Tag: AIM

Unite to block the Right’s campaign to divide and conquer – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Painting of a grim man by u/tuskgreen213/

Australia must not allow our politicians and “thought” leaders on the right to push us down the destructive path being pursued by the Republicans.

The American right is waging war on modernity. The radicalised right alliance is sacrificing empirical evidence and truth for theocracy, tribal games and lies. It is determined to reverse the achievements of the Civil Rights era: white Christian man will return to his rightful place as delineator of truth. The contingent is destroying America’s standing to achieve it.


Source: Unite to block the Right’s campaign to divide and conquer – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Why we must not tolerate intolerance – » The Australian Independent Media Network


The speed of the Pentecostal movement’s growth means we need to be informed. Scott Morrison’s intrusions of religion into parliament have raised the discussion, despite traditional journalists lagging behind the urgent need. We can no longer say that “a man’s faith is his own business” when that faith demands the imposition of intolerant rules on the secular majority.

While the Right bemoans that the majority is cancelling their Christianity, we must counter that argument. It is not a faith that gives you spiritual comfort and guidance that the majority questions. It is a faith that denies the rest of us our well-being that we cannot accept.

Source: Why we must not tolerate intolerance – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Now is not the right time … – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Change always has some fear and uncertainty attached to it. There is no way to determine ahead of time if the change will be successful and beneficial. However leaving the discussion to the ‘ideal’ time isn’t an option as there never will be an ‘ideal’ time. Soon after the 2020 bushfires, the pandemic arrived on our shores. While you could argue that a government should be able to address more than one issue at a time (another reason why Morrison’s concentration of power was concerning), as collective memory begins to fade it is harder to enact change. Former Prime Minister Howard understood this when enacting strict gun control measures soon after the Port Arthur murders in the early 1990s.

So maybe we should be having the discussion about becoming a republic now, in addition to the welcome discussion about climate change and emissions reduction. Rather than accept whatever happens, whether that be King Charles III and his heirs as our Head of State or constantly rebuilding parts of the country when they are destroyed by devastating flood, fire or cyclone, there is no better time than disruption to assess if the status quo is what we collectively want as a nation.

Source: Now is not the right time … – » The Australian Independent Media Network

A quick grab for power? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

So forget about the time for reflection, the possibility of making the monarchy more democrat friendly. You have been awe-bombed by a family which relies 100% on our ability to quiet our inner voices, which naturally know the absurdity of a ruling family placed above the populace.

If we ask why do they continue to ‘serve’ we note their lack of political weight, their potential capture by those lucky enough, or devious enough to hold prime ministerial power.

The only ‘sweetener’ in this for a British sovereign seems to lie in the need to satisfy the personal mission of service, and the vast wealth and prestige attached to the office. In a month or so, as the novelty of a new king wears off, he will probably tail off in his relentless efforts to legitimise the existence of a hereditary monarchy, and simply continue the family tradition of opening things.

Source: A quick grab for power? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Dutton and Trump politics – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The mainstream media in Australia is currently whitewashing fascist politics. It is not just sycophantic, or lazy, journalism. It is dangerous.

Without a strong news media, Australia faces a clouded future. Albanese’s government may be able to repair our Rule of Law protections adequately to protect us into the future from the international right’s authoritarian games. The radical right might lose their hold on the Liberal and National parties. We have seen in America, however, that this form of the right is prepared to play the long game. Journalists that help them whitewash their cruellest actions aid them in this plan.

Source: Dutton and Trump politics – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Lies, damn lies and falling cats – » The Australian Independent Media Network

So when the prospective politician, regardless of their allegiance to orange, yellow, blue, red, green, teal or any other colour promises you the world on the glossy brochure, the well-produced television spot or the slick social media post during this election campaign, remember the term survivor bias and ask yourself if this is the answer to the real question. You also have the right to ask the ‘real’ question of your candidate and expect a reasonable and considered response. After all, if they get to Capital Hill, they are supposed to be working for you, not the ‘party hierarchy’ or political donors who expect a return on their investment.

Source: Lies, damn lies and falling cats – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Our democracy is weakening – here’s how we can stop the rot – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Currently, the LNP is locked foot and step with the GOP American Republican Party. The Liberal Party has never been closer to Trumpster alt-right than it is today and they even echo their policies here in Australia as they haven’t any original ideas of their own. Public Service, Education, Health, Welfare Immigration, and  Emergency Services have all become rapidly privatized or outsourced so much so they no longer function or are fit for purpose in emergencies. Chaos has reigned with Morrison at the helm and we’ve deteriorated on every social metric other than the profits made by their corporate supporters,who they have gifted handsomely. Our Democracy is under threat of drifting even closer to Mussolini’s ideal model of government, The Fascist Corporate State.

There is an opportunity to restore Australian Democracy, by addressing the core issues that Australians nominate as underpinning their growing sense of distrust and dissatisfaction. A Democratic Commission should play a central role in this effort. Failing to intervene in our democratic decline is a failure to appreciate Australian Democracy’s fragility, and its pre-eminence in underpinning our way of life. This is a mistake we cannot afford to make.

Source: Our democracy is weakening – here’s how we can stop the rot – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Political Donations and Brown Paper Bags – spot the difference! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

So, in effect nothing illegal has occurred and when the oversight was brought to the independent member for Warringah’s attention, it was corrected. Does it warrant a media hit ? I don’t think so but there is no doubt that the whole of the regulatory system governing political donations badly needs to be overhauled. When you consider that just $17.9 million worth of individual donations were declared for the 2020 – 2021 year compared with the almost $177 million received by parties you would be forgiven if you thought that the disclosure regime was better described as a non-disclosure scheme. Personally, Steggall’s oversight doesn’t concern me but I am far more concerned that our former Attorney General, Christian Porter, was able to receive and conceal an anonymous donation said to be in the order of a million dollars. In Porter’s case he threw a legal doona over the donation by calling it the proceeds of a blind trust and thus he could not reveal either the source of the funds or the donor – all legal according to him, wink wink, nudge nudge ! Not to mention the potential for disruption to our democracy, not from overseas interests as Peter Dutton would have us believe, but closer to home in the form of Clive Frederick Palmer who spent $60 million in the lead up to the 2019 election without much of a return on his money. But he threatens to spend even more this time around and may well be able to insert one or more of his stooges into the senate : that’s what ASIO are worried about and we should be too.

Source: Political Donations and Brown Paper Bags – spot the difference! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Nostalgia at the AUKMIN Talks: Britain’s Forces Eye Australia – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Dutton’s feelings might be hurt he wants the right to sue for Defamation and us the taxpayers to pay to shut Binoy and other critics up. Scott and Michaela are preparing the Bill to do just that and keep themselves safe.

Give the man credit where it’s due. Few could possibly be congratulated for selling the sovereignty of a country in full view of its citizenry, but Peter Dutton, former Queensland copper turned sadistic Home Affairs minister turned Defence Minister, is very capable of it. Australia promises to become a throbbing bordello for the strategic affairs of other states (to a large extent, it already is), awaiting submarine insertions, naval manoeuvres, and more troop rotations. With the AUKUS arrangements being firmed up, US and UK sailors, personnel and miscellaneous staff are being readied for more time Down Under, ensuring that Australia becomes a staging ground for future forward military operations. Canberra has relinquished much say in this; the song sheets and blueprints are coming from elsewhere.

Source: Nostalgia at the AUKMIN Talks: Britain’s Forces Eye Australia – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Rapid Antigen Test scandal reveals Morrison’s cruelty – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Morrison in one breath says he trusts all Australians to be responsible but not with any Government Welfare programs like Jobseeker or NDIS. Unless of course, we need to bring JobKeeper back when he will once again show how he trusts business. Morrison has walked back on his announcement and withdrawn the RATs he promised to provide for us to “pay for” unlike the US and UK. He keeps saying they are available even now but refuses to say where ,how or why they aren’t universally free. Simply showing he doesn’t trust us.

Persons”. Like me, you might have been labouring under the misapprehension that the purpose of R.A.T.s is social, in the sense of individuals taking responsibility for the larger society in which we live. We use R.A.T.s (or would, if we could get them) to ensure we aren’t infected with COVID-19 before we go out and about, mingling with family, friends and strangers. They are the cornerstone (or would be, if we could get them) of personal responsibility, that moral virtue urged upon us by a government itself so bereft of moral virtue and responsibility, personal and collective, that one can only howl with bitter mirth when they speak these words out loud.

Source: Rapid Antigen Test scandal reveals Morrison’s cruelty – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Fun Times At The RATs Party – (Republished after Premature Publication) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Whatever, I’m sure that he’ll get a glowing reference and will have no trouble picking something else up in the near future. Like I always say, you’ve got to hand it to Scotty. Yes, you do. There’s no way he’ll get off his backside and do it for himself!

Source: Fun Times At The RATs Party – (Republished after Premature Publication) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

ScoMo plays Djoko but Dutton buys tanks – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The saga of a tennis star’s visa cancellation certainly serves to highlight the incalculable damage the federal government is suffering as it utterly fails to deal with a pandemic catastrophe which its own Libertarian easing of restrictions helped create. It also exposes a mind-boggling degree of incompetence and miscommunication, of posturing and dissembling that would be comic were it not so toxic to the health of the commonwealth.

Source: ScoMo plays Djoko but Dutton buys tanks – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Anachronistic Frivolity: Australia’s Recent Tank Purchase – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Critics of the purchase have included otherwise hawkish pundits such as Greg Sheridan of The Australian, who spent some of last year shaking his head at the proposed acquisition after it was announced by the US Defence Cooperation Agency. The decision, he opined unleashing his talons, was one of “sheer idiocy,” an “anachronistic frivolity.” Tanks and other heavy, tracked vehicles would “never be of the slightest military use to us.” Sheridan poses a range of questions. In any confrontation with China, could a tank defend shipping in the South China Sea? Or “take out enemy submarines?” Or “deliver attack missiles over hundreds of kilometres?” His solutions: buy more jets, manufacture more drones, and address naval capabilities. Others also argue that Dutton, were he to be genuinely interested in Australia’s security and safety, would be spending more time on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and coping with the threats posed by climate change, or investing in pandemic responses. Now that would be a big ask. The tank fraternity, a gathering of near cultic loyalty, are swooning in triumph. As Peter J. Dean, director of the Defence and Security Institute at the University of Western

Source: Anachronistic Frivolity: Australia’s Recent Tank Purchase – » The Australian Independent Media Network

As a fish rots from the head, so is Australia’s democracy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Today we discovered that over the past four years the Coalition has spent three times as much on Liberal electorates when compared to Labor-held seats. This proves that we should move house if we want some of our taxes to come back to us, or maybe just vote them out. Which brings us to accountability. No bill has been seen. Morrison blames Labor because he cannot get his own pathetic version of an integrity commission past his own backbenchers. Ask yourself why he won’t legislate a national integrity commission. Ask yourself why he vilifies the NSW ICAC every second day. You know the old saying – if you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. The verdict is that, for me, the Coalition government is the single worst government in living memory, possibly in our history of representative government. From the top to the bottom they shred convention, they outsource our governing functions to multinationals, they have starved our elderly in aged care, they keep the unemployed poverty-stricken, they are fanning the flames of conflict with China, they have destroyed our social fabric, and they run kangaroo courts. There’s not a lot to like.

Source: As a fish rots from the head, so is Australia’s democracy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Depressed by the press: journalism bows to the authoritarians – » The Australian Independent Media Network

In Australia, for example, coverage of asylum seekers in the conservative, particularly tabloid, media has over the last decade been based too often on the incorrect framing that they are “illegal” and “queue jumpers.” Too rarely is the coverage based on the facts. This media (intended) failure has enabled the government to continue to persecute innocent people who came to us seeking safety.

Culture war “games” have thus turned life and death issues into something too “political” to address (either rationally) or intelligently. The spirit of Schwartz Media, Michael West Media and our other organisations dedicated to holding the powerful to account needs to be embraced by our legacy masthead writers. We need to consider the laws that can be crafted to balance the damage done by Malcolm Turnbull’s 2017 slashing of our media ownership laws. In a moment when the climate and democracy decay form a deadly helix, we cannot afford to have entertainment or agenda masquerading as news.

We need to debate new ways to fund the reliable news utterly critical to the functioning of democracy.

Too much is at stake to allow our news to frame this moment as “business as usual.”


Source: Depressed by the press: journalism bows to the authoritarians – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Diplomacy, China and Paul Keating – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Was Biden listening to Keating it seems the UK, US and China are in step with their backs to Australia when it comes to Climate. So where will that put AUKUS when trade strategies take into account  Fossil Fuels and what looks like CHUKUS puts tariffs on our position?

There have been some defenders of the former prime minister, insisting that he has something sensible to say. ABC host and commentator Stan Grant tells his audience that Keating “is not an apologist for Chinese authoritarianism but a cold-eyed realist about Chinese power and how it can be incorporated into a global political order.” But realism, for the moment at least, has been anathemised. The Anglophone alliance that is AUKUS is testament to that fact. Blood-thirsty nostalgia, and the fools, are intent on running the show.

Source: Diplomacy, China and Paul Keating – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Trump, Twitter and the Digital Town Hall – » The Australian Independent Media Network

For all such righteous splutters, Dershowitz and Trump have a point in pointing out a symptom of the US body politic that has become cripplingly apparent: business and the interests of capitalism have come to control speech, its circulation, its distribution. For decades, they had already come to guide politicians and political parties, exercising influence through campaign donations. Why run for elected office when you can buy it? In 2010, the US Supreme Court decision of Citizens United v Federal Election Commission found that limits upon “independent political spending” from corporations and private interest groups violated the First Amendment. Those with deep purses could only deem this the natural order of things: if you have cash, spend it to influence opinion in the name of free speech. Put rather simply, such speech was a shield big capitalism could well employ if it needed to. (Rep. Lieu, take note.)

Source: Trump, Twitter and the Digital Town Hall – » The Australian Independent Media Network

A tale of two ideologies – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Marketing and the big Fail. Doesn’t the word Murdoch spring to mind just look where Harvey Norman’s Advertises.

The government’s response was the program was designed quickly to create the most stimulus and there was no mechanism to recover the funds from those that found out after the event they didn’t meet the criteria. Sounds like the same thing they pilloried the progressive side of politics for about a decade earlier. At the same time, the same conservative government considered chasing individuals who received JobKeeper as well as JobSeeker during the 2020/2021 Financial Year. In the government’s eyes this isn’t a correct and proper use of resources. The story is pretty clear – the progressive political party really couldn’t market themselves out of a wet paper bag. The conservative political party is all about the marketing. Anyone want a black coffee mug?

Source: A tale of two ideologies – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Simple, simple words, simple, simple thoughts. My methodology of writing when angry – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day We would be a much better society if we took the risk of thinking for ourselves unhindered by the unadulterated crap served up by the government, the media and self-interest groups.

Source: Simple, simple words, simple, simple thoughts. My methodology of writing when angry – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The cost of ideology – » The Australian Independent Media Network

In January 2020, Morrison only committed $2 billion to bushfire recovery across the nation. It cost $1.2 billion to buy their way out of the robodebt fiasco they created, and we don’t know the cost of the legal and administration fees on top of that. Shows where the Coalition’s priorities lie, doesn’t it?

The cost of ideology – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Is this the end of the road? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

If there is one thing – and only one thing – that we can take out of the LNP’s win in the 2019 election is that conservative governments are a boon for independent media sites. Particularly so in Australia, where the mainstream media becomes more and more the mouthpiece for the conservatives.

To survive another year and beyond would only require a hundred people signing up to contribute $5 a month. That at least would cover our monthly web hosting and designer costs. More would give us the opportunity to take on a bit of help for our already flat-out team.

I know that The AIMN means a lot to many, many people, Carol and I included. And without the efforts of so many tireless authors we would not be one of the leading independents sites in this country. Carol and I are proud of our standing, and proud of every one of you – authors, admins, commenters and readers – who have been in the engine room of this great site.

via Is this the end of the road? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

ScamMo at it again – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Don’t be fooled by crocodile tears and emotive appeals from a deeply dishonest, cruel and empty human being. ScamMo’s words are not be trusted, as he will say whatever he thinks will deflect attention away from conversations he doesn’t want us having. A lot of conservatives and media pundits will let him, too, giving him a pass for pretty much anything, just like they do with his mentor, Trump.

via ScamMo at it again – » The Australian Independent Media Network

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Christmas comes but a hundred times a year – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Kaye Lee once said that we at The AIMN are all a family, and it is a family that Carol and I are proud of, whose company we cherish 365 days a year. If you’re not doing anything on December 25, this is one family you are welcome to spend some time with.

via Christmas comes but a hundred times a year – » The Australian Independent Media Network

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Turnbull’s New Year gang-bash plumbs new depths. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

“Victoria, the state of fear”, they pun. The Herald Sun dedicates 28 front pages in a year to a Sudanese migrant “gang” which police confirm were always Australian born-offenders, never had a clubhouse or flag and is now disbanded.

It’s all part of the service News Corp provides to Coalition politicians who sniff votes in a law and order scare campaign.

via Turnbull’s New Year gang-bash plumbs new depths. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Tony – In His Own Words Or I Never Realised How Many Things I Agree With!

Image from Facebook.com

  • January 15, 2015
  • Written by:
  • This morning I started looking for a quote from Tony Abbott for this piece. Surprisingly, I came across many, many statements from him with which I wholeheartedly agree.For example, “The great thing about the Coalition is you know exactly what you will get from the Coalition.”

    Yep, he was pretty right on that one. I pretty much did know exactly what we’d get from the Coaltion…

    And then I read the following:

    “Let me just say of this government that it’s broken promises; that’s bad.”

    “It’s the government that is faking things, fudging things and ultimately trying to deceive people.

    “It’s my job between now and polling day to remind the Australian people just what a hopeless, unreliable, untrustworthy, dishonest, deceptive Government this has been. It just doesn’t get democracy.”

    “A fake. An absolute fake, from start to finish.”

    Unfortunately when I checked the dates, they were all made before the election and I realised that he wasn’t talking about his own government.

    But I did find one interesting one made after the election.

    TONY ABBOTT: “I think Christopher said ‘schools’ – plural – will get the same amount of money. The quantum will be the same.”

    ANDREW BOLT: “I hear that. ‘Schools’, plural. People just saw the grab. They heard ‘school’, your ‘school’, singular, and I don’t understand why that promise was made. I would go a billion dollars into debt just to keep your promise. I don’t know why you don’t commit to it.”

    TONY ABBOTT: “But Andrew, we are going to keep our promise. We are going to keep the promise that we actually made, not the promise that some people thought that we made or the promise that some people might have liked us to make. We’re going to keep the promise that we actually made.”

    Which sounds fine, excerpt the promise to which he was referring was this:

    Christopher Pyne: “You can vote Liberal or Labor and you will get exactly the same amount of funding for your school.” 2 August 2013

    So that infamous “We are going to keep the promise that we actually made, not the promise that some people thought that we made or the promise that some people might have liked us to make,” should have actually read, “We’re keeping the promise I thought we made not the one we actually made.”

    Which some pedantic people are sure to argue is the same thing as not keeping a promise at all, but, as Abe Lincoln said, you can’t please all of the people all of the time… Or was that “fool”?

    Whatever, after Labor’s “back-flip” on the $20 Medicare cut, Mr Abbott cut short his holiday to do an interview. (By the way, Labor has apparently changed its mind because Shorten said that he’d “consider” the change… I can see how this can be considered a back-flip by the Liberals because when they say they’ll consider something – or pay one of their mates to hold an inquiry into the best course of action – they’ve already made up their mind!) And what started my search was this little snippet from Mr Abbott:

    He called on his critics to provide their own budget savings if they continued to reject the government’s attempts to restore the budget to surplus and pay down the debt.

    “We are serious about economic reform, we are serious about budget responsibility – is the Senate? That is the question; are they serious about economic reform and budget responsibility and if they don’t like what this governments doing tell us what their alternative is,” he said.

    Now, I could be wrong, but I seem to remember that when he was Leader of the Opposition that he said something about Oppositions:

    Oppositions are not there to get legislation through. Oppositions are there to hold the government to account. And unless we are confident that a piece of legislation is beyond reasonable doubt in the national interest, it is our duty as the Opposition to vote it down.

    I also seem to remember that he said that it wasn’t his job as Opposition Leader to come up with ideas for the Government, but I can’t find any actual quote. As soon as you put in anything for a Google search for an Abbott quote, all you get is stuff about climate change being crap, or a paid parental leave scheme being introduced over his dead body, or a bad boss being like a bad father, or virginity, or “the phrase WorkChoices being dead and buried”, so it’s been a long, depressing search.

    Although I did find quite a few about not being afraid of a Double Dissolution, and, if the Senate held up necessary legislation, then they’d go to the people straight away. But maybe that was another one where we only thought we heard something, when what he really said was: “I’m going to cling onto being Prime Minister as long as I can because there’s no way that I’d survive an election campaign as Leader”

Rage against the Black and White!

Armed police at Reims (photo by Francois Nascimbeni - taken from abc.net.au)

The shootings at Charlie Hebdo, the French newspaper, have shocked us all. But let us be united by it, writes Paul Dellit.

Charlie Hebdo stands for the essence of democratic society based upon pluralism.

Salman Rushdie has issued the following statement:

“Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today. I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. ‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect”.

Of course, this attack by fundamentalists has a strategic purpose. Their objective is to provoke us into abandoning our values in favour of adopting theirs: the absolutism of believing that I am the bearer of immutable truth and anyone who does not share my belief is my enemy. And as one of the enrolled, I am entitled, if not obliged, to remove any obstacle to my belief becoming predominant in the world. I am entitled to kill anyone and destroy anything if it assists my mission. There are no grey areas for discussion. There is no point in debate when you possess the absolute truth. The world is divided into two camps: those who believe as I do and those who do not; those whom I would uplift and those whom I would remove from the face of the earth. The distinctions I make are as clear as the ultimate extremes of black and white.

Christianity has abandoned the overt pursuit of its violently barbaric Inquisition, long since Christianity was uniquely the Roman Catholic Church, heir to the Holy Roman Empire. But it is only in relatively recent times that the traditional Christian Churches have backed off their dogmatic tone in Sunday sermons and in public statements. Vatican II did not presage this change in public attitude. Vatican II failed, ultimately because men of the stripe of George Pell saw it as the creeping democratisation of the power structure which gave them their own autocratic power and status. And they could tell themselves that their mission was virtuous for, was it not true that they held office within the organisation chosen by the one true God to be the standard-bearer of His absolute truth.

Closer to home, it is unsurprising that the mediocre intellects which dominate the Front Bench of our current Government are committed to Hayekian dogma. The majority of them are still devotees of the particular flavour of Christian dogma in which they were schooled. They like dogma. It gives them that warm fuzzy feeling of being tucked up inside their middle class residences and looking out at those who aren’t. In essence, it satisfies two basic human cravings: certainty about the world they live in which, incidentally, places them in the box seat; and relief from those unpleasant intimations of mortality. Their pursuit of personal wealth at the expense of others is sanctioned by their secular dogma and their Christian dogma promises them life eternal.

The delusions of these men and one woman would be laughable in any other circumstances than that it is their hands gripping the levers of power for one whole term of government. Like all good Hayekians, their limited view of life and total lack of any broader philosophy leaves them with the view that economic utility equals happiness, that the accretion of money is the single purpose of life, that we are nothing more than utilitarian foragers pitted against our fellows for whom the notion of compassion is anathema. They are men and one woman who lack the broad range of sensibilities and sensitivities which mark out all that is fine and estimable in our humanity. How else could they have Abbott as the Minister for Women, Morrison as the Minister for Social Services, and Brandis as Minister for the Arts.

It may be that Charlie Hebdo provides a particularly French character to the art of satire. It pushes the three founding principles of the French Revolution to the limits of Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité. It is an equal-opportunity satirist with caricatures of every religion, commercial institution, government party and organisation – a true iconoclast with its origins in the 1960s which, unlike Honi Soit (extant) and Oz (deceased), has been able to maintain the rage long after the flowers wilted and the Beatles left the rooftop.

This is a truly sad day, but with the saving grace that it provides the opportunity for all countries and people of good will to unite in their steadfast maintenance of their belief and practice of pluralism.

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