12 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. The social benefits and costs of increasing our immigration intake, have not been carefully spelt out in this public debate started by Dick Smith. The social benefits may be obvious to city dwellers, but can be a mystery to those in non-urban areas. My time spent teaching in Moree brought home to me this dichotomy of social views. The economic benefits of increased immigration are largely made out to be purely centred on fuelling our growth path. This allows people like Dick Smith to call for a halt to new migrant intakes. But economic benefits involve more than just more workers for industrial growth. Social costs have to be made transparent to circumvent fallacies entering this debate.

  2. Greg, the overpopulation problem is global and directly affects resources depletion and climate change acceleration. The reality is that having kids — anywhere — simply pushes the world closer to political breakdown, regional wars and massive death statistics. The world can’t afford any more of the homo sapien monkeys breeding like flies.


    So Dick Smith is correct insofar as he identifies environmental damage to Australia due to increased migration. But he misses the point that he can’t control the rest of the world. China, and others, will not accept an empty Australia while their countries struggle with overpopulation. We are not alone and we will be invaded at some point.


  3. Julie Bishop and the Libs have been insisting that Labor has been consorting with a foreign government (NZ) to interfere in Australian domestic politics.

    This is a nonsense, but the Libs should be careful here. In March this year the Liberals announced a plan to engage Cambridge Analytica to run its campaign programs. Cambridge Analytica is a data analytics firm that played a role in both the Trump and Brexit campaigns. Critically, the company has extensive, and disturbing, links to UK Intelligence. The function of Cambridge Analytica can best be described as “psychological warfare” on behalf of Conservative political forces.


    Interestingly, Cambridge Analytica has also been the subject of allegations of links to Russia and claims that it interfered in the US elections. It has also come across the radar of Robert Mueller, Special Prosecutor in the Trump-Russia investigation.

    Perhaps Labor could demand that Cambridge Analytica be the subject of an Australian Intelligence inquiry and its risks to Australian electoral integrity. The Libs should bee careful of ‘foreign influence’ charges. It might come back to bite them.

    Of course they could do what they with the Nats-Libs preference deal and simply declare it to be a contract between private parties and hence commercially in confidence. But the CA deal threatens to take Liberal campaigning way outside of electoral and financing transparency laws. And it’s not a good look for the Libs that CA’s former chairman was Steve Bannon.

  4. Just noticed the foreigners in our Federal parliament have has their initial High Court hearings set down for early October.
    It seems to me that Barnaby, having as recently as a week or so ago renounced his NZ citizenship maybe on legal advice, has conceded this status falls fowl of section 44 as it would have had he made this enquiry at least before nomination in June or July 2016.
    The problem as I see it how could he reasonably explain his absence to do so earlier and not breach section 44.
    If he still maintains before the serious lawyers in the High Court Judiciary he did not have Kiwi citizenship at July 2016 why has he renounced now that which will have to maintain he never had anyway!
    The Kiwi Citizenship law is not complex and is readily available on the Internet as is a Citizenship test.
    If section 44 is to be changed at a referendum [post- Barnaby] it is equally imperative no allegiance to foreign or other donors be included as a disqualifying element.

  5. “If section 44 is to be changed at a referendum [post- Barnaby] it is equally imperative no allegiance to foreign or other donors be included as a disqualifying element.”

    I’m confused on your point here, david. Are you advocating that section 44 be changed to allow for foreign allegiance and foreign donations?

    For me, there is no easy fix. If we allow for multiple citizenships then we legitimise the expression in Parliament of mixed allegiances. Thus, dual Israeli-Australians pressing for attacks upon Iran or support for settlements in Palestinian areas. Chinese-Australians might express support for Chinese claims in the South China Sea. In both cases covert foreign funding could be provided to those candidates. Legality can lead to implied political legitimacy for external influences. There’s no easy fix but the Parliament could install a mandatory, independent vetting process on all electoral candidates.

  6. For some reason John Howard has become newsworthy, pleading that we “don’t rip up our proud history” and stating that British settlement had been “undeniably very good for Australia”.

    If John Howard wanted to be truthful he would have argued for historical accuracy. The history of Australia continues to surprise; evidence suggests that it has been inhabited for between 40 and 60,000 years and aboriginal art, both historical and contemporary, is amazing for its skill, depth of spirit and it’s ability to communicate through time.

    John Howard’s motives, in spite of the decisive decision of the High Court on Mabo, remain unclear and therefore his representation unworthy of serious consideration.

  7. IMO arguments against s44 of the constitution are valid, it’s essentially a racist and spiteful clause diminishing the quality of governance.

    However, there seems no excuse for those who claim a natural superiority to govern to then claim ignorance of a well established component that governance, our constitution.

  8. If you average it out, Australians who were living in Australian in 1787 and their descendants suffered a greater proportional decline in population in every six year period from 1788 to 1930 than Europe did in the six years of World War 2.

    There are no prizes to be won for pretending this didn’t take place. We don’t lose anything by recognizing historical fact. You can still love your father while admitting he was wrong to hit the referee with the whiskey bottle.

  9. Damien I get your point and sorry I have not responded earlier as I am travelling had problems connecting to the Internet.
    The point I was endeavouring to make as I see it the foreign corporate and others donations are arguably more corrosive to our parliamentarians’ honesty and the process of a decent parliament.
    As a good hard example, I am amazed to read the evidence on the Qld. CCC site in Operation “Belcara” at both local developer’s donations and foreign ones and the amazing brazenness of the relevant councillors. One raised $180,000 at 2 fundraisers in an election at which she was not opposed. She neither explained what she thought the donors expected in return let alone what has happened to the funds.
    Like banning foreign citizens as having possible loyalties other than Australian perhaps a ban on all foreign donations and the enforcement of the criminal law of secret commissions as may need to be adapted to keep the bastards honest. I think this may be one of those rare constitutional referenda [or mere legislation] that would[could] be passed with a great majority.
    ps. all ill gotten gains also to be forfeited and traced rigorously to donors and donees!

  10. David, I agree. There is a history of Qld corruption especially in relation to land developers. You say “foreign corporate and others donations are arguably more corrosive to our parliamentarians’ honesty and the process of a decent parliament.” Exactly. Our campaign donation laws are notoriously lax by international standards, allowing for covert corporate funding. The Libs have form here. That’s why I was not using hyperbole earlier when I said that Cambridge Analytica’s methods should be the subject of a National Intelligence Inquiry. It’s previous methods involved (1) individualised, targeted political advertising without electoral authorisation notices; and (2) the use of untracked, unsourced funds to conduct such programs. It’s a fully fledged assault on democracy using psyops warfare methods against a civilian population. CA gets much of its voter data from global commercial data agencies such as Acxiom. And who headed up Acxiom Australia for many years? Why none other than our former Liberal Party Trade Minister Andrew Robb. Get the picture. Electoral campaigning is to be hijacked from its public setting and run as a covert commercial marketing exercise in support of the Libs and Conservative political forces. It’s deadly. Labor should be thumping this hard and demanding an Intelligence investigation.


  11. If a person renounces a dual citizenship, what difference does it make? Mathias Corman became an Australian citizen in 1970, and in the process lost his Begium citizenship. He had been elected to a local government. Larissa Waters was born in Canada to Australian parents, one week later the that provided for Canadian citizenship was revoked. Barnaby Joyce’s father came to Australia at a time when he would have been a natural born British subject, prior to the enactment of the Australian Nationality and Citizenhip Act and the NZ British Nationality and Citizenship Act were in effect. I am wondering whether the High Court might send the problem back to Parliament. It was a known situation. Surely, it is Parliament’s responsibility to fix by referendum so the law is clear and equitable to all.

  12. @david

    “Barnaby, having as recently as a week or so ago renounced his NZ citizenship maybe on legal advice, has conceded this status falls fowl of section 44”

    This must make him the Colonel Sanders of Australian politics.

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