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Team Australia! And who gets piqued!

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Image by

Ah, language! I love it. I have a sub-editor’s passion for a pun. And as for alliteration. (Yes, I know – don’t get pedantic!)

All right, we need to talk about the non-repeal of 18C. As Abbott said, “It’s off the table.”

Of course, Michael Brissenden asked: “Forever?”

And Abbott assured him that it was off the table and implicit in his insistence was that he’d been burnt by concepts like forever before. And then he assured everyone that he was -unlike the Labor Party – someone who intended to keep all his commitments, but when you promise everything to everybody, some people have to be disappointed.

Or words to that effect.

So, we have big news today. 18C will not be repealed. Tempting though it is to point out the following:

  • 18D – the exemptions
  • Andrew Bolt’s concern that he will no longer be able to write the articles insulting people on the basis of race – such as the articles he’s been writing on the fact that Australia is being forced to adapt to immigrant values. (Hang on, he’s been writing them BEFORE the law was changed!) Immigrants – forcing Australia to change since 1788.
  • Bolt’s complaint that the Left were being anti-semitic because of their reaction to the Israel/Palestinian conflict. – seems strange when he thinks that freedom of speech is more important than the odd insult.
  • The fact that Bolt was briefed by Abbott before the news that nothing was going to happen.

Big news: Nothing happened!

Mm, I’m always concerned when the “news” is that nothing has happened. Makes me wonder what has.

Oh, that’s right. We’ve just given an extra $630 million or so to security. Yep, Team America – no, hang on that was a film with puppets. Team Australia.

The most important thing is keeping our country safe. No amount is too much to spend. Because if spending that saves even one life, it was worth it. $630 million. Nearly a billion. Just like that. And nobody seems to be talking about whether we can afford it. Or whether it’s worth putting it on the “credit card”, because surely it’s more money that we have to borrow.

But spending money keeping people alive through healthcare, education, suicide prevention, welfare and anything else those silly bleeding hearts would argue is important…

Well, we can’t afford that.

I just read a news story about how a man in England committed suicide after being turned down for forty jobs. Now we know where the got the figure from.

Or will Joe think that I’m like Wendy Harmer and just offensive.

Ok, perhaps Wendy Harmer didn’t think before she tweeted. And clearly you didn’t think before you brought down the Budget, Joe?

Or did you?

As someone said a long time ago, “So it isn’t so, Joe”.

Oh wait, that was Team America too . . .


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  1. Ray Butler

    IPA wish list; create a Corporate/Industrial Feudalism, that is all.

  2. Stan

    Well said. Happened to read the unAustralian today – abots cheerleaders in full swing, praising his political nous and statesman like abilities! Please these guys can not be serious! Bolts sour grapes are just that – sour!

  3. David Stephens

    Another blog site Women’s Agenda asked today ‘what does it mean to be on team Australia?’ and I said this Many possibilities in answer to your question: soundbite thought up in the corridor; borrowing from corporate/sporting field… ; GW Bush re-run… or another instalment of home grown Australian fascism… Take your pick!

  4. Carol Taylor

    Oh dear, oh the embarrassment..poor Tony is so desperate to emulate little Johnny that he uses inappropriate and overblown rhetoric – it’s as if he wishes for it hard enough and uses enough 2 and 3-word slogans, it will all just happen for him. 🙄

  5. mars08

    Ah… “security” … the ultimate wedge issue. There’s no way in hell that Labor are going to question whether the money is well spent. It’s another pissing contest for the privileged, middle-age white guys, to prove who is the tougher.

  6. Kaye Lee

    It’s interesting the order in which things are done. They increase funding to Defence with an eventual aim of 2% of GDP. They order another 58 jets and some patrol boats and submarines(?). They do a recruitment drive for the ADF and re-introduce a gap year army program for school leavers.

    With no known threat to our security let alone an actual attack, the might of these forces have been targeted at tens of angry teenagers who say silly things on the internet. Ok there may be a few of them actually doing bad things. If you know that to be the case, if they have broken laws, then arrest them. Does it really have to cost us hundreds of billions to do that?

  7. Matters Not

    Keeping all this meta data (the envelopes, not the letters) will be expensive (about $130 a year per customer is the current estimate) and will increase exponentially over time. Yet the evidence suggests that analysing the data is very much a hit and miss (mostly miss) exercise. This high failure rate won’t stop the ‘spooks’ from trying. After all, there’s empires to build. Positions to be created, followed soon after by endless restructures. There’s Conferences to organise and attend. Agents will need pre-service training, in-service training and post service debriefing. Think of the ‘consultants’ we will need. The airfares, the accommodation … And so it goes.

    I was a little concerned about future employment prospects in Australia with the demise of manufacturing. Now I am much more optimistic. In the future, we can all sell insurance to each other. The resulting commissions will make us all wealthy. Our day jobs might now include undercover work for ASIO or perhaps organisers for memorial services which are proliferating at an accelerating rate.

    Yes I know, the adults are now in charge.

  8. Kaye Lee

    I would suggest that flag making will be a burgeoning industry.

    In superb timing, Tim Wilson is supposed to be hosting a symposium today on free speech with Brandis as keynote speaker.

    “Federal Attorney-General George Brandis QC is the keynote speaker at the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Free Speech 2014 Symposium, to be held on Thursday 7 August in Sydney.

    Other speakers include Human Rights Commission President, Professor Gillian Triggs; Human Rights Commissioner, Tim Wilson; the Australian Law Reform Commission President, Professor Rosalind Croucher; and Bret Walker SC from St James’ Hall Chambers.

    “My objective in holding a symposium is to bring together the key interests in academia, civil society, the legal community and business to put all free speech issues on the table.

    “We want to identify where there are encroachments on free speech and build a new alliance on the need for free speech reform,” Commissioner Wilson said.

    “The Free Speech 2014 Symposium will provide a roadmap for a government that has said it is serious about advancing free speech.”

    Commissioner Wilson said he will also start a national consultation on human rights issues in Australia, with a particular interest on ‘the forgotten freedoms’.”

  9. Möbius Ecko

    Immigration department leak reported on RN this morning stated that because so many resources are being channelled away from immigration and into Sovereign Borders widespread Visa rorting is underway and a large amount of foreign workers are getting into this country with little to no checks.

    That’s the real terrorist threat and this government is aiding and abetting it because Gina and co want cheap and exploitable labour to make them richer.

  10. kathysutherland2013

    But how can I be part of Team Australia if I don’t know what’s happening? I ask merely for information.

  11. Kaye Lee

    Hockey Bishop Hockey Bishop
    Morrison Hunt
    Grab the ball Grab the ball
    Give it a punt
    Abbott Brandis Abbott Brandis
    Dutton and Pyne
    Run the ball Run the ball
    Over the line
    Turnbull Joyce Turnbull Joyce
    Abetz and more
    Put em all together and team Aussie will score
    C. O. A. L. I. T. I. O. N.

    *cartwheels while throwing pom poms in air landing gracefully doing the splits as pom poms land in outstretched hands*

  12. Dan Dark

    “Team Australia” all that is another slogan, but because they have run out of 3 word slogans, they have dropped to 2 word slogans,
    Ohhh for feck sake Tone’s and Co give us a break, he really is one dense idiot thinking you can run a country on slogans but they are trying, but it’s tiring and Aussies have stopped listening to the bunch of out of date white OLD blokes that have no idea and couldn’t run a chook raffle at a country fair…

  13. Matters Not

    “The Free Speech 2014 Symposium will provide a roadmap for a government that has said it is serious about advancing free speech.”

    Clearly that’s a Symposium that should be cancelled, even at this late stage. But of course it won’t be. Perhaps a ‘roadmap’ as a way to get away from a crash site? Perhaps some recommendations for further memorials, particularly those that signal the movement away from ‘small’ government to Big Brother.

    Be interested to hear what Bret Walker has to say. He was leading the charge for the Tobacco Industry against ‘plain packaging’, which can, and most probably will, be painted in terms of limiting ‘free speech’.

    BTW, ‘social media’, and whether or not it constitutes meta data, and therefore subject to close scrutiny, is still up for ‘discussion’.

  14. donwreford

    A few days ago on Australian TV, Tony Abbott, chastised the labor government on borrowing, he stated they want us all to live on a credit card, and appeared to think this is a evil, surely we all or most of us live on some form of credit? such as mortgages, car repayments? and so on it is contradictory to think in one part or our society is good to have credit and other aspects to condemn.
    Australia’s debt of labor’s $123 billion? it all depends who states the debt and what stats are used, the cost of the 58 jets, or what is the latest? and other military items, so far I have not known what the cost is and whether this is to be paid for from a slush fund or we are to have more national debt?
    Surely keeping our country safe is a enigma, that is not sensible, in money spent on increasing cost of surveillance, and more cost to taxpayers, if we were to take on board the safety of road use, we should no longer be using motor vehicles? until a car is produced to run with no driver? by computer, perfection, our existence is always under threat, it is not possible to have a completely safe passage whilst we live on earth, and many tempt fate as a voluntary exercise that court danger, myself? to me as I live a normal existence as far as I know, I think it amazing to live for a moment longer, if I get to the other side of the road, I think I made, what a act of faith.

  15. Australian Patriot Act

    To all enemies of this Government: be prepared to have your surfing habits “leaked” by said Government. Especially those that involve nudity. And gerbils. And “Dahiya Doctrine”. And ….

  16. Australian Patriot Act

    “Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security – 02/11/2012 – Potential reforms of national security legislation”

    Senator BRANDIS: For me, this is the big issue, I can tell you. As I said at an earlier hearing, the public would accept a level of mandatory data retention in relation to telecommunications. They would accept the logic of the regime being technology-neutral and therefore reaching the internet. But my political judgement is that there is no way in a million years that the public would not react very strongly against a proposal unless they were absolutely guaranteed that their internet browsing history or use would not be the subject of the mandatory detention regime.

  17. Möbius Ecko

    Was going to quote that as well APA. Yet another in a long line of examples where ministers in the current government have said one thing in the past and have done the opposite now in government. That goes from Abbott, the worst offender, with his past ETS support, circumstances change is not an excuse but now is SOP plus many more, to Abetz, Bishop (FM), Hunt, Truss, Turnbull and Brandis a few times now.

  18. Kaye Lee

    Malcolm Turnbull less than 2 years ago when Nicola Roxon tried to introduce data retention……

    ” While the purported intent is that only metadata – data about data – will be available to law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies, there is no explanation of how metadata will be distinguished from data (the two are often commingled, as in the ‘subject’ line of emails), why both would not be readily available once a message has been handed over and decrypted, and indeed how readily in an IP world it is possible to keep a record of the time, date, size, sender, receiver and possibly subject of an email without also retaining the contents.

    Nor has there been an explanation of what costs and benefits have been estimated for this sweeping and intrusive new power, how these were arrived at, what (if any) cost was ascribed to its chilling effect on free speech, and whether any gains in national security or law enforcement asserted as justification for the changes will be monitored and verified should they be enacted.

    Without wanting to pre-empt the conclusions of the Parliamentary Committee, I must record my very grave misgivings about the proposal. It seems to be heading in precisely the wrong direction. Surely as we reflect on the consequences of the digital shift from a default of forgetting to one of perpetual memory we should be seeking to restore as far as possible the individual’s right not simply to their privacy but to having the right to delete that which they have created in the same way as can be done in the analogue world.

    Now this data retention proposal is only the latest effort by the Gillard Government to restrain freedom of speech.”

  19. Möbius Ecko

    Worth the read of the comments to get the true meaning of these figures as the government, and Kohler in lock-step, are attempting to sell this as good news. As one posters states; “Where have we heard this before? Hockey with interest rates, Whether they went up or down under Labor they were bad news and a sign of a terrible government mismanaging the economy. Whether they go up or down under the Liberals it’s always a sign of a good government managing the economy well. Same same with unemployment figures.

  20. jimhaz

    I wonder if the LNP would class people who watch this sort of stuff worthy of being internet traced .

  21. Terry2

    All this metadata will be collected by our telcos and made available to our government security agencies including ASIO.

    OPTUS is our second largest telco, a subsidiary of Singapore’s SINGTEL which in turn is majority owned by Temasek Holdings, the Singapore government’s investment arm.

    So, how does that work ?

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