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The drums of hairy chest beating

It is a given that a Coalition government will, rightly or wrongly, promote their credentials on national security. Who could forget Tony Abbott’s ludicrous promise to shirtfront Vladimir Putin.

The tough talk might appeal to some but this political posturing has real-life consequences for people.

“Stop the boats” was not a strategy to deal with the global refugee crisis. It never addressed how our role in foreign wars was contributing to the exodus, how our greed consigned others to poverty, or what would become of the people we turned around on the high seas.

Incarcerating asylum seekers indefinitely became a weapon – a warning to others who may look to us for help. We have spent tens of millions keeping the family from Biloela locked up on Christmas Island, and hundreds of millions fighting court cases and paying compensation for the harm we have done to traumatised people who fled from danger seeking a safer life.

Buoyed by what they call success, Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton and Mike Pezzullo have decided, with an election looming, to up the ante.

Deporting a 15 year old boy to New Zealand is called “taking out the trash”.

Australian citizens who try to return from pandemic ravaged India face jail time.

And Australians are warned that we must prepare to send our children off to a war with China over islands that having nothing to do with us.

The arms manufacturers are delighted. Out trots Peter Jennings from ASPI, who are sponsored by these same arms dealers, to agree that we must spend hundreds of billions more on missiles we will never shoot, submarines that will be obsolete before they are built, jet fighters that will spend most of their time on the ground.

Let’s get real here – we are never going to be a military power.

Is diplomacy dead in Australia?

Our ADF could play a vital role in building relationships if these hairy-chest thumpers would shut up and let them play to our strengths.

We are very good at search and rescue, disaster response, medical emergencies, humanitarian relief, peace-keeping, building infrastructure, providing expert advisors. Domestically the ADF have been crucial in assisting with natural disaster clean-ups and rebuilding, border closures, quarantine, and vaccine rollout. They are an agile, skilled workforce who can make a valuable contribution here and overseas rather than an expendable asset offered up for war.

Peter Dutton has failed at every portfolio he has ever been given. The critical reports of his departments have been scathing. Yet the Canberra media call him a powerbroker, a man who brings gravitas to his new role as warmonger.

Dutton is, and always has been, only focused on promoting himself.

When he went close to losing his seat of Dickson in the 2007 election, winning by only 217 votes, Dutton chose to abandon his constituents, running for preselection in the safer seat of McPherson for the 2010 election.

Interestingly, despite a lot of pressure to roll over and let Dutton have his way, Karen Andrews, Dutton’s successor in the Home Affairs portfolio, defeated him in the preselection ballot and refused to stand aside. Dutton had to skulk back to Dickson.

As the person responsible for our domestic security, Andrews needs to show that same determination now.

Home Affairs department secretary, Mike Pezzulo, hugely overstepped the mark with his belligerent drums of war speech. It was either a job application to head Defence, or a power play to let the new Minister know who is in charge. Either way, Andrews should have asserted her authority and shut it down when shown it “as a matter of courtesy” just beforehand. It was unnecessary chest-poking from a man whose experience should make him know better. What audience was he hoping to appeal to?

Karen Andrews has no experience in this area so will no doubt take a little while to find her feet – it’s a big, and important, portfolio.

Will she be strong enough to keep Batfink and Karate in check? That remains to be seen. In the interests of our national security, social cohesion and, quite frankly, our humanity, I sure hope so.

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52 comments

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  1. John Hanna

    Good one…couldn’t agree more.

  2. Phil Pryor

    Peter Duckwit-Futton is all knob and no forehead, a skull suitable for a bizarre tomtom. Australia deserves to have ministers of capability, not cupidity, of talent and not trash, of quality and not queaziness. As for Pezzullo, Benito lives!!!

  3. king1394

    Karen Andrews has already failed the first, very easy test, in deciding against compassionately bringing the Bileola family back to the home . Like most Liberal women, she is just there to nod and make the numbers of women appear to be improving.

  4. Josephus

    Ex police here as elsewhere are occasionally violent bullies, more often racists, who consort with religious bigots who approve their world view – so much is obvious. Pandering to the least educated or stupidest voters inevitably brings in a Hitler, a Trump, tin pot dictators, in some EU member states and in other States world-wide. What is the solution? A Platonic elitist regime? What a dilemma, impossible anyway. EU scholars and lawmakers are debating how to deal with Hungary and Poland, ineffective as the EU is with respect to Russia.
    Here our media are largely uncritical – the ABC suffers huge cuts and subsequent loss of excellence. Then there are the anti vaxers, the devotees of simplistic , paranoid theories, who will never vote Green or Labor. When will the mines stop destroying ancient, sacred sites? When will we agree to a Treaty Now? Not as long as we elect a crowd headed by a fraud who puts ‘his girls’ before his duty to the people, who lays his hands on unsuspecting voters, and who believes in a risen man god; who, instead of keeping his superstitions private uses public money to attend his sect’s rituals.

  5. Kathryn

    The ONLY boat the idiots in the lying, conniving Lieberal National COALition (LNC) managed to STOP was the Covid-19 infected RUBY PRINCESS right in Sydney Harbour – allowing infected passengers to move throughout the streets of Sydney which resulted in the inevitable and unstoppable spread of a virulent pandemic! The destruction wrought upon Australia in the catastrophic 8 years of their woeful ineptitude, environmental vandalism, callous inhumanity and increasing level of corrupt rorting and waste of taxpayer funds, has been absolutely devastating!

    EVERYTHING the LNC says is a bald-faced LIE and absolutely EVERYTHING they do, turns to SHIT in record time!

  6. Kaye Lee

    king1394,

    I agree. It would have been, and still could be, so easy. Are Liberal women going to continue to be handbags, trotted out to always condone what the boys say and do?

    There is NOTHING to be gained by keeping the Biloela family locked up.

  7. GL

    What an insult to “My wings are like a shield of steel.” Batfink and Karate. They fought for the forces of niceness and goodness while the spud (who has all the charisma of an amoeba) comes across as a combination of Voldemort and Hannibal Lecter, without the intelligence, and Pezzulo as his warmongering thug sidekick.

    It makes you wonder if they are going to ramp up the fear campaign in an attempt to help frighten people into voting them back in because they will be the only party who can protect all ‘strayans from the forces of nastiness and evilness.

  8. Bronte D G ALLAN

    Sadly, this fucking bunch of liars could never “protect:” (?) us in any conflict with the Chinese, what with the lousy few obsolete submarines, (they were once ok though!) & the “new” ones costing an obscene amount of money & taking years to be built anyway! As for our Air force, we are now getting a few of the jets from America that even the Yanks say are no good, & this will also cost all of us an obscene amount of money! We will NEVER be a powerful force in any conflict, just a bit player to assist the Yanks etc! As for ANY of this lot of lying, fucking idiots they would not have any hair on any of their chests, most of them don’t even have any on their head!

  9. Kaye Lee

    Apologies about the Batfink comment. But it does seem like Dutton’s wings are like a shield of steel. “You can’t harm me” with your auditors reports and court rulings and department disfunction and lack of morale blamed on poor leadership and failed leadership coups. Somehow, the failed Dutton experiment continues to infect us.

    Who is the greater threat to national security – Dutton or the family from Biloela?

    Could I also point out that Dutton brought COVID back into the country after getting infected in a Trump suckup tour.

    Morrison said yesterday, when asked about the Biloela family when he was in Queensland, “There’s a legal process in Australia, there are policies in Australia, and we don’t customise those for any one individual.”

    Unless you are a mate of Dutton’s and need an au pair. Or a mate of James Packer’s with some money to launder. Or a mate of Clive Palmer with enough money to buy your way in.

  10. GL

    Kaye Lee,

    I think that Saint Scummo is scared shitless of Dutton and what dirt he has on him and the rest of his gang and that is why he gets away with gleefully stomping all over everything in his hobnail boots.

    Will we see them removed at the next election? Sadly and horrifically I think the answer will be no.

  11. Jack sprat

    China has nuclear weapons and the yanks have nuclear weapons.Any war between the two means the end of the world for everyone . So what is the piont of escalating Australian’s amount of conventuals weapons? Or even preparing for a war with China.Do our glorious leaders really believe a war with China is winnable?even after its recent defeat in Afganistan .

  12. Harry Lime

    Dutton could be Uncle Fester’s taller brother…sans the good looks or the charisma A.twisted walloper who is perpetually bitter,and like the Liar and so many others in this shitful government,suffers from a terminal case of overwhelming self regard.The Liberal National Coalition of Misanthropes.

  13. Kaye Lee

    Any attack on Australia will come through cyber attacks, interference with infrastructure and financial markets, trade sanctions, disinformation and social destabilsation campaigns – it won’t come with guns and missiles and bombs and invading armies.

  14. Michael Taylor

    Yay, it worked.

    Next time you make a comment you’ll see an option to upload a photo (among other things).

    It’s only taken me three years to get that right.

    My apologies, Kaye, for the diversion.

  15. Kaye Lee

    Shirtfronting Australian style

  16. GL

    I think I’ll go and watch Duck Soup.

    Just had a thought, if “The drums of hairy chest beating” was changed to “The drums of hairy head beating” then Spudolini would be disqualified for trying to cheat.

  17. Stephengb

    Clearly Australia as a fighting force contributing to any war with China is comparable to a mosquito attacking an elephant, annoying, but of no consequence.

    However Australia’s real value is in its vast mineral resources and the fact that it is a perfect place for the USA and China to to bash each other for the spoils of war.

    DON’T THINK SO ?

    Well just do your homework- history tells us that almost every war has been conducted on someone else’s patch.

    The USA nor China can afford a war on their own soil !

  18. ajogrady

    The meeting of G7 democracies have shown the total lack of leadership from an elite group of leaders. While Covid-19 still rages around the world these leaders show their total lack of fundemental problem solving. Their efforts and strategies are to stop China rather then the absolute problem and tragedy that is stalking the world, the Covid-19 virus.

  19. Christine Farmer

    Kaye Lee, I agree with you. Cyber attacks are far more likely than the dropping of bombs. Much easier, much cleaner, and completely effective. Think of what we can’t do if there is an electrical blackout and extrapolate that to most aspects of life – water supply, sewage, shopping, let alone airlines and other transport, financial markets, etc. Since everything is so thoroughly computerised these days we no longer need armies to do huge damage to societies. Very frightening.

  20. Terence Mills

    Dutton and Pezzulo want to see us at war with China: diggers storming the beaches, how good is that !

    They need to take care with their rhetoric over Taiwan – the Taiwanese are more likely to side with mainland China than they are with Spud.

  21. Michael Taylor

    Christine, the way I see it, one country doesn’t need to invade another country to take it over these days. All they need is a computer.

    Russia almost did it in 2016, but there are more sinister ways than doing so. One would only need to, say, hack into the right satellites and again, say, they shut down all power in the USA. Without electricity a country would be on its knees within months.

    No power for refrigeration, no power for hospitals, less power for the military, no power for its factories, no power for the supermarkets, no power for petrol pumps, etc… and the country will grind to a halt. The possibilities in this frightening scenario are endless.

    What a far cheaper alternative for aggressive countries than spending billions on its military.

  22. New England Cocky

    @Kathryn: But Scummo thought that it would be nice for the Hell$lingers members to be home in time for lunch and that prayer & supplication would prevent infection of the faithful because these travel through the iar without causing movement of the air mass … just like the beatring of angel’s wings.

    @Michael Taylor: The cheapest way to debilitate a foreign ”enemy” is to release the pandemic …. as has happened in 2019. However, with the incompetence that we came to expect from that POTUS in 2019, he forgot to vaccinate the American people …. or, as some articles on AIMN have suggested recently ….. the oversight was arranged rather than accidental to reduce the number of poor people seeking government handouts that would be better spent by rich corporations.

  23. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, I’ll raise you one big, strong, fearless shirt-fronter.

  24. Michael Taylor

    I wonder if Scott Morrison is aware that having Peter Dutton as our Minister for Defence scares the crap out of a lot of people.

    Sadly, would it matter if he was aware?

  25. Kaye Lee

    Speaking to ABC Radio, Ms Andrews said she had sought advice on the [Biloela] family’s living situation, hinting at the possibility they could be released into community detention on the remote island while their legal battle to remain in the country continues.

    In an earlier interview on ABC News on Wednesday, Ms Andrews, who recently took over the Home Affairs portfolio from Peter Dutton, was asked whether she felt compassion for the family who have spent more than three years in immigration detention.

    She said she was a “very compassionate person by nature” but declined to comment specifically on her feelings for the family.

    Ms Andrews also declined to comment specifically on whether she would use her ministerial discretion to allow the family to return to their home in the regional Queensland town of Biloela, stating she would “wait and see” what the court rules.

    “The matter is currently before the courts, so there is nothing I am prepared to say or do at this point in time that would either jeopardise the positions of the government or of the family concerned,” she said.

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/fresh-hope-for-biloela-asylum-seeker-family-as-karen-andrews-hints-at-possible-release

    If she doesn’t want to jeopardise the family, she needs to use her power to help them go home whilst the court matters are finalised. I was told yesterday by a refugee advocate that, at the moment, the kids are doing ok but the parents, particularly the father, are going downhill. It is a credit to them and the community on Christmas Island that the girls are ok at the moment – they are too young to really understand – but the adults feel hopeless. Why are we being so cruel?

  26. LambsFry Simplex.

    I wonder. The Guardian reported the other day that Labour felt the Brit working class public would turn on Boris, but the article indicated that the voters there were still more or less infatuated with Johnson’s corrupt and incompetent Tories. Go figure.

    Can we really, on all evidence available, contemplate that Australians are less stupid than the English, particularly now that they are being buried under an avalanche of LNP propaganda about what a wondrous creature their construction of the economy is?

    I think the LNP missed getting caught with Australians returning home also. It is unscrupulous policy, but relies on the proven fact that Australians, whatever else they lack, have a well-known instinct for self preservation that could only be enhanced as to recent reports of the extent of Coronavirus in India.

  27. Michael Taylor

    “Why are we being so cruel?”

    Kaye, I once would have said that we (they/them/the LNP govt) are cruel because it’s a vote-winner. But I’m not so sure that it is the case in the 2020s. I’d like to think – rightly or wrongly – that these days the average Australian is appalled by this cruelty. Or any cruelty.

    I’m now resigned to the demonstrated fact that this government is cruel by nature. The votes don’t matter as much. Cruelty is now the driver and they seem to take delight in it.

  28. Michael Taylor

    LambsFry, having spent a bit of time in England (before the pandemic), many of the locals – upon detecting my accent and striking up a conversation – would tell me what they know about Australia. And on most occasions they would start off with; “The main thing we know about Australia is that it’s cruel to refugees.”

    Gosh Carol and I felt ashamed. There was nowhere to hide.

  29. DrakeN

    Michael, I still think that the desperate need to protect oneself from the powerlessness and financial hopelessness imposed on the less fortunate is an effective method of ensuring that the average Australian has little actual to no emotional energy available with which to engage in affairs other than those of immediate neccessity.
    “Keep their noses to the Grindstone and all they will ever see is sparks.”
    It’s a useful accompaniment to “Bread and Circuses.”

    But as practical as this:

  30. Lambchop Simnel

    Exactly.

    This a People who, past the age of five physically and/or mentally, still believe in the Royal Family.

    The English are the last people on earth to criticise anyone else on “othering”, particularly as emanating from that seething corrupt mess that is the City of London, the slaughterers of Yemenis who also collude to deny Julian Assange justice in the most obvious way, these that sponsor racist info-free tabloidism as with the local satraps following suit, as mere junior members.

    At least Australians believed in relatively sophisticated myths concerning such rustic folk as Steve Irwin, James Packer, Kerry Ann Kennerly and Tony Abbott. Although, but then again, as to those last, the poms didn’t believe in them too because they hadn’t heard of them, since even Brit msm had the wit not to publicise them.

    But the writer still can’t believe the local rustics, along with the poms and often the red state americans can’t see through this generation of politicians after such a length of time as at least a decade. Anyway, that feels better, now doesn’t it!

  31. Max Gross

    Karen Andrews? She who thinks “compassion takes many different forms” and who MIGHT permit the kidnapped Biloela family the privilege of moving outside their prison on Christmas Island but NOT to come home? Good luck with that!

  32. John Lord

    A prelude to the next election. Our prosperity is built on trade with China. They would wreck it all. Diplomacy is all in the way you say things.

  33. LambsFry Simplex.

    Karen Andrews is just another Whited Sepulchre.

    These people only open their mouths to lie.

  34. wam

    Before entering politics, kaye, andrews was a mechanical engineer, one of the engineering faculty’s first two female graduates, and industrial relations consultant. Far advanced history to that of a narrow based copper? Smoke and mirrors will suffice to maintain fear. My rabbottians believe NZ is now part of china whilst we are resisting the hordes. Any comparison of FTAs will destroy that rubbish but there is no chance of the sheep checking of the fox newsers and their opinions and only intermittent chances for labor to excite the media into attack. However all laabor supporters should be armed with answers to the constant sloganised lies of the extremists Michael, The basic ‘roll up the sleeves for a mate’ attitude of Aussies was trumpeted all over the world in 1997 when millions were spent on bullimore. At the same time, in darwin, the incredible story of survival after a cyclone was not only unheralded but the survivors who landed, were treated a illegal immigrants and gaoled in fannie bay. The sad and intransigent attitude of our society towards ‘boat arrivals’ has been around for many years. This century has seem, for political gain, the use of definitionss used to confuse and frighten our society. the lying rodent set the scene by his ‘we will decide’. the news broadcasts consolidated the ‘image’ of a refugee and the conditions under which they live. the rabbott consolidated the image of illegals jumping the cue. The confusion comes with asylum seekers were shown as boatloads of strong young men who left their families, to bring them here later, and who were able to move through several countries. No comparison with the refugees and asylum seekers of the news???? The threat of open slather if asylum seekers reach the shore, wedged labor to prevent any active reduction of the confusion. The LNP then had an easy to set up the fear of ‘boats’ and boat people… Any sympathy went with the confusion My rabbottians are still untrusting of the words ‘refugees’ and ‘asylum’ seekers. They believe there is little evidence provided by the seeker who through away their passport. The fact that thousands arrived by planes and have some chance of visas and so few by boats without visas or hope is a blight on our humanity.

  35. Kaye Lee

    Fellow happy clapper, Alex Hawke, is saying it is HIM, as immigration minister, who will make the decision about the Biloela family.

    This guy has been a ‘political adviser’ ever since graduation. He was responsible for the hard right shift of the Young Liberals.

    Hawke has said before that he would like us to be more like America.

    “The two greatest forces for good in human history are capitalism and Christianity, and when they’re blended it’s a very powerful duo.”

    No wonder he is attracted to Hillsong.

    PS When I looked Hawke up on Wikipedia, it referenced one of our previous articles. Perhaps, little by little, our words are being heard by some at least.

    Questions about Hillsong, Alex Hawke, and the coronavirus

    PPS Hawke was also raised an Anglican but saw the advantage of jumping on the Hillsong bandwagon when he ran for the seat where the church is situated.

  36. Kaye Lee

    Asked if senior public servant Michael Pezzullo’s speech on the rising drumbeat to war had been authorised by the minister, Scott Morrison said: “That’s not the case.”

    So this guy is a law unto himself? An unelected public servant going rogue on national security matters should be stamped out immediately..

  37. Lambchop Simnel

    Little doubt that Michael Pezzullo is the hidden true face of government.

    There is a shopfront to fool the people, a supposed “democracy” with its sentimental landscape led by the odious Morrison and sinister Dutton, token Opposition and MSM, so forth.

    But the real levers are pulled by the components of a faceless autocracy involving secretive public servants, surveillance and so called “Defence” organs, CEO’s and TNC commercial and financial elements.

  38. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, as a former public servant under Howard, Rudd and Gillard I can attest that this isn’t the norm.

  39. Maggie

    Australian citizens who try to return from pandemic ravaged India face jail time. Question still many Aussies stranded across the globe assume they too would be faced with the same threat of jail time if try to circumvent the rules? A government that believe in serving the nations people respected citizens would not have threaten but advised the people essential not to circumvent the government attempts to contain Covid19 virus.

    Is diplomacy dead in Australia?

    My nagging question is not about diplomacy but Aussies can we still say we have a Democratic Representative Government. Australian governments have abdicated their responsibility to manage the powerful vested self interests who profit off our people and resources by a blind adherence to an ideology that supports unfettered unregulated unchallenged unsustainable economic racket a Global Pyramid System that suits corporations, bankers, speculators and the obscenely wealthy. Consider boom and bust a deliberate part of the scam because the wealthy, corporates profit regardless of the cycle they continue to consolidate their wealthy and control.

    Australian are in servitude indoctrinated and successive governments have restructured to run a nation like a corporation that definitely is anti democratic.

    Unlike China who reminds the business, corporate & investors it’s the government who rules has the power and its first priority is to benefit China.

  40. Kaye Lee

    One of the roles of government should be to protect us from exploitation by companies whose only goal is profit unfettered by any thought of ethics, morality, or a genuine contribution to the social contract. Instead, we have seen company profits skyrocket whilst wages stagnate and insecure employment becomes the norm with hard-fought workplace entitlements eroded.

    The rich are getting richer and, as they have the loudest voices and the greatest power, they are going to try to keep it this way by keeping the tame Coalition in power. They’ve spent a lot of money to get them there and want a return on that investment. Once again, deregulation is at the fore when it is screamingly obvious that we need more regulation, not less.

  41. Maggie

    And the questions remains can we still call our Australia a democracy I think getting to vote and then the populous the people ignored until the next election is not enough to quality.

  42. wam

    one of my rabbottians reminded me of things I left out:
    huge welfare payments for large families and multiple wives
    housing preferences, nightcliff a refugee given two bedroom house as she was pregnant. They split when the child was born and she got a two bedroom flat in the next complex because she had a child and he keep the other two bedroom flat because he had a child. Most of us know people who have been on waiting lists for years. How many people are sympathetic to refugees in his circle?
    As for tamil asylum seekers from sri lanka they no longer need protection and should be sent home.

  43. Terence Mills

    I just can’t ignore the rort that George Christensen, Craig Kelly and Andrew Laming are pulling. All three have effectively resigned from the parliament – and are only hanging around to avoid a bi-election. They are seeking to be disendorsed by the LNP which would make them eligible for a $105,600 resettlement allowance.

    That, I believe means that they will have to put their names forward and will have to go through a charade of being disendorsed to get their hands on the money.

    This is outrageous ! They know they are going, they each have been a waste of space making no contribution whatsoever.

    It is public money isn’t it ?

    Please tell me that I’m wrong and that the money will be coming out of party funds …….I’m not holding my breath.

  44. Kaye Lee

    I think everyone agrees we need more social housing and more affordable rentals.

    No-one can have multiple wives in Australia. They can have multiple de facto relationships but that means the women would get the lesser partnered payment rather than the single payment.

    And if you think everything is hunky dory for Tamils in Sri Lanka, you may want to research their President and his brother, the Prime Minister.

  45. LambsFry Simplex.

    Surprised Michael Taylor should ask if Morrison realises Dutton is creepy.

    Of course he does. Why does he think he was appointed in the first place?

    I am still vibrating in a state of shock concerning someone of Michael’s sophistication asking such a question.

  46. wam

    kaye, only fools think any of my points are right, especially in reference to sri lanka but my rabbottians just follow the media and their friends. So, for them, if it sounds good share.
    However there are many fools who should vote labor?????
    Why do your rabbottians support the treatment of boat people, Michael??
    ps
    depends with whom you mix. In pommie land I only got neighbours and republic.

  47. leefe

    Kaye:

    “Any attack on Australia will come through cyber attacks, interference with infrastructure and financial markets, trade sanctions, disinformation and SOCIAL DESTABILISATION CAMPAIGNS.” (my emphasis)

    In that case, the LNP misgovernment is our country”s biggest enemy, and is rapidly winning the war against us.

  48. Kaye Lee

    leefe,

    I couldn’t agree more. Whether it is pitting “hard-working regional Australians” against the latte sipping university-educated dilettantes, or claiming that religious freedom is under attack, or that all unionists are thug extortionists, or asylum seekers are criminals and refugees are terrorists (especially the Muslims), or Indigenous people are drunken pedophiles, or climate scientists are alarmists lying to increase their funding, or China is about to invade us……they thrive on social division. They want to pretend there is a problem so they can keep us safe from it but, as you rightly observe, THEY are our greatest threat.

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