Australian Politics 2018-09-08 15:51:00
Inside "66 Records", the music label that saw its launch end in a brutal Collingwood street brawl
Why on earth have we allowed these hostile and aggressive people into our country?
IT’S barely a year old but 66 Records, the Melbourne-based rap label whose launch ended in a bloody street brawl involving more than 100 people, is already making waves in the Victorian capital.
In a press conference yesterday afternoon, Acting Deputy Commissioner Bob Hill said the record label had been on the radar of Victoria Police for some time.
“Record 66 is a concept group we’ve been well and truly aware of and we’ve been monitoring,” Mr Hill said.
“I do understand that they had a premises where they had a rental agreement with someone and because of our police attention, the attention we were applying to them, the person that owned the premises rescinded the rental agreement. “That just gives you some appreciation of the fact that we are monitoring these groups and these people.”
The artists signed to 66 Records often refer to police and crimes in their songs.
A song called Make It Out, by Axon, QRF Nelly and King Ace, has been viewed more than 15,000 times on YouTube and features a group of men walking through graffitied streets of Melbourne.
“In the hood yeah we got our own politics cause white folks don’t know we’re on some gutter s**t and the ops (slang for cops, those in the legal system) don’t know we are some other s**t, frame our brothers ain’t that some bulls**t,” they rap.
“My n***ers try to get the paper but they end up on the news. Prosecutors trying to get a n***er f**ked up but I still run the money up.”
In another video, a group of three youths freestyle rap to the camera.
“Real n***ers in my squad, no fakes. Rule number one, never talk to the Js (slang for law enforcement).
“If we go to war, we releasing the ace, them bitch n***ers talking all over the state.
“Like hold up, one piggy, two piggy, big bad wolf. I’m a menace to society, wanna smoke that kush (high quality marijuana).
“Middle finger to the feds, kill them all if I could.”
A number of artists who performed at the 66 Records launch on Saturday night have previously recorded “drill” rap songs.
The drill rap genre has been linked to a number of stabbings and gang violence across London.
In August, rapper Siddique Kamara was stabbed to death in London, less than six months after he had been cleared of murder himself.
After his trial, Mr Kamara linked the music genre and violence. “The crime that’s happening right music does influence it. You’ve got to put your hands up and say drill music does influence it,” he said.
But added, “Knife crime and gun crime has been going on way before drill music … 10 years, 20 years, people were still getting cheffed up (attacked with knives)”.
In an invitation to the event, 66 Records warned people coming to the launch to be on their best behaviour.
“There will be hired security so trouble makers be aware, we all looking to have a good time,” the event invite read.
A day before the launch, the event’s organiser known as J-Nelly also warned revellers on Facebook that, “violence will not be tolerated”.
“A moment of anger isn’t worth a lifetime of bad labeling (sic),” he wrote in all capitals.
J-Nelly said organisers had also met with "federal detectives, who are very concerned with the energy, which they have related to the latest sparks of new reports degrading the African community”.
Police have pledged to speak to every one of the 200 people that attended the 66 Records launch in an attempt to figure out how things turned so violent.
In a statement sent to news.com.au, J-Nelly said fighting was “instigated” by attendees not associated with the label.
Dozens of people were involved in the brawl. An 18-year-old man is still in hospital with severe leg injuries after a car pinned him against another vehicle and a further six people were also hospitalised from the all-in street brawl.
Australia backing out of climate committments
The Leftist article below says the world is horrified. The reality is that only a few Greenie ideologues are even noticing
Well, that didn’t take long. Little more than a week after the elevation of Scott Morrison to the prime minister’s office, Australia has returned to the bad old ways that were a feature of Tony Abbott’s engagement on climate change, and John Howard’s involvement with Kyoto.
In separate arena this week, Australia has been accused of attempting to water down the language of the Pacific Islands Forum declaration on climate change. And in Bangkok it has sided with the Trump administration and Japan in attempting to weaken climate finance obligations in a move that has horrified some observers.
Australia is coming under increasing scrutiny since Malcolm Turnbull announced the country was dumping the emissions obligation proposed for the National Energy Guarantee, and was then dumped by the party’s climate denying conservative wing anyway.
Morrison has shown no interest in climate change, and has instructed new energy minister Angus Taylor to focus only on “bringing down prices” and ensuring the country retains as much “fair dinkum” coal in the system as it can.
Even environment minister Melissa Price, a former mining company lawyer who is supposed to be responsible for emissions, is talking up the idea of having new coal-fired generators.
The international community is looking on in horror, and so are the main business lobby groups in Australia, such as the Business Council of Australia – who have campaigned vigorosuly for a decade to minimise Australia’s contribution to climate action, but understand the considerable reputational, trade and business consequences of choosing to do nothing.
Morrison has so far resisted calls from the party’s far right to follow Trump out of the Paris climate treaty, but in crucial and complex climate talks in Bangkok this week, sided with the US and Japan in a dramatic attempt to weaken climate finance obligations.
The Bangkok talks were called to give negotiators extra time to put together the so-called “rule-book,” which will provide the fine details of the Paris agreement, particularly as countries gear up to increase their climate targets to try and drag the collective efforts closer to the target of limiting global warming to “well below” 2°C, and possibly 1.5°C.
But little progress has been made in Bangkok, forcing the UNFCCC, which runs the climate talks, to call for the annual talks scheduled this year in Poland to begin a day earlier, in the hope that visiting heads of state have something to work with when they turn up.
One of the biggest road-blocks has been erected by Australia, the US and Japan, who put in a joint submission that seeks to water down climate finance guidelines, and casts doubt that this week’s Bangkok negotiations will deliver the clear climate rules UN leaders have been calling for.
Climate campaigners say the proposed text on article 9.7 of the Paris accord, which refers to accounting and is meant to establish rules about how developed countries report what finance they provide to developing countries, serves to muddy the rules rather than clarify them.
The campaigners say that the proposal would allow countries to report whatever items they like – including commercial loans ≠ as climate finance, in contrast to demands of clear financial and technical packages to help them developing countries cope with future extreme weather-related events.
“(This) does not create any meaningful rules on how climate finance is accounted for, and instead it essentially says ‘countries should report what they want,’” Brandon Wu, director of policy and campaigns for ActionAid USA, told Devex.
“This would completely let rich countries off the hook and deprive developing countries of real money for real action,” Wu said. Other campaigners said this meant climate finance could just be re-badged existing aid.”
Indeed, some are accusing Australia and other western countries of “disgracefully” and “sheepishly” hiding behind Trump’s announced exit from Paris to further their own agenda
They note that the Paris treaty was made weaker for the rich countries than the Kyoto Protocol, because of the politics in the US, and the efforts of most negotiators to bend over backwards to accommodate the US demands, only to find the US withdrawing.
“They should have acted as a firewall to stop the virus of the US approach from infecting the climate negotiations, but instead they have allowed US interests to once again paralyse progress,” writes by Mohamed Adow from Christian Aid International.
“Putting developing countries further in debt might be Donald Trump’s idea of what climate finance should look like, but it is not the real money for real action that’s needed to solve the climate crisis.
“Other wealthy countries must stop Trump in further weakening the Paris Agreement and instead honour their commitments by delivering a rulebook that is fit for protecting people and planet, not polluter’s profits.”
Don’t expect the Coalition government in Australia to pay much heed to that.
These problems are being felt acutely in the Pacific, where island nations are furious with Australia’s stance on climate, its attachment to coal, and its refusal to act on its declarations that “it takes climate change seriously.”
The current Coalition government still has no policy in place to try and reach what is regarded as a very low interim target of a 26-28 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030. So while it has signed a declaration recognising that climate change is the biggest security threat to the Pacific, it has no plans to do anything about it.
A new report by ClimateWorks says Australia is well off track, but it actually has the opportunity to meet the target through some low cost abatement. Much of this comes in the energy sector, but the Coalition is now talking about building new “fair dinkum” coal-fired generators, and making threats against companies that dare contemplate closing older, dirty, and increasingly unreliable and expensive power plants.
Numerous reports this week have pointed to the potential economic consequences of failing to act on climate change – at a global level, a national level, and even a state level. A new report suggested that – despite all the claims – coal was not the cheapest option because even existing plans would soon be more expensive to run than new renewables and storage facilities.
In Nauru, at the Pacific Forum, Australia was accused of seeking to water down the language of the declaration and issuing qualifications to part of the Pacific Islands Forum communique over the Paris climate agreement.
The Guardian quoted the prime minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga, saying that the name of the country seeking qualifications “[started] with capital A”. Australia is the only country in the PIF beginning with A.
It quoted Vanuatu’s minister for foreign affairs Ralph Regenvanu saying: “I was there, and can confirm this is true. And unfortunate.”
Bill Hare, managing director of Climate Analytics and a lead author on the IPCC fourth assessment report, told Guardian Australia that Pacific leaders were growing increasingly disenchanted with Australia’s refusal to commit to cutting carbon emissions.
“The leaders are not fools, and they are increasingly confronted by the problems of climate change, in all its different dimensions,” Hare said. “The problem for Australia is it doesn’t have credibility on climate. Australia is an important player for many of the Pacific Island countries, well-respected and well-liked by the populations and the political leaders, but on climate change there is a chasm opening up.
He said the real test for Australia would be in its actions to address its own emissions, and in helping the Pacific with adaptation.
“The actions will not match the gravity of the declaration or the gravity of the need. There is a credibility gap: Australia is not acting on reducing its own emissions. All the leaders know that whenever the prime minister or energy minister says Australia will meet its Paris targets ‘in a canter’, that that it is wrong, it is factually incorrect – it is bullshit.”
Are school leavers prepared for university?
About one in four Australian university students drop out and don’t complete their degree. One of the questions this raises is: are schools adequately preparing students for higher education?
This question was tackled by a panel I was on at the Australian Financial Review Higher Education Summit (Kevin Rudd’s notorious ‘2020 Summit’ may have given summits a bad name, but this one was actually serious and worthwhile).
I was joined on the panel by Emeritus Professor John Halsey and school principal Joanne Wastle. We agreed that in many cases schools do a great job of preparing students for university, but it’s inconsistent across the country. Professor Halsey emphasised the struggle for students from rural areas, while Ms Wastle highlighted the importance of having qualified secondary teachers in maths and science. And we all agreed that more technology by itself isn’t the answer.
Ultimately, if students leave school without proficiency in literacy and numeracy, university will always be very difficult.
University certainly isn’t the best option for everyone, and one common concern at the Summit was the growing pressure on high-school students to go to university even if they don’t have the necessary academic ability or motivation. However, ensuring students leave school with a sound and well-rounded knowledge of all the core disciplines, at least gives them a viable option of going to university.
For example, school students without adequate maths and reading ability will find science in Years 7-10 much more difficult, which significantly affects motivation and ability to continue with science subjects in Years 11 and 12. This may then obstruct them from enrolling in science or engineering degrees, even if they would like to.
Developing core literacy and numeracy skills in the early years of school, is necessary for students to have good university prospects. And what happens in the classroom 10 or even 12 years before students leave school can affect their higher education prospects.
7000 Days In Just 3 Months Lost To Construction Union Strikes
Strikes in the construction sector accounted for more than half the working days lost in the entire economy in the June quarter according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
“In just three months more than 7000 days were lost to strikes in our industry,” Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said.
“This shows the building union’s continuing contempt for the community and their refusal to obey the law like everyone else. It shows why the Morrison Government should continue to pursue a legislative agenda targeted to changing the culture in the construction industry,” she said.
“The surging commercial and civil construction sectors are playing a major role in the improving national economic outlook and the community simply cannot afford more than 7000 days in just three months to be lost to building union strikes,” Denita Wawn said.
“It’s clear from these latest figures that the ABCC is doing its job in holding the CFMMEU to account but, as Federal Court judges have said in a raft of recent decisions, the CFMMEU simply ignores the verdicts of the courts and continues to reoffend,” she said.
“This is why the powers of the ABCC must be preserved into the future so that its work to change the industrial culture of the industry can continue and why Master Builders calls on the Morrison Government to continue to protect small business people, sub-contractors and tradies from union bullying on construction sites,” Denita Wawn said.
Australia: the welfare state
Does the nature of a democracy change when an increasing majority of its voters receive net benefits from, or are employed by, government — while a diminishing minority shoulders the net tax burden?
Australia is in the process of finding out.
Recently released ABS figures show that in 2015-16, nearly half of Australian households received more in broadly-defined benefits from government, than they paid in direct and indirect taxes. When the number of public sector employees is added, close to a majority of voters benefit more from government than they contribute.
The figures are surprising, not because some households benefit from the tax/transfer system, but because so many do. If the population of households is divided into quintiles (slices of 20% each) from lowest to highest income, not only the first and second quintiles are net beneficiaries, but also the third (middle) quintile.
In Voting for a Living: A shift in Australian politics from selling policies to buying votes?, released this week, Terrence O’Brien and I explore the implications of this trend. The paper outlines that having such a large group of government beneficiaries exerts pressure for policy making to preserve existing benefits and create new benefits; while largely restricting new taxes to higher income households.
The emergence of such a large population segment that in a sense ‘votes for a living’, could help explain much of what has gone awry with Australian public policy in recent years. Specifically, it could help explain government decisions such as the abandoning of the proposed pension age increase from 67 to 70, announced earlier this week.
This decision also illustrates a general point made in the paper — that it is not just voter behaviour that’s affected by increasing net benefits. Political parties will also curry favour with this group of voters and become more interested in buying votes than selling good policies.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here