BORIS TAKES ANOTHER STAB AT IT
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has presented the EU with a new Brexit withdrawal proposal, including an alternative to the Irish backstop, The Guardian reports. Johnson laid out his five-point Brexit offer in a letter to European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, warning that there is “very little time” to do a deal, but backing away from earlier claims this was a final, take-it-or-leave-it offer.
Labour leader Jemery Corbyn says Johnson’s plan is “worse than May’s”, while Scottish MP Michael Russell has slammed the offer, arguing “it looks like these proposals are designed to fail”. The government is planning to seek another prorogation next Tuesday, ahead of a new Queen’s speech on October 14.
Australia’s Muslim community is calling on the government to include an anti-vilification provision in its religious discrimination bill, making it unlawful to “harass, vilify, or incite hatred or violence” on the grounds of religion, the Nine papers report.
In a submission to the government’s public consultation process, which closed yesterday, a coalition of Muslim groups said that people of minority faiths “need a form of recourse to challenge those who openly vilify them”, pointing out that Muslims do not have sufficient protection under the Racial Discrimination Act. A coalition of NSW independent schools, meanwhile, has challenged the draft bill for making it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of religion, saying it will stop them from preferencing teachers of their faith ($), The Australian reports.
THE NATIONAL INTEREST
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has insisted he is acting in Australia’s interests in cooperating with Donald Trump’s Russia probe, dismissing claims that he is putting the national interest at stake, the ABC reports.
Speaking with Sky News’ David Speers, Morrison dismissed the call as uncontroversial, calling it a brief conversation with a “polite request” and rejecting suggestions it was a “favour”. Morrison would not rule out giving Australian diplomatic cables to the US investigators, but suggested it would be “very unusual”, insisting no information that could affect Australia’s national interest would be shared. The prime minister said America has not requested to investigate Alexander Downer’s link to the Russia probe.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Giving [people] more money would do absolutely nothing … probably all it would do is give drug dealers more money and give pubs more money.
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CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“The mugging for the cameras and shameless pandering to the superpower who guarantees our national defence is, as it has been since the fall of Singapore, fine and dandy. Every Australian prime minister has had to kiss the American ring one way or another. But there are lines. One of them is that we leave them to decide which president they choose to elect, and we don’t take sides. In his shallow eagerness to pal it up with a leader whose orange glow he thought would reflect flatteringly on him, Morrison committed one of two unpardonable sins: either he didn’t realise that the price of a state dinner with Trump is your country’s soul; or he did.”
“Drama is swirling around the Donald Trump/Scott Morrison September phone call. But perhaps the key question is: what prompted Australia’s US Ambassador Joe Hockey to write to American Justice Department chief William Barr about the issue, in swift and enthusiastic terms, a full four months earlier? Hockey’s May letter to Barr, offering to assist in the investigation into the FBI’s Russia probe, was sent without any formal request from the Americans and reflects our ambassador’s ‘how high?’ reaction whenever the Trump administration asks him to jump.”
“Legal letters — known as a concerns notice — don’t usually provoke such a sassy (or viral) response. Most times, when faced with legal threats from powerful figures, small publishers simply remove the offending content, apologise, and pay a small fee to avoid having to go to court. These letters, notes media lawyer and defamation expert Matt Collins, are generally pretty heavy-handed. ‘The mere threat of defamation action, particularly by someone powerful and wealthy is threatening and intimidating. Very often the recipient just pulls content down,’ Collins told Crikey.”
Domestic violence is a crime, and we need to treat it as one – Pru Goward (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “When there is a focus on offenders, it is through the prism of respect for women. (This is going to guarantee angry letters from no end of people, so hear me out). Lack of respect for women can certainly be a factor in explaining offender motivation, it just happens not to be the only one and, in some cases, may not be a factor at all. Ask gay victims whether it was about a lack of respect for women and note their bewilderment. About half of domestic violence offenders commit other violent crimes, suggesting a lack of respect for anyone, not just women.”
Morrison’s desire to be like Trump risks middle ground ($) – Niki Savva (The Australian): “For some time now senior Labor figures have watched closely the Trumpification of the government. They have also noted Morrison’s courting of One Nation supporters. They can see why Morrison is doing it, and while they don’t underestimate how tough or how clever he is, they believe he runs the risk of losing liberals — the small-L liberals who form a substantial part of the congregation that is the Liberal broad church — and sense the opportunity this presents for a more moderate, sensible, centre-left Labor Party to harvest votes. If only such a beast can be re-created.”
Attack of the clones: Australia’s reign by older white men is an offence on us all – Richard Denniss (The Guardian): “A former AFL player called Sam Newman asked: ‘WHO lets this shit have a platform? Mendacious, inbred sycophants, that’s who. #ClimateChangeHoax.’ Who indeed. Maybe the 500,000 people who turned up at the march she led in Montreal? Maybe the 300,000 Australians who followed her lead and joined the climate strike last month? But let’s flip the question. Who gives former football players a loud voice in debates about climate change? Who gives Alan Jones the right to use violent language against female politicians? You guessed it, the boards and chief executives – who are overwhelmingly male. If corporate boards in Australia had a majority of young women setting organisational strategy and culture, it is hard to believe that men who repeatedly incite violence against women would remain on air.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers will use an address to the ACTU’s superannuation trustees forum to commit to stop any effort to overturn the legislated increase in the superannuation guarantee.
ABC listen will host OzPod, the podcast industry conference, with keynote speakers Owen Grover and Dan Blank.
RMIT adjunct professor Barrie Cassidy will deliver a speech exploring the decline of political moralities, to be introduced by the ABC’s Michael Rowland.
The Women’s and Girls Emergency Centre will host “We’re the Women”, an art exhibition and art sale featuring the work of 16 leading female illustrators.
Women in Innovation SA will host the 2019 Winnovation Awards, aimed at recognising the significant achievements that innovative women are making in South Australia.
2016 SA Young Australian of the Year Arman Abrhimzadeh will speak about resilience in an abusive environment at a forum focusing on youth mental health and family violence.
Award-winning journalist Kerry O’Brien will deliver the 2019 John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library Anniversary Lecture.
The Australia China Business Council WA will host China National Day celebrations, with guest speakers Madam Zhihua Dong, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Perth and Peter Tinley, Minister for Asian Engagement.
ANU will host Brian Toohey in conversation with Clinton Fernandes on the former’s new book, Secret: The Making of Australia’s Security State.