Wednesday, August 23, 2017


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is very skeptical about what Victoria's "Safe Schools" programme will achieve

Arrogant Leftist elitists cancelling Australia day

If you disagree with the very superior hater above, you are "uneducated"

Sunrise host Sam Armytage has gone head-to-head with a Melbourne suburban mayor who said those who oppose her council's decision to ditch Australia Day celebrations were 'uneducated'.

The City of Darebin council, which governs several of Melbourne's northern suburbs including Northcote, Preston and Reservoir, came to the controversial decision with a 6-2 vote in favour of the change, following a heated debate among councillors this week.

Armytage confronted Mayor Kim Le Cerf in a heated interview on Tuesday morning, when she persistently pressed the community leader about the tiny survey the council based it's decision on, and her claim that if 'more Australians were educated, they would be ashamed of Australia Day'.

'Why have you decided not to recognise Australia Day? There are 148,000 people that living in your shire, 81 people were surveyed about Australia day. That's 81 people of the 140,000 – why have you decided not to recognise Australia Day?' Armytage asked.

Ms Le Cerf responded that 'there are many issues of social justice that are taken by government,' but said she doesn't believe 'opinion polls should decide what we vote on.'

Armytage continued to push Ms Le Cerf to answer the question, asking how the 81 people surveyed are a true reflection of a community with a much greater population.

'Aren't you elected to make a decision on behalf of the people of your shire?' Armytage said, cutting Ms Le Cerf off mid-sentence. 

'In the best interest of our community yes, and what we are hearing from our Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people is that January 26 marks the beginning of invasion and dispossession,' Ms Le Cerf said.

After a back and forth debate, Armytage confronted Ms Le Cerf about her comments on uneducated Australians.

'Correct me if I'm wrong, but you are quoted as saying that if "more Australians were educated, they would be ashamed of Australia Day." Do you stand by that? Do you stand by that now, on national television?' the Sunrise host asked.

Ms Le Cerf began to speak when she was cut off by Armytage, who asked her point blank if she stood by her comment. 'Yes, I do,' Ms Le Cerf said. 

The mayor said she did not celebrate Australia Day and that she reflects on the day with 'a heavy heart.'

When Armytage asked Ms Le Cerf if she would still partake in the public holiday and have a day off of work, the Darebin mayor refused to answer the question.

'Kim, with all due respect, it is a yes or no. I will be working on Australia Day, will you?' a frustrated Armytage pressed.

'I work every day for our community,' Ms Le Cerf answered, ending the tense interview.  

The Darebin City Council's decision comes one week after Yarra City Council's decision to no longer refer to January 26 as Australia Day. Yarra Council was promptly stripped of its citizenship powers by the government.

Darebin's planned shake-up will see a shift of date for the Australia Day citizenship ceremonies, which will now fall on January 25, ABC News reported.

Ms Le Cerf denied on the claim, but did not elaborate.

The Australia Day awards will be renamed the Darebin Community Awards and an Indigenous-themed event will be held instead of an annual citizenship ceremony on the day.

But the decision, alike Yarra's, has been faced with a wave of residents protesting the move.

'Australia Day is January 26 and it should remain that day. They're doing it without proper consultation and they're just making decisions for us,' resident David Schulz said.

Councillor Trent McArthy argued the changes were needed and disagreed suggestions there was not enough discussion on the matter.

'We are at risk of losing our citizenship ceremonies but we need to make this change to respect our Indigenous people,' he said.

In a statement released onto the council website moments after the Yarra City vote last Tuesday, Yarra City mayor Amanda Stone said the decision was about being 'culturally sensitive'.

'The overwhelming sentiment from our Aboriginal community is that January 26 is a date of sadness, trauma and distress,' Cr Stone said.

But Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told parliament the following day the decision was 'utterly out of step with Australian values'.

'Yarra council is using a day that should unite Australians to divide Australians,' Mr Turnbull said on Wednesday.

Darebin council fast-tracked their vote after declaring a prompt decision was required.

'[The decision] is in response to an emerging public debate regarding Australia Day and which Darebin councillors have been actively engaged in', they said in a statement.

The move is now thought to provoke other surrounding councils into similar decisions, with Hepburn Shire Council at Daylesford rumoured to be eager for the switch.


The silly old buggers are voting in droves

Cast your mind back to 1989 and the golden age of political incorrectness when a prime minister could call a pensioner a silly old bugger without being lectured by finger-waggers.

Bob Hawke’s encounter with a curmudgeonly 74-year-old hardly dented his election campaign. It was a sign that Hawke was human, a quality voters seem to like in a prime minister, funnily enough.

Today it would be declared a blunder and subjected to forensic analysis by po-faced writers for Guardian Australia, who would agree with the ABC’s Fran Kelly, as they usually do, that it was a gaffe from which Hawke might never recover.

Seldom, if ever, has age been such an important determinant of political attitudes in Western democracies. Millennials — who for convenience we will think of a voters aged 18 to 34 — behave very differently from the older generations in ways that political science has yet to explain. They are motivated by causes rather than a broad platform of public policy; they are less likely to vote the same way as their parents; identity politics tends to override party politics.

In crude political terms, however, they are leaning further to the left. Had the millennials prevailed in Britain, for example, Jeremy Corbyn would have won by a landslide and the country’s place in Europe would have been assured with a comfortable vote to remain.

The same picture, albeit more ragged at the edges, is emerging in Australia.

Labor holds 42 of the 50 electorates with the highest proportion of millennial voters. The Liberals and the Liberal National Party hold seven while the Greens hold Melbourne, the most youthful seat in the country.

The Coalition, on the other hand, represents 35 of the 50 seats with the highest proportion of voters over 54. Two are held by independents, one by Nick Xeno­phon’s party and 12 by Labor.

Coalition strategists may care to ponder why they lost six of those seats at the election last year and whether it may be evidence of waning support among older voters, who were supposed to be rusted on.

At first glance it may seem that the future belongs to Labor’s bright young things while the Coalition tries to rustle up support in God’s waiting room.

Yet medical science and an ageing population are doing curious things to electoral demographics. The average age of those eligible to vote in the 1975 election was a little over 42. Now the average voter is over 47 and rising.

Australians turning 60 in 1975 could expect to vote in five more elections. Today they can anticipate seven or eight.

In 1975, when Whitlam lost power, 40 per cent of eligible voters were under 35. The over-55s commanded just 25 per cent of the vote. Now the tables have been turned. For the first time, the over-55s were the largest cohort in last year’s election, commanding more than 35 per cent of the vote. The millennials’ share was a little more than 30 per cent.

This curious inversion in the age profile will ensure that the ­oldies have the numbers for a couple of decades at least. Beware the wrath of the silly old buggers.


Pauline Hanson's One Nation party surges in the polls after she wore a burqa in Parliament

Pauline Hanson's One Nation party has surged in the polls after she wore a burqa in Parliament, as Malcolm Turnbull's Liberal party slips further behind Labor.

A Newspoll released by The Australian on Sunday revealed the One Nation party soared in popularity, increasing its primary vote from eight to nine per cent in the past two weeks.

The results come after Ms Hanson wore a burqa onto the floor of the Senate on Thursday ahead of a debate on full-face covering in Australia.

The stunt appeared to have no impact on her popularity, despite it being condemned by fellow senators and critics across the nation.

In the Newspoll survey of 1675 respondents, conducted from Thursday to Sunday, Labor also appeared to have gained more ground on the Coalition.

Labor was ahead of the Coalition 54 to 46 per cent on a two party preferred system.

The results follow a tumultuous two weeks for the Coalition, with the postal plebiscite on same-sex marriage causing tension and in-fighting for the party.

The party was also at the centre of dual-citizenship chaos – with Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce revealing he was a British citizen.

With the Labor party's primary vote soaring to 38, Mr Turnbull remained a more popular leader than Mr Shorten.

Mr Turnbull was the favourite with 43 per cent of voters, while Mr Shorten sat at 33 per cent. 


Same-sex marriage: some yes folk are lining up behind the no case

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Brexit, with “noes” in every home …

Or maybe the same-sex marriage campaign is starting to feel a lot like the republic? You’ll remember that campaign: the yes team was headed by a rather more energetic Malcolm Turnbull. They had all the money, all the hepcat supporters, and history on their side. Also, cool T-shirts.

And they went down in a screaming heap, losing a majority of votes in a majority of states and a majority overall.

The campaign for same-sex marriage has the same feel. Everyone you know thinks it is going to go through. In certain circles — media, public relations, advertising, entertainment — no one knows anyone who is voting no.

Yet we know that some people are voting no because the anonymous opinion polls tell us so, which in turn suggests that it has become risky to speak freely against same-sex marriage, and we all know where that road leads. Hell, it has become risky to speak out in favour of same-sex marriage, lest you do it the wrong way.

Let’s take a look at what happened to Mia Freedman. She has more than a million followers on social media and for years has been a staunch supporter of same-sex marriage, which is why the Australian Marriage Equality people went to ask if she would campaign for them on behalf of the white, straight, married brigade. They wanted Mia to say: We’re with you. We, the married, want you to be able to get married, too.

Freedman couldn’t have been more enthusiastic, posting a beaming photograph of herself and her wedding ring on Twitter, saying words to the effect: “Let’s do this.”

And she got completely shredded. Totally smashed. Why? Because she was, get this, flaunting her privilege. Showing off her ring when other people can’t have one. Lust-for-blood commentators wrote her up in an ugly way, holding her feet to the fire for being “tone deaf”.

Freedman told The Australian she was shaken by “the vicious trolling I received” and now believes “there are many, many, many people in the community and people in the public eye who have the ability to influence people to vote yes who saw what happened to me, who are now terrified to say anything lest they be similarly attacked for doing it ‘wrong’.”

She’s still going to campaign for same-sex marriage, obviously. She believes in it with her whole heart. But as journalist and Sky News presenter Caroline Marcus pointed out in The Daily Telegraph this week, plenty of people who may feel some sympathy for the cause are wavering because of bullying.

Marcus describes herself in the column as “someone who is ready to tear up the dance floor at the weddings of my gay friends”. But, she says, the moral unctuousness of the yes activists is “almost certain to push many like me into the negative column”.

Smash, bang, wallop.

A war of words immediately broke out. Some say Marcus started it since she had cited the ABC’s Lateline host Emma Alberici as “one of the worst” offenders because Alberici had started one of her questions to Finance Minister Mathias Cormann with an anecdote about a gay 15-year-old who got thrown out of home when he tried to tell his parents.

For what it’s worth, I thought Alberici’s question was great: passionate and unexpected, which is what we need in these days of heavily scripted answers and well-rehearsed sound bites. Yet the incident set off a tremendous spat between Marcus and Alberici, with supporters on both sides giving us a bitter taste of what’s to come.

Unless, of course, the no side gets totally censored. That is certainly in danger of happening over at Guardian Australia. Editor Lenore Taylor says she will “not be giving equal time or attention” to any “spurious arguments” against gay marriage.

And who decides whether an argument is spurious? Haughty Lenore, of course.

Taylor explained her position in a column, saying: “If there was a reasonable argument to say ‘no’, we’d certainly discuss it. I just haven’t heard it yet.” She went on to list the arguments she doesn’t like, including “that it’s about political correctness”.

But support for same-sex marriage is politically correct. If you don’t believe that, try speaking out against it and see how you go.

Taylor’s position was all very high and mighty — and that is, of course, the problem: people hate high and mighty. They also hate being told what to do and what to think, and how to vote.

They like to have the debate. They want to hear the arguments. They don’t like being told the result is inevitable. The republican debate was like that: nobody who was voting yes knew anyone who was voting no except constitutional monarchist David Flint, who — like, say, Tony Abbott — wasn’t to be taken seriously because who was he anyway? Just some fuddy-duddy with a pocket square and cocked pinkie and a plummy accent.

The yes campaigners had all the cool supporters then, and they have all the cool supporters now: Qantas and H&M and the Ten Network and Virgin and even Ellen DeGeneres, who entered the debate this week by reflecting warmly on her nine-year-marriage to former Geelong girl Portia de Rossi, saying: “We are all equal.”

The other side — the no voters — have no glamour and no money. It seems like a race between a whiz-bang Tesla and your dad’s old Falcon 500, and if Australia doesn’t have a tradition of the underdog bringing it home, I don’t know who does.

Which brings us to the next thing people hate, the idea that anyone voting against the tide is evil.

Remember those blissful days before the postal survey was announced, when everyone was worried about was how ugly the no campaign was going to be? We’ve since been treated to the contribution of entertainer Tim Minchin, who entered the same-sex marriage debate with an expletive-ridden song in which he referred to the no-case people as “c..ts”.

There was huge support for Minchin on his own Facebook page, but also some disquiet, with one commentator saying: “Tim, you are not doing the ‘yes’ campaign any favours. You’re just alienating and angering people with this song of yours.” To which one of his supporters replied: “Go hump ya fist.” Charming.

But what was going on outside the echo chamber? When The Australian posted Minchin’s clip, it attracted an immediate response from readers, many of whom were deeply offended, with some saying: “Well, that’s it, I was on the fence, but I’m now voting no.”

It doesn’t pay to abuse people.

But surely it’s still going to be OK? Every poll says so!

Except that polls are often wrong, sometimes laughably so. In New York, they favoured Hillary Clinton to the point where The New York Times had the likelihood of a Clinton presidency on election day at a touch more than 90 per cent.

Good morning, President Trump.

If all that were not enough, there is yet another problem on the horizon: the yes vote for a republic was lost, in part, because supporters — not opponents — were split. Some republicans voted no instead of yes because they didn’t like the model.

The yes campaign for same-sex marriage is likewise split. Some gay people just don’t get why anyone would want to get married, what with marriage being an outdated, hugely sexist, patriarchal construct designed to control women, property and sexual behaviour.

That camp still may vote yes, but then you’ve also got those such as former High Court judge Michael Kirby who are flat-out opposed to the postal survey and are therefore sitting it out.

Then you’ve got Marriage Equality — the umbrella group for so many of the supporters — which for 18 months campaigned against a plebiscite. It is now completely pretzelled, running on one hand a campaign to encourage people to take part while also running a High Court challenge against the postal vote.

If that sounds like a mess, it is.

Last but not least, for many — maybe even most Australians — the same-sex marriage debate isn’t even very important. It’s niche. They just don’t care, or else they think the nation has bigger fish to fry, like getting the price of electricity down. Yet it’s the same-sex debate that is sucking up all the oxygen.

And where has all the noise got us? In writing to staff this week, the ABC’s editorial policy manager Mark Maley claimed that “approximately 40 per cent of Australians oppose changing the country’s marriage laws”. Forty per cent. That’s after 18 months of campaigning and nearly 40 years of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and it may well be enough to torpedo this thing.

As with the US election, much will depend on how many people turn up to vote, and from which side, which is why the ABC is encouraging its journalists not to get carried away.

This is not a done deal. It never is.


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:

PB said...

You know what I really hate right now? Virtue signalers who presume I'm all for Gay marriage (now called Marriage Equality in a global warming = climate-change-esque manner), and can't wait to tell me how they support "us" (the great Gay one-voice collective). I love the bewildered look they give off when I tell them the whole thing is a crock that no-one ever gave two hoots about until they were suddenly told to.