Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the administration has 'no illusions' about the Afghanistan war, while the administration lowers the bar for success there.
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani says Obama is 'repeating the mistake of history' by bringing Sept. 11 conspirators to the U.S. for trial.
Obama to Enter Abortion Battle, Adviser Says
White House adviser suggests Obama may strike abortion restriction amendment from health reform bill
'Time Running Out' for Iran
Obama says Iran must sign on to a deal to ship its enriched uranium out of the country for further processing
Key Evidence in '98 Yale Killing Tainted
DNA evidence in the unsolved 1998 murder of Suzanne Jovin found to be contaminated by an ex-lab worker
Forgotten Australians hear sorry for what Rudd continues to do
TODAY, Kevin Rudd will make a national apology to the thousands of "forgotten" Australians.
Politician reveals years of abuse
SENATOR tells how he was sexually abused as PM prepares to say sorry to "forgotten" Aussies.
Sackings backlash for Rees
LABOR insiders predict that Nathan Rees will face a challenge to his leadership after sacking two controversial ministers. - incompetent Premier to be challenged by corrupt - ed.
Horrific end to young mates' road trip
FOUR friends died when their car slammed into a semi-trailer, in a crash that police have described as "carnage beyond belief".
Nanny tells of murdered Chloe's last hours
CHLOE Waterlow's nanny chatted with her just one hour before the young mother was killed.
=== Comments ===
Book Says Media Wanted to Destroy Sarah Palin
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 13, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Sarah Palin took a beating from the mainstream media. From the second she arrived on the national scene, vicious lies were spread about her. And of course, the Anointed One's fans in the press, they never bothered to correct any of it. And a new book chronicles exactly how the Democrats, with the help of the Obama-mania media, were able to spread all of that misinformation about the former governor of Alaska. It's called "The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star." And the author of that book, Matthew Continetti, now joins us.
Good to see you.
MATTHEW CONTINETTI, AUTHOR, "THE PERSECUTION OF SARAH PALIN": Glad to be here.
HANNITY: She is going to be on next week. In her first cable interview. By the way we're really excited to have her. I actually spent a lot of time around her. It is remarkable to me how unfairly she has been treated. And you decided to write a book about it.
CONTINETTI: I did. You know, when Sarah Palin appeared on the national scene, Sean, no one knew anything about her. All they knew was that she was a pro-life, Republican woman. And so the media, they just started filling in the blanks, getting on the phone with people in Alaska, her enemies, primarily, and jotting down every nasty thing they could about — about Sarah Palin, none of which was true.
HANNITY: You go into very specific things. For example, her alleged support of Pat Buchanan wasn't true.
CONTINETTI: Not true at all. You know, this appeared, actually, on the front pages of MSNBC. Also the idea that she was a member of the Secessionist Party in Alaska. It was on the front page of the "New York Times." Not true either.
HANNITY: Did they ever correct it?
CONTINETTI: They did correct it, buried. Buried in the paper.
HANNITY: That's on page A-97.
CONTINETTI: Not page one correction, no.
HANNITY: And even on her experience, you point out, she has more experience than Barack Obama.
CONTINETTI: It's funny. Yes, she's been in elective politics prior to her appearance on the national stage longer than Barack Obama. She got no credit for it. In fact, the refrain we heard over and over again, you do not want this lady a heartbeat away from the presidency. Well, our president had less experience than she did.
HANNITY: You know, we talk a lot about the double standard. I don't think any president — Chris Matthews has tingles up and down his leg every time the Anointed One spoke. I mean, I never saw a president get more fawning coverage. And in many ways I was attacked at the time, because I was scrutinizing the president. Why was there so little criticism of him?
CONTINETTI: I think the mainstream media and the Democratic Party, the liberal base of the Democratic Party, thought 2008 as their year. They had, in their view, suffered through eight years of George W. Bush. Bush was unpopular. The wars were going on. The economy was sliding downhill.
And then Sarah Palin comes along. And it remains true that the only time during that entire campaign that John McCain was ahead in the polls was between his announcement of Sarah Palin as his running mate and then, of course, the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, which no one could stop.
HANNITY: The worst part of this, though, became the attacks on her family. And you chronicle a lot of this, media attacks on her family. She had a wreck of a home life. On Trig, her son, not being her baby.
CONTINETTI: The rumors started in the left-wing blogosphere and then being propagated on the Atlantic Monthly, Bill Maher saying on his show, "I don't believe that that's her baby."
This is an amazing double standard. You know, Barack Obama said, "My family is off-limits." And the media took their marching orders. But when Sarah Palin came around, every member of her family, from her oldest son to her young son, the daughters in between, they were all targets, including her 14-year-old daughter Willow, who was a target for David Letterman after Sarah Palin and John McCain lost the election.
HANNITY: One of the things that you discuss is that the campaign knew, for example, that her daughter was pregnant. This was all known.
CONTINETTI: The vetters came to her said, "Listen, if there's anything you don't want to put on the written questionnaire, bring it up in the phone interview."
And the first thing, they tell me, that she brought up in that phone interview was, "Listen, my daughter is pregnant." They knew from the get- go.
Now, the campaign itself, they were blindsided. But the veterans of John McCain and his top advisers, they knew from the get-go that the daughter was pregnant.
HANNITY: Yes, and then the media went after.
Why do you think it continues to this day? In other words, look at how this whole David Letterman thing happened. Imagine me saying this about any liberal woman. What if I said it about Hillary Clinton? What if I said about Michelle Obama?
CONTINETTI: You'd be in a lot of trouble.
HANNITY: How much? Would I have a career?
CONTINETTI: Well, there'd be boycotts against you, that's for sure. People would try to drive you off the air.
The reason why this continues to this day is very simple. The left is afraid of Sarah Palin. One Facebook post changed the whole health care debate.
HANNITY: Well, why — now, I was out on the road. And the reaction to her, and I've been on a lot of campaigns and conventions, I've seen a lot of politicians speak.
The reaction to her was stronger than anybody else that I've ever seen out there on the campaign trail. Is that the reason, is that they fear her? Do they think that she is a threat? Do they think that she could be elected president? I mean, what do you think is it?
CONTINETTI: Look at it, the situation when she appeared on the national stage. The GOP was demoralized. They had a presidential nominee, John McCain, who conservatives really weren't that enthusiastic about.
Here Sarah Palin comes along. No one knows anything about her, except she's young, she's pretty, she's fresh, and she's conservative. And she, I think, is responsible for narrowing that gap when push came to shove. At the end of the day, she was responsible because she brought out conservatives to the polls.
You talk about the tea party people. They will say, "I voted for John McCain." Some of them will tell you because Sarah Palin was on the ticket.
HANNITY: As you research this book and you study governor Palin and her background, what do you think she is thinking about her future? Do you think she is considering the presidency? I am pretty sure that when I do interview her, I'm not expecting her to say, "I am announcing right here on the 'Hannity' set I'm going to run" — what do you think her plans would be?
CONTINETTI: If I had to be a betting man, I do think she will run for president. One thing she understands is that a politician needs to see his or her moment. She saw what happened to Barack Obama. People were saying in 2006, don't run. You are not ready, Barack. He decided, no, this is my moment. Now he is at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue.
HANNITY: Do you think people that underestimate her do so to their own peril?
CONTINETTI: You talk to Alaskans as I did. Even her critics in Alaska say, two things. One, people think she is not smart. She is very smart. Two, she was always underestimated. And then it comes to bite Democrats.
HANNITY: Fascinating. Thanks for being with us. Good luck with the book.
CONTINETTI: Thanks for having me.
HANNITY: Just a reminder to the audience, Governor Palin will be here for her very first cable exclusive interview coming up next week, next Wednesday. It is about her brand new book.
Oliphant agrees with Marr: Leftists rule in newspapers
Adelaide-born cartoonist Pat Oliphant has views which are cartoonish, too:
A conservative cartoonist is an oxymoron. A cartoonist has to be against the status quo.Hmm. So how “against the status quo” is Oliphant? His new president, Barack Obama, is a leader “I have really liked”. The National Cartoonists Society is so comfortable with his work that it’s honored him seven times. He is so mainstream in America’s Left-leaning newspaper culture that he’s published in some 400 newspapers. His views are so welcome to the Australian Cartoonists Association that he’s here as a guest at the 25th anniversary of their Stanley Awards. There is hardly a view of the mainstream Left which dominates his profession that he has challenged.
Status quo? What precisely in the cultural status quo does Oliphant challenge? Global warming? The absurd Obama-mania? Multiculturalism?
His arrogance in assuming that the Left challenges the status quo in an age when conservatives are demonised as “deniers” is spectacular. His hubris in assuming only Leftists can be cartoonists is breathtaking and offensive to the most talented.
Put him in the gallery of self-admiration, right next to David Marr:
The natural culture of journalism is kind of vaguely soft-Left inquiry...Really, David? Name the soft-Lefty that’s shown the slightest effort to inquire into the exaggerations, deceits and statistical trickery behind the great global warming scare. Name the one who’s dared to question the status quo in this “debate”. Name the one who, rather than inquire, just hides his head in the papers?
But back to Oliphant. Still wonder whether you can so lightly dismissed the views of a man so honored by his profession - so much a fixture in the status quo of cartooning? Perhaps you may judge him best by this obscenity, so pleasing to friends of totalitarianism:
Doom now inevitable… but, wait. What’s this fine print?
So this must mean it’s all over, right? No need to even try to save ourselves now:
Any last chance of the Copenhagen climate change conference producing a binding target for the world to cut greenhouse gases has evaporated...No, that was our last chance gone, if we were to believe Prime Minister Gordon Brown last month:
Gordon Brown said negotiators had 50 days to save the world from global warming and break the “impasse"… Mr Brown said: “If we do not reach a deal at this time, let us be in no doubt: once the damage from unchecked emissions growth is done, no retrospective global agreement, in some future period, can undo that choice...”No hope left of saving ourselves, if European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas spoke the truth:
… the Copenhagen agreement is almost certainly the world’s last chance to put global emissions onto a trajectory that can keep us out of the danger zone.If these people weren’t lying, the warming apocalypse is now unstoppable.
But ... what’s this? From Kevin Rudd’s own Department of Climate Change comes this first, tiny admission that ... well, well, well ... that the planet hasn’t been warming for most of this past decade, after all:
While there remains some ongoing questioning of whether the observed warming over the 20th century has continued over the past decade, it is inappropriate to use short term data sets to determine long term trends.How interesting that Rudd now admits what many warning journalists refuse to even discuss.
Associate Professor Chris de Freitas identifies nine myths pushed by warming alarmists.
It’s an exquisite dilemma. The more the public demands action on climate change, the more they’ll soon doubt they actually want it:
Ask Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at Britain’s Met Office, as she tries to explain why less than half the public now doubts man is warming the world:
“Being confronted with the possibility of higher energy bills, wind farms down the road and new nuclear power stations encourages people to question everything about climate change,” she said. “There is a resistance to change and some people see the problem being used as an excuse to charge them more taxes.”So when Rudd says the public wants his colossal tax on emissions, he’s right - but very soon wrong.
Terry McCrann suggests an amendment that Kevin Rudd would be mad, perhaps literally, to refuse:
MALCOLM Turnbull should propose one simple amendment to the government’s Emissions Trading Scheme as the sole price of opposition support. It is an amendment that would test the prime minister’s good faith, and indeed his sanity.
Turnbull should propose that unless the Copenhagen climate summit next month delivers mandatory commitments from the US, China, India and Europe to cut carbon dioxide emissions, our ETS legislation self-destructs, it simply ceases to be. ...
The government’s argument for insisting the ETS legislation must be passed before Copenhagen is that we should go there with a done deal. Purportedly, that would boost our credibility and increase the chances of a substantive deal at the conference.
Fine, give the government what it wants: a legislated ETS, but also present a challenge to the conference: Australia has committed, Australia has put its money where its collective mouth is, what about the rest of you? Unless you commit as well, we uncommit…
How could the government refuse such an amendment? On what possible rational basis?… A rebuff would also raise a legitimate question about the prime minister’s sanity. What possible justification could there be for Australia to embark on mandatory huge cuts knowing that it couldn’t make any difference to global CO2 outcomes because the main emitters refused to follow?
Watson harpoons the humans instead
Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson, the eco-extremist and ”founding director” of the Greenpeace Foundation, says he’s on a mission to save the whales. But this self-styled “Pirate of Compassion” is happy to harpoon the humans instead who have helped him to do it:
I am upon the threshold of departure for Operation Waltzing Matilda. For the next four months I will be in command of a Sea Shepherd fleet that will tackle the illegal operations of the Japanese whaling fleet. It is a difficult, dangerous mission and I cannot afford the distractions of petty human dramas.I’m not sure what’s caused this meltdown. Some say it’s to do with the new Australian cyber-love of his life, or with arguments over donations, or religious disputes over veganism. But, in a site rich with material for psychologists and analysts of green totalitarianism, Watson leaves this farewell poem:
I am placing this MySpace page in a state of limbo… For those people who have interfered in our personal lives, all I can say is that they should all be ashamed of themselves. To call themselves “supporters” is hypocritical and absurd. They are not supporters and never have been. They are simply a small minority of people with serious sociopathic issues. Cyber bullies I hear is the word for what they are. They strike like craven assassins from behind the cloak of anonymity…
I have often asked myself the question; why? What would motivate such bile and horrific histrionics and the only answer that I can arrive at is that these people are simply disgruntled, bitter, failures and losers....
Personally the hateful ramblings of rabid hominids lost in the wasteland of their own anxieties has no effect upon me… When these blithering banshees of banality, hatred and contempt turn their ugly rhetoric upon those I love, it is then that I reach my level of tolerance.
Over the last two years I had built up a list of close to 10,000 “friends” on MySpace. I’ve come to the realization that a person does not need 10,000 friends. And in a crowd that large lurks the creeping shadows of hateful and jealous people. And I have come to see that even those I thought were trustworthy were not always what they appeared to be.
I have also realized that as a Captain of a ship, that it is unwise to become overly familiar with the crew. Familiarity breeds contempt and I have found that those who sometimes laud me for my achievements turn sour when they realize that I am not a legend but merely a human being.
For this reason I made the decision to delete all 10,000 names…
And for all of the holier than thou competitive purists who tarnish the reputation of veganism, let me say that their hysterical pontificating as Veggie Jesuit proselytizers will win few converts. I have done more to promote vegetarianism and veganism than most of them, and that is a fact…
If you have a birth certificate – you’re guilty of contributing to the destruction of bio-diversity. I am guilty and you are guilty so for those of you perched on the moral pedestal of your own design, you are nothing more than self delusional paranoids with pretentions of moral superiority....
Down there in the Southern Ocean where I soon will be, there is a paradise free of the parasites that pollute the planet with their trivialities and petty hatred.
Into the nooks and crannies of every enterprise doth creep the human stain,This is the man that the Guardian last year nominated as one of the ”50 people who could save the planet”. But I’ve worried for a while about Watson, and if he’s my saviour I’d rather stay doomed.
And cyberspace is not immune to the hominid parasitical emotional drain.
Like craven worms they creep into the lives of others with intent to cause stress and pain,
Losers in real time, scurry onto the internet to wage their cowardly campaign,
For those who have the time to sow hate, have long ago missed the train.
And now all they can do is vent and sling anonymous hate and complain.
Their souls are riddled with malignant cancer which makes them simply quite insane...
The paranoid style in politics
Historian Merv Bendle on Kevin Rudd’s extraordinary speech, warning of an evil global conspiracy against him:
Certainly its breathtaking arrogance and conviction of absolute certitude, its “naming and shaming” attack on political opponents and commentators, and its relentless dot-point repetition and stylistic vapidity, are worrying enough. However, its depiction of a giant global conspiracy of climate change deniers and skeptics reveals something more, a disturbed mental state…
Rude, yes, but bloggers do have evidence
Professor Sinclair Davidson on complaints that blogs are too rude:
Some readers might baulk at my lofty descriptions of blogging vis-à-vis the rudeness, sarcasm and indecency that they may observe in the blogosphere. Indeed Catallaxyfiles where I blog is often singled out as being particularly nasty. Many of those making that claim, however, are social democrats who are simply not used to being challenged by articulate, educated and intelligent individuals. They live in world where disagreement with their ideals can only be due to corruption or stupidity.
To be fair, that isn’t the entire explanation. Blogging may be a conversation but it is not genteel. It is robust; it is frank. Just as markets can be a bazaar so a conversation can be a cacophony. It is well documented that individuals can be more aggressive online than in real life; but, on the flip side, they can also be more considered, more eloquent – and, with the ability to link to other sites on the web, they can back up their arguments with evidence.
So to reject the legitimacy of conversation on the basis of tone is to place form above substance.
Bligh to walk the plank
She won the last election by tricking voters, and now her colleagues to distance themselves from the deceit that gained them such a tarnished victory in which they were so implicit:
SENIOR Labor figures - including members of both the Right and Left factions - are agitating for Premier Anna Bligh to be dumped early in the new year.
The Courier-Mail has learnt powerful factional players are convinced Ms Bligh cannot recover strong support and want an alternative installed before the party’s position becomes terminal.
It is believed senior figures of the Right, also known as the Labor Forum faction, are garnering support for a switch to first-term MP Cameron Dick.
Andrew Landeryou was onto this several days ago.
A Venice without Venetians
The world’s most beautiful city is now just a giant hotel:
The city, however, places the number (of residents) at 60,025 for Venice proper… (It) is a long way down from 108,300 residents in 1971. And it pales in comparison with the 18 million tourists who visit Venice each year.That’s one Venetian for every 300 tourists.
How else have they misled you, Ziggy?
Ziggy Switkowski is a global warming believer, but one who’s just had a surprise over claims that we’re already suffering the effects of man-made global warming:
To reveal a trend in insurance loss claims requires detailed adjustment of historical data to allow for population growth, inflation, increasing affluence and social trends towards living closer to the coast. Analyses of these data, reported in the ANZ Institute of Insurance and Finance Journal, produce surprising conclusions :Ziggy, the reason you’re surprised is that plenty of warmist journalists, scientists and politicians led you to believe that catastrophe was already upon us. Just witness the Rudd Government’s astonishing fear campaign lately about sea level rises.- Although it is accepted that bushfire risk will increase with greenhouse gas emissions, there is no evidence in the time series of insured losses in recent decades of any effect of climate change
- There is no indication that tropical cyclones, the single largest category accounting for 32 per cent of all losses, are becoming more frequent or more dangerous. A similar conclusion applies to the US for hurricanes, even including Katrina in 2005.
- Changes in sea levels have not translated into observable changes in insurance claims associated with coastal and riverine flooding.
If you now find, to your surprise, that they misled you on this, then what else may they have misled you on? Think this through.
Another attempt to mislead. A “political deal” is actually no deal at all:
PRESIDENT Barack Obama has backed plans by the host of next month’s climate change talks in Copenhagen to seek a political deal and leave legally binding decisions for later.This means, for instance, that Australia will spend billions to slash its emissions in return for empty promises from some countries that they may, too, and agreement from countries such as China that they fully support what we’re doing ... and can they now have our cash, too?
“There was an assessment by the leaders that it was unrealistic to expect a full internationally legally binding agreement to be negotiated between now and when Copenhagen starts in 22 days,” a top U.S. negotiator, Michael Froman, told reporters.
“Farce” is hardly strong enough a word.
Reader Gerardb believes ABC viewers have been fooled again, too:
Saturday night’s ABC news here in Sydney showed the usual alarming pictures depicting devastation supposedly caused by climate change such as melting ice, a presumed tsunami, scorched earth plus a landslide.
To me the photo of the landslide and ancillary roadway collapse looked vaguely familiar. The location of the landslide was Bellevue Hill here in Sydney and was caused by a ruptured water main in May 2009.
The landslide had nothing to do with climate change. It was instead caused by an acute lack of maintenance of our vital infrastructure by the NSW State Labor Government. Is it now the policy of the ABC to credit disasters caused by a lack of infrastructure maintenance to climate change?
Save the planet! Don’t wear socks
Sculptor Antony Gormley on the BBC:
Dispense with your socks… This is a time of global warming. Through our feet we can begin to feel it.
They’re all refugees, except the many that aren’t
I thought we shouldn’t rush to judge the people on the boats. But it seems this rule applies to only one side of the debate:
David Marr, SMH, April 18, 2009:
Coming by boat is the worst way. You have to be desperate and you have to be sure to take a fishing boat across that terrible stretch of water. They are the real thing. It is a measure of the difficult politics of this issue that we find other names, indeed another language, to avoid saying the obvious about these people: they are refugees.Press release yesterday from Immigration Minister Chris Evans:
More than two thirds of a group of 50 Sri Lankans who arrived by boat in April have now been returned to Sri Lanka after they were determined not be refugees… (The latest six) join 30 others from the same boat who returned to Sri Lanka voluntarily after their claims for protection were thoroughly assessed and it was found they had not raised any issues which might engage Australia’s obligations under the United Nations refugee convention. “Someone who is seeking better economic opportunities does not meet the criteria for a protection visa,” Senator Evans said.
Sorry about their parents
This seems too much like gesture politics - an apology for something we can’t actually apologise for:
Ms King is one of about 900 forgotten Australians and child migrants descending on Canberra to hear the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and the Opposition Leader, Malcolm Turnbull, unite to say sorry on behalf of the nation to the estimated 500,000 people who lived in out-of-home care, many of whom suffered abuse and neglect.There seems to be a confusion here about what type of “sorry” is involved. Yes, I’m sorry that so many children were often mistreated or abandoned by their own parents that they had to be rescued and sent to live with someone else. How dreadful. But can I really be sorry that they were indeed rescued, since we still rescue such children every day in Australia, and send them to live with strangers? Indeed, I am more likely to be very sorry that we rescue too few of them today, on our own watch, having fallen for the false hope that parents who beat and starve their own children may, with a few visits from some desperately young and overworked social worker, transform into caring parents.
It will certainly be true that the treatment some children got in care was bad, and probably in all cases worse than we would like. But was it worse in most cases that what they’d been taken from? Are we in fact offering apologies that in many cases should primarily come from the children’s parents?
Still, the apology will be offered less as an admission of any guilt than as a nice thing to make others feel better - and to make the apologisers feel even better still, given they can say sorry for others without assuming the slightest guilt themselves. Rather the reverse, in fact. And it’s this denunciation-through-false-apology that gives such gestures their taint of insincerity and unearned virtue.
Now, what next? A national sorry for all victims of crime?
Caroline Overington contrasts this eagerness to apologise for the alleged sins of the past with a reluctance to do anything about the sins of our present:
The apology will use the word “sorry”, but it comes at a time when record numbers of Australian children are being raised by the state, with no national standards for their care....
The bulk of today’s state wards are being raised in foster homes. The government has no real way of knowing how they are coping, since there has never been a formal, national investigation into the home-based system that replaced the institutions of yore.
State-based inquiries into their care have shown that many foster children spend their adolescence sedated, to control their behaviours. Some are entirely isolated from other children. It’s not uncommon for a child to spend time in up to five foster homes, sharing space with up to 50 other children, many of whom have been abused or are disabled…
At June 30 last year, there were 34,279 children on a care and protection order - an increase of 115 per cent in a decade.
Al Gore sure is feeling the heat now - from protesters against his alarmism:
A large group of protesters gathered just steps away from where former Vice President Al Gore was speaking.
“If you follow the money, it tells you all you need to know about Al Gore he is making millions off all this energy stuff he is selling,” said Meg Shannon, with the South Florida Tea Party.
Rudd lies? Inconceivable!
How bizarre to see so many experienced journalists confront Kevin Rudd’s lies - and yet fail to call them by their name. From yesterday’s Insiders, here’s the panel agreeing that Kevin Rudd is, um, well, just wrong to claim he did not offer a special deal to the Tamils on the Oceanic Viking.
Later there was this exchange:
BARRIE CASSIDY: ... Paul, good morning. Just open where the panel opened on the special deal. How did you see it?And again, three minutes into this discussion, check the inability of the panel to see that what Cassidy has presented them with is proof of another lie - Rudd’s blaming of Rotary for his his own idea of barbecues for Indian vegetarians.
PAUL KELLY, POLITICIAL COMMENTATOR: Well I think Kevin Rudd is unwise Barrie to say there is no special deal. I mean this is a one-off. The Government has been telling us for weeks it’s a one-off. The evidence suggests there are special arrangements....
The Australian won’t quite take that step, either:
The Prime Minister insists those leaving the boat received no special treatment. But it was Indonesian Foreign Ministry official Sujatmiko who revealed that the 22 who have left the boat received written guarantees from the Rudd government that they would be resettled in Australia within 12 weeks if their claims for refugee status were proven. As The Australian reported last week, the written offer, made by Australian government negotiators to the Sri Lankans on Sunday and Monday, included “lessons in the Australian way of life”, help in tracking down family members and “assistance in . . . accommodation, medical help and advice, income benefits, English lessons and help with seeking employment”. It also promised the boatpeople daily contact with Australian officials during their remaining time in Indonesia, provided they left the Oceanic Viking. Boat-people being held in Indonesia and other refugees waiting years for resettlement by the UNHCR can only dream of such guarantees.
This was Kevin Rudd’s big plan and promise before the weekend APEC summit:
PRIME MINISTER Kevin Rudd will press Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for a better set of protocols surrounding people smuggling to avoid a repeat of the Oceanic Viking debacle when the pair meet this weekend.And this is the cold shoulder he actually got:
Kevin Rudd made little progress with the Indonesians over the handling of asylum seekers during the APEC summit in Singapore and was unable to secure a formal meeting with the President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.I suspect the Indonesian president has had rather enough of our Mr Rudd for a while.
Playing down suggestions there had been a snub, Mr Rudd said he and Mr Yudhoyono may not have had a bilateral meeting but were ‘’continually running into each other’’ and having brief chats, including a discussion about the Oceanic Viking.
How Labour drowned Britain in immigrants
What an astonishing turn-around there has been in the debate about immigration in Britain, as even the Left contemplates (too late!) what it’s now wrought. Here is Rod Liddle, a former speechwriter for Labour, in the Sunday Times:
There is something a little pitiful watching Gordon Brown tell the country how worried he is about immigration, and how it must not be a taboo issue… The only reason Brown is addressing the issue now is that we are six months away from an election and he fears that the troglodyte BNP thickoes will chew away great big gobfuls of angry working-class voters…
It is little more than lip service from the prime minister and, worse, unaccompanied by even the vaguest admission that his government has let its people down.
We know from the Labour backbencher Chris Mullin’s diaries that ministers would not address the issue of immigration because they were terrified of being called racist: so they did nothing. More recently, the former home office adviser Andrew Neather suggested that the Labour government threw open the doors to vast numbers of immigrants precisely in order to create a truly multicultural Britain, whether or not the British public wanted such a thing (every opinion poll suggests that they did not)…
In 2006 nearly 600,000 immigrants entered Britain, more than 10 times the number who arrived in the last year of John Major’s government; the scale of difference has been beyond reasonable comparison. We should be clear: immigration is primarily Labour’s mess, and it was a deliberate policy...
Not drowning, but wavering
Tuvalu, the poster islands of the warming alarmists, may have more time than Labor feared:
Under its Pacific climate change plan, released today, Labor said a regional coalition should develop a strategy to relocate thousands of islanders when their island homes become uninhabitable. Low-lying Pacific island states such as Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, and Tuvalu - which sit just a few metres above sea level - are at risk of being swamped as global warming forces sea levels to rise.
The latest report of Australia’s National Tidal Centre notes that the sea level at Tuvalu actually fell this year - and the net average rise in the 16 years since the gauge was installed is still just 5.3 mm a year. And even then it adds “the sea level trends are not yet indicative of long-term changes in mean sea level”.
The graphic in the report on deviations from the mean indicates why that caution is needed: