Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Another Leftist discovers reality

Just when you think all hope is lost for the Victorian Liberal Party to ever regain its conservative political roots, along comes a candidate like Moira Deeming. Deeming is the type of grassroots politician the luvvies love to hate; young, articulate, passionate, and an ex-progressive.

Which is precisely the reason they’ve given her the moniker, ‘Labor Party Princess’. Quoting the great Robert Menzies in her maiden speech to parliament, Deeming captured something of your widespread appeal:

‘The real life of this nation is to be found in the home of the people who are nameless and unadvertised. And who, whatever their individual religion or dogma, see in their children their greatest contributions.’

In her own words, Deeming says, ‘She was born and bred on the political left coming from a long line of union leaders, card-carrying Labor Party members, and Labor MPs.’ Indeed, her great-grandfather was John Joseph Holland, a western suburbs Labor MP for over thirty-five years as well as a councillor for the city of Melbourne. All of which is to say, Deeming comes from ‘good Catholic Labor stock’.

What would motivate her then to change to the Liberal side of politics? According to Deeming:

‘There is a long tradition in Australian politics of those raised on the gospel of unity who come to learn firsthand the value of liberty and who then switch to the liberal side of politics. Sadly, they’re often referred to as “Labor rats” but in reality, they were just ordinary people who foresaw the problems which are plaguing all political parties that refuse to tolerate independent thinking and the tragic consequences of idolising economies which are controlled by the State.’

After quoting the famous examples of three former Labor politicians who switched sides throughout their careers – such as former Prime Ministers Joseph Cook and Joseph Lyons as well as Warren Mundine – a former president of the Labor Party to chairman of CPAC – Deeming commented:

‘I grew up idolising the Left, unions, and the Labor Party. But when taken to an extreme, these ideals have a “dark side”. As a teenager, I witnessed first-hand the corruption and the coordinated bullying of anyone who doesn’t think and act in “unity” with the Left.’

For Deeming, her political paradigm shifted though, by concerns she observed firsthand as a teacher in state schools. Deeming said:

‘Lessons on tolerance were being replaced with lessons on inclusion. It wasn’t enough to just accept each other’s differences with respect. Now students were required to affirm and celebrate beliefs which they just did not share. Perfectly reasonable religious and moral differences were being framed as discriminatory, intolerant, and a new vocabulary was introduced categorising people as “allies” or “enemies”.
‘Instead of being inspired by history’s heroes, students were being chastised and even told to stand up in class and apologise for historical crimes they had neither committed nor condoned.

‘They were told that the physical world is on the brink of doom. But rather than assigning research projects to find practical solutions, they were being assigned activism as work. Including, social media awareness campaigns, ideological fundraisers, and even attendance at protests during school hours.

‘Instead of being taught the life-changing value of grit and character, my most vulnerable and disadvantaged students were being weighed down and discouraged with spectres of insurmountable social forces all arrayed against them; capitalism, colonialism, patriarchy.’

These are serious issues. And every Australian citizen should be alarmed at what is occurring in Victorian schools because that particular state seems hell-bent on leading the way socially for the rest of the country. According to Deeming though, the proverbial ‘final straw’ in her deciding to challenge the government was as follows:

‘I discovered that school policies and curriculums had been radically altered to remove almost every child safeguarding standard that we had.

‘Primary school children were being subjected to erotic sexual content.

‘Female students no longer had the right to single-sex sports teams, toilets or change rooms.

‘And teachers – like me – were being forced to secretly lie to parents about their children who were secretly living one gender at school and another gender at home.

‘I realised then that my teaching career was over because I simply would not ever do the things I was being asked to do.

‘I would never ask the class which sexual experiences they’d had and which they were willing to do. I would never tell girls to bind their breasts. I would never accuse gay students of being transphobic. I would never tell my female students they had to tolerate a male teacher supervising their change room. And I was never ever going to lie to parents about what was going on with their own children at school.

‘But I also knew that if I spoke out that I was going to be vilified and that I would never work in a public school again. And that is exactly what happened.’

Somewhat surprisingly, even the Sun Herald joined in accusing deeming of promoting ‘extremist views’ whilst Daniel Andrews resorted to his usual tactic of dismissing Ms Deeming’s concerns as ‘shameful’. But listening to Deeming’s maiden speech, there is nothing extreme, let alone shameful, about it.

Deeming explicitly called on the Victorian government to amend the law in three ways. First, to protect sex-based rights to protect female-only sports, change rooms, and other activities while ‘maintaining the safety and dignity of transgender people’. Second, to make it illegal for children to be present in brothels. And third, to make it legal for parents and clinicians to seek treatment that alleviates gender dysmorphic feelings in children.

Deeming is a politician with the courage which we need right now. Sadly, though, the Liberal Party leadership have basically thrown her under the proverbial bus, distancing themselves from her convictions.

How tragic. When a former ‘Labor Party Princess’ cannot find a home in a party supposed to represent Liberal democratic values. No wonder the Liberty party lost the last election with little prospect of winning the next.


Dominic Premier has called for an end of Covid-19 vaccines mandates, saying the jab has no impact on transmission

The NSW Premier has dropped a bombshell on talkback radio telling listeners there is “no evidence” Covid vaccines stop transmission.

Dominic Perrottet, a month out from what polls are indicating could be a lineball state election, was fielding talkback calls on 2GB with Ben Fordham when he made the claim.

John a paramedic, told the Premier that both he and his wife, an emergency nurse, lost their jobs due to the vaccine mandates.

Both are still unemployed.

“We are down in Sydney at the industrial relations committee trying to get her job back,” John said.

Doesn’t it seem disingenuous you are offering $10,000 sign-on bonuses to nurses to get them back into the industry, and me and my wife can’t work, my job still hasn’t been replaced as a paramedic. It’s an absolute disgrace.”

The Premier told John he has repeatedly told the public and private sector to end vaccine mandates.

“I have made it very clear, and I couldn’t be clearer to the public service here in NSW to end vaccine mandates and the majority of the public service have done so,” a frustrated Premier said “I have also made it clear to the private sector.

“I have made it clear for the simple reason that there is no evidence that the vaccines stop transmission.”

Fordham said that employers – in both the private and public sector – were not listening, lamenting it was “crazy” the mandates were persisting despite the shortage of paramedics and nurses.

Mr Perrottet then reiterated there was “no evidence” the vaccine stops transmission. “It is based on the evidence, there is no evidence that in this current environment that vaccines stop transmission,” he said.

Mr Perrottet said health facilities imposed some vaccine requirements on workers before the pandemic, usually for influenza, and that was the point he wanted to get back to.
“In the areas of the public service that I can make that direction, I have it and it has been enacted,” he said.

The NSW Premier was known as the most liberal out of the state and territory leaders on masks and vaccine mandates during the pandemic.

In December 2021, during the Omicron wave, he backflipped on his “personal responsibility” approach to mask-wearing by reintroducing a mandate requiring them to be worn indoors while also reinstating social distancing measures in hospitality venues.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended that everyone over the age of 18 who has not been infected with Covid or received a vaccine within the last six months should get a fifth shot.
The fifth jab was previously only available for people who are severely immunocompromised.


Regulator sues firm in greenwashing crackdown

Mercer Superannuation is the first company being dragged to court by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for allegedly making misleading statements about the sustainability of some of its investment products, as the regulator looks to crack down on greenwashing.

In a media release on Tuesday, ASIC announced it was commencing civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court against the super fund for greenwashing – a move which the regulator’s deputy chair Sarah Court said reflected a growing area of concern. Greenwashing is when companies overstate or lie about their environmental credentials.

“There is increased demand for sustainability-related financial products, and with that comes the growing risk of misleading marketing and greenwashing,” she said.

“The vast majority of Australians already investing in sustainable options are looking to continue to do so, and [...] funds being invested in sustainability-related options are just growing exponentially. If financial products make sustainable investment claims to investors and potential investors, they need to reflect the true position.”

ASIC alleges Mercer made misleading statements on its website about the nature and characteristics of the “Sustainable Plus” investment options offered by the Mercer Super Trust, of which Mercer is the trustee.

The Sustainable Plus options were marketed as suitable for members who “are deeply committed to sustainability” because they excluded investments in companies involved in carbon intensive fossil fuels like thermal coal.

Two-thirds of companies in misleading ‘greenwashing’ claims
But ASIC alleges that members who took up the Sustainable Plus options had investments in industries the website statements said were excluded. This included investments in 15 companies involved in the extraction or sale of carbon intensive fossil fuels, such as AGL Energy, mining giant BHP and Whitehaven Coal.

Mercer also stated that the Sustainable Plus options excluded investments in companies involved in alcohol production and gambling. However, ASIC alleged it found investments in 15 companies involved in the production of alcohol and 19 companies involved in gambling.

ASIC said these statements and investments amounted to Mercer engaging in conduct that could mislead the public, and that it sought declarations and financial penalties from the court. It is also seeking injunctions preventing Mercer from continuing to make the alleged misleading statements on its website, and orders requiring Mercer to publicise any breaches found by the court.

ASIC has issued more than $140,000 in infringement notices for alleged greenwashing, levelled against companies such as Tlou Energy, Vanguard Investments Australia, Diversa Trustees and Black Mountain Energy.

But the regulator’s first court proceeding in this area reflects a sharpened focus on action against greenwashing as outlined in ASIC’s 2023 Enforcement Priorities.

“We’re now ramping up,” deputy chair Sarah Court said. “We have made very clear to the industry what we are concerned about. The importance of these court actions is that, if the court rules in ASIC’s favour, it sends a message not just to Mercer, but to the industry more broadly that if you are going to make these kinds of representation, you need to be very sure that you can implement the exclusions you are promising investors.”

The move comes after the Financial Services Royal Commission gave rise to legislative amendments which enhanced ASIC’s powers to take action regarding a broader range of superannuation trustee conduct.

Mercer is not the only superannuation fund potentially misleading consumers.

Market Forces campaigner Brett Morgan said analysis conducted by his firm in July last year found that eight out of 11 major Australian super fund investment options labelled “sustainable” or “socially responsible” were investing in companies expanding in the fossil fuel sector.

“We looked at the investment options offered by Australia’s biggest super funds, with those labels, and compared their investments to a piece of work we did on the 180 global companies most responsible for fossil fuel expansion,” he said.

ASIC takes first compliance action over greenwashing
Morgan said the court action from ASIC was a positive step, but that he would continue to keep an eye on the super funds.

“Super funds are now required to publish their investment holdings every six months, so we continue to analyse those and will continue to publish analyses of their holdings,” Morgan said. “The court action is a big step-up from ASIC and should send shockwaves through the superannuation industry, and corporate Australia more broadly.”

Court said there was “no end of matters” getting referred to the regulator, and that she anticipated further enforcement action against greenwashing this year.

A Mercer spokeswoman said the company was considering ASIC’s concerns, but that it would be inappropriate to comment further because the matter is before the courts.

“Mercer has co-operated with ASIC throughout its investigation, and will continue to carefully consider ASIC’s concerns with respect to this matter,” she said.


A promising employment opportunity for Aborigines?

Last week the ABC broadcast one of its routine, not news, news stories about the labour shortage in the bush (‘Northern Territory workforce shortages force government, industries to seek employees across globe’). Recently a Four Corners episode presented a similar story focusing on the Griffith region (‘A visit to the town of Griffith tells you everything you need to know about Australia’s worker shortage crisis’).

The ABC routinely produces stories lamenting the absence of workers in rural areas and in Darwin and is not alone in presenting such stories. A quick search of the internet reveals dozens of similar tales of woe across most media outlets.

Meanwhile, a close competitor in frequency of publication are the recurrent stories about the absence of jobs for Aboriginal Australians in rural areas. The federal and state governments have, for decades, been regularly churning out earnest reports investigating the reason why unemployment levels for Aborigines remain much higher than those of any other group in Australia. The reports routinely note that the absence of job opportunities in the bush for Aborigines is a major cause of anti-social behaviour in places such as Wadeye.

What I have been unable to find in any of the hundreds of articles and television documentaries published recently on these two topics, is anyone who attempts to seriously link the two issues. The recent Four Corners episode reported on problems in the orchard industry around Griffith where the general manager of a local orchards said, ‘There should have been 200 workers at the vast orchard, picking fruit from its half-a-million citrus trees.’ The Four Corners report continued, ‘Mr Ceccato found just 20. The award wage for fruit picking is $26.73 an hour, but Mr Ceccato pays his workers $29. He says he couldn’t find more workers even when he offered $45 an hour.’

The absence of backpackers and Pacific Island workers has undoubtedly created a crisis in the rural labour market and the question of why no one is trying to use this crisis as an opportunity to get unemployed Aboriginal youths into work requires examination. Why do horticulturalists prefer to recruit gangs of Pacific Islanders to pick fruit rather than gangs of unemployed Aborigines? Why is the NT government currently sending no less than 20 delegates from the hospitality industry to the UK and Ireland to recruit workers for the NT hospitality industry when there is, theoretically, a pool of unemployed workers already here and, more importantly, why is no one in the mainstream media addressing these questions?

The standard redneck racist answer to questions like these is that the Aborigines don’t want to work and would rather hang around in remote settlements living on welfare. A more sophisticated explanation for the reluctance to offer work to unemployed Aborigines is found in a recent parliamentary inquiry into poverty where we are told, ‘It is etched on the collective psyche of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today that social and economic exclusion was arbitrarily enforced upon us. The ramifications of this exclusion have set the platform for the tragic circumstances experienced by [Indigenous] people in Australia.’

The Diversity Council Australia published a major report last year in which it said that high unemployment among rural Aborigines is due to several reasons including racism and the lack of culturally safe workplaces. (‘Gari Yala Speak The Truth’). To remedy this situation the authors suggested a variety of approaches including, ‘Consult with Indigenous staff on how to minimise cultural load while maintaining organisational activity’, ‘Recognise and remunerate cultural load as part of an employee’s workload’, and ‘Recognise identity strain and educate non-Indigenous staff about how to interact with their Indigenous colleagues in ways that reduce this’.

The fact that employers have to remain mindful of ‘identity strain’ and ‘cultural load’ should they wish to employ Aboriginal staff to pick oranges might go some way to explaining why Pacific Islanders and backpackers are preferred employees.

I can find no evidence that any of the thousands of academics, government officials and Land Council officials whose job it is to solve the issue of rural Aboriginal unemployment has suggested putting together teams of Aboriginal fruit pickers to gather experience in the horticultural industry. This is despite the fact that it offers a unique opportunity to enable unemployed Aboriginal youths to gain work experience and an income.

Instead, the whole of government approach to solving the problem of labour shortages in rural and regional Australia is twofold. Firstly the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme which, now that Covid is behind us, aims to bring even more unskilled and semi-skilled workers to Australia and, secondly, a decision to increase by 30 per cent the number of working holiday visas issued to backpackers.

It is difficult to accept that no one, from all the relevant expert bodies, has considered using unemployed Aboriginal youths to fill the current labour shortage. Possibly the experts are all racist and believe it is a waste of time trying to get Aboriginals involved in low-skilled seasonal work. Possibly they recognise that the challenges involved in creating culturally safe workplaces in orchards are insuperable.

But the failure to link the two issues of rural Aboriginal unemployment and the desperate shortage of unskilled labour in rural enterprises speaks volumes about the hypocrisy and dishonesty in the debates emanating from people who make a living in the Aboriginal grievance industry. Possibly they are all too busy fighting for the establishment of the Voice to focus on concrete steps to get Aboriginal youths into the workforce. Possibly they believe that until culturally safe workplaces are established, it is too dangerous for young Aboriginals to earn a living.

The endless supply of ‘sit-down money’ has to be replaced by a get-up program which will teach the young adults in remote communities less about traditional culture and more about the psychological value of being able to support a family. The story of Nabi Baqiri, the illiterate Afghan refugee who arrived with nothing and is now a multi-millionaire part-owner of several orchards, should be better known.

He shows what can be achieved in this country and, instead of the hoo-ha of establishing a Voice to parliament, his voice is one we should all listen to.


Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM -- daily)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


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