There’s nothing edgy about ‘honour killings’

I can’t believe this needs to be said, but the choices of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas suggests it does.

Uthman Badar, spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir in Australia, will be speaking at the Festival on the topic “Honour killings are morally justified”.

How clever.

It has been many years since FODI has shown any desire to live up to its name. Their existences hinge on the flow of government grants, directly or indirectly through the units that make up the art establishment. It’s not here to disrupt the status quo. It is here because, as a Facebook friend snarked, “the whole idea of a Festival of Dangerous Ideas [is to be] some white–person wankery for inner–city latte drinkers to indulge themselves in a trip to the opera house and [provoke] the special feeling of belonging to that special part of society that attends ‘cultural’ events.

So whilst I am openly impressed that FODI has actually gone and proposed a dangerous idea in that context, as far as dangerous ideas go this is quite safe… which is what makes it so dangerous.

It is dangerous in the first instance because the material is justifying murder. Violence is generally accepted as dangerous.

For anyone who, say, might like to think of themselves as culturally enlightened, the barest of philosophical forays will lead you to the subjectivity of morality and/or its experience by the individual.

Armed with this, it is totally conceivable that people who commit what we call “honour killings” have reasons for doing so. It’s a scary rejoinder to the idea of monstrosity as other and seemingly perfect for a crowd seeking “danger”.

This makes it a safe bet. It’s destined to light up blogs like this, and papers and talkback tomorrow, and possibly the 6pm news from earlier this evening. Helen Dale – who has lit up the local media a few times, including this week – called the decision to give Badar a platform “the intellectual equivalent of streaking”, which is so right not just because it’s flashy, insubstantive, and guaranteed to get your eyeballs on the dangly bits, but also because it isn’t novel.

We know that attention will be paid because we have had these debates before. We have had these debates before because there are millions of people who believe murder is a prurient respond to the exercise of certain kinds of autonomy – but they’re other, safely ‘over there’, and the unbridled, uncritical acceptance of the other is how the worst sort of unthinking leftist gets their counter-cultural jollies.

It will be controversial. Why millions of people would hold values so far removed from our own always will be.

And thus we have Badar at FODI, surrounded by the latte elite, who have already started falling over themselves to demonstrate their open-mindedness by paying to listen to a man who fronts the national arm of an organisation that opposes the close-mindedness of a Western liberalism that would go back to stoning women if the culture wasn’t so close-minded.

If an open-mind is worth keeping on this issue this is still not a justification for FODI’s decision. The point of keeping an open mind is to think, judge, and close it eventually. If it never closes it is no great feat of mind, but the simple abrogation of critical thought. FODI is, by choosing to give this violent idea a platform, abrogating that responsibility in the name of whoring themselves out for attention. This is not an act without consequences; what we say in public sends a powerful message about (are you ready for this?) what is is acceptable to say and do in public.

They’re not concerned about that, nor are they actually concerned about whether we should kill slutty sluts for slutting. They’re concerned about how they can leverage Uthman Badar and the Hizb ut-Tahrir brand and the white guilt that creates the cultural relativism that baby leftists are injected with when they submit their first protest poster for assessment, in service of painting the Festival and it’s supporters as open-minded, critically engaged and edgy, and getting the attention that gets them paid. With taxpayer dollars.

If open engagement is what we desire there’s an endless supply of literature on the subject that could be privately consumed. Somehow I don’t think that’s what Hizb ut-Tahrir wants.

That is what I find the most dangerous – it’s lovely to have organisations like FODI that self-consciously hike their skirts and whore their stages in the pretence of glorying in liberalism while trying to undermine it. These ideas don’t deserve to be paraded on a platform as flimsy as amusement. There is no honour in giving a microphone to a man who doesn’t want to give the microphone back, when he will use it to promote a ban on microphones.

FODI sets its own agenda. They made a considered choice to offer the stage to a lobbyist for Islamototalitarianism to promote the murder of (mostly) women.

If FODI wants to truly be provocative, there are orthodoxies far better challenged than the secular, liberal, individualist democracy that permits people – including women – to pursue the free thought that allows them to consider and reject the killing women who exercise autonomy could be totally sweet.

FODI has the right to offer the PR flak for totalitarian organisation a space on its platform, and its secular “cultural establishment” type audience is mature enough to consider the idea without accepting it (the way the Murdoch-media-swilling general publicans apparently cannot, no doubt). Minds aren’t likely to slip out from under the warm, prosperous blanket of liberalism for the rock hard reality of whatever backwards logic makes it okay to kill for a contorted derivative of honour. 

The day the Premier resigned

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has been found to have received a $3,000 bottle of 1959 Penfolds Grange as a gift, which he failed to declare, and failed to admit to ICAC, conveniently suffering from memory failure, and has accordingly resigned this morning.

Before all thoughts move to who will move on up into the top spot, our anti-lockout friends at I’m Not The Problem Barry – No Lockouts NSW have been taking advantage of this scintillating story to have a bit of a laugh. The full gallery is here, but some of my favourites are below!

alcoholrelatedcorruption

iguessivehadmylastcabernetmeeting

whinesforlockoutslockedoutbywine

chrisnewman

 

 

 

Of fools then and now

New MH2The following article was published 15 years ago and should still offer a jolly good laugh. It helps to remind us what fools we had and still have as leaders. Bob Carr might lead the pack with his spin on dealing with crime in 1998.

Carr managed to fool most of NSW voters with his effective spin, all the while looting the utilities and thus running them into the ground, locking up most of the state, and generally bankrupting “The Premier State” as vehicle license plate so boasts.

November 1998.

As I listened to Premier Carr announcing the ban of certain weapons he could have been addressing the peacekeeping council of the United Nations.

With lordly pride befitting Napoleon fresh from his victory at the Battle of Marengo, Boob Carr added to the list of banned weapons in NSW, rocket launchers, grenade launchers, landmines, and studded gloves.

BoobcarrHowever, another weapon to be banned, a dreaded weapon known only by Darth Vader, is the “ballistic knife.” Thank God Captain Boob has unilaterally banned ballistic knives. Boob’s counterpart, Captain Kirk on board the Starship Free Enterprise, within minutes issued an intergalactic edict also banning ballistic knives. The ban extended to the distant galaxy of Gorgon 2, a star thought to be Bob Brown’s training camp for many of earth’s most prominent politicians, business leaders, and Green activists.

Boob’s “ballistic knife” has now been added to the State’s list of banned weapons. The Firearms Dealers Association has issued a “please explain” to the NSW Government after Premier Bob Carr last week announced the 1998 Weapons Prohibition Bill.

But none were more puzzled than Sydney’s weapon dealers when they received the revised list of banned weapons. Not one dealer has a “ballistic knife” nor had any members of the Firearms Dealers Association ever heard of them.

A spokesman from the Police Ministry wasn’t sure what “ballistic knives” were but thought they must exist because they were used in a television drama. The spokesman then went on to describe the knife as having a shooting blade propelled by rubber bands or a powerful spring. This is true!

The good citizens of NSW may now rest comfortable as the State’s not so good citizens have, in large numbers, rallied to captain Boob’s call to surrender their rocket launchers and land mines. The line-up outside Boob’s office was 3Kms long.

I have no quarrel with the prohibition of grenade launchers and land mines, but only if owners fail to provide good reason for possessing them. I suspect there are many like me who use rocket launchers to deliver distinctive messages to noisy neighbours. The push of a button, a smoky trail in the air, a mighty bang, and a neighbourhood dispute is settled in a flash. Less work for the police.

Another problem overlooked by Boob is for pet owners who use more land mines than did the Viet Cong. Those with dogs that continually dig holes in the garden or lawn, land mines buried just below the soil of a freshly dug hole have become the only cure—an effective remedy recommended by nine-out-of-ten vets.

When Bob returns to earth he should be told that idiotic leaps to ban already prohibited weapons and fictitious “ballistic knives” will not win him one vote from any earthling.

Carr and his coterie of bureaucratic incompetents should address some of the more serious problems within our society. They could begin by banning kryptonite, which has become a bigger seller than handguns on the black market. Kryptonite is more famously known to neutralise the strength of superman, but criminals discovered it also does the same to Brink’s security guards.

Also on Bob’s banned list should be Spiderman nets. Death and injury to innocent citizens when trapped in nets and robbed by the wicked are not acceptable in a modern society. Hey Bob?

As Carr moves to make our society safer, he should now show great leadership and be the first to hand in his isotope ray-gun and his single-seat time-warp machine.

Ahh! It’s mighty good to know our future rests in capable hands.

Beam me up Boob.

Boob is now Australia’s Foreign Minister and nothing has changed.

It brings truth to the adage, “If young fools survive, they become old fools.”

An Oath To Whom?

Bio

Vince Ripepi argues for the importance of parliamentarians swearing allegiance to the Monarch:

After almost a decade in storage the portraits of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were recently returned to the Strangers Dining Room at New South Wales Parliament House, following their removal by the previous Labor presiding officers.  Following the election of the O’Farrell government in March 2011 the upper house member, Rev. Fred Nile successfully petitioned the new presiding officers to have the portraits rehung – in an effort to correct what he calls “sneaky republicanism.”  The Strangers Dining Room is one of the major places of assembly within the parliamentary complex and is used frequently for gatherings of parliamentarians and business and community organisations.  The portraits, back in their original positions on either side of the State Coat of Arms, serve as a visual tribute to the head of state of New South Wales and her consort.

The much maligned Rev. Nile has now turned his attention to the wording of the official oath that members of parliament take upon entering office and in particular his desire to have MP’s return to the practice of swearing their allegiance to the Queen.  When asked about his position on Rev. Nile’s plan the NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, suggested that members be given a choice, that is, the choice between swearing (or affirming) to serve the Queen or the people of New South Wales.

This raises an interesting question. That is, is an allegiance to the Queen of Australia mutually exclusive or in competition with an allegiance to the people of New South Wales (or the people of Australia for that matter?)

First things’ first, Elizabeth Windsor is Queen of Australia separate from any other role or title which she holds.  The throne which she occupies is the oldest institution in Australia and is as much a part of our national culture and tradition as cricket on Boxing Day.  Moreover, the role of Monarch has evolved over time, and the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931 marked not just an important milestone in the development of Australian legislative independence from its former coloniser but it also, for the first time, recognised the existence of the Australian Crown as a separate entity to that in the various other Commonwealth Realms – Realms which are equal in status.

The notion that there can be a choice to swear to serve the Queen of Australia or the people as if the two are diametrically opposed is simply nonsense and stems from the volumes of misinformation that is perpetuated by sections of the community and the media.  It is long accepted by constitutional experts that the Crown is the personification of the State.  This concept has been described as the doctrine of the King’s two bodies, and was set out in Calvin’s Case in 1608:

“The King has in him two Bodies, viz., a Body natural, and a Body politic. His Body natural (if it be considered in itself) is a Body mortal, subject to all infirmities that come by Nature or Accident, to the Imbecility of Infancy or old Age, and to the like Defects that happen to the natural Bodies of other People. But his Body politic is a Body that cannot be seen or handled, consisting of Policy and Government, and constituted for the Direction of the People, and the Management of the public weal, and this Body is utterly void of Infancy, and old Age, and other natural Defects and Imbecilities, which the Body natural is subject to, and for this Cause, what the King does in his Body politic cannot be invalidated or frustrated by any Disability in his natural Body.”

Thus the Queen is both individual in her natural body and universal in her body politic (the Crown) and in her role as Queen of Australia she is also the personification of Australia.   An allegiance to her as Queen does not and cannot in any way conflict with an allegiance to Australia or New South Wales.  There cannot be any conflicting interests between the State and its personification.  If we accept that the Queen is the personification of Australia, and of New South Wales and that her interests cannot be in competition with those of the people nor of the state then it follows that a politician cannot have an allegiance to one at the expense of the other nor can he or she serve one without serving the other.  It is, as further expressed in Calvin’s Case that “The King’s Two Bodies thus form one unit indivisible, each being fully contained in the other.”  The Crown is inextricably connected to the state and to the people and while ever we remain a constitutional monarchy, with the Crown at the apex of our system of government, our elected representatives should honour this principle.

In Australia it would seem from recent political history that the wording of the oaths taken by members of the executive change more frequently than the administration of the government itself.

When Kevin Rudd became prime minister in 2007 he swore that he would serve “the Commonwealth of Australia, her land and her people” and in so doing joined Paul Keating as only the second prime minister to not swear or affirm to serve the Queen as part of his official oath of office.  When she disposed Mr Rudd in June 2010 the current Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, affirmed the same oath but keen watchers will have noted that by the time of her second swearing-in following the 2010 federal election that the oath of office had changed.  On the second occasion, Ms Gillard affirmed that she would “well and truly serve the Commonwealth of Australia in the Office of Prime Minister”.  One can only assume that “her land and her people” failed to survive all of the post election horse trading.

This penchant for change, frequent and without consultation, ought to be a matter of concern for Conservatives.  On oath, whether it is of allegiance or of office is a solemn undertaking of service.  The solemnity is removed however when we allow politicians to tinker with the wording of these oaths to suit their own political and ideological views. The oath of office taken by our elected leaders should be uniform and long standing and worthy of the important offices which they occupy.  Its wording should not be part of the spoils of war as it seems to be in the present climate.

For an example of how things ought to be, we turn to the United States.  The oath of office of the President of the United States is enshrined within the US Constitution and has been administered to all forty-three men to have entered upon that office.  That oath, a simple and poignant statement, has not only stood the test of time but also, I would suggest, become a further symbol of the presidency alongside the White House and Air Force One.  Similarly, the oaths administered to members and senators, departmental secretaries and ambassadors is constant and does not change depending on who occupies the White House or which party hold the majority in Congress – consistency which is so lacking in Australia.

The very fact that we are in 2012 discussing the wording of the oath of office of our elected representatives is symbolic of the much broader debate that remains, for some at least, unsettled.  To clarify, Australia is not a republic.  Supporters of constitutional change, predominately Left-wing ideologues, continue to attempt to rewrite history contrary to the will of the people in 1999.  We should not allow our political and ideological opponents to continue to delude themselves, it just isn’t fair.  Since the 1999 referendum proponents of the republic have busied themselves with three primary avenues of attack, firstly, that a republic is inevitable and secondly that it will naturally occur at the end of the reign of the current Monarch.  With each passing year and each new opinion poll showing growing support for the House of Windsor these two theories seem increasingly less likely.  The third avenue is nothing short of sinister.  The idea is that if we pretend that Australia is a republic then the public will buy it.  This is the “sneaky republicanism” that Rev. Nile is fighting against.  They remove portraits of the Queen from public spaces and label her a foreigner, amend oaths of office and wait in false hope that the Australian people will suddenly and passionately awake from their ignorant slumber and realise that they got it all wrong in 1999.  This is of course unlikely to happen any time soon, support for the monarchy is on the increase and without a viable (and sensible) alternative the Australian people will undoubtedly continue to stick with the system that has served them well for more than 110 years.

So what of Mr O’Farrell’s choice?  The solution has been spoken through the ages – “Queen and Country”, there is no need to choose between the two because they are one and the same but by ignoring the former we are neglecting one of the most important cultural and historical components of the later.  This neglect does us all a great disservice.

Vince Ripepi is a Sydney based solicitor and long time member of the Liberal Party.  He is the Vice President (Policy) of the Smithfield Young Liberals. 

 

So Much for the Carbon Tax Compensation

NSW commuters could be hit with public transport fare increases of up to $150 a year when the carbon tax kicks in, confidential state government figures show.

The federal government claimed the overall cost-of-living impact on prices from the tax would be only 0.7 per cent of CPI.

However the NSW Treasury estimated that the potential fare rises for all modes of public transport in NSW alone – due to increased electricity costs for trains and fuel costs for buses and ferries – could be expected at an average 3.4 per cent.

Commuters travelling longer distances to the city from places such as Blacktown, Penrith, Campbelltown, Gosford and Heathcote would be worst affected.

NSW Premier Mr O'Farrell said yesterday it was "crazy" that public transport would be hit by the tax when petrol for cars would be exempt: "This will create more pollution and defeat the whole purpose of a carbon tax.

"The federal government is crazy if it thinks this tax is going to reduce carbon emissions when it will lead to higher public transport fares and create an incentive for people to use their cars."

The Treasury document assumed that the full cost of the carbon tax would be borne by commuters rather than by taxpayers.

Results of the Daily Telegraph poll thus far.

Would you stop using public transport if the carbon tax pushed fares up $150 a year?

  • Yes 79.09% (3562 votes)
  • No 20.91% (942 votes)

Total votes: 4504

Via the Daily Telegraph

 

Andy Semple

Follow him on twitter @Bulmkt

When government gives less, it gives more

Clinton-MeadA campaign speech and foreword from Clinton Mead:

I’m running in the NSW election for the electorate of Wollondilly as an Outdoor Recreation Party candidate. At a recent debate hosted by Wollondilly Council, I was given time to give a two minute introductory speech. The debate was around an “issues paper”, which basically was a list of projects the local council wanted state funding for. The major party candidates used most of their opening speech to talk about the bacon they were supposedly going to bring home for the electorate.

However, I took a different approach. Compressing this message (or should I say our message) into two minutes was not trivial, but this was my attempt. Whilst the audience of two hundred is a very small percentage of the electorate of forty thousand voters, I do hope that at least two hundred more people have began to think about the proper role of government in our society. This is the speech:

We currently have a system where the government takes at least a third of what we earn. Basically we're working for free until May. The vast majority of those four months of work goes to Canberra, where it is divided by politicians and bureaucrats, who take their cut, and then pass that money to the state politicians and bureaucrats, who again take their cut, who then distribute that money to local services.

But how do the politicians and bureaucrats in Canberra, or on Macquarie Street, know where this money is needed? The fact is, they don't have the faintest idea. The vast majority, probably all but one of them, don't live here. So then begins the lobbying by local representatives, local governments, all quite rightly campaigning for some of their taxpayer's dollars back.

I realised then that the issues paper is indeed, the issue. The vast majority of the issues raised are things that should be done by either local council or by organisations in the local community. The only reason why a state bureaucracy needs to be involved is because the people of Wollondilly are sending so much of their earnings to Macquarie Street and Canberra that it leaves them with no choice.

As a result, instead of the people of Wollondilly getting the services they need, so much of their wealth is being lost by bureaucracy and mismanagement which is inevitable when government is so large and disconnected with the people.

It is the system that is the problem. We are not going to be able to elect the Liberals as the “better socialists” and expect waste and mismanagement to disappear.

Instead, if we want real change, we will need to elect people who don't campaign by telling us what they're going to spend our money on, but instead campaign by telling us what they're not going to spend our money on.

This is why I've attached my name to the Outdoor Recreation Party. They are the only party this election which is not about giving you more, but giving you less. Because when Santa Claus is taking your money to buy your presents, I think giving less is actually giving more.

Clinton Mead is the Outdoor Recreation Party candidate for the NSW seat of Wollondilly.

One Bob’s Worth

N218101419_31904775_6808710 Michael Ilyine on the madness of one Bob Eillis

In The Wharf Revue’s Pennies From Kevin, Bob Ellis was portrayed as Scrooge-like; unleashing a bilious monologue of leftist thoughts, seemingly threaded together only by what popped into his mind next. An amusing parody when put alongside other skits such as Kevin Rudd deciphering the Lower Chamber of Secrets.

However, in a case of life imitating art, the (taxpayer funded – Ed) Drum/Unleashed published a mind-boggling piece on the outcome of the NSW State Election. Even the most sanguine of ALP number crunchers must be surprised when Ellis predicts the return of the Keneally Government, bucking a trend of landslide Newspolls stretching back to 2007. I hope he’s wisely invested in the 10/1 odds being offered for such a result.

Besides an unrealistically optimistic outlook (to which each is entitled) the groundless arguments and extraneous personal attacks which accompany his article are startling. Let me deal with the latter first. According to Ellis:

Barry O’Farrell is ‘wheezy, pudgy, puffy’ and ‘a serial fatty with an Irish name and a Greenstreet shape and a face like boiled bacon’.

Jillian Skinner is ‘like a long-detested nagging landlady with four dead husbands and hairy shoulders’.

‘John Brogden was a suicide’

Whether he has been taking lessons in puerile name calling from fellow Drum contributor Catherine Deveny or regressing into his childhood persona isn’t clear- his inability to provide robust political commentary without insulting people is.

Putting to one side his attacks, the arguments don’t hold water.

Apparently the Liberal leadership in NSW are in thrall to ‘Big Tobacco’ through donations for the sole purpose of ‘Parliamentary Party is engaged in a conspiracy to addict ‘a thousand 13-year-olds a week to this carcinogen’. According to Ellis, voters are more likely to vote for Keneally (‘a healthy bicycling mother of two’) over O’Farrell as described above. This is about as likely as voters in 2007 choosing John Howard for his morning walks over Kevin Rudd’s bookish looks.

Then there’s the sectarian rhetoric (‘The Da Vinci Code Factor’) where preselections have been won by ‘demented, foam-flecked Catholics’. I’m all for freedom of speech, but describing a practitioner of Catholicism (or any religion for that matter) in those terms can’t lead to mature debate, only the dredging of the basest prejudices.

In a leap to the bizarre, Bob concocts a theory that a withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and imagined Wikileaks cables will cascade into State politics and dwarf public transport, police and planning as present issues.

The intellectual exercise of the ALP’s return is based on flimsy reasons but the greatest over-reach goes to the size of swings and the nature of government in NSW since the retirement of Bob Carr.

The ALP machine, whose methods and actors permeated the knifing of a sitting Prime Minister, has been spared true electoral judgement since the last state election. The rotating door of Premiers, ICAC investigations, a Parliament prorogued hastily, turf wars between organisational and parliamentary wings et al. will weigh heaviest on the minds of voters when considering the next four years. It cannot be wished away or erased summarily.

No reasonable person believes this New New New Labor brand is anything other than in terminal decline. The by-elections speak clearly, with Penrith the most recent example: a 25% swing the largest recorded against a government. The polls will tighten slightly in a two horse race, but the ALP’s oblivion is inevitable. Nobody really needs to prove Bob Ellis wrong: the voters of NSW on March 26 are ready to do just that.

Aside:

Despite the original story’s comment count reaching 700 and obviously stirring debate, is it correct for the editors to allow such a sub-standard, inflammatory piece to be published in the first place?

Michael Ilyine retains an interest in Australian Politics, despite currently living in Dublin. Michael can be followed on Twitter via @ilyine

 

Detoxification of Immigrants

Mark-SharmaThe politicisation of ethnic organisations has damaged Australia's international reputation, writes Mark Sharma.

Ever wondered why most immigrants side with left leaning organizations like Labor and the Greens? Why despite numerous attempts for reconciliation, the allegations of Australia being a “racist” country from Indian press never goes away? Why despite Australia largely being a “fair go” country never gets any positive publicity in the international arena?

If you have ever thought about these things and never found the answers then I suggest reading the rest of this piece.

Nobody understands these complexities better than someone in my own position. I came to Australia as an overseas student to get a Higher Education and decided to stay back. With a deep love and interest for politics, it was only natural for me to study and understand Australian politics from different perspectives. I still consider myself to be a student of Australian Politics; the only difference is that I’m an active student. I don’t just learn Politics but I apply what I learn in real life by contesting elections and engaging with the public.

Taking an active part in Politics has allowed me to expand my circle of acquaintances. These people have a lot more knowledge about what goes on in this country. Many of these people are willing to share important information with me for the betterment of the society. It’s like a mini “wikileak” but with a twist.

The twist is that unlike Wikileaks this is not about diplomatic cables. This is about what goes on in various ethnic communities across Sydney and how that affects our democracy.  It is no secret that Western Sydney is a stronghold of the Labor Party. Just have a look at seat by seat comparisons and you will find Labor everywhere. From Balmain in inner city to Blacktown in the west, everything is dipped in Labor red.

Another interesting fact about Western Sydney is that it is home to a very large immigrant population. Chinese, Indians, Koreans, Arabs, Muslims, Vietnamese and hundreds more non-white ethnic communities reside in Western Sydney. It is also no surprise that a majority of them vote Labor. We all know that the NSW arm of Labor party is big on spin when it comes to real issues. Unfortunately for immigrants this same spin gets even bigger when it is directed towards them.

From the day new migrants arrive in Australia, the Labor PR wing and its various extended arms get into the job of disseminating propaganda to them. We are told by ALP hacks that “only they care about immigrants”. We are told directly or indirectly that “the Coalition is a racist organization” and only “the left cares about us non-whites”.

Clearly these claims by Labor are NOT true and I’m a living proof of it. If Labor truly cared about immigrants then it would have not matched Abbott’s promises of cutting down on immigration. If Labor truly believed in equality then today there would have been at least two dozen ethnic MP’s on Labor seats instead of none. This doesn’t mean that the Coalition is a messiah for immigrants. All it means is that the Coalition doesn’t lie to immigrants. They don’t make big promises and so there is not a lot that can be expected of them.

Having taken a shot at the Coalition, I do accept that things are getting better within conservative parties and they have started reaching out to immigrant communities.

It has been widely reported that NSW Liberal leader Barry O’Farrell will make it to the Premier’s office come March 2011. With 15 years of neglect and almost the same number of scandals, it is an impossible task for Kristina Keneally to overcome this Mount Everest. In fact, the latest MP to feature on the “ALP Scandal Tally” is the premier herself.

Whether the Labor party even makes it to double digits is anybody’s guess, but it is important that the priorities of the incoming Government are in the right direction. In my opinion, the detoxification of various ethnic associations should be right on top of the agenda. Let me clarify what I mean by detoxification.

My extensive study in this area has made me conclude that most of the ethnic associations are actually being run by Labor party hacks at the behest of ALP. This is widespread and is happening in most ethnic associations. This is how it works. Say if you belong to Korean community and live in an area like Strathfield with a high Korean population, then the local ALP members of Korean background would most likely control Korean associations that operate in that area. The idea of ethnic associations is to improve the situation of those who belong to such groups. Ethnic associations are not there to further the cause of particular political party unless it explicitly states that. But in Sydney these groups are being used as PR machines to further the Labor cause. This is exactly how things have gone on for the last 15 years and the time has come to stop it.

The situation is even worse when it comes to Indian organizations. When attacks on Indian students took place, it was very important that the government was able to liaise with the Indian community in Australia to resolve these issues.  But the reality is that these issues never got fully resolved and they will never be resolved because the Labor government in power has got it all wrong. Many of you might be shocked to find out that most of the so called “Indian representatives” in Australia are NOT even remotely Indian.

Despite that, the Labor government continues to recognize them as legitimate Indian organizations and provide them a platform. The real reason why Labor is doing this is because these organizations are led by pro-Labor people who have no interest in the Indian community.

In the end the real issues are never properly dealt with and when something goes wrong it directly hurts Australia’s reputation. There is talk going on that when the government eventually changes in March 2011 these same organizations might change colour and start barracking for Liberals. But once again that will not solve the problem. The only way we can get lasting solutions is if the incoming Coalition Government is ready to take this issue head on.

Are you willing to clean up Labor’s mess Barry?

Mark Sharma is an Independent Conservative politician who stood as a candidate in the electorate of Watson in NSW. He writes regularly for various Indian-Australian Newspapers and on his blog Voice of Strathfield

Budget bungling

David-RussellDavid Russell writes that the state of the NSW budget is highly concerning.

So adept are they at kicking own goals, it hardly seems fair to draw attention to any further stuff-ups by the Fabian fiasco in The Failed State that goes by the name of the Kenneally Government. Of course, it’s just as unfair to brandish her name since her predecessors (and there have been rather a few, eh?) conspired to tarnish the Labor brand in such a way that the North Korean administration appears a model of sanity and efficiency by comparison.

But enough of damning faint praise.

We are beholden to Lisa Murray in The Australian Financial Review who has shed some light on the socialist approach to financial management. Not a pretty picture so be prepared for discomfort if you are, by residential misfortune, a shareholder in the New South Welshian jurisdiction. Superficially there’s a pretty picture with Kenneally and Co reporting a surplus (wonder of wonders!) of $994 million for 2009-10. Just a year earlier, this lot were predicting almost exactly the same number as a deficit. But, no, their economic and management skills have not miraculously turned around in that time. Indeed, their slide down the slippery slope of fiscal imprudence continues not only unabated but perhaps gathering speed.

This is attested by the fact that the water-into-wine trick of deficit into surplus was produced by a federal stimulus gift of $3.2 billion. Which still leaves another $1.2 billion that appears to have simply disappeared into the mist. Albeit some of the gorillas inhabiting that space are those who belong to that rather generic genus known as consultants. Spending on these ubiquitous creatures soared from a still substantial $90 million or so back in 08-09 to a concerning $207 million this past year. Lots of snouts, lots of troughs.

Of greater concern, though, is superannuation. Unfunded liabilities have now leapt to nearly $35 billion and some very pointed questions should surely be asked about how this problem is to be addressed.

Indicative of the slapdash approach to management of funds is that no less than seven of 24 state agencies produced accounts which contained errors of more than $20 million. But what’s a few score million here or there when state net debt is approaching $10 billion?

The position is so parlous that it makes you wonder why anyone would want to put their hand up to sort out the mess. Clearly, altruism is not yet dead.

David M. Russell is a professional communicator with a passion for good governance. His personal blog can be found at davidmrussell.wordpress.com.