Tag Archives: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

Lover, lover, lover – burying the dead, Scott Morrison, and L. Cohen

16 Feb

Grief. Edgar Bertram Mackennal via Commons Wikimedia

One thing the Shadow Minister for Immigration reminded me of yesterday is that whatever qualities may be required for the practice of politics, the possession of emotional intelligence is not one of them.

Morrison’s race to the bottom whine about misuse of taxpayer dollars to bring bereaved asylums seekers from Christmas Island to Sydney  has brought down buckets of approbation down on his head, and deservedly so.

Jonathan Green’s piece also reveals the morally bereft position of the government on the issue.

Morrison’s complaint was that Australians have to reach into their own pockets to attend the gravesides of loved ones, but asylum seekers don’t.

I did for a moment have a wild fantasy that this was a bit of theatre. Well, it gave Joe Hockey the opportunity to parade his compassion, and he is trying to get somebody from the government to go on Sunrise with him to lift his profile. And if there’s to be a tilt at leadership, given that Abbott’s apparently in roughly the same place as was Rudd when he got the axe, then Hockey’s a likely candidate. What better way to pitch him than as the mature voice of emotional reason, with Morrison’s forces-of-darkness gibberish as the foil?

But as LP’s Mistress Kimbrella (oh, lover,lover,lover, come back to me…) and Ken Parish reminded me, I have the capacity to think like a loony conspiracy theorist if I’m not vigilant.

BTW, friends, I was proved right about the OLO strife being provoked by more than one person, IBM stating it was the article that offended employees in their offices as well as their advertising agency, and it being revealed that Gregory’s call to the ANZ didn’t get a mention anywhere. I guess someone will apologise sometime? Just kidding.

I notice that LP’s supporters are still busily defending over at the Drum, including one commenter who writes, mysteriously,Christopher Pearson has every right to his vile hate-speech.

A generous friend gave me Leonard Cohen’s On the Road DVD and CD for Christmas. Listening to Cohen, and watching him, (not to mention the spectacular Javier Mas) is a great antidote to the inevitable and profound spiritual exhaustion provoked by politicians using the funerals of babies to let everybody know how tough they are.

I thought of politicians when Cohen sang:

I asked my father
I said, “Father change my name”
The one I’m using now it’s covered up
With fear and filth and cowardice and shame

Vale little babies, mothers, wives, husbands, uncles, brothers, sisters, aunts, daughters, sons, cousins, lovers and friends, drowned at Christmas Island. Vale.


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Storer changes the story, and Michael plays a game

8 Feb

Gregory Storer

This is the public complaint Storer lodged against OLO, at the Ambit Gambit blog:

I’m one of the ‘gay activists’ who ‘attacked’ online opinion, however, I took exception to some of the comments that where posted after Bill Muehlenberg’s piece, not the actual essay.
I defend Bill’s right to his opinions, he should have he’s stuff published, but it’s the disrespectful and outright hatred of the comments that follow that are objectionable. As a person who is gay, I find those comments disturbing and they shouldn’t have a place in our society.
And I did the right thing, I raised the comments with Graham Young, he made it clear he thought the comments where ok, so the next step is to approach the sponsors and advertisers to make them aware of the sort of site they support and to express my disgust.
Online Opinion does a great job in allowing people to express their opinions by publishing their articles. The comment sections leave a lot to be desired.
Comment by Gregory — December 20, 2010 @ 3:30 am

I note Storer says he is  “one” of the gay activists that ‘attacked’ OLO. Therefore I and several other people took him at his word that he was “one of,” but one of how many we did not know.

I have since asked this question of his partner Michael Barnett, who approached me on this blog. This is the response:

Michael Barnett: I have the answers to your questions and you’d be surprised and disappointed with them.

Me: Well, tell us then.

Michael: I don’t need to tell you what I know. You can trust me.

WTF????

Now Storer claims to have acted alone.

Actually, the next step isn’t an economic boycott. The next step is the Anti Discrimination legislation. That’s what it’s there for.

Gregory Storer, Secular Party of Australia‘s candidate for Melbourne Ports in the 2010 federal election, has emerged as the man behind a gay lobby’s successful efforts to persuade the ANZ Bank and IBM to withdraw advertising from On Line Opinion.

Gregory’s mission statement reads in part as follows:

I firmly believe that there should be a clear separation of church and state.  I have a strong code of ethics and think that human rights should be paramount to the way we live our lives.

I would like to see an Australia that accepts its citizens for who they are, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or ethnic background.  We are all people, we are all entitled to equal rights and as citizens of Australia we all deserve to be treated with respect, to enable us to fully participate in our society.

Noble sentiments, Gregory. How do they sit with exerting your economic power to bring about the closure of an on line community because you feel it has offended you?

In an email to me earlier today, Gregory stated that he had not bullied, or engaged in standover tactics in order to close down OLO, and that he does not even want to close OLO down.

So what, then, I inquired, did he imagine his lobbying of  all the site’s sponsors to withdraw all their advertising dollars would achieve, if not financial knee capping of  the popular site?

Still waiting for the candidate to answer that question.

As to how large the gay lobby led by Gregory is, I haven’t been able to ascertain that so far. There must be some members of considerable economic power, if they are in a position to persuade corporations such as ANZ and IBM to change their advertising placements.

A quick peek at Bill Muehlenberg’s website, and the website belonging to the Australian Christian Lobby, reveals there’s outrage in both camps against the ANZ Bank for its pro gay marriage stance, and its attempts to apparently influence Bill’s freedom of speech.

Looks like the candidate for Melbourne Ports has caused a very diverse group of citizens to ponder if their rights have been disregarded in his pursuit of On Line Opinion.

“The Pink Mafia” is Muehlenberg’s term, one which until yesterday seemed pretty excessive. But today, having learned the lengths to which Storer and his gang are prepared to go to exert their will on the digital reading public, maybe Bill isn’t too far wrong.

Now that’s scary.

What gay activists and Melinda Tankard Reist have in common

7 Feb

 

 

 

 

 

Bearman via flickr

 

Whether it’s the petition by Christian activist for women and girls Melinda Tankard Reist, aimed at banning rapper KanYe West’s latest video, or the efforts by some gay rights activists to close down the e-journal On Line Opinion, the price of freedom of speech and expression for those who care about it certainly is eternal vigilance.

The author of the offending OLO article expressing anti gay marriage views, (some of them written by gays) is Bill Muehlenberg, spokesman for the Family Council of Victoira, and a religious ethicist.

Some gay activists, enraged at his article and subsequent forum commentary, have successfully lobbied the ANZ bank and IBM to withdraw advertising from OLO, leaving the popular blog about politics and society in a critical financial state.

Tough if you’ve loved reading and writing for OLO,folks. Some gay activists are trying to take it away from you. Rather than addressing the commentary that offends them, they’re just pulling the plug on the whole deal, and who cares if anybody else suffers, and if many other serious issues don’t have a airing in the future?

And this regardless of the fact that there are more articles in OLO that support their position than against (including two written by me), and that the forums are also full of supportive commentary that confronts the prejudices and ignorance of discriminatory comments.

Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

These two apparently disparate causes, “family “values and pro gay marriage,  have at least one thing in common: they want to silence those who disagree with them, and they want to ban that with which they disagree.

They want to tell all the other adults on the planet what it’s acceptable for them to read, watch, discuss and write about. They want you to see everything through their eyes, that is, if they tell you something is offensive, you have to share their perception. Doesn’t matter if it doesn’t seem that way to you. Or even if it does seem that way and you don’t choose censorship as a means of addressing the offense.

You don’t have a choice anymore, because they’ve made it for you.

This is going to be difficult for humanity. The perceptions of a Melinda Tankard Reist and the perceptions of pro gay marriage activists are not always in sync.

The ANZ bank has apparently capitulated to the threat of the removal of the pink dollar from their business, as has IBM.

I doubt that the petition against KanYe West will have the same success. I don’t see the music industry capitulating anytime soon. I’m glad about that, because no matter what I think of his music video, I don’t have the right to tell other adults they can’t watch it.

If you should feel moved to express your opinion to the ANZ bank, here is the link to their complaints form. You don’t have to be a customer.http://www.anz.com/common/forms/default.asp?intID=174

What is always under threat is freedom of speech and expression. It comes at times from the most unexpected quarters. Who would have foreseen this attack on OLO?

Is this a rite of passage for some gay activists? They now have the economic power and influence to bring about the financial destruction of one of the most popular online journals in this country? Does this mean the marginalized  have arrived at the centre?

What better way to demonstrate their arrival. Censorship. A tool of the hegemony.

Oh, brave new world, that has such people in it!

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