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Labor's election ad featuring opinions of Sam Dastyari's 5YO and 4YO friend that "Bill Shorten is a leader"

This is Shameless Sam and his campaign experts.   Shameless sent the Labor faithful a begging email overnight:

Did you see my video about the least negative ad ever?

In these final days of the campaign the Liberals are spending like crazy on negative TV advertising.

We can't outspend them, but thanks to your donations we've been able to launch a TV ad of our own. One that speaks to Labor's positive vision for Australia and the qualities of our united Labor team under the leadership of Bill Shorten. 

It's also been put together by two campaign experts, Hannah Dastyari (age 5) and Charlotte Jackson Crosby (age 4 and a half).


But we need your help to buy more ad spots. If you like the ad, chip in now so we can spread the message!



Sam Dastyari
Senator for NSW

Keep up to date with NSW Labor on Twitter and Facebook. To make a donation to NSW Labor, click here. 

That'll do me.

US House Committee Benghazi report - Hillary Clinton falsely linked Youtube video with attacks

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Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 3.54.03 amThe US Select Committee on Benghazi has released its report to the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Washington DC.

The most startling thing for me is their finding that the reason given by the White House and Hillary Clinton for the attacks - a purportedly offensive Youtube video - was a total fabrication.

There was no evidence or advice that the Youtube video had anything to do with the attacks in Benghazi.  But it suited the Obama narrative to put that reason forward rather than the truth - Islamic terrorists attacked a vulnerable US post which was woefully, irresponsibly  and culpably under-protected.

As the attacks were taking place the incompetents in the Obama Administration met to mismanage the situation. There was still time to save American lives in Benghazi but no orders to send in a rescue mission were issued. Instead, during that first meeting, five out of ten action items concerned the Youtube video allegedly insulting Muslims.

Australia was directly affected by the Obama/Clinton lies - the Sydney Muslim Riots used the video as their justification to turn Sydney into Syria (there was an inconsequential video created and published to YouTube at the time, but it had nothing to do with the Islamist targeted terror attacks in Benghazi - the White House and Clinton falsely conflated the two events and as a result the Muslim response escalated too).

A series of public statements and links to the volumes of the impressive report are below.

Here is an extract from the letter to the Speaker accompanying the investigation material from the Select Committee.

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Select Committee on Benghazi Releases Proposed Report

81 New Witnesses, 75,000 New Pages of Documents Reveal Significant New Information,

Fundamentally Changes the Public’s Understanding of the 2012 Terrorist Attacks that Killed Four Americans

Washington, D.C. – Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (SC-04) released the following statement after the committee’s Majority released a mark of its investigative report:

“Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were heroes who gave their lives in service to our country. Their bravery and the courageous actions of so many others on the ground that night should be honored.

“When the Select Committee was formed, I promised to conduct this investigation in a manner worthy of the American people’s respect, and worthy of the memory of those who died. That is exactly what my colleagues and I have done.

“Now, I simply ask the American people to read this report for themselves, look at the evidence we have collected, and reach their own conclusions. You can read this report in less time than our fellow citizens were taking fire and fighting for their lives on the rooftops and in the streets of Benghazi.”

The committee’s proposed report is just over 800 pages long and is comprised of five primary sections and 12 appendices. It details relevant events in 2011 and 2012.

The following facts are among the many new revelations in Part I:

  • Despite President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s clear orders to deploy military assets, nothing was sent to Benghazi, and nothing was en route to Libya at the time the last two Americans were killed almost 8 hours after the attacks began. [pg. 141]
  • With Ambassador Stevens missing, the White House convened a roughly two-hour meeting at 7:30 PM, which resulted in action items focused on a YouTube video, and others containing the phrases “[i]f any deployment is made,” and “Libya must agree to any deployment,” and “[w]ill not deploy until order comes to go to either Tripoli or Benghazi.” [pg. 115]
  • The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff typically would have participated in the White House meeting, but did not attend because he went home to host a dinner party for foreign dignitaries. [pg. 107]
  • A Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) sat on a plane in Rota, Spain, for three hours, and changed in and out of their uniforms four times. [pg. 154]
  • None of the relevant military forces met their required deployment timelines. [pg. 150]
  • The Libyan forces that evacuated Americans from the CIA Annex to the Benghazi airport was not affiliated with any of the militias the CIA or State Department had developed a relationship with during the prior 18 months. Instead, it was comprised of former Qadhafi loyalists who the U.S. had helped remove from power during the Libyan revolution. [pg. 144]

Rep. Mike Pompeo (KS-04) released the following statement regarding these findings:

“We expect our government to make every effort to save the lives of Americans who serve in harm’s way. That did not happen in Benghazi. Politics were put ahead of the lives of Americans, and while the administration had made excuses and blamed the challenges posed by time and distance, the truth is that they did not try.”

Rep. Martha Roby (AL-02) released the following statement regarding these findings:

“Our committee’s insistence on additional information about the military’s response to the Benghazi attacks was met with strong opposition from the Defense Department, and now we know why. Instead of attempting to hide deficiencies in our posture and performance, it’s my hope our report will help ensure we fix what went wrong so that a tragedy like this never happens again.” 

The following facts are among the many new revelations in Part II:

  • Five of the 10 action items from the 7:30 PM White House meeting referenced the video, but no direct link or solid evidence existed connecting the attacks in Benghazi and the video at the time the meeting took place. The State Department senior officials at the meeting had access to eyewitness accounts to the attack in real time. The Diplomatic Security Command Center was in direct contact with the Diplomatic Security Agents on the ground in Benghazi and sent out multiple updates about the situation, including a “Terrorism Event Notification.” The State Department Watch Center had also notified Jake Sullivan and Cheryl Mills that it had set up a direct telephone line to Tripoli. There was no mention of the video from the agents on the ground. Greg Hicks—one of the last people to talk to Chris Stevens before he died—said there was virtually no discussion about the video in Libya leading up to the attacks. [pg. 28]
  • The morning after the attacks, the National Security Council’s Deputy Spokesperson sent an email to nearly two dozen people from the White House, Defense Department, State Department, and intelligence community, stating: “Both the President and Secretary Clinton released statements this morning. … Please refer to those for any comments for the time being. To ensure we are all in sync on messaging for the rest of the day, Ben Rhodes will host a conference call for USG communicators on this chain at 9:15 ET today.” [pg. 39]
  • Minutes before the President delivered his speech in the Rose Garden, Jake Sullivan wrote in an email to Ben Rhodes and others: “There was not really much violence in Egypt. And we are not saying that the violence in Libya erupted ‘over inflammatory videos.’” [pg. 44]
  • According to Susan Rice, both Ben Rhodes and David Plouffe prepared her for her appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows following the attacks. Nobody from the FBI, Department of Defense, or CIA participated in her prep call. While Rhodes testified Plouffe would “normally” appear on the Sunday show prep calls, Rice testified she did not recall Plouffe being on prior calls and did not understand why he was on the call in this instance. [pg.98]
  • On the Sunday shows, Susan Rice stated the FBI had “already begun looking at all sorts of evidence” and “FBI has a lead in this investigation.” But on Monday, the Deputy Director, Office of Maghreb Affairs sent an email stating: “McDonough apparently told the SVTS [Secure Video Teleconference] group today that everyone was required to ‘shut their pieholes’ about the Benghazi attack in light of the FBI investigation, due to start tomorrow.” [pg. 135]
  • After Susan Rice’s Sunday show appearances, Jake Sullivan assured the Secretary of the State that Rice “wasn’t asked about whether we had any intel. But she did make clear our view that this started spontaneously and then evolved.” [pg. 128]
  • Susan Rice’s comments on the Sunday talk shows were met with shock and disbelief by State Department employees in Washington. The Senior Libya Desk Officer, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, State Department, wrote: “I think Rice was off the reservation on this one.” The Deputy Director, Office of Press and Public Diplomacy, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, State Department, responded: “Off the reservation on five networks!” The Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications, Bureau of Near East Affairs, State Department, wrote: “WH [White House] very worried about the politics. This was all their doing.” [pg. 132]
  • The CIA’s September 13, 2012, intelligence assessment was rife with errors. On the first page, there is a single mention of “the early stages of the protest” buried in one of the bullet points. The article cited to support the mention of a protest in this instance was actually from September 4. In other words, the analysts used an article from a full week before the attacks to support the premise that a protest had occurred just prior to the attack on September 11. [pg. 47]
  • A headline on the following page of the CIA’s September 13 intelligence assessment stated “Extremists Capitalized on Benghazi Protests,” but nothing in the actual text box supports that title. As it turns out, the title of the text box was supposed to be “Extremists Capitalized on Cairo Protests.” That small but vital difference—from Cairo to Benghazi—had major implications in how people in the administration were able to message the attacks. [pg. 52]

Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-04) released the following statement regarding these findings:

“Obama Administration officials, including the Secretary of State, learned almost in real time that the attack in Benghazi was a terrorist attack. Rather than tell the American people the truth, the administration told one story privately and a different story publicly.”

Rep. Peter Roskam (IL-06) released the following statement regarding these findings:

“In the days and weeks after the attacks, the White House worked to pin all of the blame for their misleading and incorrect statements on officials within the intelligence community, but in reality, political operatives like Ben Rhodes and David Plouffe were spinning the false narrative and prepping Susan Rice for her interviews.” 

The following facts are among the many new revelations in Part III:

  • During deliberations within the State Department about whether and how to intervene in Libya in March 2011, Jake Sullivan listed the first goal as “avoid[ing] a failed state, particularly one in which al-Qaeda and other extremists might take safe haven.” [pg. 9]
  • The administration’s policy of no boots on the ground shaped the type of military assistance provided to State Department personnel in Libya. The Executive Secretariats for both the Defense Department and State Department exchanged communications outlining the diplomatic capacity in which the Defense Department SST security team members would serve, which included wearing civilian clothes so as not to offend the Libyans. [pg. 60]
  • When the State Department’s presence in Benghazi was extended in December 2012, senior officials from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security were excluded from the discussion. [pg. 74]
  • In February 2012, the lead Diplomatic Security Agent at Embassy Tripoli informed his counterpart in Benghazi that more DS agents would not be provided by decision makers, because “substantive reporting” was not Benghazi’s purpose. [pg. 77]
  • Emails indicate senior State Department officials, including Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, and Huma Abedin were preparing for a trip by the Secretary of State to Libya in October 2012. According to testimony, Chris Stevens wanted to have a “deliverable” for the Secretary for her trip to Libya, and that “deliverable” would be making the Mission in Benghazi a permanent Consulate. [pg. 96]
  • In August 2012—roughly a month before the Benghazi attacks—security on the ground worsened significantly. Ambassador Stevens initially planned to travel to Benghazi in early August, but cancelled the trip “primarily for Ramadan/security reasons.” [pg. 99]
  • Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta bluntly told the committee “an intelligence failure” occurred with respect to Benghazi. Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell also acknowledged multiple times an intelligence failure did in fact occur prior to the Benghazi attacks. [pg. 129]

Rep. Susan Brooks (IN-05) released the following statement regarding these findings:

“President Obama has said his worst mistake was ‘failing to plan for the day after … intervening in Libya.’ As a result of this ‘lead from behind’ foreign policy, the Libyan people were forced to make the dismal trade of the tyranny of Qadhafi for the terror of ISIS, Al-Qaeda and others. Although the State Department considered Libya a grave risk to American diplomats in 2011 and 2012, our people remained in a largely unprotected, unofficial facility that one diplomatic security agent the committee interviewed characterized as ‘a suicide mission.’”

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03) released the following statement regarding these findings:

“One of the most concerning parts of the State Department’s policy in Libya was its reliance upon the militias of an unstable nation to protect our men and women in Benghazi. These were by no means forces that could adequately protect Americans on the ground, and the State Department knew it. But the appearance of no boots on the ground was more important to the administration.” 

Part IV of the report reveals new information about the Select Committee’s requests and subpoenas seeking documents and witnesses regarding Benghazi and Libya, and details what the Obama administration provided to Congress, what it is still withholding, and how its serial delays hindered the committee’s efforts to uncover the truth.

Part V proposes 25 recommendations for the Pentagon, State Department, Intelligence Community and Congress aimed at strengthening security for American personnel serving abroad and doing everything possible to ensure something like Benghazi never happens again, and if it does, that we are better prepared to respond, the majority make a series of recommendations.

The Select Committee intends to convene a bipartisan markup to discuss and vote on the proposed report on July 8, 2016. All members of the committee will have the opportunity to offer changes in a manner consistent with the rules of the House.

Below is the full report with links to PDF files of each section.

Report of the Select Committee on
the Events Surrounding the 2012
Terrorist Attack in Benghazi

Letter from Chairman Trey Gowdy to Speaker Paul Ryan

The Benghazi Committee's Investigation - New Facts


  1. Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Facilities in Benghazi 
  1. Internal and Public Government Communications about the Terrorist

Attacks in Benghazi

III. Events Leading to the Terrorist Attacks in Benghazi

  1. Compliance with Congressional Investigations
  1. Recommendations

Appendix A: Resolution Establishing the Select Committee on the

Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi

Appendix B: Significant Persons and Organizations

Appendix C: Questions for the President

Appendix D: Significant Events in Libya Prior to the Attacks

Appendix E: Security Incidents in Libya

Appendix F: Deterioration of Benghazi Mission Compound Security

Appendix G: Timelines of the Attacks

Appendix H: The September 12 Situation Report and the President’s

Daily Brief 

Appendix I: Witness Interview Summaries 

Appendix J: Requests and Subpoenas for Documents

Appendix K: Analysis of Accountability Review Board, House Armed

Services Committee and House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee


Appendix L: Glen A. Doherty, Sean P. Smith, J. Christopher Stevens,

and Tyrone S. Woods

Additional Views by Rep. Jordan and Rep. Pompeo

Day 22 Ramadan bomb-a-thon scorecard from the Religion of Peace

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Religion of Peace 
Atrocity of the Week
Suicide Bomber Dressed 
as Priest to Kill Christians

Atrocity of the Week



Other Recent
of Islam"

2016.06.28 (Iraq) 

At least a dozen worshippers are laid out by a suicide blast at a mosque.

2016.06.27 (Lebanon) 
Six people are left dead after four suicide bombers detonate at a small village. 

2016.06.27 (Yemen) 
A woman and child are among over forty taken out by four suicide bombers.

 2016.06.25 (Bangladesh) 
A Hindu practitioner is beheaded by Religion of Peace radicals. 

2016.06.25 (India) 
Lashkar-e-Taiba members pour machine-gun fire into a bus, killing eight passengers. 

2016.06.25 (Somalia) 
An al-Shabaab suicide bombing at a hotel claims the lives of fouteen employees and guests. 


Comprehensive report on human organ harvesting in China - 100,000 people killed to order each year?

This movie trailer is a couple of years old but it sets the scene for the new report released a couple of days ago.



Committee on Foreign Affairs Hearing: Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, and the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats
2:00 pm, June 23, 2016 in Room 2200, Rayburn House Office Building: “Organ Harvesting: An Examination of a Brutal Practice”


Fourteen years ago, the Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in China gave testimony on Chinese intellectual property rights violations to the Congressional Executive Commission on China (CECC). He testified that the Chinese leadership was finally saying exactly what we wanted them to. Yet for US companies selling to the Chinese market, “15-20% of revenue is lost due to counterfeiting.” In other words, the problem was worse than ever.

That was Chris Murck, my former boss. He taught me that reform in China can take time. Eight years later Murck came back to the CECC and testified that counterfeiting was present, but receding. Perhaps that’s why when I was writing my book, seven years after the Kilgour-Matas report, I assumed I was writing about history.

How naive. After decades of Western legal exchanges with China, Chinese lawyers face mass arrests. And how strangely idealistic the words “free the Chinese Internet” sound today—in part because we know some American companies have dirty hands. So yes, if money is the main issue, you might scratch out a stalemate with the Chinese Communist Party.  But if the Party feels threatened, take all the time you like. You will probably lose.

Our Update is essentially a balance sheet of organ harvesting: Are we winning or losing? 

The Chinese medical establishment commonly claims that China performs 10,000 transplants per year. Yet imagine a typical state-licensed transplant center in China: three or four transplant teams. 30 or 40 beds for transplant patients. A 20 to 30-day recovery period. Patient demand: 300,000 Chinese wait-listed for organs, not counting foreign organ tourists.

Would it be plausible to suggest that such a facility might do one transplant a day? 146 transplant facilities, ministry-approved, meet that general description. And that yields a back-of-the-envelope answer: not 10,000, but 50-60,000 transplants per year. 

Suppose we actually hold those same hospitals and transplant centers to the actual state minimum requirement of transplant activity, beds, surgical staff, and so on? 80-90,000 transplants per year.

Yet how shall we account for the emergence of Tianjin First Central Hospital, easily capable of 5000 transplants per year? PLA 309 military hospital in Beijing? Zhongshan Hospital? The list is extraordinary. A detailed examination yields an average of up to two transplants a day, over 100,000 transplants a year.

Now the figures that I have just given you are based on Chinese numbers. Not from official statements, but sources like Nurses Weekly

To understand why organs are readily available we need to examine how harvesting evolved over time. In the 1980s, it was an opportunistic afterthought to a convict’s execution. In the mid-1990s, medical vans on execution grounds became routine and experimental live organ harvests were carried out on the execution grounds of Xinjiang. In 1997, following the Ghulja massacre, a handful of political prisoners, Uyghur activists, were harvested for a handful of aging Chinese Communist Party cadres.

Perhaps those organs were simply prizes seized in the fog of war. Perhaps the harvesting of prisoners of conscience could have ended there. But in 1999, State Security launched the campaign to eliminate Falun Gong. By 2001, over one million Falun Gong incarcerated within the Laogai System were subject to retail-organ testing, and Chinese military and civilian hospitals were ramping up their transplant facilities. By 2002, it was select House Christians. By 2003, it was the Tibetans’ turn.

By 2005, economic opportunism had been replaced by two hidden hands—five-year-plan capitalism and the Party’s desire to kill off its internal enemies. The result was that a foreign organ tourist of means could purchase a tissue-matched organ within two weeks. Hardened criminals were harvested for organs; transplant centers stood to make 60k, 100k, or more. But the rise of the Chinese transplant industry was built on the foundation of Falun Gong incarceration.  

In early 2006, the Kilgour-Matas report was published. Beijing conceded that they used prisoner organs, ostensibly banned foreign organ tourism to China, and provided prisoners with permission-to-donate forms. In 2012, this thin tissue was shredded by the revelation that Bo Xilai’s protege, Wang Lijun, ran a live organ harvesting center which had performed thousands of transplants.

Fatally exposed, the Chinese medical establishment promised to move to voluntary sourcing within 3-5 years, but wrapped it in a semantic trick: The phrase “end organ harvesting of prisoners” was acceptable. The phrase “end organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience” was unacceptable. Thus the Chinese could avoid speaking about a vast captive population that doesn’t officially exist, while the acceptable phrase allowed Westerners to hope that “prisoners of conscience” was just a subset of “prisoners”. By avoiding the taboo phrase, both sides could maintain their illusions.  

Yet throughout all the gyrations of the Chinese medical establishment’s supposed reform—the inconsistent numbers, the dithering over whether a prisoner could volunteer their organs, the claim that a voluntary donation system was magically in place—our Update finds only continuity: Transplant wings under construction, business as usual.

Profits drive hospital production. But what drives the Party? I don’t pretend to have special insight into that black box other than the Marxist practice of covering up a crime against humanity by liquidating anyone who is familiar with the crime. Perhaps that explains why 500 Falun Gong are examined in a single day, or given blood tests in their homes, or why Uyghur neighborhoods are riddled with forced disappearances.  

As I turn to policy, let me begin with what we can’t be done.

We cannot solve this problem by pretending that prisoners of conscience have not been harvested. A Chinese doctor testified to congress on the harvesting of death-row prisoners in 2001. It caused a ripple, not a wave. We are here today, side by side, because the people in this room are concerned about prisoners of conscience.

We cannot verify self-proclaimed medical reform by arranged visits to a few Chinese transplant hospitals. In the words of Dr. Jacob Lavee, from The Transplantation Society (TTS) ethics committee and Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH):

“As a son of a Holocaust survivor, I feel obliged to not repeat the dreadful mistake made by the International Red Cross visit to the Theresienstadt Nazi concentration camp in 1944, in which it was reported to be a pleasant recreation camp.”

In short, the medical community cannot solve this problem alone. They need House Resolution 343. They need our research—and new investigations. They need to have oversight over Americans going to China for organs—and the support of the American people.

According to Lavee, not a single Israeli has gone to China for a transplant since Israel took a stand against organ tourism in 2008. Cutting off HMO funding wasn’t enough; the Israeli surgeons needed to make the point that no matter how much Chinese money was invested in Israeli software, doctors have a special interest in the phrase “never again.” For Taiwan, rejecting organ tourism to China was even more courageous given the Chinese military threat. But if the Taiwanese medical establishment and the political sector can join hands, we can too.

I have been told this is a Falun Gong issue. No, this is the familiar specter of human genocide—cloaked in modern scrubs. Even with a united effort, we may lose the patient. Yet let us at least enter the operating room with clean hands.



Eddie Obeid guilty of misconduct in public office

Lobby for a lease to favour a fast food joint in which your family has an interest - guilty.

Pass legislation and give millions to the trade unions to which you owe your career and future - get the Order of Australia.


Eddie Obeid found guilty of misconduct in public office while member of NSW Upper House

Updated 42 minutes ago

Former NSW Labor minister Eddie Obeid has been found guilty of misconduct in public office by the Supreme Court.

The charge related to his lobbying of a senior maritime official over cafe leases at Sydney's Circular Quay when he was a member of the NSW Upper House.

Obeid, 72, failed to disclose he and his family had a financial interest in the cafes.

During the trial, the Supreme Court in Sydney heard Obeid made representations between August and November 2007 to NSW Maritime Authority deputy chief executive Steve Dunn over the leases, with the intention of seeking a beneficial outcome.

The crown said Obeid knew Mr Dunn from when he was fisheries minister and Mr Dunn was director-general of NSW Fisheries.

Obeid served as fisheries and mineral resources minister from 1999 to 2003 and was not a minister at the time of the offences.

Prosecutors claimed Obeid duped Mr Dunn into believing he was acting on behalf of constituents, when he and his family were receiving 90 per cent of the profits from the businesses.

The jury retired late on Monday and returned the guilty verdict less than 24 hours later.

When asked about the outcome, Obeid said he had no comment.


Liberal MP Susan Ley says Australian Liberty Alliance is more dangerous to Australia than Islam

It is so upsetting to see another MP with an opinion on Islam based on meeting nice Muslims.  Susan Ley says that Muslims have nice little children and she challenges anyone who quotes the Quran or Hadith to tell those kids the truth about Islam and the perfect life of Muhammad.

“I challenge anyone who has these views to look at the children at that event in the eye and tell them that they come from a religion, a culture or a society which has its preferences, its roots or indications in terrorism,” she said.

That's it, that's the intellectual basis for determining that people who criticise Islam are a greater danger than the Islamists who kill and live as Muhammad lived.


Liberals wary of alliance’s ideology


Farrer MP and Health Minister Sussan Ley has blasted the Australian Liberty Alliance party as a “threat to an inclusive and tolerant Australian society”.

Jillian Pattinson asked from the crowd, at Monday’s Farrer forum at the Albury Club, about ALA candidate Ron Pike’s support for a 10-year ban on immigration to Australia from most Islamic countries.

Ms Ley said there was a chance the ALA could win Senate seats and the Liberals had preferenced them last.

She had dined with the Border’s Islamic community at the Mirambeena Community Centre on Sunday.

“I challenge anyone who has these views to look at the children at that event in the eye and tell them that they come from a religion, a culture or a society which has its preferences, its roots or indications in terrorism,” she said.

Mr Pike said his party was not anti-Muslim but “the growth of radical Islam is raising its head across many countries in the Western world”.

Boris Johnson on Europe's Britons who voted for British people to control Britain's destiny

This is a great speech - Boris balances the "reaching out and building bridges" stuff brilliantly without being a lefty pinko do-gooder or an up-yours-we-won-get-over-it guy.

We all want to be in control of our destiny, that's what free will is all about.

This EU referendum has been the most extraordinary political event of our lifetime. Never in our history have so many people been asked to decide a big question about the nation’s future. Never have so many thought so deeply, or wrestled so hard with their consciences, in an effort to come up with the right answer.

It has been a gruelling campaign in which we have seen divisions between family and friends and colleagues – sometimes entirely amicable, sometimes, alas, less so. In the end, there was a clear result. More than 17 million people voted to leave the EU – more than have ever assented to any proposition in our democratic history. Some now cast doubt on their motives, or even on their understanding of what was at stake.

It is said that those who voted Leave were mainly driven by anxieties about immigration. I do not believe that is so. After meeting thousands of people in the course of the campaign, I can tell you that the number one issue was control – a sense that British democracy was being undermined by the EU system, and that we should restore to the people that vital power: to kick out their rulers at elections, and to choose new ones.

I believe that millions of people who voted Leave were also inspired by the belief that Britain is a great country, and that outside the job-destroying coils of EU bureaucracy we can survive and thrive as never before. I think that they are right in their analysis, and right in their choice. And yet we who agreed with this majority verdict must accept that it was not entirely overwhelming.

There were more than 16 million who wanted to remain. They are our neighbours, brothers and sisters who did what they passionately believe was right. In a democracy majorities may decide but everyone is of equal value. We who are part of this narrow majority must do everything we can to reassure the Remainers. We must reach out, we must heal, we must build bridges – because it is clear that some have feelings of dismay, and of loss, and confusion.

I believe that this climate of apprehension is understandable, given what people were told during the campaign, but based on a profound misunderstanding about what has really taken place. At home and abroad, the negative consequences are being wildly overdone, and the upside is being ignored. The stock market is way above its level of last autumn; the pound remains higher than it was in 2013 and 2014.

The economy is in good hands. Most sensible people can see that Bank of England governor Mark Carney has done a superb job – and now that the referendum is over, he will be able to continue his work without being in the political firing-line. Thanks in large part to the reforms put in place by David Cameron and George Osborne, the fundamentals of the UK economy are outstandingly strong – a dynamic and outward-looking economy with an ever-improving skills base, and with a big lead in some of the key growth sectors of the 21st century.

We should be incredibly proud and positive about the UK, and what it can now achieve. And we will achieve those things together, with all four nations united. We had one Scotland referendum in 2014, and I do not detect any real appetite to have another one soon; and it goes without saying that we are much better together in forging a new and better relationship with the EU – based on free trade and partnership, rather than a federal system.

I cannot stress too much that Britain is part of Europe, and always will be. There will still be intense and intensifying European cooperation and partnership in a huge number of fields: the arts, the sciences, the universities, and on improving the environment. EU citizens living in this country will have their rights fully protected, and the same goes for British citizens living in the EU.

British people will still be able to go and work in the EU; to live; to travel; to study; to buy homes and to settle down. As the German equivalent of the CBI – the BDI – has very sensibly reminded us, there will continue to be free trade, and access to the single market. Britain is and always will be a great European power, offering top-table opinions and giving leadership on everything from foreign policy to defence to counter-terrorism and intelligence-sharing – all the things we need to do together to make our world safer.

The only change – and it will not come in any great rush – is that the UK will extricate itself from the EU’s extraordinary and opaque system of legislation: the vast and growing corpus of law enacted by a European Court of Justice from which there can be no appeal. This will bring not threats, but golden opportunities for this country – to pass laws and set taxes according to the needs of the UK.

Yes, the Government will be able to take back democratic control of immigration policy, with a balanced and humane points-based system to suit the needs of business and industry. Yes, there will be a substantial sum of money which we will no longer send to Brussels, but which could be used on priorities such as the NHS. Yes, we will be able to do free trade deals with the growth economies of the world in a way that is currently forbidden.

There is every cause for optimism; a Britain rebooted, reset, renewed and able to engage with the whole world. This was a seismic campaign whose lessons must be learnt by politicians at home and abroad. We heard the voices of millions of the forgotten people, who have seen no real increase in their incomes, while FTSE-100 chiefs now earn 150 times the average pay of their employees. We must pursue actively the one-nation policies that are among David Cameron’s fine legacy, such as his campaigns on the Living Wage and Life Chances. There is no doubt that many were speaking up for themselves.

But they were also speaking up for democracy, and the verdict of history will be that the British people got it right.

Geoffrey Robertson stuffs up the role of the Parliament in Brexit commentary

The vote for Britain to leave the European Union reminds us about the heart of democracy.

The will of the people.  

The parliament exists to do the will of the people.

It's not there to "act in the national interest" or to reflect the conscience of individual members.

Geoffrey Robertson QC has written a column for The Guardian which appears to incite Members of Parliament to act contrary to the will of the people "in the national interest" and "according to their conscience".  

There's a disturbing trend afoot here.  Some people believe their superior insight and intellect should entitle them to intervene on behalf of the stupid rest of us.

George Orwell wrote about that in Animal Farm.

Stopping them is what Brexit was all about. 

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It is being said that the government can trigger Brexit under article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, merely by sending a note to Brussels. This is wrong. Article 50 says: “Any member state may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.” The UK’s most fundamental constitutional requirement is that there must first be the approval of its parliament.

Britain, absurdly, is the only significant country (other than Saudi Arabia) without a written constitution. We have what are termed “constitutional conventions”, along with a lot of history and traditions. Nothing in these precedents allots any place to the results of referendums or requires our sovereign parliament to take a blind bit of notice of them.

It was parliament that voted to enter the European Economic Community in 1972, and only three years later was a referendum held to settle the split in Harold Wilson’s Labour party over the value of membership. Had a narrow majority of the public voted out in 1975, Wilson would still have had to persuade parliament to vote accordingly – and it is far from certain that he would have succeeded.

Our democracy does not allow, much less require, decision-making by referendum. That role belongs to the representatives of the people and not to the people themselves. Democracy has never meant the tyranny of the simple majority, much less the tyranny of the mob (otherwise, we might still have capital punishment). Democracy entails an elected government, subject to certain checks and balances such as the common law and the courts, and an executive ultimately responsible to parliament, whose members are entitled to vote according to conscience and common sense.



I commend this paper to you - Your Will Be Done - a treatise on your role in your democracy.

Reader Newbposter dropped me a copy and has referred to this little book in several comments on this website.    It's a brilliant reminder of why we invented our parliaments and what they were established to do.   Compare and contrast that with the grotesque monsters our governments have morphed into.

I will post more on "Your Will Be Done" - it really does deserve our attention.


*Thanks to reader Steve for correcting my unreliable memory of George Orwell's first name.

The luck of the Clintons with disappearing witnesses


John Ashe with Hillary

It sure is amazing how lucky the Clinton’s have got when people are going to testify against them and then they die.

Ashe was due in court Monday with his Chinese businessman co-defendant Ng Lap Seng, who is charged with smuggling $4.5 million into the US since 2013 and lying that it was to buy art and casino chips.

Ng was identified in a 1998 Senate report as the source of hundreds of thousands of dollars illegally funneled through an Arkansas restaurant owner, Charlie Trie, to the Democratic National Committee during the Clinton administration. (Ng was not charged with any crime.)

Ng and Trie had visited the White House several times for Democratic fund-raising events and were photographed with then-President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton.

One source told me, “During the trial, the prosecutors would have linked Ashe to the Clinton bagman Ng. It would have been very embarrassing. His death was conveniently timed.”

Read the rest at

More about the death below:

DOBBS FERRY, New York — A former president of the U.N. General Assembly awaiting trial in a bribery scandal died in a weightlifting accident when a barbell he was lifting from a bench dropped on his neck, an autopsy revealed Thursday.

John Ashe was declared dead late Wednesday afternoon by a paramedic who responded to his Dobbs Ferry home.

Dr. Kunjlata Ashar, Westchester County’s medical examiner, said the cause of death – traumatic asphyxia – was determined during an autopsy, though she did not perform the procedure herself and did not have additional details. It was deemed an accident based on a combination of information from the autopsy and an investigation by the Dobbs Ferry Police Department, officials said.

The police department said in a statement that the death appears accidental, but provided little information otherwise.

Read the rest ex-UN official’s death ‘conveniently timed’


RICHARD JOHNSONThe death by barbell of disgraced UN official John Ashe could become a bigger obsession for conspiracy theorists than Vince Foster’s 1993 suicide.

Ashe — who was facing trial for tax fraud — died Wednesday afternoon in his house in Westchester County. The UN said he’d had a heart attack. But the local Dobbs Ferry police said Thursday that his throat had been crushed, presumably by a barbell he dropped while pumping iron.

Ashe was due in court Monday with his Chinese businessman co-defendant Ng Lap Seng, who is charged with smuggling $4.5 million into the US since 2013 and lying that it was to buy art and casino chips.Ng was identified in a 1998 Senate report as the source of hundreds of thousands of dollars illegally funneled through an Arkansas restaurant owner, Charlie Trie, to the Democratic National Committee during the Clinton administration. (Ng was not charged with any crime.)

Ng and Trie had visited the White House several times for Democratic fund-raising events and were photographed with then-President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton.

One source told me, “During the trial, the prosecutors would have linked Ashe to the Clinton bagman Ng. It would have been very embarrassing. His death was conveniently timed.”

Ashe’s lawyer Jeremy Schneider told me he is sure Ashe’s death was an accident. “There is not one iota of evidence that it was homicide. This is nothing at all like Vince Foster.”

Police in Dobbs Ferry village are keeping the investigation open pending an autopsy by the Westchester medical examiner.