08 October 2017


Michael Danby is obsessed with the Israel Narrative!

Labor MP Michael Danby used taxpayer funds for ad attacking ABC journalist Sophie McNeill

The Age 041017
Adam Gartrell

A federal Labor MP has admitted he charged taxpayers to take out an ad attacking an ABC journalist.
Melbourne backbencher Michael Danby took out the ad in Australian Jewish News, which suggested ABC foreign correspondent Sophie McNeill had "double standards" when reporting on Israel and Palestine.
The ad, which features two men praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, claims McNeill filed "no report" on three Jewish Israelis who were stabbed to death in July while celebrating Shabbat.
The ABC has since rubbished those claims, pointing out in a statement that McNeill "gave due prominence" to the fatal stabbings and filed reports for TV, radio and the national broadcaster's website.

Labor MP Michael Danby has taken out an ad in Australian Jewish News criticising the ABC's Sophie McNeill. Photo: Twitter
"The coverage included graphic accounts of the attack from witnesses and first responders," the statement reads.

"This advertisement is part of a pattern of inaccurate and highly inappropriate personal attacks on Ms McNeill by Mr Danby. The ABC has complete confidence in the professionalism of Ms McNeill. Despite unprecedented scrutiny and obvious pre-judgement by Mr Danby and others, her work has been demonstrably accurate and impartial."

Australian @MichaelDanbyMP has published this advertisement in @aus_jewishnews regarding @Sophiemcneill double standards reporting on Israel pic.twitter.com/9aUt02gYqq
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) September 30, 2017
Mr Danby admitted he had used a "small amount" from his taxpayer-funded electoral allowances to take out the "discounted ad".

"We have advertised far more extensively over the past year on penalty rates, marriage equality, the NBN, unfair federal infrastructure spending allocation to Victoria, Human Rights and apportion our expenditure to cover all interests in Melbourne Ports. All advertising from my office meets parliamentary guidelines," Mr Danby told Fairfax Media.

He said contrary to the ABC's claims, Ms McNeill did not mention the Jewish Soloman family by name or give them the same prominence and treatment she gave the Palestinian Shamasneh family.
Paul Murphy, the chief executive of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, also defended McNeill's coverage.

"Sophie McNeill won two Walkleys last year for her work," he said. "The criticism from Michael Danby is ludicrous and offensive."

It is not the first time the MP for Melbourne Ports has criticised McNeill's reporting. In the past, he has called her an "advocacy journalist" on social media and has claimed she is obsessed with the "Palestinian narrative".

20 September 2017


 I am nearly 91 years old and I have read a great deal since I started reading at the age of 5 or 6.

During the subsequent 85 years I have read things which are interesting and educational and enlightening, and I have read a great many things which were just for entertainment.

Some of what I have read has been ridiculous and full of nonsense and just plain stupid.

The inside and outside of this leaflet contains some of the most absurd, nonsensical, homophobic rubbish that I have ever looked at and, believe me, that is saying something.

All of this nonsense is because the Australian parliament is so full of stupid and ignorant people that we are left with a political vacuum which allows this bullshit to be perpetrated on a public who don't understand what it is all about and who absorb a great deal of the crap these people spout as if it was gospel, whereas it is all untrue and perpetuates stereotype and falsity from start to finish.

How long before people begin to understand that they are being taken for a ride by unprincipled and are of hypocritical so-called religious "persuasions" who are ignorant, evil, malicious and don't even know what they are talking about.

This is the sort of trash that people were afraid would happen if this sort of campaign went ahead, and it is no doubt what the Australian prime minister hoped would happen.

Whatever happened to human rights in Australia?

Hopefully it will have consequences.

19 September 2017


We  discovered that Unit 1 at 12 Murphy Grove, Preston, Vic 3072, belonged to the Department of Health and Human Services of the Victorian State government some time after we had bought unit 2 and moved into it in February 2001.

Unit 1 is what is called transitional housing which we are given to understand is so that the tenants who are placed there are in some sort of emergency situation and are to be in this transitional housing unit for a limited period of time, until more suitable accommodation can be found for them.

The property is supposed to be managed by an organisation called Loddon Mallee Housing Services, trading as Haven; Home, Safe whose address is 52-56 Mary Street, Preston, Vic 3072, phone number 03 9479 0731.

At the moment, 19 September 2017, the Tenancy and Property Manager is Susan Hallorina. (email: susan.hallorina@hhs.org.au and web address http://www.havenhomesafe.org.au)

The two units are what I believe are called villa units and unit 1 is the front one and faces onto the street, Murphy Grove.

This has had, as far as we can make out, 13 different tenants or groups of tenants, with differing numbers of people each time, some being adults only, some being women with children who have been in situations of domestic violence, some have been migrants and some whose circumstances we have not been able to find any details about.

The tenants who have lived there have been good, bad, and impossible, and the reason that I am writing this blog is that the current tenants fall into the impossible category.

I notice that in the web pages of Haven; Home, Safe, there is no mention of how this organisation explores the needs of the neighbours of the housing they manage, so that people like us seem to have no recourse to the people who are thrust upon us and we have no support.

My only recourse is to publicly expose the ugly side of what is happening to us at the moment and hope that some organisation acts on this mess and helps to calm our situation down somewhat.

Don't hold your breath!

Attached hereto are some illustrative photos with more to come when possible.

It should also be noted that the people in unit 1 seem to be in possession of 3 cars.

Notices at the entrance to 12 Murphy Grove and outside unit 2 about No Parking in the driveway seem to have been not noticed by the tenants of unit 1 until at least two complaints were made to the organisation supposedly looking after unit 1. There is still the occasional vehicle parked in the driveway.

Darebin Council do not seem to have been in any hurry to get the residents of unit 1 to remove this junk from the pavement outside 12 Murphy Grove.

13 September 2017


South Africa - Daily Maverick

Remembering Biko: Black Consciousness Movement leader's killers must sit in the dock

  • Greg Nicolson
  • South Africa
  • 11 Reactions
Forty years after police killed Black Consciousness Movement leader Steve Biko, no one has been prosecuted. That’s despite five officers being denied amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As the country commemorates another year since the struggle hero was killed, the inquest into Biko’s death should be reopened. The recent inquest into Ahmed Timol’s death sets an example.


In 2014, auctioneers Westgate Walding tried to sell Steve Biko and Ahmed Timol’s original autopsy documents. Biko’s had a reserve of R70,000 to R100,000. The families of Timol, who was allegedly killed by apartheid police in 1971, and Biko, killed by police in 1977, hired the same pathologist to conduct autopsies. He left his records to his assistant and when she died they ended up with her children. Then Westgate and Walding tried to sell the autopsies, including certificates from pathologists and post-mortem reports.

The auction was interdicted, but the grotesque attempt was symbolic. How can someone so blatantly disrespect South African struggle heroes, who were killed while fighting for freedom, their remaining loved ones, and the country? It’s simple, really: because justice, much like democracy, has never quite arrived and we commemorate the dead without actually honouring them.

Today marks 40 years since the 30-year-old activist and intellectual Steve Biko died of brain injuries after he was arrested in Port Elizabeth. He was severely beaten by cops, shackled and driven naked in the back of a police vehicle to Pretoria where he died in a prison cell. He had an international reputation and his death drew condemnation from around the world. But no one involved in the killing of one of the country’s most important struggle leaders has faced consequences. Not during apartheid. Not in democracy.

Biko was arrested in August 1977, like others who were seen as influential to the student protests a year before. The then minister of justice and police, Jimmy Kruger, claimed he died in custody while on a hunger strike. He was said to be the 20th person to have died in custody in the preceding 18 months. Journalists exposed Kruger’s lie and an inquest was established.

“On the available evidence the death cannot be attributed to any act or omission amounting to a criminal offence,” ruled the magistrate.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) disagreed. Five police officers applied for amnesty – Harold Snyman, Gideon Nieuwoudt, Ruben Marx, Daantjie Siebert and Johan Beneke. The TRC  rejected their version of events, calling them improbable and contradictory. It said they weren’t credible witnesses.

 “They had clearly conspired to conceal the truth of what led to the tragic death of Biko soon after the incident and have persisted in this attitude before us.”

The amnesty applications were rejected, but in 2003 the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) declined to prosecute. It said there was insufficient evidence to justify charges, with a lack of eyewitnesses, but it might reconsider its decision if new evidence emerged.

On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma will visit Kgosi Mampuru Prison and lay a wreath in the cell where Biko died. “Steve Biko fought white supremacy and was equally disturbed by what he saw as an inferiority complex amongst black people. He emphasised the need for psychological liberation for black people, to accompany physical liberation to undo the damage caused by apartheid,” said Zuma on Monday. “He advocated black pride and black self-reliance, believing that black people should be their own liberators and lead organisations fighting for freedom.”

Commemorations that don’t call for justice are disingenuous. That’s where Timol comes back in. Officially, an apartheid inquest found the former SACP leader died after jumping off the 10th story of Johannesburg’s infamous John Vorster police station. His family fought for years for the NPA to reopen the inquest. After resistance, or perhaps incompetence, the NPA finally reopened the inquest, which was held recently in Pretoria.

Witnesses were called to the stand. The gruesome details of apartheid police’s detainment and torture techniques were once again revealed. Different versions of how Timol died were interrogated. Pathology reports, after the auctioneer who owns them allowed access, were scrutinised. The court is still to deliver its findings, but Timol’s family was finally allowed a chance to find out more about what happened and who might have been responsible.

Such inquests are legally established to make four findings: who died, when they died, how they died, and if anyone is responsible and should be recommended for investigation and possible charges.

Biko’s death received far greater attention than Timol’s. But neither the media reports, the 1977 inquest, or the TRC process can be seen as sufficiently comprehensive. Five people asked for amnesty for Biko’s death, but do we know all the facts? Were there others involved who did not come forward? How many people were involved in the attempted cover up? Can new evidence be unearthed that could justify criminal charges against those involved?

Whether the inquest into Biko’s killing is reopened or not will likely depend on whether his family wants to pursue it. There are pitfalls. Timol’s family had to doggedly pursue the NPA to get the process started. Then they had to sit through painful testimonies.

But Biko’s legacy is only becoming more and more important in South Africa. His voice has an increasingly prominent influence on modern politics, particularly amongst student activists calling for rapid and far-reaching change. The country deserves to know more about how he was killed. It deserves to see those involved cross-examined in a courtroom. DM

07 September 2017


The same-sex vote, put on for the amusement of the Australian population is a total fraud from start to finish because they would have one believe that if the yes vote succeeds, they will then put a vote through the federal parliament changing the definition of marriage to include the clause - "including same-sex people".

This postal vote idea is to fool people into believing that something will definitely be done to institute same-sex marriage - but the vote is non-binding,and if the vote is yes,when it gets to parliament the parliamentarians can just ignore it or reject it.

Where is the certainty? where is the sincerity? where is the honesty? This government, and indeed its loyal opposition which in 2004 supported the changes to the marriage act reinforcing for ever that marriage would only ever between a man and a woman.

Who do you believe? Who do you trust?

To me it is all a fraudulent activity and a waste of time and money.

I will not waste my time - or money giving it any support or further thought in the whole process.


Today, Thursday 7 September 2017, The Victorian State government has once again refused to consider the introduction of a safe injecting room in Richmond in inner Melbourne, despite so many of the residents of the area approving the idea of having such a trial injecting room for Melbourne similar to the one which has been operating in the King's Cross area of Sydney - that most progressive of states (not!! sic) - for some years with great success.

What is their problem? are they getting money out of the drug dealers in the state? Is some other problem, such as religious fanaticism stopping them, or are they, after all, not as progressive as they would like us to think?

At the end of the day, more people will die because the government of Victoria has failed to act - yet again - on a matter of vital importance to the community.

And in the longer term they are failing in another way, because drug control doesn't work and the answer is to legalise the drugs that are causing the most harm, and control their use by selling them in a safe supply system. But unheard of while the USA controls the way drugs are sold around the world.

04 September 2017


Al Jazeera

Letter from Gaza: 'Alive due to lack of death'

Gaza-born Jehad Abusalim describes the devastating effects of Israel's blockade on the daily lives of Palestinians.

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'When the electricity goes out, the silence is deafening' [File: Mohammed Salem/Reuters]


In Gaza, entire families sit in the darkness of their living rooms, with candles generating the only light. Dozens of families have lost loved ones in house fires.

Propane is scarce, and small generators are unsafe and hard to come by. They are usually smuggled through tunnels and poorly made. One of my college professors lost three children (a 14-year-old and eight-year-old twins) after their generator exploded.

Gaza residents face so much hardship and pain, just to secure one of life's basic necessities.

When the electricity goes out, the silence is deafening. Everything grinds to a halt: refrigerators, televisions, hospital equipment, water pumps and fans. Modern life stops. The quiet allows us to imagine what the world was like before we were immersed in the noise of car horns and the hum and buzz of modern machines. Later, the quiet is replaced by a storm of sound as generators whir and screech back to life.

I will never forget the afternoon when I asked my father how long he thought the blockade would last.

"A  few months, my son. A few months. It won't take long," he answered.

A few weeks ago, more than a decade since the Israeli blockade of Gaza was implemented, I spoke with my father again and reminded him of what he said that day. I could practically feel his sorrow and grief through the phone.

"I don't know how many 10 years there are in one's life," he answered, crushed by the naivete of his statement all those years ago.

How is it acceptable that in 2017, Gaza's residents, including my own family, have to spend so much of their time worrying about water, light and food? What justifies a policy that causes toddlers like my younger brother to soak in sweat during the night and place their cheeks on the cool tile floor to escape the heat of Gaza's nights?

No peace can come from forcing thousands of people to wait until dawn for their weekly share of water, while on the other side of the border, Israelis take dips in swimming pools and enjoy unlimited access to fresh water.

Nowadays, if you ask Palestinians in Gaza how they are doing, they might answer: "Alive, due to lack of death." This commonly used expression captures the dreadfulness of everyday life in Gaza.
It pains me to say this, but Gaza will inevitably fall apart. Every second in Gaza under Israel's blockade - where water and medical care are luxuries - is tainted by tragedy. Every time a family cannot afford to put food on the table, every time a house fire claims yet another victim, every time a cancer patient cannot acquire life-saving treatment or another desperate person ends their life, the horror of the blockade comes into full view.

So long as Israel maintains control over Palestinian lives but denies them their basic rights and freedoms, it cannot call itself a democracy.

The United Nations has declared Gaza "unlivable", and the blockade creates a slow, collective death. What will it take to convince the international community that the people of Gaza, like all people on this Earth, deserve to live in dignity?

More and more people are joining the effort to advocate for Palestinian freedom, including by participating in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. It is time we end the blockade on Gaza and set the Palestinian people free.

Jehad Abusalim is a doctoral student at New York University and a policy analyst with Al-Shabaka, The Palestinian Policy Network.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.
Source: Al Jazeera

01 September 2017


Think labour parties and think progressive - right? Wrong!

Think injecting rooms for druggies to have somewhere safe to monitor their use of drugs, such as the one in Sydney at King's Cross, and think of Richmond in Melbourne which is the ideal area for a safe injecting room where it is most needed, and think of the Andrews government's emphatic refusal to even contemplate such an idea.

Lives are saved by having such facilities and this has been acknowledged for years in overseas countries and in some areas of Australia, but in Victoria? As Eliza Doolittle says, "not bloody likely!".


The above sign was seen in an upstairs window above a shop in High Street, Thornbury, Melbourne, and the sign reads:



When one assesses the total number of human beings involved with this disaster, the number is so tiny in proportion to the refugee problems everywhere else in the world that it adds to Australia's shame that this has been allowed to happen at all, and to continue for so long without roars of outrage from the Australian population.

Which all goes to show how dulled are the senses and sensibilities of the Australian population.

And then think of the numbers who come by plane who outstay their visas and the responses of the politicians to the whole sorry saga.

It is all totally heartbreaking, and do you think anybody will read this and feel ashamed of their attitudes to asylum seekers? Of course not!

Peter Dutton makes one ashamed of the human race, together with his government and their loyal opposition.

Each time the federal government does or says something about asylum seekers that hasn't been done or said before, it doesn't take long to see they have all sunk to depths no one could have believed was possible.

Their cruelty is no different from the dictatorships and police states which we have seen so much of in the 20th century and which has carried on into the 21st century. It just reaches new levels of depravity all the time.

It is only a matter of time before politicians in Australia follow the lead of their zionist masters and start a genocide of sorts against asylum seekers who now seem to have no possibility of resolution to their problems after fleeing from the countries which were persecuting them.

25 August 2017


This barrage of noise about marriage equality is a side issue and a smoke screen.

What we want is EQUALITY - with EQUALITY comes every other equality, including "marriage equality".

This ongoing argument and the demand for parliamentary votes and referenda and similar parliamentary nonsense is just that - nonsense.

Parliament would never agree to give gay, lesbian, transgender, HIV/AIDS and other "different" population groups equality because it would mean there would be more people around demanding other rights - although once we had equality, we would presumably have all the rights we legally need.

The country is wasting billions of dollars and resources over this whole nonsense - money which could be put to greater use for groups needing assistance with health, education, employment and other issues, and the more we spend on nonsense the more we take out of the common pool, and the more time people spend on this nonsense the more human resources are spent on issues which are really only side issues.

Marriage is not an institution we should be encouraging - if people want to live together but don't want to get married - they are doing it anyway, all the time, every day, not just heterosexuals, but homosexuals ans everybody else who wants to - why waste time and energy on an irrelevance?

What we want is Equality and we want it NOW!

22 August 2017



Pauline Sheila Lipson was born in Johannesburg on 12 April 1927. Her parents's surname was Spitz, and Pauline and I became "first cousins" when my mother, a widow with two small children, married my stepfather Maurice Spitz on 2 November 1931.

Mo, as my stepfather was known to one and all, was the youngest brother of Pauline's father, Harry, in a family of ten children, six brothers and four sisters.

Pauline was an only child, and we were both 5 years old when my mother married Mo Spitz.

At that stage we lived in an inner city suburb in Johannesburg called Berea, and we were there throughout our school years and until we left school.

We had two schools in the area near us - an all-girls school called the Johannesburg Girls High School, also known as Barnato Park, and an all-boys school called King Edward VII School, and both were in walking distance from our homes in Berea.

We were at each school from our primary years till the end of our secondary years when we matriculated.

Over those growing up years Pauline and I saw each other regularly - our parents were great bridge players and they had many friends in common, apart from the family connection.

 One of the boys I was at school with lived at the other end of the same street that I lived in and his name was David Marcus. David had a first cousin called Arnold Lipson who was the youngest of 7 children and they lived in a very large house in a suburb some distance from where we lived and the house had a tennis court in the grounds. Occasionally we went there for a game of tennis and so I met Arnie Lipson who a few years later, met Pauline Spitz and married her around the time of Pauline's 21st birthday, in April 1948, and so we became related.

With Pauline being married and me still being at university, we saw each other less and less in those days, but never lost touch.

The next connection was of a totally different sort. When Pauline finished school she became an articled clerk to a lawyer for her practical training to become a lawyer. The lawyer's name was Siegfried Raphaely and he was a cousin of my father Morris De Saxe who had died in 1930 when he was 31 and I was three years old.

When Siegfried retired (or died - I don't remember which sequence of events occurred!) Pauline worked for his son Pat Raphaely, who took over his father's legal practice. I think she worked there until she finished her articles.

I think before Pauline had ever heard of Legal Aid, and during the period after the start of World War II after 1939 when I was at high school in Johannesburg, and helpers in organisations such as Legal Aid were not easy to obtain, I used to work there during my school holidays as a messenger boy and general "dog's body" as people like me were called at the time, running errands from the basement of the Johannesburg Magistrates' Court, where Legal Aid had been "generously" provided with accommodation.

And then the next series of events which brought Pauline into the Legal Aid Bureau in Johannesburg:
My aunt Mary Kuper started work at Legal Aid in the 1930s with Ruth Heyman who was, I think, its first director. When Ruth left, my aunt took over the running of Legal Aid and stayed there until 1948, when she died of leukaemia aged 46. A few years later Pauline went to work at Legal Aid.

I am six months older than Pauline, and we have been friends from then on until her death in Melbourne a few weeks ago, on 30 July 2017, when she was 90 years old.

The photo below was taken at the bottom of the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens on Sydney Harbour when Pauline and Arnold Lipson visited me in Sydney for the first time in early 1993:

We placed this notice in The Age newspaper on Friday 4 AUGUST 2017:

(this is  a work in progress as at 27 August 2017)

On 10 April 2001 Pauline was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at the University of the Witwatersrand , Johannesburg.

The Order of Procedure for the Conferment of the honorary degree is the fourth item down:

Doctor of Laws

Presented by Professor W D Reekie Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management BCom (Edin) PhD(Strath)

Pauline Sheila Lipson
The Citation:

Pauline Lipson was born in Johannesburg in 127 and attended the Johannesburg High School for Girls. In 1945, she entered into articles of clerkship with a firm of attorneys. In 1946 and 1947, while doing her articles, she studied law part-time at the University of the Witwatersrand. She completred her professional qualifications in 1950.

At the end of that year, she was approached to take over the running of the Johannesburg Legal Aid Bureau on a temporary basis until a suitable permanent director was appointed. There was no need to look any further. The Legal Aid had found its permanent director.

The Legal Aid Bureau, founded in 1937, provided legal advice to underprivileged clients and secured them representation in court long before it was fashionable to do so. Its survival through the second half of the twentieth century was entirely due to Pauline Lipson's resourcefulness and dedication, her tenaciousness and her courage.

Lipson's first child was born in June 1950, shortly before she joined the Bureau. She took maternity leave in 1953 and 1955 (sic) to have two further children but her involvement never wavered. Thanks to her stewardship the Bureau grew into one of the most significant providers of legal services to indigent South Africans and by April 1999 it was staffed by sixteen paid employees and a large number of volunteer workers.

As Director, her duties included giving legal advice and assistance in a diverse range of fields. She negotiated with employers, with other practitioners, with welfare and non-governmental organisations, and with government departments. She also became expert in training law students and provided 'in-house' tutelage to students from Wits University, the University of the North and the University of Zululand.

Her chosen career required her to have superhuman qualities - tact, persistence, a sense of humour and what can only be described as great-heartedness. She applied legendary powers of persuasion in getting legal practitioners in Johannesburg to become actively involved in the Bureau's work and in raising funds for it. These attributes have, with the passage of time, led to her becoming an icon among legal practitioners in Johannesburg. Few other lawyers are as widely known among ordinary people, or as deeply respected for their contribution to the welfare of the less privileged members of our society.

Constitutional Court President, Justice Arthur Chaskalson, has said of Lipson:

                 If we are to address our past in a meaningful way and transform our
                 society into one in which the constitutional aspirations of
                 democracy, human dignity, equality and freedom are to be realised
                 in substance as well as form, our country needs people like Pauline
                 Lipson who, in different fields of endeavour, are willing to commit
                 themselves to doing what is necessary to create a fair and just
                 society. In acknowledging Lipson's lifetime commitment to justice,
                 and the sacrifices she has made in pursuit of that end, Wits is
                 identifying with and recognising the importance of such a

In a letter to the Chancellor of this university in support of the proposal that an honorary doctorate be conferred upon Pauline Lipson, former Presiden Nelson Mandela writes as follows:

                 I first became aware of her work as Director of the Legal Aid
                 Bureau during the early 1950s. At the time, and for a number of
                 years thereafter, the Bureau was the only body to whom the indigent
                 could turn for legal assistance. Pauline Lipson dedicated herself to
                 the task. I still remember when the Legal Aid Bureau's offices were
                 in the Old Post Office building in Rissik Street. The 'Native'
                 Divorce Court was also there. The offices of Mandela and Tambo
                 were in Chancellor House opposite the Magistrate's Court - too far
                 for me to go back during short adjournments. I availed myself of
                 Pauline Lipson's friendship and hospitality. I went to her office to
                 make urgent telephone calls and to have tea. The waiting room was
                 full of men and women who had come for help. Pauline would
                 interrupt a busy schedule of interviewing people and urging young
                 members of the Bar and attorneys to appear on behalf of her non-
                 paying clients. She was a persuasive lady to whom few of us could
                 say no.

Pauline Lipson is one of the unsung heroines of the struggle for a just and equitable legal system in South Africa. She has been a champion who devoted her entire professional life to an attempt to provide indigent persons with access to justice. It is fitting that this university should pay tribute to her contribution bu conferring upon her the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa.

I believe the person on the left is the other PhD graduand - Joy ChristineNalukwago Lwanga-Lumu.

From left to right I believe we have: Chairman of Council The Honourable Justice E Cameron, Joy Christine Nalukwago Lwanga-Lumu, Pauline Sheila Lipson, President of Convocation Professor John Shochot.


17 August 2017


Israel is trying to terrorise any group or organisation which gets involved in planning any action or campaign spreading the message about the evils of the Israeli government and its genocidal, apartheid, murderous activities against the Palestinians - in the USA against educational institutions, in the UK against any organisation daring to consider BDS, and the same in countries around the world daring to oppose the murderous regime of the Israeli government.

The brutal occupation of the Occupied territories - West Bank and Gaza - shows the Israeli intent of proceeding with the occupation until they have somewhow or other silenced - or got rid of - the Palestinians - from their homes and homeland, meanwhile spreading the myths and lies that Israel is the Jewish homeland. Never was, never is, never will be!!

And they spread the message internationally that anti-zionism equals anti-semitism which is just so much nonsense, as everyone around the world is beginning to discover.

When are the countries with the power and strength to do something to stop the Israelis in their tracks going to do something and when are politicians in so many of our western countries going to stop arse-licking the Israelis and enjoying their free trips to Israel to see one side of the border where the Berlin Wall cuts off legitimate citizens from their legitimate homeland?

Why is there not yet any international outcry and when are these countries going to stop funding this murderous regime?

13 August 2017


Genocide is a vast subject which has been researched in great depth and many studies have been done on the topic.

Countries which are not normally given publicity who are deeply involved will surprise many people when they consider what these countries are doing and why.

We can of course start talking about genocide naming a few of the well-known historic countries, such as Turkey and the Armenians, and Germany and the Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Gays and Lesbians - and many others.

Some of the modern ones taking place under our noses, and generally ignored by politicians and media, are of course the USA and its indigenous and African-American populations, and Israel which is determined to occupy the whole of Palestine by ridding the country of its indigenous population bit by bit, one murder or two at a time and stealing their country bit by bit until they are in control of the whole area known historically as Palestine.

We now all know of some of the genocides having taken place on the African continent, but there are also those in Asian countries which are not given the media and international attention that they need, such as China and Tibet, and Myanmar and the Rohingyas.


There are too many politicians and journalists in Australia who have remained silent for too long.

Another death on Manus - and someone who was desperately in need of assistance and attention - and the responses from the politicians?

Silence all the way.

And the citizens of Australia?

A vague stirring.

Will it lead to a campaign to stop this criminal activity on the part of the government and its loyal opposition?

Probably not.

Where is the humanity, human rights, protections, assistance, and all the other issues which need immediate attention?

One can't even quote Alan Paton any more - no doubt the generations of today have not heard of the famous South African book "Cry the beloved country."

This is probably not exactly genocide, but it is not far removed from what genocide is and what it does.

Those of us who care are too old or worn out to be able to actively campaign as once we might have done, and we hoped later generations would fill the gap, but alas it has not happened.

People should be marching in the streets throughout the country and screaming from the roof tops till everybody is awakened to the criminal activities taking place in their names.

I despair, and at 90 I see no solutions in my lifetime.

24 July 2017


John Pilger On Why Palestine Is Still The Issue

Almost six decades on, there’s an enduring silence by those in the halls of power – and in the media – on Palestine, writes John Pilger.

When I first went to Palestine as a young reporter in the 1960s, I stayed on a kibbutz. The people I met were hard-working, spirited and called themselves socialists. I liked them.

One evening at dinner, I asked about the silhouettes of people in the far distance, beyond our perimeter.

“Arabs”, they said, “nomads”. The words were almost spat out. Israel, they said, meaning Palestine, had been mostly wasteland and one of the great feats of the Zionist enterprise was to turn the desert green.

They gave as an example their crop of Jaffa oranges, which was exported to the rest of the world. What a triumph against the odds of nature and humanity’s neglect.

It was the first lie. Most of the orange groves and vineyards belonged to Palestinians who had been tilling the soil and exporting oranges and grapes to Europe since the eighteenth century. The former Palestinian town of Jaffa was known by its previous inhabitants as “the place of sad oranges”.
One of the many orange orchards seized from Palestinians in Jaffa. (IMAGE: gnuckx, Flickr)
One of the many orange orchards seized from Palestinians in Jaffa. (IMAGE: gnuckx, Flickr)
On the kibbutz, the word “Palestinian” was never used. Why, I asked. The answer was a troubled silence.

All over the colonised world, the true sovereignty of indigenous people is feared by those who can never quite cover the fact, and the crime, that they live on stolen land.

Denying people’s humanity is the next step – as the Jewish people know only too well. Defiling people’s dignity and culture and pride follows as logically as violence.

In Ramallah, following an invasion of the West Bank by the late Ariel Sharon in 2002, I walked through streets of crushed cars and demolished houses, to the Palestinian Cultural Centre. Until that morning, Israeli soldiers had camped there.
I was met by the centre’s director, the novelist, Liana Badr, whose original manuscripts lay scattered and torn across the floor. The hard drive containing her fiction, and a library of plays and poetry had been taken by Israeli soldiers. Almost everything was smashed, and defiled.
Ramallah, Palestine. (IMAGE: Michael Rose, Flickr)
Ramallah, Palestine. (IMAGE: Michael Rose, Flickr)
Not a single book survived with all its pages; not a single master tape from one of the best collections of Palestinian cinema.

The soldiers had urinated and defecated on the floors, on desks, on embroideries and works of art. They had smeared faeces on children’s paintings and written – in shit – “Born to kill”.

Liana Badr had tears in her eyes, but she was unbowed. She said, “We will make it right again.”
What enrages those who colonise and occupy, steal and oppress, vandalise and defile is the victims’ refusal to comply. And this is the tribute we all should pay the Palestinians. They refuse to comply. They go on. They wait – until they fight again. And they do so even when those governing them collaborate with their oppressors.

In the midst of the 2014 Israeli bombardment of Gaza, the Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer never stopped reporting. He and his family were stricken; he queued for food and water and carried it through the rubble. When I phoned him, I could hear the bombs outside his door. He refused to comply.

Mohammed’s reports, illustrated by his graphic photographs, were a model of professional journalism that shamed the compliant and craven reporting of the so-called mainstream in Britain and the United States. The BBC notion of objectivity – amplifying the myths and lies of authority, a practice of which it is proud – is shamed every day by the likes of Mohamed Omer.
A file image of Gaza in 2009. (IMAGE: gloucester2gaza, Flickr)
A file image of Gaza in 2009. (IMAGE: gloucester2gaza, Flickr)
For more than 40 years, I have recorded the refusal of the people of Palestine to comply with their oppressors: Israel, the United States, Britain, the European Union.

Since 2008, Britain alone has granted licences for export to Israel of arms and missiles, drones and sniper rifles, worth £434 million.

Those who have stood up to this, without weapons, those who have refused to comply, are among Palestinians I have been privileged to know:

My friend, the late Mohammed Jarella, who toiled for the United Nations agency UNRWA, in 1967 showed me a Palestinian refugee camp for the first time. It was a bitter winter’s day and schoolchildren shook with the cold. “One day …” he would say. “One day …”

Mustafa Barghouti, whose eloquence remains undimmed, who described the tolerance that existed in Palestine among Jews, Muslims and Christians until, as he told me, “the Zionists wanted a state at the expense of the Palestinians.”

Dr. Mona El-Farra, a physician in Gaza, whose passion was raising money for plastic surgery for children disfigured by Israeli bullets and shrapnel. Her hospital was flattened by Israeli bombs in 2014.

Dr. Khalid Dahlan, a psychiatrist, whose clinics for children in Gaza – children sent almost mad by Israeli violence – were oases of civilisation.
UK Minister of State for International Development, Alan Duncan MP, visits Gaza, 10th December 2012. He is the first British minister to visit Gaza since the ceasefire entered into force on 21 November. (IMAGE: UNRWA/Shareef Sarhan, Flickr).
UK Minister of State for International Development, Alan Duncan MP, visits Gaza, 10th December 2012. He is the first British minister to visit Gaza since the ceasefire entered into force on 21 November. (IMAGE: UNRWA/Shareef Sarhan, Flickr).
Fatima and Nasser are a couple whose home stood in a village near Jerusalem designated “Zone A and B”, meaning that the land was declared for Jews only. Their parents had lived there; their grandparents had lived there. Today, the bulldozers are laying roads for Jews only, protected by laws for Jews only.

It was past midnight when Fatima went into labour with their second child. The baby was premature; and when they arrived at a checkpoint with the hospital in view, the young Israeli soldier said they needed another document.

Fatima was bleeding badly. The soldier laughed and imitated her moans and told them, “Go home”. The baby was born there in a truck. It was blue with cold and soon, without care, died from exposure. The baby’s name was Sultan.

For Palestinians, these will be familiar stories. The question is: why are they not familiar in London and Washington, Brussels and Sydney?

In Syria, a recent liberal cause – a George Clooney cause – is bankrolled handsomely in Britain and the United States, even though the beneficiaries, the so-called rebels, are dominated by jihadist fanatics, the product of the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and the destruction of modern Libya.

And yet, the longest occupation and resistance in modern times is not recognized. When the United Nations suddenly stirs and defines Israel as an apartheid state, as it did this year, there is outrage – not against a state whose “core purpose” is racism but against a UN commission that dared break the silence.

“Palestine,” said Nelson Mandela, “is the greatest moral issue of our time.”

Why is this truth suppressed, day after day, month after month, year after year?
Israel's 'security wall', on the outskirts of Jerusalem. (IMAGE: Chris Graham, New Matilda).
Israel’s ‘security wall’, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. (IMAGE: Chris Graham, New Matilda).
On Israel – the apartheid state, guilty of a crime against humanity and of more international law-breaking than any other – the silence persists among those who know and whose job it is to keep the record straight.

On Israel, so much journalism is intimidated and controlled by a groupthink that demands silence on Palestine while honourable journalism has become dissidence: a metaphoric underground.

A single word – “conflict” – enables this silence. “The Arab-Israeli conflict”, intone the robots at their tele-prompters. When a veteran BBC reporter, a man who knows the truth, refers to “two narratives”, the moral contortion is complete.

There is no conflict, no two narratives, with their moral fulcrum. There is a military occupation enforced by a nuclear-armed power backed by the greatest military power on earth; and there is an epic injustice.

The word “occupation” may be banned, deleted from the dictionary. But the memory of historical truth cannot be banned: of the systemic expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland. “Plan D” the Israelis called it in 1948.

The Israeli historian Benny Morris describes how David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, was asked by one of his generals: “What shall we do with the Arabs?”
The Knesset, Israel's parliament. (IMAGE: Ze'ev Barkan, Flickr)
The Knesset, Israel’s parliament. (IMAGE: Ze’ev Barkan, Flickr)
The prime minister, wrote Morris, “made a dismissive, energetic gesture with his hand”. “Expel them!” he said.

Seventy years later, this crime is suppressed in the intellectual and political culture of the West. Or it is debatable, or merely controversial. Highly-paid journalists eagerly accept Israeli government trips, hospitality and flattery, then are truculent in their protestations of independence. The term, “useful idiots”, was coined for them.

In 2011, I was struck by the ease with which one of Britain’s most acclaimed novelists, Ian McEwan, a man bathed in the glow of bourgeois enlightenment, accepted the Jerusalem Prize for literature in the apartheid state.

Would McEwan have gone to Sun City in apartheid South Africa? They gave prizes there, too, all expenses paid. McEwan justified his action with weasel words about the independence of “civil society”.

Propaganda – of the kind McEwan delivered, with its token slap on the wrists for his delighted hosts – is a weapon for the oppressors of Palestine. Like sugar, it insinuates almost everything today.

Understanding and deconstructing state and cultural propaganda is our most critical task. We are being frog-marched into a second cold war, whose eventual aim is to subdue and balkanise Russia and intimidate China.
Russian president Vladimir Putin (IMAGE: Screengrab, RT).
Russian president Vladimir Putin (IMAGE: Screengrab, RT).
When Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin spoke privately for more than two hours at the G20 meeting in Hamburg, apparently about the need not to go to war with each other, the most vociferous objectors were those who have commandeered liberalism, such as the Zionist political writer of the Guardian.

“No wonder Putin was smiling in Hamburg,” wrote Jonathan Freedland. “He knows he has succeeded in his chief objective: he has made American weak again.” Cue hissing for Evil Vlad.

These propagandists have never known war but they love the game they play. What Ian McEwan calls “civil society” has become a rich source of related propaganda.

Take a term often used by the guardians of civil society – “human rights”. Like another noble concept, “democracy”, “human rights” has been all but emptied of its meaning and purpose.

Like “peace process” and “road map”, human rights in Palestine have been hijacked by Western governments and the corporate NGOs they fund and which claim a quixotic moral authority.

So when Israel is called upon by governments and NGOs to “respect human rights” in Palestine, nothing happens, because they all know there is nothing to fear.

Mark the silence of the European Union, which accommodates Israel while refusing to maintain its commitments to the people of Gaza – such as keeping the lifeline of the Rafah border crossing open: a measure it agreed to as part of its role in the cessation of fighting in 2014. A seaport for Gaza – agreed by Brussels in 2014 – has been abandoned.

The UN commission I have referred to – its full name is the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia – described Israel as, and I quote, “designed for the core purpose” of racial discrimination.
new matilda, united nations
The United Nations.
Millions understand this. What the governments in London, Washington, Brussels and Tel Aviv cannot control is that humanity at street level is changing perhaps as never before.

People everywhere are stirring and more aware, in my view, than ever before. Some are already in open revolt. The atrocity of Grenfell Tower in London has brought communities together in a vibrant almost national resistance.

Thanks to a people’s campaign, the judiciary is today examining the evidence of a possible prosecution of Tony Blair for war crimes. Even if this fails, it is a crucial development, dismantling yet another barrier between the public and its recognition of the voracious nature of the crimes of state power – the systemic disregard for humanity perpetrated in Iraq, in Grenfell Tower, in Palestine.

Those are the dots waiting to be joined.

For most of the 21st century, the fraud of corporate power posing as democracy has depended on the propaganda of distraction: largely on a cult of “me-ism” designed to overwhelm our sense of looking out for others, of acting together, of social justice and internationalism.

Class, gender and race were wrenched apart. Only the personal became the political and the media the message. The promotion of bourgeois privilege was presented as “progressive” politics. It wasn’t. It never is. It is the promotion of privilege, and power.

Among young people, internationalism has found a vast new audience. Look at the support for Jeremy Corbyn and the reception the G20 circus in Hamburg received. By understanding the truth and imperatives of internationalism, we understand the struggle of Palestine.

Mandela put it this way: “We know only too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
new matilda, mandela
A Nelson Mandela bust in London. (IMAGE: Paul Simpson, flickr)
At the heart of the Middle East is the historic injustice in Palestine. Until that is resolved, and Palestinians have their freedom and homeland, and Israelis and Palestinians are equal before the law, there will be no peace in the region, or perhaps anywhere.

What Mandela was saying is that freedom itself is precarious while powerful governments can deny justice to others, terrorise others, imprison and kill others, in our name. Israel certainly understands the threat that one day it might have to be normal.

That is why its ambassador to Britain is Mark Regev, well known to journalists as a professional propagandist, and why the “huge bluff” of charges of anti-Semitism, as Ilan Pappe called it, was allowed to contort the Labour Party and undermine Jeremy Corbyn as leader. The point is, it did not succeed.

Events are moving quickly now. The remarkable Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) is succeeding, day-by-day; cities and towns, trade unions and student bodies are endorsing it. The British government’s attempt to restrict local councils from enforcing BDS has failed in the courts.

These are not straws in the wind. When the Palestinians rise again, as they will, they may not succeed at first – but they will eventually if we understand that they are us, and we are them.

This is an abridged version of John Pilger’s address to the Palestinian Expo in London on 8 July, 2017. John Pilger’s film, ‘Palestine Is Still the Issue’, can be viewed here.

John Pilger
John Pilger is a regular contributor to New Matilda, and an award-winning Australian journalist and documentary film-maker. Some of his more famous works include Secret Country, Utopia and Cambodia: Year Zero.

11 June 2017


Many pieces of media have written eulogies and obituary items on the death of Peter Bonsall-Boone - Bon to all and sundry - talking about his activism and things he was involved in during his long activist life - he died on 19 MAY 2017 aged 78.

I have not yet come across one, not even the AIDS Council of New South Wales - ACON - who have mentioned Bon's involvement with Community Support Network and the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s.

Community Support Network circa 1990


"Bon did something about AIDS today"

- Bon walked the dog, then cooked a meal for Stewart. Stewart can't do all the things he was strong enough to do before. Stewart has AIDS. Bon visits Stewart as a volunteer of the Community Support Network. CSN volunteers learn many skills at our FREE course which enable them to assist a person living with AIDS to live with dignity and choices in their life.
It doesn't take much to do something about AIDS: ring today to find out about one of our information sessions.

Bon was involved with the training of volunteers who did the training course allowing people to care for people living with, and dying from HIV/AIDS.

Over the years Bon not only looked after people who were very ill, but often those who had been abandoned by friends and family because they were gay/lesbian and or had AIDS.

These were terrible years and they exacted a heavy toll on those who were carers - and cared!!! - and left many traumatised and in a worn-out emotional state.

Bon, who did so much, and cared so much, was not immune to the ravages of these times and abused his health many times, leaving him susceptible to all sorts of health problems, which no doubt created problems for him as he aged.

09 June 2017


Retail giant Aldi faces claims of wage theft and breaking the law

When Nichole McLaughlin asks her partner Paul Joyner what time he will be home from work, he often cannot answer.

With no finish time on his roster, Mr Joyner - a permanent part-time worker, not a casual - does not know what time he will leave work at Aldi's Stapylton distribution centre.

Paul Joyner said Aldi's work arrangements causes disruption to family life: "The school pick-up time would be the ...

Paul Joyner said Aldi's work arrangements causes disruption to family life: "The school pick-up time would be the hardest thing." Photo: Bradley Kanaris
The father-of-three also said he had worked for free for the retail giant to pay off "negative hours" accumulated because he was not given enough shifts to complete the hours he is contracted to work.
"I was at minus-78, and now I work extra to pay back those hours," Mr Joyner said. "And I don't get paid."
His claim is "categorically rejected" by Aldi, which said in a statement: "The enterprise agreement provides for an averaging arrangement of hours and employees receive payment for every hour worked."

Mr Joyner, who used to coach his son's soccer team, said the uncertainty caused disruption to his family life. He said it also made it difficult to make commitments such as taking his children to sporting events and leisure activities.

"The school pick-up time would be the hardest thing," Mr Joyner said. "We get it drummed into us 'You don't have a finish time'."

This lack of certainty created other worries for workers with children, he said. "Childcare's until 6 o'clock and then you start paying $2 every minute. So 10 minutes – there's 20 bucks. You do that a couple of times a week and it soon adds up."

Aldi is celebrating its one year anniversary this year. 
Aldi is celebrating its one year anniversary this year.
  Tim Gunstone, an organiser for the National Union of Workers, said Aldi's "peculiar employment arrangements" were stressful for workers.

"Workers are sent home early when it suits Aldi, but when the work is busier, or poorly planned by management, workers are told they have to stay at work until everything is finished," Mr Gunstone said.

"The lack of any finish time on rosters makes it impossible for workers to refuse the overtime they are being required to do."

Mr Gunstone said the NUW believed Aldi's employment practices were against the law because permanent part-time workers should be provided with the hours described in their employment contract in each pay period.
When a worker is required to work without pay to work off "negative hours" this is in effect wage theft.
Tim Gunstone, an organiser for the National Union of Workers.
"The second is that Aldi are requiring employees to work without payment when they are "paying off" the negative hours," he said. "The third is that permanent workers must be provided with a start and a finish time for their rostered shifts."

Mr Gunstone added: "When a worker is required to work without pay to work off "negative hours" this is in effect wage theft."

However, an Aldi spokeswoman said: "The suggestion that employees work unpaid overtime is categorically rejected."

She said workers received payment for their "contract hours" even if they do not work the required amount of time.

"They are then rostered to work additional hours above their contract in subsequent fortnights, to complete the hours for which they have already been paid," she said. "The Fair Work Commission has examined and approved this work arrangement as being lawful and suitable."

But the NUW is vowing to renew the fight and lodge a dispute with the Fair Work Commission if Mr Joyner's concerns cannot be resolved with Aldi.

"We would expect that such a dispute would be resolved by arbitration, and expect that a Commissioner would find that Paul was owed money for every hour he worked without payment while 'paying off negative hours'," Mr Gunstone said. "This could create a substantial underpayment affecting thousands of Aldi workers."

Associate Professor Angela Knox, from the University of Sydney Business School, questioned whether the arrangement was "good practice"
"There is a difference between a practice being legal and it being good, especially for workers," she said.

"This type of practice has been used in large chain hotels for over a decade but there are more 'checks and balances' in place, normally."

But Associate Professor Knox said caps were usually imposed to prevent workers accruing a debt as large as 78 hours.

She questioned whether Aldi's workers understood the ramifications of the provision, which created large "negative hours" balances.

"The specific details that would explain how the system operates are not outlined, hence managerial prerogative is maximised," she said.

​Aldi's spokeswoman said salaries were above market rates, while staff turnover was low: "Our working conditions are also considered to be some of the best in the industry, with independent employee satisfaction surveys returning consistently high scores."

​Mr Gunstone said he had spoken to more than 100 Aldi workers who had concerns about the company's practices but "they felt they had no choice but to accept it".

He said Aldi also tried to prevent its workers engaging with the union - a claim contested by the company.

"Aldi routinely place managers in lunchrooms when union organisers visit sites – for the explicit purpose of monitoring the unions engagements with workers," he said. "At Paul's workplace managers have repeatedly interrupted organiser conversations with employees."

Mr Joyner, who is a union delegate, said many of his colleagues shared his concerns about Aldi's work practices but feared the consequences of speaking out.

"They'd like to say stuff too but they're scared," he said.

With the impending arrival of retailers such as Amazon, Mr Gunstone said the conditions for warehouse workers were at risk.

"Aldi's work practices are one example of the ways in which these jobs are increasingly becoming insecure, and how many major retailers are increasingly involved in a race to the bottom when it comes to job security and casualisation," he said.

"Amazon – which is setting up in Australia – are known for their low wages and anti-union attitude."
Larissa Andelman, a barrister who practices in industrial law, said the Australian labour market had a very high level of casualisation, and the line between casual and permanent employment was often blurred.

"However the rise of 'zero hour' contracts in England has caused a significant financial hardship to those affected and there has been political and legal action to limit and cease these kind of arrangements," she said.

"It would be most unfortunate if these kind of arrangements were found lawful in Australia as they impact adversely on the most low paid and marginalised workers who are often young people and women."


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Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm