FRANCE'S President Nicolas Sarkozy has been rushed to hospital after suffering a "nerve attack" while exercising.
Labor braces for 'painful recovery'
THE Rudd Government is preparing voters for rapid rate hikes ahead of the next election.
Rudd defends delayed hospitals decision
The Rudd government won't make a decision on which aspects of the health system it will take over from states and territories until early next year.
Marriott Hotel bombing survivor Dadang Hidayat last to speak to killer
Long-time Marriott Hotel banqueting supervisor Dadang Hidayat counts himself lucky to be alive when others so close to him lost their lives. Mr Hidayat spoke to the man and was standing only metres from him, looking directly at his face as he blew himself up and killed five others in the room.
'Devil told' mother to decapitate baby
A mother has allegedly decapitated her three-week old son before stabbing herself in the chest, claiming the devil told her to do it.
Undercover ABC reporter bashed
An undercover Four Corners reporter investigating fraudulent migration and education schemes has......
Intimacy test exposes sham lovers
HUNDREDS of overseas-born spouses are being booted out of Australia each year after failing Green Card-style intimacy tests.
Family tragedy strikes top swimmer
ONE of Australia's best medal hopes for the swimming world titles has suffered a family tragedy on the eve of the competition.
Football fan dies after MCG fall
A YOUNG man who fell down a stairwell at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, landing head first on concrete, has died.
Theophanous to quit politics
Victorian state MP Theo Theophanous will retire from politics at the next state election
Fallen soldier returns home
The body of the eleventh Australian soldier killed in Afghanistan returned home today in Melbourne.
Worst of GFC over: Harvey Norman
Furniture and electrical retailer Harvey Norman says Australia is through the worst of the global financial crisis.
Tassie ALP supports same-sex marriage
Federal Labor is under pressure to follow the lead of the Tasmanian ALP, which today passed a motion to endorse same-sex marriage.
Korean War memorial unveiled in Sydney
A memorial honouring the Australian troops who fought in the Korean war has been unveiled in Sydney
79 percent of Kiwis could get Swine flu
The infection rate for swine flu in New Zealand is higher than previously believed and up to 79 per......
Woman unconscious, attacked on train
A young woman was assaulted and robbed on a train in Sydney....
=== Comments ===
Fatwa by any other name is still murder
PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd says Australian troops are in Afghanistan to defeat terrorism and prevent them prospering closer to home _ in Indonesia.
Indeed. It gets better - What they are trying to do by rewriting the dictionary is ‘reframe’ the problem which really means pretend the problem does not exist. By putting a wedge between the ideology that spawns these murderers and the act of murder they are closing their eyes and hoping the fact ceases to exist.DD Ball replied to Tim
Analogy: You have mole on your leg but are too frightened to go to the doctor - You tell yourself that the mole is really just a blemish and not a melanoma. Does that stop the mole from killing you?
This problem sums up the dopey thinking of the left - ‘fact don’t exist if you refuse to acknowledge them.’
Tim of Reality
A separate example is the pernicious belief in victimless crime. If there is no crime there is no criminal. So people aren’t violent offenders .. they are drunks. People aren’t car jackers or break and enters, they become youths or drug users. Currently we have lots of youths, drunks and drug users awaiting rehabilitation at her majesty’s leisure. It still costs.
Very good example DD. Instead of being mugged by a person you are mugged by a drug problem.
The offender can lay responsibility for the crime at the feet of a problem and neatly divorce his actions from their consequences.
The kicker: Isn’t funny how crime vanishes when zero tolerance and 3 strike laws are implemented. This would tend to indicate that crime is a volitional act and not a malevolent social problem that takes over the offender forcing him to commit a crime.
WESTERN MEDIA REJECTED
Tim Blair – Monday, July 27, 09 (04:55 am)
India isn’t taking any crap from rich white hypocrites:
Jairam Ramesh, the Indian environment minister, accused the developed world of needlessly raising alarm over melting Himalayan glaciers.
He dismissed scientists’ predictions that Himalayan glaciers might disappear within 40 years as a result of global warming.
“We have to get out of the preconceived notion, which is based on western media, and invest our scientific research and other capacities to study Himalayan atmosphere,” he said.
He’s questioning the science!
“Science has its limitation. You cannot substitute the knowledge that has been gained by the people living in cold deserts through everyday experience.”
Mr Ramesh was also clear that India would not take on targets to cut its emissions, even though developed countries are asking only for curbs in the growth of emissions, rather than absolute cuts.
Ramesh isn’t yielding to Obamic pressure:
On Monday, the Indian government … bluntly refused to sign any binding agreements on climate change with the United States. India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh went about personally distributing copies of his exchange with [Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton to members of the press as she stood by silently.
And here’s the reason why Ramesh might not be too concerned about warming alarmism:
Annual mean temperature for the country as a whole has risen by .52 degree celsius in the past 107 years since 1901, according to a data analysis by the Met department, the government informed the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
In his reply to a written question in the Upper House, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said, “the analysis of data for the period 1901-2008 by Meteorological Department suggests that annual mean temperature for the country as a whole has risen by .52 degree celsius over the period.”
A whole .52 degrees celsius in 107 years. India and the planet are surely doomed.
More than 3,000 record low temperatures set across the US this month. Just the right time for scientists to review their previous positions on warming:
We are among more than 50 current and former members of the American Physical Society who have signed an open letter to the APS Council this month, calling for a reconsideration of its November 2007 policy statement on climate change. The letter proposes an alternative statement, which the signatories believe to be a more accurate representation of the current scientific evidence. It requests that an objective scientific process be established, devoid of political or financial agendas, to help prevent subversion of the scientific process and the intolerance towards scientific disagreement that pervades the climate issue.
On 1 May 2009, the APS Council decided to review its current statement via a high-level subcommittee of respected senior scientists. We applaud this decision. It is the first such reappraisal by a major scientific professional society that we are aware of, and we hope it will lead to meaningful change that reflects a more balanced view of climate-change issues.
Which you won’t get in New Zealand, which contributes practically nothing to global carbon output, but will nevertheless pay a mighty toll:
Thirty dollars a week for every man, woman and child looks likely to be the price Kiwis will have to pay to do their bit to fight global warming.
And all that money won’t achieve anything. It can’t possibly achieve anything.
Congratulations to Aya Ali al-Mulla, who has won a beauty contest without showing her face or body. That’s the sort of beauty contest even I could win.
WEARY OF WARMING
When you’ve lost the New York Times arts pages, you’ve lost … well, not America, but some kind of low-cal American subset:
Not surprisingly, several artists in the show have made work in response to contemporary environmental issues. Much of it is wearily moralistic, purporting to educate us on topics we are already familiar with, like global warming and pollution. Social relevance in art has to be matched by some sort of conceptual freshness and clarity or aesthetic merit.
“Conceptual freshness”? Good luck with that, babies.
NOT GETTING A SENSE OF THE LINE AS WRITTEN
Pamela Doof doesn’t get much acting work:
Dave Follett – the illustrating genius whose 2007 Sin City parody is better than world peace – is now blogging. Incidentally, back when that item first ran, reader Bonmot commented:
Congratulations. You’ve mastered the art of writing a column in ten minutes and having an artist spend three hours illustrating it.
It actually took him two days. Dave is now freelancing, so if you’ve got any picture-type work, send it his way.
SHOW ME THE MODELS
Mark Steyn asks:
In the mid-nineties, which climatologist and which model predicted the cooling trend of the turn of the century and the oughts? And, if they didn’t, on what basis do you trust their claims for 2050 or 2100?
NEWER IS (MOSTLY) BETTER
Let’s check the numbers on a ground-shaking 1969 426 Hemi-engined Dodge Charger and compare them to figures from a mundane 2009 Hyundai Sonata V6:
HISTORY, FRANCE CHANGED
Not a good week for President Obama, reports Freedom’s Lighthouse:
He’s created the whole police “acted stupidly” fiasco. Now he has made another historical gaffe, this time by saying Japanese Emperor Hirohito signed the surrender of Japan to Gen Douglas MacArthur in 1945. Problem is: Hirohito didn’t sign the surrender! On September 2, 1945, General Yoshijiro Umezu and Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu represented Japan in signing the Instrument of Surrender aboard the Battleship Missouri.
Click for helpful historic video. Speaking of surrenders, Michelle Obama can claim some credit for making the French work:
Many French people aren’t devout but hold to at least one religious teaching: Sunday is a day of rest.
That practice is under threat from a controversial pro-work law that will allow more French stores to open Sundays …
Loosening Sunday shopping rules is part of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s recipe to boost France’s economy … [Sarkozy] complained that he had to intervene last month, when U.S. first lady Michelle Obama wanted to buy children’s clothes in Paris on Sunday, June 7.
UPDATE. Obama has reversed global warming in Chicago!
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL ATTRACTS INTERNATIONAL ABUSE
The number of internet users in China increased by double Australia’s entire population during the first six months of 2009. Nice to see them putting their new connectivity to such good use:
Chinese hackers have attacked the Melbourne International Film Festival website in an intensifying campaign against the screening of a documentary about exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer …
Festival director Richard Moore said staff had been bombarded with abusive emails since it was disclosed that the festival had rejected Chinese Government demands to withdraw the film about Ms Kadeer, The 10 Conditions of Love, and cancel her invitation to the festival.
“The language has been vile,” Mr Moore said.
It might be time for another kiss-up speech from Kevin Rudd.
EVERYBODY ELSE MUST DO SOMETHING
Global warming worrier Thomas Friedman – “climate change is happening faster and will bring bigger changes quicker than we anticipated just a few years ago” – obviously isn’t too concerned about his personal contribution to the planet’s demise. Warmies do adore their enormous houses.
Who’s holding the green carpetbag
Richard S. Lindzen, the distinguished Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, explains why there’s a panic about global warming even though ”warming has ceased for the past fourteen years”:
When an issue like global warming is around for over twenty years, numerous agendas are developed to exploit the issue. The interests of the environmental movement in acquiring more power, influence, and donations are reasonably clear. So too are the interests of bureaucrats for whom control of CO2 is a dream-come-true… Politicians can see the possibility of taxation that will be cheerfully accepted because it is necessary for ‘saving’ the earth. Nations have seen how to exploit this issue in order to gain competitive advantages.
But, by now, things have gone much further. The case of ENRON (a now bankrupt Texas energy firm) is illustrative in this respect… It had hoped to become a trading firm dealing in carbon emission rights. This was no small hope. These rights are likely to amount to over a trillion dollars, and the commissions will run into many billions. Hedge funds are actively examining the possibilities; so was the late Lehman Brothers. Goldman Sachs has lobbied extensively for the ‘cap and trade’ bill, and is well positioned to make billions. It is probably no accident that Gore, himself, is associated with such activities…
And finally, there are the numerous well meaning individuals who have allowed propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue For them, their psychic welfare is at stake.
If 16, why not let 10 year olds vote, too?
Now these children want a say on how other people should spend their parent’s money, too?
SIXTEEN and 17-year-olds could be given a voluntary right to vote in federal elections, under changes to be canvassed by the Rudd government later this year.
I don’t think so. Indeed, the only reason Labor is remotely interested in the idea is that it knows that people so young are more likely to vote for the Left, being on the drip themselves and still too giddy and unwordly to know that every handout comes at a cost to someone. - the funniest thing about this article, for mine, was that it was released as an issue the same day that the driving age was considered being lifted because it was argued that young people don't have the proper judgement to drive cars. - ed.
Not the president of all
Barack Obama’s premeditated decision to take (racial) sides in the arrest of a black college professor has been every bit the ratings disaster I suspected it would be:
Obama implicilty promised to transcend racial division and be an agent of healing. He’s betrayed that promise, and I doubt any of his many stumbles so far will match this in redifining him for the worst.
Just the man for no debate
It’s actually not a hard question.
Who to get to moderate a discussion between people who all furiously agree the world is warming (when it isn’t) and we should cut our gases to stop it (which we can’t)? Who is there out there with experience in holding debates without any real debate?
Hold on. Why don’t we invite that bloke from the ABC? You know ...
The Shadowlands does indeed know, and marvels at the great green gravy train‘s new passenger. In Jones’ defence, though, I accept that he really, really believes man is cooking the globe. (Or did I just damn him?)
Ban racism - or at least the word
Once again, a tragedy is mislabeled as racism against all the evidence - thus obscuring the true causes of a calamity we must understand to prevent in future. From the ABC’s AM report on a Doomadgee girl who died of pnuemonia after (allegedly) being repeatedly refused proper treatment:
MARK COLVIN (presenter): The Queensland Government has sent extra doctors into a remote Aboriginal community after the controversial death of a four-year-old girl. Her family is blaming negligence and racism for her death....
ANNIE GUEST (reporter): The allegations of negligence and racism have prompted Queensland’s Health Minister Paul Lucas to defend his Government…
KATRINA WALDEN: She was neglected because she was a little black girl.
ATHOL WALDEN: If my little granddaughter was a white child she would have been flown out the first day she went to hospital.
It took an Aboriginal academic to put the record straight:
ANNIE GUEST: Aboriginal academic Boni Robertson has told The World Today the doctor’s training should be examined as well, as there may have been a communication problem because she says he was from a non-English speaking background.
So this is not a case of racism, but of poor communication between Aboriginal parents on the one hand and a Bangladeshi doctor on the other. But wait - even then, the record may not be quite straight, pandering to perhaps a different kind of racist stereotype than we were first invited to assume:
Mrs Walden told her daughter-in-law it was time to take Naylor to hospital.
There, she was seen by a nurse who, according to Regina, told her Naylor didn’t need to see a doctor, and sent her home with a dose of liquid Panadol in a syringe. The family believes this was the first in a succession of treatment blunders that meant the child would not be seen by a doctor until she was critically ill.
On Monday, July 20, Regina returned to the hospital with Naylor without getting past the waiting room. This time, she said she was told that they couldn’t go through to the treatment area because Naylor might have swine flu, posing an infection risk…
Next day, Regina tried again to get in to the doctor. He was unavailable, however, because he was attending a community meeting on swine flu...
Yes, the doctor is being blamed. But how much responsibility should instead be taken by the nurses, and what race were they - if that matters at all? How much is this tragedy caused simply by distance and the inevitable difficulty of properly staffing a hospital in such a remote and violent town? From a 2006 Queensland Government investigation into the Doomadgee Hospital:
Higher proportion of Indigenous clerical staff and cultural differences in attitude to work attendance… National shortage of healthcare professionals, overtime costs continue to have a negative effect on the finances of the district. Isolation of Doomadgee a contributing factor. Very little social release for staff. No casual call in staff available. High cost of agency staff… Nursing staff often assuming managerial and clerical roles. Numbers indicate the clerical staff average below the state mean… Ageing workforce. Younger nurses not attracted to remote isolated localities, due to costs, accommodation and access issues. Social reasons - limited leisure and family activities available.
Let’s just wait for the investigation into what really went wrong. But in the meantime can we please, please drop the racism word? It really is doing more harm than good, deceiving rather than enlightening. Just ask Eddie McGuire:
Just days after the harmony walk, several men faced the courts charged with the very assaults McGuire cited. Let me be clear that none have been proved guilty of anything, and all may be innocent. But these are the men charged with the murder of Aguiar: Pacific Islanders Sioeli Seau, Fostar Akoteu and Jacob Palutele. And here are those charged over the bashing of Adams: Konstantinos Kontoklotsis, Mark Bogtstra and Nathan Karazisis.
Hmm. Just how can McGuire use these crimes - both involving attacks on “whites” - as evidence of the Aussie racism which must be stamped out to “change the violence on our streets”?
Or ask David Stratton, after his diagnosis of the decision by distributors to trim the sprawling Chinese epic Red Cliff to improve its chances of getting a foreign audience:
DAVID Stratton: In Asia, the film was released in two parts, six months apart, with a total running time of four hours. The decision to release only an international cut-down version, combining the two original films and almost halving the running time, is a terrible one. It’s like saying they’re only going to show, let’s say, a three-hour version of Lord ofthe Rings.
Margaret Pomeranz: A truncated version. Yeah.
Stratton: I mean, it’s really bad and there’s a touch of racism about it, too. Why do this to a Chinese film?
Or Professor Fiona Stanley, who attacks Australians as racist for spending so much more on Aboriginal health with disappointing results:
A LEADING child health expert says racism in health services was contributing to a lack of treatment of Aboriginal children suffering ear infections…
“When mothers are not welcome in health services, they’re reluctant to take their kids. That happens,” Prof. Stanley said…
The Perth-based former Australian of the Year said racism was part of the problem and governments needed to liaise more with indigenous communities about solutions…
“They’ve spent megabucks on Aboriginal people. I don’t think half the money’s gone to where it’s going to make a difference. I’m really, really angry about it, actually."…
“Almost 100 per cent of Aboriginal kids have ear infections by the age of about 12 weeks. But they don’t have any symptoms. The mothers don’t take the kids to a doctor because they’re not sick and then suddenly, they’ve got pus coming out of their ears...”
It seems the word racism no longer means what people thought it meant. It seems now to mean one of several unhelpful things:
1. Shut up. Your questions cut too close to the bone.
2. I’m more moral than you.
3. I demand attention.
4. Stop fighting my racist agenda.
5. How dare you ask people to take some responsibility.
Result: the word “racist” is now used not by the best of us, but the most suspect. Its power is gone. Its harm outweighs its good.
If only she were a snob about taking my money
Talking about Mark Arbib’s “job snobs”:
SHE’S tried 70 jobs but can’t find work that interests her. Simone Francis, 25, of Marrickville, is typical of a generation that jumps from job to job - to the frustration of employers across the country…
“Why bother doing a job you hate? Why does anyone bother doing anything they don’t want to do?’’ she said.
Here’s a clue to the answer she’s seeking:
Ms Francis has ..formed a group called Nomadic Hands to raise awareness of human rights and animal welfare overseas. And, until her hobby leads to full-time work, she remains on the dole.
Has she investigated the human right of workers not to be exploited by bludgers?
Reader Jay Santos admires this 26-year-old’s skills in spinning a CV that includes dabbling in - and promptly quitting so many jobs. From her Nomadic Hands website:
Simone has had experience in over seventy companies and organisations within various industries world-wide and has completed more than twenty varying courses.
Plane-load of bowlers panics
Which claim caused the scare?
A MAN caused a major mid-air scare when he claimed to have a bomb planted in his juice can and if he was a cricketer he would have been better than Sachin Tandulkar.
I think we need to know more about this Tandulkar (sic).
A price too high even for politicians to pay
How deceitful is Labor is claiming we can slash our emissions easily by going green? How quiet is the party on the true costs? Judge from this Senate estimates questioning of the secretary of the Department of Parliamentary Services on the electricity used by politicians:
Senator BERNARDI— ...The new electricity contract which you have just signed, is that using green electricity?
Mr Thompson—It is 10 per cent green electricity.
Senator BERNARDI—Why only 10 per cent?
Mr Thompson—In an ideal world we would like it to be 100 per cent, but there are some stark cost implications there…
Senator BERNARDI—There was a promise by the government to power Parliament House and all MPs’ electorate premises with renewable and clean energy. Clearly that is not taking place…
Mr Thompson—All we are doing is seeking a good price for electricity for this building. I think there has been a brief discussion with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet about green energy but, as we explained to them, there is a significant budget cost...
That’s a cost this Government will increasingly foist on private businesses, who must inevitably wonder how they are to pay it without sacking people or going out of business.
What sort of costs are we talking about? Again judge from this - the estimate of how much more Parliament House alone will have to pay for its power under Kevin Rudd’s emissions trading scheme:
Senator BERNARDI—By way of clarification, Mr Kenny, specifically I am interested in what you are expecting as an increase in electricity costs as a result of the ETS or if any increase has been built in there…
2 Treasury modelling reported via the Department of Climate Change fact sheet (December 2008) predicted a cost of $23 per tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) for energy producers.
3 Parliament House is responsible for the production of approximately 20,000 tonnes of CO2 through the consumption of electricity. At $23/t, this would add around $460,000 to our electricity costs when based on 2007–08 consumption.
Think about that cost - neary $500,000 more for just Parliament House’s electricity bill. Taxpayers will have to pay that, and similar costs for countless other government facilities. But who will pay the extra for all the big private businesses that face such big cost increases, too? How many workers will then lose their jobs, thanks to a tax on power that will actually do nothing to stop a warming that seems to have stopped by itself, anyway?
Here’s what Kiwis must now pay for a scheme that will have zero effect on the world’s climate:
Thirty dollars a week for every man, woman and child looks likely to be the price Kiwis will have to pay to do their bit to fight global warming.
In fact, even the Government admits New Zealanders would actually be better off doing nothing at all about a presumed warming they couldn’t stop anyway:
According to the report if we do nothing about climate change, the average income per person will be $49,000 by 2020. Cutting emissions by 40% cuts that income back to $46,000.
No wonder the Indian Government refuses to pay, too, saying the science is dodgy, anyway. In fact, members of the American Physical Society are now petitioning their organisation to reconsider its support for claims that man is heating the world to hell.
The world will not notice even if we die
Tell me again, Prime Minister, that our sacrifices in Australia will make a difference to the world’s temperatures:
IT’S hard to comprehend, Martin Ferguson said last week. The federal Minister for Resources and Energy was referring to the fact that, in the next decade, China will bring on line about 1000 average-sized coal-fired power stations, equivalent to 34 times Australia’s present coal-burning generation capacity.
Which helps to explan why even if Australia switches off every light, heater, factory and ignition switch that the world’s emissions will keep soaring as other economyc scream ahead:
Ferguson’s government and others in the developed world...have been repeatedly warned by the International Energy Agency that, even if the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries collectively reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2030, they cannot put the world on track to achieve stablisation of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere at 450 parts per million… Non-OECD countries are heading towards a collective volume of emissions of more than 25 billion tonnes a year by 2030, compared by then with less than 15 billion tonnes for the OECD nations. In the vanguard, of course, is China...
In this piece, Keith Orchison says China is still waving the green flag, but note where most of its green power actually comes from:
By 2020 China aims to have installed 300,000MW of hydro power (equal to 80 Snowy Mountains schemes), 30,000MW of plants fuelled by agricultural waste, 1800MW of solar power and more than 50,000MW of wind farms (about four times what will be needed here to meet the Rudd renewable energy target).
Which green here thinks hydro power - and the new dams to produce it - are what we need? In fact, Greens leader Bob Brown vehemently objected to China’s biggest hydro scheme, the vast Three Gorges project. You really are being fed the most deceitful of dreams.
Labor runs out of your cash
You’ve had the free cash, and now must pay, warns Michael Stutchbury:
HIGHER interest rates and rising unemployment. “Increased economic pain” and “unpopular budget cuts”. “Additional financial pressure on many families” and even “sacrifice”. This is Kevin Rudd’s grim new economic lexicon as he calls on Australia to “tighten our belts”.
The stunning rhetorical retreat to austerity has been forced by the reality that Labor has run out of rope - and money - in trying to protect working families from the global recession.
Chinese quids for Labor’s quo
Glenn Milne wonders what China and its business representatives want from Labor in return for all that cash:
Take businessman Ian Tang. Tang gives travel, hospitality, gifts and donations to the Labor Party. Those involved: Rudd, Swan, Agriculture Minister Tony Burke and Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Stephen Smith. Tang is the chief executive of AustChina Investment and Development and Beijing AustChina Technology.
He is so closely tied to the Chinese government that he has claimed his connections would allow him use of a Chinese military helicopter for tourist flights around Beijing. He also boasts of having placed children of Chinese “officials” in Australian colleges.
Through AustChina Tang has been a large donor to Labor. In 2007, an election year, he donated $150,000. Tang has sponsored Rudd on four trips to China, Swan on two trips, Burke on five and there’s been one each for Smith and Ripoll.
“In terms of detail,” Rudd once said of Tang. “I’m not really across what he does.” Tang is a wholly owned subsidiary of Macau gaming figure Stanley Ho. Ho and his associated entities donated $900,000 to the Labor Party in the run-up to the previous election. A US Senate committee hearing named Ho as having “associates” who are “involved in organised crime”. And the US Library of Congress has cited Ho as having links to several illegal activities and the triad group Kong Lok.
Of snobs and hypocrites
Suddenly Labor thinks “job snobs” do exist and are bad, after all:
(Finance Minister Lindsay) Tanner said people could not be too choosy when it came to finding work in times of high unemployment. He was commenting after his federal front bench colleague Employment Participation Minister Mark Arbib warned job seekers not to be job snobs.
Wow. Tough stuff, albeit true. So let’s check if anyone, anyone at all, is outraged by the “job snobs” remark - or, as Arbib, actually put it, the call on people seeking work not to be fussy. Google “job snobs” or “mark arbib” and “fussy” and we find - nope- just this - the sound of silence.
Now this is very odd. Eight years ago, then Employment Minister Tony Abbott took exactly the same line on “job snobs” and - him being Liberal - the outrage could not be contained:
Kim Beazley, Labor Opposition Leader:
Nothing shows up the Howard Government’s callous disregard for the rights of ordinary people so much as the industrial relations climate in this country… Now it’s Tony Abbott who calls the unemployed ‘job snobs’ and attacks St Vincent de Paul - one of the agencies trying to cope with the huge rise in poverty - as ‘ignorant’. Well, we know who is ignorant on this subject - the man they call ‘The Mad Monk’.
Simon Crean, Labor’s shadow Treasurer:
While poverty, homelessness and social dislocation increase, their victims are labelled bludgers and job snobs. More and more people are asking: ‘If we can’t look after the less fortunate in the good times, when can we?’ Labor’s view is that governments do have a responsibility
Mark Latham, Labor’s shadow Minister for Economic Ownership, Housing and Urban Development:
Tony Abbott salivates at the mere mention of Work For The Dole. Yet he supports a Royal Family that wouldn’t work in an iron lung. When the Queen Mother passed away earlier this year, some of the details of her lifestyle emerged. She lived for more than a century without ever cooking a meal, or making a cup of tea, or drawing a curtain, or cleaning up after herself. This is the sort of lifestyle Abbott supports, while having the hide to call unemployed people in this country ‘job snobs’. This is the politics of a split personality. The Royal side of his brain is not connected to the rhetorical side. The Queen Mother never experienced a thing called housework. And Abbott is yet to experience a thing called consistency.
Cheryl Kernot, Labor’s shadow Employment Minister:
It’s about lack of compassion, I think… Yes, the community expects those who can work to do so, but the community also expects governments to give proper assistance, proper training and not to continually vilify and harass and financially intimidate those who do have a reasonable case to be made out.
ABC 7.30 Report:
But his critics argue the jobs simply aren’t available and the unemployed are being unfairly labelled.
Ian Carter, ACOSS Deputy President:
I think it’s a frightening development and I think probably it indicates some of the changes that we are seeing going on in the Federal Government level. We’re getting back to some of the unfortunate paradigms of 20 years ago, when we talked about in unemployment “Run harder, you bastards, you’re not trying hard enough”. Let’s blame the victim.
Jeremy Moss, pro-Labor Evatt Foundation:
Take, again, the well known comments of Tony Abbott on the unemployed being ‘lazy’ or ‘job snobs’. Although this is not yet an official part of government policy, ministers other than Abbott have consistently used language suggestive of ‘blaming the victims’ for not having succeeded in finding work… It essentially blames the victim for there not being sufficient jobs. As such, it is both unhelpful and insulting to the unemployed.
Professor Bob Gregory, ANU:
I mean, if I could identify every “job snob” in Australia today and change him or her instantly, the unemployment rate wouldn’t change very much… The major problem we have in Australia is not that people aren’t accepting jobs that are out there.
Liz Kelly, Northern Employment Network:
I believe that he probably has very little idea of the real world issues that these clients are faced with.
These people and that political party were incensed by talk of “job snobs” - at least from a Liberal. Where are these people now that Labor has taken up the call? Or was it all an utterly fake outrage over a perfectly real problem? Is this just further proof that the usual suspects in the media and the Labor-echoing welfare lobby will cut Labor the slack they inevitably refuse to allow the Liberals?
In fact, this time even the Sydney Morning Herald’s reporters, far from attacking Arbib, back him and his message with pious homilies straight from some Protestant text on hard work, of the kind you mind find embroidered onto a cloth and hung in some spotless parlor:
His message today might be unpalatable but that does not mean he is wrong. This is a time for a strong work ethic and cheerfulness in the face of adversity.
Dickens couldn’t have said it better.