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Day to Day Politics: It was but a simple question

Thursday 24 November 2016

1 Further to my piece on racism last Tuesday in which I insinuated correctly that Peter Dutton was a racist, Malcolm Turnbull at a doorstop interview was directly and with unambiguous clarity asked:

”Did he support the position taken by his immigration minister, Peter Dutton, that Lebanese Muslims should not have been permitted to come to Australia in the 1970s because a small number of their descendants generations down the track went on to be charged with crimes?”

Not once but three times he was asked this question. His answer to the question was a glowing endorsement of the Minister, singing his praises to the point of suggesting he was the best Immigration Minister Australia ever had.

He could have answered a number of ways. He could have spoken about ministerial power and the obligations carried with it. As Immigration Minister he is expected to promote Australia’s success as a multi-cultural nation with a proud history of accepting people from all over the world.

The power of his words should not only reinforce the need for vigilance against terrorism but also nurture a harmonious society.

Alas he does none of this and like his former leader promotes fear and division.

The Prime Minister often asserts that an inclusive nation is the best weapon against terrorism. If he really believed it he would have given Dutton a public dressing down. One that condemned in no uncertain terms Dutton’s disgraceful comments against migrant Australians who have helped build a great nation.

In not doing so he has again reinforced the notion that he is captive to the extreme right of his party. A place that Dutton occupies together with others that determines whether Turnbull is leader or not. No balls one might say. Dutton is well out of his depth and should be sacked. He has demoted citizenship to an ephemeral sort of nothingness for those who wish to become one.

An observation.

“It is better to be comforted with the truth than be controlled by lies”.

2 I have for the sake of my own sanity refrained from writing about Donald Trump for the past few days. But somehow I seem to have awoken from the trance I have been in and reality has assumed its normal place. So now that I am on dry ground again let’s see where we are.

A During the campaign he let it be known that he wanted Hillary Clinton behind bars. Now it seems he has found forgiveness in his heart and no longer wishes it so. Of course his original intention carried no weight. It was not something he could do. It was a job for congress alone.

B He now doubts the value of torture. Good bye waterboarding. A bit wet behind the ears you might say.

C He now promises after denouncing climate change to keep an open mind on the subject. He refused to repeat his promise to abandon the Paris accord.

D He reckons he has no obligation to put his businesses in a blind trust. Addressing conflict of interest, he said the President can’t have one. Suggesting he was above it all.

E He met with the New York Times and gave them a dressing down. He would not/could not elaborate on policy positions and only spoke in generalities. Fancy calling in the top newspaper in the country and telling them what they can and cant say. I wonder what Rupert thought.

F He rejected any suggestion that he was above federal anti-nepotism laws by installing his son-in-law into a White House job. He now sees Kushner helping out in reconciling the dispute between Israel and Palestine despite the fact that he has no experience in international affairs. Miracles can happen. Bullshit.

G He was upset with the criticism of his appointment of ultra-white nationalist Bannon as his chief strategist. Well the man is a racist.

H He sees no reason to reveal his tax returns. Perhaps he thinks he is above honesty now. Here is a link describing how easy it would be for his companies to benefit from his Presidency.

I His children will play a big part in his Presidency. His daughter sat in on discussions with the Japanese Prime Minister.

J He has decided to scrap the TPP. It will effect many countries.

K He is interviewing people, including Romney, who called him some of the most derogatory things before and during the election for some of the top jobs. Who would have thought?

L Trump University defrauded thousands of customers of a total $40 million, and Trump may personally have pocketed $5 million in profit. So he settles for $25 million.

“I settled the Trump University lawsuit for a small fraction of the potential award because as President I have to focus on our country”.

M The President-elect’s Charity has admitted that it has violated the legal prohibition against “SELF DEALING” which bars the leaders on non-profit charities from using its money for private or family reasons. It didn’t seem to worry Donald.

During the presidential campaign, The Washington Post reported on several instances in which Trump appeared to use the Trump Foundation’s money to buy items for himself or to help one of his for-profit businesses.

N An American friend sent me this about Obamacare:

O He will reverse Rowe V Wade when he can appoint a couple of judges to the Supreme Court who will guarantee to do his bidding. Remarkable isn’t it.

So Paul Ryan and Republicans have revealed their “replacement” for Obamacare, and it’s even more horrible than you might have imagined. So what is their grand solution? They’re going to move everyone to minimal coverage, high deductible plans. Ryan’s justification is that people don’t really use insurance anyway, so they don’t really need a decent plan.

Basically, Republicans have proposed a plan that is many times worse than what we had before the ACA.

P I think the wall is gradually becoming a fence.

Q Deportations have been put on hold and the Muslim register might need a rethink.

R The swamp is being cleared and replaced with an open sewer of lobbyists, racists and all manner of putrid people.

S The trade war with China is also on hold I think, although I did hear him say that every decision will be made on an America first basis.

Well, that about concludes my Trump update. How on earth did this man, who has so corrupted the English language as to make it unintelligible, become President. What a phony as the American’s would say but they still voted for him.

That’s the end. I could have expanded on ‘F‘ but could have presented some problems.

What must those who voted for him think?

My thought for the day.

“Will we ever grow intellectually to the point where we are able to discern and understand the potential for the good within us?”

PS. I forgot to mention that for the first time in American history the first lady wont be living in the White House.

 

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17 comments

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  1. Carol Taylor

    So Dutton is telling people that if you’re a second or third generation Australian you are not and never will be, a real Aussie, never one of The Team, but that depends on which country one or both or all of your grandparents were born in. Of course it’s racism. And of course Turnbull is lacking the gonads to do or say anything of substance whatsoever. Does Turnbull honestly believe that by pandering to the far right, he gets to stay PM? Perhaps Turnbull should consider why he became PM in the first place, not because of the far right but because of the opinion polls where a majority of Australians were looking for a moderate, progressive leader. He is not delivering and further pandering won’t help him deliver..I believe that Morrison is waiting in the wings.

  2. Lyndel

    What are Trump’s voters thinking? If they thought at all, it was racist and hateful

  3. Terry2

    If you were a political leader worried about your tenure and trying to get One Nation supporters onside, to communicate to them a nasty dog-whistle on racism to demonstrate that there is not a whisker between you and them, that you are on a unity ticket when it comes to denigrating middle eastern migrants, who would you choose ?
    Clue, it has to be somebody lacking in intelligence and with a record of creating division and hatred within the community for base political purposes.

    I know some former Lebanese immigrants who came to Australia in the 1970’s , who have established a successful family business and brought up a their kids who are Australian as much as you and me as are their grandchildren. They are feeling sad and disillusioned right now.

    Answer to the above quiz : Peter Dutton, of course !

  4. Kaye Lee

    I think you may be right Carol, and what an ugly parliament that would be – Morrison leading the increasingly empowered right.

    One thing that is really getting up my nose is the growing number of appearances on the ABC of the far right – Eric Abetz on the despised Q&A, Corey Bernardi live from the States, every IPA politician-in-waiting, the useless Rowan Deane, Nick Cater, Rebecca Weiser, the Hendersons et al – all of them using the ABC for self-promotion while calling for investigations or, better still, its closure due to left-wing bias.

    Shutting down fact check and the online Drum and stopping doing transcripts – the ABC is being neutered. At the same time, they are having to comply with continual requests for evidence of their stories for the government’s own investigations eg Don Dale RC. The government already had all the information contained in the show but it takes Four Corners to make them read it – then they get persecuted and accused of all sorts of treachery.

  5. michael lacey

    President-elect Donald Trump will apparently not enjoy such a honeymoon period, at least as far as the media is concerned. The mainstream media was unrelentingly hostile to Trump both during the Republican primaries and the presidential campaign itself. The assertions emanating from media apologists contending that Trump actually benefited from the massive press coverage that he did receive ignores the fact that the reporting was almost always negative. If Trump benefited at all it was only because the public, seeing the outpouring of sheer hatred from a media that it already distrusted, came to believe that someone so vilified by a source so questionable must actually represent something worth supporting. The main stream helped in electing Trump together with the Liberals and have no moral authority to preach to a dispossessed white working class about racism, multiculturalism, identity politics or diversity. The abject failure by liberals to fight for economic justice triggered the proto-fascist backlash embodied by Donald Trump’s election victory.

  6. Fellow lover of all that is good and generous

    Oh yes I so agree with you John Lord. Australians are a disgrace to humanity. It is people who don’t have jobs who cry against refugees. Just because a few jobs have gone and a few have been assaulted and been the victim of crime. How few in comparison to England and France! It is our duty to take as many of the offending countries citizens into our loving embrace and supply safe housing and refuge for them. It is so good to see a fellow citizen of like mind. How dare Australians call out for their own jobs and safety when there are those who need Australia more. And how dare Donald Trump and Pauline Hanson mouth off about Australians and Americans who need protection. Open our borders and especially to those who are associated with crime. Can’t people see that humanitarianism needs to stand over and above the care of a country’s citizens! Some people just don’t get it!

  7. Zathras

    It’s almost back to the Howard era when he would have his Ministers making deliberately inflammatory public statements while he would keep himself above it all and remain looking Presidential.

    His excuse was that as individuals, they were allowed to make personal statements in a free society but the real purpose was” to get discussion out into the community”.

    Specifically it was about political dog-whistling and manufacturing social division to keep us arguing with each other and not being critical of policy.

    Once discussion matured, they could see which way the votes were heading and make appropriate moves in that direction. It’s one of the oldest and most sinister of political tricks.

    The Tampa affair was always about getting back those One Nation voters and we are still paying the social cost of playing that race card. Sadly for us all, they have left themselves no way of getting that genie back into it’s bottle.

    A true leader would encourage the best in us, regardless of political cost.

    Turnbull is still captive to the extremists in his party and is proving to be a weak and ineffectual leader and we will be seeing a lot more of this, now that they are feeling empowered by the Trump phenomenon.

    It doesn’t get much uglier than this, but I fear there is more to come.

  8. Terry2

    On Trump ……………..the world will miss President Barack Obama !

  9. Möbius Ecko

    Wait for the backlash from the voters who elected him on the very things he’s now abandoned in spades. If Trump believes they are going to ignore his multiple back flips he’s living in an elite isolated world. That’s the other thing especially the mid-east normally liberal voters will backlash on, Trump’s now blatantly open elitism, where he’s putting his own economic interests ahead of them, the one thing he promised he would change by putting the disenfranchised workers ahead of the elites.

    The Trump train crash and burn will be spectacular methinks.

  10. babyjewels10

    Kaye Lee “One thing that is really getting up my nose is the growing number of appearances on the ABC of the far right – Eric Abetz on the despised Q&A, Corey Bernardi live from the States, every IPA politician-in-waiting, the useless Rowan Deane, Nick Cater, Rebecca Weiser, the Hendersons et al – all of them using the ABC for self-promotion while calling for investigations or, better still, its closure due to left-wing bias.” This is turning me off Q&A. It’s truly sickening watching them spout their disgusting ideas. Q&A appears to be supporting racism and their own brand of hatreds and phobias, simply by giving them airtime.

  11. Terry2

    Just heard Barnaby Joyce muddying the water on the ‘guest worker’ tax also known as the backpacker tax.

    Just a little clarity : Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott first proposed a 32.5% tax in the May 2015 budget. This would have changed the current rate from 13%, with a tax-free threshold of A$18,200, to 32.5% from the first dollar.

    After industry concerns, finally, in September 2016 – fifteen months later – treasurer Scott Morrison announced a 19% tax rate, with a $5 increase in the passenger movement charge to $60 for all travellers leaving Australia and an increase in the departing superannuation payment from 47% to 95%. All Australian employees get 9.5% on top of their gross wages paid in to a retirement saving fund, but temporary workers who leave Australia are liable to a one-off tax.

    That’s where we are now with the government pushing the 19% from the first dollar earned – noting that Australian citizens would still have a tax free threshold of $18,200 before paying tax : it is still proposed that when a guest worker leaves Australia their superannuation savings be taxed at 95% ; we give them back five cents in the dollar, not a good look for Australia, it would make Ned Kelly blush.

    Fruit and vegetable growers are saying that this rehashed government proposal won’t attract guest workers and importantly places the employer in a position where they take on a massive amount of additional bookwork for the government – i.e. previously with the tax free threshold there was generally no tax to collect as most backpackers don’t earn $18,200 anyhow.

    Lambie and Labor are suggesting 10.5% tax to attract workers.

    My solution : return to the status quo before Abbott and Hockey started to mess with this.

  12. Kronomex

    Turnbull is a political coward. Keeping a tenuous hold on being the “leader” (in name only) is more important to him than anything else. Dutton and the creep who is going to be in charge of the CIA in the US, Pompeo, would make great mates. Bernardi and Abetz could be their love children.
    Trump and corruption go hand in hand and will drag the presidency (don’t see him being there in two years) and the US down with him. The Donald only cares about The Donald. He’s not going to allow his clones…sorry, children…to really run his businesses that, I think, is one of the reasons why he’s going to stay at Turd Towers. They will be the front that the public sees. Once he has officially taken the reins then anyone who has pissed him off had better watch out. He’s a spiteful and vindictive man and rest of us will find out just how vicious he really is…let the fun times roll.

  13. wam

    Dear Lord,
    Have you not read about Lebanese crime families?
    Are you not concerned over the short step from crime to terrorism?
    Is a conversation, about religious acceptance of the right to murder with the support of god and the reward in heaven for such murderers, not needed?
    Should christians be allowed to ignore the evaluation of religion in government because they fear to expose their religion, in political decisions, to challenge?

  14. helvityni

    This country’s first people were the Aboriginals, who were not treated well by the second lot, the convicts from Britain, who then later on started importing white people from Europe. Anyone of slightly darker skin were soon deemed criminal, as if anyone of pale-skinned of British background did not know about bad behaviour….?

    So it went with the Croatians, and the Serbs, then Lebanese, who were hardly Muslims, as Dutton believes… Chinese were too hard working and they looked a bit yellow and therefore no good….Now it’s the turn of the Africans to take the blame, the white Aussies don’t do crime….????

  15. win jeavons

    Tu “fellow lover….” ; spoken like a true Christian , not the pretend ones who infest our government these days.

  16. Kaye Lee

    Apparently, Tony Abbott is considering writing another book which would “make the case for the Liberal Party to return to its conservative roots.”

    And Mr Abbott is having a range of policy ideas costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office, in a clear sign he intends to contribute to public policy debate in the Coalition in the months and years ahead – even if it is from the backbench, and not via a return to the cabinet.

    Can backbenchers do that off their own bat? Are we paying for research for his book?

    What’s even funnier is Tony’s own comment.

    “I don’t want to write another book unless I have got something worthwhile to say. At the moment I’m pondering just what that might be.”

    A man who spent six years leading his party and two years leading the nation is still trying to come up with something worthwhile to say.

    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/battlescars-tony-abbott-in-talks-for-battlelines-sequel-getting-policies-costed-by-pbo-20161123-gsvst9.html

  17. Athena

    Apparently, Tony Abbott is considering writing another book which would “make the case for the Liberal Party to return to its conservative roots.””

    @ Kaye Lee
    Where on earth does he think it is now?

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