Sunday, January 12, 2014

Bad luck Sarah, but that boat won’t float

Piers Akerman

OUR ABC, and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, choked the pre-election airwaves with wild predictions that the Coalition’s turn-back-the-boats policy was unworkable.

Now the evidence is in that a number of boats have been successfully turned back, both the national taxpayer-funded broadcaster and the Greens immigration spokesman are conducting their own reversal of sorts - they are now noisily protesting that the boats should not have been turned back.

Hanson-Young, who appears to have been given a permanent news slot at “our” ABC, is competing with the cicadas for cacophany.

The Senator flippantly shrugged off any Greens responsibility for contributing to the deaths of about 200 people who tried to enter aboard an illegal people smuggler boat in December 2011 with the astoundingly superficial comment: “Tragedies happen, accidents happen.”

Hanson-Young is now dismayed the Australian naval personnel may be responsible for saving lives at sea.

Speaking to “our” ABC after Indonesian authorities reported at least two illegal people smuggler boats had returned to Indonesia (there have been more), the pointless South Australian said the people-smuggler passengers “could have drowned”.

Her stupidity was in marked contrast to the measured words of the Indonesian police chief Senior Commander Hidayat on the island of Rote, who explained to Indonesia’s Antara news service why the Australian navy provided the passengers with life vests and communication equipment before sending them back into Indonesian waters.

“The Australian Navy knows the local ship crews will usually put leaks in boats that aim to enter Australian waters, thus they took the initiative to anticipate it,” Hidayat said.

It is obvious from the Indonesian media reports that the Abbott government’s policy of permitting the Australian military to oversee Operation Sovereign Borders in concert with its Indonesian counterparts is bearing fruit.

Unlike the Rudd government’s unsuccessful policies, supported by Hanson-Young and her Greens colleagues, the new approach has already discouraged hundreds, if not thousands, of people from risking their lives attempting to enter Australia illegally.

Indonesian military commander General Moeldoko has said the Australian government’s decision to turn back a boat carrying would-be migrants attempting to reach its shores was “justifiable” as he had made an agreement with the Australian Defence Force.

He said both countries had agreed to the action: “Following (our) halted military co-operation with Australia, (Australia’s) defense force chief (General David Hurley) called me to discuss several issues, including how to deal with the boat people.

“He told me Indonesia should understand if Australia drove back undocumented migrants attempting to enter the country using Indonesian boats or if any Indonesians were found aboard. I have agreed. Therefore, we don’t need to feel offended.”

General Moeldoko would be bemused to learn his clarity of thought would enrage Hanson-Young and those at “our” ABC, who have worked so hard to undermine Australia’s national interest by fomenting distrust between Australia and Indonesia.

Former Labor leader Mark Latham was absolutely correct when he said the Greens and the Labor left and their “so-called compassionate” approach to asylum seekers was causing deaths at sea.

“You can’t be compassionate and you can’t have a good heart, you can’t have a good soul, if you encourage people to get on boats that sink,” Latham told Sky in 2011.

“And people just need to understand that the real compassionate policy is to stop the flow of the boats.”

The Indonesian police have confirmed that the boats turned back were “rented” from Indonesian fishermen and the crews which were endeavoring to help the undocumented arrivals enter Australia were Indonesians.

Unfortunately they escaped after the local Indonesian police transferred them as well as other crew and passengers to Kupang.

The contrast between the Abbott government’s approach to illegal entrants and that of the Rudd and Gillard governments could not be sharper.

Former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd trumpeted his foreign policy forays at mega-volume, dismaying our neighbours and eroding their trust.

Similarly, Julia Gillard showed a total lack of diplomatic skill when she shut down the important live cattle export trade without any consultation with either the Australian beef industry or the Indonesians.

Having Australian generals deal with their Indonesian counterparts collaboratively on the people-smuggler policy has isolated grandstanding politicians like Hanson-Young, and the Labor Opposition leadership team of Bill Shorten, Anthony Albanese, Tanya Plibersek and Tony Burke.

Even Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, ANU-schooled and Labor-leaning, has been dealt out of the main game, which he hinted at by refusing to comment on the reports of boats being towed back to Indonesia because they were operational matters.

Natalegawa is too shrewd a politician to take on the large and important Indonesian military institutions within months of a national election in Indonesia, no matter how much air time and print space the ABC and Fairfax offer him.

With the “unachievable” policy of turning back the boats looking better every day, it is the Labor left, the Greens and their media cheer squad who have been left high and dry.



... but it's about to get a lot harder

The Federal Government is slowly dismantling the Green rorts promoted under Gillard... it was a very expensive three years. Union heavies may have “gifted” the top job to a known communist crook [Gillard] but she then needed to sleep with the Greens to keep it. The ALP looks back on the marriage with dismay as it now tries to divorce itself from the wreckage of that unholy alliance.

Let’s face it, the Greens (who make the ALP look like far Right fascists) are a malignant group entrenched in the States of Tasmania and South Australia, coincidentally the only two States that have had their economies systematically trashed.

Tasmania’s Lara Giddings faces a dilemma. The ALP needs to sever all links with the destructive Greens to have a hope in the looming State election but, depending on the outcome, she may have to do a Gillard and allow the foxes back in the henhouse.  The ALP hasn’t yet learnt its lesson in integrity.

The carbon tax is a Green initiative Gillard initially wanted no part of. It is the devil’s trident of treachery. One, redistribution of income, two, destroy a minerals based economy and three, provide the UN with the finance to impose a one world government.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation was the Greens’ cherry on top and it was gifted ten billion dollars to finance crazy green concepts that must have first been rejected as unviable by the private sector.

The Greens rushed as much of the $10 billion out the door before the last election. A tsunami of money for schemes, like in the previous post, was available to anyone who typed in, “ a result of global warming” at the base of their mission statement.


Snails and CO2

Hope you are seated for this because it could ruin your day. “Effects of climate change could hinder a sea snail’s ability to leap away from predators on one foot”, Queensland researchers say. Did I read that right?

The study, reported in the Fjii Times, shows the Conch snail, found in sandy areas off coral reefs, finds it difficult to quickly jump out of reach of prey when exposed to higher levels of carbon dioxide.

Dr Sue-Ann Watson of James Cook University’s Centre of Excellence, who is a self-confessed global warmist, says the chemical CO2 disrupts the snail's neurotransmitter receptor, causing it to have a delayed response.

“The snail either stops jumping or takes longer to jump when exposed to the levels of carbon dioxide projected for the end of this century”, the marine biologist said. (Have you fallen off your chair yet?)

"This might leave the three to four centimetre Conch snail more vulnerable to the dart of the slow-moving, predatory Cone shell.

"Snails normally move slowly and crawl around on their one big foot," Ms Watson said.

So, the level of carbon dioxide in eighty six years’ time (projected of course by our global warming friends) might affect a sea snail!

Bloody hell, that makes the Syrian crisis look like a picnic.

But every dark cloud has a silver lining... in eighty six years’ time it seems the deprived, slow-moving Cone shell will find it much easier to get a feed. Phew, global warming isn’t all doom and gloom after all.

I phone-messaged Sue-Ann to ask if the dung beetle was getting enough tucker at her Centre of Excellence, but I have yet to receive a reply.


Christopher Pyne appoints critics of school curriculum to review system

Education Minister Christopher Pyne has taken the first step towards reforming the national school curriculum, by appointing two staunch critics of the current system to head up a government review.

On Friday, Mr Pyne announced that former teacher and Coalition advisor Kevin Donnelly and government academic Ken Wiltshire would lead the review, which is due to report back by mid-year.

Labor and the Australian Education Union have swiftly criticised the process, accusing the Coalition of threatening to politicise the school curriculum.

The curriculum review was part of the Coalition's 2013 election platform and Mr Pyne has previously criticised what he describes as too little emphasis on "the non-Labor side of our history".

In an opinion piece in The Australian newspaper on Friday, Mr Pyne added that "concerns have been raised about the history curriculum not recognising the legacy of Western civilisation and not giving important events in Australia's history and culture the prominence they deserve, such as Anzac Day".

Mr Pyne told reporters in Adelaide that he wanted to implement any changes from the review in 2015, after consulting with state and territory counterparts.

He dismissed questions about the impartiality of Professor Wiltshire and Dr Donnelly, saying: "I'm very confident that Ken and Kevin will bring a balanced approach."

Dr Donnelly, who is a former chief of staff to Liberal frontbencher Kevin Andrews, has previously criticised a "cultural left" bias in the education system. Professor Wiltshire has labelled the current curriculum as a "failure" with poor and patchy content.

The Education Minister said he had not appointed a bigger committee to review the curriculum as he wanted a "robust" outcome, rather than a report that pleased all stakeholders.

Mr Pyne said that Dr Donnelly and Professor Wiltshire would look at the process of how the curriculum is developed as well as its content.  "I have asked them to gather the views of parents, state and territory governments and educators to inform their analysis."

Describing himself as a "curriculum nerd", Dr Donnelly said on Friday that it was an honour to be appointed to the role.  A prolific writer, Dr Donnelly has previously written that many parents consider the practices of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people to be "unnatural".

He has also advocated for resources to be directed at teaching young people "Australia's western heritage and Judeo-Christian tradition".  "The language we speak, listen to and read is English and before children are made to learn an Asian language it might be a good idea, firstly, to ensure that they have mastered their native tongue," he wrote in a 2012 opinion piece for the ABC.

Labor's education spokeswoman Kate Ellis said that Mr Pyne's review threatened to take the national curriculum backwards.  "The curriculum should not be treated as a political football - politicians should not be determining the details of what is taught in the classroom," she said.  "States and territories - Liberal and Labor - have agreed to an independent board to set curriculum. But today, Christopher Pyne is threatening to take us backward by making this more about politics and less about learning."

Australian Education Union federal president Angelo Gavrielatos also expressed concerns about the review, arguing that the current curriculum is developed by experts and signed off by state and territory ministers.  "The curriculum must be balanced and I believe that the statements made thus far are without foundation," he told ABC Radio on Friday.  "The curriculum should not be politicised."  [Unless it is Leftist, of course]

The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority is currently responsible for developing the national curriculum for all school students.

Mr Pyne has previously said ACARA is "not the final arbiter on everything that is good in education".


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