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Monika, Muslims, Mosques and …. Irony

by Ray Dixon (a Victorian and not-a-muslim-basher)

burqa-3

Bendigo woman Monika Evers would not approve of the above – not in her town.

No Burqas for Bendigo is Monika’s mantra and sworn belief.

You see, Monika hates Muslims so much (or ‘fears’ them so much she hates them – same thing) that she lodged a VCAT objection against the Bendigo Council’s approval of a Mosque proposed to be built in the regional Victorian City of Bendigo. One of 432 such objections (from a population of over 100,000).

Monika also joined (or formed) a local protest group whose arguments against the Mosque  included such gems of genius as these:

 Opponents said the mosque would bring violence to Bendigo and the city would be overtaken by Sharia law.

 “If you’re Muslim and you want a mosque, go back to the Middle East. This is Australia,” one member of the public said.

The protest group asked what councillors were doing to protect the city from terrorism and accused the council of failing to consult the community.

Bendigo people own Bendigo, it’s their town, they have the right to say mosque or no mosque,” one person said.

“We’re not racists.”

But Monika went further than that and started up an anti-Mosque Facebook page, Stop the Mosque in Bendigo. Not surprisingly, the Facebook page contains very little about the actual proposed building itself but a shitload of anti-muslim sentiment and reports and commentary on Islamic matters from far and wide, none of which seems relevant to Bendigo, which has had an established Muslim community for over 15 years that has peacefully co-existed with the “owners”, i.e. with “Bendigo people”, you know, the real “owners” of Bendigo, got it? Read it if you like but it doesn’t make much sense or have any coherence – just a lot of hate speech (GD might enoy it though?)

So Monika trots off to VCAT and what does she do? Well, she applies to have her name suppressed because, according to her, she’s received “online death threats” and “fears for her safety”. What a surprise.

Despite claims by her advocate that “the alleged threats to her safety have led to Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police checking in on her a number of times”, VCAT rejected the suppression application, saying there was a lack of credible information to support Ms Evers’ safety threat claims, which I guess means neither ASIO or the Police found any evidence of them either.

Oh dear, what does a true blue Aussie girl just trying to protect herself and her fellow Bendigoites from:

Sharia Law

Terrorists

Jihadists

Halal sausages and

BURQAS

… then go and do?

………………..

……………………………………………………….

………………………………………………………………………….. ?????????????????????????????????

Well she leaves the court in tears of course (under police guard) while attempting to hide her identity ….

 …. like this:

monika-evans-1 

Oh, the irony.

I’ll give the last word on this episode of anti-Muslim madness to a member of Bendigo’s Islamic community and to the Victorian Government’s Minister for Planning Matthew Guy (who is a Liberal MP, GD please note):

A member of Bendigo’s Islamic community said he was grateful the local council had decided to support plans.

Heri Febriyanto said the local Muslim community was growing, and has nowhere to pray or celebrate.

“We are also the local community in Bendigo,” Mr Febriyanto said.

We have been living here for more than 15 years, so we are same as the locals in Bendigo, we are working as well.

“So I think we should have the equality of rights, then we would like to live in harmony within the community of Bendigo.”

Victoria’s Planning and Multicultural Affairs Minister, Matthew Guy, has backed the council’s decision and criticised the comments of some of those opposing the application.

People making those kinds of comments are silly, I mean that’s not what we expect in this country, particularly on a planning matter like this, people should be respectful and sensible,” Mr Guy said.

“They’ve considered it (the mosque application) on its merits, it’s got through, if people want to appeal it they should, but it should be on the grounds of planning law and not on emotion.”

Thank you Heri – when did you get off welfare again? GD wants to know how (and why) you did that, you bludger. 

And thank you Matthew Guy. For a while there I was losing my faith in my fellow Victorians and was contemplating a move to Western Sydney Wellington, New Zealand.

We are ‘The Smarter State’ after all.

I think.

I hope. 

The notion and likelihood of Coalition one-term governments

by Ray Dixon (disclosure – I’m not exactly a lover of the Libs)

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Iain wouldn’t dare post this but I bet he has read it and is still (((shakin’ his head))) at the prospect of Campbell Newman’s LNP government in Queensland becoming a one-term government despite being swept to power just two years ago with a massive 78 to 7 seats majority:

Queensland poll foreshadows heavy losses for Newman Government at next state election

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and more than half his MPs face losing their seats at next year’s election, a poll suggests.

A ReachTEL poll of voters commissioned by The Sunday Mail and the Seven Network indicated that up to 40 of the Liberal National Party’s (LNP) 73 sitting members could be voted out, reports based on the poll said.

Of almost 1900 Queenslanders asked which of the two main parties would get their vote, 51 per cent chose the LNP and 49 per cent said Labor.

The result suggested an 11.8 per cent swing against the government at the next poll, meaning Labor would win 40 LNP seats, and possibly office.

On primary votes, 38.7 per cent of those polled said they would vote for the LNP, compared with 34.4 per cent for Labor.

The poll showed Clive Palmer’s popularity continuing to rise after 15.4 per cent indicated they would vote for the Palmer United Party.

The Premier’s popularity had slipped further, with 53.1 per cent rating his performance poor or very poor.

The LNP catapulted into power in 2012 after winning 78 seats to Labor’s seven in a landslide victory.

Support for the party has since eroded amid public service job cuts, controversial law reforms and plans to sell assets.

Comment:

Okay, it might be a long way to go and the likelihood that the ALP could regain office in QLD after just one term in Opposition – and from the seemingly hopeless position of having just 7 sitting MPs in a house of 85 – is the stuff of comeback fairy tales, but I reckon there’s no doubt that they’ll make up heaps of ground.

This has wider ramifications than just Queensland though. I think it says a lot about the electorate and their views of how the various Coalition governments around the country have performed/behaved themselves in recent years since regaining office.

Here in Victoria it’s almost certain that the Coalition will be bundled out later this year after just one term in office. After being accidentally elected in 2010 by just one seat. After Baillieu bailed from the job he never wanted and handed the poisoned chalice of Liberal leadership to Denis ‘the racing man’s friend’ Napthine, a relic of the past who surprised us all by still actually being in Parliament. We all thought he’d left long ago but no, there he was, still lurking on the backbenches and still living in the past. The bumbling yesterday man Denis Napthine is gone already and there is no way known his do-nothing-except-favours-for-developers Coalition will be given another term.

Then there is the Federal sphere with Tony Abbott who has managed to erode a great deal of popular support after little more than half a year in the job. His first budget and subsequent meaner-than-Scrooge announcements and proposals to hurt the young, the old, the poor, the disabled, the sick, families and anyone else who has less than a few million bucks or so in assets, will stay with him right through to the next election and ensure (at the very least) that he’ll face a tough job getting term number two.

It’s feasible that we could see 3 Coalition one-term governments going in consecutive years:

Napthine in Victoria in 2014 – a certainty to be voted out.

Newman in Queensland in 2015 – could be very embarrassing, and

Abbott in Canberra in 2016 – probably more likely than Newman losing.

My money’s on the Coalition losing at least two out of three.

Well done guys. Well done Australia – you got the governments you deserved, now go and get the ones you need.

Another day, another caption

(by Ray Dixon, your o-so-deep and meaningful blog contributor)

bishop-pyne-1

Yes, I know … this makes it two ‘caption time’ posts in a row but, givemeabreak, how was I supposed to ignore this little gem from yesterday’s sitting of Federal Parliament?

The look on Christopher Pyne’s face says it all, as he sits mesmerised and fixated on the sight before him … being Julie Bishop in full and feisty flight. Pyne looks like he’s about to leap out of his seat and do the ‘manly thing’ – either that or he his about to, um, blow his load? Where are your hands, Chris?

According to the caption under the photo, Julie is saying something about going all the way with the U S of A in outer space, but I think we can do better than that.

What could Julie be saying?

And what is Pyne thinking?

Let’s try both:

Bishop: “I am so the hottest root in the House – just ask the drooling fool behind me.”

Pyne’s thoughts: “That arse is mine!”

Caption time

by Ray Dixon (not known as a great fan of the Liberal party)

credlin-1

It (almost) beggars belief that Tony Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin (the woman whose reputation as a ball cruncher precedes her), has the audacity to sit in Parliament and openly behave this way towards a Cabinet Minister, albeit the airheaded Julie Bishop.

We can’t know what she was saying but just look at that body language: Credlin scowling, sneering and pointing her finger at Bishop, who appears to be bowing and cowering in response (if her head were anymore pulled in she’d have no neck!).

No, we can’t know for sure what was said but we can sure put our own caption to this memorable photo. Here’s mine:

 “Don’t try your death stare on me, you cross-eyed bitch!”

The ‘PUP’ just grew some fangs

(by Ray Dixon … the owner of two ‘pups’)

From unemployed to holding the balance of power in the Senate (not to mention being on Palner's payroll!) - Ricky Muir's Christmases have all come at once.

From unemployed to holding the balance of power in the Senate (not to mention being on Palmer’s payroll!) – Ricky Muir’s Christmases have all come at once.

I’ve just watched Clive Palmer’s press conference in which he presented his three new Palmer United Party (PUP) Senator elects plus Motor Enthusiast Senator elect Ricky Muir, who has signed a memorandum of understanding that he will effectively join the PUP Senators as a voting bloc.

This means, in effect, that Clive’s party will hold the balance of power in the Upper House after July 1 next year and become an extremely important part of the political process. 

No matter what you think of Palmer and his antics one thing is for sure: 

He’s got power and he intends to use it. Watch out.

I have to admit though, that Clive came across as quite credible in the presser, as did his 3 (sorry, 4) Senators. Even Ricky knew his lines and made sense. And even the rough-sounding chick from Tassie handled herself pretty well, as did the meathead ex-rugby player.

I also watched Clive on Lateline last night and he was shooting nothing but pretty straight bullets.

Believe me, Clive Palmer is now a serious player and you will deride him at your peril.

I’m looking for a photo of the Tassie girl and I’ll put it up later but, meanwhile, any thoughts?

Joke away but Clive is no longer a joke. He’s arrived.

UPDATE: Here she is, ex-military policewoman and  42-year-old single mother of two boys, the Senator elect from Tassie Jacqui Lambie sounds ‘rough as guts’ and “won’t back down”:

Jacqui-Lambie-1

And you’ve gotta love this quote of hers from the SMH:

“Tony Abbott will find out that, because of my military training, I don’t back down,” Ms Lambie said.

“I was a military policewoman, and so before I make a decision I want to see all the facts on the table.”

Her sights are currently set on policies such as the Coalition’s paid parental leave scheme.

This is absolutely ridiculous,” Ms Lambie said. “You’ve got pensioners around me living off dog food, and who can’t afford heating. It makes me wild.

She’s ‘wild’ alright. I would not want to lock horns with ‘Wild Jacqui from Tassie’. Wow!

Why Labor deserves another term …..

…. and why they don’t.

…. and why they won’t get one.

(by Ray Dixon – a realist who really doesn’t care who wins as long as Sophie is tossed out)

Hockey-Sweating-Pig

If the latest Galaxy opinion poll is to believed (and they have a 100% track record of getting election results right), tomorrow the Coalition will be swept to power with a 53 – 47 two-party preferred vote that would see them pick up anything from 15 to 25 seats.

The only qualifier to that is the poll was conducted BEFORE shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey’s sweaty and embarrassing announcement yesterday that, despite saying for 3 years that Labor was “wrecking the economy” with “too much spending, too much debt and deficits” and that the budget was in “crisis”, the Coalition is not capable of doing much better and, in fact, will inflict a range of cuts to people for a bottom line that is not worth the pain they will put the lower-end through – in order to give benefits to the top end.

That’s about the size of the Coalition’s economic cred and I’m not going to go into the full detail any further because it speaks for itself , except to say that the coalition plans to cut $40 billion (that doesn’t need to be cut) while spending nearly all of that on over-generous and unnecessary schemes like the Paid Parental Leave Scheme that favours above average earners.

If you don’t believe that then you don’t understand the game they’re playing and that, as usual, the coalition simply wants to redistribute the nation’s wealth by taking more from the lower end and piling it over to those who don’t need it. To their ‘friends’. That’s the coalition way – stuff the poor and bow to the rich. 

It’s no wonder the respected Economist Magazine (which traditionally supports the conservative side of politics) has come out clearly endorsing Kevin Rudd , despite his failings. They simply say that Labor and Rudd’s numbers add up and that their policies present a better plan and vision for our future. Abbott, the Economist says, just doesn’t have it and does not impress them one little bit. 

You see, the thinking and credible economists out there – all over the world – are right: The Labor government has indeed successfully managed the economy over the past 6 years and have wisely used debt and budgetary implements to ensure we remain one of the strongest economies in the world with:

  • High economic growth
  • Increased living standards (see this link if you don’t believe that)
  • High job growth
  • Relatively low unemployment
  • Record low interest rates

And the list goes on. I could mention the AAA credit rating, etc but I don’t want to sound like I’m simply rattling off Labor rhetoric. The reality is that all the crap we’ve heard from Tony Abbott and his supporters at News Ltd about Labor’s economic performance has been just that – utter crap. Abbott has effectively conceded the coalition cannot do a better job and all he’s done is throw the budget around and juggled the numbers to make it look like he has a better plan when, plainly, he doesn’t.

I won’t go into other issues like asylum seekers because it’s been done to death and is about neutral in my opinion anyway.

And I won’t even dwell on the fact that Tony Abbott is planning to WASTE $30 billion on an inferior NBN that won’t work and that will be of no value unless they ultimately adopt Labor’s sensible fibre-to-the-home. As it now stands the Coalition NBN is just a giant gift to Telstra who will still own (and control) the last 200 metres!

No, when it comes to the crunch, there’s only one thing that should really matter when deciding who should run the country.

In the words of Bill Clinton, “It’s the economy, stupid“.

And I am saying that on the thing that really matters – the economy –  there are no grounds for throwing out the Rudd Labor Government …. and the Coalition is not offering a better alternative anyway.

It’s no wonder the coalition left its announcement on costings so late because to do otherwise would have risked seeing the polls turn around in Labor’s favour.

And it’s no wonder Joe Hockey was sweating like a pig, looked like he didn’t want to be there and came across with all the credibility of Richard Nixon in his heyday – not even Joe the used car salesman could sell that lemon with any conviction. He even said (without a hint of irony) his alternative budget forecasts were about “growing jobs”, which completely ignored the fact the savings included 12,000 jobs being cut ! 

Talk about telling porkies, Joe’s performance, such as it was, reminded me of the opening line from a famous Jimi Hendrix song,

“Hey Joe, where you going with that gun in your hand?” ….

… because Joe Hockey had just shot a huge hole in the coalition’s own economic plans and credibility.

And that – the economy, stupid – is why I say: Labor deserves another term.

Okay, and that said, the fact is Labor looks very likely to lose. Now, I am not one to make excuses because, by and large, I am of the opinion that the Australian public (for all it’s failings) does usually get the decision right when it comes to the ballot box. I can’t think of one election in my time where the result was not pretty much as it should have been so, given Labor seems destined to be dumped, there must be a reason why the voting public has determined that they don’t deserve another term. All I have to do is find it!

Well, it should be pretty obvious. It’s only about 10 weeks since Kevin Rudd was reinstated as Prime Minister when Labor finally realised – much to their surprise but no one else’s – that Julia Gillard was not going to turn the ship around and would lead them to a wipeout of Titanic proportions.

The Gillard knifing of Rudd in 2010 (when he didn’t need to be knifed) and her subsequent trashing of his name in a very public manner over her 3 years as PM is well documented.  It stained Rudd. It damaged his credibility.

And he simply has not been back in the job long enough to regain that credibility and prove that he’s ‘righted the ship’.

People still have doubts about Rudd, especially seeing that he’s been running at a chaotic pace, still making policy on the run (in some cases), and still coming across as autocratic and ‘full of talk’. Because he had to. Because he wasn’t given enough time to re-establish his position as PM before going into the election. Labor left it too late to reinstate him and it has backfired.

And that has created a lack of confidence in Labor’s leadership that makes many voters look at and believe all the so-called economic failings of the government.

It’s an old saying but it’s very true, that Oppositions don’t win elections, Governments lose them. And that is exactly what looks like happening here.

If Labor loses (and I can’t see how they won’t) then in my opinion they deserve to lose … due to their failure to come across as a stable and united party.

I don’t blame Kevin Rudd for that, although the debate as to who destabilised the party will go on forever. I don’t care to debate it – I’ll just say that In my opinion it was patently obvious all along that Kevin Rudd was (and still is) the right person to be Prime Minister of this country. Labor should have realised this much earlier and reinstated Rudd by no later than early this year. But they didn’t. And, as a result, they will lose. And rightfully so – barring a miracle on Saturday.

That’s just about all I have to say, except to reiterate my reasoning, which is:

1. Labor has managed the economy well enough to deserve another term.

2. The coalition does not offer a better alternative and has effectively conceded it can’t do a better job.

3. Labor, however, has suffered from internal squabbling over the leadership and lost the public’s confidence, or at least lost confidence with a large enough part of the electorate to tip them out.

4. On that basis, they will lose and deservedly so – they crapped in their own nest.

Yes, I realise I’ve reduced the whole debate to the simple, base points of the macro economy and leadership.

But in the end, folks, that is what really decides elections.

That is all there is – you see, politics, like football, is really a simple game and it’s just a matter of which ‘team’ the voters have confidence in.

………………………………………………………..

(On a brighter [foot]note, though, I’m reasonably confident that Sophie Mirabella will lose her seat of Indi. In fact, Tony Abbott took the extraordinary step today of telephoning Joseph Thomsen on ABC Local Radio in Albury-Wodonga in a last desperate attempt to pitch for Sophie. He didn’t do very well or do Sophie any favours, btw, and had no credible answer as to why she’s so much on the nose around here. You see, Sophie stinks – politically speaking.)

Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave Lies

(by Ray Dixon – someone who can add up)

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The Coalition’s paid parental leave scheme will be administered through the Family Assistance Office and fully funded through a 1.5 per cent levy on companies earning more than $5 million in taxable income. This will affect only around 3,000 companies – less than one out of every 200 companies in Australia.

Those companies required to pay the levy will have this offset by the Coalition’s previously announced 1.5 per cent company tax cut.

The above is an extract from the Liberal Party’s own website headed “Tony Abbott – The Coalition’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme”.

Does anyone else see the contradiction?

Does anyone else see the falsehood in the claim that the scheme will be “fully funded” by a levy on large companies?

The lie in this scheme is so bloody blatant and obvious that most people seem to have missed it.

It’s in plain sight.

And here it is:

If you charge a company a 1.5% tax levy and then fully “offset” it by reducing their tax rate by 1.5%,it means they’re not contributing to it at all.

NOT. ONE. CENT.

Abbott’s scheme is NOT ‘”fully funded” by big companies. It’s not even partially funded by them.

In effect, the companies will pay NOTHING towards it, as their tax rate will remain exactly the same as it is now – 30%.

It’s business as usual for big companies and a free kick.

Abbott is lying.

The Coalition is lying.

The great bulk of the $5.5 billion annual cost of Abbott’s scheme will be met by removing the school children’s allowance and removing tax breaks to SMALL business.

In other words, it is ordinary Australians who will foot this bill, not big companies.

Abbott and the Coalition are concocting their costings to make it look like the scheme to pay wealthy people $75,000 to have a baby is not going to be a burden on the rest of us, but it’s a lie.

The truth is that Labor’s more modest PPL scheme costs only $1.8 billion per year … and you can’t pluck the extra $3.7 billion Abbott’s scheme will cost per year out of thin air.

It has to come from somewhere. And it will come from cuts to other areas. Cuts to families and small business.

While big business pays effectively nothing … but while their highest paid employees get a $75,000 gift !

And while pensioners go without any increases to their measly $19,000 per year.

It’s another Abbott lie.

Good news in Indi

(by Ray Dixon – suffering under Sophie for 12 years)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It might be too small a sample (yet) to be conclusive, but going by the early results of the Border Mail’s survey of voters in the north-east Victoria electorate of Indi (where I live), Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella’s 12 years-of-doing-nothing for those she is supposed to represent may well indeed be about to come to an end on September 7. According to the survey:

Nearly 90% of voters rate Sophie Mirabella’s performance as “poor” or “very poor”.

Mirabella is under serious threat for what has always been considered a very safe Coalition seat … but not from the ALP. The independent Cathy McGowan seems certain to capture a large slice of the vote and, with what will clearly be the lion’s share of preferences (both Labor and the Greens are preferencing McGowan second and Mirabella last), it’s just possible she could finally rid Australia of its most obnoxious Parliamentarian yet.

I’m one of those who will certainly be voting for McGowan, as she’s clearly head and shoulders over all other candidates in terms of someone who is first and foremost interested in doing something for the local area rather than waffling on and making a goose of herself about national issues like Sophie does. And that’s despite the fact McGowan herself has strong ties to the conservative side of politics, is a former Liberal Party member and is rumoured to be heavily backed by the National Party and even by some Liberal members.

You see, Mirabella is not liked by either side and I get the distinct impression that even her own party wouldn’t mind if she was dumped for the more palatable option of the articulate and considerate McGowan. It’s sure going to be one of the more interesting contests in this election.

And the Border’s survey also has some encouraging signs for Kevin Rudd, like this one that says 66% of voters rate Labor’s performance as “satisfactory”, “good” or “excellent”: 

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indi-survey-2

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And, likewise, 65% approve of Rudd’s performance:

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indi-survey-3

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The news is not so good for Tony Abbott though, with over 75% rating his performance as “poor” or “very poor”:

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indi-survey-4

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Okay, you can’t read too much into an online survey but I’ll keep monitoring this and bring you the final results.

After all,  it wouldn’t be any less indicative than those ‘Robotpolls’ by Lonergan that News Ltd (and The Sandpit) keep using.

Fingers crossed that we’re seeing Sophie go down … whoa, what a thought!

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