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Threats to the security of our nation

National security has been an important topic, at least for politicians, but their focus has been all wrong. It isn’t asylum seekers breaching our borders, or people who ride motor bikes, or a bunch of thugs in Syria and Iraq, or women who choose to wear a veil or eat halal food, that are presenting a threat to our way of life.

We are in danger from the climate change deniers who prefer to get their information from the Minerals Council than scientists.

We are in danger from intolerant Islamophobes who seek to alienate Muslims and divide our society.

We are in danger from corporations who steal billions from us every year through creative accounting.

We are in danger from those who seek to rewrite history by claiming something called a Judeo-Christian heritage, not that any such thing exists. History is replete with antipathy between Jews and Christians.

We are in danger from a media concentrated in the hands of one man which seeks to misinform to promote its owner’s agenda.

We are in danger from conservative Christians who would dictate to us all how we must live our lives and who discriminate against homosexuals and condemn single parent families. Considering the coming crisis of overpopulation, opposition to contraception and abortion is reckless in the extreme.

We are in danger from a government who sees health, education and welfare as unaffordable while they strive to cut company tax rates, not that they pay any anyway.

We are in danger from Malcolm’s venture capitalists whose sole aim is profit. Get in, make a buck, get out, and if the government will insure against any losses, all the better.

We are in danger from business lobbyists who are seeking to wind back workplace entitlements.

We are in danger from the increasingly loud voice of warmongers in our parliament and from those who would have us spend hundreds of billions on weapons of war.

We are in danger from a political class who sees government as an opportunity to engage in cronyism, rewarding failure with sinecures.

We are in danger from a government who seeks to remove our legal right to appeal decisions and to give Ministers sole discretion without judicial oversight.

We are in danger from a Treasurer who thinks we don’t have a revenue problem.

We are in danger from politicians who think the most important thing is their election and are willing to lie to achieve it.

In short, we are in far more danger from our conservative government than from any perceived terror threat.

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62 comments

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  1. Michael

    All very and extremely well put Kaye, thank you – now the “WHAT is happening” is identified, let the conversation flow to “HOW (what allowed) each of these things (to) happen/ed” before getting onto the effective and lasting suggestions for SOLUTIONS and then let us see how agile (in non LNP terms) what Australia can really be.

  2. mars08

    Great article. It directs our attention to the real and growing threats we face. These are the problems that get ignored by the clueless sensationalist msm. And all of them are preventable to some degree.

    However I’d like some clarification on who and what constitutes the “our nation” in the title. Because I strongly suspect that most Coalition supporters would interpret it differently to the author.

  3. Stephen

    Not just the conservative government Kaye, I would say all the main parties are a danger to Australia it.s just a case of who is worse and when on which points. Government is and always has been about self interest it is just more blatant when memories dim about the consequences of their behaviour because good times were possible for most of us.

    When things get tighter more than the usual patsys find themselves falling off the gravy train and suddenly develop a sense of outrage and anger.

    Sad depressing but true and ignoring basic nature helps hide the true problem of innate human nature.

    It may be taking a long time for reality to sink in and a really disastrous situation war or financial crisis would speed things along sadly.

    We may be largely deluded who wants to give up a pleasant and comfortable dream after all and face reality.

    But at least we are not Americans, I tend to think the U.S. in general has slipped from an American dream type situation (always more Hollywood than reality) into a constant state of self delusion.

  4. babyjewels10

    Well said. It’s gobsmacking that this ideology has been as accepted by Australians as it has. Australians must have a very high level of gullibility.

  5. Terry2

    I didn’t realize that Malcolm Fraser had made that very astute observation on Abbott. Coming from a former Liberal Prime Minister we would have been well advised to have listened to him not that we had much choice in him becoming leader of the Liberals by that one fatal vote.

    Fortunately Abbott is now part of our history but until he is out of politics altogether and his acolytes reined in there is still a risk to our democracy.

  6. Kaye Lee

    mars08,

    Anyone who resides here, regardless of the length of their stay, should have a connection to country. Anyone who lives or does business here should feel the responsibility to contribute positively to, and invest in, the well-being of the populace, the stability of our society, the protection of the vulnerable and of our environment. Our nation is a partnership.

    Stephen,

    As I typed ‘conservative’ I shared your thoughts. Sadly it applies to far too many politicians and business people. I was amazed when my 24 year old son said to me how much he admired Ted Mack. I didn’t think he would even know who he was. Integrity is a quality that is far too rare, sacrificed to power and profit.

  7. jim

    And we are in danger of our schools being privatized just like the USA where over 40% and growing of their schools are privatized why do you think this is happening money lots of money for the rich who back these changes abetted by the right wing that has it’s own agenda.

  8. Kaye Lee

    Terry2,

    This is where the Fraser quote came from.

    Eckersley: You recently declared that Tony Abbott is a dangerous politician, perhaps one of the most dangerous in Australia’s history. What did you mean by that?

    Fraser: [He’s] unpredictable. He says what jumps into his mind. Let me give an example. When farmers were complaining about miners searching for coal or for gas on farms, he spoke almost as though he did not understand that under British law, Australian law, the Crown owns the minerals and the wealth under the ground and if a mining company can get a right to mine or investigate over your farm then that has always been in a sense too bad for the farmer.

    You can try and oppose it but that is what the law has always said. Now Tony, in encouraging the farmers, really spoke as though he was quite unaware of that current and historic position. But it was expedient at the time to get the support of the farmers. It might be a bit harsh but I think in a month’s time he will have forgotten he said that.

    Eckersley: Is the unpredictability the main reason you called him dangerous?

    Fraser: The unpredictability.

    Eckersley: Any other reasons?

    Fraser: I think the whole party is very much on the extreme right. I happen to believe that the Minchin/Abbott duo to get rid of Malcolm Turnbull – who had actually won a couple of party room votes, even though narrowly – but then they said we’re not going to work with you anyway, we’ll walk out.

    The minority was saying we won’t accept the majority and the majority just accepted it. It was an extraordinary occurrence and I believe that rather than being on the emissions trading scheme, it was because Malcolm was showing some significant signs of being a liberal and they didn’t want a liberal in charge of the Liberal party, they wanted a conservative in charge of the Liberal party.

  9. mars08

    @Kaye Lee… I have no issue with YOUR definition of what this nation comprises… the problem is that (for various reasons) our politicians do not have the well-being of ALL Australians as their primary concern.

  10. Do Yourself a favour

    Malcom Fraser also said this…

    Think 9/11, Bali, Port Arthur..

  11. mars08

    https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS2aBI-lZLtSaJVf0IeTXQK9oFuZM4I5tCskL5pYUiWvgA7aCkj

  12. Ricardo29

    I would like to know the source of the original quote. Other than that I agree with everything you have written Kaye Lee. The challenge appears to be ensuring that some, most or all of those currently saying they support Turnbull get to read such information. I think it is incumbent on all of us therefore to pass this on to our own networks, though I guess most of mine are either converts or dyed-in-the-wool supporters already.

  13. mark delmege

    Many good bad points listed above but …As bad as the Murdoch media is – apparently – I don’t read it anymore anyway – the ABC in its foreign news reporting is very bad. It sets the scene for the rest in what is considered fact. Again and again it presents propaganda as news. It has lost its ability to question to reflect and analyse what is happening in the world. It presents a one sided and distorted pro American agenda. It has become a backslapper for empire – a stenographer for the State Department and big business – or as Celente framed modern media – Pressitude. There is much lacking in its domestic coverage too but I’ll leave that to another time.

  14. Pat

    The conservative politicians are war monger because they don’t have to go to war, put rifle in their hands and tell them to fight for their country and see how quickly they become a pacifist.

  15. Keitha Granville

    The problem is how do we get the majority of apathetic voters out there to actually think about more than THEIR own self interest. There is a serious lack of community/society/ whole country care out there – most people are only worried about the effect of any government decision on THEIR bottom line/job/future prospects. And there is a yawning chasm of difference between people who have children and those who don’t, people who have jobs and not. It’s insoluble. Or is it ?

  16. Florence nee Fedup

    In short, we are in danger of losing our democracy.

  17. Florence nee Fedup

    We have to make the word neoliberalism as hated as they made communism in our youth. They are opposite sides of same coin.

  18. Roswell

    Ricardo, I think Fraser said it on Q&A. I haven’t read Kaye’s link yet, so I could be wrong. However, I’ve seen the video of it somewhere and it certainly is authentic.

  19. Klaus

    Personally, I would add to the listed dangers the absolute drive to get involved in armed conflicts. And that at any cost. We are in danger of spending some 60 billion on Submarines which will rot away. We are in danger of spending billions on war fighter jets which are clearly second or third class compared to others and which are useful in attacking other countries. No idea how many billions. The tax avoidance by big corporate companies adds many billions more. We need to also have a border force (armed of course) which, in combination with offshore concentration camps to incarcerate all these ‘criminals’ (I wonder who the criminals are), will add 5 billion to the cake.

    The conclusion? We have a spending problem. The welfare is outrageous, the penalty rates break the economy (who so generously contributes to the greater good via fair taxation), dole bludgers etc. They need to be squeezed some more.

    Anyway, Australia is tolerating all of this. Nobody speaks up except in places like this. A minor revolution is needed. Australia has positioned itself as enemies of climate change and the environment.

    The destruction which this government has managed to create, is mind boggling.

    But alas, the public is satisfied, opinion polls are up. Sun shines, surf is up Xmas is here.

    Klaus

  20. Roswell

    Florence, we are not in danger of losing our democracy. We ARE losing our democracy. We are well and truly rat shit.

  21. Roswell

    Klaus, the mug punter is happy because he/she has been told to boats have stopped. Nothing else seems to matter to them. Not even being screwed by the government bothers them. Blind fools.

  22. Lawrence Roberts

    Anyone for A General Strike?

  23. Kaye Lee

    That’s what people don’t realise Lawrence – the power that labour has, or at least used to until the conservative propaganda took over. I am pleased that the corrupt few in unions are being weeded out and governance is improving. That has had to happen in every organisation with which I have been involved in a long working career. But there are very few groups who can protect us from corporate greed. Government is one but is has rolled over to have its belly rubbed. Unions are the other. People have become complacent. They think strikes are about selfish things because they don’t know how hard we fought to allow women to remain employed after marriage, to get annual holidays and sick leave, to get paid parental leave (over this government’s dead body according to Abbott). They forget that we have traded wage rises for superannuation increases. They do not understand that unless we are represented at the negotiating table, we will be screwed by businesses who exist solely to make profit which has the inevitable result of erosion of wages and entitlements. Ethical business is a thing of the past.

  24. mars08

    @Lawrence Roberts… given the amount of private debt in this country, the high unemployment rate, the distraction and apathy, the IR laws and the addiction to shiny gadgets… a general stike is just about impossible.

  25. Kaye Lee

    mars08,

    Speaking of shiny gadgets, the IPA wrote a very revealing article in 1960 – a review of the previous ten years.

    “industrial peace and political stability are closely connected with the multiplication of the gadgets and its accompaniment, hire purchase finance. For the mass ownership of the gadgets— from washing machines to “pop-up” toasters—is revolutionising traditional political and industrial attitudes.”

    According to the IPA, the continued lack of success throughout the 50s of the Labor Party stemmed primarily from the fact that they had failed to recognise the significance of the “gadgets”.

    “The great majority [of wage earners] are becoming “men of property” and men of property are conservative. What they have, they do not want to lose. This is economically, socially and politically one of the most portentous developments of the 1950’s.”

    https://www.ipa.org.au/library/publication/1210641262_document_review1960_vol.14no.1.pdf

  26. donwreford

    The reason I do not trust Turnbull is he changed Labors policy on fast optic cable network for the mish mash that will be not as good as the oppositions idea and has blown out in cost, if Turnbull for political expediency sacrificing the good of the nation for the good of Turnbull, he has a more velvet voice that many appreciate after Abbott although Abbott was more easy to see through and Turnbull is more difficult for the voters to see through.

  27. Michael

    In our human designed construct called democracy, eligible voters are the most powerful in the 4 minutes it takes them to cast a ballot paper only to surrender it 9the power) for 3 to 4 years at each level of government.

  28. Lee

    “The problem is how do we get the majority of apathetic voters out there to actually think about more than THEIR own self interest. There is a serious lack of community/society/ whole country care out there – most people are only worried about the effect of any government decision on THEIR bottom line/job/future prospects. ”

    Unfortunately Keitha, I don’t expect that to change any time soon. We have become a very materialistic and self-centred society.

  29. diannaart

    An article well worth the read, Kaye Lee – along with many thoughtful, worthwhile comments – thank you everyone.

    Better to be informed than remain in ignorance – that little gem from the IPA in the 1960’s – no changing this leopard’s spots, always about the purchasing power and no thought to how such a system actually can maintain itself.

    ….hmmm may be a little ignorance IS bliss, however, I think after the old saw: “Know thyself” one must follow up with “know the greedy”.

  30. RosemaryJ36

    It will take a lot to persuade me that I am wrong in thinking that a hung parliament might be the antidote to the increasingly poor governments we have had under both major parties. If democracy means anything it means that everyone should be heard and an attempt made to reach consensus.
    I am a mediator and there is no more empowering objective than to assist opposing parties to agree on a course of action they can both live with.
    No one can get all they want but continuing fighting for the impossible is a waste of a life.
    Politics, like law, is too concerned with win-lose,
    Compromise which has been thoroughly talked over is win-win!

  31. Kaye Lee

    Rosemary,

    Unfortunately politics concentrates on what the parties disagree about rather than what they can agree on. Neither side want the other to succeed. What they forget is that the people are the losers in their power play. One problem with a hung parliament is that it puts the decision in the hands of one or two people. That worked well when it was Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott but it’s not going so well with that madman Leyonjhelm.

  32. Brad

    I’m proud that I was in the ‘anyone but tony’ camp, but it’s a hollow feeling. Eventually, the masses will be woken up by someone with a bit of fight and charisma.

  33. Wayne Turner

    Spot on article.

    ALL that is mentioned is linked to this BIGGEST PROBLEM: “We are in danger from a media concentrated in the hands of one man which seeks to misinform to promote its owner’s agenda.”

    Especially,when the rest of the MSM follow that media.Including the ABC.

    Of course the MSM wouldn’t be a problem if the majority of people had critical thinking skills,informed and weren’t so gullible.

  34. Rob

    The two-party-preferred system, so called because the two major parties prefer it.

    I don’t think we should even have parties, it’ll never happen but meanwhile vote in more independents.

  35. Matters Not

    they forget is that the people are the losers in their power play

    ‘Some’ people are ‘losers’. No argument. But there are also winners.

    If you pay tax, then clearly you are a ‘loser’, at least in the economic stakes If you don’t pay your ‘fair share’ then clearly you are a ‘winner’.

    Malcolm Turnbull, as Prime Minister, is paid approximately $450 000.00 a year as well as a daily allowance of somewhere north of $200.00 plus a day while he’s on the road. His personal fortune is above $200 million. That’s $200 000 000.00. And yet he want to reduce ‘penalty rates’ for the low paid worker costing his/her approximately $50.00 per Sunday.

    It’s not really a ‘debate’. Just ‘bullshit’ which the ‘punters’ on average tend to believe.

  36. Wally

    So true Kaye Lee

    “Unfortunately politics concentrates on what the parties disagree about rather than what they can agree on. Neither side want the other to succeed.”

    Instead of holding the party with the most seats in parliament responsible for the governments performance we should hold every member of parliament responsible. A good/strong opposition ensures the government performs well.

  37. Michael

    1 vote and “mandate” is a fallacy

  38. townsvilleblog

    Two mose threats to our nation werearrested this morning in early morning raids in Sydney, the gentlemen’s named were Abdullah and Mohommed just for a surprise. Both gents were said to have come from families trying to breed like rabbits so that in 20 years time they will be outvoting ordinary Aussies in their parliamentary seats. A boon for Sharia law advocates.

  39. Do Yourself a favour

    what country did your family come to Australia from townsvilleblog, and what religion do you practice, and how many children do you have? can you please also describe an ordinary Australian?

  40. mars08

    Arrested and interrogated, condemned and convicted… apparently. Having Arabic names makes things so much clearer, right?

  41. Michael Taylor

    Townsvilleblog, I’d avoid answering the question put to you if I were you. Sometimes, the less people know about you the better. With all this ‘profiling’ going on, we don’t want internet trolls having access to it.

  42. John

    @ Lawrence Robert

    “The Australian Tax Office (ATO) released the 2013-14 Report of Entity Tax Information – which tells us about the total income and tax payable for 1539 Australian and foreign companies operating in Australia with incomes above $A100 million. The rather startling revelation is that 579 of the largest Australian companies, including Qantas, did not pay any tax at all in that financial year.

    The cleaning group Spotless Group Holdings Limited reported total income in 2013-14 of $A2,267,838,023 and paid no tax. It also is currently embroiled in scandal where they accused of underpaying its staff via so-called ‘sham contracting’.”

    CEO pay still out of control and diverging again from workers’ earnings

    How about a Tax Strike until they fix this?

  43. Kaye Lee

    Deputy Commissioner Burn said the group of men hadn’t got to the point of formulating specific plans but allegedly showed the intent to.

    “There was a group of people who came together with the idea, with the intent to do something and they started to make preparations to carry out a terrorist act,” she said.

    Police will allege the men were among a group of seven people who produced hand-written, scribbled documents that were seized over a year ago.

    No specific dates were mentioned and the plans were not well-formed, with the authors unable to determine specific addresses for their targets

    …….

    Sorry if I am not frightened.

  44. Matters Not

    Read somewhere recently:

    Christmas comes but once a year and brings with it – lots of fear

    .

    In the words of Bob Hudson’s Newcastle Song.

    Don’t you ever let a chance go by, O Lord, Don’t you ever let a chance go by.

    Note also:

    The Federal Opposition is calling for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to personally intervene in the case of a dying Pakistani man whose family were denied visas to visit him in Australia.

    Hassan Asif came to Australia as a student before being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

    The 25-year-old has only weeks to live, according to his Melbourne-based end-of-life care providers, but his mother and brother have been denied visas to visit him.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-23/labor-calls-for-dying-pakistani-students-family-to-receive-visas/7050338

    I think I see the problem. It’s in his name.

    Dutton also never lets a chance go by.

  45. diannaart

    I think I see the problem. It’s in his name.

    Yup, all the proof needed – helps to have a dark complexion also… just sayin’.

  46. Matters Not

    Slightly off topic, but here’s one reason why the war against ISIL is not going anywhere soon.

    Iraqi forces have turned the tables on ISIL sympathisers captured in the city of Ramadi, taunting prisoners and forcing them to kneel in the sand and cower in fear. …

    A video filmed by soldiers, and broadcast on Iranian TV, shows a large column of captured ISIL supporters kneel in the dirt in single file, their hands handcuffed with their heads bowed as an Iraqi army commander laughs and jeers in their faces

    ISIL had great success in northern Iraq because many of the local Sunnis preferred life under ISIL rather than life under the government backed Shia oppressors. In many cases it was a choice between the ‘devil and the deep blue sea’.

    Now we have US backed Shia forces winning a battle against ISIL only to have the same humiliation handed out to the locals. Talk about losing ‘hearts and minds’. Slow learners one and all.

    http://www.9news.com.au/world/2015/12/23/09/27/iraqi-forces-capture-scores-of-isil-supporters-in-ramadi

  47. diannaart

    Just in (ABC radio) – Hassan Asif’s family has finally been granted permit – Dutton explained reason for delay was due to concerns that “they may overstay his visa” – yeah, because that is the worst that can happen… what with his family grieving an’ all…

  48. Florence nee Fedup

    This man came here on student visa. Nothing to do with seeking asylum. Parents are well settle in their own country, One can only thinks there is a blanket Prohibition on people from the country itself.

  49. Do Yourself a favour

    @ Michael Taylor
    “Townsvilleblog, I’d avoid answering the question put to you if I were you. Sometimes, the less people know about you the better. With all this ‘profiling’ going on, we don’t want internet trolls having access to it.”

    While I do agree that people should be prudent in how much personal info they put online.. are you seriously calling me a troll?

    perfectly reasonable questions given townsvilles comment Id have thought, or do you agreee that because someone has a particular surname they automatically must breed like rabbits and belong to an extermist faction of a particular religion? perhaps if you wish to support his point of view, you could simply answer .. how would you define an “ordinary Australian” ? no extra personal info required.

    you idiot.

  50. Florence nee Fedup

    Funny breeding like rabbits was aimed at those of RC faith, especially the Irish, later Italians. The nationalities change but never the words.

  51. mark delmege

    I reckon the biggest threat is the near total domination of the neocon ideology in Australia.

  52. Florence nee Fedup

    So true mark.

  53. Pingback: Threats to the security of our nation – » The Australian Independent Media Network | olddogthoughts

  54. Florence nee Fedup

    Michael, mandate isn’t a fallacy. What people think it is, is far from reality. The Constitutions says that each voter has one vote in their electorate to give one MP a mandate to sit in Parliament. These MPs are expected to form themselves into a body to present and pass laws. Constitution doesn’t mention parties or PMs. Says nothing about election campaigns or promises.

    It does say that legislation becomes law by being passed by majority of MP’s on floor of both houses.

    If the winning side can garner the majority votes on floor both houses, they could say they have mandate.

  55. Michael

    Florence nee Fedup, I live in abbottland/bairdland/#teamhaystack (triple whammy and do not wish it on anyone else), constitutionally, as cited, agree but is it relevant? – but surely in practice, is where it counts?
    For example, 1 vote, 1 value = 4 minutes to complete ballot paper = mandate = complete surrender of power to hands/mind of MP in absolute sense = sit back, watch and think of England for 3-4 years.
    I did not vote for abbott and because of fallacious interpretation of mandate (if I win my 1 vote 1 value = zero – I have to be content in thinking of England unless I pay/donate or convert.
    I view my vote is for the best person to represent (not be an ideological robot) all voters (except there is no mechanism too achieve this, yet) and MP’s forming a majority as the right to HOLD the flag of government on behalf of/inclusive of all voters requiring an effective/robust, 1 vote, 1 value optional feedback mechanism.
    I would value your thoughts.

  56. Florence nee Fedup

    Michael, I have no answer for you. I can only say, after being on this earth for over 7 decades, the voter seems to get it right in the long run.

    They over time swing from left to right and back again.

    At this time, I suspect the voter throwing out first term government unless they deliver should be the norm.

    Maybe we need a voting system more in line with the Hare Clark system. Multi MPs electorates, where it is likely views of more get a look in.

    Minorities governments with Independents are not bad.

    What is bad, big majorities with winner take all mentality. No party or leader have all the answers.

    I think it is time we moved on from concept right or left wing beliefs.

    Doesn’t mean anything today.

  57. Rob

    “Minorities governments with Independents are not bad.”

    In fact I think that’s the way it should be. Either that or allow MPs to vote out of party lines but that will never happen, so have the control in the hands of several strong independents and/or minor parties.

  58. Florence nee Fedup

    Still it is up to the voter.

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