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Australia will send a military force to the United Arab Emirates to contribute to the US campaign of airstrikes against Islamic State (Isis) militants in Iraq.
In response to a formal request from the US for specific Australian defence force (ADF) capabilities, the prime minister, Tony Abbott, said Australia would supply 600 personnel – made up of 400 from the air force and 200 from the military, including special forces – along with equipment to the coalition force against the Isis movement.
Up to eight Royal Australian Air Force F/A18F Super Hornets combat aircraft, a Wedgetail surveillance aircraft, and a tanker and transport aircraft will be sent to the United Arab Emirates.
“In addition, the Australian Defence Force will prepare a special operations task Group as military advisers that could assist Iraqi and other security forces that are taking the fight to the [Isis] terrorists,” said Abbott. Military advice would also be provided to Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq.
ADF personnel will be based in the US headquarters “to ensure close coordination” with the US and to support planning and logistics.
“We are not deploying combat troops but contributing to international efforts to prevent the humanitarian crisis from deepening,” said Abbott.
For once its possible to praise Bill Shorten for something because the on this occasion the opposition is sticking with the long standing tradition of solidarity with the government when our troops are deployed into harms way. In fact with the exception of the far left Greens who have been predictably tacitly defending the IS Islamofachist killers in the northern part of Iraq there is an almost universal feeling in this country that going to war to stop the atrocities committed in the name of Allah. With the brutal murder of a British aid worker fresh in our minds who could possibly think that there is any other choice but to go into northern Iraq and Syria with all guns blazing?
I rather firmly of the opinion that a predominately air based campaign will be more successful on this occasion than it was in the previous forays into Iraq. I think this for a couple of reasons. Firstly the current crop of Jihadis have very little willing support from the people in the territory they nominally control. This has to be a natural consequence of their brutality and continuing war crimes. Without some support from the population for their aims and methodology then all they have is fear from the people who currently live under their rule. While that is a good motivator for population compliance its not going to help them much in terms of defending the territory that currently occupy. Secondly the local geography of dry desert mostly flat territory provides little cover and that means that vehicles and men on the move are hard to hide form air surveillance and more importantly air strikes. If its moving and holds armed men then it can be taken out form the air.
I think that we can be pretty sure that the Kurds in the north will not tend towards the excesses of war that will alienate the Sunis who we want on our side n this war but I am far less confident of the Shia militias who may well be inclined to take some sort of revenge on the Suni population if they are perceived to be at all sympathetic to the IS Jihadis, this issue was front and center in the weekend news reporting out of Iraq on the ABC.
One thing that I don’t expect though is that there will be many IS Jihadists taken prisoner. Fanatics can not be trusted to be honorable nor is it to be expected that they will surrender when their situation is hopeless. Rule 303 is also likely to be applied by the ground forces that mop up as well. If many of them are taken prisoner its likely that bleeding hearts like the loopy Greens will want to see them tried by one court or another. While that may suit the namby-pamby Greens I just don’t think that you want to give too many of these scumbags the venue to further promote their hateful ideology.
Its of course too early to predict the result of this war but I don’t share the pessimism of dyed in the wool extreme lefties who are already wishing for failure here. Frankly failure is not an option because we have to excise the cancer from he middle east if any of us are to sleep well in our beds into the future the death cult has to be, well, killed as quickly and completely as we can do it. Fortunately there seems to be a quite broad range of nations who are willing to join into this sadly necessary task.
The mining tax has been abolished after a deal with the Palmer United party (PUP) in which the government delayed the abolition of the schoolkids bonus and other savings and deferred already-legislated increases to workers’ compulsory superannuation for seven years.
The prime minister was jubilant after the shock deal was revealed, claiming it rendered the Labor party irrelevant and proved the government – approaching the first anniversary of its election – was “getting on with the job.”
After secret negotiations with PUP, the government revealed a deal with the crossbench senators to finally abolish the mining tax – as it had so often promised – if it retained three programs until after the next election, instead of abolishing them straight away.
In changes that will cost the budget bottom line $6.5bn over the next four years but leave it no worse off in the long term, the government has agreed to keep the schoolkids bonus, the low income superannuation contribution and the income support bonus until 2016 or 2017.
But it will also freeze the amount employers are compelled to put into all workers superannuation accounts. It is currently legislated to increase to 10% in 2015-16 and then by 0.5% each year to reach 12% in 2019-20. After this deal goes through it will be frozen at 9.5% and won’t reach 10% until 2021, rising by 0.5% a year after that.
Well by my reckoning that is another victory for the Coalition government in their campaign to undo the follies of Labor, which means that we will no longer have a tax that costs more to administer than it collects which makes us a laughing stock to the world. Further the suspension of increases in superannuation will be greeted with great joy but those in our economy who provide the employment, it will mean that the cost of hiring someone will be less over time which should help business to employ more people. Personally as I have two children in school the continuation of the school kids bonus will come in handy but I very much doubt that it has ever been a game changer to parents in this age of voter cynicism. As Tony Abbott said yesterday in the Parliament this is not everything the government wanted but it will do.
What this means is that the government has actually achieved the three planks of its election campaign, the Carbon Tax has gone, the Mining Tax has gone and the Boats have been stopped, more importantly though this demonstrates that for all of his bluff and bluster in the media Palmer can be dealt with and the government can bring about the reforms that it was elected to do.
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.
Labor’s NBN is damned by the latest review:
“By contrast, with NBN Mark I, the public policy process for developing NBN Mark II was rushed, chaotic and inadequate,” it says.
The plan got just 11 weeks’ consideration and “there is no evidence that a full range of options was seriously considered”.
“There was no business case or any cost-benefit analysis, or independent studies of the policy undertaken, with no clear operating instructions provided to this completely new government business enterprise, within a legislative and regulatory framework still undefined, and without any consultation with the wider community,” the report says.
In other findings, the audit says full cabinet did not consider the policy until very early on the April 2009 morning it was announced, and its role was to “rubber-stamp” a decision by the strategic priorities and budget committee of cabinet.
It also revealed that public servants had “difficulty” in having their “voice” heard on many of the most important policy matters related to Labor’s NBN policy, often finding their advice was ignored or that they were excluded from contributing.
Ah How I remember the many minions of the left were singing the praises of the NBN MK2, the problem for them was/is that what they were really praising was the idea and the dream of super-fast internet even though the reality had turned into a nightmare of confusion and delay that would vex any engine.
Dead, deceased, it is no more, it has shuffled off its mortal coil, the Carbon tax has fucking snuffed it, or death of a vile impost on our lives.
The tragedy of the Carbon tax/ETS is not in its passing but that it ever existed in the first place because it was always based on a false premise, namely that it was ever going to make the slightest bit of difference to the global climate and so many leaders, on both sides of politics have been destroyed by it. It took out Rudd, Turnbull and Gillard in turn and it also played its part in taking out the resurrected Rudd as well. There has been more bullshit produced to promote the various incarnations of this toxic scheme than our national herd. And for what? All that it ever gave us was a wildly expensive token gesture and a rather nasty piece of socialist wealth redistribution which in layman’s language means it was a totally useless money churn.
Even if you believe the AGW proposition there is no reason to believe in the often chanted mantra that the best way to address it is through a “market mechanism” because there is absolutely no reason to believe that such a mechanism can ever produce the desired outcome without some nasty unforeseen consequences, of which the massive spike in energy costs is a rather good example, and before anyone says “its the gold plating of the poles and wires” that caused the majority of those price rises I’m going to say that the “gold plating” is just another example of the same thinking that the poor long suffering consumers are an eternal milch cow that can be taken for granted by planers and ideologues just as they take for granted the idea that costs for essential commodities can rise endlessly and no one will suffer or object.
Suffer and object we have and now the vile impost on every aspect of our lives has be dispatched to the dustbin of history and any claims that it will bring down Abbott in its passing are utterly ridiculous. The trend in technology now is very much focused on energy being used as efficiently as possible and for that I do think that, to some extent, we can thank the panic merchants of the Green Religion but just as we can take from the Christian religion useful notions of community and what makes a good society without taking on the supernatural Mumbo Jumbo of that faith. So to we can take the good things that have come from the Green religion, like seeing our planet and its biosphere as a whole and complexly interconnected entity of which we are just a small part, but we can let go of its millenarian prognostications and dire predictions of doom because no matter what life and the earth itself is far more resilient and adaptive than the doom merchants of the Green religion are willing to admit
The Chinese curse is “may you live in interesting times” and that certainly seems to be the case at present since the changes in the Senate have brought the Palmer party into play. They certainly have shown themselves to be totally out of their depth and it must be vexatious to be obliged to deal with them to get important legislation through the upper house. They have done a good job of proving that they are just as loopy as the Greens with the debacle of their attempts to amend the Carbon tax to add punitive measures against any businesses that fails to pass on the savings to their customers shows that they are in their own way greener than the loopy Greens.
Even so its better than having the Labor/Greens holding the senate in their hot little hands, still not a great option but definitely better than what went before but am I the only one who is wishing that Clive would succumb to the negative consequences of his obesity? Because I can’t decide if he is more objectionable in the media saturation that he has achieved that the whining sanctimony that we get from Christine Milne and Sarah Hanson Young?
Dreaming of a little boredom Comrades
While i don’t want to dismiss the angst I see in the commentary on the Welfare review lets keep a couple of things in perspective here, firstly no matter how much the government may want to do any of the things that make up the sum of all of the fears expressed here they do not have the senate and those with the balance of power there are not going to be able to pass the enabling legislation to change very much of the status quo.
Secondly one thing that the review is right about is that the current welfare system is very complicated and confusing both for those who now rely on it for their sustenance and for those who have to administer it. Further to that there is the popular myth that getting on to the DSP is in any sense easy or that it is subject to a great deal of fraud. Frankly if this government were to find savings with better administration and simpler process without hurting any of the vulnerable I don’t think anyone would object. Given the senate we have now I do expect some changes in the way that the department is run are very likely to eventuate rather than this government doing to the disabled what Gillard did to single mothers .
On the matter of encouraging work, well its fine in principle but I find it difficult to believe that there is even enough unpaid volunteer work to viably engage very many of the disabled especially when you consider the extra support that many of the disabled would need to be able to work at all. So if you are starting form a purely economic point of view it may well be that the cost of forcing or coercing the “unwilling” disabled to “work” is far greater than the value of the work that they may be able to do. Further to this there has been no consideration of the contributions that so many disabled people make to their families and communities. Things like the child care and good old domestic duties that they do for their families and the contributions that they already make to their communities with their involvement in a great deal of volunteering. Of course much of this is totally invisible to the general public who sadly think that shows like “Housos ” is reality TV rather than greatly exaggerated satire. There certainly has to have been some fraud because no system of welfare can be immune to it. But there are enough checks and balances that make it less common than some would have us believe.
Taking that all on board I can’t help but think that this whole thing is a very big ambit claim because the government must know that they will not get the sort of changes that are mooted here through the senate so I think that their end game here has to be to seek simpler and less expensive ways to administer the welfare system while minimizing the possibility of having to run a gauntlet angry starving cripples on the way to the next election, because if they don’t tread lightly here then the desire to reform welfare could become Tony Abbotts’ “Gimpchoices” that sees their much needed tenure in the lodge cut short .