Australia

Desperate Tories Now Using Smear Manuals against Labour and Lib Dems

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 05/12/2019 - 4:15am in

I love the smell of Tory fear in the morning! You can tell how desperate the party of Thatcher and Johnson are when they’re reduced to lies and smears. Not that they were above them anyway, but now they seem to be rapidly abandoning any attempt at fair play. Mike reports that an article in today’s Groaniad reveals that the Tory party is equipping its doorstep campaigners with special dossiers they are to use against their opponents. There’s a 17 page one for Labour, and a 19 page one for the Liberal Democrats. These manuals contain such fictional statements that Labour’s immigration policy would open the door to 840,000 migrants a year, and that the Lib Dems are trying to push sex work as an appropriate career for schoolchildren and policies that are pro-pimp.

Mike comments that people seem to believe some of this nonsense, but that it isn’t putting them off voting Labour. Someone had tweeted him personally that in spite of Labour’s ‘open door policy on immigration’, they were still going to vote for the party. As this person was doing the right thing, Mike didn’t correct them.

See: https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2019/12/03/not-sporting-not-working-tories-are-using-manuals-to-smear-rivals-but-they-arent-changing-minds/

Okay, the accusation that Labour is in favour of open door immigration and this country being swamped with non-White immigrants has been a staple of the right and the far right since forever and a day. It’s one of the constant lines – or lies – repeated by newspapers like the Heil, for example. The other stereotypical smear against Labour, and one which Private Eye has parodied mercilessly in the past, is that a Labour government will bring mortgage prices down. I haven’t seen jokes about that line recently in the magazine, perhaps because if the Heil actually did run, the exorbitant house prices at the moment would mean that Labour’s vote would actually go up.

But the accusation that the Lib Dems are promoting pimping and prostitution is a new one. I think it comes from a conference the Lib Dems held a year or so ago, which was about improve conditions for sex workers. One of the talks was about taking the stigma out of it. But the Lib Dems don’t seem to pushing pro-pimp policies or encouraging schoolgirls to get jobs as prostitutes.

But it does seem more than a tad hypocritical on the part of the Tories as they are and have been.

Way back in the 1980s, when Maggie Thatcher that was unchaining the power of private industry, one industry that a certain section of her minions definitely wanted unchained from state prohibition was prostitution. There was a certain section within the Tory party, as I recall, that wanted it legalised. I think they used the same arguments for it that have been around ever since the late 17th century-early 18th century economist Bernard Mandeville put them forward. Mandeville was an early advocate of free trade against the prevailing mercantilism, in which the state rigidly regulated trade between nations and colonies. Mandeville wanted publicly funded brothels. These, he argued, would allow the men, who used prostitutes to satisfy their lusts legally, while protecting decent women from their attentions. I think the Lib Dems, who set up the conference also had a feminist angle. They seem to have felt that if prostitution was legalised, it could be properly regulated to keep the prostitutes themselves safe. I think the models for such legislation are the continent and Australia. I’m sceptical that these arguments actually work in practice. But the main point here is that the Lib Dems haven’t necessarily promoted anything that the Tories weren’t debating nearly forty years ago.

But the Tories are forcing people into prostitution.

It is by and large the last refuge of the poor and desperate, women and men who can’t make ends meet any other way. Under Thatcher there was a series of scandals in which Tory politicos were caught using rent boys. So much so that there was a sketch on Spitting Image in which a Tory politician, explaining what his government has done to the nation, declares that it has opened lots of work for young men to a lad. When the lad asks what work it is, the Tory replies that it is as a rent boy, and he’ll see him later.

More recently, there were reports a few years ago about female students turning to prostitution in order to pay the tuition fees that New Labour introduced, but the Tories and Lib Dems increased.

And let’s not forget another incident, in which a Jobcentre had to apologise for suggesting that work in sex shops was a suitable occupation for women wishing to get off the dole.

I don’t know, but it really wouldn’t surprise me if there had been an increase in prostitution in general as women were forced to turn to it simply to keep body and soul together through the poverty Tory welfare cuts, wage freezes and zero hours contracts have caused.

The Lib Dems may not have been actively promoting prostitution with their conference, but the Tories have also openly advocated it and their policies are pushing vulnerable women into it through the poverty they’re creating.

Aussie School Kids Defend Their Performance In Maths With 12 Out Of 10 Of Them Thinking They Are On Par With Other Countries

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/12/2019 - 11:00am in

School.jpg

Australian School kids have reacted angrily to a report suggesting that they are at least three years behind the leading countries in mathematics with 12 out of 10 of them taking to Instagram to complain about the study.

“How can we be three years behind the rest of the world when we are at least a day ahead of America? Asked One Student. “I mean sure Maths isn’t our most favourite subject but it’s all good but yeah.”

When reached for comment on the countries dismal testing performances Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised swift and decisive action, saying: “I have seen the results and I am not happy. All school kids from this day forward are grounded with no TV or internet access.”

“I will also be appointing the Government’s top numbers man Matthias Cormann as ‘Special Envoy to Mathematics’ in order to give our kids a bit of a shake up.”

Mark Williamson

You can follow The (un)Australian on twitter @TheUnOz or like us on https://www.facebook.com/theunoz.

Young Libs To Be Punished By Being Forced To Join The Westpac Grad Program

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/12/2019 - 8:22am in

Barclay

The two members of the Gold Coast Young Liberals who made a video that included racist slurs against indigenous people are set to be punished later this week by being forced to join the Westpac bank graduate program.

“This is an extreme form of punishment for a young Liberal,” said a Party Insider. “Usually young Libs are slotted in to sitting members offices to be groomed for future stints in the Senate.”

“Or some are allowed to start at one of the more prestigious banks or investment firms. But to make them start at Westpac well that’s just cruel.”

When asked if the party had a problem with racism the Party Spokesperson said: “Absolutely not, we as a party don’t just discriminate against the Indigenous we also go after the refugees, the poor, the elderly, the sick, unemployed people called Bill.”

“You name it we discriminate against them. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to kick a homeless person.”

Mark Williamson

You can follow The (un)Australian on twitter @TheUnOz or like us on https://www.facebook.com/theunoz.

Corbyn Calls for Reductions in Membership of the Royal Family

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/12/2019 - 12:44am in

I found this in yesterday’s I, underneath an article reporting that Buckingham Palace has denied allegations that Prince Andrew exploited his position as trade envoy. It’s a short piece reporting that Jeremy Corbyn has called for ‘cuts to the Crown’, as the title has it. The article reads

The number of Royal Family members should be reduced, Jeremy Corbyn has suggested.

The Labour leader said he believed that the public would agree with him following the furore surrounding Prince Andrew’s relationship with the convicted American sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Mr Corbyn has previously insisted that he does not want to abolish the monarchy. Interviewed on Sky News’s Sophie Ridge on Sunday, Mr Corbyn said ‘I think the behaviour of individuals within the Royal Family is being looked at, shall we say.’

The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said ‘We need to be respecting the institution of the monarchy. If Jeremy Corbyn is saying he wants to cut the numbers he should come out and say he wants to cut.’

It’s a bit rich for the Tories to complain about attacks on the monarchy, as they used to do it all the time whenever Prince Charles criticised their awful policies in the 1980s and ’90s. I also know Tories who despise Murdoch and his papers, which they see as exploiting and denigrating the Crown. And I think they have a point. For all that the Scum plays up and celebrates the monarchy, it’s also ruthlessly exploited and publicised royal scandals. Some of this might simply be to sell more newspapers, but I’m also highly suspicious that there are more personal political reasons behind it. Like in the last referendum on whether Australia should abolish the monarchy and become a republican, Murdoch came out very strongly urging his former compatriots to do so. This may well have done the republican cause Down Under more harm than good, as Murdoch became an American citizen for commercial reasons. As a foreign national, he wouldn’t have been able to own, or at least not own quite so much, of the American press and broadcasting. Nobody likes being told what to do, not least by people who have flown their own country, and the Australians voted to retain the Queen as head of state.

Although there’s a sizable minority that would like Britain to become a republic – the I’s Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has made it clear several time she’d like the monarchy to be abolished – as a whole it’s not a sentiment shared by the majority of the population. But just listening to the people around me, it’s clear that people are fed up with the state having to support various members of the royal family, who are not in line for the throne and don’t perform any clear role. Like Princess Eugenie, who wanted the taxpayer to spend several million on her wedding as they did for Princess Beatrice. Or was it the other way around? Either, ordinary people were not impressed with this display of royal entitlement. At the moment, I don’t think it’s a particularly big issue, not with more pressing concerns like Brexit, the Tories’ determination to sell off the NHS and utterly destroy the welfare state and the lives that depend on it. But it’s certainly an issue that will return, and at some point they might have to cut the numbers down in order to restore the Crown’s popularity. Especially if there’s another scandal like that of the present.

Meet the Quiet Australians (Updated).

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 02/12/2019 - 7:32pm in

Smart and experienced local political observers, like the ABC’s Laura Tingle, have thought long and hard about Scott Morrison’s “Quiet Australians”. They even went to the field to learn straight from them what makes them tick.

Readers might remember. During his election speech, Morrison appealed to the vote of those Quiet Australians to explain his May 18 surprising election victory (a little earlier he had also appealed to God’s miraculous intervention):

“It is those Australians that we have been working for, for the last five and a half years since we came to Government, under Tony Abbott's leadership back in 2013. It has been those Australians who have worked hard every day, they have their dreams, they have their aspirations; to get a job, to get an apprenticeship, to start a business, to meet someone amazing. To start a family, to buy a home, to work hard and provide the best you can for your kids. To save your retirement and to ensure that when you're in your retirement, that you can enjoy it because you've worked hard for it.

“These are the quiet Australians who have won a great victory tonight. Thank you.”

On the other hand, that night’s losers, by implication the Loud Australians, didn’t even deserve explicit mention in that speech.

You see, unlike Morrison’s silent voters, time-constrained by life’s struggles, those night’s losers use their considerable spare time to protest noisily, for they do not work hard, have no dreams or aspirations, care not about meeting someone amazing or starting a family. Strange people, indeed.

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Today some of those traditional COALition silent voters came out in force.

Go ahead, watch that video. I am sure they are everything else Morrison says they are, but quiet they definitely are not. And they are right to make noise. Indeed, they sound every bit as loud as their Loud Australian counterparts. Maybe even federal Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie (COALition) could agree.

(source)
Come to think of it, other quiet Australians didn’t seem too quiet back in April either.
(source) ----------
Instead of spending so much time and effort with the Quiet Australians theory, maybe Tingle should give Morrison’s God explanation some thought. It seems to make at least as much sense.

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Incidentally, Malcolm Turnbull also was in the news. Apparently, he called on liberals in the COALition to be loud, not quiet, on climate change.

I cannot but applaud Turnbull for that. Too bad he didn’t set much of an example when he was Prime Minister.

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As the surroundings of the Warragamba Dam, southwest of Sydney, burn and Sydneysiders are smoked alive, the Air Quality Index webpage -- and only the Air Quality Index webpage -- of the NSW Department of the Environment website is offline and has been offline since at least noon.

Funny, isn’t it?

(Gladys Berejiklian, the NSW Premier, is another liberal in the COALition.)

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UPDATE (05/12/2019):

The noise Loud Australians manage to make seems to fall many decibels short of the kind of noise Quiet Australians can make:

(source)
And Michael “Big Mac” McCormack never shouts “lunatics”; Christian “Sore Loser” Porter never whispers his favorite the word -- “thugs”. Nobody, least of all Anthony Albanese, demands anybody’s expulsion from their parties. Opinionated pundits for once have no opinion. You see no Victorian riot cops pepper-spraying those Quiet Australians. Batons don’t fly, arrests aren’t made.

Quite to the contrary, that kind of noise actually seems to work just fine … for them:

(source)

Melanesian journalists decry growing threats against media freedom

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 29/11/2019 - 2:22pm in


Delegates of the first Melanesian Media Freedom Forum. Source: Pacific Islands News Association, photo by Georgina Kekea

Journalists from Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and West Papua gathered in Brisbane, Australia for the inaugural launch of the Melanesian Media Freedom Forum which was organized in response to ‘increasing media repression’ in the region.

The outcome statement of the event highlighted the main threats against media freedom in Melanesia:

The range of threats to media freedom is increasing. These include restrictive legislation, intimidation, political threats, legal threats and prosecutions, assaults and police and military brutality, illegal detention, online abuse, racism between ethnic groups and the ever-present threats facing particularly younger and female reporters who may face violence both on the job and within their own homes.

Participants asked Melanesian governments to ‘respect the media and its necessary place in national conversations’ and ‘assure the safety of journalists as they pursue their professional activities.’


Melanesia. Source: Wikipedia, Oceania_ISO_3166-1.svg: User:Tintazul, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Various issues were tackled during the forum such as surveillance, workplace conditions, climate change, and the impact of social media. Philip Cass, acting-editor of the Pacific Media Centre’s Pacific Journalism Review, also documented a session about some of the challenges faced by women journalists:

A special session on the experiences of women journalists took place later in the morning, with women journalists, editors and freelancers speaking about common problems.

These included demands that they show “respect” for men they are interviewing, a background of violence against women in many places and traditional notions of gender roles.

An unexpected moment in the forum was the unfurling of West Papua’s independence flag. West Papua is a province of Indonesia where foreign journalists are barred from entering. Tension has intensified in recent years as some ethnic groups continue to assert their right to self-determination.

The Melanesian Media Freedom Forum also issued specific demands addressed to national governments. For Papua New Guinea, the government was urged to ‘respect the independence of media institutions and journalists’ and ‘strengthen anti-corruption and whistle-blower protection legislation to include journalists and media practitioners.’ For Fiji, the government was asked to repeal the media decree which has ‘draconian penalties and the vagueness of offenses it establishes are having a stifling effect on free media.’ For Vanuatu, the government was shown an appeal of the participants to reverse the work permit rejection given to Daily Post media director Dan McGarry.

MacGarry said his visa was denied because of his criticism against China’s growing influence in Vanuatu. His situation got worse because he was barred from entering Vanuatu after attending the Melanesian Media Freedom Forum.

Scott Waide, a journalist from Papua New Guinea, wrote an appeal on behalf of other participants:

As a member of the Melanesian Media Freedom Forum, I am joining my colleagues in calling on the Vanuatu government to allow Dan McGarry the dignity and respect he deserves.

It is important that media freedom in Melanesian is protected by our ELECTED governments. Any attack on members of the media is an attack on the freedom of expression of the people.

Melanesian governments cannot pay lip service to international conventions and commitments to democratic freedoms and in the same breath issue orders to clamp down on journalists right to expression.

The outcome statement of the Melanesian Media Freedom Forum concluded with a commitment to ‘establish a network to assist participants to respond promptly and effectively to threats to journalist safety or to media freedom.’

Chinese defector's spying allegations rock Australian politics

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 29/11/2019 - 12:21pm in

‘Spy’ alleges Chinese interference in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia

Australian 2019 elections - Chisholm electorate

Australian 2019 elections – Chisholm electorate: Screenshot 60 Minutes program

Allegations by a defector have brought strong reactions from many Australians. Wang Liqiang, a self-professed Chinese government spy, has apparently been in hiding down under since May 2019.

A 60 Minutes Australia interview with Wang, as part of a Nine Media investigation, contained a series of explosive claims. Wang stated that:

  • He was involved in sabotaging the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement by infiltration, violence and intimidation. Alleged infiltration included university campuses and local media.
  • The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had intended to plant him undercover in Taiwan as part of a plan to meddle in the upcoming presidential election and that he had led a cyber army that interfered in last year’s local elections there. Wang claimed the Hong Kong-listed company China Innovation was the front for the espionage, implicating its CEO Xiang Xin.
  • Chinese spies are operating in Australia with impunity.

In response to the program, the Chinese government has denied Wang is a spy, claiming that he is a convicted criminal. Meanwhile the Taiwanese security have detained Xiang Xin and a colleague as they were trying to leave the country.

The #ChinaSpy and related hashtags were busy after the program. Hayden was not the only one on social media to call on the major political parties to take strong action:

60 Minutes went on to reveal allegations that Chinese intelligence had been cultivating an Australian citizen to stand as a Liberal Party candidate in the Federal electorate of Chisholm at the last election. Luxury car dealer, Bo ‘Nick’ Zhao, was apparently approached but instead reported the approach to the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). He subsequently died in a hotel room but the cause of his death has yet to be explained. ASIO has made a public statement confirming his involvement and that it is investigating the matter.

The successful Liberal candidate for Chisholm at the May 2019 election, Gladys Liu, has been accused of CCP (Chinese Communist Party)connections that she has denied. It is not surprising that her name has been thrown around on social media following this latest revelation:

Fellow backbench Liberal Member of the House of Representatives, Andrew Hastie, appeared on the program. He described Wang's allegation as a state-sponsored attempt to infiltrate the parliament and run an agent there.

Hastie chairs the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Security and Intelligence . He was recently denied a visa to visit China on a study tour, along with Liberal Senator James Paterson.

There have been suspicions aired on Twitter about Wang’s truthfulness and motivation:

The role of ASIO has also been questioned:

The South China Morning Post’s John F Power also questioned the veracity of the story:

China is Australia’s largest trading partner. The Australia/China relationship has been a hot topic in recent years. Some of the contentious issues include:

  • Human rights, especially the treatment of the Muslim minority Uighurs.
  • Growing Chinese expansion and influence in the Pacific region.
  • Interference in Australian politics, which prompted a ban on foreign donations to political parties and the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme to curb lobbying.
  • Increasing collaboration between Chinese denfense companies and universities
  • Hacking of parliamentary and other government websites.
  • So-called ‘hostage diplomacy’ with the detention of Australian citizens such as Yang Hengjun.
  • Tighter restrictions on foreign investment following the controversial 99 year lease of Darwin Port by Chinese interests.
  • The banning of technology giant Huawei from the development of the 5G mobile network over national security concerns.

Australia has a population of over 1.2 million residents who identify as having Chinese ancestry in a total population approaching 24.6 million. Many feel that tensions with China have resulted in increased racism and xenophobia. They also object to having to justify themselves to fellow Aussies:

Breaking: Union Busting Bill … Busted!

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/11/2019 - 6:57pm in

The COALition’s ironically titled “Ensuring Integrity Bill”, more appropriately known as Union Busting Bill, did not pass in the Senate, after the COALition bulldozed it in the Lower House.

Observers and pundits, as the COALition itself, were sure that abomination would pass (to be honest, so was I). Apparently, its leading promoter, the Attorney General and federal Industrial Relations Minister, Christian Porter, had even invited the press to a conference to crow about a victory they were already savouring.

Instead, Michele O’Neil (ACTU President) and the indefatigable Sally McManus (Secretary), after intense campaigning, had the last laugh.

O’Neil, McManus and 50 unionists in Parliament House. (source)

The COALition and ultra-conservative Senator Cory Bernardi supported the Bill, as did the Centre Alliance (disappointingly), but their numbers did not suffice to push the Bill past the finish line. The Australian Labor Party, the Australian Greens, One Nation, and independent Senator Jacqui Lambie opposed it.

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My thanks to all who voted against the Bill. But very special thanks go to comrades O’Neil and McManus, to all unionists, and rank-and-file union members. Together, we did it, boys and girls!

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Still, a note of caution is required. As welcome as that news is, the execrable Porter, in true COALition fashion, promised they will insist on that monstrosity. These people will not stop until they further humiliate and impoverish us or until we finally defeat them. That’s why it’s called class war.

Frydenburg Promises To Flog Westpac With The Warmest Of Lettuce

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 28/11/2019 - 8:40am in

Josh

Treasurer Josh Frydenburg has told colleagues of his plans to punish rogue bank Westpac by flogging the bank and it’s executives with the warmest lettuce he can find.

“Josh is very upset at Westpac right now,” said a Government Insider. “In fact besides punishing them with a warm lettuce flogging he is even thinking of taking the more drastic measure of not attending the banks annual Christmas party.”

“These are unprecedented times right now, as nothing keeps a Treasurer away from a bank’s Christmas party.”

When reached for comment on the Treasurer’s plans for the bank a Westpac Spokesperson, the St George Dragon said: “Not the warm lettuce, that’s a bit extreme isn’t it?”

“Why can’t we just pay a little fine put an ad or 2 in the papers saying we won’t do this again, yada, yada and that be the end of it?”

“A warm lettuce flogging who do they think we are, Angus Taylor?”

Mark Williamson

You can follow The (un)Australian on twitter @TheUnOz or like us on https://www.facebook.com/theunoz.

Come Clean, Rex Patrick.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 20/11/2019 - 8:15pm in

ACTU’s radio ad asking Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick to explain his deal with the COALition to pass the Union Busting Bill.

(source)

Interestingly, today it was revealed that AUSTRAC, the Commonwealth financial intelligence agency, applied to the Federal Court to impose civil penalties on Westpac (one of Australia’s 4 largest commercial banks) over Westpac’s breaches of its anti-money laundering and terrorism financing obligations.

AUSTRAC alleges Westpac committed 23,000,000 infractions (yes, that’s correct: twenty three million). If each contravention carried the least penalty of $17 million, in theory the total fine could amount to $391 trillion (I repeat: trillion). To give readers an idea of the magnitude of those figures: Australia’s 2018 GDP was 1,432.2 trillion.

In an otherwise similar, albeit smaller, earlier case, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (another member of the Big 4 Club) was fined $700 million, for some 54 thousand infractions (out of about a million). By settling with AUSTRAC, it is expected that only some of those 23 million infractions Westpac committed will actually be penalised.

Nobody will be prosecuted, no bank will be de-registered. In the far from certain eventuality Westpac big wigs lost their jobs, they will receive generous severance packages; nothing will stop them from moving on to another similar position elsewhere.

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As that happens, Attorney General and federal Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter does the whole song and dance about the CFMEU's “off the chart” unlawfulness, because (believe it or not) for him a union stopping a scab breaking a picket line during a strike is worse than what the banks do.

He will destroy all unions in Australia, with the transparently mendacious pretext of punishing the “unlawful” CFMEU .

You have to give Porter credit for his unflappable gall. As our land burns, our rivers die, and we head to chaos and collapse; as the rich do what they feel like, knowing that at worst they will be fined, that despicable maggot remains hell bent on hurting workers.

Senator Patrick, don’t soil your reputation by joining the likes of Porter.

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