Tuesday, October 18, 2011

News Items and comments

Taxpayers slugged $30bn for dopey Labor-Green-independent power

Piers Akerman – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (05:09 am)

The noxious wind farms rapidly populating Australian paddocks will cost taxpayers at least $30bn if the nation is to meet the Labor-Green-independent government’s renewable energy targets.

Meanwhile the solar panels are starting to kill computers and tv’s as more of them are starting to disrupt power on the grid.
It’s only a matter of time before we see flaming roof tops once again.
The Windfarms cost more Electricity to run than they generate on windless days.Maintaining them costs a fortune and is why many stand idle as you drive past.
Don’t start about the useless and costly De Sal Plants.

This Green Dream is just a Green Nightmare !
Wake up you Green dopes !

mel (Reply)
Tue 18 Oct 11 (06:10am)
DD Ball replied to mel
Tue 18 Oct 11 (06:35am)

Also, every dollar wasted is a death from poverty. Someone who can’t afford health care. Someone who neglects their children. Someone who uses criminals for service because government can’t. A reason why there is a third world is there is left wing government.

Ozzie Voter replied to mel
Tue 18 Oct 11 (07:41am)

The problem with Greens, as I see it, is that they want to create a Utopia, a sort of modern day Garden of Eden, where nature in all her glory reigns supreme, and with none of that grubby man-made technology made popular by the likes of Edison, Farrar, Marconi, et al.
Practically doesn’t enter into the equasion. They would rather sit around and smoke their opium pipes and build ethereal castles in the air.

Gandalf replied to mel
Tue 18 Oct 11 (08:28am)

The biggest problem Ozzie Voter, is that they want to do it with other people’s money and without any regard to the consequences regarding jobs and our standard of living. Most people agree there should be sensible measures to look after our resources and environment, but these measures must be practical and balanced. The Greens are indeed an extremist organisation and thus are a very real danger to society.

scotty replied to mel
Tue 18 Oct 11 (09:26am)

Ozzie Voter then why the push for wind farms? The greens can’t have their gluten free cakes and eat them too. The greens should be banning wind farms. Hypocrites the lot of them!


Walter replied to mel
Tue 18 Oct 11 (11:38am)

There must be a way of taking these fools to court for their incompetence and fraud or are they all teflon coated? Not happy Gillard/Brown.

Peteozi replied to mel
Tue 18 Oct 11 (11:46am)

What happens if the wind does not blow? What happens if the sun does not shine? Nightmare by another name.

You hit it in one Mel. The worry is that the Greens are so ideologically driven and that Labor is so hungry for power that we will be made to die the death of a thousand cuts until Australia’s natural advantage is totally destroyed and, through the actions of the Gillard Labor-Green-independent government, we become a mendicant Third World nation.

Piers Akerman
Tue 18 Oct 11 (06:12am)


Call off the thought police

Miranda Devine – Saturday, October 15, 11 (08:52 pm)

WITH its intolerance and standover tactics, the more militant arm of the gay lobby is shooting itself in the foot.

When do the militants become the movement. The Gay lobby is not alone in being lead by a vocal and at times violent group who neither debate nor promote but abuse and debase. One can list a lot of minorities and find similar issues. Whites, Jews, Africans, Asians, South Americans, Indians, Cambodians, Cubans, Venezualans, Iranians, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Irish, Burmese, Christians, Islamists, Buddhists, Hindus, Protestants, Atheists, Witches, ..

It becomes offensive when, as with the Bolt case, justice seems to support abuse.

Tolerance is preached but must be practiced. It becomes a verb like compassion. The abysmal joke is the winner of the Sydney Peace Prize in any year.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sat 15 Oct 11 (10:18pm)
pointyup replied to DD Ball
Sun 16 Oct 11 (03:45pm)

Marriage is a contract between a man and a woman to stay together long enough to have kids grow to independence. (Maybe to have grand kids too).
Gays cant have kids. There is no impediment to gays living together as a couple, so they should simply invent a name for their relationship. No matter how much you love your dog calling it cat does not make it a cat.
Gays should not adopt kids unless they are absolutely certain the kids are homosexual. A heterosexual child in a homosexual home would grow up totally confused.
There is far too much emphasis on sex. Sex is about producing children. The fact that it is fun is Gods way to encourage people to have kids.
There is a difference between homosexuals and gays. Homosexuals are 2 people of the same sex that love each other, gays are people of the same sex that have multiple partners and love sex.
Gay heterosexual are no better than gay homosexuals at being a parent.

Brinski replied to DD Ball
Mon 17 Oct 11 (12:56pm)

I would like to thank pointyup for providing one of the most hilarious pieces of commentary on the whole debate.

The gays don’t need to point fingers or throw insults while people like pointyup are doing an admirable job of showing up the lack of logic or intelligence on the “traditional” side of the “debate”.

seriously... what? replied to DD Ball
Mon 17 Oct 11 (05:22pm)


DD Ball replied to DD Ball
Mon 17 Oct 11 (09:51pm)

pointyup, I disagree with your summation. Gay people can raise children. The determination of a child’s adult sexuality is something I find abhorrent. Let children play with their toys and stop dictating how children are normal. Let them have friends their own age. Let them find out who their friends are with interaction, rather than mandate.

Personally, I feel that atheists make abysmal parents, but I would not want to create a law saying that atheists shouldn’t be parents. I want it that faithful people can still raise children according to their faith. I resist being told what that faith is.

[Wallace wants political leaders to declare “people who stand up for marriage are not bigoted gay haters”.]

Oh come now, Gay people who want to marry each other are hardly attacking marriage - in fact, the contrary. Excluding them is about excluding them (and privileging heterosexuality), not about defending marriage. Whatever our views, let’s be honest and call it what it is without wrapping it in a flag.

[Whatever your view on gay marriage, the debate’s illiberal nature should offend all civilised people. Intolerance does not beget tolerance.]

Indeed. And charity begins at home. I guess we could all ponder that to our benefit.

Zaf (Reply)
Sat 15 Oct 11 (10:32pm)
Cyril of Gladstone replied to Zaf
Sun 16 Oct 11 (09:29am)

The article is about the abuse and villification dished out by such lobby groups as the homosexual groups in order to stifle debate. If the other side used such tactics they would be hauled up before a court.
The issue is tolerance. This is not the same as pandering to peoples every wish. Polls show that the majority of people in Australia do not support the marriage act being changed but have been accepting of legislative structures being set up which give homosexual couples similar rights as marriage does. This does not suit the lobbyists, however, because they are fanatics. Sir Winston Churchills definition of a fanatic is someone who can not change their mind and will not change the subject. It should be realised that the demands of these fanatics will not stop with this but will simple move on to the next set of “Rights” to be demanded at the expense of the rest of the communities wishes.
I believe that the Government should take these devisive issues to a plebiscite so that the will of the Australian people can clearly be shown.

DD Ball replied to Zaf
Sun 16 Oct 11 (11:28am)

I have no problem with gay civil union. As a person who ran to make legislature I am on record as saying that my sole concern with this issue is that gay marriage being legalised would be abused to force churches to act against their collective conscience and constitution. It is a religious institution and I don’t think the state should rule on the religious, or the religious over the state. I have never had any apologist for gay marriage engage in this aspect of the debate.

Zaf replied to Zaf
Mon 17 Oct 11 (10:48am)

@ Cyril of Gladstone

[The issue is tolerance.]

I guess a lot of the anti-marriage equality comments here don’t seem very tolerant – in fact they vary from arrogant and condescending (at best) to bigoted and aggressive.

Miranda said: Intolerance does not beget tolerance.

I agree. And I’m appalled (but not surprised) that none of the anti-equality supporters here seem to see their own role in setting the tone of the debate.

To spell it out: look in a mirror and don’t bang on about the mote in your neighbour’s eye while ignoring the beam in your own.

@ DD Ball

[I am on record as saying that my sole concern with this issue is that gay marriage being legalised would be abused to force churches to act against their collective conscience and constitution.]

Are Catholic Churches currently forced to marry Atheists or Protestants on demand? Are Synagogues currently required to marry Muslims or Hindus on demand?

By your “logic”, the fact that Australian law defines marriage as between a man and a woman would imply that any man and woman could force any of these institutions to marry them – regardless of who the individuals involved were. Is that the case, or is the Catholic church currently within its rights to refuse to marry non-baptised atheists? DOES the Catholic church currently marry atheists? Has their refusal to do so been challenged in court? If not, why not? (Hint: no grounds.)

[I have never had any apologist for gay marriage engage in this aspect of the debate.]

Religious institutions are currently not required to marry anybody who can legally get married. It is stunningly fatuous to try and use the possibility of this happening as a serious argument against recognising gay people marrying each other. Perhaps this is why nobody bothered to respond to your “argument”? Just guessing.

Brinski replied to Zaf
Mon 17 Oct 11 (01:00pm)

DD Ball, if it was a religious institution, why do we allow civil ceremonies? In fact, I think you’ll find an increasing amount of couples are choosing NOT to have a religious ceremony.

Marriage is a legal contract between two people. The religious side of it is entirely optional, the legal side is not.

Marriage predates religion. Fact. Look it up.

AndyP replied to Zaf
Mon 17 Oct 11 (05:06pm)

DD Ball there hasn’t been a single place in the world that has legalised same-sex marriages that has compelled churches to marry same-sex couples. It’s no different a situation to how the Catholic Church isn’t compelled to marry divorced people even though divorce is legal. However there are now a number of denominations who do wish to marry same-sex couples (Quakers, Unitarians, some Uniting Church, and some streams of Judaism) and they are being prevented from marrying people in accordance with their faith by the law as it stands.


… is from page 164 of Thomas Sowell’s 1999 book The Quest for Cosmic Justice:

Just as freedom of the press does not exist for the sake of that tiny minority of the population who are journalists, so property rights do not exist for the sake of those people with substantial property holdings. Both rights exist to serve social purposes reaching far beyond those who actually exercise these rights.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (05:46 am)

Leftists unerringly select the very worst aspects of US culture to imitate in Australia. Instead of First Amendment free speech rights, liberal gun laws and Buffalo wings, they go for apocalyptic climate terror, lame white-boy rap and pretending that gay marriage is one of the most important issues of our time.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (05:38 am)

Predictions that Defence Minister Stephen Smith will replace Julia Gillard are wide of the mark, a Labor identity tells Simon Benson:

“It’s not going to be Smith,” said one senior right-wing MP, who until last week had been strongly supportive of Ms Gillard and was dismissive of any move to Mr Rudd.

“I was wrong. It’s definitely going to be Rudd. It’s irreversible. We are just dead otherwise. I think he will be the only chance many will have of keeping their seats.”

Only an exclusive BlairPoll will reveal the correct answer:



Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (05:34 am)

Network Ten conspiracy theorist Stephen Spencer last week believed he had uncovered adevious Daily Telegraph plot:

Deceit or cock up? Daily Telegraph runs pict of Oakeshott from months ago, then captions it as him playing “air violin” in yesterday’s vote

he’s wearing a check shirt and red tie in the Tele, but was wearing a blue shirt and blue tie yesterday....

They deliberately placed, amid a series of pics from yesterday’s debate, a very old pic of Oakeshott to discredit him.

The photograph wasn’t from “months ago”. It wasn’t “very old”. It was taken the day beforeWednesday’s carbon tax vote, and ran in last Thursday’s paper due to a simple misreading of the dates in our picture files. (God only knows how Spencer’s photographic paranoia kicks in when West Indian cricketers are inaccurately identified.) We ran a correction on Friday:


Steve’s a TV journalist, so that correction is presented here at an appropriately readable size.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (05:25 am)

“Where Did Global Warming Go?” wonders the New York Times:

Belief in man-made global warming, and passion about doing something to arrest climate change, is not what it was five years or so ago, when Al Gore’s movie had buzz and Elizabeth Kolbert’s book about climate change, “Field Notes From a Catastrophe,” was a best seller. The number of Americans who believe the earth is warming dropped to 59 percent last year from 79 percent in 2006, according to polling by the Pew Research Group. When the British polling firm Ipsos Mori asked Americans this past summer to list their three most pressing environmental worries, “global warming/climate change” garnered only 27 percent, behind even “overpopulation.”

It’s cute that the NYT is now so dismissive of overpopulation panic, considering that for most of the 20th century overpopulation was one of the NYT’s greatest fears. Kind of like global warming now.

(Via Currency Lad)



Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (05:22 am)

Victoria seeks a new number plate slogan, and Professor Bunyip is on the case. Among early suggestions from the Prof and his readers:

• Smile For The Revenue Camera

• Liberal Government, Labor Bureaucrats

• The Nanny State

And a personal preference:

• We’re Not South Australia

Add your own ideas in comments. To prove your status as a genuine Victorian, include details of your last five speeding fines. Or just the fines from last week. Whichever is greater.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (04:49 am)

Decades after the Soviets obtained western nuclear secrets, a new threat emerges:

Bob Dylan is “going bagpipe” …

During a recent tour stop in Glasgow, Scotland, Dylan sent an assistant to purchase a set of traditional RG Hardie pipes, along with a starter package that includes a practice chanter and the Highland Bagpipe Tutor Book One beginner’s manual, plus the more advanced Book Two.

Duck and cover won’t help you any. Bob has the more advanced Book Two, evidently still available from underground Glasgow bagmen.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (04:25 am)

An Occupy Denver activist activates his eatin’ look:


In Oregon, it isn’t the rich who are worried:

A sex offender who registered his address with police as the Occupy Portland camp downtown is concerning some protesters who are camping there …

“I think he should be outta here because there’s a lot of kids around here,” said protester Ravin James.

So judgmental. Locally, Garth Godsman reports:

Tonight’s Twitter sensation has been the comedy gold of the live feed from Occupy Brisbane. Even lefty tweeters are agog. Tweet of the day:

smurray38: “I think even Lenin would be hard pressed to find anything ‘useful’ about these idiots.”

It’s good news for Occupy Sydney, though, whose massively-managed fail rally is no longer the most embarrassing Occupation in Occupation history:

The bravado for a planned protest at Raffles Place on Saturday afternoon fizzled out after fewer than 20 people turned up over several hours at the spot where it was supposed to have taken place.

Occupy Raffles Place, a protest modelled after its Wall Street counterpart, was intended to be a ‘peaceful movement’ to demand accountability and change, said its unidentified organisers, who launched the campaign on social networking site Facebook earlier this month.

Singaporean socialists vow to “do it bigger and better next time.” The Boston Herald wittily (and accurately) treated Occupy Boston as a shallow fashion event:

Grunge is back!

Grubby flannel and boots with a headband are all the rage at Occupy Boston, the hottest day-and-night spot in the city at the moment.

Don’t miss the catwalk. Still at the Herald, for some reason delousing product ads keep showing up in Occupy stories:




Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (03:23 am)

US vice-president Joe Biden, car guy:

I still have my 1967 Goodwood-green Corvette, 327, 350-horse, with a rear-axle ratio that really gets up and goes. The Secret Service won’t let me drive it. I’m not allowed to drive anything. It’s the one thing I hate about this job. I’m serious …

My brother has one of those 556-hp Cadillacs with a manual. He brought it down for me to eat my heart out. So I got in. I have a driveway that’s about 1700 feet long. I knew the Secret Service wouldn’t let me drive it outside. So I jumped on that sucker and laid rubber. A great feeling.

Nail the clutch just right and it’ll yank those hairplugs right out of your skull. This isn’t the first time a member of the Obama elite has revealed acceptable automotive impulses; during the 2008 campaign, Barack himself recognised and celebrated Big Daddy Don Garlits at a Virginia burger joint.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (03:16 am)

Comment of the week, posted at the Daily Telegraph:

I thought this was a fake story until I remembered this one time when I was trying to retrieve the remote control and got my arm trapped under a couch for an entire hour. I too had to drink my own urine and, by the 30 minute mark, was delirious and starting to hallucinate. Another half hour went by and I was forced to accept that it had been a whole hour and nobody was going to come. It was at this stage that I realised that I would have to cut my own arm off. Accepting my fate I began to prepare mentally for the task ahead when I suffered another devastating blow: I had no knife. The arm, it seems, will have to be chewed off ...


It would have been a shorter article had he simply named 10

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (06:33 pm)

Someone now gets to five names - well, not really - and hints of more than 200 others he could name if he had to.

Some might wonder why I don’t reply to his latest foam-flecked rant. The answer is, I have already. The spooky thing is that I did so last year - and even earlier. Same evidence, same names. The 200 analysed and some even identified to reveal....

But I won’t go on. The evidence is plain and this rage too freaky.


Reader John reminds me it may now be too unsafe to allow comments. So they are closed.


What’s happened to China?

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (10:41 am)


I’m not posting the most shocking pictures:

THE fate of a toddler left comatose after being knocked down by a van in a market - with her mangled body run over by a second vehicle and ignored by 18 passers-by - has prompted an outpouring of soul-searching and self-revulsion across China…

The child might have been saved if a seven-minute procession of cyclists and pedestrians had not looked the other way…

“Find those 18 passers-by, dissect their brains and see what medicine the Communist Party has been feeding us to make them like the walking dead,” wrote one widely forwarded post on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter…

The 57-year-old rag collector who finally moved her ran from shop to shop to find the toddler’s parents and was repeatedly told to mind her own business.


Save the planet! From the back seat of your taxi!

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (10:06 am)

The Department of Climate Change hires more than1000 public servants whose job is to force you to make sacrifices for the planet.

But as for themselves, even catching the bus outside is too much of an effort.


Paying more for what won’t work anyway

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (09:48 am)

The Gillard Government will make Australia - so heavily dependent on coal-fired power - pay $23 a tonne of carbon dioxide emissions, and more each year.

Meanwhile, in the one area of the planet with a partiallly comparable international scheme, the price per tonne is less than half - and falling:

The benchmark contract for U.N. carbon credits hit a new record low of 7.13 euros ($9.77) a tonneon Friday, as the euro zone’s worsening debt crisis and prospects of slowing economic growth hit the heavily-supplied offset market.

A deteriorating global economic outlook has put pressure on emissions permits which depend on robust industrial production to belch out greenhouse gases.

U.N. carbon offsets, the world’s worst performing commodity, have been particularly hit because a U.N. climate panel continues to issue new offsets, regardless of a glut in emissions permits in the main demand market, the EU’s emissions trading scheme.

I don’t think pricing ourselves out of the market is smart.


Terry McCrann warns of what it will lead to:

THE Government’s carbon tax did not spark Rio Tinto’s exit from some of its Australian aluminium assets.

The timing of yesterday’s announcement, just five days after Australia’s Day Zero - the day we started our national march back to the 18th century - was purely coincidental.

Rio’s CEO Tom Albanese and the head of its aluminium group Jacynthe Cote would both say the tax was irrelevant; that the decision was entirely corporate and would have happened even if sanity had prevailed in Canberra last Wednesday. And they really would mean it.

Yet, in a broader holistic sense the sales or closures are entirely about our carbon tax in the narrow and the global - actually, European - attack on carbon-based energy more broadly.

Thus the Rio moves become the marker of what will be wrought - to its mindful supporters, ‘achieved’ - by the carbon tax. The while slow, nevertheless still inexorable de-industrialisation of Australia.

(Thanks to reader Craig.)


So how many droughts will this tax spare us?

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (09:35 am)

Julia Gillard last year claimed we had to do something to stop global warming to save ourselves from droughts:

With climate change, the number of droughts could increase by up to 40 per cent in eastern Australia, and up to 80 per cent in south-western Australia within the next six decades.

So Senator Barnaby Joyce last week asked Labor’s Penny Wong the obvious question (from :30):

Can the minister confirm how many droughts will the government’s carbon tax prevent? So we’re looking for one drought, two droughts, 10s, 20 per cent of droughts. Because the Prime Minister has said it would reduce droughts, so I just want to know how many droughts it is going to prevent?

And, of course, Wong refuses to give a relevant answer.

(Thanks to reader Craig.)


Labor’s Greek chorus, paid for by you

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (07:09 am)

The Climate Institute, like so many warmist lobby groups, likes to claim it’s “independent”:

The independent Climate Institute today challenged ...

It’s a claim many journalists repeat, but that should now stop:

LABOR has handed $3 million in grants to supporters of climate change action to promote efforts to cut global warming and support the government’s clean energy package as it seeks to head off Tony Abbott’s anti-carbon tax campaign. ...

In evidence to Senate estimates today, it emerged that:

The Australian Conservation Foundation received $398,000 to fund a series of presentations on climate change from people trained by the movement started by former US vice president Al Gore;

The Australian Youth Climate Coalition received $271,000 for two forums in Brisbane and Perth on combating climate change;

The Climate Institute received $250,000 to produce an independent assessment of the impacts of the carbon price on the cost of living. It is working with ACOSS and Choice on the study;

Climate Works is negotiating with the Climate Change Department for a $460,000 grant aimed at raising community awareness to cut carbon emissions and;

The CSIRO has received $500,000 as part of a program aimed at cutting energy consumption in low-income households.


No school, lose welfare

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (06:59 am)

Many on the Left screamed that the intervention was racist and oppressive, but most Aborigines in the Northern Territory back it - and want more:

PARENTS who allow their children to become truants will lose welfare payments under Labor’s plan to toughen elements of the Northern Territory intervention after a report found widespread acceptance of the controversial program in Aboriginal communities…

Speaking to The Australian in Alice Springs yesterday, Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said she remained convinced grog bans, night patrols and welfare quarantine measures were protecting women and children across the Territory. “People really understand that life is not going to change if people are not going to be educated,” Ms Macklin said…

The report found widespread acceptance of income management, usually through the BasicsCard that ensured welfare recipients spent a proportion of their income on basics, such as food....

The report says those who attended the community meetings “commented relatively frequently that parents should have part of their welfare or Centrelink payments withheld or their payments reduced if they did not send their children to school”....

Ms Macklin told The Australian that legislation would be introduced into parliament before the end of the year to continue alcohol bans and impose the tough new welfare penalties for truancy after the Northern Territory Emergency Response laws expired in August next year.

Macklin, despite being of the Left, has stuck to the intervention, to her enormous credit. She’s also proved to be one of Labor’s better ministers, without receiving much public credit for it. The docking of welfare for truancy also seems a move that should be extended to all families on benefits.

But what’s still missing from the mainstream debate is the recognition that no real progress in Aboriginal welfare out bush is possible until families move from where there’s no real work and never will be.


Billions of dollars found, and we must leave it in the ground

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (06:47 am)

In normal times, a huge find of valuable ore to make cheap power would be celebrated:

A MINING company searching for coal just outside Bacchus Marsh, about 50 kilometres west of Melbourne, says its early findings are much better than expected, with an estimated 1 to 2 billion tonnes of export-quality brown coal in the area.

However, read on - and check the poll, too.


Even republicans rally ‘round the Queen

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (06:21 am)

The Queen still has a great power to unite, given even cheap-shot republicans still can’t resist a summons to be seen with her. Take last Friday’s soiree in Buckingham Palace with some 300 Australians:

The palace reception was attended by the famous and near-famous, including Elle Macpherson, Jason Donovan and Hugh Jackman. The celebrity couple Geoffrey Robertson, QC, and Kathy Lette were also there…

It was one of those don’t-talk-about-the-republic occasions. Writing in The Sunday Age on April 17, Lette commented: “Mention ‘the Queen’ to most Australians and they presume you’re talking about Elton John.” She concluded by declaring, “it’s time Australia had a Windsor-ectomy.” Get it?

In The Canberra Times on April 27, Robertson referred to “the absurdity of the constitutional arrangements which require Britain to be reigned over by a White Anglo-German Protestant monarch” - whom he described as belonging to “this German family”. He also wrote that “the bedrock of Britain’s constitution is the Act of Settlement of 1701, a blood-curdling anti-Catholic rant, which enshrines the genes and Protestant religious beliefs of Princess Sophia of Hanover in the succession to the throne”.

Needless to say, there were no reports of any republican-inspired references to Windsor-ectomies or to German families when Lette and Robertson rocked up to the palace on Friday. Rather it was a case of “How frightfully pleased to meet you” and “Yes ma’am”. The reception served as a reminder that the royal family is a hereditary celebrity institution at a time when celebrity is more important than ever.


Actually, Australia is a continent, anyway

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (06:06 am)

Michael Kirby has an island theory to explain Australia’s alleged racism:

Justice Kirby said it was “very easy to suspect Australians of racism” because of its history, its treatment of Aboriginal people and asylum seekers, and its island status. “A feature of islands [is that] they’re always afraid of people who are off-island,” he said.

“England, from whom we gained many of our institutions and attitudes, thought all bad things began at Calais. People in England thought anybody over that ditch was a very suspect character.

“People on islands tend to be very frightened of people who come from across the seas. That has certainly been true of Australia.”

Hmm. Is Germany an island? Are the bitterly divided nations of the former Yugoslavia? And news just out of the almost landlocked Iran:

Sadek Zibakalam, University of Tehran, Al Arabiya news, October 9:

WHENEVER Iran issues any fiery statement about our neighbours ... you can easily detect a belief that Persians are superior. Listen to our foreign minister, or even imams, and notice that derogatory tone they use, which focuses on the racial, not the political superiority of Persians.

No judgment means just one damn thing after another

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 18, 11 (05:52 am)

There is no one issue that’s brought Julia Gillard to this, concludes Niki Savva. It’s just that the Prime Minister has no judgment:

There have been so many poorly handled issues, each one exemplifying her worst characteristics: her stubbornness, her inability to admit a mistake or concede a point, her lack of judgment and her propensity to twist facts into pretzels.

She could have been forgiven, or other misdemeanours excused, such as speaking in that soporific way, as if people are inattentive children she dare not slap, if she had at critical times displayed competence and astute political judgment.


Tony Abbott’s “women’s problem” is now Julia Gillard’s men’s disaster:

In February, men were still viewing Ms Gillard favourably, with 48 per cent approving of her performance and 47 per cent disapproving. Women approved of the Prime Minister 55-39....

In March, Ms Gillard’s approval rating among men moved into negative territory… In the latest poll, 65 per cent of men disapprove of her performance and 31 per cent approve

Women have also turned on the PM this year, but they were slower to abandon her. They held on until June before becoming dissatisfied. Even so, Ms Gillard can still count on a higher proportion of female than male voters to support her.


Simon Benson:

SUPPORT for Kevin Rudd is strengthening among key caucus members of Labor’s Right faction after Julia Gillard’s bungling of asylum seeker policy and the split in cabinet over her political tactics.

Senior members of the group responsible for Mr Rudd’s removal said there had been a definite shift of mood among some MPs in the past week.Those staunchly opposed to a Rudd comeback have now said there was a resignation he may be the only solution…

“It’s not going to be (Defence Minister) Smith,” said one senior right-wing MP, who until last week had been strongly supportive of Ms Gillard and was dismissive of any move to Mr Rudd.

“I was wrong. It’s definitely going to be Rudd. It’s irreversible. We are just dead otherwise. I think he will be the only chance many will have of keeping their seats.”

Chris Uhlmann suggests it’s actually the Left that’s now Gillard’s greatest threat:

Julia Gillard’s praetorian guard is made all of the generals of the right, people like Bill Shorten and David Feeney from Victoria, Mark Arbib from NSW and Don Farrell from South Australia. It was they who combined to roll Kevin Rudd in June last year. They could do it because together they controlled the majority in Labor’s caucus. For them, a return to Kevin Rudd is the nightmare scenario, so they’re welded to the PM…

What’s intriguing is that the right believes that the epicentre of the threat to the Prime Minister comes from Victoria’s left, Julia Gillard’s own faction and state. Right wing fingers are pointing at Industry Minister Kim Carr.

More certain is that the greatest threat to Gillard comes not from Ministers - who fear Rudd’s retribution - but from backbenchers, who simply fear for their seats:

The war against Kevin Rudd was fought and won by generals. If this campaign succeeds, it will likely end as a caucus revolt, with the troops’ minds focused by the prospect of losing their own seats.


Another detail from the leaked cabinet meeting is leaked:

The Herald reported details from Thursday’s cabinet meetings in which senior ministers allied to the Right faction - including the Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen - pushed to use Nauru detention centre in a bid to win the support of the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, for legislation overriding the High Court decision that ruled the Malaysia plan illegal. The proposal was to use Nauru not in isolation but in conjunction with the Labor policy preferences of Malaysia and Manus Island....

The Herald also understands that Stephen Smith - who is being touted as a challenger for the leadership by those determined to keep Mr Rudd at bay - told people he supported the Nauru idea.

But he did not push hard in the cabinet meeting during which, sources said, Ms Gillard asked each member to state their view.

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