Previous month:
January 2015
Next month:
March 2015

February 2015

Awkward radio interview for Australian born leader of Britain's Green Party

Natalie Louise Bennett was born in Sydney in February 1966.  She's been a British politician and journalist.   She was elected to her position as the leader of Britain's Green Party in September 2012. 

Like our Greens, she's not very good with money, details or radio interviews. 

Here she is in a 2013 interview saying of  Australia "I can't imagine going there by choice".

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 9.27.15 pm

ON a sunny Monday morning on 3 September last year, a dozen people gathered in the basement of the Green Party of England and Wales’s headquarters in London to count the ballot papers for the party leadership. At 11 am, Natalie Bennett, with 60 per cent of the vote, was declared winner, becoming the first Australian-born head of a political party in Britain.

“I joined the Greens on the first of January 2006,” she says, remembering the date like it was an epiphany. “I became concerned about bigger issues: the soil, the loss of biodiversity, climate change. It was like a New Year resolution about wanting to influence more broadly. And the best way to effect change is to get into politics.”

I ask the former editor of the highly regarded Guardian Weekly if top-tier journalism hadn’t given her enormous influence. “I very much enjoyed my two decades in journalism, and I am proud of some of the things I’ve done,” says Bennett. “But its influence on decision-making is indirect and the impact often hard to discern. It gets increasingly frustrating when you’ve been doing journalism for some time, to be reporting the same mistakes being made again and again. Take just one example, the Iraq war, then the Afghan war, then most lately sending British troops into Mali… I found the drive to try to directly effect change getting stronger and stronger.”

And this

Despite tweeting that she has “Vegemite & Marmite in kitchen cupboard,” implying loyalty to her native and adopted countries in equal measure, Bennett has largely cut her ties to Australia. “I can’t imagine going there by choice,” she says.

Craig Thomson gets a little help from his friends

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 12.52.22 pm

Two weeks ago, Craig Thomson had no spare money and swore that he could only afford to pay $50 per month off his insufficient fine for fraud - heres' The Age's report

Judge's warning to Craig Thomson: Pay $25,000 fine faster than $50 a month or else go to jail

Mr Thomson avoided a jail term last year but was fined when found guilty of 13 counts of theft, related to the withdrawals of $5650 from ATMs with HSU credit cards, while he was the union's national secretary between 2002 and 2007.

He used the money to pay for sex and fine dining expenses for he and his then wife.

The former Labor MP for the NSW seat of Dobell told judge Lisa Hannan on Friday that he and his wife currently earned about $3000 a month, had little equity in their home and no savings.

That home, by the way, would be this home:

Craig Thomson says he did not help his wife Zoe Arnold dodge stamp duty when buying the home he lives in


CRAIG Thomson claims he was not the de facto partner of wife Zoe Arnold in February 2009 when she bought the family's current home and claimed a government stamp duty exemption - even though Ms Arnold was pregnant with his child.

Ms Arnold avoided $15,000 in stamp duty through a first home owner's scheme on the Bateau Bay, NSW home.

The scheme forbids a homeowner to claim the stamp duty exemption if they have a spouse or de facto who has previously owned property. The First Home Plus scheme provided stamp duty exemptions for homes under $500,000 in NSW.

He maintains the de facto relationship began after Ms Arnold bought the property. Transfer documents were signed by Ms Arnold on February 20, 2009. Five days later, Mr Thomson changed his electoral enrolment to the Bateau Bay address.

"We checked with authorities. She was perfectly entitled to buy the house in her name," Mr Thomson told The Sunday Telegraph. 

"We entered a de facto relationship some time after she bought. We in fact checked with the first home scheme.

"You write anything and we will sue the s ... out of you."

 It's amazing what the threat of gaol will do.  Here's yesterday's instalment.

Craig Thomson finds cash to pay fine after telling judge he was broke

CRAIG Thomson has found the money to pay his $25,000 fine for stealing from the Health Services Union, less than two weeks after telling a judge he was broke.

Thomson today applied to bring his case back before the Victorian County Court at short notice, offering a new payment plan to judge Lisa Hannan.

He had previously sought to pay $50 a month, but the court heard he could now pay a lump sum of $3000 next month, followed by three monthly payments of $500 and 20 monthly payments of $980 each before a final payment of $900.

Judge Hannan said the fine would therefore be paid off within two years, and questioned Thomson on how he had come by the cash when he had earlier sworn that he was in severe financial trouble. “Through the help of family and friends,” he replied.



UN's IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri resigns

Here's the BBC's report - the climate in Pachauri's office became a little too frosty.

UN climate head Rajendra Pachauri resigns

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 7.24.31 am

The head of the UN climate change panel (IPCC), Rajendra Pachauri, has resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.

In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Mr Pachauri said he was unable to provide strong leadership.

Indian police are investigating a complaint from a 29-year-old woman working in his office in Delhi. 

Lawyers for the woman say the harassment included unwanted emails as well as text and phone messages. Mr Pachauri has denied the allegations.

Mr Pachauri, who had chaired the IPCC since 2002 and whose second term was due to end in October this year, denies any wrongdoing and says his email account and mobile phone were hacked. 

His office at the Energy and Resources Institute in Delhi (TERI) said he had gone on "long leave" from the organisation.

On Monday, the 74-year-old had pulled out of a high-level IPCC meeting in Kenya starting on Tuesday, because of "issues demanding his attention in India", an IPCC spokesman said.

Hizb ut-Tahrir statement on the Australian Government's national security strategy


Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 7.04.32 am

Abbott Government scapegoats Islam and Muslims for consequences of western state violence

  • Monday, 23 February 2015 14:25
Abbott Government scapegoats Islam and Muslims for consequences of western state violence

Prime Minister Tony Abbott delivered his much-awaited National Security Statement yesterday, 23 February 2015, in which he claimed that the “terrorist threat” is rising and flagged new security measures on citizenship, immigration and welfare. The overall lack of any new substance in the statement confirmed the view that this was little more than a cheap exercise in fear politics.

Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia emphasises the following in response to the content of the Statement:

1. The statement continues the disingenuous approach of western states of seeking to alter the victim-aggressor paradigm. The aggressors – powerful states whose violence is responsible for the blood of millions – are duplicitously painted as the victims. In truth, the wrong reactions of some to neo-colonial brutality does not change the fact that that brutality is the original aggression and the fundamental problem. Preventing the action would prevent the reaction. Continuing the aggression is a recipe for perpetuating the problem, which is all we’ve seen in the last 14 years of the ‘War on Terror’.

2. In claiming that no grievances or causes are behind the violence, it is the Abbott Government who excuses and justifies terrorism. It excuses and justifies the “primitive savagery” inflicted on entire populations in Iraq and Afghanistan by its allies. It excuses and justifies the systemic violence inflicted on entire peoples by the despotic regimes it supports such as the regimes in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

3. The emphasis on revoking citizenship, restricting immigration and denying welfare is indeed “window dressing” playing to right-wing racist opinion on these subjects. Otherwise, it is rather plain that those intent on doing the wrong thing will not stop based on considerations of citizenship or welfare. Indeed, these measures continue to build on the now well-established two-tier legal system in this country: one set of laws for Muslims and another for everyone else.

4. Tony Abbott paints the Australian establishment as good-natured, tolerant, decent, and accepting. The children of Iraq killed first by heartless sanctions and then war would beg to differ. The children of asylum seekers drowned out at sea or incarcerated in prisons like criminals would beg to differ. The children of Gaza, killed playing on the beach or lying in hospital, would beg to differ. The children killed by US drones in Pakistan and Yemen would beg to differ. Who does Tony Abbott think he is fooling?

5. If the “terrorist threat” is rising at home and abroad, as claimed, the current “counter-terrorism” approach – more laws, more surveillance and more soft-power intrusion in the Muslim community - applied consistently for 14 years now, is surely a failed approach. The Prime Minister should admit this, instead of offering more of the same.

6. The Coalition Government, with sheepish support from Labour, is directly targeting Islam and Muslims under the pretext of fighting violence. It is notable that all the examples of prosecutions, incidents and groups used in the National Security Statement were of Muslims. No mention of the planned violent acts by non-Muslims like the Pullenvale case. No mention of “hate preachers” like the Australian Defence League. No mention of “extreme ideology” like that of various Zionist groups. No mention of “foreign fighters” who travel to train and fight with the IDF.

7. Hizb ut-Tahrir rejects the charge of preaching hate or spreading discord and division. It is those in the political establishment and media who constantly demonise Islam and Muslims and partake in a cheap politics of fear that spread discord and division. War creates hatred, not speaking against it. Blind support for an unjust and brutal invasions like “Israel” which has pushed three generations of a people into slums creates hatred, not speaking against this. Dictating and imposing religious beliefs create hatred, not speaking against this.

8. The promise of “stronger prohibitions of vilification” once again exposes the hypocrisy of liberal freedoms. When the Prophet (saw) is insulted and vilified, it is justified in the name of free speech. Yet when Muslims account unjust foreign and domestic policies, even without insults, they are threatened with vilification laws.

9. The call for Islam to be reformed and Muslim leaders to do more is a continuation of the heaping of collective blame for violence on Muslims. It is a slap in the face of those Muslims who have for years already been saying, “Islam means peace” and offering condemnations and apologies for western consumption. The Muslim community has commendably refused this. She must now adopt a principled stance of placing the focus where it should: on western state violence and excesses.

10. It is not Islam that needs reformation. Islam has a thousand year history of different peoples living peacefully together under the Caliphate, with prosperity and safety for all. In sharp contrast, liberal democracies cannot point to even one example in a 300-year history where minorities were not abused and/or scapegoated for the systemic failures of the state and society – precisely what is occurring in our present case. At its essence, what we are seeing is a slow but sure move in western states towards authoritarianism – poignantly symbolised by the Prime Minister’s choice of venue and introductory celebration of the AFP, ADF and ASIO – to preempt the inevitable and growing unrest caused by systemic failures. Fear of Muslims is just a convenient scapegoat.

Media Office
Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia
24 Feb 2015


Continue reading "Hizb ut-Tahrir statement on the Australian Government's national security strategy" »

Does NSW need a Multicultural March right now?

Sadly, when you give a Minister a title like this - Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Minister for Citizenship and Communities - he'll probably do stuff like this:

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 1.37.06 pm

Victor, you're a bit over the top mate, is "our cultural diversity' really one of our greatest economic assets?   Up there with coal, iron ore or an educated workforce?

Victor is really into it - here are some of his photos:

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 1.37.34 pm

Is this Harmony in Action too?

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 1.41.10 pm