The Religion of Peace!

(I wrote this article for another blog at the end of March 2016.  It seems just as relevant today as it did then and it is reproduced here in the hope that it may stimulate constructive debate)

Today a suicide bomber has killed at least 70 and injured more than 300, many critically, in a crowded park in Lahore, Pakistan, where Christian families were enjoying the Easter holiday weekend.

The bomber detonated the deadly blast close to a children’s play area, ensuring that many of the victims were young boys and girls.  Eyewitnesses said they saw body-parts strewn all across the ground.

The Islamic faction that claimed responsibility for the atrocity said they were targeting Muslim Pakistan’s small Christian minority.

Nothing to do with Islam”     From past experience this will be what most of the West’s elected leaders will spout to the media about this latest mass-murder.  It’s what George W Bush said after 9/11, what Tony Blair said after 7/7, Tony Abbott after the Lindt cafe, David Cameron after two Islamists cut off the head of a British soldier in a London street, and Francois Hollande after the Paris massacre in November.

Anyone with access to a radio, a newspaper or the internet knows our leaders are totally wrong on this.  They insult our intelligence by even thinking that we might believe them.  We understand the oft-advanced excuse that if they were to depart from this mantra – and lay blame fairly and squarely on fanatical Muslims – it might provoke a lynch-mob mentality on the part of unsophisticated voters.  But that’s just a further insult to the intelligence of most thinking people who readily accept that ‘all Muslims are not terrorists’ but who suspect that, at least in recent times, ‘all terrorists are Muslim’.

In just the last 30 days the researched list of known Islamic terror attacks total 147 in 25 countries with 1,158 killed and 3,221 injured.   All such attacks have EVERYTHING TO DO WITH ISLAM.

There can be no progress until Mosques accept responsibility for rooting out radicals from their midst.  We should expect that their leaders:-

Publicly condemn Muslim terrorist attacks in unequivocal and unambiguous terms.  Unlike those recently expressed by Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, the Grand Mufti of Australia, following the recent Paris attacks when he blamed amongst other factors “racism, Islamophobia and curtailing freedoms”.  Perhaps Dr Mohamed could tell us how many of all those young people attending a rock concert at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, and so cruelly cut down in a sustained 20-minute cross-fire by assault rifles wielded by Islamic murderers in the gallery, he knows to have been racist and Islamophobic?

Declare as non-Muslim, or apostates, all those who commit acts of terrorism in the name of Islam.  However the chances of the present Grand Mufti taking action to effectively ex-communicate any Muslim appears pretty slim.  More than a year ago the oldest Islamic university in the world, al-Azhar in Cairo, declared that whilst ISIS member are terrorists they cannot be described as heretics, or non-Muslims, and the Grand Mufti holds his doctorate in Islamic studies from al-Azhar.

Co-operate fully with the police over criminal investigations and particularly when Muslims themselves are intimidated and attacked by their co-religionists for merely trying to build bridges with the wider community.   A tragic recent victim of this kind of Islamic extremism was Asad Shah, a Glasgow newsagent and a devout but moderate Muslim, who on Thursday put an ecumenical Easter greeting to all his Scottish customers on his Facebook page.  Within four hours this popular shopkeeper was stabbed to death by two men who then stamped on his head in what police are describing as a ‘religiously prejudiced’ attack.  A 32-yr old Muslim man has been arrested.

Should Mosque leaders fail to co-operate, or if they actively protect any terrorist suspect, or in any other way hinder the due process of law, legislation should be introduced empowering the state to require a Mosque to lodge a sizeable ‘good behaviour bond’ with a Court having the power to judicially consider their actions and, if necessary, to impose fines.  This would be rather akin to the situation during the UK miners’ strikes of 1984/85 when the National Union of Mineworkers under its then boss, Arthur Scargill, thought itself above the law.  It refused to pay fines imposed by the Courts and transferred all its cash out of the country, principally to Col. Gaddafi’s Libya.  They soon found however that the law was indeed above them when their entire assets were frozen, sequestered, and recovered by the Courts.

The time has now come when we must tell our elected leaders that we are fed up with them making excuses for the large number of Muslims who believe that all non-Muslims must be killed and that the entire population of every country in the world must be Muslim.   We want to live in peace and harmony with our Muslim neighbours and we have no wish to be in any way intolerant of their different beliefs and lifestyles.  However, we demand that they afford us the same respect and toleration for our religions and lifestyles.  And that means that the Muslim community must take urgent action to rid ITSELF of its criminal extremist elements.

BREXIT – A victory for ordinary people over the elite.

(This is an article I wrote on 26 June 2016 and that was first published in the Western News)

The British people have just said, in the slightly-altered words of the Stones’ old song, “E.  U.,  get off of my cloud”.   Thoroughly fed up with having their country run by faceless unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, who never stopped telling them what their own Parliament and Courts could and could not do, they have clearly told the EU and their own pollies that they want their country back.

Wouldn’t we say the same thing if more than 40 years ago we’d joined what we were told was a ‘common market’ of Asian countries, perhaps based in Jakarta, only to see it grow into a separate, powerful and undemocratic nation-state that slowly but surely took over all our rights and powers to protect and control our borders, our fishing grounds, agriculture, trade policy and foreign affairs to name but a few.  And to top it all, that required us to allow unlimited immigration by any citizen of any of the 27 other member-states that wished to live here.

From the very start of the referendum campaign the Brits have had to endure the most intense bombardment of propaganda since the Second World War.  It came from so-called ‘experts’ and ‘leaders’ – from President Obama down – who all warned, lectured and threatened them on the dire consequences they would suffer if they dared vote ‘Leave’.  Well, none of these knuckleheads obviously knew a thing about the country that produced Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher.  Like us, the Brits were never going to be intimidated, and by their vote they gave the perfect two-finger salute to the lot of them.

Of course there will be short-term turmoil on the markets.  Bankers and financial institutions got their forecasts wrong and panicked.  But that’s what bankers and financial institutions always do, isn’t it?  After they have calmed down, they may begin to learn afresh that financial markets follow, not lead, the political facts of life.  In this case the key political fact is that Britain has just voted to return to being an independent and self-governing nation.  It is more than likely that the release of decades of pent-up frustration will spark a new entrepreneurial spirit in Britain that will prove all those prophets of financial doom and gloom to be about as accurate as the Flat Earth Society.

Finally a word about democracy.  In practical terms it means accepting the will of the majority; abiding by the result of an election or referendum even if it doesn’t go the way you would like.  Unfortunately the elite in Britain and Europe only accept democracy if it delivers the result they want.  They’ve already started a movement to hold a second referendum and continue to describe all those who voted ‘Leave’ as “racist bigots” and “xenophobes”.  Let’s be clear about one thing.  In the Brexit debate immigration was only one of many subjects discussed.  The terms “racist” and “xenophobic” have become the go-to slur of every cheap and dishonest commentator with no evidence to back up his or her claims.  It is neither “racist” nor “xenophobic” to want your country to have the power to control unlimited immigration.  It is common sense, and such offensive and unwarranted attacks on the motives of ordinary voters should cease.




Both Telstra and Origin Energy are evading Court scrutiny of disputed consumer bills by providing false or misleading information to credit-reporting bodies, such as VEDA, in order to have customers with whom they are in dispute ‘default-listed’.  When faced with evidence of the rort, VEDA drags its feet over investigating.

Recent cases reveal the following pattern.  A company such as Telstra or Origin Energy tries to collect an outstanding account but it knows the account is in dispute.  The customer makes it clear that it wants the company to take their claim to Court so that it may be decided independently on its merits.  The company ignores such invitation, possibly because it’s not prepared to risk losing such a case and by so doing creating a precedent for other customers to follow.  So instead it falsely and misleadingly instructs a prominent debt-collection agency to start dunning the customer for the money.  When the agency learns from the customer that the account has always been disputed they, rightly, withdraw.  But the company then instructs a second debt-collection agency, this time perhaps not so prominent, but the same thing happens.  When they learn that their client has not been entirely truthful and that the account is in dispute, they too withdraw.  So having failed to convince two agencies that the matter was a simple debt-collection, and continuing to ignore the customer’s claim that the only proper course of action was to take the dispute to Court, the company still persists in its campaign of threat and intimidation.  It now falsely and dishonestly notifies the credit-reporting body VEDA that it IS a simple payment default, and applies to have the customer’s credit-file ‘default-listed’.  VEDA, accepting at face value the instructions of one of its large corporate fee-paying subscribers, complies.

A ‘default-listing’ stays on your credit-file for five years.  It can prevent you from obtaining any sort of credit for at least that period and its effect can cause devastating financial damage, not only to you but also to any business or organisation with whom you happen to be associated.

You would think that such dishonest actions by large companies would be in breach of the law.  And you would be right.  Each time they disclose false or misleading credit information, whether to a debt-collection agency or to a credit-reporting body, the companies are guilty of offences under the Commonwealth’s Privacy Act 1988 carrying fines of $360,000 per offence.

Unfortunately, like so much consumer-protection legislation, the authorities don’t seem interested in enforcing compliance with the law.  The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has responsibility for supervision of the Privacy Act.  But their response to enquiries was “The OAIC does not have the jurisdiction to investigate credit reporting or other offences.  Where the Commissioner forms the opinion that a credit reporting offence has occurred, the Commissioner must inform the Commissioner of Police or the Director of Public Prosecutions of that opinion, and discontinue investigating the offence until further noticeThe Commissioner has not needed to make such a notification within the last five years“.                 Companies like Telstra and Origin have clearly discovered that the law can safely be ignored.  It looks as if it will be left to an aggrieved ordinary customer to prosecute them.

VEDA is not entirely free of criticism either.  Whilst initially responding rapidly to complaints and requests that a false debt-listing be “corrected”, they soon start dragging their feet.  Their website states that the Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code 2014 places an obligation on their subscribers, such as Telstra and Origin, to ensure that default information reported to them must be correct; not misleading, and that the debt must not be in dispute.  Yet when documentary evidence is submitted to them showing that the “debt” is very much in dispute, and thus incorrectly listed as being in default, VEDA insist on not responding for up to 30 days, the maximum time allowed to them under the Act.  One would have thought that VEDA would wish to be seen to be taking swifter action where there is evidence to suggest that at least two of its major subscribers have, not as a mistake but dishonestly, provided them with false and misleading information as a means of evading having to legally prove their claims.  VEDA does appear to have succumbed to a conflict of interest between profit and justice.  They were invited to comment on this article but failed to reply.

If  YOU  have been wrongly ‘default-listed’, we would like to hear from you.



Dick Smith entered into voluntary administration on 5th January. This was obviously not acceptable to their bankers, NAB and HSBC, for almost immediately they, in their capacity of secured lenders, appointed Receivers, who take precedence over voluntary administrators.
One of the first acts of the Receivers, Ferrier Hodgson, was to announce that outstanding gift cards would not be honoured and that any customer deposits would not be refunded.

Naturally, this brought howls of outrage from disgusted customers and, understandably, Dick Smith’s social media pages were flooded with complaints. Since then it has become the accepted wisdom that the blame for so many customers losing their money in this way rests fairly and squarely with Dick Smith.

But a different set of culprits might emerge if we delve a little deeper. We know that it was the Receivers who announced that gift cards and deposits would not be honoured or returned. But who appointed the Receivers? Why none other than the two major banks, in exercise of their almost limitless powers as SECURED lenders.
Who do the Receivers answer to? Only to the banks who appointed them. And what is the Receivers’ primary duty? None other than to extract from the company enough to repay the secured lenders whatever they say is owed to them.

It was therefore a conscious decision on behalf of the banks, who never fail to make a colossal profit every Quarter, to put their own financial interests before those of ordinary people who innocently trusted small sums to a deeply flawed financial system that favours the big and powerful.

And where is the much-vaunted Australian Consumer Law when it comes to protecting shoppers who lose out in cases like this? The answer is nowhere. It might just as well be so much ‘window-dressing’. ASIC, ACCC, Fair Trading and all the others in the consumer-protection industry will, of course, huff and puff but, as usual, will do little or nothing to protect ordinary people against predatory big-business and banks. And what about the lack of political will? It would be the simplest thing in the world to enact legislation that provided that deposits (covering gift-vouchers, lay-bys, etc.) up to a certain reasonable upper limit made by non-commercial persons are deemed to be held on trust, thus keeping them out of the greedy clutches of secured lenders.

Meanwhile, we shouldn’t let the banks off the hook. If they had an ounce of moral scruples they would never have allowed their Receivers to have stated on their behalf that they would not honour outstanding gift vouchers or refund deposits paid for goods. So, next time you hear on television the usual public-relations propaganda about how generous the banks are to all sorts of sporting clubs and events, just remember what they’re really like when their mask of respectability slips. And why not let them know what you think of them!


You’ve just settled down to watch the latest Test match or ODI and suddenly a wicket falls. The moments that follow are usually the most exciting of the day; seeing the reaction of the players, and the crowd, as well as hearing those of the commentators, are what sport is all about.
But no, we the public are never allowed that luxury. In the shortest time known to man we’re switched from the ground to endure two or three minutes of forced ingestion of mindless adverts. Many we probably find amusing the first, second, third and even fourth time we see them but by the time we’ve been exposed to them for the umpteenth time that hour we’re probably ready to wish KFC, VB or Toyota products all to hell.

But that’s not the end of it. At the end of every over there’s an advertising break. And how many times have we been returned to the game only to find that the first ball of the following over has already been bowled.

Not content with all that ad time, the former players in the commentary box are now usually required to mouth endorsements of sponsors’ products in the midst of their comments on play. The latest development is to beam advertising onto the scoreboard and sight-screens actually between balls.

I know that most of these channels are “free-to-air” but the contempt with which they treat us the viewers raises the question as to whether we should seriously consider demanding payment from them for consenting to be their milch-cows.

Hello world!

Welcome to   This is a site that will dare to challenge the “widely-accepted” and the “majority” view on a number of subjects, particularly in relation to the way we live and are governed today.

Most of us have neither the time nor the inclination to research any subject thoroughly and so, increasingly, we are having our opinions formed for us by information and/or propaganda peddled by big-business, state-funded broadcasters and other media, and a whole host of other organised and vested interests.

For example, the accepted wisdom or ‘default view’, fed to us over many years, is that we in Australia are lucky to live in one of the most free, fair and democratic countries in the world.   Well, that may be true if you’re rich and powerful (Paul Hogan probably wouldn’t agree) but if you’re an ordinary citizen your rights and freedoms are pretty narrow and restrictive.  Again you soon find that if you’re in dispute with, say, any large organisation, whether public or private, it’s they that hold all the cards.  This despite all sorts of highly publicized legislation designed to create a level playing field but which in practice is usually so much ‘window-dressing’.

If by questioning and taking up contrary positions to ‘overwhelming majority views’ we can in some small way curb the natural arrogance of power, and by so doing bring about an improvement to the freedoms and liberties of ordinary Australians, we shall be well content.