Van Badham ✊ Profile picture
May 8, 2018 24 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Hi, everyone; it’s time to play “short attention span politics, just ONE MORE TIME. Today, although it’s #Budget2018 & the Coalition have just proposed the most radical restructure of the tax system in favour of the rich for 40 years, it’s time to be distracted by...
“The Home Affairs and Integrity Agencies Legislation Amendment Bill 2017” which is being debated at its second reading in the lower house. A reading is the opportunity for AMENDMENTS to be made to what the government is proposing to become law. Now, remember, everyone...
(repeat after me)... Democracy-is-all-about-majorities! That means that in Australia, when a bill comes to the lower house of our parliament, the Liberal-National Coalition have the numbers to pass it because they have a majority! (spoiler: the majority makes them the government)
So the government can just vote up WHATEVER IT LIKES in the lower house - pafoosh! Just like that! Amazing! But to become law in Australia’s *bicameral* system of parliament (that means “two houses”) it must ALSO pass the Senate... where the government do NOT have a majority! Oo!
Therefore, to pass bills into law, the government must either convince Labor senators to support their bill, Greens to support their bill, or assemble a collection of the cranks, nuts, mavericks & actual fascists/One Nation, collectively known as “the cross bench” to vote it up.
Now, Senators wield a lot of power. So they negotiate horse-trading deals with the government all the time. Like, just maybe, if the government say “Hey, Pauline Hanson, we want you to vote for company tax cuts”, she might say “sure, if you gut heaps of money from the ABC.” Ok?
As Labor and the Greens are to the left of the Liberals-Nationals, when they make deals with the government it’s usually to moderate the right-wingness of the bill.
QUIZ: when the government deals in the likes of the *actual fascists* of One Nation, what do you think happens?
CORRECT! Parties further to the right than the Liberal-Nationals tend to demand really horrific right-wing outcomes and all kinds of crazy tradeoffs. Remember the parliamentary inquiry into Halal? Wasn’t that spooky weird racist garbage? Yes. Yes, it was. But it won some votes.
Hey, do you know what crazy right-wing people like? Authoritarianism. Let’s nail an appropriate definition for that in a political context right now.
Sounds heaps like a thing Peter Dutton would be into, doesn’t it? Which just might be why he’s trying to consolidate all kinds of government security portfolios - Federal police, customs, borders, ASIO - under the control of one megaministry, headed by him. Ooh! Gross! I hate!
Hence the Home Affairs bill being debated before the lower house today. The bill is designed to make the truly horrible Peter Dutton some kind of government uber-commandant with discretionary powers over law and order on an unprecedented scale. Everyone should be *terrified*.
And Peter Khalil, the Labor member for the seat of Wills, made this point very clearly in the parliament today, when the government allowed for amendments to be debated. He said this the power granted by the bill to Dutton was unprecedented, adding:
So why did Peter Khalil and the rest of Labor vote with the government on this bill today? Someone asking me this question on Twitter has provoked this entire thread. Here’s where I want you to remember what I said earlier about amendments and deals that get made in the Senate.
Remember; in the lower house, the government don’t need anyone else’s vote. Labor, the Greens & indies can’t stop the government from passing anything. BUT if the government allows them to make amendments, it improves the government’s chances to pass a compromise in the senate.
Today, Peter Dutton agreed to amendments that “enhance the integrity and oversight role of the attorney-general in relation to our security and intelligence agency". That is, the powers of his megaministry would be watered down, more accountable, & not in the hands of just him.
Phew! I am so glad that Labor were able to make that change. Now, when the bill goes to the senate, that change will be inherent to a bill about scary powers that could be voted into law by truly scary people. BUT WAIT I SEE PEOPLE ARE UPSET THAT LABOR VOTED TO DO THIS...
The Greens and Andrew Wilkie have been tweeting up a storm today, declaring that Labor is evil for voting in the watering down of the bill, while they are good and pure for voting completely against it and should get halos in heaven. This is, of course, pure politics.
The Greens can kick up a stink and declare EVIL LABOR because they know that Labor will water down the bill while they can safely do nothing and rely on Labor to deliver an improved result. Lucky them. Labor, meanwhile, is obliged to make a really tricky judgement call...
Crazy fascists LOVE megaministries and anything to do with fancy uniforms, arrests, concentration of authority and pain. So it’s entirely possible that if Dutton starts to round up votes in the Senate, the outcome of the horse-trading could be something MUCH WORSE than proposed.
What would you do? Vote against something on principle, leaving the opportunity for total whack nutteroos to then drive the worst possible outcome? Or would you involve yourself in the negotiations to delay an outcome, ameliorate the effects and minimise the damage?
As I said, how awesome for the Greens to be able to spend all day on the internet screaming LABOR SO BAD. You may have noticed they do this a lot. What they rely upon is that you, dear tweeter, will have a short attention span. They hope you won’t consider the context.
They hope you won’t actually look at the bill, the debates, the process or anything else. And they certainly hope that you won’t do that in Budget week, when they know perfectly well that Labor, being the Opposition, will be scrambling to address every detail of the Budget.
(which, by the way, involves one of the largest structural changes to taxation in Australian history. Note the second paragraph in this clipping from an ACTU media release. Bill Shorten gives his budget reply speech on Friday. He’s kind of busy.)
It’s up to you if you want to play the short attention span news game or not. My own suggestion is that the project of building socialism relies on immersion within the complexity of systems, rather than vainglorious fantasies of simplicity. Xxx

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More from @vanbadham

Aug 16, 2018
This outrageous bullshit has to stop, and @vanOnselenP - I seriously expected better from you than to perpetuate this vile, anti-historic nonsense. Nazism/Fascism is the OPPOSITE of socialism. Which was why the Nazis INTERNED SOCIALISTS IN CONCENTRATION CAMPS.
@vanOnselenP The foundation of fascism is a belief in a national/racial supremacy, directly opposed to the FUNDMENTAL TENET of socialism which is *equality* - of class, race, nation - the expression of which is international solidarity.
@vanOnselenP Rosa Luxembourg: “I am at home in the entire world, where there are clouds and birds and human tears.”
Read 10 tweets
May 10, 2018
GREENS STUNT ALERT THREAD: hey, everyone - the Greens are putting up a nonsense motion in the senate that pays lipservice to demands for Newstart increases. Let me explain why this is a typical Greens stunt designed merely to attack the Labor party...
You cannot just pass laws from the senate for a start. Even if the Greens rounded up a majority of votes in the Senate to vote for this bill - which is a “private members bill” - it would not become law. but just say they did put together a majority...
... which would have to include Labor AS WELL AS a *whole bunch* of crossbenchers to vote it up, because the Liberals-Nationals would vote against, passing the senate means the bill would have to go down to the Lower House, where the Liberal-Nationals have the majority.
Read 20 tweets
Apr 26, 2018
It is doing my head in that there are social media users who don’t seem to know what “incels” are, who are surprised by the violent misogyny in the hate movement calling itself the “incel rebellion”. Women online have been telling you about organised misogyny for years. YEARS.
I’m deeply envious of anyone unfamiliar with the incels, MGTOWs, MRAs, PUAs, GamerGaters and AVM subscribers that make up the internet’s dark ecology of woman-hating. But me and all the other girls have been subjected to them FOR YEARS. We have been TELLING YOU about all of it.
What the hell did you think was happening to Anita Sarkeesian? Or Zoe Quinn? Or Leslie Jones? Or Lindy West? Or Jessica Valenti? What, it was just a random coincidence that articulate and influential women were having their lives attacked by a spontaneous upsurge of dickwads?
Read 7 tweets

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