Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 10, 11 (03:07 pm)
Will the inquiry come up with a blacklist of conservative columnists? A guide on how to report the news to suit the Left? Laws against any newspaper proprietor with the first name of “Rupert”?
http://www.smh.com.au/national/gillard-focuses-on-print-media-as-greens-seek-inquiry-into-the-state-of-journalism-20110909-1k20s.html#ixzz1XWUuFADg” title="THE Gillard government is understood to be considering a media inquiry with narrow terms of reference focused on the print media">THE Gillard government is understood to be considering a media inquiry with narrow terms of reference focused on the print media, despite a strong push from the Greens for a much broader probe.
The Greens leader, Bob Brown, will move to set up an inquiry on Wednesday, with draft terms of reference seen by the Herald proposing it consider whether technological change is hurting quality journalism and whether the government can do anything to encourage investment in quality journalism.
Senator Brown also wants the inquiry to look at whether the ‘’media ownership landscape’’ is serving the public interest, whether the print media regulator - the Press Council - is effective and at ‘’past and present practices of the media both in Australia and internationally’’.
The agenda of the greens and the Government is transparent and sinister. It is nothing less than an attempt to intimidate or even muzzle its critics.
It is a disgrace that this should be openly proposed, and a scandal that the usual noisy defenders of “human rigts” say nothing in protest.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 10, 11 (12:01 pm)
Kevin Rudd’s popularity with the public can’t be ignored, even by the faceless party and union heavies who like to think they decide issues about leadership.
With Rudd at 57 per cent as preferred Labor leader, according to the latest Newspoll, and Julia Gillard languishing at 24 per cent, the power brokers are in no position to blithely anoint someone else for the job.
ALLIES of Kevin Rudd are telling colleagues he is ready to forgive and forget if offered back the ALP leadership.
Senior Government sources say a small group of MPs, who backed Mr Rudd in last year’s coup, are trying to convince their colleagues that there will be no retribution if he is returned to the Lodge…
Mr Rudd’s backers vowed he was “no longer autocratic” and had eaten humble pie. They claimed he had learnt from his mistakes.
One minister, who confirmed he had heard such statements, said no one should be fooled.
“Rudd must think we all have the memories of goldfish,” he said.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 10, 11 (08:57 am)
The ABC’s Richard Glover doesn’t get it:
There may be a reason for Glover’s bemusement. Missing from his analysis are the following words:
- “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”
- “East Timor detention centre”
- “Cash for Clunkers”
- “mining tax”
- “Citizens’ Assembly”
- “Kevin Rudd”
- “there’s more chance of me becoming the full-forward for the Dogs than there is any chance of a change in the Labor party”.
- “Building the Education Revolution”
- “live cattle exports”
- “$36 billion national broadband network”
- “white elephant”
- “media inquiry”
- “clean energy future”
- “how much her tax will actually change the world’s temperature”
Included in Glover’s analysis are improbable excuses for:
- caving in to the Greens
- standing by a guy whose union credit card was used to pay for prostitutes
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 10, 11 (08:03 am)
IS it a rule that you have to be Anglo-Saxon to be a racist?
I ask, because the human rights division of VCAT has let off a Macedonian newspaper for the kind of hate-speech I doubt I’d be forgiven.
The Australian Macedonian Weekly two years ago published - in English - a furious article listing all the alleged ways Greeks had crushed Macedonian culture.
Boy, did the author let himself go. The Greeks were “a thieving nation”, “these Greek deranged dastardly monsters”, “stinking Greek teacher and a spy-for-a-priest”, “freaks of nature”, “deranged monsters” and “an evil alien abstraction”.
“What evil spirits possessed your moronic conscience?” howled the author. Why were Greeks “predisposed to such ghastly monstrosity”?
Having myself been served with please explains from equal opportunity enforcers for suggesting Anglo-Saxons could learn from the study ethic of many Asian students, that Italy’s war record wasn’t first-class and that it is absurd to insist on racial divisions so trivial as to be indistinguishable to the eye, I expected the Macedonian Weekly to go down like the drachma.
What is Victoria’s sinister Racial and Religious Tolerance Act for, if not this kind of thing? But VCAT senior member Noreen Megay has found the paper not guilty of inciting racial hatred.
If I read her judgment right, Macedonians are already so riddled with racism one more article of spittle-flecked venom couldn’t make things worse.
Or, as Megay put it: “For the average Macedonian reader, this article is probably just ‘preaching to the converted’ and is not likely to stir up such raw emotion as to breach the Act.”
I wonder how this argument would apply to Nazis or Ku Klux Klansmen. Would one more article in the club newsletter vilifying Jews or savaging African Americans be dismissed as mere “preaching to the converted”?
But Megay continues: “I suspect that the average non-Macedonian reader who might stumble across the article on the website or who might flick through it at the local shop would just wonder what it was all about without being incited to any extreme emotion about Greeks.”
So non-Macedonians, of whom there are surprisingly many in Australia, are judged by Megay to have such good sense as to be unmoved by even the most inflammatory racist rants.
And, suddenly, I’m warming to Megay, who has a sturdy trust in the judgment of her fellow Australians.
In fact, her judgment concludes with rousing words.
“A commitment to free speech is an essential concept of all liberal democracies of which Australia is one…
“I am firmly of the view that restrictions should only be placed on discourse in the most egregious of cases.”
Good on Megay. But the question remains: Do you have to be Macedonian to be free to speak? Are only Anglo-Saxons racist?
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 10, 11 (07:58 am)
TEN years after the September 11 attacks we can say we’re winning the war on Islamist terrorism.
It’s odd that we haven’t taken more comfort from this astonishing success.
When those two jets slammed into the World Trade Centre in 2001, did you think this would be the last successful attack by al-Qaida on US soil?
When the second Bali bombing killed 20 people, including four Australians, in 2005 did you believe this would be the last time we lost civilians to a terrorist attack?
Across the West, it’s the same story. It is seven years since Spain suffered the bombings in Madrid. It is six years since the London bombings, the last terrorist attacks on British soil to claim any victims.
Six years ago, ASIO chief Paul O’Sullivan warned a terrorist attack on Australian soil was “feasible” and “could well occur”. It hasn’t.
This is not to say the threat was exaggerated ... much.
Since 2001, more than 100 Australians have been killed by Islamist terrorists, and the Federal Government’s White Paper on Counter-Terrorism last year reported numerous other attacks have been thwarted.
Thirty-five people have been prosecuted for terrorism offences here, and 20 convicted, including nine men arrested in Melbourne in 2006.
Counter-terrorism agencies overseas have also smashed a string of terrorist plots, or had good luck.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 10, 11 (07:48 am)
In her first speech in the Senate, Lee Rhiannon claimed that her late parents were “deeply committed to making the world a fairer, more peaceful place for all”. This claim is completely misleading – unless Senator Rhiannon seriously believes that supporting Soviet totalitarianism was consistent with working to achieve fairness and peace. If she does hold this view, Senator Rhiannon is seriously deluded.
Not deluded, just deeply misleading - and some might even claim deceptive. Read on, as Henderson details Rhiannon’s whitewashing of her communist past.
Did I say “past”?
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 10, 11 (07:14 am)
This is going to drag on and go who knows where. I’m tipping the result will be a comprehensive trashing of the Labor brand, and perhaps even an inquiry into union rules governing spending by union officials:
A HEALTH Services Union official has lodged a complaint with NSW Police alleging ‘’systemic and organised fraud within the HSU, including the procuring of secret commissions and corrupt rewards from suppliers and contractors’’.
The Herald revealed yesterday that the national president of the union, Michael Williamson, and the federal MP Craig Thomson, formerly the general secretary of the union, were given credit cards by a big supplier to the union.
John Gilleland, who is paid $680,000 a year to produce the union’s newsletter, Health Standard, has previously given Mr Thomson and Mr Williamson credit cards attached to his American Express account. This year, Mr Gilleland’s wife, Carron, told union officials that Mr Williamson had ‘’run amok’’ with the credit card and used it to pay for a variety of things, including wines for his cellar and his children’s private school fees…
Mr Williamson, who is on the national executive of the ALP, issued a statement rejecting the allegations....
Nicknamed the ‘’million-dollar man’’, Mr Williamson is also the vice-president of the NSW ALP. He is on the boards of the State Government Employees Credit Union and First State Super.
Apart from his union salary, Mr Williamson’s company, United Edge, bills the union hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for mobile phones and IT services.
Michael Stuchbury says union scandals - such as the use of the union credit cards of Williamson protege Craig Thomson to pay for prostitutes - makes the media refusal to investigate Julia Gillard’s past even more unforgivable:
In contrast to the Fairfax newspapers’ work on the Thomson scandal, most of the media has a blind spot over Gillard’s relationship with former Australian Workers Union official Bruce Wilson when she was in her early 30s and a partner with Melbourne law firm Slater & Gordon.
The details remain sketchy. Wilson “broke her heart and then threatened to destroy her political career”, Glenn Milne reported in The Sunday Telegraph in 2007.
No one disbelieves Gillard’s strenuous claims that she didn’t do anything wrong. But journalism surely has a duty to fully report this part of the PM’s life story…
To Gillard’s fury, it was bound to resurface as the Thomson scandal over the alleged misuse of union funds threatened to bring down her minority government.
Both episodes underline police reluctance to interfere in the sort of intra-union power struggles involved in both the Wilson and Thomson scandals. The Wilson case occurred as Bill Shorten, one of the Labor factional warlords who brought down Kevin Rudd, was starting to build his own AWU power base.
It involved the octogenerian AWU national president Bill Ludwig, whose backing keeps both Gillard and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh in power…
The media by and large treats this as part of the furniture of Australian life rather than an unhealthy phenomenon, notwithstanding the many good people in the labour movement. And this has succoured another blind spot of Australian politics: Gillard’s reregulation of Australian workplaces.
(No comments for legal reasons.)
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 10, 11 (07:07 am)
Tim Blair is living large in Louisiana:
Shreveport, a few miles down the interstate from an establishment that sells - I am not making this up - fried pies.
Tonight’s meal was a spectacular seafood jambalaya, which basically involves dredging an entire swamp and then cooking every living creature thus harvested.
No word yet when this bludger will get back to work.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 10, 11 (06:57 am)
Peter van Onselen is right, which may explain why Julia Gillard is rushing to have her carbon dioxide tax passed in early October:
...passing the carbon tax closes the door on a range of leadership contenders taking over from Gillard to give Labor a better chance at the next election.
The only viable option to a catastrophic defeat under Gillard is for a new leader to replace her and dump her tax. But that becomes very, very messy once the tax is actually legislated.
Van Onselen adds:
...the introduction of the carbon tax locks Labor into either Gillard or a shift back to Rudd further down the track. No cleanskin could assume the leadership tarnished by a legislated carbon tax: the shift would look sneaky and the cleanskin image wouldn’t last.
Which means the window for a shift to anyone other than Rudd will close in a matter of weeks if the carbon tax becomes law.
The counter-argument of Gillard’s wilfully blind supporters is that voters will forgive her, even admire her, once the tax comes in and they can see it doesn’t hurt.
Problem. Even if you truly believe that Labor can implement this tax without pain, and that voters will forgive, the truth is that the next election is actually likely to be held before the tax is imposed in July 2012.
That’s because independent MP Andrew Wilkie has warned that he will indeed vote down the Government in May if it does not give him what it can’t - technology to limit poker machine losses.
And so Labor may well go to an election just weeks before the introduction of a big new tax, with the Coalition offering voters one last chance to stop it.
Good luck with surviving that one, with Gillard in charge.
So Labor really can’t run from the logic of the calendar: its best chance lies in dumping Gillard and her tax, and by early October at the very latest.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 10, 11 (06:46 am)
The extraordinary story of an abuse by priests of a boy, who yet maintained his faith as an adult and now forgives:
AN Australian archbishop leading a breakaway Anglican faction that wants to reunite with Rome has revealed that he fled the Catholic priesthood after experiencing systematic sexual abuse over more than a decade.
Archbishop John Hepworth, the primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, a 400,000-member Anglican breakaway group seeking reconciliation with the Vatican, broke decades of silence after securing an apology from the Catholic church and an offer of $75,000 compensation.
The revelation of his private pain, known until today only to family, a few close friends and senior church leaders, adds an extraordinary personal twist to the creation of Anglican ordinariates that have opened the way for the largest mass defection to the Catholic Church since the Reformation.
Despite what he suffered over a 12-year period from 1960 at the hands of two priests and a fellow seminary student who went on to be ordained, Archbishop Hepworth said he was determined to continue his mission to bring the churches together.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 10, 11 (06:12 am)
Julia Gillard is travelling so badly that any crisis meeting with colleagues represents potential disaster for her:
JULIA Gillard has called a special meeting of Labor MPs on Monday to stare down her opponents, confront head-on the issue of asylum-seekers and find a way past the High Court’s rejection of the Malaysia people-swap deal.
As border protection authorities yesterday intercepted the first illegal boat to arrive since the shock High Court ruling derailed the government’s Malaysia Solution, the Prime Minister called an unscheduled cabinet meeting - to be held before a special meeting of caucus - at which senior ministers will attempt to reach a position ahead of a potentially bruising week in parliament....
It is expected that the cabinet meeting will discuss the High Court’s decision, and alternative policies and proposed legislation, before the special Labor caucus meeting at 9.30am on Monday…
Senior government sources are confident Ms Gillard will be able to win the day on offshore processing if cabinet endorses the policy, and stare down Labor critics who want the government to drop all offshore processing.
It’s crash through or crash.
Meanwhile, the first boat since the High Court set-back arrives to add to the air of crisis:
The opposition leapt on the arrival of the latest boat, carrying 72 asylum-seekers.
THIS week’s Immigration Department briefings mean the onus falls on Tony Abbott to decide whether his aim is to stop the boats or merely sink the Gillard government. ..
The private advice from Immigration Department chief Andrew Metcalfe is entirely predictable: offshore processing is the key to halting boats, Nauru doesn’t work as a disincentive, tougher steps such as the Malaysian deal are needed and more boat arrivals threaten Australia’s big and orderly immigration intake…
What is required now is obvious: Labor and the Coalition need to amend the Migration Act to restore power to the executive government to negotiate offshore processing arrangements in the region. It is an open and shut case - except for the politics…
The opposition needs to think hard about the powers it will need in office to stop the boats. Denying such powers to Gillard now will not help Abbott later.
But wait. The Opposition’s policy goes beyond Nauru, and included Temporary Protection Visas. Malaysia is a deal that would work only for the first 800 arrivals. Nauru is easier to get past the High Court. So, really, the first move is still the Government’s to make, whatever the Immigration Department briefers are briefing.
IN rejecting legislative change to allow the Gillard government to revive its Malaysia deal for asylum-seekers, Tony Abbott is making the biggest policy mistake of his life.
As a nation, Australia needs all the potential policy tools it can muster to deter and prevent the determined illegal immigration that is threatening to swamp our institutions in northern Australia.
But in the same piece:
The real criticism of the deal is that it was not likely to work in deterring people-smugglers.
Abbott is giving the government an alibi and allowing it to create a myth that the Malaysia Solution would have been an effective deterrent, whereas its entire deterrent value would have expired once the 800 people had been sent.
But then again, and still in the same piece:
However, it would have had some beneficial effect.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 10, 11 (12:02 am)
A sinister law, planned by a government with sinister motives:
GOVERNMENT plans to encourage people to sue each other using a statutory privacy tort have been denounced as so uncertain as to undermine the rule of law.
The Rule of Law Institute says the privacy scheme being considered by the Gillard government is so subjective it would leave ordinary people in doubt about what they could say to each other without incurring liability.
“As far as the rule of law is concerned, it is bad to have an uncertain law and it is bad to have a law that is subjective,” said Robin Speed, chairman of the Rule of Law Institute.
He said it was clear the federal government had decided to revisit plans to create a statutory privacy tort as a way of intimidating the media.
It is really that bad. Some in the Government are prepared to trash our freedoms just to cling to power. They are acting like gangsters, not statesmen.
(Thanks to reader Steve.)
… is from page 199 of Karl Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies; here he’s talking about Plato:
He transfigured his hatred of individual initiative, and his wish to arrest all change, into a love of justice and temperance, of a heavenly state in which the crudity of money-grabbing is replaced by laws of generosity and friendship. This dream of unity and beauty and perfection, this aestheticism and holism and collectivism, is the product as well as the symptom of the lost group spirit of tribalism. It is the expression of, and an ardent appeal to, the sentiments of those who suffer from the strain of civilization.