Attention Greg Hunt, you should listen to this

Because we are all self-isolating we have been discussing things online, and then suddenly there was this in relation to a post on the Corona Virus by Phil Ruthven. A quite sensible post I might add, but that is, in this case, neither here nor there. In the midst of our online conversation among others was this.

Sue: I told Greg Hunt not to put Covid clinics at hospitals and guess what? Our first two deaths in Victoria were at the Alfred Hospital where they have a Covid-19 unit and they were cancer patients. Three staff so far have tested positive to the virus and 60 are now in self isolation………How can we function with 60 staff away from a hospital???

Always knew staying at home, ringing the Hotline and not going to either the hospital or to a GP was the solution …… We would come to you.

Me: That is an incredible story. I’m afraid I may not understand why you were in a position to tell Greg Hunt anything. How sensible you were. But why were you advising him?

Sue: Sadly I do not advise Greg Hunt but I just email and ring and generally annoy him and his staff constantly. It started nearly 5 weeks ago and it continues.

He is going to get another call on Monday to close down the Covid Clinics (which I also told him to do) because he cannot guarantee the safety of all other patients or the Alfred as I explained previously.

None of this is rocket science just common sense. I know of one girl who went to the Alfred suspecting she had Covid-19 and went through 5 people before she had a swab taken. That is way too much exposure to the staff. So I will be suggesting if you think you have Covid-19 you ring the Hotline, you do not go to your GP or to the hospital (unless you are very very unwell). We will come to you or set up a drive by and you can go there. We need to be smart because with increased exposure the staff can get into serious trouble themselves. (This is well documented internationally)

We also know of a RN from the Alfred who is not at work because she has had too much exposure – she is not happy. We also have a vested interest as we have a daughter who is a Doctor who because she does General Medicine is on the Front Line and we are very mindful of this. Same goes for all the Front Line nurses and anyone who cares for these patients.

All this sounds ultra-sensible. Why is this not being done in exactly the way Sue suggests?

Super Tuesday: the Dems are not just worried about losing but about losing big

From Why the Dems are desperate to scuttle Bernie.

That if Sanders is nominated, Donald Trump will crush him in November. And not only will the White House be lost, all hopes of winning the Senate and blocking Trump’s second-term Supreme Court nominees would also be lost.

And not only the Senate but Nancy Pelosi’s House could also be lost. And not only the House but hundreds of down-ballot candidates could also lose, leaving the GOP with the whip hand in redistricting congressional seats through the decade.

For Democrats, the fear is of the Harding-Coolidge Roaring ’20s revisited.

And if Trumpists rule the roost in the Republican Party and the populist-left of “Crazy Bernie” dominates the Democratic Party, what happens to the agenda of the establishment?

Today promises to a fateful one in the history of the Democratic Party, and it will answer many questions:

Will Sanders win enough delegates to give him an insurmountable lead for the nomination? Or will he have a good, but not a great, night, winning most of the states, but not a large enough pile of delegates to reach 50% before the convention in Milwaukee?

As for Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who was being urged to drop out and back Biden before he got the first returns on his $500 million investment in his campaign, what did he buy with that half billion? We shall find out today. …

What the establishment wants is for the first ballot to end without a nominee — if that nominee would be Sanders — and the pledged delegates to be freed of their commitments, and for the superdelegates to vote on the second ballot, and for the party thus to be spared falling into the custody of an angry septuagenarian socialist.

For the Democratic establishment, the stakes could not be higher and thus that establishment, after Biden’s landslide in South Carolina, is not disguising its interests or demands: Sanders must be denied the nomination, and Biden is the only one who can accomplish that.

He is also uncontrolled and uncontrollable. He would be the Donald Trump of the left. PDT has taken the US back to JFK’s New Frontier. Bernie would take the US forward to a Venezuelan future. Even mainstream Dems are terrified and so should we all. And you know what’s most terrifying of all. There is no certainty that Bernie would lose.

Donald Trump will speak on behalf of Delta House

This was picked up from Steve Hayward at Powerline: TRUMP VERSUS DEAN WORMER. He writes:

Trump as head of Delta House is actually a lot more accurate than the people who did this parody may realize. And I expect his second inaugural parade might resemble the Animal House version, too, as he ramrods the Deep State lined up on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue.

A bit too premature for me to be picking the result of the election in November, but why not be an optimist? And if you are not familiar with this scene from the greatest movie of my generation (well not quite), here it is.

Bryan Noakes (1930-2020)

The less anyone notices the workings of the Industrial Relations system, the better it is actually working. Bryan Noakes passed away yesterday and this is in memoriam. I will just add that no one has had more influence on my professional life than Bryan who employed me at the Confederation of Australian Industry in 1980 where I continued as its Chief Economist until 2004. And as a personal memory, it is Bryan sitting across the table from Bob Hawke negotiating some agreement. You need a phlegmatic personality and a cast-iron constitution to sit through such moments – which I do not have – without getting angry but just get back into it for hours on end. Bryan did enormous amounts on behalf of this country that no one outside a small group within the “Industrial Relations Club” will ever have the slightest idea about.

One of Australia’s leading employer advocates both nationally and internationally, Bryan Noakes, died on Tuesday at the age of 89 after years of ill-health.

Noakes served in leading and senior positions with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and its predecessors from the 1960s through to the early 2000s.

In 2001, when he retired as ACCI’s director-general (industrial), he said the highlights of his career had been the achievement of labour market reforms in the 1980s and 1990s and steering the Confederation of Australian Industry’s 1991 landmark policy shift away from support for a centralised IR system.

His ACCI successor Peter Anderson, now a Fair Work Commission deputy president, said Noakes’ contribution to the national IR system had been formidable.

Even after his retirement he had continued to be a source of counsel to many, “myself included”.

“He was a serious man but did not take himself too seriously,” Anderson said.

“With his passing, and that of Bob Hawke and George Polites in the same 12-month-period, it is the end of an era of three industrial relations giants of our past generation.”

Bryan Noakes joined the Australian Council of Employers’ Federations (ACEF) in the early 1960s as an IR advisor on major construction projects, after cutting his teeth on the Snowy Mountains hydroelectricity project.

He eventually became the director-general of the Confederation of Australian Industry (which succeeded the ACEF) after the retirement of George Polites in 1983 and continued in a leading role with the formation of ACCI in 1992.

In a statement this week, ACCI described Noakes as a “significant, respected and well-liked figure across the political and industrial divide”.

He had worked “tirelessly” to represent the business community over a period of profound challenges in Australian industrial relations and resulting legislative reform under the Hawke, Keating and Howard governments.

Another FWC member and ACCI colleague, Deputy President Reg Hamilton, said Noakes’ advocacy had played a major role in tribunal decisions and the major legislative changes of 1988, 1993 and 1996.

“He was able to judge proportionality well and avoided the obvious mistakes of appeasement or extremism.

“He also had good personal relationships with nearly everyone.”

While Noakes retired from ACCI in 2001, he completed his term (in 2004) as a member of the governing body of the International Labour Organisation, representing Asia-Pacific employers.

Deputy President Anderson said it was in the international arena where Noakes’ “star shined most brightly” and his “patient but firm advocacy” prompted governments to improve law and practice on industrial issues.

In its statement ACCI said Noakes won recognition for his significant work protecting the fundamental rights of both employers and trade unionists throughout the world through the ILO’s Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA) and had been instrumental in the creation of an employer voice for the Asia Pacific region, through the Confederation of Asia Pacific Employers (CAPE).

ACCI workplace relations director Scott Barklamb said the perspectives Noakes developed from four decades at the peak of Australian and global IR continued to inform the work of ACCI.

“Union and employer colleagues throughout the world ask after Bryan to this day and express their profound respect and appreciation for his work, particularly as a leading figure in the ILO’s Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA).”

In 2003 Noakes became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his “service to industrial relations in Australia and overseas through policy development, fostering improved relations between employers and employees and as an expert in the area of international labour law” (see Related Article).

In February last year he attended a memorial celebration following the death of his former colleague and leader George Polites who he described as an influential figure who “always had a solution and it always worked”.

Just three months later he was paying tribute to another contemporary, former Prime Minister and ACTU secretary Bob Hawke.

“It is a cause for pause and reflection that two of our nation’s greatest industrial figures, Bob Hawke and George Polites respected differences, found common interest and have now passed at grand ages within months of each other,” he said in a personal statement following Hawke’s death.

Australia’s bushfires all you need to know

This is dead on: Media more destructive than fires:

Just like many other people I know, I have been inundated by messages from family and friends overseas, inquiring about my safety, having been terrified by the media reports of what seemed like an environmental armageddon engulfing the entire country….

Watching the hysterical and over-sensationalised coverage overseas has convinced many that the very existence of the nation is at stake. And the social media, if anything, has been even worse, with a number of completely misleading maps and photos exaggerating the extent of the affected areas by two-figure factors. As I pointed out, indeed the area the size of the state of Kentucky has been burned out, but unlike most other places on Earth, certainly in the developed world, Australia fits in nearly eighty Kentuckys, most of them pretty empty of human presence and activity.

Media sensationalises at the best of times in a never-ending quest for more eyeballs (“if it bleeds it leads”, or, in this case, “if it’s on fire, we’re on fire”) but the intersection of a large scale natural disaster with the “climate crisis” activism has generated a truly terrifying inferno of human passions where news becomes propaganda and the narrative trumps the objectivity. A significant proportion of the population – and the majority in the media – want to see the fires as Gaia’s wrath, with the disaster turning into green porn to terrify, titillate and agitate. Tourism has now become one of the casualties of this rhetorical excess, a collateral damage to the pursuit of a political agenda. This crisis is very much man-made and the economic pain unnecessarily inflicted on a whole industry because you wanted to make as terrible a point as possible will hang around your necks like a charred albatross, dear green activists on the streets and those masquerading as journalists.


Not to mention:

More like Craig Kelly needed

There is then the Turnbull wing of the Coalition which seems to cover around half the party. Which brings us to this in the Oz today: Bushfires: Scott Morrison courts states for fire inquiry. What exactly was the “trainwreck”here?

Amid international media criticism of Australia’s emissions policies, Mr Morrison also warned his MPs off interviews with overseas media outlets — a reference to Liberal back­bencher Craig Kelly’s trainwreck British TV interview in which he was attacked as a climate change denier.

This is the trainwreck:

Mr Kelly traded barbs with Laura Tobin and co-host Piers Morgan on the Good Morning Britain television program on Monday where he was accused of being a “climate denier” by the hosts over his views on the effect of global warming on Australia’s bushfire crisis.

Mr Kelly accused Tobin of being an “ignorant Pommy weather girl” in the now-deleted post and said that he “might have to send her some of the published peer-reviewed scientific papers on Australia’s weather.”

She sounds like just another standard-issue cookie-cutter climate alarmist. They are everywhere with nothing to show for it other than a failure to deal with actual environmental problems that have made the bushfires this year so devastating. She would be absolutely impervious to any peer-reviewed scientific papers or indeed, any evidence at all. Happily blighting the lives of billions across the planet because of some conjectures about the future trends in the weather. We need more Craig Kellys around to put the acid on to see if we can prevent a collapse of our economies while the cost of energy goes through the roof.

An Australian Wilderness of Mirrors

I read Wilderness of Mirrors a long time ago, after I had previously read CIA Diary and have been fascinated by the world of espionage ever since. So I will say this: whatever may be the truth or otherwise about Wang Liqiang who describes himself as a Chinese operative in Australia, this cannot yet be known to be true: Wang Liqiang: Beijing bit player at best as cloak-and-dagger claims fall away.

Wang claimed to have interfered with elections in Taiwan, ­infiltrated the student movement in Hong Kong and played a role in the kidnapping of the Causeway Bay Five, a group of Hong Kong booksellers snatched from Hong Kong and rendered to the Chinese mainland.

But five days on and multiple security sources have told The Weekend Australian the consensus view inside the security establishment is that while Wang’s claims are still being investigated, he is not the high-level operative-turned-defector he claimed to be. The Chinese Foreign Ministry was quick to denounce Wang, at the same time offering breezy assurances that China would never dream of meddling in the affairs of another state.

So think of this:

Australian Strategic Policy ­Institute executive director Peter Jennings said Wang’s confession had given Australian agencies an unprecedented insight into ­Beijing’s espionage activities. “We have, for the first time, direct and clear understandings from a ­Chinese intelligence operator himself about what China is doing in this country,” he said.

Liberal MP Andrew Hastie, who was involved in brokering Wang’s contact with ASIO and who appeared on the 60 Minutes broadcast, called him “a friend of democracy’’. “Anyone who’s willing to assist us in defending our sovereignty deserves our protection,” Hastie said.

The one possibility that can almost certainly be discounted is that Wang was sent by the Chinese themselves as a form of misdirection. That he was a bit player is no reason not to take him seriously. The question is whether he is a fantasist with no genuine knowledge or insight into anything of the Chinese spy apparatus. One way or another you will not know within a week. Let me finish with this from the case against:

“It is highly unusual for one junior intelligence operative (our assumption given his current 27 years of age) to play a big role in all these high-profile operations in different jurisdictions in a short period of time,’’ wrote Adam Ni, a researcher from Macquarie University and co-editor of China ­Neican, a newsletter aimed at ­“decoding” Chinese politics.

AND NOW THIS ALSO AT THE OZ: Security agencies wary of Andrew Hastie’s asylum call for ‘spy’. Let me just say that no one is going to do anything about our China policy no matter what is discovered based on this chap, one way or the other. But there is nothing wrong either with the story being given a public airing either. This is from the latest effort to downplay this issue.

Concerns have been raised at senior levels of Australia’s intelligence and security community about Liberal MP Andrew Hastie’s call for an alleged former Chinese spy to be granted asylum ahead of the formal assessing of his case.

Mr Hastie, who carries auth­ority as chairman of the federal parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security, was quick to urge the Morrison government to give Wang Liqiang its “protection” as the first Chinese operative to blow his cover.

The West Australian Liberal, a former Special Air Service Regiment captain, is supported by China watchers who back his persistent criticism of Beijing for meddling in the sovereign affairs of other nations, and for its human rights record.

Top intelligence sources say an ASIO assessment could conclude Mr Wang is a former Beijing agent, as he claims, with intimate knowledge of covert Chinese operations in Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. But they also told The Weekend Australian, while not discounting Mr Hastie’s views, that the 27-year-old’s behaviour was highly unusual.

It might just be worth mentioning that nothing of any significance has ever been revealed that showed Joe McCarthy was anything other than 99% correct in everything he had said. We have enemies and they really do want to do us harm.

Here’s the question

From Instapundit.

JOEL KOTKIN: Will Australia Become A Vassal State of China? “China presents the most profound challenge to liberal values since the end of the Cold War, a development that has caught our consistently lame political establishment by surprise. The leaders of both parties, and much of the corporate America, never saw it coming.”

Well, what’s the answer? Might just add that that the article says nothing specifically about Australia.

Here was the best comment at Instapundit.

So long as the American people keep voting for four dollars of government for every three dollars they are willing to be taxed, and China has the economic strength to fund large proportions of that debt, the United States, fundamentally, cannot oppose her.

Or to put it this way:

Selling coal
along with our soul,
Is the government’s role
on the whole.

Helping friends

I see from the front page of the SMH that “PM under pressure on Trump inquiry”. First para:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is being urged to provide “clear answers” about his offer to assist a divisive United States inquiry into the FBI after he confirmed a phone call from US President Donald Trump seeking support.

Well you know the usual suspects who are raising all this, the usual liars and fools on the left that is unable to cope with actual honest policy for the first time in our lives. They want to get back to the good old days of thievery and graft.

Yesterday I was reading about how the Labor Party had involved itself in the American election in 2016, and you will never guess which candidate they sought to help: Bernie Sanders. That is where the ALP really is, and it should scare the daylights out of anyone.

“The Australian Government will use its best endeavors”

Further to the earlier story on Australian providing assistance to PDT we now have this: Letter From Australian Official Emerges That Casts Doubt On Report From New York Times. Just by being from the New York Times is enough to cast doubt on the report. But this is the detail. It’s a letter from Joe Hockey. See how much reluctance there was in attempting to fulfil this request. It’s dated May 28, 2019.

Dear Attorney General,

I refer to President Trump’s announcement on 24 May that you will investigate the origins of the Federal Bureau of Investigations probe into Russian links to the 2016 US election.

I note that the President referred to Australia, the United Kingdom and the Ukraine as potential stakeholders. Moreover, I note that he has declassified intelligence material to support your investigation.

The Australian Government will use its best endeavors to support your efforts in this matter. While Australia’s former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, The Hon. Alexander Downer, is no longer employed by the government, we stand ready to provide you with all the relevant information to support your inquiries.

The Acting White House Chief of Staff, The Honorable Michael Mulvaney, has been copied on this letter.

Yours sincerely,

The Hon Joe Hockey

Follows from this:

In May, Trump said of Barr: “And I hope he looks at the U.K., and I hope he looks at Australia, and I hope he looks at Ukraine. I hope he looks at everything because there was a hoax that was perpetrated on our country.”

It’s not just good to know who your friends are, but also good that your friends know you really are their friends.

And there’s much more here. Insane, but par for the course on the left.