Showing posts with label right wing rat bags. Show all posts
Showing posts with label right wing rat bags. Show all posts

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

William Fraser Anning - an ugly aspect of far-right politics in Australia


The Sydney Morning Herald, Fraser Anning

William Fraser Anning then a member of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party was declared elected to the Australian Senate on 10 November 2017, as a replacement for the recently disqualified dual citizen Malcolm Ieuan Roberts.

Less than seven months later he had joined Katter’s Australian Party.

In the 2016 general election Anning had received a grand total of 19 votes (59 if transferred votes are counted) out of a possible 2.72 million Queensland ballots cast. The Queensland electorate had firmly rejected him.

Hansard shows that at 17:06pm on Wednesday 14 August 2018, nine months after taking up his seat, Anning made his formal First Speech on the floor of the Senate.

This is how The Sydney Morning Herald reported this speech on 14 August 2018:

Queensland senator Fraser Anning has praised the White Australia Policy and called for a plebiscite as "the final solution to the immigration problem" in the most inflammatory maiden speech to an Australian Parliament since One Nation leader Pauline Hanson's in 1996.

The Katter's Australian Party senator, formerly of One Nation, used his first speech to the Senate on Tuesday to lament the demise of "our predominantly European identity" of the 1950s and '60s.


The Guardian’s opinion piece on 15 August 2018 pointed out the dangers before us:

Fraser Anning is in the parliament by accident. Having fluked his way into the Senate chamber because One Nation needed a replacement for Malcolm Roberts, he now wants your attention, and judging by his performance in the Senate on Tuesday night, he doesn’t care what lines he crosses to get it.

What we are witnessing in national politics is the latest manifestation of Australia’s cultural cringe. Far right political operatives, and the media voices prepared to give them succour, are importing the nationalist debates that have sprung up in the shadow of the global financial crisis – the biggest economic dislocation since the great depression.

We are building our own tinder box, bit by bit.

Debates about race, and sovereignty, and immigration have caught fire elsewhere because of deep resentments felt by the losers of globalisation. Australia didn’t suffer the biting effects of the global financial crisis, and the prolonged economic downturn that followed it. By comparison to the visceral experiences elsewhere, in this country we experienced a chilly, stiff breeze.

Notwithstanding these facts, we are importing the outrage consciousness that exists elsewhere, validating it, willingly projecting an alternate reality onto our own domestic circumstances as a grotesque form of entertainment.

We are building our own tinder box, bit by bit.

This would be pathetic. Almost laughable. Except in terms of race and politics, we are now in the most explosive period we’ve been in since John Howard sailed into choppy waters with his feelings on Asian immigration in the 1980s.

There is nothing to laugh about. Right now, there are all the ingredients of a perfect storm.

The first ingredient is a fractured bunch of far-right leaning political voices in mortal competition with one another for votes. The last 24 hours has been a public competition between Anning, and his new running mate Bob Katter, and One Nation, for attention. Anning and Katter apparently want to establish a new beach head, charting territory where Pauline won’t follow. Just let that happy thought settle on you for a minute or two.

The second ingredient is a polity profoundly disaffected by the repeated failings and default narcissism of Australia’s major party politics, frustrated by their congested cities and low wages growth and by governments who spent more time fighting their fractured internals than navigating the future. The third is a disrupted media landscape where conflict – the louder and more notorious the better – is hard currency.

Fraser Anning used his first speech to parliament to spin his own obscurity into notoriety: to try on a troll suit in full public view.

The Monthly spoke of  Anning as "unrepresentative", "accidental swill" on 15 August 2018:

Fraser Anning’s execrable first speech in the Senate yesterday, proposing a “final solution” on Muslim immigration, marks a new low for Australian politics, but assuredly not for long. Things are likely to get worse before they get better, as a bunch of illegitimate right-wing nobodies in the Senate compete for race-hate shock value in the lead-up to the next election. The combination of a double dissolution in 2016 and the citizenship crisis has burdened us with the least representative Senate in living memory. The crossbench is populated by senators who won on the donkey vote, defected, were elected on a countback or were hand-picked mid-term and are yet to face the people. Most face electoral oblivion in 2019. We are used to hearing of “unrepresentative swill” in the Senate, where one vote, one value has never applied, but a record number of our current senators literally don’t deserve to be there. Call them accidental swill.

Anning’s speech, in which he called for a return to the White Australia policy, did not come out of the blue. We have been building up to this steadily. From Pauline Hanson’s return to parliament, to Tony Abbott’s dog-whistling on immigration policy, to Peter Dutton’s attacks on “African gangs”, to Andrew Bolt’s comments about Chinese, Cambodian, Indian and Jewish communities“changing our culture”, to Sky News airing an interview with neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell, the trend is clear: we are sliding ever-faster down a slippery slope towards an ugly, divisive race-card election.

Although his formal first speech was somewhat tardy, according to They Vote For You Anning has been busy voting strongly in support of:


On 14 August 2018 lawyer Richard McGilvray, an adviser to Senator Anning, resigned his position in protest.

Posting on Linkedin that: "I do not condone SenatorAnning's speech. His reference to 'the Final Solution' was not something I had seen, heard of, or discussed prior to his remarks last night and as a consequence, within hours of Senator Anning's speech, I resigned my position effective immediately. I'd like to thank many of you for your messages of support and encouragement this morning."

It is understood that the adviser who drafted Anning's First Speech was Richard Howard, who was formerly a staffer for One Nation's Malcolm Roberts and Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm.

As is to be expected Anning's speech has been fact checked and found to contain numerous errors.

To date, Senator Anning has not issued an apology for elements of that speech.


Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Is Sky News Autralia fast becoming national propaganda central for extreme world views?


This is an excerpt from the book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988) by  Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky.


That these observations have a basis in fact can sadly be borne out by mainstream and social media in 2018.

Take this most recent example....



The United Patriots Front (UPF) is a far-right Australian white supremacists group.

In September 2017 admirer of Adolf Hitler, UPF founder & sometime leader Blair Cottrell and two supporters were each convicted under Victoria’s Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 and fined $2,000 plus $79.50 in statutory costs for religious vilification/inciting serious contempt.

This is not the first time Cottrell has been before the courts. In 2013 he was gaoled for a string of offences including stalking, arson, burglary and damaging property.

Despite this dubious history Sky News decided to invite him on as a guest of former Northern Territory Chief Minister & former Country Liberal Party Leader Adam Giles for a one-on-one studio interview on The Adam Giles Show on 5 August 2017.






To describe Cottrell as "an activist" is deliberately misleading as his history is well-known, as are some of his more extreme pronouncements such as this:


The reaction to Sky News was swift and this is just four examples:


Sky News issued an apology:



Then announced a ban on Blair Cottrell and a suspension of the Adam Giles Show, along with an internal  management shakeup, as the general public pushed to the limits continued to fight back against the 'normalising' of violence and racism.

However, as Sky News often employs markedly right-wing personalities and regularly hosts guests with extreme, intolerant and sometimes racist world views, it is not always easy to accept assertions that extremist views are not the news channel's own views. Or at the very least, that these divisive opinions are seen by Sky News management as driving an agenda desired by News Corp and powerful right-wing groups.

In fact Sky News appears to be fast developing into a version of that US right-wing propaganda vehicle, Fox News, in that it seeks to legitimise and monetise for its own corporate profit the most dangerous elements on the far-right political and social spectrum.1


Notes


1. Sky News' liking for yellow press journalism hasn't past unnoticed. 
Junkee, 6 August 2018: Sky News…. was deeply sorry for slut-shaming a (female) federal senator a few weeks ago. In the past, Sky News has been deeply sorry for linking a (female) former state Premier to corruption, deeply sorry for poking fun at a (female) journalist’s disability, and deeply sorry for suggesting a school boy was gay because he’d appeared in a video about feminism.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

An American pute politique went to Helsinki in July 2018......


Putin's putain is the one on the left in this picture, 16 July 2018

US National Public Radio, Transcript: Trump And Putin's Joint Press Conference, 16 July 2018, excerpts from President Trump’s remarks:

“During today's meeting, I addressed directly with President Putin the issue of Russian interference in our elections.

I felt this was a message best delivered in person. I spent a great deal of time talking about it and President Putin may very well want to address it and very strongly, because he feels very strongly about it and he has an interesting idea…..

And that was a well fought, that was a well fought battle. We did a great job. And frankly, I'm going to let the president speak to the second part of your question. But just to say it one time again and I say it all the time, there was no collusion. I didn't know the president.

There was nobody to collude with. There was no collusion with the campaign and every time you hear all of these you know 12 and 14 - stuff that has nothing to do and frankly they admit - these are not people involved in the campaign.

But to the average reader out there, they're saying well maybe that does. It doesn't. And even the people involved, some perhaps told mis-stories or in one case the FBI said there was no lie. There was no lie. Somebody else said there was. We ran a brilliant campaign and that's why I'm president….

I do feel that we have both made some mistakes. I think that the probe is a disaster for our country. I think it’s kept us apart. It’s kept us separated. There was no collusion at all. Everybody knows it. People are being brought out to the fore. So far that I know, virtually, none of it related to the campaign. They will have to try really hard to find something that did relate to the campaign. That was a clean campaign. I beat Hillary Clinton easily and, frankly, we beat her. And I’m not even saying from the standpoint — we won that race. It’s a shame there could be a cloud over it. People know that. People understand it. The main thing — and we discussed this also — is zero collusion. It has had a negative impact upon the relationship of the two largest nuclear powers in the world. We have 90 percent of nuclear power between the two countries. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous what’s going on with the probe….

My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others and said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be….

I will tell you that president Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.” [my yellow highlighting]

Then the American pute politique returned home to a coast-to-coast uproar.....

CNN, 17 July 2018:

The conservative editorial page of The Wall Street Journal declared the news conference "a personal and national embarrassment" for the President, asserting he'd "projected weakness." Newt Gingrich, ordinarily a reliable voice of support, wrote on Twitter the remarks were "the most serious mistake of his presidency."

Immediately after his news conference, Trump's mood was buoyant, people familiar with the matter said. He walked off stage in Helsinki with little inkling his remarks would cause the firestorm they did, and was instead enthusiastic about what he felt was a successful summit.

By the time he'd returned to the White House just before 10 p.m. ET on Monday, however, his mood had soured. Predictably, the President was upset when he saw negative coverage of the summit airing on television aboard Air Force One. It was clear he was getting little support, even from the usual places.

Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 17 July 2018:



Republican Speaker in the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan, Statement, 17 July 2018:

"There is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world. That is not just the finding of the American intelligence community but also the House Committee on Intelligence. The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally. There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals. The United States must be focused on holding Russia accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy."

The Guardian, 18 July 2018:

Newspapers around the world have reacted to Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin’s performances at the Helsinki summit, and are united in their assessment of which world leader came out on top.

In the US, several papers went in hard on Trump. The New York Daily News accused the president of treason. Its front page featured an illustration of Trump holding hands with a bare-chested Putin and shooting Uncle Sam in the head with a gun in the other hand.

The Washington Post’s headline is: “Trump touts Putin’s ‘powerful’ denial”. The paper says Trump handed the Russian president “an unalloyed diplomatic triumph” during their summit as he refused to support the “collective conclusion” of the US intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

The New York Post ran with the headline: “See no evil”.

Where the lying American pute politique tried to say he had misspoken.....


"I thought that I made myself very clear by having just reviewed the transcript.  Now, I have to say, I came back, and I said, “What is going on?  What’s the big deal?”  So I got a transcript.  I reviewed it.  I actually went out and reviewed a clip of an answer that I gave, and I realized that there is need for some clarification.

It should have been obvious — I thought it would be obvious — but I would like to clarify, just in case it wasn’t.  In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word “would” instead of “wouldn’t.”  The sentence should have been: I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t — or why it wouldn’t be Russia.  So just to repeat it, I said the word “would” instead of “wouldn’t.”  And the sentence should have been — and I thought it would be maybe a little bit unclear on the transcript or unclear on the actual video — the sentence should have been: I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.  Sort of a double negative.

So you can put that in, and I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself.

I have, on numerous occasions, noted our intelligence findings that Russians attempted to interfere in our elections.  Unlike previous administrations, my administration has and will continue to move aggressively to repeal any efforts — and repel — we will stop it, we will repel it — any efforts to interfere in our elections.  

We’re doing everything in our power to prevent Russian interference in 2018." [my yellow highlighting]

Monday, 9 July 2018

What you see is what you get from the shallow depth that is Senator David Ean Leyonhjelm



The politician who this week called Network Ten’s Angela Bishop a “bigoted bitch” on air and last week implied during the Sky News "Outsiders" program that Senator Sarah Hanson-Young had multiple partners, then added that "she has a right to shag as many men as she likes" and, now appears to have posted that film clip online.

It may be a little too hard for the Senate President to admit that this self-described political "alpha male" has gone completely off the rails or for the mainstream media to resist allowing him air time to defame, insult and incite at will, however the Australian Medical Association is made of sterner stuff.

Crikey.com.au, 4 July 2018:

Rowan Dean off medical journal board.

The Medical Journal of Australia has distanced itself from Sky News presenter Rowan Dean, who was hosting Senator David Leyonhjelm on his Sunday program to repeat abuse of Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Dean, until Saturday, was on the board of AMPCo, the publishing arm of the Australian Medical Association which publishes the MJA. His term ended on June 30, and an MJA spokeswoman told Crikey the journal had been receiving questions about its relationship with Dean after the Sky News segment became news.

NOTE: Senator Leyonhjelm is also a  man who as a crucial crossbench senator repeatedly voted in support of Adani in Parliament while owning a corporate bond issued by the group's Abbot Point coal terminal.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Pauline Hanson gets caught disregarding the rules once more


Senator Pauline Hanson Image: The Australian

One would think a political party with only two senators, including its president for life, in the Australian Senate and not one MP in the House of Representatives would not be so overburdened with paperwork that it would forget its legal obligations.

Pauline Hanson had been around long enough to know the rules, after all she has had to play catchup on more than one occassion, so all I can presume is that she was indulging in a little cost cutting.

Certainly former NSW MLC Peter Breen now One Nation's state secretary is aware of the party's obligations and doesn't sound all that happy at present.

The Age, 18 June 2018:

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is at risk of breaching electoral laws by using a structure that runs state branches by “remote control” from Queensland, according to an explosive letter that reveals growing pressure inside the troubled party.

The concerns add to accusations of a “dictatorship” being run by Senator Hanson, as billionaire former MP Clive Palmer exploits the One Nation divisions in a new grab for power on the Senate crossbench.

Fairfax Media can reveal One Nation wrote to the NSW Electoral Commission 10 days ago to admit doubts over the registration of the party branch in NSW because it did not have local balance sheets and reports to satisfy state disclosure laws.

“It was clear from our meeting on 22 May 2018 that operating the party by remote control from Queensland may be in breach of the NSW funding and disclosure laws,” wrote Peter Breen, the secretary of the party’s state division.

Mr Breen asked for guidance from the Electoral Commission to “demonstrate the deficiencies” in the party’s records ahead of looming deadline on June 30 to lodge the financial reports…..

Mr Breen told Fairfax Media the party had no NSW bank account and left all its records and receipt books with the Queensland head office, which meant it did not have balance sheets and other records to produce for the NSW authorities.

“I’m the one in the gun because Brian Burston has left me up the creek,” he said.

“Pauline Hanson is the registered officer, so ultimately the onus is on her. Because she sacked Burston as deputy registered officer, it falls back on her to make sure the party complies with the NSW rules.”

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

OUR ABC: Will voters be foolish enough to believe Turnbull Government protestations of innocence?


The Liberal Party of Australia Federal Council comprises 14 delegates from each State and the ACT - the State / Territory President, the State / Territory Parliamentary Leader, the President of the Young Liberal Movement, the President / Chairman of the Women’s Council and 10 other delegates.


More than 100 Liberal Party MPs, senators and party members were in Sydney on 16 June 2018 for the party’s 60th annual federal council which is expected to be the last one before the next federal election.

Here are some of the smiling faces at the event readers might recognise.

Twitter: A bevy of Liberal ministers: Sen. Mitch Fifield, Sen. Mathias Cormann, Julie Bishop MP & Malcolm Turnbull MP

The Young Liberals put forward the motionThat federal council calls for the full privatisation of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, except for services into regional areas that are not commercially viable” and on a more than 2 to 1 show of hands the council voted in favour this motion.

Fairfax media snapshot of ABC privatisation vote

Council delegate Mitchell Collier, federal vice president of the Young Liberals, asserted there was no economic case to keep the broadcaster in public hands.


At the end of the motion debate Mitch Fifield reluctantly got to his feet at the urging of the Chair to offer “comments and observations” but did not condemn the idea of privatisation or oppose the motion outright.

As the vote was on a show of hands only with no official count taken there is no record of how Fifield voted.

Four members of the party’s federal executive voted in favour of the call for privatisation -  Federal Liberal vice-presidents Karina Okotel and Trish Worth, Young Liberal president Josh Manuatu and vice president Mitchell Collier who moved the motion. Incoming Federal Liberal vice-president NSW member Teena McQueen also voted for privatisation.

The federal council also voted in favour of an efficiency review of the SBS network.

After the vote became public two Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) members made statements to the media.

RMIT University professor and IPA Senior Research Fellow Sinclair Davidson said privatisation of the ABC should be the “default” Coalition policy as the Liberals were the party of small government which supported private enterprise.

He also told Sky News that ‘Selling the ABC to Gina Rinehart would be magnificent’

IPA research fellow Chris Berg said the preferred option would be for ownership to be transferred to ABC staff or Australian taxpayers.

The Australian Minister for Communications and yet another IPA member, Senator Mitch Fifield, who has previously stated that there is “merit in the proposal to privatise the ABC is currently trying to hose down alarm in the national electorate over that federal council vote.

His claims that the Turnbull Government supports the Australian public broadcaster and denies it has any intention of selling off the ABC.

Given past behaviour of the Abbott and Turnbull governments, the belligerence displayed towards the ABC and the stable from which Fifield comes, I don’t believe a word of his denial.

Just as the Prime Minister's denial is not one on which I would depend.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Political bully boy exposed


The Guardian, 15 June 2018:

An advertising executive and commentator is refusing to delete a social media post mocking the Queensland opposition frontbencher Jarrod Bleijie, despite being referred to the powerful ethics committee.


Bleijie had at the time been arguing against a motion to speed up debate on the Labor government’s vegetation management laws so parliament could adjourn at its new “family friendly” time and avoid sitting into the night.

After seeing the tweet, Bleijie complained to the speaker, Curtis Pitt, who referred Madigan to the ethics committee, because under parliamentary rules vision from the floor of the house can’t be used for “satire or ridicule”.

Pitt said his office also attempted to have the Twitter post removed.

Madigan previously refused to remove the tweet when contacted by the clerk of parliament, and on Friday again tweeted she would be leaving the post up.


“If this is upheld it means no one on [social media] can retweet or share with a comment any parli footage, even if it has been on the news or streamed live or shared by pollies,” Madigan wrote. “The precedent on free speech is extraordinary. It is bullshit.”

No Fibs, 15 June 2018:

Not long after, the Clerk of the Queensland Parliament, Neil Laurie, contacted Ms Madigan asking her to delete her comment after a complaint had been received. He labeled her, “a contracted campaigner of the Labor Party, Queensland Division”. Mr Laurie went on to cite, in its entirety, section 50 of the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 including that footage of proceedings in the Queensland parliament should not be subject to such things as ridicule, satire or political advertising. In his view, the Tweet breached, “the terms and conditions and is a prima facie contempt”….

Ms Madigan pointed out that she was not contracted to the Labor Party in either Queensland or elsewhere, that she was a private citizen, entitled to retweet people and would not be removing the Tweet. She also pointed out that multiple members of the LNP had used parliamentary footage over time to express political opinions and to ridicule.

Thirty-six year old former lawyer and former Attorney-General Jarrod Pieter Bleijie has been a sitting Liberal National Party member in the Queensland Parliament since 21 March 2009.

However nine years in politics has not given him any claim to wisdom.

Why he saw fit to take his objection to this tweet as far as he has is not known1.

What was predictable is that now he has, this tweet below will likely live on as a footnote in Queensland political history and, he will be forever remembered as a pompous and thin skinned individual.
Footnote

1. PARLIAMENT OF QUEENSLAND ACT 2001

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF QUEENSLAND CODE OF ETHICAL STANDARDS

THE ETHICS COMMITTEE

The Ethics Committee of the 56th Parliament was established on 15 February 2018.


The committee’s areas of responsibility as set out in section 104B of the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 are as follows:
* dealing with complaints about the ethical conduct of particular members
* dealing with alleged breaches of parliamentary privilege by members of the Assembly and other persons.

Further to this, section 104C of the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 provides:
The committee’s area of responsibility about dealing with complaints about the ethical conduct of particular members is to—
* consider complaints referred to the committee about particular members failing to register particular interests; and
* consider complaints against particular members for failing to comply with the code of ethical conduct for members, report on complaints to the Assembly and recommend action by the Assembly.
* A complaint about a member not complying with the code of ethical conduct for members may be considered only by the Assembly or the committee.
* Subsection (2) has effect despite any other law, but the subsection does not apply to a court, tribunal or other entity if the entity may, under a law, consider an issue and the issue that is considered involves the commission, or claimed or suspected commission, of a criminal offence.
* Subsection (3) does not limit or otherwise affect the powers, rights and immunities of the Assembly and its committees and members.

Friday, 15 June 2018

The gall of this disgraced former NSW Nationals politician takes my breath away


Feigning ignorance Steven Rhett Cansdell seeks to re-enter politics.....

The Daily Examiner, 14 June 2018. p.1:


Former Clarence MP Steve Cansdell’s return to public life began with an apology.

“Firstly I want to nip things in the bud,” Mr Cansdell began when he spoke yesterday at the Grafton Hotel to reveal why he would stand for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party at the 2019 NSW Election.

“Seven years ago I stuffed up through ignorance, but ignorance is not an excuse,” he said.

“I had to resign. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, to resign from parliament, and the people I served and expected things from me, to let them down.
“To them I apologise.”

Mr Cansdell resigned from Parliament in September 2011 after he revealed he had illegally signed a statutory declaration six years earlier to avoid a speeding ticket and loss of his driver’s licence.....

The Shooters Fishers and Farmers party MLC Robert Brown said the party had recruited Mr Cansdell about two months ago.


“Somebody who knows him knew he was thinking of having another crack,” Mr Brown said.

“So they put him in touch with us.

“We met with him in Sydney two months ago then we danced around it a bit because I don’t think he’d made up his mind yet and we hadn’t made up our mind.

“As we got to know him we decided if we’re going to have a go in the Clarence, this is the sort of bloke we’d campaign for and we think he has a shot.”


Why Brown and Cansdell appear to believe that his past bad behaviour will matter little to voters in the Clarence electorate is something of a puzzle.