Wednesday, July 12, 2017

'The sensible centre is the place to be': Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull claims the Liberal party is NOT conservative and never has been

Turnbull is certainly speaking of himself when he says that the Liberals are centrist. And it may be that his centrism has given him surprising success at getting his legislation through a fractious Senate. He has enacted most of his initial agenda, notably the building industry watchdog.

He also quotes Menzies accurately but overlooks that what Menzies described as liberalism is conservative today.  The Left have drifted into a hate-filled Marxist party that no longer gives any real respect to liberalism as Menzies saw it.  They support the thuggish building unions, for instance, whereas Menzies emphatically believed in individual liberty and the rule of law.  I quote:

"We are told today that the parliamentary system is antiquated, that it is slow, inefficient, illogical, emotional. In the presence of each charge, it may admit to some degree of guilt. But with all its faults, it retains a great virtue, alas! in these days, a rare virtue. Its virtue is that it is the one system yet devised which ensures the liberty of the subject by promoting the rule of law which subjects themselves make, and to which everyone, Prime Minister or tramp, must render allegiance. We British people still believe that men are born free, and that the function of government is to limit that freedom only by the consent of the governed."

It is Mr Abbott who is the chief defender of individual liberty in Australia today

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has made the sensational claim the Liberal party was not a conservative party, and never has been.

Speaking in London on Monday, Mr Turnbull said the Liberal party was moulded by former Australian prime minister Robert Menzies, who 'went to great pains not to call his new centre-right party a conservative party'.

'The sensible centre was the place to be. It remains the place to be,' Mr Turnbull said, according to The Australian.

'In 1944 Menzies described our party as the Liberal party, which he firmly anchored in the centre of Australian politics. 'He wanted to stand apart from the big money, business establishment politics of traditional conservative parties, as well as from the socialist tradition of the labour movement embodied in the Australian Labor Party.' 

The Liberal party has been embroiled in scandal in recent months amid rising tensions between conservative and moderate ministers.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott said last week he would 'continue' to stand up for conservative voters. 'There is, it's no secret at the moment, a bit of division inside the ranks of those who have regarded themselves as Liberals,' he said.

'I've made the judgement that at least for the moment, and obviously there's a limit to how far this can continue... it's important for someone to stand up for those Liberals feeling a bit let down and disenfranchised.'

Mr Abbot feared the conservative members would leave the Liberals to join a different party - due to the growing moderate voice led by Mr Turnbull.

Mr Abbott was slammed by South Australian senator Nick Xenophon for criticising his own government. 'I think Tony Abbott's being a huge pain in the a*** right now,' he said. 'I need to use the sort of cut through language that Tony Abbott is renowned for.'

His comment was in response to Mr Abbott's criticism of the federal government's May Budget.


Conservatives seize on Malcolm Turnbull’s centre-right Liberal Party claim

PROMINENT right-wing Australians have seized on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s claim the Liberal Party was never meant to be conservative.

It’s been claimed Mr Turnbull’s comments will lure Liberals to emerging minor parties like Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives and One Nation.

The Prime Minister made the remarks in a speech in the UK overnight, arguing the party’s founder Sir Robert Menzies deliberately positioned the Liberal Party in the centre when he founded it in 1944.

“Menzies said: ‘We took the name Liberal because we were determined to be a progressive party, willing to make experiments, in no sense reactionary but believing in the individual, his right and his enterprise, and rejecting the socialist panacea,” he said in his Disraeli lecture. “The sensible centre was the place to be. It remains the place to be.”

Mr Turnbull went on to say he was continuing the tradition of the party, and claimed “conservative” or “left wing” labels were irrelevant in 2017.

Liberal MPs have this morning denied the comments will flare tensions within the party and upset its members, but it’s been widely received as a swipe at the party’s conservative base.

Defected Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi, who left the party to start his own for the precise reason that the modern Liberal Party was not conservative enough, seized on Mr Turnbull comments.

The Australian Conservatives leader tweeted his thanks to the Prime Minister, saying he had confirmed why “regular Aussies” need to join his new party.

Senator Hanson enthusiastically embraced Mr Turnbull’s comments, claiming One Nation was now “Australia’s largest conservative party”.

Prominent conservative commentator Alan Jones predicted Mr Turnbull’s comments would push Liberal Party supporters to flock to Bernardi’s party or One Nation.

Jones argued Mr Turnbull had no idea what his party “really stands for”, and said anybody with “Liberal Party DNA” would agree it was a “radical conservative party”.

“The Prime Minister says we’re not conservatives, well that probably suits him, but he’s thrown away everything the party stands for,” he said, going on to predict the comments would hurt the leader’s already ailing popularity. “The Turnbull Government is in total denial of the reality of polls, and now telling the rank and file of the Liberal Party they’re not conservatives.”

The veteran shock jock described Mr Turnbull’s criticised speech as “indecipherable” and said “it wouldn’t have passed muster in my day”. He said Mr Turnbull could have added one more line to his speech: “We’re almost Labor”.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is among senior Liberal figures who have supported the PM’s comments. She told ABC radio the speech shouldn’t antagonise her conservative colleagues. “It very eloquently articulates our values as the Liberal Party,” she said. “It is a historically accurate articulation of how the Liberal Party gained its name.”

Ms Bishop said the tradition had continued in what John Howard called the party’s “broad church” and in what Mr Abbott has referred to many times as “the sensible centre”.

Australia’s Liberal Party is commonly described as being socially conservative and economically liberal.

The debate follows come at a time of renewed tensions within the party as Tony Abbott continues to be outspoken, vowing to be a strong conservative voice for its members.

The former prime minister is championing himself as the standard-bearer for conservative values.

Previous speeches have emerged where Mr Turnbull himself has referred to the Liberal Party as a “conservative political movement” and “a conservative government”.


Leftist racist gets some of his own back

Leftists have the strange idea that you can attack racism by being racist.  For a prominent and well-paid Asian to be anti-white in Australia is obnoxious.  What gives him the right to judge people by the colour of their skin and defend others who do?

Australia's race discrimination commissioner has been told to buy a plane ticket to Laos if he is so concerned about white people being prevalent in politics and the media.

Sky News presenter Rowan Dean has taken exception to Tim Soutphommasane for telling a Senate committee there are too many 'Anglo-Celtics' in parliament.

With Sudanese-born Muslim youth activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied soon moving to London, Dean has suggested the French-born public servant move to Laos, which his parents fled in 1975 as the Pathet Lao communists stormed to power in the small, landlocked South-East Asian nation.

'Tim, if you don't like it, join Yassmin, hop on a plane and go back to Laos where I doubt you will find the taxpayer paying you $300,000 a year to lecture bigotry and racism which is what you are doing by attacking Anglo-Celtics,' he said.

Dr Soutphommasane, a former Labor Party member and political staffer who gets paid $330,000 a year by taxpayers, told a Senate committee parliament and corporations were too 'Anglo-Celtic'.

Dean, who also edits the conservative Spectator magazine, has previously praised Vietnamese refugee and ABC presenter Anh Do as an example of assimilation working.

However, when it came to Dr Soutphommasane he was scathing, saying his parents probably came to Australia from Laos via Paris for its Anglo-Celtic values after their son was born in 1982.

'I'm sure that they didn't mind coming to a country where Anglo-Celtics had died, given their lives to create the peace-loving culture that we have,' Dean said.

Dr Soutphommasane last week blasted the media, at a multicultural forum in Perth, about its treatment of Ms Abdel-Magied, who stirred more controversy last month by saying democracy didn't represent her because most faces in parliament are white.

'People may have disagreed with Abdel-Magied but some of the vitriol directed at her had a clear racial tinge,' Dr Soutphommasane said.

In a submission to a Senate committee looking at 'Strengthening Multiculturalism', the Australian Human Rights Commission, which Dr Soutphommasane is part of, urged the government to create a federal agency to collect data and report on diversity within leadership positions.

The Turnbull Government has not endorsed the idea of ethnic recruitment targets.

'While Australia is highly socially mobile, there is an underrepresentation of cultural diversity in positions of leadership, as well as in the media,' the AHRC said.

'The commission believes that increasing cultural diversity in leadership and in the media would strengthen Australia's multiculturalism.

'A lack of diversity in leadership and in the media could conceivably lead to a perception of what it is to be 'Australian' that does not reflect our multicultural character.'

The AHRC noted: 'The ethnic and cultural default of leadership remains Anglo-Celtic' and warned the nation 'may not be making the most of its cultural diversity.'

Their submission also quoted a study carried out by Screen Australia which found non-Anglo-Celtic groups were being underrepresented on national television dramas.


Curing our country of whiteness

How many preferential appointments will it take before the Commonwealth Public Service fulfils its quota of 129 Tamils, 115 Sudanese and 96 Armenians?

Are Romanians swarthy enough to be assigned a quota of their own, or will they be lumped with the whites, and find their applications languishing at the bottom of the pile?

The details of the Race Discrimination Commissioner’s solution to the “ethnic and cultural default” of Anglo-Celtic leadership have yet to be revealed.

However, may we be the first to congratulate Tim Soutphommasane’s employers for giving a leg-up to Laotians, or perhaps a friendly hand to the French since their man was born in Montpellier.

It’s all so very confusing.

Criticising the commissioner is a delicate business, since denying the need to combat racism is apparently a form of racism itself. And no one wants to get on the commissioner’s bad side, given his statutory powers to make the lives of others hell.

Yet the idea of ethnic job ­quotas is beyond barmy; it’s frightening. It shows the capacity of grinning do-gooders to devise solutions far more damaging than the problems they assume to solve.

Few migrants to Australia would be comfortable answering questions about biological inheritance at a job interview or, even worse, being subjected to racial profiling by a box-ticking bureaucrat.

Sectarianism belongs to the world many of them left behind, not the land of redemption in which they arrived.

Yet that is where the fetish for diversity is leading.  How else would we assess if a workplace has been sufficiently cured of whiteness?

It would be comforting to imagine that the progressive movement will eventually collapse under the weight of its own ­absurdity or, if we might be ­excused for mixing metaphors, fall on the sword of its own hypocrisy.

That is never going to happen, however. The movement needs new wrongs to right in order to survive.

Racism, corporatism, LGBTQ­ism, what-does-it-matterism are means to the same end: to raise the social standing of metropolitan sophisticates and cement their values as the mark of a civilised woman or man.

This is the point Joan C, Williams almost makes in a short, ­recently published book, White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America. Almost, because as a Hillary Clinton supporter with post-election stress disorder she is not yet ready to ­acknowledge the inherent divisiveness of identity politics and the damage it causes to the social fabric.

Nonetheless, in a book that tries to explain the rise of Donald Trump to those who find it inexplicable, the feminist legal scholar exposes the sanctimony of the professional-managerial elite, which comforts itself about racism by displacing the blame on to other-class whites.

Displaying oneself as anti-racist is a marker of progressive politics. In doing so they demean the white working-class by constructing it as stupid and racist, she says.

Williams goes on to probe the politicisation of sexual identity.

“The professional class seeks social honour by embracing the edgy,” she writes. “A key way they show sophistication is to signal comfort with avant-garde sexuality … What began as transgression among 19th-century European artists now defines the cultural world of the 21st century.”

Securing approval for a new range of sexualities attracts unlikely bedfellows, Williams notes. It is a cause now embraced by progressives and mainstream conservatives alike.

Indeed, in the Liberal Party of Australia, it is embraced too by those who would reject being called either progressive or conservative, the self-proclaimed moderates for whom same-sex marriage has become a defining cause.

These are strange times indeed. Who would have imagined the party of Bob Menzies would one day become a testbed for identity politics in which members vie for virtue by embracing social causes while the rest of Australia — the forgotten Australians — wonders what got into the water to turn the political class bonkers.

Williams’ thesis — that the group she calls “white working class” has been systematically betrayed by the elite — will be familiar to Australians.

She wanted to call them the middle class, but she was overruled by her editor who said the term would be confusing. Yet middle-class they are in all but name, aspirational, hardworking people with no desire to change the world, who derive satisfaction from a practical job well done.

They draw moral pride from maintaining their families rather than writing nation-healing Facebook memes and they are nervous about change.

For the elite, “disruption” means founding a start-up. In a working-class job, disruption gets you fired.

The elite’s incomprehension of the presidential election result demonstrates that what Williams calls “class cluelessness” is deeply embedded. The two sides of America have moved so far apart that neither can understand what makes the other tick.

It may not be too late to save Australia from a similar fate, the one we will inevitably face if we continue to toy with the politics of identity.

Ironically it will require respect for diversity, particularly within our major cultural institutions, where the dull and monotonous beat of progressivism has squeezed out alternative points of view. It demands that we stand up to the bullying of organisations such as the Australian Human Rights Commission that attempt to police what can and cannot be said and how we can and cannot behave.

The demand for the racial profiling of employees answers in the affirmative the question of whether the Australian Human Rights Commission has finally lost the plot. It is an organisation without a clear mission, prone to the latest progressive fads and lacking clear leadership.

By promoting identity politics, it obscures national interest, trivialises the things we have in common and makes the country harder still to govern.


Solar batteries dangerous?

The fast-growing solar battery storage industry is engaged in a furious 11th-hour battle to kill new regulations that would force home­owners to build a separate “fire bunker” housing for battery installations.

Industry and consumer groups have until August 15 to challenge draft recommendations issued by Standards Australia that could dramatically slow the uptake of residential battery storage.

Final draft recommendations include a ban on in-house battery banks and are designed to avoid a repeat of the pink batts debacle in which a well-intentioned environmental initiative proved deadly.

Industry groups and manufacturers say modern solar batteries are designed not to overheat and have described the new rules as overkill.

Sales of battery storage have risen to 6750 battery installations last year, up from 500 in 2015, ­according to a recent survey. Solar energy equipment supplier SunWiz forecasts at least a threefold increase this year.

Currently there are no Standards Australia regulations for in-home battery installations. The Clean Energy Council issued industry rules last year limiting home batteries to “a dedicated equipment room or battery room”.

The council said installers should take account of ventilation, extreme temperatures and exclude “habitable rooms” including bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, sunrooms, bathrooms or laundries. Its rules included an exemption for “all-in-one” battery and inverter control systems.

However, the draft Australian Standards go much further.

Lithium ion batteries are classed as “fire hazard class 1”, and under the draft rules they must not be installed inside a domestic dwelling, within a metre of any access or egress area or under any part of a domestic dwelling.

To qualify, lithium ion batteries must effectively be housed in a 3m x 2m fire shelter with eaves.

The council’s voluntary code outlines the concerns. “Some lithium-based batteries can fail due to internal overheating, in a process known as ‘thermal runaway’,” the council says. “The normal chemical reactions within the battery during charging are exothermic (heat-generating).

“If this heat is not able to dissipate, or the battery is overcharged for a long duration, the rate of chemical reaction can then speed up, which in turn increases the battery temperature further, in an ­increasing cycle until the battery is physically damaged.

“Once this happens, there is a risk of fire and/or rupture of the battery, with emission of toxic material,’’ the council says.

Standards Australia chief executive Bronwyn Evans said the draft report was a “comprehensive document” that was “the result of many hours of work from experts representing industry, government and community interests”.

“The work is being driven by a range of stakeholders from all parts of industry who have an ­interest in standards in Australia that support the safe uptake of ­battery-storage systems in all buildings, but particularly in homes,” she said.

Dr Evans said the standards were devised to give consumers and industry confidence in innovative solutions.

“They should give markets and governments confidence when making regulatory and investment decisions and get the balance right between all the different interests and voices in the room,” she said.

At the end of the consultation period “we will have an installation standard for battery storage systems which supports the uptake of systems in Australia”.

Dr Evans said battery storage had been a focus of Chief ­Scientist Alan Finkel’s review into the ­future ­security of the National Electricity Market, released last month.

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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