Episode 197 – Scare Campaigns, Batteries and Harry
According to conservatives, a Labor victory will be the end of the world or at least the end of the weekend. Meanwhile, Morrison burns cash and we discuss Taiwan and car batteries.
3:33 It will be the end of the world, don’t they know?
Terry McCrann says Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen have made it official and fully public: Labor has a two-stage strategy to destroy Australia.
No, I do not mean cause conventional left-wing pie-in-the-sky harm … Nor do I mean a Labor policy framework that threatens to take Australia to a crazy Gough Whitlam-style future … No, I really do mean destroy: as in demolish, level, raze, wreck and, most pointedly, end the existence of Australia.
6:10 Bill Shorten wants to end the weekend if the world hasn’t ended already … apparently
Scomo kicks off a scare campaign.
8:17 What is so special about the Big C – Jimmy Dancer?
This policy may be very helpful for those who wish to access private care. It will have minimal impact on those cancer sufferers who use the public system. The patients targeted by Labor’s policy who are affected by the huge out of pocket costs have chosen to seek care privately for a multiplicity of reasons. One is the wish to go to a doctor of their choice. This is very understandable especially for some of the common cancers like breast cancer. However, such choice is currently denied to those many Australians who know from the start that they can’t afford private.
It will have no impact on those who struggle with the delays and costs for non-cancer illnesses. Whilst cancer is the leading cause of years of life lost in Australia, our patients suffer and die from heart disease, strokes, kidney failure, diabetic complications, arthritis complications, asbestosis, mental illness, suicide, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and many other treatable and often preventable conditions. As doctors we see the lot. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death. Mental illness is the leader when it comes to years of quality life lost. Patients without cancer often suffer as much or more than cancer patients because they live longer. To ensure excellent affordable access to care for patients who suffer from cancer is fantastic. To deny similar access to all the other patients with the many causes of pain, suffering, and death is an insult to doctors and their patients. It goes against every principle which guides our profession. We treat patients, not diseases.
14:45 Election not called yet
New Government Ad Just 30-Second Clip Of Scott Morrison Burning Taxpayer Cash.
After spending more than $250 million on official government advertising since January last year, the Coalition has decided to try another tactic to get voters’ attention, with a 30 second commercial that’s just Scott Morrison setting tax dollars alight.
A spokesperson for the Liberal Party said that after developing so many official advertising campaigns over the last year, the government had totally run out of things to promote and decided actually burning money was a more efficient way to fuck over taxpayers.
“For the past 15 months we’ve been burning taxpayer money in a figurative sense, so we thought we may as well get literal and actually just burn five million dollars, which is about the amount we would’ve spent this week on advertising anyway. It certainly saves time coming up with some bullshit about how we’re working to help small businesses or some shit,” the spokesperson said.
In the advertisement Scott Morrison says “G’day, ScoMo here. We’ve totally run out of our own money now that Malcolm Turnbull isn’t around to donate millions of dollars to the campaign, so we’re going to use your money instead. Fair dinkum,” before pouring petrol onto a pile of five million dollars, striking a match and walking away.
17:15 Militant Vegans
Hmm … looks a lot like pro-life protesters on steroids.
18:55 Should veganism receive the same legal protection as a religion?
Veganism is on the rise globally – but it can be contentious. Only recently, the editor of a food magazine joked that vegans should be force-fed meat while a bank employee told a vegan customer that they should be punched after he objected to some vegan graffiti near his home.
It’s well known that it’s illegal to discriminate on the basis of a person’s gender, race, religion and so on. But it is also unlawful to discriminate against them on the basis of some of their beliefs – so-called protected beliefs. But not all beliefs are protected. You can’t skip work, for example, just because you believe in having a long lie-in every morning.
Jordi Casamitjana claims he lost his job at the League Against Cruel Sports on account of his vegan beliefs. Mr Casamitjana had objected to the fact that the League invested some of its pension fund in companies which carried out tests on animals. The League, for its part, said he was “dismissed from his position because of gross misconduct … Mr Casamitjana is seeking to use his veganism as the reason for his dismissal. We emphatically reject this claim.”
The Employment Tribunal will rule later this year on whether veganism is a protected belief and on the issue of unfair dismissal.
The relevant piece of legislation in the UK is the Equality Act, which refers to “philosophical beliefs”, though it doesn’t specify what that means. Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which the UK is a signatory, also states that individuals have the right to manifest their religion or belief.
In other discrimination cases, the belief that fox hunting is wrong; the spiritualist belief that it is possible to contact the dead using psychic powers; the belief that the BBC should promote cultural interchange, and a belief in Scottish independence have all been accorded protected status.
For some religious adherents, such cases represent a worrying trend towards diluting the sacred. But while we might argue about these particular judgements, the fact that some non-religious beliefs qualify for protected status shows that freedom of conscience is not just a right for religious people. After all, human rights are meant to be rights for everyone. As far as veganism is concerned, it is a coherent way of life involving significant sacrifice, obligation and commitment. Even if one disagrees with it, veganism is a matter of conscience for many people.
Case law on the issue reveals a bit more detail about what kind of beliefs are protected. In one 1987 case, Lord Nicholls stated that protected beliefs must be serious, coherent and important, as well as consistent with basic standards of human dignity. The European Court of Human Rights has also stipulated that protected beliefs must be worthy of respect in a democratic society.
These tests concern the type of beliefs which qualify for protected status, rather than their actual content or substance. But the courts have also made rulings on some specific beliefs. A leading case in this area is Grainger v. Nicholson in which an employee of a London property company, Tim Nicholson, claimed unfair dismissal after he refused to take a flight for what he regarded as a trivial reason, given his beliefs about the importance of combating human made climate change.
Hearing the case at the employment tribunal, Mr Justice Burton further clarified that protected beliefs must concern a weighty and substantial aspect of human life. Finding in favour of Nicholson, he suggested that beliefs in such doctrines as pacifism, communism or free market capitalism might in future also qualify for protected status – as well as vegetarianism.
22:37 Another Royal Commission
This time into disability care.
26:03 Taiwan and China
An article from Crikey
The Trump Administration has confirmed the impending sale of F-16V fighter jets to Taiwan, something against which China has long pushed. In an apparent response to the move, the People’s Liberation Army last Sunday flew its own jets into Taiwan’s airspace — a country China continues to regard as an errant province. The incursion lasted a full 10 minutes and was the most serious such incident in many years.
Taiwan’s democratically elected President Tsai Ing-wen appears to have had enough of Beijing’s sabre rattling, which has stepped up markedly since she was elected in May 2016. Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party is far less Beijing-friendly than the rival Kuomintang Party which held power for eight years prior to her victory. After Sunday’s events, she has now threatened to “forcibly” turn away any Chinese jets that follow suit.
44:18 Murdoch Empire
It may not improve when Rupert dies and Lachlan takes over.
Lachlan is the only one of Murdoch’s children to still be involved in the companies. He and James fell out over the future direction of the old 21st Century Fox, the sale of Fox assets to Disney and the strategy for the newly shrunk Fox.
The siblings have also reportedly clashed over the political direction of the company’s assets. Lachlan is said to be more conservative and defensive of Fox News’ pro-Trump agenda. When Trump announced his Muslim travel ban in 2017, James wanted executives to send around a company-wide memo reassuring Muslim staff. This was significantly resisted and watered-down. He privately complained the process was like “pulling teeth”.
James went so far as to put out personal statements in response to the violent 2017 Charlottesville neo-Nazi rally. Lachlan, meanwhile, reportedly once went into the office of one of News Corp’s Australian papers to complain about an editorial in favour of same sex marriage during last year’s postal vote, and also believes global warming gets too much attention (a direction that News Corp’s newspapers also take).
45:56 Funerals are better without the family eulogies, declares bishop
A senior Catholic bishop has banned family members from giving eulogies at funeral services in his diocese.
The Bishop of Motherwell, the Right Rev Joseph Toal, said he did not feel that it was appropriate and suggested that family eulogies may be more suitable for the reception afterwards.
He said that the only person to speak at the service should be a priest or deacon and that it was “not a time for anyone else to be getting up to talk about the deceased, whoever they may be”.
Friends or relatives have in the past read poems, readings and stories about the deceased at the service.
48:35 Harry and car batteries
Harry joins the podcast to explain car batteries.
From The Australian:
Mr Shorten’s plan to increase electric car sales from 0.2 per cent to 50 per cent by 2030 has been consistently attacked by the Coalition in the lead up to next month’s election.
Mr Shorten, who has set a target of 50 per cent of new car sales to be electric by 2030, was put on the spot on live radio on Friday morning while spruiking the policy.
“How long does it take to charge it up?” host Jackie O asked the alternative prime minister in an interview on the Kyle and Jackie O radio show.
“Oh, it can take, umm … it depends on what your original charge is, but it can take, err, 8 to 10 minutes depending on your charge, it can take longer … ” Mr Shorten replied, despite the typical electric car taking about 8 to 10 hours.
“Is that all?” Jackie O pressed.
“Well it depends how flat your battery is,” Mr Shorten said.
In the first version of this episode I recommended for IOS try Overcast and for Android try Pocket Casts. The Overcast tip is still good but avoid Pocket casts as it doesn’t work with the format I’m using.
1:09:30 Goodbye Julie Bishop
You’ll always be my number 2