Bleats

Tony Abbott Wants You To Know He’s Still Good Mates With Convicted Pedo George Pell

Actions speak louder than words.

Tony Abbott certainly won’t go down in Australian history as one of the country’s finest Prime Ministers, regardless of how much he tries to convince us otherwise. But the one thing he will go down in history for is being mates with convicted pedophile, Cardinal George Pell.

Ol’ mate Tones was spotted leaving Melbourne Assessment Prison, which is where Pell is incarcerated and certainly isn’t a common hangout place for former onion-munching PMs. When asked what on earth was he doing there, Abbott didn’t mention George Pell by name and only said “I was simply visiting a friend, that’s all.”

Now Tony Abbott has dropped the ball quite a few times over the years, but there’s simply no way to spin this visit into anything other than grubby behaviour.

Putting aside just how inappropriate it is for a former Australian Prime Minister to visit a convicted pedophile in prison, Abbott’s visit to Pell is nothing more than an abhorrent middle finger to all of the cardinal’s victims.

Unsurprisingly, this visit didn’t go down well with some people and former Victorian senator Derryn Hinch had some strong words for Abbott on Twitter.

We’ve come to expect shenanigans from Tony Abbott at this point and sadly, him visiting George Pell isn’t that big of a surprise.

Tones has been mates with the convicted pedophile for years and has repeatedly stood up for Pell. When Pell was convicted in February 2019, Abbott reportedly called up his cardinal mate afterwards before going on radio to call the guilty verdict a “shocking result.”

But the bad optics and inappropriateness of this visit will likely fall on deaf ears for ol’ mate Tones as it’s been made abundantly clear over the years that he doesn’t really give a crap what people think or who he associates himself with, especially since he’s comfortably retired from politics now.

Tony Abbott didn’t say anything about his visit to George Pell but he doesn’t really have to. Actions speak louder than words ever could.

A Small Australian Retailer Is Copping It For Making Bank Off Jay-Z's Name

99 problems and now Jay-Z is one.

Jay-Z famously rapped that he’s got a whole heap of problems (99 to be exact) but “a bitch ain’t one.” For a small Australian online retailer, they have 99 problems and most – if not all – of them involve the rapper.

According to documents filed in Victoria’s Federal Court (via The Sydney Morning Herald), Jay-Z is suing Australian books and fashion retailer, The Little Homie, over claims they’re profiting from “using his name” and the lyrics to ’99 Problems.’

The Little Homie RN.

This may seem like egregious a cheap money grab from someone who clearly doesn’t need more money (kind of like Kylie Jenner and trying to trademark the phrase “rise and shine”), but this situation is a bit different to, say, Barack Obama referencing the lyrics to ’99 Problems’ as part of a comedy routine.

For those who are unaware, The Little Homie is an Australian online retailer that specialises in selling children’s books and gifts. One of its products is a picture book titled AB to Jay-Z, which was produced after a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2017 and aims to teach kids the alphabet using references to famous rappers and hip-hop artists.

Jay-Z is arguing that AB to Jay-Z is not only profiting off his brand and image, the book also contains “flagrant” copyright infringement of lyrics from ’99 Problems.’ If you look at the back of the book, there’s a phrase that reads “If you’re having alphabet problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but my ABCs ain’t one.”

That is a pretty obvious reference to Jay-Z’s song no matter how you spin it but The Little Homie gave it a crack anyway as its website claims “any reference contained in this book to celebrities or public figures and their works does not constitute or imply the endorsement, recommendation or approval of those persons.”

As for why this is coming up now, the court documents claim that Jay-Z’s legal team asked The Little Homie to stop selling the infringing items back in March 2018. However, the online retailer has seemingly ignored the request and Jay-Z’s legal team is arguing that the continued selling of AB to Jay-Z “has injured and is continuing to injure the reputation and goodwill of [Jay-Z].”

With things seemingly at an impasse, there’s now a case management hearing on the matter set for December 2019 that’ll hopefully resolve the matter one way or the other.

It remains to be seen how this will all pan out but there’s one thing we can say about the little predicament The Little Homie has found itself in: it’s got 99 problems and now Jay-Z is one.

We Were Literally Spared From The Worst Of Australia's Far Right Due To Their Incompetence

Thank god.

For all the headline-grabbing antics far-right groups and figureheads get up to in Australia, they’re generally the Auspol equivalent of a chihuahua: all bark, no bite.

While the lack of effectiveness from the far right in Australia is a good thing, apparently it’s more to do with incompetent leadership more than anything else.

According to submissions to the Senate nationhood inquiry from two academic experts (via The Guardian), Glenn Kefford and Duncan McDonnell, Australia has avoided a big populism (a political approach that tries to appeal to “ordinary” people by emphasising that their concerns are being disregarded by the “elite”) problem only because leadership on the far right is so bloody useless.

The pair submitted that “radical right populism” was nothing more than a “marginal force” in Australia compared to European countries such as Australia, Finland and Italy.

Noting how Australia and major Western European nations are similar in terms of how democracy functions, Kefford and McDonnell note that the only reason why the far right doesn’t wield more power compared to European countries is due to “leadership problems” rather than any desire for right-wing politics and noted the “turmoil that has plagued a party such as One Nation” as an example.

So in other words, Pauline Hanson did us all a favour.

The far right in Australia in a nutshell.

That being said though, Kefford and McDonnell warn us to not underestimate the potential rise of populist parties in Australia. The pair not only urged major political parties to defend multiculturalism while putting parties with a populism kink at the bottom of every voting card, they also warned that major parties doing “short-term deals” with extremist groups “legitimises” their positions and puts democracy at risk.

Sounds like we’ve been riding on a wave of right-wing leadership incompetence, but now’s the time to keep an eye on them just in case a few of these folks wise up and start to stir the pot with some semblance of competence.

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