Lawless Thugs: Just Deregister The CFMEU

A CFMEU PLOT to “own” the ALP and not “piss-fart” around in pursuit of its desired political outcomes is nothing new; with Labor “leader” Bill Shorten beholden to the lawless, militant union and its increasing threats to replace Labor MPs who stand in its way — replete with one-fingered salutes to Courts seeking to impose the law — the CFMEU is no better than the BLF, and equally counter to the national interest. It should be deregistered.

In news that will surprise nobody, The Australian is today reporting on a campaign by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union to take “ownership” of the Labor Party to impose its “will,” and to replace politicians who get in its way; this is nothing new, and merely signals the continuation of a process that has been underway for many years.

A glance at ALP state governments in Victoria and Queensland (where the supposedly pro-worker CFMEU is costing tens of thousands of jobs) offers ready proof of that.

But the CFMEU — whose objective, ostensibly, is the pursuit of power, not workers’ rights or (God forbid) safety — has been the subject of well in excess of 100 adverse Court judgements in recent years, with millions of dollars in fines imposed against it effectively ignored, and it is impossible to argue that this bastion of thuggery is even remotely interested in quaint notions such as the rule of law or even the advancement of workers’ rights as it claims.

Were the CFMEU bothered with such quaint ideas, it wouldn’t be donating money to every Tom, Dick and Harry who might be able to do its bidding — and deputise for its dirty work — in Houses of Parliaments across Australia; most recently, CFMEU money has flowed to literally anyone it might be able to induce to scuttle the restoration of the Australian Building and Construction Commission, for which the federal Coalition has received two election mandates.

It may be indelicate to point out that the only individuals or entities with anything to fear from the restoration of the construction watchdog are those bent on thumbing their nose at the law and engaging in precisely the kind of lawless thuggery and militant recklessness the ABCC is contrived to stamp out.

Yet the CFMEU, with its long history of delivering a one-fingered salute to the Police, the judiciary, and to any elected government which seeks to curb its excesses, perfectly fits the template of a quasi-criminal lynch mob determined to elude (and even smash) any attempt to impose the rule of law upon it.

The unions do not run Australia. The CFMEU most certainly does not run Australia. Yet as we have seen and discussed time and again, this is exactly the belief that underpins its activities, and fuels the entitlement mentality obviated by the ranting edicts from the apologists for illegal behaviour who form its “leadership.”

So-called Labor “leader” Bill Shorten can bleat about his “zero tolerance” policy toward illegal behaviour by unions and union officials all he likes, but the simple reality — as The Australian notes today — is that Shorten is irretrievably compromised on this issue by undertakings he has given to the CFMEU to oppose the ABCC as a condition for its support of his “leadership,” and has failed to use whatever influence he continues to exert with the union to force its compliance with Court decisions and the (justified) penalties imposed upon it.

There is no “obsession,” as Shorten puts it, with “creating an ‘easy-to-hire, easy-to-fire’ society” on the part of the Liberal Party, although the union delusion that companies run into the ground on the end of union demands should nonetheless provide rock-solid employment to its members in perpetuity is based in a convenient fantasy, not reality, whatever he and they might otherwise think.

And Shorten and others who persist with the fatuous notion of a Liberal Party “anti-union” agenda might reflect that were rancid outposts like the CFMEU to behave as sober, rational and law-abiding entities, there would be no movement to crack down on them at all.

As for “fairness,” this ridiculous and frankly offensive excuse for Shorten’s slavering and pandering to a group that is little more than a criminal gang can and should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.

There is a relatively recent precedent for the disbandment of a lawless union; in 1981, the then Thompson Liberal government in Victoria moved to have the Builders Labourers Federation (BLF) deregistered: an action taken up by the Fraser government federally, and later overseen to conclusion by the Hawke government — a far more responsible incarnation of the ALP than the abjectly pathetic assortment of union-compromised quislings sitting to the left of the Speaker in federal Parliament today.

The BLF continued the long tradition of militancy, violence and complete disregard for the rule of law that for too long has characterised the very worst excesses of the trade union movement in this country, and for too long has taken form in the most militant, lawless (and yes, violent) unions to whom hacks like Shorten solemnly pledge solidarity and fealty in preference to the national good and the benefit of all Australians.

The filthiest dregs from the BLF bucket — including some of those who spent time in gaol for their trouble — were eventually, and inevitably, recycled into the CFMEU bucket where, once again, they sit like a slime at the very bottom.

If Malcolm Turnbull has any spine at all — and if his rhetoric against the illegal conduct of this noxious showpiece of the union movement has any substance behind it at all — he will move to emulate the Thompson/Fraser/Hawke governments’ actions, and move to have the CFMEU deregistered.

Hundreds of officials charged and convicted. Millions of dollars in fines that have either been ignored or paid from vast war chests designed to shield individuals carrying out heavy-handed and anti-democratic activities. It isn’t as if there are no grounds to rid Australia of this blight on the industrial landscape.

And what it simply cannot be allowed to do is enact a root-and-branch takeover of one of Australia’s major parties — making de facto control of that party absolute, rather than virtual — and placing it in position to inflict God only knows what vandalism upon Australia’s institutions and system of laws in its own interests.

It remains to be seen whether legislation to restore the ABCC passes Parliament or not, but even if it doesn’t, there remains at least one avenue for recourse open to those who refuse to allow one section of the community to ride roughshod over the law, Australia’s economic welfare, and the national good.

Just deregister the CFMEU. It’s not as if it has been without opportunity to fix its act.

It has repeatedly, and malevolently, refused to do so. When it is gone, there are few who will miss it.

Dog Act: Scandal A Metaphor For Daniel Andrews’ Government

THE UPROAR over a piddling minister in Victoria’s loathsome state government using taxpayer-funded transport for two dogs is not only justified, but speaks to everything wrong with “modern” Labor and its charade in office: Steve Herbert refuses to resign; Premier Daniel Andrews refuses to sack him. This fiasco is the latest in a long list that marks the ALP as unfit to govern. An election loss, two years hence, is beginning to look distinctly possible.

Before we get started, I should just like to reference the gnome who accosted me on Twitter on Wednesday night when this story broke, effectively accusing me of double standards — something about the Liberals (under Ted Baillieu and Denis Napthine) and Geoff Shaw — and to observe that such a blatantly partisan (and patently brainless) barb could only have originated from the foul brigade that leapt into action at the ALP to defend their maaate by going on the attack; regular readers know I am hellbent on finding ways to improve the pitiful standards of parliamentary behaviour, on all sides of politics.

I campaigned volubly for the expulsion of Geoff Shaw from Parliament; so, too, did the current Premier, when he was a “principled” leader of the opposition. Shaw left the parliamentary Liberal Party of his own volition and was subsequently expelled as a member once the proper constitutional processes of the party had rightly been followed. Yet Corrections minister Steve Herbert will suffer neither humiliation. He won’t even be sacked from Daniel Andrews’ ministry.

And this — for reasons of Andrews’ petulant, puerile and hypocritical insistence that Liberals had no “principles” and were a “circus” in office, as much as anything else — merely shows that the Victorian ALP is unfit to hold office.

It’s hardly as if more evidence was needed to show that, however.

But the scandal that erupted this week over Herbert using his taxpayer-funded chauffeur to transport his two pet dogs from his home in Melbourne’s Bayside to his “primary place of residence” in rural Trentham — 120km away — on multiple occasions eclipses the dubious record set by Bronwyn Bishop a little over a year ago as the most outrageous abuse of parliamentary allowances by any Australian politician in recent times; at least Bishop’s notorious charter helicopter was used to transport a real person (even if some in the ALP trench dispute the fact Bronwyn is actually human), and a person who has in fact been elected to Parliament.

(Regular readers also know I called for Bishop to be stripped of both the Speakership and her Liberal Party endorsement over that, too).

But two dogs?

Those who want to read up a bit on what’s been going on can do so here and here — I don’t intend to bog down on the specifics of this matter, although I do note Herbert appears to have been something of a recidivist miscreant, based on what Melbourne’s Herald Sun turned up yesterday — but to say Herbert should be permitted any option other than an immediate and involuntary departure from the ministry is an understatement.

But bleating about an “inadvertent” error cuts no ice; even a complete imbecile would comprehend that taxpayers do not fund the routine regular transportation of politician’s pets. Herbert clearly fails that test. In refusing to sack him yesterday, now-Premier Andrews — previously (and appropriately) lambasted in this column as “a complete imbecile,” among other fitting epithets — obviously possesses a level of understanding that doesn’t even extend that far.

Offers to make full repayment for “the cost of the petrol” simply rub salt in the eyes of betrayed Victorians who have, excuse the pun, been taken for a ride; Herbert simply doesn’t get it. This isn’t about the price of petrol. It is an abuse of privilege. It is a sacking offence. And Herbert, simply, must be sacked.

Given Herbert traded his ultra-marginal, Melbourne metropolitan lower house seat of Eltham at the 2014 state election for a guaranteed spot at the top of Labor’s upper house ticket in rural Northern Victoria — and with regard to the fact the ALP does not control the upper house, even with lemming-like Greens to prop it up — it remains to be seen whether the Legislative Council, which is already a seething viper pit of cross-party hostility, might see fit to take some form of censure action into its own hands. I would strongly support such action being taken. But regrettably, even if Herbert were to be suspended for a while, in the longer run nothing would change.

Andrews is content to allow filth like Herbert sully and besmirch his government. Unlike Baillieu and Napthine, he doesn’t have the wafer-thin margin in the lower house to imperil his government if Herbert were to go rogue. Quite simply, Andrews is a spineless, irresponsible moral vacuum. Voters are watching closely.

It could well be that either Herbert grows a brain and quits, or Andrews belatedly behaves like a responsible Premier instead of an adolescent oaf and simply sacks him; either outcome would be warranted, although in either case, the horse has bolted: the damage is already done.

But worryingly, this latest obscenity is not the first to be committed by the Andrews government, and nor is it likely to be the last.

This is a government that swore to voters that it could tear up the contract to build a sorely overdue piece of road infrastructure without paying a cent in compensation. The contract wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on, Andrews said. Almost $1bn in compensation and make good payments later, Victorian taxpayers are ten figures in the red — with nothing to show for it.

This is the government that decided, with an eye to the $57bn white elephant desalination plant the previous Labor outfit saw fit to saddle Victorians with, to order water from the plant for the first time since construction was completed almost a decade ago. Yet Victoria has had one of its wettest winters in decades, and Victorian households will pay $14 each next year for a relatively insignificant quantity of unnecessary water. But the Andrews mob won’t learn; last week, it flew a kite around the Melbourne press about the “need” for a second desalination plant.

This is a government that effectively ceded control of the Country Fire Authority to the ultra-left wing United Firefighters Union in repayment of an election debt, risking the loss of decades of firefighting experience from thousands of volunteer firefighters just to mollify a few undesirable union thugs.

It’s the same government that allowed the apparently principled minister responsible — genuinely principled, not all blather and hot air and bullshit — to be bullied out of her job for failing to force the takeover the unions wanted through.

This is the government that has all but ceded control of the building and construction industry in Victoria to the militant, lawless CFMEU (another election debt), whose minions are so cock-sure they run Melbourne that they now spill out into city streets in front of heavy traffic, without so much as looking, in the arrogant certainty everyone will get out of their way.

It’s the government that — despite well-founded community outrage over the so-called “safe schools” program leading to the federal government cancelling its funding — took it upon itself to not only restore the funding at cost to Victorian taxpayers, but which has thumbed its nose at the legitimate objections from parents who don’t want their kids taught left-wing social engineering bullshit in state-run primary schools (and if I sound pissed off about it, it’s because one of my kids goes to a state-run primary school too).

Now, ministers apparently escape scot-free for flagrant and outrageous abuses of parliamentary entitlements, and even the reprinting of sanctimonious rants Andrews directed at Shaw from opposition by the Herald Sun — which could be applied, verbatim, to Herbert — are still insufficient to motivate an appropriate response.

It says something about the loathsome junta running Victoria at present that this list, extensive as it is, barely scratches the surface of the anti-democratic, inappropriate and/or downright illegal machinations that are tolerated on its watch, and any of Labor’s filthy slugs who want to point fingers and engage in name calling are no better than the tsunami of scum they seek to defend.

One will say something nice about John Cain for a change; once the scale of his government’s economic incompetence was laid bare in 1990 — and once the carnage revealed he had presided over a regime that had all but bankrupted Victoria, to say nothing of the mums and dads who lost everything they owned in the calamitous collapse of the state’s financial institutions — he at least had the grace to resign, and to do it quickly, although it goes without saying that it didn’t absolve him of an iota of responsibility.

There seems to be no such weight of principle burdening Andrews, who appears content to literally allow Victoria to slide into lawlessness at the whim and behest of union thugs, ministerial miscreants, and anyone else whose antics attract the protection racket that is Victorian Labor simply because they’re a maaate.

To say Herbert’s pet transport rort — and Andrews’ response to it — is a dog act is a masterful understatement.

But this latest brouhaha simply underlines a reality that Victorians, in rapidly increasing numbers, are quickly becoming awake to: Labor is unfit to hold office, and unfit to govern.

This time last year, albeit three years from another election, the conventional wisdom (which I shared) was that barring too many indiscretions, the Andrews government was set to be easily re-elected in 2018, probably with a sharply increased majority, even if for no better reasons than the inertia of the electorate and the cheer squad Labor unfathomably attracts in swathes of the media (Fairfax, Crikey!, the ABC) that have more influence here than anywhere else in the country, and certainly more than is justified.

Now I’m not so sure, and I think the early signs that Victoria may yet have consecutive single-term governments are becoming clearly visible.

Just as I was adamant Shaw should have been expelled from Parliament (even if it triggered an election, given the razor-thin numbers the Coalition governed with between 2010 and 2014), I gave ample warning to readers before the 2014 election that the shenanigans we have witnessed during the first half of the Andrews government’s term were precisely what Victorians could expect if they were silly enough to elect him to office.

Today — if we’re talking about a scandal involving two dogs — their names might as well be Steve and Daniel. And if calling the dastardly duo “dogs” offends anyone — especially over at the ALP — I would simply observe that if the shoe fits, they must wear it.

Newspoll: Clock Ticking on Turnbull And Shorten

WITH NEWSPOLL showing a consistent four-point lead to the ALP after preferences — and with Essential Research showing an identical result — it is growing clear that the modest swing to Labor these surveys have shown since the July election is solid; only an imbecile in Malcolm Turnbull’s position would conclude a full term as Prime Minister is guaranteed, whilst the opposition leader is likely to be a casualty of his own “success” at some point.

Just a really quick note from me this morning; my weekly commute to and from Brisbane is now finished for the year (thank you Jesus in your mercy!) and whilst this will mean additional time for posting comment pieces, as I flagged at the weekend, today I just want to make a few points on the latest Newspoll — which, by any measure, isn’t much chop for the Coalition.

And I will, at some stage, address the issue of leadership more comprehensively, for I think Malcolm Turnbull is already a dead man walking, and noxious little Billy Bullshit isn’t all that far behind him.

Yet the latest 52-48 lead to the opposition picked up by Newspoll (again) underlines the gradual downward drift, punctuated by the occasional mild spike — like a gust of wind — that has characterised the Coalition’s polling trend that we have been talking about since the beginning of the year; in one sense I admit the timing of one such “spike” to coincide with election day is useful, but to emerge with literally a one-seat majority and keep sinking is hardly a healthy state of affairs when you have achieved nothing of consequence during your tenure anyway.

And this is the situation Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confronts.

Essential, for its part, has settled at 52-48 for most of the time since the election on 2 July, providing a useful corroboration of the Newspoll results, and whilst that particular survey rated Labor as high as 53-47 a week ago, the consistency of these polls overall is striking.

I’m not going to run through every index in Newspoll’s findings — there isn’t time today, and we might do so next fortnight — but in one sense, with Turnbull’s personal approval rating now below 30%, there’s no need to do so: based on Newspoll’s findings Turnbull is now less popular than he was when thrown out of the Liberal leadership seven years ago, and this eventual reversal of the stellar, messianic numbers he recorded both before and immediately after returning to that role a year ago is exactly what was forecast in this column, and repeatedly held up as a warning to the Liberal Party not to entertain the delusion of “Malcolm the messiah.”

A swing of 2.5% against the government is easily enough to cost the Coalition office at an election, and it wouldn’t need to be uniform to do so; the only quibble is by how much. I’d give Labor 80 seats in the lower house — enough for a 10-seat majority — and considering any serious movement against the government is likely to become more, not less pronounced, the prospect of a change of government on current parameters has to be considered likely even two and a half years from the next election.*

Newspoll — having gotten within a tenth of a percentage point of the actual result before the election — has demonstrated yet again that its findings cannot be readily dismissed as “yet another poll;” whether it can or not, Turnbull — who used a run of 30 consecutive polling deficits in this survey to justify a leadership coup against Tony Abbott — is peculiarly a hostage to it, and can blame nobody for using the inevitable bad numbers he was always certain to eventually record as grounds for a similar move against himself.

I think Turnbull is a dead man walking; the only questions are a) when he gets dumped, and b) whether the change is to Abbott or a third option such as Christian Porter or (the treacherous) Julie Bishop.

The so-called triumph at the weekend of moderate forces allied to Turnbull, in preserving anti-democratic processes within the NSW division of the Liberal Party, is a poor look, as is the thoroughly unnecessary debacle over legalising Adler shotguns that Turnbull recently brought upon himself in an avoidable embarrassment that helped nobody.

But Bill Shorten — viewed by some as a great success — is likely to be a casualty of any persistent ALP polling lead, too.

Shorten did not win the July election, and with barely a rise in the Labor vote worth crowing about was the beneficiary of minor party preference rather than the generator of some seismic shift.

Shorten has succeeded, however, in one thing — the complete trivialisation of retail politics in Australia — and whilst he would probably suggest he has taken serious positions on critical issues such as healthcare and education, the simple fact is that the Shorten “leadership” of the ALP has simply been an exercise in shit-stirring to the complete exclusion of realistically practicable alternatives that might be taken seriously by the wider public.

If Labor continues to record modest leads across the polls, the ALP will dispense with its charlatan of a “leader” as soon as it thinks a return to the Treasury benches is in prospect: it is one thing to cause trouble for the sake of it, on dubious points of integrity, but it is another matter altogether to make a serious charge at an election win by offering little more than $100bn in tax increases and a pack of lies to back them up.

My tip is that the Liberal Party will act first; probably in the first half of next year, and if it does, it will be Shorten’s cue to start counting his days on death row: for just like counting sheep, it will be about the only worthwhile use of his time he has made since the awful day Labor made him its “leader” in the first place.

I’ll be back with something lengthier in the next day or so.


*Owing to constitutional considerations arising from the double dissolution election on 2 July, the next election — if the current Parliament runs full term — must be finalised, including the return of writs, before 30 June 2019; this means the last possible election date is likely to be in early to mid-May 2019, so even an election on term is now just two and a half years away at the very most.


Trump vs Clinton: Choosing Between Political Correctness And The Truth

AS THE RACE to find the 45th US President enters the final stretch, it looks increasingly likely America — and the world — will be lumbered with the most unfit candidate to ever hold the office. A Hillary Clinton presidency is not and will not be a triumph, but a disaster; such an outcome is not a victory for women, but a curse upon them. In a turgid race pitting leftist fantasies of political correctness against a potty-mouth, a certain casualty is the truth.

Today’s post is as much an opportunity to “share” as an opinion piece in its own right; as we recommence the discussion in this column I’m mindful there are many issues we have missed, and with a known two-day hiatus starting off the new week, I want to try to get a separate piece up in time for Monday morning readers in addition to this one.

But the electoral contest playing out in the United States offers perhaps the most uninspiring choice of candidates ever seen at arguably the most important US election since Dwight Eisenhower triumphed in 1950, if ever; this election actually matters — not just to the USA, but to the rest of the world — and has become, like everything Hillary Clinton touches, a filthy slugfest between an allegedly rotten enemy that must be destroyed at any and all costs, and a tawdry set of “principles” to which unconvincing lipservice is paid but which are utterly disconnected from the reality of their so-called champion.

At the outset, I want to emphatically note that I am not a supporter of Donald Trump, even if the practical effect of my position could be construed as marking me out as exactly that; on the contrary, I am flatly, resolutely and implacably opposed to the Clintons — be it Hillary, Bill, Chelsea, or the army of quislings who do their bidding — and can more accurately be described as sitting in the “anyone but Hillary” cohort.

Indeed, one of the despairing laments those around me have heard over the past couple of months is that it’s a shame (an almost criminal shame) that the independent candidates in the field, and Gary Johnston in particular, do not seem to have their shit together; the imperative of barring Hillary Clinton from the Oval Office far transcends any jumped-up indiscretions on the part of Trump, but through the negligence and selective amnesia of most of the American press, the sins of the latter seem certain to pave the way for the ascension of the former: with her own, far more reprehensible track record simply skated past and ignored.

The explosive revelation some weeks ago that Donald Trump had engaged, 20 years ago, in what he described as “locker room banter” but which at root was a filthy diatribe about what he would physically like to do to women he found attractive were inappropriate, abhorrent, and distasteful in the extreme, although I should note that a) were he not a candidate for the US presidency, they would never have come out, and b) if you show me a heterosexual male who has not articulated sexual desires toward a woman at some point, however foolishly, I will show you a liar. It doesn’t make it right, or justifiable, or even tolerable in the context of the election campaign, but it should also be noted that these sentiments — tasteless or not — were nothing more than words.

Of course, the Clinton campaign has followed up the salacious and scandalising revelations by producing a stream of aggrieved women with accusations of actual sexual “misconduct” against Trump; curiously enough, every one of these accusations has died out within a few days. Some have been allowed to quietly slip when contradicted by credible third-party witnesses; others when irrefutable proof has emerged that Trump was geographically nowhere near the woman in question at the time the alleged misconduct occurred.

The strategy is simple; operating from the grimy platform of the Clintons’ own debased standards (which we will come to presently), to paint Trump as a monster not dissimilar to the former US President in their own midst.

Just because Bill Clinton is a predator and a monster in his own right does not mean Donald Trump, by extension, must also be a predator on account of the fact he has dared to range himself against the Clintons in an electoral contest.

But if you are a Clinton, this is the mentality that underpins your words and deeds; Hillary is “a champion” of women and of women’s rights, and the “agent of change” who will encourage women across America and the world to speak out about their experiences at the hands of evil men, safe in the knowledge their grievances will be believed and assured that whomever they accuse will have the living shit kicked out of them by society, public opinion, and the law.

It doesn’t matter, in the jaundiced and warped Clinton world, that their own reality could not be more disconnected from this nirvana of women’s rights and the damnation of men at the merest denunciation, however fallacious; in fact, this outlook is a heinous and unforgivable slight upon those women who really have been raped, or assaulted, or otherwise physically mistreated by men who are never brought to account.

But when you are a Clinton, such distinctions are treated with contempt, for the only thing that matters is power: and if that means using a few women as pawns, or trashing a few men guilty of nothing more than a few loose (if grotesque) words along the way, then so be it.

This brings me to an excellent video editorial by New York media identity, former prosecutor and judge, Jeanine Pirro, from her programme on Fox News three weeks ago at the height of the fallout from the initial reportage of the Trump remarks; with surgical precision (and whilst failing to excuse what Trump said in any way, shape or form), Pirro made the case — irrefutably — that far from a defender of women, Hillary Clinton is in fact a destroyer of them; far from a champion of women’s rights, Hillary Clinton is a serial malevolent whose only priority has been to further her own (and her husband’s) political agenda even if it means actively compromising the very cause she has the audacity and gall to claim, po-faced, to be the greatest advocate for that America has ever seen.

Take the few minutes to watch this, folks. It isn’t intended to exonerate Trump, but those wedded to the imbecilic notion of Hillary Clinton as a President who might add any value whatsoever to the lot of women cannot reasonably adhere to such a misguided notion after an exposition of the case against her, laid out with forensic exactitude, such as this.

(That clip is pinned to the top of my Twitter feed, and will remain there until election day in the US; I urge readers who use Twitter to visit me @theredandblue and retweet it to their followers, and to encourage them to do the same).

But more broadly, why are 300 million Americans apparently determined to select a President based on this issue at all?

With the exception of Fox News (and even then, not unilaterally), the bulk of the US press appears singularly determined to simply ignore the shocking record of the Clintons where misdemeanours against women — actual, physical, often allegedly criminal misdemeanours — are concerned.

The complete whitewash of anything remotely negative in connection to Hillary Clinton is reminiscent of the treatment given to Kevin Rudd in 2007 by the Australian press; despite “a rich seam of shit” on Rudd, as I put it to a former senior Liberal frontbencher at the time and which was later validated by events more thoroughly than any of us hoped or believed, the media in Australia had simply decided who they wanted to win that year’s election and proceeded, blindly and unthinkingly, on that basis. The same phenomenon is in evidence in America today.

And without putting too fine a point on it, this election matters, for reasons that far transcend issues of women’s rights and the politically correct railings against an indisputed potty mouth with an apparent penchant for talking dirty.

The warnings by 2012 GOP candidate Mitt Romney about the resurgent threat posed to the United States by Vladimir Putin’s Russia have proven disturbingly correct, so much so that the very real prospect of nuclear conflict over Syria, or over any move by Russian forces into the disputed Baltic states, is now growing; eight years of abjectly pathetic Democratic management of foreign affairs have signalled a weakening of American prestige and resolve on the world stage, with Iran widely perceived to have walked all over Barack Obama in striking a deal on nuclear security that left it open to developing nuclear weapons, and with a plethora of other international flashpoints — North Korea, Syria, and the scourge of Islamic State — seemingly beyond the capacity of the Americans to deal with.

Domestically, the US faces intransigent challenges in healthcare, immigration, crime, the moribund state of its economy, and the haemorrhaging federal budget: all issues for which Clinton has exhibited a cavalier disregard.

And Clinton’s own record — with unresolved allegations of criminality over her misuse of classified emails, Benghazi, and the supposedly charitable Clinton Foundation, amongst others — is seemingly being overlooked by the mainstream media altogether.

It is instructive to note that Wikileaks — curiously, looking as if it wants to torpedo Clinton — has been unearthing an avalanche of damning evidence against Clinton that is failing to register with American voters, presumably because the mainstream press simply isn’t interested.

But what is equally telling is that the Clinton camp and its adherents — who in the past lauded Wikileaks as a “hero” whenever it took aim at George Bush, or John Howard, or Stephen Harper, or a swathe of other Right-of-Centre leaders — is now letting it be known that the document leaking portal is “a disgrace.”

I don’t resile from my long-held view that Wikileaks is nothing more than a criminal outfit: a front for the commission of treason, sedition, and other violations of the national security of sovereign states. But what is good for the goose is good for the gander, and the only thing protecting Clinton is the apathy of the press, which is relentless in striving to achieve her election as President.

In an ideal world, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and even the independent candidates on the ballot who seem incapable of capitalising on the horrendous choice provided by the major parties would all be absent from this contest; it is the most lacklustre field in living memory, and makes the likes of Barry Goldwater and Walter Mondale appear positively statesmanlike by comparison.

And in a final demonstration of the contemptible double standards of the Clintons, their “outrage” at suggestions by Trump that he “might not accept” the election result if Hillary wins warrants a look no further than the behaviour of the Al Gore campaign — aided and egged on by the Clintons — when it dragged the USA through a protracted legal dispute that lasted for weeks when George W. Bush narrowly triumphed in 2000.

Yet whoever emerges, the tragic casualty is likely to be the truth: and if Clinton is elected, the USA and the rest of the world will soon regret the day she was ever selected by her party to run against Trump, let alone handed the keys to the White House.

Trump may have proven little better than a filthy gnome during this campaign, but that pales in comparison to the actual misdeeds of Clinton, and the genuine threat a second Clinton presidency would pose to international security and to the United States itself.

In this sense, the least worst of the available candidates is, in fact, Donald Trump: something it gives me no joy whatsoever to opine.

Yet unless an outburst of reality and commonsense quickly afflicts the American press — and the tens of millions of voters who depend on it to provide a balanced assessment of all relevant aspects of this campaign, and not just the sanitised PC blather of the Clinton junta — then a Clinton presidency is exactly what America will get.

Should it come to pass, then fair-minded and rational people the world over will have ample reason for alarm.

God help the United States of America.


Back In The Saddle: Restarting The Conversation At The Red And The Blue

AFTER A MONTH which has topped off the bulk of a year in which imposts on my time have prevented me from commenting as often as I would like on Australian and international politics — or at all, for most of the past four weeks — those pressures have finally eased, meaning that over the next few months, the conversation we have maintained for many years in this column will resume. I ask all readers, lapsed and continuing, to rejoin us.

I must assure readers that I am perfectly all right and, contrary to some queries I’ve fielded directly, have not pulled the pin on this column; on the contrary, the pressures of time (to which I have alluded, sporadically, over the past 18 months) reached something of a peak last month, and the result of that was to stop — temporarily — my ability to spend the time on political comment that I would have preferred to make.

As I have always been clear about, those obligations related to earning a living (I do have to eat, after all) and otherwise advancing my lot must come first: and this has meant that The Red And The Blue, along with a separate lifestyle-based column I attempted to launch (and which fell victim to the same time constraints), and other personal pursuits have all been pushed down the priority list.

However, having cleared a small set of milestone obligations in another place this week, the notion of “free” time will actually now become truly free once more; and whilst I still have a couple of things that must be cleared on other fronts, it means that I will be able to resume comment on the matters going on around us in the political world at present.

There is, to be sure, an awful lot going on, and whilst we have missed it here, I have certainly been keeping an eye on things as they happen.

Does it come as any great surprise that having lost a referendum vote, the “Remainers” in the UK are now hellbent on preventing Britain’s departure from the European Union from ever taking place? No, no, no. And it should surprise no-one that the unelected EU chief bureaucrat Jean-Claude Juncker is now proclaiming that Britain will “never be allowed” to leave the EU: a disgraceful position that, if anything, merely underlines the importance of the UK getting out and reclaiming control of its own destiny.

The US presidential election is now only a couple of weeks away and, disturbingly, appears set to see Hillary Clinton handed the keys to the White House. Troglodyte socialists, finger-shaking “SJWs” and other contemptible specimens are pointing to some admittedly filthy banter Donald Trump has been found out for engaging in about women, and decrying him as unfit for presidential office as a consequence.

Yet Clinton — variously a corrupt alleged violator of national security, a nuclear war threat for her pronouncements and past dealings with Russia, a Washington “insider” of the worst kind, and a member of this insidious cabal concerned only with its own continuity to the exclusion of the national or international good, and apparently a seriously ill woman — is hailed by these people, lauded even, and her pending arrival in the presidency held up as evidence of some ground-breaking triumph of democracy. It isn’t, and it won’t be, and the United States and the rest of the world will soon enough rue the day she was charged with the most important elected post on Earth.

Closer to home, Human Rights commissioner Gillian Triggs must surely, finally, have her papers stamped; the revelation that she not only misled Parliament, but accused journalists of fabricating reports of her that were proven false by a taped recording of her own voice, provides the pretext for the Turnbull government to get rid of this insidiously biased socialist from the public payroll once and for all. Light will be thrown on the efficacy of Malcolm Turnbull’s government — and the ability of Turnbull to preside over a government at all — by the manner in which it responds to this latest outrage from a Gillard-era relic who has no business purporting to impartiality at all, let alone serving as a public official in the first place.

And speaking of Turnbull, there are signs — as long forecast, and as I have feared — that he simply isn’t up to the job. More of the so-called moderates loyal to Turnbull and charged with the execution of government business have shown themselves to simply not be up to the task (Kelly O’Dwyer, I’m looking at you) and the government itself is showing signs it has learned nothing from its misadventures since coming to office in 2013, and certainly since Turnbull’s leadership treachery two years ago.

Clearly, we have much to discuss, and from this weekend onwards — perhaps a little slowly to begin with, and then resuming some semblance of our usual historical frequency — we’ll start to look at some of these issues in greater detail.

In the meantime, I remain active on Twitter, and you can follow me @theredandblue: it is one of those ironies that just as I have had little time for writing comment pieces in this column, the relative brevity and simplicity of Twitter has meant I can still make some comment as things happen, even if it is limited to 140 characters at a time.

And as ever, the ABC’s loathsome #QandA programme has continued to come in for a melloring on that front, even if I’ve missed the odd episode: even if it’s complete rubbish — and it usually is — it is nevertheless important to remember that if we are to take on the insidious socialism that is slithering almost unchallenged through our national polity, it is also necessary to know what the socialists are talking about, and that particular abuse of the national broadcaster for a one-hour propaganda session every week is an excellent place to start insofar as keeping track of the Left’s agenda is concerned.

I’ll be back, with something issues-based, within the next day or so.