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“This is Australia, we speak ENGLISH here”

As a parent there is nothing more useful and informative than your child’s report card  because it lets you know where your offspring are succeeding and more importantly what part of their education needs further effort. As such I welcomed the introduction of NAPLAN testing because its nationally consistent methodology and its easy to comprehend reporting does a good job of telling parents where our children stand in relation to their fellows on the all important skills of literacy and numeracy I also like the fact that this is a test for which there can be no “cramming”. Which is why I found the piece in today’s Age rather strange:

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I can’t help but think that Kevin Pope is entirely divorced form the real world and far too hung up with the ideology  of multiculturalism which seeks to accommodate new arrivals from other cultures rather than help them become part of the greater Australian  society. Kevin clearly needs to realise the same simple truth that my late  father in law used to enunciate to his mother when she would speak to him in their native Dutch “This is Australia, we speak ENGLISH here”  because there is no escaping the fact that all new arrivals and for that matter all indigenous people for whom English is a second language, will not find a fruitful life unless they are competent  in English. Language competency is the core business of our schools and If Kevin Pope can’t deliver that or at least give delivering that his best shot then surely he has no business being in the teaching game at all.

Cheers Comrades

‘They could have at least shot the tyres, not shoot at little kids’ well maybe not

"In a bid to halt the car, police opened fire, hitting the 14-year-old male driver in the chest and arm, and a passenger, Troy Taylor, 18, in the neck." Photo: Jacky Ghossein

When I heard about the shooting of two young indigenous “children”  while they were in  a stolen car  I could not help wondering just how much time the police officers involved had spent on the firing range, two shot and no fatalities? They need more practice!

Ok maybe I should not be so flippant but what can the indigenous elders and community leaders expect when  the police are faced with  life threatening behaviour that saw the car driven at a pedestrian?

Surely this is an incident where (potentially) lethal force was both necessary and justified no matter who the perps were. Sadly real life is not like the movies where a car can be stopped dead by shooting its tyres out as one person has suggested in the SMH report. 

Isn’t it funny though that all of our friends from the left will claim or imply that the reason for so many indigenous people coming into contact with the law and  subsequently sojourning in one of Her Majesty’s fine hotels is a result of racism and prejudice rather than the fact that so many of the community seem to  have a total disregard for the laws that govern us all.

  Cheers Comrades

 

 

Trying to define “war” for the benefit of “JM”

In the previous thread JM keeps trying to convince me that the colonial experience in this country was a “war” and I keep resisting that suggestion because I just don’t think that it qualifies as such by any meaningful definition.

War is an organized, armed, and often a prolonged conflict that is carried on between states, nations, or other parties[1][2] typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political communities, and therefore is defined as a form of political violence.[1][3] The set of techniques used by a group to carry out war is known as warfare. An absence of war, (and other violence) is usually called peace.

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By way of contrast just look at the way that the Maori actaully fought for their territory against the British, now that was a real war:

The first British action of the Flagstaff War was the capture and destruction of Pomare’s Pa near Kororareka. This was a substantial Māori settlement, so to the British it was a victory, but the Māori warriors escaped with their arms, so they did not see it as defeat.

The British then set out to do the same to Kawiti’s Pa at Puketapu. But this was a purpose-built strong point with only one objective; to invite attack by the British. It was several kilometres inland, across very difficult country—steep gullies, dense, bush-clad hills and thick, sticky mud. The British troops were already exhausted when they arrived in front of the pa. The next day, they made a frontal attack and discovered that the bush and gullies they were advancing through were full of warriors. Some British troops reached the palisade and discovered that attacking thick wooden walls with muskets was not effective. After several hours of costly but indecisive skirmishing, the British withdrew. Their Māori kupapa allies were able to feed them and they were not attacked by their Māori enemies on the retreat back to the coast.

The attack on Puketapu Pa was typical of Māori-British warfare. Māori would build a fortified pa, sometimes provocatively close to a British fort or redoubt, and the British would attack it. Their aim was always to bring Māori to battle to inflict a decisive defeat. In European warfare, besieging an enemy fortress usually provoked a battle. However, Māori also knew that they would probably lose heavily in open conflict; this had been the result on the few times that it happened. Generally, they were successful in avoiding it.
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Notice the difference between the New Zealand experience and that in this country? There the Maori actively made efforts to resist with a clear leadership structure, and the built and used the techniques of war, had a warrior culture and the social disciple to use it. Is it any wonder that even though they did not succeed in excluding the British form their territory they did end up with far more favourable terms for peace and reconciliation because they actually fought for it?

Cheers Comrades

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Frog Soup

While we deal with too much water per se up here in Queensland down Canberra way the political water which surrounds the embattled Prime minister just continues to get warmer with former supporter and all round  nut job Andrew Wilkie now saying that he will support an, as yet unmooted by the opposition, motion of no confidence in the government.

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Of course all it needs now is just one of the members  that Gillard currently counts upon to cross the floor and Gillard and her motley crew would be gone. Sadly I don’t see it happening, mainly because we have a slowly boiling frog situation here in this parliament and I can’t see any of the government  MPs leaping out of the pot  no matter how uncomfortable the water temperature is getting.  What it boils down to is that Labor members have two choices: stay in the pot with Gillard or leap into the fire of voter anger over her incompetence. Which is something like Hobbson’s choice  if you ask me.

Frankly I expect that what we will see, over the near future, is just some slowly simmering frog soup flavoured by the bitter disappointment of Labor’s true believers (like our Ray 😉  ) who know the taste is unpalatable and the stench unbearable yet they have no choice but to declare that the soup is, like the curate’s egg, “good in parts”.

Cheers Comrades

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Lefty can’t see violence at lefty protest

No violence to see here. Moving on folks.

This blog has previously noted that Greens supporter Jeremy Sear has a far more favourable view towards left-wing protests than he does right-wing protests for no real reason other than that they belong to the same political tribe as himself.

True to form, Jeremy in his latest post disputes that the Australia Day Aboriginal ’embassy’ protest, apparently inspired by the Prime Minister’s office, involved violence.

Let’s look at the facts of this protest:

– the angry mob barricaded the PM and Opposition Leader inside a function centre, yelling obscenities and acting aggressively.

– there was pushing of and jousting with police.

– Julia Gillard’s bodyguards deemed the situation dangerous enough that they grabbed and moved the Prime Minister off.

– Protesters followed the PM and Opposition Leader to their cars, forcing police to push them off. One even jumps in front of their vehicle.

If Jeremy disputes the meaning of the term violence, perhaps he should consult a dictionary:

violence

noun

1. swift and intense force: the violence of a storm.

2. rough or injurious physical force, action, or treatment: to die by violence.

3. an unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights or laws: to take over a government by violence.

4. a violent act or proceeding.

5. rough or immoderate vehemence, as of feeling or language: the violence of his hatred.

That last definition would seem to cover what unfortunately occurred on Australia Day.

Presumably, Jeremy’s view is that there’s no violence unless someone is seriously or wilfully assaulted. What an absurd position to take.

I bet that if an angry mob presented itself outside the home of Mr and Mrs Sear and carried on in such a manner, that our friend would be quick on the phone to the police, as any sensible person would.

Here’s an indication of the calibre of some of Jeremy’s readers:

Don’t you know Jeremy: Angry people = riot = an excuse not to do anything about what made the people angry in the first place.  Unless the angry people are Coalition voters of course.

It’s called realpolitik or political opportunism. Take your pick. The neocons are world class practitioners of it.

The optics of this situation are not good, but can you blame them?  Abbott was being a dick, like usual, speaking without thinking

Unlike the objective intellectual dishonesty debunker that Jeremy imagines to be, he is little more than a partisan observer who cannot see things as they are if they conflict with his world-view. No wonder his readers are all of the left, and similarly blinded by their one-eyed view of things.

When will Rudd return?

I have reproduced this post from my home blog Alpine Opinion. It’s NOT about the Queensland election per se, which is a separate issue, but more regarding the likelihood that Kevin Rudd will use the Queensland election campaign to build a platform (or a higher platform) from which to make his bid to regain the Prime Ministership:

Bligh: "That's him, that's Campbell Newman over there." Rudd: "You mean that little runt? I can play him on a break."

The recent Australia Day kerfuffle in Canberra was not Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s fault. I’m sure she had no prior knowledge of – nor did she authorise – her adviser to stir up the aboriginal tent embassy protestors into an ugly mob that resulted in some dramatic, if not outright bizarre & embarrassing, footage of the PM being dragged, manhandled and groped by an AFP ‘minder’, who thought he’d find his 15 minutes of fame by acting as though someone had pulled a gun on his boss. They hadn’t, and I suggest that the PM (and Tony Abbott) could have merely walked to their cars surrounded and flanked by security, instead of the rather unedifying manner in which they were forced to look like prized scaredy cats … to the whole world.

Anyway, the upshot of it all is that it did Gillard’s re-election prospects no favours whatsoever. By contrast, Abbott actually suffers no such blemish, as it has emerged that a PM staffer did ‘the dirty work’ and that Tony Abbott’s words had in no way inflamed the protesters . Julia Gillard just can’t take a trick and seems to stumble (literally in this latest incident) from one disaster to another. Rightly or wrongly she is increasingly perceived as ‘dead person walking’, in a purely political sense of course.

The other thing that is becoming increasingly obvious is that Kevin Rudd, the man she unceremoniously deposed as PM just prior to the 2010 election, will at some stage make a challenge for the leadership. It’s now a case of ‘when’ not ‘if’ Rudd will seek to get his old job back. And he seems to have picked the perfect vehicle in joining Anna Bligh on her Queensland re-election campaign, as this Age article points out:

KEVIN Rudd will use the Queensland election campaign as the springboard for a renewed push to wrest the prime ministership back from Julia Gillard, Labor Party insiders predict.

The Foreign Minister, who represents the Brisbane seat of Griffith, promised he ”will help any campaign that they want me to” during the election, pitting Labor Premier Anna Bligh against former Brisbane lord mayor Campbell Newman, now Liberal National Party leader.

Labor insiders say Mr Rudd’s involvement in the campaign for the March 24 election is designed to boost his profile, highlight the disparity in popularity between the former and present prime ministers, remind his caucus colleagues how crucial Queensland is in the next federal election – and stoke leadership tensions.

… Mr Rudd isn’t expected to make a move on the leadership until after the poll, which Labor is tipped to lose badly.

The most recent Newspoll put it 12 percentage points behind the LNP on a two-party-preferred basis. ”If the result is very bad in Queensland for Labor, it will put enormous pressure on Julia Gillard,” a senior party figure said.

Okay, words from “insiders” (faceless people) don’t amount to much, but I’d suggest they’re probably spot on in this case. Think about it: Rudd is a Queenslander – the first ever Queensland PM – and didn’t they react violently (in voting terms) to Gillard’s knifing of him in the 2010 election? If it hadn’t been for Queensland, Labor would clearly have been returned in their own right with no reliance on the Greens, Windsor, Oakeshott and the flakey Andrew Wilkie. No need for a carbon tax. No need for pokie reforms and no need to break the deal and, once again, appear two-faced and untrustworthy. Rudd would be now heading for a 3rd term in my opinion.

And despite the Queensland opinion polls that put Anna Bligh well behind her LNP opposition, I reckon Kevin Rudd can make a difference and at least help to close the gap on Campbell Newman, the would-be-Premier who is not even a Parliamentarian yet – a weakness both Bligh & Rudd are sure to exploit. Bligh may well lose the election but either way I reckon Rudd will come out of it a winner.

And it’s for that reason that my prediction on the question posed by the heading to this post is this:

Kevin Rudd will challenge Julia Gillard for the leadership sometime in April this year. And he’ll win.

What do you think?

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Julia Gillard’s shoe and the prospects of the other foot

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Tony Hodges, who has worked in the Prime Minister's office since 2009, told an unnamed source that Tony Abbott would be at an awards ceremony near to the Aboriginal tent embassy in Canberra on Thursday. The PM's office said the information was passed to activists angry at Mr Abbott just before an ugly protest led to a dramatic police rescue of Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott.

To this humble scribe our politics is rather like a soap opera writ large and run on every channel. From day to day we see the new drama high point as rival groups of script writers try to get their message up to the public and frankly there is some wry amusement to be found in the Australia day kerfuffle that Ray so kindly reported to the Sandpit readers as events were unfolding. Now that Julia will apparently get her shoe back (according to Britain’s Daily Mail) although you would not blame her for wanting to burn it if she does get it back. However the cutest plot twist of the whole sorry incident is the fact that it was one of the PM’s own staff who started the ball rolling on the nasty event by (dog) whistling up the land rights loony tunes from the tent embassy and misrepresenting Tony Abbott’s entirely innocuous comemnts as something far more provocative.

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Of course the staffer involved has fallen on his sword, as we quite rightly expect, however you have to ask just what sort of judgement led to him being engaged in the position in the first place if he was so lacking in good sense to have done something so stupid. His lack of judgement has exposed the PM to global ridicule and set of a course of events which has set back the cause of indigenous people, destroying a huge amount of good will that they enjoyed form the general public.
Hmm it seems to me that instead of employing young lefty ideologues in her press office Gillard needs to have some wise and cautious heads who don’t actaully believe the propaganda that they sprout about the opposition leader. but then again at this point in the government’s fortunes what wise head would want to work for a PM who has the ignoble prospect of being our worst Prime Minster since federation?

Cheers Comrades

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Tony Hodges, who has worked in the Prime Minister’s office since 2009, told an unnamed source that Tony Abbott would be at an awards ceremony near to the Aboriginal tent embassy in Canberra on Thursday.

The PM’s office said the information was passed to activists angry at Mr Abbott just before an ugly protest led to a dramatic police rescue of Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott.

Gillard & Abbott under attack … from the police!

I think they'd have been safer with the aborigines (click on image to enlarge)

What a bizarre thing to happen on Australia Day:

Dozens of police have escorted Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott from a Canberra restaurant that had been surrounded by angry protesters from the nearby Aboriginal Tent Embassy.

The Prime Minister stumbled as she was rushed to an awaiting vehicle and was helped up by police who were confronted by the protesters.

It appears the mob was incensed by remarks made by Mr Abbott earlier in the day in which he said he thought it was probably time to reconsider the relevance of the embassy.

The protesters gathered outside the restaurant near Old Parliament House where Ms Gillard was handing out medals to emergency services representatives. Mr Abbott was also inside the building.

At least 50 police, including the riot squad, were called to the scene shortly after 2.30pm (AEDT). The protesters, involved in an event to mark the 40th anniversary of the embassy, banged on the three glass sides of the restaurant chanting “shame” and “racist”.

The two leaders, protected by police and security officers, escaped out a side door after about 20 minutes. Protesters chased their car down the road, banging on its roof and bonnet.

There had been false reports that the Prime Minister had been tackled. Ms Gillard’s office confirmed she slipped as she was leaving the building.

Words fail me. Not over the incident but over the groping of the PM.

Abbott took it like a man though – have a look at him in the photos, he’s scared shitless!

Our fearless leaders.

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