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Swinging with Saddam, ten years on

Some readers may find it surprising that I list Orwell as an inspiration on the sidebar of this blog, after all I am one of those “evil conservatives” who wants to see the working class exploited by the rich according to their narrow view of politics. Sadly far too many minions of the left find it hard to believe that I do not subscribe to their personal understanding of political morality. Thus the most common position on the war in Iraq is to continuously denounce it as  folly and as the cause of the suffering of the Iraqi people. Our own regular “Richard Ryan” is forever insisting that George Bush and John Howard are “war criminals” for daring to remove the tyrant Saddam Hussein by force of arms. You could be forgiven for thinking that Hussein was anything but a blood thirsty killer of his own people if you were to listen to the likes of our Richard who only counts the dead since the second war in Iraq and ignores the millions killed before. Thankfully there is  one on the left who are far more pragmatic about the necessity to remove murderous tyrants on occasion:

click for source

click for source

As Cohen says in his piece its fair enough to be critical of how the war was run and how the occupation could have been less bloody but we should just never lose sight of just why Saddam was such a manifestation of evil and why removing him was a moral thing to do.

Cheers Comrades

Saddam's cat likes to play

Saddam’s cat likes to play

Asylum-seekers: we know what we want

Find below a copy of Graham Young’s  survey into the attitudes of Australians about the Asylum seeker issue It makes very interesting reading and I reproduce it here under the terms of its creative commons licence

The ALP needs to ensure that it doesn’t lose any more voters to the Greens. This is a real worry, recent by-elections notwithstanding, as according to our qualitative poll of 832 Australians, half of the 29 per cent of ALP voters who disapprove of ALP asylum-seeker policy agree with that of the Greens.

At the same time they don’t want to lose any more on the right to the Libs, and now Bob Katter.

Keeping Labor stuck in this quandary is good politics for Tony Abbott, and it is easy, because his policy is closest to what Australians will accept; but it is also identical to that of John Howard, and Labor just couldn’t embrace that, not just for reasons of politics but pride as well.

While no one’s policy received majority support, the opposition was closest with 45 per cent support (v 47 per cent against), while Labor’s policy attracted 19 per cent support (v 70 per cent opposition) and the Greens 18 per cent support (v 68 per cent opposition).

Importantly for the opposition in terms of Labor’s wedge, it manages to get a 42-33 per cent split in its favour among Katter voters. Disastrously for the government, Katter voters split 75-8 against its policy. At the same time, the government’s new “worst” friends on the left, the Greens, hate their policy too – 75-12 against.

But these judgments are affected by voting intentions. Polling on specific immigration policy yields more nuanced responses.

The ALP needs to ensure that it doesn’t lose any more voters to the Greens. This is a real worry, recent by-elections notwithstanding, as according to our qualitative poll of 832 Australians, half of the 29 per cent of ALP voters who disapprove of ALP asylum-seeker policy agree with that of the Greens.

At the same time they don’t want to lose any more on the right to the Libs, and now Bob Katter.

Keeping Labor stuck in this quandary is good politics for Tony Abbott, and it is easy, because his policy is closest to what Australians will accept; but it is also identical to that of John Howard, and Labor just couldn’t embrace that, not just for reasons of politics but pride as well.

While no one’s policy received majority support, the opposition was closest with 45 per cent support (v 47 per cent against), while Labor’s policy attracted 19 per cent support (v 70 per cent opposition) and the Greens 18 per cent support (v 68 per cent opposition).

Importantly for the opposition in terms of Labor’s wedge, it manages to get a 42-33 per cent split in its favour among Katter voters. Disastrously for the government, Katter voters split 75-8 against its policy. At the same time, the government’s new “worst” friends on the left, the Greens, hate their policy too – 75-12 against.

But these judgments are affected by voting intentions. Polling on specific immigration policy yields more nuanced responses.

Approval or disapproval of key elements of asylum seeker policy

Approval and disapproval of key components of asylum seeker policy

Most of us (55 per cent) agree with offshore processing, while only 33 per cent disagree. Mandatory detention attracts a bare majority support of 50 per cent but with only 35 per cent opposed.

Majorities support processing on Nauru and Australian territories such as Christmas Island, and a plurality supports Manus Island. However, processing in Malaysia is disapproved of by 56 per cent, with its only support being from ALP voters.

Reintroduction of temporary protection visas was supported by 53 per cent, and while towing boats back was opposed by almost half – 49 per cent – another 42 per cent supported it.

Combing through qualitative responses, many who support easier arrangements typify their opponents as racists or xenophobes. This is undoubtedly true in some cases, but figures suggest it is not the general position as the policy most strongly supported is to increase Australia’s humanitarian intake, with 63 per cent in support to 21 per cent opposed, and net support in all major parties bar Katter’s Australian Party.

Most voters are actually sympathetic to the plight of asylum-seekers but see the issue as being one of ethical conflicts so that their plight is not the sole issue.

There is the conflict between their rights and those of refugees who can’t afford the people-smuggler tariff, meaning there is no solution that can be completely humane and just for everyone.

Another concern is territorial and cultural security, concerns that are typically conservative in the philosophical sense and that focus on our rights.

Many recognise that Australians have it pretty good, which is why refugees want to come here, but fear that too many, too quickly, would ruin what we have for everyone. There is an underlying belief that if we don’t fix the people-smuggling problem we might as well just have an open-borders policy and have the navy as a “meet-and-greet” agency to conduct people into port.

What is the point of a nation state if you can’t police your borders? And if Australian society is undermined, what does that do to our capacity to help?

In a sense there is a mismatch between the immediate and the long term that can be most easily fixed by ensuring refugees don’t come here in the first place, which means tough border regulations.

Many voters also see it as a question of competence. Labor didn’t need to fiddle with Howard’s policy, which people believe worked, but it did. They see it as a sign of dilettantism from the government, which joins all their other concerns about its competence.

Interestingly, while recent political debate has centred on the risk of death to asylum-seekers from the trip, I can find little in the responses suggesting that this is a major concern of Australians.

Australia has had 26 years (some would say more than 200) of unauthorised boat arrivals, which has led to divisive debate. Now it seems we may be within reach of a set of policies that will satisfy most of us.

 

 

 

Who is dazed and confused? @MigloCW

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Well Migs this post is just for you.

Instead of going through comments like a forensic accountant I will instead go through your post in that manner

Dazed and Confused

Unable to lure the Government to the early election they have fought so hard for, the Opposition now comes across like a mob of dazed and confused rabbits caught in the headlights of a speeding media convoy. All of a sudden they have nowhere to run. Their incessant gibberish is desperate.

The politicians who are truly desperate are of course Julia Gillard and her motley crew who lurch from disaster to disaster with hardly a pause for breath in between, Their expectation that the introduction of the carbon tax and its attendant fiscal bribes would lift their fortunes in the polls has been a total failure, in fact I would suggest that never before has the pork barrel been so deeply dipped into with such a poor rise in the the government’s standing with the voters.

And that’s how they come across. A pack of rabbits running off in all directions with no leader to follow. Every decision contradicted. Lost for ideas.

Ok Migs let me take your Rabbit analogy just one step further. If the opposition are running rabbits then they are clearly a  more  healthy bunch than the rabbits in government who are all in the thrall of the Black rabbit of Inle and all ready to meet their maker.

But enough of the analogies (though they do behave as a dazed and confused party).

Yes that sums up the government most  succinctly 😉

Let’s examine this.

OK I’ll examine your examination 😉

Earlier this week Cory Bernardi was critical of the Government for providing assistance to families via ‘carbon tax’ rebates:

They’re sending tens of millions of dollars out to people that are just finding their way into poker machines rather than into areas in which they’re meant to assist families and communities.

That’s right, poker machines! Is he not aware that his party is vigorously opposed to pokie reforms? His ‘alleged’ leader addressed a rally side by side with Alan Jones who told the crowd that:

. . . the proposed pokies reforms would erode the nation’s social fabric.

“What happens when the local club is gone?” he asked.

“The social repercussions of mandatory pre-commitment are enormous”.

Mr Bernardi is confused. His party loves gamblers so he must obey. Oh how it must frustrate him that gamblers are only able to maintain the nation’s social fabric (as Jones would say) if the money for gambling comes from Labor Government rebates.

You miss the point of Cory’s criticism of the blatant pork barrelling “compensation” which is more about the poor cost benefit relationship between the payments and the subsequent improvement in the government’s standing.   The so called “pokies reform” was nothing of the sort and as such it was entirely reasonable to oppose something that would be so useless. That said I am totally unsympathetic to any sort of gambling no mater how much revenue it puts into Clubs or pubs or the government coffers.

I can see why he’s dazed.

Yes but only because of your confirmation bias 😉

As a duo, Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey are definitely confused. As I pointed out in my previous post, Tony Abbott was critical of the Gillard Government presiding over an interest rate rise in April by bleating:

The Federal Government’s economic policy is to blame for the latest interest rate hike . . .

Well isn’t it wonderful that the ‘hike’ has been reversed? But Joe Hockey doesn’t find it wonderful, fuming:

. . . the rate cut is a sign the Government has lost control of the economy.

“Again I state that we and all Australians who have home loans and small business loans would welcome this cut from the Reserve Bank but nothing here gives credit to the Government, in fact it’s the absolute opposite,” he said.

“The Reserve Bank is moving because the Government has lost control of the economy.”

One of them is confused, but more than likely both of them are confused. I’m confused as I thought the Liberal Party liked lower interest rates. John Howard told us so.

Gee you seem to be missing the simple and  sound point being made by Joe  that the government can’t claim credit for the result I see no confusion here at all  🙄

Mr Bernardi could make the situation even more confusing by nominating lower interest costs as a reason for more pokie gambling. Damn Labor!

Fortunately Labor are not in need of any more damnation than they are already experiencing from the voters  😉

The Tony and Joe team dazzle me with their contradictory statements, begging me to ask the question: Do they ever talk to each other? You may ask the same after hearing that Tony Abbott:

. . . gave “a categorical no”, when asked if he would raise the GST.

“We will not change the GST,” he told radio 2SM

Joe must never listen to his boss or 2SM because he turned around and said there was a case for it being raised. This is an issue that has them confused. Joe must be left in a daze.

How is that a contradiction? A case exits for altering any or all government charges and taxes but that does not oblige a party to change them. So both Tony and Joe are correct and not in anyway confused.

Tony Abbott may well be confused about many things, but thankfully, climate change isn’t one of those as it’s absolute crap.

Could someone please tell his party he’s not confused? Or could someone please tell Tony Abbott that his party is confused? Because . . . wait for it . . . in the same breath Tony wants a policy to address it and has debated himself on this very issue.

It has left him dazed.

You know hat Migs I agree with you that the colaition could do better on Climate Change policy by dropping in its entirety their direct action policy  however compared to Labor on this issue Tony Abbott absolutely Lucid. because he did not go to the people making an unequivocal promise that “there will be no carbon tax under a government that I lead”   the way that Gillard did.

Here’s more evidence.

On January 20 this year he admitted to South Australians he will slash $500 million in car industry grants. On the same day he says there’s “an abundance” of money available to car manufacturers and has committed the Coalition to maintaining $1 billion worth of subsidies for the automotive industry. He really is caught in the spotlight, isn’t he? He doesn’t know which way to run. Just follow his mouth.

Both sides of politics have  desire to maintain our manufacturing capabilities  and the point of debate here is how to do it what is confused is that  our esteemed author felt the need to use the same citation twice .

Sophie Mirabella is confused. She is upset that the nation’s 500 biggest polluters will be hit with the evil ‘carbon tax’ but anybody who witnessed her recent appearance on Q&A would be surprised that she has no problem with Tony Abbott introducing a paid parental leave scheme that will be funded by placing a levy on an estimated 2,500 companies. The scheme has been rejected by big business. This must leave Ms Mirabella slightly dazed.

Migs have you ever considered that the fact that business dislikes the parental  leave scheme is actaully evidence against the often made claim that the coalition is a servant of big business? In  any event do we want the only people to produce children to be the less well of and  unmotivated? I think not especially when its clear that motivated parents produce motivated children.

As is Andrew Robb, the appointed spokesperson given the job of fronting his boss to whisper in his ear that the scheme is a white elephant. He is confused as to why his ‘alleged’ leader wants to introduce a scheme that won’t work. This is another issue Mr Abbott shows no confusion:

“I am very, very proud to be the first leader of the Coalition to go to the people with a fair dinkum paid parental leave scheme and I’m proud to be the only leader who will be going into the next election with a fair dinkum paid parental leave scheme as part of our policy.”

Nobody else in his party wants it. They must all be left in a daze.

Having reservations about what will be possible after two terms of Labor in the Lodge  is just being prudent and unlike Labor the coalition actaully values being honest about what is possible and they have seen the folly of Gillard’s promise anything (like “no carbon tax” ) and then back flip as necessary when the Greens and Indies had hold of her short and curlies.

Malcolm Turnbull must also be confused.

Nearly two years after Tony Abbott vowed to tear down the beginnings of the national broadband network and to “demolish” it, the Coalition now says it will not roll back or cancel it, if it comes to power at the next election.

Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband Malcolm Turnbull told IT Pro firmly this week: “No, the Coalition will not cancel or roll back the NBN. The NBN will continue to roll out but we will do so in a cost-effective manner in particular in built-up areas.”

He is confused because all of a sudden his ‘alleged’ leader is in favour of it. Or is he?

Now that the government has spent a huge amount of money on the NBN what would you expect the coalition to do? tear up the fibre optic cables? or try to get some value to the Australian people  by making the roll out more cost effective? No one doubts that the NBN has some merit what has always been in doubt has been its business model and the fact that it seems to be a Rolls Royce solution to a Ford problem

Which way does Malcolm run? Or does he run? Maybe he’ll be transfixed in the media spotlight like the rest of them . . . all dazed and confused. Continuing to talk gibberish.

Your conclusion contains the reason that you are fighting a straw man of your own imagination Migs. The opposition are not confused or dazed at all they ahve been focused and on message  for all of the time that Tony Abbott has been their leader. Whilst the government flounders on the issue that you have steadfastly ignored here which is the failure of Labor to address the issue of unauthorised arrivals by boat. Gillard has been reeling on this issue ever since she Knifed her predecessor and none of the so called bright lights in the Labor party dares to admit the shocking truth that coalition are right . Fortunately the people do know and admit that fact which is why they will choose Tony and his team to govern at the next  election at which point I will salute you for putting up such a spirited defence of the lost cause of Labor government, after all you will have a very long time to think about where they went wrong as they languish in the political wilderness for at least a decade.

Cheers Comrade Miglo

 

Gillard’s “Climatechoices” begins today

Well July 1 has dawned and of course the sky has not fallen in with beginning of Gillard’s Carbon tax regime but rather than marking the beginning of something good for Labor  what it really means is that Labor have jumped into the political waters with a huge weight around their necks and while they may furiously paddle their arms, legs and mouths defending this new tax regime I am absolutely certain that that weight is going to drag them down sooner rather than later.

  I am reminded of the way that Liberal supporters tried to defend the greatly unloved “Workchoices” they put up a valiant defence and even though some of the ideas of that scheme had merit it had enough downsides for it to never get the unequivocal endorsement of the public. In the end despite being an otherwise competent government it was Workchoices that did for John Howard’s government.  With The Carbon tax Labor have created their own  electoral suicide pill.

  Of course there are some aspects of the mish-mash of changes that Labor have disingenuously  rolled into the Carbon tax bills, like raising the tax free threshold which is something long overdue  but I don’t think that they will be sweetening the political cyanide enough to save this country’s oldest political party from oblivion at the next election.  As I see it after their resounding defeat at the next election it won’t be homosexuality that will be “the love that dare not speak its name” it will be any mention of the Carbon tax. The few Labor members that remain will all insist that they always had reservations or that they only ever supported it because they had to in the name of party solidarity. Some will blame the Greens and the new leader of the opposition may even insist that it is “dead buried and cremated“.

Like the Howard government did with Workchoices Labor have over reached here with this tax especially in the light of the “there will be no Carbon Tax under a government that I lead”  lie form Gillard prior to the last election. The sad thing is it was an entirely unnecessary back-flip because had she insisted when seeking the support of the Greens and independents that a Carbon tax needed the mandate of the people at the next election then she would have started off in a far better place.

Ah well, she is now reaping what was sown and we will see a flurry of hype from both sides of politics either denouncing  or defending the Carbon tax. The true believers on both sides have already made up their minds and they will switch off to some extent but the swinging voters who hold the nation’s future in their hands are going to be convinced that the Carbon tax is evil every time they see prices rise, even if those rises are due to something else. which is precisely why Labor will be the losers in the long run

  Cheers Comrades

Some happy music for a great day, or Bye Bye Bligh!

Well the sun has come out after a week of wet and dreary days and I can’t help thinking that there is something most apt about that, given that we go to the polls today which will means the end of what has proven to be a very bad government. We all know that they are going to lose very badly indeed, the question is  who will try to lead the ALP survivors out of the political wilderness? I can’t help wondering if Anna Bligh is hoping that she will share John Howard’s fate and conveniently lose her own seat so that she won’t have to endure the torture and shame of being a member of   that depression club that will be the Queensland  Labor parliamentary party room (meeting place, a phone box in George street)

Cheers indeed Comrades

 

 

Those were the days my friends…

Cheers Comrades

 

Hicks not a hero

I suppose it should have been expected that the darling of the Latte Sippers™ would front up on the Q&A program last night , after all he is trying to promote his memoir, No I’m not talking about John Howard I’m talking about the hero of our friends with the milky residue on their top lips…

The wide-ranging interview focused heavily on the more controversial aspects of Mr Howard's tenure. (ABC)

He … received a video question from former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks, who asked him if he stood by his support of the system that saw Mr Hicks imprisoned for over five years.

A video question from David Hicks in Five Dock, NSW: Hi, I’m David Hicks. When you were Prime Minister you left me in Guantanamo Bay for five and a half years. During that time I was detained without charge for a long time. I was denied a fair trial. I was tortured. Do you believe that I was treated humanely and that the military commission was a fair system? Thank you.

But as with many of his answers the former prime minister held firm on his actions regarding Mr Hicks.

In relation to the military commissions, we put a lot of pressure on the Americans to accelerate the charges being brought against David Hicks, and I remind the people watching this program that David Hicks did plead guilty to a series of offences,” he said.

“David Hicks trained with Taliban, David Hicks was associated with groups that were behaving in a manner that was completely opposed to the interests of this country, and the idea that we should see him as a hero is very misplaced.”




What our Latte sodden friends seem to forget is that Hicks willingly supported one of the vilest regimes in the history of the world, they deeply misogynistic, and Anti Semitic Talliban regime in Afghanistan.On top of that as a captured irregular combatant he was no civil criminal to whom the concept of habeas corpus ever applied. His status was at best problematical, and he should thank is lucky stars that he did not face summary execution.

I was willing to suggest that Hicks have an opportunity to live out the rest of his life in quiet obscurity on the assumption that he was truly contrite about his crimes and gross errors of judgement but for him to come on to the Q& A program and omit any suggestion that he was the author of his own fate in his question suggests that maybe he does not deserve the benefit of any doubt after all.
Cheers Comrades

Brother Number One’s Government saying “come on down” to people smugglers.

(Now Updated)

brother-number-one-border1

Mores invitations to people smugglers bought to you by Brother Number One

Hands up those of you who are just not taking note  any more when ever there is a news item about another load of illegal immigrants arriving in our waters in a leaky boat ?

The fishing boat north west Christmas Island. It is the 16th boat to enter Australian waters this year.
The fishing boat north west Christmas Island. It is the 16th boat to enter Australian waters this year.

A BOAT carrying 194 people, the largest number in eight years, has been intercepted by border protection 23 nautical miles north-west of Christmas Island.

The small wooden fishing boat, which defence sources said was “overcrowded”, had been tracked since Friday by Australian officials, after it left Indonesia.

On board were mostly men, understood to be of Afghan or Iraqi descent, who are now being processed on Christmas Island in immigration detention. No children were on board.

It is the 16th boat to arrive in Australian waters this year — during which 867 people have been intercepted by border protection.

[…]

Shadow immigration minister Sharman Stone said the latest arrival could be directly attributed to a softening in Australia’s immigration regime by the Rudd Government.

She said last week we had seen “another softening” — referring to proposed legislation to remove charges for people’s stay in immigration detention.

“No wonder we have seen a boat this big,” she said. “We know from asylum seekers who travel on these boats that the people smugglers watch the online Australian media, so they would have known what happened in Parliament and now they are saying ‘come on down’.”

Of course those seeking to come here illegally know what sort of reception that they are likely to get under the regime of Brother Number One and when they realise that they will not incur any penalty for a failed attempt there will obviously be an even bigger jump in the numbers. and speaking of the numbers we could reasonably expect that for everyone of the men on this latest boat that there may be ten or so others for whom they act as a vangaurd. Because you can be sure that as soon as they are able they will seek to have their families cone over under our” family reunion ” programs. So perhaps we should consider that the complement of a boat like this is really1940 rather then 194…

As I have said before prompt determination of their status and then an equally prompt repatriation and if they have  “lost” (disposed of more likely) their identifying documents, assume that they are not what they claim to be and repatriate them even quicker.

You know it makes sense

Cheers Comrades

8)

PS

I bet that even the Labor government is pleased that John Howard built the facility at Christmas Island even though they were delusional enough to believe that it would never be needed.

UPDATE

10,000 more on their way

Ray Dixon  will be delighted!

June 30, 2009

INDONESIAN authorities are bracing for a huge influx of boat people, anticipating as many as 10,000 asylum-seekers are waiting in Malaysia to transit through the archipelago and on to Australia.

This estimate was backed by a Malaysian group that deals with unauthorised immigrants. An Australian Government source warned of the potential for a similar influx to the thousands who began arriving in Australia from the late 1990s.

About 1500 asylum-seekers have arrived in Indonesia this year and registered for refugee status, almost all travelling by boat from Malaysia. Another 1500 are believed to have arrived and have not registered.

Indonesian police intelligence suggests between 7000 and 10,000 more people are waiting in Malaysia to make the journey once their passage is organised by people-smugglers.

“It could be 10,000,” said senior commissioner Eko Danianto, head of the people smuggling unit at the Indonesian National Police.

“They comprise a mix of nationalities, not only Afghans. There are also Sri Lankan, Myanamerese (Burmese), Iraqis.”

However an Australian academic, Dr Roslyn Richardson, of Charles Sturt University, has said asylum seekers know little about Australia before their arrival here.

Networks of people-smugglers service the 1 million Indonesian illegal workers who regularly travel to Malaysia by boat. The same networks also help arrange passage to Australia via Indonesia.

On Saturday, Malaysian authorities arrested 36 Afghans and six Pakistanis being smuggled to Australia via Indonesia. On Sunday, a boat carrying 194 asylum-seekers, mostly Sri Lankans, was intercepted near Christmas Island. Immigration sources said it was believed to have come from Malaysia. It was the biggest boatload of asylum-seekers to arrive in eight years.

“When they start getting big numbers through on a boat, they [people smugglers] get credibility and they get money. It becomes a virtuous cycle for them,” said one Australian immigration enforcement official.

The paragraph that I have emboldened in the quote above goes right to the nub of the problem, sadly my latte sipping friends just don’t get the bigger picture .

Also the same report says that the 194 people on the boat about which this  post was written are from Sri Lanka which should mean that they can be promptly repatriated to their country of origin as that conflict has now been resolved by the defeat of the LTTE.

Cheers again Comrades

😉

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