Home » Australian Politics
Category Archives: Australian Politics
OPPOSITION LEADER Bill Shorten has warned against waiting “too long” to change the constitution to acknowledge indigenous Australians — and said any reform should be “substantive” and not tokenistic.
“I believe that the sooner our constitution gives just recognition to our First Australians, the better,” he told The Australian.
OK Bill but what does that mean? will such changes have any practical effects in the lives of any Australian?
“It is a historical wrong that must be made right. But it must be more than a token gesture — it must be substantive change”.
“Bipartisanship is critical for any referendum proposal to succeed. I’m prepared to work with the Prime Minister on this to make sure there is a political consensus on the timing and the content”.
If I’m not mistaken the “historical wrong” Shorten is referring to is the Establishment of the British colonies , firstly in NSW and later elsewhere, well personally I just can’t see such events in the sort of negative light that Shorten shines here.
Coalition indigenous MP, Ken Wyatt, who is leading the process, has been more cautious, saying any vote should only be held when “Australia is ready.”
Mr Wyatt, the chair of the cross party constitution committee, said: “We shouldn’t go too early but we shouldn’t go too late either and run the risk of missing the opportunity.
Err OK Ken but until we see the words no one will have the slightest notion of the virtue of what is proposed now will they?
Mr Wyatt’s committee is currently consulting on the wording to be taken to a referendum.
“The Committee is considering presenting a progress report in December and is not required to present its final report until 30 June 2015,” he said.
So does that mean that we are going to get nearly another year of these endless empty gestures trying to soften up the public for an as yet unenunciated change to the constitution?
Aboriginal Commissioner Mick Gooda has called for the referendum to acknowledge indigenous Australians to be held next year.
Delivering the annual Nulungu Reconciliation Lecture in Broome, Mr Gooda challenged the Prime Minister to hold a referendum before the next federal election and avoid endless rounds of consultation on the issue.
How typically undemocratic a notion from a minion of the left.
Joint Campaign Director of the Recognise campaign Tim Gartrell praised Mr Gooda’s “excellent contribution to the debate”.
“We’ve always said we shouldn’t wait a day longer than is necessary to make these important changes to the constitution,” he said. “This also means all the preconditions need to be in place. The momentum needed for success is growing every day. There are now more than 215,000 supporters who have joined Recognise.
215,000 supporters is notthat significant when you consider that we are a nation of more than 20Million people, in fact I would suggest that 215,000 supporters is barely even all of the “usual suspects”
Labor’s first indigenous senator -Nova Peris does not back Aboriginal Commissioner Mick Gooda’s call for the referendum to acknowledge indigenous Australians to be held next year, arguing it is better to take longer than get it wrong.
Senator Peris, who is the deputy chairwoman of the committee looking at options for recognition, said rushing the issue would be devastating.
“It’s imperative we do the work required to ensure this succeeds,” he said. “To risk failure in an attempt to simply rush the procedure would be devastating.”
Well for once I agree with a Labor person about something! That said unless we have a very clear enunciation of just what words are to be added to the constitution and what the possible effect of that change could be then I for one will be campaigning against there being ANY change simply because those advancing the yes case are already being deceptive. You see I am old fashioned enough to think that there should be no laws on our statute books that privileges any individual on the basis of their race or ethnicity, or what they claim is their race or ethnicity. We live in the here and now, in a contemporary Australia whose laws apply equally to all with a blindness to race gender or ethnicity. Its not a perfect blindness to those distinctions but its close enough to sing its praises and we should resist any move that makes the law notice the colour of a man’s skin, the faith in his heart or even if he is a man. So many on all sides of politics espouse notions of equality and I think that if we the public are being asked to agree with the proposition that some Australians are going to be considered “more equal” than the rest of us that we should just vote NO!
Brother Number One, the Gillard experiment, and the then the second coming of the former Dear Leader
MALCOLM FARR makes an interesting observation about the plethora of books being written by Labor has beans
That will bring to nine — by one calculation — the number of books from her and former colleagues on roughly the same subject.
Plus, there are books by former cross bench MPs Tony Windsor (House of Windsor) and Rob Oakeshott (The Independent Member for Lyne).
None will have the weight or influence of journalist Paul Kelly’s epic-sized Triumph and Demise which no doubt will become the definitive account of the period.
And there is one player missing from the potential complete set of Labor records, the big K-for-Kevin kahuna.
Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has given no indication he wants to write a book but so many people are commenting on him — and often critically — he might understandably feel he should write his own side of the story.
But that might be some time off. Like former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans who this week — 15 years after he left Parliament – will launch his diary from the Hawke/Keating days, Mr Rudd might wait a while longer.
Others, however, seem to have started dictating their first chapters on Sunday September 8, 2013 … hours after the election.
The nine books by Labor figures, from 2012 to the present are:
• My Story, by Julia Gillard;
• The Good Fight, Wayne Swan;
• Power with Purpose, Lindsay Tanner (2012);
• Hearts and Minds, Chris Bowen;
• Diary of a Foreign Minister, Bob Carr;
• The Fights of My Life, Greg Combet;
• A Letter to Generation Next, Kim Carr;
• Tales from the Political Trenches, Maxine McKew (updated 2013);
• Glory Daze, Jim Chalmers (former Swan adviser now an MP)
I can’t help but think that at this rate there will be as many books about this ill-fated period of Labor government as the number of bills that Gillard apologists claimed were passed during her time in the big chair. I can tell you one thing though and it is that even when they are to be found on the bookshop remainder table there will be none of them coming home with me to Chez Hall after all as someone who followed the sad and sorry tale Brother Number One, the Gillard experiment, and the then the second coming of the former Dear Leader in real time as it unfolded I don’t fell at all inclined to waste my limited reading time pouring over the entrails of a government that promised so much but ended up delivering so little of value and consequence.
(by Ray Dixon ~ your thinking man’s blogger)
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten probably had no choice but to make some kind of public statement following Police confirmation that no charges would be laid over the allegation that he raped a 16-year-old more than 25 years ago.
But I reckon he might yet regret his words (or lack of them), and especially these ones:
“The allegation was made by someone that I knew briefly at that time.”
Put yourself in the “someone’s” position. How would you feel being described like that?
Shorten, by omission, has basically confirmed that he did have sex with the girl but then refers to her dismissively as “someone that I knew briefly”?
Making matters worse, his substitution of the pronoun “who I knew …” with “that I knew” effectively describes her as an animal or object.
And hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Think AFL player Stephen Milne, who in 2004 was also initially cleared by Police of rape, only to be eventually charged years down the track following the alleged victim’s persistence.
Don’t be surprised if we haven’t heard the last of this.
I am actually sorry that I was MIA for last night’s QandA but I had an engagement with my son to play a game for the evening. However Palmer is certainly proving what a clown he is. What a shameless fool who sadly has the money (or access to funds) to make manifest some wild and crazy schemes the latest of which is his bonkers climate change conference where he plans to invite a whole swag of former world leaders to his dinosaur park for an utterly pointless chat fest. I am of course only guessing but I doubt that anyone with any real gravitas will attend but what is the bet that Clive’s new Bestie Al Gore is getting this stupid conference as payment for Clive’s road to Damascus conversion to the Green religion a few weeks ago? Palmer is as predictable as the plot of a $2 porno.
that said What Comrade Yale has to say as the post script to his post can not be seen as anything but the most amusing satire.
AND ANOTHER THING: One thing the Fairfax press is prepared to cover this morning is the plan by Palmer to establish his own national news publication; pitched as a “newspaper competitor” to Rupert Murdoch, Palmer has registered (or is in the process of doing so) the names The Australasian Times, The Australian Times, and Australian News.
There always seems to be a high-profile target wherever these “initiatives” by Palmer is concerned; not merely content to attempt to destroy a Prime Minister and a Premier, it now appears Palmer fancies himself to knock the most powerful media proprietor in the Western world down a few pegs as well.
Given the way he has conducted his political activities to date and what seems to be his conviction that the rest of us share his obsession with himself, it will be fascinating to see what passes as Palmer’s version of “unbiased news” — if this latest hare-brained scheme ever amounts to anything.
My guess is that even if it gets off the ground, it will find very limited favour with the news-consuming public; having spent 20 years in and around media companies and having acquired a firm grasp of what is involved in running them, my guess is that such an enterprise will haemorrhage money from Palmer’s fortune for as long as he is silly enough to persist with it.
Should it ever come to pass, Murdoch will be laughing — literally — all the way to the bank.
Not only will Murdoch be laughing but so too will the many washed up ex Fairfax journalists who will undoubtedly be lining up to sell their souls, and arses to Palmer for a few pieces of silver, even if the arse in question is pock marked with anti TB injections.
Palmer is a Joke who has worn out our ability to laugh at him these days its just a tired sigh from me at any of his antics but one thing is certain and that is we can be sure that the only thing that Palmer is interested in is having his ego massaged continually by making himself the center of every possible issue in Australian politics. Sadly we may have to put up with his pulsating blubber for some time to come because the happy ending that the public dream of won’t come soon enough and in the mean time we have to endure something that is almost too horrible to countenance no matter what side of politics you lay on.
As a psychiatrist who visits jails, I see a lot of overlap between locals who are lured towards terror and many clients from Middle Eastern backgrounds I see in the legal system.
While the cries for calm and cohesion are laudable and the fears among the Muslim majority of being tarnished by a tiny minority appropriate, there remains a wholesale denial within sections of the Muslim community that the bad apples have any connection to the apple tree. Khaled Sharrouf was not an isolated individual, but a man with a family which was linked to a community.
There remains a marked difference in the way males are raised within some Lebanese groups which predisposes them to greater acts of anti-social behaviour. It is a fairly specific segment of the Lebanese community and a result of the migration of poorer farmers and lower-class Lebanese Muslims after the civil war in 1975. Their numbers and concentration are greatest in southwestern Sydney.
There is a rampant anti-social character to some youths from this segment which stems in part from unsuccessful child rearing. The horrific moves towards terror acts can be seen as an ideological extension of a propensity towards bad behaviour, combined with an unshakable victim mentality.
There are clear trends in the clients I see from Arab groups in jails. They come from large families. The fathers were often absent while they worked unskilled jobs trying to provide. The mothers lacked the extended family support they may have had in their ancestral lands. Parenting focused on the daughters, for in the world the mothers knew girls needed more discipline and attention for opportunity and marriage to beckon. The men were placed on a pedestal with few behavioural limits. The relatively absent fathers, who might have disciplined the sons, compounded the problems.
I see further key psychological differences among these groups, particularly the Lebanese or the children of refugees from Iraqi or Afghan backgrounds. They are likely to see anger in different ways to Westerners or migrants from more educated ethnic groups. While expressions of anger and threats are a quick way to lose face in polite Western society, it is more acceptable within Arab groups. At its worst, calm, measured responses to conflict may be seen as weak.
This is outlined by Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennell’s groundbreaking work visiting Muslim criminals in jail, where he makes reference to the Arab notion of “holy anger”, which is completely foreign to English.
Another key difference is the psychological idea of “locus of control”. This refers to whether we believe our lives are driven primarily by internal or external factors.
Western thinking teaches that we have some control of our destinies. In its most optimistic forms, it is the basis for the self-help industry. Applying these kinds of ideas to my Muslim patients, particularly first-generation or less educated migrants, is extremely difficult. There is simply no such concept in Arab cultures.
What Arab cultures have are strict external rules, traditions and laws for human behaviour. They have a God that decides their life’s course. “Inshallah” follows every statement about future plans: if God wills it to occur. They have powerful Muslim clerics who set directions for their community every Friday. These clerics dictate political views, child-rearing behaviour and whether to integrate into Western societies.
In societies shaped under Islamic influences there is little emphasis on guilt and a greater likelihood to demand that society adapt to one’s own wishes.
Muslim youths have unique difficulties in coming to terms with their identity, especially when they have conflicting value systems at home compared with school or work. This can produce greater deviance, a point better measured in Britain where South Asian youth suffer from mental illness at three times the rate of the general population.
But there are Muslim youths from many different countries living in Sydney. Other Arab Australians from Egypt, Jordan or Iran do not have the same problems. If you meet them, they will be quick to point out that their community’s migration was from a more skilled base. They had smaller families, focused on their children’s education and integrated more easily.
There is no doubt Muslim communities throughout the Western world have been under the pump since the age of terror unleashed itself this century. But for all the interfaith work, awareness building and cries for tolerance, there continues to be a significant tendency to externalise all blame.
Reproduced here under the terms if its creative commons license originally published here
(by Ray Dixon – not a “poor person” just a fairer [and more honest] one than Hockey)
Joe Hockey’s “poor people don’t drive cars or don’t drive far anyway” disproved – by FACTS.
The truth is out there and Joe Hockey knew it all along. He lied about the figures.
Or, at the very least, he misrepresented the truth and did not use the data (the more relevant data) that was at his disposal, which is the same thing as lying – by omission.
Joe Hockey clearly deceived the public with his ludicrous claim that high income earners were the group “most hurt” by fuel excise increases.
Hurt? They’ll hardly even notice it.
In fact most high income earners don’t even care how much they pay for petrol and don’t need to.
Joe Hockey deceived the public. He is a disgrace and should resign.
Here are the real FACTS:
… as a proportion of gross income and weekly spending, fuel bills hit lower-income families harder.
Census data and research from independent experts shows that people on lower incomes have enough cars and drive far enough to feel the impact of raising the fuel tax more than those on higher incomes.
Mr Hockey’s statement is misleading.
The other key and relevant point that’s been overlooked in all this is that Joe Hockey’s “high income” earners mostly do not even pay for their own petrol.
It’s paid by their employers.
Who then go and claim it as a tax deduction – ie an effective 30% rebate. The employer also claims the 10% GST as a credit. Same goes for many self-employed and business owners.
Whereas lower – middle income earners cannot generally make any such tax claims and just wear the full price. Plus excise. Plus GST.
Joe Hockey is the most deceptive and arrogant Treasurer this country has ever seen. He even surpasses Costello on that score … and that’s quite a feat!
He has to go.
I found this piece in the Oz due to an Irate Warminista on twitter:
This is utterly idiotic http://t.co/Nz4nfhQklf That this person is an Abbott advisor speaks volumes. Newman is unstable at best.
— Evan Keith Beaver (@evcricket) August 13, 2014
So naturally I checked out the link only to find a quite interesting argument suggesting that the evidence supports the notion that its variation in solar activity that drives climate change rather than changes in the composition of the atmosphere:
Yet during the past 20 years the US alone has poured about $US80 billion into climate change research on the presumption that humans are the primary cause. The effect has been to largely preordain scientific conclusions. It set in train a virtuous cycle where the more scientists pointed to human causes, the more governments funded their research.
At the same time, like primitive civilisations offering up sacrifices to appease the gods, many governments, including Australia’s former Labor government, used the biased research to pursue “green” gesture politics. This has inflicted serious damage on economies and diminished the West’s standing and effectiveness in world affairs.
University of Pennsylvania professor of psychology Philip Tetlock explains: “When journal reviewers, editors and funding agencies feel the same way about a course, they are less likely to detect and correct potential logical or methodological bias.” How true. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its acolytes pay scant attention to any science, however strong the empirical evidence, that may relegate human causes to a lesser status.
This mindset sought to bury the results of Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark’s experiments using the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. For the first time in controlled conditions, Svensmark’s hypothesis that the sun alters the climate by influencing cosmic ray influx and cloud formation was validated. The head of CERN, which runs the laboratory, obviously afraid of how this heretical conclusion would be received within the global warming establishment, urged caution be used in interpreting the results “in this highly political area of climate change debate”. And the media obliged.
But Svensmark is not alone. For example, Russian scientists at the Pulkovo Observatory are convinced the world is in for a cooling period that will last for 200-250 years. Respected Norwegian solar physicist Pal Brekke warns temperatures may actually fall for the next 50 years. Leading British climate scientist Mike Lockwood, of Reading University, found 24 occasions in the past 10,000 years when the sun was declining as it is now, but could find none where the decline was as fast. He says a return of the Dalton Minimum (1790-1830), which included “the year without summer”, is “more likely than not”. In their book The Neglected Sun , Sebastian Luning and Fritz Varenholt think that temperatures could be two-tenths of a degree Celsius cooler by 2030 because of a predicted anaemic sun. They say it would mean “warming getting postponed far into the future”.
If the world does indeed move into a cooling period, its citizens are ill-prepared. After the 2008 financial crisis, most economies are still struggling to recover. Cheap electricity in a colder climate will be critical, yet distorted price signals caused by renewable energy policies are driving out reliable baseload generators. Attracting fresh investment will be difficult, expensive and slow.
Only time will tell, but it is fanciful to believe that it will be business as usual in a colder global climate. A war-weary world’s response to recent events in the Middle East, Russia’s excursion into the Crimea and Ukraine and China’s annexation of air space over Japan’s Senkaku/Daioyu Islands has so far been muted. It is interesting to contemplate how the West would handle the geopolitical and humanitarian challenges brought on by a colder climate’s shorter growing seasons and likely food shortages. Abundance is conducive to peace. However, a scenario where nations are desperately competing for available energy and food will bring unpredictable threats, far more testing than anything we have seen in recent history.
I don’t know if this line of argument is correct but it does suggest that when it comes to addressing any future change in our climate that we would be better served by not assuming that the climate is going to be hotter into the future if it were to swing the other way though what would it mean for this country? I don’t think that we would have too much trouble in terms of our agriculture but we may have to change what we grow where. In terms of our energy sources we are quite well placed because we do have extensive reserves of fossil fuels but on the downside much of our housing stock in the northern parts of the country are not well suited to the cold. The thing is though no matter which way the climate may change we have to be prepared to cut our coats according to the cloth and the most important thing that will enable us to do that is flexible minds that are good at problem solving. The trouble with so many AGW true believers is that they are utterly inflexible in their thinking and they feel very threatened even by the possibility that their profits may be wrong so how do you think that they would go in a cold future rather than a hot one?