Monday, October 03, 2011

News Items and comments

Abbott book drawn with a poisoned pen

Miranda Devine – Saturday, October 01, 11 (09:50 pm)

image

FRUSTRATED Abbott-haters have been slavering in anticipation of a new book by Susan Mitchell which attempts a vicious hatchet job on the Opposition leader.

That book is one of many such which, combined with the criticism from mainstream media commentators will innoculate Abbott against the abuse. People will vote for Abbott and he will be the next PM following the next election. The ALP may have several more as PM before then.

Also, that abuse will bring down the Abbott administration some time in the future too. Much as the lies coalesced around Howard to bring down his administration in favour of the current jokes.

That is the way the media functions in our democratic society. It was said around the time of Nixon that conservatives (worldwide) needed an extra 5% of the votes to win a neutral election. That is what they have to fight in terms of media manipulation of stories endorsing the left. I see no reason to believe that resistance isn’t present today. The book Mitchell has written is evidence of it. It would not be possible to write something similar of Gillard.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sat 01 Oct 11 (10:22pm)
Roz replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (08:25am)

You are right DD Ball, they wouldn’t allow anything to be written like this about Julia Gillard. It seems to be 2 sets of rules today. One for the left (who can say anything) and another for the right ( who are stifled at every turn). It seems to be getting worse the more we hear. I don’t know if I could call it a true democratic society anymore we seem to be losing that. Democracy only seems to apply to some. We only have to look at Julia Gillard as far as Glen Milne goes and now with Andrew Wilkie because someone has dared to have a say about his Poker machine reform. I don’t play the pokies so it doesn’t really worry me and I don’t spend much time in the local club. It just seems that all our freedoms are going.

P.J replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (10:11am)

You are correct in stating they could not write about Gillard like that because there is no strength of character, faith, morals..so it would be a washout! Who would read it when we don’t even KNOW THE REAL JULIA! If she wrote it herself, it would be FICTION and LIES! Susan Mitchell, apparently ,has a problem with strong minded men! She probably prefers the Burnside twits!

Gordo replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (10:17am)

Spot on David, I wonder what happened to the book that Gillard wanted to hide.

Tony the Space Cadet replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (10:37am)

Media stories endorsing the left??? Where?? News Ltd have about 6 anti Labor diatribes per week. Bolt will go on 7 days a week just before the election! Their own editorials are biased!
The Age gets stuck into all sides of politics while the Australian is OWNED by the Coalition.

I do not hate Abbott but like many others do not see him as PM material. He still has a poor rating with high dissatisfaction rating.

I do see Malcoul as PM material. He has a brain!

sam replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (12:06pm)

Tony the space cadet,

How did you manage to slip that post passed the telegraph censors?

Shane replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (01:25pm)

Roz ,dont want to be pedantic, but you are mistaken in saying
‘’they wouldn’t allow anything to be written like this about Julia Gillard’’

....its not a case of ‘’wouldn’t allow ‘’,
they actually DIDN’T allow the bio of Julia to be published, even though it had already been written.

Now that would make interesting reading if it ever saw the light of day.

mags replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (01:47pm)

Tony the Space Cadet Are you one of those who believe that there should be no criticism of the government? That the media should hide the realities of failure from the public? Judging by your comments you are woefully ignorant about a lot of things, particularly Tony Abbott.

Oldtimer replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (08:49pm)

Tony the space cadet, ‘’ I do see Malcoul as PM material. He has a brain! ‘
Unlike you it appears.

LOL LOL

Pat replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (09:12pm)

So this left wing writer wrote a book about Abbott, but did not speak to him to get his view, who did this person speak to the greens, labor, left wing people who hate him, another pathetic left wing loony who we can ignore.

She can’t call it a biography of Tony Abbott, maybe call it “hating Tony Abbott by someone who does not know him”. I might write a book about gillard after all I know more about gillard then this hack writer knows about Abbott.

DD Ball replied to DD Ball
Mon 03 Oct 11 (11:05am)

Tony the space cadet, I didn’t ask you to prove my comment on bias. But I see you have valiantly done so.

I notice the update too. Burnside clings to moral high ground blaming others for misunderstanding his slur. Nothing he wrote before or after suggests I should give him attention. He has nothing worthwhile to offer debate. Much like Tony.

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Labor revival a Ruddy hopeless case

Piers Akerman – Saturday, October 01, 11 (09:54 pm)

IF Kevin Rudd is seen as the only hope to restore the federal Labor government’s fortunes, then there really is no hope for the Labor Party.

Gillard is a joke, her example and industry is one of waste. Witness her “Building the detention centre revolution” which is wastefully ongoing, and similar to the BER.

Even the Financial Revue gets strong feedback showing a picture of Gillard which resembles a death mask.

People recognise Gillard is finished. But it is how she will be despatched that counts to the ALP. They are already destabilising her, and all that she has done will be shovelled over her political corpse when it is done. Even things from Rudd, will thrown on top of her. I heard that Rudd will probably be made leader come February when there will be a rush election. The intention being to attract votes for Rudd in a sugar rush, before people remember who he is.

Every single one of the other possible contenders have wimped out. The ALP are really grooming Jason Clare to take the reigns in the future. Only he keeps failing too, with his defence spending falling short, while our troops are dying, or his work for the BER.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sat 01 Oct 11 (10:11pm)
Leo G replied to DD Ball
Sat 01 Oct 11 (11:51pm)

When electors’ first preference intentions for Labor bottoms out, the Greens are likely pull out of the alliance. Rob Oakeshott is already hedging on that eventuality and has been “talking turkey” with the Opposition Leader.
But Tony Abbott can now afford to wait for the option that allows him a half-senate election.
Labor’s only chance may be in dumping the carbon tax and ETS and the alliance with the Greens and grovelling to the Coalition to permit the minority government to limp through its full term.

Charles replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (10:41am)

Leo the nation can’t afford for Labor to continue to limp through
a full term or should that be continue its manic squandering
gallop through a full term.
In the national intenrest Labor should be dragged kicking
‘and screaming to an election as soon as possible.

DD Ball replied to DD Ball
Mon 03 Oct 11 (10:56am)

Leo, it is like market economics. No one really knows when the ALP will bottom out. It is mostly better to enter a market than to time it. The ALP is on the nose, but it isn’t because of Gillard or Rudd, directly. It is because they have abysmal policy. It is recognisably not conservative policy, but it also isn’t worthwhile.

Charles, the nation can afford quite a bit. But suffering related to the poor government’s practice will be felt for decades.

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… is from Book IV, Chap. 2, para. 11 of Adam Smith’s An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations:

To give the monopoly of the home-market to the produce of domestic industry, in any particular art or manufacture, is in some measure to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, and must, in almost all cases, be either a useless or a hurtful regulation.

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Open Letter to Michele Bachmann

by DON BOUDREAUX on OCTOBER 2, 2011

in SEEN AND UNSEEN, TRADE

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)

Dear Rep. Bachmann:

Politico reports your support for Uncle Sam taking action against Beijing’s policy of allegedly keeping the value of the Chinese renminbi too low (“Bachmann hits China on ‘lasers’,” Sept. 30).

Now that you’ve aligned yourself with America’s screechy protectionists, who insist that it’s harmful for Americans to have too much access to low-priced imports, I’ve a question for you. Would you applaud if Beijing erects a partial blockade against America – a blockade in which Chinese naval and air forces forcibly reduce America’s imports to levels that you and, say, Sen. Chuck Schumer determine are ‘appropriate’?

If not, why not?

The result of such action by Beijing would be identical to the result of the action that you insist Beijing take: in both cases Americans’ cost of buying Chinese-made goods would rise and, hence, Americans would import fewer goods from China. If deploying government force to raise Americans’ cost of importing makes Americans more prosperous, surely you’d as vigorously support Beijing enforcing such a blockade as you now support Uncle Sam enforcing higher tariffs on imports from China.

Same means (government force used to obstruct voluntary purchases); same result (fewer American imports, and – at least in your reckoning – greater American prosperity).

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

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Also On My Reading List…

by DON BOUDREAUX on OCTOBER 2, 2011

in BOOKS, CIVIL SOCIETY, HISTORY

… is John Blundell’s new book Ladies for Liberty. John is a gifted and deeply informed writer. I’m eager to learn more from him not only about Ayn Rand, but also about the likes of Rose Wilder Lane, Isabel Paterson, and Madam C. J. Walker. And Stephen Cox recommends the book.

John is a guest on this week’s Freedom & Prosperity Radio; rumor has it that he’ll discuss his new book.

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THEIR NAME IS PALESTINE

Tim Blair – Monday, October 03, 11 (09:20 am)

Thank you, Marrickville! The Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Trio perform a musical tribute to Sydney’s leading anti-Israel council:



This may be the best video I have ever seen.

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BETWEEN THE LINES

Tim Blair – Monday, October 03, 11 (08:09 am)

At Battleship Memorial Park, just outside of Mobile, Alabama, one of only nine remaining Lockheed A-12 spy planes occupies most of the gigantic display hanger. It’s an awesome sight – 31m long with a 17m wingspan, all titanium and turbojets.

So advanced was the A-12 that its existence was kept largely secret by the CIA for forty years, until 2007. Beneath the mighty jet’s tail is a small pump cart that was used for ground refueling. This technology is a little more basic. The pumps are driven by a couple of primitive iron V8s taken from Buick sedans. It’s like starting your iPod with a wooden crank.

Old devices and new circumstances can work well together. And sometimes not.

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MORE ROBOTS NEEDED

Tim Blair – Sunday, October 02, 11 (09:43 pm)

US late shows were once an antidote to dreadful sitcoms. Now at least some of the sitcoms (Modern Family, Parks and Recreation) are brilliant while the late shows suck. Still, at least The Late Late Show – also struggling to hold viewers – has an excellent robot:



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I know I can be forgetful, but…

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 03, 11 (12:31 pm)

Wow. I have acquired a “former fiancee” - and possibly even more than one:

So how did the son of Dutch migrants and the boy from outback SA – who a former fiancĂ©e remembers as “introverted, restless, romantic”, with strong ethics and an opposition to sensationalist journalism – end up this way?

If this is just the blurb, what else has The Monthly got wrong in the hatchet job it’s commissioned from Anne Summers, the former chairman of Greenpeace International?

UPDATE

I have spoken to the editor of The Monthly and informed him of Summers’ error about this “former fiancee” upon which her narrative appears to rely. I have offered to read to him extracts from a 1987 letter confirming the error. In reply, he said the magazine had already been printed and would be in the shops next week. He did not offer an apology or make any promise to correct the record or withdraw his magazine from sale.

Oh, and I am not a “boy from outback SA”, unless Elizabeth is the “outback” and Darwin in South Australia. Will the rest of the article run at this rate of two errors a sentence? I’m all agog. It sounds like I’ve had a far wilder life than I thought. Wish I’d known.

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Their climate models are better, I’m sure

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 03, 11 (12:10 pm)

One year ago:

International efforts to protect the ozone layer—the shield that protects life on Earth from harmful levels of ultraviolet rays—are a success and have stopped additional ozone losses and contributed to mitigating the greenhouse effect, according to a new report…

The report was written and reviewed by some 300 scientists and launched on the UN International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.

Today:

An ozone hole five times the size of California opened over the Arctic this spring, matching ozone loss over Antarctica for the first time on record, scientists say.

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I’m not sure Burnside’s excuse is entirely plausible

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 03, 11 (11:43 am)

Let’s first recall Julian Burnside’s original excuse:

PROMINENT Queen’s Counsel Julian Burnside has issued an apology to Tony Abbott after tweeting “Paedos in speedos” during a stream of critical remarks about the Opposition Leader on Twitter.

Mr Burnside said last night he had not intended to suggest Mr Abbott was a pedophile and his Twitter gaffe was only meant to be a private reply to a “rather weak pun about church people"…

Mr Burnside said he received a private message and replied to it with the comment “Paedos in speedos"… Mr Burnside said that he could not recall whether the message he was replying to was a comment from @RobertaWedge, asking: “@JulianBurnside Are sexist abbots like predator priests?”

But Burnside in this interview with Steve Price today concedes he was indeed responding to Ms Wedge, but claims “her comment to me was not about him (Abbott)”. Price then reads to Burnside the actual words of Wedge’s tweet which seems to stop Burnside dead for a bit.

I’m not surprised. Let’s reconstruct what happened and see if Burnside’s claim that neither he nor Wedge meant to refer to the speedo-wearing Abbott stacks up.

Burnside on Friday publishes six consecutive tweets variously damning Tony Abbott as a sexist, a hypocrite, dangerous and a liar. The first reads:

“‘Sexist’ Abbott blasted in new book”

In response to his tweets, he receives this from Wedge:

“Are sexist abbots like predator priests?”

In return to this jibe about “sexist abbotts” Burnside tweets:

“Paedos in speedos”

I am inclined to doubt Burnside.

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Wilkie says by May, no ifs or buts

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 03, 11 (11:37 am)

Andrew Wilkie denies he’s gone wobbly on his threat:

Mr Wilkie used an appearance on Sky News’s Australian Agenda program to repeat his threat to withdraw support for the government if his plan to tackle problem gambling was not passed by May, saying he would not negotiate any further.

There’s no flexibility at all; there must be mandatory pre-commitment fit to all high-intensity pokie machines,” he said.

Mr Wilkie warned that “all bets are off” if government MPs dump Julia Gillard, saying he would be “hard-pressed” to support another Labor leader in this parliamentary term because it would demonstrate serious instability.

“It wouldn’t be in the public interest,” he insisted.

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Katter opens a door for Rudd

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 03, 11 (11:11 am)

As I suggested a couple of weeks ago, Rudd has a Katter card to play - but perhaps closer to an election:

INDEPENDENT MP Bob Katter has left the door open to supporting a second Kevin Rudd prime ministership, but says Labor would be “stupid” to change leaders before the middle of next year....

Some in Labor are hopeful Mr Katter could rescue the government by allowing the switch to the more popular Mr Rudd while freeing the government from Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie’s politically difficult poker machine reforms.

Mr Katter suggested a Labor leadership change should be made closer to the next election…

“If Kevin is out there for two years, the slings and arrows would come at him. So politics would dictate waiting till late next year.”

He said his final decision on whether to back Mr Rudd - a long-time friend - would hinge on whether the former prime minister could tick more boxes than Mr Abbott on the independent’s 20-point manifesto, issued last September during minority government negotiations.

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Sliming, not rebutting. But I dare not quote in my defence

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 03, 11 (10:43 am)

The Age continues its series of articles imputing views to me that I do not hold, the better to damn me. Yesterday, I read that I believe in a “master race” and oppose interbreeding. The day before I read that I don’t like and don’t celebrate Australia. Today’s allegation:

After more than 100 years of disadvantaging Aboriginal people with ‘’mixed blood’’, conservative commentators like Andrew Bolt now claim there is too much support for mixed-blood Aboriginal people

That claim is completely false.

I also notice the writer substituted “people” for “artists” in this sentence summing up my alleged opinions:

only ‘’real draw-in-the-dirt Aboriginal’’ people should be eligible for support

That distorts what I was arguing, and in a manner to make me seem off-handed and sneering about Aborigines generally. In fact, the selectively quoted phrase comes from a discussion about the allocation of an Aboriginal art prize, and how ‘’real draw-in-the-dirt Aboriginal artists‘’ were missing out to ... well, best not say..

For legal reasons, I am unwilling to take the risk of directly linking to the article I wrote which The Age today so misrepresents. That article has been declared unlawful, and for me to now republish parts of it may be against the law.

I can only hope that you do an Internet search of the phrase ‘’real draw-in-the-dirt Aboriginal’’ to see how I’ve been misrepresented, and whether I was truly arguing that Aborigines should get less support.

For a paper that cheerfully supported the verdict againist me on the grounds of my allegedly nasty tone and inaccuracies… Really, this is not reporting but the crudest of propagandising. It is a shameful get-square against an ideological bogeyman.

(This item has been updated and bumped from where it originally appeared, as an update to an earlier post. No comments for legal reasons.)

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I’m burned, so I’ll leave it to Fry

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 03, 11 (10:22 am)

Steven Fry makes an interesting point about racial identity and Barack Obama, but rather than take the risk of quoting and commenting on it, I will leave it to you to find it and think about it.

(Thanks to reader Peter. No comments to avoid potential legal difficulties.)

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Bigger, smaller, more, fewer

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 03, 11 (10:13 am)

Reader Tabitha can’t keep up with the alarms, like this one:

The microscopic plants that underpin all life in the oceans are likely to be destroyed by global warming, a study has found.

Here’s why:

Global warming results in more plankton:

Global warming, pollution and overfishing are all behind the invasion of the mauve stingers, say marine biologists… Rising water temperatures and pollution have produced more plankton - their staple diet …

And:

Huge blooms of moon jellyfish have been seen around the Scottish coastline with tens of thousands more already washed up on the country’s beaches. Scientists are uncertain as to why this is occuring but some fear it is a sign of global warming as increasing temperatures produce more plankton for jellyfish to feed on.

Global warming results in bigger fish:

Bigger fish due to climate change: tuna industry

And global warming results in giant squid:

Australian scientists say global warming is turning the world’s squid into much larger creatures, with huge appetites and fast breeding cycles. Scientists have discovered the breeding cycle and growth rate of squid is linked to sea temperatures, which means global warming is causing the squid population to blow out.

But wait. This week global warming causes itty-bitty plankton:

Scientists at Queen Mary, University of London, studied marine planktonic copepods — the ocean’s primary form of plankton and a source of food for many marine animals… Warmer water temperatures cause a “decoupling” of growth and development rates in the tiny shrimp-like creatures.

And generally smaller sea and animal life:

The same phenomenon, called the “temperature-size rule,” affects most cold-blooded animals, so as the planet heats up, many animals’ sizes may go down… Since copepods are food for marine animals, from fish to whales, what happens developmentally to the shrimp-y crustaceans could affect the entire ocean’s food web. “Decoupling of these rates could have important consequences for individual species and ecosystems,” Hirst added.

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From the party that scrapped the Pacific Solution

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 03, 11 (09:36 am)

If Labor wants to campaign on boat people, it really is short of material in its favor:

LABOR has rolled out an advertising campaign attacking Tony Abbott for rejecting the Government’s proposed migration law changes.

The party-paid radio ads use a series of voices to ask questions such as, “Don’t the Liberals support offshore processing?”

“First Tony Abbott supported offshore processing, now he’s opposing it,” one voice says…

The Government is desperate to stem a flow of boats that has begun since the High Court effectively scuttled its Malaysian policy.

On Saturday, the fourth boat in about a week sailed into Australian waters. It was carrying 70 people.

(Thanks to several readers.)

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What will it cost to publicise not seven customers, but 7 million?

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 03, 11 (09:29 am)

What’s the big deal? It’s only your money:

A PUBLICITY stunt to announce the first seven customers to sign up for a free trial of the NBN in NSW cost the federal government $140,000, it has been revealed.

The launch in independent MP Tony Windsor’s northern NSW seat in May was attended by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, as well as NBN Co boss Mike Quigley....It was later revealed that only seven retail customers in Armidale had actually signed up for the free trail prior to the launch - despite 3000 homes in the area being NBN ready.

(Thanks to reader mum of 6.)

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Defending free speech

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 03, 11 (08:54 am)

Sick of attacks on your right to free speech? Here’s one way citizens are fighting back:

THE question of the week remains the Andrew Bolt judgment. A bad decision on free speech or a good decision on bad journalism? Conservative think tank the Institute of Public Affairs has found more than 100 people who think the former and are coughing up some hard-earned to back Bolt.

It raised more than $100,000 in the 48 hours following Wednesday’s decision to fund the Support Bolt campaign. Executive director John Roskam said the campaign was in full flight and the IPA intended bringing back Mark Steyn to Australia to add his support. “There is huge community concern about freedom of speech in Australia,” he said. “This decision comes on top of Bob Brown’s threats to the so-called biased media, threats to regulate bloggers and potential restrictions on private funding of political discussion. It all fits into a broader narrative.”

It’s not actually a “support Bolt” campaign, but a campaign to defend the freedom of all Australians to speak freely.

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Gillard hasn’t hired Tucker

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 03, 11 (08:28 am)

Julia Gillard’s new media advisor, John McTernan, denies he’s really what he seems portrayed to be:

JULIA Gillard’s new communications chief, John McTernan, wants to make one thing clear: he is not Malcolm Tucker.

True, he shares the Scottish accent and thick skin of Tucker, the hilariously abusive and cynical New Labour spin doctor in the TV political satire The Thick of It.

And yes, McTernan was the most high-profile New Labour special adviser in the department that employed Martin Sixsmith, the man who later advised the comedy series’ writers on how the civil service works.

He is also on record praising the political role of “headkickers” and “intellectual thugs”, while backing populist policies, scare campaigns and negative attacks, arguing that “fear beats hope”.

McTernan enjoys swapping humorous Twitter messages with “Peter Mannion MP”, an account set up in the name of the lazy and cynical Tory MP character from the show. “To quote Peter Mannion,” said one entry that McTernan retweeted last week, “I’m sensing a change in management styles. From touchy-feely to smashy-testes.”

CAUTION: OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE IN THE CLIP. I MEAN, REALLY OFFENSIVE. GREAT SHOW, BUT.

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More reaction

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 03, 11 (07:59 am)

I should hastily point out that Wesley Aird is Aboriginal, which should give him more social licence to argue the same case, and to point out some hypocrisy:

In my experience politically active Aboriginal people are experts when it comes to dishing out abuse. Fighting hard and dirty has been turned into quite an art form by indigenous people across the country trying to protect their slice of the $3.5 billion that the government spends each year on indigenous affairs.

Instead of actually overcoming disadvantage, indigenous affairs has sunk to a transactional arrangement in which the government hands over billions of dollars each year for “dismally poor returns”, to quote the federal Department of Finance.

Yet try to threaten a person’s funding and you will experience firsthand what it feels like to be offended, insulted, humiliated and intimidated; and unlike the Bolt case, this will be the desired intent. The real professionals in race-based intimidation are Aboriginal people whose vocation is to divest the commonwealth of funds.

I know of communities where the government directly finances invented tribes, fabricated history, waste, petty corruption and the occasional threat of violence or death. There are no lawyers to contrive affront; there is no judge; just more government money going to the usual suspects for no benefit.

In court last week, Bolt’s loss was unfortunately a victory for indigenous exceptionalism. The result sends a message to the rest of Australia that any non-indigenous person who dares to comment on the indigenous industry had better watch out.

I can’t help but form the view that the court case was intended to use the Racial Discrimination Act to intimidate non-indigenous Australians.

The result in court (for now at least) has most likely severely damaged Australian race relations for some time to come.

Tim Blair reminds the gloating David Marr what a real mistake looks like in writing about race:

So Bolt was out by one generation. Not exactly spectacular. Probably not even as spectacular as Marr’s own identification blunder, back in the days when he was opposed to the same sort of anti-vilification laws that have ensnared his ideological rival.

“Anti-vilification laws aren’t the answer,” Marr wrote in 2005.

“In Victoria, two hellfire Christian preachers, Danny Nalliah and Daniel Scot, are facing jail after preaching against Islam in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Ever since, they’ve been fighting an action brought by the Islamic Council of Victoria under the state’s new Racial and Religious Tolerance Act.

“That’s the pesky thing about these laws that show almost zero tolerance for religious and racial intolerance: they can be turned against decent white folk.”

One small problem with Marr’s piece: he assumed that because Nalliah and Scot were “hellfire Christians”, they were also white. Nope. Wrong. They’re black. The ABC’s Media Watch characterised this as a mere “stumble”, but perhaps they weren’t reading hard enough between the lines, which is the approach advocated by Justice Bromberg.

In his findings against Bolt, Bromberg took issue with words Bolt didn’t actually use: “It is language which invites the readers not only to read the lines, but to read between the lines.” This is remarkable.

Reading between the lines of Bromberg’s ruling, Bolt seems to have been condemned for a form of thought crime.

We’ve now witnessed a legal procedure about race involving racial differences nobody could see and words nobody could read.

Chris Kenny:

On the matter of free speech it is worth noting that, at least, Judge Mordecai Bromberg conceded the issues raised by Bolt were matters of public interest. But Bromberg said some of Bolt’s words meant more than their literal meaning and that while he accepted the literal meaning of some of Bolt’s mitigating phrases, he found Bolt did not believe them.

So now when airing opinions on matters of public interest, Australians are subject to sanction by a court according to a judge ascribing extra meaning to the words we use, or denying our sincerity in the use of other words.

If that is not frighteningly Orwellian, nothing is. And, may it please the court, that is exactly what I meant to write. No more, no less.

Many left-liberals in the love media have welcomed the decision as revenge against Bolt, rather than railing against it as an illiberal blow against free speech. Much has been made of the findings about errors of fact. Errors are always unfortunate and sometimes egregious but in this case they are hardly the central point. Some of what Bromberg cites as factual error is more a matter of emphasis. It is a canard to suggest the case was about disputed facts: it was about apparent offence caused by Bolt’s controversial and strongly worded opinion.

Kenny mentions my “errors of fact”, as found by the judge, Purely by way of illustration, here is one of the errors identified by the judge:

Mr Bolt wrote that Ms Cole was raised by her “English-Jewish” or “English” mother (1A-2; 2A-24). That statement is factually inaccurate because Ms Cole’s Aboriginal grandmother also raised Ms Coleand was highly influential in Ms Cole’s identification as an Aboriginal.

Here is Ms Cole’s Aboriginal grandmother.

In my interview wth Nick Leys I may have given some the impression that I big-headedly think I am the only one in this case fighting free speech. My fault, that, and certainly not that of Nick, but that wasn’t my meaning. A I pointed out to Nick, many other people have so kindly given me offered support - and then there are articles such as the above today. As I also said to Nick, I am grateful to News Ltd, which cops so much criticism from the Left, but is far and away the organisation which fights harder for free speech than any other in this country, including civil “liberties” organisations. I am also so grateful to you.

PS: Our moderators have been naturally unable to obtain the legal advice or to find the extra time it now takes to carefully vet a couple of thousands comments submitted so far on threads like this on my case, so I’ll close comments to save readers from wasting their time in replying. Another example of the way the judgment, in practice, chills the abilty of many Australians to publicly express their opinion.

UPDATE

James Paterson:

For all the cute half-excuses - for instance, Andrew Bolt isn’t really silenced because he still has a TV show, or can still speak because the court hasn’t ruled that he can’t - it is very clear that the effect of this case is to place a heavy burden on those who wish to discuss this sensitive topic.

Let’s remember that a journalist, who wrote a couple of controversial articles, had to endure months of court hearings and legal uncertainty, and his employer was hit by a legal bill likely to reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the meantime, his every public
utterance had to be vetted by lawyers. No-one observing what happened to Andrew Bolt would conclude that sharing their opinions on the topic publicly would be a wise move.

What’s more, Bolt has had his reputation smeared in court. He was accused of sympathy for eugenics, and it was suggested that it was views like his that led to the Holocaust. Whatever you think of Bolt, it should be clear that his articles on the topic and his views on these issues do not even remotely fit that description.... But by elevating a public debate, even a heated one, to a legal fight in a court of law, this act gives much greater credence to the political rantings of left-wing lawyers, and a platform which they do not deserve.

It’s also far from clear that these laws will contribute to racial harmony or understanding in any way. Providing people with additional avenues to sue each other is a bizarre way to combat tension and disagreement in the community. The likely outcome of such proceedings is simply to entrench the positions of each side and increase animosity between them.

UPDATE

I’ve modified my comments about the Nick Leys interview after my wife pointed out that I seemed to be criticising him rather than myself. I apologise to Nick if that was how it read, because it certainly wasn’t my intention. Nick was very fair, but I am almost paranoid about not seeming to be grateful to the very many people who have offered me support, especially within News Ltd, and it’s entirely my own fault if I did not repeat that enough in our interview. I though Nick’s account was very fair.

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Please, guys, can we just have an argument?

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 03, 11 (06:11 am)

Exactly how many ways is our free speech under attack?

SPORTS commentators who condemned planned pokie machine reforms during NRL match coverage may have breached broadcast rules on political advertising, Andrew Wilkie says.

The Tasmanian independent MP is demanding an investigation and will send a letter to Channel Nine today complaining about Ray Warren’s and Phil Gould’s commentary during the September 24 NRL semi-final.

UPDATE

More and more sinister:

GREENS leader Bob Brown has upped the ante in his calls for stronger state control of media, hinting at a licensing scheme for individual journalists.

Senator Brown has already called for licensing of newspapers, a move Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has refused to rule out.

The Greens leader repeated his call at an Intelligence Squared event in Sydney on Saturday, which debated the proposition “that the media have no morals”.

Under questioning from the audience, Senator Brown appeared to back away from a scheme of licensing newspapers in favour of a state-sanctioned practising licence for individual journalists that could be withdrawn. “It’s time the crown licensed the press,” Senator Brown said, before later calling for “some point of reference” to pull up both journalists and proprietors “who do the wrong thing in their tracks”. Senator Brown’s director of media, Marion Rae, refused to respond to calls from The Australian yesterday.

This man is a serious danger to our liberties.

UPDATE

This is getting very serious indeed:

Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor yesterday backed Mr Wilkie’s plan to refer Nine Network rugby league commentators Ray Warren and Phil Gould to electronic media regulator ACMA for their comments on his mandatory pre-commitment reforms during coverage of the NRL semi-finals, calling the remarks “strange and gratuitous”.

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As relevant as you want it to be

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 03, 11 (05:21 am)

What Tony Abbott did 30 years ago is highly relevant:

Susan Mitchell in The Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday:

IT is important to remind ourselves that Tony Abbott is a 53-year-old former trainee Catholic priest . . . Can we believe in his political separation between church and state?

What Julia Gillard did 16 years ago is not relevant:

Hannon rightly says that the allegations about Julia Gillard that Milne - and as we’ll see, several others - have been tossing around this week “are ancient, and have been rehashed numerous times by critics of Labor and Gillard over the past 16 years” ... The allegations concern Gillard’s relationship, while she was a lawyer at Slater and Gordon in the early 90’s, with a union official, Bruce Wilson.

(No comment for legal reasons.)

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