CPAC Australia day two

Just a brief post before I put my weary bones to bed after a night of carousing, conservatively, at the end of the second very full day of the very first Australian Conservative Political Action Conference. So overloaded with interest that by the time I was listening to Nigel Farage at the dinner at the end of the night, it was hard to believe that we had heard him for the first time only that morning. The most striking conclusion from the two days is how obvious a conservative disposition is as the way to face our difficulties, and how obvious conservative political conclusions are as the means to remedy the problems our communities face. Centralised fixes for our problems will, to larger proportions of our populations, no longer seem like anything other than ways to make such problems worse.

I will just put up three quotes from the dinner, and then say more tomorrow.

First, from Nigel Farage, talking about the certainty that Brexit will happen because the people of Britain will not let the British political class prevent it (said in an Australian accent).

“We won’t let the bastards get away with it.”

From Mark Meadows, the head of the Republican Freedom Causus in the US House of Reps, in discussing the absolute imperative to fight for one’s principles if we are to succeed:

“if you can’t make them see the light, you must make them feel the heat.”

Lastly, Mark Latham:

Conservatives have been so used to defending the existing social order that they have not yet realised is that what they have now been forced to do is to start fighting against the existing social order.”

The fact that CPAC has come to Australia is not just a sign that we are no longer going to take this rapid shift to a globalised elites-and-deplorables status quo, but that the rest of us are determined to roll it back, and restore the nation state and traditional small-l liberal values to the centre of our political culture.

CPAC Australia first day

The first day of Australia’s first Conservative Political Action Conference was an astonishing success. I cannot tell you what a satisfying day it was, full of interest and surprise, even where I didn’t expect to be surprised. I will only hit what stood out for me, so if I leave out The Reunion of the Outsiders, for example, it’s only because they were precisely as insightful and entertaining as I thought they would be. It really is irritating to be reminded how cowardly Australian television was in not being able to keep all three together for a nothing bit of TV of a Sunday morning once a week.

Tony Abbott came next, who reminded me once more how the most philosophical and potentially among the great Prime Ministers of this country was sandbagged by a narcissistic incompetent without any of the ability of the man he replaced. He discusses what he saw as the essence of conservative leadership, “pragmatism, based on values”. I also thought the advice he gave his daughter when she took up a post in the Australian embassy in China was exceptional. Don’t spend your time learning about China. There are lots of experts on that. Learn about Australia: “You must know about us.” He fears, and I think rightly, that the traditions of the West “are no longer holding their grip”. And he repeated John Howard’s definition of a conservative: “people who do not believe themselves morally superior to their grandparents.”

Warren Mundine and Jacinta Price provided an Indigenous perspective, similar in their outlook but very different in their focus. Both, as I heard them, provided the same lesson: Indigenous Australians need stop dwelling on whatever wrongs may have been done to their ancestors since nothing from the past can be changed, but should instead look to creating the kind of future that can be made for themselves embedded as they are within a Western nation from whom they have a lot to learn given the people with whom they share this continent with.

We also heard from the founder of CPAC in the United States who discussed PDT and American politics generally with a Republican Congressman from Tennessee. An hour of back and forth with among my favourite bits the discussion of “The Trump Whisper”. This is when someone would ask him to come close because they wanted to say something to them – usually, he would think, because they wanted to complain about something in private – but then would say to him, in this very quiet voice, “I really like Trump.” Easy to believe, given how viscious the left is, but, as he noted, it is a problem all the same.

They were followed by Judge Jeanine who was even more entertaining live than she is on Fox. Spellbinding. Terrifying.

Not last nor least, but the surprise feature speaker was Raheem Kassam, whose prominence was brought to the front when Kristine Kenealy tried to get his entry-visa denied. A very impressive speaker, filled with insight, humour and philosophical detail about an issue of the greatest importance – radical Islam – of which he had much of interest and value to say. He also said this, which was an interesting perspective on how times change, that Enoch Powell, yes that Enoch Powell, had taught classics at the University of Sydney when he had been 24 years old, and amongst his students had been Gough Whitlam. No problem getting a visa then, and GW studied classics!

Congratulations to Andrew Cooper for pulling this off. Then tomorrow there is still Nigel Farage to start off the day.

Economic mis-management continues

As it happens I’m sitting at the airport at the Qantas terminal waiting on my flight when there is an article atop the paper about “Qantas boss warns climate hysteria threatens air travel”. Seems he’s not always as politically correct as he is at other times. However, what interested me here was the data on air traffic in Australia:

Business and consumer confidence is weak and there are no capacity increases likely in the near future.”

Unfortunately, with the present crew of economic mandarins on the job, both in Treasury and the RBA, nothing is going to change any time soon, because there on the lower left hand side of the page is another front-page story: “Rate cut likely after shock NZ move”. Here’s the first line:

“The prospect of negative official interest rates is hanging over the economy.”

That they are clueless about why the economy is growing so slowly is clear. Eventually they will be forced to start doing the right kinds of things, but it may take a long, long time and we will go through quite a bit of pain before they’re through. But it does make me ill to watch these people in action.

Trade wars are better than real wars

Via Instapundit, but look who it’s from:

Salvatore Babones is an adjunct scholar at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney, Australia, and an associate professor at the University of Sydney. He is also the author of The New Authoritarianism: Trump, Populism, and the Tyranny of Experts, available now from Amazon.

This is what it’s about: Trump Doubles Down On The China Trade War.

President Donald Trump is threatening another round of China tariffs, this time 10 percent on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese goods that are not yet subject to punitive tariffs. The new tariffs should go into effect on September 1, barring a change of heart on the part of the president or some real action on the part of the Chinese.

Trump’s aggressive push on tariffs has thrown the country’s expert class into a tizzy, with pundits predicting a severe shock to the American economy, blaming the trade war for every blip in stock prices, and warning of the potential for runaway inflation as consumers pay the price for Trump’s tariffs.

Meanwhile the economy is employing record numbers of people, inflation is running well below the Fed’s target rate, and stock markets are slightly up since the beginning of the “trade war” in April. The data simply refuses to satisfy the pundits’ appetite for economic carnage….

Everyone in the trade war debate seems to be forgetting that America had a deal: back in April, before the trade war turned from cold to hot, the United States and China reached abroad agreement on “forced technology transfer and cyber theft, intellectual property rights, services, currency, agriculture and non-tariff barriers to trade.” China apparently agreed to the deal, but refused to agree to any enforcement mechanisms. That’s what happens when China’s leaders try to “save face”: they agree to a deal that is, in reality, no deal at all.

Trump’s tariffs are intended to bring China back to the negotiating table. If he fails, then China will suffer. That’s not in China’s national interest, but China is run by a self-appointed clique that routinely puts its own interests ahead of the country’s interests. What Trump should pursue is the American national interest, and that means doubling down on the trade war. If 1989 was the historical moment to squeeze the Soviet Union, then 2019 is the historical moment to squeeze China. Trump is right not to let that moment pass without a deal.

A trade war is better than a real war, but it’s real enough and just maybe we’re winning.

PLUS THIS: Also from Instapundit.

LARRY KUDLOW: The Chinese Economy Is Crumbling Under Weight Of Tariffs.

Related: “Chinese companies circulating at least $200b of IOUs as real payments dry up. The Chinese property developers are going to detonate.” 228


If their readers wanted news they wouldn’t read The New York Times

New York Times releases a second edition with a different headline after Twitter backlash and liberals announce they’re canceling subscriptions.

Must not say anything even slightly positive about the President. They live in a sheltered workshop in which exposure to reality will drive them crazy crazier. Taken from here.

They would also have noticed that the story on China can also be read as pro-Trump but they’re not into that kind of thing in the same way.

LET ME ADD THIS: Here are a pair of those who had complained about the original headline.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez


Let this front page serve as a reminder of how white supremacy is aided by – and often relies upon – the cowardice of mainstream institutions. 

Nate Silver


Tomorrow’s NYT print edition.

Not sure “TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM” is how I would have framed the story.


Religious freedom is what every religious group concedes to every other religious group, not just what they receive in return

Below is a link to Dr Augusto Zimmerman’s latest article in The Spectator Australia.

The Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, is calling on the Prime Minister to push for new laws to greater protect Muslims against so-called “Islamophobia”; that is, the strong criticism of the Islamic religion. He notoriously states that Section 18C should be amended so as to allow Muslims to receive the same level of legal protection afforded to ethnic groups.

If such an appalling demand were to be attended, then the final outcome would be to outlaw our constitutional freedom of political communication if such communication may be displeasing to the inflated sensitivities of radical religionists. As Fairfax journalist David Crowe points out in the Sydney Morning Herald, “The obvious danger is a blasphemy law – if not in name, then in effect. At what point does speaking out against a religion turn into a form of discrimination that should be stopped?”

Just to remind, this is the same Muslim leader who has criticised a secular judge (Justice Fagan of the NSW Supreme Court) for daring to ask why these leaders often fail to disavow the “belligerent” verses of the Koran, thus weakening the convictions of Islamic terrorists. Dr Mohammed was adamant that Koranic verses can never be criticised by whoever the person might be, including the verses in the Koran that objectively promote anti-Semitism and religious violence.

The rest of Dr Zimmermann’s article is here.

What is the legal and ethical answer?

Let me see if I can put my point in reply this way.

Suppose I start up a blog on some platform and it runs for a few years.

Then suppose whoever runs the blog’s platform decides that they do not like the contents of the blog.

Is it permissible, either legally or ethically, for the platform host to close down the blog and trash all of the blog’s history?

Whether it is or it isn’t, should it be?

If it’s not illegal to say it, it should be illegal not to transmit what is being said

This was from August 26, 2017: It must be made illegal on “social media” to deny service to people who say things that are not illegal to say. Then by coincidence almost exactly a year later, on August 29, 2018, I wrote this: If it’s not illegal to say it then it should be illegal to prevent it from being said. Then on June 10, 2019, I wrote this: If it’s not illegal to say it then it should be illegal to stop it from being said. On July 29, I wrote another on the same subject, under the title: Twitter too. That was followed two days later with this: There is a constituency on the right for forcing media tech giants to become even-handed.

And now I will say it again. This is the problem. The people who run Facebook, Twitter and Google are some of the most powerful people I know. Although there is no doubt about their sincerity in trying to make a ton of money, more to the point is that there is even less doubt about their relentless efforts in also doing all they can to suppress opinions on the right side of the political divide they do not agree with. It would not make any difference which side of the politics they happened to be on in seeing a fault in their program, but in this case they happen to be on the left, and of their intentions there is not the slightest doubt. As in every institution of the left, if you disagree with what they think, they will do what they can to prevent you from putting your views into the public arena. I am at a loss that anyone who believes in free speech should not see this point. If it is some form of misguided right to private property, then I cannot even begin to see the point. Property is regulated at every turn while suppression of free speech is the primary means to wipe out our freedoms in general.

These platforms arose as a promise to connect people up with each other, so millions across the world signed on. And once millions had signed on, it became like the phone company. The service was then not private and individual, but came with the the promise to connect each customer up to their friends and associates. Nor could there be a multiplicity of such businesses if everyone was to be connected to everyone else. Now these same companies, now that they have connected these vast networks, tell us that they will only connect some people, that if they don’t like what you say – legal though it is to say it – they won’t make the connection. They have thus first broken the law by running a publishing house rather than a platform which forbids them to interfere with the speech of those who use their service, and then second, by lying to their customers by misrepresenting the product they originally offered.

I’ll go back to my first post on this: if it’s not illegal to say it, it should be illegal not to transmit what is said. Speaking for myself, I am happy to see some kind of action finally being taken, and it’s not before time.