Better Together: In Powerful Speech, Gordon Brown Argues For A No Vote On Scottish Independence

Former UK Labor Prime Minister Gordon Brown has delivered a powerful speech arguing for a No vote in tomorrow’s vote on Scottish independence.

Brown

In what will certainly be regarded as the best speech of his life, delivered with a passion and conviction rarely seen when he was prime minister, Brown’s argument combined emotional appeal with practical politics.

He said: “There is not a cemetery in Europe that does not have Scots, English, Welsh and Irish lined side by side. When young men were injured in these wars, they didn’t look to each other and ask whether you were Scots or English; they came to each others’ aid because they were part of a common cause. And we not only won these wars together; we won the peace together. We built the health service together. We built the welfare state together. We will build the future together. And what we have built together by sacrificing and sharing, let no narrow nationalism split asunder ever.”

Brown was prime minister from June 2007 until May 2010. He delivered today’s speech in Glasgow.

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ALP Supports Military Commitment To Iraq, Greens Opposed

The Labor Opposition has given its support to the government’s commitment of RAAF aircraft and military personnel to the fight against ISIL in Iraq, whilst the Greens have opposed it.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten described ISIL as a “barbaric organisation” and said: “Labor supports today’s announcement of the deployment of an Australian military force – including RAAF assets and personnel – to the United Arab Emirates.”

Shorten said the ALP didn’t do so lightly: “But we support the Government’s decision that Australia has a role to play in eradicating this evil and we are reassured that our support is being provided at the request of, and in full coordination with, the Iraqi Government.”

Milne

In Hobart, Greens leader Senator Christine Milne criticised the commitment, describing it as open-ended and lacking a plan for engagement.

Milne said there was no indication of the duration of the mission or the criteria for its success: “How long? How many people? What measure of success? Nobody knows.” [Read more...]


Combat Aircraft To Join Coalition Against ISIL; Advisers But No Combat Troops; Australia Responds To US Request

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that Australian combat aircraft will join the international coalition against ISIL in Iraq.

Abbott

Abbott said up to eight RAAF F/A18 aircraft, an E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft, and a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker and Transport aircraft will be deployed to the United Arab Emirates.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) will also prepare a Special Operations Task Group to act as military advisers to assist Iraq. ADF personnel will also be placed in the United States Headquarters for coordination, planning and logistics purposes.

Whilst around 600 Australian personnel will be sent to the Middle East, combat troops will not be deployed. [Read more...]


Abbott: Keeping Our Country As Safe As Possible

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has focussed on national security and terrorism in his weekly video message.

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Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s weekly video message.

Recent events in the Middle East have reminded Australians that we live in an uncertain world.

The Government has been working to keep our country as safe as possible – because your security is our first priority.

Yesterday, on advice from experts in our security and intelligence agencies, the National Terrorism Public Alert was raised from medium to high. [Read more...]


Terror Alert Raised To High; Abbott Says No Imminent Threats But People With Intent And Capability Are Here

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that the government has raised the terrorism alert level from ‘medium’ to ‘high’.

Abbott

Abbott said there are no imminent threats but that “there are people with the intent and capability to mount attacks here in Australia”.

Speaking at a press conference with the Director-General of the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), David Irvine, and the Acting Commissioner of the Australian Federal Policy (AFP), Andrew Colvin, Abbott said members of the public should not notice anything in their daily lives but that security would be stepped up at government buildings, defence facilities and major public events. [Read more...]