw.

While she has previously left open the possibility of running for the
opposition leadership this makes no sense.

Now in her early 60s, her chances of ever becoming PM would be
virtually nil if Labor won with a good majority and was set for two
terms. That’s if she had the numbers to get the leadership in the
first place.

It is assumed Bishop has said she’s staying so she stymies any replacement
she doesn’t want (such as attorney-general Christian Porter whose own
seat is at risk) and can secure a candidate she favours.

Even though she’s a backbencher now, it would be a another blow for
the Liberals if Bishop does decide to retire at the election.




Read more:
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She was humiliated when she received only a handful of votes in the
August leadership ballot. Her treatment left her deeply angry,
especially because none of her Western Australian colleagues supported
her.

But out in the community she is very popular and many voters still
can’t understand why, when there was a change of prime minister, she
was not the one chosen.

If Bishop were to walk away, she would be making a rational decision.
But it would send another powerful negative vibe to voters about
the Liberal party and women.


UPDATE: Jane Hume, interviewed on the ABC on Monday morning, has
ruled out running for the Higgins preselection.

UPDATE: In reply to queries to her office, Bishop said on Monday: “I am pre-selected as the member for Curtin and it is my intention to run”.The Conversation

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Luke Foley’s resignation is a disaster for Labor but may not bolster Berejiklian much either



File 20181109 116841 4xo4rr.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
Luke Foley holds his resignation press conference, in a disaster for Labor as it prepares for an election in just over four months.

Michael Hogan, University of Sydney

The resignation of Luke Foley as Labor opposition leader in New South Wales is a disaster for the party as it faces a March 23 general election – but it isn’t necessarily great news for the ailing Berejiklian government either.

To form a judgement about the impact of Foley’s resignation on Labor’s electoral chances, just take a look at the state of play about a month ago.

First, we need to look at how the government and opposition were travelling before Corrections Minister David Elliott accused Foley of sexual misconduct under parliamentary privilege on October 18, effectively setting off Labor’s leadership crisis.

Virtually all media attention was on the performance of the Berejiklian government and on the premier herself. Foley was little known and little regarded. However, he was steering the ship with some skill, albeit with occasional problems.

It says a great deal about the low political esteem in which the government was held that, even without a popular opposition leader, the Coalition was seen to be in electoral difficulty. Not that a wager on a Labor victory would have been a safe bet back then, either. Still, the Coalition was likely to lose seats and quite likely to lose majority status in parliament at the upcoming elections.

Nothing has changed on that side of politics. Berejiklian still faces discontent about her hasty policy decisions and frequent backtracking; uncompleted grand projects like the new tram network and WestConnex remain problems rather than achievements.




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Add to that the difficulties over electoral support for the Coalition – especially for the National Party in regional New South Wales, and there is a flow-on from the disastrous performance of both Coalition parties at the federal level.

The unhappy picture only gets worse with the prospect of factional warfare in the Liberal Party as conservatives, led by Tony Abbott, attempt to take control of pre-selections and the state party machinery in the next few months.

Maybe the present crisis in the Labor Party will also have a negative effect on the Coalition, since David Elliott’s intervention smacks of the worst kind of “bear pit” politics that brings party politics into disrepute.

A mea culpa from Foley might have helped

Still, the Foley resignation is a disaster for the prospects of the Labor Party. Perhaps a quick transfer of power to a new leader, and apologies all round, might have left the party with a chance of winning the election. But Foley’s stated determination to fight the accusation with defamation proceedings makes the situation worse.

Foley can hope to remedy his plight only if he can prove that the allegations against him are false. As the likely new leader of the party, deputy leader Michael Daley, has pointed out, it is not politically (or ethically) acceptable for a political leader to blame his alleged victim.

Daley is also the shadow planning minister, and served as a former roads and police minister before Labor lost government. After Foley stood down, Daley quickly emerged as the most likely successor.

He was Foley’s main rival in the wake of the resignation of former Labor leader John Robertson in 2014.

Foley’s likely successor urges Foley to leave parliament

Daley, quite sensibly, has said that Foley should consider his position, and resign from parliament, and presumably drop his plan to sue for defamation. Foley has since said he will not re-contest his seat in the March 2019 election.

Presuming that Daley is the new leader, he will have little time to assert his authority and impress the electorate. He has ministerial experience, but that was in the disastrous last Labor administration, which was thrown out of office for the corruption that resulted in two of his ministerial colleagues going to prison.

His reputation in the party is of experience and competence, but he can expect to be reminded of his friends and colleagues, Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald. That is a lot of baggage to carry.The Conversation

Michael Hogan, Associate Professor and Honorary Associate, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Xenophon’s shock resignation from Senate to run for state seat



File 20171006 9753 1bd8dwa
Nick Xenophon will resign from the Senate to pursue a career in South Australian politics.
AAP/David Mariuz

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

Key crossbencher Nick Xenophon, whose party commands three crucial Senate votes, has announced he will quit federal parliament to run for a state seat in the March South Australian election.

Xenophon’s shock announcement comes ahead of the High Court judging whether he is entitled to sit in parliament, because he is a dual Australian-British citizen by descent. The case will be in court next week, and a quick decision is expected after that.

His departure won’t change the numbers in the upper house. If he loses the court case, he will be replaced by the next candidate on the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) ticket. If he wins, his party will fill the casual vacancy he creates. Either way, the NXT will have three senators. It also has a House of Representative member, Rebekha Sharkie.

But Xenophon’s exit could substantially affect the dynamics in negotiations with the government. He has been a tough, canny but pragmatic bargainer, extracting concessions in return for supporting legislation. The two other senators in the NXT, Stirling Griff and Skye Kakoschke-Moore, only entered parliament at the 2016 election.

Xenophon said he would remain in the Senate until the High Court handed down its decision. He denied his decision to quit had been made because of the threat to his position.

Xenophon, heading a team of state SA-BEST candidates, said he would run in the electorate of Hartley, where he lives. It is a marginal seat held by the Liberals.

He hopes the party can gain the balance of power, but ruled out serving as a minister in a SA government. “Once you do that, you’re in the tent”, and then “you can’t be a fearless watchdog,” he said.

“Unashamedly, we want the balance of power to drive deep and lasting reforms in our state’s political institutions and our processes because there is a lack of transparency and accountability,” he said.

“Having candidates that get elected to hold the balance of power will be a game changer for lasting reforms for the state. It is coming from the political centre, not the extreme right or left.”

He plans to keep a strong hand in with the federal party. “I will, of course, still have a very active and direct role in decisions made at a federal level with NXT,” he said.

“With SA-BEST and NXT holding the balance of power in both the state parliament and the federal Senate, we will work together as a united team under my leadership to drive real change to improve the lives of all South Australians.”

Xenophon started in state politics, elected on an anti-poker-machine platform and serving in state parliament between 1997 and 2007, before winning a Senate seat at the 2007 election.

He said SA politics was “broken, politically bankrupt”.

“I’ve decided that you can’t fix South Australia’s problems in Canberra without first fixing our broken political system back home.” He said since last year’s massive power blackout in SA and its record power prices, “I have concluded they are symptoms of a much bigger and deeper problem”.

The ConversationSA was at a crossroads, he said. The state had long been falling behind because it had been failed by its leaders, parties and institutions.

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Mark Driscoll Resignation


The link below is to further news concerning the resignation of Mark Driscoll from the Mars Hill Church pastorate in Seattle, USA.

For more visit:
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Australia: Victoria – Political Crisis in Government


The link below is to an article covering the resignation of Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu and the crisis in Victoria’s government.

For more visit:
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/baillieu-government-in-crisis-talks-after-mp-geoff-shaw-quits-liberal-party/story-e6frgczx-1226591459409

Australia: NSW – Brett Lee Gets His Man


The link below is to an article reporting on the resignation of the NSW Cricket CEO Dave Gilbert, following a very public falling out with Brett Lee.

For more visit:
http://www.espncricinfo.com/newsouthwales/content/story/600834.html

Nigeria: Boko Haram Demand Resignation of President


The link below is to an article reporting on the latest persecution news out of Nigeria, where the president has been told to resign by Boko Haram terrorists.

For more visit:
http://www.worthynews.com/11679-muslim-group-demands-christian-prez-convert-or-resign