Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Nina Funnell has been very busy

Bettina Arndt 

Nina Funnell is a rape survivor who has built her journalism career exaggerating the risk of rape to young women at our universities. She’s the key spokesperson for End Rape on Campus which played a significant role in prompting the Human Rights Commission’s survey on sexual assault and harassment. Then, when that proved a fizzer, her organisation still bullied universities into measures to tackle ‘sexual violence’ – like sexual consent courses, rape crisis lines and so on. She’s currently trying to persuade universities to do new surveys, trying to cook the results more to her satisfaction.

In the past two years Funnell has published nine articles which attack me or include material designed to damage my professional reputation – plus there was a Sixty Minutes programme, a recent ABC 7.30 Report and numerous other newspaper reports based on the damaging material she has been promoting, using material she has clearly supplied to the journalists.

Last year she linked the rape and murder of the La Trobe student Aya Maarsarwe to my campus tour in an article in The Saturday Paper. I posted a detailed analysis of the many inaccuracies in that article on my Facebook page and encouraged my readers to report her to the Press Council.

Clearly my loyal followers did their homework because I then suddenly received a letter from a female law firm threatening defamation action over that post. This petered out following a letter from the formidable Brisbane QC Tony Morris, who is well-known for successfully defending the QUT students in the indigenous computer lab scandal.

Morris wrote to Funnell’s lawyers saying we did not wish to discourage her from commencing legal proceedings. “Ms Arndt cannot conceive of a better way to ventilate the issues about which she is passionate, than at a trial where the focus of the tribunal of fact will be as to your client’s honesty, integrity and professionalism as a journalist.”

Yet most of the Funnell attacks relate to a YouTube video I made with Nico Bester, a Tasmanian teacher who went to prison for having a sexual relationship with one of his students. I decided to interview Bester after a judge spoke out against vigilante justice when feminist activists were targeting him following his release from prison, trying to stop him studying for a PhD at the University of Tasmania. In that interview I condemned Bester’s criminal actions, we discussed the seriousness of his crime and agreed his prison sentence was absolutely appropriate.

Funnell is persistently using carefully selected edits from that video, taking comments out of context to suggest I’m a pederast apologist. See the blog in which I explained all this following the ferocious 60 Minutes attack on me last year, where Funnell launched her  “Let Her Speak” campaign to allow Bester’s victim to speak about what happened. Tasmania has now changed its laws to allow sexual abuse victims to go public – which has enabled Funnell to launch a new wave of attacks on me as part of the victim’s new version of events involving Bester, which differ significantly from the evidence presented in the criminal trial.

Apart from all this, there have also been two complaints in the last six months to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission claiming I am misrepresenting my professional qualifications. Both times the Commission dismissed the complaint. I am always careful when describing my qualifications to say that I “trained as a clinical psychologist,” rather than suggesting I am currently practising.  I haven’t worked in this field for over 40 years but it’s difficult to avoid inaccurate descriptions appearing occasionally in the media.

It’s obvious that people are gunning for me. My next campus talk is in September at UNSW and social media chat from one of the feminist campus groups revealed End Rape on Campus has “confidential damning information” on me which they plan to release prior to the event.

Via email from

Electric vehicles have ‘higher carbon emissions’

When you count how their electricity is generated

Electric vehicles in Australia’s eastern states are responsible for more carbon dioxide emissions than regular petrol vehicles, according to an expert report that warns Labor’s green cars policy would require up to $7 billion in upgrades and installation of recharging infrastructure across the nation.

A pre-election briefing obtained by The Australian, which was prepared by engineering firm ABMARC, concedes the immediate benefit of electric vehicles in Australia “is not guaranteed”. It also states Bill Shorten’s electric vehicle target of 50 per cent of new car sales by 2030 would need between $5bn and $7bn in recharging infrastructure and additional investment in “switchboards, transformers and poles and wires”.

“Installing this level of charging infrastructure would require a significant increase in the rate of investment in recharging infrastructure,” the report says.

The report, released to stakeholders in May, also provides a breakdown comparing average CO2 emissions of hybrid, petrol, diesel and electric vehicles in Australia.

ABMARC, which is used by government departments, motoring firms and major energy companies, reveals “CO2 emissions from electric vehicles in Victoria are particularly high, similar to the average diesel CO2 emissions”.

On average, in NSW, Victoria, ACT and Queensland, petrol vehicles “provide less CO2 than electric vehicles”, with ABMARC linking the emissions disparity with “Australia’s continued reliance on coal-fired power stations”. The consultancy firm also notes that the Australian Average Diesel emissions data was “heavily skewed by light commercial vehicles (utes) and larger SUVs”.

The report says hybrid vehicles “provide greater environmental benefits in nearly all states and territories” than electric vehicles with the exception of Tasmania, which primarily uses hydro-electricity.

The ABMARC analysis also unravels the argument for Australia to replicate Norway’s electric car market, which imposes heavy taxes on passenger vehicles and provides generous incentives for EVs.

Pro-electric-vehicle groups and the Greens, who want 100 per cent of new car sales to be electric by 2030, use Norway, Denmark, Ireland and The Netherlands as models for supporting electric vehicle uptake.

As a result of Norway’s pro-EV policies, the ABMARC report shows the cost of a Hyundai i30 in the Scandinavian country is $54,204 compared with $18,498 in Australia.

In addition to reducing taxes on EVs, Norway provided incentives to boost electric car uptake, including free parking, excluding or limiting conventional vehicles from parking in some locations, reducing registration fees for EVs, exempting them from road tolls, free charging on public charging points and access to fast lanes.

In April, Mr Shorten unveiled a $100 million commitment towards the rollout of 200 fast-charging stations across the nation, a 50 per cent electric vehicle target for government vehicle purchases and new tax incentives for fleet buyers to purchase green cars instead of conventional combustion engine vehicles.

On May 7, in response to Coalition “scare campaigns”, Anthony Albanese declared “the whole world is moving towards electric vehicles”. “When we announced our policy you’d think that the world was going to end with nonsense like we’re coming for people’s utes and all this sort of rubbish,” Mr Albanese said.

ABMARC notes that a 50 per cent target by 2030 would be “extremely challenging and not possible without very significant policy changes and incentives”.

“Incentives similar to those in Norway are likely to be required and it is not clear how these could be readily achieved as Australia does not currently have Norway’s policy mechanisms at its disposal”.

Scott Morrison’s criticism of Labor’s electric vehicle policy — in tandem with the Coalition’s attacks on Labor’s big tax-and-spend agenda and climate change costings — was viewed by some inside the ALP as a weak point for the opposition in some electorates.

Along with Labor’s major policies put forward at the May 18 election, the electric vehicle target is now subject to an ALP review, due to be finalised by October.

Following Mr Shorten’s electric vehicle policy announcement, Tesla boss Elon Musk suggested EV sales could hit 50 per cent of new cars sooner than 2030. Musk cited the Norwegian experience, which through generous subsidies and benefits has increased its EV uptake.

“Norway has already proven it could be done last month. No question Australia could do this in far fewer than 11 years,” he tweeted. Electricity prices in Norway are among the lowest in first- world nations.


President Trump meets his ‘King of Australia’

Scott Morrison has lent support to Donald Trump over the escalating trade war with China, saying the US had “legitimate issues”, but it needed to be resolved quickly with collateral damage threatening to hurt the Australian and other third party economies.

The Prime Minister said he had raised the issue during a 20-minute meeting with the US President on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Biarritz, after which Mr Trump humorously described Mr Morrison as “the King of Australia”.

“The US has legitimate issues they wish to pursue as part of that trading relationship … it’s not for us to dictate to them any more than it is to China what they should be concluding … it’s just more broadly in everyone’s interests that they proceed to a conclusion.”

Australia is attending as an observer to the summit with the G7 confined to the US, France, Britain, Canada, Japan, Italy and Germany. It was formed primarily in response to the 1973 oil crisis.

However, in a sign of Australia’s growing status, Mr Morrison’s meeting with Mr Trump was elevated to an official engagement and included US National Security Adviser John Bolton, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. Australian officials included the Prime Minister’s chief of staff John Kunkel, national sec­urity adviser Michelle Chan and executive officer Nico Louw.

The meeting was held after Mr Trump had sent mixed messages over China, claiming he was having “second thoughts” about the latest round of tit for tat tariff hikes. After being interpreted as a softening in the US position, the White House said the President had been referring to having second thoughts on whether he should have raised the tariffs even higher.

Mr Morrison also talked up Vietnam’s emerging role in the ­region during his discussions with Mr Trump. Vietnam is engaged in a maritime dispute with China. “I’ve just come from Vietnam to this and was able to have a good conversation about the engagement I had with Vietnam and the positive role they are playing in the Indo-Pacific,” he said.

He said Mr Trump had expressed his gratitude for Australia’s military commitment to the international coalition to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz while touching on the Hong Kong protests and North Korea.

Mr Morrison is using the G7 to try to head off a European push, led by France, for an international tax standard to be applied to digital companies such as Google because of fears it could be extended and hit Australia’s commodity exports.


Left-wing journalists try to censor the inconvenient facts

The hysterical preeners of the virtue-signalling Left must exhaust themselves daily with mental contortions working out what facts are suitable for public consumption and what needs to be suppressed. Slaves to political fashion, social media memes and their own sanctimony, these people seem to lack any guiding principles or ­intellectual integrity.

If they had their way, media ­reports last week would have told us about a fatal stabbing rampage and shown a man standing on a car in Sydney’s CBD, beeping out the audio of what he was yelling and telling us merely that there was some shouting. Apparently, the public could not be trusted with the knowledge that the man yelled “Allahu akbar”.

You need to remind yourself that these same activists tend to have an anarchical attitude to government secrecy, supporting the Julian Assanges of this world who would share even the most highly classified secrets. Yes, ­secrets are evil to these leftist ­activists, except the secrets they want to keep from a public they believe is not wise or woke enough to be trusted with reality.

They want to save the mainstream from their own bigotry and knee-jerk reactions. They must consider themselves secular saints — arbiters of the national debate for the common good — but in truth they are delusional.

My Sky News colleague Laura Jayes ran headlong into this idiocy when she happened to tweet breaking news from last week’s stabbing, including the fact that a man, armed with a knife, was ­yelling “Allahu akbar” as he called for police to shoot him. Jayes ­posted video showing exactly this.

Soon enough on social media Jayes was criticised for being ­unhelpful, encouraging “unnec­essary othering” — whatever that is — and “Islamophobia”. News reports yesterday revealed “Allahu akbar” also got a mention on a grotesque video made by the alleged killer; I guess that should never have been reported either.

We have seen a similar response from ABC presenter and purveyor of offensive and violent abuse on social media, Benjamin Law, over transgender issues. He has slammed this newspaper for collating its extensive reporting on these issues, much of it written by Bernard Lane, on to a web page.

On the one hand Law thinks we should be alive to the complexities confronting transgender-identifying children but on the other he doesn’t want the national broadsheet to facilitate an informed discussion. Truth is, of course, he is only interested in his views and those of people he agrees with. His problem with The Australian’s coverage is simply that he won’t agree with all of it.

Instead of welcoming a page on these issues, or perhaps offering an article, Law took to Twitter (where else?) to call it a “despicable” move to “demonise” trans and gender-variant kids and give vent to “extremist” voices. We are to presume that in an ideal world Law’s would be the first and last word on this issue.

Never mind that federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has now launched an inquiry into the medical processes involved, prompted largely by the cases and concerns reported by Lane. Federal and state medical authorities are examining whether they can handle these difficult cases better — we are left wondering whether this is acceptable to Law or whether this too fits under the category of demonisation.

Law, who still appears regularly on ABC radio and television, has publicly threatened to “hate-f*ck” Coalition politicians he disagrees with on gay issues and to “projectile diarrhoea” on the kids of other protagonists.

He sounds like a lovely chap with, at least, some expertise in the demonisation of which he speaks.

The activist Left seems to demand a virtue-signalling monoculture. We saw plenty of that last week when the Left — including most journalists, of course — sided with the illogical, hypocritical and alarmist criticism of Australia by some small island nations and New Zealand over climate action.

Cartoonists couldn’t resist drawings of drowning islands. Journalists with furrowed brows talked about the existential threat of climate change to these islands.

Never mind that Tuvalu’s land mass has expanded by almost 3 per cent over the past few decades, with three-quarters of its islands growing rather than shrinking. Never mind the most pressing dilemmas for almost all of these nations is poor governance, inadequate education, healthcare and employment opportunities.

And never mind that Australia is committed to Paris Agreement emissions reductions and that global emissions continue to rise steadily thanks mainly to China — a benefactor these Pacific nations don’t criticise. We must be the only country where our journalistic cohort’s natural disposition is to agree with any criticism of our country, no matter how ill-founded.

The facts often don’t fit the narrative, so the Left prefers to leave them out. And increasingly they will bully any journalist impertinent enough to report any facts that the green-left evangelists find too confronting.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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