Bill of slights against our prized democracy
THROWING another bone to its ideological warriors, the Rudd Labor Government has launched a national debate on a bill of rights for Australia.
Cynics might say that this distraction should keep the chattering classes too busy to notice rising levels of unemployment or the growing list of broken election promises beginning with computers for every student and the restoration of the Murray-Darling river system, but that would be a disservice to the True Believers.
To them, the lack of a national bill of rights is sufficient argument in itself to call for a document to be immediately prepared and foisted on the long-suffering public, not withstanding the reality that Australia’s extraordinary record of stable government and outstanding level of public civility, despite the appalling behaviour routinely displayed in the state, territory and federal parliaments.
The absence of a bill of rights is no argument for such a piece of paper, especially when consideration is given to the dearth of rights that exist in so many nations which actually have such documents.
Indeed, it is difficult not to smile at Attorney-General Robert McClelland’s attempt to attach a degree of historical gravitas to the launch of this new hunt for the Left’s Holy Grail by its linkage to the 60th anniversary of signing of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, a declaration now signed and cheerfully ignored by most of the world’s more grotesque dictatorships. The keeper of that particular flame is the UN Human Rights Council, a body which two years ago replaced the UN Commission on Human Rights, an organisation which the Council on Foreign Relations said yesterday had “become widely discredited for allowing states with questionable human rights records to gain membership and avoid scrutiny”.
In fact, the council is not much better. Freedom House, an international rights watchdog, says that three of the Council’s members - China, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia - are among the world’s most repressive regimes and another five - Russia, Pakistan, Egypt, Bahrain, and Azerbaijan - are considered “Not Free.”
But just as Stalin endowed the USSR with its charter of rights in 1936, so, too, do these countries have charters and bills listing rights which their citizens can only dream of. - For me there are simple tests to see if a system is fair. Does a citizen have the right to appropriately highlight a mistake, like, as an example, the death of a schoolboy through negligence, to the authorities and not get harassed for it. If a citizen is threatened for doing the right thing. If they are harassed, threatened by government ministers. Lose their job. Have their credibility removed. If they are denied the right to talk about what is happening to them. If the press suppress it out of partisan defense of the ministry. Then I think the system isn't fair.
A bill of rights would not fix such a system, however. A bill of rights will only formalise the abuse. What Stalin did was legal, and today, people still thank him for it. - ed.
Twenty trained killers missing
That’s a warning:
POLICE in Mumbai said the 10 men who carried out the terrorist attacks in November were among 30 recruits selected for suicide missions. The whereabouts of the other 20 were unknown
A new law passed by unelected judges
Attorney General Rob Hulls gets his first big reward from appointing so many Liberty Victoria activists to Victoria’s court. Now the Court of Appeals president, Chris Maxwell, a former Liberty Victoria president, and Justice Marcia Neave, a former Liberty Victoria council member, have invented a new legal right in Victoria:
A WOMAN whose boyfriend filmed them having sex and tried to distribute the tape to her friends, family and employer has been awarded $40,000 damages for “breach of confidence” in an Australian first…
Sydney shot up
This is getting ugly:
There has been yet another drive-by shooting overnight in Sydney, this time in Sydney’s west, making it the ninth such incident in the last 10 days.
I don’t think Gordon Brown will ever recover from this.
Every minority bar conservatives
Kevin Rudd has picked just the media-friendly team - all minorities catered for - to push along Labor’s plan for a bill of rights:
Law societies and Bar associations were falling over themselves yesterday to welcome federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland’s announcement that there would be a national human rights consultation panel headed by Jesuit priest Frank Brennan.
Former SBS newsreader Mary Kostakidis, former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Palmer and Aboriginal barrister Tammy Williams will help Brennan conduct nationwide consultations next year.
Banking on global warming
Australian Workers Union boss Paul Howes outs some particularly offensive green hypocrites:
THE hypocrisy of big banks such as Westpac and National Australia Bank that signed up to a corporate communique on climate change calling for aggressive unilateral targets needs to be exposed.
Having participated in what can be described only as a global stuff-up of our financial system, they now are trying to tell Australian corporations that operate in the real economy, and generate real wealth and real jobs, how to behave on climate change.
It’s time their dishonest motivation was exposed. Now that the huge profits made out of shoring up risky mortgage markets and fancy financial products have unwound - devastating the lives of countless millions of ordinary citizens - the banks are looking to create a new source of revenue from carbon-trading markets.
What green violence?
Eco-terrorism news over the past month includes this:
Zachary Jenson, one of three people convicted in an eco-terror plot targeting a genetics forest lab in Placerville and the Nimbus Dam..., was sentenced Thursday to the six months in jail he has already served… U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. noted the stark contrast with the 19 years and seven months in prison he doled out to the plot’s nominal leader, Eric McDavid… (who) was convicted ... of conspiring to burn or blow up a federal facility to protest environmental degradation.
The FBI is looking for four “eco-terrorists” who have been linked to a series of historical arson and sabotage attacks in the Western United States… Among other crimes, the group was allegedly responsible for the multi-million-dollar arson of a Colorado ski resort in 1998, which still stands as “the largest eco-related arson in history,” the FBI said.
We’ve also seen greenshirts over the past month do this:
A climate change protest at London’s Stansted Airport has sparked a string of flight cancellations and delays...
Eco-protestors shut off nearly two per cent of (Britain’s) electricity supply after breaking into Kingsnorth power station...
But in Tasmania...:
POLICE have been forced to apologise for mounting an anti-terrorism exercise in which a forest campaigner hijacked an aircraft and threatened to crash it into a pulp mill in Tasmania…
The Left torches Greece
The Left would rather burn down Greece than tolerate an elected conservative government:
THOUSANDS of protesters have gathered in the centre of Athens today as a general strike brought Greece to a standstill after a fourth night of street battles sparked by the police killing of a schoolboy…
With anger towards the police compounded by frustration towards conservate Prime Costas Karamanlis, thousands of activists then gathered in downtown Athens in mid-morning to demand that the government stand down.
“Sack Karamanlis,’’ chanted the protesters, saying he headed a “Killing state’’… With the general strike hitting banks, public transport and flights in and out of the country, the wider economic damage from the unrest was now compounding the loss to property from outbreaks of looting.
There is, of course, not the slightest evidence that the Government endorsed the killing of the student, shot in a potentially violent clash with two police offiers. Nor is it clear at all that the police even shot to kill:
The policemen’s lawyer, Alexis Cougias, told reporters that the ballistics report on the bullet showed the boy was killed by a ricochet and not a direct shot. The officer had claimed he had fired warning shots and did not shoot directly at the boy.
Green on green
The activist group Environmental Defense got a taste of what it used to dish out this week when its Washington, D.C., offices were invaded by another green group, the Global Justice Ecology Project.
Welcome to your new home
Why did it take so long, and shouldn’t such people be forced to pay a bond before taking legal action to stay?
A SAMOAN mother and son being deported for destabilising a southwestern Sydney community could remain in the country for years after vowing to fight through the courts.
Another handout to two-income families
Exactly how much more must we subsidise two-income families who already get subsidies of nearly $1000 for each child, and still won’t pay enough themselves to make centres profitable?
(T)axpayers will spend $34 million keeping 241 other unprofitable ABC Learning centres open until March 31 next year, Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced today.
The funding comes on top of a $22 million lifeline to keep centres open until year’s end.
What hope such children?
Patrick McCauley goes teaching in Wadeye, an Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory:
The school where I am working attempts to teach children to read and write, but exaggerates its attendance figures. It needs to be constantly employing new teachers, as they often only last a matter of days or weeks before they are overwhelmed by the extent of the problem, the complete lack of discipline and the primitive circumstances under which they must work and live. There is no need to play up the extent of the massive social and educational “disadvantage” or more specifically, the mayhem, anger or passive revolution here—it is obvious.
Obama’s Chicago mate arrested
Chicago produces Democrat politicians not just like Barack Obama, but the state Governor who allegedly tried to flog Obama’s vacant Senate seat:
Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested by FBI agents on federal corruption charges Tuesday morning…
In one charge related to the appointment of a senator to replace Barack Obama, prosecutors allege that Blagojevich sought appointment for himself as secretary of Health and Human Services in the new Obama administration, or a lucrative job with a union…
Blagojevich and Harris, along with others, obtained and sought to gain financial benefits for the governor, members of his family and his campaign fund in exchange for appointments to state boards and commissions, state jobs and state contracts, according to the charges.
“The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering,” U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said in a statement.