Inside the system

Sunrise paid Hanson for election comment

It has emerged that Channel 7’s Sunrise program paid Pauline Hanson for regular appearances on their breakfast program in the lead up to the federal election. Channel 7 ensured the far-right racist was not only given a platform, but actually encouraged to spout her bigotry to a national audience.

She was invited to appear following the terrorist attacks in Paris in late 2015, twice in January this year, twice in March and her campaign launch was televised on the eve of the election. She used her paid appearance following the Paris attacks to viciously demonise refugees as terrorists and to broadcast her racist call for an end to all Muslim immigration. Hanson’s One Nation has won at least two Senate seats.

Billionaire responds to election result by calling for dictatorship

Billionaire founder of the Harvey Norman retail chain, Gerry Harvey, has vented his frustration at the public’s rejection of the big business agenda.

Harvey was confounded by the fact that the election result amounted to a rejection of austerity, saying that the country needs cuts but, “Neither side can do anything about it because the minute they do they’re hammered.”

Instead he suggested a dictatorial one party state: “The only cure we’ve got is to have a dictator like in China or something like that. Our democracy at the moment is not working”.

To bolster his call for the end of parliamentary democracy Harvey pointed out, “there’s a great deal of dissatisfaction with mainstream politics and the people are showing their frustration.” But, sadly for Gerry, it’s not the lack of budget cuts and tax breaks for business they are angry about.

New MP Linda Burney oversaw record child removals

Linda Burney’s election in Barton has been celebrated as the first time an Indigenous woman has been elected to the House of Representatives.

Burney was Community Services minister in the NSW Labor government between 2008 and 2011, taking office during the largest boom in Aboriginal child removal in history.

During her time as Minister the number of Aboriginal children in “out of home care” in NSW increased from approximately 4300 to 5800. Over the same period, the proportion of Aboriginal children placed with Aboriginal relatives or kin declined from 58 per cent to 50 per cent.

She was also responsible for introducing laws which mean that if the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) has already taken one of your children and you have a new baby, they essentially have automatic rights to that child. This is a cruel policy whose violent effects are still being felt every day in hospital wards across NSW.

Schools run by Christian cult get more funding than public schools

According to the MySchool website, the Exclusive Brethren Christian cult’s schools get more funding than one third of public schools. Homebush West has had to ban children from running in the playground due to overcrowding, yet it gets $800 less per student than the Brethren’s schools.

The Brethren have been at the centre of controversy regarding child sexual abuse, prohibit their members from eating or socialising with “worldly” people and funnelled hundreds of thousands of dollars into John Howard’s election campaign in 2004. More than 600 schools across NSW receive less funding than the Brethren institution, spread over multiple campuses with 1000 students, which enjoys record funding of around $10,000 per student.

Hillary proposes debt relief for ‘start-up’ founders

Hillary Clinton has floated a new proposal to help students in the US deal with crippling college debts. Her plan is to allow business “start-up” founders to defer their debts for three years. She also proposed student loan forgiveness of up to $17,500 after five years for “young innovators” who either launch a new business in “distressed communities” or “social enterprises that provide measurable social impact and benefit”. Entrepreneurs overwhelmingly come from well-off upper and middle class backgrounds.

Last year 70 per cent of college students took out loans to cover the cost of their education. The average loan was $30,000. Tuition at a public college will cost $10,000 per year on average. At a private college that figure hits over $30,000.

7-11 bosses spend $3 million on property while robbing workers

Two 7-11 bosses, Haiyao Xu and Yiran Gu, have been exposed for building up a $3 million property portfolio while underpaying workers. The thieving franchisees were busted tampering with their payroll data by a Fair Work Ombudsmen.

The scheme involved only recording half the hours worked by employees to hide massive underpayment. In a 12 month period in 2013 and 2014 the couple underpaid 12 staff by more than $84,047 at their Parkville store in Melbourne. Some were paid as little as $11 per hour. At their CBD store they underpaid 11 staff more by than $100,000. During this period the pair bought a $1.35 million home in the posh suburb of North Balwyn, another property for $959,000, a third for $540,000 and a fourth for $400,000. The Federal Circuit Court hit the pair with a $150,000 fine. It will barely put a dent in their ill-gotten wealth.

US proposes social media check at the border

The US Government is proposing that disclosure of social media accounts be part of the visa screening to get into the country. The US Customs and Border Protection’s plan is open for comment until 22 August.

According to the government, snooping into social media accounts will afford the, “Department of Homeland Security (DHS) greater clarity and visibility to possible nefarious activity and connections”. If the actual proposal goes ahead it will mean visa applications contain a request to provide social media usernames so the authorities can check public accounts.

The US had 77.5 million visitors in 2015. If the spying goes ahead it could result in US authorities constructing of one of the largest databases of social media information that exists.

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