Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Government backs racist Senate motion

A parliamentary motion proclaiming “it is okay to be white” by One Nation leader Pauline Hanson was narrowly defeated in the Senate on Monday after gaining support from the government. The phrase, which has extensive roots in white supremacist and neo-Nazi organisations, gained popularity online during the presidential campaign of then-Republican candidate Donald Trump. Senator Derryn Hinch, who voted against the motion, said he was “disgusted the Liberals and Nationals voted with her”. Government senators Mathias Cormann and Ian Macdonald were among those absent for the vote, while Indigenous affairs minister Nigel Scullion was among those who voted for it.

Prime minister Scott Morrison will announce today that the federal government will follow the lead of United States president Donald Trump on several major foreign policy issues. Speaking to The Australian ($), Morrison said Liberal candidate for Wentworth and former ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma, had persuaded him to consider moving Australia’s Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy in May was widely criticised by Muslim nations and the European Union as being detrimental to the Israel-Palestine peace process. Morrison also announced that the government would review Australia’s support for the Obama-era nuclear agreement with Iran.

Federal agriculture minister David Littleproud has criticised supermarket chains Coles and Aldi for not doing enough to help dairy farmers affected by drought. Speaking to ABC News Breakfast on Monday, Littleproud called Coles’ 10-cent farmer’s levy on three-litre Coles-brand milk an “empty media stunt” that had done “bugger-all” to help farmers, accusing the chain of being “either lazy or at best being slippery”. Littleproud also said that Aldi, which has not implemented a levy scheme, could “go jam it”. In August Littleproud was booed by a Q&A audience in Lismore after declaring he didn’t “give a rat’s” if droughts were exacerbated by human-induced climate change.

And leading candidates in the upcoming Wentworth byelection have clashed on climate change, refugee policy and preferences at a debate in Bondi. Labor candidate Tim Murray said opposition leader Bill Shorten had not visited the electorate because the byelection was “a sideshow” compared with the upcoming general election. Independent candidate Kerryn Phelps took issue with Liberal candidate Dave Sharma’s promise to push for a workable climate policy, saying he would “have to vote with a government that doesn’t believe that climate change is real and doesn't have a policy on climate change”. Neither Murray nor Sharma attended an earlier candidates’ forum organised by Wentworth for Refugees, at which Phelps, fellow independent Licia Heath, the Greens’ Dominic Wy Kanak and the Science Party’s Andrea Leong condemned mandatory offshore processing.


“Though the Bund celebrated Jews as a nation, they irreconcilably opposed the establishment of Israel as a separate Jewish homeland in Palestine. The diaspora was home, the Bund argued. Jews could never escape their problems by the dispossession of others. Instead, Bundists adhered to the doctrine of do’ikayt or ‘Hereness’. Jews had the right to live in freedom and dignity wherever it was they stood.”


“By morning, Song Yang would be dead, shattering a tight Chinese family that would never accept the police version of events. Her death would also come to reflect the seemingly intractable nature of policing the sex industry, and cast an unwelcome light on the furtive but ubiquitous business of illicit massage parlors. In the epic of Queens, this stretch of 40th Road is little more than an asphalt hyphen. But along its short expanse exist worlds within worlds within worlds.”


“Despite the lack of amenities or opportunities, four years ago Maryna and her daughters packed up everything they owned and travelled hundreds of miles across Ukraine to live here – just 30 kilometres from the Chernobyl nuclear exclusion zone.”



“Former Liberal minister Philip Ruddock has been appointed to examine if Australian law adequately protects the human right to religious freedom ... Scott Morrison said he and Turnbull had been working on this appointment since the same-sex marriage postal survey returned a yes vote. ‘What this does is says to 4.9 million Australians who [voted no], and I think to many more Australians who also believe religious protections to be looked after, that we will do a thorough review of this’.”


“The Liberal candidate in the crucial Wentworth byelection, Dave Sharma, says he ‘absolutely’ opposes continuing to allow private schools to fire gay, lesbian or transgender teachers and has made this clear to prime minister Scott Morrison ... Days after flagging he will scrap exemptions that currently allow religious schools to expel gay students, Morrison is now being urged to rip up laws that allow such schools to discriminate against teachers on the basis of sexuality.”


“Light Warlpiri, a mixed language no more than 40 years old, is spoken almost exclusively by people aged 35 and younger. Light Warlpiri is made up of a triumvirate of languages: Warlpiri, the Indigenous one, Standard Australian English, the colonial one, and Kriol, the English-lexified creole. This blend makes its status as a ‘mixed language’ plain.”

Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor.