Tuesday, October 29, 2019

How the world's Leftist media has reacted to the Uluru climbing ban

With hate, predictably. That the climbers might have been motivated by simple adventure-seeking hasn't occurred to them

We also get a glimpse of that unique leftist logic whereby being denied a privilege (the privilege of climbing the rock at any time) counts s white privilege.  Its like arguing with a madman.  Their seething hatred of the ordinary people doing the climbing trumps all else

Media outlets around the world have reacted to the permanent closure of public access to Australia’s most iconic landmark, Uluru.

Rangers at the sandstone monolith closed the climb — a decade’s old tradition of visitors both local and from around the world — at 4pm Friday, after the ban was unanimously voted on in 2017.

A new sign was set up at the base of the rock, notifying visitors that the climb was now permanently closed, almost 34 years to the day since the Anangu people — the traditional owners of the land — were handed back the title to Uluru.

From today, climbing will be punishable by a $6,300 fine.

The decision to ban the climb has divided Australians and those around the world for months in the lead-up to its closure.

And a final scramble of visitors yesterday hoping to be among the last to climb the rock — after months of thousands trekking to the Red Centre — has been described by a writer for The New York Times as “a reminder that a segment of the population remains resistant to some of the decisions indigenous people make when ownership of land is returned to them.”

“They have absolutely no shame,” one reader wrote on Twitter about the flock of climbers. “This is what white privilege looks like in Australia.”

“The lengthy queue of people waiting for one last crack at violating indigenous rights before the white government finally puts an end to it is pretty depressing,” wrote another commenter on the publication’s website.

While the ban is “a once-unimaginable act of deference to a marginalised population,” writes the piece’s author Jamie Tarabay, it is “a partly symbolic gesture that does nothing to address the myriad social problems endured by indigenous Australians.”

“Many of the Anangu themselves live in a trash-strewn community near the rock that is closed to visitors, a jarring contrast to the exclusive resorts that surround the monolith, where tourists seated at white tablecloths drink sparkling wines and eat canapes as the setting sun turns Uluru a vivid red.”

There a certain parts of Uluru so sacred that the Anangu people don’t want it photographed or even touched, writes Tarabay, yet tourists are welcomed to “tool around its base on camels or Segways, or take art lessons in its shadow.”

The climbers were like “a little ant trail,” tweeted one reader of The Washington Postwho published an article titled, “The last climb up Australia’s majestic Uluru”.

The Outback monolith is sacred to indigenous people, who have long implored visitors not to ascend the rock and have now imposed a ban on climbing it.

The Guardian echoed the sentiment of Central Land Council member Sammy Wilson in a cartoon posted overnight — written in the Pitjantjatjara language of the Anangu people — with the message
English. Uluru is a very important place, it's not Disneyland.

“As a result of Aboriginal people asking white people not to do something, hordes of tourists are hurrying in their thousands to do the exact opposite before time runs out,” the cartoon read.

Readers of the BBC’s coverage on the climbing ban have also reflected the world’s shock at Australian’s attitude toward climbing Uluru.

BBC News (World)

“I am truly embarrassed for these humans,” tweeted one reader, while another said, “It’s 2019, and the cultural white patriarchy still struggle with their greed. I am embarrassed for some of these interviewees — dripping in their own self entitlement and disrespect for the true landowners and spirit.”

It’s now time, Phil Mercer wrote in a piece for the publication, for the Anangu people to “rest and heal.”

“The Anangu believe that in the beginning, the world was unformed and featureless. Ancestral beings emerged from this void and travelled across the land, creating all living species and forms,” Mercer wrote.

“Uluru is the physical evidence of the feats performed by ancestral beings during this creation time.”

Independent media organisation NPR was one of the many to report on the closure. One reader tweeted, “If this was America, we would just add a gift shop on the top of it and continue to discriminate against the natives. Hopefully Australia treats its Natives better than we do here in America.”

“For the rock’s Aboriginal owners, whose tenure here goes back tens of thousands of years, this a momentous decision, one they have dreamed of and worked toward for decades,” wrote Kennedy Warne for National Geographic.

“Imagine the euphoria felt by the Aboriginal owners when the park board voted unanimously to end climbing.”


Call for demerit points for unions

Senate crossbenchers have urged the Morrison government to soften proposed laws making it easier to ban union officials and deregister unions, calling on the Coalition to consider "extensive changes" including a demerit points scheme for law-breaking officials.

Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter said amendments proposed to the Ensuring Integrity Bill by Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick in a Senate inquiry report released on Friday "appear largely workable".

With Labor and the Greens opposed, the government requires four of six crossbench votes when the bill, and the Worker Entitlement Fund bill, are voted on by the Senate in about two weeks.

Senator Patrick said Centre Alliance could not support the Ensuring Integrity Bill in its current form as it was like using a "sledgehammer to crack a nut". While a small number of unions and officials had not respected the law, he said the current bill would likely result in the disqualification of officials and deregistration of unions that were "by and large, involved in good".

Calling for the government to drop the proposed public interest test for union mergers, he said it was Centre Alliance's strong view that law-abiding organisations should be allowed to amalgamate without interference.

He said Mr Porter and employers should not be able to apply to deregister a union or ban an official. "Only an independent and impartial registered organisation commissioner should be permitted to make such an application," he said.

Courts should be given more discretion when considering whether to make an adverse order, while a provision allowing automatic disqualification for convictions in a foreign country should be scrapped.

Senator Patrick said the bill allowed a court application for disqualification of a union official or deregistration of a union to be made for trivial or technical breaches of the law. He said a different approach that addressed minor breaches without disqualification or deregistration must be adopted.

"A demerit points scheme similar to that used for drivers' licences could be adopted," he said. "Under the drivers' licence scheme, minor breaches are penalised but don't give rise to licence cancellation. Significant breaches or repetitive minor breaches could. Like a drivers' licence scheme, the passage of time should see a drop-off of accumulated demerit points.

"If a similar scheme is incorpor-ated, an application to the court under this bill should only be possible once a particular demerit threshold is reached."

Referring to the conduct of construction unions and officials, Senator Patrick said the behaviour had been "by any standard incorrigible, never expressing regret, or contrition; never admitting wrongdoing or accepting fault despite judgments finding evidence to the contrary".

Government members on the Senate committee supported the bill without amendment while Labor and the Greens produced dissenting reports. Mr Porter said the government would "closely examine the suggestions" by Centre Alliance. "I have been engaging with Senator Rex Patrick and, on the face of it, his suggested changes appear largely workable and a resolution is now much closer," Mr Porter said.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed Senator Patrick's comments. "The suggestion, in particular, to amend the bill to mandate consideration of the gravity of the offences by the court has merit," the chamber's deputy director of workplace relations, Tamsin Lawrence, said.

ACTU president Michele O'Neil said unions were concerned the Centre Alliance proposals would fail to address the bill's "extreme and biased nature".

Excerpt from "The Weekend Australian" of 26/10/2019

Conservative alliance targets climate army

The new voice of Australia’s conservative movement has vowed to go after radical left-wing groups in a national campaign against “clim­ate alarmists”, after accusing members of activist group Extinction Rebel­lion of being criminals who pose a menace to society.

Liz Storer, a 36-year-old former Liberal councillor and ministerial adviser, will be announced on Wednesday as the new national director of ­centre-right campaign machine Advance Australia, which has positione­d itself as the political counter to GetUp.

Her appointment comes as GetUp’s national director, Paul Oosting, fronts the National Press Club on Wednesday amid internal inquiries into its failed campaign to unseat a list of targeted conservative MPs at the May election.

But Ms Storer said while GetUp was on her radar, her first campaign­ would be aimed at Extinctio­n Rebellion, which has risen from obscurity to promin­ence in the past week by closing down traffic in the CBDs of Brisbane and Melbourne.

“These people are seriously unhinged­,” Ms Storer said. “They are going to be one of our first campaigns­ … These guys are very strategic but the truth is they are not a climate change action group.

“They may market themselves that way. They are hell bent on deconstructing society as we know it … they operate on a manifesto of delusions based on a rejection of European colonisation and trad­itional values that most mainstream Australians hold dear.

“They are a menace to society … We saw last week the Victorian police saying they had to stop ­normal policing to deal with them. ER are proving to be the real crim­inals …. Gluing themselves to streets (and) hanging from ­bridges.”

Ms Storer, who has a masters degree in human rights and was elected to the suburban Perth council of Gosnells before becoming an adviser to conservative federal Coalition senator and assist­ant minister Zed Seselja, said the militant advance of climate activism had not been effectively ­challenged and that Advance Australia’s mission was to be the voice of “mainstream Australia”.

It would also run counter campaigns against MPs with “radical agendas” and run lobbying and public campaigns against state governments over activism in the education system.

“A mate of mine called me this morning to tell me his daughter had texted him from school to tell him that her teacher said a third of their class would be dead by 2050 because of climate change,” Ms Storer said. “Climate anxiety is becoming­ a real thing.”

While Advance Australia is heavily outgunned by established groups such as GetUp, it quickly raised $2.5m in donations with a 45,000-strong supporter base in its first 12 months of operation since being formed in November last year with the backing of prominent businessmen including Maurice Newman and James Power of the Queensland brewing dynasty.

“GetUp are a well-oiled mach­ine and we are in our infancy,” Ms Storer said. “But we intend to even the score. There is clout in the silent­ majority … we saw that at the May election.”

GetUp’s Mr Oosting, who ran the left-wing group’s failed election campaign strategy to unseat a rump of conservative MPs, will deliver a speech at the National Press Club on Wednesday titled Politics Belongs to Everyone.

GetUp, which launched internal and external reviews after the May 18 election, has been targeted by Scott Morrison and Coalition frontbenchers, who have accused the political activist group of being a front for Labor and the Greens.

A prominent Liberal Party ­figure said the group had struggled to gain traction but claimed the appointmen­t of Ms Storer signalled a significant gear shift in the conservative­ movement’s battle against the left-wing lobby. “I do love kicking doors,” Ms Storer said.


Outcomes-based school funding easier said than done

There’s good reason to support government rhetoric about becoming more ‘outcomes-driven’. Who doesn’t want “an ongoing focus on value for money” as proposed by the NSW Government’s approach?

Momentum has been gathering to correct the misplaced perspective that sees education issues exclusively in terms of inputs (namely, how much money is being pumped in), to one based on outcomes.

This flips the conventional wisdom that funding should be decided simply according to the students coming into a school, to one based on what schools are actually doing for their students.

The evidence of today’s unwise and ineffective spending is seen in the ongoing decline in student achievement.

However, introducing new outcomes-based school funding reform is proving to be easier said than done.

Buoyed by the NSW Education Minister’s promise to “ensure that we match education funding to outcomes”, an ambitious parliamentary inquiry was established earlier this year to investigate “measurement and outcomes-based funding for schools.”

This is a natural extension to the NSW Treasurer’s bold plans for “shifting to a focus on outcomes” when it comes to public finances more broadly. At the same time, the NSW Productivity Commission has prioritised lifting school performance and education outcomes in its quest to lift the state’s productivity.

Teachers and school leaders want what’s best for their students, but current funding arrangements don’t support these aims.

For instance, a school receives additional funding for enrolling more students, particularly those suffering from disadvantage, but there are no implications — such as financial incentives —  nor accompanying checks on, how well, or poorly, these students are served.

An outcomes-based funding approach would benefit all students because schools and educators would have clear incentives to improve teaching and learning practices.

Yet, before the committee had the opportunity to hold hearings into reform, the policy approach became muddled, with the Education Department suggesting that any change would merely be “a different financial practice” and that “there will be no change to the way schools are funded and operated.”

A reasonable observer might then ask: if there is no change to the funding and operation of schools, what, and how, are educational outcomes expected to improve?

For genuine outcomes-based funding, the OECD suggests applying financial consequences for over- or under-achievement of performance objectives, which should be supported by performance management. Yet, recent evidence has highlighted that performance management is all but non-existent in NSW schools — which goes some way to explain the poor educational outcomes being experienced.

It’s true that there are pre-existing commitments to so-called ‘needs-based’ school funding — that is, funding is supposed to be redistributed for equity purposes. But ensuring that schools deliver outcomes for students, and deliver better value for money, cannot be considered mutually exclusive to needs-based principles.

It is hard to see that a change in the accounting treatment of corporate departmental line items could have any impact on educational outcomes. It would seem that what’s on the table could be more of an accounting change rather than accountability one.

But a change in accounting treatment is no substitute for educational reform. The NSW government should not permit another opportunity to go by to introduce genuine school funding reform that cares about how money is spent, not just how much.


Sydney University academics free to criticise under free speech charter

Sydney University intends to protect the right of staff to criticise the institution as part of its response to a national review of free speech in higher education.

The university's academic board will next month consider reforms to the Charter of Academic Freedom that would bring it into line with a free speech code proposed by former chief justice Robert French.

The reforms include clarifying that professional staff were free to express their "lawful opinions" about the university, and there were no restrictions on staff making public comment on any issue in their personal capacity.

It also recommends free protest should be permitted on university land, but should not be exercised in a way that prevents the free speech of others, causes property damage or physical risk to others.

The univeristy's report, written by academics in consultation with staff and student unions, also recommends the charter be renamed the Charter of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom.

Sydney University was the stage for one of the controversies that prompted the Morrison government to launch the review, when protesters tried to stop commentator Bettina Arndt from speaking at a campus event.

Another was a furore over James Cook University's decision to sack marine physicist Peter Ridd after he criticised colleagues, including a coral researcher at his own university, who he described as having no "clue about the weather".


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...

Oh, it won't stop with Ayers Rock.