The yakka skink and ornamental snake

There is this story on the front page of the Australian this morning whose headline reads: End green sabotage of coal, says Tony Abbott. Here is the key para about the decision in the Federal Court:

It is understood the refusal to allow the mine relates to Mr Hunt’s failure to take into account departmental advice given about the Queensland species of the yakka skink and ornamental snake.

On the other hand, balanced against the rights of the snake and the skink was this:

“This is a vitally important project for the economic development of Queensland and it’s absolutely critical for the human welfare literally of tens of millions of people in India.”

An exasperated Mr Abbott said the federal government ­approval for Indian company Adani to develop the $16 billion coalmine in central Queensland, which was overturned by the Federal Court on Wednesday, was a vital project.

He said if Australia did not allow such developments, “we have a problem as a nation”.

“Lets face it: this is a $21bn ­investment of which some billion dollars has already been spent,” Mr Abbott said.

“It will create about 10,000 well-paid jobs in Australia. And if it goes ahead, it will provide for decades to come for 100 million people in India who currently have no power.”

Letmesee. The rights of the skink versus the welfare of 100 million people in India. That’s a toughie, I guess. Thank goodness for the Federal Court.

Dealing with the red-green faction of the Liberal Party

In the poll showcased by Sinclair, this was the tally that mattered. So far as Coalition voters are concerned: Abbott 41% / Turnbull 21%. Among Coalition voters, the split thus is 66.1% Abbott and 33.9% Turnbull. And would you like to know why? From a few days ago:

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull added pressure by live-tweeting his morning journey by public transport from Melbourne to Geelong — the same journey for which Mrs ­Bishop notoriously claimed a $5227 helicopter bill in ­November. “One tram, one train, one car,” Mr Turnbull said.

My dim and distant memory is that Peter Costello refused the leadership in 2007 primarily because he was not prepared to put up with the continuous white anting from Turnbull. Life was to short so he gave it away, and we have missed out on a great potential Prime Minister. Instead we had Brendan Nelson, who was white anted instead. Then Turnbull, who white anted himself with his incompetence. And how he is doing the same with Abbott.

The red-green faction of the Liberal Party is a major problem, and I just wish they’d stop. The government would be in a much better position if there was less treachery. Abbott I think understands all too well what is happening around him. But you are forced to work with the materials you have. He remains the most conservative and free market Prime Minister we are likely to have any time soon. He’s not perfect. He’s only better than any and all of the rest.

If you would will the end you must will the means

Here’s a story that will run endlessly on the ABC-Age-SMH, not. From Andrew Bolt, under the heading, Will Wong and Shorter repay us? More to the point, will anyone care?

Senior Labor figures, including Bill Shorten, Julia Gillard, Wayne Swan, Penny Wong and Nicola Roxon, have claimed $13,600 in taxpayer-funded travel to address party fundraisers in Bathurst.

The single largest claimant was Mr Swan, who as treasurer chartered a $7981 return flight from his Brisbane electorate to the country town, 200km west of Sydney, in September 2009.

We have a Prime Minister we do not deserve. Honest, considered, sensible, and filled with a wish to make Australia a better place. He wants to stop the boats, which he has done, and is trying to get some rationality into dealing with global warmists. He has enemies, however, and even some of his friends are fair-weather at best. His enemies, on the other hand, never stop and they are not found only on the other side of the House. From a couple of days ago:

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull added pressure by live-tweeting his morning journey by public transport from Melbourne to Geelong — the same journey for which Mrs ­Bishop notoriously claimed a $5227 helicopter bill in ­November. “One tram, one train, one car,” Mr Turnbull said.

That is so much of what this is about, the leadership of the Liberal Party. Go on, take Abbott down. Use Bronwyn Bishop as a lever. But if you do, all the junk you go on about global warming and stopping the boats will be just so much cant. In fact, speaking of Kant, let me remind you of his most useful maxim: if you would will the end, you must will the means. If you think the Green-Left faction of the Liberal Party will give you the ends you say you want, you may find out soon enough just how untrue that is.

“Heads should roll” – metaphorically, of course

At least it’s a start on what needs to be done. So far, it’s only about Q&A. The story from The Australian:

Tony Abbott says “heads should roll” at the ABC after the broadcaster “betrayed” Australia by repeatedly broadcasting extremist Zaky Mallah’s claims that Muslims are “justified” in joining Islamic State.

The Abbott government has today launched its own investigation into Mallah’s appearance on Q&A last Monday, arguing internal ABC inquiries have often resulted in “virtual whitewashes” of wrongdoing.

The Prime Minister said the broadcaster’s decision to rebroadcast Monday night’s program in full yesterday was “utterly incomprehensible”.

“Here we had the ABC admitting a gross error judgment and then compounding that terrible mistake – that betrayal, if you like, of our country by giving a platform to this convicted criminal and terrorist sympathiser – they compounded the mistake by rebroadcasting the program,” Mr Abbott said in Canberra.

“Now, frankly, heads should roll over this. Heads should roll over this. I’ve had a good discussion with the Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, I know he has made a very strong representation to the ABC.

“We’ve announced that we are not satisfied with an internal ABC inquiry because so often we’ve seen virtual whitewashes when that sort ever thing happens. There is going to be an urgent government inquiry with recommendations, and frankly the ABC ought to take some very strong action straightaway.”

The Management of Savagery

A quite fascinating and eye-opening article in the paper this morning by Jennifer Oriel. Her title is, You can’t be a jihadist and a good citizen, but it was this that I had not heard before:

The recent revelation that Islamic State rose to power using a jihadist playbook has offered the world a blueprint of their battle plan. Written by Abu Bakr Naji (nom de guerre of former al-Qa’ida official Mohammad Hasan Khalil al-Hakim), The Management of Savagery exposes jihadism as the centrepiece of militant Islamist plans to destroy freedom from within legitimate nation states. It is a game changer for the Western approach to terrorism.

A revelation indeed. Why had I never heard of it? There really is such a book, with the full title, The Management of Savagery: The Most Critical Stage Through Which the Umma Will Pass. Oriel also writes that “the three-stage strategy of jihad mirrors the method Bolsheviks used to establish the world’s first totalitarian state, and Naji duly acknowledges communists as an inspiration for his masterplan.” In reality, this is a much older battle plan. Any pretence that this is a strategy picked up from communist practice of the last century is just one more bit of subterfuge among so many.

What you are looking at today is a re-run of the virtually unknown Mughal invasion of India, or at least unknown to us, who should do more to find out what we are dealing with. I knew nothing of it until I came across the story reading through Will and Ariel Durant’s eleven volumes on the history of civilisation (highly recommended, by the way). They begin with these words, from which they go on to show in complete detail just how sound their judgment is:

The Mohammedan Conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within. [My bolding]

It is a story being repeated in the midst of our own Western civilisation. It is being exactly repeated everywhere the Islamic State manages to find its way to power. I am not interested in debating theological issues. But I am very interested in protecting our way of life from marauders who undertake their invasions under a strategy that has been their way for more than a thousand years. If you read first Will and Ariel Durant and then turn to our newspapers of today, on those all too rare occasions when someone prints what is really happening, you will see everything that took place a thousand years ago taking place again, right now. Which is why this is important news from today:

The Islamic State has spread its tentacles beyond the borders of Syria and Iraq and has become a global terror movement whose ultimate aim was “universal dominion”.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has opened a regional summit on terrorism with an urgent warning on the long term ambitions of the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, or Da’ish.

Addressing a room full of ministers and delegates from around the region, Mr Abbott said ISIL’s reach now extended well beyond the Syrian-Iraq conflict.

ISIL, Mr Abbott said, now had outposts in Libya, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa, and was seeking to expand its violent ideology into South Asia and beyond.

“We have all seen on our screen the beheadings, the crucifixion, the mass executions and the sexual slavery that the Da’ish death cult has inflicted mostly on Muslims in the Middle East,” Mr Abbott said.

“That is what the death cult has in store for everyone if it has its way.”

Mr Abbott offered an implicit challenge to the view that ISIL’s success in Syria and its annexation of much of northern Iraq, rode on the back of long standing sectarian grievance between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

He said ISIL’s barbarity went beyond any “local grievance”.

“This is terrorism with global ambitions,” Mr Abbott said. “Da’ish is coming, if it can, for every person and for every government with a simple message: submit or die.”

The Prime Minister said IS’s declaration of a Caliphate last year was a “brazen claim to universal dominion”.

“You can’t negotiate with an entity like this, you can only fight it,” he said.

And for those who think we have damaged our relationship with Indonesia, there is this they need to dwell on along with so much else:

Indonesia has thanked Australia for hosting the summit and stressed the importance of nations working together to stop extremism, Brendan Nicholson writes.

“Indonesia views the Summit as an important event in our regional effort to combat terrorism and extremism,” a government spokesman told The Australian.

“We appreciate Australia’s initiative to host and bring together representatives of the region to better coordinate our efforts to counterterrorism, extremism and blunt extremists’ propaganda.”

This is really no longer an area for partisan difference. On this there needs to be the same sense of unity and purpose across the nation as there is between us and the Indonesians.

Annabel Crabbe must now be writing for The Onion

A piece like this has to be satire: When Tony Abbott ate that raw onion it really got under my skin.

It’s been nine days since the Prime Minister travelled to a farm in Tasmania and ate an onion like it was an apple. . . .

It was when the farmer was – literally – showing the Prime Minister his onions that the odd thing happened. Mr Abbott seized one and took a lavish bite, skin and all.

Now: not being surprised by things that Tony Abbott does is becoming a national skill-set. But in the days since, I find that I cannot read or think about anything the government does without thinking of that moment, and wondering who eats raw onions, and why, and what it might possibly mean for the nation that the Prime Minister is one of them.

I know this sounds silly.

No, I wouldn’t say it sounds “silly”. I wouldn’t say that at all. I can’t quite find the word, just yet, but don’t you worry, it will come to me eventually. But “silly” is not the one that I am at the moment tossing up between

Common decency and the Australian Prime Minister

This is part of a story on a murder investigation, but the alleged murderer turns out to have been part of a past incident with our Prime Minister. This is another side to the PM, who is vastly under-appreciated, especially by people who are nothing like him in their common decency.

The man . . . punched Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the face nine years ago.

Mr Abbott was visiting the Thomas Embling [Psychiatric] Hospital on February 22, 2006, in his capacity as Federal Health Minister when he was attacked in the hospital’s acute care unit. . . .

Media reports of the incident say Mr Abbott was hit twice, without warning.

In an interview with an Age journalist . . . Mr Price said that he was the man who hit Mr Abbott, adding that the incident had given him “new respect” for the man who would become Prime Minister.

“I hit him and he stepped back and shaped up like a boxer,” Mr Price said.

“Then he dropped his hands and smiled, and said ‘I’ve been hit harder than that on the football field’.”

Mr Price, who remains in custody, said he had admired Mr Abbott’s self-control, saying not many people would have been able to refrain from hitting him back.

Mr Price’s story has been confirmed by a psychiatric nurse who worked at the Thomas Embling at the time of Mr Abbott’s visit.

“Much to Mr Abbott’s surprise, he realised there was no security operating in the hospital as such,” he said.

Mr Abbott was reported at the time of the attack as joking that “some people probably thought he had a sane moment”.

A spokesman for Mr Abbott said at the time that it was “a matter of complete inconsequence”.

“(The man) did take a swing. He did connect, but to say he punched him is overstating it,” the spokesman said.

[Via Tim Blair]

The Australian and Mr Abbott

The Australian seems ever so gently to be edging towards an anti-Abbott position which may, or may not, reflect the views of its owner, but which definitely does not reflect the views of at least one of its readers. I almost always start the paper with Cut and Paste which, up until recently, had always been written up in a way that matched my own view of things. But of late, there have been a few that have left me completely perplexed, since to make sense of them as a form of irony, you would have to be pro-Labor. Today Cut and Paste was devoted to Andrew Bolt’s deconstruction of John Lyon’s nonsense story on Abbott’s supposed plan for a unilateral invasion of Iraq. Andrew is back on this theme today, and you will have to pardon his French: This campaign to intimidate me will not work: Lyons’ claim remains bullshit. Why The Australian persists with this story, since it was utterly implausible from the start, I do not know, but it does make me nervous. The editorial, also today, critical of Abbott’s statement about the cost of funding remote aboriginal communities, was more of the same.

And just to push the same message along, there is the feature opinion piece of the day, also a negative take on the cost of servicing remote aboriginal sites, and written by the presenter of Radio National’s Drive Program. Naturally, the need to contain costs is as remote from her consciousness as are these various sites.

And again today, also on the opinion page, there is an article near on incomprehensible to me by Nikki Savva, who I normally ignore, about something Credlin wrote to some Senator and the smouldering resentment it seems to have caused for reasons that remain unclear. Whatever it was, she has seen fit to do a bit of troublemaking, whose long-term good can only be for the Labor Party, but may provide some assistance along the way to Malcolm.

Then yesterday, on the front page but below the fold, there was a small but respectful article about Malcolm Turnbull’s speech on the economy and about what a great job he believes he could do to sell the current need to bring fiscal responsibility back. Maybe so, but the evidence Turnbull can sell anything other than pre-approved Labor polices to Labor voters is still untested. So it is good to see another perspective: Hartigan attacks Turnbull on “woeful” record. It begins:

FORMER News Corp boss John Hartigan has launched a blistering attack against Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull for failing to reform media laws, accusing of him of having a “woeful” track record and ignoring regional communities.

The chairman of regional TV company Prime Media Group was responding to Turnbull’s “tough talking speech about the economy” to the Brisbane Club yesterday, which he said was “packed full of platitudes about embracing the future and the need for reform”.

Hartigan said: “Malcolm Turnbull reckons he can sell tough reform, but his track record in his own portfolio is woeful.”

“The Minister likes to talk the talk when discussing the economy, but when it comes to tackling much needed media reform in his own portfolio, I wonder if he will walk the walk?

For Malcolm to think he has been a political genius in finding a way to bring in Labor’s NBN with a mild reduction in the level of pure waste may seem wonderful to him but not to me. Where was he when the NBN was being debated in the first place? A white elephant that will sink our living standards, an outcome on which I have never heard Turnbull say a word. I wonder if he even knows.

But the story is also anti-Coalition since it the Government’s media policy, not just Turnbull’s. Not good. Very not good is all I can say.

Stop wondering and get back to work

Is this really true?

Bishop said: “I won’t die wondering like Peter Costello.”

That is, she won’t die wondering whether she could have knocked over Tony Abbott and become PM, the way that Peter Costello might now be wondering whether he ought to have tried to take on John Howard before the 2007 election.

If she really did say this, she is even more deluded and destructive than I might ever have thought possible.

Peter did not challenge because it would have split the party and turned a probable defeat into a certainty. It was the action of someone who put principle over personal ambition. But this was also after having become the greatest Treasurer in Australian history, leading us not just to years of strong growth where not only did Australia, year after year, record the only surplus economy in the world but was the only economy I can think of ever that had absolutely zero debt.

Meanwhile, Julie Bishop remains a person thus far of limited political accomplishment so far as I can see. On what she personally stands for, I remain at a loss. You should google, “Julie Bishop Islamic State” and then do the same for Tony Abbott. If she stands for anything, I haven’t worked out what it is.

I would never vote for a Coalition led by Malcolm Turnbull

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.