Politicians ignore questions about detention of #refugees: @JulianBurnside reports

Note: This piece previously published on Julian Burnside’s website: http://www.julianburnside.com.au/politicians-ignore-questions-about-detention-of-refugees/ It is a miserable thing to report, but our politicians who inflict unspeakable misery on refugees are apparently not willing to explain themselves. An Australian citizen recently wrote to six Federal MPs asking a couple of very simple questions.  Each letter was less than a page long.  Five of the six MPs simply ignored her letters.  Apart for being bad manners, it shows utter contempt for the electorate.  The worst offenders – the ones who simply ignored the letters – are: Josh Frydenberg – ignored every letter Kevin Andrews – ignored every letter Sarah Henderson – ignored every letter Michael […]

Scare tactics and @TonyAbbottMHR’s war on #qanda over @ZakyMallah’s truth bomb: @jansant comments

When the politicisation of “national security” morphs into a vicious attack on the independence of our Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), it’s another sign Australia is racing down the road towards a fascist state. This confected outrage about #qanda reveals the depth of the totalitarian impulse in this government. It frightens me. — Jane Caro (@JaneCaro) June 25, 2015 On Monday night our ABC’s QandA (@qanda) program allowed Zaky Mallah (@ZakyMallah) (a young man convicted of making threats against ASIO officers but found not guilty of terrorism charges), to ask a question of the panel. By Tuesday morning, Richard Finlayson (@DickFinlayson), director of ABC television had issued a statement: Tony Jones […]

If Senate won’t defeat #DataRetention bill terrorists and criminals will: @sortius comments

With the federal government’s metadata retention bill having passed the lower house, and all but assured to pass the senate, the technical implications are still sketchy at best. Costing an estimated $400 million a year (a figure that will no doubt be revised up substantially), the legislation isn’t a cheap exercise in flag waving like the government’s almost daily announcements. The implications for internet users will be extensive, affecting every aspect of their daily use of data services. From Facebook and Twitter updates, to downloading the latest episode of your favourite show (legitimately or not), to playing your favourite online game, everything will be monitored, providing you don’t use services […]

Money has swamped Qld politics, and that endangers democracy: @Graeme_Orr #qldvotes comment

Money makes the world go round.  That’s a truism in a market economy.   The promise of democracy – one vote, one person, one value – ought to balance that.   But what if money makes the political world go round? Nothing less than the fate of electoral democracy is at stake if we let money swamp politics.   Swamps have formed again in Qld and NSW, as they do periodically elsewhere. Last week ‘50 prominent Australians’ published an open letter beseeching Queensland’s parties to agree to 4 governance and accountability principles.  It was motivated by concerns that Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission, judicial independence and political finance laws have been weakened recently. […]

Exclusive: New party of #auspol @AusProgressive hopes to fill Democrats vacuum. @jansant reports

A source inside a group called the Australian Progressives has told NoFibs they’re in the final stages of preparing to register as a political party with the Australian Electoral Commission. No Fibs has been provided with the names of some people involved in setting up Australia’s soon to be newest political party on the condition we keep the information confidential at this stage. However we can confirm some of the people involved in the creation of the new party are highly respected giants of public life in this country. No Fibs believes the new party will register with the AEC (within a few weeks) as Australian Progressives and they already […]

Participation antidote to cynicism: the #indivotes democratic revolution, by @adropex

“What do rowers and politicians have in common?” asked Dr Simon Longstaff AO, Executive Director of the St James Ethics Centre. “They both look one way and go another.” This resonated with the 265 attendees at the  “Indi talks Democracy” event who came to listen to Simon Longstaff and, “the warhorse from the inside”, former Federal Independent Member for New England Tony Windsor, discuss the ethics of politics. As the two men delivered their words, listened and answered questions, it was clear that it wasn’t so much what they said as the conversations that were being had that were paramount. The attendees were reminded of what they already knew but […]

Civil rights and wrongs at #leardblockade: @adropex comments

[clear] [clear] Most Australians would take for granted that in a democracy such as ours certain human rights and freedoms are a given. In fact, the Australian constitution is limited in its articulation of human rights to the point of barely referencing them. We do not have an equivalent to the United States Bill of Rights and we do not have a First Amendment, which guarantees freedoms with respect to religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. As a founding member of the United Nations, Australia participated in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and is signatory to various other international human rights treaties. Most […]

#BentleyBlockade a trigger to taking our country back? @mickdaley1 on the democratic possibilities

[clear] Must SHARE! Awesome edit! @parisanddarmin #Pilliga #leardblockade The Emperor Wears No Clothes – #BentleyBlockade: http://t.co/IR9cWn2ort — Meredith Stanton (@CloudsCreek) May 25, 2014 As tents and tripods came down and people figured out how to extract extract several tonnes of vehicles and associated implements embedded in concrete at Gates A, B and C to the farm slated for CSG extraction, the Bentley Blockade is being analysed and dissected by journalists, academics, police, politicians, conspiracy theorists, the Mining Council and think tanks across the nation. A great photo from sunrise at the #BentleyBlockade for the final time this morning #csg #nswpol pic.twitter.com/HwR3RugLEg — Max Phillips (@maxphillips) May 20, 2014 The three-month blockade […]

Australia at #CSG war on home soil: Invoking ANZAC to back #BentleyBlockade and #Pilliga

Just after Anzac Day I saw a film clip from the Bentley Blockade near Lismore, where 2000 people had gathered to block access to coal seam gas mining company Metgasco.  In a misty dawn they had held their own Anzac memorial service.  After ‘Lest we forget’, the camera panned to an older country woman.  She said  “We’re fighting a cause as important as what our ancestors did”. Then a Vietnam veteran, wearing the medals he hadn’t worn since that war ended, said  ”What we see happening here is not what they fought for”.  And I thought  “He’s right!”.  Most of the Anzacs were young men from country Australia.  One can […]

A Eureka Stockade moment? Your #BentleyBlockade brief before NSW Police ‘Operation Stapler’

[clear] [clear]Northern Rivers communities unite against government-endorsed gas mining frenzy In protest against the mining frenzy that is gripping the country, the community-led non-violent blockade at Bentley in the Northern Rivers of NSW is emerging as one of the largest social uprisings the country has witnessed. The blockade of the drill site, which began almost four months ago in response to the planned tight sands gas mining of prime agricultural land, has grown steadily in size with thousands of people, from all walks of life, regularly attending. From landholders to professionals and doctors to academics, writers, teachers, Mayors and Indigenous elders, grandparents and even members of the Clergy – the […]