A Dangerous time for Labour

Bill Shorten has had a dream run. He and Labour have done an excellent job at doing nothing and letting Abbott self-destruct. In this role Shorten has proved himself to be an expert, but whether this is by design to take maximum advantage of Abbott’s death wish or natural talent coming to the fore is, at this stage, unknown.

After Tuesday, no matter what the outcome of the LNP (maybe) leadership spill Bill Shorten and the Labour party will have to start doing things. Things like developing policies that work and the people of Australia want. After a year and a bit of semi-silence from Labour the Australian people will want to know what the alternative to extreme right politics is.

Abbott needs to be Labour’s example of what not to do. I hope and expect that the Australian people have gone past voting for the junkyard dog because of it’s ability to destroy a government. Abbott may have shown that he can smash and destroy, and gain power through lies and half-truths but the junkyard dog was never going to convert to a warm fuzzy family friendly pet.

Labour needs to learn the lesson from this and understand that there is politics, and there is good government, but the two do not mix. Rudd and Abbott were both politically vicious and ruthless but never had what it took to govern for the people. The time is here for Labour to stop the politics and construct future policies for this country in unison with the people and for the people.

Good governance is not coming up with smart ideas and telling the people that is what must be done. Good governance is about listening to the people who elected them, (and those that didn’t), and finding the path that leads to fulfilling the peoples wants and needs in a sustainable manner. These wants and needs are not confined to self interest and personal gain but also who we want to be as a nation. Gross National Product is a very poor indicator of the health of a nation.

There are many people in Australia who deplore the Australian concentration camps at Manus Island and other places. No healthy country incarcerates a minority people without any charges being laid and leave them with no legal or human rights, or any hope of freedom. Presenting the slow murder of the soul as being the only alternative to dying at sea is a political expediency of the most vicious and cynical kind. There may be those who object to the term Concentration Camp but that is what Manus Island and the other ‘Offshore Processing Facilities’ are. Bill Shorten, please have the backbone to say out loud that Rudd led Labour along a path to hell when he reintroduced Howard’s inhumane policies. Bill Shorten, Rudd made a mistake and you need to fix it.

Rudd also totally messed up over climate change. Abbott’s ‘colourless odourless gas’ is destroying our habitat. One lesson that the human race is that when a species habitat is destroyed the species dies. We have caused the extinction of many species by destroying their habitat and the least we should have learned is that not combating global warming could have dire consequences for our future existence. There are those that seem to think that the human race, and Australians in particular have a divine presence that is not subject to nature, but they are mistaken. Australia as a land mass that is extremely vulnerable to climate change and we as a people may have to make radical changes to our life style and expectation for our future if we do not start making massive changes now to our attitude about climate change. It is probably too late to avoid the results of climate change but whether this means a bit of fender bending or being dead on arrival depends entirely on our nation being willing and able to act now to avoid the worst of outcomes.

If Labour does not address the real issues of past decisions and change the direction of many of its past policies someone like Malcolm Turnball or Julie Bishop will tear them apart at the next election. They might get lucky and have Scott Morrison continue the downward spiral of the far right into oblivion started but Abbott but it would be a mistake to rely on dumb luck to get Labour through the next eighteen months.

It is time for Labour to stop playing politics, admit past errors and develop clear and inclusive policies for the future well being of both the individual and the country. The big question is ‘are Bill Shorten and the Labour Party up to it?’

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Morrison must go

In Modern society there is the concept of shared responsibility. Not only must the person committing an illegal or immoral act be held to account but also those who caused the act to happen must also be held to account. There is growing evidence that Reza Berati was murdered at Manus Island, either by a security guard or by someone the guards let into the facility. Morrison tried to say that the murder occurred outside the compound and outside his jurisdiction. Not only that but Morrison tried to blame Reza Berati for his own murder by saying he had placed himself in danger. There could not have been anything more disgusting than Morrison’s performance blaming Reza Berati for being outside the compound when the truth is that he was inside under Morrison’s care and protection.

If Morrison had immediately started an enquiry based on finding the truth rather than covering up the circumstances of Reza Berati’s death there could have been a case for Morrison keeping his job, but that did not happen. Instead Morrison went straight into cover-up mode the way the whole of the Abbott government goes into cover-up anytime they act in an unacceptable manner. By attempting to a cover-up Morrison became as guilty of murder as the person whole stomped on Reza Berati’s head. Morrison’s resignation is probably the best that can happen for now but I hope that some time in the future Morrison receives the full sanctions available under the law for his actions.

Does Manus Island equal crimes against humanity?

Morrison’s “We do not comment on operational matters” is code for “some bastard is doing something we don’t want you to know about.” Morrison will claim it is the people smuggles that he does want to know what is happening, but that is not true. Morrison does not want the Australian public to know what is happening. The reports coming out of the Manus Island detention centre raises many questions about the treatment of asylum seekers in the care of Australia. It would be unfair to suggest that the reports are all true in total or part, but the lack of transparency and lack of information from the Australian government does suggest that there is a major cover-up taking place.

Did the asylum seekers who broke out of the detention centre do so in order to escape marauding PNG police that were allowed into the centre by the Australian guards? Were the injuries sustained by the asylum seekers a result of attacks by PNG authorities and/or Australian guards rather than the result of authorities defending themselves? What were the circumstances that resulted in the death of the deceased Iranian detainee? Do Australia’s actions at Manus island equal, as many overseas sources including China suggest, constitute civil rights abuses?

It is the duty of everyone who wants to know what is really happening at Manus Island to speak up and demand to be told. Anyone sees what is happening and does or says nothing is as guilty of any atrocities that are taking place in our name as those who are perpetrating those atrocities. I cannot say that any atrocities are taking place, I can say that Morrison and the Abbot government are taking extraordinary steps to make certain that the Australian public does not find out. Does Manus Island equal crimes against humanity? I have no idea, but I can say Morrison is making certain that it is impossible for the Australian pubic to find out. That alone makes me think that overseas sources know more that the Australian public about the true conditions on Manus Island, and overseas sources suggest that the Australian government has many questions that need answering in full now.

Navy Intrusions. What a load of Rubbish.

The report saying intrusions into Indonesian waters by our Navy was because of navy personnel not calculating correctly is the most ridiculous heap of garbage that this government has expected the Australian public to swallow. Is our navy so backward that they still use sextants? Do they not have GPS and Radar? Short of a complete systems failure it is impossible for an inadvertently enter Indonesian waters. Maybe if it was once I might allowed that there was a slim chance, but six times? Total rubbish.

Morrison is saying that the ships went to sea without any knowledge of where the Indonesian territorial waters begin. I am watching Morrison talking on the ABC as I write and he is has a straight face as he tries to feed us this bullshit.

What is particularly galling for me is that the Navy is unable to tell us what really happened. What Morrison is saying on the ABC is an insult to our Navy. When they crossed into Indonesian waters it could have only been because they were told too, but now they are to remain silent while their professional reputations are trashed.

This person Morrison would be a joke if he were not doing so much damage to Australia at home and overseas.

Mr Turnbull, to transform an economy you must know where you want to go.

Malcolm Turnbull’s performance on Q and A last night highlighted that the Abbott government has no idea what it is doing. His only answer to widespread job losses was to repeat over and over that it was part of some sort of transformation.

In a transformation there is a movement from one pace to another. We know where we are moving from, a strong economy with a triple A+ credit rating and increasing social justice, but where are we going too?

Please Mr. Abbott, Turnbull, Hockey, Morrison, Payne and the rest, can you tell us about the glorious new vision that awaits us? Where is this glorious new land? I know what we are leaving behind but where are you taking us? What can you promise the Ford, Holden, Toyota and SPC workers you have liberated from the drudgery of daily work? All I can see in front of Australia is a big black hole that is sucking us in and our only hope is the promise that we will somehow be spat out the other side into a parallel universe where everything is perfect.

Mr Turnbull did give us one slight glimpse of the future. It would somehow run on superior technology and information. Didn’t sound convincing to me. How can Turnbull talk of this technological wonderland in front of us when he is in the process of completely stuffing up the NBN? I was left with the sinking feeling that Turnbull, in spite of his reputation of having a brain as big as a universe, does not have the slightest idea what he is doing. Does the Abbott government have any understanding of where we are, where we or going or how we will get there? Sounds like a train wreck in the process of happening to me.

No need for enquiry? Morrison does not get it.

I hope that claimed abuses by Australian Navy personnel of refugees attempting to enter Australia are groundless. They probably are groundless, but what Morrison/Abbott and the rest fail to understand is that if what is happening to refugees is kept secret these types of claims will happen over and over. Secrecy is always the breading ground of conspiracy theories and false claims.

The sort of claims the Abbott government is now fending off is a natural result of the Abbott government’s failure to communicate. The Abbott government does not seem to get that MSM is no longer the only way people get information and information can no-longer be controlled. If some of that information is incorrect/misinformed and plain fiction keeping the truth secret only gives misinformation traction. It is a natural progression that if Morrison/Abbott do not tell us what is happening they must be lying bastards. Considering the information given, or rather not given this is the most believable option available.

Breaking News. Australian aid for boat people.

Tony Abbott has introduced an overseas aid policy that will allow Indonesian fisherman to update their battered and leaking boats. The scheme is simple. The Australian Navy waits on the edge of our territorial waters with a supply of new boats. All the Indonesian fishermen have to do to collect their new boat is to sail to where the boats are waiting and the Navy exchanges new for old.

When the exchange has been completed there is a short ceremony that finishes with a ten gun military salute using live ammunition and the Indonesian fishermen sail back to Indonesia as fast as they can.

The Indonesian Government is reported to be so surprised by the generosity of the Australian government that it has been struck silent, but inside sources say a letter of thanks is being formulated as I write. A first draft became water damaged whilst being smuggled out by a fishermen coming to collect his new boat. So far the bits that can be translated read.

“mr f Abbo.. Wh…th.. f.c. do  y….. pig.y e..d  f.cked wit… .orr.ble N..is Gov…ment t..nk Th.y are pl..ing at. If w. cat.. t..t wa.cker S.ott Mor…on w. .ill string h.. up .. … balls .. if .. cat.. Ju.ia .ishop s.e .ill be plant.. in . rain fo..est .ith a ba.boo ..ick up h.r arse.

The remainder is undecipherable but we understand the Indonesian Government is highly animated and are still performing an ancient ritual dance not seen since the Japanese made a surprise visit from the north.

In a surprising act of modesty the Australian Government has not chosen to publicise this generous and noble policy.

Who tells me what I am supposed to know?

Absolutely essential to democracy is that information is fully and freely available and the freedom to decide for oneself. This essential ingredient of democracy is missing in Australia. I am being told, (or not told) by Scott Morrison what I am supposed to know. Not being told is in many ways worse than being lied to. At least with a lie there is the chance of discovering the truth, but with censorship there isn’t even the hint of what I am not being told. Morrison, what are you hiding?

What is the Australian Navy up to? What exactly is Operation Sovereign Borders? Why are Australian military forces being used in what is a civilian situation? Do we have a military force trying to invade us from the sea? Is there any suggestion that this is an armed invasion? Why does the Navy need to buy lifeboats? What is it that Morrison is doing that is secret and hidden behind the euphemism ‘operational matters?’ What is it about the ‘operation’ that has to be kept from the Australian Public? What disgusting things are you doing in our name?

I do not expect Scott Morrison to answer these questions. That would be too close to democracy for the Abbott government to understand.

Australia. The place where people disappear.

Does anyone know how many refugees have arrived by boat since September? Does anyone know their names? Does anyone know where they are? No. They no longer exist in any traceable form. They have disappeared. Australia is now a black hole where refugees can disappear without trace.

What surprises me is how easily Australians have accepted that refugees disappear without trace and have accepted that we have a government that will decide what it will and will not tell us without being held to account. Australians have the cricket, the tennis, BBQs at the weekend and what we don’t know will not harm us. Wrong. If we do not act when people disappear who will act when we disappear. So these are only a few refugees fleeing some war or repression a long way off. Nothing to do with us; who cares if they rot forever in some concentration camp in some distant land?

This is how it begins. History tells us this how it always begins. First a small minority is vilified. Then they begin disappearing. Then the circle of vilification gets bigger and the net gets wider and more people disappear.

Many of the refugees reaching our shores are minorities who belong to groups who ‘disappear’ in the countries they are fleeing. They arrive in Australian waters and the Australian Navy rounds them up and they disappear more completely than if they stayed at home. Does it not worry Australians the we are holding refugees incognito without any records that can be traced by legal representatives and for all we no have no record anywhere of them arriving? How many are there? Who are they? Were are they from? Are they being held in indefinite detention with access to any representation?

Mr Morrison had better remember that being a refugee is unfortunate but not illegal. It is the right of refugees to seek help and shelter wherever and whenever they can find it. The policy of making the result of refugees seeking help from Australia worse than the evil they are fleeing is the most abhorrent that could be invented.  Mr Morrison, when you are held to account please don’t say you were just following orders.

Silent government now invisible government.

Scott Morrison will now replace weekly briefings with written statements. Just how gutless can a government minister be? This is typical of the Murdoch/Abbott dictatorship, and this is the actions of a dictatorship. How else can you describe a government that does what it likes behind closed doors and acts as if it has no accountability to the people of Australia?

I had many misgivings when Abbott was elected but I never dreamed it could be as bad as this. In four months the government of Australia has gone from a battered democracy to a Nazis government who sometimes releases statements based on keeping the bogans happy rather than truth. I cannot believe a word that this government says.

Fortunately opponents to Nazism have a tool that the German people in 1930 did not have, social media, and as long as we can keep the Internet out of hands of Rupert Goebbels democracy will win out in the end. It is unfortunate that democracy in Australia may depend on WordPress and Twitter.

This government must fall if Australia is to return to democracy and social media has become the only way of getting the message out. Your blogs and Tweet become more important as each day passes.