Inside the system

Sunrise’s new Stolen Generation already a reality

Channel Seven’s Sunrise segment that featured commentators calling for a new stolen generation is now notorious. But the new stolen generation is already a reality. During the segment Prue McSween sang the virtues of the original effort at genocide through the Stolen Generations saying, “Just like the first Stolen Generation who were taken for their wellbeing, we have to do it again, perhaps.” She met with approval from fellow panellists Samantha Armytage and Ben Davis.

The segment was a response to comments by Federal Assistant Minister for Children and Families, David Gillespie. Sunrise claimed that the “Aboriginal placement principle” operating in many states and territories was preventing Aboriginal kids being placed in safe homes. According to this principle placing children with non-Indigenous families is a last resort.

But Aboriginal children are already routinely placed with non-Indigenous carers. Last year only around a third of Indigenous children in out of home care were placed with Aboriginal relatives. In the NT, where the number of children removed has more than tripled in ten years, it was only 27.6 per cent. Another 15 per cent are placed with other Indigenous carers.

And child protection authorities have already drastically increased the level of child removals. In the ten years following Kevin Rudd’s apology in 2007 the number of Aboriginal children in out of home care more than doubled to 17,644. The new Stolen Generation McSween, Davis and Armytage want is already happening.

Exxon pay no tax until 2021

Oil and gas multinational Exxon has admitted to a Senate inquiry that it did not expect to pay any corporate tax until 2021. That means eight years without paying corporate tax. Yet between 2013 and 2016 the company had revenue of $24.8 billion.

According to a Tax Justice Network (TJN) report last year Exxon operates a global web of hundreds subsidiaries in order to avoid tax. The Senate inquiry heard that its subsidiaries in the Bahamas and the Netherlands—both known for tax evasion—were not disclosed to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission or to a previous hearing of the Senate inquiry. After the release of the TJN report last year Exxon sued author Jason Ward for defamation. Exxon’s Richard Owen told the inquiry that, “we have answered truthfully all the questions that have been put to us.”

2891 anti-Muslim Murdoch media stories in one year

A damning new study released in February has shown the true extent of the Islamophobic deluge pouring out of major media outlets in Australia. The study by an organisation called One Path, an alternative media outlet established by the Muslim community in Sydney, focused on Murdoch newspapers—The Australian, Herald-Sun, Daily Telegraph, Courier Mail, and Adelaide Advertiser. It found that in 2017 these publications alone spewed forth 2891 negative articles about Islam. That is about eight per day.

Negative stories about Muslims were not only pumped out in huge numbers—they were plastered on the front page again and again. The newspapers studied had 152 negative front pages about Muslims. This means that there were likely days when multiple Murdoch papers sported anti-Muslim front pages.

The study also looks at the track record of prominent Murdoch columnists. Andrew Bolt led the racist pack; 38 per cent of his 437 op-eds were anti-Muslim tirades. Data cited in the study shows Fairfax sings a similar racist tune but at a lower volume, publishing three anti-Muslim articles per day.

Billionaires make enough to end extreme poverty seven times

According to a new Oxfam report the increase in wealth amongst the world’s billionaires in the past year was enough to end world hunger seven times over.

That is just the increase in their wealth in one year, not the entirety of the wealth itself. The world now has 2043 billionaires, more than at any time in human history. Their wealth increased by $762 billion over the past year.

“The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system,” said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International.

Macquarie bank pushes anti-Corbyn offshoring plot

Macquarie Bank is advising UK-based utilities companies to offshore their investments to frustrate efforts at re-nationalisation if a Corbyn government comes to power.
The research by Macquarie analysts had a tightly controlled circulation but excerpts were published by the Financial Times in March. Macquarie argues that while legal protections for investors within Britain are already strong they can be bolstered through offshoring to entangle nationalisation attempts in EU and bilateral treaties. The Financial Times says:

“Macquarie’s analysts point to the provision stating that any compensation should ‘amount to the genuine value of the investment expropriated immediately before the expropriation or before the impending expropriation became public knowledge’.

“They claim that this would protect investors from the risk of politicians talking down the value of a company with a view to minimising compensation.”

Utility shares have fallen about 30 per cent since the general election in May when Labour put forward a program of nationalisation.

Labour’s shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey responded to the revelations by saying that: “Transferring asset holdings overseas in pursuit of higher compensation shows total contempt for the British public.

“It is precisely this kind of behaviour that makes democratic ownership and management of our utilities so necessary and popular.”

Research and writing by Adam Adelpour

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