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31
May

A Failure of Moral Leadership

Each of the recommendations that have been made in Robert Cornall’s review begs the questions: Why is it there? Why has it not been shut down? Why do we have offshore processing?

The Australian Independent Media Network

riotThe recent review into the events on 16th-18th February at the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre that led to the death of 23 year old Iranian Asylum seeker, Reza Barati, raises several questions about the responsibilities incumbent upon the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and its minister, Scott Morrison.

But, more importantly, it also raises questions of political leadership generally.

Commissioned as it was by the Department, the report has been criticised as short on detail and containing little that had not been reported already by New Matilda, the ABC, the Guardian and Fairfax. According to Max Chalmers of New Matilda, the report by former Robert Cornall is a farce.

Despite acknowledging serious deficiencies in the treatment of detainees including the overcrowded conditions, failure to process claims and failing to give adequate answers to questions raised by detainees as to their future, the report offers little by way of…

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28
May

Is Abbott a Christian or just a Catholic?

The Catholic Church teaches Christianity but it does not practice it. Most of its priests, brothers and lay workers devote their lives to the Christian message but they are ruled by a bureaucracy that conveniently ignores it in favour of furthering its own wealth and influence.

The Australian Independent Media Network

photo 1The article on the AIMN by Sean Stinson, May 25th entitled, “CATHOLIC SCHOOLBOYS RULE” was so well presented, I thought it deserved a follow up article to further articulate its message. Twistie 1, who was one of several who joined in the discussion captured the mood best for me when he wrote, “I have little doubt that Abbott is a psychopath who is incapable of empathy. He uses religion as a facade against his inherent wickedness. He is not the first, and will undoubtedly not be the last, to do so.”

As one who endured the cruelty of Catholic Church teaching in the 1950/60s, it doesn’t surprise me that so many like me still carry the psychological baggage Catholic teaching generated about Hell and Purgatory. It wasn’t until my late forties that I began to see through the facade of Catholic teaching and its inherent evil. I think I…

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25
May

Let’s be absolutely crystal clear about this.

Aside from wishing that the Prime Minister of Australia had a more visionary or engaging opening line, it is a bald faced lie and that isn’t a good way to convince people to trust you.

The Australian Independent Media Network

abbott hockey cormannIf you click on the official Prime Minister of Australia government page the first thing you will read is

“Over six years, Labor ran up a $667 billion debt on the nation’s credit card.”

Aside from wishing that the Prime Minister of Australia had a more visionary or engaging opening line, it is a bald faced lie and that isn’t a good way to convince people to trust you.

You will be subjected to a rolling slide show of Tony, Joe and Matthias, photographed in various serious looking poses.  Is anyone else getting sick of these photos of Tony sitting at tables with people surrounded by lots of booklets and oversize graphs?  Is that supposed to convince me that he knows what he is doing?  Because he has his photo taking wearing a white lab coat trying to look into a microscope am I to say oh well the $7…

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20
May

The Budget: All cruelty springs from weakness

Pensioners also stand to lose extras such as free car registration, and reductions in rates, water and electricity. These concessions were made available to the people in the community who were recognised as vulnerable and needing assistance by governments unlike this one, governments who were capable of making such acknowledgements.

The Australian Independent Media Network

‘This budget is devastating for the vulnerable, and pays no mind to their survival’ writes Jennifer Wilson. It says much about the character of this government.

It can’t be denied any longer, conservatives really do believe they have no responsibility to the vulnerable, and it is perfectly acceptable to the Abbott government that those who can least afford it endure the most harsh of fincruelty-springs-from-weaknessancial limitations.

This piece in the Sydney Morning Herald reveals that while high income couples stand to lose scarcely at all, families on benefits may lose up to 10% of their income. Known as “Detailed family outcomes,” this information was withheld from the budget, contrary to custom, by Joe Hockey, obviously because it reveals the Abbott government lie that everyone will be doing their fair share of the heavy lifting allegedly required to get the budget back on track.

Abbott also stated in…

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19
May

Post Budget Reflections

It remains to be seen if the government’s blatant abuse of its election promises will impact against it in the same way Julia Gillard’s perceived broken promise did with a carbon tax. It will largely depend on the Senate. The so-called ‘horse trading’ Abbott has hinted at, will determine what items get passed and what don’t.

The Australian Independent Media Network

Budget 2 I suspect that well before Joe Hockey brought down his government’s first budget there was an air of resignation among certain Coalition MP’s that their seat in Parliament was at serious risk; albeit just eight months after winning office. If those in the most marginal electorates had their concerns before this, the budget has cemented those concerns for at least a dozen or so. I cannot recall a government losing favour with the people so soon. But when one analyses the budget and juxtapositions its content with conservative ideology, it isn’t hard to see how that ideology dominates the overall detail.

What struck me about Joe Hockey’s budget speech was the absence of the human element. He didn’t seem to understand that he was speaking to millions of people who would suffer as a consequence of his decisions. He didn’t seem to be aware that this same audience were also…

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13
May

Democracy Usurped

How do we reinvent democracy? How do we wind it back to the way it was practiced in the past, when the voice of the people determined the future direction of the country.

The Australian Independent Media Network

Democracy 1 I have said it before but it deserves repeating. Democracy is not failing us; it is we who fail democracy when we fail to actively engage with it. Democracy, as we practice it today, has lost its essential direction and has been usurped by divisive, vitriolic, jingoistic spin. Democracy today is no longer government of, by and for the people. It is government of the most influential, the loudest shock jock, the focus group, the public relations consultant and whoever else is able to exercise their lust for power. This dysfunctional gathering ignores concern for national unity and prosperity. The voice of the special interest group has come to dominate the present model. Debate, divide and conquer is the aim and its tactic is to fragment the collective energy of the nation, split it down the middle, weaken its resolve and make it easier for vested interests to have their…

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5
May

Bluff, Bluster and Bulldust

So determined were they to paint a picture of impending doom that they have frightened themselves. A back room revolt is brewing. The troops are in disarray.

The Australian Independent Media Network

HowardWhat a load of codswallop. How stupid do they take us for? Many would not have noticed but this government has begun its term of office reading directly from the Book of Howard. So deprived of ideas, of savvy, of intellectual nous, of vision and pretty much everything else that constitutes leadership, they (mostly Abbott and Hockey) simply copy from the tactics of bluff, bluster and bull-dust employed by the Howard government in 1996.

They do this to condition the electorate to the pain that is coming and to blame the previous government for putting them (us) there. They blatantly cloud the already heavily polluted atmosphere of political skulduggery by casting doubt, fear and uncertainty across the landscape. They want us to accept the conservative government philosophy of favouring the well-off by dressing it up as repairs essential to our future and presenting themselves as our economic saviours. They do…

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