Miranda Devine – Monday, April 18, 11 (03:47 am)
The bestiality tweet fired off last week by Sydney barrister Larissa Behrendt, who identifies as Aboriginal, against dignified Northern Territory Aboriginal activist Bess Price was certainly offensive.
Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 19, 11 (05:48 am)
“A revolt is going to come,” predicts Tim Flannery, “perhaps not in a violent way, but younger people are going to use the Internet to get together and say ‘This isn’t working. We need something better than this.’ “
Maybe Panasonic can help, with their fine range of quality electronics products! Panasonic’s brilliant high-definition plasma screens guarantee that when Flannery’s young-people revolution arrives – perhaps not violently – it will be televised! And Panasonic will also pay Flannery. Let’s hear from the man himself:
Quote of note:
Panasonic have decided to endow a chair at Macquarie University. What that basically means is they pay a professor’s salary and engage with the university on a whole series of environmental issues.
So I’m the professor they decided to pay. Which is great.
Because he’s the world’s oldest uptalker, Flannery’s statement emerges like this: “So I’m the professor they decided to pay? Which is great?” But before he begins his teen-speak Panasonic professorship gloating, Flannery mentions another multinational with whom he’s worked: Intel. Yes, Intel. Deeply involved with Israel Intel. Which suggests a fantastic possibility: if Flannery’s $720,000 Australia-wide carbon tax tour ever arrives in Marrickville, he could bebanned there.
Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 19, 11 (05:30 am)
Joe Hildebrand’s response – read all the way to the end – is perfect.
Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 19, 11 (04:14 am)
Tim Blair – Monday, April 18, 11 (11:40 pm)
A Labor MP laments the government’s incremental death by carbon tax:
One backbencher told The Australian Online slow progress on the carbon tax was sucking away voter support and weakening the morale of Labor MPs.
“The sooner you deal with things the sooner the dogs bark and the caravan moves on, and people talk about other things,” the source said.
“Get it done. Bad polls people can handle. It’s when it drags on, that’s what kills us. It’s reading about it every goddamn day.”
But surely people should be happy to read about it, seeing as the tax will create more jobs and all:
Taking action to cut carbon emissions will be good for jobs and boost investment in renewable energy, according to Climate Change Minister Greg Combet.
Fewer and fewer voters believe him:
Julia Gillard’s Labor government has become the most unpopular in 15 years as the prime minister herself now has worse ratings than Kevin Rudd, the man she replaced.
On the present evidence, I suspect that “carbon price” will vie with “Work Choices” for the role of the nation’s most complicated political suicide note of modern times.
Paul Howes is still in her corner:
I think Julia Gillard is the best Leader the Labor Party has had in a very, very long period of time. And I’m confident that Julia Gillard will lead Labor to a election victory at the next election.
Tim Blair – Monday, April 18, 11 (11:26 pm)
Tim Blair – Monday, April 18, 11 (06:42 pm)
Sustainability is important. That’s why, many years ago, I decided to base almost all of my columns on making fun of left-wing blundering and idiocy.
Not for me the short-term careers of those poor columnists whose work was structured around the temporary and soon-to-be-outmoded. Esperanto, the coopering trade and panel vans? No future there, my friends. But the antics of left-wingers provide endless material. It’s the one thing they’re good at.
Last week served up a bumper harvest.
Tim Blair – Monday, April 18, 11 (03:36 pm)
A clarification from Tim Flannery:
I am writing with respect to my recent interview with Steve Rust, the Managing Director of Panasonic, on my role as the Panasonic Chair in Environmental Sustainability at Macquarie University.
My association with Panasonic, which sponsors my Professorial Chair at Macquarie University, has been public and declared from the day I took up my position as Chief Climate Commissioner. There is no conflict of interest between the two roles.
My comments were made in the context of describing the work I have been doing on educating young Australians about sustainability at Macquarie University. To be clear, I have not advocated Panasonic as a company in my public engagements as Chief Commissioner, nor have I done so in my books or television work.
Flannery’s earlier remarks seemed to state the opposite: “I’ve also been carrying the flag for Panasonic in everything else I do, the books I publish, in the television series that I’m making at the moment, and of course in the new position as the chief of the Climate Commission.” The clarification concludes:
I am mindful of the great privilege and responsibility I bear as Chief Climate Commissioner and the importance of providing credible and reliable advice to the Australian public on climate change.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 19, 11 (07:08 am)
I don’t think this carbon dioxide tax is a vote-winner - or ever will be:
BREAD, tissues and sugar are among the common grocery items expected to face the biggest price pressures under a carbon tax, the grocery industry’s lobby group has warned. ...
The Australian Food and Grocery Council says if the price on carbon is $26 a tonne, costs would rise by 3 to 5 per cent, much higher than government estimates of 1 per cent.
Council chief executive Kate Carnell said products requiring the most power to make would cop the biggest cost increases - such as baked goods, sugar or items made of paper.
Next hardest hit would be refrigerated goods and canned goods.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 19, 11 (06:48 am)
I like Donald Trump’s direct speech, but the problem with direct speech is that it quickly betray stupid thoughts - not least your own. Perhaps the world should be grateful for that, because Trump has been blitzing polls lately as the man Republicans would like to be president:
“I hate what’s happening to our country,” he told CNN’s State of the Union. “We are not respected. We’re scoffed at. We’re laughed at. We are a whipping post for the world.”
On how he would deal with Libya, Mr Trump, 64, said: “Either I go in and take the oil or I don’t go in at all. We can’t be the policeman for the world.”
Asked to clarify if he would take the oil, Mr Trump said: “Absolutely. I’d take the oil. I’d give them plenty so they can live very happily. I would take the oil.
‘’You know, in the old days … when you have a war and you win, that nation’s yours.”
That’s a doctrine that China might care to adopt, too.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 19, 11 (06:40 am)
Nationals senator Ron Boswell says Labor must fight the Greens to save itself:
AS the man who fought off the influence of the extreme Right on the Nationals, I am in a good position to advise Labor on the extreme Left.
The Labor party must fight off the extreme Left that is influencing it (the Greens).
The recent anti-Semitic comments expressed by parliamentary members of the Greens and by the extremist company they keep is becoming visible to the Australian voter....The Greens are morphing into reds and have become the Socialist Alliance, the One Nation of the Left…
Labor Party members will tell you they don’t have to put up with the crazy Left at their branch meetings any more; they have joined the Greens. But the Greens are putting much more pressure on Labor. They are demanding much more, forcing Labor to abandon its traditional base.
Already the Labor Party’s primary vote is down to 34 per cent. Labor is bleeding blue-collar voters to the Right and progressive voters to the Left. What started with senator Graham Richardson, in the 1987 election campaign, harvesting Green preferences with the closure of the north Queensland timber industry, has turned into a monster.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 19, 11 (06:24 am)
Just add it to the bill for Labor’s more “humanitarian” boat people policies:
MORE than $4 million in taxpayer-funded legal aid will be provided to the crew members of asylum-seeker boats who are on trial in Australia this year on people-smuggling charges.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 19, 11 (06:21 am)
BARNABY Joyce has moved to cement his status as the Nationals leader-in-waiting by confirming he is preparing to make the switch to the lower house at the next election in a political gamble that could pit him against key independent Tony Windsor.
Senator Joyce ... would prefer to challenge for the sprawling electorate of Maranoa in southern Queensland, currently held by 20-year Nationals veteran Bruce Scott.
But it is understood Mr Scott is reluctant to be pushed out. Senator Joyce has nominated Mr Windsor’s NSW rural seat of New England - where he grew up and his parents live - as his second choice.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 19, 11 (05:55 am)
Nuclear hysteric Guy Rundle last month predicted the flesh would fall off the bones of the Japanese pilots helping to quell the nuclear emergency at Fukushima:
As I write, the Japanese are conducting direct overflies to try and control the continuing damage — most likely a suicide mission for the pilots and crew. The Soviets resorted to this earlier, during the Chernobyl crisis by the simple expedient of ordering airforce crews to do it. No one knows how many died, but they died outside of the glare of publicity. The Japanese crews will slough their skin and muscles, and bleed out internally under the full glare of the world’s media. It may well be the reason why this step in dealing with the crisis was delayed for so long — because it would demonstrate that dealing with nuclear accidents will frequently involve the painful certain death of emergency workers.
Has anybody seen Japanese helicopter crews sloughing skin and muscles? ... This is sheer drivel, fantasy, fiction, balderdash, ignorance and sloppy, unprofessional, incompetent journalism....
As it happens, the international scientific community was heavily involved in the Chernobyl aftermath. US expert Dr Robert Gale coordinated medical relief at the request of the Soviets and was just one of many specialists from around the world who got involved.... The stream of United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) reports is extensive. UNSCEAR knows exactly how many pilots died dealing with Chernobyl … none (see the 2000 report for details). No pilots died, none sloughed their skin. Zip. Zero. The null set.
There were 1,125 helicopter pilots involved in 1,800 flights over the Chernobyl reactor over some months. The first flights hovered over the damaged reactor to drop material on the core, but this was soon discontinued because measured radiation levels were too high. Sound familiar? Subsequent material drops were done in passing rather than while hovering and were consequently less accurate but less risky.... Pilots involved in the early flights received on average 260 milli Sieverts of radiation which definitely elevates their cancer risk, not as much as in the people puffing near fire-escapes on city offices these days, but still a significant increase. Pilots flying later in the cleanup received a dose of about half this and none suffered acute radiation sickness.
[Update: One pilot is known to have died of leukemia 4 years after the accident. The lifetime risk to men of leukemia in Australia is about 1 in 93. So some cases of leukemia would be expected among any group of a thousand men in the decades after helicopter missions. The radiation exposure can be expected to have added a few cases. ]
Over the past 25 years since Chernobyl, about 12 million Russians have been diagnosed with cancer and that doesn’t even include Ukraine and Belarus. As of the 2000 UNSCEAR report, the Chernobyl helicopter pilots were still doing whatever they were doing … there wasn’t any report of “certain painful death” as described by Cold War Warrior Rundle…
The contrasts between Rundle and (Helen) Caldicott and real nuclear radiation experts were shown to good effect when Gale visited to Fukushima. Gale is a real expert with a hand in 800 scientific papers and 20 books. When he visited Fukushima in March, he wandered around the plant with no protective clothing and no radiation dosimeter. This is precisely because he is an expert, a real one who bases actions on a clear understanding of what radiation measurements mean and not on fantasy journalism.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 19, 11 (05:41 am)
Labor is in deep, deep strife when Tony Abbott can campaign so effectively and comfortably in the heart of its union base:
TONY Abbott has taken his fight against the carbon tax to the resource-rich Pilbara region of Western Australia, where he delivered a strong warning to mine workers that their job security depends on rejection of the tax.
Last night, the Opposition Leader was drinking beer with a group of workers in the wet mess at Fortescue Metals Group’s remote Cloudbreak iron ore mine in a bid to convince them to ratchet up pressure on unions to speak out against Labor’s planned tax…
Mr Abbott, on a two-day trip to the region, said he believed workers were starting to convince union leaders that they should publicly campaign against the tax, following calls last week by Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes for Julia Gillard to guarantee that no jobs would be lost. “Plainly, the unions are starting to get pressure from the workforce,” Mr Abbott said.
No true Labor MP can be happy to hear Abbott speak louder in the interests of workers than does the Gillard Government:
What’s your message to the Pilbara miners on this visit?
Well look, I don’t want to come here and lay down the law because this is my first visit to the Pilbara for a long time and this is the epicentre of one the most extraordinary industrial developments in the history of the earth but certainly the carbon tax is going to make it a lot harder for many of these developments to go ahead and I’ll be seeking to get their views on the carbon tax and I guess I’ll also be seeking to get an understanding from them as to whether they think their union reps have adequately represented them on this because it has taken quite a while for the major unions to get around to thinking about the jobs of their members and the future of their industries rather than making excuses for a bad tax from a bad Government.
Well, the two unions in the Pilbara, on the miners of course, are the AWU and the CFMEU and they’re like minded with you at the moment.
Well, that’s right. Paul Howes has come out, a little belatedly, and said that he won’t support this tax if it’s going to cost a single job in the steel industry and the CMFEU are starting to make similar noises about the mining industry and the point I make is that I can guarantee that the Coalition’s climate change plan won’t cost a single job in the steel industry or anywhere because we won’t have a carbon tax and I can guarantee that the steel industry and the mining industry will flourish under the Coalition’s climate change plan because there won’t be a carbon tax.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 19, 11 (12:07 am)
The Gillard Government’s target has become so preposterously vast that only a fool or a liar could pretend it’s achievable:
A National Greenhouse Inventory report for the December quarter 2010 shows Australia still has a long way to go to meet its Copenhagen Summit commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 5 per cent of year 2000 levels by 2020.
The nation’s 543 million tonne carbon output, which excludes agricultural emissions, is well above the 475 million tonne cap Australia would have to reach to meet its international obligations.
Consider: we’ve already had governments commit $12 billion to cutting emissions, which nevertheless are still going up, not down.
This means the Gillard Government’s target has blown out from a cut of 5 per cent of emissions 11 years ago to a cut of 12.5 per cent of emissions today.
Meanwhile, the time we’re given ourselves to reach this target has been slashed from 20 years to just nine.
Twice the cut in half the time, when nothing we’ve done so far seems to work. Hands up anyone who still thinks the target can be reached - without massive an unprecedented pain?
Now check how many journalists writing on global warming policy will point out how farcical is this talk of targets.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 19, 11 (12:05 am)
Protest signs don’t come much bigger than this, seen from the Hume Highway about 5 kms before the exit to Donnybrook Road, driving towards Melbourne.
(Thanks to reader Paul.)
That sign was created for the Victoria state election… it’s faded a lot now, looked brilliant in its glory days.Sorry peeps, this was an anti-Brumby symbol, not aimed at Gillard, though they may re-hash it for her sake.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 19, 11 (12:03 am)
Bob Carter, David Evans, Stewart Franks and Bill Kininmonth identify 10 errors in Climate Change Greg Combet’s big speech last week on his carbon dioxide tax.
Go here for their explanations, but these are the 10 falsehoods Combet uttered:
1. The evidence of atmospheric warming is very strong, and the potential for dangerous climate impacts is high. The scientific advice is that carbon (sic) pollution (sic) is the cause.
2. Globally, 2010 was the warmest year on record, with 2001 to 2010 the warmest decade. 2010 is the 34th consecutive year with global temperatures above the 20th-century average.
3. In Australia, each decade since the 1940s has been warmer than the preceding decade. With rising temperatures we can expect to see more extreme weather events, including more frequent and intense droughts, floods and bushfires.
4. The environmental consequences translate readily into economic costs - as well as potential negative impacts on water security, coastal development, infrastructure, agriculture, and health.
5. Professor Will Steffen, a leading expert in the climate science, has advised the Multi-Party Committee on Climate Change that there is 100% certainty that the earth is warming, and that there is a very high level of certainty it will continue to warm unless efforts are made to reduce the levels of carbon (sic) pollution (sic) being sent into the atmosphere.
6. It is in our national interest to take action on climate change. The national interest case is clear.
7. Climate change is an environmental problem with an economic solution.
8. Just as the 1980s reforms laid down the bedrock of our current prosperity, pricing carbon (sic) will ensure that the Australian economy of the 21st century remains globally competitive.
9. Intergenerational equity is a key determinant of long-term economic policy making. Our obligation is to leave the world a better place, not to pass on the problems we found too difficult to deal with to our grandchildren and to their grandchildren.
10. Australia is one of the world’s top 20 polluters and we release more pollution per person than any other country in the developed world – more than the US. Not only is it in our national interest to act, we have a responsibility to do so.
Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 18, 11 (05:47 pm)
Another broken promise? Surely not, yet Judith Sloan writes:
We were also told by Kevin Rudd, when he was still the prime minister, that he would “not stand by and have this body become the agency of ex-trade union officials”. This was confirmed by the relevant minister, Julia Gillard, when she promised that “appointments will not favour one side over the other”.
One of these appointees has handed down 10 decisions that have been appealed and subsequently overturned. Clearly this person is running with a curiously eccentric and personal interpretation of the legislation that does not withstand the scrutiny of wiser and more experienced heads.
(Thanks to reader Spencer.)
Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 18, 11 (05:01 pm)
Spooky, but the way the Soviet Union measured support for the Eurovision contestants is exactly how Earth Hour organisers measure support for their own cause.
(Thanks to reader Phil.)
Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 18, 11 (03:26 pm)
The last thing saving Julia Gillard from being deposed is Labor’s almost unprecedented lack of a clear and viable leadership alternative. There is no Keating to her Hawke.
I mean, which of the following candidates, all flawed, would you pick as Labor’s leader?
Warming sceptic Martin Ferguson would represent a very welcome return to Labor’s more pragmatic, problem-solving past, with a focus on helping the poorer become richer - but he’s hurt by his ACTU past and his garbled presentation.
Stephen Smith is normally a gentleman and cool, and comes from the Labor Right - all virtues. But he’s a process man, not a visionary, and even on color television seems grey. And his wild overreaction first to the Israeli take passports affair and, even worse, to the Skype Affair, suggests a dangerous lack of perspective and a surprising tendency to unleash his inner Leftism at precisely the wrong moment.
Bill Shorten is in a bad head-space, exuding an impatient sense of entitlement and disdain for advice that suggest he has all of Kevin Rudd’s vices and few of Rudd’s purported virtues.
Greg Combet has a reputation among Canberra journalists of being the Government’s Mr Fixit, but what has he actually repaired? Off-puttingly angry in appearance and demeanour, and with his ACTU ties a disadvantage, he’s now seeing his reputation fall with the carbon dioxide tax which is his suicidal duty as Climate Change Minister to sell.
I like Chris Bowen, particularly for being imperturbable and willing to front up to media critics, but who out there knows him? And of those who know him, who thinks he’s more than a smooth-tongued Labor Right man from NSW - a brand not in high fashion? It also hurts him to have to sell Labor’s mad and failing boat people regime, including Gillard’s farcical East Timor detention centre proposal. Still, he might be a man who’d turn Labor away from its disastrous flirtation with the ABC crowd and back to the many more (and more lovable) Labor voters in talkback land.
Tony Burke is charming, pragmatic and no inner-city ideologue. I have reason to suspect that as a Catholic he has a healthy disdain for the broadsheet commentariat, so strongly anti-Christian generally and anti-Catholic particularly. He, too, could steer Labor back into love with the voters of the outer suburbs. But he could do with more personal discipline, and still seems too young and lacking in gravitas. And while he was not the author of the Murray Darling water plan debacle, it exploded under his watch and has yet to be resolved.
Which leaves Rudd, the man who first steered Labor into this ghastly strife and is now being forgiven by a public which still does not know his terrible weaknesses as well as do his scarred colleagues,
So I ask again, if not Gillard, then who?
See the problem?