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September 2021

Should Malcolm Turnbull be registered as an Agent of Foreign Influence for France?


Seeker of Truth asks:

In view of Malcolm Turnbull's friendship with France's President Macron and his regular phone contacts with him, will Malcolm Turnbull be registering as a potential agent of foreign influence for France?

The Left pushed hard on Tony Abbott to force him to register, especially on his dealings with Boris Johnson, so what is their stance on Malcolm Turnbull?

Does Malcolm get a leave pass?

In July 2021, Malcolm registered as an agent as to his keynote address at South Korea's Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity. Also in July 2021, he registered as an agent as to his keynote address at Taiwan's Yushan Forum.

These were both one off events. Yet there is no registration for his regular contact with Macron. It is obvious that political discussions take place.

Where is his transparency on this relationship?

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Here's an excerpt of Turnbull's speech on behalf of The French People.

France is an Indo Pacific power. With two million citizens and 7,000 troops across the two oceans, drawing closer to France as a security partner made enormous sense both for us and the United States.

France is the world’s sixth (and the EU’s second) largest economy, a permanent member of the Security Council, a nuclear weapons state with its own nuclear technology for energy, naval propulsion and weapons. With Merkel’s retirement, Macron will be the most influential of the EU leaders. Always inclined to protectionism, France became a strong supporter of our bid for an FTA with the EU, invited Australia (for the first time) to the G7 and aligned its Indo Pacific strategy, and ultimately that of the EU, to ours.

Mr Morrison has not acted in good faith. He deliberately deceived France. He makes no defense of his conduct other than to say it was in Australia’s national interest. So, is that Mr Morrison’s ethical standard with which Australia is now tagged.: Australia will act honestly unless it is judged in our national interest to deceive?

It was as recently as 30 August that our Defence and Foreign Ministers met with their French counterparts and publicly re-emphasised the importance of the submarine programme. Two weeks later, on the day Mr Morrison dumped the President of France with a text message, the Department of Defence formally advised Naval Group that the project was on track and ready to enter into the next set of contracts.

The media has been gleefully briefed that Mr Morrison struck the deal with Boris Johnson and Joe Biden at the G20 in July shortly before going to Paris where the PM confirmed to President Macron his continuing commitment to the submarine deal.

France’s Foreign Minister has described Australia’s conduct as a stab in the back, a betrayal. Macron recalled his Ambassadors to Canberra and Washington. Dan Tehan can’t get a meeting with the French Trade Minister any more than he can with the Chinese Trade Minister.

France believes it has been deceived and humiliated, and she was. This betrayal of trust will dog our relations with Europe for years. The Australian Government has treated the French Republic with contempt. It won’t be forgotten. Every time we seek to persuade another nation to trust us, somebody will be saying “Remember what they did to Macron? If they can throw France under a bus, what would they do to us?”


Tony Abbott calls out Victoria's storm-trooper police tactics

Here's part of The Australian's take on the podcast

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Mr Abbott, speaking on the Institute of Public Affairs Australia’s Heartland podcast, said that although “obviously people shouldn't break the law”, he believed the protesters were within their rights to express their opposition to “unreasonable” health restrictions.

“You’ve got people there at the Shrine of Remembrance, with flags, with placards, with the best of my observation they were simply there to make a point,” he said.

“They weren’t being violent, they weren’t being vandalistic, they weren’t being destructive.

“Then you had the Victorian police being lined up like storm troopers, eventually charging them with rubber bullets and teargas.

“Now I don’t think you can say all the right was on one side there.”

Mr Abbott said he believed the group – which Labor and CFMEU boss John Setka branded as neo-Nazis and not genuine construction workers – were people who were “sick and tired” of arduous health orders.

“I saw a lot of people who were maybe a little misguided, maybe a little over the top, but I saw a lot of people who are sick and tired of restrictions, which frankly are now becoming absolutely unreasonable,” he said.

YouTube to remove anti-vax videos

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We're expanding our medical misinformation policies on YouTube with new guidelines on vaccines

Crafting policy around medical misinformation comes charged with inherent challenges and tradeoffs. Scientific understanding evolves as new research emerges, and firsthand, personal experience regularly plays a powerful role in online discourse. Vaccines in particular have been a source of fierce debate over the years, despite consistent guidance from health authorities about their effectiveness. Today, we're expanding our medical misinformation policies on YouTube with new guidelines on currently administered vaccines that are approved and confirmed to be safe and effective by local health authorities and the WHO.

Since last year, we’ve removed over 130,000 videos for violating our COVID-19 vaccine policies.

Our Community Guidelines already prohibit certain types of medical misinformation. We've long removed content that promotes harmful remedies, such as saying drinking turpentine can cure diseases. At the onset of COVID-19, we built on these policies when the pandemic hit, and worked with experts to develop 10 new policies around COVID-19 and medical misinformation. Since last year, we’ve removed over 130,000 videos for violating our COVID-19 vaccine policies.
Throughout this work, we learned important lessons about how to design and enforce nuanced medical misinformation policies at scale. Working closely with health authorities, we looked to balance our commitment to an open platform with the need to remove egregious harmful content. We’ve steadily seen false claims about the coronavirus vaccines spill over into misinformation about vaccines in general, and we're now at a point where it's more important than ever to expand the work we started with COVID-19 to other vaccines. 

Specifically, content that falsely alleges that approved vaccines are dangerous and cause chronic health effects, claims that vaccines do not reduce transmission or contraction of disease, or contains misinformation on the substances contained in vaccines will be removed. This would include content that falsely says that approved vaccines cause autism, cancer or infertility, or that substances in vaccines can track those who receive them. Our policies not only cover specific routine immunizations like for measles or Hepatitis B, but also apply to general statements about vaccines.

As with our COVID guidelines, we consulted with local and international health organizations and experts in developing these policies. For example, our new guidance on vaccine side effects maps to public vaccine resources provided by health authorities and backed by medical consensus. These policy changes will go into effect today, and as with any significant update, it will take time for our systems to fully ramp up enforcement. 

There are important exceptions to our new guidelines. Given the importance of public discussion and debate to the scientific process, we will continue to allow content about vaccine policies, new vaccine trials, and historical vaccine successes or failures on YouTube. Personal testimonials relating to vaccines will also be allowed, so long as the video doesn't violate other Community Guidelines, or the channel doesn't show a pattern of promoting vaccine hesitancy. 

All of this complements our ongoing work to raise up authoritative health information on our platform and connect people with credible, quality health content and sources.

Today’s policy update is an important step to address vaccine and health misinformation on our platform, and we’ll continue to invest across the board in the policies and products that bring high quality information to our viewers and the entire YouTube community.

Dog. Why hasn't the Liberal Party cut this cancer out?

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Malcolm Turnbull has reserved his right to campaign for independents running against the Coalition at the next federal election, and has refused to say if he will vote for the Liberals.

The former Liberal prime minister told the National Press Club on Wednesday that he would “reserve his rights” to campaign against sitting government MPs or endorsed Coalition candidates, and he would keep his personal vote a secret.

Mr Turnbull in his NPC speech said Scott Morrison’s decision to cancel a $90 billion submarine deal with France was “blundering and deceitful” and accused Mr Morrison of hurting the nation’s relations with Europe.

The skewering speech came after months of other criticisms about the Prime Minister’s handling of climate change, the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, and the controversies around former minister Christian Porter.

Mr Turnbull refused to say on Wednesday that he would back the Liberal Party at the next election despite remaining a member of the party.

“It has been a long habit but it is also a secret ballot. That will be a matter between me and the ballot box,” he told the NPC on Wednesday.

“I haven‘t made a decision about (campaigning for independents). I remain a member of the Liberal Party. The independent I endorsed in the upper Hunter by-election was running against a National Party candidate and despite the indignation of Mr Barilaro, there is nothing in the Liberal Party rules that says you‘ve got to support the National Party.

“I will wait and see. I reserve my rights as they would say.”

In his speech on Wednesday, Mr Turnbull also revealed he has spoken to French president Emmanuel Macron since Australian-French relations soured over the cancellation of the Naval Group submarine deal in favour of UK and US nuclear submarines.

The former prime minister focused on Mr Morrison’s personal handling of the diplomatic controversy.

“Scott Morrison deliberately and elaborately set out to persuade the French that their deal was on foot and proceeding until he knew he had an alternative deal, where upon he dumped the French and his deceitful conduct was exposed,” Mr Turnbull told the NPC.

“I have spoken to Emmanuel Macron. He is a friend and I have stayed in touch with him since I left office.

“What Morrison has done, and he can blabber and people can spin it as much as they like, but this was a big double cross, deceitful conduct on any view, acting in bad faith.”