Monday, July 26, 2010


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG cannot see that Julia's "cash for clunkers" scheme will achieve anything at all -- other than to mollify the Greenies.

No lessons learned from a similar messy policy in America, apparently. But the Left never learn.

An Australian professor of political science says the Warmists were proven right by the various sham "Inquiries" so far launched into their notorious actions

The pathetic peroration below was published in a Left-leaning Australian daily. Note that, as usual, it is all "ad hominem", which again shows what pathetic souls Warmists are: just clinging to one-another for support.

No interest in "The science" is apparent below, of course -- such as the fact that the "decline" (in 20th century temperatures as measured by tree rings) hidden by Phil Jones & Co. completely invalidates the measures of past temperatures that Warmists have always relied upon.

But I suppose it is a big ask to expect an expert in in political science to know any real science

The author below is Rodney Tiffen. Tiffin is a light meal. A very light meal in this case, I would suggest

Chances are, you have not heard much about Climategate lately, but last November it dominated the media. Three weeks before the Copenhagen summit, thousands of emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia were published on a Russian website.

The research institute was a leading contributor to the fourth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, and some of the leaked emails showed the scientists in a poor light.

The scandal was one of the pivotal moments in changing the politics of climate change. What seemed close to a bipartisan agreement on an environmental trading scheme collapsed with Tony Abbott's defeat of Malcolm Turnbull. Within months the Rudd government lost its nerve on what the former prime minister called "the greatest moral and economic challenge of our time".

By casting doubt on the integrity of the scientists, Climategate helped puncture public faith in the science, and probably contributed to Labor's political panic. The echo chamber of columnists reverberated with angry and accusatory claims. In Australia, Piers Akerman said: "The tsunami of leaked emails . . . reveal a culture of fraud, manipulation, deceit and personal vindictiveness to rival anything in a John le Carre or John Grisham thriller." Later he wrote: "The crowd that gathered in Copenhagen were there pushing a fraud."

Andrew Bolt thought that "what they reveal is perhaps the greatest scientific scandal" of our time. "Emails leaked on the weekend show there is indeed a conspiracy to deceive the world - and Mr Rudd has fallen for it."

Miranda Devine wrote: "We see clearly the rotten heart of the propaganda machine that has driven the world to the brink of insanity."

The ramifications of Climategate were immediate. The climate unit's head, Professor Phil Jones, was forced to stand down. Three inquiries were set up to examine the scientists' conduct.

The first, a British House of Commons select committee, reported in March that the scientific reputation of Professor Jones and the CRU remained intact. The second, a science assessment panel, set up with the Royal Society and consisting of eminent British researchers, reported in April.

Its chairman, Lord Oxburgh, said his team found "absolutely no evidence of any impropriety whatsoever" and that "whatever was said in the emails, the basic science seems to have been done fairly and properly".

The third, set up by the university itself, published its 160-page report two weeks ago. On the specific allegations made against the behaviour of the CRU scientists, "we find that the rigour and honesty [of the scientists] as scientists are not in doubt". Importantly, it concluded: "We did not find any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the conclusions of the IPCC assessments."

In other words, nothing in the emails undermined the research of the climate scientists. Like the other two, the inquiry found aspects of the scientists' behaviour that fell short of professional standards - "failing to display the proper degree of openness".

What might seem the most damning was the way Jones dealt with freedom of information requests, but context makes his behaviour more understandable. In July last year alone, the CRU received 60 FoI requests. Answering them would have been too much for even all the unit's staff time. In a matter of days, it received 40 similar FoI requests, each wanting data from five different countries - 200 requests in all. Jones concluded the unit was subject to a vexatious campaign.

While not fully excusing their behaviour, one has to appreciate the embattled position of scientists who received a steady stream of obscene and abusive emails and constant public attacks on their integrity.

After the leaks, Jones, now reinstated, received death threats and said he had contemplated suicide.

You might imagine the media would be keen to report on authoritative conclusions about allegations it had found so newsworthy in December. But coverage of each of the reports has been non-existent in many news organisations and in others brief or without prominence.

At best, the coverage of the inquiries' conclusions added up to a 20th of the coverage the original allegations received, which leaves us to ponder the curiosities of a news media that gets so over-excited by dramatic allegations and then remains so incurably uninterested in their resolution.

The newspapers that gave greatest play to the allegations tended to give less attention to the findings. The columnists who gave greatest vent to their indignation have not made any revisions or corrections, let alone apologised to the scientists whose integrity they so sweepingly impugned.

Even at the time, it was clear much of the coverage was more attuned to maximising sensation rather than to reporting with precision. The sheer number of leaked emails, for instance, was sometimes taken as proof of the scale of the scandal, as if they were all disreputable. In fact, only from a handful could anything sinister be conjured.

It is a common criticism of the media that it prominently publishes allegations, but gives less coverage to the prosaic facts that later refute them. But rarely is the disproportion so stark. Rarely has such an edifice of sweeping accusation and extravagant invective been constructed on such a slender factual basis. Rarely does it do such damage.


Despite the gloss, Julia Gillard is just another phony

FOR the whole of her political life, Julia Gillard has been a member of Labor's Left faction.

This has not been a youthful indiscretion, as she remains a committed member of that faction even today. She is the first Left leader of the federal Labor Party in my lifetime. Not that anybody in the Canberra press gallery seems to have noticed. As they sleepwalk through her small-target policy announcements on a daily basis, no one in the press gallery seems to have asked the question as to why Gillard is in the Labor Left.

The policy decisions of the left-wing of the ALP have been consistent ever since I was at university in the late 1970s. On the economic front they have always believed in higher taxes and big government spending programs. Some supported death duties, capital gains taxes on the family home and cuts to government funding to non-government and Catholic schools. They were strongly opposed to privatisation and never had a problem with deficit budgeting.

On the foreign policy front, the Left was afflicted with a virulent strain of anti-Americanism. It disliked our traditional ties to Britain and clouded its hatred of Israel by pretending that its main Middle East foreign policy objective was Palestinian self-determination. On the industrial relations front, the Left strongly supported centralised wage fixing, compulsory unionism, wildcat strikes, pattern bargaining, the use of picket lines and unlimited union right of entry.

Now which of these traditional policies of the Left does Gillard believe in? Remember, she has been a member of this faction for three decades. What is it about these policies that attracted her to the Left, where she remains today?

In many respects the Gillard of today is unrecognisable from the person just three weeks ago. Now she prattles on about getting old bombs off the road, lassoing the unsuspected and bussing them to Canberra for a year-long lecture on climate change, and she now worries about deficit budgets. The truth is that Gillard today is, like Kevin Rudd, a total phony and a policy fraud. Gillard's strategy is to try to win the election on her personality, hoping like anything that no one will ask what she really believes in.

It is said she is popular among women, although if a ballot had been taken against Rudd, Jenny Macklin, Maxine McKew, Penny Wong and Tanya Plibersek would have all voted against her for factional reasons. Yes, let's have Australia's first female prime minister, unless she is in the other faction.

The real problem for Gillard is not only that she is pretending to be something she is not but that, like Rudd, she is herself a prisoner to the caucus. Rudd was in his own faction, which didn't number too many. In the end, as soon as the Right decided to remove him, he didn't even have the numbers to put up a credible showing.

Some suggest his support was about 30 out of 110, made up of a few Queenslanders, a number of people to whom he'd grown close as a result of them winning in 2007, and the usual array of disgruntled, disaffected and disillusioned MPs that make up any parliamentary party irrespective of its political colour. Oh, and add to that some opponents of Gillard's from her own faction, such as Anthony Albanese.

The truth is that Gillard, like Rudd before her, is not part of the majority grouping that makes up the caucus. In replacing Rudd with Gillard, the Right has repeated the failed experiment of NSW where it installed Nathan Rees, a member of the Left faction, with disastrous consequences. On his way out the door, Rees took aim at those nasty factional powerbrokers who'd been kind enough to install him in the first place.

Irrespective of the election outcome, it is blindingly obvious that history will repeat itself in the federal parliamentary Labor Party at some time in the future.

That is to say a member of an enemy faction (Gillard) will be replaced by one of the Right's own favoured sons when the time comes. The answer as to who that will be is also obvious: the Victorian federal member for Maribyrnong, Bill Shorten, who is the Labor Party's natural leader.

Rudd's demise was for a whole host of reasons, chief among them that he believed his deputy would never attempt to remove him. Had he been politically awake during the last few months of his prime ministership, Rudd would have been aware of the threat to his position. As of June, the only real threat to this position was in the form of Gillard.

Rudd had every reason to remove Peter Garrett on the grounds of political incompetence but he also had every political justification for sacking Gillard for her manifestly incompetent handling of what became known as the Building the Education Revolution scandal. This may sound a little far-fetched, but had he done so, he might still be leader today.

Remember, many in the ALP still regret the fact that Gough Whitlam didn't sack John Kerr, before Kerr sacked him. Still, Gough couldn't complain. Bill Hayden did ring him from a phone box not far from Yarralumla, but to no avail. Rudd's supporters were assuring him the day before the challenge that caucus was rock solid for him. No wonder Labor dumped him.


Leftist "compassion" at work again, in its usual destructive way

170 dead would-be immigrants since Australia's "softer" policies towards boat-borne illegals

Former coalition immigration minister Philip Ruddock says about 170 asylum seekers headed for Australia have died since the federal government changed Australia's border protection policies.

But Mr Ruddock, who served as immigration minister under the previous Howard government, wouldn't directly blame Labor for their deaths. "We believe that 170 people have lost their lives since Labor relaxed the policies here in Australia," he told ABC TV on Monday. "I'm saying that they were encouraged to get in boats again because of policies being changed."

Mr Ruddock said all the measures the coalition put in place to combat unauthorised boat arrivals - including offshore processing - needed to be implemented again to stem the flow.

The Liberal backbencher said it didn't matter where offshore processing actually took place, so long as the disincentive existed.


A conservative political candidate to keep an eye on?

THE woman trying to unseat dumped prime minister Kevin Rudd launched her election campaign in sky-high pink stilettos and a thigh-skimming dress.

Blonde one-time barmaid Rebecca Docherty tried to avoid the cameras when she was named as the Liberal National Party candidate for the Queensland seat of Griffith last week. However, the 30-year-old dressed in head-to-heels designer clothes for an article in Grazia magazine, which hits newstands today.

"I have champagne tastes on a beer budget. I used to buy the glossy magazines just to look at the pictures," she said. "I love high fashion but I can't afford it."

Ms Docherty's flamboyant campaigning style contrasts with Mr Rudd's more down-to-earth, intellectual and sometimes "boring" style but she is unlikely to unseat him. Mr Rudd holds Griffith, the safest Labor seat in Queensland, by a margin of 12.4 per cent. He is expected to retain the seat.

Ms Docherty said she was underwhelmed by the appointment of Ms Gillard as Australia's first female leader. "I'd never want to be judged on my gender," she said. "I'd want to be judged on whether I'm good at what I do."


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