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IndyWatch Aussie Politics Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.

Thursday, 19 April


Turnbull Government will ignore this call to extend Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry at its own electoral peril "IndyWatch Feed"

Remember When Australian Prime Minister and former merchant banker Malcolm Bligh Turnbull ruled out a bankig royal commission?

Telling the nation; "I can tell you wehave as a government decided not to have a royal commission, we made thedecision a long time ago, not because we don't believe there is nothing goingon in terms of problems with the banks, it is because we want to take actionright now and we are".

Recall the time and other limits placed on the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry when it was finally established on 14 December 2017? Giving it the power to ignore anything that it wanted to that would otherwise be within its scope. 

Well things did not go entirely to plan for Malcolm and his banker mates.

Because since13 March 2018 the curtain has been drawn back revealing the systemic unethical, deceitful, rapacious, sometimes fraudulent and, in certain instances criminal behaviour, of the financial sector.

National Australia Bank, Westpac, St George, Citibank, ANZ, AMP Insurance and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, along with their financial services spin-offs, had all come under some degree of scrutiny by mid-April with more hearings still sheduled.



A measure of justice for an Australian tweeter "IndyWatch Feed"

The win wont eradicate the sustained personal stress or financial difficulties that such an unfair dismissal imposed still it was pleasing see this tweeter's actions recognised as the right to freedom of political expression.

Hopefully Comcare will not be so bloody minded as to appeal the judgement,

A  former Immigration official sacked over tweets critical of Australia's asylum seeker policy has won a fight for compensation, after an appeals tribunal found her dismissal was unlawful and described government efforts to restrict anonymous comments from its employees as Orwellian.

The decision on Monday will redirect scrutiny to the Immigration Department's dismissal of Michaela Banerji for tweeting criticisms of detention policies, and challenges Australian Public Service rules stopping public servants from expressing their political views on social media.

Ms Banerji took the government to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal after federal workplace insurer Comcare refus...


African Gangs Makes Melburnians Afraid To Go Out, But AMP And The Banks Make People Unsafe In Their Houses "IndyWatch Feed"

Now, I know that Im meant to write satire but sometimes I just have to use my language skills to point out what is probably bleedin obvious. Compare the way the conservatives among us thunder on about burglaries and carjackings to the way they respond to people who are prepared to steal your life-savings No,

The post African Gangs Makes Melburnians Afraid To Go Out, But AMP And The Banks Make People Unsafe In Their Houses appeared first on The AIM Network.


Emissions and the meeting of energy ministers "IndyWatch Feed"

Ben Potter, who as a useful idiot, was leaked a copy of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) report by the Victorian Government, reports today that the states are likely to sign off on the NEG at their meeting tomorrow. Potter is excoriated by Terry McCrann in todays Herald Sun for his pandering to green energy myths.

NEG has twin features of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector together with a measure that ensures wind supply has a firming contract to compensate for its inherent unreliability.

Former Senator Ron Boswell entered the fray with a piece in todays Australian calling for Liddell to be replaced saying,

Some have likened the option to socialism. Rubbish. The energy market was socialised by intervention a long time ago. A $45bn subsidy and guaranteed market share for renewables is not socialism? Would the car market be a real market if the government said 23 per cent of cars sold had to be a Tesla and that Tesla would receive a subsidy of $30,000 for every car sold?

Boswell also argues that under the amended section 44 of the trade practices act AGL could be forced to sell since its closure would be substantially lessening competition in a substantial market.  And the Acting NSW Premier, John Barilaro, today came out in favour of a forcible acquisition of the Liddell plant.

Hardly any MPs Craig Kelly being a notable exception have undertaken the laborious research necessary to understand the energy market and its many faceted regulations; most accept the bromides that demonise coal and promote the need to reduce emissions to save the world.  But politicians do recognise the fact that prices have risen and voters are not pleased.  Moreover, voters have no allegiance to private property rights that are not their own as this recent Yougov survey illustrates.



Has World War III started or did the Great War never really end? "IndyWatch Feed"

Has World War III started or did the Great War never really end?Many fear that the Alliance missile strikes on Syria on the weekend utilities will trigger another world war, however contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence says the first one never ended. read now...


Economics in Two Lessons, Chapter 9 "IndyWatch Feed"

Thanks to everyone who the first eight chapters of my book-in-progress, Economics in Two Lessons. Ive found the comments on Chapter 8 valuable, but havent yet found time to edit in response to them. Soon, I hope!

In the meantime, Ive posted a draft of Chapter 9: Market Failure. Comments, criticism and praise are welcome.

The book so far is available
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: What is opportunity cost?
Chapter 2: Markets, opportunity cost and equilibrium
Chapter 3:Time, information and uncertainty
Chapter 4:Lesson 1: Applications.
Chapter 5: Lesson 1 and economic policy.
Chapter 6: The opportunity cost of destruction
Chapter 7: Property rights, and income distribution
Chapter 8:Unemployment


In which the pond spends quality time with Ronnie and the onion muncher ... "IndyWatch Feed"

Somebody had to crack the joke

As for scientists debating the cause of the reef toll, when the pond dropped in it seemed clear enough, whether at the ABC here, or at Fairfax here

The Federal Government's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority concluded the bleaching in 2016 was caused by a record-breaking marine heatwave, caused by a combination of climate change and the El Nino weather cycle. Water on the reef was more than a 1 degree Celsius warmer than the average for that time of year, and for much of it there was little cloud cover that would offer corals respite from the heat stress. "We're anticipating more of these events as global warming continues," Professor Hughes said. "We're into a new system. " Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick from the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales recently published work showing underwater heatwaves have increased in both their duration and frequency over the past century, with a sudden uptick since the 1980s. As a result, on average around the globe, there are 54 per cent more days each year that are subject to a marine heatwave.

There doesn't seem to be much debate about it, except in Lloydie's octopi-fevered imagination.

The pond has no idea how Lloydie lives with himself, and the dissembling crap that he peddles for the reptiles, but thankfully doesn't have to care, because this day the onion muncher was out and about tweeting to promote the reptiles and his good mate Ron - apparently they can do a form of stuffing these days which allows mummies to stroll out of the museum as if they're alive



The world is about to end! "IndyWatch Feed"

By Anthony Andrews The world is about to end! Not really, its just that, like on the TV news or at the box office, real world events that arent at the extreme ends of the spectrum dont grab anybodys attention we want monsters. We want heroes and villains. We want drama! Unfortunately, most of the

The post The world is about to end! appeared first on The AIM Network.


Ken Henry "IndyWatch Feed"

I can almost forgive Dr Henry for his recent tantrums about the lack of progress on tax reform which he had neglected when Treasury Secretary for 10 years.

But his latest comments are absolutely outrageous. He blames investors for the poor behaviour of banks and investors also for driving up banker bonuses.

Here he is the chairman of NAB which has enjoyed far flung board/executive retreats on his $790,000 salary and responsible for the setting of executive remuneration for NAB and its culture.

Investors have no control over remuneration or culture and limited control over the Board after all under the three strikes rule it is just about impossible for a diverse range of small holdings to sack a board.

The largest shareholder in NAB is HSBC custody nominees. That is a proxy for other investors and while listed with 23.9 per cent of the shares, HSBC does not have 23.9 per cent of the vote. But in any case, is Ken Henry complaining that banks own banks? So even if his arguement was correct, it is the banks themselves with the control.

And if the Board of NAB does not in fact control the decisions of the banks strategy, risk appetite, policy, governance and remuneration, why dont they resign?

Because his argument is crap. The Board is responsible for all of that and he is the chairman. Stop blaming others Ken for your own errors.

If there is a complex remuneration policy with over 30 pages in its annual report it is because the Board agreed to it. The Corporations Act makes quite clear that the Board has responsibility for the actions of the bank. If Henry wants to abdicate that responsibility he should resign or ASIC should act against him for neglecting his directors duties.

The biggest problem in the banking sector is certainly not investors. It is the principal-agent problem where the Board and Executives are extracting rent from the owners. The terrible behaviour observed at the Royal Commission is due to poor behaviour by Boards and Executives, not investors.

Ken Henry its time you accepted responsibility rather than shirking it. If the remuneration practices at NAB need to change, that is something you can act upon. Otherwise step aside and let someone else take over who is willing to act.




When extension becomes effective refusal "IndyWatch Feed"

I've had a lot of bad OIA experiences, and my fair share of Ministers and officials playing games with extensions to delay access to documents until an issue is out of the media. However, I've never had anything as bad as this Canadian requester, who had an agency give itself an 80 year extension on an Access to Information Act request:

A federal institution has given itself what may be the longest-ever time extension to respond to a citizen's request under the Access to Information Act at least 80 years, which will delay the delivery of documents to 2098 or beyond.

"I may get those records in my next lifetime," 70-year-old Michael Dagg, the requester and longtime user of the act, said in an interview.

Dagg asked Library and Archives Canada (LAC) for files from Project Anecdote, an RCMP investigation into money laundering and public corruption that was launched in May 1993.

No charges were ever laid in the massive probe, which concluded in 2003. The voluminous Mountie files were eventually turned over to the government archives.

"You will note the extensive list of responsive records and we will need up to an 80-year minimum (bringing the due date to the year 2098)," LAC advised Dagg in writing last week, warning that consulting other departments would add more time.

This seems to be the longest AIA extension in Canadian history, and it effectively amounts to a refusal. There's good reason - the file is 780,000 pages, so there's a lot to go through and redact - and in New Zealand it is likely that it would simply be refused as requiring substantial collation and research. That at least would be honest; instead Library and Archives Canada is pretending that they're going to grant the request, while pretty obviously having no intention of doing so in practice - the files will be released when they would be required to be made public under public records law, and not before. Which means this "extension" is simply an official exercise in deceit.


In which the pond visits the bromancer and Dame Groan for a little catechismal refresher course ... "IndyWatch Feed"

It occurred to the pond that perhaps there were many scandals in the middle east, not limited to, but including the behaviour of the British empire, assorted forces in the second world war, the Russians, the Americans, the Iraq war and all the fellow travellers who cheered it on in the lizard Oz, or those like the dog botherer were in the game, and assorted slaughters over the years, not limited to the terrorist Zionists who suddenly became statesmen, but also the Arab terrorists who played the same game

Ah remember the olden days, when The Age's editorialist railed at the Jewish thugs and worried about the Jews in the mother country (the pond has joined the date to the editorial - the first piece was some hand-wringing about Britain's then economic crisis roll on Brexit and the need for the colonies to step up ...) 

Scum from the ghettoes of Europe

Well you wouldn't be saying that these days ...

Sorry, whenever the pond stumbles across the bromancer talking about the suffering of Xians, it's always drawn back in time to the suffering of displaced others but perhaps it's best to get on with the current bout of paranoia and persecution complex ...



Less than open II "IndyWatch Feed"

Back in March, I received some OIA'd documents from Clare Curran, the Minister of Open Government. Among other things, they showed that SSC had presented her with an draft open government strategy in November. Naturally, it was kept secret. I was curious about this, so sent in a followup request seeking information about this strategy. Today I received the response. Despite at least four months having passed since it was given to the Minister, the strategy is still being kept secret, supposedly because it is under "active consideration" (as opposed to under a desk somewhere being ignored). One thing that is clear however is that SSC's proposal that the strategy be consulted on at the same time as the Open Government Partnership action plan was rejected - that consultation is currently underway, and there's no mention of the strategy at all.

SSC did release some pretty powerpoint slides, including one of "actions taking place in the open government system". Naturally, this includes something secret. But it also mentions under international actions the idea of "New Zealand taking a leadership role in the Open Government Partnership". Of course, to do that, we'd have to start by developing an action plan which actually displayed some ambition, rather than just being a grab-bag of unambitious business-as-usual policies. And they'd need to walk the talk on consultation, rather than treating it as a box to be ticked. Whether they're actually doing that is left as an exercise for the reader.


EDITORIAL: The 'shocking' Royal Commission and the banking mafia "IndyWatch Feed"

EDITORIAL: The 'shocking' Royal Commission and the banking mafiaThe most shocking thing about the Banking Royal Commission is how shocked so many profess to be by its findings. read now...


Tony Shepherd is well paid to tell the government what it wants to hear "IndyWatch Feed"

Tony Shepherd has been paid $55,000 for 17 days work producing a report which recommended that the rules governing the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund be changed to allow the government to pretty much do what it likes with its five billion dollar slush fund. Thats the same Tony Shepherd who was paid $85,000 for a

The post Tony Shepherd is well paid to tell the government what it wants to hear appeared first on The AIM Network.


Tools of the trade: Australias new investment in global health R&D "IndyWatch Feed"

The global market for medical products is shaped mainly by the demands of wealthy consumers. It rarely calls into being the tools needed to combat diseases that afflict primarily poor countries therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines, as well as technologies that prevent the spread of disease such as insecticide-treated bed nets. Where such products do exist, its often down to the needs of tourists and soldiers and those products tend to fail over time as microbes and vectors evolve to evade our defences.

At the same time, governments and publicly or philanthropically funded research institutions generally do not have all the expertise required to discover, develop and create production pathways for such products.

Thats where Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) come in. PDPs are lean, not-for-profit public health intermediary organisations. They catalyse the discovery and development of global health products by bringing together public and private sector research and development expertise across a broad portfolio of product candidates. Some candidates succeed, some fall by the wayside.

The net effect of the 16 major PDPs work over the past two decades has been an impressive reinvigoration of the pipeline of tools for global health. Most importantly, a growing number of these tools have been approved for use, are under consideration by regulatory agencies, or are in late-stage trials.

When the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, launched Australias Health Security Initiative for the Indo-Pacific region in October 2017, she announced that Australia would commit $75 million over five years to support the work of PDPs from 2018. This represents the Australian aid programs single largest commitment to global health research and development, and a 50% increase in PDP funding in annual terms.



If this is true, why arent they in jail? "IndyWatch Feed"

Not bad men! They are evil beyond belief. From Instapundit.

MICHAEL MUKASEY: Trump, Cohen, and Attorney-Client Privilege: The protection has limits, but is it worth testing them over a possible campaign-finance offense?

After anthrax spores killed five people, infected 17 others, and showed up in envelopes mailed to U.S. senators and media organizations in 2001, the current special counsel, then director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, spent years chasing and destroying the reputation of a microbiologist named Steven Hatfill, zealous in the belief that Mr. Hatfill was the guilty party. Another zealot, James Comey, then deputy attorney general, said he was absolutely certain no mistake had been made.

After Mr. Hatfill was exoneratedhe received more than $5.5 million in damages from the governmentMr. Mueller then decided that another microbiologist, Bruce Ivins, was the culprit. When Ivins committed suicide, Mr. Mueller pronounced the case closed. A subsequent investigation by the National Academy of Sciences suggests Ivins too was innocent.

Mr. Mueller is not a bad man, nor is Mr. Comey. Its just that both show particular confidence when making mistakes, which makes one grateful for safeguards like the attorney-client privilege.

Well, I wouldnt say that Mueller and Comey are good men. And neither has faced any significant accountability for his mistakes and misbehavior.

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Wednesday, 18 April


Panel show by numbers: ABC Q&A, Syria and all the usual suspects "IndyWatch Feed"

Panel show by numbers: ABC Q&A, Syria and all the usual suspectsThe latest episode of ABC Q&A revealed just how formulaic and two-dimensional the show is in its approach to serious issues, writes Binoy Kampark. read now...


In which the reptiles assure the pond the big one is coming ... "IndyWatch Feed"

Somewhere along the line in the pond's mind, the big kahuna transferred its meaning of sorcerer, magician, wizard and diviner to the event itself

The big kahuna came to mean the big one, the war to end war, as war has done so often

Never mind, the lizard Oz is full of prophets, seers, and such like, helping fill the void with FUD, and can anyone be a better kahuna that the one that yearns for, calls for the big kahuna?

The big one, armageddon, apocalypse, end times, annihilation, the catastrophic cataclysm that will produce decimation and devastation and it's "just around the corner."

Mmm, that's just a tad vague. Are we to expect the end with an autumn/spring onslaught, or perhaps by Thanksgiving, or Halloween, or by Christmas, or can we hang on until next Easter?

Naturally the pond was compelled



Pitching beyond the aid enthusiasts three simple aid messages "IndyWatch Feed"

We need to communicate aid better is a constant chorus among those working in aid and development in Australia. Against the background of major aid cuts and the integration of AusAID into DFAT, parliamentarians tell the aid community we need to sell the message better. Minister Julie Bishop has said, support for our invaluable aid program has to come from home, from the Australian taxpayer. So the Australian taxpayers must support it, and that will come with a better appreciation of its purpose, its intent and the outcomes. The winning 3-Minute Aid Pitch from the 2017 Australasian Aid Conference was that we need to communicate aid better. Agencies band together to campaign for Australian aid. DFAT earnestly tweets happy snaps of aid events and initiatives. And yet something isnt working: further deep cuts to aid are being floated and the public seems largely indifferent.

So: are there some simple aid messages that we aid enthusiasts in government, NGOs, academia, and the private sector can use when we engage with non-aid enthusiasts? We know that aid and development assistance is complex. There are a multitude of issues and strands that can be bewildering for those of us working in this sector, let alone those who dont. We easily slip into the jargon of aid and development, but it can be like putting up a brick wall against those whose support for aid we actually want to encourage.

Here is an attempt at three simple messages to help explain the aid program:

Message #1: Overseas aid is less than 1% of Australian Government spending

The aid community talks about Australia only spending 0.22% of GNI on aid, against the UN target of 0.7% and with that sentence alone weve probably lost most of our potential audience. So lets talk about a more commonly understood idea,...


Motivated by justice: defending the worlds courageous people "IndyWatch Feed"

Australian human rights lawyer and member of the legal team defending Wikileaks since 2010, talks about the hacker from Queensland who chose to fight against surveillance capitalism. Interview.

lead lead Photograph: George Hughes / Illustration: Celia LeoudiYorgos Boskos (YB): How did you get involved in the first place with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange?

Jennifer Robinson (JR): Julian first reached out to myself and a colleague of mine, the Australian human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson, in around September 2010. This was just before WikiLeaks was about to publish the Iraq war logs. Julian was in London, preparing that release, which came several months later, at the end of November. He was working with the Guardian and a group of other international newspapers.

It was around the time when there was concern about what might happen in Sweden, where there was an open investigation into sexual allegations that had previously being dropped. It now seemed that Julian might have to answer those allegations. So, Julian required assistance and advice. It was also the time, of course, that Chelsea Manning was arrested, and a US criminal investigation in grand jury had been announced.

YB: What was your first impression on meeting Julian Assange?

JR: Here was a man with a small group of volunteers and a backpack. And in his interactions with me what he was really doing was making his very brave decisions about what to publish. There were a lot of public threats being made against him at that particular time. He was incredibly security-conscious - conscious of the fact that they were pursuing him, trying to find ways to prosecute and investigate him. So apart from his remarkable work, the other factor was the strength of the state response that was building against him. He was perceived to be the most powerful man in the world, in that period. And why? Because he had access to that information.

YB: During your TEDx speech in Sydney in 2013, you stated that courage is contagious. Do you...


None of the financial institutions are coming away from this Royal Commission covered in glory "IndyWatch Feed"

The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry was established on 14 December 2017, is due to hand down an interim report no later than 30 September 2018 followed by a final report by 1 February 2019.

As of 13 April 2018 the royal commission has received 3,433 public submissions - 69% of these were Banking, 8% Superannuation 8% and 7% Financial Advice.

Round 2 public hearings finish on 27 April 2018.

View the live webcast or previous hearings.

Yesterday was the Commonwealth Bank of Australia's turn to reluctantly admit systemic fraud ....

The Guardian18 April 2018:

Counsel assisting the royal commission, Mark Costello, asked Linda Elkins, from CBAs wealth management arm Colonial First State, to confirm CBAs poor record of charging fees for no service.


Institute of Public Affairs Limited (IPA) has a single broad focus - to infiltrate government in order to reduce workers to a powerless underclass "IndyWatch Feed"

Given representatives of the Institute of Public Affairs Limited (IPA) turn up as guest commentators so frequently these days on television, radio and in newsprint - usually without mention of who they actually represent - perhaps it's time to update deatils of the corporate structure, finances and aims of this group.

This highly partisan, conservative political pressure group thinly disguised as an independent research group-cum-think tank was registered in Melbourne Victoria in 1987 and its legal owner appears to be The Trustee For Institute Of Public Affairs Research Trust. This trust was created on 10 July 2007.

In the 1990s it appears to have merged with the the Australian Institute of Public Policy.

IPA became a&nbsp...


Liberal Energy The too hard party "IndyWatch Feed"

By 1PETERMCC How poor is the understanding of our energy market by the Coalition government? Check these data. When Tony Abbott became PM he slashed the Renewable Energy Target from 41,000 gigawatt hours to 33,000 claiming the target could not be met. Not only was that revised target met, the original is going to be exceeded, too.

The post Liberal Energy The too hard party appeared first on The AIM Network.


Without me, they wouldnt be discussing anything "IndyWatch Feed"

Stormy Daniels is still news, but this barely raises a ripple: US and North Korea holding extremely high level talks ahead of Trumps meeting with Kim Jong-un.

We have had direct talks at very high levels extremely high levels with North Korea, Trump said.

Well either have a very good meeting or we wont have a good meeting, he added. And maybe we wont even have a meeting at all, depending on whats going in. But I think that theres a great chance to solve a world problem. The president did not answer shouted questions about whether he has spoken with Kim.

Kims offer for a summit was initially conveyed to Trump by South Korea last month, and the president shocked many when it was announced that he had accepted. US officials have indicated over the past two weeks that North Koreas government has communicated directly with Washington that it is ready to discuss its nuclear weapons program.

Abe, who has voiced fears that short- and medium-range missiles that pose a threat to Japan might not be part of the US negotiations, praised Trump on Tuesday for his bravery in agreeing to meet with the North Korean dictator.

Id like to commend Donalds courage in his decision to have the upcoming summit meeting with the North Korean leader, Abe said.

Trump took credit for the inter-Korean talks, saying, Without us and without me, in particular, I guess you would have to say, they wouldnt be discussing anything.

Time Magazine does, however, find the right sort of nincompoop analysis: Will Trump Make a Bad Deal With North Korea?

You never know, but hell likely make a better deal than anyone else has since 1950. But it is a funny thing that I share one worry with the media and the left: whether Trump will make it for another seven years. The difference is they worry that he will and I worry that he wont.


CARTOON: Trump Zucks "IndyWatch Feed"

CARTOON: Trump ZucksOnce more unto the breach, dear fiends... read now...


In which the pond finds the energy to do the dance with Josh, the onion muncher, petulant Peta and the oscillating fan ... "IndyWatch Feed"

Moving quickly along - the sight of a lover spurned always distresses the pond - it seems an eternity since the onion muncher bobbed up on the front page of the lizard Oz, either the digital or tree killer edition - perhaps as much as an astonishing 24 hours.

It's the business of the reptiles to keep him front and centre as a stick with which to beat Malware and to remind the wets of all the many virtues of dinkum clean Oz coal as a solution to any passing energy problem oi, oi, oi

Of course that makes it the business of the pond too, and so without shame or remorse, the pond intends to revive some recent outings

First came petulant Peta, and a good chance to see the MAMIL in action ...

Sure it's as stale as mouldy bread caught out in Sydney humidity, but it's better than nothing. Brush off the mould, slip it in the toaster, and away you go ...

Sure enough, Albo and Sukkar and the whole damn thing set the oscillating fan off ...



Cyber war: Russia not playing by the rules, if there are any rules "IndyWatch Feed"

Cyber war: Russia not playing by the rules, if there are any rulesIs the Government's cybersecurity advice following Russian trolling activity sufficient or are deeper protections required? read now...


Antifa is liberalism, feminism is cancer, and Im a monkeys uncle "IndyWatch Feed"

My first reaction on reading Marianne Garneaus essay Antifa is liberalism (Ritual, April 11, 2018) was: lolwut. The second was to be reminded of Ward Churchills essay Pacifism As Pathology: in particular, his being at pains to distinguish between, on Continue reading


In which the pond wonders if Dames are boojums ... "IndyWatch Feed"

The pond realised, with shock, consternation and awe that it hadn't thought about the Devine for weeks, possibly months

Ever since the blessed Terror paywall brought blessed relief and now it seems the dear thing has to resort to attention-seeking trolling for a little attention

If only the lizards of Oz did the same, and the pond could wind up and go home, but still they allow a few to escape the paywall and haunt the pond, and then it occurred to the pond what a whiz it would be to have two Dames in the one piece

Just the place for a Dame! the pond cried, 
As she landed her crew with care; 
Supporting each person on the top of the tide 
By a finger entwined in his or her hair. 
Just the place for a Dame! I have said it twice: 
That alone should encourage the crew. 
Just the place for a Dame! I have said it thrice: 
What I tell you three times is true.

So the pond got out its handy map

and went in search of a Dame, so that it might begin its agony in two fits of dames, and sure enough, there was Dame Slap doing her thing ...



Elderly, disabled, jobless or homeless? The Coalition is still blaming you "IndyWatch Feed"

Elderly, disabled, jobless or homeless? The Coalition is still blaming youIn short, the take-home message from the Turnbull Government is, if youre poor, its your fault. read now...


A convenient purge "IndyWatch Feed"

At the moment the UK government is persecuting the "Windrush generation". People who legally migrated to the UK and have a legal right to remain are being thrown out of their jobs and threatened with deportation unless they can prove that fact. But it turns out that before they started this persecution, the UK government destroyed all the evidence that they were legal migrants:

Proof that could have spared members of the Windrush generation from the threat of deportation was destroyed by the Home Office under Theresa May, it has been revealed.

Thousands of landing cards recording dates of arrival in the UK were thrown away, despite staff warnings that it would be harder for Caribbean-born residents to establish their right to be in the UK.

The files were discarded in October 2010, when the current prime minister was home secretary, a former Home Office employee revealed.

Having destroyed that evidence, May then established a "hostile environment for illegal immigrants", requiring people to arbitrarily prove their residency in order to do pretty much anything. Naturally, this has provided cover for racists to discriminate against anyone who looks or sounds "foreign" because they might be an illegal immigrant. As for what it means in practice, here's a UK immigration lawyer's take on what would happen to Paddington Bear under May - and its not pretty.

While supposedly justified under data protection laws, retaining the information was obviously necessary, since people were regularly requesting it to prove their migration status. But I'm sure its just a complete coincidence that it was all destroyed right before a crackdown, and not part of a plan to engage in the mass deportation of people the Tories have always hated and think "don't belong" in the UK.


A good idea "IndyWatch Feed"

In the wake of Tony Blair's illegal war in Iraq, the UK had been developing a constitutional convention which saw Parliament vote on waging war, and this had prevented the UK from bombing Syria in 2013. But over the weekend, Theresa May violated that convention, joining the US in bombing Syria. And now, UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn is calling for legislation to prevent it from happening again:

Jeremy Corbyn has called for a war powers act that would stop Theresa May from launching bombing raids without first consulting MPs.

The Labour leader said the prime minister should have strived for parliamentary approval before instigating UK involvement in yesterday's air strikes on Syrian targets.

And he called for a proper debate in parliament on Monday, concluding with a vote on action in Syria.


The MP for Islington North, who also called for a war powers act in 2016, continued: "I think what we need in this country is something more robust like a war powers act so governments do get held to account by parliament for what they do in our name".

Its a good idea, both on principled and pragmatic grounds. Foreign military operations are exactly the sort of thing which should require democratic approval by elected representatives, to ensure that there is a mandate. And such a requirement would help deter a warmongering executive and allow the UK people to take back control of their foreign policy from America.

But its not just a good idea for the UK, but a good one for New Zealand. In 2012, Labour promoted a Defence (Overseas Deployments) Amendment Bill which would have required explicit parliamentary consent for any deployment of more than 20 people. They should make that formal government policy, and commit to letting Parliament vote before kiwi troops are sent anywhere. And if future governments don't like that, they can always make it a question of confidence, and stand or fall on the result.


Holy Satanic Terror, it's Chuck-watch time is there an exorcist in the house? "IndyWatch Feed"

Now that the pond and the lizards of Oz have your click-baiting, trolling attention, let's get into the weirdness

Hmm, the pond is famous for its ability to crush sponges in the kitchen sink, speaks ad hoc Latin fluently, is a little bit rusty on Aramaic and blames Mel for that, and has an extreme revulsion at the sight of a cross, for some strange reason thinking that crucifixion is a tad barbaric, though admittedly not as problematic as eating human flesh and drinking human blood on a regular basis on a Sunday

So that's where journalism has landed in Britain and in The Times, and by extension, in the reptiles as they run tid-bits from their Pom kissing cousins, in search of click bait, while curiously maintaining a strident pay-wall ...

Not to worry, it's all the fault of social media and by the way the reptiles dragged this one out of the closet again, as an attempt to lure punters to their own brand of social media ...

Luckily the pond had already been there and done that, though it's a fair bet that the exorcist story will teach the Daily Mail a thing or two before sacking a journo or three



Climate change: Making farmers pay "IndyWatch Feed"

Yesterday the government announced its interim climate change committee - a group of experts to advise it on climate change policy. The group is intended to eventually become a permanent independent climate change commission once the government's Zero Carbon Act is passed, but they need advice now, so an interim body has been set up in the meantime. And their first order of business is working out how to make farmers pay for the pollution they cause:

A new climate change group has been immediately tasked with working out how New Zealand farmers can pay for their climate pollution.

And the highly controversial decision about whether and when the agricultural industry is charged for its greenhouse gases could fall close to the next election.


The commission won't be set up until May, and Shaw said that in the meantime work needed to get underway on two key issues agriculture's inclusion in the Emissions Trading Scheme and the goal of moving to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2035.

Any changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme will be finalised in late 2019, meaning if they are delayed they could be decided in the heat of the 2020 general election.

Agriculture is responsible for ~50% of our total greenhouse gas emissions, so working out how and when to bring it into the ETS and set it on a downward pathway is vital if we are to have any hope of reducing our emissions and doing our bit to reduce the damage caused by climate change. The current situation, where the rest of New Zealand effectively subsidises farmers to polluter, is neither fair nor effective, and provides farmers with no incentive at all to clean up their act. While any transition will need to take into account the technology and methods available to limit emissions, its important that we establish the principle of farmers paying their way, as well as providing an incentive to prevent further growth of their polluting industry. Neither the climate nor our rivers can afford more cows, and bringing farms into the ETS will help prevent that.

Naturally, the farmers are squealing at the prospect of being made to pay their own bills. We should resist that self-interested whining. We pay for our pollution now; they should too. Urban New Zealand should not be expected to support the polluting and environmentally destructive lifestyle of rural New Zealand.

Tuesday, 17 April


Sexism and the city "IndyWatch Feed"

Sexism and the cityInstead of having it all, women have to do it all on their own, in cities that are not designed for them.  read now...


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