Achieving a ‘State of Happiness’ the Choice of Life

It’s with a degree of wonderment that I find myself continually retelling unhappy people that they only have one life, so make the most of it!

But why do we need to be reminded to ‘make the most of it’? Is it a failure to accept that we don’t get another chance to ‘do it right’, as clearly there is no ‘next time’! Change is required now if you’re not happy with yourself and ultimately there is only one person who can do something about it; so make it your purpose!

Most of us have the ability to make choices to ‘change’, to take measures that influence positive outcomes, acknowledging that it may involve a degree of risk. It’s a personal decision. So is the ‘risk’ the barrier to change or the excuse for inaction when it comes to our happiness? Don’t capitulate, have a crack!

The realisation of this fact at an early age offers young individuals a decisive advantage, ‘time’ and an understanding of ‘purpose and destiny’. Plan in the moment for the personal ‘contentment outcomes’ you desire and it will make ‘living with yourself’ a lot healthier and happier.

Too many people spend an inordinate amount of time concerned about what other people think, when in reality it matters for absolutely nothing. Don’t do it, it’s a futile distraction. What really matters is what you think about yourself, be focused from within, test your personal honesty because in the final analysis, happiness within is derived from how well you treat others in the jungle that represents your world.

Happiness is a reaction to knowing that you have taken full advantage of the limited opportunities that present themselves, that you have done your best given the constraints of your environment, while continuing to strive for personal betterment for yourself and those who exist in your sphere of influence.

In my time I have dealt with people from all walks of life, rich and poor, young and old, Jews and gentiles, educated and illiterate, black and white, disadvantaged, ‘working class’ and privileged, from the very shady to the disarmingly honest, but there was no obvious trend when it came to happiness. Those ‘with’ are more often than not miserable, desperate to preserve and protect their gains, while those ‘without’ are fighting for a greater or fairer share of that pie, often based on unfounded, irrational or selective benchmarks, whether earned or demanded. At the end of the day I gained no measurable insight based on background, as to why one may be happier than another.

Irrespective of the politics of whether social injustice is a consequence of ‘a lack of opportunity for the disenfranchised’; I found that overall happiness compared to those with ‘inherited inter-generational entitlement’ or ‘earned privileged positions’ matters not. My observation was that irrespective of the social demography, across the board, most seemed to fade away relatively unhappy and dissatisfied with their legacy.

In fact the affluent under-achievers were the most inconsequential, the message being pursue what you like, not dislike. Ultimately happiness remains a matter of individual choice. Invest, because the life-long return will compound over time and will be repaid in spades to you, your family and friends.

The truth is that personal happiness is a conscience choice made in every moment, exempt from external influence. It’s an attitude cultivated from within, it’s a decision that is completely up to you and it’s contagious if you choose to participate.

What I know is that we ‘get back what we give’. If you are a miserable, insignificant, faceless internet troll trading in loathing, anger and aggravation, then there is little doubt that you will ever achieve a base level of personal contentment. So why engage with these angry, weak bullies who facilitate grief and outrage. If you want to be influenced by external factors, why choose these faceless cowards who hide in this medium? Why engage at all?

The fact is that ‘happiness’ is the reward for those individuals who emulate and transmit a positive, decent, honest and humane aura, those who do not need to engage with pathetic predators who stalk the media and social networks trading in misery, vitriol and hatred.

If the meaning of life pertains to the ‘significance of living’ or ‘existence in general’ then clearly it is not about colour, creed or race, health, wealth, class or personal status. Simply being a nice person can disseminate happiness around you and that seems like a reasonable way to enrich the quality of your living, irrespective of your circumstances, and that can add real positive meaning and purpose to all the lives you influence.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. Dalai Lama XIV

8 August 2018.





How do you Sleep? – Dreamtime & Nightmares

Do you know what it’s like to be able to sleep?

Do you know that feeling when you’re starting to wake?

Waking up: the slow cerebral dawning prior to the first diminutive burst of morning ‘sun-life’ that arouses your inner existence. The moment when you prolong your mental state by unknowingly resisting the awakening. The sensation of subsiding subconscious consciousness, arousing the bodily respite of quiescent nerves and latent muscles and that instance of realisation: if you don’t move you retain harmony and inner warmth.

It is the tranquil moment of euphoric contentment that transcends pure happiness. The hallucinogenic womb-like twilight zone, accompanied by an inexplicable, inaudible, nurturing, maternal heartbeat. The moment of unmistakable comfort, a dimension of relaxation that exists somewhere between life and death, only interrupted by recurring silent whispers, repeatedly chanting the reality of life; ‘it’s time…, it’s time…’ We are held hostage by our bladder: open your eyes; ‘it’s time to start a new day’. Wow, how lucky are we who are able to sleep without fear of sexual abuse?!

The next matter of business is a strong coffee and to see what’s happening in the world. Contrary to what the media would have us believe, we actually live in a much better world than that of my youth. Once upon a time, I’d start the day fearful of bullies. Now the target is on their backs; the tide is turning. Generally, bigots, sexists and racists are being forced out while the LGBT community and some minorities are starting to be included. The feeling is that ‘times up’ for paedophiles, misogynists, rapists, abusers. Now the disenfranchised have a better chance to participate and contribute in a meaningful way in our society. What extraordinary progress! Well except for those children who are ‘sentenced’ to a life of continual sexual abuse!

It remains unforgivable that Australian’s are still incapable of protecting their children. 

Here are the morning’s media headlines:

NT police investigate alleged sexual assault of four-year-old boy near Tennant Creek—Incident allegedly took place in remote community near Tennant Creek, where two-year-old was allegedly raped last month

Boy, 4, allegedly raped in NT remote community

Police investigating alleged rape of a four-year-old boy in Aboriginal community near Tennant Creek

NT Police investigating alleged sexual assault of child in remote community

To compound the fate of victimised children in Australia, a debate is raging as to why government child protection authorities are not prepared to remove abused children from harm’s way. Apparently their reluctance to act is based on ‘victim profiling’, predominantly discriminating against Indigenous children. (See Indigenous child protection regime ‘apartheid’).

So why is it that in the 21st century, Australia supports race-based child protection practices?

The answer apparently is for ‘cultural’ reasons.

How could any government honestly believe that they are recognising cultural sensitivities by leaving the victims of child sex abuse to fend for themselves in their communities? Does the government believe that abusing children is ‘culturally’ acceptable in Indigenous society? The incompetence of government is culpable; the literal madness of the Australian bureaucracy could justify murder if they decide headhunting was once ‘cultural’! Meanwhile, Indigenous children continue to endure insufferable torture, because they apparently don’t qualify for protection.

This is a case of government hiding behind their own idea of ‘Indigenous culture’ and, as a consequence, they simply end up sheltering predators from prosecution. Is this just an excuse for politicians to turn a blind eye to the rape and abuse of Indigenous children as young as 2 years old? You bastards! Justifying perceived ‘procedural correctness’ ahead of dealing with people’s lives and in some instances, their death.

These kids will never experience a relaxing and safe night’s sleep, the security and comfort of a cosy bed, the warmth of true affection and well-being, the happiness of contentment and love, the journey of a sweet dream, the joy of waking to happy days, because they will spend the rest of their lives too petrified to sleep. Well, how lucky are we who sleep safe and sound tonight!

How reprehensible does Australia’s behaviour have to be before individuals speak up? Politicians do not have the character or conviction to change their policies, so these atrocities will continue, unless you can help shame them into action. The ‘global silence’ is deafening; you can’t all be asleep?

28 March 2018

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children. Nelson Mandela.

Australia’s Road Toll & What Politicians Could do to Save Lives!

As Australia’s summer holiday season draws to a close, we again conduct our synopsis into the horror ‘road toll’ that occurred over the break. Unfortunately, high road fatalities have become an expected and accepted part of our Christmas and New Year’s holidays. There is no doubt that witnessing the carnage is sickening, deeply distressing and plainly sad, as ill-equipped and unbeknownst drivers, many (70% of the population) from our capital cities, hit the highways for their holidays, largely unaware or incapable of adapting to the many perils associated with driving on country roads.

The annual response from the politicians is (as usual) re-active, as they postulate and howl nebulous ideas in typical knee-jerk fashion. Void of sincerity they predictably demand better roads, better vehicle technology and better education.  Lost on the tabloid media reporting this political rhetoric is that it’s actually only the politicians who have the power to enact meaningful change in these areas. Continuous education, improved roads and vehicle technology may have actually worked well over past decades, but it’s now time to reassess the current ‘cause and effect’ and implement new changes, rather than chant the same old mantras.

The historical statistics support how effective past initiatives have been in reducing the road toll and sometimes we need to look at where we have been in order to see where we are going. We tend to forget how much ‘things’ have improved, how far we have come and what has been achieved over many decades. In the years since I first got behind the wheel in 1970, Australia’s population was a mere 12.51 million. By 2015 it increased significantly by over 90% to 23.79 million, however, the numbers of road deaths over the same 45 year period declined by 68%.

In 1970 there were 3,798 road fatalities in Australia with the annual count trending progressively down to 1,209 by 2015. The statisticians explain ‘Road Fatalities’ as a measure of ‘losses per 100,000 per year’ which was 30.36 individuals in 1970 reducing to 5.08 in 2015, a decline of 83%. If you overlay 1970s statistics with the present day, the annual road toll would be in excess of 7,300 fatalities, an indication of how effective the safety initiatives have been. This is an extraordinary result.

As positive (and grim) as these statistics can be, we can no longer just rely on doing what we did yesterday. Our society and behaviours are continually changing at a rapid pace and if we are to address the new causes of road fatalities, then politicians need to respond and shift the policy direction accordingly. There is so much that can be done to further contain the deaths on our roads, if only politicians got fair-dinkum and tried a more innovative approach, rather than ‘babbling on’ about the same old initiatives that have been in place for years.

The latest and trending cause of fatalities relates to the increased number of individuals now driving unlicensed and or under the influence of drugs, with police detecting nearly as many ice, ecstasy and cannabis drivers (but not cocaine) as those caught drink driving. Drivers on Australian roads are able to get behind the wheel ‘off their heads’ on certain drugs because of a legal loophole that excludes testing for a number of drugs including cocaine.

With Sydney officially the nation’s cocaine capital why are politicians dragging their feet? Why not change the law as necessary and start testing drivers for cocaine, the drug of choice that fuels the benders for glitzy celebrities, the high-class and the top-end of town, the drug with no safe level of use?

It’s time for politicians to act. For example, why are we so busy advocating for driverless cars but choose not to explore technologies that would prevent unlicensed drivers from getting behind the wheel? The technology already exists to immobilize a vehicle without a valid ‘chipped’ drivers licence integrated into the vehicles connectivity systems. A recent government report revealed that 11% of all fatal crashes involved unlicensed drivers, who were considered responsible for the crash in 85% of cases.

The bottom line is that there are preventative measures that can be implemented to further reduce the road toll, but it requires politicians to be bold, to embrace change and not be politically paralysed by simply suggesting further reductions in speed limits!

The large majority of drunk and drugged drivers are unlicensed. We need to implement stricter random testing for all illicit drugs and promote the use of technology that takes control of a motor vehicle away from unlicensed drivers.

Perhaps then we can continue to reduce the unnecessary loss of life on our roads.

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ― Albert Einstein

22 January 2018.

How the Judicial System Protects & Enables Paedophiles, Misogynists, Bullies, Rapists, Sexual Abusers & Predators

For me, the appeal of ‘blogs’ is the opportunity to broaden my horizons from diversified sources, to potentially absorb a wider perspective or consider many different points of view: ‘ideas’ pitched from the ground floor, void of the rapacious multi-media influences. However, it only really works provided we have the tolerance and empathy to calmly consider and understand a different viewpoint, without having to necessarily agree with it. This is the test of character, the difference between what we say we are, as opposed to what we actually do. I’ll come back to that.

As an example, we like to say we live in tolerant societies, yet looking around our communities and beyond, it is clear that this is not true. Do we tend to lethargically view the world through eyes tainted with inherent preconceived prejudices or through rose-coloured glasses? Are we less likely to consider our own opinions or ‘view of the world’ because we are bombarded by the powerful corporate influences of the 24-hour news cycle that manufacture them for us?

How do these corporations remain credible when the majority of us don’t trust or believe what they say? These are the same powerful media corporations who influence, hide, defend and protect misogynists, bullies, rapists, abusers and evil sexual predators: but only if these ‘perverted individuals’ continue to generate sufficient commercial revenue, to justify the cost of engaging a firm of lawyers to run protection for their illegal conduct

Profits drive the ‘business case’ that determines the legal strategies necessary to protect the ‘corporate executives’, payoff and silence victims while providing license for ‘predator celebrities’ to continue re-offending without accountability; provided they keep generating big profits. Lawyers have the skills that allow the guilty to continue their illegal predatory behaviour against vulnerable people, without having to face a Court of Law.  Just another example of how the legal and justice systems favour the Rich and Guilty and not the Poor and Innocent.

A couple of years ago I remember thinking how bizarre it was, the way the tabloid media seemed to dismiss Charlie’s misogynistic behaviour with a large degree of amusement, mere light-hearted buffoonery, promoted under the headline of ‘entertainment’.

Then in a very short period of time attitudes changed completely, a 180-degree turnaround seemed to occur when Donald, rode into town. That started a broad reappraisal and precipitated the downfall of the likes of HarveyKevin, Bill and Matt.

The common thread with all these examples is that apparently it was always known that this inappropriate and illegal behaviour had been going on for years. The people in power knew about the abuse, accommodated it, facilitated it, they hid it, protected the filth and used lawyers to enable their disgusting ‘predatory behaviour‘ to continue, instead of stopping or preventing it. These were commercial decisions based simply on the profitable thing to do, yet these corporations have not been held to account nor have they accepted culpability.

These predators have been accused of the same reprehensible behaviour we have witnessed globally following the various inquiries into the culture of ‘entrenched institutional child sexual abuse’, perpetrated against poor, innocent and vulnerable kids. Those without a voice, without representation, terrified, totally alone and exposed, a horrid existence with nowhere to hide nor escape.

These hell holes (institutions) were State sanctioned and operated in the name of charity or God, by individuals who for decades used lawyers to enable ‘predatory behaviour’ to continue; emancipating abusers so they could continue to break the law and ruin the lives of children. These tax-free institutions protected their considerable wealth courtesy of a well-educated upper class, while being funded by a naive middle class who found comfort in the knowledge that ignorance is bliss…if you want it.

How can the legal profession conduct these inquiries into sexual abuse with any credibility, charging taxpayers millions of dollars to hand down volumes of edited findings, containing information about paedophiles, most of whom have already faced the courts. But who investigates and reports on the ‘protected paedophiles’ (including clergy) those who are free to re-offend, because the legal profession protects them, by silencing victims with ‘confidential agreements’.

Let’s face it, the legal professionals have always known the whole truth. They know because they have practised in this space for decades, deriving significant revenue from churches, institutions and corporations to protect predators at the expense of innocent victims…predominantly woman and children!

These vultures profit from the misery of the poor and vulnerable, they know who the predators are, because they have essentially let them off, set them free…for money! Lawyers have a problem with ‘morals and ethics’ if ‘actions speak louder than words’ because they know who the brutalised children are, yet they still defend the rapists and protect paedophiles. Why does the legal profession not have a duty of care to protect vulnerable children or do they really believe that ‘knowing and doing nothing’ is the legal privilege that sanctions child molestation?

Perhaps it’s just a conflict of interest that prevents ‘legally protected paedophiles’ from being included in the ‘Terms of Reference’ for these abuse inquiries or are lawyers just the innocent middlemen offering a ‘without conscience’ service for a substantial commercial fee. Do they believe that their actions are for the betterment of our society? Who represents the victim, who has their best interests at heart? Well, if it’s NOT the churches and institutions, NOT corporations, NOT government and clearly it’s NOT the legal profession or the judicial system, THEN WHO???

The ‘legal professions’ practice of negotiating amoral ‘confidential agreements’ to SILENCE VICTIMS in exchange for small compensation payments needs to cease. This is mere reparation for betrayal in the form of 30 pieces of silver for the suffering of the most vulnerable members of society; those who once looked to the churches for protection, only to be ‘sold out’ by the very institutions whose tax-free existence was to care for the downtrodden.

What is the greater evil, the predator or the facilitator whose actions meant that vultures continue to prey on the innocent, the disadvantaged and vulnerable victims? The answer is neither; it’s actually the enabler i.e. the legal profession and the embedded defective judicial system that enables predators to freely re-offend and as a consequence, allow the organisations that facilitate this behaviour to flourish. They knew the dirty secrets and they hid them, No ethics, no morals, no accountability, no conscience necessary, when you set child-rapists free, so they can rape again and again!

Why is the legal profession so malevolent, why is their duplicity unchallenged, is it just their elliptical language and superiority complex that separates the arrogant privileged from the rest of us?

Now the legal profession has recommended that the church remove the secrecy surrounding the confessional to protect children from paedophiles. What a diversion, all that does is give a free kick to the thousands of paedophiles who are not religious and takes the heat off a few wigs in the judiciary! Why do hypocritical lawyers insist that the clergy must divulge, while THEY still feel compelled to protect paedophiles and seem happy to do so? Is it that lucrative? Why is THEIR ‘client privilege’ more important than the rights of sexually abused children, after all, that is the basis of their argument against the church. What is the difference?

What makes lawyers more righteous than anyone else?

Why not ‘blow open’ the lawyers files and air their dirty laundry to reveal all the paedophiles that are not known to the courts. Let’s indemnify the lawyers against repercussions so we can find out the truth, find out who these predators are and get them out of our institutions and out of our society. No one can argue that it would not be a worthwhile initiative, no matter how many paedophiles it may uncover in the legal and justice fraternity.

The truth is right in front us, in the files of the legal profession, the same profession that conducts these ‘show inquests’ that purposely deflect our attention elsewhere, so that nothing changes. Let’s get serious about protecting the truly vulnerable. How resolute are the politicians, the lawyers and the judicial system about protecting innocent children and exposing these criminals? Do they have the courage, the capacity and motivation to support changes to the Law?

Unfortunately, it is difficult to be encouraged looking at the government and judicial systems historical track record, when it comes to implementing meaningful policy changes. The records, as they say, speak for themselves. 25% of the worlds prisoners are in the U.S (2.3 million individuals). 97% of inmates are incarcerated without having their day in court. Based on these statistics and the demographic of the incarcerated, it appears that after 150 years, the judicial system has only managed to re-badge slavery, not abolished it. So what chance of any meaningful progress?

One wonders if the financial reward for maintaining the status quo in the ‘land of the free’ is so great that the vested interests will never risk overhauling laws to transform the corrupted and ineffectual judiciary system.  The United States official motto is ‘In God we Trust’. ‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’ (John 8:32). As I mentioned right at the start, the test of character is the difference between what we say we are, as opposed to what we actually do.

We are dealing with a secret society of truly evil ‘septic parasites’ here, the devil dressed like virtuous angels, so don’t risk allowing a ‘one night stand’ supporting a ‘black gown‘ at the Golden Globes detract us from WHAT this community of filthy, putrid perverts are doing and WHAT they will continue to do if we don’t take a stand now and lobby hard for meaningful long-term change.

“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

2 January 2018

Who Starved While You Were at Lunch & How China Can Help!

Every once in a while I have a catch-up lunch with a couple of mates I’ve known for about 30 years or so.  They are good blokes: accomplished in their chosen careers, love their families, content and comfortable with their place in the world and also deeply proud of their indigenous heritage.  I wouldn’t say they are in their twilight years, perhaps more likely tracking somewhere in the ‘mid- to late afternoon’ range, but they are what I would call salt of the earth people.

These fellas came from meagre means, working class as ‘working class’ can be. Their parents didn’t have much but they made damned sure that their kids had better opportunities in life than perhaps they did. Probably what I’d call ‘obscure old fashion love’ where actions speak louder than words and success is measured by what their parents went without.

Our conversations are predictable, interesting and sometimes insightful. They’re mostly book-ended with humour, more often than not at the expense of our own individual misfortunes. To an outsider we may appear heartless or unsympathetic, for example, we rolled around laughing after fully work-shopping the news that one of us has an impending operation for an enlarged prostate. Who knew that such a subject could create such imaginative and amusing possibilities? In reality (but not obviously), there exists a genuine empathy and a quiet concern, but here the ‘unspoken’ screams louder than the words we frequently scramble to find.

The beauty of the interaction is the level of undisciplined etiquette, where we always start more yarns than we finish, as a simple impromptu subject can unleash a continuous dialogue and a hundred embellished stories. It’s where annoying interruptions around the ‘table of knowledge’ are not only appreciated, it’s openly encouraged (in fact, expected) as the most serious conversations degenerate into nonsensical avant-garde poetry or philosophy. This is what happens when you fuse a couple of beers with bullshit!

This week’s linguistic tour brought us to a discussion on the ‘Rise of China’ and their global influence in our world today.  What we found interesting is the irony of the journey China has taken in the short span of our lifetimes. We remember the 1966 Cultural Revolution, the failed 10-year movement to purge all remnants of capitalism, where the death toll was reportedly between 5 and 10 million. The numbers are staggering, incomprehensible; there was a shocked silence of disbelief around the table. Is that right, 10 million?

The only one of us who has travelled to China proceeded to school us on 1960’s Chinese history, as we learn that one of the consequences of the Great Leap Forward was the 1959 to 1961 ‘Great Chinese Famine’ where it’s reported that deaths due to starvation are estimated as ‘at least’ 43 million people. What? The numbers are unbelievable, what sort of pain and anguish does that translate into? Why didn’t I know about it and why is everything about China described as ‘Great’?

Adding to the conversation, I admitted with a degree of ignominy that I had only just learnt that 285,000 people had starved to death in Somalia during the 2011 East African drought. How did I not know about this? What was I doing in 2011 that was so self-consuming that I was not aware of this catastrophe, yet I was all over the 2011 Japanese earthquake/tsunami/Fukushima disaster where approx. 16,000 lost their lives? I later learned that 300,000 Somalians also lost their lives in a similar famine in 1991-92.

These numbers are mind-boggling, yet everyone seems preoccupied, ‘being Kardashianed’ or staying busier than ever posting selfies on social media, then stressing as they wait for the ‘likes’ to feed their narcissistic place in a fake world. Between 1998 and 2004 3.8 million died from disease and starvation in the Congo and in 1996 an estimated 3.5 million people starved to death in North Korea. Would it be racist to suggest that white societies would react differently if these deaths had occurred in white societies?

What can I say, I’m feeling embarrassed that this has been allowed to happen in my lifetime while I was busying myself surviving in a safe middle-class world, subsisting in a cupboard with blinkers on. So now is the time to be proactive. Let’s not wait for the next round of historical statistics; why can’t we act now before it’s too late?

We have been warned. There are currently more than 20 million people that are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance i.e. the Yemen Crisis.  That is virtually the population of Australia yet it is not even making the evening news because the tabloid media are too preoccupied talking about Trump’s latest faux pas.

How can I possibly come up with an appropriate closing paragraph here? I cannot. It is beyond my capacity to transcribe my feelings, as my mind is incapable of comprehending the magnitude of anticipated fatalities. Perhaps we just keep raising awareness until we can embarrass a wealthy and persuasive nation like China to use their leverage to influence change. Only China has the ability to comprehend the potential consequences like no other; the devastation of millions of people losing their lives by slowly starving to death.  China has the advantage of ‘living history’ and understands first-hand the consequences of inaction when dealing with a potential catastrophe of this size.

伟大的中国 . 参与世界

“A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake”  – Confucius.

25 November 2017

Australia’s New Detainee Laws – Human Rights the First Casualty

In Australia, we often hear references to ‘COAG’. The term may register in unconscious recall, but the reality is that few know what it is, nor care. COAG is (usually) a bi-annual talk-fest between the leaders of State and Territory governments and their Federal overlord, The Prime Minister. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) is a forum for mass esoteric debates between politicians with vested self-interests, who bicker, quarrel and generally disagree on almost everything, then return home satisfied that they have defended their patch while achieving very little.

However, this month’s meeting was very different because unanimous agreement was reached by all leaders. This is a ‘red light flashing’ and bears closer scrutiny. The agreement reached was in relation to new anti-terrorism measures (laws) purporting to be in the name of ‘National Security’, although the changes will allow law enforcement to use these new powers for crimes other than terrorism. The Justice Minister indicated that the new laws would also apply to “serious crimes of any nature.

So National Security was the excuse, not the actual reason.

What was apparent is that no politician wants to risk being labelled ‘soft on terrorism’, so they all blindly agreed to new laws without challenging or scrutinising the potential consequences for individuals who may be wrongfully detained without charge, for up to two weeks including children as young as 10. The new laws are to apply where enforcement agencies deem an investigation relates to terrorism, however as the Justice Minister indicated, the reach is actually far broader.

So what is going on here? A representative of the Australian Federal Police  stated: ‘they (Law Enforcement) don’t have the normal luxury to watch, to wait, to collect evidence before we act’. The Prime Minister commented: “This is a battle that we wage to keep Australians safe every day. Everything we do every hour of every day is focused on keeping Australians safe”.

I’m sensing the prerequisite strategic scare campaign to justify hasty action without due consideration of the consequences, as the leaders demonstrated bipartisan consensus before the meeting even started.  What we witnessed was the usual sales pitch to the Australian people, that ‘National Security’ takes priority over compromising our Civil Liberties, irrespective of the consequences for the innocent.

These are Civil Rights we will lose forever with no apparent ‘checks and balances’ in place for those inevitable innocent victims who will be accidentally detained under these new laws. The rights of ‘a small number of people’ are acceptable collateral, provided it doesn’t happen to you. Here is some of the extraordinary language used by Territory and State leaders in what was a frightening political back-slapping kumbayah event:

  • There is furious agreement between the States
  • States are in violent agreement on this
  • There is unity across all jurisdictions
  • We have made these changes, they are challenging and difficult but they are necessary
  • We all feel that we live in uncertain times
  • All of us are having to reconsider our Civil Rights and compromise on those things
  • We are going to have to curtail the rights and freedoms of a small number of people in order to keep the vast majority of Australians safe
  • I don’t particularly care about the Civil Liberties of terrorists or potential terrorists
  • Notional considerations of Civil Liberties do not trump the very real threat, the very real threat of terror
  • We have probable threats of terror and they cannot be put to one side – it would be unforgivable to think that we could have done more and we chose not to
  • The vast majority of the public wants us to put security first
  • Frankly that talk (Civil Liberties) that is a luxury that might be available to them. It is not available to political leaders in this country
  • We don’t want to leave anything to chance and I want to be the Premier that has a no-regrets policy. I don’t want to look back and think what could I have done differently or more to protect the community
  • This is us at our best

What is interesting is that in 2015 the Attorney General indicated that there may be constitutional impediments where “a detention without charge could be seen for an unreasonable long period, could be seen to be a form of executive detention, therefore a violation of chapter 3 of the Constitution which prevents the executive government from exercising a judicial power”.

Following COAG, the Prime Minister stated that “everyone’s agreed to us making these changes”. When asked about the constitutional problems with that in the past, he said “well… well… clearly we’ve satisfied ourselves that this… this will comply with the Constitution”.

It feels like they’ve done a job on us. Have we just witnessed the Federal and State governments somehow circumnavigate the Constitution or just The Attorney General?

Don’t get me wrong, I accept that we may need to change laws and as a result forego some civil liberties, but only with conditional provisions to protect the Human Rights of innocents. What happens if you are the innocent individual detained for two weeks without charge, all because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time or look similar to the wrong person, or you are arrested because of incompetent bureaucrats, corruption, mistaken identity, identity theft or fraud?

There are inhuman consequences: a loss of Human Rights for those individuals, who through no fault of their own find themselves the innocent victim of these new laws, without any protection, recourse, reparation or compensation. Now you may ask what are the chances of being detained in Australia ‘without charge’ in 2017. I’m not trying to evoke the memory of European fascists in 1930/40s, but it has happened in Australia before. See The Haneef affair.

Just imagine being in the shoes of Doctor Haneef who in 2007 was falsely accused by Australian authorities of aiding terrorists, arrested and detained without charge. Some three years later he was awarded defamation compensation by the Australian Government for an undisclosed ‘substantial amount’. Do ‘innocent victims’ relinquish their rights for compensation under these new laws, as Government indemnify itself against breaches of basic Human Rights?

As a society we need to resist the slide into a totalitarian State where police are given ‘shoot to kill’ powers to fight terrorism, at the same time as frontline police seek ‘shoot-to-kill’ immunity to protect officers from recrimination. It will be ‘open season’, potentially adding a new dimension of consternation for those who already feel they are targets of racial profiling by Police.

We need to start challenging our political leaders and ask what are the real reasons for this wide-ranging draconian legislation. Why the ‘fear mongering theatre’ masquerading as an anti-terrorism initiative when its consequences have ramifications well beyond the stated purpose. Why do we need to deny justice for any of our citizenship when they are innocent? Why is it reasonable that they should forgo their rights and freedoms and the safeguard of ‘due process’?

How wrong are State and Federal Law Enforcement agencies getting it, if we need to change the law to indemnify the Government against the consequences of their actions? The spirit of a country is reflected in its National Anthem. Australians sing: ‘let us rejoice, For we are young and free. I’d question whether children as young as 10, detained without charge are free!

Advance Australia……FAIR?

“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time” – George Bernard Shaw.

19 October 2017

Australia For Sale

In the midst of Australia’s worsening Energy Crisis and the debate around extending the life of old ‘dirty coal’ Power Stations, many Australians are asking: why does Japan pay less for Australian LNG (gas) than Australians do?

You would think that this ridiculous situation would be ringing alarm bells in Australia but not so, as Australians don’t tend to be too concerned or worried about the sustainability of their country’s long-term natural assets and resources. Meanwhile, our Asian neighbours are taking full advantage of our complacency. They act to secure their own nations’ future by implementing inter-generational food security plans, by purchasing productive farmland courtesy of Australian’s ignorance and stupidity.

Take China for example: they have a population of approx. 1.4 billion people with an increasing demand for a nutritious, secure, clean, and sustainable food supply. They could purchase agricultural produce from Australia, but soon won’t need to, because Australia is selling their prime farmland instead.

I’m not against balanced foreign investment, clearly it’s a necessity, however, I do question the wisdom of allowing one country to increase its stake in Australia’s agricultural land ‘tenfold’ in the short space of 12 months, with China now owning 25% of Australia according to the SMH/Australian Tax Office’s Agricultural Land Register.

What happens if this trend continues? Should Government act immediately to control Australia’s sovereignty?

This shift in the ownership of agricultural land in Australia is of critical concern as it means that a proportional amount of local agricultural produce may no longer be available for supply and consumption in domestic markets. The new owners are not interested in making commercial profits in Australia, nor do they intend to trade produce on local markets. They are only interested in producing, processing and transporting the finished product directly into China to meet their growing consumption needs.

Not only are we losing ownership of the land, but also the food it produces. It is also an effective loss of future export revenue for Australia which has been surrendered for short-term capital gain on assets we now have no chance of ever owning. We have been continually warned of the consequences of accepting excessive Chinese investments by the likes of world-leading economist Professor Niall Ferguson yet we choose to blissfully ignore the bleeding obvious.

At the current rate of change, Australian agricultural produce will be unavailable to Australians in much the same way as Australian LNG is restricted or in limited supply for the domestic market, because Australians have sold off control of their own natural resources.

Can you imagine not being able to buy an Australian Prime Steak in Australia unless you can afford to import it from China? If Australia keeps ‘giving away the farm’, we’ll end up with massive food inflation or more likely, Australians just won’t be able to buy food produced in Australia.

It will be a sorry reminder for those old enough to remember the restrictions imposed on Australians under the old British-Australian Meat Agreement when you couldn’t source or afford to buy locally produced meat: only this time the arrangement will be permanent.

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King Jr.

17 October 2017