Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The wronged men?

Knocked out by dodgy polls

Mr Turnbull was turfed out largely based on losing a series of opinion polls - the same polls which predicted a Labor win at the election but were proved horribly wrong.

Mr Turnbull justified seizing the top job in 2015 by pointing out Mr Abbott had lost 30  succesive Newspolls. Three years later he was ousted himself after losing 38 straight Newspolls.

The ABC's election guru Antony Green said the death of the household landline was to blame for the wrong polls.

'Polling in Australia has a really good record, but what people have forgotten in the past four years is they've totally changed their methodology,' Mr Green said.

'Polling used to be dominated by running from the electoral roll and doing random samples based on ringing up landlines.

'Now landlines have disappeared and therefore using landlines is no longer a reliable estimate.'

He said pollsters were making random calls to mobiles and it then 'gets very hard to determine what sample you're getting'. 

'I think that's what the problem is, they are having difficulty trying to get a representative sample, and they're all wrong.

'The only other alternative is they were getting a result like this and nobody believed it and they got a result like this.'


Joel Fitzgibbon says he will not rule out running for Labor leadership

A moderate, cautious Labor Party leader would be a refreshing change. Tanya Plibersek has said she will not contest the Labor leadership ballot

As Labor prepares to replace Bill Shorten in the wake of the party’s shock election loss, an unlikely contender is considering entering the race.

Hunter representative Joel Fitzgibbon, who hung onto his seat despite a 10 per cent swing, said he was not prepared to rule out running for the leadership if Labor didn’t match his concerns about representing the regions and its working class base.

“The Labor must reconnect with its blue-collar base and get back to the centre, and be less ambitious in its pace of change,” Mr Fitzgibbon told ABC radio this morning. “People are inherently conservative in Australia and any change has to be orderly and steady, and needs to be explained to people.

“We need to stick to the sensible centre and push reform in an incremental way and in an orderly way and properly explain why change is necessary to people. You’ve got to be able to take people with you.”

Mr Fitzgibbon managed to retain his seat, which he has held since 1996, with 32,000 votes.

The coal-country NSW seat saw the highest One Nation vote in the country, with more than 18,000 voters — roughly 20 per cent of the NSW electorate — voting for the far-right party’s candidate Stuart Bonds.

This was barely 2000 votes less than the Nationals candidate Josh Angus.


Climate lies of Labor, Greens sealed poll loss

Soon after the election was called I lamented that it might be the dumbest campaign we have ever seen, primarily because of the inanity around climate change. I am sorry to say that prediction turned out to be more accurate than any climate modelling.

But the good news was that voters were smart enough to see through it. Labor and the Greens continually made absurd claims — actually let us call a spade a spade — they told the same lies every day. They said Australia was not taking climate action now; they said they could take action that would stop floods, droughts, bushfires and cyclones; they said these same actions would create jobs and prosperity; and they refused to even countenance putting a cost on them.

Now these same politicians and their army of virtue-signalling barrackers in the media now wonder why they lost the election. The idiocy is beyond comprehension — at least it is entertaining.

As they pack up their placards and wash down their cars after their anti-Adani convoy, the activists are quietly wondering whether they might have helped deliver a Coalition win. A grateful nation applauds them.

And while commentators continue to call for an end to the so-called climate wars they still don’t understand where that settlement will be found. They are right in deducing that only a bipartisan agreement can lead to solid, medium-term arrangements and investment certainty. But they keep looking for that agreement in the wrong place.

Amid the noise of the election fallout yesterday I had the pleasure of hearing a new voice who brought utter clarity to a policy area that has been unnecessarily complicated and divisive. I had long heard that James Stevens was someone to look out for and although I had met him once or twice, I had never had a serious conversation with him.

On Saturday the former chief of staff to South Australian Premier Steven Marshall was elected as the new Liberal member for Sturt, replacing his former boss Christopher Pyne. Stevens is clearly identified as a moderate Liberal but when I interviewed him on The Kenny Report yesterday I was struck by his no-nonsense approach on climate policy.

“I do support our policy position on meeting the Paris targets, I think we should do our fair share as a country but no more than that,” Stevens said. “And we certainly shouldn’t penalise Australian businesses and Australian families by having a disproportionate approach to reducing carbon emissions that just exports our jobs to other countries that aren’t putting the same unnecessary, overly ambitious targets in place.”

At this point I interrupted him to say this was the clearest exposition of this issue I had heard from his party for a long time. He continued.

“All it means is that businesses, particularly in the manufacturing sector, the jobs that are lost in our economy, if we take unnecessary policy positions that increase power prices in an uncompetitive way, those jobs are going to go to countries that are emitting an enormous amount more carbon than we’re emitting here in Australia at the moment. So I don’t understand why even the environmentalists think that we should put ourselves in that position because you’ve got the perverse situation where we are penalising our economy but we’re also penalising the planet. If you consider increasing greenhouse gas emissions to be something that puts the planet in peril, that’s going to be achieved by sending jobs from this country to other countries that are not doing anywhere near what we already are.”

There you have it. It is obvious; it is based on fact rather than emotion; it involves not a hint of climate denial or economic vandalism; just responsible, pragmatic and committed environmental and economic management.

Then this morning we heard some sense spoken by Labor frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon about how Labor must find a way to support climate action as well as the mining sector and the jobs, families and communities it supports. As Fitzgibbon pointed out, this is no more than giving voice to official ALP policy.

We are starting to see how Scott Morrison’s electoral triumph has unleashed an outbreak of intellectual clarity and common sense. The idiocy of the campaign is behind us, the emotive nonsense of the partisans is silenced (for a while at least) and there might be a chance for progress.

The answer is obvious. It is — as it always has needed to be — a bipartisan settlement. But not around reckless or overly ambitious gestures that aim to lead the world.

The major party consensus has to be a simple commitment to the Paris targets. No more, no less. A position Labor has held in the past before it started chasing unicorns. Labor has come back to the global consensus. It is that easy. If the major parties agree on that, the mechanism to deliver it is a doddle.


Qld.:  Palaszczuk government drops coalmine fine as pressure of Federal election result mounts

The Palaszczuk Government has dropped a bid to fine Adani-owned Abbot Point Operations $12,000 over the company’s release of sediment-contaminated floodwater during Cyclone Debbie in 2017.

The environment department today agreed to Abbot Point Operations’ offer to build a $100,000 real-time water quality monitoring system at the discharge point of its settlement ponds in return for the penalty infringement, which had escalated to court, being dropped.

Located 25 kilometres north of Bowen in north Queensland, the port of Abbot Point, owned by Adani, is Australia’s largest deepwater coal port and is supplied by a rail line from the Bowen Basin coalfields.

It would also be the offload point for coal from Adani’s proposed Carmichael mine in the neighbouring, but as yet untapped, Galilee Basin.

Abbot Point Operations, formerly Abbot Point Bulkcoal, was charged in 2018 with contravening a temporary emissions license after it released sediment water during the cyclone in March 2017.

The emissions license granted the company to release water from its settlement ponds into the ocean but Adani’s own monitoring of the water quality found the sediment concentrations in the released water had been eight times higher than was authorised.

Abbot Point Operations had pleaded not guilty, arguing that the sediment had not reached the Great Barrier Reef offshore and therefore the license had not been breached.

The Department of Environment and Science fined Abbot Point Operations $12,190 but the company elected to have the matter heard before a magistrate.

In a statement released today, Abbot Point Operations said it had reached an agreement with the government that would see the court matter resolved.

“As part of (a) commitment to continually improve our environmental management, we welcome the Queensland Government’s acceptance of an Enforceable Undertaking application that we lodged voluntarily in order to deliver additional water quality monitoring at our site,” the statement said.

“This Enforceable Undertaking will help ensure positive environmental outcomes are achieved in the near-term instead of continuing prolonged court proceedings in the Magistrates Court related to an alleged floodwater release during Cyclone Debbie.

“This new water monitoring infrastructure will allow us to measure water quality in real-time to assist in managing stormwater impacting our site.

“It will give the regulator and the community further confidence that our operations are being managed safely and responsibly.”

The water monitoring system will be built at the authorised flood water release point opposite the ocean to provide real-time monitoring of water flows.

Abbot Point Operations’ pledge to build the new system comes on top of $15 million in infrastructure improvements at the site in the past two years, including increased water storage, higher levee banks and better piping.

The department has previously said “no known environmental impacts occurred as a result of the discharge”.

The charge was not in relation to the nearby Caley Valley Wetlands.

The dropping of the fine comes as the Palaszczuk Government faces pressure from Labor members and its own MPs over its handling of the approvals for Adani’s Carmichael mine.

The Adani issue, and Labor’s mixed messages about whether the party supports the project, were a key feature of the federal election campaign in Queensland and are believed to have played a considerable impact in Labor’s poor results in the state.

Former state and federal Labor candidate and ex-mayor of Bowen, Mike Brunker, demanded a “rank and file revolution” in the north.

“I’m calling for a rank and file revolution in north Queensland to change the leadership (of both the Premier and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad),” Mr Brunker said.

“The Premier should have made a captain’s call by now, and said this rot’s got to stop, this (Adani) has got to go through).”

“If Adani is not fixed within the next fortnight or month, Labor is going to get wiped out in the state election.”


Teacher accused of punching and spitting on students because she's 'not Muslim' plans to sue police because the kid's claims were MADE UP

A primary school teacher will take police to court after she paid costly legal fees to fight allegations that she assaulted four students after being told she was 'no good' because she's 'not Muslim'.

The southwest Sydney teacher, 58 - who cannot be named for legal reasons - was cleared of all charges that she mistreated her year three and four students on Monday after a judge slammed the evidence against her.

She has been out of work since last May after she was accused of pinching, pushing and punching three boys and a girl, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Magistrate Daniel Covington noted that police failed to interview adult witnesses who may have been in the classroom and that some of the evidence against the teacher was 'implausible'.

He said that the children's accounts of the alleged assaults changed or became more detailed as they spoke to teachers and police.

What's more, a boy who accused the teacher of spitting on him made no complaint to teachers on the day of the alleged incident.

Mr Covington said the boy only made the claim when he was interviewed by police much later.

The same boy also told the teacher on her first day that she looked like Donald Trump.

The court heard during a hearing that a student also told the teacher, 'you're no good, you're not Muslim'.

The teacher was later given the nickname 'Miss Trunchbull' after the nasty headmistress in the popular children's classic 'Matilda'.

The boy also claimed to have witnessed the teacher scratch a student and draw blood.

Mr Covington dismissed the evidence as either a 'fabrication or at best an exaggeration'.

During the hearing, one eight-year-old schoolboy said the teacher pushed him hard against a wall and whispered 'f*** off' in his ear.

The court heard the girl accuser was the only witness and Mr Covington dismissed the incident as highly unlikely to have happened. 'It is completely implausible in my view that no one else would have witnessed it,' he said.

Mr Covington criticised police for failing to interview any adult witnesses and went on to dismiss the charges against the teacher.

Her lawyer Ian Fraser told the magistrate police failed to properly investigate the matter and that his client would pursue them to cover legal costs.

The case has been adjourned until next month for the court costs to be drawn up.

The Department of Education said it would follow its own enquiries into the matter. 'It is not appropriate for the NSW Department of Education to comment on a court decision. 'Following court matters of this nature the department makes its own enquiries.

'This person has not been teaching at schools since the issue was first raised, with her future employment status pending the outcome of the court case and any subsequent investigation.'


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Good!  Liberals take back Wentworth from far-Left Lesbian Kerryn Phelps.

She had campaigned on a climate change platform and vowed to stop the Adani coal mine as well as other new coal projects. Seat is now back in the conservative column, where it had been for decades. 

There were accusations during the campaign that both Phelps and Sharma were Jewish.  In fact Phelps is of British ancestry and Sharma has Indian ancestry.  The bigots seem to have missed that the PM’s principal adviser was Yaron Finkelstein, a most unambiguous name

Scott Morrison and the Coalition have claimed a majority victory in the Federal Election, winning at least 76 seats after Dave Sharma re-claimed Wentworth for the Liberals.

Independent Dr Kerryn Phelps is expected to concede defeat in the eastern Sydney seat on Monday afternoon. Dr Phelps became the member for Wentworth in October after winning a by-election triggered by the resignation of Malcolm Turnbull.

The Liberals will win in Bass in Tasmania, according to the ABC's election analyst Antony Green, and claimed Wentworth in Sydney back from Dr Kerryn Phelps on Monday morning.

The two results would give them the required 76 seats to command a majority.

The government could also win in Chisholm in Victoria, but that is currently too close to call.


North Queensland MP Bob Katter reveals how anti-coal extremists of the Left blew their chances in six must-win Queensland seats

Losing the whole of Queensland North of Brisbane was an amazing loss.  And there was no doubt why:  Leftist opposition to new coal mines.  Had they won those seats they would be in government now

Bob Katter has launched a blistering attack against Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek, claiming her comments cost Labor the 'unloseable' election.

The maverick MP said the potential future leader of the Labor party was out of touch with Queensland voters, and that her stance against coal mines alienated constituents in the regions.

'Tanya Plibersek ran amok,' the MP for the seat of Kennedy in north Queensland told Sky News.

'She was out there denigrating the coal industry and saying it will phase out. To say that on the eve of an election in which there are six marginal seats in north Queensland in the coal belt is absolutely disastrous.'

The seats in question include Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton's northern Brisbane seat of Dickson and the Townsville-based seat of Herbert.

George Christensen is expected to return to his marginal seat of Dawson while the Coalition also managed to retain the seats of Flynn, Capricornia and Leichhardt.

'The ALP were certain on the polls to take all six seats, but she and a bunch of loud mouthed extremists that have an immense amount of power in the Labor movement... they blew it to smithereens,' Mr Katter said. 

Ms Plibersek has been vocal in her opposition to the Adani coal mine in Queensland.

She previously said Australians 'can't rely on an Indian mining company to bring jobs to central and north Queensland'.

She also said she was sceptical Adani would bring as many jobs to the region as it had promised, and believed backers may have underestimated the impact it could have on the environment.

Labor was accused of alienating their core electorate with policies that were too progressive and divisive on climate change and negative gearing.

Older Australians in particular appeared to turn on Labor over the controversial plan to scrap franking credits for self-funded retirees.

Labor's climate change policy and stance on Adani was at odds with many voters who wanted the new coal mine, which has promised to provide hundreds of jobs in regions struggling against drought and high levels of unemployment.

Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos said the result could be partially explained by those opposing the Adani project being seen as anti-jobs.

'Adani became about jobs. It became emblematic of 'we want jobs' and the Bob Brown caravan which went up there to talk about stopping Adani had locals thinking, 'hang on, you are not going to tell us how to live',' he said.

Tax cuts and ministry changes will be Mr Morrison's agenda as the nation awaits the final results of the federal election.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison looks likely to win 77 seats, allowing him to appoint a Speaker and govern in majority.

Out of three close seats listed on the Australian Electoral Commission website on Monday, the Liberals were on track to win Chisholm in Victoria and Bass in Tasmania, with Labor holding the NSW seat of Macquarie.

If the current count trends continue, this will give the Liberals 77 seats in the 151-seat House of Representatives, with Labor on 68 and six crossbenchers.


New-look Senate to benefit Morrison government

As counting continues after Saturday’s election, it appears the Liberal-National coalition will need the backing of five out of six conservative crossbenchers to get its legislation through parliament.

The coalition’s Senate numbers could rise from 31 to 34 out of 76 seats.

Three familiar faces look likely to re-join the Senate after being knocked out by the dual citizenship debacle that plagued the previous parliament.

Labor’s Katy Gallagher, One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts in Queensland and Jacqui Lambie in Tasmania are set to be returned to the red chamber.

Ten sitting senators are on the way out, including Lisa Singh and Gavin Marshall (Labor), Ian Macdonald, Jim Molan, Lucy Gichuhi (Liberals), Steve Martin (Nationals), Peter Georgiou (One Nation), Derryn Hinch (Justice Party), Fraser Anning (Conservative Nationals) and Duncan Spender (Liberal Democrats).

Centre Alliance’s Skye Kakoschke-Moore, who left parliament in the dual — citizenship scandal, also failed to win back her seat in South Australia. The Greens appear to have won a Senate seat in every state, keeping the minor party’s numbers at nine.

The current non-Greens crossbench is expected to be cut from 10 to six. Labor won a net 13 seats.

Tens of millions of dollars Clive Palmer spent advertising his United Australia Party don’t seem to have paid off, failing to translate into winning any seats. In Tasmania, the Liberals and Labor look set to hold two seats each and Greens incumbent Nick McKim to return.

The coalition is likely to retain three seats in both NSW and Victoria and Labor another two, with the Greens probably taking the final seat in each state. It’s a similar story in South Australia, where the major parties will take two seats each and the Greens’ Sarah Hanson-Young will hold on, with the final seat probably also going to the Liberals.

And in the two territories, ACT and NT, the status quo will prevail with Labor and the Liberals taking one seat each.


Local share market surges after Scott Morrison election win

Investors have to know a good influence from a bad one

The Coalition’s surprise election win has given local stocks a healthy shot in the arm, sending the Australian share market surging to a fresh 11-year high.

Bill Shorten and his proposed changes to negative gearing, capital gains tax and franking credits had been perceived on the market as detrimental.

Many had assumed the Labor Party would win and had taken a defensive position anticipating the effects of sweeping policy reforms, CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said.

“Whether or not it’s true, generally investors believe that the economy will serve better under a conservative government,” he told

“But the most important factor is that muted changes to franking credits will not come through.

“The banks are one of the key sources of frank dividends, as opposed to unfranked, and they were under real pressure as we led into the election.

“Now that those changes are off the table, investors are piling back into the highly franked dividends that the banks offer.”

Scott Morrison’s pitch to leave property and taxing policy alone sent banking stocks soaring on Monday morning, with the four major lenders all jumping more than 5 per cent.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, ANZ was up 6.15 per cent at $27.44, Commonwealth Bank was up 5.45 per cent to $76.80, NAB was up 6.77 per cent to $25.54, and Westpac was up 7.99 per cent to $27.44.

Mr McCarthy said the re-election of the Coalition is a real change from what the market was preparing for, which will provide steady confidence for investors for period to come.

“It was conventional wisdom that Labor would form government and so a lot of the policies that had been announced were somewhat priced,” he said.

“Investors weren’t putting the full weight of those potential policy changes into the market because there were always concerns that the senate would prove a difficult beast to negotiate.

“But there was certainly some defensive positioning ahead of the election so this could lead to a rerating.”

The Coalition’s plans to leave trailing commissions for mortgage brokers in place, despite the royal commission’s final report pushing for it to be scrapped, was a boost for those institutions.

Mortgage Choice surged more than 16 per cent.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

Monday, May 20, 2019

We did it!  My home State of Queensland blocked the Leftist "certainty"

Queensland has always been a thorn in the side of the Left.  That was really spectacular in the election of December 1975. In that year the Left got only one of Queensland's 19 Federal seats. So the Queensland vote alone would have defeated Federal Labor -- even if the other states had stayed put. So this time too Queensland swung the Federal election to the conservatives. 

Labor have always got to swing Queensland if they want to win and that is not easy.  Queensland has strong conservative tendencies -- probably because it is very decentralized, with lots of voters in regional and rural areas.  Country people are too close to the daily reality of hard work to fall for the impractical dreams of the coffee swilling Green/Left elite of the big cities

There are a lot of people who think the way I do where I grew up -- in small-town Queensland

Labor has been left reeling from a bloodbath in Queensland, as the Coalition celebrated a return to government.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison took a moment to thank Queensland in his victory speech in the early hours of Sunday morning.

"How good's Queensland?" he asked, to chants from the party faithful of "Queensland! Queensland! Queensland!"

"I have always believed in miracles. I'm standing with the three biggest miracles in my life, and tonight we delivered another one."

Labor lost at least two of its Queensland seats to the Coalition, leaving it with five seats amid a 4.31 per cent statewide swing against the party as of Saturday night, while the ALP was left with no representation north of Brisbane [i.e. in country and regional Queensland]

Senior Labor frontbencher Brendan O'Connor has blamed the party's misfortunes on heavy spending by Clive Palmer, and One Nation – which received a swing of 3.18 per cent statewide – directing preferences to the LNP.

However, the result will raise questions in Queensland Labor party headquarters about what this means for the Palaszczuk government and its handling of the Adani Carmichael coal mine, and an examination of strategies leading into the next state election in less than 18 months.

The Palaszczuk government will also need to consider what a Coalition victory means for next month's state budget, including missing out on $2.2 billion pledged by federal Labor for Cross River Rail.

As counting closed on Saturday night, the LNP had 23 seats in Queensland, Bob Katter retained Kennedy and Labor looked set to claim five. Lilley, previously held by former Labor treasurer Wayne Swan, was too close to call.

Seats in central Queensland closest to the Galilee Basin and the proposed Adani mine swung towards the Coalition on a two-party preferred basis, boosted by minor party preferences.

The LNP's Michelle Landry retained her seat with a two-party preferred swing of 11.91 per cent in Capricornia, while LNP incumbent David Littleproud had a favourable swing of 6.95 per cent in Maranoa and the LNP's Ken O'Dowd was returned in Flynn with a swing of 8.35 per cent.

At the same time, Labor incumbent Cathy O'Toole, who held the Townsville division of Herbert on tiny margin of 0.02 per cent, lost to the LNP's Phillip Thompson with a 7.47 per cent swing, two-party preferred.

LNP MP George Christensen, dubbed the "member for Manila", seemed to suffer no repercussions from revelations about his frequent travel to the Philippines, winning Dawson with a 11.96 per cent two-party preferred swing.

Former prime minister John Howard said Queenslanders were "commonsense" and worried about job security.

"And when they saw a Labor Party prepared to destroy jobs in the name of climate ideology in relation to the Adani mine, they said, 'That's not for Queensland'," he told the ABC.

Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos said Bob Brown's anti-Adani convoy, which drove through Queensland half-way through the campaign, annoyed Queenslanders.

In south-east Queensland, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton fended off a strong challenge from Labor's Ali France, retaining the marginal seat of Dickson with 53.61 per cent, two-party preferred.

On Saturday night, Labor's immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann was struggling to hold onto his Ipswich seat of Blair amid a 10.08 per cent first preference swing against him, but was sitting slightly ahead of the LNP's Robert Shearman at 50.78 per cent to 49.22 per cent, two-party preferred.

Labor incumbent Susan Lamb, who held the outer-suburban seat of Longman on a margin of 0.8 per cent after a by-election last year triggered over the dual citizenship debacle, lost to LNP candidate Terry Young.

Former treasurer Wayne Swan's previously safe seat of Lilley looked set to go down to the wire and was still too close to call, with a swing of 5.41 per cent towards the LNP's Brad Carswell, but Labor's Anika Wells was ahead by less than 1 per cent on two-party preferred.

The Greens had hoped to win the lower house Brisbane seats of Griffith, Ryan and Brisbane but looked set to get none in Queensland.

LNP incumbent Trevor Evans retained his seat of Brisbane, despite a small swing against him, and said he looked forward to "all the hard work ahead" after a sleep-in. "I always told everybody that you never want to be overconfident but you've got to be cautiously optimistic and you've got to work hard right up to the last moment," he said.

Labor's Terri Butler retained the inner-Brisbane seat of Griffith, despite a close race with the LNP and a 6.98 per cent swing towards the Greens.

One Nation received 8.74 per cent of the House of Representatives vote across Queensland, Clive Palmer's United Australia Party received 3.45 per cent despite a massive campaign advertising spend, and Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party received a measly 1.75 per cent.

None of the three minor parties looked likely to win a lower house seat in Queensland.

According to preliminary results from the Senate, the LNP will secure two or three of Queensland's six seats and Labor one or two, while the Greens (Larissa Waters) and One Nation (Malcolm Roberts) could each get one seat.

Mr Palmer was unlikely to return to politics with a seat in the Senate, while Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party was nowhere near close to reaching the quota required.


A traitor loses

In 2010 Oakeshott campaigned as an independent conservative in a  previously safe conservative electorate, the NSW north coast seat of Lyne.  He got 47% of the vote; the National party got 30% and the ALP got only 11%.  So it was clearly a very conservative electorate, that had overwhelmingly voted for conservatives.

So how did Oakeshott represent his voters?  By giving his support to Julia Gillard, the Labor party leader -- thus enabling her to form a minority government.  It was a crystal clear betrayal of the voters in Lyme.  A seat with only 11% of Labor voters was used to support Labor. 

It made the Gillard government an essentially illegitimate government -- but no-one could do anything about that.  And Gillard proceeded to run up a huge national debt on hare-brained schemes over the next three years.  Oakeshott has much to answer for
So this time the voters were wised-up to hypocrite Oakeshott

Independent challenger for the NSW mid-north coast seat of Cowper Rob Oakeshott has told supporters a well-funded Nationals campaign of “fear, smears and beers” led to his defeat.

At a Sunday market picnic in Coffs Harbour with about 50 campaign supporters, Mr Oakeshott said he was “pretty gutted” at the outcome of his second tilt at the seat, this time seeing a slight swing against him at the hands of Nationals candidate Pat Conaghan.

With the bulk of the vote counted, Mr Conaghan leads Mr Oakeshott 57 per cent to 43 per cent on a two party preferred basis.

Mr Oakeshott, who was trying to make a come back after earlier stints in state and federal politics, commands considerable local loyalty, and he had to console many of his campaign supporters at the picnic this morning.

Freda Patterson, who has known Mr Oakeshott for three decades, said: “He’s one of the best products of Port Macquarie.”

The Nationals ran a saturation advertising and social media campaign against Mr Oakeshott including negative television and radio attack ads, noting he had supported the minority Labor government when he was the independent member for Lyne.

Robo calls in Mr Conaghan’s voice invited constituents to come and join him for a beer at different venues.

“Fear, smears and beers is probably what got us yesterday,” Mr Oakeshott told supporters.

Mr Oakeshott would not answer a question from The Australian on whether he might consider running again. But he told the congregation, most wearing campaign T-shirts: “Hopefully everyone can stay connected.

“I know this isn’t about me, it’s about driving a better area. “There are big and complex issues in our local electorate.”


Another traitor falls

She resigned from the Liberal party, forcing Morrison into a minority government

The Liberal Party is becoming cautiously optimistic it can hold the marginal seat of Chisholm, which would put a stake through the heart of its former member Julia Banks.

Ms Banks failed to oust Health Minister Greg Hunt in the Victorian seaside seat of Flinders and now, against the odds, the party has edged about 500 seats ahead of Labor in [her former seat of] Chisholm.

Ms Banks vacated Chisholm after turning independent in the wake of Malcolm Turnbull’s dumping, leaving the Liberal Party with a last minute bid to retain the seat with a new candidate.

The current Liberal candidate in Chisholm, Gladys Liu, is a veteran party activist who will now face an anxious wait to determine whether pre-poll votes break sufficiently her way.

Chisholm is held by the Liberal Party with a margin of just 2.9 per cent. Labor’s candidate is Jennifer Yang. Both she and Ms Liu are Chinese-Australian.


Trump calls Morrison ‘to reaffirm alliance, friendship

Donald Trump has called Scott Morrison to re-affirm the importance and strength of the US-Australia alliance after the Coalition’s surprise victory last night.

“President Donald J Trump spoke this evening wth Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia. The President congratulated the Prime Minister on his coalition’s victory,’ the White House said.

“The two leaders reaffirmed the critical importance of the long-standing alliance and friendship between the United States and Australia, and they pledged to continue their close cooperation on shared priorities.”

Earlier, Mr Trump and the White House welcomed Mr Morrison’s victory in the election, with the president tweeting “Congratulations to Scott on a GREAT WIN.’

Senior US officials inside the White House and the National Security Committee have privately expressed their pleasure at the result which they see an ensuring a continuity in US-Australia relations.

Mr Trump congratulated Scott Morrison by retweeting a tweet which said ‘Scott Morrison has swept to victory in a sensational federal election result that defied the polls and cements the Coalition’s power.’

The tweet included a ten second montage of Mr Morrison against an Australian flag with a series of hands giving the thumbs up and a sausage wrapped in bread and covered in tomato sauce being offered to him.

Senior US officials have told The Australian that the victory of Mr Morrison and the Coalition was a bonus for the relationship.  “We know what we are dealing with and we like it,’ one said.

Officials in Washington had invested time meeting with senior Labor figures such as shadow foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong and shadow defence Minister Richard Marles to understand what changes there may be under a Shorten Government.

Mr Trump’s national security team was wary about whether a Labor Government would take a softer line on China at a time when the US is ratcheting up pressure on Beijing over trade, security and cyber warfare.

But the White House believes Mr Morrison’s victory makes it unlikely that Australia will now soften its approach to China. The Coalition became more hawkish towards China under Mr Morrison’s predecessor Malcolm Turnbull. Mr Turnbull introduced foreign interference laws and boosted Australia’s engagement in the Pacific to counter Beijing’s attempts to meddle in Australian politics and society and to encroach into Australia’s areas of prime strategic interest in the South West Pacific.

Mr Morrison met with Mr Trump at the G20 summit in Argentina late last year and the two men have had several phone conversations in which they got on well.

Mr Trump has congratulated Mr Morrison about Australia’s courage in taking the lead last year in banning Chinese telecommunications companies from participating in Australia’s evolving 5G communications network.

Only last week, Mr Trump signed an executive order effectively banning Chinese companies from participation in the US telecommunications market - a policy which US officials say was in part inspired by Australia’s stance.

Mr Trump is mulling a possible visit to Australia later this year although nothing has been confirmed.


Academic quits in disgust over university sacking of Peter Ridd, a critic of their Greenie policies

A James Cook University associate professor has resigned from her honorary position over the sacking of professor Peter Ridd, who was dismissed after he criticised the institution’s climate change science.

Sheilagh Cronin ­resigned from the unpaid role at the Townsville university in protest and said she was “ashamed” that she had not done so earlier.

A marine physicist who had worked at the university for 30 years, Professor Ridd was censured three times before being sacked last year. He challenged the dismissal in the Federal Court and on April 16 judge Salvatore Vasta found all 17 findings used by the university to justify the sacking were unlawful.

Dr Cronin, an adjunct associate professor with the university’s Mount Isa Centre of Rural and Remote Health and a former president of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia, sent a letter to vice-chancellor Sandra Harding last week outlining her reasons for resigning.

“I am coming to the end of my professional career but my main reason for resigning is my disquiet over the dismissal of the respected physics professor … Peter Ridd,” Dr Cronin wrote. “I believe his treatment by yourself and your board is completely contrary to the philosophy of open discussion and debate that should be at the heart of every university. It saddens me that the reputation of JCU is being damaged by the injustice of Professor Ridd’s case.”

JCU denounced the Federal Court’s decision and stood by its disciplinary processes, but has yet to decide if it will appeal. The university has since declined to comment on the case.

In 2016, Professor Ridd was censured after he emailed a journalist to allege that images of unhealthy coral given to the media by university colleagues were misleading and the photographs were being used to “spin a story” about the impact of climate change. He was censured again in 2017 when he repeated the claims on Sky News and said there was a lack of rigorous quality assurance in terms of the university’s climate change science.

After a third alleged violation of the code of conduct, including allegedly leaking confidential information about the disciplinary process, Professor Ridd was sacked in April last year.

“At the time, it made me feel quite uneasy that they’d sacked someone for questioning the methodology of the research into the Great Barrier Reef,” Dr Cronin said. “But nobody from JCU did anything to support him.”

Dr Cronin, who has never met or spoken to Professor Ridd, said she did not believe the university would take much notice of her resignation, given her association with the university was mostly a title.

“It’s a small protest in support of science and fairness and justice,” she said. “It does make me feel a bit sad because it was an honour to get that (title). “But, equally, people should stand up when they see something like that.”


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Essence of Hawke reforms lost on new Labor leaders

On the occasion of Hawke  leaving the scene

“Could Bill Shorten be the saviour of capitalism?” read an ­improbable headline in The Sydney Morning Herald. The question mark served as a trigger warning that the writer was hedging his bets. Peter Hartcher has been around long enough, after all, to be wary of a leader who frames his legacy while he’s still auditioning for the job.

Shorten told Hartcher he did not want to tear capitalism down. He merely wanted to save it from its own excesses, just like his predecessor Bob Hawke.

The coming election would be “a referendum on wages”, he ­insisted, rather than a test of ­voters’ appetites for a $387 billion increase in taxes across the next decade or a referendum on Labor’s fanciful plan to save the planet one subsidised battery at a time.

Labor’s referendum on wages has so far failed to excite the crowd. It is hardly surprising since many Labor policies seem designed to drive wages down. A 45 per cent emissions reduction target, the reinstatement of union pattern bargaining and the deliberate dampening of the property market are just some of the ways Labor seems intent on slowing the economy, putting downward pressure on wages and increasing unemployment.

Raising the superannuation guarantee will further eat into take-home pay, while Shorten’s love of big government is an ­indulgence that will be funded with our taxes or money borrowed on our behalf.

What Hawke understood, but Shorten plainly doesn’t, is that wages don’t grow in a shrinking economy, and that the way to make an economy grow is for business to work its magic.

Besides, the promise of wage rises all around, hollow as it may be, no longer has the broad ­appeal it once did. Thanks to the reforms begun by Hawke and Paul Keating, a growing number of voters relies on dividends from its accumulated wealth to make ends meet, rather than wage packets.

Shorten is relying on a false correlation between age and stupidity if he thinks he can fool them into voting Labor. Taxing the bejesus out of retirees is not the best way to turn them into friends.

When Hawke was elected in 1983 on a pro-jobs platform, a mere 14 per cent of voters were of retirement age. This time, 23 per cent of voters are over 65. Another 16 per cent are in the 55 to 64-year-old pre-retirement zone where attention turns from earnings to accumulated savings.

These are Labor’s forgotten voters, the ones Shorten has written off in his quest to calm millennial anxiety about house prices, climate change and the social justice cause de nos jours, intergenerational equality.

Shorten has given little thought as to why most Australians will retire with considerably more wealth than their parents or the role of the Hawke and Keating governments played in this.

One wonders how much attention he paid to the taxation debate between 1985 and 1987, when he was honing his factional politics skills as an arts undergraduate at Monash University.

Keating abolished negative gearing, only to reinstate it two years later when the effect on the supply of rental accommodation in Sydney and Melbourne could no longer be ignored.

Keating’s change of heart gave hundreds of thousands of middle-income baby boomers the opportunity to become landlords. Purchasing a rental property offered tax relief in their earning years and the chance to acquire an asset that could provide income in retirement or be sold to release its value, allowing them to avoid the indignity of ­relying on the state in their golden years.

Far from relieving so-called intergenerational inequality, scrapping negative gearing will dramatically increase it. Baby boomers and Gen-Xers who ­already own investment property will be quarantined from the change, while their children will be denied the opportunity to follow their example. They will ­retire less wealthy than their ­parents in relative terms and will be more likely to call on the pension.

Opposition Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen’s description of negative gearing as “welfare for the wealthy” is as insulting as it is misleading. Few of those who claim tax deductions for negatively geared property could be described as rich. Analysis soon to be published by the Menzies Research Centre shows that their median income is less than $60,000. Fewer than a 10th earn more than $120,000.

Bowen’s welfare-for-the-wealthy slur betrays a disturbing evolution in thought within Labor encouraged by the Orwellian language of Treasury, which has taken to describe a tax concession as “tax expenditure”.

The logic is that the state is ­entitled to 100 per cent of your earnings and anything it deigns to leave in your pocket is an act of supreme generosity by the government. Shorten is trapped in a topsy-turvy world in which a tax increase is described as “a ­saving” and franking credits, a ­refund to shareholders of tax ­already paid by the company issuing the dividend, is described as “free money”.

“I would rather spend revenue on healthcare, on aged care, on childcare than spend it on property investors and tax subsidies,” Shorten told Hartcher. Ironically, most people invest in rental property and superannuation in the hope of never having to call on the government for health or age care. By taxing their retirement income, Labor will make that harder to do.

The audacity of Labor’s plans for the trans-generational redistribution of wealth is so astonishing that Shorten should not be surprised that he’s being asked where Labor might go next. Death duties perhaps? After all, that is the policy of the Greens, his likely ally in a hung parliament, and a surprising number of his own MPs who believe personal savings are not the reward for a lifetime of hard work, ­patience and prudence but money borrowed from the state that should be returned to their rightful owner on the issuing of a death certificate.

Shorten’s categorical statement to Hartcher that death or inherence taxes are not part of his agenda should reassure older readers on that point at least. Or then again, possibly not.


Leftist hate again

A man who allegedly assaulted a Liberal volunteer with a corkscrew at a polling station in Tony Abbott's Sydney electorate has been charged.

The 62-year-old man allegedly began yelling abuse at volunteers who were putting up campaign material outside the Balgowlah Heights Public School just after 8pm on Friday.

Police said the man allegedly threatened an 18-year-old man before thrusting a corkscrew at a 31-year-old volunteer's stomach, causing a minor injury.

He then started tearing down the banners before fleeing.

The victim was treated by paramedics and didn't need to go to hospital.

The alleged attacker was arrested at Balgowlah Heights about 10.30pm and taken to Manly Police Station, where he was charged with two counts of common assault.

The man is due to face the Manly Local Court on June 5.

The contest for Warringah has seen some of the dirtiest tricks of the campaign, including a book with faeces inside being dumped outside Mr Abbott's Manly office.

Former Olympic skier Zali Steggall is vying to wrestle the seat from Mr Abbott, who has held it for 25 years.

Mr Abbott has been the member for Warringah, the electorate that includes Manly and the affluent northern beaches suburbs of Mosman and Neutral Bay, since 1994.


Toxic bill divides to conquer us

On his Sky News show this week, Andrew Bolt summed things up perfectly. “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” he said, after our election campaign, already peculiar in nature, took a turn towards the totally bizarre.

In Tasmania, where large numbers of older voters are concerned about Labor’s “retiree tax”, Labor leader Bill Shorten turned to the camera and asked: “Are you worried about someone who has got their sixth investment property or complains about franking credits sitting on the back deck of their yacht?”

Clearly frustrated, and unprompted, he plucked this little gem out of thin air, declaring: “I cannot believe in this election that there is a discussion even under way that gay people will go to hell.”

One reporter had asked Scott Morrison this question on Monday, but the irrelevant question of who goes to hell after they die doesn’t feature in any political party’s policy.

Regardless, Shorten decried the fact it was an issue, demanded the Prime Minister reveal his views on the topic, then gave everyone else an exasperated blast: “The nation’s got to stop eating itself in this sort of madness of division and toxicity … This country needs to really lift itself and the political debate and coverage needs to lift itself in the next four days.”

Speaking of division and toxicity, Labor has separated the voting population into three distinct economic categories.

There are the working and middle classes, versus the “top end of town”. Labor stands for the first two and intends to make life better for them by taking from the latter.

This concept — hit the rich, help the poor — may sound very appealing. Yet Labor’s tax plans will hit almost everyone, rich or poor, and make private wealth creation, for the non-wealthy but aspirational, much more difficult.

As most people want to get ahead in life, and achieve financial security, they will cast a vote for Labor in the same way a turkey will cast a vote for Christmas.

This weekend, we find out how shrewd the electorate is. If self-interest rules, most people will hold their noses and vote to return the government. If self-interest is forgotten, they will vote Labor, and cut their noses off to spite their faces.

Perhaps you think this assessment of ALP policy too harsh. Take a look at the three examples below, calculated with Self Employed Australia’s online tool, to find out just how hard Labor is going to hit the rich to help the poor.

1. Alison earns $45k a year but, still, she is from Labor’s top end of town and really needs to start paying her way. If only Alison would pay more tax, then everyone else could have more services. Schools and hospitals need to be better funded, which is why Labor, during the next five years, will charge Alison an extra $3339 in income taxes. This is not much to ask, really, and on Alison’s income she will hardly notice it.

2. Sanjeev is one of Labor’s retired fat cats. His annual income is $40k a year, which includes $5k in fully franked dividends, and he spends $2k a year on his accountant. Should Sanjeev be sitting on the back deck of his yacht worrying about his franking credits, which have been described as a gift by senior ALP types? Across the next five years, Sanjeev will pay $15,960 in additional tax under Labor.

3. Rowan is one of those greedy, selfish people trying to get ahead in life, with the eventual goal of a self-funded retirement. By ruthlessly manipulating current tax loopholes, he has two investment properties, which he negatively gears. His salary is a whopping $83k a year, which is about the current average wage for full-time earnings in Australia. Rowan intends to continue building his property portfolio, and after January 1 next year he intends to buy an older unit for $600k in the inner city, where he will eventually live in his old age. In the meantime, he will rent it out. During the next five years, Rowan will pay $30,145 in additional tax under Labor.

Putting the known financial impact of Labor’s plans to one side, let’s look at the unknown costs of its climate change policy.

Earlier this month Shorten, when asked for the costs, replied to the interviewer: “You know what, mate, you are a great athlete, but if you had a friend who was perhaps on the large side, the chubby side, and they had 10 Big Macs a day … there’s a cost to not eating the Big Macs. But in the long term it’s an investment, isn’t it? The idea that you can get positive change from putting nil effort in. I’m going to use this example of the exercise. Sure, there’s a cost to exercising, but there’s a benefit. Now which do you measure? The cost or the benefit, or do you accept that it’s all part of a total package?”

Following this incoherent nonsense, in subsequent appearances Shorten labelled further questions over costs as “dumb” and “dishonest”.

In this campaign, it is not the questions that are dumb and dishonest. Labor’s policies are dumb and they are being sold dishonestly. What remains to be seen is whether the voters are dumb enough to vote them into power.


Busybodies ensure gender bias has now gone full circle

It is now men who are heavily discriminated against but sexist policies continue to rule

Reworking a suggestion by US Chief Justice John Roberts, the way to stop gender discrimination is to stop discriminating on the basis of gender. The judge was dealing with race discrimination in a case before the US Supreme Court just over a decade ago. But it is high time we draw some honest conclusions about gender discrimination. Have we turned the tables of injustice so that we now punish men? Are we OK with that?

Parents with sons and daughters about to enter the workforce ought to be particularly concerned. Those with young sons should be especially troubled if the search for fairness for one sex causes unfairness towards the other sex.

For years, gender warriors, corporate social engineers and motley bands of busybodies have been preoccupied with dismantling unconscious bias against women in the workplace. Unconscious bias is said to take place when recruiters prefer candidates who are similar to them, or when there is group pressure to conform with the decisions of others. A wider culture of appeasement by people who don’t want to make waves has sustained this agenda, regardless of whether unconscious bias is real.

In fact, the idea that many employers fall back on a deep-seated bias that discriminates against women has become so ensconced that gendered recruitment has sped in reverse. Corporate fashion now favours conscious bias, system-wide positive discrimination that gives young women a terrific boost into jobs. The flip side is that the job prospects of young men, and their careers, are being damaged. Unconscious bias is bad enough, if it exists. But is cementing real conscious bias the answer?

Feminist warriors talk about corrective justice that addresses historical wrongs. The weak-willed go along with this social justice narrative and virtue-signalling men, including those Male Champions of Change who advocate for positive discrimination in favour of women, relish the halo effect of sounding so damn good.

But are any of these people doing good? Recruiters will tell you, sotto voce, that women continue to make very different career choices at key points in their ­careers, and without a hint of ­coercion. Recruiters won’t say this publicly because dissenting from social justice orthodoxy is certain social death, and a likely career-killer too.

But anecdotally, they explain cases where the numbers of young women applying for certain graduate jobs are dramatically lower than for young men. Take XYZ Investment Bank with an annual program to recruit 100 new graduates, split 50-50 for gender equality. The bank will often receive applications from 300 men and 100 applications from women (a not unrealistic difference in some professions).

This means that the 300 men will have a one in six chance of ­securing a job and the 100 women will have a one in two chance.

Are we OK with that gender inequity?

Clumsy quotas ignore the real­ity of women’s choices. From sociologist Catherine Hakim’s extensive research, we know that for every woman who regards work as the centrepiece of their lives, there are three men. In other words, men and women are not competing in equal numbers. Rather than some misogynistic conspiracy to clip the careers of women, women are deciding to work differently from men.

Social engineers don’t like facts that expose the new injustice against men in the workplace. Rather than a nuanced debate, the activists and their appeasers continue to artificially engineer a 50-50 gender representation in the workplace despite drawing from a pool that is not made up of equal numbers of men and women.

Corrective justice for past injustices is not a sound reason to discriminate against young men today. If XYZ Investment Bank has a pool of 300 male applicants, compared with 100 young women, the pool of 300 young men will necessarily reflect a wider slice of Australia, from exclusive inner-city private schools to public schools in the country. Are we OK with preferring private school girls from Abbotsleigh over working-class boys from Newcastle High?

Many are so wedded to conscious bias in favour of women that they reject moves that might dismantle it. This week, The Australian reported on a study that found removing names from public service job applications to confront unconscious gender bias has backfired. The trial was conducted by a behavioural economic unit established when Malcolm Turnbull was prime minister. The study of more than 2100 public servants from 14 agencies found that when recruiters reviewed gender-neutral applications, meaning names were removed, men fared better than they did under recruitment processes that included names of applicants.

In other words, gender-neutral applications expose the ­entrenched gender bias in favour of women that exists when gender is included on job applications. ­Instead of calling out conscious bias in existing recruitment processes, the study urges “caution” as de-identification of gender may “frustrate efforts aimed at promoting diversity”.

In a cute twist, last week, after being mobbed by school girls at St Joseph’s Catholic School on the NSW central coast, Bill Shorten committed a Labor government to gender-neutral resumes in the public service. The man should be mobbed by schoolboys who will benefit from an end to conscious bias that favours women. That’s not what Shorten had in mind, of course, as he committed his Labor caucus to 49 per cent women. But it points to the determined ignorance of facts over gender agendas. The indifference to facts gets worse the higher up you go in corporate Australia. The reality of women’s preferences is reflected in higher attrition rates among women who have different work-family preferences as they enter their late 20s and 30s. More women than men choose to leave jobs to raise children or to simply work less for other reasons, or to work differently. Sometimes that is not voluntary, but often it is.

The knock-on effect of this higher attrition rate is that an even smaller pool of privileged women reap even larger rewards at the expense of a bigger pool of men. Yet quota-seekers never address how quotas, drawing from different sized pools of men and women, inevitably deliver unjust outcomes.

By the time you get to the level of corporate boards, women become the Golden Skirts of corporate Australia. Good on them. But let’s not pretend it is fair or just.

The Golden Skirts phenomenon originated in Norway following laws that mandated 40 per cent of women on boards. The shallow pool of talented women means a few privileged women sit on ­multiple boards. In Australia, as of last year, 38 female directors from a smaller pool of female talent sat on three or more ASX 200 boards while only 25 men from a larger pool held the same number of board seats.

Conscious bias, at the graduate level or at higher levels, is not the high road to equity. It is a racket for a few lucky women at the expense of a large number of men. And Labor’s Andrew Leigh says a Shorten government will legislate that low road by mandating quotas for women on ASX-listed companies, cementing injustice into corporate Australia.

It is profoundly demeaning for women to be given a job because they are female rather than because they are the best person for the job. Sadly, ideas like this will remain unfashionable until more of us agree that the best way to stop gender discrimination is to stop discriminating on the basis of ­gender.

Which reminds me. At a small lunch in a salubrious Melbourne club last week, Institute of Public Affairs chairman Rod Kemp told us that he had an announcement.

He prefaced his news, that I will take over as IPA chairman come July 1, by saying he must surely have joined the saintly crowd of Male Champions of Change.

Then Rod burst out laughing, as did others, at the utter nonsense of those virtue-signalling men. Just as well. If Rod were serious about this appointment depending on my gender, I might have decked him.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

Friday, May 17, 2019

Why you SHOULDN'T buy free-range eggs: Top vet says chickens prefer tight spaces and some don't like going outdoors

Free-range egg farming can actually be worse for chickens than being kept indoors, veterinarians have revealed. 

The shift from caged eggs to free-range has become more widespread in recent years based on the idea that the latter is the more ethical and animal-friendly choice.

However, Australian vets have debunked that myth, revealing free range can actually be harmful to chickens and cause welfare problems.

Dr Charles Milne, a chief vet from Victoria, told the Sydney Morning Herald that the birds, who are related to forest-dwellers, are more comfortable in closed spaces.

He said humans have assumed chickens prefer wide open spaces, only because they live in such a way.

RSPCA scientific officer Dr Kate Hartcher also agreed that chickens could live happily and healthily even if they are kept indoors. 'We don't say free-range is better,' she said. 'They can be perfectly healthy and have good welfare in an indoor system.'

However, the organisation maintains battery cages, the most controversial of chicken-keeping methods, are 'horrible', and endorse cage-free barn systems.

Cage-free eggs differ from free-range as the chickens are kept indoors, but they are not confined to tight and crowded spaces.

Figures show, however, these types of eggs make up only a small percentage of the ones sold at supermarkets.

In 2018, 45 per cent of all eggs sold in Australia were free-range - more than a 13 per cent increase from previous years.

In order for eggs to be sold with a free-range label, farmers must keep them in an outdoor range, have a stocking density of 10,000 hens or less per hectare,  according to ACCC guidelines.

But researches say being able to roam free isn't all that appealing to hens and it can even put them in predators' way. 

Professor Tamsyn Crowley, who runs research institute PoultryHub told SMH that having them outside all every day is 'not a good decision for welfare'. 'A chicken does not really like running around in a field where an eagle can come down and go "thank-you very much"', she said. 

In fact, she suggests it is more likely they would prefer to be cared for inside a bar as studies show the birds like shaded areas, indoor or outdoor.


School suspensions not always bad

Schools should have high expectations for student behaviour. And the harsh reality is that this sometimes requires student detentions, suspensions, and expulsions.

Queensland government schools last year were reported to have had a 12% increase in students being suspended or expelled. In response, the Queensland education minister Grace Grace said this shows the government’s aim to foster a more positive school environment is working.

The minister’s approach should be commended — especially since behaviour management (and clear consequences for misbehaviour) went out of fashion in many education circles decades ago.

It is true that students who are suspended from school tend to have worse outcomes later on, but how much of this is just correlation rather than causation?

There is a tendency to criticise schools when they suspend or expel students for serious incidents of misbehaviour. The instinctive response is to blame teachers for not sufficiently ‘engaging’ the students, and teachers are told they should focus on understanding the reasons for student disruption.

But this ignores the fact that children often make irrational decisions, and take many years to acquire an adequate moral framework and impulse control. This happens regardless of how well they’re taught or how ‘engaging’ the lessons are.

If a school culture is too permissive, misbehaving students will not learn to improve their conduct and will undermine the academic outcomes of other students. Discipline is a key ingredient of success for all schools, including those with disadvantaged students.

And according to the international datasets, Australia’s school system is among the worst in the OECD for student behaviour. So focussing on discipline is potentially a way of improving school productivity in Australia.

Maybe the major parties should think about that before spending billions more taxpayer dollars on schooling.



Three current articles below

Australian Greens hate Israel

With all the excitement about Australia being in the Eurovision grand final, it’s worth recalling that last May Lee Rhiannon, a Greens senator at the time, pressured then SBS managing director Michael Ebeid to drop its broadcast because it would be held in Tel Aviv and therefore “could impact on Palestinians”.

Rhiannon, who was sitting on the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications, melodramatically told the committee it “could actually impact on who lives and who dies”.

The Greens’ candidate for the eastern Sydney seat of Kingsford Smith, James Cruz, has tweeted his own call to boycott Eurovision in Israel.

Rhiannon’s replacement in the Senate, Mehreen Faruqi, has spent her first few months in federal parliament appearing at events hosted by Palestine Action Group Sydney, an organiser of the Eurovision boycott.

Ebeid dismissed Rhiannon’s calls for a boycott: “The whole point of Eurovision is to forget politics, forget all of that and unite communities and countries together in the spirit of song.” But for so many Greens, when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians, nothing is beyond politics.

Moreover, with recent reports of Greens candidates outed as supporters of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel — despite it not being official Greens policy — we are entitled to ask whether the Greens are a party that cynically says one thing but does another.

Many Greens politicians and activists openly support BDS. This disingenuous shell game has allowed the Greens to portray themselves as environmentalists and social justice crusaders while providing a safe space for obsessive Israel-haters.

In the eyes of your local Greens candidate, support for Israel could lead to your complete political disenfranchisement. In the previous election, Greens candidate for Melbourne Ports Steph Hodgins-May buckled to political pressure from far-left sources and withdrew from a candidates’ debate for the Jewish community because Zionism Victoria co-sponsored the event. Yet she had no such qualms attending an election forum by the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network. Can such a candidate claim to be prepared to represent an entire electorate?

In 2015 Greens leader Richard Di Natale recognised Israel as a Jewish state, only to walk back that recognition shortly afterwards, and tactlessly used a condolence motion in the Senate to bash former Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shimon Peres.

In 2017, Di Natale called for a debate in Australia about “appropriate” economic sanctions against Israel, adding that all military trade between Australia and Israel “has to stop”.

Also that year, the federal Greens refused to condemn the NSW Young Greens after they announced their official policy to boycott Jewish students.

Last year, the acting deputy leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt, removed from his social media a caricature of a banker that mirrored Nazi caricatures of hook-nosed Jews. His spokesman meekly apologised for “any offence caused”.

The record has shown that virulent animus towards Israel — venturing far beyond the confines of official party policy — is not something limited to a single politician, candidate or state branch. It is pervasive among Greens because activists know the party will not censure them.

We all lose from such political game-playing. BDS undermines Australian interests, not only in seeking peace for the region but also in our trade with Israel, our democratic ally and among the world’s foremost hubs for technological innovation.

The Greens party propagates on its website the views of Hiba El-Farra, whose articles speak not of an occupation that began in 1967 but in 1948. Indeed, Israel’s entire existence since its establishment is portrayed as continuous “occupation”.

El-Farra’s vision of peace unequivocally demands a Palestinian “right of return” to Israel and not a separate Palestinian state, and does not allow for the existence of Israel as the Jewish national home.

Such are the views marketed on the Greens’ website, and it matters little that the post is tagged as “opinion” that is “not official policy of Greens WA”. The fact is the website does not publish views that deviate far from the maximalist Palestinian narrative that is antithetical to peace.

Yet not only is the Greens’ one-sided policy against Israel out of step with Australian interests, it contradicts the party’s platform when it comes to the environment, LGBTQ and gender equality issues, anti-Islamophobia, religious tolerance, democratic freedom and indigenous rights.

On these and other progressive issues, especially compared with its regional neighbours, Israel stands alone as a beacon of liberal values the Greens claim to hold so dear.

A political party that aspires to compete on centre stage with the Coalition and ALP, the Greens must avoid reducing this complex issue to black and white absolutes, and ensure it practises what it preaches regarding two states for two peoples.


Basic facts taught at school undermine the Warmist gospel

Bill Shorten and his allies, the Greens economic vandals, believe climate change is a moral issue. So is telling the truth.

With his elite private school education, the Oppo­s­i­tion Leader would have learned about the Roman Warming, the Dark Ages, the Medieval Warming and the Little Ice Age. These took place before industrialisation and were all driven by changes in the sun. He would have learned that ­natural warm times, like now, bring great prosperity, increased longevity and less disease, whereas Jack Frost brings death, depopulation and economic stresses.

In biology, the Labor leader would have learned of Darwinism and environmental adapta­tion of species. Humans live on ice and in the hills, valleys, tropics and des­erts, at altitude and on coastal plains. Like countless other organ­isms, we move and adapt when the environment changes. Species thrive when it is warm.

From his education at a relig­ious school, he would have learned about the apostle Thomas. One of the strengths of our Western civilisation is doubt and scepticism. Surely Shorten does not believe the catastrophism promoted by green activists and self-interested alleged experts at the expense of the nation. If he does, he is unelectable.

If he is knowingly promoting a falsehood, he is unelectable. Critical thinking was fundamental to our culture and should be embraced in policy formulation. In school science, Shorten would have learned carbon dioxide is the food of life and without this natural gas, which occurs in space and all planets, there would be no life.

He also would understand from his maths lessons that when 3 per cent of total annual global emissions of carbon dioxide are from humans and Australia prod­uces 1.3 per cent of this 3 per cent, then no amount of emissions reductio­n here will have any effect on global climate.

A quick search would show him that whenever in the past there was an explosion of plant life, the carbon dioxide content was far higher than at present. If we halve the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere, all life dies.

Shorten should know that for thousands of millions of years the Earth has been changing, with cycles­ and one-off events such as an asteroid impact, super-volcano or a supernova explosion.

He should know that climate always changes and that the planet would be in serious trouble if it did not. There are cycles of air, water, rocks and continents. There are measurable cycles with the sun, Earth’s orbit, oceans and moon that drive climate change, especially if cycles coincide. It has yet to be demonstrated that the climate change today is any different from those of the past.

Despite hundreds of billions of dollars of expenditure during the past few decades, it still has not been shown that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive ­global warming. Yet wind and solar industrial complexes pepper the landscape allegedly to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

They run on subsidies, not the wind or the sun. Wind and solar are transfering money from the poor to the rich, not saving the environment. These subsidies, paid by the long-suffering consumer and employer, add to emissions because coal-fired elec­tricity needs to be on standby for when there is no wind or sunshine.

The amount of energy used to construct solar and wind facilities is greater than they produce in their working lives. The amount of carbon dioxide released during construction and maintenance is far more than is saved. Renew­ables such as wind turbines are environmentally disastrous because they pollute a huge land area, slice and dice birds and bats, kill insects that are bird food, create health problems for humans who live within kilometres of them, leave toxins around the turbine site and despoil the landscape.

Union superannuation funds have invested massively in renewable energy. Labor’s promise of 50 per cent renewables will cost electricity consumers hundreds of billions but will benefit the unions.

As soon as renewables were introduced into the grid, electric­ity prices increased and delivery became unreliable. Increased elec­tric­ity costs have created unemployment, and many pensioners and the poor cannot afford electricity. An increase in renewables will make matters worse.

Does Shorten’s energy policy consider those who lose jobs and have the power cut off in his race to achieve 50 per cent renewables to fill the pockets of Labor union mates? And what about the scams siphoning off tens of billions that slosh around the world as carbon credits, carbon trading and renewable energy certificates? Rather than take this money from the poor via higher electricity prices, it would be better spent at home.

To smugly claim that valid questions about energy costs are dumb or deceitful is a loud warning bell. Shorten refuses to tell us how he will spend our money or to give any detail on energy ­systems that are proven failures. It is our money and, if he will not give us the financial details, we should be very scared of his shiftiness. I have never written a blank cheque for a used car. Why should I now?

Emeritus professor Ian Plimer’s latest book, The Climate Change Delusion and the Great Electricity Ripoff, is published by Connor Court.


Greens plan is an arrow to the heart of free speech and the welfare of the poor

If you have lots of money stashed away, go your hardest. Vote 1 Greens. But don’t expect to get richer under Green policies. Your kids won’t enjoy the same cashed-up lifestyle as you either. And as for the poor, they simply cannot afford to vote Green.

Who votes for the Greens matters because Green votes in the Senate will determine policies in a Shorten government. The Greens are beholden to a voting base that is, historically, far more demographically and ideologically ­defined than the earlier balance-of-power party, the Australian Democrats, or today’s minor parties, be it Pauline Hanson’s One Nation or Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party.

Roy Morgan’s latest State of the Nation report for Saturday’s election details the depth of self-indulgence behind the Greens’ voting base.

The Greens attract voters from the highest socio-economic quintiles: 31 per cent of people in the AB quintile and 24 per cent in the C quintile, meaning people with the fattest incomes, the best jobs and the highest level of education.

Forget the baloney about the Liberals representing the top end of town.

Fully one-third of Australians in the cushiest socio-economic groups vote Greens. These smartypants voters with univer­sity educations imagine they are helping the poor by voting Greens. But their paternalism is not simply empty virtue-signalling. Worse than parading their faux morality, those who vote Greens are wrecking the chances of the poor to get rich. So, strike out every mention of “aspirational”, “a decent life,” “economic injustice”, “being a good economic manager”, “a fairer society” from the Greens’ campaign statements. These claims are monumental frauds.

The poor, those who do not vote for the Greens, know something many rich people do not. Those with less education understand that the Greens’ plan to ban thermal coal by 2030 and phase out coking coal too is economic suicide. In 2018, coal was our highest export earner, $66 billion last financial year, and $35.7bn coming from Queensland. Where will the Greens find an additional $66bn each year to provide education, health and support to the neediest Australians? Their policy of a “super profits” tax on mining companies won’t raise money when exports are shut down and company profits dry up. You don’t need an arts degree or even a PhD to work out that equation.

With pretensions to government, the Greens have not come up with an alternative to the coking coal needed to make steel, along with iron ore. And yet apparently highly educated Australians will vote for the economic nonsense of a green ban on coal on Saturday. The Adani coalmine, a creator of jobs in far north Queensland but bitterly opposed by inner-city Greens voters with nice jobs, is the defining parable about the fraud of voting Greens.

Poorer Australians understand that higher taxes, even on the rich, will not help the poor get rich. That’s why a fraction of the bottom quintile of Australian voters vote Greens, their group the only one not to rise on 2010 numbers.

And, in a sign perhaps those well-heeled doctors’ wives are on the march, women are more easily duped by promises of nirvana than men; the Greens attract 59 per cent of their support from women, up from 54 per cent since the 2010 election.

Support from men has dropped off, according to Roy Morgan polling, down to 41 per cent from 46 per cent when the Greens joined with Julia Gillard’s Labor minority government.

The disconnect of Greens voters has grown worse in the past eight years. Seventy-two per cent of Greens supporters, up from 65 per cent in 2010, live in capital cities where they will rarely face the reality of sprawling immigration, unemployment in the regions or missing infrastructure links. The Greens are not just reckless economy wreckers. They have their sights on killing our culture too. In video of a speech delivered in Melbourne in March, Greens leader Richard Di Natale said he wants new laws that make it a crime to engage in hate speech, taking specific aim at those who analyse Greens policies the most.

“We’re going to make sure that we’ve got laws that regulate our media so that people like Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones and Chris Kenny … if they want to use hate speech to divide the community then they’re going to be held to account,” Di Natale said.

Di Natale’s plan will kill a free and independent media in Australia. Hate speech will become the new thoughtcrimes of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, a highly subjective, legal weapon to be aimed at those who say things you hate.

And don’t imagine he won’t find support from the party that comes to power with Greens preferences. The Gillard Labor government tried to regulate the free press in Australia in 2013, bolstered by then Greens leader Christine Milne who wanted a “fit and proper” test giving government more power to control the media. Stephen Conroy wanted the package pushed through before the 2013 election.

While the policy was ditched that year, the entrenchment of “hate speech” as an acceptable limit on freedom means the task of fighting for freedom of expression will be harder today than it was six years ago.

Don’t take my word for it. Last week, Di Natale was interviewed on the ABC on two occasions, first by Sabra Lane on AM, the ABC’s premier radio analysis program. Di Natale repeated his radical plan to regulate the media in his quest to “hold to account” journalists at News Corp. Lane’s uninterested response was: “You’ve made the point. We need to move on.”

Move on? What, nothing to see here? Leigh Sales had interviewed Di Natale the previous night on 7.30 and failed to question Di Natale about his radical policy to alter our liberal freedoms.

When the ABC’s premier political analysts don’t bother to analyse a policy that would control media output, it’s worth asking why. Critiquing Di Natale’s plan is not about defending News Corp. It is about defending freedom of the press, a core value in a liberal democracy.

The ABC does that a lot when unloading on US President Donald Trump for his attacks on the media. Why is the public broadcaster silent about a far more radical policy on the home front to shut down voices in the Australian media? Could it be that the ABC hosts are more likely to vote Greens? They certainly fit the demographic pattern of Greens voters, namely rich and well-educated city slickers.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Wild Westfield: Two girls knifed in 30-youth brawl as violence escalates at 'Australia's most dangerous shopping centre' and MPs call for thugs to be deported to end 'out of control' crime

Here's an easy puzzle: Guess the skin colour of the "gangs" concerned

Two girls have been stabbed after a brawl involving 30 teenagers broke out at a  shopping centre in Melbourne's southeast. 

Police were called to Westfield Fountain Gate in Narre Warren on Tuesday after receiving reports of a fight between two groups of teens around 9.30pm. 

One girl was rushed to the hospital with a serious stab wound, while another stabbing victim arrived on her own with serious injuries.

Another woman, believed to be in her 20s, was treated at the scene, the Herald Sun reported.

Most of the teens fled the scene before police arrived and no charges were immediately laid.

Victoria Police were asking anyone who may have any information relating to incident to come forward. 

It came just days after the mall hired more security to patrol the shopping centre following a crime wave involving a string of robberies and assaults. 

Business owners had expressed concern over groups of up to a dozen teenagers storming stores, damaging and stealing items.

Several retailers told the Cranbourne Leader their stores had been 'ransacked' by gangs in recent weeks and a poll of 3000 locals found 74 per cent admitted they steered clear of the centre due to fears of violence. 

Victoria MPs, incluing La Trobe MP Jason Wood, had taken to social media to weigh in on the ongoing issue and calling for the government to take action.

'Gang violence is absolutely out of control, once again youth gangs have targeted Fountain Gate. I have laws to deport foreign-born thugs, and now the AFP will be targeting violent gangs in the South East," Mr Wood said.

'Bill Shorten and Labor are still opposing this, and say I'm overreacting as there is NO youth gang problem,' he said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

Gembrook MP Brad Battin also took to social media saying, 'this is not the Fountain Gate we have known for decades.'

'Shop owners say they are helpless, parents fear for their children as robberies increase, and now overnight, reports of a riot and possible stabbing', he said. 

'How can we stop this rot, how can we make it safer?'

An army of security guards, dressed in cream coloured khakis and blue polo shirts, have been patrolling the mall that has been dubbed the 'most unsafe' in Victoria.

Earlier this month one cafe worker told how one group of teens came to her shop and 'literally went through and flipped up all the tables and chairs'.

A woman said her 14-year-old son was attacked and mugged by a gang of six teenagers in the food court last month.

'One of his friends was asked by the gang to hand over his jacket or he'd be stabbed. The boys were then told they would be bashed if they didn't hand over all of their cash,' she said.

In February 2016 a 14-year-old girl was sexually assaulted in a brazen daylight attack near the shopping centre.

The mother was disappointed with how security and management had handled the incident, saying that security didn't call to let her know what happened, and that police weren't even notified about the incident by security.

On a Casey Crime Facebook page, a woman claimed that she was attacked by six teenage girls on April 20, while security watched.

Another woman claimed a lady smacked her six-year-old granddaughter across her face, and centre management and security didn't do anything about it after she reported the incident to them.  

A Fountain Gate worker said a bunch of teenagers are known to come into her store and try to distract staff in a bid to steal from the tip jar.  

Last month, two teenage girls brutally bashed a chicken shop worker in a failed attempt to rob her of the day's takings in front of stunned onlookers.

The shop worker had been holding $5,000 when she was attacked by the teenagers, who punched her in the back of her head and flung her to the floor, before continuing to kick her.

It's understood she later required 13 stitches in her leg after she tripped on a vase.

In 2017, a mother-of-two who worked in a salon at the shopping centre was attacked by a 45-year-old man with an axe.

The woman was rushed to hospital and survived but the bloody incident left co-workers and bystanders extremely shaken.

The alleged attacker was charged with attempted murder. 

Despite the lawlessness, police said there were regular patrols of the precinct, and a strong partnership with management.

'Police from Narre Warren, Cranbourne and Endeavour Hills regularly patrol the shopping centre with more serious offences followed up by detectives from Casey crime investigation unit,' Acting Inspector Dean Grande said. 

A spokeswoman for Scentre Group told 'The safety and security of our customers, retail partners and employees is always our priority.

'As a social hub and meeting point in the local community, Westfield Fountain Gate strives to ensure all our customers feel welcome, comfortable and safe when visiting,' the spokeswoman said.

'Every situation is different and our experienced teams make decisions on how to manage situations on a case-by-case basis — always with the safety of our customers in mind.'


Bill Shorten has promised to “fight” a right-leaning Senate to pass his taxes if he wins.

How? Will he send them to concentration camps?

Key senate crossbenchers have promised to block the Opposition Leader’s tax proposals, and he has moved to a more aggressive footing against them in recent days.

“If this right wing Senate, if it forms, as you imagine, or as your question assumes, which I don’t, we’ll fight them on reversing the penalty rates cuts,” he said in Perth today.

“We will fight them on providing the funding so that 2.6 million pensioners get some care for their teeth.

“We will fight the Senate when it comes to making sure that nearly one million Australian households get a subsidy of $2000 per child, per year, in childcare. We’re up for the fight.

“If the Senate don’t want to fix the waiting lists in Tasmania on health, if they don’t want to see young apprentices in Western Australia get some support. If they don’t want to see us build Cross River Rail in Queensland, and don’t want to see the South Road in Adelaide, we will fight them.”


A Labor win will have come from the classrooms

If the Coalition government is defeate­d on Saturday and Bill Shorten becomes prime minister next week, there’s no doubt Australia’s ­education system will be a major reason.

While policies, campaign management and strategies targeting marginal seats are vital, more importa­nt is how voters think and react to the issues and what they see as paramount.

Even though politicians may believe they are in control and can act independently, voters decide who wins an election and forms government.

The expression that politics is downstream of culture reinforces the point that it is the broader cultur­e and way of life that determines what happens in the polit­ical sphere. And if politics is downstream of culture, then it is equally true that culture is downstream of education.

As argued by American educa­tionalist Christopher J. Lucas: “Culture is learned … the culture of a society must be internalised by each generation. Education, forma­l and informal, unconscious and conscious, is a means for the preservation of culture.”

Best summed up by the 16th US president, Abraham Lincoln, “the philo­sophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government by the next”. One only has to look at the ALP and Coalition government campaign launches to see how prescient Lincoln was.

Scott Morrison’s speech was very much in the conservative Liberal­ Party tradition espoused by Rober­t Menzies.

The narrative is one of “Aust­ralians going quietly about their lives”, where home ownership, the traditional family and serving other­s underpin our way of life.

The slogan “Building Our Economy. Securing Your Future” reinforces the belief that the most effective way to gain voters’ suppor­t is to convince them that a Coalition government, compared with the ALP, is better at economic management and safeguarding the nation’s future.

In addition to having much in common with Menzies’ Forgotten People speech, the Prime Minister’s description of Australians serving others and being committed to simple, honest aspirations reflects a bygone era and an educatio­n system that has long since ceased to exist.

Older generations will remember a time when teachers were authority figures to be respected, classes were ordered and discip­lined, and students were expected to master the basics. History dealt with the narrative associated with the evolution of Western civil­isation, geography dealt with topograp­hy and the rain cycle, and English with grammar, syntax, clear thinking and the literary canon.

Education rewarded those willing to apply themselves and work hard, and the majority of students left school and went on to further education or into the workforce with the belief that their futures were positive, and confident they could achieve home ownership and material success.

Labor’s campaign launch and Bill Shorten’s speech presents the opposite narrative to that of the government.

The Opposition Leader’s­ ­open­ing exhortation, “You have the power to change our country for the better”, empowers those ­voting for the ALP and reinforces a sense of social justice and ­egalitarianism.

The statement that the election provides an opportunity “to take Australia into a new decade with new vision, new purpose”, instead of relying on the past and ­continuity, signals that a Shorten-led government would be prog­ressive and forward-looking.

The ALP’s focus on addressing climate change, refugees, increasing the minimum wage, funding government schools and taxing multinationals also reinforces the impression that it is the ALP and not the government that is more in tune with the times and better able to address the future.

Given the type of education experience­d by the millennials (born between 1983 and 1994) and Generation Z (born between 1995 and 1999), it’s clear why the ALP’s campaign and policies resonate so well with the younger generations.

As a result of the cultural Left’s dominance of the education ­system since the 1970s and 80s, ­students have been taught that societ­y is riven with injustice and inequality, that unless urgent actio­n is taken the environment is doomed, and that Western civilisation is oppressive and guilty of white supremacism.

Schools have long since replaced meritocracy and a commitment to academic study with the belief that all deserve success and that knowledge has no inherent value as subjects such as mathematics, science and English are social constructs reinforcing the power of the elites.

Instead of pursing truth and a commitment to being impartial and objective, the dominant ortho­­doxy, given the rise of postmodernism and deconstructionism, is one where subjectivity pre­vails and being emotional is more important than being rational.

As noted by a report commissioned by the Centre for Independent Studies, it should not surprise that 58 per cent of millennials survey­ed viewed socialism favourably and 59 per cent thought capitalis­m had failed and that govern­ment must take a greater role in regulating the economy.

Given that the school curriculum has long since prioritised deep-green ideology in areas such as clim­ate change with mining companies such as chief enemy BHP, it’s understandable why so many young people have a negative view of business and making a profit.

Last year’s Deloitte Millennial Survey mirrors the judgment reached by the CIS publication when concluding that millennials “feel pessimistic about the prospects for political and social progress, along with concerns about safety, social equality and environmental sustainability”.

The Deloitte survey also conclude­s that young people want “business leaders to take the lead in solving the world’s problems” and to shift the focus from making a profit to “balancing social concern­s and being more diverse, flexible, nurturing of and generous with employees”.

The challenge for the centre-right side of politics if Shorten becomes prime minister is how to address the fact Australia’s education system has long since promoted an ideology that is the antithesis to its more conservative political philosophy.

A good place to start is to acknowled­ge that, while the econom­y and issues around productivity and border protection are important, even more importa­nt is to engage in the ­culture wars and to win the battle of ideas.



Four current reports below

Antisemitism rife in Australian Greens

In keeping with their far-Left stance

Jewish leaders have urged Richard Di Natale to call out anti-Semitism within the Greens, after anti-Israel social media comments emerged from three Greens candidates in NSW federal seats.

The comments described Israel as an “apartheid” regime, accused members of the Israeli government of “openly advocating genocide”, denied the crimes of listed terrorist organisation Hamas, and criticised Senator Di Natale for failing to support the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement.

In a Facebook comment on an Australian Jewish News article about the Executive Council of Australian Jewry congratulating Senator Di Natale on his election as Greens leader, Greens candidate for Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s seat of Cook, Jonathan Doig, said he was “surprised the Greens don’t support BDS on Israel.” “Time to reconsider surely,” Mr Doig wrote.

The party’s candidate for the western Sydney seat of Watson, Emmett de Bhaldraithe, commented on Facebook that people in the current Israeli government “quite openly advocate genocide”.

“What has Hamas actually done that would suggest they wish to follow through on (genocide)/can?” Mr Bhaldraithe wrote.

Greens candidate for the eastern Sydney seat of Kingsford Smith, James Cruz, had a dig at his party’s Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, tweeting a picture of Senator Waters with Australian Eurovision contestant Kate Miller-Heidke, saying it was “disappointing to see Larissa Waters endorsing Eurovision held in apartheid Israel.”

“People of concious (sic) should #BoycottEurovision2019 in solidarity with Palestinians fighting for their land and lives,” Mr Cruz tweeted.

Executive Council of Australian Jewry CEO Alex Ryvchin said it was easy to dismiss the statements as “online ramblings of the far-left”. “But when such statements come from candidates for public office, who have been elevated to national prominence by their party, it is a matter of deep concern,” Mr Ryvchin said.

“To accuse Israel of apartheid and genocide, to whitewash the crimes of Hamas, a designated terrorist organisation committed to the destruction of a sovereign state and Jewish people worldwide, is a means of inciting hatred against Israelis. “It also endangers the overwhelming majority of Australian Jews who have deep personal and historic links to Israel.

“These are reckless, harmful comments. They should be condemned by Senator Di Natale without equivocation, and rooted out of the culture of the Greens, instead of being allowed to flourish.”

A spokesman for the Greens said BDS was not Australian Greens policy, “and we understand the concern among the Jewish community around the language used.” However, the spokesman said the Greens “reject charges of anti-Semitism.”

“It is legitimate to criticise the Netanyahu government’s actions in obstructing peace and Palestinian sovereignty,” he said.

“Now more than ever, with a rising tide of white supremacism and anti-Semitic attacks, the Greens stand in support of the Jewish community, all faith groups and a strong, diverse multicultural Australia.”

Anti-Defamation Commission chair Dvir Abramovich said the three Greens candidates should not get a “free pass” for their “contemptible and malicious” comments which reveal “unabashed venom towards Israel”.

“Richard Di Natale should not give sanction to such divisive rhetoric, and should urge these individuals to not only apologise for their rabid anti-Israel statements, but to renounce these incendiary positions,” Dr Abramovich said.


Koalas are 'functionally extinct' with just 80,000 left in the wild meaning they 'can't produce a new generation'

What rubbish. Koalas are in plague proportions in some places -- e.g. Kangaroo Island

Koala numbers have fallen so low across Australia that the species is now 'functionally extinct', animal campaigners believe.

The Australian Koala Foundation said there may be as few as 80,000 of the animals left in the wild, meaning they are unlikely to produce a new generation.

'Functionally extinct' describes an animal population which is either so small it has ceased to affect its environment, has no breeding pairs left, or is still breeding but from such a small number of individuals that it succumbs to genetic disease.

The foundation says that, since 2010, it has monitored 128 Federal electorates that fall within known koala environments, and in 41 there are no koalas left.

While researchers admit that the koala's tendency to move around and its patchwork habitat make it difficult to track, they say numbers are in steep decline.

Between 1890 and 1927, more than 8million of the animals were shipped to London after being shot for fur.

Research conducted in 2016 showed there were around 330,000 of the animals left in Australia, though this number could be as low as 144,000 and as high as 600,000.

The biggest threats to koalas are habitat loss and heatwaves caused by climate change, such as the one last year that saw thousands of animals die from dehydration, studies have shown.

Since May 2012, koalas have been officially listed as vulnerable in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. This means their populations are in steep decline or at risk from entering a decline.

While the animals are not listed as vulnerable in Victoria or South Australia, local populations are known to have gone extinct - though the species is relatively abundant elsewhere.

Koala Foundation chairman Deborah Tabart said: 'I am calling on the new Prime Minister after the May election to enact the Koala Protection Act (KPA) which has been written and ready to go since 2016. 'The plight of the Koala now falls on his shoulders.'


Queer Greek Greenie abuses Christians

The Greenies attract some odd types

Damning footage of Greens candidate for the inner-west Sydney seat of Barton, Connor Parissis, has emerged showing the “left wing” and “mental health” activist trying to shout down Christians giving out free food at Sydney University.

Mr Parissis is shown screaming “your beliefs are a joke” at the Christians who were hosting a free food stall during the gay marriage debate.

A mob of angry protesters descended on the 25 Christian students trying to give away food.

“Shut the f..k up,” Mr Parissis yelled, “Go back to church … You know who’s a joke? Your f..king beliefs..” “Go wank yourself at home, you and your f..king Jesus picture,” Mr Parrisis yelled over the crowd, “I wish I could kick your face in.”

Mr Parissis, 21, advertises himself as a candidate who will fight for youth mental health, refugees and indigenous rights. On his candidate website he boasts being “University of Sydney Queer Officer, at the forefront of the Safe Schools Campaign and the YES campaign for marriage equality”.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Parissis has been using a twitter handle called “@TheElginMarbles” to post offensive images and boast about stealing a plant from Kmart.

During Greek Easter celebrations, Mr Parissis posted an image showing Jesus performing a sexual act, with the caption “I love easter traditions”.

Last week, Mr Parissis apologised for his earlier posts.


Labor should beware a revolt against renewables

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has told the world that the political will to fight climate change has faded and that many countries are not living up to their commitments under the 2016 Paris agreement.

There are few people in the world better able to assess the mood of the international community than Guterres.

In Australia, if the opinion polls are right, Bill Shorten will be prime minister after Saturday’s election and one of the driving forces behind that victory—particularly among younger voters -- will be his plan to accelerate carbon reduction in Australia by investing in renewables.

So, we are moving in a direction that is different to large parts of the international community.

That raises clear trade warning bells but, for the moment, let’s leave that aside. Around 2016 the rest of the world was like Australia today, with large segments of the population driving for lower carbon emissions via renewables.

Australia and a Shorten government needs to take note of the Guterres warning and learn from the mistakes countries have made which have turned big segments of their populations against renewables-driven carbon reduction, despite the climate warnings.

In summary the populations were told renewables would reduce prices. That’s simply wrong unless you plan the introduction with great care, rather than plonking windmills or solar panels around the land with no co-ordination with existing installations and networks.

The first thing that does is to put pressure of the power grid and I described the problem last month.

But it’s an area where international global power experts can inadvertently mislead and in that commentary I described how problems in the grid can affect the charging of electric car batteries (in this case Tesla) in Australia. I later discovered the expert was talking about the US. I apologise for that mistake, but the message is the same--- whatever changes you make in power generation or usage, make sure the grid in all areas can handle it. If you don’t then the unreliability created will turn the community against carbon reduction and may lead to bizarre outcomes.

In Europe, power utilities can receive carbon credits by switching from coal to wood and belching out far more carbon than modern coal burning.

It’s an obscene racket and I have discovered there are a vast variety of estimates as to how big it is.

But there is also good news on the carbon front. Back in 2016 the only way to adjust the grid for renewables and other changes was to spend large sums on new wires. Now there are low-cost technologies to stabilise the grid and expand its capacity, which is fantastic news for electric cars.

I described the Faraday Grid system last month and an early step of an ALP government should be to assess the rollout of the Faraday system in London and Tokyo and check whether there are any rival systems. That way we can avoid at least one of the traps that changed the renewable views of other countries.

We should also be aware that, in Europe at least, economic difficulties can play a role in changing views.

We have not encountered anything like the problems of many European countries but as I explained yesterday, a prolonged US-China trade war at the same time as an Australian credit squeeze, a retirement and pensioners tax, and negative gearing clamps, will create a severe downturn which may cause Australia to embrace the same renewable energy views as many other countries.

We have already seen how tough times in northern Queensland have made parts of the local population strongly in favour of coal mining.

Some years ago, Germans were enthusiastic about their “Energiewende” energy transition project that involved the erection of vast numbers of windmills and solar panels. But it turned into an extremely costly debacle causing higher power prices, blackouts and load sharing. And it also changed the idyllic rural landscapes. ‘Energiewende’ is now winding back and is an excellent example of the new community attitudes described by the UN Secretary-General.

In the UK the renewables have forced gas-fired power stations to suddenly boost their output and then reduce it in order to balance the grid and prevent blackouts.

In addition, few are investing in efficient modern gas-fired plant while renewables are subsidised. The result is that the gas-fired fleet is much less efficient than it should be and price rises will continue for the foreseeable future.

That’s what will happen in Australia if we don’t integrate renewables with the existing systems.

Just as new technologies solved the grid problems, the world is working on much better non-carbon energy production other than wind (including more efficient solar) and is developing better batteries to change the economics of wind.

We are in danger rushing into technologies that will be obsolete while Europe and other areas fudge their figures by burning wood.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here