Friday, 19 December 2014

The Sydney Siege and the Governments Duty To Us

The Sydney Siege and the Governments Duty To Us

Why do we allow the Government to exist, any Government?

We allow it to exist because it provides a level of security and stability that no other human institution can. Within that security and stability we go about our lives, often totally unaware of the dangers that threaten us because often those threats are kept in check by the Government. Many do not commit crime because they fear that they will be caught and punished, those who do commit crime run the risk of being caught and punished. The Government also provides services that we as individuals would find hard if not impossible to carry out, road building and maintenance, financial regulation just to name two of many.

What Government cannot do is protect us from ourselves nor can it protect us from all harm. Most of us do not expect it to do those things, some do. But there are limits to both the Governments ability and authority. The Government is not all powerful, it cannot control the weather or human nature, no matter how much it may desire to do both. It has limits.

But within it's limits it is quite powerful, it can send people to jail, it can fine them, it forces us to drive on only one side of the road. There are many things Government can do. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 we have all known we have an enemy. We know because they told us. The attacks that day were not the first and they were not the last launched against us by Islamists and if you care to look you will see that some of these attacks were carried out by groups and others by lone attackers, inspired by other Islamist attacks. Governments around the world have been given more power, more money and more resources to combat this threat. But on the 15th December 2014 it became clear that both the Australian Government and the New South Wales Government failed in it's duty to protect us. It is this failure that I wish to talk about.

A lone gunman, an Islamist sympathizer, took a cafe full of people hostage and kept them there for 16 hours before he and two hostages were killed. Now crime happens and as I stated earlier the Government cannot protect us from all harm. Unfortunately it seems in this case that we could have been protected and in fact should have been but we weren't.  

The gunman was an Iranian who had been a refugee in Australia since the mid 1990's. Iran asked for him to be returned as he was wanted for defrauding $US200,000 from people applying for travel visas when he worked in a travel agency. Australia and Iran do not have an extradition treaty with each other so he was not returned. To be honest Iran does not have the best reputation so it was prudent not to return him. But when it became obvious that had lied in his application to become a refugee, why was he allowed to stay?

How do we know he lied? Because he claimed he was oppressed by the Iranian Government because of his liberal religious views. What became obvious to any who cared to look was that he didn't have any liberal religious views, he was an Islamist. But this was ignored and he continued to enjoy the benefit of our protection.

In 2007 he started writing letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan to tell them their deceased loved ones were murders and pigs. He was arrested and charged with "using a postal or similar service to menace, harass or cause offence". He was found guilty and appealed to the High Court of Australia because he claimed that not being about to write letters such as his was a denial of his constitutional rights!

The High Court of Australia split with half agreeing with him and half not (normally there are seven Justices, but one seat was vacant at the time). So a lower courts ruling, which was unanimously against him was allowed to stand. He received a good behaviour bond. The then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he would review immigration laws. Nothing happened.

He called himself a Sheik, but Islamic groups in Australia said he wasn't. That didn't stop him from one man protests and publicly supporting Islamist causes.

In 2013 his girlfriend was arrested for murdering his ex-wife and he was charged with being an accessory. She was stabbed 18 times and set alight. Bizarrely they were both granted bail!

This year he was charged with indecent assault after claiming to be a faith healer and molesting his clients. Of course he was granted bail!

Now how can any Government be serious in administrating the law when someone commits a serious crime when already on bail for a serious crime and that doesn't result in them being imprisoned?

The New South Wales Government had already changed the law and it is due to come into effect on the 28th January 2015. The Government says that it could not be put in place sooner as personnel needed training in the new laws. How much training do you need to put someone in custody for breaking their bail?

Sadly we already know how this tale ends. But we had chances to stop this or to be more correct two levels of Government had multiple chances to stop this. The Australian Government could have either withdrawn his refugee status after it became obvious that he lied about being a refugee. He wasn't a refugee he was a fugitive. If it was not safe to send him to Iran and no other country would take him, he should have been put in an Immigration Detention Centre. But he should not have been allowed to pretend he was a genuine refugee nor live here. As if that isn't enough they allowed him to become a citizen!

It also failed to keep an adequate eye on his activities even though he was known to be erratic, dangerous and a supporter of Islamist causes. The fail of the Intelligence services is hard to understand, if such an obvious case, even the media was aware of how dangerous he was, is not being watched does that tell us just how many more dangerous people they believe have been allowed into Australia?

The New South Wales Government has also failed. Bailed for two serious crimes simultaneously is not law but anarchy. If we wanted anarchy we could all stop paying taxes and get rid of the Government. We however do not want anarchy. He also obtained guns illegally, where did they come from?

There are those who are saying that this is about mental health, that there is no way of knowing what a particular individual will do, that this isn't terrorism it is simply a crime.

There is no doubt at least in my mind that he had mental issues, but if he was so dangerous then he should not have been walking the streets. Those who want to claim that this is all about mental health seem to want a get out of jail free card. To say that this isn't about his political ideals but that he was simply unstable and needed help. I do not know of any evidence that he was diagnosed with any condition or that he sought help. The only answer is for those who are dangerous, either to us or themselves, be taken into care and removed from the community until they are not dangerous.

I would also point out that terrorism is a crime and that terrorism is the action or attempt of terrorizing people for a political cause or ideal. This event fits that to a tee.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
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Monday, 15 December 2014

Two Movie Reviews - For Greater Glory & Machine Gun Preacher

Two Movie Reviews - For Greater Glory & Machine Gun Preacher

Two very different movies about Christianity, that are both supportive instead of dismissive of Christianity.

For Greater Glory
This movie is set during the 1920's in Mexico during the Christero War. The Mexican Government at this time was very anti-clerical and sought to destroy the power of the Catholic Church within Mexico. To this end it placed many bans upon the activities of the church, including mass. It also expelled foreign born priests and bishops. Graham Greens famous novel, The Power and the Glory is set in Mexico during this time. The Chistero's were those who took up arms to fight against the Mexican Government and the movie is the "hollywood" story of that war. The movie is on the side of the Christero's, but it tells the story quite well. It also show's that both side committed atrocities and had victories and defeats. It is a decent, made for television movie of a piece of history I didn't know about and that I think is worth seeing. Even though it is recently made it has an old time feel to it, more adventure than war movie, although it does have battle scenes. I would give it 7 out of 10.

Machine Gun Preacher
This is a very different movie that also deals with Christianity. A true story about a white criminal who gets out of jail to find out his wife has stopped working as a stripper and has found God. That doesn't make him change his ways however, he is still a violent criminal and these violent crimes are shown in the movie. For the first 30 minutes or so this is not a story about God, but is instead a story about violent crime. Then he finds God and changes his life around. In real life it took years, in the movie it happens within minutes. Then he goes to Africa to help build and he see's how bad things are there. Back in America he becomes a Preacher and starts a church. Goes to Africa and starts an orphanage and he fights against the Lords Resistance Army (let by a man called Kony, who you might remember a bit of a fuss was made about a few years ago). Hence the name Machine Gun Preacher, he's not called that because he talk's very fast, he fights with a machine gun!

This movie is really heavy going and deals with alot of very serious issues. It is very violent and it doesn't hold back. The only movie about Christianity to come close to it in terms of violence is The Passion of the Christ. But it is quite an interesting story, it's not boring and it makes sense. If you like or can handle violent movies I would recommend it. Like the movie above I would also give it 7 out of 10.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
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Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Twenty First Month

The Twenty First Month

In November I had 1854 visitors my third best month ever!

I also had 5 countries having over 100 visitors at the same time for a good portion of the last month. Sadly that has ended, but I hope to see it go up again. The United States and Australia are good, but France, the United Kingdom and the Ukraine I want you back!

My worst day was the 22nd of November when I only had 22 visitors, my best day was three days later when I had 145 visitors.

11th November-11th December

United States
United Kingdom

11th October-11th November
United States
United Kingdom
The United States is up, but the big increase is from Australia, up 175% from last month. Both the United Kingdom and France are up, although both were higher during the month. 

The Netherlands is back into the Top 10 and India is also in the Top 10.

Germany is basically the same and Canada is slightly down.

The Ukraine has collapsed from it's high, very sad, although it is still in the top 5 countries and I have hope it will make a comeback. Poland has also dropped by alot.

China and Romania have again dropped out of the Top 10.

I have also received visitors from the following countries Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Poland, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania, Belarus, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Pakistan, India, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, New Zealand, Fiji, Argentina, 

I look forward to seeing you again.
Mark Moncrieff

Saturday, 6 December 2014

We Live in a World Where….

We Live in a World Where….

We live in a world where the Australian Government can announce that women are now allowed to serve in combat units and in the same year ran a massive media campaign “say no to violence against women”!

We live in a world where Conservative Government’s make homosexual marriage legal!

We live in a world where most of those who vote to save the natural environment, live the furthest away from it!

We live in a world where those who most support Multiculturalism live the furthest away from actual immigrants!

We live in a world where we are constantly told everyone is equal but that women and minorities need special laws to protect them!

We live in a world where we are told the best way to get out of debt is to spend money!

We live in a world where marriage is discouraged and then people wonder about why there is so much loneliness!

We live in a world where the members of a religious group declare war on us and our Governments declare them “the religion of peace”!

We live in a world where police are warned off arresting law breakers if too many of them come from the same minority!

We live in a world where there are people who really believe that a man wearing a bad shirt stops women from becoming scientists!

We live in a world where our own Governments support policies that will turn us from majorities into minorities!

We live in a world where the unemployed are blamed for being lazy because Governments have encouraged business to export their jobs!

We live in a world where our representatives in Parliament don’t represent us!

We live in a world where law abiding people don’t trust the law!

We live in a world where people dispose of their families and it’s legal!

We live in a world where we can see our society failing!

We live in a world where we can see our entire Civilization failing!

We live in a world where things have gone so wrong, even satire is dead.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
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Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Manipulating History - The Eureka Stockade

Manipulating History - The Eureka Stockade

On the 3rd of December 1854, a very minor event in world history, but a very big one in Australian history, occurred. That event 160 years ago was the Eureka Stockade. What I would like to do is to first give you an outline of the Eureka Stockade and then to talk about how it has been manipulated to show history in a particular way.

The Colony of Victoria was settled by the British in 1836, in 1851 gold was discovered starting the gold rush. In 1850 Victoria's white population was roughly 50,000, by 1860 it was 500,000. Nearly all of that increase was because of the gold rush. When gold was first discovered some people just picked it up off the ground, but of course as time went on it got harder to find. And as more people pored in it created all kinds of trouble. In Melbourne, the Colonies capital and chief port, men left in large numbers for the gold diggings. Ships bringing settlers and goods to the colony were deserted as sailors, sometimes even the captain, left to go find gold. They came from Britain, from Europe, a number having fought in the Revolutions of 1848, they came from America, many straight from the gold fields of California, they came from the other Australian colonies and they came from China. 

However the economy was collapsing, because so many people were abandoning their jobs, and the Government had to find a way to restore it. It decided on a gold license. To dig for gold you needed to buy a license and it didn't matter if you found gold or not you needed a license. To enforce this police were sent to the gold diggings, but in the early Australian colonies many of the police were ex-convicts. Men used to being treated rough and in treating others rough. In short they were uniformed, armed bullies and the Government did not discourage that in any way. When a miner didn't have his license on him, because he hadn't bought one or because it was his tent or for any reason, he would be arrested. The Police would go on "license hunts" through the diggings looking for men without a license and they were very rough. This continued for months with the Government desperate to bring the miners under control and desperate to get the normal economy working again. But instead things spun out of control as the brutality of the Police created first a movement and then armed resistance. The Eureka Stockade.

The man who came to lead the Eureka Stockade was an Irishman by the name of Peter Lalor, the last of 11 sons from a prominent Irish Catholic family. His father had been a Member of the British Parliament, his oldest brother James was a leading Irish Nationalist and another brother also became a Member of the British Parliament, Three other brothers fought in the American Civil War, on both sides. Lalor, a trained civil engineer, was a leading light in the anti-licensing movement and when things turned violent he was voted to lead it. 

A flag was created, a white cross on a blue background with 5 white stars, one at each end of the cross and one in the centre, the stars represent the southern cross. This flag is now known as the Eureka flag. Under this flag took place a famous oath taking, the men manning the Stockade took this oath "We swear by the Southern Cross to stand  truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties. Amen".

In the days leading up to the 3rd of December, a rumour was spread that the Government was sending cannons to destroy the Stockade. A large number of men went off to capture these cannons. But the rumour had been started by the commander of the British troops in the Colony and instead of sending cannon he force marched a force of 276 soldiers, police and Royal Navy sailors to Ballarat, the site of the Eureka Stockade. At dawn on the 3rd, he attacked and within 15 minutes the Stockade was taken. Only around 150 men were present to defend the Stockade and they were taken by surprise, 22 miners and 6 soldiers were killed.

Peter Lalor was shot in the arm and escaped, a wanted man with a 400pound reward for his capture. But 13 others captured at Eureka were charged with treason and in 1855 they were tried in Melbourne. 7 Irishmen, 1 Italian Revolutionary, 1 Scottish Jew, 1 Dutchmen, 1 Australian and two black men, one from Jamaica, the other from the United States. The trial didn't turn out the way the Government expected as the population were nearly all on the side of the miners and they blamed the Government for provoking the situation in the first place. To the shock of the Government, all the accused were acquitted. 

Even though the Eureka Stockade was a failure it is regarded as a turning point in Australian history as before the Governors of each Colony were in charge and afterwards the courts and Parliament were. In 1856 Victoria gained a Parliament and elected to that Parliament was Peter Lalor, now pardoned. 

Up to now the account is pretty standard, although maybe a little too neutral. The Eureka Stockade was about the license system, the cost of buying a license and the brutality used to enforce it. But that is not how many have seen it. For Irish Nationalists it has been seen (more in Australia than Ireland) as an Irish rebellion, for Republicans it was about creating an Australian Republic, for Communists it was about class struggle, the beginning of an Australian Revolution and for Australian Nationalists it became about fighting for an Australian nation against British rule. 

But if that's true any fighting spirit was very short lived as Australia has seen no other rebellion or revolution since. In fact what is remarkable is how bizarrely out of step the Eureka Stockade is with the rest of Australian history. Of course there has been violence in Australia's history, but very rarely is that organised violence. And that is why this event has been seized upon, because their isn't much else for these radical causes to grab hold off. But grab hold they have. The Communist youth movement was named the Eureka Youth, Trade Unionists carry the Eureka flag when protesting, some even wear it on their work clothes. Eureka is seen as a radical cause and so the symbols of Eureka are used to support radical causes.

But what that means is pieces of the real history must be ignored. A famous part of the Eureka story is the oath, but hardly any accounts will tell you that two oaths were sworn that day, not one. All of the miners at the Stockade swore the first oath "We swear by the Southern Cross to stand  truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties. Amen". But directly after that a second oath was sworn by those who were British subjects, including the Australians, including the Irish and including Peter Lalor. And that oath? It was the loyalty oath to the Monarch, Queen Victoria. In time honoured tradition they swore an oath that they were rebelling not against the Monarchy but against bad government. 

Peter Lalor is famous in Australia. In fact I grew up in the suburb of Lalor and went to a school that bore his name and had the Eureka flag as the schools emblem. But the school was not at all radical, nor was the suburb. But apart from being taught he lead the Eureka Stockade I wasn't taught much about him at all. Nor are most Australians, a man we have all heard of but know next to nothing about. But I think that's on purpose. You see Eureka is seen as a radical cause and obviously the leader was a radical as well. Only he wasn't.

In fact apart from the Eureka Stockade Peter Lalor had a very successful life as a member of Victoria's elite. I said earlier he was elected to Parliament in 1856, well he stayed there for decades and became the Speaker of the House. He was even accused of being a hypocrite because he wasn't a radical. One thing that has been held against him is he voted against universal white male suffrage. Now that isn't the thing the hero of the Eureka Stockade is supposed to do is it. It turned out that Peter Lalor wasn't a radical at all, but a Conservative. To prove it let me quote part of a speech he made in the first month of his long Parliamentary career.

"I would ask these gentlemen what they mean by the term 'democracy'. Do they mean Chartism, or Communism or Republicanism? If so, I never was, I am not now, nor do I ever intend to be a democrat. But if a democrat means opposition to a tyrannical press, a tyrannical people, or a tyrannical government, then I have been, I still am, and will ever remain a democrat." 

At the Eureka Stockade there were men who supported all of those things, and many other ideas as well. But that wasn't why the Stockade was created, it was created because of much more immediate concerns. But the myth lives on and I for one do not think the myth is better than the reality. 

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
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