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I Urge You All To Bomb Syria While We “Make Up Our Mind” and Other Assorted Comic Gems!

Now that it’s been established that the Border Force fiasco is all the fault of a few protesters over-reacting and gives the Abbott Government yet another reason to shut down the Internet, we can move on.

(As an aside, I heard one of the best bits of freelance comedy while driving home when a talkback caller to the ABC complained how biased they were. One of his beefs was that they called the Government, “the Abbott Government” and not simply The Government and that the ABC was trying to “personalise” things. Mm, words fail…)

Anyway, as Andrew Bolt pointed out nothing happened and the Border Force was never going to do anything wrong, but thanks to those protesters, the ABF never got to not do anything wrong when they didn’t check nobody’s papers.

Confused? Don’t worry. We have Julie Bishop urging European countries to help bomb Syria, which might seem a little hypocritical when we’re still making up our minds whether we should do it or not.

After all – and please correct me if I’m wrong here – Jules seemed to be suggesting that a few well placed bombs could reduce the number of refugees streaming into Europe. Or rather, “illegal immigrants” as Andrew Bolt prefers to call them. But then he refered to Noal Pearson as an “extremist” the other day so I’m a bit concerned about his understanding of what words actually mean.

“Later in AM follows another kid glove interview with an extremist kicking Tony Abbott, this time Noel Pearson, pushing his astonishing proposal to change the constitution so we have an Aborigines-only council to guide Parliament. Blacks vs whites forever. And every question in the interview is designed to portray Abbott as the problem, not Pearson”.

The Liberal candidate for Canning, on the other hand…

Whoops, Freudian slip there, but it was accidental.

The Liberal Candidate for Canning, Andrew Hastie was no extremist according to Bolt, he was just terribly smeared. Although nobody called him an extremist, even if his father is a creationist who believes that evolution is a fabrication. Still, Mr Hastie isn’t responsible for the views of his father, and this has nothing to do with the terrible way he was treated by the media. Although his defence that he was in a helicopter at the time of the “incident” isn’t really the sort of defence that I’d use given Bronwyn Bishop’s recent fall from grace.

Anyway, I’ve grown tired of laughing at the Liberal Party and I wanted to pick on someone else for a change. I mean how many times can you laugh at the same joke before it becomes stale. Or as somebody said:

“There are only three basic jokes, and now that Tony Abbott has become PM it’s a serious situation and comedians are only left with two.”

This morning I read a news item about a report from The Centre For Independent Studies recommending that schools could become more autonomous if they were run “privately”. It then went on to talk about our “failing” schools and how charter schools in the USA had led to “some” improvements for disadvantaged kids.

Ok, I’m the first to suggest that there are ways in which we could improve education, and I’d be more than happy to debate ideas with anyone. However, it does concern me when a newspaper runs a story without pointing out that The Centre For Independent Studies according to its own website:

“The Centre for Independent Studies seeks to encourage and provide independent, fact based practical research and encourage/provoke debate that promotes liberty, the rule of law, free enterprise and an efficient democratic government.”

So we have a centre for independent studies which wants to encourage free enterprise who have released a report that tells us schools would be better run by private enterprise. Now there’s a surprise. It’s sort of like the IPA telling us that their policies are the ones that work. Or the tobacco companies telling us that plain packaging doesn’t discourage smoking. Compared to this, Dyson Heydon’s conclusion that he’s not biased seems fair and reasonable, because, after all, he didn’t conclude it straight away. He had to have a week or so to consider all the evidence before he found that there was no way that he could consider himself biased and anyone who thought otherwise was clearly one of those unionists on the other side of politics.

While The AIMN occasionally is accused of not being “independent” by people who disagree with some of the writers. Gee, I sometimes disagree with some of the writers. In fact, I often disagree with myself. There is a diversity of views here. It just seems that we’re all the same because we all share the view that if Abbott we’re any smarter, he’d be truly dangerous. But several Liberal frontbenchers hold that view as well, so it doesn’t disqualify us from the “independent” tag.

That’s why I find the CIS job ad rather interesting:

Research Director

The CIS is looking for a passionate, likeminded person to join the CIS team. See details here

Apparently they don’t want people who are too independent.

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  1. Keitha Granville

    ” Now that it’s been established that the Border Force fiasco is all the fault of a few protesters over-reacting…”

    Apparently the protest at Flinders Street Station was the CFMEU. All union sympathisers. Please stand up and let people know if you were just an ordinary outraged Australain who took part. Like the millions on FB and Twitter who were outraged and would have protested if they could have been there.

    Independent ?? They wouldn’t know independent if it smacked them in the face !

  2. rossleighbrisbane

    The only thing independent about Abbott is the independent connection between his brain and his mouth.

  3. mark delmege

    Ah yes Bishop who continues the lie that Syria gassed its own people when the evidence is that it was the western backed rebels who did that. (why don’t the media pick her up on this?) A real problem with bombing the rebels is that the US is still training mercenaries to attack the government (and people) in Syria and Turkey continues to arm and hospitalise IS fighters while Israel does pretty much the same thing. The word out is that the Saudi’s and Qatari’s have backed off somewhat in their support for the rebels – well some anyway but as they regularly change factions what’s good for one generally ends up with the other – so long as they are part of regime change in Syria. The fact of the matter is that refugees continue to stream out of Syria just like they do out of other countries following western backed aggression – be it Libya Iraq Afghanistan Yemen and Somalia. But it is unlikely you will ever get that news from any of the MSM in Oz. And don’t expect too much solidarity with the working or middle classes in any of those countries from our Labor Party – they will do what they are told.

  4. Bill Morris

    Noel Pearson’s “astonishing proposal to change the constitution so we have an Aborigines-only council to guide Parliament” sounds like an idea that should be explored. Perhaps the Aboriginal council could be elected on a State basis similar the Senate and become a second house of review, or even better, replace the Senate altogether! I don’t see any downside to such an arrangement.

  5. Wun Farlung

    I just watched the talking head from CIS on The Drum spruiking taxpayer funded privately run schools and switched off. WTF
    She would have got me to listen by telling the truth and said “gives us all your tax money” we know how best to spend it

  6. Rossleigh

    The interesting thing – at least to me – about the CIS’s idea for education is that they’re proposing a privately run public system. Which sort of begs the question, if they’re so into private enterprise why don’t they just set up their own schools?

  7. corvus boreus

    The CIS are not honest enough to admit that when they say ‘private’ schools, they mean ‘religious’ or ‘corporate’.

  8. Matters Not

    I too watched Jennifer Buckingham on the Drum arguing about the ‘success’ of Charter Schools as though the research on outcomes was always positive. It’s not. In fact, it’s very much a contested space.

    Research on charter schools paints a mixed picture. A number of recent national studies have reached the same conclusion: charter schools do not, on average, show greater levels of student achievement, typically measured by standardized test scores, than public schools, and may even perform worse

    Dear oh dear, may even perform worse. But Jennifer never lets ‘doubt’ get in the way of an ideological ‘ought’.

    Then again I’ve noticed CIS/ IPA employees are like that.

  9. Matters Not

    he was in a helicopter at the time of the “incident”

    I think there is some agreement he was in a helicopter at the time, but what is much more contentious is Julie Bishop’s extraordinary claim that he was in a helicopter that was in ‘orbit’ when the removal of hands was underway..

    If she is correct, then Handy Andy Hastie was in a helicopter that went to a place where no copter has ever gone before. And will never go again, in all probability.

    But then again, Handy Andy is a real high flyer. Or so we are told.

  10. Kate M

    This ‘Centre for Independent Studies’ is sounding a lot like the ‘Consensus Centre’ that Climate Contrarian Bjorn Lomborg is trying to find a university to house………

    It’s amazing how there’s so much money for these types of institutions, and yet apparently not enough to continue to fund all research at the CSIRO or the Climate Council……

  11. mark delmege

    Comic gems aplenty on Q&A this evening – the reasonable sounding Klein and the … well inconsistent Ali. Pity no one had the nous to explain what is really happening in Syria and Klein was clueless but given her background that is not surprising. It can be hard to tell the wheat from the chaff these days but a little research can help even if Q&A always disappoints.

    YES LOGO | The McKibben-Klein Doctrine

  12. diannaart

    Independence of thought comes in many guises, some more independent than others – who’da thunk that Andrew’s dad, Peter Hastie, teaches creationism to children?

    Does this gospel extend to Andrew also?

    Is Andrew another Heartland operative?

    Is this the leadership the people of Canning want?

  13. John

    “Government is the Entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.”
    ― Frank Zappa

  14. guest

    That Charter schools is a contentious issue is well known. How the CIS could so confidently recommend Charter schools of the USA/ UK kind is not easily explained, given the huge amount of discussion which is freely available. Perhaps it is just a matter of wheat and chaff, as mark delmege (above) suggests, or a little research, or a matter of ideology.

    We certainly saw some ideology on Q&A last night. There was general consensus that there is AGW (not often we see such agreement) but there was disagreement about what needs to be done about it. One of the panel stood out with the Lomborgian view that we raise people out of poverty before we do anything which might damage the economy. There was some disagreement about that idea because it requires the burning of of coal (cheap and plentiful) with no regard for what massive burning of coal does to the climate. That idea is not just contentious – it is contradictory..

    A list of scientists who are Climate Change sceptics was provided. None were Australian in this list, but USA sceptics were prominent. The background of so many of these sceptics reveals they are often from the Bible Belt of the USA, closely allied to religious groups, or carbon industries, or Right wing think tanks – or even all three. Very often they are scientifically trained in a particular narrow branch of science.

    On the Twitter feed was the usual array of sceptics suggesting that there has been no warming for 18 years and and Melbourne has had a cold. cold winter, so no Global Warming there. And mention was made of the inability of renewable energies to provide base load, but later a reply contradicted that claim.

    It is a feature of debate here in Oz that opinions have been formed early on these matters and the debate has been blurred and fudged by certain elements of the media by the same kinds of intermediaries we see in the USA. In fact, they are connected by ideology and commercial interests. Naomi Klein looks closely at these connections.

    While not all panelists might be experts on the Syrian situation, it amazes me how much overseas visitors know so much about the machinations occurring in Oz, most often even more than we do ourselves.

  15. mark delmege

    I am sure Guest they (Q@A)pick their guests very carefully to get a certain result. But in case you missed it
    Ali is on record from a couple of year ago saying al-Assad must go- to avoid ending up like Qaddafi and Saddam. But he did do a good interview with Cockburn more recently on ISis. You can find it if you are keen. There was no one there with critical capacity for this war.

  16. Bilal

    Where is Monty Python? This bucket of bloody mistakes we call a government is so awful that it is hard to believe it is for real, but it is. The Judge Jeffreys self justification, the massacres under our flag in Afghanistan, the blackshirts threatening to demand our papers in the streets, rape victims denied assistance by our representatives, jail for reporting sexual assault and pedophilia against concentration camp inmates! Are we in a dream?

  17. Felicitas

    and it scares me that so many people (my partner included) believe this is all OK.

  18. Jeffrey

    Have you the courage to speak openly or or will you continue to swallow the bullplop?

    Quote “I’ll cut your tongue out one way or another!”

    Same tactic. Propaganda utilized to fabricate a belief.

    Hence LNP in government.

    Plagiarized to death?

  19. jimhaz

    I saw Kevin Andrews asked recently “What happens after the bombing” or something like that.

    He had no clue and didn’t seem to even care. it was like he hadn’t given it any thought whatsoever – he just seemed gungho to get the Oz bombing started.

    Ahh found it.


    But if we want to destroy Daesh, which is the aim here, in Syria who’s going to take that place?


    Well that’s a complex question beyond what we are considering at the present time. There are different views about the future of Syria depending on which country you’re talking too. At the moment that’s not part of our consideration. Our consideration is quite squarely on Iraq, on the defence of Iraq, and hopefully the peace and prosperity of that country.


    Sure, but Minister with respect, if we are going to conduct air strikes in Syria for the first time, surely there’s got to be some consideration about who should be in control in Syria. If we’re going to try and wipe out Daesh fair enough, but who do we actually want in control in Syria?


    Well as I said David, there’s a lot of consideration of those matters by coalition and other partners. Everybody around the region as a view on this, which not a settled position, whether it’s Iran or Turkey or the Emirati countries or Egypt or others around the region. There’s a whole complex interaction…..


    …but does Australia have a view? If we are going to get involved, does Australia have a view?


    Our view at the moment is in the context of the mission we are on, which is at the invitation of the Government of Iraq. We want to degrade and destroy Daesh. That’s our prime objective. If we do extend beyond where we are at the present time, then our mission would be in that eastern part of Syria. They wouldn’t be over near the capital. They wouldn’t be on the western side of the country. It’s primarily something that would be an extension against Daesh, because Daesh don’t respect the border between Iraq and Syria.

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