Monday, June 10, 2013

The do-gooder Left kills some more people

Illegal immigrants in boats had stopped coming to Australia under the previous conservative government but the welcome flags waved by the Labor Party restarted the (very risky) flow

More than 40 people are missing and feared dead after an asylum seeker boat sank off Christmas Island and questions are asked about the speed of Australia's search and rescue response.

Thirteen bodies were spotted in the water on Saturday and Australian authorities, two merchant vessels and a chartered aircraft spent Sunday searching for survivors, 74 nautical miles west of the island.

A three-day search for survivors was called off late on Sunday night with not a single person recovered from the water.

Customs and Border Protection was deciding on Monday morning if an operation would be mounted to recover the bodies.

Questions have been raised about the time taken to mount the rescue operation, as an air force plane first identified the boat when it was only 28 nautical miles north-west of Christmas Island at about 5.45pm Sydney time on Wednesday.

The boat was carrying about 55 people on deck, mostly men but also a small number of women and children. Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said it was "too early to tell" where the group was coming from.

When the boat was spotted, it was stationary but did not seem in distress, he said. It is understood Australian authorities did not receive a distress call from the vessel.

HMAS Warramunga arrived in the area at 1.30am on Thursday, but could not find the boat. After searches on Thursday, a plane spotted the submerged hull about 3pm on Friday. When the Warramunga arrived at the location, it could see only pieces of wood and life-jackets.

"This is another terrible tragedy, another terrible reminder of how dangerous these journeys are," Mr Clare said on Sunday.

Mr Clare said the search would be subject to a full review by Customs and Border Protection, "as is standard practice". But the Greens believe there should be a more thorough inquiry, beyond the standard internal review.

Indonesia's ambassador to Australia, Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, recently ruled out collaboration to send asylum seekers back to Indonesia. But opposition border protection spokesman Michael Keenan said Australia did not need a formal arrangement with its neighbour to turn boats back.

BPC Commander Rear Admiral David Johnston said there would be risks involved with the Coalition's tow-back plans.

HMAS Warramunga located a boat on Sunday about 110 nautical miles north of Christmas Island they believed made a distress call the day before. The boat has about 70 people on board, who are now being transferred to Christmas Island.


The PUP party has a woof

Minor conservative parties such as PUP and KAP look like being very helpful in the next election.  They should draw a lot of the protest vote that the Greens must largely have forfeited and that vote should flow through to the Liberal party via preferences -- and could give the Liberals control of the Senate

And the band played Waltzing Matilda. They also played True Blue, Botany Bay, C'mon Aussie C'mon and Tenterfield Saddler. There was talk of Anzacs and "the lucky country", of great days gone by, and more Anzacs. Even by modern political standards it was wall-to-wall jingoism at the Sofitel Hotel on Sunday as Clive Palmer, federal leader of the new Palmer United Party, announced more than 40 candidates to stand for NSW seats at the federal election.

"People have had enough of the major party duopoly in this country, of Julia Abbott and Tony Gillard," Palmer told the 100 strong audience. "The Liberal Party is bankrupt of ideas, while the Labor Party is just bankrupt. Voters have been taken for granted, and now they want a new alternative."

The PUP candidates include small business owners, an IT entrepreneur and a Bollywood film producer. All gave short speeches outlining their major concerns, from homelessness and hospitals to the revitalisation of the Sydney CBD.

Palmer also took the opportunity to kick around some pet hates, including the carbon tax, which he described as a cash grab. Not only would the tax be abolished, but PUP would retrospectively compensate people for its impact.

Then there was healthcare. PUP would set aside $80 billion for the health budget, money that would "go direct to hospitals", so that it couldn't be "siphoned off and manipulated by the states". Asked where the money would come from, he said: "The same place the NBN money came from."

He vowed to cut the tax paid on second jobs by 50 per cent, to thin a bloated public sector, and to get rid of FBT, "so that people would get out and about again, having lunch together, swapping ideas", and employ restaurant staff.

Palmer also outlined PUP's immigration policy. There would be no more detention centres, which he likened to "stalag Nazi camps", because illegal arrivals would be encouraged to fly.

"Flying from Jakarta is cheaper for them than paying a people smuggler," Palmer said. "And they would have all their papers because without them they wouldn't be able to get on the plane. So we would know where they came from. We could then keep the families together, not separate. We would put them up in a hotel, together, and give them proper legal assistance, with a fair hearing, to determine if they have right of entry. And those who had no right of entry would be sent back."

According to Palmer, who is standing as a candidate in the Sunshine Coast lower house seat of Fairfax, PUP will soon have 150 candidates in the field. But he declined to say how much he had spent on the campaign.

"My wife manages all my money," he said. "It's up to her."


Tasmanian opposition targets NBN mismanagement

ASBESTOS is just one of the NBN's problems in Tasmania, the state's opposition claims.

Liberal spokesman Michael Ferguson says an indefinite shutdown has resulted in 300 workers being stood down in the state.

He says businesses are in danger of going under because they have not been paid for work on the project.

"The indefinite nature of the construction shutdown means there is a cloud of uncertainty around the whole NBN project, and numerous small businesses and the livelihoods of hundreds of workers are at risk," Mr Ferguson said in a statement.

"Labor should not be allowed to apportion blame for the NBN construction stoppage on recent asbestos-related issues.

"We are hearing from numerous sources that the construction stoppage is entirely due to mismanagement of the government project itself."

Meanwhile, Tasmanian Labor senator Lisa Singh has called on Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten to open a Comcare office in Tasmania.

Senator Singh says concerns about asbestos in Telstra pits in the state highlight the need for the workplace safety body to be there.

She says the matter was raised at the first meeting of Mr Shorten's new taskforce on Wednesday.

"I am pleased that the minister has asked Comcare to hold discussions with Workplace Standards Tasmania to ensure this happens," she said.


Does Julia Gillard show where affirmative action for women leads?

She built her whole life around politics, only to become a political failure

Following Martin Ferguson’s decision to retire from politics at the next election, prominent Labor women have argued that a female candidate must get the nod to run in the safe seat of Batman in Melbourne’s northern suburbs and that failure to do so will be a betrayal of the principles of the Labor Party.

Labor’s affirmative action rules require female candidates to be preselected in 40% of winnable electorates. The feminist rationale for this and similar kinds of gender-based policies is that patriarchal institutions and attitudes are so entrenched throughout society that some form of social engineering is essential to tilt the playing field in women’s favour.

These rules have been operating for almost 20 years. Currently, 26 members of the federal Labor caucus are members of Emily’s List – the networking organisation dedicated to helping women get elected to parliament and achieve Labor’s affirmative action targets.

Due to serial maladministration and ineptitude, the federal Labor government is overwhelmingly discredited with both commentators and the public. If the polls are right, Labor faces an almost unprecedented electoral catastrophe in September.

For the last three years, the government has been led by an Emily’s Lister, Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Some have attributed the government’s problems to the PM having a ‘tin ear’, politically speaking.

Though likely to attract the routine charge of misogyny, it is legitimate to question the role affirmative action may have played in the government’s fate. If a person does not have the political skills to get preselected and elected on their merits, will they have the political skills to contribute to a successful government?

There is now a push (backed by the Australian Human Rights Commission) to introduce gender quotas into corporate Australia and require company boards to reserve seats exclusively for women.

This is unnecessary given today’s commercial and workplace realities. Good managers these days are rewarded for their talent management – for finding the right employees, helping develop their skills, and maximising their contribution to an organisation.

Developing this kind of organisational culture is the key to business success – and to ensuring women progress through the corporate ranks. Any board of directors that allows gender to trump merit with regards to the appointment of talented women is not acting in the best interests of its shareholders – as any corporate trainer will tell you.

This is the message that should be promoted to aid the advancement of women.

Women and men should have equal opportunity to rise to whatever tier on the corporate ladder their skills and abilities allow because this is in business’ best interests.

Quotas, however, are fundamentally un-egalitarian. And business has an easy riposte to demands they be imposed – how’s that worked out for the Labor Party?


1 comment:

Paul said...

I don't think I could ever vote for a woman again after the disasters of the last twenty or so years (Kirner, Lawrence, Gillard, Bligh, Keneally, Wong, Roxon etc etc...)