After Christchurch: I’m not grieving, I’m just really angry

March 17, 2019

I spent two hours at my local mosque on Sunday afternoon. It was mosque open day in Victoria on 17 March, coincidentally just a couple of days after 50 people were gunned down at two mosques in Christchurch by a white supremacist.

I was planning to go to the open day before Friday’s mass murder, but my sense of outrage added a certain determination that I wouldn’t miss the opportunity.

I’m very glad I went. The local Muslim community was pleased to see about 100 infidels turn up to share lunch, to learn some of their history, acknowledge their right to religious observance and to show solidarity.

mosque poster 7

It was a solemn occasion given the horror of Friday is rightfully still on everyone’s mind, but there was also a sense of joy. The faces of the children were lit up with curiosity. It’s not every day that dozens of mostly white strangers turn up at the mosque.

The wife of the local Imam, Sister Mary, told us that the mosque elders had thought briefly about cancelling the open day out of fear that some gun-toting Nazi chud might want to attack them. But the community held strong and the open day was a commemoration of loss but also a celebration. I’m glad I went because it helped me find a place of some quiet after two days of restless agitation. I wrote on Twitter that I had been more profoundly affected by the Christchurch massacre than I thought possible.

 

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Here’s a clue about the source of my rage – fuckwitted dregs like Greg Sheridan pretending to fucking care.
FYI, he doesn’t give a shit about Muslim lives.


Turnbull’s horoscope indicates a horror year ahead for #Fizza

January 9, 2017

Malcolm Turnbull is a Scorpio. 2017 could be a year of failure and disappointment for the invisible Prime Minister.

turnbull-horoscope-screenshot-www-sunsigns-org-2017-01-04-16-18-53

Can #Fizza Turnbull make it to the end of the year?

The signs are not good for PM Malcolm Turnbull as 2017 slowly recovers from its Christmas hang-over and bingeing.

Already the advance guard for the Trump faction of the Coalition is out and about wining and dining and whining with the ready-made racists of the notorious anti-Muslim Q Society.

Cory Bernardi and George Christensen accepted invitations to speak at a Q Society fundraiser months ago, but over the slow-news holiday period a couple of lazy journalists thought they’d revive the story, you know just for the lulz.

Like most such stories, it first got a run in The Australian over a month ago, where it was treated as good news about mates helping a friend who happens to be an anti-Islam bigot.

According to The Oz’ Chip le Grand, Bernardi and Christensen are stepping up to help the Q Society and three office-bearers to fund a defamation defence.

[S]elf-styled conservative warriors Cory Bernardi and George Christensen will ­appear at a fundraising dinner to help an anti-Islam organisation and three members of a rival ­political party defend themselves in defamation ­proceedings.

halal-choices-q-society-screenshot-www-qsociety-org-au-2017-01-04-14-49-43

Why The Guardian decided that the first day of the new year was a perfect time to publish their own take on this story is a mystery to me. Perhaps it really is the silly season and the editor hoped that we’d forget that we’d actually seen this story somewhere else some time ago.

However, in a textbook case of cascading media coverage, once The Guardian story appeared on 1 January it was repeated (with only minor amendments) for the next 48 hours across Fairfax papers (3 January), on Sky news (3 January) and on the News.com.au website (3 January).

The simple summary of the story is that three leading members of ‘Australia’s premier Muslim-critical organisation’ are being sued by Mohammed El-Mouelhy, the head of the Halal Certification Authority. El Mouelhy claims he was defamed in two videos produced by the Q Society. The case is being heard in the NSW Supreme Court and has been running now for nearly 12 months. It is estimated that the Q Society will run up over one million dollars in legal costs to defend itself and its members.

But this is not a piece about these idiot bigots, it is about Turnbull being wedged on the Islamophobia issue for the benefit of the right wing nut jobs who want to take over the party.

So far the bigots and nutjobs are hiding in plain sight, under the umbrella of Bernardi’s Conservative Leadership Foundation which is the vehicle for his right-wing, Christian, small government and free enterprise values. His natural allies are the likes of the Q Society, which (coincidentally) has its own political ‘party brand’, the Australian Liberty Alliance.

You can read the original version of this piece at Independent Australia.

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A crackdown on the boats – but who is the message aimed at

July 21, 2013

The politics of Kevin Rudd’s lurch to the right on asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat are horrible and predictable from a desparate man who wants to wedge his political opponent and neutralise a damaging election issue.

That @KRuddMP is a hypocritical piece of racist shit goes without saying, but it’s worth saying anyway.

In 2010 he rightly criticised Julia Gillard for a proposing rightward shift in an attempt to appease the horribly racist core of Australian voters who think refugees are stealing jobs, etc. In a bid to hang on the Prime Ministership at that time, this is what Rudd had to say:

In 2010, Mr Rudd called a press conference after former Prime Minister Julia Gillard tapped him on the shoulder for a ballot.

His speech was his plea to caucus to keep him, and the main point he made was: “this party and government will not be lurching to the right on the question of asylum seekers as some have counselled us to do”.

After spectacularly promising that there would be no lurch to the right and after calling for a more humanitarian approach to asylum seekers, Rudd has done a 180 degree ‘pivot’ on the issue so that disaffected Labor voters who might be toying with voting for the #Abbocolypse because of the Mad Monk’s cute little three-word slogan “STOP THE BOATS” would think again. He is now saying he won’t “lurch to the left”.

What the PM has done is launch a cynical attack on potential refugees — he called them a “scourge” this week — knowing full-well that no matter how much it upsets and alarms refugee supporters it is not going to make them vote for the coalition. Any protest vote we make to the left of Labor will eventually flow back in preferences.

Rudd knows this and so in his maniacal and overwhelming desire to regain and hold onto the Prime Ministership he is prepared to abandon every principle he ever had.

We should not be surprised by this. Rudd is like all the other creatures in the Parliamentary wing of the ALP — including the fake lefts Kim Carr and Albo, Cameron, etc —  he is a careerist and an opportunist and, it seems, a heartless bastard to boot.

Not one of the left-bum-cheek excuses for a Labor Party caucus member, not even the caring and sharing women, will dare to say anything against this travesty and denial of what they claim to stand for. Instead, they will sit quietly and look away, pretending it’s not about them and silently praying that this monster will deliver them another four years on the Treasury benches.

As a piece of political theatre Rudd’s ruthless demonising of Iranians, Iraqis, Afghans, Sri Lankans and other asylum seekers was brilliant. But, it won’t stop the boats. As many have pointed out, dealing with the causes of the exodus from source countries requires more aid and more humanitarian policies.

It might also require an admission that Australia’s role in the global (and laughable) “war on terror” and decade long occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan might have something to do with the humanitarian crisis that causes global population flows (‘refugees’, if you like). None of that is likely from KRudd and his spineless caucus colleagues.

I think that the real target of Labor’s new slogan: You won’t be settled in Australia, is not asylum seekers waiting for the next leaky boat in Indonesia and it’s not Iranians contemplating leaving Iran because of political persecution (Rudd’s so-called ‘economic’ refugees — at this point I need to expel one almighty “GET FUCKED!” in his direction).

The real target of the reactionary and inhumane slogan – which incidentally breaches just about every UN protocol on the treatment of refugees – is Australian voters.

It has to be. How else can you explain the decision to spend a boatload of cash on placing full-page advertisements in the Australian national press this weekend.

How many copies of The Australian, the SMH, the Daily Telegraph, the Age and the Herald-Sun are sold in Jakarta, Colombo, Kabul, Baghdad and Teheran? “Diddly-fucking-squat minus infinity” might be the right answer.

Of course News Limited and Fairfax Media give away hundreds of papers each day to the airlines so maybe the idea behind publishing the offensive ads was to make sure that the low-paid cleaners who service Qantas flights in far-away airports might pick up a discarded newspaper and show it to family members of friends thinking of making the perilous journey to Christmas Island by boat.

It is sure to change their minds.

Incidentally, now that this new ‘policy’ (excuse me while I barf copiously and wipe up the vomit with my Kevin 07 T-shirt) is in place and going forward, try Googling Immigration Department Australia, it is an interesting exercise:

The paid-for Google listing

The paid-for Google listing

The top-ranked hit is a paid-for spot and the link takes you straight to this.

I haven’t seen a television commercial carrying this message yet in Australia, but it can’t be far away.

And it won’t be tagged with “authorised by the Australian Labor Party, Canberra.” It will be badged as an “Australian government” ad, just like the others that are cloggiing up our TV screens at the moment, for the NDIS, the NBN and family payments.

I bet we won’t be seeing ads for the removal of FBT benefits for people who salary sacrifice cars though. This is a very unpopular policy and it seems to be the direct cause of hundreds of clerical workers losing their jobs in the novated lease industry.

Fucking great KRudd, you’ve staggered so far to the right that now middle income Australians who get a small tax break for buying a new car on a novated lease are being demonised as ‘fat cats’ by your government.

Next thing you know, anyone who complains about the disgusting, vile stinking mess that the modern Australian Labor Party has become, or who dares to remind people that it once had a strong working class ethos and actually defended the rights of workers who were fighting bosses for the eight-hour day, or that Labor fought racism to unionise the Chinese furniture makers of Melbourne, will be carted off to Manus Island and resettled in Papua New Guinea.

Lucky for us, KRudd regards that basket case as an “emerging democracy”. I, for one, can’t wait to enjoy my future there.

I know, this is an angry post, it needs to be. Sometimes it is good to get stuff off your chest.

In the end, I can always calm myself down. This time it might take a dose of jumping around the kitchen, singing loudly.

Let’s start with this one.


Gillard and Rudd – the modern day “Lib Lab” sell-outs and shucksters

June 28, 2013

The cover of Thompson’s epic work on William Morris

I’m reading EP Thompson’s fantastic book on William Morris and at the moment I’m enjoying the chapters on Morris’ conversion from a romantic to a revolutionary. It’s full of great slabs from some of Thompson’s lectures on art and socialism. Shiela Rowbotham rightly calls this 800+ epic one of her books ‘of a lifetime’.
But what’s most energising about the section on Morris’ coming to socialism is his commitment to actually building an organisation. He absolutely understands the need to propagandise and he regularly stood out on the streets selling his party’s newspaper.
Morris was not an armchair comrade. He recognised the need for discipline and leadership. And this was at a time (1880-84) when most of Marx’ writings were not translated into English. This is a fragment of a speech made by Morris in 1883 or 1884. Thompson says it is from “Art and the People”, but I can’t find it in the Marxists archive copy of that speech.

“I say it is the plain duty of those who believe in the necessity of social revolution, quite irrespectively of any date they may give to the event, first to express their own discontent and hope when and where they can, striving to impress it on others; secondly to learn from books and from living people who are willing…to teach them, in as much detail as possible waht are the ends and the hopes of the Social Revolution; and thirdly to join any body of men [sic] which is honestly striving to give means of expression to that discontent and hope, and to teach people the details of the aim of Constructive Socialism.”

[I would be grateful if anyone can find an online reference that confirms the source of this quote / or can send me a PDF of the pages and a bibliographic reference to a book or pamphlet]

Not only could Morris design fantastic furniture and wallpaper, he was a pioneer of the communist movement in Britain.

The other observation I would make is very relevant to the current discussion about Gillard v. Rudd and the wash up of that sordid little shit fight.
Have you noticed that Gillard ‘retires’ on a ‘pension‘ of $200,000 a year; that she gets a car and driver, free air travel an office and staff.
WTF!
Gillard represented one of the most working class electorates in the country and workers in her seat are losing their jobs hand over fist. Holden workers are being pressured to take a pay cut and a year ago Toyota workers were marched out of their jobs by hired goons.
All Gillard could do was offer the fucking car companies extra welfare payments.
WTFx2!

The link between Gillard and Morris in the 1880s is what was known in the late 19th century as the “Lib Lab” movement. The electoral politics of the day meant that many union leaders were riding on the coat tails of the so-called radical Liberal party and they agitated to get more ‘workingmen’ [sic] into the Palace of Westminster.
At the end of the day these ‘leaders’ of the working class were sell-out merchants who supported British imperialism abroad and a cross-class alliance at home that was a barrier to workers coming to proletarian consciousness.
We have to view the Labor party today in such a light.

Gillard and Rudd (and all the rest, including “Albo” (WTFx3 is that awful nickname about?) are a million miles from the working class today, despite the hoary legends of their meagre childhoods.
Neither Gillard nor Rudd nor Albo has the interests of Australian workers at heart; they are more intent on “Lib Lab” alliances with big business and not scaring the conservative horses(arses).
This is how Thompson described the “Lib Lab” faction of the 1880s. It still rings true today.

“Crazed faces, incendiary torches, dynamiters and assassins—there were men within the [late 19th century] Socialist movement as well as without who could not shake off the bourgeois caricature of the proletarian revolution.” (Thompson, 1976, p. 292)


Class war in Australia? In your dreams Tony

May 11, 2012

The history of all hiterhto existing society is the history of class struggles…in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight…The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of fuedal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new forms of struggle in place of the old ones.

Marx & Engels – The Communist Manifesto

Everywhere, it seems, except in Australia.

The myth of egalitarian and classless Australia has served the ruling class well. It is a convenient deceit that leads to passivity and an unnamed restless feeling that things could be different if only… The idea that we are somehow all middle class denies us the possibility of a better world. It also leads to the self-loathing sentiment that if we fail it is our own fault. It leads to the doublethink situation in which feelings of inadequacy fuel our aspiration.

On the other side of that ideological coin is the idea that it is only the ‘Left’ that doesn’t believe in this myth and that the ‘Left’ promotes agitation for its own devious ends, rather than to fight for a more just distribution of wealth. Only old Trots like me (and the dupes who I’ve duped) believe in class any more – that’s the myth peddled in the mainstream media.

This week the ruling class’s lackeys in the mainstream media have again invoked this twisted image of class war to, attack the Labor government and endorse Tony Abbott as the Prime Minister in waiting.

Unfortunately this is myth of egalitarian mateship and fair-go, fair-dinkum class-free Australia is far from the truth.

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