Saturday, July 16, 2011

News items and comments

Meet the real hacks behind media probe

Piers Akerman – Saturday, July 16, 11 (05:43 pm)

IF Julia Gillard and Bob Brown want to waste more taxpayers’ money on an inquiry into the media, bring it on.

It’s a political stunt, of course.

Unfortunately for the unpopular pair, should they launch a probe that begins looking into perceived bias, it may just make the reasons why they are so disliked across the nation front-page news.

I have long complained about the left's argument problem. They don't argue well. They are emotive. They are abusive. They are rarely factual. I posted an amateur series of videos on Che Guevarra a few years ago because lots of people don't know who he is, but wear his picture on their T Shirts. They think that monster is some kind of hero. So I read from a lefty site (wikipedia) about the monster and collected pictures of his atrocities as well as his 'achievements' and posted the series in twelve parts. The abuse I got from people I believe to be Cuban sponsored is illustrative of the problem with argument from the left. They haven't argued with the material. They have complained about my accent, my knowledge. My definition of monster. They have even argued the CIA did worse.
The truth is Gillard has not told us what she plans to do with the money she is taking from us. But we know it won't help the identified issue of climate change.

The reality is, we’ve all gone batty

Miranda Devine – Saturday, July 16, 11 (05:38 pm)

WHEN Australia’s farming sector was under threat from a rabbit plague in 1950, the CSIRO released the myxomatosis virus, which wiped out the population within two years.

The world’s first successful biological control of a mammal pest saved the wool and meat industries and reduced rabbit numbers from 600 million to 100 million.

In those days it was regarded as one of CSIRO’s greatest triumphs.

Today it would probably be called genocide. That is, if animal rights activists, the Greens and government bureaucracies allowed it to go ahead.

There is something frightening about the politicisation of our public service bodies whenever the ALP is in power. Scientists embrace the Global Warming Fad. Teachers fail to teach their students topics they are employed to teach. Police don't look at the ethnicity of those they police. Judges don't go by written guidelines of the law.
I remember taking an issue before Legal Aide once. I have Aboriginal ancestry, but because I didn't have Aboriginal culture they wouldn't help me. It didn't have anything to do with my race.
As the ALP have shown before, this issue is serious, and could shut down the industry. If it put a halt to gambling I am confident we would have the ear of the PM.

Shy Australia

Miranda Devine – Friday, July 15, 11 (10:06 pm)

THE public is shying away from Julia Gillard’s carbon tax, according to the latest Roy Morgan poll. The ALP has recorded a record low Two-Party preferred result of 39.5%, compared to the L-NP’s 60.5%, in the first national opinion poll conducted entirely since Carbon Sunday.

Taken by telephone over two nights, July 13 and 14, 2011, the poll is, “the worst Two-Party preferred voting result for Labor since the first Roy Morgan Gallup Poll conducted in May 1942”.


The ALP primary vote is down to 27.5% compared to the L-NP on 52.5%.

Greens support is down to 10.5% and Others/Independents is at 9.5%.

Not even a dead cat bounce.

The only thing for Gillard is to keep going, as Bob Carr puts it, to “show the nerves of a U-boat captain and ignore the torpedoes”.

I get it why Gillard is doing what she is. But I am stunned that the rest of the ALP is following and accepting it. The longer they remain in government the longer the interregnum will be. That will be very bad for those dependent on ALP in office.

DD Ball of Carramar (Reply)
Sat 16 Jul 11 (05:22am)

… is from page 19 of Hayek’s 1933 essay “The Trend of Economic Thinking,” reprinted in F.A. Hayek, The Trend of Economic Thinking: Essays on Political Economists and Economic History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), pp. 17-34:

Indeed, it is probably no exaggeration to say that economics developed mainly as the outcome of the investigation and refutation of successive Utopian proposals – if by “Utopian” we mean proposals for the improvement of undesirable effects of the existing system, based upon a complete disregard of those forces which actually enabled it to work.


Smoke and mirrors

by RUSS ROBERTS on JULY 15, 2011


The focus on the size of the spending cuts is a red herring.

What matters is spending.

According to Paul Ryan:

The President’s proposing we spend $46 trillion over the next ten years. With the debt limit increase, we’re saying ‘let’s spend 43 and a half.’ That’s not asking a lot over a 10 year period. And it will be a small down payment on what will be necessary to prevent a debt crisis. And the President won’t even do that.

Is Paul Ryan right? Is the President really proposing to spend FORTY SIX TRILLION DOLLARS OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS? I don’t know. Haven’t seen that number before which either tells you a lot about Paul Ryan or how easy it is for politicians to manipulate us.

The federal government spent $3.5 trillion in 2010. That’s up from $2.5 trillion in 2005. Going to $4.3 trillion (43 trillion over ten years) IS NOT A CUT.

Paul Krugman writes in yesterday’s Times:

President Obama has made it clear that he’s willing to sign on to a deficit-reduction deal that consists overwhelmingly of spending cuts, and includes draconian cuts in key social programs, up to and including a rise in the age of Medicare eligibility. These are extraordinary concessions.

Draconian? Where? Either Krugman or Ryan is wrong. And the debate is all theater.



Tim Blair – Saturday, July 16, 11 (07:16 am)

Proof that carbon dioxide – or even a tax on carbon dioxide – boosts vegetation:

A green brigade of bureaucrats assigned to environmental programs around the country has grown by 20 per cent since Labor won power four years ago.

And the commonwealth public service has breached some of its own energy-saving targets, with the Canberra headquarters consuming 25 per cent more electricity than a decade ago.

The number of public servants employed by the federal, state and territory environment departments has risen to 23,466, as green agencies recruit new staff at the rate of 1000 a year.

The green workforce has grown by 75 per cent in the key federal environmental agencies, which have almost 4000 permanent staff.

Every single cent funding these people is utterly wasted. Worse than that; it’s your money being spent on projects and policies that aim to cost you still more money, all in the name of achieving nothing for anybody. And this is before the introduction of our planet-saving carbon tax, which features a bureaucrat bonded to every single carbon atom we emit:

The bureaucratic blow-out will intensify as the Gillard government creates six new federal agencies to administer 20 new programs tied to the introduction of a carbon tax next year.

At least 200 more public servants will be recruited by the new Clean Energy Regulator.

Staff numbers at the existing Climate Change Authority have already risen tenfold, to 1027, since its establishment less than four years ago.

Meanwhile, it’s cold.

UPDATE. Adam Bandt: “I’m having a ball. It’s a pretty good time to be a Green …”

(Via Andrew Bolt)



Tim Blair – Saturday, July 16, 11 (06:50 am)

Education is a blast in Bima town, Indonesia:

Security forces arrived at the school at Bima town, West Nusa Tenggara province, late on Monday after a home-made bomb exploded in one of the rooms, killing a man suspected of being a Philippine-trained bomb expert.

He is no longer suspected of being an expert.

Police were quoted as saying the unidentified man was suspected of instructing students how to make bombs when one of the devices exploded.

That would be how not to make bombs, then. The school’s principal immediately departed the scene:

Police are hunting the head of Umar bin Khatab Islamic boarding school in Bima regency, West Nusa Tenggara, who fled to avoid investigation over a bomb that exploded in the school earlier this week.

When they find his head, they can put it next to Expert McSplodey’s.

“[Police] could not find the principal of the school, who seemed to have fled along with followers,” National Police spokesman, Brig. Gen. I Ketut Untung Yoga Ana, said on Thursday.

“Police are continuing to search for him in all possible directions,” he added.

Which, coincidentally, is what school cleaners are currently doing with his former bomb-instruction teacher.

During their investigations on Wednesday, police found nine Molotov cocktails and several weapons, including arrows, machetes, a sword and an air gun. They also found tools which can be used to make bombs, such as soldering-irons, cables and matches.

I’m beginning to suspect that this might be a Presbyterian school. On Friday afternoon, police spokesman Yoga Ana reported a breakthrough:

“An arrest has been made against the leader of the Islamic boarding school, Abrory, at the residence of his parents …” he said.

How cute. The principal of Kablammo High ran home to mummy. He’s an Indonesian Skinner.



Tim Blair – Saturday, July 16, 11 (06:31 am)

Today’s editorial:

For confirmation that The Daily Telegraph is doing its job of informing readers and holding the powerful to account, look no further than the annoyance expressed by federal Treasurer Wayne Swan.

The Treasurer, noting that The Daily Telegraph leads coverage of the government’s planned carbon tax, yesterday accused this newspaper of “unbalanced” reporting.



Tim Blair – Saturday, July 16, 11 (06:27 am)

Following the News of the World phone hacking disgrace, Brendan O’Neill observes:

So many commentators have allowed themselves to be swallowed by schadenfreude that they have lost the ability to step back and ask: what is motoring this crusade and what will its impact be?

As it happens, schadenfreudey anti-Murdoch types are increasingly impacting themselves:

• A Reuters columnist has apologised after accusing News Corp of tax profiteering:

The premise of my debut column for Reuters, on News Corp’s taxes, was wrong, 100% dead wrong.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp did not get a $4.8 billion tax refund for the past four years, as I reported. Instead, it paid that much in cash for corporate income taxes for the years 2007 through 2010 while earning pre-tax profits of $10.4 billion.

The incorrect claim lives on across the leftoid berkosphere.

• The Guardian has also apologised (on page 32) after claiming that the London Sun acted improperly in reporting medical details relating to former British PM Gordon Brown’s son.

• And Julia Gillard tried to link a British scandal to Australian media:

Prime Minister Julia Gillard told the National Press Club that she was “disgusted” by the phone hacking revelations, adding: “I anticipate that we’ll have a discussion amongst parliamentarians about this, about the best review and way of dealing with all of this.”

Apparently it’s now the job of Australian parliamentarians to police the work of English journalists. The opportunistic and cynical targeting of News distracts from obvious and grave wrongs committed by News of the World, for which Rupert Murdoch himself apologises:

He also visited the family of a murdered 13-year-old girl, Milly Dowler, whose voice mail was hacked by reporters at The News of the World while she was still listed as missing.

According to the Dowler family’s lawyer, Mark Lewis, Mr. Murdoch offered a sincere apology for the actions of his employees, who deleted phone messages after the girl’s mailbox had been filled, so they could collect more messages from concerned family members.

Mr. Lewis said Mr. Murdoch apologized “many times,” The Associated Press reported, and that he was “very humbled, he was very shaken and he was very sincere.”

There is yet more work ahead. To date, however, the company has done well to address awful harm done to innocent people.

UPDATE. Another resignation.



Tim Blair – Saturday, July 16, 11 (05:22 am)

Excellent car-buying advice from the SMH, warning against finance plans that cost only an extra $10 a week:

In an age of monthly mobile phone or internet payments, paying off your car by the month seems to make sense. Car companies are increasingly talking about cars in monthly figures but it’s best not to think that way yourself.

When you negotiate with the dealer be sure to consider the overall price. If you break it down into a monthly figure, it could seem more affordable than it actually is.

This happens to be the precise tactic of carbon tax enthusiast Geoff Lemon – who, just in passing, also compares journalists at the Herald and Weekly Times to concentration camp guards.



Tim Blair – Friday, July 15, 11 (08:36 pm)

A shock development for clan loyalists:

Heath Shaw has apologised to his club and its supporters after copping an eight-week ban for betting on a Collingwood game.

Shaw was handed a 14-week ban, with six weeks suspended, along with a fine of $20,000 for breaches of AFL’s gambling regulations.

The breach relates to Shaw betting $10 (in a shared $20 bet with a friend) on his captain Nick Maxwell kicking the first goal in the Round 9 match against Adelaide.

Maxwell was also fined $5000 after family members took advantage of inside knowledge about his starting position to place bets.

Oh, and Rebekah Brooks has resigned.

UPDATE. Seven football commentator Dennis Cometti tonight as co-presenter Matthew Richardson obtains difficult boundary line interviews: “Richo should be down there collecting a carbon tax.”


Flannery’s credibility takes yet another hit

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 16, 11 (02:49 pm)

Andrew Revkin is a warmist, writing for the very Left New York Times. So his criticisms of the wild claims in Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery’s latest book are driven not by ideology but a respect for the truth:

It’s fine to revisit the story of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” and note that many developing countries have done little to control the use of dangerous insecticides and other chemicals. But Flannery slides too easily from discussing pesticide-related deaths and reproductive problems in birds (notably bald eagles) to citing a 2007 global estimate of 220,000 human deaths annually from acute pesticide poisoning. Global health impacts from pesticide exposure, while serious, remain dauntingly difficult to chart, and Flannery does not note that most documented deaths, according to the World Health Organization, result not from use (or misuse) in the field, but from the widespread habit, particularly in South Asia, of drinking pesticide to commit suicide. This is an appalling situation, but it has more to do with cultural, regulatory and mental health issues than with impending environmental Armageddon.

Flannery also writes that there are 42,000 cases of severe pesticide poisoning annually in the United States. But the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health concluded that while acute pesticide poisoning remains an “important problem,” its review of the years 1998 through 2005 found 3,271 such cases in total, with 0.6 percent of them of “high severity.”

Flannery’s credibility on issues of toxicity is further undercut by repeated misstatements or overstatements of what the science reveals. In a section on nuclear power, he describes how biologists, after the Chernobyl disaster, found that certain Mediterranean shrimp species had extraordinarily high concentrations of the radionuclide polonium 210 in some organs. Flannery ominously notes that this was the poison used to murder the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. But he fails to note that a paper published in the journal Science in 1982, four years before Chernobyl, described precisely the same high level of polonium 210 in the same organs of the same shrimp species collected in the Atlantic, accounting for it as the result of natural radiation.

A couple of questions…

Why do Flannery’s mistakes almost always err on the alarmist side?

Why, given also his astonishing record of dud predictions, does anyone still take this professional alarmist seriously?

(Thanks to reader Andy.)


Hear this - the rare sound of debate

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 16, 11 (02:07 pm)

Sounds good:

For an informed and substantial discussion, join Lord Nigel Lawson and five other distinguished guests at the Spectator Australia debate on Wednesday 3 August at Tattersalls Club, 181 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, between 6 p.m. and 8.30 p.m.

Debate Speakers:
NO to a carbon tax:

• Lord Nigel Lawson, former British Conservative Chancellor and author of An Appeal to Reason
• Ian Plimer, geologist at University of Adelaide and author of Heaven & Earth
• Gary Johns, associate professor at the Australian Catholic University and former federal Labor minister

YES to a carbon tax:

• John Hewson, chairman of GSA and former federal Liberal leader
• Benjamin McNeil, senior fellow at the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales
• Mark Latham, Spectator Australia columnist and former federal Labor leader


The latest dates of the speaking tour of Lord Monckton, plus booking details.


The dates and booking details for the speaking tour of another sceptic - or realist: Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic.


Would you trust Bob Brown with your newspapers?

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 16, 11 (09:52 am)

WOULD you trust Bob Brown to control what you read? I didn’t think we lived in a country where that question had to be asked.

Yet the Greens leader on Thursday proposed laws to stifle the freedom of newspapers to publish articles like this. Articles by conservatives.

“I think there’s quite a bit of concern I’m being fed from within the media ... about the narrow range of media opinion and the intrusion of opinion into news columns in sections of Australian media,” Brown declared.

“And it’s a good thing that we have a look at that.”

To be clear: “Maybe we do need to lift out of the gutter some of the stuff that’s appearing as opinion or news commentary in Australia.”

Be very clear about this threat - this first step to totalitarianism.

Brown is not complaining about The Age not employing a single on-staff conservative columnist. He is not complaining about the refusal of the ABC to hire a single conservative presenter of a TV current affairs show to balance Leigh Sales, Kerry O’Brien, Tony Jones or Virginia Trioli.

He’s not complaining about the overwhelming Leftism of the Canberra press gallery, or the sponsorship of Earth Hour by The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, papers that have one-sidedly promoted the great global warming scare that has brought us such strife.

He’s not worried that many opinion writers on the Herald Sun are of the Left - Susie O’Brien, Jill Singer, Laurie Oakes and others.

No, Brown wants to limit conservative opinion in those papers that provide it to readers willing to pay for it. Which means the News Ltd ones he calls “the hate media”.

Which means papers like this one - owned by Rupert Murdoch, now engulfed by a scandal around the now-axed News of the World in Britain.

(Oh, and Brown also wants to examine restricting media ownership in Australia, again singling out Murdoch.)

What is shocking is not just that such censorship is proposed by the leader of a party with such control over the national Government. It’s also frightening that this attack on one of our most fundamental freedoms - and a guarantor of the rest - is threatened without being damned by every journalist and politician.

Indeed, we’ve seen almost the opposite, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard saying she would discuss holding the best review into the media, sections of which she accused of writing “complete crap” about global warming and her policies.

Most shocking to me as a journalist was to see journalists of rival outlets almost egging her on, seeming keener on an ideological advantage than on the freedom most fundamental to their craft.

Here is the question asked publicly this week of Gillard by Channel 7’s political reporter, Mark Riley, seeking guidance on how to report on global warming and her broken promises:

“I think a few of us have been reflecting ... on our responsibilities,” Riley said.

“When we see a gentleman in Gladstone trying to encourage people to take up arms against the Government, a woman in Melbourne being shoved out of a public meeting and harassed down the street to tears, you are confronted in a shopping centre by people screaming and Liberal Party members calling you liar, and then a radio station coming here and broadcasting all day on the first day back of Parliament to whip climate change opposers into a frenzy.

“How do you see our responsibility and the way that we should be reporting this matter?”

Pardon? Asking the Prime Minister how to help tone down criticism by journalists and the public of her deceitful and incompetent Government?

That Riley did not die of shame on the spot ...

So Brown’s demand for an inquiry into how much conservative opinion should be published, and how, comes when support for free speech has never been so weak.


Crap applause

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 16, 11 (09:36 am)

JULIA Gillard was this week asked by a Channel 7 reporter for advice on how to calm down people cross with her and her carbon dioxide tax.

“How do you see our responsibility and the way that we should be reporting this matter?” asked a deferential Mark Riley.

Let me quote from the ABC’s transcript of the Prime Minister’s reply, delivered at the National Press Club:

GILLARD: I’d say to you: don’t write crap. (Laughs from audience). It can’t be that hard. (Applause from audience).

I watched the footage. That applause was warm, long and almost universal.

And I wonder. What chance of any senior Canberra reporter asking Opposition Leader Tony Abbott how we should be reporting global warming?

What chance of laughter and applause from Canberra journalists if Abbott replied: “Don’t write crap”?

This applause for Gillard simply confirms a deep current of sympathy in the Canberra press gallery for Labor leaders and their global warming message.

The irony is that when it comes to writing crap about global warming, it’s journalists who support the Prime Minister and her policies who are most likely to produce it.

Consider the following example, drawn from The Economist magazine, but using phrases and arguments now standard among warmist journalists.

“A RARE moment of triumph settled on Julia Gillard, Australia’s Prime Minister, on July 10th when she unveiled a plan for a carbon tax to fight climate change ...

And climate change has not been ruled out as a cause of its recent bouts of extreme weather: a 10-year drought, and floods and cyclones early this year ...

Mr Rudd came within a whisker of snaring bipartisan support for a market-based scheme to cut carbon pollution.”

I would bet real carbon - a diamond, for instance - that the writer had no idea he was writing crap.


Gone by September?

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 16, 11 (09:20 am)

I’m not yet confident enough to make this a firm prediction. But the odds are rapidly shortening on Julia Gillard being out by late September.

- This tax won’t sell - and can’t. It is all pain and no gain, and makes no sense at all,

- The economy is rapidly weakening, in part because of Labor’s terrible weakness. Voters will feel frightened at having such a weak government in charge at this moment, making things even worse.

- Gillard’s media supporters are less vocal, feeling more pity than respect. No one wants a leader they pity.

- The Greens have become dangerously extreme and arrogant, further undermining Gillard. Brown demanding restrictions on a media that criticises him must be a last straw.

- The polls have their own logic and bring their own pressure. I’m tipping the next Newspoll will give Gillard little lift, and quite possibly will show her plumb new depths.

- Union support is fracturing. Consider the Transport Workers’ Union. The AWU will soon back Gillard’s tax, thanks to the handouts, but few unions will actively fight for her.

- Growing panic in business sectors over falling sales and rising costs will force more business leaders to speak out, let Labor do its worst.

- Gillard’s record of mismanagement means another scandal could happen at any time. The NBN, for one, is always ripe to blow, but remember the cattle trade disaster? What’s next?

- Gillard faces another debilitating fight if Malaysia finally signs its people-swap deal, and she starts shipping boat people over.

- State Governments, those Liberal or about to be, cannot afford to let Gillard risk their power supplies and will fight.

- Labor hopes that Tony Abbott is accident-prone and will stumble grow dimmer by the day, and he grows stronger.

- Labor MPs cannot keep going out in public as green dupes or apologists for failure without deciding eventually that enough is enough.

- And, frankly, the public has simply had enough of Gillard and will not listen. There is a hectic tone to the debate that makes a desire for finality almost irresistible.

I just cannot see a circuit breaker to this.

Christopher Pearson says this was the week that the Gillard Government started to fall apart.


Shaun Carney:

I have never seen a prime minister who commands as little respect from large sections of the public and the media as Gillard, and that includes Sir William McMahon.


This is madness and it must be stopped

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 16, 11 (09:02 am)

It is lunacy to impose a carbon dioxide tax that will slow our growth on the eve of a financial clamity, and it’s utterly delusional to do on the expectation that this is the very time when sinking economies will impose similar taxes themselves.

Paul Kelly:

THIS week Europe hovered on the brink with its debt crisis threatening more nations in the eurozone, America was mired in gridlock over its huge debt burden and Australia declared its confidence in the domestic and world economies by moving to price carbon.

The juxtaposition is staggering. In the advanced economies there are 45 million jobless. Public debt as a portion of gross domestic product is 145 per cent in Greece, 120 per cent in Italy and about 100 per cent in the US. This constitutes a crisis of governance in the West and an intellectual crossroads for economic policy with competing needs to boost activity yet reduce debt.

Never has Australia’s political divorce from the rest of the West seemed more stunning.

Read it all.


Tery McCrann makes the same point:

I doubt that even Gillard would contemplate embarking on a carbon tax and consequent emissions trading scheme if faced with a bleak national future of US or European levels of unemployment, mortgage defaults, devastated businesses and general voter—sorry, consumer—distress…

While Gillard might actually believe the nonsense from Climate Change Minister Greg Combet that China “is taking action on climate change” that shames us in our tardiness, he must know the simple truth that it is actually going to double its CO2 emissions by 2020…

Combet knows that in net terms, China is planning to increase its coal-fired generation capacity by close to 500GW by 2020.

That’s to say, over the next decade, China is going to increase its coal-fired power generation and so its CO2 emissions by about 10 times Australia’s total generating capacity.

Underscoring the madness:

JULIA Gillard will push ahead with the $11 billion carbon tax as the Australian economy starts to falter and speculation mounts that the next move in interest rates could be down

The Westpac consumer confidence index published this week, taken before the carbon tax policy release last Sunday, reveals recession-like conditions across the economy.

The long-standing index collapsed by 8.3 per cent in July, the biggest one-month fall since the start of the global financial crisis in October 2008.

Professor James Allan is right to say that Tony Abbott could indeed repeal this tax:

Ah, say the purveyors of the “he won’t be able to repeal it” bogeyman, but he won’t control the Senate.

At this point one obvious rejoinder is the possibility that he will. It’s possible the Greens and Labor will not control the Senate after the 2013 election. A voter backlash, with the then likely new independent senators, may well give Abbott’s Coalition the numbers to repeal it in the Senate.

But let’s say the Coalition wins the House of Representatives but doesn’t control the Senate. Are we really to believe that following a drubbing in that election, with Abbott given a clear voter mandate to repeal the tax package, that a chastened Labor Party would block the repeal in the Senate?

If they did it would be disastrous. I’d bet money that Labor would roll over. To do otherwise would forever cast the party as indistinguishable from the Greens, who might block repeal because they would have far less to lose.


India exposes Gillard’s fantasy of the world following her lead:

A single Indian state is to build a new fleet of coal-power stations that could make it one of the world’s top 20 emitters of carbon emissions – on a par with countries such as Spain or Poland.

In an echo of the Chinese economy in the 1990s which depended on the exploitation of vast reserves of coal, India last year approved plans for 173 coal-fired power stations expected to provide an extra 80-100 gigawatts (GW) of electricity capacity within a few years. Many are expected to be fuelled by cheap coal imported from Australia, Indonesia and southern Africa, but applications to mine more than 600m tonnes of coal in India have been lodged.

(Thanks to reader Professor A.)


Of course, we trust Gillard not to have made a single mistake with this

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 16, 11 (08:39 am)

ELECTRICITY bills under a carbon tax will rise by more than double what the federal government has claimed - adding as much as $300 to an average family’s yearly bills - according to forecasts by NSW Treasury officials.


The profits of doom

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 16, 11 (08:37 am)

That’s another 23,000 people with a vested interest in keeping the global warming scare going:

The number of public servants employed by the federal, state and territory environment departments has risen to 23,466, as green agencies recruit new staff at the rate of 1000 a year.


Did she tell the pollsters the truth, before she accused Abbott of deceit?

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 16, 11 (08:26 am)


The Courier Mail introduces the “uncommitted” voters who quizzed Tony Abbott this week:

A GROUP of uncommitted voters asked Opposition leader Tony Abbott questions about his stance on a carbon tax. Here’s what they thought of his answers.

Vicki Monaghan, 51

Retiree, Holland Park

Vicki went toe-to-toe with Tony Abbott to the point where Mr Abbott said, “we’ll have to agree to disagree” after Ms Monaghan wanted to know why Mr Abbott persisted with his “scaremongering by insisting that the introduction of a price on carbon will increase production by a massive 45 per cent over the next decade”.

The answer that Mr Abbott gave was completely unsatisfactory and has not changed her vote one bit.

We now know a little more about this “uncommitted” voter:

Ms Monaghan turned out to be the wife of Queensland Council of Unions secretary Ron Monaghan

Galaxy Research principal David Briggs said that during the screening process participants were asked about their voting intention. “We get people who tell us they are undecided, we have to accept what they tell us,” he said.


Pin the tail

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 16, 11 (08:01 am)

Andrew Landeryou names the Liberal bully who intimidated and made a hero of a green heckler at a Liberal forum this week.


Adam Bandt gives the answer

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 16, 11 (07:45 am)

(Thanks to reader Julie from the sunny coast.)


Howard should just say he was wrong

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 16, 11 (07:26 am)

Laurie Oakes says John Howard tried to rewrite history when he spoke to me:

Howard protested to a newspaper columnist about Gillard using his commitment to an emissions trading system before he lost office in 2007 to help justify her similar scheme.

While conceding he had promised to bring in an ETS by 2012, Howard claimed: “I indicated at the time that we would act in concert with the rest of the world and not ahead of it.”

But what did he really say back then?

“Australia will continue to lead internationally on climate change, globally and in the Asia-Pacific region,” he told a Liberal Party federal council meeting two days after unveiling his ETS blueprint.

“This will be a world-class emissions trading system more comprehensive, more rigorously grounded in economics, and with better governance than anything in Europe.”

In an address to the Melbourne Press Club a month later, Howard said: “In the years to come it will provide a model for other nations to follow.

“Being among the first movers on carbon trading in this region will bring new opportunities and we intend to grasp them.”

And there was this exchange at a news conference in the run-up to the election that saw him defeated by Kevin Rudd.

Journalist: “Haven’t you locked Australia into an emissions trading scheme in the next term?”

Howard: “Yes, I have.”

Journalist: “Regardless of what our trading competitors do?”

Howard: “Yes, but that is precisely the sort of contribution we should make.”

So Howard - Honest John was his nickname, remember? - is trying to rewrite history.

Some of those quotes do not exactly contradict what Howard said, but others do indeed force Howard to offer this imperfect admission to me:

Howard concedes he did not always make this as clear as he should have...

But what Howard needs to do is what I suggested to him in vain:

He won’t admit he was wrong on global warming or wrong to promise an emissions trading scheme in his last desperate bid to stave off defeat at the 2007 election.

I wish he’d have the courage to do this.

I must ask Costello about this on The Bolt Report tomorrow.


All Brown knows is that he desires a media that’s kinder to him

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 16, 11 (07:03 am)

Remember, Bob Brown has enormous sway over this Government:

NEIL MITCHELL: Do you believe newspapers should be licensed?

BOB BROWN: I think that should be looked at. After all, if you’re going to own a television station or 3AW you need a license.

NEIL MITCHELL: But there’s a massive difference there isn’t there.


NEIL MITCHELL: Well, the television stations and the radio stations are using a public resource – the airwaves. A newspaper isn’t.

BOB BROWN: Well newspapers are using the public space but look if…

NEIL MITCHELL: How are they using the public space? I can buy a printing press today and start a newspaper but I can’t start a radio station because it’s a scarce resource owned by the public.

BOB BROWN: Well if you need a stall at the local market you need a license too, Neil.

NEIL MITCHELL: For a shop…

BOB BROWN: Ok, well you come along to an inquiry and argue as to why newspapers don’t need licensing. That’s why we have inquiries.

NEIL MITCHELL:No, no, no but Senator, you’re putting up the proposition that a newspaper is the same as a radio station or television station. It is not.

BOB BROWN:Ok. They’re different

Here is a man who can propse dangerous new laws to licence newpapers and an inquiry to determine possible rules government what opinions papers can publish, or in which proportion.

And the Greens leader simply has no real insight into what he’s so lightly proposing or why - other than that he is angry at being held to account by some papers, at last, for being a dangerous and foolish ideologue who rarely considers the grim consequences of what he, er, so lightly proposes.

(No link to the transcript.)


I’m not sure enough journalists realise the threat of an inquiry into new laws to regulate the way they report, which strikes me as potentially a greater threat to freedom of speech than an inquiry into who can own what. Dennis Shanahan:

THE government is edging away from agreeing to Bob Brown’s suggested sweeping media review while trying to satisfy calls from the Greens and others for greater protection of privacy and a debate over media ethics.

It seems inevitable there will be an inquiry of some sort somewhere—most probably in the Senate and an industry forum of sorts—but there are clear signs Labor wants to avoid a distracting and complicated reform of the media while it is trying to implement the most complex economic change in a century.

That right to “privacy” will be exercised by the rich and powerful. And wait until Bob Brown explains what he means by new requirements for a less “narrow range of opinions”.


On eco-fascism and the Greens.

(Thanks to reader Annie A.)


Tomorrow belongs to me by thesavoisien

Crikey’s political correspondent says young extremists may have to impose their will on the majority through physical force:

Should a carbon pricing scheme be legislated and implemented, and then be repealed, it will be a clear signal that parliamentary politics simply cannot cope with the policy challenge of climate change. Those who take the need to curb emissions seriously — particularly younger people, who will pay the price of climate change — will be forced to consider other alternatives. The most logical one is taking “direct action” of their own, to shut down our most emissions-intensive industries — think the dirtiest power stations — and stop emissions-intensive exports such as coal.

Given the repeal of a functional carbon pricing scheme, they will have a strong moral justification, as well as policy rationale, for doing so.


I don’t think this carbon dioxide tax is working to lower temperatures

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 16, 11 (12:21 am)

Roy Morgan reports:

In the first Australia-wide voting intention poll conducted since Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the details of the Carbon Tax the latest telephone Morgan Poll conducted over the last two nights, July 13/14, 2011 shows the L-NP 60.5% with a record winning lead over the ALP 39.5% - the worst Two-Party preferred voting result for Labor since the first Roy Morgan Gallup Poll conducted in May 1942.

The L-NP primary vote is 52.5%, nearly double the ALP 27.5%. Support for the minor parties shows the Greens 10.5% and Others/ Independents 9.5%.


The establishment strikes back

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 16, 11 (12:05 am)


If only these resignations had occurred earlier, a great empire would not be so threatened:

Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton has resigned, the latest domino to fall in the growing phone hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

Hinton, a 52-year Murdoch employee, led News International, News Corp.’s British newspaper unit, when much of the hacking that has been revealed thus far took place. He is the second major executive to resign on Friday, following current News International CEO Rebekah Brooks.

“When I left News International in December 2007, I believed that the rotten element at the News of the World had been eliminated; that important lessons had been learned; and that journalistic integrity was restored,” Hinton wrote in a memo to Murdoch that was distributed to Wall Street Journal staff.

What we are seeing is not only the consequences of shameful practices at one newspaper, but the consequences of that newspaper being owned by someone long at odds with establishment power.

The consequences for a free and fearless debate could be profound.


Murdoch’s competitors should be very careful:

THE AGE has been accused of using hacked emails in a front-page story published in the week before last year’s federal election detailing internal divisions within the Greens over the party’s preference deal with Labor.

The story by the paper’s then Victorian political editor, Paul Austin, laid bare the extent of discontent among Greens party members and some candidates over the decision to enter a preference arrangement with the ALP at the start of the campaign.

The story began: “Leaked internal emails have revealed bitter divisions within the Greens over its controversial preferences deal with Labor.”

Greg Barber, the parliamentary leader of the Greens in Victoria and a state upper house MP, said the emails were hacked from a Gmail account of a party member, rather than leaked… There is no suggestion Austin or anyone at The Age hacked email accounts. Barber suspects the hacking was done by a political opponent.

More overreach by Murdoch haters.


Readers, I apologize. The premise of my debut column for Reuters, on News Corp’s taxes, was wrong, 100% dead wrong.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp did not get a $4.8 billion tax refund for the past four years, as I reported. Instead, it paid that much in cash for corporate income taxes for the years 2007 through 2010 while earning pre-tax profits of $10.4 billion.

The Guardian:

THE Guardian last night said sorry to The Sun for accusing us of hacking into the medical records of Gordon Brown’s sick son.

The apology came after we told how our source was the dad of another child with cystic fibrosis - and that the ex-PM was mistaken in claiming we were guilty of wrongdoing.

The paper conceded: “The Guardian of Tuesday 12 July incorrectly reported the Sun newspaper had obtained information on the medical condition of Gordon Brown’s son from his medical records.

“In fact the information came from a different source and The Guardian apologises for its error.” The admission in today’s edition came 24 hours after Mr Brown ranted against us in the Commons.


Newman cruising

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, July 16, 11 (12:02 am)

Campbell Newman seems certain to confound his media critics by winning his seat as the de facto Oppostition leader without one::

The two-party-preferred split, 55-45 per cent in Mr Newman’s favour, broadly reflects internal LNP polling that was leaked to the Brisbane media last month.


Brooks quits

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 15, 11 (09:01 pm)

It’s come a few days later than was wise, as I’ve argued before:

EMBATTLED News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks resigned today and was replaced by former Australian journalist Tom Mockridge.

Brooks’ resignation came five days after the company closed its Sunday tabloid the News of the World after it became mired in a phone hacking and invasion of privacy scandal.

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