Sunday, July 25, 2010

Headlines Sunday 25th July 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
The election about nothing
by Mark Kenny - typical left journo trying to tether Mr Abbott to the worthless Gillard. Mr Abbott has policies, Gillard only has pork barrels. - ed.
=== Bible Quote ===
“Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice.”- Psalm 112:5
=== Headlines ===
Panic Sparks Deadly Stampede at German Love Parade
German police say 15 people are dead and dozens more injured after mass chaos and a stampede inside a crowded tunnel at the famed techno music festival in Duisburg, near Duesseldorf.

GOP, Dems Fire Up at Rival Vegas Events
What happens in Vegas shouldn't stay in Vegas — at least that's the message from writers, lawmakers and activists in Sin City this weekend for the conservative RightOnline and the liberal Netroots Nation

Justice Dept. Racial Politics Under Fire
Republican lawmakers are calling for an investigation into allegations that the Justice Department wrongly abandoned a case against the New Black Panther Party

North Korea Vows Retaliation Against U.S.
North Korea vows to respond with 'powerful nuclear deterrence' to joint U.S. and South Korean military exercises it sees as provocation

Breaking News
Rudd needs to get over it - Crean
KEVIN Rudd needs to get over being dumped by his party, one-time Labor leader Simon Crean says.

Share market set to start week higher
THE share market is expected to open in the black on Monday on the back of a positive lead from Wall Street.

Liberals dump Chifley candidate
THE Liberal Party has dumped its candidate for the western Sydney seat of Chifley after he posted anti-Islamic entries on Facebook.

Man injured as homemade bomb explodes
A PERTH man has suffered injuries to his face and hands after his homemade bomb exploded at his house.

White whale blows, protection extended
THE Queensland state government has issued a stern warning to boaties: steer clear of Migaloo.

UK royal family opens Flickr account
THE British royal family has opened an account on photo-sharing website Flickr, Buckingham Palace has announced, in their latest attempt to move with the times.

Liberal candidate 'to be dumped'
A LIBERAL candidate in western Sydney who has posted anti-Islamic entries on Facebook and written to church leaders asking for their support against his Muslim Labor opponent, is to be disendorsed by the party.

Zsa Zsa Gabor remains in critical condition
ZSA ZSA Gabor's husband says the actress remains in critical condition after receiving a blood transfusion.

Man shot dead in Melbourne
A 23-year-old man has been shot dead in Melbourne's north.

BP to drill for oil off Libya 'in weeks'
BP will start drilling off the Libyan coast in a few weeks, despite lingering questions over the deal which led to the exploration and the oil firm's role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill

NSW/ACT
Liberals sack anti-muslim candidate
THE Liberal Party has dumped its candidate for the western Sydney seat of Chifley after he posted anti-Islamic entries on Facebook.

Charges linked to backpacker bashing
A FIFTH man has been charged in connection with the savage bashing of Irishman David Keohane.

Virtual world in its infancy
IF you think the web is the domain of geeky teenage boys and dot com squillionaires, think again.

Scared girl's wait for test result
A GIRL pricked with a used syringe in a McDonald's playground faces an agonising wait to discover if she has a deadly disease.

Queensland
'Toxic bore' tests all clear
BENZENE and toluene levels in the latest water samples from bores near Cougar Energy's coal gasification plant have come back within guidelines.

Stay away from white whale
THE Queensland Government has issued a stern warning to boaties: steer clear of Migaloo.

Bottle strike fends off robber
A BRISBANE bottle shop employee has fended off a female robber by throwing a bottle of alcohol at her chest.

Outrage at Brethren 'invasion'
RESIDENTS are calling it a cult "invasion". The Exclusive Brethren are buying land at Manly West on Brisbane's bayside and in Gympie and moving in.

Pair pay $14m to demolish houses
A COUPLE has spent nearly $14 million on two waterfront houses in Queensland's most expensive street, Hedges Avenue - and knocked them both down.

Aged care neglect costs leg
CONCERNS have again been raised about aged care, after a man was left lying in a Brisbane facility for weeks with a broken leg and bone protruding from his skin.

Contamination rage awaits Bligh
ANGRY farmers will confront Premier Anna Bligh, warning that underground coal gasification experiment threatens Queensland's $4.5 billion beef trade.

Children's sex crimes 'ignored'
A DISTURBING trend of Queensland schoolchildren sexually assaulting each other is being swept under the carpet by authorities, a child development expert claims.

Rogue doctors have no papers
ROGUE doctors have been caught working without proper paperwork as Queensland Health continues to struggle to put the Jayant Patel scandal behind it.

Sex-case priest gets blue card
A PRIEST stood down by his church over allegations that he had sex with a teenage boy has been handed a blue card to work with children by a Queensland tribunal.

Julia's $2000 lure to buy new car
THE Federal Government will give $2000 to anyone who updates their pre-1995 car for a new vehicle, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said today.

Victoria
Burglar terrorises elderly couple
AN elderly man was injured and his wife pushed over during an aggravated burglary in Melbourne's north this morning.

Man critical after scooter smash
A MAN is in a critical condition after his motorised scooter collided with a car on the Mornington Peninsula this morning.

Driver killed in country smash
POLICE are working to identify a male driver killed in a single-vehicle collision near Ballarat in central Victoria this morning.

Driver killed in country smash
POLICE are working to identify a male driver killed in a single-vehicle collision near Ballarat in central Victoria this morning.

Man dies after shooting
HOMICIDE squad detectives are investigating a fatal shooting in Melbourne's north last night.

Wheatley 'felt like a failure'
MUSIC promoter and convicted tax cheat Glenn Wheatley became depressed and felt like a failure during his prison sentence.

Shane tells of pain at dad's death
HAWTHORN champion Shane Crawford has spoken for the first time about the pain of his father's death and how it has shaped him.

Troubled myki hits the road
TWITTER UPDATES: GROSSLY over budget and years overdue, the myki system has gone live on metropolitan trams and buses.

Pithouse nod to associate
WRONG-way Magistrate Richard Pithouse cleared the way for a disgraced barrister colleague to get his gun licence back.

Eureka! AFL digs in Ballarat
THE State Government is believed to have secretly committed to a new AFL-standard stadium in the goldfields city of Ballarat.

Northern Territory
Nothing New

South Australia
Window falls on teen girl
A LARGE pane of glass has fallen on a teenage girl at Westfield Shopping Centre, Marion.

Woman, 76, dies in crash
AN ELDERLY West Beach woman is the 76th person to die on South Australian roads.

Police escape serious injury
TWO police officers were "lucky to escape serious injury" when a car crashed into their patrol vehicle at Glandore.

Shot fired in drive-by shooting
A SHOT was fired at the front door of an Elizabeth East house overnight, in an apparent drive-by shooting - but no one was injured.

Win $10,000 celebrating Sunday
To mark today’s launch of the new look Sunday Mail, readers have the chance to win $10,000 by making a short video that celebrates the best day of the week - Sunday.

Car park bandits strike twice at Noarlunga
NOARLUNGA Centre's car parks have been hit by armed robbers twice in as many days.

Your new look Sunday Mail
FROM front to back, the Sunday Mail has a total new look and something for everyone.

Jumps horse killed, jockey hurt
A HORSE has died after a fall in a jumps race at Morphettville, the accident drawing immediate and angry fire from anti-cruelty campaigners.

Bad bike crash in Hills
A MOTORCYCLIST has suffered head injuries in a crash near Lobethal.Window falls on teen girl

Western Australia
Man charged over Mandurah hit-run
POLICE have charged a 21-year-old from Dudley Park over this week's Mandurah hit and run that left a 20-year-old beauty therapist in hospital.

Home-made bomb injures Ballajura man
A Perth man has suffered injuries to his face and hands after his homemade bomb exploded at his house.

My plan to stop the boats
OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott reveals his Election 2010 pledge to cut immigration and curtail people smuggling.

Mystery blast rocks man's garage
POLICE are searching for a Ballajura man who left his home after an explosive device ripped through his garage.

Hospital hired male sex offender
A CONVICTED child sex offender was employed by Royal Perth Hospital for five years before alarm bells rang.

Ban flowers, cut roadside memorials
MAIN Roads is poised to bring in tough new rules on kerbside memorials for people killed in road accidents, including a time limit on floral tributes.

Home boy 'not guilty'
EDUCATION authorities are locked in a battle with a WA family refusing to send its six-year-old son to school.

Motorcyclists injured in quarry crash
TWO motorcyclists will be airlifted to Royal Perth Hospital after crashing in a sand quarry in Lancelin.

Motorcyclists injured in sand quarry crash
TWO motorcyclists will be airlifted to Royal Perth Hospital after crashing in a sand quarry in Lancelin.

Stop and search laws still needed
STOP and search laws remain on the State Government's agenda despite police figures released yesterday showing a big drop in crime.

WA crime rate lowering
WA'S overall reported crime rate has decreased with latest crime statistics showing a decrease of 12.7 per cent.

Tasmania
No News Today
=== Comments ===
A weaker kind of Kevin Rudd
Piers Akerman
GUESS which former Australian deputy prime minister and current Prime Minister lectured the nation last November, telling us “Australians can’t afford any more inquiries, reports or investigations into climate change”? - I thought it could get as bad as Rudd, and it is. Gillard offers nothing new. She knifed him and retained his policy inertia. The environment is a case in point. According to Gillard, I didn’t exist as a person wishing to debate the issue of climate change. Now she says it is too loate. What she really means is she doesn’t want to discuss it, she wants the money for her pork barrel. If she actually believed, she would embrace nuclear power.
--- --- --- ---
I also have an announcement to make regarding the upcoming election for those in Blaxland, the electorate in Sydney. My campaign launch is at the link. - ed.
I look at recent polls which show a resurgent Labor Party and I shake my head in stunned disbelief.

How can it come to this, I ask myself.

How can it possibly be that this, the most incompetently disastrous government in the history of the Australian federation, could be showing a level of support that would have it returned at the next election?

It is impossible for me to understand this.

James of Melbourne
- I felt the same way when the ALP were running in NSW in ‘07. A short time earlier they looked gone for all money. Afterwards they didn’t improve either. But there is a very difficult well funded campaign that not only supports the ALP, but also casts smoke on the opposition, so that people get confused about things.
I was participating in a debate at The Punch when i was presented with a poll I simply could not answer. It asked me in which ways Gillard was strong. In fact her performance is insipid and weak, but the option mentioning that was not provided. Such straw dogs supporting the ALP will be done endlessly until the election. Does anyone believe the worm audience is not biased? Can anyone recall a time when outrageous smears and outright lies weren’t repeated endlessly about the opposition? So that Gillard could claim that the Pacific Solution was immoral and then she tries to recreate it .. and activists applaud each step. - ed.
Piers
Its fair enough to criticise Gillard for not doing anything substantive on climate change. But, she is in good company. The same criticism can be levelled at the leaders of all the major polluting countries. Take for example, Barack Obama. He can talk the talk. But in the face of hostile opposition in the US Senate and Congress, has he achieved or likely to achieve anything more substantial than Rudd or Gillard?

Phil of Kaleen, ACT.
- It is true that you won’t find a ‘center left’ government which has behaved responsibly on this issue among democracies in the world. Remember, this is not about the environment, if it were, they would embrace Nuclear Power which is safe these days. It is about pork barrel politics. It is about paying creditors. It has nothing to do with responsible government. Look at Spain, the UK under Labor, the US under Obama, Greece, etc etc.
Spain built some ridiculous windmills and they don’t work. Germany had plans to build a carbon capture coal burner, and the population rebelled.
But note carefully, Gillard is lying all on her own. She isn’t lying in time with Obama, she has her own. - ed.
Tim replied
“But in the face of hostile opposition in the US Senate and Congress, has he achieved or likely to achieve anything more substantial than Rudd or Gillard? ”

It is called ‘fade mode’ Phil. Climate change is dead and buried. It was sunk by a set of emails that proved many of the scientists pushing the anthropogenic argument were either making stuff up, cherry picking data or fudging over contrary evidence.

Also, at Copenhagen, when it came time for the world’s pollys to whip their peckers out no one did. Only a fool would scuttle his country’s economy for nothing. Why would a nation pumping out one million tons of carbon stop doing that when the crew next door is pumping a billion tons and doing nothing about it.

Watch the budgets for climate change plummet over the next few years. Sure there will be the odd idiot come out and claim global warming is responsible for something but no one is listening anymore - The ride is over. Obama and most other pollys know this and are just going through the motions.
How can Gillrudd expect to be taken seriously with her absolute failure to provide a “climate change” policy given the dire predictions that she and KRudd used in the 2007 election? All the sloganeering about AGW is now coming home to bite her. And so it should. The ALP was conning people in 2007 just like they are doing now. “Moving Australia forward” is code for lets try and distract the voters from three years of profligacy, failure and missed opportunities. Why would she want anyone going to the election pondering the BER, border (in)security, backflips on so many promises its basically criminal, the lies that just keep mounting up, the lethal home insulation scheme and the attendant cost of inspecting/repairing the damage and so on. And now she is prepared to hand the balance of power in the Senate to the lunatic Greens party in a preference deal. The message is very clear. Jooolya Gillard simply cannot be trusted. She and her team of incompetents do not deserve to be given a second term given the damage and debt they have inflicted on us in their first. Mandrake.

Mandrake of Orange
- Laurie Oakes and the usual crowd will fight for Gillard. They will tether Gillard to Mr Abbott, and claim their policies are the same. Then they will claim they are merely being balanced. The fact is Mr Abbott has given sound clear policy which can take Australia into a prosperous future, while Gillard will write large what the ALP did in NSW .. they had a similar slogan in ‘07. - ed
Piers, Between these two imbeciles “Red Julia” and her old partner in crime,"little Kevvie” and that other fool Penny Wong who is always get her ambitions and abilities completely mixed up!
Plus 400 odd people basically sitting around do nothing in this Dept’ of Climate Change costing the taxpayers untold millions of $$$$$$$$, the amount of incompetence flowing from this bunch is beyond COMICAL!
Piers, I Found this video about “Global Warming Indoctrination in Schools”, the fellow that put this video together did an index search of the New Zealand school journal over the last 20 years!
He found that this indoctrination of the school kids has been going on for ages and most of it is all propaganda and social engineering so that all the community will believe all this garbage from a very early age.
As you are very aware they have brought in this ludicrous ETS scam in New Zealand and everybody is complaining bitterly, how pricing of basic of life items prices have skyrocketed beyond belief, this should be a HUGE warning to all of us Australians.

Rick of Sydney
- Rick, the uncomfortable truth is similar propaganda exists in Australian schools too. - ed
Every time i hear gillard talk to the people i think that i am watching a bad scene from a Bad B grade movie.If anyone was looking for a reason to vote LIBERAL,sit for a few minutes and listen to the rubbish that comes out of gillards mouth.I am sure that she gets these dumb ideas while putting her makeup on.The latest one now is cash for clungkers,I dout anyone in this country driving a car pre 1995 could afford a new car. This woman is just so out of touch with the people.

SLICK of gold coast queensland
- This is how it works. She doesn’t have to say anything worthwhile, she will be reported as having said something worthwhile. Similarly, anything her opponent says will be reported as being merely the same. - ed
===
BIKES NOT LIKED
Tim Blair
D. Dowd Muska writes:
There is something profoundly wrong with a nation where more adults ride bicycles than children.

America might now be such a nation.
No such problem in Australia, where adults treated like children are refusing to ride:
Melbourne’s $5.5 million bike share scheme isn’t attracting many users, and Mike Rubbo reckons he knows why: the helmets.

Fewer than 70 trips are being made a day on Melbourne’s 600-bike system, a tiny number of journeys compared with the take-up rate seen in bigger schemes introduced in 135 cities around the world.
Cyclists in Melbourne are fined $146 for not wearing helmets. Users of the free bike system are expected to carry helmets around in case they feel inclined to pedal.

At 70 trips per day on an outlay of $5.5 million, the scheme will cost $215 per trip over its first year.

(Via Cuckoo)
===
IN A STRANGE LAND
Tim Blair
But there are so many other reasons to ban Boney M:
When the iconic 1970s disco group Boney M rocked Ramallah this week, the local music festival prevented the band from performing one of its biggest hits.

Lead singer Maizie Williams said Palestinian concert organizers told her not to sing “Rivers of Babylon.” The song’s chorus quotes from the Book of Psalms, referring to the exiled Jewish people’s yearning to return to the biblical land of Israel.

Palestinians often question the Jewish historical connection to the Holy Land. Organizers said they asked for the song to be skipped, deeming it “inappropriate.”
Readers are invited to submit re-written lyrics that may be acceptable to a Palestinian audience (“When the wicked carried us away in captivity/Requiring from us a bomb”). Meanwhile, Venus Williams rocks.
===
UNFAIR ADVANTAGE
Tim Blair
MSNBC host Keith Olbermann:
My father was much better at moron-swatting than I am...
Well, of course. He had Keith to practice on.

UPDATE. A little more about kranky Keith.
===
Whoever wore the burqa was probably nice, but I spoke to her husband instead
Andrew Bolt
Elizabeth Lakey is doing a PhD in Islamic studies and tells Age readers how enriched she was to meet two women in burqas down at Forges. Except that “meet” is not quite the right word:
Two families, both mothers garbed in full black burqas with slits for their eyes, each with a child in a pusher, queue at registers directly opposite each other…

One girl tears off down the path through the lingerie section and the other has leapt from her pusher and is turning circles like a whirling dervish in between the two patient queues… She stops, dizzy and out of breath, as her father and mother look on.

But she is caught between the queues, between two women wearing the same burqa with the same gold trim. She is confused. Her head bobs from side to side as the women chortle behind their face coverings.

They are playing a game with her. The one who is not her mother reaches out and calls to the girl. She acquiesces, moving cautiously to this covered mother but still shooting doubtful glances backwards…

Her father looks to me and grins from ear to ear. In heavily accented English, he says simply: “Ah, she is very confused.”
Lakey misses something important here, and having missed it goes on to burble:
No judgment passes between us, despite the fact that I am wearing a short skirt and his wife goes about her day covered from head to toe. I am an unlikely participant in this social play, yet I leave the store feeling somehow enriched. The feeling lingers, despite my many misgivings regarding this extreme form of dress.

Who am I to judge these women’s motives for wearing the burqa?
Somehow this interaction is all it takes to wipe away a deep unease she’s battled with for a long time:
Like many people I know, I feel a frisson of doubt whenever I see these shadowy figures entirely covered up. I struggle daily with these feelings in my studies… For me, the face is different. The face is not cosmetic, as the hair can be. It is our access to the essence of a person.

But I had never considered the burqa in a light-hearted fashion until this chance encounter.
What she has in fact not considered is that when a woman sees mothers playing with their children and is charmed, her most natural interaction would tend to be not with the father but the mother. In this case Lakey is limited to talking only to the father, not to the women whose faces she cannot see. The burqa again does what’s intended by blotting out the public identity of the women wearing it and making social interaction with her almost impossible, and seemingly unwelcome.

As Lakey blithely goes on to say:
But it is all too easy to forget that there is a woman in every burqa...
What’s she’s indeed forgotten is not that there’s a woman under the burqa, but an individual to whom she did not - or even could not - speak.
===
Wong rejects gay marriage
Andrew Bolt
I agree with Penny Wong, believing that the state’s only real interest in formally recognising marriage is that it strengthen as best it can without coercion a taboo and a cultural institution that dissuades parents of children from separating. That is best done by supporting a cultural icon, rather than seeking to modify or reinterpret it:

Openly gay Minister for Climate Change Penny Wong says she agrees with her party’s opposition to same-sex marriage.

‘‘On the issue of marriage I think the reality is there is a cultural, religious, historical view around that which we have to respect,’’ she told Network Ten today.

‘‘The party’s position is very clear that this is an institution that is between a man and a woman.’’

Senator Wong said she respected Labor’s view of marriage as an institution between a man and a woman.

‘‘I am part of a party and I support the party’s policies.’’

===
Abbott to cut immigration by what Gillard pretended to want
Andrew Bolt
Tony Abbott throws down the gauntlet with the first brave policy announcement from either side:
THE Coalition will slash immigration by about 130,000 people - dramatically ending bipartisan population growth policy in Australia. The cuts will focus on the family and student visa programs.
Or as the Fairfax papers report it:
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is due to make a major announcement on immigration as early as today and is believed to be considering cuts of more than 110,000 places a year - most from the skilled migration program.
There will be screams (particularly about cuts to skilled migration), but Abbott is right:
“A fair dinkum debate about population can’t avoid immigration because that’s what’s driving the increase,” Mr Abbott writes in today’s Sunday Herald Sun.
In contrast, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has tried to have it both ways, kind-of promising what she’s actually ruled out delivering:
Take this, for example: “I do not believe in a big Australia.”

A voter would assume Gillard meant that she believes in a smaller one, right?

Or take this: “I don’t believe in simply hurtling down a track to a 36 million or a 40 million population (by 2050).”

Our gullible voter would again assume our nice Prime Minister meant she’d at least cut our net immigration to 180,000 a year just to stop us from going over that 36 million figure the Australian Bureau of Statistics says we’re already hurtling to right now....

The proof that Gillard is effectively lying about Labor’s plans came this week, when she was asked whether she truly would cut immigration.

Her answer: ”I don’t believe this is an immigration debate.”
As almost every political commentator around the country has said, Gillard’s comments are a logical nonsense. Let’s see if they maintain that line now that Abbott is rerportedly set to call her out:
Mr Abbott’s controversial policy to slow the nation’s population growth is likely to spark an emotion-charged immigration debate with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Population growth, which is now 2.1 per cent, would be reduced to 1.4 per cent, the average growth rate for the past 40 years, by the end of the next term of Parliament.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said this would involve cutting net overseas migration from almost 300,000 in 2008-09 to 170,000 in three years.

“We believe Australians are looking for payment up front on infrastructure and services before they will support a higher population growth.”
That last line suggests the Opposition is limiting the argument to our physical ability to absorb a population increase now running at 400,000 a year (including the natural increase). Yet I suspect the cultural implications are for many voters just as pressing - albeit dangerous for a politician to discuss.
While the Coalition doesn’t put a figure on it, this would put Australia on track for a population in 2050 of well below 36 million, which was the forecast of the third and most recent inter-generational report from Treasury.
So if Gillard really is serious when she says “I don’t believe in simply hurtling down a track to a 36 million or a 40 million population” she will have to explain why she opposes cuts to stop us from shooting well over those figures.
Australia has the highest population growth rate in the major economies of the developed world, and higher even than population heavyweights China and India.
And it’s all done by accident, not design, and when our green ethos makes us reluctant to build the power stations and dams we need for all these extra people, or to release the extra land for their homes. Nor is this a problem about whether we can cope with some hypothetical projection in the deep future, This high level of growth is causing stress right now:
So far this year, the country’s population has increased by almost a quarter of a million people, to more than 22 million yesterday. The population would grow during the 35 days of the election campaign by about 44,000.
This, though, is the Coalition ducking its responsibility:
The Coalition policy announcement today would also have population growth rates being set by a re-titled Productivity Commission - the Productivity and Sustainability Commission - based on delivery of improved infrastructure and services.
The Productivity Commission may well advise, but the setting of population growth rates is fundamentally a political decision, to be made by elected politicians. For a start, it involves not only judgments about infrastructure and services that a Productivity Commission could well help make, but also about cultural integration that is beyond its expertise. It also requires striking balances between competing interests and values - including those of greens, developers, urbanites and quarter-acre-block nostalgics.

That is a political exercise, and leaving it to the Productivity Commission would be both undemocratic and a transparent attempt to dodge responsibility. It will look shifty, and with this policy it’s best that Abbott be frank - more a Keating than a Rudd. Or a Gillard.

UPDATE

Abbott announces:
The immigration programme should focus on immigrants who will make a contribution to our country and who are likely to feel proud of their new nationality.
That’s the only reference to what Gillard herself hints at by mentioning “the right kind of migrants”.
In April, the Coalition announced that the Productivity Commission would be re-constituted as the Productivity and Sustainability Commission to provide annual advice to government on the immigration numbers that would be economically and environmentally sustainable.

Today, I’ll announce further policy: a 130,000 cut in immigration numbers to no more than 170,000 a year within the first term of an incoming Coalition government.

This will reduce our annual population growth rate from more than 2 per cent, one of the highest in the world, to a rate of 1.4 per cent which is consistent with our long run average.

Net overseas migration averaged just over 210,000 a year in the booming last seven quarters of the Howard government but nearly 300,000 a year in the first seven quarters of the Rudd Gillard government despite the Global Financial Crisis and the local economic slowdown.

Extended till 2050, this would produce a population of 43 million, not the 36 million projected last year on the basis of 180,000 immigrants a year for the next 40 years.

An incoming Coalition government would maintain skilled migration numbers within the 170,000 a year limit by cracking down on dubious educational and family reunion applicants.
Labor is complaining that immigration numbers were going down anyway. So why didn’t Gillard say so last week? And that should make Abbott’s proposal less controversial right?

But what’s missing in that response is the fact that while the latest projections, if true and realised, have immigration falling to levels more likely to see us closer to a 36 million figure by 2050, rather than 42 million, that is far from the only issue.

Under this Government, net immigration has been allowed to soar to 270,000 a year, helping us to a population increase of an astonishing 400,000 a year. That’s not just a warning of problems in 2050, but a real problem right now. That’s a million more people in just three years that we’ve had to supply with homes, power, public transport, hospitals, schools and water.
===
Why is Gillard’s past off-limits, but Abbott’s not?
Andrew Bolt
Briefly ignoring Julia Gillard command to “move forward”, Channel 7 - I suspect with Labor’s help - delves back to a joke Tony Abbott made nearly 30 years ago about Prince Charles having given a speech that was “about as much use as Linda Lovelace with her mouth closed”.

For “balance” it does include the briefest of references to Gillard “past as a hard-core Left-winger”, which is a bland way of describing her leadership of the Socialist Forum, which helped to recycle former Communist Party members into the Labor Party.

Worse, Channel 7 failure to note that Gillard was in fact telling a flagrant untruth in the one grab it showed of her explaining away that past:
I was 20 and 21.
In fact, Gillard was already 22 or 23 when the Socialist Forum was formed, and she wrote radical pamphlets for the Socialist Forum in her mid 20s . She remained a member until she was at least 40, according to her own parliamentary register of interests:
The parliamentary register of interests states Ms Gillard remained a member of Socialist Forum from 1998-2002, after which the group merged with the Fabian Society.

The Herald Sun has also seen a 1994 promotional flyer presenting her as a guest speaker at a Forum event. It describes her as a “member of the Socialist Forum Management Committee”.
She would then have been at least 32.

Previously Gillard has claimed she was merely the part-time typist for the Socialist Forum, which she in fact served as a member of its management committee.

I’d say Gillard;s pattern of deceit over her role in a radical Leftist group - a role that lasted until as recently as eight years ago - is of far greater importance than an inconsequential joke told by Abbott 28 years ago, and honestly confessed to.

But note that also gleefully jumping onto this story is the “moving forward” Age:
Happy hooker Tony gags on right royal blue
Note also the complete absence once more of any mention of Gillard’s own past.

This “report” seems the work of Labor’s muckrakers, trying to destroy Abbott’s female vote. Which has reader Andrew V wondering why it doesn’t cut both ways:

Even better, if these guys are gonna hammer Abbott for a thirty year joke, why don’t they investigate, as has been mentioned by readers of this blog a number of times, her relaionship with Craig Emerson, which resulted in him leaving his wife!?

Wanna turn women off Gillardine, imagine if they find out she was “The Other Woman”, someone which most women seem to despise. Indeed, it is damn near impossible to find any information about it, as I tried this search, and wasn’t able to find much on the details of the Emerson split! Why ignore that over Abbott’s joke?

This media has a lot to answer for!!

===
Easier to say now
Andrew Bolt

Laurie Oakes - July 24, 2010:
Kevin Rudd’s farcical 2020 Summit looks sensible by comparison...
Laurie Oakes - July 17, 2008:
It has to be said that the thousand delegates at Kevin Rudd’s 2020 summit failed to produce anything remotely Shakespearean. But then, their time was limited.

What they did bring forth, however, was a 38-page report — modestly titled Thinking Big — which serves Rudd’s political purposes very well.

Despite all the hype, it is not chocker with big new ideas…

The importance of the summit lies not in the ideas it generated, but in the backing it provides for a whole lot of things Rudd wanted to do anyway.

Now, when he pushes the states to agree to reforms to the federal system, he can invoke the summit’s findings to ratchet up the pressure.

The summit has provided the PM with moral support in a whole string of areas where he wants action. It has helped to create a mood for the kind of changes he wants to bring about.

It has also helped Rudd to position himself and his government in what he calls “the reforming centre” and to isolate the opposition even further.
Odd, how so many serious commentators failed to see this farce and crude political stunt for exactly what it was at the time.

(Thanks to reader Stephanie.)
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