Friday, September 23, 2022

How to win friends and influence people

Some people clearly need lessons

Indigenous protesters have defaced a mural of Queen Elizabeth II on Australia's National Day of Mourning, sparking widespread outrage.

Massive crowds gathered in Sydney and across Australia on Thursday to protest the monarchy and call for reforms for First Nations people following the Queen's death a fortnight ago.

As part of the demonstrations, activists sprayed over the mural in inner-Sydney Marrickville and spray painted the Aboriginal flag over the Queen's face.

Nine News reporter Chris O'Keefe branded the spray painters 'disrespectful' on his 2GB radio show.

'I say defaced, because the Queen's face has been covered in yellow paint, with the red and black parts of the flag on the top and bottom it's terribly disrespectful,' O'Keefe told listeners.

He also claimed the activists were trying to censor history by covering over the mural.

'This history needs to be told, and it needs to be taught and as a country, we are coming leaps and bounds in recognising and facing this history,' O'Keefe said.

'I strongly believe that censoring this history cannot continue but we are talking about Queen Elizabeth.

'On a day where she has only been buried three days ago these kinds of offensive remarks do one thing and one thing only, polarise our country.'

Protests continue around the country, with hundreds gathering in state capitals to hear speeches on the effects of colonisation impacting Indigenous Australians.

First Nations activists and allies also burned an Australian flag in Brisbane, and smeared 'blood' over an emblem on the British Consulate in Melbourne.

The explosive protests have seen those in attendance call for treaties, a republic and the 'decolonisation' of Australia.


Miners cite CFMEU law-breaking to split from union

The CFMEU”s mining and energy division has documented 145 instances of law breaking by the union’s construction and general division as part of its bid to split from the union.

After losing an initial attempt to split from the union on technical grounds, the mining and ­energy division’s new application to the Fair Work Commission relies on contentious changes introduced by the ­Coalition government in 2021.

Under the changes, the commission can accept an appli­cation made more than five years after their merger, but the mining division has to document the construction division’s record of not complying with workplace or safety laws

In evidence tendered to the commission, the mining and energy division says the construction and general division has engaged in 145 contraventions of the Fair Work Act.

In contrast, it says mining and energy has been involved in one instance of contraventions and penalties.

If approved, the new Mining and Energy Union would seek to transfer 21000 members from the CFMEU. and be in a “very strong financial position” with more than $120 million in assets.

It says it brought in $14.37 million in total comprehensive income.

The manufacturing division is separately seeking to split from the CFMEU, and wants to be known as the Australian Production Industries and Finishing Trades Union. It proposes to have 9611 members and just under $5 million in assets.

According to the mining and energy division, the construction and general division has $122 million in net assets and total comprehensive income earned $10.78 million.

If members of both divisions vote to split, the rest of the union could be known as the Construction and Maritime Union. or the CMU.

The union’s former national secretary, Michael O’Connor, has declared a breakdown in relations between rival officials “unfixable”.


Leftist crap taught even in an elite school

Freedom of speech is an essential element of a modern, functioning Western society. It allows us to express opinions and ideas without interference or threat of reprisal. When healthy debate is encouraged, ideas are tested and we invariably achieve a better outcome.

As an Independent secondary school student, I see this right increasingly threatened both by peers and the school institution itself. More and more we are made to conform to a single popular belief on various fronts.

I am a white male. Sadly for me, history class has become less of a lecture on the fascinating events, people, facts, or lessons learned and is instead a very public shaming for the actions of our white male predecessors.

Being labelled as ‘privileged’ or as a ‘white colonist’ is not uncommon. In fact, racism is often the theme of different subjects – from the books we study in our English class, to the units and topics we learn in our history classes.

While a strong understanding of this topic’s long and dark history is necessary, it should not be wielded as a weapon against a particular demographic of students.

We are taught ‘you cannot be racist toward white people’. I am sure the Jewish under Hitler, the Irish under English Lord Cromwell, and countless others over the years may not completely agree with this line of thought. Yet to make even a slight suggestion of this can result in a hostile response from classmates or even be detrimental to grades and reports issued by the school and its teachers.

Feminism is also regularly at the forefront of class discussion and is often unfortunately used to promote a victim mentality.

Open discussion about this topic is frequently suppressed by both peers and the school, resulting in many concepts being presented through a biased lens where men are typically depicted as villains.

An example is the gender pay gap. A quick Google search will show that in 1969, the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission ruled that women should receive equal pay to men for work of equal value. Mentioning this indisputable fact will often lead to the label ‘misogynist’.

As with racism, there is no denying that women have lacked opportunity and privilege in the past. The origins of feminism are well-founded and it is important to understand the history, acknowledge and learn from our mistakes, then move forward together as a single community. Continuing to promote a victim mentality, especially amongst young and developing minds, results in division and dangerous movements such as the #KillAllMen hashtag that has been recently trending on Twitter.

Gender and sexual orientation introduce further complexity to school communities.

I’m sorry, you’re bi? Oh, and you’re pan? And you are non-binary? My apologies, I have used the wrong pronouns. They/them? I see, and singular they for you, ze/zem for you, and it/them for you. Understood. Oh, and you’d like me to learn your flags together with your pronouns? Okay… I’ll do my very best to remember those, together with the sexual, gender, pronoun, and flag preferences of my 150 other classmates.

But with the utmost respect, there may be occasion where I stumble. No… No… I’m not homophobic, biphobic, transphobic or enbyphobic. I was raised to lead with empathy and treat all humans with dignity and respect regardless of their identity. It is just that my maths, physics, and history also need attention at the moment, and unfortunately there are only so many hours to learn in the day.

Schools should provide an environment where young aspiring minds can openly and freely debate controversial cultural and political issues and have the opportunity to do so even in a non-mainstream way. However, Independent secondary schools have sought to push a single narrative to the detriment of many students.

Is this an attempt by the school to appear more progressive?

Is it for the fear of being ‘cancelled’?

While I am fortunate and grateful for my educational opportunity, it is nonetheless concerning to see such basic and fundamental freedoms gradually stripped away through no fault of our own.

The school community has become divided into conservative and progressive extremes. In reality, the best ideas and solutions are typically found somewhere near the centre after healthy debate. These groups must collaborate and work together – like a football team in which conservative defenders rely on what has worked in the past to staunchly protect the goal while creative liberal attackers attempt to find new and innovative ways to score.

Those students that do not bend to a single popular belief become ‘white privileged, misogynistic, -phobic’ in the mind of the school and in the eyes of their peers.

This leaves me wondering, are those now doing the labelling and marginalising any better than those they are targeting for historic misdemeanours?


"Truth" and Aborigines

There are certain expressions which, although ridiculous, serve a useful purpose in alerting readers that what follows is fallacious gibberish. Phrases such as “hate speech”, “white privilege” and the insufferably smug “wrong side of history” are just a few examples.

Now a new word has emerged in the vernacular of the virtuous. It is time, they will say, that this country undergoes the process of ‘truth-telling’.

The aim of this, we are told, is for the good of the nation and to bring us together. “When we think about the effect that a national truth-telling process would have on Australia, it’s remarkable,” said Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney in July at the Garma Festival in north-east Arnhem Land. “I see this as, you know, a thousand flowers blooming.”

As to what is supposedly stopping Indigenous Australians from telling their stories about the effects of colonisation in the absence of the proposed Makarrata commission, Burney did not elaborate. Nevertheless, a mostly compliant media has adopted the term, referring to it with respect and even reverence. So much for journalists avoiding loaded terms.

It was a subject that featured last week on ABC’s Q+A. “When it comes to truth-telling, these are going to be really difficult conversations,” said Wiradjuri and Wailwan lawyer Teela Reid. Perhaps so. But if you serenely proclaim the transgressions of others warrant your truth-telling, be ready for a few unpleasant facts yourself.

We can start with Reid’s comments about the one match suspension of NRLW Indigenous player Caitlin Moran for gleefully referring to Queen Elizabeth II as a “dumb dog” on the day of her death. “Free speech isn’t free in this country, particularly for First Nations people,” said Reid. “I think we really need to make sure that when First Nations women are speaking out, we’re not being overpoliced. I mean, this is, you know, just shocking to me.”

She has a point. Just ask Country Liberal Party senator and Warlpiri/Celtic woman Jacinta Nampijinpa Price about the abuse and threats she cops from Indigenous activists when she calls out violence in Aboriginal communities. It is a truth that Indigenous women and girls are 31 more times likely to be hospitalised due to domestic and family violence related assaults compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts.

Last month Northern Territory Supreme Court judge Judith Kelly lashed out at terms such as “systemic racism” and “institutional racism,” telling a group of female lawyers there was a “cultural component” to Indigenous violence.

“There is the culture in some communities that tolerates violence against women and others that blames the victim and prioritises the interest of the male perpetrators over the female victims,” she said. “That, in my view, can only be changed from within those communities.”

But these domestic killings would receive virtually no publicity if not for a prominent judge deciding to do a little truth-telling about Indigenous culture. To quote Bundjalung, Yuin and Gumbaynggirr man Nyunggai Warren Mundine: “Don’t these Black Lives Matter?” Or are he and Price in the category Reid referred to last week when she sneeringly observed that “colonisers will always cherry-pick a black voice that suits their agenda”?

If Reid and other activists want truth-telling, bring it on. It is true to say the homicide rate in some NT towns is nearly twice that of the United States. It is also a truth that Indigenous youth suffers disproportionately from parental neglect. And is true that only 41 per cent of Indigenous children attend school 90 per cent or more of the time compared to the national rate of 70 per cent.

This is not to distract from the reality that colonisation had a devastating effect on the Indigenous population. Nor do I deny the massacres that took place or the attitude that the original inhabitants were a doomed people, the colonial administrators believing their obligation was simply to “smooth the dying pillow”. Those shameful aspects are already part of our history curricula, as they should be.

But if we to have truth-telling, then enough of the exaggerations and outright falsehoods. Eighteenth century explorer Captain James Cook was not a conquistador. Rather, he was a decent and enlightened man as well as one of history’s greatest navigators. It is also true he is fundamental to this country’s history, and that his vilification and obliteration have nothing to do with tolerance and everything to do with imposing a revisionist ideology.

It is an unfortunate truth that Australian students are taught the claims of Bruce Pascoe, an author who is to Indigenous history what John Pilger is to journalism. It is also a truth that a gullible media not only failed to scrutinise his ludicrous conclusions, but also treated them as an article of faith.

And it is a truth that governments devote enormous resources to addressing Indigenous disadvantage. As a federal parliamentary report noted in 2019: “Over the last decade, the Productivity Commission’s Indigenous Expenditure Reports … have consistently shown that total Commonwealth, state and territory government per capita expenditure on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is approximately double the per capita expenditure on non-Indigenous Australians”.

Dark Emu author Bruce Pascoe. Picture: Luke Bowden
Dark Emu author Bruce Pascoe. Picture: Luke Bowden
It is also true to say that many of the so-called progressive commentariat and Indigenous activists loudly decry governments for the state of these communities but refuse to acknowledge the root causes other than blaming racism and colonialism.

And it is true there is such a thing as an Indigenous bandwagon. The 2021 census recorded that 812,728 people identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, an increase of 25 per cent from 2016. And it is a truth that many of these arrivistes are motivated by a rent-seeking industry that mandates everything from holding so-called welcome to country ceremonies to employing ‘cultural safety’ officers.

It is also a truth that the mere act of elaborating these truths can see you hauled before a human rights commission or anti-discrimination tribunal. It is also true that the truth of one’s assertions is not an absolute defence to such action.

It is a truth that no matter how many treaties are signed, or how many truth commissions are held, the intention is not to reconcile but rather to reinforce a permanent sense of guilt in mainstream Australians. And it is a truth that in the wretched Indigenous settlements little will change as a result.

But you know what isn’t the truth? Claiming whitey is the source of all Indigenous misery.




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