Monday, April 11, 2016
Offensive name of Communist leader on display
It was rather nostalgic for me to see the South Vietnamese flag above again. I stuck a lot of them on top of Leftist posters during the Vietnam war
The surname of the restaurant owner is Turkish and therefore presumably Muslim. So the name of the restaurant could be intended as anti-American
About 100 people have protested outside Brisbane's Uncle Ho restaurant, which was closed on Sunday due to "death threats" for naming the eatery after Vietnamese communist leader Ho Chi Minh.
The city's Vietnamese community said the name and advertising was ignorant and insulting and they would continue to organise protests until the name was changed.
They held a peaceful protest outside the New Farm establishment on Sunday morning, singing national songs and holding placards such as "Ho Chi Minh is nobody's uncle".
The restaurant's director Anna Demirbek was unapologetic in an Instagram post on Sunday. She said they were fully conscious the brand would be sensitive. "We have no position on the political or historical landscape of Vietnam," she said. "We are not communist sympathisers. "Over the past 24 hours management have received death threats and threats of burning down the building our business is housed in."
Phoung Nguyen said protesters' attempts to contact the owners of the New Farm restaurant had failed. She said because their peaceful approach did not work, they decided to rally. "For Vietnamese, especially from the south, who risked their lives and ran away from their country by boat in the 70s and 80s, we hate that name," she said.
"We settled in Australia and live in peace and enjoy the freedom, democracy and work hard in a country which opened its arms to us.
"We are incensed. "The posters in there is some sort of promotion for the Vietnamese army and remind us of the invasion of Saigon.
"It was a terrifying period for all of us, we were the losers and the winner did not treat us humanely. "Why do you promote an eatery with all the war, guns, tanks images?"
Millions fled Vietnam as a result of Ho Chi Minh and the communist regime.
Since its opening in late March, the restaurant's Instagram feed has drawn criticism for making light of the history.
One post a month ago, featuring a red tank and military saying "gather your squadron and mobilise the troops" offended a number of people.
"This kind of imagery is insensitive at best and horribly offensive to so many Vietnamese Australians, many whose families fled torture and death at the hands of 'Uncle Ho', it's also a slap in the face to many Vietnam vets," patches_o wrote.
Love Australia or Leave Party founder Kim Vuga blocked from Queensland pub
One can understand that the pub owner wishes to avoid disturbances but it it exposes the Fascist nature of the Left that their constant use of street disturbances does effectively restrict other people's rights
The founder of an anti-Islam and anti-immigration political party has hit out at a Queensland pub for discrimination because it wouldn't let her meet there.
Kim Vuga, the grandmother who rose to prominence sticking to her views on SBS' Go Back to Where You Came From reality show, said it was another example of a nationwide clampdown on free speech.
She'd organised to have a group "meet for drinks" at the Beach House Hotel in Hervey Bay before heading to another, unnamed hotel for the meeting itself, she said to prevent the venue being attacked online by "anti-Reclaim Australia" groups.
On Friday, Ms Vuga was told she and her members weren't welcome in the venue. "I did say to him (the venue manager), that's discrimination," she said. "We've got members of the public only having a drink. We're not discussing politics and he didn't care."
The independently owned hotel's venue manager, Paul Robins, told Fairfax Media a party representative had contacted the venue earlier this week and asked to host the forum.
"We said no, that we didn't support their views or didn't want anything like that associated with our venues," he said.
"(We said) we don't have an issue if you're having a drink with your friend but you're not to organise a political meeting in our venue.
"Next thing we find flyers where she's advertised that she's having this meeting in our venue after we'd already said no."
Ms Vuga's party supports an indefinite moratorium on Muslim immigration and a ban on all immigration until the budget was back in the black.
The Townsville woman called for Australia's gun laws to be rolled back to pre-Port Arthur massacre days, wanted the country to withdraw from the United Nations and proposed a series of water pipes beginning in the north and criss-crossing the rest of the continent to guarantee water safety.
Ms Vuga also wanted an end to politicians' perks after leaving office, decentralisation of the population and development of affordable renewable energy.
Ms Vuga insisted members were only meeting for drinks but Mr Robins said that was just "semantics". "We're a hotel, we're not a political organisation," he said. "We're an inclusive venue and we simply just don't want to be associated with her or her political views."
The Love Australia or Leave Party is yet to be registered with the Australian Electoral Commission but Ms Vuga plans to run for the Senate in the coming federal election.
She said the party had "way over" the 500 members it needed to register, papers had been filed with the AEC and it would also run candidates in Victoria, Western Australia, New South Wales.
If elected, Ms Vuga said she would push for refugees settled in Australia under Labor's "open door policy" to be sent back to their country of origin, even if they'd been persecuted.
"I believe our compassion ends at the borders," she said. "I believe we're in a climate where we need to be concerned."
Turnbull promises to abolish Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal after election
Malcolm Turnbull has pledged to abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal if his government wins the upcoming election.
The Coalition has also announced funding from the Road Safety Remuneration System would be redirected to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, which the Prime Minister said was the body that can “actually deliver real and tangible road safety outcomes in the trucking industry”.
“The Turnbull government is taking action to support truck owner-drivers across Australia who are unfairly disadvantaged by the destructive Road Safety Remuneration System Payment Order, which came into effect on 7 April 2016,” Mr Turnbull and Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said in a statement.
“Bill Shorten set up the Road Safety Remuneration System solely to advantage the Transport Workers Union.
“The union claims that if you pay someone more money then they will drive more safely. This is not based on evidence or common sense. The RSR System is predicated on this flawed claim and it puts tens of thousands of owner-drivers across Australia at risk of being driven out of business.”
The government said there was “no evidence” the RSRS had achieved “any safety outcomes” during its four years of operation and would not achieve any in the future.
Labor slammed the Turnbull government for “trashing” the independent tribunal, claiming the move to scrap it was “based upon their opposition to establishing safe rates for the transport industry”.
“This decision is extraordinary and extremely dangerous given the body of evidence that links pay and safety on our roads,” the opposition’s employment spokesman Brendan O’Connor said.
“The Turnbull Liberal government has gone from seeking to delay the decision by legislation to now recklessly trying to kill off the tribunal, simply because Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t like its decision.”
Mr O’Connor said the government should convene a meeting with all affected parties – employers, workers, unions, and owner-operators to “reconcile where possible outstanding differences”.
“Abolishing the independent tribunal will set a deeply disturbing precedent and clearly shows the Abbott-Turnbull government has no respect for the concept of an independent umpire,” he said.
“It also raises very serious questions about future decisions of government. If they are willing to abolish a tribunal because they don’t like a decision, what would stop the Turnbull government intervening to defer the increase in the national minimum wage, or override a decision of the Fair Work Commission on penalty rates?”
The government’s statement said the states would be consulted to determine how funding for the NHVR can be used to “strengthen safety measures and deliver real results”.
“The bill the government will be introducing to parliament when it resumes on 18 April, if passed, will suspend the operation of the Order and provide the trucking industry with certainty, until such time as we take legislation to a new parliament to abolish the RSRS,” Mr Turnbull and Senator Cash said.
Furious self-employed truck drivers are planning a protest convoy to take their fight against the tribunal to federal parliament, warning new minimum rates of pay will drive them out of business.
The protest is planned to coincide with the resumption of parliament in a week’s time. It is being fuelled by anger among thousands of owner-drivers across the country who hope to pressure MPs into overturning the tribunal’s order mandating the new pay regime.
The government already has support of five of the six crossbench senators it needs to freeze the pay rates. The remaining three independents are expected to decide on a position soon.
Owner-driver truckies said last week they faced ruin after the Federal Court handed the TWU a legal victory by giving the green light to a new pay regime.
The pay rates, promoted by unionists as being needed to make roads safer, came into force at 4.15pm on Thursday, prompting independent senator Glenn Lazarus to warn the decision would trigger convoy protests across the nation.
Owner-drivers say the mandatory pay rates will price them out of the market, and Nationals MPs have already been planning to introduce legislation to abolish the RSRT.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims said while the new pay regime fell outside the scope of his responsibilities, the tribunal’s order would lead to price increases and would be likely to have an adverse effect on competition in the sector.
The NBN debate
Waleed Aly took aim at Malcolm "the man who virtually invented the internet in this country" Turnbull, labelling the Coalition NBN rollout as a "mongrel network".
He highlighted that Turnbull, the then communications minister under PM Tony Abbott, stopped the rollout of a full fibre broadband network, replacing it with what the the politicians claimed would be a cheaper, faster network using a mixture of technologies.
Towards the end of his commentary saying "If you are watching this right now on the internet and you had to wait for even a second for this video to buffer, you know who to blame: Tony Abbott and the guy who he says 'invented the internet'."
While Aly's popular show brings a somewhat technical debate alive for to the average punter, he's missed some crucial points, especially the biggest one: rollout speed.
A lot of his argument focused on the advantages of a full fibre rollout (Labor's previous approach) versus the Coalition policy being implemented now, saying we're suffering as a country because of it.
While he probably isn't wrong, what he missed is that the full fibre debate is dead. It's gone.
Neither party is going to go ahead with a full fibre rollout anymore, so any debate around it is beating a dead horse.
When it comes to the actual technology of choice, Aly was better off pointing to fibre to the distribution point (FTTdp) technology, which has become a viable, cheaper option.
Campbell Simpson at Gizmodo has put together a fantastic explainer, but to summarise FTTdp, it basically runs a skinnier fibre cable right up to the telecommunications pit outside your house and then uses the existing copper line to do the rest.
That means you don't suffer from lower speeds due to the extensive use of copper - the further away you are from the node (those big green boxes), the slower the internet speed is. This technology is only marginally more expensive than the current fibre-to-the-node rollout, but offers speeds almost as great as full fibre.
It also means your front yard doesn't have to be torn up to get full fibre, and there's the relatively cheap option of paying to upgrade the connection to full fibre if you want.
Labor's communications spokesman, Jason Clare suggested earlier this week that it's the ALP's technology of choice, and the NBN Co has been trialling the technology.
So why hasn't prime minister Malcolm Turnbull or communications minister Mitch Fifield ever spoken about it as a viable alternative to the heavily criticised fibre to the node options? Their stance is it's best used to plug holes when FTTN doesn't work.
Back to Aly's rant, the biggest thing he misunderstood is around rollout speed.
He raised the point that Australia's global rank in average internet speeds had dropped from 30 down to 60. True, but Aly was placing the blame on the MTM rollout, which is completely false.
If you look at the rollout, the majority of connections activated are full fibre connections, meaning the drop is due to the amount of people still stuck on ADSL.
The problem lies in the huge difficulty NBN Co is having with its rollout. It's simply years behind schedule. That delay is not about a political party's policy or choice of technology.
Why? We never get any real explanations from politicians who proposed to the contrary or NBN executives. We get told it's delayed, just to deal with it.
And that's the biggest issue we should be debating, and the thing Aly needed to put more emphasis on.
Which brings us back to his final line, blaming Abbott and Turnbull if you have to "wait one second" for a buffer.
The line damaged the rest of his argument, because regardless of how you see this debate politically, the truth is that irrespective of the government rolling out the NBN, the exact same number of people would still be watching that video on their old ADSL connection. Despite is promises, the NBN just hasn't turned up.
So stop arguing over the tech. It's time to bring both the politicians and NBN CEO Bill Morrow to account over why it's taking so damned long.