November 23, 2017

Horse 2343 - Suicide Isn't Painless: It's Inconvenient

As far as I'm aware, Sydney is the only city in the world with a fleet of double decker suburban rail cars; let alone double decker suburban rail cars that go underground. The majority of the City Circle dates from 1926; with services going across the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932, and the City Circle passing through Circular Quay in the 1950's after Premier Joseph Cahill decided to permanently foul up Sydney's infrastructure by ripping out the trams.
As such, Sydney's suburban trains are capable of carrying up to 2000 people, as opposed to the 900 that the trains on the London Underground can carry. Unlike the London Underground which has had a very long history of improvement (in a lot of cases belatedly), Sydney's underground stations remain mostly the same at platform level as the day that they were opened. Both at Town Hall and Wynyard Stations you can still see the now 90 year old wooden beams which make up the station ceilings, as well as the massive steel beams which hold the stations together. What we don't have in Sydney that I think that the network is desperately crying out for, is anti-suicide pits at least and platform length barriers at best.

The worst trip that I have ever been on, when I was on a northbound train going into Town Hall once, when suddenly the lights went out and those of us standing in the vestibule area near the doors, were thrown violently into the wall of the driver's cab. From the other side of the wall, I could hear frantic yelling as the driver was making his opinion known by use of very Saxon four letter expletives and I also heard that dreaded phrase of "one under".
I don't know what the statistics are for people being hit by a train in Sydney is like but if it's anything like London, then most people who die by being struck by a train are willing participants in the deadly game. Practically none of them are pushed but there are a few accidents.

I can not possibly understand the kind of angst and chaos that must pass through someone's mind to make them decide that taking one's own life is either desirable or acceptable and so I shan't comment on that but I do know that by changing the infrastructure just a little bit, them many lives can be saved.

My proposal would be to have a ditch cut between the two rails as they pass through the underground stations in Sydney. I don't know how deep the anti-suicide pits in London are but I do know that if built in Sydney, that they would be more effective because unlike the London Underground, Sydney's trains are powered by an overhead source of electricity and so there is no third rail between the tracks.
The point of the anti-suicide pits is that when you do have someone​ go under a train, they will fall between the two tracks and into the pit, while the train passes safely overhead. In the London Underground's​ experience, the the number of people who later report that they changed their mind as a result of being saved by the anti-suicide pits is significant enough to justify the almost minimal expense. The amount of bother caused by someone going under a train and the chaos and trauma it causes, is something which should be prevented.

The other more expensive thing that I would like to see in Sydney are platform length barriers installed. The concept is ridiculously simple. You have a series of glass or Perspex barriers down the full length of the platform, with doors that only open when there is a train stopped at the station. Everyone is familiar with the idea as this is how elevator doors should work: the doors on the elevator should only open when there is a car present. Although it is harder to synchronise when you have a train which weighs many tonnes, various underground railway networks like the London Underground, Paris Metro and the Rome Metro have already figured it out. Since Sydney's trains are now almost exclusively eight cars long and with sixteen sets of doors on one side, the set of design requirements are already known. The only challenge would be if there are the older style of V Set trains where the doors are closer to the ends of the cars but they tend not to travel down the underground portion of the network all that often. Really the only stations which would derive the most benefit from platform length barriers would be Wynyard and Town Hall as they experience the highest volume of peak passenger traffic.

Call me callous if you like but I think that I'd prefer the inconvenience caused by retrieving a person who is alive and at the bottom of an anti-suicide pit than the larger inconvenience caused by retrieving a person who is dead and has been pulverised for many meters at the bottom of a train tunnel. I think I'd prefer the inconvenience caused by being forced to stand behind a barrier and being fenced in like sheep, rather than having someone accidentally spill into the path of a moving train.
I realise that the death rate of the population is 100% but I'd rather have people die of old age in the palliative care ward of a hospital, than in front of the 05:47 train to Penrith and inconvenience several thousand people.

Anti-Suicide Pits and Platform Length Barriers... and Bring Back The Roundels Please

November 21, 2017

Horse 2342 - A 39 Year Old Man Walks Into A Toy Shop But Is Perplexed And Perturbed By What He Finds Lurking Inside

At the weekend, Mrs Rollo drove down the motorway to a toy shop, to do some Christmas shopping for our nephew who was born this year. Not having any children of our own, I haven't had much of a need to venture into a toy shop in a very long time, save for looking at board games. I certainly haven't needed to look at toys for very young children ever before and to be honest, I'm quite daunted by the process.
Driving down the motorway is perfectly fine and indeed a joy but going to a shop which I feel like an impostor and a great git, is decidedly unpleasant. This is yet another aspect of life which I feel like an anachronism. I'm sure that I was built for the late Victorian era but for some hitherto unknown reason, was placed in the late twentieth and early twenty first century. To wit:
When I was a wee lad, toys for very small children were either things that they could bite and things that they could hurl across the room violently. This usually meant that very small children had things like teddy bears, teething rings, wooden blocks and things like stacking cups.
Now I completely understand that in the twenty first century that everything will be branded to the eyeballs, and that children's toys are on the whole more colourful than the rest of the world but I did not expect to see what I saw at the weekend.

The first thing that I definitely did not expect to see was the unbelievable amount of things that make noise and have coloured lights. Even as long as twenty years ago, child psychologists were starting to make the connection between flashing and coloured lights and the onset of ADHD in those children who have a predisposition. Of course it would be completely hypocritical of me and very much remiss for me not to see the tremendous irony of my tapping away on a tablet computer to write this but the point remains that simply by walking about and seeing all the things on sale, I probably ended up with both ADHD and diabetes just by looking at them. One can not walk around and not witness the impossible visual saccharin that was going on, and I would not be surprised if the World Health Organisation classified all toy shops in first world countries as public health emergencies.

The next thing that I noticed was the sheer volume of brands and things with either television or film tie ins. I can only assume that Dora the Explorer has finished exploring because she was long gone, but in her place was a myriad of small animals that had television shows on either Nick Jr or CBeebies according to the packaging. I have no idea what The Paw Patrol is, nor what that show with the kid and his small pig was. I have a vague idea of what Iggle Piggle and In The Night Garden is but I am completely lost for words at describinyg what the heck that green dinosaur thing was.
Disney have apparently rebooted The Lion King with something called The Lion Guard, and I'm still unhappy to report that the ubiquity that is Frozen, still hurtles along like an out of control juggernaut.
There also seems to be something of a renaissance for reboots from the 1980s with My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake making a return to the toy shelves. I shudder to think that when 1990s echo nostalgia hits, that there's going to be an echo of the Tellytubbies and a whole new generation will be weirded out by a creepy looking baby staring out of the sun. Where's Skeletor when you need him?

As I walked around more, I was shocked to discover that you can buy a pushchair for carrying around your sprogs at a price which is more than a second hand car. To put on that in perspective, that means that if you parked your Commodore out in the car park, you could double its value by putting a pram in the boot. You could buy two kids bicycles, lash them together with some children's furniture and effectively build your own four seat pedal car and still have at least $500 change from the price of one of these pushchairs.
It makes perfect sense that a toy shop should carry baby clothes but I don't understand why there is some kind of excessive need to make children's wear deliberately obnoxious. I saw slogans on some baby clothes which would not have been acceptable on a big person's t-shirt; so I don't understand why they were magically acceptable on a small child, except to think that maybe it's all right because they can't read?

I was heartened to see that the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe is still in the stores, as is the obligatory aisle of vomit inducing pinkness which is in every toy store; where Barbie is still reigning as queen. I was also impressed that the toy doll aisle now includes dolls of colour, instead of just some weird leftover notion of the White Australia policy. The perennial heroes of Batman and Darth Vader are still in the toy store and it looks like Pikachu has joined the firmament of eternal merchandise. You can still buy everyone's favourite argument inducing holiday board game Monopoly and being summer in Australia, the whole front half of the store was devoted to inflatable everything. If you want a giant inflatable strip of bacon, there was one there for you to buy.

I'm kind of glad that I don't have to walk into a toy store all that often. In my ill-thought out opinion and entirely ungrounded in fact or research, the best toys ever are still soft toys which kids give personalities to, things like lego which build their imaginations and minds, cars and trucks for playing outside in the dirt, and balls which are for kicking and throwing and running around with.
I'm pretty sure that I would have preferred the days when everything was made of wood and when the paint was made with lead. Give a child a heap of blocks, a shovel and a bucket and tell them to play outside.

November 20, 2017

Horse 2341 - Honda Needs To Go To Le Mans Or Go Home

Last week, Honda made the official statement that their engines are "decent enough to compete in Formula One" and that they "are happy with the progress shown so far". I don't know if Honda are necessarily the most objective of observers here and I would rather take the opinion of McLaren driver Fernando Alonso who has frequently described the Honda engines in the back of his car by the use of four letter expletives.

Honda's engines in Formula One have been nothing short of abysmal. They've been hopelessly underpowered and unreliable and Fernando Alonso wishing Toro Rosso all the best of luck for the 2018 season, has the ring of someone wishing a Merry Christmas to a turkey. It's little wonder that Carlos Sainz Jr jumped ship this year because if a Honda powered Toto Rosso manages to win even so much as a single point next year, I will be surprised.

In the case of Honda, they arrived at the current set of rules late. In the the two seasons thanks they've been running the turbocharged hybrid cars, they've always been quite a bit down on performance. The main problems that Formula One presents are that there are neither enough days of testing permitted in a year; nor is there enough leeway to improve an engine if it turns out to be a monumental dud which Honda's current engine and drivetrain are. The way that the rules are currently set up, if you have an engine which is good, then that advantage is more or less permanently locked in; hence the reason why Mercedes Benz have been so dominant for so long.

If I was Grand Poobah and Lord High Everything Else at Honda, then I would seriously consider not scaling back the engine program but expanding it to run at the toughest laboratory in the world, the Le Mans 24 Hour race.
Honda is already building the engines and so as far as that side of the equation goes, that's covered. Honda also builds cars for the Super GT series in Japan in the GT 500 class, with their NSX Concept-GT. As someone who has been enjoying the Super GT series, it seems logical to me that if Honda wants to improve the reliability of the engines, then they should run them in a theatre where they will keep on running until they fail.

This road has already been travelled down before. In the late 1970s when Renault's famous 'Yellow Teapot' earned its nickname because it kept on blowing itself to pieces in a great cloud of​ steam, Renault doubled down on their efforts and built the Renault Alpine 442. It would eventually go on to win Le Mans and in the process, they nearly became the first company to win the Formula One Driver's Championship with turbocharged engines in 1983 but were beaten to the post by BMW. Renault's Formula One effort never really took off until they found the limits of turbocharger technology by finding an even tougher laboratory to run in.

My solution would be for Honda to build a variant of their Formula One engine and put it in either the LMP1 or LMP2 class at Le Mans, or at least run it in a GT3 car in the Spa 24 Hour race and see where the engine breaks and more importantly why. Running an engine for 24 hours is basically the equivalent of running 12 Grands Prix back to back and although there might be a step down in the peak performance demanded from the engine, that's kind of counterbalanced by the sheer scale of the undertaking.

Mind you, the other option for Honda could be to just admit that this particular iteration of their Formula One program is a disaster and they should consider just leaving Formula One again. McLaren's​ patience has been tested and broken and they will be running Renault powerplants in 2018, and I very much doubt whether Toro Rosso will be all that much of a benefit to Honda; in the same way that Honda definitely has not been a benefit to McLaren.

November 15, 2017

Horse 2340 - Delete Everything - NaNoWriMo 2017

Delete!

With one press of the delete key, I destroyed fifteen days worth of words. With one single strike, the story of two brothers and two sisters, which amounted to a tad over 27,000 words, has been sent to the great Memory Hole. It was surprisingly easy.

November is NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. That sounds daunting but it only works out to be 1667 words a day and given that I write blog posts that are longer than that, what would seem like a Herculean task, is actually not all that difficult. The thing that I have learnt after doing several of these over the years though is that although volume isn't a problem, the frustration when you know that you have something which you ultimately don't like, is immense.

50,000 words is sufficiently short enough for me to write four chapters which all follow a pretty standard sort of basic template. There's a problem, two complications and the resolution which contains either two or three loose enda which may or may not be tied up by the end. There's a definite beat to it and it's simple enough that I don't need to expend that much brain power to work it out. In that respect, writing a novel is like solving a self imposed puzzle where the solution is unknown but logical.
This year though, I've reached the half way point and have decided that I just don't care how the story ends, I don't particularly care about the characters even though they are products of my own imagination and those things added together have meant that I don't really care about ending the novel. To press the delete key on this occasion and to have all of the the words simply disappear forever is of no great loss to me.

It has however given me an interesting thought though. I wonder what great novels never existed because the author couldn't be bothered any more. Maybe if I had been someone like Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, Arthur Conan Doyle or JK Rowling, where my livelihood depended on producing work, then maybe I might have seen ​the necessity of ploughing through because that would mean that I get to eat (seriously, if you read through The Pickwick Papers you get the distinct impression that Dickens was just putting words together for the sake of collecting cheques from his publishers) but because I am an amateur who has never even seen enough money to buy a cup of coffee, then the only thing that I've missed out on is perhaps a few sleeps on the train, if that.

I think that one of the reasons why I like to write so much is that I think that I have a fairly methodical internal monologue. I can put that to use for me by sticking keyboard at the end of my fingers and then watch as words flow out (but not like endless rain into a paper cup because that's an inherently idiotic idea - at some point really early on, you're going to fill up the paper cup). I also just like the way that words fit together. We probably have only a small number of words in everyday usage but we're always finding ways to make them express new ideas, or the same boring ideas in new ways. I'm sure that if I was a native Mandarin speaker, I'd find joy in the rising and falling of tone and intonation; if I was a native Italian speaker, I'd find joy in the inherent rhythm of the language; if I was a native Hindi speaker, I'd find joy in the way that it wants to tumble with pitch. Because I am either blessed or cursed with English as my native tongue, then the way that it sounds and its Meyer are both known to me, and so that we internal monologue sounds far nicer than on any occasion that I open my mouth to speak.

When you throw all of that at a story, you get something which begins to take on its own kind of life. I had a fairly good idea of how this year's novel would sound if it was read and​ getting half way through it, was enough to convince me that it wasn't worth the effort. If I had borrowed it from the library, I would have thought that it was well written but I still would have returned it before finishing it because I would have been bored by it. If you have a story which is so boring that you can't be bothered to finish writing, then you surely can not expect anyone else to bother with it either.

15 days, 27294 words, no point. This novel did not live long in the memory and so the only verdict was death by delete key. Delete.

October 31, 2017

Horse 2339 - Coca-Cola Plus Confusion

John Pemberton's​ invention of 1886 of Coca-Cola, came just before what has sometimes been called "the great binge", which was that period in history where hard drugs were readily obtainable and unregulated. As a result, everyone who had access to free money, was pretty well much on anything that they could lay their hands on. Queen Victoria was said to have had a laudenum habit, the UK went to war with China and won Hong Kong as a result of the Opium Wars and even in literature, the great fictional detective Sherlock Holmes was known for taking Heroin. Coca-Cola like so many of the tonics of the day, also originally contained a hard drug; specifically cocaine. In due time, the cocaine would be taken out.
Coca-Cola became the de facto drink of World War Two when it was made available to US servicemen abroad at the price of 2 cents a bottle, which is what they could get it for back home. For the latter half of the twentieth century, Coca-Cola reigned as the ubiquitous drink of many parties and summers, and for a short time became the synonymous with a marketing war with Pepsi.
In the twenty-first century, it has lost its place as the unchallenged market leader when it comes to fizzy diabetes inducing drinks, as we've entered another kind of unregulated "binge" of so-called "energy drinks"; the most visibly famous being Red Bull. This has meant that the people at Coca-Cola have had to come up with something different and new and that's where this fits in.


I won't say that I don't know what possessed Coca-Cola to​ come up with this product but I do know that it will pass into the realm of the past with almost no lament at all, and that's a shame because it isn't all that bad.

In my not very well paid opinion, the king of coffee in a can is made by Ueshima Coffee Company and is labelled UCC. Coming in a close second is the coffee in a can made by Pokka. If you've never had coffee in a can before, it can be something of an unnerving experience but that sensation of mental calamity very quickly wears off. I expected Coca-Cola And Coffee to be as equally as weird the first time and completely normal after that. I was half wrong.
Coca-Cola And Coffee was completely normal to me from the get go and therein lies what I think is its main problem - it is dull. There's a little bit of a brain disconnect when you experience the two flavours of Coca-Cola and Coffee competing with each other and then the flavour is exactly what it says on the tin; it is Coca-Cola And Coffee. It's not mind numbingly amazing and it's not brain implodingly terrible. As a thing which is exactly what it purports to be, it is what it is and that's a problem.

When you buy a can of Coca-Cola, you are expecting a can of Coca-Cola. When you want a can of coffee, you are expecting a can of coffee. I can think of no point in my life, either before or after why I'd want both at the same time. It would be like going to a café and ordering Coca-Cola in it, or alternatively going to a place that served cold drinks and asking for a Coke with coffee in it. Sure, you can do it but why would you?
I quite like Vanilla Coke because that has crossed the boundary into its own territory and for that same reason, Cherry Coke has also crossed the boundary into its own territory even though nobody knows what sort of cherry that it's supposed to be. In fact I'd argue that precisely because nobody knows what sort of cherry that the cherry in Cherry Coke is, that that is the reason why it is so wonderful. Coca-Cola And Coffee isn't particularly distinctive enough to justify its own existence.

Coca-Cola And Coffee falls into that same valley of indifference as Pepsi Max and Lime. The difference with Pepsi Max and Lime is that it does have a point and that is that it is secretly calling out for a shot of Bacardi to be put into it. Coca-Cola And Coffee seems like a solution to a problem which nobody knew that they had and nobody asked for either. It is like the key pocket on a pair of Stubbies that no key can ever fit into; yes it is a thing but why? It as though someone at a board meeting thought that it was a good idea but no A/B testing was done afterwards.
Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that it is unpleasant at all. If it was a hot afternoon, you would be quite happy to have it as a cold drink but that's because it is a cold drink rather than anything else. You absolutely not spit it out in a giant comedy spray which can be posted on YouTube later. In fact if anything, it will register remarks like "Hmm" and "Oh" as you try to determine what it is; then having done so, you'll be left with a quizzical expression as you ponder why but come away with no answer.

I don't hate Coca-Cola And Coffee, I don't love Coca-Cola And Coffee. I have no strong feelings one way or the other. This is a thing which in the year 2037 people will say "that was a thing" and someone will get completely hyped for in a wave of faux nostalgia for a thing. It will be like Leed Lemonade, or Sunkist orange. It will be was a thing and no more.

October 26, 2017

Horse 2338 - V = I R (A Love Letter To Electricity)

V = I R

As I tap away on the tablet computer which I use to write this, the sounds of Dvorak's 9th Symphony "The New World Symphony" plays through my earphones. I have heard this so many times that I virtually know where every single note is, what's been before and what's coming up. The computers inside the tablet, the earphones themselves, the train which I am in, and even the impulses which pass from my ears to my brain are all driven by electricity and all of them are governed by the insanely simple equation which describes all the electricity in the universe: V = I R.

Voltage, that is the potential difference in energy between two points within an electric circuit, equals the amount of current which flows multiplied by the amount of electrical resistance in the system. This is the story of the computer age, the electronic age and contained within the bodies of every single living thing that ever was, the story of life itself. When no more current passes through the body of a living thing, it is dead. That even includes the micro, pico, atto and femto currents in the cells of trees, plants and algae but also of single cell bacteria and viruses.
The entire of chemistry, is really just the interaction of particles but mostly the passage of electrons writ large; expanded to many layers of extraction. When you talk about chemical bonds or chemical reactions, really you're talking about the interaction of atoms and their electrons. It isn't a very long journey to go from chemical reactions to the flow of electrons through wires and into the world where they encounter resistance and dump their potential energy somewhere: V = I R

When you have the movement of just a single electron, for the very small amount of time that it has moved from one place to another, that is a calculable flow of current. Any resistance that that electron encounters can also in theory be calculated. The difference between the two energy states before and after it has moved, represents the change in potential difference, which is the voltage.

I don't know about you but I find that to be most singular.

In the case of a rock band in particular, electricity is generated in the brains and muscles of the players which operate the instruments. That is then converted back into strings of electricity via amplifiers and mixing desks. Then that is saved onto computers; where still more people generate electricity in their brains and muscles, to operate and manipulate the data. That is then sent out via vast distribution networks, which might involve the physical production of storage devices; where it is then played on some sort of music player and possibly amplifier system. It is then converted back into strings of electricity when the sounds strike people's ears, before those electric strings travel into their brains.
All along that journey, which might include many hundreds of relatively mundane and boring steps, are all powered in some way by the flow of electrons and governed by that crudely simple law of V = I R.

I come from a generation of people who remembers the time before the internet and when a telephone was a thing that plugged into the wall. My parents' generation can remember a time before television and my grandparents'​ generation could even remember a time before radio. I suspect that you would be hard pressed to find anyone living on the planet now, who can remember a time before there was electricity. The World's Fair in Chicago in 1890, was remarkable not because of anything particularly on display there but because of the thing that made it possible to display anything at night. The World's Fair in Chicago in 1890 was really the first major scale use of electric lighting.
The 20th Century which might well prove to be the most remarkable century for a very long time, was the first century in history where people could gain access to power by simply plugging something into a wall. The steam engine may have ushered in the Industrial Revolution but it was electricity which really ushered in the modern world. The valve, transistor and the integrated circuit, did more to transform the way we move, are entertained, communicate, do business, do work, and live our lives, than any other set of physical inventions in the history of the world and yet they're all governed by the simple law of V = I R.

I am willing to suggest that of the four fundamental forces of the universe (gravitation, electromagnetism, the weak nuclear force, and the strong nuclear force) that electromagnetism is perhaps the most elegant of them because it is the purest to explain. We knew about gravitation first because but the maths were messy and the two nuclear forces have even messier mathematics but electromagnetism has one of the simplest to understand and remember of all the equations and identities in science; and I think that that's beautiful.

October 21, 2017

Horse 2337: NZ shock: losers write newspaper copy

One of the great ironies about the only national newspaper in Australia being called The Australian, is that its founder and proprietor in chief, Rupert Murdoch, willingly gave up his Australian citizenship for business reasons. Another great irony of the company News Corp Australia is that by its own admission, it isn't really a news organisation but an editorial company.

http://www.newscorpaustralia.com/brand/australian
The Australian’s purpose remains the same as it has been since its launch in 1964. The Australian's aim is to lead the independent thinking, essential for the further advancement of our country and the Australian business environment.
- News Corp website as at 21st Oct 2017

If you read yesterday's Australian, you'd be left wondering what the actual aim was of the newspaper. One can only assume that the further advancement of our country involves the ridicule of another, when the results of the process of forming government don't go as you'd hoped.


On the 23rd of September, the New Zealand general election returned a hung parliament. This means that no party won enough seats to form a majority in its own right and that whoever could negotiate to form the biggest coalition of a sufficient number of seats, would form government. That process after a considerable number of meetings took 26 days and Labour, NZ First and the Greens were able to form that coalition. That process seems completely alien to The Australian and you'd think after reading their news reportage, that a horrible travesty has been committed. My reading of The Australian leads me to believe that either nobody who writes for the newspaper has even a rudimentary understanding of how a NZ Election or the NZ Parliament operates, has ever studied basic political science or taken a civics class, or perhaps more worryingly are just plain scurrilous knaves.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/new-zealand-shock-losers-labour-and-nz-first-take-power/news-story/78dfb678806601e8387b2f6c1be3b3ac
New Zealand’s socialist-leaning Jacinda Ardern will form a Labour-led coalition government after veteran maverick and political chameleon Winston Peters rejected outgoing Prime Minister Bill English’s claim to have won a fresh centre-right mandate by outpolling Labour at last month’s election.
- Ean Higgins and Primrose Riordan, The Australian, 20th Oct 2017

This was the opening paragraph from the article on the front page entitled "NZ shock: losers take power". There is already something wrong with this factually in just the headline. Exactly how has someone "lost" the election if they have formed a government? Usually you would call the ability to form government a win but not in the eyes of the Australian apparently.

The article then goes on to say that outgoing Prime Minister Bill English claims to have won a mandate to govern by outpolling Labour at last month’s election. How? Government in a parliamentary democracy is formed out of a majority of members on the floor of the parliament. By my calculations, the National Party of which Bill English is the leader won 44.45% of the vote. Collectively, Labour, NZ First and the Greens won 50.36% of the vote; hence the reason why in a proportionally repesented parliament, they won 50.83% of the seats. I assume that the Australian is able to stand by this statement because they can fall back on the opinion that Bill English made the claim and not them.

This article then goes on to state that:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/new-zealand-shock-losers-labour-and-nz-first-take-power/news-story/78dfb678806601e8387b2f6c1be3b3ac
Mr Peters said that under New Zealand’s mixed-member proportional electoral system — in which voters elect their preferred candidate for their electorate but also for a preferred party, which produces the final make-up of parliament on a proportional basis — Mr English did not have an automatic right to form government.
- Ean Higgins and Primrose Riordan, The Australian, 20th Oct 2017

Perhaps I need to reiterate this. Government in a parliamentary democracy is formed out of a majority of members on the floor of the parliament; therefore nobody ever has an automatic right to form government. I would hate to think what The Australian thinks of the German Bundestag which uses almost the same system with variations in counting, and where there are seven parties on the floor.

The editorial which sits buried all the way on page 13 and which attributes no credits for authorship to it, probably on the basis of cowardice on the part of The Australian, has this to say:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/editorials/nz-labours-pyrrhic-victory/news-story/a063dfb68fedf0eacc40797134bd213f&memtype=anonymous
Winston Peters' decision to throw in his lot with Labour to form New Zealand's new government makes a mockery of last month's election. It flies in the face of the convention Mr Peters adhered to in his role as kingmaker under the complex mixed-member proportional electoral system on two previous occasions when he pledged the support of his New Zealand First Party to the party that won the most votes, ensuring stable government.
- Editorial, The Australian, 20th Oct 2017

I want to know exactly how Winston Peters' decision for NZ First to enter into a coalition with Labour and the Greens makes a mockery of the election. Again Government in a parliamentary democracy is formed out of a majority of members on the floor of the parliament; therefore anyone who can cobble together a majority by any means necessay, will form government. At any rate, Winston Peters left the Nationals in 1993 to form his own party; that party has formed coalition goverments with both the Nationals and Labour in the past; so the idea that forming the next government with Labour somehow makes a mockery of the election, when all 120 members of the parliament have been democratically elected, is stupid.
In 1996 NZ First entered into a coalition with the Nationals. In 2005 NZ First entered into a coalition with Labour. In 2011 NZ First entered into a coalition with the Nationals. In 2014 NZ First entered into a coalition with the Nationals. Have I made my point yet?

As for the mixed-member proportional electoral system, is it really that complex?
You vote for a party and your local electorate. Basically if a party wins say 24% of the vote, they're entitled to 24% of the seats, which is 28 of 120. They fill those seats by whoever won the most number of votes in electorates, then the rest of the seats are filled down the list. If a party more electorates than it has party seats, it still gets them as overhang seats. How is that complex? I've been able to describe it in one paragraph. How come The Australian which supposedly has political journalists who have been there for thirty years or more, can't work that out?

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/greg-sheridan/vanilla-nz-election-concludes-with-a-bitter-aftertaste/news-story/f3f1665bdc097dfef913f6745de5dbca
The thought of perhaps 10 years of good government was ultimately unbearable for them.
- Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 20th Oct 2017

Who's to say that the new government which has been formed won't be good government. Seriously? What's going on here? For a publication whose supposed aim is to lead independent thinking, they've done an awful lot of value judging. Just because your team hasn't won doesn't make the process illegimate; just because you can be bothered to understand the process doesn't make it illegimate either.

Really the only genuinely truthful part of the reportage in The Australian about the NZ Election and Jacinda Arden becoming the next NZ Prime Minister was the headline for Greg Sheridan's article which was "Vanilla election concludes with a bitter aftertaste". That bitter aftertaste is The Australian's reportage which is like indigestible right-wing baby formula which should be spat out at the first available opportunity.

October 20, 2017

Horse 2336 - Murder On The Southern Aurora - The Death Of The Australian Motor Industry

Arguably the most famous of all of Agatha Christie's​ Poirot novels was "The Murder On The Orient Express"; it so famous that my tablet suggests all of those words in order before you type them. As you work your way through the novel you gradually learn that everyone who is named had some motivation for murder and spoiler alert: everyone did it.


Yesterday ​the last Holden Commodore VF rolled off of the production line and today marks the ceremonial end of the Australian car industry. I have spoken extensively about this in the past and so I'll not go over that ground again; so today will be a denouement for the murder of the Australian car industry. Spoiler alert: everyone did it.

Rob McEniry - was CEO of Mitsubishi Australia in 2008 when instead of looking at developing a Lancer or Mirage variant, they decided to build the 380 which was a localised version of the Galant. Sure, the 380 was and is an excellent vehicle and in every way the better of the American Galant but it was simply too big and too late. If the car had debuted in 1997, it would have been something of a cult classic but that was not to be.

Alan Mulally - was CEO of Ford Motor Company in Detroit; when Ford Australia applied to build the Focus in Australia, he said "no". When Ford Australia applied to build the Mondeo in Australia, he said "no". When Ford Australia applied to build the Fiesta and/or Join in Australia, he said "no".

Mark Fields - was the CEO of Ford Motor Company in 2016. Even after Ford Australia had done the engineering work for the Ikon and the T6 Ranger, instead of letting them build any car which would ensure the viability of the company, he basically signed the death warrant of the Broadmeadows factory.

Joe Hockey - as Treasurer, on the 13th of December 2013, he dared the motor manufacturers to leave Australia and said that there wouldn't be any more subsidy payments. This was quite apart from the fact that for every dollar that was paid by the government in subsidy payments, it generated roughly nine dollars in economic activity due to the supply chain and related industries and generated roughly three dollars in additional taxation receipts for the federal government.

Akio Toyoda - was the CEO of Toyota, who made the decision to end production of the Camry. The Camry had always been a volume seller and was otherwise profitable. Just like Ford and GM, Toyota had profit shifted to avoid paying tax in Australia but were more than happy to take subsidy payments. Toyota could have easily built the Corolla, Hilux, Yaris or any number of vehicles in Australia if they wanted to.

Dan Akerson - was the CEO of General Motors in 2012 when the decision was made to replace the 9th Generation Impala. Rather than take up the VF Commodore which was already fully exportable and compliant with US regulations (with VE already having been sold as the Pontiac G8 before the whole brand was shut down), management in Detroit decided to protect American workers and only import the SS as an orphan, rather than the complete suite of three engine choices and the three suites of body styles (sedan, wagon and ute).
He was also the CEO of General Motors in 2013, who made the decision to kill off Australian manufacturing, despite the fact that the 10th Generation Impala was and still is a worse vehicle than the VF Commodore, and the fact that although the Insignia B is better than the 10th Gen Impala it is also worse than the VF Commodore.

The Australian Public - yes, this is also our fault and I am especially looking at every single one of you who drives a big SUV. The Australian public has bought loads of pathetic SUVs which can't even go off road, and have less boot space than either the Commodore, Falcon or Camry wagons. You think that by buying an SUV that you're buying something "cool" I assume but most SUVs are either uncool or seriously uncool; with only a very few number of exceptions.

Me - yes, this is also my fault for being born after real wages peaked in the third quarter of 1978. I have never really been able to afford a new large family car and usually buy small ones. If Ford had built the Fiesta or Ka in Australia I would have had one of those. If Holden had built the Barina or Adam in Australia I would have had one of those.

In "Murder On The Orient Express", the victim dies because all twelve of the suspects line up to stab him; Poirot eventually shows his utter disgust at everyone during the denoument. It is never made clear which particular stab actually kills the victim and so blame is laid equally at the feet of all of them. In the case of the Australian car manufacturing industry, there are some very obvious stabs and a lot of tiny needle jabs but the fact remains that this list of suspects collectively killed off the Australian car industry and as I write this, no more cars are rolling off production lines in Australia. Australia as of 20th October 2017 is now the largest economy and indeed the only economy in the G20 not to produce a motor car. As of today, our premier motor racing category has two cars which have ended production and one car that isn't even on sale in Australia.
Probably as many as 120,000 people will never be employed at the same wage level ever again and the skills that Australia had in doing world's best engineering will dissipate. If someone can explain the logic of why every single car with a build date of 20th October 2017 and going forward, being imported and the money paid for it leaving the country, makes any sense whatsoever then I'd like to hear it.

There's been a murder; everyone did it; as of today, the blood is still dripping from the corpse.

October 18, 2017

Horse 2335 - Taxing Churches Is Either A Pointless Or Nasty Exercise

One of the things that I've seen with mind numbingly dull regularity and usually in relation to fixing holes in government budgets, is the suggestion that churches should be taxed. I suspect that this is almost always put forward because of one of two worldviews: firstly that there is a perception that churches are​ monolithic organisations of magic piles of untapped monies; secondly that the person making the suggestion either doesn't like churches or has a quiet vendetta against them. The first of these two theories is relatively easy to unpack, the second is even easier because at least it is open with its truth.
So, I'm going to do precisely that.
The idea that churches somehow hide a limitless pile of untapped monies is laughable; yet if you unpack this for people, they tend to want to accuse you of being a conspiracy theorist, even though it is their theory that you've just unpacked.

Churches and indeed all religious organisations derive their income from voluntary sources. It probably should go without saying but we need to start somewhere. One of the basic assumptions of economics happens to align up with one of the central tenants of Christianity quite well and that is that people are selfish. Economics usually goes on to make the further assumption that people are rationally selfish but anyone who has observed people in anything more than an academic sense, which usually isn't economists, will tell you that people are not particularly rational. On the other hand, mathematicians will tell you that if you have a sufficiently large enough sample size, then the individual irrationality of people becomes a statistical predictability; so we'll look at that.
The Australian​ Taxation Office tells us that the rate of charitable giving in Australia works out to be slightly less than 1% of people's declared taxable incomes. The Internal Revenue Service in the United States, which also happens to include donations to churches within people's tax returns as allowable deductions (church giving is not an allowable deduction in Australia), reports that the rate of charitable giving in the United States only improves to about 2%. You can of course put forward the theory that people who give money to charity don't want to report their charitable giving because of reasons of piety but the obvious counter to that is that the rate of charitable giving by companies and trusts is so incredibly small as not to be statistically significant.
We can make the general assumption that churches and indeed all religious organisations probably collect about 1% of total GDP as revenue. If we take the doctrine of the tithe, which suggests that one tenth of a Christian's income should be given away for the purpose of doing good, then working backwards we can draw the conclusion that of the total population that probably about 10% of Australians are regular atttendees of churches and that seems about right to me.

It should also be pointed out at this point that churches and other religious organisations in Australia are almost never vertically integrated. A local church is almost always an exclusively local organisation, which might pay association fees for administration but even something as big as "the Catholic Church" is still made up of independent parishes with independent sets of accounts. They aren't even large group employers for the purposes of taxation. In addition to this, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals and philanthropic and charitable organisations and foundations are also independent from churches. Unless a school is exceptionally small, although they might share board members with the church that spawned them, then they are both functionally and actually independent.

Taking that 1% of GDP as the assumed revenue for all churches (which by the way I think is very much optimistic) then the total amount of available money should be $12.05bn, right? Well not really.

If we're going to make the assumption that churches specifically should be taxed at company tax rates, then it immediately follows that they should also be allowed to make deductions which relate to the revenue that they collect. Section 6 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 provides the definition of ordinary income and almost immediately after, Section 8 of that same act defines the allowable deductions which relate to that income.
Here we immediately run into a problem. Once you allow for electricity, water rates, gas bills, council tax, insurance, stationery, maintenance of buildings, and what not, then like most organisations, the single biggest expense for churches are paying wages. The thing is though that right across Australia, there is a consistent underpayment of vicars, pastors, immams, and others​ ancillary staff, if indeed they are paid at all.
Should the full economic costs of what amounts​ to voluntary work be brought to account? As soon as you start enforcing that vicars, pastors, immams and everyone else employed by religious organisations are paid at full rates of wages, then immediately the entire sector of the economy begins to start running on exceptionally tight margins, to the point where they almost always run at actual losses. This is exactly the reverse problem which usually presents itself in corporate tax law: instead of corporations sending revenue streams overseas to create tax losses and avoid paying tax, churches would need to start bringing to account previously unaccounted for expenses.
Instead of a magic pot of untold billions of tax dollars that those people who want churches expect to be found, we find a hole of untold billions of expenses which have never been paid for and if they were all brought to account, then I can pretty well much guarantee that most churches would become loss making entities and pay zero corporate tax. So much for that idea then.

The other issue why people might want to start taxing churches is because they don't like them and wish punitive harm upon them. Scratch the surface of the veneer of civilisation even just a tiny little bit and you'll instantly return to that previous statement that people are irrationally selfish. If you then ask the basic question of why a church isn't any different to a sporting club, theatrical society or a book club and your previously reasonably rational person who wants to justify taxing churches, turns into a knave. If that's all that substantiates the desire to tax churches, then in the cold light of rationality, why not start taxing sporting clubs, theatrical societies and book clubs? I openly hate rugby league and think that it is stupid but I don't think that rugby league clubs should be taxed unless they pass into the realm of obviously being a business.
That last point is worth considering. At some point, club, association or society does look less and less like a not for profit organisation and does begin to look like a full blown profit making company. I don't know where the line lies but I do know that Sanitarium Foods and Hillsong Music very very very much look like profit making businesses and motives should very much be questioned. The local parish church in an inner city suburb with 60 members and only 4 properly paid staff, although it might sit on a plot of land worth a few million dollars, is not exactly what most people would call a business.

The logical conclusion is that if churches were to suddenly become companies for tax purposes, just because some bozo out there thinks that there's a massive untapped pile of tax revenue, it won't do much at all. If that same bozo wants churches were to suddenly become companies for tax purposes, just to fulfil some kind of strange vendetta, then that's equally as pointless. I imagine that taxing churches would be even less fruitful than the brilliantly myopic Minerals Resource Rent Tax of the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd/Abbott governments and collect less than 10% of the expected revenue and since the expected revenue is already diddly-squat, then 10% of that is not even diddly - which makes such a plan either stupid or nasty, so pick one.

October 14, 2017

Horse 2334 - 38 "Facts" About Grapefruit That Nobody Asked For Or Wanted

1. The grapefruit originally came from the Nile River delta and were almost exclusively known as until the advent of Middle English​ as the Egyptian Citrus.
2. Grapefruits are second behind the Grand Mumbai Orange in terms of being the largest citrus.
3. In 1477, the city of Hamburg banned grapefruits from being inside the city walls.
4. King Charles II of England had a grapefruit tree which was so fecund, that the court developed its own recipe for grapefruit liqueur. The recipe has subsequently been lost to the ages.
5. The 9th Battalion of the British Army in World War I had a grapefruit as its insignia.
6. Grapefruits are more likely to be left behind to rot it refrigerators than any other fruit.
7. The grapefruit became the standard size for bowling balls in the Yorkshire variant of Nine Pin.
8. The game of Knock Down Sally is traditionally played with a grapefruit in the north of England.
9. The Imperial German Navy used to issue grapefruits to ships in order to prevent scurvy in sailors.
10. The spy John Mango from the Carribbean Butler series by Fulton Presley, was originally called John Grapefruit in early drafts.
11. Grapefruits must be X-rayed to prevent fruit fly from entering the Australian state of Victoria.
12. Johnathan Swift had a specifically designed grapefruit sized hole put into the wall of his house so that he could take delivery of them without having to go outside.
13. The rapper Macklemore usually places three grapefruits on his rider list of demands before a concert because they remind him of his childhood.
14. Grapefruit related eye injuries are the fourth most common injuries which concern fruit in New Zealand.
15. During construction of the Lincoln Monument, grapefruits were placed outside the site to prevent cats from interrupting construction.
16. Susai Bangbang Yudihono presented Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with a tray of grapefruits as an official gift because no other gift had been organised.
17. Grapefruits and sticky rice are among the ingredients used to make the mortar that holds together many sections of the Great Wall of China.
18. There is more Vitamin B14 in one grapefruit than in all the beef from a cow.
19. Grapefruit appears on the Societié du Comedies official list of "inherently funny things".
20. Grapefruit juice was in the standard issue of food and drink products in the Apollo program that went to the moon because testing showed that the flavour was remarkably stable.
21. The nominal ground rent in the French Department of Alsace for one hectare of land, is two grapefruits.
22. None of these facts about grapefruit are actually real.
23. Grapefruits were shown at the 1851 Royal Exposition and members of the public could buy one for 17/6 which was more than the average weekly wage at the time.
24. Grapefruit is 100% non effective at curing liver cancer, despite the protestation of the British Holistic Medical Society.
25. If a lorry is heading down a mountain road, grapefruits are the second thing to drop off; after the speed of the lorry.
26. Tony Blair has a grapefruit named Kevin.
27. Grapefruit juice was the basis for the invisible ink which was used in the Magalevian Conspiracy of 1926.
28. There is enough chemical energy in a grapefruit to power a transistor radio for a short period of time.
29. During the Blitz on London in the Second World War, grapefruits were kept in Aldwych station as emergency rations.
30. One of the last bosses in Food Fight IX, is The Grapefruit Brothers. You need to beat them on Hard mode or better, to get the Silver Santoku of Suntory.
31. The Grapefruit version of the Android operating system was the first with a swipe diagonally function.
32. Periodically, McDonald's in southern Italy adds a grapefruit sauce for its chicken nuggets during the summer.
33. It​ is possible to rent a grapefruit as part of the room decor in many Hilton hotels.
34. John Wilkes Booth ate a grapefruit at a cafe, half an hour before shooting President Abraham Lincoln in the Ford Theatre.
35. The first organic thing sent into space was a grapefruit on a Redstone rocket, to see what the effects of radiation and the like we're.
36. A man was arrested in July 2016, for dropping a grapefruit out of the Burj Khalifa.
37. A tray of grapefruits is technically an acceptable present for second anniversary of someone's wedding.
38. Nobody is really sure why one of the gargoyles on the Sarajevo Opera House is of Cerberus holding a grapefruit.

October 13, 2017

Horse 2333 - Four Sonnets

All the way back in Horse 1766, I posted three sonnets. These four sonnets have been sitting around on my tablet like someone waiting for the last train to Transcentral at 3am. I think that it's time that they finally left the station.

4.
The job isn't over until the paperwork is done.

I love its feel against my shiny skin.
Before I quickly flush it all away.
Its job complete it does not need to stay.
From roll, to job, and then to wat'ry bin.

One ply is not enough to do it right.
Two ply is adequate and is just so.
Three ply is for the kings who never know,
How much it costs and how the pennies bite.

Please do not scrimp and save on this wee thing,
Or else your friends and family will howl,
About the cheapness of your dainty towel.
And also of the redness of the ring.

Think carefully about your shopping caper,
When next you go and purchase toilet paper.

5.
Richard iii

Here is a thing which is good for a lark.
If you happen to kill a king or lord.
Make sure that you run them through with the sword.
So they'll be found in a council car park.

It is not a hard thing for you to do.
Most anyone can do it all the same.
Your friends will just pretend it's all a game.
And maybe they will even help you too.

A six foot grave is something you must dig,
Or else the body may be stole away.
A wheezing ruse you must try to convey.
Of course, helps if you have a rotting pig.

Go forth, for now you have to kill a king.
A tyrant, that will make the people sing!

6.
All Stations to Richmond.

If you are sitting on the evening train
And you affix your gaze out the window.
Imagine how the people come and go.
In weather fair and horrid driving rain.

Long lines of cars snake their way around.
In fineries of streaming red and white.
On jaundiced paths beneath a guiding light,
An from your view they never make a sound.

The chariots in combat you ignore,
The shrieking of the sirens are not heard,
The honking, growling traffic is absurd,
And lies beyond the firmly closing door.

And once again you're free to take a nap,
So hop aboard and kindly mind the gap.

7.
The Sonnet Of The Forgotten Motor Car

I don't know if you've heard my anxious plea.
My squealing and my horrid carry on.
To let you know that all my fluid's gone.
And now you need to listen up to me.

Your care, it leaves a lot to be desired.
Neglect is your default way of thinking.
I find your attitude to be stinking.
For it is you; not me, to be retired.

You leave me outside, freezing in the cold.
In frost and fog, in horrid winter's chill,
And now you're wond'ring why I'm feeling ill.
While frozen parts are slowly growing old.

If I could speak, then at you I would quip:
"Buddy, you would fail to pass your pink slip"

October 11, 2017

Horse 2332 - Fly The Friendly Fart Filled Skies


A little over a week ago on Twitter, I made the assertion that one of the consequences of smoking being banned on aircraft was that the airlines could recycle the cabin air on a flight less frequently. I was chastised for suggesting such a thing and because text doesn't lend itself to nuance, I decided not to pursue this until I was in possession of a larger number of facts because specificity is the soul of narrative. Before I begin this story, I'm going to throw around some science.

Most passenger aircraft operate at many thousands of feet above sea level. I reckon that on a Sydney to Melbourne flight, that I've seen 39,000 feet listed on the in flight entertainment panel on the back of the seat in front; which I suspect means that the plane was following a semi ballistic trajectory. Officially Mount Everest used to be listed as 29,002 feet tall and what the exact number is doesn't matter, the point is that people suffer from altitude sickness up that high and aircraft operate another several thousand feet above that. Because of this, aircraft need to pressurise the passenger cabin or else have everyone black out.

The actual process of pressurising and air conditioning the passenger cabin is quite a complicated one but the short story is that air is drawn through the compressors in the engines, passes through the air-conditioning units in the aircraft and is piped into the cabin where all of the paying meatbags they call passengers are. The actual process is a bunch of electricity and goblins as far as I'm concerned, before lovely moist air comes out while you're blissfully unaware while you watch The Empire Strikes Back again. Here's where the story gets interesting.

I emailed someone at Airbus UK after Boeing didn't get back to me and according to their PR department, the air-conditioning system on an A320  is rated to able to completely replace the air in the cabin 45 times per hour; so that mean that there's a fair amount of over engineering built into the system. They also told me that in the event that the main engines expire, that the Auxiliary Power Unit makes enough electricity to drive all of the flight surfaces and the necessary systems required to make the plane controllable and keep the cabin pressurised. In my mind the APU looks like a cat's bum staring at you from the back of the plane.
Secondary to that, the usual operating settings for the aircraft in question are usually set to run a mix of 50:50 fresh versus recycled air. What this means is that assuming that the airlines run their aircraft according to the ideal specifications set down by the manufacturer, the air inside the cabin should be recycled and replaced at 30 times per hour.

This is where the story gets ridiculous. The US Department of Transport and the FAA first tried to impose smoking bans on aircraft in the 1980s but there was pushback from the airlines. The best available information that I have is that they wanted to keep the ability for passengers to smoke on board an aircraft due to passenger demand. Over time, bans slowly spread from flight of less than two hours, to less than six hours and finally only to all flights but only after a passenger died due to anaphylaxis caused by passive smoking. USDoT passed its set of no smoking rules in 2000 and the FAA followed suit.

There was an on effect though. Once it was realised that because people weren't smoking on board aircraft any more, the airlines soon realised that they didn't have to recycle and replace the cabin air as often. Since airlines are businesses which already run exceptionally tight margins, saving fuel and money because​ the cabin air didn't have to be recycled and replaced as often, is a very easy method of increasing profit margins with minimal effort. Because of this, that same person at Airbus UK told me that the airlines that they deal with, if the airlines want to be really tight with their money, will turn down the recycle and replace rates of cabin air to as little as 15 times an hour. Apparently that saves as much as 4% of fuel on a transatlantic flight.
It has been pointed out to me that the air on board an aircraft is cleaner than that in an average office building but again the person at Airbus UK put that down to a better HEPA filtration system on their aircraft and that the incidence of filters being changed in an average office air conditioning system are practically never. The actual air quality on board an aircraft, works out to be lower than what it used to be when smoking was still in place because the ratio of fresh air used to be higher and the rate of recycling and replacement was also higher.

I'm not saying that smoking on board an aircraft is either a good thing or even desirable. What I am saying is that airlines, who are after all it is said and done nothing more than businesses, saw that opportunity to turn down their air-conditioning systems in the pursuit of higher profits and did so.
Back in the days of smoking still being allowed on an aircraft, the airlines had a duty of care to replace the air as quickly as they could; whereas now when the air inside the cabin is being recycled less often, we're all living in more of our collective fart filled funk for longer.

October 10, 2017

Horse 2331 - President Trump And The Bad Cheque

I suspect that if the Voting Rights Act of 1965 had been placed in front of President Trump, that he would have used his veto power and denied it's passage. Quite apart from his general misogyny, his complete lack of sympathy for people if they've had their homes destroyed by a hurricane, and his only timid denouncement of actual neo Nazis after one of them ploughed a motor vehicle into a crowd of protesters, he has waged a war of words against immigrants and brown people; as most symbolically pictured in a border wall that will almost certainly never be built.
I can not yet tell if the actions of his Vice President Mike Pence were orchestrated by Mr Trump but orchestrated they were, in an act more orchestrated than Beethoven's 5th Symphony with a full orchestra playing.

As far as I can make out, Vice President Mike Pence deliberately flew home to his native Indiana to see the Indianapolis Colts host the San Francisco 49'ers and deliberately left the game during the continuing knee down protests of players in the NFL. In an act which there isn't absolute proof for but which the likelihood is pretty high, it seems that Mr Pence attended the match for the sole purpose of showing visible disgust for the knee down protests, which President Trump has previously denounced because they supposedly disrespect the flag (whatever the heck that means).

By way of background, these protests began last year after a smattering of shootings of black men by primarily white police officers, by Colin Kaepernick and against the wider background of the Black Lives Matter campaign. The knee down protests started out as a one man stand but have gradually spread across the NFL. I don't know at what point they became a problem for Mr Trump but given his habit of being outraged at a thing that Fox News told him to be outraged at, that seems like a good candidate.

I don't know exactly what sort of message that Mr Pence's arrival and departure from the Colts-49'ers game is supposed to send but I do know that set against that same background of Black Lives Matter, it is not a good look. This could be anything from a simple act of solidarity with President Trump (which given his misogyny and racism) is not a good look, or it could be a doubling down on the current messaging which is being sent out of this administration. Mr Trump's comments that he could stand on the corner of 5th Avenue in New York City and shoot a bunch of people and everyone would still vote for him, it turns out is actually a very astute if not scary piece of observation. This act by Vice President Pence, practically confirms such a statement because the people who would support Trump's brand of nativism don't even waver in their support of him no matter what sort of nonsense or bile gets spat out of his mouth. Certainly Mr Trump publicly endorsed Mr Pence's actions via his favourite bully pulpit, Twitter.

One of the interesting things about the knee down protests is that while people want to denounce them as UnAmerican, the First Amendment to the US Constitution protects the right to free speech. In making a knee down protest during the National Anthem, the act of protest actually confirms the belief contained within the First Amendment. The real irony here is that protesting and especially during the National Anthem, is possibly one of the most American things of all to do.
The thing being lost in all of this though, is that the medium has inadvertently become the message. It is perhaps convenient for Messrs Trump and Pence that disasters in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the shooting of 58 people in Las Vegas have stolen the available media oxygen from the knee down protests, because it means that while everyone is still staring in horror at something else, then they don't really need to address the continuing problem of police brutality against black people. It is also helpful in that same cause of not actually addressing the problem of even caring about the issue, that President Trump's​ own brand of nonsense and insanity is so unbelievably daft and shocking that people don't even need to think about the underlying issues relating to police brutality against black people.

What is absolutely certain is that Breitbart seemed to agree with Mr Pence's actions and that was very much like preaching to the choir. The problem is that the choir in question happens to be singing songs of racism and division, which only serves to prove the knee down protests to be completely and utterly justified and even noble. We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal? Not if you happen to be named Pence or Trump.

People tend to remember some very specific words from Martin Luther King Jr's "I have a dream" speech but there are parts of it which are even more relevant today; that have been whitewashed over:

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our Republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men - yes, black men as well as white men -would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this  promissory note insofar as her citizens of colour are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back
marked ''insufficient funds.'' 
- Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, 28th Aug 1963.

It really does not help when the President of the United States, who formally promised to uphold the Constitution before entering office, wants to write "cancelled" on that same cheque and his Vice President is not helping either.

October 05, 2017

Horse 2330 - Free To Air Motorsport Coverage In Australia - All Hope Abandon Ye Who Enter Here - Channel 10 Can Do Nothing; Foxtel Hates You

If you had tuned in on Sunday evening to see the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix, you would have instead seen Family Feud, The Sunday Project and Australian Survivor. In a move which basically gave Australian motorsport fans a slap in the face, the scheduled race was not shown live but hidden away at stupid o'clock on Monday Night. In a move which then told Australian motorsport fans who don't have Foxtel, to go away and never ever come back, Channel 10 has unexpectedly already shown its last ever live Formula One race other than the Australian Grand Prix because Fox Sports has pulled rank on them in an act of pure spite.

I first had a vague suspicion that somthing was afoot in last Friday's Australian:
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/formula-1-tv-rights-shift-to-foxtel-from-ten/news-story/586b94892be2db7015dec86723be4e2f
Ten has only retained the rights to the Australian Grand Prix, which will be simulcast by Foxtel as an ad-free broadcast. Iconic races on the F1 calendar — including the Monaco Grand Prix and British Grand Prix at Silverstone — will only be available to watch on Foxtel. A new deal will take effect this weekend with the Malaysian Grand Prix immediately switching to the pay-TV platform. Industry sources said an announcement will be made tonight.
 - The Australian, 29th Sep 2017

This is a News Corp newspaper basically laying down the line to Channel 10, who at this stage were still optimistic.

http://tvtonight.com.au/2017/09/fox-sports-nabs-formula-1-rights-from-ten.html
Only this week a News Corp article tipped TEN’s motorsport agreements for Formula One and V8 Supercars as not being renewed. TEN described that as “just plain wrong.”
- TV Tonight, 30th Sep 2017

"Just plain wrong", eh? The proof that The Australian were just plain right, came on that Sunday night. Futhermore, Foxtel was crowing over the dead corpse of Australian free to air motorsport fans as though they were thoughroughly righteous and justified in their actions:

https://www.foxtel.com.au/whats-on/foxtel-insider/fox-sports/foxtel-home-every-formula-1-race-fox-sports.html
From next season, Foxtel will be the only place to watch every Formula 1™ race LIVE or streamed on Foxtel Now. Viewers wanting to watch this week's Japanese Grand Prix can access it immediately on Foxtel Now with a two-week free trial for new subscribers.
- Foxtel, 3rd Oct 2017

This is of course perfectly in keeping with News Corp's usual modus operandii, having destroyed free to air coverage in the United Kingdom as well:
http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2016/03/23/uk-lose-live-free-air-f1-2019-sky/
Live free-to-air coverage of Formula One in the UK will almost completely end in 2019 as Sky has announced a new deal to broadcast the sport exclusively.
The British Grand Prix will continue to be shown live on a free-to-air channel, a Sky spokesperson told F1 Fanatic, along with highlights of the races and qualifying sessions from the other rounds.
- F1 Fanatic, 23rd Mar 2016

On Channel 10's website, that change that they have already lost Formula One Coverage has already been made on their website.
https://tenplay.com.au/sport/motorsport/2017-motorsport-schedule
Given that they previously described the suggestion that the motorsport agreements for Formula One and Supercars as not being renewed as being  “just plain wrong” is now completely untrustworthy, what does this say for the rest of the schedule?

I have sent emails to both Network Ten and Supercars management but neither of them have replied. It is now the 5th of October and so I am only left to draw my own conclusions.
Supercars management have refused to confirm my suspicions, most probably because their customer service is in the toilet and because their customers are Foxtel management and Pay TV subscribers, so the only logical conclusion that I can draw is that the 2018 Supercars season will have only the Bathurst 1000 shown live on free to air television and nothing else.
The reason for my suspicion is the announcement that only the Australian Formula One Grand Prix will be shown live on free to air television and all other Formula One races will be exclusively on Foxtel. For its part, Foxtel is acting like a pigeon who has just won a game of chess by crapping all over the board and knocking over all the pieces. Lots of factors have come together for this general state of affairs and all of them have worked in concert to play in an awful symphony of the damned for free to air television.

Channel 10 became a pawn in the game of Lachlan Murdoch to buy a free to air television licence in Australia. Having purchased 17.88% of Network Ten Holdings Ltd in 2010 in a co-ownership arrangement with James Packer, Lachlan Murdoch effectively bought himself a seat on the board and helped to gradually drive the company into the ground. I can only assume that the plan was to create a Network Ten so degraded that the Federal Government would simply be forced to change the media ownership rules to ensure the viability of the company.
Say what you like but it has to be about the biggest coincidence in the history of Australian television that after Lachlan Murdoch acquired a seat on the board of Network Ten Holdings Ltd, that mysteriously the rights to both Formula One and Supercars went to Foxtel. It is also a massive coincidence that as the share price of Network Ten Holdings Ltd fell, that Network Ten lost the rights to show all of the races for both Formula One and Supercars, live. It is also a mysterious coincidence that Network Ten Holdings Ltd also bought back MasterChef from Foxtel at roughly three times the price that they had sold it to them in the first place, in an act that must've absolutely pained the management at Foxtel.
In any other context, this would probably be seen as insider trading with various rights assets like Formula One and the Supercars being transferred from Network Ten Holdings Ltd, not to Foxtel but to Fox Sports which is a direct subsidiary of News Corp. Having done so, Lachlan Murdoch retired as a Director of Network Ten Holdings Ltd to join News Corp and 21st Century Fox as Non-Executive Co-Chairman; wherein he tried to buy a 15% share in the company and tried to get his friends in parliament to repeal the cross media ownership rules.

The malaise doesn't end there with just Network Ten though. Oh this story is far more complex than that. For you see, the curious thing about going motor racing is that you need cars to go motor racing in. Let's not forget the part that the Federal Government played. On the 13th of December 2013, the then Treasurer Joe Hockey thundered from the floor of the parliament that if the motor manufacturers didn't like the idea that there would be a reduction in the amount of subsidy payments made to them (which by that stage hadn't been announced as government policy) then they should leave. By Friday the 20th, all three of the motor manufacturers announced that they were going to end building cars in Australia. As of today, both Ford and Toyota have already ceased building cars here and the last Holden to leave the factory will do so on a fortnight tomorrow.
Quite apart from the end of thousands of jobs in Australia, the viability of the city of Elizabeth which might look as much of derelict ghost as Detroit does in a few years time, the ramifications for motor racing are obvious. You can not go motor racing in a car that does not exist.

A few years ago there were five brands of car represented in a Supercars grid. Holden, Ford, Nissan, Volvo, an Mercedes-Benz. Erebus Motorsport never really got any support from Mercedes at all and they ended their program in favour of reverting to running Holden Commodores. Garry Rogers Motorsport had a very public dust up with Volvo of Sweden and in an act of what looks like prudence on the part of Volvo, they took back the chassis and Garry Rogers Motorsport now runs Holden Commodores. Ford withdrew their official support in 2015, stopped producing the Falcon in 2016 and have made no announcement that there will be a replacement in Supercars for the teams currently running Falcons as legacy pieces. Nissan haven't publicly commited to their continued participation in the sport, have already withdrawn the Altima from sale in Australia, so I wouldn't be surprised if they just let the clock run out on their contract and simply not bother in future. That only leaves Holden who abandoned their own Holden Racing Team, are leaving the engineering of the turbocharged 3.6L V6 to Triple Eight Engineering and have no contingency plan for teams converting existing chassis from VF to ZB models; and are expecting the teams themselves to wear the costs of doing so at about $40,000 per car.

If I was in the marketing department for a very large firm, I would seriously question what the actual value is putting advertising on the side of cars that fewer people in 2018 will see than would have seen them in 2013. If I was a member of the general public who wasn't a hard core motorsport fan, then my consciousness about Supercars is going to be practically non existent unless I am already a Foxtel subscriber who also has paid for the additional sports channels. Without the sport being shown live on free to air television, it may as well be on the dark side of the moon.
If I was head of the marketing department of Nissan or Ford, I would scarcely see the point in providing motor cars to go racing with, for precisely the same reason as above. The old adage of "race on Sunday; sell on Monday" only works if anyone actually knows about it. Ford's current investment in the sport is nil, and Nissan are probably already internally peeved at the fact that they are prevented from advertising their own products on their own platforms​such as Nismo TV. I wouldn't be surprised if at the end of 2018 with falling crowds, Holden are left all alone in a category that no other manufacturers care about any more.

Supercars haven't confirmed it but it's kind of obvious that their customers are no longer the public who watched motorsport in Australia for the best part of fifty and a bit years but the subscribers and management of Foxtel. Almost certainly the management of Supercars will have run the numbers to see what the damage of destroying the free to air television audience is and Foxtel is a willing and able partner in that; so I suspect that they're fine with it. There is however a series of tombstones to Australian sport which might prove instructive: Channel 7 and the Super Tourers at Bathurst, Foxtel's own failed Super League project, and the Rugby Championship experiment, all show that if you treat the viewing public with sufficient contempt, they will respect that in kind by abandoning your product.
If there simply isn't the customer base on Foxtel, then the whole viability of Supercars as a thing might not last beyond the end of 2019. At that point, Nissan might have already gone and not replaced the Altima, Ford already haven't showed any inkling about replacing the Falcon, and with the ZB Commodores being the only cars produced in the past three years by that point, I don't even see what if any cars are even viable in 2020. The 2020 Supercars Championship looks like it will be 26 Commodores running around, at this point in time. Are the public going to want to pay for that?

Free to air fans of motorsport in Australia? Channel 10 can do nothing any more; Foxtel hates you. Please go away.

October 03, 2017

Horse 2329 - Thortsonpreaz In Las Vegas.

It didn't take long for the President to make a public statement about the mass shooting in Las Vegas, which very quickly became the worst such event in American history. By my reckoning it took 12 minute from the initial report by CNN to the statement by Mr Trump. A statement like this was to be absolutely expected and equally to be expected was the phrase "thoughts and prayers"; which has now become so hackneyed and trite as to fall into the realm of cliche. Maybe if only the White House, and indeed the rest of the American people, had thought harder and prayed harder, then this wouldn't keep on happening again and again with alarming regularity.
The truth is that "thoughts and prayers" for the several hundredth time in a year, are pointless.

This is what we know:
- The gunman has been identified by the Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, as a 64-year-old white male named Stephen Paddock. Seeing as he is a white male, he will not be declared to be a terrorist because white males can not be declared as terrorists under the unwritten convention of assumed privilege and racism.
- At least 50 people were killed and at least 200 more were injured, when Mr Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort, into a crowd of at least 30,000 people who were attending the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival.
- Mr Paddock was found in his room and killed on site by an off duty police officer. At least two policemen were also killed during the incident.
- Mr Paddock's girlfriend Marilou Danley who is an Australian citizen, has been declared as a person of interest.

What I find extremely disappointing is that sort of thing happens so often now that if you were in the news room of a media outlet,  you could save time and effort by simply writing up a proforma document, safe in the knowledge that you will need it within a few days; because apart from changing a few names, most of these details are by now mostly interchangeable.

In March 1996, when a chap shot 18 people in Dunblane, the British Government set about passing legislation which banned semi automatic weapons and made the process of obtaining a gun harder. In April 1996, when a chap shot 35 people at Port Arthur in Tasmania, the Australian Government set about passing uniform gun legislation in the states which banned semi automatic weapons; there was also a gun buyback scheme which also cleared many weapons from the hands of the public.
In contrast, after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December of 2012, in which 28 people were killed (most of whom were children aged six and under), the United States Government's​ response was to issue yet another statement offering up "thoughts and prayers" and the American people bought more than three billion bullets within a week. Instead of doing anything beyond trotting out "thoughts and prayers", the uniquely American solution was to release 9 bullets for every single woman, man and child, into general circulation. We shall see how many more bullets are purchased over the next few days, won't we?

Presumably Mr Paddock will never be classified as a terrorist because doing so would gain the ire of the National Rifleman's Association whose membership is second only to the American Association of Retired Persons. I think that it speaks volumes that the events of 11th of September, 2001, which triggered off two wars which still have ramifications, are eclipsed roughly twice a year in terms of the number of people killed every single year and yet instead of taking any action at all, the best that the American Government can do is offer up yet more "thoughts and prayers".

Also presumably, someone will bring up the subject of mental health issues as the reason why Mr Paddock decided to destroy at least 58 people's lives. As it is the Congress has spent the last nine months yelling about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act; so if that actually was successful, the plan would be to make access to proper treatment for mental health issues even more difficult, expensive and tenuous.
All of this conveniently dodges the question of why someone who has mental health issues should even be able to obtain weapons which can destroy so many people so quickly. It should be stated that the state of Nevada has open carry laws, no background checks are required at all, and there is always the underlying principle that Mr Paddock was entirely within his Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Thanks to the efforts of organisations like the NRA, that whole guff about a "well regulated" militia being necessary to the security of a free state, is completely irrelevant and the words "shall not be infringed" are yelled loudly from the rooftops.

Keep those "thoughts and prayers" coming, America. Maybe if you yell the words "thoughts and prayers" loudly enough you might be able to drown out the words "shall not be infringed". Maybe get the President to roll out the words "thoughts and prayers" for the several hundredth time this year and see if that makes any difference at all.
It seems that you hold some truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However, you don't particularly find it self evident that the continued operation of the Second Amendment destroys all three.

As the body without the spirit, is dead, so faith without works, is dead... as is at least 58 people... as is at least 11,000 people each and every year.

Thortsonpreaz, Thortsonpreaz, Thortsonpreaz, Thortsonpreaz...

October 01, 2017

Horse 2328 - Sport Has Always Been Political

Some time today, a chap who I've never heard of called Mackelmore (which sound to me like a new mackerel burger at that Scottish fast food restaurant with the goofy looking clown), sang a song which I've never heard of, at the Grand Final of a sport that I don't like, and thanks to the miracle of digital television I can not watch because the reception here is non existent.
The song "Same Love" is apparently the NRL's attempt to weigh in on the same sex marriage postal survey; which is daft considering that most people have already received their survey and sent it back already.

What I've found somewhat baffling is the comments being made by the political cultural right about all of this. Queensland Senator and repeat enfant terrible Pauline Hanson, came out and said that she objected to Mr Macklemore's​ song before adding that she like me hadn't a clue as to who he was and wouldn't be watching anyway. Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott complained that Mr Mackelmore's song would be politicising sport; Attorney General George Brandis pointed out that in a civilised society where the right to free speech exists, if the NRL wanted to make such a statement then even though he disagreed with it, he was fine with them voicing an opinion.
Tony Abbott's comment about sport being politicised although completely valid and true, actually misses one rather obvious fact - history. Probably since the invention of sport it has been politicised and this is but one of a very long chain of sport which has been wedded to politics.

The ancient Greeks with their Olympic Games, certainly married politics and sport. The winning of wreaths acted as yet another propaganda piece as the various city states vied for power and glory. The Mayans tied sport and religion together, with the winner of some of their games winning all the clothes of everyone else present in the stadium. The Romans were far more organised, with various arenas and colosseums used as very public displays of the power of the empire; with undesirables being made to face each other in combat for the entertainment of those in the grandstands.

More recently, the revived Olympic Games were first run in conjunction with World's Fairs, to show off the technical prowess of various nations; with Hitler wanting to host the 1936 Olympics as a monument to the might and power of the Third Reich. The 1980 Olympics were held in Moscow and the 1984 Winter Olympics were held in Sarajevo, for pretty much the same reason. Formula One Grands Prix have been held in countries who were formerly on the dismal side of the Iron Curtain to show that those countries had arrived as a power in the modern world.

Equally, you can point to the boycott of South Africa because of apartheid by a lot of sporting teams as being so for political reasons, as was Tommie Smith's and John Carlos' black power salute at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics also done as a very visible political​ statement. Colin Kaepernick's simple protest against police brutality against black people, by kneeling while the national anthem is playing has become an issue which has gone straight to the top, even drawing the ire of the President himself.

Indigenous rounds in the NRL and AFL are political in tone, with the sporting bodies wanting to paint themselves as heroes for their inclusion of indigenous peoples. Of course, when someone like Adam Goodes actually took a stand against systemic racism in the AFL, he found that the actual support from those sporting bodies fell well short of the image that they were promoting. When the suggestion that a statue of Nicky Windmar be put up just outside the MCG, of that famous incident when he lifted his jersey and pointed with pride at the colour of his skin, the AFL also turned that down, in yet another show of how hollow their whitewash of history is.

Given that the NRL is primarily in the business of selling tickets and advertising space, with sport being the vehicle by which they sell these things, it surprises me not that they have taken a position which they see as popular. I have no problem whatsoever with the inclusion of an overtly political message at a sporting event because probably since the beginning of organised sport, there has always been politics lurking around in the change rooms. This is no different and no matter what the cultural right says, fine. It takes something pretty odd for me to agree with George Brandis but here we are.

September 28, 2017

Horse 2327 - A Proposed Bill Of Rights Is Actually Mostly A Redundancy

As the country tears itself to pieces in the $122m brouhaha that is the same sex marriage postal vote, the Shadow Minister for Flying Under The Radar, Andrew Wilkie, has placed at the feet of the parliament, a piece of proposed legislation called the Australian Bill Of Rights Bill 2017. In this bill which could have only contained the word "bill" more often, if Bill Shorten had proposed it, the hope is that the loose ends of human rights legislation is tied up nicely​ in one place.

Regular readers of this blog will take note that I refer to instruments such as the Bill Of Rights Act 1689, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1945, and the Bill Of Rights as attached to the US Constitution and point to the fact that we already have legislation and principles which should define and guide society, with a degree of regularity. I very much like the common law principle that rights are deemed to exist unless hedged in by law and see no benefit in defining rights at all. I my not very well paid opinion, the explicit spelling out of human rights, limits people's imagination to the letter of the law and no more. I think that defining what people's rights are, paradoxically narrows rather than broadens the scope of what they could and should be. I find it disgusting for instance that in the 228 years since the passage of the US Constitution, there have only been 5 rights added to the list and they were only begun to be added after one of the bloodiest conflicts in history, and to correct the mistakes of three score and sixteen years before. No new rights such as the right to adequate health care or housing were added, even though Franklin D Roosevelt wanted to, and those questions are still being argued over today.

My great fear is that Mr Wilkie's bill will pass into law without due diligence and questioning being applied to it. I already have been through it in its entirety and have found for myself that more than 95% of it is just plain redundant, some of it actually removes existing rights and protections and actually causes harm, and the one Article contained in the specific Bill Of Rights which previously wasn't covered by already existing international treaties and conventions, is so vague as to be useless and pointless.

The "Australian Bill of Rights" is found in Section 19 of the Australian Bill of Rights Bill 2017 and I find it curious that it only "Seeks to give effect to certain provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child by: declaring an Australian Bill of Rights" rather than all of them.

I've been through the text of Mr Wilkie's bill, and have complied some notes which mostly amounts to a series of redundancies; which says to me that the bill is quite rubbish.


19  Australian Bill of Rights
The Australian Bill of Rights is as follows:

Australian Bill of Rights
Division 1—Guarantee of rights and freedoms

Article 1
Entitlement to rights and freedoms without distinction
Every person is entitled to equality before the law and to the human rights and fundamental freedoms set out in this Bill of Rights irrespective of distinctions such as race, colour, sex, intersex status, sexual orientation, gender identity, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, mental or physical disability or other status.

This is basically covered by Article 6 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant. Article 6 is more elegant because it is far simpler to read and doesn't need to qualify its scope:
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law
- Article 6, UDHR.

Article 2
Effect of Bill of Rights on existing rights and freedoms
A right or freedom existing under, or recognised by, any other law may not be taken to have been diminished or derogated from by reason only that the right or freedom is not set out in this Bill of Rights.

This is an standard interpretation of law as it is already. This Article is therefore redundant.

Article 3
Permissible limitations
(1) The rights and freedoms set out in this Bill of Rights are subject only to such reasonable limitations prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
(2) A right or freedom set out in this Bill of Rights may not be limited by any law to any greater extent than is permitted by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Right here, the Act is limiting the ability and scope of the Bill of Rights Act. That in itself is both dangerous and stupid and should be struck off.

Division 2—Fundamental freedoms

Article 4
Freedom of expression
(1) Every person has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom of the press and other media of communication, and the freedom to seek, receive and impart ideas or information of any kind in any form, without interference and regardless of frontiers.
(2) A law may not authorise a person or group to express information that advocates national, racial or religious hatred and incites discrimination, hostility or violence.

This is basically covered by Article 19 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold 
opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
- Article 19, UDHR.

Part 2 though, goes on to extend provisions which are already contained within such acts as the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 etc. This Article is therefore redundant.

Article 5
Freedom of thought and conscience
Every person has the right to freedom of thought and conscience, including the right to hold opinions without interference.

This is basically covered by Article 19 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. 
- Article 19, UDHR.

Article 6
Freedom to have or adopt a religion or belief
Every person has the right to have or adopt a religion or belief of that person’s choice without coercion of any kind, and to manifest that religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching, whether individually or in community with others and whether in public or in private.

This is also covered by Article 19 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. 
- Article 19, UDHR.

Article 7
Right of peaceful assembly
Every person has the right of peaceful assembly.

This is basically covered by Article 20 (1) of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. 
- Article 20(1), UDHR.

Article 8
Freedom of association
Every person has the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of that person’s interests.

This is also covered by Article 20 (1) of the UDHR and is therefore redundant. See above.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. 
- Article 20(1), UDHR.

Article 20 (2) goes one step further though:
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
- Article 20(2), UDHR.

On one hand, Articles 7 & 8 of this Bill Of Rights spell out the positive right but they forget about the negative right which accompanies it.

Division 3—Equality rights
Article 9
Equal protection of the law
(1) Every person has the right without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law.
(2) Nothing in this Bill of Rights affects the operation of any earlier or later law by reason only of the fact that the law discriminates in favour of a class of persons for the purpose of redressing any disabilities particularly suffered by that class or arising from discrimination against that class.

How is this different to Article 1 of this same act?

Article 10
Rights of Indigenous peoples
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the following individual and collective rights and responsibilities:
(a) the right to revive, maintain and develop their ethnic and cultural characteristics and identities, including:
(i) their religion and spiritual development; and
(ii) their language and educational institutions;
(b) the right to claim native title for Indigenous lands and natural resources based on the recognition of their prior ownership;
(c) the right to manage their own affairs to the greatest possible extent while enjoying all the rights that other Australian citizens have in the political, economic, social and cultural life of Australia;
(d) the right to obtain reasonable financial and technical assistance from the Government to pursue their political, economic, social and cultural development in a spirit of co existence with other Australian citizens and in conditions of freedom and dignity;
(e) the responsibility to respect their laws and customs and to promote Indigenous culture.

This is covered by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and is therefore redundant.

Article 11
Rights of minority groups
Persons who belong to an ethnic, religious or linguistic minority have the right, in community with other members of their own group, to enjoy their own culture, to  profess and practise their own religion, or to use their own language.

Again, this is is covered by DRIPS but is spelled out at greater length by Articles 11, 12, 13 and 14 of that same United Nations Declaration; so this is also therefore redundant.

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to practise and revitalize their
cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain,
protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of
their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites, artefacts,
designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts
and literature.
2. States shall provide redress through effective mechanisms, which
may include restitution, developed in conjunction with indigenous
peoples, with respect to their cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual
property taken without their free, prior and informed consent
or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs.
- Article 11, DRIPS

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to manifest, practise, develop
and teach their spiritual and religious traditions, customs and ceremonies;
the right to maintain, protect, and have access in privacy
to their religious and cultural sites; the right to the use and control
of their ceremonial objects; and the right to the repatriation of their
human remains.
2. States shall seek to enable the access and/or repatriation of ceremonial
objects and human remains in their possession through fair,
transparent and effective mechanisms developed in conjunction with
indigenous peoples concerned.
- Article 12, DRIPS

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and
transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions,
philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate
and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.
2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is
protected and also to ensure that indigenous peoples can understand
and be understood in political, legal and administrative proceedings,
where necessary through the provision of interpretation or by other
appropriate means.
- Article 13, DRIPS

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their
educational systems and institutions providing education in their
own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of
teaching and learning.
2. Indigenous individuals, particularly children, have the right to
all levels and forms of education of the State without discrimination.
3. States shall, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, take effective
measures, in order for indigenous individuals, particularly children,
including those living outside their communities, to have
access, when possible, to an education in their own culture and provided
in their own language.
- Article 14, DRIPS

Division 4—Civil and democratic rights 

Article 12
Right to life
(1) From birth, every human being has the inherent right to life and no person may be arbitrarily deprived of life.
(2) Every person has the right to bodily and psychological integrity.
(3) Every person has the right to end his or her life.

This one is really really sneaky. The preamble to the  Convention On The Rights Of The Child says:
Bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, "the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth"

So suddenly we go from a place where a child who had an inherent right to life before this Act, now does not. Furthermore, in losing their inherent right to life, they also lose the inherent right to any medical care that they would have otherwise been entitled to. Part 2 goes on to further clarify this by framing a right to bodily integrity, which is the usual cornerstone for claiming a right for a mother to have an abortion.
So although in Part 1, everyone has an inherent right to life, that right will only be conferred once they've been born, and before that point, the ability to be arbitrarily deprived of that life is cancelled and destroyed by Part 2.

Part 3 states that there is a right for someone to end their own life. Think about that for a second. Suicide is now a moral good and insurance companies and children who are looking to inherit from their parents, are by operation of this, tacitly empowered to use deception and duress to get an old person to sign the necessary paperwork to pop their clogs. How is this in any way acceptable?

Article 13
Liberty and security of person
(1) Every person has the right to liberty and security of person.
(2) No law may authorise the arbitrary arrest, detention or imprisonment of any person.
(3) No person may be deprived of liberty except on such grounds, and in accordance with such procedures, as are established by law.
(4) No person may be imprisoned merely on the ground of inability to fulfil a contractual obligation.

Part 1 is covered by Article 3 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
- Article 3, UDHR.

Part 2 is covered by Article 9 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. 
- Article 9, UDHR.

Part 3 is covered by Article 11 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence. 
- Article 11 (1), UDHR.

Part 4 is covered by Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.

Article 14
No torture or inhuman treatment and no experimentation without consent
(1) No person may be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
(2) No person may be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation without that person’s free consent.
(3) Every person has the right to refuse any medical treatment for themselves.

Part 1 is covered by Article 5 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
Part 2 is covered by Article 5 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. 
- Article 5, UDHR.

Part 3 is an implied right covered by Article 25(1) of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. 
- Article 25(1), UDHR.

Article 15
Slavery and servitude
No person may be held in slavery or servitude or be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.

This is covered by Article 4 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
- Article 4, UDHR.

What makes this doubly redundant in the framework of Australian law was the passage of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act 1807 and the Slavery Abolition Act 1833. The right not to be held in slavery was already protected by the abolition of slavery by an Act of Parliament.

Article 16
Right of participation in public life
Every Australian citizen has the right and will have the opportunity:
(a) to take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives; and
(b) to vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections, which will be by universal and equal suffrage and by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors; and
(c) to have access on general terms of equality to public employment.

Part a is covered by Article 21 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
Part b is covered by Article 21(3) of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
Part c is covered by Article 21(2) of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures. 
- Article 21, UDHR.

I know that this is splitting hairs but given that this is a piece of proposed legislation, that seems only fair and just to me. Currently, the regulations of the Electoral Act 1918, define voting not as a right but as a duty. If this proposed legislation reduces voting to a mere right rather than an obligation of the citizenry, then this opens the door for those who would wish to narrow the franchise through voluntary inaction.
I think that there are some things which should not be rights but obligations which are enforced by law, because citizens of a nation should be legally bound to one another in that nationhood; these include voting, military service in times of war, jury duty, and the obligation to follow the law and pay taxes.

Article 17
Right to marry and to found a family
Recognising that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the Commonwealth or State Government:
(a) every person of marriageable age has the right to marry and to found a family; and
(b) no marriage may be entered into without the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

Part a is covered by Article 16 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
Part b is covered by Article 16 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
The opening part of this is also covered by Article 16 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State. 
- Article 16, UDHR.

Article 18
Rights of the child
Recognising that every child has the right to such measures of protection as are required by the child’s age:
(a) every child has the fundamental rights and freedoms set out in this Bill of Rights to the greatest extent compatible with the age of the individual child; and
(b) every child will be registered immediately after birth and will have a name; and
(c) every child has the right to acquire a nationality; and
(d)every child will be protected from economic and social exploitation. Their employment under set age limits, or in work harmful to their morals or health, dangerous to life or likely to hamper their normal development should be prohibited and punishable by law.

Again, the. Convention On The Rights Of The Child already covers this and as before, this article does not confer any of these rights to a child before they have been born, as the international Convention previously did. This sounds good in principle but is destructive in the means by which it falls short of the existing Convention.

Article 19
Rights of movement within Australia
(1) Every person lawfully in Australia has the right to freedom of movement and choice of residence.
(2) A person who is lawfully in Australia but is not an Australian citizen may not be required to leave Australia except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedures as are established by law.

Part a is covered by Article 13 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
Part b is covered by Article 13 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
- Article 13, UDHR.

Article 20
Right to enter Australia
(1) Every Australian citizen has the right to enter Australia.
(2) A law may restrict a citizen’s right to enter if that person is under legal investigation or sentence in another country.

Part 1 is covered by Article 13 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant. See Above.
Part 2 has the potential to violate the Convention on Refugees and Stateless Persons and Article 13 of the UDHR. This should be eliminated entirely.

Article 21
Right to leave Australia
(1) Every person has the right to leave Australia.
(2) A law may restrict a person’s right to leave if that person is under legal investigation or sentence in Australia.

Part 1 is covered by Article 13 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant. See above.
Part 2 is just a statement of common law principles and is therefore redundant.

Division 5—Economic and social rights

Article 22
Property
(1) Every natural or legal person has the right to peacefully enjoy the person’s possessions. No person may be deprived of the person’s possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law.
(2) This right does not impair the right of the Commonwealth or State Government to enforce laws it considers necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest or to secure the payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties.

Part 1 is covered by Article 17 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant
Part 2 is covered by Article 17 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property. 
- Article 17, UDHR.

Article 23
Standard of living
(1) Every person has the right to an adequate standard of living, including:
(a) sufficient food and water; and
(b) clothing and housing; and
(c) access to health care services; and
(d)access to social security, including if they are unable to support themselves and their dependants, appropriate social assistance.
(2) No one may be refused emergency medical treatment.
(3) The Commonwealth or State Government will take reasonable legislative and other measures to provide for the progressive realisation of each of these rights.

This entire Article is covered by Article 25 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection. 
- Article 25, UDHR.

I'd go so far as to suggest that Part 2 of Article 25 of the UDHR is better expressed and because it specifically upholds motherhood and childhood as being vulnerable and requiring special protection, it is a nobler thing.

Article 24
Right to live in a safe society
Every person has the individual and collective right to live in a safe society and the collective and individual responsibility to act in a peaceful and non violent way.

This entire Article is covered by Article 29 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant. This article is also the natural implication of every single piece of legislation and is therefore doubly redundant.
(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society. 
- Article 29 (1 and 2), UDHR.

Article 25
Right to adequate child care
A parent or other person responsible for the care of a child has the right of reasonable access to adequate child care facilities and the responsibility to ensure that the child is properly cared for.

This is covered by Article 3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and is therefore redundant.
1. In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.
2. States Parties undertake to ensure the child such protection and care as is necessary for his or her well-being, taking into account the rights and duties of his or her parents, legal guardians, or other individuals legally responsible for him or her, and, to this end, shall take all appropriate legislative and administrative measures.
3. States Parties shall ensure that the institutions, services and facilities responsible for the care or protection of children shall conform with the standards established by competent authorities, particularly in the areas of safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as competent supervision.
- Article 3, CRC

Article 26
Right to education
No person may be denied the right to education. In the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the Commonwealth or State Government will respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.

This is covered by Article 26(1) of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
(1)Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education
shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. 
- Article 26(1), UDHR.

This also expanded upon by Articles 23, 28 and 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and is therefore redundant.

Article 27
Work
(1)Every person has the right to work including the right to the opportunity to gain reasonable payment for work the person freely chooses or accepts.
(2) Every person has the right to just and favourable conditions of work including:
(a) fair and reasonable payment for work so as to provide a decent living as a minimum; and
(b) safe and healthy working conditions; and
(c) rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic and public holidays with pay.

This entire Article is covered by Articles 23 and 24 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests. 
- Article 23, UDHR.

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay. 
- Article 24, UDHR.

Article 28
Individual and collective development
Every person has the right to participate in and contribute to individual and collective economic, social and cultural development including:
(a) taking part in cultural life; and
(b) enjoying the benefits of scientific progress and its applications; and
(c) benefiting from the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which the person is the author.

This entire Article is covered by Article 27 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author. 
- Article 27, UDHR.

Article 29
Environment
(1) Every person has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well being.
(2) The Commonwealth or State Government will take appropriate steps to protect the environment for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that:
(a) prevent pollution and ecological degradation; and
(b) promote conservation; and
(c) secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

Out of 29 Articles, this is the first one which isn't covered by a specific existing international convention or treaty. There are however more than 3,000 international environmental instruments which are enforceable; ranging from the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping Wastes and Other Matter, Convention to Combat Desertification, International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty etc.

I like this.

Division 6—Legal rights
Article 30
Right to protection from arbitrary interference
Every person has the right to:
(a) protection of privacy, family, home and correspondence from arbitrary or unlawful interference; and
(b) protection from unlawful attacks on honour and reputation.

This entire Article is covered by Article 12 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. 
- Article 12, UDHR.

Article 31
Right to procedural fairness
(1) Every person has the right to have a decision by a tribunal or other public authority that may affect the person’s rights made in a way that observes the rules of procedural fairness.
(2) The rules of procedural fairness include:
(a) the rule that a person whose interests may be adversely affected by a decision will be given a reasonable opportunity to present a case; and
(b) the rule that the tribunal or authority will be impartial in the matter to be decided.

This Article is covered by Article 11(1) of the UDHR and is therefore redundant.
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
- Article 11(1), UDHR.

Article 32
Right to legal assistance
Every person has the right to reasonable access to legal aid and the responsibility to accept assistance from a suitably qualified representative appointed by a court.

This Article is also covered by Article 11 of the UDHR and is therefore redundant. See Above.
This Article is also covered by Article 14(d) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is therefore redundant.
(d) To be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing; to be informed, if he does not have legal assistance, of this right; and to have legal assistance assigned to him, in any case where the interests of justice so require, and without payment by him in any such case if he does not have sufficient means to pay for it;
- Article 14(d), ICCPR.

Article 14(d) falls within a far more comprehensive framework just within that article; so I don't quite understand why this bill seeks to restrain that framework.

Article 33
Right to be informed of reasons for detention or arrest and of charges
Any person who is detained or arrested will be informed at the time of detention or arrest of the reasons for it, and will be informed promptly and in detail of any charges in a language which that person understands.

This Article is also covered by Article 3 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is therefore redundant.
3. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, everyone shall be entitled to the following minimum guarantees, in full equality: (a) To be informed promptly and in detail in a language which he understands of the nature and cause of the charge against him;
- Article 3, ICCPR.

Article 34
Right to consult with lawyer and to remain silent
Any person detained in custody has the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer.

This Article is covered by Article 14(d) & the spirit of the right to remain silent rests with Article 14(g) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is therefore redundant.
(d) To be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing; to be informed, if he does not have legal assistance, of this right; and to have legal assistance assigned to him, in any case where the interests of justice so require, and without payment by him in any such case if he does not have sufficient means to pay for it;
- Article 14(d), ICCPR.

(g) Not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt.
- Article 14(g), ICCPR.

Article 35
Hearings, release and trial
(1) Any person detained or arrested on a criminal charge will be brought promptly before a judge, magistrate or justice of the peace.
(2) No person awaiting trial may be unreasonably deprived of the right to release on giving a guarantee to appear for trial.
(3) Any person detained or arrested on a criminal charge has the right to be tried within a reasonable time.

This Article is covered by Article 9(3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is therefore redundant.
3. Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgement.
- Article 9(3), ICCPR.

Article 36
Right to test lawfulness of detention
Any person deprived of liberty has the right to take proceedings before a court for the determination of the lawfulness of the detention and to be released if the court finds that the detention is not lawful.

This Article is also covered by Article 9(4) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is therefore redundant.
4. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful.
- Article 9(4), ICCPR.

Article 37
Presumption of innocence
Any person charged with a criminal offence is presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

This Article is covered by Article 14(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is therefore redundant.
2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.
- Article 14(2), ICCPR.

Article 38
Right to fair hearing
In the determination of any criminal charge, or of any rights or obligations in a suit at law, every person has the right to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal.

This Article is covered by Article 14(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is therefore redundant.
1. All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, or of his rights and obligations in a suit at law, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law. The press and the public may be excluded from all or part of a trial for reasons of morals, public order (ordre public) or national security in a democratic society, or when the interest of the private lives of the parties so requires, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice; but any judgement rendered in a criminal case or in a suit at law shall be made public except where the interest of juvenile persons otherwise requires or the proceedings concern matrimonial disputes or the guardianship of children.
- Article 14(1), ICCPR.

Article 39
Right to reasonable standard of criminal procedure
(1) Every person charged with a criminal offence has the following rights:
(a) the right to have the principles of due process applied to matters arising from the charge;
(b) the right to obtain legal assistance;
(c) the right to communicate with a lawyer;
(d) the right to legal assistance without cost, if the interests of justice so require and the person lacks sufficient means to pay for the assistance;
(e) the right to have adequate time and facilities to prepare a defence;
(f) the right to trial by jury if the person may be imprisoned for 3 or more years for the offence;
(g) the right to be present at any trial relating to the offence and to present a defence;
(h) the right to examine the witnesses against the person;
(i) the right to obtain the attendance of, and to examine, witnesses for the person;
(j) the right to have the free assistance of an interpreter if the person cannot understand or speak the language used in court;
(k) the right not to be compelled to testify or confess guilt;
(l) in the case of a child, the right to be dealt with in a manner which takes account of the child’s age.
(2) Every person who is found guilty to an offence has the right to be sentenced within a reasonable time and to be informed in a language that the person understands of the reasons for the sentence.

This Article is covered by Articles 10 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is therefore redundant. I shan't map this to all the specific provisions.

Article 40
No retrospective criminal offences or penalties
(1) No person may be convicted of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence at the time when it occurred.
(2) No person convicted of any criminal offence is liable to a heavier penalty than was applicable at the time the offence was committed.

This Article is covered by Article 15(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is therefore redundant.
1 . No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time when the criminal offence was committed. If, subsequent to the commission of the offence, provision is made by law for the imposition of the lighter penalty, the offender shall benefit thereby.
- Article 15(1), ICCPR.

Article 41
Right of review of conviction and sentence
Every person convicted of a criminal offence has the right to have the conviction or sentence reviewed by a higher tribunal according to law.

This Article is covered by Article 14(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is therefore redundant.
5. Everyone convicted of a crime shall have the right to his conviction and sentence being reviewed by a higher tribunal according to law.
- Article 14(5), ICCPR.

Article 42
No trial or punishment for same offence
No person finally convicted or acquitted of a criminal offence may be tried or punished again for the same offence or for substantially the same offence arising out of the same facts.

This Article is also covered by Article 14(7) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is therefore redundant.
7. No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of each country.
- Article 14(7), ICCPR.

Article 43
Rights when deprived of liberty
(1) Every person deprived of liberty has the right to be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.
(2) So far as is practicable:
(a) accused persons will be segregated from convicted persons, and will be treated in a manner appropriate to their status as unconvicted persons; and
(b) accused children will be segregated from accused adults; and
(c) convicted children will be segregated from convicted adults, and will be treated in a manner appropriate to their age and legal status.

This Article is covered by Article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is therefore redundant.
1. All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.
2. (a) Accused persons shall, save in exceptional circumstances, be segregated from convicted persons and shall be subject to separate treatment appropriate to their status as unconvicted persons;
(b) Accused juvenile persons shall be separated from adults and brought as speedily as possible for adjudication.
3. The penitentiary system shall comprise treatment of prisoners the essential aim of which shall be their reformation and social rehabilitation. Juvenile offenders shall be segregated from adults and be accorded treatment appropriate to their age and legal status.
- Article 10, ICCPR.

With the sole exception of Article 29 of Mr Wilkies proposed Bill of rights which concerns the environment, 42 of 43 components of this piece of legislation would be better dealt with with a single piece of legislation that binds existing conventions to Australian law and makes them enforceable.
The only thing that this pathetic bill does, is extend the right to kill babies and old people legally and that in my opinion means that this whole thing should be burned and the ashes hurled out of the window.

In summary, the passage of this bill while perhaps symbolic is either ignorant of existing human rights or is the vehicle by which some vulnerable people in society have their protections trampled upon. If those truths of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were supposedly self evident, then I'll need convincing that the recognition of a right which destroys all three, is any net benefit to society at all.
Any so called "right" which basically negates the proposal that murder is wrong, may as well be tearing up the whole damned book on human rights as far as I'm concerned because enshrining any rights at law is completely pointless to someone who is dead.

The vast of this Bill of Rights is already covered by existing international declarations and conventions; since Australia is already signed up to these, then simply passing them into law directly and without amendment, is in my opinion the best option. We already know what those documents are, they are already freely available.

Reference List:
Australian Bill of Rights Bill 2017 - http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5938
Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 - http://www.un.org/en/udhrbook/pdf/udhr_booklet_en_web.pdf
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2006 - http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/DRIPS_en.pdf
Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 - http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CRC.aspx
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 - http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CCPR.aspx