Tag Archives: politics

Dirty Politics

Comments: on the sad state of politics

max-P1020481Here in Australia we have suffered a series of dirty political events that have led to the election of one of the worst possible national governments. However it always an education to pop one’s head up over the wall to look to see how other countries are faring.

Here are links to two bad cases mentioned in recent articles.

Continue reading Dirty Politics

Big Corporations and Inequity

Comment: More on Corporations and Inequity

1a34098uI had reviewed Andrew Leigh’s very good 2013 book, Battlers & Billionairesclick here. Just this week there has been announcements from an American campaign that is raining voices about the control the corporate elite have on the country and how this is destroying the planet and our civil societies. click here

Continue reading Big Corporations and Inequity

Refugees and The Law

Comment: Good news from the High Court

crown-sheepYesterday there was good news from the High Court on limits to the cruel and inhuman treatment of refugees being handed out by the Australian Government. I am not sure how the right-wing mainstream media and the ABC are reporting this, as it yet another indicator of how rotten this government has become. The decision is one step in turning this horrible situation around. Let’s hope there’s more good news to follow. click here for the article by Dr Joyce Chia in The Guardian. Then for more by Dr Joyce Chai – click here.

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Paul Costigan, 12 September 2014

Scotland The Brave

Comment: Scotland and the vote for Independence

175px-Flag_of_Scotland.svgI am probably like many Australians who for a long time ignored and then wondered what the referendum in Scotland is all about. Curiosity took me to reading several online articles that provided some very thoughtful insights for those interested in the great democracy experiment. Here’s the background – click here.

Continue reading Scotland The Brave

Brickworks, Austral Bricks, Developers & political shenanigans

Commentary: emails and corporate shenanigans and lies

Brickworks – Austral Bricks – Developers and political shenanigans

rabbitt01The Abbott funding scandal story gets more interesting day by day.

I am referring to the story generated by the release of the emails between Brickworks (owner of Austral Bricks among other subsidiaries) and the Chief of Staff for Tony Abbott. The point being made now is how this company assisted in the lies about and attacks on carbon pricing while they made profits from the government subsidies then available.   click here

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Paul Costigan, 10 September 2014

Citizenship and Abbott

Commentary: A curious story
Queries about the Prime Minister’s citizenship

rabbott01I have been watching this story develop in the alternate media and so far it has not been mentioned in the main stream media. The question being asked is whether Tony Abbott ever gave up his dual UK citizenship which is required under the constitution for anyone to be a member of the Australian Parliament?

Click here for the piece – and then for a follow-up story – click here

Abbott the destroyer

Politics in Australia

Cover-September-2014We are fortunate in Australia to have some independent voices writing both in hard copy and online. For instance we have the Saturday Paper and The Monthly and online resources such as The Conversation and a host of others.

Unfortunately most of this reading at the moment can be a little depressing as so much of the news is being taken up reporting on the destructive nature of the Federal Government.

Continue reading Abbott the destroyer

National Capital Authority

The NCA is no longer relevant

An opportunity has presented itself with the Commonwealth Government’s announcement to allow the National Capital Authority (NCA) to open up the Parliamentary Triangle to more commercial opportunities. (CT 12 July, Page 1, Shopping in the triangle? It’s a private matter)

I have no problem at all with more commercial activity happening within the Parliamentary Triangle. The question is just how to intelligently implement such a change to this landscape that presently serves as a national monument.

Continue reading National Capital Authority

A Government Most Foul

Comment: while Clive distracts, this foul government moves against refugees

ac-morrison-main-20140625122735863990-620x349This country via its elected government has moved to do the unthinkable.

While we all thought that our government was already dealing out extraordinary cruel treatment to people who have had to leave everything and seek asylum in Australia, the Immigration Minister has proposed more foul legislation for Parliament to consider.

Continue reading A Government Most Foul

Canberra Urbanity & Development

Recent Canberra Government development announcements

 

16RegentsCanal-1100774

In recent weeks and months there have been several significant development proposals announced by the territory (ACT) government in Canberra. If all the government’s ambitions come to fruition then residents about to witness some very serious alterations and additions to the make-up of several parts of the inner city urban fabric.

Continue reading Canberra Urbanity & Development

Doing Murdoch’s dirty work

Comment: On how the ABC continues to do Murdoch’s dirty work.

ABC-Fergusin-SenatorA couple of nights ago on the ABC’s 7.30 Report, the program’s presenter, Sarah Ferguson, interviewed the Palmer United Party senator-elect Dio Wang. Much has been made of this interview with much scorn heaped on Dio Wang for his somewhat naive responses and that he stated he was not across many of the financial details that Sarah Ferguson indicated that he should have been.

For me this was of little interest compared to the far more serious issue at play.

Continue reading Doing Murdoch’s dirty work

Harry Hobbs on Queensland 2

Opinion: Under the Oak Tree: Institutional Reform in the Deep North
An article by Andrew Trotter and Harry Hobbs

max-P1020481Strong institutions are a prerequisite to good governance and a critical aspect of the rule of law.

The independence of a legally qualified judiciary and the transparency and accountability of government are the cumulative result of many centuries of progress.

Continue reading Harry Hobbs on Queensland 2

The Rabbott’s Lies and More Lies

Opinion: The lies and more lies and mindless spin of the Rabbott Government

rabbitt01The present government must hold the record for the amount of lies and the level of stupid and patronising spin. While their high levels of lies and misrepresentation worked to get them into government, it seems that they had convinced themselves that such high levels of crap would continue to fool the people who voted for them.

Apparently not so.

Continue reading The Rabbott’s Lies and More Lies

Abbott & Hockey rip apart Australian arts

Response to the Abbott & Hockey ripping apart of Australia

rabbitt01As reported in a few places in the media, the cultural sector in Australia has been dragged backwards by George Brandis stripping away all the support gains of the last decade.

This travesty has been reported here in the Guardian, and also from the ABC,  as well as here in The Conversation.

However there is another worry…

Continue reading Abbott & Hockey rip apart Australian arts

Andrew Leigh: Power and Privilege

Opinion: The remarkable persistence of power and privilege

Andrew-LeighAndrew Leigh on Power and Privilege: An excellent article on where is society has been travelling in relation to power and privilege. The article is by Andrew Leigh who happens to be my local federal member of parliament.

How many other federal members are publishing such intelligent articles so regularly?  Not many I fear.

Click here for his article online on The Inside Story — or here for the same on his website

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Other postings mentioning Andrew Leigh – click here

Paul Costigan, 2 May 2014

Harry Hobbs on QueensLand

Opinion: A comment on Moving Backwards in Queensland
An article by Harry Hobbs

crown-sheepSince taking office in 2012, the Attorney-General for Queensland and Minister for Justice, Jarrod Bleijie MP has made a conscious effort to reintroduce symbols of the monarchy.

Queensland’s own Glorious Revolution has seen Senior Counsels replaced with Queen’s Counsels, the new government logo replaced with the traditional Coat-of-Arms, the new law courts named the reigning British Monarch, and a political fight over the royal succession laws.

Continue reading Harry Hobbs on QueensLand

Eliminating Coal-Fired Generation

Creating Cleaner Air in Ontario

Province Has Eliminated Coal-Fired Generation

 

From the Ministry of Energy

Ontario is now the first jurisdiction in North America to fully eliminate coal as a source of electricity generation.

The Thunder Bay Generating Station, Ontario’s last remaining coal-fired facility, has burned its last supply of coal.

Operated by Ontario Power Generation, Thunder Bay Generating Station was the oldest coal-fired station in the province. The plant is scheduled to be converted to burn advanced biomass, a renewable fuel source.

Continue reading Eliminating Coal-Fired Generation

Senator Louise Pratt

Politics and Humanity
Senator Louise Pratt: No more Labor Bullocks for Australia’s sake

It is definitely worth reading these fine words from a Labor politician who has just been done over by her own party’s election processes.

And to add to her fury, she was insulted by the election of a complete dud and stupid bloke to a senate position that should have been hers.

click here for her side of the story in glorious detail.

Not In Our Name

A Reminder: March in March (2014)

there’s so many issues

rabbitt01This government draws its strength from others and from their belief in the right to be in government. This government does not care what is being said by people such as those in the March in March protest. This government would view the protesters as being the problem, not their messages. It is going to be a difficult few years living in a country where democracy is being trashed.

It is worth checking the latest list of The Rabbott’s national wreckage – click here.

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Paul Costigan, 5 April 2014

Michael Moore of Canberra

Comment: the widening inequity gap
by Michael Moore of Canberra

The ideology of ultra conservatives now dominates the current Australian federal government and we all know that this mantra simply reflects those pulling their strings, being the same industry groups who managed their ascension into government.

There’s so much written, but not read, about the inequalities in today’s society. It is welcomed to see a lone voice in our local media occasionally urging people to step back and think about what sort of society is being created.

Continue reading Michael Moore of Canberra

Refugees and Australia

Comment and Book Notices
Australia and refugees

Hope: Refugees and their Supporters in Australia since 1947, Ann-Mari Jordens, 2012

That Sinking Feeling: Asylum Seekers and the Search for the Indonesian Solution, Paul Toohey, 2014

Photo: SMH – Dean Sewell

 The above photograph was attached to a 2004 Sydney Morning Herald article. Has it been that long that Australia has been doing these dreadful things to refugees? No. It has been much longer than 10 years. The really sad fact is that in 2014 this country has implemented programs to deal with boat refugees that just cannot get any worse.

Continue reading Refugees and Australia

status of women

Opinion: Girls can do everything, just not all at once

Canberra Times Article, by Marie Coleman

article200_quentin-bryce1-200x0With the first female Governor General now having departed the scene, it was indeed timely for a local writer to sum up the messy situation that occurred thanks to our infamous Prime Minister.

That is, The Rabbott took this opportunity of the departure of this well-loved person from this high office, to confuse any celebration by announcing that he was bringing back the out of date honours of Knighthoods and Dames. To rub it in fully, The Rabbott announced that Quentin Bryce was to be the first to be honoured.

Continue reading status of women

Supermarkets and Rural Life

Stories: from the Guardian
a small town battle against the odds

There are many situations within Australia, whereby the community takes umbrage at local planning decisions. It is not unusual to find that many of these disputes are focused around the local shopping centre. And again within those arguments, how often is that the issue is to do with the dominance of the two major supermarkets?

Continue reading Supermarkets and Rural Life

Andrew Leigh

Report: Andrew Leigh’s Speech

Does Size Matter? An Economic Perspective on the Population Debate

max-P1020481The world is not a totally happy place right now. We are facing all sorts unbelievable challenges. One of the basic requirements is to obtain some real facts and evidence upon which to base decisions. This may seem logical.

However the level of misinformation coming through via the mainstream media, that has become the basis of political decision-making, is totally stunning.

Continue reading Andrew Leigh

Tent Embassy

A new future for the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra

tent-P1030620

The tent embassy has had a mixed history since the first one was established in January 1972 in Canberra right in front of the former Parliament House. There is a reasonably full history on wikipedia – click here. It is worth reading.

Presently the number of tents varies as does the level of activity. Over the years I am aware that the government as well as the National Capital Authority have had discussions about its future. Nothing has changed except for the comings and goings of the residents.

Continue reading Tent Embassy

QANTAS

Comments: The future of QANTAS

images-1Once upon a time, in the not too distant past, Australians were proud of the national airline. It had a first-rate international reputation. Whenever you could, you flew QANTAS.

This partly changed with the privatization that happened under the Keating Government. However most still believed it was a national carrier even though it was run by a private board.

Continue reading QANTAS

refugees and Australia

Comment: refugees and Australia’s uncivilised behaviour

manusIt is very hard to put together the words to describe how thinking people in Australia feel about the situation we are in thanks to the Commonwealth Governments of the last couple of decades.

I am totally and always have been against the concept of detention for refugees. As for detention centres on islands and in other countries for refugees trying to come to Australia, it is unbelievable that any civilized country would even have contemplated this. Continue reading refugees and Australia

Education Blunders

Comment: making serious education blunders

max-P1020481The Australian Government’s Education Minister, Christopher Pyne (one of the most annoying people around), announced before Christmas that Australia is to move to having more ‘Independent’ public schools. Most of us would be lucky to understand just what that term meant.

What does such a move from this ideologically driven government mean for the future of education in Australia?

Continue reading Education Blunders

climate’s dark art

dealing with climate’s dark art

The desperate need for frank, honest, timely and evidence based advice.

 

max-P1020481Remember how things were during the more optimistic days of living in Australia, when climate change was not a dirty word or two?I am referring to the times of the Kevin Rudd and then Julie Gillard governments.

Back then the country was known internationally as taking a whole raft of initiatives to deal with climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Continue reading climate’s dark art

climate dark art

climate dark art

The desperate need for frank, honest, timely and evidence based advice.

 

max-P1020481Remember how things were during the more optimistic days of living in Australia, when climate change was not a dirty word or two?I am referring to the times of the Kevin Rudd and then Julie Gillard governments.

Back then the country was known internationally as taking a whole raft of initiatives to deal with climate change mitigation and adaptation.

I have to admit that I found the public sector involved in these areas to be under all sorts of pressures. The then government’s priorities kept changing as they worked through what they could and couldn’t do, given the nature of the controls other parties had over the government’s policies.

Continue reading climate dark art

Get Real on Climate Change

Definitely time to Get Real about Climate Change

There are may time as a citizen, that one despairs that any government is really going to Get Real about climate change.

climatechange_640x200_

This is more frustrating because as we all know that they have at their finger tips all the advice and scientific information necessary for intelligent and timely decisions. Yet for so many governments, it is business as usual.

Continue reading Get Real on Climate Change

Climate Change voices

Comment: More Climate Change Voices required

It is definitely time for political leaders and other voices to take the issues of climate change up to the mainstream media and the bunch of nut jobs who we politely call climate deniers.

The United States President and the White House team have been unable to deliver on its climate and environmental agendas due to the emasculation of anything sensible by the legislators. This should not stop any or all of them making more leadership statements to encourage the rest of the world and their own state governments to get on with dealing with the enormous challenges.

Continue reading Climate Change voices

Climate Change Voices

Comment: More Climate Change Voices required

 

It is definitely time for political leaders and other voices to take the issues of climate change up to the mainstream media and the bunch of nut jobs who we politely call climate deniers.

The United States President and the White House team have been unable to deliver on its climate and environmental agendas due to the emasculation of anything sensible by the legislators.

This should not stop any or all of them making more leadership statements to encourage the rest of the world and their own state governments to get on with dealing with the enormous challenges.

Continue reading Climate Change Voices

America the Beautiful

The truth is out there

Follow Up to previous post on this subject – Click here

Last week I wrote about the Superbowl advertising and how the Coca Cola advertisement had caused a backlash from the right-wing nut jobs. This of course was good advertising for Coke.

Click here for my original post.

The nut jobs launched themselves online to go on about how English is the language for America. Well that’s what they say. The same groups are anti everything else; gay marriage, equal right, migration – the lists goes on.

Continue reading America the Beautiful

Inequity

Opinion: On the growth of inequity in society

The ever increasing gap between the rich and the poor

 

I did not think the day would come in my lifetime when I would find myself agreeing with a speech made by a Pope.

There are many issues unresolved about his church and many nasty things that it remains responsible for.  It is one house that needs to get so many things in order before it can be credible on the world stage.

However at least on the topic of inequity this Pope seems to have hit the nail on the head.

Continue reading Inequity

Neil Young and honour the treaties

Neil Young:
Canada’s Conservative government exploit Alberta tar sands

from the Guardian: 14 January 2014

Neil Young has entered into a war of words with Canada’s Conservative government, accusing officials of “killing” First Nations through their exploitation of the Alberta tar sands. The Toronto-born singer has exchanged verbal volleys with the office of prime minister Stephen Harper, who replied that “even … rock stars” rely on oil.

Continue reading Neil Young and honour the treaties

Urban Heat

Opinion: Urban Trees and Heat
A case study of neglect and willful blindness?

Ainslie-P1010108

There was a routine piece in the Canberra Times about the current heat wave, temperature around and above 40 Degrees Celsius, and backyard trees or in some case about the lack of them. The article pointed to the now well established reality, that during such times those residential properties that lacked shade were suffering higher temperatures.

Continue reading Urban Heat

Urban Trees and Heat

Opinion Editorial: Urban Trees and Heat

A case study of neglect and willful blindness?.

(cross posted from our other blog)

Ainslie-P1010108

Continue reading Urban Trees and Heat

Threats to Climate Action

Opinion: Climate in danger from Australia

Threats to Climate Action

re-post from the Guardian

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

rabbott01Once upon a time, not that many years ago, Australia was on the world stage as a leading in actions on climate change. It was not that a lot had actually happened. The truth was that a many new initiatives were being proposed.

The aura was that the country was on the move. The Australian Government was open to do business on climate change.

Other countries were admiring the remarkable turn around on climate change actions from those of the previous Howard government years. If you happened to have been overseas, you felt proud of your country and were able to discuss these issues in the knowledge that your country was out their doing its stuff; or at least about to do so.

Continue reading Threats to Climate Action

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Opinion: Climate in danger from Australia

re-post from the Guardian

rabbott01Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Once upon a time, not that many years ago, Australia was on the world stage as a leading in actions on climate change. It was not that a lot had actually happened. The truth was that a many new initiatives were being proposed.

The aura was that the country was on the move. The Australian Government was open to do business on climate change. Continue reading Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Opinion: Political Stupidity Reigns Again

The Latest from our Rabbott Government

rabbott01Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid: The national edukashon minister announced that after years of development, years of consultations and a bloody huge amount of work, that he considers he needs to appoint two close political associates to look into getting ‘balance’ back into the curriculum. They state that they will be independent. That probably means their report will be independent of facts and of intellect.

It is obvious that this is more about getting the old ‘culture’ wars started again and to drive particular ideological points into the headlines while loads of other disastrous changes are being put through by the Rabbott.

Continue reading Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Opinion: Be afraid, be very Afraid

Stupidity in action

From The Guardian Australia: Tony Abbott’s top business adviser accuses IPCC of ‘dishonesty and deceit’. ‘The scientific delusion, the religion behind the climate crusade, is crumbling,’ Maurice Newman says.

It does not get much worse than this. The Rabbott government has been doing some stupid things of late, and there’s promise of even more stupidity to come in 2014.

Continue reading Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Innovation

Opinion: about manufacturing and innovation
and a few more topics

While I am not too worried about the closure of GM’s (Holden) manufacturing plants in Australia in 2017, I am concerned as to whether manufacturing as an Australian industry and its associated innovations are not being supported. It is hard to find intelligent comment on these subjects in the Australian media.

Continue reading Innovation

Political Distraction

Opinion: Rabbott Distracts while cutting deep

rabbott01Very cleverly  the Rabbott Government used the ‘shock’ announcements of vehicle manufacturing closures to distract attention from the government’s cuts to key social programs.

The mainstream media filled headline after headline about the closure of a particular car manufacturing company.

Our loyal opposition parties did not help as they joined in crying out loud through the media about the closures. Meanwhile damage was being done elsewhere in plain sight.

Continue reading Political Distraction