The Liberals think anything to do with “boats” is lethal for Labor; the ALP believe community attitudes have changed but is very apprehensive about how the debate would go if boats showed up.
No question, this is rocky for Bill Shorten. The government attack is ferocious, full of exaggeration and scaremongering.
Indeed. So which un-nuanced Morrison message will the smugglers hear? That the policy has been trashed – or that the borders are being fortified?
There is also the danger, which some critics have highlighted, that in its rhetoric about numerous alleged criminals on Nauru and Manus, the government could make the US more reluctant to take people (it has only accepted 456 so far – the deal was up to 1,250).
To a conservative mind, socialism is getting something for nothing. Yet this is what the president promotes for the wealthy
But when I meet people in the community, particularly young women of colour, who tell me they couldn’t consider a career in public life because they see the abuse that this would open them up to, I know shutting up isn’t an option. Our parliaments already lack the gender and cultural diversity of our streets and suburbs. Giving in to the abusers will only make it worse.
This must be the Liberal Party declaring it’s the way it’s always been done therefore the best way. She’s just the Julia Banks of surgery. (ODT)
Some surgeons claim the problem is the “feminisation” of the specialty and believe the new generation of surgeons should “man-up” as previous generations have done.
Bullying, sexual abuse, extreme work hours and fatigue were key reasons women gave up their life-long ambitions of becoming surgeons, an Australian and UK study published on Friday has found.
Women make up roughly 60 per cent of medical students in Australia and New Zealand, yet just 11 per cent of consultant surgeons are female. Women are also leaving mid-surgical training in greater numbers than men, despite evidence that they may be more able applicants.
Kadota, 31, resigned from her unaccredited registrar position at Bankstown Hospital’s plastic and reconstructive surgery department after being made to work up to 24 consecutive days on-call.
She was dismissed as an “emotional female” and her pleas for support were ignored. Kadota crashed her car at the end of her last shift and was hospitalised for six weeks for sleep deprivation.
Kaye Lee accurately describes what happened to my feelings as an Australian the day Tony Abbott took over the leadership of the Liberal Party and became PM in 2013. It wasn’t that IT”S TIME feeling was it. (ODT)
There have always been incidents of nepotism, rorting, broken promises, moral failures, poor decisions, and even straight out lies, in politics. So why does it feel so bad now?
In the past, despite the shortcomings of the government of the day and the failings of individuals in parliament, there was an overall feeling that progress was being made. Not in all areas at once and certainly not equally across society, but we were generally moving forward.
Until Tony Abbott fell into the leadership of the Liberal party.
From then on in, it has been a constant onslaught of combative negativity, destructive and misleading messaging, and a focus on tearing things down rather than building a better future.
Here is the direct voice of Trump, the sentiments of Tony Abbott and a “reported” leak to distance themselves from what would otherwise seem Liberal lack of compassion. Abbott the Catholic and ex- trainee priest showed his by pouring shit on Medicine’s Hippocratic Oath. It’s too compassionate for Team Australia (ODT)
through the week, there was the leak of ASIO briefings that reportedly suggested that not only would the amendments let murderers, paedophiles and rapists into the country, but they would lead to the collapse of the border protection regime, (how Trump is that?ODT)
Implicit in the message has been the idea that the so-called Phelps bill is just a phony construct to get everyone out of offshore detention because doctors had too much “compassion”, as former prime minister Tony Abbott warned. ( Catholic and ex trainee priest ODT)
President Trump expressed “alarm” at what he termed “new calls to adopt socialism in our country.” “Tonight,” he proclaimed, “we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.” The line received a standing ovation from Republicans and Democrats alike, yet recent polls show that socialism is growing in popularity in the U.S., with a net positive rating among Democrats. Newly-elected Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib are both members of the Democratic Socialists of America, and policy proposals identified with the socialist movement, such as debt-free college and universal health care, are gaining traction on the left. To discuss America’s long-held resistance to socialism and its current rise in popularity, Mehdi Hasan is joined by Washington Post columnist Elizabeth Bruenig.
It seems astonishing that, in a country where one in eight adults and more than one in six children are living in poverty, and many of those are living in “deep poverty”, the Coalition’s election focus is on tax concessions and tax cuts for the wealthy – and they seem to be getting away with it.
In 2004-05, the top income tax rate kicked in at a taxable income of $70,000. Four years later, that had risen to $180,000. Meanwhile, the tax free threshold remained at $6000 from 2000-01 until Julia Gillard increased it to $18,200 to compensate for the introduction of carbon pricing in 2012-13.
When Tony Abbott got rid of the mining tax, he also repealed many payments to low income earners, including income support benefits to children of soldiers killed or seriously injured in service.
Broadly speaking, the coming federal election seems to be coalescing around three main issues.
Young people particularly see climate change as the defining issue. They are being joined by angry grandparents concerned about the world we are leaving to our descendants, as well as many of the business and farming community who are realising the economic threat posed by inaction.
It has come to the point where Liberals are openly admitting that certain elements in the party room will not allow any policy progress in this area and apparently the leadership is too weak to override this noisy minority. They are basically telling us that we have to vote the deniers out if we want to protect the environment.
As journalists do their best to try to get Josh Frydenberg to say ‘sorry’ about the government’s opposition to a banking Royal Commission, they should not be surprised to be met with a stupid grin accompanied by a whole heap of “it’s Labor’s fault”. That’s the way these guys roll.
When David Speers asked federal member for Fadden, Stuart Robert, about Scott Morrison’s jobs promise, Robert replied they would be full-time jobs just like the million that Tony created.
This, of course, is rubbish.
When pressed about it, he dithered around finally saying “We’ll see what the economy throws up”.
Exactly. Unless the government starts re-employing some of the multitude of people they have sacked, it will not be them creating jobs.
Perhaps Robert’s slip could be forgiven, except it adds to a very long list which begs the question of why this guy is still in parliament let alone being recently promoted to the position of Assistant Treasurer in the latest iteration of the ATM government.
In October last year, when forced to repay $38,000 he’d billed to taxpayers for home internet charges – $2000 a month, 20 times more than the average claimed by other MPs – Robert told a local radio station that “I probably just wasn’t paying enough attention” as the bills went through.
Didn’t Morrison tell us the banks didn’t need a Royal Commission? It showed just how much they were ripping off retirees and who was supporting them. (ODT)
The same old dog-eared Liberal Party playbook has been dragged out again with Liberal Party federal director Andrew Hirst warning voters about Labor’s “great big new tax on retirement savings”.
ProMo has embraced the talking points, accusing Labor of wanting to “take to hardworking retirees who’ve done nothing more than do the right thing and save for their retirement and try to get ahead”.
Wasn’t it Scott Morrison’s 2016 budget that caused over 330,000 Age Pensioners to have their entitlements cut with at least 100,000 of those losing all pension entitlements?
And didn’t the then Treasurer for Graphs also try to retrospectively introduce a lifetime cap on non-concessional superannuation contributions (NCC) of $500,000?
“The economy” may have been growing for 28 years but, as far too many people are painfully aware, that growth has not been shared. Is Scott unaware that one in eight adults and more than one in six children are living in poverty, and many of those are living in “deep poverty”? They endure daily the cruel lessons of an economy which favours the wealthy.
Every move made by the Coalition is designed to reward investors, clinging to the belief that that will somehow magically translate into bounty for all. But as we have seen, investors get very narky if asked to share any of their gains.
And nowhere is it more true than in a country that would sacrifice the Great Barrier Reef for profits for foreign coal companies. A country that would endanger its water resources for the profits of foreign agribusinesses and mining companies. A country that would hold traumatised children hostage to deter others from asking for our help. A country that ignores a Statement from the Heart of its Indigenous people inviting us to move forward together towards a life of dignity for all. A country whose elderly languish in inadequately staffed nursing homes.
We must do better.
The Coalition’s Monash Forum has called for us to pull out of the Paris Agreement. We have reneged on our commitment to contribute to the UN Green Energy Fund. We have earned the Colossal Fossil Award for obstructing progress at climate change talks. Unlike other countries, we are using carryover credits in an accounting trick to make it look like we are meeting targets when we are not.
This is making a mockery of international law. The people who are responsible for choosing their representatives are the Venezuelans, not Washington. The United States of America today proves that it is ruled by a criminal regime which pursues criminal policies. It is a pariah state, an insult to international law, and has “shame” written on every page referring to it in the annals of history. The history book will be very cruel to Washington when it reports its heinous and hideous acts from 1945 onwards. Its assimilated, controlled and obedient yapping chihuahuas will fare no better.
It allows idiot politicians like Tony Abbott and the LNP declare they have created jobs and people on welfare are bludgers. However what’s missing is insufficient income, security and hours of work. (ODT)
Casual is the new normal
Full-time employment is becoming a thing of the past. Casual employment is becoming the norm in a lot of industries such as healthcare, retail or hospitality. Working part-time can be a personal choice and not all workers in this situation necessarily want to work more hours. However, while this ‘casualisation’ of work allows businesses to be more flexible and efficient, it also puts more stress on the workers and can lead to precarious situations for many of them.
Looking at the numbers, it appears that the jobs are there, that jobs are being created. The three industries mentioned above are employing more and more people every year. The problem seems that despite the number of jobs, there aren’t enough hours for the workers. It will be interesting to see how many jobs will be created this year, and more importantly what proportion of these new jobs will be full-time.
I am very pleased to be able to meet with you on this, the first day of a week–long examination of relations between our country and the Arab world. I have been asked to speak about American foreign policy as it bears on this topic.
The causes of Arab and Muslim alienation from the United States are not hard to discern and describe. They are policies that have demonstrably served our interests no better than theirs, or for that matter, Israel’s:
The only redeeming aspect to Trump’s presidency is he brings us back to basics. And what could be more basic than the difference between democracy and dictatorship?
The choice could not be clearer. Democracy is about means, while dictatorship is about ends. Trump uses any means available to achieve his own ends.
We can preserve our democracy and force Trump out of office. Or we can continue to struggle against someone who strives to thwart democracy for his own benefit.
In the months ahead, that choice will be made, one way or the other.
Workers, lacking unions and the ability to pressure management through collective bargaining, have no say in their working conditions. If they choose to leave abusive employment, where do they go? The inequalities and the workers’ loss of liberty and agency are embedded within the corporate structure. It is impossible, as Anderson warns, to build a free, democratic society dominated by private governments. As these private governments merge into the superstructure of the corporate state we are cementing into place an unassailable corporate tyranny. It is a race against time. Our remaining freedoms are being rapidly extinguished. These omnipotent dictatorships must be destroyed, and they will only be destroyed by sustained popular protest such as we see in the streets of Paris. Otherwise, we will be shackled in 21st-century chains.
The global energy transition and the shift to renewables from fossil fuels is likely to reduce energy-related conflicts, says a report published by the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation. The transition will “help redraw the geopolitical map of the 21st century,” as the supply of energy will no longer be the domain of a small number of states, says the report.
Professor Leo Dobes, a retired senior public servant and associate professor at the Australian National University, told the ABC that there are not enough skilled economists left in the public service, describing “a woeful lack of ability and knowledge in that area.”
Outsourcing has been sold as a more efficient way to do things. And hasn’t that gone well – NOT!
The cost of Government IT has spiralled from $5.9 billion in 2012-13 to nearly $10 billion a year, with 24 per cent of that going to Boeing, IBM and Telstra.
That was more than they spent on Newstart.
For many activists, it might be unwitting but objectively, the overpopulation, anti-people scare campaign sends xenophobic and racist messages.
As the noted socialist scholar David Harvey says,
“Whenever a theory of overpopulation seizes hold in a society dominated by an elite, then the non-elite invariably experience some form of political, economic, and social repression.”
The headlines are shocking beyond belief: There are four warring factions, in Yemen, fighting over 4 billion barrels of oil representing 90% of the countries exports. For the war machine, arms manufacturers and arms dealers to prosper, you need something to fight over. In the Middle East it’s oil and natural gas. They don’t care about the 85,000 innocent children who have starved to death already, in Yemen. It’s all about money, power and control at any cost to humanity.
Andrew Leigh, a member of the Australian parliament, has a side gig. He just happens to be a working economist. Other lawmakers may spend their spare hours making cold calls for campaign cash. Leigh spends his doing research — on why our modern economies are leaving their populations ever more unequal.
Leigh’s latest research is making some global waves. Working with a team of Australian, Canadian, and American analysts, he’s been studying how much the prices corporate monopolies charge impact inequality.
As a result, we’re seeing lines blurring what were once more-distinct. Terrorist and non-terrorist incidents are becoming indistinguishable by their appearance and even their effect. And any given act of violence can be heightened to terrorism by the utterance of a few words as a perpetrator is arrested. If authorities simply declined to pass on those words there would be no obvious political message communicated at all. It’s a far cry from the carefully conceived plot with an easily-discerned symbolic target and some accompanying manifesto shouting at the world. Once there was no mistaking the political seriousness of the terrorist group. Now you need a team of psychologists to figure out if it’s more a rhetorical costume.
They may have a point. Language is powerful. Take the recent ABC tweet:
“Far-right activists and young men of African appearance have clashed at St Kilda Beach, after the activists refused to stop filming the men while they played soccer.”
The comments that followed basically fell into three categories: Those who questioned the need to point out that the young men were of “African appearance”, those who objected to the term “far-right activists” and those who warned that young men of a darker complexion playing soccer made people feel unsafe so we need laws to change so that police can arrest such people for the crime of inciting racism by their appearance.
Of course, I wondered why the tweet didn’t read:
“Adult male filming attractive teenagers at the beach refused to stop even after police request”
The Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission’s final report will be provided to the South Australian Governor by 1 February 2019. That has the potential to embarrass both the NSW government and Barnaby Joyce right before elections.
February 1st is also the deadline for the banking Royal Commission to deliver its final report to the Governor-General. We have already heard enough to know that it will be damning which only underlines the government’s poor judgement in characterising it as a “political stunt” by Labor.
February is also the month when the Federal Court is due to hear the case regarding the media tip-off from Michaelia Cash’s office about the raids on AWU offices, providing she hasn’t succeeded in having the subpoenas set aside as she has said she would.
The case against Kathy Jackson, that ‘lion of the union movement’, may take a little longer. It is due for court mention in January but a tentative trial date of April 29 has been set because “she’s yet to secure funding for her legal representation.”
In the few sitting days available, the government will have to deal with a crossbench determined to facilitate medical evacuations from Manus and Nauru.
And there will still be the question about what to do with all those pesky gay teachers.
US President Donald Trump tops the chart as he runs out of straws to clutch in trying to convince Americans that his election has been good for them. The stock market bump of which he was so proud is disappearing. The fiscal deficit is the highest since 2012. Trade wars notwithstanding, the trade deficit is at a 10-year high.
The turnover on the presidential staff has reached catastrophic levels: 65 per cent of Trump’s “A Team” have been replaced since his election as of December 14, according to the Brookings Institution, and that doesn’t even include cabinet members (12 of the 24 officials in the cabinet have been replaced and now a 13th, Defence Secretary James Mattis, is leaving).
Eight years ago, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico devastated communities, wildlife and livelihoods all along the Gulf coast. While dying dolphins and oil-soaked marsh grass dominated the headlines, the human cost was catastrophic. Now, it appears that a new disaster is slowly unfolding that may soon eclipse that horrific event to become the worst environmental disaster in US history.
In 2004, Hurricane Ivan triggered an undersea mudslide that sank an oil platform owned by Taylor Energy. Since then, between 300 and 700 barrels of oil have been spewing into the Gulf of Mexico every day. Let’s put that into perspective. The Deepwater Horizon disaster spilled almost 200m gallons of oil into the Gulf. To date, the Taylor spill has released as much as 140m gallons of oil into the Gulf.
What is even more shocking is that, 14 years since the Taylor oil platform sank, federal officials estimate the uncapped wells could continue polluting the Gulf for decades, perhaps even a century. It is a nightmare scenario that should terrify anyone who cares about the health of the wildlife and people who live along the Gulf coast.
Disasters such as Deepwater Horizon and the 14-year Taylor Energy spill offer vivid demonstrations of the environmental and economic risks of offshore drilling. If the next draft proposal continues to ignore the concerns of coastal communities, the Trump administration will have once again shown that it is prioritizing the profits of the oil and gas industry over all else.
As America continues to struggle with the after-effects of the BP oil spill and begins to wake up to the reality of the Taylor oil spill, we cannot allow the Trump administration to sow the seeds of yet another disaster that will devastate the health of our environment and the livelihoods of countless hard-working American families.
“I know it was a favor,” said one daughter, Dr. Elysa Braunstein, 56, who along with her sister, Sharon Kessel, 53, shared the family’s account for the first time publicly.
There were a lot of families pulling strings to keep their kids out of Vietnam those days. Families without strings sent their kids to fight. And so it goes.
It’s a remarkable thing to see a populist political stance transform into a liability in front of your eyes. So it is with the federal Coalition’s adventures in climate denialism.
Consider the story arc commencing with Tony Abbott’s leadership: what was once perhaps the most potent stick an opposition leader has wielded – leaving both Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard in its wreckage – this week disintegrated to the point that even the Coalition’s own colleagues in the NSW government have now abandoned them.
When pressed to give examples of religious discrimination today, Scott floundered until Christian helpfully stepped in recounting how a person who had expressed opposition to marriage equality on Facebook got sacked and had to sue for unfair dismissal. Which was kind of ironic as he was announcing the government’s support for religious schools to sack teachers if they express support for marriage equality.
Scott then remembered that someone had been blocked from entering a meeting somewhere because of their religion…then remembered they want to enshrine the right of religious groups to stop people from entering their premises so kind of mumbled something about exemptions.
The questions are huge. How do we balance the democratic need for transparency and accountability, with the demands of national security? How do we pay for journalism that is costly and necessary but not always commercially viable? How do we restore trust in an institution that underpins the way our society and our government works?
If we do nothing, we can expect to see a lot more cases like Jamal Khashoggi, Maria Ressa, The Capital Gazette or Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. I suspect that is a world few of us would relish.
Nonsense. Australia is lagging the rest of the world badly on virtually all indicators.
Wednesday’s Bureau of Statistics release shows annual growth in gross domestic product (GDP) to the end of September 2018 was 2.77%. That ranks 106th among the world’s 183 economies, well down in the bottom half. That is as low as Australia has been. Ever.
Trying to say State issues were solely responsible for its resounding loss at the Victorian State Election and the Wentworth 19% swing was all Labor’s fault, firmly place the Morrison Government at the forefront of Australia’s worst ever governments.
Having lost all ability for any critical self-analysis that would tell them the electorate no longer trusts them, cannot abide the lying, lack of any humane thought, racism, sexism and dismissiveness of equality of opportunity, the Liberal and National parties find themselves hated.