Thursday, December 06, 2012

Thu 6th Dec Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Vincent Powerhouse TranJeanny JangStralia Duke and Srey Keang. Born on the same day, across the years. Remember birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live. St Nicholas discovered that .. dying on this day.


Blast cloud from the Halifax Explosion




[edit]Holidays and observances


The world we would all like is sometimes unachievable and it takes maturity to accept that.

Gillard’s dream of a National Disability Insurance Scheme evokes nasty thoughts of cynicism and maybe that’s a little unfair. Then again its electoral appeal is immediate and to Gillard’s benefit but its implementation can only ever be someone else’s p
roblem. If it does eventuate it will be well beyond her tenure of Office.

No-one can be seen to be arguing with an NDIS. This notional paragon of socialism will be prohibitively expensive but cost has never been a barrier to a Gillard concept. There are many hurdles Gillard has not yet thought of... she doesn’t have to.

All Labor Prime Ministers have yearned to implement a major socialist reform to which their name can be attached for historic reference. Gillard has about twenty on the go in the hope that one works.

The hopes and dreams of those who really need this “reform” will be slowly shattered over time. It is they who will suffer over years of frustration, the inevitable deadlocks and dead ends of a policy this complex. Has there been a single policy yet that Gillard has actually thought through... certainly not this one.

Before you go any further Ms Gillard, please define “a disability” for me. Write down what is and what isn’t “a disability” so we can know what we are insuring for. You can’t do that can you Ms Gillard because a disability to one person may be of no consequence to another person, and vice versa. So is the disability itself to be insured or the way in which the disability affects the claimant? Now there’s a legislative minefield for someone else, eh Ms Gillard?

Who will decide that effect Ms Gillard? A panel of doctors, sociologists, psychiatrists? Will there be a provision for legal recourse if the arbiters are thought to be in error? Will there be an appeals process in place? Won’t the cost of all these processes diminish the funds that are allocated to help these people?

You should know all about greedy law firms, Ms Gillard. It will be a teddy bears’ picnic for them eh? Particularly your rich Labor law firms, I mean they specialise in these sorts of claims, don’t they?

When I was a kid there was no Whitlam Medicare. Doctors did their rounds each day, no-one went without care, the poor were charged less and the rich were charged more, the very poor were charged nothing, the Hippocratic Oath was paramount and the doctor always owned a big home.

Post Medicare the doctors’ dollar became paramount and the natural goodness in people dissipated. Why? Well, because people didn’t have to care about each other anymore. The Government looked after that for you, and who gives a stuff what it costs the Government?

Humans have a genetic impulse to assist others. When socialism renders that impulse pointless, we as humans are degraded. We turn to another impulse and compete for our share of the free manna.

Regardless of the social cost, the socialists will plough ahead anyway, as they always have. The cost per annum of the NDIS is said to be $7 billion. That’s almost exactly what we pay per annum in interest on Labor’s current debt. And what tangible benefit have we received for Labor’s debt? Nothing I can put my finger on.

People will always have disabilities and there are avenues available via Slater & Gordon’s, a’hem, “no win no fee” compensation claims.

But it’s not about disabilities is it, it’s about those who care for those with disabilities.

It is they who need the assistance because assist they will regardless, and out of the goodness of their hearts.

Put a price on that, Ms Gillard.


A letter from Ralph Blewitt to Ms Julia Gillard MP

Ralph Blewitt said:                           
                                I don't know if this will get posted but it's worth a try.
Dear Ms Julia Gillard,
Once we were friends you and I. 
We used to meet for Saturday Brunch in Fitzroy with Bruce Wilson, we even had dinner at the Windsor Hotel one time in Melbourne, they where good times - fun times - talking about unions politics and general chit chat...but that was a long time ago.
Unfortunately due to rather rude comments made about me by yourself in the media recently I now consider our friendship broken beyond repair.
I find it embarrassing now watching you duck and weave to avoid answering questions about things that we along with Bruce Wilson were involved in so long ago. The questions asked of you today are not unreasonable and go to your honesty and integrity in that you now hold the highest office in the land.
I think you owe Australians an open and frank explanation of what happened in those heady years. However should you choose not to be a big enough person to face up to your past alleged misdeeds, then please,  I appeal to you as an old friend to do one of two things to save yourself and the Australian people any more embarrassment.
Resign as PM or at the very least do what Peter Slipper did and down stand whilst the police investigate this fraud that it is alleged you may have been a part of.
Ralph Blewitt.


Wilderness and infamy beckon for Labor lost

Piers Akerman – Thursday, December 06, 2012 (5:48pm)

LABOR sage John Faulker has again called for sweeping reform of the ALP - in what is now an annual address. 


Farewell, Dame Elisabeth

Piers Akerman – Thursday, December 06, 2012 (6:42am)

THERE will be countless tributes in coming days to Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, who died overnight at her pastoral home, Cruden Farm, at Langwarrin, Victoria.
They will mention her tireless life’s work for charity and philanthropist, and of course, matriarch of the greatest Australian media family.
To say her life touched thousands would underplay the enormous role she undertook throughout her life, as wife to the far-sighted media executive and war correspondent Sir Keith Murdoch, as mother to three girls and her internationally-renowned son, Rupert, and untiring human force for good.
Born in 1909, it is fair to say, her work benefited generations of Australians, raising millions and supporting hundreds of charities.
In recent years, that extraordinary longevity began to take its toll, but those fortunate enough to have known her personally will be able to remember her deep interest in affairs, her probing mind, her whimsical smile and her genuine concern for people – everywhere.
Having worked for Rupert Murdoch’s news organisation for many years, I was fortunate to have some involvement with Dame Elisabeth on a number of occasions.
It was always a pleasure and never a chore, she was intensely optimistic and unfailing warm, never pompous, always in cheerful good humour even when younger people might have been complaining of stress.
Put simply, she had seen it all before.
I shall particularly not forget a lunch my family shared with her at her home when we had recently arrived in Melbourne and the wide-ranging conversation that continued as we later walked around the grounds and flower beds of Cruden Farm, her great love.
To her surviving children, Rupert, Janet and Anne, and her huge extended family, of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and even great-great-grandchildren, my love at this time of such great loss.


Morality lost behind a camera lens

Miranda Devine – Thursday, December 06, 2012 (1:08pm)

THIS chilling image of a man, 58-year-old father Ki Suk Han, moments before he is crushed to death by a New York subway train, shows how basic human morality has been shortcircuited by our addiction to technology.
The first instinct of commuters was to reach for their smart phones to take photos, rather than try to recue Han after he was pushed onto the tracks by a deranged man.
How must he have felt as the train bore down on him and the people around him did nothing to help except record him his death?
The tragic irony is that Han had tried to calm down his attacker before he was pushed.
The man had been shouting at passengers and herding them up the platform. Han went up to him and said, ‘You’re scaring people.’
“The emotionally disturbed guy just started screaming and cursing, saying, ‘You don’t know me! You don’t know who I am!’” said a witness.
The attacker then threw Han in front of the approaching train. Realistically, there was probably little that anyone could do for him in the time, other than shout for him to roll under the platform, where there is a hollow area to shelter.
But taking photographs implies the worst sort of callousness, turning a man’s death into entertainment.
On holiday in Rome a couple of years ago I remember being surprised that my fellow tourists could not go into any museum or historic site without viewing it through their smart phone, taking photos and videos that surely they would never look at again, while misisng the tangible beauty in front of them.
Why bother going to the trouble of travelling to a place if you only see it through a viewfinder.
But we seem to have reached a point where the world is not real unless we see it on a little screen. Maybe we feel more comfortable in a virtual world in which there are no real life consequences.
Maybe those commuters on that New York subway platform held up their mobile phones to shield themselves from the reality of Han’s fate.
Because the video can always be rewound, and cowardice negated. But there’s no such luxury in real life. 



Tim Blair – Thursday, December 06, 2012 (11:46am)

It’s post-parliament stunt season. Julia Gillard jokes about the apocalypse while Tony Abbottdrives a truck
Mr Abbott drove the truck out of the Rocklea markets in Brisbane earlier today and will head down the coast on the highway he says is still a “goat track” from the 1970s.
He has told the ABC he has had a truck licence for more than a decade as part of his work with the local rural fire brigade. 
Click for video. Click for audio.



Tim Blair – Thursday, December 06, 2012 (1:12am)

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch has died at 103
She passed away peacefully at her home Cruden Farm in Langwarrin.
The renowned community leader, charity worker, philanthropist and matriach of Australia’s greatest media family will be mourned by countless thousands of Australians whose lives she has touched.
She was the wife of Sir Keith Murdoch and mother of four children, including Rupert Murdoch.
Dame Elisabeth leaves behind three surviving children - Rupert, Anne Kantor and Janet Calvert-Jones.
Her eldest daughter, Helen Handbury, died in 2004.
She is also survived by 77 living direct descendants, including five great-great grandchildren as well as other members of her large extended family. 
Members of my own family have been grateful recipients of Dame Elisabeth’s concern and generosity. So many other Australians can say the same thing. Dame Elisabeth would have made afine governor-general.


Multiculturalism sure adds spice to a day at the beach

Andrew BoltDECEMBER062012(5:13pm)

POLICE will aim to stamp out violence and anti-social behaviour on beaches with a new foreshore taskforce.
The 30-member taskforce will patrol more than 25km of beach and foreshore between Elwood and Carrum during summer…
Chelsea Longbeach Surf Life Saving Club president Judy Silom welcomed the taskforce.
“We’re getting a lot of multicultural visitors from outside the area coming to our beach and a lot of time the different cultures don’t mix,” she said.
“They congregate in their hundreds near the pier and unfortunately we see fighting and damage to cars.”
Kingston Inspector Tim Hansen said police had noticed more people from surrounding suburbs, even as far as northern suburbs visiting the beaches.
“Along with the taskforce we have an engagement program for multicultural groups,” Insp Hansen said.
“We’re looking to engage with these youths more and run activities on the beach for them.
“Hopefully some sort of sports will take away the element of boredom, which is what can lead to trouble.”
Police must now entertain multicultural groups at the beach to stop them from fighting? You can’t even trust such “youths” to entertain themselves by the sea shore without causing grief?
I suspect more is wrong here than police-run volleyball will fix.
(Thanks to reader Stock Exchange.) 


Nearly 400 already for December

Andrew BoltDECEMBER062012(4:40pm)

 Boat people policy
More boat people have already arrived in December - monsoon season - than the Gillard Government has managed to send to Nauru or Manus Island in nearly four months.
The Gillard Government - so convinced by climate castatrophism - must know it is recklessly sending boat people into danger:
This should encourage more people to try their luck. More boat people released in one day than have been sent to Nauru in nearly four months:
They had been held at the Wickham Point Immigration Detention Centre on the outskirts of the Northern Territory capital…
The ...  ABC understands that most of the detainees have been granted bridging visas until the middle of next year. The visas will allow them to live in the community, including with family and friends.
Others will be accommodated in hostels. They will not be allowed to work. 
(Thanks to readers Gab, Craig and surfmaster.) 


2GB, December 6

Andrew BoltDECEMBER062012(3:32pm)

 2GB podcasts
With Steve Price from 8pm. Listen live here.
Last night’s show: politics, global warming alarmism.  “scum villages” and more.  Listen here.


It’s only climate when it’s hot

Andrew BoltDECEMBER062012(2:34pm)

 Global warming - propaganda
There were lots of news reports last week about this:
Alarmists swung into action to exploit this freak of hot weather:
According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) people better get used to it -they’ll become more common as a result of climate change.
Today there’s almost no reporting of this:
No mention of climate change this time:
A duty forecaster from the Canberra office of the Bureau of Meteorology said ... “It’s what we call an air-mass change.”
Delegates to the Doha global warming woe-fest are asked to sequester their own carbon dioxide. Odd that this gesture of planet saving never occurred to them before.
Sure, it makes about as much difference to the climate as our carbon tax, but it’s the thought that counts, right?
(Thanks to reader trev.)
Tim Wilson of the IPA is at the Doha climate talks and decided to check how interested the world was in the country with the biggest and broadest carbon tax of all:
I thought I’d pop along to an event hosted by our climate rep, Mark Dreyfus QC. It was a policy side event to show the world about our policies in action - it was about how early season burning of the savannah in the NT (rather than late season where there is more and different fuel to burn) is good for cutting emission levels.
Out of the 17,000 people in attendance at the conference, at the start of the session 52 attended to hear about Australia’s leadership. I conservatively counted 28 Australians who were there from the media, from NGOs and government.
That’s our Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency at the lectern, boring for Australia.


I think this time it was a spoof

Andrew BoltDECEMBER062012(12:08pm)

Hmm. Not sure that was wise. 
Here’s Gillard last year, also talking about the end of the world, but not, I think as a joke:
Was Bob Brown also just doing a spoof of the Mayan calendar?
It could be that we don’t quite have the mechanism to deal with this yet, the whole end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it thing. The vocabulary and processes that currently carry our public debate seem unequal to the task of leading what seems to be a discussion we need to have.
Sure, Green does seem from that start to have demonstrated the problem. But as he gets into his stride, it seems he finds even the wildest words just aren’t extreme enough:
The gathering heard gloomy predictions: temperature rises of between four and six degrees by the end of the century, a glimpse of a coming and quite probablyunstoppable calamity. The picture was little short of apocalyptic… It is here, in the sobering report that follows, that we learn a little more about the seemingly inexorable ecological forces combining to transform our planet within the next two lifetimes… How do we invest scientifically substantiated reports of the impending end of the world with the significance something so, ah, earth shattering, might merit? How do we delineate the routine clutter of the day from the latest urgings that we face, and should heed, a universal and existential threat?
What more vocabulary does Green need? Perhaps you could come up with better words he could use, because I sure can’t think how he could have been clearer about the world being about to end in a fiery ruin.
Maybe the real problem is that we just don’t believe him and are laughing. 


Just another Gillard promise. Just another egg

Andrew BoltDECEMBER062012(9:58am)

Business was promised no carbon tax. It got one.
Business was promised a tax cut. It didn’t get one.
Business was promised less green tape. Once again:
As green groups geared up for a big summer protest campaign against the move, the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, will tell business leaders on Thursday that negotiations to strike handover deals with each of the states had hit legal complications and state processes that failed federal environmental standards…
The agreement to slash ‘’green tape’’ was heralded as a historic win for business groups at the inaugural Council of Australian Governments Business Advisory Forum in April. Its shelving will be a very bitter pill at the second meeting between key business leaders, the Prime Minister and premiers on Thursday, ahead of Friday’s formal COAG.
Who’d be mad enough to believe any promise Gillard makes?


AWU scandal - Police quiz former Legislative Council president on Wilson

Andrew BoltDECEMBER062012(8:50am)

 The AWU scandal
Victoria Police are checking out Julia Gillard’s former boyfriend again:
Bob Smith, a former Labor MP and AWU Victorian state secretary, made the explosive claim in an affidavit filed by union supremo Bill Ludwig.
Legal documents from 1995 reveal Mr Smith advised the AWU’s national executive that “criminal charges” were likely following allegations of financial impropriety.
Mr Smith was the first to blow the whistle on Mr Wilson’s role in establishing a series of unauthorised union accounts and drew attention to alleged fraud at a meeting of the union’s finance committee in August 1995.
Last night, the retired Labor MP confirmed he’d been approached by Victorian fraud squad detectives investigating the union scandal.
“I am responding to their request for a statement,” Mr Smith said. Victorian police are investigating claims of union fraud after former official Ralph Blewitt provided a 10-page statement to police two weeks ago.
How much Smith decides to reveal will be important.
Mark Latham is partly right:
If the Slater & Gordon affair proves anything, it does not concern the professional standing of Australia’s Prime Minister. It highlights, instead, the professional incompetence of its media.
Exhibit A of this incompetence is ... Mark Latham:
Latham rang to rant and accuse me of making “100” false allegations about Gillard.
After 10 minutes of aggro, I twigged. Was he planning to quote for publication what I’d naturally assumed was our private conversation?
“Yes,” he said. I told him that was unethical and hung up.
Since then Latham has sent me a string of abusive and, in my opinion, misleading emails, which he’s also put on the Crikey smear site, claiming to identify some of my 100 allegedly false claims.
What shocks me is he appears to have invented or edited quotes from me to give them the opposite meaning.
For instance, he claimed I’d falsely accused Gillard this month of being “in charge of the conveyancing” of the house her boyfriend bought in part with money from his slush fund.
In fact, my full quote reveals I was actually reporting the denial: “Gillard says she did not know her boyfriend’s frauds, did not profit from them, was not in charge of the conveyancing file.”
Note: not.
And for months I’ve insisted “Gillard did not do the conveyancing”.
This is not the only example of Latham making things up to have me say the opposite of what I did.
Most offensively, he claimed : “[Bolt] was far more convinced of the need for a royal commission into the AWU matter than the need for a royal commission into child sex abuse.”
Again, I’d said the opposite: we “should have on balance” the child sex inquiry, but “perhaps we should to clear the air” have another into the AWU scandal.
Then there’s Latham’s false assumption about a reference to corruption and hisfabricated allegation that I’ve called on the media to investigate Gillard’s past relationship with Craig Emerson. He also accused me of an “invention” of something since proved to be true - that Gillard’s record of interview in 1995 contained the evidence she had indeed vouched for her boyfriend’s slush fund.
Is this the standard of journalism we should expect from a columnist of the Australian Financial Review? What has journalism come to?


We’re now getting poorer

Andrew BoltDECEMBER062012(8:31am)

The country is now getting poorer:
Real gross domestic income – the purchasing power of what the economy produces – fell 0.4 per cent in the quarter. Treasurer Wayne Swan blamed this on a “pretty savage” slump in the terms of trade, which was pushed down by lower prices for iron ore, coal, and other commodities.
Excluding the global turmoil in 2009, income fell for the first time in annual terms since late 1991, the report showed. The figure is crucial because nominal growth determines wages and tax revenue.
So much for the Gillard Government’s promise - ”no ifs, no buts” - that it would deliver a surplus this year:
“None of us believes the government is going to meet this surplus fantasy,” JPMorgan economist Stephen Walters said.
As CommSec’s Craig James highlighted yesterday, a record number of cars were sold in November—just under 100,000. That made a record 1.1 million sold over the past 12 months, easily the highest ever.
This is hardly indicative of an economy that’s in the toilet. Or one that is composed of a booming resources 20 per cent and a depressed non-resources 80 per cent.
A further challenge to the negative narrative is, again as James highlights, we had a record number of tourists coming into Australia in October, despite the high value of the Aussie dollar making us expensive…
Specifically, also we saw a big jump in inventory in the latest quarter. That could be good news—businesses stocking to meet demand. Or bad news—they stocked, but the customers didn’t turn up.
Consumer spending is actually tracking reasonably healthily. And it is doing so while households are also maintaining their savings at historically high levels. Because they are spending out of strong, but not too strong, income growth.


Another reason I’m cooling on Craig

Andrew BoltDECEMBER062012(8:27am)

Even Australia’s longest-serving foreign minister can’t get Daniel Craig to do the smallest favor. Alexander Downer:
A few days before, I found myself sitting next to Daniel Craig of 007 fame and his wife, Rachel Weiss.
I asked if I could have a photo with them. No, they said, we feel tired! Poor babies!


Column - Warmists should be going out with a bang

Andrew BoltDECEMBER062012(8:08am)

 Global warming - propaganda
IF the world really were fast heating into a fireball, there are several things you sure wouldn’t catch me doing.
I wouldn’t be eking out my last days planting vegetables, moving into a shoe box or recycling my clothes.
Nor would I be reporting each grim day to the Sydney Morning Herald to tell readers to waste their final years in similar misery.
Not when that paper is now handing out redundancy cheques I could blow on one last farewell-to-the-planet orgy in the biggest suite I could find.
Room service? Two more bottles of Grange. And fast, before the boiling seas reach the penthouse.
So excuse me if I don’t take this latest frenzy of warmist fear-mongering seriously when the fear-mongers don’t act like they believe their own apocalyptic sermons.
Take Ben Cubby, the Herald’s resident warming alarmist.

Faction attacks factionalism

Andrew BoltDECEMBER062012(7:46am)

I feel a bit sorry for Sam, having to deal with this stuff:
ICAC is examining allegations that former resources minister Ian Macdonald and his ally, former upper house MP Eddie Obeid, manipulated the granting of coal exploration licences to enrich Mr Obeid’s family by as much as $100 million…
In an unprecedented statement after a meeting in Sydney on Tuesday, the Left apologised for preselecting Mr Macdonald and called for a special conference to end “extreme factionalism”.
Right faction boss and party state general secretary Sam Dastyari was dismissive of the suggestion. “So they held a faction meeting to raise concerns about extreme factionalism,” he said. “This is more bizarre than a Monty Python sketch.”
It is an insight into a characteristic of the Left - to seize on an individual failure of judgement to demand the destruction of an entire system. Revolution over reform.
But reform sure is needed, not least to fix the quality of the average faction boss today, especially some in NSW. Troy Bramston explains why Kevin Rudd in particular would agree:

Some of these powerbrokers are facing allegations of corruption as their influence is alleged to have spread from political power to personal enrichment.
In 2010, Kevin Rudd was removed as prime minister in a coup led by key faction operators who were quickly joined by a great rush of MPs and senators. The move against Rudd was sanctioned by several key union bosses many kilometres away from Canberra…
Factions are no longer driven by ideology and policy as they were during the Cold War… Factions are a symptom of a larger problem: union dominance and a power-hungry, winner-take-all culture…
Joel Fitzgibbon, the convener of the NSW Labor Right, is one who thinks that union power must be in the spotlight…
“The key informal issue is patronage; the ability of a few, often trade union blocs, to control individual MPs.”
Unions control 50 per cent of delegates at state Labor conferences...
Note that the most powerful union faction in federal politics is that of the AWU, which controls or influences anyway from 16 to 25 votes on a good day and has been key to appointing Julia Gillard as Prime Minister and keeping her there.
Part of the problem of the factions today is simply the quality and the number of those now doing the leading once done by Graham Richardson, Robert Ray, Gerry Hand, Nick Bolkus and Peter Cook:
The key faction powerbrokers on the Right are Fitzgibbon from NSW, Bill Shorten and Stephen Conroy from Victoria, Wayne Swan from Queensland and Don Farrell from South Australia.
Others such as NSW’s Chris Bowen, Tony Burke and Bob Carr play key roles behind the scenes, as does Victoria’s David Feeney and Simon Crean.
The Australian Workers Union, the Shoppies Union and the Transport Workers Union have some influence over MPs from several states.
On the Left, there are three broad groupings: the so-called “hard” Left dominated by NSW MPs and led by Anthony Albanese with Doug Cameron; the “soft” Left dominated by Victorian MPs and led by Kim Carr with Alan Griffin; and the “Miscos” Left, recognising the strong union influence (the old LHMU, now United Voice), led by Mark Butler with Martin Ferguson often playing a role.
There are others outside the party, in the unions and in the party organisation, who apply influence over the party in each state.


Intellectual racism

Andrew BoltDECEMBER062012(7:29am)

Isn’t this racism - and the kind of intellectual ghettoisation that creates division, not peace?
Hebrew University of Jerusalem academic Dan Avnon is credited with developing and implementing the only state program in civics written for joint Jewish-Arab high schools.
He approached the head of the Sydney University centre, Jake Lynch, for assistance with studying civics education in Australia under a fellowship agreement between the two institutions.
But Associate Professor Lynch rebuffed the request, citing the centre’s support for the anti-Israeli Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Shameful. Utterly shameful. And that’s leaving aside the sheer stupidity of the political analysis.
Thank heavens someone at the university believes in dealing with people as individuals and not as members of an ethnic or religious collective:
University of Sydney vice-chancellor Michael Spence rejected a call from Associate Professor Lynch in 2009 to cut links with the Hebrew University and a second Israeli institution, the Technion, in the city of Haifa. “I do not consider it appropriate for the university to boycott academic institutions in a country with which Australia has diplomatic relations,” he wrote in response at the time.
A spokesman for Dr Spence said ... Associate Professor Lynch was “entitled to express a public opinion where it falls under his area of expertise”, but added, “on this particular matter he does not speak for the school, the faculty or for the university”.
I am not surprised - yet still appalled - that Lynch holds such an important position in academia. I wonder how many Jewish students feel at all welcome in his classes, given his astonishing attitude to Israel?
BOB Carr on Radio National’s Breakfast yesterday:
FROM my visit to Israel in the middle of the year I can confirm that there are senior figures in the government of Israel who think deeply about these matters. They know that if Israel, five years from now, 10 years from now, is governing a burgeoning Arab population the world will not stand idly by.
Er Bob, the Palestinian Territories are already self-governing. CIA World Fact Book, November 13:
THE September 1993 Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements provided for a transitional period of Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip ... Mahmoud Abbas was elected PA president in January 2005 ... In September 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew (from) the Gaza Strip ... In January 2006, the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, won control of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Hamas took control of the PA government in March 2006 ...
Carr again yesterday:
I HOPE, I pray, that the decision about the E1 area in East Jerusalem is about the freeing up of planning approvals alone and not the next step, which would be the development approvals being conferred. If that development were to go ahead ... it would destroy the contiguity of the territory the world hopes and that Israelis see as being a future Palestinian state.
Jonathan Tobin, Commentary Magazine, December 2: 
EVEN if the E1 area is developed, there will be no obstacle to peace talks that could produce a Palestinian state in almost all of the West Bank except for the major settlement blocs that no one expects Israel to give up ... If the Palestinians truly wanted to live in peace in their own independent state next to Israel they could go back to the negotiating table and get it.


“It’s not her party.” Labor MPs fume

Andrew BoltDECEMBER062012(7:18am)

Niki Savva says Labor MPs are privately more gloomy than you might think, with the past couple of weeks inflicting damage on their chances:
Discussions during the past few days with ministers and backbenchers, those who voted for her and those who voted against her, reveal a range of moods from philosophical to despair to devil-may-care about the government’s fortunes and the temperament and judgment of the woman who leads them. From their different perspectives, they all reach the same conclusion: at this rate defeat is inevitable and not even Abbott will save them…
People may not like Abbott, but at the moment what the polls tell them is they will vote for him if it means getting rid of her…
Even if Gillard’s forced capitulation on the UN vote on Palestine does not change votes in caucus, it will go down as a seminal episode in her prime ministership.
Sources describe the cabinet discussion on the Monday night, when 10 of her cabinet ministers spoke against her position of a no vote against Palestine, as respectful. They were gobsmacked when at the end of it Gillard summed up by telling them that even though what they said was fair enough, this was not an issue for cabinet to decide, it was a question of prime ministerial prerogative…
Ministers were appalled, first, because she had failed to listen; second, that she was seemingly oblivious to the danger she faced; and, third, that there was only one view that mattered: hers…
“It’s not her party, it’s ours; it’s not her government, it’s ours,” one of them said later as he complained about her “pigheadedness and stubbornness"…
“She hasn’t got good instincts. Sure she has ended up in the right place, but in the end a lot of damage has been done."…
Another of her diehard supporters frankly concedes the damage inflicted by the opposition’s onslaught on the AWU and, regardless of any missteps it may have made, it succeeded in its prime objective of reinforcing all the prejudices against Gillard.


Dame Elisabeth dies

Andrew BoltDECEMBER062012(7:14am)

A great lady. My sympathies to her family:
She passed away peacefully last night at her home Cruden Farm in Langwarrin
The renowned community leader, charity worker, philanthropist and matriach of Australia’s greatest media family will be mourned by countless thousands of Australians whose lives she has touched.
She was the wife of Sir Keith Murdoch and mother of four children, including Rupert Murdoch.

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