Why some child abusers are a protected species – Written by LOUISE 0’SHEA

26 May 2015 | Louise O’Shea

Email: louise@redflag.org.au
More articles by Louise O’Shea

We know that when Tony Abbott doesn’t approve of something, he is not backward in coming forward about it.

He’s made no secret, for instance, of his disapproval of refugees attempting to get to Australia by boat, Aboriginal people indulging their “lifestyle choices” in remote communities and women who access more than one maternity leave entitlement.

And that’s before we even get to the Islamic State, which Abbott has denounced as a “death cult” a whopping 346 times since last September.

But amid all this frenzied disapproval and moral righteousness, the abuse and sexual assault of thousands, if not tens of thousands, of children in Catholic schools, orphanages and churches, and the systematic cover-up of this abuse by the church hierarchy, fails even to rate a mention from that otherwise indefatigable moral crusader.

Asked whether he considered it morally sound for cardinal Pell to refuse to return to Australia to front the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, Abbott declined to express disapproval.

That Pell has been asked to face allegations that he offered bribes to silence sexual abuse victims, covered up priests’ crimes and failed to act on sexual abuse complaints appears to matter not a bit to Abbott who, in 2013, described the cardinal as a “fine human being” and “great churchman”.

Contrast this to the treatment of Aboriginal communities following allegations of sexual abuse in the Northern Territory in 2006. Despite the fact that one of the key anonymous informants about this alleged abuse turned out to be a former Liberal government staffer, and that not a single charge or conviction resulted from the allegations, the Howard government, of which Abbott was a cabinet minister, used the mere suggestion of abuse to launch a wave of attacks on Aboriginal communities.

The resulting Northern Territory Intervention deployed police and army personnel to Aboriginal communities, instituted paternalistic restrictions on the sale of alcohol and pornography, compulsorily acquired whole townships, suspended the permit system and abolished the Community Development Employment Projects that many Aboriginal people depended on.

Judges were told they could no longer take customary law into account in court cases. Income support payments were quarantined and recipients were forced to travel to major towns to acquire basic necessities. So unashamedly racist were the measures that the Racial Discrimination Act had to be suspended in order for the parliament to approve them.

The government’s claims that “paedophile rings” were operating in Aboriginal communities – claims that were used to justify this policy – were found to be false by a 2009 Australian Crime Commission investigation.

The Catholic Church, on the other hand, by its own admission is the very definition of an organised paedophile ring. Between 1996 and 2013, it distributed $48 million in compensation to sexual abuse victims through its “Towards Healing” program.

Given that the average compensation payout (based on Victorian figures) is about $36,000, the church has in effect admitted to well over a thousand sexual abuse cases already. More than 2,200 have approached the program seeking compensation, and many thousands of new claims are likely to result from the royal commission. Already, the church has put aside $150 million for such cases.

Yet there has been no punitive government intervention against the church, and no change to its privileged tax status. Catholic schools continue to receive generous public funding, and the institution enjoys ongoing political support and protection from the government and prime minister.

The mind boggles at how an Aboriginal or Muslim leader accused of the same crimes as Pell would be treated by the Abbott government.

What this rank hypocrisy exposes is that in our society, the powerful are protected no matter what they do. Child abuse, whether it be in religious institutions, orphanages, through forced poverty or in immigration detention centres, is acceptable so long as it is carried out by the powerful.

Seen in this context, moral panics about protecting children have nothing to do with concern for children. They are rather a cynical pretext for attacks on people’s rights and the demonising of minorities.

This is the sick reality of modern capitalism presided over by a craven and cynical political establishment. God really should help us.

Professions end guilty silence on Abbott Government failures – Written by ALAN AUSTIN

Alan Austin 31 May 2015

(Image by John Graham / @JohnGrahamArt)

Damage done to Australia’s resilient economy by the current inept prime minister and treasurer is now being exposed by corporations and the professions. Alan Austin reports.

BUSINESS AND THE PROFESSIONS remained mute through the first 18 months of incompetence and indecision by Tony Abbott’s Coalition regime. They are now openly expressing dismay and despair.

The latest shock to Australia’s once-lauded economy arrived in Thursday’s disastrous figures on capital expenditure – abbreviated to “capex” – from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Industry economists are now talking recession — unthinkable just a year ago.

UBS issued an urgent report to clients headed:‘Capex outlook worsens from bleak to recessionary’.

It continued:

‘The “capex cliff” arrived early with implied nominal growth in 14/15 slashed to -8% y/y, & 15/16 cut to -14% y/y, both much weaker than our forecast -4%.’

That is jargon for vital investment in job-generating building projects plummeting 8% this financial year. And projected – based on ABS surveys of potential investors – to tumble another 14% next year.

The last time this key indicator fell badly was in 2009 during the global financial crisis. The time before was the 1991 worldwide recession. (ABS Cat no 5265, table 5B, column AB)

The normally upbeat ANZ Bank economists attributed this slump to pessimism among business decision makers about the future of the economy:

‘An improvement had been expected due to a more stable political environment during this survey period, but the ongoing weakness is indicative of a lack of business confidence.’

JP Morgan’s Tom Kennedy believes the budget estimates of GDP growth – released just two weeks ago – won’t be met:

“It looks like capex is going to be a bit more of a drag on GDP than we had pencilled in. We had 0.5 per cent and we are in the process of adjusting it.”

He means downwards.

Tim Toohey at Goldman Sachs agrees:

“Given the scale of the declines in this survey we reiterate our warnings that economic growth estimates remain skewed to the downside …”

According to AMP Capital Investors’ Shane Oliver, worse is to come:

“The shock number wasn’t so much the quarterly figure, it was the year ahead estimates for 2015/16 … it’s a pretty hefty downgrade.”

Treasurer Joe Hockey cannot claim this is beyond his control. In Opposition, he attacked Labor when the capex declined slightly from historic highs. He blamed this on specific Labor failures, including regulation, “capricious and unpredictable tax grabs” and “wilful disregard for Australia’s interests” in trade.

If Labor was responsible for capital expenditure in 2012/13 – in retrospect, the all-time high – then the Abbott Government must cop the blame for the collapse in 2014/15.

This corporate bashing of Joe Hockey’s mismanagement came hard on public condemnation of Tony Abbott by BHP Billiton chief Andrew Mackenzie for his mooted inquisition into iron ore prices:

“This is a ridiculous waste of taxpayers’ money on providing a basic economics course on supply and demand … It’s red tape, pure and simple.”

That was not all. Earlier this month the Australian Medical Association condemned Abbott for backing a proposed new medical school which the profession considers superfluous.

AMA President Brian Owler was scathing:

“It’s a calamitous captain’s call by Captain Chaos. That’s the only way to describe it because it’s going to cause chaos with the medical training of students.”

Australian Medical Students’ Association President James Lawler supported Owler, claiming Health Minister Sussan Ley had previously rejected Abbott’s proposal:

“She told us that she didn’t believe we needed a new medical school and there wouldn’t be funding for that in the budget. But all of a sudden Tony Abbott’s flying to WA to announce it.”

This follows open warfare between the Government and the AMA last year over the spectacularly failed attempt in Hockey’s first budget to impose a $7 GP co-payment. 

The pharmaceutical industry has also been at war with the Government over its budget proposal to change drug pricing.

Medicines Australia chief executive Tim James rejected this as penalising sick people:

“We see these changes as arbitrary, hasty and unplanned and … not in the best interests of patients.”

A deal was struck on Wednesday, with retail chemists winning and the drug manufacturers – and consumers – losing.

This month’s most savage attack on Abbott’s incompetence came from fund manager Christopher Joye, who once worked for the Howard Government and was recruited by Malcolm Turnbull to be a director of a Liberal Party think-tank, the Menzies Research Centre.

‘The country is suffering from a toxic combination of unprecedented public and private debt’, Joyewrote in the Financial Review.

‘This budget deficit is worse than even the most sophisticated investors realise. Indeed, Australia faces its biggest fiscal challenge in 60 years and does not deserve an AAA credit rating.’

Joye sees little hope for the economy under the present regime:

‘With fiscal and monetary policy all but completely spent, we have scant policy ammunition left to combat a real downturn.’

Business confidence has collapsed from a healthy 12 points on the NAB’s monthly index in September 2013 down to three, zero, three and three this year. Causal factors are not hard to identify.

They include:

  1. failure to frame a fair budget which ensures the rich pay their share;
  2. continual backflips and broken promises, now documented at 85 and rapidly approaching the ton;
  3. the ingrained practice of sheer blatant lies destroying trust in government ministers;
  4. failure to address negative gearing and other contributors to uncompetitive land prices;
  5. failure to progress superannuation reforms to relieve future budget stresses;
  6. failure to maintain infrastructure investment;
  7. wasteful spending; and
  8. frequent foreign affairs blunders, failures of diplomacy and ministerial ineptitude widely reportedinternationally.

To date, the mainstream media have downplayed or denied the unravelling of Australia’s economy.

That is fine for the Abbott Government and for the rich tax avoiders who are its principal beneficiaries. But disastrous for citizens – workers, consumers, families, retirees, welfare recipients, investors – and the majority of businesses.

If things deteriorate further – if, for example, there is a dramatic drop in next Wednesday’s GDP growth figures – that may well change.

The original artwork by John Graham reproduced as the feature image in this piece may be purchased from the IA store. You can follow Alan Austin on Twitter @AlanTheAmazing.

“The three richest Australians have more wealth than the million poorest.” – Written by TANYA PLIBERSEK

May 2015

TANYAPLIBERSEK2
image: http://2.gravatar.com/avatar/ba580ab6cab23dfe9832157e364a266b?s=50&d=mm&r=pg
Tanya Plibersek wants the government to think harder about inequality in Australia, as she writes in her latest column for Mamamia.

Economic inequality. If you’ve travelled overseas, chances are you’ve come face to face with some extreme examples. Five star hotels and slums, cheek by jowl. Children begging outside expensive designer shops.

Of course, Australia is not immune to economic inequality either.

It’s true that grinding poverty still exists here at home. Too many people are homeless, too many Indigenous Australians are being left behind, and too many people are struggling to make ends meet.

Yet it’s also true that by many general measures, Australia does pretty well.

We’ve had more than 20 years of continuous economic growth. We came through the Global Financial Crisis better than nearly all similar countries. We have good health and education systems. We are a safe and peaceful nation.

In fact, when Labor was last in Government, Australia topped the Better Life Index three years straight, beating all other advanced nations. The Better Life Index looks at how countries perform in areas like jobs, incomes, health, and the environment.
So if things are okay overall, how it is that Australia still has pockets of shameful disadvantage, and why does it seem harder than ever for the average family to get ahead? And what should we be doing about it?

Let’s dig a little deeper.

image: http://cdn.mamamia.com.au/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/tanya-1-720×547.jpg
While Australia has enjoyed an unprecedented stretch of relatively good economic times, the truth is the benefits have been spread unevenly. We know this because something called the ‘Gini coefficient’ (a useful number that measures economic inequality) has mostly been getting worse for decades.

Put simply, in Australia, the trend has seen the rich getting richer, and the poor poorer.

The three richest Australians have more wealth than the million poorest.

But it doesn’t have to be that way – and that’s where government comes in.

Things improve when governments prioritise policies that help fight inequality. In Government, Labor pursued those policies, from the National Disability Insurance Scheme, fairer education funding, better healthcare, to tax cuts for low income earners.

Tanya Plibersek on Tony Abbott

Plibersek wants to prioritise policies that help fight inequality. Image: Facebook.
And what happened? The gap between rich and poor actually started to close – with the ‘Gini coefficient’ improving while we were in Government.
But Tony Abbott has unravelled much of Labor’s work.

Because of Tony Abbott’s last Budget the average family is $6000 worse off. Pensioners will be around $80 a week worse off within a decade, our kids will pay $100,000 for university degrees, and all Australians will pay more to see the doctor and to fill a car with petrol.

tanya plibersek on tony abbott

Tanya Plibersek wants the Abbott government to consider the inequalities facing Australians when determining the federal budget.
Under the Abbott Government the average family feels it’s harder to get ahead, because, sadly, it is.

Equality doesn’t happen by accident. The choices governments make, especially at Budget time, have the power to make Australia a more economically equal place – or not.

On the eve of this second Budget, there are a few things I think Tony Abbott should remember.

Reducing inequality is not just good for the poorest Australians, it benefits us all.

Countries which are more equal tend to be more economically successful. That’s been proven by the IMF, the World Bank, the Centre for American Progress, Nobel Prize winning economists like Joseph Stiglitz, and academics like Thomas Piketty.

Lower inequality is good for everyone, because when we invest in the basics like good health and education, and decent pay and conditions, the investment pays off with greater economic activity.

As a mum, all I want is for my sons, and my daughter, to grow up in an Australia with both a strong economy and a fair society – where they can get great education and healthcare, where they can get a job, and where they can afford to live a good life.

But I don’t just want that for my own kids, I want it for all kids. Australia’s strength and prosperity in the future will depend on all Australians having the chance to contribute to our nation.

Reducing inequality is good for us all, and we deserve a government that works to make that happen.
Read more at http://www.mamamia.com.au/news/tanya-plibersek-on-tony-abbott/#OB5DBlF3Ps5Kc8o0.99

Australian Democracy at a Tipping Point – Written by PAUL G. DELITT – AIM NETWORK

  • May 31, 2015
By Paul G. Dellit

Well, we may well have reached the tipping point between genuine democracy in Australia and the beginnings of creeping fascism. You may think this to be one of those ‘shock-horror’ attention-grabbing opening sentences. It is. And I also believe it to be an unalloyed statement of the danger we now face.

History is littered with hindsight surprise that those with power and those who might have opposed those with power didn’t take action to avoid an obviously looming disaster. Of course, the ‘loomingness’ of disasters is often not appreciated by its contemporaries. It would be naive to expect otherwise. Couldn’t they see that the South Sea Bubble would burst? Couldn’t they see that a grossly overheated investment market populated with stocks that were either massively overvalued or worthless would result in ever-widening ripples of market failures and a worldwide Great Depression. Couldn’t they see you don’t fix Depressions by reducing the size of economies. Obviously they couldn’t see any of those things. And with the dawning optimism of a new century, they couldn’t even remember them, or if they could, they were playing that ‘main chance’ game of ‘I’ll make what I can make out of this and bugger all of the rest of them who lose the lot’.

Prime Minister Abbott and his acolytes, Ministers Dutton and Morrison, propose the passing of a law that would create a precedent for the end of the rule of law in this country. It would invest a Minister with the powers of policeman, judge and jury to act upon an untested suspicion of guilt to deprive an Australian of his/her citizenship. Following current LNP practice, the reasons for stripping someone of their citizenship would be deemed secret for security reasons. So this Ministerial power would be exercised covertly and absolutely beyond judicial or other form of independent review. The Minister would be required to form his suspicions on the basis of the intelligence provided to him. The name Dr. Haneef immediately springs to mind. But even if our security organisations and the foreign security organisations with whom they trade information were as infallible as our PM believes the Pope to be, and even if they had no self-interested agendas, the Minister invested with this power could exercise it to suit his own ends – say, just before an election – to manufacture a terrorist scare and then appear to be the ‘man of the hour’ who restores our peace of mind (coincidentally winning the votes of a few more undecided Alan Jones listeners to save his marginal seat).

The proponents of changing Australia from a Common Law country, based upon the Separation of Powers, to rule by Ministerial fiat, as their proposal would enable through the precedent it would establish, argue that they are honourable men who would exercise their new powers dispassionately, wisely, and in the public interest. Of course, this is irrelevant. Laws are not made to fit the character of current holders of high office. They are intended to safeguard against, as far as possible, abuse by those who are partisan, stupid, and prone to act in their own self-interest.

The proposed new law deliberately excludes those safeguards.

Consequently, we need some way of ensuring that the current and all subsequent Ministers, thus empowered, will ensure the intelligence they receive is impeccable, and will interpret that intelligence dispassionately, wisely, and in the public interest.

So let’s run an eye over the proponents of the new law, just for starters.

Malcolm Frazer considered Tony Abbott to be perhaps the most dangerous politician in Australian history. You may have thought that a little hyperbolic. I did. There can be little doubt that our current Prime Minister is the least equipped for high office since Sir William McMahon. And the record also shows that Prime Minister Abbott was able to pass through one of Australia’s finest schools and one of England’s finest universities untouched by exposure to academic research methods, the principles of logic and dispassionate evaluation, the values-free acquisition of knowledge, and even by the evidence that compassion and empathy are fundamental to social cohesion. It is apparent that his academic success is based upon often uncomprehended rote learning, the way he learned and then recited his Catechism as a small child. These are flaws in the makeup of the man that speak to his lack of intelligence and general incompetence.

But as we began to see in the run up to the most recent election, and as more information about Tony Abbott’s past was revealed, we began to understand that Malcolm Frazer’s assessment of him was, if anything, an understatement. We began to see his pathological need to win, we read of his violence against a woman when he lost, we observed his relentless, dishonest, misogynistic attacks upon Julia Gillard as part of his strategy to win office, we heard the litany of lies he told to win office, and the lies he has told about lying and about anything else to suit his purpose, after he had won office.

How could we ever contemplate granting power without safeguards to a person with such a pathological need to win, to get his own way, and to retain power regardless of the consequences for anyone else? Can we imagine Peter Dutton having the stomach to independently exercise his discretion against the wishes of Tony Abbott? It wouldn’t matter if he did. Tony Abbott has the Captain’s right to sack him and bestow that office upon himself if he needed to to get his own way. And can we imagine Scott Morrison doing anything that would compromise his leadership ambitions? Smug self-satisfaction was his only reaction to the human tragedy unfolding daily as the result of the exercise of his Ministerial discretion?

It was some small relief to know that the more intelligent members of Cabinet objected to the extreme Abbott proposal that second generation Australians could be stripped of their citizenship based on nothing more than a Minister’s suspicion, as we have said, covertly exercised and beyond judicial or other independent review.

But now, two thirds of the LNP Back Bench have signed a letter in support of the proposed Abbott law. They may be distinguished as a group for being considered not good enough to serve on the most incompetent Front Bench since Federation, but they may just give Tony the support he needs to make another ‘Captain’s Call’.

If Prime Minister Abbott does cross this Rubicon, so will Australia and God help Australian democracy when Ministers of any stripe use the precedent set by this law to expand its operation into other aspects of our lives to suit their own personal ends.

ABBOTT’S  LAWS – Written by WINSTON CLOSE

ABBOTTEVIL-001

May 31st , 2015

There was once Roman law which formed the basis of many Western Nations.

Now it seems we’re leaving behind the RULE OF LAW and the COURTS SYSTEM.

Tony Abbott the self appointed EMPEROR rules by decree assisted by his faithful princes and princesses in his Royal Court ( aka THE COALITION ) who to add injury to the wound of what used to be our beloved Democracy, by the Coalition who exhibit disturbing psychopathic traits.

Now it seems we might end up with a two tier CITIZENSHIP system.

                            Citizens born in Australia

                    And Citizens with Dual Nationality ( Second class Citizens )

Nothing surprises me any more about TONY ABBOTT, his disturbed mind makes him a Present and Clear Danger to Australia and its Citizens.

We must remember all the barbarities said, the lies, the lies upon lies and chaotic pronouncements which explain why now we refer to him as CAPTAIN KAOS.

The sanity of our Nation is at stake. It is now imperative to vote out this Crazy Coalition  of LIBERALS/NATIONALS/MURDOCH & IPA ( the think tank of the mentally disturbed ) to make sure we send them all on a one way ticket to the desert of POLITICAL OBLIVION,  to wander there for 40 years at the very least.

We are now in a crucial moment in Australia’s History. The longer we have them in Government the harder will be to repair the untold damage they have done to our Australian society at every level.

We certainly cannot have this Insanity governing our Country who sees us as Fertile ground to their sinister policies seeking to shape Australia in their sick image.

We cannot have our lives being destroyed by their every crazy whim.

CREEPINGFASCISM

Photo by Tony Abbott – Is he the most corrupt MP Australia ever had?

Tony Abbott is almost certainly a British dual citizen — and so he can’t be our PM – Written by DAVID DONOVAN

David Donovan 31 May 2015

Would an Australian restore British imperial honours and then knight the Queen’s husband, already a Prince, on Australia Day?

Managing editor David Donovan explains why he has just come to the view that Tony Abbott is very likely to still be a British citizen and thus ineligible to sit in the Australian Parliament — let alone be the Prime Minister.

TONY ABBOTT IS A DUAL CITIZEN of Britain and Australia and thus ineligible to sit in Federal Parliament under s44 of the Australian Constitution. Almost certainly.

Let me explain why I finally reached this conclusion — just yesterday.

Yesterday, because before then I was of the view that Mr Abbott had, most probably, renounced his British citizenship sometime between June 1999 and November 2001. Yes, I know the website I run has published numerous articles before now suggesting Abbott may indeed be a dual citizen — and I stand by every one.

I am open to all possibilities until definitive proof is shown one way or the other. Aren’t you?

But I thought it was unlikely. A bit of a diversion. In the end, when push came to shove, I was pretty sure that Abbott would magically produce his “Form RN“, so that all the “conspiracy theorists” suggesting he was still a British national would be left with warm beer and soggy chips all over their Abbott-hating faces.

But, as time went on, after pondering the matter and, particularly, after reading Ross Jones’ piece this week on the topic – on Tony Magrathea’s unceasing efforts to get to the bottom of this affair – I have finally changed my mind.

I’ll explain why in a moment — but, first, let me explain why I believe this is an important issue and not the equivalent of the crazy rightwing “Birthers” movement in the United States. Birthers, if you recall, are the U.S. Tea Party nuts who mounted an increasingly absurd – and often rather racist – campaign against Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility to be United States president.

In America, the Constitution states that their president must be born in the United States. So, for example, Arnold Schwarzenegger – who was, for a while, Californian Governor – could never become U.S. president, being born in Austria.

Hasta la vista, Arnie. 

Personally, I think that’s a pretty absurd and discriminatory law, but it is their law – Article Two of the fabled United Stated Constitution – so what right do I have to say? And, to be quite frank, conspiracy theorists doubting whether Obama was actually born in the United States did have some ammunition. I mean, Barack was born in Hawaii, did have a Kenyan father, an Indonesian step-father and, from the age of six until ten, did live in Indonesia. And he had that name — Obama, which sounds a lot like … well, you know …

But the thing was — Obama really was born in Hawaii. He did what any normal, reasonable person would do under similar circumstances — produce his birth certificate. It showed he was born in Hawaii. And then a whole lot of other documents were produced by various authorities, including his long form birth certificate and the birth announcements that were contemporaneously published in two separate Hawaiin newspapers.

There was no doubt — Obama was eligible. The proof was produced in a timely fashion. Case closed.

But still the idiots – such as Donald Trump – went on sowing doubt.

Abbott’s case is very different. Firstly, we know exactly where was Tony Abbott born — London, UK. There is no controversy about that fact. No-one is contesting it, least of all Tony.

His birth certificate is shown below [IA emphasis]:

If Abbott was running for the U.S. presidency, well, he would be ineligible. No question about it. As I said, I think that is a silly law for another immigrant nation — but there you have it. 

However, Abbott is an MP in the Australian Parliament. Under Australian law, you can be born anywhere, it doesn’t matter.

I like that. I am not a birther. Abbott was born in the UK — good on him. So was my grandmother. I have nothing against dual citizens or the British. I lived in England for six years myself — though I never, it must be said, applied for British citizenship.

But here’s the thing — the wise founding fathers said in our Constitution that to serve the Australian people, you need to give up any other allegiances. 

Section 44 of the Australian Constitition says, pretty plainly, you can’t have allegiance to a foreign power if you want to serve the Australian people a a member of Parliament:

44. Any person who –

(i.) Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power:

You need to purposefully renounce any ties to foreign powers. You need to make a choice and say where your loyalties lie.

I like that, too.

People who have allegiances to other nations should not be members of the Australian Parliament. They should certainly not be the prime minister, with all the international responsibilities that portfolio entails. 

As I have said, I have nothing against dual citizens — but if you are going to represent the Australian people, you need to choose them.

Let’s think all this through.

Britain is one of our closest allies, we have dealings with them all the time. But if Tony Abbott is still a willing subject of Her Majesty the Queen – or any other power – how do we know that, when push comes to shove, he is not acting on her behalf and not on ours. Maybe he thinks what’s good for Britain is good for Australia, who knows? 

Whatever, I would like to see the proof that our Prime Minister has made the conscious decision to renounce his British birth country and throw in his lot in with Australia, holus bolus. Wouldn’t you?

I mean, we have talked about the circumstantial birther evidence about Obama — but what about Abbott?

Listen to these facts. Anthony John Abbott was born in England to an English father and an Australian mother. Despite having an Australian mother, Abbott came to Australia when Abbott was a toddler under the assisted migrant scheme as £10 poms. They took the Australian Government’s money, despite Abbott’s father being a dentist. Abbott’s father, Dick, went on to create one of Australia’s largest orthodontic practices, making a literal fortune selling braces to rich kids’ parents in Sydney’s North Shore.

Abbott arrived in Australian at the age of three, went to posh schools, got degrees in law and economics from Sydney University and, for reasons still subject to significant conjecture – since he was by no means an academic standout – won a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University — back to the land of his birth.

But there was a problem. To win a Rhodes Scholarship, you needed to be a citizen of one of the former “colonies” — not Britain. But Tony Abbott was born in England and had never applied for Australian citizenship. At 21, he was still a pom. Presumably, despite his punchy political activism, he did not vote in the 1980 Federal election. In the end,  the forms were submitted by Tony’s mother and came through in time for him to accept the scholarship.

Here’s how Abbott described the experience of coming home to the mother country, in a speech to Queen’s College Oxford in 2012:

Like about a million other Australians, including Prime Minister Gillard, who also came to Australia as a child, I was born in Britain. As well as people, the British Isles have given Australia our language, our system of law and our parliamentary democracy. The conviction that an Englishman’s home is his castle and faith in British justice, no less than the understanding that Jack is as good as his master, have taken strong root in Australia….

So when the plane bringing me back to Britain flew low up the Thames Valley and I saw for the first time as an adult Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s cathedral and the Tower of London, I had a sense of belonging…

Let’s state the bleeding obvious. Tony Abbott was a pom, has always been a pom and is still a pom to this very day. He may have a few Australian allegiances and characteristics, but there is no doubt whatsoever that his deepest loyalties and loves lie with the Auld Country. As he described himself in his turgid political manifesto Battlelines, he is an ‘incorrigible Anglophile‘.

The proof is plain. But let’s dig deeper.

Tony Abbott was national director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy before he entered politics — the group that strived hardest of all to prevent Australia breaking it archaic constitutional links to Great Britain by becoming a republic. And he was still deeply involved during the 1999 referendum — and smug afterwards, when the vote was narrowly unsuccessful

A few years later, one of his earliest acts as prime minister was to unilaterally bring back British imperial honours – “knights and dames” – into the Australian honours system. Then, despite the intense ridicule and political damage he received for that universally unpopular act, on Australia Day this year, he used the awards he’s restored to knight the Queen’s husband — Prince Philip. The reaction was so intensely negative, he almost lost his job. But he was blazed on nonetheless, having more royal tours than Australia has ever seen before — doing everything possible to put his daughters in the vicinity of Prince Harry who, since Abbott became PM, seems to have made Australia his second home.

Do I need to go on? I will anyway.

Last year, Abbott said last year that before the British arrived Australia was “nothing but bush”. Take that, 60,000 years of civilization.

The odd thing about Australia is that, up until the High Court decision in Sue vs Hill on 23 June, 1998, British citizens like Tony Abbott could sit in the Australian Parliament. He didn’t need to renounce a thing. Until then, Australia was British. Indeed, many Australian prime ministers, particularly the early ones, were born in Britain. It was only when Britain was finally declared a foreign power, in 1998, that renouncing British citizenship became a necessity for “incorrigible Anglophiles” like Tony.

Abbott was, of course, elected in 1994. So there was no need for him to renounce before 1998. After then, well, who knows?

I think I do. And you? Based on everything you have heard here, do you think Tony Abbott sound like a person who would readily relinquish his British citizenship if he could get away with it? Given the body monitoring the area, the AEC, don’t require for any proof? None at all?

I mean, it would be very easy for Prime Minister Tony Abbott to put this issue to bed, once and for all. But, despite articles from Channel Nine, Daily Mail, Guardian, Pravda, Independent Australia — hell, even a sarcastic one from News Corp, Prime Minister Abbott has refused to reveal his renunciation papers. This, despite petitions signed by over 70,000 people of people and letters from politiciansasking him to show proof.

There are two ways to look at this. If he has renounced, as most people seem to think he must have done, then it shows a contempt for the will of the people. A disdain for the principles of open transparent government.

The other option is that Tony Abbott has not, in fact, relinquished his cherished British citizenship. In that case, he is an illegal parliamentarian and an illegal prime minister. The ramifications of that are profound.

The only person who can clear all this up is Prime Minister Tony Abbott. All he needs to do is produce the document – the Form RN – that he must have submitted to the British Home Office is he really has renounced his British citizenship.

But I don’t think he will. Because he probably never did.

THE ABBOTT ROAD TO A FASCIST STATE – Written by WINSTON CLOSE

Nationality is a Sacrosanct Right and must not be taken away from anyone.
One thing is to take an offender to court and if convicted be given a life sentence if the law so dictates but another is to fiddle with Nationality and worst of all GIVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE TO A MINISTER
What the Government want is tantamount to FASCISM.

ABBOTTINSANELOOK

What all of the actions taken by this Government show is an abject and total contempt for rule of law and for the rights and welfare of all Australians.

TONY ABBOTT , if left alone, is bent to redefining AUSTRALIA to his image not to DEMOCRACY.

We must show to the Abbott and Co Government that we are not going to let them do as they please.

THE COALITION GOVERNMENT IN AUSTRALIA IS NOW A FASCIST CULT – Written by WINSTON CLOSE

ABBOTTfascism-poster-007

The COALITION GOVERNMENT IS A TRUE EXAMPLE OF WHAT CONSTITUTES A FASCIST STATE .
IT’S TIME TO GO BACK TO DEMOCRACY.
WE MUST VOTE THEM OUT AND SEND THEM ON A ONE WAY TICKET TO POLITICAL OBLIVION

It’s well overdue our return to Democracy and once again enjoy the beautiful atmosphere of a Democratic State.

This Conservative government of the LNP has done untold damage already to our lives and to the way most countries in the World see us. 

We’re now despised for the lack of humanity and the selfish country we have now become.

The TONY ABBOTT LIBERALS/NATIONALS & RUPERT MURDOCH IPA COALITION must become a Dark stage in our Country’s History, we can no longer have a Government riddled with deception, contempt and a web of lies on lies bring Australia to misery and division.

IT’S TIME  to once again be a MULTICULTURAL UNITED AUSTRALIA where we are an example of harmony and prosperity.

Imagine we were a Republic and we could vote for this man as our President – Written by SANDI KEANE

Sandi Keane 30 May 2015

(Image courtesy of http://republicandirtytricks.com/)

IA can happily report it’s finally found a politician who reflects our values. Sadly, he’s not Australian. Senator Bernie Sanders is the latest contender for the American Presidency. He’s Jewish and fiercely independent which would make him the first such President on both counts. Deputy editor, Sandi Keane, asks what YOU think.

IMAGINE AUSTRALIA were already a Republic. Imagine we could vote for our own President. Imagine we could finally voice our opinion of our current crop of alternative party leaders and vote for an INDEPENDENT! An independent like U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, that is (sigh).

Bernie has become a hero of the American people — a progressive politician who really “gets” democracy, wants to break up the big banks, dispense with college fees, get rid of fossil fuel subsidies, and bring on gay marriage. And that’s just for starters. 

Bernie’s aim is to shake up the injustice and bias in the U.S.’s political system so on Tuesday, he announced his bid for the 2014 Democratic presidential nomination.

Imagine (there’s that word again) — he’d be the first Jewish President of the USA not to mention first independent! (Well if Obama can do it…)

Ignored by the major networks, Bernie Sanders’ announcement that he’s running for President was broadcast by progressive commentator, Thom Hartmann, on his nightly program, who said:

 “none of the networks will be covering it because owners of the networks don’t like his message”

 

Perhaps that’s because Bernie is no kook but rather more mainstream than the 1 per cent the U.S. corporate networks focus on. Let’s face it: they don’t want someone who puts the people’s interests above the interests of the corporate elites who provide their advertising income. As Juan Cole, one of the most highly respected political commentators in the U.S., put it, Bernie Sanders has trouble being taken seriously by the corporate media:

‘If you go to Google News and put in his name, you get headlines about him being nothing more than a protest candidate, or having “odd views,” or promoting “dark age economics.”

But the American people are giving serious attention to Bernie Sanders. Like Australians, they’re tired of playing second fiddle to corporate elites who have the power to buy political agendas.

Here’s an excerpt from Bernie Sander’s campaign launch speech. You can listen to the full speechhere. I urge you to listen:

Citizens United: 

(please read about this corporate front group masquerading as a citizens’ group here).

Sanders has the majority of Americans with him on opposing the Supreme Court “Citizens United” ruling which has, in his words has

“corrupted the American political system and undermined the foundations of American democracy.”

“What the Supreme Court essentially said was that it was not good enough for the billionaire class to own much of our economy. They could now own the U.S. government as well. And that is precisely what they are trying to do.”

Let’s get Big Money out of politics because the U.S. is now an oligarchy:

Sanders wants to get Big Money out of politics. Political commentators agree that America has become an oligarchy with powerful elites like the Koch Brothers spending billions of dollars to get their candidates elected. They effectively control the levers of power in Washington. The Tea Party was the brain child of the Koch Brothers who founded it and bankrolled it. You can learn more about the Koch Brothers here.

 

 

From Bernie:

“According to media reports the Koch brothers alone, one family, will spend more money in this election cycle than either the Democratic or Republican parties. This is not democracy. This is oligarchy. In Vermont and at our town meetings we know what American democracy is supposed to be about. It is one person, one vote – with every citizen having an equal say – and no voter suppression. And that’s the kind of American political system we have to fight for and will fight for in this campaign.”

Climate Change: 

Again, Sanders shows he represents the mainstream on this. The majority of Americans want action on global warming. A recent poll shows 71 per cent agree it’s happening, 57 per cent agree human activity is causing it.

“The debate is over. The scientific community has spoken in a virtually unanimous voice. Climate change is real. It is caused by human activity and it is already causing devastating problems in the United States and around the world.

The scientists are telling us that if we do not boldly transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energies, this planet could be five to ten degrees Fahrenheit warmer by the end of this century. This is catastrophic. It will mean more drought, more famine, more rising sea level, more floods, more ocean acidification, more extreme weather disturbances, more disease and more human suffering. We must not, we cannot, and we will not allow that to happen.”

Addressing wealth and income inequality — the great moral issue of our time:

Sanders is again on the money with this. A recent Gallup poll shows 63 per cent of Americans agree that the wealth gap is unfair.

“In America we now have more income and wealth inequality than any other major country on earth, and the gap between the very rich and everyone is wider than at any time since the 1920s. The issue of wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time and it is the great political issue of our time. And we will address it.

Let me be very clear. There is something profoundly wrong when the top one-tenth of 1 per cent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 per cent, and when 99 per cent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent. … This type of rigged economy is not what America is supposed to be about. This has got to change and, as your president, together we will change it.”

Here’s Sanders’ message to the billionaire class:

“You can’t have it all. You can’t get huge tax breaks while children in this country go hungry. You can’t continue sending our jobs to China while millions are looking for work. You can’t hide your profits in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens, while there are massive unmet needs on every corner of this nation. Your greed has got to end. You cannot take advantage of all the benefits of America, if you refuse to accept your responsibilities.

That is why we need a tax system which is fair and progressive, which makes wealthy individuals and profitable corporations begin to pay their fair share of taxes.”

When Americans hear one of their politicians talking like this, they think they’re dreaming. As one formerly disenchanted voter commented after watching the following speech by Bernie Sanders:

‘WOW” “Watched it TWICE!” A real person, talking the truth, in the US Senate? It Must Be A Hologram or a Dream! Do Not Get Angry, Get Empowered With Information! He Will Be A Contender IN 2016!’

Here’s the speech:

Bernie Sanders in August 2012 on the war being waged by the most powerful in the country against the shrinking middle class

 

Health Care for all: 

The onslaught of suasion in the last few years has been unrivalled in tricking or swaying people to put corporate interests before their own. Classic examples were Hands Off My Healthcare in the U.S. More on this here.

Bernie:

“The United States remains the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care for all as a right. Despite the modest gains of the Affordable Care Act, 35 million Americans continue to lack health insurance and many more are under-insured. Yet, we continue paying far more per capita for health care than any other nation.”

College for all:

Sanders is worried about student debt and so is the majority of people under 30.  He’s come up with a range of practical measures to combat this problem:

In a highly competitive global economy, we need the best educated workforce we can create. It is insane and counterproductive to the best interests of our country, that hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to go to college, and that millions of others leave school with a mountain of debt that burdens them for decades. That must end. That is why, as president, I will fight to make tuition in public colleges and universities free, as well as substantially lower interest rates on student loans.”

Meanwhile, here in Australia, we have an unthinking, right-wing government who wants to introduce the American model, ensuring our university graduates will be in debt for most of their lives. 

How to solve America’s biggest problems with Bernie Sanders:

Take the time to listen to some of the most sensible solutions to America’s problems you’re ever likely to hear.

Summing up Sanders’ campaign message:

“We can live in a country:

Where every person has health care as a right, not a privilege;

Where every parent can have quality and affordable childcare and where all of our qualified young people, regardless of income, can go to college;

Where every senior can live in dignity and security, and not be forced to choose between their medicine or their food;

Where every veteran who defends this nation gets the quality health care and benefits they have earned and receives the respect they deserve;

Where every person, no matter their race, their religion, their disability or their sexual orientation realizes the full promise of equality that is our birthright as Americans.

That is the nation we can build together, and I ask you to join me in this campaign to build a future that works for all of us, and not just the few on top.

Thank you, and on this beautiful day on the shore of Lake Champlain, I welcome you aboard.”

So what are his chances?

The American public feel their politicians no longer represent their interests but are held captive by powerful factions, unions, lobbyists and vested interests. They know they’re disenfranchised from the decision-making process, resulting in less than 55 per cent voter turnout in presidential elections. But that could all change with someone in the White House who would finally represent their interests. As Sanders says:

“what we need to do create a momentum so 70-90% and when that happens, we win hands down”.

IA thanks you, Bernie, for an insight into what a real politician with real values should look and sound like. If there is a God of Elections, you truly deserve to win “hands-down”. Would-be PMs in Australia, please take note.

Here’s Bernie’s full campaign launch speech. Take the time to listen to it.

 
 

You can follow Sandi on Twitter @Jarrapin.

An open question to all politicians – Written by SOCIAL REBIRTH -THE AIM NETWORK

By Social Rebirth

This is an open question to any leader, treasurer or candidate of any political party in the world.

Our planet is finite, has bounds or limits in regards to the temporal spans of the human experience, being corroborated by measurements of biocapacity, the ability of an area to produce resources and absorb waste.

We are currently in ecological overshoot, the amount of resources we consume annually and the waste we produce is exceeding biocapacity by about fifty percent. Our ecological footprint is one hundred fifty percent that of the biocapacity of our planet.

Global consumption patterns which drive the capitalist economic model, the dominant economy on our planet, generating vast financial wealth to a steadily decreasing amount of our human population, are destroying planetary ecosystems, impacting directly on biodiversity.

As a species we have removed half of the forests that once covered our planet and are currently eliminating about eighteen million acres, an area near the size of Panama, annually. The key drivers are urbanisation, timber for construction, fuel and agriculture.

Climate change, pollution, agriculture and expanding industrialisation are producing extreme levels of water scarcity throughout our planet. Over one billion people lack access to water, more than two and a half billion people experience water scarcity for one month of every year.

Overfishing has fully exploited fifty three percent of the world’s fisheries, without change to practices all stocks of species fished for food are expected to collapse by 2048.

Our continual pumping of carbon into the atmosphere is altering global climatic patterns, resulting in increased instances of drought and flooding; engendering rapid glacial melt, sea levels to rise and acidification of the oceans, damaging corals, shellfish and the web of life.

These symptoms are a result of our consumption trends, which politicians such as yourselves continue not only to promote but express as being necessary. Following in the footsteps of people like Victor Lebow, whom so succinctly expressed in 1955:

“Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfactions, our ego satisfactions, in consumption. The measure of social status, of social acceptance, of prestige, is now to be found in our consumptive patterns. The very meaning and significance of our lives today expressed in consumptive terms. The greater the pressures upon the individual to conform to safe and accepted social standards, the more does he tend to express his aspirations and his individuality in terms of what he wears, drives, eats- his home, his car, his pattern of food serving, his hobbies.These commodities and services must be offered to the consumer with a special urgency. We require not only ‘forced draft’ consumption, but ‘expensive’ consumption as well.” (Journal of Retailing – Spring 1955).

Your continued denial of reality, or predisposition to pander to the corporate elite, your reluctance to dare to question the fundamental rules which have governed society for millennia, is working only to secure the position of the status quo. In light of our exponentially increasing commercially generated wants and rapidly decreasing resource availability, this status quo is now posing an existential threat.

This denial of reality has become endemic amongst career politicians and is a disservice to the clear majority of the voting public, who are continually left in a position of disadvantage and are the ones picking up the tab whenever there is a crisis of finance.

People don’t vote for you because they agree with everything you stand for; they vote for you because with the limited choice offered to them, you represent the option with which they most closely identify. As such, an election win should not be misconstrued as a popular mandate for the entirety of party policy. It should be seen for what it is, an opportunity to represent the people. This means finding out what concerns the people have and bringing those concerns to bear front and centre in the political arena. People are drawing the connections between our economies and environmental and social decline, however of those people, none appear to be politicians. This issue does not make it into the mainstream media, which helps to entrench the idea that questioning this aspect of social organisation is beyond the pale.

Our understandings of the natural world have continued to expand over the past sixty years and can no longer be ignored or eclipsed by something as rudimentary as financial economics. Our technological advancements are reducing employment opportunities, widening the gap between the rich and the poor. The ongoing production of cheap substandard products is creating increasing levels of waste and driving up the use of our planet’s finite resources.

When ecosystems collapse, when the biosphere is taken beyond its ability to support complex life, we all suffer.

Understanding this, how will you/your party change the system of economics to come into line with the carrying capacity of our planet and secure a sustainable future for generations to come?

Bearing in mind that “sustainable growth”, like “military intelligence”, is an oxymoron, as once again we are already experiencing ecological overshoot; the last thing we need is further growth as it would be unsustainable.

Looking forward to you response.

Concerned Citizens of Earth.

References:

Tracking the ecological overshoot of the human economy. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12089326

Global ecological overshoot cause rapid species loss http://www.swedesd.se/news-frontpage/item/402-the-living-planet-report-2014-global-ecological-overshoot-cause-rapid-species-loss

Causes of Deforestation http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Deforestation/deforestation_update3.php

Deforestation http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/deforestation/

Water Scarcity http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/scarcity.shtml

Water & Poverty, An Issue of Life & Livelihoods http://www.fao.org/nr/water/issues/scarcity.html

Overfishing http://www.marineconservation.org.au/pages/overfishing.html

Overfishing: a threat to marine biodiversity http://www.un.org/events/tenstories/06/story.asp?storyID=800

The science of climate change: Questions and answers https://www.science.org.au/climatechange

Climate change: How do we know? http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

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