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This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


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Getup! Reviews Its Year


So Much For Parliament In Queensland

There is something contemptuous and demeaning about what is happening to the institution of Parliament in Queensland.

NewmanLiberal National Party (LNP) MPs have unanimously endorsed Campbell Newman as their leader at a partyroom meeting this morning.

Newman resigned as Lord Mayor of Brisbane yesterday, following his endorsement as the LNP candidate for Ashgrove.

One year out from the scheduled election, a private citizen is presenting himself as the Leader of the Opposition.

For the first time in living memory, the principle that political leaders are drawn from the elected members of parliament has been turned on its head.

So what was going through the minds of the 34 LNP members of parliament this morning? How many of them felt the humiliation, indignity and powerlessness they had just demonstrated to the world? [Read more…]


Social Media As A Tool For Protest

By Marko Papic and Sean Noonan

Internet services were reportedly restored in Egypt on Feb. 2 after being completely shut down for two days. Egyptian authorities unplugged the last Internet service provider (ISP) still operating Jan. 31 amidst ongoing protests across the country. The other four providers in Egypt — Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt and Etisalat Misr — were shut down as the crisis boiled over on Jan. 27. Commentators immediately assumed this was a response to the organizational capabilities of social media websites that Cairo could not completely block from public access.

The role of social media in protests and revolutions has garnered considerable media attention in recent years. Current conventional wisdom has it that social networks have made regime change easier to organize and execute. An underlying assumption is that social media is making it more difficult to sustain an authoritarian regime — even for hardened autocracies like Iran and Myanmar — which could usher in a new wave of democratization around the globe. In a Jan. 27 YouTube interview, U.S. President Barack Obama went as far as to compare social networking to universal liberties such as freedom of speech. [Read more…]


Giving Substance To The Words

There are thirty-two new members of the 43rd Parliament, elected on August 21st. Three of them are returning after a voluntary or enforced absence. As a group, they constitute one-fifth of the House of Representatives, a significant turnover and renewal of the lower house. Many of them will be there for years to come.

Maiden SpeechesOver the past month, I have made a point of watching the maiden, or first, speeches of these members. On the whole, it is difficult not to be impressed by these fledgling parliamentarians.

There has been much comment on the moving speech from the Western Australian Liberal, Ken Wyatt, the first indigenous member of the House, but others also delivered considered and thoughtful speeches.

Take Andrew Leigh, the member for Fraser in the ACT. His reputation as an economist and thinker preceded his election. In his speech, he spoke of the importance of education for the nation’s future, of “optimistic experimentation” and of rebuilding “a sense of trust between citizens and politicians”. Leigh’s book, “Disconnected”, has just been published. [Read more…]


Tony Abbott: ‘We All Have To Live With Shit’

Microphones have captured Opposition Leader Tony Abbott reflecting on the reality of public life. [Read more…]


Kevin Rudd’s Opening Address to the 2020 Summit

This is the text of Kevin Rudd’s Address Opening the 2020 Summit in Canberra.

Australians one, Australians all.

I too begin by acknowledging the first peoples of our nation.

Just as I welcome all of you to this, the nation’s capital, to this, the nation’s Parliament.

To this, the great meeting place of our common democracy, Australia.

The place from which we your elected representatives seek to navigate our nation’s future.

Today we are trying to do something new.

Today we are throwing open the windows of our democracy, to let a little bit of fresh air in.

Rather than pretending that we the politicians of Australia have all the answers, and the truth is, we don’t, we are turning now to you, the people of Australia. [Read more…]


Terrorism, Policing & The Media: Controversial Keelty Speech

The Federal Police Commissioner, Mick Keelty, has made a controversial speech in which he argues for a gag on media coverage of terrorism arrests.

The speech was delivered to the Sydney Institute. [Read more…]