Thursday 14th of December 2017

Dissenting Liberals

Last night Pegasus brought the news to this website of the Liberal "backbench revolt". Some discussion has already ensued, but the 'Strategy II' thread is all over the place so this is a thread to which that discussion can move.

It's the sort of opportunity that we have to seize immediately or not worry about. As I published on the other thread, here are the four backbenchers who deserve our congratulations and encouragement for standing against the Howard government on a moral issue, and one that is deeply disturbing for democracy. That is, mandatory detention, especially of families and children.

Petro Georgiou (Kooyong, Vic)
P.Georgiou.MP@aph.gov.au
695 Burke Road
Hawthorn East Vic 3123

Bruce Baird (Cook, NSW)
Bruce.Baird.MP@aph.gov.au
PO BOX 819
Caringbah NSW 1495

Russell Broadbent (McMillan, Vic)
Russell.Broadbent.MP@aph.gov.au
10A Napier Street
Warragul Vic 3820

Judi Moylan (Pearce, WA)
J.Moylan.MP@aph.gov.au
PO Box 1005
Midland WA 6936

Note that these are their office addresses and they're all in Canberra at the moment, so you may just wish to address to:
MP
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

About fifteen minutes ago I sent the following email to all four of them from Your Democracy. I will follow with snail mail.

------------

25 May 2005

Attention: Russell Broadbent MP
Also sent to: Bruce Baird MP, Petro Georgiou MP, Judi Moylan MP

Sender: Hamish Alcorn

Mr Russell Broadbent, MP
Dear Mr Broadbent,

My name is Hamish Alcorn. I write to you on behalf of a website, www.yourdemocracy.net.au of which I am the Convenor.

Congratulations on your stance about Mandatory Detention. You have our complete and wholehearted support on this matter, as we believe you are taking a proper stand on a critical issue for the future health of Australia’s great democracy.

We commend you on the stand you take, and also on the right you are asserting to differentiate yourselves from your party on an issue of conscience. This also is healthy for Australia’s democracy, in our view. Regardless of which party they are in, you are demonstrating qualities we would like in all of our representatives.

If you take a quick look at our website and read some random posts you may get the impression that we are rabidly anti-Liberal, but many of us are Menzian liberals who fear for our democracy, due to the treatment of refugees as well as other policies of the current government.

The charter of Your Democracy is to, without partisanship, look out for, promote and if necessary defend our democratic institutions and our democratic culture. We make no secret that we believe the Howard government has been and is a threat to these things, and in the last election we took this position alongside some great Australian Liberals.

It seems possible that some or all of you will be ‘disciplined’ back into ranks when it comes to the voting. We do not envy your political situation in this regard. Have you considered making your view public on the Dome of Conscience, a forum specifically for Parliamentarians? There is a placard, “Justice for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Webdiary

Margo has published the text of the dissenting Liberals' MIGRATION AMENDMENT (MANDATORY DETENTION) Bill 2005 on Webdiary, and seperately the same's MIGRATION AMENDMENT (ACT OF COMPASSION) BILL 2005.

They're not utopian, but they are significant, and clearly come from a refreshing oasis of values.

Excellent start Hamish

Building on that -

I suggest writing not only to these 4, but to all your local Liberal members. To them, highlight the conscience vote is a long-standing tradition in the Liberal party, and that it distresses you that Howard has ruthlessly quashed this democractic convention since coming to office in 1996.

Tell them that Australians want representatives who don't just blindly vote on party lines, and in doing so, ignore the views of their constituents on important issues such as mandatory detention & participation in the war in Iraq.

Allowing a conscience vote on Petro Georgiou's bill will revive a proud Liberal tradition, which is an essential democratic institution to balance blanket party line voting.

In addition, write to your local Labor MPs, congratulating Labor on its new stance supporting a Royal Inquiry into Australia's mandatory detention practices, and urge them to support this private members bill, and a Liberal conscience vote on the matter. Use this link to find your MPs and to help you craft your letters / emails / phone calls.

Finally - get it out to your friends / work network / whoever you are comfortable circulating it to.

The liberal view

Great article by by William Maley, Refugee Policy: Towards a Liberal Framework. My kind of liberalism.

Here's an extract:

Australia's longest-serving Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies, had very firm views on how refugees within Australia should be treated. On 9 February 1949, he led the opposition in Parliament to the Wartime Refugees Removal Bill. Policy in this area, Menzies argued, 'must be applied by a sensible administration, neither rigid nor peremptory but wise, exercising judgment on individual cases, always remembering the basic principle but always understanding that harsh administration never yet improved any law but only impaired it, and that notoriously harsh administration raises up to any law hostilities that may some day destroy it'. In his call for sensible administration, in his demand for attention to individuals, and in his repudiation of harshness, Menzies struck a chord which every classical liberal should be able to recognise.

Thanks to Tim Gillin (at May 24, 2005 10:30 PM), a commentor on Webdiary, for the link to this article.

Fantastic Hamish!

Hey Hamish, what an excellent letter. Beautifully put too. Couldn't think of a better intro to the backbenches.

I have emailed each of them individually to encourage them to stand by their words as I belive the majority of both Australians and Liberals will support them even if they hide it from JH for a while.

My impatience had been quelled and I apologise for it. It annoys the hell out of me too. I truly think this letter is what we can use to "show and tell" to help grow the group here.

Any chance of Margo writing a piece about it for WebDiary? An independent view of course, just highlighting the high standards we are keeping and what we are achieving. Or perhaps the truth might be necessary but I don't think there's much difference.

Well done Mate.

writing to my rep won't help

My representative is the Prime Minister, and I have fair reason to believe he already knows exactly how I feel on this issue, but that doesn't appear to have changed his position much.

I am sending my thanks to the four though. Hopefully this is the turning point that will see this abominable policy relegated to the history books.

Russell's office replies

Dear Hamish,

Thanks very much for your email. I will certainly pass your comments on to Mr. Broadbent.

Regards,
Mary Aldred
Office of Russell Broadbent MP Federal Member for McMillan

Mine too

Mine too judging by his replies to my letters. As party whip (or is that govt whip?), I don't think Kerry Bartett (Macquarie NSW) will support these courageous Liberals (and they are courageous).

Troy & Katoomba

Hi there, don't think I've had the pleasure before.

I just wanted to say that while you probably won't change the PM's mind - well, you just might. Especially if you let him know you're a liberal voter.

If the PM got enough letters supporting the "rebel 4's" position, it would put him in a very difficult position. Howard is nothing if not first and foremost a political animal. Knowing what he was doing was driving away his constituents....

Hello Myriad

Hello Myriad. I like to think of myself as a liberal voter but definitely not a Liberal one (although I once was, back in the 70s and 80s when the Liberal Party was to the left of today's ALP.

I have written to the four Liberals and my local member, hopefully something good will happen.

I have a feeling Janette Howard will have her work cut out tonight calming 'Honest' John down.

Promote US

Sorry Hamish, I wasn't specific enough. I meant ask Margo to do some promoting of this site! A bit of shameless pushing of YD was what I meant.

She is certainly well across this issue and I have no doubt heard all about it before it hit the news etc.

Best.

Katoomba, Myriad and Troy

Hey Katoomba, Myriad and Troy,

That's how I feel too Katoomba, but I voted for Gough simply because of Vietnam (first vote). And have never been able to vote Liberal although I haven't voted Labor either for quite some years, except in the NT when I was there.

It really amazes me that people who vote Lib today think they are voting liberal. Even if they voted Labor they would still be right of the old Liberal Party as you say, way right.

To Troy and Myriad, as Myriad would be aware I'm not very keen on writing to pollies but the strategy Hamish suggested of writing to them to try and introduce the concept of the Dome of Conscience site changed my mind as I saw some point to it. An overall strategy of asking them to state their views publicly (on the internet anyway) rather than just avoid answering one letter at a time.

I wrote many a time in days gone by and was always disappointed waiting by the letterbox. A sad sight!

However, if I were in Troy's position I would so love the opportunity to write nicely to JH asking if he is willing to support the rebels. While he is in a rage plotting their doom.

Katoomba is right , Mrs H couldn't even get him to attend the State of Origin match tonight. He's got something else to do for once.

Carn the Blues!!! I live in Brissie so it's lonely this time of year.

Best.

Fifth Liberal rebel

The fifth Liberal rebel is worth watching very carefully, because she is a Senator.

Marise Payne, NSW
senator.payne@aph.gov.au
PO Box CC18
Parramatta NSW 2123

Especially New South Wales people, give this Senator your support.

a trusty & ambitious spouse

Hi Katoomba.

I'm not sure Janette will be doing anything of the sort.

Methinks a good many of little johnnie's positions have been shaped by his trusty & ambitious spouse ... tough as nails I reckon.

The appointment of an erstwhile GG is one example I can think of.

Cheers.

'man of steel'

Hi Pegasus.

Forward your suggestions to our ‘man of steel’ at this link Email the Prime Minister

But don’t hold your breath waiting for a response.

Cheers.

The World has Eyes and Ears

Liberal backbencher, Petro Georgiou's move, to introduce two bills to release long-term detainees as well as women and children, has flushed out other Coalition MPs who are now pushing for a more sympathetic treatment of asylum seekers and the world is watching:

‘SYDNEY, Australia (CNN) -- The row over Australia's mandatory detention policy has heated up after revelations that more than 200 cases of possible wrongful detention are being examined.’

Google: Mandatory detention bills 'expose division'

Google: New arrival makes it 68 children in detention

Google: Psychiatrists consider detention centre work bans

Jozef

The Kooyong Breakout

Thanks Hamish - was away from the office for a couple of days, noticed your entry on this after I was about to post this. I'll make it part of your thread instead now. Tomorrow I'll be calling for folks throughout our database, together with the folks from Rural Australians for Refugees, to send letters to the four, and also letters to the others who may join Petro's group and support his Bills.

-----

On February 10 I sent a letter on behalf of Project SafeCom to Petro Georgiou, Federal Member for Kooyong, congratulating him with his landmark speech in Parliament, in which he demanded the release of long-term asylum detainees from the Baxter detention centres and the granting of permanent protection visas for those on Temporary Protection Visas. Copies of the letter were sent to several liberal backbenchers: the Hon Bruce Baird, Member for Cook; Hon Jackie Kelly, Member for Lindsay; Mr John Forrest, Member for Mallee; Hon Judi Moylan, Member for Pearce; Mr Patrick Secker, Member for Barker; Marise Payne, Senator for New South Wales; and Mr Greg Hunt, Member for Flinders.

The letter makes several suggestions for parliamentary dissent within a government or within a party, drawing from international examples in recent history - examples from democratic countries. The full letter is posted on our website; here's the last section. I added the bold accent to the last sentence:

"When the Dutch government reported on its army's failure to maintain a safe haven in Kosovo as instructed by the UN, was released in the 1990's - resulting in the preventable deaths of many residents in the area - the government bowed its head in shame and resigned, yet when psychiatrists, thousands of refugee advocates, international human rights bodies, the UN, churches and Amnesty International brings out reports pointing at the serious failures of the Australian government, the team of players in the Howard administration goes into "spin mode", manipulates the information that goes out to the Australian public, and discredits all the bringers of the bad tidings, and it feels just fine about using hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of tax payer dollars to keep its shocking policies standing up."

"This is a grave situation. We ask for your help and commitment, fiercely, and in an unwavering way."

"I ask you to consider this letter, and I ask you to consider the creation of a strong group in the coalition government that opposes, loudly and clearly, many of the issues I have touched on in this letter - perhaps a group under the broad banner of "parliamentarians for human rights". Perhaps even a private member's bill could be presented about a Bill of Rights."

"Yours Sincerely,

For Project SafeCom Inc.

Jack H. Smit Coordinator
Justine Brosnan, Secretary"

Five weeks later Paul Daley wrote in The Bulletin (23 March):

"In a sign of acute internal unease at the government's conservative social policy drift since 1996, Liberal MPs told The Bulletin it was made clear that a private member's bill would be moved in defiance of the contentious government policy if federal cabinet did not reconsider the detention system."

Elizabeth Colman in The Weekend Australian on March 26 reports the same suggestions of a looming Private Members Bill:

"The Weekend Australian has learned that a proposed private members bill -- contemplated by Liberal MPs as they awaited cabinet's moves to reform the detention centre -- has not permanently moved off the table and could yet be revived."

(both articles are copied to the same page on our website, along with some other material related to the development of recurring dissent amongst the liberal backbenchers).

I don't think we've seen the end of this yet. Will Georgiou give up if Howard stifles his initiative? Will the collaborators in The Kooyong Breakout be prepared to cross the floor and vote with the ALP when they propose a judicial inquiry or a Royal Commission - because it is likely that Howard wants to muffle their democratic and independent voices?

Project SafeCom, Narrogin WA
"....proudly undermining human rights abusers since September 2001"

Steel and the man

Hey John, I can see you have used that link before. Me too. I'm confident it is a link to the most recently discovered black hole as everything that goes in there just seems to disappear.

But you know what? I can't resist it. I'll compose something sickly sweet and innocent and seek his opinion. I'll have to compose carefully to keep the cynicism out so it might take a day or so.

Even though he won't ever see it or read it.

Best.

Couldn't be sweet

Hey John, I tried but I just couldn't be sickly sweet. I tried but this is what came out:

"Dear John,

I have been quite upset about your Party's policy of mandatory detention.

Having suffered depression myself, quite severely, I am astonished that detention of the type adminstered by DIMIA is not only allowed to exist in our country in the year 2005, but actively encouraged.

In fact I have heard your good self frequently lauding this policy as being a deterrent to potential refugees. I know you name them as illegal immigrants but we differ in our opinions there.

There are a number of Liberal Party MP's who apparently are proposing to submit a Bill to Parliament which will ease the periods of detention and give normalcy to that policy.

I would encourage you to allow that Bill to be be debated and voted on with no Party pressure to oppose it. It is an issue that many Australians are ashamed about as it removes our innocence as a nation which boasts of it's multi cultural capacity and compassion.

As far as the conditions the detainees exist under I would ask that you personally undertake a period of similar treatment before you laud this policy again. I would suggest a month would be sufficient to allow you to make a fair judgement about what it does to people.

Of course you would have to be strong to do that as you would have to create in your mind an atmosphere of hope of freedom and the subsequent confusion and anger when you realise you are to be locked up and treated as sub human. As well as denied most basic human rights and having no information about if and when such treatment might end.

Perhaps after you have experienced this treatment your opinions on this matter will be treated with respect. Until then you must be viewed in the same light as many heads of governments of many nations around the world. Perhaps Iraq pre war would be a good similarity. "

Sorry. I'm turning blue already so I will breath whilst I await a knock on the door. If I stop posting suddenly, well...

Judy Moylan's reply

Heed the advice from one of the rebels themselves:


Thank you for your kind words of support on the proposal to introduce two Bills to change our mandatory detention policy. Our democratic system of government can only work effectively with your participation. The only hope for change to the mandatory detention policy rests in the
weight of public opinion.

It is important that your views and those of others who support wider public debate and changes to mandatory detention are known by the Government and the Opposition.

Please urgently contact your local Federal member and the Prime Minister to let them know of your views.


Kind Regards,
Judi Moylan MP"

(bolding mine)

Write write write to your local federal MPs and the PM. Go!

My Day

Yes !

It's all I've been doing all day. Use your contacts as well. This is an oasis opportunity to restore some dignity to our democracy.

Write, email, call, fax, text - politicians, media, networks.

not happy john!

Hi Hamish.

Acknowledgement from Petro Georgiou below.

Thank you for your message of support, which I greatly appreciate. I am committed to continuing to work for the reforms I have outlined. Please find attached an article published in "The Age" on 26 May 2005.

Why We Need A New Policy On Refugees by Petro Georgiou

Not Happy John? You betcha.

Cheers.

knock, knock...

Good One Pegasus. Don't worry about the 'knock on the door' too much: as the world's fearless fighters for freedom & democracy the Amerikan way have consistently demonstrated, they only pick on the weak & vulnerable.

By the way, I think you should send the same letter to 'bomber' Beazley before he disappears up his self-righteous & mean fundamental orifice.

Cheers.

Standard replies

Thanks for printing Petro's reply John. I received the exact same.

From Russell Broadbent, after the reply from his staffer, I received a brief reply from Russell to my letter, "

Thank you for your support and encouragement." I thought that is nice, but replied with:

"I hope you are being flooded with such support, and I appreciate how busy you must be at this time.

Today I sent you a hard copy of my email by post. I urge you to bring it to the attention of your media advisor for attention and consideration.

I live in hope that yourself and people like yourself in the ranks of the Liberal party and in the community, hope to rebuild a real Liberal party one day, with liberal social values, as well as liberal economic values. I have never voted (or early-preferenced) Liberal, but would for the first time against today’s Labor party if people like yourself, Mr Georgiou and others came to prominence.

Your Democracy is also looking out for the ALP backbenchers who will show real grit on this issue. If Mr Georgiou’s Bills get up, it will be an interesting division of the house. Let it be an outbreak of democracy either way!"

I soon after received the reply, "Thank you for your support and encouragement".

Well it is good to see they are busy with messages of support, but it does make it a little difficult to actually communicate with their offices.

Keep it up everyone.

Judi Moylan article

Judi Moylan: Detention policy fails the test of humanity

The Australian
May 26, 2005
Link to article

TWO women - Cornelia Rau and Vivian Alvarez - have finally convinced a bitterly divided Australia that reform of the mandatory detention system is needed.

But can MPs elected by the Australian people to represent them help Australians reach consensus on the way forward? I believe we can. After years working within the Liberal Party for reform with minimal success, it's time to debate the issue.

The action plan presented to the Liberal Party by Petro Georgiou, member for Kooyong, is designed to do just that. It involves two bills.

The first is to ensure that children and their families are released while their applications are considered. Pending and unsuccessful asylum-seekers in detention for more than a year would be released until their status was determined by a judicial assessor. Refugees on temporary protection visas would get permanent residency, as would asylum-seekers who cannot be removed from Australia three years after the final determination of their applications for protection.

The second bill would reform the mandatory detention system to ensure that asylum-seekers are not kept in detention for more than 90 days without good cause. All cases would be assessed by a judge on an application by the Department of Immigration, which would have to prove that release would result in a threat to public safety or that the asylum-seeker was likely to abscond. This would ensure that the administration of the law was transparent, accountable and fair.

For the majority of Australians who support some form of mandatory detention as part of strong border control, reform of that system is imperative to prevent its destruction.

The founding father of the Liberal Party, Robert Menzies, led opposition to Labor's wartime refugee removal bill. In February 1949 he warned that refugee policy "must be applied by a sensible administration, neither rigid nor peremptory but wise, exercising judgment on individual cases, always remembering the basic principle but always understanding that harsh administration never yet improved any law but only impaired it, and that notoriously harsh administration raises up to any law hostilities that may some day destroy it".

Those of us who believe reform is necessary are not radicals. I think it is fair to say that we are Liberals in the Menzian tradition. Menzies displayed compassion and for the most part a strong desire to ensure that policy united rather than divided the Australian people: "As a party and as a country we have fought hard to preserve human life and human dignity, fighting two major wars to uphold these principles."

The Liberal Party has a strong commitment to allowing members to vote according to their conscience. Respect for the dictates of the Liberal politician's conscience is one of the great differences between Labor and Liberal parties. Protection of citizens' rights against abuse of state power and the use of political power to promote equality of opportunity for all are fundamental to liberalism.

Today we preside over a policy and an administration that has seen an incapacitated citizen deported, a mentally ill Australian incarcerated as an illegal for nearly a year, and the indefinite detention of men, women and children without any charges being laid against them.

Self-harm, suicide and mental health problems are well documented. The reports have highlighted the harm done to children. This is why what may once have been a policy debate now has an ethical dimension that should see the policy openly debated in the House of Representatives, with each MP voting on our plan or an amended version according to their consciences.

I have been proud to participate in parliamentary debates on matters that go to the heart of preserving human life and dignity. These debates were conducted in a mature manner with the parties allowing a conscience vote.

Responding to a recent proposal to bring on a private member's bill on abortion for debate, the Prime Minister said he would allow a debate in the people's house: "This is Australia. It's a democracy. And people can raise anything they like."

To me it seems no less important, for reasons of conscience, to engage in a debate on asylum-seeker policy, a policy that fails the foundation test of upholding human life and human dignity.

It is for this reason that we need to openly debate this issue within the party, the parliament and the community. There is a way forward that can maintain the integrity of the border protection policy, ensure a humane policy and bridge the divide this issue has created within our communities.

Judi Moylan is the Liberal member for Pearce.

Project SafeCom, Narrogin WA
"....proudly undermining human rights abusers since September 2001"

Thank you for your support and encouragement

Hey Hamish, Thank you for your support and encouragement .

Just a jest. I got the same of course. Looks like he has an auto email reply instead of a human being. Good saving, it's the same result initially. Seriously though I'm really encouraged by the interaction of people on this and feel like I'm watching the finish of the footy last night. Edge of my seat stuff, of course I followed the Blues and that wasn't the result I was after. But we can win the next one (both issues). Best.

Hamish: Last night's result was just fine Pegasus.

Good thoughts John

Hey John, hadn't thought of that but I will.

I got what is an automated response from JH's email link as follows :

Thank you for writing to me via e-mail. I appreciate the comments
> you have made.
>
> Although there will be no further correspondence via e-mail you may
> receive a reply via Australia Post if you have supplied a postal
> address.
>
> My office may also take the liberty to forward your correspondence
> to other government ministers for their consideration.
>
> Once again, thank you for your email.
>
> Yours sincerely
>
> John Howard
> Prime Minister "

I took exception to a part of that so have replied with :

"Dear Feedback (John Howard),

I have received your automated response and although I'm sure you would have no interest in my comments I would point out to you that forwarding any email without the express approval and agreement of the author is actually restricted by copyright which prevents you doing as stated.

Thank You "

As feedback will no doubt just respond with the same auto message or even reject my response I will probably have to send it again via the email link in which case I will get another auto reply which I can again object to and...

Next installment coming soon to a forum near you!

Have to go, there's someone at the door.

Best.

love your work

Love your work... & your sense of humour Pegasus.

talking about humour

Hi Troy

Was it your pro-Liberal anti-JH campaign that was covered on JJJ prior to the election? I seem to recognise your name. If so, well done and don't give up. Maybe just making the recycling bin overflow can be an annoyance enough to get someone to pay attention.

That's who it was!

Hey John, I've been trying to puzzle this out and now I know!

Thanks for the comments. We must have a sense of the ridiculous else...

Best.

mandatory detention opinion poll

Rights Australia is sponsoring a poll on mandatory detention of asylum seekers and Petro Georgiou's Private Member's Bills. If you are interested in participating in the poll it is at http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/petitions.


You can either vote to support or oppose the poll. Senator Marise Payne has agreed to present those signatures in favour to the Senate in the form of a petition.


The poll also contains an opportunity to make comments, thereby permitting analysis to determine major themes.

Cheers.

Ze Rulez in Parliament

Hi John In terms of what is an acceptable petition in Parliament - defined by succinct guidelines. They all need to be signed personally, and the place where people sign for example needs to be on the same sheet of paper where the full text of the petition is printed. There is only 90 seconds time to speak on a tabled petition - when it gets presented to the Speaker, and only after the Speaker has established its compliance with the Parliamentary standards and guidelines - and leave to speak at this time may not necessarily be granted, that's up to the Speaker - you'll hear it when Carmen tables our petition in the week of June 14. Either Marise Payne wants to simply waive the papers and quote the number of supporters in a speech in a "private matters" timeslot (a fine idea), or she is entirely oblivious as to the (lack of) legality of this online petition. And, to make matters worse, you cannot endorse this petition unless you register with Online Opinion. I resent that - what about if I happen to think that Online Opinion is an elitist bunch of academic chardonnay-drinkers? Jack Project SafeCom, Narrogin WA "....proudly undermining human rights abusers since September 2001"

Rebels deal time?

Hey all,

On Thursday in her Webdiary column Margo wrote the following about the rebel MP's and mandatory detention:

"It seems clear that Howard will not change his basic policy line on mandatory detention, which sees DIMIA and its minister act as police officer, prosecutor, judge and jailor of boat people and people it merely “suspects

Re: Rebel's deal time?....

I'd just like to repeat part of an earlier post of mine....I make no other comment.

A very clever tactic used by backbenchers of all parties is to pick an issue which goes against the party/government's line and oppose it in the media. After the sought after publicity has been received they then back down in the interests of party solidarity or fade quietly into the background, knowing they have planted the seed in the public's mind that they oppose that line/policy.

Nothing will have changed, but they will have pulled a few votes more for the next election.

There's a very nasty word to describe this practice. It's called POLITICS.

proud as olive oil

Old Sox would be proud of you... John.

Re: Rebel's Deal Time

Hey John,

So what is your point? Should we perhaps not comment on anything as it's just "POLITICS?"  Perhaps you could just write a cover story for us on every issue in the media so we know it's not worth reading. Or you could simply ask Hamish to reprint your post under any other post.

Might as well pack up, sit in the corner muttering to yourself with wise words of wisdom which you can repeat to yourself over and over again as I'm not interested.

I'm just as cynical as you but I see no point in just putting down any comments that don't meet with your view. There are plenty of places you can do that if that's your level of support.

You don't need to make any otjher comment, do you John, as you might actually be saying something others might want to hear, you have the background to do so. Let's hear that part of you.

Rebels

Was just wondering if anyone ever considered the question I was asked the other day by a friend of mine:

He simply asked "Are you prepared to die for what you believe in?"

Quite a good question I thought, since I do believe, that rhetoric does not work anymore in Australia, and we have just a DemoCrazy left.

So all you people on this website, can you answer me that question as well?

And PLEASE ... all that is required is a 'Yes' or 'No'. Don't give me any crap and rhetoric.

Would you, or would you not?

Re: Hey John

Hi Pegasus.  Sorry it has taken me so long to answer your post but I've been ill.

I think you have completely misread my post (and my intention).

When the mandatory detention laws are changed to reflect what the "rebels" demanded in the first instance, I shall admit that I was wrong.

Hey Wolf

I will answer your question. Yes, I am prepared to die for what I believe in.

Wolf

Wolf, I think that is the silliest question that anyone should be asked. It means that someone is out there who wants to kill you for what you believe. If there wasn't you would not have to die for what you believe. Anyone who wants to kill you for what you believe should be locked up as they are mental and dangerous to society. Why should you anwser that stupid question as the stupidity is on the person who wants to kill. And the person who asked you was a friend? Watch your back, Wolf, a friend maybe too close.

Which year were you born in?

Reading your answer makes you about 25? You have really no clue about life yet.

If I am wrong, and you are older, I just say... you have not learned a thing!

Silly Question ey?

Maybe to you, 'cos you might be good at writing down your thoughts, but if it would come to the crunch... you would be one of the people that back out, and would deny they ever had anything to do with anything!

If you knew history you would know that only people who were prepared to die for what they believed in made a change in this world.

And yes, I do watch my back :)... cos people like YOU are the ones that would have no problem stabbing into it!

Good to know

Good to know Jolanda, that at least one person on this website is not just in here for the glory of writing opinions, but thinks clearer than the rest of the Nation.

Galileo Galilei

I disagree that "If you knew history you would know that only people who were prepared to die for what they believed in made a change in this world." I say crap to that... History mostly records those who have done something major, whether they died for it or not... But a lot of the world is also changed by little people who influence the direction of the masters of the Universe. Many people have changed the world with their beliefs without having to die for it... It's such a Christian viewpoint to think that dying for your beliefs is the only way to change the world... Rubbish.... Horses for courses.... And usually the most successful people are the one who did not die ffor what they believed but managed to let their point of view prevail...

Galileo Galilei

Not sure what this discussion is about but I agree, it is the strong who manage to let their point of view prevail and work on tirelessly no matter what others think.

There is a great story somewhere in the Not Happy John!  archives about Mary Mckillop, Australia's first saint in waiting,  you may like to find it and put it some where for people to read, as she had so much courage, and even carried on after the church had excommunicated  her.

Mary's work of course was so spot on for the Australia then and even now,  the church re reinstated this wonderful nun, who of course was the founder of the Sisters of St Joseph.

She is someone that many could live up to day.