Tim Blair – Saturday, May 07, 11 (04:43 am)
A millionaire actress may change carbon dioxide history:
A wide-ranging coalition of supporters of action on climate change is planning a massive campaign to rescue Julia Gillard’s carbon tax in the face of growing industry opposition.
The Weekend Australian understands Oscar-award winning actress Cate Blanchett has been approached to be part of a national advertising campaign.
This gets better every day.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (08:50 am)
This confrontation is bringing the police into disrepute, and the Baillieu Government may need to intervene very soon:
VICTORIA Police is in crisis after Chief Commissioner Simon Overland ordered his deputy Ken Jones to leave the force last night amid a broadening scandal over the administration of justice…
The Saturday Age ... submitted questions to senior government officials and police about the role of one of Victoria’s top public servants in sanctioning the placement of Williams in a jail unit with other underworld figures, including the man who allegedly murdered him.
It is understood Sir Ken and several other senior police and government officials held concerns about the decision by Justice Department officials, including department secretary Penny Armytage, to approve the moving of Williams from isolation at Barwon Prison to the maximum-security Acacia unit… It can also be revealed that Victorian Ombudsman George Brouwer has launched an investigation into the circumstances of the moving of Williams…
Mr Brouwer is also investigating whether Mr Overland was pressured by the former Brumby government to release inaccurate crime statistics ahead of last year’s state election - an issue believed to have soured relations between Sir Ken and the Chief Commissioner…
Sir Ken was abruptly called in to Mr Overland’s office yesterday afternoon and ordered to clear his desk and leave immediately. His removal came hours after The Saturday Age had submitted detailed questions to the office of the Attorney-General, the Department of Justice and the police about the circumstances of the slaying of Williams…
A police spokesman said: ‘’The Chief Commissioner has asked Sir Ken Jones to finish at the end of today because it is right for him and Victoria Police.’’
Which Victoria Police in particular?
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (07:45 am)
NOW even the Gillard Government knows the truth about its bungled refugee program.
The people it’s bringing in are costing us billions, with 85 per cent of refugees on Centrelink benefits in their first five years here.
Worse, it’s the “refugees” who push in—the boat people we don’t pick, and who exploit the Government’s weak laws—who cost us most.
The vast majority of boat people say they are from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Sri Lanka, and these are exactly the refugees most likely to be unemployed and living on welfare, even after five years.
Just 9 per cent of Afghan adults have a job and 94 per cent receive benefits, which means every boatload of Afghans landing here is a boatload almost entirely of people we’ll be paying handouts to for years.
And since January last year, more than 3300 Afghans have sailed here.
It’s the same story among Iranian adults, just 12 per cent of whom work.
Sri Lankans have a better employment rate—34 per cent, but even that is still lower than the rate among African refugees, almost none of whom come by boat, being selected by us from refugee camps instead.
These are just some of the alarming revelations in a first-ever survey commissioned by the Immigration Department of 8500 people accepted under our humanitarian program.
And they are findings that should have us ask not just how much Labor has cost us by putting the people smugglers back in business by weakening the boat people laws in 2008.
It also should have us ask the tough question Denmark just did: what does it cost us to bring in people from countries with very different and poorer cultures?
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (07:44 am)
FOR a second I thought I’d misread President Barack Obama.
What guts, after all. What a leader.
Against type, the Nobel Peace Prize winner sent four helicopters of troops into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden.
What’s more, his hit squad did the job right under the nose of an army that was surely protecting the al-Qaida boss.
But then, Obama’s greatest victory turned into a farce, thanks to all the President’s familiar traits of ineptitude, regal disdain and fuzzy Leftism.
In Iraq, the US under George W. Bush wasn’t squeamish about showing the bodies of enemy leaders it had killed, and did so with al-Qaida’s leader in Iraq, psychopath Musab al-Zarqawi, and the two sons of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
It seemed to work. Far from inspiring jihadists, these bloody pictures seemed to deflate them.
But Obama decided no such trophy pictures of bin Laden would be shown.
Indeed, his body was dumped into the sea, in line, the White House laughably said, with Muslim custom.
Obama’s reasoning seemed conflicted. He claimed that releasing pictures of bin Laden with a hole in the head could inflame opinion against the US, and, besides, it so was also “not who we are”, which makes me suspect Obama was fretting less over enraged terrorists than enraged Leftists.
In fact, his call kicked off the usual anti-US conspiracy theories, and not just in the Middle East. Even Canada’s deputy Opposition leader Thomas Mulcair said: “I don’t think, from what I’ve heard, that those pictures exist.”
Worse followed fast.
On Monday, the President’s counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan, made these claims: “Osama was engaged in a firefight” and was found “hiding behind women”. A woman he hid behind was said to have been shot dead.
White House spokesman Jay Carney then added the soldiers who shot bin Laden “were met with a great deal of resistance” from “many other people who were armed”.
Uh-oh. In fact, every one of those claims is false. Bin Laden was unarmed. Just one of the five men killed that night had a gun, and he was shot early. Bin Laden did not hide behind any woman, none of whom were killed.
I have close to zero doubt that the US got its man. But somehow Obama’s “trust me” reassurance sounds very hollow.
The bumbler is back, and now we really do need those pictures.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (07:34 am)
I am not sure at all that these pictures of a protest against the killing of Osama bin Laden are reassuring. After all,they are taken in London.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (07:08 am)
For heaven’s sake, wasn’t this supposed to be the one policy victory of the Gillard Government?:
JULIA Gillard’s $16.4 billion deal to reform the health system is in strife, amid claims that proposed legislation putting it into effect does not reflect the Prime Minister’s reform deal with the premiers.
Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett has accused the commonwealth of attempting to sideline states under the reformed health system, in contravention of a deal sealed in February.
While Health Minister Nicola Roxon has played down the concerns, the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association has backed Mr Barnett, warning that the legislation fails to recognise the role of states and territories as managers of the health system.
(Thanks to reader CA.)
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (06:38 am)
Tony Abbott is a man of his word, even when he’s the victim of a set-up - but he’s timed the delivery of his promise of a surfing lesson to a refugee advocate to his advantage:
The opposition leader’s offer of breakfast and a surfing lesson attracted the highest bids when it was auctioned off at last year’s annual press gallery ball in Canberra.
At $16,100, it easily beat lawn bowls with Kevin Rudd ($12,600) and dinner with then-deputy prime minister Julia Gillard, which went for a neat $10,000.
The winning funds were raised by lobby group GetUp, which nominated former Afghan refugee Mr (Riz) Wakil as the lucky recipient.
He said he’d use the one-on-one meeting to urge the coalition to adopt a more humane approach to asylum seekers, having spent nine months in detention in 1999…
But now, 323 days later, the opposition leader is set to meet Mr Wakil at Sydney’s northern beaches (today)...
Villawood burned, detention centres overflowing, Labor backflipping on the Pacific Solution ... I don’t think Abbott is going to find this surfing lesson embarrassing at this point in time.
(Thanks to reader marg of nambour.)
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (06:32 am)
If genuine, these statements should help the White House stem the doubts it’s caused by its own incompetent spinning:
Al-Qaeda has confirmed the death of its leader, Osama Bin Laden, according to a statementattributed to the group and posted on jihadist internet forums…
“[His blood] will remain, with permission from Allah, the Almighty, a curse that chases the Americans and their agents, and goes after them inside and outside their countries,” it warned.
“...We call upon our Muslim people in Pakistan, on whose land Sheikh Osama was killed, to rise up and revolt....”
The Afghan Taliban issued its own statement on Friday, saying the death of Bin Laden would give “new impetus to the current jihad"…
“The martyrdom of a martyr leads hundreds more to head to the field of martyrdom and sacrifice.”
(Thanks to reader Grand Wizard.)
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (06:03 am)
Chris Kenny says it’s a cop-out for former Treasurer Lindsay Tanner to claim in his new book that the media forces Labor to wow it with spin and gimmicks:
It is no longer contentious to observe the Rudd government was a triumph of spin over substance, that the public quickly realised this and that the Gillard government is heading the same way. Sideshow unwittingly shows how this happens. In page after page Tanner wonders at the workings of the media, he strives to gain its attention, he despairs at what it highlights and what it misses....
If these things mattered as much as Tanner says, John Howard would never have won an election… Howard’s most diligent and enduring enemies were the bulk of the Canberra press gallery, the Fairfax press and the ABC.
Yet he assiduously spoke through and around this media antagonism to pitch his messages directly to voters. No amount of media conspiracy can prevent a significant message getting through, while no amount of media management will make up for the lack of substance.
Peter van Onselen says that not only is Julia Gillard short on policy, delivery and authority, she’s now losing out on spin, too:
THE day after the extraordinary news that Osama bin Laden had been killed by US forces ..., Julia Gillard appeared on page two of a daily newspaper feeding the chooks at what looked like a primary school.... By contrast Kevin Rudd managed to get himself on a podium with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ...
When Gillard goes abroad to attend the royal wedding, Rudd gets to England hours earlier while back at home Tony Abbott sets a deliberate contrast to the jet-setting PM by hanging out in the Northern Territory discussing how to alleviate Aboriginal disadvantage while sitting in the dirt.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (05:53 am)
James Packer says our tourism industry and campaigns aren’t up to speed any more. For instance:
As Packer says of the Barrier Reef: “The experience for a well travelled tourist is you arrive in Cairns, where the beach is unfortunately a mud flat, you go out to the reef on a hydrofoil that looks like it needs some money spent on it, you dive into the water and where the pontoon is located the reef looks like it is dying. You come back up and you are meant to say, ‘Isn’t this amazing’. It could be an amazing, world-class experience, but we need to get our act together.’’
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (05:46 am)
I detect in the comment from “sources” that even the warmist lobby is starting to realise that the celebrity endorsement of global warming alarmism may not quite work in middle Australia:
A WIDE-RANGING coalition of supporters of action on climate change is planning a massive campaign to rescue Julia Gillard’s carbon tax.... Oscar-award winning actress Cate Blanchett has been approached to be part of a national advertising campaign.
But sources said it would be wrong to suggest the world-famous actress would be the spearhead of the campaign, which will also include a raft of “ordinary Australians”.
The Weekend Australian understands the planned print, radio and television campaign is being supported by groups including Get Up!, Greenpeace, the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Southern Cross Climate Coalition, a conglomerate including the ACF, the Climate Institute and the Australian Council of Trade Unions.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 07, 11 (05:14 am)
And on the farce rolls:
THE Somare government is pressuring Julia Gillard to become personally involved in negotiations to reopen a refugee processing centre in Papua New Guinea, which is expected to be on Manus Island.
The PNG cabinet yesterday broke without making a decision on Australia’s proposal, after ministers were unhappy that the Australian Prime Minister had failed to make a personal approach about the bid.
I find it hard to believe that this stalling isn’t about extracting more cash from a desperate government with few other options left, now that its first proposal - for a detention centre in East Timor - is embarrassingly dead:
The Weekend Australian understands the processing centre is not strongly opposed in PNG, but the cabinet is seeking more details. The deferral of a decision indicated that some ministers felt the manner of Canberra’s approach to be somewhat presumptuous. This perception is amplified because in PNG’s case, unlike that of Nauru, which hosted a centre after reaching an agreement with the Howard government, the money brought in by Australia to run the centre is not a key issue. PNG’s economy is growing rapidly, at 7.1 per cent last year and even faster this year, as resources investments pour in.
I can understand why Gillard doesn’t want to get personally involved, and therefore a hostage. Even so, keep an eye on the cash she’ll have to splash.
I mean cash like this:
The government refuses to face up to the inescapable choice regarding boat people.
Either they come to Australia eventually, in which case a stay on Manus Island or somewhere else in PNG won’t deter them, or they are refused a visa for Australia, in which case the product the people-smugglers are selling becomes void, and they can no longer get people to pay for it…
It is worth noting that both PNG and East Timor are signatories to the refugee convention and if boatpeople were simply fleeing persecution, they could seek refuge in either of those countries. In truth, this is a determined illegal immigration and the object is permanent residency in Australia…
The Australian processing and appeals system is a farce. If an Afghan applies as a boat person without documents, they end up getting a better than 90 per cent acceptance rate after the exhaustive appeals are gone through. If they apply offshore, where there is no pressure on the Australian system to take them, they get an acceptance rate of 10 per cent.
And, no, it probably won’t really be the ”regional processing centre” Gillard has promised and sold throughout Asia:
PLANS to detain asylum seekers on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea would be badged as a regional solution but would most likely only involve those boat people who arrived in Australian waters.
Now, why would they ditch the docs? I mean, if they were real refugees...:
MORE than 80 per cent of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat throw away their passports before landing, presenting a security nightmare for ASIO and immigration authorities.
New figures obtained from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship revealed that 5213 people arriving illegally between 2008 and 2010 had first flown to Indonesia before boarding a boat to Australia.
But only 21 of those people still had passports with them by the time they were intercepted in Australian waters.
(Thanks to readers Pira and CA.)