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Broad church vs damaging splitters

Instead of a billboard announcing boat arrivals (which was apparently not aiding people smugglers), the Coalition have gone for a scoreboard of how many Labor politicians have shown enough humanity to be concerned about the plight of the refugees who came seeking our help – the people we have illegally incarcerated, the people whose sexual, physical, psychological and emotional abuse is apparently necessary to deter others from seeking our help.

We are told that this shows disunity in Labor ranks. We are told to fear the arrival of more refugees. We are told they will be a burden and lower our standard of living. They will take our places in hospital waiting rooms.

But when it comes to the many dissenting voices in Coalition ranks on issues like climate change and same sex marriage, we are asked to admire them for being a “broad church” where opinions are welcome and robust debate encouraged.

It is important to put these discussions into perspective and to try and inject some truth into the hyperbolic campaign rhetoric.

Tony Abbott repeatedly claimed that, under Labor, there were “50,000 illegal arrivals a year.” This is, of course, total crap.

During Labor’s six years in office, a total of approximately 48,000 asylum seekers arrived by boat. Taken on average, with a net migration figure each year of around 200,000, resettling all of these people would have represented about 4% of our migration intake – hardly an overwhelming problem for a wealthy country with plenty of space and an aging population needing more working age citizens.

On the subject of marriage equality, a Roy Morgan poll in 2014 showed that 3.4% of the population agreed with the statement ‘I consider myself a homosexual.’ 4.6% of Australian teenagers (14-19) now agree they are homosexual as do 6.5% of people in their 20s.

That is a significant proportion of the population who are being discriminated against because of a few politicians’ religious beliefs.

Whilst these issues are important, they pale into insignificance in comparison to the damage that the climate-change-denying dissenters in the government are causing.

And it is not just the dinosaur MPs that are putting us at risk. Pretty much every person they have chosen to carry out reviews and audits, or installed at the head of organisations, is either a climate change denier or a venture capitalist only interested in short term profit.

CSIRO’s chief executive Larry Marshall is a prime example. He has indicated that, since climate change has been established, further work in the area would be a reduced priority. That, to me, is criminal negligence.

Marshall told CSIRO scientists that revenue needed to be sought in all parts of the organisation. One researcher wondered then how basic research such as tracking the changes of salinity levels between Indonesia and Fremantle – one gauge used to track circulation and other ocean shifts – might be used to generate income.

Malcolm Turnbull’s inability to rein in the homophobic climate change deniers in his party is doing far greater damage to this country than the humanity expressed by some Labor MPs towards refugees.

Differing views should be encouraged but sensible discussion has become impossible with a government who is prepared to exploit people’s fears for political advantage, to impose their minority religious views on the majority, and to unashamedly lie to gain and keep power.


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  1. Athena

    Why are the Libs having this discussion about asylum seekers if they have stopped the boats? Surely they couldn’t have lied to us about stopping the boats.

  2. CrOwS6491

    Sadly, these Labor poliies who expressed humanitarian issues with the so-called “illegal” immigrants have now been totally demonised by both the lying, inept Liberal mob, but also–with the full force of Mudrake power–by the so-called “popular” press. It goes to show just how desperate these f*cking Liberals are to resort to trying to demean what the Labor people were expressing. After all, “real” humanity costs nothing, hurts no-one, & really “does good” for all society, something that the Libs & the gutter press severely lack! Another thoughtful & interesting article Kaye!

  3. Michael Taylor

    Athena, of course they wouldn’t have lied. None of them would. They are all such fine custodians of moral virtue.

  4. keerti

    Labor MP’s standing for refugees! That would be a reason why I’d vote for them, that is if I don’t vote greens.

  5. kerri

    Why should the CSIRO have to seek revenue?
    How much revenue has the search for MH370 earned us?
    Why doesn’t defence have to seek revenue?

  6. John Lord

    Why do we continue to use the expression ”stop the boats” when we know that they still come but get ”Turned around”

  7. Geoff Andrews

    That would be a reason why I’d vote for them, that is if I don’t vote greens.

    or maybe even give them my second preference after the greens.

    It’s a bastard of a system when I have to choose which of the only two parties able to form a government is the lesser bastard.particularly when I’ve given one my support for over 50 years.

  8. Gangey1959

    Interesting concept.
    What is going to put Australia’s National Security in more jeopardy ? A few hundred/thousand poor displaced refugees seeking somewhere to live where they won’t get blown up by someone, or Darwin’s port being owned by a chinese State owned company who are using their own armed security to protect what comes in and goes out. Who knows who and what will come in, by the container load, boat after boat after boat. And we have a drug and gun problem now……. Turdbullshitartistbott, your lot stopped NUTHIN !
    The minister in charge of border farce, imadumic hunt, was only made aware of this situation by the septics, who are in the process of building an RnR resort in the Tiwi islands for their soldiers who are chasing shadows in the middle east and afganistan.
    Personally, let the boat people in, and chuck the chinese out.
    If nothing else it will save us the bazillions currently being paid to Transfield/Broadspectrum.

    PS Maybe ‘We the Voter’ need to put up a ‘scoreboard’ style ad thingy showing how many of the liarbral/noideashonals are racist, misogynist, homophobes.
    Or get corheburnsarseholes to explain how climate science is all just smoke and mirrors dreamed up by raving lunatics but god is real because it’s in a big book that’s old.

    PPS. ‘Robust’ is just the politically correct term for verbal abuse, particularly when ‘the fixer’ is using the C word. How on earth does one withdraw calling someone else a front bum ? (He didn’t even know how to use the word properly, if anyone wants to know. One cannot be ‘such’ an anything. Complete, witless, etc, but not such.)

  9. Gangey1959

    My apologies to imadumic for blaming him for the situation with the refugees and ther port of Darwin. Those messes fall into the lap of one p dud-one. To minister hunt, I am just so effing sorry. You can go back to making a complete screw-up of the Environment without having to carry the baggage of false guilt. (Imitation fake gold rolexes for everyone.)

  10. DisablednDesperate

    Kaye you always manage to know what I’m thinking. You’re magic.

  11. Pappinbarra Fox

    Kaye, I greatly appreciate the insights you always show in your articles, however when you say: hardly an overwhelming problem for a wealthy country with plenty of space, I must take issue on ecological terms. The carrying capacity of this country is not determined by the space but rather by the available water and nutrients. The problem is that in making a point about an unrelated issue the above sorts of statements can be made that undermine other important issues. The simple fact is that the planet at large is exceeding its population carrying capacity. The usual environmental or ecological factors that tend to bring populations into equilibrium have been thwarted by human capacity for land clearing, increasing density and so on. Australia has been calculated to have a sustainable carrying capacity of about 12 million, so to say we have plenty of space is really avoiding the real question of carrying capacity that is crucial to any sustainable population.

  12. Jacqueline Bruce Deacon

    Its obvious the Liberals’ “political strategists” are going for gutter politics. One day its terror, terror, the next day illiterates and inumerate and illegal, and the next day its calling in the Federal Police to do a midnight raid on their opposition. Unbelievable. I dont remember the AFP raiding Bronywyn Bishop at midnight? Or Brough, or Sinodinis? Their day of reckoning has been painfully slow, not like last nights action. Cannot believe it is not political. To say the government didnt instigate it is ridiculous. Turnbull has been overseeing the NBN for 3 years, for him its very personal. Easy to get a “hitman” to do the dirty work for the party. Then of course there is all the hoo haa about Feeney and Di Natale and their registers of interests. No headines when Malcolm was named in the Panama Papers, but whole front pages of the newspapers devoted to this “midnight raid”. Funnily enough Im not sure that any of this mud is going to stick, the way they think it is. Saw Turnbull looking and sounding very unconvincing on the subject this morning. Up to Bill Shorten and will be interesting to see how he handles this. So far he is looking more and more like a conviction politician, and MT a pale ghost of his former self.

  13. Jaquix

    Nobody in their right mind would NOT think this was entirely political. Ive never seen the AFP move so fast, and never at midnight. Bronwyn Bishop, Arthur Sinodinis, Mal Brough, et al all escaped scrutiny while the AFP dithered for months, only to conclude “nothing to see here, not our area etc”. “The government” may not have directly ordered this, but its always easy to find a hitman who will do your dirty work for you. Malcolm looked very unconvincing in his rebuttal of involvement. The Liberals are obviously employing “strategists” who are going for the gutter. In the absence of any credible policy to offer Australians, this is I suppose about all they have left. I dont think too much of this mud will stick, in fact its probably making voters angry, being played for mugs. All this “digging of dirt” eg Feeney and DiNatale, all very one sided isnt it? Meanwhile Panama Papers rate barely a whisper from Murdoch press. Bill Shorten is increasingly looking good, and a conviction politician, running rings around a tired Turnbull trotting out the platitudes in 3 word slogans just like Abbott did. The NBN has been his plaything for 3 years and I dont hear too many people praising his efforts. So he would have a vested interest in whacking Labor on the head, wouldnt he. Going to be interesting …..

  14. it'sallcrimethesedays


    How would you feel, and what would you do, if you discovered that your tax dollar was funding the ‘private’ setup at Port Darwin?
    Those ties that politicians wear are looking more like nooses every day.

    *drops mic*

  15. Matters Not

    Did Turnbull order the raids? Certainly not. That’s unthinkable. He didn’t lift a finger.

    Turnbull doesn’t have to. It’s the same with Murdoch. He doesn’t tell his editors what the ‘line’ should be because he doesn’t have to.

    Editors, Police Commissioners and the like ‘know’ what is politically ‘helpful’ and simply deliver same.

    Expect many more ‘helpful’ investigations in the days and weeks ahead. I expect the ‘flag’ industry to recover from its post Abbott slump as well.

  16. Kaye Lee


    As I have been discussing on John Lord’s thread, how can a Government Business Enterprise initiate a police inquiry without the government knowing? What was the complaint in December about because the leaked document was published in February? Why were the media waiting at the Labor staffer’s house?

  17. Matters Not

    Why were the media waiting at the Labor staffer’s house?

    Because of the ‘leak’ they received from the AFP. It was a ‘leak’ about the ‘leak’. The irony abounds.

    Next we will see the AFP raid the AFP to determine source of same. Perhaps the media will get a ‘leak’ about that as well. But perhaps not.

    But they are getting somewhat ‘desperate’. All hands to the pumps because the leaks will keep coming.

  18. Kaye Lee

    Malcolm said this shows that Labor is “weak on national security” because they asked questions about the raids.

    Julie Bishop said the crash of the Egyptian plane shows how good the government’s policies are because they are “strong on national security.”

    P Duddy has unleashed the hounds by reminding them that refugees are dumb bludgers who can’t speak the language and we must keep them out in the name of “national security.”

    In the mean time, how are those wage rates going? How come the aggregate number of hours worked keeps going down despite more people being employed? Are emissions continuing to rise? Has there been any recovery in investment in renewables? Will the scientists at the CSIRO still be sacked despite the outcry from scientific bodies around the world? Will the attacks on medicare continue? Is it true that in a few years time students at private schools will receive more that their public school counterparts? How can we afford to spend $195 billion (on top of the defence budget which is rapidly approaching $50 billion a year), on war toys? Why has aged care been defunded again? Why have child care reforms been put off? Can we expect fee deregulation in universities?

    Or we can send out Sophie the sacrificial Rottweiler to talk about hospitals again….or let Tony line up a job for McFarlane.

    People are so easily distracted.

  19. Terry2

    The NBN leaks are very damaging to the coalition and in particular the track record of Malcolm Turnbull as Communications Minister. That is why they have made this an issue in the middle of an election campaign.
    To raid the offices of a former Communications Minister (Conroy) is desperate stuff and whilst the AFP insist they were acting at the behest of NBN and not the government there is no doubt that the government would have been leaning heavily on NBN to track down the whistleblower.

    But, as the SMH pointed out today, these leaks are in the public interest as it is the taxpayer who is paying for this bungling.

    Extracts from this morning’s SMH:

    “Documents apparently leaked from inside NBN Co have revealed in recent months the extent of the cost blowouts, delays and inefficiencies in the Turnbull government’s NBN rollout – a rollout that was supposed to be cheaper, faster, and better than the full fibre-to-the-nerd Labor model.

    One story reported that the Optus cable being relied upon by the Turnbull “mixed media” model was in such poor repair that that it may need to be replaced.
    Another said the government faced a $640 million repair bill for Telstra’s old copper network.
    Yet another revealed the NBN was trialling a Labor-style fibre-to-the-premises roll out, and it was surprisingly cheap and efficient.
    Clearly these stories were embarrassing to the government in general, and the Prime Minister in particular. He was the communications minister who came up with the dog’s breakfast NBN that Australia is now building, at great expense.”

    As taxpayers we should be demanding more information on how our money is being spent not hounding a whistleblower who is merely trying to reveal massive political incompetence on the part of the coalition government and its now leader.

  20. Diane

    Interesting if the LNP are denying prior knowledge –
    “Politically Sensitive Matters
    All matters where the execution of a search warrant may have politically sensitive implications (not limited to fraud) should be raised with the Minister responsible for the AFP by the relevant Minister or Department at the time of referral. This enables the Government to be informed at the earliest juncture of potentially politically contentious matters that may require investigation by the AFP, in accordance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines.

    Under present arrangements, the Minister for Home Affairs is responsible for the AFP.”


  21. Athena

    I really don’t know why the LNP wants to go after the ALP on the matter of the NBN and give the failed NBN loads of publicity at election time. The ALP is also campaigning to improve the NBN after Turnbull screwed it up. I think the raids just remind people that Turnbull ruined the NBN and it’s looking bad for the Libs.

  22. Möbius Ecko

    This just gets worse.

    An employee of NBN Co was made special constable and accompanied the AFP on the raid, but against the express wishes of the owner took photos of documents that were subject to privilege.

    This whole thing is getting more sus by the hour.

  23. Athena

    Ha ha so he’s screwed up that evidence then.

  24. Kaye Lee

    I do not understand what the complaint was about. Virtually everything they are calling “leaks” was contained in NBN’s 2016 corporate plan which is available online.

    “Deployment of the MTM approach is at nascent state, with two critical network technologies yet to be launched at scale. This is exacerbated by multiple variables related to execution, time, cost, and revenue associated with an infrastructure project of this scale and complexity. The Operating Plan, which is the basis for the Corporate Plan, has produced a potential peak funding range between $46 and $56 billion, with a base case of $49 billion.”

    As at June 2015, the cost per premise for FTTP Brownfields and Greenfields was $4,387 and $2,798 respectively. The expected fall in Greenfields CPP is due to cost efficiencies generated over the build period.
    Fixed Wireless
    As at June 2015, the cost per premise was $3,595. The weighted average CPP is forecast to increase to ~$4,900 as the future rollout areas are expected to have a lower premises density than the built Fixed Wireless footprint.”

    “going forward, a significant step change in performance will be needed if nbn is to fulfil its objectives in the timeframe and within the peak funding envelope. The organisation faces several challenges across multiple dimensions including the scale and scope of build, activation and delivery; an underdeveloped organisational capability and processes; a strong regulatory environment; and public scrutiny.”

    “regulatory approval processes of considerable complexity must be completed to implement MTM”

  25. Peter F

    Dutton has said that the asylum seekers are illiterate. How does this sit with the fact that they have managed to get themselves to Indonesia ( many by plane according to evidence given in court), and then paid thousands to people smugglers? Surely such successful ( though illiterate) business people would be good supporters of the coalition. I just cannot understand the (Coalition) logic of not wanting them here.

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