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Fifty days ago, the Australian electorate blinked, and chose a Coalition government led by Mr Abbott – devout Catholic, Rhodes Scholar, Oxford Blue, sometime journalist, advisor to former LOTO Dr Hewson, exercise junkie, father of “not bad-looking daughters”, self-proclaimed political offspring of Mrs Bronwyn Bishop and Mr John Howard – a man who counts among his political and spiritual mentors B. A. Santamaria and Cardinal Pell.
The government as a whole, and Mr Abbott in particular, are deeply indebted to two powerful individuals, Mr Rupert Murdoch, and Mrs Gina Rinehart. The debt owed by the new Federal government and prime minister to Mr Murdoch in particular is extraordinary, and is most likely to be paid through the
sale hand-over of the NBN and, possibly, the privatisation or abolition of the ABC. Mrs Rinehart’s rewards are the repeal of the MRRT, the “liberalisation” of 457 visas to enable the employment of ever-cheaper labour in her mines, and an open-slather approach to exploration and mining, maybe even in national parks, and to coal seam gas fracking. After all, what else is the environment for?
So, what has the new government achieved over the past 50 days?
- – the schoolkids’ bonus
– the low-income tax superannuation contribution
– geothermal exploration provisions.
Then, and worryingly, are
1. The increased demonisation of asylum seekers arriving by boat by requiring the Immigration Department and detention centre staff to call them “illegal arrivals” and “detainees”,
2. The militarisation of border protection, which is the excuse for
3. Attempts to restrict information about the arrival of asylum seekers, and their movement to and from various places of detention.
What we are witnessing is an attempt – by shutting down sources of information, whether they are bodies like the Climate Commission, or reports in real time of boat arrivals – to keep Australians ignorant of the real state of affairs, and ultimately and as soon as possible to silence dissent. How long will it be before there is federal legislation of the type Queensland Attorney-General, Mr Bleijie, released two weeks ago – legislation that has the potential to control what people wear, what music they listen to, maybe even what books they read and films they see? How long will it be before all Australian courts are effectively instructed to do as they are told by the government that – in Mr Newman’s words – they should come down from their ivory towers and make decisions in line with community expectations?
Silencing dissent sounds to me very like Mussolini’s third principle of fascism:
1. “Everything in the state”. The Government is supreme and the country is all-encompasing, and all within it must conform to the ruling body, often a dictator.
2. “Nothing outside the state”. The country must grow and the implied goal of any fascist nation is to rule the world, and have every human submit to the government.
3. “Nothing against the state”. Any type of questioning the government is not to be tolerated. If you do not see things our way, you are wrong. If you do not agree with the government, you cannot be allowed to live and taint the minds of the rest of the good citizens.
Prime Minister Abbott has made it clear time and time again that he will not brook questions, he will not brook debate, he will not brook dissent. He is, as Jeff Sparrow points out, a cultural warrior par excellence. He has no compunction about establishing the slush fund, ”Australians for Honest Politics”, that resulted in the jailing of Pauline Hanson. Is it beyond the bounds of possibility that he might act in a similar way to anyone who dissents, disagrees, or differs? It may seem ridiculous in 21st century Australia even to ask such a question. However …
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Remember Argentina in 1966, Chile in 1973, Germany in 1933.
Nacht und Nebel has happened before, and will again unless we heed Martin Niemöller’s words:
First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.
883 thoughts on “Nacht und Nebel”
A bit on George Brandis’s background:
(But then, this was penned by Mark Baker …)
Albo clears up any doubt.
Julia Gillard is at the World Innovation Summit for Education in Qatar.
The government borrowed another $800 million this morning, and, I think, $1000 million yesterday. I’ve lost track of what the total since 9 September is, probably around $19.8 billion.
The money is being spent on paying off old debts and covering the deficit. So they are getting into new debt at a cheaper rate to pay off old debt at a higher rate – or something like that.
For anyone who likes finance and figures, (I don’t) the Australian Office of Financial Management has released their 2012/2013 report. Go here –
and click on the top link. It’s a big pdf file.
I’ve been flipping throught the first part in an attempt to understand what all this debt business is about and how all the borrowing works. It made my head hurt so I’ve decided to save it for later – much later.
I like this explanation, it’s much easier to understand.
Been reading transcripts of the NOW criminal charges in the UK. If proven, don’t see how Ruperts business can survive intact in the US. Criminal offences in another country are caught up in the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. This current trial lays bare the hideous culture in Rupert’s newsrooms in the UK. It says a great deal about Ruperts values and character. Dame Elizabeth was right.
Ever since learning that the prosecution has produced evidence of the longterm affair between Ms Brooks and Mr Coulson, I have been wondering whether evidence of another rumoured affair may also emerge.
Fiona, been wondering the same thing. All this stuff would make a wonderful movie. Given Clooneys masterpiece on Ed Murrow he would be the ideal producer/director. Would be a blockbuster.
It is so good to have friends with similarly-warped minds!
look what i bought three of for the princely sum of five (yes 5) dollars each.
I got them and other things just now pre-auction. I spent all up $100. A full list of my bargains to follow. 🙂
You are one amazing dragonlady, Puffy!
Wyatt Roy has some oddly sensible advice for Clive Palmer. Palmer gets one thing wrong – young Mr Roy does have a job, he’s been in parliament for three years. If Palmer doesn’t think that’s a job then you’d have to think he doesn’t see his own political position as a ‘job’ either.
What does this email mean, from my subscription to Treasury?
Is Joe borrowing again?
Results of Treasury Note Tender Number 31/13
Maturity 24 January 2014
Series Number T24014
Offered to Public ($million) 1,000
Reserve Bank Take-up ($million) –
Total Amount Offered ($million) 1,000
Amount Allotted to Public ($million) 1,000
Weighted Average Issue Yield (%) 2.4688
Coverage Ratio 2.99
Lowest Yield Accepted (%) 2.45
Highest Yield Accepted (%) 2.47
Total Amount of All Bids Received ($million) 2,992
Total Number of Bids 30
Total Number of Successful Bids 7
Number of Bids Allocated in Full 4
Best Bid (%) 2.45
Worst Bid (%0) 2.58
Weighted Average Bid (%) 2.5004
Amount Allotted at Highest Accepted Yield as Percentage of Amount Bid at that Yield* 97
That’s not a billion (in Yank terms) dollars, is it?
It means Joe borrowed another $1000 million – that was yesterday’s borrowing. Don’t ask me to explain all the other stuff, I haven’t got my head around it yet.
It is a billion in yank terms.
Thanks. The other stuff is not important. What is important is that Joe is borrowing a billion dollars in one day and no-one in our media has asked why?
After the huffing and puffing about Labor borrowing $1 million a day we now have a treasurer who is borrowing God knows how many times that amount a day and no-one is saying a word. That’s not counting his $8.8 billion borrowings to give the Reserve Bank money they don’t need and don’t want. .
I understand the borrowing to pay off interest on debts thing, but why does Hockey need to borrow so much more than Labor was borrowing?
Put your feet in both comfy and chic socks:
We need Judith Sloane to come out and criticise JH again …
Meanwhile – Newman is looking at flogging off some of Queensland’s water infrastructure. Costalotto recommended it. Newman says it’s not really privatisation, ‘it’s innovative ways to reduce capital expenditure’. You get someone to give you money and you give them a state asset in return – sounds like a sale to me.
Click to access ETU%20Sunwater%20privatisation%20water%20torture.pdf
I know there are far too many petitions these days but how could I not sign this one.
Bill Shorten quells the nerves of any who wondered if Labor were in danger of going to water on carbon pricing
What’s happened? No late afternoon posts up. no Friday evening frolics ?
testing, testing 123
Fiona, Joe et al
I’ve got to take Buddy for a walk, I’ll be back soon and if you start without me I’ll catch up no worries.
Late Friday Fun
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Great reads – would you mind reposting them on the Friday thread, as I’m about to close comments here?
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