Archive for June, 2012

Pauvre Monsieur Hollande

June 6, 2012

It seems the new socialist President can’t take a trick

François Hollande has had it with austerity. Well, fair enough — austerity is dull and painful. No wonder other European leaders are keen to follow his example. But perhaps Hollande should take heed of what happened to Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, who also longed to escape an austere life.

Barrier Reef nonsense must stop

June 3, 2012

The busy bodies at the UN know nothing and 

Minister Tony Burke hides behind their skirts 

Once again, the environmental zealots are capturing the debate. The United Nations, in its usual sovereignty busting busy body way is trying to tell us how to look after our Great Barrier Reef. Its report from the environmental arm of UNESCO was released at the weekend and is critical of the way the Great Barrier Reef is managed. these people are obviously regulation mad bureaucrats.

Walter Stark, who had some pretty frank and realistic things to say about fisheries generally in The Greens — a book I edited last year —has been reported in this article giving some sound advice about the unquestioned rubbish that is being promoted about the Reef. When will any of these progress-destroying fools in our government be challenged by straight forward, common sense facts?

On overfishing on the Reef:

Claims of widespread over-fishing at our levels of harvest are the height of absurdity. There is absolutely no scientific evidence of threatened marine species, population collapses or effects on marine biodiversity from fishing. Almost without exception, away from the coastal and tourist influences, the Great Barrier Reef is pristine, rarely visited and home to the same number of fish species today as at first human settlement.

On shipping on the reef:

And all this debate about the danger posed to the reef by shipping is nonsense. One cyclone causes more reef destruction than if all of the ships that ever traversed the reef since the beginning of time crashed into it.

Just take a look at the enormity of the reef in the photo above.

Hollandaise sauce

June 3, 2012

French sisterhood eats its heart out

FRANCOIS Hollande’s ambition to become France’s first feminist president has suffered a setback after the 17 women in his cabinet were dismissed as “window dressing”. It emerged that most of the officials working under them were men.

Mr Hollande made women’s rights a feature of his election campaign and feminists praised him for appointing as many women as men to cabinet posts.

Last week, however, it emerged that of 140 advisers recruited by ministers, only 38 were women.


More on the parlous state of President Hollandaise:

The French government has not once run a budget surplus in the past 30 years. Total public social expenditure as a percentage of GDP was 28.4 per cent in France on the latest figures, compared with 16 per cent in Australia and the OECD average of 19.3 per cent. The cheeses may be great, but France is basically a bloated nanny-state.

Gillard carbon tax already working

June 3, 2012

Just in case you hadn’t noticed

UNUSUALLY wet weather has ushered in a gloomy start to winter across eastern Australia.

Sydney had almost 40mm of rain with a top temperature of only 16.7C.

“It is effectively the coldest, wettest and gloomiest first weekend of winter since 1989,” Weatherzone’s Brett Dutschke said.

Brisbane had 47mm of rain, Canberra 18mm and Hobart 3mm. The Queensland coast had the heaviest rainfall with Bundaberg receiving 119mm, more than double the June average in only two days, and the Sunshine Coast receiving 114mm.

Birdsville received its first rain in three months.

Napoleon arrives in Melbourne

June 3, 2012

From my review of the wonderful NGV exhibition in Melbourne at Quadrant Online

The exhibition is a quite brilliant collection of outstanding pieces, and the jewelry, furniture design and sumptuousness of this Imperial order is very impressive.

It is a testament to a distant and glorious moment in French history, It has the sad echo of what was and what is no longer – l’exception française – and, like a visit to the Forbidden City in Beijing, conveys a certain emptiness in the vanity of worldly pursuits, echoed in the presence of Napoleon’s gilded throne.

This is a very stimulating exhibition and well worth seeing.