Category Archives: Politics

Unions have to pay up

The union movement’s challenge to the legality of the Federal Government’s $20 million industrial relations advertising campaign has failed, and the High Court yesterday awarded costs to the Government.

Teeheehee.

Mr Combet said he did not believe that the costs, yet to be decided by the court, would be as high as $200,000.

Either way the sum is likely to only slightly dent the funds gathered by the unions for a campaign against the Government’s planned changes. It is understood unions have raised $8 million and plan to raise $30 million over three years.

That’s a lot of money to be washed out with the tide as the ALP and the union movement try and do a King Canute.

Look up the numbers in the Senate, guys. It’s happening…Australia’s IR laws are moving forward- not marking time or regressing as you would want.

Howard recognised as Statesman

And the left go ballistic.

Margo and her pixies are beside themselves with this news and have penned a letter to the Appeal of Conscience organization in New York

The Honorable John Howard will receive the World Statesman Award for his “inspiring leadership that has made Australia a beacon of democracy, religious freedom and human rights and for his courageous stand against international terrorism,” Rabbi Schneier said. Serving as Australian Prime Minister since 1996, Howard most recently announced Australia’s partnership in the Asia-Pacific Partnership On Clean Development and Climate, an enterprise devoted to addressing the challenges of climate change, energy security and air pollution in a way that strives to encourage economic development and reduce poverty in developing nations.

It’s not a big deal to me and most probably isn’t to Howard either but it is worth the effort and time involved just to read the left’s vitriol. Although, on reflection, the way Howard upsets the left should make him a shoe-in for the award.

Past recipients of the World Statesman Award include Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson, President of the Government of Spain José Maria Aznar, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Republic of Korea President Kim Dae-jung, King Juan Carlos I of Spain, Presidents Cardoso, Gorbachev, Havel, and von Weizsaeker, Chancellor Schroeder, as well as Prime Ministers Prodi and Thatcher.

A small quote from the letter;

Mr Howard’s anti-terrorism laws have targeted Australian Muslims. These laws give extraordinary powers which are intrusive and demonise the Muslim community.

I doubt if Rabbi Arthur Schneier, founder and president, would have bothered reading past this accusation.

NZ confirms it’s irrelevance

Like the cousins every family has that we keep under wraps. NZ has confirmed its irrelevance in the modern world. It would appear that Hulun Cluck is on the verge of taking power again even if she does have a reduced minority.

49% of Kiwis have voted left and I will now just leave them to their own devices. Talking to Kiwi friends in Australia I can only imagine that yesterdays vote is one of the main reason they, and so many of their countrymen are in Australia.

A reader at Tim Blair says it all

The sad thing is, NZ used to be an example about how we could be. Now it is being left behind. The wages gap, and the constant migration of skilled workers to OZ leaves it exposed to the risk of being nothing more than a retirement village used as a transit point for pacific islanders on their way to migrate to Australia.

Sad, but it’s their call.

The Latham Diaries

Early December two years ago I said;

If Martin Luther King had a dream, I have nightmare. Latham leading Australia to insignificence via embarrassment. I accept youth , vigour and aggression but the subject has to be house trained first.

Nothing has happened since that day to change my mind.

Latham was so second class I can only imagine most of the decent men in the ALP squirm when they think how they were snowballed into electing Latham as their leader.

His schoolboy utterences when he was leader are now being recycled without the benefit of any external editing. With vitriol in spades he attacks everyone he ever met, but whereas I don’t think the ALP team are winners, at least they are house trained.

A failed experiment, a blot on our history and an embarrassment. The press need to stop giving him oxygen – just let the whirlpool in his own small mind screw him from the scene forever.

Quotes

From Janet Albrechtsen in todays Australian in an article headed Left unread on the shelf.

They still have not worked out that voters view tired old leftist policies much the same as Edward O. Wilson, an expert on ants, described Marxism:

“Wonderful theory. Wrong species.”

From Mat Price in the Sketch

Ignoring Beazley’s antics, the Treasurer read a blurb from Mark Latham’s forthcoming memoirs, which are said to be less than flattering about his ex-colleagues.

“Maybe you could read it to your children,” Costello suggested to the opposing benches.

Pure Irish Genius

Picked this up reading Samizdata It is very cutting.

As the full horror of Hurricane Katrina sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if this is the end of George Bush’s presidency. The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that every copy of the US Constitution was destroyed in the storm. Otherwise President Bush will remain in office until noon on January 20th, 2009, as required by the 20th Amendment, after which he is barred from seeking a third term anyway under the 22nd Amendment.

More at Slugger O’Toole

NZ Airforce sold

Hulun Cluck sells the NZ Airforce Strike Wing to US company for 150 million dollars.

Alice in Wonderland was never weirder.

Money received for the fleet would go towards the cost of regenerating and shipping the aircraft with the remaining $NZ120 million allocated for developing a “modern, relevant Defence Force”, Mr Burton said.

That should buy a few F18 Hornets.

The sale was not an attempt to ensure a strike force could not be revived, he said.

Right!

And there is a chance the Kiwis will vote her back in.

The Blame Game II

Have just been over to Tim Dunlop for my daily does of senseless vitriol. Aussie Bob is in full flight proving once and for all that no amount of facts will ever dissuade him and his kind from blaming Bush or Howard for perceived ills in our society.

Bob writes:

Imagine if Bush had gotten that bull horn of his (surely there’s one on AF-1), or even gone on TV before Katrina and said “Get out now!”. Like, just after the disaster was declared on the Friday before the storm. He’d have been an effing hero. But that was too easy…

No… he went a strummin’.

Well Bob, you can imagine it. In fact you can do more than that, you can actually read about how Bush got on the horn and tried to get the Loiusiana Governor to order an evacuation and call for federal help well before Katrina landed. She stonewalled and that hesitation added to the long list of stuff-ups.

You can read about it Bob but I know you wont so I won’t even post a link. The Blame Game doesn’t have any rules and facts are to be ignored.

Like most western societies there are laid down procedures for the US central government to adhere to prior to sending in the cavalry. The US laws do not allow the Federal government to just send in the troops, to order evacuations or to abitrarily impose Military Law.

The primary responsibility for dealing with emergencies belongs to local and state officials who are charged by law with the management of the crucial first response to disasters. First response should be carried out by local and state emergency personnel under the supervision of the state governor and his emergency operations center.

When the local authorities decide that the emergency is beyond their capabilities then a procedure exists to call for help. This procedure exists in Australia and we in the military call it Aid to the Civil Power. Well, we did in my time, whatever, the proceure will still exist.

I’m not trying to exhonerate the US Federal authorities. On the face of it the system didn’t work with suffient alacrity to match the size of the disaster and I’m sure subsequent investigations will improve on procedures and that, I might add, should be the aim of any investigation. It should not be an avenue for vested interests to allocate blame against their political foe.

Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagi have a lot of explaining to do as well but I note little critical assessment of their involvement in the tragedy outide of blogs.

Has anyone else noticed the presence of USN hospital and logistic ships now providing support in the disaster area and thought to ask themselves how many days sailing did it take to position these ships. I can assure you that ships of this size still have no “Beam me to NO, Scotty” facilities and thus would have had to have been put on notice well before the event.

I imagine this will be ignored along with the fact that even though the US has only 10% of the military in Iraq, detracters still believe that the US involvement in Iraq is part of the reason that troops were slow to get into the area and therefore this can be sheeted home to Bush as well.

Fine – call the federal agencies to task. They are after all, a part of the procedure, but in doing so look to the local agencies in the state and city administration as well. They too are a part of the procedure even if they are Democrats.

Brogden attempts suicide

FORMER New South Wales Opposition Leader John Brogden was rushed to hospital last night after an apparent suicide attempt.

He was unconcience and is now in ICU in Sydney.

The Australian and News.com are carrying the story.

He was found lying on the floor of the bathroom in his office last night and it is understood he had been drinking heavily from a bottle of gin.

Liberal sources had told The Daily Telegraph that, apart from these incidents, Mr Brogden had also decided to exit the leadership because a raft of fresh allegations of sexual misconduct was set to destroy his career.

They include propositioning women for group sex and harassing his own staff and other Opposition employees at State Parliament.

Looks like Howard was right not to back him.

Politics

The ALP are making some positive moves for a change. Beasley is veering to the centre according to Dennis Shanahan in todays Oz

Labor’s pragmatic new approach will build on policy proposals from frontbenchers to move Labor away from the Left and towards the Centre on key issues.

Good move Kim. Keep it up and you might even make the ALP a viable opposition.

On the subject of IR Reforms Mr Beazley said it was “bit premature”, since the Government’s reforms weren’t yet public, to say in detail what he would be doing.

Good point which the ACTU have missed in spades. Their adds have had an impact on Howards popularity even though they are based on supposition and emotive language. Some people will believe anything that puts Howard in a negative light and others, with little real understanding of politics, will believe any lie that is repeated often enough.

The ALP/ACTU are fighting in the courts to prevent the governments IR add campaign going to air. Well they would, wouldn’t they. Can’t have the people informed on the issue…they may see the value of reforms. Much is being made of the fact that the government is using public funds for the adds. I’m cool with that – it’s an important issue and we need to be fully informed.

As an aside, while driving from Coonabarabran to Brisbane yesterday I was listening to the ABC doing their best to make Howard look dumb. Professor Ian Lowe from Griffith Uni (GRIFTAFE to my QUT degreed kids) has taken over the chair from Garret at the Australian Conservation Foundation. Talking about Kyoto and Australia’s refusal to sign he stated it wasn’t ideological, it was just that Howard was too stupid to understand the science of global warming. He didn’t actually use the word ‘stupid’ but said he had never seen any indication that Howard understood the issue.

Such arrogance and abysmal lack of understanding of broader issues seems to be the norm with professors. The two others on the panel were beside themselves with undergrad snide comments about Howard.

I’s good to be back from domestic duties in WA where I was obliged, by way being the only son, to set my aging Mother in a home and clear up 86 years of writings, letters, photos, books, furniture and paintings from the family home in preparation for sale. Duty done now I’m back home and can concentrate on my interests.

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