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

1 comment:

Paul said...

Yemini is fake opposition. They always play us from both sides.