Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

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Belle
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Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Sat May 18, 2019 9:33 am

A great night tonight, but the numbers haven't lead to majority government YET with 75% of the vote counted. A victory - totally unexpected - and my son keeps his job with the PM for another 3 years!! He never erred in his belief in the boss (Scott Morrison) all these years.

barney
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by barney » Tue May 21, 2019 1:37 am

Well Sue, I am pleased for your son and you, and many friends who voted Liberal. I voted Labor, because I thought they had a vision for the country - which the people at large rejected, as is their right - which was more positive. Morrison's campaign was relentlessly negative - 'the Bill you can't afford' - and he put up very little by way of a positive plan for a third term.
That said, his campaign was tactically brilliant and he executed it superbly. He's clearly much smarter than he's given credit for, and I welcome some promises he made, such as a religious discrimination commissioner (if he can get it through parliament).
It always fascinates me how people weigh evidence, priorities etc so differently, and I do not make the mistake of thinking people who disagree with me are less smart or less moral or less concerned for the good of the nation. They just weigh things differently.

Belle
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Tue May 21, 2019 2:02 am

No worries, Barney; thanks for your comments. A lot of my friends are Labor supporters and they've been very gracious about my son and his involvement. Was getting sms all through the count on Saturday night. Saw son (and spouse) for lunch today (a very rare occurrence) and they talked about the function at Kirribilli House with the PM on Sunday for the staff, as a thank-you. He's right in the thick of it (as is his wife), but having a holiday in Europe for 2 months to get the carbon off the cylinders!!

You might not be surprised to learn that politics gets into the blood - rather like sport, music or theatre. And it usually ends in tears!!

Holden Fourth
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Holden Fourth » Tue May 21, 2019 3:14 am

The concept of a religious discrimination commissioner is worrying from a number of aspects, especially a freedom of speech perspective. This is possibly the first step in a process to restrict what the general public may think and say. We already have extensive libel and slander laws in Australia that cover anything that is totally inappropriate without bringing in this step.

As an atheist, I see all religions as just a load of mumbo-jumbo and want to be able to say this if I wish. If somebody finds this point of view offensive (or more importantly, chooses to take offence) I don’t really care. Provided I have expressed my views in away that criticised the concept and not the person who believes in it then I can’t see that I have done anything wrong. A bill that changes this is directly impacting on my freedom of speech.

Which brings me to my final point. Why are we singling out religion in particular? The last census showed that less than 15% of all Australians had any form of religious affiliation. A law aimed at such a small segment of the population is ludicrous.

Belle
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Tue May 21, 2019 5:32 am

I don't like any kind of government boondoggles that try to enforce conformity of speech, behaviour or anything else that impinges on individual liberty. I am not across the religious issues because I'm not part of a particular denomination to any serious extent; I'd call myself more of a 'cultural Christian' and I like to be part of the rituals on important days of the year. If people want to be religious and hold those views that is entirely their business. Some would argue that when you have the state subsidize religious schools and hospitals it becomes the public's business; it's hard to argue wholly against this case.

Rach3
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Rach3 » Tue May 21, 2019 8:58 am

FWW:

From news.com.au May 19 :

“ …Mr Morrison’s landmark achievement has up-ended almost all commentators’ predictions, proving polls and general consensus are not always correct, following a pattern of recent global surprises — including the UK’s Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump as US President.The Prime Minister repeatedly emphasised the Coalition’s strength on the economy, promising income tax cuts and lower bills while playing down the threat of climate change.Mr Morrison was a controversial Immigration Minister under Tony Abbott after the 2013 election, implementing Operation Sovereign Borders before becoming Social Services Minister in a 2014 reshuffle…”

From Twitter :

@realDonaldTrump
May 18
Donald J. Trump Retweeted news.com.au
Congratulations to Scott on a GREAT WIN!

Belle
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Tue May 21, 2019 3:37 pm

Mr Morrison was a controversial Immigration Minister under Tony Abbott after the 2013 election, implementing Operation Sovereign Borders

It wasn't 'controversial'. The government won a 25 seat majority on the mandate of border protection. The only people who thought it was 'controversial' were and are those who think open borders are desirable for nations. There are far, far fewer of that inclination in Australia than those who believe the opposite - they're just noisier, that's all. My son worked with Morrison during that 'operation'. As Immigration Minister he saved hundreds of people from frightful drownings by stopping the miserable human trafficking which caused this. Australians saw images of adults and children dashed up against the rocks of Christmas Island or drowning out at sea because they'd been lulled to Australia on the promise of welfare, opportunity and residency by ruthless, criminal people-smugglers. It is they who were 'controversial', as are/were their Greens supporters - one of whom said about the deaths at sea, "accidents happen". What got up the activists' noses, and the media, was that Morrison only gave the media the bare bones of information, depriving the people-smuggling trade of windows of opportunity to get around the regime designed to stop it. He won a great deal of praise for his efforts during Operation Sovereign Borders from mainstream Australians and it was a spectacular success.

barney
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by barney » Tue May 21, 2019 7:07 pm

Holden Fourth wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 3:14 am
The concept of a religious discrimination commissioner is worrying from a number of aspects, especially a freedom of speech perspective. This is possibly the first step in a process to restrict what the general public may think and say. We already have extensive libel and slander laws in Australia that cover anything that is totally inappropriate without bringing in this step.

As an atheist, I see all religions as just a load of mumbo-jumbo and want to be able to say this if I wish. If somebody finds this point of view offensive (or more importantly, chooses to take offence) I don’t really care. Provided I have expressed my views in away that criticised the concept and not the person who believes in it then I can’t see that I have done anything wrong. A bill that changes this is directly impacting on my freedom of speech.

Which brings me to my final point. Why are we singling out religion in particular? The last census showed that less than 15% of all Australians had any form of religious affiliation. A law aimed at such a small segment of the population is ludicrous.
I don't think the point of a religion anti-discrimination commissioner is to stop atheists. So far as I am concerned, you can say what you like - and I have no doubt you have been doing so. What atheist has suffered in Australia in the past 25 years for criticising religion - do you know any cases? For years I ran a blog on Fairfax called the Religious Write, which was extremely popular among atheists because in 2007 and later they didn't have many forums they could join together. And I welcomed that.
I am concerned about faith communities being silenced, which is already happening. For example, how hypocritical is Qantas over Folau while deep in partnership with a state that jails or executes homosexuals. It seems Alan Joyce will protect gays all the way until it costs him a dollar.
15%? Maybe so. That is more than the LGBTQI community who quite correctly have their own anti-discrimination commissioner. I don't know the number of disabled, but they rightly have an anti-discrmination commissioner. You can't protect only the people you like or support.

barney
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by barney » Tue May 21, 2019 7:13 pm

Belle wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 5:32 am
I don't like any kind of government boondoggles that try to enforce conformity of speech, behaviour or anything else that impinges on individual liberty. I am not across the religious issues because I'm not part of a particular denomination to any serious extent; I'd call myself more of a 'cultural Christian' and I like to be part of the rituals on important days of the year. If people want to be religious and hold those views that is entirely their business. Some would argue that when you have the state subsidize religious schools and hospitals it becomes the public's business; it's hard to argue wholly against this case.
With respect, you can't say it's fine to be religious as long as it's a private matter. That is dangerously undemocratic. Secularists are (rightly) not required to leave their beliefs at home when they enter the public square, and indeed it is not really possible. Religious people have as much right as anyone else to argue for what they regard as a flourishing society. In turn, of course, they have to accept (and largely have) that they are one voice among many and no longer have any particular authority.

Belle
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Tue May 21, 2019 7:51 pm

To a large extent I actually agree with you; I'd be the first up on the barricades proclaiming the right to freedoms, of any kind. But I'm thinking in particular of Fred Nile and his Festival of Light and the outrageous things he said in the NSW parliament and, more recently, the Folau controversy in Rugby Union when he quoted the old testament's method of treating 'sinners'. I thought that was judgmental and doesn't suit the zeitgeist. That's really what I was saying. Keep these ideas within the church; let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

But it's a good discussion to have and I'm an advocate for free and open debate of any kind.

lennygoran
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by lennygoran » Thu May 23, 2019 7:31 pm

I side with Mayor Pete over Pence! Regards, Len


1. Last month, Buttigieg began raising questions about the vice president, whom he worked with when Pence was governor of Indiana.

"How could he allow himself to become the cheerleader of the porn star presidency? Is is that he -- is that he stopped believing in scripture when he started believing in Donald Trump," Buttigieg said.

In 2015, when both men were serving in Indiana, Pence signed a law that critics say unfairly targeted members of the LGBTQ community. At the time, Buttigieg was just months from coming out as gay. The law was eventually rolled back amid a national outcry.


2. "I can tell you, that if me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade," he added, to a room full of loud cheers. "And that's the thing I wish the Mike Pence's of the world could understand, that if you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator."

Pence, a conservative Christian, has opposed same-sex marriage throughout his political career. He received harsh criticism from social activists for pursuing anti-LGBTQ policies during his time as governor of Indiana.

Belle
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Sat May 25, 2019 4:09 pm

Here's a good article in this weekend's national broadsheet, "The Australian", about our political situation and the similarities to other democracies in terms of the voting public. One former Labor leader recently commented about the people on the Left side of politics and its alienation from its base..."they got rich".

A nation shows its true colours
A voter backlash against political correctness has been mirrored by events around the globe
.

By PETER BALDWIN

Last Saturday’s election result was a bolt from the blue, astounding commentators, pollsters and I suspect Scott Morrison. As with Brexit and Donald Trump’s election, there was an unexpected and unobserved shift in sentiment that was somehow missed by the opinion polls. But what was it? How come, in a variety of electorates across the developed Western world, we are seeing such “black swan” events, happenings that defy all expectations and can be rationalised only in hindsight?

There is a growing body of research and theorising about this. One of the most important is the work of British scholars Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin set out in their recent book National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy.

Eatwell and Goodwin focus mainly on continental Europe, seeking to explain the overnight rise of what they term “nationalist-populist” parties in a variety of countries, and the corresponding sharp declines in support for traditional centre-left parties. Typically such parties derive their main support from the centre-left’s traditional working-class base, especially in declining industrial regions.

However, the phenomenon seems broader than that. One of the most striking results cited by the authors is Europe-wide polling that shows very high proportions of the population saying the mainstream parties are indifferent to the concerns of “people like me”, being more preoccupied with the ideological obsessions of privileged elites. Unsurprisingly, this sentiment is strongest in France, home of the “yellow vest” movement, with 68 per cent agreeing.

The resonances with what happened in Australia last Saturday are clear, exemplified by the jeering crowds that greeted Bob Brown’s green convoy in provincial Queensland. Labor did best in inner-urban, relatively wealthy and highly educated electorates, and worst in provincial, rural and outer suburban seats. A book that I launched recently, Labor’s Forgotten People: The Triumph of Identity Politics, written by Michael Thompson, is strikingly prescient.

So how do we explain the consistent failure of the pollsters to pick this up? The answer seems to be that the actual concerns of “people like me” are often in strong opposition to the prevailing elite zeitgeist, including concerns about how their communities are being affected by uncontrolled immigration and the growing presence of Islam, the effect of globalisation and climate change policies on traditional occupations, and in Europe the sense of having their lives regulated by remote, unaccountable bureaucracies in Brussels.

The reality is, many people feel intimidated. In Britain, according to a poll conducted by YouGov, about a third of people “believe they cannot speak freely on controversial subjects such as immigration and religion for fear they may be criticised, lose their job or be prosecuted”.

Who wants to risk social and occupational death by being fingered as a racist, xenophobe or Islamophobe, especially in the age of social media? Or maybe a visit by a nice policeman with a polite warning that something said or tweeted might count as “hate speech” (this is becoming a regular event in Britain)? It is not entirely surprising, therefore, that some people would be reluctant to express their real views, even to an anonymous opinion pollster — what some have termed the “shy voter” effect.

This is the result of the wholesale adoption by media, educational, political and increasingly corporate elites of the ideology of identity politics. Identity politics, the idea that we are all essentially defined by our membership of an intersecting set of categories based on gender, race, and so on, has become all pervasive.

This is especially so in parties of the Left. With the collapse of socialism as any sort of viable project, the identarian ideology has come to pretty much define what it means to be progressive, left-wing or “liberal” in the American context. We see this with the Labor Party here, with references to gender identity far outnumbering mundane matters such as unemployment in the party’s platform.

The most pernicious effect of this development is its deadening effect on the way contentious issues are debated generally, not just those strictly concerned with identity. This is the system of thought control we have come to label “political correctness”, which holds that a growing array of widely held viewpoints are so toxic, so abominable that they must not even be expressed, let alone debated.

According to the political correctness mindset, those who deviate from its orthodoxies are not just wrong, not just people who hold a different opinion that can be debated. No, their dissent labels them as stupid or knavish, or some combination of both. Not to be heard but to be shouted down, ridiculed, castigated in social media, assaulted and, if possible, fired from their jobs. Studies show that those who see themselves as progressive are much more likely to think of their opponents in this way than conservatives — and much more likely to stick strictly to the safe cluster of received opinions across the board. In academe, progressive theorists concoct justifications for designating certain issues “not debatable”.

This mindset contaminates and warps every debate it touches including, perhaps especially, the important issue of what to do about climate change, where all are expected to adhere to a “consensus” that a drastic set of abatement policies must be implemented immediately. To contest this is to be labelled a “climate change denialist”.

But what is this consensus? Consensus about what? If acceptance that the climate is warming, that human activity is a major driver, and that these facts warrant a major policy response makes someone part of the consensus, then count me in.

But that is not enough to avoid the denialist charge, nowhere near enough. To avoid the taint, you have to accept uncritically the most drastic of the steadily escalating set of proposed responses to the problem, as shown by the way all the main Democratic Party contenders in the US presidential primaries immediately fell into line with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (nicknamed “AOC”) Green New Deal that would move to 100 per cent renewables within a decade. There is precisely zero chance that any administration would, or could, implement anything like the Green New Deal, but it is now holy writ, which any candidate quibbles about at their peril. AOC dismissed any concerns about the estimated $2.3 trillion annual cost of the proposal with a wave of the hand — after all, the world is set to end in a decade.

Bear in mind that, when polled, people might say climate change is important, but when pressed how much they would sacrifice for it the result is derisory. According to a US poll 68 per cent of Americans wouldn’t pay $US10 extra a month on electricity for the cause.

Bill Shorten provided a masterclass in this kind of idiocy in the debates before the federal election. He justified refusing to provide any costings of his plan to reduce emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 by stating that it was “dumb” or “dishonest” even to ask such questions, a “charlatan’s argument”. What about the cost of not acting, he asked, without providing any estimate of that, or of the effect his policy would have on global temperature.

I wonder if Shorten would label the 2018 Nobel laureate in economics, William J. Nordhaus, as dumb, dishonest and a charlatan.

Nordhaus received the award for his contribution to “integrating climate change into long-run macro-economic analysis”, asking the sort of questions, and conducting the kind of cost-benefit analysis, that Shorten and many others regard as off-limits.

As an economist, Nordhaus does not claim any expertise about climate but takes as a given the assessments of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and goes on to develop an economic model (the DICE model) to estimate the long-term “social costs” of CO2 and of possible policies to address it, in an attempt to identify the best policy. His conclusion? That the optimal policy — the one that achieves the best balance of costs and benefits — is one that sets a target of 3.5 degrees over pre-industrial levels. The more ambitious targets of 2.5 degrees, or even 1.5 degrees, turn out to be ludicrously expensive, according to his analysis.

His optimal policy would include much less drastic measures than the kind favoured by AOC or Shorten, including a modest tax on carbon, but one that, as he stresses, must be globally co-ordinated and involve all the major emitters. But what are the chances of that?

Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg takes a different approach, pointing to the very small effect on the Earth’s climate of the Paris Agreement proposals. Like Nordhaus, he accepts the scientific conclusions of the UN climate panel, but argues that even if fully implemented the Paris accords would make a difference of only 0.17C by the end of the century. Instead, he favours a massive investment in research and development aimed at drastically reducing the cost of renewable energy rather than immediately subsidising existing technologies.

Maybe Nordhaus and Lomborg are both wrong, but surely we should be prepared to debate these issues? I was struck, when ploughing through the critiques of Lomborg and his responses to them, by the level and vehemence of ad hominem abuse by the critics. I could almost feel the clouds of spittle rising from screen as I read. Since he accepted the UN panel estimates, he could not easily be labelled a denier so they invented a new epithet for him: “climate contrarian”.

There is something deeply unserious about the approach of Shorten and those of similar mind. Suppose Labor had been elected. Would Shorten really take the steps, and incur the political costs, of doing what he proposed? Or would he be like Emmanuel Macron in France, who promptly reversed a modest increase in petrol costs for climate abatement in the face of the yellow vest movement?

(Peter Baldwin served as a minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor governments.)

barney
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by barney » Sat May 25, 2019 5:21 pm

Excellent article Sue, very astute and interesting. I get the Australian (along with The Age and Herald-Sun) but haven't read the weekend edition yet. Some of their longer-form reporting at the weekend is really good. Paul Kelly is always a compulsory read, and greg Sheridan is thoughtful and measured, though Chris Kenny is an out and out culture warrior.
I really identify (boom boom) with what he says about identity politics - I see that as a huge problem for democracies. We have lost all notion of a nation as a Commonwealth.

Belle
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Sat May 25, 2019 8:09 pm

barney wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:21 pm
Excellent article Sue, very astute and interesting. I get the Australian (along with The Age and Herald-Sun) but haven't read the weekend edition yet. Some of their longer-form reporting at the weekend is really good. Paul Kelly is always a compulsory read, and Greg Sheridan is thoughtful and measured, though Chris Kenny is an out and out culture warrior.
I really identify (boom boom) with what he says about identity politics - I see that as a huge problem for democracies. We have lost all notion of a nation as a Commonwealth.
I have Paul Kelly's book on the Rudd-Gillard years on my bookshelf, though haven't finished reading this. We both enjoy the long form essays and articles and the intelligent commentary from Kelly, in particular. Also respect and enjoy Troy Bramston - who seems like the nicest fellow in the media. "The Australian" carries commentary from both the left and right of politics and this is as it should be. I do miss Garry Johns and I don't know where he has landed these days. Kenny is a culture warrior but we find ourselves in agreement with him quite often, but he doesn't pretend to be objective. He is an erstwhile political staffer, like Peta Credlin and Troy Bramston. These people know a lot of what they're talking about re politics!!

Rach3
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Rach3 » Sun May 26, 2019 9:55 am

Belle wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 4:09 pm
Here's a good article in this weekend's national broadsheet, "The Australian"..

" ... The answer seems to be that the actual concerns of “people like me” are often in strong opposition to the prevailing elite zeitgeist, including concerns about how their communities are being affected by uncontrolled immigration and the growing presence of Islam, the effect of globalisation and climate change policies on traditional occupations ... "
Or , in other words, I have not kept up with , and am not able to do, what is required to be successful in a globalized, hi-tech World ( where climate change is a factor ) so I'm scared , and thus mad , looking for someone else to balme ?

Belle
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Sun May 26, 2019 4:16 pm

No, that's not it at all.

barney
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by barney » Sun May 26, 2019 6:00 pm

No Rach 3, that's not what I take from it either, though it may well be true of some people. And I understand that most people who believe in "political correctness" do so from genuine motives for the best, ie correcting injustices.

My concern about identity politics is that it is divisive and reductionist, and removes the impulse towards a common wealth, the notion that we share a nation together and take joint responsibility for its welfare. It is replaced by narrow, sectional interests, all demanding immediate recompense for a perceived victimhood. Sometimes - the pre-civil rights US is a common example - those perceptions are amply justified. Sometimes they are more contentious. And sometimes legitimate concerns are used illegitimately to silence opponents, such as the ludicrous movement in universities that insists students should at all times feel "safe" and therefore not be exposed to ideas that challenge them -the exact antithesis of what I was brought up to believe a university education should involve. I read recently that within the LGetc community there is a move to ban the word vagina in association with females on the grounds that trans women don't have them and feel left out. Sorry, it's a useful and important word.

Belle
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Sun May 26, 2019 7:32 pm

barney wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 6:00 pm
No Rach 3, that's not what I take from it either, though it may well be true of some people. And I understand that most people who believe in "political correctness" do so from genuine motives for the best, ie correcting injustices.

My concern about identity politics is that it is divisive and reductionist, and removes the impulse towards a common wealth, the notion that we share a nation together and take joint responsibility for its welfare. It is replaced by narrow, sectional interests, all demanding immediate recompense for a perceived victimhood. Sometimes - the pre-civil rights US is a common example - those perceptions are amply justified. Sometimes they are more contentious. And sometimes legitimate concerns are used illegitimately to silence opponents, such as the ludicrous movement in universities that insists students should at all times feel "safe" and therefore not be exposed to ideas that challenge them -the exact antithesis of what I was brought up to believe a university education should involve. I read recently that within the LGetc community there is a move to ban the word vagina in association with females on the grounds that trans women don't have them and feel left out. Sorry, it's a useful and important word.
Bravo; couldn't agree more!! And there are people out there legitimately concerned about technology; robots could soon be making them completely redundant - from driver-less cars (it's a statistical fact that driving is the occupation of choice for people on the lower educational rungs) right through to building cars and much else besides. I learned from teaching how difficult it was going to be even for the kids in the average classes (the majority!) right down to the bottom percentile. But many of those average kids will go into trades and employ people themselves; those without that entrepreneurial instinct will fare far less well, ending up in service industries, the defense forces (if they'll take them) or on welfare.

There's something of extreme condescension from people who talk down to the, er, deplorables. They might not have university degrees but they have common sense and humanity in spades; that's been my experience. When we were farming the average 'joe' with whom I had zero in common would be the first there to help, if that was needed. My son still says this in his wine-making business; I complained recently that I didn't like the owner of the trucking company who delivered his wine and he said, "you're wrong about Greg; he would do anything for you!". These people have families, self-respect and rights and they will be heard!!

lennygoran
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by lennygoran » Sun May 26, 2019 8:14 pm

barney wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 6:00 pm
My concern about identity politics is that it is divisive and reductionist,
Barney exactly what Trump relies on-you got it! Let's not forget that he called those Nazis good people--Jews will not replace us." Regards, Len :(

Rach3
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Rach3 » Tue May 28, 2019 8:38 am

A perspective from a conservative columnist at the NYT:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/24/opin ... ralia.html
"...Progressives are now speeding, Thelma and Louise style, toward the same cliff they went over in the 1970s and ’80s. But unlike the ’80s, when conservatives held formidable principles about economic freedom and Western unity, the left is flailing in the face of a new right that is increasingly nativist, illiberal, lawless, and buffoonish. It’s losing to losers.
It needn’t be this way. The most successful left-of-center leaders of the past 30 years were Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. They believed in the benefits of free markets, the importance of law and order, the superiority of Western values, and a healthy respect for the moral reflexes of ordinary people. Within that framework, they were able to achieve important liberal victories.
Political blunders and personal shortcomings? Many. But neither man would ever have been bested by someone like Trump..."

Belle
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Tue May 28, 2019 12:32 pm

Too extremist a view for me to take seriously!!

barney
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by barney » Tue May 28, 2019 5:31 pm

Really? I think there's a lot to it (if we are talking about Rach3's conservative commentator). Extremes on both sides today have a moral compass that I don't recognise, but I think the commentator is right about Clinton and Blair - they could not have had the appeal they did had they been fixated on the sort of agendas - such as gender fluidity and all sorts of groups claiming victim status - that are the mainstay of far left and right today. They had a moral compass we could all recognise, even if some of us disagreed with parts of it. (Hindsight has been a bit cruel to both.)
When I say groups should not claim victim status it is not because there are no victims. But to see yourself entirely as a victim is to place yourself in the hands of others and lose agency: "it's not my fault, there's nothing I can do, it's up to others to fix it"

barney
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by barney » Tue May 28, 2019 5:43 pm

lennygoran wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 8:14 pm
barney wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 6:00 pm
My concern about identity politics is that it is divisive and reductionist,
Barney exactly what Trump relies on-you got it! Let's not forget that he called those Nazis good people--Jews will not replace us." Regards, Len :(
Yes, that was certainly a low point. I despaired at that.

Belle
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Tue May 28, 2019 6:07 pm

barney wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 5:31 pm
Really? I think there's a lot to it (if we are talking about Rach3's conservative commentator). Extremes on both sides today have a moral compass that I don't recognise, but I think the commentator is right about Clinton and Blair - they could not have had the appeal they did had they been fixated on the sort of agendas - such as gender fluidity and all sorts of groups claiming victim status - that are the mainstay of far left and right today. They had a moral compass we could all recognise, even if some of us disagreed with parts of it. (Hindsight has been a bit cruel to both.)
When I say groups should not claim victim status it is not because there are no victims. But to see yourself entirely as a victim is to place yourself in the hands of others and lose agency: "it's not my fault, there's nothing I can do, it's up to others to fix it"
It would be good to have names and specific examples of the buffoons on the new Right. I don't know anything about American politics and I wouldn't want to comment directly on that. But outside the USA, if you can cite some exemplars of 'a new right' described in the NYT. Which countries have these governments, or have had them recently?

Blair was regarded by many as a war criminal and he was literally de-platformedfrom fashionable society.

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by lennygoran » Tue May 28, 2019 7:28 pm

barney wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 5:31 pm
They had a moral compass we could all recognise,
Barney that sure eliminates Trump --probably his Republican cohorts as well. McConell and Graham the worst offenders by far. Regards, Len :(

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by lennygoran » Tue May 28, 2019 7:30 pm

barney wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 5:43 pm
Yes, that was certainly a low point. I despaired at that.
Barney there's been much more-Trump is dangerous and now with Barr I'm really concerned. Regards, Len :(

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Rach3 » Tue May 28, 2019 9:21 pm

Belle wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:07 pm
But outside the USA, if you can cite some exemplars of 'a new right' described in the NYT. Which countries have these governments, or have had them recently?
From the opening of the article ( link to entire article, not a long article ,was posted here earlier, including concerns the author has about " progressives " ) :

"More than 600 million Indians cast their ballots over the past six weeks in the largest democratic election in the world. Donald Trump won.
A week ago, several million Australians went to the polls in another touchstone election. Trump won.
Citizens of European Union member states are voting in elections for the mostly toothless, but symbolically significant, European Parliament. Here, too, Trumpism will mark its territory.
Legislative elections in the Philippines this month, which further cemented the rule of Rodrigo Duterte, were another win for Trumpism. Ditto for Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election in Israel last month, the election of Jair Bolsonaro as president of Brazil last October, and Italy’s elevation of Matteo Salvini several months before that.
If past is prologue, expect the Trumpiest Tory — Boris Johnson — to succeed Theresa May as prime minister of Britain, too.
In 2016, at a campaign rally in Albany, Trump warned: “We’re gonna win so much you may even get tired of winning. And you’ll say, please, please, it’s too much winning, we can’t take it anymore.”
Tell us about it.
Trump’s name, of course, was on none of the ballots in these recent elections. His critics should take no comfort in that fact.
In India, Narendra Modi won his re-election largely on the strength of his appeals to Hindu nationalism and anti-Muslim sentiment. In Australia, incumbent Scott Morrison ran against the high cost of climate action, including in lost jobs, and won a stunning upset. In the U.K., Trump surrogate Nigel Farage looks like he and his Brexit Party will be the runaway victors in the European elections. In Brazil and the Philippines, the political appeal of Bolsonaro and Duterte seems to be inversely correlated to their respect for human rights and the rule of law, to say nothing of modern ethical pieties.

The common thread here isn’t just right-wing populism. It’s contempt for the ideology of them before us: of the immigrant before the native-born; of the global or transnational interest before the national or local one; of racial or ethnic or sexual minorities before the majority; of the transgressive before the normal. It’s a revolt against the people who say: Pay an immediate and visible price for a long-term and invisible good. It’s hatred of those who think they can define that good, while expecting someone else to pay for it.
When protests erupted last year in France over Emmanuel Macron’s attempt to raise gas prices for the sake of the climate, one gilets jaunes slogan captured the core complaint: “Macron is concerned with the end of the world,” it went, while “we are concerned with the end of the month.”
This is a potent form of politics, and it’s why I suspect Trump will be re-elected next year barring an economic meltdown or foreign-policy shock."

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Tue May 28, 2019 11:00 pm

Australian PM Scott Morrison has nothing to do with Donald Trump. Sorry, but he's never mentioned in this country!! The Indian PM has a whole set of different problems to deal with than the already-developed world; in many ways it's an impossible democracy, and I've always thought so. Political assassination is a daily reality in that country.

I still don't see the 'new right' governments which apply to that article. Unless you think 'populism' qualifies as that. I don't. There are populist parties of both left and right; think Venezuela, where you cannot even drink the water. There will always be a rotation of political parties being voted in democratically; it's the merry-go-round and swings effect. Today's rooster, tomorrow's feather duster. There's an increasingly repressive regime getting up a head of steam in Hungary, but that country has a history of dealing with authoritarianism; in short, it's not such a leap for them.

And presumably you don't agree with this, as you've already mentioned our intolerance to muslims here in Australia!

https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/05/2 ... -semitism/

As I respect your musical opinions, I don't want to get involved in argument. I cannot take any notice of that 'conservative' on the NYT - the same newspaper which accused a mild-mannered, gentleman conservative like Dr. Jordan Peterson of being a 'misogynistic, bigoted fascist who hates homosexuals and trans people'. Insults are never arguments and that's how I feel about the tenor of that article you've included from the NYT.

Sorry, I just see too much hatred in much of that. And that just isn't my style.

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by lennygoran » Wed May 29, 2019 5:59 am

Rach3 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 9:21 pm
This is a potent form of politics, and it’s why I suspect Trump will be re-elected next year barring an economic meltdown or foreign-policy shock."
I'm not as pessimistic as you-disclaimer-I just read the Amash tweets! Regards, Len :lol: :lol: :lol:

https://twitter.com/justinamash?ref_src ... r%5Eauthor

BTW Steve Bannon is making trouble in Italy where he's setting up an academy. :(

https://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/ ... vp-BBVUcdA

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Rach3 » Wed May 29, 2019 5:27 pm

lennygoran wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 5:59 am
BTW Steve Bannon is making trouble in Italy where he's setting up an academy. :(
Not surprising, a home of Facism and Emperors. Hard to imagine Bannon as a Vandal. Have always wondered why a people with such great wine, great food, great spirit, great music, great emotion,Catholicism ....

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by barney » Wed May 29, 2019 6:14 pm

I don't disagree that Morrison's government is essentially centrist, centre-right, and that seems to be the PM's own comfort ground. And losing Ton y Abbott - a man I personally found warm and decent the couple of times I met him - will take an albatross from the PM's neck. This is definitely his goverment. But there are certainly people with strong right-wing and authoritarian inclinations. If Peter Dutton had won the leadership last year I am entirely certain we would have a Labor government now.

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by lennygoran » Wed May 29, 2019 6:58 pm

Rach3 wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 5:27 pm
lennygoran wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 5:59 am
Have always wondered why a people with such great wine, great food, great spirit, great music, great emotion,Catholicism ....
Yeah I wonder too-still no one reminds me more of Mussolini than Trump. Regards, Len

PS-you forgot to include great opera!!! :lol:

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Thu May 30, 2019 1:54 am

Rach3 wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 5:27 pm
lennygoran wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 5:59 am
BTW Steve Bannon is making trouble in Italy where he's setting up an academy. :(
Not surprising, a home of Facism and Emperors. Hard to imagine Bannon as a Vandal. Have always wondered why a people with such great wine, great food, great spirit, great music, great emotion,Catholicism ....
It's a pity Gore Vidal isn't still alive to tell you; he made Italy his home for decades.

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by lennygoran » Thu May 30, 2019 5:37 am

Belle wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 1:54 am
It's a pity Gore Vidal isn't still alive to tell you; he made Italy his home for decades.
That made me think of those debates between Vidal and Buckley--talk about political drama! Regards, Len :lol:

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Rach3 » Thu May 30, 2019 8:57 am

Belle wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 1:54 am
It's a pity Gore Vidal isn't still alive to tell you; he made Italy his home for decades.
" Write something, even if it's just a suicide note. "
" Roses are red, violets are blue,I'm a schizophrenic, and so am I."
" As a schizophrenic, you never have to eat alone."
"I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin."
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/gore_vidal

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Rach3 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:32 pm


Belle
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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:01 pm

Rach3 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:32 pm
And now this ??? :
https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/05/media/au ... index.html
My son works for the Prime Minister in his inner circle and has had a top security clearance, which is very involved. He is, by federal law, unable to discuss anything - and he wouldn't anyway, NO MATTER WHAT because he is fiercely loyal and 100% discreet. The same goes for the people who tip off the media and who are in positions of security within government; they are bound by the same federal laws prohibiting breach of security. The AFP are out looking for the government employee who leaked national security details and using the journalists to find the names. People here have huffed and puffed about 'press freedom' - let's ask Julian Assange what he thinks about this and how well it worked out for him!! Journalists have become lazy; they rely on phone calls from government leakers rather than doing the leg-work of old, which was the traditional role of the investigative journalist.

I wouldn't want to be in a government where I was fearful every time something was mooted for action or even canvassed as a possibility if I knew one of the inner circle was blabbing to the media. There was an old saying from WW2: "loose lips sink ships".

Are you going to rely upon the media to save the people if push comes to shove from a foreign aggressor? There is a rule which every single person who has ever been in business knows: don't tell the right hand what the left hand is doing because you are competing in the marketplace and don't want to prejudice your own position. Please take that as a metaphor for unfettered press freedom which must always balance the 'right to know' with other criteria.

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Rach3 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:41 pm

The history of the 20th,21st centuries suggests we have as much to fear from our national governments as from foreign aggressors.

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by barney » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:01 pm

I'm afraid, Sue, that you and I are definitely on opposite sides of the fence on this one. Much of the time politicians conflate national security and their own embarrassment. If it weren't for brave whistleblowers who risk their freedom, governments would do a lot more draconian stuff.
Every major royal commission we have had since Fitzgerald in the 1990s have come because brave journalists and whistleblowers and sexual abuse victims etc have defied the police, the courts and the governments. Each time governments had to be dragged kicking and screaming (except for the blatant political ones designed to embarrass the opposition, such as the pink batts one aimed at Kevin Rudd or the bottom of the harbour one in the '90s that so backfired on the Coalition Government). It is the free press alone that have made governments accountable. They will NEVER do so of their own volition. These raids are highly sinister and authoritarian, in my view. As someone who wrote a great deal about clergy sexual abuse from 2002 to 2013, I know how reluctant the police and courts were to act - it was dreadful revelation after revelation in the media that forced the Gillard Government to set up the royal commission. That's the power of a free press that you seem toregard as relatively trivial.
* Disclaimer alert: I was raided by the AFP about a decade ago after I broke a story about abuses in detention centres. One of my contacts gave me some government documents. It was only one - the story was based on a lot of legwork and interviews, not laziness. The AFP knew very well who the contact was from their own research, they just wanted the documents to prove it. I hid them in the office of another editor, and they were not found. The search was desultory. They did not even go through my computer. It seems quite different from the two raids this week.

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:29 pm

Apparently the whistle blower is an ex army lawyer and now he is fearful of jail. Naive beyond comprehension. There is an opportunity cost to these freedoms, as Assange would tell you. The Federal Police have the RIGHT to act as they have. In law, actually. On matters of Defense there is no second guessing.

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by barney » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:59 pm

The Federal Police have the right to act, true. It is because of some of the most draconian anti-freedom laws in the Western world. As we all know, legal does not necessarily mean moral or right. Only the most extraordinarily naive would trust governments and their agencies not to abuse powers given to them. It is one of the most frequently observed lessons of history, as Rach3 implied in his recent post. As I noted in my post above, such social improvements to abuses of power in Australia in the past 30 years have come about ONLY because of journalists, and almost always in the teeth of government opposition. Governments of all stripes want to be unaccountable and to do their dirty work in secret.
It is greatly to Malcolm Turnbull's credit that he refused to let the ASD spy on Australian citizens (articles this morning).

From the academic website The Conversation this morning,arguing that the raids ARE a threat to democracy:


The Australian Federal Police has this week conducted two high-profile raids on journalists who have exposed government secrets and their sources.

On Tuesday, seven AFP officers spent several hours searching News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst’s Canberra home, her mobile phone and computer. The AFP linked the raid to “the alleged publishing of information classified as an official secret”.

This stemmed from Smethurst’s 2018 article, which contained images of a “top secret” memo and reported that senior government officials were considering moves to empower the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) to covertly monitor Australian citizens for the first time.

Soon after, 2GB Radio Presenter Ben Fordham revealed he had been notified by the Department of Home Affairs that he was the subject of a similar investigation, aimed at identifying the source of classified information he had reported regarding intercepted boat arrivals.

And then on Wednesday, the AFP raided the ABC’s Sydney headquarters. This dramatic development was in connection with the 2017 “Afghan files” report based on “hundreds of pages of secret defence force documents leaked to the ABC”. These documents revealed disturbing allegations of misconduct by Australian special forces.

The reaction to the raids was immediate and widespread.

The New York Times quoted News Corp’s description of the Smethurst raid as “a dangerous act of intimidation towards those committed to telling uncomfortable truths”. The Prime Minister was quick to distance his government from the AFP’s actions, while opposition leader Anthony Albanese condemned the raids.

But to those familiar with the ever-expanding field of Australian national security law, these developments were unlikely to surprise. In particular, enhanced data surveillance powers and a new suite of secrecy offences introduced in late 2018 had sparked widespread concern over the future of public interest journalism in Australia.

The crackdown of the past few days reveals that at least two of the core fears expressed by lawyers and the media industry were well-founded: first, the demise of source confidentiality and, secondly, a chilling effect on public interest journalism.Source confidentiality

Upon finding out he was the subject of an investigation aimed at uncovering his sources of government information, Ben Fordham declared

The chances of me revealing my sources is zero. Not today, not tomorrow, next week or next month. There is not a hope in hell of that happening.

Source confidentiality is one of journalists’ most central ethical principles. It is recognised by the United Nations and is vital to a functioning democracy and free, independent, robust and effective media.

One of the greatest threats to source confidentiality is Australia’s uniquely broad data surveillance framework. The 2015 metadata retention scheme requires that all metadata (that is, data about a device or communication but not, say, the communication itself) be retained for two years. It may then be covertly accessed by a wide array of government agencies without a warrant. Some reports suggest that by late 2018, some 350,000 requests for access to metadata were being received by telecommunications service providers each year.
The government was not blind to the potential impact of this scheme on source confidentiality. For example, obtaining metadata relating to a journalist’s mobile phone could reveal where they go and who they contact and easily point to their sources.

This led to the introduction of the “Journalist Information Warrant” (JIW). This warrant is required if an agency wishes to access retained metadata for the direct purpose of identifying a professional journalist’s source.

So, access to a professional journalist’s metadata in order to identify a confidential source is permitted, provided the access has a particular criminal investigation or enforcement purpose and the agency can show it is in the public interest and therefore obtain a JIW.

This week’s raids suggest that either JIWs could not be obtained in relation to Smethurst, Fordham or the ABC Journalists, or the journalists’ metadata did not reveal their sources, or the AFP did not attempt to access their metadata.

Alternatively, if metadata had identified the journalists’ sources, it is less clear why these dramatic developments took place.

After 2015, journalists were advised to avoid using their mobile devices in source communications. They were also encouraged, wherever possible, to encrypt communications.

But in 2018, the government went some way to closing down this option when it introduced the complex and highly controversial Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018.

As well as expanding computer access and network access warrants, the Act provided a means for government agencies to co-opt those in the telecommunications industry to assist agencies with their investigations. This could include covertly installing weaknesses and vulnerabilities in specific devices, circumventing passwords or allowing encrypted communications to be decrypted. A warrant would then be required to access the device and communication data.

It is impossible to know whether Australian journalists have been targeted under the Act or had weaknesses or spyware installed on their personal devices. This week’s raids suggest the AFP would be prepared to target journalists under this framework in order to identify journalists’ confidential sources.

However, this could only be done for some purposes, including in the investigation of a secrecy offence.
Secrecy offences

In June 2018, the government introduced a suite of new espionage, foreign interference and secrecy offences. This included an offence of current or former Commonwealth officers communicating information, obtained by virtue of their position, likely to cause harm to Australia’s interests. This offence is punishable by imprisonment for seven years. If the information is security classified or the person held a security classification, then they may have committed an “aggravated offence” and be subject to ten years’ imprisonment.

This week’s raids reveal just how common it is for public interest journalism to rely on secret material and government sources.

Read more: Government needs to slow down on changes to spying and foreign interference laws

But the journalists themselves may also be facing criminal prosecution. The 2018 changes include a “general secrecy offence”, whereby it is an offence (punishable by imprisonment for five years) to communicate classified information obtained from a Commonwealth public servant. Fordham’s radio broadcast about intercepted boat arrivals was, for example, a clear communication of classified information.

Again, journalists are offered some protection. If prosecuted, a journalist can seek to rely on the “journalism defence” by proving that they dealt with the information as a journalist, and that they reasonably believed the communication to be in the public interest. The meaning of “public interest” is unclear and, in this context, untested. However, it will take into account the public interest in national security and government integrity secrecy concerns as well as openness and accountability.
Protecting media freedom

Australia has more national security laws than any other nation. It is also the only liberal democracy lacking a Charter of Human Rights that would protect media freedom through, for example, rights to free speech and privacy.

In this context, journalists are in a precarious position – particularly journalists engaged in public interest journalism. This journalism is vital to government accountability and a vibrant democracy, but has a tense relationship with Australia’s national interests as conceived by government.

National security law has severely undercut source confidentiality by increasing and easing data surveillance. National security laws have also criminalised a wide array of conduct related to the handling of sensitive government information, both by government officers and the general public.

And these laws are just a few parts of a much larger national security framework that includes: control orders, preventative detention orders, ASIO questioning and detention warrants, secret evidence, and offences of espionage, foreign interference, advocating or supporting terrorism, and more.

JIWs, and the inclusion of a journalism defence to the secrecy offence, recognise the importance of a free press. However, each of these protections relies on a public interest test. When government claims of national security and the integrity of classifications is weighed into this balance, it is difficult to see how other interests might provide an effective counterbalance.

One of the most disturbing outcomes is not prosecutions or even the raids themselves, but the chilling of public interest journalism. Sources are less likely to come forward, facing risk to themselves and a high likelihood of identification by government agencies. And journalists are less likely to run stories, knowing the risks posed to their sources and perhaps even to themselves.

Against this background, the calls for a Media Freedom Act, such as by the Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom, have gained significant traction. It may take this kind of bold statement to cut across the complexities of individual laws and both recognise and protect the basic freedom of the press and the future of public interest journalism in Australia.

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:10 am

It's not just 'draconian' media laws; what about my son treated like a criminal in the Family Court because he's a male? The local FEMALE cop in Perth told him "90% of our business is FVROs brought by women against men, 5% of which are justified".

There are far worse tyrannies than loss of freedom of the press; ask any man who has lost his money, his children and his home thanks to the Family Court in this country. And there is no right of appeal in any jurisdiction in this country.

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by barney » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:52 am

Sue, I'm really sorry at the evident injustice done to your son, and to many fathers in this country. I agree that many seem to be really badly treated by a system geared up to see them automatically as the offenders. (And of course when it comes to violence they usually are, though this has nothing to do with your son.) I've heard some terrible stories too. And again (though I don't suggest the slightest parallel with your son) I remember strongly supporting a man I knew a little through church (supporting emotionally, that is), but it turned out he really was the paedophile his wife alleged he was, and we had thought it was a device to influence court proceedings. So it's not always simple, even if your son's case is.

And I'm sorry for you too, as I'm sure it must be hard to be robbed of your grandchildren.
But... but... you can't justify one moral harm by comparing it with another moral harm. What is happening to your son is wrong, as you say, and the media raids were also wrong. I am slightly surprised and delighted by the overwhelming response saying we need a healthy free press for a healthy democracy, and we can't have a free press under the current data and security laws.

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:45 am

Democracy is not much use to my son and many thousands in the same tyrannical boat - many who have killed themselves already because of despair. These are the things which concern ordinary Australians. And it's virtually what Anglican Dean Jensen (I think that was his name) from Sydney said tonight on "The Drum"; that average Australians aren't concerned about these things and they'll see it as the government protecting their security. I personally feel it's an issue for the chattering classes because real tyranny exists daily for lots of Australians - like the one I've described - and nobody says anything or does anything about it. And, of course, de-platforming of people from universities; basic freedoms of speech are missing and this must come before anything else. Right now the loudest, shoutiest people have control of the agenda and Aussies have had it up to here. Ergo, the Israel Folau case and others are also shouted down because they don't adhere to the prevailing orthodoxies. You yourself have commented about your concerns regarding religious freedoms; these things are all parts of the same whole; one cannot exist without the other. It's a bit like saying you have diabetes and heart disease but are otherwise healthy!!

Women are violent in the home; my closest friend's son has just been hospitalized due to the stress of regular attacks; having been hit in the head with flying objects, abuse, clothes being torn and threats from a drunken female partner. He won't do anything about it with police because he knows she only has to say the word and he'll be blamed for all of it. There are legions of stories like this but we only hear about men. Just in our area alone one woman - Kathleen Folbigg - killed 4 of her babies and just 10 minutes' drive from my house a woman shot her husband, self and 3 children about 10 years ago. As the mother of 3 adult males - two of whom have been punished by a family court system not at all interested in hearing from them - I'm surely not going to be concerned about freedom of the press. It's a false freedom when you don't have basic rights elsewhere.

Both my boys contacted me in the last days and asked why nobody is talking about the fact that 2 women have killed their children in the last week; one jumped from a lookout at Mt. Keira with her 2y/o daughter and the other ploughed into an oncoming truck in Queensland, killing herself and 4 children under 6. And there was barely a mention of the woman in North Queensland who killed 7 children a few years ago. If these crimes had been perpetrated by men we would never have heard the end of it. Violent episodes from women are airbrushed away through politically correct censorship. Where is the media in support of dissidents like Dr. Jordan Peterson who refuses to be mandated in his speech by Canadian law?

Censorship and Thought Control are thriving despite our so-called cherished freedoms of the press. One person's 'freedom' is another person's tyranny.

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by barney » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:50 am

How is a free press someone's tyranny? Only a tyrant need fear a free press (leaving aside for now the rather vexed issue of media's commercial interests).
Have you not accepted any of my arguments about the need for a free press in a healthy democracy? Are you one of the increasing number of Australians, mostly younger, who do not value democracy? If not, fair enough, that's your position and you are entitled to it, but it certainly renders further discussion fruitless.
At the moment it seems to me your argument amounts to this: Jack (free press) is being bashed up by bullies (AFP), but you don't care at all because John (your sons) is being bashed up by bullies (Family Court etc). Wouldn't it be better to oppose all bullies?

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Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:09 pm

barney wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:50 am
How is a free press someone's tyranny? Only a tyrant need fear a free press (leaving aside for now the rather vexed issue of media's commercial interests).
Have you not accepted any of my arguments about the need for a free press in a healthy democracy? Are you one of the increasing number of Australians, mostly younger, who do not value democracy? If not, fair enough, that's your position and you are entitled to it, but it certainly renders further discussion fruitless.
At the moment it seems to me your argument amounts to this: Jack (free press) is being bashed up by bullies (AFP), but you don't care at all because John (your sons) is being bashed up by bullies (Family Court etc). Wouldn't it be better to oppose all bullies?
My original point was that, through our court system, we have government-controlled tyranny already; guilt without the need for proof. How is that NOT a breach of the most basic constitutional rights? The media not only has done nothing about it but for reasons of self-censorship will not even discuss the matter. Too much white privilege for those toxic males; not fashionable. The media will not challenge or make accountable the courts in general; this is one of the few remaining professions which still has no public accountability. And did you know that women in New Zealand are the main instigators of domestic violence? Who knew? There is one person in Australia standing up for the rights of males in this country - Bettina Arndt - and she's been de-platformed from all but "The Australian" and subjected to bans and shutting down at universities when she goes to address students. Where is the press on this important issue of freedom? "The Spectator", "Spiked Online" and "The Australian" are the only news outlets even discussing this. Not what I'd call a 'healthy democracy'. Prof. Jordan Peterson banned from Cambridge University because he had his picture taken with a man wearing an anti-muslim t-shirt. This isn't freedom; it's tyranny. We have it already and nobody is looking.

Barney, the press is on the nose; have you not noticed this? People are turning away from it in droves in favour of alternatives eg. U-Tube and other, independent, sources. It seems to me rather late in the day to discuss freedom of the press when it no longer holds the authority and prestige it once did; and there are reasons for that. When the Fourth Estate decided to take sides big time the people turned off. (I recommend some of the excellent discussions from the Intellectual Dark Web participants on this subject.) The digital age has disrupted the conventional Fourth Estate and their response seems largely to have been 'stick to the script' - when the opposite would seem like a better business plan. Fairfax merely doubled down after going broke and having to integrate with Channel 9. I don't think you can sheet the blame home to any Australian government for the current woes of, or threats to, the Fourth Estate. It has weakened itself. Where were the predictions of a Trump win, a Farage win, a Brexit or a Morrison win? Everybody was singing from the same, tired old hymn sheet!!

And it was Mary McAleese who wrote about one person's freedom being another's tyranny in a famous speech some decades ago; I know, because I taught that speech for the HSC Advanced English course. In short, liberties and freedoms always have an opportunity cost and are not unqualified and unlimited. Freedom takes many forms but, above all, it takes courage and a willingness to speak truth to power on any and all subjects, without fear or favour. I do not see this as a characteristic of the mainstream, largely partisan, press.

Obviously we're not going to agree about any of it, but it is a discussion worth having nonetheless.

barney
Posts: 3311
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by barney » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:01 am

Belle wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:09 pm
barney wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:50 am
How is a free press someone's tyranny? Only a tyrant need fear a free press (leaving aside for now the rather vexed issue of media's commercial interests).
Have you not accepted any of my arguments about the need for a free press in a healthy democracy? Are you one of the increasing number of Australians, mostly younger, who do not value democracy? If not, fair enough, that's your position and you are entitled to it, but it certainly renders further discussion fruitless.
At the moment it seems to me your argument amounts to this: Jack (free press) is being bashed up by bullies (AFP), but you don't care at all because John (your sons) is being bashed up by bullies (Family Court etc). Wouldn't it be better to oppose all bullies?
My original point was that, through our court system, we have government-controlled tyranny already; guilt without the need for proof. How is that NOT a breach of the most basic constitutional rights? The media not only has done nothing about it but for reasons of self-censorship will not even discuss the matter. Too much white privilege for those toxic males; not fashionable. The media will not challenge or make accountable the courts in general; this is one of the few remaining professions which still has no public accountability. And did you know that women in New Zealand are the main instigators of domestic violence? Who knew? There is one person in Australia standing up for the rights of males in this country - Bettina Arndt - and she's been de-platformed from all but "The Australian" and subjected to bans and shutting down at universities when she goes to address students. Where is the press on this important issue of freedom? "The Spectator", "Spiked Online" and "The Australian" are the only news outlets even discussing this. Not what I'd call a 'healthy democracy'. Prof. Jordan Peterson banned from Cambridge University because he had his picture taken with a man wearing an anti-muslim t-shirt. This isn't freedom; it's tyranny. We have it already and nobody is looking.

Barney, the press is on the nose; have you not noticed this? People are turning away from it in droves in favour of alternatives eg. U-Tube and other, independent, sources. It seems to me rather late in the day to discuss freedom of the press when it no longer holds the authority and prestige it once did; and there are reasons for that. When the Fourth Estate decided to take sides big time the people turned off. (I recommend some of the excellent discussions from the Intellectual Dark Web participants on this subject.) The digital age has disrupted the conventional Fourth Estate and their response seems largely to have been 'stick to the script' - when the opposite would seem like a better business plan. Fairfax merely doubled down after going broke and having to integrate with Channel 9. I don't think you can sheet the blame home to any Australian government for the current woes of, or threats to, the Fourth Estate. It has weakened itself. Where were the predictions of a Trump win, a Farage win, a Brexit or a Morrison win? Everybody was singing from the same, tired old hymn sheet!!

And it was Mary McAleese who wrote about one person's freedom being another's tyranny in a famous speech some decades ago; I know, because I taught that speech for the HSC Advanced English course. In short, liberties and freedoms always have an opportunity cost and are not unqualified and unlimited. Freedom takes many forms but, above all, it takes courage and a willingness to speak truth to power on any and all subjects, without fear or favour. I do not see this as a characteristic of the mainstream, largely partisan, press.

Obviously we're not going to agree about any of it, but it is a discussion worth having nonetheless.
No, fair enough, we will differ. But I am still staggered that an obviously intelligent and politically astute woman considers press freedom largely irrelevant. It seems that because you are bitter about the treatment of your sons (with which I do not argue), for you democracy is futile and not worth protecting.


One of the reasons the press is a bit quiet about the courts is - again - the quite draconian legislation about "scandalising the court" which gives judges power to jail journalists who offend them. Several journalists face jail right now over Pell coverage. And our defamation laws are vastly more restrictive than in the US. The press in Australia is relatively muzzled.


Yes, the press is vastly weaker than even 10 years ago, and much less still than 40 years ago, when I joined The Age. It has not handled the digital disruption at all well, and is being consistently ripped off by Google and Facebook who steal their content and grab the advertising that once supported journalism. But isn't that precisely the reason why we need to protect an endangered species that is so vital to a free society?

Belle
Posts: 2037
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:45 am

Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by Belle » Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:22 pm

Thanks for your comments and I do agree with some of them. You misunderstand me; I'm not against freedom of any kind - far from it. I've just seen it squandered carelessly by the Fourth Estate and now I find their fulminations disingenuous, to say the least. Rather than being embittered about my sons and the sons of my friends and relatives I've taken the political activist position and I've written many letters, some of them to my son's solicitor in Perth. My question is, 'where was and is the press in this very important issue of the loss of the most basic civil rights for men and their children through the Australian Family Court'? (Sound of crickets.) Where was the press when young students were mercilessly hunted down by the HRC because they used indigenous-only computers at UQ and complained about exclusion on Facebook? This is one of the most shocking kangaroo courts in this country - and I am appalled the Coalition lets it continue - but the Fourth Estate, except for News Limited, remained silent. I see that body and its execrable erstwhile head, Gillian Triggs, and her lock-step warrior Tim Soup...., as terrifying, authoritarian types never seriously questioned or challenged by the media. The rest of us were horrified by her and her desire to 'stop people talking (on certain topics) around the dinner table'. Where was the support for Bill Leak when he posted a satirical cartoon about aboriginal family dysfunction? This real, ongoing and horrifying fact of remote communities is largely airbrushed by most sections of the media. As I said, freedom is a juggling act; the security and well-being of the nation balanced by the right to know and the opportunity for people to take offense. We seem to take more notice of people being offended than any real discussion of the issues; they're largely partisan and politically motivated.

I take your point about laws with respect to the courts. Perhaps I should have expressed myself better; it is sentencing leniency and recidivism along with pathetic parole decisions which have endangered the community time and again but which seldom, if ever, are discussed. Whenever the issue arises certain arms of the media have cried "lora norder"!!! I found the comments of Jill Meagher's husband, who spoke after her brutal murder, compelling and tragically true. And yet that was the end of the discussion. The freedom to walk the streets unmolested is one of the most basic civil rights we can expect, and yet we do not have them - when clearly we could. A vigorous and free press is in the position to discuss the kind of justice we have in society and whether the opportunity cost for 'rehabilitation' actually serves the community and maintains confidence in the courts; a discussion the Fourth Estate has largely ignored. And we also need to be hearing discussions about whether the ongoing bias towards 'victimization' in the courts leads to better social outcomes and community safety - and not just from vested interests in the legal profession.

In short, the media took up its position and became an active participant and this has largely negated their current stance about being robbed of the very freedoms they didn't pursue on behalf of the people, and haven't done, for some long while.

barney
Posts: 3311
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by barney » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:22 pm

Thanks Sue. You have put your position well, and I have a lot of sympathy for you. Yes, the media does seem to hunt in packs, especially in politics - Fairfax (as was), Guardian and ABC on one side, News and Sky on the other. Certainly the media fails to look properly at all sorts of issues, there can be no argument there. All your criticisms have some merit, even to me.

I suppose, all that conceded, I still fall back to the idea that, however inadequate and selective the media, there is no other real check or balance that has any power or influence on governments or large corporations. The media are already hamstrung by meagre resources and a difficult economic model, but they should not be subject to intimidation by governments hoping to keep things silent and avoid embarrassment or accountability. The tax office whistleblower who faces 161 years in jail forced an inquiry that made 35 changes. Surely that is categorically in the public interest, and must be protected. I am gratified that many Australians agree.

lennygoran
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Location: new york city

Re: Australian Coalition government wins a 3rd term

Post by lennygoran » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:28 am

barney wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:22 pm
>I suppose, all that conceded, I still fall back to the idea that, however inadequate and selective the media, there is no other real check or balance that has any power or influence on governments or large corporations. The media are already hamstrung by meagre resources and a difficult economic model, but they should not be subject to intimidation by governments hoping to keep things silent and avoid embarrassment or accountability.
Barney this sure applies to the US-without the NYTimes and the Washington Post and CNN we'd really be in the dark-Trump has made lying into a norm--nearly an every day occurrence. I sure hope an impeachment inquiry opens soon-I'll be watching John Dean this afternoon-maybe he can wake up the country-it's gonna be rainy so I don't have to go out and garden! Regards, Len :lol:

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