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IndyWatch Aussie Politics Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.

Tuesday, 19 June

00:06

Catallaxy Exclusive Australian Broadcasting Corporation has not paid tax for at least 20 years "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

In an investigative exclusive, it can be reported that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has not paid any company tax for at least 20 years.

A deep analysis of the ABCs 2016-17 audited financial accounts has shown that, despite revenues of over $1.1 billion (Government and own source), not a single cent of tax was paid.  But according to the ABCs Chief Economics Correspondent, Emma Alberici:

And while the Treasurer and Finance Minister warn that Australias relatively high headline corporate tax rate means Australia remains uncompetitive and companies will choose to invest in lower taxing countries, the facts dont bear that out.

Although previous ABC research has shown that Qantas has not paid company tax for 10 years, the ABC has not paid tax for longer than that.  Alberici further noted:

A zero corporate tax bill at Qantas has certainly seen one significant wage rise at the company the chief executives. The benefit to workers has been less pronounced.

This is a similar phenomenon at the ABC with its chief executives salary being at least $0.9 million per annum and its top presenters salary being $0.5 million per annum.

When contacted, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) refused to comment on whether there was any investigation of the ABCs tax payments being undertaken.  ATO spokesperson Bob DBuilder said:

The ATO does not comment on such company specific matters.  But as a citizen, I enjoy watching ABC shows, especially Peppa Pig.  #justsaying.

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Subscribe to the Sparta-Blog at eyamspartacus.wordpress.com

00:00

JOHN PILGER: Bringing Julian Assange home "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

JOHN PILGER: Bringing Julian Assange homeMalcolm Turnbull can seize this opportunity to defend the life of an Australian citizen and bring Julian Assange home. read now...

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Monday, 18 June

23:10

In which the pond indulges in its regular Cater Watch ... "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"




Well, there's a tidy way to start off the day's Caterist watch, thanks to Media Watch here

And so the Caterist piece of the day, though the pond will leave the question of whether the Caterist will seek to prove his truths without expert evidence to more learned judges

So what's the theme of the day?


The free market? Oh, that reminds the pond that it should pause for a sponsor message. 

This homily on the free market is helpfully aided by a government grant from the Department of F...

22:00

Day to Day Politics: Two weeks of mayhem. "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Tuesday 19 June 2018 After further consideration and another clue I am prepared to say that it is still possible to have a federal election in September or October. The next two weeks of the sitting of the Parliament the Government has a full agenda and noticeably missing is a bill to ban foreign donations.

The post Day to Day Politics: Two weeks of mayhem. appeared first on The AIM Network.

18:33

John Pilger: The Persecution of Julian Assange Must End + Transcript "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Dandelion Salad with John Pilger WSWS on Jun 18, 2018 Hundreds of people participated in Sundays demonstration in Sydney Town Hall Square to demand Julian Assanges safe return to Australia. The rally, organized by the Socialist Equality Party, featured speeches from SEP Australia national secretary James Cogan and independent journalist and filmmaker John Pilger. Vision []

16:16

OUR ABC: Will voters be foolish enough to believe Turnbull Government protestations of innocence? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"


The Liberal Party of Australia Federal Councilcomprises 14 delegates from each State and the ACT - the State / Territory President, the State / Territory Parliamentary Leader, the President of the Young Liberal Movement, the President / Chairman of the Womens Council and 10 other delegates.


More than 100 Liberal Party MPs, senators and party members were in Sydney on 16 June 2018 for the partys 60th annual federal council which is expected to be the last one before the next federal election.

Here are some of the smiling faces at the event readers might recognise.

Twitter: A bevy of Liberal ministers: Sen. Mitch Fifield, Sen. Mathias Cormann, Julie...

16:15

Worshipping Trump has a scary parallel "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"


United States of America, May 2018

Deutsches Reich, also known as the Third Reich, circa 1933-1945

'Dedicated:  in unutterable thanks to the blessed parents the mother who gave birth to "Our Furhrer"' - Text of a handmade Mother's Day card sent to Adolf Hitler [Daily Beast, 12 April 2015]

13:30

After womans death and a sexual attack in a park, Victoria Police tell citizens, Take responsibility for your safety "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Strict gun control laws in Australia make it very difficult for a woman to best determine how to take responsibility for her own safety. Do tell #GunControlNow crowd (who love the gun control model of other countries), why do you Continue reading

12:51

What do you call a crooked union official in jail "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

What do you call a crooked union official in jail?  A good start?  Not enough?  Desire?  All of the above?

As reported in the AFR:

Derrick Belan, the former head of the National Union of Workers NSW, has been sentenced to four years in jail after being found guilty of defrauding his union more than $650,000 and spending the money for his own personal benefit, including botox injections, a tattoo, cruises and a Harley Davidson.

Good thing there is no Prime Ministerial Pardon power in Australia.

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10:00

The perils of popularism "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

This week we originally were going to be discussing Pauline Hansons One Nation party and their apparent habit of losing Senators. After all, to lose one Senator is careless, two is a concern and so on. Apart from the Betoota Advocate doing the satire better, they also bring in the relevant point of popularism. Hanson is President

The post The perils of popularism appeared first on The AIM Network.

09:25

Cutting High Functioning Autism Funding Re: NDIS "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

By Jane Salmon The person who allegedly killed Euridyce Dixon has been said to be struggling with autism. This is not an excuse for anything he may have done. What has happened is inexcusable. Not only has a fine woman of wit and conscience had her life taken  Not only has someone innocent died in

The post Cutting High Functioning Autism Funding Re: NDIS appeared first on The AIM Network.

09:14

A new society shattering statistic "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

In 2004 I introduced a new statistic to the Australian policy debate:

In 1996/97, the top 25% of income earners paid 61% of total net tax; by 2000/01 they were paying 64% of it.

At the time this caused a huge kerfuffle. It just wasnt true, Davidson is making up statistics on the spot, the tax burden is proportional, etc. etc. etc.

Yesterday I did it again. Well to be fair, Chris Berg and I did it in our new book Against Public Broadcasting: Why and how we should privatise the ABC.  Yesterday the Outsiders on SkyNews tweeted a very specific claim we make in the book and in our The Spectator piece published last Thursday.

A 2013 survey revealed that ABC journalists are almost 5 times more likely to be Greens voters than the average voter and twice more likely to vote Greens than the average journalist.

Twitter has gone mad. Gone mad you say? Yes.  Its just not true, Davidson has made it up, why does my employer employ me, etc. etc. etc.

So here is the link to the peer reviewed research: Hanusch, F. 2013. Journalists in times of change: evidence from a new survey of Australias journalistic workforce. Australian Journalism Review, 35(1): 29 42.

Here is the plain language explanation of the peer reviewed research.

However, 41.2% of the 34 ABC journalists who declared a voting intention said they would vote for the Greens, followed by 32.4% for Labor and 14.7% for the Coalition.

In contrast, 46.5% of 86 News Limited journalists who answered this question said they would vote for Labor, 26.7% for the Coalition, and only 19.8% for the Greens. As well as The Australian, the News stable includes some of the countrys best-selling tabloids such as the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, Courier-Mail, Northern Territory News and the Adelaide Advertiser, and some suburban newspapers.

Among the 86 Fairfax Media journalists who responded, Labor was by far the most popular party at 54.7% support, followed by the Coalition and the Greens, both on 19.8%. The Fairfax journalists came from outlets including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times, a range of regional and suburban news...

09:00

Paterson's Curse ... "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"


Up Tamworth way, the cockies and squatters were always wary of Paterson's Curse. It was a blight on the landscape

Of course we could argue about the spelling - some prefer Patterson - and the name - some prefer Salvation Jane - but the pond prefers the Curse, and according to science writer Peter Macinnis, here, it scored this name as a result of the Paterson family introducing it into the Albury district in the nineteenth century

These days it's still to be found everywhere, and a new variant strain of the Curse has turned up lately in the lizard Oz.

Apparently the lizards of Oz are unaware of the dangers, and so, in order to maintain their crisis in Western Civilisation, they imported Paterson to deliver a few curses

The pond knew immediately it was important because they assigned Urban to regurgitate what the Paterson scribbled


That's how it goes when the reptiles are on a crusade.

Run the opinion piece, and also run an alleged news piece on the opinion piece, so there's a tupenny bunger making a louder noise.

The pond has no idea what the urbane Urban feels about being made a parrot for a remarkably stupid idea, but she does her job of pa...

08:30

Eurydice Dixon: The message for women is clear "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Eurydice Dixon: The message for women is clearIn Australia, violence against women and girls is considered an inevitability about which authorities can apparently do nothing. read now...

08:27

Jesus, Sacrifice & Forgiveness. Why We Need to Take Another Look. "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

This is a longer than usual piece. So grab a cuppa and take some time

For most of my life Ive thought that the Old Testament sacrificial system was a way for people to be forgiven for their sins. The death of an animal was a powerful reminder to Israelites that they deserved to die for their sin, but that God accepted the animal as a substitute for them.

This then affected the way I read the story of Jesus. When he forgave sins without requiring people to offer sacrifices at the temple, he was effectively declaring that he,  not the temple, now represented the presence of God. When he died on the cross, he became the sacrifice of all sacrifices, paying the penalty for my sins so that I could be free.

Recently I have been reading through the Old Testament teaching around sacrifice. Its not something we often do, for it is a very foreign world with its talk of things and places being holy, clean or unclean, and is full of intricate and detailed rules regarding ways sacrifices are to be made. Given we no longer make sacrifices it is difficult to be motivated to explore these texts. Yet I have been surprised to discover that the Old Testament sacrificial system was not about the forgiveness of sin but the ritual cleansing of the pollution of sin. This has significant implications for how we understand Jesus and his death.

The sacrificial system is described in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Leviticus the most extensive. There were five types of sacrifice:

1. Burnt offering
2. Grain offering
3. Fellowship offering
4. Sin offering
5. Guilt offering

The two sacrifices related to forgiveness of sin were the sin offering and the guilt offering. These are extensively described in Leviticus chapters 4-6. They were not sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins in general, but could be offered only for unintentional sins. Chapter 4, which describes the sin offering, begins

when anyone since unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lords commands

In verse 13 it continues

if the whole Israelite community since unintentionally does what is full beaded in any of the Lords commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter, when they realise their guilt and the sin becomes known, the assembly must bring a young bull was a sin offering

The guilt offering seems to be distinguished by the fact that it is for unintentional sins in regard to any of the Lords holy things (5:15).

The sacrificial system did not provide a means by which the adulterer, the murderer, the thief, the violent, the oppressive, could find...

05:57

Where every failure is punished with more money and power "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

The United States has the largest number of people in jail. And not per capita but in absolute terms. Yes, despite a population of around 1/4 of China (325 m vs 1.4 billion), there are more people in US jails than in Chinese jails. And of the perhaps 2.5 million in US jails, see the lovely diagram following, perhaps 1/7th are incarcerated in California.

Why are these numbers so and what happened around 1980 that kicked up a previously continuous 60 year trend? Well, consideration might be given to increased focus on crime or perhaps the notion of privatised prisons. But greater weight should be given to the role of prison guard unions.

In 2016-17 in California, it cost around US$71K per annum to house to incarcerate an inmate:

Since 2010-11, the average annual cost has increased by about $22,000 or about 45 percent. This includes an increase of $7,900 for security and $7,200 for inmate health care. This increase has been driven by various factors, including (1) employee compensation, (2) increased inmate health care costs, and (3) operational costs related to additional prison capacity to reduce prison overcrowding.

And not only did the numbers of inmates increase and the quality of prisons decrease but:

The growth of Californias incarceration system, and the decline of its quality, tracks the accession to ...

05:16

Resources curse PNG communities future "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Author: Michael Main. Source: East Asia Forum

Two recent reports on the massive ExxonMobil-led PNG LNG project have brought renewed attention to the undesirable economic and social impacts of Papua New Guineas largest-ever resource extraction enterprise. This research shows that PNG LNG has hurt, rather than grown, PNGs economy and that it has inflamed violence and tensions in the PNG highlands region. Papua New Guineas so-called resource curse has hit local communities the hardest.

Violent conflict in the PNG highlands, certainly among the Huli landowners of Hela Province where PNG LNG is based, has been an almost constant feature since before first contact with colonial forces in the 1930s. Levels of violence have fluctuated markedly in response to historical conditions. The 1970s and 1980s were relatively peaceful, as PNG transitioned from Australian administration into the early independence years. But local political frustrations combined with the introduction of guns led to high rates of violence in the highlands around the 1992 elections.

Since that decade, Papua New Guineas government services have been in constant decline. A new generation of Huli has emerged that is less educated than the generation of its parents Huli who were educated between the 1960s and 1980s are more literate and fluent in English than those who were of school age from the 1990s onwards. Health has deteriorated with a decline in health services and the introduction of store-bought processed food. By the late 2000s, when the PNG government was promoting the PNG LNG project as a looming economic miracle for the country, the Huli population was desperate for a project that they believed would raise them from the state of poverty and neglect that had gradually descended upon them since independence.

During the first few years of the PNG LNG projects construction, it looked as if all its grand promises were being fulfilled. ExxonMobil and its partners invested US$19 billion a staggering amount for a country whose GDP was a little over US$8 billion in 2009 (just before construction began). Cash was everywhere in the projects area, and this cash was accompanied by plentiful....

05:00

In which the pond does a double bill of the Major and the Oreo but patrons need to bring their own popcorn ... "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

 

The pond was expecting that the reptiles' very own Major Mitchell would explain this day what would happen should the dogs ever catch the car.

For years the reptiles have railed at the ABC, and finally they're ever so close to the car, so close to achieving the dream, and then Stephen Brooks gets cold paws, and worries about catching the car...

Surely Brook's bleat about the ABC being privatised is completely wrong, surely the Major would have the inside nod from the Chairman about the way he was preparing a privatisation bid, surely the Major had a plan for when the reptiles caught the ABC ownership bus

Sadly, as he often does, the Major failed the test, and instead the pond was confronted with this double bill and a shortage of popcorn


Sheesh, more bloody Trumpism, as if the world wasn't full enough of it already but the pond knew its duty, and buckled up for the double bill


It's true, it's true, the Soviet Union is no more.

But look on the bright side. They've got the Crimea back, they've made a mess of the Ukraine and they're well a...

04:42

Not achieved "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Back in 2010, the then-National government sacked the elected Canterbury Regional Council and replaced it with a group of unelected dictators. One of the key tasks of National's dictators was to implement the Canterbury Water Management Strategy, a collaboratively developed plan to improve Canterbury's water. But it turns out that the strategy has been a failure:

A report looking into the 10th anniversary of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) suggests it has failed numerous goals to protect the health of rivers and the environment.

But an Environment Canterbury councillor is pouring cold water on the concern, saying it was not an official report.

The report, presented to CWMS's regional committee, gives marks out of 10 against the strategy's initial goals, and how it was meeting them.

Some goals, such as maintaining rural community viability, and "ensuring high levels of audited self-management", received good marks. However, protecting "ecosystems, habitats and landscapes and indigenous biodiversity received a zero out of 10.


And really, that's not surprising: the strategy's use of regional "zone committees" in practice means turning over control of water to farmers, who unsurprisingly give it to themselves. The committees are so conflicted and corrupt and unwilling to consider environmental issues that environmental organisations have simply walked away from them rather than lend them legitimacy. Which is a huge failure for a strategy supposedly based on "collaboration".

The only way we will get proper management of Canterbury's water is with a fully elected council which gives a full voice to Canterbury's people. Fortunately that will be happening next year.

04:13

18C bottles handing on the wall "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

As Cats and others who pay attention to news in Australia will know, there have been some horrible (alleged) child abuse incidents in the Northern Territory recently reported.  Spartacus has long wanted to write something on the matter but has been put off by the risks posed by Section 18C of the Race Discrimination Act.  Spartacus will write something on the subject later, but it will will not be what Spartacus really wants to write.  Not because Spartacus was wanting to write something racist, but because someone, a single person somewhere out in the ether might be offended.

And for those who think that 18C is not a plague on speech in Australia, you are either ignorant or idiotic.  As John Courtney Murray said in 1961, yes 1961:

I suggest that the real enemy within the gates of the city is not the Communist, but the idiot. Here I am using the word idiot not in its customary, contemporary vernacular usage of one who is mentally deficient. No, I am going back to the primitive Greek usage; the idiot meant, first of all, the private person, and then came to mean the man who does not possess the public philosophy, the man who is not master of the knowledge and the skills that underlie the life of the civilized city. The idiot, to the Greek, was just one stage removed from the barbarian. He is the man who is ignorant of the meaning of the word civility.

The system of speech supervision that has flowed from Section 18C and its administration by the Human Rights Commission has created a model of asymmetric costs and benefits.  There are almost no costs (economic or reputational) for lodging an 18C related complaint, and in fact, a complainants identity can be protected.  On the other hand, the costs (economic or reputational) for having an 18C related complaint lodged against you are enormous (reference Bill Leek).

The Human Rights Commission also claims to act as an impartial arbiter of complains, but unlike a Court of Law is not bound by proper administrative processes (reference QUT students).  Further, unlike a Court of Law, the Human Rights Commission does not make costs order against complainants where the complaint is spurious, is withdrawn or fails.

Coupled with the Human Rights Commission touting for business and its bureaucratic incentive to have as many complaints as possible so as to maximise its budget and importance, this creates a system that is biased against speech.  Basically, heads speech is punished, tails no speech occurs.

And for what?  For causing offence or insult.

The barbarians are not at the gate.  They are inside th...

04:00

Nice personal data you have there shame if something were to happen to it "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Nice personal data you have there shame if something were to happen to itWhat we need to know is all our personal information is being compiled to be accessed by one little identifier called MyGovID. read now...

03:44

You Choose "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Spartacus is currently reading a wonderful book by Jonah Goldberg called Suicide of the West.  Highly, very highly, recommended.  And it is rather topical at the moment with the on going discussion of the teaching of Western Civilisation in Australian universities.

However, in his book Goldberg makes an interest contrast.  He describes capitalism as a system which makes everyone richer, but some richer faster than others (inequality).   He then describes socialism as a system that makes everyone poor, but equally poor (equality).

So Australians.  There is a choice to be made at the next election so dont be confused.  The choice seems not to be how much inequality we can tolerate so that every boat is lifted but rather how much poorer do we want to be so that we can say there is less inequality.

You choose.

And if this sounds like Australias climate policy where we are making everyone poorer, not to impact climate, but to say we are doing something, this is probably not a coincidence.

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03:13

Australias carbon tax Mark II "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

I have an article this morning in Quadrant-on-line addressing the latest developments involving  The National Energy Guarantee (NEG) Australias new carbon tax.  This is to operate by requiring electricity retailers to ensure their supplies conform to a progressively declining level of greenhouse gas emissions.  And, as each generator has a unique carbon footprint, there will be a diversity of prices.

We are, therefore reintroducing a price on carbon, the carbon tax, enclosed in a vanilla wrapper, disarmingly advertised as technology neutral.

Not only do we have a carbon tax but its implementation adds a new complexity to the electricity market.

As renewables are more costly than coal and gas the average price to households and businesses will increase.

It is easy to see why this economy-wrecking policy has been put into place.  The original carbon tax was introduced by Julia Gillard and devised by the then Secretary of the Climate Change Department, Martin Parkinson.  Malcolm Turnbull, as leader of the Opposition, supported that policy and, after refusing to reconsider, was defeated on the issue by Tony Abbott.  Under Gillard, Parkinson was promoted to the Secretary of Treasury.

On becoming Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, in line with his commitment, repealed the carbon tax.  After a decent interval he also fired Martin Parkinson.

On becoming PM, Turnbull appointed Parkinson to head up his own Department, from which position he has immense influence to dictate energy and climate policy.  Moreover as head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Parkinson is able to play a key role in selecting appointments in the bureaucracy proper and in the quangos that administer and advise on energy policy.

This has placed irresistible pressure on the Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg who has to sell the policy and seek out ways he can neutralize some of its features.

My Quadrant piece is...

02:51

Worldwide Protests to Take Place on Sixth Anniversary of Julian Assange Entering the Ecuadorian Embassy "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Protests will be taking place across the globe on Tuesday as supporters of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange call for his freedom on the sixth anniversary of his entering the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

There are confirmed rallies in the USA, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland, India, Sri Lanka, and the UK.

In the United States, protesters will be hitting the streets outside the White House as well as in New York City, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco.

The Gateway Pundit will be present at the rally outside the White House in Lafayette Park, which begins at 11 a.m. EST. Speakers include activists from across the political spectrum including Ray McGovern, Marsha Coleman Adebayo, Margaret Flowers, Code Pinks Medea Benjamin, Kevin Zeese, Angel Fox and Lee Stranahan. More information about the protest can be found on the Facebook event page.

According to a press release from organizers, the protesters are demanding that Australia, Britain and the US abide by the UN ruling that Assange be allowed his freedom and be compensated for the injustice that has been done to him. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has repeatedly ruled that Assange is being illegally detained.

In March, Ecuador caved to pressure from the United States and Spanish governments to isolate Assange by revoking his right to have visitors, make phone calls or use the internet. With no access to the outside world or means of communication, he is now being kept in conditions worse than our prisoners in solitary confinement.

 

The post Worldwide Protests to Take Place on Sixth Anniversary of Julian Assange Entering the Ecuadorian Embassy appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

01:47

The RMA and deterrence "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Our environment is under threat. We have farmers polluting our rivers and sucking aquifers dry. Our own "defence" force is poisoning people's drinking water. Greedy property developers cut down protected native trees. And that's just a few recent examples. In theory, all of this should be prevented by the RMA: environmentally damaging activities require resource consent, and there are hefty fines or even prison terms to deter people who don't bother. But the problem is that none of that is enforced: local councils just don't prosecute:

Fewer than a hundred prosecutions are being carried out under New Zealand's main environmental law each year, despite thousands of breaches.

Now a legal researcher is investigating whether the 27-year-old Resource Management Act (RMA) is having the deterrent effect that any law including criminal offences should.

[...]

"There is a difference between the law itself and how it works in practice," he said.

"There are thousands if not tens of thousands of breaches of the RMA every year, yet under 100 prosecutions a year."


Many of those breaches are minor, and better resolved by an infringement offence and bringing them into compliance. But local councils are looking the other way on major environmental crimes with irreversible effects. And the effect is obvious: people keep on committing those crimes, because there is no penalty for them, not even one as simple as having to stop. And that's just not good enough.

Our environmental laws need to be enforced. If local councillors are unwilling to direct their councils to do that, then we should elect ones who are. Local government elections are just over a year away, so making sure your council knows that you will be judging them on their prosecution rate is probably a good idea.

00:44

Stopping the orcs in their tracks "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

When the government was elected, they promised to end mining on conservation land. And they're delivering:

An application to mine coal on public conservation land near Te Kuha in the Buller District has been declined, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Minister of Energy Resources Megan Woods announced today.

Rangitira Developments Ltd had applied for an access arrangement under the Crown Minerals Act to mine 12 hectares of public conservation land in the Mt Rochfort Conservation Area, near Te Kuha, as part of a large opencast coal mine.

The 12 ha area is part of the companys 116 ha mining proposal and compromises approximately 10 per cent of the planned mine site and open cast pit. Most of land which the company seeks to mine is within the Westport Water Conservation Reserve vested in, and managed by, the Buller District Council. The Council is the decision-maker for mining access to that area.

The Ministers declined the application to mine 12 hectares of conservation land because it was not considered that the mines potential economic benefits were large enough to outweigh the irreparable damage to an area with very high, unique and nationally significant conservation values.


This decision was made under the existing law, and was made possible simply by having a different Minister who listened to DoC's views on ecological significance rather than ignoring them as National had done. Obviously, we want a safer framework so we don't have to rely on that happy coincidence in future, but for the moment it'll do. The orcs have been stopped in their tracks!

The Minister has saved a whole mountain from being dug up and turned into a scar. But she's also sent a clear message to the coal industry that they have no future in New Zealand (or at least, no future on conservation land, which is pretty much the same thing, because that's where most of the coal is). If it has a chilling effect on future coal investment, so much the better: this is not an industry we want or can afford to have in New Zealand anymore. The sooner it dies, the better.

00:00

The Turnbull Government: Those that would destroy the ABC "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

The Turnbull Government: Those that would destroy the ABCThe 110 members of the annual Federal Council of the Liberal Party have voted overwhelmingly to sell off the ABC. read now...

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Sunday, 17 June

23:04

In which the gravedigger is blessed by a Lobbecke and stakes a claim for a weekly column in humbuggery ... "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"


First the pond must pause to admire today's admirable - nay epic - effort by the reptiles at doing a Copperfield and disappearing its "Newspoll" from the tree killer edition front page  

Oh it's there tucked, away in a box, below the ravaging of Comrade Bill, magically headed "Turnbull hits high", as with a wave of the wand, the 34th 52/48 loss in a row is transformed into a win

Of course trolls and bots on the Twitter feed weren't quite as impressed


Pathetic? 

How cruel and how unkind, and with that under its belt the pond thought it might ease into Monday with a most worthy Oreo lite biccie because whoever has been blessed by a Lobbecke must have attention paid,  suggesting, as it does, a grand attempt at hypocrisy and humbug


Yes, not even the original undiluted Oreo is blessed this day with a Lobbecke of that quality, and it turned out that it was the attention-seeking Sexton doing his very best to ingratiate himself with the lizard overlords

Anyone who can work "the politicall...

16:34

The Australian Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs put a dog whistle to his lips and blew hard last week "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"



This is Australian Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Liberal MP for Aston and child of British migrant parents, Alan Edward Tudge, quoted by ABC News on 14 June 2018:

The Federal Government is considering new English language requirements for anyone seeking permanent residency, with figures showing close to 1 million people in Australia cannot speak basic English.

Australia accepts up to 190,000 permanent migrants each year and while they need to prove they can understand English, their spouses, children and extended family accompanying them do not.

Multicultural Affairs Minister Alan Tudge argued this had created the "concerning situation" where "close to a million" Australians now do not speak the national language.

"That's not in the interests of those migrants but nor is it in the interests of social cohesion, because if we can't communicate with one another, it's very difficult to integrate," he said.

...

14:29

John Pilger, et al: Australias Guns: Control, Culture, Bias "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Dandelion Salad with John Pilger goingundergroundRT on Jun 8, 2018 Co-hosts Tyrel Ventura and Tabetha Wallace venture down under to Australia to interview a number of experts, including Pulitzer Prize winner John Pilger, on gun violence, gun culture, and the differences between gun ownership in the US and Australia. *** [The second half of Lee Camps []

13:30

Can Trumps Singapore Summit farce alert us to the need to protect our own democracy? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

A new story, a new beginning, one of peace. Two men, two leaders, one destiny. A story in a special moment in time. When a man is presented with one chance that may never be repeated, what will he choose? High-tech-sci-fi labs, fast trains and a slam-dunking basketballer flit across the screen as a bizarre,

The post Can Trumps Singapore Summit farce alert us to the need to protect our own democracy? appeared first on The AIM Network.

11:01

They know it is wrong but, if it works, who cares? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Concetta Fierravanti-Wells has written an essay in which she acknowledges that Muslims in Australia face prejudice, and that instilling fear and hatred is an easy, but unhelpful, course of action. She references Robert Menzies who argued that the cultivation of the spirit of hatred against the Japanese was not a proper instrument of war policy.

The post They know it is wrong but, if it works, who cares? appeared first on The AIM Network.

09:00

Peter OBrien: Frydenberg again "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Heres Frydenberg at it again:

And in the words of the AMEC, you only get offered a discount from the energy company when you threaten to leave to go to another one. Thats effectively a loyalty tax thats being imposed on the customers (and) thats not good enough these companies have a social licence to operate

God help us!  And again, what planet does he live on?  All businesses, particularly those within the insurance industry, that are not contract based, will offer additional discounts to avoid losing existing customers.  All businesses, including power companies, operate to make, indeed to maximise, a profit and if they do not do so they will be punished in the stock market and investors will lose.  In the long run, their success depends upon them being flexible and nimble and this includes variable pricing.  The upside for customers in this business model is that they do, now, have this leverage leverage they would not have if they were locked into contracts (which would be the preferred model of the business).

And as for social licence to operate.  To hear that from a supposedly conservative government minister just beggars belief and gives me virtually no hope for the future.  Wasnt it Frydenberg who, contemptuously, rejected Tony Abbotts call for the government to step in and purchase Liddell if AGL refused to keep it going, as being contrary to the free market principles  that Conservatives espouse.  How does the concept of a social licence to operate fit in with those principles, Josh?

If there is such a thing as a social licence to operate in our democratic society it does not reside on the market side of the equation.  From time immemorial, societies have advanced on the back of trade the willing exchange of goods, services and money.  It does not need a licence to operate it operates because that is what society wants and needs.  If anyone should be constrained by a social licence to operate it is government.  We, the people, grant to government, certain powers to intervene in our normal endeavours for strictly limited purposes, for example, to protect us against wrong doing by powerful corporations.  At least, thats how it should work.  What we are increasingly seeing is that government is ignoring its social licence to operate and imposing itself more and more into our lives.  Government has become its own raison detre.

09:00

In which an overwhelming sense of ennui and pointlessness overwhelms the pond ... "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"


The pond thought it had done with the reptiles for the day, and then this tweet came up, and it got the pond to thinking about pointless jobs at pointless newspapers and how they seemed to be on the pointless rise

Note, for example, the abject pointlessness of good old Brownie rushing in to fill the pointless digital void this day


The pond had already looked at the lesser Craven, but what about the pointlessness of Brownie being given the top pointless slot?


Well yes, the reptiles are urging the universities o,n in the slow march to the mad Donald right, but thank the long absent lord they haven't yet reached the rabid stupidity of the onion muncher

There was a lot of huffing and puffing in the build-up, but the header immediately gave the game away when it turned out the reptiles were doing a beat-up citing  jihadist Josh ...

08:35

Maybe we need a degree in Western Civilization after all "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Ive kept out of the latest silly culture war so far, but I couldnt resist this from Josh Frydenberg. After decrying a long march to the left in Australian universities, he says

It is absolutely critical that the next generation of students understand about where the rule of law came from, where democracy came from, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, womens suffrage

Looking through that list, it can be described as a potted summary of the long march to the left  in Britain (and by extension Australia) over the course of the long 19th century from the French and American revolutions to the outbreak of the Great War.  At the beginning of that period, Freydenbergs conservative precursors supported the rule of law, and opposed democracy, freedom of speech and religion and womens suffrage. It was only after long struggles that restrictions on freedom of speech and religion like the Six Acts and Penal Laws  were repealed. The fight for (initialy male-only) democracy and womens suffrage took even longer.

If we extended Frydenbergs list into the 20th century, wed get something like this University of Sydney course which covers

struggles over labour rights and working conditions in the 1900s, womens suffrage, Aboriginal land rights, race relations and the White Australia Policy, homelessness during the Great Depression, freedom of speech during the Cold War, the Vietnam Moratorium and sexual liberation in the 1970s, the environmental movement, refugees and asylum seekers, and LGBT rights today

Looking at this mess, I think we might need a course in the history of Western Civilisation after all. It should be provided to people like Frydenberg and dAbrera so they can decide exactly whether they want to stop the clock at 1970, 1950 or perhaps at 1900.

08:27

What they said: PVO on selling the ABC "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

THE ABC should be privatised to save the taxpayer the more than $1 billion it costs each year to run, to reap a one-off injection of revenue from the sale price to help retire government debt, and to remove a government-funded goliath that is interfering with the market in the media landscape.

It is hard to justify the ABC continuing not to run commercials, even if it did remain in state hands, because doing so would help recoup the taxpayers dollars that go into the service. The 2012-13 budget stipulated that the ABC would cost $1.1bn to run this financial year. Dwell on that amount. That money would go a long way towards funding the DisabilityCare Australia scheme or the Gonski education reforms.

Besides, SBS already runs advertisements.

PVO in 2013

PVO on the weekend

06:32

20 Years of progress with unreliable energy "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

The more things change

Global demand for coal and gas to generate electricity was back on the rise last year

Most striking had been the failure of renewable energy to make an impact on the fossil fuels share of power generation, BP group chief economist Spencer Dale said.

Despite the extraordinary (global) growth in renewables in recent years, and the huge policy efforts to encourage a shift away from coal into cleaner, lower carbon fuels, there has been almost no improvement in the power sector fuel mix over the past 20 years, he said.

The share of coal in the power sector in 1998 was 38 per cent, exactly the same as 2017.

The share of non-fossil fuel in 2017 is actually a little lower than it was 20 years ago, as the growth of renewables hasnt offset the declining share of nuclear, Mr Dale said.

05:00

In which the pond finally tackles prattling Polonius, then retires for the day exhausted ... "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

The pond's talk of virtue-signalling this morning was a build-up to the hefty, weighty matters raised by prattling Polonius this weekend


Here's the thing.

Some things are beyond matters of left or right. A pedophile Marxist is no different from a pedophile fascist from a pedophile priest, at least in the matter of pedophilia and to attempt cheap point scoring from pedophilia is as cheap and as debased as it gets.

It doesn't help the cause of understanding for the Devine to shriek that it was the Marxism that made Hewett do what she did in matters sexual and it does Polonius no good to blather on about the left and the liberal media, while refusing to confess to assorted sins by others

This isn't a matter of conventional point-scoring, and yet because of Polonius's routine, the pond is also tempted to do some conventional point-scoring

You see, before tackling Polonius and his bather about the left protecting his own, a friend had sent the pond a link to The Saturday Paper and to Martin McKenzie-Murray's piece (paywall involved, may use up your one free read).


Why does this matter? Well we're talking about the left protecting its own, thanks to prattling Polonius, and by any reckoning, The Saturday Paper might be called a left of centre publication

Don't take the pond's word for this take t...

03:49

Shut it down. Fire them all. "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

The Rabz doctrine was on display this morning on Outsiders.

Rowan Dean and Ross Cameron had me on talking about Chris Berg and my book on the ABC.  They gave a great shout out for the Cat thank you for that.

The notion of privatising the ABC has been very topical over the weekend with the Liberal Federal Council voting 2:1 to privatise the ABC but the government immediately saying No.

You have to wonder what it is the Liberal federal council does apart from raising money to contest elections and then rounding up the voters to vote Liberal? After gifting a life of extraordinary privilege to MPs it must be a bit galling to have your views and opinions so contemptuously swept aside. To the extent that the Federal Council can influence funding decisions and pre-selections they should start more pointed questions at preselection:

  • Do you agree that the capital of Israel is Jerusalem?
  • Do you support the privatisation of the ABC?
  • Why are you wanting to run as a Liberal Party candidate?

03:08

Vaccines Cause Climate Change And Other Logical Conclusions! "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

While Im sure that theres a lot of anti-vaxers chomping at the bit to read what I have to say, I thought that Id start with the Treasurer: Thats right! Hes used its when he should have used its. But thats not what Im writing about today. As I said when Donald Trump wrote there

The post Vaccines Cause Climate Change And Other Logical Conclusions! appeared first on The AIM Network.

03:00

The OHO Act 2013 revisited is it really protecting the public? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

The OHO Act 2013 revisited is it really protecting the public?Drs Leong Ng and Chandrika Barman recently painted in IA, a grim picture of health in Australia. One of them had published about the then novel OHO Act in 2013 and even chose to move away from Queensland, doing so in June 2013 and entering the permanent locum field. Here, they revisit 2013. read now...

02:30

Killing The ABC: The IPAs Agenda To Dismantle Australia "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

By Loz Lawrey Ive been resisting the urge to write yet another rant because geez, who wants to hear more whingeing? Another complaint, another letter to the paper from yet another grumpy old man who thinks the worlds going to hell in a handbasket? Yet I awoke today to read that the Liberal Party

The post Killing The ABC: The IPAs Agenda To Dismantle Australia appeared first on The AIM Network.

01:28

ABC Interview Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

ABC: Good morning PM can we start by asking if you will take your corporate tax cuts to the next election so that the Australian people can give you a mandate for what you now call your signature policy ? PM: No way Jose. We are committed to getting these tax cuts through before the

The post ABC Interview Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull appeared first on The AIM Network.

01:00

Peter OBrien: Response to Frydenberg "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Josh Frydenberg is quoted in The Australian as saying, inter alia,

policy paralysis over a decade-and-a-half of Australian governments has led to less investment in the sector. 

What planet is he living on?  Far from paralysis there has been frenetic government intervention leading to vast amounts of unsuitable investment.  The problem we have is that both sides of politics are squabbling over the best way to achieve CO2 reduction targets that have no empirical relationship to any measurable temperature reduction and neither bothering to apply even the semblance of a blow torch to the underlying prognostications of CAGW that have so far proved so costly to consumers and industry and so illusory in observed climatic behaviour.  I would urge Frydenberg to concentrate his mind on the catastrophic element of the CAGW meme and start thinking about some form of rigorous cost benefit analysis rather than the we cant afford not to act cop out that has so far characterized their handling of this far-from-settled issue.

00:46

But, but, but "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Last century, the whole world was scandalised by what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today, we do the same thing but with white gloves Pope Francis. Photo: AFP

But, but, but the progressives cry.  We thought this Pope was a really good guy.  All that lecturing about the evils of capitalism and his homilies about the dangers of climate change.  WE THOUGHT HE WAS GREAT.

But then comes this.  So where will the condemnations come from?  Referencing the Nazis isnt this a bit of a no-no these days.

Another good weekend chuckle.

Pope Francis: Abortion is white glove equivalent to Nazi crimes

Pope Francis denounced abortion overnight as the white glove equivalent of the Nazi-era eugenics program and urged families to accept the children that God gives them.

Francis spoke off-the-cuff to a meeting of an Italian family association, ditching his prepared remarks to speak from the heart about families and the trials they undergo. He lamented how some couples choose not to have any children, while others resort to pre-natal testing to see if their baby has any malformations or genetic problems.

The first proposal in such a case is, Do we get rid of it? Francis said. The murder of children. To have an easy life, they get rid of an innocent. Francis recalled that as a child he was horrified to hear stories from his teacher about children thrown from the mountain if they were born with malformations.

Today we do the same thing, he said.

Last century, the whole world was scandalised by what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today, we do the same thing but with white gloves, Francis said.

The pope urged families to accept children as God gives them to us. Francis has repeated the strict anti-abortion...

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Saturday, 16 June

19:35

Abby Martin: The Neo-Liberal Plan To Bring Down Venezuela + Mike Prysner Debunks John Olivers Venezuela Episode "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Dandelion Salad with Abby Martin Redacted Tonight on June 14, 2018 Lee Camp speaks with Abby Martin journalist and host of The Empire Files, who exposes the profit-driven bias of corporate media reporting on Venezuela. [Watch the second half of Lee Camps program and more on this post: John Pilger, et al: Australias Guns: Control, []

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Monday, 11 June

05:50

Everywhere and always Gods graceful presence. Letting go of a God of fear and fury for the God of Jesus "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

  Grab a cuppa and give yourself some time. This is a longer than usual piece

When I was a teenager I remember being both excited and fearful when one of my non-Christian school friends came to church. I was excited because they were expressing an interest in faith. I was fearful lest they take communion, for it had been drummed into me that anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup unworthily, eats and drinks damnation on himself. Looking back on it now it seems so odd. How could it be that the very ritual that signified grace and love could simultaneously be an object of fear and terror?

The answer was centuries in the making. The fourth century theologian, Augustine, gave us the doctrine of original sin, which held that not only do human beings sin, but that they possess a sinful nature that makes it impossible for them not to sin and renders them unable to do anything truly good. Although Augustine recognised the doctrine could not be demonstrated from Scripture it became the orthodoxy of the Church for centuries to come. For example, I was encouraged to take up this view as a teenager when I read Holiness, a book first published in 1877, written by Anglican bishop, JC Ryle, and considered a classic. Reflecting the theology of original sin Ryle says

I ask my readers to observe what deep reasons we all have for humiliation and self- abasement. Let us sit down before the picture of sin displayed to us in the Bible, and consider what guilty, vile, corrupt creatures we all are in the sight of God.

Even babies were afflicted with this despised nature.

The fairest babe that has entered life this year, and become the sunbeam of a family, is not, as its mother perhaps fondly calls it, a little angel, or a little innocent, but a little sinner. Alas! as it lies smiling and crowing in its cradle, that little creature carries in its heart the seeds of every kind of wickedness! Only watch it carefully, as it grows in stature and its mind developes, and you will soon detect in it an incessant tendency to that which is bad, and a backwardness to that which is good. You will see in it the buds and germs of deceit, evil temper, selfishness, self-will, obstinacy, greediness, envy, jealousy, passion which, if indulged and let alone, will shoot up with painful rapidity.

JC Ryle, Holiness

According to this narrative the essential truth about...

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Thursday, 31 May

17:05

Reconciliation Can Change Us All for the Better "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

I am 52 years old. In the half century of my life there have been dramatic shifts in the relationship between non-indigenous and indigenous Australians: the 1967 referendum to include indigenous peoples in the census and grant to government power to make decisions that positively discriminated towards indigenous people; recognition of land rights; Keatings Redfern speech; the Mabo decision, its recognition that the Australian land mass was not empty but was taken from the indigenous nations, and the recognition of native title; and the apology to the stolen generations.

These changes at the national/formal level have been accompanied by some profound shifts at the popular level. In my childhood and youth I often heard people telling jokes about indigenous peoples that were not only racist but were venomously so. I dont hear them very often today. Nor do I often hear the stereotyping of indigenous peoples as lazy and unreliable (usually masked behind the assertion that they would go walkabout) that were common in my youth. Similarly, we seem to be coming to grips with the ability to describe the colonisation of Australia as an invasion and to recognise that it was violent and unjust.

Nonetheless, we still have some way to journey. Indigenous people as a whole continue to suffer the long overhangs of two centuries of dispossession, marginalisation and exclusion. The annual Close the Gap reports by the Department of Prime Minister make clear that indigenous Australians, as a whole, have poorer health, education and lifestyle outcomes than non-indigenous Australians. For example, indigenous children are twice as likely to die before their fifth birthday than nonindigenous children; average life expectancy for indigenous people is still a decade less than that of the non-indigenous population. These are the outcomes of dispossession. As the Uluru Statement from the Heart puts it:

Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future.

These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem. This is the torment of our powerlessness.

And too many Australians retain racist attitudes. A 2014 survey by Beyond Blue found that one in five of us would move away if an indigenous person sat near us; one in five would suspect an indigenous person in a shopping centre is likely to steal; and one in 10 of us would not offer an indigenous person a job.

I am a white middle-class male. I have never experienced discrimination like this. I cannot begin to imagine the corrosive imp...

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Wednesday, 23 May

09:56

Edith Babul: A Plantation That Started With Ten Indian Guava Seeds "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

By Scott Waide | #Inspirational #Papua New Guineans

Twenty years ago, Edith Babuls, young son, collected the seeds of a rather exotic Indian Guava fruit he found smashed on a road.

It was, at the time, a seemingly tiny deed done by a child for his mum. But over two decades, those seeds became a plantation of Indian guava trees whose fruits are now sold in Lae City.

He found the seeds and said, mum likes this fruit and he brought back about 100 seeds, said Edith Babul. From those seeds, 10 survived and those are among the trees we have now.

While Edith loved Indian guava, she didnt know the cultivation methods that would work efficiently.

At first it was all trial and error. I didnt know and I planted the seeds. It took a while.

In 2000, Edith harvested the first fruits from the initial 10 trees she had planted. She sold over 100 fruits and made K300.

Because I was still working, I told my husband and children that the demand for this fruit was good and that we had to carefully manage the trees.

It wasnt all easy. Some of the trees died and fruits were left to rot or succumbed to pest and disease.

As we walked through the guava plantation, Edith spots a large fruit. She pulls down the branch and picks a fruit which is bigger than her hand. Its fruits like this that have made her quite popular within agriculture circles.

Try it, she says, as we cut open the huge fruit. The guava is soft, delicious and far less acidic than smaller local varieties. Guava cultivation has become an art for Edith Babul.

She gives a lecture on insect management as we walk through the grove.

Never cut all the grass. When insect populations pick up in in June and July, you have to give them something to eat. Let them start with the grass first. If you remove all the grass, they will eat your fruits and leaves.

...

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Monday, 21 May

09:59

Why even Republicans like me got sucked into the royal wedding "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Try as I did to resist, this last week I found myself pulled into the vortex of joy that was the royal wedding. In the leadup I disdainfully dismissed it as the pompous ceremony (and yes I mean pompous ceremony not pomp and ceremony) of an elitist and sexist institution that regarded the church as chaplain to its power except that what I found was a celebration of love and marriage that captured the hearts and attention of the world and a preacher determined to shape power rather than submit weakly to it.

The British monarchy has long ceased exercising real political power. On this occasion it seemed to do something far more important: it symbolised hope. Few Britons will ever meet Harry, but that does not stop them owning and loving him. They have shared his life, from the day he was born to the young boy who lost his mother in a tragic accident, whose grief was lived out publicly, to the brash adolescent whose misjudgements were reported internationally, into the decent and good man who has owned his calling to serve the community that he now appears to be. And this week they were with him again as he celebrated his marriage to the American actress Meghan Markle and appear ready to adopt her as their own.

The Royals play a role in society unlike any others. In a way no politician, celebrity or other institution can, they can represent the hopes of the people, embody and project back to them everything they want to be. Its not just that the people love Harry. The British monarchy, when taken into the hearts of the people, becomes a sign that we can be good, noble, kind and generous; that there are traditions, like marriage, that are worth preserving and celebrating; and that there is a possibility for genuine nobility of being (even if not of birth).

Observing from a distance, it seemed that for a long time this was centred on the Queen Mother. Some of her grandchildren may have behaved like right royal shits but she enjoyed almost saint-like status. Since her death the Queen assumed the saint-like mantle (we Aussies may not like the idea of the monarchy but we all admire the Queen), which the British (and I dare say Australian) public have also conferred on William and Harry. Sure, its grounded in mythology that will never stand close scrutiny, and its ironic that the Royals represent what we can be when we can never be who they are, but isnt that the nature of all symbols? For the crowds that lined the streets and the millions who watched on TV, the wedding brought them together to hope for the best, to celebrate the good, and to take joy in life. Im still a passionate republican, but if events like the Royal wedding can help us hope for the best, believe the best, long for the best and strive for the best I will celebrate them too.

...

Thursday, 17 May

20:02

Moving the Immovable Force. The Unchanged Sexism in the Christian Churches. "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

I entered theological college in 1987. It was a time of ferment and upheaval among Evangelicals in the industrialised world as a growing number of scholars and leaders challenged the biblical basis for the traditional gender roles that operated within the church. Just months before I sat in my first class, IVP, one of Evangelicalisms leading publishing houses, released Women, Authority And The Bible, a collection of essays in which 27 well-regarded scholars argued the case for an evangelical feminism. Before the end of my first year, the Council for Biblical Manhood And Womanhood was formed. It brought together evangelical leaders and scholars determined to resist the feminist redefining of the roles of men and women. Its Danvers Statement became the classic articulation of the doctrine of Complementarianism and its publications, such as RecoveringBiblical Manhood and Womanhood: a Response to Evangelical Feminism, were widely read. From the mid-1980s up until the turn of the millennium a myriad of books and articles around questions of gender were produced as scholars traded blows over the interpretation of the biblical texts.

By the end of the 1990s the ferocity had left the debate but there had been no satisfactory resolution.  The denomination to which I belong, the Baptist Churches of NSW & ACT, recognised that Christians equally committed to Christ and the Scriptures could be found on either side of the question. A compromise was found. Ordination was about setting someone apart for a particular ministry such as a lead pastor. This responsibility was devolved from the denomination to the local church, meaning women friendly churches could ordain if they pleased.

Yet this did not translate into significant change. More than twenty years have passed since that vote, yet in 2015 less than 5% of recognised Ministers in the Baptist Churches of NSW and ACT were women, less than 2.5% were women serving in churches and even fewer as team leaders/senior pastors. Yes, women are more likely to serve in lay leadership roles, but when it comes to pastoral leadership Baptist churches in Australia are among the least gender representative organisations in the country.

And we are not alone. Whatever their rhetoric, many churches in the western world remain overwhelmingly male in leadership. The US National Congregations Survey is conducted every 5 years to measure the state of affairs in North American churches. In 2012 it showed that women held 41% of full-time secondary pastoral positions and 53% of part-time secondary roles, but just 11.4% of churches had a female in the role of head clergy person or primary religious leader, a statistic that was virtually unchanged since 1988. More than four in ten churches would not allow a female in such a role. Within the evangelical community female participation rates were much lower. Women filled only 3% o...

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