Sam Dastyari is conclusive proof of the weakness of our leaders.

The last few months in Australian Federal politics has seen a quite extraordinary succession of politicians being forced to resign due to them possessing ties to a foreign citizenship, something which is expressly prohibited under the Australian constitution. To a man and woman they have all claimed bewilderment at their circumstances, professing either that they had no idea they were entitled to another citizenship or of not being aware of the actual constitutional clause.

This level of inability to understand Australia’s founding document, as well as a severe case of not being able to do basic homework gives the casual observer some understanding as to why our leadership and governance in Australia over the past two decades has been so lacking. I will make no claims as to the potential dishonesty that could be leveled at these ex-parliamentarians as well.

But for the gold standard example of the lack of leadership in our democracies we need go no further than the explosive revelations concerning Australian senator Sam Dastyari. For a start, Dastyari somehow managed to weasel his way out of the citizenship crisis – he holds Iranian citizenship which will not be able to be renounced until he completes the compulsory Iranian military service. But Dastyari has always had something of a cloud over him since a scandal erupted in 2016 over him accepting payments for travel expenses from Chinese interests. Somehow he also managed to teflon his way out of that as well.

But now comes news that he has actively colluded with Chinese Communist party officials.

Dastyari’s career should be finished after fresh revelations of his dealings with Huang Xiangmo who, until last week, headed a lobby group linked to the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee.

Dastyari met Huang last year at the Chinese-born tycoon’s home and warned him his mobile phone could be tapped by our intelligence agencies. He suggested they leave their phones inside and talk outside. This came after ASIO told Labor that Huang was being investigated.

Dastyari’s excuses are pathetic.

Major media commentators as well as other public figures are calling for Dastyari to resign. He shouldn’t be allowed the decency to resign at all; he should be dismissed from his seat. Let us look at the beginning of section s44(1) of the Australian Constitution:

Any person who –

(i.) Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power: or
(ii.) Is attainted of treason, or has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer:

Allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power? Tick. A citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power? Tick and tick. Is attainted of treason? Sounds pretty treasonous to me.

In earlier and more simpler times Dastyari would be marched up against a wall. But yet he still sits in parliament, although relegated to the back bench. It is simply incredible. If the Australian government had any leadership qualities at all, as well as a single pair of balls to rub together, then this is what would happen:

Dastyari would be expelled from parliament. Then his citizenship would be stripped. His assets would be seized and finally he and his entire family would be expelled from Australia and its territories. If he likes the Chinese so much then let him go there, although I fear that their interest in him would take a dramatic decline once his present usefulness had expired. Failing that then it seems that he would have a spell of Iranian military service awaiting him.

The example that this would set would be a fearful warning to any other present or future collaborators with foreign powers. But instead Shanghai Sam gets to sit comfortably on the back bench, killing time while he earns his wonderfully generous political pension.

Another example of pathetic leadership in the news today is that of Theresa May and her complete inability to show any evidence of being able to possess a single section of vertebrae. Leaving the leadership of Brexit to someone like May is like appointing a captaincy to the guy who helps out a lot around the cricket club.

The UK has offered a larger potential “divorce bill” to the EU – which could be worth up to 50bn euros (£44bn), the BBC understands.

It was “broadly welcomed”, political editor Laura Kuenssberg said, although No 10 has played down reports the final sum could be up to 55bn euros (£49bn).

I bet it was broadly welcomed. But are the Euro-technocrats satisfied with this?

And the EU’s negotiator Michel Barnier said “we are not there” yet.

Britain used up most of her treasure to twice bail out France and Belgium in the past hundred years. Nations are like individuals; they are exceedingly ungrateful if you help them out of their own mess. May is simply a deer in headlights to their demands. Can any of you imagine Trump agreeing to pay this sort of money in this situation?

And there you have it. The one shining example of real leadership in the Western world. Donald Trump. It is to our great fortune that he is a good and benevolent man. Past history has shown that a continued period of weak and vacillating leadership leaves a populace so desperate for strength on these matters that they will take just about anyone who shows some spine. In those circumstances you are likely to get the villainous more often than the good.

Malcolm Turnbull is the weakest Australian prime minister in living history, and that’s a remarkable feat considering the level of competition. Opposition leader Bill Shorten is just as bad but adds a level of cravenness never before seen in Australian politics. Sam Dastyari will remain on the back bench as an example to all of their malevolent failings to the Australian people, whose patience must be very close to being exhausted.

 

 

9 thoughts on “Sam Dastyari is conclusive proof of the weakness of our leaders.

  1. Someone

    Unfortunately for us Americans, apparently there is no law preventing people with dual citizenship running for elected offices or being close to the president. Think Ari Flescher and Rahm Emanuel who are Israeli citizens first and Americans second.

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  2. Brandon

    Whilst it is extremely difficult to read the Brexit deal, with all sides – excluding the UK tax payer of course – benefiting politically from the one that has been struck. The reality is when May performed so badly during the election she left herself in a seriously weakened position.

    Could she had pulled a blinder and walked out of the negotiations and gone for a no deal option as I, Farage and many of the Eurosceptic back benches favoured? Probably not her cabinet is divided and she is a Remainer at heart. We will never know. Suffice to say that anyone with Brexit inclinations will be even more disgusted with the cheats and scoundrels that ran the EU and the quislings in the UK Parliament and Media who undermined their own governments throughout the negotiations.

    UKIP have been becalmed even with their new leader. Farage gets lots of air time but is not in parliament and has become a commentator and broadcaster not a political force. There is a huge gap to the right of the Conservative party but few want to go there. No consistent voice is challenging our politics from a remotely Christian conservative perspective. The conservatives of the UK are no better than their counter parts in Australia.

    Given the explosion of growth in the US under a real leader it is possible the 40-50 billion will be wiped out by the massive expansion in UK GDP when we finally start benefiting from new Trade Deals. I think the EU mandarins know this and will drag out the Trade talks and seek to use them to emasculate the UK finance sector and industries for as long a period as possible.

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  3. MarkT

    In Barnaby Joyce’s case I understand he was born and lived his whole life in Australia, and his NZ citizenship was only be virtue of his father being born in NZ. In that case it’s believable he had no idea about his potential NZ citizenship, and he should be cut some slack.

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  4. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 11.30.17 : The Other McCain

  5. The Hood

    It is beyond astonishing to me that Dastyari continues to hold high-level security clearances to Australian Government properties…

    He should be locked up in Villawood.

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  6. MarkT. Not the only one. There was another mentioned on the Dingoes podcast whose father was from England.

    Let’s keep in mind the context of the Constitution and the law.

    “to a foreign power”

    The Australian Constitution was adopted in 1900. I’d be willing to bet that England and it’s dominions were not considered foreign powers. I’d be interested to know what percentage of Australians in 1900 had one or more English parents. Do you really think that Australians would have voted for a Constitution that rendered most of them ineligible to serve in government?

    This fellows allegiance to China is obviously problematic and banned, but the extension to people with ties to England, NZ, Canada, etc are idiotic and, I suspect, politically motivated. Had it been me under fire for my father being from England while I was born and raised in Australia, I would have fought back rather than issuing craven apologies and renouncing any claim to British citizenship.

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