Archive for November, 2012

November 15, 2012

Australia – the richer you are, the more government hand outs you get

Joe “Eleventy” Hockey the age of unlimited and unfunded entitlement to government services and income support is over“.

And this is from the same man who had his hand out to collect the baby bonus.

But let’s talk about the real unfunded entitlements….

Source: Fairfax To those who have much, more will be given as handouts

Ok, Joe, I know that economics is not your strong suit – but it is not unfunded – pensions are the result of workers paying taxes for fifty years. Perhaps upper-class welfare was stripped back there would not be an issue of aged pensioners and war veterans get something that you don’t think they’ve earned.

Joe, this is, to borrow a phrase from Jane Caro “class-based apartheid” – targeting people to subsidise your lifestyle based on their already low-income.
Source of phrase: Heads the private schools win, tails public schools lose

Joe Hockey, the Shadowy Treasurer, has whined about his meagre $1/4million income, and promises to rip benefits from people on below-poverty line incomes. Hockey wants Australia to emulate our neighbours, who pay no government benefits – they also pay a lot less tax.

Who are these neighbours we are supposed to emulate –

Africawhere Gina Rinehart says people are happy to work for less than $2 a day and wants to fly in- fly out Africans to work in her mines for slave wages (they’re not happy to work for that, that is just what she tells herself so she can under pay everyone else)

India – where the poverty line is 44 cents a day

Cambodia – where entire slum towns are built on garbage dumps, where the poverty line is 45 cents a day.

The wealthy would argue that poor people shouldn’t receive any sort of government assistance, that’s what charities are for. However, add the rapidly shrinking middle class and the working class that can barely keep their heads above water, just who will be donating to charities? The exact same government-benefit-sucking, over-entitled elitist parasites who think governments should not be paying pensions, single parent payments or war veteran benefits in the first place. Yeah, that will work out well.

The people currently sucking up a disproportionate amount of government benefits and complaining about those worst-off in our society getting anything at all.

A Liberal government would tear up the social contract, people retiring now would have worked hard for fifty years on the understand that they paid taxes, and high rates, in exchange for a pension when they retire. Yet strangely, the Liberal party polls well among the over-65s, the very people who will suffer greatly at the hands of a Hockey treasurer.

The Liberals would argue the only way we can afford to live in our society is to raise GSTax, institute massive austerity measures and increase productivity and return to WorkChoices. “Increase productivity” is get neo-conservative code for work harder and longer for less pay.

Rich people do not care about income inequality – for one very good reason – they are rich, and the poorer you are, the richer they get. And the politicians on meagre $1/4million wages benefit from your poverty. Expect that equality-gap to widen.
For more information: see “Liberal Nationals: 50% more GSTax, poverty line of 44 cents a day and NO pensions – then what are our taxes funding?

If you are not a millionaire, you will always be financially worse off under a Liberal government.

November 14, 2012

Political Graffiti Art Series – the 51% are Destroying the Joint

text of image: I am woman – hear me vote

text of image: This wall was not punched by Tony Abbott

text of image: Destroy the joint

text of image: Hit Tony Abbott where it hurt  – the ballot box

text of image: Destroy the joint

text of image: Tony Abbott = misogynist

text of image: We are the 51%

text of image: Keep calm and vote left

November 13, 2012

Catholic Church child abuse – over 90% of Australians say ‘No More’, we’ll have a Royal Commission

by 99, editor of Turn Left

Last thursday (8 Nov) a police officer from Newcastle NSW, Peter Fox, spoke on ABCs Lateline about the police cover up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

A weekend of outrage and demands for a Royal Commission, resulted in NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell announcing an inquiry (not a Royal Commission) into the police cover-up.

That did not silence the voices of this country.

On Monday, PM Julia Gillard announced a Royal Commission.

In the lead up to that moment, were years of lawyers, abuse survivors, activist groups, police, politicians all fighting for a Royal Commission, and the Peter Fox interview was the final straw, when the community said “No More”.

The Prime Minister announced that Australia would hold a wide-ranging inquiry into child sex abuse in this country, not just the catholic church – but also including into religious and secular organisations, volunteer groups, sporting groups, scouting groups, and the responses from police and child care agencies who should have known about the ongoing abuse over decades and did nothing.

PM Gillard would not be drawn into whether there would be more than one commissioner, or the length of Commission, but that its scope would be wide, covering a range of institutions that have a duty of care to children.

The voices that had called for a Royal Commission were from across the spectrum:

Former PM Malcolm Fraser “There must be a Royal Commission into child abuse, if the RC Church is innocent, a Royal Commission should be welcomed. We would know truth.”

ALP Senator Doug Cameron: “If it had been any other organisation in the country … there’d have been a royal commission a long time ago”.

Independent Tony Windsor said a Royal Commission was needed because: “If it’s a controlled political inquiry, well you just get the same old answer, and no one does anything”.

As well as over 90% of Australians poll – and when was the last time that many Australians agreed on anything, this was an issue that people wanted action.

Source: Royal commission on church abuse is not the answer: Hockey, Shorten

In 2003, Simon Crean, Jenny Macklin, and others had called for another Royal Commission following a similar scandal engulfing the Howard-appointed Governor General Peter Hollingworth, the head of the Anglican Church. This was refused by the Howard Government.

However, among those who opposed a Royal Commission were Joe Hockey and Bill Shorten.

LNP’s Joe Hockey called a Royal Commission “ridiculous” and also said “I know victims. I have friends who have been victims. And if you ask them to give evidence before a court, they wouldn’t do it. …And having a public inquiry would traumatise them.”

ALP’s Bill Shorten said “I have thought about this question – how do you best deal with it? I am not convinced that having a royal commission is going to fix the faults”.

Cardinal Pell, who opposed a Royal Commission on saturday, and didn’t “believe a royal commission is warranted“, came around to supporting it, after it had been announced.

The statement from the Catholic Bishops conference, in response to the Royal Commission, is found here, in it Cardinal Pell says “We look forward to consultations with the Government on the terms of reference”.

This support – after the Commission was announced – doesn’t exactly sit with Pell’s other statement that “Ongoing and at times one-sided media coverage has deepened this uncertainty. This is one of the reasons for my support for this royal commission.”

By that does Pell mean, the media has taken the point of view of the victims of the ongoing systematic abuse by Catholic priests, and not the abusing Catholic priest.

Yes, it is not easy for most journalist to take the paedophiles side in a story.

Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, also supported the Royal Commission, after it was announced, and after over 90% of polled Australians said they also supported it.

However, Abbott, who once trained as a priest, and is George Pell’s BFF, wants the Commission as long it targets more than just the Catholic Church.

Victoria Police, are also investigating this issue, however

Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton told a parliamentary inquiry that the church had also hindered justice by failing to report a single case of child sex abuse in more than 50 years.

‘The process is designed to put the reputation of the church first and victims second,’ he said

Source: NSW Premier pressed for abuse inquiry

Any commission in this issue will not quick, and it will cross state borders, but now that it is on the agenda, it is time for a thorough investigation, no matter how long it takes or who gets named.

Further Information:
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox is on twitter: @Peter_Fox59 .

November 12, 2012

When Tony didn’t meet Bernie Banton, when J Bishop trampled on asbestosis victims, the Right just doesn’t get it

by 99, editor of Turn Left

While he was Health Minister, Tony Abbott refused to meet with a dying asbestosis and pleural mesothelioma sufferer, Bernie Banton, even though Tony knew Banton was visiting.

Mr Banton had planned to deliver a petition to Abbott in his Sydney office, a petition that was pushing for a mesothelioma drug to be put on the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme).

Did Tony do a runner out the back door in order to avoid meeting a dying man?

Do people dying from contracted from workplace diseases make Tony Abbott uncomfortable?

Abbott dismissed Banton and his petition, saying “It was a stunt“, he also said: “Let’s be upfront about this. I know Bernie is very sick, but just because a person is sick doesn’t necessarily mean that he is pure of heart in all things.”

Did Abbott ever apologies to the man who was slowly-murdered by the corporation he worked for? He blamed Mr Banton, with the old they’re both as bad as each other distraction – Abbott said that both he and Mr Banton “were both a bit hot under the collar yesterday and both regretted it” (saying he regretted it, is NOT the same as an apology).

That was 2007, in 2012 Tony Abbott said he would be great for workers, when he said “Workers will find that I am their best friend“.

Um, no, Mr WorkChoices 2.

Leopards don’t change their spots, tigers don’t change their stripes and cheetahs never change either.

Meanwhile, Tony Abbott isn’t the only Liberal who hates asbestosis victims. Julie Bishop hates dying workers too.

CSR owned asbestos mine at Witternoon, WA, scene of Australia’s greatest single industrial disaster, where about 1000 people have died from asbestos-related diseases, which includes asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Julie Bishop represented the mine owners, and defends her role “As one of the lawyers in the case, I acted ethically and professionally at all times in accordance with client instructions.” (Source: Chronic asbestos deaths, sudden mining disasters – both indicate deep corporate problems).

Ms Bishop might have acted ethically, and as a lawyer has the right (edited to add: this should be ‘responsibility’) to represent her clients to the best of her ability, but how can you claim to love workers when you represent the corporation that was killing them?

Here, Tony is with Gina Rinehart, world’s richest woman, that is one meeting he didn’t slip out the backdoor to avoid.

People with asbestosis diseases are killed so mining companies could make more money. It is a deadly product that affects anyone who breathes.

The Right wing will choose faceless corporations every time. It is not in their DNA to have empathy.

Anyone who thinks the Liberals will act any differently if they are in government is kidding themselves.

Just who will Tony Abbott govern for, if the worst should happen and he gets the keys to the Lodge? He will govern for the mining billionaires – his track record of siding with mining companies and their owners has been shown for all to see.

text of image: If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
John F. Kennedy

November 11, 2012

November 11 – Gough was betrayed: 5 part look at the Dismissal (video)

Here is the 4 Corners investigation into the Dismissal originally aired on the 20th anniversary:

And this is Sydney band The Whitlams, singing about what this day means for Australians

November 10, 2012

Tony Abbott’s dirty election, Latika does Liberal Propaganda, Exposing US-style Attack Ads, Rachel Maddow wisdom

by 99, editor of TurnLeft

Tony Abbott really wants US-American style campaigning in this country. Why would someone think that? He keeps talking about it, and he keeps trying to do it, even though everyone else has so far resisted.

US-American campaigning that Tony Abbott refers to is vicious, deliberately misleading, at times racist, paid for by private corporations (the Citizens United ruling in 2010 reaffirmed “corporations are people too” and can make unlimited donations to campaigns), attack ads which benefit the Right enormously, regardless of content.

Here is what Tony Abbott promised back in october “The next election campaign will be the filthiest and the most personal in living memory.” (Source: Lateline 18-10-2012, link here)

Yesterday on The Today Show, Tony Abbott mumbled his way through a hard-hitting interview with Lisa Wilkinson (who is one of the few journalists in this country to not allow Tony to get away with his mumbling 3-word slogans).

Here is part of what Abbott said:

What I don’t think Australians particularly want to see, ah, is the importation into this country of American-style political campaigning… the nasty personal side

Source here. Worth watching – Lisa in her brilliance of asking a question, while Tony goes the full-stupid.

Except, that is all that Tony knows – lies, obfuscation, misdirection, and personal attacks, dragging his wife and children and religion into campaigns, with a willing media ready to cover up his mistakes and target his opposition for him.

How does the media spin Liberal attacks into “neutral” news – we need go no further than the ridiculous Liberal propaganda pumped out by the ABC’s “social media reporter” Latika Bourke (does this mean she is paid to tweet?).

If you follow the link she tweets, it is not a news headline (often her defence against accusations of bias – I just report news headlines) – that link takes you directly to the Liberal party website….

text of image: @latikambourke
Oppn asking if taxpayers funded PM’s spin doc to travel to US to learn tips on turning women against Abbott:

…..Which I have done for you:

But here is the thing, Media – I don’t need US-Americans to teach me to be wary of Tony Abbott – I am a grown person, I can make up my own mind on things, based on what I read, feel, see, hear, know.

As a woman, every cell in my body is screaming “DO NOT TRUST THIS MAN”.

From his anti-abortion stance, to his ‘let’s not educate the women, they’ll only be housewives’ idea, to his plan to rip money away from working people to fund nannies for CEOs – which goes totally against the entire reason for having government assistance.

Although, Latika can tweet links to anything she wants, it is her account (technically, if you tweet for work, the workplace owns the account and all the followers), however, the suggestion that ALP politicians are learning US-American style tactics to brainwash Australians into “turning” against Tony, is patronising. Australian women are smart, and if we don’t like Tony, it is not because some American told us to.

How does this work in US-America?

Romney Obama Attack Ad Exposes Mainstream Media – from The Young Turks

Here, host Cenk Uygur exposes how attack ads work to benefit the Right, completely separate from their content, and how the Conservatives get away with it in a conservative media. The same happens here

Cenk Uygur: “When the Republicans and the Democrats do the same exact thing, they give the Republicans the benefit of the doubt, and they pounce on the Democrats or progressives.”

The Young Turks are available in Australia, for free podcast download on the iThing.

These are the two Politico articles mentioned in the video Who wins this round? and Rep. Alan Grayson’s ‘Taliban’ ad backfires.

Although, we here in Australia don’t need to look at US-American examples to see this. We only need to tune into the The ABC to be told what “the Opposition says” or what “Tony Abbott says”, if they even acknowledge what the Government says, which they rarely do, they use words like claim, “The Government claims”.

The Liberals may have the overwhelming majority of Old Media in this country pushing for a Tony Abbott PM, but the Left can still use the power of social media to get the truth out there.

The Right are living in a delusional, self-affirming Right-wing bubble, and it will take facts to pop that bubble of delusion.

text of image:
The Right and the Left used to fight about what to do in the country, now the Right fights with the whole rest of the country about what is true.
Rachel Maddow (TRMS) 01-11-2012)

November 9, 2012

The Cheerleader and the MP, 80s Karma, ACA’s Asian Century, and Celebrity Journalists

by 99, editor of TurnLeft

image of Redskins cheerleader, possibly Jamilla Keene, used to illustrate what a cheerleader is, and is definitely in no way intended to imply that the Redskins cheerleader is anyway connected with this blog post

Oh Tony, you’re so fine, you’re so fine, you blow my mind, oh Tony*

The Australian media has turned into Tony Abbott’s biggest supporters, balance and fairness replaced with desire to promote the Liberal Party.

It seems these days that reporters apparently think that because they report the news that they also make the news. When they should be just a catalyst.

Journalists interview other journalists about stories from other journalists, opinions pieces replace investigation and research, facts disappear and feelings take their place.

Latika Bourke, ABC’s social network reporter, is according to some, a cheerleader for Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party.

Yesterday, witness an unusual exchange between this (some say) Cheerleader for the Right and a Government MP, Craig Emerson.

Must be a slow news day – so slow it was travelling at the speed of dark. Something would have to explain why this took on so much importance for users of Twitter.

In a twitter exchanged that seemed to go on for most of the day, or perhaps it was just the RT (retweets) from various participants that did:

Later Ms Bourke retweeted someone who accused Dr Emerson of having “tried to intimidate“. So what, RTs don’t imply an endorsement. However, if the wife an MP can be accused of attacking Alan Jones on the basis of a RT, then how is this situation different.

Following this exchange (of which these images are a small number of tweets) with a government MP, Ms Bourke then wrote a 2-page non-blog post – Scribd “Blog On Craig Emerson (don’t ever call a reporter a ‘blogger’, that kind of language is horrifying to a professional) about it.

However, Ms Bourke does do a difficult job, and she is asking questions, and too often it seems we complain that reporters aren’t asking any questions.

Meanwhile, when we were distracted by reporters talking about themselves, celebrities were talking about the state of the world.

Holland Taylor (the mother from Two and Half Men): To Bill O’Reilly, THIS member of the white establishment voted for Obama cause I want to SHARE stuff, am happy to pay a higher more fair Tax

Stephen Fry, (polymath): Obama’s election marks the 899th day of detention without trial of #BradleyManning – find out more

Boy George (80s singer): We need a universal & fair minimum wage and companies should have to legally pay it! Especially those avoiding tax!

Joanna Krupa (superdooper-model): I encourage everyone to watch the inside job by matt damon…documentary on the bank system. Interesting no one is in jail.

Daryl Hannah (Blade Runner star): With 7 BILLION people & a Rapidly Changing Climate & Depleting -Compromised Resources – We Can’t Afford To Be So Cavalier #CleanEnergy NOW!

Daryl Hannah arrested in 2011 protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline

I could go on.

Sure, until Boy George (famous for songs about Karma Chameleons) and his friends performed in Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ 1984, most people could pretend a famine in Africa wasn’t happening, but what does it say about the state of Australian media when celebrities make more sense on issues of social justice, environment, the banking system, and human rights.

The Australian political media has turned politics into celebrity gossip – Ruddstoration with Kevin Rudd, will he / won’t he, PM Julia Gillard’s shoes, what politicians are in bed with who (not always politically speaking), who has been selling their arse.

Then there are those political reporters, from Michelle Grattan to Chris Uhlmann who are fan-girling over Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party as if they were One Direction and Justin Bieber and Demi all rolled into one Opposition.

The media are making themselves irrelevant. Stop giving us opinions, give us facts and let us decide our own opinions.

Here is a clip from that movie that Joanna Krupa mentioned, from Matt Damon

Inside Job: It’s A Wall Street Government

Maybe the media cannot tell us about the state of the world, because they are too busy inciting racial hatred.

ACA did a story about a mall in Castle Hill (upper middle class suburb, north west of Sydney) that was – oh my god – turning Asian. The fact they got Pauline Hansen to talk about is a good indicator of the type of story it would be.

Has someone’s watch stopped? Isn’t Pauline’s 15-minutes of fame up?

However, The Hills Shire Times, the Castle Hill local newspaper, went and spoke to the shop owner in that mall, to get their opinion on the story.

Castle Mall retailers hit back at A Current Affair‘, the entire premise of the ACA story was refuted. No one was kicked out, Asians weren’t taking over, and no one from ACA has spoken to any of the shop owners.

“People don’t care what nationality the shopkeepers are as long as they run a good shop,” the pharmacist, John Pham said. (Source here)

So much for the “Asian Century”, are we going to back to 50s, scared of the Red Under The Beds. It plays right into the hands of the xenophobic Liberal party, and their whole “the foreigners are taking over” scare the voters policy.

If it was a mall full of McDonalds, KFC, Wendys, Top Shop, Zara, Gap, would anyone even notice enough to make a story?

This is beneath Tracy Grimshaw.

Perhaps Australia will grow up and be ready for the Asian Century in 2100.

text of image:Many people would no more think of entering journalism than the sewage business – which at least does us all some good. Stephen Fry

*Parody of lyrics from 80s pop song “Mickey”

November 8, 2012

Right-wing unhinging begins, Murdoch and Haters lost, What next for Australia after US election

by 99, editor of TurnLeft

Why does the USA elections matter to Australia? It matters because Australia is dominated by some of the same ranting right-wing media, it replicates the hate-filled shock-jocks, and Teaparty tactics. Some in the Liberal Party have even spent time in the US learning Teaparty tactic (notable Cory “Slippery Slope” Bernadi).

If the Right can lose in the US, despite a biased media, biased election officials, gerrymandering districts in the extreme, “malfunctioning” voting machines, millions of dollars poured into advertising and electioneering, Mitt Romney’s son owning voting machines in Ohio and billionaire donors, then there is a little sunshine on Australia Left today.

image from the TurnLeft facebook page

Apart from the drones civilians, failure to close Guantanamo Bay (an election promise last election), imprisonment of Bradley Manning and other whistleblowers, marines in Darwin – apart from that – the re-election of Barack Obama is better than an election of Mitt Ronmey would have been.

Let the Right-wing unhinging commence

Expect denials, blaming, accusations of a biased left-wing media, illegal voting – any excuse why the Right-wing didn’t win. Expect anything except a hard look at their candidate and policies.

Melbourne’s Andrew Bolt had a few things to say, apart from being badly sub-edited, it appears the Right are in a bit of denial about how democracy works. People vote, votes get counted, someone wins. Will Bolt be using the word “illegitimate President” next to Obama’s name every time he mentions him.

Failed candidate Donald Trump (was Trump ever a serious presidential candidate or was it just about the publicity) went on a now-famous rant. Hilarious in its extreme. Many of these tweets have since been deleted, one of the most extreme tweets was “More votes equals a loss…revolution!” – which shows the entire agenda of the Republicans. As Trump said – the more people who vote, the more likely the Right are to lose.

(In Australia – the difference between compulsory voting and voluntary voting is the Right losing about 5% – which is why the Right sees taking away a persons vote a short cut to victory, source here)

many of these tweets have since been deleted, but here is Trumps account to see what other unhinged tweets he has – @realDonaldTrump

What might this mean for Australia?

Rupert Murdoch was backing the conservative, like he does in Australia with his media empire pushing for Tony Abbott – and he will not like losing.

Although the impact of a Romney loss will be less about policies, and more about everything else.

Politicians are grown up, with entire departments for dealing with foreign countries, who ever is President or Prime Minister would make little difference on how the countries negotiate with each other. Except in Abbott’s case – he cannot negotiate to save his arse, or sell his arse.

Some see the US election as a victory for the centre, the moderates, the less extreme (and in state races it was, with Teaparty favourites and pro-rape old men (Todd Akin, Tom Smith, Joe Walsh, and Richard Mourdock) losing to women and moderates.

However, another way this might play out, Murdoch’s media might double down on Abbott. The Australian media might go even harder pushing their extreme views and right-wing agenda. Like a bully who has to be even more destructive as their power starts to wane, Murdoch (and his media) might have to ramp up the vindictiveness to prove to himself and others he still has power.

Murdoch is fast becoming irrelevant, and will do all he can to show that he still can pull the strings of his puppets in parliament.

Perhaps the Australian right can pull back from the far right, perhaps they could learn – but, if Tony Abbott could learn from his mistakes, he would be the smartest man in Australia – he doesn’t and he isn’t.

Outspoken actor, John Cusack, had his own take on the result:
Cusack saw this as a step back from the extreme right and optimistically sees this as a move back to the centre.

image from the TurnLeft facebook page

Whether it was a win for the Left (or what passes as Left in US politics) or a rejection of the Right – Romney and his little band of rape-apologists lost.

November 7, 2012

Voluntary voting, Right-wing vote stealers, Politics as entertainment and Obama’s revenge

by 99, editor of Turn Left

I like the Australian system of voting, I even like that it is compulsory.

The IPA (Institute of Public Affairs Australia – right-wing think tank who refuse to publish their donors) have been encouraging the Liberal Party to move to voluntary voting under a Liberal-National Government.

Once people don’t value their vote enough to use it, the next step is to remove groups of people from voting – those who don’t own property, those who weren’t born in this country, married women, people under 21, people over 80, anyone who has ever been to prison, anyone on government benefits.

Now that is a slippery slope we should all be concerned about.

Voluntary voting favours the Right Wing, repeating that for all the Lefties who say voting should be compulsory: Voluntary voting favours the Right Wing.

One study found that in the 1996 election in Australia, compulsory voting reduced the vote share of the victorious right-wing Liberal Party/National Party coalition by five points. Another study looked at the interwar period (1918-1941), when Australia first embraced compulsory voting, and found that the policy benefited the left-wing Labor Party by about seven to nine points.

What if it were illegal NOT to vote? – The Washington Post

video by

Paul Weyrich, “father” of the right-wing movement and current right-wing strategist.

“Now many of our Christians have what I call the goo-goo syndrome — good government. They want everybody to vote. I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

People don’t value their right to vote, if politicians were in the Big Brother house, or a talent show, then people would rush to vote – and happily pay for the privilege (that is why these shows have viewer votes, the money raised from the phone voting is huge).

text of image: Politics is the entertainment branch of the Military-Industrial Complex” ~ Frank Zappa

Voting is important, because if the Right-wing had their way, they would take that vote away from you.

in Springfield, Ohio, the crowd listening to Barack Obama booed when the President brought up Mitt Romney and the Republican Congress. That prompted Obama to say: No, no, no — don’t boo, vote. Vote! Voting is the best revenge. (Source)

People all over the world fought and died for the right to vote – women Suffragettes went to prison, some died on hunger strikes; South African president Nelson Mandela went to prison for almost 30 years so all South Africans could vote; people in MENA (Middle East / North Africa) have had revolutions to get democracy; African-Americans in the US enduring beatings, arrest and prison to get the right to vote.

We all have a right to vote. A hard-won right. Be wary of any think-tank or their puppets in government who want to take away that right.

text of image: To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.
Nelson Mandela

November 6, 2012

Malcolm Fraser and Cher, misogynist Tony Abbott, Harry Potter, PM Hockey and Australia goes to the Polls

by 99, editor of Turn Left

Q. What do Malcolm Fraser and Cher have in common?

A. Neither of them seem particularly excited about the thought of a Romney presidency

while there is some discussion as to whether this is the real Fraser, the consensus seems to be, yes, that is our former PM on twitter

Meanwhile, Cher has hit social media for the past few years and talked up social justice, women’s rights and Obama. Cher has said “This is the most important election of our lives! If you want Bush on steroids vote for Romney“.

Cher has also filmed an ad, with Kathy Griffin, encouraging voters in the US election to not ignore the war on women currently being waged by Republicans against women and girls in that country.

This is not just an issue that affects a country on the other side of an ocean – what happens in USAmerican conservative politics happens here, sooner or later. Where Republicans lead, the Australian Liberals follow.

And our Tony Abbott is possibly one of the most famous misogynists in the world. Life for women in will not be easy under an Abbott government, it will be a systematic removal of hard-won rights. Women will be subjected to a whole raft of discrimination – overt and subtle. Tony has shown us that.

While talking about reducing the numbers of students at university, Tony Abbott said
text of image: “While I think men and women are equal, they are also different and I think it’s inevitable and I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all that we always have, say… an enormous number of women simply doing housework.”
Source: here

That is something for the housewives of Australia to think about as they do their ironing* (to borrow a phrase from Abbott) – is this man really the best for the future of our nation?

Maybe it is time for the Liberal party to go into that room of mirrors and take a long hard look at themselves – Tony Abbott is a weak, failure of a man, and a weak, failure of an Opposition Thing, incapable of leading a country. In fact, Cher would make a leader than Tony – she has at least two policies, which is two more than Tony.

Cher was once asked what she would do if she was president, one of the items on the presidential agenda was “raise my taxes“, the other was to stop the foreclosures.

name of the person asking the question smudged to protect their privacy, not intended to infringe on their copyright, follow the link to see original tweet in context

However, it isn’t just Cher who thinks she should pay taxes (unlike Mitt Romney), the author of the ‘Harry Potter’ series of books, JK Rowling, has also spoken out about wanting to pay tax. (and, both women would make preferable alternative Prime Ministers to Tony Abbott.)

Jk Rowling: Paying Tax is patriotism

I chose to remain a domiciled taxpayer for a couple of reasons. The main one was that I wanted my children to grow up where I grew up, to have proper roots in a culture as old and magnificent as Britain’s; to be citizens, with everything that implies, of a real country, not free-floating ex-pats, living in the limbo of some tax haven and associating only with the children of similarly greedy tax exiles.

A second reason, however, was that I am indebted to the British welfare state; the very one that Mr Cameron would like to replace with charity handouts. When my life hit rock bottom, that safety net, threadbare though it had become under John Major’s Government, was there to break the fall. I cannot help feeling, therefore, that it would have been contemptible to scarper for the West Indies at the first sniff of a seven-figure royalty cheque. This, if you like, is my notion of patriotism. On the available evidence, I suspect that it is Lord Ashcroft’s idea of being a mug.

Original source is paywalled, hoping this is an accurate quote and not an internet hoax
secondary source – here

Although, who knows, a potted plant could make a better Prime Minister than Tony Abbott. Even a piece of paper with a smiley-face drawn on it would make a better PM.

As it turns out, many in this country agree – that Tony Abbott is becoming political poison – or political punchline.

Abbott, as many are starting to question his suitability for high office following the revelations of “Punchgate“, and the Prime Minister’s blistering attack on Abbott for his misogynistic and sexist views.

It has been said that in focus group discussions, people laugh whenever Abbott’s name gets mentioned.

Source: The Daily Derp – original article here: ‘One Trick Tony Dispatched To The Knackery

Unfortunately, until pot-plants or smiling faces get elected to the Liberal-National Parties, the Leader of the Opposition must come from the current ranks of MPs.

The most recent Galaxy polls, shows that Malcolm Turnbull is preferred Opposition leader by 60% of all voters, compared with 29% for Tony Abbott.

Although, among Liberal voters those numbers shift, Malcolm Turnbull at 51% against Tony Abbott at 45%. Which shows Liberal voters have a lot of love for Abbott, even though their chances of being elected to government with him as LOCO (Leader Of the Coalition Government) are much slimmer, compared with Turnbull as LOCO.

“However, the word inside the Coalition is if Abbott is hit by the proverbial bus, Hockey would get the nod.”
Phillip Coorey in Fairfax (Absent Hockey will be front and centre if Abbott falters).

Oh, boohoo, it was Tony Abbott’s birthday this past weekend, and all he got was Turnbull’s soaring popularity and Coorey figuratively throwing him under a bus.

Which ever way the polling results are sliced and diced, Tony Abbott’s days are numbered.

If only Tony could turn back time… nah, he would probably still be punching walls, and also likely to still be punching Prime Minister Hockey, as Abbott did during the late eighties, punching a teenaged Joe Hockey during a football game, knocked him out with one punch. (Source: here)

Photo: Glen McCurtayne for fairfax, soruce: here, used without permission, but hoping it counts as fair use

Which ever way Australians are planning on voting, they had best decide soon, as Australia goes to the polls this week.


The ‘Australian Financial Review’ published an editorial, on 3 November, Romney the better hope for US revival, in which they endorse their preferred candidate:

“Four years ago The Australian Financial Review endorsed Barack Obama’s candidature for president of the United States. …This newspaper is a strong believer in free enterprise and thinks that the Romney approach to solving America’s economic problems is the better approach.

Mr Romney is more likely to reduce regulation, rather than increase it, and is more pro-energy than his Democrat rival.

Backing Mr Romney entails certain assumptions about him governing more moderately than he campaigned for much of it, judging him by his actions rather than his words.”

Wait, wait, wait, what is this nonsense – Australians don’t vote in US elections.

Maybe the Financial Review is widely read in the US and the extra Romney votes that result from this Australian newspaper will switch enough crucial votes in swing states to change the entire election.

text of image:
If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.
Quote: Emma Goldman
Image: The Suffragettes