Tuesday, July 11, 2017


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is glad to get rid of Muslim loud-mouth Yassmin Abdel-Magied .

Contempt of court action against ministers was conflict best avoided

The Federal ministers escaped being charged after making an apology.  They initially refused to apologize but later backed down.  Reading between the lines, they were put under great pressure to apologize.  A showdown would have provoked a constitutional crisis, which both the court and the government were keen to  avoid.  The article below is a discreet rebuke to CJ Marilyn Warren and her court for bringing on the crisis.  They were undoubtedly unduly sensitive.  They should have just looked the other way.  Judges and their verdicts SHOULD be criticizable by anyone at any time.  Any attempt to punish speech is obnoxious

A legal Pandora’s box was opened recently when three federal ministers were invited to appear ­before the Victorian Court of ­Appeal to ­answer an allegation that they were in contempt of the same court.

Contempt of court is an unlawful interference with the due operation of our system of justice. It is a crime punishable by a fine or ­imprisonment.

The three ministers used ­derogatory language to describe Victorian sentencing decisions and the judges who made them. It was strident political discourse common to the floor of parliament but involving language less common in a legal setting. These comments were reported in The Australian.

If the ministers had been convicted of contempt, they would no longer be eligible under our Constitution to serve in parliament. Given the one-seat majority of our federal government, a conviction of any one of the minsters for contempt could have brought down the government.

One of the reasons for the comparative freedom we enjoy in this country is that we have a ­judiciary that is independent of government. This allows for legal scrutiny of the actions of parliament and the executive by an ­independent umpire.

However, the scrutiny is not all one way. In a common law system, parliament has the ultimate legal power. Judges are appointed by the executive, a legal precedent created by court decisions can be overturned by laws passed by parliament and, in limited circumstances, judges can be removed by parliament.

Federal crimes are tried in state and territory courts. The ­controversy raised by the three ministers concerned whether sentencing under a federal anti-­terrorism law was being applied differently in different states. This was a clear matter of public interest falling directly within the area of the public duty of the ministers.

It raised a range of ­issues for possible further legislation by the parliament, including mandatory minimum sentences, changes to sentencing guidelines or changes to the jurisdiction of courts hearing the offences.

A very wide discretion is given to judges when sentencing criminals, as confirmed by the High Court in the Markarian decision. However, the Victorian Court of Appeal alleged a contempt by the ministers for expressing opinions on matters within the scope of their office. This surprised many people. If the ministers had said the very same words in parliament they would have been protected by parliamentary privilege.

In NSW in the 1990s there was great public criticism reported in the media of the sentences given to the men in several Muslim gangs convicted of the gang rape of several women in Sydney — in some cases it was said the sentences were too low and in other cases too high.

The late editor of London’s The Times, William Rees-Mogg, wrote a famous editorial in 1967 headed “Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?”, which led to the release of Mick Jagger the day after he was given a three-month prison sentence for drug possession. No contempt was suggested even by the conservative judicial standards of 1960s England.

For more than 80 years, Australian courts have recognised since the Breadmaker’s case that “it is well settled that a person cannot be prevented by process of contempt from continuing to discuss publicly a matter which may fairly be regarded as one of public interest, by reason of the fact that the matter in question has ­become the subject of litigation ...”

The High Court has since ­recognised our constitutional right to the freedom of political expression.

It has also been accepted since the 1930s that decisions by judges are incapable of what is called sub judice contempt. That is, there cannot be any tendency for judge-made decisions to be prejudiced by the media. The Victorian matters were appeals and there was no jury or witnesses who could have been influenced by what the ministers said. Indeed, when the Court of Appeal recently called the three ministers to ­answer why they should not be charged with contempt, the Chief Justice of Victoria made it clear the statements by the ministers could not and would not influence the appeal decision concerning the sentencing of two convicted terrorists.

The only other relevant category of contempt is a rare kind of contempt called scandalising the court, but that is difficult to establish, especially now that we have a constitutionally recognised freedom of political speech. The subject of the 1930 High Court case of Bell v Stewart was a media article that said the public was amused at the innocence of a court decision that showed the industrial court to be detached from the real world. According to the High Court, that did not scandalise a court and it has not heard an ­appeal involving an alleged contempt of that kind since.

Freedom exists when we all observe our important mutual civil obligations. MPs should be respectful of our courts and courts should not be too sensitive to legitimate debate about the operation of our taxpayer-funded justice system. An appropriate balance will protect two of the most important features of our free society: the integrity, operation and appearance of a fair and impartial court system, and the freedom to express opinions on important public issues no matter how uncomfortable they may be.

The best possible outcome was that the legal Pandora’s box opened and quickly closed again before any contempt charges were laid. Charges would have led to a protracted conflict ­between two important and independent arms of government: our courts and our parliament.


Surely millionaires can pay for their children's education without the assistance of the taxpayer?

Many students with affluent parents go to free State schools. Blaise Joseph below wants them to pay

We all know the school stereotype. Government schools are full of disadvantaged students and struggling for money, while overfunded wealthy independent schools receive taxpayer money they will just spend on fancier swimming pools.

This is a myth.

As recent research clearly demonstrates, government schools reflect the socioeconomic status (SES) of parents in the school catchment areas.

There are 538 government schools with a majority of students from the top SES quarter. This includes the academically selective government schools, which mainly attract students from very high SES backgrounds, and resemble the most 'elite' independent schools.

Around 500,000 students in government schools are from the top 25% of SES -- more than the total number of students from this category in independent and Catholic schools combined.

This challenges an unquestioned, unjustified assumption at the heart of school funding in Australia: universal free public schooling must continue.

The status quo is inequitable and unfair. High-income parents in high SES areas -- where government schools tend to perform much better -- are able to send their children to government schools for free.

In contrast, low-income parents in low SES areas -- where government schools tend to perform much worse -- have to make significant financial contributions to send their children to a non-government school if they are (understandably) not satisfied with the quality of the local government school.

Sure, the underlying long-term issue is the inconsistent quality of schooling, but in the meantime parents in low SES areas are unfairly disadvantaged.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with the government school system catering for students from all SES backgrounds. But why shouldn't schooling be means-tested like most other government services? Surely millionaires can pay for their children's education without the assistance of the taxpayer?

It is unnecessary to constrain government schools from receiving significant and compulsory contributions from high-income parents. This means much more taxpayer funding than needed is spent on many government schools.

Let's end the fa├žade that all government schools have no capacity to charge fees and are in desperate need of taxpayer funding. State governments should seriously consider charging school fees for high SES parents.


Teachers to be taught WRESTLING techniques and how to block punches to combat surge in attacks from students

An incredible development from the Left-led collapse in discipline

Teachers are being taught how to put students in wrestling holds and how to block punches to combat a surge in violence in NSW classrooms.

The Department of Education has enlisted the help of US-based company Crisis Prevention Institute to train primary and secondary school teachers in wrestling techniques, a department spokesperson told Daily Telegraph.

The institute trains prison officers in controlling violent inmates and will teach leverage-based tactics designed to force agitated students into submission.

They will be taught how to hold violent students in order to move them from location to another without physically harming them.

'Any restraint should be only that which is reasonably necessary to prevent a real and immediate threat of injury or serious damage and where there is no other practical way of preventing the likely injury or damage,' the spokesman said.

Eighteen students from public schools were physically subdued in the first half of 2016, according to the department, with teachers being bitten and hit by children multiple times at one primary school.

If a student tries to physically violate a teacher through a hold or a strike, the CPI trains them to block or dodge the punch and use leverage tactics which are not meant to be painful.

If all else fails, a teacher in crisis can call on a second teacher for help.

'They (the student) might say 'I know where your car is' or 'I know your daughter is in year one'. Then it's time to call in a second teacher for support and evacuate the classroom,' CPI instructor Paula Elliott told the Telegraph.

Teachers can also 'restrict the student's liberty of movement to minimise harm' if a student is intent on assault or self-harm, by adopting six techniques with increasing pressure. 

'The use of restraint is frowned on but sometimes it's necessary if the child is looking to self-harm or is a threat to their teacher or other children,' CPI Country Manager Peter Hickey said.

Teachers from both primary and secondary schools are being trained.


The Finkel Report’s Recommendations on the Future Security of the National Electricity Market: Impacts on the Australian Economy and Australian Consumers

Dr Alan Moran below offers an alternative, non-Greenie, path for electricity provision in Australia


Governments are subsidising the building of intermittent renewable energythat are reducing reliability and security while increasing prices. The Finkel recommendations entail an amplification of these subsidies, the outcome of which has been a doubling of wholesale electricity prices and a degradation of supply reliability. Compared with wholesale electricity prices of around $40 per MWh prevailing during the first 15 years of the present century, prices now exceed $80 per MWh.

The Finkel review accepts that its policy proposals will not return wholesale electricity to their historical levels but mistakenly argues that this would be impossible. Moreover, its over-optimistic assumptions on future costs of renewables mean that its proposals would make even its $80 per MWh pricegoal unattainable.

Implementation of the Finkel recommendations would bring a further deteriorationof system reliability and lift wholesale prices to at least $100 per MWh. This is already evident in prices of electricity on futures markets. Returning to the previous market-based electricity supply system that has been gradually undermined by regulations over the past 15 years would result in new coal plants, wholesale electricity costs at around $50 per MWh and the restoration of a more reliable system.

Household energy bills, even under an optimistic viewof the Finkel proposals, would be between $588 and $768 per year more than would be the case under an outcome that removed market distortions by eliminating all subsidies.

More injurious to households than the lift in their direct electricity costs, the Finkel recommendations would vastly increase the costs of electricity to commercial users. By more than doubling electricity costs, the Finkel proposals would force the virtual cessation of production in energy intensive, trade-exposed industries; these account for one fifth of manufacturing and include some of the nation’s most productive activities including metals and smelting, pulp and paper, sugar and confectionery. Competitiveness and future growth would also be adversely impacted across most agricultural and mining sectors.

A regulatory-induced elimination of the industries able to take advantage of Australia’s natural advantage in low cost energy supplies and the forced increase in all other industries’ electricity costs would severely reduce Australia’s living standards.


In general, the Finkel proposals should be rejected and regulatory distortions on energy supply should be removed. In particular, the Commonwealth should:

Abolish the Commonwealth’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) and the subsidies,presently about $75 per MWh, it creates for wind and large scale solar; and

Eliminate the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme(SRES) under which electricity users in general are forced to provide a subsidy of $40 per MWh to roof-top photovoltaic installations.

Cease all government subsidies through the budget including guarantees to bodies like the Clean Energy Regulator and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation(CEFC).

The electricity market management should require, in line with the Finkel proposals, that all generators pay to ensure they operate reliably and require new generators to pay costs of transmission that their grid connection entails.

State government should remove subsidies like the Queensland Solar Bonus scheme and preferential Feed-in-Tariffs for PV generated electricity


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

1 comment:

Paul said...

Combine Left-led collapse of processes of discipline with an infestation of uncivilized third-world garbage and you have the perfect storm.