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

Economy

NATION: Whatever The High Court decides, Turnbull lost the nation

*Pic: Flickr, Donkey Hotey

“If you look at the examples across Europe, socialism is a recipe for failure, is a recipe for mediocrity and for inferior outcomes. There is no doubt Bill Shorten has taken the Labor Party down the path of a socialist agenda,” Senator Matthias Cormann.

First published August 28

Undermined by a dual-citizenship debacle that threatens its legitimacy and which could well drag on until Christmas, besieged by a marriage equality survey that is at best postponing of a reckoning with popular opinion – and at worst an abdication of leadership, the Turnbull government is paralysed by indecision and ineptitude. Almost.

Luckily, it has hidden reserves. Wannon MP, plucky Dan Tehan, is on hand to deplore the “defacing of public statues” and two councils’ decision to change the date of Australia Day. It’s his way of advancing public debate.

“The behaviour of these councils is appalling”, he says, showing all the open-minded empathy a Liberal MP can muster.

Darebin Council, in Melbourne’s north, says it decided to replace citizenship ceremonies on January 26 with “more culturally appropriate” activities out of “compassion and empathy to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people”.

Accordingly, the Federal Government has, fairly and reasonably, removed Melbourne’s City of Yarra and Darebin councils right to host citizenship ceremonies, ever, after the local governments voted not to hold them on January 26.

The bizarrely high-handed, over-reaction to what is a local issue reveals a government losing its sense of perspective long with its legitimacy and its authority. Worse. In the hothouse anti-terror climate of official Aussie values, hypervigilant citizenship and constant, state-sponsored paranoia, a type of madness thrives.

… increasingly, alarmingly intolerant of dissent

The Turnbull government is increasingly, alarmingly intolerant of dissent. In its recent Australia Day actions it seems unduly, unreasonably, threatened by local independence which includes a healthy disrespect for authority and state control – surely the very lifeblood of the Aussie values or the peoples – it professes to respect.

Professor Roberta Ryan, Director the The Institute for Public Policy and Governance at Sydney’s University of Technology, cuts to the chase.

“I really do think the outrage is about people not liking what councils are saying … and what these councils are saying is ‘Australia Day is ‘Invasion Day’ for Aboriginal people and we don’t want to be a part of it’.”

“It’s ironic that the PM has said changing the date is a national debate we need to have, yet his government appears to be working to silence it by punishing councils for taking a stand in support of their Indigenous communities,” says Darebin’s mayor, Kim le Cerf, exposing a favourite Turnbull buzz-phrase – on a par with “national conversation” .

Dan hasn’t got the memo about debate or dissent. Someone has written “change the date” and “no pride in genocide” on a statues, including one of James Cook in central Sydney. Dan hopes they are arrested. You can’t change history. You can look at the facts at the time and you can say this is what we know now. “But you can’t deface statues.”

Australia Day’s date and the statues are huge in the news. The PM is quick to condemn the “cowardly criminal attack” on the defenceless statues. He sees it as nothing less than “a Stalinist attempt to rewrite history”, which fits his government’s attack on socialist Bill Shorten this week. You can tell he’s always up for measured, respectful debate.

Dan’s can-do attitude and his nose for true Aussie values illustrate the resilience and agility of a Turnbull team with its backs to the wall. The statues help remind us how we are up with latest overseas trends in statuary conservation.

… beautiful statues of confederate generals and slave owners

Donald Trump, for example, has recently deplored the toppling of beautiful statues of confederate generals and slave owners. He tweets that he is “sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart”. No danger that the Donald will acknowledge his own part in that ripping apart. Our self-righteous rulers share the same blind spot.

Minister for Defence personnel and for assisting the PM on cybersecurity, when he’s not deploring local vandalism, Dan is also helping his government devise laws to make telecommunications providers take responsibility for what he describe as “scrubbing the Web of viruses and malware”. With those aims he easily wins Sisyphean hero of the week.

Sinking further with every poll, racked by internal division, a rapidly disintegrating Coalition desperately tries to rally; forge some superficial unity or purpose by picking on others. A week of absurdly overblown posturing is on show in all arenas – in the theatre of its war on terror, refugees, the poor or Bill Shorten, led by the PM’s bullying of the High Court.

Barnaby Joyce is “qualified to sit in the house and the High Court will so hold,” Turnbull trumpets. He goes way too far, even given his gift for hyperbole. Better to have stood his Kiwi ring-in aside. Called a bye-election. Bluster won’t cut it.

In three months, tops, Aussie Barnaby, would canter back in – well in time for office Christmas drinks and parties.

The PM’s dud call upsets backers. Shocks their Murray-Darling cotton socks off. Even Barry O’Sullivan goes quiet.

Bazza reckons BJ’s a rock star. A real celebrity. Books him to campaign in the QLD state election in October or next March. Across the Tasman, Joyce’s just as big. He’s running second in nominations for 2018 New Zealander of the Year.

Huge as Barney is, nevertheless, Turnbull is out of order. Did the former savvy, Spy-Catcher barrister really try to sway the High Court? Abuse parliamentary privilege to get an expeditious hearing or a favourable outcome? Surely not.

“very clear advice” from the Solicitor-General …”

Turnbull says he has “very clear advice” from the Solicitor-General that Joyce need not stand down; that his future’s safe. But does he? Could it simply be its George Brandis-friendly S-G 2.0, Dr Stephen Donoghue QC, our second most powerful law officer, telling it what it wants to hear? Could getting rid of Gleeson have backfired so quickly?

Other constitutional legal experts are much less upbeat. Spencer Zifcak, Professor of Law at the Australian Catholic University says the PM has badly miscalculated:

He should have known better than to preempt the court’s decision. The judges will not be impressed. And anyway, in this instance, he’s likely to be wrong. In constitutional matters, unambiguous words usually win out.

Notorious for its secrecy, the Coalition will not release its advice, yet the public has a right to know. AG Brandis, maintains that publishing advice could scare off the silks; jeopardise the Coalition’s future access to legal opinion.

Yet “… why should the nation trust the government on the basis of legal argument it has not seen?”, asks UNSW’s Gabrielle Appleby.

Government should release its case out of respect for the upcoming High Court hearing, for the right of the Parliament and public to know the full detail of advice that we are being assured we can rely upon. Secrecy, she concludes, risks further undermining the reputation of the office of the Solicitor-General, tarnished by Gleeson’s treatment.

Help is on its way. Nuanced News Corp hacks invade the field; stiff-arm tackle a rogue constitution for tripping up the lazy or unwary. Laurie Oakes calls section 44 “a silly tangle” and calls for change in the next election “if we value parliament.” Law’s an ass. A referendum will fix it. Let’s do away with anything that gets in government’s way.

… she is reluctant to allow proceedings to be hurried …

Whatever Turnbull’s tactic, his rush to prejudgement backfires, Thursday. Chief Justice Susan Kiefel sets a hearing for October 10, 11 and 12, a month later than Attorney-General George “bring-it-on” Brandis bargains on. Everything about the Chief Justice’s demeanour suggests that she is reluctant to allow proceedings to be hurried along by anyone.

Justice Kiefel asks the Solicitor-General Dr Stephen Donaghue QC, who represents Brandis, if there is any “practical difficulty” or “issue of governance” if the court hears the matter in October. No. There is not, young Donaghue meekly replies. The real possibility that the government could lose its majority over Barnaby is not something to bring up here.

It’s a stiff rebuke from the chief beak; yet another miscalculation by a government with a genius for self-sabotage.

In a further blow, the court grants Tony Windsor permission to appear “as a contradictor” because he polled second in New England in 2016. Windsor may challenge the government’s arguments and put forward contrary views.

Windsor will argue that Joyce, a dual citizen of New Zealand, has breached the constitution by standing as a senator. His lawyers have also argued for the right to cross-examine Joyce, if needed, for their case.

Even more damaging to the government’s cause, Signor Canavani, our Italian Senator, changes his story. No longer does he blame his mother, Maria, for his Italian citizenship. Instead, it’s his mother country. Italy changed its law in 1983 conferring citizenship by descent upon him when he was but two years old. He knew nothing. Besides the law is an ass.

“Assolutamente ridicolo” Matteo’s lawyer, Barrister David Bennett QC, contends that to apply section 44 (1) to citizenship by descent is ridiculous. He’ll use ABS statistics to show that citizenship by descent could apply to half the parliament.

… not the responsibility of the candidate to check …

Absolutely. The Law’s at fault; not the responsibility of the candidate to check he makes a true and accurate declaration. And follows procedure. A novel twist is introduced by one (former) dual citizen amongst the magnificent seven now awaiting clarification. Malcolm Roberts says he emailed The British Home Office to renounce his citizenship.

Roberts did not hear back and emailed his renunciation again. His lawyer, Robert Newlinds, SC says the Senator was sent a form by the Home Office after the election, and sometime later, the British authorities accepted his renunciation.

Mr Newlinds said it remains unclear whether the Home Office “were accepting the renunciation by the form, or the earlier email”. To the non-legal observer it would seem, by his own admission, nevertheless, that Roberts was still a dual citizen at the time of his election and that the supply of a form indicates that there was a process yet to complete.

The political stage is set for a bean-feast of casuistry, pettifogging and bush-laywering. Until Roberts’ case is thrown out.

The notion that the Leader of the Opposition must disprove his dual citizenship is irresistible to a government desperate to distract. The week begins with a series of government MPs demanding Bill Shorten produce documentation showing he’s renounced the British citizenship he inherited from his Tyneside father William. It’s a game anyone can play.

Coalition climate change guru Craig Kelly calls for an audit of all MPs’ eligibility to sit in parliament. He believes all MPs “should be forced to prove” they are not dual citizens of another country, thereby reversing the onus of proof in an imitation of the American birther movement. Others chime in, assisted by the ABC’s Tony Jones on Monday’s Q&A.

Liberal Fran Kelly pesters guests on her RN breakfast show over several days as to why Bill Shorten won’t provide proof he’s renounced British citizenship. Bugger justice. Sabra Lane also badgers Labor MPs who appear on ABC AM.

… the golden thread of English criminal law …

The onus or burden of proof is borne by the prosecution in a legal tradition which is hailed as the golden thread of English criminal law and is fundamental to the presumption of innocence. As the High Court put it three years ago:

” … [o]ur system of criminal justice reflects a balance struck between the power of the State to prosecute and the position of an individual who stands accused. The principle of the common law is that the prosecution is to prove the guilt of an accused person.”

Shorten’s in trouble – as we all know – just for being Bill Shorten, a predicament created by Tony Abbott whose sole political legacy is his capacity to see clear past policy to focus solely on persecuting his opponents by any means possible. It hurt Rudd and worked a treat with Gillard, thanks in no small part to the support of the Murdoch press.

After Abbott wasted $50 million on the witch hunt that was the Heydon Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption – a circus which failed to find Shorten or Julia Gillard guilty of a single criminal offence – in desperation the Coalition allows its ferocious Belgian Schutzhund, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann off his leash.

Cormann takes the lead in demonising Shorten in a speech at Gerard and Anne Henderson’s tax-deductible, home, also grandly titled The Sydney Institute. Not only is he a socialist, the Labor leader is taking his party back to its failed socialist roots, barks Matthias. No-one is rude enough to point out that Shorten is a member of the Victorian right. Nor dare anyone suggest that Coalition proposals to build state coal mines or Adani a railway are very much socialist ideas.

Cormann shows a slide with a link to a quotation from Karl Marx. The clue is in the key word inequality.

“Bill Shorten says he will fight inequality everywhere. Who else used that sort of language?” The Messiah?

… delinquent focus group somewhere … laughing at its mischief …

Smart as a whip, Julie Bishop calls Shorten the most left-wing Labor leader than Arthur Calwell, Gough Whitlam’s predecessor, a gibe which is sure to create mass panic amongst the over seventies. Or amuse those who attend Liberal Party meetings. A delinquent focus group somewhere, surely, must be laughing at its mischief.

Cormann’s evidence is equally laughable. Shorten’s keeping the deficit levy which the Coalition itself brought in – at a whopping 49.5%, a whole half a percent higher than under Abbott’s regime. Then there’s his restriction of negative gearing, his limitation of self-managed super funds to borrow from the fund to buy property, itself part of the government’s Murray inquiry into the financial system.

In brief, even after a scare about the tax cuts for business which Labor may even keep for small business, Cormann’s case is light on for detail – and substance. Much like his government’s economic policy. Yet then again, in a post-fact, fake news era, it’s more the vibe of the thing that matters. Bagging Bill does leave less time to spin your own lies.

Of course to hit any political target you need a good aim. So far the war on Shorten has failed to even identify its target, let alone score any hits. A large part of the problem is that the Coalition has two Bill Shortens in its sights. One is a dangerously lunatic leftie who will socialise everything from the local milk-bar to the banking system.

The other is a regular visitor to the Pratt household, a class traitor who hobnobs with millionaires and who does dodgy deals with rich employers to rip off workers for union benefit and to line his own pockets. “Slithering snake.”

This caricature overlaps, it is true, with our PM himself who features this week in the media in ecstatic sycophantic communion with a member of the Pratt family. Demonise Bill all you will – but two demons is one too many.

While the war on Bill Shorten is waged, Bernard Keane suggests, the government wastes time it could put into promoting its success in employment growth. Or could it? 220,000 new full-time jobs since September 2016 sounds impressive, as Alan Austin notes unless you are also told that the adult population increased by 265,300 over that time.

Or might just as well explain its half a trillion debt due entirely to its mismanagement of the economy something which mainstream media ignores scrupulously because – as everyone knows – Coalition governments are so much better at economic management and have been ever since Howard made up the lie.

Kill Bill or the war on Shorten will continue at least for another week because, as Tony Abbott capably demonstrated, it’s so much easier to survive in Coalition politics if you focus solely on attacking your opponents and let the IPA do the policies. And there’s a most obliging media who are only too happy to publish scare-mongering and slurs.

In a month’s time, however, all the distraction in the world won’t help a government which may not get to keep its deputy PM and which may – for a while at least – have to govern without a majority. Yet even if it retains Barnaby Joyce and no other dual citizen is uncovered on its lower house benches, it will have lost.

Even should it retain government, the mean and tricky Coalition’s citizenship fiasco with its one set of rules for the Greens and another for its deputy PM and Minister for Resources has helped it lose the electorate. You can see by its responses to local councils and its judgemental dismissal of protesters that it is well down that road already.

*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.

Stan Grant, Crikey: Stan Grant and the monumental turn towards a living history Stan Grant has been pilloried for suggesting that we modify our historical monuments to more accurately reflect our complicated past. But for some commentators Australia’s Anglo-centric history is obstinately set in stone.

Guardian: Aboriginal history is ‘cultural vandalism’? Then I’ll proudly wear my Aboriginal flag-starred beret

Crikey, Guy Rundle: Australian iconoclasm and the decaying edifices of the right

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

31 Comments

  1. Russell

    September 7, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    A little wise advice from Paul Kelly…

    “Little boy, you look so clear around the eyes
    And what they’ve got in store for you you may not realise
    So be careful when you hear the voices call
    Watch out, little boy, don’t lose your balls

    ‘Cause you never know the rules until you play
    First they stroke you then they screw you
    Try to take your balls away
    And once they’re gone they’re way beyond recall
    Watch out, little boy, don’t lose your balls

    Balls run wild
    Balls may get way out of line
    You may not even know you’ve left your balls way behind

    You know money only buys you what you want
    And you can’t buy your balls back like you buy a pair of pants
    And once they’re gone you’ve really got fuck all
    Watch out, little boy, don’t lose your balls”

  2. Russell

    September 7, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    “far outweigh pleas by a local guy from outback Australia”

    The racist bigot shows his true colours.

  3. Russell

    September 7, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Re #28
    “Careful there, you are already on a watch list”

    I BEG YOUR PARDON!

    Loser.

  4. Robin Charles Halton

    September 7, 2017 at 2:39 am

    #25, Careful there, you are already on a watch list!

    #26, I am defending the PM first and foremost as his current big issue that is one of international security in our region and that affects all of us.

    The unpredictable movements of North Korea far outweigh pleas by a local guy from outback Australia, that will have to wait!

    I suppose that the PM should nominate his Aboriginal Affairs Minister to deal with the situation that Clinton wishs to discuss with government

    I am firmly at the opinion that currently our government are dealing with more that enough of the priorities most are already outstanding and remaining unresolved.
    There is simply not enough parliamentary time to deal with any sideline issues.

  5. Russell

    September 6, 2017 at 9:30 pm

  6. Russell

    September 6, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Before you ignorantly comment again Robin, try to comprehend what Indigenous leaders from all over Australia were saying at the recent meeting they had at Uluru, and the messages this Indigenous man Clinton Pryor has gathered from community leaders he met with as he walked all the way along songline routes from Heirisson Island in Perth to Canberra to present to the Turnbull Government

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/29/clinton-pryor-walk-for-justice-indigenous-crossing-australia

    and https://www.facebook.com/Clintonswalkforjustice/photos/a.1837893533100501.1073741829.1834550296768158/2038265873063265/?type=3

    Typically, after Clinton finished his mammoth trek a couple of days ago, Turdbull spoke over the top of him the whole time they ‘eventually’ met.

    Apart from a few snippets in the last couple of days, the Australian media (even SBS) has been missing in action the whole past year of Clinton’s journey. However, the International press has been following it and giving it the world coverage it deserves.

    Educate yourself, Robin. Indigenous Australians are sick of hearing for over 200 years “what’s best for them” and then being oppressed and persecuted at every step.

  7. Russell

    September 6, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Re #24
    Go for it idiot.

  8. Robin Charles Halton

    September 6, 2017 at 1:55 am

    #23 I’ll let Peter Dutton know so the ADF can keep and eye on you just in case that you are a dissenter!

  9. Russell

    September 5, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    I doubt anyone but a handful of home-grown single brain-celled thugs are going to join you in your “forthcoming defence of the nation.”

  10. Russell

    September 5, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Stuff “One Nation” and the rest of the bogan war-mongering morons. Why don’t you leave other countries alone?

  11. Russell

    September 5, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Re #20
    Still not one single fact or glimmer of personal experience displayed.

    They’re more educated in the things that matter than you’ll ever be, but you’ll never accept that because you’ll never make the journey personally to know any different.

    They were much better off before “Invasion Day” and the latest meetings by Indigenous Elders culminating at Ulura reiterated that.

    Again, how many languages can you speak? Why can’t Indigenous people run their own businesses, how they want, on their own land?

    Why don’t you just butt out with your demeaning derogatory remarks and grow up?

  12. Robin Charles Halton

    September 4, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    #19 You know as well as I do its up to the elders to get those youngsters an education to escape the rut they will be left in after the elders pass on.

    Leaving the youngsters with a measure of traditional knowledge as well as every opportunity for Western education will equip them for life in a rapidly modernised and demanding society !

    That is why I suggested a crack at military training for those from the top end who should know their country and would be equipped with both traditional and taught basic military skills, to serve as a Reserve force to protect their own as well as the nations interests in preparation for “Invasion” day II.

    As I said earlier the Dreamtime will be over for the indigenous peoples and the lengthy period of peace for the white population has enjoyed since 1945, China asserts itself as an expanding power in the SE Asia Region!

    Its a One Nation game or call it a unified nation approach and it will also involve Torres Strait Islanders, the entire PNG/ Bougainville populations right through the occupancy of the entire Oceania chain of islands for obvious reasons!

    The Australian Government may be forced to make some very important decisions within the next few months over a certain individual who is threatening peace in our region.

    I find it rather stupid that Greens leader Richard di Natale has called for peace for Australia to withdraw its alliance with the US at this particular time!

    The Northern Australian borders are vast, in case you dont realise each and every cooperative tribal group will make a lot of difference for the forthcoming defence of the nation.

  13. Russell

    September 4, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Re #18
    And you have produced no facts or understanding from your total lack of personal experience and knowledge, as usual. Never do you provide answers to questions asked.

  14. Robin Charles Halton

    September 3, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    #17 You are a glowing example of nothingness.

  15. Russell

    September 2, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Re #16
    Absolute rubbish. What positive things happened for the Indigenous community while Abbott was PM? Nothing.

    You are the one in the dream time, of the lala land kind.

  16. Robin Charles Halton

    September 2, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    #15 Former PM Tony Abbott had the right idea by actually participating in aboriginal life with his regular sojourn to remote communities to get the parents to get the children out of bed to catch the school bus to attend school on a regular basis.

    Abbott was well and truly on the right track to promote education as both school bus and class monitor to witness at the coal face the goings on in remote communities knowing that the best way foward for indigenous youngsters was education.

    Had Mal given Abbott the Ministry the government would be in a far better position today with aboriginal affairs.

  17. Russell

    September 1, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Re #14
    You’re a disgrace.

  18. Robin Charles Halton

    September 1, 2017 at 1:29 am

    #11 So what are the native peoples supposed to do when the next wave of invaders arrive, this time from China.

    I would have thought that protecting their lands would be a priority as the top end is a big place. By helping themselves is helping the nation.

    The Dream time is over, do you get it, Russell.

    Native Australians up and coming younger generations will have to deal with the reality like the rest of the nation!

    Despite living in digital age black tracking skills and knowledge traditional survival crafts will still be in demand to make it difficult for foreigners trying to exploit a harsh land.

    Peace is now on a roller coaster just as #13 Chris has bluntly explained!

  19. Chris

    August 31, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    #6
    ‘Currently the nation is in a state of political confusion with little of any real being achieved, PM Turnbull has to put the foot down otherwise our political system will fall apart leading to turmoil.”

    Sect 44 states…
    (i.) Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power:

    Where does the Fizza stand on his rights and privileges of a foreign Power if he has those under the Cayman Islands and its Zero Tax regime, plus where does he stand, alongside of us in regard to his allegiance under the Anzus Treaty.
    Are we all in a bag of worms or slugs ?
    Is MT going to refer himself or will he consult ? (in both cases).

  20. Russell

    August 31, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Re #11
    You have no idea what you are talking about.

    Your comments show the same gross and grotesque ignorance that ex-One Nation Oldfield showed when he said “they don’t have language, they’re just utterings.”

    Go and stay in Arnhem Land for a while and get yourself educated, before you gurgle your own primitive utterings about educating others.

  21. Robin Charles Halton

    August 31, 2017 at 2:57 am

    #10, I doubt if it would be ideal if all of the generations would want to stay on the land, they are limited in what they could achieve now that most have moved on from traditional living (hunting and gathering) into a hopelessly lost culture dependent on the supermarket and varied government programs that is supposed to lead to employment!

    Apart from those who have made the effort and with some education who have moved into Ranger type positions carrying out useful research, maintaining environment and able to showcase their way of life, for example in an historical narrative using rock art for international visitors there appears to be little other.

    There also seems to be an international recognition for bark paintings for example done by hundreds of indigenous artists throughout the nation.

    Skilled trackers were once sought after to carry out forensic roles, there is no doubt in my mind if the Japanese had invaded Northern Australia, aboriginal guerilla units using some of their traditional skills would have played an important role for the Australian Army.

    Perhaps those still capable of passing on traditional skills living in their own communities could be employed by the Australian Military for the build up remote military defences right across Northern Australia.

    Its almost certain we will see some sort of forced expansion of the Chinese into Australia within the near future,

    PNG populations should be considered for the similar level of useful military commitment.

    Its pointless to allow the fit and the young from remote populations fall into idleness, there has to be a role for them to play, in the name of the national interest!

  22. Russell

    August 30, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Re #4
    Apparently it wasn’t in Cook’s Royal instructions to claim Australia at all, plus it was illegal.

    Re #8
    How about “Breaking the cycle requires Governments making the effort to welcome all generations of Indigenous Australians and see the life benefits of stepping into the future by enabling them to stay on land and create their own employment and be properly represented in Governments, instead of trapping them into welfare by separatism”?

    How about introducing Indigenous languages into mainstream education? Most remote Indigenous people know about six languages, including English. How many can you speak?

    Why do you keep talking down to them like they were children or some sort of pet? They know a shitload more about Australia and caring for their environment sustainably than your mob ever will. I think the further education needs to be the other way around with non-Indigenous people doing the catching up.

    Re #9
    Don’t forget Cook deliberately released pigs and other invasive pests before he trundled off again.

    And John Macarthur was a useless drunkard. It was his wife Elizabeth who did all the wool pioneering.

    Then there’s our own local hero Kemp (self-proclaimed ‘father of Tasmania’). Another drunkard bully who lead the rum rebellion against Bligh, and had others flogged to death in Tasmania if they dared cross him or get in the way of his ‘businesses’. Spent his last few years cowering behind closed doors on his estate in Kempton before he was buried under what is now a school basketball court. How fitting.

  23. philll Parsons

    August 30, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Describing Cook as a navigator is just fine. The symbolic statue should say that.

    Leaders and examples. Australia isn’t good at everything all the time. References to 1984 support you blue blindfold poorly.

  24. Robin Charles Halton

    August 30, 2017 at 11:25 am

    #7 No matter how many forms of Reconciliation the nation engages with ,its symbolic effect is no more than a feel good situation on the day it is introduced, the next day the reality for aboriginal people is the same, in most cases a struggle to adjust to Western values and maintain a degree of their own culture.

    Breaking the cycle requires their elders making the effort to integrate the younger generation to see the life benefits of stepping into the future, instead of leaning on welfare and separatism .

    Changing Australia Day to satisfy the callings of indigenous people would only be a symbolic act but their for full recognition, education and acceptance of a One Nation approach would be the way foward.

  25. Russell

    August 28, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Re #5
    Exactly Tim, why isn’t Australia Day on the day Australia became a nation?

    Troglodyte Turnbull’s just acting on orders from Trump, as Howard did from Bush.

    Re #6
    If you don’t want to be “a bunch of them and us’s” then it’s about time you fit in with the original inhabitants who were illegally dispossessed and treated like animals up until the 1960s and then shoved onto compounds out of the way while the resource extraction and pastoral industries rape the land.

  26. Robin Charles Halton

    August 28, 2017 at 2:09 am

    Issuing a stern warning to Melbourne’s Darebin and Yarra Councils beyond the change to Australia Day ceremonies dont even suggest messing with any monuments that may represent our past nation builders otherwise you are inviting trouble that the country has never seen before and does not want to see.

    I basically have no problems if there is going to be a change to the Australia Day date but if the lead up is forced upon us by reports of overly political correctness leading to outbursts of bad social behavior I dont want any part of it.

    We should aim to be One Nation and not a bunch of them and us’s!

    Thing could become very hostile if Bill Shorten continues on way as the new age evangelist with his Green mates outreaching to far beyond reasonable conservative views.

    Currently the nation is in a state of political confusion with little of any real being achieved, PM Turnbull has to put the foot down otherwise our political system will fall apart leading to turmoil.

    There needs to rational judgement to move quicker with the SSM issue, home ownership, address homelessness, reliable power and pricing , chop immigration and national land sales to foreign entities and follow up hard and proper with the operations of the CBA.

    The last thing we want is for the people to vote with their fists but it seems trouble is brewing, time is running out governments, at all levels need to act prudently and not radically !

    I am a nationalist but I dont dont wave flags at all, I simply go about my business by living in peace, so far!

  27. Tim Thorne

    August 27, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Australia began on 1 January 1901, well after Cook’s death. Whatever he ‘discovered’, it wasn’t the country of which I am a citizen and of which Malcolm Turnbull is the current Prime Minister.

  28. Mark Temby

    August 27, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Dog whistling and giving the same crowd an easy handle to repeat have reached new heights or lows depending upon your perspective.

    Cook discovered Australia? Apart from general primary school knowledge of William Dampier in 1688 and Abel Tasman in 1642 there is the following quite from the Australian government’s own website on European mariners:

    “The first records of European mariners sailing into ‘Australian’ waters occurs around 1606, and includes their observations of the land known as Terra Australis Incognita (unknown southern land). The first ship and crew to chart the Australian coast and meet with Aboriginal people was the Duyfken captained by Dutchman, Willem Janszoon.

    “Between 1606 and 1770, an estimated 54 European ships from a range of nations made contact. Many of these were merchant ships from the Dutch East Indies Company and included the ships of Abel Tasman. Tasman charted parts of the north, west and south coasts of Australia which was then known as New Holland.

    “In 1770, Englishman Lieutenant James Cook charted the Australian east coast in his ship HM Barque Endeavour. Cook claimed the east coast under instruction from King George III of England on 22 August 1770 at Possession Island, naming eastern Australia ‘New South Wales’. The coast of Australia, featuring Tasmania as a separate island, was mapped in detail by the English mariners and navigators Bass and Flinders, and the French mariner, Baudin.”

    If we have to endure more History Wars from the idiot conservatives can we at least create reasonable arguments? Cook was a great navigator. He claimed the continent on behalf of the British Empire while ignoring local indigenous people. He should be recognised as such.

    As for the attack on the socialist Shorten, the LNP points to taxation of success. It’s a sad state when wealth is created in part through tax concessions like CGT discounts and negative gearing applied to unproductive and unnecessary real estate investment portfolios. Another example is the wealth exported from Australia’s finite resources without fair and reasonable payment even at the level of accepted and normal capitalist markets. The use of Singapore marketing hubs, Irish tax havens and inflated loans from parent companies are sham arrangements to avoid tax as are family trusts. It also demonstrates the decades of deceit by the LNP in their economic management and underlying intention to never address tax reform. The GST is one exception but even this has a hidden intention to shift the burden from business taxes onto the individual.

  29. philll Parsons

    August 27, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    The choices of Joyce have been canvassed among the Government’s legal advisers and now the Government has decided to let the High Court decide.
    Tony Windsor has joined the case.
    This can only be understood as a sensible move if there is a chance that Section 360 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act is considered and the Court sits as a Court of Disputed Returns.
    This Government has decided on a high risk strategy given that the Court could decide Joyce’s election was invalid because he was an ineligible candidate and declare Windsor elected.
    The one way to ensure Joyce could continue as the member for New England would have been for him to resign forcing a by-election to fill a vacancy.
    Now there is no a guaranteed result leading to a continued majority of 1.
    The government has had some practice in negotiating legislation but now it may have to deal twice. Once with give aways to a lower house electorate or two or perhaps a new Speaker [shades of Gillard will go down so well with the Tony faction] and then with the Senate.
    Contentious legislation will become a nightmare with all legislation having the potential to be contentious for it’s embarrassment value.
    Incumbency as a nightmare for the electorate is not one that endears the voter to avoiuding an alternative if t appeals.

  30. TGC

    August 27, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    #1 “When one thinks of those ‘socialist’ countries of Western Europe with leading indicators in education [Finland], working conditions [Denmark], falling drug-use arrests [Portugal] and falling prison populations [Holland] as a measure of social equity you know Cormann can only be appealing to those ignorant of what other countries have achieved.”
    So each of those countries has achieved ‘one’thing each?
    ‘Must try harder’

  31. philll Parsons

    August 27, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Shorten the ‘socialist’ condemned for suggesting fairness, of treating your neighbour like you would like to be treated. On the other side we have the Lieberals opting to appear both supporting the social safety net whilst condemning those who have fallen on hard times and find it difficult to cope by tying the net to the millstone of sobriety for those who have found the pressures of reality unbearable.
    Not everyone is as strong as the Abbott the sot, a man who on his own evidence was sober in the morning. Everyone will remember his truthfulness in 2013 and wonder why he lied about being drunk back then and how we can be sure he was sober and ready for work the next morning. Unfortunately a Parlycard restricting cash to 20% would not cut it on Tony’s payment.
    When one thinks of those ‘socialist’ countries of Western Europe with leading indicators in education [Finland], working conditions [Denmark], falling drug-use arrests [Portugal] and falling prison populations [Holland] as a measure of social equity you know Cormann can only be appealing to those ignorant of what other countries have achieved.
    Turnbull could have followed the example of Merkel and had a good chance of re-election. Instead they have chosen the politics of envy and greed only to find it is grating against that dep seated idea that runs through societies – fairness.
    It is not a ground I would choose to fight on when it is Labor’s strong suit, a ground the Greens and Get Up will also campaign on when wages have not kept up with prices or profits.

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