Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


NATION: Turnbull’s terror bust raises big questions over his government and his leadership

First published August 7

Riotous splashes of daffodil – Petals on a wet, black bough, cheer a bleak Lakemba Street, in the flare of an OB TV van’s lighting, while the sounds of big diesel heaving and the grinding -peep-peep-peep of a garbage truck in reverse greet the nation Monday as it wakes to a motley squad of glum Teletubbies sifting rubbish. Who are they?

Surely it’s not our jolly AFP, out to fit up another Labor NBN leaker? Colvin’s cowboys? It’s all a visual riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, all rolled up in sodden copies of the Bankstown-Canterbury Torch, ever at hand to take care of any Lakemba household’s potato-peelings and discarded jihadi bomb components.

Sproule St’s canary-kitted bin-pickers are an establishing shot in a post-modern apocalyptic story of four Muslims, a halal meat-grinder and a fart gas plot. Fittingly, this week’s freak-out anti-terror squad is not in camouflage grunge. Last week’s gas masks, machine guns and assault vehicles yield to a form of Bananas in Pyjamas rig.

Oblivious to all hysteria, the wallopers seem part of a slow dance routine. Cue Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers.

The week’s wondrous political theatre includes a piece to camera in a brilliantly improvised disaster narrative – “one of the most sophisticated plots“… ever attempted on Australian soil” – (we’ve had none before.) And what a ripper plot it is.

Four Men and a Mincer is a televisual feast. Every tidbit is filled with suspense and wonder. Fart gas? Wood scraps – errant Kebab skewers, perhaps? Brother, Khaled, planned to fly to Jakarta, terror capital of Indonesia?

“Unknown to the airline, the police and even his brother, Mr Khayat packed a military-grade bomb, concealed in a kitchen meat mincer, in his brother’s check-in bag”? Bro didn’t notice the extra weight? His bro’s teary farewell?

And “how very dare he”, as Catherine Tate says, not notify police or at least Etihad Airlines, his carrier of choice.

In another first, our terror goes postal

In a novel twist the bomb or “IED”, (acronyms boost legitimacy), is Australia’s first FIFO explosive. “Authorities”, a term which helps convey authority, (together with breathless hyperbole and a total bypass of scepticism or hint of critical thinking), report bomb ingredients were flown from ISIS in Turkey, and delivered via the recently retired $4.8 million dollar gunpowder-runner Ahmed Fahour’s Australia Post. In another first, our terror goes postal.

FIFO clinches it. Terror fans today all know, full well, how ISIS has fiendishly ingenious ways of achieving the impossible – possibly disguising the explosives in a cunningly re-purposed receptacle such as a pressure-cooker. It’s extraordinary, moreover, that no traces of Semtex or C4 seem to have been found despite extreme “scouring”.

But wait. As luck has it, The Daily Telegraph, a terror-organ hot-wired to Coalition HQ, is on hand to record a major discovery. OMG. Just as well the plot was foiled. Could’ve been Australia’s 9/11. Sharri Markson has a moment.

“Officers, dressed in yellow plastic jumpsuits, meticulously went through each garbage bag, going through avocado skins, beer bottles, egg shells and fast food wrappers before finding the flight receipt, which was ripped and soggy,” Markson records. Kerbside developments are relayed in relentlessly prosaic detail. Terrifying.

Soggy? NSW Commissioner Mick malaprop Fuller uses “forensic” to stress how well his men scour the area.

As befits any witch-hunt, there is no right to privacy. Nor is any presumption of innocence extended by The Tele which helpfully provides photographs, names, addresses and maps to assist rubber-neckers and vigilantes.

Nothing is left to chance, however. Neighbour Kate Harrison swoons.“There must have been at least 40 riot squad police with huge guns.” Massive swarms of police help reinforce the myth of our “probable” terror threat; the diabolical cunning, the fiendish “sophistication” of our enemies, the Lakemba jihadis, one of whom didn’t notice the sudden extra weight as a heavy home-made bomb disguised as a mincer made its way into his hand luggage.

Spin-off of the week is won by the tall tale of the travelling mincer. Top Cops, boost airport security whilst maintaining peak paranoia, by taking an each-way bet. Yeah. It was yet to pass metal detectors, they say, before being rejected because it was too heavy to be allowed on the flight. Yeah. Nah. Our systems didn’t fail us.

Sophisticated? Imagine the scene. “I know you say your bastard brother always packs the family travelling halal mincer for you, but I’m sorry, Mr Khaled, you either remove that IED from your bag or we can’t let you on board.”

All is calculated to steal the nation’s gaze away …

All is calculated to steal the nation’s gaze away from the government’s Murray-Darling $13.5 billion water scandal, its NBN disaster, its energy policy failure, news of record carbon emissions, its marriage equality snafu, the revelation of un-renounced dual citizen-fifth columnists lurking in its midst, the leaking of the PM’s duplicity over our refugee deal, the CBA bank’s money-laundering for drug syndicates and other self-inflicted crises and catastrophes.

Self-inflicted? In another of its brilliant reforms, the Abbott government made AUSTRAC, Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre financially dependent on the same mafia it was supposed to keep honest. It moved AUSTRAC in 2014 to what it said with a straight face was ” a full industry-based funding model” which meant government funding would be replaced by an industry level. As long as AUSTRAC kept in sweet with the banks.

But look over there. No. Not our shameful abdication of responsibility for Manus. Not the farce of a non-binding, non-compulsory postal plebiscite, certain to be served upon the nation, Tuesday. Not The Great Equivocator Malcolm Turnbull’s slapdown over his resolute evasion of constitutional recognition for indigenous peoples – that’s too ambitious” even though – or, perhaps – because Labor is proposing it. No. It’s a Lakemba-terror. Look out!

Of course it’s not all meant to drive us to distraction. A well-executed terror scare helps us embrace our political leaders and reinforce their need to frighten us further. As experts point out, it is not clear-cut, however, although evidence suggests a terror threat can benefit right wing politicians, especially election candidates.

To create maximum consternation, a mincer is pressed into service as the engine of an “Islamic-based” plot. An inspired choice of device, “mincer” bolts the exotic to the domestic right in your own kitchen. Inventive? Sinister. Not only is ISIS coming to get us, as Abbott warned, our household appliances are not what they may seem.

There is a teensy evidentiary problem. No-one has been able to find the Kenwood in question. Happily, habeas corpus no longer holds up our streamlined anti-terror laws. Mostly it’s straight to jail even if you only have a dumb plan. Yet it’s deadly serious. The attention to detail in costume alone signals a bin squad that means business.

Yellow plastic terror-proof cover-alls contrast vividly with blue kitchen gloves, blue plastic bags and the cerulean blue tarps everything in the bin is tipped out on. It’s more than a visual feast to lift a nation’s spirits, it’s a religious ceremony, the ritual elevation of the AFP into a priestly class.

Almost up there with ASIO, our AFP hierophants are blessed with supernatural powers to divine all manner of evil.

… the unhurried, unsmiling thoroughness of a gang of Mumbai rag-pickers

And keep us safe. The saffron vestments help cement the deal. A buttercup cop in a surgical mask upends a gun-metal grey garbage bin. Voila! But take heed, political deviants and dissenters. Our moral, metaphysical, if not spiritual, guardians sift rubbish with all the unhurried, unsmiling thoroughness of a gang of Mumbai rag-pickers.

Four Men … is a high-stakes, top-quality attention-grabbing drama, a long, suspenseful, terrifying stake-out.

Lethal. Yairs. Top cops tell us how an exploding mince-maker could bring down an airliner in a setting of utter suburban dullness, a plot device and a location so humdrum it takes the banality of evil to a whole new level.

Worse, Channel 7 rants, in more, explosive, revelations. It has wind of a back up plan to launch a Hydrogen Sulphide or fart gas attack on a public transport network system in Sydney. Is there no end to Muslim perfidy? But, wait, something’s on the nose. Of course, Seven has just re-releasing an AFP press release – and it’s a bit whiffy.

The gas is toxic in sufficient concentration but the volume required, Professor Greg Barton, who enjoys regular media billing as a Deakin counter-terrorism expert, argues, rules out any carry on luggage. You’d need a truckload.

And it’s only talk. AFP deputy commissioner of national security Michael Phelan reveals that a second terror plot was “allegedly being discussed by the accused”. Yet even this can be dressed up as scary. The men discussed “… building of an improved chemical dispersion device,” Phelan claims. It’s enough, moreover, to get you charged.

For News Corp’s Sharri Markson, who relays an anonymous minister (not Peter Dutton) the real terrorists are Tim Wilson, Trent Zimmerman, Trevor Evans, Dean Smith and Warren Entsch who are agitating for a conscience vote.

“Today we need to be talking about terrorism and the fantastic work our agencies have done — but instead, because of these saboteurs, these suicide bombers in our own party, we’re talking about same-sex marriage.”

Not another agenda hi-jack! Markson’s “minister” (not Peter Dutton) pretends that government can’t possibly talk about more than one thing at a time. It’s an indictment, to claim our elected representatives can’t “fart and chew gum at the same time” (as Johnson said of Gerald Ford) but it’s now a Coalition orthodoxy; a standard evasion.

… baste the carcass of an open society in its own juices …

Do we really need to baste the carcass of an open society in its own juices by gushing praise over police, paramilitary and other agents of coercion? Haven’t we valorised anyone in uniform enough already? What we need to acknowledge is how well anti-terror laws and terror bust theatre help conceal the terror of the state.

Our draconian security laws threaten our open society. As The MEAA points out we have criminalised the truth and suppressed the right to know. Despite George Brandis, Barnaby Joyce and company, it’s the state whose terror laws are “law-fare” – not the protests of environmental groups which the government seeks to silence.

Michael Forst, UN Special Rapporteur, last October criticised the Turnbull government for its bill to prevent individuals or organisations that have engaged in environmental activities in the past two years from challenging decisions under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Others have instanced our Border Force Act 2015 which can put you in jail for two years if you reveal anything about Manus or Nauru. Too bad if this cuts across your professional obligation to report physical and mental harm.

But the Coalition has not been content just to outlaw whistleblowers and suppress dissent. It deploys its own terror. News “breaks” this week that 38,000 Centrelink pensioners receive “Taskforce Integrity” letters from the Department of Human Services which bear an AFP logo to help instil fear. The letters, sent late July, warn often terrified recipients against deliberately withholding or providing false information to dishonestly collect payments.

Since 2015, DHS has sent over 85,000 letters with AFP logo to welfare recipients in nine national locations. Should any government put the frighteners on its most vulnerable? ACOSS head, Sandra Goldie, is in no doubt,

“It is completely inappropriate for the government to send letters to income support recipients with the Australian Federal Police logo asking if their details are up to date.” “These letters are threatening and completely disregard any mental health issue the person may have.”

Yet, distressingly, the issue attracts little MSM attention and despite its Robo-claw debt recovery debacle, the government is determined to press on with its standover tactics and its efforts to shakedown pensioners to find the small change down the back of the couch while allowing 36 per cent of large companies to pay no tax whatsoever. Oxfam calculates multinational tax avoidance costs Australia $6 billion in revenue every year.

… John Howard in 2004 who took it upon himself to change the Marriage Act …

No-one on the Tele, nor any another MSM recalls that it was a “relaxed and comfortable” John Howard in 2004 who took it upon himself to change the Marriage Act to exclude gay couples. Nor that he did it without plebiscite.

True, there was a bit of a fuss when he also proposed to ban same sex couples from adopting children from other countries, but he was able to abandon that part of his “reform” in his hope of quickly wedging Labor.

He wished, he claimed, “…to make it very plain that that is our view of a marriage and to also make it very plain that the definition of a marriage is something that should rest in the hands ultimately of the parliament …”

In fact, as he did with school chaplains, arch-conservative Howard imposed his own prejudices on the nation, pausing only to insult us that he had read our minds for us. In this sense, he planted an IED of his own that his indulged disciple, Tony Abbott, our accidental Prime Minister, was able to augment with a bomb of his own.

Losing control of an unruly six hour party room meeting stacked with Nationals dinosaurs and desperate to head off a conscience vote, Abbott got his then deputy PM Julie Bishop to propose a plebiscite. It was a word which Wokka Entsch reckons he never heard. Yet it put a time-bomb under Turnbull which is ticking louder by the day.

In a secret, special “emergency” meeting of the Liberal party room scheduled for today, Turnbull will continue his mission of open and transparent, cabinet based decision-making government by trying to engineer a solution which will preserve his confidential, Faustian compact with the National Party.

What has upset the conservatives is news that WA Liberal Senator Dean Smith wishes to introduce a private member’s bill in favour of a conscience vote in parliament. Planning of this was leaked when last June when in a kiss of death, Christopher Pyne overshared his view that a bill would be introduced “sooner than everyone thinks.”

It was not so much the assertion itself which had Liberal die-hard rightists spluttering but his allied claim that the left-wing of the Liberal Party had taken over a vision calculated to inflame the passions of the Abbott, Eric Abetz, Kevin Andrews and the ten or so “Deplorables” who like to style themselves as conservatives.

… an existential battle which goes to the heart of Turnbull’s leadership …

Michelle Grattan who knows people who know people in Canberra believes the five amigos have unleashed an existential battle which goes to the heart of Turnbull’s leadership, a locus, itself a vexed conundrum. Like some reverse terror group, those pro a SSM conscience vote, she says, have engineered an “extraordinary implosion”.

It won’t come to a fight. In typically assertive fashion, the PM’s made it clear that he won’t lead or embrace a position himself. In truth he doesn’t have the political capital to do much else – and even less authority.

What could possibly go wrong? Courting disaster is the par for the course with him. Politics, Groucho Marx reminds us, is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

If all goes to plan, the PM will be able to brandish a non-binding, non-compulsory postal plebiscite which could cost the nation $100 million – to reach a verdict which his government can then reject. Malcolm Farr on ABC Insiders Sunday, says he’s charging the taxpayer to come up with a decision which parliament should be making.

In brief, a postal plebiscite is another political expedient; an evasion of Tony Abbott’s initial evasion of a conscience vote which would undo John Howard’s original 2004 political expedient. Bugger what the nation wants.

Polls show majority support for marriage equality. Only about 25% of Australians oppose same sex marriage.

In the end, the issue illuminates how far Turnbull’s need to keep his leadership outweighs all other concerns and how much his need to appease the right of the party leads his government further away from popular opinion.

The secret deal with the Nationals he made to gain the leadership has not been divulged even after FOI requests. But it’s clear that he’s meant to keep a leash on the Liberals in the party while the National Party keeps a leash on him.

The Nationals … will exercise their right of veto

A joint party room will follow Tuesday where Turnbull will take a secret ballot, banking on the status quo. Whatever the outcome, the Nationals – who have seven times the number of seats as The Greens but less than half the votes – thanks to our gerrymandered political system, will exercise their right of veto, Friday.

In a ray of (setting) sunshine for the right wing, groundhog day for peak stupid arrives Saturday. Craig Kelly is on ABC crowing over the proposed visit of Trump EPA Head and climate change global village idiot, Scott Pruitt. Kelly gushes over the chance to hear Pruitt.

“The head of the EPA in the United States of America is a very high ranking and prestigious position and if he’s got time amongst his busy schedule to come and visit us down in Australia we should welcome him with open arms,” Kelly says.

Nonsense. Just let us know, Craig, if it were you or Josh who invited him. Pruitt does not need our endorsement; nor do we need to hear his stupidity nor his coal-lobby spin. We are being softened up for more coal-fired power stations. On cue this week, PM has been waffling about how ideology must not get in the way of energy security.

By the end of the week, the Turnbull government is in crisis even before Parliament has resumed. Luckily a tape is leaked which gives the lie to claims that Turnbull has not talked tough to the US President, Donald Trump over our heroic refugee-swap which will see us clear Manus and Nauru in return for some unwanted Columbians.

He has “held the line” claim MSM applauding our PM’s assertiveness and offering other glowing endorsements his office has press-released them. In reality, the transcript reveals Turnbull’s thoroughgoing duplicity and cynicism. He is unconcerned if the US takes only a hundred refugees as long as the deal appears outwardly to be a success.

The leak is a damning indictment. It provides a privileged insight into a totally cynical Turnbull and his government to whom nothing matters, least of all the suffering of our refugees, detained offshore in conditions and circumstances which amount to torture.

Turnbull’s sole motivation is to cling to power by whatever means present themselves.

Above all the leaked transcript points to the callous inhumanity of our refugee policy. Whatever the outcome of its gay-marriage imbroglio, the Turnbull government needs to bring our refugees home immediately.

Similarly he could make the call for a conscience vote in Parliament and let his opponents be damned. It would require courage but he has absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Spare us the surreal terror scare tactics, the endless hype about security and the dog-whistling of division, Mr Turnbull. For once in your life do something healing.

*David Tyler (AKA Urban Wronski) was born in England, raised in New Zealand and an Australian resident since 1979. Urban Wronski grew up conflicted about his own national identity and continues to be deeply mistrustful of all nationalism, chauvinism, flags, politicians and everything else which divides and obscures our common humanity. He has always been enchanted by nature and by the extraordinary brilliance of ordinary men and women and the genius, the power and the poetry that is their vernacular. Wronski is now a fulltime freelance writer who lives with his partner and editor Shay and their chooks, near the Grampians in rural Victoria and he counts himself the luckiest man alive. A former teacher of all ages and stages, from Tertiary to Primary, for nearly forty years, he enjoyed contesting the corporatisation of schooling to follow his own natural instinct for undifferentiated affection, approval and compassion for the young.

Bernard Keane, Crikey: Something is badly wrong with the way we protect ourselves from terrorism The discovery of an unsuccessful plot to bring down an airliner should raise serious questions about whether our massive national security spending is making us any safer …

Paul Barry, Media Watch: Reporting on terror raids With just leaks, sources and speculation, how did the media go?

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Claire Gilmour

    August 9, 2017 at 5:51 am

    Robin … Remember what I said … to bring you to this thread ..

    … One wonders why the domestic violence, the climate change, the fire services, the drug lords in Australia and the ATO and the Australian census groups fall so flat when we apparently have such an instant SS group to bring together online services.

    Suggestive is as suggestive does …

    How well can you play the game to get the truth out?

    Check mate.

  2. Robin Charles Halton

    August 8, 2017 at 1:46 am

    Folks, the order for the day:

    This morning 575 officers conducted dozens of raids in Sydney with 17 people arrested across Australia, UAE and the Netherlands.

    1.8 tonnes MDMA, 36kg Coke and 15Kg of Meth was stopped from reaching our shores
    $5.5M was seized, believed to be from the proceeds of crime.

    What do you expect from our Border Security Forces, how can anyone say the Turnbull government is not up to the job for facilitating the measures for preventing crime.!

    Just imagine the misery caused if these drugs had entered Australia undetected!

    #18 Well done Claire, you have gone to a lot of trouble in researching those events!

  3. Lynne Newington

    August 7, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    “His greatest regret never having served in uniform”…If it was anything like his commitment to seminary life …http://nofibs.com.au/tony-abbott-on-why-he-left-the-priesthood/.

    Suffering from a complete lack of of empathy for others….http://isocracy.org/content/seminarian
    I wouldn’t want him in my outfit!!!!!!!

  4. John Hayward

    August 7, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Tony has repeatedly remarked that his greatest regret was never having served in uniform. Nothing seems to arouse the pack fever, even for chimps and ex ABC journos, like the prospect of another pack infringing on one’s territory and a belligerent leader type emerging in the home side.

    This instinct probably had survival value back in the very old days. Now, mixed with fear and stupidity, it may be the best hope for ending the anthropocene with a literal bang.

    John Hayward

  5. Claire Gilmour

    August 7, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    I don’t believe anyone begrudges having decent, appropriate security measures. It’s more a case of how, when and why some things are done and gone about in the manner they are.

    You can fool some of the people, some of the time, but not all of the people, all the time.

    07 March 2017
    When questioned about a proposal to merge dept’s into a Homeland style security – government said it was ‘speculation’.


    10 July 2017
    When again questioned whilst at a Press conference in UK with UK Prime Minister … which would have been a perfect time to end the speculation, Mr Turnbull instead just fudged around the edges …

    Question – “Mr Turnbull, to you first. Your government at home at the moment is considering a change to the bureaucracy regarding the security apparatus. Some speculation has been around adopting a British-style Home Office. I’m just wondering on your discussions here, is that feeding into your decision-making in that process?”
    Prime Minister Turnbull – “The UK has an integrated Home Office, in fact, Theresa was the Home Secretary, in which they have all of their domestic security agencies: MI5, police and border protection, immigration is all part of that. That’s been the case for a very long time. Obviously, we’re always interested in learning about the British experience.
    As far as administrative arrangements in Australia with respect to national security, I just repeat what I’ve said many times: this is no place for set and forget. We have to be dynamic, agile, constantly asking can we improve the way our agencies are keeping Australians safe? We will always continue to seek to improve them, and I’ve demonstrated that with the cyber security strategy already in some of the matters I’ve raised. I’ve demonstrated that with the laws that we’ve changed. As the Australians know we’ve passed laws that will enable the application of a court for a person who is in jail for a terrorist offense to be kept in jail after the expiry of their sentence if they are judged to be a continuing threat. A tough law, no doubt about that, but it’s an example of the changes that I’ve made.
    Also we’ve made changes to our criminal code, so that our troops in the field in the Middle East are able to target and kill terrorists whether they are active combatants with a gun or a bomb or a knife in their hand, or whether they’re in the back office planning or doing logistics or something else. So we will always seek to improve our national security arrangements to keep Australians safe. This is no place for set and forget.”


    17 July 2017
    Turnbull still tight lipped … “these administrative matters are often under discussion and considered.”
    Whilst having a perfectly orchestrated, sorry I mean purely co-incidental, machine-gun wielding back-drop to a party political photo opportunity.

    19 July 2017
    Super- security department finally unveiled. Revealed Turnbull met with UK home security the week before.

    19- 25 July 2017
    Super-security department takes media and other agencies by storm with lots of questioning and negative comments abound.

    26 July 2017 (Wed)
    Authorities allegedly receive info about alleged terror plot (as reported on 30 July 2017)

    27 July 2017 (Thurs)
    Authorities allegedly beefed up security at Sydney airport (as reported on 30 July 2017)

    29 July 2017 (Sat)
    Law enforcements storm in as Turnbull and his Super Security chief Dutton expose terror plot to the public via media live streaming the capture of the alleged terrorists.

    31 July 2017 (Mon)
    Media revealed British intelligence tipped off Australian law enforcement about the threat on 24 July 2017 (Mon)

    Wow, so many coincidences … so many questions, but hey that’s modern day party politics for you.

    Meanwhile Turnbull and Trump have been exposed as being deceitful re their infamous telephone conversation, whilst the Liberal government attempts to silence all public servants.

    Is there true safety in deception Robin?

    And it’s not even September yet, that’s always when the real fun starts … then a month or so of riling the public … then around parliament break, and as an xmas party break-up special, an offer or two given to the public to submit their say on some hugely important legislation over the xmas/new year/holiday break, knowing full well people’s attention is focused elsewhere, and then it’s back to usual political party electioneering through government channels.

  6. Chris

    August 7, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Evidence please or do you have direct line to the head of the AFP?

    “two will remain apprehended on charges of attempting to either create a bomb and carry out a gas attack to bring down a commercial Emirates flight!”

    Have charges been made or only Newscorpcrap hacker and other media EVIDENCE accounts?

  7. Robin Charles Halton

    August 7, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    What is the problem with the recent actions of the Anti terrorism network, where is the evidence of an over reaction!

    They carried out their round up of four suspects, as far as I know two will remain apprehended on charges of attempting to either create a bomb and carry out a gas attack to bring down a commercial Emirates flight!

    Some of you folk need to wake up to what certain members of the Muslim brotherhood would like to destroy our democracy and will go to any lengths to achieve it!

    I would like to personally thank the authorities for their efforts in preventing another terrorist attack, the rest of you folk should think likewise.

  8. Claire Gilmour

    August 7, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    The more some in the public comment and question, the more muzzles come out …


    Apparently party political hyperbole and dog-whistling is ok though!

    The irony of the Liberal Federal government hyping up ‘Muslim’ terrorist fear in Australia whilst gifting to a country of mainly muslims …


  9. Urban Wronski

    August 7, 2017 at 4:05 am

    A racist, the keeper of the rules of journalism, a domino theorist and a member of the adjective police in the one issue. I should buy a tattslotto ticket.

    The point of tale of the self-parodying and patently implausible mincer terror hoax is that it is one of the means by which an increasingly authoritarian government is able to mask both its incompetence and its tyranny by dividing its citizens, inflaming intolerance, bigotry and even xenophobia.

    There are many chilling historical parallels including the witch-crazes of the 16th and 17th century and the communist witch hunt of the McCarthy era.

    A climate of fear arises and a folie a foule – a type of hysteria or group madness which is the enemy of independent or critical thinking – the true guarantor of our freedom.

    Such times as these will cause otherwise ‘normal’ harmless citizens, even, to attack those who may appear not to conform – and to do so in self-righteous, paranoid frenzy.

    Dissenters must be denounced. Howled down. All in the name of protecting our freedom, of course. Or “our way of life”. (Never ways of life.)

    Some may even confuse abuse and personal invective for reasoned rebuttal.

    I rest my case.

  10. Tim Thorne

    August 7, 2017 at 12:14 am

    Paul, #10, I expressed my gratitude in comment #5 for our freedoms.

    I am still none the wiser as to why you think that those who criticise our government should leave the country rather than stay here and try to fix the problems.

    I am proud to have supported the Vietnamese people in their struggle against the US invasion of their country and shall never be convinced that it was right for Australia to take part in that war. Hundreds of young Australians were needlessly killed and many more had their lives ruined. They and their families have always had my respect and sympathy, but I refuse to forgive those politicians who sent them into danger.

  11. Lynne Newington

    August 7, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Hat’s off to you Paul for doing your tour’s of duty partcularly Vietnam…I’m sure if half these politicians had been courted by conscription they would be different men today……
    My regret is the Catholic Church as in more recent times, was sleazing it’s own agenda between the gaps as it did under John Paul 11’s “just war” in the 1990 Balkins War.

    He had nothing to gain in Iraq and Afghanistan and the rules changed.

  12. Paul Tapp

    August 6, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    #5. I m not ‘some people”. I am a veteran for this country. As far back in my Launceston days at 7LA, you were undermining the commitment of my conscripted colleagues to fight Communism in South Vietnam. Linsday Tuffin may edit this out, but I hold philosophical pseudo academic snipers as you responsible for many suicides when our lads came back home. Not just from Vietnam, but from Afghanistan and Iraq. But not me. I got on with it and eventually got a job as a journo with the ABC. I was greeted by an anti-Vietnam journo with vicious abuse “we don’t want you here!” Well they got me. I reported filth and corruption in this State, won the major State’s journo award. Resigned and burnt it.In the mean-time I was ‘hosted’ by a Hawke apostate who suddenly appeared at ABC Hobart after I reported that he was drunk as the ACTU leader who had publicly declared that he had gone on the waggon.
    In the company of fellow ABC journos I was surreptitiously drugged and left to my own resources to make my own way home. Thank God for the Libs who wrested control of Australian politics, where the Opposition is still in disarray and still unable to select a plausible leader to take it to Trump, elected on hyperbole devoid of policy.Go to Tennyson who said of snipers as you “I perish by this people which I made…” Well let me put this to you Tim Thorne, you too would have perished had it not been for brave young men and women who have put everything on the line at the time, be it the march of Japs and Huns, Communism and now WW3, Terrorism. Be thankful that our democracies still allow you to have your impotent views.

  13. Lynne Newington

    August 6, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    At least he doesn’t throw it like someone else I know……
    I wasn’t surprised to read Mr Santamaria had his reservations about the same person I’m referring too, not wanting to mention both their names in the same breath….. http://insidestory.org.au/australias-great-political-shift/

  14. PHilip Lowe

    August 6, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    When ever the shit hits the fan in the media circus,have a look round at what is sneaking past in the melee.Money and scandal are usually trying to pass by without being noticed.

  15. john hayward

    August 6, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    With Malcolm having shrunk from a political supernova to seemingly a black hole since his ascendancy so recently, the pending visit of Trump EPA boss Scott Pruitt, together with the greatest moral challenge of our times, may finally provide a measure for Malcolm’s current stature post the elevation of Dutton.

    Should his party replace him with Mr Bean?

    John Hayward

  16. Lynne Newington

    August 6, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    In addition to the Marriage Act I might add…
    Ministers of Recognised Denominations are to be fit and proper persons as registered Marriage Celebrants of the State and in good standing within the community, yet clergy who avoided civil law found guilty of heinous crimes against children by the Melbourne Archdiocese Independant Commissioner yet never had their license withdrawn by notifying the relevant authortiy.

  17. Tim Thorne

    August 6, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    #3 & 4: It is strange how some people respond to criticism of government policy, incompetence or apparent bias with the injunction for the critic to go elsewhere.

    Surely there are more intelligent responses which do not involve checking out the sharpness of Saudi sabres or the dankness of Russian prison cells?

    I do not disagree with the proposition that we in Australia are freer than many to complain about those in authority over us, and I am grateful for that. It appears, however, that this freedom is one which must be enjoyed in the abstract only.

    I intend to remain living here and to continue to work to improve the place. I leave to the Syrians, the Chinese, the Venezuelans etc the task of improving conditions in their countries.

  18. O'brien

    August 6, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    #3 Hear hear.

    “When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don’t mean utterly, but kill most of them–then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are far apart.” (Mark Twain)

    “Brevity is the soul of wit.”(William Shakespeare)

  19. Paul Tapp

    August 6, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    This guy should just spend his time whispering sweet bullshit into his girlfriend’s ear and feeding his chooks…or maybe move to China, Russia, the Middle East, where he would very quickly at the end of a very sharp sabre understand the values of ‘countries like Australia with its luxury and vice and footy, fishing, waves and sand are worth the sacrifice’. Or maybe at least write his next ‘lead article’ for the TT from a cenotaph with a little realistic perspective as to what we are and what we are prepared to do to maintain what we are. Let him take one of his disciples @ #1 with him too. Perhaps then they may form a political party, put their hands up for the next election with their anti-everything policies, including brave anti-terrorist cops, and see how many votes they get. Also try a course in basic journalism on brevity, balance and bias…or better still for all of us just go back to where he came from. But would they have him back in NZ, or the UK? I know the TT welcomes stuff from anybody, but … really!

  20. TGC

    August 6, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    #1 The great thing is the contributor Pratson doesn’t have long to wait before Shyten becomes the PM – then #1 will really have something to rail against- what fun that will be

  21. philll Parsons

    August 6, 2017 at 11:54 am

    We have seen from the Trump call leaks that Turdbull will sacrifice anything to stay as PM.

    Unfortunately for him the rightwing Lieberals are ready to make a sacrifice for their beliefs, their PM and government, the one chance they have to try and implement their delcon ideas.

    Whilst many background issues are masked by the media attention on other matters in an attempt to sell product, they have not evaporated.

    The budget and summer approach. One will show us how keen they current mob are to keep their bums on the Treasury benches and the other to give us lessons about how not to treat the natural systems that provide us the climate we are dependent on.

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