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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
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".
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.
Australian Minister for Communications and longstanding member of the far-right pressure group the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) is up in arms because Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman tells some home truths "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"
Wednesday 18 April 2018 How has it come to this? Australians have always had a sort of love-hate relationship with America. Whilst we come from an English heritage, it has been the United States that has had the most influence on our maturing as a Nation. You agree, guys? Rightly or wrongly we have followed
The post Day to Day Politics: Only in America, but then we willingly shake his hand. appeared first on The AIM Network.
Theres an old saying, Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on me! Fool me over and over again, you must be the Murdoch Press telling me that the Liberal Party are great economic managers Yep, I did think that most ridiculous thing I heard was Sean Hannitys denial that he was
The post Ho, Ho, Ho, Scott Is Santa, While A Shorten Government Will Fail To Balance The Budget! appeared first on The AIM Network.
Fires as of April 16-17th. To give an idea of the map scale: Barden Ridge to Menai is approximately 3 km.
By Noel Wauchope: Australias bushfires threatening nuclear reactor: Changing the name of a suburb helps the government keep this quiet. Lucas Heights nuclear reactor: The untold threat of the Sydney bushfires: https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/sydney-bushfires-raged-towards-lucas-heights-nuclear-reactor,11401 16 April 2018
As I mentioned a while ago, in the years that Ive been blogging, Ive described my political perspective as social-democratic. In earlier years, I mostly used democratic socialist. My reason for the switch was that, in a market liberal/neoliberal era, the term socialist had become a statement of aspiration without any concrete meaning or any serious prospect of realisation. By contrast, social democracy represented the Keynesian welfare state I was defending against market liberal reform.
In the decade since the Global Financial Crisis, things have changed. Socialism still describes an aspiration, rather than a concrete political program, but an aspiration to a better society is what we need now as a positive response to the evident failure of neoliberalism.
On the other side of the ledger, nominally social democratic parties nearly all failed the test of the crisis, accepting to a greater or lesser degree to the politics of austerity. Some, like PASOK in Greece, have paid the price in full. Others, like Labor in Australia, are finally showing some spine. In practice, though, social democracy has come to stand, at best, for technocratic managerialism, and at worst for capitulation to the demands of financial capital.
So, Ive changed the description of this blogs perspective to socialist. I havent however, adopted the formulation democratic socialist which was used, in the 20th century, to emphasise a rejection of the Stalinist claim to have produced actually existing socialism in the Soviet Union and elsewhere. Thats no longer necessary.
As has been true for most of the history of the modern world, the only serious threat to democracy is now coming from the right. So, its important to defend democracy as well as advancing the case for socialism.
Before our waistlines shift, we need a culture shift. read now...
Yesterday, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and security
announced the creation of a civil society reference group to
provide advice on her work programme. The group includes lawyers,
intelligence policy experts, journalists and civil libertarians,
and many have been strong critics of New Zealand's intelligence
agencies in the past. Journalist Nicky Hager is the most prominent
of these, but the group also includes Deborah Manning (who
represented Ahmed Zaoui in his battle for freedom), journalist
David Fisher, and Thomas Beagle of the NZ Council for Civil
Liberties. Together, they'll help bring a more critical eye to the
IGIS' work, and raise issues of concern which the IGIS may not have
thought of. And if we want robust oversight of the spies to stop
them getting out of control, that's a Good Thing.
Naturally, though, National is outraged at the thought that anyone who isn't part of the spy-club getting to have an opinion on spying. And its clear from Brownlee's press release that he doesn't actually want robust oversight at all. Instead, he wants an Inspector-General who meekly accepts whatever the spies tell them, and doesn't ask awkward questions - just like in the "good old days" before Zaoui. But as we say in the Zaoui case, that sort of chummy relationship does not serve the public, and allows the spies to get away with mayhem. And in a democracy committed to the rule of law, that simply isn't acceptable.
I am concerned about the reference group, but only insofar as it is used to silence critics. The rules around what they are and are not allowed to say will have to be closely examined. But I have confidence that if there is any attempt to silence them (e.g. by forcing them to get security clearances, making them subject to s78AA of the Crimes Act and unable to read Wikileaks for the rest of their lives), then they will simply pull the plug and resign.
There is a certain bullishness in French circles these days, even if there was an initial attempt, with the Macron government, to calm matters down. The need to assert Gallic might in the face of brutality has again surfaced; and has a familiar ring to it. With Syrias Bashar al-Assad getting more comfortable with military
I wonder how many people, not just Americans but those in other countries, have come to the conclusion that the United States today is a less free and less aware society than the societies in the dystopian novels of the 20th century or in movies such as The Matrix and V for Vendetta. Just as people in the dystopian novels had no idea of their real situation, few Americans do either.
What are we to make of the extraordinary war crimes committed by the United States in the 21st century that have destroyed in whole or part seven countries, resulting in millions of dead, maimed, orphaned, and displaced peoples? Consider, for example, the latest Washington war crime, the illegal attack on Syria. Instead of protesting this illegality, the American media egged it on, cheering impending death and destruction.
During the entirety of the 21st century, Israel, Washingtons only allyas contrasted with the European, Canadian, Australian, and Japanese vassal states of Washingtons empirehas continued with Washingtons support, protection, and encouragement the genocide of the Palestinian people. Essentially, all that is left of Palestine is a getto concentration camp known as Gaza which is routinely bombed by Israel using weapons and money supplied by Washington. When a bombing of Gaza is announced, Gods Chosen People take their lawn chairs and picnics up on a hill overlooking Gaza and applaud as the Israeli military murders women and children. This is Americas only ally.
The crimes committed by the US and Israel are horrific, but meet with little opposition. In contrast, an alleged attack in which 70 Syrians are alleged to have died sets in motion the wheels of war. It makes no sense whatsoever. Israel routinely bombs Syrian targets, killing Syrians, and the US arms and supports the rebels that the Obama regime sent to overthrow Assad, resulting in large numbers of dead Syrians. Why all of a sudden do 70 Syrians matter to Washington?
According to the Washington authorities, or to the presstitutes reports of their statements, two or three alleged Syrian chemical weapons facilities were destroyed by Washingtons missile attack. Think about this for a minute. If Washington bombed or sent missiles into chemical weapons facilities, a vast cloud of lethal gas would have been released. The civilian casualties would be many times higher than the claimed 70 victims of Assads alleged and unsubstantiated chemical attack used as the pretext for the Trump regimes war crime against Syria. There is no evidence whatsoever of these casualties.
Had there been casualties, Washingtons attack would obviously be a far greater crime than the chemical attack that Washington used as cover for its own crime. Yet the American presstitutes are crowing over the lesson that America has taught Syria and Russia. Apparently, the American media consists of suc...
Turnbull's "economic leadership" and "traditional cabinet government" excuse for his 30th Newspoll loss just proves he doesn't get it. read now...
Imagine being a door-to-door vacuum salesperson from the worlds 19th best vacuum company, approaching someone who already owns a Dyson, and trying to convince them that your model is better while saying that 80% of people you try to sell it to dont actually buy it.
Our Minister for International Development and the Pacific would sure give it a shot. Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells went to the Overseas Development Institute in the UK last night our time, said the UK should spend more money in the Pacific region and partner with Australia to help us with that little China-in-the-Pacific predicament, but said we couldnt possibly spend more money on such things ourselves because Australians dont like aid.
Australias terrible and declining performance on aid does not put it in a good position to tell other countries what to do with theirs. Influence doesnt come cheap. (Just ask China)
Terrible sales pitch aside, Senator CFWs remark that youve got to take the public along with you on aid is also worthy of examination.
Senator Fierravanti-Wells said the government polling had exposed a big schism between the community and those working in the aid sector who think the complete opposite.
You do have to take your public with you, she said.
In many ways, its true. We know there are differences between views in the aid sector and in the general public we did research on it. But the views are not polar opposites. (See our full range of research on public opinion on aid here.)
The UK government had to work extremely hard to take the public (and Conservatives) along with them when they instituted the 0.7% aid target, so they probably didnt need this pearl of wisdom from a representative of a government that has done absolutely nothing to build public support for or understanding of aid and development.
From Bushfire Safety and Survival for Businesses and Organisations, p. 19: http://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/public/download.jsp?id=30936
Bushfires in Australia are frequent events during the hotter months of the year, due to Australias mostly hot, dry climate. Each year, such fires impact extensive areas
See more here: http://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/site/prepare_for_bushfire/be_bushfire_ready/be_bushfire_ready_app.jsp#step1
According to the South Australia Country Fire Service, nearly
1/2 of people living in bushfire prone areas dont understand the
threat. This is apparently true of those proposing adding nuclear
anything in Australia. For, in such a context, the risks of nuclear
anything are clearly even higher than average. And, the solar
potential in Australia is higher than average. The choice should be
Only a week ago, the government took a stand against climate
banned offshore oil exploration - the first step on the long
pathway to decarbonising New Zealand. But as the Herald
notes, Russel Norman and Sara May Howell are still
facing trial at the end of the month for protesting against the
very activity the government has banned back in 2017:
Prosecution against two Greenpeace activists who were charged with jumping into the water in front of an oil exploration ship will go ahead despite the Government announcing a ban on offshore oil exploration last week.
Greenpeace executive director and former politician Russel Norman and volunteer Sara May Howell are set to stand trial in the Napier District Court at the end of this month for their roles in a deep-sea oil protest last year.
The pair allegedly jumped into the water in front of oil exploration ship Amazon Warrior, off the Wairarapa coast, forcing it to stop its seismic work on April 10.
They were both charged with interfering in the operation of the 125m ship and pleaded not guilty at a joint appearance last October.
I recently caught up with Rashmii Bell over lunch in Brisbane, and asked about her background and experiences as an author. Listen to the podcast, read the transcript, or for highlights of what we discussed, read on.
I began by asking Rashmii to tell me about her background, and what she is currently involved in.
Rashmii hails from Sio, Morobe Province in PNG, having being born and lived in Lae, as well as Port Moresby and (presently) Brisbane. She was educated in Australia, and has lived between there and PNG since 1990. She studied at Griffith University, obtaining a degree in psychology and criminology. She has more than ten years of experience working in case management within adult and youth corrections services.
Im a little past nine years while Ive been at home. Ive just been raising children. But, Ive always enjoyed reading. I read everything, read every day. And writing, I have been writing for myself, but I only just started having my work published in the past three years
I went on to ask what Rashmii considered to be the most significant milestones in her journey as an author. Her first, and possibly most significant milestone, was seeing her work published on the PNG Attitude blog, edited by Keith Jackson. More recently, her role as editor of My Walk to Equality has provided new opportunities:
appearing at the writers festivals, the Sunshine Coast festival this year, and then Brisbane Writers Festival, both in 2016 and 2017, which has really, I think, for the majority of the emerging contemporary PNG writers, thats a huge thing for us to know that Papua New Guinean literature is being mentioned at these international events.
In a similar vein, I asked Rashmii what she thought were the things that had the most influence on her voice as an author. She explained to me that she focuses on long form writing, with her pieces best classified as opinion and commentary. This is not a genre favoured by many Papua New Guineans and, among those that do, there are very few women, so I think that in itself helps elevate my voice because I am the minority in amongst the commentators out there, among the PNG men.
In addition, the subjects she writes on social justic...
Here is just a little of what Liberal & National party members - and their governments - refuse to understand as they support a far-right economic platform which is built on a reduction in corporate tax rates, high business profits and large management salaries in conjunction with employee wage supression, erosion of workers' rights, an increase in employment insecurity based on casual, part-time and/or employees as sham contractors and, further restrictions on eligibility for a number of basic welfare payments.
This is from Winston Churchill, found as the opening words of Daniel Hannans wonderful How We Invented Freedom & Why It Matters:
There are few words which are used more loosely than the word Civilization. What does it mean? It means a society based upon the opinion of civilians. It means that violence, the rule of warriors and despotic chiefs, the conditions of camps and warfare, of riot and tyranny, give place to parliaments where laws are made, and independent courts of justice in which over long periods those laws are maintained. That is Civilizationand in its soil grow continually freedom, comfort, and culture. When Civilization reigns, in any country, a wider and less harassed life is afforded to the masses of the people. The traditions of the past are cherished, and the inheritance bequeathed to us by former wise or valiant men becomes a rich estate to be enjoyed and used by all.
There is no culture like our Western civilisation and if it disappears it will not come back for a thousand years. None of the alternatives looking to be the replacement for our way of life will be anything other than tyranny and slavery for the vast bulk of the population. And if you dont think our way of life is at risk, you are either completely clueless or think the past is a guarantor of the future. The totalitarian enemy is there at every turn, both outside the citadel and within. Let me just take this from (Lizzie) Beare from a previous thread, because it really is depressing how politically naive so many supposedly intelligent people are.
The right circumstances for another purge are upon us now; from the left. It is starting under the Antifa thugs when ordinary people going about their business are called fascist/and or are subject to physical violence for simply attending a talk by a reputable clinical psychologist or a very clever gay young man making jokes. You see it when a prominent TV conservative is physically attacked on his way into a venue. You see it when the recently deposed Australian Prime Minister is punched in the face by a gay activist. You also see it when a man of J3wish-Yemini background tries to collect signatures at a rally supposedly in support of refugee immigration into Australia and a big loon not just yel...
The AIMN needs the help of 300 good people. Ill get to the who and why shortly. When The AIMN started up over five years ago we were just another WordPress blog, unaware that within six months we were going to be among the widest-read political blogs in Australia. Admittedly we did have high expectations,
The Turnbull Government's "brown coal to hydrogen" project is poised to create 400 jobs, but at what cost? read now...
By Ad astra Australians were justifiably shocked, appalled and embarrassed by the ball tampering our test cricketers attempted last month in South Africa. Somehow, better was expected of them. After all, they were playing the gentlemens game cricket where any cheating was simply not cricket. Why then are we not even more disgusted
Part Twenty-six of a history of European occupation, rule, and brutal imperialism of Indigenous Australia, by Dr George Venturini. Governments institutional brutality Located in Berrimah, an Indigenous word which in Yolngu means to the south, in fact east of Darwin, is the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, a facility for juvenile detention in the Northern
As fires raged in Sydney, there hasn't been a peep about the fire hazard to Lucas Heights nuclear complex. read now...
Imagine living somewhere for your entire life, and then being
jailed as an overstayer pending deportation "back" to a foreign
That's what's happening to Mark Middleton:
Mark Middleton was once a popular choice to become Whanganui's Member of Parliament ... now he is facing deportation.
The stepfather of murdered schoolgirl Karla Cardno has been ordered to leave New Zealand after overstaying for more than 30 years.
Middleton, who came to live in New Zealand with his British parents as a 4-year-old in 1962, said immigration officials stormed his workplace on Tuesday, accusing him of living in the country illegally.
He was arrested and put in a cell at a Wellington police station until Wednesday afternoon.
Ive now finished the draft boundary map for the SA federal redistribution, following on from the draft boundaries released the previous week for Victoria and the ACT.
Remember there is a wide range of electoral maps federal, state and local, dating back at least a decade on the maps page.
And here is an interactive map. You can toggle on and off the 2016 and 2019 boundaries.
By Christine Kent In August 2017, after years of denial, I finally acknowledged my own homelessness. I came out of the closet in the most public way, on the SBS show, Insight. Since then I have been seriously researching the issue of homelessness. I think I have clarified the problem what homelessness is, who
On Friday, Phil Coorey published an article in the AFR lauding the credentials of Peter Dutton as a future Prime Minister. He quotes an unnamed Liberal colleague (but factional opponent) as saying Everyone listens when Peter intervenes. Hes the closest to a statesman we have. If any statement has shown how much trouble the Liberal
The U.S. involvement in Syria has nothing to do with democracy it is about protecting and extending U.S. power. read now...
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