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A screw up for Labor is a win for human rights: Malaysian Solution

Well all of you should know that IANAL, but hey if Scott Morrison who also is not a lawyer can comment on what the High Court says, why can’t I? Or to quote from Julia Gillard “can I just say”..

When the High Court handed down its decision re the so called Malaysian Solution in a 6-1 judgement today Australia had a chance of moving forward again.

I won’t go into why calling anything a “solution” to a problem that doesn’t actually exist is fundamentally wrong, I’ll look with just this issue and its outcomes.

Firstly, as I have previously pointed out, Labor lost to the left in the last election.  Off shore processing isn’t going to get the votes it needs to win again. The fact that they right royally screwed up is going to lose them more, especially after today. A day when Labor could have gained ground with Abbott’s not so tacit support for Howard’s comments on work place reform.  That little thing called work choices.

Whilst Malaysia is definitely out, Manus Island looks like it is, and Nauru (possibly) needs to be tested in court, one thing is clear, offshore processing is on shaky legs.  The only reason that Nauru could now possibly survive this judgement is that only recently have they now signed the UNHCR agreement.

Of course Morrison et.al forget and certainly don’t remind people, that this decision had it been made when the Pacific Solution first came in, would have seen it cancelled.

The reasoning for this is quite simple.  The High Court ruled on Section 198A of the Migration Act.  That little bit of the Migration Act was brought in by Howard.  As it turns out,  the High Court decided who comes to this country and how they do. So while yes this is a massive failure for Labor, it is an even more massive failure for the Liberal Party.

The only possible justification would have been that Australia ran all the details of the facility on Nauru.

Even after all this we still have the questions that neither side of politics has been able to answer, that of why?

  • Why do we need to process offshore if we run everything?
  • Why do we need to waste so much money processing offshore if we run it all anyway?
  • Why do we damage so many people, just to allow them to come to Australia anyway?

If when 10 years ago, Beazley had taken a stand when the Tampa arrived and said no, we will process onshore, perhaps Labor would be in a better position. At least they would have a moral high-ground from which to argue.

Given the similarities between the parties on this and other issues, no wonder we ended up with a hung parliament.

Process people onshore. Sure give them health checks and security checks first.  Then release them into community supported housing.  It will not only save a lot of money in the short term, but even more long term when you take into account ongoing mental health issues. This won’t win people over from the right.  But even opening Nauru ( if even possible ) at this point wont anyway.  But it will win people over from the left.

Despite so much legislation passing under this government and the ground work for the future being laid out with pricing carbon and the NBN, even this week the passing of the plain packaging for smokes legislation, they just screw up.  The biggest screw ups always seem to be when they try and out do the right. As the saying for goes, never argue with a fool in public people can’t tell the difference. When the left are heralding the High Courts judgement Labor should look not to Alan Jones, Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott but to its real heart land.

And for those that think that the last Pacific Solution fixed the problem, I’ll leave you with this graph.

Unauthorised boat arrivals to Australia by calendar year

Funny how during the 80’s when there was no Pacific Solution there was no boat people problem.


— Update —

Julia Gillard pres conf 1/10/11: “There are questions over the future of offshore processing arrangements that must be considered”

Labor has nothing to lose at this point. When Gillard said “The court’s ruling represented a missed opportunity”, she shows she is still missing the point.  It isn’t a missed opportunity.  It is one that can fix the issue and cut off the divisive statements from the Liberals.

Further Julia Gillards seemingly narky attack on only one of the Judges over the judgement makes no sense.  It was a 6-1 Judgement.  Picking on Justice French makes her look petty.

And from the ABC: The United Nations refugee agency says it will not be involved if the Federal Government restarts offshore processing in Papua New Guinea or Nauru.

The Pacific, or Indian Ocean Solutions are all but dead in the water.  Morrison and Abbott must be fuming at Labor for the fact that no longer can Australia process offshore because it fits an agenda that never made any sense.

Can we now stop talking about off-shore processing and start working out how to do it on the mainland.



Now I don’t want to tell the eftpos people how to suck eggs…. but

Now, I know I am not an ad executive type.  My clothes aren’t classy enough, and I don’t drive a Porsche.  Yet as a member of the great unwashed I still have a few ideas about how an ad should work.

Firstly that ad should sell something, say a product or a service, then it should make me want to get that service as soon as possible.  Certainly before I change my mind.
Hmm... Yes I'd like an icecream

Why yes, I’d love an ice-cream.  And what I can use EFTPOS for it. Why all of a sudden EFTPOS felt the need for expensive TV ads and this huge placement in Flinders St Station I will never know.  Perhaps NFC is coming soon, who knows, but I digress from my need for an ice-cream.

Low and behold, just below that giant ice-cream, the one that I can purchase on EFTPOS is an ice-cream shop.

Perfect….. well it would be….

hmmm... no eftpos


See that little yellow sign.  Small problem with that sign… yes, they don’t have EFTPOS.

Seriously who placed those ads in that location.  Why didn’t they either A: not put the ice-cream banner next to the ice-cream shop, or B: give the shop EFTPOS for the duration of the campaign.

Even better, they could have let two other shops, the two out of five there that actually have EFTPOS have a limit below $5 per transaction.  Why, because then I could have brought the cup of coffee that is in one of the other banners that is less than $5.  The one the ad says I can buy on EFTPOS, the one I can’t.

But then, what do I know.

P.S Dear staff at Flinders St Station, why do you get so upset with people taking photos all the time.

The grubby tactics for power.

When Abbott broke the written agreement in regard to pairing for the state memorial of Margaret Olley he did so purely to be malicious and push his own agenda. Proving in one move that his written word, like spoken word isn’t to be trusted either.

When the next day Pyne and others came to his defence, hypocrisy was the word of the day.  The excuse that was delivered was that the government is not functioning due to the Thomson crisis and that a vote needed to be taken.   Yes, of course, this is the minority government that still has managed to achieve more than Howard did in his first term.  Sorry, keep forgetting the Libs won’t allow facts like this to get in the way.

Labor don’t want to spend time on this.  Why would they? It is damaging to them, so the statement about spending time on it is completely disingenuous. The people that have been talking about this are the Libs.  A sniff of a stolen victory, for something that happened before the member was even in parliament. We wont mention “Children Overboard” which turned out to be a lie, or say, tax payers monies used on a phone card under Howard will we.

Abbott was never go to win the vote he put up.  He doesn’t have the numbers.  Trying to bribe Wilkie with a billion dollar hospital showed what he was willing to do to get power.  Wilkie didn’t go for it then, why would he know.  Oakeshott and Windsor believe in the NBN, it was the thing that got them over the line, why would they change their minds.

The result of this was that Abbott went back on his written word, stating that the situation had changed.  Not unlike for Gillard when she entered a minority government, when the situation changed. It seems reasonable for Abbott to change his mind, why can’t Gillard.

Abbott is playing grubby politics for the aim of getting power. Yet for all his grandstanding, the latest Newspoll has him at  Approval 36 (-3) Disapproval 55 (+3). Gillards numbers are about the same.  Massive disapproval of both leaders shows that people are over it.

Even if the Libs do succeed in getting rid of Thomson ( doubtful in the next 12months ), the situation for Abbott would be no different.  Why, because unless a full election is called, it will still be a hung parliament.  So, a 75/75 parliament means nothing has changed, so we end up with an election. In that case the Greens will still hold the balance of power in the Senate. Abbott wouldn’t be able to pass much of the legislation he would want to regardless. Although, to me it seems most of the policies seem to be No, we will roll back, No, No, and No.

Turnbull and Crean missed out on going to the funeral of a close friend for no reason, because despite the grandstanding nothing did or was ever going to come of it.   This behaviour will come back to bite Abbott.  Maybe not before he gets into power though.

— Update —

Another day, and more grub.  This time a combination of News Ltd, the Telegraph, Abbott and very very lazy journalists.

When Jay Rosen said on Lateline on Thursday night “A much heavier emphasis on fact-checking – calling out lies and distortions – would be a good start “, little did he or anyone else know what the Telegraph were sending to the press.

A front page article, one that Abbott, jumped on the next morning that Julia Gillard’s chief of staff called the industrial registrar in 2009 to ask if he was investigating the besieged Labor MP.  Abbott predictably took the line that she knew before hand.  The kicker was that lazy News Ltd didn’t even bother to check Hansard, it didn’t fit their or Abbott’s agenda.  A search of Hansard proved that all the contacts were made POST the story being on the front page of the SMH, not before.

Will News Ltd run a front page correction saying, we were wrong, we were lazy.  Of course they wont. Will Abbott admit that his party knew this story was a beat up and they knew over a year ago that this wasn’t the case.  Of course they won’t, and people wonder why Labor and the Greens wants to launch an enquiry in to media power.

When Albanese said “Tony Abbott has not accepted the result of the last election when he lost and what we’re seeing is the longest dummy spit in Australian “, not only was he correct about Abbott, but also News Ltd, Alan Jones et.al.

This is a dummy spit that knows no bounds.  One that News Ltd continues via its papers continues, facts be damned.

Of course the Libs have all their policies fully costed and ready to go at the next election.  They keep telling us that all the time. Just that small matter of a $70billion black hole to fix first.


The problem for the word Marriage isn’t Gays, it’s Atheists.

The argument by those opposed to gay marriage all end up using the same line of reasoning.

Marriage is between and man and a women something thing GOD told us.

I have not seen one argument by those that oppose gay marriage that doesn’t end up with God, the bible or tradition.  The problem therefore isn’t gay marriage, but all us atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, Pastafarians etc.  See we don’t believe in either the same God or even a God.

Turns out it used to be if you wanted to get married you didn’t need a priest or a church. That didn’t come to Europe until 1563, also at which time the Catholic church added the man/women bit. Even the Romans and Chinese were comfortable with a bit of the gay marriage as well.

Australia is despite what a number of people would like to believe a multicultural society. That for those who did pay attention in school means we have lots of cultures.  Whilst being gay isn’t a cultural choice, (despite what some Christian hate mongers would have you believe) it can be argued it is a culture never the less.

Of course if only a woman and a man get married that will never end in divorce an abusive relationship, no children, or heaven forbid one of the couple working out “actually I’d rather bat for the other team”. When gay marriage is legal some of these things will happen to them as well.

The list of bad things that will happen if gay marriage comes into Australia is below.

  1. Some Fabulous Darling weddings will happen
  2. Lots of magazines will have photos of designer suits
  3. A Lot of tacky weddings will happen
  4. People will spend too long at the alter etc doing really bad kisses with too much tongue.

Ok, fine, these things happen with straight people all the time.

So we end up at the fall back, “Let them have Civil Ceremonies”, we want the word marriage.

I am an atheist.  I didn’t marry for god, under god, certainly my wife did not promise to love honour and obey (although I am in trouble I don’t).  Yet it seems o.k if I marry.

Aren’t I and all those that do not believe in the Christian God diluting the word Marriage.

Wikipedia sums it up nicely “Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship”  So creating Civil unions fits this bill, so call them marriage.  Yet by not calling them “Marriage” you are implying that the Civil Union isn’t as good.

Once again, what to do with all those damned straight atheists.  You know the ones that get married all the time.

Those that are upset need to realise that all that needs to happen is that the govt ensures that “gender” is not in the definition of the term, ( it didn’t use to say gender, until Howard put it in to the 2004 the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) ).

That is it.  That is all that will happen.

Gays will keep being gay (some may change their mind), straights will keep being straight (some may change their mind) and the world will keep turning.

Finally, people need to stop and remember; enabling Gay Marriage will NOT in any way make it compulsory for straight people.  If you are straight, you will be able to remain that way and not have to marry a gay person.



Seeing as the Coalition forgot they lost in ’10 here is the proof.

The Parliamentary Library has released an analysis of the 2010 Commonwealth Election
(http://aph.gov.au/library/pubs/rp/2011-12/12rp02.pdf )

Lower House.

Party Candidates Seats won Votes % Swing
Liberal Party 109 44 3 777 383 30.46 +0.76
Liberal National Party ofQueensland 30 21 1 130 525 9.12 +0.60
The Nationals 16 7 462 387 3.73 +0.16
Country Liberals (NT) 2 1 38 335 0.31 -0.01
Total Coalition 157 73 5 408 630 43.62 +1.51
Australian Labor Party 150 72 4 711 363 37.99 -5.40
The Greens 150 1 1 458 998 11.76 +3.97
Independents 82 4 312 496 2.52 +0.30

The take out from this… given the the Coalition are still unaware they LOST the last election…

The left won.

The ALP did of course have a giant swing against them. -5.4% is a huge swing away.  Yet those on the right, with there constant “calls for a new election” need to look at the numbers.  That swing wasn’t to the right, only 1.5% of the swing was the to the Coalition.  The vast majority of it was to the left.. 3.9% to the Greens.

Upper House.

Party Candidates Seats won Votes Per cent Swing
Liberal Party/National Party Coalition 34 18 4 914 205 38.63 -1.31
Australian Labor Party 29 15 4 469 734 35.13 -5.17
The Greens 28 6 1 667 315 13.11 +4.07

Here the situation was even worse for the Libs and better for the Greens.

Perhaps the push for things like the NBN, a price on Carbon even treating refugees fairly should be taken into consideration looking at these numbers.

Abbott might want to remember that in 2010 we voted more left than right!

Gillard should also have a look at these figures as well.  Rushing to the right to cut of the Libs is not a winning strategy.

Much like under Howard and subsequently Abbott the Libs shifted to the hard right undermining the support base of the “One Nation” party.  (Think ‘ We will decide who comes to this country’), Labor  needs to cut of the drain.  They will never be able to claim enough votes from the right to make up the numbers they have lost to the Left. A better strategy would be aiming to get that 4%+ of left leaning voters that went Green.

But then as they say the only poll that counts is the one on election day.


Missing from the Exif: Over the Rainbow – Federation Square

We all know that a huge percentage of photos are right time right place.  For me this was even more so yesterday heading home from work.

HTC - Incredible S versionThose that know me know I carry my DSLR camera with me nearly everywhere.  Yesterday proves why.  The best photo is always the one you get with the camera you have.  To that end it is preferable that you have a better camera. So walking through town on my way home mother nature kindly put on a very nice rainbow. ( This shot for example is from my phone)

I had no more than 10min to spend getting shots by which time the rainbow had gone.

I used a Nikon D7000 with the kit 18-105mm lens.  When I could see where the rainbow was facing, I quickly walked up to Fed Square so I had the foreground element I was after.  Rainbows are all very nice, but framing a foreground adds an extra dimension to the shot.  I didn’t have my 11-16mm Tokina on me, so decided to go for the stitch later panorama series of photos.

When shooting panoramas it really helps to move the camera off Auto Mode as well.  This way your shot has even lighting across the whole image.  If you shoot them in auto, you will end with dark and light banding as each shot has a different exposure.  You can if you have time shoot in manual to pull up the dark parts of the shot if you want, but I was racing the setting sun with this one.

This shot had a bit of post processing as well.  Given I was racing time to get all the frames for the panorama as well. In Lightroom all that I did was just apply the lens correction to all of the shots.  This takes out the barrel distortion and vignetting as well making stitching much easier.  Then I exported all the full size images as JPG’s to Microsoft ICE.  I did try Photoshop, but ICE did a much better job of stitching.

Then came the fun part.  Images never look the same on a monitor as they do on the back of the camera.  In this case all of the Fed Square was to dark.  The sky was balanced how I wanted it, but not the people.

In Photoshop I created a Curves adjustment layer, then created a mask for the bottom half of the image. Then I adjusted the curves to help pull out the rich golden tones that I hadn’t pulled up in the raw shots.

Stage 2

All up, about 30 min of processing work for this shot…

I’m a really pleased with the final image and hope you are as well….

Over the rainbow - Federation Square


(P.S Now you can buy it as a large photographic print as well as in a mounted print…. )