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Andrews' July end fools joke

Speech by The Hon Kevin Andrews MP, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Address to the Sydney Institute, 31 July, 2007

Citizenship – committing to a way of life

May I begin by putting the initiatives the Government is taking on citizenship in a broader context? There is a tendency to think about each challenge we face in this area in isolation. However, from my point of view there are inter-related threads and common objectives, regardless of whether we are talking about our economic progress, border security, labour shortages, international education or the increasing number of countries from which people emigrate to Australia.

These issues reflect a fundamentally different global dynamic which has emerged over the last twenty years.

The era of ideology that crumbled with the Berlin wall has not been replaced with nothing. In this new era, identity — whether race, religion or nation — is what divides. It also can be what unites us. I shall return to this issue later.

There have been other developments also. Travel became easier and with that the number of economic migrants and political refugees has increased dramatically.

The economic migrants are taking advantage of a third factor. The impact of a thirty-year decline in the birth rate in Western countries is finally being felt.

As a consequence, the ageing of the population and increasing international competition, not just for goods and services, but also for workers, means that immigration will remain a critical tenet of our national prosperity.

Finally, changes in culture and identity, or, at the least, perceptions of changes in culture and identity, are driving some in Western countries to seek new pastures.

It is important that we get our responses to these challenges right. The contribution that migrants have made to Australia extends well beyond pizzas, kebabs and spring rolls. It is hard to imagine, for example, how one of our iconic post-War projects, the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme could have come to fruition without the contribution of migrants. It is equally hard to imagine how our nation will continue to prosper without adequate levels of immigration.

Migration has been a great success story despite the fact that  there always has been a section of the community who have been nervous about the potential for migration to impact detrimentally on them.

One reason for this success is that our migration programmes have been balanced, taking into account this sensitivity. Another is that successive waves of migrants have integrated successfully into the community.

We need to bear these lessons in mind as we face a future in which our need for migrants is as great as it ever has been.

It is against this background that the Government has decided to introduce a citizenship test and a values statement for people applying for permanent residency visas.  

The central principle behind such a test and statement is to ensure that those people who wish to become an Australian citizen do so by way of demonstrating a level of understanding and commitment to Australia and our way of life.

This way of life is influenced by a history that includes the Judeo Christian beliefs and traditions brought by the British settlers.  Also present were the values and institutions that form the basis of a free and open democratic society, particularly our British political heritage, and the spirit of the European Enlightenment.

The principles upon which our success as a nation have been built remain critical to this very day.  These include the rule of law, religious freedom, parliamentary democracy and equality among men and women.

Not only are these values and principles unexceptional in the West, but they also have been the foundation of our stability and cohesion and our social and economic development.

The Australian way of life is therefore something to be rightly proud of and it is a shining example of what is good about western liberal democracies.

Not all values are equal. As Francis Fukuyama has observed:


The civilisation of the European Enlightenment, of which contemporary liberal democracy is the heir, cannot be culturally neutral, since liberal societies have their own values regarding the equal worth and dignity of individuals.

As a staunch admirer and defender of our heritage, I also am reminded of the words of Ronald Reagan who remarked that:


I’ve often wondered about the shyness of some of us in the west about standing for these ideals that have done so much to ease the plight of man and the hardships of an imperfect world.

Our Australian way of life is also about having a confidence in our future as a nation and committing to its ongoing stability and success.

Never has there been a more prescient time for Australia, as one of the world’s most stable democracies, to protect and secure its future by redoubling its commitment to the traditions, values and institutions that have made this nation what it is today.

This is especially so when, as I said earlier, we are now welcoming migrants who have not been exposed to these values and heritage, who may not have experienced them in their past and who may not have thought about how intrinsic they are to the Australian way of life they seek to enjoy.

These civic values are fundamental to the successful existence of a liberal democracy and we should never forget that they are principles to be cherished and protected.

As Dwight D Eisenhower said, “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both”.

A citizenship test that is about our values, beliefs, culture and history should not be seen as precluding some migrants from becoming citizens.  In fact, it is to the contrary, a citizenship test is specifically about being inclusive.

To ensure that this is so, some people will not be required to sit the citizenship test.  They include people under the age of 18 or over 60 and those with a permanent physical or mental incapacity.

Likewise, a new values statement requires people seeking permanent and selected temporary visas where there is potential for long term stay, to commit to abiding by Australian laws and respecting the Australian way of life.

It is a commitment to a way of life that is in many ways unique, that includes an embrace and tolerance of people from a multitude of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.  That is one of the key strengths of the Australian way of life.

In defending western culture, we should be unapologetic in requiring migrants to make a commitment to our way of life.  This should include having a knowledge and appreciation of the events that have shaped this country and the values and institutions that have been established as a result.

Our national identity is about our history, our symbols, our values and the story we tell ourselves about Australia.

It is also about fostering a nation of people who, although they may not share a common background, are united in having a common purpose. The current debate is not unique to Australia.  The United Kingdom is also grappling with similar issues.  Recently the UK Minister for Immigration, Liam Byrne, delivered a paper on the next steps for citizenship to the Fabian Society entitled a ‘Common Place’.

The paper canvasses the possible introduction of a points system for citizenship, where those aspiring to settle in the UK and then go on to become full citizens would need to accrue credits before being allowed to do so.

This idea is referred to as ‘earned citizenship’, where extra points credits can accrue for behaviour which shows commitment to the UK.  For example, undertaking civic and voluntary work that enriches communities.  Likewise, points could be deducted for failure to be a law abiding citizen.

As Liam Byrne observes, ‘Citizenship works where everyone understands the contribution they’re expected to make.  It is part of a deal, working together with a common purpose’.

In addition to the debate in the UK, Holland is also developing what has been described as a charter for responsible citizenship which sets out expectations of newcomers to the country.

The French also have what is called an ‘integration contract’, requiring newcomers to spend a day learning about French civics, culture, political institutions and language. The certificate awarded upon successful completion of these classes entitles the immigrant to a 10-year residence permit.  If the migrant fails to earn the certificate, he or she will receive only a one-year residence permit.

Germany also has introduced new integration measures and greater requirements for citizenship

At the heart of these measures is a rejection of the post-modern myth that the only national identity is no identity.

It is possible to identify values which are important in modern Australia and help form our natural identity. They include:

    * respect for the equal worth, dignity and freedom of the individual
    * freedom of speech
    * freedom of religion and secular government
    * freedom of association
    * support for parliamentary democracy and the rule of law
    * equality under the law
    * equality of men and women
    * equality of opportunity
    * peacefulness
    * tolerance, mutual respect and compassion for those in need.

The articulation of these values lies at the heart of the citizenship test that I anticipate will be introduced in September.

In addition, in the future we will be asking applicants for permanent visas and provisional visas which lead to permanent visas to sign a statement that they will respect these values and to obey Australian laws before being granted a visa.

As well as producing a resource book for prospective citizens, the Government also is producing a booklet designed to inform visa applicants about Australian history, culture and social structures before they sign the new values statement on their visa application form will be distributed to visa applicants.  It will be available in about 29 different languages.

Ladies and gentlemen I spoke earlier about the success of the Australian immigration story and the importance of successful integration to that outcome.

Last November this statement was published in The Australian:


There has been a retreat from interviewing toughly and with good judgement those from overseas who apply to come here, but we must choose only those who are assessed as likely to integrate well.  Furthermore, we have retreated from sending home more readily those who do not make the grade before being given permanent residence.  They and we would be better off if that tougher approach was reinstated.

Those are not the words an anti immigration proponent; on the contrary they are the comments of Chris Hurford, former Minister for Immigration in the Hawke Labor Government.

The issue of integration and the emphasis and requirement placed on migrants to demonstrate such willingness and capacity is nothing new.

However, we cannot assume that the capacity of all of our potential migrants to integrate successfully is the same as their predecessors.

Because of the importance of migration to Australia, the Government believes it is important that migration continues to be the success story it has been until now.

Consequently, in addition to the citizenship test and values statement, the Government has decided to put greater emphasis on the capacity of potential migrants to integrate into our community.

The Migration Regulations already make provision for assessing the capacity of visa applicants to settle in Australia.

I have decided that greater emphasis should be placed on this criterion in assessing applications for permanent visas or provisional visas which lead to permanent residence.

The intention of this provision to ensure that applicants:

    * have the ability to cope with the problems associated with settlement in a new environment,
    * have the capacity to integrate into Australian society, and
    * in the case of a family unit, are supportive, cohesive and united in their desire to settle in Australia.

Partner and child visa classes and those temporary skilled worker visa holders will be exempt

Factors taken into account in making an assessment include an applicant’s adaptability and resourcefulness, their knowledge of Australia and their expectations about living in Australia, their attitude towards learning English and their English language skills.

Those visa applicants who are currently interviewed, such as applicants for humanitarian visas also will be assessed during the interview against the integration criterion.

As I have indicated already, applicants for permanent visas and provisional visa which lead to permanent visas such as business skill visas will be required to sign a values statement from October.  This statement will require the applicant to say that they understand the values, undertake to respect them and that they will obey the law.

This policy will be implemented as soon as the relevant Department officers both in Australia and overseas have received appropriate training. I expect this to occur from February next year.

I turn now to the importance of migrants attaining some proficiency in English.

It is unfortunate that some of the recent debate over the proposed citizenship test has focused on the claim that it will be about English proficiency.  This is incorrect.

The test will actually encompass questions covering a range of topics, relating to both historical and contemporary issues.  The test will of course require the demonstration of English comprehension in answering the questions.

However, this is not new. It has been necessary since the 1950s for potential citizens to demonstrate a basic or adequate knowledge of English.

Nevertheless, I believe the ability to speak English is important. It is essential if people are to participate fully community life and if they are to make the most of the opportunities that Australia offers.

That is why the Government has increased the English knowledge requirements of students who study in Australia and wish to become permanent residents. It also is why the Government is increasing the English knowledge requirements of 457 visa holders.

This is not to say that people should discard their native language. However, it is undeniable that proficiency in the use of English is important for anybody who wants to participate in the life of this country.

Before concluding may I touch on the issue of security which has come to the fore in recent years.

The Australian Government unashamedly has a tough policy against people smugglers.  Such activity is both criminal and repugnant.  To maintain the integrity of our migration programme and our border security, we have to be ever vigilant in preventing and deterring such activity.

Ladies and gentlemen, to once again quote the words of the UK Immigration Minister:


We must develop a meaningful sense of what we all – whatever faith, ethnicity and wherever we are from – hold in common.  We need a stronger sense of why we live in a common place and have a shared future.

Our immigration programme remains robust and for the reasons already outlined, it is important that this does not change for in the foreseeable future.  However, we must ensure that the programme does not undermine a cohesive and integrated society.

Our western liberal democracy and the values, beliefs and traditions that have made this country great and worth standing up for and they are worth preserving.  For this reason, I believe Australians are supportive of a citizenship test and the requirement for migrants to demonstrate a capacity and willingness to integrate into the Australian way of life.

It is not unreasonable to expect that people who come to this country have a level of understanding and commitment to Australia.

Equally it is important that we remain in control of what we are doing. That is why we must be demonstrably committed to maintaining the integrity of our borders and our migration programme and why our vigilance must extend from people smuggling to abuses of 457s and student visas.

The integrity and continued success of our immigration programme is dependant on the support of the Australian people.

They must be confident that immigration benefits Australia as a nation and that it in no way undermines our way of life, be it in a social, economic or security sense.  Rather, it should be reinforcing those values and principles on which the success of Australia has been built and which help to make Australia the best place in the world in which to live.
Rising to the challenges which I have outlined is central to our future success and critical to our ensuring the peace, welfare and the happiness of the people of Australia.


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Andrews Must Resign Dot Com

A Get-Up style project set -up in Brisbane which Webdiary tech Nigel Sim has brought to attention.  Since the weekend 328 have sent resignation calls to Andrews' office in such a manner.

It's a good site.  Have a look here.


Mr. Howard has long been known to use wedge politics. Except now, those wedges are boomeranging back at him. He can no longer talk about interest rates, he has not been able to keep his perceived promise from the last election in relation to these. Apart from that, he is showering the nation with resources without any involvement from Treasury or the concerned Federal Departments.

With the Mersey Hospital the Coalition has taken a top down decision-making stance alienating many. No consultation occured with clinical staff: the Coalition just moved in. The State Government is flawed in many areas; however, with the issue of the Hospital they sought opinion widely. The decision-making by the Federal Government is very questionable in relation to this matter.

The AMA has advised the State Government  to not accept the $45 million deal if there are too many strings attached.

Senator Parry has been carpeted by the Prime Minister for indicating what he, Senator Parry, believes to be the truth. Senator Parry believes the move by the Prime Minister to be a huge mistake. Senators, I always understood, were meant to be looking after the rights of their States.

Good Morning Australia! Wake up call.

So the Howard "New Order" debt ridden false economy is being revealed for the con that it always was.

Will the Australian people, of all ages, realise that now?

Most conservative older Australians must have younger relatives.  Do they realise the trap that this government of depraved indifference has conned them into? And their children and their children's children?

The "Pinocchio" trap.

Using the desires, aspirations, and just plain wishes of decent people to entrap the mainly young into improving the profits of big business.

The objectives of the Howard "New Order" has been really obvious for a long time, since 1998 I believe.

This person from the wrong side of the tracks lived and worked in virtual obscurity, including his time in parliament, until he sold his soul to the corporations, like George W. Bush, and he and his hangers-on have never looked back.

Now, his policies of deregulating businesses and increasing the burden of laws on the people, is bringing the pigeons home to roost.

But the sufferers will be our people - the foreign corporations will soldier on with their massive profits that almost entirely leave Australia.

Perhaps by wishful thinking - IMHO the important matters which Howard has tried to hide by Mad-Hatter behaviour, could be created as a backlash by his corporation donors' advertising campaign against Australian workers.

Coming at a time when the Howard government's lies are more obvious than ever, the Murdoch media cons are being limited by the internet and reason.

The complete disdain for human rights and the taxpayer funds abuse, the millions of dollars for foreign corporation ads et al;  are becoming just another example of WHO controls our nation.

To maintain the corporations' legislative gift of slave labour (WorkChoices) and complete control of who and how our people shall or shall not be employed - is surely enough to make us puke.

Just ask yourselves, do you believe that the many thousands of Australians who have fought and died for the Australian way of life, did so to provide a white coolie workforce in the mines owned by foreign corporations?

That we believe the Howard/Hockey line that we should be grateful that these predators of our natural wealth would even consider giving us employment?  When Howard has provided the 457 visas for them?

The Howard "New Order" does NOT work for the people who elected them.  They work for the people whose power has kept them in office.

The foreign corporation anti-worker ads might just blow up in their faces.  I sincerely hope so.

There is not truth - in the Murdoch media.


Thank You Paul Walter.

G'day Paul, I was not aware that there are two Pearsons.

The one to which I was referring is Noel. He is the Government's Director of the Cape York Institute

Professor Dodson, the highly respected spokesman for the Aboriginal peoples, has indicated on radio that he is not very pleased with Noel's betrayal with, I believe, the Howard Government.

Certainly the performance of the invasion of Koorie settlements in the Northern Territory has nothing to do with child abuse.

The report of Aboriginal child abuse was created due to the NT Australian Labor Party and none of its recommendations are to be introduced by the "New Order".

The release of the report is being used by Howard as a catalyst to take-over the Koorie lands for uranium and nuclear waste, not only without paying them as compensation, but reducing their welfare payments as well.

But then you would know that, Paul.

Cheers, Ern G.

The noteworthiness

The noteworthiness of Devonport moves further into focus when one recognises the significance of Howard himself apparently encouraging Lennon to shut the thing down earlier.

What choice, if the Feds were again to refuse adequate funding to a state government (Y'know: "governance" and "policy": must have money instead for government "information" advertising, genocide against indigenes, Xmass island white elephants and tax cuts for the extreme rich... phew!!).

I almost feel sorry for Lennon. After all, on another notorious issue, Lennon wasn't solely responsible for the Regional Forestry Agreements policies either.

What a slag Howard is!

Ernest William, I see you have thoughtfully returned my salutations in the form of a possible referral to the "Three Persons of God" debate at the theological conference of Nicea, circa 250AD.

This was about the time the Neo-Platonic philosopher Hypatia, a lady acquainted with, and at one stage nurse to, a Roman emperor, was seized by a Christian mob in Alexandria on the direction of someone called Peter the Reader and slowly skun alive over days with sharp sea-shells by the inflamed mob. Of course, Christians were discovering the unspeakably sweet delights of slaughtering other Christians of other factions for the first time at roughly this time in history, as well.



A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

A very short 200 years in a timeless Dreaming has permanently damaged those who we really know little about, nor could we be bothered to learn. It is our loss.

But one would have to forgive the custodians of our (sic) land if they found parallels with the above term and their treatment is such a short period of time.

Learn the history and feel the pain, if you're game.

Justin (Pemulway) Obodie

A 'Fascist' is anyone who doesn't share your opinion

Ernest William asks:

So where do the Koorie (sic) people go for justice?

Federal Labor will support draft laws underpinning the federal takeover of Northern Territory Aboriginal communities, but will seek to make some amendments.

As I see it, Ernest, while a Fascist was once any political agent who supported centrist, statist, totalitarian policies focussed around the personality cult of an appointed 'Leader', today the term 'Fascist' has been reduced to meaninglessness by its facile overuse as a pejorative epithet by uneducated rabble rousers.

This has also allowed the focus of the term to shift from actual Fascists like Fidel Castro, long a practical supporter of General Franco's regime.

What's your definition?

Do the people realise what fascism is?

While I believe that Howard's recent behaviour has been mad and panicky the methods are not that far removed from the extreme shock and awe tactics which regularly pop up during his almost twelve years of stealth to introduce a fascist dictatorship.

His most consistent fascist acts are well covered by the 14 characteristics researched by the American scholar Lawrence Britt:

Article 2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights. Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need". The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners etc. End of quote.

Australians should not only be outraged by the Howard "New Order's" behaviour facing an election but, should never ever forget the acts they have committed against our human rights in the area of un-mandated legislation. Absolute abuse of power.

In the situation facing the Northern Territory Koories receiving a taste of apartheid one has to look at the options to save those people from the foreign nuclear interests.

  • Firstly, we can forget the Howard government or their fellow-travellers.
  • Secondly, the High Court leaves no doubt in my mind that they are Howard's ultimate back up for anything he does to our people.
  • Thirdly, Howard's appointment of Attorney-General Philip Ruddock is as useless and dishonest as the person who bought him.

So where do the Koorie people go for justice?

They are not, and never have been, a violent race. I think that John Pratt would agree with that.

However, just in case and to create a precedent to use as a future "mandate" they call in the State Police to help the Federal Police and therefore claim complicity.

Then they call in the troops, unarmed but creating another precedent for future use.

So we have, supposedly to stop "child abuse":

  • Seventy-five communities (none of Noel Pearson's) (Fiona: Noel Pearson’s community is in Queensland, Ern.) which will suffer the fascist behaviour of a government of depraved indifference. Only six of which allow alcohol remember?
  • They will lose their rights for a permit system which allows them to exercise their legal rights to refuse entry to their land by unwanted troublemakers who often abuse their children.
  • All of the citizens of those Howard chosen communities will lose their rights to full welfare payments at the whim of Brough who wasn't chosen by Howard because of his compassion or honesty.(To stop child abuse?)
  • They will lose their hard-won land rights by the simple method of Howard legislating to remove those rights as he proves that he can with any of the laws of this country. (To stop child abuse?)
  •  The Senate is his and Joyce can tut-tut as much as he likes, but he will do as he is told.
  • Howard will also force 500 pages of legislation through Parliament and the Senate which also exempts him from the silly Race Discrimination Act. (To stop child abuse?)
  • Howard is aware that a protest vote in the next half-Senate will not deliver to the Opposition parties enough votes to stop his plundering of our Constitution, freedom of information and current the laws of our nation.

Why? Because the "New Order" can!!!

Since the affected Koories cannot match the bottomless taxpayer funds that Howard uses willy-nilly, they cannot fight him in court.

I believe that the only course the Koories have is to formally protest to the United Nations.

Since our nation's name has already been trashed with the UN, some pressure may be brought to bear on an international level.

Alternatively or simultaneously, they could formally protest to the Bush Administration or the Democrat Senate of the US.

Now that would raise Howard's eyebrows!

There but for the Grace of God go I?


identical twins

Ernest William,  the other thing you need to define more closely is, which "Pearson" you are critical of. That is Christopher, of the "Australian" fame, or Noel. No doubt our friend Eliot would regard these as eminent Pearsons, but it is possible that in some circles they are regarded, to the contrary, as Pearsona non grata, in effect, non- Pearsons.

I know there are cosmetic differences as to matters "dermic" for want of a better term, but find it impossible to separate the pair when it comes to the complexion of their ideology.

Tabula Rasa, as to this?

It's a wise man who......

Fiona: ".....it's a wise person who learns something new every day..."

My old man used to say "it's a wise man who knows his own father." 

Now I get it: he was trying to teach me something new...mmmmmm.

Beware of Howard's Claims of Mandate.

Already, these off-the-cuff mentions and knee-jerk on the run acts of apparent diversions would be claimed by the Howard New Order as mandates.

This, only should Australians consign their future to the abyss of the Dark Ages by electing them again. Boy, are we masochists?

  • Costello: Everyone will be under individual AWAs in the future. This would include all police and emergency services. The AFP have already knocked it back.
  • Ruddock: He says that the already draconian censorship laws will have to be widened.
  • Howard: He will intervene anywhere that he considers (in his own mind) to be in need of correction.
  • He will override State and Territory governments when he decides it is necessary.

There are more but, none so telling as that reported by Michelle Grattan and Misha Schubert in The Age on March 24, 2007:

In a wide-ranging interview with The Age, Mr.Howard also:

  • Scotched his earlier indication that the Government would consider rent relief, saying the evidence of a rent crisis "is less compelling than I first thought" and that "there may be a bit of a yarn being put out there by vested interests".
  • Refused to speculate about a possible further interest rate rise, but hinted that good inflation figures suggested one was not needed.
  • Said the Government would respond positively to the Switkowski report on nuclear power "quite soon", and "clearly at some point" would change the law to allow it

He can say that with certainty because he controls the Senate - absolute power in the hands of one person.

    • Named as one of his political challenges countering the impression Labor had generated that the economy would run well whoever was in office.
    • Promised to deliver a "strong" budget surplus.
    • Rejected criticism by the Victorian Auditor-General that the major events program was not good value for money, saying that "major events are a very important part of Melbourne's psyche". Melbourne was more cohesive than Sydney "and therefore it sees major events as part of its life in a way that Sydney doesn't," he said.

Draw your own conclusions and decide on your nation's future.


Incomes are more important than Wages.

Howard's massive con on a debt- laden false economy is only equalled by his false claims of "wage rises" and "Australian families have never been better off"!

With respect to the latter I venture that the families of the foreign owners and shareholders of the corporations plundering Australia have never been better off!

With regard to wages:

Since coming to power in 1996, the Howard government has opposed every single wage rise application in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

Howard's front man for the draconian WorkChoices is fast losing his jolly fat fellow image due to his unbelievable and obvious untruths. He has claimed that wages have increased under the "New Order" WorkChoices legislation. Intentionally misleading.

Firstly, people like Spotlight who are enjoying increasing profits due to these laws, did raise wages by 2c per hour, but they lowered the incomes by some 30% with the Howard permitted withdrawal of penalty rates and holidays et al.

Howard has claimed that these individual contracts have increased jobs by 100,000 (and a week later - 200,000).

Yet at that time (reported by Mischa Schubert and Ben Doherty of the Age on 5 May 2007) there were (thank goodness) a total of 340,000 Australian Workplace Agreements.

Referring to Google "The Living Wage":

The name "Fair Pay" Commission sounds a little like Orwell's Ministry Of Love; it carries the same state air of propaganda about it. The "Fair Pay" Commission is one of the central planks of the Federal Government's new industrial relations legislation (legislation which, with equal Orwellian panache, has been named WorkChoices), and it is set to replace the Industrial Relations Commission as the body that will decide the minimum wage for Australian workers.

It will be a five-person, Government-appointed panel, recallable only once every five years, and its decisions will not be reversible. "You may think that's too much power" said the proposed head of the Commission, Ian Harper, "and you may be right". Fair dinkum.

Never ever confuse wages with incomes. Hockey's ploy.

Can anybody think of anything this "New Order" government has done that doesn't provide for them to have the last say?

This of course is fascism.

Article 9 in Lawrence Britt's research into the 14 characteristics of fascism states:

Corporate Power is Protected: Politicians owe their tenure to corporate supporters, and return favours to business.


Fiona: Ern, could you please provide links to your sources. I don’t have time to go chasing them today!

Point Blanks

Bernard Rochlin:

"If you wish to enjoy the the fruits of this bountiful land and not make provision  for your own to inherit it, then others of whom there are many in the world will take it  over as what happened in 1778 on their own terms."

Do you mean instead of fighting to keep what we have stolen, we should be (Fiona: this is a family friendly site, Justin, so I have substituted &^%$#@!) to keep what we have stolen?

I'm trying to do my best, honest: the doctor says it's good for me, Peter Costello says it's good for the country;  but since my little operation, I find that being an enthusiastic supporter is the best I can offer.

Fiona: Goodness, I hadn't realised that such advances had been achieved in avian surgery. Still, as my late mother-in-law used to say, it's a wise person who learns something new every day...


Fiona's comment regarding her late mum in law has me in mind of the saying attributed to Leucippus and his famous student Democritus; the Pre-Socratic classical Greek sages responsible for the conception of atomic theory; circa 5th century BC.

"I would rather discover one new reason for the nature of things than gain the whole Kingdom of Persia" (one of many similar versions of same quote).

Little is known of Leucippus apart from his reputation and one single quote that can be directly attributed to him. This goes along the lines:

"Nought happens for nothing, but all things from a ground (logos) and of necessity" (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2006).

I love these ancient Greek people. Parmenides denying the possibility of (obviously paradoxical, when you think about it) change and wondering, basically, how "something" (the universe) can come of nothing”. His old rival Heraclitus, stressing that, on the contrary, “all is change". And so rages on the battle concerning origins and ends, actuality, substance, motion and groundedness as to the absurd universe, that I find as baffling as most of them apparently did.

Fiona: Why else do you think that I have evolved into being a developmental psychologist, Paul?


Exponentially more serious that this writer first thought.

Poor Fiona.

And here was me thinking you were only a lawyer. Only a lawyer, duh.

Promise myself, a humble chronicler of the passing montage of the events and phenomena of our contemporary age, to spend at least one full minute in deep reflection upon those tortured, random turns and twists of fate that have the writer where he is, figuratively speaking and you, kind lady, where you are. Metaphorically, of course...

more casualties

I read a comprehensive report the US Army did after WW2 where they anonymously interviewed thousands of troops.

The conclusions they reached was that only about 20% of soldiers shoot at the enemy in a battle with the rest firing above their heads.

The majority just cannot bring themselves to kill - obviously most soldiers in that conflict were conscripts.

Of those 20% they found 5% were homicidal maniacs that relished killing - the rest who were able to kill the enemy suffered terribly after the conflict. We've found this after most conflicts - WW2 and Vietnam the most recent with different names given to the various traumas they suffer. It's also said that the "nostalgic" type of Anzac Day celebrations become a way of dealing with that trauma - turning the conflict into a nationalistic and patriotic ceremony.

Now of course we have greater killing machines that almost make war like a video game - this began in the Vietnam War with agent orange etc and the massive destruction of forests and villages by jets and helicopters - bugger the peasants below who look like ants - a hands -off approach but in the first Gulf War we saw for the first time how bombs were sent and tracked by video and we could actually watch as buildings or tanks were blown apart - just like a film. It was all so unreal - and those famous night-time reports from Baghdad which made the city look like a permanent fire-works display was taking place. Even the fact our reporters could be in the enemy's cities was a new and strange concept.

But the US will have a massive problem on it's hands soon with returning Iraq War veterans (if they ever do return) although not actual conscripts - they are in a way "financial" conscripts with so many joining the US army just in order to survive or the massive intake of Mexicans who are promised US citizenship after 2 year's service.

And more soldiers are surviving attacks in Iraq but with more terrible wounds - one of the more bizarre aspects. But long-term medical care back home will not last long.

Now we have Aussie soldiers shooting dead a car driver and wounding  two kids in Iraq but their Commander says they acted entirely appropriately as the  car didn't "obey" directions correctly at a stop point.

So that's OK then! An Iraqi civilian is shot dead in his home country by invaders because it's our rules they have to live by.

Still, J Howard sleeps soundly at night and Mick Keelty is still pursuing some obscure Indian doctor for God only knows what.

Howard's sly salutes

I refer to and recommend an article by Frank Walker in the Sun-Herald on April 29 2007:

Our suicide soldiers: the hidden casualties

Families, war veterans and MPs are demanding an independent inquiry into the mental health of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan after suicides believed to be caused by post-traumatic stress.

In WW 1 this was often called cowardice and for which some soldiers were even shot; nevertheless, it was considered as shell shock, as well it might.

The Federal government acknowledges two soldiers took their own lives after freturning from the Middle East, but veteran activists say there could have been as many as five suicides - and they fear more will come.

In WW 2 this was called battle fatigue, and the mad US General Patton even slapped a soldier's face and called him "coward" without any consideration of what that young soldier had been through.

To date 121 soldiers returned from the Middle East have been discharged for mental illness.  About two dozen have serious psychological problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Families say the soldiers who commit suicide on their return are the hidden casualties of war.

In the Vietnam War realisation of the futility of foreign wars of choice had produced a better understanding of shell shock and battle fatigue by introducing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Nevertheless, because the US were defeated by the indigenous people, the American military, returning from that hell, were treated like lepers. Because of Menzies' "ballot of death", Australia was only a little better. 

Now we have a government of depraved indifference that has even created special privatised businesses for the express purpose of secretly investigating our returned veterans who claim PTSD or other pensions.

Now we are facing another Vietnam where, without a doubt (should Howard be re-elected) and if the US war requirements are not met, the Coalition of the Killing will introduce conscription.

Add to that the fact that Army officers are volunteers and are not conscripted.

And Howard will still smile and wave them off then, when and if they return (second class, of course) they will face legislation which has been constructed solely for the purpose of denying them their entitlements.

The clear understanding of the Howard "New Order" is that the people must live to work while the wealthy watch and prosper.

The families of young men and women should remember this when the election is finally called.


New worlds

I wonder at the emphasis placed here on our "Judeo-Christian heritage". I don't think as an ethical system this best represents me, though I do draw deeply from Christianity in certain respects. When I truly think of it my ethical system is best represented by D.H. Lawrence. He is not necessarily my favourite writer but his gentleness, compassion and desire for self-knowledge and liberation from social mores are the kinds of things I value the most. It would be an interesting experiment to me to hand out a copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover to incoming immigrants, as part of our British heritage.

Whilst I have a great respect for individuals, I have little more than pity for most traditional cultures, including our own heritage. I think of many immigrant cultures as simply sleepwalking. There is an arrogance in this but it does not affect my ability to judge people on their merits.

I don't know if I value freedom of religion and freedom of culture as an ideal any more. I think the problem with it is that it tends to entrench tradition, to define people in narrow terms and to limit them to a kind of life that has been passed down to them. You become a "Jew" or a "Muslim" or a "Hindu" because you were born that way and, the system is designed to ensure that you stay that way. There is no attempt to challenge the legitimacy or worth of other cultures, such is deemed "intolerant" or "prejudiced".

Smiles all 'round.

In the past I might have thought it not the province of the state to facilitate a social, cultural, or romantic awakening in a person, but rather that this be dealt with at the level of individuals, between people and through art. Now I am not quite so sure. I think to myself perhaps there is another way of doing things, that there might be a different attitude towards life that we may take and that it could deemed legitimate, rather than defined out of the national debate. To my surprise, I am developing an admiration for Sophie Panopolous and Bronwyn Bishop for taking on the multiculturalism behemoth.

There are few apologists left for Mao's cultural revolution, and that is as it should be. Nevertheless, the idea that we can build a society on a more honest foundation, to throw off exploitative and out-dated practices, seems to have been wholly abandoned in the West. Nevertheless, I choose Lawrence over Lenin because he was seductive, rather than revolutionary. Communism has revealed itself to be an excess, and I am anti-communist down to my bones. Yet there were a lot of debates going on in the sixties-seventies that I can read about, but which seem to be absent now.

Kevin Andrew's little friends

Howard's silly hospital trick

$45 million for a 94 bed hospital translates to $1200 per day per bed for the year for which one would expect wall to wall specialists yet that is for normal nursing care.

If every hospital in the country got the same amount that would be $30 billion per year – no wonder there are shock waves through the land. The man is plainly mad.

I note the clown Andrews still mutters darkly about Dr Haneef in spite of all those cops in three nations not finding so much as a parking ticket.

Which brings me back to Robert Jovicic. Jovicic was deported for bad character after having 168 convictions for robbery, house invasions and other crimes over many years. After being brought back to Australia and losing in the high court Andrews still renewed his visa.

Double standards? Political expediency? You bet, as there are thousands like Jovicic who never have their visas cancelled and I know that Ruddock brought 200 members of the SLA to Australia on special visas after Israel abandoned them when the murdering of Palestinians was done and dusted in 2000 and Israel had to leave Lebanon.

People who used to work with Afghan terrorists are Australian citizens who used to work for our immigration department, at least one member of the Afghan secret police lives in Adelaide, another one is a warlord from Kabul.

Paul Kelly thinks that taking Haneef's visa had to be done under the Migration Act if Andrews had a suspicion of bad character, but this has never been done before in a pre-emptive manner and before a conviction of any member of the family.

More Insulting Diversions for Wedges.

A few examples:

The take-over of Northern Territory Koorie settlements without consultation with the elected N.T. Administration.

The take-over of Koorie land titles without consultation with them.

The take-over of a hospital in a marginal Liberal seat in Tasmania, without consultation with the elected government.

The list goes on and on and the media conveniently down-plays these acts of fascism by saying "Howard is taking on the States" with "Federalism". Fair dinkum.

Like everything he does, these acts have a hidden agenda and, should he win the next election (God forbid) he will claim a mandate to do all of the things he is now practising - make no mistake.

I also bring attention to the stupid and ignorant statements Howard and his robot Ministers keep sprouting to justify these fascist acts.

For example, the spiteful little schoolboy says, "People don't care where it comes from when they are given money to improve their life" (or words close to those).

Is that his AWB policy raising its head? If the money had come from Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden or his Al Qaeda organisation would that stupid statement still apply?

No mention of the Howard government's tactics of blackmailing the states and Territories with the GST to which they are entitled, and then accusing them of being incompetent. And this because the States cannot make do with the ever decreasing value of the "New Order's" petty tactics.

Howard/Costello control the purse strings and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise that they can intentionally withhold finances for any or no reason at all.

Where do people believe that Howard/Costello get their surpluses from for the next election? Taxes and fewer services in education, health, infrastructure, veterans' affairs - you name it!

A little bit of commonsense which we should all exhibit before the next federal election viz:

  • The Howard "New Order" is already practising its fascism.
  • The Howard/Costello debt ridden false economy is about to crumble.
  • If the Australian Labor States and Territories affect the economy, does that apply to employment as well?
  • If the Australian Labor States and Territories have not been up to scratch, isn't that the democratic prerogative of their electors to remove them?
  • When the "New Order" fascist juggernaut can override State and Territory voters to "improve services", what happened to the votes of millions who elected Liberal, National, Labor, Greens, Democrats or Independents?
  • If there was an authority above the Howard government (he appears to own the High Court and he doesn't believe in another God) would he approve of that authority removing his elected right to govern? Warts and all?
  • When he tells us that he governs for all, he lies in his teeth.
  • When he claims that he is the elected government why doesn't he offer the respect that he demands for himself?
  • Is Howard right when he buys our votes? And doesn't deliver?

Like everything else his government does, there are more questions than answers and less and less realisation of his core, non-core, rock solid and ironclad guarantees.

You can never ever trust the Howard sycophants.

Against his petulant and desperate wishes, we look like having just one more chance to save the Australia we all love and fought for.


The Vice of Selfishness

"The economic migrants are taking advantage of a third factor. The impact of a thirty-year decline in the birth rate in Western countries is finally being felt."

If you wish to enjoy the the fruits of this bountiful land and not make provision  for your own to inherit it, then others of whom there are many in the world will take it  over as what happened in 1778 on their own terms.

Howard's "New Order" spending ignores the people.

"Big-spending Government boosts 'jobs for fat cats' in the Sun-Herald, Jason Koutsoukis, 29 July 2007:

THE Howard Government's reputation for "small government" is in tatters, with new figures showing a massive expansion of the public service over the past five years.

Total public service employee numbers for the 2007-08 financial year have reached 242,426 - a 28per cent increase since 2000.

Excluding military personnel, the number of Commonwealth employees has risen from 136,014 in 2001-01 to 170,391 this year - an increase of 25 per cent.

The number of public service senior executives has jumped by 44per cent in the five years since 2001.

With fiscal restraint one of the Coalition's top priorities when it was elected, cutting the size of the public service was one of Prime Minister John Howard's core promises.

But after a decade of record economic growth, all of the public service cuts of the Howard Government's first term have been erased.

This year's budget papers state that government spending over the next two years is projected to increase faster than economic growth. Government spending is forecast to increase from 21.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the 2005-06 year to 21.8 per cent of GDP by 2009-10.

The increases are in part due to extra demands in areas such as national security and policing, said University of Canberra Professor of Governance Stephen Bartos, a former deputy secretary of the Department of Finance. The increases also represent a change in philosophy, he said.

"The Government has shown that if there is a problem, then it will spend the money to fix it," he said.

"While the Coalition was elected to power in a climate of fiscal restraint, there is a lot more money these days to set up new government programs and to employ people to run them."

In the Howard Government's first term, its then minister for administrative services, David Jull, used a so-called Yellow Pages test.

Mr Jull believed that if you found someone in the phone book who could do a task being performed by government, the Government should not be performing that task.

Federal Labor's finance spokesman Lindsay Tanner said the expansion of the public service showed what a wasteful, big-spending entity the Government had become.

"It is amazing that, with universities and TAFEs being starved of funds, there has been a huge increase increase in fat cats in the bureaucracy," Mr Tanner said.

The Coalition's biggest impact on employment was the increase in the number of public servants, he said.

So Costello wasn't kidding when he outed Howard on his big spending.

Howard has the record of 21% interest rates and deficits in all of his budgets, yet he says "trust me". Fair dinkum.


The bureacracy numbers increase, yet there are fewer tutors etc. Isn't this much along the ABC/SBS model-less programming.

Less funds, fewer programs, less quality.  MORE executives to run around and spy on the program makers to make sure they don't reveal anything that upsets the government or their friends.

Sigh. The cost of small government.

Same with indigenous affairs. Exponentially more money spent to ensure money is taken off programs for aboriginal advancement, most of all from programs that help indigenes.

I'm heading for 55

I am heading for 55, have a 34 year old daughter, 25 year old son, 16 year old grand-daughter and reckon I have had a teensy bit of life experience.


You betcha OK Mary.

We would certainly have thought that your wisdom and demand for truth would make you somewhat older.

To us you are still very young and caring - keep up the good work.


Rosie and Ernie Graham.

Dying arts

I don't know, Daniel. There is something distinctly moving about the Kleenex and Nokia ads, of late. Capitalism still loves us. One of the things that I love about advertising is that its methodology is simple but profoundly effective. It requires that you listen to people and ask them how they feel.

Communism tells you how to feel, it doesn't ask you.

Alexander Downer recently accused Kevin Rudd of having a PR firm tell him what to think. I cringed. Public relations is a wonderful thing, if approached properly. John Howard would never say anything quite so preposterous.

If I were to start to work on changing the Liberal party it would begin with methodology. Ask first, then listen, then talk. Never assume anything. Andrews work here is full of presuppositions and false solutions. I appreciate what he is trying to do, the balance he is trying to strike, but it is all wrong.

Immigration is about relationships between people.

Is Howard really Competent to Govern?

Some short time ago I read an artical in The Age by Michelle Gratton, who in my opinion, is a staunch supporter of the John Howard that appears on television and in Murdoch newspapers.

In that the lady suggested that Howard was behaving "crazy".

It goes without saying that as a Service Veteran and a proud Australian, I am in a panic myself at the possibility of continuing fascism by the Howard "New Order".

But, sincerely, even though we know that Howard's personal media  choreographers arrange his appearances, I have a sneaking suspicion that he is "off his rocker".

I have always been of the opinion that, if Howard was to be challenged by a "Media accepted" opponent and was faced with an almost level playing ground election - he would chicken out.

At the last two elections, he depended on the venal media denigrating his opponents with outlandish negative U.S. style politics.

Along with this he made lavish financial plans which, of course, were "never ever" delivered. 

He is doing both again with the added "cream" of the seizure of State Rights and, of course, the further abuse of Human Rights.

I have described the behaviour of Howard, Downer, Ruddock and now Andrews as parallel to that of spoilt little boys who have had their hands smacked.  The immediate reaction of such little monsters is to increase their crimes - whatever they may be.

Like Howard in Parliament: "Don't you come in here and.....".  Snotty little devil!

What am I leading up to?  I think the challenge he is now facing is, at least in his mind, a real chance of losing his "God-given" right to rule.  In short, he appears to be a wounded mad dog.

His performances of late only confirm my personal belief that he is indeed a fascist and should he be elected again he would ensure that being in this position would not be possible again.

In a word - Fascism.

Our country can only survive this time, and for the chance of another time, if Labor and the other non-corporation parties are elected.

Howard already controls the Senate and will also do so after the election, IF Howard declares joint polls.

Should he succeed, then the fact that the Consititution has already been exploited by him, it would mean that Australians would not have any protection at all from a totalitarian government.

The High Court is his, just like Bush's Supreme Court.

He does not have any checks and balances at all - at least the Australian Labor Party along with the Australian Greens and the Australian Democrats, would have a Liberal/Nationalist Senate to deal with.

Vote wisely, it could be our last chance.



Ernest W and Michelle Grattan is the lady suggested that Howard was behaving "crazy".

Let's be blunt about this. Howard's only 68, but he looks and sounds like Joh at 94, especialy with that stupid koala-style haircut, and the manic grinning and babbling and "power walking" in the flapping tracksuit and the Minnie Mouse giant white running shoes. Just as well he lets Andrews, Downer, Shrek and Abbott do the really crazy stand-up stuff, or the PM would look like a candidate for a high security nursing home. Meanwhile Peter C. mutters to himself off-stage.

Before you hop into me, this is NOT about his age, although he seems to have packed on bulk extra decades. BULK. The PM looks like Klaus Barbie™ at his trial. This about his performance and sanity. The taxpayer has kept him in a lake of piss at Kirribilli House. We are all to blame. We wanted Alice Springs to Beat The Grog, but we forgot Sydney Harbour, home of the Rum Corps. Have we given him a uniquely Australian form of the lethal injection system used by those whacky hillbilly Governors George and Jethro Bush when they want to kill negroes? We should all be ashamed. Send in the army. Revoke the Kirribilli permit system. And start mining the place. Surely the Chinese feudal warlords must want something buried there. Send Janette and one of the "gardeners" out into the grounds to search with Tim and Richard's old metal detector toy.

Frère Jihad Jacques OAM née Woodforde Inc, Purveyor of Wines and Spirits' to Kirribilli House

Unions and Mary J.

G'day L. Ferguson.

You ask the foolish and hypothetical question as to how the young would handle the situation if "Trade" Unions ran our country instead of Unions of Corporations.

Well - re the Australian young:

  • They would have security of employment.
  • They would have the original Australian definition of a Living Wage.
  • They would have a right to fair dismissal.
  • Their employment would not be considered, as it is now, as a charity gift from foreign corporations.
  • Private Equity predators would not be exploiting the natural resources that belong to all Australians.
  • They would be entitled to the rule of law instead of the "New Order" fascist controls based on lies.
  • They would have a right to the spirit and intention of our Constitution which very few understand - let alone have read.
  • They would not be involved in conscription for the benefit of a large Terrorist nation to assist in it's illegal wars and occupations.
  • Gough Whitlam's "Defence Forces" would be defence forces.
  • The rule of Law would apply equally to the Corporation's as it would do to the poor and infirm.
  • They would work to live - not live to work.
  • And their Nation's wealth would allow them, and their children, and their children's children, to survive Globilisation.

There would be much more than that really because, no matter what the predators of depraved indifference may say, UNIONS have their beginnings in the situations we have now.

They have only continued to exist during the periodical rise and fall of Capitalist regimes because they are dearly needed by the majority of Australian workers.

So, yes - Australians would be much better off if the "Trade" Unions, who are elected by those they represent, ran our country instead of the Corporations Unions that are NOT elected by the people they exploit.

As far as Mary J. is concerned, I would say by reading her posts she has had a great deal of experience in the rights of workers and the existence of Unions.

I have no idea of Mary's maturity (and I wouldn't tell if I did) but she obviously has a good heart and a deep caring for an Australian "fair go".

My friend, take it from an old man - you speak of something you know nothing about.


Frank Sinatra: Strangers On My Flight

Check it out:

Strangers on my flight,
turbans they're packin'.
Wonderin' if they might,
plan a hijacking.
They could pull a stunt,
before this flight is through.

Something's on their minds.
I saw them mutter.
What that in their hands?
Looks like box cutters,
I'm gonna kick some ass,
if they make a move.

Strangers on my flight.
Two smelly people,
and they're not talking right;
and in a moment,
I will grab base ball bat;
and that will be that.
Swing like Joe DiMaggio,
and rip them both a new a-hole.

And if they pick a fight,
and try to screw us,
I'll punch out their lights,
just like Joe Louis.
It would feel so right,
for strangers on my flight.

Ratta Tat Tat Tat,
Budda Bing Bang Boom,
Zooma Zooma Zoom.

Send those bastards to the moon....

"Just 'cos you cant see him; doesn't mean he's not there."

It seems nothing over the last few months has releived the delusional  god complex with them. You could laugh if it wasn't so serious.

I Am again reminded of Trevor  Kerr's recent comment concerning Andrews , to this writer applying to the government as a whole, as to the zealot witch burning Puritan priest from the play , " Crucible".

They ought to be chucked out.  Set the dogs on 'em; can't have this sort of lunacy on the streets.



Sooner or later everyone gets one

"Awards are like haemorrhoids, sooner or later everyone gets one."

Therefore I also nominate Mr Andrews, and let's throw in Mr Ruddock as well, for piles of awards.

When politicians start talking about values etc. it is like banks, phone and IT companies talking about customer service. There isn't any, just that they like to brainwash us into believing there is.

I nominate

I nominate Kevin Andrews for the Human Rights Medal this year:

20th anniversary of the Human Rights Medal and Awards

2 August 2007

The President of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC), John von Doussa QC, has today officially opened nominations for the 2007 Human Rights Medal and Awards.

Since 1987, HREOC has recognised the often extraordinary contribution made to Australian society by a variety of men and women committed to issues of human rights, social justice and equality through these awards.

“The Human Rights Medal and Awards celebrate their 20th anniversary this year and provide an excellent opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of individuals and organisations by nominating them for these prestigious awards,” Mr von Doussa said.

“You don’t have to be famous or well known for your efforts to enter – the medal and awards are about celebrating the efforts of those who work tirelessly everyday without fuss to promote and protect human rights and to overcome discrimination in Australia.”

Each year HREOC receives outstanding nominations for the Human Rights Medal and award categories of Law, Community (individual and organisation), Arts Non-Fiction, Print Media, Television and Radio.

“Former winners have made an outstanding contribution within their communities or done so through the practice of law, through writing books about human rights issues or through their work in the media,” Mr von Doussa said.

To nominate the achievements of an individual or organisation for the 2007 Human Rights Medal or one of the award categories, simply fill in the entry form located at http://www.humanrights.gov.au/hr_awards or phone 02 9284 9618 and forward supporting material by 5 October, 2007.

But don’t just nominate someone, please join us at the gala luncheon ceremony at the Sheraton on the Park in Sydney on Monday, 10 December to hear the winners announced and show your support for the 20th anniversary of these special awards.

Media personality Julie McCrossin will MC the event and Mr von Doussa will deliver the annual Human Rights Day Oration. For information on tickets contact 02 9284 9618 or go to http://www.humanrights.gov.au/hr_awards

To receive regular updates on the 2007 Awards, ceremony, shortlists and winners, join the Human Rights Awards electronic mailing list – also on the website.


Mr. Andrews was not fully truthful when pushing the odious "Work Choice" legislation. This was admitted by the Prime Minister lately when he did acknowledge people would be hurt by the nasty legislation.

Senators of a different persuasion to the Coalition were treated with contempt by the Coalition Senators when the un-Australian IR laws and Anti-Terrorist laws were pushed through with too much haste.

It was the Coalition that was going to set dogs onto wharfies.

Even though the Chief Minister of the NT had raised the matter of the terrible strife in some aboriginal communities a year prior to the Coalition rushing in; they were not afforded any respect by the Coalition Government. Collaborative work right from the start on the matter would have shown some respect. Its just un-Australian how this matter was dealt with.

It's the same situation with the hospital in Tasmania. By moving in with such haste it is highly likely that the Federal action will destabilise the hospitals in Northern Tasmania. The local AMA is very worried about outcomes.

Rather than just move in independently on a number of issues it would have been far more beneficial for the Federal Government to have worked collaboratively with the States. That would have been the Australian way to go about things.

It's for these reasons I believe that Mr.Andrews' speech is hypocritical; the Coalition treats a number of people and organisations with contempt except for the big end of town.


Keith Antonysen: "Rather than just move in independently on a number of issues it would have been far more beneficial for the Federal Government to have worked collaboratively with the States. That would have been the Australian way to go about things".

Fine sounding words, but in an election year the Labor Premiers are knocking everything in the hope that they will help Rudd. whilst Rudd is running around saying he will work with the States. What bullshit.

Federal Government Running Roughshod

Alan Curran, the Federal Government is running roughshod over the States in a number of areas even though they have no experience of delivering a service to consumers. The NT flagged the issue of difficulties with aboriginals a year ago, suggesting a plan of action. Guess what, Alan, it was ignored by Mr. Howard and his government. An election wasn't being held at that stage.

So in relation to the NT, the Chief Minister should have been informed and negotiated with, in relation to plans to step into providing possible solutions for the aboriginal communties.

There is a real fear that rather than help the ailing health system in the Northern half of Tasmania, that the Federal intervention will actually do more harm. This has been suggested by the AMA;  the AMA had actually been involved in planning the new strategies in how to utilize Hospitals in the Northern half of Tasmania. Your comment about the planned changes to the Mersey Hospital being an academic response are absolutely wrong. The Hospital was not going to be closed, the plan was to use it in another manner; dovetailing the services provided by the Hospitals in Burnie and Launceston to make best use of clinical staff. Whether the plan devised is going to work is a debatable point; however, we now have a stuff up created by the Federal Government.

Councils other than those close to the Mersey have expressed grave concerns through their Mayors and Managers. These concerns being based on the limited number of health professionals on the North West Coast of Tasmania, and is a problem for Regional Australia generally. The lack of specialist health professionals is a worldwide problem

The Premiers have been pretty restrained in relation to the ad hoc and reckless "policy" making that the Federal Government has been engaging in. The Coalition Government have ignored structural problems for 11 years; they are now involved in blatant pork barrelling; and making policy on the run.

Irresponsible vote buying

Alan Curran, on today's TV news there was a story about how a senior medical specialist has resigned from the Mersey. The doctor had been on long service leave and apparently did not like the change created by Mr. Howard's move on the Mersey Hospital.  Many who live close to the hospital are jubilant about Mr. Howard's approach; however, it is also true to say that those living further away are now very worried in relation to the viability of the hospital at Burnie. So there is cheering and booing in the electorate of Braddon by people who are not necessarily partisan.

All this so the Coalition can buy some votes. What a stuff up.

Coalition Caught Out

The ad hoc nature of Mr. Howard's plan to save the Mersey Hospital has been exposed in today's press ( The Advocate ). The local member had promised to provide a detailed plan by this weekend on how the Federal Government was going to resolve the Mersey Hospital's difficulties. Mr. Abbott has lamely indicated that there has not been enough time to put a plan together. It's a lame comment on the basis that the Mersey Hospital has been languishing for several years. One of the major difficulties being attracting clinical staff.  More clinical staff have begun to talk about resigning after Mr. Howard stepped in.

Mr. Andrew's words do not describe what is actually occurring in Australia; they might be seen to be a goal to work towards; however, the Federal Government is heading in the opposite direction. The blatant vote buying by the Howard Government in relation to the Mersey is a blatant example of this. The cavalier manner in which the Federal government has approached this matter has undermined the Hospital even further, and is undermining the Hospital at Burnie.

Alan Moir captured what’s occurring in relation to politicking beautifully in today's Sydney Morning Herald.  


I wonder whether Mr. Andrews' mouth burnt when he stated the words attributed to him. Hypocrisy is alive and well!!


What have the unions got to do with some deluded exclusion of people from Australia?

Without unions we would not have this country to live in.

Integration blues

A 94 year old man engaged me in conversation the other day. He said he was from Hungary, that he lost all his family to cancer, that he was a lonely man and that I was a nice boy. I am, from time to time, a nice boy. I told him that we were all lonely but I don't think he believed me. I wonder what kind of integration, if any, is possible for such a person. Where would you even begin? Sometimes family is all people have.

Ingmar Bergman died recently. Full life well in to old age seems possible to me, because of the example of such lives. As well as a director he wrote a few novels – I read one of them, a variation on the Bovary/Karenina theme, but deeply compassionate and thoughtful. Loneliness is there, and loss.

Andrews provides no solutions here, not even to electoral problems. His comments are academic; there is no heart to them. If I wanted to read Fukuyama I would read Fukuyama. Andrews should speak to how Australian people feel, how they might cope with change. At the heart of the divide here is pain, at an Australia lost, at a familiar world made unfamiliar. I think the question in the minds of those concerned about the changes that Australia has gone through is: what do I do now?


The Wisdom of Solomon!

Your comment about integration touched me, Solomon. It is a word that seems to have less and less meaning in our capitalist, dog-eat-dog, me-first, if you want it - then take it, world.

Quite frankly, we are heading in the wrong direction, a divisive direction. The atoms repel rather than attract.

That is a recipe for human disaster.

From Their Own Lips: Immigration To Die For

Some observations on the "iconic" Snowy Mountains Scheme, from the Federal Government's "Culture and Recreation" portal:

"More than 100,000 people from over thirty countries came to the mountains to work on the project. Up to 7,300 workers would provide their labour at any one time. Seventy per cent of all the workers were migrants. They came to Australia to work on the project, attracted by the relatively high wages. At that time, soon after the Second World War, work was hard to come by in Europe.

"At first, most of the workers were men who had left their families at home in Europe. Their plan was to work hard, save money and bring their families out when they could afford to. The work was hard and the conditions were tough. Because ninety-eight per cent of the project was underground, there was a lot of tunnelling, often through solid granite rock. Work in the tunnels was dirty, wet, noisy, smelly and sometimes dangerous.

"More than 120 workers died in the project's twenty-five year period.

"Living conditions were also hard in the camps and towns built in the mountains to house the workers and their families. Often these dwellings were not suited to the freezing conditions. They were cold and the water would freeze in the pipes. When the workers' wives came to join them in the townships, these women had to work hard to overcome the hardships and establish communities in the strange, new, wilderness environment.

"When work in one area was completed, the dwellings were dismantled and moved to another area, so very little remains of these towns today.

"The majority of the workers stayed on to live in Australia after the project was completed, making a valuable contribution to Australia's modern multicultural society."

Come Of It

This is one of those joke pieces, right?

I mean – he's quoting Francis Fukuyama and Ronald Reagan, for God's sake.

Here's a bloke asking immigrants to have a basic understanding of English and he doesn't even understand the Westminster system.

Justice dies with the abuse of Human Rights.

And the abuse of Human Rights is the key-stone of fascism.

If we consider that the strength of the Howard "New Order" is their lies, deceptions and obfuscations, we should understand that they intentionally foster so many likes and dislikes in the minds of the public, that they create a multi-wedge of fear and hatred.

After dividing the nation with too much information, the "New Order" promises are also divided into core, non-core and, of course, "things have changed". The euphemistic titles are remembered but the substance is never fully explained.

There can be no greater crime than for a government to deny basic human rights to the people they serve, especially in a democracy.

However, the Howard government has prospered by appealing to the worst instincts of our people so that we become groups disunited by the once minor differences we had almost forgotten.

I suggest to those who believe it doesn't affect them that they should realise every basic necessity of life is affected by the loss of human rights. Just look again at WorkChoices, Iraq, terrorist laws, sedition, and faked national emergencies, just to mention a few.

I have therefore put together the Lawrence Britt's 14 common characteristics of Fascism interposed by the 15 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The order of these are numerical but not necessarily common with each other.

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, " their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

A Fascist Australia (AFA). Article1: Nationalism and its symbols: emphasis on the observance of flags, songs, and anthems.

Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self -governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

(AFA) 2. Disdain for human rights; approval or condoning of torture, capital punishment, and incarceration in the name of "security".

Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

(AFA) 3. Enmity; identification of outsiders, communists, terrorists, minorities, and elites as opponents of patriotism.

Article 4. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude: slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

(AFA) 4. Militarism: disproportionate government funding for military purposes to the neglect of social needs and glamorisation of military service.

Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

AFA) 5. Male dominance; rigidifying of gender role, raising opposition to abortion, support for "family values" and anti-gay legislation.

Article 6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

(AFA) 6. Media compliance; indirect control of the media by government regulation, concessions to sympathetic media organisations and individuals, and censorship, whether direct, indirect, or voluntary.

Article 7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

(AFA) 7. National security as national interest; use of fear and "the national interest" to induce consent.

Article 8. Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

(AFA) 8. Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses. Religion and government; mainstream theology used to manipulate public opinion, while government actions ignore the tenets.

Article 9. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

(AFA) 9. Power elites; politicians owe their tenure to corporate supporters, and return favours to business.

Article 10. Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

(AFA) 10. Suppression of labour; unions are eliminated or disempowered in the name of reform and fairness.

Article 11.

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

(AFA) 11. Hostility to intellectuals and artists; free expression is attacked and government funding is threatened or removed from those it doesn't approve of.

Article 12. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, or to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

(AFA) 12. Civil liberties and judicial independence forgone; restraints are overridden, and police abuses are overlooked.

Article 13.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residencewithin the borders of each state.

(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to retgurn to his country.

(AFA) 13. Cronyism without accountability; those who protect politicians from scrutiny are rewarded with favours, promotions, and possessions.

Article 14.

(1) Everone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

(AFA) 14. fraudulent elections; electoral rules are manipulated and media reports distorted, and cooperative judges legitimize the outcomes.

Compare these to the Andrews tripe.

There is no truth from these fascists.


A Simpering "New Order" Hypocrite.

Does this mean that our attacks on the fascist federal government’s abuses of basic Australian Human Rights has finally registered?

"Don't look at me - look at him"?

The damn gall of this "WorChoices" and "Terrorist attacker" is enough to choke a rhinoceros.

For such a simpleton, with nothing to grace his existence in any position of authority, to write and dare to speak such an essay makes me want to shed my lunch.

Does any Australian want to take the responsibility of guessing what this "New Order" of depraved indifference would do to our citizens’ human rights and entitlements should they be re-elected?

Beware you young Australians: to elect this spiteful little schoolboy will certainly bring to your doors the Menzies "Ballot of Death" conscription in the event of fascism being voted in to finalise the destruction of a once proud democratic nation.

And the newspapers think they can avoid Howard's "take-overs"?

As Kevin Rudd would say: "Not on your Nelly".

There is no truth - in the "New Order" Coalition.



Ernest William, "Beware you young Australians: to elect this spiteful little schoolboy will certainly bring to your doors the Menzies "Ballot of Death" conscription in the event of fascism being voted in."

Do you get this info from the same place that Mary J gets her info?. I would say to all young Australians: beware of union thugs like Mighell and Harkins, because they will be running things if Rudd wins. Rudd owes the unions for getting him the job, and it will be payback time.

European Enlightenment? I don't think so

"This way of life is influenced by a history that includes the Judeo Christian beliefs and traditions brought by the British settlers.  Also present were the values and institutions that form the basis of a free and open democratic society, particularly our British political heritage, and the spirit of the European Enlightenment.

The principles upon which our success as a nation have been built remain critical to this very day.  These include the rule of law, religious freedom, parliamentary democracy and equality among men and women."

Since moving to Cairns, I have taken a keen interest in local history. I have read a few books, visited the one and only (very small) museum and talked with the local pioneers. Kevin Andrews like many of his colleagues live in a fantasy world. The truth of European settlement in the Far North is nothing like picture of enlightenment he paints.

The facts are that the aboriginals in the area fought very hard for their territory, many were killed on both sides. Europeans arrived in a search for gold. Gold was discovered and soon people from all over the world arrived to dig for gold. Many of these miners were Chinese; these same Chinese later developed the sugar industry in the Cairns area. Fifty four percent of the sugar cane farms were cleared and established by Chinese farmers. Malays arrived to start market gardens, and a fishing industry. Europeans soon became frightened that they would be swamped by non English speaking immigrants. They pushed for the White Australia Policy, which eventually drove the Chinese and Malays out. The Europeans, too lazy or too weak to work the cane fields, raided the neighbouring Pacific islands and the "Black Birding" industry was born. Many of these Islanders known as "Kanakas" were treated not much better than slaves. Many of their tin huts still remain, looking very much like prison cells. The town of Townsville was called after a famous black birder, a Captain Towns. After the war Italian labourers came to develop the cane fields to the extent that they are today. Now the town of Cairns has no record of its past, no street names, no buildings, no memorials to the people who developed the area, most of whom did not speak English. The truths Australian must come to understand are: (1) we have always been a multicultural society, and (2) many of the things the Europeans did were wrong, cruel and had nothing to do with enlightenment.

This from ASIO about Haneef


* respect for the equal worth, dignity and freedom of the individual - I love this. Equal worth, dignity and freedom, except if you are an aborigine, a refugee, a disabled person, a dole bludger, a sickie, a unionist, a union boss, a foreigner, or anyone who doesn't worship at General John Winston WARmonger's feet.

* freedom of speech - except if you are CSIRO with serious concerns about global warming, or a whistleblower with adverse news about our airports, or a refugee advocate, or ONA whistleblower, a refugee with a real story to tell, or an Australian citizen locked up in a home for the dead and dying in a foreign country because you have been deported. In fact, if you disagree with John Winston WARmonger.

* freedom of religion and secular government - except if you want to ban abortion drugs, stem cell research and your catholicism demands you must, or if you are Jewish and cannot condemn Israel, or if you are Muslim and are defamed as Trad was and won. Or if you are just plain Muslim. But Exclusive Brethren will be allowed to pay for advertising while refusing to vote.

* freedom of association - except if you have a dodgy cousin living 12,000 miles away who self-immolated, or are in a union, or are a union boss, or want be in a union or a union boss, or are Muslims.

* support for parliamentary democracy and the rule of law - which of course we will throw in the bin with indefinite detention of entirely innocent men, women and children on the whim of the parliament and manage to convince the High Court that we can. Now they can even put control orders on innocent people just in case.

* equality under the law - hmm.......except if you are poor and can't get legal air, or you are a woman in the family court, or a sick person damaged by a doctor or a dentist, or if you are falsely accused and locked up like Andrew Mallard was. Or stitched up by useless clowns like Andrews here.

* equality of men and women - except if you are a rich woman who stays home you will be paid to do so and if you are a poor woman with no partner you will be forced to go to work when your kids are 8: women's pay is still 80% of men's and we have never had a woman PM.

* equality of opportunity - ditto all of the above.

* peacefulness - except when we decide to blow other nations to bits because Dubya asks us to. And I don't reckon the folks locked up in Woomera and such places, or those on the boats with the SAS sent to them, or the navy that shot at them, or used tear gas and capsicum spray on them felt that we were peaceful.

* tolerance, mutual respect and compassion for those in need. - this one is such a sick joke in light of the atrocities this government has inflicted on every minority group in the country it makes me want to vomit.

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Margo Kingston

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