Memo Fairfax: We Only Give The Vote To Citizens

A DEEPLY MISGUIDED article has appeared in the Fairfax press today, advocating the enfranchisement of 640,000 non-naturalised New Zealand residents of Australia; the idea is ridiculous, and an insult to the citizenship requirements expected of others who come to this country. If New Zealanders wish to vote in Australia without becoming naturalised, their country should perhaps instead contemplate statehood.

New Zealanders: I have no quarrel with you, your country, or rolling out the welcome mat to you. Even so, there are limits, and the anti-Australian Fairfax press seems determined to test them — as usual.

The notion that New Zealand citizens who are permanent residents in Australia but have consciously opted not to become citizens should nonetheless be given the vote, as advocated by senior Fairfax correspondent Daniel Flitton in The Age today, is a dumb, bad idea that echoes the typical Fairfax philosophy that Australia should be for everyone — at the direct expense of those who actually belong here.

Flitton’s call to right “an injustice” rendered upon 640,000 New Zealand citizens who live in Australia but “can’t join our elections” shows a complete misunderstanding of the rights and responsibilities of Australian citizenship, to say nothing of a fundamentally flawed interpretation of the law where immigration and questions of entitlement are concerned.

It is difficult to know whether Flitton is completely serious, mind; his rabbiting on about George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin and former NZ Prime Minister Robert Muldoon are odd given the context, however jovial the cultural cringe they represent. But whether he is or isn’t, many of the assertions in this article are deeply misguided, or simply offensive.

Flitton wails that New Zealanders are “welcome to live here” and to “work and pay tax, own property or marry locals” but are “denied a voice in how the country is run.” That is what happens when immigrants either fail to qualify for citizenship and/or make the conscious decision not to seek it, whether Flitton likes that constitutional and legal reality or not.

He makes a spurious case that Australians who live abroad permanently should somehow not be allowed “a say in civic life” over “someone actually residing here,” whilst lamenting that citizenship, rather than residence, is the determinant of eligibility to vote. The former is an Australian citizen’s birthright. The latter — again — is the law.

“Taxation without representation is tyranny” — as Flitton rather tackily proclaims as a battle cry — be damned.

Flitton is right that some non-citizens in Australia retain the vote: those that were already on the electoral roll before the Hawke government overhauled the eligibility criteria in 1984.

But the Hawke government reforms merely swept away arrangements that were a relic of colonial and federalist times, bringing Australian arrangements more broadly into line with those that apply in most Western democratic countries. Even so, he misses the point.

The arrangements that already apply to allow New Zealanders to live and work in this country (with relatively few restrictions) exist precisely because of their close cultural and geographic links to us, not despite them.

Arguing that because New Zealanders pay income tax on their earnings here they should be entitled to vote is as ridiculous as attempting to mount the same argument in, say, the United Kingdom, where in most cases such a contention will be given short shrift in Whitehall and in Westminster.

And an entitlement to welfare isn’t the only thing income tax payments qualify people for: federal monies help provide healthcare, security, and safe aviation arrangements (to name just a few things) that a New Zealander is able to enjoy as a non-naturalised resident in Australia.

In any case, the responsibility for the welfare arrangements is and should be the responsibility of the New Zealand government, and again — to use the Westminster analogy — attempting to extract benefits from the UK as an Australian citizen living in Great Britain isn’t a particularly fruitful pastime. The same can be said of places like the USA, Canada, and in fact most other countries across the world.

But Fairfax being what it is — a mouthpiece in advocacy for some bizarre notion that not only should Australia refuse to question anyone seeking to come to this country, but to roll out the red carpet and the silverware for them to boot — it should come as little surprise that such notions receive an apparently sympathetic ear from its foot soldiers.

If New Zealanders want the right to vote in Australia, then perhaps the conversation that needs to be had, despite Flitton’s dry assertion that it won’t happen “any time soon,” is the conversation about statehood.

In principle, I have an open mind on the question of New Zealand becoming the seventh state of Australia, and am in no way hostile to it: after all, our peoples have far, far more in common than with any other in the world, as Flitton acknowledges; our customs and ways of life are extremely similar, and Auckland is — not to put too fine a point on it — far closer to Canberra than Perth or Broome are.

But until or unless that were to happen, New Zealanders already have the right to vote: in their own country, for their own government, and I’m even happy to give the current National Party administration of John Key a free plug as it heads toward campaigning for a (well deserved) third term later this year. Frankly, they should cast their votes for Key and be glad their country is in the best shape under his stewardship than it has been for some time.

In the meantime, add New Zealanders to the list already comprising asylum seekers, people smugglers, illegal arrivals and anyone else without a legitimate claim to be here that the Fairfax/ABC/Greens alliance think the rest of us should bestow the privileges of Australian citizenship on whilst abrogating our right to them ourselves: anything (and anyone) to surrender control of this country to someone else. The fruit cakes at the Communist Party Greens would be proud.

And the central premise of Flitton’s column should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

 

 

Disgusting: Outrageous Indonesian Newspaper Hypocrisy

INDONESIA may well believe it has legitimate grievances to pursue in the wake of the diplomatic fallout from revelations of Australian surveillance activity undertaken in 2009, but disgusting personal attacks mounted in state-sanctioned newspapers are not the way to resolve them.

There has been no attack made in this column on either Kevin Rudd or his government over the “spy scandal” that has rapidly enveloped Australian relations with Indonesia, and there won’t be: I have already made it clear that I regard the work of the intelligence services to be of critical importance, and — in any case — figures in or near the Indonesian government have admitted their country undertakes similar activity in relation to ours.

In fact, about the closest I am going to go to it is to simply observe that it was on the watch of the previous government, in 2009, that the surveillance activity in question occurred.

That is not to be construed as an attack on the previous government; even so, it makes the Indonesians’ response to Prime Minister Tony Abbott — who is attempting to sort the whole mess out — all the more puzzling.

I’m only going to write briefly on this; far from generating a full-blown discussion on the progress or otherwise of such efforts, this is a short post to highlight just how far Jakarta apparently seems prepared to go to damage Abbott.

In a classic case of “shoot the messenger,” a state-sanctioned Indonesian newspaper has today made a disgusting personal attack on Abbott, publishing an abhorrent caricature of the Prime Minister in his budgie smugglers and half-mast shorts, “spying” on Indonesia through a door left ajar, and apparently masturbating and sweating and gasping.

Indos depict PM as deviant

Symbolism be damned, frankly — it is deliberately and dangerously inflammatory.

This is not the act of a country that bears Australia good will, nor seeks to repair a relationship seemingly disproportionately damaged by what should be a minor diplomatic incident.

The newspaper — Rakyat Merdeka — is a Jakarta-based broadsheet that almost exclusively covers politics and economics, and is apparently a state-sanctioned mouthpiece for the policies and views of the Indonesian government.

Tony Abbott certainly doesn’t deserve this kind of thing; whether you agree fully, partly or not at all with the calibre of his efforts, he’s the one attempting to undo the damage the Snowden revelations that triggered this crisis have caused.

Rudd, for once in his life, doesn’t warrant an attack of this kind either.

It underlines the gravity of efforts being undertaken to restore the relationship between the two countries to an even keel; earlier today it was revealed that direct correspondence between Abbott and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has now been exchanged, and it remains to be seen what effect this has in lowering the temperature and tone of relations.

In the meantime, the kind of thing published by Rakyat Merdeka is absolutely disgusting, and given the high moral ground is indeed the terrain Indonesia’s leaders have sought to occupy, I would suggest it tears the ground out from beneath their feet.

Spy Scandal: Everyone, Including Indonesia, Needs To Get A Grip

WHAT SHOULD have been a storm in a diplomatic teacup has blown up into a major international typhoon whose only target is Prime Minister Tony Abbott; the Indonesians, the Fairfax Media, the ABC and the ALP are fanning the fury of forces that may well spiral out of control. They should get a grip.

Whichever way you cut it, the unseemly brawl that has erupted over the Rudd government’s decision to eavesdrop on a number of key Indonesian figures in 2009 centres on activities that are far from unique, and is one from which nobody will emerge with the upper hand in any moral sense.

At least, that’s how it should be.

The outrage in Indonesia over revelations that the mobile phones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife were being tapped in 2009 — after three Australians were killed in a jihadist atrocity in Jakarta — would be laughable were it not for the fact the Indonesians are taking it (and themselves) so seriously.

At first blush, it’s easy to view the reaction as rather convenient; SBY has long attracted criticism in the Indonesian press over perceptions he’s too close to Australia; a topical example of this is the clemency appeal made by convicted drug trafficker Schapelle Corby, which SBY responded to by granting a five-year cut from her 20-year sentence.

So at the outset, let’s be clear: the harder Yudhoyono rails against and hits Australia now, on a very convenient pretext, the better it will play for him to a domestic audience.

It brings up the rather uncomfortable truth — always in evidence but rarely spoken of — that all countries spy on each other; whether you call it espionage or intelligence gathering, everyone does it.

And so everyone should, especially in a western country accountable to democratically elected leaders; just look at the uproar that was directed at US President George W. Bush in the wake of the atrocities of 11 September 2001, when it was revealed that US intelligence had failed to identify — and circumvent — those attacks.

Imagine the stink if it happened in Australia; the same pack now hunting Tony Abbott — the Greens, the ABC, the Fairfax press, other troglodytes of the Left — would be baying for blood, and the loudest of their criticisms would be the failure of Australian intelligence.

You can’t have it both ways.

Former Indonesian intelligence chief General Abdullah Mahmud Hendropriyono admitted in 2004 that his country intercepted and monitored political, military and civilian communications in Australia.

He has resurfaced in the past week to urge restraint on his President, saying such surveillance is “normal” and “a technical thing.”

And despite the vehement denials by Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natelegawa in recent days that Indonesia conducts surveillance on Australia, it is well-known — if unspoken — that both countries gather intelligence on each other.

Yet like sharks to a bleeding corpse, the frenzy of the Left and its media mouthpieces has been crazed; the ABC seems more concerned that the remunerative arrangements of its staff were published than it was at the leakage of Australian intelligence activities, whereas the Fairfax press seems to have got it into its collective head that this is its big chance to destroy the Abbott Prime Ministership less than three months after it began.

Andrew Bolt had it about right in his assessment of the Left and the media on these issues; an excellent column that appeared in the Murdoch press yesterday can be found here.

Indonesia — in a move calculated to hit Abbott and his government hard, and on the most politically sensitive issue on foot in Australia — has declared an end to all co-operation on the issue of people smuggling and stopping boats leaving Indonesia for our shores.

Its military personnel, in Australia for joint military exercises, simply downed tools and walked away.

Further measures will apparently follow if the Indonesians are dissatisfied with the Australian response to their mostly unreasonable demands.

For there are calls for Tony Abbott to apologise to Indonesia, after the fashion of US President Barack Obama’s apology to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the wake of almost identical revelations between those countries, and to guarantee intelligence surveillance of this kind is never again conducted on Indonesian figures.

Emulating Barack Obama and his idiosyncratic politics is foolhardy at the best of times; were it not for Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie lavishing Obama with praise for his handling of the Hurricane Sandy disaster in the dying days of last year’s presidential campaign, Obama probably wouldn’t even be President now.

The Australian government — and Abbott especially — has nothing to apologise for when it comes to conducting intelligence gathering and other security measures, in the national interest, among members of the international community.

To go a step further than that and to rule out ever doing so in the future — as some in Indonesia expect Abbott to do — is, in short, to put Australia over a barrel and instruct it to drop its trousers.

Such abject capitulation would be a surrender of legitimate prerogative, at best. At worst, it could lead anywhere. Appeasement, as history shows, invariably and horrifically does.

Yet Abbott and Australia are not without options of their own; for now, SBY is playing to the Indonesian press and the Indonesian public. The measures he has announced to date in retaliation for what his own generals have admitted his own country also does are regrettable.

But should they continue, the Commonwealth could consider abandoning the $600 million or so it gifts Indonesia in foreign aid payments every year.

I would further observe that the $5 billion or so that Indonesia spends with Australian produce farmers each year is money we can ill afford to forego. But Indonesia needs the food more than Australia needs the money; a trade embargo would return fire, like for like.

I don’t seriously advocate such measures and I don’t think it will come to that.

But virtually all of the commentary emanating from non-Murdoch sources, condensed to a single statement, is that Australia — and Abbott in particular — must appease Indonesia and Yudhoyono, who holds the power in the relationship and the upper moral hand.

Such pap is patent nonsense, and should be seen as such.

It is true that Yudhoyono feels angry and aggrieved and in many ways those sentiments are understandable.

Abbott and his government do not escape unencumbered; they have a responsibility to mollify without appeasing, and to respond without a sellout. And they need to remember that as much as we need Jakarta, Jakarta  needs us.

I think that Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been a very good friend to Australia; on his watch neither Australia nor Indonesia have got everything they asked of each other, but neither has been left empty-handed either.

That fact is common to Australian governments of both political persuasions, and it would be a tragedy and a shame to jeopardise it.

Even so, there are limits, and Abbott’s first responsibility — as he has correctly stated — is to ensure Australian security.

Ultimately, it is also to govern in Australia’s best interests — not Indonesia’s.

Those on the Left braying for Abbott’s blood — and effectively using Indonesia as the instrument with which to extract it — should remember that not so long ago, the atmospherics of the Canberra-Jakarta relationship were ominous, and comparatively icy. There are some in Indonesia who wish to see that situation return. The Left, in its senseless bollocking of Abbott, is doing its part to ensure that it happens.

I’m not even going to talk about Labor “leader” Bill Shorten and his conflicting, opportunistic prescriptions over these events. Even some of his frontbenchers are openly refusing to disclose what Shorten has instructed them to say. Enough said.

Frankly, everyone involved — Australia and Indonesia, both governments, the two leaders, and not least the ranting hordes of the Australian Left — need to take a collective step back, a deep breath, and get a grip.

There is far too much at stake, on both sides, to squander a blossoming international relationship of this kind over what should really be no more than a diplomatic spat.

But for those who really want to crucify a culprit — and to ensure their slings and arrows hit the right target — the likes of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden should be cut off and left to rot in whatever bolt-hole they find themselves in.

These treacherous dogs are not defenders of “freedom” nor champions of “openness.” They are not “whistleblowers.” They are not “defenders of liberty.” They tip buckets of stolen state secrets over governments they take an arbitrary political dislike to. There is a reason these matters did not come to light sooner and that was, very simply, because Snowden did not wish to damage Kevin Rudd.

Once upon a time, the Assanges and Snowdens of the world and their ilk were executed for treason. The situation playing out between Australia and Indonesia is a stark illustration as to why. Both are said to be in fear of their lives. Yet it is almost certain they retain tomes of additional ill-gotten official secrets and will continue to use them at will.

It’s almost laughable to say this, but the situation between Indonesia and Australia that Snowden’s leaks have triggered is mild indeed compared to what something more serious might have engineered elsewhere, and between more potent potential combatants.

Next time the Left wants to bark about the crisis being Abbott’s fault, they might like to reflect upon that singular fact.

Future King: Duchess of Cambridge Gives Birth To A Boy

BUCKINGHAM PALACE has formally announced the birth of a son to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; the future King was born at 4.24pm, London time (1.24am Tuesday, AEST) and will be the third in line to the throne to become King of Australia.

The palace said in a statement:

“Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24pm. The baby weighs 8lbs 6oz.

“The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth.

“The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news.

“Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well and will remain in hospital overnight.”

May we simply say that we extend our heartiest congratulations and best wishes to William and Kate, and to express our delight that the future King has arrived safely and well.

This entire event has been punctuated by the ridiculous, however, with the ubiquitous Fleet Street press pack providing coverage on details extending right down to the stains on the pavement outside the St Mary’s Hospital in London.

Indeed, comment from so-called “royal watchers” overnight (Australian time) has ranged from such lofty themes as an attempt to turn the event into “the people’s pregnancy” (get the sick bucket) to a “debate” over whether Pippa Middleton’s bum would appear “and steal the limelight.”

Some people have nothing better to do, even when being paid to do it…

All that said, however, we are absolutely delighted at the news of the royal birth, and look forward to the formal introduction of the Prince publicly — and learning his name — in coming days.

In the meantime it is to be hoped the Duchess enjoys rest and a speedy recovery from the childbirth she has experienced, and that all of Her Majesty’s loyal subjects share the joy of this exciting news.

God Save The Queen!

BREAKING: Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge, In Labour

A WARM summer day in London is set to be a little warmer today, with news a short time ago that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, has entered hospital in the early stages of labour as she prepares to give birth to this country’s future monarch. The Red And The Blue is delighted at this news.

It’s the development a loitering press pack in London has been waiting on for weeks; Buckingham Palace figures have confirmed that the Duchess travelled by car to St. Mary’s Hospital in central London very early this morning, British Summer Time (about 4pm Monday, AEST).

The child will be the first for Kate and Prince William since their marriage two years ago, and the child will — like William — some day be the monarch of Great Britain, Australia, and many other countries around the world including New Zealand and Canada.

Changes to succession laws made by the present Conservative government in the UK (and mirrored by reciprocal legislation in Australia and its states) to abolish the ancient law of primogeniture mean that irrespective of its gender, the child will some day become the monarch.

We wish to minute to William, Kate and their respective families our very best wishes at this special time, and look forward — with the rest of Her Majesty’s subjects — to learning the identity of the newest member of the royal family in the next day or so.

God Save The Queen!

John Howard As Governor-General? I Don’t Think So

Nowadays, anything Godwin Grech says shouldn’t warrant mention. However, the Fairfax press and The Spectator Australia magazine have seen fit to publish an article in which Grech expatiates upon the glorious idea of G-G John Howard. This is a bad idea, on every conceivable level.

It comes as some surprise that reputable instruments of the press would give oxygen and airtime to a character like Grech, the disgraced former Treasury bureaucrat and past informer to the Liberal Party, who went several steps too far in 2009 by producing a fabricated email which “proved” that former PM Kevin Rudd was corrupt.

In what became known as the “Utegate” affair, Grech’s missive destroyed his own career, and guaranteed Malcolm Turnbull’s days as Liberal leader were numbered after Turnbull foolishly acted on the email without adequately checking its veracity.

And so, to find The Spectator Australia gifting column space to Grech for an opinion piece is grotesque; The Spectator proper — the original, UK version — is an excellent publication, and one which in view of this event might be better served abandoning its “focus” on Australia and sticking to events in Britain.

Why The Age saw fit to reprint the piece is unfathomable.

Even so, Grech’s article (the version of which The Age published can be viewed here) does contain some material I don’t necessarily disagree with, although much of it is petulant hot air from a man whose time never really was; his piece essentially boils down to a partisan rant underpinned by the thesis that the Howard government was brilliant, and that the Rudd-Gillard government is terrible.

Beyond that basic premise, there is little to substantiate or validate some of Grech’s more outlandish statements; this brings me to his claim that John Howard should become Governor-General when the term of incumbent Quentin Bryce expires in September next year.

Make no mistake: this is a very bad idea, and one whose momentum — if any — must be stopped in its tracks; of all the potential candidates to replace Bryce when her term expires, Howard is far from the top of the list of the most credible, feasible or sensible.

As a staunch political conservative, I realise that I might be expected to show some sympathy for this suggestion — not least as Howard led what on any objective measure was the best government, at the federal level, this country has seen in the past 50 years. As it turns out, I have no truck with the idea whatsoever.

Grech talks of Howard as potentially “a first-class head of state who would be warmly embraced by Buckingham Palace” and goes on to declare that he “would perfectly complement Tony Abbott, providing Australians with a world-class leadership team.”

It’s clear Grech has no comprehension of how a constitutional monarchy works, if he really thinks that.

The role of the Governor-General is largely ceremonial, although its holder is the Head of State; and with the exception of certain circumstances in which specific constitutional provisions provide otherwise (such as in 1975, when Sir John Kerr acted in accordance with S64 of the Constitution to dismiss the Whitlam government), the Governor-General usually acts on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The Governor-General does not act as some type of political advisor to the Prime Minister of the day, as Grech explicitly proposes.

And the Governor-General does not form part of some tag-team “leadership” team, operating in cahoots and in cohort with elected parliamentarians.

In John Howard, we see a figure who is overtly (and, in this context, overwhelmingly) political; the man was Prime Minister for nearly 12 years until fairly recently, and prior to that spent more than 30 years as a Liberal Party operative, elected member of Parliament, and political spear-thrower for the Right.

Irrespective of whether you’re on the side of the spear-thrower or not, such an openly political figure would politicise the office of Governor-General and polarise public opinion and confidence in it as a legitimate instrument of governance.

It is true that political figures have held the role in the past, and that they also discharged their duties with some distinction; Sir Paul Hasluck was a very distinguished Governor-General. Bill Hayden, more recently, was unremarkable and uncontroversial.

But Hasluck was made Governor-General in 1968 by then-PM John Gorton to get rid of a dangerous enemy from the ranks of the parliamentary Liberal Party and to remove the most serious rival he faced for the party’s leadership; Hayden’s appointment — irrespective of how it may have subsequently been presented — was payback for resigning in favour of Bob Hawke’s leadership of the ALP in early 1983.

It doesn’t matter, as Grech states, whether Howard would be “warmly embraced” at Buckingham Palace; he is simply too polarising a figure, and too overtly political, for that particular role.

Laurie Oakes also responded to Grech’s absurd arguments in the Herald-Sun today; Oakes pointed out — correctly — that Howard’s appointment to the role would be “divisive and provocative,” noting that “after several years of political turbulence and non-stop nastiness, that is the last thing Australia will need.”

As it happens, Oakes’ misgivings of the merits or otherwise of John Howard as Governor-General largely mirror my own.

But something that does niggle in the back of my mind as I write this (and we may well revisit the thought at some point) is the timing of the expiry of present Governor-General Quentin Bryce’s term, in September next year.

It suddenly occurs to me that an election is due in August; for this to occur, it would need to be called by the Prime Minister no later than about mid-July.

It also occurs to me that every Labor Party figure who has spoken publicly in the past 12-18 months on the issue of the timing of the next election has referenced “late 2013” or “toward the end of 2013” as the time such an election is “due.”

Even Julia Gillard implicitly announced the date as the last Saturday in September, until she realised it would be Grand Final day, and went on to make a fool of herself with wild predictions about the prospects of the Footscray Football Club.

Constitutionally, they are all correct; an election may well be held as late as the November/December period.

But more usually, and by loose convention, elections are held three years apart, unless they are for some reason called early, and on that basis the next one should be in August next year.

I just wonder whether the ALP plan is to go to an election later in 2013 to ensure its own nominee is appointed to the Governor-Generalship, rather than go to an election it is likely to lose in a landslide, only to gift the incoming Liberal government the right to fill the vice-regal role with its own appointee for a five-year term.

Then again, I might just be a terrible cynic…

But in terms of precisely who the next Governor-General should be, it sure as hell shouldn’t be John Howard, or any other political figure from either side of the political spectrum for that matter.

Oakes suggests the Head of the Defence Force, Angus Houston; a fine man to be sure, and somebody I think would perform the role of Governor-General admirably.

My thoughts, however, are that the best candidate is another military man: Houston’s predecessor, Peter Cosgrove, who would not only make an excellent fist of the role, but would also be the sort of unifying figure to which Oakes alludes.

Godwin Grech and his undebunked theories of the world are best left undisturbed (and unpublished) in whatever cave to which they retreated following Utegate; as for John Howard, I trust he is enjoying his retirement, and I hope he finds satisfaction in the summer of cricket — his great passion — that will soon commence.

Beyond that, the occupancy of vice-regal office will be determined in due course; a Cosgrove would be ideal, and a Houston just as good; but a Howard is, and should rightly be, completely out of the question.

What do you think?

Poisonous Ideas (reposted from JR Nyquist): Not Such A Poisonous Argument

Sometimes — when looking to encapsulate a foundation from which to mount an argument — it is necessary to look afield, and to share common thoughts; tonight’s post does precisely that, and Jeff Nyquist’s excellent article is one we will return to and discuss.

In ensuring I keep abreast with everything in the world I want to, I find that I read copious volumes of other people’s opinion pieces, essays and dissertations, in addition to following the raw flow of news, tonight I refer to a piece a read a couple of years ago by American author, columnist and scholar Jeff Nyquist.

To be clear, I certainly do not believe everything I read, and I disagree with Nyquist as often as I concur with him; even so, when he nails an issue he tends not to miss, and so it is with the piece I have linked to this evening.

Over the coming weeks, I intend to intersperse the comment pieces I have been publishing with other articles written from a more purely conservative philosophical bent; I do believe that all is not well in Western societies — Australia included — and whilst shrill generalisation is not the intention, it does seem that many of these problems emanate from the Left of the political spectrum and, indeed, could be characterised as the flows at the end of the tributaries of the “River Communism.”

With the strong caveat that I don’t agree with everything in this article (and to the extent that I do agree with some elements of it, that agreement is qualified), I would urge all of my readers to click the link and read the article I have reposted here.

And to think about it; to discuss it with family, friends and colleagues; indeed, share it: even if you disagree in the strongest terms with the substance of the Nyquist argument, forward the link to those around you with whom you discuss issues of substance, and see what they think.

And send me comments: there will be articles arising from the general ideas that are covered by Nyquist and — as always — all views, assenting, dissenting or otherwise — are encouraged and welcomed.

Please click the link below and read the attached article. I think the issues covered are important, and that it is high time to nudge social debate back onto a more meaningful footing. I look forward to hearing what people think.

And with that, over to J.R. Nyquist…

Poisonous Ideas | JR Nyquist | FINANCIAL SENSE.