Category Archives: Politics

Is Labor Green with envy? Labor’s unwarranted attack on the Australian Greens.

Labor has stooped to a staggering low. Yesterday they waged an unprecedented and unwarranted attack over a deal made between the Greens and the Liberals regarding big-business tax transparency. The Greens did what Labor wouldn’t do – they made a move against the elephant in the room and struck a deal to ensure that Australians will no longer be kept in the dark about multiple large companies’ tax avoidance. This didn’t sit well with Labor as illustrated by Labor Senator for NSW, Sam Dastyari’s temper tantrum in Parliament yesterday: 

 Watch the full video here.

According to Dastyari, Labor was content to drag out their “tax campaign” even longer than the two years that they’ve already let pass by. How much longer do they think they have? It seems as though they’re already assuming a loss at the next election and that negotiations with the Liberals would continue for months (or years). Not good enough, Labor, we need tax transparency now. Thanks to the Greens we now have that. If it’s not to the extent that is desired, that’s the price we pay for electing the Coalition. For Labor to want to drag this out further in the hope that they could change the stance of the Liberals is ludicrous. And even if they could make them budge slightly, how much longer would that take, and would the wait have been worth it? But this is all beside the point.

Not only did Labor stall on such an imperative deal, they also seized the opportunity to diminish the Greens’ reputation in an attempt to sway any left-leaning swing-voters away from the Greens. In doing so, they’ve created an unnecessary rivalry which only serves to help the Liberals win the next election.

Perhaps most disappointing was Penny Wong’s involvement. An admirable woman who seemed to be above the LNP-style slandering, Senator Wong has always been a sentimental favourite of many. But thanks to the grandstanding yesterday, along with that of the rest of their party, Senator Wong, and subsequently, the Labor Party, has lost my support, and that of so many others.  

 Watch the full video here.

The official Australian Labor Party Facebook page also got in on the action a few hours prior, urging followers to contact Senator Di Natale personally by publishing his direct phone number. This was accompanied by a mass-email from Shadow Minister Chris Bowen urging supporters to do the same. 

  
To add fuel to the fire, Labor Senator Sam Dastyari also posted a meme that was designed to emulate an official Greens image, even (perhaps illegally) using their official logo. 

 Read Dastyari’s post here. 

Above the Greens’ logo there is a portion of the original image, indicating that this rush-job absolutely was thieved by Labor. What’s even more dumbfounding is that this was not a rogue action on Dastyari’s part. This is actually a Labor-authorised image. 

 

While these actions beggar belief, the Greens hit back with a calm, considered response:  
 

And this morning the Young Greens made the point(s) that so many Greens supporters (and former Labor supporters) were making yesterday, all wrapped up in a handy meme:

 

Labor’s fault here is threefold: they delayed taking any genuine action on the issue of big-business tax transparency for over two years; they have been spending their entire Opposition term (virtually) in hiding, except when they emerged to vote WITH the Liberals on issues that their supporters begged them not to (eg. data retention); and finally, they took this one instance as their opportunity to begin a smear-campaign against the Greens, all while giving the LNP a free, unopposed ride throughout this entire term.

There are simply no words for how unethical, unbelievable and unnecessary this is. Labor has overstepped their bounds and for what? Perhaps they feel that the Greens are a gentler target than the Liberals and less likely to come back swinging. Or perhaps they’ve finally noticed that they’re losing supporters by siding with the Liberals on key issues, but instead of reconsidering their stance on said issues, Labor is attempting to deflect by drawing attention to the one time this entire term that the Greens have struck any sort of deal with the Liberals. No matter what the reason, Labor’s actions were completely uncalled for. 

These dirty Liberal tactics are best left to the smear campaign experts themselves – the Liberals. At the very least they should be aimed at the Liberal Party, not the closest thing that Labor has to an ally. 

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Liberals attempt to use SES to hand out vote cards in exchange for donation

In a typical Liberal Party move, they have covered their backs with a legal but totally unethical bid for assistance in the WA Senate election. On Monday the 31st March, Judy Bailey of the Liberal Party of WA reached out to members of a not-for-profit organisation for help with handing out ‘How to vote’ cards at the upcoming election. As a bargaining chip, they offered a donation to be made to the Tom Price SES in exchange for their assistance on the day.

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Thanks to @PeterFosterALP for bringing this to light.

In doing this, the Liberal party appealed to members of the SES – who are volunteers and therefore known selfless people – in an attempt to coax them into making to make a deal with the devil. Could you resist $250 for a worthy cause, for which you already give your time on what is simply a moral/political stance? Not many could. Shame on you Liberals, you’re ever-outdoing your own shady dealings.

Magical moments from March in March

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There were many incredible photographs of the March in March weekend; some marked the heartfelt expression of genuine issues with the Abbott government and others were moments of absolute respect and unity for and with one-another. Amidst the misrepresentation of the true peacefulness of the marchers, these images never had the chance to be known for what they are – a display of the passionate, open-minded, thinking Australia.


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“The perfect moment”
Perhaps one of the most perfectly captured images from the protest weekend – a protestor at March in March Sydney receives a high-five from a motorist as they pass by the passionate participants of the march.



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“The Left”
Before March in March, I had never considered that politics are simply the division of ‘left and right’. In fact, this perception is equivalent to the idea that life is to be viewed in terms of ‘black and white’ only. The terms “the left”, “lefties” and “leftists” are the ideal phrases for those who are desperate to discredit the march as being only one ‘side’ of politics. The reality – perhaps frightening to those who use such terms – is that marchers were from the entire political spectrum, included those who voted for the LNP and were even, and quite commonly, completely apolitical. We are not “the left”; we are Australians and we marched because we have the ability and awareness to identify what is currently just so wrong.


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“A tender moment”
At Adelaide March in March, I was so busy soaking in the atmosphere and holding a camera over my incredibly short self, that I snapped this shot without even noticing the content. While looking for photos to post on March in March Facebook, I came across this in the camera roll. This tender moment is by far my personal favourite moment from March in March Adelaide.


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“How folly of you!”
Let’s not forget Tony Abbott, the self-appointed minister for women’s infamous words: “I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons.”


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“Large sentiments from tiny figures”
These are from an adorable series of figurines made by some very creative supporters. These mini protestors tackled most of the issues that we have with the federal government in the sweetest possible way.


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“The thoughts of the innocent”
Many who are willing to deny marriage equality would accuse this darling child of being nothing more than a machine for their parents’ own message; however, any compassionate, intelligent person would know that children have an intense failing to understand why anyone would deny equality – as do I.


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“Tony Abbott’s behaviour has been noted”
Senator Scott Ludlam told Tony Abbott that his behaviour – by list – has been “noted” during his now famous parliamentary address. Now the Australian people have done the same
.


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“Let’s strip the people of their rights!”
By waging war on unions, the government has waged war on the people.


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“Save our ABC”
It’s a simple message but a pertinent one; she loves the ABC and so do we. As part of the Abbott government’s series of attacks, the future of one of our last remaining impartial media bodies is under threat. To call the ABC “un-Australian”, as Tony Abbott has done previously, is akin to labelling the newspaper ‘The Australian’ as, well, as Australian.


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“Equality is not a trend”
The ever-stubborn and heartless Tony Abbott has made his opinion regarding marriage equality clear; “I’m not someone who wants to see radical change based on the fashion of the moment.”


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“The right to protest”
The right to protest, which is indeed an ancient right, is now being taken from us as hastily as it possibly could be. Victoria’s anti-protest law has passed recently and will come into effect this September. It is only a matter of time before the rest of the country conforms and we are even further gagged by the powers that currently be.


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“Australia doesn’t ‘believe in’ science”
It is 2014 and we’ve wound our calendars back near to the stone-age. Well, perhaps not that far but by announcing a cabinet without a science minister, being avid and stubborn climate-change deniers and heavily slashing funding to the CSIRO, the Abbott Government is certainly taking what was a progressive society as far back as they can drag us.


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“If not too much to ask…”
We feel as though we’ve been hijacked by a government that chooses to govern only for big-business, rather than for the Australian people. We will not go down without protest – we will not accept what is being done to us and our land.


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“Murder on Manus”
Scott Morrison doesn’t see fit to close offshore processing facilities despite the known horrid conditions in which asylum seekers are forced to live during their time – which is undetermined – held as prisoners in offshore detention centres, the 3 of 6 women who miscarried in the Manus Island detention centre last year due to being given Malaria injections without first being tested for pregnancy, the children held in detention, the brutal attacks on asylum seekers by locals and guards inside the Manus compound, or a young, defenceless man’s murder during said attack. This is not acceptable.


*Images will be credited if/when I can locate the original source. If you have spotted your photograph on here, please feel free to let me know so that I can give appropriate credit.


Thank you for marching

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Thanks to every single supporter for your likes, comments and shares; it was thanks to you that we were able to get the word out about the national protests.

Thanks to every person who donated to March in March; it was thanks to you that we could afford the necessities including printing, insurance and banners.

Thanks to everyone who made creative and family-friendly signs and banners; it was thanks to you that we were able to express our true and deepest concerns.

Thanks to everyone who shared your photos and videos of the march; it is thanks to you that people are aware of the 100,000 Aussies who marched against the government, despite the disappointingly lacking media coverage.

Most of all, thank you to every single person who marched; it is thanks to you that the government was made to hear us, whether they would like to acknowledge it or not.

This is just the first step but thank you for taking that necessary first step with us.

Tony Abbott gets ‘schooled’ by school kids

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It’s a situation that is so pathetic that it comes to the point where you just have to laugh – a country’s Prime Minister at the mercy of a group of year nine school students who have absolutely outsmarted him.

The unfortunate state that this country is in is thanks to the woefully shameful Federal election result last September. I, like many others, often wonder how this actually came to pass. Was it misinformation? Was it the simplicity of those hideous three-word slogans? Regardless of how voters were fooled, it has become clear that many regret this decision. What is of embarrassment but some strange comfort is that others see what we see – the incompetence of our PM is obvious to most respectable people from leaders and experts internationally, to what now seems like the vast majority of forward-thinking Australians. Though had we ever considered what our upcoming voters, our Australian youth are thinking?

During a recent excursion, students of Newtown High School questioned one of the most questionable characters in Australian history – the current Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. This 9:49 minute video, captured by one of the year nine students is possibly one of the most conflicting pieces of film that you’ll ever see. You’ll be embarrassed by the blatant stupidity of our PM but you’ll be filled with hope by the intelligence and open-mindedness of the youth who represent Australia’s future.

Do yourself a favour and watch the entire clip. These students do well to inspire a sense of relief during this horrid time in our country’s timeline.

UPDATE: These incredible students attended March in March!

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GUEST POST: I will March in March because we are part of the world, not apart from it.

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– By Deanne James

As March in March approaches and the daily emetic that is reading/listening to the “news” and any associated commentary gets stronger, I find myself increasingly wondering: where the bloody hell are we? Much to my dismay, I think the answer might be somewhat out of Lara Bingle’s league to discern. Although at this point, I’d be willing to consider anything that anyone might be able to offer up in order to understand what has happened in this country since that awful September evening in 2013, when Australian voters cut off their collective noses to spite their own face.

I am the great-granddaughter of Julia, whose family originates from El Mina in Tripoli, and who travelled from her home to Cuba, Melbourne and Dunedin before settling with her husband in Tasmania where my grandmother Amy was born. I grew up in Chester Hill, when the Villawood Detention Centre was still a Migrant Hostel. As a student of Chester Hill North Public School and Chester Hill High School, I had many classmates of Vietnamese origin. Quite a few of them would recount tales of being ushered into a tinny by their parents under cover of darkness and making the journey from their homeland to Australia to seek refuge. These were kids who grew up to be doctors, lawyers, teachers – valuable and proud citizens; citizens who never forgot where they came from, yet embraced Australia as their new home. Their stories joined with mine to make up the fabric of the Australia that I loved so much in my younger days.

With all this in mind, it is our treatment of refugees – and in particular the death of Reza Berati – that fills me with the most shame right now. Our country was founded and settled by boat people, many of them considered to be the dregs of English society, but a great many of whom were simply trying to survive – stealing bread to feed your starving family? Off to the colonies you go with the murderers, rapists and a few aristocrats. I’ll wager the Indigenous caretakers of this land weren’t asked if they minded the British getting off their boats.

In economic terms, offshore processing is a huge waste of money – those taxpayer dollars people are always bleating about. If you happen to possess some small measure of a conscience, you will see it for the unspeakably cruel and ideologically dangerous solution that it is. Segregation, secrecy, rations. Men, women and children locked up indefinitely, hidden away, in order to satisfy the rabid desire of the ill-informed to see “queue jumpers” punished just for wanting a better life, one free from war, famine, civil unrest. If there is no one in your homeland to whom you can apply for asylum, you just GO. Only when you get there, you are treated with contempt, stripped of your dignity, separated from family and kept in the dark in regards to your request for asylum. How we have failed those who have reached the point of such desperation that they would sell all that they own, risk their lives and the lives of their loved ones, that they would get on a those boats in the first place.

I have a big problem with people being used as bargaining chips with which to score political points. Comparative to the rest of the world, we receive very few arrivals; we are more than capable of doing our share. With continued civil unrest, famine, war, and looming environmental disasters, we will see more, not less, people willing to risk everything for a chance at a better and safer life; will we close our doors to all of them?

People are reduced to numbers and statistics to lower the risk of them being seen as actual human beings. Politicians, Shock Jocks and journos whip the masses into a frenzy using language better suited to times of war, creating a culture of fear. Anyone who dares to question is threatened or abused – the National Broadcaster copped a beating for its reporting of claims by asylum seekers that Naval personnel abused them during a tow-back to Indonesia. And whilst the pitchforks were out on that issue, scant mention was made of those who were lost and/or perished in the Indonesian jungle after being towed back by our Navy.

In an attempt to find whatever nuggets of truth are left lying around, we take to social media and independent news outlets. For it’s not just asylum seekers that we are being led a merry dance over; it’s a whole range of social, economic and environment issues.

So it is that this coming Sunday, I will march for those who came from far and wide seeking our help and whose voices are silenced by politicians who seek only to use them for their own political gain. But I will also march for those who will be further disadvantaged by cuts to benefits that already see them living below the poverty line; for those who will have to work longer – but who may find themselves unemployed at 65 with only basic skills and a workforce that doesn’t actually want to hire the elderly; for those who could end up homeless as a result of policy that forces them to sell the family home and live off those funds before being eligible for a pension (where on earth do you go if you’ve sold your house, given the price of rentals? Your car?); for those who are waiting on the NDIS; for those who can’t afford Private Health Insurance and rely on Medicare; for our fragile environment which is under attack by the logging industry and mining magnates hell-bent on dumping their sludge in one of the world’s most beautiful marine parks; for the ABC and SBS, whose services provide a vital alternative to the Murdoch empire’s one-eyed, inflammatory style of journalism.

I’m marching because I don’t think businessmen and women of unspeakable wealth have a right to dictate to us the things we should and shouldn’t do to improve our financial standing, when many of them did nothing but be born to “earn” theirs; because I believe that science, education, health (both mental and physical), technology and renewable energy are worth investing in. I’m marching for the workers of SPC, Toyota, Ford and QANTAS who were told to accept that the “age of entitlement” is over, despite Cadburys getting a bail out, and the Tasmanian logging industry getting a promised boost of some 75000 hectares of forest for them to destroy (if the petition to remove it from World Heritage Listing is successful), and despite the mining sector continuing to receive subsidies and incentives to assist them. It seems that those who chide the rest of us for feeling “entitled” are the ones who feel the biggest sense of entitlement of all.

I am marching because I care about the country my children will grow up in. We are part of the world, not apart from it. This planet is it – there is nowhere else to go. We need to treat one another with respect and dignity whether we were born here or not; whether we have money or not; whether we are well educated or not. We cannot punish people for their social standing, where they were born, the colour of their skin, the god or gods they worship (or don’t worship), their gender, or their sexuality. For all these things, I march on Sunday. For what was once the good name of my country and my fellow citizens; for my children, for me. The dismantling of this country as a fair and equitable place for all people to live and prosper will not be carried out in silence; not in my name, and certainly not in any of theirs.

I am not a member of, nor affiliated with, any particular political Party. I have during my life voted Labor, Liberal, Green, Independent and many things in between. As someone who takes their right to vote seriously, I believe that a swinging voter is a conscious voter; and I believe that voting for party over policy is lazy dangerous. Just look at what happened when people voted for “the other guy” because they were pissed at Labor.

Related:
March In March Australia 2014: A national protest as a vote of no confidence in the Abbott Government
March in March Australia 2014: What We Are Protesting
Tony Abbott’s ‘Message from the PM’ removed by Youtube. What happens next?
WARNING TO WA VOTERS: Liberal Party’s return address envelope for postal vote application is NOT addressed to the AEC
Manus Island guards allowed armed locals into the centre to attack asylum seekers
Tara Moss reveals disturbing details about the murder on Manus
Offensive propaganda allegedly pushed by Liberal MP at Edith Cowan University

WARNING TO WA VOTERS: Liberal Party’s return address envelope for postal vote application is NOT addressed to the AEC

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Western Australia is set to return to the ballot-box after their Senate election was deemed void. The usual slew of party letters has been noted by WA locals, but what has confused some is why exactly the Liberal Party opted to have their own address on the return envelope for postal vote registration, rather than the independent body – the AEC.

The Facebook page, Tony Abbott’s Lies and other Liberal Promises was provided with scanned images of what had been sent to WA residents from the Liberal Party and has kindly passed them on. What was of concern was that the return address envelopes are addressed to the Liberal Party, not the AEC.

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The actual AEC address is enclosed inside the leaflet, meaning it is more likely that people would simply use the return envelope.

While this is completely legal, and has probably been practised by other parties, it is of concern that the system relies on ‘trust’ that the Liberal Party will handle the forms in the appropriate way and forward them on to the AEC.

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The LNP letter that was enclosed with the postal vote registration form.

It has been suggested that in this scenario, because the Liberal Party will then know your intention not to attend and vote on the day, they could enlist ‘stooge’ voters to use your name and address to vote for the Liberals at the polling booths – perhaps multiple times.

The question of whether or not this is possible is easy to determine – we know that multiple votes were allowed in the most recent Federal election, with nearly 2000 Australians caught and with one even admitting to having cast 15 votes. What we want to know is whether or not something been done to prevent history repeating – have they taken measures to disallow this disaster from happening again?

Be careful how you return your postal vote registration forms. Make sure to address them to the AEC directly or simply save yourself the hassle and complete this process online on the AEC website.

If you wish to contact the WA Electoral Commission about this, you can contact them at:

Telephone:
13 63 06 (WA)
(08) 9214 0400 (Australia-wide)
Facsimile: (08) 9226 0577
Email: waec@waec.wa.gov.au