Peter Threlfall is a man after my own heart: he wants to migrate to Australia. Okay, in fairness it must be said that he wants to move to South Australia where, I am reliably informed by Mrs Exile, they’re all a bit weird (no idea, I think it might some long standing rivalry over who’s got the best arts festival or something). And also he wants to be a cop, though without actually knowing the guy I wouldn’t hold that against him, and really it’s pretty understandable seeing as he currently goes by Sergeant Threlfall in his job with the Metropolitan Police.
And he’s keen to live and work in Oz. From personal experience I can tell you that you have to be. The process is neither brief nor cheap, not even when your significant other comes with the blue passport with strange animals on. Just for a spouse/fiancé/partner type visa you have to have a medical with blood tests and chest X-rays, police certificate, references from two or three Australian Citizens who aren’t your partner, a shitload evidence to show that the relationship is genuine, and you both have to fill in a huge form which you send off with your pommie passport and all the other stuff to Australia House in The Strand, making sure to include the most important item of all on the very top: a big cheque. And then you wait for a call and if they’re happy with what you tell them over the phone they send your passport back with a visa in it, and you’re finally allowed to come and get sunburned at Christmas.
That’s a potted version, but let me say again that this is for people whose better halves are Aussie citizens. Peter Threlfall was applying through the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, which is about getting foreign nationals to fill jobs in places out in the arse of nowhere that are vacant because the Aussies mostly want to live near the bigger cities. And that means he probably had bigger forms to fill in and more hoops to jump through than I did. It certainly cost him more – about $8,000 or £5,000 – and you also have to have a job offer already. Which Peter Threlfall did, as South Australia Police were going to give him a job as a constable in Ceduna, a small town of a couple of thousand souls a bit west of Adelaide. In fact quite a bit west of Adelaide – it’s nearly as far west as Melbourne is east, and if his missus had fancied nipping into Rundle Mall to do some shopping she’d need to allow for a good 9 hour drive. Each way. Ceduna isn’t exactly one of these pub + petrol station bush towns out in the middle of the GAFA* but it’s still pretty small and fairly isolated. But all the same Peter Threlfall and his family were prepared to live in Ceduna if that was the deal for being able to live and work in Oz, and it probably suited SA Police just as much as it did the Threlfalls.
Except the Immigration Department have just given him the flick.
AN English policeman and his family are devastated after being told they cannot move to South Australia because his stepdaughter, Sarah, is autistic.
Mr Threlfall was preparing to move his wife and family to South Australia, but was told in December they had been denied visas under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.
He had been offered a job as a constable at Ceduna, on the state’s West Coast, and was due to start work as soon as his visa was approved.
Mr Threlfall has spent the past few months trying to reverse the decision but his family is now resigned to staying in the UK.
And it appears that this is because to the Immigration people autism = will cost the state money. Not ‘might’ – ‘will‘.
The refusal to let the Threlfalls into the country was based on the presumption his step-daughter Sarah’s condition would place a burden on healthcare and community services in Australia.
This despite the fact that there’s autism and there’s autism, and you don’t have to be an expert to be aware that not everyone diagnosed with what’s now being called an Autistic Spectrum Disorder mumbles about being a very good driver and freaks out at the suggestion of flying with anyone other than QANTAS. Sure, some people with autism do, but not all. So you’d imagine that maybe they’d look at things on a case by case basis, which I thought was what they were supposed to do with visa applications anyway, and then see that Peter Threlfall’s stepdaughter seems to be on the high functioning end of the autistic spectrum.
Mr Threlfall said Sarah worked part-time as both a cleaner and a store assistant. His family was not seeking any assistance for Sarah…
She’s also a volunteer for the Scouts and Guides and planned to study hairdressing here. So, Immigration people, this girl may meet the medical criteria to be called autistic, but Rain Man she certainly isn’t. Volunteer work and two part time jobs? For Christ’s sake, she’s almost certainly paying taxes and if hairdressers in Ceduna cost anything like what my wife has to pay she’d end up a taxpayer here as well. And if she’s capable of paying taxes what’s the fucking problem? She’d put in like everyone else, and for all we know might even choose to buy health insurance and be even less of a potential – potential, Immigration weenies – drain on SA’s health resources.
But perhaps we can’t blame the Immigration Department (my bold).
An Immigration Department spokesman confirmed Mr Threlfall and his family had applied for visas. His daughter had not met the legislated health requirement, which was partly to restrict public expenditure on healthcare and community services.
In other words Canberra wrote the laws a certain way and too bad for the Threlfalls, though bizarrely they could appeal this if they were already in Australia – why this should be so I can’t imagine, perhaps it’s just easier to say no to someone ten thousand miles away – and getting this kind of thing overruled is not unprecedented.
Two months ago, Filipino doctor Edwin Lapidario avoided deportation only after directors at his Hackham Medical Centre workplace agreed to pay $52,000 towards his autistic son’s medical costs.
In 2008, a migrant doctor working in Victoria was threatened with deportation because his son had Down syndrome.
It took an international outcry and the intervention of then Immigration Minister Chris Evans to overturn the decision to deport German doctor Bernhard Moeller and his family.
Neither of which is any help to Peter Threlfall and his family since Lapidario and Moeller were both already living and working here, nor presumably SAPOL who will have to find someone else to fill the vacancy in the police force at Ceduna. And all because the rules seem to say that whether someone has a certain medical condition is more relevant than whether or not that prevents them from working and paying tax, which itself is only an issue because Australia, like many western nations, has a medical condition of its own: welfarestateitis. It’s very very difficult to cure, but you’d think there’d be some system that migrants could sign a waiver agreeing that they’d have nothing to do with it and would ensure they’d make appropriate arrangements for their own medical care, in return for which they’d be exempt from the Medicare Levy when it came to paying their taxes… ah, but that could mean a lot of people handing over less money to the federal government than they do now, and might even lead to Aussies demanding to be able to opt out of Medicare as well.
No, now I’ve thought it through it makes perfect sense from the government’s point of view. Far easier to label and pigeonhole individuals and be relatively indiscriminate when it comes to giving people who want to live here the flick. That someone might be willing and able to make a contribution isn’t relevant when Australia seems to need migrant families with mildly autistic hairdressers less than it needs families sadistic rapist kidnappers, though to be fair they did send that bastard back where he came from. Which was Britain.
* GAFA, abbreviation: Great Australian Fuck All. Australia’s secret seventh state, encompassing much of the other mainland states, a large part of the Northern Territory, and indeed most of the continent. Despite the vast areas of sunburned scrub, desert void and eerily silent forest almost all of the GAFA is more interesting to look at than anything in Canberra.
The gay marriage debate rumbles and grumbles on, and while I’m not on the side of those who want to continue to use the state’s monopoly on force to maintain their preferred definition in law I have just as big a problem with those who don’t want this ended so much as to be given their turn at the controls. And what really gets my goat about this is their apparent enthusiasm for the kind of tactics they’d deplore, and rightly so, if used against the gay community.
As James mentioned at the Orphanage the other day and as I blogged here yesterday, Archbishop Cranmer has been taken to task by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority for including on his blog an ad in favour of the current definition. It was, natch, ‘offensive’ and ‘homophobic’, though whether this is the ad or the act of carrying it isn’t all that clear, and the ASA have told him that they’re investigating and given him a time limit for response. I’d say this is pretty chickenshit of them because, as His Grace points out in his reply to the ASA, Guido and Conservative Home are apparently not being investigated despite carrying the offending ad as well. Helloooo, equality before the law? Where are you? Perhaps it’s worth approaching Muslim bloggers to see if they’d like to carry the ad as well, because I rate the chances of the ASA growing the balls needed to lean on the Muslims to embrace gay marriage as being so close to zero as makes no difference. Or maybe not since some of them would want the definition expanded in the other direction to mean man and ≤ 4 wives. and the ASA might just be capable of the kind of doublethink needed to deal with that. In any case His Grace has penned an excellent reply to the ASA and still has the ad up on his blog, and while I don’t agree with him long may it stay there. I don’t want his definition of marriage to have the force of law behind it but if his freedom to say what he thinks can be limited then anyone else in Britain can be similarly silenced, and that includes, if they’d only stop to think about it for a minute, the gay equality lobby.
And then we come to something else James mentioned, and actually what’s prompted this post. Here in Oz the Deputy Chief Trick Cyclist of Victoria (and I have to admit I had no idea we even had a Chief one – something else taxpayers are being squeezed for despite the state having some money troubles) and one time Christian missionary , Professor Kuruvilla George, co-signed a letter to a Senate inquiry into marriage equality.
Twenty-two Victorian GPs, anaesthetists, obstetricians, palliative care specialists and psychiatrists, including Prof Kuravilla George, have joined 150 colleagues interstate to argue gay marriage poses a health risk to society.
In a letter to the Senate’s inquiry into marriage equality, the group wrote that it was “important for the future health of our nation” to retain the definition of marriage as being between a man and woman.
“We submit the evidence is clear that children who grow up in a family with a mother and father do better in all parameters than children without,” they wrote.
Leaving aside whether there’s merits in the argument it should be noted that Prof George signed that letter as a private citizen, not in his capacity as the No. 2 Official Brain Drainer of the state of Victoria or as a member of the board of the Victorian Equal Opportunities and Human Rights Commission. So why this?
… former national AMA president and gay rights activist Kerryn Phelps said the doctors should “hang their heads in shame” and that Prof George’s position on the board of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission should be reviewed.
Or this (from a letter to The Age)?
… Professor George is no ordinary citizen. He has used his standing as a medical practitioner to support claims that are not only scientifically false but seriously undermine any objective assessment of equality or support for good mental health.
Attorney-General Robert Clark cannot pick and choose which laws he wishes upheld or not [referring here to freedom of expression as enshrined in the Victorian Charter of Human Rights – AE]. Professor George’s private views have demonstrated his unsuitability for both offices he holds. His positions are now untenable, and he should be immediately stood down.
That same freedom of expression that means someone can write to the papers and say that someone’s publicly expressed opinions should get him the sack also means that those opinions can be expressed publicly in the first place, and if lost it applies to potentially everyone. Sadly for free speech, though I imagine happily for Melbourne’s population of trendy Fitzroy lefties who I expect were all fashionably outraged by his views, Prof George has today resigned from the Equal Opportunities Commission.
I might agree with the Fitzroy lefties that Prof George’s argument is bollocks but it worries me deeply that someone can be successfully driven from a job merely for saying something others, whether representing a majority or just a powerfully vocal minority (which here can mean Christians as often as it means the gay rights mob), dislike or disagree with. As I said earlier, if this can be done to one person it can be done to anyone at all once political fashions change and a once accepted opinion becomes the Thought That Dare Not Speak Its Name.
Today it’s homophobic (whether actually homophobic or merely allegedly homophobic) views being frowned on and those who voice them being hounded, but what’s stopping a future in which it’s the other way round or an equally right-on contemporary view being declared unacceptable and attracting punishment? If freedom to criticise the goose is good for the gander then it’s just as important for the goose to be able to say something worth criticising. Without that they’re both mute. And cooked.
The conservation group Sea Shepherd has accused Japanese whalers of trying to sabotage one of its ships which is pursing the whaling fleet in the Antarctic.
Sea Shepherd’s long-range ship Bob Barker is in pursuit of the whaling fleet in Antarctic waters 2,500 kilometres south of Tasmania.
In the most recent clash, Sea Shepherd accuses the two Japanese harpoon ships of trying to foul the propeller of the Bob Barker with thick cables and of training its spotlights on the ship’s bridge in an effort to blind the crew.
I don’t particularly care for whalers but I’m not a fan of Sea Shepherd either, and I find it pretty weak of them to complain about whalers using the same kind of tactics (not for the first time) against their vessel as they do against the whalers. No doubt the whalers will claim Sea Shepherd began this kind of thing and Sea Shepherd will claim it was the other way round. Don’t know the truth and don’t care – the point is that whining that what you do to others is being done to you doesn’t invoke much sympathy in me.
“The harpoon ships trained their spotlights on the bridge of the Bob Barker in an effort to blind the crew but backed off when the Bob Barker crew retaliated with lasers.”
Lasers. Which they just happened to have aboard. For absolutely no particular reason, I’m sure.
Fuck all of them.
David Cameron, not so much a gift that keeps on giving as a hypocrite who keeps on talking.
David Cameron has attacked the “madness” of European regulations and taxes in a speech to global business leaders in Davos, Switzerland. The Prime Minister said Europe is still at a “perilous time” because of its debts and must stop throttling growth with excessive bureaucracy.
He said European leaders must stop destroying jobs and growth by “tinkering” with regulations and “hoping we’ll drift to a solution”.
He said: “In the name of social protection, the EU has promoted unnecessary measures that impose burdens on businesses and governments, and can destroy jobs.”
Come on, Davey boy, this is pots and kettles meeting motes and beams and settling down to raise a nice little family of über-hypocrisy. You’ve got a national debt that has grown so mindfuckingly huge even by conservative estimates that wrapping your head round it is only possible by means of weird thought experiments, you’ve got huge numbers on the rock and roll because they don’t have skills and their labour is worth less than the six quid an hour – as someone at Davos has kindly pointed out – you’ve got heaps of rules, laws and regulations, more than a few originating in the EU and gold plated by Whitehall to a standard of stupidity not actually demanded by Europe in the first place, all making life for small businesses just that bit more difficult when compared to their large competitors who can more easily hire an extra body or two to deal with red tape… and all that’s before we get to taxation and the 50% income tax rate that probably isn’t putting anything extra into the kitty and looks like it’s being kept for political reasons, import duties that are keeping manufacturing jobs abroad, and a shitty rate of 20% for VAT. Oh, and contrary to popular belief the Cobbleition hasn’t cut a single penny of expenditure and is in fact going through money even faster than Gordon Brown’s government.
Now, we all know that much of this is how it is because that’s what the Cobbleition inherited from Labour, so I’m not having a go at them for causing it. I’m not even having a go at them for failing to fix it, or not as such. I’m having a go because, as I’ve said numerous times, they’re doing much the same bloody things as Labour did and that there really doesn’t seem to be a fucking Rizla paper between them. Yes, they’ve planned to spend a little less than Labour had planned to spend, but when you’re two to four trillion in the hole and the economy’s in the shitter then something has to give, so I think it’s pretty likely that Labour would have scaled back those spending plans in the unlikely event they’d won. Other than that the government is basically pro-EU while talking tough on Europe, pro-tax and redistribution, pro-regulation and state control (though against regulation and control of the state, of course), pro-nannying and paternalism, and against letting people get on with their lives. Oh, and by their inaction I assume they’re anti-undoing even the most egregious legislation of the previous governments (Great Repeal Bill? Where’d it go?). Different on some specifics but broadly much the same breed of authoritarian cock sockets, and here we have the authoritarian cock socket-in-chief ripping into his counterparts for doing more or less what he’s either doing off his own back or carrying on from the Brown days through not having any better ideas.
I couldn’t stand Gordon Brown and still hold him in great contempt, but I really am coming to loath David Cameron with a passion.
Back at the blog for only a couple of days and already someone has destroyed another cognitive dissonance meter.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, [Permanent Secretary for Tax at HMRC] Dave Hartnett says that householders have a duty to ensure that other people do not evade paying their share of tax.
Paying a builder or cleaner in cash, allowing them to evade VAT or income tax, will result in even deeper government cuts to public services, he says. People who contribute to the cash economy cannot then complain about austerity measures, he adds.
“Tax provides the funding to run the country: hospitals, schools and everything else,” he says. “Every time someone pays cash in order not to pay VAT, the nation gets diddled.”
Oh, is that so, Dave? Well, do tell us how you’d describe the state’s regular spunking away of billions of pounds on unnecessary shit, necessary shit that’s overpriced and doesn’t work properly, quangos, clampdowns on victimless crimes, subs for EU membership and more recently the use of taxpayers’ money to prop up private companies which through their own mistakes should naturally have gone to the wall. Plus the interest payments needed because all that on top of the cost of actual public services comes to rather more money than you can raise through tax anyway.
And while you’re scratching for an apt description – you could use ‘diddled’ again though I’d suggest ‘fucking ripped off’ – you might also tell us how you’d describe coercively taking half of what people earn, much of it before they’ve even get their own hands on it in the case of those on PAYE and under threat of violence for those doing returns, with no better justification than a vague assertion that you’ll be handing it over – minus that needed for your ≈£160K salary and £1.7M pension that you’ll be retiring several years early to enjoy, natch – to people who at best have vague good intentions to spend it in ways that benefit those from whom it was forcefully taken. ‘A sophisticated way of demanding money with menaces’ is one oft repeated description, though I don’t see what’s wrong with something like ‘legalised theft’. No doubt you’d call that ‘duty’ (badoom tish!) as well, eh, Dave?
As I mentioned back in July The Age, the Melbourne based sister paper of Sydney Morning Herald, was all over the News of the Screws phone hacking scandal like flies on a piece of shit.
The thing is that Gingery Dullard, unlike the Yanks, may have rather more cause to investigate the Aussie media. And interestingly it’s not the Murdoch owned mob but their competitors, the Graun friendly, lefty-loving, phone-hack hating Fairfax group, who have been accused of being up to no good.
THE editor-in-chief of The Age, Paul Ramadge, has refused to detail his personal involvement in the newspaper’s unauthorised access of an ALP database now being examined by the Australian Federal Police.
And how did this happen?
The Age accessed the database from its own computer terminals using an unauthorised password provided by an undisclosed source.
“This story came through entirely appropriate journalistic methods,” Ramadge said. “Entry to the ALP database came via a whistleblower who raised concerns about private information held on it.
“This whistleblower had authorised access to this material and we reported in the public interest.”
The Age used material obtained from the database to inform a story run in the final week of the Victorian election campaign about Labor keeping a “secret” file on citizens. Several people whose details were accessed were contacted by the newspaper before publication. Others, such as Mr Faris, were contacted after publication and assured their information would not be stored or misused.
Okay, so they may have had good reason but it sounds like it’s fair to ask the question. And even if they have good reason if they commit a crime in the process does it somehow un-crime it? I’m not sure a good reason would let me off something as trivial as a speeding offence – actually I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t – so I can’t help thinking that if a crime has been committed with good intentions it’s probably still a crime and that there’d be a case to answer.
And this week a police investigation looks more likely as the body overseeing elections in the state have got involved at the same time as a member of the public has placed the blame squarely on the newspaper that was so tumescent with joy when bashing the Murdoch rags in distant country for listening to people’s voicemail.
A VICTIM of The Age’s hacking of an ALP database has come forward claiming the newspaper breached her privacy, as The Weekend Australian reveals the Victorian Electoral Commission asked police to investigate the claims of illegal activity.
Claire Watson, 24, has expressed her concerns about how and why The Age accessed personal information about her, which she had agreed to share with a local MP but not with the newspaper. The public servant, who appeared in a story by Age journalist Royce Millar last year as part of the broadsheet’s investigation into the ALP database, said her views had been “distorted” and “words had been put in my mouth”.
“I feel my privacy has been breached by the journalist, not the ALP,” she said. “I agreed to share information with the ALP, but not with The Age. He seemed dodgy and was pleased with himself. He was so indignant with the ALP, but it is clear he was hacking my file. He was trying to whip me into outrage about it.”
“The journalist kept trying to put words in my mouth; he was saying it was outrageous, but I didn’t think it was outrageous,” she said. “The whole thing was weird. I tried telling him I wasn’t outraged as I understood large organisations keep that sort of data. I think it is reasonable and good practice to keep the data.”
She said she was more concerned Millar had then accessed the information.
“He knew a lot about me – my date of birth, where I lived, my phone number, opinions I had shared with a local MP . . . he was hacking into my file.”
As with the voicemail thing ‘hacking’ seems to be an inappropriate term for what looks awfully like a simple, old fashioned leak, but for whatever reason people seem to want to believe that any electronically stored information that isn’t given out voluntarily must have been hacked. I think this is a bit like insisting that when you can’t find your car it can only have been stolen rather than thinking that you just forgot where you left it or you parked in a tow away zone, but the real point is that if this is all hacking how did The Age have the front to throw so many stones at the Murdoch media for the phone not-hacking when they too had been accessing information they had no bloody right to? Was the temptation to throw those stones and hopefully damage their competition at the Melbourne Herald Sun and The Australian so strong that they forgot they lived in a greenhouse?
An injunction by The Age against Victoria Police to stop the removal of computer equipment remains in place since Thursday’s eight-hour raid. Two detectives from the e-crime squad remained at The Age overnight to ensure none of the computer equipment, which had been pulled apart, could be tampered with.
A spokesman for the Victorian Electoral Commission confirmed to The Weekend Australian that it had been the first to raise the issue with police.
Electoral Commissioner Steve Tully is believed to have been concerned about the manner in which the database was allegedly penetrated by The Age.
The Weekend Australian believes that police have been given access to ALP records and computer equipment but that there are mixed views in the party about how to handle the hacking issue. This is because of the potential blow-back on the Labor Party if The Age were to campaign against the party. “It’s not something we wanted. There are some senior people who just want it to go away,” a source said.
However, the fact the VEC approached police means investigators will have to push ahead with their inquiries. Either way, it appears police were honour-bound to proceed given the potential offences at stake and the role the VEC plays as an independent and impartial statutory authority.
And as I said back in July, since The Age isn’t part of the Murdoch press and is fairly strongly left leaning politically this is not something British readers can expect to see in The Grauniad. You kind of get the impression that bashing lefties for their misdeeds and alleged misdeeds is against some kind of lefty journo code, but it’s only fair to give The Age a little credit for running the story themselves.
|Click for link – incidentally, I don’t know if Paul and Royce Millar are related|
Now, remind me. In all those column inches in The Graun slagging off companies for perfectly legal tax avoidance and minimisation was it ever mentioned that Guardian Media did the same thing or did we have to find out from Guido?
Compare and contrast. First, something that needs no source and which the Righteous and right-on are saying is very, very bad, though as we should all know by now is lacking in context.
Frankly, I’d have them all shot. I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families.
Second, via Churchmouse writing at The Orphanage, and which he notes has gone entirely unremarked and without complaint by the Righteous and right-on in general and Unison in particular, something from the Birmingham Mail reporting on the public sector strike activity in their area.
A small group of protestors carried a mocked up guillotine with images of Nick Clegg and David Cameron, with a slogan saying “heads will roll”.
I do hope that’s cleared things up for everybody.
UPDATE – Churchmouse has left another example at the Orphanage, this time of an overdrive of leftie foam-flecked. outraged, offence seeking because some student Conservative Society burned an effigy of the Obamessiah, preceded three years ago by a deafening silence when someone else burned an effigy of Sarah Palin. And not forgetting that Camermong/Clegg guillotine thing.
That what’s good for the goose is also for the gander is something the left and right alike struggle with, though I’ll credit the right with less absurd examples of hypocrisy, while those libertarians who’ve been similarly hyperbolic have tended to be consistent and asked for enough lengths of piano wire to string up left and right wing statists all at the same time.
|Half inched from Zerohedge.|
From the Mail:
Countries will be forced to submit their budgets for EU approval before they go to national parliaments, will have to sign up to strict new rules on the size of debts and deficits and will be sued for any breach in the European Court of Justice.
Mrs Exile comments, wondering if this would be the same EU that hasn’t had its books signed off by the auditors for 17 years in a row. Damn good question. But in the absence of any sane answer I’d say that countries all over Europe can look forward to seeing headlines like the Irish did a couple of weeks ago.
Unless the whole bloody Euro train wreck finally comes off the rails first, of course. Who knows, that might even have happened by the time this post goes up.
Peter Costello, former Liberal party MP and Federal government Treasurer for the Coalition under John Howard, writes in The Age on an interesting difference in receptions given to US Presidents.
When the American president addressed joint Houses of the Australian Parliament back in 2003, Greens Senator Bob Brown interjected. In fact so worked up was he that the Speaker ordered his removal from the chamber. He was yelling about Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.
This time Brown joined a conga line of MPs clamouring to shake hands with the President, Barack Obama. He had to jostle with Greens MP Adam Bandt (who has a PhD on Marxism) to get his chance. Both of them were beaming. It was a good speech. The President declared America’s commitment to a military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, including a new proposal to train up to 2500 marines in the Northern Territory. One can only imagine what Bob’s reaction would have been had George Bush announced that 2500 US marines would be stationed on Australian soil. They would have had to cart him out of the House of Representatives.
Bob Brown was all worked up about Guantanamo Bay when George Bush visited Australia, but he does not seem to worry so much now that Obama is in charge. Julia Gillard used to complain that Australia was subservient to America. Now she claims she has made our alliance stronger than ever before.
In opposition, Labor harvested votes on the left. In government it wants to appeal to conservatives….
Labor MPs may feel happy to see Obama and Gillard standing in front of troops in the Northern Territory – it is a great photo opportunity for their side of politics. But alliances are between countries. They are designed to outlive the political office-holders of the day. In the future it could be Newt Gingrich and Tony Abbott standing there being cheered by US marines in the NT. The principle is either right or it is wrong and it doesn’t turn on who happens to be in office.
That is why it is so useful to have the left of Australian politics now locked in to traditional Coalition policies. Bipartisan support has been firmly established. And in the future if there is ever a complaint about marines based in Australia, just pull out the footage of a beaming Bob Brown grasping the hand of the president who announced it.
Some excellent points made there, and while I have no more love for Peter Costello’s party than the ALP – in one sense rather less love because the bastardisation of the word ‘liberal’ to describe a party of paternalists that like telling other people how to live their lives simply infuriates me – I can’t argue that Leftists can be pretty inconsistent if not hypocritical when it comes to the US. The bottom line is this: all the things I disliked about George W Bush, the wars, Gitmo, the loss of individual liberties, cosying up to big business and lobbyists, have by and large continued under Obama.
I’m aware some that Rightists care less about what is done than that it’s one of their men doing it – witness David Cameron’s actions of late and the deafening silence from his supposedly right of centre party – but if anything it seems to be even more true of Leftists. Is something bad done by a right winger made less bad when a left winger takes over and carries on?
… is a new cognitive dissonance meter. After replacing the one destroyed by Deborah Arnott earlier this year my shiny new one has just exploded after reading Quiet_Man’s most recent post over at the Orphanage.
In a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black Labour have accused the government of intending to borrow more than they originally intended. This would be the same Labour party behind the tax and spend initiatives which have pretty much left the country bankrupt and needing to borrow in the first place.
The government could borrow over £100bn more than it planned to up to 2015, according to Labour.
The party compared Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts from November 2010 with the latest estimates.
Labour said it showed the government’s plans were “reckless” but Economic Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said the claims were “nonsense”.
Meanwhile, Labour leader Ed Miliband will later urge ministers to change course away from economic austerity.
So we have a case for Labour accusing the government of borrowing more and the leader of the Labour Party calling for an end to austerity economics, which I suspect would mean the government borrowing more. Clearly a case of open mouth, insert foot, after all if I can see it, what are real economists going to think?
Yep, if anyone’s going to display meter wrecking cocknitive dissonance it’s going to be politicians, and Labour are the league champions at it. I suppose it’s my own fault for buying a cheap one. While I go look for a replacement do pop over to the Orphanage and read the rest of Quiet_Man’s post if you haven’t already.