Archive for June, 2011

SBS propaganda unit at work again

June 22, 2011

Playing on pure emotion saves thinking about real solutions

As soon as the promos started on SBS for its new programme Go Back to where you Came from, it was clear that here we had yet another emotionally manipulating and facile explanation of the “truth” about our refugees. It was quite obvious what it wanted to prove and what it wanted the hapless participants to think.

One of the most passionate and enduring debates in this country has been built on a falsity, a false choice that is being carefully recrafted, repackaged and re-presented on SBS this week, at taxpayer expense.

It is stacked with commentary, from the narration, to the structure, to the guide, Dr David Corlett, who is immersed in the refugee industry, is highly political, and in 2003 wrote a Quarterly Essay, ”Sending Them Home”, with Robert Manne. This is the producers’ idea of dispassionate objectivity.

Another shameless programme of lecturing, hectoring ideology.

ABC uses Nazi tag too

June 22, 2011

Seen on the ABC and defended by them as a legitimate slur

The ABC and its presenters such as Jon Faine — this morning on ABC 774 —should calm down about their contrived indignation of Lord Monkton and his reference to Ross Garnaut as an eco-fascist in association with a picture of a swastika.

Of course it was an unfortunate provocation and will be used against Monkton, relentlessly, but the ABC is hardly innocent when it comes to throwing around the same labels.

Back in April 2001, the ABC, through Stuart Littlemore and his eponymous programme devoted a whole episode to an attack on the IPA over its highly effective Sydney conference, Their ABC or Our ABC? on ABC bias.

Littlemore’s report stands as a classic case of jackboot journalism designed to silence critics. Not only did Littlemore mislead, distort, and attempt to libel the IPA to inflict maximum damage to its credibility, he directly related the organisation to Nazism by showing a photo of Adolph Hitler together with a quotation from Mein Kampf stating that ‘the broad mass of a nation… will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one’.

A formal complaint was made to Jonathan Shier, the then Managing Director of the ABC.  The ABC’s official response was that it was

…satisfied that the program presented appropriate comment within the context of its brief’

Of course.

Bravo ABC for your exquisite hypocrisy.

ABC shows some honest reporting

June 20, 2011

Not a happy birthday

The truth is apparently sinking in.

Bolt on Bolt

June 20, 2011

A valued and celebrated contributor for free speech

In a very moving gesture of solidarity with Andrew Bolt over his recent trial under the Racial Vilification Act, well over 500 people turned out last night to listen to several speakers arguing the importance of free speech in Australia.

Organised by the IPA, the speakers included Paul Howes, Dr David Kemp, Michael Kroger, Professor Jim Allan, and a highly amusing video message from Mark Steyn.

Jim Allan explained, in the light of the specific legislation, why freedom of speech necessarily involved offending some people:

This is politically correct, pandering, group rights-inspired legislation.

The only sort of free speech that matters is the sort that offends some people somewhere. In a situation where all is agreement and harmony and people sitting in circles, holding hands, and singing Kumbaya, the concept of liberty and free speech does nothing. You will never have to fight for it meaning a freedom only to act or speak within the bounds of agreed opinion, good taste and proper decorum just isn’t valuable. It doesn’t carry with it any obvious good consequences.

The threat to our freedom of speech in the West today does not come from some Soviet-style secret police. No, it comes from turf-protecting bureaucrats who find themselves all of a sudden in the human rights game; it comes from people who want to create a right not to be offended.

David Kemp gave a brilliant analysis of  why Michael Lavarch, former Labor attorney General, was directly responsible for drafting what is effectively an anti-democratic, stifling and dangerous piece of legislation, that should urgently be abolished.

All the speeches, all remarkably incisive and passionate defences of freedom of speech, including Mark Stein’s very very amusing but powerful message, should be up on the IPA website soon.  is now available.

In the meantime, with two standing ovations, the atmosphere was charged with overwhelming good will, support and dare I say, pride and gratitude towards Andrew Bolt for his strong stands on so many issues. Bolt, unsurprisingly, was slightly overwhelmed and moved to speechlessness by this groundswell of support for him.

He is, after all, slightly shy and very modest. Way back in 2004 I interviewed and wrote a profile on him, Bolt on Bolt, in the IPA Review. I observed then:

WHEN one meets Andrew Bolt, one is struck by extreme courtesy, warmth, directness and lack of pretension. This would be a surprise if one took seriously the remarks of those who criticize him: Attila the Hun, inflammatory right-winger, a tick-a-box, hey-look-at-me commentator, insane, Islam Basher, racist [obligatory], a petty, embittered little man, a sociopath … it goes on, and on.

So who exactly is this mild-mannered, polite commentator now gaining national recognition?

Well, that was seven years ago. The answer to that is now clear. Last night was a strong message to Bolt that he is valued, that he has become even more important as the present, increasingly toxic atmosphere has rendered public debate in Australia more intolerant. As he put it then:

How does one resist this success of the Left and the media in pushing the idea that if a shoe isn’t on the left foot, there’s only one other foot that it could be on?

The support for him, not only last night, but with his blog and the ratings for his new Bolt Report can only suggest that people listen and do understand.

The ABC on how to destroy our wealth

June 16, 2011

How the ABC slaughters our Australian industries

An interesting letter has been circulating about the ABC Four Corners programme on our live beef export trade to Indonesia. Not content with the normal political bias, Four Corners did a disgracefully biased demolition job that, with the ensuing Gillard government’s mindless and destructive decision to stop all exports, will create an enormous amount of damage to the beef industry in both Australian and Indonesia. But these ABC employees have no regard for consequences.

I am writing to you after the Monday program to say that although I abhor the treatment of the animals shown in the video, your one sided approach to the subject and the possible effect of that of a ban on live exports is too big a price to pay for a report based on the evidence of an organization that’s charter is to shut us down. I have the following points to make. I would like to have the same time as those who denigrated my life to show you the other side of our industry. To show you what is really going on. In Australia there used to be thing about “A fair Go”. You have gone with images provided by one person followed up by your investigative journalist who spent a week in Indonesia. Your report makes out that close to 100% of Australian cattle are treated as was shown on TV.

Another feather in the hapless ABC’s hat. The worst is that I am sure the Four Corners’ producers are thrilled at their destructive power.

Lonely at the top for Gillard

June 14, 2011

Julia’s carbon dioxide tax gets worse

The Gillard government’s reasoning for a carbon dioxide tax has been set out using arguments from Ross Garnaut, the Chief scientist Will Steffen, and the Productivity Commission as justification.

However, just as she is sinking in the polls over a range of bad policy decisions, more people are noticing the missing element in her carbon dioxide story.

The truth is that the planned and anticipated global carbon dioxide trading market, according to the World Bank, has stalled. There would thus appear to be no danger of Australia slipping behind because, from this report, it just isn’t going to happen.

The second-round Kyoto agreement is kaput. Canada, Russian and Japan are pulling out.

In America, there is no congressional support for any cap and trade scheme or clean energy standards and there is soon to be a two-year suspension of the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Korea has postponed action until 2015, and India, China, Brazil and South Africa have no binding targets.

The World Bank report is emphatic.

Nicholas Linacre, an Australian academic and carbon specialist who worked as lead author on the World Bank report on the state of the carbon trading market last year, says no other country has proposed the level of action or coverage that Australia has.

Our Julia is really going out on a limb. As they say, it is lonely at the top …  especially when you are out of step not just with your electorate, but with the rest of the world.

Why Gillard’s tax is mad

June 13, 2011

We didn’t get the desktop computer revolution by taxing typewriters

With all the noise from the earnest arguments over the carbon dioxide tax — rather like the debate about the number on angels on a pinhead — it seems increasingly difficult to stand back and see just why Julia Gillard’s tax is so bad.

Steven Hayward, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and blogger at is very concerned that:

the monomania for near-term suppression of greenhouse gas emissions through cap and trade or carbon taxes or similar means is the single largest environmental policy mistake of the last generation.

Haward makes a complex argument very simple. It is a point that has been explained by leading Australian commentators like Terry McCrann, Henry Ergas, and Andrew Bolt tirelessly, and also so often by Bjorn Lomborg. It is a point so obvious, that the continuing squabbles and false discussions in the media over minutiae is very disturbing and very frustrating.

The way to reduce carbon emissions is not to make carbon-based energy more expensive, but rather make low- and non-carbon energy cheaper at a large scale, so the whole world can adopt it, not just rich nations. This is a massive innovation problem, but you can’t promote energy innovation by economically ruinous taxes and regulation.

We didn’t get the railroad by making horse-drawn wagons more expensive; we didn’t get the automobile by taxing the railroads; we didn’t get the desktop computer revolution by taxing typewriters, slide-rules, and file cabinets.

It is time to stop ending the charade that we can enact shell game policies like cap and trade that will do nothing to actually solve the problem, but only increase the price of energy and slow down our already strangled economy. I support sensible efforts for government to promote energy technology breakthroughs, but am against subsidizing uncompetitive technologies.

The international diplomacy of climate change is the most implausible and unpromising initiative since the disarmament talks of the 1930s, and for many of the same reasons; the Kyoto Protocol and its progeny are the climate diplomacy equivalent of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 that promised to end war (a treaty that is still on the books, by the way), and finally, future historians are going to look back on this whole period as the climate policy equivalent of wage and price controls to fight inflation in the 1970s.

Another Gillard cockup

June 9, 2011

An ill thought out disaster all around

Just when we were all wondering if Gillard could suggest even more destructive measures to bugger up the economy or make more half baked policy decisions on the run, we now have the live cattle export trade suspension. Like all other things Green, it is meant well, but will have the opposite effect, as well as damaging both our economy and Indonesia’s economy.

Greg Sheridan says it all:

THE total suspension of live cattle exports to Indonesia is a bad mistake.

It is a typical over-reaction in which winning the short-term media cycle has once more trumped sensible policy.

It is bad animal welfare policy, shocking foreign policy, disastrous for the cattle industry in northern Australia, cruel to poor Indonesians and bad for the Australian economy.

It has been notable in this decision that no one of consequence has given the slightest regard to the implications for the critically important relationship with Indonesia.

Of course, the obvious hypocrisy is staggering also. Gillard moves at lightening speed when around 60 percent of Australians object the vile way cattle are slaughtered in Indonesia.

What about the 60 percent of Australians who object to the destructive and useless carbon dioxide tax?

Pissant tosser on our CO2 tax

June 9, 2011

It is craven to bow to the EU and UN

Gary Johns spits the dummy on the stupidity and dishonesty surrounding the carbon dioxide tax. Would that the Gillard government had more self-respect and attempt to devise intelligent and effective policies rather than those that they propose.

Australians are great joiners but they do not regard themselves as being at the arse-end of the world and therefore desperate to please important forums.

Many Australians have not been impressed by Europe’s heroic climate change response of far-fetched targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases. Australians know the only way Europe meets its target is through the displacement of manufactures to Asia.

Indeed, it was reported in The Economist last year that emissions made on their citizens’ behalf elsewhere in the world add a third or more to most European countries’ emissions.

It is clear that the Gillard government has little respect for Australia’s national sovereignty, and like may socialist left governments, favours kowtowing to international organisations like the undemocratic European Union and United Nations, as an excuse to introduce policies rejected by the majority of the Australian people.

THE GREENS: Policies, Reality and Consequences

June 6, 2011

“The road to Hell is paved …..”

I am very pleased to announce a new book from Connorcourt Publishing that I have had the privilege to edit, and that should appear in mid July just after the new green Senate is installed in Canberra.

The idea for this book came from an awareness of the alarming void in media analysis of the Greens’ policies at a time when they have been gaining in political strength.

This book brings together leading Australian experts who look at a wide range of their policies in detail – from Agriculture to Zoophytes – to reveal the practical consequences of these policies. The book suggests that the Greens have an uncontrollable urge to spend our money, a mania for legislative and regulatory control – of both institutions and individuals – a disturbing and unwarranted confidence in central planning and a belief that government knows best. Underlying this is a thoroughly naïve understanding of how the real world works.

The irony is that the Greens’ policies would not only destroy our economy but actually make the environment worse.

For further details of the twenty one contributors and the scope of the Green policies analysed in the book, please go to the Connorcourt website.