Coalition’s GetUp crackdown could harm support for foreign interference bill, Labor warns (copied from “The Guardian”)

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jandd/02/coalitions-getup-crackdown-could-harm-support-for-foreign-interference-bill-labor-warns

 GetUp insists it receives almost no foreign funding, with only 0.5% of donations over its lifetime coming from overseas. Photograph: Alan Porritt/AAP

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/20/getup-targets-labor-in-biggest-ever-week-long-blitz-over-foreign-donations-law

GetUp says the foreign donations bill is an attack from the ‘hard-right’.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/07/mathias-cormann-concedes-coalition-may-have-to-change-foreign-donations-ban

Mathias Cormann concedes Coalition may have to change foreign donations ban

Crossbench senators revolt over burden bill places on minor parties, charities and activists

Tim Costello compares Coalition’s foreign donation ban to Putin’s crackdown on dissent

World Vision Australia chief advocate says bill is part of a ‘zeitgeist of a silencing and gagging of civil society’

World Vision Australia chief advocate Tim Costello has issued a strong warning against the Australian government’s foreign donations bill.

 

 

 

A Blog from the AUSTRALIAN INDEPENDENT MEDIA NETWORK

http://theaimn.com

Day to Day Politics: Where Did Murdoch’s Readers Go and what about the election.
February 13, 2016 Written by: John Lord 1 Reply

http://theaimn.com/day-to-day-politics-where-did-murdochs-readers-go-and-what-about-the-election/#comments

MurdochpapersOz
Category: Your Say
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Tagged under:

Mainstream media, News Limited, Rupert Murdoch

John Lord
Saturday 13 February.

Authors Note.

This week’s announcement that News Corp’s revenue has declined for the fourth successive quarter has sent a shiver down the spine of the newspaper industry. It is now in its inevitable death throes. Further cuts will now have to be made in his Australian publications and when the traditional hard core readers have passed on what will be left.

A NEW PARTY FOR AUSTRALIA

Disillusioned with both Labor and Liberal. I am sure this applies to many Australian voters. I hope the “Progressives” are going to become a viable alternative.

The Australian Progressives Team

Meet the Australian Progressives team. As we annouce more team members on our Facebook page we will update our list below.

Tim Jones

Tim Jones

Party President

I am a ‘career tradesman’ who has worked as an underground fitter, on power stations, ships and factories around Australia.

I did my degree in psychology and linguistics in the 90s and worked as a nurse for a few years after.

I have two grown sons and a grandson who deserve a country which celebrates them and the future they will share.

As a co-founder of ‘March in March’ I wanted to fight for that future and co-founding The Australian Progressives is my natural next step.

Progress is what we do with hope. Without hope we are lost.

Fariza Fatima

Fariza Fatima

I am a student of Law and Media at Macquarie University. I am currently a project officer at a grass roots community organization. I believe in working towards justice by empowering people – in pursuit of this I have dabbled in volunteering at five different non-government organizations and 3 university societies.

I am a founder and deputy editor of Youthink a Youth magazine. I live by two maxims “You must be the change you wish to see” and “let yourself be silently drawn by what you really love”.

I’m part of the Australian Progressives because we are part of a global system, with global economies – global measures of efficiency. I believe that this process needs global empathy. The current discourse allows great debate but on a very narrow spectrum – this stagnation needs to be resolved. We need new policies and structures in light of our globalized world. We need compassionate policies that connect us to other people. We need Change.

Brenden Prazner

Brenden Prazner

I’m a self-confessed geek at heart. I embrace technology, what it can do and how it can make life better (and more fun!).

I’ve worked for the past 17 years in the decorated apparel industry (11 of which in software development), and have enjoyed a variety of technical and commercial roles in a range of businesses from small owner-operators to large national leading apparel suppliers.

I’m a father of two and hope for a future where our nation is governed by logic and reason, and policies created around facts and not fiction.

I’ve joined the Australian Progressives because I believe in a nation that embraces positive change, and realises the possibilities that an informed and science-literate nation can deliver.

Emma Watt

Emma Watt

I am studying Law and International Relations at UNSW. I’m passionate about social justice, and politics, and in the past two years I have been the community director of the UNSW United Nations Society and the Co-Deputy Convenor for the Amnesty International Australia NSW Student’s Conference.

I’m in the Australian Progressives because I don’t want to wait to be a ‘leader of tomorrow’. It’s time to act now – raw and uninhibited.

I am deeply passionate about youth voices and I want to see more youth participating in and contributing to the political agenda.

Candy Lawrence

Candy Lawrence

Facebook administrator

I am a retired educator with nearly 30 years’ experience teaching and caring for children from birth to 18 years. My passion for teaching is based on respect for children’s individuality, competence and potential. I have expertise and experience in gifted education and hope to see a day when ‘tall poppy syndrome’ is recognised as an impediment to our progress as a nation.

As a writer in my spare time, I strive to improve children’s welfare through my blog ‘Aunt Annie’s Childcare’ which has a world-wide following. I have also been active locally in the fight against unconventional gas mining on the Far North Coast as an advocate for children’s rights.

I joined the Australian Progressives because they have given me hope. The lack of personal respect exhibited by our current politicians in question time dismays me. The lack of human decency, particularly with respect to children’s welfare and rights, disgusts me. The destruction of our planet due to human greed frightens me. As a member of the Australian Progressives I will fight to build a society where our politicians behave with dignity and a high standard of ethics, and where our children inherit a living planet.

What IAN VERRENDER says in the Drum about the Economy under Whitlam

Think Whitlam ruined our economy? Think again

Posted Mon at 8:30amMon 27 Oct 2014, 8:30am

What is never recognised is the Australian economy under Gough Whitlam outperformed its peers, most of which floundered during one of the most turbulent periods of modern economic history, writes Ian Verrender.

Time. It tends to blunt the edges, soften the memories and, for most of us, perhaps even heal some old wounds.

The generous and genuine outpouring of admiration and emotion following Gough’s second Dismissal last week, much of it from unexpected quarters and old political adversaries, touched on an element of the national psyche that illustrates everything that is good about Australia.

As expected, not everyone could bring themselves to be magnanimous, to acknowledge the achievements, to recognise the profound impact of a man who forever removed us from a cloistered, claustrophobic and conformist era for which some conservatives still pine.

But as Winston Churchill once observed: “You have enemies? Good. That means you have stood up for something in your life.”

The achievements of the nation’s 21st prime minister were thrust to the fore all week; universal healthcare, education, law reform, women’s rights and indigenous rights on the domestic front, on the global stage, his recognition of China.

But if there is one vulnerability, one chink in the Whitlam legacy and legend – apart from the shambolic ill-discipline within cabinet – it is in his government’s handling of the economy.

And so began the venomous sniping, within hours of his passing, from a joyless handful forever confined to the shadows and whose anger and bitterness festers and feeds upon itself.

The conventional wisdom is that, from an economic perspective, the Whitlam government was an unmitigated disaster.

Certainly, the raw numbers bear that out. And there is plenty of evidence to support the notion that the new government believed economic management was a secondary consideration to its social agenda.

What is never recognised, however, is that the Australian economy under Whitlam outperformed its peers, most of which floundered during one of the most turbulent periods of modern economic history.

Former treasury secretary John Stone left no doubt about his sentiments – if doubt existed – in his Australian Financial Review piece last Thursday.

As Stone tells it, the economy only grew “superficially” between 1972 and 1975. Given the National Accounts do not record a measure of “superficial growth”, presumably Stone means the economy did not experience a recession.

On every other measure, however, Stone claims the economy was in crisis. Private investment in dwelling and non-dwelling construction slumped, wages growth was out of control, peaking at 30.5 per cent in 1974-75, there was a rapid expansion of the public service and personal income tax grew 34.3 per cent in 1973-74.

Interest rates rose alarmingly, Stone recalls, while inflation peaked at 16.7 per cent in 1974-75. Investor confidence evaporated, he argues, with the All Ordinaries Index “tumbling 39 per cent between June 1972 and June 1975”.

It is a damning assessment on any measure, given particular credence by his position at the time front and centre of the action.

Except … there are a vast number of monumental omissions in Stone’s piece, which a cynic may deduce was specifically designed to give the impression that the economic malaise of the time was a purely Australian experience, that we alone were on the slide due to the incompetence of the incumbent government.

As Stone rightly points out, Australia did not go into recession. What he fails to mention is that America did. So did the UK. And they were no ordinary recessions.

Both our northern hemisphere allies endured long and painful slumps, the chaotic fallout from which reverberated through the global economy, including Australia.

Not only that, inflation ran wild in both the northern hemisphere economic superpowers and throughout the developed world. It was a global recession that marked the dramatic end of the post-war boom.

This was the time of rampant stagflation, a rare phenomenon in economics where inflation and unemployment rise simultaneously. It’s a nightmare scenario for policymakers. Raise rates to dampen inflation and you exacerbate unemployment. Try to fix the jobs crisis and you fuel inflation.

There were a number of factors behind the global recession.

The Bretton-Woods financial system – instituted after the war that tied the US dollar to the price of gold – collapsed in the early ’70s, itself enough to engineer a significant slump in global activity. This followed attacks on the currency as the US ran up a constant series of balance of payments deficits.

The sudden collapse of the system and the immediate devaluation of the US dollar, which from then on became a fiat currency valued against other currencies, created havoc on trade and current account balances throughout the developed world.

Add to this that the Arab world had formed the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and in 1973 deliberately squeezed supplies.

The price of oil quadrupled between October 1973 and the following January. That’s correct, energy prices rose 400 per cent in four months, sending shockwaves through developed world economies, underscoring the dramatic price rises that, in turn, fed through to wage demands.

Between 1973 and 1975, the Whitlam era, inflation in the UK grew from 7.4 per cent to 24.89 per cent – vastly higher than anything experienced in Australia.

Great Britain was wracked by industrial disputes. Miners walked off the job, coal supplies dwindled. So dire was the energy situation, UK prime minister Edward Heath instituted the three day week as commercial electricity users were restricted. Food queues formed.

America, meanwhile, endured its worst recession since the Great Depression between November 1973 and March 1975. While the unemployment spike was relatively short-lived inflation soared from a relatively modest 3.65 per cent in early 1973 to a 12.34 per cent peak at the end of 1974 before tapering off during 1975.

Stone’s contention that the collapse in Australian share prices was an indictment of Australia’s economic management may hold some merit. But again, we weren’t alone. In fact the Australian decline in share prices was modest compared with those on Wall Street and London.

Described as the seventh worst crash on record, between January 1973 and December 1974, Wall Street lost 45.1 per cent of its value. In London, meanwhile, the FT 30 declined a massive 73 per cent.

Gough Whitlam’s first two treasurers, Frank Crean and Jim Cairns, were widely criticised for their performances. Cairns, especially, appeared to be distracted by assets of another kind, and spending during his reign blew out spectacularly.

But Bill Hayden’s budget, delivered shortly before The Dismissal, had many in the Opposition worried. It was a responsible document designed to bring inflation and unemployment under control.

Whitlam is not the first to be lashed by Stone. He quit as treasury secretary days before Paul Keating’s 1984 budget and Peter Costello was lambasted for introducing the GST.

A close ally and informal advisor to Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Stone railed against Asian immigration and eventually joined the National Party, a party that until recent times strongly espoused protectionism.

Despite Stone’s towering intellect and formidable qualifications, perhaps Whitlam’s greatest mistake on the economy was to not recognise the failings of one of his senior bureaucrats, an insular man who, four decades after the events, still fails to grasp the impact the global economic upheaval had on Australia.

Ian Verrender is the ABC’s business editor. View his full profile here.

Topics: government-and-politics, business-economics-and-finance, budget

A New Party for Australia

Disillusioned with both Labor and Liberal. I am sure this applies to many Australian voters. I hope the “Progressives” are going to become a viable alternative.

The Australian Progressives Team

Meet the Australian Progressives team. As we annouce more team members on our Facebook page we will update our list below.

Tim Jones

Tim Jones

Party President

I am a ‘career tradesman’ who has worked as an underground fitter, on power stations, ships and factories around Australia.

I did my degree in psychology and linguistics in the 90s and worked as a nurse for a few years after.

I have two grown sons and a grandson who deserve a country which celebrates them and the future they will share.

As a co-founder of ‘March in March’ I wanted to fight for that future and co-founding The Australian Progressives is my natural next step.

Progress is what we do with hope. Without hope we are lost.

Fariza Fatima

Fariza Fatima

I am a student of Law and Media at Macquarie University. I am currently a project officer at a grass roots community organization. I believe in working towards justice by empowering people – in pursuit of this I have dabbled in volunteering at five different non-government organizations and 3 university societies.

I am a founder and deputy editor of Youthink a Youth magazine. I live by two maxims “You must be the change you wish to see” and “let yourself be silently drawn by what you really love”.

I’m part of the Australian Progressives because we are part of a global system, with global economies – global measures of efficiency. I believe that this process needs global empathy. The current discourse allows great debate but on a very narrow spectrum – this stagnation needs to be resolved. We need new policies and structures in light of our globalized world. We need compassionate policies that connect us to other people. We need Change.

Brenden Prazner

Brenden Prazner

I’m a self-confessed geek at heart. I embrace technology, what it can do and how it can make life better (and more fun!).

I’ve worked for the past 17 years in the decorated apparel industry (11 of which in software development), and have enjoyed a variety of technical and commercial roles in a range of businesses from small owner-operators to large national leading apparel suppliers.

I’m a father of two and hope for a future where our nation is governed by logic and reason, and policies created around facts and not fiction.

I’ve joined the Australian Progressives because I believe in a nation that embraces positive change, and realises the possibilities that an informed and science-literate nation can deliver.

Emma Watt

Emma Watt

I am studying Law and International Relations at UNSW. I’m passionate about social justice, and politics, and in the past two years I have been the community director of the UNSW United Nations Society and the Co-Deputy Convenor for the Amnesty International Australia NSW Student’s Conference.

I’m in the Australian Progressives because I don’t want to wait to be a ‘leader of tomorrow’. It’s time to act now – raw and uninhibited.

I am deeply passionate about youth voices and I want to see more youth participating in and contributing to the political agenda.

Candy Lawrence

Candy Lawrence

Facebook administrator

I am a retired educator with nearly 30 years’ experience teaching and caring for children from birth to 18 years. My passion for teaching is based on respect for children’s individuality, competence and potential. I have expertise and experience in gifted education and hope to see a day when ‘tall poppy syndrome’ is recognised as an impediment to our progress as a nation.

As a writer in my spare time, I strive to improve children’s welfare through my blog ‘Aunt Annie’s Childcare’ which has a world-wide following. I have also been active locally in the fight against unconventional gas mining on the Far North Coast as an advocate for children’s rights.

I joined the Australian Progressives because they have given me hope. The lack of personal respect exhibited by our current politicians in question time dismays me. The lack of human decency, particularly with respect to children’s welfare and rights, disgusts me. The destruction of our planet due to human greed frightens me. As a member of the Australian Progressives I will fight to build a society where our politicians behave with dignity and a high standard of ethics, and where our children inherit a living planet.

THIS IS WHAT THE GUARDIAN REPORTS, 2014/feb/18

The following is the headline and the opening paragraph as reported by the Guardian:

Australia’s sick and proud message to the world: refugees are going to suffer

You might think that, now that desperate asylum seekers have been shot dead and severely injured in an Australian-run camp, we cannot possibly sink any lower. That’s unfortunately not true.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/18/australias-sick-and-proud-message-to-the-world-refugees-are-going-to-suffer

Mike Carlton in the Sydney Morning Herald on Tony Abbott

‘Any government which makes it harder to manufacture cars is making it harder for us to continue to be a first world economy because without cars, without steel, without aluminium, without cement, we don’t have these manufacturers in Australia, we are not really a sophisticated economy any more.”

These thoughtful words, taken from the Liberal Party website, were uttered by none other than Tony Abbott after one of his fancy dress tours of the Ford production line at Geelong in 2011.

My, how things change. In his few short months in government, Abbott has seen off the entire Australian car making industry, with the loss of who knows how many tens of thousands of jobs and an even chance of plunging Victoria and South Australia into at least a local recession. There goes his sophisticated economy. It’s a unique achievement, unmatched by any incoming government.

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Given that the usual claque of chattering economists is now saying that this was inevitable – they’d all foreseen it years ago, etc, and no bad thing, blah blah – you’d think this is something Abbott might have touched on during the election campaign. But no, not a hint. You might also think that he and his Industry Minister, Ian ”Chainsaw” Macfarlane, would have had some policy or plan in place for dealing with this tectonic shift.

No to that, too. They haven’t a clue. As so often happens, the best the Prime Minister could do was to heap platitude upon banality. The Toyota workers would go ”from good jobs to better jobs”, he intoned glibly, as if that would fix everything. Chainsaw blathered on about creating ”a framework”.

When in doubt, blame the trade unions. This is a habit so deeply ingrained in the Liberal DNA that facts are irrelevant. Abbott first tried it on after the troubles at SPC Ardmona, making such extravagant claims about the supposedly feather bed working conditions at its factory in Shepparton that the local MP, Sharman Stone, one of his own backbenchers, publicly called him a liar. You don’t see that happen a lot with prime ministers.

But with that Bourbon talent he has for learning nothing and forgetting nothing, Abbott was at it again when Toyota pulled the pin. Union intransigence had driven the company to the wall, a refrain taken up by Joe Hockey, who claimed Toyota executives had privately told him that very thing last year. That, too, fell in a heap when the company issued a statement to say that: ”Toyota Australia has never blamed the union for its decision to close its manufacturing operations by the end of 2017, neither publicly or in private discussions with any stakeholders.” Oops.

Ah, but the age of entitlement is over, we’re told. Unless you happen to be a needy football club, that is. During the election campaign, Abbott promised $5 million to the Brisbane Broncos – owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, no less – to ”kick-start the revitalisation” of their ”sporting precinct at Red Hill”. The Manly Sea Eagles were offered $10 million to renovate Brookvale Oval, which just happens to be in Abbott’s electorate of Warringah and where he’s the number one ticket holder. We shall see if those juicy bits of pork-barrelling make it through the coming federal budget.

 

There are few sights more ridiculous than a media pack howling in a hot but futile pursuit of a reluctant celebrity.

So it was with the release of Wotzername from Bali’s Kerobokan prison on Monday. Chaotic scenes! Grunting and shouting, heaving and pushing, sweaty and dishevelled, Australia’s finest hacks – trained to the peak of ruthless efficiency – battled to bring us their fascinating pictures and reports of a fleeing tartan hat.

The wonderful thing about a media scrum, as these things are invariably called, is that the participants each and individually pretend, po-faced, that it’s nothing to do with them. They remain aloof from the vulgar fray. It’s their rivals and competitors battling in the gutter. But all in vain. To the fury of the pack, the tartan hat was spirited away in a motorcade thoughtfully provided by Channel Seven’s Sunday Night program. Why, the grand old man of TV journalism, Mike Willesee himself, had been glimpsed chomping on a fat Cohiba in the back of one of the speeding limos.

Deprived of their prey by this piece of treacherous one-upmanship, the scrum immediately began speculating on what enormous sum Seven had forked out to snare the interview. The biggest guess I saw was $3 million, a towering absurdity. My sources at Seven assure me it was ”well, well south” of $1 million.

As ancient tradition dictates, the losers then put up a self-righteous fuss about the wickedness of cheque-book journalism. As I write, I understand they are now doing their best to torpedo the whole show by convincing the Indonesian authorities that an interview would be a shocking breach of the tartan hat’s parole conditions.

Then there’s the small matter of whether the hat’s owner should be permitted to profit from the proceeds of crime. There is a law against this but, happily for the public interest, we have in Attorney-General George ” Soapy” Brandis the nation’s great champion of free speech. We can be sure that Soapy and his newly appointed Freedom Commissioner, Tim Wilson, will be stout in their defence of Wotzername’s right to tell all.

For me, the most enjoyable thing was hearing the hacks bulldozing their way through the pronunciation of Indonesian place names.

I flicked around the radio and TV dials. No one came within a bull’s roar of getting Kerobokan right, let alone the Balinese capital, Denpasar, or the resort precinct of Seminyak. For the record, it’s not Ker-Robber-kan. It’s Kra-BOKE-un, a light accent on the second syllable, as it generally is with Bahasa Indonesia. D’n-PAHS-ar, not DEN-pasar. I don’t expect the commercial lot to get it right but you’d think the ABC might give it a go.

Nitpicking, perhaps. Yet the same reporters are aware they’d be laughed off the air if they pronounced, say, Illinois or Arkansas or Connecticut phonetically. Because it’s only Indonesia, developing nation and all that, near enough is good enough. We Australians are hopelessly bad at our neighbours’ languages.

smhcarlton@gmail.com

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/tony-abbott-opposition-leader-bites-tony-abbott-pm-20140214-32r1i.html#ixzz2tL36vBjt