Archive for May, 2011

Rudd becomes Keatingesque

May 30, 2011

Talk about undermining a leader.  Bougainville?

While there has been a detailed inspection of the chicken entrails over the Abbott/Turnbull spat, there was a very cruel but clever Keatingesque image that Kevin Rudd is reported to be muttering about Julia Gillard. Imagine the salivating press if it had been about the Coalition…

Apparently he has taken to referring to the Lodge in Canberra as Bougainville.

In the article where this comment was reported, there is a summary of some of the perception most Australians seem to have of our Prime Minister.

They don’t believe that she believes in the visions she articulates, mainly perhaps because the visions keep changing.
The assumption was that she would bring warmth and empathy. Instead, she has brought cliches and spin.
She brokered deals with minor players to win power.
She appeared to ignore the fine print of the unholy contracts. She has since assumed mandates for change that happened to coincide with the obsessions of her new friends.
Now, when Gillard isn’t pandering to Andrew Wilkie, she is simpering to Bob Brown or indulging Tony Windsor.

ABC and the Gillard “carbon” tax

May 29, 2011

none so blind as those who will not see

If anyone doubts that the ABC is running a campaign on the carbon dioxide tax for Gillard, ask why we never hear from the outstanding Terry McCrann on the ABC.

As probably one of the most unassailable arguments against a carbon dioxide tax, surely this article trumps all arguments to the contrary. It starts with the premise that Will Steffen’s alarmism is right. So, logically, where should we go from that position? It is a sobering piece of realism that takes us in an unexpected direction.

So the “settled science” is actually telling us to prepare for a hotter world, in the absence of the global decarbonisation that exists only in the alternative reality where fairies really do play at the bottom of the garden.

Rational policy, then, would be aimed at promoting the fastest possible growth in the economy. The Prime Minister should try to open an LNG plant or a new coalmine in monthly or even fortnightly lockstep with every new coal-fired power station in China. And if that flags, with new ones in India.

But, let’s face, there is nothing rational about Gillard’s policy.

Britain’s new dark age

May 25, 2011

“Heathrow is to burn wood trucked in from Surrey”

The Gillard government and associated media welcomed David Cameron’s announcement that Britain was cutting its CO2 emissions by half by the year 2027 with the same alacrity and relief they showed on the deal with Malaysia to send our refugees to squalor, depredation, torture and exploitation. Just as desperate.

The inimitable Matt Ridley tells in chapter and verse in the latest Spectator, how the British Prime Minister is wilfully sending the UK back to the middle ages. It is truly terrifying.

Welcome to the neo-medieval world of Britain’s energy policy. It is a world in which Highland glens are buzzing with bulldozers damming streams for miniature hydro plants, in which the Dogger Bank is to be dotted with windmills at Brobdingnagian expense, in which Heathrow is to burn wood trucked in from Surrey, and Yorkshire wheat is being turned into motor fuel. We are going back to using the landscape to generate our energy. Bad news for the landscape…

The industrial revolution, when Britain turned to coal for its energy, not only catapulted us into prosperity (because coal proved cheaper and more reliable than wood, wind, water and horse as a means of turning machines), but saved our landscape too…

Whether we like it or not, we are now reversing this policy, only with six times the population and a hundred times the energy needs.

Mark Scott tells of ABC bias

May 25, 2011

Bias is 55% to 33% in favour of Labor 

So we now have some official figures on the perceptions of bias in the ABC, from the horse’s mouth. In today’s Senate committee hearing on bias in the ABC’s coverage of last year’s federal election, Mark Scott, Managing director of the ABC, under questioning from Senator Eric Abetz, provided the following information.

In total, the ABC received 982 formal complaints about bias in its election coverage.
Of these complaints, 55 per cent alleged anti-Coalition bias while a further 33 per cent alleged anti-Labor bias.

I have often made the claim that:
Labor voters, generally speaking, find the ABC to be fair and balanced, and that Liberal voters, generally speaking, find the ABC often unfair and often unbalanced, or at best, very lumpy. I don’t know about you, but if that observation is largely plausible, then that to me would appear to be a quod erat demonstrandum.

The above revelations by Mark Scott would tend to confirm that there is a greater perception of bias against the Coalition.

China’s green energy

May 24, 2011

Solar power generates one-half of one-thousandth of 1 per cent of China’s energy

As I said a couple of days ago, the media, and especially the ABC’s Chris Uhlmann is standing up to Bob Brown. Normally, the ABC treats him, as a journalist said, with the respect due to an Anglican Bishop in the 1950s.

Janet Albrechtsen has written a stinging piece on the issue this morning. Amongst much else, she challenged Brown’s lazy assertion that China was becoming a giant user of solar panels. She quotes Bjorn Lomborg from three years ago that:

China produces half the world’s solar panels and installs barely 1 per cent of this green technology in its own country … Lomborg points out, its factories are chugging along, producing and exporting the panels to Western nations that hand out huge subsidies to its people who get to feel good about being green by sticking some panels on their rooftops.

and then asks Bob Brown:

… whether we should really be getting excited about China’s green-friendly policies given that wind power accounts for 0.05 per cent of its energy needs and solar power generates one-half of one-thousandth of 1 per cent of China’s energy.

Don’t expect much honesty in the debate on carbon taxes or from the extravagantly paid propaganda team of Tim Flannery and will Stephan and their Climate Commission troupers. 

Andrew Bolt has also been busily exposing their latest lies and scare campaign.

ABC Bias is now to the right

May 19, 2011

Get Up! wants to campaign against ABC “shock jocks”…

There has been a flurry of interest that Get Up! has posted a campaign idea on its blog to petition for the ABC to return to its charter.  In the logic of the petition, this can only mean that it wants it to return to its left wing bias.

Extraordinarily, the petition claims that “the National Broadcaster has become a political mouthpiece for the ultra conservatives.” This would be news for most people.

This is the full text: 

petition for ABC to return to its charter

We have been witnessing the inclusion of right-wing shock jocks and commentators as the main talking force within ABC’s news programming. There has also been a constant demonstration of ABC’s journalists adopting news items, verbatim, from the Murdoch press. Any attempt to maintain balance has been demonstrably abandoned, and when challenged, the ABC’s ‘apologists’ cite the amount of time given to each side of the political fence as a demonstration of balance, when in fact the quality of the reporting varies greatly (and example would be the 7:30 reports recent interviews with the PM and Opposition leader by Chris Uhlmann — the first was antagonistic and rude, the second was sycophantic and a virtual political advertisement). As a viewer and taxpayer, I am more than concerned that the National Broadcaster has become a political mouthpiece for the ultra conservatives.

The good news, if that be, is that this petition has only 1,227 votes and is ranked down at 21st on their list of priorities, well behind other urgent things like Reversing the govt’s decision to abolish the Australian Learning & Teaching Council, ranked 7th, and Stop the Fracking Coal Seam Gas industry, ranked 2nd and,  Tarkine wilderness heritage, ranked 10th.

Clearly Chris Uhlmann is in Get Ups! sights. This petition was drafted some weeks ago, so it certainly does not include Uhlmann’s confrontation with Bob Brown a couple of days ago. When I say confrontation, all Uhlmann was doing was correcting Brown’s fudging of the truth when he blamed the Murdock press for saying what he himself had indeed said.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Didn’t you say back in 2007 that we had to kick the coal habit?

BOB BROWN: No, I did not. You’re looking at the Murdoch press, where I said back in 2007 we should look at coal exports with a view to phasing them out down the line.

CHRIS UHLMANN: It wasn’t the Murdoch press, it was a comment piece that you wrote. So you want to phase out the coal industry?

BOB BROWN: The world is going to do that because it is causing massive economic damage down the line through the impact of climate change.

CHRIS UHLMANN: But the question-

BOB BROWN: No, let me…

CHRIS UHLMANN: The simple question is how do you replace $50 billion worth of export income?

Surely, this is simply holding Brown to account for what he actually said and for the consequences of his policies.

The debate on ABC will clearly continue. However, many on the left truly believe the ABC is being taken over by the “right wing drum beat”.

Notwithstanding Get Ups implausible alarm, I would like again to make this simple statement.which appears to me to be self evident.

I have always found that Labor voters, generally speaking, find the ABC to be fair and balanced, and that Liberal voters, generally speaking, find the ABC often unfair and often unbalanced, or at best, very lumpy. I don’t know about you, but if that observation is largely plausible, then that to me would appear to be a quod erat demonstrandum.

Sharia law in Australia?

May 17, 2011

Let’s hope he keeps on meaning it

There are moves afoot by the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils to lobby for “legal pluralism”, and allow Sharia law to coexist alongside Asutralian law. This proposition was put in its submission to a parliamentary inquiry into the policy.
One of our top Muslim leaders, Sheik Mohamadu Nawas Saleem came out in support of the idea. He said that it could operate in the family law system through a new model of Islamic arbitration.

Reassuringly, the Attorney-General Robert McClelland definitively put a stop to speculation. In a statement reported in the press he was clear and emphatic:

As our citizenship pledge makes clear, coming to Australia means obeying Australian laws and upholding Australian values, … Australia’s brand of multiculturalism promotes integration. If there is any inconsistency between cultural values and the rule of law, then Australian law wins out….
We were blessed to live in a stable democracy underpinned by the rule of law.
People who migrate to Australia do so because of the fact we have a free, open and tolerant society where men and women are equal before the law irrespective of race, religious or cultural background.
Indeed, all applicants for citizenship swear collective allegiance to the people of Australia, and undertake to respect our customs and abide by our laws. The values underpinning those principles will not be changing.

Fortunately the Attorney-General seems to take his role seriously. He certainly has more common sense than Britain’s quite loopy and cowardly Education Minister Michael Gove  and that other serious fruit loop, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Green disillusionment

May 17, 2011

Is this the endgame?

Paul Kelly, one of Australia’s most respected media commentators — the more so for being a long time Labor supporter —  seems to have said it all today on the Greens and the environment.

The green agenda has corrupted Labor values. It has seen Labor governments embrace fiscal irresponsibility, regressive income re-distribution and treat their supporters as too dumb to understand they were being played for mugs.

Many conservative bloggers have been warning about Greens’ policies for years for just these reasons. According to Kelly, who has only lately come around to this way of thinking, it might now be too late for Labor to heed the warning.

Once Australians sense they have been conned, that past green schemes were not what they purported to be, their voting retribution can be severe. In part, this is the problem Gillard now faces.

Worst parking signs II

May 7, 2011

Getting worse ….

This one is even better than the last.

Still seeking contributions.

[Thanks again to reader Cosmo]

Clover Moore a muesli eater?

May 6, 2011

Fancy that !

Former Prime Minister Paul Keating has resigned as Chairman of the Barangaroo Design Excellence Review Panel after a letter from NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard told him to stop calling Clover Moore a “muesli chewer”.

Mr Keating said he would resign, as he refused to be muzzled.

Today, Mr Keating said Ms Moore’s opposition to the Barangaroo development jeopardised her capacity as mayor.
“She’s an inappropriate person to be lord mayor of this city,” Mr Keating told journalists in Sydney.

“She’s for low rise. She’s for sandal-wearing, muesli-chewing, bike-riding pedestrians without any idea of the metropolitan quality of the city or what Sydney would lose if Barangaroo were to fail.”

Sometimes I think Paul Keating’s judgement is spot on.