In six weeks’ time, we will see if Malcolm Turnbull is a leader of substance or a snake oil salesman.
You have to admire his courage in deciding to personally attend the climate change talks in Paris but if he tries to push the Greg Hunt propaganda, he will get called out on it. Some 150 of the 200 or so countries attending have submitted their plans to move to a low carbon future and I doubt they will take kindly to spin.
Both the IMF and the World Bank, along with a growing number of world leaders, are calling for a price on carbon but Malcolm promised the Nationals and the right of his party that he wouldn’t do that.
“I’m open to being convinced but the data and the evidence that I’ve seen [on climate change] thus far certainly I don’t find compelling,” said Dennis Jensen. “You get the appeal to consensus when the data and the evidence is weak and it’s an appeal to authority rather than examining the data and the evidence.”
Dr Jensen said he was not alone within the party, and that there were “at least” 10 MPs who shared his view that the Government should not sign up to emissions cuts without a parliamentary inquiry.
We have Cory Bernardi whose argument runs along the lines of “Well, the Earth’s climate changes all the time, always has, always will and this happened well before we came along burning fossil fuels. Oh and by the way the world stopped warming since 1998 and I just saw an article the other day saying Chlorofluorocarbons were the real culprit of warming not CO2.”
Senator Fierravanti-Wells reminds us that CO2 is plant food which I assume means she thinks increased levels will be good for agriculture.
And then there’s George Christensen who, when addressing the Heartland Institute last year, said “The weather and climate in Australia has not changed in the last century but a new religious interpretation has arisen since then. When we are in a flood, they tell us ‘too much rain is a sign, more hurricanes is a sign, fewer hurricanes is a sign, the sky is blue – it’s a sign, gravity – it’s a sign’.”
The most strident critic of carbon pricing and the man who worked tirelessly to bring it down, Barnaby Joyce, is being touted as our next leader of the Nationals and Deputy Prime Minister.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said this month that the El Nino was now on course to challenge the 1997-98 event as the strongest on record, and was not expected to peak until late this year.
September was not only the seventh month so far this year to set a new record for heat, it was also the most anomalously hot month in 135 years of data, NOAA said and predictions are that 2015 will easily eclipse heat records in previous years.
Malcolm is going to have to explain why we are approving huge new coal mines and, with China and India both looking to cut coal imports, it is unlikely the ‘lift them out of poverty’ excuse will wash on the international stage.
Will he defend the Direct Action Plan that he previously described as “bullshit” and prohibitively expensive?
In an interview with the Guardian, Turnbull said “If something isn’t working as well as you want, chuck it out. I’m not afraid of people saying, it’s a backdown, or a backflip, an agile government is prepared to abandon policies that don’t work.”
On the 16th of May, Scott Morrison announced that the Abbott Government will invest over $22 million in assisting humanitarian entrants and other vulnerable migrants under 25 participate in education and make successful transitions to work.
“We cannot afford vulnerable youth to disengage from society. Disengagement poses broader risks to social cohesion, especially when young people are concentrated in particular geographic areas in our major cities. Some of them are vulnerable targets for extremist predators in their communities seeking to proselytise, indoctrinate and radicalise,” Minister Morrison said.
“Racism, discrimination and events overseas can create an ‘us and them’ mentality for these young, marginalised, vulnerable people.
“There is no excuse for young people making the choices that put them on the deadly road to Damascus. At the same time, we can act to ensure they make the right choices to be in study and work and create a positive future for themselves in Australia, which is their home.
“We need to stop the journey to radicalisation before it even begins.
“We achieve this by getting these vulnerable young people into jobs and education and into the mainstream of our community. Our package of measures is aimed at helping achieving this outcome.
“We want to support young Australians in vulnerable communities who want to make the right decisions about their future,” Minister Morrison said.
So I am wondering how that fits in with the speech given by the odious George Christensen at the Reclaim Australia rally on Sunday. Perhaps Philip Ruddock, the prime minister’s special envoy for citizenship and community engagement, might be interested in commenting.
Take it away George . . .
“My friends. I am proud to be a voice for North Queensland today. We all have a voice: Notwithstanding our choice to use it or not. Notwithstanding the best efforts of those who would render us silent. We have a voice – not a voice of hatred, violence, and extremism – but a voice of warning, defiance, and of hope. Our voice does not go unchallenged but that is the beauty and appeal of the free and open democratic society our voice speaks out to defend.
Long before he became President of the United States, Ronald Reagan was a voice for the American people. At a Republican convention in 1964, he said: “There’s no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there’s only one guaranteed way you can have peace — and you can have it in the next second — surrender.”
Our voice says: “We will not surrender.” We will not sit idly by and watch the Australian culture and the Australian lifestyle that we love and that is envied around the world be surrendered and handed over to those who hate us for who we are and what we stand for.
When Ronald Reagan spoke those words, he warned against the threat of Soviet Russia and those words apply equally now to the threat of Islamic extremism and its complicit defenders. Reagan said: “Every lesson of history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement” and yet that is the political and social environment that confronts us today – appeasement.
When I accepted the invitation to be a voice here today, I was disappointed (but not entirely surprised) by a tidal wave of hyperventilation and confected outrage on social media, in the mainstream media, and from capital city commentators. Labor’s Shadow Minister for Immigration, Richard Marles said today’s rally was synonymous with racism.
Our State Labor Member for Mackay described my comments in accepting your invitation to speak as appalling, shameful, ignorant, and hateful. In doing so, she has reflected on you and your fellow like-minded citizens. A petition urged the Prime minister to prevent me from even attending today. The apologists of the left, the do-gooders, and the politically correct crowd said I should not address you because you were a crowd of: racists, bigots, Islamophobes, extremists, white supremicists, skinheads, and Nazis.
But I look out at the crowd and that’s not what I see. I see Mums and Dads who love their country – the Australian culture and the Australian lifestyle. I see everyday hard-working families who want their kids to enjoy the same freedoms that were enjoyed by the generations that came before them.
Some of the freedoms Australians hold most dear are freedom of speech and freedom of religion. In this country, I am proud of the fact that someone who has a particular belief can hold that view without fear of intimidation. They can practice their faith – whether they are Christian, Buddhist, or Muslim – at a church, a temple, or a mosque – without fear of intimidation. And the full force of the law can, and should, come down on anyone who does try to intimidate them.
Likewise, we have a freedom to criticise. While it is not my cup of tea to criticise religions, I see that people criticise Christianity every day without fear of retribution, violence, or being called a Christophobe or a racist.
In fact, we have seen many examples in the past year alone of Christians being slaughtered for no reason other than the fact that they are Christian. But in this country, that should not be tolerated.
In this country, we also enjoy the right to peaceful assembly. We all have the right to be here today, protesting in a peaceful way against the dangers of radical Islam and the culture of appeasement that allows radical extremism to fester. That culture of appeasement to radical Islam dictated that I should not speak here today for fear of giving you credibility – as if your voice would otherwise have no value.
The right to peaceful assembly, the right to freedom of speech, the right to freedom of religion, the right to feel proud of our nation. These are rights worthy of defending and they are rights about which we need to be eternally vigilant.
Last month marked the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta – the charter agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede on the 15th of June 1215. The sentiments of that document underpin the free and democratic western societies that have delivered the most modern, free, and most appealing societies in the world. But we, as beneficiaries of that society must be ever-vigilant against threats – both internal and external to our freedom and democracy.
We must not ignore the fact that there is another world view. We cannot stick our heads in the sand and pretend there is not an alternate world view that is opposed to democracy and freedom. And we must not confuse that ideology with religion.
Islamism is a political system whereby everything that happens must fit under the laws of radical Islam. It is not just people in Iraq, Lebanon, or Syria that subscribe to this world view. This is no longer something that is ‘over there’; it’s not a threat that only exists on foreign shores; it’s a threat that is within our midst as well. There are those within our shores who sympathise and even support and actively recruit for Islamic State. These people have declared war on Western civilisations and we would be foolishly naïve to think we are not at war.
The spread of repressive ideologies under our very noses right here in our own country has already begun.
I refer to the slow spread of a Sharia-style dispensation of justice which is quietly executed in Australian mosques on a daily basis. It’s a form of ‘justice’ that perpetuates the oppression and abuse of women and yet we don’t dare speak of it because we will be instantly attacked as “racists”. It’s sad to see that those who wish to take a stand against the tyranny of Islamic extremism, the ideals of Islamism, are accused of being racist, bigoted or intolerant.
Yesterday, the leader of the Rent-A-Protestor crowd of Flinders University students, James Vigas was quoted by the ABC as saying people attending Reclaim Australia in Adelaide: “Don’t like Muslims, they don’t like refugees, they don’t like gay and lesbian people, they don’t like trade unionists, they don’t like women.”
This comes from someone defending extremists who want to kill non-Muslims, throw gay people off tall buildings, and deny women the most basic of human rights. Reclaim Australia is about none of those things and, in fact, opposes exactly those things. Rather ironically, all the traits these so-called “anti-racism” protestors complain about lie at the very heart of the extremists they protect – the very traits Reclaim Australia is rallying against.
Certainly, as with any movement, there are fringe dwellers who seek to pervert the intentions of others, such as the Neo-Nazi skinheads that turned up in rallies in capital cities. Neo-Nazi skinheads are fellow travellers of the extreme Islamic movement because they share so many of the same hate-filled values. Nazi ideology, like Islamism (Political Islam), offers no right to freedom of speech, no right to association, hatred of the Jewish people and a hatred of democracy in general.
It is extremism of any kind that we must guard against. It is ordinary folk, like those of us here today, who must speak up.
It is we who must not give in to the bullying and the intimidation and speak without fear to our friends and family about our freedoms, our culture, our lifestyle, and the threat radical extremism brings to those freedoms.
We must refuse to abandon thousands of years of civilisation for the sake of political correctness.
I would like to conclude by returning to Ronald Reagan’s historic speech and applying it to the defence of Western Civilisation.
He said: “We’ll preserve for our children this – the last best hope of man on earth – or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.”
The choice is ours. The voice is ours. Thank you for allowing me to share in your voice today.”
Queensland MP George Christensen has thrown his two cents worth into the debate about marriage equality issuing the following warning to Tony Abbott:
“The party policy to retain the definition of marriage as contained in the Marriage Act is supported by the majority of Liberal and National MPs and senators and I’d say many of them would hold the view that this is what our party stands for.
To many it would be both bizarre and a slap in the face to our grassroots members to suggest that the conservative parties adopt a policy which says we don’t have a stance on marriage and everyone can be a free agent and vote how they want.
The party membership didn’t like being ignored on the ETS and they won’t on this one either.”
Aside from the hubris of an inexperienced backbencher issuing veiled threats to the Prime Minister, and the fact that the government have already broken more promises than I can list, Christensen is courting danger by inviting attention in this area.
As editor of a student newspaper, he published a series of virulently racist, anti-semitic, homophobic and woman-hating rants back in1998.
On one page, Christensen expressed concern that new versions of the Bible were “removing accusations that the Jews killed Christ.”
On another page, he tells jokes about AIDS:
“A homosexual walks into the Doctor’s office, sobbing. ‘Doctor, Doctor’, he says ‘ think I’ve got AIDS. ‘Well,’ replied the Doctor, shocked ‘Who gave it to you?’
‘I dunno, says the homosexual. ‘I haven’t got eyes in the back of my head.’
He doesn’t restrict his venom there either. In an article about the Hollywood actor Will Smith he expressed his thoughts on women:
Most Aussie men often try to crack onto good-looking women and neglect the not-so-good looking (read fat) ones
Perhaps it’s the intelligence of women or, rather, the lack of it?
My thoughts: the truth is women are stupid and that’s that. So on behalf of you, me and the guy that’s shrugging his shoulders in bewilderment after reading his sister’s copy of Dolly, let me just say: Will Smith, you’re lucky God gave women no bloody brains.
Other contributions express concern about the special privileges being bestowed on Aborigines, the transgendered, republicans and so on. He is even critical of former Prime Minister John Howard for being a sell-out to aboriginal interests. He argues that there is an Australian system of “apartheid” which benefits Aborigines through land rights, Abstudy and so on.
After this was revealed during the 2010 election campaign, Christensen apologized. Kerry O’Brien interviewed Tony Abbott who brushed it off as adolescent silliness and defended Christensen as a good candidate.
Gay group, the Coalition of Equality, accepted Christensen’s apology:
“If he has apologised for that particular publication and he’s willing to recant the fact that they were not in the best of taste, and he apologises for them, then I think we should let bygones be bygones and move forward,” he said.
“[We should] make sure that we do understand what is acceptable and suitable comment in regards to gay and lesbian people in Australian.
“We have to accept that what he says now on face value is a sincere and heartfelt apology.
“If in the future, it turns out not to be, I’m sure there will be words said at that point, and embarrassment caused to him.”
But George seems impervious to embarrassment.
Right from the start his tenure was questionable as he had failed to resign from his position on the Mackay Regional Council before the election, putting himself at risk of high court action because of the constitutional ban on “officers of profit under the crown” being elected to federal parliament.
Coming from generations of cane farmers, in 2012 Christensen launched an attack in parliament on the National Health and Medical Research Council which he accused of demonising the sugar industry through their new food guidelines. The strong defence of the sugar industry earned Christensen the title of “sugar plum fairy”.
George hates environmentalists with a passion. In September 2014 he labeled Greenpeace and other environmentalists as terrorists, stating that they are “gutless green grubs” for opposing the expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal in his electorate. In a speech to Parliament, Christensen said “the greatest terrorism threat in North Queensland, I’m sad to say, comes from the extreme green movement”.
In January this year he posted on his Facebook page a cartoon depicting Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk naked on a wrecking ball, crashing through a wall with the words “Abbot Point Coal Terminal jobs” written on it.
When criticised, he defended his actions saying “Some people need to get a sense of humour I think it’s pretty pathetic to fake outrage at a cartoon that’s satirical just to score political points.
“Taking the mickey especially out of politicians has always been a strong part of the Australian culture and I think we should all just lighten up and have a laugh sometimes because as a nation we’re losing our sense of humour to political correctness.”
Unsurprisingly perhaps, George is also in favour of the death penalty. In May 2011, he refused to back a motion condemning the death penalty and instead told federal parliament he supported the death penalty “for terrorists and for those found guilty of the most heinous of crimes – murder of a child, particularly those involving rape, murder of an elderly person or a person with disabilities, again particularly those involving rape.”
And when it comes to Muslims, George really fires up.
He started off slowly with the live trade export ban, blaming Islam for the torture of cattle in Indonesia and saying it wasn’t the concern of Australian farmers.
He ramped up in the wake of the 2012 Sydney anti-Islam film protests, launching a public attack on those taking part in the demonstration, saying those who broke the law, other than himself, should “jump on the first plane and head back to where you come from because that stuff is just simply not on in this nation.”
In 2013, Christensen was the only federal MP to attend a rally featuring controversial Dutch politician and anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders during his tour of Australia. Christensen said he supported Wilders’ view that “people of dual citizenship who act in a way that is contrary to the values of this country and engage in extremist violence should have their citizenship stripped and be deported.”
Last year George tweeted “We shouldn’t tolerate sharia law in Aust and the burqa/niqab shouldn’t be worn in public.”
In November 2014 Christensen claimed in an online opinion piece that Halal certification was “outrageous” and a “religious tax.” He also claimed that it is “entirely feasible” to think some halal certifiers could be financing groups such as Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood.
When the #illridewithyou campaign was created to counter potential anti-Muslim sentiment in the wake of the Sydney siege, Christensen took to Twitter calling it a “pathetic left-wing black arm band brigade campaign” that casts “Aussies as racists who will endanger Muslims”.
He elaborated further on his public Facebook page.
“So Twitter has erupted with a typical politically correct, left wing response to the Sydney siege with these hashtag campaigns #weridetogether & #illridewithyou going viral,” he wrote.
“These campaigns falsely portray Aussies as thugs who terrorise Muslims and, in doing so, create victims where there are none.
“How about we just focus on the real victims of the Sydney siege (who, in my view, are more heroic than the left-wing twitter clicktivist keyboard warrior army combined): Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson.”
So, in summary, George appears to hate Jews, Muslims, Aborigines, republicans, environmentalists, gays, transgender, women, and anyone who says we should cut down on sugar.
And the scary part is that he is feeling increasingly empowered to thrust his views upon us as our government continues its lurch to the extreme right.
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If you go to Tony Abbott’s facebook page, at time of writing, you will find six threads about the Martin Place siege and one about the slaughter of innocent children in Pakistan. Four days after its release, you will not find any comment about Hockey’s MYEFO. That in itself should be cause for concern.
Tony Abbott has admitted he has little interest in the “dismal science” of economics and it appears he is hoping that applies to the rest of us. He is sticking to his forte – death cults and shirt-fronting.
Despite telling us all to carry on our lives as normal, he seems determined to class the acts of one deranged individual as a terrorist attack on home soil.
When Australians responded by showing solidarity with the Muslim community through the “I’ll ride with you” campaign, the odious Miranda Devine found a new target.
“Thus it was that on Monday, while real people were suffering at the hands of an Islamic State-inspired terrorist in Martin Place, hashtag activists sprang to the defence of theoretical victims of an Islamophobia that wasn’t occurring.
The meaningless, narcissistic, one-sided nature of this “near silent encounter” perfectly symbolises the leftist approach to Islamist terrorism.
Denial, deflection, projection. They see themselves as morally superior to the rest of Australia, which they imagine as a sea of ignorant rednecks. In their eyes the threat is not terrorism but Islamophobia.”
This view was endorsed by LNP member for Dawson, George Christensen who tweeted
“#illridewithyou is a typical pathetic left wing black arm band brigade campaign, casting Aussies as racists who will endanger Muslims”
The colourful characters who frequent Andrew Bolt‘s blog joined in with a barrage of hate.
Whilst Abbott, Devine, Bolt and Christensen continue to pander to the minority of xenophobic racist rednecks, others have been commenting on the policy direction of this government and none of it is good.
Firstly, Joe Hockey has cost us $28.6 billion in foregone revenue over the forward estimates through his own decisions.
Carbon Tax $12.8 billion
MRRT $3.4 billion
FBT on cars $1.8 billion
Tax on super earnings $313 million
Work-related self-education $266.7 million
Closing corporate tax avoidance $775 million
RBA $8.8 billion (classed as foregone dividends)
Add to that his spending on Direct Action, the “war on terror” at home and abroad, and the extra spending on Operation Sovereign Borders and PPL and we would go close to wiping out his deficit of over $40 billion.
So when you hear the girlinator Cormann talking about Layboor’s debt and deficit disaster, understand you are being sold snake oil by a con man.
Speaking of con men, the G20 leaders must be wondering about our commitment to join the war on corporate tax avoidance which has been shown to be yet another example of Joe “over my dead body” Hockey’s ‘tell em what they wanna hear’.
The head of the Australian Tax Office, Chris Jordan, has described a tax lurk for multinational companies that is being retained by the Abbott government as having been “abused” by foreign corporations at a cost of “hundreds of millions of dollars” a year to the Commonwealth but Hockey, following consultation with the big four accountancy firms and the Corporate Tax Association, which represents the biggest listed companies, decided not to tinker with section 25-90 of the act. And they had the hide to criticise Gillard and Swan for caving in on the mining tax though that was one time I found myself in agreement.
And they will have more pressure coming as the world insists that we take action on climate change.
During an appearance before a British parliamentary committee meeting held early Wednesday morning Australian time, British Prime Minister David Cameron was asked by an MP whether there was hope Australia would do more because “the new Australian government is in denial” on the issue.
Mr Cameron did not disagree and told the hearing there was hope Australia would step up its efforts.
“Australia will respond to international pressure and do more on climate change because it will not want to be seen as the “back marker”.”
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has expressed its formal opposition to the Federal Government’s new co-payment model, labelling it a “wrecking ball”.
“That this should be instituted and ready to go by January 19 is, I think, absurd,” Associate Professor Owler said. “Particularly when there has been absolutely no consultation on this issue.”
The OECD was also not impressed with Hockeynomics slamming his budget measures and stating that ‘close monitoring’ was required mentioning everything from changes to Newstart and pensions through to Direct Action, deregulation of uni fees, and choice of infrastructure spending. They were particularly critical of superannuation tax concessions. The overall implication was “you haven’t thought these measures through”.
And as Abbott has his photo taken in front of lots of Christmas trees, presents are being delivered around the country.
Up to 100 ABC journalists have been told they will become redundant and ADF personnel will face rent increases as well as other charges for live in accommodation and meals.
Australia has transformed into the global Scrooge just in time for Christmas, with spending on foreign aid set to plunge compared to other wealthy industrial countries.
An analysis of Treasurer Joe Hockey’s $3.7 billion cut to the aid budget announced on Monday – on top of the $7.6 billion cut in May – reveals that Australia’s generosity towards the world’s poor will fall to an all-time low.
Australia will soon devote a paltry 22¢ cents in every $100 of national income to foreign aid – less than half the amount spent by the Coalition government more than 40 years ago.
This is the news Tony Abbott and his band of elves don’t want you to discuss as they take from the poorest in the world to give generously to wealthy corporations and mining companies. Gina and Rupert should be well pleased.