Sunday, October 07, 2018

Leftism is largely inborn.  Is bureaucracy too?

All the twin studies how strong heritability for Left/Right political orientation.  Leftists are born dissatisfied and conservatives are born contented.  And Leftists love bureaucracy.  They can hardly get enough of it.  As V.I. Lenin remarked: "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything".  So is there also an inherited bureaucratic instinct?  Something I encountered recently inclined me towards that belief.

A little background:  I have a pinup on my bedroom wall.  It is a picture of the Queen.  No doubt many would say that I must be a poor thing to have the Queen as my pinup but it is a large and beautifully done portrait so I think it could be called a pinup.

And I am an unapologetic monarchist.  I believe that a constitutional monarchy is the best form of government,  Americans have to wait 4 years before they can get rid of an unpopular  President but, in a monarchy on Westminster lines, parliament can boot out at will any Prime Minister who has lost popularity --which the Australian parliament has done rather a lot of in recent years. So it suits my views that I have a picture of Her Majesty and Prince Philip on my wall.

But I have acquired that picture only recently.  There is an Australian tradition that Federal politicians can give out free pictures of Her Majesty to their constituents.  So I wrote to my local Federal MP, Terri Butler, member for Griffith, and requested one.  She represents the Labor Party so I was slightly surprised that she wrote back to me and agreed.  I had to pick the picture up from her electorate office but that was not far away from me so off I went.

When I arrived and rang the bell a large sandy-hired young man appeared. When I made my request he said; "We haven't received any correspondence about this".  I said, "I wrote to Parliament house".  He said "Did you get a letter from Terri Butler about this?"  I said I had.  "Have you got it with you" -- "No". "Where is it?" -- "At home".  And he went on generally in a rather circular way about having authorization to give me the picture.  I inherit a rather short temper from my father however so I very soon started to shout and bang on the counter.  That dislodged him and he gave me the picture.

As the  pictures are freely given out, there was absolutely no need for any bureaucracy but this employee of the Labor party dreamed some up anyway.  He appears to have a bureaucratic temperament.  I suspect it was inherited -- JR

Bill Shorten proposes new plan to tackle immigration policy with Scott Morrison

Bill is desperate.  He is trying to get the Liberal party to rescue him from his own Left-wing.  They want to open the illegal immigrant floodgates again but he knows that he would lose the election if he stood on that policy.  So he wants to kick the can into the long grass of an "enquiry", a classic political dodge

BILL Shorten wants to tackle Australia’s population issues in a joint-party plan tackling the country’s growth.

The Labor leader has written a letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison asking that he consider creating a population taskforce that would outline recommendations both parties could accept.

That taskforce would look at temporary work visas, infrastructure development, service delivery such as health and education and settlement policy.

In his letter seen by The Weekend Australian, Mr Shorten has placed population growth among the great policy challenges facing the nation.

He indicated he could support a new settlement policy that would redistribute people away from the congested capitals of Sydney and Melbourne.

Mr Morrison is yet to comment on the letter but is in Tasmania today.

The Coalition is expected to deliver a major policy on the issue before the end of the year.

Australia’s population passed 25 million in July, two decades earlier than was forecast.

“Population policy runs the risk of being politicised by those seeking to divide Australia, and (who) see political opportunity in polarising opinion in the community,” Mr Shorten wrote in the letter.

“The best way to ensure enduring policy settings is for a bipartisan approach — one that sets overarching principles to guide policy development, regardless of the party in government.

“This would give the community and business comfort that the national interest is driving government policy.

“I am therefore asking you to join Labor in the establishment of an independent and expert population taskforce that would provide recommendations that both parties could accept and use to underpin population policy development.”

Under Mr Shorten’s plan, the taskforce could be established under Treasury with six members agreed upon by the government and opposition.

Both parties would then need to agree to a set of recommendations.

In his letter to Mr Morrison, Mr Shorten wrote: “As you would be aware, there is no single policy lever — a multifaceted approach is needed that ensures we maintain our standard of living.

“More important is a consistent approach that will last well beyond the political cycle and that requires the support of both major political parties.”

In August it was revealed the Morrison Government was considering a plan that would require new migrants to settle outside of Sydney and Melbourne for up to five years.

Between 2006 and 2016, the majority of arrivals have settled in Sydney or Melbourne, at 27.6 per cent and 26.3 per cent of total arrivals respectively.

By comparison, only 3.2 per cent moved to regional NSW, and 1.9 per cent to regional Victoria.

But last month Mr Morrison took aim at Australia’s obsession with population growth, saying it is a “fairly irrelevant statistic” and immigration policy is far more nuanced than many of us realise.

He said temporary migration and natural population growth, caused by the people who already live here having children, were far more significant factors than immigration.

“I’ve never bought this idea that the permanent immigration intake is the thing fuelling population growth. Because it’s not borne out in the actual maths,” Mr Morrison said in an exclusive interview with

“When it comes to population growth at the moment, there are 10 extra people that have got on the bus. Just over four of them are temporary migrants. Just under four of them were born here, a natural increase. And only two of them are permanent migrants.”


'The one last remaining bastion of free speech': Milo Yiannopoulos praises Australia for being a liberal country - but warns it may not be for much longer

Right-wing commentator and controversial political figure Milo Yiannopoulos has cited Australia as the last remaining bastion of free speech.

The comments came as Mr Yiannopoulos was promoting his upcoming book in an interview with Sky News on Friday, aptly named 'Australia, You're My Only Hope'.

Mr Yiannopoulos outlined what he perceives to be the 'cancers' affecting Australian society; namely feminism and political correctness.

During the interview, he urged Australians to stand up to these 'cancers' of public life which he claimed have already 'utterly ruined' the public square in Europe and America.

'Australia is the one last remaining bastion of free speech where people can actually crack a joke and not get fired,' Yiannopoulos stated.

The British alt-righter claimed his new book is a 'last ditch attempt' to urge the Australian public to stand up to what he perceives to be the 'toxins' of left-wing society.

Yiannopoulos has announced a tour of seven shows down under at the end of November, in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

His tour will take place despite owing a reported $50,000 to the Victorian government for unpaid police expenses.

He will be joined by US right-winger Ann Coulter. The pair have promoted their tour as 'saving Australia from a full-frontal assault by politically-correct left-wing loonies.'


University chiefs unite to defend free speech

Good if it happens

University of Western Sydney chancellor Peter Shergold has warned that attacks on free speech are a relatively recent development.

Leading university heads have warned of the urgent need to take a stand against encroaching threats to free speech across Australia’s tertiary institutions, including US-inspired boycotts of speakers and classroom “trigger warnings” about details that might upset students — with one high-profile chancellor dis­avowing the notion that campuses should be “safe spaces”.

University of Western Sydney chancellor Peter Shergold has warned that attacks on free speech are a relatively recent development in Australia and university governing bodies should be prepared to make tough decisions to defend the integrity of their institutions.

Speaking to The Australian following a robust panel discussion on the topic at the University Chancellors Council annual conference in Adelaide yesterday, Dr Shergold said his personal view was that universities should default to a position of enabling “as much freedom as possible — not to constrain, not to control”.

“Universities need safe spaces for students, be they LGBTI or Muslim … where they can go and talk to each other,” said Dr Shergold, the council’s chairman. “But university campuses cannot be safe spaces in terms of ideas.  “People should be challenged by ideas, see a diversity of ideas. That’s the heart of the institutional ethos of a university.”

Dr Shergold’s comments — which come amid mounting concerns that universities are increasingly becoming closed intellectual shops, prone to groupthink and the censoring of diverse ideas — were echoed by Australian ­National University chancellor ­Gareth Evans.

While Mr Evans has recently been forced to defend the univer­sity’s decision to withdraw from plans for a new degree in Western civilisation — which was to have been funded by the John Howard-chaired Ramsay Centre — he too slammed the emerging phenomenon of staff and students seeking to shut down debate under the premise that people should not be exposed to ideas with which they disagreed.

“We are hearing about ‘no-platforming’ — disinviting or shouting down visiting speakers espousing various heresies; about the need for ‘trigger warnings’ — alerting students to potentially upsetting racially, politically or ­gender-sensitive themes,” Mr Evans said.

“Most disconcerting of all, the need for ‘safe spaces’, where students can be completely insulated from anything that may assault their sense of what is moral and appropriate.”

Institute of Public Affairs research fellow Matthew Lesh cited recent publicised threats to free speech such as opposition to the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, which ANU staff and students accused of pushing a “racist” and “radically conservative agenda”, as well as the violent protest over psychologist Bettina Arndt’s appearance at the University of Sydney. These were just “the tip of the iceberg”, Mr Lesh said.

He told the conference that the proliferation of social justice policies around cultural inclusion, global citizenship and sustainability were to blame for restraining free speech. “I speak to academics and students at your institutions ­almost every day … (they) tell me about a worrying culture of censorship,” he said.

“Australia’s universities are lacking in viewpoint diversity — a range of perspectives challenging each other in the pursuit of reason, truth and progress. This leads to groupthink, self-censorship, and sometimes active shouting down.”

He said universities had a choice between either encouraging free inquiry or treading a social justice path and seeking to “change the world” — but choosing the latter would “not only undermine academic scholarship and student learning, it could be seriously damaging to the reputation and viability of the institutions”.

Mr Evans said it wasn’t only universities that were at risk, referring to the decision by the Brisbane Writers Festival this year to disinvite former NSW premier Bob Carr and feminist Germaine Greer as “absurd to the point of indefensibility”.

Joking that he was perhaps an “unreconstructed child of the 1960s”, the former Labor senator and foreign affairs minister said principles of “timeless significance” were at stake and university administrators and governing bodies “simply must take a stand”.

“Lines have to be drawn, and administrators’ spines stiffened, against manifestly un­conscionable demands for protection against ideas and arguments claimed to be offensive,” Mr Evans said. “Keeping alive the great tradition of our universities — untrammelled autonomy and untrammelled freedom of speech — is a cause to which university chancellors … should be prepared to go to the barricades.”

Concern about the impacts of growing campus activism has been on the political radar for some months.

Education Minister Dan Tehan recently proposed to the Group of Eight universities that measures to protect freedom of thought and expression should be considered, such as requiring student activists who sought to disrupt an event to pay for additional security costs. He expressed concerns that in the case of Sydney University, event organisers were being levied with the bill.

Steven Schwartz, a former vice-chancellor at three universities in Australia and Britain, said: “Today’s university students will grow up to be tomorrow’s lawyers, politicians, and judges. For the sake of our democracy, we cannot allow a generation of graduates to grow up believing that there are issues that are too dangerous to discuss.

“Expanding the meaning of words such as ‘violence’, ‘aggression’ and ‘traumatic’ to describe speech provides universities with a spurious excuse for censorship.”

Professor Schwartz said if universities failed to defend free speech, governments might intervene: “I am sure they will not like the result.”


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:

Anonymous said...

"...I inherit a rather short temper from my father however so I very soon started to shout and bang on the counter. That dislodged him and he gave me the picture."

Good work.