Posts tagged ‘Gillard’

April 18, 2012

Australian Troops Out Of Afghanistan… one day

Prime Minister Gillard yesterday outlined plans to bring Australian forces home from Afghanistan early, in an address to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Australian personnel were previously expected to withdraw at the end of 2014, on a NATO timetable, but PM Gillard’s announcement says plans are for Australians return by the end of 2013.

This is a war with a purpose, this is a war with an end. We have a strategy, a mission and a timeframe for achieving it, PM Gillard said. Then proceeded to make her address where she did not state what that purpose was, or whether the war can ever end, but, there is a timeframe.

Afghanistan is known as destroyer of empires or graveyard of empires, and perhaps not enough thought was put into it, in the first instance, by John Howard when he sent other people’s children off to die in the name of bolstering our standing in the eyes of the USA, or in the eyes of his good friend George Bush.

But regimes change, and it is time to bring the troops home. Why are we waiting?

The price paid has been high, 33 Australians killed, however, as ABC Asia said Ms Gillard said she did not share the view that they had died in vain.

Prime Minister Gillard described the deaths of these military personnel as a sacrifice.

I believe in engaging in Afghanistan our mission has been clear, our purposes has been clear, our sacrifice has been great … But the families of the men we have lost are able to say to themselves in a time of shocking grief and desperation that their loved ones were out there doing something clearly in Australia’s national interest. the Prime Minister said.

However, it appears that withdrawal doesn’t mean complete withdrawal. According to Fairfax, some special forces may remain and some training of Afghan forces will continue.

Continuing to stay in a war that can never be won, does not honour those lives already sacrificed. It is not our sacrifice. It is the lives of the men who were taken in the name of national interest. Surely there are more worthy things to die for than so-called national interest. I thought we were liberating Afghanistan, or freeing them from the Taliban, or protecting the women and girls, or perhaps making the world safe for democracy.

National interest – isn’t that why the country has diplomats?

However, this was a war Australia got itself into, some believe, to stroke John Howards… er, his ego, when ever GW Bush praised him. And finally, an Australian Prime Minister has the strength to say that no more lives will be taken for a pointless war.

So, what does Tony Abbott say?
Before PM Gillard made her address, Tony said that he wanted the Australian military home once their job was completed. Abbott who was a member of the Howard Government that committed Australians to participate in this foolish war, really should not pass judgement on other politicians who inherited the mess that is Afghanistan. I have not reason to think that it shouldn’t be possible to finish the job sooner rather than later, Tony Abbott said.

Although, 10 years later, does anyone even know what that job was?

And in other news, about 150 high schools girls in Afghanistan were poisoned after drinking water which had been contaminated. Blame for the incident was placed on conservative radicals who oppose the education of women and girls
Girls have only begun returning to school in 2001, when the Taliban, who had banned educating girls, was overthrown.

As our leaders tell us, our job in Afghanistan is done.

Sources: Australian PM outlines plan for Afghanistan exit

April 13, 2012

The Awful Truth About The Julian Assange Situation: it is not left or right, it is government against citizen

In this piece for the Fairfax press, Truth of Assange is stranger than fiction Elizabeth Farrelly 12 Apr 2012, writes about the strange twists in the Assange case.

The picture that Farrelly paints, it is like Julian Assange is the eye of a cyclone, with all the drama swirling around him, which seems to be even more bizarre than the original story of the man behind wikileaks.

I’m not given to conspiracy theories, incompetence being so much easier to imagine, but one thing gives credibility to Clive Palmer’s otherwise nutty CIA phantasm about US influence in Australia.
It is Julian Assange, a story that hinges on the uncomfortable relationship between truth and power.
We expect truth-telling from our four-year-olds but not from our politicians. In the case of Assange, truth is actively and repeatedly punished.
This implies that, as you move up through society’s power strata, there’s a point where morality flips.
A sort of moral inversion layer, beneath which the rules apply but above which they’re reversed.
The modern Labor Party seems to illustrate this as well as anyone.

Labor’s special amendments to the Extradition Act allow the same, proofless streamlining of extradition from Australia. Its so-called WikiLeaks Amendment allows ASIO to spy, at the Attorney-General’s discretion, on known supporters – despite the AFP’s view that no law has been breached. And its controversial Cybercrime Security Bill allows routine collection and surveillance of private emails, texts and other personal data.
As Gillard told Barack Obama last year, you can do anything today. Assange’s story will make a great film, in years to come; Jason Bourne with a dragon tattoo. But it’s not fiction. It’s real. We may yet be forced to recognise that Gillard’s anything may include totalitarianism by stealth. And this is Labor.
Read more….

Although Assange supporters keep denying that it is a left-right issue. It seems to be that accusation leveled against those defending or questioning Assange that is is a left-right issue comes from those on the right, attacking those on the left, as being on the right for daring to raise any questions about Julian Assange himself. The left have let Assange down! Yes, and the right have been quite happy to sit back and watch it all happen.

You ask too many questions and the spotlight turns on you, as the feminist Katha Pollitt found out being accused of waging a right-wing campaign against WikiLeaks co-founder Assange. Defend Assange unquestioningly or prepare for everything the leftwing media can throw at you.

Is it true that Assange despises the left? He has raised the idea of standing in Gillard’s seat, although with little chance of winning, wanting to unseat the Prime Minister and force regime is a tactic we would be more used to see in the Murdoch media. But in the end, does it matter? Should how someone votes be a deciding factor in whether or not they get their legal rights?

Despite a possible tilt at the Senate or taking a sitting Prime Minister’s seat, Assange is still an Australian citizen and deserves the full entitlements that come with having citizenship. He has every legal right to try and unseat a government. An American billionaire tries it every day in our national newspapers, and no one seems to worry about that.

And, while Assange supporters are attacking the incompetence, or perhaps wilful abandonment, of an Australian under threat of extradition to a legal blackhole of US Military prison, do people really expect that an Abbott government would have acted any different. Muhamed Haneef, Mandouh Habib, David Hicks, Scott Rush… perhaps not. Whatever has happened under the current government, it would be naive to think it would be better with Abbott in charge.

Extradition Without Proof, Spying Without Proof laws do not just apply to Assange. And if they weren’t the Wikileaks Laws, they might have been the Coal-Seam-Gas laws or Anti-Terror laws or Pirate-Copyright-Law.

All Australians will have to realise that each and everyone of us are now living under these laws, and things won’t be getting better any time soon.

text by @redglitterx
reference to any person in this post is in no way intended to imply that the person or people quoted would in any way endorse the contents of this post or blog

April 7, 2012

The Truth About Carbon Pricing (or carbon “Tax” if you read Murdoch papers)

There are many lies being spread about carbon pricing, usually by those with an agenda, either that or they can’t read.

First of all: it is not being applied yet – any business that claims it is sacking workers or raising prices now because of the carbon pricing, is blatantly lying and ripping off consumers. The pricing goes into affect from 1 July 2012.

Second: Unlike the GST which put a 10% tax on just about everything you buy, with little options for finding non-GST affected products; Carbon pricing will only be on the top 500 polluting companies. If you don’t want to pay for a product which has carbon pricing attached, simple… buy a product that is Less polluting.

If you don’t want to pay carbon pricing, choose products with less impact. Simple. Third: opponents of Carbon pricing say that it is unfair, unlike GST which is fair and balanced. No. The reverse is true. GST disproportionately affects those on lower incomes, who spend a larger proportion of their income on GST taxable products, while those that attract no-GST tend to be luxury items (which had other taxes removed in exchange for the GST). If you don’t want to pay carbon pricing, choose products with less impact. Simple. If you want to continue to screw-up the environment, that is your choice. But you pay for the privilege.

Our planet should belong to all of us, not just those who can afford to pollute it. As it is now, those who can afford to buy more things, are doing a greater proportion of damage to our air, our water, our limited resources, our planet, our life-support system. That would like saying: it is okay for a rich person to beat the stuffing out of you, because if you can afford to sue them, they have can afford the compensation. Ignoring the damage done in the meantime.

Fourth: But what about our pensioners? They worked hard all their lives and now they won’t be able to afford heating or food? WRONG. Those on low-incomes, including pensioners will be compensated. And like each and every one of us, as consumers they have a mighty power, it’s called the dollar vote – the power of choice, if they don’t want to pay for the carbon price, all they have to do is choose a different product.

Fifth: Prime Minister Gillard is not personally benefiting from this – We Are. Our children, our grandchildren, our nation, our Pacific neighbours whose countries are disappearing under water, even as I type.

Australia has about 0.3% of the world’s population, but contributes about 1.5% of total greenhouse gas emissions. This puts Australians among the highest per capita emitters (source: Australian Bureau of Statistics). We are the country that is creating the mess, it is our responsibility to clean it up.

For much more detailed – and legally accurate – information, see ACCC – Australian competition & Consumer Commission: Carbon price claims

And if you think you are getting balanced, accurate information from an unbiased media, because media is neutral – read this: How Murdoch’s Aussie Papers Cover Climate Change by NPR in US America
Here is just a taste of that article…

The Australian has aggressively opposed the Green Party’s agenda of addressing climate change through greater regulation and taxation of pollution. Two years ago, the paper vowed in an editorial that it would seek to destroy the party at the ballot box.

text by @redglitterx
use of Sir Henry Parkes image, or the coin, is in no way intended to imply that Parkes, or the treasury would in any way endorse the contents of this post or blog

April 1, 2012

Farewell the Honourable Lionel Frost Bowen AC

In a piece on the Labor Blog, the Prime Minister pays tribute to the late Lionel Bowen, former deputy prime minister and member of Gough Whitlam’s government.

Farewell the Honourable Lionel Frost Bowen AC
Julia Gillard posted Sunday, 1 April 2012

Lionel Bowen was good Labor man, who was passionate for the cause of social justice, and who was renowned for his integrity, honesty and fairness.
read more of what PM Gillard had to say…

Bob Carr paid tribute to Bowen His personality was very humble, he was the ordinary person’s representative in parliament… He was one of nature’s gentlemen.

Kristina Keneally described Bowen as a true gentleman, great family man, and a strong voice for Labor values.

for more on Lionel Bowen: here

added by @redglitterx
quotes by PM Gillard, Bob Carr, Kristina Keneally are in no way intended to suggest they in any way endorse the contents of this post or this blog

March 30, 2012

Art – Julia At Stake

cartoon by @jot_au

Tags: , ,
March 29, 2012

Art – Witch Burning Revival For Australia?

text of image:

climate science? No
broadband? No
humane policy to refugees? No
treating pensioners, poor, single mothers, unemployed, disabled like human beings? No
bibles in schools? Yes

SO… when do we start burning witches agains?

image, digital manipulation by @redglitterx

March 29, 2012

How One Greens Supporter Sees Labor’s Recent Performance

Guest post by @greenat15, a proud Greens member (who has recently changed his handle to @greenat16)

Pondscum, what’s with that?

When I was on a recent walk, in lovely Sydney, I came across a billabong, a little stretch of water that was filled with an algal bloom – do we want for a better word than Pondscum?

I see many similarities with that primitive form of life and a certain political party. I see them both attempt to cling onto life when they are facing immense pressure to throw in the towel and give it all up. I see them both being tiny specs on the landscape, and I see them both refusing to move, refusing to adapt, refusing to change.

The Australian people hold much anger towards the Labor party, why? Because they are the same old stagnant rot that refuses to change, that recycles bad policy, bad leaders and bad ideas.

I am a 15 year old student, what does he know about politics? who is he? he can’t even vote! Well I have been involved in politics for over half my life, I live and breathe politics, I am not in the Labor party, but I am in NSW, I have seen what NSW Labor has done to this state and it ain’t good.

It’s understandable that the people are upset with Labor. It’s understandable that the Labor brand is dying. It’s true that Australians hate political domination, towards the end of Howards reign there was total Labor domination in each state and territory

Then there was the Ruddslide. The inevitable win from federal Labor, a win that was theirs for the taking but with that win came the inevitable loss of the states – Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and finally Queensland… Gone.

Gone, because the labor governments in those states took the people for granted, they raped the land and absorbed money from the highest bidder. They had to go, and Gillard’s leadership tussle gave the people the ultimate excuse for Labor’s removal.

Gillard and the faceless factional cronies (I’m looking at you Shoppos) signed the death warrant for the Labor party across Australia, they came, they soared and they gored – relegated to facing a government of 72 seats.

State Labor has also done much to ensure that they won’t partake in a big win for a long time, let’s take NSW as an example: they had countless MPs referred to the Corruption Watchdog, they had sex scandals, they had Ministers who announced things that knew they could not deliver on; that’s where the rot comes from.

NSW is the home of the gangrenous Labor limbs, heck, we even had a name for it The NSW Disease.

The recent Queensland elections further demonstrated the publics hate for the Labor Party, they were like a sponge (well, maybe that’s not a good metaphor considering the floods they had recently), they filled the Parliament with MPs that loved asset sales and then when it came to the March 24th election they were squeezed into oblivion, their water soul was shattered into a volleyball team of MPs.

The public hate the Labor party, but it is the Labor Party itself that is to blame for the death of the Labor party…

Opinions are those of @greenat16, and do not, necessarily, reflect those of TurnLeft.

Thank You for your post

March 26, 2012

Australia: punching above our weight in sport is good, but in saving the planet is bad? ok

During those long, cold, dark years when JW Howard ruled the land, he often bragged that Australia was punching above its weight when it came to sporting events.

We were world leaders when it came to showering largesse on athletes in the hopes that for a couple of minutes every four years at least some of them could stand on a podium and increase their personal brand value to advertisers – I mean, win an Olympic™ medal.

Yet, when it comes to saving the planet, oh we cannot do anything, until everyone else does. When it comes to the planet that supports life, we get very selfish indeed.

However, under Prime Minister Gillard, Australia is making a difference, in saving our planet.

John Rice, vice chairman of GE, one of the worlds largest companies says:

I applaud the Australian government for having the courage to go through with it because I think over the long run, the world is going to be better served if there is a cost associated with the production of carbon…

It takes gutsy politicians and so we applaud the Australian government, the prime minister for following through.

It takes leadership and if you wait for the world to act in unison, it will never happen.
Source: here

Bill Gates, one of the worlds richest people, likes the carbon package:

I wish the world at large found it easier to get together on this because a carbon tax is a very important tool to encourage the invention of low-cost energy technologies that don’t emit carbon… To help that happen, a carbon tax really is a key piece.
Source: here

The CSIRO, (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) Australia’s national body for scientific research says that the impact of a tax on carbon will have less impact than a tax on all goods-and-services, and in other data modelling:

compared the impact of the carbon price with the introduction of the GST, the mining boom and disasters such as cyclone Yasi. It found the carbon price would have one-quarter of the 2.5 per cent impact on prices than the introduction of the GST. It would also be smaller than the 1.6 per cent effect of the trade and exchange rates that came with the mining boom in 2007.
Source: here

Which means, mining has a bigger impact on the rise in the cost of living than a carbon price would. Thanks Clive, Gina, Twiggy.

Australia is home to 0.5% of the worlds population, yet produces 1.5% of the worlds greenhouse gases. When it comes to destroying our life support system, we are truly punching above our weight. Then lecture nations of that can barely feed their populations that they have to pay the price, make the sacrifices for cleaning up the mess we created.

The Carbon Package (or Tax if you listen to Alan Jones and read Murdoch media) is not the monster it has been made out to be. And yet the Murdoch media empire is running a campaign against it… or rather the government that introduced it.

Why? There is a rabid fear of this carbon-package, I do not know.

However, when there is an anti-climate change rally, one thing you can be sure, there will be busloads of pensioners brought in to complain it. I wish they had been as vocal about opposing the GST.

image of Prime Minister, I forget the source, used for illustrative purposes and is no way meant to suggest the PM or the copyright holders in anyway endorse the contents of this post
text by @redglitterx

March 19, 2012

Ross Gittins, Economist: If you think life is tough now, it will only get worse under an Abbott Coalition

Ross Gittins, the Fairfox economics editor, talks about the effect of surplus-driven economic policies…

How both sides wrecked the tax base – Ross Gittins
19 March 2012

Although Gillard’s desire for a budget surplus in under threat from a wounded tax base…

Gillard’s problems pale in comparison to Tony Abbott’s, with his oddly ideological and populist commitment to rescind both Labor’s carbon tax and its mining tax without rescinding all the tax cuts and spending increases the taxes will pay for.

There seems little doubt Abbott’s term in office would either be marked by an orgy of broken promises or be consumed by agonising over what spending to cut, with eternal lobbying both before and after the fact.

Source: How both sides wrecked the tax base

text by @redglitterx
additional text, Ross Gittins used under Fair Use copywrite