Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Senator Amanda Stoker exposes our unjust universities

Bettina Arndt

Finally, I am seeing some real action from my campus campaign. I’m just back from meetings with parliamentarians in Canberra, including the outstanding Queensland Senator, Amanda Stoker.

Yesterday Amanda put on a brilliant display, grilling TEQSA, the university regulator, in Senate Estimates committee about the higher education sector’s abysmal failure to protect the rights of the accused in new rape regulations now in operation in universities across Australia.

Watch the bureaucrats squirm when she rightly points out that the regulations contain barely one word about ensuring proper legal rights for accused young men. It is a disgrace that TEQSA has been shown to have cow towed to feminist lobby groups and bullied universities into adjudicating rape on campus, shelving the legal rights of the accused and using lower standards of proof to ensure more convictions.

Remember it was Senator Stoker who put pressure on TEQSA over my Sydney University protest last year, which ultimately led to the French Inquiry and universities now reluctantly introducing voluntary free speech codes.

Now Amanda is promising to help the regulator ensure they address the appalling bias in their own instructions to universities regarding this issue.

I have a team of serious players on board. We have a number of plans of attack to persuade universities to leave the serious crime of sexual assault to be dealt with by our criminal law system, which is designed to offer proper justice to both sides in these cases. I’ll be writing about some of the other fascinating developments in the weeks to come but couldn’t resist sending you the Stoker video today. I’m really keen that we circulate this as widely as possible.

This is a shot across the bows of the feminists who have been had the running on this issue for so long.  And the more people who know about it the better.

Here are the links you can use to view the video and circulate it on social media.

Facebook video:


Email from Bettina Arndt:

Climate abounds with deception

Chris Kenny

Blatant deception has become endemic in what is an extreme debate on global warming. The alarmists who sneer at so-called climate deniers are, all too often, fact deniers. The ABC and The Guardian Australia have shown when the assessments of climate scientists don't fit their catastrophist narrative, they are prepared to ignore or verbal scientists and attack other media for sharing the information.

Consider a forum at the University of Sydney on "The Business of Making Climate Change" in June that included the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes director Andrew Pitman. Asked about climate and drought, Professor Pitman said this:

"This may not be what you expect to hear but as far as the climate scientists know there is no link between climate change and drought. Now, that may not be what you read in the newspapers and sometimes hear commented but there is no reason a priori why climate change should make the landscape more arid. "And if you look at the Bureau of Meteorology data over the whole of the last 100 years there's no trend in data, there's no drying trend, there's been a drying trend in the last 20 years but there's been no drying trend in the last 100 years and that's an expression of how variable the Australian rainfall climate is."

You will not have heard that comment, in full, on the ABC, nor read it in The Guardian Australia; yet they have run many comments from Greens and Labor politicians saying the drought is linked to climate change. This self-censorship is extraordinary enough because there could hardly be a more relevant and factual contribution from such a reputable source that puts the lie to the political posturing over a crippling drought that is dominating political debate.

But it gets worse. What the ABC's MediaWatch did a fortnight ago, and The Guardian Australia replicated last week, is run cut-down versions of that quote and accuse me and others at Sky News of misrepresenting Professor Pitman. That's right, it is commentators sharing a reputable climate scientist's own words, uncut, that they criticise.

These journalists failed to run the pertinent information but slammed others for running it. Their tenuous justification is a statement from Professor Pitman's centre claiming he should have said "no direct link" rather than "no link". The insertion of the word "direct" into his assessment is mere semantics and changes nothing. Indeed the statement begs the question of how and why this ex post facto qualification came about, not directly from Professor Pitman, but from his centre.

In that June forum Professor Pitman also said the "fundamental" problem in this field of science is that "we don't understand what causes droughts" — again under-scoring the absence of a climate change/drought link. Last week he was reported on the topic again in The Guardian Australia "But the fact that I can't establish something does not make it true or false, it just means I can't establish it."

Astonishingly, the website argued this quote bolstered its claims of misrepresentation when clearly it reaffirms his critical point; there is no link established between our drought and global warming. The evidence is in, no matter how much it is buried, denied and spun away by the ABC and Guardian Australia.

All of Professor Pitman's comments demonstrate that politicians are making a link between global warming and drought that climate scientists have not established. In comparison, some of us at Sky News have run Professor Pitman's comments in full a number of times, drawn our conclusions, asked others to comment and allowed audiences to make their own judgments.

Additionally, I have repeatedly invited Professor Pitman to discuss the issues, live and uncut to air. He shrinks away. We can imagine it is difficult for scientists to have their work pushed and pulled for political point-scoring but they have a public duty to share the facts.

Professor Pitman's work is being grossly misrepresented by the ABC and The Guardian Australia, who argue the opposite to his declared reality. His centre should be clearing the air but is doing the opposite.

The dishonesty of the reporting by Paul Barry's Media Watch, at your expense, is stunning. They cut, trim and misrepresent what has been broadcast on Sky News, fail to ask pertinent questions of Professor Pitman and try to convince the public that his research shows the exact opposite of what he has said repeatedly.

There has seldom been a clearer demonstration of George Orwell's 1984 maxim: "War is Peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength."

The Guardian Australia should be left to its own devices, I suppose, but Ita Buttrose should not sit idly by and allow Media Watch to implement the antithesis ofthe ABC's charter mission.

From "The Australian of 28/10/2019

Police arrest over 40 climate activists outside IMARC conference in Melbourne

More than 40 climate protesters have now been arrested after police doused them with capsicum spray as they clashed outside an international mining conference in Melbourne.

The activists were aiming to shut down the International Mining and Resources Conference at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre which began on Tuesday and is being attended by thousands of global delegates.

Victoria Police Acting Commander Tim Tully said the majority of offences related to failing to obey police direction or intentionally obstructing an emergency service worker.

Two people were arrested in relation to cruelty to animals after they allegedly struck a police horse.

Commander Tully said four police officers have been injured while making arrests with three taken to hospital for injuries including a dislocated finger and minor head injuries.

One woman was taken to hospital after she allegedly was injured by a police horse and a man was treated at the scene for a minor cut to his head.

“The police operation is ongoing,” Commander Tully said. “However Victoria Police would like to state that any action taken by officers this morning has been in response to the protesters’ activity and in accordance with training.”

From 6am, activists from 11 different groups began blocking entry to the conference amid a heavy police presence. Clashes erupted between police and the protesters who held up signs calling for mining to be “shut down” as they tried to push back the police line.

“We have the right to demonstrate, this is not a police state,” the activists chanted. Protesters also blocked Clarendon Street at Southbank.

One police officer received minor injuries during the arrests and was transported to hospital for treatment. A protester was also taken to hospital in a stable condition after she was injured by a police horse.

Capsicum spray was fired into the crowd, with officers yelling at protesters to “get back” as attendees attempted to enter the conference.

The activists picketed at multiple entrances to the centre, chanting “land rights not mining rights, shut IMARC [the conference] down” and “blood on your hands” as they pushed back against a police line.

Just after 7am, police deployed horses to protect the entrance to the conference. Two people were arrested in relation to cruelty to animal offences for assaulting a police horse. These are summary offences.

Protester Emma Black from the Blockade IMARC Activist Alliance said the police tactics had been quite aggressive. “There’s been very little communication from the police when they would like to move us,” she said “They’ve just been storming us, pushing us.”

Ms Black said she had been hit with a police baton on her right arm which was extremely swollen. She said her arms were raised and was trying to get out of the way when the officer hit her. Ms Black said she didn’t witness the alleged attack on a police horse but said she couldn’t understand why the protesters who were generally aligned with animal rights would target a horse.

She said the point of today was to get the message of the protest which was to stand up against “ecocide and for human rights’’.

“It was always going to be impossible for us to shut down the whole thing without having tens of thousands of people,” she said.

More than 7000 delegates from about 100 countries are attending the three-day conference and organisers say the protest action is based on misconceptions about the mining industry.

Among them is Craig Ian McGown, chairman at Pioneer Resources, who said he had a bottle of water emptied over him, had been pushed and forced to walk 40 metres with a woman next to him shouting “shame”.

“I’m just very confused by people having too much time off,” he said. “I’m just in attendance at the conference because my company is involved in major projects that can help the country move forward.”

The conference organisers said in a statement: “There is a misconception that as an industry mining does not operate with sustainable principles in mind”.

Mining was vital for the production of electricity, solar panels, electric car batteries, pacemakers and medical apparatus and public transport, they said. This year the conference will consider the importance of battery minerals, used in the emerging electric car market, and the growing importance of ethical investment for resource companies.

The mining and resources conference is scheduled to run for three days. Protesters plan to disrupt all three days of the conference and will be joined by Victorian Greens Leader Samantha Ratnam on Tuesday and federal Greens MP Adam Bandt on Wednesday.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack described the protests as “disgraceful, absolutely disgraceful”.

The Extinction Rebellion group ran a week of climate protests early in the month and Victoria Police acting commander Tim Tully predicted on Monday that activists would ramp up their methods this week.

“We expect to see heightened tactics by the protest groups,” he told reporters in Melbourne. “Our intelligence would suggest that the protesters have been planning, and are well co-ordinated, to undertake different tactics to what we saw, or very similar tactics to what we saw, in the recent protest activity.

“We are well prepared to respond.”

Victorian opposition leader Michael O’Brien said people should be allowed to go about their business without being confronted by “constant demonstrations”.

“It’s turning Melbourne into a joke and unless the premier starts giving the police the powers they need to do with it, it’s just going to continue and go on,” he said.


Union to Labor party: change tack on trade or cash stops

They are dead against further immigration.

The 'CFMEU will not donate another cent to the Labor Party if it continues to support free-trade policies that the union says hurt Australian jobs.'

National construction division boss Dave Noonan also says the party has been overrun by "broken-down Tony Blair spin doctors". who have orchestrated a conflict with his union for political gain.

In a defiant interview with The Weekend Australian at the end of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union's five-day national conference in Adelaide, Mr Noonan declared his division's besieged Victorian chief, John Setka, an "asset" to the CFMEU who had been treated "unfairly" by Anthony Albanese.

Mr Noonan also backed 'Mr Setka's assessment that Labor was "losing its soul" by signing up to trade deals that allow foreign workers into Australia. He said there were about l.4 million Workers in the country on temporary visas who were being underpaid and driving down wages and conditions for Australians.

He warned that as long as Labor backed 'the government's free-trade deals', it should not expect any more donations from the union, which has handed more than $13m to the ALP since 2000, almost all of it from Mr Setka's Victorian branch.

"We will not be donating to any political party that does not put the interests of Australian workers first," he said "When we think Labor has got it wrong we will call it out. We are certainly not donating any money out of this conference. We are not going to be going out funding politicians who undermine job security. "We don't understand why the Labor Party is going down this path. We were trying to point out to them the level of wage theft that's going on with workers on temporary work visas.

Mr Noonan said Labor was confused about what it stood for as it tried to retain its appeal to blue-collar workers while seeking support from inner-city professional voters. "It's not just about Albo," he said. "The party needs to have a good look at itself. You will never out-green the Greens. They should look to working people — not just blue-collar workers, but in other industries such as IT who are getting underpaid."

His comments cap the end of a CFMEU conference that exploded into life courtesy of Mr Setka and his searing attack on the Federal Opposition Leader on Wednesday. He announced then that he would nor be appealing against his expulsion from the ALP

The Weekend Australian has been told Mr Setka was hailed as a hero by delegates for standing up tothe Labor leader. Mr Noonan confirmed there was strong support for Mr Setka across the CFMEU

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

Morrison is on top of Australia's "swamp"

Sharri Markson

John Barilaro made a disturbing admission one Friday evening when he sat down to chat with me on Sky News. He said NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and he, the Deputy Premier, do not run the state of NSW. "Unfortunately one of my frustrations is that the bureaucracy does," he complained.

As he publicly ruminated about whether he should leave his plum job as Deputy Premier, Barilaro expressed his grievance about the public servants that stop projects being built or policies being implemented in the state that is Australia's economic powerhouse.

"A lot of these bureaucrats, and I'm going to admit this, I believe that 12 months leading into the last election in March, mate, they were sitting idle thinking there was going to be a change of government and it's time to square that little ledger up. I want to get on with building projects," Barilaro said in the August interview.

For him to make this admission publicly indicates how high his level of agitation must be behind the scenes. It's quite extraordinary that, in Barilaro's opinion, not even the Premier can get stuff done in NSW, blocked by an obstructionist public service.

It partly explains why Barilaro is weighing up a move to Canberra, should Mike Kelly leave Parliament and spark a by-election in Eden Monaro. But a more important question than Barilaro's political future is, who gives these faceless public servants power?

There is a familiar scenario. A new minister is sworn in, heaving with policy ideas to implement, which they may even speak about in media interviews. But they are quickly put back in their box as the advice from their department comes back that their innovative solutions cannot be implemented, due to one constraint or another.

Scott Morrison faced this as immigration minister when he wanted to turn back the boats. However, he quickly worked out how to drive the agenda using his personal leadership, rather than become a puppet for a department that has seen a revolving door of politicians. It's why one of his earliest moves after being elected Prime Minister was to haul every departmental secretary into the Cabinet room and make it clear who was in charge: Him. Not them.

He laid down the law and said they work for the government and not vice versa. He used an analogy from his rugby coach, which he has since repeated, calling it the bacon and egg principle: the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed. He used it to say that accountability to the public ultimately lay on his shoulders, not theirs.

Since then, Martin Parkinson stepped down as secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and there is expected to be another high-profile head of a department leaving in the near future.

Unlike Parkinson, this anticipated resignation is understood to be a case of the department head not being aligned with Morrison's agenda. If a department secretary is not on board, it becomes a clash of cultures.

Before any Home Affairs opponents get their hopes up, the person leaving is not Home Affairs Secretary Michael Pezzullo. His position may have been on shaky ground momentarily, as a result of a perception he was trying to do the "pre-election Olympics" as the business of the AFP referral for the media raids, but his role is secure and has the confidence of the PM.

Another public service appointment Morrison is really happy about is the new Treasury Secretary, Dr Steven Kennedy, who was formerly head of the Infrastructure Department. "He's a Labor guy but gets things done," a senior figure remarked.

Morrison has more contact with the heads of department than usual as a result of policy "deep dives" he is conducting in areas he thinks need extra attention like veterans' health, recycling, the drought, the NDIS, taxation and indigenous health. He has done about a dozen since the election and has about eight to go this year.

The sessions involve the relevant minister, backbenchers that have a particular interest in the policy area, the department heads and other senior public services figures. They have a two or three-hour meeting to run through all the problems in the space and discuss what can be done to bring about change.

The only drawback with this hands-on approach of Morrison's is when it comes to a policy area like drought, Morrison's ownership of the drought may be as problematic as Malcolm Turnbull's was of electricity prices.

Electricity prices were considered a state government issue before Turnbull decided he would campaign on lowering prices and solving the energy crisis. It was a decision that ultimately cost him hiS leaderShip.

Now, there are concerns within the Government that Morrison is doing the same thing with the drought; personally taking responsibility for an incredibly complex problem he will not be able to solve.

While it is risky, and has already proved politically damaging for Morrison, Aussie farmers deserve attention from the very top, with the best minds in Government focused on how Australia can set itself up better for the next drought. These farmers deserve more than just bureaucrats, they deserve leaders.

From the Brisbane "Courier Mail of 26/10/2019

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


Paul said...

Provoking Police, then accusing them publicly of violence is a very (((Alinsky-ite))) tactic.

Paul said...

Of course the irony is that Daaave Noonan, his Union, and all those in the industrial shakedown business going back to WW2 are largely responsible for the very things he now decries.