Friday, November 30, 2018

Where you live is determining your school's NAPLAN score

Rubbish! Where you live is just another effect of the real cause of educational success. The real cause is that rich people tend to have smarter kids and also tend to live in more salubrious suburbs.  And there's nothing you can do about that

If you live in Sydney's west or south-west, your child's school is almost certain to be scoring below the national average on NAPLAN.

But if you live on the north shore, northern beaches, eastern suburbs or inner-west almost every school is achieving above the national average, whether it is public or private.

In a new analysis, Macquarie University researchers have found that the area in which a student goes to school is one of the clearest predictors of year 5 NAPLAN reading scores, painting a stark picture of Australia's socioeducational divide.

"The results are confronting," said Crichton Smith, the study's lead author and a PhD candidate at Macquarie University.

"Virtually no schools in any city's advantaged suburbs are below the national average, and almost no schools in disadvantaged areas are above average."

In Sydney "you can literally draw a line” between schools with above-average results and below-average results, Smith said.

North of Sydney's "latte line", 173 schools achieved above the national average in year 5 reading, 13 were close to average and only seven schools achieved below average.

But in the city's south-west, 104 schools were below average, while only 10 were ranked above average and 32 were at average.

And the polarisation is getting worse. The study found the disparity between results in Sydney’s north and east compared to those in the city's west and south-west became more pronounced between 2008 and 2016.

“If you look at the 2008 maps you can see there were some schools below average in the North Shore and Eastern Suburbs but they have basically disappeared," said Smith.

“It is a very stark map,” he said. “In Sydney we don’t have many schools close to the national average - most are either above or below.”

Also, the "spatial polarisation" in Sydney was worse that other big cities. Smith said it had the “clearest delineation” of above average and below average NAPLAN results of all the state capitals.

“I would have thought that would be a concern for anyone involved in education,” he said.

The study found a clear divide in educational achievement based on a school's location within every major city in Australia and between regional and metropolitan areas.

"The fact that socioeconomic disadvantage plays out in such a geographic way shows how socially stratified our cities, and particularly Sydney, are," the Grattan Institute's schools expert Peter Goss said.

"It could be to do with schools and teaching practices or it could be to do with changes in the make-up of the city where house prices are meaning it's very difficult to trade up as it were, and that dynamic may be reinforcing the divide.

"This geographic comparison will be picking up both disadvantage at the family level and at the peer group level. If your peer group is educationally advantaged, you'll typically do better."

The Macquarie University study also suggests that school choice does not make a difference to NAPLAN scores, with both public and private schools performing according to the location-based trend.

"Unfortunately the location-based divide has increased since NAPLAN began," said Smith.

"With 10 years of NAPLAN results now available, it is difficult to see a policy solution to bridge a gap that is so wide, and growing."

A spokesman for the NSW Department of Education said it is working to improve achievement through its literacy and numeracy strategy, which includes targeted support for "low performing and low SES students".

"All NSW schools receive needs-based funding [and] schools with low socio-economic rankings receive greater resources and more funding to support students," the spokesman said.

However, Dr Goss said that disadvantaged schools in Australia remain relatively underfunded according to the target set by the needs-based school resourcing standard.

"Despite the rhetoric, disadvantaged schools are underfunded relative to targets whereas most advantaged schools typically are close to their target," Dr Goss said.

Some of the state's most advantaged private schools were overfunded by $160 million in state allocations this year, while NSW public schools got $470 million less from the state government than their entitlement under the needs-based formula, a recent report found.


Adani to begin construction on scaled-back Carmichael coal mine

Greenie hostility to the project meant that all the banks refused to fund it

The controversial mine in Queensland will move ahead but it will be scaled back after the project failed to find financing.

Adani says it will self-fund the construction of its controversial Carmichael mine and that work will begin soon.

The mining giant said a scaled-down mine and rail project would be 100 per cent financed through the Adani’s Group’s resources.

Adani Mining chief executive officer Lucas Dow made the announcement at the Bowen Basin Mining Club luncheon in Mackay, Queensland today.

It follows recent changes to simplify construction and reduce the initial capital requirements for the project.

The mine was originally expected to be a $16.5 billion project but will now only cost $2 billion, according to the Townsville Bulletin.

“Our work in recent months has culminated in Adani Group’s approval of the revised project plan that de-risks the initial stage of the Carmichael mine and rail project by adopting a narrow gauge rail solution combined with a reduced ramp up volume for the mine,” Mr Dow said.

“This means we’ve minimised our execution risk and initial capital outlay. The sharpening of the mine plan has kept operating costs to a minimum and ensures the project remains within the first quartile of the global cost curve.”

According to the Bulletin, Mr Dow said work on the mine would start first, after management plans were approved by state and federal governments. Work on the rail line was expected to begin early in the New Year. The first coal experts would be produced in 2021.

Once spruiked as Australia’s biggest coal mine, which would produce 60 million tonnes of coal per year. The scaled-back version will now produce 27.5 million tonnes at its peak.

Initially production will only be 10 to 15 million tonnes but it will ramp up to 27.5 within 10 years.

A rail line to service the mine will also be scaled back. Earlier this year Adani scrapped plans for a 388km standard gauge rail line and will instead build a 200km line that will connect to Aurizon’s existing Goonyella and Newlands rail network. This will more than halve the cost from $2.5 billion to $1 billion.

Mr Dow said the project would deliver 1500 direct jobs during the initial ramp-up and construction phase of the mine and rail projects.

Townsville and Rockhampton were still expected to be the primary source markets for jobs but workers would also be hired from other areas.

The company had to find its own funding for the project after banks overseas and in Australia distanced themselves from coal export projects in the area, or introduced policies that prohibited financing Adani’s mine.

Early this year rail operator Aurizon walked away from plans to build a rail line linked to the mine, withdrawing its application for a $5 billion government-funded loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).

The decision comes after Adani was previously denied a $1 billion NAIF loan to build its own rail line, after the Queensland Government vetoed it ahead of the state election.

The Carmichael mine was previously delayed by court challenges brought by environmental groups as well as the need to change the Native Title Act to legitimise an Indigenous Land Use Agreement it had signed.

Today’s announcement is not the first time Adani has announced it was going to start construction. Adani Australia chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj previously said physical construction of the mine was scheduled to start in weeks in October 2017.

This year it was announced that pre-construction work on the project was expected to begin in the September quarter.


Fireworks and entertainment to be removed from Australia Day celebrations to make the event 'more respectful to Aboriginal people'

Fireworks and entertainment could be removed from Australia Day celebrations to make the event more respectful to Aboriginal people.

A local government proposal has been put forward in Sydney to consult the community about 'changing the nature' of Australia Day celebrations.

Inner West mayor Darcy Byrne put forward the idea to change January 26 celebrations into a day more about commemoration and shift the 'community festival' aspect to a different day.

'For First Nations peoples, January 26 represents the beginning of invasion, dispossession, disease, stolen children and the deliberate elimination of language and culture,' Cr Byrne said.

The mayor said he wanted to be respectful to Aboriginal people and 'reflect it's a day of sadness for them.'

The review comes about nine months after a proposal was put forward to completely remove Australia Day celebrations from January 26.

Security had to be increased after the Council meeting as far-right nationalists threatened to 'declare war' on the council if the idea gained support, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Nathan Moran said that a separate day to acknowledge the date of federation, the sorry day speech, or the start of reconciliation week would be more appropriate.

'We find this development of nationalism or patriotism is bizarre at best and alarming at worst of how Australia in such a short time has somehow turned it around to make this day a national day of celebration or significance when in early 90s not even all states had a public holiday for it,' Mr Moran.

The Federal Government removed the right for Byron Bay Council and also two Melbourne councils to conduct citizenship ceremonies after they tried to ban holding them on Australia Day.

Events planned for Australia Day 2019 at Enmore Park in Inner West will proceed as the community consultation will only affect events from the following year.


Dutton to strip convicted terrorists of Australian citizenship

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has unveiled plans to strip convicted terrorists of their Australian citizenship.

Mr Morrison said the proposed new laws would allow a minister to strip Australian citizenship from a convicted terrorist if they were “reasonably satisfied” the person was entitled to citizenship in another country.

That is a departure from the current policy of stripping citizenship only from dual nationals, who are definitely citizens of other countries.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is also pushing to speed up the process for new laws to allow police to access encrypted communications used by “paedophiles or terrorists” such as WhatsApp messages.

Speaking on Thursday afternoon, Mr Morrison said: “Terrorists have violated everything about what being an Australian is all about.

“It’s a crime against our country, not just against other citizens, and this is something that can’t be tolerated and permitted.

“And for those who have engaged in this sort of activity, if they have citizenship elsewhere, and we reasonably believe they do, well they can go, that’s our clear message.”

According to The Daily Telegraph, the new plan would apply to Aussies who have parents or grandparents from different countries thus allowing them to obtain citizenship somewhere else.

The government will review the backgrounds of some 400 terrorists being monitored by ASIO to determine whether they are dual-citizens or are entitled to acquire a foreign citizenship.

It raises the possibility of some people being deported who have no other citizenship but Australian.

Unlike now where a six-year custodial sentence is needed for citizenship to be revoked, the planned legislation would merely need someone to be convicted for them to stripped of their right to remain in Australia.

The PM also wants to introduce “temporary exclusion orders” of up to two years for foreign fighters returning from conflict zones in the Middle East.

Based on a UK scheme, they would block a proven terrorist from returning to Australia for up to two years, unless a special permit was provided.

“We’re determined to deal with those individuals who have done this as far away from our shores as is possible,” Mr Morrison said.

Once back in Australia, the person would be subject to various controls including reporting to police, adhering to curfews and complying with restrictions on technology use.

“Failure to comply with the terms of that temporary exclusion order would be also an offence and subject to penalties for that citizen,” he said.

Earlier, the Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Migration Jason Wood also called for residents, who were born overseas, but later became Australian citizens, to be immediately deported if they engaged in extremism.

“As far as I’m concerned, if you’ve put your hand up to say you uphold the rights and responsibility of Australian citizenship, but the next minute you want to talk jihad all day, it’s a breach of contract and you need to go,” Mr Wood said.

The plan comes the same week three Melbourne men — brothers Ertunc Eriklioglu, 30 and Samed Eriklioglu, 26 and Hanifi Halis, 21 — were charged with allegedly planning a deadly terror attack on Melbourne.

Victoria Police later confirmed the men had all had their Australian passports cancelled this year and were of Turkish background.

Mr Dutton has said passing a new encryption law should be done sooner rather than later.

He said the heads of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and Australian Federal Police had already given evidence to the committee.

“The evidence there is overwhelming that we need this change. We cannot have paedophiles or terrorists using encrypted messaging apps,” Mr Dutton said.

The minister said paedophiles were directing sex scenes through the messaging apps, which were also used by terrorists.

“We are in a situation where we have terrorists who are using encrypted messaging apps to plan attacks and ASIO and the Australian Federal Police have no sight of that,” Mr Dutton said.

“It’s unacceptable, particularly given the current risk environment.”

Labor has warned against rushing the committee, while denying Mr Dutton’s claims they are against increasing authorities’ powers.


Schools accused of failing us on basic Aussie knowledge

You might travel down Macquarie Street in Sydney’s CBD every day but do you know why the thoroughfare is called that? How about Sydney itself? Or Brisbane and Melbourne?

The truth is, many of us don’t know the history behind our Aussie cities.

Controversial shock jock Alan Jones says it’s simply not good enough that Australians can’t answer these questions and something needs to be done to fix our education system.

So how would you go with these 10 questions?

1. How did Sydney get its name?

2. How did Brisbane get its name?

3. How did Melbourne get its name?

4. How did Macquarie Street, Sydney, get its name?

5. What river is Mackay on?

Do you know how Australian city names came to be?
Do you know how Australian city names came to be?Source:istock

Those questions were what Jones said we should know but we added a few extras while we’re at it:

6. What is the Great Australian Bight?

7. What is the highest mountain in Australia?

8. What is the longest river in Australia?

9. What is Australia’s most easterly point?

10. When did Australian become an independent nation?

(Answers at the bottom)

Jones said if you went down the streets of Mackay with a megaphone saying the Pioneer River was flooding, anyone between 12 and 40 would not take notice.

“They wouldn’t know it’s on a river,” he said. “Kids have got to be told and taught why Brisbane was called Brisbane. They don’t know any of that.”

The 2GB radio host said people should be able to tell the difference between a full stop and an apostrophe.

Jones said people would not drive a car if they did not understand the basics of how it worked, so language should be no different. “How can you drive the language if you don’t really understand how the language works?” he said.

Jones said he asked an 11-year-old what he was learning about at school and he responded, “Is Donald Trump going to blow up North Korea?”

He said useful lessons taken from literature were being denied to young people.

“Shakespeare’s too difficult. Charles Dickens? Forget about it,” Jones said. “The great works of literature, that’s all too difficult to teach primarily because there are many teachers who aren’t capable of teaching them.

“Where did it go off the rails? At the end of the day the losers are the kids. I’m surprised parents aren’t marching the streets.”

Jones made the comments during the launch of Dr Kevin Donnelly’s new book, How Political Correctness is Destroying Education and Your Child’s Future.

The pair said children were being taught more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history than Western culture.

“If today it was established that we had dropped a pile of rubbish in Cooks River, prosecutions would take place because we are upset over pollution of the environment — who is prosecuting over the polluting of minds of young people?” Jones asked.

“There’s significant dissatisfaction with what’s happening but no one really at the end of the day has the capability to do anything about it.

“It’s all very well to pretend (political correctness) doesn’t exist but it’s alive and well and strong — it’s rampant. What hope have we got?”

Jones and Dr Donnelly said teaching was once a noble profession but standards had slipped.

“We’re not even in the top 20 in the world (for academic standards) — this is too serious an issue to ignore,” Jones said.

“This is serious, serious stuff, yet you talk it to any education minister and they will tell you education is fantastic, wonderful things are going on in schools.

“It has to change. It’s not an education system without discipline and content. I can’t see that at work. The classroom is quarantined from appropriate review and sanction.”

Jones called for school inspectors to be returned so classrooms could be held to account.


1. Arriving in Botany Bay in January 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet, set out to look for more water. He found a settlement he intended to name Albion, the poetic name for England.

However, he quickly changed his mind and named the bay Sydney Cove in honour of Lord Sydney, the Secretary of State for the Home Office. The settlement itself later became known as Sydney Town. Lord Sydney, aka Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney was a prominent politician, yet he never visited Australia.

2. Brisbane came into being long before the state of Queensland was established, when intrepid Surveyor General John Oxley named the river he discovered after the Governor of New South Wales, Thomas Brisbane, in 1823.

3.Melbourne was briefly named “Batmania” after one of its founders, John Batman. Other proposed names included Bearbrass, Bareport, Bareheep, Barehurp and Bareberp. In 1837 the town was officially granted a seal of approval and in 1851 the colony of Victoria was formed and formally separated from NSW.

The colony was named “Victoria” after the reigning English monarch Queen Victoria and the main town ”Melbourne” in honour of Lord Melbourne, Queen Victoria’s most dedicated Prime Minister William Lamb.

4. When Lachlan Macquarie, who had a great interest in town planning, arrived in the colony in 1810 he gave early attention to the state of the roads, ordering alignments, reformings, widenings and the demolition of encroaching buildings. He also tried to stop names being duplicated — often on streets quite close to each other.

Lachlan Macquarie was governor of NSW from 1810-1822. Many streets had their beginnings with the First Fleeters including Argyle, George and Bridge street.

5. Pioneer River — the name Mackay River didn’t survive very long, as it was soon changed to Pioneer River, to avoid confusion with a river of the same name flowing into Rockingham Bay. Pioneer was derived from the Government survey ship HMS Pioneer.

6. The Great Australian Bight is a bay off the central and western portions of the southern coastline of mainland Australia.

7. The highest mountain in Australia is Mount Kosciuszko.

8. Australia’s longest single river is the Murray River, which stretches 2508km across NSW and South Australia.

9. Australia’s most easterly point is Cape Byron in NSW. The furthest points in Australia are Queensland’s Cape York to the north, South East Cape in Tasmania to the south and WA’s Steep Point in the west.

10. Australia became an independent nation on January 1, 1901. It couldn’t have happened without the “Father of Federation”, Sir Henry Parkes, a master politician who was elected premier of NSW five times.


 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

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Six in ten Asian-born Australians experience racism in accessing housing, survey finds

It is typical of a Left-leaning newspaper like the SMH to blame everything on racism.  If you believed Leftist media outlets, you would think Australia rivals Nazi Germany for racism.

As it happens, I usually have both Chinese and Indian tenants so I suppose I can talk with some immunity from a charge of racism.

The first thing to note is that the data is highly suspect. Online surveys tend to be answered by those who have a dog in the fight concerned.  Much lower and differently distributed examples of discrimination could be expected from a representative survey.  So the findings below are essentially rubbish from beginning to end.

From my involvement in the matter, what is actually happening is dislike not of the race of a tenant but the inability to communicate well with people who have poor English. And East Asians find English very difficult to learn.  I am sure that Asian speakers of Australian English would rarely find difficulty.

I put up with poor English because I have found Chinese to be otherwise exceptionally good tenants.  Indians are more diverse but usually have passable English and I like their generally cheerful attitudes.  Indian English is the de facto national language of India so Indians have little difficulty in adapting to Australian English

When it comes to access to housing in Australia, the playing field is far from even.

Our recent research has found that race matters. Many Australians experience racism and discrimination based on their cultural background.

This is particularly the case for Asian Australians. They experience much higher rates of racism across a variety of everyday settings, but particularly when renting or buying a house.

An online national survey of 6001 Australians measured the extent and variation of racist attitudes and experiences. We examined the impacts of where Australians are born and what language they speak at home on their experiences of racism.

Our research revealed that if you were born overseas, or if your parents were born overseas and you speak a language other than English at home, you are likely to have many more experiences of racism than other Australians. Racism is experienced in a variety of settings –workplaces, educational institutions, shopping centres, public spaces and online.

Survey participants born in Asia were twice as likely as other Australians to experience everyday racism. In fact, 84 per cent of these Asian Australians experienced racism.

For those born in Australia to parents who were both born in an Asian country, rates of racism were just as high (86 per cent).

If you speak an Asian language at home, your experiences of racism are also likely to be high. Speakers of South Asian and East Asian languages experience racism at alarming rates – 85 per cent and 88 per cent respectively. Those who speak Southwest/Central Asian and Southeast Asian languages experience rates of discrimination (79 per cent and 78 per cent respectively) similar to those for all participants of a non-English-speaking background (77 per cent).

Anti-Asian housing discrimination

Published findings for New South Wales and Queensland in the 1990s revealed that 6.4 per cent of Australians reported having experienced ethnic-based discrimination when renting or buying a house. Our recent national study has found this proportion has increased dramatically. In recent years, 24 per cent of Australians have experienced housing discrimination.

As with the broader pattern of everyday racism, Asian Australians are feeling the brunt of housing discrimination. Almost six in ten (59 per cent) Asia-born participants in our study experienced racism in accessing housing. This compares to only 19 per cent of non-Asian-born participants.

Asia-born respondents were also more likely to report frequent experiences of housing discrimination. Some 13 per cent reported these experiences occurred “often” or “very often”. This is more than three times the average exposure of non-Asian-born Australians.

In particular, participants born in Northeast and South/Central Asia are more frequently exposed to racism in housing. And 15 per cent and 16 per cent respectively reported housing discrimination occurred “often” or “very often”. This compares to only 9 per cent of those born in Southeast Asia.

The survey also found that if you have two Asia-born parents you are highly likely to experience such racism (44 per cent). Similarly, if you speak a language other than English at home (especially an Asian language), you are more likely to experience housing discrimination (45 per cent).

South Asian language speakers (e.g. Hindi, Tamil, Sinhalese) experience housing discrimination at a much higher rate of 63 per cent. The rate for East Asian language speakers (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, Korean) is 55 per cent. Only 19 per cent of English-only speakers had the same experiences.



In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is disgusted with the media

Foreign postgraduates now outnumber Australians at Sydney University - as fears grow over Chinese influence

This is a very good sign for relations with China.  The students will go back to China with a firm impression of Australia as a relaxed non-threatening country.  Would there be so many of them if they experienced Australia as a racist place?

International postgraduate students now outnumber Australian postgraduates at Sydney's oldest university, as fears rise over foreign influence in student politics.

Questions have been raised over whether Australia's universities are too dependent on revenue generated by international fee-paying students, or if their primary role is still to educate the next generation of Australians.

Sydney University, Australia's most prestigious sandstone university, now has more foreign postgraduate students enrolled than Australian citizens.

As of November 15, Sydney University had 15,082 international postgraduate students compared with 13,891 Australian citizens.

Almost a third of the university's undergrad student body is now made up of international fee-paying students with 11,622 foreign students compared with 25,075 Australian citizens, according to university figures.

Of the combined student body of 70,412 enrolled students, 38 per cent or 26,704 are international fee-paying students.

In 2017, the university made $752.2 million from overseas fee-paying students.

The issue has become controversial after organised Chinese international student factions have come to dominate university politics.

For the first time this year, Sydney University's postgraduate student body SUPRA had an executive elected composed entirely of foreign fee-paying students, according to a report by student newspaper Honi Soit.

Recent Sydney University Students Representative Council elections resulted in increased representation for Chinese international student group Panda which won 11 out of the 33 council seats, up from eight the previous year under the 'Panda Warriors' banner. 

Panda worked together with moderate liberal group Shake Up in the election, whose members included Gabi Stricker-Phelps, the daughter of recently elected Wentworth MP Kerryn Phelps.

Together the two groups control 15 out of the 33 council seats, while Advance, another Chinese international student faction, holds another 3 seats.

Incoming SRC President Jacky He (Panda) strongly denied that the China Development Society had anything to do with the Chinese Communist Party in an interview with Honi Soit.

He, a permanent resident who moved from China to Australia as a child, said he has been unfairly asked by several people whether he had links to the Chinese Communist Party. 'I feel like it's quite unjust for people to say 'Hey look, because there's a lot of Chinese students, they must be Chinese spies',' he told Fairfax Media.   

Sydney University would not reveal how many Australian citizens won the right to sit on the student council in the elections, citing privacy reasons.

Sydney University told Daily Mail Australia it is proud of the contribution international students make to the university.

'We welcome any attempt to ensure that representative bodies at the University of Sydney are as diverse as our student population and would encourage more of our students to get involved,' a Sydney University spokesperson said in an emailed statement.  

The Sydney University Students Representative Council is known as a training ground for future political leaders, with Joe Hockey, Anthony Albanese, and Tony Abbott all having served.

Australia's security agencies including spy agency ASIO have warned about the threat of foreign interference in Australia's society.

In October last year, ASIO director-general Duncan Lewis warned in the ASIO Annual Report that foreign powers were clandestinely seeking to shape the opinions of the public, media organisations and government officials to advance their objectives.

'Espionage and foreign interference are insidious threats,' he said. 'Activities that may appear relatively harmless today can have significant future consequences. The harm may not manifest until many years, even decades, after the activity has occurred.'

According to Australian government figures, as of August there were 640,342 international students enrolled in Australia, an 11 percent increase on the previous corresponding period.

Chinese nationals make up 30 percent of the national total, or just over 189,000. The majority of foreign students - more than 380,000 - were enrolled in tertiary education. 


Three African teens 'on the run after terrorising elderly couple at gunpoint in their home' - as police take the unusual step of naming underage 'attackers'

Three teenagers remain on the run after allegedly smashing their way into a home and terrorising an elderly couple at gunpoint.

A gang of five youths forced their way into a Wyndham Vale property, in Melbourne, at 6am on November 17, and pointed a firearm at a 66-year-old woman before demanding the keys to her car, police allege.

An 18-year-old man and a boy, 16, have since been charged over the alleged invasion, which left the woman, her 80-year-old husband and their 27-year-old daughter shaken, but uninjured.

Victoria Police on Tuesday took the highly unusual step of naming and releasing photos of three others wanted over the alleged attack. Investigators made applications to enable them to identify Bafal Gatluak and Mading Nyolic, both 16, and 17-year-old Deng Kuol.

Detective Acting Inspector Brett Kahan said the decision to publicly identify the teenagers was something they did not take lightly but deemed necessary.

'I think this an important step in respect to bringing these youths who are committing quite hard crimes into custody,' he said on Tuesday.

'They know they are wanted by police and they are actively avoiding police and we really believe this step will assist us in bringing them into custody quite quickly.'

Det Insp Kahan said police believed the three were still together and known to hang around the Collingwood and Sunshine areas.

The elderly couple had reportedly feared they would become victims of a home invasion. 'I did not panic, I did not scream. They said to me ''car key, car key'',' the woman told Seven News.

The vehicle was found dumped about 15 kilometres away in the suburb of Point Cook.


Council slammed over N-word funeral post for former employee

A Queensland regional council this month posted a funeral notice on its Facebook page for a local Aboriginal man under the heading “John Hagan (N..... Rat)’’.

The November 8 post was only removed today from the Facebook page of the Paroo Shire Council, in the state’s southwest, after a complaint and threatened legal action from the three children and a cousin of Hagan.

A long-time employee of the council, Hagan, 67, was described in the funeral notice as being “known to all’’ by the racially ­offensive “N..... Rat’’, a claim disputed by his family.

Hagan’s son, Bruce, said he had never heard anyone refer to his ­father, who volunteered helping local Aboriginal youth, in the way purported by the council.

“I have never heard anyone call him by the N-word. It’s wrong, and it has been very, very hurtful to the family,’’ he said. “He worked for 45 years on the railway and then council, paid his taxes and I don’t want my dad remembered that way, it’s degrading.’’

Paroo Shire Council chief executive Oliver Simon today said he was “looking into the facts’’ behind the posting of Hagan’s ­funeral notice but that family were “usually consulted’’.

His three children, who are considering making formal complaints under state and commonwealth anti-discrimination laws, said they were not aware of any family member being consulted by the council.


 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

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Feminist Lies about Sex abuse on campus

Bettina Arndt

Last year I was approached by a Perth Film company, asking me to take part in a documentary being made for SBS on sexism. I wasn’t keen because I know all too well how easy it is for filmmakers to do a long interview which they then chop up to make you look like a dodo. I couldn’t imagine anyone at SBS would do me any favours. But the Perth company, Joined UP, assured me they planned to do a balance programme and they pressured me to take part to comment on survey results showing most Australians have real concerns about the way sexism is normally portrayed.

Those statistics were very revealing. Only 19 per cent of Australians identify as feminist. Almost half the population (45 per cent) feel feminism has gone too far. By far the majority, (76 per cent) feel men suffer from sexism too. I did the interview and persuaded others to get involved to comment on this majority view. But then SBS released their teaser for the programme - Is Australia Sexist – showing they had ditched anything that challenges the feminist narrative and simply were promoting the usual male-bashing dogma we have come to expect from our public broadcasters.

I wrote about this for The Australian this week and SBS told an Oz news reporter that “they couldn’t cover every angle of complex issues surrounding sexism,” and admitted they weren’t including the statistics in question. Instead, in the promo for the programme which goes to air December 4, we are promised shocking findings about our sexist country showing how hard life it is for women dealing with the wage gap, the constant underlying threat of rape. We see little girls being taught that boys always get paid more, women afraid to walk down public streets. The compere ends up in tears at the thought of her children facing such ordeals.

I thought it was a very telling example of the grip of feminism on our key institutions and lengths these activists are prepared to go to promote their ideology. Here’s the video – please help me circulate it:

And for the all the people who keep asking me how they can help in my various campaigns, I have a job for you. The Sydney Morning Herald last week revealed that my recent activities had derailed the feminist goal of a Federal Government taskforce aimed at bullying universities into doing more about sexual assault and harassment on campuses.

“We were so close”, wailed the SMH headline which blamed me for the set-back in the feminists’ plans. The journalist claimed Education Minister Dan Tehan postponed making a decision about their taskforce, instead prioritising an inquiry into freedom of speech at universities, triggered by the violent protest against me at Sydney University.

News of the proposed task force is extremely worrying because it shows the government is under great pressure to force universities into further action on the manufactured rape crisis. The ultimate goal of this taskforce will be to persuade universities to get involved in adjudicating date rape cases – as has happened in the US with disastrous consequences for many young men and for the universities. In case you missed it, I recently wrote an article for the online journal Quillette, explaining what is likely to happen if the feminists get their way.

The trouble is that governments and education authorities only ever hear from the feminist extremists and rarely from sensible people warning of the risks to universities if they head further down this path. We must all get active and persuade Education Minister Tehan to permanently shelve this idea. Email him or lobby your own MP and warn others about what’s going on here. We need to protect young male students from this madness.

Via email

Rich and poor Australians united on pausing immigration

The majority of both rich and poor Australians support cutting the immigration intake to relieve population pressures on infrastructure, requiring migrants to learn English and Australian values to promote integration, and maintaining strong border protection policies, according to new research from The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS).

The research, Australian Attitudes to Immigration: Coming Apart or Common Ground? is based on polling by YouGov Galaxy that surveyed the opinions on immigration-related topics of 500 Australians who live in the top 10% of metropolitan postcodes by income and education, and 500 who live in the bottom 10%.

Research authors Dr Jeremy Sammut and Monica Wilkie say the polling shows that attitudes to key immigration questions in both the most affluent and least affluent suburbs are not starkly polarised and are far more similar than they are different.

“In both rich and poor postcodes, strong majorities — 65% of residents in the top postcodes and the 77% in the bottom postcodes — support cutting or pausing immigration until struggling transport, schools, and housing infrastructure catches up with demand,” Dr Sammut says.

“The consensus is even stronger regarding integration, with 75% in the top postcodes and 82% in the bottom postcodes believing the government should require migrants to attend a course about Australian values before granting them permanent residence.

“And 80% in the top suburbs and 86% in the bottom ones also agreed that migrants should have to learn English.”

The researchers said that majorities across the polling (67% in the least affluent suburbs and 58% in the most affluent ones) also agreed ‘regardless of whether the Coalition or Labor wins the next federal election, the border protection policies introduced by the federal government in 2014 should remain in place.’

“Conflict between elites and ordinary voters over immigration — combined with loss of control of borders — has led to populist insurgencies against the political establishment in many European countries, and to the ‘Leave’ Brexit victory in the UK and Trump’s election victory in the US,” Ms Wilkie says.

“What our polling indicates is that Australia faces an old-fashioned political problem over immigration: politicians being ‘out of touch’ on the intake and integration issues that are of common concern to the majority of metropolitan voters.

“Infrastructure-linked intake cuts, actively promoting integration, and strong border protection measures are not ‘fringe’ (or worse) views — they are mainstream public opinion.

“To ensure our immigration program retains public support, governments must respond to public concerns about urban congestion and social cohesion.”


Fremantle couple tasered by WA Police win fight for more than $1.1 million in damages

W.A. cops would have to be the most malodorous in the nation

An innocent Fremantle couple wrongfully tasered by police have won their legal battle against the WA Government for more than $1.1 million in compensation. Law professor Robert Cunningham and his wife Catherine Atoms have welcomed a decision by the WA Supreme Court of Appeal to dismiss an appeal by the Government.

The couple were walking past the Esplanade Hotel at night in November 2008 when they stopped to help a man lying in bushes nearby.

Police arrived shortly afterwards and tasered the couple, before handcuffing them and charging them with obstructing a public officer.  The charges were later dismissed, but the couple took civil action against the Government and three police officers.

Dr Cunningham and Ms Atoms said their quest for justice had been an expensive and gruelling ordeal.  "It will remain a costly exercise and a great concern to Western Australian citizens if the state's role in justice and the rule of law is consigned only to civil procedures," Dr Cunningham said.

"Today's decision will motivate the state to correct their institutional responses for allegations of serious misconduct," she said.

The Government was ordered by justices Michael Buss, Janine Pritchard and Graeme Murphy to pay the couple more than $1.1 million in damages, as well as costs, which are yet to be determined.

The damages were first awarded two years ago by Justice Felicity Davis in a District Court case. But the appeal by the Government over a point of law, determining whether the government or police were liable when police behaved maliciously, put the compensation payment on hold. The appeal judgment found the Government was liable for the full amount of damages.

It marks a rare victory for the couple, who have tirelessly worked for many years to have the police officers brought to justice. An internal police investigation cleared the officers of wrongdoing and the Corruption and Crime Commission has refused to reopen an investigation.

The couple has also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees and medical bills, after the unlawful tasering left them with post-traumatic stress disorder and physical injuries.

As a result of the civil action, Ms Atoms was awarded more than $1 million, predominantly for her lost earnings as a consultant, and Dr Cunningham more than $110,000.

Justice Davis found the officers — Glenn Caldwell, Peter Clark and Simon Traynor — had fabricated evidence, abused their powers and falsely imprisoned, assaulted and tasered the couple.

Attorney-General John Quigley said the couple would receive the $1.1 million payment in coming weeks.  "Now that has been determined, the case is over and they will get the money they were awarded by the court.".

He told the WA Parliament in March that he would ask the State Solicitor to look at whether the three officers had committed criminal or disciplinary offences.

A spokeswoman from his office said the matter was still being considered by the State Solicitor.


Union turns on teacher over ‘don’t vote Liberal’ post

A public school teacher who pledged to ensure her students “don’t vote Liberal” when they graduated should be investigated by the Education Department, the teachers’ union says.

Regina Wilson, a South Australian teacher and union delegate, is at the centre of a firestorm over political interference in the classroom by union-affiliated teachers after her post on the Australian Education Union’s Facebook page was yesterday revealed by The Australian.

Amid a community backlash against Ms Wilson’s comments, AEU state president Howard Spreadbury conceded “the posting of her intent needs to be investigated”. He said there was “at this stage” no evidence Ms Wilson had carried through on her vow to ­“ensure that the next generation of voters in my classroom don’t vote Liberal”.

“She believes that part of developing students’ critical thinking is to talk to them about politics,” Mr Spreadbury said.

“It’s not for me to make the judgment about whether she’s right or wrong … I think that it does need to be followed through.”

Ms Wilson’s post was deleted on Tuesday night after inquiries by The Australian.

The AEU yesterday would not confirm whether Ms Wilson remained a delegate, as it prepares for likely strike action next week over stalled enterprise bargaining ­negotiations.

The 58-year-old former Fair Work inspector is an international student program manager who also teaches classes in Years 8, 9 and 11 at the 1000-student Woodville High School in northwestern Adelaide, located in safe Labor-held federal and state electorates.

Yesterday, she claimed she was being targeted because of her gender and insisted her post was meant to be “private … for my friends and family only”, even though she posted it publicly on the AEU’s Facebook forum.

“It (the post) did not identify me as a teacher at Woodville High School or an AEU member,” she told The Australian.

South Australian Treasurer Rob Lucas raised the matter with union bosses last week but they took no action at the time.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan yesterday said parents would be concerned if their children were “being indoctrinated with the political ideologies of teachers”.

“Teachers hold a unique position in our society and we trust them to educate our kids — that trust should not be abused to further any political agenda,” he said.

“The classroom should be a place of learning, not a place where teachers recruit students to their political worldview.”

Mr Lucas yesterday maintained pressure on the teachers’ union, telling ABC radio that “we’re not going to accept this sort of behaviour or action or indications of an intent to involve students in politics in the ­classroom”.

“I think this sort of action or this sort of behaviour is completely unacceptable,” he said.

Disciplinary proceedings were a matter for Education Department chief executive Rick Persse, he said.

An Education Department spokesman said: “The department has a clear process for dealing with alleged misconduct.”

South Australian Education Minister John Gardner said the public sector code of ethics also “makes it fairly clear that campaigning for partisan politics in the classroom isn’t appropriate”.

Australian Catholic University senior research fellow Kevin ­Donnelly said the incident was not surprising as the teachers' union had a long history of left-wing ­activism.

Jennifer Buckingham, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies, said left-wing political biases permeate all classrooms but “it’s just generally a bit more subtle”.


 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

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

African crime: Attack the writer, and miss the point

Bernard Lane, writing below, has run into a Leftist misapplication of natural justice. It is natural justice that I am responsible for my own deeds only, not the deeds of others. Leftists use that to say that we cannot act against or discuss a criminally-inclined group if some members only of the group are actual criminals. But that seems to most people to be instinctively wrong.  Why?

What they overlook is that it is not only justice that needs to be discussed in reference to such a group but prevention.  We have a strong need to protect ourselves from members of that group. But we have no certain knowledge of which group members are likely to harm us. So we act probabilistically. Most of our knowledge is probabilistic.  We expect that dogs will bark but some don't.  Our knowledge that dogs bark is strong knowledge but it is in the end only probabilistic.

So we often HAVE TO act on probabilistic knowledge..  If (say) we wish to protect ourselves from the frequent vicious attacks emanating from South Sudanese youths, our only recourse is to reply on our probabilistic knowledge of them and do something to restrict all of them from access to us. Britain dealt with Irish terrorism by instituting detention without trial so there are available precedents.

Justice is tangential to the problem.  The issue is prevention.  Only perfect knowledge could give us perfect justice but we do not have such knowledge. Prevention, however, is not in principle difficult.  Returning them all to their ancestral homeland, for instance, should be quite effective and only minimally oppressive

I am Twitter’s racist of the day. I wrote two words — African crime — that are not supposed to go together, unlike white supremacy. My Tuesday coverage of Melbourne’s crime problem ran to 5000 words, plus maps and charts. It sketched an atlas of crime hot spots across the city by people born in the conflict-ravaged Horn of Africa, mostly Sudanese. I knew it would be contentious, that any data analysis is imperfect, and so took care in framing it.

Twitter doesn’t care about that. Activist group Sleeping Giants Oz tweeted: “We are about to have a LONG rant about a News Corp @australian article compiled by @Bernard_Lane where they exclude ALL other criminals and focus ONLY on migrant East Africans committing crime in Victoria”.

No mention that I’d conceded African-born offending was “arguably trivial” compared with the rap sheet of the Australian-born. But the Sudanese are over-represented in the crime data, and police reports suggest an alarming degree of violence and contempt for the law, leaving a legacy of trauma and fear.

The long rant never came, unless that was all the rant on offer. What happened was that hundreds of people retweeted Sleeping Giants, sometimes adding their own abuse, conspiracy theories and bad spelling. The Twitter feed kept scrolling along, hour after hour.

Sudanese-Australian lawyer Nyadol Nyuon took me to task for “Making a whole community responsible for the conduct of others because of their skin colour. Have you ever had to answer for any crime because the person who did it shared the same race as you?”

Nowhere had I suggested collective responsibility.

If a white-on-black crime is in the news, I feel a kind of shame, but shouldn’t my first response be empathy for the victim, regardless of our group identities? Nobody in the Twitter feed expressed compassion for Elena Morgan, the white woman bashed by three teenage girls of African appearance. If crime is a racist media concoction, it has no true victims.

I’d acknowledged in the coverage that a fixation with African crime was hurtful for the law-abiding majority of people from the Horn of Africa. This only infuriated Nyuon, who likened it to “when they piss on you, then tell you it is raining”.

I also had included a reference to the 2007 murder of Sudanese refugee Liep Gony by two whites in Noble Park. It was a shocking crime and I couldn’t understand why the judge had ruled out a racial motive. This earned me a rebuke from Gony’s cousin, Nyawech Fouch, for “using” this tragedy “to support your ‘reverse racism’ argument”.

I had expected that race, nationality, culture and history would be conflated.

So I’d written: “Nobody suggests a racial link to crime in Melbourne but there is a question whether the horrors that qualify people for refugee status also create problems for their resettlement in a peaceful society ruled by law, especially if those new arrivals encounter prejudice and unemployment.”

Nyuon challenged me: “What is African crime? Does this include white Africans?”

The coverage focused not just on Sudan but three other Horn of Africa countries with a presence in Melbourne and a history of regional conflict often spilling over borders.

I kept in the analysis the very low “alleged offender incident” counts of people from Eritrea, a small country not spared the agonies of the region, because it suggested that arriving in Melbourne as a traumatised refugee did not mean you were predestined to a life of criminal dysfunction; what happened here counted too.

Sydney lawyer James Wheeldon, whose job would require him to be a careful reader, joined the Twitter feed: “this is garbage reporting and an egregious misuse of statistics”. He accused me of not comparing like with like, suggesting he had not paid much attention to the coverage before moralising. At least he read it, I think.

Criminologist Jarryd Bartle entered the fray, intimating I was a fraud because the data I had claimed to make use of was not publicly available. I asked if he’d read the full coverage. “Paywalled,” he tweeted in complaint, willing to criticise what he wasn’t willing to read.

Next came Benjamin Millar, a journalist with a local paper in Maribyrnong, the council area with the highest number of “offender incidents” involving people from the Horn of Africa across the past decade.

He upbraided me for the “privileged white fragility” I had displayed when rejecting the suggestion of reverse racism.

If a white woman is bashed by blacks on his watch as a reporter, is her “white privilege” a mitigating factor? Is her hurt different from the bruises of black-on-black violence?

Millar did have one useful criticism of my data analysis, which I added to the coverage.

Twitter exemplifies the tactic today to “call out” racists. This involves a lot of digital high fives but what does it actually achieve? Relentless smearing of people as racists only reinforces the dubious category of race as the lens through which we view the world. Individuals give up empathy for the tribal loyalty of identity politics.

This week’s anti-racists were blind to the point of my coverage: that in Melbourne’s violence, there may be lessons on how to make future resettlement of refugees more successful.

If activists dwell only on the supposed bigotry of white Australia, they risk undermining popular support for a generous humanitarian program.



In his latest offerings, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is dumbfounded by one university's ban on capital letters.  He also deplores the arrogance of Greenies who think that their rallies are more important than schooling

A life ruined: Man, 73, who spent nearly 20 YEARS in prison over the murder of a top cop is found not guilty on appeal

Eastman was an oddball but the case against him was always just supposition.  I think he did it but I have always said that the evidence just was not there.

A man who spent 19 years in jail for the murder of a federal police assistant commissioner has been found not guilty on appeal of his sentence.

Former Treasury official David Eastman, 73, was charged with the murder of Colin Winchester in 1993, but has always maintained his innocence.

In 2014 concerns arose about problems with original evidence and a new trial began in July 2018.

An ACT Supreme Court jury found Mr Eastman not guilty of the murder after a lengthy - and costly - retrial involving 36,000 pages of evidence and over 100 witnesses, costing taxpayers $6.5 million. 

Mr Eastman said 'thank you' to the judge after the verdict was read out.   

Mr Winchester was shot twice in the head as he parked on the driveway next to his Canberra home about 9.15pm on January 10, 1989.

The prosecution alleged Mr Eastman developed a murderous hatred of Mr Winchester, who he blamed for hindering his bid to rejoin the commonwealth public service.

Mr Eastman, a former Treasury official, was charged with the murder in 1993. He pleaded not guilty but in 1995 he was sentenced to life in jail.

He spent 19 years behind bars before being released in 2014 when his conviction was quashed.

The defence counsel told the ACT Supreme Court there were too many unknowns and gaps for the jury to find Eastman guilty.

However, the court heard listening devices placed in Eastman's flat revealed him whispering to himself: 'He was the first man, the first man I ever killed.'

There were audible gasps in the packed courtroom on Thursday as the jury's verdict was read out.


The moment a MAN in a burqa and a woman in a motorcycle helmet walk into a bank – so can YOU guess what happens next?

A man in a burqa and a woman in a motorcycle helmet have walked into a Melbourne bank to make a point about political correctness.

Conservative activist Avi Yemini, who is running as an Australian Liberty Alliance candidate at tomorrow's Victorian election, and the right-wing party's president Debbie Robinson entered an ANZ branch in the city on Friday afternoon.

Bank security guards raised no objection to Mr Yemini, a former Israeli soldier, wearing a black Islamic outfit as he carried a handbag during the lunch hour.

Mrs Robinson however was approached by security as she wore a black helmet over a blue suit jacket, moments after arriving at the bank on Collins Street.

She asked why she had to remove her helmet while her party colleague, running as an upper house candidate for Southern Metro, could keep his burqa on.

'Well, how come that lady can wear a burqa?,' she said.

The bank employee struggled to answer her question.

'Yeah, I know but it's um,' he said.

Still wearing her motorcycle helmet, Mrs Robinson protested about being discriminated against.

'So I have to take this off and she doesn't have to take that off?,' she said.

The security guard still struggled to answer her.

'Yeah, I'm not going to get into that,' he said.

At that point, Mrs Robinson told him she thought the double standard was ridiculous.

'Why? What's the difference? I feel like that's kind of discriminating against me,' she said.

'I mean she's sitting there with that on. Why do I have to take this off?.'

Mrs Robinson then removed her helmet and made her point about political correctness as Mr Yemini walked by her in a burqa.

'I think it's really unfair I have to take this off and people can walk around with those on,' she said. 'I think that's terrible in this day in age. How come you can wear that? That's not fair.'

Mr Yemini then removed his facial covering.

The conservative Jewish activist, who campaigns against Islamist extremists, mocked the security guard for being politically correct. 'You're a good man for standing up for multiculturalism,' he said. 'Don't you feel safer?'

Like One Nation, the Australian Liberty Alliance is in favour of banning full facial coverings in public.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson last year wore a burqa into the Senate chamber to make this point.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted ANZ to clarify their policy on full facial coverings in bank branches.


Victorian election: Puffer-jacket squad delivers pained message

They came for them wearing ­puffer jackets and pearls. Along the beaches of Sandringham, beneath the lush, elm-tree canopies of Hawthorn, from dress-circle addresses in Brighton, they marched into polling booths to ­deliver a message that will send political shockwaves from Melbourne to Canberra.

The Liberal Party, their Liberal Party, no longer spoke to them. In Daniel Andrews, they saw a Premier promising to deliver more of the essential services and infrastructure that a fast-growing city needed. In Matthew Guy, they saw a small man shouting at them about crime.

It was enough for Paula Reilly, a lifelong Liberal voter in leafiest Brighton, to despair. “I told people last night that I won’t vote again,’’ Reilly says. “I get too upset about it. I am getting too old.’’

For more than 150 years the seat of Brighton has not been touched by Labor hands. The electorate was considered so safe, Labor was willing to run as a token candidate a 19-year-old university student who didn’t hold a driver’s licence and two months ago wasn’t even a member of the party.

Declan Martin probably won’t win the seat but he has given the Liberals the scare of the century. The Liberal candidate, 38-year-old James Newbury, should have been a shoo-in. He is a qualified lawyer, holds a master’s degree in business and is an experienced political operative, having served stints as an adviser in Spring Street and in Canberra.

Perhaps more importantly, Newbury comes from a long line of Bayside orthodontists who, for as long as anyone can remember, have provided the sons and daughters of Brighton gleaming ­Osmond smiles.

Instead, the seat of Brighton ­remains close. In Church Street, where delicately poached eggs steam on kerbside tables and a poodle sits on the end of every lead, there is one name that keeps coming up in the election post-mortems: Malcolm.

Sitting outside a corner cafe, Julie Hoyne says she is shocked by the result but, in a way, not surprised. “The general consensus was that Daniel Andrews was getting on with the job,’’ she says. “I felt for the first time in a long time that things were really changing in terms of infrastructure and transport. I felt we were in safe hands with him.

“In the wider context, there is a real backlash over what happened with Malcolm Turnbull. People are just disenchanted with what happened with the Liberal Party and their treatment of Malcolm. I didn’t feel he was performing badly, it was just pure venom on behalf of Tony Abbott.’’

At a nearby table, a 46-year-old accountant says that for the first time in his life, he didn’t vote Liberal. He doesn’t want his name published in case some of his ­clients hold it against him but when asked why he didn’t back a Guy government, he provides a scathing bottom line. “At the federal level there seems to be more focus in infighting and locally, the policies didn’t really resonate,’’ he says. “I really like Labor’s infrastructure and big-picture thinking. That grabbed my attention.”

The moment he walked into the polling booth on Saturday, his overriding emotion was frustration. “I am just over it,’’ he says.

Outside Botticelli Ristorante, grey-haired angels are gathering for their 55-year class reunion. They went to Brighton’s Star of the Sea, the Catholic alma mater of Germaine Greer. When asked about the election, they deliver a scornful review.

“Abbott has caused the problem,’’ Paula Reilly says. “He is still bitter and twisted. I thought Malcolm was doing a good job.’’

Leonie Tully doesn’t like the cut of Guy’s jib. “He is over the top and his whole approach irritates me,’’ she offers. “It is like he is ­haranguing voters.’’

Christine Chamberlain stuck with the Liberals, partly because Newbury’s grandfather straightened her bottom teeth many years ago. Yet she has no love for the party figures who knifed Turnbull.

“There is no glue that is holding everyone together,’’ she says. “It is so factionalised. They need one good leader who can hold them all together, but the party won’t let them. It’s terrible.’’

With about a third of the votes still to be counted and four seats to be decided, this election has swung a wrecking ball through Liberal Party heartland. In Brighton, the swing to Labor is sitting on 7 per cent. The further you drive along Port Phillip Bay, the worse it gets; an 11.8 per cent swing in neighbouring Bentleigh, 12.2 per cent in Mordialloc.

Frankston, an uber-marginal battleground before Saturday, is now safe Labor. Carrum and Bentleigh, two other marginals, were decided before preferences.

In the eastern suburbs, an electoral dam broke, with Burwood, Ringwood and Box Hill, a Liberal seat since the first year of the Kennett government in 1992, all falling to Labor. Hawthorn, held by the conservatives for all but one term since 1889, is another once safe seat on a knife edge. As of last night, 53 votes separated opposition legal affairs spokesman John Pesutto from John Kennedy, a 71-year-old former school principal and RAAF officer now living in a retirement home.

In the coastal seat of Bass, the great blue of the Southern Ocean turned ALP red. Geraldine, a sea-change resident of the hamlet of Harmers Haven, says that to understand why this seat went to Labor you need only think back to the extra money Andrews promised for the nearby Wonthaggi Secondary College and a hospital.

She also thinks Canberra’s ­August follies played a part. “We all hoped that Abbott would go and disappear into the sunset,’’ she says. “To think he was the catalyst for getting rid of ­Malcolm …’’

As the electoral carnage unfolded on Saturday night, political hardheads couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

At the Village Green Hotel in Andrews’s seat of Mulgrave, an ALP victory party was in full swing within an hour of the polls closing. A chant of “four more years’’ ­became “eight more years’’ as red-seat projections soar.

At the back of the room, former ALP state secretary Nick Reece, an adviser to John Brumby and Julia Gillard during their times in office, said the message for the Liberals should be loud and clear.

“Australian elections are decided in the middle,’’ he said. “Don’t listen to extremists in your party, don’t get caught up in the conservative echo chamber of branch meetings. For every vote you gain on the right pandering to hard-core conservatives, you lose five in the middle. It is the same reason why the Labor Party should never pander to the Greens.’’

Amid a jubilant throng of red-shirted volunteers, Labor supporter and retired shearer Ray Nicholson was more succinct: “Every Liberal leader that I can ­remember has always espoused to follow in Menzies’ footsteps. I am nearly 70 and I can remember Menzies. Mate, Menzies wouldn’t piss on this mob.’’

Two days before the election, Victorian Liberal Party president Michael Kroger described Andrews as “the most radical premier and Labor government we have ever seen’’. Even by the standards of campaign hyperbole, it is an ­extraordinary statement.

The Andrews government, a state government in Australia’s fastest growing state, embarked in its first term on a substantial infrastructure agenda involving a new metro rail tunnel, new roads and tunnels and the removal of level rail crossings. It went to the polls promising to spend more money on hospitals, schools and vocational training and to build more roads and rail. Having kept the budget in surplus, it is willing to run up state debt to provide what is needed. From what political perspective is this a radical agenda?

The Liberal Party campaign, by contrast, was built on a narrowcast message about population growth and crime. It is a message that failed to convince enough voters in marginal and previously safe Liberal seats. Guy told The Australian in the last week of the campaign that the “noise’’ from Canberra had not helped.

Jeff Kennett credits Andrews with running a disciplined, positive campaign. He also believes the result represents a Victorian rejection of the muscular conservatism personified by Abbott, Peter Dutton and to a lesser extent, Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“It is not the basis on which the party was formed,’’ the former Victorian premier says.

“It is not Menzies’ formation credo, it is not what the Hamer credo was and I would like to think it wasn’t my credo. I think it is out of kilter with the community.’’

Reece and Kennett agree that the Victorian election result should prompt a substantial rethink of how the Liberal Party ­approaches the next federal election, expected in May.

Before Saturday, Canberra’s gaze was firmly fixed on familiar NSW battlegrounds and the electoral wilds of Queensland, where the Liberal National Party has spent years trying to mute the siren call of Pauline Nation and various, conservative carpet baggers. If Saturday’s swing was replicated across Victoria in the federal election, the Liberals would lose up to five seats to Labor. As Kennett puts it: “Forget Queensland, forget NSW; the federal election could be won and lost here in Victoria.’’


Bettina Arndt writes:

I’m very excited that my new book, #MenToo, is being published in the next few weeks. I’ll attach the full cover. We hope there will copies hitting the bookshops and newsagents early December but if you want the book in time for Christmas please put in an order using this link as these will be given priority. Details regarding e-book orders will be on the publisher’s website soon. 

As I keep telling everybody, it is a far more exciting Xmas present for men than socks or a new tie. My slogan is “Show the men in your life that Bettina is rooting for them!”

Via email

 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

Thursday, November 22, 2018

'I don't even call myself Australian': Indigenous activist who admitted to assaulting four police officers over a few months claims she's the victim of 'colonial oppression'

Blue eyes and all.  There's not much Aboriginal in her.  She would normally be taken as white.  Her irresponsible behaviour will not stop until she ceases to be treated with extreme leniency.  She is just using her tiny bit of Aboriginal ancestry as a "get out of jail free" card.  She is in fact an habitual criminal and should be doing a long stretch by now

A young Indigenous activist who admitted to assaulting four police officers over a period of a few months has claimed she's the victim of ' colonial oppression'.

Leilani Clarke has been arrested in the last 12 months for assaulting police, kneeing a police officer in the groin, and spitting at police and paramedics.

The 20-year-old spoke to KIIS FM's Kyle and Jackie O on October 23, and said her court appearances were nothing more than 'colonial propaganda.'

She also admitted she could not recall details of the offending because she had been drinking alcohol.

Clarke, who was given a good behaviour bond on November 2, told the radio hosts that 'definitely alcohol doesn't benefit me' and said she had changed and grown up. She also said she was seeing a psychiatrist and taking 'anti-psycho' drugs.

“Aboriginal kids are going to be taken off their parents again. Adoption parents, the majority are white,” she told Kyle and Jackie.

When Kyle Sandilands questioned her about the topic of Australia Day, Clarke replied 'What does Australia Day even mean?' 'If it holds some significance to Australian society, that is colonial postmodernism. I don't even call myself Australian.'   

Clarke's most recent run-in with police occurred when was caught stealing a butter chicken curry from a 7-Eleven store in Marrickville, Sydney's inner west, on June 26. 

Clarke faced court over her charges on November 2nd and plead guilty to assaulting a police officer for the fourth time this year.

The environmentalist walked free following the assault, with the magistrate describing her as a 'wonderful' young person with a bright future.

The 20-year-old was put on a 10-month good behaviour bond without a recorded conviction. 

Clarke explained that on the night of the incident, both her and her cousin had been drinking before entering the 7-Eleven store.  'I actually de-escalated that situation, but my cousin punched the store owner after supposedly we were trying to steal butter chicken,' Clarke said.

When police arrived to the store and arrested the pair, Clarke said an officer 'unnecessarily' took her away from her group and into an alleyway.

She said she had to remove her jewellery before getting into the police car, but the officer forcefully took it off her. 'He was clearly trying to antagonise me and stuff and I'm asking him politely to get out of my face and stuff and I must've just snapped in the moment. And I will admit that I did revert to aggressiveness,' the young environmentalist said.

In another run-in with the law in March, Clarke spat at a police officer and assaulted a paramedic who had been trying to take her to hospital.


January 27: Clarke was arrested for spitting on security and assaulting police. She pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court and was fined $1,200.

March 18: Arrested for assaulting a police officer and spitting at a paramedic.

May 30: Pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting police in the execution of their duty and common assault.

June 26: Clarke was arrested for kneeing a police officer in the groin.

June 28: Clarke spat on a police officer after they attended a domestic disturbance.

September 27: Pleaded guilty to assaulting an officer in the execution of duty and resisting arrest in the execution of duty, and was given a 12-month bond.

November 2: Clarke walked free from Downing Centre Local Court on a good behaviour bond.

Prior to the ambulance arriving, the 20-year-old said she had fallen unconscious on a street after heavily drinking. She claimed she was cooperative with police when they found her, but has little recollection of what happened.

When the paramedics tried to strap Clarke to the stretcher, she said she began to freak out.

Police said the young woman screamed: 'F**k you white dogs. I'm smart not dumb. I got three more degrees than you'll ever have.'

'I was just drunk and I obviously have learnt my lesson, I've had a bit of alcohol education and all that stuff,' she said.

Police last encountered Clarke when they attended reports of a domestic disturbance in Forest Lodge, in the city's inner-west, in the early hours of June 28.

Clarke said she is aware that alcohol is a defining factor behind her actions, as well as her mental illness, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD).

CPTSD is a psychological disorder thought to occur as a result of repetitive, prolonged trauma involving sustained abuse or abandonment.

She has previously claimed on her Instagram account that she suffers from 'transgenerational trauma' - a theoretical condition passed down through generations of people due to the trauma affecting DNA.

Despite this, the young Indigenous activist acknowledges her actions were wrong. 'I knew I did wrong,' Clarke told the KIIS FM hosts.


Snowflake students demand university adopts 'trigger warnings' for lectures in case the contents upsets them

Students are demanding the University of Western Australia adopt 'trigger warnings' to prevent students from being upset by challenging topics.

UWA Guild president Conrad Hogg, who is leading the push, said at the September council meeting he wants to introduce alerts before lectures, Perth Now reported.

Trigger warnings, or content warnings, have become common in the United States, but so far, only Monash University has adopted the warning policy to date.

While advocates such as Mr Hogg say the alerts can help students deal with disturbing topics like suicide and sexual assault, critics claim they do the opposite.

The Institute of Public Affairs research fellow Matthew Lesh said the warnings may prevent teachers from tackling difficult concepts, and may cause additional stress.

He said by telling students something is going to be emotionally challenging in an 'over the top' way it may increase the chance of having a strong emotional reaction. 'So it is completely counterproductive for what you’re aiming to do which is help students with their mental health,' Mr Lesh said.

The warnings are already been used at the start of all Guild publications, including Damsel Magazine, which includes alerts for violence, rape, death and abuse topics.

In the latest issue of the magazine, it warns about articles that mention genitals, gendered slurs and 'ablesim' - discrimination in favour of able-bodied people.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan has appointed UWA Chancellor Robert French to lead an inquiry at the university to ensure freedom of speech is maintained.

'The French review is looking at ensuring free speech on campus because a university education should involve dealing with ideas and concepts that are challenging,' Mr Tehan said.

'Likewise, the introduction of trigger warnings should not be used as an excuse to avoid difficult topics, only as an aid to resilience.'


"GetUp" faces conservative challenger "Advance Australia"

An alliance of well-known Australians has launched a centre-right political machine in a bid to rival union-backed activist group GetUp and vowed to campaign as a registered third-party organisation against the Left ahead of next year’s election.

The group, Advance Australia, will run its first major campaign against Labor’s plan to scrap ­imputation dividend refunds, the so-called retiree tax, as well as a grassroots movement to keep Australia Day unchanged.

Advance Australia has also flagged a direct counter campaign to GetUp-led attacks on sitting conservative Liberal MPs, and may target federal seats to support candidates who campaign on mainstream issues.

An advisory body for the not-for-profit organisation, which proposes to register with the ­Australian Electoral Commission as an independent third party under pending rule changes in the ­electoral act, includes: former ABC chairman, banking executive and Macquarie University chancellor Maurice Newman; Sydney doctor David Adler, who is president of the Australian ­Jewish Association; and storage king Sam Kennard.

Free-speech advocate Kerry Wakefield, whose husband is former Coalition minister Nick Minchin, will also be on the advisory board, with the organisation to be chaired by Queensland businessman James Power, whose uncle Bernie Power founded Power Brewing, which was bought by Fosters Group in 1993.

Mr Newman, who also served as Australian Stock Exchange chairman, said the time had come to challenge groups such as GetUp, with left-wing activism dominating the national debate.

“We are in the position of the battle of Stalingrad … we have retreated to such an extent we need to hold our ground somewhere and start to push back,” Mr Newman told The Australian. “We have to put our hand up and say we believe in this country. People like GetUp are so well funded.

“Look at seats like Warringah, Canning, Dickson … these electorates are under constant attack by GetUp. They are very well-funded and we have to get well-funded. We are hopeful we can. We can’t leave the world to ­George Soros.”

A nationwide poll of 2000 voters, commissioned by Advance Australia in September to guide its charter, found that only 16 per cent of people believed society was better than it was a decade ago, while more than 80 per cent were concerned about the rise of political correctness.

Dr Adler, a former deputy medical director at the Australian Medical Association, told The Australian that mainstream and traditional values had largely been left out of the national discourse. Dr Adler, who lives in the electorate of Wentworth, said that in the recent by-election there was only one side of the argument displayed in any great volume at polling booths, and most focused on climate change.

“Clearly the material came from GetUp,” Dr Adler said.

He said the new organisation stood for freedoms, including freedom of speech and freedom of religion, individual initiative and safety and security. “It is important to have an ­organisation standing up for these values and I’m pleased to lend my support,” Dr Adler said.

He said Advance Australia would not be aligned to a political party. The group’s national director, Gerard Benedet, who previously worked as chief of staff to former Queensland Liberal Nat­ional Party treasurer Tim Nicholls and also worked for News Corp, publisher of The Australian, said a mainstream political movement to counter GetUp had been a “long time coming”.

“It’s also been borne out of frustration with the major parties,” Mr Benedet said. “We don’t get caught up in the politics of activism, we are about raising awareness. GetUp is 13 years old; we are three months in the making … we want to have an impact and we think we will have an impact this time around (at the election).

“We will support people of all political persuasions who back mainstream values and freedoms and stand for the institutions that have served this country well.”

Mr Benedet said the organisation would consider seat-by-seat campaigns. However, he said there was no one involved in the organisation who was a member of a political party.

Mr Benedet resigned his LNP membership when he left Mr Nicholls’s office. He said had the group been established earlier, it would have campaigned against the Coalition’s changes to superannuation.

GetUp, which has had significant funding from construction union CFMEU, is fighting attempts by Coalition senator Eric Abetz to have its independent status revoked and force its regis­tration as an affiliated entity of Labor. It has been forced to amend its constitution and remove references to charitable status. In 2007, it was taken to task by the AEC for printing misleading how-to-vote cards recommending voting against Coalition candidates.

Mr Benedet said Advance Australia would be based on a similar structural arrangement as GetUp but would not be a charitable organisation. The name was chosen after focus group testing found Advance Australia popular.

He said more than 1000 members signed up to the organisation in six days after the launch of its campaign website.


Abbott’s issue with indigenous welcome

Tony Abbott says we’re showing respect for indigenous culture at the expense of acknowledging Australia’s Christian roots.

The former prime minister argued Christian prayer should have as great a role in public ceremonies as “welcome to country” rituals, which acknowledge the traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owners of Australian land.

Mr Abbott also wants to see more Christian gospel stories taught in our schools.

The Warringah Liberal MP, who is the Prime Minister’s special envoy for indigenous affairs, made the comments today at the launch of Dr Kevin Donnelly’s new book, "How Political Correctness is Destroying Education and Your Child’s Future".

Mr Abbott made reference to the opening of the new Northern Beaches Hospital yesterday and complained that each of the speakers paid respects to the traditional owners of the land before starting their speeches, and not a single one offered a prayer.

“Every single speaker, and there was about six of them, acknowledged country,” he said. “But there was not a single prayer, even though our society is unimaginable without the influence of Christianity.”

He said Western society was based on all people being created equal, and justice was built on the biblical principle “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

“I’m not against acknowledging country; there are many circumstances where it’s entirely right and proper,” he said when questioned on his remark.

But he said there was nothing in the Western world that wasn’t inspired by the gospel. He said “thank God” Australia had not dumped prayer from parliament. “This is essential to our culture, we should never forget that,” Mr Abbott said. “I certainly would welcome (more prayer); I’m not saying it should be compulsory.”

Dr Donnelly’s book addresses how political correctness has undermined and weakened Australia’s education system.

Dr Donnelly argues that “instead of an academically rigorous curriculum, subjects have been dumbed down and taught through a politically correct prism involving Asian, indigenous and environmental perspectives”.

Mr Abbott asked if these were really the top three priorities that should permeate every aspect of our curriculum.

The former Liberal leader said learning about playwright William Shakespeare and the narrative histories of the West was the background to all Australians’ lives.

“If you can’t read, write, count and think, our schools are not doing their jobs,” he said. “But it’s not enough … there needs to be an essential cultural literacy that everyone coming through Australian culture should have — and that needs to be a familiarity with gospel stories.

“This is not a question of trying to ram religious faith down people’s throats, it’s about giving people an understanding of culture.”

Mr Donnelly then ended the discussion about prayer by quipping: “We should be making sure it kosher, to mix the metaphors.” He then jokingly apologised if he offended any Jewish people in the room.


Australian exports to India will be driven by coal and competition

I think we may have reached peak "stop Adani". In The Australian Financial Review on Monday last week, Richard Denniss prosecuted the fantastic argument that we should not allow Adani to open because that would hurt coal production and jobs in NSW!

So the message to North Queensland is, 'sorry you can't have jobs because we have to protect another part of the country'. Townsville's unemployment rate for the past 12 months has averaged 9.1 per cent, so you can imagine how such a message would be received north of the Tropic of Capricorn. The unemployment rate around Newcastle has averaged 5.7 per cent over the same period.

But let's take Richard's argument to its logical conclusions. Why allow pesky competition at all when the entry of new businesses sometimes puts other businesses out of action? Why do we allow Bunnings to open when they have caused Mitre 10s to close? Why do we allow Netflix to stream when so many video stores have shut down? Think of all the heartache we could stop if we just stopped all this wasteful competition and let some kind of modern, technocratic Politburo sort it all out.

Richard's argument reveals the warped misunderstanding green activists have of the market. Their largely socialist outlook of the world blinds them to the well-demonstrated benefits of competition. We should not seek to protect some businesses in Australia by limiting the prospects of others. If the coal from North Queensland ends up out-competing NSW coal, we will have a stronger and more competitive industry as a whole. (This is extremely unlikely given NSW thermal coal is the best in the world.)

What Richard is really suggesting is we reintroduce a single desk for the export of coal. If the export of coal from Queensland can influence the global price, then the export of coal from NSW can do the same. On this reasoning we should have every coal miner seek permission from Canberra before a ship leaves the Newcastle port, so we can ensure the maximum price. That is something the coal industry is unlikely to welcome.

In fact, we have tried this before in many commodities and they have all ended in failure. We may think we can outsmart global markets, but practical experience has taught us that trying to micro-manage such outcomes from a room in Canberra is a recipe for disaster. Thankfully such proposals have largely been consigned to the dustbin, notwithstanding their bizarre reappearance as an argument prosecuted by the unholy alliance of incumbent coal miners and greenies.

Room for both

Most happily for us, we are unlikely to have to make this choice between Queensland and NSW because world coal markets are booming and there is ample room for both. Last year the production of coal-fired power globally reached a new record at 9723 terawatt hours.

It is this increased demand that has pushed coal prices to near record highs, and increased the margin for high-quality Australian coal over Indonesian coal by six times. Coal has once again become Australia's biggest export and this wealth is helping pay for important public services by bringing state and federal budgets to balance sooner.

Last week the International Energy Agency forecast that coal demand is set to grow by 492 million tonnes in the Asia Pacific region by 2040. Australia exports just under 400 million tonnes so this is a massive opportunity for us to create more wealth and more jobs right nationwide. The IEA conclude that new mines in Australia, such as Adani's, would be required to meet this increased demand.

The biggest opportunity lies in India. With coal demand there set to grow by over 600 million tonnes by 2040. Last year, India imported 160 million tonnes of thermal coal but Australia accounted for just 3 million tonnes of that. As the world's largest coal exporter that performance is not good enough.

This week The Australian Financial Review will host an important summit on Australian-Indian relations. The Adani project, as the largest potential Indian investment in Australia by far, offers the most direct way to cement a strong and ongoing relationship between our two countries.

We are sometimes too complacent about Australian-Indian relations. Sometimes we rest back on the "three C's" of "cricket, Commonwealth and curry". These won't be enough, to take our relationship to the next level we must add a fourth C of "commerce" and the quickest way to do that is to grow our trade in a fifth C of "coal".


 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