Michelle Landry, LNP MP for Capricornia must resign. The Liberal National Party have now admitted they went to the election based on a blatant lie. Turnbull said he will bring back integrity to politics He must insist that Ms. Landry resigns today.
On 3rd February, I published Is the Defence Land Grab” Turnbull’s Carbon Tax Lie? This article details the timeline and agenda through an analysis of press releases, Hansard, the Defence White paper and the Budget.
My timeline shows that the Liberal National Coalition either knew they were going to acquire land, or they are severely incompetent and had developed no contingency plan for the expansion to house the Singaporean Army at Shoalwater.
They say a week is a long time in politics. However two weeks have revealed two things. The first is that Peta Credlin admitted on national television that the Gillard’s carbon tax lie was just dirty politics made up by the Liberals and it was never a carbon tax.
Michelle Landry needs to admit that either she did not know about the land grab or she is incompetent. So incompetent that she did not inquire as to the impact of the Defence training deal on her own constituency. For either one of these she MUST resign.
Although the Government has now backed down on compulsory acquisition, after protests and rallies; the electorate was prevented from voting on all the facts at the time of the election, due to dishonesty by the now Government.
The encouragement of women into the political sphere and the development of current women MP’s should be a genuine intrinsic motivator for all politicians, across the political spectrum. However the Queensland State Liberal National Party Opposition have chosen to participate in political games, rather than engage in political progress for women.
The QLD LNP State Opposition have denied a pair for attendance at the Commonwealth Women’s Parliamentarians’ (CWP) Annual Planning Meeting. Queensland Representative, Brittany Lauga, MP (ALP) is now unable to attend and Queensland will have no representative. A pair is required as QLD has a hung parliament. Ms. Lauga said that, “Pairs are granted all the time for Ministers and Members to attend different meetings.”
This is an indictment on the leadership and values of the LNP. It clearly shows that the LNP view women’s representation in politics as something frivolous to be scoffed at and something to play games with.
The CWP plays a vital role in the devolopment of women to enter into politics and also for the women who are currently in Office. The statement from the CWP website, describes their purpose as:
The CWP Steering Committee believes Australian political and party behaviours and cultures need to improve if we are to achieve equitable outcomes for women in Parliament. Moreover, women who are elected to Parliament deserve to be heard on policy and governance issues, especially gendered issues such as domestic violence where our laws and programs have tragically failed too many women.
It is essential that women politicians are given every opportunity to participate in any forum, conference or committee, which will enhance the role of women in public life.
Women’s representation in the State and Territory Parliaments is low and needs vast improvement. The LNP have only eight women MPs out of a total of 42 MP’s in the QLD State Parliament (19%).
Ms. Verity Barton, MP (LNP), was the CWP QLD representative from 2012 – 2015. Ms. Lauga wrote to the former CWP representative in the spirit of bipartisanship on the 25 October, 2016.
Dear Verity and the Broadwater EO,
On Thursday 3 and Friday 4 November 2016 the CWP is holding a face-to-face meeting in Hobart. I have negotiated with the CWP to allow an observer from the Queensland Opposition to attend and I wondered if Verity would like to be that representative? The Clerk of the Parliament and the Speaker have both approved this. Travel would have to be arranged using the Member’s GTA through Travel Services. Would you be interested in coming along?
Ms. Barton advised she was unable to attend.
Ms. Lauga then wrote to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Deb Frecklington MP, on the 27th October, 2016, to extend the offer to any other woman in the LNP Opposition. However, to date, Ms. Lauga has not received a reply from the Deputy Leader of the Opposition.
Ms. Barton was afforded every opportunity to attend CWP events as the Queensland representative from 2012 to 2015. This includes attending the Pan-Commonwealth Conference for Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, Houses of Parliament, UK, in June 2014 and the 3rd Pacific Women’s Parliamentary Partnerships Forum in Fiji, in May, 2015.
In a statement to The Rockhampton Morning Bulletin on Wednesday 2nd November, 2016, an LNP spokesman advised that:
“Ms Lauga does not require leave from the Opposition to attend a parliamentary junket at taxpayers’ expense”
To describe a conference, which underpins the vital and crucial development of women representing women, in a country where Domestic Violence is an epidemic; as “A Junket” is beyond offensive to ALL women.
The statement from the LNP spokesperson is not only offensive, but the LNP may need to look in their own backyard before casting aspersions on others.
All MPs who undertake international travel are required to submit a report. I have been able to source Ms. Barton’s report for her international travel to Fiji, but there appears to be an absence of a report for Ms. Barton’s international travel to London for the CWP Conference UK, 2014.
In addition, Ms. Barton’s Fiji report lists upgrades to business class equating to $1300. This exceeds the cost required for Ms. Lauga to attend the CWP Annual Planning meeting in Hobart.
If Ms. Barton has not submitted a report for her international travel to London, this may be a matter for the ethics committee.
The Speaker of the House, Mr. Peter Wellington, MP (IND) (and also chair of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association of which CWP is a sub-branch) raised the matter today in the spririt of encouragement and fairness at a meeting between the LNP and Labor. However, the LNP still refused to grant a pair.
Ms. Lauga wrote to the Speaker on Tuesday to express her disappointment.
Dear Mr Speaker,
As discussed today, a meeting of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians is planned for Thursday 3 November (dinner) and all day Friday 4 November.
In the spirit of bipartisanship, I sought approval from the CWP for an observer to attend so a woman from the Opposition can also partake in the meeting.
Once approval was granted by the Chair of the CWP Michelle O’Byrne, I wrote to the former CWP Queensland Representative, the Member for Broadwater Verity Barton MP to invite her to take up the observer position (see attached email).
Further, I also provided the Member for Broadwater with a copy of my itinerary in case she wished to take the same flights and stay at the same hotel as I had planned. The Member for Broadwater refused the invitation (see attached email).
I subsequently wrote to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition Deb Frecklington MP and extended the offer for her, or another female member of the LNP Opposition to attend the CWP meeting as an observer (see attached email). To date I have not received a response to this offer.
My understanding is that it is unlikely the LNP will agree to a pair for me to attend the CWP meeting in Hobart, despite the offer for the LNP to send an observer to the meeting. It would be an embarrassment for Queensland not to be represented at the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians meeting considering all other States, Territories and the Commonwealth will all be represented.
It would be particularly disappointing given that the Member for Broadwater was offered every opportunity to partake in CWP meetings and activities as the former CWP Queensland representative. Queensland, and indeed all of the women members of the Queensland Parliament, deserve to have active representation at the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians.
The LNP’s refusal to allow a pair to the meeting would be a State shame, but it does highlight the LNP’s failure to acknowledge the importance of women being represented in our Queensland Parliament.
Any woman reading this, will have their own personal story about their lived experience of denial of opportunity due to sexism or gender discrimination. The level of disparity is further ingrained for women of colour, women with a disability, women in regional an rural communities, women in poverty and the LGBTIQ community and other minority groups.
It is not only important for all Queensland women to be represented, by their state MPs at these important events, but more so for women in these groups. As inequality is a serious issue throughout Australia as a whole.
The Australian Chair of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, Michelle O’Byrne MP who is also the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in Tasmania, made this statement on behalf of all women.
‘It is extremely disappointing to see political game playing interfere with this important role that supports women in parliament and works to increase the participation of women in political life.
Unfortunately I note that this view is not held by the LNP for male attendance at national committees and events not was it their view when the Queensland role was held by a LNP member. It is disappointing that Queensland will not be represented at this national meeting’.
The LNP appear more interested in playing political games to harm the progress of women, instead of supporting and encouraging participation of women from both sides of the house.
An interesting question to raise is; have the ‘Men in Blue Ties’ also denied the participation of women in their own party, so they could play games with the hung parliament?
The Federal Leader of the Liberal and National Coalition and Prime Minister famously said:
“You’ve heard me say this before, but it’s worth repeating. Not all disrespecting women ends up in violence against women. But that is where all violence against women begins,”
I ask in all seriousness, would the Prime Minister approve of his State counterpart purposely playing political antics with the opportunities of women MP’s to participate in a forum who have one of their key purposes as:
“Women who are elected to Parliament deserve to be heard on policy and governance issues, especially gendered issues such as domestic violence where our laws and programs have tragically failed too many women.”
The State QLD LNP are disrespecting women at the highest level. That is, preventing women parliamentarians to attend an event that is integral in working towards a progressive future where women’s experiences of legal discrimination and discrimination by default are rederessed.
I encourage everyone to urgently place pressure on the Prime Minister to stand up to his State counterpart, the Leader of the QLD LNP, Tim Nicholls, to ensure that a pair is granted in the QLD State Parliament, to enable participation in CWP and similar events from LNP and Labor women MPs, at all times.
If the Prime Minister implies that “This is up to the QLD LNP” or places blame on the QLD ALP, then his attendance at the CWP Conference in 2015, was nothing, but for show.
I am frustrated at the state of the politics in Australia. I am here to offer a solution. This simple solution could change politics forever!
It is frustrating that so many people are apathetic about politics. I am frustrated that all it takes is a slogan or a fear repeated back to them to win the people over.
We have just seen the rise of extreme right wing Nationalist parties in Australia. We have seen the highest amount of disengaged voters and third party voters. How did it come to this?
It has come to this because shouting people’s concerns back to them is now seen as a solution, rather than having real solutions.
We have got to this point, because politicians are rarely held to account for the decisions they make.
We are also at this point because politicians are talking ‘over people’ and they not listening to them.
It has been noted by many journalists and commentators that there is a growing number of people within Australia who feel isolated and not ignored. They feel the Government is not doing enough to help them. They feel the opposition is not standing up for them against the Government and they feel this very strongly.
There is an air of distrust that politicians say they will help, but then the actions the politicians take, don’t help – they cause harm.
The problem is that politicians routinely say one thing and then do another. A clear example today is the Prime Minister’s cutting of domestic violence services, but responds with words and platitudes that help no one. Domestic Violence victims need real money to build real services and supports. Not empty words.
I have a suggestion for all politicians. The media often talks about the ‘pub test.’ I would like to suggest as a solution – The Placard Test.
People who are passionate about ideas, achieving justice and taking real action get out into the streets, stand together and wave placards and chant their support for an action that needs to be made, or their distaste for an action that has been made by politicians.
Politicians should be prepared to stand out in the street and wave their placards to show that their decisions are the best decisions. This would be known as “The Placard Test.”
The media would also love this. Standing somewhere waving a placard always gets attention and turns people’s heads.
On the other hand, it reaffirms that those votes were definitely not wasted on that politician. It would save a lot of effort, time and money campaigning prior to elections.
Politicians could do this via the solo “look at moi” approach:
This could save a lot of confusion for voters. For example Pauline Hanson above campaigning on the fact that she stands up for the ‘average Australian’ would be debunked, if she had to stand holding a sign about the real action she is taking and what this means for ‘the average Australian.’
This would also make voters less confused. The Liberals are an old hand at making harmful decisions, but telling Australians how good these harmful decisions are. If they had to hold a sign up about that decision, it would be much more clear to the average voter.
The solidarity approach would be quite exciting, with the entire party and all politicians who supported the Government involved. All standing there side by side in solidarity waving their placards.
If the decisions of the Government and politicians who support the Government think these are great decisions then get out there and convince us with the Placard Test.
Here is a picture of what a “Liberal and National Coalition and their mates in the senate” rally would look like:
Liberal and Coalition, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, Bob Day, Leyonhelm and anyone else who is the Turnbull Government camp – see how great this is? (By the way, these are pro LNP, anti-Gillard, Anti-carbon tax protesters, just to make the Photoshop more authentic)
To really stand together and own what you truly believe in is a fantastic feeling!
This is real innovation in leadership Mr. Turnbull. Round up the troops now!
For the opposition. I know Labor is not new to protest. However, with so many angry and disengaged people, you need to just say it like it is. Instead of listing a number of things you believe in (which is nice), tell people what you will do. These people are hurting and they are angry. They need to know what you will do to stop the hurt in simple terms. For example:
We need a bit more of SHOUTY Bill standing up for what is right. Get out there with your megaphone Mr. Shorten and tell the country what a cad Turnbull is for cutting welfare from the most disadvantaged in our society. Shout the Prime Minister down. Shout out to the public that you will stand by us all – for a fair go.
People say Labor and Liberal are the same. So they take the third party option. Show the country the difference between Shorten and Turnbull. Tell those supporting far right parties like One Nation and the QLD LNP that you will fight for the people a hell of a lot harder than they ever will!
Make it a reality and let us see the emotions behind the belief. The emotions behind the fight. The fight for jobs and the fight for fairness is in Labor’s blood. Wear it on your sleeve! The contrast is very stark indeed!
The far right parties are gaining support because they just shout the fears of the people back to them. They have no real solutions. They don’t need real solutions. Change Politics by communicating in very simple terms the solutions of the opposition and explain how this will address their fears.
I hope politicians think this is a great idea. If they are so passionate about what they believe in and the decisions they make, the Placard Test would surely win over the public. It is a great way to get the media to take photos of them (which they love). The public would know exactly how committed they are and exactly what they believe in.
The Placard Test would be much better feedback than the focus groups politicians rely on now.
It would also make all politicians accountable (and maybe think twice) for the decisions they make on behalf of the people or when they support bad decisions by the Government of the day.
This is a great way to communicate the stance the opposition has made, even when the Liberals and their mates, Hanson, Day etc., outnumber the opposition parties.
I hope the Placard Test will be a winner. If done right, the Placard Test will be the political change we need.
People are expressing the increasing need to separate themselves and self-identify as situated above certain groups. They feel the need to paint others as lesser. This need is fed by fear driven politics and it is causing a loss of focus and it is causing a lot of pain.
Memes used to be funny. They were quirky, sometimes delightful, sometimes thought provoking and sometimes so funny one would cry from laughing. Now memes are more about social status. Sharing to place oneself in a better class. A class above Jobseekers, Unionist, Muslims, Indigenous and LGBTI people who just want to get married amongst other groups.
Not an hour goes by on social media when I do not scroll by some defamatory post about Muslims (mostly aimed at degrading Muslim women) or how jobseekers are bludgers and should just get a job. Then I scroll by more shares about how unionists are self-serving, dodgy criminals. Then I come across those who belong to the special group who believe they are more Australian than the Indigenous Australians who were here in the first place.
Every day we scroll through the privileged Olympics, but there are no winners. Only losers.
The privileged I am talking about here, are not the Turnbull type of privileged; but so many every day Australians who share derogatory memes about various groups on a daily basis. These people come from all walks of life. They are not necessarily rich and they may be poor. Wealth status is not the issue here.
These people are privileged by default, because they do not belong to the group that they and others scorn, ridicule, shame, shun, ostracise and stigmatise. It is like every share elevates one to being a gold card member of the ‘in-group.’
The problem is that the privileged do not see. They are blinded. They cannot calm their egos enough to bring themselves down to another level to try to understand the life of another. They do not attempt to listen and empathise; they are on autopilot with judgement and ridicule.
Social media has made it so it is so much more important to hold dear to the opinion originally developed, than to attempt to understand an issue enough or look at it through different eyes; to recognise it is causing harm and change that opinion.
If we are complaining we haven’t progressed since Whitlam, it is largely our fault. It is our fault that there are so many people in pain, because every day I see stereotypes and stigmatisation shared around to approve and contribute to the infliction of pain on others.
We pit the oppressed against the oppressed when a meme is shared to give the homeless more than refugees. How does one judge the value of what assistance should be given? What drives us to choose between a person who has seen their entire family raped, tortured, slaughtered and burnt and fled their homeland or give to a person in desperate need of shelter, food, clothing and care? Do they both not deserve love, kindness and generosity?
What fear is within us that makes us share such memes as representations of our thoughts that we play judge and jury and decide who is not worthy of care and assistance? Is kindness such an ugly emotion that we reject it? Is it a fear that others may judge you as being too kind?
No, it is the fear driven politics that has led us to believe that a Government and its citizens cannot be generous enough to help both. It is the fear that if they do, we would somehow be worse off. It is fear driven politics that sees us remain silent on the generous assistance to the wealthy banks and business, whilst we verbally bash the poor.
We glorify a free-market-worker-hating-Government every time we share a meme about the ‘pathetic’ unemployed and how they are bludging and living off our taxes. We kick the worker every time we contemplate how unfair it may be that some greedy workers are getting paid penalty rates and how terrible this is for business and their profits. Pass me a goddamn tissue.
The Abbott-Turnbull Government is the epitome of the greedy bourgeoisie and there are every day citizens working so hard to work with them and for them to shove the worker and those who are jobless down as far as they can be kicked.
We have come to a peculiar space in time where the plebs themselves are standing with the bourgeoisie. For if they do this, then being a pleb, is better than a prole or the “hoi polloi.” The common worker, consumed by politics driven fear is tearing their own class apart.
“Workers United will never be defeated….” Go on…say it….it means something real.
What is the fear that drives us to glorify a Government who insists that the unemployed (human beings in case you have forgotten) should starve for a six months, six weeks and now a month?
Is it a fear that we may lose something if jobseekers are offered assistance from the public purse?
Is it a fear that we may just not have one more submarine to build if a jobseeker can live on real meat instead of noodles? Is it a genuine fear that Gina Rinehart might have less billions and that would somehow hurt us?
Is it the fear that we may confront the uncomfortable truth that our judgements reinforce the message that turning to sexual favours and even suicide is a reality for these individuals who are finding it so hard to survive in a world of not just poverty, but scorn and condemnation?
Above all else, it is the politics driven fear that those living in poverty are stealing something from us. It is the fear that they are getting something for less effort than us. It is the fear reinforced by the LNP message that there will be fewer hospitals, fewer schools and fewer jobs if we treat the unemployed with dignity. It is the politics driven fear that assisting jobseekers will result in less jobs; because that means we could one day be them.
There is no point attempting to provide input of an opposing view. Try to tell someone to be angry at the Government for not creating jobs, instead of blaming the unemployed. It is an interesting exercise. Contrition is not an emotion that we appear to embrace as Australian citizens.
This politics driven fear is also blinding us. We are losing focus. The fear of people from different lands and different religions is so critical we cannot take our eyes off them for a second. It is vital to share, share, share anything we can find, made up or not on the internet. It is critical to continuously reinforce this fear as legitimate and worthy to defend.
It is more important to have conversations on social media that can last days about how the viewpoint of one radical Muslim is the view of all Muslims; than to really engage thoughtfully and productively about how we can lift good Australian people out of poverty.
It is more important to remain silent on humanitarian issues,and use our fear of a religion we don’t understand as an excuse, because if we really stop and think about it; we may realise we are actually being inhumane and that is an ugly truth to face.
What fear is driving us that we are content with leaving other human beings in indefinite detention? Indefinite – without a hope, never to be released – just in case the key word has not hit you yet. Murderers get less.
The irrational politics driven fear that unionists are doing less work than the regular taxpayer for a greater gain, is more important to hold onto, than to stand with unionists who have given us the work-life we enjoy today and that they continuously fight for. This fear culminates and makes us forget that we once stood with pride and dignity and shed tears to remember those workers who were jailed, murdered, maimed, starved and broken just so our labour is recognised as a valuable input in exchange for fair wages and safe conditions. How soon we have forgotten the pain of John Howard’s Work Choices?
Every single time we share memes, or have conversations that reinforce the politics driven fear espoused by the Liberals and the Nationals, and now the more right wing parties; we are condoning the infliction of pain on the vulnerable.
We have a responsibility to stop and take stock that this rhetoric that is being whipped into a frenzy day after day has gone too far. It is time to sit up and take notice, that by doing this, we are hurting the people we talk about helping in other conversations we have
It is time to stop and think about those on the right who say they have the solutions, actually don’t. It is time to really listen to their proposals. Tearing down the worker and punishing those who are unemployed due to Government failure is not a solution. Dividing people by race or religion is not a solution. Clinging to the harmful measures that create more poverty and more divisiveness are not solutions. Why this is not being realised is the real phenomenon.
Choose Populism if you want a Rock Star. Reject it if you want a leader.
Some appear to be genuinely good people. However, politics driven fear is driving some people to throw brimstone and fire at those they want to help, instead of at the Government and other right wing parties who are the central cause of the problem.
It is time to take a stand to honour those and respect those who cannot, to challenge the Turnbull Government and others every time they reinforce the degradation of a vulnerable group.
It is time to stop sharing derogatory memes and start having real conversations about how we can build a nation, and not share our acceptance of helping the Liberals and others on the right tear it down.
It is time to stop dividing and start uniting. It is time for a hand up and to bring back the fair go.
It is time for the mate-ship and camaraderie we apparently as Australians represent.
I miss that. Do you?