“Friends, mates and allies”

Scott Morrison arrives around 23 minutes in. Advance Australia Fair at around 27 minutes, with a 21(?)-gun salute. The Star Spangled Banner at around 29:00. Inspection of the Guard and then meeting the crowd, which PDT does appear to enjoy. Bugle, fife and drum band next in colonial uniforms. PDT begins speech at 38:30. The warmest speech you may ever hear a foreign leader give about Australia and our relationship. It’s the real thing.

Scott Morrison follows from around 45:00 in. Also the real thing. “Friends, mates and allies” was said by the President but it could have been said by either.

The million dollar question no one could answer

Last week “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” was filmed in Melbourne and this was the Million-Dollar question:

Who is the Victorian Leader of the Opposition?

Well the contestant who had known everything else didn’t know so he asked the audience. And the audience didn’t know either.

So he phoned a friend. And his friend – a Professor of Politics at the University of Melbourne – also didn’t know?

So he chose the 50-50. And even then he got it wrong.

So I will tell you. From Wikipedia, since I didn’t know either.

The current Opposition Leader is Michael O’Brien of the Liberal Party. He was elected Liberal leader on 6 December 2018, replacing Matthew Guy who resigned after losing the 2018 Victorian state election.

Undoubtedly the only time you will see his name in print between now and the next election.

And why did this come to mind? Because of this article in The Oz today: Victoria’s dodgy power supply is likely to short-circuit everyone. Where, among other things, you may read:

In Victoria, however, too much bird slicing is barely enough.

To entice renewable investment, the Victorian government absorbs the risk, guaranteeing fixed-price contracts for up to 20 years. The size of the liability further governments will inherit has not been calculated.

When it comes to saving the planet, the Victorian RET is about as useful as gluing your hands to the tarmac. As an incentive for rent-seekers, on the other hand, it is working a treat.

The result is more windmills under construction than in the rest of the country put together. Another dozen or so projects are waiting for approval. It means that more than 1500 or so turbines could be fitfully turning in a few years, generating 6600MW on paper at least, larger than the state’s coal-generating capacity before the closure of Hazelwood.

Non-synchronous power of this kind is worse than useless in a crisis, however. It serves only to destabilise the grid.

Not to mention this from the Financial Review: Victoria’s energy plan is a ‘leap of faith’, whose first line:

Victoria’s aggressive wind and solar push will shut down coal power stations and could send electricity prices skyrocketing, EnergyAustralia has bluntly told the state Labor government.

 Just because the place is named Victoria is no reason to drive us back to living standards last seen in Victorian times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

This was not a borderline issue

If you don’t think that stopping the boats won the election for the Coalition you are completely out of it. Adani also mattered. But without both, we would have a Labor Government right now.

Speaking of which:

DEVELOPING: Trump announces tariff-avoiding deal with Mexico.

Pop the tequila and pass the guacamole — the US has struck a trade deal with Mexico that will avert tariffs on imports.

“I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico,” President Trump tweeted Friday night.

“The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended,” he added.

“Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border,” he said.

Related: Mexico Capitulates to Trump’s Tariff Threat, Deploys 6,000 Troops to Guatemalan Border to Curb Migration.

And that will be just a start. Incredible there are votes in open borders for the Democrats, since the certainty of maintaining an open border will be the submergence of everything that has made America the great country she is.

 

Globalisation is well on the way to bringing us to ruin

This is an exceptionally good article by Peter Smith at Quadrant Online whose title provides little insight into what is to come: In Determined Pursuit of Unhappiness. It’s about the way in which our political class is attempting to demonstrate a virtue signalling globalist agenda by selling out the people who put them into office. This is near the start but is only a prelude, but an important prelude to what comes after.

There is a fetish with free trade among globalists. Only heretics object. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade took effect from the beginning of 1948. It was succeeded by the World Trade Organization from the beginning of 1995. From around 10 per cent of world GDP in 1948, international trade has since burgeoned to be now around 25 per cent. The free trade agenda has been driven primarily by the libertarian-cum-classical-liberal side of the political divide. Let me be heretical. There is no well-based rationale for free trade. Unless, that is, you think that maximising the availability of cheap stuff outweighs all other considerations.

Free trade brings significantly reduced industrial diversity within nations. It brings a loss of skills. It brings entrenched regional unemployment and despair. It brings long and vulnerable supply lines which threaten national security. International trade is like cabbage, broccoli and other leafy greens. Some is an essential ingredient of a balanced diet; yet more is very good for you. But they don’t make for a complete eating regime. Let me be clear, the issue is not one of trade versus protection. It is about the extent to which the interests of all of the citizens of a nation are brought into account by their political representatives when they are eliminating trade barriers. The wholeness, integrity and security of the nation-state should not be bartered away for a mess of pottage.

But that is only part of what he is trying to explain. This comes closer, found towards the end:

Globalisation is well on the way to bringing us to ruin. In principle, the remedy is simple. We, the people, need to elect politicians whose overriding goal is to create the conditions which preserve and nurture the life, the liberty and the happiness of the citizens of their nation-state; who will always promote their country’s claims over the claims of others; who, even though President Trump has said it, will always put their country and its citizens first. However, in practice, there is a sting in this tale (to corrupt an idiom). Perhaps, in this current age, most difficulty lies not with a paucity of potentially sound-thinking politicians or would-be politicians. Maybe it lies with “we, the people”.

Seriously, you should read it all.

They’re back but not for long

Border Force officers after intercepting the Sri Lankan asylum-seeker boat off Christmas Island.

From the front page of The Oz: Sri Lankan asylum-seeker bid turns back time. They must have been reading the polling figures before the election. The stats which come with the story notes that in the last two years of R-G-R, there were 17,204 and 20,587 arrivals by sea. In the first year of ATM, the number fell to 160. From the story:

Yesterday’s returns bring to 186 the number of men, women and children from 10 people-smuggling ventures who have been ­returned to Sri Lanka since the ­Coalition came to power in September 2013. More than 50,000 asylum-seekers came to Australia by boat under the previous Labor government and an estimated 1200 drowned trying over that six-year period.

There is then this comment accompanying the story on People smugglers which includes this, almost as a throw-away.

Another boat was reported to have left India in March. It was never seen again and is assumed lost at sea.

There are many reasons to stop the flow. As a separate matter, the notion that large-scale migration is good for the economy is utterly untrue.

BDS in Australia is deeply against the grain

from Q&A last night: Audience jeers over comment.

Tensions escalated after a member of the audience pointed out that the Jewish community faced a “dual threat” from the far right and from extremists.

Tim Wilson said it had to be dealt with from the top.

“I don’t want to see any further discrimination in our country, be it racist discrimination or other forms of discrimination. We’ve got to do what we can to deal with it … it’s something that has to come from the top,” he said.

Mr Wilson then pointed out the Greens supporting the BDS motion (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) was a “direct attack” on the Jewish community.

“I’m going to need to jump in there,” Ms Jacobs interjected.

“Firstly, I don’t actually think that’s Greens policy, I’m happy to be corrected if I’m not true but boycotts are not about anti-Semitism,” Ms Jacobs said.

She said anti-Semitism was about “targeting an Israeli state that is inflicting an apartheid regime,” which was met with furious jeers from the audience.

“You can jeer all you want but Palestinians have the right to live and go about their lives as do Israelis,” Ms Jacobs said.

Mr Wilson hit back at her.

“I need to say very directly that Israel is not an apartheid state,” he said as the audience erupted in applause.

In 1931, even as the Nazis were rolling into Germany, Australia chose as its Governor-General Sir Issac Issacs. It’s still a different country out here. Even among the left, although not among the Greens, anti-semitism is anathema.

It’s not all sunshine

A quite sobering column from Terry McCrann this morning: Tale of two elections: Sunshine state v others. Here’s the nub of it:

The result in Australia ex-Queensland (and/or also WA: it really doesn’t matter for the substantive analysis) is not just an interesting statistical artefact. It is of huge substantive significance, especially going forward.

Now maybe the maths was a little challenging for commentators. But it isn’t actually that difficult. You subtract the 23 seats the Coalition won in Queensland from the 78 it won nationally and that leaves you with 55. Then you subtract the six seats Labor won in Queensland from the 67 it won nationally and you are left with 61.

That number 61 is greater than 55. But for Queensland, Bill Shorten would be leader of a Labor government — with five other supportive lefties led by the Greens Adam Bandt and Zali “real climate action, never voted Liberal federally” Steggall.

The core substantive reality this speaks to is that the 20 million Australians who live outside Queensland actually did vote to elect a Labor government.

And where does that take us. Terry again:

Australia ex-Queensland actually voted for:

● So-called “real action on climate change” and the 45 per cent 2030 emissions reduction cuts and its identical twin insanity of 50 per cent renewables by the same date. And to accept the absence of costs.

● The raft of Labor tax hikes, along with the vast social-engineering spending.

● And of course, a PM Shorten.

It makes an utter nonsense of the sweeping claims from leading commentators that Australia “didn’t want sweeping change, class warfare or progressive ideology”.

Apparently outside Queensland we voted for Labor, and that is a real worry.

My final thoughts on the election

Only now, well after the event, has Lucianne.com run an article on the election, but oddly for such a website, which is designed for people like ourselves, they put in an article from Slate. And as you would expect from such a source, it is filled with wailing and lamentations, which makes it all the more pleasurable for that. And also very misleading, since there really is no sense of why Labor lost. Here, read it for yourself before I go in and make a few observations of my own: What the Bloody Hell Just Happened in Australia?. The sub-head is, “A shocking election upset has confused Australians searching for answers”. Actually, not really all that confusing.

Nor have the American readers at Lucianne been confused. I will select a few comments which seem right on the money.

Another Leftist mistaking their agenda as being the same as the will of the people. I’m bone tired of being thought of as some kind of freak for holding traditional values.

The conservatives Trumped the Lefty Collective “dead certainty to win”, just as they did in the USA two years ago and there is no hint of Russian interference. And the lefties everywhere, as they did with the USA, and Clinton’s 95% certainty to win, are blaming the stupid, selfish, narrow minded troglodytes “especially on climate change” electorate. The lefties would have a great time in elections if it were not for the voters and everything was left to Public Polling and the opinions of their own pundits. The Polls got it all wrong because of the way they went about organizing their “samples” relying purely on “mobile phone” contact since the landlines have just about disappeared, and the phone identification system, naturally attracts those likely to respond to “unknown phone” contacts.: i.e. mostly the young, unemployed or out of school/college at the time. That is leaving aside completely how the survey is actually put to the respondent.

Whenever progressives lose, there is a serious fairness problem. When they win, there is no fairness problem. They could’ve been talking about the Trump election and its aftermath. This entire article is a manifesto for progressives: When they win, the stars and planets are aligned and everything went exactly as it should. When they lose, nothing went right, Armageddon is near and the election is somehow tainted.

Rachel, dear, if you’d get out of your leftist bubble once in a while, you would have seen this coming.

Well, Rachel, perhaps your “climate change, marriage equality, religion, and race” agenda is only an “emerging consensus” with media and political elites. Apparently, Australia’s conservative movement isn’t as “dysfunctional” and “unpopular” as you wish it to be. You have to give the devil his due, however. Even when writing an article stating the truth of what happened, the liberal mind is so disordered that it has to convince itself that the reality it is reporting on isn’t a reality. A fascinating and frightening psychological phenomenon.

This partisan hack can’t decide whether the Labor Party’s climate policies are “not that bold” or are “serious”. Here’s how serious they are: Implementation of their climate policy in South Australia resulted in the highest electricity prices in the developed world and black outs and brown outs the year round. To this day they refuse to admit that putting wind and solar in charge of base load power is problematic. No wonder people don’t want them in power.

This is the summation of what the author had written. These are her own words:

Australia’s dysfunctional, unpopular, conservative government (the Liberal and National parties, currently in coalition, sit on the right in Australian politics) held onto power for a third term in Saturday’s national election. This happened despite the fact that most analysts expected it to lose a large number of seats; despite being (seemingly) out of step with the nation’s emerging consensus on climate change, marriage equality, religion, and race; despite a chaotic tenure in office that has seen three leaders since 2016; despite a threadbare policy agenda; despite many of its high-profile figures recently retiring in frustration or anticipation of defeat; despite betting agencies paying out Labor backers early; despite losing more than 50 consecutive opinion polls. After all of it, the conservatives won the only poll that mattered, in what reelected Prime Minister Scott Morrison, an evangelical Christian, called “a miracle.”

So let me explain what happened.

First about those fifty or so opinion polls. Virtually all of them were conducted while Malcolm Turnbull was PM. It took half the election campaign for voters finally to recognise that Malcolm was really gone, that he would not be the PM if they voted Liberal. Helping all this along was Malcolm’s son who became quite prominent in the news pushing Labor. And really, if Turnbull wanted us to vote for the ALP, that was the last thing a lot of people were prepared to do.

Second, although it has played virtually no role in the subsequent analysis, stopping the boats remained a major issue. While the Libs left it almost unmentioned, it was Labor who reminded everyone what they had on their mind, first through the response to the passage of the Medivac Bill which would bring “refugees” into Australia if two doctors stated medical care was needed, and then by the promise of entry for thousands of elderly family-related migrants. After that, the boats would not be far behind, as everyone knew. Who would trust Labor on border protection?

Third, Labor offered nothing other than more freebies. There was nothing in their policy platform that looked like making the economy work. Instead, the promise of higher wages without any prior growth in productivity looked seriously irresponsible. Neither growth nor secure jobs would come from any of it, which anyone with common sense could see.

Fourth, the raiding of retirement savings through messing with franking credits and even negative gearing set off alarm bells across the country. That was what they would tell you they were doing. There was plenty more that might turn up after.

Fifth, of course, was the green agenda which outside a few fanatics and many amongst those too young to vote, had not only no appeal, but spooked quite a few, specially when the notion was raised that 50% of new cars would eventually have to be powered without fossil fuels of any kind. Fantastic nonsense with no practical application outside the inner suburban areas where public transport is at least possible.

Sixth, unions are no longer the force they once were. The Labor Party is the party of the working class or something. Well, Fabian socialism is now oh so twentieth century. The distribution of income does not look all that skewed. There is still “wealth for toil”. No one is starving on the street, and there are jobs for those with skills, talent and a work ethic.

Seventh, socialism is now rightly seen as a scare word once again. The death of the Soviet Union at the start of the 1990s had lulled many into no longer worrying as much as they once did, but no matter how much the media ignored the Venezuelan catastrophe, people do know what has gone on, and it did worry some.

Eighth, Scott Morrison was an appealing candidate. He may not be a spellbinding speaker but he had a sincerity and authenticity that made him more than credible. He was a personal embodiment of the Judeo-Christian ethic in his professed religious beliefs. He came up on the inside because Labor completely underestimated his appeal.

Ninth, migrant communities are becoming more conservative. As they become more Australian, they are just like us as we are becoming more like them. No one thinks twice about continent of origin, or at least not in the way they once might have. We are not a “multicultural” nation. We are becoming unified as a single national polity in which racial origin have less and less to do with our identity. Yet within this, we are a cultural product of Western civilisation, irrespective of one’s own personal background.

Tenth, and possibly the most important, the problem for Labor now is that they no longer have a platform of reform on which to appeal to the community. There is nothing in their historic role of exploiting every complaint with the promise to solve it for you. They have no solutions and no one now looks to Labor to fix anything since few now think they can. Their record is one of damage and harm.

Keynesian politics

It’s almost always a choice between bad and worse when it comes to managing the economy. I understand how little a modern economist understands about how an economy works, but there you have it. They still can’t work out why real wages are falling and why we have never fully recovered from the GFC, which was more than ten years ago. You might, if you’re interested, have a look at my Dangerous Persistence of Keynesian Economics which was only published in March. But what brings it to mind was the front page of The Oz today: Double rates cut looms as property primed for rebound.

The nation’s housing market is set to be reignited with a stimulus package focused on winding back lending restrictions and lower ­interest rates fuelling economic growth, in tandem with tax cuts and increased infrastructure spending.

A stimulus package filled with government-directed infrastructure plus lower official rates of interest aimed at raising house prices. I can only hope they really do also mean to eliminate the deficit and cut taxes. Keynesian economics is junk science, but unfortunately Keynesian politics is what most people now expect.