Turnbull slams ‘deceitful’ Morrison for giving Australia a reputation as untrustworthy


Michelle Grattan, University of CanberraMalcolm Turnbull has accused Scott Morrison of trashing Australia’s reputation for trustworthiness and putting national security at risk, in a swingeing attack on the Prime Minister’s handling of the cancellation of the French submarine contract.

Turnbull also revealed that since the blow-up with France he had spoken to French President Emmanuel Macron – describing him as a friend and “an enormously important figure in global politics”. Macron has refused to take Morrison’s call, after the government quashed its contract effectively without notice.

Turnbull declined to go into the details of Macron’s reaction in their call but indicated French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who accused Australia of stabbing France in the back, “was not speaking just for himself”.

“France believes it has been deceived and humiliated – and she was,” Turnbull told the National Press Club. “This betrayal of trust will dog our relations with Europe for years.

“The Australian government has treated the French Republic with contempt. It won’t be forgotten. Every time we seek to persuade another nation to trust us, somebody will be saying, ‘Remember what they did to Macron? If they can throw France under a bus, what would they do to us?’”

Turnbull said when Morrison did something domestically which was criticised as slippery or disingenuous it reflected on him and the government, but “when you conduct yourself in such a deceitful manner internationally, it has a real impact on Australia.”

“What seems to have been overlooked is that one of our national security assets is trustworthiness,” Turnbull said. Morrison’s admirers were praising him for his “clever sneakiness”, but this was “an appalling episode in Australia’s international affairs” and the consequences would “endure to our disadvantage for a very long time”.




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View from The Hill: For Morrison AUKUS is all about the deal, never mind the niceties


Turnbull said anyone who raised the unresolved questions about the AUKUS deal for nuclear-powered subs was essentially accused of being unpatriotic.

“I can say to you, I am not getting any lectures on patriotism from Scott Morrison. I defended the national security of this country and its national interest and I know the way that he has behaved is putting that at risk.”

Turnbull said Morrison defended his conduct by saying it was in Australia’s national interest. “So, is that Mr Morrison’s ethical standard with which Australia is now tagged: Australia will act honestly unless it is judged in our national interest to deceive?”

The government should have been honest and open with the French – who produce nuclear submarines – about exploring the acquisition of nuclear-powered boats. Macron would have been supportive, Turnbull said.

“Let us assume that after this discussion the conclusion was that only a US or UK submarine would do. If the contract was terminated at that point, nobody could say that Australia had been dishonest or sneaky. France would be disappointed, but not betrayed, disrespected or humiliated,” Turnbull said.

“Morrison’s response is to say that he could not be open and honest with Macron because the French might have run to Washington and urged Biden not to do the deal. That tells you a lot about how confident he is about the commitment of the Americans.”

Turnbull said despite its “awkward birth” he hoped AUKUS was “a great success. It should be. We are already the closest of friends and allies – none closer.”

Turnbull is off to Glasgow

Turnbull revealed he will attend the Glasgow climate conference

Asked what message it would send if Morrison did not go (the Prime Minister has indicated he might not), Turnbull said, “History is made by those who turn up. If Mr Morrison decides not to go to Glasgow […] his absence will send a pretty strong message about his priorities. This is a critical conference.”

Pressed on what Australia’s present 26-28% 2030 emissions reduction target should be raised to, Turnbull said there were plenty of scientists who said it should be 70%, but it should be at least 45% or 50%.

He was cagey on whether he would endorse climate-focused independents at the election if the government didn’t produce a satisfactory climate policy. Still a member of the Liberal party, he said “I haven’t made a decision about that”. “I will wait and see, I reserve my rights, as they would say.”

The NSW government this week boosted its 2030 emissions reduction target to 50%, from its previous target of 35% reduction.




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Grattan on Friday: After the deal on security, Scott Morrison turns to the shift on climate


Morrison is negotiating with Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce to embrace a net zero by 2050 target for the Glasgow conference.

In awkward timing on Wednesday Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who is preparing the way for the 2050 net zero target, and Nationals Senate leader Bridget McKenzie, who took a swipe at Frydenberg this week, appeared jointly. They were talking about the coming end of the COVID disaster payment, but were inevitably put on the spot about climate policy.

McKenzie wrote in her opinion piece in the Australian Financial Review: “It is easy for the Member for Kooyong [Frydenberg] or the Member for Wentworth [Dave Sharma] to publicly embrace net zero before the government has a position, because there would be next to zero real impact on the way of life of their affluent constituents”.

Questioned about this Frydenberg said: “Climate change has no postcode. Climate change is a global challenge that requires national solutions.”

He said the government was “having very positive and constructive internal discussions. Not everyone will agree on every point.

“But it shouldn’t be seen as a binary choice between the regions and jobs. It shouldn’t be seen as a binary choice between city electorates or suburban electorates and regional electorates.

“When you reduce emissions in accordance with a well-considered, funded plan, you actually create jobs.”

McKenzie said one message in her opinion price was to challenge the assumption that “rural and regional Australians are anti climate and the National Party anti–caring for the climate.”

Her second message had been “that we had a job to do in the National Party and that is to stand up for our constituents and the industries that not just prop up our own local economies, but indeed prop up our national economy”.

“And the third message was that in this very, very serious debate, there are MPs out there, Josh isn’t one of them, Sharma isn’t one of them, but there are MPs out there who want to be cool for the climate, want to be cool on climate change, want to be popular without actually understanding and assessing and evaluating the consequences of these decisions.”The Conversation

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Iran: government security forces burned hundreds of Bibles


Ati News, a site belonging to Morteza Talaee who is the previous head of the security forces and the current member of the Tehran’s city council, in its usual anti-Christian propaganda reported that their social-life reporter had disclosed that shipments of so called, "Perverted Torah and Gospels" had entered Iran through its Western borders, reports FCNN.

Two days later, on May 31st, the same report was reiterated by the official anti-crime website of the Pasdaran Army called "Gerdaub" that a large shipment of Jewish and Christian Scriptures has entered Iran through the Western Azerbaijan province and according to security officials of that province the "occupier forces" that operate in the Western regions of Iraq were responsible for such activities.

Gerdaub, the official website of the Pasdaran Army continued its report by quoting the security official who had stated that:

Some of these books are distributed locally, but most of the books are smuggled and distributed all over the country. In just the last few months, hundreds of such "perverted Bibles" have been seized and burned in the border town of Sardasht.

The same unidentified security source adds that his intention has been to inform and enlighten people.

While the depiction of the Prophet of Islam and other historical religious leaders, whether in good or bad taste, has caused uproar and violent protests, threats of retaliation and assassinations, closure of embassies, long and mournful marches in various parts of countries of the world such as Pakistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, its quite interesting that the official website of the most powerful military wing of the Islamic Republic of Iran engages in the shameful act of reporting the burning
of Bibles.

Of course, the security officials have not clarified the difference between these so called "perverted Bibles" and those that are commonly used by people around the world – including Iran.

These officials shamefully label the Holy Scriptures of the Christians contraband without realizing the over two billion people around the world and at least five hundred thousand people in Iran revere and consider holy. This action is no different than what the government has wrongfully accused many Christians of insulting the sacred beliefs of Islam.

On the hand the defenders of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the international organizations and human rights forums claim that religious minorities such as Jews and Christians enjoy constitutional protection and the adherents of these religions not only can elect their own representatives to the parliament, but exercise their religious rights freely and openly. But, as with many other rights and freedoms granted to the people in the constitution, this fundamental right has also been violated
and repressed by the Islamic government.

The leaders of the Islamic Republic not only use the weapon of their pre-selected parliamentary candidates to control who gets into the legislature, but severely suppresses the religious minorities by demanding the names of those attending church services, banning the entry of Farsi-speaking members into church building and any preaching in the Farsi language, rejecting any building permits for church buildings, and the publishing of Bibles and other Christian literature which amounts to nothing
but direct interference in the religious affairs of the very people it claims to be protecting.

For these reasons Christians have taken refuge at homes and congregate in home-style churches form small home-based churches. Even then, many of these Christians are harassed and often pursued by security agents and are arrested and detained. Many Christian leaders have been detained for long periods of time in undisclosed locations and often very expensive bails have to be posted to secure their freedom.

The question remains as to how long the Christian community outside of Iran can tolerate such persecutions and atrocities? Moreover, and not withstanding the fact that Iranian Christians do not have the right to publish their holy scriptures, those Christians from around the world who donate Bibles to their brothers and sisters inside Iran are insulted by labeling their donated Bibles as contraband and burned by the security agents.

It is only appropriate that the official website of the Pasdaran army that has published this report and has confirmed the validity of this news through one of its security agents be condemned by the international Christian community and the world to demand the identification of those perpetrated this shameful act.

Such insults and offensive actions in burning the Christian Bible coincides with the Islamic community’s full enjoyment, freedom, and the blessings of the Western nations that allow them to publish the Islamic Holy Book, the Quran, and to build as many mosques as its needed in various European and North America cities.

The Quran states that the Torah and the Gospels are Holy Scriptures as well. Nevertheless, the Islamic leaders claim that the Bibles used by Christians and Jews are not the authentic scriptures but have been changed by the church. Considering the fact that the Quran also states that no man can destroy the word of God, the question remains that if the currently used Bible is, as the Islamic leaders so claim, a changed and untrustworthy document where is the real Torah and the Gospels?

If the Quranic claim that the word of God can never be perverted and changed, then there must be a copy of the real Torah and the Gospels somewhere. To this question Muslims have not credible answers. There is no such difference or variance between today’s Scriptures and the original writings. Our modern Bibles go back to the very ancient copies of the scriptures that in some cases date back to only 50 years from Christ Himself. There are even copies of the Old Testament that date several hundred
years before Christ.

Definitely and for sure, one can not find any ancient writings that have been as carefully and precisely copied and preserved as the Bible has been. There are thousands of ancient manuscripts in world museums that testify to this fact. Therefore the claim that the Bible is a changed and false scripture is totally baseless and is nothing but a ploy to confuse and mislead people by the Islamic leaders.

In any event, the burning of any book, especially one that is honored and revered by a great majority of people around the world, is an unacceptable and immoral act and must be condemned by the world community.

Report from the Christian Telegraph