Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Barry Award no more: Humphries dumped from MICF award over transgender comments

Comedians are split on the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s move to dump the Barry Award from its honour roll following controversy over the prize’s namesake, iconic funnyman Barry Humphries.

Humphries made headlines last year over his comments to The Spectator, which were interpreted as transphobic.

Transgender comedian Cassie Workman is hot favourite to take out the award formerly known as the Barry.

“I don’t think the name of the Barry Award should be changed,” he said

“I don’t think what he said was right and I don’t think he was trying to be provocative, I honestly believe that’s what he thinks. It’s not a very now thing to say but he’s not very now.”

“Humphries has been doing pretty much the same thing since the ’70s. Think of the UK comedians, Benny Hill was out of control but he’s revered as an icon now. Barry Humphries has probably had more impact here and internationally than anybody else.”

But Drag Queen performer Dolly Diamond agreed with the Comedy Festival’s bold move. “It was time ... when you’re becoming far more known as a transphobic than a comedian, you’ve got to go.

“I’ve definitely modelled Dolly Diamond on (Dame) Edna to a degree and the way he pioneered the genre will never change. I haven’t lost all respect for the man, I just don’t agree with his views.”

“I’m playing a character and I’m respectful of everyone in the community. I treat people in the transgender community with the same respect as everyone else, maybe more so until there’s more acceptance.”

The Barry, which honoured the festival’s best show, will be renamed the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award.

“Melbourne International Comedy Festival is one of the world’s greatest comedy festivals and it is time for the award for most outstanding show to be in our name to celebrate the city that inspired the growth of our festival and its outstanding artists,” festival director Susan Provan said.

Best known worldwide for his popular drag character Dame Edna Everage, Humphries said transgender issues, were a “fashion,” adding: “How many different kinds of lavatory can you have?”

He added: “And it’s pretty evil when it’s preached to children by crazy teachers.”

After his comments were published, former Barry Award winners Hannah Gadsby and Zoe Coombs-Marr said Barry’s name should be dumped from the MICF’s top award.

In 2016, Humphries described gender reassignment surgery as “self-mutilation”.

He also criticised Caitlyn Jenner as a “publicity-seeking ratbag for wanting to “steal the limelight” from the other famous women in her family.


Kim Carr’s ‘electric mythology’ line defies party goal

Kim Carr, Bill Shorten’s industry spokesman, last year warned that electric vehicles posed serious ­social ­issues and would require a one-third expansion in electricity ­production.

Senator Carr, who has a long history of supporting the domestic auto industry dominated by traditional carmakers Ford, Holden and Toyota, urged a Senate committee to consider “the reality versus the mythology” of electric vehicles, just six months before standing alongside Mr Shorten to launch Labor’s signature electric car policy.

The left-wing powerbroker has also strongly argued against “pumping up the tyres” of imported electric vehicles, batting away calls from the Electric Vehicle Council last year for up to $7000 worth of subsidies for every EV sold.

Senator Carr, who will head Labor’s electric vehicle-led bid to rejuvenate Australia’s car industry, last year expressed scepticism over the suitability of the cars outside major cities, and questioned whether they could be used as “batteries on wheels” — as claimed by advocates — to manage peaks in energy use.

The Victorian senator told the Senate’s electric vehicle inquiry, chaired by independent senator Tim Storer, that the high cost of electric vehicles would put them beyond everyday drivers. “The electrification issue does pose really serious social (issues). There’s an in-built demographic question there about people who can afford the Tesla, versus some of these smaller vehicles,” he told the committee last September.

“And if you’re away from a ­regional centre of any size then the capacity to actually use these vehicles is somewhat limited. So I think that needs to be clear when we’re talking about the reality versus the mythology.”

Senator Carr tackled the head of the Fast Cities consortium during the inquiry, questioning his suggestion that electric vehicles would stabilise the energy network without the need for a one-third expansion in energy output. “What evidence do you have for this?” he asked Fast Cities head of corporate development Paul Fox. “No one else is telling us that this is going to be able to be done without an expansion in the capacity of the grid.”

Senator Carr said more batteries were “not the answer to our ­energy problems”, declaring: “If you put a one-third increase in ­demand on the energy system, we’re going to actually need to ­increase our generation capacity.”

He said yesterday he stood by his comments, arguing regulatory changes were needed before electric car batteries could be used to feed back energy into the grid to ensure car warranties were not voided. “We have to change the regulations, we have to change the building codes,” he said. “This is one of the theories that is constantly put forward, but it needs to be put into context with the regulatory changes that are required.”

He said the government had offered “no policy direction” on the introduction of electric vehicles, which Labor wants to increase to 50 per cent of new vehicles sold by 2030. The government estimates they will make up 25 per cent to ­­50 per cent of new car sales by 2030.

Labor plans to offer assistance to electric vehicle carmakers in Australia through its proposed $1 billion advanced manufacturing fund. “I would like to see us make electric cars in Australia because Australians are top-class manufacturers when you have a government who supports them,” Mr Shorten said last week.

Senator Carr’s comments came as a photograph emerged on social media of Josh Frydenberg’s ­election campaign vehicle, a plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander.

The Treasurer is a big supporter of rechargeable cars, declaring last year there would be a million on Australian roads, up from about 8500, by 2030.

The Senate’s electric vehicle inquiry found electric vehicle uptake in Australia lagged behind comparable countries due to “a relative absence of overarching policy direction” from the government.

“In the committee’s view, widespread use of EVs in the Australian transportation fleet would deliver significant economic, environmental and health benefits to Australian consumers and society,” the inquiry found.

“It would also create new opportunities for Australian industry.”

Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the Coalition was concerned that Labor’s plan to cut carbon emissions from transport would hit everyday voters.


Polling goes Coalition’s way, Newspoll data shows

The first Newspoll survey of the 2019 election campaign has the Coalition in the same position as the past five governments: ­behind in two-party preferred support when the election was called, and that includes three that went on to win.

The Coalition has also started the campaign as all previous Coalitions have in the past five elections: a rise in primary support in Newspoll, and, despite losing two elections, the Coalition’s primary vote has always risen through the election campaign.

Scott Morrison’s successful ­appeal to disaffected Coalition voters who moved to One Nation since the 2016 election, compared with Malcolm Turnbull, was also revealed.

It was Turnbull’s weakness in drawing back lost conservative voters that was a large part of why he was removed as Liberal leader after losing 30 consecutive Newspoll surveys to Labor on a two-party preferred basis.

The latest Newspoll survey shows the ALP ahead of the ­Coalition on a two-party preferred basis, 52 to 48 per cent, the ­Coalition and Labor’s primary vote both rising to 39 per cent and One Nation’s falling from 6 per cent to 4 per cent.


Ban drongo drivers

Apparently no one warned them a 2.9m-high truck wouldn’t fit under a 2.8m-high bridge in Indooroopilly on Saturday.

While it’s a mistake they will probably only make once, there are some people who believe they should automatically lose their licence for up to six months after a first offence.

Do it a second time and they should be banned for life, according to Robert Dow of transport lobby group Rail Back on Track.
The hire truck firmly wedged under a rail bridge in Allwood St, Indooroopilly, on Saturday.

Mr Dow first made the call last month after bridge strikes in Buranda and Dutton Park.

After Saturday’s incident in Allwood St, Indooroopilly, he says it’s time authorities got serious. “Bridge strikes are a serious issue and fatalities and injuries have occurred in the past,” Mr Dow said. “And the bridge/beam strikes are of course very disruptive to our transport networks.

“There needs to be more focus on education campaigns, enforcement and sanctions.”

Mr Dow said that while protection beams at some sites saved bridges from serious damage, there was serious disruption to traffic.

“The beams protect the actual bridges but there are still very serious risks to other road users and bystanders when struck,” he said.

“We suggest that steps need to be taken now before there is a serious bridge strike. It is only a matter of time before we have a disaster unless urgent action is taken.”

He has suggested a three-phase plan for authorities.

1. Tougher penalties: A three to six-month automatic licence suspension and a fine for the first offence, along with cost recovery. Automatic life-time ban for second offence.

2. Education campaigns: Transport companies, including hire companies, be responsible for ensuring drivers have designated safe routes as well as drivers acknowledging their height and the documented route selection.

3. Warning devices: The installation of in-cab warning devices which sound an alarm if the vehicle approaches a low level bridge.

“Queensland Rail does take bridge strike protection very seriously,” Mr Dow said. “But there needs to be more support from government, police and the road transport authorities to get rid of this scourge.”


 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...

Low bridges...