Julia Gillard

Too right George, now tell them to bugger off

George Brandis is standing up for freedom of speech in Australia despite the howls of outrage from the left who as well all know are only supporters of freedom of speech if it is speech they agree with.

George Brandis has compared himself to Voltaire and derided proponents of climate change action as “believers” who do not listen to opposing views and have reduced debate to a mediaeval and ignorant level.

In an interview with online magazine Spiked, the Attorney-General also declares he has no regret for saying Australians have the right to be bigots and accuses the left of advocating censorship to enforce a morality code on the nation.

It comes as former Australian of the year Professor Fiona Stanley said climate science had been denigrated through politicisation and denial, and issued a stinging attack on the federal government for the absence of a specific department to tackle global warming.

Senator Brandis, who is driving reforms to Australia’s racial discrimination act, describes the climate change debate as one of the “catalysing moments” in his views on freedom of speech.

While he says he believes in man-made climate change, the Queensland senator tells the magazine he is shocked by the “authoritarianism” with which some proponents of climate change exclude alternative viewpoints, singling out Labor’s Penny Wong as “Australia’s high priestess of political correctness”.

He said it was “deplorable” that “one side [has] the orthodoxy on its side and delegitimises the views of those who disagree, rather than engaging with them intellectually and showing them why they are wrong”.

As examples, he points to Senator Wong and former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who he accuses of arguing “the science is settled” to shut down political debate on climate change. Read more »

The Key to defeat

Luke Malpass at The Spectator has an interesting article on how it is that John Key will be defeated…and ironically John Key’s decision to only provide a lacklustre opposition to MMP may bite him.

John Key is the most popular leader in the western world. Not by a little, but a lot. His net approval rating (approvals minus disapprovals) has consistently been around 50+ per cent. That compares with Tony Abbott at 10+ per cent and Bill Shorten at 8+ per cent. Julia Gillard was somewhere down in the -20 territory. Barack Obama and David Cameron are both around -10 per cent. So why on earth will Mr Key and his government struggle to get re-elected on 20 September? The answer is simple: Mixed Member Proportional.

This electoral system, reconfirmed at the 2011 general election, is a blight on New Zealand politics. In the same way the Hare-Clark system in Tasmania delivered the recent Mickey-mouse, tail-wagging-dog government, so MMP does in New Zealand. It entrenches minority government at the expense of stability and introduces obfuscation where accountability should reside.

The left wing is an assortment of average to failing parties of little support, but group them together and the most popular government and PM in modern history may well lose…beaten by a coalition of losers.

In theory, according to its advocates, MMP is great. As it is extremely difficult to get a majority of the primary vote (1950 was the last time it happened) there can be no ‘elective dictatorships’. Because you vote for an electorate and a party, you can split your vote and elect a local candidate you like, without necessarily voting for their party. Party lists allow highly competent people with little political appeal to be elected. Parties have to constructively get along, and no government can get too far ahead of the people.   Read more »

Corruption scandal won’t go away for Labor

The corruption and fraud trial of Craig Thomson is over and he is staring down the barrel of five years in prison.

Labor may think the problem is going away but it won’t…there is just so much dirt yet to come out.

Anyone who thinks that the conviction of Craig Thomson for fraud brings this scandal to a conclusion, pending sentencing, does not appreciate the magnitude of the deception involved. The five years of silence, suppression and delay around this scandal embroiled former prime minister Julia Gillard, the leader of the Greens, Christine Milne, the Fair Work Australia agency and numerous present or former federal Labor MPs.

Long after Thomson’s conduct was exposed by the Herald, the Labor Party began secretly paying his legal bills, helped fund his defamation action against the Herald, re-endorsed him for the seat of Dobell, deployed large resources to that campaign and suppressed revelations in the Senate. After his re-election in 2010 saved the Gillard government, the prime minister recorded her gratitude in Parliament on August 16, 2011: ”I have complete confidence in the member for Dobell. I look forward to him continuing to do that job for a very long, long, long time to come.”

The prime minister’s droll cynicism fed into a pattern of delay, dissembling, secrecy and suppression.  Read more »

Union corruption so out of hand Abbott convenes a Royal Commission

As the months drag by and more and more revelations of union corruption surface in investigations by the Independent Commissions Against Corruption pressure has been building to have a more fuller Federal inquiry.

Tony Abbott has now convened a Royal Commission to look at union corruption.

Five of the nation’s most powerful unions linked to the ALP have been named as targets of a wide-ranging royal commission on union corruption – in which former prime minister Julia Gillard and other MPs and union officials are expected to give evidence.

The announcement came as Fairfax Media learnt Opposition Leader Bill Shorten had referred to police a secret dossier compiled by a whistleblower that made explosive corruption allegations that centre on the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.

Other unions are also set to be dragged in and the government says construction firms accused of paying kickbacks to union officials to curry peace or win contracts will also be in the gun.

The CFMEU is one of the five unions named in the terms of reference, along with the Electrical Trades Union, the Transport Workers Union, the Australian Workers’ Union, and the Health Services Union.    Read more »

Abbott hooking into teacher unions, removing leftist dogma from curriculum

Tony Abbot’s government is making great strides, not for them the meek appeasement of unions that our government has in its approach.

Their education minister is set to start reefing leftist dogma from the school curriculum.

THE Abbott government will move today to reshape school education by appointing strong critics of the national curriculum to review what children are taught, amid fears a “cultural Left” agenda is failing students.

The Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, is seeking a blueprint by mid-year to overhaul the curriculum, warning that the rise of “remedial” classes at universities proves the depths of the problem in Australian classrooms. Vowing to restore an “orthodox” curriculum, Mr Pyne will today name author and former teacher Kevin Donnelly and business professor Ken Wiltshire to lead the review.

The appointments clear the way for reforms that could expunge parts of the history syllabus that Tony Abbott has blasted for favouring Labor and the unions but glossing over the work of Coalition prime ministers.  Read more »

A study in conservatism

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Mark Steyn writes about the above photograph:

Not everyone at the Mandela jamboree was doing selfies with the Danish pastry. One reader passed along this photograph: No sign of Barack buddy David Cameron, but here are three of the Queen’s other prime ministers – Australia’s Tony Abbott, Canada’s Stephen Harper, New Zealand’s John Key – having a working lunch ahead of the memorial service.   Read more »

Labour parties are the same the world over

The headline is scarily similar to what happened here in NZ.

Labour the world over booby traps the economy of their victim countries.

When Joe Hockey was growing up and dreaming of becoming prime minister, he would not have imagined that his dream would lead him to joining a bomb disposal unit. Tomorrow, he will unveil the first bomb he must dismantle and it is almost nuclear in its capacity for destruction.

At 12.30 on Tuesday, Hockey, who has also been the stand-out thespian of the new federal parliament, will unveil the real horror, dysfunction and narcissism of Kevin Rudd’s contribution to Australian political history, disably assisted by Julia Gillard. Hockey will release the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook, known in the trade as MYEFO, which will show a budget deficit much worse than Labor led us to believe, probably close to $50 billion, debt obligations much higher than Labor led us to believe, and unfunded liabilities that are so irresponsibly crushing the government will have to walk away from many of them. The most monumental folly is the National Broadband Network, whose economic rationale was worked out on a piece of paper by Rudd. The scheme subsequently created by former communications minister Stephen Conroy would cost more than $70 billion and never recover its cost of capital. The Abbott government will have to start again.  Read more »

Busting union ratbags

The Abbott government in Australia has announced a royal commission to look into ratbag unions.

Given the parlous state of union accounts and law breaking here it is certainly something John Key should be looking at doing.

THE Abbott government will establish a royal commission into union malfeasance in the new year.

Terms of reference are under development but The Australian understands the inquiry will focus on slush funds and examine union financial management and financial control.

It is expected to be approved at one of the first cabinet meetings of next year.  Read more »

Coddington on the sexism in the Brown affair

It is no secret that Deborah Coddington hates my guts…she called ma a c**t on Twitter last night. However she has a good piece in the Herald On Sunday about the aphrodisiac of power.

When Henry Kissinger said power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, I doubt he was referring to women politicians.

I’ve had to go back to Catherine the Great to find a woman at the top prepared to risk losing all for the dubious thrill of a roll in the hay.

Len Brown’s no stud muffin and young, sexy Bevan Chuang admitted she only got loved up for two years because he’s Auckland’s boss.

There must have been pulling power swirling around Parliament when I was there, judging by the number of male MPs who had to resign because they’ve been caught – not quite in flagrante delicto but before media could make it messy for their parties. But I never noticed this intoxicating aura which turns boring men into lotharios just because they’ve garnered more votes than their rivals.

Here’s the mystery. Why men? Why don’t elected women leaders risk all for a quick naughty?  Read more »

Someone in Australian Politics who isn’t a ratbag

Australian politics is full of ratbags…in the past few years there have been a parade of them through the Independent Commission against Corruption. Going back through the years you had the ratbags of the Bjelke-Peterson government, then the NSW Labor government.

However…there is one person who isn’t a ratbag and that is the Governor-General, showing some integrity long since lost in most politicians.

Governor-General Quentin Bryce offered her resignation to Prime Minister Tony Abbott in anticipation of her son-in-law Bill Shorten being elected Labor leader.

But Mr Abbott declined the offer and asked her to serve the rest of her term, which ends in March.

In a statement, Mr Abbott said Ms Bryce had offered to quit to avoid any perception of bias. Mr Shorten is married to Ms Bryce’s daughter Chloe.

But Mr Abbott said he had declined to accept Ms Bryce’s resignation, given the length of term remaining, and that the Coalition had a clear majority in the House of Representatives.