Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Decision to grant Katie Hopkins a visa referred to human rights watchdog

The description "Far Right" is often carelessly used. In the case of Hopkins, it mainly seems to refer to her swingeing criticisms of Muslim immigration, Africans and fat people. While such criticiisms are politically incorrect they nonetheless seem widely shared among people, particularly in private. So her offence seems principally to be that she is a prominent person who is outspoken -- a rare thing in the entertainment industry. She has taken part in many British TV programs so is well-known in Britain

Her inadvertent use of the term "final solution" is always held against her because the Nazis used it but she was clearly NOT advocating genocide. Does the fact that the Nazis once used a term make it forbidden for ever after? Hitler used the German words "Reich" and "Volk" quite centrally in his messages. Does that forever stain those words? It would seem not -- as the old East German Communist regime used those terms prominently (Reichsbahn; Volkseigenebetrieb).

A decision to grant a visa to far-right commentator Katie Hopkins is reportedly under investigation by the nation’s human right watchdog.

The Australian Human Rights Commision this week agreed to investigate the decision following a complaint from the Australian Muslim Advocacy Network, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

In its complaint, an AMAN spokerson alleged Ms Hopkins views were given more weight than the human rights of other Australians.

“It can be reasonably inferred from this statement that Ms Hopkins’ freedom of expression, and those who would agree with her in Australia, was given more weight than the human rights of Australians who would be adversely affected by vilification,” they said.

The British provocateur was last year granted a visa to appear in Seven‘s Big Brother VIP, arriving in the country while Sydney was in the midst of their second wave.

She was also granted a travel exemption to enter the country, prompting fury of many Australians stuck abroad.

But after bragging about reckless behaviour throughout her stint in hotel quarantine, Ms Hopkins’ visa was cancelled.


Grace Tame: If your disdain for the PM is so great why go?

Two surprises: That she is such a litle thing and that she still looks gorgeous even when dshe is being surly -- JR


The footage of Grace Tame meeting the Prime Minister at his residence in the nation’s capital for a reception today was embarrassing, for her that is.

She was ungracious, rude and childish, refusing to smile for the cameras, barely acknowledging his existence when standing next to him. The footage tells the story free of overstatement.

She didn’t have to play the role of court jester, or be a fake. Just be a decent human being, that’s all. If that wasn’t possible, why bother to attend at all? At his Canberra house no less. It isn’t like the person who lives there wasn’t going to be there.

If your disdain for the man is so great (understandable perhaps) that you can’t even muster basic and common courtesy, then just don’t go. That would be reasonable. Plenty of people would understand. It would cause a stir, but justifiably so given her criticisms of the PM. But acting like a child displaying a lack of basic manners when coming face to face with him in a meet and greet was unbecoming and unnecessary.

That’s the case whether she was caught by surprise or deliberately played up to the cameras, hoping for attention such as this. To excite the mob on social media, for example. Before the dogs bark and the caravan moves on to the new Australian of the Year.

Yes the cameras were there and no doubt it suited Scott Morrison to smile for them and congratulate Ms Tame on her recent engagement. He has an election soon remember. Perhaps she was worried he’d use a smiling photo of them together on the campaign trail. I highly doubt that, but if he tried that on tweet up a storm and condemn him. That would be reasonable.

But to look as forlorn as she did in response, rudely and deliberately looking away from the photographer, was an act of juvenile dissent. The video of the exchange leaves no doubt about what happened. This isn’t a case of making a mountain out of a mole hill. It was brazen and not for virtuous reasons.


CCC chair Alan MacSporran resigns a month after damning report

Not a moment too soon. He used his position to pursue a personal vendetts

image from

Crime and Corruption Commission boss Alan MacSporran has resigned one month after a damning report identified failings within the watchdog.

Mr MacSporran, who was appointed as chair of the CCC in 2015, said he had written to Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman notifying her of his resignation effective this Friday.

The move comes after a damning report into the CCC identified serious failings in the watchdog’s handling of an investigation into Logan City Council.

“Many people have urged me to continue in this important role, despite the recent finding contained in the report of the parliamentary crime and corruption committee,” Mr MacSporran said.

“However, I find myself in a position where, despite a career spanning in excess of 40 years, where my honesty and integrity have never been questioned, it is clear to me that the relationship between myself and the PCCC has broken down irretrievably.

“This saddens me deeply.”

Cabinet was expected to determine the future of Mr MacSporran before February 22.

Since the PCCC’s damning report was released on December 2 Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has refused to reveal whether the chairman had her support.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate, who was investigated by the CCC and cleared in 2020 after an 18-month probe, gleefully welcomed Mr MacSporran’s resignation.

He had accused the CCC chair of “riding into the Gold Coast like a gunslinger … the biggest sheriff in town”.

Cr Tate had been vocal in his calls for Mr MacSporran to resign or be sacked. He became embroiled in a bitter war of words with the CCC chair last year after saying that having the commission investigate him was like “someone telling you it’s raining while standing behind you pissing down your back’’.

Mr MacSporran hit back, accusing Cr Tate of being vulgar and making comments unbecoming of an elected official.

“I greatly admire and respect the work of the PCCC that has brought us to this position,” Cr Tate said today after Mr MacSporran’s resignation. “From this Friday, I know the weather across Queensland will be much brighter and I will no longer have that feeling of something warm running down my back.

“I’m disappointed the chair did not use his resignation media statement to apologise for the incredible pain and harm he has caused so many hardworking local government councillors and mayors.

“I support any incoming chair in their endeavours to get the CCC back to what its focus should be.

“The damage caused by this chair is immense, and it will take a comprehensive review and resetting of the values and charter of the CCC to restore any faith in the institution.”


Australia Day ‘not a time for protests’: Immigration Minister Alex Hawke

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has warned councils against refusing to hold Australia Day celebrations, saying the national day should not be ­defined by “past mistakes”.

With Australia Day events to be modified to limit the spread of Covid-19, he said councils should not be using the day to launch protests.

“There remains a small handful of Greens-dominated councils from which we continue to withhold authority to oversee citizenship ceremonies because of their blatant politicisation of Australia Day,” he said.

“It is also very sad to see some councils continue to politicise Australia Day this year, in a range of increasingly ridiculous ways, totally out of step with an overwhelming majority of people and the Australian community generally. Councils should stick to their own role and not waste ratepayers’ time or money entertaining extreme views.”

In 2017, the Turnbull government stripped Melbourne’s Yarra City and Darebin councils of the right to hold citizenship ceremonies after they refused to hold the events on Australia Day. Other councils – including Moreland in Melbourne, Inner West in Sydney and Fremantle in Perth – subsequently cancelled Australia Day celebrations on January 26.

Victoria has cancelled Melbourne’s Australia Day parade for the second consecutive year, although the Andrews government is denying the move was a protest.

Byron Bay councillor Sarah Ndiaye said its Australia Day award ceremony would be an online event due to Covid-19. She would not comment on the reasons as to why the ceremony had been moved to January 25.

Other councils contacted, including Sydney’s Inner West council, said all events except the citizenship ceremony were cancelled.

Invasion Day rallies are scheduled in all the major capital cities except Melbourne.

“It would be careless to hold an event in the height of a pandemic,” protest organisers, the Warriors of the ­Aboriginal Resistance, said.

Greens leader Adam Bandt will on Monday launch a pre-Australia Day policy that would see $250m spent to establish a truth and justice commission to investigate human rights abuses against Aboriginal Australians.

Mr Bandt said Australia was founded on “violence and dispossession”.

“Until we tell the truth about our past and strike a treaty with First Nations owners that recognises their sovereignty, there will be a painful hole in the centre of our democracy,” he said.

While there is support within Labor’s caucus for changing the date of Australia Day, opposition Indigenous affairs spokes­woman Linda Burney said the proposal would not be adopted by an Albanese government.

“We have made it very clear in Labor that we are not advocating a date change but we are ­advocating a different way to spend the day,” she said.

“Part of that should be exploring and ­reflecting on the true history of Australia. “(Australia Day) marks the beginning of dispossession and usurping of the rights of First Nations people.”

Ms Burney said she would spend Australia Day attending citizenship ceremonies and events that pay respect to Aboriginal culture and history.

National Australia Day Council chief executive Karlie Brand said commemorations would go ahead despite Covid-19. “Events across the country are taking place in a Covid-safe manner,” she said.

“We have over 534 (events funded by) community grants happening across the country and a number of them have had to pivot either to outdoor, online or smaller capacity. Some have had to cancel but the key ones we have been involved with are changing scope or proceeding.”

Mr Hawke said the federal government rejected “disingenuous and ahistorical views from fringe councillors designed to undermine what is in reality the luckiest country on earth”.




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