The ‘no’ camp will try to contort this issue into anything other than what it is: should adults be able to marry the person they love?
Marriage equality opponents are trying everything to complicate this decision, but at its heart the question is simple: “Should all adults have the right to marry the person they love?”
The Coalition has contorted the decision-making process because it cannot manage its internal divisions, with political consequences as yet unknown, but we should not allow the question itself to be diverted or twisted out of shape.
Malcolm Turnbull's claim that Bill Shorten would be in jail under new union corruption laws is a serious misstep.
Turnbull chose to focus on Shorten in announcing the new Corrupting Benefits revision to the Fair Work Act - resulting in this sort of reporting.
The embattled Prime Minister used the passage through the Senate of a bill to ban all payments between unions and employers unless they were "legitimate" to zero in on his opponent after Labor opposed the bill.
"Bill Shorten was there defending corruption and secrecy, while the government was standing up for integrity and transparency," Mr Turnbull said.
"These are fundamental issues of values. Bill Shorten has been defending, tooth and nail, corruption and secrecy, defending big unions and union officials doing dodgy deals with employers at the expense of the workers.
"He is the wholly owned subsidiary of a union that has no regard for the law, that is flagrantly breaching the law, and like the puppet that he is, he has gone in there, sending his senators there to vote against legislation which does no more than require employers and unions to act honestly."
Mark Riley of the 7 network totally dissed the legislation - "the real target was Bill Shorten".
Turnbull's claim that Shorten would be in jail under the new laws refers to his conduct while head of the AWU in organising side deals and payments from Cleanevent, ACI Glass, Thiess/John Holland and other employers.
The Trade Union Royal Commission examined those matters and found that Shorten's 2IC Cesar Melhem, the AWU itself (while Shorten was the secretary or chief executive) and others committed 16 offences involving secret commissions and bogus invoicing.
Shorten, however, was excluded from the recommendations for prosecution.
Brad Norrington covered the TURC for The Australian newspaper. He's no supporter of the "get Shorten" push. In his book "Planet Jackson, Power, Greed & Unions" he's critical of Jackson's TURC evidence linking Bill Shorten to corruption:
"If there was one extra person Jackson would have hoped to take down with her, then surely it was Bill Shorten. Whenever possible, she had dragged him into her labyrinthine tale of Labor's evil factions warlords advancing their lust for power with branch stacking and dodgy union slush funds."
Norrington however exquisitely dissects the illogicality of the TURC decision to prosecute Melhem but not Shorten. He devotes the best part of a chapter to the TURC's decision:
"By this stage (November 2015) the TURC was suffering a credibility problem, exacerbated by Heydon's decision to accept, then turn down an invitation to address a Liberal Party fundraiser. The standing of Heydon's Commission was weakened. It is not unreasonable to conclude that the debacle over the Liberal fundraiser contributed to Stoljar, and later Heydon, pulling back from pursuing Shorten.."
Norrington sets out Shorten's involvement in each of the matters in which his 2IC was recommended for charges:
"Melhem was referred to the Victorian DPP for 8 possible offences, 3 of soliciting a "secret commission" and 5 of "false accounting. He also referred the AWU organisation to police and to the Fair Work Commission...
"These serious findings against Melhem raise an obvious question: what was Shorten doing all the time he was in charge of his Victorian AWU branch, with so many alleged criminal and civil offences occurring on his watch?"
"In sworn evidence to the TURC Stephen SASSE (Thiess/John Holland) said Shorten was centrally involved in 2004 with ......the Eastlink road project. The agreement inclued the consortium undertaking to pay Shorten's union $300,000 over the 3 years of the project. SASSE said under oath that Shorten, in late 2004, proposed that the consortium pay....
"Julian Rzesniowiecki, the HR manager, told the royal commission that negotiations over the $300K side deal were conducted with Shorten...."
Norrington describes Shorten's other allegedly criminal behaviour sheeted home to Melhem.
This apparent immunity is deeply troubling.
Shorten's presence in the Parliament is a daily reminder. Turnbull's on-again, off-again matey-ness with Shorten even moreso.
It won't be fixed by magical new legislation, press conferences and posters.
Shorten walked because the TURC folded to his high power lawyer Leon Zwier from Arnold Bloch Leibler who demanded and was given a statement on 6 November 2015 from Stoljar stating, "There is no submission that Mr Shorten may have engaged in any criminal or unlawful conduct".
That left little wriggle room for the Commissioner in his final report.
There certainly was such a submission from me involving Shorten's apparent criminal acts. There still is.
The CFMEU/Daniels Government's new Solicitor for Public Prosecutions is John Cain Jr, the same John Cain who hand wrote a letter to the Commonwealth Bank co-signed by Bruce Wilson - claiming the AWU had "no interest" in about $180,000 Wilson had apparently extracted from various employers (including one cheque for $20,160 made out to the AWU Workplace Reform Association).
Victoria now apparently intends to take no action over the AWU Scandal, notwithstanding the clear cut criminality involving payments from Thiess to the Wilson/Gillard slush fund over the Melbourne Water contract (note Ralph Blewitt has not been charged with offences arising from the 7 Melbourne Water related invoices).
Senator Kimberley Kitching was referred by the TURC for prosecution. The CFMEU/Andrews Government had sufficient certainty she would not be prosecuted to recommend her to fill a Senate vacancy. What do they know that we don't.
If Turnbull's going to politicise his new legislation by focussing it on his political opponent, he could at least do us the courtesy of getting his facts straight.
Just like Gillard , Shorten is the beneficiary of a political climate that protects its own.
Craig Thomson's slap on the wrist for the most serious contempt of the Parliament and the people in Australia's history sets the tone and tells us all we need to know.
Turnbull's union legislation won't change that.
During the course of today I'll analyse the new corruption benefits legislation - what it will and won't do.
I'll also talk to you about Turnbull's history and equivocal statements about unions - sometimes he thinks they're terrific, but when it suits him he doesn't.
And finally one important point I think Turnbull is completely blind to.
When we hear report after report about union corruption, when we see CFMEU thugs act with impunity, when we pay triple what we should for government funded building projects we don't need to hear any more crap from the Government stating the bleeding obvious.
We know unions are corrupt, the CFMEU completely.
So why is the racketeering influenced corrupt organisation still there running its enforcement scams day in, day out?
Piecemeal legislation "outlawing" payments isn't going to fix that.
The CFMEU's conduct is clearly already criminal - yet our governments let them get away with it.
Get rid of them.
Turnbull and Michaelia Cash are out of their depth.
Is it just me - or do you get annoyed too when the ABC puts out a statement like this:
The ABC will be covering XXXXXX the same way we cover all stories: with accuracy, impartiality and a diversity of perspectives. We are committed to allowing all reasonable voices to have a fair say............we have a responsibility to allow each respectful point of view to be considered.
The ABC this morning sent out an email reminding staff of our existing Editorial Policy requirements for impartiality, and what that means in terms of coverage of the same sex marriage debate. This is not a new decision or a change from our normal editorial approach, it is just a reminder. We regularly send out such reminders. This reminder was not prompted by any particular individual or incident.
Personal social media posts by staff are not official ABC content, so they are not covered by the ABC’s Editorial Policies. They are covered by the Social Media Policy, which essentially urges staff to be aware of the risks of behaving on social media in ways which might undermine their ABC role. The Social Media Policy is consistent with many other professional and media social media policies, which work hard to strike the right balance between the rights of individuals and citizens and the need for them to take appropriate care to ensure they are not seeming to be representing the ABC or undermining their ABC work.
The ABC will be covering the same sex marriage debate the same way we cover all stories: with accuracy, impartiality and a diversity of perspectives. We are committed to allowing all reasonable voices to have a fair say. If the federal government wants the people of Australia to make a choice, we have a responsibility to allow each respectful point of view to be considered.
My sympathies are with the victims in this case - the Jane Does.
I know at least one of them and she's a wholly decent and honourable person who didn't deserve to be the victim of malicious gossip published as if it was true.
I hope people will take the time to read the judgements in the 5 Supreme Court of NSW cases involving Dowling just this year.
It would be a great shame if the jailing of Mr Dowling led to blithe judgements about "martyrdom" over free speech and fearless reporting.
Justice Harrison was left with no alternative today - even while reading his sentencing remarks it was clear Dowling's contempt continued.
"If you are currently publishing matters on your phone ... I'd ask you to stop."
"OK then," Dowling replied.
From His Honour's judgement:
(Dowling's) contempt arises not from the fact that he published the names of Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 in the first place, perhaps on his assessment as any journalist might have done, but from the fact that he disobeyed an order to take their names down from his online articles and even continued to republish the names in breach of the order that he not do so. It is therefore not the case that Mr Dowling faces the prospect of imprisonment for doing nothing more than reporting the news.
I am not prepared to conclude that he is ignorant of the real issues in this part of the case, or that he has not flagrantly and intentionally disobeyed a solemn order of this Court. Even if on one view Mr Dowling’s enthusiasm for the cause as he perceives it borders on obsession, Mr Dowling is nonetheless to my observation a man of some intelligence who doubtless appreciates the proper legal foundation for his contempt. It is regrettable that his written protestations elide self-righteous indignation with innocence. Mr Dowling may not, with appropriate legal advice, have chosen to admit in those submissions that the reason he has never taken the names of the plaintiffs down “is because [he has] taken a stand against the abuse of suppression orders and non publications orders the NSW Supreme Court has been illegally and corruptly issuing”. However, Mr Dowling has not sought to withdraw that submission and it eloquently portrays his continuing attitude to the authority of this Court.
I am satisfied that Mr Dowling has long been aware that the continuation of his offending conduct placed him at risk of imprisonment. Despite that, the offending publications remain online.
“A court must not sentence an offender to imprisonment unless it is satisfied, having considered all possible alternatives, that no penalty other than imprisonment is appropriate.”
Mr Dowling’s previous punishment for contempt has clearly not served to deter his disregard for Campbell J’s orders. He has neither apologised for breaching them nor has he in any other way expressed contrition, remorse or regret for his actions. His contempt continues to this very day. In these circumstances I consider that no sentence other than the imposition of a term of full time custody is appropriate.
Shane Dowling, I sentence you for contempt to a fixed term of imprisonment of four months commencing on 10 August 2017 and expiring on 9 December 2017.
Sentenced to a fixed term of imprisonment of four months commencing on 10 August 2017 and expiring on 9 December 2017.
CRIMINAL LAW – sentence – contempt of court – where contemnor did not appear at sentencing proceedings – where contemnor deliberately and enthusiastically disobeyed court orders – whether the contemnor’s culpability is reduced because the orders are liable to be set aside – where contemnor has sought to receive a benefit from the contempt – where contemnor has not expressed any contrition or remorse – where contemnor has provided no evidence regarding personal circumstances or mitigating factors – whether there is a substantial need to deter the contemnor and others of like mind
Jane Doe 1 (First plaintiff) Jane Doe 2 (Second plaintiff) Shane Dowling (Defendant)
Counsel: K P Smark SC (Plaintiff)
Solicitors: Addisons (Plaintiff)
REMARKS ON SENTENCE
HIS HONOUR: On 15 March 2017, I found Shane Dowling guilty of contempt: Doe v Dowling NSWSC 202. I am now required to consider the question of the proper penalty to impose upon him as punishment for that contempt. I do not propose to repeat all of what I said in my original judgment, but will assume a familiarity with it for present purposes.
These proceedings were listed before me on 21 July 2017 for the purpose of hearing submissions on penalty. Mr Dowling informed my Associate in advance that he did not propose to appear at the hearing and he did not do so. Mr Dowling did not seek an adjournment of the sentencing proceedings, and in fact provided me with written submissions. Those submissions are referred to later in these remarks.
The scale of the UK's Muslim gang rape catastrophe is mind-boggling.
Northumbria Police is tiny compared to Australian state police forces - just 3,200 officers compared to say NSW Police's 16,500.
They police a fairly small population - 1.5 million people, just over one quarter the size of Sydney.
But here are the shocking statistics for their investigation into Muslim gang rapes, "Operation Sanctuary".
461 people arrested
782 potential complainants spoken to
278 confirmed victims
>300 years of imprisonment
Here's the Northumbria Police report.
09 Aug 2017 15:00 PM
Today has seen the conclusion of a complex series of trials that represent a significant milestone in Operation Sanctuary – a widespread investigation into Sexual Exploitation in the Northumbria Police force area.
The investigation, which was launched at the start of 2014, has been the largest and most intricate series of operations the force has ever dealt with.
On conclusion of today’s trial Chief Constable Steve Ashman made the following statement.
He said: “This investigation all began after one initial police enquiry in December 2013, an enquiry which led to the significant uncovering of sexual abuse which was being hidden away in our community.
“Whilst we were aware of some similar offending against vulnerable women and girls on a small scale we did not know the true scale of this at that time. An enormous amount of effort went in at the very outset to proactively find other potential victims. This strategy involved the voluntary sector and the local authority and has proven to be hugely successful in giving victims the confidence they need to step forward.
“By the end of January 2014, Operation Sanctuary was set up and we had already made nearly 30 arrests. To date we have arrested 461 people, spoken to 782 potential complainants and have found 278 victims. In total we now have 93 convictions delivering more than 300 years of imprisonment in addition to today’s convictions.
“I must start by praising the absolute bravery, dignity and composure of the victims throughout this incredibly gruelling process. Many of us will never understand the traumatic experience some of these women and girls have endured and they have my wholehearted commitment that, together with our partners, we will continue to provide them with all the support they need. They have trusted us and we must not let them down.
“From the outset this has been about doing what is right and placing the victims at the heart of the investigation. We have pro-actively sought out victims of abuse to protect them. We have done this together with our partners from the local authority and with a number of voluntary agencies. We have sought, through the brand of Operation Sanctuary, to raise public awareness here in the North East of the problem of, not just Child Sexual Exploitation but, the wider problem of the sexual exploitation of vulnerable women and girls and human trafficking. We have enlisted and received the support of licensed premises, late night refreshment premises, taxi drivers, hotels, B&Bs as well as the general public.
“We have thrown the kitchen sink at this, a team of 50 officers have worked on this enquiry for almost three and a half years and continue to do so. We have not stopped and will not stop. We have employed every technique available to us both covert and overt, in tackling the problem. We have been transparent in our approach and, where we encountered misconduct on the part of a police officer who had completely failed in his duty, he was dismissed. Whilst nothing is perfect in an operation of this magnitude I am content that we have worked to the best of our professional ability.
“There has been no political correctness here. These are criminals and there has been no hesitation in arresting them and targeting them using all the means at our disposal. It is for individual communities to ask themselves whether they are doing all they can to eradicate such attitudes and behaviour so that the stigma and shame attached to such people prevents it from rearing its head again. The communities that we work with are appalled at this offending and we have encountered nothing other than the fullest of support from them all.
“We know concerns have been raised about our use of a Police Informant known as XY.
“XY was an authorised Covert Human Intelligence Source (CHIS), an informant, who was able to report on criminality including CSE. He was a convicted rapist and to some of us the thought of the police engaging with such a person and paying them for information may appear repugnant, however he proved he was in a position whereby he could, and did, alert police to situations which allowed them to prevent offending and provide safeguarding measures towards potential victims. The lawful and regulated use of such tactics is always overseen by a senior police officer and is also subject to review by an independent body. Furthermore, in this case the handling of XY by Northumbria Police was the subject of an independent investigation by the IPCC in which no misconduct was found nor were any recommendations made.
“In the case of XY it is clear that his relationships with others have allowed the police to prevent and detect some of the most serious crimes occurring in our communities, this would not have been possible through conventional methods.
“The sexual exploitation of vulnerable people is in my opinion the challenge of our generation. It is a huge task that we are faced with. To date Operation Sanctuary has been the most complex investigation in this forces’ history and has not stopped. There is a wider debate to be had as to how this is to be tackled moving forward.
“Firstly, for this challenge to be overcome there needs to be a high likelihood that offenders will be caught and victims supported. I am confident that we are getting this right, we will never stop pursuing those responsible, and we will throw everything we can at them and we will catch them.
“Secondly, we need a heavy sanction that acts as a clear deterrent and delivers punishment to those vile individuals that prey on the vulnerable.
“Thirdly, and most importantly, it has to become socially unacceptable in every community to behave in this way. Given the number of men that we have arrested 461 in total, clearly somewhere something has gone wrong if it has become acceptable to entice, through alcohol, drugs or just through bullying and violence, vulnerable people into sex.
“This behaviour can never be tolerated.”
Overview of the impact on victims
Victims revealed they had been raped, exploited or sexually abused while intoxicated by either drink or drugs, often both.
On occasions the victims were so inebriated that they were abused while they were unconscious.
The girls met the men through other friends and social media. One girl described a friend as having so many people in her phone that it was “unreal”. Most were saved under nicknames.
The men would contact the girls at all hours of the day and night. They would even contact them in the early hours of the morning and they would persistently plead with them to go to an address to “chill” with them or would invite them to parties, which were described as “sessions”.
The men would message the girls to say they had alcohol and drugs for them and would pay for taxis to collect them. They would be bought vodka, MCAT and cocaine.
Victims would wake up with men raping them or sexually assaulting them.
Some of the victims are now too frightened to be involved in any relationships because of the abuse they have suffered, describing it as “scaring her for the rest of her goddamn life”.