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Sunday, 21 October


Socialism kills Catallaxy Files

Socialism is even more devastating to your life than smoking fantastically bad for your health and welfare, will ruin your income-earning potential, and cost you your freedom. It might even kill you just as it has done for so many others.

You might think socialism is cool and you might think its chic, but if you do, you are historically illiterate and ignorant to a fanastic extent. The evidence of its massive dangers is everywhere; there is no counter story. Socialism brings ruin.

And yet, even with all the evidence everywhere available, people do smoke, in the same way that people line up to become socialists and support political leaders who would lead them into slavery, economic ruin and for many into death if those whom they follow ever end up with their hands on the levers of power. With all the warnings in the world, and all the evidence at every turn, all too many, because they think they are too smart to need such warning, will trundle down these doom-ridden paths.

As with cigarettes, socialism is a habit often commenced in youth, an intellectual disease which poisons the mind, which try as one might, can becomes an addictive belief system impossible to shed until dragged down by the inevitable harm that it creates if by fate one happens to find their own community, the one in which they live, has become yet one more socialist entity. Living in a socialist state is the surest cure for this addiction, but by then it is too late.

With socialism, just as with cigarettes, there is no reason for anyone to be unaware of the harm it brings. We have known its folly since even before the first disastrous socialist experiments were tried, which began just over a century ago. We have seen the ruin of one economy after another, from Russia in 1917 to Venezuela today. Yet there are always some who think they can beat the odds, that they know best, that next time will be different.

Do not be a fool. Do not support anyone or any party who offers you socialism as the answer to any actual existing problem. We know already what will happen. A tiny handful will scramble to the top who will then oppress everyone else including you. Socialism creates poverty, misery and death. Socialism has never succeeded at any time in any place ever. The next time will be the same as all the other times.

If you call yourself a socialist, you are a fool. There are no exceptions.


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Saturday, 20 October


The poisoned chalice Catallaxy Files

Beware of getting what you wish for!

All parties are desperate to win government but given the unreliable energy plans of all the main players and their inevitable impact on the cost and reliability of power the next Federal government is going to be extremely unpopular.

And if it is the Greens/CFMEU party it is also going to extremely damaging.

Then what?


Wentworth wrap-up Liberals destroyed in heartland The Tally Room

Tonights election result was very clear. A massive swing against the Liberal Party has pushed the Morrison coalition government into a minority position, with Dave Sharma losing a seat held by the conservative major party since federation, despite a 17.7% margin built up by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

There are many things to say about the causes, and i wont go into a lot of depth on this point. Clearly the departure of Malcolm Turnbull made it harder for the Liberal Party, and this was made worse by the manner of his leaving. The partys inability to reconcile its base with sensible policy on climate change made it much harder for them in a seat like Wentworth, and a strong independent like Kerryn Phelps was able to exploit this position.

In this post Im going to focus on the geography of the electorate, showing how the swings spread across the seat, and how a distinct geographic divide within the seat is much more obvious following this result.

Last week I blogged about the three Wentworths three distinct parts of this electorate I had identified which I believed would behave differently. Specifically, I thought the Liberal Party was more vulnerable to a swing in the city and beach areas than they were in the harbour area. And this has been proven right.

Kerryn Phelps won the two-candidate-preferred vote in every booth in the city and beach areas, while Sharma held on in every booth in the harbour area. While the Liberal Party suffered similar swings in the harbour as they did in the beach, they werent enough to lose booths in places like Double Bay, Vaucluse, Watsons Bay or Rose Bay.

This is very clear on this map. You can also toggle to see the anti-Liberal primary vote swing by booth.

You can also see this effect in the following table.

Voter group Phelps prim % LIB prim % ALP prim % LIB swing Phelps 2CP % Total votes
Beach 33.7 32.3 13.6 -20.2 59.6 23,313
Harbour 28.0 53.3 6.9 -20.8 41.0 1...


If You Missed Scott Morrisons Concession Speech The AIM Network

Ok, I was watching Skys coverage of the election. We cut from the winners speech to the Liberal event because the Prime Minister was speaking. Just to be clear, thats still Scott Morrison Although it may be Peter Dutton by the time you read this Anyway, after telling us that the Liberals were

The post If You Missed Scott Morrisons Concession Speech appeared first on The AIM Network.


Wentworth by-election live The Tally Room

9:33 Im going to end this liveblog here. We now have primary vote figures from all ordinary booths, and are just missing the 2CP data from Bondi Beach. We will also be waiting for pre-poll and postals to be reported, presumably most of them coming over the next 24 hours. Phelps currently sits on 54.3% of the two-candidate-preferred count, leading by almost 4,000 votes. I will now start work on a wrap-up blog post, which will feature a map of the electorate.

8:43 Sorry for the limited commentary. To be honest there isnt much to report at the moment, but the trend is the same. The only booth to violate the divisions I used for the seat was Dover Heights (which anyone familiar with Wentworth would know should really be lumped in with Harbour, but I had left it in Beach for simplicity), where Sharma won. Once we have the final figures for the booths Ill put together a map and a subarea summary.

8:31 Peter Brent on Twitter has pointed out that this will probably end up as the fourth-highest swing against an incumbent party at a federal by-election ever. Two of the higher-ranked results were when a party leader quit and the seat was won by an independent: Mark Vaile in 2008 and Bob Hawke in 1992:

8:09 We now have fifteen booths reporting the two-candidate-preferred count and the trend is clear. Phelps is winning in the city end and beach end, while Sharma holds on in the harbour. This translates into a Phelps win since there are more voters in her areas. In aggregate, Phelps is on 61.1% in the beach area, 61.7% in the city area, but only 41.6% in the harbour.

7:51 Things are a bit quiet now because the trend has been pretty consistent. We have 24 booths reporting primary votes, and nine reporting 2CP figures. Sharma continues to hold on in the harbour and lose elsewhere. It seems very clear that Kerryn Phelps has won Wentworth.

7:40  Last week I wrote a post about the three Wentworths, and were seeing a clear trend of Phelps winning in the beachside suburbs and the cityside suburbs, and Sharma surviving big swings to hold on in the harbourside areas.

7:38 Phelps is on 57.6% after preferences in Clovelly North.

7:30 Sharma is still leading on the primary vote the harbourfront suburbs, in Bellevue Hill South, Double Bay East, Edgecliff and Vaucluse

7:28 Phelps is outpolling Sharma on primary votes across the beachside end of the seat: Bondi, Bondi Beach East and Bronte, but just behind in Bondi North.

7:27 Two more booths reporting 2CP counts, and two more wins for Phelps: 58...


KKKoalition signs own death warrant: Declares Hanson the White Queen Independent Australia

KKKoalition signs own death warrant: Declares Hanson the White QueenWhatever the outcome in Wentworth, the Australian people have already cast judgment on the shambolic and unprincipled Liberal Government, writes contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence. read now...


Leaking for Change: ASIO, Jakarta, and Australias Jerusalem Problem The AIM Network

Politics can, after a time, becomes a myopic exercise of expedient measures and desperate hope. Politics, raw and crude, is at its best at points where survival matters. Conversely, it can illustrate human vices in raw fashion, low points of idiocy and the disaster of folly. The Morrison government in Australia risks succumbing to another

The post Leaking for Change: ASIO, Jakarta, and Australias Jerusalem Problem appeared first on The AIM Network.


The NBN and the common good fending off the forces of privatisation Independent Australia

The NBN and the common good fending off the forces of privatisationAustralia's National Broadband Network has been problematic for too long, our own Government interfering with the common good. read now...


Wentworth: Something right out of the classics! The AIM Network

By George Theodoridis Its Thucydides all over again, isnt it? I mean, its so bloody obvious! Here, in this war we have the classic Thucydides Trap a phrase coined by Graham Tillett Allison Jr a professor and a national security officer in the US administration. A phenomenon that has become a game the sort that John Varoufakis

The post Wentworth: Something right out of the classics! appeared first on The AIM Network.


Scott steps up but all he can hit is fouls The AIM Network

Scott Morrison might tell us he has stepped up to the plate to bring everyone together, but ever since he became PM, he has been pissing people off. His captains call to bring up his willingness to discuss moving our embassy to Jerusalem angered the Palestinians, the Indonesians, the Malaysians and the Australians who recognise

The post Scott steps up but all he can hit is fouls appeared first on The AIM Network.


Wentworth election day open thread The Tally Room

Polls have just opened in the federal by-election in the seat of Wentworth in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. Ill be back at 6pm to cover the results, but until then enjoy this open thread.

You may like to read my guide to todays by-election.


Kids Off Nauru. Why Isnt This A No-Brainer?

Like many others, my heart skipped a beat this week when I heard that three Coalition MPs had broken ranks on offshore detention and were calling for children and their families detained on Nauru to be brought to Australia.  

The situation on Nauru is heartbreaking. Medicins Sans Frontieres, whose staff were very recently expelled from Nauru, describe the situation of asylum seekers and refugees on the island as beyond desperate.

As corroborated by MSF medical analysis, refugee patients exist in a vicious cycle of deep despair with many having lost the will to live.  Among them, at least 78 patients seen by MSF had suicidal ideations and/or engaged in self-harm or suicidal acts. Children as young as nine have told MSF staff that they would rather die than live in a state of hopelessness on Nauru. Among the most severely ill patients are those separated from their immediate family as a result of Australias immigration policy.

None of this comes as a surprise. Numerous organisations have found similar things. The Nauru papers documented it. Greg Lake, who was Director of Regional Processing at the time the Nauru and Manus centres were set up and would later become Director of the Nauru facility, explained the logic of deterrence.

Deterrence is all about constructing an environment thats worse than the thing people are fleeing from. So you have to make the situation in detention somehow worse than Syria under ISIS. And if you put it in that context, we cant kill people, but the next best thing you can do is take away peoples hope and dignity.

When he selected who would be sent to the offshore centres, Greg Lake recalls that

My instructions (from the Minister for Immigrations office) were to find families with children as young as possible (because we had to send a message to people smugglers that children, even young children, werent exempt). We couldnt transfer children under seven, as they couldnt be inoculated against Japanese Encephalitis or Malaria, so I had to choose children who looked young, to send a message to people smugglers.

Both major political parties argue that the offshore regime is necessary, that the people smuggling syndicates will rapidly redeploy the moment Australia signals it will welcome asylum seekers who arrive by boat. This is why the Prime Minister has opened the door to getting children and their families off Nauru but: 1) will not bring them to Australia; and 2) will not take up New Zealands...


Screen Themes: Venom vs Spider-Man 3 Independent Australia

Screen Themes: Venom vs Spider-Man 3John Turnbull checks out a couple of lesser comic book movies, the much derided Venom and the worst film in the original spider-trilogy. read now...


A feast of gloom ... loon pond

A feast of gloom and the pond felt a strange urge to plunge into it all, bask in the gloom, frolic and gambol in the gloom

But the pond also realised it had a duty to back slam a journalist, do a body slam, provoke cries of joy and delight and laughter and jeers. What could be more presidential in the week a journalist was gruesomely butchered?

Oh irony, oh Dame Slap, so beautifully juxtapositioned

Yes, there she was, off blathering about Milo and identity politics, while her hero the Donald was doing his wrestling moves and inciting violence and her conclusion?

Actually, if we're talking of a sinister race to the bottom, one day MAGA-hat-wearing, forelock tugging, quisling fellow travellers of the Donald will be seen as the scourge of civilised societies

But enough of the tiresome MAGA hat wearer, the pond had come to feast on gloom, and who better to feast on than nattering 'Ned'?

Yes, it would be one of those epic journeys into despondency, almost endless, quite unique (thanks ABC), with a sense that no one would ever get there yet

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Friday, 19 October


LNP infighting simmers as polls show Wentworth slipping away Independent Australia

LNP infighting simmers as polls show Wentworth slipping awayWith the Wentworth by-election only a day away, the LNP has been left in a fragile state and risks losing the seat, writes Tarric Brooker read now...


If the left could actually fulfil their promises they would never lose an election Catallaxy Files

I guess with compulsory voting, no one will be discouraged from going out to vote no matter how pessimistic they might feel. So in Australia, I guess this cant hurt that much: Sharma will likely lose: Morrison.

I realise those who vote for a living, or have relos parked somewhere near some leaky fishing boat offshore, might see such an outcome as all right. Anyway, a wrap up from Maurice Newman about how things stand: Bob Hawke rebuff burdened Libs with a LINO. Heres part of what he wrote:

In the six weeks since his resignation, Turnbull has yet to offer Scott Morrison or his Wentworth successor, Dave Sharma, any formal electoral support. In fact, apart from a congratulatory tweet, he has yet to even publicly endorse Sharma.

According to Sharri Markson in The Daily Telegraph: Dissatisfied with the outcome of a new-look government getting on with the job, Turnbull is now trying to force the issue and facilitate the downfall of the Liberal government. There have been leaks designed to damage Morrison from Turnbulls closest confidants . . . .

This vindictiveness has become a family affair.

Son Alex Turnbull is encouraging voters to put their money on Labor in the lead-up to the by-election, re-tweeting a post by candidate Tim Murray instructing people to donate. As he sees it: My father fought the stupid and the stupid won.

And if the Turnbulls scorched-earth policy is not handicap enough, Sharma has been attacked by another LINO, former federal leader John Hewson. He wants electors of Wentworth to register a substantial protest vote against the government or any other candidates that dont understand the magnitude and urgency of the climate change challenge. Hewson is a global-warming activist and a renewable-energy investor, yet rather than speak from this platform, he artfully chooses to abuse his Liberal Party credentials to inflict maximum political pain on Sharma.

The Wentworth aspirant must wonder: with Liberals such as Hewson and the Turnbulls, who needs enemies?

I will just add that if the left could actually fulfil their promises, they would never lose an election. But they cant, so they eventually do lose, but until then they create serious havoc and harm.


The US Militarys Vision "IndyWatch Feed"

In March, the United States Special Operations Command, the section of the Defense Department supervising the US Special Forces, held a conference on the theme of Sovereignty in the Information Age. The conference brought together Special Forces officers with domestic police forces, including officials from the New York Police Department, and representatives from technology companies such as Microsoft.

This meeting of top military, police and corporate representatives went unreported and unpublicized at the time. However, the Atlantic Council recently published a 21-page document summarizing the orientation of the proceedings. It is authored by John T. Watts, a former Australian Army officer and consultant to the US Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security.

The Atlantic Council, a think tank with close ties to the highest levels of the state, has been a key partner in the social media companies censorship of left-wing views. Most notably, Facebook acted on a tip from the Atlantic Council when it shut down the official event page for an anti-fascist demonstration in Washington on the anniversary of last years neo-Nazi riot in Charlottesville.

Confident that none of the thousands of journalists in Washington will question, or even report, what he writes, Watts lays out, from the standpoint of the repressive apparatus of the state and the financial oligarchy it defends, why censorship is necessary.

The central theme of the report is sovereignty, or the states ability to impose its will upon the population. This sovereignty, Watts writes, faces greater challenges now than it ever has in the past, due to the confluence between growing political opposition to the state and the internets ability to quickly spread political dissent.

Watts cites the precedent of the invention of the printing press, which helped overthrow the feudal world order. In the Atlantic Councils estimation, however, this was an overwhelmingly negative development, ushering in decades, and arguably centuries, of conflict and disruption and undermining the sovereignty of absolutist states. The invention of the internet is similarly creating conflict and disruption, Watts writes.

Trust in Western society, he warns, is experiencing a crisis. The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer has tracked this erosion, showing a 30 percent drop in trust in government over the last year in the United States.

Watts notes that this collapse in support for the government cannot be explained merely by the rise of social media. This process began in the early 2000s, at the dawn of the social media age but before it had become mainstream. Left out are the major reasons for the collapse of popular support for government institutions: the stolen election of 2000, the Bush administrations lies about weapo...


No "compensation" for those who want to destroy the planet No Right Turn

The government is currently progressing legislation to ban offshore oil exploration. The oil industry doesn't like this, because its the first step towards putting them out of business. And now they're outrageously demanding "compensation" for the violation of their "property rights":

A body representing seismic testing companies is demanding more than $100 million in compensation for its members if the Government passes a ban on issuing new exploration permits.


IAGC members claim they have invested heavily gathering data on areas not covered by exploration permits. While this has led to claims that the business model is highly speculative, MinterEllison partner Rachel Devine, representing IAGC before the environment select committee, said the Government encouraged companies to seek data to make the block offer process competitive.

"They've spent money in reasonable expectation that the regime would be the way it is, it's been set up to entice them to come in and do these things for the benefit of the New Zealand government," Devine said, claiming that the legislation would strip the companies of property rights they had spent $104 million acquiring.

"Passing this bill will put New Zealand on a blacklist of countries with sovereign risk," she said.

Get that? If this law is passed, they might sulk and not "invest" here. Which is the point of the bill, because "investing" in destroying the planet isn't an "investment" we want anybody to make.

As for the idea of "compensation", its as odious as Britain's compensation of slaveowners when they abolished slavery, and as justifiable as the idea of compensating some Saudi wide-boy for banning live sheep exports. There should be no "compensation" for people whose business model is literally the destruction of the planet. Democracies are entitled to change their minds, and that's exactly what we're doing. If companies doing business here haven't factored that risk in, then they're simply fools. Our right to govern ourselves and set policy according to the will of the people is not subject to a foreign financial veto, and isn't actionable in any court. And again, if foreign companies don't like it, they can just fuck off. In fact, the quicker they do that, the safer the world will be.


Wentworth Mystery: The Baffling Case Of The Missing Malcolm The AIM Network

So the Coalition dump Malcolm Turnbull as leader and he decides to quit Parliament leading to a by-election in his seat of Wentworth. This no problem because he has a margin of seventeen percent. Ok, take a couple of percent off because the new candidate isnt PM, another three or four for Mals personal following,

The post Wentworth Mystery: The Baffling Case Of The Missing Malcolm appeared first on The AIM Network.


The story behind the latest unemployment figures The AIM Network

The government sent out the troops to spruik the latest jobs growth figures but, as always, they are not telling the whole story. The ABC headline proudly announced Unemployment rate drops to 5pc as full-time jobs boom rolls on. That is misleading in several ways. Despite the ABS suggesting that The trend data provide the

The post The story behind the latest unemployment figures appeared first on The AIM Network.


Australia's student housing crisis Independent Australia

Australia's student housing crisisRosie Williams discusses the difficulties involved with trying to find suitable student housing with our international student intake. read now...


Reminder: Saudi Arabia kidnapped people from New Zealand No Right Turn

Earlier this month, journalist Jamal Khashoggi visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. He was then beaten, drugged, and dismembered - apparently while still alive - by a 15-man Saudi kill team who had been specially flown in for the purpose. Its a horrific act, and one which should make Saudi Arabia an international pariah. But Khashoggi is not the only victim of the Saudi regime. As Stuff reminds us, in 2014 they apparently kidnapped a refugee from New Zealand:

Friends of Khalid Muidh Alzahrani, who they called Daniel, know what the Saudi regime is capable of.

Four years ago, the refugee disappeared from his sparse flat in Redwood, Christchurch, and they haven't spoken to him since. They fear he's been executed.

Daniel had converted to Christianity - a crime in Saudi Arabia - and his friends believe he was forcibly repatriated, possibly with his family's help.

The original media stories are here and here. And as this story makes clear, Alzahrani wasn't the only one: in May 2013 an unnamed Saudi refugee was apparently snatched off the street in Auckland and rendered to Saudi Arabia, where he was reportedly tortured.

The New Zealand government owes a duty of care to those we have granted refugee status, and we have an obligation to protect them from this sort of shit. The Stuff article argues that we should be demanding "proof of life" of these snatched refugees from the Saudis, and they're right. And if they don't provide it, we should cut ties with that tyrannical monarchy.


What does Dreyfus mean by corruption? Catallaxy Files

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus has an op-ed in the AFR talking about a proposed federal anti-corruption body.  I think reasonable people can disagree as the need for such a body my second biggest concern is that I suspect there isnt enough work for such an organisation. Not that the state based equivalents havent been busy, but I suspect that a lot of what ICAC, for example, does is make-work.

My biggest concern relates to what exactly constitutes corruption?

Dreyfus suggests some areas where we should be looking:

The potential for corruption at a federal level, and on a grand scale, is huge.

Just think of the size of tenders that are regularly doled out by federal government departments $50 billion for submarines for example. A quick glance at AusTender shows there were 37 government contracts worth over $1 billion granted in the 2017-18 financial year.

Lets be clear the $50 billion spend on submarines is an absolute outrage.*  To my mind it was a politically inspired decision to provide an electoral advantage to politicians in South Australia. Okay yet I suspect no anti-corruption body in Australia, or anywhere in the world, would summon politicians to answer charges on that spend and then rule that the spend was corrupt and recommend criminal charges be laid.

In any event that sort of thing is not best dealt with by the judiciary the electorate are  best suited to handle that sort of thing.

So having read Dreyfus op-ed Im in the position of thinking that he has a solution in search of a problem.   We already have laws that prohibit self-dealing and the like.

*At a state level weve seen the desalination plant here in Victoria and the $1 billion not to build a road. As far as I am aware, the Victorian anti-corruption body hasnt investigated those issues either. The opposition hasnt promised that people will be prosecuted and go to jail.


Time to ban gag clauses No Right Turn

Yesterday, we learned that the National Party was arseholes all the way down. They'd known about bullying and sexual harassment by Jami-Lee Ross for years, and their response had been to sit on it, cover it up, and ultimately try and use it as leverage in their internal political squabbles rather than doing the decent thing and getting an arsehole harasser out of their party. And yesterday afternoon, we learned they'd gone further, explicitly gagging Ross' victims to keep them silent. Its a story we've seen time and again from overseas, where gag orders are used to silence victims and allow their abusers to keep on victimising. But we've also seen the solution: ban them. California for example prohibits confidentiality clauses in civil settlements for sexual assault. And just a few months ago, they went further, banning them in sexual harassment cases. Settlements can be used to protect victims, but never to silence them.

Isn't it time New Zealand, as a progressive country, followed suit?


Poor planning causes overcrowding The AIM Network

Population Minister Alan Tudge has suggested that Melbourne and Sydney are experiencing significant pressure from excessive population growth. Hes probably got a point, but his solution forcing immigrants to live in areas with less population pressure for at least five years after permanent residency is granted demonstrates Tudges complete lack of knowledge of

The post Poor planning causes overcrowding appeared first on The AIM Network.


Scotty doesn't know ... loon pond

Of course the pond visited to listen to Scotty doesn't know 

But when it goes down, as it must inevitably do, it's still on YouTube here.


Climate change: Dispelling the myth of the one-man-army Independent Australia

Climate change: Dispelling the myth of the one-man-armyIn terms of saving the world from environmental damage, it's time to stop thinking individually, writes Simon Black. read now...


The Morrison governments biggest economic problem? Climate change denia Pigs Fly Newspaper

The Morrison governments biggest economic problem? Climate change denial

File 20181018 41147 1p39r8y.png?ixlib=rb 1.1The governments stubborn commitment to coal is alienating it from its natural supporters in the business community.
Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND

Judith Brett, La Trobe University

Last week Peter Costello accused Malcolm Turnbull of failing to develop an economic narrative to unite the Coalition. Turnbull promised this when he challenged Tony Abbott for the leadership of the Liberal Party, but, said Costello, it never came, and the result is a government struggling to manage deep differences over social issues. There was jobs and growth, but this is really just a goal without much of a story about how to get there, except for the company tax cuts.

The big question, though, is why the government does not have a coherent economic narrative.

One possible answer is that it has been too preoccupied with social issues such as religious freedom and before that, same-sex marriage, to give the economy sufficient attention. There is something in that.

But this does not get to the heart of the problem, which is the inability of the Coalition to face the reality of climate change and its stubborn determination to live in a parallel universe of business as usual. It is climate change denial that is preventing the government from developing a coherent economic narrative.

Read more:


In which the pond hears a howl of pain from Moorice ... loon pond

A time of crisis, a howl of pain

I saw the best minds of my Liberal generation destroyed by greenie leftie madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the Labor streets at dawn looking for an angry right wing fix, angel headed white old angry men burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of eastern suburbs night, crying get off my lawn, who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up fuming in the supernatural darkness of solar powered battery fed mansions floating across the tops of cities contemplating lost years of Frank Sinatra and Perry Como, who bared their brains to Heaven under the ScoMo, and saw Turnbullian demons staggering on tidy rented apartment roofs with sea views illuminated 

Wait, that won't do, angry old hipsters need the real thing, and thank the long absent lord, Moorice is on hand for a Friday howl of pain

Yes, and don't forget climate science denialism, and holding out hope for coal lovers and wrecking the NBN, and abandoning any notion of the republic so that royals might freely wander the land, and pandering to the hard right, and other core Liberal values

But do go on, the suffering and the pain is wondrous to behold

Strange, was it so long ago?

Liberal preselectors in Wentworth have snubbed the prime minister Scott Morrisons choice, opting for Malcolm Turnbulls preferred candidate Dave Sharma in a marathon meeting on Thursday evening. Despite a push to preselect a woman to boo...


Bel Isi PNG: a world first "IndyWatch Feed"

Can family and sexual violence (FSV) be more than the humanitarian concern that we know it to be? The answer is yes. In Papua New Guinea (PNG) FSV has been quantified as a significant cost to business. For example, for one company recently surveyed in Port Moresby the cost was three million kina in one year alone.

One common story is of a person, most often a woman, who experiences family and sexual violence, and is distracted at work, worried about her safety and that of her children. She may miss days at work because of injury or mental stress. She is concerned that disclosing her situation will only create more problems, so she remains silent and is increasingly exhausted from pretending that everything is fine. Her job performance suffers, she is disciplined by her supervisor and this causes even more stress.

Now let us propose a different scenario. The same woman walks into a workplace that is actively committed to providing immediate, practical support to staff. She has access to safety planning, counselling, legal advice and, if required, to a safe haven. She is aware, as are her colleagues, that her company will help her and that there is a safe space to share her situation.

Such is the direction chosen by Bel Isi PNG (Peaceful PNG): to tackle the problem from the angle of the economic impact on the workplace. The initiative has the dual purpose of benefiting both individuals and companies.

Bel Isi PNGs innovation is three-fold. First, it takes a strong partnership approach involving all sectors government, private sector, and community. Second, it increases resources for support through asking companies to pay subscription fees. Finally, it galvanises leadership, both male and female, to prevent violence and improve services. Combined, this model is a world-first public-private partnership to address family and sexual violence.

Bel Isi PNG started with donations a building from Bank of South Pacific to be used as a safe house and an office space from Steamships Trading Co for a case management centre, both in PNGs capital, Port Moresby. The Oil Search Foundation agreed to design, manage and help fund the project, and the Australian Government stepped in with significant financial backing. Since the initiative was launched, G4S a local security firm has donated 24-hour free transport from an unsafe location to a safe one; Nine Mile Farm and Stop and Shop local producers have donated regular food supplies; Brian Bell   a local homeware store is giving furniture and cleaning supplies; and PNG Power all of the power. The operation of Bel Isi services by Femili PNG, a PNG NGO, will assist survivors and support the existing network of s...

Thursday, 18 October


Why Indonesia is right to limit NGOs post-disaster "IndyWatch Feed"

The devastating earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia, have shocked people around the world. Images of the earth liquefying, the terrifying screams as people watch a tsunami engulf the shore, and the wreckage left behind have led to a global outpouring of support and responses from aid agencies and NGOs.

Last week, Indonesias disaster coordination agency (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana, or BNPB) issued guidelines on the involvement of foreign aid workers, stating that they needed to conduct all activities through local partners, and be registered with government agencies.

The announcement has surprised the humanitarian sector at large, and some have called it confusing. World Vision Australias Tim Costello said it was very strange. Amnesty International Indonesia have labelled it a sad example of bureaucracy trumping humanity.

The official announcement is helpfully written in English in an infographic on Twitter.

The same Twitter account has posted images of shelter tents with Chinese characters on them, retweeted World Food Program photos of Australian aid shipments, celebrated Canadian aid supplies arriving, and been thankful for JICA supplies. The World Bank and UN have visited, with the former offering a US $1 bn package. Its not a response that is turning its back on international relief, contrary to some commentators.

Following criticism, the policy on foreign aid workers and volunteers was further...

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