Underpants again …

As one commentator put it …

The idea that the Australian authorities, who had just been through a bruising public debate of mandatory Internet blacklists and lost, would attempt to smuggle a new set of blacklists behind the scenes, beggars belief

Totalitarian states block internet access, shut down certain sites and limit their citizens opportunities to know what is going on and it’s happening right here in Australia, right now …

The move is based on the use of Section 313 of the Telecommunications Act, which allows government agencies to ask ISPs for reasonable assistance in upholding the law, a mechanism which is also being used for the Government’s limited Interpol-based filter to block child abuse material. However, there appears to be no public oversight of the process, no appeals mechanism, and no transparency to the public or interaction with the formal justice system. A move by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in April to block several sites suspected of providing fraudulent investment information has already resulted in the inadvertent blockage of some 1,200 other innocent sites.

(My emphasis.)

You can read the whole article <HERE>.

Comrade Conroy …


The ABC are quite concerned. There was even the suggestion that the photograph had been chosen to make Conroy look dopey. Short of wearing red underpants on his head how could he be made to look dopier than usual?

Truth is though Mr Conroy is trying to do exactly what every dictator does … muzzle his critics.

James Paterson writing in the Australian …

ALL politicians are self-interested. But few are as shameless as Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

His proposed “media reforms” may be a thinly veiled response to a technologically driven changing media landscape, but we all know their real purpose: to punish and rein in the federal government’s critics in the media…

Conroy has been egged on by Labor backbenchers and the Greens for months about the evils of media companies such as News Limited, publisher of The Australian. Former Greens leader Bob Brown famously dubbed News as part of the “hate media” and called for licensing for newspaper proprietors. Current Greens leader Christine Milne called for a “fit and proper test” so the government could control who invested in the media.

In November 2011 Labor senator Doug Cameron said reporting in News Limited paper The Daily Telegraph that Kevin Rudd might challenge for leadership of the ALP amounted to a “threat to democracy”. Of course, when Rudd did challenge less than six months later, Cameron was among his number-crunchers.

Steve Gibbons, another Labor backbencher, even called for individual journalists to receive fines to improve the “fairness of our media”.

Conroy has finally delivered in spades for the most deranged critics of the media.

So keen to censor …

When I was a kid it was quite often the case that an Irishman, a Scotsman and an Englishman went into a pub where various stereotypic scenarios led to a punchline. Better a punchline than a punch.

I recall being told the one about the kids at Bondi being menaced by a shark, a man racing into the water and fighting the shark with his bare hands and saving the kids. A passing reporter races up and interviews our intrepid hero who says something like “Cor blimey, guvnor, anyone woulda done it” thereby revealing his cockney origins.

The headline read “Pommy bastard beats into kids pet”.

What would happen these days? Well the pom would get the sack for a start, when the video goes viral, for being on sickleave from his job in Merthyr Tydfil. What, he was Welsh, you say. Well far to many Welsh people here in Australia. Not on a 457 visa I hope. What about his press secretary.

I digress, the reporter in the New Australia would probably get to keep his job, he’d have more sense than to cause offense to visiting heroes in our roxonised society, he’d play a straight bat (Aussie reporters will learn to do that, no need to worry that the art is dying in our cricketers) he would rush in his good news story. The editor would give thanks, something he could report today without falling foul of Conroy’s latest straight jacket.

What are we coming to? Conroy, you will recall wanted to filter the internet, I guess it would slow it all down enough to warrant fibre to the home. Now it’s a press commissar to licence reporters. All because those newspapers that earn a living selling papers and advertising have had the temerity to inform the community that the ALP have cocked up everything they’ve touched, broken every promise that they’ve made whilst led by a backstabbing, lying virago with a very shady past and a treasurer who thinks a surplus is a minus number, and a tax is a saving.

So my message in response is Get Your Hands OFF Freedom of Speech. And get them off my super, as well.

As for our other Welsh would be hero, the shark was a harmless variety and sick, probably dying, the children were in no danger whatever, Sir, you were not only defrauding your employers but attempting to defraud us too. I will be writing to the RSPCA, Hugh Wirth knows what to do with people who molest our sea creatures.

Where is the health inspector … ?

Nothing shonky here, folks, move right along.

Mr Sheldon, secretary of the Transport Workers Union and Labor’s national vice-president, recently had this to say about the scandal-plagued NSW Right faction of the ALP …

“Like cockroaches, B-grade politicians are able to thrive on the corruption and detritus that lies under the dishwasher,”

“Our crisis is more than just a crisis of trust brought on by the corrupt behaviour of property scammers and lobbyists,”

“It’s a crisis of belief brought on by a lack of moral and political purpose.”

Now, friends in high places, or under the dishwasher can be very valuable. A gift from a close personal friend could earn a well placed guy a $1oom, say. And a gift from a close personal friend wouldn’t need to be declared on the parliamentary register of pecuniary interests.

Eddy and co own a resort at Perisher, in peak season apartments at the Stables can cost as much as $2690 for a weekend.

Senator Conroy, on his first full day as the Gillard government’s Senate leader, admits he and his family enjoyed free hospitality at Perisher, not declared because it was a personal gift, which must make him a good friend.

There are a few good friends around, I notice former senator Arbib gets a mention. Tony Burke, minister for sustainability stayed a couple of times. And of course Mr MacDonald was a very, very good friend and honoured guest.

Mr Shorten denies being a friend, apparently skiing is among the things he can’t do.


Presumed guilty …

In a democracy, you’re entitled to the presumption of innocence,” Senator Conroy told Channel 9.

Reports the Sydney Morning Herald

Well not in Julia Gillard’s democracy.


Reason for action to be presumed unless proved otherwise

(1)  If:

(a)  in an application in relation to a contravention of this Part, it is alleged that a person took, or is taking, action for a particular reason or with a particular intent; and

(b)  taking that action for that reason or with that intent would constitute a contravention of this Part;

it is presumed, in proceedings arising from the application, that the action was, or is being, taken for that reason or with that intent, unless the person proves otherwise.

In plainer English this means the employer is guilty of the complaint levelled by the employee unless he can prove otherwise – a reverse onus of proof. Ms. Gillard is the author of this act. Perhaps Mr. Conroy should ask Nicola the First Law Officer Roxon to explain that to him … she might have worked it out by now.