Do as you would be done by

It’s things like this infuriating piece of hypocrisy from the political editor of The Australian that has me thinking about cancelling my sub:

Tony Abbott is trying to ensure his assassination does not mean that all the good he did as Caesar is interred with his bones, but must defend his legacy himself because there is no other ­“Anthony” who will do it for him.

But while the former prime minister has a legitimate right to borrow the ears of Ray Hadley’s radio listeners, he needs to ensure that in delivering his own eulogy he does not stir their “hearts and minds to mutiny and rage”.

Abbott has to strike a fine balance between citing his achievements, defending his name from the “evil” others suggest will live after him — and doing wrong to “the honourable men” who wronged him.

While there is a great deal of sympathy for Abbott among Liberal supporters who want him shown reverence in his demise, there are as many who will not forgive him if he shows he is ­ambitious and fatally damages those who have taken over.

Let me put it to you this way. Here are the issues that matter to me:

  • border protection
  • preventing as much as possible policies being put in place to deal with a non-existent problem in “climate change”
  • finding ways to restore the budget to balance through cuts to spending
  • fighting ISIS

So tell me this. Is there now a dime’s worth of difference between the Libs, Labor and the Greens? So far as policy goes, what difference will it make who wins the next election? The more I see the policies now being put in place by our new Government, policies that were obviously only prevented by Tony Abbott’s presence, the more I appreciate just how good he was and how hard the job he had was. What a singularly rotten crew he was dealing with. In the words of Eric Abetz:

It is understandable that with the removal of Tony Abbott, Kevin Andrews and myself from the Ministry that our core constituency feels disenfranchised and concerned that their views will no longer be heard.

Well it is understandable to me, just not to the political editor of The Australian for whom such thoughts, like the Golden Rule, are far too complex for him to comprehend.

Introverted learning

Boy, do I get this:

The way in which certain instructional trends—education buzzwords like “collaborative learning” and “project-based learning” and “flipped classrooms”—are applied often neglect the needs of introverts. In fact, these trends could mean that classroom environments that embrace extroverted behavior—through dynamic and social learning activities—are being promoted now more than ever. These can be appealing qualities in the classroom, of course, but overemphasizing them can undermine the learning of students who are inward-thinking and easily drained by constant interactions with others.

The “learning environments” they describe would be a nightmare for me. Extroverts often seem like idiots to me. Unserious and generally incapable of really concentrated work. Group projects are also great for the lazy. Fantastically useful habits of getting others to do the work can be the foundation for a lifetime of managerial work in the public service.

This growing emphasis in classrooms on group projects and other interactive arrangements can be challenging for introverted students who tend to perform better when they’re working independently and in more subdued environments. Comprising anywhere from one third to about half of the population, introverts sometimes appear shy, depressed, or antisocial, when that’s not always the case. As Susan Cain put it in her famous TED Talk, introverts simply “feel at their most alive and their most switched-on and their most capable when they’re in quieter, more low-key environments.”

And do I see this:

Many of my own high-school students regularly request extended sessions of silent reading. Some prefer learning with the fluorescent classroom lights off, instead relying on the softer sunlight coming in through the window. Some admit to enjoying the opportunity to work in a quiet room and are eager to write about certain prompts for as long as I let them.

Talking about what you are doing with others is a genuine benefit. It brings out what is latent and listening to more than one voice trying to explain things adds dimension. But it has to be in an environment when it is possible to withdraw into oneself. I have been very fortunate all of my career that I have been employed to work on my own to produce whatever my workplace required. Collaborative is good sometimes, but it hardly needs to be taught.

Progressive internationalism

The deadliest enemy we have is that marriage of the left in general and the libertarian right in particular, best described as progressive internationalism. We few still seeking sanctuary within the nation state are being overwhelmed by these progressive internationalist policies, represented here in this article by George Soros, Europe mired in crisis without a common asylum-seeker policy. A pretty nondescript title, but let me take you to the six recommendations Soros provides:

First, the EU has to accept at least a million asylum-seekers annually for the foreseeable future.

Second, the EU must lead the global effort to provide funding to Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey to support the four million refugees in those countries.

Third, the EU must immediately start building a single EU Asylum and Migration Agency and eventually a single EU Border Guard.

Fourth, safe channels must be established for asylum-seekers, starting with getting them from Greece and Italy to their destination countries.

Fifth, the operational and financial arrangements developed by the EU should be used to establish global standards for the treatment of asylum-seekers and migrants.

Finally, to absorb and integrate more than a million asylum-seekers and migrants a year, the EU needs to mobilise the private sector — NGOs, church groups, and businesses — to act as sponsors.

Got it? Once we have been overwhelmed by their numbers, nothing of what we built will remain other than the technologies we were able to develop. The rest will be utterly swept away in a sea of barbarism. The only part I have never understood is why, other than hatred and envy, would anyone wish to see these changes taking place.

“Steve Kates on Malcolm Turnbull”

If you google, “Steve Kates on Malcolm Turnbull”, these are the first two items that come up:

Malcolm Turnbull for PM | Catallaxy Files
Malcolm Turnbull for PM. Posted on 9:36 am, September 16, 2015 by Steve Kates. Every political … 375 Responses to Malcolm Turnbull for PM. « Previous 1 2.

I would never vote for a Coalition led by Malcolm Turnbull…/i-would-never-vote-for-a-coalition-led-by-malcolm…
Posted on 9:01 am, February 27, 2015 by Steve Kates. Andrew Bolt says that Malcolm Turnbull is about to have his final go at taking over the leadership of the …

The first of these, written just as he became PM, ends like this:

The Liberal Party is filled with others like Malcolm and it is a problem. But here is where we are. There are the 44 who are still in the party room, and there are the Coalition National Party also in the government. And Labor is a disaster in the making of such massive proportion, of the Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn variety, that not voting Coalition at the next election is unthinkable. Malcolm has now got this to add to his CV, everyone in the party room knows the extent to which he is an empty vessel, but the stakes are too high even to think about Bill Shorten, never mind Tanya as PM.

The second, written a few months before, begins like this:

When I used to work in Canberra, our offices backed onto the Liberal Party headquarters, and I was asked one time, even before Malcolm entered Parliament, what I thought about him. My answer was that if I was in the constituency that would decide the fate of the next election, and my vote was the one that would put him in or out, that I would hesitate about which way to go. That was then. Today I would have no doubt.

So here’s the deal. We have the likes of Gary Johns, with so many others over at The Australian, following company orders in trying to convince the rest of us to take the switch to Malcolm as a fait accompli about which nothing can be done, so just lie back and enjoy it. But things don’t work like that. And there are two reasons for me not to sit back and take it.

First, what’s the point of blogging if you don’t say what you want about the things that interest you? I think Malcolm’s political instincts are dreadful and his personal values a disgrace. I am angry he is now PM, and I think the Coalition is less likely to win the next election than if Tony had remained. He’s barely ahead and he hasn’t done a single unpopular thing. Tony only did what was ABC-unpopular and was within easy striking distance. He was a mile ahead in Canning, which is why the coup happened when it did. Tony was odds-on to win in 2016.

The second derives from the first. If we all become pragmatists, then Malcolm and his slimy crew can get away with anything they want, since they can always say that Bill and Tanya are worse. The challenge now for Malcolm and the 54 is to keep us onside who are now offside. You know, there is this meeting in Paris, and then there is the need to keep the boats stopped, and there are lots of other things just as important to people like me. And on this I rate the economy high. I don’t think Tony did get it, but I also don’t think Malcolm gets it, and he doesn’t get it even worse than Tony didn’t get it. The NBN has been my standard test, and Malcolm is a capital-F Fail.

Tony was not perfect, but he was far more perfect than Malcolm. I could give you the list, but I am pragmatic to my back teeth. I take each of those who are leaders and accept that they come as a package deal since what else can you do? Malcolm now has his work cut out for him to convince people such as myself that he thinks our views matter. If he doesn’t end up showing he is responsive to the political wishes of conservative voters, he may find out all too soon how much it really mattered after all.

UPDATE: Alerted by CL, we have this from The Oz this morning, Ousted PM Tony Abbott speaks to Ray Hadley. From which we learn:

“If you judge things by the polls, I’ve never been very popular. All through the days of Opposition my personal ratings were poor, but it didn’t stop us,” the Prime Minister told 2GB’s Ray Hadley in his first broadcast interview since being ousted as prime minister.

“Our politics rightly or wrongly is more and more presidential. You can be not especially popular in these personal approval or disapproval ratings and at the same time lead a very effective political operation.

“We saw with David Cameron in Britain just a couple of months back the British conservative government was behind in the polls the entire time – absolutely the entire five years they were behind in the polls – and then they had really quite a convincing victory.

“I am confident that had I continued at the head of the government that’s exactly what we would have had,” he said.

My view as well.


I cannot believe it! How did it happen? My 2000th post.

It was for the first 1500 just a private thing for me. Now there are others who read it which I am very pleased to see and am glad to have the company. Not many, and this still remains my place to put random thoughts, although I do make more of an effort now. But it is no longer completely private.

It is also just past the third anniversary since I started on September 23, 2012. 2000 posts at 200 words is 400,000. I could have written War and Peace instead. What was the first line: “Well, prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes!” Ah well, too late. Hooked on blogging instead and it’s lucky for us that Tolstoy wasn’t. And I am happy to say that my son is still my most certain reader – hi Joshi. What kind of world will it be when we hit number 3000. Not that far from now, but largely an open plain.

Give me a break

Let me be clear. The Australian had been out to remove Abbott since sometime around March. I, of course, have never paid a moment’s attention to Nikki Savva since I am old enough to remember her when she was writing for the Herald-Sun as the ideological twin sister of Michelle Grattan. Then Albrechtsen went over, so I stopped caring about a thing she said. And there were the usual Labor crew of Van Onsalen (you know who I mean) not to mention Graeme Richardson and Barry Cohen. I would still huddle up with Henry Ergas, Nick Cater, Maurice Newman and Greg Sheridan so it wasn’t a total waste of money. They kept the subscription alive, but mostly I only keep buying the paper because it has two sudokus every day. So for Gary Johns now to add his voice to the rest of The Australian chorus places no additional weight on the side of keeping my own counsel about Tony Abbott. He starts:

To my dear conservative friends inside and outside parliament, I know you are upset at the demise of your putative leader.

What a bad start! What does he think “putative” means? The meaning on the web is the same as mine: “generally considered or reputed to be”. Is that what Abbott is? My leader! What’s he talking about? I don’t have a leader inside Parliament or out. Calling me “friend” , misusing the word “putative” and suggesting that Abbott was somehow my leader represent three fundamental errors in less than a single sentence.

So what point was he making after that false start? It was this:

As a result of the leadership coup, Bill Shorten is less likely to win government.

This is not a reason to knock over a leader others happen to like. You know what else? I don’t believe it’s true. The spill was pursued so that it could take place before the Canning by-election. A government in the midst of its term, that is only down 49-51, is in the box seat. If these political geniuses do not know something as simple as that, they should be cleaned out and another group brought in.

Personally, I think the Coalition is now less likely to win the next election. Their “strategist” Mark Textor thinks they will pick up so many more in the middle that they will not need the likes of us. He believes that for us, and this is probably true, Labor is such an atrocious alternative that we will hold our noses and in the end vote for Turnbull. But then again, maybe we won’t.

But whatever else, he is wrong to think we will shut up. I didn’t vote for Abbott because he is a man of decency. I won’t not vote against Turnbull just because he is a smug, supercilious jerk with a low-grade intelligence, so stupid that he thinks global warming is an actual problem and public spending adds to growth.

For me, the issues that mattered were boats, carbon, public spending (not tax reform for goodness sake!!!) and labour relations.

And speaking of the economy, we have from that indiscreet backstabbing Morrison that Abbott did want to change Treasurers and did want to install him and did want to kick Hockey out. And this is the point. Abbott is nobody’s fool. He was surrounded by a pack of treacherous and devious liars and knaves, not to mention a media that was out for his blood. He did amazingly well in the circumstances.

We don’t know if Abbott is coming back as PM, but he might. The acid is now on Malcolm whom nobody loves and no one has an ounce of affection for (other than himself). But if Tony does come back, it will truly be no more Mr Nice Guy. He has learned a lot over the past two years, all of which will be very useful to someone who once won a boxing blue at Oxford.

Andrew Bolt on Tony Abbott

This is Andrew Bolt’s column on Tony Abbott which you need to breach the pay wall to read in full. But it really ought to be read in full so here it is.

NOW Tony Abbott is gone I can finally tell the truth about him. Folks, you made a big mistake with this bloke.

No, no. The mistake wasn’t that you voted for him.

In fact, you got one of the finest human beings to be Prime Minister.

In many ways he seemed too moral for the job, yet he achieved more in two years than the last two Labor prime ministers achieved in six.

Compare. Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard left us with record deficits after blowing billions on trash — on overpriced school halls, “free” insulation that killed people, green schemes that collapsed, “stimulus” checks to the dead.

They meanwhile opened our borders to 50,000 illegal immigrants and drowned 1200. They hyped the global warming scare and forced us to pay a job-killing carbon tax just to pretend they were saving us.

But Abbott? I won’t go through the whole list: how he stopped the boats, curbed spending, scrapped the useless carbon and mining taxes, led the world’s defiance of deadly Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and made us safer from terrorism.

He even signed three free trade deals to secure jobs for our kids — including one with China that the last three governments couldn’t clinch.

And he did all this in the face of astonishing heckling and even vilification from our media class, and despite often feral opposition in the Senate.

But your mistake was not to care about all that. Deeds didn’t count with you. Image was all.

And so you told the pollsters you didn’t like Abbott. You believed the vicious crap written about him, until his MPs finally panicked and dumped him.

Your mistake was that you couldn’t look behind the flim flam — the way Abbott looked, the way he spoke, the way he walked, the way he ate an onion — to see what he’d actually done for you and for your country.

You even laughed at some of his finest qualities and emblems of his public service. Journalists ridiculed his work as a lifesaver by mocking his costume and body hair. They dismissed his firefighting service as just a photo-op. Wrote off his patriotism as bigotry.

When he defended women, he was called insincere. When he warned that our finances were in strife or that terrorism menaced us, they called him a scaremonger.

And you believed them. You let people treat like absolute dirt a man who had a record of volunteerism no prime minister has equalled — working in Aboriginal communities, lifesaving, firefighting, helping people in natural disasters, and raising money for women’s shelters and a hospice for dying children.

And none of it was done just to puff his CV for an election pamphlet.

The only reason I know Abbott helped people secure their homes after one Sydney storm is that my wife’s uncle asked the head of the team getting the tree off his house if that really was Abbott over there, helping to cut it away.

Shush, said the captain. He doesn’t like people knowing.

Now, I must declare straight up — I call Tony Abbott a friend.

So you’ll call me biased. You’ll laugh that I can write this massive praise of him when almost everyone else is horse-laughing. And you’ll say that’s why I see more qualities in Abbott than are actually there.

But you’ll just be making another mistake.

See, I don’t think Abbott is a great man because he’s my friend. He’s my friend because he’s a great man. Greater than the people who tore him down.

He’s my friend especially because he’s not those things that so many journalists wrote — including some who must have known what they wrote were lies.

Truth is that Abbott is not a thug, bully, racist, fool, liar, woman-hater, homophobe or bigot. He’s not cruel or lacking compassion.

If he were any of those things he would not be my friend. Those are deal breakers for me. Those I love best are people of honour, warmth and kindness.

Tony Abbott is one such man, and that he has been betrayed and deposed doesn’t just break my heart. It makes me fear for this country. I can only hope that Australians will one day wake up to what they’ve tossed away.

Sorry to sound so melodramatic, but here are some glimpses of the man I know — ones that put the lie to the trash that even big-name correspondents peddled about him.

The media and the left are among the people least capable of seeing goodness in others. And it’s not as if these qualities were invisible even to those of us who were not among his friends. If you are part of the anti-Abbott collective of this country, you are part of the problem and in no way part of the kind of humane solutions Tony Abbott tried to bring to political decision making in this country. We are all the worse for his departure. There are some who do not know this because they are so shrivelled inside that they incapable of knowing this. But there are some, thankfully, who understood what a great Prime Minister we had and know exactly what we have lost.

We don’t matter

They are an arrogant and stupid lot. This is Mark Textor, the chap who does the polling for the Libs:

The loss of disgruntled conservatives will be outweighed by the appeal of a more moderate party to swinging voters. “The qualitative evidence is they don’t matter,” Mr Textor said. “The sum of a more centrist approach outweighs any alleged marginal loss of so-called base voters.”

This is actually useful knowledge since I no longer have to worry that anything we say here will make the slightest difference since they will now have half the ABC voting for the Coalition. It’s all free kicks right up to the next election.

MORE TO THINK ABOUT: I wonder if he meant us. Certainly we haven’t been told what Tim Blair was told:

A note from Mark Textor regarding yesterday’s post:

In relation to the quote from me in The Australian that “they don’t matter” and reported in your blog: that was said in relation to a far right wing website (that the author mentioned to me among others), certainly not conservative voters.

My long political and business career, and many public statements and columns, have been built on deep respect for voter opinion, including representing accurately the views and aspirations of centre right and conservative voters around the world.

I would never believe that anyone doesn’t matter in our democracy. They do.

Sinclair is in Chicago so maybe he got the email and hasn’t been able to pass it along.

A FURTHER UPDATE: He did get the email. He has therefore put up a post trying to call of the dogs, Abbott : Johns v Allen, Bolt, Kates et. al. He writes:

When you’re an economist you tend to subscribe to a view that specialisation and the division of labour is a a good thing. That people can be very good at activity x but not at y. This does not reflect upon them as human beings, it is just the way it is. I have often had discussions with people who are better at x than y, but would prefer to do y than x. This are often hard discussions. Indeed I’ve had people tells me this too. That Tony Abbott is a good human being and an awesome opposition leader does not mean that he would automatically be a good prime minister. Frankly, he wasn’t. That doesn’t deny in any way his other fine qualities.

I find myself in a difficult position here because so many people who’s opinions I generally trust are at complete loggerheads over the removal of Tony Abbott as prime minister. Abstracting from Andrew Bolt and Steve Kates whom you have all read let me draw your attention to two other people who have touched on this topic. Jim Allen at the Spectator and Gary Johns at the Australian.

Well, I will reply later, but here is the point. There was this assumption that with the Australian-ABC-Age all on the same side, everything would settle down since there is obviously nowhere else for us conservative types to go. On this they are finding they were completely wrong. They are now finding they have set things on fire and do not know how to get it back under control. And this is the anger when Turnbull has not done a thing to really rile us. Just wait until he does.

[Original post from Tim Blair following many references to this quote on a previous thread.]