Hard right Conservative South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi, who in 2012 year was removed as parliamentary secretary and opposition whip to Tony Abbott as a result of arguing that same-sex marriages would lead to legalised polygamy and bestiality, is no stranger to controversy. A noted climate change sceptic, and critic of both Islam and publicly-funded broadcasting, Bernardi has just published his manifesto -- The Conservative Revolution -- calling for "a reversal back to sanity and reason". Reviews on Amazon have been less than favourable, but his book has put contentious issues such as abortion, the structure of the modern family and WorkChoices firmly at centrestage as the unpopular conservative government seeks to reconnect with voters who so comprehensively removed the Labor Party from Government in September 2013. Some argue that the danger in Bernardi's comments is that they shift the goalposts on what is considered outrageous, and re-ignite the culture wars. Or is it too late? The Prime Minister has again been forced to distance himself from Bernardi's views, and Warren Entch has criticised him for his "gay obsession". In 2012 the Global Mail called him Australia's Sarah Palin, but he also shares the Six Fs philosophy of Rick Santorum: Faith, Family, Flag, Free enterprise, Federation and Freedom.
Strewth! It's bloody Christmas? Stone the flamin' crows, why would you be a Darth Drongo and watch The Star Wars Holiday Special when you can crack a coldie and watch the 30-minute fan filmStar Wars Down Under? (Trailer) (Website) [more inside]
Earlier this month Australian Christian Lobby head Jim Wallace suggested a homosexual lifestyle was more hazardous to health than smoking, but he was not was not comparing homosexuality with smoking. Smokers were offended. Last night, on the ABC's Q&A program (Transcript) the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, backed the comments, claiming ''It's very hard to get to the facts here because we don't want to talk about it, and in this country censorship is alive and well.". But Wallace's claims were based on a 25-year-old study by a discredited researcher. [more inside]
After more than 15 years on hiatus, the punk-spawned, world-music-defining Dead Can Dance released their eighth album Anastasis one month ago. The reunited act are on a world tour. [more inside]
One week after telling Australian workers that they too can be millionaires if they spend more time working and less time smoking, drinking and socialising and for a lowering of the minimum wage, Australian iron ore billionaire Gina Rinehart (Previously) has released a video repeating her calls for a special economic zone for Northern Australia with fewer regulations and lower taxes. Some have noticed that she also seems okay with paying African workers $2 a day. She makes $2 million an hour. Her video has been derided by the Government, but the Liberal Party believe her idea for a Special Economic Zone is worth exploring.
Thirty-seven years after the dramatic events of the Dismissal, in which the Governer-General sacked the Prime Minister of Australia, replacing him with opposition leader Malcolm Fraser, new revelations have come to light showing that Sir John Kerr made inquiries into the potential dismissal of the Whitlam Government months before it happened on November 11, 1970. Kerr's papers also unmask High Court justice Anthony Mason's role in the saga. Mason extensively and secretly counselled Kerr during the crisis, canvassed the use of the reserve powers to dismiss Whitlam and drafted a letter of dismissal for Kerr to use. The revelations are made in a new book on the life of dumped PM Gough Whitlam.
A Government-convened expert group has suggested that Australia return to the so-called Pacific Solution to deal with its asylum-seeker conundrum, and break a political impasse. [more inside]
A new, controversial super-trawler, the Dutch-owned FV Margiris, has set sail for Tasmania, off the south-east coast of Australia, to take a haul of jack mackerel and redbait, prompting concerns it is going to decimate several Australian fish stocks as factory fishing has done elsewhere in the world. Greenpeace claims the industrial super-trawler is part of the European Association of pelagic freezer trawlers (PFA), responsible for "some of the worst fishing excesses on the planet.'' It is scheduled to be roaming between the Tasman Sea and Western Australia this spring. [more inside]
The man likely to be Australia's next Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has used a lunchtime speech to the conservative think-tank the Institute of Public Affairs to call for Australia's racial vilification laws to be wound back. Section 18C makes race hate speech unlawful, but not illegal. Abbott's calls come in the same week that Facebook has been in the firing-line over hosting the controversial "Aboriginal Memes" page. [more inside]