Seven electricians had their contractor licences revoked by NSW Fair Trading after investigations found they signed and submitted compliance certificates (CCEWs) for solar panel installations despite not having carried out, supervised, or inspected the installations themselves. Six of the electricians were either overseas or interstate on the dates listed on the certificates. The seventh contractor was in Sydney instead of at the job sites in regional New South Wales.
The assassination of Qasem Soleimani, ordered by United States' President Donald Trump was a criminal act. Any country, including the United States, which claims to uphold the rule of law, should spare no effort to bring to justice President Donald Trump, and all the other perpetrators of that crime including Mike Pompeo and Mike Pence.
Qasem Soleimani, unlike the United States' Army had, with the Iraqi Kata'ib Hezbollah paramilitaries, effectively fought against ISIS in Iraq. Those paramilitaries are connected to the country's Popular Mobilization Forces that are part of Iraqi government's armed forces. Qasem Soleimani was adored by most Iraqis.
On Sunday 29 December, Donald Trump ordered attacks on the Kata'ib Hezbollah paramilitaries. As a pretext for his order to attack Iraq's armed forces, Donald Trump claimed that the Kata'ib Hezbollah paramilitaries had launched a rocket attack which had killed a U.S. contractor. Although the Iraqi government began to investigate the attack, Trump was not prepared to await the outcome of the investigation. 27 Paramilitaries were killed in that rocket attack as a result.
Subsequently, enraged Iraqis tried to storm the U.S. embassy and demanded that the U.S. army occupiers leave Iraq.
Then on Friday 3 January, Donald Trump ordered the helicopter strike which killed Qasem Soleimani and 4 Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) officers. The U.S., itself the world's biggest known destabiliser and cause of death and destruction, claimed that this assassination would somehow help stabilise Iraq.
Qasem Soleimani, unlike, the U.S. military, was in Iraq with the permission of its government. The murder of Soleimani would be found by any functional court of law to be a crime and its perpetrator imprisoned.
As well as acting to defend themselves against further U.S. aggression, Iraqi and Iranian patriots should also pursue all legal avenues, through international bodies like the United Nations and the International Criminal Court, to have Donald Trump brought to justice for this crime.
It is also well past the time that the Iraqi government told U.S. military forces to leave. Iraq would be well advised to also remove the U.S. embassy from its soil.
Qasseim Soleimani was inside Iraq with the permission of the Iraqi government. No-one guilty of ordering his assassination should be walking free, let alone running the United States.
VBAG is the only organization representing building consumers in Australia. VBAG estimates conservatively that for 2019 more than one million Australians will lose more than $400b on shonky building, as well as suffering decades long distress from disputes, leading to deaths, suicides, shattered families, and ruined lives. Come along and inform yourselves and participate.
VBAG AGM is on 26 August 2019 at 7pm at 1 Wendell Street, Brunswick. (Best to enter from Victoria Street.)
Topic: ‘Dream into Nightmare: In the SHOES of Building Consumers’
VBAG's conservative estimate for 2019: more than 1 million Australians will lose more than $400 Billion. This without considering the toll of the years or decades’ long distress from disputes, and without taking account of the deaths and suicides, shattered families, the lives forever ruined.
This is the reality of living in the lucky land of Oz! Here we have no - NO - consumer rights, no human rights, no freedom of speech and no 'fair go'!
Please make the effort to come, and bring your family and friends. This corrupted industry does not discriminate. Everyone is a building consumer and all are at high risk. People from all walks of life have and will continue to be ensnared into the wicked web of building fraud - because ‘shelter’ is a basic need delivered for three (3) decades by a lawless ‘industry’!
HELP US with strategies to reclaim our rights as the number ONE stakeholder, to speak as ONE united CONSUMER VOICE and to end this biggest ever man-made human disaster.
Enquiries: Telephone or text President Anne Paten on 0401 226 048
Building is more than risky business; it's a killer
As the only registered building consumer organization in the country, we have been working hard on behalf of owners for 13 years, but the powerful vested interests who
control the industry and our politicians have locked us out, rendered us utterly voiceless.
The destruction of the con-struction industry has delivered a massive man-made disaster, a horrific human tragedy. This was preventable, but profits count more than people!
- We supposedly live in a first world country, but our built environment is third world.
- Deregulated in 1993, the 'governance framework' underpinning the industry was con-structed to support a lawless industry and to crush consumer cash-cows.
- The biggest con: Big business directed our governments to steal our rights and to authorize legalized fraud.
- The cowboys have destroyed our families and shamelessly left millions of them broke and broken. This year more than one million owners will lose an estimated $400b. Yes, $400 BILLION!
Syriana Analysis journalist, Kevork Almassian, writes, "It seems that Syrians have to suffer twice: once when the multinational terrorists travelled without facing any difficulties from the airports of Europe and elsewhere in the world to Turkey and then to Syria. Second, ISIS terrorists and their wives will most probably go back to their home countries without receiving serious punishment." If you commit a crime in a country then you should be judged by the laws of that country. Kevork Almassian also gives an opinion on why European citizens may have joined ISIS.
While the media and political debates focus on cracking down on boat people, Fairfax media have exposed that rampant visa fraud is happening. It's a multifaceted yarn. Up to 9 in 10 skilled migrant visas are bogus.
Militants are suspects in visa frauds. Afghan applicants 90% flawed!
Rampant visa fraud and migration crime involving people flying into Australia are going unchecked while the government focuses on stopping boats, according to secret government files detailing entrenched Immigration Department failings. Leaked confidential departmental documents obtained by Fairfax Media reveal that Australia's national security is being compromised by wide-scale visa rorting and migration rackets operating with impunity.
Internal documents reveal that despite repeated warnings, the department is failing to crackdown on wide-scale visa rorting.
Australia's open borders are a threat to our national security, and can't be justified on any sound basis.
While the immigration debate is anchored on asylum seekers, our open borders are allowing fraudsters to exploit the loopholes in our generous visa system with non-genuine "students", and bogus "skilled" migrants - at a time of record unemployment! There are bogus "skills shortages" that lure students to pay tens of thousands of dollars to study here, expecting a job and residency at the end - when the shortages don't exist! Thousands of foreign cooks and accountants being given visas despite an excess of local candidates.
The whole model of Australia as an Immigration Nation is outdated, and there's no correlation between grass-roots reality, and the number and type of visas distributed.
While there's a lot of media and political attention on a few ad hoc asylum seekers arriving by boats, the overwhelming majority of migrants are arriving by aeroplane, daily, enjoying anonymity and the lack of media attention.
Asylum seekers, and our humanitarian intake of about 20,000 per year, hardly add to our immigration intake, or population growth at all, yet they confuse the public on who our immigrants really are! Refugees make up less than 5 per cent of Australia's annual population growth of around 400,000 people.
This employment migration program and corrupt, especially considering the harsh crackdown on assumed "dole bludgers" who are failing to gain non-existent new jobs! Everyone knows it's going on.
Immigration experts Dr Bob Birrell and Dr Ernest Healy have obtained fresh Australian Bureau of Statistics information showing that 380,000 arrivals to Australia since 2011 had found jobs. But over the same period, net job growth in Australia was only 400,000. Australia continues to grant skilled migration visas to thousands of foreign cooks and accountants despite an excess of local candidates suitable for those jobs.
Afghanistan and Somalia have a trade in passports. Investigators identified a scam of people using each other's passports, after being lost or stolen. A loophole in passports lets people come into the country twice, without leaving first! With all the sophistication of technology this is happening.
A 2010 report reveals that immigration investigators had uncovered a Somali people-smuggling cell in Melbourne linked to terrorist suspect Hussein Hashi Farah, who "is believed to have links to the al-Qaeda offshoot al-Shabab".
The leaked files revealed that tens of thousands of immigration fraudsters are living freely after being assisted by migration crime networks exploiting weaknesses in working, student, family and humanitarian visa programs, and corruption within the Department that allowes the fraud to happen.
There are too many visas, flexibility and categories of immigration, and passports are not secure for all the tens of hundreds arriving each day at our airports. It's mayhem, and open-border chaos.
The immigration Department is dysfunctional, and needs to be closed for investigation. The number of visas is excessive, and our system is clearly porous and unaccountable.
The holes and flaws the system have been exploited. We've (almost) stopped the boats, but now it's time to stop the planes.
Immigration policy in Britain continues to reveal depths of incompetence, as Europe is under increasing pressure from illegal immigration. Government claims that they are tackling the issues will do little to reassure a worried public.
Migration has enriched many societies, but immigration and the growing cost to communities of accommodating large-scale inflows of people, in a now crowded world, raises many challenging questions. This is not a left or right issue or racist. It is about social and environmental sustainability.
Over 22,000 illegal immigrants have arrived in southern Italy alone in the first three months of 2014. Many more have entered Greece and Spain. Well over 100,000 African immigrants landed in the Spanish Canary Islands trying to gain access to the EU in the last few years. The EU and the media attempt to cloud the picture by calling them ‘irregular’ migrants and ‘undocumented workers’, but the growing consequences of these pressures will have profound impacts.
In 2010 the European Union's population topped half a billion. Of the 1.4 million growth from the previous year, 900,000 resulted from legal immigration alone into the EU. according to Eurostat in July 2010.
The number of foreign nationals given UK passports has soared. By 2050 the Government Actuary’s Department estimates the UK’s population could rise to 90 million, 70 per cent of this due to inward migration - enough to fill a major conurbation the size of Birmingham every five years in what is already the most densely populated country in Europe. Add to this, illegal immigration.
We now face a massive increase in population as our economy is struggling. Is this a sustainable policy supported by the environmental lobby? Is this a future we would vote for? We need to know but are still not being asked.
Displaying a mixture of complacency and incompetence the UK Government first lost control of the immigration and asylum system and then tried to spin the idea that large-scale immigration was vital to our economic interests. Growing evidence has shown this to be profoundly misleading.
What matters, not least to those in already vulnerable communities, is how immigration increases the number of people who are entitled to claim on the economy and the huge impact on infrastructure, schools, health, housing and the environment. The fact that the extra population cancels out any real benefit to the resident population was repeatedly denied until exposed by an investigation published in April 2008 by the Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Lords.
In the last five years, with high unemployment in some member countries, net migration from the whole of the EU rose to about 36 per cent of total net migration into the UK, says MigrationWatch, so nearly two-thirds is still from outside the EU. The eurosceptic press ignores this. But there is much Europe could do.
Illegal immigration pressure builds in Europe
Instability in North African countries has seen a big jump in illegals trying to get into Europe. National authorities in the EU apprehend more than 500,000 illegal migrants annually. In addition, there were 335,895 asylum claims in 2012, according to the EU Home Affairs Directorate.
Five amnesties have taken place in Italy since 1986, involving more than two million immigrants; four in Greece, four in Portugal since 1992 and three in Spain. These amnesties confirm that such strategies do not solve the long-term challenge of dealing with illegal migration.
Immigration has also had a major impact on Sweden and Norway, with their generous policies to would-be immigrants. Of nine million Swedes, roughly 1,080,000 are now foreign-born with around 900,000 children of immigrants. The city of Malmö’s population is almost 40 percent foreign, with high unemployment, social-welfare dependency and crime. Now the government wants to spread the burden, pushing other EU countries to take their share of this Swedish generosity.
Illegal migration into the EU from high-fertility countries that do not provide enough opportunities for their people presents a huge challenge. Lobby groups like the Refugee Council demand that Europe should just roll over and accommodate these continual pressures. Merely, negotiating how many each EU country should take.
Do the media and politicians seriously think that Europe can take in the populations of sub-Saharan Africa and beyond? When will the line be drawn? Most developed countries are already unsustainable in terms of resource use and the environment.
Using conflict situations to override border controls will only worsen this trend. This is a legitimate concern for millions of people, whatever their colour and background.
Once refugees and illegals are given leave to remain, most apply for citizenship and few go back to their country of origin. This can’t go on.
A global people-trafficking industry is running rings around the EU’s ‘human rights’ approach. The EU needs to send a clear message that illegals landing in Europe will simply be sent back to their county of origin within days, not be accommodated and then allowed to move around Europe.
Part of the problem is that EU countries don’t have repatriation agreements with many sender countries, but this could be remedied quite simply, as just about all the sender countries in Africa and many in Asia are recipients of generous Western aid. We need to tell them sign the agreement or aid will not be forthcoming.
Today, only Syria currently has an acute refugee crisis, but even here there is no need to give often large families permanent access to host countries, with follow up ‘family reunion’ leading to chain migration. They could simply be given temporary leave to remain while the situation settled and aid should primarily be targeted cost-benefit wise on refugee camps in neighboring countries
A bigger picture
Some people applaud Australia’s immigration system. They fail to say that Australia is letting in more immigrants each year than the country’s total annual net increase in the resident population. This, in an arid continent with only six per cent of the country suitable as arable land.
Similarly in Canada, where much of the country is too barren to support people, the Government is letting in over 260,000 immigrants a year – over twice the country’s annual net increase in births - and wants it to reach 330,000. Nearly 80 per cent of immigration in Canada is now linked to large-scale family reunion and an asylum backlog rather than primary skilled migration.
In the USA there are believed to be over 12 million illegals in the country and half a million illegal entries into the United States each year. (Pew Hispanic Center).
Ironically, Poland opened its doors to workers from outside the EU in an attempt to ease labour shortages, as it finds itself short of skilled workers because they're flocking to Britain.
Well over a million young people are not in education, work or training in the UK. Yet the Government more than doubled the number of work permits to non-EU immigrants since 1997 - despite the unprecedented influx of migrants from Eastern Europe who do not need permits. British workers wages are being depressed for employer profit, while taxpayers pick up the cost of low-wage welfare payments.
In some London boroughs, which now have immigrant majority populations of over 50 per cent, the proportion of immigrant origin school children is far higher, with potential social implications for increasing alienation and parallel societies, in conflict over cultural values. Official figures show one in every four babies born in Britain in 2009 was to a migrant mother – the rate in England and Wales was one in three.
A report by MigrationWatch (UK) in October 2010 says more than half a million school places will be needed over the next five years to meet future demand. The cost of the 550,000 extra school places will reach £40 billion over the five-year period and rise to £100 billion between now and 2020.
The UK’s Local Government Association warned that “Councils find it difficult to provide services for growing populations that are not recognised by the official statistics and for which they, therefore, receive no financial help” Yet the Government says it is scrapping the 10-year Census to save money.
Even the Conservatives’ pre-2010 election plan to allow 20,000 asylum seekers plus their dependents to come to Britain each year is equivalent to building a town the size of Truro in Cornwall or Godalming in Surrey every year. This is still environmentally unsustainable in a country as densely populated as Britain.
Crime hits us all, not least in vulnerable communities. Research by the International Centre for Prison Studies shows the percentage of foreign nationals in prison in 2012/2013 was 12.8 per cent for England and Wales, 34 per cent in Italy, 31 per cent Spain, 30 per cent Sweden, 44 per cent Belgium, in Austria 49 per cent, Greece 63 per cent and Switzerland 74 per cent - putting huge strain on our prison systems.
These are things we must face in our efforts to tackle existing inequalities in our society, not bury them in the politics of denial. We need more than ‘band aid’ campaigns and must focus real political will on tackling global environmental loss, bloody turf wars and religious feuds, overpopulation and under-employment that leads to poverty and despair.
The safety valve of migration is part of our collective history, but large-scale migration now raises vital social, environmental and economic questions about where the world is going and how we deliver reform and a better life for people wherever they are born. Like most of the key problems of the 21st Century, time to find solutions is running out.
Government Growth Policy is not working – an example of one Growth Area municipality struggling under the financial burden of infinite population growth. Other growth corridors are also in stress.
Cardinia Shire is a largely rural municipality about 60 km from Melbourne. A government designated corridor of population growth and housing construction has been absorbing rapid population increase since 2003. The population is predicted to double over the next 10 years. Current Council records indicate that five families per day are moving into the corridor.
The council’s annual budget document and four year plan states that its greatest challenge is “managing population growth”. More administrative staff are required so the Council must move to expensive new premises in Officer. Increased financial responsibility has been placed on local government but despite an ongoing debt level of almost $50 million and increasing the annual rates each year over the past 10 years, there is still a major lack of infrastructure and services to meet the needs of the continuous high population growth coming into the growth corridor of the municipality. The infrastructure shortfall includes public transport, roads and schools for which State government is responsible. Ratepayers are virtually being taxed via Council rates, and a further increase to 6.8% this year will be a financial burden for a lot of property owners.
Huge residential and commercial development is impacting on former good quality agricultural land, sensitive environmental landscapes and waterways.
Traffic congestion is increasing, particularly on local roads not built to cope with the current volume flowing off the freeway. During morning and evening peak times traffic is at gridlock.
There is growing evidence of social disadvantage, a local welfare support agency is dealing with constant requests for assistance with food supplies, financial counselling etc. There has been an increase in antisocial behaviour, graffiti, and more serious instances of assault, burglaries and trades area break-ins. Local police are at their limit keeping up with the level of crime.
If this is the end result of government policies of high population economic growth and increased productivity, where are the supposed benefits? This is just one example of a growth area in one State of Australia. How many others are encountering similar problems?
Encouraging people to move out to Melbourne’s fringe areas, creating car dependent and socially disadvantaged communities where there is inadequate local employment and insufficient infrastructure is just not working.
Australian people urgently need a referendum on the need to limit the annual population intake via immigration, rather than on the merits of including local government in the Australian Constitution. Let’s get the priorities right. G. Terria (Fugitive from the Growth Corridor)/em>
Editorial comment: G. Terria, your suggestion that we need to hold an annual referendum is excellent. Elections such as the forthcoming Federal elections can be used as a referendum of sorts. You can vote for candidates opposed to population growth . Two such candidates are Jill Quirk and William Bourke, who are standing for the Stable Population Party in the Senate n Victoria. You could distribute your Senate preferences according to how other candidates measure up on population and other issues of concern. Ask all candidates standing for your Lower House seat what are his/her policy towards population and immigration and vote and allocate your preferences accordingly.
There are many suspicious features about Craig Thomson’s Health Services Union imbroglio, but notable among them are the apparently close links between HSU “whistleblower” Kathy Jackson and Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. Peter Wicks uncovers a very tangled web.
Firstly, let me start by saying that I do not endorse anyone spending over $6,000 on prostitutes on a union credit card — that is reprehensible behaviour. Nor do I endorse not declaring vast amounts of money to the Electoral Commission on election campaigns. However, these allegations are yet to be proved — and are vigorously denied.
In any case, I think I smell a rat.
Union whistleblower Kathy Jackson has been ripping into both the Labor Party and the former (until February 2012) President of Fair Work Australia, Geoffrey Giudice, for months now over the goings on within the embattled Union and the investigation resulting from her claims.
Kathy Jackson has caused the union movement untold damage and brought the Federal Government to the brink of collapse. One would assume that the public may be interested in knowing a little more about her and any conflicts of interest she may have.
One vital piece of information that is not widely known about her is that her partner is a man named Michael Lawler.
Who is Michael Lawler?
For starters, according to reliable sources, Michael Lawler is friends with a man named Tony Abbott. Apparently, the two of them socialise regularly. Conveniently, Tony Abbott is also the leader of the political party making so much ground out of the claims Michael’s partner is making.
Michael Lawler works for an organisation called Fair Work Australia, where he is a Vice-President on a salary of $400,000 a year. The only person higher than him at that organisation is Iain Ross, who just replaced Geoffrey Giudice – the one who Tony Abbott and Lawler’s partner Kathy Jackson were attacking daily – as President of Fair Work Australia.
On the 11th of October 2002, according to the FWA annual report, Michael Lawler was appointed Vice President of Fair Work Australia — although back then it was called the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. Previously, Lawler was a barrister who made his mark representing employers in employment disputes. The man who appointed him to the AIRC was none other than Tony Abbott — who at the time was Employment and Workplace Relations Minister under John Howard’s Coalition Government.
On his appointment, Tony Abbott gave a speech praising Lawler in a remarkably personal and intimate fashion. Here is some of what he said that day:
“Intellect combined with common sense, compassion tempered by realism, ideals shaped but not dimmed by experience, some grasp of the nobility and waywardness that contend in every man: these, in my view, are some of the qualities which Vice President Lawler will bring to the demanding and often lonely life that lies before him.”
At a function to farewell Tony Abbott from his position as Employment and Workplace Relations minister the following year, Lawler was one of just four members of the AIRC to attend.
Independent Australia requested confirmation from Tony Abbott’s office about the relationship between the Opposition Leader and Michael Lawler, but had not received a response by the time of publication.
The Opposition always refer to Fair Work Australia as Julia Gillard’s “baby”, but Lawler was certainly Tony Abbott’s appointment.
Of course, all these things may be purely coincidental…
However, it does appear strange that Mr Lawler seems to have become involved in factional battles within the union on his partner Kathy’s behalf.
Carol Glen was the Victorian Divisional Secretary of HSU East for three years before resigning recently. At the time, Kathy Jackson was National Secretary of HSU East, and Michael Williamson was the General Secretary of HSU East.
Carol resigned due to the factional fighting within the union, particularly between Jackson and Williamson.
However, Jackson clearly did not want Carol to resign, as she feared that Williamson would replace her with a Divisional Secretary loyal to him.
Former HSU official, Carol Glen
This is the point where Lawler became involved in the factional battle within the Union, even though he was not a part of the HSU himself.
Then, just a few days later, Lawler made corruption allegations against Carol to NSW Police and Strikeforce Carnarvon was born.
It is odd that this type of complaint would come from Lawler — as he was not part of HSU East or even a member of the Union.
As part of his complaint of corruption, Lawler made reference to a cheque that was being picked up by Carol — something he said she had mentioned in an email. The inference was that this cheque was some sort of pay off.
The Australian details the claims made by Lawler and the subsequent reaction by Glen:
Mr Lawler claims Ms Glen may have been given an inducement to give false evidence, noting that in a private email exchange with her partner in December, she had referred to a cheque she was going to pick up.
“I had ordered a bank cheque to pay my rent,” Ms Glen said, questioning how Mr Lawler had obtained her emails. She says she finds it extraordinary that Mr Lawler, the second highest industrial judge in the land, would engage in such a campaign.
Mr Lawler’s associate said it would be inappropriate for him to comment.
So, in fact, the cheque was a bank cheque ordered by Carol to pay her rent — totally innocent and unrelated to any Union business at all.
However, the question remains: how would Lawler know about the cheque? Given he mentioned a “private email exchange”, it would seem certain that he somehow had access to Ms Glen’s emails. So, how did Lawler have access to Glen’s private emails?
We don’t know, because as soon as he was asked about this detail, Lawler’s associate clammed up.
All decidedly suspicious.
On the 2nd May, police officers from the NSW Fraud and Cybercrime Squad raided the HSU East headquarters in Pitt Street, Sydney, in a much publicised operation.
However, my inside sources have pointed out a few anomalies about the official story of the raid that was reported in the press. Police were offered the option of using the service elevator and the rear entrance to the building to make things simpler, safer, and faster for officers — but this offer was rejected as the police were reportedly keen to use the main entrance, where the press had been assembled. Sources also state that the large number of boxes shown on TV being carried out by officers were all virtually empty — it was allegedly all done for show, to make it look like there were mountains of documents seized. Also, sources say, the story about HSU boss Michael Williamson trying to sneak out a back door with evidence was total rubbish — done presumably to implicate guilt. In fact, Mr Williamson left the office via the entrance the police were offered access to, as his car was parked in the car park opposite; the things he was carrying were taken by police as a routine part of the operation, as were his personal items — and probably a sandwich as well.
Of course, Kathy Jackson has acted very strangely for a so-called union boss.
In Melbourne, Jackson has hired Stuart Wood, a former Vice President of the HR Nicholls Society, as her lawyer. The HR Nicholls Society is a right-wing lobby group with close ties to the Liberal Party, set up as a think tank dedicated to Industrial Relations “reform”— much of which fed into the architecture of the Howard Government’s infamous “WorkChoices” policy.
It would seem valid to question why the Secretary of a union would hire a solicitor that is anti-union — and, indeed, one whose ideas you have apparently spent your whole working life fighting against. A quick look at HR Nicholls Society’s website shows just how close its ties are with the Liberal Party. Former Howard Government industrial relations minister Peter Reith is a board member, for example, and other notable names on the list of who contributes to this Society are Tony Abbott (there’s that name again), Eric Abetz, Peter Costello, Michael Kroger… the list goes on and on — even Andrew Bolt gets a mention.
Even more strangely, for a union rep, Jackson is due to be guest of honour and give a speech at the HR Nicholls Society annual dinner on June 12th. Strangely, Mal Brough – who has been accused of being implicated in the allegations against Peter Slipper – fronted the HR Nicholls Society only a week or two ago [note below video].
On the 14th May, on the Chris Smith programme on radio station 2GB, Kathy Jackson said that rumours of the Liberal party paying for her vast team of lawyers were rubbish. These lawyers, expensive lawyers, were all working for her for free – pro bono – she stated. Chris Smith, however, chose not to pursue the matter…
People can say whatever they like about Craig Thomson’s credibility and his explanation of events, however most people would find it totally unbelievable, and absolutely inconceivable, that these right wing lawyers, one of them from a Liberal Party aligned union busting “think tank”, would provide their services free to a union boss — especially one who pays herself a $270,000 salary.
So, it would seem there are many questions to be asked — and not just of Craig Thomson.
The mind boggles as to how someone who is a former employers’ barrister in their disputes with unions and was appointed to the AIRC by Tony Abbott as well as allegedly being a personal friend, is able to allegedly hack the emails of a Union official and then make a criminal complaint regarding this Union even while being the Vice President of the organisation actually in charge of investigating the same Union — as well as being the partner of the Union whistleblower most deeply enmeshed in the whole affair, who is soon to speak at a function for a union busting Liberal Party-aligned think tank, and who is being represented in all her actions against the union for free by the Liberal Party’s favourite lawyers — and yet none of this is widely reported in the media, or seemingly of any major interest to police?
Talk about conflicts of interest.
What is really going on here?
In my mind, all this puts question marks over the entire investigation — and makes me wonder about the Coalition’s direct involvement. After all, George Brandis repeatedly kept pushing for more investigations. If nothing else, Jackson, Lawler, Abbott – and the NSW police – have some serious questions to answer.
I don’t know how deep this runs but, like I said, I smell a rat.
Sweden has joined the United States, Britain, Spain and other nations as a target of politically motivated violence. It is no longer possible for countries such as the Netherlands and Sweden to think about their populations as homogenous groups with shared values and world views.
The costs are high. Foreigners are 6.2 times as likely to be incarcerated than Swedes, or 520% higher incarceration rate.
As one of a many open immigration policies in Europe, Sweden has struggled to confederate more immigrants from Iraq than any other Western nation since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Sweden has always welcomed asylum seekers from all over the world, particularly the Arab and Islamic worlds.
However, foreigners are 6.2 times as likely to be incarcerated than Swedes, or 520% higher incarceration rate.
The number of violent and deadly crimes has increased by about 200 percent from 1976 to 2006, the report showed. Only in 2009, five deadly shootings occurred in Malmo, compared to four in Stockholm and eight in Gothenburg.
The anti-immigration party’s personality Jimmie Akesson has described a flourishing series of Muslims – about 5 per cent of a country’s race – as a biggest outmost hazard to Sweden given a Second World War.
Explosions that killed a suspected bomber and injured two passersby on a busy shopping street in Stockholm are being investigated as a “terrorist crime,” sending shock waves through Sweden, which prides itself on its open, peaceful society and had so far been untouched by the post-9/11 attacks.
The man, identified as 28-year-old Iraqi-born Swede Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, directed his ire toward Sweden’s military presence in Afghanistan and Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who drew an image of the prophet Muhammad’s head on a dog’s body in 2007.
Omar Mustafa, president of the Islamic League in Sweden, said he feared the attack could undo the years of progress made by Muslims living in Sweden.
The right is pointing to the bomber as a clear example of why Sweden should stop accepting more immigrants and promoting a multicultural society.
Reasons Sweden support the most open immigration program in Europe
1. Too much prosperity between 1940-1970 when they were building the welfare state. Most Swedish people think that the two are causally linked. They think the are prosperous because they expanded the welfare state 1940-1970.
They escaped the war. Sweden as a nation is still naive and innocent. The first notable wave of immigration into Sweden came in the post-World War II period with workers from Germany and Holland, later spreading to southern Europe including Italy, Greece and Turkey.
2. Egalitarianism is very strong for historical reasons. This makes them lean left.
More than a thousand years of continuous existence as a sovereign state allowed for the gradual development of strong national institutions. During the medieval period, the practice of serfdom was never established, and the preponderance of independent farmers helped minimize social class differences and nurture an ethic of equality.
3. Humans are basically "good". If they act bad, it is probably because they are having an emotional difficulty, a hard time, and talking to them will solve the problem. Beyond those who seek to rubbish welfare state-ism with references to alcoholism, depression, and suicide, Sweden is high on the quotient of niceness and goodness.
Swedes think that is true for all life. They are surrounded by nice, good normal people, and become very native. This combined with the mirror effect ("everyone is like me") with catastrophic consequences. They simply don't have theories about predators and opportunistic people, such as people who exploit the welfare state, thugs, Islamic terrorist etc.
4. White guilt. When Finland and Italy were poor in 1960, Swedes had been rich and prosperous for 30 years. Their "white" guilt needs to be balanced by non-Westerns.
They believe very strongly in their social model. They, understandably but wrongly believe is why they don't starve or have wars like Africans, corruption and a soft state like Italians or crime, inequality and social problems like America.
5. Secularism. When you don't have religion, your mind looks to substitutes. This can be ideology or things like new-age, both popular in Sweden. A spiritual vacuum can be deceptively liberating, but encourage open-ness to ideas that may be contrary to their interests.
Like Australia, the large ethnic diversity that does exist makes it problematic to define what is typically Swedish today.
Australian 'terrified' by Amazon pirate attack
Twelve Australians were on board a small cruise ship robbed by pirates on the Amazon River. MV Aqua, owned by Aqua Expeditions , was ransacked by pirates in Peru last week. They took advantage of heavy rain and poor visibility to stage their raid.
Ms Ibbotson and her partner Keith Lawson, both financial planners of Melbourne, waited, terrified, as the pirates ransacked the cruise ship MV Aqua on the Amazon in Peru, working their way from cabin to cabin. "It was just a terrifying, terrifying experience," she reported back from Peru to ABC Online
There were two undercover policemen on board after the previous attack but both were quickly overpowered by the six bandits despite their grenades and automatice weapons! They were robbed at gunpoint of all their cash, cameras and jewellery.
Speaking from Peru, Melbourne woman Ms Christina Ibbotson, 60, reported to Sydney Morning Herald reporters that the worst thing was not being told that there had been a similar attack on the same boat in the same place the week before. Ms Ibbotson said most of the passengers were angry they had not been warned of the first pirate attack and said they had not heard anything from the Peruvian company Aqua Expeditions since.
The boat's owner and the police were reported to have been slow to react!
Police reinforcements arrived after crew radioed for help. Officers later recovered some of the holidaymakers' belongings after discovering them in the gang's jungle base camp, where they also confiscated guns and walkie-talkies the armed gang are believed to have used to coordinate their well-planned attack.
Crime amoungst police, and collaboration between police and criminals, is not uncommon in Peru!
In a similar attack on 6th August gunmen stormed Aqua Expeditions tourist cruise ship in Peru in a dawn robbery.
Masked men with guns and hand grenades stormed a cruise ship (the same criminals?) stealing thousands of pounds worth of valuables from tourists, including several Britons, in the dawn raid.
Nine armed bandits bound the hands and feet of the 20 holidaymakers, including Britons, Americans, Australians and Spaniards, on a small cruiser heading up the Ucayali River in the Peruvian Amazon to the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve.
The Peruvian Minister for Tourism, Martin Perez, has reportedly vowed to provide Coast Guard and National Police escorts for cruises in the region, to step up patrols and to increase security officers on board vessels in a bid to salvage the area's tourism reputation.
Aqua Expeditions has reportedly changed its itinerary to avoid the area of the latest raid. Aqua Expeditions has a section on safety on its website which says: "A crew member is assigned on our navigation deck to keep watch around the clock, 24/7, whether the vessel is sailing or docked." Was this enough?
Under new legislation, submitted to the British Cabinet in July, 2009, the State will be entitled to recover “all or part of the expenses ... for rescue operations abroad for people who have deliberately exposed themselves to risks which they could not ignore”.
The authorities will be able to take action against travel agents, shipping companies and insurance companies accused of encouraging journeys to areas deemed hazardous.
If a new French law gains currency around the world, all cruising sailors who visit countries which are on a list of countries 'considered to be dangerous' could be faced with a bill if they get into trouble. Regions considered dangerous are published on the Foreign Ministry website in a regularly updated list. French travellers are at present advised against visiting countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen and parts of Peru , Tanzania, Colombia, Sudan and Venezuela.
If you travel for any length of time in Latin America, chances are the police will attempt to extract a bribe. Police are often underpaid and find tourists an easy source of income, so any foreign vehicles or people on the road will often be targeted.
The easiest way out at this point is for you to hand over the bribe in cash, or at least bargain him down further.
While there are statistics about the frequency of such crimes, they are sketchy because the offenses often go unreported, or they are not reported outside national media! U.S. officials say they are concerned about the increasing sophistication of such crimes. In what used to be an uncommon occurrence, groups of tourists recently have been attacked on the road and even in crowded hotels, officials say.
We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Peru because of the high levels of serious crime. Pay close attention to your personal security and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.
Petty theft, including pick-pocketing and bag snatching, has been reported in public areas, including in hotels, conference centres, internet cafes and restaurants. You should remain vigilant in crowded public places.
Theft on inter-city buses, including buses on the Lima, Ica, Nasca and Cusco routes continues to increase, often when passengers are asleep or distracted. You should avoid placing luggage or other personal belongings on overhead racks or under your seats.
Violent crime including sexual assault, armed robbery, muggings and car-jacking occurs, particularly in the cities of Lima, Cusco and Arequipa. Travellers walking alone after dark, especially when leaving bars or nightclubs, have been targeted by criminals.
There has been a significant increase in reports of serious crimes, including robbery, assault and rape, against travellers using unlicensed taxi operators, particularly in Lima and Cusco. You should arrange transport at taxi counters within the international terminal when arriving at Lima's international airport and seek assistance from staff at hotels, hostels, restaurants or places of entertainment to book a licensed taxi. The name and contact details of the taxi company should be recorded.
'Express kidnappings', where victims are forced to withdraw funds from ATMs to secure their release, have occurred.
Assault and armed robbery of hikers travelling on the Inca trail have been reported. Use of an experienced guide may reduce the risk of assault and robbery while hiking.
Travel by road outside of major cities after dark is dangerous due to the risk of criminal activity which has often involved the use of bogus road blocks or check points. The real dangers of travelling in Peru and South America should be upgraded. Travel agents should warn of dangers, but there is a conflict of interest in revealing the real risks. It is a case of making sure that tourists themselves do the research before embarking on a tour where anarchy, corruption, crime and violence are way of life, the “norm”! Maybe tourists should have to pay for their rescue if they insist on travelling to "hot spots" on our globe and get into trouble?
Innocence abroad can be costly, even fatal!