Taking The Piss: Greens’ “Reshuffle” Defies Sanity

IMMUNE TO REALITY, the Greens’ belated post-election reshuffle would be risible were it not monument to the obsequious agenda of the far Left; the ongoing presence of Sarah Hanson-Young — at all — is indecent, and any party according “healthy oceans” ministerial status is perverse. But by making Lee Rhiannon responsible for “democracy,” it is clear that when it comes to the intelligence of the electorate, the Greens are taking the piss.

With the exception of actual video media directly relevant to our discussions in this column, it has been a long time indeed since I last gave readers something to listen to as an accompaniment to an article; today I renew that occasional practice, with a brilliant Australian song from the 1980s (and its official music video, replete with a distinct and appropriately keystone flavour) the perfect choice to go with what I want to cover this morning.

Enjoy this as you read…

…for by now, I think most people will be aware of the reshuffle the Communist Party Greens deigned to execute late last week, ostensibly on the peculiar pretext of “aligning MPs’ responsibilities with their particular states,” and whatever fatuous spin might be offered by leader Richard Di Natale to justify it, the Greens have become even more dangerous to the national interest as a result.

If, of course, such a consequence is even possible.

At first blush, the removal of the contemptible Sarah Hanson-Young from the Immigration portfolio is a triumph for anyone who values the sanctity of human life; her “accidents happen” dismissal of the deaths of 1,300 asylum seekers at sea as the direct result of a policy the Greens championed and which was initiated during her tenure in that post is a cause for great shame, and should have led to Hanson-Young’s defeat at the 2013 election.

The fact it did not underwrites a very big clue as to why the Greens are so trenchantly supportive of proportional representation in Parliaments across the land; even with that easy ticket to undeserved parliamentary leather in hand, Hanson only just squeaked home on that occasion, and this year — with the quotas almost halved — only just managed to survive that too.

Clearly her papers are marked; but before her career can finally be terminated, this reshuffle has only widened her scope to wreak havoc.

The failed bank teller will now be the Greens’ official spokesperson on Finance and Trade matters; this quisling, whose life experience of the commercial world barely registers above zero, is now the voice of the key crossbench bloc deciding pivotal matters affecting Australia’s $1.5tn economy, the half-trillion dollar debt Labor and the Greens saddled it with when they last held office, and the $450bn in annual government spending which — contrary to the Greens’ world view — must be drastically slashed (especially where lefty-trendy social programs are concerned) if Australia is ever to pay its way again among the nations of the developed world.

It gets worse, however, when the Senator is also now to be the spokesperson on “Lifelong Learning” — every aspect of the educative process from day care to universities — and Youth, and the idea of this scion of the hard socialist Left, utterly divorced from common sense and sanity in the orthodox sense, being even remotely able to influence the development of young Australians is enough to send a shudder down the spine of any fair-minded individual. “Education” and “brainwashing” are not the same thing, although with Hanson-Young’s propensity to refuse to interact in any way with those who dare to question her position on things, that distinction is likely to become impossible to spot when the Greens’ policy prescriptions in these fields are revealed.

Senator Hanson-Young is also the Greens’ shadow minister for the Arts, and it is to be hoped the Arts community — usually a friend to the Left — recognises the imbecilic new ally it has been shackled to, and takes aim accordingly.

What any of these things uniquely shares with South Australia is difficult to ascertain.

Queenslander Larissa Waters has been given responsibility for Women, Gambling and Tourism (and of course, we don’t have any of those things south of the Tweed), as well as Mining and Resources — an industry her utterances over the years suggest she would be happy to shut down altogether.

In keeping with the Greens’ tradition of putting parliamentary neophytes in charge of Immigration, new Tasmanian Senator Nick McKim takes over this role from Hanson-Young; it’s an interesting choice, based on Di Natale’s criteria, for Tasmania typically receives the fewest migrants (both in raw terms and per head of capita) of any Australian state.

McKim will prove no match for Attorney-General George Brandis — and his claim to shadow the country’s First Law Officer is as opaque as the rest of the Greens’ claims to adequacy — and it remains to be seen what input he might have in Small Business other than collaborating on taxation and workplace relations laws with the ALP that might help drive enterprises in the sector to the wall once and for all.

It’s a similar story with McKim’s fellow Tasmanian, Peter Whish-Wilson, who apparently seeks to emulate titans of Australian politics such as Paul Keating and Peter Costello as treasury spokesman; the likelier event is that he makes Wayne Swan on a terrible day look comparatively brilliant, for the one thing nobody is ever going to accuse the Greens of is economic competence.

Putting him in charge of Consumer Affairs, or “Waste and Recycling,” seems standard enough fare for the Greens, even if some of his party’s members need a dictionary to spell the terms correctly.

Making him shadow minister for “Healthy Oceans” is patently ridiculous, and betrays the rank amateurism and puerile, university-style politics that still underpin the Greens’ efforts despite its solemn declaration a few years ago that it was finally a mature political party. It wasn’t, and it isn’t, and it shows.

And aren’t there oceans around the rest of Australia too?

To kill two birds with one stone — promoting wimmin into key posts and prosecuting the Greens’ own peculiar brand of social misadventurism — Rachel Siewert and Janet Rice cover “portfolios” ranging from “LGBTIQ” to Ageing, and from “Forests” to Disability Services: the latter, of course, so dear to the hard Left as a means by which to simultaneously entrench welfare dependency whilst locking in votes from the underprivileged. At $24bn per annum once the NDIS is fully operational, expect the Greens to nevertheless advocate loudly for increases in expenditure in this area, and steep tax rises on the rest of us to pay for them.

Scott Ludlam takes responsibility for just about everything no thinking Australian would ever want a Greens politician to have any influence over: Foreign Affairs, Defence, Veterans’ Affairs, International Aid, Communications, Sustainable Cities, and “Nuclear.” The scope for permanently ruptured international relationships, combined with a “reach out” to despotic regimes in third-world countries is obvious, as is the abandonment of the defence community altogether and a move to compost-powered houses. I am not directing these remarks at Ludlam personally, but the idea that any Greens’ edict on any of these matters would be anything other than stone-aged is preposterous.

It’s clear where the Greens think their “brains” trust lies: Adam Bandt is assigned Climate Change, Energy, Industrial Relations, and Science. On one level, Bandt (a Melburnian) is clever enough to handle such a workload; on another, he is just as affected and addled with the disease of hard socialism that nobody ought to take much notice of what he has to say about any of it. Climate Change and the Greens? If you want impartiality on such a hotly contested issue, the last person who should be consulted is the most partisan combatant in the group.

And again, how is any of this particularly aligned to Bandt being domiciled in Victoria? It just shows what a nincompoop Di Natale is if this is representative of his idea of leadership.

And this brings us to the pièce de résistance of the entire reshuffle: actual Communist Lee Rhiannon, who as a former fellow traveller with the USSR and propagandist for Moscow during the Cold War shouldn’t be entitled to sit in an Australian Parliament at all.

Rhiannon is charged with “Industry:” something the Greens desperately want to shut down.

Rhiannon is simultaneously charged with responsibility for “Animal Welfare” and “Gun Control:” draw your own conclusions there.

Rhiannon is to be responsible for “Housing,” which we take to mean the compost-powered variety containing bare-footed residents who munch broccoli and lentils by candlelight and ride bicycles all over the place.

But most obscenely, Rhiannon is to be the Greens’ spearhead on “democracy,” and the idea this antediluvian, vituperative battleaxe, with her roots deep in hard Communism and her well-known hatred for anything even marginally to the Right of Marx, will in any way constitute a champion for anything remotely democratic is as fanciful as money growing on trees.

Then again, with the Greens’ notorious ignorance of economic reality and their insistence that “government money” is a bottomless pit from which to fund endless adventures in social engineering and statist interference, who would know?

The bottom line (excuse the pun) is that whichever way you cut it, the output from the Greens is unlikely to change; this isn’t a party of consultation, much less one of accountability, whatever its MPs claim to the contrary. They might or might not be answerable to their rank-and-file, as they regularly protest whenever their “credentials” as democrats are questioned, but none of them are accountable to the Australian public.

To the extent they are, anyone can replace a beaten Greens MP: all they need is the wherewithal and the commitment to “the cause.” The storyline stays the same even if the storytellers change once in a while.

One constant that remains unaffected by this reshuffle is the propensity for the Greens to regard the intelligence of the average voter with utter scorn; safe in the knowledge too many unthinking voters still believe their party is a benign assortment of tree-hugging, fairy-loving hippies with whom it is safe to park a protest vote, the Greens simply get on with spreading the insidious cancers of socialism and social subjugation that are beginning to tear at the social fabric.

It’s why those in the mainstream need to find effective voices to slap down the leftist PC rubbish — and the sinister, deeply destructive agenda it cloaks — before the damage it does to this country becomes irreversible.

But in announcing such a defective line-up — one so apparently well thought through, and carefully contrived — it is clear the Greens are taking the piss, not posturing as a serious force to be entrusted with the duties of high office.

Sarah Hanson-Young on Finance and Education. Lee Rhiannon on “Democracy.” And a slew of spear-throwers all allocated parts of the overall Greens project to destroy Western values and to change Australia into something it isn’t, and which most people (rightly) don’t want.

It’s a mistake, all right. The Greens have had an easy time in Parliament ever since they took the balance of power in the Senate in 2008. For the present Parliament to be viewed favourably by history, it’s about time something was done to change that.


The Week In Politics — And A Message To Readers

WHAT A WEEK in Australian politics: the scandal of former Liberal state director Damien Mantach has percolated odiously, whilst moral outrage merchant Sarah Hanson-Young has been shown as no better than anyone else when it comes to wasting taxpayer money on travel. The union Royal Commission lingers in limbo, whilst so-called Operation Fortitude debased good sense and decency. I’ve been missing: and we will touch on that as well.

First things first, lest anyone thought I’d disappeared: the medical issue I alluded to nearly three weeks ago now — causing my Brisbane-Melbourne flight to be diverted to Sydney, and imposing a hospital stay on me at that time — recurred this week on my flight back to Brisbane on Tuesday morning, and whilst medical opinion now agrees the likely cause is totally harmless (an easily treated ear condition, of all things) I spent Wednesday and Thursday driving back to Melbourne via the Newell Highway, and for unavoidable logistical reasons 1,100km of that ghastly 1,700km trek fell on Thursday.

As readers will appreciate, even after three days back in Melbourne I still feel shattered, and the reason no comment has been forthcoming from me since Tuesday morning should now be readily apparent. It is greatly heartening that in round terms, there is nothing wrong with me at all; but the overall episode is something I can well do without, for it will continue to interfere with my activities in the short term. My weekly Tuesday trips to Brisbane are temporarily suspended, so I will be around a little more, but for those who think I’ve missed a big week I will make some remarks on a range of issues this afternoon.

And the first thing I want to talk about — which has been proclaimed as “a mistake” and a misunderstanding and all kinds of other euphemisms for “fuck-up” — is the so-called Operation Fortitude that was supposed to be rolled out in the Melbourne CBD on Friday, targeting everything from immigration fraud to outstanding traffic warrants, and I can only say that even though the “operation” was aborted in the face of rent-a-crowd protests enacted by the militant Left there is no place in Australian society for the stop-and-search undertaking this abomination was apparently contrived to constitute.

We will never know with certainty whether this really was intended to be the illiberal and Stasi-like activity that has been sketched out in the breach, and the government agencies involved — from Victoria Police to the Australian Federal Police and to the Australian Border Force — are going to have to be given, with great reservations, the benefit of the doubt.

It is interesting to note that the government agencies reportedly involved fall under the jurisdiction of state and federal governments controlled by both major political parties, and if anything, this tends to reinforce the suggestion that the whole thing was a misunderstanding: it is difficult to see the Victorian ALP in cahoots with the Abbott government on something as distasteful as this, even if for no better reason than Labor’s penchant for gleeful seizure on anything offering point-scoring opportunities against the Liberal Party these days.

Certainly, Prime Minister Tony Abbott claims that he and his government had no knowledge of the Gestapo-style crackdown, which would in effect have seen law enforcement officers stopping people in the street and demanding to see visas or documentation substantiating residence, citizenship, or the right to be in Australia at all.

The discriminatory and racist overtones of such an endeavour are clearly — and totally — unacceptable.

Yet if some good can come of the operation that wasn’t, it takes the form of a reminder than in a liberal democratic society, the line between freedom and authoritarian excess is a fine one: and once crossed, and the genie of stifling freedom is out of the bottle, it is very difficult to put it back.

Less ambiguity surrounds one of this column’s most detested figures, however, when it comes to moralising hypocrite and outrage fabricator Sarah Hanson-Young; the child Senator was reported during the week as having accrued almost a million dollars in travel expense payments between entering the Senate in 2008 and December last year.

Inexplicably, Hanson-Young and another Communist Greens Senator — Scott Ludlam from Western Australia — each racked up more in travel at taxpayers’ expense than their former leader, the pious, sanctimonious Christine Milne.

Milne, who is now in retirement where she belongs, at least had an excuse as the leader of the minor party; and whilst Ludlam is a lightweight of little interest to this column, Hanson-Young — a crusader seeking trouble wherever she can stir it up, and mud wherever it is able to be kicked into the faces of conservative politicians — is no more than a dangerous pinko using public money to attract attention to herself.

It has always amazed me that as members of a supposed party of environmentalists, Greens MPs have little apparent reticence about extensive air travel; utilising fossil-fuelled, chauffeur-driven cars; furnishing themselves at cost to taxpayers in well-lit offices heated and cooled by (mostly coal-generated) electricity; and travel internationally in the name of obscure events that bear little or no relevance to their duties as members of Australian Parliaments — such as Hanson-Young’s jaunt to the Mediterranean earlier this year to observe asylum seeker movements into Europe.

International air travel, of course, is the most pollution-intensive form of travel — and it speaks volumes that the Greens’ worst offender just happens to be their most vocal, outspoken, and sanctimonious of all (the recently departed Milne notwithstanding).

Nobody can mount a reasonable defence of former Speaker Bronwyn Bishop’s excessive and (ethically) indefensible use of the taxpayer dollar for “official” travel.

But the likes of Hanson-Young, like Labor’s Tony Burke, are every bit as culpable.

It speaks volumes for the utterly defective communications and strategy apparatus that underpins the Abbott government’s political activities that it simply can’t lay a glove on the pair, in spite of the fact both should be forced into resignation, like Bishop; but it also speaks to the utter lack of sincerity and integrity that the likes of Hanson-Young and Burke can throw stones at someone like Bishop, raising merry hell and causing political trouble for the Liberal Party, when each is just as culpable for precisely the same reasons.

And continuing to speak volumes this week for the utter deficiency of the way the Liberal Party is run has been disgraced former Victorian state director Damien Mantach; the scandal — see here and here for a couple of more recent pieces since I looked at this disgrace last week — is representative of just about everything that is wrong with the executive management arm of the party, and the most despicable thing is that because the Liberal Party is effectively run these days as a club by a tight, insiderish crony network, the excesses that have come to light in regard to Mantach taint the party in at least three states and federally.

Now, it appears taxpayer money was misappropriated by Mantach in a kickback scandal that is additional to the original revelations of siphoning money out of party coffers in Melbourne, and anyone who had knowledge of Mantach’s past misdemeanours when in charge of the Tasmanian division and who was subsequently involved in recruiting him to the Victorian division in 2008 must be booted from the Liberal Party altogether.

It is not good enough that a volunteer organisation that depends on donation monies and membership dues has been pillaged by a hand-picked lieutenant of that crony club, whilst its members continue on in other (paid) roles within the party even after Mantach has been disgraced, and whilst this column makes no accusation of culpability or wrongdoing on the part of any individual, those who were associated with the Liberal Party in senior management capacities in Victoria at that time — then state director (and now NSW division chief) Tony Nutt and federal director Brian Loughnane foremost among them — have questions to answer that to date have not been satisfactorily answered at all.

Were they and/or any other relevant office bearers at that time aware Mantach had pocketed some $48,000 from the Tasmanian division of the party? Were they aware that when this was discovered, Mantach’s immediate resignation (read: sacking) had been sought and received in early 2008? Had they, or any other personnel connected to the subsequent recruitment of Mantach as assistant state director in Victoria later in 2008, been forewarned about the misconduct it is universally accepted Mantach had engaged in during his time with the party in Tasmania, as has been suggested this week?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” then any or all of those persons, if they remain in the employment of the Liberal Party anywhere in Australia, must be summarily dismissed for gross incompetence and expelled from the party as members under the party’s discipline and dispute resolution mechanisms.

It’s not as if the Liberals would be losing all that much; Loughnane in particular ran the Victorian division as campaign manager and state director in 2002 when the party suffered its worst ever state election defeat, and followed that up as federal director in 2007 by presiding over the defeat of the Howard government — a dubious dual achievement that appears increasingly likely to be emulated next year, again on Loughnane’s watch, if the Abbott government is beaten after a single term.

As we have discussed too often in this column — and as has been amply borne out almost weekly in (accurate) press reporting of the party’s endless goings-on — most of the Liberal Party’s current woes are entirely self-inflicted, through incompetence, poor judgement, misdirected resources and non-existent strategic and tactical expertise; the Mantach episode is emblematic of the fact that the same people (broadly speaking) have mismanaged the Liberal Party across the country for years, and if any good can come of the Mantach debacle at all it is the prospect that some of these people might be kicked out of a good organisation that has been let down and badly served by the very people charged with the stewardship of its best interests.

The mismanagement in the Liberal Party has been like a cancer, and must be cut out. Regrettably, though, even the prospect of a first-up election loss and a return to opposition through their own stupidity is no guarantee these people will finally be shown the door next year and told to tell their stories walking.

And this brings me to the Royal Commission into the union movement and the application before Commissioner Heydon to recuse himself from further proceedings; the outcome of that application is apparently set to be delivered tomorrow, but I reiterate the point made a week ago that were it not for some fucking idiot at the NSW Liberals deciding Heydon would be a suitable guest at a Liberal function in the politically super-charged climate surrounding the Commission, this tawdry and opportunistic manoeuvre by Labor and its militant, violent union mates would have been impossible to attempt in the first place.

All in all, it has been a bad week for the Liberal Party.

That’s not to say the ALP is deserving of any particular acknowledgement, or any credit at all; just yesterday its “leader,” Billy Bullshit, was framing one of his typically fatuous fringe “arguments” that whilst Labor wasn’t averse to a free trade agreement with China in principle (in a sop to those accusing him of dishonouring Labor’s Hawke-Keating economic management heritage even further than he already has), it was important to get “the best deal” which meant ALP and union criticism of the agreement was warranted (which boils down to a childish petulance that were it Labor negotiating the agreement it would be good, but because it’s the Liberal Party doing so, it’s actually very bad indeed).

How Labor might perform in government is unknown and, as far as I am concerned, the prospect is cause for great alarm indeed.

But for those contemplating restoring it to the Treasury benches, Bill Shorten is providing exactly zero reasons to justify their votes: and again, whilst I hate to say it, Shorten’s unhindered conduct is a salutary reminder that the Liberals need to get their shit together — and to gather that execrable substance very quickly indeed.


Sarah Hanson-Young Is An Embarrassment — And A Disgrace

IN THE BRAWL over whether Communist Party Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young was “spied on” and/or is “an embarrassment,” any particularisation of her own reprehensible conduct seems to have been eschewed. Hanson-Young has secured a smokescreen — winning a defamation case against a lads’ magazine — to hide behind. Yet she is an embarrassment, a disgrace, and is unfit to hold the privileged office of a Senator for South Australia.

Given most of Australia is enjoying a public holiday this Monday — a cold, blustery day indeed in Melbourne, to add a local slant to the conversation — I’m inclined to ease readers into a new week of discussion in this column, and to that end if this morning’s article looks a bit like a “greatest hits” compilation, I apologise.

Rest assured, there is nothing “great” about the insidious specimen that masquerades as a Senator from South Australia, Sarah Hanson-Young.

But it strikes me as convenient, to say the least, that a long-running dispute with notorious lads’ skin magazine ZOO Weekly — after it photoshopped Hanson-Young’s head onto the body of a bikini model as part of an attempt to cajole her into participating in a lingerie shoot three years ago — should be settled, and settled in the Senator’s favour, just in time to coincide with the latest uproar over her activities late last week.

Before we get to that, I should like to note that for an individual whose Twitter handle (@sarahinthesen8) is so obviously contrived to emulate the tasteless US “drama” Sex In The City — with its guileless, styleless, sex-addicted heroines and endlessly vapid “story” lines of gratuitous sex and other stultifying superficiality —  Hanson-Young’s “outrage” over Bauer Media’s depiction of her in ZOO seems similarly contrived, to say the least.

Certainly, it fails to emulate the response to a similar overture to the more stylish and urbane South Australian Labor MP Kate Ellis some years ago (who, from memory, was also offered a considerable sum of money for her trouble) who admitted to being flattered, and laughed the approach off; Ellis was later shown to be a hypocrite, of course, for jumping on Julia Gillard’s fabricated “misogyny” crusade against Tony Abbott when she had voiced no such fury when voted “Australia’s Sexiest MP” in a Herald Sun survey of parliamentarians.

But the not-unattractive Ellis’ response to an offer to be featured au naturel in some grubby magazine’s glossy pages ensured the issue was shut down as a talking point overnight, and it contrasts with the redoubtable Hanson-Young, whose Twitter feed for the past two days has been filled with little else apart from rehashing the ZOO incident and her “victory” when in truth — and I say this without intending to condone the magazine in any way — even those who found an obviously doctored representation of Ms Hanson-Young in its pages amusing three years ago would have long ago forgotten all about it.

It is difficult therefore to believe anything other than far from shutting the issue down, Hanson-Young will now continue to milk the very issue she took legal action over for all it is worth, not to rail against what she calls its “smutty ridicule” of her, but simply because it merely represents the latest opportunity to draw attention to herself.

Yet even the grovelling apology from Bauer Media that Hanson-Young is now tweeting on high rotation seems to have been drafted by someone whose tongue was firmly planted in their cheek, stating as it does that “Senator Hanson-Young has made a significant contribution to asylum seeker policy in this country,” and far from offering the Senator a cloak to hide behind to deflect attention from her shortcomings, as far as I am concerned it amounts to a clarion call to rip into Hanson-Young over the disgusting charade she passes off as responsible and principled activity as an MP.

Three weeks before the 2013 federal election I published an article that was roundly critical of Hanson-Young’s performance on 2GB host Ben Fordham’s radio show; this was the infamous event at which she airily dismissed the deaths of more than a thousand asylum seekers at sea with the unbelievably heartless observation that “accidents happen,” which was all the more stunning for its lack of decency in view of the fact “heart” is something Hanson-Young claims drives her brand of hard-Left socialist politics as much as anything else.

As I have noted before (and as remains the case) that article remains the fourth most-read of the 1,012 published here since April 2011, and is one of the few pieces in my archives that is explicitly sought and receives traffic without fail every week; it speaks volumes for the Senator’s notoriety that even a couple of years after her obscene dismissal of hundreds and hundreds of asylum seeker deaths as accidental, there remain people interested (or repulsed) enough to be seeking out material that relates to her ill-advised utterances.

I did acknowledge her re-election when it happened, painful as it was to do so.

To be sure, I try to avoid discussing Hanson-Young as much as I possibly can; I understand haters and sycophants of the Left alike are insatiable when it comes to media coverage of the Senator’s antics, but demand for material relating to Sarah Hanson-Young is not enough for me to afford discussion of her on a regular basis; I take the view that the less she is given oxygen and made politically legitimate by the allocation of press space and airtime, the better.

But it is, at times, unavoidable, which is why about six months ago I wrote of Hanson-Young’s field trip to Cambodia — which was ostensibly to discover conditions “refugees might encounter” if resettled there under Abbott government border control policies — but which, in truth, appeared then and now to have served no real purpose aside from collecting ammunition to use in unreasoned and politically motivated attacks on the government: not out of compassion for refugees at all, but for electoral advantage.

If this sounds like too long a bow to draw, it should be pointed out that when it came to the Greens’ despicable support for the so-called BDS campaign against Israel, no such “diligence” was done on the Palestinian terrorists and fanatics who stood to be the chief beneficiaries of such a boycott; never mind the fact Israel wouldn’t be shooting at targets in Palestine at all were it not for the fact that it finds itself under virtually incessant attack from interests sworn to “wiping it off the face of the Earth.”

Like the rest of the illiberal global Left and its more hardcore adherents, Australia’s Greens are welded to the grotesque “ideal” that has become fashionable in “thinking” circles that Israel’s opponents should be empowered, and feted, and coddled, irrespective of the real cost to both Israel and the free world more widely; barely weeks ago, US President Barack Obama — a socialist likely to be viewed by future generations as the most dangerous and worst President in American history — struck a “deal” with Iran on nuclear proliferation that leaves Iran’s capacity to develop and acquire nuclear weapons within five years or less unhindered.

Iran, of course, is just as committed to the obliteration of Israel (and, of course, the United States itself) as the Palestinian terrorist insurgents and jihadi groups are; amid the vocal support of the Greens for these noxious objectives, Hanson-Young’s is but one of several adding to the cacophony of anti-Israel, anti-American hysteria. But it is present, nonetheless, and in the context of a wider consideration of the merits or otherwise of her value to the national debate in Australia it cannot be ignored.

All of this takes me to the fracas that erupted late in the week over allegations Hanson-Young was “spied on” during a visit to the detention centre on Nauru in December 2013, and in considering whether any heed at all should be paid to this ridiculous claim, it bears remembering that at the very minimum, the Senator is a troublemaker wherever conservative governments and asylum seeker policy intersect.

It bears remembering that on an earlier visit to a detention centre, suggestions — never substantiated or proven, but never rebutted either — were rife that Hanson-Young had incited asylum seekers to riot against being held in captivity, and I raise that matter now because from a contextual perspective it may be instructive insofar as the actions of the private contractor, Wilson Security, were concerned during the Nauru visit.

It should also be noted that Hanson-Young has been one of the most outspoken voices on the hard Left in attempting to smear the Abbott government (and more particularly, the Liberal Party) over the issue of children in detention; the facts are that no children were in detention when the Liberals left office in 2007, and more than 90% of those incarcerated under policies implemented with and influenced by the imprimatur of the Greens during the tenure of the Gillard government have been released since the Liberal Party resumed office 18 months ago.

But with all of this in mind, it should surprise nobody that those charged with maintaining the order and security of government facilities on Nauru would consciously decide to keep Hanson-Young under observation during her visit in late 2013, but the response of the Greens — as usual — has been to blow the issue out of all proportion for no better reason than attention seeking and grimy political advantage.

Their new leader, Richard di Natale, made the ridiculous suggestion that keeping an eye on Hanson-Young was indicative of a “quasi police state (sic),” which merits neither exploration nor credence.

Hanson-Young, for her part, sent her allegations of being spied on to the parliamentary privileges committee, which might be able to act if she can show she was obstructed, but is hardly going to subpoena witnesses simply because a decision was made to keep a known agitator and hostile opponent of the very policies being carried out on Nauru under close watch.

And she was sufficiently chuffed to forego being “Sarah In The Senate” for the proverbial five minutes to instead call herself “The Raven” on Twitter, which was apparently the code name allocated to her by the security detail charged with making sure she behaved herself: it was hardly an offensive thing to call her.

But once again, you have to wonder whether Hanson has any sense of humour at all, to say nothing of a perspective in any way grounded in either the real world or in any meaningful comprehension of the fact that actions have consequences: even hers. And Hanson-Young has drawn an awful lot of attention to herself for all the wrong reasons during seven undeserved years sitting in the Senate.

I think Immigration minister Peter Dutton got it about right, saying of Hanson-Young that she “gets most of the facts wrong most of the time” and has a penchant for making allegations that generally prove “completely unfounded.”

Yet the unrepentant Senator — with an answer for everything — even had the temerity to lash out over the scrutiny her visit to Nauru elicited in view of her past antics, suggesting it was “creepy” and trying to tie the whole episode back into (you guessed it) an anti-Abbott rant replete with recycled and tired allegations of sexism and misogyny against the Prime Minister.

Is it any wonder most people — with the exception of the portion of the tiny minority who vote Green who actually like her — are fed up with Sarah Hanson-Young, her histrionics and her allegations, her conspiracy theories and her crackpot agenda, and the career that regrettably survived the last election by a wafer-thin trail of preference leakages from other candidates?

I hope she enjoys — nay, revels in — her “victory” over Bauer Media and ZOO Weekly because, in the bigger scheme of things, a moment is all she will be spared.

In the bigger scheme of things and as it pertains to her political career, the “victory” over Bauer Media is a red herring she will fail to ignore to her own cost.

At the end of the day, anyone who cries “Wolf!” too often will eventually be spurned, and Sarah Hanson-Young — be it over asylum seeker policy, Israel, “misogyny,” or any of the litany of other issues in which left-wing drivel finds expression that she sees fit to spew forth upon — has pretty much exhausted the tolerance and goodwill of the reasonable Australian public.

Hiding behind some minor legal victory over a lads’ magazine will not and should not shield her from the rancour and hostility her uninformed and misguided diatribes and rants incite, and we have to be very clear that whatever else Ms Hanson-Young may or may not represent, she is the outspoken advocate of left-wing policies that are either unworkable, run counter to the national interest, or — usually — both.

She is a poor international example of lawmaking in Australia, and like most of her party colleagues is a truly cringeworthy indictment on the undemocratic system used to elect Senators and on those South Australian voters who provided sufficient support for her to be re-elected at all in 2013.

But unlike most (but not all) of her contemporaries at the Greens, Hanson-Young is among the worst of a bad bunch: divorced from common sense, seemingly guided by ideology and socialist pedagogy, Sarah Hanson-Young embodies the lunatics that so characterise her party in the eyes of its detractors.

She is — as Dutton noted — an embarrassment to Australia; she is an absolute disgrace to this country; and I believe unfit to hold office as a Senator. That she does is an affront to basic decency and to democracy.



Sun Rises In West As Sarah Hanson-Young Seeks “Facts”

IN AN OXYMORON, Communist Party Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has embarked on a “fact-finding mission” to Cambodia to investigate conditions “refugees might encounter” if resettled there; given the Senator’s odd version of the facts on asylum seeker issues to date and her jaundiced view of reality at the best of times, the prospect she will report any “facts” is less than that of the sun rising in the west tomorrow morning.

It’s very difficult to take Sarah Hanson-Young all that seriously, when she professes “compassion” for just about anyone who is not Australian, when it is remembered that her response to the deaths of more than 1,000 asylum seekers at sea was as brutal and as cavalier as it was succinct: “accidents happen.”

And it is ridiculous (and bordering on an obscenity) that so vituperative is her outrage over the Abbott government policies that stopped countless hundreds of drowning deaths that she would prefer the restoration of the previous suite of failed policies to the government being able to claim a skerrick of credit for a job well done in this area.

IN A WORLD OF HER OWN…the adventures of Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.


It’s been some time since the nasty piece of work from South Australia has attracted the attention of this column, although it’s a dubious achievement of sorts that after almost 900 articles published here to date, this one — particularising her attempt to dispute the realities over asylum seeker deaths under the policies the Greens were jointly responsible for enacting, and her inability to withstand questioning on radio about it by a reasonable journalist — remains the fourth-most read of the lot, and continues to attract readership every week since being published over a year ago.

It seems another attempt at fiction could be in the offing, with Hanson-Young now in Cambodia — presumably at the expense of the taxpayer — to investigate conditions that might be experienced by refugees resettled there under the Abbott government’s contentious arrangements with that country; and irrespective of the merits or otherwise of those arrangements, the portents for any balance in the good Senator’s findings appear grim.

Apparently keeping some kind of log of her travels on Twitter (using the hashtag #FactFindCambodia), it seems Hanson-Young’s disgraceful sense of perspective knows no bounds, with the disgusting imputation that the federal government is intent on abandoning young girls resettled under the policy to sexual servitude and exploitation (and remember, this is from the Senator’s own record of the “facts” she has found).

I’ve read about this in The Australian tonight and had a look through the (brief) weblog on Twitter, and it’s difficult to see what the Senator is doing in any other light than deliberately causing trouble if the tenor of her jottings to date are anything to go by.

As the minister, Scott Morrison, pointed out on 2GB this afternoon, the arrangements for resettlement of refugees are not even finalised, let alone any preparations made; and even then, resettlement will be voluntary, and consist of very small numbers of people.

But this doesn’t bother Hanson-Young, who appears hellbent on finding the very worst aspects of life in Cambodia, as they stand now, and in the absence of any of the infrastructure and support the government will put in place under its resettlement scheme: a selective appraisal indeed of a policy she purports to seek the “facts” about.

I would suggest the Senator is motivated more from a desire to inflict damage on a conservative government for the sake of it than she is by any real concern for asylum seekers; her cavalier and flippant remark that “accidents happen” in response to more than a thousand drownings justify this stance, as does the fact she is out hunting for ammunition before the policy she opposes has even been implemented.

As Immigration minister Morrison notes in the article I have linked, facts and Sarah Hanson-Young aren’t two things that readily come to mind at the same time; and as trite as his words might be, his assertion that Hanson-Young’s trip will simply give her something to “whinge and complain (about) like she always does” is on the mark.

Pigs might fly, and charcoal might sprout, and — tomorrow morning — the sun could very well rise in the west.

But will Sarah Hanson-Young uncover any “facts” about refugee policy on her current jaunt to Cambodia?

Don’t hold your breath.


(Liberal) Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves

THE ESTABLISHMENT of a network for female Coalition staff by the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin, is to be congratulated; about the only drawback against it is that such a group should be necessary at all, shunned as women on the conservative side of the aisle have been by the “sisterhood” — or handbag hit squad — which talks a good game on the advancement of women, but clearly does not count females in the Liberal Party as “women.”

First things first: it’s been a little while since there’s been an audio link included with one of my articles (and we probably need to change that up a bit) but this morning, we’ve got a beauty: and all readers, men and women, political friends and opponents alike, can crank this ripsnorter of a track up to the limit as they read on. I’m sure it won’t surprise anyone what it is, but belt it out and enjoy it all the same.

In all my years in media (and prior to that, in restaurants) I have worked with — and for — many, many good people; I have also worked with some absolute shockers, and it would not surprise any reasonably minded individual to know that the ranks of both the “stars” and the no-hopers have been populated with men and women alike.

As an employee, the two best bosses I ever had were impossible to separate on merit, and one was male and one was female; the three worst are some of the most insidious and utterly useless specimens I have ever had the misfortune to have encountered, and one of them was male too. And where my colleagues have been concerned more broadly, I couldn’t give a shit whether they are male or female, to put it bluntly: whether they can do their jobs, and beyond that whether they work professionally and collegiately, are the things that are most important. I think most people will be nodding their heads at this point.

But politics is one of those spheres where gender has remained not only an issue of contention, but in recent times become a political football as well. Perversely, and grotesquely, certain women have fuelled this process, claiming in word to defend and champion the advancement of their sisters whilst being revealed in deed as mere pedlars of an odious and divisive political sub-plot that probably causes the lot of women generally tremendous damage.

I am talking, of course, of the so-called “Handbag Hit Squad,” or the “sisterhood,” which is a network of women of the Left centred primarily (but not exclusively) on the deeply socialist group Emily’s List; where the rights of women on the Left are concerned, this group is shrill in its advocacy; where those on the Right are concerned, it is silent. And when “misogyny” is brought to bear on the members of the sisterhood, the outrage and indignant righteousness is deafening, but when the same misdeeds are committed against the women of the Right, this group remains mute.

It is little wonder, therefore, that the Coalition Women’s Staff Network — the brainchild of Peta Credlin, chief of staff to Prime Minister Tony Abbott — launched last week with some 300 attendees, most of them female Coalition staffers, to meet a need that was certainly never going to be met by the personal decencies of their counterparts in the ALP or the Communist Party Greens.

Depending on preference, readers can access press articles on Credlin’s initiative from the Fairfax or Murdoch press today.

I have enormous sympathy for Credlin on this issue; not least on account of the vicious and disgusting personal attack she was subjected to by boofhead federal MP Clive Palmer back in June, but also because some of the real issues it touched on are common to people in my group personally, and because of the lack of basic human courtesies that good people simply do not respond to in like kind.

That episode was as telling for Palmer’s foot in his mouth as it was for the conspicuous silence of the Handbag Hit Squad, which mostly declined to condemn Palmer and/or to make any statements of unequivocal support for Credlin as a woman irrespective of the fact she was a political opponent.

And it seems the justifiable fury the incident provoked in Credlin spurred her to orchestrate this group for Coalition women: and I say, good on them.

Regrettably, the Palmer incident was not the first time Credlin had been unfairly targeted, and neither was it the first time Coalition women have been on the receiving end. And it was simply the latest in a long line of targeted attacks on females in Coalition ranks in which the women of the Left have remained mute.

No end of insulting formulations have found their way in the direction of Speaker Bronwyn Bishop, for example; likened to a rottweiler wearing lipstick and other unsavoury metaphors, members of the “sisterhood” have even participated in throwing these slurs around.

Female MPs on the Coalition side such as Sophie Mirabella and Concetta Fierravanti-Wells — reviled by the ALP for their effectiveness — were given no quarter by Labor women at the same time their leader was grabbing international headlines for a speech about “misogyny” made in defence of a man caught out sending absolutely filthy, degrading text messages about women to a staffer: a technicality which, when pointed out to those on the Left, merely elicits a barrage of anti-Liberal bile and an attempt to change the subject.

It’s been going on for years; 20 years ago I remember the then-leader of the Queensland Liberals, Joan Sheldon, being excoriated as boasting a pedigree that was “50% German, 50% Shepherd” by the ALP, whose female MPs and officials never uttered a syllable in Sheldon’s defence.

And when Liberal women achieve any kind of success (let alone, God forbid, resounding success) the silence is deafening; Tanya Plibersek, repeatedly given opportunities to acknowledge the fine efforts and accomplishments of Julie Bishop as Foreign minister in the aftermath of the Malaysia Airlines disaster, the Ukraine-Russia dispute and activity around ISIS earlier in the year, eventually — and grudgingly — claimed that Bishop’s achievements showed that the machinery of the United Nations worked well, and no more.

On the positive side, anything that provides support and pastoral nourishment on a professional level should be encouraged, and especially in the world of politics, which can be a lonely enough and difficult enough place at the best of times.

And to her credit, the objectives Credlin appears to have established for her group seem first-rate, with female leaders from a variety of vocations set to feature as guests, speakers, and mentors to the Coalition staff network.

But damned in the breach is the “sisterhood,” whose bleating about “misogyny” and blind rants against all manner of ills they claim to suffer do not extend across the aisle to their Coalition counterparts, for whom their disdain shows they hold in as much contempt as the “misogynists” — real, imagined or perceived — whom they claim cause them so much suffering and grief.

I hope the Credlin initiative is a great success, and that it prospers well beyond its promising debut last week; after all, as is the way with these things, it is easy enough the begin something but increasingly difficult to maintain momentum once the initial flurry of activity and excitement wears off.

And perhaps the group could invite Palmer to a closed-door session on pregnancy, conception, and the challenges they can impose on the career of women: it might not remotely interest him, but given Palmer has seen fit to mouth off inadvisedly about such matters, he might as well hear about them, first-hand, from the group in society e-er destined to live and embody them.


Sarah Hanson-Young And The Hammer And Sickle

A PHOTOGRAPH of Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young — apparently wearing a brooch in the form of a hammer and sickle — has circulated widely this week on microblogging website Twitter; if the authenticity of the image is disputed by the Senator, The Red And The Blue will offer her an opportunity to respond. If it is a genuine image, however, then this unpopular and provocative representative of the hard Left has some explaining to do.

Readers know that it is only half in partisan jest that I paint the Greens as Communists; the other half of my motive in doing so stems, in deadly earnest, from the fact that impartial consideration of their policies and their platform show them to be a far more ominous entity than simple tree-hugging, harmless, Gaia-loving hippies.

And what most people who think the Greens are harmless don’t realise is that the Green movement itself was originally set up in Nazi Germany as an attempted foil to the advancing tide of Communism; far from repelling the Red Menace, the Greens were subsumed by it.

“Concern for the environment” has little (if anything) to do with Greens policies these days.

So it comes as little surprise that the Australian Greens already boast one openly communist MP in the form of Senator Lee Rhiannon, a former fellow traveller and propaganda writer for the USSR; I have said previously that I don’t believe Rhiannon has any moral right whatsoever to sit in any Australian House of Parliament, and as a declared adherent of a foreign government that for many years was also an enemy power, I don’t think she should have the legal right to sit in the Senate either.

Are there two of them in the Greens’ ranks?

An image has been circulating widely this week on Twitter; it features Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young alongside Melbourne MP Adam Bandt: the pair are at some kind of rally, with Hanson-Young addressing a crowd and a Greens’ placard visible. Apparently visible, too, is a vile and repugnant piece of jewellery on the left-hand lapel of Hanson-Young’s coat.

I made contact with the Senator’s electorate office in Adelaide this afternoon, seeking either confirmation that the image (see below) is genuine or an explicit denial that Hanson-Young has been sporting the hammer and sickle in public. When it comes to images that circulate on social media (and given the ubiquity of Photoshop) it pays to ask the question.



At the time of publishing this article — 9pm on Tuesday night, Melbourne time — I haven’t as yet had a response from Hanson-Young’s office; to be brutally candid I don’t expect one, either. I think my inquiry will simply be brushed aside and ignored.

(UPDATED, 10.45pm: A representative of Senator Hanson-Young’s staff has contacted me to strenuously deny the Senator has ever worn a hammer and sickle. More to follow).

So first things first: if the Senator or her staff contact me to deny the authenticity of the photograph in this image, I will — subject to agreement on form — publish a statement from Hanson-Young’s office in the interests of balance.

But more broadly, it needs to be remembered that Hanson-Young (and this is an old story) might play well with the Greens’ relatively small electoral constituency, but in almost every other quarter in the country she is either dismissed as an irrelevance at best, or suspiciously regarded as a dangerously divisive (and ill-informed) piece of work at worst.

Like most of her ilk on the hard Left of Australian politics, Hanson-Young and her odious views are anathema to the vast majority of Australians, and her “accidents happen” remark when challenged over the deaths of thousands of asylum seekers at sea, under a policy regime essentially dictated by the Greens to the Gillard government, would at the minimum be an apt summation of her unfortunate re-election last year.

I have no time whatsoever for Hanson-Young, her politics, her policies, her views or her party. I do support her right to say and think whatever she likes: a courtesy she and her colleagues do not reciprocate, and indeed would like to legislate out of existence.

But I cannot and I will not support the “right” of elected representatives in Australian Parliaments to wander around wearing the hammer and sickle.

This insidious emblem — little better than a swastika, to be frank — was the symbol of one of the most brutal and viciously oppressive totalitarian regimes the world has ever seen.

The tyranny and barbarism of communist rule in Russia, eastern Europe and elsewhere enslaved hundreds of millions of people; the regime in the USSR (and, literally by proxy, in the Soviet satellite states) imprisoned millions of their own in gulags, and an unquantifiable number of those were executed by their own government often for the crime of thinking and saying whatever they liked.

And again — as I remarked in relation to Senator Rhiannon — the USSR was a recognised enemy state after the second world war; pledged to the destruction of the capitalist system that underpinned the relative prosperity of the free world and to the overthrow of democracy, the nuclear-armed USSR brought the world to the brink of Armageddon several times, most notably in 1962. And even when the threat of military conflict between the USSR and the West was not imminent, the Soviet tools of deception, disinformation, subversion and subterfuge were a constant that many believe remain in practice even now by the ongoing regime in Moscow.

There is also the small matter of Australians who came here in the 1950s and 1960s, with the specific objective of escaping the cruelty and tyranny of Communism in eastern Europe: that emblem — especially when worn by a parliamentarian — is an affront to decency, and an insult to those Australians who have built lives and contributed in this country once freed of the Communist menace.

There are some good, decent people in the Greens with ideas that whilst I don’t agree with them (or at least, with the prioritisation placed on them) can be characterised as noble; people like Larissa Waters or even Bandt deserve some respect even if their policies do not merit electoral support, although I would add that they would do themselves a favour by arguing their cause on the Left of the ALP rather than as part of an insidious outfit like the Greens.

But Hanson-Young — like Rhiannon, or their horrible, sanctimonious, pious leader, Christine Milne — neither deserves nor warrants such courtesies of latitude.

In Hanson-Young’s case there is already a litany of own goals, anti-democratic policy prescriptions and doctrinaire fancies of the hard Left to her credit to excuse anyone for thinking she’s an embarrassment to governance in this country, and a dangerous — and downright nasty — specimen to boot.

Yet if it comes to pass that the image I have shared here is no triumph of Photoshop, I think Hanson-Young needs to level with the Australian public: on what basis does she believe it acceptable to masquerade openly as a Communist as a Senator, and on what basis does she believe this is compatible with her responsibilities as an elected member of Parliament?

As I said at the outset, depending on what (if any) response I get from my communications with her office today, we may revisit this — and give the Senator her say.

But at first blush, and as small a point as some might find it, this is simply more evidence of why Hanson-Young shouldn’t be eligible to be elected to represent anyone, and if the hammer and sickle are where her sympathies lie, then perhaps she — along with the regrettable Rhiannon — should get out of Australia altogether and go to live in Russia, where another totalitarian despot is hellbent on restoring the USSR to the world stage, and to restoring the “glory” it inflicted upon Russia, its people, and on others who were mortally terrified of its very existence.


Wrong Way: World Of Labor, Greens No Vision To Aspire To

EARLY IN their time in opposition — and early, too, in their “rebuilding” phase, in theory — the emerging “narrative” of Labor and the Communist Party Greens is vapid in its capacity to inspire, and frightening in its dislocation from reality. To oppose is one thing. To advocate a parallel universe, free of the constraints of reality or ethics, is another. To be sure, the world of the Australian Left is one nobody ought aspire to.

I half expected to see a Newspoll last night; given it looks like being another week before Newspoll recommences for 2014, I thought we’d talk about the past few months in review, and not least on account of the rich seam of…fertile material…our friends on the Left have provided in that time.

At the outset (and to avoid any charge of hypocrisy) I should like to spell out, unambiguously, that there is nothing wrong with an opposition actively opposing a government. After all, it’s what Tony Abbott did, relentlessly, for four years — destroying two Prime Ministers (three if you count Rudd twice) and obliterating an otherwise ascendant Labor government in the process.

The difference, of course, is that the Abbott onslaught was aimed squarely at defective policies and legislation, and their (often destructive) consequences; from what we’ve heard and seen from the ALP and the Greens to date, the approach they seem determined to take relies on selective dishonesty, hypocrisy, the inconsistent application of principles — if they could even be called that — and the apparent pursuit of a world in which friends are feted, and enemies plundered, but which could and would only ever end in tears.

There is a single, basic falsehood that lies beneath almost every policy, every prescription, and every forked-tongue utterance that derives from the modern Australian Left: the assumption, so obvious that millions of otherwise rational people refuse to acknowledge or concede its existence, that the pot of money to be doled out — to reward cronies, and buy allegiances and votes — is endless.

And yet at first glance, some of what I seek to take aim at appears not to concern money at all, or to do so only as an afterthought: it must be remembered that when it comes to the Left, many parts make up the whole, and its handiwork should be viewed accordingly.

In fact, many readers will have heard me point out that whilst we on the conservative side of politics tend to be “a party” — with loosely affiliated, often passive friends among families, the middle class, business and the elderly — the ALP, by contrast, presents as “a movement.”

So it is: the constituent parts of that movement — the Left — include the ALP, the Greens, the harder-core political Left who hate liberals and conservatives, and hate even liberty and tradition themselves; the ABC, the Fairfax press, and other sympathetic voices in the media; the civil service, the unions, the universities, the school system, the welfare lobbies and a hefty slice of the churches. And that’s just for starters.

It’s important to be clear about just what makes that “movement” up in order to fully understand its aspirations. The Left in Australia has, since the days of Whitlam, steadily and stealthily infected an expanding range of this country’s institutions to perpetuate itself, with the attendant danger that the line between its preferred narrative of society and reality becomes so blurred that most of the people who live here fail to be able to make the distinction.

It’s the reason why (to use a quick example) kids in schools are compelled to learn about and embrace diversity and tolerance and the value of welfare, whilst basic economics or capitalism is an elective unit at best, and institutions such as the monarchy and a literal interpretation of Australian history are “educated” out of existence.

The problem with socialism — in all its incarnations, be they moderate or extreme, virulent or seemingly harmless — is that a theoretical case can be made for them. In practice, none of it works. And in the end, as Margaret Thatcher summed up succinctly, the problem with socialism is that sooner or later it runs out of other people’s money to spend.

Amen to that.

Let’s have a look at what has been going on of late.

We know, of course, that in the wake of the so-called Indonesian spying row, the Left  — with the bucket emptied all over the conduct of Labor in office — left Abbott and his colleagues to carry the can. Never mind that the Liberal Party declined to bandy around insults over the issue, or sheet home the blame to the ALP, which it was entitled to do. The real enemy in the equation was US traitor Edward Snowden, who (along with that other treacherous dog, Julian Assange) has shot to notoriety by releasing state secrets and other classified material with the primary objective of embarrassing Right-leaning governments in Western democratic countries.

Labor, and its sycophantic cousins over at the Greens, could scarcely believe their luck; never mind the fact the Liberal Party had nothing to do with the alleged misdeeds made public for the explicit purpose of creating an international incident. Such incidents tend to develop a nasty tendency to backfire on an apolitical basis: that is, it really doesn’t matter who did what — if the explosion is strong enough, it blasts everything in its path.

Even so, to listen to the carry-on from Labor and the Greens in particular, anyone would think the revelations were lucky not to have started a war: their own hands, of course, are spotless.

It’s much the same with the continuing “stop the boats” rage that has the Left in paroxysms of rage; the revelations that Australian vessels had inadvertently encroached on Indonesian waters several times has only been reported as diplomatically dangerous by the Fairfax press. Elsewhere — in more reputable organs of the Australian media, and from international sources — the key story has been that Australian forces have secured an agreement to co-operate in the implementation of the Abbott government’s border control measures with respect to the unauthorised arrival of asylum seekers by boat, with the maritime transgressions a factor to be worked through and eliminated in the continuing course of a policy that has otherwise proven extremely successful thus far.

(Again, however, you’d think this issue too was about to start a war with Indonesia as well, to listen to the ALP and the Greens).

Tim Blair, writing in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, published an excellent piece yesterday that went into a great depth of analysis of everything wrong with the approach of the Left on this issue.

The villain in his article was the regrettable Greens’ Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, although he could just as easily have been discussing one of dozens of figures from the Greens, or the ALP, or from their more vocal mouthpieces in the press.

I’ll leave readers to peruse his article (and you can do so here), but the opening paragraph — that “leftists are actually more upset that lives are being saved by Tony Abbott’s government than they ever were by the deaths of asylum seekers under the previous Labor government” — sums it up perfectly. Alas, it’s all downhill from there, although there is nothing in his analysis that it factually incorrect, and that’s a scary thing.

For those still conflicted by the merits or otherwise of the issue, just remember Australia already spends close to $15 billion per annum on asylum seekers, by virtue of policies pursued and implemented by Hanson-Young and her colleagues in concert with the Labor Party, and that those policies were an abysmal failure. Yet the best the Senator can do on the issue of hundreds of people dying as a direct result of those policies was the cavalier observation that “tragedies happen, accidents happen.”

Charming stuff.

And in a passing mention of China’s increasing militarism and threatening behaviour aimed at several of its regional neighbours (to say nothing of the thinly veiled threats levelled at pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong), one would have thought it made sense to give some kind of contingency consideration to where Australia would stand if any of China’s military adventures came to blows; one would have thought Labor and Shorten (and even the lunatics at the Greens) would welcome the opportunity to engage in such a discussion, even if for no better reason than to parade a little nous on international matters before the voting public. But no, by initiating such a discussion at all, Abbott and Co are inviting — you guessed it — more international conflict.

Labor and the Greens have tried to reap huge dividends from the decision by General Motors to shut down its Holden manufacturing operations in Australia, despite overwhelming evidence (not least from GM’s own public relations releases) suggesting the decision was taken behind closed doors in Detroit months ago, irrespective of what was subsequently served up for public consumption by way of an “official” process to determine Holden’s fate, or the timing of the “official” announcement.

In other words, the deal had been done when Labor was still in office. Significantly, no Labor figure has ever publicly denied or sought to rebut this point.

And this makes the hypocrisy of its so-called “leader,” Bill Shorten, absolutely galling: as much as he throws around the insults that the Abbott government “did nothing” to stop the Holden closure, and that it “sat on its hands,” and that Holden is a mere taste of the “war on jobs” that Labor apparently believes Abbott is determined to wage, Shorten knows too well that the blame lies with his cronies in the union movement — by virtue of the extortionate enterprise bargaining agreements it struck with Holden, the other car manufacturers, and a raft of other companies like Qantas that are now sitting on wage-related nuclear bombs that are ready to explode — and with the Gillard and Rudd governments, to the extent they may have done anything to change the outcome.

We’ll come back to Shorten a bit later. I’m not done with him just yet.

But talking about Qantas, I wanted to draw attention today to the dubious efforts of another odious specimen from the Greens, former (actual) Communist and USSR propagandist Lee Rhiannon, whose position on the well documented issues facing the national airline would be ridiculous were it not such a brutal illustration of the silliness of doctrinaire socialism.

The contemptible Rhiannon was favoured last week with an article in The Australian, in which she simply dismissed the very real and existential problems as Qantas as nothing more than a stunt.

(In the interests of balance on this point — and looking to another section of The Australian from last week — readers might like to check this article out too, by Grace Collier, who leaves little doubt about the true nature of at least one of the massive handicaps Qantas faces and, more importantly, why).

I have been a vocal and ardent supporter and defender of Qantas for many years, and will continue to be so; I have also conceded that some of its problems stem from poor decisions that have come home to roost: the purchase more than a decade ago of the wrong aircraft types for its fleet renewal program, ordering A380s instead of B777-200LRs and -300ERs to replace its ancient fleet of B747-400s, is a prime example.

But the key to Qantas problems, first and foremost, is its cost base: and for “cost base,” largely, substitute “labour costs.” Thanks to Collier, some perspective on the scope of those costs can finally be shared, and indeed ought to be rammed down the throat of Shorten or any union leader claiming their members are inadequately or uncompetitively remunerated. But I digress.

The upshot of Rhiannon’s grotesquely crass remarks is that Qantas must be Australian owned — no more, no less — whether by Australian shareholders or by Australian institutional investors, or a combination. Failing that, the government should re-nationalise it.

This formulation denies reality; Qantas’ problems do not derive from who might own it were the Qantas Sale Act to be repealed; they derive — union-crafted wage structures notwithstanding — from the fact competitor Virgin Australia has access to a virtually bottomless bucket of cash through its foreign owners with which to seek to erase Qantas from the skies.

Rhiannon can’t even get the details of that correct, suggesting Singapore Airlines would be a potential buyer for Qantas were restrictions on ownership relaxed; the Singaporean carrier already owns a hefty slice of Virgin, and even if it were inclined to play both sides of the competitive fence, it would likely be blocked by the ACCC from doing so on anti-competition grounds.

Even so, Rhiannon’s stand isn’t too hard to identify; an extinct Qantas is better than one substantially owned by offshore interests. How that helps the travelling public or the national interest is impossible to ascertain.

But socialists like to nationalise things, and so it comes as little surprise that this is one potential “solution” to Qantas’ woes Rhiannon seems receptive to. Then again, of course, she probably wouldn’t object to Aeroflot taking Qantas’ place in Australian skies; it certainly wouldn’t be inconsistent with any of the other nutty ideas this one-time agent of Moscow has the nerve to flaunt.

A complementary theme was taken up in The Age — that supposedly “impartial” left-wing trash rag that constituted the total of Labor’s endorsements from major newspapers at least year’s election — on Saturday, in a opinion piece penned by ACTU president Ged Kearney.

Clearly mindful of the cosy influence and sinecures enjoyed by union cronies who have had it too good for too long, Kearney makes the unbelievable overreach that “big business,” rather than the government, is about to take control of Australia: and not to put too fine a point on it, this is apparently about the biggest scary thing to have ever confronted the country since…well, since the previous biggest scary thing — WorkChoices — that ten years down the track Labor and the unions are still trying to fight election campaigns on.

Never mind the fact the ALP (with all the help from the likes of the ACTU as it could summon) made a spectacular botch of its last period in government; the notion anyone else could govern Australia more effectively must be kyboshed at all costs. But this was, after all, the same Ged Kearney so willing to judge an Abbott government on its merits that she told a gathering of teachers last April that the ACTU would launch a “pre-emptive strike” on Tony Abbott ahead of last year’s election: not the words of someone seeking to work productively with the government of the day in the interests of her members.

The main objective of Kearney’s article, as I read it, seems to be to attempt to destroy the credibility of any external entities providing expertise and counsel to the new government as it commences its root and branch review of governance: the Business Council of Australia and the Productivity Commission are the key targets, of course; heaven forbid they or their members should have a clue about how Australia operates, or indeed how it should.

Her attack on mining leader Andrew Forrest, however, defies belief.

Forrest — a sometime Labor-friendly character with a proven willingness to engage all sides — has a long history of philanthropic work involving remote Aboriginal communities, with a program dedicated to combating aboriginal disadvantage that runs alongside another providing academic and vocational scholarships for Aboriginal communities. His work (and expertise) in this area is admirable, and formidable.

According to Kearney, however, as “one of the richest men in Australia,” Forrest’s appointment by the Abbott government to lead a review of indigenous training and employment “should raise eyebrows.” It seems that where Australia’s Left is concerned, if you want to have any influence in this country — or be recognised as having any expertise or even detailed knowledge at all, about anything — the last thing you should do is to actually make some money and succeed.

They simply won’t stand for it. Or to the extent they will do so, they will seek to tax that money out of existence.

To tie it all together, this brings us neatly to the subject of Labor “leader” Bill Shorten, himself a former union chief now masquerading as a contender for the Prime Ministership.

In the interests of even-handedness, I’m sharing links to two profiles on Shorten today: one from Fairfax and one from Murdoch, both of which appeared in newspapers across the country yesterday to commemorate Shorten’s first 100 days as Labor’s “leader.”

Shorten hasn’t earned the nickname “Bull Shittin'” for no reason, and even the Fairfax profile one would expect to be friendly makes no attempt to hide the contradictions in his story; his laughable claim to be developing a plan to tackle alcohol-related street violence ignores the fact this is purely a state government issue, yet he offers Abbott “bipartisanship” in tackling it. Presumably when Abbott refuses (because the Commonwealth doesn’t actually police licensed establishments), he’ll be dismissed as a drunkard and a misogynist!

Last week’s heatwave in southern Australia is offered as proof that Julia Gillard’s carbon tax should be retained, despite the fact the tax was still in force when the heatwave struck.

Shorten belts the same dishonest can as the rest of his morally bankrupt MPs have done about the Holden closure, signalling the Abbott government will be at fault if EBAs run SPC, Qantas and Electrolux out of business too: unions can’t be blamed for anything of course.

Rather pompously, Shorten told Fairfax that ”this is the year where we talk to people, hold the government to account,” which sounds, rather unkindly, like a plan for Labor to continue to tell everyone what to think, and to seek to crucify anyone who doesn’t — a straight copy from the Rudd/Gillard playbook.

And the kindest thing anyone could say about “Bull’s” interview with the Murdoch press is that it is…well, that it’s bullshit.

There is a systemic and total denial that the ALP is in any way responsible or culpable for its failings in office in anything Shorten has to say.

There is a blind, or blithe, denial of the fact the nation’s budget has been run so far into the red as to be structurally unsustainable over anything beyond the short term, haemorrhaging red ink and sucking in foreign capital as it is simply to continue to run.

But this clearly doesn’t bother or trouble Shorten, who says that “we want to make sure we’re a conscientious opposition, not negative for negative’s sake but we ensure the Abbott government doesn’t break promises,” which is presumably the rationale behind the fact that any bill presented to the Senate since the election containing reductions in expenditure has been rejected or obstructed, whilst any measure increasing spending has been passed.

Abbott went to last year’s election foreshadowing a need to do “some things that wouldn’t be popular” — a clear allusion to the need to cut spending, vary policy pledges, and even make modest imposts on people, such as the mooted $6 co-contribution for some patients on GP consultations. The early indications from the government’s budget audit is that the damage enacted by the ALP is far worse than the Liberals feared, and Shorten presumably, as an ex-Cabinet minister, knows exactly what that particular picture actually looks like.

Even so, it’s an attack on Medicare, it’s an outrageous broken promise, and a quick jump from a $6 co-payment to the full-blown failings of the US healthcare system for Abbott to take that action as part of the wider program of budget repair. There are plenty of other issues attracting the same treatment from the ALP.

Naturally, Shorten has no policies of his own to offer, and admitted as much. Far simpler just to throw shit, and stand back and watch it dribble from its targets’ faces upon impact.

He is, however, quite expansive about his belief he can lead the ALP back to power after a single term, and that’s the rub.

In short, Shorten — and Labor — stand for nothing except obstructionism, and they will say, quite literally, anything in this nihilistic pursuit of power.

Quite aside from anything else we’ve covered here, it should be remembered that a trickle of prominent Labor identities are finding their way through the Courts in various jurisdictions around the country in what is becoming a stream, if not a torrent: fraud, misappropriation of monies, corruption, the whole box and dice; it speaks to an entrenched culture of criminal misconduct and contempt for standards of decency and transparency in ALP circles, and ordinary folk are entitled to wonder who else among those ranks may be prosecuted, or indeed how many more of Labor’s number will find their pictures in the paper for the wrong reasons — or, equally, what they may have done.

This is a very long post, and I ask readers’ indulgence; having not posted for several days — but wanting to look at the Left from an overall perspective, rather than picking at separate issues — it seemed a perfect opportunity to do so. I have been extremely busy in my “real world” activities of late, and I apologise for the consequent sparse offerings in terms of fresh comment.

And what does all of this add up to?

With one eye on the six years that have recently concluded, and the other on the four months that have elapsed since, the signs of any quality in new offerings from the Left are not encouraging.

That whole movement — even the constituent parts of it — are so consumed with their lust for power and driven by revenge for its loss that no price is too high for them to pay to regain it, but of course saner heads beg to differ.

It isn’t the Australian way to incite wars when you can’t get your own way; no more than it’s the Australian way to virtually bankrupt the country when you do.

The cultures of abuse, hatred, victimisation and old-fashioned lies the Left deploy against anyone who disagrees with them doesn’t make them right any more than it makes the rest of us wrong.

The ALP, the Greens, the union movement and all of their associated, snivelling, get-in-the-gravy hangers-on have served Australia extremely poorly; rather than fixing up their act in the wake of a hefty election loss in September, that event seems to have spurred them on to more of the same jaundiced prescriptions for the country — and the world — we must all share.

Theirs is a world of entitlement without enterprise, rights without responsibilities, and noblesse oblige with neither the requisite nobility nor a sense of obligation based on anything other than the ability to shove their snouts, and those of their fellow travellers, into an endlessly taxpayer-funded trough.

The Abbott government is not perfect. Like any organisation of human beings, it will get things right and it will make mistakes. It has an enormous task ahead of it to correct the mismanagement that preceded it, and it is in the interests of all Australians that it get that job right.

Perfect or not, Australia under the Liberals is a far more attractive proposition than the alternative. The picture the Left seeks to paint is one of conflict, of hardship, and of a hierarchical order based on those “in the circle” and those who are not — an irony I suspect totally lost on a movement so obsessed with its own crusades to tear down what it perceives as “class barriers” in Australia.

The Australia, and the world, that the Left seek to create in its image should be a frightening prospect for anyone interested in a fair, decent, or tolerant society that is competently run by intelligent people.

And for the party that invented the concept of “the light on the hill”, Labor has no vision to speak of; to the extent it does, that vision is nothing worth aspiring to, let alone allowing to spawn into reality.