Thursday, August 28, 2014


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is desperately hoping for some enlightened politicians

Lying old bag, Gillian Triggs

One hesitates to call the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, a liar but she leaves you little room to call her anything else. Her appalling display when chairing an inquiry into child detention on Christmas Island last Friday left Scott Morrison nonplussed and viewers of A-Pac Channel reaching for bricks.

“I’m a lawyer”, she screeched when asked to withdraw a claim that there were armed guards at the children’s detention centre. She refused, and continued to make ridiculous assertions that there wasn’t a blade of grass to be seen, that children were diseased, suicidal and Ill-cared for without decent medical facilities.

Having recently visited the site Ms Triggs was knowingly telling bald faced lies and was determined to mislead the Press who were eager to report her “opinions”, rather than those of Minister Morrison.

Such blatant dishonesty can be expected of [Greenie Senator] Sarah Hanson-Young, but not from a Human Rights Commissioner.

Ms Triggs, a confessed Lefty, was appointed to the position of President of the Human Rights Commission in 2007 and up until 2013 had ample opportunity to criticise the sparse facilities afforded more than twice the number of children detained under Labor. She chose not to.

Yet conditions at Christmas Island under Morrison are first class and above anything available to residents on the island. “Children have a fenced pool and access to swimming lessons, schooling, Tai Chi/Yoga, they participate in community sporting events, have a Persian band, disco, movie nights, picnics and many other activities, all supervised”, according to our Christmas Island contact.

“They have the best of medical care and are immediately flown to the mainland if specialist care is needed, I wish we had the same services ourselves”, he said.

“I find it most distressing that her professional ethics have resulted in the detainees being used as pawns for her political agenda.”

Perhaps Ms Triggs might reflect on the care she afforded her own child, Victoria, who she describes as, "being profoundly retarded as anyone who is still alive can be".

Triggs told the Melbourne Age, "Her condition usually results in death shortly after birth. In fact, the doctors kept saying to me, 'just leave her in the corner and she'll die.’ I know it sounds terrible, but I'd look at Victoria and think, 'Well, you're going to die, so I'm not going to invest too much in you.’”

But Victoria didn't die so, at six months of age, an impatient Triggs, found a family prepared to look after her. The family gave her the primary care she so desperately needed before she died seven years ago at the age of 21.

Now there’s a CV befitting a Commissioner for Human Rights.
Resign now Ms Triggs and stop degrading your commission and your adopted country. You are truly an obnoxious disgrace.


Some background on the old bag here

Tim Blair hits back over Muslim ghetto in Sydney

Last week’s column about Sydney’s Muslim heartland of Lakemba upset one or two people. Shouty lawyer Chris Murphy, guest Fairfax columnist Zeynab Gamieldien and the usual online types all decided that the piece was racist.

Apparently these people believe Islam is a race rather than a religion. Here’s a typically charming note from Twitter identity Melinda: “Tim, you’re a dumb, racist little bitch, you really don’t amount to anything, hope you die.”

Thankfully, for Mel and other fans, there is a quick way to sort this out. First, convert to Islam. All you need to do is recite the Testimony of Faith, which runs something like this: “La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad rasoolu Allah.” There you go. Job done.

Now try converting to Asian, or white, or Aboriginal, or some other race that you are not. It’s slightly more difficult.

While you’re struggling with that racial change, consider the reaction to revelations in my column that Lakemba’s Islamic Bookstore is selling books that demonise Jews, praise Hitler and slam women as unintelligent and worthless. “To try to paint the whole of Lakemba as being typified by the contents of an obscure bookshop really stretches the imagination,” wrote Canterbury mayor Brian Robson.

The shop isn’t obscure. It’s large and it’s in the middle of Haldon street. Moreover, it has been there for 16 years and is clearly profitable, which is more than many other Sydney bookstores can say. Note to Borders: maybe your chain would still be open if you’d concentrated on selling sexist and anti-Semitic texts in Sydney’s south west. Seems to be quite a market.

“Last time I checked, nearly every suburb in Sydney has bookstores, yet we don’t define the residents of those suburbs by what the authors of those books say or think,” wrote Labor’s member for Lakemba Robert Furolo. “That would be just absurd.”

Really, Bob? In almost every other Sydney suburb, a shop selling outright hate literature would face protests and closure. In Lakemba, however, it’s a successful business model.

At least those two mentioned the shop. A number of other critics couldn’t even bring themselves to acknowledge it. The Sydney Morning Herald‘s John Birmingham offered 341 words on my column last Saturday, all of them avoiding a certain awkward subject. “The truth of Lakemba,” he concluded, “is the greater truth of Sydney.” Birmingham wrote that from 1000 kilometres away in Brisbane.

Lakemba resident Zeynab Gamieldien, writing for Fairfax’s online ladypages, also side-stepped the book issue, merely noting that I’d provided “several quotes from three books he happened to spot amongst the hundreds on shelves.” As it happens, one of them – Women Who Deserve to go to Hell – was in the front window. On those quotes, it may be instructive to change a key word or two. Imagine the reaction if Sydney stores sold books containing these lines:

 *  “Is it allowed to support and love Muslims? No, it is not allowed.”

 *  “Men’s perfection is because of various reasons: intelligence, religion, etc. At most, four Muslims have this perfection.”

 *  “No one can deny the fact that the Muslims are the worst kind of barbarian killers the world has ever known!!! The decent great Adolf Hitler of Germany never killed in the manner of the Muslims!!! Surely only mad people or those who love killing infants, pregnant women and the infirm will think differently.”

Just a hunch, but that sort of thing might lead to a protest or two. When an Islamic store presents identical slurs against women and Jews, however, the PC crowd is absolutely silent.

Their standards are difficult to understand. A few weeks ago, for example, Sydney journalism academic Wendy Bacon led an attempted advertiser boycott of the Daily Telegraph after I ran an online poll making fun of feminist “frightbats”. Apparently it’s just fine, though, to sell books that claim women are worth only half the value of a man. And they are going to hell.

The ABC’s Jonathan Green performed an impressive leftist two-step, first describing my Islamic Bookstore criticism as a case of “book burning” then urging censorship of images showing the imminent Islamic State beheading of US journalist James Foley. Consistency isn’t exactly his strong suit – unless you’re talking about consistent cowardice in the face of Islam.

Anyhow, enough of this evidence-based malarkey. Time to get my apology out of the way.

For any readers who actually followed those instructions at the top of the column and converted to Islam, I neglected to include an important warning. Although converting to Islam is extremely easy, converting from Islam – particularly in the Middle East – may cause beatings, head loss and death by stoning.

Looks like you’re stuck with it. Sorry about that.


Pyne position the way to get budget through Senate

One moment last week it seemed that most of the budget had sailed through Parliament as if the need for fiscal repair had miraculously disappeared.  It looked like the government was going to wobble on its mantra on the need to repair the budget. Fortunately Finance Minister Mathias Cormann put that nonsense down at the weekend but one MP said to me that many were still wondering: what is the message we are supposed to be selling? It's a fair question. It still needs a clearer answer.

What I'm calling "the Pyne position" is the only way to go. If the Senate refuses to give the government the chance to keep its election promise to repair the budget then the government is perfectly entitled to cut somewhere else, where the government does not have to rely on the Senate. So, he might not want to do it, but Education Minister Christopher Pyne is not just within his mandate to cut research spending or some other university spending but he has an obligation to do so. That's not blackmail, as his opponents say - the Senate has deliberately reduced his options.

But on the other side of the coin, if the Senate is blocking revenues or spending measures and thereby limiting the extent of fiscal repair, the government should drop its own unfunded budget proposals. Unfortunately the government is intending to do the opposite and increase debt as a consequence. Apparently the $20 billion medical research scheme is to continue regardless of the reality that revenue from the co-payment is now unlikely to be supported by the Senate. In my view, the medical research scheme, which was only ever a poorly thought out and rushed political tactic to soften the blow of the Medicare co-payment, should be axed if the co-payment is rejected. I find it hard to understand how the government can talk about fiscal repair and then propose an unfunded new scheme. I thought unfunded schemes were one of the main legacy problems left by the dysfunctional Labor government. I also opposed budget measures for infrastructure spending before the budget even being announced because I thought fiscal repair was the number one problem. 

The rationale for infrastructure spending is that it is needed to stimulate a weak economy. Personally I doubt that it works as well as the Keynesians would claim. But the issue now is should the government be spending money it doesn't have? And if we want to do something, then why isn't the government pushing for labour market reform that would cost nothing to the budget but which would significantly improve economic performance?

Of course, the budget is not the only starting point for governments who like spending.

I now understand that the Abbott government is thinking seriously about proposing or part financing a whopping great big new gas pipe to bring gas from Western Australia to Sydney. Apparently the rationale is to supply gas to Sydney because it looks like there will be gas shortages that will affect business and maybe residential users.

I find it hard to understand why the Commonwealth would even be considering the matter when the prospect of gas shortages has been obvious for at least 18 months while NSW has done virtually nothing. Under former premier Barry O'Farrell, NSW had been largely paralysed by green campaigners who totally opposed any fossil fuels and had been given a platform by radio commentator Alan Jones. Nearly all their claims have been largely debunked by independent scientific advice from the likes of GeoScience Australia and others. Even if at the very last moment NSW finally wanted to do something about gas shortages, there is nothing to stop the NSW government fast tracking private sector gas production within NSW and running a pipe from northern NSW to Sydney. It would be cheaper than transporting gas from WA, much quicker to build and would utilise the coal seam gas now available in NSW.

The other reason for such a pipeline might be to permanently "import" gas into NSW. About 95 per cent of gas for NSW now comes from states other than NSW, and NSW users pay for that transportation. But it's a long way from WA compared with some coal seam gas in NSW.

I don't understand why the Commonwealth should be even thinking to clean up the consequences caused by the failures of the NSW government to ensure gas supplies to Sydney. A benign framework for infrastructure is essentially the responsibility of the states, even though Prime Minister Abbott wants to be the PM for Infrastructure. Infrastructure is a state responsibility and it makes no sense for the Commonwealth to fund some infrastructure such as roads but not rail. Only the states can take the comprehensive approach that is required to best plan the needs of our great cities and beyond.


School chaplain funding to go ahead despite High Court decision

THE Abbott government has moved to circumvent a High Court decision, allowing school chaplains to still be funded in schools.

In June the High Court ruled the scheme’s funding was not constitutional, awarding a Queensland father Ron Williams his second victory against the Commonwealth.

But today the Coalition has announced the program will go ahead, but instead of giving funding directly to schools, it will flow to states and territories.

In a statement, Parliamentary Secretary Scott Ryan said he would be writing to state and territory leaders “in the near future” inviting them to participate.

The scheme, which sees schools given $20,000, will still be exempt from secular workers.

“The Government believes that school chaplains make a valuable contribution to the wellbeing of students and school communities,” Senator Ryan said.

“I encourage State and Territory Governments to accept the invitation of the Commonwealth to participate in the National School Chaplaincy Programme and give all schools the chance to apply for funding for a school chaplain.”

Labor had opened the program up to secular workers, but the Coalition reversed that decision when announcing an extra $245 million over four years in the May budget.


New Poseidon aircraft on the way

AUSTRALIA is a big step closer to buying eight advanced Poseidon patrol planes from the US.

UNDER the deal worth up to $7 billion, Australia is buying the aircraft from the US Navy, which is in the process of acquiring them from manufacturer Boeing on Australia's behalf.
This is termed a Foreign Military Sale, where equipment is acquired through the US military.

Defence Minister David Johnston says these state-of-the-art planes will boost Australia's ability to monitor its maritime approaches.

The eight Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft will replace the RAAF's ageing Orion AP-3C aircraft which entered service in the mid-1980s and are due for retirement in the coming years.

The Poseidons will operate in conjunction with Triton unmanned surveillance aircraft and will be based at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia.

Delivery of the first aircraft is set for 2017 with all eight to be delivered by 2018.


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