Bleats

We Were Literally Spared From The Worst Of Australia's Far Right Due To Their Incompetence

Thank god.

For all the headline-grabbing antics far-right groups and figureheads get up to in Australia, they’re generally the Auspol equivalent of a chihuahua: all bark, no bite.

While the lack of effectiveness from the far right in Australia is a good thing, apparently it’s more to do with incompetent leadership more than anything else.

According to submissions to the Senate nationhood inquiry from two academic experts (via The Guardian), Glenn Kefford and Duncan McDonnell, Australia has avoided a big populism (a political approach that tries to appeal to “ordinary” people by emphasising that their concerns are being disregarded by the “elite”) problem only because leadership on the far right is so bloody useless.

The pair submitted that “radical right populism” was nothing more than a “marginal force” in Australia compared to European countries such as Australia, Finland and Italy.

Noting how Australia and major Western European nations are similar in terms of how democracy functions, Kefford and McDonnell note that the only reason why the far right doesn’t wield more power compared to European countries is due to “leadership problems” rather than any desire for right-wing politics and noted the “turmoil that has plagued a party such as One Nation” as an example.

So in other words, Pauline Hanson did us all a favour.

The far right in Australia in a nutshell.

That being said though, Kefford and McDonnell warn us to not underestimate the potential rise of populist parties in Australia. The pair not only urged major political parties to defend multiculturalism while putting parties with a populism kink at the bottom of every voting card, they also warned that major parties doing “short-term deals” with extremist groups “legitimises” their positions and puts democracy at risk.

Sounds like we’ve been riding on a wave of right-wing leadership incompetence, but now’s the time to keep an eye on them just in case a few of these folks wise up and start to stir the pot with some semblance of competence.

Scott Morrison Appears To Have Chucked A Harold Holt By Disappearing Off This Burning Earth

Not sure if Harold Holt is the PM you want to imitate, Scott.

It’s been a particularly difficult bushfire season and it seems like everything is on fire. But while Australia is burning, our Prime Minister Scott Morrison appears to have taken a leaf from Harold Holt and disappeared off the face of this charred earth without a single trace.

We thought we were being paranoid but after some digging, it seems like something fishy is afoot.

When the bushfires started getting out of hand in NSW and QLD at the beginning of November, Scotty was going around and offering “thoughts and prayers” to the poor victims while ignoring calls for action on climate change.

After a few more days of rubbing shoulders and posing for photos, Scott Morrison just… disappeared from the public eye. No phone call, text or a final “thoughts and prayers.” He just upped and went.

His most recent Facebook post was a thing about drought relief from November 14 while his most recent tweet was from November 12. That’s the longest period of time between social posts we’ve gotten from ol’ mate and it’s starting to worry us.

So to sum up the situation so far, Australia is in the midst of a terrible bushfire crisis and Scott Morrison, who is our Prime Minister and our country’s leader by the way, has gone AWOL rather than helping to lead this country out of trouble.

Not sure if playing the Harold Holt card at this particular point in time is the best move for Scotty. Then again, our Deputy PM has been going around telling people he knows more about bushfires than scientists so perhaps they know something we don’t know. Just sayin’.

We’re far from the only ones who have noticed Scott Morrison’s conspicuous absence as the folks on Twitter have started trending “#WheresScotty” and “#HaroldHolt” hashtags to highlight our PM’s convenient disappearance from the public eye.

Can’t imagine this Harold Holt-esque move has anything to do with former Australian fire chiefs saying the Coalition ignored their advice because they didn’t want to talk about climate change, or the increasing number of frustrated farmers who want action on climate change from Scotty.

Now no one really knows what exactly is going on with Scott Morrison and his sudden disappearance mid-bushfire season. Hell, he might just be taking a few sick days off because giving out all those “thoughts and prayers” to folks who have lost their homes in the blaze can take a toll.

Or perhaps his staff took his phone away from him and put him in the time out corner.

UPDATE

Okay, it appears someone has spotted a Scott Morrison out in the wild!

Ol’ mate was spotted rubbing shoulders with folks at the record-breaking Sydney to London Qantas flight.

Cool, after you’re done, Scott, maybe shift your attention back to the bushfires. Those are still going on in case you didn’t know.

Gladys, How Are You OK With NSW Police Strip-Searching Children?

It's not a good look for a NSW Premier.

Hey Gladys Berejiklian, you’re the NSW premier, yeah? Okay cool, just wanted to get your thoughts on the horrendous stuff that has come out on NSW police strip-searching young girls.

According to The Guardian, NSW police have performed strip-searches on 3,919 women in the state since 2016 based on data acquired by the Redfern Legal Centre under freedom of information laws. That’s a pretty high number but that’s not the worrying statistic.

Of the 3,919 strip-searches, 122 of them were performed young girls under the age of 18 over the last three years. And as the bitter cherry on top of this horrendous cake, eight girls were only 13 years old and two were only 12 years old.

As for how successful the strip-searches were, the obtained data shows that 66 percent found nothing while 28 percent of the searches were performed using “drug-dog detection” as the reason.

This is just the latest incident in a series of negative things that seem to be smacking the NSW police of late, like the watchdog investigation into the controversial strip-search of a 16-year-old girl at the 2018 Splendour in the Grass festival.

Speaking to The Guardian, head of police accountability at the Redfern Legal Centre, Samantha Lee, says:

“We know from the recent LECC hearings that young women are being asked to squat, and in the LECC case, an officer got on the ground and looked underneath the young woman.

“How many other young women have been subjected to such concerning police practice?”

So Gladys, how exactly are you okay with the NSW police strip-searching so many women, some of whom are underaged and likely have no clue about what their legal rights are?

You’re the NSW premier and essentially the face of all this. You’re basically the boss of all this so how can you let this sort of behaviour by the NSW police slide? It’s not a good look for the boss of a workplace, Gladys, let alone the top tog of the state.

A spokesperson for the NSW police has issued out a response (via The Guardian) stating that it was “not appropriate” to comment on the LECC’s ongoing inquiring into strip-searches. They reasoned that police “do not enjoy carrying out strip-searches” but it is “a power that has been entrusted to [them] and searches reveal drugs and weapons”.

“People who are trying to hide such items frequently secrete them in private places, and the only way to locate them is by a strip-search, which may involve asking the person to squat.”

The spokesperson didn’t address anything about strip-searching girls as young as 12 but said that strip-searches represented “fewer than one percent of the total number of searches” and 20 percent of strip-searches occurred due to indications of drug detection.

“The use of drug-detection dogs in operational policing is a highly specialised field and NSWPF is committed to ensuring that our training is the best it can be and that the use of drug-detection dogs reflects world’s best practise.

“There are additional safeguards for children and vulnerable people with which police must comply; officers are trained to deal with the public in a respectful and empathetic manner.”

At the time of writing, the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) carrying out an inquiry into whether it is illegal to force people to squat during a strip-search.

Pop-up Channel

Follow Us