Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (11:42 am)
Bob Davis, the Geelong Flyer, has died at 82. An adored figure in Melbourne – I once saw him surrounded by fans at Spencer Street railway station, where he was trying to buy a newspaper – 1963 Premiership coach Davis was for decades a star on Seven’s World of Sport:
In an appropriate tribute, Davis’s team hasn’t lost a game all year.
UPDATE. Mike Sheahan: “Everyone loved Bobby Davis.”
Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (04:53 am)
Just in case the carbon dioxide tax wasn’t unpopular enough:
A carbon price of $40 a tonne is needed to force a switch from coal to new, gas-fired electricity generation and reduce Australia’s emissions, the federal government has been advised …
The carbon price has been widely expected to start at between $20 and $30 a tonne … the government’s ‘’investment reference group’’ on electricity generation says that at $30 a tonne, ‘’existing black coal-fired power stations will continue to provide the lowest-cost generation … and actual [greenhouse gas] abatement may be minimal’’.
Time to recalculate all of those earlier estimates on price impacts, should the government go with this new higher figure. Business leaders (even greenish ones) are already against the carbon scam:
Media mogul Kerry Stokes and Westfield boss Stephen Lowy were not supportive of the carbon tax, saying better behaviour could be encouraged without taxing people harder.
“Personally I think it’s a great way for redistributing wealth for the country,” Mr Stokes said at Australian Agenda, a function attended by the Prime Minister ... “But for actually curbing carbon use – it’s not going change power generation (or the use of) coal, which we’ll be using in this country for at least 25 years.”
Add Stokes and Lowy to the list.
UPDATE. $40 per tonne isn’t enough for the government’s senior partners:
The Greens have called for a carbon price in excess of $40 a tonne, placing them in direct conflict with Labor as the government tries to clinch a deal in the $20-$30 range.
Popcorn time. While you can still afford some, that is.
Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (04:24 am)
Until my mate Michael Stahl adds these to his collection, he deserves to be shunned for crimes against sustainability:
Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (04:15 am)
A couple of years ago, UK environmentalist Tim Nicholson went before an employment tribunal to argue that his green obsessions deserved the same legal protection as religious beliefs. Nicholson won an initial hearing, and then a subsequent court case:
In a significant decision today, a judge found Nicholson’s views on the environment were so deeply held that they were entitled to the same protection as religious convictions, and ruled that an employment tribunal should hear his claim that he was sacked because of his beliefs.
The judgment could open the door for people to take their employers to tribunals over their stance on a range of issues, from animal rights to feminism …
Consider that door opened. Mark Steyn now notes, with astonishment:
An employment tribunal in Britain has ruled that a belief in public service broadcasting is equivalent to religious faith.
Click for more on the man whose church is the BBC.
Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (03:52 am)
His life is in constant danger, yet Indigo Wood ain’t changin’:
Indigo Wood told his family recently it was a matter of when – not if – he would be hit by a car while riding to work.
On Friday, his words proved prophetic when a driver accidentally collided with Mr Wood in evening peak-hour traffic on Wellington Street, Collingwood …
‘’I have ridden that route along Wellington Street every day in both directions since [March] and I am not exaggerating at all when I say that twice a day in each direction I have had a near-miss,’’ Mr Wood said.
So, twice every working day since March in each direction … that works out to nearly one hundred near-misses (and one obvious non-miss). At this point it might be a good idea to either change route or give up the cycling caper altogether. What could possibly explain Indigo’s resistance to life-saving logic?
Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (03:20 am)
Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (02:58 am)
A photovoltaic protest is on tomorrow:
The solar industry is to stage a protest rally in Sydney on Wednesday to fight the NSW government’s decision to close the Solar Bonus Scheme to new applicants and slash generous tariffs to existing subscribers.
Most of the existing 120,000 subscribers will have the rate they are paid for generating electricity slashed from 60 cents a kilowatt hour to 40 cents from July. The clawback will cut the scheme’s $759 million budget blow-out by $471 million.
Just as well the weather is sunny. When it’s overcast, solar protesters can barely move.
UPDATE. Chris Monckton considers the Oldbury wind turbine.
UPDATE II. In other protest news, take a look at American jihadi Omar Hammami rallying al Qaeda forces in Somalia. Scroll down for the elaborate coconut drinks. A commenter at the linked site asks, reasonably enough: “Why didn’t our intelligence agencies know about this gathering and why aren’t there after party pictures of body parts everywhere?” (Via Mark Steyn)
Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (02:44 am)
The extreme right wing, pro-coal, pro-gas Australian Labor Government …
Just about everything and everyone is extreme right wing from Polya’s perspective, including the “extreme right wing, pro-coal, pro-gas, pro-war, genocide-complicit, holocaust-complicit, genocide-ignoring, holocaust-ignoring, pro-Zionist, anti-Arab anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, politically correct racist (PC racist), Zionist- and neocon-beholden, war criminal and climate criminal Obama Administration.”
What a fascinating world his must be.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (11:37 am)
Yet another sign that Julia Gillard may not even get Greens to agree to her carbon dioixde tax - which, actually, might be her one last hope:
A CARBON price of $40 a tonne is needed to force a switch from coal to new, gas-fired electricity generation and reduce Australia’s emissions, the federal government has been advised as it prepares for a meeting to run all weekend with the independents and Greens to begin crunching a final climate deal.
The carbon price has been widely expected to start at between $20 and $30 a tonne, but confidential research by Deloittes for the Resources Minister, Martin Ferguson, says that with east coast gas prices rising, black coal will remain the cheapest way to generate power unless the price on emissions rises relatively quickly to $40 a tonne.
Gillard needs the price set so low that no one will notice - because that’s the only way it might survive electoral slaughter. The Greens will demand the price be set so high that people will notice - because that’s the only way it can cut emissions.
And so poisonous is Gillard’s tax that she may well now want the Greens to block it, even if this means yet another policy failure for her, and an election that becomes a referendum on higher taxes.
What a catastrophe for Labor. And it’s not much good for the rest of us, either:
The Deloittes research also warns that if government policy remains uncertain and investors have no clear incentive to build new gas-fired baseload power, the nation’s electricity bills will rise by between $1 billion and $5 billion a year anyway because of continued investment in expensive stopgap technologies.
The confrontation is coming fast:
Greens deputy leader Christine Milne today backed confidential Deloittes research finding a $40 a tonne emissions tax would be needed to encourage a national transition from coal-fired electricity to gas....
“I certainly recognise that you are going to need a price at $40 or more to shift from coal to gas and then a higher price still from gas to the renewables,” she told ABC radio.
“The Greens are arguing for a combination of measures ... because even at $40, it is not a high enough price to bring on renewable energy at large scale.”
(But Climate Change Minister Greg) Combet said the government would not implement a carbon price any where near $40 a tonne although he did not offer any alternative price.
“The Government is still working on the carbon price and it is yet to decide on the level of the starting price, but I can tell you that it will be well south of $40 a tonne,” he told The Australian Online.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (10:58 am)
Just remember for next time… If we were talking about hotter, not colder, you’d be told this was a sign of climate change, not ever-changing weather:
The average minimum temperature so far this month in Sydney is running at 10.5 degrees, 1 degree below the May average....
Darwin residents will be peeling off the layers now that they’ve shaken off early-season record cold… Temperatures are gradually returning to normal, rising a little each day after the coldest two consecutive mornings on record this early in the year.
(Thanks to reader Edwin.)
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (10:41 am)
Excellent questioning from Leigh Sales. If the Gillard Government says it’s too soon to say if Malaysia will take these latest 55 boat people, why did it announce it had a deal in the first place?
LEIGH SALES: So how far away do you think you are from being able to tell us where they’ll be going and under what conditions?
CHRIS BOWEN: Well, look, we’ll make further announcements when we’re in a position to.
LEIGH SALES: And do you know how far away?
CHRIS BOWEN: Well, look, I’m not gonna put a timeframe on it, Leigh.
LEIGH SALES: Days? Weeks?
CHRIS BOWEN: The discussions we’ve had with other countries have been very productive… There are other countries in the region that wanna do that do, who want to help Australia to do that, and they’ve been discussions that are advanced, but we’ll be making further announcements when we’re in a position to. It would be not appropriate for me to pre-empt those before those governments have finalised their consideration.
LEIGH SALES: You’ve not really been able to answer in detail any of the questions that I’ve put to you so far about these people, where or when they’ll be transferred. Why did the Gillard Government announce this Malaysia deal before the details are pinned down?
CHRIS BOWEN: Well Australia and Malaysia agreed that we’d reached the level of commitment that it was appropriate to make that public, that it was appropriate for both governments to announce that to our nations and to announce that more broadly and that would send a message about the seriousness with Australia and Malaysia are dealing with this.
Two consequences flow from announcing a desperately needed deal with Malaysia before Malaysia actually signs it.
First, Malaysia now has the Government over a barrel and can ask for any sweetener it likes.
Second, if Malaysia pulls out, Gillard looks an even greater fool. She’ll have to quit out of sheer humiliation.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (10:28 am)
Greens leader Bob Brown, the notorious opportunist, blamed coal miners for the Queensland floods:
Senator Brown says the coal-mining industry should foot the bill for the Queensland reconstruction efforts, claiming their operations are partly responsible for the floods.
”It’s the single biggest cause, burning coal, for climate change and it must take its major share of responsibility for the weather events we are seeing unfolding now,” he said.
That’s too rich even for leading alarmist Rajendra Pachauri:
SPECIFIC natural disasters such as Cyclone Yasi and the Brisbane floods could not be directly linked to man-made climate change, the world’s leading climate change authority said yesterday.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chairman Rajendra Pachauri said the general observation that climate change was bringing about an increase in extreme weather events was valid but scientists needed to provide much finer detail.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (10:07 am)
Terry McCrann says this is just another big spending Labor government:
THE most extraordinary feature of the media coverage of the budget is ... that over the two years to 2012-13 budget revenues are forecast to leap by an astonishing and in dollar terms utterly unprecedented $75 billion…
The increase in revenue in just two years is nearly 25 per cent. Even after adjusting for inflation, it’s still close to 19 per cent. ..
The obvious point is that it is only this huge revenue boost which is taking the budget back to surplus in 2012-13. The government has just capped - a very high level of - spending, not reduced it....
By 2012-13 revenue will be 28 per cent higher than it was in the last pre-GFC boom year of 2007-08. But spending will be 37 per cent higher. That’s the problem and the fundamental criticism of this government. ...
What (Treasurer Wayne Swan) has actually delivered so far is three budgets that increased spending by 5.8 per cent a year in real terms.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (07:03 am)
Thankfully, Donald Trump bows out of the race for the Republican nomination - a race that was turning into a joke and which still seems a disaster:
“I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election,” Trump said in a statement on Monday. “I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector.”
Barack Obama trumped Trump by releasing the birth certificate he claimed didn’t exist. And in that instant, Trump was all played out.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (06:34 am)
One of the independents propping up Gillard isn’t impressed. Here’s Andrew Wilkie:
ONE of Julia Gillard’s key independent allies says the Government is “in a hole” as a poll showed her support at its lowest since replacing Kevin Rudd last year.
An independent who doesn’t prop her up seems keener by the day on a new election. Here’s Bob Katter:
Mr Katter told the Herald Sun he has pledged his support to Ms Gillard for two Budgets in the name of Government stability, “but a continuation of policies from outer space” would test that commitment. “I get along with Julia but she has made some dreadful policy decisions...”
Niki Savva agrees that Julia Gillard’s survival as Labor leader is in part due to a lack of alternatives:
She stays afloat through sheer force of will, the absence of a viable alternative and the solid support of the Greens and independents. At the weekend, Labor MPs were unsure what the government could do to get out of its predicament. On the macro level, replacing the leader is not an option, not yet and not unless it gets much worse, which is always possible. They still hate Kevin and can’t bring themselves to support Bill Shorten or Combet.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (06:14 am)
What fits with Australian values is the idea that we are one people bound by one law, not rival peoples with each our own:
THE nation’s peak Muslim group is using the Gillard government’s re-embracing of multiculturalism to push for the introduction of sharia in Australia, but it says it would be a more moderate variety of Islamic law that fits with Australian values…
In an interview with The Australian, the organisation’s president, Ikebal Adam Patel, who wrote the submission, nominated family law and specifically divorce as an area where moderate interpretations of sharia could co-exist within the Australian legal system....
Mr Patel says the AFIC, as the peak body of Islamic organisations in Australia, “strongly supports that multiculturalism should lead to legal pluralism . . . and twin tolerations”.
Whoever wants to make their own private or religious arrangements about living together can do so, provided they do not conflict with Australian law. But for the law to specifically endorse verdicts of religious groups is to give them a power and legal standing that seems at odds with not just our notion of one law for all, but with our Constitution’s insistence on a separation of church and state:
116. The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.
Note, by the way, how multiculturalism encourages those who want to retribalise Australia, rather than stress what unites us.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (06:05 am)
Not a single person is saying he is corrupt, or even that he knew of any corruption. The question, rather, is whether Mike Quigley’s information about his time at Alcatel is as reliable as his information about the $36 billion NBN he’s now trying to build for the Gillard Government:
NATIONAL Broadband Network chief Michael Quigley has admitted making more incorrect claims about his past as one of the top executives of French telecommunications giant Alcatel, which was involved in widespread corruption across the globe.
In 2009, when Mr Quigley was appointed to the $1.8 million-a-year job of running Australia’s biggest infrastructure project, the federal government was unaware that Alcatel was then the subject of a five-year US government investigation.
After this fact was revealed by The Australian late last month, Mr Quigley wrote in an opinion piece that he had not told the government of the corruption investigation at Alcatel because the investigation had been resolved and was “ancient history”.
At the first public hearing of the joint parliamentary committee into the $36 billion NBN yesterday, ... Mr Quigley admitted his claims about the investigation were incorrect ...
Separately, in an opening statement to the committee, Mr Quigley “unreservedly apologised” for incorrectly stating publicly that during his time at Alcatel, he was not responsible for overseeing operations in Costa Rica… Alcatel’s global corrupt dealings, including bribing government officials in exchange for lucrative contracts, were first exposed in Costa Rica....
The NBN chief executive yesterday also clarified an assertion he made in an article published in The Australian on May 5, in which he said it was Alcatel who reported the corruption to authorities. Presented with publicly available documents, Mr Quigley agreed it was Costa Rican officials who had contacted Alcatel over the corruption and that he had referred to Alcatel passing this on to US authorities.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (05:59 am)
Is that why four times more people prefer to live in Sydney?
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, May 17, 11 (05:53 am)
Strong media support and the accolades for her handling of the floods won’t save Anna Bligh:
CAMPBELL Newman has revived the conservatives’ hopes of regaining government in Queensland, with the latest Newspoll wiping out the gains Anna Bligh made after her leadership during the floods and cyclone crises…
A state Newspoll, conducted exclusively for The Australian, reveals Labor is facing a landslide defeat that could leave it with as few as 13 seats in the 89-seat parliament, down from its current 51, under a voter backlash of NSW proportions.
The poll of 1123 voters, conducted last month and this, shows primary support for the LNP has skyrocketed from 37 per cent to 51 per cent—levels not seen since the 1996 post-election win of the then coalition government led by Rob Borbidge…
On a two-party-preferred basis, the LNP’s vote surged from 48 per cent to 60 per cent, giving it a 20-point lead over Labor.
Labor is everywhere in terrible, terrible trouble. States and federal issues differ, of course, but a revolt against spin is common to all. Waste also features strongly for federal Labor and for Victoria and NSW.
Andrew Bolt – Monday, May 16, 11 (07:28 pm)
Sociallsts tend to believe in redistributing the income of everyone except themselves. Take Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the International Monetary Fund chief:
The prominent French socialist, who was expected to challenge Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidency next year, allegedly assaulted a 32-year-old maid who had arrived to clean his £1,855-a-night suite at the luxury Sofitel near Times Square, at 1pm on Saturday.
(Thanks to readers Martin and Gary.)
Andrew Bolt – Monday, May 16, 11 (07:04 pm)
I suspect Labor is close to panic, now, and the only thing propping up Julia Gillard is the lack of a clear and viable alternative:
LABOR backbenchers have accused Julia Gillard’s inner circle of botching the budget sales job and reverting to a Kevin Rudd-style government where the cabinet process is undermined.
There was a sense of resignation among caucus members today over the government’s immediate future, with one warning of at least 12 months of “blood and gore” to come.... But there was anger in some quarters at “mistakes of our own making”.
One backbencher said Wayne Swan had made a clear error when he said families on $150,000 weren’t rich, widening the politicial impact of the budget’s middle-class welfare cuts.
“He should have said, ‘yeah, you are’,” the source said....The source said the government’s proposed five-for-one refugee swap with Malaysia had gone down badly because of a lack of cabinet scrutiny.
The source said the policy was presented to cabinet ministers with just two hours notice, giving them little chance to properly assess the deal.
Andrew Bolt – Monday, May 16, 11 (06:22 pm)
It’s called the ”Galileo Movement”.
Andrew Bolt – Monday, May 16, 11 (06:11 pm)
Yet another boat-load of “asylum seekers” say they’re not scared of Julia Gillard’s Malaysian five-for-one solution:
ANOTHER asylum seeker boat carrying 55 people has been intercepted by the Navy off Christmas Island today.
Add the 32 from the weekend, and we already have 87 of the 800 boat people we’ll give Malaysia in exchange for 4000 of theirs.
And by the formula that Immigration Minister Chris Bowen gave 60 Minutes yesterday, the 55 who arrived today will cost us $4,400,000 a year to house and process.
Oh, and bear in mind that Gillard’s Malaysian deal has still not been signed.