Penny Wong

Too right George, now tell them to bugger off

George Brandis is standing up for freedom of speech in Australia despite the howls of outrage from the left who as well all know are only supporters of freedom of speech if it is speech they agree with.

George Brandis has compared himself to Voltaire and derided proponents of climate change action as “believers” who do not listen to opposing views and have reduced debate to a mediaeval and ignorant level.

In an interview with online magazine Spiked, the Attorney-General also declares he has no regret for saying Australians have the right to be bigots and accuses the left of advocating censorship to enforce a morality code on the nation.

It comes as former Australian of the year Professor Fiona Stanley said climate science had been denigrated through politicisation and denial, and issued a stinging attack on the federal government for the absence of a specific department to tackle global warming.

Senator Brandis, who is driving reforms to Australia’s racial discrimination act, describes the climate change debate as one of the “catalysing moments” in his views on freedom of speech.

While he says he believes in man-made climate change, the Queensland senator tells the magazine he is shocked by the “authoritarianism” with which some proponents of climate change exclude alternative viewpoints, singling out Labor’s Penny Wong as “Australia’s high priestess of political correctness”.

He said it was “deplorable” that “one side [has] the orthodoxy on its side and delegitimises the views of those who disagree, rather than engaging with them intellectually and showing them why they are wrong”.

As examples, he points to Senator Wong and former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who he accuses of arguing “the science is settled” to shut down political debate on climate change. Read more »

Labor leadership candidates racing for the centre ground

In stark contrast with the loons of NZ Labour who were racing to the far left in a bid to secure the leadership the Aussie contenders for Labor’s leadership are instead racing to secure the centre.

LABOR leadership candidate Bill Shorten on Wednesday declared himself a man of the centre, insisting he was best-placed to appeal to the broader public over left-wing rival Anthony Albanese.

But the bid to point out his rival’s hard left background came as Mr Albanese’s blitz continued at a Brisbane campaign event on Wednesday night – with the backing of former Labor MP and Right faction member Arch Bevis.

Another Right member and former Gillard backer Craig Emerson has also backed Mr Albanese as well as Greg Combet, Tanya Plibersek, Penny Wong and Doug Cameron.

Mr Shorten’s public endorsements have included former union boss Bill Kelty and former Labor ministers Richard Marles and Mark Dreyfus but right-wing unions are mobilising and it is understood more endorsements will be rolled out in coming days.  Read more »

The cheek of some people, especially those bloody boat people!

John Nguygen is causing some problems for the Liberals.

Firstly Joe Hockey thought he was Chinese, when he is in fact Vietnamese.

The Opposition’s treasury spokesman, Joe Hockey, has had to correct himself about the ethnic background of Liberal candidate John Nguyen.

While campaigning in Sydney today, Mr Hockey was asked about candidates from an Asian or Chinese background.

“There are a number of Chinese candidates, including in Victoria, who I was just campaigning with a few days ago in Chisholm, John Nguyen,” he said.

“So we have a number of Chinese candidates right across the country.”

Shortly afterwards, Mr Hockey spoke briefly to his media adviser and then corrected himself about the candidate, who has the common Vietnamese surname Nguyen.  Read more »

Tony Abbott talks about the ETS, are you listening John?

ets-cows

Tony Abbott comes good and slams Kevin Rudd’s conversion to an ETS.

The Government has confirmed it wants to move from a fixed carbon price of $24.15 a tonne to a floating price of about $6 by July 2014, a year earlier than planned.

It is a political fix designed to neutralise the poisonous carbon tax issue, but it has created a new budget problem and sparked a war of words.

Today Mr Abbott was asked to explain why he objects to the Government’s scheme, when the Coalition has previously backed the idea of a market-led solution to greenhouse gas emissions.

“This is not a true market. Just ask yourself what an emissions trading scheme is all about,” he told reporters.

“It’s a so-called market in the non-delivery of an invisible substance to no-one.  Read more »

No need to fear

Sydney Morning Herald

Penny Wong tells us that there is no need to fear same sex marriage:

Penny Wong has called for people not to be scared by gay marriage and predicted laws would eventually be changed to ”recognise the worth” of relationships between same-sex couples.

In a speech in Sydney yesterday to Rainbow Labor, an internal Labor Party campaign group for gay issues, the federal minister said people who opposed gay marriage had ”nothing to fear”.

”Equality does not diminish the worth of your relationships, it simply recognises the worth of ours,” Senator Wong, who is in an openly gay relationship, said.

”When we are told these relationships are different, that they should be treated differently, we understand the truth of what is being said. And it can be hurtful. But instead of flinching, we are motivated to act because we all know the worth of our relationships. That is why this campaign will continue and that is why change will come.”

Embracing a stabilising force

Sydney Morning Herald

If marriage is a stablising force for families and society, then why can’t gay people have stability too?

Surely those who say they don’t support the concept of gay marriage because they think children should have a mother and a father are missing the whole point? (No names, no pack drill, but I am talking about my dear friend Joe Hockey and his otherwise strong appearance on Q&A last Monday night.) For what has the one got to do with the other? Gay families are already everywhere, and good luck to them. That has happened – ”evolved” as both Barack Obama and Magda Szubanski might have it – completely without recognition of gay marriage, and Penny Wong and her partner, with their child, are a prime example. Marriage, as we all know, is a stabilising force on society, an institution that helps keep families together, even through tough times. So why should the kids of gay parents be denied that stabilising force? Supporting gay marriage is not hurting kids, it is helping them.

It is all about procreation, right? Ctd

Sydney Morning Herald

Joe Hockey got spanked on Q&A this week by one simple question from the audience regarding marriage equality. This shows the stupidity of holding a dogmatic and ill thought out position on issues such as this. Joe Hockey now just looks like a tool.

The exchange between Penny Wong and Joe Hockey on Q&A this week about gay parents is only about two and half minutes long.

Prompted by an audience question about why the shadow treasurer thinks he and his wife make better parents than the Finance Minister and her female partner, the segment ends with Wong quietly but firmly declaring: “I know what my family is worth”.

It may only be brief but activists are calling the exchange a ”watershed moment” in their campaign for same-sex marriage – both allowing people to understand the debate at a personal level and demonstrating its status as a mainstream political issue.

On Tuesday, Wong’s response trended on Twitter and the clip has had more than 71,000 views on YouTube (up from 53,000 this time yesterday). A company has even started selling “I know what my family is worth” t-shirts and stickers.

Labor in awful trouble

Sydney Morning Herald

With the sex scandal engulfing former Speaker Peter Slipper, Labor is in ral trouble in Australia. Coming so soon after the evisceration of the Queensland ALP it is a body blow to their hopes, and theya re in real danger of losing both houses if an election was held today:

LABOR would suffer its worst result in the Senate since 1944 if an election were held now, giving Tony Abbott control of the upper house as well as the lower, an analysis shows.

This would allow him to wipe out many of the big achievements of the five years of Labor governments, as he has pledged to do, though some financial and legal complications would remain.

The analysis was conducted by a senior Labor strategist, who wishes to remain anonymous, using the latest Herald-Nielsen polling results and projecting them onto a Senate election.

Tony Abbott … “The prospect of a Coalition clean sweep in both chambers raises the question of how much of its work would remain intact.”Photo: Penny Bradfield

Only two prime ministers have enjoyed control of both houses in the past four decades – Malcolm Fraser and John Howard in his last term.

Among the nine Labor senators who would probably lose their seats are the Finance Minister, Penny Wong, a convener of the Left faction, Doug Cameron, and one of the so-called faceless men who brought down the Rudd government, the Right faction’s David Feeney.

With the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Peter Slipper, standing aside, the government is again forced to survive on the narrowest possible margin.

A good scorecard

 The Sydney Morning Herald

At 1.59pm sharp Bob Carr came bounding into the red room with his head held high and his chest puffed slightly out.

He had arrived for his first Senate question time with one minute to spare.

Carr hopped down the stairs, onto the floor of the chamber to take his place next to Finance Minister Penny Wong: front row, behind Government Senate Leader Chris Evans.

In terms of Senate real estate, we’re talking location, location, location.

Bob Carr was in the Senate…here is how it was scored:

The Scorecard:

Minutes until Bob Carr was asked a question: 23

Total questions Carr was asked: 2 (6 including supplementaries)

Number of questions the Opposition asked Carr: 0

Number of times Bob Carr and Kim Carr appeared confused about who was being asked the question: 1

Number of Senators kicked out: 0

Number of MPs kicked out in the House’s question time today: 6

A great sentiment

A great sentiment from Australia’s Finance minister Penny Wong.

”These savings will help bring the budget back to surplus in 2012-13 and show the government is determined to lead the way by tightening its own belt first,” Senator Wong said.

Why isn’t there a Labour leader in new Zealand that can say the sorts of things that are being said by top Labor politicians in Australia.

FOr that matter why aren’t there any politicians in New Zealand prepared to say what needs to be said to the New Zealand public that is used to be ing bribed with other peoples money.

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