Thursday, August 24, 2017


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG says he is abandoning the leftmedia for The Rebel

Fascinating: A Far-Left journalist, Chris Graham, objecting to exaggeration

Most Leftist journalism would fail on that score.  Also amusing that he admits to being a narcissist, which seems a common and borderline-clinical condition among Leftists. 

His fallacy in this matter is to look at the absolute level of support for Pauline Hanson, rather than at its RATE of increase.  It's true that a 1 percent rise is not noteworthy in isolation  but a one percent rise over a period of only a week or so is a very big RATE of increase -- a rise of 12.5% in this case.  Any political party would rejoice at that.

It is of course true that the rate of increase noted is unlikely to be sustained but, in relative terms, the increase in support for Pauline -- whom I regularly vote for -- is clearly non-trivial. Chris on his high horse below:

I don’t have a favourite Biblical quote, because I don’t believe in God. But if I did have one, it would probably be this: “Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.”

It sounds like something Monty Python would have invented, but it is an actual passage from the Bible – Revelation 1:19.

And as with all things Bible, it can be interpreted in different ways. As a journalist, and a narcissist, I like to think it’s ‘God’ tipping her hat to my craft, which is mainly political reporting: Write what you see, what is, and what you think will come from it.

This morning, here’s the news that we all awoke to:

“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.”

Only two of those statements are true… the second and third ones. The first – that Hanson has ‘surged’ in the polls – is obviously complete rubbish, and you don’t have to be an expert in polls to know that. You just need to be able to count to 10.

Actually, just to one

Before I explain why, briefly, Hanson’s stunt was designed to appeal to her base. It obviously worked, because her base like seeing her do stupid shit. Indeed, all she was really doing was, ‘exercising her right to be a bigot’. Which makes Attorney General George Brandis’ reaction all the more hollow. But in any event, the key point is, ‘how big is Hanson’s base’?

Obviously, a rise from 8 to 9 per cent – i.e. a one point rise – does not equal a “surge”. That’s basically akin to claiming that a one-point victory in a five-day cricket test match was a “thrashing”.


Just 81 residents called for Australia Day changes

Melbourne’s City of Darebin faces accusations from the state government, several of its own councillors and a local Wurundjeri elder that it didn’t properly consult the community before it made radical changes to its Australia Day celebrations.

It emerged yesterday that the council’s community consultation was based on 81 responses to a survey issued to about 200 people.

The Turnbull government yesterday stripped the north Melbourne council of its power to hold citizenship ceremonies after it voted to move its Australia Day celebrations and awards ceremony from January 26 to an ­alternative date.

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Alex Hawke announced the move a week after the government revoked the same powers from the neighbouring City of Yarra.

“The Greens political party will not be allowed to hijack Australia Day through a small group of Greens-controlled local councils. The overwhelming majority of Australians support Australia Day remaining on January 26,” Mr Hawke said yesterday.

The actions endorsed by the Darebin council included rebranding the Australia Day awards to the Darebin Community Awards, which will be held as a community celebration on a date other than January 26.

Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Minister Natalie Hutchins slammed the council over the move, arguing that it hadn’t consulted widely enough with residents. “Councils need to take community consultation in line with the importance of the decisions they are making such as ­deciding on how to celebrate Australia Day,” she said yesterday.

“It’s disappointing to hear that the residents of Darebin feel as though they haven’t been ­adequately consulted on this decision and that’s why we’re reviewing consultation policies in the Local Government Act.”

But Mayor Kim Le Cerf maintained yesterday the council had consulted with the community ­before it voted on the changes, which were put to council in an ­urgent motion on Monday night.

A report delivered to council before the meeting cited an “overwhelming majority” of people were in favour of change, however the research was based on a survey of 81 people from 27 council advisory groups and the local Aboriginal Advisory Committee.

The City of Darebin is home to 146,719 residents, according to the 2016 census, with an indigenous population of 1162 or 0.8 per cent.

A number of submissions from the public were received but ruled to be “out of scope” with the engagement plan and therefore not considered before the vote.

Ms Le Cerf backed the council processes yesterday, saying the issue was “too important to be subject to an opinion poll or consultation and we need to show leadership on behalf of our ­community”.

However, Darebin councillors Lina Messina and Julie Williams voted against the resolution on Monday night and slammed the council’s decision-making process.

“Did we follow the proper channels to initiate change? I believe we have not. It does not fall under the umbrella of council ­decision-making,” Ms Messina said yesterday.

Wurundjeri elder Ian Hunter, listed on the Darebin council’s website as an indigenous elder for the community, said yesterday he was not consulted over the move.

“Who did they consult? We are all Australians. We put our differences aside and go forward as one,” he told the Herald Sun.

“I’m celebrating because I’m still here. What would have happened if the Japanese had come here (during WWII)? ... Would we still be celebrating Australia Day?”

Lismore City Council in NSW passed a motion from a Greens councillor this month that it would write to the Prime Minister, MPs and relevant ministers urging them to change the date and work towards “culturally inclusive” Aus­tralia Day celebrations. In nearby Byron Shire Council, Greens mayor Simon Richardson has declared January 26 has “no relationship to being Australian”.


'It's part of history': Aboriginal elder slams left-wing Melbourne councils for scrapping Australia Day on January 26 - and says the move will 'pull everyone apart again'

An Aboriginal elder has hit out at Melbourne councils for scrapping their Australia Day celebrations on January 26 and says the move will 'pull everyone apart again'.

Gordon Workman, a leader in the indigenous community of Blacktown in Sydney's west, slammed the controversial decision and said it would further 'create a divide'.

Mr Workman's critique comes as the City of Darebin is stripped of its power to hold citizenship ceremonies by Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Alex Hawke.

Last week the Greens-dominated Yarra City Council voted to stop referring to January 26 as Australia Day, prompting widespread backlash and condemnation.

Neighbouring left-leaning Darebin Council followed the suit this week, risking being stripped of its power to host citizenship ceremonies by the federal government.

But Mr Workman said the decision to change the date to be more 'culturally sensitive' would do more harm than good with indigenous Australians in the area.

'As far as I'm concerned it's not going to change the day whatsoever, it's part of history,' Mr Workman told the Blacktown Advocate.

'This will create a divide; it's a further nail in the coffin. Instead of bringing everybody together it's just pulling everybody apart again.'

Darebin mayor Kim Le Cerf said the list of councils could grow longer and on Tuesday confirmed there had been discussions with Moreland council in Melbourne's north, Fremantle council in Perth and Hobart City Council.

She said January 26 was inappropriate for a national day of celebration because it marked the anniversary of the British 'invasion' of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands.

Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews said it was a shame.

January 26 celebrations are 'quintessentially Australian' and done in a respectful way that acknowledges the contribution and heritage of the country's first people.

'I think it's a great shame that others are not prepared to do the hard work to get that balance right,' Mr Andrews said.

Ms Le Cerf said the premier's approach was a backwards step.

'The Victorian government has said they're committed to treaty and to true reconciliation with our people and I don't think that's in the spirit of that commitment.'

After Yarra City Council voted for change the federal government stripped its powers to host citizenship ceremonies.

Yarra mayor Amanda Stone said there had been an 'overwhelming majority' of people in the area who backed its decision move.

'That tells us the country is actually ready for this discussion about what's the most appropriate date for a national day,' Ms Stone said.

Darebin plans to replace Australia Day events on January 26 with other community celebrations to be held on another day.

It will include awards recognising community service and the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents.

Residents living in Yarra and Darebin will still be able to celebrate Australia Day on January 26, Victoria's local government minister Natalie Hutchins told parliament.

'There will not be any council officers peering over the fence as they have a barbecue,' she said, adding that wide consultation needs to be undertaken ahead of councils making such important changes.

In a statement, Hawke said the Turnbull Government 'remains resolute in its commitment to safeguard the integrity of citizenship ceremonies in Australia'.

'The Melbourne local authority will be stripped of its power to hold any citizenship ceremonies following its political resolution which cancelled Australia Day citizenship formalities.

'The Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Alex Hawke today issued a new instrument under the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 which removes the ability of office holders at the City of Yarra Council to receive a pledge of commitment at a citizenship ceremony.

'The Government had already issued a warning to Yarra Council that such an action would be viewed by the Government as a significant breach of the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code ('the Code').

'The Commonwealth now will ensure prospective citizens with the City of Yarra are allocated to citizenship ceremonies held by neighbouring councils while the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will hold ceremonies within the City of Yarra as demand requires, including on Australia Day next year.

'Mr Hawke said today the Turnbull Government would not tolerate Yarra Council's use of citizenship ceremonies as a political device in a campaign against Australia Day being celebrated on January 26.

'We are committed to ensuring that citizenship is treated in the 'non-commercial, apolitical, bipartisan and secular manner' which the Code mandates,' Mr Hawke said.

'The instrument I have signed today means there will be no more citizenship ceremonies conducted by the City of Yarra on behalf of the Government.

'Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today expressed his deep disappointment at the Yarra Council decision.

'On Australia Day, we celebrate what's great about our wonderful nation. An attack on Australia Day is a repudiation of the values the day celebrates: freedom, a fair go, mateship and diversity,' he said.

'Yarra council is using a day that should unite Australians to divide Australians.

'I recognise Australia Day and its history is complex for many indigenous Australians, but the overwhelming majority of Australians believe the 26th of January is the day and should remain our national day,' Mr Turnbull said.

'Mr Hawke has also written today to Minister for Local Government and Territories Senator Fiona Nash, asking that the she examine the proportion of Commonwealth Government funding provided to Yarra Council for the purpose of conducting citizenship ceremonies, with a view to that funding being reconsidered following today's revocation decision.

'It is regrettable that Yarra Council has proceeded with this course of action. I note that other Councils, including Fremantle and Hobart made the sensible decision to comply with the Code rather than risk losing their ability to conduct citizenship ceremonies,' he said.

'I am surprised and disappointed that the City of Yarra has chosen to pursue this divisive approach.

'I would again like to thank the overwhelming number of local councils Australia wide which comply with the Code and conduct citizenship ceremonies that are non-commercial, apolitical, bipartisan and secular,' Mr Hawke said.'


Senate slams ABC cut to shortwave radio

I used to listen to Radio Australia as a kid so I am delighted that someone is taking up this issue.  It was always great publicity for Australia

The ABC has been slammed by all sides of politics over its "foolish" decision to cut the transmission of shortwave radio to remote Australia and the Pacific Islands.

The Senate debated a private bill on Thursday by crossbench senator Nick Xenophon to force the ABC to restore transmission after it was cut earlier this year.

"It seems a terrible decision that's been made by the ABC board," Senator Xenophon told parliament, accusing the public broadcaster of ignoring the bush and Australia's neighbours.

The ABC insists listeners can still tune in via FM and AM frequencies, the viewer access satellite television (VAST) service and online.

But senators say the ABC fails to understand those alternative methods are not available to everyone in the bush and the information people are missing out on can be life threatening, such as weather warnings.

Senator Xenophon said the ABC had miscalculated how many people relied on the service.

"There are some question marks over the methodology used by the ABC in relation to this."

The South Australian senator warned Australia was "foolish" to retreat from the Pacific region by cutting shortwave radio just as other countries like China were expanding shortwave services in the region.

"That footprint is a form of soft diplomacy that is very effective, it wins hearts and minds in the region," he said.

Truck drivers in the outback, remote indigenous communities and those in the Pacific no longer had access to Radio Australia.

"But they'll be able to get Radio China - that is wrong," Senator Xenophon said.

Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie lashed out at the ABC's "short-sighted" decision, insisting it had not provided credible evidence as to why the decision was made.

"The ABC has effectively abandoned huge areas of the Northern Territory."

Labor senator for the Northern Territory Malarndirri McCarthy pleaded with the ABC to reverse its "mistake", insisting it had left Australians in remote communities completely isolated and suffering.

"It is absolutely dire."


Let Cook and Macquarie stand: Grant and Taylor are wrong

KEITH WINDSCHUTTLE gives us the history that Leftists can't be bothered to check.  It's much more honourable than they assume

On Monday, Andrew Taylor of The Sydney Morning Herald approached the University of Sydney’s public relations department on an information fishing expedition. He said he’d been thinking about the removal of Confederate monuments in the US and wondered if there were any Australian targets that might deserve the same treatment. He asked the PR people to pass on to the univer­sity’s experts in Australian history the following questions:

 *  Who are the most egregious historical figures in Sydney who have been celebrated with statues, monuments, place names in your opinion?

 *  There are statues, streets, a university and place names dedicated to Governor (Lachlan) Macquarie, who ordered massacres of indigenous people. Should he be commemorated in this way?

 *  Are there monuments to historical figures elsewhere in Australia who have had a similar role in historical injustices?

 *  The inscription on Governor Macquarie’s statue in Hyde Park reads: “He was a perfect gentleman, a Christian and supreme legislator of the human heart.” What do you think of this?

 *  Plaques of Rolf Harris have been removed in WA. Should monuments to Macquarie, Captain Cook, etc be removed or explanatory notes added?

 *  Why isn’t there the same acknowledgment of figures in Australian history who played a role in slavery, killings and land removal as there is in the US?

Taylor’s leading questions were clearly more those of an agent provocateur than that of the “Independent, Always” reporter the Herald proclaims on its masthead. He obviously was hoping to provide fodder for the emergence of a local activist campaign to emulate that in Charlottesville, Virginia, where, amid scenes of street violence that left one woman dead, officials removed the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, and in Baltimore, Maryland, where, on one night earlier this month, city authorities removed four Confederate statues commemorating the US civil war.

The Australian campaign for the eradication of politically incorrect statues and similar historic symbolism began on the ABC last Friday with a column from Stan Grant, these days the broadcaster’s indigenous affairs editor.

Grant compared the local acceptance of statues of James Cook with what was going on in the US: “Statues are coming down, old flags of division are being put away and the country is tearing itself apart. Fascists, neo-Nazis and klansmen who wrap themselves in the flag of the Confederacy are reigniting the old grievances of the civil war.”

Grant criticised Donald Trump’s attempt to blame both sides and quoted an editorial in The New York Times saying: “There’s a moral awakening taking place across America, but President Trump is still hiding under his blanket.”

But, Grant says, while America cannot avoid the legacy of racism, we in Australia find it all too easy to dodge: “we vanish into the Great Australian Silence”. Anth­ropologist Bill Stanner coined that phrase in the 1960s to describe what he said was “a cult of forgetting practised on a national scale”, but Grant says: “We have chosen to ignore our heritage. So much history here remains untold.”

Grant went to Sydney’s Hyde Park last week and gazed at Cook’s statue. “It has pride of place, a monument to the man who in 1770 claimed this continent for the British crown,” Grant writes. On the base of the statue is inscribed in bold letters the words “Discovered this Territory, 1770”. Grant asked his readers to think about those words, then advised them how to interpret them:

“My ancestors were here when Cook dropped anchor. We know now that the first peoples of this continent had been here for at least 65,000 years, for us the beginning of human time. Yet this statue speaks to emptiness, it speaks to our invisibility; it says that nothing truly mattered, nothing truly counted until a white sailor first walked on these shores.”

However, Grant’s disgust at the inscription on Cook’s statue is completely misplaced. In saying Cook was the one who “discovered this territory” it is perfectly accurate, if we take the word “territory” to mean the eastern coast of the Australian continent. Cook was in fact the first person in history to traverse the whole of this coastline and view its 2000 miles (3200km) of shores and hinterland. No Aboriginal person had done that before — they never had the maritime technology to do it.

On the other hand, if the Hyde Park inscription had said Cook discovered Botany Bay, Port Jackson, Moreton Bay or any other small local area on the coastline inhabited by the Aboriginal people Cook met, it would have been inaccurate and probably worth correcting. The local Aborigines clearly knew their own areas better than any foreign seaman. But in their lifetimes they remained confined to these areas and, although their predecessors had gradually spread themselves across the continent over thousands of years, none of them gained the view of it that Cook had in his four-month journey from Port Hicks to Cape York in 1770. He was the genuine discoverer of the whole entity.

In his moral objection to Cook’s great accomplishment, Grant also creates a straw man to knock down. He claims that no one present when the statue was erected in 1879 questioned that this was “the man who founded the nation”. Well, the statue doesn’t say Cook was the founder of the nation and I doubt any reputable historian would say so either.

At most he might be regarded as one of the founders of the first British colony in New South Wales, but this decision was taken by other Englishmen a decade after his discoveries. In any case, the nation was not actually founded until Federation in 1901, a political event that can hardly be attributed to Cook.

Grant’s column throws up other straw men that also betray his inability to talk sensibly about Australian history.

He writes: “When I drive through the Blue Mountains west of Sydney to return to the country of my ancestors, the Wiradjuri, I cross the Coxs River named after William Cox the pioneer and road builder — the same William Cox called for the massacre of Aboriginal people.”

Grant quotes Fairfax journalist and author Bruce Elder, whose book Blood on the Wattle claims Cox once addressed a crowd at Bathurst in 1824, saying: “The best thing that could be done is to shoot all the blacks and manure the ground with their carcasses.”

Unfortunately for Grant, Elder’s book is notoriously unreliable. It was not William Cox who allegedly made this statement but Mudgee pastoralist George Cox, and it is most unlikely that even he said this. The sole source for the quoted statement was not a report from anyone who attended the meeting in question (held in Sydney, not Bathurst). It comes from a letter to the London Missionary Society written by Reverend Lancelot Threlkeld four months after the meeting.

Threlkeld, a former circus performer turned missionary, had long been generating funds for his mission at Lake Macquarie by reporting to England fancifully gruesome stories about the treatment of Aborigines in the colony, such as “the ripping open of bellies of the Blacks alive; the roasting them in that state in triangularly made log fires, made for the very purpose”. No one should take his claims seriously.

Taylor’s questions to the University of Sydney about Macquarie being a figure of Australian history who played a role in slavery and killings similar to those in the US displays a grasp of Australian history no better than Grant’s.

In fact, rather than being guilty of slavery, Macquarie joined Arthur Phillip in guaranteeing that institution never had any role in the Australian colonies. Macquarie was strongly influenced by both of his religiously devout wives, who supported the abolitionist movement for the end of the slave trade.

His first wife, Jane, was the daughter of the chief justice of Antigua in the West Indies and she owned a small number of slaves there. Jane died of consumption in 1796 and in her will she set her slaves free. Her husband followed her example and emancipated two slaves he had purchased in 1794 when employed in the Indian army, enrolling them in a parish school in Bombay to learn to read and write.

Macquarie returned to England in 1807, the year of the abolitionists’ victory, and caught the enthusiasm for their cause. That year he married his second wife, Elizabeth, and came under the influence of her religious outlook, especially her belief that all human creatures were equal in the eyes of God. These views changed the course of Australian colonial history. Determined to avoid any comparison between convict transportation and slavery, Macquarie radically reformed the punitive regime for convicts, turning it into a program for their regeneration — now widely recognised as one of the few successful rehabilitation programs for prisoners in human history.

The English leader of the emancipist cause, William Wilberforce, had a strong influence on Macquarie. He named a new settlement on the Hawkesbury after his mentor and launched a Wilberforce-inspired evangelical religious revival to reform community morals, especially sexual licence, crime, drunkenness and family neglect. He used the evangelical movement to promote churchgoing, marriage, education and social mobility among the colony’s lower orders.

Macquarie translated Wilberforce’s agenda into policy towards the Aborigines.

He established a Native Institution for Aboriginal children five years before an industrial school for white children; he settled Aboriginal adults on a farm at Georges Head and gave them seed and tools; he built huts for others at Elizabeth Bay and gave them a boat, fishing tackle, salt and casks; in 1814 he inaugurated an annual gathering and feast for all the Aborigines of the Sydney region.

Left-wing historians today record with some satisfaction that all of Macquarie’s Aboriginal policies eventually failed. This is only partly true.

While the Native Institution could not attract enough children to sustain its existence, the farm at Georges Head on Sydney Harbour remained in Aboriginal hands and provided several generations with a living for almost a century. Even though the others were not successful, they still demonstrated Macquarie’s intention towards the Aborigines. He regarded them as his equals and thought that with only a little assistance they could make the transition from hunting and gathering to agricultural society.

The great blemish on Macquarie’s Aboriginal policy in today’s eyes was his military response after Aborigines killed nine settlers in the Upper Nepean River district, between Mulgoa and Appin, in 1816.

Macquarie sent three military detachments to the region to track down and bring in some of the known killers. One military party, commanded by Captain James Wallis, found some of the wanted men of the Gundungurra people on the Cataract River. In the ensuing pursuit, the troops shot and killed 14 of the fleeing Aborigines, including two of the killers.

Now known as the Appin Massacre, the incident was the last major hostility in the Sydney region.

In November that year, Macquarie declared a general amnesty for any other Aborigines wanted for assaults on settlers.

In December he hosted a “general friendly meeting of the natives” at Parramatta that celebrated the end of revenge killings by both sides and the “coming in” of the last hostile tribe to settler society.

None of this Australian history deserves any comparison to relations between indigenous people and white colonists in North America, let alone to the griev­ances of the descendants of African-American slaves.

Grant’s attempt to drag the legacy of the American civil war into Australian history does not fit in any way, and his attempt to promote a political campaign against the public statues of some of the great men of Australian history, especially Cook and Macquarie, is sheer journalistic opportunism.

Grant and others in the media are encouraging racial conflict for no good reason, except for the dramatic news reports they would like to see generated.

They should be ashamed of themselves for their wanton provocation.


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:

Paul said...

Stan Grant is a former CNN hack and grievance junkie. I wonder if he's gone onto the Soros payroll?