Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Former Liberal leader John Hewson (The man who lost an "unlosable" election) urges voters to dump Coalition over climate inaction

Hewson is an embittered man and has drifted Left since he lost. One also wonders whether he is still Chairman of "Port Augusta Graphite Energy" which wants millions in government grants to build a solar thermal plant in SA?  Follow the money? Hewson in fact earns his living by promoting global warming schemes and policies  

Former Liberal leader John Hewson has urged voters to turn on the Liberals in the up-coming Wentworth by-election over climate change, saying it may serve as a wake up call.

Dr John Hewson, who led the Liberal party from 1990 to 1994, said most Australians were disgusted the government had failed to show leadership on climate change.

"It's irresponsible, it's grossly irresponsible - we have politicians playing short-term political games for short-term political gains when they should be delivering a decisive climate action plan," he told SBS News. "It's a national disgrace."

The former Liberal MP for Wentworth stressed he was not endorsing or advocating for any particular candidate but said a political party without a policy on tackling climate change had lost the mandate to form a government. "You lose the right to govern if you do not listen to the electorate on these issues," he said. "This is why the electorate is pissed off."

Independent Kerryn Phelps looks poised to take out Malcolm Turnbull's former seat, based on the latest polling - resulting in a minority federal parliament.


Scott Morrison is considering moving Australia’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has indicated he could move Australia's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv - mimicking US President Donald Trump's decision that led to riots and bloodshed.

Mr Morrison is expected to make an announcement on Tuesday as part of a foreign policy statement on Israel, in Canberra.

The prime minister has also credited the Liberal Party's Wentworth by-election candidate Dave Sharma, a former Australian ambassador to Israel, with raising the issue. 'He's arguing it can be done consistent with Australia's long-running position ... he's actually changing the way in which the issue is conceived,' Mr Morrison told Fairfax Media.

Wentworth, the former Sydney blue-ribbon electorate of Malcolm Turnbull, has a large Jewish community and voters will go to the polls this weekend.

If Australia does proceed, it will be following the US which earlier this year moved its embassy, effectively recognising the holy city of Jerusalem as the 'true' capital of Israel.

Mr Trump opened the new US embassy in the city in May. On the same day Israeli forces shot dead 58 Palestinians protesting the move.

Jerusalem is also a holy city for the largely Muslim population of the Palestinian territories, and they feared that recognition of the city as a Jewish capital would imperil shared access to the many religious sites.

It would also be a departure from the position taken by former prime minister Mr Turnbull and former foreign minister Julie Bishop.

Labor, meanwhile, has attacked Mr Morrison's 'desperation' for signalling the move. Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong said the prime minister was playing 'dangerous and deceitful' word games. 'Foreign policy, and Australia's national interest are far too important to be played with in this fashion,' Senator Wong said. 'The people of Wentworth, and all Australians, deserve a leader who puts the national interest ahead of his self-interest, and governs in the best long term interest of the nation.'

Labor is concerned the approach could undermine the prospect of a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.

So far only the US and its ally Guatemala have moved their embassies to Jerusalem.


A mother

Most mothers would do the same.  Mothers are wonderful people

A young mother who battered by hail to protect her baby girl from an intense storm is being considered for a bravery award.

Fiona Simpson, 23, saved the life of her daughter by turning her back on giant hailstones to shield her four-month-old baby from the storm on Thursday.

After wild weather blew out their car's windshield and back window, the quick-thinking Queensland mum jumped into the backseat of her car and protected her baby girl.

She was left covered in welts, cuts and bruises after the tennis ball-sized hail pelted her body, the ABC reported.

'It was so scary but there was no time to be afraid … It just all happened so fast.

'I jumped over the back seat, over her car seat, holding my body over hers,' she said.

Since the storm on Thursday, Mrs Simpson has been praised nationally for her sheer bravery.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk commended the young mother and described her story as 'extraordinary' in a press conference on Sunday. 'We will be recommending her for a bravery award,' Ms Palaszczuk said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison also commended Mrs Simpson on her selflessness. 'I certainly think she is one of the bravest people I have read of lately,' Mr Morrison said.


'Balancing' act: Australia's new race commissioner is not inclined to commentary or advocacy

Chin Leong Tan, Australia's new race discrimination commissioner, sees his role very differently to predecessor Tim Soutphommasane. For one thing, he is not inclined to commentary or advocacy. Instead, he approaches issues with a clinical dispassion befitting his background as a commercial and property lawyer. One of his favourite words is "balance".

Take the most controversial debate in race politics last year: the bid to repeal or dilute section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, which makes it unlawful to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person on the basis of race.

"It’s not for me to comment on legislation that’s been there for 40-odd years," says Mr Tan, who takes up his new position on Monday.

"Law is a living creature. If there’s the community sense that it’s time to perhaps look at some changes … my role is really to then arbitrate, and not to push for a view."

When pushed, he praises section 18C as "a reflection of Australian values and views that we have". But it is not clear if he believes those values should endure regardless of the prevailing sentiments in Canberra.

"I defend the existing section 18C for what it is ... it’s there as a law and I comply with the law," Mr Tan says.

It's a similar story when it comes to African gang violence in Victoria. The debate has elicited claims of race-baiting and dog-whistling ahead of a state election - particularly directed at Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who claimed Melburnians were afraid to go out to restaurants at night.

"He has a view and he expressed it. People had opposing views. That’s largely the debate that’s going on out there," Mr Tan says.

"It’s not my role to canvass an opinion about what politicians say from time to time, unless it becomes a public issue of a dimension that requires my involvement within the confines the Act."

The clash with Dr Soutphommasane's approach, particularly during his final months, could hardly be more stark. In his final speech, the former commissioner warned "race politics is back", and singled out Malcolm Turnbull, Mr Dutton, Tony Abbott, Andrew Bolt and others for criticism.

Dr Soutphommasane is a former Labor staffer and was appointed to the role by Labor in the dying days of the second Rudd government. Mr Tan unsuccessfully sought Liberal Party preselection in an on-again, off-again relationship with the party - he said he resigned his membership about a month ago after resuming it last year.

Attorney-General Christian Porter praised Mr Tan as "a well-known and recognised leader in the multicultural community" who would "represent all Australians".

In a clear departure from his predecessor, Mr Tan said there were limits to the power of "calling out" racism - even for the race discrimination commissioner.

"Calling out racism is very important, but I want to be very careful that we put things in context - because I do share a view that that can be overplayed sometimes," he said.

"It's important to remember the race discrimination [commissioner] role is not meant to divide, it’s meant to enhance communities and strengthen them."

Mr Tan was born in Malaysia to Chinese parents, and migrated to Melbourne in the 1980s. After leaving commercial law in 2011, he headed the Victorian Multicultural Commission, and since 2015 he has been director of multicultural engagement at Swinburne University of Technology.

His new $350,000-a-year job sits within the Australian Human Rights Commission, which has been the focus of political argy-bargy since the Coalition's spectacular falling out with former president Gillian Triggs over asylum seekers. Some conservatives argued for the race discrimination role to be scrapped or renamed, but the government opted to do neither.


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

1 comment:

PB said...

I wonder if Morrison is courting the votes of rich Jews in Turnbull's old seat? Sorry he has to sell out Australia to do so.