||Love Australia or Leave, presumably.|
|Themes:||They really, really don’t like Muslims. Or refugees, but especially Muslims. Other than that, your basic nationalist package, one or two good policies about veterans and housing and an education policy that isn’t terrible. But mostly, it’s about maximising the Islamophobia.|
||Upper House: NSW (UG), QLD, TAS (UG)
Lower House: Fisher
|Preferences:||To be updated when the how to vote cards are declared.|
Policies & Commentary
Oh boy, what a party name. I mean, on the one hand, I have to give them credit for a party name that tells you at a glance just what they stand for. But… oh dear.
Love Australia or Leave was founded by Kim Vuga, who participated in the ‘Go Back To Where You Came From’ documentary in 2014 and came away from it confirmed in her belief that immigrants and refugees are dangerous.
At times I was placed in extremely dangerous situations where I spent a lot of time with the Kurdish fighters in front line positions and being shot at by ISIS while in Syria. During the making of the documentary, I visited the UN refugee camp and witnessed firsthand why Australia should be very concerned about its border protection and the disadvantages of having an open door policy towards immigration. It was from this experience, I learnt about the many security issues that could affect our country in the foreseeable future!
Vuga seems to feel that Australia is under threat, particularly by Muslims, and she feels that charity needs to begin at home:
As a responsible nation in a global community, one might consider it reasonable for our country to contribute to the less fortunate of the world but not at expense of our own people.
There is no place for an out of touch government, racism, political correctness, divisive multiculturalism or tolerance for the intolerant in Australia.
… I’m a bit confused about how racism got into that list above, but never mind that. I’m also amused by the ‘tolerance of intolerant’, because I’d have to stay, LAOL’s policies don’t strike me as especially tolerant.
LAOL wants to fight for the rights of our farmers and of our veterans. There is a photo of a farmer with a sign saying ‘My land, my dam, my water’ which causes me to raise an eyebrow in the wake of recent news on the Murray Darling, but hopefully there will be policies that explain this later.
LAOL’s front page has a badge with the Diggers Oath on it, and also a quote from Vuga:
I believe the whole term ‘racist’ needs to be thrown away.
Well, now. I can think of two reasons to throw away a word. One is that it applies to a concept or item that no longer exists. The other is that it is too offensive to use.
And look, it’s not pleasant to be called racist. But since racism manifestly does exist, we do need a word to describe it. And a really good way to avoid being called racist is not behaving in a racist fashion. Racism isn’t a protected characteristic. It isn’t something that you can’t change.
So, yeah. I have my suspicions as to why Vuga doesn’t like that word, basically.
There is going to be a lot here to infuriate me, so I do want to highlight one thing on the front page that amused me, because there are some varieties of not-quite-right English that I will always find weirdly endearing:
Working within the law, and within the political framework is a ‘Key stone’ for any good society. It is better to resolve issues, bring about change through being part of the Australian political system, than to fringe around the edges and stand-by idle. All Australia’s great leaders have made change through democratic political processes and the Love Australia or Leave Party endeavours to uphold this fine tradition.
I want to use ‘fringe around the edges’ as a verb at every opportunity from now on.
OK, on to the less endearing stuff.
LAOL starts off fairly well, with the traditional small-party disenchantment with politicians, and concern about selling off of assets and corporations picking on the little folk. However, we quickly descend into
“…the minority elements of society are turning the lucky country into a welfare state where overseas interest are far better served than looking after the everyday Australian.”
Ah, those immigrants who come here and bludge on the dole. While serving foreign interests. (Clearly, those foreign interests need to pay better, so our immigrants don’t have to be on the dole! Problem solved!)
We have the classic rhetoric of freedoms and assets having been paid by the ‘blood and sweat of Australians over generations since colonization’, which is a tad problematic if you are Aboriginal, or, indeed, if you are a first or second-generation Australian.
And then we have the call for restoration of personal freedoms.
On the right hand side of the page, we have a long list of things LAOL stands for, like democracy, individual rights (including the right to bear arms), and freedom of speech, but also revising immigration laws, stopping foreign ownership, leaving the UN and stopping Islamisation. They also worry about small business, homeless people and, interestingly, the environment. But let’s cut to the chase and take a look at their policies page.
Foreign things, including Scary Muslims
LAOL has two really big policies that you have to download to read. The first is called ‘Hardline Immigration Policy’, and it’s illustrated with a bunch of people behind a wire fence, which is charming. They start with a zero Islamic immigration policy, and they want to cut welfare for ‘illegal immigrants’, in which category they clearly include asylum seekers since they say ‘whether off shore or in Australia’.
They claim that we need to halt all immigration until we are out of debt and go on and on about how ‘hardworking Australian taxpayers’ are supporting illegal immigrants and refugees, who are both living on welfare and stealing our jobs. This seems like a timely occasion to mention that it costs $573,000 per refugee per year to keep refugees in offshore detention, and $346,000 to keep them in detention in Australia. Let’s do some maths!
The annual refugee quota is 20,000 people, but we don’t usually reach it. We accepted 17,555 refugees in 2016, for example. If we process them all on-shore, that’s just over 6 billion. If we process them offshore, it’s a bit over 10 billion. Let’s split the difference and say 8 billion to process refugees.
We currently have roughly 850,000 people on Newstart in Australia, and the budget for Newstart in 2021-2022 is $11.1 billion. Newstart recipients currently get $555 per fortnight.
So, let’s say we took that 8 billion and added it to that 11.1 billion. That gives us 19.1 billion. If we share it evenly between all Newstart recipients and all refugees for the last three years (let’s posit a world in which refugees are allowed to seek employment, in which case I see no particular reason why they shouldn’t find it within three years, if we aren’t busy torturing them in offshore detention), that’s 910,000 people who get to share in that cash. They get $20,989 per year, or $807 per fortnight.
Now, this is just back-of-the-envelope maths, but I don’t think it supports the argument that we can’t afford to be nice to refugees without being unfair on our own poor.
That was a fun digression, but I suppose I’d better wade back into the muck. The LAOL will only let in ‘genuine refugees’ once the budget is in surplus, and then they will have to be compatible with Australian values. In the meantime, they want to see all refugees returned to their homelands, starting by rebuilding in Iraq and Syria and resettling refugees there.
In Australia when placed on the waiting list for public housing you DO NOT get to choose what suburb you get to live in. The same rule applies to those refugees who have come to Australia including the 12,000 Syrian refugees our government has decided to bring to Australia. They will be sent back when each stage of the Syrian, Iraqi Resettling Building Program is completed under Operation Send Back.
Those who have come to our country seeking Asylum will be returned to their homeland as soon as possible. They too should be grateful and humbled to have had the assistance from the Australian people.
They also want to strip dual citizenship from any refugees who have been granted it.
Love Australia or Leave Party believes Australia should walk away from the 1951 Refugees Convention. This is the UN convention some of our politicians use to excuse them from allowing unrestricted inflows of illegal immigrants. We need to vote to RID Australia of this curse.
Having spent time in Syria and Iraq, November 2014 and traveled some 384km through Syria and stopped at some beautiful towns along the way, I also spent time with the Kurdish fighters at the front line just 800m from a town captured by IS. NOT all of Syria and Iraq is under attack like the media would have you believe.
If the UN can build a functional town in less than 2 years in Jordan, that house and provide quality services to 80,000 plus refugees including a 3 km strip of markets and shops, then the same can be done back in Syria and Iraq.
These projects can be developed quickly and effectively and we can resettle those who came illegally to Australia and have them returned as quickly as possible.
Right, so that’s fine, maybe, if you are fleeing a war zone, and assuming that war zone doesn’t move, but it’s not so helpful if you are a member of a persecuted group that isn’t in a war zone.
Basically, their argument is that we have enough problems to solve in Australia, other countries need to deal with their own problems, also Saudi Arabia is terrible and it’s in the UN so the UN can’t be much good. They have a point about Saudi Arabia, but the rest of this is just mean-spirited, immoral, and I suspect also short-sighted. I mean, who is to say the next disaster won’t be ours? Wouldn’t we want our allies overseas to support us? We do not live in a world where countries are even able to be that self-sufficient any more.
The LAOL then warns us of how being nice to refugees has been a disaster for Europe – an there are arguments one can make in a few different direections there – and moves on to explain that Multiculturalism is Destroying Our Nation. Why? Because middle eastern cultures ‘are not compatible with our way of life’, because they want to establish sharia law. And never mind that many Muslims emigrated to Australia specifically because they do not want to live under sharia law.
I believe that the minute you allow religious places of worship to be built and allowing them their own schools and organisations you are creating the very opposite of what needs to occur if wanting a harmonious and cohesive society.
So… is all religion at odds with a harmonious society? I suppose there *are* all those problems in Ireland…
But something tells me that LAOL is talking quite specifically about Muslims here.
Possible because their other flagship policy is called ‘Combating Extremism and Islamisation in Australia’
LAOL wants a National Summit to develop key strategies to tackle extremism.
Invitees would include elected leaders from all levels of government, civic and Islamic leaders, law enforcement agencies, national intelligence agencies and stakeholders to be invited to this summit.
OK, they are including Islamic leaders, which is better than I had expected. But let’s continue.
NOTE: Islamic leaders must be willing to sit down with our elected representatives and key stakeholders to hold frank and open discussions in finding solutions to Islamic extremism and radicalisation of their youth. They must be part of the solution not part of the problem.
This year we have seen some leaders in the Islamic community petitioning against the AFP and prevented the very relationships that need to occur to develop the very strategies to address the issues that affect not only the Muslim community but also Australia as a whole.
There have been many opportunities for Muslim leaders to play a part, where they did not want to or refused to. If they don’t want to address the issue well the issue has to be taken out of their hands. The Australian people will have no choice but to move forward and make the decisions needed to keep Australia safe with or without the consultation from the Islamic communities.
Ah. Yes, that’s more what I was expecting.
They want to enlarge the Newman Solution (which incarcerates groups of three or more bikies who meet), they want the same rule to apply to ‘convicted radical Muslims, terrorists or Jihadist’. They want to call this The Vuga Solution, which is mildly hilarious.
LAOL also wants to control Mosques, and oversee what is preached in them, and also wants to forbid the building of more Mosques. And sermons must be in English, no doubt to make the policing more simple. I wonder if this also amounts to forbidding prayer in Arabic? If so, they are coming pretty close to banning Islam as a religion entirely. Which I imagine is the goal.
Oh, and they want to profile children as young as ten who might be at risk of radicalisation or have ‘a disposition towards violence’, and put them on a watch list, with restrictions on where they can go, who they can spend time with (including their own families) and what they can view online. This sounds like a pretty solid way to build resentment and create young terrorists, and frankly, it makes me ill to contemplate. It’s basically criminalising children for being cranky while Muslim, and I suspect a net this broad would capture quite a lot of kids who are being bullied at school because of their religion or skin colour, and are acting out as a result.
LAOL wants immediate deportation of dual citizenship holders who are guilty of terrorism charges. They also want mandatory reporting of suspected terrorists.
OK, you know what gets me here? Muslim communities do, routinely report people who they think are behaving in a concerning fashion, and aren’t taken seriously. I can’t find the article I need about the Lindt Cafe gunman, but I did find a really interesting article here from Parliament House reviewing Security and Counter Terrorism Legislation and its impact on the Muslim community. It does tend to support my feeling that laws like those proposed by LAOL are likely to alienate Muslims, ironically creating more of a threat.
LAOL opposes segregation of hours at swimming pools or other public venues for the convenience of Muslims, which is a pity, because I don’t think I’m the only woman who feels a lot more relaxed swimming at the pool when it’s only open to women. So much less ‘accidental’ groping. They also want to remove Halal certification as an option and ban the Burka and the Niqab.
LAOL apparently has no position on same sex marriage, but wants us to know that
Many people outside the Gay and Lesbian community are unaware of the overwhelming and growing concern for the security of Gay and Lesbian Australians regarding Sharia Law and social pressures from the Islamic community.
And that LAOL will stand with them on this basis. I shall have to ask my LGBTQIA friends if they are worried about Sharia Law. (This is not entirely sarcasm, to be clear – I’m aware that one of the extra fun things about being LGBTQIA in science, for example, is that there are conferences you just can’t safely go to overseas, and places you just can’t move to with your partner and family, which is pretty shitty and affects careers considerably. But I’ve never heard any of my colleagues express concern about Sharia in Australia…)
(Having said that, their Facebook page is supportive of Israel Folau’s right to say what he believes about LGBTQIA people, and what he believes… is not nice.)
Basically, they aren’t coming straight out and saying ‘ban Islam in Australia’, but that’s what they mean.
Youth, Education and Families
Oh boy, our education system has been taken over by the socialists!
Instead of reflecting community expectation, education has instead seen its role to initiate social change, hence indoctrination in regards to Global Warming, fed from the U.N. and its UNESCO arm, along with other indoctrination agendas, has if anything demonstrated and exposed the poor level of Australian education in the fields of science.
Those same people responsible for the state of education have also transformed Australia’s living standards, employment opportunities and living expenses and have created an environment especially hostile to young families. As both parents need employment to succeed, they find the cost of child care makes the second income evaporate. Parents are also being denied the disciplining of their child by the teaching that discipline equates to abuse, currently being taught by schools and the politically correct. Teachers find some children uncontrollable, even to the point assaulted by them. The Socialist political solution, hold the parent responsible and punish them instead of the child.
So… they want to bring back corporal punishment?
They want a basic curriculum (Safe Schools is not mentioned, but I suspect it counts as socialist), with an emphasis on ‘subtle discipline… beginning from their first day at school’. And the National Anthem should be sung in all schools.
LAOL wants school counsellors at all schools, and they want schools to provide after school care, with specialised systems for children who are gifted, underprivileged or disabled. They want education on the dangers of drug use, and they want life skills training and driver safety awareness, and also a reintroduction of the Australian Constitution and laws. Look, I have definitely seen worse curriculums, so we’ll give them some points here.
They also want to create community engagement programs linking students and emergency services:
The program aims to link students to emergency services such as SES, Volunteer Rescue Squad, Fire and Rescue, St Johns Ambulance and other emergency services within the community so that during a time when there is a State or National emergency, Natural Disaster or Extreme Weather Event the students will be called upon to respond in times where there is a required need for additional assistance for emergency services.
This program is about connecting the youth by way of community engagement to develop strong bonds and relationships between youths and community while developing life long skills while combining learning goals and community service in ways that can enhance both student growth and the common good.
This is a pretty good idea, though I imagine there would be a lot of safety issues to address in setting it up. I’m also partial to their free driving lessons with a registered instructor.
LAOL also wants a Royal Commission into Child Safety. They feel that the Child Safety Department is not doing enough to protect children, particularly by returning them to abusive and neglectful situations. But at the same time, they want to overhaul Family Law and Child Support in ways that are potentially very destructive. I am especially concerned about their idea for creating a ‘Child Support Card’ which would be subject to the same income management regime as the Centrelink Basics card. This is a pretty punitive measure, arising as it does from the assumption that the custodial parent is spending their money on alcohol and cigarettes, and is likely to make it harder for parents to look after their children.
Distressed fathers who’ve lost access to their children are legion, like the aggrieved father who protested atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge, or the fathers who’ve ended up killing themselves – or their own kids. Typically, these stories have two villains: the Family Court, which is in the thrall of the feminist lobby, and the vindictive mothers who will do anything to prevent a dad from seeing his children.
I think if a father ends up killing his own kids, one might possibly argue that he is the villain of the story, not the vindictive mother or the family court. One might also argue that, just perhaps, the mother had a really, really good reason for leaving and getting custody of the kids. But what would I know, I’ve clearly been corrupted by the feminist lobby.
Seriously, that paragraph makes me absolutely spitting mad.
Weirdly, LAOL is also worried about domestic violence victims. But the assumptions they are starting with are a real problem, and likely to undermine any good they do.
Military and Guns
LAOL is, unsurprisingly, big on supporting veterans and our military, including mental health support. They want to track and check in on all returned veterans, so that nobody falls through the cracks, and help with transitioning back into the community, and they want mental health support to be free. They also want mandatory counselling for returned servicemen and women. This is actually a pretty good policy – I’m not particularly pro-military, but I absolutely agree that if people put their lives at risk for their country, that country has a duty to look after them properly.
LAOL wants to reintroduce compulsory national service for anyone who doesn’t find a full-time job, apprenticeship, or university after finishing school. We are reassured that this would not mean sending young people overseas to fight unless it was voluntary, but they would provide security within Australia and respond to national emergencies. They are very big on the benefits of military training for the young.
Funding would come from the billions of dollars that we would normally spend on foreign aid to such countries like Indonesia and the UN.
What we don’t want to see is children coming directly out of school and claiming Centerlink benefits. There should be no such thing as a free ride. We have molly – cottled our children for far too long and we need to toughen up our children so that they learn that you don’t get nothing for nothing. The days of entitlement are over, our children need to learn how to live and give back to the community, they owe the community we do not owe them.
I… think there can be advantages to some sort of national service program for kids who have no direction after leaving school. I don’t think it should be military. And I don’t really like the attitude above.
LAOL also feels that in these days of terrorism, more people should be allowed to concealed carry. I… don’t think I want our racists to be armed, thanks. There is a lot of detail regarding which categories of firearms ought to be changed and which restrictions ought to be loosened, which I don’t feel qualified to comment on except to say that I really don’t think we need more guns in this country, period.
LAOL likes the Queen and doesn’t want Australia to be a Republic, which they feel is a path to Dictatorship in the current political climate. Look, I don’t really agree with them on this, but I can sort of see why they are concerned. I am mildly royalist, personally, and the recent clown show has only pushed me more in that direction. I like holding onto the hope that the Governor General might one day say, ‘Right, you lot, stop behaving like turkeys or you’re out.’ I can dream…
LAOL also loves the national anthem, which must be sung in schools and all students must stand there and sing, no matter how Muslim they are.
The Anthem is so important that they quote the entire first verse on their policy page. But only the first verse. What a strange oversight. Allow me to correct it:
Beneath our radiant Southern Cross
We’ll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.
LAOL is quite right. We should sing the National Anthem far more often. Both verses.
LAOL is also big into Citizen’s Initiated Referenda, which do seem to be popular with right wing nationalist groups. The idea is that if enough people sign a petition on a particular subject, the government is required to hold a binding referendum on that subject so that ‘the people may dictate the direction which the government shall follow’. They want to do this online, because nothing could possibly go wrong with that.
(I do wonder, though, whether these Referenda would ever work out the way these groups think they would. I am pretty sure that they vastly overestimate the size of their ‘silent majority’. But I would prefer not to try the experiment – Federal Elections are nerve-wracking enough.)
They also want to overhaul parliament, by getting rid of parliamentary pensions and travel allowances for retired politicians, and requiring governments to stay for a full four years with the same Prime Minister for each term. I have a certain sympathy for both of these goals.
Housing and Homelessness
LAOL wants to increase public housing and also put in place rent/buy options for tenants of public housing. They want to get rid of the up-front rental bond (which would instead be paid over time), and to allow use of Superannuation for a home deposit. There is no mention of negative gearing, or, surprisingly, the evils of Foreign Ownership, which might actually be relevant here.
They are also a bit excited about creating Tiny Homes for older Australians (which would be for rental, only), and also more caravan parks. They also want to create Dementia / Alzheimer villages, presumably similar to the Dutch model, which sounds pretty good.
LAOL also wants to work on prevention and intervention programs for homeless people, including Mobile Intensive Homeless Units, consisting of clinicians, social workers and police liaison officers who would help assess whether there was any urgent medical intervention required, before referring them for emergency housing/ This is actually a pretty good policy.
LAOL wants to make Aged Care cheaper, better regulated and better staffed. They want to replace all taxes with a single ‘Debit Tax’, whereby idea is that instead of income tax and other taxes, you would simply be charged a 1% tax on every transaction. I feel as though there is a flaw in their maths, but I can’t work out what it is, possibly because it has been a very long day, and LAOL are giving me a headache. Anyone else want to give it a try?
LAOL is also worried about the drought in Queensland and supports the Bradfield Irrigation Scheme, which I never heard of prior to reading about the FACN Party yesterday, and now it seems to be everywhere. I’m not the best person to judge whether this would work or not, but I am automatically a bit concerned about water policies that focus on more water for Queensland specifically, since our larger waterways start in Queensland before eventually heading south to irrigate other states. If Queensland keeps all the water, that’s not great for everyone else.
LAOL is also in favour of more desalination plants, which we probably do need.
And that, thank God, is that. I think the big decision for me will be whether LAOL is more hateful than the FACN party. It’s a pretty close call. But the hate is pretty undeniable. This party is definitely competing hard for that apparently coveted place at the very bottom of my ballot.
Eurovision Theme Song as determined by me, very objectively
I seriously considered ‘Mercy‘, the French entry from last year, which was a very touching song about a child refugee born at sea, and named ‘Mercy’, but, honestly, if going on ‘Go Back to Where You Came From’ had no impact on Vuga, there probably isn’t much point trying to get her or LAOL to understand about compassion.
And besides, they’ve annoyed me so much that I’d really prefer to use my Eurovision song choice to mock them mercilessly.
So. Turkey hasn’t competed in Eurovision for a few years now, which is truly a shame. Fortunately, this majority Muslim country did produce a truly fantastic song in their last Eurovision performance back in 2012. It has sailors! On boats! Not only that, at the end of the song, the backing dancers turn into a boat! (In case you can’t tell, I adore this song.)
That’s right, brown Muslim people who can turn into boats. That’s got to be LAOL’s worst nightmare, right there.
My ship is made from hope, she’s searching for your bay
But you don’t care.