Miranda Devine – Wednesday, July 20, 11 (09:03 pm)
I DON’T like the “Juliar” meme any more than the next lefty. It’s rude and boring. But that doesn’t mean the Prime Minister didn’t win the narrowest election in 70 years on false pretences, when she famously declared, “There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”.
Julia Gillard’s lie, mis-statement, fib, unforeseen circumstances, inadvertent misleading, mistake, falsehood - call it what you will - wasn’t just any old broken political promise.
It was the mechanism that allowed Labor to scrape over the line last August.
No one who wanted a carbon tax would have voted for Tony Abbott. But a fair few in marginal Labor seats would have been reassured enough by Gillard’s vow to overcome their urge to vote for the climate realist Opposition Leader.
Carbon pricing is a vote killer, as politicians in the US and Canada understood when they scrapped their own plans.
It is electoral Ebola, as the defunct NSW Labor government found to its great cost at the March state election when internal Liberal Party polling in 20 marginal seats found only 25 per cent of voters saw the carbon tax as about the environment and 51 per cent saw it as a cost-of-living issue.
Carbon pricing was poison when Kevin Rudd’s polls were plummeting last year and that was the reason Gillard suggested he ditch the ETS on which he had staked his leadership.
“What I said before the election I can’t unsay now,” Gillard said last week.
Except that’s not what she told Kevin Rudd.
Don’t you know about the politicians, they just basically do anything to snatch the vote. Once they got elected then they didn’t care about the promises made to the people. Thats what it had been and will remains like this in the future.
There is no greater liar in politics than Abbott. He has just said he has never supported an ETS despite being presented with his own statements which showed he supported it.
LIAR LIAR LIAR.
And yet I don’t see the LNP abusing due process in this way. I hear the allegations made against them, and see many inflations. Yet it appears to be the ALP which gets away with little media examination of their apparent corruption
You miss one important point. Abbott went with part lines on the ETS until he became leader of the opposition. He is a global warming realist and will look at implementing solutions that do not impact unfavourably on Australian people and industry. He will also not do this, I would imagine, until the big businesses (notive they are not polluters, but employ most of the workforce) of the world fall into line, you will find very little done here. AS IT SHOULD BE.
I don’t use the meme Juliar often. But I do make the point the policies she espouses have ALP provenance, although they are also Green friendly. I understand she had treasury costing the policy as she and Swan were denying it last election. That is not the only dishonesty. She promised a new era in IR laws prior to the ‘07 election and she has never been held to account for that. She also promised an improvement on the Pacific Solution she never delivered. She promised Medicare Gold but because the ALP lost in that election she never had to address that failure. She tried to hurt wharfies with her dumb ideas, and failed there too. I don’t need the meme, I have the examples.
Don’t forget that when denouncing the opposition for raising the suggestion of a carbon [dioxide] tax before the election, Swan described them as hysterical.
Who is hysterical now?
… is from page 211 of David Friedman’s indispensable 1973 book, The Machinery of Freedom; it occurs in the context of his discussion of contemporary American politics:
It seems more reasonable to suppose that there is no ruling class, that we are ruled, rather, by a myriad of quareling gangs, constantly engaged in stealing from each other to the great impoverishment of their own members as well as the rest of us.
One of the things I’ve learnt in my short life in politics is the ability to live in the conditions of capitalism while fighting it and defeating it.
UPDATE (for context from the above-linked news report):
Malema had called a media briefing to respond to a Sunday Independent report at the weekend that he was building himself a R16m [2.3 million U.S. dollars] house in the posh Johannesburg Sandown suburb.
(HT John Vink)
Here’s a letter to the Allentown, PA, Morning Call:
Praising Sen. Bob Casey’s opposition to freer trade, Nancy Tate regurgitates in one letter the entire smorgasbord of noxious protectionist gruel swallowed today by many “Progressives” (Letters, July 19). Among Ms. Tate’s projectiles, for example, is her assertion that free trade is “an assault” on “consumer rights.”
How, exactly, are consumers’ rights assaulted by a policy that gives them greater freedom to spend their money as they choose? In what ways are consumers harmed when the range, variety, and quality of goods and services available to them expand while the prices of those goods and services fall?
As trade scholar Dan Griswold wrote in his book Mad About Trade, “If one of our children grows up to invent a way to move goods and bits of information even more rapidly around the world, we rightly call that ‘progress’; if another child grows up to become a populist politician who advocates raising trade barriers to slow the movement of those same goods and data across borders, we perversely call that ‘progressive.’”*
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
* Daniel Griswold, Mad About Trade (Washington, DC: Cato Institute, 2009), p. 172.
Here’s a letter to an angry e-mail correspondent:
Dear Mr. E__________:
I normally ignore people who describe me (as you so charmingly do) as “a sh**eating lackey for the Koch brothers.” But the confused thinking running throughout your e-mail is so interesting that I’ll break my rule.
You wonder how I can “sleep nights carrying water for Corporate America.” Why do I not, you ask, spend my energies “for example exposing McDonald’s greedy refusal to stop serving nasty killer foods”? In your very next sentence you ask how I “can stand by idly while corporations manipulate customers needs and demands with advertising and marketing budgets bigger than [presumably the government budgets of] most African countries.”
Question: if corporations can so easily “manipulate customers needs and demands with advertising and marketing,” why doesn’t McDonald’s simply serve raw celery? Celery being much less costly for McDonald’s to buy than ground beef and chicken patties, a raw-celery-only menu at McDonald’s would slash that company’s costs. And with its nefarious facility at using “advertising and marketing” to hypnotize consumers into buying whatever it peddles (even “nasty killer foods”!), that fast-food behemoth will keep consumers spending as much on McCelery stalks as consumers now spend on Happy Meals and Egg McMuffins. McDonald’s profits will zoom upward!
Because you’re correct that, like all private corporations, McDonald’s is “never satisfied with lower profits when [it] can snatch higher profits,” I do wonder why the raw-celery-only menu option has never occurred to the moguls at McDonald’s. Perhaps you can help me figure out why.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 21, 11 (04:16 pm)
In Maryland, history is unmade:
Council members in Montgomery County have voted to repeal the county’s historic carbon dioxide emissions tax.
The tax was passed just last year, and was the first such tax passed on a county level in the United States. It affected just one power plant in Montgomery County: the Dickerson Generating Station.
Tough break, hippies.
The company that owns the plant, Mirant Mid-Atlantic, claimed the tax was unconstitutional. A federal appeals court ruled in June that it amounted to a “punitive fee,” and called for a trial to look further at the tax.
Rather than pursue a doomed cause, the council surrendered. Smart move.
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 21, 11 (03:42 pm)
The Prime Minister appears to be blasted by mighty wind turbines. But, as Morbo explains …
Gillard’s sales pitch for the carbon tax isn’t working in any way. Creative staff at George Patterson try to help her out:
BEN COULSON: This is a product that clearly people are walking away from. It’s not selling, it’s not moving off the shelf, people don’t want to go near this product. The question for us is: how would you reinvent a product that’s that unsuccessful right now?
GEORGE PATTERSON EMPLOYEE: If she just talked up to the Australian people and treated them with respect and got rid of the motherhood thing and treated them, you know ...
GEORGE PATTERSON EMPLOYEE II: Molley-coddling.
GEORGE PATTERSON EMPLOYEE: Yeah, exactly. You know, we’re not a land of idiots.
Aha! Problem identified.
UPDATE. Speaking of idiots:
Coal seam gas protesters have accused the prime minister of being too gutless to talk to them about an industry they say is a threat to Australia’s food security …
Waving placards reading “Can’t eat coal, can’t drink gas”, the protesters had hoped to pressure Ms Gillard over a moratorium on CSG projects until environmental effects are better understood.
These people are fantastic.
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 21, 11 (03:23 pm)
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 21, 11 (03:19 pm)
Companies used in a $12 million carbon tax advertising campaign have together been paid millions by taxpayers for past work on government green schemes.
CAT Projects, Ogden Power and Infigen Energy featured in the commercials free of charge.
In recent years they have benefited from government schemes ranging from being paid to install solar panels in schools to developing solar power databases.
Department of Climate Change records show CAT Projects has been paid almost $4 million since Labor came to power in 2007.
Infigen, which emerged from failed company Babcock and Brown Wind, was paid almost $900,000 in feasibility funding for an unsuccessful tender under the government’s $5 billion Clean Energy Initiative.
How cosy. At least those lame ads face some competition:
Queensland’s coal industry will run TV commercials against the Federal Government’s carbon tax plan …
Safe call: they’ll be better.
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 21, 11 (01:32 pm)
Former (and future?) Labor leader Simon Crean promotes the carbon tax:
What is the purpose of pricing carbon? It’s to reward good behaviour.
“Good behaviour”, one assumes, means reducing carbon dioxide output. But later in his same discussion with voters in industrial Gladstone, Queensland, Crean – noting increased demand for Australian exports throughout developing economies – positively rejoices in dreaded carbon increases:
When the middle-class grows, there’s a big demand for infrastructure. What’s that mean? It means steel, it means coal. It means aluminium.
It means … carbon.
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 21, 11 (01:10 pm)
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 21, 11 (07:27 am)
Sydney’s rain just keeps pounding on down:
Here’s the 24-hour total:
Current water storage levels are near marks set in 2002 – back when today’s climate youth were climate-too-young-to-vote. Lately they’ve become Power Shifters:
Climate youther Coralie from Wollongong is still getting over the great news from a couple of weeks ago:
The sunrise couldn’t have been more beautiful Sunday morning. As it rose beams of hope flooded the nation, as this was the day that the details of the Carbon Price package would be released.
My own experience of that day was slightly less religious. I woke up in a Canberra hotel room, got a lift to Parliament, listened to Labor types for as long as I could, and then drove back to Sydney at the very first opportunity. The highlight of Carbon Sunday was Warren Zevon CDs.
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 21, 11 (07:21 am)
Stephen Hopper, lawyer for burqa lady Carnita Matthews:
“The media have beaten something up and tarred and feathered this innocent woman.”
We’ll have to take his word for it. Difficult to tell with that great big freedom sack she’s wearing.
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 21, 11 (07:18 am)
Including a reintroduced vintage 1980s Honda Scooter Maniac logo. Cool.
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 21, 11 (07:08 am)
On phone hacking, I’ve said this many times. There is no evidence whatsoever that these kinds of illegal activities have been happening in Australia.
Well done, Jonnie Marbles, you couldn’t have done a better job of discrediting the Left if you tried.
Chinese women, however, are celebrating Wendi Deng’s smashmouth takedown of a man 16 years her junior:
“The image of Chinese women just got a lift,” noted a post on the Weibo microblog by Toubenxingfu111.
“This adds value to the image of Chinese wives,” said another under the name Jihua. “They have previously proved their ability to cook and run a business. Now, they can add bodyguard.”
Others noted that Deng – a volleyball player in her school days – had not just spiked the pie-thrower, she had also lifted the share price of News Corporation.
I really do believe that, on balance, Murdoch has been a force for good in our industry. Not only has he subsidised the Times, keeping it afloat in spite of its losses, but he broke the back of the British print unions and in doing so provided the newspaper business with a new lease of life. Had he not challenged the unions’ restrictive practices, the Independent and Independent on Sunday might never have been launched and it’s doubtful the Guardian and Observer would have survived until now. The Scott Trust is struggling to contain annual losses of tens of millions of pounds as it is. If Wapping hadn’t happened, the losses would be even greater.
No good deed goes unpunished. Or unshouted at, if you’re within range of Sarah Montague.
UPDATE. It really is Murdoch’s Watergate.
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 21, 11 (07:00 am)
It’s a retro inferno:
As electricity costs surge and the nation wrestles with the carbon tax, Australians are returning to the eternal fuel of winters past.
With electricity prices rising 15 per cent to 18 per cent this month, firewood suppliers already distributing up to 6 million tonnes a year are likely to face heavier demands …
Matt Niland, of Four Seasons Nursery at Belrose, which supplies between 500 and 800 tonnes of firewood to householders a year, said the colder winter had brought a 30 per cent increase in the demand.
That can’t be right. A leading expert says that we hate burning wood:
Australian oppose wood-fired power stations by a margin of three to one, Greens leader Bob Brown says.
So let ‘em burn solar panels, or whatever it is you people do to avoid hypothermia.
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 21, 11 (06:41 am)
As always, it’s our fault:
Special Adviser to the United Nations Prof Jeffery Sachs has blamed western nations for causing hunger that is ravaging thousands of people in many countries in Africa, Kenya included.
The development expert said the drought that has gripped Kenya and the Horn of Africa region is because of human-induced climate change, driven by industrialised countries in the West.
He explained that poor people in the region are suffering from a problem created elsewhere …
Why, it’s zero-sum economic climate racism, is what it is.
(Via Chris Poole)
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 21, 11 (05:30 pm)
Are these the kind of prices you thought you’d get, after handing over $36 billion to build the NBN?
Internode today became the first ISP to reveal retail prices for internet and phone services delivered via the national broadband network. Prices range from $60 to $190 a month.
Customers will have to buy a bundled package that includes both home phone and internet access and the cheapest plan at the slowest speed will be $59.95 for a 12 megabits per second (12 Mbps) connection and 30GB of downloads....
In a blog post accompanying the new prices, Internode chief executive Simon Hackett criticised the competition regulator and NBN Co. ..
“The National Broadband Network (NBN) is the subject of promises from the government that consumers will pay comparable prices to current day ADSL2+ and phone service bundles in order to access entry level NBN based services, and that NBN based retail pricing will be nationally uniform,” said Hackett.
“Unfortunately, a number of pressure points in the wholesale pricing model exist which will make these promises (from the government) untenable in practice....”
Hackett has published a detailed analysis going into the technical specifics about why the government’s pricing expectations are unreasonable…
However, Teresa Corbin, chief executive of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), said the prices released by Internode were comparable to today’s prices. But people who want higher speeds would have to pay more to get them.
(Thanks to reader Ian.)
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 21, 11 (12:51 pm)
The solar plant is now closed but it has earned a national award that will see it preserved as a piece of alternative energy heritage.
Reason for the closure? The town got connected to the grid, and coal-fired power is cheaper. And it stays on at night.
(Thanks to reader Baldrick.)
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 21, 11 (12:30 pm)
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen two days ago:
When is that Malaysian deal, announced three months ago, actually going to get signed?
I’m told there’s more already on the way. Let’s see…
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 21, 11 (10:48 am)
One of Julia Gillard’s biggest lies to justify her carbon dioxide tax has just been exposed by the UN Security Council.
Gillard’s claim is that the rest of the world is taking similar action or even more:
But yesterday the United Nations Security Council yesterday debated whether to make global warming an issue it should bother with. Australia hysterically shouted “yes”, because Julia Gillard badly needs the cover of the UN for her mad scheme:
Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, was among those arguing that rising sea levels could destabilise fragile countries.
But many of the delegates not only rejected the proposal, but blew up Gillard’s claim that the world is moving together, calling on others to do the work, making clear their refusal to be part of any international agreement or even questioning “the science” :
Egypt’s Ambassador, Maged Abdelaziz, speaking for the 118-member Non-Aligned Movement, said industrialized nations have a “historic and particular responsibility” to reduce emissions and help developing nations mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Russia’s Deputy Ambassador, Alexander Pankin, referred in his remarks to the Security Council to the “hypothetical nature” of the threat and “lack of empirical evidence” linking carbon emissions to droughts, rising sea levels and other extreme weather patterns.
Western nations clashed with Russia and developing countries on Wednesday over whether climate change was a security matter meriting the attention of the Security Council, the most powerful U.N. body.
Diplomats said Russia initially blocked the adoption of a statement on the issue by the 15-nation council, but later agreed to a revised, weakly worded text that spoke of the “possible security implications” of climate change....
Both Russia and China stressed that other United Nations bodies were the proper places for discussion… The bloc of some 120 developing nations endorsed this position, echoed in the speeches of Brazil, India and South Africa, among others. Some said concerns about climate change were based on speculation rather than science.
“Climate change may affect security but it is fundamentally a sustainable development issue,” said Wang Min, the deputy permanent representative from China, repeating a longstanding Chinese position that the developed world should devote more aid to helping those affected. “The Security Council does not have the expertise in climate change and does not have the necessary means and resources.”
(This post has been corrected. An earlier version published comments from delegates at an earlier meeting.)
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 21, 11 (10:33 am)
We’re told repeatedly that Lord Monckton is no scientist and his arguments against global warming alarmism are nonsense. So it’s very telling after having been grudgingly granted a debate at the National Press Club that no scientist or journalist has come forward as yet to demonstrate some fraud or foolish error in Monckton’s arguments.
Malcolm Farr now offers this rebuttal, with the promising if offensive headline:
But read it. Please identify a single counter-argument to Monckton’s attack on the global warming faith swallowed so unquestioningly by so many journalists.
Abuse I can see there. But not a single argument. This “journalism” simply confirms what it seeks to deny.
Despite negative publicity surrounding Lord Monckton’s visit to Australia, the results of a special Roy Morgan Reactor test over the last 24 hours show Lord Monckton won the debate and persuaded a substantial 9% of Australians to his view that ‘Concerns about Global Warming are exaggerated’…
When asked after viewing the Reactor to nominate a winner of the debate, more respondents (49%) nominated Lord Monckton as the winner ahead of Dr. Denniss (37%) and 14% couldn’t say.
No wonder global warmists fear debate, and even journalists deplore it. Melanie Phillips:
A report being published today has apparently decided that the BBC no longer needs to interview man-made global warming sceptics because there is a consensus on this issue that the theory is true.
Its conclusions are said to be based in part on recommendations by the geneticist Professor Steve Jones. Astonishingly, he is said not only to have found no evidence of bias in the BBC’s output on climate change, but suggests that on issues like this where he says there is a ‘scientific consensus’ – also including the MMR vaccination and genetically modified crops – there should be no need for the BBC to find opponents of the mainstream view.
This is as terrifying as it is outrageous. First of all, the claim that there is a consensus on man-made global warming is itself false…
This is nothing less than a totalitarian agenda. Indeed, why stop at science? If ‘consensus’ dictates what is to be reported, and consensus is itself subjectively determined on the basis of the presumed weight of expert opinion (which can never be truly known) or the presumed agreement of the population (which can never be truly known), then it follows that on issues such as abortion, membership of the EU or immigration (on which even the BBC has been forced to admit it got public opinion terribly wrong) the BBC would similarly see ‘no need’ to allow alternatives to chattering-class opinion to be heard.
A free society requires toleration of dissent. Progress depends upon the recognition that today’s dissent may turn into tomorrow’s orthodoxy. Science is littered with examples of this, from Galileo onwards. Indeed, the idea that a presumed consensus should wipe out dissenting voices is positively anti-science. If science doesn’t have an open-mind, it is no longer science but propaganda. And that is what the BBC Trust is proposing.
(Thanks to readers Jay and Nick.)
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 21, 11 (10:26 am)
Former Labor science minister Barry Jones pompously denounces Tony Abbott for making a scientific error, before promptly repeating one himself - an error that’s actually a lie:
AN ARTICLE by The Age’s Michael Gordon titled ‘He says She says’ last week, included a disturbing paragraph in which he quoted Tony Abbott, in South Dandenong, answering a question about how CO2 emissions are calculated: ‘’It’s actually pretty hard to do this because carbon dioxide is invisible and it’s weightless (my emphasis) and you can’t smell it.’’
This striking observation probably reflects his understanding.... Carbon dioxide, a compound of carbon and oxygen, is not weightless....
Tony Abbott’s approach to the carbon tax debate is illustrative of a general collapse in the quality of rational discourse. The proposed carbon tax, a very complex issue, is being attacked with ruthless simplicity...
The Government’s proposed tax is not on carbon, a solid such as soot. It is on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
For Jones, a former science minister, to repeat this deceitful and unscientific language is illustrative of a general collapse in the quality of rational discourse.
(Thanks to reader Professor Frank.)
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 21, 11 (10:05 am)
From the Government now suggesting more controls over a media organisation critical of its performance:
A CENTRAL coast mayor has referred the local Labor MP, Craig Thomson, to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, claiming Mr Thomson threatened to pull a government project as payback for a council member criticising the government.
Mr Thomson emphatically rejected the claims, saying the text message he sent that provoked the complaint was a joke…
Doug Eaton, the mayor of Wyong, told the Herald he sent a letter to ICAC late yesterday following an exchange last week between Mr Thomson and a local councillor, Greg Best.
Mr Best and Mr Eaton - both independents - had grown unhappy at the amount of time it was taking to establish a GP super clinic in Wyong. The clinic had been promised by the federal government four years ago ...
At 6.10am, after his comments had aired, Mr Best received a text message from Mr Thomson saying ‘’bye bye job incubator’’.
The incubator is another federal government promise - a small business incubator and youth training centre in Wyong, where youth unemployment is high. The centre, once built, will be run by Central Coast Group Training, of which Mr Best is the general manager and Mr Eaton is the chairman.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 21, 11 (09:19 am)
The real problem confronting our economy isn’t global warming:
French President Nicolas Sarkozy today flew to Berlin for a summit with Angela Merkel aimed at forging a common stance on the Greek rescue package as the eurozone lurches closer to collapse…
Mrs Merkel, who is increasingly agitated at Germany being called upon to be the main bailout partner for countries like Greece, Ireland and Portugal, is seen by her countrymen as increasingly weak and without direction…
Germany’s share of the bailouts and the euro rescue fund already amounts to €140 billion. But that vast figure is still not enough to stem the debt problems of other countries. International bankers fear a global financial meltdown of a magnitude greater than the Wall Street Crash of 1929 if the eurozone countries fail to tackle their debt mountains.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 21, 11 (07:10 am)
Immigration doesn’t just bring us a more exciting cuisine:
A MUSLIM man who once called Osama bin Laden a ‘’soldier of God’’ participated in a brutal flogging of a man to impose his religious beliefs and his standing in the Islamic community, police have alleged in court…
Wassim Fayad, 43, was one of four men who allegedly broke into the Silverwater townhouse of Mr Martinez, 31, in the early hours of Sunday morning, held him down and whipped him repeatedly with a cable, allegedly as sharia punishment for drinking alcohol…
Mr Fayad, a father of six from Auburn, works part time at the Bukhari House Islamic Bookstore in Auburn and was reported in May as saying bin Laden was a soldier of God who ‘’died a martyr and … is now in paradise’’.
The accused is a follower of the controversial Sydney-born imam Sheikh Feiz Mohammad and a regular attendee of the prayer hall attached to the bookshop, which recently was bought by the Auburn branch of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah (ASWJ Auburn) which supports Sheikh Feiz.
The spiritual leader returned to Australia in March after a six-year absence following controversial public statements made on the culpability of rape victims who wore immodest clothing.
It is believed the same prayer hall followers were behind the ruckus outside the Downing Centre Court last month, when a Muslim woman, Carnita Matthews, had her conviction overturned on appeal.
(No comments for legal reasons. Thanks to reader Talal.)
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 21, 11 (06:55 am)
This is way, way over the top. The insult (which is denied) is nasty, but the overreaction is sinister:
Portarlington player Ronen Jafari and the Drysdale opponent accused of calling him “n---er”, both aged 11, attended last night’s closed tribunal at Football Geelong headquarters flanked by their parents and team delegates, the Geelong Advertiser reports.
Both parties and tribunal members spent more than an hour behind closed doors at the hearing, after which Football Geelong CEO Lee Hartman told the media the matter had been adjourned, with no evidence yet heard and no charges laid.
They are 11, for heaven’s sake.
A nasty word between children deserves this massive judicial reaction? Is the authority of the parents and coaches so weak? Is that word so dangerous? Is our nation so fragile? Does this procedure resolves differences or entrench them?
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 21, 11 (06:46 am)
John R. Bradley reports from Tunisia, just the lastest country to prove that revolutions rarely work out well - and that moderate Islamism is a myth:
For the past half a century, the Tunisian film director Nadia El Fani would have had no problem showing her new documentary, Neither God Nor Master, which explores her atheism and disdain for radical Islam. But before the Jasmine Revolution, Tunisia was the most socially liberal country in the Muslim world. Its Islamist extremists were where they belonged: in prison. A few weeks ago, however, during the film’s premiere, hundreds of bearded zealots smashed through the glass doors of the capital’s CinemAfricArt cinema, attacked the audience, and threatened ‘a massacre’ if the screening continued.
Six months after the overthrow of the Tunisian strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, an avowed secularist and hardly the tyrant he is portrayed as having been, such incidents have become frequent. In May, Nouri Bouzid, another Tunisian director and critic of Islamist extremism, was stabbed in the head. Hundreds of hardline Islamists now prowl the streets of Tunis seeking converts. Radicals have firebombed the city’s legalised red-light district, demonstrated outside the local synagogue, killed a Catholic priest, hounded a teacher out of his job for saying something deemed insulting to the Prophet Mohammed, forced the interim regime to block all internet pornography and caused widespread chaos by rioting to demand that the veil, previously banned, be made compulsory.
The intellectual elite threw their support behind the revolution, in which only a tiny percentage of the population participated. Now they complain of a lack of police protection. But the laconic policeman in charge at a local station, in response to a plea for help from a member of the CinemAfricArt audience, rather hit the nail on the head. ‘Ben Ali was protecting you, and you kicked him out,’ he reportedly said, and shrugged…
Tunisians belonging to the country’s once vast middle class, who shunned the uprising, have sunk into a collective depression. Many are openly stating what recently was considered sacrilege: the revolution was a terrible mistake....
Tunisia’s political outlook is as dismal as its economic performance. The main Islamist political party, Ennahda (Awakening), looks certain to triumph in forthcoming elections…
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 21, 11 (06:21 am)
At least one Labor man can say he tried to defend workers from the Greens:
Mr Iemma says the carbon tax that forms federal Labor’s platform for re-election in 2013 is environmentally marginal, economically costly and likely to lead Labor to a historic electoral train wreck.
“One thing is sure—it won’t change the world, but it could change the government,” Mr Iemma told The Australian.
Mr Iemma accused the Gillard government of betraying the Hawke-Keating legacy of economic reform, instead embracing the environmental policies of the Greens’ agenda…
“We should always be standing shoulder to shoulder with steelworkers and miners and factory workers before we stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Bob Brown and Christine Milne,” he added.
THIS is serious. Australia is divided. Family members and friends are no longer talking to each other. The man and woman in the street no longer respect the Prime Minister. There is too much anger in the community.
Julia Gillard has to find a way to put this damned carbon tax behind us.
Labor must understand that the carbon tax is reviled in the electorate… Labor must understand the carbon tax is dead. If it fails to understand, it is dead politically…
Faced with a choice between remaining Prime Minister and a carbon tax, believe me, she will choose the former.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 21, 11 (06:08 am)
The Gillard Government seems only too keen to use the excuse to impose yet more restrictions on the media. Brendan O’Connor is Minister for Privacy and Freedom of Information:
But there is no general right to privacy in Australia, and that means there’s no certainty for anyone wanting to sue for a breach of privacy.
Read O’Connor’s entire article and you’ll find not one example is given of a breach of privacy by the Australian media. No Australian example is given of a wrong that demands Labor’s right.
Britain has gone mad, or at least the tiny patch of Britain round Westminster.
...the British prime minister, David Cameron, was forced to return from a foreign trip, like a tottering dictator called home by the politburo. The country’s top policeman and top counter-terrorism cop were forced into resignation. Two government judicial inquiries have been set up. Two commons committees are in continuous session. The police are everywhere....
Has anyone been murdered? Has anyone been ruined? Is the nation gripped by financial crash or pandemic, earthquake or famine? Are thousands homeless or millions impoverished? A squalid surveillance of the sort long conducted by the tabloid press went beyond what in this business is laughably called good taste and constituted a crime’’’
But it is not the fall of the Berlin Wall or the Nuremberg trials. The downtrodden are not marching against their great satan, Rupert Murdoch, “the most evil man in the world” as reported by the BBC Today programme.
As in Australia, so in Britain: Jenkins warns that the laws demanded by Murdoch’s haters in this self-pleasuring paroxysm of moral superiority can lead to less freedom.
The idea that Rupert Murdoch has a monopoly of British media or is even close to getting one is nonsense. According to an Ofcom report into News International’s bid for BSkyB, television accounts for seventy-three percent of the news people receive and seventy-percent of that comes from the BBC.
In internet and radio the BBC is similarly dominant. News International, by contrast, accounts for less than thirty percent of newspapers read and Sky News accounts for just six percent of television news… Indeed, the closest thing we have to a monopoly in media is the BBC which, according to its veteran newsreader Peter Sissons and even its Director General Mark Thompson, has a long standing left wing bias.
Even so Rupert Murdoch has been phenomenally successful. He sells more newspapers in Britain than anyone else and in just 14 years Fox News in the United States has become more popular than left leaning CNN and MSNBC combined. Faced with this, do the left seek to compete with Murdoch? No. They seek to regulate him…
The phone hacking scandal has prompted new calls for media regulation despite the fact that hacking and paying Police officers for information is already illegal…
There’s a good reason why the left might choose to regulate Murdoch rather than compete with him; they aren’t much good at it. The BBC certainly provides stiff competition but then it is funded by a compulsory levy on all TV and radio consumers whether they listen to the BBC or not… Indeed, left wing media outlets seem to suffer the same fate as left wing governments; they run out of money.
It’s his success that drives the left crazy about Murdoch. He sells lots of newspapers in the UK to the sort of working class voter who, according to the left wing belief that people will act according to their class interest, should vote Labour.
But many of them don’t....Every single working class Murdoch reader or Conservative voter is a living, breathing affront to the left, proof with a pulse that their ideology is garbage. That’s why Murdoch is hated. He has made a fortune proving the left wrong.
(Thanks to reader Denis of Perth.)
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 21, 11 (05:57 am)
COMMONWEALTH prosecutors want to seize the proceeds of David Hicks’s book sales in a move that will test the validity of his conviction by a US military commission and could deprive the confessed terror supporter of tens of thousands of dollars in earnings.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions yesterday served Hicks with a notice of application for an order to restrain funds derived from the sale of Hicks’s memoirs Guantanamo: My Journey, which has sold 30,000 copies… The CDPP’s decision ends a long-running game of chicken involving Hicks, publisher Random House and commonwealth authorities, whom many assumed would not seek to recoup Hicks’s earnings for fear the military commission would not be recognised.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 21, 11 (12:01 am)
Enough reasons to go yet again.