Australian Politics 2021-01-29 08:06:00


Mothers of Sons being launched next week

Bettina Arndt

I have some exciting news about an event coming up next week. We have all been invited to the launch of Mothers of Sons – a new initiative by mothers speaking out about the injustice experienced by their sons. I think this is a great idea and I'm delighted that I have been given all the information to share with you.

The official launch of Mothers of Sons will take place via a Facebook live event from 7.00pm AEDT on Monday 1 February 2021.

Here’s the link you use to join the event -

Please circulate this to everyone who might be interested in learning more about this new effort to fight for fair treatment for men and boys.

How it began

You may remember two years ago I made a video interviewing a young man, Dan Jones, who had spent five years fighting off false rape and violence accusations, which eventually led to his accuser, Sara Jane Parkinson, being sent to prison. Later that year Dan’s story featured on an hour-long 60 Minute TV special.

Following the program, the family was swamped with mail from families fighting similar battles, including many from mothers whose sons were in the firing line. Michelle Jones, Dan’s mother, started corresponding with some of the mothers and eventually this led to the idea of an organization using women, mothers, speaking out about what was happening to their sons.

I frequently find myself bailed up in a supermarket with a tearful older woman wanting to share her story about not seeing her grandchildren, spending her life savings to try to protect her son against false allegations of violence or sexual assault, or worrying herself sick as her son struggles against our biased legal system.

Michelle started gathering some of these mothers together and eight months later, the MOS group is ready with a sparkling new website:

This has been a huge labour of love, with many talented people contributing their skills to ensure the MOS mothers are ready to make waves.

Go to the website and you will see videos of the mothers’ extraordinary stories. Women like Michelle Jones and also:

Jo Thompson-Jones whose three-year-old granddaughter was murdered by her mother after the woman was told by a Family Court judge that she had lost custody to Jo’s son, Nathan.

Those two mothers, Jo and Michelle, are the only ones able to speak publicly about what happened to their families. In Michelle’s case the accuser is in prison, and Jo’s son’s partner was found hung in prison where she was awaiting her homicide trial.

It is very telling that the rest of the current group of mothers are afraid to go public with their stories because they fear fresh accusations from the women who are persecuting their sons. MOS has changed their names to protect their identities, but you can read their accounts of what happened or hear podcasts from mothers like these:

Erin – After the rape accusations against her 18-year-old son fell apart in court, the jury stood outside and cheered the boy when he left the courtroom.

Katrina – On the night when her sleeping son was beaten by his partner, the police treated him as the aggressor and took him outside to ‘calm down’.

Millie - Domestic violence accusations were used to obtain a permanent visa for the mother of her son’s child, setting off a series of court battles which destroyed her son’s life.

Mary - It took seven years for her son to convince the Family Court that his children were at risk from their mentally ill mother who’d threatened to kill them. But all it took was a new batch of lies for a magistrate to reverse this decision.

Read advice from the wise women

The mothers have put together their lessons learnt, hard-won advice for other families about how to deal with false domestic violence or rape allegations, handling the police, finding good lawyers, handling Family Court disputes. Have a look at their words of wisdom – vital information to help all families dealing with these issues.

Mothers can use MOS forums to connect with other mothers.

For mothers struggling to help their sons it can be a real lifeline to connect with mothers who have been through similar experiences. The MOS forums give mothers the opportunity to share experiences, gather advice and support.

How you can join this powerful new voice for change

There are many ways you can help Mothers of Sons make a difference to the lives of men and boys. Here’s how you might contribute:

More mothers needed to share their stories. If you are a mother with a son who has experienced injustice, write to MOS. The mothers have editors to help you write your story, or perhaps make a video if you are in a position to speak out openly about what has happened.

Spread the word. Promote the MOS website on social media.
Sign up for the MOS newsletter using the link at the bottom of the MOS home page.

I'm very hopeful Mothers of Sons will help change the public dialogue on injustice towards men, taking over some of the public advocacy that characterized my own career.

Via email:

Australian vaccine fears amid global supply threats

Australia’s medicines watchdog the Therapeutic Goods Administration will make its own decision on whether the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe for use in those aged over 65 even though German authorities have recommended against its use in this age group the Health Minster Greg Hunt said.

The head of the TGA Professor John Skerritt has indicated there is no risk to the elderly from the vaccine but the authority has yet to approve the vaccine.

The UK had no concerns about the use in this age group, Mr Hunt said.

Australia had contracts for supply of 140 million doses of different vaccines and was prepared for a range of outcomes if the AstraZeneca vaccine could not be used in the elderly, he said.

As global bickering intensifies over supply of COVID-19 vaccines Health Minister Greg Hunt has given a commitment that none of the 50 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine produce in Melbourne will be exported overseas.

“With regards to the 50 million doses they are direct contract between the Australian Government and CSL and therefore delivery here in Australia we don’t see in any circumstances under which they wouldn’t be provided in full to Australia,” he said.

And he said Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne was contacting the World Health Organisation and European authorities to secure supply of vaccines under contract for Australia where they are being produced overseas.

Mr Hunt welcomed positive clinical trial results of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine overnight, Australia has purchased over 50 million doses of this vaccine and he said it will be supplied here in the second half of this year.

Two million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will be available to Australians from late March and vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine will commence in late February Health Minister Greg Hunt has clarified today.

Highly infectious new variants of the COVID-19 virus, particularly one from South Africa, appear to be outsmarting existing vaccines which are not as effective against them as earlier strains.

Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax have already signalled they are working on new vaccines to combat the latest variants and this could challenge Australia’s vaccine rollout.

“I’d be cautious on making judgments on existing vaccines against the variance at this point in time, that will remain a matter for the vaccine advisory committee and the medical regulator,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

There was not yet any advice that changes to Australia’s vaccine program was needed yet, Mr Hunt said.

“One of the hallmarks of our approach has been to prepare and to adapt,” he said.

Queensland going slow on new dam construction

The Green/Left hate dams and the Qld. government is a Leftist one

QUEENSLAND needs to build more critical dams to revive its economy, says Prime Minister Scott Morrison, expressing frustration at the state government dragging its heels. He has urged the state to get on with approving more job-generating projects for the regions, including Hughenden Dam and Hells Gates.

The call follows Mr Morrison's four-day blitz of the state's regions, visiting towns still fighting to recover from the lingering drought. Mr Morrison would not commit to a state employment target, with Queensland now having the highest jobless rate in the country of 7.5 per cent, saying that was up to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. But he said programs such as the JobMaker hiring credit and building infrastructure would get Queenslanders back into work.

While he praised the state for its commitment to projects such as CopperString 2.0 and Townsville Port, he told The Courier-Mail more needed to be done. "I think water infrastructure has proved very frustrating," Mr Morrison said. "Whether it's Hughenden Irrigation Scheme, or Hells Gates (dam), or any of these projects, we've gone through a lot of frustrations trying to get things like Emu Swamp and Rookwood Weir done. These things have to move more quickly that they have done. Water is critical to Queens-land's future, we do seriously want to invest in these projects, but they have to be approved by the state government."

Rookwood Weir is currently scheduled to start construction in April, despite first being promised by then-premier Peter Beattie in 2006. The federal government has committed $54m towards Hells Gates dam for a business case, and another $2m towards a feasibility study for Hughenden Irrigation Scheme, with a promise of a further $180m to go towards construction.

The Palaszczuk government announced an additional $6m for design and construction tender documents for Emu Swamp Dam in February last year, while in September it announced an expert panel would look into the Bradfield inland irrigation scheme. The Premier's office and Regional Development and Water Minister Glenn Butcher declined to comment

Courier Mail 25 Jan., 2021

Rupert Murdoch slams ‘woke’ culture in Australia Day speech

Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire mogul behind Fox News, took issue with the silencing of debate on social media, saying censorship had hobbled discourse with “awful woke orthodoxy”.

Mr Murdoch, 89, made the rare public remarks during a brief video to accept a lifetime achievement award from the Australia Day Foundation. The clip was posted online by the Herald Sun, owned by the media mogul’s News Corp.

“For those of us in media, there is a real challenge to confront,” he said. “A wave of censorship that seeks to silence conversation, to stifle debate and ultimately stop individuals and societies from realising their potential.”

[The US Capitol riot on January 6 was followed by a purging of the social-media accounts of then-President Donald Trump and others, drawing complaints of censorship. On Monday, Twitter said it would seek to police the service more vigilantly for misinformation and introduced a new feature called Birdwatch.

Fox News and other conservative outlets are under fire for fueling uncertainty about the US presidential election, which critics say contributed to the storming of the Capitol. Mr Murdoch’s own son James Murdoch has joined the outcry, telling the Financial Times that outlets “that propagate lies to their audience have unleashed insidious and uncontrollable forces that will be with us for years”.]

In his remarks from the award ceremony, Rupert Murdoch said a “rigidly enforced conformity, aided and abetted by so-called social media, is a straitjacket on sensibility”.