Monday, August 27, 2018

IT WAS the note that ended Malcolm Turnbull’s political career. Under the list of names were three words that said it all

Warren Entsch effectively ended Malcolm Turnbull’s political career when he added his name to the list of MPs requesting a second party room meeting and, by extension, another leadership vote. It was the last signature Peter Dutton’s supporters needed.

And underneath, Mr Entsch scrawled a deliciously venomous three-word message, twisting the knife in Mr Turnbull’s back: “For Brendan Nelson.”

Dr Nelson was leader of the Liberal Party for such a short and miserable period that many of you have probably, and entirely forgivably, forgotten him.

When John Howard lost the 2007 election, the obvious choice to replace him — Mr Howard’s treasurer Peter Costello — chose not to step forward, leaving Dr Nelson, Mr Turnbull and, before he pulled out, Tony Abbott as the only ones foolish enough to contest the Liberal leadership.

It was precariously close, with a final vote of 45-42, but Dr Nelson emerged with the dubious prize of squaring off against Kevin Rudd, whose true identity as a vindictive weirdo was yet to dent the giddiest honeymoon period in Australian political history.

Mr Rudd proved untouchable, and Dr Nelson’s depressingly low preferred prime minister rating eventually stalled in the teens. But he soon discovered he was being stalked by an even more ruthless enemy within his own ranks — the man he had appointed shadow treasurer, Malcolm Turnbull.

“Turnbull pledged his loyalty to Nelson but gave him absolutely none. He simply refused to accept the decision of the party room, and the undermining began immediately,” Paddy Manning wrote in his biography of Mr Turnbull, Born To Rule.

Just days after the party room vote, Mr Turnbull called Dr Nelson’s chief of staff, Peter Hendy, and told him he needed to “get Brendan to resign in the next few weeks” because Dr Nelson was “hopeless”.

“In his relentless campaign against Nelson, Turnbull took disloyalty to extremes,” Mr Manning wrote.

Dr Nelson was gone within a year, hounded out by Mr Turnbull’s merciless and destructive ambition. “If you had any idea of what he said to me over those 10 months, you would be shocked,” Dr Nelson told Fairfax journalist Peter Hartcher when he quit parliament. “I thought he was demonstrative, demanding, emotional and narcissistic, using his wealth and charm for seduction, and always with a sinister threat just beneath the surface.

“Keating wanted power because he knew what he could do with it for the country. Malcolm wanted position.”

Mr Turnbull played a longer game when Mr Abbott became leader, but again, actively agitated against him. There was never any question he would seek to seize the top job.

This all makes Mr Turnbull’s little performance after he was turfed this week a bit too rich to swallow.

With a smile on his face but cold anger in his words, Mr Turnbull said Australians would be “dumbstruck and appalled” by his colleagues’ disloyalty.

“Many Australians will be shaking their head in disbelief at what’s been done,” he said. “To imagine that a government would be rocked by this sort of disloyalty and deliberate destructive action.

“Peter Dutton, Tony Abbott and others who chose to deliberately attack the government from within, they did so because they wanted to bring the government, to bring my prime ministership down. “If people are determined to wreck, they will continue to do so.”

The architects of Mr Turnbull’s demise do deserve to be condemned, chief among them Mr Abbott, whose infamous pledge not to wreck, snipe at or undermine his successor now reads like a sad joke.

But that staggering hypocrisy has been matched, if not exceeded, by Mr Turnbull himself.

If the then outgoing prime minister had any semblance of self-awareness, he would have left criticism of the mutineers to someone else.

Mr Turnbull had no problem with disloyalty when he was the one being disloyal. He voiced no objection to tearing down a prime minister when it served his own ambition. He wasn’t the least bit bothered by wrecking and undermining when he was using those tactics to obtain power for himself.

So instead of whining, perhaps Mr Turnbull should have used his speech to reflect on what he had done to contribute to his own downfall.

There was no mention of his failure to give the government a compelling purpose. Nothing about the policy thought bubbles that led nowhere. Not a word about the bland, rudderless election campaign that reduced his government’s majority to a single seat.  No recognition of the irony that he was calling his leadership “progressive” after years of pandering unsuccessfully to the party’s right wing.

None of it was his fault, because as far as Mr Turnbull is concerned, nothing ever is.

This is not a defence of the rebels, whose stunningly incompetent coup proved to be not only ugly, but utterly pointless. It resulted in the elevation of Scott Morrison, a man who will do little to change the government’s policies or direction. The alternative, Peter Dutton, offered the visage and all the charisma of a potato.

A more honourable man than Mr Turnbull would deserve our sympathy for falling victim to such a gormless mess. This shameless hypocrite should receive none.


GAVIN McInnes is having some fun -- as usual

He is a genuinely funny man but political correctness is the butt of most of his jokes  -- so he is called "Alt-Right"

McInnes, the co-founder of Vice magazine turned right-wing commentator and head of controversial pro-Trump, street-brawling “men’s rights” group the Proud Boys, smells something  rotten in society.

The Marxists and “fat feminists” have taken over everywhere, he says, spreading a “computer virus of rules” — a “war on fun”.

“When did the social justice warriors get so much power?” he asks.  “It happened in the past 15 years. My theory is it started with eradicating bullying and the whole idea of the death of the in-crowd, which I think we can all support — no one likes Mean Girls, the prom king jock — but what happened is the fat feminists gained power and like the proletariat took over.

“Like the Marxists, the oppressed became the oppressors and they are now way worse. It’s not only affecting high schools, it’s affecting the workplace, comedy clubs.”

He mentions a flyer he saw recently being passed around inside New York Comedy club UCB with “some trans-man who looks like your dad in a wig” dictating who can be cast in sketches if the character is transgender.

“Here are these nerds Trojan-horsing their way into comedy clubs,” he says.

McInnes, who has been labelled by critics as sexist, racist, white supremacist, Islamophobic and transphobic, is the latest right-wing provocateur to set his sights on Australia.

McInnes and the Proud Boys were kicked off Twitter earlier this month for being “violent extremists” ahead of the anniversary of the deadly Unite the Right neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

While McInnes disavowed the rally, its organiser Jason Kessler was once a member of the Proud Boys — McInnes has previously said Kessler was kicked out for his racist views.

McInnes says he is of two minds about the Twitter ban.

“On one hand as a libertarian I say, oh well, that venue doesn’t want me anymore,” he says. “We don’t have a contract, I was just using it. It’s kind of nice to not have Twitter in my life.

“But we are having lawyers looking at suing them. There’s something grander going on. There’s a war on conservatives because they’re petrified of Trump getting re-elected, they’re in a state of panic.

“Facebook, Google, YouTube, even Snapchat are clamping down on conservatives. It’s the DNC and Big Tech colluding. That is the government colluding with big business. That is not America, that’s not the west — that is Communism and it’s morally wrong.”

A “western chauvinist” and friend of Milo Yiannopoulos and Lauren Southern, whose recent trips Down Under were marred by violent left-wing protests, McInnes says his message is one of “pride”.

“Shame is such a scam,” he says. “There’s this sense of apology and shame with western countries. I noticed this when I was in Israel, they even sort of assume you’re going to come at them so they come out on the defensive.

“They go, ‘Look we had to build this wall, we were getting a terror attack a day.’ I said, I love your wall, I don’t care.

“What Australia built is so incredible. (But) look at Sydney, it’s being lost to Islam just like West London was. In fact there’s parts of Sydney totally indistinguishable from West London. It’s exactly the same — the sense of capitulation, discouraging assimilation.”

Yet Census data from 2016 reveal Australia is a religiously diverse nation, with Christianity remaining the most common religion (52 per cent of the population).

“Islam (2.6 per cent) and Buddhism (2.4 per cent) were the next most common religions,” the ABS said.

“In the 10 years from 2006 to 2016, the proportion of people reporting a religion other than Christianity in the Census increased from 5.6 per cent in 2006 to 8.2 per cent in 2016. “Although the increase was spread across most of the non-Christian religions, the top two were Hinduism (0.7 per cent in 2006 to 1.9 per cent in 2016) and Islam (1.7 per cent to 2.6 per cent).”

But McInnes says his goal isn’t to preach politics when he arrives in November. “I see it as a comedy tour,” he says.

“My goal is to show people that conservatives are funny. In fact we’re the rebels, we’re Animal House. Who got kicked off campus? John Belushi. Milo and Lauren, even Alan Dershowitz are getting kicked off campus. We’re the fun ones.”

McInnes describes Australia as “like a hot Canada”. “I love Australia, I feel a real kinship,” he says. “The only difference between me and my friends in Australia is there’s more masculinity. I’m looking forward to that, just getting pissed.”

He wants to “have some fun, do some comedy and show millennials and everyone else that there’s life outside of this liberal bubble, outside of social justice warriors monitoring every joke and telling you what you can and can’t say”.

And yes, he’s expecting violent left-wing protesters.

“I don’t know why,” McInnes says. “We don’t come to their things. I don’t understand why there’s a problem with free speech. Why is that seen as a threat?

“Even the worst, most right-wing guys like (white supremacist) Richard Spencer, I don’t like their ideas but I’m not scared of their ideas. A 100-pound girl, what are her words going to do to you — start a world war? Why are people so frail?”

McInnes adds “people will show up and if they want to fight, I’m happy to fight”. “Our motto is we don’t start fights but we’re happy to finish them,” he says. “Isn’t that what your dad used to tell you?”

Antifa, he says, are “rich kids who are the sons of professors and they’ve been brainwashed by this Marxist crap their whole lives”.

“There was a time when fighting racist bigots was cool, like the Freedom Riders in the 1960s,” he says. “The problem is the bad guys are gone, there’s no more Nazis — so how about we make Milo a Nazi?

“It’s like a Twilight Zone episode where everyone to the right of Bernie Sanders is considered a Nazi. So they get to feel like they’re fighting for justice, like they’re these brave warriors.”

At the end of the day, though, “people in the media tend to overintellectualise this — it’s just the mods and the rockers fighting on Brighton Beach”.

“We’re talking about a few different trends,” McInnes says.

“The street fights outside venues, that’s just mods and rockers playing silly games. It’s not real. That’s why they don’t want to argue with you. That’s why I can’t get them on my show.

“Usually when they brawl, like the punks and skinheads or the mods and rockers, it’s just middle class kids fighting working class kids. The Proud Boys are blue collar.”

The “more insidious” and threatening element is the underlying cultural shift. “The obsession with making sure everyone has equal outcomes, that women are part of all action movies, this computer virus of rules invading everything including art,” he says.

“It’s a war on fun, on colour, where they want every radio station to be playing the same music. How is that different from Stalinism?”


Islam will become ‘indigenised’ with time, Scott Morrison says

To an extent, it has been already. 99% of Muslims cause no trouble. But that is not the point.  The trouble is the Jihadis who emerge from them

ISLAM will become more Australian over time, Scott Morrison said, as debate raged over calls by Coalition MPs for debate about links between Islamic teaching and terrorism.

Mr Morrison, who works with moderate Muslim leaders in Sydney, said all religions went through phases, and he believed Islam, like Christianity and Judaism, would ­become more “indigenised’’.

“I think one of the positive things about Australia is it’s such an overwhelming cultural set of values that those always have an influence over time,’’ he said.

“That’s been the case with other religions. I have no reason to believe it won’t be the case with Islam.’’

His comments come after a string of Coalition MPs, led by Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg, former SAS soldier ­Andrew Hastie and Victorian MP Michael Sukkar, said there was a problem with Islam and an “honest debate’’ was needed about links between Islamic teaching and extremism.

Mr Hastie and Mr Sukkar also called for a modernisation of Islamic teaching.

The MPs reported positive feedback in their electorates, but some of their government colleagues were furious, saying the comments had alienated almost 500,000 Muslim Australians.

Several MPs also expressed concern that the comments ran counter to advice from the police and security agencies that the Government’s best asset against terrorism was the Muslim community itself.

“It’s unhelpful at best and at worst disgraceful that we’d go against the advice of all the agencies by further marginalising the Muslim community,” one MP said.

Veteran Liberal MP Philip Ruddock, the Government’s special envoy for citizenship and community engagement, took a thinly veiled swipe at his colleagues by reinforcing his view that terrorism was the threat — not Islam.

“I do think we need to have a conversation, and it needs to be a conversation that terror has no place in our society,” Mr Ruddock said.


Pauline Hanson claims Labor will allow 300,000 immigrants a year into Australia if elected - as she throws her support behind Peter Dutton for PM

With the Coalition Government trailing Labor in 38 consecutive Newspolls, Senator Hanson warned about 'unlimited' immigration were Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to become prime minister.

'Do you think I'm going to support the Labor Party who wants to have immigration, probably 300,000 - plus unlimited? They won't even discuss that,' she said.

'They even shut down me having that debate on the floor of parliament on my private member's bill to give the people the right to have a say about the immigration numbers.'

When Labor was last in power, under Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd, net annual immigration soared above 200,000, or triple the 20th century average of 70,000 a year.

The high immigration numbers continued under Liberal prime ministers Tony Abbott and his successor Mr Turnbull, who deposed him in September 2015.

Mr Dutton, however, reportedly recently argued in cabinet to trim Australia's net annual immigration pace by 20,000 a year, from 190,000 to 170,000.

This level is significantly short of the 70,000 per annum level advocated by Senator Hanson, which hasn't consistently been government policy since the late 1990s.

In the first week of August, Australia's population surpassed the 25 million milestone, 24 years earlier than predicted in 2002 by the Howard government's first inter-generational report.


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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