Peter Costello for PM

With Kelly O’Dwyer about to vacate Peter Costello’s old seat of Higgins, the scenario writes itself. Peter Costello must become the leader of the Liberal Party and contest the next election on behalf of the Coalition.

He understands how to run an economy better than anyone in Australian history.

He will continue to stop the boats.

He will unite the party.

And as an added bonus, Malcolm has now gone, the miserable incompetent who would never let any partly leader alone until he was the leader himself has disappeared into his fully earned oblivion. There will be no instability among those who will recognise just how crucial stability must be.

I know that politics is a hard game, but there is no one I have ever seen dominate Parliament as he did. You don’t lose the touch. Your country needs you.

Peter must run for his old seat and the Libs must make him their leader to face Bill Shorten at the next election.

Kelly O’Dwyer to quit Parliament

ViA Andrew Bolt.

Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer, has seldom, if ever, laid a glove on Labor or the Greens but, like her protégé, is adept at causing enormous damage to her own side. Picture: AAP

KELLY O’DWYER QUITS

Kelly O’Dwyer complained the Liberals didn’t have enough female MPs and seemed anti-women.

That’s after she helped to ruin the Liberals’ image by backing fact-free claims by MP Julia Banks that make Liberals bullied women – claims not backed up by a single example.

Now O’Dwyer completes the damage by becoming just the latest female Liberal – after Ann Sudmalis and Banks – to jump the sinking ship of the Morrison Government:

Kelly O’Dwyer is quitting politics…

Ms O’Dwyer, 41, who serves in Cabinet as Minister for Industrial Relations and Jobs and also Minister for Women said she will continue on with her ministerial duties until the May election but will not re-contest her seat.

Her resignation is yet another blow for the Morrison government as it begins an election year.

In a statement and media conference today Ms O’Dwyer cited “personal reasons” for her shock move including the desire to spend more time with her children Olivia, 3.5, Edward, 20-months and also husband Jon, 43.

“Family reasons”, she says.

Fine. I understand that. In fact, O’Dwyer’s reasons are precisely why you’d expect fewer women to put up their hand for federal politics. Don’t blame the patriarchy for the matriachry preferring family to parliament.

But it should also be noted that O’Dwyer, of the Liberal Left ,actually looked like losing her once-safe seat to Labor at the next election.

By leaving her resignation so late, she’s given her yet-unpicked Liberal successor little time to establish themselves before the election in May – or earlier.

But no doubt we will once more see her blame the Liberal Right for losing a seat held by the Liberal Left.

Now, with all these Liberal women quitting, remind me again of the argument for hiring many more fighters just like them.

Crossword puzzle knowledge and Donald Trump

There are two kinds of knowledge in the world, Crossword Puzzle Knowledge and then there is Knowing How Things are Done. As an intellectual with a social sciences background, I have the first kind of knowledge, where just about nothing I know or know how to do would be of any use to someone living either a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago or at any time besides the present. And then there are the genuine kinds of knowledge, which are based on the development of our scientific understanding of the natural world that surrounds us, the kinds of people who not only know “germs” cause disease, but are able to turn that knowledge into practical outcomes in real time for real people. Which brings me to this, whose title I have amended to this: Why Intellectuals Hate Trump. Here the focus is on why going even beyond the demented socialists of the left, even among those on the right there is a disdain for the American President.

The anti-Trump right-wing intellectual bristles at a political system that does not “appropriately” value their “expertise” and “superior” knowledge and which, consequently, elevates a “buffoon” like Trump to the presidency—and on the shoulders of millions of those “deplorables,” no less. Anti-Trump right-wing intellectuals traffic in information, the gold standard in today’s world, something upon which we are ever-more reliant. Yet, in this arena, the American electorate defied them and their harebrained “proposals,” offered coercively, not through persuasion. Brazenly so. Thus, they resent the man who smashed their pretensions of politics-as-white-paper-drafting-session and roundly repudiated their perceived “right to rule.

These people are the Crossword Puzzle (CWP) brigade, who know a million things like what’s the capital of Morocco, but not how to actually get things done. The President, who in fact knows quite a lot of CWP forms of knowledge, also knows how things work and knows how to get things done. And the resentment of the CWP types for those who know how to get things done is immense. But sickening.

Hard to work out which of our ex-PMs is the worst but here’s a contender

As a so-called student of history, he could not be more clueless about the actual and relevant history of the Cold War and Joe McCarthy than if he were a student in any Australian classroom today. Here’s the relevant text:

(Xinhua reporter): “You mentioned the possibility of a ‘new’ McCarthyism in the United States. Where could it emerge from? From the White House, from the Congress, form the Cabinet level, from the academy, or just from the local level?”

(Ex-Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd (born 9/21/1957): “On the question of McCarthyism, I am quite passionate on this question, because not just am I a student of history, and seen what happened in the (19)50s in this country, when Joe McCarthy ran riot, and when you had a period where anyone who had once been in a room with a Communist, was automatically the subject to a series of frankly open persecutions judicially sanctioned in this country. …[W]e should be able to entertain a debate therefore in this country and in mine about our own national security interest, domestic and external, without inviting the demons of racism and ideological ‘witch trials’ into the public court”

Meanwhile from The Weekend Australian.

China’s Huawei has tabled a plan to build a massive undersea internet cable stretching from South America to China with a stop-off in Sydney, which experts warn could be an espionage risk.

Australia spent nearly $137 million to lock Huawei out of a major Pacific undersea cable project linking Sydney, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea because of national security fears, as well as its new 5G network.

The move has ricocheted across the globe, with Australia’s Five Eyes partners Britain, Canada and New Zealand all moving to reconsider Huawei’s involvement in their telecommunications networks and reports yesterday that Japan would follow suit.

Why isn’t the party stacked with climate change deniers?

I have dwelt on the 45-40 party room tally when Malcolm was finally booted and have often wondered whether the score was actually: Skeptics 45 – Idiots and Buffoons 40.

In the light of all this, what am I to make of the following [cited and discussed at QoL]?

Cabinet Minister Kelly O’Dwyer has told colleagues the Liberals are widely regarded as “homophobic, anti-women, climate-change deniers” during a crisis meeting of federal Victorian MPs.

As far as the first two of the three go, I am in complete agreement with this:

Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert, a Queensland Liberal MP, said he had seen no evidence the Liberal Party was homophobic, anti-women or stacked with climate-change deniers.

As for the third, Ms O’Dwyer and Mr Robert have precisely identified the problem. Why isn’t the party stacked with climate change deniers, that is, why isn’t it stacked with people with enough common sense to recognise idiocy when it is right before their eyes?

With this in mind, I want to see the list of the 40 who voted to keep Malcolm. Anyone know where it is?

And behind it all is Malcolm

The inanity revealed in the Coalition is something to behold: Liberal deserter Julia Banks fuels chaos in Coalition ranks. What Ms Banks thinks the major issue of our day is remains unrevealed, other than that Peter Dutton should have his eligibility to sit in Parliament tested by the courts. My only wish is that she was right to say that the Coalition had been taken over by “right-wing” forces. Meanwhile, Ms Bishop is seeking to have the National Energy Guarantee restored. Does she really believe global warming is a problem?

The only other bit of news in the story is that the election will likely be in mid-May.

And behind it all is Malcolm, whose empty and shallow policy formation remains possibly the single most destructive force in Australian political history.

Will also refer you to Andrew Bolt who writes Left Trashes Liberals, Right Blamed. Sometimes a big tent is too big if it lets all kinds of lefty loons enter a party of the conservative right.

Political madness on three fronts

I will mash these all together rather than put up three posts since they really are all about the same kind of thing: political madness.

First there is the disaster with the re-election of Dan Andrews, but I am not sure that electing Matthew Guy would have been much less of a disaster. That there was even an election going on in Victoria was something I only barely noticed. Labor will only raise my taxes and shovel heaps of money into useless construction projects – my favourite being the one billion being spent on the new train station at The Shrine. Not only will no one take the train there around 364 days of the year, but there are around half a dozen tram lines that go there already from the city. But if your aim is to create wealth-depleting forms of employment, it’s about as good as anything.

The worry is that our Federal Libs will draw the wrong lessons. At the national level, the name of the game is border protection. I realise that it is no longer fashionable to make distinctions between Australians who want to live in Australia and non-Australians who want to live in Australia, but there is a distinction, and the Libs have got to make it an election issue.

Let me meld this into climate change. I understand that there must be no end of people contributing to the party who wish to see subsidised “renewables” but you have to resist. But while some ideas are crazier than others, this one has a kind of madness that really ought to terrify anyone, specially since the probability of a new ice age seems higher than a rapidly heating planet. But how’s this: Controversial sun barrier technically possible, would be “remarkably inexpensive”.

Spraying sun-dimming chemicals high above the Earth to slow global warming could be “remarkably inexpensive”, costing about $A3.1 billion a year to run over a 15-year period, according to a study by US scientists.

Some researchers say the geo-engineering technique known as stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI) could limit rising temperatures that are causing climate change.

As yet unproven and hypothetical, it would involve the use of huge hoses, cannons or specially designed aircraft to spray large quantities of sulphate particles into the upper layer of the atmosphere to act as a reflective barrier against sunlight.

Total costs to launch a hypothetical SAI effort 15 years from now would be $A4.8 billion, scientists at Harvard University said in a report published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, adding that average annual operating costs would be about $A3.1 billion a year over 15 years.

And the last takes us to the next political sensation in the United States: Fox News has found a new ‘villain’ in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She is hardly a villain, more a figure of fun, someone to laugh at. But I wouldn’t laugh that much myself, since she really does represent the future of a large proportion of the Democratic Party in the US, and of parties on the left everywhere.

In addition to being a Latina woman, she’s calling for bold, progressive initiatives for America that Fox News has deemed socialism. (In reality, Ocasio-Cortez is a Democratic Socialist and is championing issues like Medicare for all and raising the minimum wage to $15 — not the government taking control of all means of production, as we would see in traditional socialist governments.)

Bringing the political culture of The Honduras to the US.

The centenary of the end of the war to end all wars

Today has been the hundredth anniversary of the moment the Great War – now known merely as World War I – came to an end on November 11, 1918. And what I find depressing is how little regard there is for the lives and sacrifices made that century ago. It was probably ever thus. We fight our own battles in our own time. What our descendants will make of what we do a century from now is unknown, but almost certainly they will give us hardly a moment’s thought.

But that is no reason for us not to try to shape the future. There are many a pathway before us whose fulfilment I would not wish to bestow on anyone. Everywhere that totalitarian ideologies of every sort have taken hold they have left a bitter residue of poverty, misery and tyranny. That Australia remains one of the freest most prosperous and open societies the world has ever seen is the result of the countless men and women of the past who have left us the country in which we live, and the ethic of tolerance, independence and self-reliance upon which our social order depends. They have thrown the torch to us. To preserve what we have is part of the debt we owe to those who have come before.

A bit of background on Malcolm

I put this up on line back in February 2015 just as Malcolm was about to lead the knifing of Tony Abbott. Title turned out to be wrong – I did vote for him – but the post was extraordinarily mild given what we now know: I would never vote for a Coalition led by Malcolm Turnbull. A few things to keep in mind if you have the strength and fortitude to watch him on Q&A tonight.

Andrew Bolt says that Malcolm Turnbull is about to have his final go at taking over the leadership of the Liberal Party by Tuesday, so that it is now or never to make our views known (see here and here).

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. The reasons.

Peter Wright For me, national security is the ultimate issue in any election. There are always international issues that matter, and they weigh heavy with me. All but forgotten today, The Spycatcher Trial was one of those moments I do not forget. Wright was an MI5 agent who set out to write a tell-all/reveal-all of the English intelligence service. Margaret Thatcher sought to prevent the publication of his book, and the final determination was in a court in Tasmania, in which Malcolm Turnbull sought to defend Wright and ultimately was successful in allowing the book to be published worldwide because it could be published in Australia. I was told then that everyone deserves the best defence and etc etc, but if Malcolm has ever said that he defended Wright even though he was treasonous scum, I haven’t heard it. I would never trust Turnbull on any national security issue, and there is nothing more important at the present time.

He’s a Warmist Anyone soft-headed enough to take in the Global Warming scam without at least some doubts is not a possessor of the shrewd, sensible, incisive mind I am looking for in a leader. He lost the leadership on this one issue at the time because there are people like me who would never line up behind anyone who believes this stuff needs trillion dollar government solutions to what is looking every day less of a problem.

He’s a Keynesian I once had a conversation with Malcolm over economic issues and mentioned something that I think of instinctively as an issue, the kind of thing Peter Costello put at the centre of his own management of the economy. His response was to walk off. Having watched and listened to him over the years, he has no sense of how an economy works. Given that when he led the Libs he was all set to follow Labor’s lead on the stimulus, and declared that the Coalition would have done much the same, in many ways he owns the problems we have right now.

Useless as a Minister He may be popular with the ABC and others like it, but this is only because he has never done anything of any use that would upset them. If he doesn’t upset the ABC, what could he possibly stand for? What issue has he carried forward as part of the government that has done an ounce of good? If the NBN is his crowning achievement, he has done nothing other than implement Kevin Rudd’s back-of-the-envelope idiocy that will cost us billions and return millions.

He Cannot be Trusted To draw a distinction between himself and the Prime Minister over the Human Rights Commission Report on children in detention not only shows the worst imaginable political judgement, but has him line up with the Government’s enemies. I am a million miles from Canberra right now, but since all and sundry report Turnbull’s treachery, who am I to doubt it. This is a government that needs to survive and win that next election. Abbott is learning how to be a PM on the job, and is actually getting the hang of it. Shame about the wasted first year, but that is now the past.

There is clearly a succession plan in place at the top of the Liberal Party. What may have begun as the second eleven is now starting to function as a very good government. And the PM does not like to lose, and I don’t think he will.

Charge of the Australian Light Brigade

This time they won, and as it says, changed the history of the Middle East. October 31 was the 101st anniversary.

A brief insight into the battle Beersheba 1917. 800 young Australian horsemen who obey the seemingly impossible order to gallop their horses across three miles of open desert into a storm of shell fire and machine gun crossfire. Smashing through Turkish defences to win the precious wells of Beersheba, they change the history of the Middle East.

Picked up at a Canadian website: Small Dead Animals.