Australia is not being governed. It’s being gamed.

As the latest round in the War Against Jihadi Death Cult Zombies weaves its inevitable way into the mill of sensationalist television news promos, and the ever-escalating one-upmanship of competing media organizations churns out “City Under Siege” headlines and the like, we need to pause and wonder just where we are headed after the first year of Abbott Reality Television.

It is becoming almost impossible to tell the difference between promotional material for Dancing With The Stars or The Block and the latest cynical attempt by the Abbott “government” (I use the word advisedly) to claw back some credibility in the polls. Could it be that petty? Just polls? With this mob, you have to go for the lowest common denominator. Of course it can.

What was, just a few months ago, the highly unpleasant but distant beat of a fanatical jihadist drum, has morphed into an existential Threat To The Homeland. In the words of a 10 News promo on Friday night, Australia now faces “the greatest threat to its national security in history”. If you’re going to go the hog, you may as well go the whole hog. Beat that, ABC, 7, 9 and SBS!

The same in-house promotions units who produce, edit and present titillating commercials for “unmissable”, “must see” episodes of dreary soap operas and second rate cooking shows, are now at work beating-up the latest half-dozen arrests of some religious crazies into a Threat To Our Way Of Life. The more ridiculous, the better.

As we watch men of the Press Gallery in suits with carefully coiffed hair looking staunchly into camera telling of how they are bearing up to the latest threat against their workplace, Parliament House, and vulnerable women (equally coiffed and made-up) delivering breathless on-the-spot reports from suburban streets seething with police in paramilitary jackboots and baseball hats, the Prime Minister deprecatingly tells us that he is not afraid for himself, but for his people.

Journalists love a war. The real ones go to battlefields and take their chances. The pretenders do stand-ups for local TV news bulletins, or beaver away Photoshopping front page newspaper graphics to scare the bejesus out of their suggestible readers.

The boundary between fake reality and Real Reality has blurred to the point of disappearance. It’s hard to tell the difference nowadays, and that is precisely the object of the exercise.

Meanwhile the Budget lies in tatters. Consumer and business confidence is approaching all-time lows. Unemployment is soaring. Indigenous Australians have been deserted again… for a photo op with the SAS. Renewable Energy, surely a growth industry if ever there was one, is under threat. Manufacturing industries are closing down, one after the other, dominoes in some ideological game. Prices for commodities that are actually in glut – electricity and gas – are soaring, not falling. Science is on the skids. Politicians are being sin-binned in lots of a dozen. Memories are failing. Debt is soaring. The dollar is tanking. Promises are discarded like used bus tickets. The government that told us “No surprises, no excuses” blames the previous government for everything instead of facing up to the fact that the people elected them to run the country.

When will the Abbott government start governing and stop spinning? The nation really does need to know when they can expect confidence and governance to return, not when the next fanciful beheading is about to take place. Let the regular authorities look after that in the normal way.

Each step along the way from the first announcement of the “Caliphate” to today, with “terror in our midst”, has both fed off the previous step and provides a platform for the next. Instead of attending to the important and pressing matters of state that affect real millions of peoples’ lives, livelihoods and businesses, a cynical promotional campaign is dumped in our laps, willingly propagated by a media obsessed with outdoing its rivals, using trumped-up drama, and narcissistic over-concentration on its own role in the process.

A Prime Minister who, in train with media finger-waggers and tut-tutters, rebuked his predecessors for junketeering has racked up more miles in the air and dollars in jet fuel attending pointless meetings and ingratiating himself with foreign dignitaries than either of the people he criticised. A couple of fawning op-eds declaring him to be “statesmanlike” seem to be the reason for this. That, and 1 or 2 points in the polls. As Abbott realizes that there are virtually no restraints on the treasure he can waste and the photo-ops he can manufacture, his swaggering, testosterone-pumped ego swells to fill the vacuum.

Meanwhile, the nation drifts, rudderless, drunk with hatred for jihadist nonsense that gets its kicks by baiting fools like Abbott. Abbott and ISIS we made for each other. The viewers watch on, hugely entertained. There’s a new thrill every episode.

Behind it all is the certain knowledge that Reality TV rates. What else would the media do but use the same techniques they use in confecting phoney reality, all the better to cheapen actual reality? Somewhere in the middle the two streams meet and the nation, while remaining essentially ungoverned, is gamed instead.

Once upon a time it used to be called “bread and circuses”. The Abbott government has invented a new twist: “bread and circuses… without the bread”… directionless, spin-obsessed, blame-rich posturing, anchored in the grammar and language of Reality TV, run by a media increasingly relevance-deprived, shrinking in size and dumbing-down in intellect (yes, it’s possible).

All the while the nation sinks further into random aimlessness with no-one at the tiller, except the preening Prime Minister and his hapless sidekicks, urgers and sleeve-tuggers..

We cannot keep indulging in this orgy of spin over substance. You can’t run a country on terrorism for another two years. Someone’s got to do some work. Political commentators routinely emphasize the techniques and tricks of politics as indicators of good governance, ignoring reality. Tricks are an amusement, not the main game. Opinionistas tick-off “promises kept” without the slightest consideration of ramifications suffered. Barrie Cassidy nominates Christopher Pyne as “politician of the week” because his wife finally got her B.A. This has something to do with Pyne being education minister. You figure it out. I couldn’t.

Cassidy also cheer-leads for Scott Morrison to take over Homeland defence in one of the most fawning, embarrassing pieces of political analysis written in living memory. In writing this rubbish, fool Cassidy automatically disqualifies himself from further recognition as a serious commentator. After the Old Parliament House scare and the months off from Insiders to ponder his future, Barrie seems to have said, “Yes please” to the political lobotomy option.

Saturday’s Daily Telegraph urged governments to “CAGE THE COWARDS”, meaning lock up anyone arrested in the last day or so by the “terrorism” circus, without further ado.

The Tele’s logic? Some of the people arrested yesterday had been released without charge. The reason? Police didn’t have any evidence against them. Seems reasonable to release prisoners for that, but not to the Tele.

Months of surveillance by “strike forces” and “task groups”, hundreds of police, helicopters in the wee small hours, searchlights, raised terror threat levels, Glock-toting SWAT teams… and it turns out they didn’t have any evidence against most of the rounded-up. It was a stunt, an expensive, overblown one, but a stunt nevertheless. The Tele’s bluster, urging the abandonment of habeas corpus and the rules of natural justice can’t paper that over. They were arrested, so they must be guilty of something, It’s the oldest copper trick in the world. m’lud. The Tele enthusiastically agrees.

The Daily Telegraph is the same newspaper that has been running an anti-Muslim campaign for the past two months. They sent intrepid investigative war journalist and heroic blogger Tim Blair out to the wilds of… Lakemba. While there, Tim discovered that the non-drinking Muslim community didn’t patronize the local pub. They walked around in funny clothes. The men had scary beards. Some of the shops had… gulp… political and religious books in their window displays. You could hear different languages being spoken. There’s none of your “most Muslims are law-abiding” multicultural subtlety in Blair’s two pieces. It’s racial and cultural mockery all the way down to the Tim’s cave, located below a fetid gutter near you. One can’t help but wonder whether it wasn’t all part of a tawdry pre-promotion designed to soften up their readership before the quasi-military early morning raids began a few weeks later. But they wouldn’t do that would they?

Abbott, said to be “running the country” from his undisclosed, tented location in Arnhem Land, pauses only to incongruously put on a suit in the midst of the red dust to sombrely intone that “chatter” (a favourite word of intelligence agencies in circumstances like this, as it implies both sinister communication and reminds us that Muslims talk funny) has been overheard. He gives a blow-by-blow commentary on operational matters, in stark contrast to the object of Cassidy’s political man-love, Morrison, and his ventriloquist’s dummy, a forgettable and forgotten “3-Star General”.

We have F-18s being fuelled up. SAS boots on the ground at the ready. Muslims vilified and caricatured. Screaming headlines urging the abrogation of Magna Carta. Severed heads. Executioner’s swords unearthed from under backyard lawns. Police, lots of them. Uniforms and braid everywhere. Death cults. Pure Evil. The UN Security Council. Po-faced commentary about “leadership”. Arrests. Move over. I wanna be on TV.

In the lingua franca of Reality TV, it’s an “unmissable” episode of Abbott In Power indistinguishable from the spruiking excess of a promo for Big Brother. As he has always done, Abbott relies on standover tactics, threats of violence and intimidation, spin and deception. He gets others, like the Murdoch press and the truly malignant Ray Hadley to megaphone the really nasty stuff while he tells Australian Muslims he’s their friend. The field is strewn with the political and social corpses of Abbott’s “friends”. Start running if he wants to shake your hand (this means you, Warren Mundine). Abbott cannot lie straight in bed. He’s the Whirling Dervish, seeking to bring those around him down so that he might stand a little taller by comparison. It’s pathetic, but Abbott has always been a small man, obsessed by small things. He’d make sure he got a receipt for a slice of banana cake at the local school fete. He did so for a sliver of Peter Slipper’s wedding cake, then stabbed his friend in the back.

Meanwhile the country wanders aimlessly, stressed, terrorised, depressed, under-employed and essentially ungoverned, too full of intolerance and jingoism to realise how egregiously it has been gamed. Businesses fail, jobs are lost, industries wind up… but Tony, the War Prime Minister, will protect them from street-corner beheadings and jihadis at the gate.

The indigenous Australians he abandoned for a photo op with the SAS sit there in their corrugated lean-tos, puzzled. This was supposed to be their week, but the cameras, microphones and strutting ministers have disappeared. The old tribal men and women mutter to themselves, “Poor fella, my country.”

And they are right.

We are going to a war we cannot win, against an ideology we cannot defeat, for a purpose we cannot explain. There will even be an audience vote this weekend. Sound familar? It is self-justifying and pointless, but hugely distracting and entertaining. Government as Reality TV has arrived.

907 thoughts on “Australia is not being governed. It’s being gamed.

  1. Leone,

    Your first choice is spot [delib.] on. Obviousness in spades.

    Credlin wouldn’t have the humour required for your second suggestion.

  2. Good morning Dawn Patrollers – a bit late today – overslept a bit.

    Brandis’s petulant and arrogant display during the Committee stage of the legislation yesterday was as astounding as the laws themselves.
    http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/consumer-security/terror-laws-clear-senate-enabling-entire-australian-web-to-be-monitored-and-whistleblowers-to-be-jailed-20140925-10m8ih.html
    George must be a special kind of man joining the “boys only” Savage Club.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/chest-beating-in-the-senate-as-george-brandis-challenged-about-membership-of-menonly-savage-club-20140925-10m1ld.html
    So will the Daily Telegraph knock up a stupid photoshopped front page over this? No – thought not.
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/armed-intruder-threatens-staff-students-at-sydney-islamic-school-reports-20140925-10m729.html
    MUST READ! Mark Kenny comes on strong over Abbott being a lion abroad but weak at home.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/abbott-weak-on-home-front-but-a-lion-abroad-20140925-10lelf.html
    This could be bad news for Apple. These days it is reasonable to expect mobile phones to be carried in pockets and they should be designed and manufactured knowing this. I’d like to see Apple’s failure mode and effect analysis in the new product.\
    http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/apples-design-credentials-questioned-over-iphone-6-bendgate-20140925-10lr5r.html
    An entirely reasonable reaction?
    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/teen-may-sue-over-terror-photo-bungle-20140926-3gneg.html
    Laura Tingle muses over it all.
    http://www.afr.com/p/opinion/voters_give_leeway_to_get_tough_rCAjRtVtEpAMcLV96LmsWL
    Senior Muslim leaders are concerned about the radicalisation of disaffected youth and have gone to the police.
    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/radical-group-is-targeting-local-youth-20140925-3gn06.html
    And Morrison takes it lower and lower.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/fears-for-refugee-children-in-morrisons-cambodia-deal-20140925-10m1ks.html

  3. Section 2 . . .

    The FoFA legislation is in trouble. Why doesn’t Abbott bring Arfur back? Oh, that’s right, he’s incompetent by his own admission.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/fofa-reforms-on-ticking-deadline-20140925-10m4ug.html
    This looks like an excellent article from The Conversation about the rise of our police state.
    https://theconversation.com/australian-nightmares-the-rise-of-a-police-state-32156
    The speech Abbott should have made in New York.
    http://www.independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/the-speech-tony-abbott-should-have-made-in-new-york,6937
    The three worst things the Liberals did yesterday.
    http://www.ellistabletalk.com/2014/09/25/the-three-worst-things-the-liberals-did-yesterday-70/
    Military muscle can’t win the war on civilisation.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/military-muscle-cant-win-battle-for-civilisation-20140925-10lpta.html
    Victorian police are quick to condemn Haider but where are the facts?
    https://newmatilda.com/2014/09/25/victorian-police-quick-condemn-numan-haider-where-are-facts
    Michelle Grattan examines Clive Palmer’s negotiation methods.
    https://theconversation.com/government-palmer-deal-would-give-some-refugees-a-stony-road-to-possible-permanency-32184
    CSIRO scientists in the running for a Nobel Prize. Are we allowed to care these days?
    http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/csiro-scientists-graeme-moad-san-thang-and-ezio-rizzardo-named-as-nobel-prize-contenders-20140925-10lsai.html
    Van Badham on international sexism awards.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/25/sure-australia-is-a-sexist-place-but-we-have-some-serious-competition
    George Christensen is in a class of his own. A shocker on so many fronts.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/nationals-mp-george-christensen-calls-green-activists-terrorists-20140925-10lt5a.html

  4. Labor supported the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill. For God’s sake, WHY?

    Labor did itself no favours with this. There was a lot of tweeted anger last night from usually pro-Labor people.

    Ten Labor senators were absent from the vote, I hope this was their way of abstaining – senators Carr, Collins, Lundy, Bilyk, Brown, Faulkner, Singh, Peris, Dastyari and Ketter.

  5. I’m getting really tired of people like Kenny fawning over Abbott being an “international statesman” when the fact is he’s been merely adequate at best.

    What has he achieved that no other world leader has? What international diplomatic conflicts and disagreements has he solved? What treaties has he written and overseen the signing of?

    Or is Kenny taking into account his handicap that every leader in the civilized world knows that he is a misogynistic sleazebag Murdoch puppet and the fact that so far none of them have been compelled to treat him as such and claims that as a success?

  6. Probably the understatement of the day.

    On a brighter note I received Julia’s book from my daughter – makes me miss her looking at that photo! So sad…….

  7. What utter garbage from our ‘international statesman’ – now he is telling lies at the UN. Abbott, the international liar.

    Addressing the Security Council, Prime Minister Tony Abbott suggested the 18-year-old shot dead in Melbourne was acting on instructions from abroad.

    “Last week, an Australian operative in Syria instructed his local network to conduct demonstration killings and this week, an Australian terror suspect savagely attacked two policemen,” he said

    The poor kid had mental health issues, no-one knows why he did what he did but from what his parents have said he had been causing them concern for quite a while. And how do you behead two healthy adults with a large knife? In a police station too, for frack’s sake.

    If you have not read this yet you should.
    https://newmatilda.com/2014/09/25/victorian-police-quick-condemn-numan-haider-where-are-facts

  8. The way this poor kid has been treated, not to mention his parents and family, is an utter disgrace. Julia Gillard would never have been so callous. Never.

  9. Watch out peoples. Now Brandis is allowed – thanks to Labor – to monitor the entire Aussie internet we are all at risk of being carted away in unmarked vans and locked up in undisclosed locations for ten years.

    Any of us could be accused of the ‘crimes’ committed by Abdul Naider –

    Media reports also claim that Haider had been following the movements of prime minister Tony Abbott online, and that comments originating from Haider were picked up in an intelligence sweep of chatter about potential threats to Parliament House. Those claims could not be verified through official police channels

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/25/abdul-numan-haider-may-not-have-been-alone?CMP=twt_gu

    We are all subversive enemies of the state now.

    Should we be afraid? Too scared to comment at all? Of course not. Have at it, Pubsters, don’t hold back. We could be heading for the biggest Pub get-together ever, held at a secret location chosen by Brandis. Should be fun.

  10. SBS with a bit more about the build up to the shooting.

    Terror suspect’s friends shocked by death

    A friend of Haider, who only wants to be known as Ali, said the attack was completely out of character.

    “I was shocked. He was such a nice guy. Everyone loved him,” he said.

    “There’s not one person you can mention that hated him. He was a very great guy, a very nice humble guy. I never expected him to do something like that.”…………………………….Ali said Numan tried to find out from the Foreign Affairs Department why his passport had been cancelled. But the response from authorities only riled him more.

    “He was really upset. He didn’t know why. He wanted to know,” Ali said.

    “He kept making phone calls to the head office. At the start they were telling him how many days he’s got left, but out of nowhere ASIO got involved and said the office people can’t tell you anything right now so call the Canberra office.

    “They would tell him something random like nothing that would be helpful to him so he would just get mad even more.”

    Ali said Numan was also upset over the way authorities had been monitoring him over the past three months.

    “I think something provoked him,” he said. “The government didn’t have a reason to take his passport. They took his passport. They kept harassing him.

    “They kept going to random people and asking about him. He felt like he was in prison. He would always talked about him being in a prison.”…………………………An image posted on Numan Haider’s Facebook page last week shows him wearing a balaclava, and holding an Islamic flag.

    But Ali claimed it was his way of getting back at authorities – and the flag is not the same one that Islamic State militants are often seen holding.

    “He put them up to be a smart-arse to the police,” he said. “He put photos of him with balaclava on and a photo of the Islamic flag, the flag of faith, not the Al-Qaeda or ISIS flag.”

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/09/24/terror-suspects-friends-shocked-death

  11. Below is a passage of observation by Theodor Mommsen from his magnum opus ; “The History of Rome”, for which he was awarded the Nobel prize in 1902. This work would have been a major part of the teaching of Classics in many Universities of that era. The accrued knowledge ought to have welded itself to our culture, social science and general knowledge ,and should be learned wisdom to use and reflect upon through the years. But it is not!…It is a waste of knowledge up there with the loss for millennia of the knowledge for making cement….How many mistakes could have been avoided and lives spared if such knowledge was taken seriously.
    I, myself, am disgusted and disappointed at the lax attention to such knowledge by those who ought to know better. I feel disappointed and let down by a clique of higher – educated “elite” who seem to prove Mommsen’s observations below to be so accurate . However, it is neither wit nor wisdom on my part to make these observations, for I am but the messenger…it is however, on the part of those who ought to understand and know better ; an utter betrayal and a dishonourable disgrace.

    “ It is true that the history of past centuries ought to be the instructress of the present ; but not in the vulgar sense, as if one could simply by turning over the leaves discover the conjunctures of the present in the records of the past and collect from these the symptoms for a political diagnosis and for the specifics for a prescription ; it is instructive only so far as the observation of earlier forms of culture reveals the organic conditions of civilization generally – the fundamental forces everywhere alike, and the manner of their combination everywhere different – and leads and encourages men, not to unreflecting imitation, but to independent reproduction.
    In this sense the history of Caesar and of Roman Imperialism, with all the unsurpassed greatness of the master worker, with all the historical necessity of the work, is in truth a more bitter censure of modern autocracy than could be written by the hand of man. According to the same law of nature in virtue of which the smallest organism infinitely surpasses the most artistic machine, every constitution however defective which gives play to the free self-determination of a majority of citizens infinitely surpasses the most brilliant and humane absolutism ; for the former is capable of development and therefore living, the latter is what it is and therefore dead. This law of nature has verified itself in the Roman absolute military monarchy and verified itself all the more completely , that, under the impulse of it’s creator’s genius and in the absence of all material extraneous complications, that monarchy developed itself more purely and freely than any similar state. From Caesar’s time , as the sequel will show and Gibbon has shown long ago, the Roman system had only an external coherence and received only a mechanical extension, while internally it became even with him utterly withered and dead.
    If in the early stages of the autocracy and above all in Caesar’s own soul the hopeful dream of a combination of free popular development and absolute rule was still cherished, the government of the highly-gifted emperors of the Julian house soon taught men in a terrible form how far it was possible to hold fire and water in the same vessel.”

    And THAT was Julius Caesar who tried and failed…and HE was a genius !…What have we in these times..: A moron!..an utter fucking moron! It’s got to a point where I am sick and tired of hearing “experts” in law or politics, or military advice or economics , from a plethora of institutions and universities pontificate on their subject of choice , yet have no intention of protesting against this descent into bedlam that seems our fate. If these “behemoths” of learning and “influence”,cannot demonstrate either in the face of political imbecility…then I ask ; What fuckin’ use are they…one might as well have a dog and bark oneself!
    If we of the labouring classes have to cop the flak, without noticeable help from those better placed to influence, then they can go their way and we will ours..for THEY will just be another burden to carry.

  12. I think Julia Gillard would have allowed exactly the same treatment of Abdul Haider if her security advisors had told her whatever it was Abbott was told. I have immense admiration for Julia Gillard, (can’t wait for The Book to arrive, maybe today) but I am not going to make her into some sort of saint and assume she would never have been as harsh as the current government. The Gillard government gave us some appalling policies on asylum seekers, for that I can never forgive. I believe a Gillard government today would have been every bit as disappointing on terrorism and war as Labor in opposition is right now.

    Julia Gillard reflects on national security and defends her record

    Despite launching a national security policy in January 2013 which somewhat pre-emptively declared the 9/11 decade over, Gillard said Labor had never asserted or, more pertinently, believed that there was no continuing terrorist threat on Australian soil.

    “Clearly there is,” she said. “As I was serving as prime minister, we were alive to the mounting risks that would be formed by Australian extremists hardened by going to Syria and fighting. That is not a phenomenon just under prime minister Abbott – and the advice from the security agencies didn’t start under prime minister Abbott either.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/25/julia-gillard-wades-into-national-security-debate-and-defends-her-record?CMP=soc_567

  13. I think Julia Gillard would have allowed exactly the same treatment of Abdul Haider if her security advisors had told her whatever it was Abbott was told.

    I don’t believe so. Abbott dictates his security advisors to tell him what he wants to hear. Julia would listen to her advisors but not dictate.

    On AS she was harsh but not inhumane. And there was transparency in her time.

  14. Hockey blames Labor for yet another of his own budget messes.

    Public sector redundancy payouts cost the Australian taxpayer $580 million in 2013-2014, according to the year’s Final Budget Outcome.

    The figure represents a blow-out of more than 100 per cent on the $273 million estimated in May’s budget and dwarfs the previous all-time high of $261 million paid out, mostly to departing public servants, in 2012-2013.
    ………………………………………………
    Treasurer Joe Hockey said the blow-out in redundancies was the result of the previous Labor government forcing job losses on the public service without putting money aside to pay for redundancy packages.

    “The Labor Party failed to pay for the redundancies they announced, they funded 800 redundancies but they actually accounted for 14,500,” the Treasurer said.
    ………………………………….
    Labor’s employment spokesman Brendan O’Connor described the bill for golden handshakes as “beyond the pale”.

    “It’s no secret the Coalition is obsessed with slashing government services, but this is beyond the pale,” Mr O’Connor said. “The Coalition’s enthusiasm to sack 16,500 public sector workers is not only damaging service delivery, it’s also blowing the budget.”
    ……………………………………..
    Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen hit back at the Treasurer’s claims.

    The Labor frontbencher said the Abbott government had to accept responsibility for the poor result after a year in control of the budget.

    “Last time we checked, the Abbott government has been responsible for budget and economic policy since September 2013. That’s 75 per cent of the 2013-14 financial year,” Mr Bowen said

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/public-service/580-million-in-public-sector-payouts-last-year-20140925-10luqx.html#ixzz3EN7cJBRj

  15. Julia had flaws, some of her positions I do not understand nor agree with. Some decisions I do not agree with. The whole AS mess is appalling and I wish someone would start telling Aussies to HTFU and stop whinging.

  16. I think Julia Gillard would have allowed exactly the same treatment of Abdul Haider if her security advisors had told her whatever it was Abbott was told.

    I think you have this backwards, leone. The same information and advice would have been given to JGPM as Abbott; the political response to that advice is another matter entirely. (See also: Wilkie vs. Howard.)

  17. A good read about the situation The Oaf is getting us involved in.

    On the eve of yet another war in Iraq, is the UK’s strategy any more coherent than in 2003?

    Patrick Cockburn, who led the world in warning of the rise of Isis, wonders if David Cameron has really thought through his plans

    ………………………If Mr Obama and Mr Cameron genuinely intend to rely on plans to combat Isis that they have just outlined, then they are, as Mike Tyson would have predicted, setting themselves and their countries up for a punch in the mouth.

  18. I wish Australian governments would stop pandering to the worst of us/in us in attempts to hang onto votes. Wouldn’t it be better to appeal to the best in and among us, to encourage tolerance rather than xenophobia and racism? Labor is as guilty as the Coalition in this, it’s something that disgusts me.

    We get told lies about our national identity by both sides of politics. We are not egalitarian, we do not live in a classless society and ‘mateship’ is not an exclusively Australian trait. Since the day the poms first stepped ashore in Sydney Cove we have been divided by class- back then it was officers and free settlers at the top of the tree, convicts at the bottom. Now it’s those with too much wealth versus the rest of us. Does anyone seriously believe James Packer or Gina Rinehart or Malcolm Turnbull or any other Aussie squillionaire would see themselves as equal to a single parent family living on welfare in Sydney’s west?

    We have always been bigots, too. I remember the hatred of Catholics that was rampant in the early 1950s and the demonisation that went with it. I remember the way WWII refugees were derogatorily referred to as ‘reffos’ and ‘Balts’ back then, and how these people were shunned by those who believed they were ‘real’ Australians. We have never been tolerant. We have always delighted in picking on those we see as different.

    As for ‘mateship’ – everyone (well, almost everyone) looks out for their friends, their fellow workers. It’s one of the good things about human beings. You do not have to be Australian born and bred to have this trait.

    We should stop the fantasising, stop the lies, stop the manipulation and concentrate on being an intelligent, compassionate people. I know, I’m dreaming,

  19. Leone & Brian,

    We are not alone in our dreams.

    (I was just going to write “We are not alone,” but realised it might be misconstrued.)

  20. to encourage tolerance rather than xenophobia and racism?

    I really believe it’s what Julia Gillard tried to achieve. There was no climate of fear and terrorism during her term.

  21. I thought that it was very telling when Abbott was giving his speech of the century at the UN, the network that was televising the show also panned around and the picture showed that 3/4 of the seats were empty. Future clips will edit that out, you cannot have such a giant on the international talking to a empty room.

  22. We could have maybe stopped the boats if the Greens had any common sense. If they had agreed to send the boat arrivals to Malaysia for assessment. It could have worked. But the Greens sided with the LNP (Who opposed it just because it could have worked).
    Along with Rudd, the Greens are a big reason that Abbott is now PM.

  23. What also erks me is that it is now often mentioned that FPM Julia Gillard made mistakes. Yet they do not mention the hundreds of Legislations passed, along with her negotiation ability.
    The Forum that is now being used by Tony Abbott at the UN Security Council, he and the LNP fought against us being elected to the UN Security Council. The MSM have a hide not to mention this fact instead they are fawning over him.

  24. muskiemp
    Exactly.

    There’s more –
    The Greens and their refusal to allow Rudd’s ETS led to an Abbott government too. I remember Bob Brown on TV after that vote was lost, positively jubilant,saying after the (2010) election the Greens would hold the balance of power and would get the legislation they wanted through the parliament.

    The Greens are a mob of traitors, interested only in what they can do for themselves. I will never understand why so many left-leaners see the Greens as an alternative to Labor, the party you vote for when you are not happy with Labor.I am proud to say I have never voted Green, ever.

  25. Abbott has a hide to quote Chifley at the UN Sec Council to emphasis a point. He (Abbott) isn’t on the same Planet as Chifley.

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