Do you not remember the Twentieth Century?


Dear Mr Abbott,

You promised to take us back to the halcyon days of your Liberal Prime Ministerial predecessor John Howard and, like him, hoped to put sport rather than politics back on the front pages. I fear, however, your time machine has overshot the mark and we are heading rapidly towards the 1800s.

Do you not remember the Twentieth Century?

First: On 15 September 2013 you proudly announced your new Cabinet — with one woman!

Do you not recall Australia gave women the vote in federal elections in 1902 after campaigning by Australian suffragettes such as Vida Goldstein, Mary Lee, Henrietta Dugdale and Rose Scott? If not those names, you must remember Edith Cowan who went on to become the first female elected to any Australian parliament.

Women, however, did not get the vote quite so easily in the United Kingdom. Do you not recall Mrs Pankhurst and the British suffragettes who, from 1908, had to resort to militant tactics to achieve the vote?

Do you not remember Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch and the ‘women’s lib’ movement (or second wave of feminism) of the 1960s and 1970s; the creation of the Women’s Electoral Lobby early in 1972; or the equal pay case of 1969; or women being allowed to drink in public bars and breaking down other social barriers?

Do you not remember that women have already fought much of this battle? Perhaps not, for they still have to fight to get into your Cabinet.

Second: During the 2013 election campaign you treated Indonesia like a colony, saying what Australia would do to protect its sovereignty and its borders from the evils of people smuggling without first asking Indonesia about your approaches that encroached on its sovereignty.

When in Opposition you attacked human rights in Malaysia and after you were elected were forced to apologise.

Did you not remember that south-east Asia was decolonised after WWII, that Indonesia first declared independence on 17 August 1945 but the Dutch tried to return? Do you not recall how from March 1946 Australia supported Indonesia’s independence and played a significant role in having the United Nations involved in negotiating an agreement leading to the Dutch withdrawal in 1949? Perhaps you would prefer not to, for that was a Labor government.

Did you not recall that Malaysia became completely independent from the UK in 1957 after a few years as a self-governing protectorate; that Australia sent military personnel to support Malaysia during ‘the emergency’ in the 1950s?

Why did you think that you could speak about our Asian neighbours in the way you did? Was it simply that you did not remember the Twentieth Century?

Third: You and your Ministers have demonised refugees arriving by boat, now making it official policy that they be referred to as ‘illegal arrivals’, despite Australia being a signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees. Admittedly we did sign it during the Twentieth Century, which may make it somewhat difficult for you to recall.

Do you not remember that we are a nation of migrants and refugees? From what I can find out, you may have arrived as a ‘£10 Pom’. Was your family seeking a better life when they left England behind? What is it that the boat people say — oh, yes, they are looking for a better life? It does have an air of familiarity that you should recall. Or in overlooking the Twentieth Century have you also forgotten your own arrival?

Have you forgotten that people escaping war-torn Europe after World War II were welcomed — about 171,000 arrived between 1947 and 1954 under the migration program operating at the time. In fact, in those years the total net overseas migration was about 680,000. So we not only sponsored migrants, we welcomed four times as many.

One of your Liberal predecessors, Malcolm Fraser, supported the Vietnamese boat people who came to Australia in the mid-1970s. He sent migration officials to the refugee camps to speed the processing of claims and, you may be surprised to learn, that kept down the number arriving by boat — 2,059 boat arrivals between 1976 and 1981 compared to total net migration of 442,000, including about 56,000 Vietnamese who applied as refugees. Not a bad plan in my opinion.

Perhaps it is something you could consider. But then again, I imagine you don’t like to recall that part of the Twentieth Century because Fraser resigned from your Party when he saw how refugees were being treated.

Fourth: You have hidden from and, indeed, run away from interviews and gagged your Ministers.

Do you not remember that, after an initial decision in 1992, the High Court confirmed in 1997 an ‘implied right’ of constitutional freedom of political communication?

… ss 7 and 24 and the related sections of the Constitution necessarily protect that freedom of communication between the people concerning political or government matters which enables the people to exercise a free and informed choice as electors …

The High Court created a nexus between political communication and federal voting choices. This right of political communication is not restricted to election periods but can include any political communication between elections that may influence voting.

As electors we need to be informed what each party stands for, to know what the Australian Government is doing. There are also political communications with the Government to express our views, to try to change a policy or have new policies considered. How can we have political communication with you if you don’t even tell us what you are doing? We are not informed by your Government’s silence!

I can take you back to something you should remember because it occurred before the Twentieth Century.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1804:

… man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is therefore, the first shut up by those who fear investigation of their actions.

A free press is considered a cornerstone of democracy (leaving aside for now discussion of the Murdoch press) by providing information to the people and creating an informed electorate. If you persist with keeping information from the people, we will be left to assume you ‘fear investigation of [your] actions’ or are hiding something from us — perhaps you already are!

Fifth: You have re-introduced ‘flexible workplace relations’ into the administrative orders for the Department of Employment, although in searching your pre-election policies I can find no reference to it. Is this double-speak for more of WorkChoices or at least individual bargaining between employer and employee? You are obviously aware, being a Rhodes scholar, that in that relationship the employer holds all the power — it can be a very one-sided negotiation.

Do you not recall what Justice Higgins said in the ‘Harvester case’ in November 1907:

The provision of fair and reasonable remuneration is obviously designed for the benefit of the employees in the industry; and it must be meant to secure to them something which they cannot get by the ordinary system of individual bargaining.

That is my emphasis to Justice Higgins’ words but, yes, back in those times individual bargaining was the norm. Even then, however, it was seen not to work well for the employee. But I suppose that is another part of the Twentieth Century you have overlooked in your hurry to take us back in time.

Do you not recall the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York in 1911? One hundred and forty six workers — mostly women — died, leading to changes in factory conditions and safety in the US.

Here in Australia, do you not remember the Mt Kembla colliery disaster in the Illawarra in NSW in July 1902 when 96 workers, men and boys, were killed, or the collapse of the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne in 1970, killing 35 construction workers and seriously injuring 17?

Do you not recall that it was the workers represented by their unions who fought for workplace safety for decades, yet still over 100 workers die at their work every year in Australia and over 100,000 serious worker’s compensation claims are made. In fact, 212 died in 2012 and 185 in 2013.

How can an employee demand a safe workplace through individual bargaining? Would you allow, in the name of flexibility and reducing regulation, lesser health and safety standards for businesses? Would you take us back to those times when the bosses decided what was ‘safe’? How many more lives will be lost if you allow that?

Sixth: You have promised $70 million to encourage 1,500 existing public schools to become independent. And you launched your education policy at a fundamentalist Christian school in Sydney’s western suburbs. You said you did not agree with its views on homosexuality and respectfully disagreed with a number of other pronouncements in its Statement of Faith — but not all of them? Perhaps you do agree with some because, after all, they are (or at least appear to me) more akin to Christian views of the 1800s.

Do you not recall Australia’s long history of a free secular education at the primary and secondary levels? New South Wales has been doing it since late in the 1800s (so perhaps that should be within your ken) and in 1912 Queensland began creating high schools for all when it worked out it was cheaper than their previous model of ‘grammar schools’.

Do you want to take us back to the mid-1800s when the Catholic and Protestant churches provided the schooling and there was competition between them to gain pupils?

Just as an example of those times, a Dr Braim JP wrote to the Anglican Bishop of Melbourne in 1849 complaining about a Jesuit priest in his local area (and I understand, you do know something about the Jesuits):

He is to be found in every house, where he has a chance of effecting an entrance, and is very active in trying to persuade parents to prefer his school to ours for the education of their children.*

*You can find this quote in the section ‘Orphan girls’ near the end of a very long letter on the Bishop’s travels through his Diocese.

Do you not remember that the Twentieth Century placed a high priority on education and that government schools made it accessible to all?

Your Minister for Education floated the idea of reintroducing ‘caps’ on university places. You did contradict him and said it would not happen but, given your approach to promises (only what is written; only what we do, not what we said we would do — ring any bells?) I’m not sure I can believe you. It smells to me of re-creating an elite and making sure the rest of us know our place.

Last, at least for now: You said in your book Battlelines that conservatism prefers facts to theory; practical demonstration to metaphysical abstraction; what works to what’s in the mind’s eye.

Do you not recall George Bernard Shaw’s words, famously quoted by Robert Kennedy in 1968:

Some men see things as they are and say why; I dream things that never were and say why not?

In your world, things would change ever so slowly. It is the dreamers who drive progress. Even you should understand that it is also the dreamers who drive capitalism.

Do you not remember it was Henry Ford who dreamed of making cars affordable for ordinary people and from 1908 made that dream real? Or in the 1980s, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs who had a similar dream of making computing available to all? If you only believe in what already works, your much loved capitalism would grind to a halt!

I will finish there but only because I have better things to do with my time and no inclination to continue this list: it could take me weeks.

You may be a conservative but you seem to be ignoring the past, ignoring what has already been done and already shown to work. You seem to have forgotten most of the Twentieth Century in your rush to take us back in time.

Perhaps your vision is of a late Victorian patriarchal upper middle-class family following correct etiquette and manners, with the elite paternalistically watching over the rest of us. It may reduce our cost of living if we no longer need televisions, computers or cars; you will not need to spend billions on motorways but perhaps more on trams — and horses! We may, however, need to use more coal and timber and, in the twenty-first century, other nations may not thank us for that.

I am sorry to remind you, but those times are gone. The Twentieth Century did happen!

Yours faithfully

Ken Wolff

PS: If I have some of my details wrong, I apologise, but at least I can recall the Twentieth Century.

What can you add to my letter?

What else has Abbott forgotten from the Twentieth Century?

What do you think?



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TPS Team

9/02/2014This week Ken Wolff returns to The Political Sword to give Australia's Prime Minister a history lesson. Ken demonstrates that in the 20th Century both 'conservative' and 'progressive' sides of Australian society have implemented and supported changes that have improved the life and conditions of millions of people in this country. We welcomed people from around the world (including ironically Tony Abbott's family), offered assistance for resettlement and enjoyed the cultural diversity a large number of migrants from different ethnic origins brought to this country. At the same time as the current Prime Minister is suggesting his Government will produce no surprises, they seems to be hell-bent on reducing Australian society to the days prior to a number of these social and economic advances that Australians enjoyed during the 20th Century. Methods to achieve this include the stifling of independent thought, secrecy, paternalistic lectures to leaders of regional countries and reduction in the opportunities that have been available for all - rather that just those with 'connections' or 'money'. The crux of this piece is simple - where does Mr Abbott see this country in the future? Are we a place where society looks after those that need it, people have the knowledge to put their creativity into practice and others are welcomed into our exciting and vibrant culture; or is Australia heading toward being an insular cultural backwater that is bypassed by the world? It's a good question and we welcome your comments.

Ad astra

9/02/2014Ken What an inspirational piece you have written for [i]The Political Sword[/i] on the cusp of moving into the 2014 federal parliamentary year. Thank you. You rightly ask our newly minted Prime Minister a set of highly relevant questions. How far back does he want to take this country? We know he admires traditions such as our ‘Judeo-Christian’ heritage, our ‘British’ origins and our military legacy, among which the Anzacs feature prominently. Like fellow Liberals, he clings to conservative values, the ‘good old days’, the halcyon days of the British Empire and royalty. He speaks of the Howard days as the golden era of politics, seemingly unaware that time has wrought changes that make that era outdated. He sees only what he regards as the good things Howard did, yet conveniently overlooks the structural damage he did to our national budget with pork-barelling, middle class welfare and tax cuts, damage that all treasurers will struggle to reverse. He avoids looking at all the matters you so clearly articulate in your exposé. He is a man of the past, with limited vision of the future to which Australia is entitled. He will hold us back; even take us back. Yet we are stuck with him while the Fourth Estate declines to hold him to account, to insist on answers and transparency, to reveal his motives, to uncover his driving force, and to expose his antediluvian plans for our nation. Your piece begins the process that the Fifth Estate will need to take to expose this man as a lacklustre relic of the past, a ball and chain the country has now to drag along painfully in pursuit of progress. Abbott’s arrival is a disaster, yet too few see it.

Ken

9/02/2014Ad Thank you for your praise. As a prime minister, I find Abbott truly frightening. The man is either stupid, in the true sense of the word, or is so ideologically focussed that facts and historical changes mean nothing to him. Nothing can dent the notions he already has in his mind. I found his appearance at Davos just another example. A chance on the world stage to say something meaningful but he blew it! He attacked the Labor party. There were many issues being discussed at Davos but they don't seem to be on Abbott's radar. The world is leaving him behind but he just can't see it. He is indeed a disaster.

Casablanca

10/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Monday, 10 February 2014: 20 items[/b] CULTURE WARS 1. Is the ABC biased and inefficient? Here's what the data says Luke Mansillo Conservative commentators have lambasted the ABC for its skewed coverage but a range of figures dispute that http://www.theguardian.com/media/datablog/2014/feb/06/australian-broadcasting-corporation-australia?CMP=twt_fd 2. The Undoing of Australia Network Monica Attard If you’ve travelled in our neighbourhood, chances are you’ve turned on the telly in your hotel room and stumbled across Australia Network alongside CNN or BBC World. Its footprint covers 46 nations across Asia, the Pacific and Indian subcontinent and it broadcasts around the clock. Its aim is to showcase Australian values. So you’ll find lifestyle programs, sport, drama, kids shows and news. It’s news that looks like being Australia Network’s undoing. http://thehoopla.com.au/australia-without-fear-favour/ INDUSTRY WARS 3. PM could not have been wronger on SPC Ardmona enterprise bargaining agreement Paul Malone On the one hand, ministers argue for no government intervention - let the market rule. But on the other, they are seeking to dictate to SPC Ardmona's management, telling it that it must renegotiate its enterprise bargaining agreement with its workforce. Had it invested $25 million in the enterprise, the government would have had the right to a say. But having abandoned the company, the government has no such right. SPC Ardmona managing director Peter Kelly pointed out that the Australian dollar appreciated more than 50 per cent between 2009 and 2013, enabling a flood of cheap imports and undermining the company's export markets. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/pm-could-not-have-been-wronger-on-spc-ardmona-enterprise-bargaining-agreement-20140208-328i0.html#ixzz2spJIsKdu 4. Fact-checking @coles and @woolworths on #SPCsunday Lesley Howard Given the situation with SPCA and the dominant market share (approx 80%?) Coles and Woolworths have I got curious as to whether this duopoly has a responsibility in the demise of Australian products and SPCA itself. I did a quick but not definitive survey of some products to get an idea. Regarding @Coles claim in a tweet to @margo kingston1 that “Coles is a strong supporter of SPC Ardmona with more than 170 private label & branded products on our shelves” it is impossible to verify this from readily available figures. http://nofibs.com.au/2014/02/09/fact-checking-coles-woolworths-spcsunday-adropex/#sthash.qYCoamFK.dpuf 5. Crocodile tears for SPC #SPCSunday @e2mq173 comments Errol Brandt Our big retailers, Coles and Woolworths, cry crocodile tears for the Australian manufacturers they've spent years running into the ground. I took the picture above this morning in my local Woolworths. At first glance, it could appear to the generously-minded that Woolworths is promoting the SPC Ardmona […] http://nofibs.com.au/2014/02/09/dont-cry-crocodile-tears-spc/ 6. Penalty rates at my local pub Victoria Rollison It’s all so very predictable. In his usual sloppy and insipid way, Tony Abbott is trying to bring on an industrial relations war with unions by blaming SPC Ardmona’s request for government assistance on over-generous wage and employee entitlements in http://theaimn.com/2014/02/08/penalty-rates-at-my-local-pub/ POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 7. Tony Abbott's budget to make his mentor smile Bianca Hall Is Abbott merely playing to old ideology? Insiders are adamant he is his own man. Julie Novak, a senior fellow with conservative think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, is heartened by Hockey's ''positive noises'' about the end of the age of entitlement. But she is concerned that some of the government's policies run contrary to that message, pointing to the multibillion-dollar paid parental leave scheme, and its pre-election commitments to maintaining Labor policies such as the national disability insurance scheme. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbotts-budget-to-make-his-mentor-smile-20140208-328oi.html 8. Navy burns: the government’s obligation to investigate Ben Saul The Abbott government has reacted indignantly to allegations by Sudanese asylum seeker Yousif Ibrahim Fasher that asylum seekers were mistreated and had their hands deliberately burnt by Australian Navy… http://theconversation.com/navy-burns-the-governments-obligation-to-investigate-22939 9. Governments play flawed ‘skilled jobs’ guessing game Phil Lewis Governments in most countries, including Australia, often feel the need to predict which skills will be in demand and match them with increased supply largely through education planning and migration http://theconversation.com/governments-play-flawed-skilled-jobs-guessing-game-22527 10. Karen's claim: Doane go breaking our heart Ashbygate Trust Just when Peter Slipper may have thought it was safe to go outside again, Ashbygate co-conspirator Karen Doane has resurfaced to screw the knife again. The [...] http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/karens-claim-doane-go-breaking-our-heart,6146 11. Hot time in Brisbane Kaye Lee In September 2013, then host of the G20, Russia, produced a 27 page long G20 Leaders’ Declaration outlining their future priorities and goals. Contained in that document was the following: “We welcome efforts aimed at promoting sustainable development, energy efficiency, inclusive http://theaimn.com/2014/02/07/hot-time-in-brisbane/ ECONOMICS 12. The TPP, Treaties and the Constitution Michael Taylor Will our sovereign rights be signed away with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (the TPP) Agreement? Matthew Mitchell examines the likelihood in this guest article. Currently our government is negotiating the TPP with America (and other nations) in a secret process. This http://theaimn.com/2014/02/08/the-tpp-treaties-and-the-constitution/ ENVIRONMENT 13. We need to talk about Greg Anon (name supplied) I’m Greg Hunt’s friend on Facebook but he thinks he’s so cool he acts like I don’t exist. When I try to talk to him he ignores me and sometimes he pretends he didn’t hear what I said by editing my comments. I’m not the only one. He’s […] http://nofibs.com.au/2014/02/09/need-talk-greg/ 14. Why electioneering is at the root of Tasmania’s forest furore Russell Warman, Jamie Kirkpatrick, and Stewart Williams. The Australian government is trying to turn back time in Tasmania’s forests, seeking to roll back world heritage measures put in place just a few months ago in the wake of a peace deal between Tasmanian… http://theconversation.com/why-electioneering-is-at-the-root-of-tasmanias-forest-furore-22773 15. War on the environment a distraction from climate change policy David Holmes After almost six months in office, it seems that the Abbott government’s reputation for action on climate change and the environment in general is in tatters. Overseas, condemnation has been directed at a government now labelled as the ‘most hostile to its nation’s environment in history’. And that assessment is made with scant attention to what the Coalition government is doing on climate change, where it has pulled out all the stops to bring climate change policy to heel before the interests of big coal and big mining. http://theconversation.com/war-on-the-environment-a-distraction-from-climate-change-policy-22983 16. Heat on the Street Corinne Grant Here’s a shocking statistic: heatwaves cause more deaths in Australia than any other natural disaster. That includes floods and fires. Part of the problem may be that many States don’t have an adequate plan in place to deal with extreme heat, like they do for natural disasters. http://thehoopla.com.au/heat-street/ POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT + COMMITMENT + ADVOCACY 17. Enough is enough. Kaye Lee I am ashamed. I am ashamed of the appalling treatment handed out to our first female Prime Minister. I am ashamed of the inhumane treatment of traumatised people seeking sanctuary in our country. This is not the Australia I know http://theaimn.com/2014/02/08/enough-is-enough/ 18. What Industry(s) should the government support? Paul Davis After the SPC announcement Paul has a go at exploring what sort of Industry support is out there, and discovers quite a tangled web. To consider which industry Government could support it may be worthwhile looking at how much government currently supports industry. Government can support industries in a variety of ways: http://thinkyness.com.au/article-display/what-industrys-should-the-government-support,19 19. Five reasons why Australian unions can defeat Abbott Sally McManus The current generation of union leaders know what it took to win. The memory of this campaign also helps overcome cynicism and defeatism which can hold back campaigns, especially at the beginning. Union activists believe it is possible to change a government because we have done it before. http://sallymcmanus.net/ 20. Griffith by-election: The morning after Bob Ellis The big news of yesterday was not how fifty-five thousand Brisbane people voted — but why fifteen thousand abstained http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/griffith-by-election-the-morning-after,6147 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Casablanca

10/02/2014CASABLANCA'S CACHE: Monday, 10 February 2014 - [b]exposing deceit, unfairness, and poor journalism.[/b] See above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-10-%28Current%29.aspx

the real jaycee

10/02/2014Well said, Ken..Yet another stark reminder of the "retreat to the past" is distorted by this sham of a govt'and fraud of a PM.

Catching up

10/02/2014Ken, I believe that Abbott went to sleep, and miss all you have highlighted. Still back in the 1950's. As he is adverse to reading, there is little chance he is even aware of all that was achieved.

Catching up

10/02/2014<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Free trade deal with Japan took priority over whaling dispute, says Trade Minister Andrew Robb <a href="http://t.co/5hCv33w2rH">http://t.co/5hCv33w2rH</a> via <a href="https://twitter.com/smh">@smh</a></p>&mdash; Jeff Hansen (@Jeff_Hansen) <a href="https://twitter.com/Jeff_Hansen/statuses/432686262667862016">February 10, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Ken

10/02/2014jaycee and catching up thank you for your comments. Always a worry going to bed with Abbott in charge - never sure which year one will wake up in!

Catching up

10/02/2014It will never be this century. Just heard Abbott say he is about law and order. Wonder when we are going to see the police asked to inquire into Ashbey, Bough and Pyne for starters. Then there are those allegations of his government members ripping off the government. Abbott short of breath again. By the way, I see a story today of union corruption, involving hire firms. Yes, and the leak is from a union memo, putting in place inquiries into allegations. Yes, the union taking action. Did mention bush fires, but only as diverting attention from his announcvement. No regrets for those who lost their homes.

Catching up

10/02/2014The questions point to most believing this is a stunt. ABC 24

Jason

10/02/2014So Abbott has announced his Royal Commission into the unions and our media stand there like Unics to scarred to ask anything but the softest of questions! Credlin certainly has their "balls" much to the detriment of the Australian people. I hope the MEAA is dragged before the commission for being useless

TalkTurkey

10/02/2014TwitterVerse Tune: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYxeWnX8CN0 … All hail Abborrtt's Era Golden1 Can't you hear the workshops foldin'! No Toyota Ford nor Holden - No more SPC!

TalkTurkey

10/02/2014Same tune, Men of Harlech: What a great new gravatar Jason! Better than what it's replacin'! That awful one that had your face in! (Only jokin', see!)

Michael

10/02/2014The timing is an exquisite exposé of how Abbott's rationale of union-bashing as the primary role of government has him totally ignoring what is really required to keep Australia above water in an economy leaking in multiple places. Places a real government would move to seal and preserve the integrity of both the economy and the nation as workplace and home to workers who are equally citizens and the 'engine' of our national wellbeing. This from a story here: http://news.brisbanetimes.com.au/breaking-news-national/toyota-pullout-changes-face-of-industry-20140210-32cq1.html "Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane was the first government member to be informed of the decision just before 4pm on Monday after the [Toyota] car boss Akio Toyoda tried to contact Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who at the time was launching a union corruption inquiry." Abbott was unreachable, placed where he 'heroically' sees himself, throwing punches instead of guiding our nation, and ALL its people.

Casablanca

11/02/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Tuesday, 11 February 2014: 22 items CULTURE WARS 1. Emasculating the Public Broadcaster: Tony Abbott and the ABC Binoy Kampmark At first glance, there is not much similarity between the young dictator of North Korea and the Prime Minister of Australia. But over a few drinks, Kim Jong-un and Tony Abbott might find a few points of similarity. One is the idea that a public broadcaster, by necessity, broadcasts the views of the government. The authoritarian mentality, by nature, demands conformity and consistency. The instinct is not alien to the Westminster system. Eventually, if certain agencies do not tow a distinct line, the life support, usually in the form of funding, is turned off. http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/02/emasculating-the-public-broadcaster-tony-abbott-and-the-abc/ 2. Words Matter – But Don’t Call Rupert Murdoch Un-Australian rossleighbrisbane Should one conclude that – in governing for all Australians – the government won’t be governing for those who are “un-Australian”? Surely, if all those foreign owned news outlets can surpress stories that are unflattering to Australia, then surely, surely the ABC should do the same. http://theaimn.com/2014/02/09/words-matter-but-dont-call-rupert-murdoch-un-australian/ 3. Beware Pyne's school reformers Wendy Squires Now, I can accept if someone is right, middle, or left politically, but what I cannot accept is someone whose views are homophobic, bigoted and backward. And I cannot tolerate this person's wage being paid by my tax dollars to influence this country's future. Call it the ball or the man or both, what is at play here is no game. And, thankfully, I am not alone in this view. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/beware-pynes-school-reformers-20140207-32742.html#ixzz2sjhZz1Nm POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 4. Royal Commission terms of reference Latika M Bourke ..it will address increasing concern arising from a wide range of revelations and allegations involving officials of unions establishing and benefiting from funds which have been set up for purposes which are often unknown and frequently unrelated to the needs of their members. http://www.scribd.com/doc/205976210/Royal-Commission-terms-of-reference 5. Workplace deregulation won't boost productivity Bill Harley Arguments for reform of workplace relations never go away. The central claim made by numerous commentators is that reform aimed at “freeing up” the labour market and workplaces is the key to improving… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-ptuitiy-trhltityg-z/ 6. The department store era is over John Addis Facing more adept competition, online and off, and a shrinking middle class, the future for David Jones and Myer looks bleak. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/intelligent-investor/the-department-store-era-is-over-20140210-32bgq.html 7. Food rating website pulled down by Abbott government Gabrielle Chan and Nick Evershed Office of assistant health minister Fiona Nash says she stopped site because it was ‘premature’, given rating system not in place... A healthy food rating website approved by the state and federal ministerial forum and designed to help consumers interpret nutrition information on packaged food has been pulled down after intervention by the assistant health minister’s office. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/feb/10/food-rating-website-pulled-down-by-abbott-government?CMP=soc_568 Then they came for the farmers….When the farmers go, it will be a disaster for this country. Alison Parkes Two recent issues have been in the news lately concerning rural and regional communities - the impending closure of SPC and the Leardblockade. People in capital cities, on social media and old media talk about thinks like SPC or live export or another mine as if they are […] http://nofibs.com.au/2014/02/07/came-farmers-farmers-go-will-disaster-country/ WATERS AROUND INDONESIA GET MURKIER 8. Rumblings under the surface bushfirebill It’s pretty clear by now the incursion into Indonesian waters has been deliberate. The last thing the government and the Navy would want would be a lifeboat, purchased with Australian tax dollars, with a supercargo of poor boat people, shoved into it by force and guarded by Navy personnel for at least some of the journey, left to founder in stormy seas with all on board it drowned. Either there were orders to play it safe, including violating Indonesian territory if necessary, or the captains involved used their initiative and, out of compassion and/or duty, escorted the lifeboats to as close to the Indonesian shoreline as possible. http://pbxmastragics.com/2014/02/09/rumblings-under-the-surface/ 9. The government should stop throwing stones and answer the questions about the clash between naval personnel and asylum seekers Michelle Grattan What’s happening in the debate over asylum seeker allegations of mistreatment by naval personnel is extraordinary and alarming, both for public accountability and for journalism. It’s also hard to credit the way the issue has unfolded. We’ve seen concerted government and News Corp pillorying of the ABC over its report of claims that people had been made to put their hands on a hot engine pipe. Tony Abbott has accused the ABC of being unpatriotic. The Australian has run enough pieces on the public broadcaster’s sins to wallpaper a small house. The government has refused to release the Navy’s account. Navy chief Ray Griggs has taken to Twitter, of all places, to reject the claims. Labor has been too nervous to push hard. After being criticised by its own Media Watch program, the ABC this week acknowledged its original reporting should have been “more precise”. http://newanthropocene.wordpress.com/ 10. I'm sorry Messrs Abbott and Morrison, I need proof given the Royal Australian Navy's history in recent years clarencegirl The Prime Minister, Immigration Minister and Defence Minister have all defended the Navy with regard to the abuse allegations, however they have offered no proof of innocence or proof of a properly conducted investigation. http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/im-sorry-messrs-abbott-and-morrison-i.html ECONOMICS + BUSINESS 11. Cutting back government spending – does it include middle-class and corporate welfare? John Menadue Before we look at fair and efficient ways to improve our public finances, there are a few broad issues to be considered... The issue that stands out is that we need to improve our revenue base. This is where middle class and business welfare is a major problem – the tax-deductions or ‘tax expenditures’ that reduce the effective level of tax and provides disproportionate benefits to the well-off in the community. FlagPost, published by the Australian Parliamentary Library noted on January 29 2014 that Australia has the highest level of tax deductions in the OECD http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=1234 12. Exploiting consumers needs to be illegal Michael Mullins The ANZ Bank faces a huge payout after a class action by its customers secured a partial but significant victory against the bank's unfair and illegal credit card late payment fees. This is happening because we have laws to protect consumers. The Federal Government is well advanced in its efforts to wind back existing and planned laws that protect consumers, as they are considered red tape that places an unnecessary burden on business. http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0015k6dHCOu23RuVGr3eWao2SUIaOXtVi8IGjkz11l4m4YSuv8xArjS76Avx3YaYW3MfJjrXeXTT50amk64TtW0KnYloG1-XPdPdnJaWEMqPLmyMlmVfjh4UjAJJ-jWNaDANjLaz8qTxIrCgBcdtXaDyAUaB0Nr6bn3PA366Jut_cQ= 13. Words Are Cheap George Packer In the era of Jeff Bezos and Amazon, a book costs as much as a sandwich. Is that a good thing? In the era of the Kindle, a book costs the same price as a sandwich. Dennis Johnson, an independent publisher, says that “Amazon has successfully fostered the idea that a book is a thing of minimal value—it’s a widget.” http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/02/17/140217fa_fact_packer?utm_source=tny&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailyemail&mbid=nl_Daily%20%28114%29 POVERTY WARS 14. 10 ways Australia could save money without hurting the poor Gabrielle Chan Australian Council of Social Service offers a 10-point plan to the treasurer which would save nearly $15b in two years http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/10/leading-advocacy-group-believes-load-for-less-well-off-should-ease?CMP=soc_568 15. The Coalition’s wagenda Camille Howard If there was any doubt that the Coalition government had Australia’s awards system squarely in its sights—and our lowest paid workers—the last few weeks should have wiped it clear. http://www.newpolitics.com.au/the-coalitions-wagenda NBN 16. NBN – the copper network and structural problems. Mark Gregory. ...the problems extend far beyond copper versus fibre and go to the heart of what an industry needs if it is to be a successful contributor to the Australian economy. As Australia struggles to find out how this sorry saga will end, questions should be asked of our politicians and telecommunication industry leaders why there is no plan for the future. http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=1245 POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT + COMMITMENT 17. The internationalist dream Hilary Charlesworth Although they disagree on many points, Kofi Annan and Mark Mazower together illuminate the intricacies and rituals of international cooperation http://inside.org.au/the-internationalist-dream/#sthash.7W96NenN.dpuf Protect the Great Barrier Reef: We're taking this to court. GetUp! When Greg Hunt and the Marine Park Authority approved dumping of five million tonnes of seabed inside Reef waters, it was supposed to be campaign over. Vested interests had won, and our Reef would be sold out for short-term profits. Instead, something incredible happened. Thousands of GetUp members put their own money forward to launch a citizens' Reef Fighting Fund. We've never seen anything quite like it. https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/great-barrier-reef--3/contact-gbrmpa/contact-great-barrier-reef-marine-park-authority ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 18. It's time to heatproof our cities Greg Foyster Climate change has loaded the dice towards hotter days and more frequent heat spells. Heatwaves are only going to get worse, and air conditioning isn't the godsend it seems. We need to start retrofitting our cities, suburbs and homes to withstand the sweltering summers to come. Any new houses that perform poorly in the heat are going to be a tremendous burden on the next generation http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0015k6dHCOu23SFcyR5O_66S7lvdJwRl6Jt5Gwi0enldjRzK_qWWZ2qAE8RRwqoxJlanUD9g2C_93kFob-pngOemT59jXUO9UBeaVuJ8f1o6XoLBYyf0raJ9y2tpis-K21XFHdH9TXrcfHzB8OAhGtQRpl5Y5vX2zQDaQO9_L0MgAY= 19. Our cities need more trees and water, not less, to stay liveable Nicholas Williams, Andrew Coutts, and Stephen Livesley Australia’s major cities routinely rank among the world’s most liveable. But for all our clean streets, good healthcare and educational opportunities, one of the things we have to contend with is our sweltering… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-ptuitiy-trhltityg-s/ ASYLUM SEEKERS 20. At Work Inside Our Detention Centres Anon This is a first-hand account of life inside an Australian immigration detention facility, told from the perspective of a former employee of Serco, the ubiquitous multinational service provider that runs the nation’s onshore centres.Realised in a comic-book style and drawn from exclusive interviews and diary entries from the ex-employee, A Guard’s Story offers rare insight into how Australia’s outsourced detention facilities are run. http://serco-story.theglobalmail.org/ 21. @Jansant interviews respected refugee advocate Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM @Kon__K from the @ASRC1 Wayne Jansson Ever since John Howard's Tampa affair back in 2001, refugees arriving by boat have been at the centre of political debate in Australia. A campaign to demonise and dehumanise refugees has been in full swing ever since. Its been so successful the Abbott government has even seen the […] http://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/1440f0e39c60c9b4 XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Casablanca

11/02/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Tuesday, 11 February 2014: [b]waters around Indonesia get murkier by the day[/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-10-%28Current%29.aspx

Pippin barras Fox

11/02/2014Yerhaaa Casa I have waiting all year for your resumption.thank you so very much. Papp Fox

TalkTurkey

11/02/2014Casablanca Greetings, Please add my thanks to those of ... Papp Fox ... ? ... Pippin barras Fox ... ? Or the way I thought it was spelt Pappinbarra Fox! (To whom also, warm greetings!) Ken, what a splendid history lesson on the advancement of Western social thought! - But what a waste, addressing it to Abborrrtt, he wants no part of social advancement, his brain is given to Opus Dei. I grieve for all the great writing happening on the Fighting 5th Estate which has absolutely no effect on the Rabid Right. But it does have great importance to us: Let us keep the Light bright and the Sword sharp. The more I write the more I seem to need to, and I'm still getting further behind with my correspondence, I'm writing to too many people (and spending too much time on Twitter too.) But Folks however much or little I write here, please remember #MarchInMarch, it is the place where we can make our protests bite this terrible Government.

Catching up

11/02/2014Abbott's argument for his Royal Commission, is that our police are not up to the job of dealing with crime.

Casablanca

11/02/2014 Papp Fox, Thank you. I hope that you caught up with the Cache from last week. No 6 The department store era is over by John Addis is a thoughtful article. Addis highlights complacency, lack of innovation, slow uptake of new technologies, and a shrinking middle-class as factors in the demise of [Australian] bricks and mortar retailers like DJs and Myer. Importantly, Addis notes that the reality of Australia's shrinking middle class 'is..not much discussed but [is] of vital consideration'. The same challenges are found in other business sectors and the myopia, indifference and ideological blinkers of the Abbott government means that we are in for a bumpy ride. Manufacturing, telecommunications and green technologies are up against a brick wall with Abbott at the helm.

Catching up

11/02/2014Shorten now on. Started off with words to those enduring the worse fires we have seen. Yes, I believe the attack from Labor has begun. ABC 24

Michael

11/02/2014Simple (and single)minded blather from Abbott on AM this morning - http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2013/s3942002.htm The Abbott Error stumbles on.

Pappinbarra Fox

11/02/2014Hello all, For some strange quirckie reason I was not able to comment from my desktop at all until now (and to be honest I am not sure this will go through until I press the "save Comment" button. Consequently I commented from my phone and hence the attempt to shorten my nom de plummage- which went horribly wrong. Just a bad hair/hare day for a fox. Anyway yesterday I tried to make this comment (now probably out of context-I had the insight to save it as a doc first): [quote]The basic question that is being asked here is - what sort of basis do we want to define our society on? Once upon a time it used to be religion. Not so much anymore. But the problem posed here is - do we really want our society defined by pure economic rationalism - or to say it another way the free market ideology? Society is a much bigger entity than just an economy and yet governments and businesses want to define us in their narrow terms in just that way. We will be unbelievably poorer as a society if that view dominates. Governments have a much grander role in society than pulling economic levers (or avoiding doing so)and going to war. It is not the government's role to minimise itself and to withdraw from supporting all types of complex social permutations. We are already well on the way to the society of selfish individualism - which by definition is the end of "society". Where the individual self reigns supreme there can be no society. We need loud strong voices to put the alternative views, of what makes us a society, out there so that selfish individualism does not become the runaway train that derails the whole community. Food self sufficiency (on a community level) and the environment are just parts of the non-economic milieu that must be promoted so that at least those who choose selfish individualism know that there is an alternative route and they make their socially destructive choices in the knowledge of the consequences of those choices[/quote]

Casablanca

11/02/2014TT, Hi and thanks for your thanks. PF, Glad that you cleared up the confusion about your nom de plummage. Your comment is very apposite - not at all out of context.

Pappinbarra Fox

11/02/2014Success! Anyway I was prompted to make my last comments by thoughts read elsewhere about the SPC Ardmona situation and food self sufficiency. Sure multi national corporations can make decisions based on pure commercial considerations. If closing SPCA is rational on simple commercial terms then it will be closed because that is the only consideration relevant - does it make a profit (of sufficient size) to warrant its continuation? The numbers will tell us yes or no. Now, the Abbott government says commercial questions of that type have nothing to do with its role as the government. I would postulate that it has a hell of a lot to do with governing for a society. AND I wonder just what the hell the Country Party are doing - allowing their rural constituency to be trashed by Conservative commercial thinking that maybe suits the big end of town (although I have doubts there too) but certainly does not suit the rural farmer and rural townsfolk and small business people everywhere. Apparently it is not a consideration that Australia should be producing enough food to feed itself. To suggest that this state of affairs (food self sufficiency) might be in jeopardy is a crazy idea - why we produce enough food to feed over 70 million people! OK we do NOW but in the future if decisions taken like the SPCA gain momentum - how many fruit trees are being bulldozed as we read this because there is no cannery? - then we may become a net importer of food. Tie that idea to reduced production due to climate change and where does that leave us as a society? Think about it! Turn your mind to it! Do something about it before it is too late. Yeah march and march and march!

Ken

11/02/2014thank you TT You are right that across the Fifth Estate there is a lot of good stuff. We can only hope that we do attract the occasional reader who is not already a rusted on Labor voter and, if not changing their mind, at least raising questions and doubts for them to consider. Also, you have an excellent way with words and it is time we saw a discussion starter from you :-) I would love to see it and I think a number of others would too.

42long

11/02/2014There is hardly anything we are self sufficient in now and we don't carry reserves of petroleum fuel because there is no money in it. We rely on Singapore almost completely as our refineries shut down, one after the other. The Clever Country. Hate to see the DUMB ones if that is the case. Really DUMB to have elected Murdoch's wish as a Government. Think we will pay for that mistake.

2353

11/02/2014Now for some good news. The LNP in Queensland has lost 10% support since the last election (as reported on ABC Queensland News tonight). They would still will an election - but apparently the trend is continuing.

Khtagh

11/02/2014Nice little history lesson Ken, pity as they say history repeats its self. I find most of what we talked about on TPS before the election was nothing compared to real life, I think many will see their lives dramatically changed come the May budget & his commission of cuts is released. The walking smirk (Costello)was a ruthless treasurer, now he has a maniac in charge that will implement his widest dreams insulating him from any flack look out.

Casablanca

12/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Wednesday, 12 February 2014: 28 items[/b] CULTURE WARS 1. Abbott sets stage for crackdown on unions Phillip Coorey "Prime Minister Tony Abbott has set the scene for a legislative crackdown on unions and possible criminal prosecutions in the run-up to the 2016 federal election, with a royal commission into union governance and corruption that is due to report by the end of this year." http://www.afr.com/p/national/abbott_sets_stage_for_crackdown_qgOdeEbysmByoBVxhMYhPK INDUSTRY WARS 2. Toyota to cease manufacturing cars in Australia Gabrielle Chan and Bridie Jabour, Lenore Taylor "Australia’s last remaining carmaker, Toyota, has announced it will cease production in 2017 with the loss of 2,500 jobs. Coming after last year’s announcements that Ford will cease production in October 2016 and Holden in 2017, the decision also means the end of a car components industry that employs more than 30,000. The company blamed the high Australian dollar and a fiercely competitive market for the decision." http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/10/toyota-cease-manufacturing-cars-australia 3. Abbott warns of more economic shocks Phillip Coorey, Joanna Heath and Elouise Fowler Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned of more economic shocks to come as he defended his refusal to further help the car industry, saying it was the role of business, not government, to create jobs. In addressing the party room meeting of Coalition MPs and senators on Tuesday morning, the Prime Minister addressed the manufacturing job losses which have mounted under the Coalition’s watch. “There have been economic shocks and there will be more to come,’’ he was quoted as saying. But he added “we can’t abandon the truth that governments don’t create jobs, businesses do’’. http://www.afr.com/p/national/abbott_says_toyota_rescue_package_dqeitjfPShCly9IlncswDI 4. Why Toyota marks the start of the real political battle Lenore Taylor "If the economic settings are right, that investment will shift to other sectors and new jobs will be created. That has, of course, always been economic theory. But it’s a rare government willing to put it into practice and weather the political cost from the very human consequences of lost jobs and shattered lives." http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/10/why-toyota-marks-the-start-of-the-real-political-battle 5. Australian disease has entered its terminal phase David Llewellyn-Smith Australia consciously chose economic goals that left manufacturers in the cold, and with auto makers exiting and the mining boom ending, the chickens are coming home to roost.... There are three questions to answer today. Why has this happened? Does it matter? What does it mean for the future? http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-11/llewellyn-smith-australian-disease-enters-its-terminal-phase/5251418 6. Toyota names 2017 end, Australian car making to cease: experts react Sinclair Davidson, Andrew Beer; Paul Gollan; Phillip Toner and Remy Davison Toyota has confirmed it will cease its vehicle and engine production in Australia by the end of 2017, signalling the end of automotive manufacturing in Australia. The announcement follows decisions by… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pilkyhk-trhltityg-k/ 7. Toyota closure: Loss of car manufactoring jobs unlikely to make impact on economy Peter Martin What will the economy look like without the three big car manufacturers and suppliers? Pretty much the same as it does now. Twenty years ago manufacturing provided one in every seven Australian jobs, around 13.5 per cent. Today it's 8 per cent. Two industries have filled the gap: professional, scientific and technical services, whose share of employment has climbed from 5.5 per cent to 7.7 per cent, and healthcare and social assistance, whose share has climbed from 10 per cent to 12 per cent. Australia has become more of a brain-work economy and more of a service economy. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/toyota-closure-loss-of-car-manufactoring-jobs-unlikely-to-make-impact-on-economy-20140211-32g3o.html#ixzz2t1BVs5zP 8. Demise of Australian auto manufacturing is inevitable economics but tough politics Michelle Grattan If there was ever a symbol of the trauma industry restructuring brings - to the national psyche as well as affected workers - the impending death of Australian car manufacturing is it. http://theconversation.com/end-of-iconic-industry-part-of-a-bigger-australian-story-23038 9. Toyota is leaving? No problem Ross Gittins To regret the passing of an industry whose products few of us wanted is just sentimentality, making no economic sense. A lot of the dire predictions we're hearing won't come to pass. However many jobs the vested interests are claiming will be lost, they're almost certainly exaggerating. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/toyota-is-leaving-no-problem-20140211-32fto.html#ixzz2t1CGxjTG 10. Toyota workers could do without this opportunity Andrew Porter After falling victim to years of poor management, Toyota workers should be forgiven for not sharing the Prime Minister's sunny optimism that for every job lost at Altona, other openings abound http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-11/porter-the-end-of-toyota/5251166 11. No photo ops, no industry subsidies Renai LeMay The key to starting a national debate about government subsidies of industry, it appears, is to be in an industry which does something tangible. Chocolate, tinned goods, cars - all viable options. Even better if you have an iconic brand which goes back to the days of Dad and Dave. If you don't have this kind of product, then not only will your proposal not be seriously considered by the politicians in your sector - because there's no photo opportunity - but worse, it won't even be covered by the mainstream media. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-10/lemay-no-photo-ops-no-industry-subsidies/5245306 POVERTY WARS 12. Is Australia’s welfare system unsustainable? Peter Whiteford "To sum up, the data on trends in the number of welfare recipients show a prolonged fall since 1996 due to a long period of economic growth, a strong labour market, and the positive impacts of policy changes since the early 1990s. While trends have not been as positive since 2008, they are far less worrying than in North America or Europe, and they are also mild by the standards of earlier economic downturns in Australia." http://inside.org.au/is-australias-welfare-system-unsustainable/ POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 13. Food rating website: Fiona Nash's chief of staff married to lobbyist for junk food industry Amy Corderoy A senior government staffer who demanded a new healthy food rating website be taken down is married to the head of a lobbying outfit that works for the junk food industry, it has been revealed. In senate question time on Tuesday, Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash admitted that both she and her chief-of-staff, Alastair Furnival, had personally intervened to insist health department staff pull down the new “health star rating” site on the day it was launched. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/anger-as-federal-food-guide-is-pulled-from-web-20140207-327bd.html 14. Campaign, rinse, repeat: why voters have heard it all before Jennifer Rayner South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria are heading to the polls this year to pick their next state governments. All indications are that these campaigns will have more than a dash of déjà vu about them… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pilkyhk-trhltityg-v/ 15. With Navy's record of abuse, asylum boat claims can't be ignored Ben Wadham Prime minister Tony Abbott’s three-word slogan “stop the boats” may be meeting its promise. Last Friday, Abbott was “very pleased” to point out that it was the “50th day without an illegal boat arriving… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pilkyhk-trhltityg-e/ 16. David Johnston offers a highly spurious defence of navy William Maley Defence Minister David Johnston has not covered himself in glory with his attack on the ABC over its asylum seeker reporting... The navy has many wonderful people in it, but it is naive and foolish to believe that it does not also have its share of bullies and bigots, especially in the lower ranks. But, third, we should also note that the sailors involved in Operation Sovereign Borders have gone to sea with a great deal of poisonous political rhetoric ringing in their ears, demonising and dehumanising those seeking to flee from persecution. Is it really likely that this would have had no effect on any of them? http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/david-johnston-offers-a-highly-spurious-defence-of-navy-20140210-32d1k.html#ixzz2sz65BhFp ECONOMICS 17. Coal hard facts for religious investors Neil Ormerod At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim argued that investment firms, especially those in pension funds, have a fiduciary duty to review their investments in fossil fuels. He also called on governments to push both divestment and taxes to make fossil fuels less attractive investment options for the future. In line with this, the World Bank is pulling back from providing development funding for coal fired power stations. This is a significant move. The World Bank is hardly the stronghold of 'weak-minded liberals' or 'greenies'. This is an institution which, together with the IMF, oversaw the most draconian economic reforms in third world economies in the name of economic rationalism and trade liberalisation. They were, and remain, primarily driven by economic concerns, and the economic costs of climate change are starting to mount. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=38884#.Uvlm34AQ9ZZ 18. Fossil fuel campaigners win support from unexpected places Tom Swann and Richard Denniss If you haven’t heard about the growing campaign for fossil fuel divestment, and what it means for both your retirement funds and for the global economy, it’s time to pay attention - because now even the World Bank is on board. http://theconversation.com/fossil-fuel-campaigners-win-support-from-unexpected-places-19394?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+5+February+2014&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+5+February+2014+CID_bd87cd79ffeb72b48b29a8f58ce0de6f&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Fossil%20fuel%20campaigners%20win%20support%20from%20unexpected%20places 19. CSIRO-led research to model superannuation spending Charis Palmer How older Australians spend their superannuation and the impact of suggested legislative changes on retirees, will be the… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pilkyhk-trhltityg-o/ GENDER EQUALITY 20. Why better gender reporting is in the government’s best interests Conrad Liveris There is growing acceptance that the pursuit of gender equality isn't in women's interests alone. Most people who think critically about gender equality realise that there's more to gain than there is to lose. It seems there is growing acceptance that the pursuit of gender equality isn't in women's interests alone; it is in the national interest. It explains why Australia's Sex Discrimination Commissioner Liz Broderick has been so successful in enlisting high profile male champions of change to promote gender equality. They know it's not merely a social or moral imperative; the chttp://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/opinions/why-better-gender-reporting-is-in-the-governments-best-interests/201402093546?utm_source=Women%27s+Agenda+List&utm_campaign=05541632e0-Women_s_Agenda_daily_10_02_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f3750bae8d-05541632e0-30634093 21. The penalty for working flexibly Natasha Thompson Diversity Consulting firm Symmetra recently released a White Paper with the results of an international study of senior executives that exposes the bias against employees who take up flexible work options. While many large businesses make flexible work policies available to their workforces, the study found that attitudes exhibited by senior management demonstrate a lack of genuine belief in and support for flexible work. http://www.womensagenda.com.au/future-of-work/job-design/the-penalty-for-working-flexibly/201402093550?utm_source=Women%27s+Agenda+List&utm_campaign=05541632e0-Women_s_Agenda_daily_10_02_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f3750bae8d-05541632e0-30634093 22. Australian chief executives supporting girls’ right to education Georgina Dent Aside from the moral imperative to correct this, Defourny says UNESCO research shows the world economy loses $129 billion annually for not supporting "the left behind" in our society. The Malala fund is designed to bring those left behind forward and UNESCO is seeking partnerships with business organisations around the world to make that happen. http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/editor-s-agenda/australian-chief-executives-supporting-girls-right-to-education/201402103553?utm_source=Women%27s+Agenda+List&utm_campaign=05541632e0-Women_s_Agenda_daily_10_02_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f3750bae8d-05541632e0-30634093 SCIENCE + TECHNOLOGY 23. Australia's future depends on a strong science focus today Ian Chubb We are often told in public commentary that the Australian economy is in transition – that we need to use our talents and skills to cope with changes in demand for commodities, and develop high value add… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pilkyhk-trhltityg-p/ 24. Maths is important but should it be compulsory? Deborah King Compulsory maths for year 12 students! I’d like to see that – or would I? There was much discussion recently about making it compulsory for year 12 students in NSW to study some mathematics. As a card-carrying… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pilkyhk-trhltityg-x/ ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 25. Is $15 a year really too much to pay for renewable energy? Dylan McConnell Australia’s Renewable Energy Target looks likely to be weakened or even axed, with the Prime Minister saying the scheme needs to be reviewed because it is causing “pretty significant price pressure”. But… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pilkyhk-trhltityg-m/ ASYLUM SEEKERS 26. Asylum seekers accuse Australia navy of abuse as boat towed to Indonesia Aubrey Belford "The survivors, from Africa and the Middle East, stumbled onto the beach, thankful to find refuge on Australian soil. Or so they thought. Within an hour, an Australian warship and other vessels arrived. Military personnel forced the asylum seekers back onto their wooden boat and towed it out to sea. Their destination: Indonesia... (Asylum seekers) gave multiple accounts of military personnel using plastic zip ties and pepper spray to restrain asylum seekers. Passengers were denied proper access to food, water, medical treatment and toilets, they added." http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/10/us-australia-indonesia-asylum-idUSBREA1903F20140210 MEDIA + MONOPOLY 27. Shareholders move against Murdoch Barry Tucker News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch is under siege from a block of USA shareholders who want a say in how the company is run. At present, the only voting shares are held by Murdoch family members. Murdoch is also embattled in the UK.......In Australia, however, Murdoch has been allowed to own a huge majority of around 67 percent of newspapers throughout the country, in addition to interests in free-to-air and paid TV. http://truthinmediaresourcecentre.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/shareholders-move-against-murdoch/ 28. Are universities turning into giant newsrooms? Maxine Newlands Like many of my fellow journalism lecturers, I often get asked for tips on turning academic research into journalism pieces. These requests have been getting more frequent. It’s a compliment, but why is… http://theconversation.com/are-universities-turning-into-giant-newsrooms-21434 OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Casablanca

12/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Wednesday, 12 February 2014. exposing deceit, unfairness, and poor journalism[/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-10-%28Current%29.aspx

Ken

12/02/2014I see Abbott has said: [quote]we can’t abandon the truth that governments don’t create jobs, businesses do[/quote] So why did he promise that his government would create one million jobs? Just one more to add to the endless list of his lies and inconsistencies.

this is the real jaycee

12/02/2014Abbott's origami nation. The object of origami is to take a piece of paper and with dexterous folding, you produce a facsimilie of a "real-life" object. Of course, the folding of paper gives an angular abstract of the desired image, but that is good enough..the imagination does the rest. Such is the dream of Abbott's / IPA. society. Planning, Costing, Promoting and Selling of such a dream also has that "angular-edge" appearance of origami..and you have to ask..;"Is it real?....or are these clean, flat lines a sculptor's fantasy?" Like a child in anticipation, with all the anticipatory hand gestures of the impatient to get a touch child, Tony Abbott draws pictorial images of what HE imagines the finished product will look like...and not having a command of words adequate for even the most simplistic description, he stutters, stumbles and finishes with the alcholics lip-wetting tounge smacking of :'Look..look...it's like this..." Like a child really...like a little child. Of course, his dream of "Guided Democracy", like his "Origami Society" is nothing more than that old nightmare of Fascism. The angular creases in the plan being the "lines in the sand" where "shit happens"...shit like union decapitation..democratic protest stopped...social media curtailed and the social welfare net ripped to shreds! In a democracy "guided" by "bottom-line" considerations, any emotive considerations for retaining employment will not be considered, blind obedience to "profit consideration" will reign and as in the land of the blind, the one-eyed (in every sense of the word!) entrepreneur and speculator will be king. Consider the personality type of your new rulers..; Disiplined, methodical, tough-love, tougher-hate and control. all the best characteristics of the budding tyrant...and a tyrant's dynastical reign. There are numerous contempory examples. I hear the MSM. cheerleaders today, like Grattan, offering an "out" for the govt' and a sword to fall on AGAIN! for the opposition...give her another "honourary" doctorate...she deserves it...only this time insert it orally....she's got a mouth big enough to accomodate the entire repertoire of LNP. dodgy deals and excuses!

TalkTurkey

12/02/2014http://www.youtube.com/embed/D2_c81Nnsc

Ad astra

12/02/2014Folks After watching the first QT for 2014, I doubt if I have the stomach to watch any more. It was like re-visiting a boring play that has had far too long a season. Nothing changes except the roles are reversed. Now it is Labor that is moving motions to suspend standing orders! It has a record number to top. The most distressing aspect is that we, the taxpayers, are funding this pointless charade. Is it any wonder politicians are so despised and mistrusted?

Michael

12/02/2014I know you'll find this hard to believe, but again a senior Federal government minister has been caught out lying. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/joe-hockey-toyota-at-odds-whether-union-to-blame-for-car-makers-closure-20140212-32h1u.html Just as well these events are so few and far between, otherwise as citizens of Australia we might all lose faith in our elected leaders. After all, Joe Hockey sets the standard for so much of our national life as our current Treasurer. I'm sure there's a mistake here. He couldn't possibly be fudging the truth. That might lead him to thinking it was just as easy to fudge the figures in Australia's economy, and that would do too much damage to all Australians for any government to knowingly enter into. Wouldn't it? Joe? Joe??

Catching up

12/02/2014Will someone hand Hockey a tissue. The whine in his voice is growing.

Michael

12/02/2014Of course he had a 'shit-eating grin' (where have I heard that before?) on his face as he said it, but in Question Time today, Abbott (who also said at one stage "why why why why why why" - check Hansard tomorrow) had the nerve to suggest that all and sundry were putting the wrong construction on a sentence of his about spending time as PM in an Aboriginal community. The actual words he used last year were “And why not, if you will permit me; why shouldn’t I, if you will permit me; spend my first week as prime minister, should that happen, on this, on your, country.” Well, there's a speaker who knows something about constructing a sentence! With a mallet. Anyway... what the walking Abbott Error had to say today was, that if you put the proper construction on the statement above (what he was actually saying, he says), he wasn't saying (silly us!) that he would spend his first week as PM at an Aboriginal community, he was saying that when he spends his first week as PM in a remote Australian community he'd be right chuffed to, permission guaranteed, do so in Yolngu country (the country identified as such by local Aboriginals, where he uttered his words). See? Simple. I saw "simple" all right, complete with shit-eating grin. What I missed was the "got 'em again" wink to Peta Credlin, but that was probably delivered behind closed doors as they trawl through everything 'Tony said' before the election so that Tony can now assure us what he really said. Reminds me a little (oh, alright, a lot) of another quotable quote from Abbott about statements made before the election, and actions taken after it: "We are going to keep the promise that we made, not the promise that some people thought that we made, or the promise that some people might have liked us to make." All in the construction, clearly.

42long

12/02/2014Since they won't answer any question and can GAG any one when they don't like what the opposition says and have a totally BIASED speaker, what is the point of having QT at all? It just keeps on giving them an opportunity to spread the "election style propaganda" over and over. THEY are not governing. They are working on the NEXT election already. Trying to weaken Labor any way possible The only POWER to get answers is in the senate and we don't know how long that will be for. I think they will play very DIRTY. Just watch. They are so disgusting and depraved, they know no other way

DMW

12/02/2014Excellent article from [b]Inside Story[/b] on the falling support for strong climate policies (and how it) reflects the environment movement’s failure to frame the debate effectively [b]Turning values into (direct) action[/b] Simon Copland http://inside.org.au/turning-values-into-direct-action/ Hat Tip:Alexander White ‏@alexanderwhite .@MattCowgill This (article) is relevant to the Lakoff discussion An interesting aspect of the article (for me) is it could easily, with minor changes to the wording, summarise a great deal about how the previous government lost the plot and the election. There are many parallels between how the enviroment movement has (mis)handled the sales pitch on climate change and how Labor (mis)hanled its' sales pitch on climate change as well as education reform, the NBN and even the NDIS. [i]Science became a “mode of thought” that emphasised the human capacity for rational and objective thought, and this mode of thought has dominated much of politics ever since. Discussing the American context in his book The Political Mind, linguist George Lakoff argues, “Progressives have accepted an old view of reason, dating back to the Enlightenment, namely that reason is conscious, literal, logical, universal, unemotional, disembodied, and serves self-interest.” ... The key problem is that the human brain doesn’t work in the way the Enlightenment theories tell us it does. It is not wholly rational and logical and doesn’t react to information campaigns in the ways desired by the movement.[/i] I don't hold out a lot of hope that many within Labor have learnt, or will learn many of the lessons that can be drawn from articles such as Copelands' especially if the presentation style of current Leader, Bill Shorten, is any indication. Frankly I am finding Mr Shoterns' presentation style to be flatter than a Shrove Tuesday Pancake.

Casablanca

13/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Thursday, 13 February 2014: 28 items[/b] ECONOMIC RATIONALISM Vs LONG-TERM ECONOMIC PROSPECTS 1. The politics of deindustrialisation Mark Beeson Industry policy has suddenly become quite fashionable – or it has as a talking point, at least. Not since the 1980s has there been quite so much discussion of the relative merits of ‘government intervention’ or the possible advantages and disadvantages of ‘leaving things to the market’. It’s not hard to see why. The Coalition government is embarking on an economic experiment that will determine the life chances and living standards of thousands, perhaps millions, of Australians. http://theconversation.com/the-politics-of-deindustrialisation-22974 2. Joe Hockey, Toyota at odds whether union to blame for car maker's closure Jonathan Swan It was a private conversation between two of the most most powerful men in Australia, Treasurer Joe Hockey and Toyota Australia president Max Yasuda. But two different accounts have emerged of the December meeting in which the two men discussed the future of the car maker in Australia and the reasons for the Japanese company's troubles. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/joe-hockey-toyota-at-odds-whether-union-to-blame-for-car-makers-closure-20140212-32h1u.html 3. See ya and wouldn’t want to be ya, Toyota! Posted by Houses and Holes on 12 February, 2014 I’ve not much to add to the decision by Toyota to end Australian car manufacturing today but I will note in passing that the consensus of media judgement has quickly moved to who gives a shit! Commentary is perfectly sanguine: Pascometer, Gittins, Mitchell, Carmicheal, Sampson, Creighton and others reckon it’s all good! It’s so good, in fact, that [...] http://macrobusiness.createsend4.com/t/i-l-fdtllt-dtyueir-jr/ 4. Losing the car industry means we risk our technology Phillip Toner As I’ve argued before and it’s generally accepted, the car industry is a critical part of Australia’s science and technology base. The sector spends A$600 million a year on R&D and another $800 million… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-piyyujd-trhltityg-u/ 5. Toyota’s exit was inevitable: now for real test of government Peter Gahan Toyota Australia President and CEO, Max Yasuda, has described the car maker’s decision to leave Australia as one of the saddest days in its history worldwide. I do not doubt the emotion expressed by MrYasuda, but he has probably known for some considerable time that this decision was inevitable. It has less to do with intransigent unions and much more to do with a high Australian dollar and importantly, a global shift by the automotive industry into emerging markets. http://theconversation.com/toyotas-exit-was-inevitable-now-for-real-test-of-government-23117 6. Assessing the impact of the car industry’s closure Leith van Onselen From NAB comes a useful report attempting to measure the impact of the Australian car manufacturing industry’s closure: Toyota yesterday announced it would terminate automotive manufacturing operations in Australia by the end of 2017. Ford and General Motors (Holden) previously announced they would close their operations in 2016. The strength of [...] http://macrobusiness.createsend4.com/t/i-l-fdtllt-dtyueir-ij/ 7. Car supports more popular than negative gearing Posted by Houses and Holes on 11 February, 2014 From Essential via Crikey: While handouts for drought-affected farmers has near-universal support, voters are more divided over other forms of corporate welfare. There is strong support for the private healthcare rebate, assistance for tourism and food processing, but thereafter Essential found much more even attitudes toward assistance: Liberal voters are more likely to support the [...] http://macrobusiness.createsend4.com/t/i-l-fdtllt-dtyueir-di/ 8. Victoria, South Australia face economic king hit Leith van Onselen There’s more analysis today of the employment crunch coming to Victoria following the announced closure of Australia’s automotive assembly industry, which will see Ford and Toyota exit Victoria, and Holden exit South Australia by 2017, along with the closure of a wide range of parts components makers, most of which are [...] http://macrobusiness.createsend4.com/t/i-l-fdtllt-dtyueir-jj/ 9. Abbott working on backdoor bailout for SPC? Leith van Onselen Cross-currents are emerging in the Abbott Government’s stand on free-trade and entitlement today. While the Coalition Government is frantically seeking to sign so-called free trade agreements (FTAs) with Japan, Korea, and with Pacific Rim nations (via the Trans-Pacific Partnership), and espousing the virtues of free trade to world leaders, it appears to be working behind the scenes to restrict imports into Australia by tightening so called “anti-dumping” laws. http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/02/abbott-working-on-backdoor-bailout-for-spc/ 10. Will Abbott tackle the grey gouge? Leith van Onselen Prime minister Abbott appears to be softening-up the electorate for cuts to entitlements in this year’s Federal Budget, claiming that “everyone” had to live within their means. From The Australian: As the government heralds the end of an “age of entitlement” in federal spending, the Prime Minister acknowledged that individual benefits would be under scrutiny just as much as those going to companies…“Everyone has to live within their means, whether it’s a company, whether it’s a family, whether it’s an individual, whether it’s a government. And that’s what this government is on about and that’s what our budget preparations are aiming for.” http://macrobusiness.createsend4.com/t/i-l-fdtllt-dtyueir-f/ CULTURE WARS 11. Abbott's tribe will fight until the bitter end John Quiggin "The real problem is that the Abbott government’s domestic policies are driven by exactly the same view of a world divided into goodies and baddies. The list of "baddies", which can be read off from the columns of Andrew Bolt or the diatribes of Alan Jones, is a long one: unionists, greenies, gays, feminists, Muslims, teachers (at least those in public schools), the ABC, welfare beneficiaries (except age pensioners and "self-funded" retirees) and many others." https://newmatilda.com/2014/02/11/abbotts-tribe-will-fight-until-bitter-end 12. ABS data suggests ‘cultural and creative’ won’t save Australia Justin O'Connor The release of new ABS data on the contribution of cultural and creative activities to the Australian economy represents an ever more sophisticated grasp of employment, contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Gross Value Added (GVA) and various other economic indicators for this sector...The dollar value again highlights a message that has been sent to governments since the mid-1980s: “culture” is more than the subsidised arts – it’s growing, and it demands serious consideration from both local and national government. In general, the arts get the big money..but the cultural and creative industries get the [negative] rhetoric – and the budget cuts. http://theconversation.com/abs-data-suggests-cultural-and-creative-wont-save-australia-23114 POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 13. Fiona Nash chief of staff Alastair Furnival under pressure to resign over food ratings website Amy Corderoy, James Massola Pressure is building on Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash's chief of staff to resign after allegations he did not disclose financial ties to the junk food industry. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has not commented publicly about Alastair Furnival's involvement in high-level negotiations over a healthy food rating system. Neither Mr Furnival nor Senator Nash revealed Mr Furnival's shareholding in a company that lobbies for the Australian Beverages Council, Kraft peanut butter, Cadbury and Oreo, among others. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/fiona-nash-chief-of-staff-alastair-furnival-under-pressure-to-resign-over-food-ratings-website-20140212-32i4n.html 14. The grand compact we ought to have Josh Bornstein, The Drum "The rate of wage increase for employees in the last year was 2.7 per cent – the lowest rate of wage increase for more than a decade. That hasn't stopped Employment Minister Eric Abetz warning of an impending "wages explosion"... Consider this: After two decades of consecutive economic growth, the share of that growth enjoyed by employee wages is at a record low; meaning the share enjoyed by capital is at a record high. This sits oddly with what appears to be the most pressing issue for employer associations at the moment." http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-12/bornstein-industrial-relations/5251960 15. Burnt hands, children overboard, it all seems the same to Peter Reith David Marr "Now Peter Reith is whining about ABC bias, and the hard time the national broadcaster gave him in the children overboard affair. Really? Was there no old friend to warn the former minister for defence not to go there, to stay well clear of the great controversy of the Howard years?" http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/11/peter-reith-abc-children-overboard-david-marr 16. A politician trying to punch through a point needs to be standing on firm ground Michelle Grattan Overreach seems to be endemic in this government. One would think that, after Tony Abbott laid it on far too thick about workers' conditions at SPC Ardmona and received a tongue lashing from one of his own, Treasurer Joe Hockey would have been extra careful. But no. Hockey fell into a similar trap – and his slap down came from a rather bigger player. http://theconversation.com/a-politician-trying-to-punch-through-a-point-needs-to-be-standing-on-firm-ground-23147 ECONOMICS + BUSINESS 17. For sale: Medibank readied for $4b float Heath Aston The Abbott government has begun laying the groundwork for a $4 billion privatisation of Medibank Private without having received expert advice on whether the health insurer should be sold off. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/for-sale-medibank-readied-for-4b-float-20140211-32g3d.html 18. Consumer sentiment falls further Posted by Houses and Holes Fresh from Westpac: The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment fell by 3.0% in February from 103.3 in January to 100.2 in February. This is a surprisingly weak result. The Index is now down 7.5% on a year ago; 9.5% on its recent September high and is at its lowest level since July last [...] http://macrobusiness.createsend4.com/t/i-l-fdtllt-dtyueir-m/ 19. Blame Labor voters for falling consumer confidence Michael Pascoe You can blame Labor for the fall in consumer confidence. Well, Labor voters anyway... pretty much all of the fall in consumer sentiment can be attributed to those who have the intention of voting for the ALP. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/blame-labor-voters-for-falling-consumer-confidence-20140212-32hn7.html 20. Abbott warns of more economic shocks From the AFR: In addressing the party room meeting of Coalition MPs and senators on Tuesday morning, the Prime Minister addressed the manufacturing job losses which have mounted under the Coalition’s watch. “There have been economic shocks and there will be more to come,’’ he was quoted as saying. But he added “we can’t abandon the truth that governments don’t create jobs, businesses do’’. http://macrobusiness.createsend4.com/t/i-l-fdtllt-dtyueir-dr/ 21. The superannuation story, part 5 Martin North. Cross Posted from Digital Finance Analytics Blog In previous posts we looked at aspects of superannuation in Australia, from the perspective of investment fund performance, fees, consumer attitudes to super and self-managed super. Today we look at the role of investment platforms, an element in the superannuation value chain which is often [...] http://macrobusiness.createsend4.com/t/i-l-fdtllt-dtyueir-ti/ POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT + COMMITMENT 22. Labor left out in the cold John Warhurst Having lost its compass, the ALP faces a long stretch in the political wilderness - and even its allies look lost... The status quo is now firmly anti-Labor. This conclusion does oversimplify the way Australians feel about politics at the moment - there is some evidence that voters aren't excited about either side - but in two-party terms, Labor remains well behind. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/labor-left-out-in-the-cold-20140212-32i4z.html#ixzz2t6ib28hG 23. Grand or compact Andrew Elder Australians who believe in the union movement believe that if you're worried about losing your job, or working harder for lesser pay and conditions, then you should join your union. If you have to join the union which Paul Howes is operating under the Ludwig franchise, then all he wants is a bit of shoosh from the likes of you and to enjoy the kind of all-care-no-responsibility status union leaders had a generation ago. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/ ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 24. Human overkillers and the next great die-off "Ecologists refer to us as 'overkillers.' But in recent centuries, the causal chain of extinction has attenuated. Destroying a habitat is a less direct way of killing an animal than braining it. Disseminating pollutants via air or ocean or groundwater is less direct still. Climate change might be the most indirect way of all." http://www.vulture.com/2014/02/kathryn-schulz-the-sixth-extinction-review.html ASYLUM SEEKERS 25. For Many Australians, ‘Sovereign Borders’ Hard to Justify Harriet Conron The Australian government’s controversial Operation Sovereign borders policy has created headaches in Indonesia and strained diplomatic relations between the two nations to breaking point. While asylum seekers board boats in Indonesia, and the Australian navy continues to turn them back in Indonesian waters, debate rages on the Australian mainland. http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/for-many-australians-sovereign-borders-hard-to-justify/ 26. New asylum seeker campaign 'distasteful' and 'embarrassing' Sarah Whyte Would-be asylum seekers have been warned off making the journey to Australia by boat in graphic new slogans and a cartoon strip on two websites administered by the Immigration Minister. Human rights activists have slammed the latest campaign as being distasteful and embarrassing to Australia. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/new-asylum-seeker-campaign-distasteful-and-embarrassing-20140212-32h04.html 27. Bad taste border protection comic puts cruelty in the picture Mark Fletcher. Presenting its border protection policy in comic book format reveals some disturbing attitudes. http://ausopinion.com/2014/02/12/bad-taste-border-protection-comic-puts-cruelty-in-the-picture/ 28. Australian government targets asylum seekers with graphic campaign Oliver Laughland Elements of the campaign have been launched on the Australian Customs and Border Protection website http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/11/government-launches-new-graphic-campaign-to-deter-asylum-seekers OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Casablanca

13/02/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Thursday, 13 February 2014. [b]54,000 jobs already lost under the Abbott regime. [/b] See above and also at:http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-10-%28Current%29.aspx

Catching up

13/02/2014Qantas will get government assistance. They are willing to take on the unions.

Ken

13/02/201442 long You are spot on about Abbott/Credlin's tactics. They are already running a strategy for the next election and running the country is a secondary consideration.

Catching up

13/02/2014They are only interested in putting their own extreme ideology into place, regardless of where the economy is, in this country, or across the globe. One has to judge this government, as one does extreme fanatics and fundamentalist, when it comes to religion. They are dangerous people.

Catching up

13/02/2014Has one noticed, that Abbott only seems to be comfortable and come alive when electioneering. At all other times, he comes across as bored, not interested in answering questions. Still all about demolishing. It seems one does not need much legislation, to undo all that was done in the past. Could account for being no pressing government business when they pulled their stunts yesterday.

Michael

13/02/2014Ken, Catching Up, and anyone else with eyes to see and brains to tick over... Yes, manifestly obvious that Abbott and Credlin have no other schtick than 'election mode'. No idea how to govern, no concept of what government is except keeping Labor in Opposition. The Royal Commission into unions, the dredging over "pink batts", all the other pieces of the 'kick Labor' jigsaw, are timed for the next election, as if the time between elections, you know, actually running the country and seeing to the betterment of its citzens is the annoying bit, the drudgery, that only elections get the blood pumping (and the bile spewing). Hardly "adult", and far from responsible. As to "in charge"? Not here, not now.

Catching up

13/02/2014Abbott making statement to the house, followed by Shorten in about five minutes. ABC 24 No one knows what it is about.

Catching up

13/02/2014Police have taken control of a warehouse full of AWU records in WA. That will cost a fortune to find a couplke of bits of paper, belonging to Gillard. The most it could show, she did not witness that signature, as she claimed. Will find that the document was not bogus. Will not show anything else. Might embarrassed a lot of business men though. What a waste of money. Job figures now out.

Jason

13/02/2014I'm not sure what to make of this! I remember saying to TT last year "you watch Abbott will win the election and then the media will blame us for not asking questions" If we had pushed for solid policy ideas and not slogans before the federal election, we might be better prepared to address the issues that confront us, writes Jonathan Green. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-13/green-slogans-stifled-debate-and-we-let-it/5255452

42long

13/02/2014QT is a complete farce. It's supposed to make the government answerable for it's actions. Smug complacent repetitive responses. Everything is Labor's fault,.... forever apparently. The new government hits the ground running... Sure.... running in ALL directions. It's an idea and action free zone. They are still electioneering. They have no idea how to govern. Didn't Rupert tell them to at least look like they are doing something. QT might as well just be abandoned. Completely abbrogation of it's function. What would happen if the whole opposition walked out in protest at Bronny's unfairness?

this is the real jaycee

13/02/2014My Mommsen has arrived...oh the joy of litterate and poetic history!...those writers of the eighteenth and nineteenth century masticated their sentences with a determined and methodical exactness that we ought to envy...here for instance...on Pompey's rule of Rome at the time... " The new regent of the commonwealth did not rule, but shut himself up in his house and sulked in silence. The former half-deposed government likewise did not rule, but sighed, sometimes in private amidst the confidential circles of the villas, sometimes in chorus in the senate house...On the other hand, the rabble of every sort never had better days, never found a merrier arena. the number of little great men was legion. Demagogism became quite a trade, which did not lack it's professional insignia..." Now WHO do those folk sound like in this modern theatre ?

Jason

13/02/2014jaycee If you want a union witch-hunt to go smoothly, appoint a conservative former High Court judge to run the show. Abbott's latest appointment is about politics, not probity, writes Adam Brereton https://newmatilda.com/2014/02/12/harsh-justice-coming-unions

Catching up

13/02/2014http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=f0ehzfQ4hAQ

Casablanca

13/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Friday, 14 February 2014: 25 items [/b] ENTITLEMENTS, BORN TO RULE SYNDROME + FIDDLES 1. Fiona Nash says staffer’s interest in wife’s lobbying firm poses 'no conflict' Gabrielle Chan and Lenore Taylor "Having originally insisted that her chief of staff, Alistair Furnival, had “no connection whatsoever” with the company, she conceded that Furnival, who intervened to pull down a healthy food rating website that had been opposed by parts of the food industry, was a “shareholder in the lobbying firm owned by his wife”." http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/12/fiona-nash-says-staffers-interest-in-wifes-lobbying-firm-poses-no-conflict INDUSTRY WARS 2. What really killed the auto industry Alan Kohler "The Australian car industry was not killed by the high currency. It's a victim of what IMF chief Christine Lagarde calls the ogre of deflation. The clue to the problem lies in the fact that so many people will lose their jobs as a result of the industry's closure: modern auto factories employ robots, not people. Close a factory in Japan and no workers stream out of the gates telling TV cameras how sad they are. It's not just cars: most prices are falling, not rising." http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-13/kohler-the-ogre-of-deflation/5256662 3. What the departure of Toyota, Holden and Ford really means for workers Sally Weller People change jobs constantly, and the jobs lost in car manufacturing closures are insignificant in the context of total job changes - no different to everyday job changes. So say some commentators opining http://theconversation.com/what-the-departure-of-toyota-holden-and-ford-really-means-for-workers-23137 4. Toyota’s exit provides a blank sheet for creative manufacturing Jonathon Hutchinson can car manufacturing in Australia find a new – albeit different – home in the creative economy? Chances are there will be many people now looking for solutions and new directions. Companies such as Zoox, a Melbourne-based start-up design company, are already offering innovative ideas in this space, if not actual products. http://theconversation.com/toyotas-exit-provides-a-blank-sheet-for-creative-manufacturing-23071 INDUSTRY WARS 5. Car manufacturing numbers just don’t stack up Ross Guest Now that the final nail has been hammered in to the car industry’s coffin, what does it mean for the Australian economy? As always, the data is a good place to start. Efficient manufacturing depends largely… http://theconversation.com/car-manufacturing-numbers-just-dont-stack-up-23093 6. Managed decline to rapid demise: Abbott’s car industry gamble Tom Conley For the past 30 years, Australian automotive industry policies can be characterised as managed decline. Beginning in the 1980s with the Button Plan, the aim of policy was to consolidate the industry and… http://theconversation.com/managed-decline-to-rapid-demise-abbotts-car-industry-gamble-23124 7. SPC Ardmona deal proves it didn't need federal help, Tony Abbott says Australian Associated Press Victorian government invests $22m into fruit processor, two weeks after federal government refused to support it. Tony Abbott says the news that SPC Ardmona has been rescued by a $22m injection from the Victorian state government proves it did not need a handout from the commonwealth. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/feb/13/victoria-invests-22m-spc-ardmona-bailout POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 8. The Coalition has regained some ground, but Labor still leads in the polls Adrian Beaumont After the rapid gains for Labor last November and December, the Coalition has recovered some ground, though Labor still leads in the polls. Here are the three polls published this week. For Newspoll, it was the first poll taken since December, while Morgan and Essential have been polling since mid January. http://theconversation.com/labor-slips-in-new-year-polls-23136 9. The recession we didn’t have to have Bob Ellis 94 In the future they will call it the Hockey Recession... and wonder at the sort of fanatical economic terrorists who were running Australia. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-recession-we-didnt-have-to-have,6163 10. The creeping barrage of political language David Hetherington By trying to redefine our understanding of "fairness" and "poverty", the Australian conservative movement is paving the way for its pro-business, anti-welfare agenda http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-12/hetherington-the-creeping-barrage-of-political-language/5255186 11. Harsh Justice Is Coming For The Unions Adam Brereton If you want a union witch-hunt to go smoothly, appoint a conservative former High Court judge to run the show. Abbott's latest appointment is about politics, not probity, writes Adam Brereton As ACTU Assistant Secretary Tim Lyons pointed out on Tuesday night, the last Liberal prime minister who didn't find time to hold an anti-union inquiry was Billy McMahon. https://newmatilda.com/2014/02/12/harsh-justice-coming-unions 12. Future Coalition royal commissions Evan Williams ... .a royal commission into a royal commission. http://www.themonthly.com.au/blog/evan-williams/2014/02/13/1392248650/future-coalition-royal-commissions 13. Ignore, deny, reframe - but never, ever fess up Paula Matthewson We all know our leaders have lied to us, but we'd nevertheless be extraordinarily confronted if one of them ever actually admitted as such. One of the challenges faced by politicians in the digital age is that it's just not as easy to lie as it used be. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-13/matthewson-lying-pollies/5256836 POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT + COMMITMENT 14. Are we becoming a selfish society? Raffaele Piccolo The way our politics is becoming increasingly focussed on individual gain gives Raffaele Piccolo grave misgivings about where we're headed as a nation. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/are-we-becoming-a-selfish-society,6167 15. For justice in Jacksonville — bring on the Royal Commission Peter Wicks 33 With the Abbott Government’s announcing a Royal Commission into the union movement, Peter Wicks says — bring it on. http://www.independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/for-justice-in-jacksonville--bring-on-the-royal-commission,6165 16. Do we face a job free future? What is the future of work? FeralFluffyBunny The future of work has been on my mind a lot over the past few years. It seems that the future of jobs is bleak in a number of ways. For example, zero hours, surveillance, and robots are on the horizon for many workers. This post about the future of work was originally inspired by Marissa Mayer’s pronouncement in early 2013 banning work from home at Yahoo!. The ever-present drives for efficiency and lower costs mean that businesses are changing the way we work, and they are also changing the way that we are contracted to work. http://ausopinion.com/2014/02/13/do-we-face-a-job-free-future-what-is-the-future-of-work/ Young, Restless and Creative: Openness to Disruption and Creative Innovations Daron Acemoglu This paper argues that openness to new, unconventional and disruptive ideas has a first-order impact on creative innovations-innovations that break new ground in terms of knowledge creation. After presenting a motivating model focusing on the choice between incremental and radical innovation, and on how managers of different ages and human capital are sorted across different types of firms, we provide cross-country, firm-level and patent-level evidence consistent with this pattern. Our measures of creative innovations proxy for innovation quality (average number of citations per patent) and creativity (fraction of superstar innovators, the likelihood of a very high number of citations, and generality of patents). Our main proxy for openness to disruption is manager age. This variable is based on the idea that only companies or societies open to such disruption will allow the young to rise up within the hierarchy. Using this proxy at the country, firm or patent level, we present robust evidence that openness to disruption is associated with more creative innovations. http://www.nber.org/papers/w19894?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntw ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 17. Senate orders Abbott to make public Barrier Reef submissions Daniel Burdon THE Senate has ordered the Abbott government to release all its submissions on the Great Barrier Reef strategic assessment, as The Greens move to stop a dredging approval at Abbot Point. A Senate motion by The Greens Senator Larissa Waters was on Wednesday approved to demand the government to release the submissions publicly. http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/news/senate-orders-abbott-to-make-barrier-reef-submissi/2169391/ 18. How global forest-destroyers are turning over a new leaf Bill Laurance Indonesia is the world’s biggest destroyer of forests and four multinational corporations — APP, APRIL, Wilmar and Golden Agri Resources — have been responsible for much of it. Until recently these mega-corporations… http://theconversation.com/how-global-forest-destroyers-are-turning-over-a-new-leaf-22943 19. The lasers fuelling hopes of unlimited, clean nuclear energy Steve Connor Nuclear fusion breakthrough: The lasers fuelling energy hopes "A milestone has been reached in the 60-year struggle to harness the nuclear reactions that power the Sun in an experiment that could lead to a way of producing an unlimited source of clean and sustainable energy in the form of nuclear fusion." http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/the-lasers-fuelling-hopes-of-unlimited-clean-nuclear-energy-9124237.html 20. Mining projects: Greg Hunt set to grant himself retrospective legal immunity Michael Safi Environment minister faces potential claims he failed to consider advice before approving projects such as Abbot Point dredging. A Senate inquiry has cleared the way for a bill to pass the upper house preventing legal challenges to environmental approvals issued by Hunt before 31 December last year, on the grounds the minister ignored expert advice on risks to threatened species. Decisions granted immunity include controversial approvals in Queensland of dredging at Abbot Point, an LNG export facility at Curtis Island and a coalmine in the Galilee Basin. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/13/mining-greg-hunt-retrospective-legal-immunity?CMP=soc_567 21. A lack of maths just doesn’t add up for a career in science Trevor Hambley Our future in science, technology and engineering relies on a foundation and understanding of mathematics. And while it is pleasing to see a growth in interest in our advanced mathematics course at the… http://theconversation.com/a-lack-of-maths-just-doesnt-add-up-for-a-career-in-science-23065 MEDIA MEA CULPA 22. Slogans stifled debate - and we let them Jonathan Green, The Drum "In an election, reality can be sculpted, in government it must be confronted. It is entirely possible, for example, to gain power on the basis of the slightest of policy prescriptions. For Tony Abbott this amounted to a recurring and simple series of pledges... As the weeks and months have moved on it has become increasingly clear that the terms of this electoral contest, terms largely determined by the government’s calculated minimalism, did us no favours." http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-13/green-slogans-stifled-debate-and-we-let-it/5255452 23. 10 Compelling Reasons You Can Never Trust The Mainstream Media Sophie McAdam A poll last year showed that trust in the mainstream media is increasing, which should worry all of us who value truth, integrity and press freedom. Why? Here are 10 disturbing things everyone needs to know about the global media giants who control our supply of information, wielding immense power over the people- and even over the government. http://www.trueactivist.com/10-disturbing-facts-about-the-mainstream-media/ ASYLUM SEEKERS 24. Devil in the detail of asylum seeker directive Andrew Hamilton In the clamour of Australia's treatment of people who come to Australia to seek protection from persecution, with its discordant notes of suffering, humiliation, death, heated rhetoric and managerial complexity, a minor and almost unnoticed Government direction struck such a revelatory chord. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=38889#.Uvx1W4AQ9ZY 25. Graphic novel versus Taliban: an asylum seeker deterrent? Phillip George The immigration department has added new contemporary imagery to the growing list of iconic works that surround the vexed issue of asylum seekers. Most Australians can already vividly recall media of the… http://theconversation.com/graphic-novel-versus-taliban-an-asylum-seeker-deterrent-23122 OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Jason

14/02/2014Coming up on #insiders this Sunday, @latingle @farrm51 & Kerry-Anne Walsh. Barrie Cassidy will be interviewing @ScottMorrisonMP.

jaycee

14/02/2014Just this morning I went on The Guardian and got stuck into this "Gen X" conservative who boasted that he was no "cry-baby lefty"...but a conservative...so I gave him a serve..bastard!....But here's the rub...if you look at his photo, you see a throwback to a stereotype 1950's beatnik...you know, one of those coffee-house, jazz club beat-poets that had a definate look...; goatee / moustach, thick glasses..fazed-out look about them..a protest against the clean-cut conservative/militarist of those days...and now here it is used by the dead-beat conservatives as a fashion statement...I notice that other useless piece of shite right-wing Rowan Dean also started with that look when he first appeared on Greun Transfer....I remember seeing him and I thought..;oh!..is this a lefty uni student making an appearence?..and he turns out to be a lump of shite....but a lump of shite that has borrowed the uniform of radicalism to get a bit of comment-cred....after all, WHO would bother to give ANY ear to a right-wing shite talking their usual bullshit? But I notice a lot of this going on...the Che Guevarra 'T' shirt f'instance...another "brand name" of radicalism used as a fashion statement by the thinking-challenged! ...or the Karl Marx face pic..that's another one...they probably confuse him with the other Marx's! I get really jack of it all.."Oh, they're only reacting against your generation...like YOU reacted against your parents " I've heard said...well that's really piss-weak...I can't speak for all my generation, but I reacted against what I saw as a anti-humanist philosophy...the brutality of Vietnam, the regimentation of the workplace and life-choices of an entire global military machine...and in my travels away from that bullshit, I met a multitude of like-minded young people...I still kept in connection with my parents, but be jiggered if I was going to live their choice of lifestyle!...But it would seem these young conservatives want it every way..: the comfort, the parental affection, the emotional and financial security along with the social status (something many of our gen' completely abandoned) and material benefits that they have come to expect..WITHOUT having to suffer even the conflict of being in radical disagreeance to their peers....instead, they take the easy way out and criticise what they see as "leftys" for being too "soft" on people and social policy that need a more humanistic sympathy....F#CK "EM!....I say.

Michael

14/02/2014This article http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/13/christopher-pyne-attacks-labor-ungentlemanly-behaviour contains so many ridiculous assertions by Christopher Pyne it should fall under the "utter nonsense" label of contemporary Australia politics. Within the story, an old canard is raised by Pyne, 'old' but definitely illuminating. He's quoted - "we had more votes than Labor in the last parliament, so we quite rightly felt that the last government was illegitimately elected by independents sitting in conservative seats". For a start, governments are not "elected" - governments are formed by a group of indidually elected members of parliament joining together as a voting majority in the houses of parliament. Members are individually elected, they combine to deliver a formally guaranteed (to the Governor General) continuity of voting intentions. 'Traditionally', these combinations are called 'parties' or 'coalitions' of parties, but whatever the label is, in constitutional terms, no party is ever elected as such. So, Pyne is both ignorant and wrong, something you definitely don't want in a national leader, but something that in this opinion (of the illegitimacy of the previous government) he clearly shares with many Liberals and Nationals, including the 'prime minister', demonstrates our current governing group is... both ignorant and wrong. Further, no member of parliament 'elects' any other member of parliament. So, Pyne's assertion that the last government was elected by anyone but each sitting member's registered voters is... both ignorant and wrong. Perhaps, just perhaps, Minister for Education Pyne might like to sit down and read those parts of the national curriculum that explore and explain Australia's political institutions and their formative structures? On the other hand, on past performances, Pyne might prefer to remain both ignorant and wrong.

Catching up

14/02/2014Sad that the likes of Pyne still have no idea how the democratic system worked in this country, Still does not know what a mandate means according to the constitution. Does not understand, there is only one way legislation becomes law. Yes, by the votes cast by each MP, on the floor of both houses. No wonder they appear so angry and frustrated yesterday. Not going as the planned or believe they are entitled to think. They do not seem to appreciate, each MP's vote is equal. Also the only numbers that count, when forming a government, are the numbers the party can garner on the floor of the lower house. In the last parliament, Pyne party had none of these numbers. The constitution does not mention, Prime Minister or Party.

jaycee

14/02/2014Pyne only thinks from a position of privilege granted, not earned.

Ken

14/02/2014jaycee agree. They might wear Che Guevara t-shirts but have they read 'Guerilla Warfare' or Regis Debray's 'Revolution in the Revolution?' or Frantz Fanon's 'The Wretched of the Earth'? They like the superficial link without understanding what it was really about.

Ken

14/02/2014Catching up As I pointed out in one of my posts last year, Beazley and the ALP won the popular vote against John Howard but not enough seats. So, as you say, Pyne's claim that they 'wuz robbed' in 2010 is pure rubbish.

Catching up

14/02/2014If one cannot garner those votes on the floor of the lower house, one cannot ever form government. If they lose those votes on the floor of the lower house, they lose the right to govern. No if or buts, that is the way it is. Pyne also claimed that no one gas ever accused him of rudeness. One wonders if he knows the meaning of the word "rude".

Catching up

14/02/2014Also, if enough within Abbott's backbench decide they have had enough, he will no longer be PM.

Catching up

14/02/2014I truly apologize for any offense given. I have a high regard for all VC winners, have since a young age. Will have to go back and check, Can the moderator remove any offensive material I might have posted,

TPS Team

14/02/2014Catching Up - as requested the post has been removed Frank Benfield - unfortunately I have had to remove your post as well as you repeated the comment. I have allowed the apology to remain on the record. I hope this satisfies all concerned.

Catching up

14/02/2014Thanks for that. Sorry for being so careless. Did not think. Not if that is an excuse. Is not.

TalkTurkey

15/02/2014Greetings Comrades. As everybody is saying, this Government is being worse than anyone, even cynics such as I, thought possible. The depressingest thing is that no matter what he does, he is pre-indulged by this slithering lickspittle MSM. As Ad astra laments, Question Time is a farce now, Bishop B is a disaster for good governance and the only satisfaction we of the Left can derive from the whole disaster is that those who are its architects, who are so cock-a-hoop at the moment, will inevitably be its worst victims. The worse the better.

TalkTurkey

15/02/2014Love this song! It's called [i]American Foreign Policy[/i], or, [i]Drop the Big[/i] One! And Gee I love youtube because I can find almost any song and its entire lyrics explicit in print. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGO42gvCSPI

FB2

15/02/2014Catching Up and TPS Team. I'm sincerely grateful for your responses. Now its back to lurkerville for me. Kind regards all. FB2.

Catching up

15/02/2014No, it is OK. Sometimes one needs a reminder to take more care in answers. The aim is to raise standards, not to be party to lowering them. Enjoy the lurking.

Jason

15/02/20142353 Came across this blog/letter thought you might be interested An open letter to Bruce Young, regarding VLAD Laws and the impact on small business http://polyfeministix.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/an-open-letter-to-bruce-young-member-for-keppel-and-all-qld-lnp-mps-regarding-vlad-laws-and-the-impact-on-small-business/

Casablanca

15/02/2014 Wondering if I missed this news or whether it did not rate a mention in the Australian Press when announced on 10 February 2014? [b]Julia Gillard New Board Chair at Global Partnership for Education[/b] Washington, D.C. – February 10, 2014. The Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the only multilateral partnership devoted to getting all children in the world's poorest countries into school for a quality education, has appointed former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to be the new Chair of its Board of Directors. http://www.globalpartnership.org/news/538/22/Press-Release/d,Whats%20New/ My Passion for Education Dated: February 10, 2014 32 Comments First thoughts from Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia on her new appointment as Board Chair of the Global Partnership for Education I first campaigned for better education when I was at university. As Australia’s Education Minister and ultimately as Prime Minister, I had the opportunity to deliver reforms across our entire education system, with the aim of making quality learning more accessible and affordable to more of our citizens. http://www.educationforallblog.org/education-funding/my-passion-for-education

Casablanca

15/02/2014Tim Ferguson ‏@withtimferguson 8m BREAKING: "We Will Decide Who Invades Indonesian Sovereign Territory & The Manner In Which We…. Oops." Tim Ferguson ‏@withtimferguson 27m BREAKING: Navy Buys GPS To Avoid Indo Border Confusion #Auspol [b]Australian navy went into Indonesian waters 'too easily' and 'often'[/b] Kate Lamb in Jakarta and Oliver Laughland in Sydney Exclusive: Indonesian navy says incursions were occurring ‘more and more often’ before 6 January incident http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/14/australian-navy-incursion-into-indonesian-waters-intentional

Patriciawa

15/02/2014Julia Gillard's new job was mentioned by the media at the time of its announcement http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-11/julia-gillard-global-partnership-education/5251230. Shortly thereafter it was taken up by Miglo and myself at Cafe Whispers. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/julia-gillards-new-job/

TalkTurkey

15/02/2014Anybody watch 4 Corners? Israel is a criminal Fascist State, single greatest progenitor of world strife. Murderers, grand larcenists, racists, kidnappers, haters. Users of white phosphorus on civilians! It's a violation of international law to use it even on hostile combatants! If anyone starts a nuclear war I believe it will be Israelis. Jews say God gave them Palestine. They have no compunction whatsoever in torturing people and terrifying children. Remember someone here, a frequent contributor at that, saying he was "a big supporter of Israel"? I'm proud of having called him on it. I wasn't so proud of hardly anybody else here making a squeak. If nobody on TPS is prepared to stand up for the outrageously wronged Palestinian people, where else will they get support? Are Australians so mesmerised by the Murdoch media, the American-Jew-dominated films, that they are prepared to stay silent in the face of State-sanctioned and -perpetrated ethnic cleansing on a grand and continuing scale? I'll probably be labelled "anti-Semitic" for what I am about to say, (N' accused me thus last time), well no I'm not, I am realistic, atheistic, humanistic and anti-Fascistic. And in any case as I've noted before, Palestinian Arabs are Semites too. How's this, the attitude I am expressing would have put me into the same frame as Schindler in WWII, American Jewish film makers would have lionised me! But speaking of pre-War Germany, what I am going to say now is almost utterly unmentionable, OH-How-Could-You-Say-Such-A-Thing, and I even wonder if anyone else has even thought of it at all. We all know about that Jews were victims in Weimar Germany, but have you ever thought why they were SO hated? If you knew that much of the rental accommodation and property was in Jewish hands ... (as it was) ... and a lot of the corner shops ... (and the West was bleeding Germany white for war reparations) ... so people could not always pay their rent on that very day ... and they had kids, and it was winter ... and their landlords made the families get out right then, leaving furniture and all behind them, which then was old or kept by the landlords ... Well isn't that the way the Israeli Jews are behaving right now, now that they have absolute power ... Can you imagine, if now you have any sympathy for Palestinians having their houses bulldozed and simply being pushed aside, how the Germans must have hated the Jews? Israel wants us forever weeping for generations long gone, claiming eternal victimisation, but they are the victimisers, but this time they have absolute whip hand. (Oh and btw they control a great proportion of the world's arms industry.) The 4 Corners program ended by speculating on the sort of generation now growing from terrified childhood to righteously vengeful adolescence. This is not a South Africa with a Madiba to create an amazingly peaceful revolution. There will be blood: the only questions are when, and how much, and what will be left. The sooner the world holds Israel to account, the less traumatic it will be. But it will not be peaceful, the brutish Jewish settlers have made that a certainty. Anything Abborrrtt is doing to us pales into insignificance alongside Jewish outrages. Speak out Swordsfolks! If not you, Who?

Casablanca

16/02/2014 PatriciaWA @ February 15. 2014 04:49 PM Looks like I goofed! Thanks

Patriciawa

16/02/2014Talk Turkey, I agree with you re the Israeli treatment of Palestinians. Seems that having been victims themselves has not not made them less inclined to victimise others. Even as a young teenager I was always astonished by the arrogance of America and other Western powers trying to impose the Jewish/European state of Israel on the Arab countries of the Middle East. No matter how ghastly the revelations of the German atrocities in Europe unfolding after 1945 nothing could justify trying compensate for Jewish suffering by dispossessing millions of Arabs to re-settle Jews in a rebuilt state of Israel.

jaycee

16/02/2014TT. The entire arguement around historical credibility of Palestinian / Jewish ownership is centred around THAT one word...: Jew. That word did not exist until the fifteenth / sixteenth century AD.....and after Shakespear...Shylock was not called a Jew....(I'll leave others to detail that one)...and the fact that the letter "J" was the last letter added to the english alphabet in the circa nineteenth century also detracts from the veracity of the word. Ancient Palestine was a blend of many tribes, but no nations..the so-called "Jewish Wars" with the Romans were just another territorial skirmish of a disciplined army against what the Romans declared fanatical sects...The Romans had nothing against ANY religion..as a matter of fact, they gladly absorbed such into their panoply of Gods...the emporer Vespasian, the general in charge of suppressing the first uprising of troublemakers brought Josephus back to Rome to become tutor to his son Titus..: the general in command of the capture of Jeruselem from another rabble...such a rabble of conflicting tribes, that he had only to wait until each tribe eliminated the other until there was little resistance left and he could almost "walk in" and clean up the mess left behind by intercine and sectine killing. The mythology that surrounds the notion of a "jewish nation" is legion...I would suggest a reading of book one chap' 15 of Gibbon's "Decline and Fall.." to get a more complete picture of the play and the players of those times. I have written this more times than I can and you too TT. can remember...it becomes too tiresome to keep repeating waht one already knows and useless to dissuade those who do not want to know.

2353

16/02/2014Jason, Sent to my local LNP member asking for a response. I'm not holding my breath - but anyway

Michael

16/02/2014Every nation on Earth is the 'State of Israel.' There is no nation on Earth without imposed political borders with scant relation to the land they cut up and allocate's original inhabitants. The problems in Israel are not cartographical or etymological. The problems in Israel are the problem with humankind - enjoined to love our neighbours, to treat others as we would have them treat us, we seek advantage, priority, specialness. And that is no excuse, either for anything done by those who have the upper hand in Israel or anywhere else on Earth where that upper hand reaches so determinedly for the whip, the stun-gun, the hurting/damaging/destroying asserter of 'rightness'. A fault in human beings, the grasping at specialness, at being 'chosen', at having a 'manifest destiny', of being the 'volk', of being better, purer, the epitome of humanity, part of that fault is the certainty there is nothing in us with a shade of fault. And the required opposite certainty that anyone not "us" is fault personified. Which draws maps, denies human beings outside our 'camp' human status, allows the vicious to be practised as a necessary thing, and defines 'good' as "not them". But to 'them', we are 'them'. So long as human beings deny "us", we are fear. Fear hates, fear kills, fear excuses, fear vaunts hatred. Scan a political map of the Earth, trace the throughlines of fear. National, state, provincial borders. Scan a photograph or two of the Earth taken from space. A blue ball with infinity beyond. Who'd guess fear rules such beauty?

Ken

16/02/2014I used to love the irony of Israel labelling the PLF as terrorists. Israel was founded on terrorism - the war against the British which held Palestine as a protectorate at the time. And I recall that one of the groups that suffered most in the founding of Israel (and up to recent times that I know of) were the Palestinian Jews. Yes, Jews had been there the whole time living with the Palestinians (in fact they were Palestinians, just of a different religion to the majority). They identified omre with the Palestinian arabs than with the newly arrived jewish settlers - mostly from Europe.
What does two plus 1 equal?