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#102 - White Ribbon Night In

Episode 102

Dave discusses issues relating to domestic violence with informed commentators; Jeremy collates a series of absurd stories from the week in politics for the other sort of SomethingWonky treatment


  • Commentary by

    • Jane Gilmore - silence is acquienscence
    • “Why don’t they leave?” - A victim of domestic violence shares her story.
  • Interviews with

    • Kate Doak - DV issues affecting trans people
    • Kimberley Ramplin - What the stats hide, the “One in Three” lunacy, “Not all men” cranks


  1. Wacky Politicians Corner
  2. MH17 gives Abbott an opportunity to look Prime Ministerial while standing up for the controversial position that shooting down airliners is bad. Meanwhile Julie Bishop attacks Labor for fighting for the UNSC seat which has ironically let her and Tony be heard. Elsewhere, rest of world damns Australia for repealing the carbon price
  3. Tony’s Mates
  4. UnAustralian News: state governments around the country refuse to grant a public holiday for ANZAC day next year.
  5. ACT Greens Minister to put legalising medical marijuana as a private member’s bill
  6. Labor wins 18.6% swing in by-election in state seat in Brisbane.. The Oz retorts that Newman has a great story to tell.
  7. Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission releases report into treatment of disabled which reveals they are routinely ignored by police and an endemic of abuse in institutions. Hideous examples on the link.
  8. When she worked for the HSU Kathy Jackson diddled research scientists at Peter Mac cancer institute out of millions in back pay and used the payout from the hospital on herself
  9. Other Commentary from the week


  1. They’re Still On The Damn Boat
  2. Good news: Morrison backs down on “national interest test” in case of refugee boy who has now been granted a permanent protection visa.
  3. Australian human rights commission team visited Christmas Island last week, reports:

    The situation on the island had “significantly deteriorated” since a meeting between detainees and immigration staff a week earlier, when many asked to be moved to the mainland for the sake of their children. The commission inspectors verified that 10 women were placed on 24-hour watch for self-harm and suicide and a total of 13 were considered high risk…. Gillian Triggs: “They are plagued by despair and helplessness at the seemingly endless period of detention. While I am encouraged that the department intends to set up a school for children, for the past year, children have had no education or structured physical activity.”

  4. PNG preventing witnesses to Reza Berati’s death from leaving manus island, even to return home

Download "White Ribbon Night In"


101 - Axe the tax ... staff.

This week’s episode contains some static in Dave’s audio, we’ll try to have the problem fixed before next week.

This week everyone gets a massive gets a massive cut to their power bill that you can bank on totally check your next one, Joe’s making threats, Clive’s giving himself tax cuts, Tony’s stamping his feet, the ATO’s losing its ability to chase tax cheats, Thorpey’s under attack, and most importantly the Australian newspaper is fifty years old everybody party THE FOCUS GROUP

  1. The Carbon Price is No More!
  2. But the Budget!
  3. But the Economy!
  4. Other Libs having a bad week.
  5. Civil Liberties Corner
    • Plenty of sanctimonious criticism of Ian Thorpe for not coming out sooner, by ppl who can’t imagine just what coming out would be like, and who think apparently gay ppl are no longer discriminated against (except, you know, in the law). And more generally.
    • The Australian “Christian” Lobby is appalled by news support for marriage equality is now at 72% - goes the full unhinging in its media release, asking if poll respondents were asked “if they are comfortable with children being taken from their biological mother or father” or, even more ironically given their advocacy for Christian employers being allowed to sack gay people, “Are Australians happy for fellow citizens who believe in man-woman marriage to be sued in the courts or driven from their jobs because of their beliefs?” Also some classic lying for Jesus, as they claim they supported Labor’s 2008 removal of much discrimination against gay ppl in federal law. (They didn’t.)
    • Tim Wilson, our $300+k a year “Human rights” commissioner, defends Wicked Campers’ misogynist slogans - all you have to do is not hire one, he suggests. (Missing point that the only way to be safe from the messages is to be inside said vans and never come out.)
    • Victorian AG Robert Clark and Federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews to speak at and support far-right US-based anti-gay anti-abortion conference in Melbourne, along with the loonies from Danny Nalliar’s Rise Up “demons are real” party.
  6. The Crime Beat
    • Media shower themselves in glory going absolutely bananas over the Baden-Clay trial verdict. Channel Nine has “live” crosses to the courthouse for hours after everyone’s gone home.
    • Might be time for a review of the IVO/AVO systems so protected people are advised when there’s new threatening behaviour - which didn’t happen for Luke Batty’s mum


  1. Australia holding asylum seekers at sea in windowless locked rooms, twirling moustache.
  2. Oz claims refugee advocates are encouraging refugees to self-harm; Miranda Devine declares “Someone in authority has to stop these so-called “well-meaning” advocates. They are hurting the very people they feign to protect.”
  3. The deliberate fudging of responsibility and accountability continues as OSB commander Angus Campbell cannot answer basic questions to Senators like whether customs vessels have adequate provisions for children or what their capacity, communications capabilities and supplies were.
  4. Also Australia won’t tell the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights what is happening to the Tamils on that boat on laughable grounds that “all these matters are currently before the High Court of Australia… the Australian Government will provide a full response once they are resolved.” That’s right, human rights lawyers, it’s your own fault for not leaving well enough alone and letting the government send the second lot back to Sri Lanka. (Oz publishes govt’s claim as fact that it was “never going to”, which is totally credible.)
  5. Scott Morrison spends some quality time with his new best friends, Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, defence minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and what does it matter what they did in the civil war.
  6. Tad Tieze in New Matilda questions the accepted wisdom that being cruel to refugees is actually a vote-winning vote-changer, also pointing out that Labor’s most popular period in recent memory coincided with its least cruel policy on the subject.
  7. The ABC digs up an old “white Australia” boardgame from 1914 about replacing “coloured”s with white people, back when we were, you know, a bit of a racist country, back then, so long ago, unlike now.


  1. George Brandis presents bill to parliament to jail for 5-10 years journalists who disclose Snowden-like revelations. SomethingWonky waits with breathless anticipation for the Oz, the IPA, and Tim Wilson to come thundering in to support press freedom. Any… Minute… Now.
  2. The Oz turns 50 and the great and powerful turn up to celebrate with our political leaders. Tony Abbott calls the Oz Rupert’s “gift to the nation”. Tony Windsor (not present) compares it on twitter with another Australian product celebrating a birthday: Sorbent. Others are less kind (but much closer the mark)
  3. What is with The Australian and its weird obsession with calling everything an “exclusive”?
  4. Rupert speaks through his minions about how the NBN is a shit idea and that’s totally not through self-interest, and there’s too much welfare.
  5. does a little award ceremony for who covered Palmer’s antics the best and discovers that its own papers are the best after all
  6. There will be consequences as the ABC declines Janet’s hard-hitting interview series with John Howard (Also Chris Kenny’s buddy-cop drama with Phillip Ruddock and Ray Hadley’s fantasy epic with Scott Morrison)

Download "Axe the tax ... staff.


#100 - Sea no evil

This week, the increasingly decrepit SomethingWonky leaves behind the grim news and depressing revelations to become Australia’s Cheeriest Political Podcast.


  1. Australians turn out to protest for social services
  2. High Court provides some sort of a check on the government’s plans to claim enough authority over international waters to kidnap refugees, but not enough to be subject to Australian law.
  3. Solar overtakes Coal, even briefly, in Queensland
  4. As a government backbencher likens climate change to a science fiction film plot (which it is - the one about people not heeding warnings and then there being an apocalypse), the Canberra Times, pointing out that the carbon price has cut electricity generation pollution by 10% and increased our use of clean energy by 37%, asks why kill a working carbon price? WILL ANYONE LISTEN? Well, yes. Senate says no… temporarily. Penny Wong fires up to inspire the Senate to tell the govt not to take them for granted (AUDIO ON LINK) Then, in’s analysis, Clive “bullies” Tony
  5. ABC has a totally leftist night of leftism


  1. Tony spends $4.3m of public money on spin doctors in his “strategic communications branch”
  2. Tony Abbott reveals that Australia was unsettled before the British (but it isn’t the first time - last year he said that the “first Australians” were picked by British judges).
  3. Malcolm Turnbull sending off $1m in a vulture fund in the Cayman Islands to dodge tax

STUCK IN MY CRAW Andrew Tiedt on NSW’s shamefully weak weak Bail weak laws of weakness that let people accused of crimes eat lunch by the beach


  1. Self-harm amongst asylum seekers in detention skyrockets six-fold since offshore resettlement, reports SERCO.
  2. Asylum seeker mothers reported trying to commit suicide to help their children.
  3. Mr Abbott says he won’t be “held over a moral barrel”, “moral blackmail”.
  4. Other asylum seeker mothers asking for Australians to be allowed to adopt their children
  5. Australia confirmed to have sent 41 refugees from Sri Lanka back to Sri Lanka, where they were then taken into custody to face court (It’s a crime punishable by 2 years imprisonment to leave Sri Lanka without permission). There are reasons Sri Lanka is a refugee-producing country. Reports of our on-water treatment not promising:
    Another migrant said they were racially abused and denied medication, while some attempted a hunger strike to protest their treatment. “They kept on saying ‘You fucking Sri Lankan, go back to fucking Sri Lanka’,” said the man, who declined to give his name. He said he was also refused medicine for a rash he had developed during the sea journey in a small fishing trawler. Another unnamed passenger said they were given food past their expiry date, adding: “They treated us worse than dogs.”
  6. Richard Ackland points out that handing back asylum seekers is called refoulement and it’s illegal
  7. Ray Hadley and Scott Morrison are greatly amused by the presence of a dog, because they’d have left theirs behind. (AUDIO)
  8. Scott Morrison’s new ludicrous “national interest” test for refugees
  9. Scott Morrison’s new “four question” asylum seeker test.
  10. Eric Abetz is offended at Fran Kelly suggesting that just because Australia is now taking people and refusing to say where they are, we might be “disappearing people”. Are not, he tells Insiders.
  11. Scott Morrison toddles off to Sri Lanka for mysterious reasons
  12. UNHCR slams Australia transferring refugees at sea, which it turns out we did.
  13. On the other hand, although we’ve probably contravened refugee conventions, Crikey points out there’s probably nothing they can do about it.
  14. Julian Burnside accuses the government of piracy, apparently unaware that George Brandis has already redefined that to mean copyright infringement.
  15. But we are looking more and more like pariahs - even to the Americans.
  16. Readers of The Oz want to know how do asylum seekers get the names of refugee advocate organisations that are in the phone book? It must be a conspiracy.
  17. Former Chief Justice of the Family Court, Alastair Nicholson, remembers a time when even The Australian thought imprisoning refugee children in remote camps was unacceptable. “Even Greg Sheridan expressed support for my remarks.”
  18. Essential poll reveals 54% of Australians think this tormenting refugees policy is either too soft or just right, and only 27% think it’s “too tough”. Which is still the highest it’s been for a very long time.
  19. Bolt reveals human rights advocates’ motivations - deceit, self-preening and insane hatred of the Abbott Government
  20. Meanwhile Chris Kenny thinks they’re doing it for all that government funding he imagines they get


  1. News Corp columnist still doesn’t understand why the slippery slope is a logical fallacy

Download "Sea no evil"


Support White Ribbon's Night In

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#99 - Australia, you're soaking in it.

This week, the Federal Government turns its attention to people with a disability, and not in a good way. The Australian Government gets into the disappearing people business. And we dig into the political history vault to create havoc on the ABC board.

The Focus Group

  1. So much to destroy, so little time
  2. New LDP Senator comments that “John Howard deserved to be shot” for wearing a bullet-proof vest while addressing angry gun-owners in Sale in 1996.
  3. Australia won’t recognise first same sex marriage in Australia, at UK consulate
  4. Todd Carney loses his NRL contract for “bubbling”
  5. Great States


  1. Scott Morrison manages to disappear two boats of 200 or so refugees and children. “No comment”, he tells reporters. (Partial transcript) “I’m not telling you if we know about it or not .” We still don’t know if those people have been rescued or drowned. Weirdly, a government minister making people disappear does not become the major scandal of the week. Then reports we’ve handed them over to the Sri Lankan Navy, although the Sri Lankan military denies it - but then Tony Abbott makes a point of telling reporters that “I want to make this observation, Sri Lanka is not everyone’s idea of an ideal society, but it is at peace”. Refugee Council of Australia points out that sending refugees to Sri Lanka ‘risks flagrant violation of convention’. Morrison continues to refuse to comment, because “disappearing” people is okay now.
  2. We’ll be deporting refugees if there’s a 49% risk of torture or death
  3. Scott’s department snatch two Vietnamese asylum seeker children in years 10 and 11 from an Adelaide high school, to shove them in immigration detention. Seven frightened children, aged 8-18, run away, fearing they’ll be imprisoned too.
  4. Self-harm and even suicide attempts by children in detention “shockingly high” - 128 reported self-harm incidents between January 2013 and March 2014.
  5. Girl in processing centre left without glasses for 11 months, leaving her eyesight in jeopardy.
  6. Good news! Australia says it’s going to “question” ultra-rich Brunei over stoning laws before trade talks! Let’s imagine those questions.


  1. Oz working hard to convince readers that the RET will increase electricity prices, ignoring govt’s modelling saying the reverse
  2. Murdoch told editors to “kill Whitlam” in 1975
  3. Janet Albrechtsen (who’s previously argued in print that Mark Scott should resign) to oversee ABC board appointments. PM says decision was made by the secretary of the PM’s department, not the PM.
  4. Frightbat 2 - where it’s not threatening legal action to ring up someone and tell them they should have their lawyer check over what they’ve published criticising you.

Download "Australia, you're soaking in it."