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Labor Obsessed

It’s time for the political class in Australia to admit that they’re well and truly addicted to the Labor Party. I’m not just talking about the obvious Labor-obsessives, including Labor’s own community of politicians, staffers, supporters, donors, members and affiliated unions. I’m talking about everyone else who use Labor as they’re first point of reference, as their yardstick in every and any discussion, or even every thought, that they have about politics; everyone including the Abbott government and each State’s Liberal or National Party, including those in government and in opposition. The mainstream media. The Greens. Independents. And everyone who takes any more than a cursory interest in politics, including the political wonks on Twitter. There is no discussion of politics in Australia without Labor being at the centre of it.

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the example of the way the Abbott government communicates with the electorate. Every single policy announcement and comment on pretty much anything that the government does is littered with ‘Labor did this badly so we’re going to do it this way’. Or ‘Labor caused this problem and we’re now left to solve it’. We all know that Abbott has a particularly strong loathing for Labor because Gillard out-negotiated him in 2010 to win government, taking away from Abbott something he believed to be rightfully his since he was born to rule. This loathing is clearly an obsession Abbott will never recover from. We also all know the Abbott government is the most right-wing ideologically extreme government the country has ever seen. But we never get to actually hear about these extreme values from the mouths of the politicians who hold them because the only values they are willing to admit to are ‘we’re not Labor’.

So rather than actually explain that they’re slashing and burning government spending on services the community, and economy, relies on because they ideologically prefer small government, instead Abbott and co just say ‘we’re fixing Labor’s mess’. It’s simplistic rubbish because in fact Labor left the country in an incredibly strong position, having managed to successfully intervene in the economy to save it from a GFC-led-recession.

But the problem is, Abbott always got away with this type of rubbish because no one calls him out on it. Because everyone else is as obsessed with Labor as he is. Because Labor-bashing has become so mainstream and predictable that when Abbott bashes Labor to justify his ideological war on Australia, no one looks past bashed-Labor and actually asks who on earth this Abbott government is. That’s how we’ve got where we are now. No one looked at Abbott in opposition and no one really knows how to look at Abbott now he’s in government, because they’re still obsessed with Labor.

The mainstream media showed off their obsessiveness over the last few weeks in a flurry of over-excited commentary and analysis of the ABC’s Killing Season documentary. This documentary, which I very much doubt was watched by anyone but the politically obsessed niche audience who knew all about the history being reported anyway, provided a gift to the media. The gift of being able to talk about Rudd and Gillard again. Because oh, how they missed talking about Rudd and Gillard! Let’s remember that the Rudd and Gillard thing happened 5 years ago in 2010. It was covered in the news consistently all day every day up until Abbott won the election in 2013.

There’s hardly a political journalist in Australia who can claim not to have been themselves one-eyed obsessed with the Federal Leadership of the Labor Party between 2010 and 2013. But the simple fact of the matter is that Rudd and Gillard are no longer involved in Australian politics. Yet, the media still think they’re the story. And they’re trying to pull Bill Shorten back into the story like desperate drug addicts scrounging around in the gutter for a sweet hit of Labor-bashing.

Amazingly, the mainstream media’s Labor leadership tension obsession has outlived a much more relevant story; Abbott’s leadership problems. We had Abbott’s leadership opponent Turnbull this week contradicting Abbott’s political game playing strategy of using ISIS to scare people in the most obvious, purposeful differentiation of leadership styles Turnbull could have possibly chosen. We’ve had numerous leaked memos, including the leaking of a cabinet conversation basically word for word published in the Sydney Morning Herald. Yet these blatant leadership tensions, and the leadership crisis from the start of this year which saw Abbott only keep his job by a narrow margin, pale in the media’s coverage as compared to their delight at talking about Rudd and Gillard again.

The obsessive addiction to Labor-bashing is incredible to observe. Shorten’s appearance at Abbott’s witch-hunt of a Royal Commission into Trade Unions this week is just another example of how the media love to play into Abbott’s Labor-bashing hands and happily repeat phrases like ‘Shorten has questions to answer’ that have no basis in rational reality, just as the phrase had no basis when applied to the proven-yet-and-yet-again entirely innocent Julia Gillard.

It’s not just the Liberal National Party who use Labor-bashing as their political reference point, nor is it just the mainstream media. The Greens are also guilty of such an obsession. Because the only reason the Greens exist is to differentiate and they hope, one day, to replace Labor as the left-wing party of government. So everything they do, naturally, has to explain why they’re different from Labor and so, naturally, they spend much of their lives Labor-bashing in tune with the Liberal National Coalition, the media, and everyone else interested and involved in politics in Australia.

Did anyone notice the Greens recently had their own leadership change, which if the media had bothered to take any interest in, would have been ripe for stories about Milne handing Di Natale the baton in an obvious back-room deal that precluded any other candidates from nominating? No, of course not, because the Greens are pure and don’t get probed like Labor do.

There’s no time to probe Greens back-room deals when there’s Labor-bashing to be done! When this Greens leadership change occurred, I wrote about what it would take for the Greens to become a mainstream political party. This included the advice that Greens would have to start to develop their own policies and to stop trying to take credit for Labor policy that they have supported in the past. That’s the thing about the Greens – they only differentiate themselves from Labor when it suits their political purposes, but when Labor has done something popular the Greens try to steal the credit. Talk about unfair! Yet of course they get away with it because, well, they’re not Labor.

Once you notice the Labor obsession, it is impossible to stop noticing it. It’s become such an engrained feature of the political landscape in Australia, it’s clear if the Labor party disappeared, no one else would know what on earth they stand for and how to talk about politics without them. And you also need to notice that in all commentary about Labor, Labor can do no right. As an example, if a policy such as how to manage asylum seekers goes to Labor’s National Conference to be debated, this is framed as Labor disunity. But if such a policy was decided outside of a democratic debate, it would be framed as Labor’s faceless men making back room deals.

The irony is, much commentary bemoans Labor’s apparently missing values and asks what it is that Labor stands for. But it’s just Labor-outsiders who are confused. Because Labor knows exactly what they stand for. Maybe if everyone else stopped Labor-bashing for one second, they might actually understand too.

 

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302 comments

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  1. patsy

    Victoria I love you and your outlook on this article and the truth…I really felt relieved when I read this as all week I have had exactly the same feelings for sooooo long I some times think I am obsessed with how this ugly abbott came to be so vicious as a person who was to be a priest and myself being a novice….. this is not the teachings of our church he says he is a good catholic and he would not use malice to bring down shorten….he also said shorten was responsible for bringing down two leaders …….what an evil evil person he is …….how can so many people believe he is a good man….he is not a man as a real man would not try to ruin other peoples life like he has done. and to blame shorten for his own treachery…it is about time labor bought him under the limelight and see if he can tap dance as well as he can destroy not only rudd…Gillard and now shorten and the rest of our beautiful country for his own greedy self interests………may his god forgive him as I am sure he dos not have the same god as I……

  2. aravis1

    At last! Thank you Victoria! Now if people would try to read this excellent article without their blinkers on, we might find that the political landscape is healthier, and less conducive of letting the toxic LNP back into office at the next election.

  3. Kaye Lee

    I would also like to see Labor and the Greens stop beginning every sentence with Tony Abbott. It gives him a credence he doesn’t deserve.

  4. diannaart

    Good call, Kaye Lee

  5. clarelhdm

    I’m sorry Victoria, but i think this is a very stupid article. I am tempted to say that it is you who are obsessed about Labor and are now looking for some other angle to justify their weakness in opposition. Abbott’s ‘obsession’ so called is borne of him never having policies or ideals, and continuing in the stance of vicious opposition, in which he was unfortunately a very effective operator, assisted by the Murdoch press. But this isn’t surprising. I knew you would turn on the Greens, which you most certainly did, but this seems to be the only response Labor has when left wingers desert the party given recent decisions by Labor to support LNP policy…eg the Border Force act.. BTW, there are other left wing parties that people support, other than the Greens, which are also garnering support given Labor’s recent actions. This current Labor line ‘You either support us, or you’re really supporting Abbott’ is ridiculous, snatching at straws and totally counter productive. People are leaving Labor because it is not following its stated platform, it wants to disassociate itself further from its union base and has moved not just to the centre, but now right of centre, as it seems to have no answer to Abbott’s wedge politics. I don’t care what you say, but I will not vote for a party that supports not only the offshore detention facilities, but also the extra layer of oppression caused by the Border Force act. BTW, i am not a Greens supporter, and far from being obsessed with labor, i am just disappointed with them.

  6. brickbob

    Thanks Victoria for some wonderful writing on the subject of Labor bashing,i knew it was happening but i did not realise the extent of it until i read your piece. My opinion for what it’s worth is that the two progressive parties in this country should put aside any differences they have,sit down at the table like true adults and form a Coalition with real leaders with vision and aspirations that the voters are obviously crying out for,and insure that far right vicious thugs like Abbott and Co never again take control of this country.”””””””

  7. Harquebus

    Labor politicians are the undemocratic scum of the Earth. The Liberals I expect to screw me however, when the Labor Party does it, that is betrayal.
    I will never forgive them for their regular collusion with the Coalition to systematically erode our liberties and as much as I despise the Coalition, I will from now until I die, vote Labor last.

    The Labor Party has no balls and are not worthy of respect nor support.

  8. jagman48

    And what did gain from the last comment. Sweet f all.

  9. miriamenglish

    Victoria, I mostly agree with you, but the bee you have in your bonnet about the Greens leads you to make statements that are not worthy of you.

    The Greens specifically are not looking to govern. The Greens are under no illusions that they can gain power themselves. Their whole focus is to attempt to keep the two main parties from doing bad things, and for the main part they succeed at it pretty well. If they wanted to rule they would be playing numbers games, but they don’t. They stand for the right thing to do. My own hope (which I’ll explain below) is for them to gain power, though I doubt they will, largely because of what you said: most people are obsessed with Labor — either poisonously against them or fanatically for them. Both positions are dangerous.

    The Abbott government and the Murdoch media are insanely anti-Labor. You are completely correct in how lunatic that stance is and how it becomes a cover for the ruinous extremist agenda of the Abbott government.

    Many Labor devotees are also obsessed with Labor, though I’ve noticed lately large numbers of traditional Labor voters are becoming disappointed with recent “lesser evil” actions of Labor. There is mounting concern that if you vote for the lesser of two evils you are still voting for evil. I come from a family of traditional Labor voters, but stopped voting for Labor when Kim Beazley betrayed the party’s progressive values and succumbed to xenophobia, rejecting asylum seekers. I hoped things would change afterward and Labor would be stung by the large number of people who turned to the Greens at that election (it doubled the Greens’ vote), but Labor seem to have incorporated xenophobia into their main platform. I don’t know anybody in my family who votes for Labor anymore, mainly for this reason.

    I wish Labor would come to their senses and move back toward the progressive values that made them the better party, but they keep doing remarkably terrible things — voting to keep rapes and child abuse and other abuses at the detention centres secret, voting to reduce the Renewable Energy Target, voting to increase surveillance, voting to allow corporations to control our internet, here in Queensland going ahead with the irresponsible Adani coal mine, and so on. Because of this, while the prospect of a new LNP government is terrifying, it is still very scary to consider Labor gaining office. They are losing (perhaps have even lost) their moral centre.

    I would love for Labor to usurp the Greens’ position on everything. I get the feeling from the Greens that they would be similarly relieved. You said, “that Greens would have to start to develop their own policies and to stop trying to take credit for Labor policy that they have supported in the past. That’s the thing about the Greens – they only differentiate themselves from Labor when it suits their political purposes, but when Labor has done something popular the Greens try to steal the credit.” This makes you look hysterical. It is ridiculous. The Greens have clearly set out their policies ages ago and they stick to them.

    I’m not sure why you become so inflamed with passion against the Greens, but I have a bit of a theory. I think Labor deserting its progressive values hurts you just as it does me, but instead of shifting your support to the Greens for continuing to promote those ideals, you see the Greens as having stolen Labor’s thunder. But you’re mistaken. Labor have discarded it themselves. By all means work within Labor to get them to return to those values, but please don’t denounce the Greens for remaining true to them.

    Personally, I hope the Greens do gain power. It would give Labor the kick in the pants they need to return to the progressive values that were their great strength. It would also kill off the malignant neo-con cancer growing in the LNP. After that we could safely return Labor to power and get back to putting our country on the path to prosperity and health once more, something Labor have managed to to do far more often than the LNP.

  10. Blanik

    The LNP government get away with it because invisiBill allows them to do it. The Greens are looking better every day.

  11. townsvilleblog

    Victoria, once again you have hit the nail on the head. Only roughly half of the Labor Party even cares about the working class, the other half like Shorten the right wing couldn’t care less all they want is to go down in history as Minister for something or Prime Minister in Shorten’s case. He has a great facade which only occasionally pokes its ugly head out and says what he would like to say instead of his rehearsed speeches. So let’s nor kid ourselves that any government gives a tinker’s curse about we the people.

  12. Roswell

    “And what did gain from the last comment. Sweet f all.”

    That about sums it up.

  13. townsvilleblog

    Harquebus I know how you feel these days I make a point of asking which faction a candidate is in before I offer any support, if they sat right wing I say go to hell, I’ll vote Independent.

  14. Harquebus

    “And what did gain from the last comment. Sweet f all.”

    I was hoping for a debate. Wishful thinking on my part.

  15. Greg

    Ain’t no cure for stupid. These aticles that start off as an apparent reasoned discussion about policy and governing issues always seemly end up as rabid Abbott fear mongering. I fear they do the exact opposite so until labor and it media supporters stops trying to out abbott abbott and focus on a different approach to unsettling him we will continue to increase his position. I am not lib, labor or green but will vote for whoever puts up the most sustainable humane but Australia centered argument presented in an adult manner minus finger pointing and point scoring. Then I listen!!!!!!!

  16. Amanda Scott

    I totally agree Victoria. I blame the media mostly, some because they’re simply an extension of the LNP. that’s the 70% News Corp control. But the others are cowered by the bully boys. Either focus on who’s donating to both parties and ignore government controlled propaganda. Either focus on internal ructions on both sides or better still not at all. Stop talking up Abbott’s electoral chances when the Libs have been behind since April 2014 and most slightly better polls are Rupert’s polls. The Greens do want it both ways and their problem is that when they oppose labor the risk increasing Abbott’s power. I still haven’t forgiven them for opposing Gillard on climate changes legislation. Yes I agreed that they didn’t go far enough but look what we have now. They’re doing the same thing in Victoria with the port sale and the rail crossings. Sometimes in a conservative country like Australia you have to progress slowly or the reactionaries gain control. Once I used to vote for them in the senate. Never again.

  17. bobrafto

    It’s as though no commentator wants to be left out when writing about Abbott. It appears to be mandatory to mention how baaad the Labor Party was, it applies to all the media commentators left and right and it has seeped into the collective psyche of the country.

    Abbott has conditioned the punters, the question is how does one undo this conditioning especially when you have a shit scared ABC behaving badly and having to scale a 70% Murdock media mountain?

  18. Roswell

    Harquebus, you might indeed have been waiting for a debate, but if you want a debate I’m sure people would be willing to oblige if it was more in keeping with the topic.

    But I’ll give you one thing: at least you didn’t mention wind farms.

  19. Harquebus

    Roswell.
    That comment was genuine. I despise the Labor Party and sometimes, I can’t help myself.

    There is not one Labor politician that represent their constituents. They represent the Labor Party.
    The Liberals are almost as bad but, not quite and I despise them almost as much.

  20. Lee

    Australian society in general has grown more self-centred and focused on money. The Liberal Party pitches their policies at the greed and points out how Labor gets in the way of consumerism. The way for Labor to attract voters back is to become more like the Liberal Party. Oh wait……..

  21. kerri

    #clarelhdm you have expressed my views precisely although I would say Victoria is very Labor obsessed much to my disappointment!
    # Harquebus agree with most of what you say. But I will not put Labor last. That is a place that MUST be reserved for the LNP.
    #miriamenglish very well said! Yes the difference between Greens and Labor is Greens put principles first, Labor put votes first.
    #Blahnik spot on!

  22. hemingway13

    This is one of the most insightful and lucid analyses that I have encountered since the LNP bulldozed and bulldusted their way into government with the full force of Murdoch’s propaganda juggernaut and our MSM’s echo chamber overstuffed with lazy, if not dopey journos.

    Since the ABC News has lain doggo throughout this decade (e. g. Mark Simpkin, ABC chief political correspondent, now runs the PM’s media operations), thank goodness for AIMN’s cogent columnists like the exceptionally perspicacious Ms Rollison. It gives me a scintilla of hope these political Dark Ages will not continue to blight our society into the next decade.

  23. georgep

    It is hardly surprising Victoria that in a (largely) two party system the opposition will feature prominently in any political discussion. But please don’t mistake that as some intrinsic appeal unique to the Labor Party. Recall that Tony Abbott and co. were never far from the headlines when the LNP was in opposition.

    The frustration you misread as obsession arises not because the Labor Party is inexorably intertwined in Australian politics but because the party itself has sold out its heritage and its values. That has definitely got people talking.

    Disclaimer: I am a disgruntled ex lifelong Labor voter, now a member of The Greens (the first time in my 50-odd years I have joined a political party).

    I suspect your continued Green’s bashing is a form of obsession itself. Your party is almost indistinguishable from the LNP and therefore its relevance, and you fear the rise of a credible left leaning alternative. Thus any opportunity to paint The Greens as the bogey man is not to be foregone.

  24. randalstella

    Does the writer seriously mean to include that Labor Party in Government in her State?
    The property developers’ friend, the requisitioner of public land and public parks for housing development – the Party of Part-Time Pat, the former longtime Planning Minister who had such dedication to the cause that when he retired from the Cabinet, went to the backbench while working for a law firm on facilitating private planning applications? Such evident probity! Not even a hint of awareness about the impropriety of this.
    Is that the Party that the Greens are allegedly trying to take over from?
    Not even the SA Libs can keep up with them, coming across as environmentalists and protectors of public amenities and services..

    Back to the Feds: if an Abbott lackey Commissioner makes unsubstantiated slurs against my integrity as a witness, as if he’s drawing me back to the questions – do I sit there like a passive nonce, taking it; like as if I have the temperament of someone who could be the IPA boss’ best mate? What are Labor going to do about Labor; as they can control none of the other major players?

  25. jusme

    I agree that when Labor is in power the focus is about 90:10 on Labor, even in the leadup to an election which is an MSM failure.
    Now that the coalition are running the joint, the focus is about 50:50. Mind you, I avoid news ltd where i’m sure the focus is still 90:10 on Labor.
    I’m with the Greeners here though. The Greens have plenty of ideas, many of which are only now being usurped by Labor. Renewables, Gay acceptance, being the standouts. I’d have to go look, but I bet the Greens proposed dropping negative gearing, tax concessions LONG ago too.
    I wouldn’t have been as blunt as Harbeque’s first comment, but he’s right.
    A good example is the current Shenhua mine kerfluffle.
    Back in March, the Greens sought to protect that prime ag-land from miners with a motion in the senate. Labor, to a wo/man voted WITH the coalition to reject the motion.
    Labor is an illusion, i’m truly sorry to say.

  26. eli nes

    the reason nobody knows what labor stands for is each labor speaker has their own spin there is no consistency. the reason nobody knows what labor stands for is there no longer any fight in the unions. the reason nobody knows what labor stands for is the inability for the uni graduate top to talk to the school leaver bottom. the reason nobody knows what labor stands for is the leader’s adherence to the rabbutt’s commercial TV question avoidance principles, the reason nobody knows what labor stands for is there are no slogans on rabbutt’s debt lies the reason nobody knows what labor stands for is that when we see labor they are agreeing with abbutt about something abbutt has kept secret releasing little dribbles and disagreeing with something abbutt has kept secret and silent on things that abbutt has kept secret and keeping things secret like billy’s campaign kerfuffle did billy think the royal commission wouldn’t find out??? the reason nobody knows what labor stands for is the have taken ‘pro-active’ from their dictionary. The reason nobody knows what labor stands for is there is no recognition of the economic efforts of gillard and swan or any mention of AAA rating or abbutt’s borrowings.
    For me victoria’s words explain why nobody knows what labor stands for:
    “But we never get to actually hear about these extreme values from the mouths of the politicians who hold them”
    Is that not the job of the opposition? if labor asked the questions on sunrise or today would karl baby and kochie follow up????

  27. Florence nee Fedup

    What are these wonderful values that many want Labor to go back to. To me, just as silly, as Abbott taking us back to middle last century.

    What does right and left mean today.

    The Labor, I suspect many yearn for, existed when most workers were uneducated labourers. Where only a small middle class existed. Where wages were low. Where, may I say it, the workers knew their place

    Life was simple when it came to politics. Them and us, never the twine shall meet.

    Today, uneducated low paid workforce is not the norm. Unskilled work has joined the dodos.

    Workers need to be highly educated, skilled and adaptable to survive. Our society, economy will deteriorate, goes backwards if this does not happen.

    Labor needs to be about ensuring the essential infrastructure , both physical and human is put in place.

    Labor needs to be a party of the future, not of the past. Words like socialism, left or right have little meaning today.

    It is about creating a vibrant, civil society, where all prosper.

    Take one of the biggest problems facing us. That of DV. Spending money here will save billions in the future. DV not only kills, it produces dysfunctional families, children and future dysfunctional adults. All become a great cost on society. Children who grow up uneducated,. Mental illness and jail fodder. The list is endless. Often to repeat their parents relationship, dysfunctional families themselves.

    Please, can others tell me what are the Labor values they want bought back?

  28. miriamenglish

    Florence, I can only speak for myself, but what I used to value about Labor were these things:
    – a recognition that absorbing many cultures into Australia made us stronger, not weaker (so long as we avoided creating ghettos)
    – the understanding that educating the poor reaps great rewards for our society, thus education should be available to all, not just the wealthy
    – the realisation that disease doesn’t discriminate on the basis of income and that it is in everybody’s best interests to have a healthy, disease-free society, not just health for the rich
    – the knowledge that businesses are important, but that they are nothing without workers, and happy, healthy, well-educated workers make a business better
    – they recognised that almost nobody wants to be unemployed; that we’d all much prefer to be earning a good income as a respected contributing member of society
    – a high standard of living is a worthwhile goal in itself and has very little to do with money; in fact greed actually impedes access to a high standard of living for all (this is close to the antithesis of LNP philosophy, if they could be said to have a philosophy).

    Most of these are legacies of Gough Whitlam and have gradually been diluted by later Labor governments, but there was always an element of these beliefs motivating their actions. Even now the spark hasn’t gone out. Much of the above are still true to some extent of Labor… even as they argue that it’s not practical (or some similar conservative-like excuse).

    I just wish they’d come back from the right-wing side of the political spectrum where they’ve been tricked and seduced into wandering, looking lost. It would be nice to be able to vote for them again.

  29. Lee

    Thank you Miriam. I’d like to see Labor return to these values too.

  30. Harquebus

    The media are a pack of animals and will attack the weakest. If Tony Abbott and the coalition continue to poll badly, even a whiff of a leadership challenge and they will turn.

  31. Matters Not

    The media are a pack of animals and will attack the weakest.

    A very unhelpful generalisation, completely lacking in subtly. No insights as to ‘how’ and ‘why’ and treating the MSM as an united force is naive.

    But I am not surprised. Wild generalisations have become your ‘signature tune’.

    Just sayin …

  32. trishcorry

    Thank you Victoria. This is definitely one of your best pieces yet. I have just read it three times. Spot on and a subject well worth talking about. I would encourage you to modify this to the format required by mainstream newspapers (not sure where you would find their guidelines) and submit this at least to The Guardian as your first point of call. This article deserves a wider reach. Congratulations on an excellent piece of work.

  33. Marilyn

    Oh dear, let’s have a bash at the Greens, I am really over the ALP obsession with hating the Greens while sticking to the LNP like flies on shit for every evil policy they come up with.

    The reason the ALP are on the nose Victoria is because they are hardly one bit different to the LNP and that is not an obsession.

    About 2 million voters now would rather not have anything to do with the ALP or the LNP and it’s time the ALP stopped talking about themselves.
    They are even quite absurdly trying to blame the Greens because they voted against mandatory protection of refugee kids in our prisons and Shorten took a mere 10 seconds out of his miserable lazy life to support making crimes against humanity, rape, murder and torture started by the ALP outside the courts retrospectively.

  34. Harquebus

    Matters Not.
    Do you disagree do you prefer more articulate comments. Perhaps I should have expanded it to read “main stream journalists”.
    Politicians continue to lie to us and it is the main stream journalists that continue to let them get away with it and I despise them for it. Oops, there I go generalizing again. Sometimes, I just can’t help myself.

    “Life is really simple but, we insist on making it complicated.” — Confucius

  35. Matters Not

    do you prefer more articulate comments

    Yes. As for MSM, I think I’m conscious of of that abbreviation. Just sayin …

    As for:

    Sometimes, I just can’t help myself.

    That’s quite obvious.

    But will you take responsibility for that admission, given the implications? And will you refrain in the future? And if not then why not?

    Sorry if ‘logic’ is beyond you.

  36. Florence nee Fedup

    Miriam, thank for your reply. One hundred percent agreement.

  37. Harquebus

    Matters Not.
    Logic is my forte.
    This is a forum. If you want articulate, I can add you to my mailing list.
    I see no reason to refrain from doing anything just to satisfy your obese estimation of self worth.

  38. Harquebus

    Well said georgep and miriamenglish.
    It is good to see that not all of us fooled by Labor’s male bovine excrement.

  39. eli nes

    your are right miriam – absorbing cultures has two elements and Al was a fervent advocate for culture – religion is the current problem as all sects have but a single element and that is impervious – education was dependent on intelligence and exams were to exclude(there were many ways for the rich to avoid exclusion) the children of workers at 3 levels with the last for those who were not in the top 10%.
    Since the war, despite pigiron bob, the DLP and Santa Maria, the unions brought Australia out of the pommie clutches and into the world – we became rich – we could travel – apprenticeships were available to people young enough to get dirty and believe in sky hooks – their work was marked right or wrong not 6/10 pass and wrong meant do it again till it is right.
    We were the labor party, we cared, we were included. We were aware of a few bludgers mixed with the needy and could see the few rorters mixed with the honest traders and occasionally a pink batt company would get caught when rich fingers got burnt but the rule was better to let a bludger through than hurt the needy. That attitude is what I miss.
    The labor slide began when hawke stabbed hayden but hawke had done things, keating had done things gillard had done things and they were doers,True that shorten had beaconsfield but that was his zenith and he is beazley, (who like hewson would have been as good for australia as howard was bad) with baggage. Is he, unlike that pair, able to expose his nemesis? Is he like the other pair, unelectable?

  40. trishcorry

    Nothing will dispel Marilyn Concerns Michael. She makes almost a daily point of replying to my Twitter posts bashing Labor. It is her favourite past time. Labor could ensure world peace, house all the homeless and feed all the poor; but Marilyn will be there screaming they are child abusers, murderers etc,. etc., This article is for people just like Marilyn who blindly bash, bash, bash Labor every day and would not have a damn clue what Labor is even about or what they stand for. Although Tony Abbott has been in charge of asylum seekers for 23 months, Marilyn still rants about Gillard and asylum seekers on Twitter – not Abbott. Its all Gillard’s Fault you know. Marilyn may as well stick a Tony Abbott corflute in her front yard, because although she says she does not support Liberals – by bashing Labor to the extent that she does, she may as well be on the LNP payroll.

  41. Harquebus

    “and would not have a damn clue what Labor is even about or what they stand for.”
    Does anyone? I don’t think that Labor has the courage to stand for anything.
    Time and time again, they have let us down and still they expect us to support them for the only reason being, that they are not the coalition.

  42. Lee

    “would not have a damn clue what Labor is even about or what they stand for.”

    Well we know they stand for inhumane treatment of asylum seekers, imprisonment of health care professionals who speak up about abuses to a vulnerable and suffering group of people, fearmongering amongst Australians re: terrorism and privatisation of public services. All noble causes, not.

  43. trishcorry

    Ladies and Gentlemen. Here we have Lee. Lee is a shining example of exactly what this piece is trying to bring to light. Lee here is placing blame on Labor for the Abbott Government’s operationalisation of Asylum Seeker policies. Off Shore processing can be supported as a policy, however it is the operationaisation of it that is a concern. Unbeknownst to Lee, because he is probably head down in the Left Weekly and trolling comments on Labor FB pages, he missed the speech by Bill Shorten where he passionately stated that Labor will be tough on border security, but they will release policies which show transparent and humane treatment and stand Labor apart from the Liberals. In fact he says he condemns the Abbott Govt’s treatment of Asylum seekers. Although this is a huge point of difference between Liberal and Labor, Lee here chooses not to speak about it, but instead of being angry at Abbott, he chooses to in some parallel universe believe that the Labor Government is still in power and operationalising asylum seeker policy.

    Now if we move to the imprisonment of health care professionals accusation. The Greens started this as a huge grab against Labor. However, what the Greens are not speaking about, is that all of these concerns were raised in the Senate Enquiry for the Border Force Bill and were addressed by the Abbott Government that Health Care professionals can indeed report abuse under the Public Disclosure act and whistleblowers protection act. This satisfied the Senate Enquiry. In fact, it satisfied the Chair of the Senate Enquiry and that Chair was Senator Hanson Young of the Greens. Being happy with the questions asked about reporting and the answers given, Senator Hanson Young signed off on it. It does not take very much for any journalist in this country to read the senate enquiry document on the Border Force Bill. It does not take much for a member of the public to read it either. I’ll even help – it is on page 14 items 2.22 and 2.23. It is online and downloadable in PDF and word format.

    Richard Marles also clarified this on Q&A, and he stated Labor was not speaking out about it because it is actually the Abbott Government’s job to defend their legislation. So not only does the Abbott Government not stand up and clarify this issue for many angry doctors and health care workers and angry public, but along with Lee, they somehow think this is Labor’s job and it also appears that the main stream media and many social media bloggers also think this is Labor’s job. I do not believe for one second that Liberal Senators (as some are actually liberal, not neo-liberalist fascists) and Labor senators support secrecy of child abuse; considering it was the Labor Government who insisted on a Royal Commission into child abuse. Senator Hanson Young’s motion for altering the bill to say that health professionals could report was voted down, because it was a repetition of what was already in the bill, not because any of the senators on either side of politics agreed with secrecy of child abuse. These questions were asked and clarified already in the senate enquiry. Why would Senator Hanson Young sign off on the senate enquiry and then in a last ditch effort move a motion, she knew was already addressed at the enquiry she chaired? She knows repetitive inclusions are voted down. Why is no journalist in this country asking that question? Because as Victoria points out in her article, they are all too busy Labor bashing. So here is another reason this article is so important. That Labor bashing gets in the way of investigating an issue properly. Not one journalist is raising the point that all of these questions were asked at the Senate enquiry and signed off on by the Chair, which is a Greens Senator.

    Lee is blaming Labor for Fear Mongering amongst Australians re: Terrorism. Oh now Lee is rather confused. The Labor bashing has done something to his eyesight. Lee is so groggy from all the Labor Bashing, he thinks it is Bill Shorten standing in front of 2,345 flags and telling people the death cult is coming for us. He thinks it is Bill Shorten who has put some ridiculous amount approved for the purchasing of flags for MPs. Lee is too busy Labor bashing, he can’t see Tony Abbott for the trees / errrr flag poles.

    Lee also blames Labor for privatisation of public services. I think this just might be a remnant that the Greens feel they need to attack Labor so much more than the Liberals and so do the newspapers, that Lee thinks it is Labor trying to destroy Medicare, pushing a co-payment through the back door, ripping billions from health, so it puts pressure on health services to outsource / privatise and to starve the states so they vote for an increase in the GST. Lee must also think it is Labor who wants to means test families to allow them access to public education and force $100,000 degrees onto uni students. Lee hasn’t clued on that all of these are all Abbott and the Liberals. The Liberals ideology supports Privatisation, Labor supports a social democracy and a welfare state. Labor has stood up and fought against privatisation of our public services and is the party who has delivered the progressive policies to deliver us the public service system we have and so many take for granted, including Medicare and superannuation.

    I think soon Labor Bashing will get so wild and confusing, Labor Bashers will soon be blaming Gough for his own dismissal.

    Lee’s comment above, really reaffirms the points Victoria has made in her article.

    Ps. If I sound Narky in this post – it is because I am. I am sick to death of the unsubstantiated negative rhetoric against Labor. These people may as well stick a corflute of Tony Abbott in their front yard.

  44. Florence nee Fedup

    I agree with Trish.time to listen to what Labor is saying. Not to what Abbott and MSM accuse them of. There is an onset of filth coming from fronts of Abbott re Shorten, anyone connected to him. It appears all Labor in Victoria are nothing more than criminals. Seems to be based on guilt by association.

    The biggest disgrace, trouble with this governments refugee question, is not offshore processing is not policy but the way it has been implemented. Much of the recommendations of the Houston Expert Panel has been jettison, cocentrating on turning back boats and TPV. Neither part recommendations. Nearly two years later, we have only hand full resettled. None in PNG.

    Labor was open, working with others in the region. We can and should be bringing more from countries in the region. Labor increase numbers to 20,000 with intention of nearly 30,000. This mob decreased number to questions, 13,700. Why was never explained.

  45. Florence nee Fedup

    I support many Green policies. I like what she independents say. There are some things I would rather Labor did different.

    I hate all that Abbott and his cronies stand for. Not in my wildest dreams, nightmares, can I ever see Labor be so cruel.

    The one thing this nation and it’s people cannot endure, is for Abbott to get a second term.

  46. trishcorry

    There are some things I wish Labor did differently too, but they have a good platform for member input to get things changed as well and on the whole, they are the ONLY party who have delivered progressive reform. Not Liberals and not the Greens. Labor can’t implement Labor policies if we have “Anti-Abbott” people not focusing on Abbott, but convincing fellow voters not to vote for Labor. There are far more right wing minor parties and Independents who will side with Abbott and return Abbott to power. You only need to look at the original cross bench in the senate made up of multiple parties to see that.

  47. Lee

    “Ladies and Gentlemen. Here we have Lee. Lee is a shining example of exactly what this piece is trying to bring to light. Lee here is placing blame on Labor for the Abbott Government’s operationalisation of Asylum Seeker policies.”

    “Lee thinks it is Labor trying to destroy Medicare, pushing a co-payment through the back door, ripping billions from health, so it puts pressure on health services to outsource / privatise and to starve the states so they vote for an increase in the GST. Lee must also think it is Labor who wants to means test families to allow them access to public education and force $100,000 degrees onto uni students. Lee hasn’t clued on that all of these are all Abbott and the Liberals.”

    Ladies and Gentleman, here we have Trish. Trish has provided a brilliant example of a straw man fallacy. Way to go, Trish!

    A straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while actually refuting an argument which was not advanced by that opponent.

    I thought it was only Liberal supporters who didn’t bother to read the reports of the AHRC but I stand corrected. Trish seems unaware that Labor was locking up asylum seekers before Abbott became PM. .

    ” I am sick to death of the unsubstantiated negative rhetoric against Labor.”

    So Trish are you denying that Labor locked up asylum seekers and wants that to continue? Do you deny that they voted to support the Liberal Party’s bill to imprison those who speak out against human rights abuses of asylum seekers? Incidentally, human rights lawyers don’t see that piece of legislation in the same light as the Labor politicians. I’ll defer to their experience practising the law in a relevant field every day rather than to a politician who doesn’t. I recall an episode of Q and A a few months ago with Julian Burnside, Kelly O’Dwyer and Kate Ellis. Julian raised concerns about the passing of some recent anti-terrorist legislation and it was howled down by the ladies. After the show Julian tweeted that neither of them were aware of what was in the legislation they just passed. We see examples of politicians voting for legislation they clearly don’t understand, we see politicians sleeping or reading poetry books when they are supposed to be working. I have provided feedback on proposed legislation when it has been out for public comment and I have a good understanding of the topic. If you think every single one of them has a thorough understanding of the impact of the legislation they vote in, then you are very naive.

    Trish are you also denying that Labor is supporting the Liberal Party in its fear campaign and hasn’t voted to introduce more anti-terror laws, when lawyers already say we have enough laws? Are you denying that Labor has voted for the collection of our metadata? Are you denying that Labor governments privatise public services? I’ve been working in the public service for almost 30 years. Labor tells us that they support the public service but their actions speak very differently. The Liberal Party isn’t the only one selling off public assets, contracting out work to the private sector and slashing jobs for public servants. By the way, I don’t just think that Labor is ripping money from health either. I know it because I work in the health sector, with the cuts and the increased inefficiencies and frustrations caused by contracting out services.

    If you think that any of the above is unsubstantiated then you have a major problem with honesty. I notice that you wasted no time bashing the Greens, yet nowhere in my post did I mention the Greens either. Victoria bashed the Greens too. I regularly see staunch Labor supporters bashing the Greens. You can give it but you can’t take it. Why do Labor members and supporters spend so much time bashing a party that allegedly shares the same position on many issues as Labor does? At times Labor’s bashing of the Greens seems far more prevalent than their bashing of the Liberal Party.

    Many voters are struggling to see the difference between the Labor and the Liberal Party. Some of that may be due to the bias of the MSM. Labor has a responsibility to change that perception if they want the votes. Labor uses social media very poorly, unlike the Greens and the Australian Progressives. Several of the regulars at AIMN have criticised Labor for remaining silent in the face of the Liberal Party attacks and for not releasing any policies.

    “Lee is too busy Labor bashing, he can’t see Tony Abbott for the trees”

    Really? I’ve just had a glance at my Facebook and Twitter accounts and I think it’s a fair estimate that my criticism of the Liberal Party exceeds that of the Labor Party by at least 50:1. I’ve stated here several times that i live in Christopher Pyne’s electorate, have always preferenced him last and look forward to doing it again at the next election. You must have missed it when you were busy bashing the Greens.

    Victoria wrote “I wrote about what it would take for the Greens to become a mainstream political party. This included the advice that Greens would have to start to develop their own policies and to stop trying to take credit for Labor policy that they have supported in the past.”

    Since both Labor and the Greens are in support of the same policy, does it really matter whose idea it was? If the Labor Party is really representing all of us and wants to act in our best interests, why do Labor supporters have to repeatedly harp on this? It’s childish and petty.

    When Sir Thomas Playford was Premier of South Australia, the Labor leader Mick O’Halloran worked cooperatively with Playford and wasn’t concerned with being out of power because Playford was serving the left wing constituents very well by creating jobs, building up public infrastructure and providing low cost public housing. They were politicians who really were there for the entire electorate, not just feathering their own nests and helping their wealthy mates and donors.

    Both you and Victoria have defended your support of the Labor Party at AIMN and criticised Greens supporters because (and I paraphrase) you think that Greens supporters are uncompromising and you think it is preferable to compromise on some issues and work together for the greater good. If the Labor Party really does have far more in common with the Greens than the Liberals, as they would have us believe, then it’s time to start putting the money where the mouth is. Work together with the Greens to provide benefits for the majority of us instead of preferencing the Greens last. We will know you by your actions.

  48. Lee

    “There are far more right wing minor parties and Independents who will side with Abbott and return Abbott to power. You only need to look at the original cross bench in the senate made up of multiple parties to see that.”

    All the more reason why Labor should be working with the Greens instead of preferencing them last. But hey, if they want to keep on hammering nails into their own coffin then that’s their choice.

  49. aravis1

    Three hearty cheers for trishcorry – and for Victoria too, for finally standing up and saying what I and others have been trying to say for months! I understand the anger, trishcorry, because I share it in spades. But it seems that the whole debate – if we can dignify it by that name – has come down to Green supporters bashing Labor till it bleeds, and then standing back and saying, I told you so! Labor’s useless! as the party reels from concerted LNP and Greens attacks. I am starting to despair of Australian intelligence as a collective entity. Have we so drunk the toxic koolaid of Murdoch and his slaves, that we cannot think for ourselves, nor think critically, nor read and parse the arguments of others? Are we truly so STUPID? The political ignorance here is astounding.
    This is the first time in my life that I have joined a political party; I joined Labor, not because I am a passionate Labor supporter – was usually a swinging voter, voting for issues – but because Labor is our hope for digging out of the deep pit of neo-fascism we have been thrust into. And because Labor for all its faults, is the party that really does care for the people. I want to help it swing away from the right and back to core values. I had hope for the Greens, until recently, as a minor party which was honest and stable; I have lost that hope for now. The political wilderness will continue to hold the Greens unless they also go back to core values. Behaving like LNP-lite will not do that. Dishonesty and slanting of Labor’s stances will not do that.
    if anyone who is so intent on bashing Labor actually troubles to find and read their media releases, their statements of policy, their occasional speeches (when they are able to get them published) a different picture emerges from the tired old “Libs and Labor all the same” mantra.
    But I hold little hope for any sensible reply to any of us who are trying to make sense of the current debates. We seem to be blindly following the Americans – always a most stupid thing to do – in polarisation for the sake of it. Beware; this attitude is possibly going to give us the LNP fascists back for a second term. If that happens, for myself, my rage will be incandescent, not against the Liberal voters, but against those who pretend to care for our country and society, yet use their liberty to bring it down. You all know who I mean.

  50. corvus boreus

    The next election will quite likely see A Abbott and company returned with a slightly diminished majority.

    This will be largely down to Labor persisting with W Shorten, an unpopular and tainted player from the factional ‘right’ who votes for repression of basic civil rights whilst consistently speaking against any independent investigation of political corruption.
    Labor has apparently learned nothing from the dodgy debacles inflicted upon NSW by the ‘Terrigal Mafia’, and the widespread electoral disgust that has ensued.

    Meanwhile, the Greens primary vote will probably continue to climb.

  51. mars08

    Lee… well said…

  52. miriamenglish

    Trish, it took me a little while to find the documents you referenced about the Australian Border Force Bill 2015, and I looked for the allowances for health professionals to report mistreatment of refugees. It isn’t there. There are some very vaguely worded allowances for people to report information if the law requires it. They also may report criminal activity or serious misconduct. It doesn’t seem to say who they’re allowed to report it to, and I think they’re talking about reporting only within the department structure. They do say that 2 years’ imprisonment awaits anybody releasing information. They also say that the burden of proof is on the person making the disclosure that it was legal to do so. That is, the normal process of proof is reversed.

    They don’t actually say that harm to the refugees is misconduct, which is understandable given that that’s the entire purpose of the damn concentration camps — to make life so utterly horrible and tortured that they make people who are fleeing for their lives not come here. Senator Hanson-Young did not propose a repetition of the existing text. Her proposal was a single sentence inserted to clarify that in disclosing information “the making of the record, or the disclosure, causes, is likely to cause, or is intended to cause, harm to a public interest.” My reading of that is that it gives people a way to say that a disclosure is in the public interest. It was a cunning way to introduce the public interest into the argument. Without it, it is easy for the officials to argue that bad treatment of the asylum seekers is the intention of the whole operation, so the person disclosing information must go to prison.

    Being a writer, I’m appalled at the “English” used in this document. It is incredibly badly written and opaque and seems deliberately vague. Bureaucrats should not be allowed to write public policy documents. It is no surprise that hardly anybody has read it. It is written in a manner to cause anybody’s eyes to glaze over after the first few pages. Even the simplified “Explanatory Memorandum” which you kind of pointed people to (the link is: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5408 ) is not much better. If you want to ensure such things avoid democracy, this is how you write them. It should be an offense to write public documents that the public have no hope of reading. It is no wonder half the damn parliament don’t read their documentation, avoid doing their jobs, or sleep through sessions.

    If I had my way talented poets and novelists would be used to write such public documents. Many poets in particular are able to economically convey large amounts of precise information in a very small number of words (of course some poets are even more vague than these shitty documents).

  53. miriamenglish

    By the way, I notice that in the discussion of human rights in the documents I haven’t been able to find any reference to the rights of the asylum seekers. Only the rights of the workers seems to be of interest. If anybody can find reference to refugee rights in the document I’d be glad and relieved to be corrected.

  54. trishcorry

    Miriam I did not point people to the explanatory memorandum, that is in the Bill list you have linked, not the Senate Enquiry document. It is the Senate Enquiry document which I referred to in my comments, which the questions were raised about the clause in question and responded to, to the satisfaction of the senate enquiry. Senator Hanson Young’s single sentence meant the same as what already existed in the document and clarified by senate enquiry. Do you really truly believe that Liberal and Labor senators are so hateful they are intentionally championing secrecy of child abuse? I certainly don’t.

  55. Lee

    “And because Labor for all its faults, is the party that really does care for the people. I want to help it swing away from the right and back to core values.”

    Does it ever occur to you that if Labor really does care for the people it wouldn’t need to be swung away from the right and back to its core values?

    “Labor is our hope for digging out of the deep pit of neo-fascism we have been thrust into”

    “We seem to be blindly following the Americans – always a most stupid thing to do ”

    America is currently governed by their equivalent of the Labor Party. America is up to its eyeballs in neo-liberalism and both of our major parties are intent upon following them.

    Australian society is immersed in materialism and consumerism. The more we have, the more we want. Survey data has shown that people on higher incomes are more likely to say that they don’t have enough money for all of their needs than those on low incomes. This group that cannot distinguish the difference between needs and wants are in the majority of respondents. Is it therefore not surprising that neither of the major parties is willing to tax people on higher incomes fairly?

    Just look at the bashing the Greens are taking for voting on the recent changes to pensions. The group that is taking a cut and getting their panties in a bunch actually has enough in assets to provide for their needs. Yet they expect the government to provide for their wants as well.

    I really would not be surprised if the Labor vote continues to decline. The Liberal Party does a much better job of playing to the greedy upper and middle income voters. It won’t matter how bad they get because the greedy people will still be sucked in with their rhetoric. The lefties who feel betrayed by Labor will go to the Greens. If Labor wants to become a major force again they’re really going to have to start looking at job guarantees, getting rid of the GST and following the Scandinavians.They need another Gough, someone who is not afraid to make numerous changes all at once. They also need to stop misleading the electorate into believing that the federal budget is like a household budget. They have really backed themselves into a corner by playing along with the lie.

  56. Ishe B

    Thank you for the article. All this is in the election winning playbook from John Howard days. Attack dog the Opposition ALL THE TIME.
    As an aside, I really chuckled at this excerpt –
    For one thing, Muttart had developed a rich knowledge of how conservative parties worldwide were winning elections, in particular in Australia. He was intrigued by the success of Australian Prime Minister John Howard, a conservative who ended 13 years of Labour rule in 1996 before going on to win three consecutive elections. Howard adopted a market segmentation approach to appeal to “the battlers” – hard-working families struggling to raise their kids on small incomes. Focusing on this group had helped Howard win and Muttart was determined to find equivalent groups for Canada’s Conservatives.
    “Close campaigns are decided by the least informed, least engaged voters,” Muttart once told Jennifer Lees-Marshment, a New Zealand-based political scientist. “These voters do not go looking for political news and information. This necessitates brutally simple communication with clear choices that hits the voter, whether they like it or not.”
    http://www.nationalobserver.com/…/how-harper-will-win…
    Just as ‘location, location, location’ is the property mantra, ‘distraction, distraction, distraction’ is to politics.

  57. aravis1

    Of COURSE Labor will have to do these things you have mentioned Lee – WHEN they get back into power! Have you forgotten they are currently the OPPOSITION? As for the rest of your post, you can make statements as much as you like. Making a statement does not cause it to be true. And frankly, you are exemplifying my exasperated comment that, ” Have we so drunk the toxic koolaid of Murdoch and his slaves, that we cannot think for ourselves, nor think critically, nor read and parse the arguments of others? Are we truly so STUPID? The political ignorance here is astounding.” If the bias in our mind prevents us from true critical thinking, we will likely reply on a thread mainly for the satisfaction of seeing our writings. This does not advance the cause of reason.

  58. clarelhdm

    to Trish and aravis1 I put this. Lets forget for a moment (as you seem to want to) the history of off-shore detention, and who started what and why. Given the current state of these centres, tell me why, when the Border Force act was proposed, detailing possible 2 year jail sentences for doctors etc, Labor did not stand up and say ‘Stop!. This is enough. We are drawing a line in the sand. We do not support this, and never will’ ????? Why not? Despite the wedge of the asylum seeker issue (that they seem to be unable to extricate themselves from), they could have done this, and it would not have hurt them electorally. Even very conservative groups are vocally opposed to this legislation. They could have established a point of difference, then and there and showed what you supposedly say they believe in. But they didn’t. Please tell me why.
    thanks lee and miriam for your responses.

  59. Florence nee Fedup

    I take it, many would rather stick with Abbott. That can o nm lying be their only reason for attacking Opposition, instead government in power.

  60. Florence nee Fedup

    Listening to Labor in both houses, it is clear they have t a ken stand on asylum seekers. Still support recommendations from the Houston Expert Panel, very critical of the way it has been implemented.

    Labor can and is supporting offshore processing.

    Labor does not support how this government has cherry picked parts, and it cruel implementation.

    Can’t see us going back to open borders, as Greens want. That would be political suicide.

  61. Lee

    “Of COURSE Labor will have to do these things you have mentioned Lee – WHEN they get back into power! Have you forgotten they are currently the OPPOSITION?”

    No I haven’t forgotten, but I sometimes think that Labor has.

    “And frankly, you are exemplifying my exasperated comment that, ” Have we so drunk the toxic koolaid of Murdoch and his slaves, that we cannot think for ourselves, nor think critically, nor read and parse the arguments of others? Are we truly so STUPID? ”

    I don’t know about you, but last time I was tested my IQ was 138. I’m quite capable of thinking critically, thank you very much. For the time being at least, I am still allowed to have an opinion that differs from yours. I will not vote for anyone who abuses human rights. If that makes me stupid in your eyes, then so be it. Care factor = zero.

    Voting for the best of a bad bunch only validates what they are doing. We are in this mess because not enough voters care enough to stand up and demand the type of government they want.

  62. randalstella

    Trish Corry:
    “Do you really truly believe that Liberal and Labor senators are so hateful they are intentionally championing secrecy of child abuse? I certainly don’t. “

    Well, you have certainly done the equating of Labor with Liberal – that others here are very concerned about. Have you done it by elevating the gangsters in power to Labor, or dropping Labor into the same woeful dereliction of moral duty as the Liberals?
    Same difference. In long sermons here that are protracted refusals to take heed, so much is made of Labor’s superiority. But when it comes to this signal issue of depravity, you concede ‘no difference’.
    As posters here repeatedly ask: where is the moral courage of the alternative Government? And from that they are concerned about the actual moral fibre of Labor should they reach power.

    The moral equivalence that the MSM confect between Labor and the gangsters in power is one thing. That is a lie. The other thing is not. It is a real concern. Who are Labor, and what do they represent? If they cannot stand up on the issue of asylum seekers at all, what moral capacity do they have on other matters of iniquity, that are more complex and require more dexterity? The signs there also are not encouraging.

    At the next election I will put Labor above the Liberals in my preferences. Of course. Because I want the knuckledraggers out. But, are Labor depending on that? If that wishful thinking is applied across the electorate, it risks being a recipe for disaster.
    Unmitigated disaster would be the re-election of the gangsters; the most despicable and destructive Government in Aust. history. Why can’t Labor even say that simple thing?

  63. trishcorry

    Lee I have pointed out to you that you have just sat there and blamed Labor for the Abbott Governments treatment of Asylum seekers under their watch. Labor is not in power. Pointing out to you that Labor is not in power and is not responsible for operations of the Border Force Act and raise why you are not holding Abbott to account – is not a strawman argument.

    You then proceeded to blame Labor on a number of points, which are in fact the actions and behaviour of the Liberals, but you chose to accuse Labor or these. I gave you clear examples of what the Abbott Government is doing. Labor is NOT in power, therefore, obviously I will speak to what the Govt is doing, as I cannot provide you evidence of what policies Labor has currently put through Parliament, as surprise – they are NOT in Govt. I did use Labor ideology and previous policy to champion the protection of public services, as they are not in Govt to compare to Abbott. This is also not a strawman argument. If Labor has currently policies enacted and I was ignoring those and only pointing to Liberals, then that would be a strawman argument, but once again, Labor are not in power. Labor have not enacted any policies in this Parliament. They have put forth ONE private Bill regarding Marriage equality. You holding Labor to account when they are NOT in power, but Abbott is, is ludicrous and points to everything Victoria is trying to raise here. You should be so angry with Abbott, you shouldn’t have time to think about the opposition as indepth as you obviously do.

    I could not care what you have on your FB and Twitter accounts or even who you are on Twitter and FB. I responded to your comment in this thread. Maybe you are the person who had a random go at me last night on Twitter about this thread and I told you that with no context, you didn’t make sense. Was that you? I am supposed to know you live in Pyne’s electorate. You simply state “Lee” as your name. Am I supposed to be a psychic with a GPS?

    Another fallacy you have brought up. Labor and Liberal do not always support the same policy. Labor is centre-left. That means that they will take into consideration the impact of policy on community, such as jobs and the economy. The Greens are a protest party, they will advocate for say the closure of all mines, which would absolutely devastate esp the QLD economy and create mass unemployment. The recent jumping up and down from the Greens about the compromise on RET is a good example. If the Greens had their way, it would have caused massive job losses in this sector. Labor saved jobs in this sector and were crucified. The other recent example is that the Greens were drumming up hate against Labor as the Great Barrier Reef was not put on the danger list. Not only were Labor not in charge of this decision, but to have it on the Danger List would also devastate the economy from lost tourism dollars. Labor should be praised for the work they have done with the protection of the Reef, not demonised. People appear so quick to judge based off the word of the Greens without proper scrutiny, it is mind boggling.

    Parties need to take an incremental and rational approach to change, to minimise harm on the economy and society, not an all or nothing approach that the Greens take. The problem is that constructively criticising the Greens is also referred to as Greens Bashing, because there is so much Labor bashing going on, the Greens are never scrutinised and never held to account for anything. They will never Govern. Therefore can say whatever they like.

    I also think you will see that Labor sides with the Greens more often in the Senate than against them, if you analyse the senate voting patterns. So do you harp on about the Greens siding with the Liberals when they vote with the Liberals? No I thought not.

    Another Fallacy right here: “All the more reason why Labor should be working with the Greens instead of preferencing them last”

    Labor does not preference the Greens last. A quick look at HTV cards from 2013 shows that at the last election, Labor has Greens second or an Independent then Greens, and the Greens have Palmer United second or another minor or independent and Labor third. Funny thing is that Palmer supports Liberal more than Labor and it was the Palmer United preference flows that gave us a LNP member in the seat where I live. So why are you of the understanding that Labor preferences the Greens last so passionately you make a significant point of it?

    Thank you for once again reinforcing the legitimacy and urgency of Victoria’s article here.

  64. Roswell

    I’m a Labor voter and have been since 2001.

    But they do disappoint me for these reasons:

    1. There support of offshore detention.
    2. Their roll over in quickly supporting Abbott’s media laws etc.
    3. Bill Shorten saying that a Federal ICAC isn’t necessary. I was immediately struck with the obvious question “Why not?” A question I couldn’t myself answer.

    Nonetheless, I’ll vote for them next election.

  65. Roswell

    Oops. Spelling mistake noticed.

  66. miriamenglish

    Trish, I don’t wish to sound nit-picky, but please try to link to documents you are suggesting people read. Trying to find stuff on the government website can be somewhat trying… to put it mildly. That would be another reason people don’t read these things — they are difficult to find. I’ve been searching for a while now and I still can’t find the document you mention.

    Senator Hanson Young’s single sentence meant the same as what already existed in the document and clarified by senate enquiry

    If you can find any reference to public interest in the document then I’ll agree with you. As it stands though, it looks to me that Sarah Hanson-Young’s addition would have made a very important safeguard for health professionals. One that appears to be deliberately missing at the moment.

    Do you really truly believe that Liberal and Labor senators are so hateful they are intentionally championing secrecy of child abuse?

    I don’t really know what they think — they refuse to tell us. Probably “hateful” is the wrong word (except perhaps in Abbott’s case — I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that he literally hates the refugees). I think the LNP and Labor politicians are scared. They want to hide the child abuse, the murders, the beatings, and rapes because they don’t want to be held responsible. We do know that they want the concentration camps to be hell-holes that are sufficiently repellent that it causes refugees to avoid coming here, but they don’t want us to see how disgusting we are being. I do wonder how the LNP and Labor politicians feel personally, and how they sleep at night or look at themselves in the mirror, but as they exhibit no obvious discomfort about it I’m forced to conclude they don’t actually mind legalised beatings, rapes, and child sexual abuse. If they would speak up against it I would be very relieved to think otherwise… but they don’t. They avert their eyes and vote to continue the obscenity.

    It’s like we are people who live in a large and luxurious underground house and we’re turning away other families who live in our street (especially those with darker skin) during a bush fire. Then when some of the more sensitive members of our family point out we’re obligated by law to give these people shelter instead of sending them back into the inferno to their deaths, our family elders relent and allow some to stay in our sewer so long as they submit to regular rapes and beatings in an effort to discourage other families seeking refuge from the fire.

    It is appalling behavior.

    Note that I refuse to indulge in Orwellian doublespeak with use of the sanitised name “detention centre”. They are concentration camps. That’s what we should call them, and we should be duly shamed for allowing them.

  67. Lee

    Thanks for the link, Ishe. You may be interested in a book on this very topic, “Don’t Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate” by George Lakoff. He talks about how the conservatives are far better at it than the progressives and they put a lot of effort into carefully advertising their product in a way that resonates with voters.

  68. trishcorry

    Who is Dan Rowden on Twitter and why is he having a go at me on Twitter about this thread instead of commenting here? Could you please let me know who you are? And sorry, I don’t know Lee is a female from a green Avatar Dan and I can’t see how gender is relevant in this instance.

  69. Lee

    “3. Bill Shorten saying that a Federal ICAC isn’t necessary. I was immediately struck with the obvious question “Why not?” A question I couldn’t myself answer.”

    A lot of people i know who complain that one major party is as bad as the other, focus on this point. We’re told we have nothing to fear about the collection of our meta data if we aren’t doing the wrong thing. The NSW ICAC backfired on the Liberals yet Labor is opposed to a federal ICAC. Why?

  70. trishcorry

    Thanks aravis1. And thank you for choosing Labor to join.

  71. clarelhdm

    I can see neither trishcorry or aravis1 have answered my question above. Please answer my question

  72. miriamenglish

    A number of people have said that Labor are not in power and so can’t be criticised for the Abbott government’s horrible actions, but that’s not quite right. Abbott wouldn’t have been able to get a number of his more repellent bills through if Labor hadn’t voted with him to allow them. This is why so many people are horrified at what Labor are doing, and rightfully so. We thought Labor were the good guys, but they are voting for evil stuff. Even worse, they’re doing it while in opposition when it would serve them (and us all) well to defeat that evil. It could be argued that this is the main point of having an opposition!

    We expect perfectly horrible legislation and abuses of power from the repellent and corrupt Abbott government, but we are shocked when Labor side with it, allowing such things into law. Please don’t take that as Labor bashing. If Labor were considered as the same corrupt evil as the LNP then there would be little of the outrage and disappointment, just the fury and disgust we reserve for Abbott’s LNP.

    Sadly Labor have been making themselves into the lesser of two evils.

    If the LNP do get into power again next year I think we can attribute it to three things:
    – Abbott appealing to people’s basest emotions with the help of Murdoch
    – Labor continuing to vote for terrible laws with the LNP
    – the smaller progressive parties and independents not getting enough visibility.

    Out of all this I have one rather forlorn hope: that Labor helping Abbott pass horrible laws might be an effort to give Abbott all the rope he wants to hang himself with. I doubt this is the case, but I have a feeble hope that it is.

  73. Lee

    “Lee I have pointed out to you that you have just sat there and blamed Labor for the Abbott Governments treatment of Asylum seekers under their watch. Labor is not in power. Pointing out to you that Labor is not in power and is not responsible for operations of the Border Force Act and raise why you are not holding Abbott to account – is not a strawman argument.”

    Trish, Labor treated asylum seekers poorly under their own watch. That is well documented in AHRC reports. Who held a gun to their heads and forced them to vote for the Border Force Act? They had a choice!

    “You then proceeded to blame Labor on a number of points, which are in fact the actions and behaviour of the Liberals,”

    I listed actions that have been perpetrated by both of the major parties. This article is about Labor. I pointed out what Labor are doing that concerns me. If you want to write an article bashing the Liberal Party, I’ll be happy to bash them in my comments on that article.

    ” You should be so angry with Abbott, you shouldn’t have time to think about the opposition as indepth as you obviously do.”

    Do not tell me what I should be doing with my time. It’s none of your business. You want us to vote for the Labor party but we are not allowed to think about them in depth. If you’re a good indicator of the rationality and logic within the Labor Party, you’ve just provided a very good reason to steer clear of them.

    ” Maybe you are the person who had a random go at me last night on Twitter about this thread and I told you that with no context, you didn’t make sense. Was that you? I am supposed to know you live in Pyne’s electorate. You simply state “Lee” as your name. Am I supposed to be a psychic with a GPS?”

    No it wasn’t me. I’m not following you on Twitter and I haven’t posted there for several days. Why don’t you know that I live in Pyne’s electorate. You claim to know other things about me and I’ve never posted anything that would confirm those beliefs that you hold. I’ve spoken out against the Liberal Party on this forum many times.

    “Another fallacy you have brought up. Labor and Liberal do not always support the same policy.”

    I never said they do always support the same policy.

    ” Labor is centre-left. ”

    That’s debatable. Malcolm Fraser’s political views were further left than those of the current Labor Party.

    “The Greens are a protest party, they will advocate for say the closure of all mines, which would absolutely devastate esp the QLD economy and create mass unemployment.”

    The Greens want to create employment in the renewal energy sector. It stands to reason if mines close, energy has to come from somewhere. Doesn’t Queensland have enough sunshine, wind and open spaces to harvest renewable energy?

    ” Not only were Labor not in charge of this decision, but to have it on the Danger List would also devastate the economy from lost tourism dollars. ”

    What do you think polluting the reef will do for tourism?

    “So do you harp on about the Greens siding with the Liberals when they vote with the Liberals? No I thought not.”

    That would depend on what they are voting on. Re: the recent pension changes, I do support the cuts to middle class welfare and greater assistance to those who really need it. I have written to the Greens and posted on their social media sites when I don’t agree with their views.

    If Labor buy into the view that they have to balance the books, are unwilling to make the wealthy pay their fair share of tax, and are unwilling to take a razor to middle class welfare, how do they hope to fund all the social programs they claim to support?

    “Labor does not preference the Greens last.”

    Someone hasn’t been paying much attention to recent state elections.

    “Funny thing is that Palmer supports Liberal more than Labor and it was the Palmer United preference flows that gave us a LNP member in the seat where I live.”

    I don’t think it’s funny at all. If you read the PUP’s platform on their website they are very obviously conservative. Clive sure sucked in a few people who thought he was a leftie based on a couple of statements he made before the election, because they didn’t bother to look beyond those statements.

    “Thank you for once again reinforcing the legitimacy and urgency of Victoria’s article here.”

    Whatever. The pair of you can write one hundred articles of this nature for all I care. I still won’t be voting for a party that abuses human rights. You remind me of a business owner who blames the customer for not wanting to buy because the customer service sucks and defending the poor service because some other business has poor service too.

  74. Lee

    Dan Rowden is, i believe, a Labor supporter. Certainly a leftie. I haven’t seen him posting here in several months. He used to post frequently.

  75. Lee

    “A number of people have said that Labor are not in power and so can’t be criticised for the Abbott government’s horrible actions, but that’s not quite right. Abbott wouldn’t have been able to get a number of his more repellent bills through if Labor hadn’t voted with him to allow them. This is why so many people are horrified at what Labor are doing, and rightfully so. We thought Labor were the good guys, but they are voting for evil stuff. Even worse, they’re doing it while in opposition when it would serve them (and us all) well to defeat that evil. It could be argued that this is the main point of having an opposition!”

    Exactly, Miriam. Thank you for being a voice of reason.

  76. Dan Rowden

    And here I am, just like Beetlejuice.

    A curious article and commentary. I guess there’s just not enough CLR in the world. It’s noteworthy that both Victoria and Trish are members of the Labor Party and not just voters/supporters. That level of engagement tends to make objectivity difficult. It’s interesting, is it not, that Victoria, in all of her blind raving about how perfectly innocent Labor is in all things, manages to totally ignore each and every point of concern progressive Labor voters have with their Party. She is invariably silent on such matters. No prizes for guessing why.

    Victoria is a progressive, she says. I’m sorry, I don’t believe that claim is actually true. I suspect she merely identifies as such for the sake of her political narrative. At bottom she is a just another Party mouthpiece, incapable of thinking, and therefore speaking, outside of that paradigm. Her loyalty to what she sees as “her” Party trumps her private morality every time, hence her utter silence on things such as Labor’s historical role in the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers.

    Trish Corry, in her own efforts to defend the indefensible, commits enormous sins of omission. At least she makes an attempt to address things, unlike Victoria. Stating that Labor is not responsible for certain matters because they are not in Government is absurd. It’s a classic political cop-put that ignores reality. It’s what they vote for – and do not vote against – that defines and condemns them. I remind Trish, and other Party Patrons that Abbott has only been in Government since late 2013. The Anti‑People Smuggling and Other Measures Act 2010 is a Labor Party construct, one that ostensibly made it illegal for a person to assist those seeking asylum.

    233A Offence of people smuggling
    (1) A person (the first person) commits an offence if:
    (a) the first person organises or facilitates the bringing or coming to Australia, or the entry or proposed entry into Australia, of another person (the second person); and
    (b) the second person is a non‑citizen; and
    (c) the second person had, or has, no lawful right to come to Australia.

    Labor may not be responsible for Border Force operations, but they sure as hell are responsible for voting, without meaningful amendment, for the Border Force Bill https://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2015A00041

    It matters not one whit that Labor are only in Opposition. Their rhetoric does not even remotely match their actions. Labor has flagged the possibility of adopting the Coalition’s “turn back the boats” policy. Labor progressives have rightly voiced their disapproval. We don’t need to be told by the amaurotic Party faithful that such dissent is damaging, or that it means such persons are doing the work of the Devil. Such claims are pathetic and despicable. “Whose side are you on” style bombast is the sort of pap you’d expect from Abbott, not Labor “progressives”. The demented and tribalistic “Team Australia” morphs into “Team Labor” from the mouths of the allegiant. Such ones employ the exact same “wedge” language of Tony Abbott against supporters of their own Party. It’s bizarre.

    Tribes are always strengthened by diversity of view, from “outside” ideas. The Labor Party has historically been, for the most part, such a tribe. But progressives like Victoria and Trish push for silent acquiescence to, well, something – presumably their own personal; view of how things should be. My response to that is “no thanks”. Every incremental step contemporary Labor takes towards the Right, towards the conservative, every step they take away from progressive values is a step that will never be retraced. Never. That is the issue. No person of conscience, in my view, can remain silent in the face of that. Screw the politics. It doesn’t say much for the intelligence of the Left if we can’t debate certain matters and still do the politics effectively.

    There is of course no direct ideological equivalence between Labor and the Coalition conservatives. The problem is it’s getting increasingly difficult to say that and have it be unassailably true. Increasingly difficult. Labor supporters who refuse to admit this – or ones like Victoria who refuse to even acknowledge the concern – are the ones damaging both Labor and progressive politics.

    The Greens are stealing Labor policies and claiming them as their own? How vapid is that notion? Never mind, that question is entirely rhetorical. In truth of fact the Greens are filling a progressive policy void left behind by Labor’s slow march towards a more conservative worldview. And they are filling that political void with policy constructs they have always voiced. That’s a political problem that blind Party supporters like Victoria and Trish refuse to recognise. Oddly, it’s a fact that a great many others can see with total clarity. I appreciate, of course that politics is a tricky and complex game and things may not always be as they seem, but nevertheless some dynamics are as clear as glass – in the broader sense- even if the inner complexities may be subtle.

    It’s is entirely right and proper that Labor supporters – life long ones like me – openly resist certain political trends. Trends like Government spying and giving policing and security agencies powers they don’t need, like inhumane asylum seeker policies, like political secrecy, like the lack of protection of children, like national security hyperbole, like jailing journalists for doing their jobs etc etc etc.

    If Labor’s approach is going to be one of “It’s not as bad as it could be so we’ll vote for it”, they can piss off.

  77. Lee

    Welcome back, Beetlejuice. 🙂 I’ve missed your posts and do hope you can stay a while. I think you have raised numerous valid points above and I am in agreement.

  78. Dan Rowden

    Hello, Lee, how goes it? I wanted to contribute to this debate because I think it’s a very important. I can sort of see both sides of the debate, to express it simply, but as you can see I come down on yours and miriam’s side, if it’s appropriate for me to say that.

  79. Harquebus

    Is anyone keeping score on the number of times and the legislation concerned where Labor has voted with the coalition?
    Labor’s betrayal on the data retention legislation was the last straw for me. I will never forgive them.

  80. Lee

    “Is anyone keeping score on the number of times and the legislation concerned where Labor has voted with the coalition?”

    I’m not. I’m more concerned with the content of the bills they help to pass rather than the actual number. I don’t expect everyone to oppose everything simply because Liberal is putting it up there. I would expect Liberal to do something beneficial occasionally. Although I must admit I’m struggling to think of anything good they have done since getting rid of guns following the Pt Arthur massacre. 😮

  81. randalstella

    We need more of the very long accounts by trish on how Labor do not need policies, as they are not in power. If only Whitlam had realised that.
    So what are they up to, if not policy? trish gives us some idea. Denigrating and undermining real reform proposals seems to be the go. If they have time from faction fights.
    All that ‘protest Party’ concern over the outrageous protection of the burning of native forest in the RET. Labor said that they would not support this. We know because we asked them. It was such an outrageous proposal, that we accepted their word. The word came straight from their Senate leadership. They then supported it. Such honour. Such ecological concerns. Why did we believe them? They had not opposed the outrage in the Reps. At the time people were saying that the Libs were deliberately engineering an impasse, because no Opposition could support such a proposal. Labor sure showed them.

    As has been pointed out here, the policy that we can discern from Labor is far too often in lockstep with the gangsters in power. Otherwise why do they vote with them?
    Labor eerily echoes the Lib gangsters when they claim that the draconian anti-whistleblower law Labor voted for is all everyone else’s misconception. It was hardly likely that Labor could have been set upon by the MSM for refusing to vote for this. The protesters against it are getting receptive media coverage; and Labor are left with nothing to say or do – for supporting it. That is, they have arranged it so that no one who cares about the issue will get any representation from Labor. Cunning plan.

    Meanwhile trish’s aim is to grossly misrepresent Green policy; her major enthusiasm it seems.
    On the RET, by the word from trish, who should know, Gillard’s initiatives are now too dangerous for the economy, for New Labor. Remember that reckless revolutionary Gillard? Look what happened to her. She got Great Big New taxed; enough to make New Labor shake at the knees. Robust at trashing the Greens though.

    In a further oblique non-announcement, Shorten could not get away before one journo asked him if a Labor Government would re-establish Gonski. Bill’s reply: he could not tell. What social passion he has. ‘Can’t tell’ must be taken as ‘no’.
    Labor simply can be relied on to run as far to the right as Abbott beckons. In the case of Gonski, the poodle’s poodle. .

  82. diannaart

    I had promised a detailed response to Trish Corry on her “what is wrong with Bill Shorten” blog.

    Due to my state of health not improving I have not had the necessary energy nor the clarity of thought to make true my promise. The following will simply have to do.

    Besides between Lee and Miriam, my points have been well covered – and me repeating the same POV’s may have resulted into a personal condemnation as was meted out to Lee. Apparently, according to Trish and Victoria, one is either with Labor or against them (to the point of favouring the LNP – what scurrilous nonsense! And, so very divisive).

    Which brings me to the point I wish to make (about division).

    What does Abbott, the IPA and various other minions of the far-right fear the most? It is a very important question, even though the answer is bleeding obvious.

    These authoritarian self-entitled, greedy pack of sniffling bullies do not want any alliance between Labor and other progressive political parties – especially the Greens.

    Particularly the Greens, because they HAVE evolved from being a mere protest party in a comprehensive and cohesive political force in Australia.

    Accusing those who dare to hold a less than rose-coloured vision of Labor as being supporters of the Abbottoir must have these right-wing freaks rolling with laughter.

    I cannot support a party that is not inclusive, sincerely progressive in action as well as thought and able to admit where they went wrong and able to change, to adapt and to be inclusive of people – being inclusive means accepting others who do not agree with everything Labor has done.

    Another point I would like to have addressed is, why do we not see any buddy-buddy pics of Shorten and di Natale, Ludlum et al, the way we do with Abbott and Shorten?

    Miriam has stated: “Out of all this I have one rather forlorn hope: that Labor helping Abbott pass horrible laws might be an effort to give Abbott all the rope he wants to hang himself with.”

    Here’s hoping Abbott has enough rope already, I dread what Labor will do next to further lull Abbott into a false sense of security.

  83. Lee

    I’m well, thank you Dan. How are you?

    I can see both sides of the debate but Labor has a responsibility to earn our votes, rather than demand them. Abbott, the Fear Mongerer-in-Chief threatens us with ISIS if we don’t support his policies. Victoria, Trish and co threaten us with another term of Liberal government if we don’t support Labor. Evil prospers when good people do nothing and when civil rights are taken away it is very difficult to get them back again.

  84. Florence nee Fedup

    Abbott would love Labor to say no to all. Would be in his glory blaming Shorten for his failures. If one believes in mandates, one Abbott would have public support for is their present a tons dealing with refugees

    What has Abbott really got, through Labor allowing the leglisation through. Badly drafted laws that will be unwinded by the courts. Legalisation they are inept at implementing, veiled in secrecy. Legalisation that many are slowly objecting to.

    Their Sovereign Borders will unravelled, as Howard’s Pacific Solutions was when he was kicked out.

  85. randalstella

    There’s not two sides to the argument here.
    There are 2 different things being confounded here by ever-loyal Labor members.
    One is the unfair and inaccurate Media slant against Labor and its troubles; with an unequal attack on former Labor policy, and a fixation on the Labor past – while the worst Government since Federation stumbles and maligns its way to maintaining power for the 0.5% of Australians whose interests they objectively represent.
    This inequality of treatment is backed by a moral equivalence that absolves the Libs of being any worse than Labor. This is an outright lie, as even New Labor under Shorten is better than the chaotic punitiveness that now rules – better at least for the chance to get Abbott’s gangsters out of power.

    The other is Labor’s lack of resolve and policy, the tendency to support repressive and iniquitous Abbott policy, rather than opposing it. The Labor faithful confound the criticism of this with the first, as if the same unfairness. If that is not a lie, it is chronic refusal to pay attention, a partisan obtuseness. It can be very aggressive – as a visitor here yesterday showed.

    It is of value to see the antagonism by Labor members to criticism; because otherwise some of us might have hoped Labor were only timorously playing doggo – when actually they tend to be a pretty reactionary mob themselves, under current direction. Maybe new members might help. But where are they going to come from – given current Labor positions and lack of policy? Maybe they want to keep it closed.

  86. randalstella

    Good post by Dan Rowden

  87. trishcorry

    Thanks Dan Rowden for posting on here. It was just really weird that out of the blue you started having a go on twitter with no context about this thread, but not posting on here. I of course agree whole heartedly with Victoria’s post and disagree with yourself and others I have responded to. The commentary in this thread is absolute testament to the value of Victoria’s article. It goes to the heart that the Greens are using social media and trumped up headlines and shock moments to make Labor look like the devil himself, and hardly holding Abbott to account at all and it seems they have built quite a following.

    Where people try to blur the lines, is that by saying we are members of Labor we agree whole heartedly with every single thing that the Labor Govt does. As a member of the Left Faction, in regional Queensland, I use my voice to put up and debate policy and I work damn hard to support our candidates when it matters and I work damn hard by researching issues and keeping the Liberals to account and also our LNP member here and I will never be ashamed of that nor will I be ashamed of the Party I support. I am 100% proud to be Labor.

    I wonder how many on here make the effort to actually join a party to try to enable change from within, rather than just whinging from the outside? How many commenters get out there and fight for the Australia they want? How many commenters take the risk to put their thoughts into an article like Victoria has, knowing that they will cop flack for it? It isn’t all smiles and roses when you put your thoughts online and blog them for people to comment on. Sometimes you receive the vilest of filth via Twitter and Inbox and comments.

    On the matter of Asylum seekers, if you want Labor to offer an open policy with onshore detention, you can say hello to Abbott and his sick snake like grin for another ten years or more. The last poll shows a very high number of people agree with offshore. Where Labor needs to separate itself is the treatment of individuals and the transparency of operations, which they have been saying that is what they stand for. Here is Albo recently on Sky News https://www.facebook.com/AlboMP/videos/973012279399551/ But I guess if people are not listening, people are not listening.

    What is a crying shame is now instead of having to speak up for Labor against Liberal supporters online and the lies they spread, energy is also now wasted for the often harsh absolute misguided garbage that is coming from the Greens supporters. Leaving Abbott and his supporters just sitting there smiling with contempt. Considering he has spent 4.3 Million on Social Media consultants, I could bet my bottom dollar they are watching – especially prominent blogs such as this one.

    It is also a shame that the only issue that Greens supporters care about is Asylum Seekers, climate change and marriage equality. It would be really good if the Greens supporters could pay attention to things like the Cost of living, Public Services such as education and health, Disability, Job creation, taxation and pensions and superannuation and maybe an actual progressive idea of their own. When the Greens start coming up with their own progressive policies such as the likes of Medicare, Superannuation, Free University or HECS, then maybe they can start having a reason to be proud to be Green. Until then, they are nothing but a lot of hot air and a mere protest party.

    That is not a Party I would be proud to follow, nor vote for. They only get my number 2 vote as the only other options I have in my electorate are Family First, Right Wing Independent and Palmer United Party and Rise Up Australia and of course the LNP. So you can see by the encouragement by Greens voters to put Labor last or second last, all these other parties in my electorate alone would side with Abbott if it come to a hung parliament and all of these other parties preference LNP over Labor and Greens. It was PUP votes that got our LNP candidate over the line. I can only speak on my own electorate, but this is how some of the hateful rhetoric I see coming out online is extremely dangerous to returning Abbott to power.

  88. Harquebus

    We don’t need to join any party. What party politicians need to do is to start implementing the will of their constituents and representing them instead of their parties.
    Who says we have to have political parties dominating parliament? Those who oppose the Coalition and Labor are fighting just as much for our country as the ideologically programmed robots who serve them.

  89. clarelhdm

    Trish, I ask you for the third time, why did Labor support the Border Force bill? You don’t seem to want to answer that question. If, as you say ‘Where Labor needs to separate itself is the treatment of individuals and the transparency of operations, which they have been saying that is what they stand for’, then why on earth did they support that bill? and BTW, I am not a Greens member…I vote SA

  90. Michael Taylor

    Trish, I ask you for the third time, why did Labor support the Border Force bill?

    Maybe Trish doesn’t know the answer, I certainly don’t. Do you?

  91. miriamenglish

    Trish, it amazes me that you think the Greens have it in for Labor. I vote Greens, but I’d love to be able to vote Labor again. This applies to all my extended family and most of my friends too. I read a lot of the Greens communques and while they do point out the bad things Labor have done, this is what Labor devotees should be doing too. If you steadfastly support your party as it moves gradually to the right and wilfully close your eyes to its failings then you are not doing your party any favors. When I make mistakes (and I’m sure I make plenty of ’em) I try to always be grateful when people point them out to me. I don’t have much hope of improving if people hide my failures from me.

    I’m sure you’re right that Abbott’s cronies are delighted at animosity between Labor and the Greens. I have to say I don’t see animosity coming from the Greens. I only see it coming from Labor and I have to wonder why that is. Some of the things that you and Victoria say against the Greens are frankly bizarre, such as the repeated assertion that they don’t have any policies of their own and are somehow copying policies from Labor. Where is this coming from? The Greens have always had their policies openly on display. Why would you think they were copying them from Labor? And even if they did, surely that would be a cause for celebration, that the two parties are allies. The chant that “it was ours first” sounds like something a three-year-old would say. Who is pushing this attitude inside Labor? I think if you start asking this question you might find you have a traitor in your midst. As you yourself point out, Abbott benefits most from a split between Labor and Greens. How better to promote such a split than to promote rabid anti-Green frenzy?

  92. diannaart

    energy is also now wasted for the often harsh absolute misguided garbage that is coming from the Greens supporters.

    Humble apologies, Trish, I thought I was trying to communicate. Guess I am just wasting my precious time because I:

    don’t sign up to any particular party – which means I research on all parties and independents – AKA broad-minded.

    am not prepared to turn my back on the treatment of refugees

    nor ignore pollution

    or the TPP – which is being hastened by the aid of Labor.

    believe a nation’s infrastructure is a lot more than roads.

    am dismayed at the deafening silence on where the nation’s subs are to be built – its not going to be Australia, is it?

    nor do I endorse paying chaplains to preach at public schools

    But to be a signed up member of Labor I would have to agree with all the above.

    I guess, I just don’t know my place; talk rubbish (apparently) and have the temerity to suggest that Labor’s endorsement of detention style processing of refugees is unwarranted and cruel and why can’t I simply overlook this little piece of fascist behaviour because really, truly, Labor cares about people…if I just focus on the good bits…

  93. Lee

    I’d like to know how Trish thinks that joining Labor to change it from the inside is going to be effective? Especially if they all respond as she does to valid criticism.

  94. Judy Crozier

    thankyou. Victoria. Added to all this is a skilfully put together and expanded mythology that somehow Greens aren’t really a political party, which means that every time Greens self-promote (which is what they are always doing) you are meant to read purity and niceness into their every statement. Which also means you will never, ever question even the ‘facts’ implied therein. Fact is, LNP will chorus ‘Labor labor Labor’ because it is distracting from its own ideologies and the policies being put int place to follow through; Greens will chorus ‘Labor Labor Labor’ because the Greens’ main aim is promotion, to expand. And as we all know if we reflect for a mere 1.3 nanoseconds, the only electorates Greens have a chance of gaining are Left Labor seats. That would be why they put so much time and money (yes lots of money, much more than Labor could spare for one seat) in Melbourne during both State and Federal elections, with the result, for example, that rather than having as winning candidate in the Melbourne for the Victorian State election a Left woman with real experience in both politics and the community and a direct line into actual government, we got the Left woman with no experience and a licence to carp only. Great.

    So overall Greens’s achievements seem to be a diminution of the Left in Labor, a diminution of experience and political nous, and an increase among those whose short term aspiration is not to govern (because they can’t) but to chant platitudes to attract those whose own politics is as yet unformed and platitudinal.

    And at this point, I should admit that yes, this is a bit of a rant. But so cathartic!

    Those who claim they want to vote Labor should do so. Also, if you don’t like some of Labor’s policies, rejoin and work toward policy change. But while you are doing that, take a good look at context and history, and all the facts. Not just the ones that suit the prevailing view. In asylum seeker policy for example, NO serious policy can ignore the very real and tragic fact that people attempting to cross one of the largest bodies of water in the world DO drown. Governments should not aid and abet criminal behaviour that leads to theft and death. This does not mean that we need to be cruel. Of course we don’t. But no-one in their right or responsible mind could ignore the perils of the sea or the trauma that drowning causes not just to the victims but to their relations, waiting here with no news whatever.

    But to get back to Victoria’s article – let me say that the combined effect of the LNP and Greens sloganeering and name calling is to detract from real debate and remove any depth whatsoever from public discussion. It creates myths and assumptions, and these become the bedrock of more myth and assumption.

    It is a very good principle, people, to regularly go back and check your assumptions. Do that.

  95. Lee

    “I simply overlook this little piece of fascist behaviour because really, truly, Labor cares about people…if I just focus on the good bits…”

    That’s why Labor introduced a HECS for university students, why they continue to erode public services every time they get into power, why they repealed the GST last time they got elected and why they recently voted to increase pensions for the most vulnerable people in society. 😉

    I think the rabid Greens bashing is due to jealousy that the Greens don’t have any apparent infighting and managed a smooth change of leadership without the slightest whiff of a scandal.

  96. Lee

    “NO serious policy can ignore the very real and tragic fact that people attempting to cross one of the largest bodies of water in the world DO drown. Governments should not aid and abet criminal behaviour that leads to theft and death. This does not mean that we need to be cruel. Of course we don’t. But no-one in their right or responsible mind could ignore the perils of the sea or the trauma that drowning causes not just to the victims but to their relations, waiting here with no news whatever.”

    Seriously Judy? No one in their right mind trivialises the tragic and terrifying situation that asylum seekers face if they remain in their homeland. They know the boat trip is dangerous and they have weighed up the odds. They know that despite the reception they get from some governments, they would prefer to take the risk than die in their homeland. You do realise that the boats haven’t actually stopped setting out, don’t you? Thousands of refugees are drowning in the Mediterranean sea, despite Abbott crowing that he has stopped the boats. No one in their right or responsible mind would punish asylum seekers to teach the people smugglers a lesson either. That is as ridiculous and inhumane as letting children starve because their mother is a welfare queen and their father is too useless to pay child support.

  97. Florence nee Fedup

    Labor supported that bill, as it was Labor, under Rudd, that introduced it. Suspect most of work was in train by Gillard. Labor had already done much work with near neighbours, that led drop in numbers. Indonesia no longer let people into country without visas, cutting off refugees option of sailing to this country.

    Labor, unlike Abbott didn’t block changes after court found law unconstitutional. Not like he did, preventing Labor going ahead with Malaysian or any other scheme.

    Labor stated it supported offshore processing but was highly critical of this governments implementation of the process. Gave noticed, it would continue to do so.

    Imagine the outcry from Abbott and MSM if Shorten blocked the move. I suspect Abbott would have called an immediate election, fighting it on the grounds he wants. Turning back boats and national security. Good chance it would have worked for him.

    Labor refused to give him election agenda he desperately needs.

    With a little luck, new policies launched at Federal Labor Conference, disquiet at how refuges are treated, plus distrust growing of Abbott’s security scares, Labor might get control of agenda for next election.

  98. mars08

    It’s astounding….

    Over and over, people in this discussion have stated that the stopped supporting Labor because of it’s relentless move to the right and it’s fondness for Coalition legislation and prejudices.

    In effect… those people did not shift, they did not change their values. These people remained true to their ideals. It was Labor which abandoned THEM. It was was Labor which prostituted THEIR social justice platform.

    But that fact just doesn’t register with the ALP drones. Instead they want to play the misunderstood victim.

    You can’t have it both ways. The party has decided to reinvent itself in the hope of grabbing the votes it wants and needs. It has made a play for those voters who are comfortable with a Coalition government. Labor’s number crunchers have decided its the most efficient use of party resources. Well… maybe they will be proved right.

    But, if the ALP forms the next government, they will have done it without my primary vote. No amount of harassment will convince me to vote for them ever again.

  99. Judy Crozier

    Lee, you are assuming I have said a number of things that I have not said. Look carefully. Yes, people are driven by appalling circumstances to take risks. But there is no reason we have to sit by and watch people drown. We don’t and shouldn’t. What i DID say was that prevention of drowning is absolutely necessary, but the logic is not that we should therefore be bastards. We should not. You can have policy that is humanitarian and fair that takes everything into account, including the fact that people drown.

    And neither have I ever said or assumed myself that just because Abbott says he’s stopped the boats that he actually has.

  100. Lee

    Judy, you stated “Governments should not aid and abet criminal behaviour that leads to theft and death.”

    What is your idea of governments aiding and abetting people smugglers?

    “But there is no reason we have to sit by and watch people drown. We don’t and shouldn’t.”

    We turn boats around and send people to die somewhere else. I do concede that once they are out of sight technically we are no longer watching them drown.

  101. Judy Crozier

    Lee, you seem to be having an argument with someone else. I am not that person. Asylum seeker policy should be humane and fair, transparent and giving back hope. But one of the issues is that people drown. You can have a human policy AND prevent drownings.

  102. randalstella

    Why did Labor support the Border Force Bill?
    It should be obvious. Because they agree with it? If not, why not?
    Maybe it is part of a cunning plan to avoid the first preference of people who think for themselves, and do not treat politics like following a footy team. Ward them off, and then Labor can appeal to all the rest. What blessed victory ensues.

  103. Judy Crozier

    randalstella, I have actually read the legislation and i don’t actually see that people are being prevented from reporting abuse. In fact, neither did the Greens throughout the process of submissions and sitting on the committee. There is apparently nno minority report from the Greens, just the one from the committee htat said the legislation continues to protect whistleblowers on abuse – and of course, section 46 also refers (from memory) to existing legislation both Fed and State that either protects whistleblowers or mandates reporting of abuse.

  104. Lee

    “You can have a human policy AND prevent drownings.”

    I’m not disagreeing. I just asked what you considered to be governments aiding and abetting people smugglers. Or is someone else committing theft?

  105. Lee

    “I have actually read the legislation and i don’t actually see that people are being prevented from reporting abuse. In fact, neither did the Greens throughout the process of submissions and sitting on the committee.”

    How many of you are practising human rights lawyers? Because that group of people do have a problem with the legislation.

  106. Judy Crozier

    I’m not necessarily saying these people are wrong, Lee, I’m just wondering on what basis. because I have read the legislation, I know about other and existing legislation, and I know I know something of the history of the new legilaltion – including that questions were asked at the time and responded to, and nothing was agreed to before a phalanx of lawyers had a look. so I’d love to see some of the history of the objections now.

  107. mars08

    Isn’t that the great thing about demoKracy? Political parties can clearly, loudly and unambiguously (or vaguely and indistinctly) state their policies, objectives and values…. and the electorate can make their choice.

    The other thing about democracy, is that it’s very, very, VERY difficult to be all things to all people. That usually just pisses people off…. either before or after the election.

  108. Trish Corry

    Dianna my comment was directed at Dan as he took a stab at me and Victoria for being actual members. I always have the position that I don’t care who you vote for, just be engaged. In the blurb I sometimes put at the bottom of my Blog I urge people to Join Labor, Greens and Get UP! It doesn’t sit well with me when people try to use that I am a member of Labor as being a type of “Sheep” without a brain. My comment was directed at that thought, not at anyone who is not a member, who isn’t rubbishing people who are.

  109. clarelhdm

    OK, one last try. Trish Corry, why did Labor support the Border Force bill?

  110. trishcorry

    clarelhdm Sorry, I can’t see where you have asked me once let alone three times, there are a lot of comments, so sorry I didn’t respond to you before others. I have been out this afternoon playing sport and catching up with friends, so I haven’t been here responding. Why did Labor support the Border Force Bill? Florence has addressed much of what I will say and So has Judy, so I won’t repeat it, but refer you to their comments. If you are specifically relating to the secrecy surrounding reporting that is a hot topic, I have addressed this in other comments. However, I will repeat yet again, that there was a Senate Inquiry into the Border Force Bill and this issue was questioned and addressed by the Govt to the satisfaction of the Committee, which included Labor, Greens, Nats and Libs.

    I have now gone to the effort to cut and paste from the document as Miriam has said it is hard to find. Here is the excerpt on the Secrecy and Disclosure.

    Secrecy and disclosure
    2.22 Several submissions were critical of the proposed secrecy and disclosure provisions in Part 6 of the ABF Bill. The submissions argued that the provisions essentially criminalise any whistleblowing by IBP workers that does not fall within an exception, questioning whether the provisions would act to limit the public disclosure of human rights abuses or breaches of law.33 The ASRC highlighted that the evidentiary burden of proving that whistleblowing falls within an exception would fall on the accused.

    34 The LCA recommended that:
    The secrecy offences should include an express requirement that, for an offence to be committed, the unauthorised disclosure caused, or was likely or intended to cause, harm to an identified essential public interest.

    35. 2.23 The committee takes the view that such an express requirement is not necessary as paragraph 42(2)(c) of the ABF Bill already provides an exception where ‘the making of the record or disclosure is required or authorised by or under a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory’.

    36 The term ‘a law of the Commonwealth’ includes the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (Cth) that facilitates the ‘disclosure and investigation of wrongdoing and maladministration in the Commonwealth public sector’.37 Section 29 of the PID Act defines ‘disclosable conduct’ as conduct by an agency, public official or contracted service provider that falls under one or more
    items in the following table:

    Item: Kind of disclosable conduct:
    Conduct that contravenes a law of the Commonwealth, State or Territory

    As you can see from the Senate Inquiry the response to the Senate Inquiry from the Govt specifically states people can disclose information if it contravenes a Law of the Commonwealth State or Territory. That means they are exempt from the criminalisation clause.

    This is the point I have been trying to get across. Members who voted for this Bill did so in Good Faith that the Senate Inquiry had done its job by ensuring the questions raised were answered and and they were satisfied with the inquiry and it was signed off on. If you read this excerpt no one on either side of the house voted because they were supporting secrecy of child abuse, but because they had asked the questions already about reporting and were satisfied people could disclose and were exempt. Please take note of 2.23.

    Now, I am not a Lawyer and definitely not a Human Rights Lawyer, but if Lawyers want to bring this forth to insist on an amendment, if there is some loophole that does not protect workers, and the Govt’s answer to this has some problems, I am sure that the Govt and Labor will both be accommodating, as Labor is very insistent on transparency and humanity in all of their recent speeches. But as it stands to accuse people of being child abuse enablers, based on this evidence is simply not true. Everyone voted in good faith on both sides. Senator Hanson Young was part of this enquiry and she signed off on this and was party to these questions being answered. So If the Senate believed her motion at the 11th hour was already covered in this legislation (a duplicate entry) then that is the reason it would have been voted down, not because Senators are child abuse enablers.

    This is what Richard Marles was trying to explain on Qanda and also what Albo was explaining in his Interview on Sky that I posted earlier in the comments.

  111. Harquebus

    If Trish Corry does not answer clarelhdm’s question, I think I’ll stop reading her posts.

  112. trishcorry

    So sorry I have a LIFE Haquebus. I have been out all afternoon. I didn’t realise I was supposed to be here responding to individual demands.

  113. Roswell

    Feel free to ignore them, Trish. I would.

  114. trishcorry

    Thanks. Yes, I think I will give up. I don’t know how much more evidence I can produce without actually being a politician and having inside information.

  115. aravis1

    I hope you now will read, reflect, and thank trishcorry for her careful answer, clarelhdm. I was going to reply myself but am battling a nasty virus. The other thing I wearily hope, is that the emotional infighting between too many progressives will stop, and the overriding urgent issue will take precedence. namely, getting rid of the most destructive government this country has ever suffered. Surely THAT must come first? We have time to change the political landscape, but NOT BEFORE the demise of the LNP. Risking a further term of these criminal monsters is folly of the worst kind. And getting a kick out of scoring points off another party adherent, is nothing other than childish and stupid behaviour. Unity in diversity is what we should be aiming for. Abbott and his cronies may well be sniggering behind their hands at this moment, with the way we have been fighting. Let’s stop it!

  116. mars08

    Okay… so Labor passed the bill because, after their lawyers had looked at it… and after they had chosen to support it…. they sided with the govt and voted down any lingering objections by the Greens. In good faith, of course.

    Magnificent job!!!

    And as aravis1 says… you progressives should be ashamed… incessantly attacking Labor like that! Booo!

  117. trishcorry

    I just hope that my original comment isn’t lost in all this. That is this is an excellent piece and should really be formatted up to the requirements of submitting to Newspapers as an opinion piece, I believe it deserves a wider reach.

  118. trishcorry

    No Mars08, Labor passed the Bill because the Senate Inquiry looked at it, which is the normal procedure for bills. If you read my comments the Greens were a part of this Senate inquiry. So Labor, Nats, Libs and Greens were all satisfied with the answers at the inquiry before it was voted on. I hope that makes sense.

  119. trishcorry

    Very good points Aravis1. Abbott should have everyone so angry, his Govt is all we should be thinking about and talking about.

  120. aravis1

    Yes, trishcorry. It’s becoming a bit like when a couple in a relationship start arguing. After a while, a full-blown battle ensues, and calm and logic and even real thought goes out the window. And we all know how destructive that is to a relationship. It is still possible for us all to step back, remember the urgent goal which we all surely must share, and refocus.

  121. mars08

    That’s fascinating trishcorry… the Greens were satisfied with the Senate inquiry, yet exactly NONE of the Greens senators votes in favour of the bill. Damn hypocrites!

  122. clarelhdm

    thanks mars08. Trish, you seem to use Senator Hanson Young as ‘proof’ that the bill was fine, but then dismiss her concerns as an ’11th hour’ move. What, like a stunt? And anyway, why was the secrecy necessary at all? Why the need for any sort of legislation, and why now, when an inquiry into child abuse is making it very clear that children are indeed being abused in these camps? Sorry, doesn’t wash with me. Labor could have drawn a line in the sand and shown their point of difference and how they are so concerned with the operation of these centres, though not opposed to their existence (which is not something i agree with anyway). But they could have. And didn’t. Anyway, the doctors don’t seem to think they are safe from prosecution, and the human rights lawyers agree with them.

  123. trishcorry

    No, Clare I never said it was a stunt. I am saying that Senator Hanson Young as part of the Inquiry did not raise this as an issue during the Inquiry, but accepted the response from the Govt. Then as the Bill was being voted on, the Senator put up an amendment, which from my understanding says the exact same thing – That is that people can disclose information if something contravenes a Commonwealth, State or Territory act. So why would the Senate want to take more time to consider a paragraph that is already in there and accepted by the Senate inquiry as satisfactory.

    I don’t understand why you think Labor should have drawn a line in the sand when they were satisfied that the Inquiry has been done. I am at pains to ask this and I am not trying to be insulting, but do you understand the procedure here I am referring to? If not please start watching Senate on Parliament TV and look through some of the Inquiry documents online.

    So even after the information I have provided on what was actually considered when voting on the bill (Senate Inquiry Q & A) do you still believe that Labor did not act in good faith and are child abuse enablers? That would point to really wanting to say something for the sake of saying it.

    Also, as I said, if this Bill was voted on in good faith and human rights lawyers believe an amendment should be made, Labor has already stood up a number of times on this matter and said they understand it allows reporting (which the Senate inquiry assures it does) and that they are absolutely for moving towards a more transparent and humane process. So there is absolutely nothing to indicate they would not be supportive on the advice of these Lawyers.

    If the Abbott Govt had onshore detention, they would still be bastards. Onshore and Offshore is not the issue, it is the secrecy, treatment and processes the Abbott Govt has approved that are the problem.

  124. Harquebus

    trishcorry
    I was prepared to wait. Your response came through as I was typing. My apologies.

  125. trishcorry

    Thanks Harquebus.

  126. clarelhdm

    Trish, I will cut and paste the email that Hanson Young sent out which includes her amendments, which are more comprehensive than you are outlining. I certainly do understand the senate process, i just happen to disagree with you and your justification of Labor’s appeasement policy. As I stated in my previous post, there was no need for ANY legislation making these centres more secretive. And onshore and offshore does matter. Onshore means people can apply for PERMANENT RESIDENCE. It is the whole reason that all these islands and coastal areas have been excised from the migration zone, to get around the wording of the UN Convention on Refugees allowing people to claim asylum when they arrive at a member nation. And ‘onshore’ means committing to a multicultural Australia, not some Anglicised little Britain. Please read Hanson Young’s email carefully, circulated at 3pm June 25
    ‘Today the Abbott Government is counting on the full support of the Labor Party to ram through legislation in less than 24 hours to retrospectively make its illegal offshore detention centres legal — to avoid constitutional challenge.

    Up until now the government has been funding these camps illegally, and only now that a High Court challenge has begun to unfold this ugly truth, the government has decided to change the laws to suit themselves.

    Will you call Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Richard Marles and tell them that Labor must not support this contempt for our legal system and cruelty towards vulnerable refugees?

    We have an opportunity right now to amend the legislation being debated in Parliament to put some limits on the cruel conditions that refugees are currently forced to endure.

    We’re putting the amendments forward – but we need Labor to step up and support them.

    Will you call the Bill Shorten and Richard Marles and ask them to stand up to the Abbott Government and defend the rule of law and basic human decency today?

    The Australian Greens have asked that the Government and Labor at least put some limits on the current cruel detention conditions. These include:

    1 // A three-month limit on detention
    2 // Children should not be deported to offshore to be locked in detention
    3 // Journalists should be allowed in
    4 // There should be mandatory reporting of child abuse
    5 // The Human Rights Commission should be given access to inspect these camps and report on conditions

    We don’t have much time — please take 5 minutes to call the Labor Party.

    This week, 2 new born babies were moved to Nauru. This is not a safe place for any children, especially very young babies.

    This cruelty has to end. Let’s make sure the message is heard loud and clear.

    Yours in hope.
    Sarah’

  127. Lee

    “Yes, trishcorry. It’s becoming a bit like when a couple in a relationship start arguing. After a while, a full-blown battle ensues, and calm and logic and even real thought goes out the window. And we all know how destructive that is to a relationship. It is still possible for us all to step back, remember the urgent goal which we all surely must share, and refocus.”

    I want a divorce.

  128. trishcorry

    Clare: The Greens have called that the Government and Labor…… exactly what Victoria is trying to express in her post. Labor appears to be the benchmark. When in God’s name when Labor were in power did anyone ever insist that the Govt and Liberals do x, y, z? I welcome all of the above amendments and think they should be pushed, but I am afraid that Labor is not in power, Labor does not have the power to change any of the operations, as it is also well known the Abbott Govt has a shroud of secrecy around operations. Not even Labor is privvy to what is happening with their processes. Also, no one is discussing that Labor (an actual contender for Govt, who needs to actually employ strategy as to when they release policies, like it or not) has not fully delivered their policies on many issues including this. National Conference is soon, and we need to wait and see what the democratic process brings.

    You are also missing the point of the entire conversation and dismissing everything I have just posted, including the excerpt from the Senate document; that the evidence in the Senate Inquiry document points to that there is nothing forcing secrecy. Surely anyone can see that that is a rational and logical process that is adopted for all bills.

  129. trishcorry

    and that is all for me on this topic. I know feel I am going around in circles and that is where I leave and stop having any input. I have provided sufficient information based on my arguments earlier, I have sustained some pretty full on attacks from others and now I’m off to bed.

    PS Lee, I don’t think we would make it past coffee let alone marriage 🙂

  130. Lee

    “The Greens have called that the Government and Labor…… exactly what Victoria is trying to express in her post. Labor appears to be the benchmark.”

    The Liberals can’t get it through without the help of someone else and Labor has more senators than any of the minor parties.

  131. Lee

    “PS Lee, I don’t think we would make it past coffee let alone marriage 🙂 ”

    I guess you miss out on playing with my Tony Abbott deluxe edition dart board then.

  132. clarelhdm

    Precisely Lee, if Labor hadn’t supported it, the legislation would not have passed. And Trish, though you have retired from the argument, you haven’t addressed the substance of Hanson Young’s amendments, nor explained why ANY SUCH LEGISLATION was necessary at all. .

  133. mars08

    @clarelhdm…. well, of course such legislation was needed. Because both the Coalition and the ALP created that need… by their unrelenting border security hysteria and stirring the xenophobia pot.

    These days, for a political party to gain continued support, it must show consistency and provide simple solution to complex issues… even if those “issues” are fabricated and grossly exaggerated. Political parties must show that they will do “whatever it takes” to ensure the nation’s security. So once the politicians have established that there is a serious “issue” they must be seen to follow through with a ruthless final solution. Anyone who is not enthusiastic about such a solution is dismissed as a traitor… and an obstacle to the system.

    “”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.”

    So far, the system works…

  134. Judy Crozier

    Clare, why the legislation is needed is actully the better question. i suspect it’s because they are collapsing two/three departments into one. That in itself could be a good or a bad thing. Perhaps we could discuss that! However, my reading of the legislation itself and all the other legislation that exists to protect the rights of whistleblowers is that it actually has nothing to do with the reporters of abuse.

  135. corvus boreus

    I do not favor Labor at the moment because they are currently displaying dissonance with some of my fundamental values.

    This is not about the issues of asylum seekers; that chew-toy gets mauled enough.
    Nor is it about same-sex marriage, that has minority effect, if broad support (over 70% of respondents favor).
    It is not even about data-retention and freedom of information, or the growing imbalance in powers and rights, although that is a ball that I could pick up and run with.
    It is about the basic honesty and decency of conduct in the people purporting to represent me.

    http://www.smh.com.au/polls/federal-politics/political-news/a-federal-icac-20140910-3f6vg.html

    In that poll, 98% of respondents favor a federal ICAC. Bill Shorten does not. Therefore, I think he’s dodgy.

  136. aravis1

    Didn’t know we were married, Lee. The things one does in dreams…. 🙂

  137. aravis1

    Judy, that is a good suggestion. The trend in the moronic party atm is to either collapse, destroy, or merge, with the object of generally breaking Australia. Discussing this might return our discussions to their proper object too. Anyone here who is on FB, join us on Breaking Bolt if you .like. Similar discussions going on there…
    Corvus boreus, your last remark is worthy of thought – but I am going to suspend judgment on that until after the Conference. We also have hope for the Left factions to gain substantial ground and alter the political landscape for Labor. I have EVERYTHING crossed in that hope!

  138. mars08

    The Bill was passed in in good faith? In 21st century Australian politics? …. oh that’s just too precious!!!

    QUOTE:
    “The minister has said that doctors, teachers or other care workers are protected from prosecution under the secrecy provisions of the Border Force Act by the operation of the Public Interest Disclosure Act, often called the “whistleblower law”. But outside of Australia the effectiveness of that safeguard is limited, because of a mismatch in the coverage of the two laws.

    The Border Force Act contains strict secrecy provisions that cover all government contractors, including doctors, even outside of Australia. By contrast, the protection of the Australian whistleblower law does not extend to disclosures made about the conduct of a PNG or Nauran Government official or worker, or of any person who is not an Australian government contractor or officer. That includes detainees, or even a local priest in an offshore immigration detention centre.

    In addition, the whistleblower law offers no protection to those who make a public disclosure about the actions of an Australian government minister or policy, even if it harms people.

    For example, if the minister implemented a policy of refusing any refugee on Nauru or PNG medical treatment in Australia (even if it were recommended by a doctor) any disclosure of that action or government policy would not be protected by the whistleblower law.”
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/08/let-me-clear-up-the-governments-clarification-about-the-border-force-act

  139. Lee

    From the same article:

    “It is surprising that government officials do not understand the practical implications of the new secrecy laws. They make it difficult, if not impossible, for doctors and other care workers to publicly raise their concerns without fear of two years imprisonment.”

    No it’s really not surprising. It’s not the first time we’ve seen these overpaid, self-serving numpties voting on legislation that they don’t understand and it won’t be the last. Both Liberal and Labor politicians have lied to the public about the implications of this legislation.

  140. miriamenglish

    The politics of hate and fear.

    When the two-headed monster of fear and hate is let out its prison to wander at large, infecting the population, the politicians who have let it out find they have to dance to its tune. Fear and hate start to drive the discussion more and more, and any attempt to quell the flames is denounced as unpatriotic or unrealistic. Even worse, opportunistic individuals (such as Abbott) enjoy the feeling of power the monster gives them so they fan the flames and pour accelerant on, making it ever more difficult to control the fire and prevent it becoming an inferno that could end up incinerating us all.

    I can certainly understand the LNP encouragement of the monster. It gives them unbridled, intoxicating power and they think they can control it to deliver what they want. They use it not just against refugees, but against moslems, against gays, against the illusion of terrorists, and against supposedly anti-progress environmental groups. All that power! It must feel so good! And they comfort themselves with the lie that they can control it, without seeing that it already controls them.

    I can almost understand Labor going with it. To their credit they tried to resist xenophobia regarding the refugees, but Howard’s and Pauline Hanson’s and Abbott’s and Murdoch’s hate rhetoric had already fanned the flames and when the refugee boats started increasing again they found it too difficult to battle… so they figured the flames are too hot, why not use some of the monster’s power to gain office. Perhaps they think they’ll be able to quell the flames then. Unfortunately, by doing the bidding of the monsters they are helping to worsen the conflagration (even if not as actively as those like Abbott who have given themselves over body and soul to the monster). I worry, and I’m sure some within Labor do too, that if they use it to gain office that the flames will then be out of control and self-sustaining. To the continuing credit of Labor they do resist hate against gays, though I think their position is less clear on moslems and environmentalism, where they might feel the flames are already getting too high to battle them safely. And the monster already controls them on terrorism — they do its bidding and encourage its minions to spy on us all.

    I worry that the job of the Greens in steadfastly beating back the flames no matter where they take hold is looking almost hopeless, even though I look around me and see a lot of other courageous firefighters, our numbers swelling as more and more people wake to the danger. But are our numbers growing fast enough to prevent an inferno? I had hoped that Labor would help more, though I think I can see why they aren’t. Maybe they’re right and the smaller battle is already lost; that the only way to get the strength to subdue the monster is to use its power against it by first gaining office. But what if, in doing the bidding of the monster they unwittingly become its permanent servants, seduced by the power, and unwilling to fight against that which has given them office? Of course, they will convince themselves that they will be able to control the monster, but that’s what everybody thinks. Those in the LNP still think this, even though they’ve long since become its puppets, worshipping the flames and raising them ever higher.

  141. clarelhdm

    thanks miriamenglish, great assessment of where we are. And mars08, good quote, very apt. Aravis1, I wish you every success at Conference. One can but hope.

  142. mars08

    @Lee. Politics 101. Avoid asking questions if you won’t like the answers.

    Those bright chaps in the “phalanx of lawyers” would know that…

  143. jimhaz

    [Because Labor knows exactly what they stand for. Maybe if everyone else stopped Labor-bashing for one second, they might actually understand too]

    Political self-interest now eclipses what they stand for.

    Why?

    Maybe they don’t have anything concrete to fight for anymore. I’d say we got too well off compared to the rest of the world in an increasingly globalised market.

    All the serious fighting is needed in the abstract arena. It is not really about micro things like penalty rates or childcare or education any more – the struggle is about what “soul” can/could Australia have. The policies to change to a better Australian must involve inflicting wealth losses and control losses on the rich, and the modern politician is too sycophantic.

    Senior ALP clods won’t go into the more abstract domain because it would appear to be too extreme – you’d essentially have to fight the rest of the world. There are long term NO BACK DOWN fights against the neocons – so we have backdowns on the mining tax and media ownership regulation.

    I have no idea why the ALP has not started a TV station or its own paper, now that the ABC is not what it used to be. That they have not indicates to me they are clueless and gutless.

    Surely by now they could have found people prepared to harass and attack Abbott in the hard core manner that he uses so successfully. They are all too meek and mild. To be honest it may be that they are too feminised which weakens them by the avoidance of real conflict.

  144. Lee

    “They are all too meek and mild. To be honest it may be that they are too feminised which weakens them by the avoidance of real conflict.”

    Because real men resort to violence.

  145. diannaart

    Those who claim they want to vote Labor should do so. Also, if you don’t like some of Labor’s policies, rejoin and work toward policy change.

    That actually works?!

    Maybe we could try that with the Liberals – change from within without becoming corrupted in the process…. sounds too good to be true…

  146. mars08

    He who rides the tiger cannot dismount

  147. diannaart

    Trish has admitted she is not a lawyer, neither am I, at present no-one here at AIMN has claimed to be a lawyer with a solid background on the immigration minefield.

    Here’s an idea, what does an experienced lawyer (Julian Burnside) think about The Australia Border Force Act

    ….Section 42 of the Border Force Act makes it an offence (punishable by 2 years’ imprisonment) for an “entrusted person” to “make a record of, or disclose” protected information…..In my opinion, if a health worker learned facts while employed by a service provider in detention and genuinely believed, on reasonable grounds, that those facts represented a serious threat to the life or health of one or more asylum seekers, and, that disclosing those facts might help prevent or lessen that threat, the disclosure would not constitute an offence.

    Similarly, if any other employee of a detention centre operator formed the same belief, and disclosed the facts believing that disclosing them might help prevent or lessen that threat, the disclosure would not constitute an offence.

    OK, Julian states that the act does permit reporting of abuse, danger, health risks and so on with a measure of safety for the whistleblower. However

    …It is not clear from the Act whether disclosure is prohibited of facts learned before the Act came into force but disclosed after the Act comes into force. The normal principle against retrospective criminal laws tends to the result that the Act would not apply in those circumstances, but it is not clear.

    Two practical matters remain. First, the Act comes into force on 1 July. Disclosure before then cannot be a breach of the Act.

    Second, whether a prosecution would be brought in any particular case is hard to guess. If the disclosure was such as to attract a possible defence under section 48, a government acting sensibly would recognise that a prosecution would provide an opportunity for the accused to explain – in the very public forum of court proceedings – exactly what is going on inside detention centres and why those things present a serious threat to the life or health of an individual (or individuals) in detention…

    So, a lawyer thinks the clauses are not exactly clear enough – fair call, if a lawyer finds this legislation muddy, how the hell are Labor, Greens and our ‘team of adults’ the LNP supposed to understand all of the Act?

    The defence under section 48 is important. It is arguably more powerful than normal whistle-blower defences. The most disturbing thing about the Border Force Act is its apparent attempt to hide the iniquities which are happening in immigration detention, on-shore and off-shore.

    Therefore, it is fuzzy law – open to interpretation and we well know how a variety of interpretations of any documents can be utilised.

    Shameful thngs are being done in our name, on out taxes and Australia’s reputation internationally is being degraded rapidly. The only favourable thing which hass been said about Australia’s policy in relation to asylum seekers was said by Katie Hopkins in the London Sun a few months ago. Her compliment was diminished by the fact that she referred to boat people as “vermin” and “cockroaches”. I would prefer Australia not to have the good opinion of someone who thinks like that.

    The Australian Border Force Act: trying to silence health workers

    * Katie Holmes – http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/20/tiny-hearts-and-balls-of-steel-this-is-what-the-world-thinks-of-australia

    No one comes out looking particularly virtuous.

    My question is why pass a law if you do not fully understand it? Labor must’ve consulted a lawyer or two, surely?

  148. diannaart

    and finally

    @Trish Corry

    Dianna my comment was directed at Dan as he took a stab at me and Victoria for being actual members.

    Yeah but, no but, yeah but… this being an open forum and all, and you did take a stab at people who complain about present-day-Labor, not joining Labor to ‘change from within’….how was I to know that this observation only applied to Dan and not to other people who have found themselves abandoned ideologically by Labor and also comment on this forum?

  149. Trish Corry

    Sorry Diana but if you can appreciate that I am a human being and when you are being attacked mocked and ridiculed sometimes you type in a rush. I have no problem defending an argument or saying what I believe in. But sometimes I think on social media we forget the person we are attacking is human and i was attacked for hours. I’ve been guilty of it too. Im just saying I’m not infallible under lengthy sustained attacks as most people would not be. I hope that makes sense.

  150. Lee

    Mars08 didn’t mention it in his post at 8.52 am, but the link he posted is to an article written by George Newhouse, also a human rights lawyer.

    Australian Lawyers for Human Rights President Nathan Kennedy has this to say:

    “ALHR endorses the concerns expressed in the open letter published today from 40 medical, educational and humanitarian detention centre staff” says President Nathan Kennedy.

    “The Border Force Act imposes disproportionate and unreasonable penalties upon Australians. It infringes rights to free speech” says Mr Kennedy. “It overrides the ethical obligations of health workers, and even their legal obligations to report abuse. It undermines our democracy by replacing the ideal of transparency and accountability in government with secrecy and punishment.”

    “This Government says that it supports the rule of law, but it doesn’t seem to understand what that means” says Nathan Kennedy.”

    “The ‘rule of law’ means that we should be ruled by good laws which enhance our democracy, and that apply to everyone and everybody including the Executive. Good laws only impose appropriate and proportionate responses to the harms they are meant to address. The Border Force Act is not such a law.”

    “Australia is a party to seven key international human rights treaties and has also signed or ratified a number of optional protocols to those treaties” says Mr Kennedy. “Australia has bound itself to comply with their provisions and to implement them domestically. As the Law Council says, it is therefore entirely appropriate to evaluate government legislation, policy and practice by reference to its compliance with international human rights laws. In the view of ALHR, the Border Force Act fails that test.”

    “ALHR is deeply concerned” says Nathan Kennedy “by the continued pattern of bi-partisan support for legislation which substantially – and in our view, unnecessarily – infringes the human rights of every Australian and we call upon both major parties to address this issue.”

    ALHR endorses concerns about Australian Border Force Act

    Here’s an interesting interpretation from Khanh Hoang, Associate Lecturer at the ANU College of Law.

    “So, how might the act work in practice?

    Disclosure to protect life or health

    The act provides for a number of exceptions to the offence. Section 48 allows for disclosure where an:

    … entrusted person reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious threat to the life or health of an individual.
    On its face, the provision allows for the disclosure of serious child or sexual abuse. However, other provisions place a burden on Border Force workers, which may deter disclosure.

    The act provides that a whistleblower bears the evidentiary burden of proof that an exception applies if information is disclosed. Whistleblowers must make judgements about whether a threat to life or health is “serious” enough to warrant disclosure and then be willing to defend their actions in court. This alone may have a deterrent effect.

    The exception sits uneasily with other provisions of the act that regulate employee conduct. Section 24 requires all workers and contractors to make an oath or affirmation before the Border Force commissioner. It is unclear exactly what that oath or affirmation is or how it impacts on an employee’s ability to disclose information.

    Section 26 allows the commissioner to issue directions about how employees are to perform their duties. Failure to follow a direction or breach of an oath may give rise to grounds for termination of employment on the basis of “serious misconduct” under the act.

    While the commissioner, Roman Quaedvlieg, has said it is “unlikely” that medical staff will be prosecuted, the reality is that future whistleblowers are stuck between a rock and hard place. Disclosure may not result in imprisonment, but it could lead to a loss of employment.

    Disclosure and the public interest

    Beyond issues of individual health and safety, there are questions about the extent to which the act allows disclosure of information in the public interest. Such disclosures may relate to breaches of domestic law, conditions in detention centres, or breaches of international law.

    There is no public interest exception in the act. However, an exception exists allowing disclosure that is:

    … required or authorised by or under a law of the Commonwealth, or state or territory.
    This provides an opening for public interest disclosures to be made in accordance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act, which provides protection from criminal liability for public service employees, including contractors.

    However, protection under the Public Interest Disclosure Act does not extend to external disclosures outside of government of information that consists of – or is likely to consist of – “sensitive law enforcement information”. This includes information which, if disclosed, is reasonably likely to prejudice Australia’s law enforcement interests, including its interest in:

    … avoiding international disruption to national and international efforts relating to law enforcement … or the integrity of law enforcement agencies.
    The government may argue that much of what goes on in detention centres or at sea amounts to sensitive law enforcement information, just as it has argued that on-water activities under Operation Sovereign Borders are “operational matters” that cannot be discussed.

    The act also provides an exception to allow the disclosure of information to government or other bodies if authorised in writing by the immigration minister. Last week, the minister, Peter Dutton, issued a rule authorising disclosure to a large number of government agencies, but they do not include the Commonwealth Ombudsman or the Australian Human Rights Commission – bodies set up to hold the government to account. Nor does it include any media.

    The Law Council of Australia argued for an amendment to the bill to include a standalone public interest exception. This would have been a much-needed amendment that, at the very least, would have provided a more balanced outcome. A standalone public interest exception is necessary to protect, for example, allegations that were reported to the media that led to the Moss review about conditions and circumstances on Nauru.

    Secrecy and open government

    As the Australian Law Reform Commission remarked in 2010, a key principle of open government requires an:

    … indispensable check to be imposed on those entrusted with government power.
    This allows the public to know whether a government’s deed matches its word. While some amount of government secrecy is necessary, such restrictions should be balanced with the need for transparency.

    Rather than promoting open government, the act gives the distinct impression that Border Force employees are persons to whom the government “entrusts” its secrets. But a breach of that trust, even if done in the public interest, renders a person liable for imprisonment.

    The act further entrenches the culture of secrecy around Australia’s asylum seeker policy at the cost of open and transparent government. That is something we should be worried about.”

    https://theconversation.com/border-force-act-entrenches-secrecy-around-australias-asylum-seeker-regime-44136

  151. diannaart

    Trish

    You make total sense. My head hurts right now, as we speak.

    I still wish to discuss the merits of a multi-pluralist government – but have not had the energy for the research I intend. Unless Labor does a 180 turn on its present trajectory, we need more and varied representation in government, not the narrow deal we have with a two-party preferred basis.

    We (worldwide) really need a comprehensive change in so much we have previously taken for granted, I am not surprised when people want to remain with the familiar – even when the familiar is no longer caring about us.

    Hoping this makes sense.

  152. aravis1

    @diannaart. “Yeah but, no but, yeah but… ” Gratuitous ridicule of trishcorry, who has been trying and working hard to explain her principles, is demeaning of yourself. It also sends a message to readers that your contributions should be ignored, in case you attack them also. We have no need to descend to the level of the LNP.

  153. Lee

    I think diannaart makes numerous valuable contributions to this forum and she is one of the last people whose posts I would ignore.

  154. aravis1

    Maybe she does, Lee. My comment stands.

  155. jimhaz

    @ Lee [Because real men resort to violence]

    I was thinking more of matters such as for example the Obeid fiasco. Other ministers would have known what was going on, but were too gutless to stand up and put themselves in the spotlight. Now we see them standing off on LNP policies the ALP has passed, which no workers party or compassionate party should allow.

    With Shorten, he is too gutless to come out and make a list of LNP policies they will abandon or appointments they will cancel. Without this why should I have any faith in the ALP (other than they won’t be as evil as the LNP), particularly as I already see Shorten as working for the other side. Plibersek is also useless. Been too wealthy for too long even just on her husbands income. Unions have the same trouble – too many fat cats in control.
    Women do feminise men, and perhaps I overstate the blame for the modern “thought police” work and no frills social environment in that regard, but in more subtle ways so do other things like technology and wealth via “having it too easy”. I’ve actually seen more courage and maturity from women in the political domain than men in recent years, though much of that was in the human rights/asylum seeker domain, and may be more of a case that the courageous men are missing.

    @ Mars08

    [He who rides the tiger cannot dismount]

    Appropriate example given in Freedictionary.com for that quote.

    “He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.

    Prov. Sometimes it is more dangerous to stop doing a dangerous thing than it is to continue doing it.

    Jill: You shouldn’t take out another loan.You’re already too far in debt. Jane: If I don’t take out a loan, I can’t make the payments on the loans I already have. You know how it is—she who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount”

    It would also apply if the ALP were to adopt the very dirty attack dog tricks of the LNP, they may find they cannot get off this ultra-aggressive bandwagon.

  156. jim

    Great article 100% agree, Public opinion plays a “crucial” part in a democracy and public opinion is shaped by the media so whoever controls the media controls public opinion and we all know who controls the media.So democracy will never be effective if this is not rectified. ALP has a history of of helping the workers,and the disabled, this is F.A.C.T. Australia Badly needs real honest journo’s I’d say if we had honest journo’s we would not have gone into Iraq and the mid east.and we wouldn’t have a rabbit government as we do now.

  157. Lee

    Yes, aravis1, your comment stands, as do your other comments where you have chastised those who don’t agree with you or who ask questions, and then you have preached to us telling us that non-Labor progressives must work with the Labor supporters.

    The overwhelming message I have received from you, Victoria and Trish is that it’s perfectly acceptable for Labor members and supporters to bash the other parties but it is totally unreasonable for anyone else to do it to Labor.

    Well I don’t need to work with Labor. They need my vote, remember? My political position has not changed in 30 years. What you don’t seem to be able to get through your head is that Labor’s political position has changed quite markedly in that time. Labor has moved away from those who are now Greens voters. Representing us wasn’t good enough for them. They dumped us and now quite clearly prefer representing the wealthy. Now if they want to do that, that’s fine by me but they won’t be getting my vote. It is not my responsibility to go running after Labor. If Labor wants me to vote for them, they know where they can find me – over here on the left, in the same place that they dumped me. And I have no intention of taking so much as a single step towards the right.

    I have never, ever been bullied to vote Green. Nor have any of them ever used scare tactics on me to get my vote. Your tactics are clearly demonstrating that Labor has got nothing to offer progressives.

  158. Lee

    “I was thinking more of matters such as for example the Obeid fiasco. Other ministers would have known what was going on, but were too gutless to stand up and put themselves in the spotlight.”

    Jimhaz, that has nothing to do with being feminised, rather everything to do with being dishonest and having too good a time with their snouts in the trough.

  159. Dan Rowden

    I don’t see how 42(2)(c) of the Border v Protection Bill applies to Manus and Nauru, or any of the other “exceptions” that apply in Section 6 of that document. What Commonwealth, State or Territory laws are enforceable in such places?

    It’s also curious that this document: Migration Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2015 does not name Manus or Nauru one single time (all other Australian detention centres are named). Funny that. It’s a big document but interesting:

    http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd086

    As for my my assertion that being a member of a political party can compromise objectivity, I absolutely stand by that claim. Of course I express it as a cautionary tale not some political law that must be obeyed. It’s not going to be an issue for everyone, but at the other end of the scale you get someone like Frank Calabrese @frankscan65.

  160. Dan Rowden

    And while I’m at the keyboard, I find it curious that someone like Victoria will fall all over herself to criticise everyone over something like The Killing Season (which rated very well despite the implication) but Gillard’s and Rudd’s involvement doesn’t rate a mention? Personally I’m disgusted in the pair of them. I mean, they both agreed to do a program that they knew damn well would be damaging to both their Party and their current Leader, and potentially to this country’s prospects for getting rid of Tony Abbott. However, it seems their egos were too large to consider such matters. Staggering.

  161. Lee

    Hahahahahaha!

    “Any so-called ALP follower who publicly attacks or retweets anti ALP Tweets will be unfollowed and BLOCKED and will feel wrath of my anger”

    I have seen this guy online. He’s a tosser.

    1. Who cares if he unfollows them?

    2. So he threatens to attack pixels. Big deal.

    3. How can anyone incur the wrath of his anger if he has blocked them and unfollowed them?

    Looks like a grade A moron to me. Typical Liberal voter.

    I realise that if you are blocked, you can still reply to the person who blocked you if they have been mentioned in someone else’s tweet. But can the person who has done the blocking still reply? I don’t think so.

    If he started harassing on Twitter, the best thing to do would be completely ignore him. Pretend he is invisible and take him out of any replies to other people. That would annoy the crap out of him.

  162. Dan Rowden

    Lee,

    Calabrese is still able to reply to me even though he’s blocked me (because I’ve not blocked him). I don’t mind so much. Screen dumps are great. I’ll have quite a portfolio pretty soon 🙂

    But he’s a classic example of how political party loyalty can go awry and turn people into thugs and fanatics.

  163. Lee

    Just had a look and noticed Frank is ALP. I previously got the impression he was a conservative.

  164. aravis1

    O my, Lee. “Chastised and preached”! Archaic language for your pot/kettle attacks. Colour me old-fashioned, but I still have a sneaking liking for good manners, even online. And yes, I know my manners tend to desert me when others attack. What really gets up my nose however, is the way you and others will charge someone who disagrees with you, with ” chastising and preaching” for instance, when you do the bloody same yourselves.
    OK. I’ve done. Am in a stinking bad mood, started when I heard Abbott brazenly saying that he wants to get rid of the CEFC altogether. THIS, my fellow anti-LNP people, is what we should be shouting about. Not whether the Greens or the ALP are better. Who cares, as long as we get rid of Abbott? I’ve had enough of this thread. No one is listening; just reiterating stale opinions and blasting those who disagree. Going to nurse my cold and sulk.

  165. Lee

    Aravis1, if you or anyone else wants to have a go at me, knock yourself out. I don’t care what you think of me. I don’t go around crying because others are attacking me and demanding that they stop.

  166. aravis1

    Sad that you didn’t notice I was defending someone else, not myself. One more thing you haven’t noticed, in all the things Labor people have said. Twisting statements of others is not a pleasant thing to do.
    And, why is it that you don’t respond to urging to bash the Libs, to do something that might help get rid of them? Are you only on here to have arguments about things that don’t matter? Does our country matter?

  167. trishcorry

    I think once again the comments from this article really stand as a testament to the validity of this article. What I see occurring here are two distinct groups. One group sees Labor as the benchmark for ‘what should be’ The mere fact that Labor has sided with the Government (aka the enemy) leaves people in a lot of shock and disgust and even contempt for Labor. This group does not seek to understand why Labor takes certain approaches or adopts certain policy, but this group has a standard for Labor and if that standard does not appear to be met on the surface, then Labor are dogs, never to be voted for again. This group by not asking questions, but going on their own instincts from headlines or on the value of who has said it – ie prominent politician or someone they respect. This group once they feel Labor is tainted, find anything they can to debase Labor. They almost wish it into being, so something exist that they can use.

    The other group I see as a group who may not necessarily agree with the approaches of policies, but this group seeks to understand the reason why, in a rational objective sense, not a pointing of fingers, name calling sense. They may not be happy with the policy, but take into account certain complexities and seek to understand why this is so. This also occurs amongst Labor members. With a diverse group of people, in our own forums we battle ideas and beliefs with passion, but in the end we are still all comrades and still all work together to fight for a better Australia. (People here having a go at me for the past day or so, can take the term “Better Australia” as they will).

    My question is, how far do people go to seek to understand decisions made? Many of us are just guilty at looking at a Murdoch (or now we can put up included as well, Fairfax) Headline or a Tweet or FB comment from a politician and simply take these at face value. I know that I have often seen a post of one of the Green’s Facebook pages disparaging Labor and I’ve gone like “WTF????” as I couldn’t believe it. So I’d go hunting for more information and come to understand that it wasn’t the entire truth. One instance I remember is this one with Doug Cameron http://www.dougcameron.com.au/greens_federal_icac_stunt_exposed

    Where I am going with this is it appears that many will take the view that if it suits their purposes to jump down the throat of Labor as they hold them to an extremely elevated standard, a standard not imposed on other parties. Judy made a comment earlier that basically meant that because everyone sees the Greens as good and pure, no one questions them. This is so.

    In this instance in the hyperlink above on Federal ICAC the Greens certainly had another agenda and part of that agenda included telling blatant lies about Labor.

    The issue with the Greens siding with the Liberals on the recent attacks on Pensioners is another issue, which was dumbed down. There is no such thing as a ‘rich pensioner’ The same way you can’t eat coal, you can’t eat your house you have worked hard for. The thing that sickens me about this is Young Liberals raised this about 3 – 4 years ago on a forum I was part of, that they wanted to push for all pensioners to sell and exhaust their assets before they could access the pension. Siding with the Liberals on this issue is an attack on middle Australia.

    For those who believe that the Greens are the lifters of the poor and disadvantaged may be quite surprised, that they often do take a conservative stance, IF it means they can get their own way. The Greens siding with the Liberals to abolish the ETS and then insisted on a Carbon Tax as the basis of forming Govt. This will for me, until the day I die, be the catalyst and reason for why we have had to endure Tony Abbott. Yes, I blame the Greens for Tony Abbott. The Greens certainly played their part with the most hated tax in Australia. Their all or nothing no compromise attitude can be damaging to our Society. The Carbon tax is a very good mechanism, but a Centrist party would have negotiated and worked its way into introducing such a radical change in an incremental way. The Greens do not believe in that approach. However, the impacts on society and on how we exist in society when these things are rammed through are never, ever held to account. Because, as Judy points out, the Greens are seen as all good an pure, so they are never questioned.

    The reason why some people detest Labor is like the Greens, they want everything their way NOW. They have no patience for incremental change. They have no respect for incremental innovation. They have no understanding or respect that there are very complex problems with some issues, that must be treated very gently and not rushed. They have no understanding that most people will resist change and that sometimes we need to provide leadership to bring people with us. If you look at the history of Gough Whitlam, he lost Govt prior to being successful and the main problem was that the people were not ready for his great ideas for change. As great as they were and still are. The people at the time were not ready. The nature of the people at the time was entrenched in conservatism. It is the same argument with the Asylum Seeker Debate. Labor as a legitimate party to Govern, needs to remain strong on protection and safety of Australians, as whether we like it or not, it is a key global issue of which a great many are concerned about. They certainly don’t need to be complete flag waving tossers about it like Abbott is, but it is a serious matter that needs to be taken seriously and not fobbed off as a joke. If Labor did make decisions that the Abbott Govt could point out would leave us open for an attack, it would be the death of Labor. Abbott has the balance of power to wedge on this issue, not Labor.

    I disagree that Asylum Seekers are a part of the ‘Border Force’ Problem, however, the nature of Australia at the moment is the majority of Australians support off-shore processing (much to my surprise) and it really is vocal minority championing change to onshore. Although I agree with Onshore, I seek to understand the complexities of why it is a huge risk to put up a policy of onshore at this time. Everything that hinges on making incremental changes to humane treatment and hopefully one day a progress back to onshore, relies on Labor being in power and not Abbott. If Abbott remains in power, he will work his way so that we are removed from having any responsibilities in this area as far as the UN goes.

    My final note in this rather long commentary is that with regards to the Secrecy clause, my biggest concern points to the people who are the ones who WANT to find fault with Labor, who shut off all consideration of any rational reasoning to explain they whys and hows, as it does not fit into their aim. Once Labor is tainted in their mind, nothing – not even Labor achieving world peace (whilst in opposition mind you) could ever change that.

    The lucky thing is we live in a democratic system, with a separate Judicial system. Since 1903 there have been many challenges of Govt Legislation in the High Court. There are those who simply want to condemn, but I will take the rational approach and the reasonable approach that I do not believe that the Labor Senators, NOR the Liberal Senators are nothing but hard working people with opposing ideologies. I do not accept that either side of the house willingly wants child abuse to remain secret. The legislation is a very complex piece of legislation and the Senate Inquiry document is also quite complex. There are many Lawyers in Govt and in the Govt system and there have been many instances where the Govt has truly believed they have the right legislation. Checked by their Lawyers, all above board. However, the High Court has overturned the Govt legislation in the past and will continue to do so. This included the Marriage Equality Laws that ACT thought was right (checked out by Government Lawyers) so the narky comments about “Didn’t Labor get Lawyers to look at it”) could be applied to every single instance where Legal advice has been overturned for many pieces of Legislation. We have some of the most brilliant Legal minds in this country, including Humanitarian Lawyers. As I have said before, If they believe there is a challenge here, or there needs to be an amendment, this will go through proper process and possibly be sent to the High Court, or challenged prior to that. That is where I believe we can see the nature of the INTENT of this legislation in how the parties work with or oppose these challenges. I remain that at this point, I do not believe either side of the house has the intent to enable secrecy of child abuse and voted in good faith, but this is simply a case of possibly the Govt and their lawyers getting it wrong and the High court or whatever other process there is to challenge will reveal that. But to point to the Govt and Opposition as enablers of child abuse secrecy to me is a rather sick approach. I detest Liberals, but I simply do not believe there is that much pure evil in representatives who are simply normal people in our community voted to high office. And to quote Forrest Gump “That is all I have to say about that”.

  168. trishcorry

    Thanks Avaris1. Dan, Frank is a new friend last week on my FB and also is a fellow Blogger. He told me he has been blocked from here for disagreeing with people. I haven’t seen any of his comments, so I can’t judge the admin decision here, but I’m not a fan of public ridicule when someone is blocked and can’t defend themselves.

  169. Roswell

    Trish, Frank gave you the wrong message. He wasn’t blocked from here for disagreeing with people. He was blocked for being downright abusive. One of the other admins put him in moderation, but after seeing the comments he was leaving I had no choice but to block him altogether. They were not fit for publication. Actually, they were downright disgusting and repulsive.

  170. clarelhdm

    Trish, your ‘final’ post is so patronising that I just can’t ignore it. You cast everyone who is critical of Labor as someone who just reads the Murdoch press and doesn’t want to look deeper or ask the hard questions. What bloody rot! I have worked as a asylum seeker activist for many years. I get information directly from people on the ground about these issues, not from the Murdoch press. I work with people who donate their own money and time to try to assist these people who find themselves in this terrible situation. You talk about playing the long game, that the people of Australia are not ready for change, well just how long will that game be? How many people will die in detention, how many children will lose their innocence and childhood waiting for justice?
    In Australia, we don’t have an asylum seeker problem. It is miniscule by international standards. It has been created as a dog whistling issue to score easy points with people who have been trained to ‘blame down’ for their problems. Labor’s position as you state it of ‘protecting our borders’ and stopping the hordes from invading us is just perpetuating the same ridiculous fear-based myth.
    As for last paragraph, which seems to be about believing in the intrinsic good of all politicians, and the belief that even if they are dodgy the Legal system will sort it all out if they get it wrong, it is whimsical and more idealistic than the Greens you so often criticise. And it ignores a good deal of history. Power corrupts, money corrupts. Small incremental compromises can end up with wholescale betrayal of one’s values. It seems almost too obvious to cite German politicians during WW11, maybe reflecting on the Bush administration, who knew they were selling lies in order to go to war, is a more contemporary example that clearly makes the point.
    You are basically trying to justify labor signing a bill which is legally confusing at best, but is clearly designed to make the conditions in detention subject to greater secrecy. I still can see no legitimate reason why Labor should have signed it and thereby allowed its passage into law.

  171. Lee

    No it is not the case that no one questions the Greens. I’ve questioned them and I’ve seen others question them. They’re not perfect. I disagree with some of their views but, comparing their platform to my own views, they are currently the party that ticks most of my boxes. The Australian Progressives are currently formulating their policies and to date they are quite good. They have been discussing some benefits to Australian society as a whole that don’t appear to be on the radars of any of the larger parties.

    I vote on issues. It makes no difference to me which party introduces a bill that benefits us as a whole. I have little time for parties who won’t discuss their policies until just before an election for fear that someone else will steal their ideas. This is proof that they’re not in politics to represent all of their constituents. The most disturbing group of voters are those who will keep voting for one particular party, no matter what they do or how bad they become for Australia as a whole.

  172. corvus boreus

    trishcorry,
    I have read Senator Cameron’s missive previously.
    When the Greens put the ICAC member’s motion up, they tried a gag motion, possibly to avoid a filibuster. This was voted down.
    Net result; No ICAC.
    Since then, when the subject of an ICAC has been raised, the federal Labor leader has denied the current need for any general investigation of political corruption, and it is not a subject many of the ‘faithful’ are eager to discuss.

    “I think we’ve all been shocked at the revelations that have come out in NSW ICAC, but I don’t believe the same case has yet existed to demonstrate these problems are prevalent in the national political debate in Australia. But I have indicated, publicly on the record to Tony Abbott, that we are happy to sit down with him and work constructively in a bipartisan fashion to ensure we have the strongest possible defences against any perception of corruption full stop.” (B.S.)

    I disagree entirely, I see plenty in current political machinations that seems sketchy and suspect, or often blatantly wrong.
    I also think that a ‘bipartisan defence against perception’ can be a collusion to camouflage and conceal.

    The Greens should propose a federal ICAC again, on the first day of a senate session to allow for protracted discussion.
    Better yet, Labor could propose one, this time on terms they are more comfortable with.

    Either way, we need a federal Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC? : 98% agree).

  173. aravis1

    A constructive comment. Trish. Thank you for taking the trouble to do it. Shall we all attempt to build on it?

  174. Lee

    “And, why is it that you don’t respond to urging to bash the Libs, to do something that might help get rid of them?”

    Aravis1, I assume you’re addressing me. First of all, I have criticised the Liberal Party today on the AIMN network, and I criticise them on social media on an almost daily basis. Secondly, I think for myself. I don’t just up and bash someone because someone else tells me I should or must do it.

    Keep on making Labor look like such an attractive option.

  175. mars08

    So trishcorry tells us … ” I will take the rational approach and the reasonable approach that I do not believe that the Labor Senators, NOR the Liberal Senators are nothing but hard working people with opposing ideologies.”

    Fascinating. Yet we’re to believe that Greens senators are unprincipled, uncaring opportunists?

    And, as for Labor and Liberal senators having opposing ideologies … I’m not seeing much evidence of that these days.

  176. diannaart

    Gratuitous ridicule of trishcorry

    What, who, where, when, moi?

    Please explain where I have indulged in such childishness – perhaps I worded something ambiguously.

    I happen to respect Trish a great deal – just because I don’t agree with her all of the time doesn’t mean I transform into a troll – I have said nothing here or elsewhere that I would not say to anyone, face to face.

    Trish, if you know what aravis1 is on about perhaps you can edify me – I have not intended any ridicule of you or Victoria – what I do intend is honesty.

  177. trishcorry

    Hi Roswell. As I mentioned, I have only just met Frank and he sent me a friend request last week and I see he is a fellow blogger. All the comments were deleted, so I can’t make any comment on any of it. What I was trying to speak out against and do not condone is public humiliation or ridicule of someone on a Forum, which Dan has done, when they are blocked and cannot respond to defend themselves. Whether you agree with the person on not, whether they are as nice as pie or an pest, I see that type of thing as online bullying and I don’t condone it.

  178. trishcorry

    Clare it would be helpful, if you didn’t take your interpretation of my opinion as fact. I have not taken a patronising view in my opinion and that is just the way I see it. I am happy to own that. If you think I’m being patronising, that is your problem, not mine. I do see in these comments a seething hatred for Labor and my opinion has been drawn on the fact that regardless of any information that is put up, it is either ignored, or dodged around so it is not directly addressed, or ridiculed, or the commenter (usually me) is ridiculed.

    Although I went to the pains of searching for the Inquiry document and cut and paste, after it was requested, not only did no one say thanks for taking the time to put up that info, but no one spoke to the fact that this could be a reasonable explanation for both sides. No one spoke to the fact that there was in fact an inquiry and questions about secrecy were addressed and answered to the satisfaction of the Senate Inquiry. Also, just because YOU don’t understand why it has been signed, does not mean that it is not legitimate either. Maybe write to the politicians themselves and ask them what the importance of this clause is, so you can understand it directly. I feel as if you think I am some type of person here to respond immediately to your rude demands of responding to your questions and then I’m also someone for you to ridicule because I dare to defend something based on a rational argument, which also included evidence of the documents considered, which may, just may shed some light on the decision making process that has occurred. It may, just may give people a different perspective that Labor are not the sick and twisted child abuse enablers they are being portrayed as, but Individuals who followed a careful and considered process, which has been challenged in the past and will continue to be through our Judicial system. I haven’t just made stuff up.

  179. trishcorry

    corvus boreus My point was the fact that the Greens do use political tactics such as the one mentioned to give the notion that they are pure and good. They ARE a political party and they do want votes, no different than any other party. They also need to be held to account, not just considered as the “happy never to be questioned alternative” I am absolutely for a federal ICAC and I don’t give a damn who goes down. BUT it must be a legitimate process and not stacked with biased lawyers one side or the other. It has to be independent. Shorten is of the belief that the current system is good and suffice’s, but some in Labor disagree, including some Senators. I think we do need one. I also think we need a Senate in QLD.

  180. diannaart

    Lee

    What Lee
    , just said (word for word)

    too freakin’ ill right now and Lee has made exactly the same points I would.

    No it is not the case that no one questions the Greens. I’ve questioned them and I’ve seen others question them. They’re not perfect. I disagree with some of their views but, comparing their platform to my own views, they are currently the party that ticks most of my boxes. The Australian Progressives are currently formulating their policies and to date they are quite good. They have been discussing some benefits to Australian society as a whole that don’t appear to be on the radars of any of the larger parties.

    I vote on issues. It makes no difference to me which party introduces a bill that benefits us as a whole. I have little time for parties who won’t discuss their policies until just before an election for fear that someone else will steal their ideas. This is proof that they’re not in politics to represent all of their constituents. The most disturbing group of voters are those who will keep voting for one particular party, no matter what they do or how bad they become for Australia as a whole.

    OK, thought of something before I go collapse. We know that all political parties make mistakes, the Greens most certainly have – however these mistakes are not the same as the written into our legislation type mistakes of both Labor and Liberals, why do we condemn an entire party for a few mistakes, when the two major parties make a plethora of massive, impacting on our lives type mistakes?

    …and why is being critical of Labor mean we are some kind of Liberal secret agents? What rubbish!

    …. and we do write regularly here and elsewhere on articles highly critical of Abbott and his droogs – what I say here is the same as my political commentary elsewhere

    …and I can prove it.

  181. Harquebus

    I encourage would be whistle blowers to remain anonymous. This might help.

    Avoiding data retention

    Hope you don’t mind the plug. I going back now to read the numerous posts that have arrived since I was last here. Some of you can obviously type really fast.

  182. trishcorry

    I think we are going off the track here a bit. Let’s stick to Victoria’s actual article instead of having a bloody stab at me all the time and engage with me instead of talking about me as if I am not in the room. It is getting monotonous.

    Victoria has observed a phenomena and that is that Labor is held as a benchmark, that everyone bounces everything around off Labor. This is in fact a real phenomena. I have observed it myself, but instead of the very articulate way Victoria has written it, I have just felt quite frustrated at having to sit back and observe it. I think this is one of the best articles she has ever written and certainly needed to be said. The focus should be on Abbott and I am sick to death of it being on Labor instead of Abbott and I am sick to death of the Greens and their supporters being the best friends they can to the Liberals and attacking Labor just as much as they do and paying lip service to the Liberals, except on climate issues.

    When I speak to this issue, I am going off the actual points of the article, as I have started comments before about the article.

    I will say that I have seen a pattern here within the confines of this commentary to form an opinion. That does not mean I know where you work, who you are, what your beliefs are, how you may have criticised X, Y, Z party on a particular forum. I can only take a NARROW view based on the comments here. Just as you all are taking a very narrow view of me, with your various judgements and so forth about who I am and what I believe in. You have no idea what letters I may write opposing certain Labor policies, you have no idea of the content of policies I put up at our regional Left forum, or the arguments I had with comrades over motions. You can only assume things about me. That is all and that is fair enough. This is not a forum where you can get to know me in any sort of indepth fashion, nor I you. I do have an entire blog that people can form their own judgements on, and that is fine too. I write about what I am passionate about, not for any particular fan base, likes or traffic.

    So I will address Lee’s comments.

    “No it is not the case that no one questions the Greens. I’ve questioned them and I’ve seen others question them”

    The view that I take based on the commentary here and not a personal go at anyone, based on my explanation above. As I explained to Clare, is that regardless of what I have put up, to show a very rational process to how the support of this motion was arrived at, it was either ignored, danced around, ridiculed, or I was ridiculed. That is what I am basing my opinion on. The frustration, that everyone here seems to discount any explanation in defense of Labor’s decision but are happy to go along with the finger pointing and name calling of Labor based on headlines and Greens accusations.

    I certainly was not a fan of this clause, but I spent weeks trying to understand it and why Labor supported it and the legislation mentioned in it, attached to it. I have also asked opinions of people who have a Legal background and they have also said, yes, what I see makes sense, but there could be problems with it. Due to networking on this issue, I have just received a letter from Kim Carr, reaffirming that what I am saying here, is Labor’s view and they do believe people are protected and they do NOT condone secrecy for child abuse. I will stick to that argument.

    About three weeks into my research into all of this it all blew up. So I was having a really deep look at this weeks before it blew up. So I am not some Labor party hack who doesn’t hold the party to account. I am a person who does take a deep interest in the party I am a member of and our values.

    So maybe take a step back from your narrow views and judgements about me as a person and start arguing the merits of the article which has really failed to get a mention or commendations from anyone commenting here, which is really disappointing. In the whole scheme of things, I am a commenter, a blogger and I have an opinion. If I am passionate about my view, I will defend it to the hilt, If I see I am wrong I will concede. This is an occasion of where I vehemently disagree that Labor support secrecy of child abuse and I will defend it.

  183. Harquebus

    trishcorry
    “This group does not seek to understand why Labor takes certain approaches or adopts certain policy”
    It’s not our job to seek an understanding. It’s Labor’s job to explain.

    “how far do people go to seek to understand decisions made?”
    How far can we go before spin and bamboozlement distorts facts and opinions. An army of spin doctors is employed to stop us from doing just that.

    “jump down the throat of Labor as they hold them to an extremely elevated standard”
    I disagree. Labor has lowered its standards.

    “Yes, I blame the Greens for Tony Abbott.”
    I blame Julia Gillard. She sacrificed credibility to become Prime Minister.

    Gough Whitlam stuck to his guns and became Prime Minister without losing credibility.

    If Labor wants my vote then, they can just bloodywell work for it. I am not going to vote for them just because they are not the Coalition.

  184. trishcorry

    Harquebus – It’s not our job to seek an understanding. It’s Labor’s job to explain.
    Funny that – they have explained it numerous times, on Qanda and on Sky News, on facebook and available on youtube, but no one is listening or not willing to listen are they?

    How far can we go before spin and bamboozlement distorts facts and opinion – Hansard isn’t written by spin doctors.

    I disagree. Labor has lowered its standards.
    Completely disagree

    I blame Julia Gillard. She sacrificed credibility to become Prime Minister.
    I have no opinion on this debacle of an era and it can go suffer in silence for all I care.

    Gough Whitlam stuck to his guns and became Prime Minister without losing credibility
    He did become Prime Minister and his climb there wasn’t as rosy as you are tying to make out here. It was challenging to convince a country of conservatives about progressiveness. I understand he lost two terms before being elected. Alas, we cannot take that risk with the current dictator in charge.

    If Labor wants my vote then, they can just bloodywell work for it. I am not going to vote for them just because they are not the Coalition.
    Good for you. I just hope you vote with a full conscience and understand who preferences who and where your vote may end up in the 2PP system and who it may help get into power. That is the main thing I worry about with swinging voters.

  185. aravis1

    Applause, Trish! You have more patience than I do. And more forbearance. You’ve said pretty exactly what I would have said if I were not stuffed with a cold: and I have only one thing to add, not to you but to diannaart; possibly I misconstrued your comment to Trish – here it is so you know what I was talking about. ”
    Yeah but, no but, yeah but… this being an open forum and all, …..”
    I am still so disappointed at the refusal of participants here to address the real issue, which is au fond simply the evil of the LNP. When we descend into slanging matches about our respective parties, without even mentioning the creatures who have caused us and our country such anguish, we play into their hands. Much better if we discussed an article such as this one of Victoria’s, in the spirit of looking for ways to be united against the common enemy. Egos get in the way too often. Mine too. But it!s too deadly, our situation, for this faffing around. Please, people read Victoria’s article and Trish’s latest contribution without the resentment so far shown.

  186. trishcorry

    I have no issue with anyone here, espically Diannart. She regularly is supportive of my blog and comments.

  187. Matters Not

    Harquebus

    … can we go before spin and bamboozlement distorts facts …

    ‘Distort facts’? How can ‘facts’ be distorted? While I understand that the number of ‘facts’ is almost infinite and that ‘facts’ are often selectively chosen to bolster a particular argument. And the meaning(s) given to any particular ‘fact’ can vary widely, I’m having difficulty with the concept of distorting ‘facts’. Please explain.

  188. Harquebus

    Qanda
    A bunch of no nothings asking stupid questions from another bunch of know nothings with Australia’s worst journalist in charge.
    Sky News!! Nuff said.

    We disagree on some and agree on others. This is probably as far as we are going to get, for the moment.
    Let’s see what unfolds over the next 18 months and how each party reacts. I am sure this is not the last time that we will clash, er, I mean communicate.

    I’ll give you one thing. You do get people talking and that is a good thing so, don’t stop. I appreciate your efforts even when I disagree.

    Cheers.

  189. Harquebus

    Matters Not

    I know that you are not that stupid.
    Give it a rest mate. There will be ample opportunities ahead for you to get your revenge.
    “Distorting facts” is a common term and pedanticism does not become you.

    “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.” – Mark Twain

    Cheers.

  190. clarelhdm

    Trish, when you say that people who won’t accept Labor’s explanation of their actions can’t be bothered to read the documents, or ask questions of Labor, or just read the Murdoch press, well, I do find that patronising. You are saying if only people weren’t so blinkered, or ignorant, then they would see that Labor has done the reasonable and thoughtful thing. I explained to you that I have actually worked as an activist, I have met regularly with ALP members of parliament, facilitated candidate forums so they can espouse their views, I am very well and directly informed. I didn’t thank you for posting the bill, as 1) i didn’t ask you to and 2) I have read it already, and discussed it on activist forums. I am not ‘dodging around the information’, or ridiculing it, or you. I just don’t believe it is good legislation on any level, or that Labor should have supported it. It will make the lives of current detainees far worse, immediately.
    I have not ridiculed you nor spoken disrespectfully. I did call on you to answer my question, as you put yourself forward to carry the mantle of the pro-Labor, pro-Victoria’s article, voice, quite dominantly, posting repeatedly, with very long posts. As I believed my question deserved an answer, and not ‘dodging around’, I repeated it. I have a busy life too, c’est live!
    You continue with ‘Maybe write to the politicians themselves and ask them what the importance of this clause is, so you can understand it directly.’ The tone of that is most certainly patronising…I have written countless letters and had direct meetings with politicians. I just do not accept their justification for signing this bill, and quite a few others. It is not because I hate Labor, or am not informed, or am dodging information, or love the Greens (I don’t ) or anything else you have suggested. I just think Labor are wrong, they have moved to the right, this bill will hurt people hurting immeasurably already, talking about the long game when it comes to peoples’ lives is a slippery slope, and I won’t give Labor my primary vote on that basis. I hate Abbott and everything he stands for, but blind faith in Labor is not the way forward IMHO.

  191. Matters Not

    ample opportunities ahead for you to get your revenge

    So this supposed ‘revenge’ motivation is another one of your ‘obsessions’? Shakes head.

    As for:

    Distorting facts” is a common term

    Not in my world and citing Mark Twain is an attempt to ‘bait and switch’ so I’ll come back to my question.

    How can ‘facts’ be distorted?

    Taking into account the possibilities outlined above.

    But perhaps ‘conceptual analysis’ is above you?

    Cheers.

  192. Lee

    “Victoria has observed a phenomena and that is that Labor is held as a benchmark, that everyone bounces everything around off Labor. This is in fact a real phenomena. I have observed it myself,”

    This is not my observation at all. I see far more material from the Greens that is critical of Liberal than material that is critical of Labor. The Australian Progressives are not critical of anyone, period. They don’t want to be seen as a party that bashes everyone else and just want to focus on their own platform. I follow numerous Facebook pages that are anti-Liberal and my feed is choc a block full of anti-Liberal stuff. So I cannot agree that everyone bounces everything around off Labor.

    The MSM is very anti-Labor. There is no mistaking that. It’s all owned by conservatives and there’s nothing any of us can do about it. Bernie Sanders, a Democrat in the US who I hope will be their next President, is experiencing the Murdoch effect. He is being completely ignored in the MSM. So he is making good use of social media to get his platform across to the public. He is also running on a more socialist platform than I recall from other Democrats in the past and seems to be very different from Obama. Labor needs to make better use of social media for getting their platform across.

    Is it is a commonly held view within the Labor Party that the Greens are responsible for the Liberal Party being elected?

  193. trishcorry

    Clare:
    Trish, when you say that people who won’t accept Labor’s explanation of their actions can’t be bothered to read the documents, or ask questions of Labor, or just read the Murdoch press, well, I do find that patronising.

    Really? I find it as something that is discussed so much it is even identified as the underlying construct for apathy in the voting public. It is also discussed as one of the main reasons apathy returned an Abbott Govt. Conservatives the world over rely on apathy and disengagement to get over the line.
    I don’t see that as patronising at all. Once, again, even though I said I wasn’t pointing to anyone in particular, but only going by the comments I see here and basing my opinion based on assumptions you think I’m talking about you personally, as if I know what you do as an individual. I think I clearly stated that.

    Re: the Long posts. Oh well, when there is so much to respond to, It is hard to be succinct without leaving yourself open to get picked apart even more. That is just the way it is.

    “I have not ridiculed you nor spoken disrespectfully, I did call on you to answer my question,….” Call on or demand?

    Clare: Lets forget for a moment (as you seem to want to) the history of off-shore detention
    Clare: Trish, your ‘final’ post is so patronising that I just can’t ignore it. You cast everyone who is critical of Labor as someone who just reads the Murdoch press and doesn’t want to look deeper or ask the hard questions. What bloody rot! (Note the Quotation marks around final as if to say “Stuff me will this bitch ever shut up!). Now THAT is patronising.
    Clare: They could have established a point of difference, then and there and showed what you supposedly say they believe in. But they didn’t. Please tell me why.
    Clare: I can see neither trishcorry or aravis1 have answered my question above. Please answer my question
    Clare: OK, one last try. Trish Corry, why did Labor support the Border Force bill?
    You made such a point of your demands to be answered Harquebus posted:
    If Trish Corry does not answer clarelhdm’s question, I think I’ll stop reading her posts. (for which Harquebus did apologise for later)

    Clare: And Trish, though you have retired from the argument, you haven’t addressed the substance of Hanson Young’s amendments, nor explained why ANY SUCH LEGISLATION was necessary at all.

    This is what I meant by your demands on ME to give you all the answers. I was merely stating why not ask the questions yourself, instead of making demands of others? You may see my ‘tone’ as patronising, probably as much as I see your demands and snarky comments are rude and demanding. It really is the way we read things on this type of platform isn’t it? Without facial expression or real tone, there isn’t much we can do if comments are misinterpreted except to clarify them.

    I didn’t thank you for posting the bill, as 1) i didn’t ask you to and 2) I have read it already, and discussed it on activist forums

    Firstly I didn’t post the Bill, I posted the Senate Inquiry excerpt. Two very completely different documents. If you had read the Senate Inquiry document why was your argument not pointed to this and raising the points of interest, which is the actual response in the inquiry to the secrecy question, instead of demanding I give you the answers. I felt I had to post it, as both yourself and Miriam asked me to explain myself (You on numerous occasions) and I’m the sort of person who likes to support what I say, if people question it. I’m not really a flippant person.

    If your ideology is further left than Centrist-Left Labor, don’t try to make out you are not giving them your vote based on the fact that they are not up to your standards, or they have lost their way. Labor is not a leftist Party, they are centre-left. Why not just state you are voting on a party because they align with your values and this is why? I am a believer in voting with conviction, no matter who you vote for. I detest apathy. I even respect a Liberal voter who votes with conviction, if they will stand up and say YES, these values are mine, I believe in their ideology (aka I’m an arsehole), not umm err cos he is going to stop the boats and the death cult. Apathy will be the ruination of our democracy.

    So please, if you are further left than Labor, that is fine, nothing wrong with that, but don’t say Labor is shit and they have lost your vote when they never had it in the first place. It adds to the diatribe that Labor doesn’t represent their voter base and that they have lost their way and it is nothing but deceiving.

  194. Dan RowdenDan Rowden

    Trish,

    For a start, can you please explain how 42(2)(c) of the Border v Protection Bill applies to Manus or Nauru.

    Secondly, please stop playing the victim card and saying people are attacking you when all they’re doing is disagreeing. It makes you look awfully immature.

  195. trishcorry

    Anyway, I’m out. I’m not reading anymore to comments or listening to my WordPress notification chime. Once again Victoria. Congrats on an excellent piece. I think it my favourite blog piece I have ever read.

  196. Harquebus

    Matters Not
    I refer you to this internet search: how to distort facts
    That’s how I usually find things out.

  197. aravis1

    Trish is apparently not watching this forum any more – and I don’t blame her. Every time someone demands that she explain something, and she does, she then gets jumped on for being patronizing or some other silly response. Seems to me that the more one posts on here,. the more one gets bullied. Pack of children in the schoolyard. I’m off too.

  198. clarelhdm

    Dear me Trish, many times you said (along the lines of) ‘this is the last word from me on this’, so there was no sarcasm in my ‘final’ adjective. You set yourself up as the authority, so i asked you to answer. No disrespect. ‘The Bill’ was my shorthand for whatever you posted, it was of no interest to me as I have read the arguments and the legislation and I don’t agree with it. It is not just the secrecy issues i have issue with, so arguing the toss on them is really not the point. Labor lost its way as soon as they reopened the off shore camps IMO, so it is just more of the wretched same.
    You make no comment whatsoever of the direct experience I site of working with and for asylum seekers and what this and previous bills will do to them. That is more important to me than some rusted on party loyalty. As for my political leanings, it appears that because you can’t accuse me of being a Greens supporter you will attack me for being too left!!!!! Oh my goodness. I supported Labor all my voting life up till and including kevin07, but then they started to change direction to such an extent that I had to find someone else i could endorse. I am a left swinging voter and will vote for a non-alligned independent if i think they are the real deal, or Socialist alliance, or Greens or Tony Windsor if he runs for the senate. I determine my vote on the quality of the candidate and their policies.
    I am 56 years old and have seen the changes in the Labor party in my adult life. I am saddened they are no longer the voice of the average working person and seem ashamed to even be associated with that history at times. Holding government doesn’t mean giving up ones ideals because pragmatism is all we can hope for. I want more than that. I want a party with ideals and principles and the guts to stand up and expect the best of the Australian people, not pander to the worst.

  199. Dan RowdenDan Rowden

    Politics is complex, nebulous and sometimes confusing. It is sometimes absurdly complex (for its own reasons). But throughout that neblosity and complexity, principle remains, for those who care about such things.

    Section 6 of the Border Force Act – or whatever it’s formally called – contains certain exceptions to the reporting of untoward events in detention centres. That’s great. But, hang on, why does the Act need to exist at all and what is its major theme? I don’t give a flying f*ck about “exceptions”. I want to know why the Bill needed to exist and why Labor supported it in principle. We’ve had detention centre for 30 years now. Am I supposed to believe that staff behaviour codes aren’t extant?

    It’s a Act to safeguard the Government and companies like Transfield. How do I vote for a Labor party that is party to that?

  200. clarelhdm

    Exactly Dan.
    Nail on head

  201. trishcorry

    <<—————– Human Being.
    Wow Don't hold back guys. Good Moderation here AIMN. Well done.

  202. Michael Taylor

    It’s starting to get quite ‘personal’ here. If it isn’t stopped I wouldn’t be surprised if the post is closed to comments.

  203. Michael Taylor

    Dan, your comment @10:02 was nothing but a personal attack. It has been removed.

  204. Roswell

    So Victoria has a different opinion than her mother.

    Wow. What a revelation.

    Isn’t she allowed to?

  205. Harquebus

    I agree with clarelhdm sentiments. It is not the Labor Party that I once knew either.

  206. Lee

    Of course she is. But bashing the Greens for bashing Labor when Labor is bashing Labor is a joke. Taking that position rather than accepting that the party has lost its way isn’t going to help them win the next election.

  207. Roswell

    And that has exactly what to do with her mother?

  208. Lee

    Kay is a Labor voter making a valid criticism of the Labor Party. Surely she and Victoria have discussed this privately. The Greens are being bashed for criticising Labor on the exact same issues raised by Kay. Greens voters here in this thread have been accused of never being Labor supporters, when in fact some of us at least have previously voted Labor until we became displeased with where the party is headed. The attitude displayed in this thread is that Greens voters must work with Labor instead or they will lose the next election. There is no sign of their acceptance of very valid criticisms of Labor’s performance or that the party seriously needs to get its own act together rather than blame everyone else for its problems.

  209. Dan RowdenDan Rowden

    OMG. Michael, are you seriously saying you’ll delete the freely expressed view that people post here for the sake of views? Are you serious? Really? When the evidence is right there?

  210. Dan RowdenDan Rowden

    Rowsell,

    Vic’s Mum was happy to have a go at Labor and its leader but …. yeah maybe you’re right and it doesn’t matter…..

  211. Roswell

    Dan, I just went in and had a look at the deleted comment.

    All I can say is surely you can put a point across without resorting to personal put downs. It belittles you.

  212. Dan RowdenDan Rowden

    Sigh. I posted Victoria’s mothers’ piece for a reason. Do you imagine she talks to her mother the way she speaks to the rest of us?

  213. Dan RowdenDan Rowden

    Roswell, there is no comment by me that needed to be deleted. What the hell is wrong with you people.? Prove your quality of judgement and show the deleted comment.

  214. Roswell

    Then your judgement is poor, Dan.

  215. Dan RowdenDan Rowden

    I’m sorry, you don’t get to say that without evidence. You AIMN people are just crazy, you can’t even recognise when someone is trying to help you. It’s so frustrating..

  216. miriamenglish

    When I read the initial article at the top of all this I was surprised by Victoria’s weird rant about the Greens and how it departed from reality. I couldn’t understand why she would post such nonsense. Okay, I thought to myself. It could just be an abberation borne of frustration, but then Trish Corry turned up and repeated the same, and other, delusions about the Greens. So did one or two other people. This had me wondering if perhaps I was wrong about the Greens, so I checked their accusations and found that their statements really were out of joint with reality.

    What is going on here? I wonder how many other Labor people think the Greens should back Labor in everything while simultaneously spreading untruths about the Greens, making out that they’re scheming sons-of-bitches?

    Does this strike anybody else as weird?

    Now, please don’t get me wrong. I’m not denouncing Victoria or Trish or anybody else for this. I’m just wondering why people who seem to be good, honest, well-meaning folk can have such synchronised misinformed opinions on this. It especially interests me that this opinion very conveniently drives a split between Labor and the Greens — two natural allies if I ever saw them. It makes me wonder if some person is fomenting trouble inside Labor in order to alienate the Greens and weaken both parties. I’ve heard of right-wing skullduggery like this before where they have people join the party they wish to damage and spread bad rumors and set people against each other. This was done to the Occupy Wall Street movement and some of the environmental groups in USA protesting the tar sands, if I remember right.

    Perhaps I’m just being paranoid… but doesn’t it strike anybody else as odd? The Greens haven’t done any of those things they’re being blamed for. Why would intelligent people come to believe that of their ally?

    I worry that if this misinformation succeeds, Labor will lose the chance to depose King Abbott. It seems to me that without the Greens’ support Labor’s chances of winning are dramatically reduced.

    I don’t know about you, but another term of Abbott would just about reduce me to wrist-slashing despair.

  217. Roswell

    Oh for Christ’s sake. There was a sentence in your comment that could be construed as defamation and you want me to go in and release it. It wouldn’t be just you on the end of the stick but the people who run this site.

    If you’re trying to help people here it would be a good idea not to say things that could possibly expose them to litigation.

  218. Dan RowdenDan Rowden

    This article and Trish Corry’s diatribes are deeply offensive and grotesquely arrogant. I have thus far said nothing that is remotely more offensive or implicative of moral and intellectual error than anything they have said. Why the hell am I being censored and not them?

  219. Roswell

    I’d hardly say you’re being censored. One comment was removed. Big deal. Get over it. Even I’ve removed comments that have been considered offensive or defamatory. That’s life.

  220. miriamenglish

    Dan, I agree with much of what you posted, but Michael is right. You did get unnecessarily nasty and personal. What needs to be said can be said without aggression. Please do say it. But please don’t attack. It kinda loses your battle before you’ve barely begun. One of my favorite sayings is:

    You haven’t won until your enemy becomes your friend.

    The good sense you posted much earlier is to some extent lost if you waste your reputation on anger.

  221. miriamenglish

    Anger might feel gratifying, but I doubt it ever changed a single mind in all human history.

  222. Dan RowdenDan Rowden

    miriamenglish,

    I think everyone’s playing politics and this is one of the great tragedies of our time. Life is politics and politics is cruel. There’s no vision, no real ideology, and I’m all for ideology. There’s no passion, even if half of that was always fake.

    It’s bleak, and it’s Labors’ fault and they have to face it. But they don’t want to, clearly.

  223. Florence nee Fedup

    I have just got it. Labor is to blame when in power. They are to blame when in opposition.

    Labor has to please everyone, do as a few order.

    Personally in 60 or more years, I h a very never seen a party that I am in agreement with. A party that is 100% right.

    I would be concern if this was to occur.

  224. Dan Rowden

    Good thinking Florence

  225. miriamenglish

    If everybody felt Labor was the corrupt corporate puppet that the LNP is, or the bigotted garbage that Family First is, this discussion wouldn’t even exist. It is a sign of hope for labor that people feel it has values that they want it to return to. It is a point of respect that people worry that it is moving to the right.

    If I make mistakes that I’m blind to I depend upon my friends to alert me to those errors. If I have no friends or even worse, only yes-men, then I am lost. We all need those who point out our flaws just as much as those who praise us for our good judgment.

    If Labor is to be a progressive party then the Greens are their natural ally. Labor has much to gain from that alliance. The Greens gain from that alliance too, though not not as much as Labor because the Greens don’t expect to be elected. Their role is to keep things honest and maintain genuine progress.

  226. mars08

    Him: Why did you leave me honey?
    Her: Because you bought a Porsche… and started sleeping with another woman! You’ve changed!
    Him: I’m only doing it to strengthen our relationship.!!!

  227. Lee

    Spot on, Mars. Labor isn’t listening to its members and voters. That only leaves us with the protest vote or abstinence. Unfortunately Labor isn’t listening to that yet either. If it was, it would have easily won the last election.

  228. mars08

    Oh… ffs…. wouldn’t it be nice if the ALP diehards (supporter one of the nations biggest and richest parties)…. stopped playing the victims?

    NO… Labor does NOT have to please everyone… nor can it expect everyone to support it.

  229. clarelhdm

    A key point mentioned earlier is ‘Who instigated the border force Act and why?’ Did Transfield make it clear that they wanted these protections if they were going to continue this work of the devil? Or did the High Court challenges spook Abbott and co? As stated, there were existing codes of conduct for all staff, so what changed? Is it in order to break up departments and further privatise these actions? What and who is really behind this unnecessary legislation, and why did Labor jump to support it? there is more going on than we are privy to here.

  230. jimhaz

    [What needs to be said can be said without aggression. Please do say it. But please don’t attack ]

    But then that cuts out people whose natural form when discussing matters where anger causing circumstances are involved, is to be aggressive (like me).

    In some ways there is similarity between the LNP’s many actions to prevent debate from the left and what has occurred on this thread. Trish and aravis1 have done an Abbott “QandA” because they don’t like what is being said, so they exempt themselves from further debate.

    Yep, more evidence that we are not having enough verbal conflict generally in society to be able to handle a bit of argy bargy. Fair enough when in the case of say teen Facebook bullying, but not when talking about important issues like where the hell are we going to get a mature non-ego obsessed political leader from. Maybe the same problem of PC debate has existed within the ALP for some years, with the outcome being the lack of a suitable leader who will courageously fight on matters of principle.

    If Shorten cannot win over ALP members, he has little chance of winning over swinging voters and we will be stuck with The Great Destructor and his cohort of neocon black holes whose sole aim is to suck in all the resources to make their puny selves bigger.

    As for the left you will make the ALP lose because of your non-exceptence of good core policies in relation to the asylum seeker issue. Silencing those who work in detention centres is neither a core policy or a good one (and a significant in-principle matter about the repression of truth), whereas turning boats back and offshore processing are.

    It’s the same reason the ALP now loses elections – excessive immigration under the façade of multiculturalism which lefties love so much, now suits conservatives. Gone are the days when all the working Italians and Greek would all side with the ALP, now we have wealthier white collar conservative Asians who are swayed by the LNP self-interest viewpoint.

  231. The AIM Network

    there is more going on than we are privy to here.

    So true. There is much we don’t know.

  232. Lee

    “As for the left you will make the ALP lose because of your non-exceptence of good core policies in relation to the asylum seeker issue. Silencing those who work in detention centres is neither a core policy or a good one (and a significant in-principle matter about the repression of truth), whereas turning boats back and offshore processing are.”

    I disagree with this statement. Most of the people who are angered by this are angry because of the inhumane way asylum seekers are being treated. The majority of Australians erroneously believe that asylum seekers who arrive by boat are illegals. That’s hardly surprising considering the messages we have received and continue to receive from the major parties. So since the majority think they’re illegals, they don’t actually care how badly these people are treated.

    But there’s another important part to this that has been largely overlooked, even by most of those people who are angered at the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers. Most people working as health professionals care a great deal about their patients. In my own area I have witnessed events over many years, that where a serious incident occurs that has an adverse effect on the patient, or it was a near miss that could have killed the patient, staff who were involved in the chain of events can feel tremendous guilt even when they were not the person who made the mistake. I’ve personally experienced it and I’ve witnessed it in work colleagues.

    So imagine how the people caring for the asylum seekers feel when they see how badly asylum seekers are being treated and the devastating effect it has on them. I watched a video a few weeks ago where Sarah Hanson-Young interviewed some of those workers. They were employed by a contractor and they were ordered by their employer (a Christian church group and I won’t guess at the identity because my memory is fuzzy on that point) that they were not allowed to discuss anything happening in the detention centres with anyone outside. As Sarah clarified with these employees, when they see something extremely distressing and when they are experiencing extreme stress due to the horrible conditions, they are not allowed to discuss it with family, friends, a psychologist/counsellor or even their GP.

    Imagine being extremely stressed due to a dreadful job and not being allowed to talk about it. To add to that now, they face possible jail time for being a whistleblower. It’s not just the asylum seekers whose rights are being taken away. Health care workers are being treated inhumanely too, and these are Australian citizens.

    What on earth is so bad in these detention centres that Liberal and Labor want kept under wraps, that such conditions are being imposed upon Australian citizens just trying to do their job? Where does it end? If they are allowed to get away with treating one group of Australian workers so badly, then the path gets easier to extend it elsewhere. The party who allegedly cares about the people doesn’t care enough to stop this.

  233. diannaart

    Thank you aravis1 for detailing words you thought to be mocking Trish:

    Yeah but, no but, yeah but… this being an open forum and all

    I was parodying myself in response to Trish’s claim that I should not be replying to a comment Trish intended for Dan. My point being that this is an open forum in which it is acceptable for anyone to comment upon anything said here – particularly when what was said applied to not only Dan but myself and other voters who have become very disillusioned with Labor.

    I happen to believe that Trish and Victoria have their hearts in the right place, however do disagree with their belief that voting Labor will solve everything.

    Unless Labor returns to the centre-left then nothing will change.

    A Labor victory in 2016 will only relieve us from more of the Abbottoir, but will not change the treatment of refugees, the subsidising of private schools, mining, and much more that has been endorsed by Labor in opposition and many of the draconian laws put in place by LNP – nor will they move to hold an ICAC into federal governments – a much needed investigation of both the two major parties.

    I agree with Miriam and am increasingly concerned at the pattern of attacks which further the gulf between Labor and the Greens instead of linking cooperation between two parties who should be natural allies.

    We cannot progress unless we can take a good hard look at ourselves and learn from our (both Labor and Greens) mistakes.

    I hope I have clarified my comments sufficiently for you and others who may have misunderstood my writing.

  234. mars08

    Lee… frankly, I think you misunderstood the statement.

    Of course “turning boats back and offshore processing” are good policies. Of course cruelty and indifference are the way to go! Maybe not for the vulnerable, traumatised, disoriented, powerless, isolated asylum seekers…. but they are VERY GOOD policies for heartless, lazy, opportunist politicians!!!

  235. aravis1

    Diannaart, I do hereby apologise to you for my misconstruction! Not at all well, and I tend to be hasty when I’m sick.
    I also agree with at least some of what you’ve said about Labor; I do not condone all they have done, but for the moment i reserve judgment because, frankly, we don’t know the ins and outs of it all. Reserving judgment is not however, accepting. And I so hope – hope – that Labor will return to centre-left, and pin a lot of those hopes on the Conference. There is a strong push from the left.
    I don’t agree, though, that a Labor victory “will not change the treatment of refugees, the subsidising of private schools, mining, and much more that has been endorsed by Labor in opposition and many of the draconian laws put in place by LNP – nor will they move to hold an ICAC into federal governments – a much needed investigation of both the two major parties.”.
    The trouble, IMO, of social media, or part of it, is that it is so instant. We are an instant society; we want all our opinions and needs seen to immediately. Politics doesn’t work like that.
    I’m not going to get back into the debate, I’m not up to it right now, except to say that the way we have been interacting on this thread has been, for some at least, more like kids in a schoolyard and their tendency to bully, than I’m willing to put up with. I have never been able to walk past someone being bullied and ignore it. Nor will I now. A couple of the protagonists here, and they will know who they are, have behaved like neanderthals. It has been like the equivalent of road rage, only on the keyboard. Social media will do far more harm than good if we don’t learn to tame it – or ourselves.
    For instance, when someone disagrees or gives only qualified agreement to something, too many of us instantly charge that person with a total disagreement, and with more that is not even said. Sweeping claims do no good to any cause.
    OK, off again. Thanks for your explanation, Dianne!

  236. Lee

    mars08, sorry I don’t always understand sarcasm and I’m trying to understand your post. Was it sarcasm?

  237. Lee

    @ aravis1
    Fade to the sound of violins……………….

  238. jimhaz

    [The majority of Australians erroneously believe that asylum seekers who arrive by boat are illegals. That’s hardly surprising considering the messages we have received and continue to receive from the major parties. So since the majority think they’re illegals, they don’t actually care how badly these people are treated.]

    Whether it is legal or illegal is not an issue I’ve ever been concerned about. Some may think they are queue jumping and find that morally wrong, so go along with the illegal tag. I though Morrison’s directive to the Immig Dept to call them “illegal maritime arrivals” was over the top and uncouth. Totally an operational matter for the dept.

    [What on earth is so bad in these detention centres that Liberal and Labor want kept under wraps, that such conditions are being imposed upon Australian citizens just trying to do their job? Where does it end? If they are allowed to get away with treating one group of Australian workers so badly, then the path gets easier to extend it elsewhere].

    I do not have any issue with what you’ve said. I always get worried by government secrecy as more often than not it is not needed and leads to harmful actions. I do get that a certain type of person with a high level of empathy will take these jobs and that as a result the LNP sees complaints as being unreliable and exaggerated, and/or they wish to hide both exaggerated and legitimate human rights complaints so as to not stir up public condemnation for what is their only successful policy. They would justify it as a policy meant to force complaints to go through the system, so that they then have an opportunity to be internally reviewed, not complaints where people go direct to the press (ignoring that people go to the press as whistleblower systems are less than satisfactory).

    I see it as a way over-the-top employee control policy typical of the modern self-absorbed technocrat (it isn’t isolated to this situation but reasonably widespread). It is a policy of pure self-interest, a policy of a pack of bullies and I would hope that those involved ignore it or work in groups to make their asylum seeker care complaints known. As Dan points out, it is not one that should have in any way been supported by the ALP (I was surprised) and demonstrates how similar they can be to the LNP (something I’ve seen at State level under the incompetent and immoral NSW ALP Right).

  239. Lee

    I think it goes beyond that Jimhaz. I am concerned that they are trying to cover up something that would send representatives of both parties to The Hague.

  240. mars08

    The Great Sarcasmo!!!

  241. Lee

    Very good! 🙂

  242. mars08

    My Party… no matter what.

    It’s like saying… my sister, heroin addicted whore or not.

    You love them, but that doesn’t mean you ignore their faults. That doesn’t mean you don’t try to get them to turn their life around. Assuming they want to…

  243. jimhaz

    [I am concerned that they are trying to cover up something that would send representatives of both parties to The Hague]

    Nah, I don’t think even the LNP would purposefully inflict harm as a deterrent. Somehow the public would find out (from those who’ve left) even with these anti-whistleblower rules.

    On the other hand I wouldn’t be surprised if there were high level of contract fraud (another area to human rights issues where governments should not be allowed secrecy) – limited or no tendering, overcharging, non-performance of agreed services, non-supply of “time-passing” equipment for refugees. International companies providing these services, and Australian companies who copy them, always seem to be on the very edge of ill doings.

  244. jimhaz

    @ Mars

    [Of course “turning boats back and offshore processing” are good policies.]

    In my view it is better to have lived on than to die in the ocean. Some of the self-harm in detention centres is because these people didn’t get what they want – it is ego based and I discount the self-harm as a result. The majority of people can adapt to difficult circumstances and conditions should have improved from those they had in Indonesia and Malaysia.

    [Of course cruelty and indifference are the way to go!]

    I’m for tough love, not cruelty or the use of power for powers sake – and this would be the difference between the LNP (cruel) and ALP (tough love) if the ALP gained government. With tough love some get hurt, but more are helped.

    With regard indifference, well that is a more difficult issue. Maybe people like me purposefully steer ourselves into indifference as the woes of the rest of the world are simply too big for us, we cannot emotionally handle it – if you help a few thousand outside of official quotas soon enough you’ll be expected to help out 100,000. I also do not allow myself to become sympathetic as I wholeheartedly detest the Muslim religion (and most refugees are) and I believe over-immigration is ruining the nature of the Australian psyche I grew up with.

    With a world of 7 billion folk, countries really have learn to solve their own problems – we should not reward the group insanity that lead to them having to flee whether it be from danger or the more common employment hopelessness.

  245. Lee

    That type of contract fraud is rife where governments have outsourced public services. Four Corners exposed job networks a few months ago. The government isn’t introducing secret squirrell legislation in any other field to prevent anyone from talking.

  246. mars08

    “In my view it is better to have lived on than to die in the ocean…”

    So that’s the only two options we can offer? Oh my…. how sad…

  247. aravis1

    “Nah, I don’t think even the LNP would purposefully inflict harm as a deterrent. Somehow the public would find out (from those who’ve left) even with these anti-whistleblower rules. ” Jimhaz, the LNP has said categorically that this is exactly what they are doing, in the maintenance of these concentration camps. Morrison rejoiced in doing it, because he is a sadist; Dutton is continuing it, because he is an idiot and does what he is told.
    There is no doubt that the camps are being run on lines of deliberate cruelty. And this is one reason many people are so shocked at the apparent agreement of Labor with this policy ( that can be debated, but I won’t do it now. I’m waiting.)
    As for the harm being inflicted on the people of Australia through the economic measures – that also is deliberate. The neo-conservative wants the mass of the population poor, desperate, and obedient. What they forget however, is that this very mass is necessary for the proper functioning of the economy. Their philosophy is toxic to all life, even to the super rich, who will not remain that way for long if all the measures are implemented.
    Which is why I am taking a broad-brush attitude and voting Labor, in spite of its egregious faults, because I really do want a country that is possible to live in. And why I get so mad at interparty bickering. Nothing matters now but getting the LNP out – and hopefully, seeing the end of them forever.

  248. clarelhdm

    jimhaz, your comments on self-harm are ill-informed.
    Perhaps it is wiser to take the view of trained psychologists on these matters. Here is Louise Newman’s thoughts on this issue, and she is qualified to know http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=1430

    You are describing refugees as if they are acting like petulant teenagers. Because they are different to you, and I presume a different colour, does not mean they are not mature adults. And adults driven to the brink of despair. if you haven’t been there yourself I don’t think you would really understand.

    As for your final paragraph ‘With a world of 7 billion folk, countries really have learn to solve their own problems – we should not reward the group insanity that lead to them having to flee whether it be from danger or the more common employment hopelessness.’ I wonder if it’s really necessary to point out that a great many refugees come from areas where we have been involved in wars and interventions, all motivated to secure Western control over resources such as oil. While ever the West sees the rest of the world as available for it to use to prop up its unsustainable lifestyle, we will have the resulting refugees. It never ceases to amaze me that the same people who fight for global free trade, no tariffs and protection, an unfettered global market, are the same who promote closed borders when their economic plunder results in breakdown of the localised economies they have stripped of wealth and autonomy.

  249. mars08

    Frankly I’m sick of those pampered Afghans… with their group insanity… not taking responsibility and solving their own problems…

  250. diannaart

    aravis1

    Thank you for your apology.

    Take of yourself – soldiering on is only for those who cannot disobey orders – the rest of us need take care of ourselves, else we wind up permanently damaged.

    We can disagree – that’s fine, but so long as we remember we are fighting for human rights, for equality, for our children and our environment – we are all fighting the good fight.

    I agree that progress is not instantaneous – which is why we need a rest now and then, all the better to retain our values.

    Dianna

  251. miriamenglish

    Well said Clare.

    The LNP have made it altogether clear that the purpose of the concentration camps is to make the prospect of coming to Australia so harrowing that the refugees go elsewhere. Labor have the same intention, they are just not quite soulless enough to rejoice in it, but at least have the grace to be embarrassed about it. However both major parties still want to impose what is effectively many years’ long torture on innocent people.

    I’ve long felt that borders are a sociopathic “solution” to problems in the world because they are used stop “them” coming over here. You have to ask why do they want to come here? The answer is, as Clare pointed out, often because we’ve taken their riches, left them with collapsing societies, and they scramble to get away from the murder and mayhem. Why don’t we have passports to prevent people moving from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast? Because after floods or other disasters we all help out those affected. Why don’t we do the same for people fleeing horrid other countries? Because we think we can ignore them and not help… because we have this magical imaginary border.

    Sometimes the refugees are just escaping persecution at the hands of racists or religion-fuelled lunatics, such as the case of the poor bloody Rohingya in Malaysia, or the ordinary Muslim folk fleeing the nice peaceful Buddhist monks who are murdering them en-masse in Sri Lanka. If some family in the outer suburbs of Sydney is held hostage by an angry husband/father with a gun, we do what we can to help them. We don’t fence the place off and tell them to solve their own problems, because they’re not allowed out here.

    Jim, I detest the muslim religion too, and the christian religion and hindu, and buddhist, and wiccan, — all the roughly 1,000 major religions on Earth. They are all mind-parasites, but that doesn’t mean that the people infected by them shouldn’t be helped. The best antidote to religion is a good standard of living and lots of good education. We leave people in deteriorating circumstances and that eventually comes back to bite us in the form of infestations of religious extremists. We help them and we defuse that, make friends and gain worldwide respect.

  252. aravis1

    Thanks Dianna, and yes. We all need to take a break sometimes. And as you say, to remember we are fighting for essential things, not only for ourselves but for all who follow us.
    Carolyn

  253. miriamenglish

    The idiot Abbott is doing all the wrong things. He is stopping refugees, strengthening the borders, and cutting international aid. What a complete moron. That’s like gathering up all that gunpowder that was lying around loose and stuffing it tight into a big, strong barrel, sitting on it for safe-keeping, and lighting a fuse that’s long enough that we don’t have to think about the immediate future. It’s stupid, irresponsible and gonna end very, very badly.

    I hope Labor don’t just go and do exactly the same thing if/when they get power.

  254. Mattes Not

    jimhaz at 3:15 pm.

    Can I just put on the record that I think your views are abhorrent and your analysis is just laughable.

  255. Lee

    “jimhaz, can I just put on the record that I think your views are abhorrent and your analysis is just laughable.”

    Agreed, and also with the last 3-4 posts in response to jimhaz’s comments. The poor treatment of asylum seekers is completely unacceptable. We could so easily find ourselves in the same position as these refugees – sooner rather than later if Tony Abbott can’t be reined in. How would we feel if other nations treated us in the same way we are currently treating refugees?

    I am so embarrassed at the meddling of the Australian government in the Middle East that has allowed terrorist groups to rise up and run amok. Meddling that is due to the infinite greed of wealthy, powerful people.

    I heard a short time ago that the Abbott government has recently signed an agreement to supply United Arab Emirates with uranium. I missed that in the media. I am totally shocked that our leaders think that sending uranium to a region that is so unstable and being overrun by terrorists who are steadily increasing their territory, is a good idea.

  256. Harquebus

    Which party is best suited to oversee and lead us through the transition from a debt based growth economy that is destroying the environment, poisoning the oceans, pillaging precious resources and altering the climate to one that entails economic contraction, a reduction in consumption and smaller populations. It is most definitely not Labor nor the Coalition nor The Greens.

    I have only recently come across this mob and haven’t made any decisions regarding them yet although, they are a likely candidate.
    http://www.votesustainable.org.au/

  257. clarelhdm

    I haven’t read through their website Harquebus, but seeing Dick Smith’s endorsement sets off alarm bells. These small population people are never targeting white people with two or three kids who consume as much as an Asian family of 30, but in fact, the Asian family of 30, every time. Dick still wants his private planes and mansions. Most want to severely restrict immigration and are anti-refugees. As I said, haven’t read their site (but i will), however past experience gives me pause.

  258. Harquebus

    clarelhdm
    Regardless of their aims, population stability is the next best step to my preferred solution. All I hear from the majors is “growth” and more “growth” which, is the last thing that we should be doing and is what has got us to where we are in the first place. Up the proverbial creek.
    I don’t recall hearing The Greens policy on economic “growth”, maybe I’ll go and have a look.

  259. Matters Not

    population stability is the next best step to my preferred solution

    Harquebus, have you ever considered taking ‘one for the team’. You know making a personal contribution to stabilising or reducing population growth? (Not that I am advocating personal self-harm.)

    But really, talking about ‘preferred solution’ is not that far removed from ‘final solution’.

    Then again, I suppose ‘ethical’ education and historical insights aren’t part of ‘technical training’ these days, not that they ever were. By definition.

  260. jimhaz

    @ Matters Not

    Sure can. I more or less expect that haughty derision from you. I’d prefer you folks saved it for the non-moderates though, at the basic level my views are close to the mean Australian.

    Apart from that I don’t feel negativity towards you. You’re not a LNP supporter after all :).

    The only thing that bothers me about you is the question of whether I might vaguely know you from the past or not (some months ago you described certain career things you’ve done).

    In the end the side one takes really comes down to their personality type.

    ===================================================================

    I’d love to know the Myers-Briggs Type configuration of this forum.. Extraverted Feeling would be common here. I’m INTP thus low on that personality trait.

    Free test if you are bored or interested. http://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test

  261. jimhaz

    @clarelhdm
    [Jimhaz, your comments on self-harm are ill-informed]

    They read that way, I suppose. It is true I’m not well informed about self-harm, but the bigger issue is with my wording (and of course, my low level of empathy).
    \
    I suppose at core I don’t see ego and egotism as being different, whereas others do.

    The ego to me is just a master AI-like program that controls existing and enables new sub-routines via an “experience value” weighting system and reordering process. Reactionary behaviours learnt from one’s experiences create the sub-routines. Subroutines include all desires or dislikes one may have, as well as the “actor” one becomes in differing forms of interactive environments. A viewpoint is just what set and priority of subroutines the ego program determines should be sent to your frontal lobes at the time of the experience.
    In relation to this topic all this means is that the brain can be pliable only where first the ego is pliable. The more fundamentalist you are in various areas of activity the harder it will be change your viewpoint.

    Where someone’s ego is not rationally structured, as can come from too many negative experiences or damage or an inadequate range of experiences and so on, it can often become fixated on a too limited range of issues. Abbott is an example of how religion and a certain set of early personal experiences and genetics (the name Abbott must have come from an ancestor who’s ego caused him to become an abbott) can cause a limited unchangeable mindset.

    Refugees have built up dreams of living in Australia or a country akin to it – a rich, safe, materially successful nation. Over a period of time they have built up a strong desire for this, and taken actions to secure funding and travel and have become deeply involved in the dream – they’ve built up lots of ego routines in the act of fulfilling the egos desires. When it turns out it has all been for nothing, that the ego does not get what it now feels is essential this causes considerable mental anguish. In many young men this manifests as volatile actions who may harm others, or in the less testosterone driven, or in people already crushed by many family deaths or torture, it may lead to self-harm. It can also lead to experimentation to seek a way forward and self-harm may be inflicted for that reason as well, as opposed to wishing to die.

    [You are describing refugees as if they are acting like petulant teenagers. And adults driven to the brink of despair. if you haven’t been there yourself I don’t think you would really understand]

    Referring to petulant teenagers who commit self-harm, yes it’s probably a fair description of some of the people in detention centres. If people wish to see the word some as meaning all, little I can do about that.

    Mental pain is mental pain. And yes, I have been to that dark place, the wanting to kill yourself place – and really never properly recovered, my EQ is a bit lacking. Petulant and non-petulant teenagers attempt or commit suicide, broke stockbrokers commit suicide, renowned actors or entertainers commit suicide – all different forms of people commit suicide or self-harm. They are people who didn’t get what their ego had laid out was to be their destiny in too inflexible a fashion, and when it was not achieved it became the root cause of their depression.

    This effect would be occurring for many refugees.

    [Because they are different to you, and I presume a different colour, does not mean they are not mature adults]

    Colour is meaningless, cultural affinity is not. Although all peoples will have a similar range of personalities to any other, the degree of maturity in so far as it would apply within Australian society, will be dependent on the range of their past experiences. Personally I have found Muslims on average to be less intellectually sophisticated than other groups, caused in part by the experience constrictions of their religion making thinking too rigid, but also war and poverty. It all depends on how you measure maturity and how far you might generalise.

    [I wonder if it’s really necessary to point out that a great many refugees come from areas where we have been involved in wars and interventions, all motivated to secure Western control over resources such as oil. While ever the West sees the rest of the world as available for it to use to prop up its unsustainable lifestyle, we will have the resulting refugees]

    The group insanity is their religion and their cultural systems that lead to certain types of control freaks. Religion is preventing societal progression that would have meant the west wouldn’t have interfered in such a manner.

    One can pick and choose only the negative interventionist actions to make it seem all one sided, all simply due to Western greed or in the case of Bush 2 ego insanity. I see it more about what was already in place with the West acting as a catalyst for change regardless of the local cost (ie with some but rather limited altruism). One cannot say that the distribution of oil wealth to the local population was occurring or likely to occur prior to intervention, it went to the cretins like Hussien and Saudi royalty.

    [And I think this article makes some of these issues very clear indeed https://newmatilda.com/2015/05/28/everything-you-ever-wanted-know-about-why-we-torture-asylum-seekers-were-too-afraid-ask%5D

    Yes, that is a good article and I might post a link to it on Facebook.

    I still take the first half with a grain of salt. I don’t have the context of each individual example of harm quoted. I don’t know enough about the frequency of such events in other detention centres or like environments around the OECD world. I don’t know how much harm is truely due to the current situation or the past.

    All I can say is that I don’t and haven’t supported Migration Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill. I don’t accept government secrecy or “free reign” legislation. I’ve never supported the removal of citizenship actions either, or Morrison’s war on information, or the LNP’s savage attacks on the Human Rights Commission due to the free reign aspect either. Nor do I support lengthy periods in detention if avoidable – it must not be used as a deterrent.

    I expect detention centres to be more safe for women, children and decent men than that article indicates is the case. It would not be possible to make it completely safe or without significant social problems, but women and children should be safe from rape and abuse from others.

    I just support turning back the boats and refusal of acceptance as refugees in Australia due to what was occurring in the progressive increases in both deaths at sea and those seeking asylum.

    The second half I found to be more immediately acceptable, one example would be this statement:

    “A common method of achieving this is to place the horror in question outside the boundaries of one’s usual morality, a process known as moral disengagement. Where atrocity is concerned, dehumanisation is a particularly powerful means to morally disengage”

    Yep, until today I had turned completely off the refugee issue. Hadn’t read a refugee article for a year (outside of a scan through Triggs report).

    About to turn off again now. It is too time consuming and pointless in me trying to argue my point of view.

  262. Matters Not

    my views are close to the mean Australian

    Yes Jim, your views are very close to the ‘mean’ Australian as you admit. Congratulations (sort of)! But I am sure that being ‘mean’ is not an admirable value or a descriptor I aspire to. But each to his/her own.

    As for:

    The only thing that bothers me about you is the question of whether I might vaguely know you from the past or not

    Jim, what bothers you at a generalised level is no concern of mine. What bothers me is your ‘world view’ and how widely it is shared.

    As for Myers-Briggs.

    Give me a break.

    Jim, if you can’t work out how to manipulate your outcome re Myers-Briggs you have real problems.

  263. Harquebus

    Matters Not
    Is that the best you can come up with? Do you realize how stupid you sound? Is that how much you despise me?
    That would you suggest such a thing means that I will no longer be responding to your idiocy.
    Two words and the first one starts with “F”.

  264. clarelhdm

    Jim, it would take me too long to reply point by point to your post above, but I’ll mention a few things. Comparing the human psyche to AI is arse over tit if you will forgive my expression. Human beings are infinitely more complex than any computer program or robot, despite what any geek may like to think. You mention lack of empathy and low EQ, well, perhaps that is why you are comfortable with the AI model, because the feeling element is missing.
    Refugees do not set out thinking and dreaming of Australia like some ideal tourist destination. They are just desperately trying to escape danger and harm and find a safe place to build a life for themselves.
    Despite the modern proclivity to relativise all experience, sadness at not being able to upgrade your motor vehicle or go on a trip to Venice is not the same as despair at having all you personal liberties removed, leaving family and homeland and being in physical danger. When your life is truly at risk and you have no viable options your suffering is definitely more than just ego frustration.
    Colour has everything to do with it. If the asylum seekers were white with blonde hair and looked Swedish, Australians would not so readily accept the way they are treated. The asylum seekers would not be seen as ‘other’ so easily.
    As for the west intervening in the Middle East out of altruism, well, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians is a very strange sort of altruism. Iraq was a much more developed secular nation before western intervention. Islamic fundamentalism has grown much stronger due to western intervention.
    Muslims of lower intelligence due to their religion? Oh dear….you do know that our alphabet and numerical systems were developed by Arabs don’t you?
    it’s up to you whether you engage on refugee issues. But if choose not to, then accept that you have done that for personal reasons, and that you are really not informed well enough to be in a position to give more than just your undeveloped opinion. Others who have chosen to be engaged on this issue probably know far more about it than you.

  265. jimhaz

    Motherly types are often about as deep as a kids plastic swimming pool.

  266. miriamenglish

    Jim you have said some smart things and some silly things, but that brain-fart about the depth of motherly types has to be one of the most absurd things I think anybody here has said. Are you trying to get everybody to dismiss out-of-hand everything you say? That statement would be one of the best ways to do so… well, maybe declaring an abiding and passionate love for Tony Abbott and all thing he stands for might be even more effective. 🙂

    I know you’re not stupid. Why would you say something so utterly moronic? A momentary lapse in sanity? One too many whiskey shots? You took the wrong medication this morning? Your cat typed this while you were away from the keyboard?

  267. mars08

    “Refugees have built up dreams of living in Australia or a country akin to it – a rich, safe, materially successful nation…”

    Indeed… that’s exactly what i was thinking during the Martin Place siege. Fancy those hostages being silly and careless enough to end up in a siege… AND expect personal safety. How irresponsible!!!

  268. randalstella

    One of the furphies paraded here as moral sanctity with a right to lecture others, concerns the Left-Right distinction in the Labor Party.
    There is a reliable distinction at times when factions come to warring-by-numbers. But, as such fights show, the assumed distinction on the approach to policy is quite unreliable. Policy is more a McGuffin.
    In my experience the Left are no less conspiratorial and reactionary than the Right, and indeed more defensive and insular to protect their mates: ‘best blog ever mate’. More sanctimonious and more stupid. You simply cannot talk to them. They cannot be trusted. And they tend to be the ones leading the slagging war against the Greens.
    They have raddled the University sector, infesting admin. committees in unholy alliance with Economic Rationalist management. Effecting the costume of The Workers, academics of the 1970s and onwards have dedicated revolutionary zeal to the dumbing-down of curricula and the employment of nincompoop mates to the exclusion of people of international standing and real ability.
    In a University election campaign, one such Left faction luminary broke into premises to steal documents to give her Right faction embezzling crook a winning advantage against a non-aligned candidate. It took some further time to get rid of the crook; always against the spoiling tactics of the Left – their gossip, defamation, lies, the sabotage of proper process.

    I note with concern the repeated ridicule here of people who actually do have an open commitment to equitable policy – unlike voting for the Border Forces Bill. It was an unmistakable call to arms against such people. A call for solidarity in the ‘pride’ of the Party. They are not joking.
    You see, having such commitment to policy is not being ‘a real Party’. Policy is a danger – to those who go ahead and vote for Abbott’s dangerous laws; and then accuse the Greens of not siding with Labor ‘progressive policy’. Which is by now?
    This is ‘the real Party’, don’t you know.

  269. jimhaz

    @miriamenglish

    [Jim you have said some smart things and some silly things, but that brain-fart about the depth of motherly types has to be one of the most absurd things I think anybody here has said.]

    Nah, I was displaying annoyance. It’s really difficult to explain my viewpoint when it is for the most part so different from others, and indeed not PC, particularly here, so I hate my comments being re-jigged to become out of context.

    Forums trying to spread important and well researched material shouldn’t be so cabal-like in the “put them down” dismissiveness when people are displaying honesty. It is a problem caused by ideological polarisation, which causes the like-minded to cluster and they become more insular and more fundamentalist. “If you don’t think like us, get lost”

    Maybe people are just tired of the general annoyance “in the totality of all wrongs” politicians have caused since Abbott became opposition leader (or for many I’d imagine from Howard onwards) or since the MSM became blatant puppets for neocons. The modern media world seems to have made it too difficult for more sophisticated minds to both desire leadership in the first place and then to be politically able to implement positive change.

    [Are you trying to get everybody to dismiss out-of-hand everything you say?]

    Nah, I’m probably trying to rationalise away my political inactivity.

    I know you’re not stupid. Why would you say something so utterly moronic? A momentary lapse in sanity? One too many whiskey shots? You took the wrong medication this morning? Your cat typed this while you were away from the keyboard?

    Petulance.

  270. randalstella

    Does this comment post?

  271. miriamenglish

    yep… I was wondering the same thing about a post I made earlier to a different thread…

  272. Michael Taylor

    Miriam, there’s nothing of yours caught up in spam.

  273. miriamenglish

    I was going to re-post, but just checked, and it went thru okay… in Trish’s “White Supremacist says Ms. Hanson is misunderstood” thread.

    Thanks 🙂

  274. randalstella

    This stream is of some value if people are willing to heed it.
    In 1966 Arthur Calwell, an otherwise rather conservative ALP leader, went to the election opposing the Vietnam War, taking on the widespread prejudice across the country. He lost in a landslide.
    Yet this stand on principle gave Labor contact with thinking and caring people, and a leverage for the future based in engagement with humane and progressive policy. It facilitated the attraction into Labor of people dedicated to equity and policy development. It led to 3 years of Government that transformed the country – with initiatives that 2 generations of Liberal, and Labor, Governments have not been able to entirely eradicate, some of which are now so entrenched in Australian identity that even a gangster like Abbott cannot entirely undo them.
    If the Labor Party members posting here are indicative, and they go on as if they must be, then Labor are closing ranks in behind what is evidently the current resurgence of Beazley’s ‘small-target’ mentality. Except worse – because Abbott is worse than Howard. This is ‘proud’ solidarity in behind the acquiescence to oppressive, inhuman and regressive policy. This approach will ensure an insular policy poverty and attempt a timorous inoffensiveness to mindless and ignorant reaction.
    The first will succeed because it only requires the Party faithful to accede to it. The latter has been shown to be of very dubious aid to gaining power. Policy might amount to what one Labor member scolded doubters here with: ‘jobs,jobs, jobs’ – usually the empty, evasive rhetoric of reactionaries seeking power for the sake of seeking power.
    It is turning into the farce where the thug who pushes his face into every encounter is followed everywhere, his gestures and attitude eventually copied, as if coping with the danger. The mentality that focuses on getting rid of Abbott watches him, gets on the same bus; as if his malign reaction must be the destination of the whole country. It makes Abbott a winner, and Labor… Well,what does it make Labor? Look at the sentiments of the Labor barrackers prominent here, their scolding of those who have serious doubts.
    The consequence of Labor’s current apologetic stance for reactionaries is evident enough, and it is very scary for the future of the nation: any enthusiasm for policy will turn into a carping accusatory line against the very people Labor used to attract – caring and committed people who develop policy .The obsession with winning Government will not ensure Government but will dedicate Labor’s future to opportunistic ad hoc moralising and a social view only technically distinguishable from the Liberals. And this means the Liberals under the current bumbling thugs. Thus Labor will emulate the Party that in reality – reactionary ‘social issue’ beatups aside – represent about 0.5% of Australians.

  275. Harquebus

    Well said randalstella.

  276. miriamenglish

    Yes, very well put. It is a worrying situation. If Labor stand for progressive values they may lose against Abbott because, thanks largely to Murdoch, he has succeeded in appealing to people’s more revolting emotions. On the other hand, if they go further down the path to the right they just might win the election, but risk becoming lost as those who are most deeply committed to progressive values desert them, leaving those who will comply in applying horrid and repressive laws.

  277. Lee

    The Media Watch episode from 13/7/15 (available on iView) includes a story about 10 Save the Children employees who alerted the AHRC about child sexual abuse, violence and self-harm on Nauru before the Border Force Act came into being. They are being investigated by the AFP and accused of false accusations, coaching children to make false allegations to self-harm, and accused of making unauthorised disclosures of confidential information. All 10 were cleared by the Moss Inquiry but they all lost their jobs and are still being investigated by the AFP. There were other examples mentioned too.

  278. corvus boreus

    So, in summation, the responses on the subject of a federal ICAC;
    Bill Shorten says ‘nah’.
    Labor senators say ‘yeah, but nah’.
    Aravis1 says ‘interesting concept’.
    Trish Corry says ‘yeah, but my party says nah (can’t rush these things)’.

    So, in practical effect, that would be a “no” to a federal ICAC from Labor, and a nod and wink to current perfidies.
    Thanks Labor.

  279. randalstella

    Hey, like Open Letter to Tanya Plibersek and Penny Wong,
    Do it! Don’t just talk about it, do it. You know what I mean.

    And Lee,
    If you go to the comments below the Media Watch item on the Border Forces Bill, you will see one of Abbott’s loathsome mob interrogating a doctor involved in the protests. I hope the zinger-Shortens are so proud still.

  280. Florence nee Fedup

    I believe that there is one fight Labor rank and file need to take on. That is the setting up of a Federal ICAC. Yes, can and does trap both sides, as Griener found out. That is no excuse for not going ahead.

  281. randalstella

    Florence,
    What do the Labor Party members have to say on that? It is a simple enough request over an important issue.
    Surely it is not ‘do or die with Bill’? There’s the future of the Party to consider for them.
    Why ‘no’ to an ICAC?

  282. Florence nee Fedup

    Not sure Labor has said no. Not sure it will never happen.

  283. randalstella

    Florence,
    ‘Not sure’ might just be the problem with Labor, right there. They seem unable to take the initiative on important issues; even ones that it would be hard for Abbott to oppose.
    This one is interesting because Labor could not be afraid of Murdoch or Abbott on this. If Labor called for an ICAC, it would get support from beyond Parliamentary and political circles.
    It suggests they truly do not want one. Why?

  284. Trish Corry

    Trish Corry says ‘yeah, but my party says nah (can’t rush these things)’.
    Trish Corry actually said (not verbatim), I agree but Shorten (one person) says he thinks the current system is solid. I have no idea of the support of any other members of Labor (the Party) for ICAC. It isn’t really an area of special interest to me. I do believe that we need a transparent system that does weed out any shady deals or corruption regardless of party. This system must be independent unlike the Royal Commission and the “Independent person” from the AFP looking into Bronwyn Bishops Helicopter Joy Ride. Having worked in the Public Sector and Higher Education, It does my head in how their system of approvals is so lax. I mean, there is no way something outside guidelines would get approved in other sectors. For Govt it appears they do not have any type of risk management or approval system for spending, it is just all ‘fixed up’ after the fact.

  285. aravis1

    The 4 yearly Conference is this coming weekend. Let’s see what comes out of that. It may be a painful subject for all politicians, since the present system virtually encouraged shady behaviour. That it needs upgrading is certain, and I think it will happen, but not so fast as we would like.

  286. corvus boreus

    Trish Corry,
    An ICAC is an area of great and general interest to me.

    The fact that you, an active member, have no idea on the level of party consensus for an Independent Commission Against Corruption speaks volumes about the general lack of clarity shown by Labor on the subject.

    Ideology espoused is only one part, the implementation is another.
    If the highest level in decision making and delegation is corrupted, all subservient levels will suffer.

    We need a standing federal Integrity Commission (advisory and supervisory) and we need a federal ICAC (investigatory).
    As I mentioned before, public support for such is nearly unanimous.

    Dodgy dealing is hurting both public policy and practices, and it is in Labor’s power to do something about it right now, but seemingly not in their power of will. That effects my perception and level of trust.

  287. randalstella

    T.C.
    An expressed lack of interest in an important issue is no recommendation. Nor is there recommendation in the rather lame attempt to distract, as if what might have been meant was some inquisition like Abbott’s crooked setups.
    Well, no – as you would know. ‘I’ stands for independent.
    By the way, bristles of broom were found on the person of Party Leader at Abbott’s witch-hunt. I wonder still why Labor has no interest in an ICAC.
    That Labor are evidently better than Abbott is hardly a recommendation for a nation. Howard was better than Abbott. And it hardly commends a Party that was once led by Whitlam and Don Dunstan. Those men were nothing but policy. Current leadership seems to consider policy imprudent. And votes with Abbott.
    I am being very mild in my language here. But I do not feel mild. The Party are bluffed by a two-bit, half-arsed thug… and therefore attack the Greens.

    It interests me nil that the responses from Party faithful ring with the ‘let’s get behind Bill’ resolution at the last Party meeting, a directive from the bureau politic.

  288. diannaart

    @Randalstella

    Here’s hoping this post makes it through the e-maze to actually arrive in response to Randalstella, the internet gods must be angry.

    OK

    That Labor are evidently better than Abbott is hardly a recommendation for a nation. Howard was better than Abbott. And it hardly commends a Party that was once led by Whitlam and Don Dunstan.

    Excellent point, we tend to accept whatever winds up at the top of the pyramid – mostly that works out. Not this time, this time all we have is a very weak collection of wanna-be politicians – mostly in the LNP, but they also thrive in the right faction of Labor.

    We need an ICAC – that Bronny had to have her ‘error’ pointed out to her indicates how lacking in standards are our leaders – she just took it for granted; her divine right to use whatever means of transport she happened to prefer – thoughtless, artless and contemptible.

    A pitiful standard across the government in power doesn’t generate a high standard in opposition. OK we don’t get Gough’s or even Don’s every day – probably a good thing, but asking for a politician who can speak plainly in whole sentences, prepared to be honest instead of evasive is not a big ask. Most ordinary people are capable of better than the weeds infesting our government at present.

    Just finished listening to RN Sunday Interview with Richard Aedy. They don’t come much more ordinary than the ‘brick with eyes’, Glenn Lazarus. However, the following podcast reveals that this particular representative of the people can and does think. He can work through issues and reach logical conclusions! Who’da thunk it?

    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/sundayprofile/senator-glenn-lazarus/6623988

    I am inspired.

    I cack for ICAC, I cack for ICAC….

  289. clarelhdm

    sadly watching Bill Shorten sell his soul to the devil endorsing boat turn-backs. All the pro Labor arguments above are now clearly just the froth and bubble that I suspected.

  290. mars08

    @clarelhdm… you are genuinely disappointed, right? Because you were hoping for something better from the ALP… because you don’t WANT TO hate Labor, right? Because you expected them to revive their social justice ethos, right?

    Sadly… they are well past that point and it’s time…. time to abandon them completely.

  291. clarelhdm

    Well, one lives in hope, and the realisation, underscored and underlined in bold with last night’s announcement, that we have NO opposition, is truly very depressing. And I do feel for some of the good and well intentioned people in our above dialogue who truly have kept the faith with Labor. Their betrayal is also a horrible thing. I myself lost faith long ago, but as I said, one lives in hope. The bastardry that Shorten should wedge his own party on this issue, by announcing this policy just days before it is debated at National conference is beyond the pail. Does he think he can silence all dissent by saying this now cannot be retracted? I shudder to think what this means for the next election

  292. mars08

    @clarelhdm… eh… um… but did you hear the statement made by Bug Shrunken about George Christensen’s appearance at the Reclaim Australia rally?

    What… er… you didn’t hear the loud, forceful, unambiguous statement?????

  293. clarelhdm

    missed that one. I shudder to think. I will go google

  294. mars08

    Sarcasm!!!!

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