Sunday, August 28, 2016
Now Bunnings is pandering to Muslims
Beef OK, vegetarian OK but no bacon in their sizzles! And DEFINITELY no pork sausages! They say defensively they are just trying to keep it simple. If so, how is vegetarian allowed? And what is complicated about pork sausages? Good that Woolworths still includes bacon & eggs in their sizzles. I had some recently
For many Australians, a Bunnings sausage sizzle is an institution, a reminder of being dragged to the hardware store on a Saturday morning by your partner or parents.
Others see the tradition as a way to raise funds for local sports clubs or community groups.
However shoppers have been left confused after it was revealed the sausage sizzles, which are a fixture at the hardware giant, also come with a strict set of guidelines.
The most baffling rule to one social media user was that bacon is not allowed to be sold at the BBQ's.
'I went to Bunnings yesterday and as you do I stopped at the Rotary sausage sizzle on the way out,' Dave wrote on Facebook.
'There was three or four blokes about my age working on the BBQ and I couldn't help myself, I just had to find out if it was true or an urban myth. 'So I asked; Is it true that they can't cook bacon on those stalls?
'I'm sad to say it is true, if you want a bacon sanga don't go to the Bunnings sausage sizzle, anywhere in Australia!,' his post finished.
Bunnings said they keep the barbecues 'simple' to allow all community groups equal opportunity.
'Our reasons behind keeping the offer simple and offering meat sausages is to ensure that all community groups are able to host a fundraiser sausage sizzle with the greatest amount of ease, along with providing a consistent offer for customers across all our stores,' Michael Schneider, Bunnings Managing Director told Daily Mail Australia in a statement.
'On a case by case basis, we also allow community groups to have a vegetarian fundraising sausage sizzle if that is their preference, which is supported by appropriate customer signage,' he added.
It's bad news for democracy when frank discussion is shut down
The great divide in Australia is not the mountain range stretching along our eastern seaboard but the boundary between those prepared to say what they think and those who deign to keep debate within confined parameters.
The country is divided between the political/media class who set and abide by the rules of political correctness, and the mainstream and mavericks who dare to talk outside this artificial range of acceptability.
Climate change, Islamic extremism and immigration are the issues most affected, although discussions on gay marriage, gender and indigenous affairs are similarly constrained. Ask Bill Leak.
Incredibly, in this information age, it is not only certain opinions that are frowned on but unpalatable facts as well.
Evidence and data are shunned in favour of the views preferred by the so-called elites, or the group Robert Manne self-identified as the “permanent oppositional moral political community”. This community commands establishment strongholds in academe, media, political parties and, increasingly, even big business.
From these positions of privilege its members seek to define themselves by opposition to what may be mainstream views. Others who express angst or scepticism about the totemic issues are derided and mocked as racists, sexists, homophobes, Islamophobes and climate deniers.
Up against this sort of intimidation it is little wonder we often see the majority cowed into silence. Aside from noisy fringe-dwellers, most save their voice for the ballot box.
Despite a political/media class preaching incessantly on climate alarmism, republicanism and the need for open borders, the silent majority have used the anonymity of the polling booth to strike down a carbon tax, reinstate border protection and support the constitutional monarchy.
At this year’s election both major parties ignored such voters: Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull fought the election from the same side of the politically correct divide. It probably cost Turnbull a comfortable majority.
Little wonder, then, that unorthodox outsiders with unsophisticated views — such as Pauline Hanson (and three running mates), Nick Xenophon (and three running mates), Jacqui Lambie, Bob Katter and others — were elected airing mainstream grievances without coherent plans to address them.
Elsewhere, politicians won’t entertain a citizen’s right to be concerned about Islamist extremism (let alone Muslim immigration), globalisation or the efficacy of our largely bipartisan climate policy. These are nuanced issues worthy of ongoing discussion but are reduced to binary choices.
They are subsumed by gesture politics in which subscribing to the appropriate postures on climate, refugees or Islam is about defining political character rather than prescribing policy outcomes. In all the years of ongoing debate about pricing carbon, for instance, there has seldom been a word spoken about what practical difference such a move in this country could make to the planet.
Publicly supporting a price on carbon is not about cooling the planet or even, given bipartisan emissions reductions targets, about abating more carbon. It is about adopting a policy position to parade allegiance to an emotional stance — backing a price shows that you care. Real questions about whether the target is worthwhile, cost effective or futile are left aside while a faux debate rages over a mechanism.
The elite discussion on such issues is so constrained that dissenting opinions and frank discussions are left to renegade politicians and outspoken media commentators who win large followings and unflinching loyalty because they dare to say what many may think.
When One Nation senator-elect Malcolm Roberts appeared on the ABC’s Q&A this month and dared to raise the homogenisation of temperature data by NASA (and other climate science centres), celebrity scientist Brian Cox responded not with facts but with mockery. “Just one thing,” he said incredulously, “NASA, NASA, the people that landed men on the moon.”
The crowd laughed, along with the panel, and the case was closed. But many viewers would know there was a serious issue here and might like to hear an intelligent answer.
Some might be attracted to conspiracy theories but with historical temperature records at NASA, Britain’s Met Office and our own bureau being revised, most might have been interested in having someone such as Cox explain how this scientific adjustment apparently improved the data. Pretending the issue away adds nothing to the discussion except suspicion.
The following week on the same program we had a similar disregard for the facts on refugee issues. Leftist comedian and refugee activist Corinne Grant seemed to know enough to be upset about what she knew she didn’t know. “They (government) do not want you to know what is happening in these centres because if you did — if you genuinely knew what was happening to these people — no one in Australia would allow it to continue to happen,” she said. She was not able to impart any knowledge or facts. But she was able to demonstrate her own virtue by suggesting other Australians, Nauruans and their governments were behaving appallingly.
On the other side of the great divide people speak with more frankness. They know the policy is tough, they know it works and they know there are options other than giving in to demands for repatriation of offshore refugees here. They also have enough respect for their fellow citizens to treat claims of routine abuse with some scepticism.
Likewise, while major party politicians, law enforcement officials and public servants struggle to talk openly about the threat of Islamic extremism, people on the other side of the divide know it is vicious and insidious, and can openly discuss it without tarring every Muslim as a terrorist. They even may talk in practical terms about curbing Muslim migration from some countries while we confront the upsurge in terrorism.
Unless the political/media class enters this space and engages in debate we will see extended and divisive debates on these issues, polarised positions shouting across the great divide.
These are strange times. Journalists — who should be professional contrarians — are part of the problem. Many barracked for Labor’s proposed de facto regulation of print media content. Now they dismiss concerns about section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act even though it saw two of Andrew Bolt’s columns banned. And they have signed petitions against Leak’s cartoons.
Bureaucrats, politicians and academics discuss the need for spending restraint while awarding each other unaffordable increases in wages and perks. Even at local government level, those on one side of the divide diss the national day most of us embrace.
The opportunity is obvious for Shorten or Turnbull — or others within either major party — to fill the vacuum in public debate. Mainstream discussion of difficult issues, without condemnation, could help shape sensible approaches and it certainly could replace patronising disdain with real engagement.
We have become used to a privileged minority telling us that the majority on the other side of the divide are getting it wrong — on immigration, climate, the republic and even Brexit. And now they are worried the majority will get it wrong on gay marriage, too. But in democracies the majority tends to be right.
Sir Lunchalot still being pursued by his shady past
He fought to keep criminal charges against him secret but former NSW mining minister Ian Macdonald has been revealed as the second Labor identity charged over a multimillion-dollar coal deal at the centre of an explosive corruption inquiry.
Fairfax Media previously revealed that Eddie Obeid and his entrepreneurial middle son, Moses, were quietly charged last year over a $30 million coal deal involving their family property at Mount Penny in the Bylong Valley.
The charges were suppressed to ensure Obeid snr, 72, suffered no prejudice in his recent criminal trial in the NSW Supreme Court over his business dealings at Circular Quay.
The former Labor powerbroker was convicted of misconduct in public office in June and the Crown is pushing for a jail sentence.
Mr Macdonald, who was mining minister at the time a lucrative coal tenement was created over the Obeids' property, was also charged last year over the Mount Penny deal and faces allegations of misconduct in public office.
His legal team fought to keep the charges secret on the basis it could prejudice his trial early next year on unrelated charges stemming from a separate inquiry by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
But Local Court magistrate Jennifer Atkinson rejected the application on Tuesday, saying there was a "public interest in open justice".
Backpacker sues NSW Police accusing force of cover-up over alleged bashing
A backpacker who was prosecuted for a petty offence after allegedly being the victim of a serious assault is suing New South Wales Police, accusing the force of an institutional cover-up over the failure to investigate or discipline an off-duty officer involved.
English backpacker Liam Monte claims he was unlawfully imprisoned in 2013 following a fight in the Sydney CBD which broke out after a heavily intoxicated police constable pulled out a police badge and attempted to arrest him at a McDonald's restaurant.
Mr Monte was pursued down George Street by the off-duty officer and his friends following the McDonald's incident, and a witness to the fight said Mr Monte was repeatedly kicked and bashed while he lay on the ground.
According to a magistrate, police initially investigated Mr Monte for assault of the off-duty officer. However, when the evidence indicated Mr Monte had in fact been the victim of an assault, officers charged the backpacker with stealing the constable's police badge.
Mr Monte is now suing the police for damages including assault and battery, misfeasance in public office, unlawful imprisonment and collateral abuse of process.
He said he was pursuing the civil claim against the police because he believed he had been the victim of an injustice.
"I've lost a lot of faith in the police," he said. "I felt like they're meant to be there to protect us, and I didn't feel like they protected me on that night."
How the fight unfolded
The altercation between Liam Monte and off-duty police officer Osvaldo Painemilla began when Mr Monte objected to the behaviour of the off-duty officer and his friends who were dining at a McDonald's restaurant in George Street in Sydney's CBD.
In a judgment delivered in 2014, local court magistrate Michael Barnes said Mr Monte threw a chip at the men, who then pursued him out of the restaurant when Mr Monte went to leave.
At the exit of the McDonald's, Mr Painemilla, who admitted in court to having consumed 16 drinks, produced a police badge and said to Mr Monte: "I'm a cop and you're under arrest."
Mr Monte, who said he did not believe the badge was real, grabbed the badge and exited the restaurant.
According to evidence accepted by the magistrate, Mr Painemilla's friends then dragged Mr Monte backwards out of a cab and chased him up George Street. Mr Monte threw the police badge back, but one of Mr Painemilla's friends continued to pursue him. He tackled Mr Monte to the ground on a footpath, allegedly punching and kicking him repeatedly.
According to the statement of a bus driver who witnessed the assault tendered to the local court, Mr Monte was "punched approximately 10 times to the face as he lay on the ground".
Mr Painemilla and his friends denied the claims and disputed Mr Monte's version of events.
Following the fight on April 19, 2013, Mr Monte was taken to hospital by ambulance with severe facial bruising and a suspected fractured eye socket.
Monte charged over stealing officer's badge
Shortly after he was discharged from hospital, detectives from The Rocks police station in central Sydney arrived at his backpacker's hostel and arrested him.
The case against Mr Monte for stealing proceeded to a full prosecution in 2014, and at the time, the magistrate hearing the case, Michael Barnes, described it as an abuse of process.
Magistrate Barnes said it was difficult not to conclude that police had brought the prosecution in an attempt to "somehow negate the suggestion that the force applied to Mr Monte was otherwise completely unjustifiable". Mr Barnes said Mr Painemilla had abused his powers of arrest.
"In my view abuse of the power of arrest goes far beyond being merely undesirable," Mr Barnes said.
"When the officer purporting to exercise the power is very drunk and in the company of others who have provoked the confrontation leading to its exercise, the arrest can readily be classified as unnecessary and improper."
Mr Barnes found that the facts that supported the police's charging of Mr Monte for stealing a police badge were proven, but he did not convict Mr Monte of the offence, instead giving him a Section 10 bond.
Mr Monte's statement of claim argues that the NSW Police is vicariously liable for Mr Painemilla's actions and that the police officers investigating the 2014 incident failed in their duties.
The claim argues Mr Monte suffered "extreme fear and substantial pain" during the assault, "embarrassment and distress" during his subsequent arrest, and "a strong sense of ongoing injustice" over the failure to investigate Mr Painemilla's behaviour.
"Two things shocked me, first of all that I was arrested on that night, and then that I was handcuffed while I was clearly concussed and had taken a severe beating," Mr Monte said.
"It was clear as day that they had assaulted me and it was a three-on-one situation which was a group beating. So I was incredibly shocked that they weren't arrested at that point."
NSW Police are yet to file a defence in the case. When contacted about the case, a spokesperson said NSW Police would not be making any comment as the matter was before the courts.
Last month, lawyers acting for the NSW Police applied to the NSW District Court for security of costs.
In that application, NSW Police asked the court to order Mr Monte to pay $60,000 upfront to cover the costs of the court case in case he lost the case and was ordered to pay the police's costs. The application failed.
Stephen Blanks, president of the NSW Council of Civil Liberties, said he was disturbed by the legal tactic.
"The police attempted to shut this case down by using litigation tactics of a kind that normally only happens in the big commercial courts," Mr Blanks said. "And they were using it against a victim of their own violence."
"What we need in the NSW Police force is a culture of intolerance of wrongdoing, an intolerance of violence by police against innocent members of the public, an intolerance of using the courts to prosecute cases that ought not to be prosecuted.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here