Thursday, May 24, 2018

"Righteous" critics of a reasonable statement

In the age of Twitter, you must emote appropriately.  A plea for balance is not possible amid grief

Former Queensland premier Campbell Newman is standing by a series of tweets he made about police "creating total and utter chaos" around the Brisbane CBD when responding to a pedestrian hit and killed by a bus this morning.

A woman was crossing Ann Street near the intersection of Wharf Street just before 7:00am when she was struck by a bus. She died at the scene.

Police closed the intersection for hours and asked motorists to avoid the area.

In response, Mr Newman shot out a series of tweets, saying police could have handled the situation better to minimise traffic disruptions:

"There must be a better way for the Qld Police to deal with a tragic pedestrian death than to shut down the entire northern side of Brisbane and create total and utter chaos extending more than 5 km from the CBD."

"And for those of you who don't agree, what about the surgeons and doctors who didn't get to the hospitals on time, the cancer patients who were heading for treatment, the kids who had exams, the people who missed job interviews etc. etc.

 Gee. What would they say if someone had died in the back of an ambulance this morning that had been injured in an incident elsewhere but couldn't get to the RBH in time due to the traffic? Let's stick to the point rather than name calling and invective"

They were quick to attract criticism.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Mr Newman's criticism was uncalled for. "Someone has lost their life, a family will be grieving tonight and I think it's very sad to hear that Campbell Newman has come out and criticised police," Ms Palaszczuk said. "The police have to undertake an investigation as quickly as they can where that event occurred."

Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan said police took appropriate action at the scene.  "I must say that I was appalled by comments made by former premier and former Brisbane lord mayor Campbell Newman about the police management of traffic while they were taking the necessary steps to investigate and respond to this morning's tragedy," Mr Ryan said.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington also voiced her disappointment at the comments made by her party's former leader. 

Speaking to the ABC, Mr Newman said he stood by his tweets, that he recognised the tragedy of the situation, but there was a need to examine if there was a better way of handling such incidents.

Mr Newman said police needed to consider the potential danger of delaying medical staff on other urgent tasks elsewhere in the city. He said if he were still premier, he would have invited the Police Minister and Police Commissioner to his office to discuss the matter.

A Queensland Police Service (QPS) spokesman said it handled the scene of Tuesday morning's fatality by the book. "It is standard procedure to close a road where a fatality has occurred while investigators from the Forensic Crash Unit conduct thorough scene examinations without interference from traffic," the spokesman said. "The QPS is also conscious of ensuring scenes of fatalities are managed with dignity and respect for the victims and their families.

"On this occasion, a traffic alert was issued to the public within minutes of the incident and local diversions were put in place while the intersection was closed to traffic for two hours."


'Lucy Turnbull has a way of life most people don't': Pauline Hanson slams the Prime Minister's wife for 'out of touch' comments that Sydney has plenty of room for more immigrants

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has slammed Lucy Turnbull for saying Sydney is far from full.

Speaking in a television interview on Tuesday night Ms Hanson said the Prime Minister's wife has a standard of living and way of life many Australians don't.

The Queensland senator said Mrs Turnbull, head of the Greater Sydney Commission, is out of touch and unable to judge whether the city can accept more immigrants.

'I don't think she's in a position to say whether Sydney is full or not full, Ms Hanson told Alan Jones on Sky News.  'For Lucy to say "Oh, Sydney can take more people" you might have your standard of living Lucy ... she's got her way of life, many many Australians don't have that.'

Ms Hanson, who sensationally withdrew her support for the government's corporate tax plan earlier this week, said people are 'screaming' for immigration to be halted.

On Tuesday Mrs Turnbull, former Lord Mayor of Sydney, told The Daily Telegraph the city is far from full, while discussing the commission's recommendations.

Social media users backed Ms Hanson's comments, bringing up Mrs Turnbull's multi-million dollar mansion in exclusive Sydney suburb of Point Piper. 'Lucy needs to venture out of that harbourside abode of hers and see what's happening in the real world,' said one Twitter user. 'Her husband's high-immigration program is overloading and trashing our major cities.'

'Point Piper's not full. Plenty of room for a refugee camp,' said another.

Callers to talkback radio agreed, flooding an open line to slam Mrs Turnbull's comments on 2GB.

'With all due respect Mrs Turnbull, it mightn't be full at Point Piper, but come to south-west and western Sydney and you'll see it's more than full,' said one caller.

'But let me tell you, and it's an open invitation to you Lucy, I'll chauffeur you around.' 'I'll show you the explosion of many high-rise apartments, particularly in my area in north-western Sydney, which are unwanted,' said another.

Mr and Mrs Turnbull bought one harbourside property for $5.4million in 1994, and purchased a neighbouring home for $7.1million five years later. They used the second purchase to expand the waterfrontage of the first property - now estimated to be worth tens of millions - and sold the rest for $13million.

Mr Turnbull's net worth was estimated to be over $200million dollars in 2015.


Bringing a new meaning to nanny state: Primary teachers forced to answer 1,000 questions about their students' progress every five weeks so school's can assess their 'feelings and needs'

Teachers are being made to fill in over 1,000 questions about the progress of their students every five weeks under a new system that will assess how children 'express feelings and needs.'

The new Assessing Literacy and Numeracy (ALAN) program is 'over the top,' according to NSW Primary Principals Association executive Rob Walker.

Mr Walker told the Daily Telegraph some schools had been forced to hire relief teachers just to enter data.

The process involves grading every K-2 child on 791 literacy and 307 numeracy indicators every five weeks.

A spokesperson for the program said it will 'help track students movement along the literacy and numeracy continuum.'

Teachers will need to fill out an online form marking each child on listening, speaking phonics, grammar punctuation and interaction.

The Assessing Literacy and Numeracy program is being implemented at 661 schools across NSW this year.

The questionnaire software, called PLAN 2, will be available to all teachers by the end of 2018.

A spokesperson for Education Minister Stokes said PLAN 2 is just one way the department is hoping to improve the learning experience.

'The Department is always looking at better ways to help students and support teachers,' the spokesperson said.


'Just work a little bit harder': Liberal politician is heckled by an ABC audience for calling on women to stop being 'bitter' about not being promoted at work

A female politician was heckled by an ABC studio audience for declaring women needed to work harder and stop being bitter if they had failed to get promoted in the workplace.

First-term Victorian Liberal senator Jane Hume told the Q&A program that women, being half of the population, needed to stop thinking of themselves as a minority.

'I really dislike being patronised as if I am a minority,' she said.

The 47-year-old Melbourne-based senator, who is opposed to gender quotas, stirred up the Monday night audience when she suggested women needed to get by on their abilities instead of demanding special treatment. 'We are capable of anything but we are entitled to nothing,' she said.

'We have to work for what we want and for women that don't get there, the trick is work that little bit harder.

'Don't get bitter, get better. Work hard. Nothing that is worth getting doesn't come without hard work.'

Senator Hume's call for women to work harder antagonised the Q&A audience, where 41 per cent of the studio spectators identified as either Labor or Greens voters, compared with 32 per cent who declared themselves as Liberal or Nationals supporters.

The panel discussion took a tense turn when Senator Hume, a former banker, suggested an African schoolgirl in the audience from Melbourne's western suburbs, Sarah Ador Loi, could get ahead if she joined the Liberal Party and was mentored.

Macquarie University research fellow Randa Abdel-Fattah hit back by referencing the senator's skin colour. 'Spoken like a white, female politician,' she said as she sipped on a glass of water.

The Muslim academic, who grew up in Melbourne, suggested Sarah would not have the same connections to become a politician as someone who came from the wealthy suburb of Toorak.

The discussion had also focused on how just 21 per cent of federal Liberal Party politicians were women, compared with 44 per cent in the Labor Party, which has had gender targets since the mid-1990s.


Commuters are ditching public transport and choosing to drive to work because their travel times are DOUBLING as Sydney struggles to cope with population growth

Sydneysiders are spending almost twice as long on public transport as commuters living in bustling cities like San Francisco and Madrid, a new report has revealed.

Urban growth experts claim the city is approaching a tipping point where fed up residents will boycott public transport and further clog up roads by driving to work. 

International urban expert Professor Greg Clark, who authored the report, said the problem was made worse by Sydney's inability to cope with population growth.

'Public transport is struggling with capacity as passenger demand from new developments around train stations increases,' Professor Greaves told the Sydney Morning Herald.

'Sydney's population is growing at a higher rate than many other global cities and we're playing catch up.'

The report found that Sydney's commute times are well above what is normal for the population.

It also found Sydney's brand didn't reflect the reality with the city performing lower than its reputation in about 300 benchmarks.

The city is fragmented by over 30 local councils which was identified as contributing to the issues with other cities such as Totonto, Copenhagen, and even Brisbane having more efficient larger centralised governing bodies.

Property Council of NSW executive director Jane Fitzgerald said Sydney is not operating as well as it could be.

'We need to get our planning and city policies right to ensure we don't fall behind comparable cities across the world,' she said.

When all performance benchmarks were taken into account Sydney ranked 13th in the report, Melbourne 20th, and Brisbane ranked 40th.

Coming in at the top of the best performing cities across the 300 benchmarks were London, Singapore, Paris and New York.


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

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