….Academics have warned of the emerging threat from right-wing extremism at the Conference on Community Cohesion held by University of Western Sydney this past week.
….According to a report by The Age’s Rachel Olding, attendees framed right-wing extremism as a threat on par with Muslim radicalization in Australia, while a police spokesman admitted racial tension was having a direct impact on policework.
….At the conference, counterterrorism expert Anne Aly from Curtin University argued that violent extremism in Australia was starting to mirror that of the United States. Aly presented a recent New America Foundation study which found twice as many people had been killed by right-wing extremists than jihadists since 9/11.
….But what is driving increasing numbers of Australians to far-right views and organizations? Chairman of the Islamic Friendship Association Keysar Trad noted the influence of right wing pundits, suggesting they “take no responsibility for the hostile environment they have created.”
….In the age of the soundbite and 24 hour news cycle, are incautious comments and Islamic terrorism’s presence as the dominant security narrative actually making us less safe? And do we need to reflect on the role of our political leaders and media outlets in amplifying the perceived magnitude of these threats?
….Speaking to the conference, Deputy Commissioner and police force spokesman on cultural diversity Nick Kaldas said that increased perceived discrimination and racial tensions were having a “direct impact on policing and require us to continue to tailor [our] strategies and workforce.”
….A 2014 Ipsos Mori poll found that Australians wildly overestimated the number of Muslims in Australia. Respondents estimated that an average of 18% of the Australian population were Muslim, a full 16% higher than Australia’s actual Muslim population of 2%.
….Could certain views expressed by public figures and the media have enticed Australian citizens to more radical thinking? Furthermore, is it appropriate for members of parliament and the media to broach these issues in arguably indelicate ways, given the tensions that already exist?
….In September of last year, ABC Radio listeners heard Attorney General George Brandis’ contention that Daesh “represents or seeks to be an existential threat to us.”
….South Australian Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi recently won a six-month inquiry into food certification after expressing concern about where money for halal certification “ends up.” Some anti-halal campaigners have expressed concern that the money “funds terrorism” while others have ironically boycotted iconic Australian products like Vegemite in response to its halal certification.
….Even our Prime Minister Tony Abbott has made controversial remarks, stating most notably last year that he found the burqa “a fairly confronting form of attire” and “wish[es] it weren’t worn”.
….It seems possible for a person to contrive, from these and other statements, an extremely negative view of Islam and Muslim people. One that does not contextualize the insignificant number of extreme voices against the whole, the complexity and achievements of the Islamic world, nor the myriad positive contributions of Islamic Australians.
….At the Conference on Community Cohesion, Mr Kaldas labelled far-right extremism and protests which “encourage divisive notions of us and them” as some of the largest challenges facing Australian police. The Deputy Commissioner’s comments follow on the heels of Nationals MP George Christensen who, at time of writing, plans to attend a Reclaim Australia rally in his electorate this coming weekend citing his support for people defending the Australian way of life, culture, and freedom from radical Islam.
….For anyone whose political views stop short of “send them back where they came from,” social cohesion and a respectful multicultural society seem necessary for a prosperous Australia. Not just in these fraught young years of nationhood, but into the future as our country continues to grow.
….It’s imperative that our leaders and media outlets be mindful of their influence, and feel accountable for the extreme worldviews they might inadvertently promote. Australia, we need to talk about extremism, but our own extremist tendencies, and the way we shape debate, shouldn’t escape criticism.
In just a few short years, the Whitlam government: created Australia’s national health insurance scheme, Medibank; abolished university fees; introduced state aid to independent schools and needs-based school funding; returned traditional lands in the Northern Territory to the Gurindji people; drafted the first commonwealth lands right act; established diplomatic relations with China; withdrew the remaining Australian troops from Vietnam; introduced no-fault divorce laws; passed the Racial Discrimination Act; blocked moves to allow oil drilling on the Great Barrier Reef; introduced environmental protection legislation; and removed God Save the Queen as the national anthem.
“Poverty is a national waste as well as individual waste. We are all diminished when any of us are denied proper education. The nation is the poorer – a poorer economy, a poorer civilisation, because of this human and national waste.”
-Gough Whitlam’s 1969 election pitch for equal access to education.
….Prime Minister Tony Abbott has ruled out raising taxes to fund Australia’s participation in the coalition against IS militants in Iraq and Syria.
….The clarification comes after comments made by Treasurer Joe Hockey last week suggesting new budget cuts would have to be made to pay for Australia’s annual $500 million AUD military involvement and $630 million AUD expansion of Australian security agencies.
….Despite the PM’s assurances, concern is still bubbling in the community. Head of the Australian Thesaurus Association (ATA) Verr Bosse told Robolenin.com that the PM had his work ahead of him in ruling out synonyms for the word tax.
….“The PM said that there won’t be a tax hike,” Bosse said, in an exclusive interview. “But he didn’t rule out many of the wonderful synonyms for tax such as, contribution, cost, duty, expense, levy, price, rate, tariff, dues, excise, imposition, impost, obligation, tithe, toll, or tribute.”
….“This is a government which believes in lower taxes, not higher taxes,” the Prime Minister said, referring to his government’s policy of cutting public services instead of marginally increasing tax rates for high income earners.
….The government has belayed concerns about a possible rising cost in Iraq by unveiling its new military carpooling system.
….“The new military carpooling system will ensure that even if our involvement in the region escalates, we will never ever exceed annual expenditure of $500 million AUD,” a military spokesperson said.
….Meanwhile, Robolenin.com correspondents entrenched in Bill Shorten’s house have reported that the opposition leader has been losing sleep of late.
….Seemingly regretful of the opposition’s complete compliance with government policy, Shorten now wakes several times a night.
….“This death and deficit government,” Shorten reportedly mumbles, shackled within the cold prison of his own making.
….“Fuck that would poll well… ‘Death and deficit,’ shit.”
….Controversy has erupted over documents which appear to have been leaked from the upcoming Australian Federal Budget.
The documents purportedly detail the federal government’s new approach to aged care, disability support and health services among other areas.
….If the leak is to be believed, the budget will ignore many of the recommendations presented in the government’s commission of audit in favor of more decisive measures.
….One area of the budget describes the new government policy of setting the elderly, disabled and chronically ill adrift on Antarctic ice floes.
….“The policy addresses the fact that some people are unable to contribute to society in a time of heavy lifting and should therefore be given a gracious way out,” the document reads. “First there is a cold, a terrible, bitter cold. But after a while there’s just sleepiness. Aren’t you tired after your lifetime of contributions to Australia? Just shut your eyes, it’s really that easy.”
….The documents have provoked dissent from within the Coalition with some individuals revealing to Robolenin.com that the budgetary decision caused a schism within the party room.
….“We were divided pretty much 50/50,” the informant said. “Many of us believed that putting people onto the ice flows was ridiculous. Australia has some of the best desert wasteland in the world and it is absurd that the taxpayer would pay the cost to have these people transported to a barren freezing hellscape.”
….Robolenin.com reached out to the government for comment but were told that the Australia does not comment on frozen water operations.
….The disquiet comes at a difficult time for a government faced with crumbling approval ratings and a rapidly diminishing supply of nonreplenishable synonyms for the word ‘tax’.
….Other major shakeups in the documents include a re-imagined social security system. The Coal for the Dole program will see Centerlink applicants sent to open cut mines across the country. Payments will be issued to customers as a percentage of coal mined.
….The budget also includes provision for a HECS Heavy Lifting pilot program which will explore the ability for arts and climate science students to pay off their university debts via coal enterprise.
….Finally, the documents have revealed details regarding the government’s immigration and direct action climate policy. The Rickshaws for Citizenship initiative aims to provide a cheap, infinitely replenishable workforce to mitigate the negative effects of climate change.
….“We examined many models for direct action on climate change,” the documents read. “But the one that really struck a chord with us was indentured servitude. While some might think that forcing immigrants to pull rickshaws for a decade after coming to Australia is extreme, we think that it’s a natural next step in Australia’s immigration policy and a pivotal point in the country’s attitude towards carbon emissions,” the document concluded.
….Australia’s Coalition government announced today the implementation of its
12.4 24 billion AUD Pensioner Heating Assistance Programme (PHAP). In a rare show of bipartisanship the government will go ahead with the plan, formulated under the previous Labor government.
….The announcement comes just days before the public release of the government’s Commission of Audit. The report is expected to recommend vast changes to government expenditure with big-spend welfare programmes slated to be cut. PHAP has been described by political observers as a move by the government to assure Australia’s ageing population that they will be no worse off under the changes.
….Under PHAP, pensioners will be moved en masse to state of the art nursing home facilities in Williamtown, NSW and Tindal, NT. Tarmacs enclosing the nursing homes will see constant sorties of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, especially during the winter months.
….“It is of the highest importance that we uphold the social contract to our elderly,” said government spokesperson Massif Fanker. “We will not let the people who built this country go cold because of rising electricity costs. We simply won’t allow human suffering for some kind of frivolous and utterly unnecessary government expenditure,” concluded Fanker.
….PHAP will also enable pensioners to supplement their incomes by salvaging broken parts of the jets and selling them for scrap. Head of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme Lieutenant Chris Bogdan stated during a recent visit to Australia that as more planes enter active service parts are coming off the aircraft “too frequently” for maintenance.
….“It’ll be a bit like an easter egg hunt,” said Fanker. “The F-35 hasn’t even met its reliability goal of 50 percent. Currently the aircraft operates for four hours between critical failures, so there’ll always be some kind of malfunction to keep the elderly busy.”
….Some members of the left have criticised the move saying that the money could be better spent on trees, rescuing wallabies or returning the budget to surplus. The criticism lead to a response from the Coalition stating that they had found the Jets in the wine cellar at Kirribilli and if anything it was Labor’s jet-debt.
….“Of course the PHAP programme does have a secondary function,” said Fanker. “These are state of the art vehicles of destruction, no doubt about it. With the continued forced liberalisation of ethnically Australian people in New Zealand, PHAP is a necessary deterrent. The rehabilitation of Australians who return as pro-gay-hobbit-lovers is a continuing and acute drain on the taxpayer purse,” he concluded. When asked if Australia would consider the Annexation of New Zealand Fanker winked and replied; “We’ll see.”
…Trial PHAP programmes have seen such great success that the Coalition government is looking into other methods to increase the quality of life for at-risk groups. One such programme, still in its developmental stage will aim to provide much needed mobility for disabled individuals by transporting them on the hulls of a new Australian submarine fleet. The Disabled Underwater Mobility Baseline (DUMB) aims to insure that no disabled Australian is negatively affected by budgetary cuts.
….After years of posing as conservative, special agent codename Bernardi is ready to hang up his boots and return to his ecologically sustainable commune in Tasmania.
….“It all started with the formation of the Greens in 1992,” said Bernardi (whose real name will not be used to protect his identity). “The idea was to create the perfect sleeper agent to create a schism within the right wing and highlight to swing voters how outrageous their views were.”
….I asked codename Bernardi what the most difficult part of his mission was.
….“Pretending I was South Australian,” he replied laughing. “All jokes aside I’m very sorry to the people of South Australia for tarnishing your name, you’re alright,” he continued with a smile.
….For years Bernardi has had to relentlessly stay in character, admitting in this interview that he had no idea how successful he would be in discrediting Australian right wing politics.
….“To be honest when Sacha Baron Cohen and Stephen Colbert gained notoriety I thought the game was up,” Bernardi confided. “I didn’t know how Australians could believe that someone would be that callous or ignorant of decades worth of research and social progress but I suppose we lucked out,” he said with a shrug.
….Asked why he would reveal his secret plan now, Bernardi stated that he thought the damage and ridicule he had recently brought upon the Liberal party was a nice place to stop. “Plus I really miss my goats,” he added.
….“It took a team of writers over a year to put together that book,” Bernardi said referring to the jocular Conservative Revolution. Which belittled among other topics, same sex, adoptive and step parents, gay marriage and climate change.
….“We had again a lot of problems with writers not being extreme enough with the subject matter or accidentally writing chapters that had a sense of decency, compassion or basis in fact. There was a point where I had to tell the writing team to take a step back and just watch some Fox News,” he said.
….Conservative Revolution has caused a huge stir with a barrage of negative reviews on Amazon and Liberal party members taking umbrage.
….“The book was supposed to be the punchline, but then Warren Entsch got really worked up and we thought, okay, let’s push this a little further. I felt really bad about it since Entsch was vocally against mandatory internet censorship, good guy for a Lib.”
….I asked Bernardi about the threat of litigation he leveled at Entsch.
….“We all sat around in the office and thought, what would Bernardi do, we always thought of the character as a person who has had or still does perhaps harbor some feelings of same-sex attraction that mix with his religiosity to fuel his guilt and fervor. Essentially we just thought it would really do the character justice.”
….On Thursday Liberal Senator Sue Boyce accused Cory Bernardi of lacking compassion and genuine Christianity.
….“I hadn’t seen that yet,” chucked Bernardi. To be honest we really hadn’t counted on common sense views rising from the Libs to oppose the character. I like it here where she says ‘I find it immoral to pontificate on the topic of abortion without looking at some of the reasons behind why a woman might seek to have an abortion’, that’s a really good line. Sue’s alright with me,” he concluded.
….I asked Bernardi to summarize his experience and tell me what the next phase of his life would be like.
….“To be honest it’s going to be hard to let go of the character. You put a face on long enough and it starts to seem true, you know? It’s a little bit scary. To be serious though I think we’ve had an incredible run, I got removed from minor front bench positions twice by two leaders, managed to garner the animosity of the entire left wing and I think somewhat discredited conservative thinking,” he said.
….“Like I mentioned before I’m really looking forward to getting back to the commune, smoking some dope and tending to my goats and vegetables,” he concluded, pulling out a kingsize joint.
“It just worries me that some people out there actually supported the Bernardi character,” codename Bernardi said with a frown.
….“It just really fucking worries me.”
…The Commission of Audit established by Prime Minister Tony Abbott has struck pure gold once again with a recommendation to impose a $5 charge for bulk billed visits to your GP.
…The move, described by observers as “almost as good of an idea as privatizing HECS debt” has received universal acclaim with almost nobody thinking that it was a really really dumb fucking idea.
…Minister for Health, Peter Dutton has refused to clarify speculation about the proposal.
…“The commission’s work is still being compiled and will be provided to the government in 2014,” Dutton said in a prepared statement. “The government will be able to consider any recommendations and respond after that time,” he concluded.
…The Australian Centre for Health Research has urged the Coalition government to consider the move which could potentially improve the budget’s health by $750 million dollars over four years.
…A research paper prepared by Tony Abbott’s former health adviser Terry Barnes has argued that a co-payment system could significantly reduce the amount of GP visits.
…“This is very affordable to most Australian households, even the less well off. We’re talking about the cost of a burger and fries,” Barnes actually said alluding to his love for Happy Meals® in the 1990s.
…The Australian health system has been plagued for years by unnecessary trips to the doctor. Observers have said that every step should be taken to discourage people from going to see their GP, especially men who are generally known for their zealousness in addressing potential health concerns.
…The Australian taxpayer can only hope that cries of “I should get this strange lump examined” or “I am in a tumultuous emotional state and need to speak to a medical professional,” will be silenced by implementation of the policy.
…Under the plan pensioners and concession card holders will be exempt from the fee. Nuclear families will receive 12 free visits per year as they attempt to survive assassination by homosexuals and polygamists.
…The proposition has received so much support from the community that other sectors of Australian life are planning similar legislation. Constable Faye Kname of South Australian Police (SAPOL) is leading the push for a $5 fee to go outside your house.
…“Studies have indicated an almost irrefutable link between leaving ones house and the committing of petty crime,” Kname said in a prepared statement.
…“A fee to discourage people from leaving their homes would both help the state budget and allow Police to divert resources to more important matters like revenue generation,” she concluded.