Piers Akerman – Saturday, July 23, 11 (05:42 pm)
In the middle of its cold summer holiday, Europe is struggling with two major issues - the fragile Euro economy and unwanted Islamic migration. The Left’s obsession with Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is no longer news.
Those among France’s hard-working middle class who do mention Murdoch, proprietor of this newspaper, do so with admiration for the drive and determination he has displayed throughout his corporation-building career.
The big topic is the economic survival of the European community. French president Nicolas Sarkozy held a press conference last Thursday night after an all-day summit with German chancellor Angela Merkel, Greek prime minister George Papandreou and other European leaders and bankers on Greece’s debt crisis.The Clayton’s solution Sarkozy outlined embraces a lowering of the interest rates on Greece’s crippling loans and an extension of the period in which the nation may repay them. This is not an end to the problem, it merely places Greece on an economic drip and its loans on the never-never.
It’s a classic European dodge. Push the problem into the future and hope that when it next erupts, someone else will have to deal with it.
I like migration and want more. I think it is important that the law be applied too. Equally and fairly. I think if we didn’t nuke our ability to grow, by not having water available, people would be less inclined to complain. Also bad immigration policy is an aggravating factor. The pacific solution was fair. The current policy is unfair.
Well that’s just jim dandy for you. I am totally unimpressed with the quality of immigrants we are getting and I want a moratorium, to allow time for INTEGRATION and not multiculturalism, which has been and will continue to be an abject failure.
A New South Wales police officer commented recently that he and his colleagues would have far fewer problems if Temporary Protection Visas were still being issued, meaning that troublemakers from the refugee communities here would be less likely to misbehave.
I agree that the Pacific Solution was fair. I cannot understand why Labor abandoned it and I am very annoyed that they pretend that it is not the solution and ignore its past success.
They gives us patheic referendums on Republics, flags, daylight saving, and any other mediocre farce that comes to mind.
Don’t let those dirty plebs have a say on immigration and muliticulturalism though. It might upset the dual passport holder developers who have put us in the top twenty of the world’s most in debt countries !
Rule 303, I get the reference to the Boer War order which was unfairly ignored so as to execute the Australian poet Morant. I haven’t been following Pier’s commenters well enough to know if you are using it for this post or to identify you for all posts. Anyways, I am totally unimpressed with your argument. The Australian story is based on successful migration. I challenge you to find one successful Australian who didn’t have ancestors who migrated here. I’ll make it easier for you and insist it is ok if either the mother or father weren’t.
@ DD Ball
Rule303 has been my handle forever. If you are unimpressed by my argument then deal with it, because I stand by my comment.
I want immigrants who want to contribute to Australian society, not bludge off it and try to change it by constant moaning, carping and whiteanting. Post WW2 migrants came to Australia for a better and safer future but most importantly they contributed. The heads of a company I once worked for - Transfield Engineering - started working in NSW with nothing more than 2 shovels and a wheelbarrow and ended up employing thousands. There are many such success stories all over the country but of late all we are attracting are deadbeats and parasites and I want it changed.
Rule303, can you provide substance to your arguments, or are you nothing more than an anecdote?You cleverly sidestepped my challenge by ignoring it. Smart move as there aren’t any people here not descended from migrants. It is perception old boy. Grin and bear it or create a totalitarian state to suit you.
Rule303 - “bludge”? We invented the word. If anything, most of the migrants I work with demonstrate that aussies like to slack off a bit. As for whining? Where are those voices? I am constantly looking at media sources and all the bleating and weeping isnt coming from the migrants.
I don’t have to justify my view to you DD Ball - I am the proud son and grandson of migrants who came here for a better life and got it.
They were mine workers and hard workers and raised my extended family as patriotic Australians. All the males in my family have been in the military at some stage and we are all proud veterans. Our surname would certainly indicate our ethnic background to some, but to me it is as Australian as Smith. I do not consider myself an anecdote, just a typical Aussie.
As for andye - don’t be obtuse, you know perfectly well what I mean.
Illegal country-shopping so called ‘asylum seekers’. My arse. If you can afford 15 large to come in through the back door, then you should knock on the front door with all your papers, like my people did. More importantly have something to offer the society you wish to join, and blend in.
Miranda Devine – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (09:17 pm)
IN a serendipitous coincidence of timing, in the space of two hours this week Australians were afforded a sharp, momentary insight into the two opposing ideological mindsets that are competing for the soul of our nation.
In a Sydney hotel on Monday night, Czech President Vaclav Klaus, an economist who fought against communism, was warning of the new threats to our freedom he recognises in the doctrine of global warming.
Almost simultaneously, in a Hobart casino, Greens Senator Christine Milne was unilaterally announcing, on ABC TV’s Q&A show, that the government would be conducting an inquiry into that section of the Australian media that she finds “extreme(ly) bias(ed) against action on climate change”.
Milne’s every illiberal pronouncement was greeted with applause by an audience that seemed full of tree huggers, bearded public servants and other recipients of government largesse, about the only growth industry left in Tasmania.
Klaus, on the other hand, was speaking to economic liberals and climate change realists invited by the Institute of Public Affairs, the Melbourne-based free market think tank.
“Twenty years ago we still felt threatened by the remnants of communism. This is really over,” Klaus said.
“I feel threatened now, not by global warming - I don’t see any - (but) by the global warming doctrine which I consider a new dangerous attempt to control and mastermind my life and our lives, in the name of controlling the climate or temperature.”
Klaus, 70, who has twice been elected Czech president and is its former prime minister, is one of the most important figures in post-communist Europe. His experiences under totalitarian rule have made him exquisitely alert to the erosion of democratic freedoms.
Miranda, your “frog in heating water” is a perfect analogy for our present situation. The current normalization of autocratic and undemocratic government behavior has never been witnessed before in Australia’s history. Its idiotic acceptance by 25% of our citizens is even more disturbing. As a former Labor voter, I have always been conscious of not applying the “red under the bed” slogan to every to every left of center proposal, however, there is now no doubt that the Greens and the Labor’s agendas are identical to that of both the National Socialists and the Communists. We must fight this treachery with every means at our disposal.
Mass protests in the streets attack gillard Labor and the greens, protest them where ever they go, demand a new democratic election now to rid us of this vermin… Send letter to your local member demanding a new election and rid us of this rotten government, if they vote and side with the greens then they are to be voted out of office and ignored wherever they go…
Wise men have said:
There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is generally adopted.
Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business and eventually degenerates into a racket.
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
It’s not that surprising that there still is a level of support for the BrownGill Carbon dioxide tax policy. Statistically around 40% of the Australian population have IQ’s of less than 80 and it is well known by the advertising industry that if you repeat anything often enough a high proportion of this market segment will believe it.
Old Labor, these are stressful times, but not unique. World War 1 and 2 also had issues that fractured public confidence in politics, calling for desperate measures. Labor profited in WW2. It overstates things to say that Gillard is doing anything she doesn’t want to do. It is desperately bad for the ALP and each day none of the lower house members does anything assertive it will be worse for the ALP. It is also bad for Australia. But we will survive. But if no one in the ALP stands up, they might not.
I despise the ADL, it’s rhetoric and it’s hopes. I love the Australia we have and I want more migrants. I am Christian and would like to appropriately share with those who aren’t. But I welcome them and wish them a prosperous future where they enjoy the joys and live out the dreams of their former homes.
I do not like the apparent ties of the ADL to the Australian version of the TEA Party. I similarly despise the Greens and One Nation parties for their xenophobia and false ideals. Left or right they are all ugly.
Miranda Devine – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (10:20 am)
WHEN a young person dies suddenly, chances are that friends will set up an RIP page on Facebook to help them grieve.
But, unthinkable though it might seem, adding sadistic comments to these memorial sites has become a popular fad.
Much of the bile can be traced back to a global “Internet hate factory” known as 4chan.org.
Created in 2004 by 15-year-old New Yorker Christopher Poole (aka Moot) the site began as an online discussion forum about Japanese anime. It is now described as the internet’s “scariest hive mind”, with 7 million users, most anonymous, who hurt people for sport.
“It’s about time purveyors of hate and the websites they use are held accountable for the pain they cause.” I agree, when are we as a society going to draw this important line and decide that to hell with free speech when it is clearly coming from antisocial and toxic sources? I’m all for free speech but not hate filled rants. Words clearly have a great deal of power.
We agree John. I think it is important for police to identify and deal with the culprits. Even if it means putting together a new branch of police to be involved with cyber crime.
I cannot think of much worse than victims being victimised again on a support page. I understand FB is taking steps to identify people who participate in the forums. It is the anonymity that lets the abusers feel they can do the appalling abuse.
Community Channel attracts a lot of attention due to her popularity. I see some of the postings and I don’t like it. It is specific to social networking because it can’t happen when you are present and might be punched on the nose for being a prat.
It is a big problem for children who don’t have anywhere to turn, but face it directly and may not have the skills of dealing.
I agree “It’s about time purveyors of hate and the websites they use are held accountable for the pain they cause. “
Here’s the PowerPoint presentation that I used for my second lecture at the 2011 Cato University (held this year, btw, in one of my favorite towns: Annapolis, MD).
Because of several questions that I received after my first lecture, I began this second lecture with a brief review of the state of manufacturing in America. I used several of the great graphs that Mark Perry made available over the past few years at Carpe Diem. Of course, in my verbal remarks I explicitly acknowledged that these graphs are from Carpe Diem – and I encouraged the attendees to check out that indispensable blog.
Then I reviewed, first, Adam Smith’s explanation of the benefits of specialization, and, second, David Ricardo’s explanation (the principle of comparative advantage). I also combined Smith with Ricardo.
I concluded – after some too-quick remarks on various theories of the industrial revolution – by encouraging the attendees to read Deirdre McCloskey’sBourgeois Dignity.
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 28, 11 (07:53 pm)
Professor Tim Flannery prepares for Australia’s flooded future.
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 28, 11 (12:09 pm)
Until we know otherwise, it’s probably safest to assume that this fellow is a Norwegian Christian:
Suicide bomber with explosives in turban kills populist Kandahar mayor
We await confirmation from Norgen Moogen Blasten or any of the many other fundamentalist Norwegian terror cells currently active worldwide.
(Via Larry T.)
UPDATE. Extremist Norwegianism in Lebanon:
A roadside bomb blew up a UN vehicle near the southern Lebanese port city of Sidon on Tuesday, wounding at least three peacekeepers, Lebanese security and witnesses said.
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 28, 11 (04:50 am)
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 28, 11 (04:37 am)
Protected by his impenetrable banana shield, Wayne Swan effortlessly deflects blame for rising inflation:
• Treasurer Wayne Swan blamed the sharp increase in fruit prices – especially bananas, following the summer floods – for almost half the jump in the headline inflation rate.
• With some consumers paying $14 a kilo for bananas, Wayne Swan says the economy still hasn’t shaken off the effect of floods and cyclone in Queensland.
• Wayne Swan blamed one-off factors, such as soaring banana prices from the Queensland storms and higher world oil prices, for yesterday’s 3.6 per cent headline inflation.
• Treasurer Wayne Swan said the main driver was still the summer of natural disasters with bananas up by an unprecedented 470 per cent since then.
But as Wayne himself said in 2006, following an earlier banana-wrecking cyclone:
They can go out there and blame the price of bananas; they can go out there and blame tropical cyclones, or even tropical fruit … They will attempt to use bananas as a shield …
What was that, Wayne? Couldn’t hear you behind all those frickin’ bananas. No reporters have so far even mentioned the treasurer’s previous views on bananas and inflation, which were highlighted yesterday by alert Catallaxy Filesreader Token. Well, none except the Daily Telegraph‘s Phil Jacob:
Treasurer Wayne Swan blamed banana prices for the CPI figures, suggesting the 27 per cent increase in fruit prices had added 0.4 per cent to the overall inflation rate …
However, the Treasurer’s comments come in direct contrast to the ones he made as shadow treasurer in 2006.
Speaking after Cyclone Larry destroyed almost 80 per cent of the nation’s banana crop and led to the nation’s CPI rising by 3.9 per cent for the September quarter, Mr Swan slammed then treasurer Peter Costello for “attempting to use bananas as a shield”.
Possibly aware that his own banana shield won’t last forever, Swan subsequently put on a display of moral outrage:
The shadow treasurer, Joe Hockey, dismissed the floods as an excuse. “They put their hands in the air and blame some natural disaster,’’ he said. ‘’It’s their own actions.”
Mr Swan was incensed, saying as a proud Queenslander he found Mr Hockey’s reference to “some natural disaster” nothing short of offensive. “This is the same shadow treasurer who described the global financial crisis as a hiccup.’’
Hey, Wayne’s getting his memory back. Good for him.
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 28, 11 (04:36 am)
Barnaby Joyce moves in on one of the Gillard independents:
Senator Joyce joined Opposition Leader Tony Abbott on a trip to a farm at Spring Ridge, southwest of Tamworth, today to campaign against the government’s carbon tax.
In April, the former accountant flagged leaving the Senate to contest the seat of New England – currently held by key independent Tony Windsor.
But not very tightly. Windsor believes he will prevail, however, and he’s got the polls to prove it:
Mr Windsor played down speculation of a backlash against him over the carbon tax.
He said a recent survey of his electorate found 80 per cent support for increasing renewable energy.
“If you ask people if they want to be a part of creating a better world for their great grandchildren,they’ll say yes,” Mr Windsor said.
That question could be slightly misleading. Next time, it might be best to just ask them about the carbon tax.
UPDATE. Corrected. Windsor, of course, is a member of the lower house.
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 28, 11 (04:24 am)
Tim Blair – Thursday, July 28, 11 (03:58 am)
In addition to his “counter-jihad” ideology (taken directly from the hateful writing of bloggers Fjordman, Pamela Geller, and Robert Spencer), Breivik was also a fan of high profile climate change deniers, as Graham Readfearn points out …
Wasn’t Charles himself once or twice accused of hating on Islam? Anyway, the noted switcheroo artist has lately found himself back among old friends, a situation he usually deals with by deleting posts and banning people. Charles has always been at peace with Eastasia.
UPDATE. Politico thinks that Charles is conservative:
But it wasn’t only the left who came after Geller. A popular conservative blogger who came to fame by exposing allegedly fraudulent National Guard records CBS used against President George W. Bush, Charles Johnson, also attacked her.
“The chain of responsibility in this case is much clearer than it was in the Gabrielle Giffords shooting,” wrote Johnson, who blogs at Little Green Footballs. “There’s no doubt whatsoever that Anders Behring Breivik was seriously influenced by these people, and they know it. Their guilty consciences are showing.”
Tim Blair – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (08:00 pm)
Congratulations to Sue Fondrie, winner of this year’s Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for awful prose. Her victorious entry:
Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.
Also impressive is this, from Basil McDonnell:
The victim was a short man, with a face full of contradictions: amalgam, composite, dental porcelain, with both precious and non-precious metals all competing for space in a mouth that was open, bloody, terrifying, gaping, exposing a clean set of asymptomatic impacted wisdom teeth, but clearly the object of some very comprehensive dental care, thought Dirk Graply, world-famous womanizer, tough guy, detective, and former dentist.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 28, 11 (05:26 pm)
Four years ago, Tim Fannery was sure global warming would drown entire houses:
We were making the planet heat so fast with our filthy gases, Flannery insisted, that the ice caps were vanishing and we had to ”picture an eight-storey building by a beach, then imagine waves lapping its roof”.
So why does Climate Commissioner Flannery have a waterfront property at Coba Point, a tributory of the Hawkesbury, just four or five metres from the waters he claims he will drown hundreds of thousands of properties?
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 28, 11 (11:11 am)
The creeping totalitarianism of the Left:
GetUp! had made a complaint, which it believed was not being pursued by the broadcasting regulator, but the Herald has learned ACMA is investigating the GetUp! complaint, and some others, concerning Mr Jones.
If the complaint is upheld, Mr Jones may be asked to acknowledge the statement was wrong and promise not to repeat it.
The complaint says the 2GB broadcaster was wrong when he stated human beings produce only 0.001 per cent of carbon dioxide in the air.
Several climate scientists have insisted the claim is inaccurate, and the proportion of carbon dioxide in the air today for which human beings are responsible is closer to 28 per cent. They base this on the difference between the pre-industrial concentration of CO2 (about 280 parts per million) and the current concentration of about 390 parts per million..
GetUp! has also alleged Mr Jones contravenes another section of the code of conduct which requires broadcasters to give ‘’reasonable opportunities’’ to ‘’significant viewpoints’’ on ‘’controversial issues of public importance’’.
A healthy society would not tolerate the attempt to regulate debates. And the rules in practice discriminate against conservatives, since they tend to believe in free speech, while the Left seems far more minded to close it down.
After all, how many conservatives have asked ACMA to demand broadcasters correct the most frequently repeated lie of this debate - that carbon dioxide is carbon?
(Thanks to reader Michael and others.)
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 28, 11 (10:59 am)
The suggestion that Breivik’s behaviour resulted from political rage – let alone from reading thinkers such as John Locke, John Stuart Mill or Winston Churchill – is frankly itself an opinion in need of treatment. The man is either in the grip of a psychosis or he is a psychopath – in other words, a grossly abnormal personality incapable of human feelings of empathy (my money is on the latter). What he himself says about his own opinions or state of mind therefore does not bear examination. Yet throughout the west, apparently intelligent people have been not only ascribing to him rational thought processes but have been poring over his own words to extract clues about what made him do this. Repeat after me very slowly: Breivik did not murder dozens of teenagers because he was ideologically opposed to cultural Marxism; he mowed them down because he was grossly mentally abnormal.
What it is is millennarian: the belief that all manner of redemptive possibilities lie on just the other side of a crucible of unspeakable chaos and suffering. At his arrest, Breivik called his acts ‘atrocious but necessary.’ Stalin and other Marxists so despised by Breivik might have said the same thing about party purges or the liquidation of the kulaks.
These are the politics that have largely defined our age and which conservatives have, for the most part, been foremost in opposing. To attempt to tar them with Breivik’s name is worse than a slur; it’s a concession to a killer with pretensions of intellectual sophistication. And it’s a misunderstanding of what he was all about.
(Thanks to reader Professor Frank.)
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 28, 11 (10:23 am)
Blair’s view on faith and politics sharply contradicts the contemporary Western trend now so apparent in the Australian Labor Party’s increasingly disastrous move to sever itself from the Christian tradition—a separation that even an atheist such as Julia Gillard recognises as a major political blunder.
“Some years ago people thought that religion was on the decline and that inevitably as societies developed they became more secular,” Blair says. “Actually, this is not what’s happening. What’s happening, in fact, is that around the world religion is on the rise…
“So religious faith is important and it’s growing. Yet at the same time globalisation is throwing everyone together.”
This leads Blair to his intellectual conclusion and current career preoccupation. “The issue is this: if faith is becoming a badge of identity and it says: ‘I am what I am in opposition to you’, then that’s when religion is dangerous.
“If, on the other hand, faith becomes a humanising and civilising set of values it can play an important role in making globalisation work…
Blair warns that across Europe there is a “strong reaction” to Islamisation and “some of that finds its way into appalling extremism and sectarianism”.
He attributes the high profile of immigration in many European elections to the depth of tensions over Islam, religion and culture.
“I would say that all over Europe this is an issue,” Blair says.
Asked about the massacre in Norway by a right-wing extremist ideologue, he says: “I put it this way. It is an isolated act by a fanatic.
“At the same time—if we are far-sighted about it—we’ll see that in an era of globalisation where societies are undergoing profound changes, you are bound to have this potential for conflict.
“The ideology that gives rise to such an act of brutality is an ideology that is centred around this notion of feeling under cultural attack.”
He hammers the need to manage the rise of religious faith and the consequences of its mismanagement with the risk of resulting violence.
“There is a real risk,” he says. “And I think it is the most substantial risk we face.”
Blair is right to argue that we must work to make religions co-exist peacefully, as civilising forces. But his optimism that this can be achieved - and maintained ... well, what if he’s wrong? What’s the fallback strategy for a society that’s committed to certain immigration or multicultural programs that turn out to have been based on a noble hope, but a vain one?
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 28, 11 (09:51 am)
This campaign against Jewish shops linked to Israel is whipping up some very ugly hatreds, but Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon isn’t backing off her support for the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” strategy that has so many Jews so alarmed:
Reader X reports:
The following extracts are of statements made by Senator Lee Rhiannon at “Politics in the Pub” at the Gaelic Club in Sydney on 22 July 2011 from 6:00pm… I recorded Rhiannon’s opening address and some of her answers to questions from the floor, which were taken two at a time.... Rhiannon shared a platform with Antony Loewenstein. The event was chaired by Stuart Rees.
On the BDS resolution meeting adopted by the NSW Greens State Delegates Council on 8 December 2010:
“It was put forward by the leadership of the Newtown Group and adopted unanimously. It was a well attended meeting… The State Delegates Council is the key decision-making body of the NSW Greens…The proposal, as required under our rules, had been sitting on our notice paper…for a month so that people could consider it. There were about 60 people in the meeting, 29 local groups represented, 9 groups represented as observers, all our State parliamentary MP’s and passed unanimously."…
“At the national level the Greens have adopted a boycott on military trade and links with Israel. One of the pieces of misinformation was that the NSW Greens were going against the national policy. As a Greens MP I don’t do that.”
“So the boycott [resolution adopted by the NSW Greens in December 2010] was not in contravention of our [the Greens] national policy and actually we do have a position calling on the Australian government to boycott any military arrangements with Israel”.
“There is a diversity of opinion only about how we take forward the Greens position”.
[Note: Rhiannon provides no explanation as to why the policy adopted on 8 December 2010 was quickly removed from the NSW Greens website. Here is the original.]
On the obsession of the Greens and the far Left with Israel:
“The other thing that we saw coming from the tactics that played out in this period is this attempt to suggest that we, the Greens, wouldn’t take on other countries, that we were only taking on Israel. Now that is so untrue. We have a very fine track record. I can say that I would hope and would like it if we could be more active if we had more members. But I am proud of our track record on Tibet, on Burma, on Indonesian issues, on East Timor, on West Papua, on peace in the Pacific, on Sudan. it’s a really fine record. But again if you read the News Limited papers and many of the other media commentators, you would think that the only country in the world that we paid attention to was Israel. [Note: So where is the Greens’ boycott of China over Tibet or of Sudan over Darfur?]
“So I am very proud that the Greens adopted our position on the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions.”
Andrew Landeryou says Rhiannon is defying Greens leader Bob Brown, whose distancing from the anti-Israel campaign is weak and unconvincing.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 28, 11 (07:02 am)
Tom Switzer’s Spectator confronts Malcolm Turnbull with his own wisdom, alas, long gone:
‘We cannot, by our own mitigating actions, stop [climate change], because we’re too small. But what we must do, and this is what we must really focus on, is adapt to it.’
Who voiced such scepticism? Lord Nigel Lawson? Professor Ian Plimer? Columnist Andrew Bolt? In fact, it was Malcolm Turnbull, and he made this sensible observation to ABC Radio in 2007 when he was environment minister in the last months of the Howard government. There was no point in Australia going it alone on climate change, Mr Turnbull warned, because the prospects of reducing global greenhouse gases were virtually zero without the agreement of the US, China and India. Australia, with its relatively small economy and emissions, had to ‘adapt’ to global warming. Ah, those were the days!
This episode is worth recalling as Mr Turnbull’s media mates breathlessly depict him as some kind of consistent, forceful advocate for climate change mitigation (and all the high costs and little gains that a carbon pricing policy entails). In this telling, Mr Turnbull is the Coalition’s white knight trying to save it from itself on the climate issue. We are told he bravely tried to stare down Liberal sceptics in the lead up to his leadership loss on the eve of the Copenhagen fiasco; yet this is the same man who for months had made the ETS conditional on a global consensus. Such have been the twists and turns of Mr Turnbull’s environmental journey that it is impossible to know what he thinks other than his own personal political advancement.
No link yet to The Spectator editorial.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 28, 11 (06:26 am)
FAINE:One of the great consistent threads through from Morocco’s reforms, all the way through, Bahrain hasn’t been mentioned. We can keep on going right across the Middle East, but a consistent thread that motivates people is their concern over corruption, quite apart from Western influence. And if we link that back to Norway, and I don’t think I’m stretching things too far, and then go to post-News of the World Britain, some themes emerge. And there’s a growing view among people that democracy’s not working the way that it’s designed to and not all that it’s scrubbed up to be. It’s not scrubbing up the way it’s supposed to. In fact people feel democracy’s being taken from them by power elites.
Blair: (silence) Um, yeah, I think it is a bit of a stretch this one. Er, I think . . .
Faine: Well, when you look at what the man in Norway has said and you look at what some of the activists are saying in the Middle East, you look at some of the disclosures about what you and your mates were up to with the tabloid press in London, and with police connivance, people say: “Well, hang on, that’s not how it’s all supposed to work. It’s not serving our needs. They’re just looking after themselves.”
Blair: (silence) Yeah, but I think we’ve got to disentangle some of these things.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 28, 11 (06:18 am)
Yes, but what does Bob Brown want?
MORE ALP right-wingers, including a factional convener, have spoken out against liberalising the party’s stand against gay marriage, as senior Labor figures are trying to contain a potentially distracting fresh outbreak of the debate.
Don Farrell, one of the Right’s conveners and a parliamentary secretary, said Labor should stick with its present opposition to same-sex marriage.
This followed New South Wales backbencher John Murphy, from the Right, this week strongly opposing change.
NSW senator Ursula Stephens said there was a massive email campaign under way, mostly in favour of changing the policy. Opposing change, she said: ‘’We’ve done everything we can to remove discrimination. But marriage is about a relationship between a man and a woman. Marriage is about producing children.’’
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 28, 11 (06:03 am)
Rudd is right, of course:
FOREIGN Minister Kevin Rudd has urged the Labor Party to target the political mainstream to differentiate itself from the Greens, arguing that the movement is at its best when it is “a party of the centre”.
The former prime minister has also queried why the Greens last year rejected his proposed carbon pollution reduction scheme, only to endorse Julia Gillard’s carbon tax earlier this month…
Although Ms Gillard’s rhetoric has been similar (to Rudd’s), her reliance on the Greens to support her minority government has required compromises, including the breach of her promise before last year’s election that she would not introduce a carbon tax.
Asked about growing concern among Labor MPs about the need for the party to differentiate its brand from that of the Greens, Mr Rudd made no criticism of Ms Gillard but said: “The important challenge for the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Labor government is to govern for mainstream Australia. We are a party of the centre and we are at our best when we are such.
“I understand the realities of minority government but our overall political priority must be as I have just described.”
And good on Rudd for tweaking the tail of not only Gillard, but of anti GM hysterics:
Mr Rudd, who this week visited Somalia to inspect Australian-funded famine relief efforts, said he had no reason to dispute scientific advice in favour of the use of GM foods… Earlier this month, activists broke into a CSIRO facility in Canberra and destroyed crops of GM wheat.
Mr Rudd said ... GM food had a place in dealing with global food security. “To keep kids alive in Somalia now, the WFP (United Nations World Food Program) needs to move packets of food supplement from the port of Mombasa into central Somalia which contains GMs,” he said.
Mr Rudd said the government was increasing research to better match seed species to soil types. In East Timor, the approach had lifted yields by 20 to 100 per cent.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 28, 11 (05:48 am)
CHRISTINE Nixon has likened the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission to the “worst kind of kangaroo court”, accusing it of being more a witch hunt than a search for the truth.
Victoria’s former police chief commissioner, whose decision to go out to dinner during the Black Saturday disaster was sharply criticised by the royal commission’s final report, has said she was ill-prepared to give evidence and let down by government counsel, who failed to intervene on her behalf.
The revelations are contained in Ms Nixon’s book Fair Cop, published by Melbourne University Publishing and scheduled for release next week.
In discussing her decision to leave her post at the deadly peak of the fires to have dinner with friends at a gourmet pub, she blames a vindictive media and “murky, Byzantine agendas” for the damage done to her reputation and character.
“I was deeply suspicious . . . that much of the fury being whipped up around me was contrived, fuelled by individuals with agendas utterly unrelated to events on Black Saturday but determined to capitalise on them,” she writes.
Note not only the passive management style that the royal commission rightly found so extraordinary, when 173 people were dying, but also the passive way in which the scale of emergency is expected make itself known to the Chief Commissioner and head of the emergency response:
For three hours while Victorians burned in their homes, neither Ms Nixon nor the two most senior police she assumed to be in command were at their posts at the Integrated Emergency Co-ordinated Centre. She offers no explanation for why she joined friends at dinner beyond that she gave to the commission: that she had faith in the people around her....
She says the questions that “would keep me awake at night” are whether the police could have done more to ensure residents were warned about the approaching firestorm.
“Was there anything I could or should have done, on the day, which might have saved a life? I can’t ever know. It is a cruel, cold comfort to contemplate that in this instance, by the time the scale of the emergency was realised it was too late.
“Was realised” by whom? Was the scale of the emergency not able to be discovered by Nixon herself, frantically making calls to officers on the ground? Yet for nearly three hours over dinner that night, as the state burned, Nixon’s phone neither received nor made calls as she dined with friends.
It’s the evil Murdoch empire at work again:
FORMER Victorian chief police commissioner Christine Nixon has accused Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd newspapers of being instrumental in bringing down her successor in the job, Simon Overland.
She also said she believed she had been subject to a relentless campaign by News Ltd papers, particularly the Herald Sun...
After a long, long complaint about how the wicked Herald Sun dared to dig into her management style and where she’d actually been when there was a terrible fire to fight, the Age grudgingly concedes Murdoch’s imps of Satan weren’t the only people who had concerns:
The commission found that Ms Nixon’s approach to emergency co-ordination during Black Saturday ‘’left much to be desired’’ and condemned her performance as ‘’hands off’’.
It said she should not have left emergency headquarters at dinner time, particularly when she had no deputy acting in her place.
Those commissioners would make excellent Murdoch editors.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 28, 11 (05:44 am)
How to destroy jobs, the Gillard way:
A CONFIDENTIAL federal government study into the impact of the Indonesian live cattle export crisis has revealed it has cost 326 jobs, left at least 274,000 animals stranded and 58 per cent of affected farmers out of pocket.
A draft copy of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences survey estimates 176,000 cattle may need extra food and water for up to 4 1/2 months if they are not moved from farms. It finds the $320 million-a-year industry was planning to export 596,000 head of cattle to Indonesia this year, but at the end of last month, 365,000 remained unsold and 274,000 of those animals “were ready” for the Indonesian market…
No Australian agricultural companies have been issued with export permits—meeting required tough new animal welfare restrictions—since Senator Ludwig lifted the ban on July 6.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 28, 11 (05:22 am)
Senate Democratic leaders said Wednesday they, too, will have to go back and rewrite their debt-increase plan, meaning that with just six days to go until the government bumps up against its borrowing limit there is no viable plan pending in either chamber.
House Republicans on Tuesday pulled their own plan from the schedule after the Congressional Budget Office said it cut spending by $50 billion less than it increased the debt — violating a pledge the GOP’s leaders had made to match increases dollar-for-dollar with new cuts.
On Wednesday Senate Democrats had to follow suit Wednesday after CBO said their plan fell $500 billion short of their own debt increase.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who wrote his party’s bill, said it will only need some “tweaking” to close the half-trillion dollar gap between his debt increase and his spending reductions.
Note the size of the purported cuts against the size of the borrowings:
All sides are racing an Aug. 2 deadline, which is when the Treasury Department says the government will bump up against the $14.29 trillion borrowing ceiling written into law.
Republicans are seeking to win deep spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt, and Democrats have as of late joined them in that mission. But the two sides disagree over how much new debt authority should be granted.
Democrats want a $2.7 trillion increase, which would last past the 2012 election and ensure lawmakers don’t have to face the issue again before they face voters.
My guess is that one of three things will lead to a resolution. In order of likelihood they are:1. The parties go past the deadline (over the edge) and the Treasury suspends payment of Social Security checks and federal government wages and salaries, including military salaries. The resultant public uproar then forces the parties to do a deal — probably a short term extension to the debt ceiling.
2. A meltdown in the markets before August 2 forces the parties to do a deal — again most likely a short term extension. A meltdown means a collapse in stock prices. The dollar could collapse, but that won’t precipitate a panic by the US public — it might even be seen as a good thing. US Treasury prices won’t collapse either, because despite everything US Treasury bills are still the risk free asset (to USD investors).
3. A grand bargain is worked out. A way out of the impasse is to take negotiations to a higher level. Both parties give up a lot to get a lot, so both can be seen as winners. Giving up a lot means: for Republicans big tax increases and for Democrats deep cuts to social security and medicare.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 28, 11 (05:08 am)
Who knew that a banana could clobber the mighty Australian economy, despite the magnificent economic stewardship of Treasurer Wayne Swan:
Treasurer Wayne Swan blamed the sharp increase in fruit prices – especially bananas, following the summer floods – for almost half the jump in the headline inflation rate.
But Swan had no patience in 2006 for the old blame-the-banana trick after Cyclone Larry:
Peter Costello and John Howard simply don’t get it. They can go out there and blame the price of bananas; they can go out there and blame tropical cyclones, or even tropical fruit … They will attempt to use bananas as a shield.
Morte fruity news on the banana shield from Tim Blair here.
Professor Sinclair Davidson:
...inflation is up and the economy is sluggish. It is too early to dust off the dreaded ‘stagflation’ term to describe the economy? The next set of national accounts comes out in about 6 weeks time (7 September 2011) – there should be some very worried people in Canberra right now.
THE Reserve Bank really has no choice. It must lift its official cash rate next Tuesday; and it will.
But don’t blame RBA governor Glenn Stevens. Blame Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan for strangling the productivity we need to sustain strong growth in the economy without inflation pressures....
The RBA is charged with keeping inflation in the 2-3 per cent range. As inflation hawk Christopher Joye argues, that implies a real target of 2.5 per cent.
The 0.9 per cent annualises at 3.6 per cent… The inflation tiger is out of the bag and running, before we really get to the actual spending of the resources investment boom which is going to add so much stress to demand for skilled labour, and so wages and inflation....
That brings us back to Gillard and Swan and their imposition of old-is-new again rigidities in our labour market and work practices; their pouring of billions into wasted or low-return projects like schools halls and the NBN.
And then the ultimate anti-productivity measure—their attack on our cheap, reliable and available electricity, the absolute foundation of productivity in any economy.
AUSTRALIA’S mining boom complacency has now caught us in a nasty bind of rising inflation and a soaring dollar in an economy that is mostly soft....
Our new inflation dilemma reveals Australia’s stalled productivity agenda, which until now has been masked by soaring iron ore and coal export prices.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 28, 11 (12:02 am)
Science magazine reports yet another blow to the warming alarmists warning of huge rises in sea levels:
A new reanalysis by two NASA scientists of the three standard ice-monitoring techniques slashes the estimated loss from East Antarctica, challenging the large, headline-grabbing losses reported lately for the continent as a whole. Although not the final word, the new study shows that researchers still have a lot to learn about the vast East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Understanding the role of East Antarctica is one key to figuring out what the ice sheets, and thus sea level, will be doing by century’s end.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 28, 11 (12:02 am)
Human Services Minister Tanya Plibersek is asked by Ben Fordham why she told a NSW central coast audience that their part of the NSW coast would be worst hit by sea level rises.
Why her failure to recollect even issuing her alarming warning to those locals?
Why the awkward pause when her words were read back to her? Why the refusal to repeat her warning?
Listen at the first link.
Maybe it’s the kind of scare that warmists like to issue to locals at every bit of our coast:
KEVIN RUDD: In New South Wales more than 200,000 buildings along the state’s coast are vulnerable. Queensland is at the highest risk from Australian states from projected sea level rise, coastal flooding.
As a small coastal council surrounded by water on three sides, the Borough of Queenscliffe (‘Council’) has recognised its particular vulnerability to heightened climatic risk factors such as storm surge and sea level rise.