Australia

Just because he’s a Kiwi doesn’t give him ‘victim’ status. He was a terrorist!

A Kiwi has been killed in a drone strike against an al Qaeda terrorist training camp.

Naturally the terrorist hugging opposition politicians are all aghast and their pals in the media think this is just dreadful.

Isaac Davison reports:

A Kiwi killed in a drone strike in Yemen had attended a terrorist training camp and may have been a foot soldier for al-Qaeda.

The man, whose name and age have not been released, died after an incident on November 18. It is understood his identity had only been confirmed recently.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed the New Zealand-born man was believed to have died in a counter-terrorism operation.

However, they refused to be drawn on the specifics of that operation.  Read more »

Headline of the Week

From the Courier Mail in Queensland.

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The story itself is hilarious:

FORMER foreign minister Bob Carr was last night labeled “arrogant” and “foolish” for risking diplomatic ties after leaked extracts of his new diaries revealed him complaining about taxpayer-funded first and business class travel and questioning whether top US leaders had plastic surgery.  Read more »

Cunliffe continues to lie over capital gains tax

David Cunliffe just can’t help himself, again telling mis-truths over capital gains tax.

A Labour led government would impose a capital gains tax of 15% on realised gains from investment property. He says the family home would be exempt, Labour leader David Cunliffe told TVNZ’s Q+A programme this morning.

“I’m comfortable with that because speculators are driving this market, and to make matters worse, according to the BNZ and Real Estate Institute about 12% of speculative house buyers, all house buyers last year in Auckland came from non-resident foreigners.  Non-resident foreigners who have access to cheap finance are driving up the price of homes in New Zealand, so young Kiwis can’t get into their own homes.” Mr Cunliffe said.

When questioned on why a capital gains tax isn’t working in Australia, Mr Cunliffe said, “The problem would be worse if they didn’t have it.”  Read more »

Doors closed in Australia, no matter let’s try NZ

People smugglers are giving up on trying to get people into Australia now, the government of Tony Abbott has succeeded in stopping the boats.

The people smugglers though are not to be deterred and are now targeting NZ.

Michael Bachelard at The Guardian reports:

People smugglers in Indonesia are mounting their first credible attempt to ship asylum seekers on the hazardous voyage to New Zealand and circumvent the Abbott government’s Operation Sovereign Borders.

Four men – two from Bangladesh and two from Afghanistan – were caught last month by the Indonesian immigration department in Jayapura, West Papua, on their way to get a boat to New Zealand.

Their capture appears to have stalled, for the time being, a plot to send up to 100 people, but sources in West Java say people smugglers in the town of Cisarua are still advertising for places on a New Zealand-bound boat.

The smugglers are showing asylum seekers a grainy picture, obtained by Fairfax Media, of the boat they say they have bought for the venture, which is larger and sturdier looking than the typical fishing vessel and has covered cabins and navigational antennae.  Read more »

Unions whining in Aussie as Royal Commission get underway

Finally they have a government in Australia who has the courage to take on the unions rorting the system, and slowly push them a little closer to extinction.

If only the John Key government would push for the same thing here, just grab a copy of their terms of reference, adapt it for NZ, and get the show under way.

After all, the honest unions have nothing to worry about.   So, no problem is there?

A ROYAL commission into trade union governance, slush funds and corruption is nothing more than a witch-hunt and taxpayers will be better served if more money went to enforcing existing laws, unions say.

The royal commission into trade union governance started in Sydney on Wednesday, with commissioner Dyson Heydon saying the inquiry’s both broad and restrictive terms of reference will probe the facts behind a range of union practices.

Justice Heydon says the commission does not want to see unions abolished or curbed into insignificance.  Read more »

Flight MH370 and the Whaleoil connection

You wouldn’t think there was one, but look what the Internet spat up yesterday

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Schapelle Corby admits to being a drug trafficker. That settles that then

Ah, the truth finds a way.

913511-dtstory-lawrence-corbySchapelle Corby had trafficked drugs into Bali three times before her arrest, and “acted crazy” to get her sentence cut, her former Australian cellmate Renae Lawrence claims.

Lawrence, one of the Bali Nine drug couriers, was secretly videoed making the allegations that were broadcast on Network Ten yesterday.

She said Corby, who was released from Bali’s Kerobokan jail on parole in February, was good at keeping her secrets, but “let one slip one night”.

“She said that she knew the marijuana was in the boogie bag, but the person who was supposed to be at the airport at the same time didn’t turn up,” Lawrence said.

“She told me and the other prisoner that she’d done it more than this time.

“She said she’d brought the drugs [into Bali] before three times.”

Lawrence also claimed Corby “acted crazy” to get her sentence cut.

Well, can’t say I blame her.  It saved her from life imprisonment, or worse.  You do what you have to do.  But the whole “innocence” routine was as fake as the rest of her.   Read more »

John Howard on parties, membership and ideology

John Howard was interviewed by The Australian in Australia and offers some interesting perspectives on political parties, membership and ideology.

“All political parties need reform,” Howard said in an interview with this columnist to mark the 40th anniversary of his election to parliament.

“The greatest problem that my party has, the greatest problem the Labor Party has, is that we no longer pursue with zeal the idea of expanding the membership.”

The problem has become ­particularly acute for Labor.

The party’s terrible result in the West Australian Senate ­election underscores the need for reform.

With its two lead candidates beholden to unions and each representing polar ideological ­extremes, it is not surprising Labor received a dismal 22 per cent of the vote.

Both Labour and National face similar issues here, though I suspect Labour’s issue is more pressing.

When Howard joined the Young Liberals as an 18 year old in the late 1950s, he said it was the “mission” of every member to ­recruit new members.

“We spend too much time arguing about what the existing membership does rather than throwing open the doors to new members.”

However, given the loss of members in both major parties, retaining new members has ­become a life or death matter. At Labor’s peak in the 1930s, it boasted a membership of more than 150,000. The Liberals had a membership of more than 150,000 in the 1950s.

Today, membership of both major parties has declined even though the population has expanded. Labor and the Liberals each have about 45,000 members nationally.

“People don’t join local sporting clubs, local churches, local service clubs and political parties the way they did 50 years ago,” Howard says.  Read more »

Fiji travel bans lifted, what did they actually achieve?

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The government has finally lifted the Fiji travel bans:

New Zealand is lifting travel sanctions against Fiji, Foreign Minister Murray McCully has confirmed.

In a statement, McCully said the progress Fiji was making towards holding free and fair elections deserved recognition from the Pacific region and international community.

“There are now more than 500,000 people registered to vote in the September elections, electoral commissioners have been appointed and importantly Commodore Bainimarama has stepped down as the head of the Military.

“The visit by the Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Contact Group in February was a success and the Commonwealth recently acknowledged the progress that Fiji is making.

“Last week the electoral decree was published, an Elections Supervisor appointed, and the 17th of September was announced as the election date.”

As a consequence New Zealand would end all remaining travel sanctions and would also remove all remaining restrictions on New Zealand Government departments working directly with their Fiji counterparts.

Which is all good, but one wonders what they actually achieved. These sanctions certainly never deterred the government of Fiji from progressing to a true democracy, with one person one vote, and a proper census, complete photo id voter registration and the removal of the electoral rort of the Great Council of Chiefs.   Read more »

Only a fool believes you could legislate to determine a degree of personal offence

Larry Pickering comments on the offended nature of the left wing.

Change the names and terms into a New Zealand context…it is the same here as it is in NZ. Swap out Aborigine for Maori…

Greens and Labor’s Left dream of the perfect egalitarian PC world where no-one is offended by anything and everyone sleeps in the same conjugal bed. Well, that’s not the way it works, fellas, and it’s you lot that have made an art form of offending people.

No-one can agree with racial vilification, although we all come across it, but this debate is inane and widens, rather than closes, “the gap”.

Only a fool believes you could legislate to determine a degree of personal offence. Is “whitie c…” less racially offensive than, “boong”? Is “gwailo” (white ghost) more racially offensive than “chink”? Is “wog” racially offensive to a southern European when he refers to himself as a wog?

The terms, “Pom”, “Kiwi”, “Newfie”, “Yank”, “Jap”, “Coon”, “Abo”, “Chink”, “Wetback”, “Fuzzy Wuzzy”, “Raghead” are all racially based, but which is legally racial bigotry? All, none or some?

What about “Shortarse” ,”Fatso” and “Freckles”? Are they less or more offensive?

Those terms, and hundreds of others, will always be used, sometimes affectionately and sometimes not. It depends on how they are used, how well you know the person and in what context.

There is no law that can decide “offence”! And there is no law that can determine one’s legitimate or feigned degree of offence.

In the 1970s Labor tried to outlaw the term “Wog”, but unfortunately “Pom” and “Kiwi” were caught in the same legislative net, it was duly ignored.

Let’s not kid ourselves, existing law is all about Aborigines. But Aborigines are as guilty as we are of racially discriminatory remarks, at least in my experience. Reverse racism is rampant wherever Aborigines reside in numbers.

There is a massive battle going on in Australia right now. Tony Abbott is seeking to remove the hate speech provisions and the left is fighting hard.

PM Abbott’s proposed changes to current legislation will place “free speech” above what an individual might perceive as “offensive”. And “free speech” should win that battle every time.

Andrew Bolt was legally vilified for discussing “white Aborigines” and how they use a nominated ethnicity for financial advantage.

Okay, Bolt got a few facts wrong but he was right to say this is happening and right to ask is it fair.

Legally you are not required to prove you are of Aboriginal descent, that’s “offensive”, you need only to declare you are, and you can then join an entitlement queue that heavily favours Aborigines.

Is that fair to those who legitimately depend on social services?

This racial anomaly is what Andrew Bolt was debating, yet it was deemed illegal for him to do so, much to “white Aborigines’” delight.

Free speech was what our forefathers fought for, it’s a jewel in our Aussie ethic. No Labor/Green Lefty or Aboriginal activist should be allowed to take it from us and we want it back!