Tim Blair – Saturday, May 21, 11 (04:19 am)
Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who knifed her own party leader, lied to Australia, handed Labor policy to the Greens and is too chicken to hold an election, plans her next speech:
“We are the party of political courage,” she will tell the Victorian ALP state conference. “Now we must summon that courage again and tackle climate change.
“We must summon that courage again and win the fight to price carbon.”
Tough on trace gases. Scared of voters. That’s our PM, whose carbon courage has caused a collapse in Queensland:
Julia Gillard’s support in Queensland has collapsed, with Labor’s vote plummeting to record lows across the state.
Labor’s primary vote has crashed to 28 per cent, a Galaxy poll conducted exclusively for The Courier-Mail reveals.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has pulled in front of Ms Gillard as preferred prime minister by a strong 16 percentage point margin.
Tim Blair – Friday, May 20, 11 (06:32 pm)
The case against two Army Reserve soldiers charged with manslaughter in Afghanistan will not proceed to a court martial, a judge advocate has decided.
This means the case has been dismissed and the charges will be referred back to the Director of Military Prosecutions, Judge Advocate Brigadier Ian Westwood said at a pre-trial hearing in Sydney today.
A court martial set down for July 11 will now not proceed and the prosecution will have to decide whether to bring further charges against the pair.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 21, 11 (07:41 am)
THERE are great moral causes, and then there are the men who rush to lead them. Take Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
He is a socialist. In fact, he’s such a socialist that he was tipped only a fortnight ago to become France’s next president, as the Socialist Party’s candidate.
Socialism, I’m told, is the cause you sign up for if you want to take from the rich and give and give again to the poor. If you want to stop the workers from being exploited by the powerful. If you hate racists and really worry about asylum seekers.
So how does Strauss-Kahn end up being charged in New York with the rape of a maid who’d come to the US as an asylum seeker?
And while he pleads not guilty to the rape, how does this prominent socialist explain the scene of the alleged crime in his room at a $3000-a-night hotel?
Still, at least he believes now in giving away his tax-free salary of $420,000, since he this week resigned as head of the International Monetary Fund.
That a socialist could find himself on this salary, in that room, charged with the rape of such a woman will surprise no one, in a way. We’ve lost that moral sense or expectation of having actions matched to words, lifestyle to cause.
Nowhere do we see this more clearly than in the global warming crusade—the first religious movement led entirely by shameless hypocrites.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 21, 11 (07:14 am)
And it’s a pitch that might work if the Baillieu Government doesn’t get its skates on:
STATE Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews will target the Baillieu government’s inaction in his first speech to the party faithful since last year’s devastating election loss…
‘’Ted Baillieu promised to fix the problems,’’ he will say. ‘’But in six months we have not seen a government getting on with the job.
‘’Look at [NSW premier] Barry O’Farrell. It’s fair to say he’s achieved more in six weeks than Ted Baillieu’s achieved in six months.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 21, 11 (07:02 am)
ASYLUM seekers in Indonesia are well aware of the federal government’s plan to send boat people to Malaysia and now say they will not attempt the sea crossing to Australia....
Hundreds of asylum seekers, most from Afghanistan and Iraq, live in Puncak, a mountainous region outside Jakarta… At the villas and crumbling hostels where they reside, the Herald got the same response: everyone knew of the policy change and said they would not be engaging the services of a people smuggler any time soon.
‘’Yes, back to Malaysia, back to PNG,’’ said Muhammad Bagir, an 18-year-old asylum seeker. ‘’Every time I think of it, I am crying. We just stay here now waiting for the UNHCR. Many years … very difficult life’’.
This would still leave Labor with nearly 7000 people in detention to deal with, and 4000 extra refugees from Malaysia to explain away. Yet this is the first glimmer of hope for Julia Gillard’s strategy - or, rather, only option:
The Gillard strategy also rests on Tony Abbott maintaining a short-term, negative outlook as he pursues his election campaign themes of “stopping the boats, opposing new taxes and cutting the waste and debt”. The Prime Minister wants to address each of these key issues well before the election and leave Abbott looking negative, short-sighted and an empty scaremonger.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 21, 11 (06:51 am)
I AM an indigenous Australian. Most of you are probably indigenous, too.
We were born here. We are of this land, and we love it. There is nowhere else we would or even could call home.
We are as the Miriam-Webster Dictionary describes under indigenous: “produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region.”
That’s us. Australians. Produced right here. Yet how often we’ve been insulted. At almost every Government function it’s been the same.
It’s opened by some dignitary who tells us this country is not really ours—that we, who were born here, are in fact interlopers on the land of some traditional owners we must now acknowledge.
Same deal with a charity I’ve helped out at several lunches, usually opened by a nice woman with an American accent who starts with this same divisive formula: “I’d like to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land . . .
Enough. Thank heavens for Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu, who this week ruled that Government ministers would no longer be forced to make this acknowledgment at major functions.
You see, it’s so toe-curling. So often we’ve watched a white person piously tell a room full of other whites, “I’d like to acknowledge the traditional owners of” . . . of, well, the Long Room of the MCG. Or a boardroom of some high-altitude Collins St stockbroker. Or the ballroom of The Regent. Or their own home.
How terribly empty is this modish ceremony. There’s almost never some Aborigine, let alone a traditional one, to be encouraged by this pat on the head. It is entirely to display our superior compassion that we do it, with not even the expectation that it will do any good to anyone but ourselves.
Not one Aboriginal child ever lifts their head in some ghetto to say thanks. Not one workless Aborigine suddenly finds himself in a job.
No, there’s just a lot of non-Aborigines clutching their glasses of wine and trying briefly to look concerned. But if this acknowledgment, now routine in our political and artistic class, was merely useless I would probably not much care.
But it is also racist and undermines our sense of being at home, and part of a whole bigger than us.
That’s why I was appalled when it started to be introduced even in schools. What happened to our shining aim to judge each other as individuals and not by our birth, ancestors, race or wealth?
Now I hear Aunty Joy Murphy, who seems to do most of Melbourne’s big welcome to country ceremonies as the local elder, complain on Thursday that Baillieu offended those, like her, who had been here thousands of years.
Or as activist Jackie Huggins once put it: “I’m 70,000 years old.”
Well, in truth, Murphy looks little older than am I, and I am just 51. If she judged people as individuals and not by their race, she would never claim to be thousands of years older. If she judged people as individuals and not by their race, class or ancestry, she would not claim to be a traditional owner of anything but her own house. Just like me.
If she dropped this insistence on racial pedigree, she would accept that in fact we are only individuals, each with only as much claim to an acknowledgment as we have with our own deeds deserved.
See, what is being smuggled in here is an allegedly benevolent form of racism. Benevolent, but still racism.
And it tells non-Aborigines this is not truly their home.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 21, 11 (06:42 am)
Tony Abbott’s strategy took the Liberals from dead meat under Malcolm Turnbull to red hot contender at the last election, yet...:
The Australian Election Study, based on a detailed survey conducted immediately after the election in August, found that voters’ dislike of the Opposition Leader added more than 1 per cent to Labor’s vote…
The calculations are included in an analysis of the survey results by two political scientists - Clive Bean of the Queensland University of Technology and Ian McAllister of the Australian National University.
I think it’s not just simplistic but deceptive to divorce a leader from his policies and strategies. An Opposition leader who agrees with everything the government says, including its most disastrous policies, will probably rate highly for his general niceness, but will never win power.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 21, 11 (06:39 am)
THREE companies thrown out of the federal government’s $1.45 billion Home Insulation Scheme have been linked to businesses seeking to profit from taxpayer-funded solar subsidies.
And a dozen other insulation installers under the defunct scheme have been endorsed by Canberra to take part in its $308 million “digital ready” set-top box scheme.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 21, 11 (06:27 am)
Devastating figures for Gillard on every level:
JULIA Gillard’s support in Queensland has collapsed, with Labor’s vote plummeting to record lows across the state. Labor’s primary vote has crashed to 28 per cent, a Galaxy poll conducted exclusively for The Courier-Mail reveals..
This result would see the Coalition win by 59 per cent to 41 per cent on a two-party-preferred basis… Support for the Coalition has soared from 47.4 per cent primary vote at the last election to 53 per cent in the Galaxy poll.
Labor’s last desperate strategy has been to rely on what the last election proved was a false hope - that at least Tony Abbott is unelectable. But:
For the first time in any recent opinion poll, Mr Abbott has pulled ahead of Ms Gillard as preferred prime minister by 53 per cent to 47 per cent.
And for Labor there’s good news and bad news. These is a viable alternative leader, says the public, but the trouble is that he’s the man who would have lost them the last election:
Kevin Rudd is now preferred Labor leader by 59 per cent of Queensland voters.
How did it come to this so quickly? ...Was Graham Richardson exaggerating last Saturday when he wrote that no less than five of her ministers had complained to him in the previous week that she didn’t listen to them and just backed her own judgment?
My best guess is that, for all her ambition to get the top job, she’s not all that interested in government over the long haul ... She certainly betrays few signs of having given the prime ministerial role much forethought or developing a considered agenda…
The choice for caucus is between drifting with Gillard and giving someone else two years to reshape the government. With the ALP bumping along on a primary vote in the low 30s, it won’t take long before getting rid of Gillard looks like listening to public opinion and pulling out all stops to make the party competitive again.
Giillard can write off any recovery in Westeren Australia, too:
WEST Australian Premier Colin Barnett yesterday slammed the federal government as abusive and threatening, after Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan vowed to punish his state for its decision to hike iron ore royalties by cutting back GST grants and infrastructure funding to the west.
Mr Barnett promised to use the next federal election, due in 2013, to run a campaign on the issue across Western Australia, where Labor has been reduced to just three seats.
In a new low in recent relations between Canberra and Perth, the Prime Minister and the Treasurer said the Barnett government would pay for the $2 billion shortfall in the federal budget created by a hike in mining royalties in Western Australia.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 21, 11 (06:07 am)
On Monday night, the judges for the 2011 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards awarded the top prize for non-fiction to Malcolm Fraser: The Political Memoirs by Malcolm Fraser and Margaret Simons. It also won Book of the Year, netting the authors a total of $50,000 in winnings.
The judges commented, “The book is outstanding for the way in which the issue of moral leadership is powerfully worked into the narrative fabric.” And, “… the book offers a forceful though implicit critique of current polity. It reinvigorates an almost forgotten strand of liberalism in Australian political culture …”
Is that why the book won?
Malcolm Fraser .... was and remains a vociferous critic of the policies of former PM John Howard, a man so loathed by the Left, it’s a wonder leftist party faithful aren’t compelled to write his name on a piece of paper and stick it in their freezers....
The two awards surprised me only because I was aware, when the book came out in early 2010 that there had been criticism of its take on certain key events and several, including The Sydney Institute’s Gerard Henderson, had listed errors of fact. (In one of the most astonishing, Fraser and Simons liken him to Bob Hawke and have them both winning four federal elections – Fraser won three.)
In The Age, Michael Sexton reviewed the memoir and declared in his opening paragraph that Margaret Simons “has looked at [Fraser’s] political life through the softest of rose-coloured glasses"…
David Smith, former official secretary to Governor-General Sir John Kerr (and four other G-Gs) wrote to The Australian to say that Fraser’s account in the memoir of what the Governor-General had said to him in a phone-call on the crucial morning of November 11, 1975, was “not true”.
In The Monthly, reviewer Tim Soutphommasane noted that, “The picture of Fraser that emerges, then, is really a portrait by Simons. It is an unavoidably sympathetic treatment.” ...
So, have I got this right? A major political memoir can come out, can include serious errors according to creditable commentators – the above is just a bare indication – and the authors can also be accused of what is basically rewriting history in the subject’s own favour – and it can still walk off with top honours in a literary award that is funded by taxpayers.
More from the judges’ comments:
Given the ongoing controversies that mark public and political life in this country, with regard to refugees, immigration, Aboriginal health and land rights and the population debate, the book presents alternative and clear perspectives about just resolutions of these issues.
Paula Abood, Stephen Axelsen, Professor Robyn Ewing, Farid Farid, Judi Farr, Johanna Featherstone, Tim Gooding, Dr Kathryn Heyman, Jacqueline Kent, Suzanne Leal, Dr Chris Mead, Stephen Measday, Rhyll McMaster (Chair), Tony Morphett, Omar Musa, Dr Camilla Nelson, Jane Oehr, Joseph Pugliese, Judith Ridge, Polly Rowe, James Roy and Les Wicks.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 21, 11 (06:02 am)
I cannot comment about the evidence given in court by the granddaughter of this woman, and cannot allow you to comment here, either.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, May 21, 11 (12:03 am)
Rod Liddle runs into the problem all controversialists will face - when the perfect analogy meets perfect horror:
I had rather high hopes when I learned that there was to be a “Slut Walk” through London in a couple of weeks. However, it transpires that they are not proper honest to God sluts at all, but very angry women in dungarees who will most likely not be up for it, so to speak. The Slut Walk movement began in Canada when a chief of police suggested women should avoid dressing like “sluts” if they wished to avoid being sexually assaulted by men. This provoked the usual irrational and foam-flecked fury, with hordes of women screeching that they have a right to dress however they wish without being attacked.
Well, indeed. Just as I have a perfect right to leave my windows open when I nip to the shops for some fags, without being burgled. It doesn’t lessen the guilt of the burglar that I’ve left my window open, or even remotely suggest that I was deserving of being burgled. Just that it was more likely to happen. Why is this difficult to understand? I mentioned this in a radio debate earlier this week and the woman I was debating with shrieked at me: “I AM NOT A HOUSE. I AM NOT A HOUSE”.