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Australian Democracy at a Tipping Point

By Paul G. Dellit

Well, we may well have reached the tipping point between genuine democracy in Australia and the beginnings of creeping fascism. You may think this to be one of those ‘shock-horror’ attention-grabbing opening sentences. It is. And I also believe it to be an unalloyed statement of the danger we now face.

History is littered with hindsight surprise that those with power and those who might have opposed those with power didn’t take action to avoid an obviously looming disaster. Of course, the ‘loomingness’ of disasters is often not appreciated by its contemporaries. It would be naive to expect otherwise. Couldn’t they see that the South Sea Bubble would burst? Couldn’t they see that a grossly overheated investment market populated with stocks that were either massively overvalued or worthless would result in ever-widening ripples of market failures and a worldwide Great Depression. Couldn’t they see you don’t fix Depressions by reducing the size of economies. Obviously they couldn’t see any of those things. And with the dawning optimism of a new century, they couldn’t even remember them, or if they could, they were playing that ‘main chance’ game of ‘I’ll make what I can make out of this and bugger all of the rest of them who lose the lot’.

Prime Minister Abbott and his acolytes, Ministers Dutton and Morrison, propose the passing of a law that would create a precedent for the end of the rule of law in this country. It would invest a Minister with the powers of policeman, judge and jury to act upon an untested suspicion of guilt to deprive an Australian of his/her citizenship. Following current LNP practice, the reasons for stripping someone of their citizenship would be deemed secret for security reasons. So this Ministerial power would be exercised covertly and absolutely beyond judicial or other form of independent review. The Minister would be required to form his suspicions on the basis of the intelligence provided to him. The name Dr. Haneef immediately springs to mind. But even if our security organisations and the foreign security organisations with whom they trade information were as infallible as our PM believes the Pope to be, and even if they had no self-interested agendas, the Minister invested with this power could exercise it to suit his own ends – say, just before an election – to manufacture a terrorist scare and then appear to be the ‘man of the hour’ who restores our peace of mind (coincidentally winning the votes of a few more undecided Alan Jones listeners to save his marginal seat).

The proponents of changing Australia from a Common Law country, based upon the Separation of Powers, to rule by Ministerial fiat, as their proposal would enable through the precedent it would establish, argue that they are honourable men who would exercise their new powers dispassionately, wisely, and in the public interest. Of course, this is irrelevant. Laws are not made to fit the character of current holders of high office. They are intended to safeguard against, as far as possible, abuse by those who are partisan, stupid, and prone to act in their own self-interest.

The proposed new law deliberately excludes those safeguards.

Consequently, we need some way of ensuring that the current and all subsequent Ministers, thus empowered, will ensure the intelligence they receive is impeccable, and will interpret that intelligence dispassionately, wisely, and in the public interest.

So let’s run an eye over the proponents of the new law, just for starters.

Malcolm Fraser considered Tony Abbott to be perhaps the most dangerous politician in Australian history. You may have thought that a little hyperbolic. I did. There can be little doubt that our current Prime Minister is the least equipped for high office since Sir William McMahon. And the record also shows that Prime Minister Abbott was able to pass through one of Australia’s finest schools and one of England’s finest universities untouched by exposure to academic research methods, the principles of logic and dispassionate evaluation, the values-free acquisition of knowledge, and even by the evidence that compassion and empathy are fundamental to social cohesion. It is apparent that his academic success is based upon often uncomprehended rote learning, the way he learned and then recited his Catechism as a small child. These are flaws in the makeup of the man that speak to his lack of intelligence and general incompetence.

But as we began to see in the run up to the most recent election, and as more information about Tony Abbott’s past was revealed, we began to understand that Malcolm Fraser’s assessment of him was, if anything, an understatement. We began to see his pathological need to win, we read of his violence against a woman when he lost, we observed his relentless, dishonest, misogynistic attacks upon Julia Gillard as part of his strategy to win office, we heard the litany of lies he told to win office, and the lies he has told about lying and about anything else to suit his purpose, after he had won office.

How could we ever contemplate granting power without safeguards to a person with such a pathological need to win, to get his own way, and to retain power regardless of the consequences for anyone else? Can we imagine Peter Dutton having the stomach to independently exercise his discretion against the wishes of Tony Abbott? It wouldn’t matter if he did. Tony Abbott has the Captain’s right to sack him and bestow that office upon himself if he needed to to get his own way. And can we imagine Scott Morrison doing anything that would compromise his leadership ambitions? Smug self-satisfaction was his only reaction to the human tragedy unfolding daily as the result of the exercise of his Ministerial discretion?

It was some small relief to know that the more intelligent members of Cabinet objected to the extreme Abbott proposal that second generation Australians could be stripped of their citizenship based on nothing more than a Minister’s suspicion, as we have said, covertly exercised and beyond judicial or other independent review.

But now, two thirds of the LNP Back Bench have signed a letter in support of the proposed Abbott law. They may be distinguished as a group for being considered not good enough to serve on the most incompetent Front Bench since Federation, but they may just give Tony the support he needs to make another ‘Captain’s Call’.

If Prime Minister Abbott does cross this Rubicon, so will Australia and God help Australian democracy when Ministers of any stripe use the precedent set by this law to expand its operation into other aspects of our lives to suit their own personal ends.

 


75 comments

  1. Keitha Granville

    “Well, we may well have reached the tipping point between genuine democracy in Australia and the beginnings of creeping fascism. ”

    Gosh, I think we reached that point ages ago. We’re well into full blown fascism now, Goebels would be proud. It is constantly astounding that so many people still have their heads firmly stuck in the sand of don’t know, don’t care, not my problem. And later when it comes back to bite them – and it will – they will say with wide eyed innocence “we didn’t know, we weren’t told”.

    You did, and you were.
    WAKE UP. This is not a dream, IT IS A NIGHTMARE.

  2. David

    Interesting article. I personally believe we have already crept over the threshold into facism. if Abbott wants this latest proposed act of bastardy he will get it. As you point out he is the captain and there are plenty of incompetents within the Govt ranks who would ‘do anything’ to curry favour.
    As in the game Abbott is playing with Marriage Equality, nothing is beyond this reptile.

  3. Tony Rabbit

    This week marks the start of draconian legislation which prevents workers on Nauru and other detention centres from speaking out about conditions and events happening within them by punishing them with up to 2 years gaol.

    These laws were passed with the assistance of the Labor party!

    We, as ordinary citizens, have no one on our side to defend our civil liberties – stripping citizenship, data retention, whislte-blower – It’s time we changed the voting system to reduce the power of the 2-party system.

    I, for one, will be voting Green this time around.

  4. Roscoe

    I am trying to find the names of the backbenchers who support the Rabbott on this, can anyone point me in the right direction?

  5. hemingway13

    This a cogent argument propounding the clear and present danger we face in our society. Moreover, the egregious fanaticism of the Abbott government is a symptom of the growing cancer that has nearly destroyed Australian democracy as we have moved rapidly toward oligarchy. U.S. Senator Sanders has characterised oligarchy succinctly as being a government controlled by a handful of the most wealthy and a concentrated corporate media dominating what the vast majority of voters get to read and hear.

    Murdoch, Rinehart, Stokes etc. are the puppeteers of Abbott’s Punch and Judy show. Next election, these oligarchs will go the mongrel in order to regain control of the Senate so that their “WorkChoices” genre of extremist legislation gets rushed right through and their Brave New Neo-fascistic Australia slouches toward Canberra to be born.

  6. brickbob

    We can only hope this lunatic does not get re elected and enough of the population wakes up and realise what a terrible mistake they have made. My anti virus software runs out in 2016,let’s hope Abbotts protection expires at the same time.””””””

  7. reality check

    stupid enough to do a deal with the devil for the sake of power and expect to come out on top

  8. Matt James

    Well to make matters worse is the Horrid TPP. This is the reason for the metadata/security crackdown. And horrifyingly it looks like that is successfully passing through US congress. I’m sure you all know of it, I posted some links on a facebook page being an invitation to a TPP meeting with Labor ministers, academics on the TPP.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/826914654052026/

    What is a bit odd is no one acknowledging it in any way. That could be my vanity clouding judgement but Labor has barely whispered about this thing and it feels like the meeting is more about answering questions so people can understand whats going on when it inevitably gets here??? Not “this is really f*cked, lets have a meeting about it.”

    Here are some links on Obama’s Trade Minister who is driving it. He has been the most forceful in pushing it, he was at Citigroup during the crash before working for the democrats HE WAS GIVEN $4MILLION OF BAIL OUT MONEY WHEN HE LEFT & NOW CITITGROUP HAVE BEEN 1 OF THE MOST FORCEFUL IN PUSHING THE TPP THROUGH AS WELL AS HIM.

    What a dreadful man he is, how dare he. Obama is better than that, very disappointing. But do check the links.

    http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2015/05/29/how-obamas-top-trade-representative-michael-froman-received-millions-from-citigroup-during-the-financial-crisis/

  9. Peter Naughton

    The essence of Western Democracy is the right to dissent and to express a view, either in thought or through deed, that may not at that particular time have the support of the majority. This is at times confronting to the so called silent majority but history shows that through democratic process the minority view may become that of the majority. Fascism, on the other hand, will not tolerate counter views and will use whatever means available, including the legal system with the support of their corporate masters aided and abetted by a toadying media, to enforce the will of the state. Abbott is a neo-fascist formed by a totalitarian Church and shaped by the environment of his own choosing. He is certainly a dangerous man!

  10. mars08

    Are you kidding?

    Australian democracy bolted through the tipping point with the “children overboard” fiasco. The new standard was well-and-truly set. Neither the MSM nor the electorate held the sleazy Howard government to account. The ALP gave them a free pass. And the rate of decay had been accelerating ever since!

  11. John Hermann

    The basic problem we face is that the corporate controlled media constitutes a giant propaganda and spin machine. It operates in support of powerful corporate interests and incessantly pushes the neo-liberal agenda. In order to achieve this, it habitually distorts reality, with little or no regard for truth, human rights, human welfare, environmental protection or sustainability. Its media channels present entertainment and fairy stories as “information” or “news”, and they are busily engaged in the enterprise of dumbing down the entire population. Until this abusive use of power and the control of what people are permitted to see and hear is wound back, we will continue to see dangerous and incompetent autocrats climbing to the top of the political tree.

  12. mysay

    What is Abbott and his government doing to australia ,what happens to the rule of law,how can a minister take away your life your citizenship,you don’t have any rights,
    we are a country of 25 million people,and a handfull of young radicals are rebelling,how many deaths have we had from a terrorist,this is fear mungering at it’s best ,all for votes and power this man is a dictator answerable to no one We should all be afraid of this government

  13. Harquebus

    @Tony Rabbit
    I totally agree. Once more, the Labor Party has let us down miserably. How anyone can have any respect for and support them I do not know.

  14. June Dunbar

    Having read these comments and being in total agreement, I would like to hear comments about , for instance, what do the Greens have to offer, I am absolutely stunned at labor’s pathetic right wing approach to all of this Liberal Party Fascist movement on the country,Never seen anything like this in all my years of watching the actions of Politicians.I am one very ordinary citizen, ASKING, How do we stop this HIDEOUS Government from moving into full blown Fascist Politics…June Dunbar…

  15. pamelac65

    It is some small comfort that at least there are critical minds out there looking at our descent into Fascism.

    Tony Rabbitt makes the point that BORDERFORCE BILL has now passed with consent of Labor – doctors nurses and social workers risk 2 years prison plus if they make public the most egregious human rights abuse on Nauru.

    In the next few weeks the Good Order in Detention bill comes before the Senate- Labor looks like rolling over on this one as well. Worth remembering that at the Senate inquiry hearing in Sydney, Former judge of the Victorian Court of Appeal Stephen Charles QC gave evidence saying the law allowed security guards to use lethal force “with impunity” because it would be “almost impossible” for them to face prosecution in the courts.

    “These amendments will authorise detention centre guards to beat asylum seekers to death if they reasonably believe it is necessary to do so to save either themselves or another person from serious harm,” he said.

    As of last week, men and women in detention are now subject to not only electronic wanding but also pat down searching where guards run their hands over their bodies and up their legs. Until now only the men were subject to this. many of the women in Melbourne are from Nauru where they have been subject to sexual assault of various types. They are terrified by this new rule. It is causing maximum distress with many refusing to go to medical appaointments becasue they are not allowed unless they are body searched.

    Children are witnessing this distress of their mothers. It culminated last week with a mother and father who questioned the process having their medical appointment canacelled and then told that they had to be searched anyway. Their 7 and 9 year old children watched as parents were pushed to the ground with maximum force, arms shoved up backs and knees into the back of the mother who has a painful back condition.

    Just a small incident among many.

    What will it take for white Australians to realise that they are sleepwalking into fascism. What is being do today to Aboriginal People and their Children and to Asylum Seekers both on and offshore will eventually be the lot of the Australian people who so far are supporting or ignoring the dying democracy which they have taken for granted.

  16. mars08

    I can’t help wondering…. how many Abbott supporters would be happy to see those powers in the hands of a Greens minister?? Note: recent deals, developments and political maneuvers prevent me from considering the ALP as the opposite of the LNP.

  17. stephentardrew

    Mars08:

    Completely agree we went past the tipping point long ago. The vain hope that repairing economic rationalism and supply side economics will turn the ship around are absurdly naive. They have been working on this shit for decades and the tipping point is merely a conceptual horizon of no particular help. If the paradigm is so deeply infiltrated by the doyens of greed and self-interest then the so called tipping point was reached the day power was handed to the oligarchs and corrupt politicians.

    Its just that most people thought things were going swimmingly while they were given en-suit lollies and false hope while being shafted. This is a long term plan thats been in the pipeline for decades to exploit the third world to undermine national employment, benefits and conditions. There is no tipping point because the doyens of greed have never turned form their neo-con goals of total control and ownership on a global scale.

    Anyone who thinks otherwise has been sleeping.

  18. Bill Morris

    The signs of “creeping fascism” have been plainly obvious for some time now, but few people bother to read signs.

  19. mars08

    Kochie verbally slammed Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash live on TV…. and told her to “get a backbone”. Golly! WTF?

    Do you need any further proof that Australia is NOT a fascist state? After all….. Kochie wasn’t taken into the SEVEN car park and shot…

  20. stephentardrew

    mysay:

    It’s not what Abbott has done, or is doing, the current state of affairs has well and truly evolved with the complicity of the Labor right. Why the hell is Shorten more unpopular than Abbott? There are deeper social and psychological trends going on here and the new divide is still the old divide between labour and corptocracy while both major parties joined in the neo-con circus.

    I am totally disgusted and ashamed of what was once my Labor party.

    We need to critically attack the whole notion of capitalism self-regulation and the ridiculous concept of a free market that, in point of fact, the financial sector, corptocracy and corrupt politicians control.

    Until Labor makes a moral stand on workers rights and refugees they can go to hell as far as I am concerned. The workers party that lost its moral compass is no workers party. If you are middle class, working poor, or poor you belong to the means of production and as such need to make a stand against rampant greed and corruption of our polity.

  21. mars08

    “Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.”

    ~Reichsmarschall Hermann Goring, at the Nuremberg trials, 1946

    Nazi Radio Propaganda… From 1933 to 1939, the Nazi government subsidised the manufacture of over 7 million “Volksempfänger” (people’s radio receivers)…Large version Volksempfänger were often wired to loudspeakers in public places. The government support ensured that the Volksempfänger were affordable and accessible.

    It’s worth considering that, in Australia, Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers are run at a loss…

  22. Harquebus

    “democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive it. Convenience and decency cannot survive it. As you put more and more people onto the world, the value of life not only declines, but it disappears. It doesn’t matter if someone dies.” — Isaac Asimov

  23. Jexpat

    Mar08:

    Rick Salutin had a piece today in The Toronto Star that sums this all up rather well:

    What Moby Dick Can Teach Us About the War on Terror

    “…The cultural source of this pattern is Captain Ahab’s pursuit of the white whale in Moby Dick, written in 1851. It’s the whiteness that’s hypnotic. “Were it not for the whiteness, you would not have that intensified terror,” says the narrator. Interesting word to use, at a time when terror hadn’t yet become an ism, though it had been a reign (of).

    Whiteness lets you project anything you choose onto it, it’s like green screen today (Moby Dick as the green whale?). Ahab says, “Sometimes I think there’s naught beyond. But ’tis enough … I will wreak that hate on him.” The U.S. always projected this way; it’s a metaphysical country.

    During the Cold War, writes Greg Grandin, “politics was often presented as metaphysics.” Nazis and Soviets “were understood as motiveless, driven by a hatred of freedom.” So when W. said “because they hate our freedoms,” to explain 9/11, it wasn’t as butt ignorant as he sounded. He was in the tradition. Same for Reagan calling the Soviet Union the evil empire in the 1980s. They have a genius for ignoring specifics or causes, and jumping to moral absolutes….”

    More here via Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/05/30/what-moby-dick-can-teach-us-about-war-terror

  24. Joan Seymour

    John Hermann, you have it right, especially with regard to “dumbing down the population”. While there’s no regard for rational thinking, the rules of argument and civil disagreement, there’s no way the population can be educated to analyse issues in the light of reason. We’ll find that these proposals will eventually become law because the majority of the population ‘feel’ they’re right. Look at the level of social media debate we find among people with a university education. This isn’t the fault of any one political party – it’s the fault of our real masters, none of whom were elected to the role.

  25. Terry2

    That we could even be thinking of giving a politician the power to strip a citizen of their citizenship based on a suspicion is totally ludicrous and here we have Peter Dutton, an ex Queensland copper, arguing that he should usurp the authority of the courts it really is quite alarming.

    Having said that, there is already a provision in the Australian Citizenship Act whereby Australian citizenship is automatically forfeited in these circumstances:

    35 Service in armed forces of enemy country
    (1) A person ceases to be an Australian citizen if the person:
    (a) is a national or citizen of a foreign country; and
    (b) serves in the armed forces of a country at war with Australia.
    (2) The person ceases to be an Australian citizen at the time the person commences to so serve.

    But this is only designed to apply to dual citizens or those who could be entitled to citizenship of a foreign country : the question is, who is the enemy.

    You may well wonder why Abbott is making such an issue of this !

  26. Colin Gradolf

    Added to these policy debacles we have the looming spectre of the TPP, which will effectively move lawmaking from the parliaments to the corporations and legal system.

  27. Darrell

    I haven’t believed in democracy for a while now. We have a range of other choices that come to mind; oligarchy, plutocracy, corporatocracy and my favourite one, “idiocracy”, where the general populace have been dumbed down to such an extent that all are oblivious to the continual decline of our social values and environment just to satisfy the endless lust for power and money by the rapacious corporations and multinationals that believe it is their inherent right. Or maybe I’m just a cynic?

  28. David

    @Terry2…votes Terry, the lunatic is in full election mode and this attempt to deprive a citizen of their citizenship is another move to gee up his red neck vote,there are plenty of them who have been sucked in by his phoney war on terror at home.
    I have been searching for any democratic country who has already instituted such a provision. I find none

  29. Pingback: Australian Democracy at a Tipping Point | THE PUB

  30. Jexpat

    All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it.

    ~Herman Melville

  31. Michael Taylor

    Anybody who supported the White Australia Policy or who supports the reintroduction of it is not welcome here.

  32. Fiona

    Paul G. Dellit,

    Thank you for a good article.

    The question of Australia’s possible slide into fascism is one that’s been disturbing me since 11 September 2000. I have written elsewhere about it – here, for instance:

    http://pbxmastragics.com/2013/10/27/nacht-und-nebel/

  33. Paul G. Dellit

    In my view:
    1. The ALP has pissed on the ‘light on the hill’ and none of them are bothering to look for the matches.
    2. Fascism was not created to oppose democracy but to control the masses for the benefit of a powerful ‘elite’. A law which empowers a Minister with the unfettered authority, exercised at his personal discretion, to exile a citizen born in Australia, sets a precedent for similar laws which could empower a Minister to arrest Koch for disrupting the orderly conduct of government. Such laws emasculate an independent judiciary, the rule of law, and provide the foundations of a fascist state. The likes of Abbott and Dutton are either too stupid to understand that or they do and believe that such laws will never be exercised by any other party but the LNP. I’m sure that Morrison would have that in mind. Once the genie is out of this bottle, any nut job party who gained power, say some messianic group who lied their way into office, could do what they liked.
    3. I think that Moby Dick was white to establish it as different from the norm, was cast in the role initially of a victim who responded with forceful violence, was pursued obsessively by Captain Ahab who was ultimately destroyed by his irrational obsession, with Moby Dick as the instrument of Ahab’s destruction.

    Paul G. Dellit

  34. Aortic

    H L Mencken’s words are proving more and more prescient. ” Tha aim of all practical politics is to keep the populace alamed, thence clamorous to be led to safety.” Anti terrorism this anti terrorism that, I am far more afraid of this idiot so called PM and his equally imbecilic front bench than any terrorism threat.

  35. Harquebus

    @Michael Taylor
    That is the easy way out and doesn’t really change anything. Try changing their minds. That would be something.

  36. Fiona

    Mars08,

    Australian democracy bolted through the tipping point with the “children overboard” fiasco.

    That was when I began to despair.

  37. Andreas Bimba

    “2/3 of the LNP backbench support these dictatorial powers” = Fascism.

  38. David Stephens

    Took a break at the idyllic Eurobodalla Coast today so am late to the discussion. Funnily enough I did a gig a couple of weeks ago where I compared Australia today with some characteristics of fascism.http://honesthistory.net.au/wp/militarism-fascism-anzacism-australian-progress-report-2015/ The authors quoted there, mainly Lawrence Britt, are not the last word on fascism but this para leaps out as one characteristic: ‘Obsession with Crime and Punishment: under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.’ Links hang off the above.

  39. mars08

    Are we to believe that, in October 1938, Walter and Helga von Deutschland were shocked and dismayed when German troops entered the Sudetenland? Everything that Hitler had done for the previous decade was within the law. He had simply twisted the system to suit his agenda… meeting with little or no opposition.

  40. Fiona

    Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. [Ism] gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about—we were decent people—and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies,’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?

    “To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘[patriot]’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.

    “How is this to be avoided, among ordinary men, even highly educated ordinary men? Frankly, I do not know. I do not see, even now. Many, many times since it all happened I have pondered that pair of great maxims, Principiis obsta and Finem respice—‘Resist the beginnings’ and ‘Consider the end.’ But one must foresee the end in order to resist, or even see, the beginnings. One must foresee the end clearly and certainly and how is this to be done, by ordinary men or even by extraordinary men? Things might have. And everyone counts on that might.

  41. Bilal

    Our Dear Leader is also a little more lenient to terrorism when it is of the Catholic variety.

    The worst terrorism in this country had in fact, a very right wing Christian base. Justice Hope’s 1978 report on ASIO, released in 2008 under the thirty year rule is worth reading.

    “Hope’s inquiry was partly prompted by ASIO’s relationship with the Croatian fascist group, the Ustasha. In the late sixties and early seventies, the Ustasha conducted the most serious terrorist campaign in Australian history, with bombings in Sydney in 1967, 1969 and 1972, Canberra in 1969, Melbourne in 1970 and 1972. Ustasha activities were discussed openly in the Croatian press but ASIO, while monitoring even the most mild-mannered activists of the Left, took no action whatsoever against these fully-fledged terrorists.” {Crikey May 28, 2008]
    What is astonishing is that as late as last year the Prime Minister of this country was represented at an Ustasha linked celebration of April 10.
    Independent Australia asked on 23 April 2014: “ Why did Liberal MP Craig Kelly give a speech at a function celebrating the creation of a Croatian fascist state on behalf of PM Tony Abbott? Dr Binoy Kampmark looks at the uncomfortably close links between the NSW Liberal right and European neo-Nazi extremists.
    THE OCCASION WAS A SPEECH given by Craig Kelly MHR, a representative of Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Being in Japan, Abbott had delegated the task of congratulating members of the Australian Croatian community in Sydney on Croatian independence attained in 10 April. This was more than a bit awkward, given that April 10 was the date of the establishment of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) after the Kingdom of Yugoslavia ceased to exist under Axis rule in 1941. If ever you wanted to back some unsavoury company, you couldn’t do much better than officials and sympathisers of the NDH. It has led to an international incident, with Croatia summoning the Australian ambassador yesterday for an explanation. “[independentaustralia.net ]
    It is hard to believe the PM was unaware of the significance of April 10. Has he heard of Jasenovac?

  42. Fiona

    Bilal,

    The links between the Ustasha and the “modern” NSW Liberals (at both state and federal levels) are deeply disturbing.

  43. Fiona

    Ms/Mr/title of preference March,

    And your definition of fascist is?

  44. Fiona

    Ms/Mr/title of preference March,

    Do you subscribe to that definition yourself?

  45. mars08

    Adding to Fiona’s post (above)…

    “What no one seemed to notice,” said a colleague of mine, a philologist, “was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know, it doesn’t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people’s government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is governing.

    “What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

    “This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter…

    …If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.

    “And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.

    …the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves…

  46. Fiona

    Mars08,

    It’s already happened to far too many people here – and in far too many other countries.

    Poor feller my world.

  47. mars08

    @Fiona…. it’s horrible and it’s relentless. I see it around me every day. The vast majority of my work colleagues are fine examples of good Germans

  48. Fiona

    Mars08,

    Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.

    Systems don’t have intentions. Only people do.

    The outcome of that particular system was totally (delib.) predictable. So were people’s responses during its implementation.

    There was nothing humane, nothing humanist, within Nazi “philosophy” (chunder).

    The dehumanising of others for profit blatant self-interest was overt from the get-go – if only people had thought about it.

  49. Harquebus

    @Michael Taylor.
    JM and his ilk are helping by making us all stronger. Skins will thicken and who knows, he might actually learn something by hanging out with us.
    I have to admit also, some of the responses he elicits are really funny.

  50. Fiona

    To the person known as: Subscribe to that definition or some movement? I subscribe to the definition I posted.

    If that was addressed to me, please don’t put words into my text that were never there.

  51. crypt0

    Paul Keating said …
    “If Tony Abbott ends up the prime minister of Australia you’ve gotta say `God help us. God help us’.
    “Truly an intellectual nobody. And no policy ambition. ”

    Malcolm Fraser said …
    “Tony Abbott is a dangerous politician, perhaps one of the most dangerous in Australia’s history”

    We were warned by ex PM’s from both sides of politics before the last election, but the little aussie battler knew better.
    All the signs and clues are before us now, as he who was once considered unelectable prepares for re-election.
    On that occasion, I expect the aussie voters to excel themselves once more.

  52. Mark

    Kochie isn’t a measure of Fascism, what a feckless statement… Didn’t you read the rest of it, or did you start singing internally when you should’ve been reading?

  53. mars08

    @Mark…. um… sorry… I must have overdone the sarcasm a bit…

  54. Fiona

    Ms/Mr/title of preference March,

    Yup, know all about their vegetarianism, their “nature worship” (and their “naturism”), their Wandervogl, their anti-tobacco (yeah, some) and teetotalism (again, yeah, some), and of COURSE why would they want to be nasty to Goehring?

    It could even be argued that their euthanasia programs were a reflection of a humane view of humanity.

    One step too far.

    What if a majority decided that your particular views warranted euthanasing?

    For a while, Ms/Mr/title of preference March, I was wondering whether you were someone I’d engaged with a decade ago.

    I’ve decided in the negative. You have neither the intelligence nor the wit of my former combatant.

  55. Florence nee Fedup

    It is no longer about Coalition versus Labor. No longer about ones political beliefs. Far beyond that It is about a man, who I believe holds no loyalty to any party. The Coalition to him, is just a vessel that allows him to put his extreme dogma and ideology in place.

    He has no respect for the Westminster or I suspect any form of government. No respect for international law or bodies we have been signature to. No respect for the conventions and niceties of parliament, He trashes all.

    He is a born dictator and bully.

    The Liberal party needs to pull him into line before he destroys the Liberal Party, along with the country.

    He is no McMahon or as some would say Gorton. They were just incompetent. Time to stop saying he has no ability. He has. He is dangerous.

    He has taken nothing in, since he knelt at the knees of Santamaria. Nothing.

    I am not sure what his gaol is, Might not know himself.

    By the way, am impressed with the article Puts into words, what I have been struggling with for a long time.

  56. mars08

    Hitler took to a vegetarian diet as he grew older… for health reasons. He never promoted vegetarianism as a public policy for either health or moral reasons. Tales that the Nazi Party was strong on animal rights are also quite dubious.

    Mind you… Hitler was quite a keen artist… so that would make Sidney Nolan and Russell Drysdale… fascists!

  57. Florence nee Fedup

    I was a kid when the tragedy that was Germany was emerging. What most couldn’t understand, including Germans themselves how the could go from elected government to a terrible cruel dictatorship. Yes Hitler was vote in with big margin by small number of voters. The rest couldn’t care.

    Truth is many realise what is happening here, is what happened in Germany. Trouble is, most people today are to far away from WWW2 and it’s terror.

    We need to be alert. Yes, and maybe a little scared. Not of ISIS and it many manifestations but of our very own PM

  58. Florence nee Fedup

    I would also like to add, I never expected what we are getting from Abbott. I expected another McMahon. I expected him to be the tool of big business. I am quickly coming to the conclusion, Abbott is running his own race, no one pulling the strings. He is a conniving , destructible nasty little man. A man that is not happy with winning, but must destroy.

    We cannot blame anyone, including Labor for being confused with how he should be dealt with. He does not play by usual rules. He plays by no rules. Is a man that doesn’t appear to have close intimate friends. Has no morality and is prepared to use all around him. Most of all, he has no conscience, that would put a brake on most of his actions.

    I know what I write sounds over the top. I do not know any other explanation of what is going on in politics now.

    Has no saving graces that I can see.

  59. Florence nee Fedup

    Abbott has been successful in demonising Labor and all low income earners, He has created the perception in the community, anything left of centre, including unions is evil. Like wartime, all enemies have to be demonised, so all hate them. Like Hitler’s time, the community have to have sections of society to hate. A leader can then do what he likes.

    All this has been occurring from the days of Howard to be exact,

  60. mars08

    …anything left of centre…

    Left of centre??? The reality is that the “centre” has shifted… to the right! Good grief… even Malcolm Fraser was denounced as a bleeding-heart leftie before he died!

  61. John Hermann

    If someone of this intellectual calibre can gain a Rhodes scholarship to study at a top British university, one feels impelled to ask questions about the selection criteria for this award.

  62. Florence nee Fedup

    What is Abbott arguing about. One would think from reading comments across the media, he was seeking to have citizenship revoke if they enter the Iraq war zone, One would be led to think one has not the power to do this now. That is not true. Power to does exists,

    “Deprivation of Australian citizenship[edit]

    A naturalised Australian citizen may be deprived of Australian citizenship under section 34 of the 2007 Act in the following circumstances:
    conviction for certain offences against the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 or the Migration Act 1958. These mainly involve fraud in the person’s citizenship or migration application.
    where the person receives a prison sentence of 12 months or more (in any country) for an offence committed before the person’s application for Australian citizenship was approved. Deprivation of citizenship cannot occur for this reason if the person has no other citizenship.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_nationality_law#Deprivation_of_Australian_citizenship

    What Dutton and Abbott wants is the power to by passed the judicial system., For Dutton to be able to do so, in secret.

    If Abbott succeeds, our parliamentary and judicial system will be changed for all time. All checks and balances will be removed.

    Habeas Corpus, separation of powers and presumption of innocence until proven guilty will no longer apply.

    It is not about revoking citizenship. That can already happen. It is about politician becoming judge and jury. Worse, will be done in secrecy.

    In the 1990’s there was a phrase very much in use, Yes Moral Panic has truly been created by this government. The anger of many is not about ISIS and the danger it threats to all. It is about hatred for all in the Muslim world.

    This in spite of the fact ISIS is killing more Muslims than any other culture or religion.

    We see those against SSM stirring up the same moral fears, claiming that it would destroy marriage and families as we know them now.

    Abbott will destroy any chance of SSM happening by announcing today, a unnecessary and lengthy enquiry into the issue. Will give the anti mob a platform to build up opposition in the community. Maybe even a plebiscite.

  63. corvus boreus

    Harquebus,
    Opinions counter to the group consensus can be invaluable if they are logically consistent and reasonably expressed (promotes examination of own viewpoint). However, what I see from ‘jammy’ is mostly disdainful generalisations and glorifying self-reference in an attempt to inflame and derail discussion(aka trolling). The deliberately disrespectful mangling of nomenclature in initial response is another give-away.
    I also agree in the possible validity of having a resident troll as a muse for verbalising disdain, but choose not to gratuitously indulge myself. “Corvus, you need to work on sharpening up your sarcasm” is not a piece of personal advice I often hear.
    I view the ‘contributions’ of the ‘semeny mechanical-walk’ as a WOFTAE, undeserving of even the dignity of considered contempt in reading or responding.

    Florence nee Fedup,
    You have, with clarity and brevity, voiced the most troubling facet of this proposed legislation, the appointment of extraordinary supra-judicial powers to politicians, without any measures of scrutiny or accountability.

  64. jimhaz

    [You may well wonder why Abbott is making such an issue of this !]

    In all things Abbott, Britain knows best.

    Muslims in England are 5% of the population. Ours is 2%. The affect of the higher English Muslim population in relation to terrorism is not just 2 or 3 times that of Australia it is between 5-10 times.

    Our laws do not need to be as tough. I would do it another way – not by removing citizenship but by allowing the Minister to refuse re-entry for up to 2 years without court based appeals, but for longer periods up to 10 years with court appeal processes. All those returning would be required to publicly repudiate ISIL and Islamic terrorism before being allowed back in – or they go into special detention centres (not ones that mix with refugees).

  65. Harquebus

    Trolls are a challenge and changing peoples minds ain’t easy. Allowing them to participate identifies them and presents an opportunity to sway or discredit them. There is also the chance that they might learn some things. Personally, I barely glance at comments from disreputable participants.

  66. Jollyjumbuck

    The only people getting their citizenships stripped are these Muslim fanatics who believe they can come to this great country to make a better life but then decides to leave to go back to the terror they left and start fighting for their barbaric, murderous cause, killing thousands of innocent people and then to be allowed back into this country so they can recruit and brainwash our young people. It makes me wonder who the sick bastards are. How many Australians would like a 9/11 to occur here with your loved ones being butchered? How many of you do gooder’s out there that think this is right. If it wasn’t for BUSH, BLAIR and HOWARD in the bloody first place we wouldn’t be having this discussion now. Wake up you bloody idiots and smell the roses. This IS NOT going to get better. The more easterners we let into this country the worse it will become for all our children in the future. They want the whole world to become MUSLIMS and this is just the start!

  67. Kaye Lee

    Did it ever occur to you jollyjumbuck, that many refugees are fleeing exactly the sort of fanaticism you deplore?

  68. Pudd'nhead

    Jolly – Have you actually read Paul G Dellit’s submissions?

  69. Möbius Ecko

    “If it wasn’t for BUSH, BLAIR and HOWARD in the bloody first place we wouldn’t be having this discussion now.”

    Exactly, as it’s now been proven that ISIS and the rise of the Taliban again, is a direct result of the BUSH, BLAIR and HOWARD illegal invasion of Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11.

    Indeed George W Bush himself has stated that he regrets he caused the rise of ISIS because of his invasion of Iraq.

  70. David

    Have all the right wing nutter trolls been banned from Bolt. Akerman, Jones etc…they go on about the invasion of Muslims which is an insult to the 99.9% who live here honestly and law abidingly. Seems the invasion of the trolls is a greater worry to our sanity.
    Back under the bridge from whence you came to the dank darkness of ignorance

  71. Pingback: Australian Democracy at a Tipping Point – The AIM Network | JL Whitaker Creations

  72. Andreas Bimba

    Australia, like the US and even the EU and many of the worlds democracies does appear to be sliding towards plutocracy, global corporatism and a state security controlled state and if unchecked could become like a fascist state. Russia and China are even more down this path but from different origins.

    At this point in time the Australian electorate is still able to vote the government out of power and we still have an independent judiciary. The partisan mass media, the power of lobbies, the corruption of both the Conservatives and Labor and a largely passive and easily manipulated electorate have to a large extent weakened our democracy but its not dead yet. The federal election in 2016 will be very interesting but we cannot allow a victory by Bill Shorten and his neo-liberal team B either, the Labor Party must be reformed or split before then or the election will be only a consolation prize as currently the Greens are not popular enough in the electorate to gain a majority on their own.

    The Australian constitution is actually quite robust and any government action that is not in accordance with the will of the Australian people is in breach of the constitution. In addition according to the constitution the will of the Australian people must be determined before the passing of any legislation. Have a read of this primer of Constitutional Law ‘YOUR WILL BE DONE’ by Arthur Chresby – Research Analyst in Constitutional Law, and formerly Federal Member for Griffith in the House of Representatives

    http://www.peoplesmandate.iinet.net.au/your_will_be_done.pdf

    The current Conservative government should have been brought before the High Court on a regular basis given so many of their appalling actions. Current examples are; the subject of this article – the current attempt to invest a Minister with the powers of policeman, judge and jury to act upon an untested suspicion of guilt to deprive an Australian of his/her citizenship; the current government acting on behalf of external unelected ‘faceless’ men of the IPA, the Minerals Council and others; and the clear attempt to counter all legitimate methods to counter global warming.

    https://ipa.org.au/library/publication/1345447840_document_be_like_gough.pdf

    If our democracy and judiciary are defeated then the seeds of violence will have been sown. Could we even see at some point a US Tea Party style evangelical libertarian government using the US military to save their Australian brothers in an uprising by the common man?

    @Florence nee Fedup
    “I am quickly coming to the conclusion, Abbott is running his own race, no one pulling the strings”.

    No, I can’t agree with this comment. Tony is more of a hollow insecure front man that acts on behalf of his favourite mentors Johnny Howard, Peter Reith and others of our ‘rule by the elite’ current form of government. He does enjoy the power though and many of his excesses may be his own (or Credlin’s) and no doubt he would make a very good Nazi. The Minerals Council and the Banking/Finance lobbies as well as a few others like the Rural and China lobbies are our true rulers and they have been steering politics to suit their best interests for quite a while and more recently they appear to be wanting total effective control over our political system.

    @Bilal
    In regard to those terrorist bombing instances allegedly by local Croatian Ustasha members in Australia that you raise, the story you provide may not be credible as the alternative view is that Serbian state security agents operating in Australia planted these bombs, fabricated evidence and that the well known practice of the New South Wales police of ‘verbal-ling’ confessions did the rest to get the convictions.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/framed-the-untold-story-about-the-croatian-six-20120210-1smum.html

    It doesn’t help the progressive cause by blaming Catholicism or even Bob Santamaria for Tony Abbott. I would think that Bob Santamaria would have seen through Abbotts hypocrisy and inherent evilness while in government, just as Malcolm Fraser did.

    Some of us here may be surprised how progressive the current Catholic Pope Francis is.

    http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html#I.%E2%80%82Some_challenges_of_today%E2%80%99s_world

  73. David

    @Andreas..doubt many are blaming ‘Catholicism’ as such for Abbott’s bastardy actions. More so, Abbott’s unshrinking distorted view of what Catholicism is in 2015. His absolute hypocrisy in blatantly lying his way through every day, his extra marital activities, destroying lives of Asylum Seekers etc etc but wrapping himself in the arms of the Church when it suits his narrative his his doing.
    The Church may have much to answer for generally but certainly not for the actions of the physco Abbott. He like me is able to see through the fantasy of the church teachings. As kids our indoctrination of Adam and Eve and the paradise of a garden and a serpent, Noah’s Arc and on it goes.
    Quite frankly if the Church had any spine it would be advising him to change his leaning on it for actions it does not condone and if he doesn’t, to piss off.
    But then the silence on Pell is deafening, so Abbott will carry on regardless in his pseudo God fearing absurd way and those Catholics who follow his unrighteous path will continue to see nothing but a false good in him

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