CHRIS BURSON: VicPol PORT/CIRT officer turns to Politics

The Discernable Interviews

CHRIS BURSON: VicPol PORT/CIRT officer turns to Politics

1hr 4min

After 9 years in the Australian Army as a Blackhawk Loadmaster Chris Burson joined Victoria Police and served in both PORT (Public Order Response Team) and CIRT (Critical Incident Response Team).

Chris resigned from Victoria Police to run as a political candidate in the 2022 federal election for the Australian Values Party.

We discussed his time inside VicPol at length and what he has experienced from the media since moving into the political realm.



Professor Gigi Foster Explains Inflation and Cost of Living

The Discernable Interviews

Professor Gigi Foster Explains Inflation and Cost of Living

1hr 1min

Gigi Foster is a Professor and Director of Education at The School of Economics at UNSW Business School. She holds qualifications in ethics, politics and economics, and joined Discernable for a second time to explain inflation and cost of living.

As the world suffers escalating prices on nearly all goods and services, are we experiencing inflation? Or is this simply market prices reflecting fluctuating supply/demand curves?

Is this a temporary phenomenon caused by supply chain disruption? Or is all the money printing by central banks devaluing our currencies?

This hour is an opportunity to learn what inflation is, how to identify it, what causes it, and what to do about it.



Jacob Mchangama: What is the point of Free Speech?

The Discernable Interviews

Jacob Mchangama: What is the point of Free Speech?

1hr 4min

Jacob Mchangama is the founder of Justitia, Denmark’s first judicial think tank with a focus on human rights, freedom rights, and the rule of law. A practising attorney for many years, Jacob has become one of the world’s most sought-after and awarded experts on free speech driven by his extensive writing and media work.

His most recent book Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media chronicles the history of that ‘bedrock of democracy’ and has been praised as ‘the best defence of free speech ever made’.

He joined Discernable to explain whether free speech is a luxury or a foundational principle, and who suffers and benefits from free speech. We also looked at research on the Australian perspective of free speech.



Campbell Newman: QLD's Reforming Premier Tells it Straight

The Discernable Interviews

Campbell Newman: QLD's Reforming Premier Tells it Straight

53min

Former Premier of Queensland Campbell Newman joined us to explain why he is running for the Liberal Democrats in the federal election.

In particular, I wanted Campbell to explain the seeming contradiction between the freedom values of the Liberal Democratic Party and his time as Premier introducing fierce anti-bikie laws that drew the ire of civil liberty groups.

Campbell explained his motivations, regrets and hopes for the future of Australian politics.



Anthony Cursio: Australians are realising the importance of freedom

The Discernable Interviews

Anthony Cursio: Australians are realising the importance of freedom

1hr 16min

Anthony Cursio is the LibDems candidate for the electorate of Fraser in Melbourne’s west. Growing up through domestic violence and poverty Anthony eventually climbed the corporate ladder in banking and sees first hand what ‘options’ like access to capital can do for the poor in society.

He maintained his connection to the western suburbs of Melbourne where he lives, and is running against ‘parachute’ candidates for the opportunity to represent the voices of the western suburbs.

In this conversation we covered liberty, changing dynamics in the working class, personal responsibility and hate speech, what racism looks like, and the tragedy of bureaucracy literally killing Australian citizens as health systems collapse.



Damian Coory & Topher Field: What is really happening this election cycle?

The Discernable Interviews

Damian Coory & Topher Field: What is really happening this election cycle?

1hr 39min

LibDems candidates Damian Coory and Topher Field join us to dissect what Australian electorates are thinking. Matt challenged both of them on their integrity and consistency, and why they are so confident of an increased result for minor parties.

We talked about preferences, parachuting candidates into seats, previous and future results for minor parties, the myth of the Greens being an environmental party, the ‘Teal’ climate obsessed candidates worrying the Liberals, the hypocrisy of Campbell Newman, changing your mind in politics, pork barrelling, and how to discern a good politician.



Daniel Lewkovitz: Getting Real in Wentworth

The Discernable Interviews

Daniel Lewkovitz: Getting Real in Wentworth

1hr 25min

The ‘Freedom’ party in Sydney’s richest electorate? LDP candidate Daniel Lewkovitz is responsible for the cheekiest corflutes in the country and has the woke councils of Eastern Sydney in his sights.

We discussed the popularity of Malcolm Turnbull and the obsession with climate change in the richest area of Australia.



Behzad Nikzad: Data Scientist on Bad Modeling and the Religion of Science

The Discernable Interviews

Behzad Nikzad: Data Scientist on Bad Modeling and the Religion of Science

1hr 13min

Behzad Nikzad is a data scientist with a keen interest in mathematics and data modeling. He lives in Quebec, Canada and has experienced the same historic lockdowns as in Melbourne Australia, but under the Trudeau government. He has noticed the models relied upon for lockdowns becoming ever more ridiculous and unjustifiable and sees a sad demise of the scientific method as a technocratic priesthood emerges.

He has written a book on this phenomenon where large swathes of the population are dazzled and/or suppressed by a ruling elite who claim insurmountable knowledge for the layperson. Just like priests before the printing press being the only ones allowed and capable of reading and interpreting holy texts.

In this conversation he walked me through a retrospective data analysis where I was forced to guess which cities and countries had the strongest restrictions based on their results. We also uncovered absolute irrationality on display by SAGE.

We ran out of time to discuss the parallels to his family’s experience under the Taliban in Afghanistan, so Behzad provided this written account:

My mom was a teacher in Afghanistan. When the Taliban took over our city in 1995 (the first time) they closed schools for all girls. She could no longer work. She was no longer allowed out of the house without a chaperon. Every woman was required to cover their face.

The Taliban justified this by saying that, through mandates such as face coverings, they would build a better society. Anyone who questioned their logic was told that they were being immoral. My mom experienced the citizen-policing that happened then with people telling each other to cover up their faces. If she felt hot under the face covering and pulled it up for a minute, someone would show up to warn her that it was important for her to wear her face covering.

My mom had to relive that trauma as she became policed by her peers for not wearing her face mask. She told me that she once decided to go a very short distance in an indoor space without a mask and that someone yelled at her for it. She said the experience felt eerily similar to her experiences in Afghanistan during the (first) Taliban era.



Heston Russell: What Real Leadership Is Made Of

The Discernable Interviews

Heston Russell: What Real Leadership Is Made Of

1hr 21min

Heston Russell is a retired Commando from the Australian Defence Force active in mental health and veteran charities. After many political parties approached Heston to run on their brand, he decided to form the Australian Values Party and build a long term cultural change to the way Australia understands political leadership.

As a leadership expert, author, speaker and practitioner in the ADF, Heston believes Australians politicians are not displaying the qualities of leadership but it doesn’t have to be this way.

In this discussion we covered the political landscape of the Australian federal election, but also dived into what really makes a leader, and why we should demand such leaders in politics and in society more broadly.



Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party Invades Melbourne: Candidate Lisa Stark

The Discernable Interviews

Pauline Hanson's One Nation Invades Melbourne: Candidate Lisa Stark

60min

Lisa Stark is a corporate executive in marketing and long time supporter of the Liberal Party. Feeling abandoned by the party, Lisa is running in the wealthy electorate and lifestyle Mecca of Melbourne: Goldstein.

Currently held by Liberal MP Tim Wilson and threatened by climate change focused candidate Zoe Daniel, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this electorate will be won on climate change policy but Lisa Stark believes that there is a strong voter base in Goldstein that are so affected in their businesses and personal lives that climate change debates will not cut it this cycle.

Lisa is a candidate for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party and feels that it best represents the interests of those pragmatic, middle Australians. In this discussion I tried to feel out the mood of this glitzy electorate and probe what type of party One Nation is today.