Sunday, February 02, 2014


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is having a laugh at shark culling -- both at sea and on land

Feminists will always be a disgruntled minority of harpies huddled in a corner moaning to one-another

Most women will acknowledge some feminist sympathies  -- equal pay for equal work etc.  But I am not talking about those women.  I am talking about the feminists you encounter at universities and writing in the papers.  They are often quite good at changing official policies (generally set by men) but their influence on the behaviour of other women is minimal.

The big and unsurmountable problem for feminists is that young women are intensely interested in young men.  They are more interested in young men than young men are interested in them.  As a result, young women tend to PANDER to young men.  There!  I've said it.  The word that sends feminists molten.  A women pandering to a man deserves the lowest depths of hell and damnation from a feminist perspective.

I am moved to those thoughts by something I saw this morning as I was having a cup of tea with Anne at the seaside (Wynnum).  It was a classical example of the pandering I just mentioned.

What was happening was that two young men  -- perhaps around age 20 -- were fishing without much success.  But fishing they were and they stuck at it despite catching only the occasional tiddler.  And they had a girl with them, a rather aspirational girl of about 18, about 5'5" tall with fair skin, blue eyes and blonde hair.  And she was in great shape wearing tight short denim shorts.

So what was she doing?  She was just there for the company.  She did have her own fishing rod and cast it in a few times but mostly she just pottered around or sat in a nearby shelter watching.  She was there because the men were there and for no other reason.  They paid their fishing much more attention than they paid her but she was nonetheless in great good humor, full of smiles.  She  was happy just to be there with the men.

And that is how it goes in the teenage years.  And as the years progress it gets even worse from a feminist perspective.  Young  women enter into intimate relationships with men -- not even requiring a wedding ring first these days.  But a wedding is still the vision for most women.

So feminists are up against human nature just as much as other  Leftists before them.  Leftists once thought that they could mould  a "new Soviet man" but were thwarted by human nature.  A new feminist man is just as remote.  Feminized men tend in fact to be rather despised by most women.  Most women like men to be men.  Look at all the women who "wait" for husbands and boyfriends in the armed forces who are "away" on deployment.  Such a relationship looks a very bad deal from a certain point of view.  But men in the forces tend to be real men -- and women will put up with a lot to have such a man.  Where it matters, feminism is an abject failure.

PM threatens to deport asylum seekers if they 'are irritating, spit or swear in public'

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been accused of abusing his power after drafting a code of behaviour for asylum seekers that threatens to deport them for ‘irritating people, disturbing someone or spitting or swearing in public’.

Australia’s tough stance over asylum seekers from Indonesia has soured relations between the two countries in recent months and this document is not likely to improve matters.

The number of asylum seekers from Iran, Afghanistan, Myanmar and elsewhere reaching Australia in Indonesian fishing boats has soared in recent years and Australia has occasionally used its Navy to tow boats back to Indonesian waters.

Now those who manage to make it to Australia’s shores will have to sign a new code of behaviour, currently in draft form, which sets out how they’re expected to behave.

The document, which applies to those arriving by boat - or 'illegal maritime arrivals' - was leaked to The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

It states that they are banned from ‘irritating people’, ‘disturbing people’, ‘damaging property, spitting or swearing in public’ and ‘other actions that other people might find offensive’.  ‘Spreading rumours’ at work or ‘excluding someone from a group or place on purpose’ are also banned.

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre said punishment for code of behaviour infringements could vary.

It said: 'It could start with just a warning, you may have your Red Cross payments reduced or stopped all together or you may be placed in detention in Australia or offshore on Nauru and Manus Island.'

Kon Karapanagiotidis, a spokesman for organisation, told The Telegraph: ‘No other industrialised nation criminalises everyday behaviour. The idea that spitting in public or getting a parking fine is enough to get you sent to an off shore detention centre is extraordinary. It is an abuse of power and creates a climate of terror for asylum seekers.’


Jakarta's warships to target refugees

A clear win for Tony Abbott's strong line

THE Indonesian navy has added three small warships to its southern patrols, with Jakarta declaring they are there to intercept people-smuggling boats, not to deter Australian incursions.

"The increased security measures in (the) southern part of the country is in order to anticipate increased illegal migrant activities," said Agus Barnas, spokesman for Senior Security Minister Djoko Suyanto.

As tempers calm following Australia's admission of "inadvertent" territorial-waters incursions and a subsequent apology, the Indonesians have reversed a

plan to send a second frigate, the heaviest and best-armed ships in their fleet, to join the southern patrols.

Instead, three aged Parchim-class "mini-corvettes" have been dispatched.

The navy stepped up patrolling of the waters south of Java last week, in a move announced as part of Jakarta's response to Immigration Minister Scott Morrison's admission that border-protection vessels had breached the 12 nautical miles territorial-waters limit several times.

Tony Abbott yesterday likened the incidents to "Test cricketers occasionally drop(ping) catches" -- mistakes, he said, the navy and Customs would not repeat.

"Now, as Scott Morrison and (Operation Sovereign Borders commander) General (Angus) Campbell announced regretfully a week or so back, unfortunately on a number of occasions inadvertently we did enter Indonesia's territorial waters," the Prime Minister said.

"We deeply regret that, we fully apologise for it and I think the Indonesians have accepted our apology."

The Indonesian government has demanded "formal clarification" of the breaches; Canberra has given no undertaking to provide an explanation.

Immediately following the Australian admission on January 17, the Co-ordinating Ministry for Politics, Legal and Security Affairs announced the strengthening of naval patrols in the area.

Mr Agus then cited both Indonesia's "right to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity" and its commitment to addressing illegal immigrant movements.

During the following days, sections of the domestic media and some politicians and commentators claimed the Indonesian military was responding proactively to the risk of further Australian incursions.

Mr Agus said yesterday the increased naval activity in southern waters was not directed at the Australians but at people-smugglers.

Whether a second frigate or additional mini-corvettes were used to bolster border security in southern waters was a matter for the navy's fleet commanders, he said.

Air force spokesman Hadi Tjahjanto has also denied reports that the service's Sukhoi fighter squadron and radar installations were placed on alert against Australian territorial incursions.

Air Marshal Hadi said last Friday the air force had not received any orders to intensify operations.

The Australian understands three German-built mini-corvettes, each displacing about 800 tonnes compared with the 2200 tonnes of the navy's six frigates, have been sent to join the southern patrols.

Southern waters patrols are shared between the navy's Western and Eastern fleets, based in Jakarta and Surabaya.

The patrols now involve a frigate, four mini-corvettes, and four fast patrol boats.

Mr Morrison at the weekend welcomed Indonesia's navy deployment as "a very strong deterrence to people-smugglers".


Greenie shark lovers

People have never been a Greenie priority

Anthony Joyce once shared the Western Australian government's views on sharks after he found his foot in the jaws of one while surfing.

But the surfer from Sydney's northern beaches, who was pulled on to the beach at Narrabeen last October bleeding profusely from a wound lined with puncture marks, has done what says is a "180" on his initial support for the culling of sharks over three metres.

"The amount of sharks they are going to kill is going to make no difference in the scheme of things," he said.

Mr Joyce said, since undertaking three months of research that included talking to shark experts and marine biologists, he now supports greater government support for marine biology programs and shark education in schools and through surf lifesaving.

Mr Joyce, who took three months to enter the water again after his shark bite, soon hopes to get back on his board.

He was one of thousands of people gathered on Manly Beach on Saturday to protest against WA's shark culling policy. The policy, introduced after a fatal attack off Gracetown in November, intends to target tiger, bull and great white sharks longer than three metres that come within a kilometre of the shore.

The Manly rally was one of many held around Australia and New Zealand.  Witty signs, foam shark fins and chants of "stop the cull" filled the idyllic beach.

Among the protesters was James Cook, a 27-year-old who said he was more likely to be king hit than attacked by a shark. His mother, Katherine Cook, was equally outraged at Australia's desire to kill the marine animals.  "I'm really angry and incensed that we can't co-exist with anything," she said. "We are going into their [sharks'] environment. Why can't we co-exist?"

She said more people died across the world each year from being hit by coconuts than shark attacks.

Thousands of Western Australians also rallied at Perth's Cottesloe Beach, calling for an end to the state government’s policy.

The protest came hours after an under-size two-metre shark, believed to be a tiger shark, was pulled from a baited drumline off Leighton beach by Fisheries officers. The animal - the second to be killed under the program - was dumped further offshore.

The first rally at Cottesloe - the home suburb of WA Premier Colin Barnett - on January 4 drew an estimated 4500 protesters while the event on Saturday attracted about 6000 people, with speakers including Greens leader Christine Milne and state Labor leader Mark McGowan.

‘‘Rights, rights, rights for great whites,’’ the crowd chanted. One placard read: ‘‘Sharks are more important than human recreation’’.

The Liberal-led government believes a string of fatal attacks in WA waters in recent years has dented tourism, particularly the diving industry and says beachgoers must be protected.

But Virgin Airlines boss Sir Richard Branson, who is fighting China’s shark fin trade, told the local Fairfax radio station on Friday that the catch-and-kill policy would backfire, driving away tourism.

Mr Barnett, who is in Africa for a mining conference, has come under immense pressure to call off the cull, including having the windows of his Cottesloe office smashed by a protester.

The baited drumlines are scheduled to remain in metropolitan and South West waters until April 30.

WA shark expert Paul Sharp said the baited drum lines might actually increase the risk of shark attacks.  "Simply having those baits in the water will result in excited and stimulated sharks," he said at the Manly protest on Saturday.  "Like any other animal, when they are excited, there is a greater risk of an accident happening."


As Labor digs in to protect the status quo, Tony Abbott is preparing to take unions to the scaffold

The grim news this week of systematic thuggery and criminality on building sites confirms three facts of life in Australia.

First, that the quarter-trillion-dollar-a-year construction industry has returned to business as usual a decade after the Cole royal commission found an "urgent need for structural and cultural reform".

Second, that Labor has unlearnt everything it used to know about being a broad political party and has retreated to being a narrow sectional one. Labor under Bill Shorten is defending the indefensible in the construction industry in an effort to protect malfeasance in the construction union.

Third, that the Coalition is prepared to tackle the problem in the building sector, but that deep in its genes it is determined to wage a much bigger confrontation with the union movement.

It begins with the building industry. The Abbott government will reconstitute the extraordinary body that the Howard government created to attack criminality in the industry, the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

Labor went to the elections of 2007 and 2010 supporting the ABCC, recognising that it was doing important work to improve productivity and lawfulness. But it was cut short seven years into its campaign to clean up the sector.

When the construction union asked then prime minister Julia Gillard to abolish the ABCC, she obliged, "to protect her own arse", as one of her cabinet ministers put it. The unions were Gillard's internal power base against Kevin Rudd.

Today Labor and the Greens, both recipients of donations from the construction union, are combining in the Senate to block the return of the ABCC. They are using unconventional tactics, with multiple referrals to various Senate committees, to delay a vote on the government's bill.

What's wrong with Labor's position? It says that, if there are allegations of criminality in the building industry, police should investigate in the normal course of enforcing the law. There's no need for a special body or a royal commission. This seems reasonable, but it is, in fact, a pretext for preserving the status quo.

How? The police and other enforcement authorities are notoriously reluctant to pursue investigations into the building industry. The ABCC commissioner from 2005 to 2010, John Lloyd, now the Red Tape Commissioner for the Victorian government, explained:

"Traditionally there's been a shrug of the shoulders" among the enforcement authorities. "The attitude is, 'that's the way the industry is, it's a tough industry, and we don't want to get involved'.

"And people in the industry don't want to talk. There's a code of silence. If you're seen to be co-operating, you are subject to reprisals against your business or against yourself."

He knows. The ABCC under Lloyd brought more than 90 civil cases for breaches of industrial law, and it enjoyed a success rate in the courts of 85 per cent. But it also referred to the police and other enforcement authorities 39 cases of suspected criminal conduct. Lloyd is today aware of none that was pursued.

The ABCC might have been able to follow up and jog the police into action, but its premature demise means that it didn't get the chance.

Labor and the Greens can protect the construction union, the CFMEU, only until July 1, when the new senators take their seats. Abbott is very likely to prevail in the new Senate. The new ABCC will then be empowered to clean up the industry.

It will be commissioned to police the unions but also the employers - for every union official taking a payoff there is a company making a payoff. Collusion is at the heart of the problem.

At the same time, the Abbott government will have ready a royal commission into corruption in the union movement.

This is where the horizon broadens dramatically, from one sector to all sectors; where the Coalition's deep DNA asserts itself, and where the big confrontation looms.

This was an opportunity created by the conduct of some of the unions and their officials and Labor itself. Three major stories of union corruption ran for most of Labor's term in office. One was the misuse of union funds by then Labor MP Craig Thomson when he was an official at the Health Services Union. Another was the flagrant corruption and greed of Michael Williamson when he was an official at the HSU and simultaneously national president of the Labor Party. Third was the revisiting of the slush fund and misappropriation of money by Bruce Wilson when he was an official of the Australian Workers Union and boyfriend of Gillard.

In opposition, Abbott capitalised on these union scandals to promise a judicial review of the misuse of union funds, if elected. He was elected. This judicial review is to be a royal commission, planned to be announced in the next few weeks.

Public opinion has already been prepared, largely by the corrupt union officials and the publicity their cases received over the past five years. "When you say 'unions' to focus groups, they think 'workers'," says a Coalition strategist with access to the party's research. "When you say 'union officials' to focus groups, they think 'cheats, grubs and corruption'. That's why we always say 'union officials' - it's a very pejorative term. The public is with us."

But the Abbott government wants to wait a few weeks more before announcing the royal commission. Why? Because every day's news is bringing the problem home to the public.

"Before you give the punters a solution, they have to understand there's a problem," says the strategist. "The more attention on this in public, the more we're seen to be responding to a problem, not running an ideological exercise."

The problem is certainly real, especially in the construction sector. Lloyd says that in the life of the ABCC, "the industry's conduct improved, although I don't think the culture did, and now my impression is that the conduct has deteriorated again. I'm surprised to see that bikie gangs appear to be entrenched now, from the news reports."

A former royal commissioner into the NSW construction sector in the early 1990s, Roger Gyles, seems to agree: "The sorts of problems that I saw, that [Royal Commissioner Terence] Cole saw, are not only re-occurring but apparently may be at a more serious level with the involvement of bikies," he told The Australian this week. "The problem is there seems to be no effective action by anybody." And the industry is vastly bigger now. Since the first incarnation of the ABCC in 2005, the annual value of construction sector turnover, excluding housing, has grown fivefold to $262 billion in 2013-14, IBIS World says.

But while the Abbott government will seek to address real problems, its larger response through a royal commission and other measures is also deeply ideological.

The royal commission's terms of reference will be wide. It will be mandated to examine not just the unions that have drawn recent publicity for their corrupt practices, the HSU and the CFMEU in recent years and the AWU in the Wilson era, but the entire union movement.

And the government will ask it to look at corruption widely defined, including misuse of members' funds. The government has a shortlist of candidates to conduct the royal commission. The main criterion is that it's a "kick-arse commissioner", according to a person involved in the decision.

The Abbott government hopes and trusts the royal commission will set off a three-year internecine war pitting union against union. "It'll be every union for itself," says a strategist. "There's nothing better than that."

The intention is to allow the union movement to damage itself. One result would be to weaken the institutional basis of the Labor Party.

The Abbott government has learnt from the mistake of the Howard government. It plans to carefully fillet the workplace to separate workers' pay and conditions from the unions. The workers are to be unaffected. The target is the union organisations. Abbott, inoculating himself against the inevitable Labor accusation that he wants to attack workers' pay, this week repeated his pledge that he wants Australian workers to be "the best paid workers in the world". On most comparisons, they already are.

In the meantime, the government will have the Productivity Commission reviewing the workplace system and producing recommendations for reforms.

These recommendations could very well affect workers' pay and conditions, but Abbott has promised that he will take to the next election any changes that he might propose to workplaces and working conditions.

So it's a two-term process. First, attack the unity and the power of the unions. Second, consider changes to the workplace.

And while the second term is still a long way off, the ultimate aim of the government was set out in a landmark speech this week by Abbott's Industrial Relations Minister, Eric Abetz:

"We are still yet to complete the process identified by Gerard Henderson," head of the Sydney Institute and former Herald columnist, "in 1983 of transforming the award system from a prescriptive means of regulating the workforce to that of a simple safety net above which economic reality can prevail".

Abbott's is not the first government to propose this goal. Paul Keating set out his aim for a system that puts "primary emphasis on bargaining at the workplace level within a framework of minimum standards provided by arbitral tribunals. It is a model under which … awards … would be there only as a safety net.

"Over time, the safety net would inevitably become simpler," Keating said. "We would have fewer awards, with fewer clauses."

Abetz embraced the Keating vision: "To this end I am on a unity ticket with Mr Keating."

The construction industry needs to be cleaned up, but we now see the Abbott vision extends far beyond.


1 comment:

Paul said...

Slow but steady. Abbott just may have a few more terms coming to him.