Green parasols

'You have come down here to see an election - eh? Spirited contest, my dear sir, very much so indeed. We have opened all the public-houses in the place. It has left our opponent nothing but the beer-shops — masterly policy, my dear sir, eh?' The little man smiled complacently, and took a large pinch of snuff.

'And what is the likely result of the contest?' inquired Mr. Pickwick.

'Why, doubtful, my dear sir, rather doubtful as yet,' replied the little man. 'Fizkin's people have got three-and-thirty voters in the lock-up coach-house at the White Hart.'

'In the coach-house!' said Mr. Pickwick, much astonished.

'They keep 'em locked up there till they want 'em,' resumed the little man. 'The effect, you see, is to prevent our getting at them. Even if we could, it would be of no use, for they keep them very drunk on purpose. Smart fellow, Fizkin's agent very smart fellow indeed.

'We are pretty confident, though,' said Mr. Perker, his voice sinking almost to a whisper. 'We had a little tea-party here last night, five-and-forty women, my dear sir and gave every one of 'em a green parasol when she went away. Five and-forty green parasols, at 7/6d each. Got the votes of all their husbands, and half their brothers. You can't walk half a dozen yards up the street, without encountering half a dozen green parasols.'

'Is everything ready?' said Samuel Slumkey to Mr. Perker.

'Nothing has been left undone, my dear sir. There are twenty washed men at the street door for you to shake hands with; and six children in arms that you're to pat on the head, and ask the age of. Be particular about the children, my dear sir. It always has a great effect, that sort of thing.

'And perhaps if you could manage to kiss one of 'em, it would produce a very great impression on the crowd. I think it would make you very popular.'

[from Charles Dickens, Pickwick Papers, the Eatanswill election]

Well, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, eh? Oh the details of elections may vary a little from 1827, but the same tactics apply — get the voters stupefied, lock them in to voting for you, carry out some mindless stunts for the media. Gain power by whatever it takes. But, whatever you do, don't mention policies.

The way it worked for the conservatives (‘Liberals’ is one of the most misleading political names in history) in Australia in 2013 was very similar.

Before the election they engage endlessly in stunts for tv cameras, in fancy dress they lob into some known-to-be-friendly site, hold something mindlessly for the cameras, and repeat, yet again, one of a small set of focus-group-tested three word slogans.

The slogans relate to one or two policies that can be made to seem appealing to people stupefied by a diet of commercial television and News Ltd papers. Reducing electricity prices by dropping a price on carbon (‘axe the tax’), punishing brown-skinned desperate asylum seekers (‘stop the boats’), creating a Budget surplus (‘cut the waste’).

Just two other things they need to do. Claim that, apart from those few policies, in every other respect they and the (then) government are as one. Promise, implicitly or explicitly, that all the popular programs the government introduced in education, health, social services, environment, foreign affairs, workplace relations, and so on, will be retained. That in fact a change in government will be, with the exception of those popular slogan-based promises, almost un-noticeable. But better of course, because of their other claim — of competence, experience, professionalism, a ‘grown-up government’.

Home and hosed, with a lot of help from their media friends who promote slogans and stunts and grown-upness, and we have a brand new day.

After the election, while they will indeed aim to get rid of the carbon price and screw the refugees, it will suddenly appear that there were dozens, hundreds of policies never mentioned in the election campaign which are of extreme urgency. Beginning immediately, all climate change and renewable energy programs are slashed or marked for slashing; the Gonski school funding plan rejected; disability schemes abandoned; work place relations marked for big change; Medicare co-payments flagged; Australia Post set up for privatising; environmentally damaging projects approved; racial vilification laws removed; aged care damaged; NBN dismantled; ABC attacked and threatened; Indonesia insulted and her borders breached; Same Sex marriage challenged in the High Court; Aboriginal programs combined and cut, and so on. Commissions and Reviews are established to rewrite the national curriculum with a right wing and religious bias, and to slash all government spending, notably social services.

That is, just as in Eatanswill, the election of 2013 (like that of 1996) was marked by a total disconnect between a campaign aimed at winning power, and the subsequent use of that power. John Howard established the principle with his ‘core and non-core promises’, a distinction unmentioned before the election, and Abbott has continued with his proposition that only things he read out from a piece of paper, not things he said in an interview, carried any implication of reality.

The approach the Right has adopted is this: their ideology, in reality, is unpalatable to all except a tiny number of very rich people plus the small audiences of rabid shock jocks — that is, if they told people up front, during an election campaign, what they actually intended to do they could never win.

So they don't. They find a couple of policies that their rich supporters will like and which can be made popular to the masses with the help of that section of rich people who own media outlets. They engage in baby-kissing type stunts. They promise green parasols to those who vote for them. The media run interference by destabilising, attacking, delegitimising, the existing government. At the same time they totally cover-up the real ideology and agenda of the Opposition. With no reason not to vote for them, and with the green parasol tantalisingly in reach, sufficient votes are moved to get the conservative party into power.

At which point, rather like aliens (say the Slitheen of Dr Who) who rip away a human mask to reveal their true nature, the Liberal Party goes to work, as outlined above. Fake enquiries staffed by business mates will be set up to provide an alibi for the slashing and burning of the economy to disadvantage the poor and reward the rich. But generally, these days, with an acquiescent media and journalism for the rich, even the old ‘budget in worse shape than we thought’ lie isn't really needed. They can proceed quite confidently to do many things they never mentioned in the campaign, and the opposite of some things they did, knowing that the media will point out neither surprises nor contradictions. Oh, and it will turn out, so sorry, budget problems you understand, that the green parasols will only go to the rich who already have parasols of other colours.

But, you say, all very well, and a lot of damage can be done in the first term of office of a government. But obviously, after three, four, five years, depending, these vandals, masks long since ripped away, will have to face the voters who will be ready, surely, to vote early and vote often, in a fury, in order to wipe these conservatives from the political map? Er, no, sorry.

For several reasons it is very common for these conservative governments to be voted back in for several terms of office. First, come election time, they will have the advantages of incumbency — control (in Australia) of election timing, of public service, of ‘public information’ advertising, of spending, of media appearances. They can in fact go through the whole kissing babies/green parasols routine more effectively this time, and the media will keep voters stupefied; will fail to talk about the record of the government and its implications, and the public, if not reminded, forgets; will set the shock jocks to work damning the Opposition and praising the government.

Generally speaking all of that is enough to get even the most vicious and destructive government at least a second term, probably more. But these people, and their promoters, don't take chances — far too much money is at stake, far too many glittering prizes for political and business winners. So to make sure it is not uncommon to bring out the big guns. From time immemorial electoral success for an incumbent government can be guaranteed by the Falkland Gambit — rumours of war, border incidents, and, at times, the full monty, actual war, preferably, indeed invariably, against a weaker opponent.

And so Thatcher had her Falklands, Bush had his Iraq, John Howard had his Tampa incident, then Iraq, and so on.

Tony Abbott has already begun, astonishingly early, to irritate Indonesia with border incursions, and ‘Operation Sovereign Borders’, Three Star General on board. Probably no coincidence given that he has gone in much harder and earlier (than, say, John Howard) in his program to turn Australia into a neo-con paradise, starting by changing 2013 to Year 0. The only question remaining is where will he find a weaker opponent for the Falkland Gambit in 2016. Make no mistake, the billionaire backers of Tony Abbott have absolutely no intention of losing him after one term.

Oh, and also get ready in 2016 for more green parasols like Paid Parental Leave. And plenty of baby kissing by a man wearing rather odd costumes and head gear!

Rate This Post

Current rating: 0.7 / 5 | Rated 7 times

TPS Team

23/02/2014Today the redoubtable Watermelon Man, Slitheen-like, rips off his mask to reveal his true persona, the insightful David Horton, as he turns his devastating power with words to a searing expose of the real nature of the type of campaign which won the election for the Abborrrttians. As Watermelon Man, David is one of the most influential of all writers on the Fighting 5th Estate. He hosts the Watermelon Blog http://davidhortonsblog.com/ where he writes some of the best articles you would ever see, and he is a prolific commenter on Twitter, where his acerbic wit often takes the form of: "[i]Have I got this straight, ...?[/i]", followed by a rhetorical question that is, indeed, very straight to the point - much as a corkscrew too is 'straight to the point'! In [i]Green Parasols[/i] David focuses hard cold light on the many horrid ruses and the truly evil nature of politics as practised by such parties as Abborrrtt's, and draws a parallel to Victorian times which would be hilarious were it not so tragic. The 'gratuitous' distribution of Green Parasols then has its expanded expression in the ubiquitous 'pork-barrelling' by the rich and powerful, and of course that's not funny at all. One line at least reminds me of something that was indeed funny. [quote]‘And perhaps if you could manage to kiss one of 'em, it would produce a very great impression on the crowd. I think it would make you very popular.’ [Charles Dickens, Pickwick Papers, the Eatanswill election].[/quote] It was in a cartoon published during the election campaign when Hawke rolled Fraser, who really seemed inept and wrongfooted from the start... [quote]There's Fraser on the campaign trail ... One of his minders is going spare, "[i]No, No[/i], Mister Fraser, [i]Kiss the BABY, Pat the DOG![/i]" [/quote] Well as David observes, [i]plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose... ... Mais oui, mon ami, exactement![/i] I'd need to write as well as David to do this piece justice, but readers will find in it virtually all the iniquities of the Abborrrtt Government lined up in a smelly row. Well done and thanks Mr Melon Man.

Ad astra

23/02/2014David Horton What a perspicacious and pointed piece you have written. Yes, we have a well versed and cunning conservative clique, both inside and outside of government, determined to retain the advantage they achieved when Abbott and Co. won the 2013 election. There are too many goodies for Abbott’s classmates to forego after just one term – too much money, too much power, too much influence, too much advantage. So there will be lots of parasols, blue to match Tony’s ties, much baby kissing, countless monotonous slogans, and sickening over-the-top populism. Royal Commissions and multiple inquiries, governed and constrained by terms of reference designed to uncover only what the Coalition wants, will ensure that Labor is castigated, denigrated and humiliated for the next three years, and the minds of the people poisoned. And how will Labor counter this? With Bill Shorten? Pity Anthony Albanese has been almost invisible since Shorten took over. He might have had more impact than the bland Shorten. The Fourth Estate will, as usual, be complicit in promoting the Abbott agenda and hiding his incompetence, weakness and vengefulness. Once more, it will be the Fifth Estate that will need to expose Abbott and his government for what it is – a party devoted to enriching the wealthy and the powerful at the expense of the poor and needy, as conservatives world over always do.

totaram

23/02/2014spot on! However, I am seriously concerned that the "right faction" of labor is hardly different. What do do against these crypto-fascists?

Gravel

23/02/2014Maybe with all their austerity measures they are bringing in, not slowly, but very quickly, people will get the short sharp shock and think more carefully next time.

2353

23/02/2014Well written David and welcome aboard. Here is Newmania, he claims to have learnt his lesson in the thumping he got on the weekend in Redcliffe. Hopefully the work will spread to Canberra (then all we have to do is get the LNP to listen). And if that doesn't work, there is also the concerns expressed by the Tasmanian Liberal Leader who is concerned that the ideological stuffing around with the NBN may cause him to lose the election. [quote]The announcement comes as the Liberal leader in Tasmania, Will Hodgman, on Monday admitted changes to the national broadband network's design from full-fibre to a mix of technologies could cost his party the state election. In a private remark caught by press microphones he said to colleague Jacquie Petrusma: “It could cost us the election. Anyway, that's democracy."[/quote] www.brisbanetimes.com.au/.../...0140219-hvd0a.html And here are the words -> www.abc.net.au/.../5265660

2353

23/02/2014Try this link http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-17/libs-nervous-about-nbn/5265660 Gotta love technology.

Casablanca

24/02/2014 Gravel @ 08:01 PM The following piece, which was No 10 in Saturday's Cache, follows the theme that you raise: One term of Tony will be good for the country Jeff Schiller One dire and dismal term of Tony Abbott may be just the medicine to make Australians remember the fair go values we once stood for...changes to Medicare, GST, worker wages and entitlements – all of which are on the cards – will hurt Aussies. Changes here will disproportionately impact poorer Australians than the top end to boot. This government has made it clear. They are closing shop on our cultural identity of the 'fair go'. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/one-term-of-tony-will-be-good-for-the-country,6197

Casablanca

24/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Monday, 24 February 2014: 33 items[/b] [u]FAREWELL[/u] 1. Memories of pride and joy as Governor-General Quentin Bryce says goodbye Ross Peake Quentin Bryce recalled fighting back tears in the Middle East over the death of Australian soldiers, and the thrill of attending a royal wedding in London, as she reminisced about her five-year term as Governor-General. She delivered the personal reflections on her time in office to a hand-picked audience at Government House at Yarralumla on Sunday. ''This occasion is a very special one for me,'' she told about 100 people at the lunch, under a marquee in the grounds of the stately residence by the lake. Ms Bryce is holding a series of private functions as she winds up her term and prepares to leave Government House at the end of March. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/memories-of-pride-and-joy-as-governorgeneral-quentin-bryce-says-goodbye-20140223-33auq.html#ixzz2u9GhV3Mn [u]ELECTIONS[/u] 2. Green parasols David Horton Well, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, eh? Oh the details of elections may vary a little from 1827, but the same tactics apply — get the voters stupefied, lock them in to voting for you, carry out some mindless stunts for the media. Gain power by whatever it takes. But, whatever you do, don't mention policies. The way it worked for the conservatives (‘Liberals’ is one of the most misleading political names in history) in Australia in 2013 was very similar. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2014/02/23/Green-parasols.aspx#comment 3. A protected species Victoria Rollison With the SA election coming up on March 15, depressingly, the Liberal Opposition is ahead in the polls. This is even after Abbott and Hockey bullied Holden into leaving, which will have a massively detrimental impact on the South Australian community. And even though Marshall is mimicking the negative-no-details-except-for-vague-motherhood-statements-about-tax-cuts-fixing-all-the-State’s-problems campaign that Abbott successfully used to win the Federal election, South Australians still seem determined to make the same mistake twice. http://theaimn.com/2014/02/22/a-protected-species/ [u]ENTITLEMENTS & FIDDLES[/u] 4. Abbott has his own slushy history Michelle Grattan. December 3, 2012 Tony Abbott has had his own slush fund experience, not all of it happy. - See more at: http://nofibs.com.au/2012/12/03/michelle-gratta-abbott-has-his-own-slushy-history/#sthash.hFFrLEcx.dpuf [u]NEW GROWTH INDUSTRIES: ROYAL COMMISSIONS & INQUIRIES[/u] 5. George Brandis leaves no stone unturned in roof inquiry Jack Waterford MERE matters of budget deficits, drought and the impending visit of Prince George should not distract Canberra cynics from the news that the Attorney-General George Brandis has decided to waive cabinet privilege for the royal inquisition into the roof insulation scandal. This is in line with an unspoken law that says the publication of anything able to embarrass former Labor ministers is in the public interest. The decision to hold an inquiry and to provide it with the papers of the last government (in fact the antepenultimate government) is in breach of a well-known and recognised convention about new governments not having access to the papers of the previous administration. Tony Abbott has pushed forward against bureaucratic advice. At least some of that would have been disinterested, if only because of the precedent it would set. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/george-brandis-leaves-no-stone-unturned-in-roof-inquiry-20140222-338su.html#ixzz2u7ioMNlG [u]POVERTY & INEQUALITY[/u] 6. If You Think Only Poor People Need Welfare, Wait Till You See What Really Rich Folks Do With It Adam Mordecai Here's an amazing video (13m) that clearly explains why welfare doesn't work how you think it works. At 6m:38s, we find out the obvious about who the biggest welfare user in the [US] is. http://www.upworthy.com/if-you-think-only-poor-people-need-welfare-wait-till-you-see-what-really-rich-folks-do-with-it?c=upw1 7. Pushed out or pulled out? Why kids don't want to go to school Sue Roffey, University of Western Sydney Prime minister Tony Abbott has set a new goal of closing the gap for Indigenous school attendance within five years, saying a failure to properly educate children is “one of the worst forms of neglect… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdyijty-trhltityg-b/ 8. Tony Abbott’s cuts directly hurt Aboriginal children Padraic Gibson Indigenous specialist services have been slashed by a tidal wave of cuts. This has a direct impact on the health and safety of thousands of Aboriginal children http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/20/tony-abbotts-cuts-directly-hurt-aboriginal-children?CMP=ema_632 9. Slick Tony's Indigenous insincerity Lyn Bender Tony Abbott’s ‘Closing the gap’ speech has apparently made some wonder...Is this the new Tony Abbott, who speaks from the heart? Or is it merely an attempt at damage control by minders of Tony’s personality? Perhaps Tony Abbott had a friendly visit from the ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’ team. Has he been coached in how to be more persuasive and to appear more empathic and cool? Will he no longer be photographed in lycra or the hallmark red speedos? Will the blue tie be phased out in favour of something more adventurous? Will the tough love, authoritarian parent image, give way to a fair, but firm, guardian? http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/slick-tonys-indigenous-insincerity,6194 10. DSP reform: a solution in search of a problem Matt Cowgill That brings me to the report in today’s Oz about the Disability Support Pension (DSP) and Kevin Andrews’ plan to push for a “radical welfare restructure that diverts people with mental illnesses from becoming permanent DSP recipients”. The report contains some new figures on the number of people on disability support: The latest figures show there were 832,024 DSP recipients in December… eclipsing the previous record of 831,908 in December 2011. This tells us that were 116 more DSP recipients in December last year than there were in December 2011. http://mattcowgill.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/dsp-reform-a-solution-in-search-of-a-problem/ [u]POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION[/u] 11. Not Tony Abbott Andrew Elder Tony Abbott is not widely trusted, except by Liberals and press gallery journalists. Given the extent and frequency of promises broken it's a mistake for him to frame all his messages around trust and keeping promises. People are looking for an alternative to Tony Abbott but, as wasn't the case with Rudd or Gillard, there isn't one. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/not-tony-abbott.html 12. Study shines a light into dark corners of electricity pricing Michael West The Prime Minister said the other day he wanted to make Australia the ''affordable energy capital'' of the world...If Tony Abbott truly wants to achieve lower power prices, he will need to be better advised. He could start by recognising for instance that it is not the carbon tax and renewable energy costs that are primarily responsible for energy price hikes. The culprit is network costs; and it is his own state governments that are making the killing. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/study-shines-a-light-into-dark-corners-of-electricity-pricing-20140223-33ah7.html 13. Scott Morrison defends release of new information on asylum seeker's death ABC Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says he only learnt on Saturday of new information that the fatal injury of an asylum seeker on Manus Island may have occurred inside the detention centre. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-23/morrison-defends-new-info-on-asylum-seeker-manus-death/5278046 14. Liberal Party's moderate voice goes silent under Tony Abbott's leadership Bianca Hall With debate on asylum seekers muted in bipartisanship, social liberals find voters just aren't interested... In politics, as Liberal backbencher Russell Broadbent observes, ''these things ebb and flow''. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/liberal-partys-moderate-voice-goes-silent-under-tony-abbotts-leadership-20140222-3391c.html [u]ECONOMICS + BUSINESS[/u] 15. G20 pushes for cut in Australian worker rights Peter Martin Australia is being pushed to cut its employment protection framework, such as unfair dismissal laws, by 10 per cent and reduce access to the pension as part of a drive by world leaders to boost growth. As the G20 summit of the finance ministers and treasurers of the 20 most important economies got under way in Sydney, Treasurer Joe Hockey confirmed it was likely to ask each member to commit to a formal target for lifting its economic growth, a first for the organisation. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/g20-pushes-for-cut-in-australian-worker-rights-20140222-338ze.html 16. Beware of getting burnt in the financial services' boiler-room culture Adele Ferguson Common sense tells you that if you cut tape lengthwise you end up with twice as much. The Coalition's plans to cut red tape in the financial services industry by diluting the Future of Financial Advice reforms could well end up costing us far more than the $190 million a year saved in compliance costs. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/beware-of-getting-burnt-in-the-financial-services-boilerroom-culture-20140221-337kc.html 17. G20 finance ministers agree to lift global growth target The G20 finance ministers meeting has agreed to target a lift in global growth that is 2 per cent higher than current forecasts over five years. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-23/g20-finance-ministers-agree-to-lift-global-growth-target/5278128?WT.mc_id=newsmail 18. G20: Lagarde and Yellen prove their mettle Glenda Kwek When they speak, the world listens. Christine Lagarde and Janet Yellen are not just leaders of their own organisations, but in Sydney this weekend, they will be at the centre of negotiations about global economic and financial stability. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/g20-lagarde-and-yellen-prove-their-mettle-20140222-338n7.html 19. Simplicity and fairness will aid innovation Peter Martin Ever wondered what TV program you are watching? Yahoo has come up with a device to help. You hold up your phone to the screen, it samples the sound for less than two seconds and spits out an answer. But it's illegal in Australia. Yahoo7 won't dare introduce it here because of our copyright law. It has told the Law Reform Commission that in order to match the fragment of sound to the fragments in its database it needs to ''make a copy''. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/simplicity-and-fairness-will-aid-innovation-20140222-338l9.html#ixzz2u7lzVp4o [u]NBN[/u] 20. What NBN needs is much more networking Malcolm Maiden Operational and financial comparisons with previous periods are basically meaningless: the national broadband network has been fundamentally changed by the Coalition's decision to replace Labor's fibre-to-the-home rollout with a melange of connections, including fibre-to-neighbourhood ''nodes'' and hybrid fibre cable originally set to be sidelined. But the half-year result does provide a new base for assessing the progress of the massive project. It's the first results briefing by the NBN and possibly the first of its kind by a government-owned enterprise, Switkowski says. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/what-nbn-needs-is-much-more-networking-20140221-337mz.html [u]ASYLUM SEEKERS[/u] 21. Tony Abbott defends Scott Morrison's bungled information on Manus Island violence Jonathan Swan, James Robertson, Bianca Hall Prime Minister Tony Abbott has defended Immigration Minister Scott Morrison's bungled information about the death and violence on Manus Island, adding that there was "very little damage" to the detention centre and that the riot had been "dealt with". You don’t want a wimp running border protection, you want someone who is strong, who is decent and Scott Morrison is both strong and decent. Mr Abbott also rejected any suggestions he might have lost confidence in the Immigration Minister, saying Mr Morrison was "strong and decent" and that Australians would not want a "wimp" defending their borders. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-defends-scott-morrisons-bungled-information-on--manus-island-violence-20140223-33a98.html 22. $13.3m for Manus detention staff digs Bianca Hall, Rory Callinan Taxpayers are footing the bill for detention centre staff to stay at a floating hotel with large bar, restaurant and roof-top terrace. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/133-million-hotel-bill-for-manus-island-staff-20140222-338wn.html 23. Morrison admits information wrong Bianca Hall Australian security staff will be investigated over their role in the Manus Island detention centre riot. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/scott-morrison-admits--information-he-gave-on-manus-riot-was-wrong-20140222-339hs.html 24. Chaotic asylum seeker stand must end Editorial When it comes to what is really happening at Manus Island, there are many questions to be answered. What is becoming clear is that the government's tough stand on asylum seekers is not working and is rapidly descending into chaos... But as the wall of secrecy that he and his government have built around their policy of dealing with boat arrivals crumbles, it is time for the charade to end. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/ct-editorial/governments-inhumane-and-chaotic-asylum-seeker-stand-must-end-20140222-338zp.html#ixzz2u7lAHEQV 25. Coalition in talks about potential Cambodian solution on refugees Luke Hunt, Phnom Penh Lindsay Murdoch, Bangkok The Australian government has asked Cambodia to accept refugees seeking asylum in Australia in a move that has echoes of the former Labor government's so-called ''Malaysian solution''. Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Nam Hong said the request was made on Saturday morning during a meeting between his Australian counterpart, Julie Bishop, and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. ''In the past, there have been Cambodians going out as refugees to different countries. Now perhaps it is time for Cambodia to receive refugees back to Cambodia,'' Hor Nam Hong told journalists after a news briefing, adding the number of refugees had not been decided, but this would depend on Australia. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/coalition-in-talks-about-potential-cambodian-solution-on-refugees-20140222-3394v.html 26. The Scott Morrison ‘protection racket’ prevarication Bob Ellis It is hard to believe a man killed inside a guarded compound can be thought to be killed outside it, asserts Bob Ellis — but that is what Scott Morrison would have us believe. It is hard to imagine how a dead man, throat-cut and head-stomped into the afterlife in a walled compound, can be thought to have been killed outside it. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-scott-morrison-protection-racket-prevarication,6207 [u]HEALTH[/u] 27. Modelling finds GP fee no money-saver Bianca Hall A proposed $6 ''co-payment'' for a GP could add $2 billion to the states' and federal government's health bills, modelling shows. The South Australian Health Department has estimated that the co-payment proposal would lead to 4 per cent of patients forgoing their GPs and instead attending their emergency departments to seek help for minor health complaints... The modelling showed that this would double the number of people presenting at emergency departments for minor ailments, tripling waiting times and costing an extra $145 million. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/modelling-finds-gp-fee-no-moneysaver-20140222-338zd.html [u]POLITICAL THOUGHT +INVOLVEMENT + COMMITMENT + ACTIVISM[/u] 28. Australians commemorate slain asylum seeker Reza Berati LUCY CARROLL More than 4000 people gathered at Sydney's Town Hall on Sunday night for a candlelight vigil to remember slain Iranian asylum seeker Reza Berati. The crowd was addressed by The Chaser's Chris Taylor, and actress Imogen Bailey spoke about her experience on the SBS televison documentary series Go Back To Where You Came From. Activist group GetUp said about 15,000 people attended at least 600 snap protests across Australia on Sunday, from Queensland cattle stations to Melbourne's Federation Square. The protests come days after Mr Berati, 23, was killed and 62 other asylum seekers were injured in violent scenes at the Australian-run immigration detention centre on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island. http://m.smh.com.au/nsw/australians-commemorate-slain-asylum-seeker-reza-berati-20140223-33apz.html 29. Vigils held for slain asylum seeker Thousands of people have lit up the night skies with candles across Australia at vigils to remember slain Iranian asylum seeker Reza Berati and to call for an end to secrecy on refugees. Organiser of the event GetUp! estimated 15,000 people attended vigils in several capital cities, with about 5000 in Melbourne and 3000 in Sydney. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2014/02/23/10/33/australians-to-shine-a-light-on-manus 30. How The Communists Have Wrecked Our Land. rossleighbrisbane “Advance Australia Fair” was made the Australian National Anthem in 1984. Ok, it’s been clear for sometime that this is a piece of leftist propaganda, slipped in as our Anthem by that socialist Bob Hawke. (Let’s not forget that he was head of that union organisation dedicated to destroying our way of life, the ACTU. Their stated policies include such things as improving job security and wages for workers! Imagine what sort of country we’d become if they had their way!) http://theaimn.com/2014/02/23/how-the-communists-have-wrecked-our-land/ 31. Compassion counts in life and politics Warwick McFadyen Joe Hockey says the age of entitlement is over … but it depends on the address...If one accedes to the dictum that the universal is the personal, then we should all be philosopher kings, for as Treasurer Joe Hockey has pronounced: ''The age of personal responsibility has begun.'' Here's another dictum: high office brings low farce. Hockey's declaration is the flipside of the coin that the minister also tossed into the public arena: ''The age of entitlement is over.'' The Treasurer killed off an age in the same breath as he invoked one... Entitlement is such a loaded word; it means whatever the speaker/writer chooses it to mean. Given the sweep of Hockey's recent proclamation of responsibility/entitlement, one could be forgiven for thinking that all were included, from the poorest to the richest. One would be wrong. That may have been the form but the message, though one that will never be uttered, is it's ''us'' and ''them''. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/compassion-counts-in-life-and-politics-20140222-3391l.html#ixzz2u7mdHvek 32. March in March Australia: A national protest against the Abbott Government Leesa Little What was originally developed as a single protest to be held outside of Parliament House has since become a series of both city and regional marches – 28 in total – all across Australia. March in March organiser Leesa Little explains why this show of unity is so important for Australia. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/march-in-march-australia-a-national-protest-against-the-abbott-government,6198 33. But then it was too late Kaye Lee An excerpt from They Thought They Were Free – The Germans, 1933-45 by Milton Mayer But Then It Was Too Late What no one seemed to notice was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know, it doesn’t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people’s government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is governing. http://theaimn.com/2014/02/22/resist-the-beginnings-and-consider-the-end/ [u]ABBOTT'S BROKEN PROMISES: A RUNNING TALLY[/u] • Tracking Abbott’s Wreckage Tony Abbott has been in power since 7 September 2013. From that moment, he and his government have broken promises and hurt Australians. The tally numbers over 100. http://sallymcmanus.net/abbotts-wreckage/ OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Casablanca

24/02/2014WEEKEND EXTRA (In case you missed it) CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Saturday, 22 February 2014. [b]Churches & MSM begin to question Abbott's regime[/b] Posted at: www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...E-2014-02-21.aspx CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Monday, 24 February 2014. [b]Tony Abbott was an economic refugee who arrived by boat. [/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-24.aspx

2353`

24/02/2014A interesting take on refugees - and the Government's claim that the country does its share. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-24/liberal-mp-kelly-odwyer-incorrect-on-australias-refugee-intake/5270252

TalkTurkey

24/02/2014Do You Hear The People Sing? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwM8fSDsgLI

TalkTurkey

24/02/2014Last night in Adelaide a thousand people gathered at a candlelight vigil to solemnize the death of REZA BERATI (1990-2014) Kurdish Asylum Seeker Prisoner of Australia Aged 23.

Michael

24/02/2014Remember how the gumnint with 'no excuses, no surprises' as its mantra was so determined to reduce costs, and one way to do that was "stop the boats' and so cut costs on handling asylum seekers? Here, you can read how Abbott and co will spend 1.2 billion Australian taxpayers' dollars (through a corporation, of course) for just 20 months of incarceration of "transferees" on Nauru and Manus Island. "Transfield wins $1.2bn contract Asset management firm Transfield Services has won a $1.2 billion contract to provide garrison and welfare services over a 20-month period at Australia's offshore refugee processing centres on Nauru, and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. Transfield Services said on Monday that it had received a formal Letter of Intent from the Commonwealth of Australia for the award of a contract. On Manus, Transfield will sub-contract security services to Wilson Security, as it has on Nauru. "Transfield Services has considerable experience in this type of work, having been on Nauru since the centre there was established and before that, providing similar services at Defence facilities across NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia," Transfield chief executive Graeme Hunt said. Transfield shares were 13 cents, or 16.35 per cent, higher at 92.5 cents at 1053 AEDT." http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-business/transfield-wins-12bn-contract-20140224-33bjo.html?skin=text-only Open for business! PS If the names Transfield and Liberal Party heavyweight Nick Greiner seem linked in your memory... you remember right.

Ken

24/02/2014A great piece David, light in tone but biting in its veracity. The big question is why do people 'buy it' when it happens again and again? Perhaps the only answer, as you suggest, is that people forget or, at best, treat each election as a whole new event bearing little or no relationship to the previous election. An interesting test will be the re-run of the WA Senate election. It is soon enough for people not to have forgotten the last election and they have also had some time to see the real side of conservative politics.

TalkTurkey

24/02/2014You're a rare gem David Horton and your writing is a delight even though the import of it must so be often a horror! Thanks for this. C'mon Swordies, out of the Pub, it's Watermelon Wine today!

TalkTurkey

24/02/2014Thank God for Atheists! Richard Dawkins ‏@RichardDawkins · Feb 17 This is WONDERFUL. http://bit.ly/1eHsSkc Please RT it and make it go viral. Everything you need to know about #creationists is here.

DMW

24/02/2014Hi Ken [i]The big question is why do people 'buy it' ...[/i] Did they really buy it? No, they didn't, what many did was vote out a government that was dysfunctional and couldn't govern itself let alone the country. While the majority of what David has written is accurate what it misses is that Labor was (and possibly still is) a conglomeration of individuals at war with it's own people. Labor has a wonderful history of learning the wrong lessons from its' electoral losses and indications are that there are some that have little, if any, understanding about why it lost the last election. It is all too easy to hide behind the 'small target' and 'me-tooism' of the the victors and blaming the 'meeja'. In the end it is fools errand and does nothing to build the party as a viable alternative any time in the near future.

Casablanca

24/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Tuesday, 25 February 2014: 40 items[/b] NEW GROWTH INDUSTRIES: ROYAL COMMISSIONS & INQUIRIES 1. Bronwyn Bishop refers Craig Thomson to privileges committee over claims he misled Parliament Federal Parliament's privileges committee will examine whether disgraced former Labor MP Craig Thomson misled parliament when he emphatically denied fraud allegations. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bronwyn-bishop-refers-craig-thomson-to-privileges-committee-over-claims-he-misled-parliament-20140224-33cp0.html 2. Disclosure doubts cloud renewable energy target panellists Peter Hannam Doubts have arisen over potential conflicts of interests of a controversial panel appointed by the Abbott government to review the Renewable Energy Target after contradictory statements about the process used to select its members. Fairfax Media sought clarification from Mr Hunt's office about the disclosure procedure, and also whether any of the panellists had to act to remove potential conflicts of interest. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/disclosure-doubts-cloud-renewable-energy-target-panellists-20140224-33b6v.html ENTITLEMENTS & FIDDLES 3. Second George Brandis bookcase costs $15,000 after first was too big to move Matthew Knott More than $15,000 of taxpayers' money was spent on a second custom-built bookcase to house Attorney-General George Brandis' extensive collection of books and law reports. The cost of the new bookcase comes on top of a $7000 taxpayer-funded bookcase purchased for Senator Brandis in 2010 to house $13,000 worth of taxpayer-funded books and magazines. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/second-george-brandis-bookcase-costs-15000-after-first-was-too-big-to-move-20140224-33cm1.html 4. John Singleton blew $750,000 on two losing candidates, as election spending revealed Heath Aston Candidate funding disclosures [have been] released by the Australian Electoral Commission ... http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/john-singleton-blew-750000-on-two-losing-candidates-as-election-spending-revealed-20140224-33bll.html 5. The Thomson verdict and common sense Peter Wicks "As we wait to hear whether Craig Thomson will appeal the verdict handed down in Magistrates Court last Tuesday, I thought it may be timely to clear a couple of things up....my position on Thomson’s case has never been that he is innocent, my position has always been, and continues to be that he deserves a fair trial and that should not involve a trial by media. http://www.independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/the-thomson-verdict-and-common-sense,6213 CULTURE WARS: CLASS IN AUSTRALIA 6. Bogans and hipsters: we're talking the living language of class Christopher Scanlon, La Trobe University Egalitarianism is an article of faith in Australia. While the nation still faces issues of class, Australians tend to be uncomfortable about discussing these or acknowledging their extent. Today The Conversation launches a series, Class in Australia, to identify, illuminate and debate its many manifestations. To begin, Christopher Scanlon observes that terms like bogan and hipster and much of our popular entertainment make no sense without a social awareness of class. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdjkllt-trhltityg-d/ POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 7. Treasurer’s domestic agenda goes global Laura Tingle "It was hard, listening to Joe Hockey’s rhetoric over the weekend, to work out where domestic political rhetoric ended and international economic statesmanship began, such was the seamless shift between the two... It is worth pausing briefly (to consider) what an extraordinary moment it is in world economic history that the largest 20 economies in the world sign a communique which essentially hands over responsibility for growth to the private sector, pledging nothing much more than getting out of the way." http://www.afr.com/p/national/treasurer_domestic_agenda_goes_global_OKkb1ZB5frKsdlCVJWVkpO 8. Who would have guessed? Truss tops leadership stakes Michelle Grattan The Australian Election Study has found that Tony Abbott is the most unpopular leader to win an election since the ANU began to track public opinion in 1987. The study, done after each election, confirmed how disillusioned voters are – the leaders broke records in unpopularity. For the first time since the study began, no leader scored above a mean of 5, on a 0 to 10 scale, with 0 for strongly dislike and 10 for strongly like. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdjkllt-trhltityg-yd/ 9. Heads must roll! Kaye Lee I agree that the loss of 1370 votes was a bad mistake but how far does this “heads must roll” response extend? Should, for example, the head of the Defence Force and the head of the Navy resign because naval vessels breached Indonesian sovereign waters six times? http://theaimn.com/2014/02/22/heads-must-roll/ 10. The truth behind Tony Abbott's anti-union push Ross Gittins When you contemplate the royal commission into union corruption, remember that, since the days of Malcolm Fraser, all Coalition governments set up such commissions. We know they sometimes backfire against the government or employers, and rarely lead to the conviction of many unionists. Royal commissions are about raising a hue and cry, not getting wrongdoers into jail. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/the-truth-behind-tony-abbotts-antiunion-push-20140223-33agu.html 11. Youth jobless rate a "crisis" that can't be ignored Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra Unemployment among Australian young people has risen to an “alarming” 12.2% in the year to January, compared with 8.8% in 2008, the Brotherhood of St Laurence says, launching a national campaign to get draw attention to the “crisis”. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdjkllt-trhltityg-w/ 12. Greens set to block bid to end auction of carbon units Tom Arup The Greens will seek to strike out a move by the Abbott government to stop planned auctions of carbon credits later this year, but Labor is yet to settle its position. Environment Minister Greg Hunt has introduced regulations that would stop three auctions of carbon credits that were due to take place before June 30. The regulations do not mean companies will avoid paying the carbon tax in the next financial year. That will require a full repeal of the tax, which Labor and the Greens– who jointly hold a majority in Senate until July 1 – are vowing to block. Instead the auctions were to sell a small proportion of the credits that will be sold or handed out for companies to cover emissions in 2015 and 2016. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/greens-set-to-block-bid-to-end-auction-of-carbon-units-20140224-33bgu.html 13. Rear Admiral James Goldrick explains what led to Australian ships entering Indonesian waters Mark Corcoran A former two-star admiral who led Australia's Border Protection Command has provided a detailed explanation of the error that he says led to Australian ships entering Indonesian waters six times under Operation Sovereign Borders. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-24/rear-admiral-james-goldrick-explains-what-led-to-australian-shi/5278378 ECONOMICS + BUSINESS 14. Can the G20 ever realise its potential? Mark Beeson Australians all let us rejoice, for we are to host the G20. Finally, a seat at a big table and a chance to influence world affairs. Even for a government that is not normally noted for its enthusiasm about multilateral organisations, the opportunity to strike an attitude on the world stage and rub shoulders with the planet’s real movers and shakers is not to be passed up. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdjkllt-trhltityg-jt/ 15. $6 co-payment not what the doctor ordered Michael Mullins Health minister Peter Dutton has refused to dismiss the possibility that a $6 'co-payment' for GP visits could be announced in the May Federal Budget. This would be no more than a quick and easy temporary fix that would penalise ordinary Australians. It would simply defer the government's need to tackle the vested interests that are arguably the major cause of the inefficiencies that have made our health care system prohibitively expensive. 16. Don't fall for the Qantas ruse Ian Verrender The Federal Government's hardline approach to corporate welfare has been applied haphazardly, and now the rush to respond to pleas for assistance from Qantas is raising hackles.... Unfortunately, the promised new hardline approach has been applied on what increasingly appears to be a haphazard basis. Chocolate is OK, tinned fruit is not. Car leasing gets a nod, auto manufacturing is sent packing." http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-24/verrender-dont-fall-for-the-qantas-ruse/5278432 17. G20 finance ministers agree to growth target: experts react Remy Davison, Fariborz Moshirian, Mark Crosby and Tim Harcourt The G20 finance ministers, who have been meeting in Sydney this weekend, say economic grow is still below the rate needed to get people back into jobs. In a statement released at the conclusion of talks… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdjkllt-trhltityg-e/ 18. Roll up of for the amazing super gouge! Posted by Houses and Holes Chris Joye (who is director at YBR funds management) wrote another barn burner over the weekend about the Government’s’ super reforms: The far-reaching nature of the government’s desired changes could result in the development of vast sales forces of spruikers working for vertically integrated institutions that both build and distribute products. …my concern is that consumers may [...] http://macrobusiness.cmail3.com/t/i-l-fklitt-dtyueir-ju/ 19. Cut company taxes, boost innovation: OECD Kylar Loussikian Australia should cut company taxes and increase innovation to avoid falling behind in the productivity race, according to a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The report says structural deficiencies in policy settings are slowing the pace of the global economic recovery. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdjkllt-trhltityg-s/ 20. Australian dollar headed for “benign collapse” Posted by Houses and Holes Deutsche Bank has produced a study into the Australian dollar with which I completely agree as a base case for the currency and economy: As a house DB expects the RBA to be on hold over 2014, 2015 and H1-2016. In the US we expect the Fed to start increasing the Fed Funds rate around [...] http://macrobusiness.cmail3.com/t/i-l-fklitt-dtyueir-f/ GENDER INEQUALITY 21. Juggling careers, childcare and choice Leslie Cannold Words like "desire" and "choice" might be poor ways to describe circumscribed career moves that mothers make when trying to factor in childcare.... I want to cast a critical eye over claims that high-powered career women "opt out", or take the "off-ramp" entirely, to manage their childcare responsibilities. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-24/cannold-juggling-careers-childcare-and-choice/5278702 GLOBAL EDUCATION 22. New Ideas to Scale Up and Finance Global Education What’s New in Global Education? A Conversation with Julia Gillard Achieving the goal of universal learning will require scaling up effective efforts and better allocating financial resources. Moving 57 million out-of-school children into school and ensuring that they learn the necessary skills will require bilateral, multilateral, and private sector donors to dramatically increase their support and make it more effective. Education must be scaled up. http://www.brookings.edu/events/2014/02/24-scale-up-finance-education ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 23. Victorian State decision on future of native forest timber industry expected soon James Campbell. In the next few weeks the [Victorian] Government will make a decision which is likely to seal the fates of leadbeater’s possums and Victoria’s native forest timber industry. Cabinet will soon consider a report from an advisory group which includes such possum-friendly folk as the boss of the Victorian Association of Forest Industries and representatives of VicForests, established to consider ways it can be saved “while maintaining a sustainable timber industry”. The report has gone to Environment Minister Ryan Smith and Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh. What it says, we’ll have to wait and see. POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT + COMMITMENT + ACTIVISM 24. Lock the gates and take to the streets for climate change justice Michael Marriott The time has come for civil disobedience in the face of our captured political system, says Mike Marriott, who suggests three acts of civil disobedience you can do right now. 'If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.’... http://www.independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/lock-the-gates-and-take-to-the-streets-for-climate-change-justice,6212 25. The 140 year cycle in macroeconomic thought Rumplestatskin I am reading Progress and Poverty: An Inquiry into the Cause of Industrial Depressions and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth: The Remedy by Henry George (free ebook available here). I’ve been fascinated so far that the economic debates about the long recession of the 1870s are almost identical to those still occurring [...] http://macrobusiness.cmail3.com/t/i-l-fklitt-dtyueir-tj/ 26. The only way to fix copyright is to make it fair Nicolas Suzor Everyone knows there’s a problem with copyright. Artists get paid very little for their work, and legitimate consumers aren’t getting a very fair deal either. Unfortunately, nobody agrees about how we should fix it. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdjkllt-trhltityg-m/ ASYLUM SEEKERS: POLITICS & POLICY TRUMP HUMAN RIGHTS 27. Scott Morrison needs to get into the fact-checking business Michelle Grattan Minister for Immigration Scott Morrison should not be cut any slack... Morrison now seems to know a good deal more about the incident, and the role of the firm, G4S, that has run security at the centre, than he is revealing. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdjkllt-trhltityg-jr/ 28. Former Sri Lankan military officer Dinesh Perera now acting manager of Manus Island detention centre Jeff Waters Human rights and asylum seeker advocates are condemning a decision to employ a former Sri Lankan military officer as the acting manager of the Manus Island detention camp. The director of advocacy and research at the Human Rights Law centre, Emily Howie, says Mr Perera should be removed. "It's completely inappropriate for anyone with links to the Sri Lankan military to be in charge of the welfare and well-being of vulnerable asylum seekers, including Tamils," Ms Howie said. "There's a high likelihood that the Tamils being held there are fleeing persecution at the hands of the Sri Lankan military. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-24/former-sri-lanka-military-officer-acting-manager-of-manus/5280412 29. The morality of Manus Is can no longer be avoided Mungo MacCallum Australia's recent asylum seeker policies have been more about results than morality. But their unintended consequences can no longer be ignored after the events on Manus Island.... The current supreme commander of our borders, Scott Morrison, insists that his religious faith has taught him the value of kindness, justice and righteousness, but he adds immediately: "The Bible is not a policy handbook." The sermon on the mount may be all very uplifting in its place, but government has to deal with harsh reality. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-24/maccallum-morality-of-offshore-detention/5279538 30. Scott Morrison's comments and conduct need examination Michael Gordon Scott Morrison's conduct should now be the subject of the inquiry he has commissioned into the chaos and carnage that unfolded on Manus Island last week. The inquiry's terms of reference should be widened to include who gave the Immigration Minister such wildly inaccurate information after the violence - and what steps he took to verify it before going public. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/scott-morrisons-comments-and-conduct-need-examination-20140223-33amg.html 31. Locals joined riot police stopping riot in Manus Island detention centre Paul Toohey "More than 200 locals joined riot police and guards from security contractor G4S in crushing Monday night’s uprising by asylum-seekers at the Manus Island detention centre. Civilian residents of the Lombrum naval base, on which the detention facility is located on Manus Island, said when security forces felt they were being overwhelmed they asked locals to help repel several hundred rioters." http://www.themercury.com.au/news/national/locals-joined-riot-police-stopping-riot-in-manus-island-detention-centre/story-fnj3ty2c-1226834926562 32. Construction company Transfield to be paid $1.22b to run offshore detention Sarah Whyte Construction company Transfield Services will be paid $1.22 billion by the Australia government to run both offshore detention centres, as Immigration Minister Scott Morrison continues to defend his response to the outbreak of violence last week at the Manus Island centre that left an asylum seeker dead. Details of the contract were released as reports emerged that a former Sri Lankan military officer has been heading the detention centre on Manus Island. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/construction-company-transfield-to-be-paid-122b-to-run-offshore-detention-20140224-33bs5.html 33. Manus Island riot: a plague on both your houses Paula Matthewson Labor will attack Scott Morrison over the Manus Island riot, but both sides of the political divide are guilty of inhumane policies spanning more than two decades http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-24/matthewson-manus-island-riot-a-plague-on-both-your-houses/5278534 34. Diplomats fear Australia will wreck UN probe into Sri Lankan war crimes Bianca Hall and David Wroe Diplomats preparing for the UN Human Rights Council next month have expressed concern Australia is working to ''actively undermine'' a push for an international inquiry into human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, because of Australia's eagerness to co-operate with the country's leaders on asylum seekers. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/diplomats-fear-australia-will-wreck-un-probe-into-sri-lankan-war-crimes-20140223-33akk.html 35. Manus Island MP Ron Knight says detention centre unrest was avoidable David Wroe, Rory Callinan Manus Island MP Ron Knight says last Monday's violence could have been avoided if detention centre managers had not refused entry to Mr Knight's staff a few hours before the tinderbox ignited. The tension that erupted into violent clashes a week ago and left 23-year-old Iranian Reza Berati dead, had been brewing for weeks, Mr Knight says. ''People were texting me saying, 'It's going to blow up.' But [the detention centre's managers] tried to play it down.'' http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/manus-island-mp-ron-knight-says-detention-centre-unrest-was-avoidable-20140223-33ame.html 36. Margo's Twitter report on death and injury at Manus Island, Australia's Heart of Darkness Margo Kingston LNP was terrified Malaysia Solution might've worked. As Graham Richardson wrote, Abbott wanted Labor to bleed politically. http://nofibs.com.au/2014/02/23/margos-twitter-report-death-injury-manus-island-australias-heart-darkness/ 37. Disquiet at aid without liability Bianca Hall It's not our fault, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said last week. They put themselves in that situation... When it comes to the protection of asylum seekers, the agreement only states: ''Australia and Papua New Guinea take seriously their obligations for the welfare and safety of any persons transferred to Papua New Guinea under the life of this agreement.'' That's it. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/disquiet-at-aid-without-liability-20140222-338l7.html 38. One Dead At Manus After PNG Police Open Fire Marni Cordell G4S had to pull out of the compound and local police “went in shooting” the source said, describing the situation at the Australian-run centre this morning as “very bad”. This contradicts the account of Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, who told media this morning that local police did not enter the centre and only dealt with asylum seekers who had escaped. NM's source says PNG locals threatened two weeks ago to "beat the crap out of everybody" at Manus https://newmatilda.com/2014/02/18/one-dead-manus-after-png-police-open-fire … 39. Liberal MP Kelly O'Dwyer incorrect on Australia's refugee intake ABC Fact Check Kelly O'Dwyer is wrong to say Australia has one of the highest per capita refugee intakes in the world. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-24/liberal-mp-kelly-odwyer-incorrect-on-australias-refugee-intake/5270252 40. Scott Morrison under fire from Labor, Greens over handling of Manus Island riot Emma Griffiths The Federal Opposition is targeting the Immigration Minister and his handling of the Manus Island riot, with one Labor senator calling for Scott Morrison to resign and another accusing him of having "blood on his hands". http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-24/morrison-under-pressure-to-resign-over-manus-island-riot/5279714 ABBOTT'S BROKEN PROMISES: A RUNNING TALLY • Tracking Abbott’s Wreckage Tony Abbott has been in power since 7 September 2013. From that moment, he and his government have broken promises and hurt Australians. The tally numbers over 100. http://sallymcmanus.net/abbotts-wreckage/ OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Casablanca

24/02/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Tuesday, 25 February 2014:[b] Exposing deceit, unfairness, and poor journalism[/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-24.aspx

Catching up

25/02/2014The Coalition Blues (3m.43s) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=leEYAVB_WMU

Ken

25/02/2014DMW Good point. The old adage that 'governments lose elections, oppositions don't win them'. Agree with your premise but there have been two electons where voters were swayed by the actions of the opposition. The famous 'one for the true believers' in 1993 and Latham in 2004. In both cases the electorate were certainly ready to vote the government out (which led to big defeats in the subsequent election)but could not bring themselves to vote for the opposition of the time. The first largely because of the GST and the LNP floundering around that issue and in the second Latham's personality as it came across on television. I think a study of those two elections may actually throw some light on the issue of what makes voters tick!

DMW

25/02/2014Good Morning Ken funnily enough I was thinking about Latham and 2004 while in the contemplation room this morning. The election of Abbott in some ways shows that personality 'disorders' are not a barrier to winning. Latham's loss had a lot to do with learning the wrong lessons from the 2001 election and the appalling treatment of Simon Crean. 1996 was a classic 'scare campaign' election which also highlighted that the opposition weren't actually ready to govern despite the massive amount of work that went into Fightback. Hewson's birthday cake moment cemented in the mind of the electorate that the then opposition didn't really know what it was on about. There are obviously many other factors that swayed both those elections but both show up a negative answer to the 'are they ready to govern' question. 2012 may have asked (and answered) a variation of that question; 'Are they capable of governing?' which was negative in case of Labor. For Abbott and the opposition because of he relatively short period since they were on the treasury benches and their highly disciplined performance over the previous three years the answer was probably neutral. Add in the factors that David points to and the election was there for Abbott to lose. Factor in Rudd's 'policy on the run' efforts and the fate of [i]snowballs in Hades [/i] describe Labor and its' chances.

Michael

25/02/2014I pointed out a week or so back here that Abbott and co in government are now 'human traffickers' every bit as much as the "people smugglers" they daily vilify. In the following story, expert commentary makes the same point with particular regard to children seeking asylum. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/australia-trafficks-and-abuses-asylum-seeker-children-20140224-33cxs.html

DMW

25/02/2014Ouch Just been listening to a great folkie and protest song singer Vin Garbutt (http://vingarbutt.com/) and got a netaphorical kick in the bum. Due to my very basic searching skills I can't find the lyrics on line so I offer my rough transcription [b]The Flowers and the Guns[/b] Vin Garbutt [i]Persona ... Grata[/i] [i]Where are the flowers we put into the muzzles of the guns Dried out and pressed in frames, they never get a second glance The love that we would banish war with (can't transcribe) Where are the flowers we put into the muzzles of the guns Where is the innocence of youth the stars that had once been in our eyes When did we learn to cover truth with our excuses and our lies When did our ideals falter tell me when did we change our plans Where are the flowers we put into the muzzles of the guns Our lives from others we have learnt to separate From evil we avert our eyes More often war it is and not love that we make and all the time we compromise We used to turn the other cheek but now we turn our face away We were the blessed and the meek, our future brighter than the day but we've forgotten Luther's message we never ask ourslves not once Where are the flowers we put into the muzzles of the guns Now that we've arrived and pat each others backs, our principles we now betray and year on year as we progress and we advance it's not just hair that's turning grey Where are the flowers we put into the muzzles of the guns Where are the lessons we would pass on to our daughters and our sons Did we ever make a difference and did we ever stand a chance Where are the flowers we put into the muzzles of the guns Did we ever make a difference, did we ever stand a chance Where are the flowers we put into the muzzles of the guns[/i] Indeed, Where are the lessons we would pass on to our daughters and our sons, somehow we have built a country that has lost sight of its' ideals and allows our politicians to offer us nothing but excuses and lies. Will marching again and putting flowers into the muzzles of their guns help? I guess I might find out in March.

Ken

25/02/2014DMW Yes, more good factors in elections but why do some things stick in the electorate's mind and others don't. Abbott had made many gaffes during the preceding three years but these were often overlooked because Labor was so 'on the nose'. I think another factor is the difference between 'policy' and 'politics'. A majority of the electorate will sometimes listen to policy but is turned off by politics. Labor had spent three years playing internal politics in which the electorate has only a negative interest. I think Rudd's policy on the run was seen in the same light - more 'politics'and not real thought out policy. And Abbott had been successful in driving the agenda (with a lot of media help) so that Labor was almost always reacting rather than leading - they didn't look like a government (or perhaps more correctly were not allowed to look like a government because of the forces ranged against them. Sometimes it is one moment that sticks with the electorate and alters its perception - Latham's handshake with Howard. Won't go on because this requires numerous blogs on its own.

Michael

25/02/2014Australian voters are like voters in democracies worldwide. They (we) don't really want to be bothered by our government. If the latter is doing such a good job that we don't 'notice' them, ie, our lives are good, then that government will stay in office forever. Of course, in the real world no government can avoid putting noses out of joint, but if you listen to Conservatives, they all aim to make government 'invisible'. Fraser promised to put sports reports back on the front page. Howard promised government without (his definitions of) extremes. Abbott campaigned on 'government by adults', calm, measured, pragmatic. Problem is, Conservatives only want this style of government so that a lulled electorate won't notice the social and economic shifts they are making to any given country. But there's no such things as a "lulled electorate" anymore... Well, in a digital age, we're faster at seeing exactly how the 'lulling' is being applied to us, and much quicker to call it out. So, in an ideal world, every citizen in a democracy could trust their government to have the best interests of all their citizenry (good health, safe and fairly remunerated work conditions, opportunity for the next generation, support of the just retired one) at heart. But Conservatives seem to have a problem with "all their citizenry". Always first to claim they are governing for 'every citizen', for 'all the country' (which shouldn't need spelling out, after all, unless it's a verbal fig leaf) they inevitably plough the old rows of 'us' and 'them'. The Abbott Error is running to the Conservative template. He and his cabal are capable of nothing else. Certainly no more.

Michael

25/02/2014Scott Morrison maintains that so long as refugees remain inside the Manus Island detention centre he can see to their safety. Here (unpaywalled) http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/dept-boss-gives-manus-riot-timeline-20140225-33f1m.html?skin=text-only the head bureaucrat of his Immigration department told Senate Committee today "Asylum seekers not involved in the riots were evacuated to the playing fields outside the centre to ensure their safety." So, where is the asylum seekers'"safety" on Manus Island assured, Minister Morrison - inside the centre, or outside of it?

TalkTurkey

25/02/2014Gee now this is puzzling Until a few moments ago I swear I saw a post from that Limpy Crisp! It doesn't seen to be there now though! Wonder what happened ... ?

Casablanca

25/02/2014[b]MARCH in MARCH[/b] The grand list of marches around the country. Get a copy or two and pin it up in your cafe, club, school, university or workplace. @MarchinMarchAus https://twitter.com/forthleft/status/438147992202117120/photo/1

DMW

25/02/2014Michael & Ken Michael you make some good points particularly about [i]... putting sport back on the front page ... [/i] which I had thought was Howard and maybe he stole it from Fraser but no matter. In some ways sport on yhe front page could be equated to [i]Let them eat cake ... [/i] Ken, yep discussion on this it has already taken up several blogs here and elsewhere and will from here to the end of the Labor Party in the unlikely event that happens. Why is it that voters remember some things (usually the bad) and can't recall others (usually the good)? I will side track a bit and possibly create an analogy. In my reading on semiotics/semiology (the study of signs and sign processes) I learnt some interesting things. Colour is important for example the red and yellow of the Shell sign are most easily seen and recognised. There is a colour sometimes called IBM Blue that evokes feelings of trust. Interesting that the Liberal Party blue is very close to, if not the same blue. Possibly the single most important thing is that '... people do not read signs, they see and remember symbols ....' Think of the Golden Arches or even the red line across the cigarette. It would not be a big jump to conclude that if it easier to recall the symbol and not the words then we can understand why slogans trump a fully reasoned and fact filled policy solution. The current government has spent a lot of time creating symbols in peoples minds which equate to Liberal = 'good', Labor = 'bad'. They will continue doing it and cementing those 'bad' symbols about Labor. There is some possibility of good coming of it because as I have often said when something is done for party political purposes it will (eventually) come back to bite you in the bum. The question is how long will it take for the RC's into Pink Bats & the Unions and the enquiries re Manus to turn around and bite Abbott, Morrison, Pyne and sundry others in the bum. Trust me it will bite them and I am becoming a more patient man and will wait them out and strike hard when the opportunity arises.

Bacchus

25/02/2014TT, Sounds to me like someone is doing an excellent job of putting the rubbish out :-)

2353

25/02/2014DMW - I suspect the answer to your 'how long' question is not long at all. All that is needed is some document or recollection that will demonstrate that the current government is not squeaky clean which in the current environment will probably be latched onto by the media to present a telling image that will be ingrained into people;s minds. Newman found this out last week - according to two people I work with who live in Redcliffe, the LNP candidate in the Queensland by-election was clearly superior in demonstrated commitment to the area. She just picked the wrong party to represent (she was a Family First candidate last time around).

TalkTurkey

25/02/2014Bacchus Do you look forward to Limpy Crisp's posts as much as I do? :) He gives me a sense of purpose ...of [i]relevance[/i] ... of [b]DESTINY![/b]

DMW

25/02/2014G'day 2353, say what? The LNP candidate stood at the last election as a Family First candidate *shakes head with great vigour* Bleeding heck is there no loyalty to a party any more? Next thing you know the LNP will be accepting former One Nation candidates.

Casablanca

25/02/2014 Stan Steam ‏@StanSteam2 MT @edwardatport: [b]Manus has become our very own Guantanamo Bay. How did we become so heartless!? [/b] This tweet links to a Leunig cartoon: https://twitter.com/StanSteam2/status/438230990775791616/photo/1

TalkTurkey

25/02/2014Comrades, Anyone who replies directly to /engages with any post from any troll I WILL DELETE and send to the sin bin for at least 48 hours under 94A [u][b]OK?!![/b][/u] Pit-Mates, please RING me asap if I haven't noticed and dealt with trolls within a few hours. As I don't listen to IPA creeps and other RW haters like Reith (I turn them off), I WILL NOT READ posts from Limpy but delete them instantly. Lovin' it. :)

Casablanca

25/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Wednesday, 26 February 2014: 30 items[/b] NEW GROWTH INDUSTRIES: ROYAL COMMISSIONS & INQUIRIES 1. Tony Abbott ordered cabinet documents to go to royal commission Bridie Jabour and Daniel Hurst Attorney general says he was unaware documents on home insulation from Labor cabinet had been transferred in January.. The revelation that the documents had been transferred nearly a month ago came to light during Senate estimates committee hearings on Monday. The attorney general, George Brandis, said earlier in the day he was not aware any documents had been handed over. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/24/tony-abbott-cabinet-documents-royal-commission?CMP=ema_632 2. Killing Cabinet confidentiality destroys democracy George Williams The convention of cabinet secrecy is a central pillar of the Westminster system of government applied in Australia. It is essential that cabinet, the key decision-making forum of government, be a place in which ministers can freely air their differences and debate the full range of policies, laws and actions. This could not occur in the media spotlight. Indeed, without the opportunity for confidential deliberation, it is hard to see how our system of government could function. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/killing-cabinet-confidentiality-destroys-democracy-20140224-33cbl.html#ixzz2uKQnn85Z ENTITLEMENTS & FIDDLES 3. We need to talk about: corporate and political entitlements Anon Our new government says the age of entitlement is over, so lets look at why that’s a good idea... So we have a ‘responsible’ government allowing companies to claim grants for first class airfares and CEOs earning more than ever but the debate is about reducing pay rates for low income workers? An end to the age of entitlement is coming but that’s not what we’re talking about in Australia. http://nofibs.com.au/2014/02/25/need-talk-corporate-political-entitlements/#sthash.ZDjlyB16.dpuf 4. Telcos gouging on SMS by up to 90,000%, says consumer group Ben Grubb How much do text messages really cost? Less than one cent per 100, says Macquarie Telecom. Australian consumers are being gouged by telcos for sending text messages on their mobiles, says a consumer group which has asked the competition regulator to take action. In a submission to an inquiry by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network said some Australians were paying unreasonable SMS prices because telcos inflate the price they charge one another to pass texts between networks. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/telcos-gouging-on-sms-by-up-to-90000-says-consumer-group-20140225-33ez4.html CULTURE WARS + NATURAL INEQUALITY 5. The rise of Indigenous art speaks volumes about class in Australia Joanna Mendelssohn The great story of recent Australian art has been the resurgence of Indigenous culture and its recognition as a major art form. But in a country increasingly divided by class and wealth, the rise of Indigenous art has had consequences undreamed of by those who first projected it onto the international exhibiting stage... Accelerating divisions of class and wealth have seen a dramatic reduction in the number of bright, edgy students from the unfashionable suburbs studying the arts. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdilijt-trhltityg-q/ 6. Denial to celebration: political responses to class in Australia Geoffrey Robinson A difficult economy poses political challenges for the current Coalition government, but it also offers opportunities to achieve traditional conservative goals: the defence of what 18th century Irish philosopher Edmund Burke called natural inequality against the levelling trends of a contemporary democracy... Trends towards market inequality have now advanced so far that social policy has struggled to correct them. https://theconversation.com/denial-to-celebration-political-responses-to-class-in-australia-23011 7. Is it class warfare or an appeal for fairness? John Menadue John Menadue (September 26, 2013) The rich and the powerful are winning the class warfare in Australia, but they do their level best to divert attention and suggest that their critics are jealous. We should not be diverted by the defenders of wealth and privilege attacking those who criticize them. What is important is the common good – that fairness and equal opportunities are important for economic, social and personal reasons. http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=733 8. No Left Turn: Democrats and the New Populism Jeff Shesol Populism, at present, is less a platform than a gestalt. It boils down to a few basic inclinations: to have the rich pay more in taxes, to have the government provide more in services, to decry inequality of income and opportunity, and to get tougher (preferably a lot tougher) on Wall Street and mollycoddled corporations. And, not least, to feel perfectly comfortable saying all of the above... But the power and the appeal of populism are in the process of being wildly overstated by both the right and the left, each for its own purpose: the right, to instigate a Democratic civil war, and the left, to win one. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2014/02/no-left-turn-democrats-and-the-new-populism.html?utm_source=tny&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailyemail&mbid=nl_Daily%20%28123%29 9. Slave trade capitalism and the new Republican Party buzzztj This aggressive and well-funded movement born in American Capitalism now threatens Australian shores; Maurice Newman, chair of the Commission of Audit, attacks the Australian minimum wage, Tony Abbott dismisses of the importance of penalty rates, education reform is defunded and a ‘review’ is announced into the newly minted national curriculum, all nicely framed by ongoing disinformation from government ministers on the reasons for recent collapses in manufacturing in the southern states, all the while encouraging us to drink the trickle-down Kool Aid. http://theaimn.com/2014/02/25/slave-trade-capitalism-and-the-new-republican-party/ POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 10. Tony Abbott's war on unions Rodney E. Lever One might have thought Abbott would have changed his strategy when he assumed the most powerful office in the land, but even now he exhibits all the manners of a schoolyard bully and all the sensitivity of Saturday night prowler in King Cross. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/tony-abbotts-war-on-the-union-movement,6216 ECONOMICS + BUSINESS 11. Explainer: what is the circular economy? Suzanne Benn and Damien Giurco When the who’s who of business and world leaders met at last month’s World Economic Forum in Davos a different industrial model was on the agenda: the circular economy. It’s a term the average person may… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdilijt-trhltityg-p/ 12. Investor confidence takes a tumble over corporate governance, volatility Kylar Loussikian An overwhelming proportion of investors want the introduction of a rating system to identify poorly governed companies, according to a new survey. And over 80% of those polled said they would stay away from companies if they were rated poorly. The survey, conducted by Global Proxy Solicitation (GPS) and the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of Melbourne, asked 1000 retail investors about the impact of corporate governance on company performance. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdilijt-trhltityg-m/ POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT + COMMITMENT + ACTIVISM 13. How big is your world? Kaye Lee I think we can all agree that we want to see the world a better place. We all live here after all so surely we don’t want to shit in our own nest? The differences arise from the size of our worlds. One candle in the darkness is hard to see. Millions of candles can light up all worlds. http://theaimn.com/2014/02/25/how-big-is-your-world/ ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 14. Australia’s most effective pseudoscience: climate change denial Ketan Joshi The motivated rejection of science permeates the most powerful office in our country. No other pseudoscientific venture can lay claim to such a gleaming trophy . The power of systematic denial of science in Australia has been badly underestimated. In recent years, climate denial has become the most effective pseudoscience in Australia... To preserve the belief that humans have no influence on climate, you need to do more than manipulate data... you need to assert that major scientific institutions are inept and badly misinformed. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/25/australias-most-effective-pseudoscience-climate-change-denial?CMP=soc_568 15. Killer climate: tens of thousands of flying foxes dead in a day Justin Welbergen, Carol Booth, and John Martin This summer we have seen one of the most dramatic animal die-offs ever recorded in Australia: at least 45,500 flying foxes dead on just one extremely hot day in southeast Queensland, according to our new… 16. Study finds no evidence wind turbines make you sick – again Simon Chapman There is no reliable or consistent evidence that proximity to wind farms or wind farm noise directly causes health effects. That’s the finding of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdilijt-trhltityg-k/ ASYLUM SEEKERS 17. Death as the moral trump card Why is ‘preventing death’ such an argument finisher in the asylum seeker debate? I’m no ethicist, so this will be amateur at best, but there seems to be a serious problem with the moral framework through which we are viewing the asylum seeker debate at present. This framework, in short, posits that human survival trumps all other possible considerations. From this premise, at least in a disingenuous, political manner, all decisions and debates around our treatment of seaborne arrivals stem. And pardon me, but it feels like bullshit. http://ausopinion.com/2014/02/25/death-as-the-moral-trump-card/ 18. Reza Berati's death diminishes us all Lyn Bender Until Australians accept that we should be helping, not harming, those who are fleeing persecution, nothing will change http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/reza-beratis-death-diminishes-us-all,6215 19. Manus Island and the horrors in Australia’s soul Benjamin Thomas Jones Abbott’s plan for a brutal immigration policy was clear before the election, so we all must take responsibility for the atrocities on Manus Island http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/manus-island-and-the-horrors-in-australias-soul,6210 20. Some thoughts on Reza Berati Sean Stinson One word sums up what I feel tonight: Remorse. I am responsible for Reza Berati’s murder, just as surely as if I’d held the knife or thrust my boot heel into his skull. I do not blame the government for this. I am an Australian, and I live in a democracy. I own this as much as anyone. http://theaimn.com/2014/02/25/some-thoughts-on-reza-berati/ 21. The Scott Morrison ‘protection racket’ prevarication Bob Ellis It is hard to believe a man killed inside a guarded compound can be thought to be killed outside it http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-scott-morrison-protection-racket-prevarication,6207 22. Morrison Has Lost Control Of The Crisis Ben Eltham In his scramble to deal with the crisis on Manus Island, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison knowingly misled the public - a sign of his inexperience... In government, facts do matter. The media, and the general public, expect that their governments will get the basic facts right when it comes to an important policy question, let alone a pressing crisis. https://newmatilda.com/2014/02/25/morrison-has-lost-control-crisis 23. Scott Morrison knew he was wrong on brawl death Mark Kenny Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed he knew a week ago his initial statements about a fatal brawl at the immigration detention facility on Manus Island were likely to have been wrong but has refused to say why he waited to correct the record until Saturday night. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/scott-morrison-knew-he-was-wrong-on-brawl-death-20140224-33d5f.html 24. Australia trafficks and abuses asylum seeker children Linda Briskmam and Chris Goddard In transporting imprisoned children over national borders, Canberra is not only involved in trafficking but also exposing them to more abuse...children [are] subject to this organised, ritualised practice on the Australian mainland, Christmas Island and Nauru. Children without parents, dismissively referred to as ''unaccompanied minors'', are now joining transported families with children on Nauru. As the abuse has markedly increased, we have further refined our definition to incorporate ''commercialised trafficking'' in children. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/australia-trafficks-and-abuses-asylum-seeker-children-20140224-33cxs.html#ixzz2uICyvujN 25. Asylum seekers: outside forces cannot shift the debate, only Australians can Elle Hardy The debate of humane treatment of refugees is one which must be conducted and won within Australia, not by the UN. Only the polarisation of the issue will offer voters alternatives...On Sunday night we witnessed powerful images of a nationwide mass wake for the Kurdish Iranian asylum seeker Reza Barati, who was killed last week on Manus Island. While this may mark the beginning of a strong movement for change, there is only one way to alter the course of public policy on refugees, and that is by changing the mind of the public – and it will only be effected from within Australia, not without. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/24/asylum-seekers-outside-forces-cannot-shift-the-debate-only-australians-can?CMP=soc_568 26. Amnesty International says Australia's refugee stance hurts its reputation Helen Davidson Amnesty says failure [by Australia] to accept more refugees from Syria and other conflicts compares badly with that of other countries. Amnesty called on Australia to respond to the global refugee crisis and to human rights abuses in its region as a global leader, and for Tony Abbott to be “a goodie not a baddie”. It said the nation should “address its own failings and re-establish its reputation for human rights it was once known for”. “Australia’s been really inconsistent when it comes to human rights,” Amnesty International Australia’s national director, Claire Mallinson, told Guardian Australia. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/24/amnesty-international-australia-refugees-reputation 27. Manus Island: How information is kept 'under control' Rory Callinan I've seen some censorship in my 20-plus years as a journalist reporting from Australia and various countries in the Asia Pacific region. But what I saw on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea has made me uneasy about press freedom in the Pacific and the Australian Government's approach to reporting on the detention centre. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/manus-island-how-information-is-kept-under-control-20140225-33eob.html 28. Manus guards let residents into centre as extra manpower, says G4S witness Paul Farrell G4S employees broke down the centre’s perimeter fence to allow PNG locals in on night of rioting, witness tells the ABC..G4S guards on Manus Island allowed locals in the detention centre on the night of the riot, where they began attacking asylum seekers inside the compound, according to a witness account broadcast by the ABC. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/25/manus-guards-let-residents-into-centre-as-extra-manpower-says-g4s-witness?CMP=ema_632 29. Revealed: G4S guard says he invited in PNG police dog squad before Manus riot Oliver Laughland • PNG police with dogs asked to enter detention centre on 17 February • Guard’s statement written morning after riot names Reza Barati • Official incident log says G4S ‘lost control’ of local riot squad • ‘No Australian will tell us what to do,’ one local said http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/25/revealed-g4s-guard-says-he-invited-in-png-police-dog-squad-before-manus-riot 30. Transcript of Azita Bokan being interviewed by Richard Glover | ABC Sydney | 21 February 2014 Richard Glover Oh horrendous! Horrendous. Even though I have been to Nauru before and I warmed up a little bit to the condition of the bad camps I can say that Manus is just a different scale. It is not only the heat, the diseases, the conditions, it's the morale - mentally everyone is pretty much not really able to participate and integrate in any society. They are mentally gone. There has been a lack of everything... You look at the amount of money that they say each refugee will have spent on them - $5,500 a day on them to keep them. I cannot believe that even $5 is spent on those people. http://sievx.com/articles/OSB/ManusIsland/20140221AzitaBokan.html ABBOTT'S BROKEN PROMISES: A RUNNING TALLY • Tracking Abbott’s Wreckage Tony Abbott has been in power since 7 September 2013. From that moment, he and his government have broken promises and hurt Australians. The tally numbers over 100. http://sallymcmanus.net/abbotts-wreckage/

Casablanca

25/02/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Wednesday, 26 February 2014: [b]Manus has become our very own Guantanamo Bay.[/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-26.aspx OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Michael

26/02/2014At this unpaywalled address http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/asylum-seeker-lifeboat-arrives-leaking-20140225-33fjv.html?skin=text-only the phrase "disposable lifeboats" appears again. I posted weeks ago that this phrase was further proof of the abuse of language, asylum seekers, and Australians generally by Abbott and co. The 'disposable' lifeboats are reported to cost $250,000 each. The gumnint, every time it uses one, disposes of a quarter of a million taxpayers' dollars never to be seen again - single-use waste. Maybe they should apologise to Parliament about that?

Ken

26/02/2014Michael They are now called 'consumables' going by evidence in the Senate committee hearings.

Ken

26/02/2014TT You are doing an excellent job. I see these occasional comments on removal of trolls but I haven't seen one yet, so effective are you in their removal. Keep up the good work.

Ken

26/02/2014DMW and 2353 I meant to post a comment yesterday and wrote it out but then moved on without actually doing the recaptcha and posting. The gist of it was that the Royal Commission into the building industry (read CFMEU)has the most potential to bite Abbott and his supporters. A few big construction companies are very likely to get caught in that net. Just as the 'bottom of the harbour' schemes were revealed when Fraser had his inquiry into the wharfies.

Casablanca

26/02/2014 [b]Let's continue to light the dark[/b] On Sunday 23 February, more than 20,000 Australians turned out across the country and around the world to spread light during a dark time in Australian history. They gave hope and radiated compassion to asylum seekers suffering under our government's cruel and punishing policies. Watch this 3 min GetUp! video to see what they made possible: https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/refugees/vigil-reportback/what-you-made-possible--2?t=dXNlcmlkPTE4MjI2MzUsZW1haWxpZD0zODU5

Bacchus

26/02/2014Yes Ken - I concur. TT is doing an excellent job of keeping the [i]TPS[/i] pages pollution free! :D

Ad astra

26/02/2014Casablanca Your daily Cache provides us with the best of all political reading. How much more comprehensive it is than anything the Fourth Estate has to offer. An eclectic collection drawn from both the Fourth and Fifth Estates, it provides a balance that no single site can. These links have been a winner for [i]TPS[/i] ever since Lyn began posting them about five years ago. You are carrying on the fine tradition of providing our visitors with a distillation of the best in political journalism, the most informative, and the most important. I see even established journalists are using them, so valuable a resource are they. [b]Thank you, thank you, thank you.[/b]

2353`

26/02/2014TT - I know you are using the power wisely ;-) Enjoy. DMW - I reckon that it wouldn't be too hard to find some ex-No Notion (sorry One Nation) members in the LNP. Ken - I reckon that the reson for the Enquiries (revenge rather than reform) will be part of the undoing of the LNP. Those that don't remember history (in this case 'the bottom of the harbour') are destined to repeat it. Bacchus - I also agree that TT is doing an excellent job removing the garbage. AA - Thanks to you too for continuing to provide the forum for an alternative voice.

TalkTurkey

26/02/2014Thanks people supporting my deletion of illwillians. The only thing I was ever critical of Ad astra for was his tolerance of such people, and even then I understood his reluctance to do so on philosophical principles. Fortunately I have different principles, I am not at all conflicted. Mere ill will will get you a swift railroading says I. But feeding the trolls will get you 94A'd, I like that power. It's OK to talk about them, not to them. I reckon Swordies've pretty well got that by now. If they don't got it yet they soon will! With really stupid animals like pigeons and trolls, the mere very occasional reward is enough to keep them pecking away for ages. So they aren't going to get ANYTHING from me.

Pappinbarra Fox

26/02/2014Hello all, I have been very busy lately but taking a moment to wish you all a good day. I concur with 2353's comments and AA's comments and TT's self appointed role as guardian of coherent sane postings. Cheers

Michael

26/02/2014'General' Angus Campbell can take his "extreme offence" and stick it.... ... in a consumable lifeboat. Because... ...you lie with dogs, you get ticks. (Of disapproval, Angus, deep disapproval, no matter how many stars they velcro to your shoulders.)

TalkTurkey

26/02/2014Casablanca You took over from Lyn at a terrible time, for us all, but especially for someone taking over from Lyn. It's harder now - harder to maintain upbeatness, interest in events generally, when all the news is so grim. Lyn was half of what made TPS what it is, and we had more belief in ourselves and the Labor Party leadership and agenda then, yet still you battle on for us all Casablanca, keeping the record continuous, sometimes I wonder what for but Yes, I know what for, as do we all. Because. My heart goes out to you, burning oil at whatever time you do, and just as I worried about Lyn - (and in fact her eyes became a problem, but the [i]angst[/i] is what I mean most) - so I worry about you. Please take it on board, DON'T be obsessive Dear Lass, and thank you thank you thank you as someone else said.

Jason

26/02/2014Thanks to Leonetwo @the pub http://pbxmastragics.com/2014/02/23/but-then-it-was-too-late/ The Ashby v Slipper and Harmer v Slipper and others judements will be handed down in the Federal Court tomorrow afternoon by Justice Mansfield, Justice Siopis and Justice Gilmour. http://www.fedcourt.gov.au/court-calendar/daily-court-lists/nsw

Casablanca

27/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Thursday, 27 February 2014: 40 items[/b] NEW GROWTH INDUSTRIES: ROYAL COMMISSIONS + INQUIRIES + REVIEWS 1. Lights out on Manus death as review clouds the truth Tony Wright Review. It's such a benign word, beloved of bureaucrats, politicians and military chiefs alike when things become awkward. Not much more than an audit, really. Nothing so alarming as a probe or an inquisition. There was something close to desultory about the events of Tuesday in committee room 1S2 within Australia's great Parliament House, despite the subject. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/lights-out-on-manus-death-as-review-clouds-the-truth-20140225-33ft1.html 2. The false choice of quality vs cost in early childhood education Myfanwy McDonald The Productivity Commission is undertaking an inquiry into childcare and early learning. In a recent Issues Paper the commission suggests that there is an “inherent trade-off” between affordability and… http://theconversation.com/the-false-choice-of-quality-vs-cost-in-early-childhood-education-23303 3. Medicine reviews save lives and money, so why are they capped? Juanita Westbury and Angus Thompson Reviews by specially-trained pharmacists of the medication taken by elderly people have been funded by the federal government for over 15 years now. But a secret deal followed by a sudden announcement… http://theconversation.com/medicine-reviews-save-lives-and-money-so-why-are-they-capped-23315 ENTITLEMENTS + FIDDLES +RORTS + RESPONSIBILITY 4. Buck stops with the R words John Warhurst That word responsibility is in the air. So is that other R word, resignation. There have been calls for the resignations of Coalition ministers Fiona Nash and Scott Morrison at the federal level and Labor minister Joy Burch in the ACT. But the only public figure who has resigned is a public servant, Australian Electoral Commissioner Ed Killesteyn. Responsibility is a difficult concept. There is a difference between personal responsibility and formal responsibility. Personal responsibility comes in response to personal involvement and mistakes for which a person should be held accountable. Formal responsibility comes through a chain of command in which a senior person must take responsibility for things that have happened on their watch. This is sometimes summarised in the pithy saying "the buck stops here". http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/buck-stops-with-the-r-words-20140226-33ib1.html#ixzz2uR9X3elf 5. What Does The Thomson Saga Mean For Unions? Jim Casey Unions must encourage internal democracy and good governance or they will make easy pickings for those responsible for the real rorts https://newmatilda.com/2014/02/26/what-does-thomson-saga-mean-unions 6. Coalition food labeling scandal deepens Leith van Onselen A few weeks back, controversy erupted when the Assistant Health Minister, Fiona Nash, pulled down a new food health labeling website, which had been created after two years of careful study and consultation by a committee of health, industry and consumer groups. The website, which was due to go live earlier this month, was designed to enable industry to calculate their own star ratings and begin voluntarily displaying them on packaging. http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/02/coalition-food-labeling-scandal-deepens/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily+MacroBusiness&utm_content=Daily+MacroBusiness+CID_df54394079316d7f466aa59a8a379542&utm_source=Email+marketing+software&utm_term=Coalition+food+labeling+scandal+deepens INDUSTRY WARS 7. Drought: the rising dust-cloud of dumb David Walker Is there any area of public policy in Australia that gets weaker treatment than agriculture these days? Whether it’s milk prices or agricultural investment, the normal Australian tough-mindedness about policy gets shunted aside in favour of emotive puffery. Not too many people want to be tough-minded when it comes to our farmers – not nearly as tough-minded, anyway, as they were when they were taking the subsidies away from the TCF industries employing migrant women in Melbourne in the 1980s. http://clubtroppo.com.au/ 8. Qantas needs tough love, not corporate welfare Sinclair Davidson So it begins – a company running to Canberra with a good story and in need of some or other political favour. To be fair, these companies tend to have very good stories – consumer safety, national security… http://theconversation.com/qantas-needs-tough-love-not-corporate-welfare-23706 CULTURE WARS 9. Class stereotypes: chavs, white trash, bogans and other animals Nick Haslam Inequality is everywhere. Even the forms of prejudice are unequal. Racism, sexism and homophobia are staples of the academy, but “classism” has largely escaped attention. This neglect is evident in my own discipline of social psychology. There is something about social class that makes us look away, leaving it to political theorists or to the dismal scientists in the economics department. http://theconversation.com/class-stereotypes-chavs-white-trash-bogans-and-other-animals-22952 10. Lineage lottery: the myth of social mobility Samuel Muston "So, those who feel held back by their modest beginnings shouldn't look to their parents' salary for an explanation: that accounts for a mere 10 per cent variation in a person's status, whereas our long-term lineage accounts for a variance of between 50 and 60 per cent. What that means, in effect, is that if your family were shopkeepers 200 years ago, the likelihood is you may be, too." http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/lineage-lottery-the-myth-of-social-mobility-9152960.html POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 11. Under Tony Abbott, political principles reach an all-time low Ross Gittins Tempting though it is, one of the things incoming governments don't do is delve into the affairs of their predecessor. The papers of the old government aren't made available to the new masters. But all that is out the window with the Abbott government's decision to establish a royal commission into the Rudd government's handling of the home insulation program and provide it with Labor's cabinet documents.... The man who set new lows in negativity and obstructionism in opposition is now taking us to new lows in government. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/under-tony-abbott-political-principles-reach-an-alltime-low-20140225-33ffk.html#ixzz2uNFu1p00 12. A waste of time Kaye Lee Watching question time has become a total waste of time. The questions are so banal, the repetition mind-numbing, the rudeness unbecoming, the procedure unwieldy, and the partisanship of the Speaker a joke. So I thought we should give the Opposition a few ideas of questions we would like asked. Here are a few that come to mind. Feel free to add to them. http://theaimn.com/2014/02/26/a-waste-of-time/ 13. Julia Gillard tells BBC sexist attitudes she encountered as PM weren't 'something Australian' Damien Murphy Julia Gillard has told a global audience that the sexism she endured as prime minister, while taking a toll on her, will make it easier for the next woman who gets the job. But she also said that sexist attitudes to women leaders were not just ''something Australian'' but that ''many of the things that happened to me as prime minister happened to other women leaders''. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/julia-gillard-tells-bbc-sexist-attitudes-she-encountered-as-pm-werent-something-australian-20140226-33hry.html 14. Could John Howard be citizen-arrested for his role in the Iraq war? Antony Loewenstein A campaign to hold the former Australian prime minister to account wouldn’t be a stunt. It would remind people there is a price to be paid for going to war against all reason http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/25/could-john-howard-be-citizen-arrested-for-his-role-in-the-iraq-war?CMP=ema_632 15. “Fat” Coalition MP lacks economic fitness Leith van Onselen Controversy continues over the Government’s planned food health labeling website, which earlier this month was pulled down by Assistant Health Minister, Fiona Nash, whose former chief of staff, Alastair Furnival, had interests in a public relations company which had lobbied on behalf of food companies. The website, which had been created [...] http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/02/fat-coalition-mp-lacks-economic-fitness/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily+MacroBusiness&utm_content=Daily+MacroBusiness+CID_df54394079316d7f466aa59a8a379542&utm_source=Email+marketing+software&utm_term=Fat+Coalition+MP+lacks+economic+fitness 16. Food labels are about informing choice, not some nanny state Mark Lawrence and Christina Pollard Coalition MP Ewen Jones has spoken out against reinstating the health star rating website controversially closed down by the assistant health minister. Jones says the government shouldn’t interfere with… http://theconversation.com/food-labels-are-about-informing-choice-not-some-nanny-state-23320 17. Abbott’s annus horribilis a hit for Aussie housing? Leith van Onselen Today’s Murdoch press leads with Prime Minister Abbott’s warning: … his colleagues to brace for growing community anxiety as the government considers spending cuts in the May budget. On a day that the latest Newspoll saw support surging for the opposition Labor party – leading the government 54-46 on a two party preferred [...] http://macrobusiness.cmail3.com/t/i-l-fkyudy-dtyueir-ju/ 18. Coalition to relax 457-visa restrictions Leith van Onselen The Government has announced a review of 457 visas for ¬temporary foreign skilled workers, which looks like it will unwind conditions enacted by the former Labor Government, such as the requirement that a job must be advertised locally before a 457 visa is issued. http://macrobusiness.cmail3.com/t/i-l-fkyudy-dtyueir-dj/ 19. The pungent Pyne-scented apology Peter Wicks This week, Parliament made an apology to some very surprising people — one of whom is awaiting sentencing. Peter Wicks from Wixxyleaks reports on a repre [...] http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-pungent-pyne-scented-apology,6220 20. Mirabella's high hopes for Indi Barry Everingham Staunch Tony Abbott ally Sophie Mirabella is being groomed for a comeback in the seat she lost at the last election, The Liberals really are a political race apart. Sitting MPs who lose seats are traditionally cut loose and quickly forgotten unless they have something on their former leader, and then a diplomatic appointment is fixed up. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/mirabellas-high-hopes-for-indi,6218 21. Labor And The Greens Should Use It Before They Lose It Henry Sherrell If they're serious about probing the Immigration Department, Labor and the Greens should use their Senate majority and Estimates hearings much more effectively https://newmatilda.com/2014/02/26/labor-and-greens-should-use-it-they-lose-it ECONOMICS + BUSINESS 22. Running on empty: Australia’s risky approach to oil supplies Vlado Vivoda It might sound unlikely, but Australia’s fuel gauge is worryingly low. We’re one of the world’s top energy exporters, but our stocks of liquid fuels – such as the oil on which almost the whole transport… http://theconversation.com/running-on-empty-australias-risky-approach-to-oil-supplies-23619 23. How to save business billions, without cutting renewable jobs Suzanne Benn and Patrick Crittenden The debate about the future of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) has largely focused on the issue of immediate costs to business. But if we’re thinking about Australia’s long-term economic interests… http://theconversation.com/how-to-save-business-billions-without-cutting-renewable-jobs-23528 24. Can worldwide economic growth be ‘planned’? Gennadi Kazakevitch G20 finance ministers and central bank governors have set themselves a formidable task in accelerating growth and creating millions of new jobs in order to add 2% to world economic growth over the next five years. But how can this be achieved - and can the proposed growth alone fix the most urgent problems of the world’s economy? http://theconversation.com/can-worldwide-economic-growth-be-planned-23610 INTERNET + TROLLS + FREE SPEECH 25. The rise and rise of the internet Martin North, cross-posted from the Digital Finance Analytics Blog The ABS today published its latest data on internet use in Australia. The data shows the continual rise in internet penetration and usage, spread across all demographic groups. We highlight some of the most significant findings, highly relevant in the context of our recently released [...] http://macrobusiness.cmail3.com/t/i-l-fkyudy-dtyueir-dr/ 26. Internet trolls are also real-life trolls Jordan Gaines Lewis Why do some people find so much pleasure in harassing others online? A new study attempts to shed light on the behaviour of internet trolls...internet users (mostly male, with an average age of 29 years) answered survey questions designed to assess what’s called the “Dark Tetrad of personality”. This tetrad includes narcissism (egocentrism and preoccupation with prestige), Machiavellianism (tendency to deceive and manipulate), psychopathy (lack of empathy and inhibition), and sadism (pleasure of inflicting pain or humiliation on others). http://www.theguardian.com/science/head-quarters/2014/feb/25/internet-trolls-are-also-real-life-trolls 27. Personality differences: trolls and cyberstalkers aren’t the same Troy McEwan The recent death of television personality Charlotte Dawson and the possible role that online abuse played in her struggles with depression shows how damaging this behaviour can be. The former model had… http://theconversation.com/personality-differences-trolls-and-cyberstalkers-arent-the-same-23309 28. Free speech: what it is and what it isn’t John Zerilli Tim Wilson has finally taken up his post as Human Rights Commissioner after controversy about his appointment late last year. Many questioned the suitability of a candidate without relevant legal-administrative… http://theconversation.com/free-speech-what-it-is-and-what-it-isnt-23506 POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT + COMMITMENT 29. A letter to Bill Shorten Michael Taylor This letter by one of our readers, James Horton was sent not just to Bill Shorten but to The Age, The Australian, the Herald Sun and a copy to The AIMN. I publish it here as most of our readers, as well as myself, support onshore processing of asylum seekers.Dear Bill, I am writing to you as leader of the Opposition to ask you take a lead in undoing the harm being caused by our current asylum seeker policy by rejecting off-shore processing and indefinite detention. http://theaimn.com/2014/02/26/a-letter-to-bill-shorten/ 30. Petitioning Bill Shorten James Horton Take a stand for human decency and please end off-shore processing and indefinite detention http://www.change.org/petitions/bill-shorten-take-a-stand-for-human-decency-and-please-end-off-shore-processing-and-indefinite-detention 31. Between pernicious nationalism and watery liberalism Janna Thompson In her latest book political philosopher Martha Nussbaum looks at what drives people apart and how we can bridge those divides.. How can a government turn a reasonably tolerant, well-educated population against a particular group of people? You don’t have to study Nazi Germany to get an answer. Australia provides a textbook case. First it awakens feelings of disgust by exaggerated or even false reports of their behaviour (“Children overboard!”). It caters to existing feelings of fear and vulnerability by labelling their incursion as a “crisis.” To block any sympathy we might feel toward people who are putting their lives at risk to flee persecution, it tells us that their predicament is their fault. http://inside.org.au/nussbaum/#sthash.EsNXRMr5.dpuf ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 32. China’s chokes again Posted by Houses and Holes From the ABC: A thick blanket of smog covering much of northern China has led the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare a crisis. Beijing has recorded its sixth day in a row of hazardous pollution with residents being warned to wear masks or stay indoors as a precaution. Instruments have measured pollution levels above [...] http://macrobusiness.cmail3.com/t/i-l-fkyudy-dtyueir-jr/ 33. Roy Spencer calls people who accept climate science ‘Nazis’ Graham Readfearn Creationist climate change skeptic Dr Roy Spencer has come up with a name for people who call him a ‘denier’ — ‘Nazis’. Prince Charles is a “global warming Nazi” and so, apparently, is U.S. President Barack Obama. That’s according to Dr. Roy Spencer, one of the world’s most often cited deniers of the risks of human-caused climate change. http://www.independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/roy-spencer-calls-people-who-accept-climate-science-nazis,6219 34. Cities' twin heat problems face relief Tim Radford Even without global warming, atmospheric temperatures are likely to rise later in the century — the expansion of the cities will see to that... Climate change aside, cities tend to be warmer than the surrounding countryside. Now researchers in the US have found ways that may lessen the effects of both problems http://www.independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/cities-twin-heat-problems-face-relief,6176 35. Climate change and equity: whose language is it anyway? Tim Senior "Like atheists and fundamentalists, though, climate change campaigners have forgotten the central truth of religion. Facts don’t change people’s minds; stories do. Climate change campaigning, like religion, should not be a debate about the facts, though we pretend it is. Here’s your evidence, though. If it were just about the facts, there would be no climate change scepticism."... language, and different ways of knowing, have been getting in the way of action on climate change http://inside.org.au/climate-change-and-equity-whose-language-is-it-anyway/ 36. Three more ways to cut carbon emissions and save money, whatever the policy Anna Skarbek ...arguments about whether the Federal Government’s proposed Emissions Reduction Fund or the existing carbon pricing mechanism is better — or cheaper — misses an important point. We’ll have to do more to meet our current 5% target at the lowest cost and to achieve a 25% target — the minimum recommended by scientists for developed countries. http://theconversation.com/three-more-ways-to-cut-carbon-emissions-and-save-money-whatever-the-policy-23612 37. Human well-being leaves large carbon footprint University of Utah Improving life conditions for humans has been linked to increased carbon emissions. Professor Andrew Jorgenson’s research measured the carbon intensity of human well-being (CIWB) by using the ratio between per capita carbon dioxide emissions and average life expectancy at birth — for 106 countries over the period 1970–2009. http://theconversation.com/human-well-being-leaves-large-carbon-footprint-23620 ASYLUM SEEKERS 38. Is Australia losing its empathy? Roman Krznaric Stereotyping, rife in today’s political debate, means we fail to see the real individuals behind the labels we impose on them.. the neuroscientists now tell us that 98% of people have the ability to empathise... But something more serious is going on: Australia, the lucky country, is losing its empathy. A recent report based on a national survey by the Scanlon Foundation highlights some powerful statistics.. The big picture is clear: there’s a growing empathy deficit that is creating new levels of social division. http://www.theguardian.com/culture/australia-culture-blog/2014/feb/26/is-australia-losing-its-empathy?CMP=ema_632 39. Who runs Australia’s gulag archipelago? Posted by Houses and Holes From Crikey today, for your edification and action if you believe in ethical investment, here are some profiles in brief of the managers of Australia’s gulag archipelago. G4s: The London-based security giant had a $244.5 million contract from the Australian government to run the Manus Island camp (“operational and maintenance services”). It lost the contract a few [...] http://macrobusiness.cmail3.com/t/i-l-fkyudy-dtyueir-hr/ 40. Riot flared as Manus Island refugees realised 'lies were told' "The deadly clashes on Manus Island last week flared after asylum seekers realised the Australian government was "lying to them" about plans to resettle them in Papua New Guinea, a migration agent who worked on the island has said. Liz Thompson (said) the asylum seekers launched their protests when a Papua New Guinean official went "off script" and acknowledged there were no plans in place for their resettlement." 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Casablanca

27/02/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Thursday, 27 February 2014 [b]Abbott systematically entrenching anti-egalitarian policy & precepts [/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-26.aspx

DMW

27/02/2014Good ol' Birmo sums it up pretty good [b]Conroy right to highlight lack of transparency[/b] John Birmingham @BrisbaneTimes http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/blogs/blunt-instrument/conroy-right-to-highlight-lack-of-transparency-20140227-33j6r.html Sticks the falafel right where it belongs

Catching up

27/02/2014Where are the government members today. All we have heard, is FM Bishop offers the government's deepest regrets fat loss of jobs. PM Abbott obviously feels he has nothing worthwhile to say today. Has not raised his head, out of the bunker. ABC 24 has just said, the only people we have not had a response from yet, is the government. Plenty of words from everyone else. Government needs to be concerned, as the media has decided to do their job today. Long PC with indepth questions.

42long

27/02/2014Question Time might as well be closed down as it doesn't serve the purpose intended. Madame Speaker is so non impartial. they all think they are SOOOO Clever trashing process and running the "Rules are for others" theme, AND SNIGGERING. QT is supposed to be an opportunity to question the governments performance. We are paying for these contemptuous clowns. It is ALL one big game to the Liars. Well it might be a game to you bastards but the country is the loser. How do we avoid the inevitable recession that all this inaction will cause? How long will Australia's AAA rating's last? and when they GO the debt will be more expensive "SMALL (minded) GOVERNMENT. ADULT??? Responsible (for WHAT?) They are still in election mode. It's the only thing the mad Monk can aspire to.

Michael

27/02/2014"They are still in election mode. It's the only thing the mad Monk can aspire to." Yep. This was always going to be the problem. Geared up to crush and destroy Labor, Abbott and Credlin and crew never had anywhere else to go if elected. They were, and now 'crush and destroy' is flowing through to the entire nation. Howard's Thirds, the 'talent' left in the Coalition after 2007, with eventual 'leader' Abbott determining all shadow ministers, who were shadows of their own positions or thereabouts from Howard's government, would be ministers in his government, doomed Australia to a 'leadership' by losers and third-rankers. Not that, if Kelly O'Dwyer is a 'model' of the talent in reserve, the Coalition has the personnel to shape their own future as an intelligent, flexible (and they do love that word), or nimbly responsive administration. Howard's Thirds, Abbott's Fourths. The orange boys could do better.

jaycee

27/02/2014What has it come to that a nation, a land so fair and plentiful has to witness it's harvest bounty wasted by such intemperate leadership? How can the wringing of hands and the shedding of tears subdue the lascivious hunger for plunder and revenge from such a band of robbers?.....It would appear we are to stand unarmed and unprotected from the authority of these pusillanimous poltroons as they banquet on the "food of the people"...their front-bench line-up a "Last Supper" mockery... the difference being the citizen body going to crucifixion...and they. with their drooling gluttony, unfettered and unsatiated, unleash a saturnalia of anarchy on the population. Where are the higher authorities that ought, should, must stand watch over the civilised security of our society?..Are they asleep at their watch?...They were "wide-eyed" when they attacked Whitlam, "...where art thou now, fair Prince?"..where the GG. and the High-Court advisers...are your stocks and shares too demanding of your attention?....or are you, too, indulged in the feeding frenzy, gourging drunkenly with money-mesmerised eyes and lolling tounges too drugged by promised riches to worry on the miserly fortunes of the peons? " Will not someone rid us all of this meddlesome priest" ?

TPS Team

27/02/2014If you're around Ad, can you check your email. We have a new post due this evening. Bacchus.

TalkTurkey

27/02/2014The Political Sword "Putting politicians and commentators to the verbal sword" Even [b]Mike Carlton![/b] I used to think Mike Carlton was about the one fierce truth teller amongst the whole MSM. I said so out loud here and on Twitter several times. Then on TPS on Feb 8 at 1.11 PM in the thread "Who killed Cock Robin" I wrote about his article about the Burnt Hands incident. I curried him over his assertion of not just greater knowledge, but Greater Knowledge. The which haveth no man. [i](Aside, sotto voce)[/i] Women yes of course. But no man.) Then TPS Scout jaycee said, TT BB [Bushfire Bill]has posted a piece along similar lines on The Pub blog. And Jason Obelix kindly reposted the whole article and also linked to it. Here is the beginning where he quotes BK and scoffs at his idea of 'well worth reading': bushfirebill February 8, 2014 at 9:31 AM [i]Mike Carlton is well worth reading this morning. [/i] www.smh.com.au/.../...ntamaria-20140207-326xu.html [i]Don’t why why you say it’s well worth reading, BK.[/i] (sic! :) ) [i]Carlton has been a conflicted soul ever since Viet Nam. On the one hand he has a pugnacious and witty sense of humour, but when it comes to the defence forces he has a very large blind spot. (Much more) [/i] And the link to his article is pbxmastragics.com/.../ though it's on Who Killed Cock Robin too. SO ..! .. Emboldened by knowing I was sharing a trench with no less than BB, I quoted Carlton on Twitter: TalkTurkey ‏@TalkyTurkey • Feb 24 "... my navy sources - and they are absolutely trustworthy - assure me there was no torture" - MIKE CARLTON! He's refused to justify that! There followed a dialogue between GoneHomer and me, here's all I can piece together, (emphasis mine 'cos I can), I might have lost one but the gist anyway goes: 11:45 AM - 24 Feb 2014 • GoneHomer‏@GoneHomeR replied @TalkyTurkey Carlton is the same guy who backed ADFA over [b]Kate[/b] and selectively quoted report. I asked 11:47 AM - 24 Feb 2014 TalkTurkey ‏@TalkyTurkey • Feb 24 @GoneHomeR [b]*Kate* ...?... [/b]Remindez-moi s'il vous plait? GoneHomer ‏Feb 24 replied @TalkyTurkey [b]Skype sex scandal. [/b] TalkTurkey Feb 24 [b]FED Me DUCK![/b] I used to think @MikeCarlton01 was a candidate for Sainthood! COME ON MIKE, TELL US WHAT REALLY HAPPENED!  GoneHomer ‏ Feb 24 The only response you're going to get is blocked @MikeCarlton01 [b]i think was in viet with ADF. Wont question them[/b] TalkTurkey ‏ Feb 24 He Followed me straight after I challenged him 2 weeks ago, but hasn't justified his GOBSMACKING claims [b]([/b][b]others in article too!) [/b] GoneHomer • Feb 24 @TalkyTurkey he may well be right however he has blind spot as far as ADF is concerned. I suspect raising doubt would hurt his relationships so, said I, (deliberately needling MC but bloody righteously!) TalkTurkey Feb 24 @GoneHomeR [b]So UR saying @MikeCarlton01 's just a mendicant of the ADF? Prepared to bear false witness for favours? Cos he CAN'T KNOW THAT! [/b] TalkTurkey Feb 24 @GoneHomeR OK to assert stuff IF U R prepared to back it up, but @MikeCarlton01 makes wild assertions of certainty and then he runs away?! TalkTurkey Feb 24 @GoneHomeR Ta. - LOVE the Fightin' 5th Estate, here be TRUTH! Long memories! The Goods on e.g. @MikeCarlton01 's predilection to mendacity! TalkTurkey Feb 24 @GoneHomeR And you know, it is our bloody DOOTY to hold such as @MikeCarlton01 to a/c & rotten eggs because they are PUBLC HOODWINKERS. FIE! [i][b]Which is where I hit pay dirt![/b][/i] [b]Mike Carlton ‏@MikeCarlton01 • Feb 24 @TalkyTurkey Why don 't you go fuck yourself, you gibbering halfwit.[/b] ... :) !  TalkTurkey Feb 24 @MikeCarlton01 Methinks poor baby doth protest too much! Why don't you fess up to your biased impossible bullshit? TalkTurkey ‏Feb 24 @MikeCarlton01 U cd've replied civilly long ago, LYING halfwit yourself, U KNOW U CAN'T DEFEND "absolutely trustworthy" & so do all of us. TalkTurkey Feb 24 @GoneHomeR @MikeCarlton01 doesn't like it I call him on Fact & Allegation = Certainty & Bullshit. Bushfire Bill did too! http://pbxmastragics.com/.../ TalkTurkey Feb 24 @MikeCarlton01 Mike da Spider tells a lie, retreats like a mole: TurkeyWasp teases him out of his hole! :~) TalkTurkey Feb 24 @MikeCarlton01 This isn't trivia, it's a matter of which of two contradictory accounts re a HUGE matter is Truth. [b]I DON'T BELIEVE yr mates. [/b] So that's where it rests. I'm disappointed to the max in Carlton, but quite elated that I teased him to the point of personal abuse, having failed to justify himself for amking a claim he could never have got away with in a court of law, because [b]he wasn't there [/b]and there are absolutely contradictory statements by eyewitnesses - albeit only Asylum Seekers I know! - and as one of them said, wtte, [i]why would I lie, I am hurting my own chances of being granted asylum by telling the truth![/i] And that piece of reasoning, from an intelligent and articulate man, holds a lot more water than Carlton's assertions that his mates' stories are absolutely trustworthy. A person might lead a blameless, indeed praiseworthy life, well into adulthood ... But one theft, one sexual indiscretion, one serious libel is - and [i]should be [/i]- sufficient to put his reputation under a cloud. Mike Carlton is on thin ice when he tries to tell people on the 5th Estate that he has Greater Knowledge, and he should know better. His sole response speaks volumes. Tee Hee.

Casablanca

28/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Friday, 28 February 2014: 38 items[/b] NEW GROWTH INDUSTRIES: ROYAL COMMISSIONS + INQUIRIES + REVIEWS 1. Consultant investigating Manus Island unrest insists he is independent Paul Farrell Robert Cornall says ‘payment of a fee for professional services does not affect independent judgment’. The immigration minister, Scott Morrison, is relying increasingly on the prospect of an independent review into the disturbances to assuage critics. But concerns have been raised about whether the review as it stands will be able to get to the bottom of events.... Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said she was concerned about the prospect of immigration officials being present during interviews for the current review. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/27/consultant-investigating-manus-insists-independent?CMP=soc_568 ENTITLEMENTS + FIDDLES +RORTS + RESPONSIBILITY 2. Tony Blair: from New Labour hero to political embarrassment Andy Beckett Intimate friend of the Murdochs, apologist for rightwing interests and supporter of the super-rich – the former prime minister's reputation is on a downward spiral http://click.mail.theguardian.com/?qs=7b9a4d0aa11e5e782caafe57bc030b83847c877f17bbb00fff12df2a91b19207 3. Fiona Nash has been poor, the PM must be worried Mark Kenny Labor's pursuit of conflict of interest allegations against Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash has been a patchy, faltering affair, at times brilliant, and at others, limp. Senator Nash's performance as the minister in the gun, has been consistently dismal, and yet strangely resolute. Her approach, from what is an extremely weak position, has been orthodox tuck-and-roll politics, no doubt urged on her by a nervous prime ministerial office eager to keep its man out of it. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/fiona-nash-has-been-poor-the-pm-must-be-worried-20140226-33il1.html 4. Tony Abbott and axed man at Cadbury photo op Mark Kenny and Amy Corderoy The claim came as fresh questions arose as to how chocolate maker Cadbury came to receive a $16 million pledge from the Coalition before last year's federal election and it was reported that a food lobby group contacted Senator Nash's office to raise concerns about the site the day it was pulled down. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-and-axed-man-at-cadbury-photo-op-20140226-33inb.html CULTURE WARS + INEQUALITY 5. Mapping global social footprints joins the dots from rich to poor Joy Murray and Ali Alsamawi The Conversation is running a series, Class in Australia, to identify, illuminate and debate its many manifestations. Here, Joy Murray and Ali Alsamawi examine how social footprints can add to our understanding… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdkfld-trhltityg-m/ 6. Education policy is failing to fix the biggest problem: inequality John Smyth The most urgent educational issue facing us as a nation is that of inequality. The problem with inequality is that it remains hidden - and nothing that went on in the election campaign did anything to alleviate the underlying problem. Nobody openly admits to living in a society that deliberately and wilfully sets out to produce inequality. But, as long as we fail to ask questions, then the yawning chasm between groups in our society will continue to grow. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdkfld-trhltityg-f/ 7. Cross-curriculum priorities are options, not orders Barry McGaw The creation and implementation of the Australian Curriculum in schools across the country is a significant moment in Australian education history. Discussion on curriculum is always lively and stirs the passions. Recently much of the discussion on the Australian Curriculum has focused on the three cross-curriculum priorities and how they are embedded in the learning areas. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/crosscurriculum-priorities-are-options-not-orders-20140226-33iae.html#ixzz2uUGVQIKc 8. West cashes in on resources boom, but inequality also up Kylar Loussikian The mining boom has left the average Western Australian family nearly twice as well off since it began. But skyrocketing prices in some parts of the state have led to a faster escalation of inequality than anywhere else in Australia, a Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre study has concluded. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdkfld-trhltityg-s/&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=West%20cashes%20in%20on%20resources%20boom%20but%20inequality%20also%20up 9. How to survive in the Age of Empire Dr Matt Mitchell (7 November 2013) George Monbiot believes the world is being battered by a "full frontal assault on democracy" by a "class of global elites". Dr Matthew Mitchell says it’s [...] http://www.independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/how-to-survive-in-the-age-of-empire,5874 10. Poll: what should the British flag look like if Scotland goes independent? Jonathan Jones The UK's national flag charity has released a series of possible designs for use if Scotland votes for independence. The new flags, designed by the public and members of the Flag Institute, are intended 'to facilitate and inform the debate' on whether the flag would have to change. Which one gets your vote? http://www.theguardian.com/politics/shortcuts/2014/feb/26/union-jack-how-can-redesign-do-justice ETHICAL REFLECTION 11. Robber bands in Parliament Andrew Hamilton Augustine wrote of the Roman Empire, 'Without justice, states are robber bands.' His mordant comment aimed to strip away the self-congratulatory rhetoric of empire from the reality of a Rome concerned purely with asking how to achieve desired goals uncontrolled by respect for human dignity. If we appreciate how robber bands work we can better understand what states do, including Australia. So the mere fact that governments have no commitment to ethical principles in their pursuit of security or to preventing people from enjoying protection from persecution does not ensure that they will decline and fall. They may grow in esteem among the people and the commentariat, as happened in the Roman Empire. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=39005#.Uw754IAQ9ZY POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 12. Audit cold on Abbott’s parent leave Phillip Coorey and Jacob Greber "The Commission of Audit has criticised the government’s proposed paid parental leave scheme as excessive at a time when fiscal restraint is needed. The Australian Financial Review understands the commission’s interim report, delivered to the government 13 days ago, supports the concept of paid parental leave but finds that Mr Abbott’s scheme is too generous given the state of budget." http://www.afr.com/p/national/audit_cold_on_abbott_parent_leave_WRMrop9MjDcE0wNogTLxIN 13. Consumers rule where politicians fail Mark Latham "Cashed-up shoppers are exercising greater purchasing muscle than the feeble industry plans of union hand-maidens like Carr. Consumerism has finally beaten interventionism. The political class does not want to hear this, but we have entered an era of marginalised government. Each day, the big news in the Australian economy is the strength of millions of consumer decisions, but this is essentially unreported in the electronic media." http://www.afr.com/p/opinion/consumers_rule_where_politicians_qP8onOO0SmoeXgXQg7ys3N 14. Labor defence spokesman Conroy has been routed by the generals Michelle Grattan Conroy's lack of discipline overshadows Labor's attack on a vulnerable minister. Before the election Stephen Conroy inflicted severe damage on his own side with his ill-fated media reforms. Now his badly judged attack on Angus Campbell, the military man in charge of Operation Sovereign Borders, has derailed the opposition’s parliamentary week. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdkfld-trhltityg-jl/ ECONOMICS + BUSINESS 15. Treasurer's agenda running out of truth Warwick Smith Tony Abbott has said similar things, including repeating lines such as ''no country has ever taxed or subsidised its way to prosperity''. Those of us who know anything about tax economics know Hockey and Abbott are talking rubbish. Fortunately for them, most people don't know much about tax economics and don't want to know. Have countries subsidised their way to prosperity? Do higher taxes mean fewer jobs? If we look at the 20 countries with the highest GDP per capita we find quite a few have much higher rates of tax as a proportion of GDP. Sweden, for example, has similar GDP per capita to Australia and takes 54 per cent of GDP in tax (compared with 31 per cent in Australia). http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/treasurers-agenda-running-out-of-truth-20140226-33i9p.html 16. On being treated well: reforming Medicare after 30 years Anthony Harris Treasurer Joe Hockey and health minister Peter Dutton have been in overdrive this past week lowering expectations for the May budget and reminding Australians that its 30-year-old Medicare system is “unsustainable… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdkfld-trhltityg-w/ ECONOMIC RATIONALISM Vs LONG-TERM ECONOMIC PROSPECTS 17. Women disappearing from corporate workforce 'due to childcare cost' Anne Barrowclough The Australian chief executive of Goldman Sachs has called for a national debate on childcare costs to stem a flood of women leaving the corporate workforce. Simon Rothery is one of a number of senior executives and CEOs who are so concerned at the number of women fleeing the corporate world that they have changed employment policies to halt the drain of talent. But he admits that a major reason for the disappearance of women is the cost of childcare, which averages $7.60 an hour, according to a government report. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/25/women-disappearing-corporate-workforce-childcare-cost 18. Qantas to axe 5,000 jobs in $2bn cost-cutting drive Daniel Hurst and Bridie Jabour Wages will be frozen across the board and routes cancelled after national airline reports $252m second-half loss for 2013 http://click.mail.theguardian.com/?qs=82c70f180bc0ff785ae36becf4d14c32ee52509a97d7f467797c02bfc3d6175e POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT + COMMITMENT + ACTIVISM 19. An uplifting Girl Scouts lesson for all of us: activism works Van Badham Two Girl Scouts campaigned for sustainable palm oil to be used in cookies to save endangered orangutans – and made great progress. Don’t listen to the cynics: all efforts are worthwhile http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/27/an-uplifting-girl-scouts-lesson-for-all-of-us-activism-works?CMP=ema_632 GENDER EQUALITY 20. What I wanted to ask Senator Michaelia Cash last night Georgina Dent I have two concerns regarding the current government when it comes to women. The first is that there is not sufficient understanding of the barriers impacting Australian women: I am yet to hear a single minister or representative from the government speak with any clarity or commitment on the issues affecting women. The second is the absence of any commitment from the government to even want to understand or tackle gender equality. http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/editor-s-agenda/what-i-wanted-to-ask-senator-michaelia-cash-last-night/201402263652?utm_source=Women%27s+Agenda+List&utm_campaign=564adb7def-Women_s_Agenda_daily_27_02_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f3750bae8d-564adb7def-30634093 MEDIA + BIAS + GROUPTHINK 21. Daily Telegraph lashed by Press Council over Slipper coverage David Donovan 30 In a curious coincidence, on the day the Federal Court upheld James Ashby's right to appeal against Justice Rares' judgment against him, the Australian Press [...] http://www.independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/daily-telegraph-lashed-by-australia-press-council,6226 22. It seems that some in the Labor Party are talking to the ABC.. But I have my sources too! rossleighbrisbane “It is understood Mr Shorten made it clear to Senator Conroy the military commander deserves respect, but did not demand he apologise. The ABC has been told this has surprised and disappointed several Labor MPs... To report anything an unnamed member of Parliament said is not news, it’s gossip. Was it on the record? Why no names? Was it off the record? Why publish? http://theaimn.com/2014/02/27/it-seems-that-some-in-the-labor-party-are-talking-to-the-abc-but-i-have-my-sources-too/ SOCIETY + KULTURE 23. Australia's young men drowning in a vat of tears Frank O'Shea Why is it...that the Australian response to excess alcohol seems to be violence? Certainly, our media seem to accept the connection without demur. Is there something in the Australian character that makes kindhearted, funny, responsible young men out for a few quiet drinks with their mates - I am quoting from their barristers here - suddenly want to cause physical harm to innocently promenading citizens?...there is something amiss in a society in which young men regard getting drunk as socially acceptable, indeed quite cool. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/australias-young-men-drowning-in-a-vat-of-tears-20140226-33iad.html#ixzz2uUPCuw74 ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 24. Climate change must be politicised James Wight The urgent issue of global warming has gone cold and needs to put back on the political agenda, propelled into the headlines and made to be the hot topic [...] http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/climate-change-must-be-politicised,6224 25. Tony Abbott’s scientific and business advisers at odds over climate change Lenore Taylor Chief scientist says it is not an illusion while head of PM’s business advisory group refers to ‘groupthink’... Tony Abbott’s top scientific and business advisers are at odds over the science of climate change with the chief scientist, Ian Chubb, strongly rejecting assertions that climate science is a “delusion” or a result of “groupthink”. Chubb said the scientific evidence for human-induced global warming was so overwhelming that those who reject it are usually forced to “impugn the messenger” with “stupid expressions like ‘groupthink’” or “silly” arguments that global warming is a “delusion”. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/27/abbotts-advisers-at-odds-climate-change?CMP=soc_568 26. Australia should cut emissions by 19 per cent to play fair role: Climate Change Authority report Tom Arup Australia should reduce emissions by 19 per cent from 2000 levels by the end of the decade – a significantly stronger target than the current pledge of a 5 per cent cut – to play its part in stopping dangerous global warming, expert advice to the government says. A review by the independent Climate Change Authority has also found Australia should then dramatically ramp up its efforts in the following decade through a target to cut 40 to 60 per cent of its emissions by 2030. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australia-should-cut-emissions-by-19-per-cent-to-play-fair-role-climate-change-authority-report-20140227-33jim.html 27. Workers and bosses together could help reduce emissions: report Anna Patty Workplace agreements and consultation with employees could provide a “third way” to reducing carbon emissions in Australia, a new report has found. The report ... by the Centre for Workforce Futures at Macquarie University surveyed 466 big businesses and 216 government agencies around the country and found that only 6.7 per cent had clauses in their enterprise agreements dealing with climate change. It found that significant cuts in carbon emissions had been achieved in European countries when employers and employees were jointly involved in designing and delivering carbon emission schemes. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/environment/climate-change/workers-and-bosses-together-could-help-reduce-emissions-report-20140227-33krx.html 28. Australia's environment minister could soon be above the law Gregory McIntyre Earlier this month, a Senate inquiry paved the way for the Parliament to give Environment Minister Greg Hunt legal immunity against future legal challenges to his decisions on mining projects. If it passes… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdkfld-trhltityg-n/ ASYLUM SEEKERS 29. Time to live up to our refugee responsibilities Stewart West As a UNHCR signatory, Australia needs a humane regional strategy for processing asylum seekers. Labor and the Coalition believe incarcerating asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru is necessary to ''stop the boats''. They believe in savage and severe deterrents designed to destroy morale and create despair... This is brutal behaviour from the Australian government and opposition. We are signatories to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees convention. We have pledged to consider claims for asylum, but we have reneged on our responsibilities. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/time-to-live-up-to-our-refugee-responsibilities-20140226-33i9n.html 30. Let’s welcome New Australians Chris de Bono Recent events have been a cynical political windfall for the Abbott Government. Chris de Bono says it’s time to reframe how the nation perceives refugees [...] http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/lets-welcome-new-australians,6223 31. Refugee rage leaves us fenced in by fear Elizabeth Farrelly Say there was civil war here. Say some West Australian mining despot took power and began censoring news, jailing journalists, disappearing opponents. Say you were dragged from your bed, interrogated at midnight, your kids threatened with rape and torture. It's not so far fetched. Would you patiently wait your turn? Line up for a visa to Switzerland or the US? Or would you grab your kids and cash and hop in the first boat? http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/refugee-rage-leaves-us-fenced-in-by-fear-20140226-33i6r.html#ixzz2uUHCZclb 32. Where is the Outrage? John Kelly Ever since that day back in 2001 when the Norwegian freighter Tampa rescued asylum seekers from drowning and John Howard refused permission for them to disembark at an Australian port, the political landscape of our country changed. Because we the… http://theaimn.com/2014/02/27/where-is-the-outrage/ 33. Let no child who arrives in Australia ever suffer under this system again. Kaye Lee Ten years ago, the Australian Human Rights Commission released a previous report into children in immigration detention, when there were around 700 children in detention. Today, there are over 1000 children in Australian detention centres including unaccompanied minors sent off-shore. … http://theaimn.com/2014/02/27/let-no-child-who-arrives-in-australia-ever-suffer-under-this-system-again/ 34. Conroy right to highlight lack of transparency John Birmingham You do not want to live in a country where the military makes policy. But living in a country where the worst sort of people, the liars and scum and vicious misanthropes make policy, and where they use the armed forces of the nation not just to enforce that policy, but to surround it with the reflected aura of Anzac, that is not such a good thing. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/blogs/blunt-instrument/conroy-right-to-highlight-lack-of-transparency-20140227-33j6r.html 35. On love stories and Reza Barati Richard Flanagan Humankind prospers through a terrible paradox, says Richard Flanagan in his closing address to the Perth writers’ festival. As groups we sanction the most terrible crimes. It is love stories that remind us of a better idea of us, a larger idea of our humanity http://click.mail.theguardian.com/?qs=82c70f180bc0ff7845e4585862495fed1f0e30f5788d5bf151951eae0a217031 36. The Reza Barati vigils could be a tipping point for Australia – but what next? Wendy Bacon Holding vigils might not be enough to shift politicians' minds, but it's important to place on the record our opposition to crimes committed in our name. We need to keep the pressure on... Last week won’t be a tipping point if we don’t make it one. We need to turn from witness and sorrow with a resolve that matches our government’s determination to punish and deceive. It’s up to us. http://click.mail.theguardian.com/?qs=8e272d8a60d01112e26d519432b84f084de33d2f2e567d649fb5cdf671c2e074 37. Manus Island violence: Fatal violence occurred after G4S guards went in, PNG report finds David Wroe and Sarah Whyte The violent clashes on Manus Island that left an Iranian asylum seeker dead happened after local G4S descended on protesting asylum-seekers, a preliminary police briefing has indicated. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/manus-island-violence-fatal-violence-occurred-after-g4s-guards-went-in-png-report-finds-20140226-33ii8.html 38. Where is the alternative to Manus Island cruelty? Rather than sit all but mute in the face of the Manus Island tragedy, an opposition with any quickness of wit might explore options, advance thoughtful policy proposals. For instance, it might seek to explore the balance being struck now between maritime interdiction - turnbacks and the like - and the deterrent effect of offshore processing. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-27/green-where-is-the-alternative-to-the-cruelty-of-manus-is/5286260?WT.mc_id=newsmail OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
How many umbrellas are there if I start with two and take 2 away?