Sunday, July 07, 2013

Amanda Vanstone furious as UK press lambast 'misogynist' Aussie politics

Colonialist condescension from the British Left.  No surprise there.  I commented on the rubbish last month

TO suggest Amanda Vanstone is angry would be an understatement.  The former South Australian senator from the Howard government is as mad as hell and she is not going to take it anymore.

Her fury is directed at the Fleet Street press in the UK and in particular opinion writers who for the last week have been making broad statements about the Australian male, all but describing them as resting on the evolution chain somewhere between homo erectus and homo neanderthalensis.

The apparent British summation has been coming after prime minister Julia Gillard was ousted as leader, a move many British commentators have blamed solely on the perceived misogynist nature of Australian men generally, and politicians specifically.

Much of the commentary has cited an opinion piece written by Ms Gillard's former Scottish-born media adviser John McTernan who said his boss was driven out of office by "deep-rooted misogynist forces in society" and the Aussie male had brought the country down.

Ms Vanstone arrived on holidays in the British capital this week and was disturbed by what she read each day and yesterday decided enough was enough and began ringing Fleet Street papers to offer a few choice words and offer a column "to set the record straight".

"As the longest serving female Cabinet minister I think I know a thing or two about it," Ms Vanstone told News Corp Australia yesterday.

"I am furious. It really is atrocious that they are making out Australia as a colony, a hick country, a back water where men guzzle beer all day and are rude about women. They are going on this misogynist thing as if that was the reason why she (Gillard) was ousted. That's not right and I want to set the record straight. They are perpetuating the myth.

"I was there in government and Cabinet, it's a bit blokey you know but what do you expect? When they are talking about rugby or whatever they are not being misogynist but what do you want them talking about, cake recipes? They maybe don't know any or are not interested. I mean this is the sort of thing you have everywhere in the world, its not particular to Australia and the British press are suggesting it is."

Ms Vanstone, travelling with her husband Tony, would be staying in the capital long enough to write opinion pieces and or letters to the editors of the British press to paint a "truer picture" of the Aussie bloke from a political perspective.


"Sexist" advertisement in trouble

The Sydney Morning Herald ran an ad in today's racing section "The Form" promoting the radio station's sports program with the headline, "Another reason to let her go shopping this weekend".

 You know, inferring that if the little woman goes shopping, her bloke'll be free to listen in peace, preferably in his shed, with a bottle of KB".

2UE's General Manager Chris Parker has apologised for the ad, saying, "we appreciate the advertisement has caused concern, and this was certainly not our intention".


$20 trillion shale oil find surrounding Coober Pedy 'can fuel Australia'

SOUTH Australia is sitting on oil potentially worth more than $20 trillion, independent reports claim - enough to turn Australia into a self-sufficient fuel producer.

Brisbane company Linc Energy yesterday released two reports, based on drilling and seismic exploration, estimating the amount of oil in the as yet untapped Arckaringa Basin surrounding Coober Pedy ranging from 3.5 billion to 233 billion barrels of oil.

At the higher end, this would be "several times bigger than all of the oil in Australia", Linc managing director Peter Bond said.

This has the potential to turn Australia from an oil importer to an oil exporter.

"If it comes in the way the reports are suggesting, it could well and truly bring Australia back to (oil) self-sufficiency," Mr Bond said.

State Mineral Resources Development Minister Tom Koutsantonis said there were exciting times ahead for SA's resources industry.
Australian oil strike

"Shale gas and shale oil will be a key part to securing Australia's energy security now and into the future," he said.

Linc has hired Barclays Bank to find an investment partner for the next stage of the project, costing $150-$300 million.

The company aims to drill up to six horizontal wells to further confirm its figures, but Mr Bond is confident the region will be home to oil production.

The need to build another oil and gas hub, like the Santos production facility at Moomba, depends on the size of the discovery.  "If it really takes off, that's when you start to look at Moomba-type pipelines."

Mr Bond said there was the potential for a US-style "shale oil" boom in SA.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week the US could pass Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil producer this year, thanks to the shale oil explosion.

Mr Bond said the potential in SA was "massive", but even at the lower end of estimates - about 3.5 billion barrels - it was still very large.  "If you look at the upper target, which is 103-233 billion barrels of oil, that's massive," he said.  "The opportunity of turning this into the next shale boom is very real.

"If the Arckaringa plays out the way we hope it will, and the way our independent reports have shown, it's one of the key prospective territories in the world at the moment." Mr Bond said each well could flow at 1000-2000 barrels per day.

"You put in 50 of them and that's a lot of oil," he said. "We have a very good idea that this will be an oil-producing asset."

Mr Bond said Linc had so far spent about $130 million in the Arckaringa Basin, drilling four deep wells and "a couple of dozen" shallower wells.


Conservatives  to pursue boat turnback policy

The opposition insists it will pursue its asylum seeker boat turnback policy over Indonesian objections, saying it worked for John Howard and will work again for Tony Abbott.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said Australia's interests must come first and that included turning back asylum seeker boats.

"As John Howard proved, you have got to have unilateral action on our side that works," he told reporters in Sydney on Saturday.

"There was no discussion about this between the Indonesian president and John Howard. There was no agreement. We took actions on our side of the line and that's what has always been our policy to do."

But Immigration Minister Tony Burke said the opposition was trying to photocopy the John Howard playbook as though what worked in 2001 would still work in 2013.

He said the opposition needed to come up with more than a slogan and a copy of a policy they knew could not work under the challenges of 2013.

Joining the debate, former Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser said turning back the boats wouldn't work as Indonesia would not agree.

On Saturday morning, Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare revealed two more asylum seeker boats had been intercepted, one carrying 83 passengers and the other carrying 55.

This all follows the visit of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to Jakarta for talks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on a range of topics including trade and asylum seekers using Indonesia as a jumping-off point to Australia.

In the joint communique on Friday, both leaders stressed "the importance of avoiding unilateral actions which might jeopardise a comprehensive regional approach and which might cause operational or other difficulties to any party".

That was interpreted as a clear diplomatic rebuke to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott over his "stop the boats" policy.

Mr Burke said the next step would be the summit to be hosted by President Yudhoyono.

"It will be out of that that we get to the next point which is a serious professional approach to a very significant regional problem. That's the way you have to deal with it, not with a slogan of turn back the boats," he said.

Liberal MP Josh Frydenberg said there would be no backdown.

"What President Yudhoyono does not want is for Indonesia's territorial integrity to be breached," he told Sky News.  "No one is proposing to do that."


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