Episode 212 – Calombaris, Grandfathering and Forgotten Classes

Calombaris has done a Falou, Falou’s sect is bonkers, Section 44, Iranian tanker swap, inequality, grandfathering, class distinctions and our thoughts on Indigenous issues for next week’s special episode.

1:45 It’s 50 Years Since the Moon Walk

July 20, 1969. Two men walk on the moon. The Earth stands still. More than a half a billion people watch grainy black and white vision of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin tread upon the dusty surface of Earth’s only satellite.

6:49 George Calombaris

Sacked for being a twat that made him unacceptable as an ambassador and role model. I hope all free speech Falou supporters come out equally in defence of Calombaris.

Some people will say that Falou did nothing illegal and that is the difference. That would be double jeopardy.

14:45  Back to Falou

By Kate McClymont in The Age:

The 30-strong congregation of the Truth of Jesus Christ Church, established by Folau’s father Eni in 2013, believes the “everlasting torture and doom” of hell awaits most Christians, with Catholicism seen as “the synagogue of Satan” and “masked devil worship”.

A Christian parent of a promising young rugby player was concerned when Israel Folau began inviting players to his church. The parent decided to find out for herself what the Folaus were preaching. What she discovered has disturbed her greatly.

“I honestly do not want my son involved in what I have come to understand is false teachings and counterfeit Christianity. I’ve gone, I’ve checked it out and I would call them an isolated hate group,” she said of her attendance at Bible studies at the home of Pastor Eni, as he calls himself, as well as discussions with Eni’s disciple, his 20-year-old nephew Josiah Folau.

The Folaus told her that if she had an accident on the way home from Bible study she would go to hell because she was not a “born again” Christian. Anyone who has been baptised in a different way to the Folaus is heading for perdition.

Pastor Eni preaches that someone is “a born again believer” when they renounce the evils of their ways and are baptised in the name of Jesus Christ and “reborn” in water. “If you’ve done it a different way from this then you aren’t born again,” Folau said on Twitter.

One of those who won’t be saved is Prime Minister Scott Morrison, whose Pentecostal Horizon Church teaches the doctrine of the Trinity. When the parent asked the Folaus if Mr Morrison was a Christian, they laughed and said no, “He’s a Hillsong.”

“Only we have the truth,” the Folaus said.

Baptisms are conducted in the kidney-shaped pebble crete pool at the back of Eni Folau’s mansion on two hectares of land in Kenthurst, in Sydney’s semi-rural Hills District.

The parent was also told of the falseness of the doctrine of the Trinity – a belief held by most mainstream Christians. When she pointed out that most Christians would not be “saved”, Josiah Folau replied, “Look at what scripture says – doesn’t matter that there’s only a few of us actually believing in the truth … Only eight people were saved when the whole world was destroyed in Noah’s time.”

He also told her that the Trinity “isn’t taught anywhere in scripture and it’s the biggest deception which Satan uses today”.

Those close to Israel Folau say his father wields enormous influence in his son’s life. He is a director of his son’s investment vehicles. Folau, 30, has a vast property empire including two houses in Queensland and a multimillion-dollar apartment in Little Bay where he lives with his wife, New Zealand netball star Maria. Folau is also building two four-bedroom homes on vacant land he bought in Austral.

As well as filial obedience, Polynesian culture also espouses the sharing of wealth with your extended family.

Folau’s prodigious talent saw him debut for Melbourne Storm in 2007 at the age of 17. At that time the Folaus were members of the Mormon Church. Ten per cent of his earnings went to the church and the rest to his father, who controlled every aspect of his life – even which movies he watched.

The obligation to undertake two years of missionary work did not eventuate and, in 2011, Israel followed his father to the Assemblies of God and jumped codes to AFL.

“I had a personal experience with the holy spirit touching my heart,” Folau said of his new faith. “I’ve never felt that before while I was involved in the Mormon church – until I came to the AOG church and accepted Christ.”

When pastor Brian Houston left the Assemblies of God, the Folaus followed him to Hillsong.

The relationship between the Folaus and Houston is now poisonous.

23:24 Tasmanian man James Durston has been fined $2000 for failing to apologise for anti-gay flyers he distributed in Hobart in 2013.

The state’s Anti-Discrimination Tribunal ordered Durston to publish an apology for the flyers, which featured absurd “homosexuality statistics” in Sandy Bay, a suburb of Hobart.

“It is warned that homosexuality should not be tolerated, and therefore this will benefit both the individual and society,” the flyers began.

The flyers also claimed that lesbians were 307 times more likely to die in accidents than white women aged 25-44, and that gay men were 10 times more likely to die as the result of an accident.

They also suggested that just eight per cent of gay men live to old age, compared to just a quarter of lesbians.

Robert Williams, who lodged the complaint against Durston, said it was never his “intention that Mr Durston be punished financially.”

“I wanted a public apology because that would have undone some of the damage caused by the flyer, particularly to young, vulnerable LGBTI people,” he said.

“The damage done to young and vulnerable people through vilification based on their personal characteristics is immeasurable, whether this is about their faith, disability, sexual orientation, or other characteristic.

28:47 Christian family who argued taxes ‘against God’s will’ ordered to pay $2.3m bill

Honey farming must be good business.

Not paying taxes! Who do they think they are? A Church?

A Tasmanian family has been ordered to pay more than $2 million to the Australian Taxation Office after failing to pay income tax on the grounds it “goes against God’s will”.

Christian missionaries Fanny Alida Beerepoot and her brother Rembertus Cornelis Beerepoot faced the Supreme Court of Tasmania on Wednesday after they both failed to pay an estimated $930,000 in income tax and other charges in 2017.

The judge’s reasons are so wrong it is not funny.

In his judgment, Associate Justice Stephen Holt said he took issue with the absence of a specific reference in the Bible that supports their argument.

“If you can’t find me a passage in scripture or gospel that says ‘thou shall not pay tax’ then can you see I have difficulty finding a starting point?” Associate Justice Holt asked.

“I believe the submissions to be honestly and genuinely held beliefs rather than an attempt to avoid tax liabilities.

“But in my view, the Bible effectively said that civil matters and the law of God operate in two different spheres.”

36:33 The Government plans to introduce a new Religious Freedom Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Rodney Croome:

“LGBTI lobby groups must apply more pressure now to ensure the Coalition and Labor don’t go down the path of weakening discrimination protections in the name of ‘religious freedom’.”

Croome also said it would be unfair for religious people to have their own dedicated commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission when LGBTQI people did not.

“I am also concerned about plans to appoint a religious freedom commissioner to the Australian Human Rights Commission because their job would basically be to boost a religious freedom narrative that is anti-LGBTI to its very core,” Croome said.

“At the very least there also needs to be an LGBTI human rights commissioner to provide our rights with an advocate of equal authority.”

Maybe LGBTI peoples could seek a special voice in parliament?

41:34 More S.44 cases in the pipeline

Any person who:

(i) is under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power; or

(ii) is attainted of treason, or has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer; or

(iii) is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent; or

(iv) holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth; or

(v) has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons;

shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

A pensioner with a lot of time

PENSIONERS HAVE way too much time on their hands.

Time, if they have the inclination, to pen letters to the papers about what a bunch of unfair skinflints populate the government, or vent on Facebook so their entire extended family knows how much the government has stiffed them.

Some, though, prefer to trek through the arcane and occasionally occult rules of the parliamentary game with the sole intent of identifying any gap big enough for politicians of hubris to fall through. Just for fun.

In this regard, IA’s favourite pensioner, hands down, is Tony Magrathea. A search through IA will show Tony has, for years, waged a one-man campaign against politicians lying about their ancestry.

While Tony wasn’t responsible for causing the recent s44 constitutional mayhem, which blew away politicians of all stripes, including, at least temporarily, such luminaries as the deputy PM (which, by the way, is not a title mentioned in the Constitution), he was certainly part of the zeitgeist.

But now Tony has had a tangible win, one that is his own — and what a sweet victory it was. Magrathea sued One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts under the Common Informers (Parliamentary Disqualifications) Act 1975 and, much to everyone’s surprise, as it had never been done before, he was successful.

Section 46 of the Constitution states:

46. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, any person declared by this Constitution to be incapable of sitting as a senator or as a member of the House of Representatives shall, for every day on which he so sits, be liable to pay the sum of one hundred pounds to any person who sues for it in any court of competent jurisdiction.[1]

Common Informers (Parliamentary Disqualifications) Act 1975

Section 46 only applied “until the Parliament otherwise provides”.[1] Prompted by the case of James Webster,[3][4] a Senator whose eligibility to sit was questioned in the High Court, Parliament passed the Common Informers (Parliamentary Disqualifications) Act 1975 (“Common Informers Act”),[5] which replaced the constitutional scheme of penalties for members sitting while ineligible. If Webster was found to have sat whilst ineligible, the penalty under the constitution might have exceeded $57,200.[6]

Under the Common Informers Act, the quantum of damages which can be recovered is significantly reduced. A person found to be ineligible is liable for a single payment of $200 for sitting in Parliament on or before the day they received notice of the suit challenging their eligibility, and a $200 payment for every day they sit in Parliament after receiving notice of the suit. A twelve-month statute of limitations has been introduced, and it is made explicit that a person may not be penalised twice for the same sitting.[7]

In September 2017, before the High Court ruling on the eligibility of Malcolm Roberts, blogger Tony Magrathea intiated a High Court action alleging that Roberts had sat in the Senate while disqualified, contrary to the Common Informers Act. On 24 June 2019, the High Court found the allegation proved and ordered Roberts to pay a penalty of $6,000 to Magrathea

This time it will be Dutton and Frydenberg

Mr Dutton failed to mention his family trust in his qualifications check list.

He did tell the world he had renounced his family trust and he is no longer a beneficiary of it, but the Constitution says in s44(v) no MP may have ‘any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth’, meaning the indirect benefit his wife and children receive as beneficiaries of this family trust, which receives monies from the Commonwealth, puts Dutton in breach of the Constitution.

Failing to declare this means he has signed a false declaration to nominate for Parliament.

And then there’s Josh Frydenberg:

He should’ve renounced just to be sure, but he didn’t.

It is apparent Frydenberg was less than totally honest when he completed his nomination form for the 2019 election. On the form, Josh reckons his mum was rendered stateless in 1948 due to the Holocaust, but Magrathea dug up a couple of documents showing this claim to be untrue.

One document, completed in Vienna in 1950, notes Erika Strausz, Josh’s mum, along with her parents and siblings, were Hungarian citizens. Her immigration papers to Australia in 1951 also note she and her family as Hungarian.


48:54 Tanker Swap

Is Iran angling for a tanker swap?

From Crikey

This time it’s different, apparently. Another aggressive Republican president, another confected case for military action against an Islamic country, another demand for Australia to be a “good international citizen” and join a military taskforce to preserve international rules. This time the target is Iran.

“Brazen Iranian tanker piracy in the Strait of Hormuz underlines the need for international action to ensure freedom of navigation in the world’s most important oil supply passageway,” The Australian insisted today, oblivious to the News Corp role in cheering on the greatest strategic blunder of the recent decades, the Iraq War.

The Australian Financial Review wants Australia front and centre in any military action against Iran:

An international force to police the Straits — similar to the long-running international anti-piracy scheme off the Horn of Africa — is the right response. Australia, as a good international citizen, should be willing to join in.

It’s only four years since the AFR cheered on Tony Abbott’s dispatch of more troops back to Iraq. There’s no Middle East conflagration that the AFR doesn’t want us in, it seems.

The AFR at least acknowledged there was a wider dimension to the current escalation of tensions with Iran by the Trump administration. The Australian is pretending it is all a matter of Iran and its “aggression”, without bothering to note the UK’s US-instigated seizure of an Iranian oil tanker, let alone the Trump administration’s strategy of punishing Iran for complying with the JCPOA nuclear deal with savage sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy.

But according to the AFR, “trying to use international waters as leverage in an unrelated row with a third party is on principle not acceptable”. Go looking for an AFR editorial condemning Trump’s breaching of the JCPOA and illegal imposition of sanctions, however, and you’ll find nothing. It’s OK for the US to unilaterally withdraw from agreements, breach international law and engage in economic war, but Iran must be held to a higher standard.

52:35 Futurist who predicted 9/11 and the GFC says there will be a ‘global crash by the end of next year’

I can’t find any evidence of his predictions. Sounds like BS to me.

Anyway, just for fun, what do we think of his predictions?

Donald Trump will win re-election in 2020 just in time for a “global crash”, Aussie property prices still have much further to fall, and Facebook will be dead within a decade.

Chillingly, within the next three years, a popular world leader will be assassinated using autonomous drone technology, sparking an international outcry.

Those are just some of the predictions of futurist Dr Richard Hames — who correctly foresaw 9/11 and the GFC, two of the biggest world events of the past two decades — but they’re not his “craziest”.

“My craziest prediction is that within the decade we’re going to see almost a revolutionary change in how we think about politics, social enterprise and the economy,” Dr Hames said, citing climate change and the widening gap between rich and poor as key catalysts.

“Governments will seriously consider how they can put a cap on personal wealth, thus challenging the capitalist framework. We will shift our thinking away from growth at all costs to how humanity thrives without growth and even negative growth. Economists will say that’s impossible, but it isn’t if you look at more things than just the economy.”

1:00:20 Inequality

ABS statistics on income and wealth.

The Australian did a great piece on this.

The bottom line is the ranks of the middle class are rapidly thinning. The number of households worth less than $300,000 rose 11 per cent. The number with net assets between $300,000 and $1m shrank 10 per cent, while those worth more than $1m jumped 45 per cent, including an 81 per cent surge for “more than $5m”.

It’s a happier picture for income inequality, which has increased only marginally since then: the top fifth’s share of income rose to 48.2 per cent while that of the bottom three fifths dipped a little to 28.6 per cent. But wealth is a better indicator of economic power.

There are no obvious solutions, though. Inheritance tax is probably the fairest of all taxes — better to tax windfalls from the lottery of birth rather than the fruits of people getting out of bed and going to work. And they don’t appear to crimp growth and innovation: the US put a man on the moon when inheritance tax for the biggest fortunes was 77 per cent.

From the Statistician:

The real story, however, is about wealth inequality, which has risen strongly. If a society starts with a skewed distribution of income favouring the well-off, then even if income distribution does not change, it’s almost certain that wealth inequality will widen, and that’s what has happened.  Over this century so far wealth inequality has widened; the poorest 20 per cent of households have seen no rise in wealth, while the top 20 percent have enjoyed a 67 percent rise in wealth.

Home Ownership

The number of people owning their home outright has collapsed by a third as house prices have soared four-fold over the past two decades, leaving a growing number of older Australians shackled to mortgages as they head into retirement.

In the mid-1990s, almost 44 per cent of people in NSW owned their home outright, but according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics this has now fallen to just 29.7 per cent.

Checkout the median price rise in Sydney since 1995

Victoria is not much better


A good tax cut summary

1:07:40 More Boomer Bashing

Grandfathering is code for Baby Boomer privilege and doesn’t apply to younger generations

3 July 2019

On Monday, the Hecs (Higher Education Contribution Scheme) repayment threshold fell by more than 11%.

From now on, anybody earning over $45,881 a year will have to start repaying their student loans – effective immediately. It was the largest percentage drop in the threshold in more than 20 years and the second largest drop in the history of the scheme.

Two years ago, the repayment threshold was $56,000, but Australia’s Coalition government lowered that to $52,000 last year as a budget-saving measure, and it has now been lowered again.

And remember: that percentage is of your income, not your debt, and it applies to the total of your earnings. This makes it different to the bracket-based system of income tax.

This means, in rare cases, you can get a raise that pushes you into a higher threshold but end up paying more in Hecs than you got in your raise, because the new rate applies to the totality of your income.

For example, if you are on $52,500 a year, you pay 1%, which is $525. If you get a $500 raise to $53,000, you enter the 2% bracket and have to pay $1,060. An increase of $535 that erases your raise.

1:19:12 From Crickey: Private health insurance isn’t just a policy mess — it’s intergenerational war

PHI is a direct transfer of wealth from young, healthy people who rarely claim benefits, to older people who are heavy users of the health system. And while PHI is voluntary (though people in their 30s face punitive premiums if they don’t join a health fund by the time they are 30), young taxpayers who sensibly choose not be a victim of the rort still have to contribute to it via their taxes.

Just this week there was yet further evidence of the way the political system is skewed to reflexively serve the interests of older voters. Interest rate cuts designed to stimulate employment and lift wages for Australian workers have unleashed a torrent of complaints from retirees about the impact on their savings and demands that the government do something.

Within two months of an election partly fought and won on preserving the franking credits rort, the government again responded quickly and adjusted deeming rates to boost pensions for savings-rich retirees.

If young people continue to abandon PHI, expect similar pressure on the government to provide yet more taxpayer support for a system ever more skewed toward Gen X and Baby Boomer policyholders and our increasing health needs. And don’t expect any attempt to establish a coherent policy framework for it — beyond generational interest.

1:19:35 Class categories, these days, are applied primarily to the white population.

Kenan Malik gets it.

Officials eyeing you with contempt. Police treating you as scum. A sense of being constantly watched and judged by professionals. Living in fear of benefit sanctions. A lack of community facilities.

Such is likely to be your experience if you are working class. Such is also likely to be your experience if you are of black or minority ethnic origin.

But here’s the odd thing: people from the working class and minorities are rarely seen as facing the same kinds of issues. Instead, in political debates from Brexit to welfare benefits, minorities and the working class are seen as having conflicting interests and often set against each other.

But while experiences are often shared, the sense of being bound together in a common class rarely is. What it means to be working class has become blurred. Work was always the anchor for working-class identity. But the character of work has changed enormously. Traditional industrial workers now make up less than a third of the working class. Four out of 10 of these workers are in the service industry, while 30% form the ‘precariat‘ – lacking security, often shifting from one short-term job to another. Today’s working class is more precarious, less organised and comprises more women, migrants and minorities – and is less conscious of itself as a working class. In a fragmented labour market in which unions have lost much of their power, there are fewer opportunities to share physical space, build a collective sense of identity or create a common ground for mobilisation.

White people are far more likely to identify as working class than those from minorities. Partly this may be because minorities are more likely to be in casualised jobs. Many, the report suggests, may also have internalised anti-working class sentiments. ‘When you say working class,’ observed a black interviewee, ‘you think of people on council estates, drinking that cheap Ace cider.’

And then there’s a question the report does not address: the impact of identity categories on self-perception. Minorities have come to be identified, and to identify themselves, in terms of race, ethnicity or ‘community’. Class categories, these days, are applied primarily to the white population. Class distinctions have become racialised – few now question the use of the term ‘white working class’. Meanwhile, class divisions within minority groups are often ignored.

Consider for instance, another report published last week, an Office for National Statistics (ONS) study of the ‘ethnic pay gap’. It showed that those of Chinese and Indian origin have a higher median hourly pay than White British. Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Blacks have lower pay, with Bangladeshi people doing worst.

The differences are not simply ethnic. Age matters. Among Bangladeshis, for instance, those over 30 earn 27.9% less than White Britons, while for those aged 16 to 30 the difference is just 3.1%.

… Race and class shape people’s lives in complex, sometimes contradictory, ways. What these reports reveal is that too often we stress the wrong differences and ignore the commonalities that matter.

Class shapes our world. For many, it constrains their life chances and checks their aspirations. For a few, it confers a life of power and privilege. Yet class no longer seems to shape our politics. The key divide in politics today, as many have observed, is not class but culture. What’s your view on immigration? Are you patriotic? Does multicultural London still feel British? On such questions, rather than on traditional economic issues, does Britain today seem to cleave.

The two parties that traditionally gave political expression to the class divide appear lost. The relationship between the Labour party and much of its working-class constituency has become unstitched over the past three decades. Brexit has exacerbated that process. The Tories are suffering a similar fate.

… Against this background, many influential voices insist that the class politics is passe and we must accept the new cultural divides. There are, though, no cultural solutions to the social problems confronting us. To pretend that there are will only exacerbate popular anger as people’s lives remain untransformed. We need not to deny material reality, but to change the way that people perceive it, challenging both the view of migrants as a social problem and the dismissal of the disenchantment of sections of the working class as mere bigotry. It has never been more important to remind ourselves of the importance of class and of its impact on the lives of millions.

George Monbiot on Class

Owned – While our proposals take aim at the oligarchs, and would improve the prospects of the great majority, they are presented as an attack on ordinary people.

All billionaires want the same thing – a world that works for them. For most, this means a world in which they are scarcely taxed and scarcely regulated, where labour is cheap and the planet can be used as a dustbin, where they can flit between tax havens and secrecy regimes, using the earth’s surface as a speculative gaming board, extracting profits and dumping costs. The world that works for them works against us.

So how, in nominal democracies, do they get it? They fund political parties and lobby groups, set up astroturf (fake grassroots) campaigns and finance social media ads. But above all, they buy newspapers and television stations. The widespread hope and expectation, a few years ago, was that news controlled by billionaires would be replaced by news controlled by the people: social media would break their grip. But social media is instead dominated by stories the billionaire press generates. As their crucial role in promoting Nigel Farage, Brexit and Boris Johnson suggests, the newspapers are as powerful as ever.

They use this power not only to promote the billionaires’ favoured people and ideas, but also to shut down change before it happens. They deploy their attack dogs to take down anyone who challenges the programme.

It is one thing to know this. It is another to experience it. A month ago, seven of us published a report to the Labour Party called Land for the Many. It proposed a set of policies that would be of immense benefit to the great majority of Britain’s people: ensuring that everyone has a good, affordable home, improving public amenities, shifting tax from ordinary people towards the immensely rich, protecting the living world and enhancing public control over the decisions that affect our lives. We showed how the billionaires and other oligarchs could be put back in their boxes. The result has been four extraordinary weeks of attacks in the Mail, Express, Sun, Times and Telegraph. Our contention that oligarchic power is rooted in the ownership and control of land has been amply vindicated by the response of oligarchic power.

Some of these reports peddle flat-out falsehoods.

The common factor in all these articles is their conflation of the interests of the ultra-rich with the interests of the middle classes. While our proposals take aim at the oligarchs, and would improve the prospects of the great majority, they are presented as an attack on ordinary people. Progressive taxation, the protection of public space and good homes for all should strike terror into your heart.

The simple truth is that we are being outgunned by the brute power of billionaires. And the same can be said for democracy.

It is easy to see why political parties have become so cautious and why, as a result, the UK is stuck with outmoded institutions and policies, and succumbs to ever more extreme and regressive forms of taxation and control. Labour has so far held its nerve – and this makes its current leadership remarkable. It has not allowed itself to be bullied by the billionaire press.

The old threat has not abated – it has intensified. If a newspaper is owned by a billionaire, be suspicious of every word you read in it. Check its sources, question its claims. Withhold your support from any party that allows itself to be bullied or – worse – guided by their agenda. Stand in solidarity with those who resist it.

1:29:05 Indigenous Issues


I am writing to ask if you or any other spokesperson for your organization would be willing to be interviewed for my podcast.

My co-hosts and I produce a weekly podcast looking at news, politics and current affairs and we occasionally discuss Indigenous issues.

Our views are usually left-wing. We support higher taxes, increased welfare and progressive reforms in areas such as assisted dying, abortion law and marriage equality.

But in one area we go against the grain of a typical lefty. We have a real problem with laws that discriminate on the basis of race and it seems to us that providing a special voice to parliament to a group of people based on their race is not a good idea.

Some of our listeners have pointed out that we are three privileged white guys and we really should try to get someone on to put forward the pro-indigenous argument.

We genuinely want to have a deep, respectful and honest conversation about this topic and indigenous issues generally. With that in mind, I want to give you (or any other interviewee) advanced notice of some of the ideas that we would like to raise.

  1. Martin Luther King would have objected to the Uluru statement. Malcolm X would have approved.
  2. Modern indigenous people seem to be claiming to have inherited rights from their ancestors. At the same time, there is an implied allegation that white people have inherited the guilt of their ancestors. Isn’t an indigenous person of mixed race, in effect, complaining of injustices committed by one set of their ancestors against another set of their ancestors?
  3. To my knowledge, I have no indigenous ancestry so I couldn’t participate in the special advisory body. If however my children marry an indigenous person then my grandchildren could, in theory, identify as indigenous and participate. My grandchildren could have more rights than me due to racial profiling. Doesn’t that seem unfair? Isn’t that racist?
  4. In effect, the special rights to be granted to indigenous people are a recognition that their ancestors were here first, that they owned it and it was taken from them against their will. In effect, non-indigenous people, at a legal level, are second class citizens in comparison. That wouldn’t look good if we applied the same thinking to refugees arriving by boat. Imagine if we said “OK, you can come in, but we don’t like it and you and your ancestors will be ineligible for certain advisory bodies until they intermarry with the people who got here first”.
  5. What evidence is there that indigenous, rather than non-indigenous people, know what is best for indigenous people? Indigenous leaders have been very poor. Anthony Mundine advised against vaccinations. Many indigenous leaders were against marriage equality. Ken Wyatt is part of a government that through reckless tax cuts has sabotaged the welfare system that many indigenous people rely on.
  6. What is the indigenous position on refugees?
  7. How can we say there is an indigenous position on anything? Presumably they don’t all think the same. Are they, like many Australians, split 50/50 on important issues?
  8. Is there a division between working class and privileged indigenous people? What was the indigenous position on the recent tax cuts? I didn’t hear anything. This was probably one of the biggest decisions affecting indigenous people but I didn’t hear a peep. Those tax cuts will blow a huge whole in the budget which will inevitably lead to welfare cuts which will have a disproportionate effect on indigenous people.
  9. I think we should be a republic. I think the notion of inherited rights belonging to the Royal family is unjust. I don’t believe privilege should be passed on down the generations to a special family based on their DNA. I feel the same way when a public meeting begins with a declaration of respect “to elders past, present and emerging”.
  10. We should be providing welfare based on need, not race. I would have no problem tripling the welfare payments to disadvantaged indigenous (and non-indigenous) people in remote communities but a wealthy indigenous city dweller should get no special treatment. The criteria for aid and special treatment should be need, not race.
  11. Identity politics is a scourge on our society. Disadvantaged people should be coalescing together rather than splintering into identity groups.
  12. There is no doubt that indigenous people are disproportionately disadvantaged in our society. But is that because of discrimination or are other factors in play. Does Indigenous culture work against successful participation in modern society?


One comment on “Episode 212 – Calombaris, Grandfathering and Forgotten Classes
  1. Bronwyn Benn says:

    Hi guys,

    Re Folau etc., I find myself in the unusual position of (partly) agreeing with the 12th Man.

    If I heard correctly, Paul’s position is that we shouldn’t prosecute every nutbag who makes silly religious based comments, and should instead either ignore or ridicule them. I’m inclined to agree here. There is a bloke in Melbourne who has attached religious signs to a number of old bikes, which he places in various locations around the CBD. The messages are nothing special, just the usual cant of a religious nutbag, eg. repent or go to hell etc. and targeting various kinds of people – not unlike what Folau has been peddling. The odd journalist has waited around the corner from one of the bikes in an effort to catch this guy at it, and I think someone from The Age succeeded at one point, but he refused to speak to them and just went on shuffling his bikes around.

    I don’t see any point in prosecuting someone like him. But I do agree with Scott that what makes the difference with someone like Folau is his status as a public figure and role model. I think we have a right to expect that anyone in such a position should exercise their influence wisely, and that if they don’t, there will be consequences. Folau’s toxic opinions would undoubtedly have caused some discomfort, at the very least, to young and vulnerable people. For that reason alone he deserves all the condemnation that can be dished out to him.

    Best wishes,


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