The Immigration Minister, and would be leadership aspirant Peter Dutton maintains that the possible sexual assault of a five year old boy on Manus Island was the underlying cause of a recent disturbance despite the unfounded allegation being directly contradicted by the Chief police officer David Yapu and detainees at the centre.
When questioned by the ABC’s Barrie Cassidy over the veracity of Dutton’s sources when it was revealed that the boy was in fact 10 years old and not five, and willingly entered the centre to seek and receive some food rather than being led away against his will, Dutton lashed out at Cassidy accusing him of “getting his information from twitter.”
Dutton insists that the incident involving the child, and a separate sexual assault, contributed to elevating the “mood” on Manus Island before the violence.
“I have that on very good authority on the island,” he said.
“The parents of the boy involved in the incident might have a different view to the one that you have read off tweets.”
Last week he said: “I think there was concern about why the boy was being led, or for what purpose he was being led, away back into the regional processing centre.”
“I think it’s fair to say that the mood had elevated quite quickly. I think some of the local residents were quite angry about this particular incident and another alleged sexual assault,” he said.
Dutton was asked whether, given the police chief’s account, he now accepted he had got some of the information he shared last week badly wrong.
“No, I do not,” he said.
Dutton, a former cop from Queensland, protested that the police investigation should be allowed to run its course, despite fronting the media last week to offer his version of events that suggested the unrest occurred due asylum seekers enticing the boy to enter the facility ostensibly for nefarious purposes.
Dutton has form in blaming asylum seekers for many of the problems on offshore detention centres, however his blatant lies over this latest incident and attempts to paint asylum seekers as pedophiles have been exposed.
Surely his position must now be untenable.
Whether we see any recourse from a Prime Minister who is already in dire straits remains to be seen, but I doubt it.
Malcolm Turnbull has taken another hammering in the polls with the latest Fairfax Ipsos poll showing that Labor has opened up a 10 point lead against the government on the election-deciding two-party preferred stakes. Labor now leads the Coalition by 55 per cent to 45 per cent.
Had an election been held on Saturday, the government would have suffered a catastrophic wipeout losing 24 seats with the moronic Peter Dutton (rumoured to be considered “leadership material” amongst the LNP faithful) being one of the casualties.
It’s almost as if the public don’t like the idea of their penalty rates being slashed, or an apparent inability to appreciate how important it is for society to allow racists to spurt hatred without fear of retribution.
The figures are particularly damaging for Talcum as they are worse than the figures he used to depose Tony Abbott as leader back in 2015.
Loyal deputy Julie Bishop, took a short break from her ministerial duties of hosting cocktail parties and fashion parades to lend her support to Turnbull’s leadership.
“The party room has his complete support,’” she said.
The Turnbull Government, you know the one that dismissed marriage equality as a ‘peripheral issue’ has been obsessing over its apparent inability to slander black people and so today on Harmony Day has approved changes to the Racial Discrimination Act effectively watering down protections against racial minorities.
In a peculiar premonition of perhaps his own political fortunes [what’s left of] Malcolm Turnbull said that the language in a section of the Racial Discrimination Act had ‘lost credibility and will be replaced.’
Amendments to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act will include the removal of the offences ‘insult’, ‘humiliate’, and ‘offend’ to be replaced by the higher test of ‘harass’.
The test to be applied in complaints to the Australian Human Rights Commission will be the standard of a ‘reasonable member of the community’.
The commission will also have greater powers to filter complaints which are deemed to be frivolous or without merit and those who are the subject of the complaint will get an early warning when a complaint is lodged.
‘We are defending Australians from racial vilification by replacing language which has been discredited and … has lost the credibility that a good law needs,’ Mr Turnbull said.
‘We need to restore confidence to the Racial Discrimination Act and to the Human Rights Commission’s administration of it.’
The changes struck a balance between protecting people from racial vilification while defending and enabling free speech, and had support across the political spectrum, he said
Opposition leader Bill Shorten says consequences of this amendment will mean it is ‘easier for people to be insulted or humiliate on the basis of their race.’
‘This is not leadership, this is not what Australia is about,’ he said.
‘This isn’t about free speech; it’s about the prime minister appeasing his party.’
How much more will Australia throw overboard to save one man’s job?’
‘Labor will never support the right to be a bigot.’
The proposed amendment faces obstacles in the senate, with crossbencher Nick Xenophon saying his party ‘does not support the changes.’
‘The Nick Xenophon team does not support the Government’s proposed changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.’
‘But we do support sensible changes to the process involved in the handling of such complaints so the process does not become a punishment.’
Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act currently makes it an offence to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate an individual or people based on race.
Liberal Senator James Paterson says he’s ‘very happy’ with the updates to the law.
‘I’m very happy but we must recognise it is a compromise.
‘The administration of 18C, up until now, has been woefully inadequate,’ he told Sky News.
The laws will be taken first to the Senate where they will be introduced by Attorney-General George Brandis.
Australia has been ranked 9th place in the 2017 World Happiness Report, behind New Zealand (8th) and Canada (7th), but ahead of Sweden at number 10. It’s the same spot Australia occupied in last year’s report.
The ranking is based on answers to a simple life evaluation question developed decades ago by a social scientist and posed to people around the world between 2014 and 2016 by Gallup, the polling organisation:
“Please imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top. The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?”
Humanity is about halfway up the ladder, with an average global score of 5.3, based on hundreds of thousands of surveys conducted by Gallup over those years. The top five countries – Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland – all have scores just above or below 7.5. The Central African Republic’s score is nearly 2.7.
The authors found that three-quarters of the variation among countries can be explained by six economic and social factors: gross domestic product per capita (a basic measure of national wealth); healthy years of life expectancy; social support (having someone to rely on during times of trouble); trust (a perceived absence of corruption in government and business); the perceived freedom to make life choices; and generosity (measured by donations).
The world’s 20 happiest countries
1. Norway (7.537)
2. Denmark (7.522)
3. Iceland (7.504)
4. Switzerland (7.494)
5. Finland (7.469)
6. Netherlands (7.377)
7. Canada (7.316)
8. New Zealand (7.314)
9. Australia (7.284)
10. Sweden (7.284)
11. Israel (7.213)
12. Costa Rica (7.079)
13. Austria (7.006)
14. United States (6.993)
15. Ireland (6.977)
16. Germany (6.951)
17. Belgium (6.891)
18. Luxembourg (6.863)
19. United Kingdom (6.714)
20. Chile (6.652)
The world’s 10 least happy countries
146. Yemen (3.59)
147. South Sudan (3.59)
148. Liberia (3.53)
149. Guinea (3.51)
150. Togo (3.49)
151. Rwanda (3.47)
152. Syria (3.46)
153. Tanzania (3.35)
154. Burundi (2.91)
155. Central African Republic (2.69)
The report also says Americans are getting sadder, and it takes more than just money to be happy.
The insipid Josh Frydenberg has had his arse handed to him on a plate by SA Labor Premier Jay Weatherill during an extraordinary press conference in Adelaide earlier today.
Tensions flared, as a sheepish Frydenberg was left reeling from a severe lashing from the SA Premier who accused the Federal Government of “disgraceful” conduct.
Mr Weatherill called the Snowy River Hydro expansion announcement by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as a “$2 billion insult” to South Australia, while branding the Commonwealth’s overall approach as reactive and panic-driven after years doing nothing.
“It shows that the Commonwealth government are in a white knuckled panic about national energy policy. It is a $2 billion admission that the national energy market has broken and there needs to be public investments to actually fix it up.”
“We have today this two billion-dollar insult where money is being spent to keep the lights on in Sydney at a time when we’re facing energy shortages over the coming summer,” Mr Weatherill said.
“That’s why our plan is about acting … in South Australia’s interests.”
“It’s about making sure that we can stand on our own two feet, because we know that we’re being let down by a federal government that’s anti-South Australia.”
Both men had been attending the press conference to mark the switching on of a so-called “virtual power plant;” a connected series of solar-powered batteries across the city.
Mr Weatherill said it was “an outrage” that Mr Frydenberg would try to claim credit for the solar scheme after being so critical of his government’s “ideological” fixation with renewable energy.
Mr Frydenberg has been deeply critical of the SA Weatherill government’s emphasis on renewable energy, as well as its recent decision to build a new state-owned gas power plant.
The chaotic rabble over at the Coalition are today waking to another a Newspoll that shows their election losing streak continues unabated with Labor now leading 55% to 45% on a two-party-preferred basis.
This massive 10 point lead would see the Coalition wiped out if an election were held today
The Coalition has also been haemorrhaging voters to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party, which has doubled its primary vote to 10% since November, now matching the Greens.
Outspoken Nationals member George Christensen would struggle to keep his Queensland seat if an election were held today, with voter support for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and the Liberal/National party now neck and neck, according to new polling.
One Nation and the LNP now have 30 per cent each of the primary vote, according to polling last week by ReachTEL and commissioned by the Australia Institute.
The doomsday prognosis comes in the wake of Turnbull’s recent rabid dog performance in Parliament, which clearly hasn’t resonated as much with the public as much as it did with his colleagues.
The Coalition’s primary vote has fallen to 34%, a drop of five points since October, but disaffected voters appear to have favoured One Nation and other minor parties, with Labor holding steady on 37% over the same period.
Almost one in three voters said they would choose neither of the two main parties, with One Nation and the Greens both on 10% and a further 9% selecting other minor parties.
These numbers are worse than when Tony Abbott was knocked out of the top job by Malcolm Turnbull in September 2015.
The dramatic poll result is expected to send shockwaves through the Coalition when Parliament resumes in Canberra today.