In the public interest. The web’s they weave.
Fear is false evidence appearing real. True friendship is transparency.
It is not the fault of a foreign country when it influences Australia. It is the belief in powerlessness in Australian leaders that compromise sovereignty for economic advantage as they have been conditioned to believe that is more important than democratic principles. The fault line in the sand is within which attracts the problem from with-out. It they truly believed in democracy they would not allow disproportionate influence.
It you don’t want donations to influence then ban donations.
If our government seriously wants to stop Chinese or other foreign interference then values is where you must focus. What you focus on expands. Do not underestimate the strength of balanced decision making weighing up all sides to Advance Australia Fair. If all politicians operated from a base of community services, principled decision making and had the courage to be willing to sacrifice economic gains external influences would disappear.
Lao Tzu’s message is directed to both leaders in China and Australia. For those who do not want to hear criticism are in denial of the violence they project covertly or overtly in the name of friendship or freedom. The most genuine friend will be the one who holds the mirror up to those in denial so they can see themselves without their story.
Only love will sacrifice everything to reveal the truth that sets all free. Yet there is no sacrifice when you no longer attach your identity to materialism. True freedom comes from allowance not domination. You can be free in prison. You can be imprisoned in a mansion. A person is respected when what they say and do aligns. This means the inner truth and outer appearance are integrated. This is what creates a “great” leader.
This blog is inspired by the Four Corners documentary on Chinese influence in Australia (see below). This message from Lao Tzu sums up the real issue from an ancient sage in China. We have to go deeper if we wish to stop the conflict. It is not about cleverness, cyber security, bioterrorism, it is about “who we are” as a people and what we believe in. What is true? What is important? What serves the Australian people?
Below this video is the Four Corners Documentary entitled “Interference: China’s covert political influence campaign in Australia” | Four Corners.
Four Corners holds a mirror up, perhaps life is sending China and Australia a message – like attracts. Eventually truth surfaces, you cannot control anyone, as nature will rebalance to find harmony. Truth tellers are natural rebalancers that feel the impulse to speak the truth to perceived power, this rebalances power dynamics.
The Chinese people are not the enemy. Criticism is not the enemy. Greed is the enemy as it has no culture, no identity, no name yet quietly it corrupts and erodes innocence as insecurity (not enough) is the home of greed. The problem to solve is insecurity. In conflict resolution we teach “solve the problem do not hate the person”. We seek wise solutions as no problem is intractable when you understand human nature not in the sense of “know your enemy” but in the sense of “understand your potential friend”.
So those dominating are never free until the pain of denial becomes too great and they must change. What you resist persists what you look at disappears, society disappears because “you are me”. When I hurt you I hurt myself. Truth is not about belief it is about clarity to see through the illusion of the lies we tell ourselves that become cultural stories. Many surround themselves with “yes” people they call loyal or glee clubs they call friends (clubs) to reinforce the lie as the truth. Yet truth cannot be faked, it is what it is and unifies naturally. Lao Tzu demonstrates real justice which is based on wisdom (divine law) not law (legislation) or the constitution. Wisdom looks into the root of behaviours that cause imbalance (or disharmony) in society.
The wise do not control or force behaviour change through pain, they recognise to rebalance one must honour only truth. that is why we call a Justice “Your Honour”. Truth sets both parties free as they evolve through respecting unbiased decisions. Truth leads to unity which some call social order, real order is natural resonance which requires no social contract as harmony is the outcome.
I contemplated the endless lies we speak identifying as this country or that, this power or that, pro this or anti that. I shake my head as confusion not Confucius is the outcome which is the maze with no exit. That is why violence escalates my friends. You are fighting yourselves believing it is the “other”. The cyber wars, 5G mmwave (US), sub-6 spectrum (China, world), exploiting labour, connectivity, smart cities, city deals, buying up resources to control or predict outcomes to feel secure.
When truth is the centre-peace, you can predict harmony as you understand universal lore. This always works to the highest good of all, as the sum of the parts is the whole. Yet we are still at a primitive stage believing in self interest, economic growth, security as force, personal fortunes whilst the planet traverses tipping points, the icecaps melt, the magnetic fields weaken, resources redirect away from those in greatest need and we call this security as Earth Inc (titanic) sinks. This is a false economy.
I did smile at Peter Dutton making a moral stand on the relationship between Sam Dastyari and Huang Xiangmo, when he too met with him.
The issue of access due to lobbyists when ordinary Australians, like myself, can’t get access. Santoro charged $20,000 for access. This is greed. How is that democratic? We have no economic value yet we are citizens and our taxes pay for their privilege. Is this how we advance Australia fair? This is about allegiances. For whom do political figures work? Who places them in positions of power? Who elects the faceless faces who have disproportionate influence? What happens to the Australian public? Are they truly safe?
Australia has interfered in East Timor and I am sure if we drilled own we could find the mirror here in so many cases where other foreign influences have manipulated us into issues that are not relevant to the Australian people. The real work for Australian politicians, intelligence and law enforcement is to look within if you genuinely want to change what is happening outside.
I think of the murdered Assistant Police Commissioner Colin Winchester, he comes to me in inspiration these days as I feel for his case. My own father believed the accused David Eastman was a miscarriage of justice, he wrote many Letters to the Editor. In 2014, after 2 decades in jail, David Eastman was released. He was later awarded $9 million in compensation. The police must be protected when they uncover crimes or confront illegal power. Colin Winchester was going to testify in Queanbeyan against cannabis growers. The cannabis growers were known as the Bungendore 11 and linked to the Italian mafia who started two crops in NSW in the 1980s under the supervision of the police informant.
Immediately I go to the murder of Donald Mackay. The murder of Liberal Party candidate and Griffith anti-drug crusader Mr Mackay was Australia’s first political assassination. It is alleged it was at the hands of the Calabrian mafia, apparently the same group as Winchester. A quick search provides more insight into what creates corruption, money laundering, drug trade and illegality https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%27Ndrangheta
My thoughts turn to poverty, corruption, greed and powerlessness parading as power. The same mirror that others can see themselves caught up in. So how do we help them exit what is, a self defeating circle of pain and fear intensifying a culture of violence? I see the links as all the same root cause. Yet we still spend energy making the “other” wrong yet we won’t look into where we are “wrong”. Byron Katie speaks of projection and she is right. We have to question our own thinking every time we see an enemy, imagine if every side did this.
When I was teaching truth to children, I gave them a blind spot test. They look at two dots, cover one eye and then one dot disappears. The eyes play tricks. The dot represents what we deny, refuse to see, the reality is, it is there, but we won’t see it as we are right the other wrong. The other is the “enemy”. The Christians say in relation to judgement “take the log out of your own eye” until we do, we blame the world for what is our own blindness, our own weakness contributing to a values free world. At what point do we stop what we want the other to stop. Until you stop the other won’t as what you think about you bring about. This is the law of attraction. We create our reality, remember! We blame others but we don’t see ourselves as the same. We are all in it together. This is a truism.
This article by the Guardian provides insight into the hypocracy that we witness in politics. Peter Dutton is now Home Affairs Minister with the power to decrypt and access every citizen’s information inclusive of the Covidsafe app for contact tracing without a warrant.
In the story below Malcolm Turnbull asked Scott Morrison to deal with Petter Dutton. Yet he did not do anything to reinforce values and sovereignty, there is no leadership by example when there is nothing to see here when clearly there is.
Going back to Lao Tzu’s example we do not go to the root of the problem of “greed” as we are persuaded that economic growth is more important than Australian sovereignty, it would be argued as pragmatic “the way things are done”. Is it serving the Australian people’s true interests? This is why Australians become disheartened, why social order breaks down, it is because Australians don’t know who to trust anymore as all seem amoral. We then lose respect for those in power as they don’t respect themselves. This is loss of face. We respect integrity and honesty.
This article demonstrates the hypocracy as each follow the money not values to ensure the real security of Australians. So we are indeed stuck between a rock and a hard place. The enemy is within, not outside. So in my view $270 billion on new weapons only escalates the problem and diverts precious resources. We have to learn to think differently if we want to reclaim our sovereignty and dignity as Australians. I always see the Man from Snowy River, as so many forget or don’t remember our heritage. Clancy allowed this stranger to come on the ride with other bushmen. They were rounding up horses in the high country. There was one colt that was wild and free. Everyone was too scared to follow the colt of Old Regret down the sheer mountain face. It was the man from Snowy River who showed courage, others thought suicide! as he jumped the log and headed down a near vertical cliff face. He didn’t think of himself, he went for it, took the risk and his story was told in years to come by Banjo Paterson. Banjo was reminding Australians of courage in the face of great risk. We don’t respect those who feather their own nests at the expense of the public. We respect those who truly represent us as they have taken our taxes and given us narratives of democratic representation. We discover it is they who stand back, too afraid to confront what they fear, saying this is the way it is, no choice, this is the future. Clancy and this stranger from the high country would say “bullshit mate”. You define your own reality. You take the reins. You don’t hang back. You take a leap of faith (remember Indiana Jones) not a great leap forward. You decide what you want on behalf of Australians and commit to it. This is leadership. This is integrity. This is power. But if you sell out “freedoms” and weakly claim it is a trade off for a higher standard of living, you have sold out to the highest bidder. You will lose everything as life will not support you, as greed takes from life. Why? You are out of balance or indeed harmony. Life will rebalance. As nature is the power. So if you suppress, oppress and control others the pendulum swings back the other way as it must, as all are part of nature, to restore balance we must speak up and be heard. Whistle-blowers are being nudged from within. So for those who say one thing and do another, the children are watching. They will copy and call it “the way things are done”. If you speak with integrity what you believe you live, then others will feel inspired. That is how you restore Australian sovereignty. You live as an example of what it means to be a genuine Australian. We are waiting for you. I wonder who you will be?
Malcolm Turnbull has called on Scott Morrison to “deal with” Peter Dutton after allegations that the immigration minister met the former Australian resident billionaire Huang Xiangmo after he paid $10,000 to a lobbyist.
Turnbull, who introduced foreign interference laws in 2017, said the allegations contained in a Four Corners-Nine newspapers report regarding a meeting between Dutton and Huang following a payment to former Liberal minister turned lobbyist Santo Santoro were “very troubling”.
“The allegation is that Santo Santoro received money in return for securing privileged access to the minister on behalf of Huang Xiangmo and all of that, in circumstances where there has been rising concern about lobbyists, about foreign influence,” Turnbull said.
“Look, Peter Dutton has got a lot to explain about this.”
Earlier in the day, Morrison had defended the government’s record citing Turnbull’s foreign interference laws and highlighting instead former Labor senator Sam Dastyari’s resignation after rolling controversies regarding his relationships to Chinese-linked donors, including Huang.
“All I know is Sam Dastyari had to resign in disgrace over foreign interference and behaving in a reckless and shameful way, betraying his own country,” Morrison said.
“I think when it comes to these issue, our government’s record is squeaky clean.”
But Turnbull said Morrison could not waive off the allegations and he used Dastyari’s example as a reason for his successor to move quickly on the issue.
“Remember the furore that arose about Senator Dastyari. All the same issues have arisen again and this has to be addressed at the highest level of security, priority, urgency by the prime minister,” Turnbull said.
“The buck stops with him. I know what it is like to be prime minister and, ultimately, you are responsible and so Scott Morrison has to deal with this.”
“Scott Morrison is the prime minister and you can’t waive this off and say it is all part of gossip and the bubble. This is the national security of Australia.”
Asked later about Turnbull’s comments, Morrison said he had spoken to Dutton.
“I have spoken to Peter Dutton and there are no issues here that troubled me,” Morrison said. “No suggestion that Peter in any way, shape or form has sought or been provided with any benefit here.”
The allegations relate to the desire by Huang for Australian citizenship. The Four Corners investigation revealed Huang tried to speed up a citizenship ceremony for his wife and children late in 2014.
Dastyari claimed he was surprised that after passing on the ceremony application to Dutton’s office, it was approved within two weeks in the holiday period in January 2015.
According to the report, when Huang applied for his own citizenship in late 2015, he was already being investigated by ASIO. He was worried about his access so consulted Santoro who had boasted Dutton was one of his “best friends”.
Huang put Santoro on a retainer in 2016, according to the report, and in the same year, Huang, Dutton and the minister’s senior staffer had lunch at Master Ken’s restaurant in Sydney’s Chinatown.
Dutton rejected the allegations as a “beat up” and said he met Huang as a “significant leader in the Chinese community”. Huang’s bid for citizenship failed.
“I have had that one meeting with him over lunch. I have never seen him since. What has he got from me? He is now offshore and is prevented from coming back into Australia,” said Dutton.
Dutton said that the transactions for lobbying businesses on both sides of parliament was an issue for lobbyists.
“There are lobbyists who are registered on both sides of parliament, people that operate as lobbyists,” he said.
“Their transactions and how they conduct their business is an issue for them.
Dutton said while he had never met Huang when his family’s citizenship ceremony was approved, it would be unusual for a minister to knock it back.
“You take at face value what somebody like Sam Dastyari, as a member of parliament, was vouching for and they ask for the ceremony and it would be very unusual for a minister of the day to knock that back,” Dutton said.
“So if Mr Dastyari has not been above board or misrepresented the reason for the citizenship ceremony then I think that is something that he, and frankly, Mr Shorten need to explain.”
Bill Shorten described the Four Corners revelations as unhealthy.
“It is explosive and very surprising revelations on Four Corners last night about the conduct of the minister in charge, one of the ministers in charge of national security where it is cash for access and meeting people connected to the Chinese government.
“This is very unhealthy.”
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In the public interest.
There is a serious issue around the protection of those who are making corruption and criminality visible. This is how criminality flourishes. Whistleblowers are not protected.
I sense that what was silence is being made visible and more and more are coming out and no accepting bullying and intimidation. That is how the world changes. It takes courage but it creates a ripple around the world seen or unseen.
We are learning to value conscience over conformity with illegality.
In the public interest.
This is a petition from Change.org
I sense Peter Dutton is the theme of the day and Home Affairs. That is an intelligence capacity focused on civil society. Metal health and the diminution of rights is the theme of our times.
My inner feeling is what you put out comes back, this is a universal lore. The key question is can you silence democratic freedoms if people believe they are free? It is evident there is fear around revealing information when there is a desire for it to be hidden.
The challenge to realise is there is no enemy. But we do not awaken before our time. Sometimes people have to go through a process of being ‘what they are not’ in order to discover ‘who they are’.
This petition is circulating in respect of refugees.
In the public interest.
A wake up call.
Democracy is more important today then it has ever been.
I contemplate the Fitzgerald inquiry in the times of the police state under former Premier Joe Bjelke Peterson! The challenge is how to restore our national character and the values that define being Australian rather than competiting interests driven by money interests and greed. The clashing of what is valued is at the heart of corruption and control.
With Federal Parliament flat out dealing with the social and economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, now is hardly the right time for a government to introduce legislation giving ASIO the power to question 14-year-old children, interfere with the rights of legal advisers, and enable the tracking of individuals without the need for a warrant. But Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has no such qualms. On Wednesday he introduced the benignly titled Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Amendment Bill 2020.
This proposed legislation represents a further attack on the rule of law in Australia and requires the full attention of a properly-functioning federal Parliament, not one which under current arrangements, fewer members of the House of Representatives and the Senate are attending because of social distancing requirements.
Peter Dutton’s law would allow ASIO to seek a warrant so they can question young people between 14 and 18 if that young person is a target of an ASIO investigation into politically-motivated violence: broad criteria to say the least.
Then there is a serious attack on the fundamental right of a person, whether they be 14 or 40, to choose their own lawyer when they are subject to investigation by ASIO. The bill allows for a prescribed authority, which is a judge or Administrative Appeals member selected by the government, to stop a person ASIO is seeking to question from contacting their lawyer if “satisfied, based on circumstances relating to the lawyer, that, if the subject is permitted to contact the lawyer, a person involved in activity prejudicial to security may be alerted that the activity is being investigated, or that a record or other thing the subject may be requested to produce might be destroyed, damaged or altered.” This power is sweeping and allows for hearsay “evidence” to be used. All ASIO would have to do is tell the judge or AAT member that they have heard from “sources” that the lawyer requested by the detainee is a security risk.
But even if the lawyer passes muster and sits with his or her client, the ASIO officers doing the questioning can have the lawyer removed. The Explanatory Memorandum of the Bill says that can happen, “if the lawyer’s conduct is unduly disrupting questioning. This may be the case where, for example, a lawyer repeatedly interrupts questioning (other than to make reasonable requests for clarification or a break to provide advice), in a way that prevents or hinders questions being asked or answered.” So if the ASIO officers are badgering or harassing a frightened 14-year-old, or asking questions that are completely irrelevant, they have carte blanche.
Under Dutton’s law, not only are their restrictions placed on the rights of individuals and their lawyers but there will be an “independent prescribed authority” established, a judge or member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, that will pick a suitable (for which read tame) lawyer to advise the individual when they are in ASIO custody.
As a lawyer, one hears and reads stories about colleagues in authoritarian states where such powers are given to and used by security agencies, but one never expected it in democratic Australia.
Not only does Dutton’s bill impinge significantly on the rights of lawyers and their clients, it reduces independent scrutiny of ASIO’s surveillance activities. ASIO officers will have the power to track individuals and will only have to get the OK to do so from another ASIO officer rather than having to file paperwork for a warrant from an independent judicial officer. This approval can be oral, so long as paperwork is filed two days later. And what sort of tracking technology is allowed? Any technology ASIO “has access to” albeit with the usual toothless caveats about it being “appropriate and subject to strict accountability requirements and restrictions”.
While the new ASIO bill builds on the post, this particular proposed law takes matters in an even more sinister direction. It deserves our legislators’ full attention, and must not be waved through the parliament as an afterthought to a coronavirus debate.
Greg Barns is a barrister and Criminal Justice Spokesman for the Australian Lawyers Alliance.