Why s18C Must Be Retained

An excellent piece from Only the Sangfroid on why s18C must be kept and extended. Enjoy:

David Leyonhjelm is a terrible human. He has argued in favour of charging asylum seekers $50,000 for permanent residency (and then not providing them with welfare or support services). He claimed that the Sydney siege wouldn’t have occurred if more citizens carried guns. He has argued that Indigenous people are told ‘fairy tales’ in order […]

via No athletic program, no discipline, no book… Why @DavidLeyonhjelm must lose his s 18C case #auspol — Only The Sangfroid

Where is the Humanity? #BringThemHere

Peter Dutton has reached a new low in his recent remarks about the release of the Nauru files. He has not covered himself in glory in his response to the file’s release. Instead he has sought to blame the media (the messenger) and the veracity of the incident reports contained in the files.

In looking at the interactive provided by The Guardian, comments like this (randomly selected) cause great distress:


Why is Peter Dutton abrogating his responsibility here? What is to be gained by his determined abhorrent approach to the treatment of asylum seekers? There is no excuse this Government can produce that will cause me to agree to this policy.  There is no humanity in this policy. None.

His behaviour reminds me of a bully caught out. A bully claiming to be a victim.

It is time to stop the disrespectful treatment of asylum seekers and #bringthemhere. Bring them here to settle. Bring them here as compensation for the awful treatment they received. Bring them here to commence building a safe, healthy, fulfilling life.

Bring them here Peter Dutton and apologise for your Government’s policy.

Budget 2016

I did a word cloud analysis of both budget speeches. It’s very interesting that WILL was the most used word in both speeches.


Scott Morrison’s Budget Speech

Tax and jobs obviously an important issue for the Coalition.


Bill Shorten’s Budget Speech

Bill’s speech seems to focus more on Australia and Labor.


Two Podcasts: Connected Stories

Today I listened to two stories. The first on Roxanne Gray, who calls herself a bad feminist. I found it refreshing to hear her blunt views. I understood from her that women do not need to pander to men’s sensibilities. If men can’t navigate, say, looking after their child, a woman doesn’t need to show or teach them. How do women navigate looking after their children? Anyway, have a listen.

The second story covers domestic violence. The two stories are connected. In this story, one learns of a husband who has unlearned his need for control over his wife. It has taken ten years. Makes me cry to think that the very services (and more) are or have had funding cuts. Have a listen.

Where is the humanity?

An email I sent to  Peter Dutton and George Brandis

To Whom It May Concern
I am sick to the stomach of hearing and reading of the way asylum seekers have been treated by Australia. When did Australia de-humanise the people seeking asylum? 

We talk of the fair go, well where’s the fair go for the asylum seekers? Why have you removed Abyan from the care she needs only to return her to Nauru? Nauru is not a safe place for her or any of the other asylum seekers held there.

I do not buy the argument that stopping the boats saves lives. How many have died on those boats turned back into international waters? Do they not count? 

Begin treating asylum seekers with respect and humanity. Remove the populist politics from this issue by leading. By leading I mean, do not pander to those who think we are being over run by muslims or whatever other group. Lead the Australian population to understand why these people are seeking asylum. Lead the Australian people to be respectful of these people’s plight.

Take a stand and say no to viewing asylum seekers as other. They are not other. They are strong, brave and loving. They are like me. 

With respect

Tony Abbott’s Leadership – only good in fair weather

Tony Abbott’s leadership is non-existent in tough times. All I see is his determination to remain Prime Minister, no matter the cost.

No matter the cost. See, I’m repeating my words to be crystal clear. And the cost could be huge.

The recent announcement of our target on cutting pollution is pathetic. The Climate Council recommends the target be 45-65%. If jobs, economy and community well-being are Tony’s priorities why isn’t he embracing the renewable energy industry for more jobs and the economy? Why isn’t he considering the consequences for future generations of unaddressed climate change for community well-being?

The outcome of the joint party room meeting to allow members to have a free vote on same-sex marriage is pathetic. The Drum is running a poll:


I saw today that Tony Abbot said this: “if you want competence and political integrity you should stick with this government’ on #RNBreakfast AM. In this interview he refers to the pre-election promise (whatever that was) and keeping faith with that promise. He now wants to ‘do what we can to keep faith with the public’ … oh my goodness, this would be about the only pre-election promise that has endured. Sally McManus keeps track of this Government’s progress on it’s promises.

How many people has he turned away because of these two decisions? Especially since polls indicate broad support for action on climate change and marriage equality.

The fact that Tony Abbott thinks we do not remember stuff he says is funny except it’s not. In that AM radio interview he said, in relation to his comments after his ‘near death experience’ back in February that he said Good Government re-starts now. Well that is not my memory of what he said and it doesn’t take much digging to find the lie here and here. And here’s a look back at the good government’s progress. New Matilda wrote on this too, here and here

This leader of our country is cowardly, doesn’t take responsibility, passes the buck, blames Labor and is only ever a ‘good leader’ in fair weather. When the questions are easy to answer, when he can talk in three word slogans, when he’s among friends, he is comfortable, open, friendly, caring and displays fair weather leadership qualities. But, when the questions are hard he runs away; when three word slogans are not enough he runs away; when the crowd is unfriendly he runs away; and leadership in tough times runs away too.


Lifestyle Choices: Joyce’s Offensive Barb

Introducing Stephen Secomb. A guest blogger who I hope will continue to contribute to this blog

In his analysis of the National Party losses to the Greens in Ballina and Lismore, Barnaby Joyce slipped in a barb about the “lifestyle choices” of the people of Byron Bay and Nimbin.

He is, no doubt, correct in his assessment that peoples’ decision to live in these two places is primarily motivated by lifestyle choices.  So why is the comment so offensive?

The thing is, it is a political sleight of hand.  By pointing to this clear instance of lifestyle choice, Brandis references Tony Abbott’s assessment a couple of weeks ago that Indigenous Australians “have made a lifestyle choice” to live in remote WA communities and by implication gives apparent credence to Abbott’s  and Barnett’s decisions to close communities down.

Don’t be fooled, Australia: the two situations are utterly incomparable and the implicit comparison is completely invalid.

To see the difference between them, you need only ponder the relative needs that people are attempting to fulfil by their respective moves into these locations.

To take the Byron and Nimbin folk first, people have decided that living in the mainstream of Australian cities is unhealthy for their minds, bodies and souls.  They have taken the “sea change” and “tree change” decision and have used their (often considerable) financial resources to make the move to gentler, less mainstream communities.

This is not even remotely similar to the decisions Indigenous folk made when moving to the remote WA settlements.  Much has been made recently of the fact that, far from being long-established traditional sites, the communities  were in fact relatively recently settled.  In response, Indigenous leaders have pointed out that people have moved from established communities to these new settlements to escape the socially debilitating influences of alcohol and marijuana which are creating such havoc in many remote townships.  Thus, their choice to resettle has been motivated by a desire for safety, perhaps even survival.  The defunding and demolition of these communities is politically culpable, if not criminal under UN conventions.

But to return to my original argument, where folk in Byron and Nimbin are making a choice between viable lifestyles and opting for the less mainstream, WA indigenous people are making a choice to switch from an unviable “lifestyle” to one which is somewhat less unviable.  There is no comparison between the two and Joyce’s barb is a subtle attempt to hoodwink the Australian public into accepting the appalling demolition of the WA communities.