Go here and let us know which of the designs, if any, you’d be interested in if you could buy them.
Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 29, 11 (03:29 pm)
The surprisingly good news for Labor is that after the week that’s been, it hasn’t dropped in the Essential Media poll. The bad news is that it’s still on 44 to 56.
Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 29, 11 (03:27 pm)
Professor Sinclair Davidson is right: the problem isn’t Labor’s sales pitch, but what it’s selling.
Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 29, 11 (03:16 pm)
- is warming actually bad for us?
- are we sure we actually caused it?
- is it worth trying to “stop” it?
- what difference to the temperature will the Government’s carbon dioxide tax make?
Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 29, 11 (02:38 pm)
It sounds better than what I remember:
This three bedroom home is the original headmasters residence in Warramboo. The kitchen has 2 fan forced ovens installed, an island bench, walk in pantry and server to lounge. Other features - lounge with reverse cycle airconditioner, slow combustion heater; office/sleepout; new floating floors in lounge, passages and back room; ceiling fans; carport & pergola over pavers; colourbond roof; walk ramp to back door; garage; garden watering system; insulation; rain water tanks.
These things weren’t there when I was a boy, and some had not even been invented:
2 fan forced ovens, an island bench, walk in pantry, server to lounge, reverse cycle airconditioner, slow combustion heater; floating floors; ceiling fans; carport & pergola over pavers; colourbond roof; walk ramp to back door; garden watering system; insulation.
How our lives have changed.
(Thanks to reader Ross.)
Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 29, 11 (02:25 pm)
Miranda Devine on being not quite so multicultural:
WITH little fanfare last week Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced her new Multicultural Council. But a curious feature of an advisory body that is supposed to be a “socially inclusive” representation of multi-ethnic Australia was the fact that at least five of its 10 members are Muslims, and not one member has a Chinese or Indian background.
This glaring oversight is despite the fact that China was Australia’s largest source of migrants in 2010-11, comprising 17.5 percent of the total intake. And Indians made up 12.9 percent of migrants. There are no representatives from the indigenous community, either.
The 10 members of the council are: Rauf Soulio (chairman), a South Australian judge active in the Albanian community; Gail Ker, a board member of the Ethnic Communities Council in Queensland; Dr Hass Dellal, Executive director of the Australian Multicultural Foundation; Samina Yasmeen, Director of the Centre for Muslim States and Societies and Professor of Political Science at the University of Western Australia; Talal Yassine, a lawyer and director of the Whitlam Institute; Yassmin Abdel-Magied, a mechanical engineering student at the University of Queensland; Dr Tanveer Ahmed, a psychiatrist, author and newspaper columnist; Dr Tim Soutphommasane, a research fellow at Monash University’s National Centre for Australian Studies, Peter Wertheim, executive director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, and Carmel Guerra, chief executive officer of the Centre for Multicultural Youth.
New council members said they had been told not to speak to the media. But others in the multicultural community expressed surprise at the heavy Islamic presence, while pointing out the Muslim members could not be said to be monocultural, being drawn from such diverse ethnic backgrounds as Lebanese, Sudanese, Bangladeshi and Turkish.
(Thanks to reader Tim.)
Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 29, 11 (02:22 pm)
I suspect he’ll be the first of a number of Labor MPs:
Bendigo Federal MP Steve Gibbons has announced he will not seek Labor’s next federal pre-selection for the Bendigo Federal Electorate and will retire at the next Federal Election due some time in 2013.
(Thanks to reader David.)
Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 29, 11 (01:21 pm)
Do people still believe this stuff?
If we don’t start tackling climate change, Australians will be increasingly depressed, anxious or stressed.... and more prone to substance abuse, a new report says.
The report, A Climate of Suffering: The Real Cost of Living with Inaction on Climate Change, draws on the work of mental health experts, community practitioners and survivors of natural disasters.
It argues that in the wake of extreme weather, such as cyclones and droughts, there is an increase in depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress and substance abuse.
Up to one in five people were likely to suffer emotional injury, stress and despair....
The report, commissioned by The Climate Institute and launched at the Brain and Mind Institute by Professor Ian Hickie on Monday, argues that if we don’t start reversing pollution levels, extreme weather events are likely to increase in frequency and or intensity.
One fact isn’t included in this study: by how much will depression levels by cut by Julia Gillard’s carbon dioxide tax?
(Thanks to readers Glenn, John, Tim, Todd and others.)
Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 29, 11 (01:05 pm)
These unnamed Coalition MPs should indeed be worried about the way they’re led, with the Coalition ahead by only, er, 56 to 44:
Tony Abbott has little trust for his front bench and is paranoid about being double-crossed, according to a number of senior members of his team who have expressed a growing unease over the Opposition Leader’s style.
Some shadow ministers as well as numerous backbenchers have told The Canberra Times that Mr Abbott is nervous about many of those around him and that he is making too many unilateral decisions.
But the Opposition Leader denies the allegations, his office saying yesterday that the claims were ‘’self-evidently false’’.
The comments follow a week of ruthless parliamentary pursuit of embattled Labor MP Craig Thomson that has raised some concern within Coalition ranks.
And how silly of Abbott to be “paranoid about being double-crossed” by senior members of his team who tell a hostile journalist he’s “paranoid about being double-crossed”.
Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 29, 11 (06:49 am)
Bigots in Brisbane met some unexpected resistance on the weekend outside a chocolate shop they’ve singled out as a threat to world peace:
The aim of the protesters, made up of the Socialist Alternative and the Justice for Palestine groups, was to highlight the support of Max Brenner’s parent company, the Strauss Group, for the Israeli military and its sale of provisions to it…
The counter-protesters, made up of students, Israeli community members and politicians, screamed at their opponents: “Go home, Nazis!”
Logan City councillor Hajnal Black was repeatedly restrained by police as she pushed through the barricade line yelling: ”We don’t want Nazis in this country!”..
The Queensland Liberal National Party senator, Ron Boswell, said Max Brenner was a popular and “legitimate business” that should not be targeted in this way. “I think it’s absolutely outrageous,” he said. “I don’t mind if people don’t want to buy Max Brenner chocolates, but there shouldn’t be pickets and intimidation and rallies to stop people.
“I think people that are trying to hit it with a boycott and picketing it, particularly a Jewish business, reminds me of some of the things that happened in the early 1930s.”
I’ve had two threats of legal action for saying exactly that. Say it yourself while we still can.
(Thanks to reader CA.)
Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 29, 11 (06:43 am)
So Labor’s plan is to keep a deal with the Greens to smash the economy with a carbon dioxide tax, but make noises about how it doesn’t like these radicals really.
Good luck with that:
LABOR plans to attack the Greens from the Right in a bid to win back environmentalists alienated by the minor party’s support for left-wing social causes and its perceived antipathy for development.
Environment Minister Tony Burke has foreshadowed an appeal to the political mainstream on environmental issues, championing a Bob Hawke-style agenda to protect iconic sites without adopting an anti-industrialisation stance that opposes job creation.
“I’m always wary of characterising any views for someone,” Mr Burke said in an interview with The Australian yesterday. “But certainly there are levels of development that we would regard as . . . positive that would be anathema to the Greens.
“If your objective is a straight anti-industrialisation objective, then my way of doing things doesn’t help you.”
(Thanks to reader CA.)
Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 29, 11 (06:32 am)
A hint that the new Libyan regime might not be as pro-Western as its NATO allies hoped:
The US has asked the Libyan transitional government to hold Abdel-Baset al-Megrahi fully accountable for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people.
But the transitional government Justice Minister Mohammed al-Alagi told journalists in Tripoli that the request by American senators had “no meaning” because al-Megrahi had already been tried and convicted.
“We will not hand over any Libyan citizen. It was Gaddafi who handed over Libyan citizens,” he said, referring to the government’s decision to turn al-Megrahi over to a Scottish court for trial.
Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 29, 11 (06:08 am)
QANTAS apologised yesterday for a publicity stunt on Twitter that backfired. The airline had awarded free tickets to the Bledisloe Cup on Saturday night to two Brisbane men who ‘’blacked up’’ to impersonate their favourite rugby player.
The airline removed a photo running on its Twitter page yesterday of the two men dressed - and with painted faces - to look like Wallabies rugby star Radike Samo. Qantas awarded the $378 platinum tickets to the two men last week.
To win, competitors had to tell Qantas via Twitter how they intended to show their support for the Wallabies at the match. Charles Butler, from his twitter account pek-anan, promised to ‘’dress as Radike Samo. Complete with Afro Wig, Aus rugby kit and facepaint’’.
For this, he won the free tickets. He and another man later got Samo to pose in a photograph with them in their wigs, with their faces painted black....
A stream of Twitter posts called the photo racist. The airline immediately took down the photo, and sent a series of apologetic tweets to people who said it was racist.
Note the differing reactions of a professional in the grievance industry and the actual subject of the alleged “racism”:
The chairman of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC), Stephen Ryan, said he was stunned Qantas had encouraged the men.
‘’It is simply unbelievable that they wouldn’t have known such a stunt could backfire,’’ Mr Ryan said in a statement today.
‘’It’s hard to believe that a company that has used Aboriginal iconography to try and improve its image didn’t know that this could easily be construed as racist.’’
But Samo said he had gladly posed for pictures with the pair and didn’t understand ‘’what the fuss is all about’’.
Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 29, 11 (05:44 am)
Kathy Jackson’s illness seems to have developed into laryingitis:
Ms Jackson yesterday pulled out of a planned appearance on Network Ten’s The Bolt Report, hosted by News Limited columnist Andrew Bolt, despite confirming her attendance the night before.
“(I) received a call at 6am the next morning from Ms Jackson, who said she was physically ill, and couldn’t appear on the program,” Bolt said.
Sources within and close to the union have alleged HSU national president Michael Williamson have been putting pressure on Ms Jackson to stop her from talking to the media and he had issued a “gag order”.
A member of the HSU national executive said Ms Jackson had, in a private conversation late last week, said she had been vigorously pressured by Mr Williamson to cease talking to the media about Mr Thomson. Ms Jackson did not return calls yesterday.
Mr Williamson yesterday denied any allegations that he had issued a gag order or pressured Ms Jackson to stay away from the media. “That is completely untrue,” he said.
On my show yesterday, I did note that Jackson might have been particularly nervous about one question I was planning to ask about Williamson.
Glenn Milne adds a detail about Gillard and her then conman lover that the lawyers once cut out:
On Sunday November 11, 2007, just days before the November 24 election I interviewed Gillard, then deputy leader of the opposition…
The interview concerned the embezzlement of union funds—not disputed—and later the subject of a court conviction by a former boyfriend of Gillard, Bruce Wilson. I had researched the piece for months. It was the most heavily lawyered article I have ever been involved in writing. The story said that as a solicitor acting on instructions, she set up an association later used by her lover to defraud the AWU. But she has strenuously denied ever knowing what the association’s bank accounts were used for.
Gillard, then in her early 30s, was a lawyer with Melbourne-based Labor firm Slater & Gordon. At the time of the fraud she acted for the AWU. She met Wilson, then the West Australian AWU secretary, while representing the union in the Industrial Relations Commission. Wilson later moved to Melbourne to become Victorian secretary of the union.
“These matters happened between 12 and 15 years ago,” Gillard told me. “I was young and naive. I was in a relationship, which I ended, and obviously it was all very distressing. I am by no means the first person to find out that someone close turns out to be different to what you had believed them to be. It’s an ordinary human error.
“I was obviously hurt, when I was later falsely accused publicly of wrongdoing. I didn’t do anything wrong and to have false allegations in the media was distressing.”
What the lawyers would not allow to be reported was the fact that Gillard shared a home in Fitzroy bought by Wilson using the embezzled funds. There is or was no suggestion Gillard knew about the origin of the money.
(I am not sure that Gillard did share a home with Wilson. My own understanding is that she maintained her own house.)
Annually, well over $1.3 billion of members’ money is given to Australian unions. The spending of that money is left entirely to the discretion of a small group of union secretaries who operate in a largely unregulated financial setting…
Thieving the money of union members is unfortunately a routine occurrence in some quarters of the labour movement. Money is habitually spent on meals, travel, alcohol, strip clubs and other forms of entertainment that most members would consider inappropriate.
Some union office gatherings have even been held in strip clubs, but mostly it is after conferences that the secretary gets a bunch of his favourite officials together and heads off for a big night financed by union funds. Anyone who wants to see union officials behaving badly and misappropriating funds simply needs to hang around the close of the ALP annual conference and follow the hard-core drinkers to the after party…
I have seen a union official driven around in the limousine of a boss, plied with privilege and gifts just to keep a workforce of only 15 people on the job. Imagine what it is like to have the absolute power to click your fingers and pull 5000 people off a job and cost a company $20 million a day. Imagine what that power could bring you.
Sadly, for union members, scandals hardly ever come to light.
(UPDATE: LINK FIXED.)
Reader Pira says Bill Leak is a national treasure:
Milne’s story is removed from the Australian’s website and an apology is printed:
THE AUSTRALIAN published today an opinion piece by Glenn Milne which includes assertions about the conduct of the Prime Minister. The Australian acknowledges these assertions are untrue. The Australian also acknowledges no attempt was made by anyone employed by, or associated with, The Australian to contact the Prime Minister in relation to this matter.The Australian unreservedly apologises to the Prime Minister and to its readers for the publication of these claims
Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 29, 11 (05:33 am)
Do we spend to save struggling manufacturers (where the unions are strong) or just retool to support other sectors that are booming (where the unions are weaker)?
THE nation’s most senior unionist has lashed Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens’s call for the Gillard government to review its industrial relations laws, rebuking the central bank as “misinformed and out of touch with working Australians and the real economy”.
ACTU president Ged Kearney has also attacked the composition of the Reserve Bank board as being too narrowly focused on business and said Mr Stevens’s comments on Friday revealed the bank had become “captive to the top end of town”.
Her attack underlines growing frustration within the union movement at job losses in the non-resources sector, which is being squeezed by high interest rates and a soaring dollar driven by the mining boom and have put Labor’s industry base under pressure.
But former Australian Building and Construction Commission head John Lloyd slammed the ACTU as being “out of touch” for its criticism of Mr Stevens.
“Improved productivity is essential to ensuring increases in wages in the future are sustainable,” he told The Australian yesterday.
“Also, it is important to guarantee job security in the future for Australian workers.”
LABOR’S Fair Work laws are holding back productivity reform, and the former head of the construction industry watchdog says the reintroduction of individual contracts is the answer…
Mr Lloyd called for greater flexibility in penalty rates for industries such as hospitality and retail that employed large numbers of young people, casuals and entry-level workers, saying this would boost overall employment.
If a union’s agenda was more jobs, not just more members, it would back Lloyd.
Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 29, 11 (05:28 am)
Kevin Rudd’s odds of grabbing back his old job have just got a lot better, but only because there will be no one else to do it:
KEVIN Rudd would be Labor’s sole MP in Queensland if an election was held today, according to a new opinion poll.
A year after Julia Gillard formed minority government, her support has crashed to a record low in the Sunshine State. In the worst result ever recorded in a Galaxy poll for The Courier-Mail, Labor was backed by just 23 per cent of the state’s voters last week.
Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 29, 11 (05:20 am)
For the television reporter, clad in his red cagoule emblazoned with the CNN logo, it was a dramatic on-air moment, broadcasting live from Long Island, New York during a hurricane that also threatened Manhattan.
“We are in, right, now…the right eye wall, no doubt about that…there you see the surf,” he said breathlessly. “That tells a story right there.”
Stumbling and apparently buffeted by ferocious gusts, he took shelter next to a building. “This is our protection from the wind,” he explained. “It’s been truly remarkable to watch the power of the ocean here.”
The surf may have told a story but so too did the sight behind the reporter of people chatting and ambling along the sea front and just goofing around. There was a man in a t-shirt, a woman waving her arms and then walking backwards. Then someone on a bicycle glided past.
Across the screen, the “Breaking News: Irene Batters Long Island” caption was replaced by stern advice from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): “Stay inside, stay safe.”
The images summed up Hurricane Irene – the media and the United States federal government trying to live up to their own doom-laden warnings and predictions while a sizeable number of ordinary Americans just carried on as normal and even made gentle fun of all the fuss....
Then came the press conferences from the politicians, with Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey that his evacuation of the Jersey Shore was “a pre-emptive measure that I am confident saved lives” and there could still be damage worth “tens of billions” of dollars…
The truth is that the dire warning beforehand suited both politicians and journalists… Irene became a huge story because it was where the media lived.
Julia Gillard has lost all authority within the broader Labor movement
THE real import of the alleged brothel creeping scandal surrounding Craig Thomson has been missed. And it is this: key factions and unions within the Labor movement are now openly indifferent to the fate of either Julia Gillard or the federal government. They simply don’t care any more.
Gillard has now lost all authority within the broader Labor movement. By their actions in the Thomson saga they have signalled a judgment that she cannot win the next election. Settling internal scores and power struggles is therefore now more important than whatever happens to a lameduck PM who can’t haul her primary voting numbers out of the pathetically fatal mid 20s.
The Mafia-style dirt-covered shovel — code for digging your own grave — dumped on Friday at 3.30am on the doorstop of Kathy Jackson, the union official who had the courage to refer Thomson’s activities to the police, may as well have been delivered to the Lodge. For Gillard it is now that bad. She is simply regarded as collateral damage and large sections in the Labor movement are uninterested about whether she’s terminally wounded or not as they go about their internal bloodletting. It is about to get worse as elements of the Australian Workers’ Union seek to settle up with Thomson’s accusers by demonstrating that Gillard herself was implicated, albeit unknowingly, in a major union fraud of her own before she entered parliament.
On Friday, Michael Smith of 2UE contacted me to check the veracity of material in a statutory declaration drawn up by Bob Kernohan, the former president of the AWU, and dealing with the relationship between Gillard and Bruce Wilson, which I outline below.
On Saturday, Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph columnist Andrew Bolt wrote on his blog: ‘‘On Monday, I’m tipping, a witness with a statutory declaration will come forward and implicate Julia Gillard directly in another scandal involving the misuse of union funds. Gillard herself is not accused of any misbehaviour at all. I do not make that claim, and do not hold that belief. But her judgment — and that of at least one of her ministers — will come under severe question. She will seem compromised. It could be the last straw for Gillard’s leadership.’’
Big call. But I do have a good deal of knowledge regarding Bolt’s claims. On Sunday November 11, 2007, just days before the November 24 election I interviewed Gillard, then deputy leader of the opposition, in my capacity as political editor for News Limited’s Sunday newspapers. The interview concerned the embezzlement of union funds — not disputed — and later the subject of a court conviction by a former boyfriend of Gillard, Bruce Wilson. I had researched the piece for months. It was the most heavily lawyered article I have ever been involved in writing. The story said that as a solicitor acting on instructions, she set up an association later used by her lover to defraud the AWU. But she has strenuously denied ever knowing what the association’s bank accounts were used for.
Gillard, then in her early 30s, was a lawyer with Melbournebased Labor firm Slater & Gordon. At the time of the fraud she acted for the AWU. She met Wilson, then the West Australian AWU secretary, while representing the union in the Industrial Relations Commission. Wilson later moved to Melbourne to become Victorian secretary of the union.
‘‘These matters happened between 12 and 15 years ago,’’ Gillard told me. ‘‘I was young and naive. I was in a relationship, which I ended, and obviously it was all very distressing. I am by no means the first person to find out that someone close turns out to be different to what you had believed them to be. It’s an ordinary human error.
‘‘I was obviously hurt, when I was later falsely accused publicly of wrongdoing. I didn’t do anything wrong and to have false allegations in the media was distressing.’’
What the lawyers would not allow to be reported was the fact that Gillard shared a home in Fitzroy bought by Wilson using the embezzled funds. There is or was no suggestion Gillard knew about the origin of the money. We now await the issue to which Bolt refers.
If it comes, and if it is powerful as Bolt suggests, it will be further evidence that the Victorian Right represented by the AWU is involved in a life and death struggle with the Right as represented by the Hospital Services Union. Thomson was a senior official of the HSU for 20 years before entering parliament via the seat of Dobell.
The HSU split several years ago into two factions. Thomson was supported by Jeff Jackson, Kathy Jackson’s former husband. This so-called old guard was the support base for Victorian right-wing power boss, David Feeney. Feeney is now looking for a parliamentary seat because Gillard’s abysmal numbers have made his third Senate spot vulnerable.
A defeat for the old guard by way of a successful prosecution of Thomson by police, would leave Feeney powerless and without a base or a seat.
Jackson himself has been accused of using union money on escorts with enemies of the Victorian HSU boss releasing bank statements showing payments to the same Sydney brothel where federal MP Thomson’s credit card was allegedly used. Jackson has denied the claims. Ultimately at issue here could be the succession to Gillard, and I’ll explain why.
When Kathy Jackson called in the wallopers, the stakes were high. Because a federal defeat for Thomson and his allies would enhance the power base of Victoria’s two other factional king makers, Bill Shorten and Stephen Conroy who are both aligned with the new guard in the HSU. And we all know what Shorten’s ultimate ambition is.
What a tangled web we weave especially when you consider Thomson is married to Zoe Arnold, a former Transport Workers Union official and adviser to former NSW Health Minister Reba Meagher. Alex Williamson, daughter of HSU national president Mike Williamson, is an adviser to Gillard. And, of course, as mentioned, Kathy Jackson, who blew the whistle on Thomson, was married to former Victorian state HSU secretary Jeff Jackson.
Truly the NSW Disease has arrived in Canberra.
Meanwhile amid all this interbred internecine manoeuvring Gillard attempts to adopt the high ground, attacking shadow attorney-general George Brandis for intervening in the course of justice. On Thursday morning Gillard attacked Brandis for speaking to NSW Police Minister Michael Gallacher at a time when the allegations against Thomson were being assessed by NSW Police. Unfortunately she got her facts wrong because the NSW police only announced they were conducting an assessment four days after Brandis spoke to Gallacher and in fact only got Brandis’s dossier three days after he spoke to Gallacher.
A small point but one that indicates the pressure is beginning to show on Gillard as she desperately searches for points of deflection. During the same press conference she also vainly tried to defend Thomson’s decision not to make a statement to the parliament on the facts. We all know why; if he lies he’s finished as an MP and Gillard is washed up as Prime Minister. Gillard and Thomson are shackled together just as surely as two First Fleet convicts.
Oh, and here’s a small postscript on which to end. On September 7 at the Wyong Christian School at 2pm there will be the opening of a new hall built with funds from Gillard’s time overseeing the Building the Education Revolution. Thomson is scheduled to attend as the local member. My gut instinct is that both he and the Prime Minister will be otherwise engaged.