Friday, April 02, 2010

Feminists and Greens, not Christians, are the real wowsers

"Wowser" roughly means "killjoy" and is of American origin but is now commonly used only in Australia. It was originally an abbreviation of "We only want social evils removed" and was part of the campaign for Prohibition

I'd have thought stripping was the last thing you'd do in a country called Iceland, and now it is. The country's parliament last week voted to ban striptease shows, making it a crime to turn a buck from a naked woman.

Now, normally news from Iceland - even news including words such as "stripper" and "nude" - cuts no ice with me. But there's a moral to this story that helps explain why Formula One driver Mark Webber protested last weekend that Australia had turned into "a bloody nanny state in which we've got to read an instruction book when we get out of bed - what we can do and what we can't do".

Mark, all the way from Iceland comes your explanation. The telling thing about Iceland's ban on strippers is that it's long been a Christian country - yet it's not Christians now forcing everyone else to live by their finger-wagging code.

True, Iceland's Christianity is of that wobbly northern European kind, with only one in 10 believers in a pew on Sundays. Sounds a bit like Australia. Yet the 90 per cent of Icelanders formally registered with a church have long tolerated the strip shows that a new breed of believers have now banned.

And who are these new wowsers? Why, followers of a creed that's also growing strong here, and dangerously lacks Christianity's tolerance. You see, Iceland is the first country in the world to ban stripping and lapdancing not for religious reasons but feminist. Indeed, it's the only European country other than the Vatican City and Andorra to ban stripping at all.

Kolbrun Halldorsdottir, the politician who first proposed this law, says its adoption by parliament is "mainly as a result of the feminist groups putting pressure on parliamentarians". Moreover, almost half of Iceland's parliamentarians are female, and president Johanna Sigurardottir is not only a feminist but the world's first openly lesbian head of state.

This is the coalition of ideologues who have banned what Christians wouldn't, ruling that men may not enjoy what feminists don't like, and other women may not make money in ways their betters think sinful.

True, stripping is a demeaning trade and the less of it the healthier. I'd even admit to being dismayed that our local councils are so indifferent to the trashing of our culture that they allow the huge twirling sign next to the busy Richmond train station that advertises two sleazier strip clubs.

But the issue here is not whether stripping should be banned (I'd say no), but who is most likely to ban it - and ban lots of other things they don't like. Or put it this way: it's to identify just who is most likely to tick off Mark Webber.

We're so often told that the real straighteners are Christians, and especially Catholics. "Get your rosaries off my ovaries," screeched an anti-Catholic Age columnist at Tony Abbott on the ABC's Q&A, as if the Opposition Leader really was about to ban abortions and anything else his Catholic faith didn't like.

In truth, Abbott as prime minister would do no such authoritarian thing, and not just because he's terrified of losing the votes of women. He actually knows Christianity has what so many in-your-face ideologies of the Left do not - a respect for freedom and individual conscience.

Christians, or at least those with brains, understand their God gave us freedom to choose, or else there'd be no Hell. How we choose is ultimately up to us - and it's in that free choice that we show our moral worth. That helps to explain why Australia, despite being an overwhelmingly Christian country, has so few laws passed on purely religious grounds.

We can watch strip shows, divorce, drink, draw rude pictures of Christ, work on Sundays, visit brothels, have abortions, buy condoms, blaspheme and call the Pope a Nazi. We are free to sin against the Christian creed - and to be judged.

But the new moralists aren't quite so keen on such freedom. It's the old problem. Most moralists are really after power, not goodness, and moralising licenses them to do almost anything to make other people nicer, since their bullying is for their victim's own good. And if they don't believe in God, they'll feel even more obliged to do his judging for him.

That's why feminists feel free to ban other women from stripping, and why Webber is being driven mad by laws that are intrusive, expensive, patronising and inconvenient impertinences.

The worst of them are our new racial and religious vilification laws that have done no good and much harm, most notoriously when they were used to punish Christian pastors for quoting Koranic passages on jihad to their flock. This preaching was illegal, ruled the VCAT judge, because it elicited "a response from the audience at various times in the form of laughter".

Amazing - a law against blasphemy that was passed not by Christians but secular multiculturalists.

Then there are those countless other pestering laws that are meant to spread the latest faith of the faithless, rather than achieve any practical good.

* Take the ban on shopping bags that inconveniences shoppers without saving the planet.

* Take the ban on bottled water passed by the NSW town of Bundanoon that strikes the approved attitude but won't stop global warming by a flicker.

* Take the new Victorian law that demands all new houses have six-star green rating, forcing buyers to pay extra to live someone else's green dream.

* Take the recycling laws that force people to ritually separate their garbage at no benefit to anyone.

* Most infuriating of all such laws is Victoria's mad ban on new dams that has forced hundreds of thousands of garden lovers to water their gardens by hand at dark dawn, thanks to the man-made water shortages that followed. We must stand, hose in hand, in our gardens at dawn because influential greens felt more water was a sin.

That's the new green moralist forcing you to genuflect to their faith, using the law in ways Christians can't and won't.

YOU don't believe me? You can't believe that our laws are being used just to ram this new faith down your throat? Then read this letter in The Age from a green in Northcote (where else) infuriated by the Brumby Government's pre-election announcement that it will relax its water restrictions, thanks to good rain and the new desalination plant.

"I was stunned to hear that Melburnians can shortly return to squandering water," this Gaian raged. "After years of drought ... the population was beginning to show that behaviour can be changed, we can become responsible consumers of the Earth's resources. "Now, with a state election looming ... we can return to the head-in-the-sand wasteful behaviour of years past. Shame on you, Mr Brumby." Other writers agreed.

This is the green version of a law to force us all to eat fish on Friday.

Some of these new moralists would go even further, and turn the country into a theocracy. A green Iran. Take James Lovelock, the Gaia guru, who preaches that "climate change may be an issue as severe as a war" and "it may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while".

Or Prof Clive Hamilton, the Greens candidate, who claims global warming may require "emergency responses such as the suspension of democratic processes". Sure, Clive. Can I be the dictator, or is that job reserved for you?

You know the answer. After all, Hamilton is the fanatic who preaches that the "Gaian earth in its ecological, cybernetic way, (is) infused with some notion of mind or soul or chi".

And if it takes a law to make us see things his way - well, let Webber blubber. Or flee to a truly Christian land where he's still free to blaspheme.


Christmas Island now a 'taxi service' after asylum-seeker boats slip through

CHRISTMAS Island has become a"taxi service" after an asylum-seeker boat slipped though Australia's border security and announced its arrival in a triple 0 call, the Opposition says.

And the immigration detention centre is expected to come under further pressure today, with about 150 more boatpeople on three vessels reportedly expected to land.

Wednesday night's undetected vessel, which sailed within 1.5km of Christmas Island, was the 101st to arrive since the Rudd government took office.

It was also the second time in a week that authorities had been alerted to an arrival by a phone call from those on board, after a vessel carrying 41 people called the Australian Federal Police from the island's Flying Fish Cove on Monday.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison today said Kevin Rudd needed to listen to the Australian people and take action on people-smuggling, predicting further transfers from the overcrowded island to the mainland would occur over the Easter long weekend. “It's not going to change under this government. They've shown no resolve to address this issue. The Prime Minister actually denies it is an issue,” he told the Macquarie Radio network. “He needs to listen to Australians on this because what they tell us, what they tell me is that they're sick and tired of this and they want someone to take some action.

“(The asylum-seekers) literally rang triple 0 to announce their arrival. Interception I don't think is the word for what's going on up there. It's basically becoming a bit of a taxi service. “Christmas Island's become a bit like a revolving door, they've got to get people off to get people on.”

Yesterday's boat carrying 64 Kurdish asylum-seekers and three crew was escorted by HMAS Broome to the island for health and identity checks.

Reports this morning claim the human cargo on board took the number of arrivals since the November 2007 election to 4450 asylum-seekers and 230 crew.

Mr Morrison said yesterday the arrival of the 101st boat would cost taxpayers more than $5 million and was the 16th this month which he described as an “all-time record.” “Four boats have arrived in the last seven days alone, with 160 people on board. With each additional person on Christmas Island costing almost $82,000, each boat is an expensive failure,” he said. “The budget has already blown out by $132 million and by the end of the financial year the Coalition expects it could blow out by a further $250 million.”


How a Leftist broadcaster looks after blacks

Reader Sian, hoping to get an ABC internship, was excited by the first half of this ABC announcement: "Many people would love the opportunity to be introduced to the ABC, and we have created an introduction for you via our ABC National Indigenous Internship Program."

Ah, well. Sian misses out, but a few lucky Aborigines will get an opportunity that people of their colour are rarely offered.

In fact, let’s now meet some of the ABC’s officially “Indigenous Staff”, including lucky beneficiaries of the ABC’s policy to give employment preference to Aborigines, or employment to Aborigines in Aboriginal shows:



Several readers observe that at least the fourth person pictured is demonstrably Aboriginal. In fact, here’s his tangled genealogy, as released by the ABC itself:

"Daniel is from the Minjungbal clan of the Bundjalung nation...Through his mother, he is a descendant of the Kullilli people of south-western Queensland… His paternal ancestors came from Vanuatu… Among his other ancestors are an English merchant seaman who married above his rank into the family of the paramount chief of Fiji and, an intrepid West Indian who jumped ship in Australia in the late nineteenth century – disappearing from official notice by marrying into the Aboriginal community."



Keith Windschuttle exposes a Leftist fraud in great detail. A small excerpt:

The central point in the debate over the Stolen Generations is the accusation that children were forcibly removed from indigenous Australians as young as possible for the immediate purpose of raising them separately from and ignorant of their culture and people, and for the ultimate purposes of suppressing any distinct Aboriginal culture. The purported aim was to end the existence of the Aborigines as a distinct people.

As the Australian National University historian Peter Read defined the accusation: “welfare officers, removing children solely because they were Aboriginal, intended and arranged that they should lose their Aboriginality, and that they never return home.”

Or as Australia’s Human Rights Commission, wrote in its 1997 report Bringing Them Home: “The policy of forcible removal of children from Indigenous Australians to other groups for the purpose of raising them separately from and ignorant of their culture and people could properly be labelled ‘genocidal’ in breach of binding international law.”

Using these works as its sources, the SBS television series First Australians encapsulated the charge for a popular audience: “Between 1910 and 1970 an estimated 50,000 Aboriginal children were removed from their families. Most were aged under five.”...

My book, The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, Volume Three, The Stolen Generations, (Macleay Press, 2009) challenges these claims.

Robert Manne has now responded in three separate places — ABC Radio National, the Weekend Australian and The Monthly. In none of them, did he focus on the central charges above. He was unwilling or unable to engage in a genuine debate. Yet he knew that major sections of my book disprove the claim that the children removed were as young as possible or that they were removed from their families permanently.

I demonstrate this through an analysis of the records of every child removed by the New South Wales Aborigines Protection Board between 1907 and 1932, when: two-thirds removed were not under five but teenagers, aged thirteen to nineteen; most went not into institutions but into jobs in the paid workforce; those children sent to the handful of institutions mostly remained there for months, not years, let alone their whole childhood; a clear majority returned to their families and communities; family visits to institutionalized children were not discouraged; instead the board paid parents a stipend and rail fare to travel to see them child welfare policies and practices were not racist because they were the same for white children as for black.

While Aboriginal policy in New South Wales is the most important in this debate, since this was where the concept of the Stolen Generations was invented, I also analyse in detail all the available archival data on removals in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

In Western Australia, the overwhelming majority of children who went into Aboriginal institutions were not forcible removals but went there voluntarily with their parents to gain access to welfare.

During the regime of A.O. Neville from 1915 to 1940, the principal government Aboriginal institution in the south of West-ern Australia, the Moore River Native Settlement, received a total of only 252 unattached half-caste children, just ten a year, most of them orphaned, neglected, abused or diseased. In the Northern Territory, the two institutions for half-caste children in Darwin and Alice Springs were populated mainly by children between six and fifteen years sent by their parents from remote stations and communities to go to school. In the 1940s and 1950s, most of these parents used their government Child Endowment cheque to pay the hostel fees.

I advance two further reasons why the Stolen Generations thesis has always been inherently implausible: Until the white historian Peter Read invented the concept in 1981, the leading Aboriginal activists of the twentieth century were completely unaware that for the entire period 1910–1970 there was a great conspiracy by successive cohorts of politicians and bureaucrats in all states to eliminate the Aboriginal race.

None of the five-point and ten-point manifestos of the activists at the sesqui-centenary in 1938, the Black Panthers in 1970, or the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in 1972 complained of children being stolen. Even those Aboriginal activists who served terms as directors of Aboriginal welfare boards did not realize they were overseeing a program supposedly comparable to the Holocaust. They could not see the genocide supposedly underway right beneath their noses.

Since 1915, the Aboriginal population has grown at a substan-tially faster rate than the home-grown white population. Hence the Aborigines must be the only people in world history to have suffered genocide in the midst of a population boom.

Rather than questioning this evidence or the logic of my arguments, Manne’s responses have studiously avoided them. He has presented no data to counter my analyses of the ages at which children were removed or about the lack of permanence of separation. Nor did he offer anything to question my examination of child welfare practice for white children that showed removals in New South Wales were the same for white and black children.

Instead, Manne’s responses have focused on a handful of topics in which he has previously entered the debate himself. I discuss his main points in what follows.


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