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Wednesday, 12 September


Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories & Liberal MP for Farrer Sussan Ley shows her true colours North Coast Voices

"This is an industry with an operating model built on animal suffering" [Sussan Ley, 21 May 2018]

Recently welcomed back into the Coalition ministerial fold after being forced to resign as health minister due to her expense scandal, Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories & Liberal MP for Farrer Susan Ley, placed her lack of moral compass on full display this week when she abandoned her commitment to limit the cruel trade in live sheep.

Compare her present actions with her description three months earlier of the live sheep trade which she then condemned in no uncertain terms. 

The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 September 2018:


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Tuesday, 11 September


The Natural Enemy: Serena Williams and the Sporting Umpire The AIM Network

Should it matter this much?  A wealthy, successful individual expressed fury at the most popular object of vitriol in any sport. The umpire or referee is only ever neutral in the eyes of a falsely contrived standard: that someone must be objective, neutral and mindful of enforcing the rules of the game.  In the eyes

The post The Natural Enemy: Serena Williams and the Sporting Umpire appeared first on The AIM Network.


Democracy vs Government Catallaxy Files

Nice try.  Good attempt at sleight of hand.  But Democracy and Government are 2 different things.  Very different things.

Writing in the Conversation, Dr Mark Triffitt from the University of Melbourne writes:

Reforming our political system is not a quick fix. Heres a step-by-step guide to how to do it.

Dr Triffitt (for a doctor he is) then fails to actually distinguish between democracy and government and politics and policy.  Dr Triffitt suggests that urgent changes are necessary to Australias political system(s) because, in part, public trust in government already in serious decline.  Dr Triffitt then suggests that there are dual crises in play:

The first is a crisis of representation. This results from a fragmented, highly diverse electorate that increasingly fails to connect with major parties. The major parties are left with shrinking, less diverse memberships.

The second is a crisis of functionality. Our democratic system is increasingly unable to deliver good public policy in a consistent or coherent way, and to convince the public to support it.

And so Dr Triffitt recommends:

Major reforms are also needed to make federal parliament more effective and less dysfunctional. These might include eliminating Question Time and mandating a strict code of ethics for MPs aimed at addressing toxic behaviours like the bullying crisis rocking the Coalition government.

Reforms like these would raise the level of decorum in parliament and set a new standard for parliamentary behaviour. This would increase public confidence that politicians both reflect and are accountable to modern values.

Lastly, a Citizens Assembly could be formed of randomly selected citizens to act as a non-partisan check and balance on parliament.

Ahh.  The Citizens Assembly.  Was not that Julia Gillards solution to climate change policy before implementing a carbon tax that was not a carbon tax that did not happen under a government she led?

The fundamental problem with Dr Triffitts ana...


Burt Reynolds, Jack Thompson and the business of popular culture Independent Australia

Burt Reynolds, Jack Thompson and the business of popular cultureNude centrefolds created major shifts in community attitudes in the 1970s, but controversy continues over what is deemed appropriate. read now...


Quota me this Catallaxy Files

Quotas, quotas, quotas.  The theme du jour.  Identity politics in action.

Throwing away any opportunity to give the next Federal election a red hot go, the Liberal has collapsed again into a self inflicted and self indulgent bout of narcissistic introspection.  Forgetting about those they claim to want to represent, the Liberals continue to talk about themselves.  The latest and greatest, gender quotas.

(Interests of disclosure, Spartacus is not a member of any political party.)

Spartacus has written previously of his dislike of the whole left-right political binary construct.  It seeks to oversimplify way too many issues.  But sometimes, this construct is useful to illustrate a point, to wit the general rule of thumb is that the parties of the left are interested in equality of outcome whereas the parties of the right are more interested in the equality of opportunity.

So, if the Liberal Party determines that they should have gender (or any other) quota, that would be an unequivocal surrender to the left.  They will no longer have any claim to being liberal let alone a conservative party.  The game would be up.

The introduction of a quota system is a textbook equality of outcome policy.  This is why the Labor Party has such.

If there is something within the DNA, policies or systems of the Liberal Party that discriminates against women, then that blockage should be identified and addressed.  This is what equality of opportunity is.

To implement quotas would be to conclude, without any evidence, that there is a blockage to women and that it is easier to compensate for the blockage rather than finding and dealing with the blockage.  That is equality of outcome.  That is affirmative action.  That is discrimination.  That is just wrong and that is not what a supposed right of centre political party should do anywhere anyhow.

Gender quotas are the thin end of the wedge.  Give it time.  Once the dust settles there will be calls for other quotas racial, religious, sexual orientation.  It wont end until Australia is governed by the United Nations.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus
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In which the pond grudgingly does Dame Slap and Wentworth, but only in the cause of fluff-gathering and hating on women ... loon pond

The pond only decided to go there reluctantly, grudgingly

The reptiles are determined to lather themselves up into an hysterical panic over Wentworth, and it's mortifying to watch them drool and slobber and wet themselves in fear and loathing

And yet, Dame Slap on a Tuesday doing her usual 'hate and dump on other women' routine has to be honoured especially as the proposition in the headline, Men needn't make way for worthy women to succeed, is on the face of it, and an inch below the surface, deeply silly

Worthy men will have to make way for worthy women to succeed, unworthy men will need to make way for unworthy women to succeed, and unworthy or middling men will also have to take a dive to make the path slightly easier for middle of the road, aspiring to worthiness women

That's how it goes if you intend to get beyond tokenism, or Dame Slap MAGA-loving delusionalism, to arrive in the land of the 50-50 mix of the unworthy and worthy ...

Now the pond confessed that after that opening serve of Serena Williams - singularly irrelevant at the best of times to politics in Wentworth - the pond, luxuriating in its reptile access, clicked on the Margin Call item which had been at the top of the digital page, and discovered the reptiles were canny recyclers of stock photos



We told you so No Right Turn

When Parliament passed the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015, people warned them that it threatened journalism. The lack of a public interest defence or explicit protection for media activities meant that:

If a current affairs investigation into a dodgy finance company offends that financier or his family... if a Fair Go report distresses some con man... or if a cartoon emotionally harms a pious soul, they now can use the law to ask for the offending item to be taken offline.

And now its happened, with rich prick Ray Avery seeking to suppress Newsroom's reports on his "background, products and promises":
Avery has told Netsafe, the legal agent for considering complaints under the Act, the reports have caused him serious emotional distress and amount to a form of digital harm - and wants Newsroom to consider removing them and to agree not to write further news stories about him.

"Ray believes these are written with the purpose of harassing him and contain false allegations," Netsafe has told Newsroom.

MP's who voted for the law are shocked, shocked! by this. But they were explicitly warned about it in submissions, and they explicitly rejected. And now the public are paying the price, with an attempted threat to our free press.

People are generally comfortable with the use of the law to prevent and punish actual online bullying. But this is too far. Parliament needs to take urgent steps to protect press freedoms by enacting a public interest defence. Otherwise, we can conclude that like Tracey Martin, they want the law to be used in this fashion, perhaps in an effort to protect themselves.


Idiot at large Catallaxy Files

Professor Gillian Triggs.  What a piece of work she is.

Writing for some obscure internet publication called, Professor Triggs writes:

I (Triggs) believe we are living in divisive times.

No Sh*t Sherlock.  Especially coming from someone who has spent a large proportion of her later career seeking to divide us.  But Triggs continues:

In the last few years, however, I think we have started to see an absolute intolerance for expert opinions, reports, inquiries, facts or evidence. There is also a growing need to cater to ideology to appeal to the worst parts of our nature.

When it comes to opinions, it is not clear to Spartacus why the opinions of experts carry any more weight than the opinions of others.  But the problem is that these experts seem to feel that their expertise in one area, usually quite narrow, extends to every nook and cranny.

Consider Noam Chomsky, an expert in linguistics who preaches well beyond this field.  Consider Tim Flannery, a mammalogist and palaeontologist who seems to believe this gives him licence to be an expert in climate.  Consider also Gillian Doreen, an expert in public international law who seems to claim expertise in . well everything apparently.

Perhaps next time Professor Triggs has a health issue, she should pop over to her local plumber.  After all, the plumber is an expert and can offer her advice.

Irrespective, the arrogance of Triggs seems to have no bound also:

But as a country, we have not been able to turn that information into the policy that we need.

Perhaps she meant to say the policy I want, but more likely she assumes that what she wants is what we all need.  But hey.  She is Professor Triggs after all.  And clearly unable to see the problem, Triggs writes further:

I (Triggs) would like to see universities institutions largely responsible for the political leaders of the future focus on teaching their students how to make creative decisions based on evidence. They also need to be able to distinguish between fact and fiction.

Complaining about university politi...


Good news for transparency No Right Turn

Good news for transparency: former Minister Clare Curran is being forced to archive all the official information she had tried to hide in Gmail:

Former government minister Clare Curran has assured Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern she is archiving all emails she sent using her personal Gmail account.

Ms Curran resigned as a minister last week after being unable to answer questions about what official work she had carried out on her personal email.


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today work-related emails on Ms Curran's G-mail account would be saved as official records and be discoverable under the Official Information Act.

Ms Curran said she was working with the prime minister's office to archive the information.

"I've given the prime minister an assurance that I'm archiving all of my Gmails, and I'm working through all of that at the moment, and they will be publicly discoverable."

Of course, this means that we're trusting Curran to decide what was held in a Ministerial rather than personal capacity, which is an obvious conflict of interest which may also deprive the government of its records. It would be far safer if it was under the supervision of the Ombudsman's office. But sadly, they have no general jurisdiction over Ministers.


Is Scott Morrison really the best the Liberal Party can do? Independent Australia

Is Scott Morrison really the best the Liberal Party can do?PM Morrison describes replacing sitting PM Turnbull as about ensuring the Coalition puts its "best foot forward" at the next election. read now...


Contempt for international justice No Right Turn

The International Criminal Court is the primary enforcer of international human rights law and norms against war crimes and crimes against humanity. So naturally, the United States is threatening its judges:

John Bolton, the hawkish US national security adviser, has threatened the international criminal court (ICC) with sanctions and made an excoriating attack on the institution in a speech in Washington.

Bolton pushed for sanctions over an ICC investigation into alleged American war crimes in Afghanistan. He also announced on Monday the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington because of its calls for an ICC inquiry into Israel.


He said the Trump administration would fight back and impose sanctions even seeking to criminally prosecute ICC officials if the court formally proceeded with opening an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by US military and intelligence staff during the war in Afghanistan or pursued any investigation into Israel or other US allies.

Bolton vowed that the United States would retaliate by banning ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the US, imposing sanctions on any funds they had in the States and prosecuting them in the American court system.

If the court comes after us, Israel, or other US allies we will not sit quietly, he said, also threatening to impose the same sanctions on any country that aided the investigation.

Afghanistan has been a party to the ICC since 2003, and any crimes against humanity that happen on its territory can be investigated or prosecuted by the court. The actions of US soldiers in Afghanistan are within the court's jurisdiction.


George Papadopoulos on Twitter: Clinton Friend, Connected to MI6, Sought Me Out and Lied About Our Meeting "IndyWatch Feed"

Former Trump campaign staffer George Papadopoulos was sentenced on Friday to 14 days in prison after being set up by the Obama Deep State in the 2016 election.

George Papadopoulos went on CNN and ABC this weekend to discuss his role in the Spygate scandal.

Papadopoulos told the liberal anchors about how he was set up by Obama spy Stephan Halper in London after he was brought on by the Trump campaign.

Papdopoulos added that Halper began to sweat and his demeanor changed when George told him he had no idea what youre talking about as far as hacking and Russians.

On Monday following his sentencing and weekend interviews George Papadopoulos went after Clinton friend Alexander Downer who also set him up and spread lies about their brief meeting.

Alexander Downer and deep state spy Stephan Halper are longtime acquaintances.

In April of this year Downer backtracked and refused to say he met with George Papadopoulos.

Now this

Papadopoulos tweeted out on Monday that Downer sought him out and they NEVER ONCE spoke about Russian emails.

George Papadopoulos: Alexander Downer, wanted to meet under incredibly suspicious circumstances. I found it...


What Can the Prime Muppet Do? The AIM Network

For Scott Morrison and his Muppet Coalition Government, time is fast approaching the nervy end of an election cycle. So far, he has given us every indication that the next federal election will be held on Saturday 18th May 2019, the latest possible date he can leave it, but will he wait that long? The

The post What Can the Prime Muppet Do? appeared first on The AIM Network.


In which the reptiles once more crusade for Western Civilisation ... loon pond

The pond takes exceptional pleasure in the company of those expert in reptile studies, and of late Media Watch has improved its ways, and delivered some remarkably amusing research on life in the herpetarium

This especially applies when the pond catches up on long lost and joyously abandoned tabloids of the Terrorist kind, as in Bulldog bulldust, but the pond was also disappointed.

The pond scoured for an honourable mention of the two involved in the caper, Mark Morri and Nick Hansen, but in vain.

Surely the time has come for a decent set of reptile awards, with Morri and Hansen top contenders. Yes, there have been eggbeaters and Wankleys and the pond even recalls a fish getting in on the joke, but what the contending reptiles need is singular recognition, which is why the pond suggests the Lord Haw-Haw awards

In the good old days, Hadders would have been a hot contender too, but in Palmer pushback, Media Watch explained how Hadders had become a pussy cat, happy to purr sweet soothing noises to management when his supply of Snappy Tom was threatened.

Of course the pond would prefer to do a triple by-pass than listen to Hadders, which is why other reptile experts are needed, and in the old days, he would have dismissed his supine behaviour as the antics of a whore, thereby disrespecting sex workers as well as his current self at least prostitutes recognise they have a price, but Hadders?

Can't even honestly and openly and proudly claim the title of a sex worker with a decent quarter mill price

Perhaps the pond was too hasty in proposing a name. Perhaps...


Prime Minister Morrison and the Pentecostal agenda Independent Australia

Prime Minister Morrison and the Pentecostal agendaCorinna Elaine questions whether Scott Morrison will be able to lead Australia forward when his church believes the end of the world is nearly here. read now...


Cartoon Of Serena Williams Tantrum Offends The Likes Of J.K. Rowling "IndyWatch Feed"

Over target. Via BPR: The left is slowly shutting down opposition speech, or any speech that they deem to be inappropriate or offensive to their delicate sensibilities. Australian political cartoonist Mark Knight found himself under attack from the left, who are upset with his caricature of professional tennis player Serena Williams after her well publicized []


Walking the adaptive talk "IndyWatch Feed"

Aid programs are increasingly called on to be flexible, adaptive and to think and work politically. In DFAT, barely a program is approved without this terminology being peppered through the design document. But what do these ideas mean in practice? How can implementers, tasked with bringing designs to life, deliver on their promise meaningfully? And how do donors need to manage adaptive programs differently to conventional ones?

In a series of three blogs over the coming weeks, the Institute for Human Security and Social Change will set out some ideas about what it take to program adaptively. These are drawn from our experience of working alongside primarily DFAT and DFID funded programs in the Pacific, Africa and Southeast Asia that have sought to integrate adaptive ways of working. Most recently, this includes working with the PNG-Australia Governance Partnership and the Solomon Islands Resource Facility, but also extends to domestic work with organisations like the Central and Northern Land Councils.

Each blog will deal with a different component of the challenge first adaptive implementation; then adaptive monitoring and evaluation; and finally the role of research and learning.

A lot has been written already on what examples of adaptive programming look like (see here, here and here, for instance). In requires hiring the right staff, putting in place regular sessions to reflect and redesign, increased risk appetites, and so on. But when the rubber hits the road, programs that seek to be adaptive run into several areas of confusion, which we try to clarify here.

  1. Adapt theories of change, not (just) activities

There is often confusion about the level at which adaptation is to occur. Often, programs point to changes in their activities as demonstrating adaptation. For instance, participant fee...


Kevin Hogan's political backflip North Coast Voices

On Thursday 23 August 2018 Kevin Hogan MP for Page announced that; This constant rotation of Prime Ministers by both the Labor Party and the Liberal party, I cannot condone. I am announcing today, that if there is another leadership spill for the position of Prime Minister prior to the next Federal election, I will remove myself from the government benches and sit on the cross benches.
A second leadership spill occurred on Friday 24 August 2018 and parliament went into recess.

Kevin Hogan was nowhere near the cross benches when the Australian Parliament resumed on Monday 10 September 2018.

He is still a fully-fledged member of the Parliamentary National Party.

Still a National Party Whip.

Still Deputy Speaker in the House of Representatives.

This was Kevin Hogan on the morning of 10 September firmly ensconced in the Speakers Chair.



New Holland Publishers picked a lemon in the MP for New England Barnaby Joyce North Coast Voices

The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 September 2018:

Back in the day, estimates of book sales were just that estimates. These days, courtesy of the Bookscan system, which measures sales from nearly every book store across our brown and pleasant land, you can be very accurate at least if you have a 'Deepthroat' high up in the publishing world like I do. I can report thus, that after being on sale for four weeks, Barnaby Joyces memoir, Weatherboard and Iron, has sold 1570 copies.

Yes, notwithstanding the general publishing rule that with the notable exception of John Howards Lazarus Rising  right-wing memoirs dont sell well, those numbers are proof positive that whatever hunger there has been for details of Joyces personal life has been sated. 

Having gone from being priced at source for $32.99 a copy, it had been reduced to $24.99 by QBD books after only 3 days.

It should be in the $10 bin at local book stores by the beginning of October 2018.

Monday, 10 September


Tory Kafuffles: Boris Johnson, Brexit and Suicide Vests The AIM Network

The next blow in Boris Johnsons chapter of political suicide has been made: a piece in the Mail on Sunday which supplied him ample room to take yet another shot at the ghostly British prime minister, Theresa May.  There was nothing new in it; everybody knew what Johnsons views were, and the position he had

The post Tory Kafuffles: Boris Johnson, Brexit and Suicide Vests appeared first on The AIM Network.


The same old subsidies to renewables: only the name has changed Catallaxy Files

The NEG is dead but all its developers remain in place, thrashing around as they seek out a new moniker for the policy of penalising and rendering uneconomic the coal based generation that not so long ago gave Australia the worlds cheapest electricity.

Politicians always sound authoritative and their ruminations on climate change and energy are no exceptions.  But, almost  universally, they are responding to their own self-interest as dictated by focus groups.

Six prime ministerial changes in eleven years and the collapse of low cost electricity has been the outcome of Australias  political leaders attempts to marry economics with the green energy goals.  We may not have seen the end of this. But the Trump victory and the his determination to restore cheap energy will eventually force changes beyond Americas shores.

Sadly, the costs already incurred and those still to be incurred can never be retrieved.  See the piece at Quadrant.


And now turning to sports Catallaxy Files

Bad sports in particular. Start with the single most important issue in the world over the last 24 hours: Serena Williams is calling out sexism in tennis. Heres why. From the ever-reliable CNN.

At a news conference following her loss, Williams said shes seen male players call other umpires several things.


Im here fighting for womens rights and for womens equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say thief and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark, she said.
Hes never taken a game from a man because they said thief. For me it blows my mind. But Im going to continue to fight for women, Williams said.


Billie Jean King, a tennis legend and equal rights advocate, agreed with her.

Then theres this, from the just as reliable Huffington Post: Colin Kaepernick Praises NFL Week 1 Anthem Protests As Trump Fumes. Helps to explain why Nike lost a few billion on market cap, but who knows.

And for something closer to home: Hannah Mouncey withdraws from AFLW draft.

As always it is important to keep politics out of sports.


The (neo-Nazi) Lads Society : Blair Cottrells pro-tip : Wear Your Swastikas On The Inside slackbastard

A problem for the Australian antifa, and indeed for anti-fascist groups in Europe and the US, is that few people and organisations they oppose here have much to do with Nazism. ~ Chip Le Grand, Antifa Australia goes for the Continue reading


Other than the Swedes who cares about the Swedish election? Catallaxy Files

From Swedish election: deadlock as far right makes gains.

  • Sweden faces a period of political uncertainty after an election that did not leave either main parliamentary bloc with a majority
  • With more than 99% of the vote counted, the centre-left bloc is sitting on 40.6% and the centre-right on 40.2%
  • Analysts predict long negotiations, potentially taking weeks, will be needed to create a majority or a plausible minority government
  • The populist, anti-immigrant party Sweden Democrats won 17.6% of the vote, up on the 12.9% it scored in 2014, but well below the 25% predicted in some polls.
  • The governing Social Democrats, led by prime minister Stefan Lfven, saw their score fall to 28.4%, the lowest for a century but maintained their record of finishing first in every election since 1917
  • Lfven said he would not be resigning, and urged cross-bloc cooperation. He also said the Sweden Democrats can never, and will never, offer anything that will help society. They will only increase division and hate.

In fact, part of the biggest story of our times.


Slow Learners The AIM Network

By Ad Astra Im using the term slow learners not to demean those who suffer intellectual difficulties, but to categorize those with sound intellect who nonetheless seem unable to grasp the meaning of the events that are occurring about them every day, unable to learn from them, and unable to make any change to their behaviour.

The post Slow Learners appeared first on The AIM Network.


Time to join the generation game? John Quiggin

As regular readers will know, Ive spent a generation or more [1] deriding what I call the generation game the idea of dividing the population up into birth cohorts (categories based on year of birth) such as Boomers, X-ers and so on (Millennials werent invented when I started) and assigning them various supposed characteristics.  Most of the time, this exercise is little better than astrology. To the extent that there is any semblance to reality it simply reflects the fact that young people are, and always have been, different from old people.

But just as I have managed to get some traction with this idea, genuine cohort effects have emerged in politics in many countries. The sharpest case is Britain, where people over 65 voted massively for Brexit in the referendum and the Conservatives in the recent election, while those aged 18-24 went even more sharply the other way. As the map linked here shows, if only 18-24 year olds were voting, based on current polling data, the Conservatives would not have won a single seat. If only those over 65 voted, the Conservatives would win 575 and the combined opposition 54.

This is a massive difference and cant as far as I can tell be explained by differences in education, ethnic composition and so forth.  It also represents a huge shift on the part of older cohorts, who were part of the electorate that gave Labour three terms not long ago. While there is some tendency for people to become more conservative as they age, its normally much more limited than this.

The explanation in simple terms, is Brexit. Most of the time, elections involving competing visions of the future in the UK case, hard-line neoliberalism vs Third Way Blairism.  In the course of such debates, both sides routinely claim to be on the right side of history, to own the future and so on. By contrast, Brexit represented an appeal to a (partly imaginary) past, against the present and the future. With the exception of a handful of neoliberal ideologues, who saw Brexit as a path to a free-market future, most Leavers were motivated by nostalgia for the glories of the past, and were willing to sacrifice the interests of the young to make a gesture in that direction.

Whats true of Brexit is true, though not to quite the same extent, of the culture war politics that have now become dominant on the political right in much of the English-speaking world. Its driven in large measure by old men who lost the cultural battles of the 1960s and 1970s, and have never got over the fact.

The result is a situation where the right is appealing directly to members of older age cohorts with the result that young...


The Morrison Government: An extraordinary health hazard Independent Australia

The Morrison Government: An extraordinary health hazardClimate change denial is the denial of many public health casualties. read now...


In which the quarry whisperer is a bust, and the Major Mitchell loves crims ... loon pond

The move of the Caterist to a Monday has been a disaster, with the quarry whisperer completely losing his mojo

At least the Oreo knew what had to be done, rolled up the sleeves, and tugged the forelock very hard, and this day wrote some splendid ScoMo hagiography but all the Caterist could manage was an 'attack ad' on the union movement

Yawn so the pond turned to the Major Mitchell for light criminal relief

and who could argue with that? The Major loves his criminals

But in lieu of discovering that missing Order of Lenin medal, at least the Major's got a history lesson in mind

Now the pond hesitates to mention it, but the ADB had this to say about Andy:

Bent's early publishing was described in 1881 as 'superior to anything produced at the present day in any Australian colony'....


The Brexit police state No Right Turn

Thanks to the British government's inability to agree on anything, a no-deal Brexit is looking increasingly likely. last week it emerged that the UK government was planning to use the Civil Contingencies Act - basicly their turnkey dictatorship law allowing rule by decree and any law (including key constitutional provisions) to be suspended or altered. And today, the other shoe dropped, with the police warning that it might see the army on the streets:

A no-deal Brexit could lead to the real possibility of police calling on the military to help with civil disorder, a leaked document claims.

Contingency plans are being drawn up by police chiefs if there is chaos on the streets due to shortages of goods, food and medicine,

The document prepared by the National Police Co-ordination Centre (NPoCC) warns of traffic queues at ports with unprecedented and overwhelming disruption to the road network.

Concerns around medical supplies could feed civil disorder, while a rise in the price of goods could also lead to widespread protest, the document obtained by the Sunday Times said.

The potential for a restricted supply of goods raised concerns of widespread protest which could then escalate into disorder.

"Disorder" in this case being Establishment for "people angry about starving to death due to government incompetence". So to prevent that, of course they'll be using military force - just as they did in the middle ages.


Nigel Farage in Australia Independent Australia

Nigel Farage in AustraliaThe Farage formula of belligerent flag waving non-negotiation will appeal to some members of his Australian audience. read now...


In which the Oreo shows her sensitive, caring side and mocks the bleeding heart wimps, cry babies, grim weepers and pussies ... loon pond

The Terrorists started off the day with an astonishing realisation via the use of the royal plural

At last the Terrorists have bravely suggested that they, and Gladys, are out of touch "we're for Sydney, we're for New South Wales"? Perhaps not Wagga Wagga ...

Meanwhile, madness continues at the lizard Oz there's continued doubling up of the Oreo and the Caterist on a Monday

The pond decided to draw a line in the sand, and settle for enjoying undiluted essence of Oreo

The Oreo was ready to show all the sensitivity to be expected from a lizard Oz scribbler

Ah, the white feather syndrome is alive and well


A new generation or a bunch of old Christians and young fogies? The AIM Network

When Tony Abbott first put his hand up for the Liberal Party leadership back in 2007 (withdrawing before the ballot), Paul Keating called him the young fogey an apt description of an anachronistic man whose personal beliefs are out of touch with those of the majority of Australians. Scott Morrison assures us that he

The post A new generation or a bunch of old Christians and young fogies? appeared first on The AIM Network.


Of course we need rental warrants-of-fitness No Right Turn

Surprise, surprise: National, the landlord's party, opposes rental warrants of fitness, spouting the usual bullshit about how they'll drive up rents and see people sleeping in cars. Of course, what they're really worried about is that landleeches (like their very own Jian Yang, and other National MPs before him), will no longer be able to profit by renting out cold, damp, and unsafe homes. This is about them privileging their own profits over people's health.

But think about it: in virtually every other transaction, the goods you buy or rent are required to be of "acceptable quality": fit for purpose, free from defects, durable and above all, safe. And if its not, they're required to fix it. If its not safe, the government can impose safety standards, recall it, or even prohibit its sale.

Or, to put it another way: shops can't sell you products which are fundamentally unsafe or unfit for New Zealand conditions. So why do we let landlords do it?

Rental warrants-of-fitness are just basic product standards, and we shouldn't allow landlords to escape something so fundamental, especially when it imposes costs on the rest of society. Instead, houses should be regulated like any other product. And if landleeches don't like a warrant-of-fitness scheme, there's a much simpler solution: amend the definition of "goods" and "trade" in the Consumer Guarantees Act to apply to rental properties and landlords. Then let the Commerce Commission sort them out.


We've been had No Right Turn

When Labour formed a government last year, there was an expectation that they'd finally do what National had refused to, and introduce a capital gains or wealth tax to remove the richs' tax loopholes. But their tax working group apparently isn't going to recommend anything of the sort:

The Tax Working Group is understood to have stopped short of recommending a broad-based capital gains tax, in an interim report due out within days.

The working group chaired by Sir Michael Cullen was tasked with designing a capital gains tax for consideration by the Government, but is expected to push back any firm recommendation to its final report which is due to be published in February.

It had been widely expected that the Tax Working Group (TWG) would recommend a broad-based capital gains tax on the likes of sharemarket and property investments as the centrepiece of tax reforms on which Labour would fight the next election.

However, doubts began creep in earlier this year that the Government would ultimately back the plan, amid concerns the new tax would be unpopular and would cause rents to rise without delivering much in the way of extra revenue for at least a decade.

The tax working group has also ruled out environmental taxes, so that basicly means that the entire exercise has been a waste of time. Rather than designing us the tax system we needed to reduce inequality or pollution, we'll simply have paid Michael Cullen a thousand dollars a day for nothing.

Which invites the question of Labour: if you're not going to fix this, what is the fucking point of you? This is supposed to be a core issue, what you stand for. But if you're just going to sit there and do nothing about it, people might start to wonder whether there is any point to your being in government, or why they bothered to vote for you in the first place.


Monday Message Board John Quiggin

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Wagga Wagga's message for the Morrison Muppet Show Independent Australia

Wagga Wagga's message for the Morrison Muppet ShowThe massive voter desertion of the Liberal Party in the previously safe seat of Wagga Wagga will take some explaining. read now...


Once more unto the IR breach dear friends! Catallaxy Files

Is the new PM showing some ticker on IR? A few thoughts to help, Hutts demolition of some myths that sustain the illegal and productivity-destroying activities of rogue trade unions. He also wrote somewhere that democracy might not survive unless there are effective curbs on organised violence by special interests.

The reason that wages are flatlining is lack of increases in productivity across the board. Productivity does not exist in the ALP lexicon since the Hawke Keating reforms.

The eight myths.

1. The industrial revolution and the factory system resulted in a period of brutal exploitation of the labouring masses.

2. The workers were frustrated and oppressed by the Combination Acts which were designed to favour the employers and to prevent the workers from forming associations.

3. Labour has an inherent disadvantage in the contest with capital unless the state intervenes to provide assistance, especially by protecting the right to engage in collective bargaining and strike activity.

4. Labour had to wage a bitter struggle to achieve improved pay and conditions.

5. Collective bargaining by the trade unions is a manifestation of the solidarity of the working class to resist exploitation and get a fair go.

6. Wage rates are indeterminate so it is good for unions to bargain as hard as they can to get the best possible pay and conditions.

7. Strike activity with the use of violence against non-conforming workers is morally legitimate to adjust for the imbalance of power between labour and capital.

8. Collective bargaining, with strikes or the threat of strikes, is not only morally legitimate but it was also necessary to improve the share of the common wealth between labour and capital.

Since Shakespeare is disappearing from the English syllabus it will soon be necessary to footnote once-famous quotes.

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