Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Liberal Party leadership: Malcolm Turnbull takes over as Prime Minister

Several people have asked me what I think of the leadership change in Australia's conservative coalition. The new leader, Turnbull, has espoused a number of positions that are Left-leaning so conservatives are generally distrustful of him.  He is however the nominee of his party so will be fairly constrained by that.

It was clear that Abbott was not performing well publicly.  He is a decent man who just lacks the killer instinct.  He became something of a punching bag rather than a man coming out fighting.  He should have highlighted in every speech the vast debt the Labor party had left to Australia but he did not.

Will Turnbull do better?  Only time will tell.  He demonstrated his intelligence as a very clever lawyer so he brings great intellectual resources to the job -- JR

IN an incredible early lift in the polls, a majority of Labor voters said Malcolm Turnbull is a better Prime Minister over Bill Shorten

A snap Morgan poll conducted today on who Australian voters think is the better PM found Mr Turnbull is preferred by 70 per cent of voters compared to 24 per cent for Bill Shorten.

The special Snap SMS poll of 1204 voters also found a majority of Labor supporters say Mr Turnbull is the better leader, with 50 per cent supporting him compared to 44 per cent supporting Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

“Turnbull leads clearly amongst both genders, across all States and Territories and leads Shorten across supporters of both major parties,” Gary Morgan said.

“Greens supporters have also swung behind the new Prime Minister: Turnbull 57 per cent; Shorten 38 per cent.’’

The early numbers in Mr Turnbull’s favour come after he faced his first revolt with three Nationals crossing the floor of the Senate to vote against the government.

Bridget McKenzie, John Williams and Matt Canavan backed a Greens motion calling for a so-called effects test on market power to be included in competition policy.

The measure was earlier taken up with Mr Turnbull by Nationals leader Warren Truss as part of their discussions about a new coalition agreement.

In Question Time, Labor also grilled him on climate change and marriage equality, when he was forced admit he would stick to the climate change action policies of the Abbott government.

He also expressed his support for a plebiscite on marriage equality, despite hopes he might change his stance.

Mr Turnbull took the lead in parliament, where Tony Abbott was no where to be seen. He first paid tribute to Mr Abbott for his leadership and service, noting his achievements after he brought the Liberal Party back into office from Opposition.

Mr Shorten mentioned that Mr Abbott was a “fighter”. He said he was “very sensitive” when the Labor leader’s mother passed away, and said today was a “tough day” for him and his family.

In his final speech as Prime Minister, Mr Abbott has defended his legacy but slammed the media-driven ‘new era’ of politics.


Australian National University cracks top 20 university rankings, leads nation at 19th position

The company producing these ranking is British so the dominance by Anglosphere countries may be partly artifactual.  There are a number of competing ranking systems using different metholoogy but the major Australian universities always seem to make it into the top 100, which suggests that they really are high quality

The Australian National University (ANU) has climbed into the world's top 20 universities, according the latest list of international university rankings.

The latest QS World University Rankings for 2015-16 ranked the ANU as equal 19th in the world with Kings College London.

Last year, the ANU came in at number 25 and was once again ranked the top university in Australia - a position it has held for the past few years.

The rankings are based on a number of measures including academic reputation, employer reputation, research citations and the ratio of staff to students.

ANU vice-chancellor Professor Ian Young said the ranking was "a tremendous outcome for the ANU and its many staff".

QS World University Rankings 2015/16

Ranking    University     Country

1    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)    US
2    Harvard University    US
3    University of Cambridge    UK
4    Stanford University    US
5    California Institute of Technology     US
19=    The Australian National University/ Kings College London     AUS/UK
42    The University of Melbourne    AUS
45    The University of Sydney     AUS
46=    The University of New South Wales/ The University of Queensland    AUS
67    Monash University     AUS
98    The University of Western Australia     AUS

"It's a remarkable achievement for the university," he said.

"We're the top Australian university to get into the top 20 universities in the world."

Professor Young said there had been a steady improvement in the ANU's rankings. "Over the last few years we've been investing very strongly in great people across the institution, trying to build the quality of our staff," he said.

"We've also been trying to build an educational experience at ANU which we think rivals anyone in the world.  "We've looked at the basics of what makes a great institution and if you do that it ultimately gets reflected in these sorts of rankings."

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) once again took out first place, followed by Harvard in second position and the University of Cambridge in third place.

The ANU came in not far behind Yale University at number 15 - after it dropped from number 10 last year.

The University of Melbourne was the second Australian university on the list at number 42, followed by the University Of Sydney in 45th place.

"The closer you get to the top the more challenging it is," Professor Young said. "So the challenge for us will be to continue to innovate, to continue to do new things and to continue to build an education which is appealing to our students and sets them up for life."

Globally, the ANU ranked 12th in the world for Arts and Humanities, 18th for Social Sciences and Management and equal 20th for Natural Sciences.

It ranked 26th in the world for academic reputation with an overall score of 99.6 out of 100


Young Algerian Muslim abuses polite black but avoids jail

A MAGISTRATE has labelled a teen’s foul-mouthed racist tirade against a Brisbane train guard as “un-Australian” before slapping him with a two-month suspended jail sentence.

Magistrate Michael Quinn said the only thing that saved 18-year-old Abdel-Kader Russell-Boumzar from going straight to prison was the fact he’d already served 68 days behind bars. Russell-Boumzar shot to internet infamy after he was filmed racially abusing security guard Josphat Mkhwananzi, 58, on an Ipswich line train last October.

In his expletive-laden tirade, the teen told Mr Mkhwananzi to learn how to speak English and to get citizenship to “our country” before exiting the train and attempting to fight members of the public.

“What you did on that day ... was un-Australian,” Magistrate Quinn said while sentencing him on Monday.

“It was disgusting, it was cowardly, you were big-noting yourself in the company of another person on the train.”

Footage of the incident was uploaded to YouTube, prompting widespread condemnation from people including Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Brisbane Magistrates Court heard that Russell-Boumzar became stressed after becoming an internet sensation and receiving threats that made him too scared to leave his grandparents’ house.

His lawyer, Trent Jones, said the teen was on ice at the time of the racist attack but, to his credit, had been drug-free for eight months.

Mr Jones also said his client, who also has alcohol abuse issues, had been assaulted in prison but believed it was “karma” and didn’t make a complaint.

Russell-Boumzar spent time behind bars after being denied bail in January following a brawl at a skate park.

Since the racist attack, he’s also been in trouble for flashing his genitals at a schoolboy and threatening to fight construction workers in the Fortitude Valley.

During the sentencing, Magistrate Quinn said it was clear Russell-Boumzar had a lot of problems and took a psychiatrist’s report into account.

“It is of significance that you have, at long last, sought professional help and that is ongoing,” he said.

Magistrate Quinn also took into account that Russell-Bouzmar had employment and a support network, which was highlighted by his mother, grandmother and girlfriend being in court.

His two-month jail sentence was wholly suspended for a year. He was also ordered to 12 months of probation for a number of other offences and will be subject to random drug tests during that time.


Left claims high moral ground - from gutter

WARREN Mundine knows what makes the Labor Party tick, he’s a former party ­president.  He also knows what bigotry and racism look like — he’s an Aboriginal Australian.

Drawing on his experiences both within the ALP leadership and as an Aboriginal, it is his considered view that Labor’s extraordinary attacks on the job-creating China free trade agreement are bigoted and racist.

Mundine is the latest in an ever-growing line of luminaries to attack the vicious campaign being run against the China deal by Opposition leader Bill Shorten and the historically corrupt rogue trade union, the CFMEU.

Former Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke, former NSW Premier Bob Carr, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, ACT Chief ­Minister Andrew Barr and NSW Opposition leader Luke Foley support the agreement and have all warned Shorten to stop putting it at risk with his calculated insults and ­mendacious claims about its content.

“As a former president of the Labor Party I am angry about it, and I am not the only one. You’ve seen former prime ministers of the Labor Party, you’ve seen premiers ... all telling the Labor Party to get on with it,” he said last week.

In a heartfelt article published in The Australian ­Financial Review, he appraised the Labor Party’s history of ­racism and concluded that in its opposition to the China free trade agreement, racism ­remained ­entrenched within the ALP ­despite the squeaks from the self-proclaimed ­progressives.

“No one likes being called a bigot but the left/progressive side of politics — like Labor and the unions — especially hate it. They see themselves as the moral high ground on social issues.

Actually, their history is tarnished by deep bigotry,” he wrote.
From the White Australia policy enacted in 1901 by the new Protectionist/Labor coalition federal government, a Protectionist/Labor coalition, up to the anti-Asian stance taken as recently as the 1960s, Labor has been the party of ­racism and Mundine noted that while Australia had changed, Labor’s “xenophobia sometimes resurfaces, such as in the 1980s Asian immigration debate”.

“We’re seeing it again today in the union campaign against the China/Australia FTA.  “Like protectionist arguments of old, the campaign is dressed up in economics — protecting Australian jobs. It’s a nonsense argument built on misinformation and lies. And Federal Labor is indulging it,” he wrote.

Mundine singled out the CFMEU’s Michael O’Connor, the brother of Opposition employment and workplace relations spokesman Brendan O’Connor, for particular attention noting that his ­campaign was “antagonistic, ‘them against us’” and ­pandered to xenophobia.

He condemned it for its “false claims” that safety standards, workplace conditions and migration laws were being eroded.

“Having lived under the shadow of racism my whole life, the bigoted anti-ChAFTA campaign makes me deeply angry,” he said.  Warning that “Labor is now losing its way”, he cautioned that failure to conclude the agreement would “be an act of vandalism by Labor against Australia’s economy and Australia/China relations”.

“Labor say they’re ‘on the side of the angels’ on this. They’re not. They’re dancing with the devil and history will judge them harshly for it,” he wrote.

Labor’s embrace of overt racism was demonstrated when the NSW ALP ran an anti-Chinese campaign directed at potential Chinese investment in NSW power assets during the March state election.

Fifteen years ago Shorten told a rally of striking workers that “free trade is bullshit” and despite his claims to the contrary, he is still stuck in that mindset because of the political debt he owes to his trade union puppet masters.

Clear-eyed Labor supporters less beholden to the trade union movement know that the current labour market ­requirements in the free trade agreements with Korea, Japan and Chile are identical to those underpinning the China ­agreement.

The Abbott government is on solid ground in its opposition to Labor’s lying campaign and its attempts to scuttle the deal by reopening negotiations.

It has increased the rate of jobs growth ten times since it came to office and has surprised the world with its record for job creation following years of wasted opportunity under Labor’s economy-destroying government.

The biggest threat to the best prospect of continuing job creation and diversification and economic growth is the Labor/trade union campaign against closer trade ties with our largest trading partner.

The xenophobic campaign being run by Shorten and the CFMEU is ­suicidal.

The union bosses are drawing on a $12 million war chest to fund advertising and hope to sway the voters of Canning when they go to the polls next weekend to elect a successor to the popular former Liberal MP Don Randall.

But there is a lot more at stake than the WA seat.

Mundine struck a raw nerve when he pointed out the Left/progressive side of politics like to lay claim to the moral high ground on social issues but on this issue, they are displaying blatant bigotry.

Hypocrisy is not new to the Left/progressives but the stand against China strikes at the future economic security of Australia and must be abandoned before it does even further damage.


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