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Jason Wilson can’t stand Milo Yiannopoulos

This is probably going to be long.
It stems very much from a conversation I have been having with Jason over twitter where he insisted to me that his purpose with this piece was to be a reporter frankly I don’t buy that claim for a minute because the essay I am going to critique is anything but journalism. Its a far left polemic in defense of the left wing  ideology  that Wilson is so invested in.

DePaul University Tour Shut Down by Protestors, Lead by Self-Styled Free Speech Warrior Milo Yiannopoulos

This is the title is certainly not a good start. In the first instance it is so clumsily worded that you could be forgiven for thinking that Yiannopoulos was the one shutting down the university tour rather than the Black lives matter activists who were the interrupters. Hang on tight dear readers because the things only get worse from here on in. for those interested Milo put up the vision for the De Paul incident at nearly two hours long its a bit of a grind to watch but it is interesting in the context of this essay

Yiannopoulos and his fans once again did not prove to be as robust as their rhetoric.


At DePaul, the self-styled free speech warrior and his fans once again did not prove to be as robust as their rhetoric. When protesters arrived they begged for the intercession of cops, and cartoonish redpill tough guy Matt Forney complained about being manhandled.

What would you expect any speaker to do if their event was interrupted? Get the audience to beat up the hecklers? You can’t have it both ways when the police  are tasked with keeping order and they fail to do this it is reasonable to be less than happy about it.

Nevertheless, the event received the usual hagiographic treatment on Breitbart and the Daily Caller, and once again Yiannopoulos was able to portray himself as the alt-right’s courageous truth-teller.

Which begs the question “is Milo telling the truth here?” Personally I would say that he is  but lets see if  Wilson even explores that question here

He was fortunate, in a way. On his current US campus tour, alleged threats to his free speech, and the back and forth between Yiannopoulos and his antagonists have been the only thing sustaining interest in the whole enterprise.

Hmm lets see If you hive a hall or lecture space and have your ability to perform is compromised by “activists” then isn’t that by definition his free speech being denied?

I know because I attended a Milo event at which there was no left reception committee. When he appears unchallenged, the Milo show is the dampest of squibs.

At the University of Oregon, where I saw him, it was not clear that he was especially grateful for the platform, or the lack of interruptions.

“Your professors are cunts, on the whole,” he tells the mostly student audience in an almost-full auditorium, “limp-wristed, pacifistic, sandal-wearing weirdos.”

It goes on like this for hours – the epithets are relentless and the provocations artless.  Without hostile interruptions, Yiannopoulos’s act, which unfortunately relies entirely on him speaking, is a one-note affair.

So much for Wilson as a reporter!  So much for Wilson as the man with a handle on the online traditions of shit posting and mischief making .

The Oregon engagement begins, like the others, with a one on one interview. Tonight his interlocutor is the co-president of the local branch of Young Americans for Liberty, who are sponsoring the evening. Then comes an open question and answer session, and Milo finishes up by giving fans an opportunity to take selfies with one of the right’s rising stars.

Its a tour around many campuses and were it any other type of tour there would not be any complaint about it having a running order or even a script that if followed on any of the legs of the tour.

But right now, that’s a long way off. First, we have to wade through the redpill boilerplate that constitutes Milo’s political views.

“There is an assault in this country”, he informs his interviewer, “on straight white men”, waged by “middle class women and cucks.” In this case the latter is being used to describe male feminists, who “don’t need to be castrated, they’ve done it themselves.”

Moving onto rape culture, which he considers a myth, he asks, with a theatrical moan, “Is there anything worse than consent?”

Wilson makes no secret of his disdain for Milo’s opinions, as is his right, however he undermines his own argument here by not even exploring the possibility that Milo has both the facts and the truth on the side of his talking points here. Wilson simply accepts all of the feminist orthodoxies without a single question

These opinions are odious, of course, but in another way utterly banal. Most adults will find Yiannopoulos’s show exactly as transgressive as a dirty joke told by a racist uncle. He wants desperately to cause deep offence to the left, and with some campus-based comrades, he clearly succeeds. Others will struggle to muster an eye-roll. I’ve heard pithier put-downs of progressives on Australian bar stools.

Why are his opinions “odious” would be an obvious thing to follow the opening claim of this paragraph but instead of that Wilson goes for that old favorite of the progressive the ad hominiem argument. The thing is having watched a lot of Milo’s shtick in his you tube vids he clearly gets a good response to his talk, his interviews and debates all show him to be witty clever and generally amusing. He may not be funny to the cohort of Wilson and his friends but as they are  among the targets of Milo’s sarcasm, satire and wit it would be surprising if Wilson and his friends enjoyed being so mercilessly mocked.

So why are all these other people laughing?

After all, even if you agree with this stuff, there’s not much here that’s new. Milo described the alt-right, for which he as a kind of spokesman, as a group which is “young, creative and eager to commit secular heresies”.

But anyone who’s ever listened to Michael Savage or Mark Levin, or even waited around in a small-town barber shop has already encountered all of this guff at punishing length. If there’s a difference, it’s purely a matter of presentation.

Students of the art of humor will tell you that there are only a handful of proto -jokes and all of  the huge  lexicon of laughs derive from this small seed, so its not always what you say as much as how you tell them  Milo’s shtick works because he is a consummate communicator and his audience likes what he says. Wilson is simply unable to do likewise because of his own political baggage and intellectual  investment in left wing progressive ideology.

His core politics are similar to those of the mens rights movement – he hates feminists and claims they’re waging a war on the *real* victims, men. But everyone on the American right pretty much agrees with this. He calls lesbians names and questions whether there should be further Muslim immigration. But these are not novel sentiments either.

On the subject of feminism this interview with Dave Rubin explains far better  what it is about contemporary feminism that deserves scorn and strong criticism. Wilson’s vilification and character assassination is based on the faulty belief that Milo objects to the now achieved (in western countries) goals of first and second wave feminism.

For sheltered campus conservatives in provincial college towns, though, it all sounds terribly naughty, even revolutionary. Not because of what’s being said, which is “redpill”  boilerplate, but because of who is saying it.

Has Wilson not heard of the internet?

In an irony whose full implications escape his audience – who are not, on the whole, well-attuned to such things – his identity is the only real value he adds to an otherwise bog-standard litany of complaints.

Its seems to me that Wilson can not cope with the idea that am  man can be both Gay and conservative

The conservative ecosystem is variously populated by talk-radio mastodons; dessicated, reptilian columnists; and near-vegetative think-tankers with about as much charisma as their lanyards. In this Jurassic world, Milo can self-consciously promote himself as something disruptive and new.

For someone who claims to be a “reporter” his political allegiances are doing great deal of harm to his objectivity

Of course, he’ll say he’s also bringing glamour. But as has been  pointed out, the guy dresses like something out of a “Hey, kids!” PSA, or Poochie.

If Wilson’s profile picture is anything to go by Wilson would not qualify as  any sort of fashionista himself, that said though if one takes the time to review Milo’s various media appearances its clear that the man is actually quite good at dressing for the occasion, most serious events will see Milo wearing a well cut suit but on the current tour he can of course be more frivolous.

Tonight, in pink t-shirt, bling, gaudy trainers and lightly distressed denim, he looks like he’s beamed in from the “boys casual wear” section of a decade-old Macy’s catalogue. Only the buttoned-down Randroids who run YAL could think that his frosted tips and ostentatious indoor sunglasses are anything other than normcore-gone-wrong.

Its called dressing for the occasion Mr Wilson and playing the game of political performance. Frankly I would have thought that  asocial media pundit such as your self would understand that all politics is a performance art-form then again I can’t help thinking that Wilson would be lauding any “progressive” using Milo’s tactics here maybe this explains Wilson’s clear rancor  because he simply can’t get his head around anyone other than one of his fellow progressives being so able to exploit the social media the way that Milo so clearly does.

The really entrancing thing for America’s reactionary dweebs and young fogeys is hearing this from a gay, British man in his thirties, rather than say, Rush Limbaugh.

It means that for an hour or two, they can put aside their niche anxieties about creeping sharia, or who is using which public restroom, and imagine that they are part of something subversive.

What Wilson fails to understand here is that while his progressive cronies have long held the upper hand in social discourse on the campuses of first world universities  to be a conservative and to be openly Gay about it IS a subversive act just as much as being a communist was for my own generation

The bonus is that even in making this pitch, he comforts his audience with the knowledge that they don’t have to take the political demands of other LGBT people seriously. He drops hints that deep down, he hates queers as much as they do.

NO there is simply not any hatred for “LGBT people” in play here Milo does not “Hate Queers” either on the surface or deep down. His take on is is quite sane and very grown up He enjoys being a homosexual is the bottom line

One of his biggest applause lines in Eugene was the moment when he distanced himself from other gay men, averring that “the worst thing about being gays is other gays… They’re just such fucking fags.”

Its called being self deprecating and taking the piss out of your own subculture that Milo both endorses and celebrates

It’s all a bit like music hall for young tories: marginally risque but ultimately reassuring. It’s conservative all right, but not in the edgy way Yiannopoulos imagines it to be.

If only Wilson could understand that Conservatives are allowed to have a place in the polity that is not just to be the butt of progressive ire, and what Milo’s “Dangerous faggot tour” is really about is pointing out that conservatives no longer  have to be hiding  in the shadows of campus life any more, they don’t have to remain under the dishonest heel of political correctness  , kowtowing to the craziness of third wave feminist nonsense

In fact he’s just one of a long line of performers who exist to endorse the whole slate of garden-variety petty bourgeois prejudices. It’s dull work, I imagine, but there’s a steady market for those who can give it fresh nuance.

For now, he appears to be on a roll. From his start as a Breitbart writer and gamergate troll, he’s energetically barged his way into the dress circle of rightwing celebrity.

Those over tight progressive underpants are in evidence again with this claim mainly because I don’t think that an Ideological warrior like Wilson  cannot  imagine that any legitimate criticism of progressivism   is  possible. Nor do I think that Wilson has any understanding of Gaming or the Gamergate movement he so casually dismisses. I asked him on twitter if he was a gamer  and his response was to try to chnage the subject. so my guess is that his opinions all come from the likes of Anita Sarkesiain  and those of her ilk rather than him having any experience of the subculture or the experience of gaming

He now rubs shoulders with the likes of Ann Coulter, with whom he shares a performative, post-Trump antipathy to established movement conservatism. He’s successfully positioned himself as a member of the “alt-right”, a movement for which he drafted a manifesto which also functions as an apologia for the open anti-semitism and racism of that community.

Hmm I simply don’t see the antisemitism that Wilson is claiming, in fact most of the  antisemitism in the western polity comes form the left in their apologia for Islam and the Jihadists.something that I have seen Wilson himself flirts with on twitter where despite me giving him ample giving him ample opportunities to denounce the inherent bigotry of Islam he could not bring himself to admit that Islam is hateful to Gays or women.

(During the evening, he retails the anti-establishment sentiments which are themselves now de rigeur on the right, saying that “the Republican Party needs to be torn up, burnt to the ground and rebuilt”.)

The hustle has been competent enough to secure the greatest reward that a bogus generational spokesman can reap: a profile in the New York Times magazine. And now, he’s on a US tour, bringing his fabulous brand of bigotry to America’s universities.

If there is one thing that is fabulous its the way that Wilson portrays anyone who offers a counter to the “progressive narrative” as bigotry, Question the Black lives matter narrative and in Wilson’s  view its bigotry, Question the silly claim that one in five students will be raped and its bigotry,  In fact its seems clear to me he is just over invested in the “progressive” orthodoxy and he is terrified of having to rethink any of that he just digs his heels in and calls people names because its

In Eugene, around 350 prople show up (at DePaul, Breitbart claimed there were 500, but they have a habit of talking their employee up). A solid three quarters of those in attendance were men. Given Milo’s obsession with detailing what he sees the failings of women – especially feminists, lesbians, and those who aren’t thin – it’s no surprise that his events are such sausage-fests.

Would Wilson care if a Feminist had a predominately female audience or would he disparage a majority female audience as a  “vag-fest” or some other derogatory term of a cohort of women ?

Indeed, the passages of the evening in which he talks about the many women that he doesn’t like are one of the few times that a genuine emotion – disgust – rises to the surface of his camp repartee.

When he describes lesbians as “horrendous, quivering masses of horror”, described feminism as “cancer”, he’s practically spitting. It’s the kind of vituperation you don’t usually employ unless you’ve encountered a real threat.

Like so many on the progressive side of politics Wilson has no sense of humor and no understanding that the anti-lesbian shtick  is all part of Milo’s performance. As I have found in my own interactions with Wilson to him its  inconceivable that  any thing that a conservative says or does will not have some malign intention or purpose. Essentially he lacks any generosity towards conservatives and only sees them as a class enemy to be denounced.

I don’t know, or much care, whether Milo Yiannopoulos’s own contempt for women is a mask for fear. But he certainly appears to be answering to the fears of his audience.

This is utter rubbish from Wilson there is simply no reason to think that Milo has contempt for women nor does it follow that the audiences at his Dangerous faggot tour do either.

The sources of this disquiet are evident in the queues for the question and answer session, and later for selfies. It’s very clear in these moments that Milo’s core audience, his most devoted fans, are bewildered, young, reactionary, male nerds.

Once again Wilson shows his contempt for ordinary young men who have not taken up the progressive orthodoxy. That my friends is the core of the contradiction with in progressiveism It claims to be about inclusiveness and diversity unless you are a straight white man then you will be eternally the subject of scorn and derision

You get the vivid impression when you hear them talk that their antipathy to feminism has bloomed out of a much more intimate kind of frustration with the opposite sex. Unfortunately, they’ve come to the world’s worst source of dating advice.

Could anyone be more arrogant or more disparaging at a personal level than this? this is claim is all just an ad hom  fallacy writ large

During question time, men ask for and recieve counsel about how to deal with feminists challenging them in their personal lives, and Yiannopoulos commiserated with them about “the oppressive hegemony of social justice”.

Although I have not attended one of these events I have watched several on Milo’s and other you tube channels and this characterization of the Q & A session is simply wrong and the  questions and comments are as varied the people who attend

The whole ritual does no more than try to reverse the polarity of identity politics, insisting that actually, it’s white men who are oppressed. And the only way he can really make this case is to talk about class.

Wilson is correct that identity politics is a big issue for those who attend however in typical SJW style Wilson willfully misunderstands the arguments that are in play here.  The point is not to try to seize a better  place in the oppression hierarchy fro “white men” as he contends, but to dispute the entire social analysis of “oppression” that underpins the SJW  notions of identity politics that would demonize every one who is straight, white and male.

Thus, he talks about the “awful, awful, terrible, diseased, and damaged people lecturing and hectoring the working class” who have “rightly had enough of it”, and whose only hope of salvation is “President Donald Trump”.

Here I can to some extend share Wilson’s  concerns about the virtues of Donald Trump however I think that Wilson is sadly not detached enough  from his left wing obsessions to understand why Trump is popular. What that popularity boils down to is a rather refreshing refusal to kowtow to the conventions of Political correctness and if there is one thing that those on the right appreciate its anyone who will slash through the bindings that have come from identity politics and the deathly fear of giving offense, But to explore this topic in more detail I suggest that you go to this article which also looks at Milo’s Trump shows but it does so with a far more even hand.

The problem – apart from the fact that this is delivered in an upper-middle class British accent, and that his audience are mostly college kids – is that he’s not really offering the working class anything except the permission to dish out racial slurs and minimise rape culture.

To be frank I don’t buy into Wilson’s Marxist assumption that the audience are what would be “working class” or that Milo being English or “upper class” makes a blind bit of difference to  cut though to his audience. This is an audience who have grown up with the cultural diversity of YouTube and they simply do not care about Milo’s accent. Now would college students be what we in Australia would call working class because they (or their parents) are all paying to go to the colleges and that takes enough resources to place those audience members well and truly into the middle classes

He boasts about the scholarship scheme he’s set up for underprivileged boys, but he has nothing to say about the economy except hints of support for a Trumpian economic nationalism.

Why on earth does Wilson think that Milo should be any sort of economist?

In another hackneyed move, Yiannopoulos posits the “Working class” not as a product of structural economic inequality but as another kind of political identity, one that expresses itself in salty language and low-level sexual harassment.

Here I can’t honestly do better than recommend the Why people love Trump piece I previously linked to because it looks at the subject free from Wilson’s arrogant disdain for Milo and his audience.

This is the kind of caricature you can only believe in if you don’t actually know that many working-class people. Like every other right wing hack, Milo absolutely depends on the angst of wounded identity, and its quest for an alternative victimhood.

I am rather fond of arguing for a certain generosity when you discuss politics, that sort of generosity would have prevented Wilson’s unshakable urge to demonize anyone who is snot singing from the progressive play book as he does here. The thing that Wilson seems to miss entirely here is that its not about seeking “victimhood” at all its about saying instead that the labels and characterizations of the SJW narrative  are nonsense, broken and  or wrong.

The working class he spins fantasies about are exclusively white, because like every right wing hack, his principal concern is activating white male resentment. This rhetoric was developed precisely to divide the working class, and to keep them in their place.

The problem for Wilson here is that Milo is not working from the Marxist lens  that he himself see’s the world through. No is it about something as negative as activation of  anyone’s resentment. Its all about saying that we are all individuals rather than  just being elements in one group identity or another, its the classic libertarian positions that Milo is drawing on here, ones that value individual enterprise and self reliance. Sadly for a Marxist like Wilson this is just incomprehensible.

At one point Yiannopoulos offers something of a credo: “The only way to respond to outrage culture is to be outrageous”. It’s handy because it’s a good cover story for pursuing his real goal, which is no more or less than the getting of attention.

Milo makes no secret of his love of social provocation and were he of the left rather  than the right I am rather sure that Wilson would find this behavior to be praise worthy because  like a lot of lefties he thinks that social transgression belongs to his side of politics

But Milo Yiannopoulos is not outrageous, nor is he of himself especially dangerous. He’s just a wanker. When the Trump wave recedes, he may in time be regarded, along with the rest of the flotsam it deposited, as a curiosity. More likely, he’ll return to the mean and become one more right wing talking head in a perennially shallow talent pool.

Wilson is particularly humorless when it comes to anyone not from his own left wing tribe and here is a perfect example of his lack political generosity that puts him very much into the authoritarian left. Its obvious to anyone else that the title of Milo’s “Dangerous Faggot” tour is meant to be ironic and trangressive to the SJW tropes about the use of language as with the word “queer” Milo seeks to reclaim the word “faggot” here by taking what was a term of derision and making it something positive

The ideas he promotes are damaging, of course. He talks a lot about “the public square”, but the fruit borne of his adolescent attacks on feminism are likely to play out in more private spaces, where the most important negotiations about sex, consent, and equality happen.

But its not all of feminism that Milo rails against its just the man hating third wave feminism that has blossomed in contentment universities over the last couple of decades that actively seeks out offense and it is that brand of feminism that Milo describes as Cancer

God help the woman whose partner is a Milo fan. At the very best, she’ll have to listen to this horseshit on a loop. At worst, she’ll be living with someone who has the tools to rationalise selfishness, abuse, and even sexual assault.

Pardon me? Is Wilson really suggesting that being  a Milo fan is tantamount to being a wife beater? a rapist even? How shallow is Wilson?

What’s perhaps not considered often enough how much damage this nonsense does to those men who take it seriously. For one thing, it allows them to put off the day on which they grow up, and realise that the women who won’t sleep with them aren’t persecuting them, but making the kinds of choices characteristic of autonomous human beings.

No Jason that is utter  nonsense. Men who “listen” to the argument against the SJW tropes do not become monsters and its not at all about disaffection because these men can’t get laid. In fact there is no evidence at all that those on the right are any less successful at finding sexual  partners than Wilson’s fellow lefties. Nor is he correct to assume that those men  on the libertarian right don’t see women as anything less that fully autonomous individuals just like themselves   That he thinks otherwise is actually a sad artifact of his own collectivist thinking.

So as derivative as this whole enterprise is, it may cause problems. What’s to be done?

DePaul’s progressives had one strategy – protest – which I do not plan to gainsay. That’s a decision for local activists to make based on what’s happening on their campus.

So left wing “protest goo”d in Wilson’s mind

There’s been more than enough hippie-punching in recent months directed at those who protest at public events that attract the far right, and I don’t propose to add to it. Protesting serves many purposes: publicly articulating common positions, building comradeship, and making claims or counter-claims on public space. There should be more of it.

Unless of course its anti SJW  protest, then its bad and should be confronted.. Hmm OK

It’s true, though, that on those occasions like the night in Eugene, where he is not met by protesters, Milo seems forlorn. His schtick goes limp; he’s revealed as a one-trick pony.

When a young man, identifying himself as a feminist, spoke up against him, Milo whisked him onto the stage for an extended chat. Briefly, the evening was enlivened, though no one was enlightened, because Milo doesn’t argue in good faith. But he knows that the audience comes for the fireworks.

This bit of Wilson’s piece shows just how little this left wing warrior respects the core value of democracy which revolves around a robust exchange of ideas.  That Milo is willing to engage with and debate his opponents is not just “schtick ” its an example of his confidence in his argument. Nor is it ever the case that democratic discussions ore as one dimensional as Wilson implies here. There is simply nothing wrong or awry  for a polemicist to make their events entertaining with a little bit of drama. Wilson needs to lighten  up a great deal.

Absent opposition, it’s harder to convince supporters that he’s bravely overturning PC shibboleths and taking it to the SJWs.

Not in the age of social media it isn’t even if the event at Portland was lacking in “fireworks” ( it has been the exception rather than the rule for the “Dangerous faggot tour”)  all that it shows is that the SJWs there are rather less bolshie than at other universities on the itinerary

Perhaps the decision by students at the University of California, Irvine, to offer a counter-event to Milo’s visit offers a promising way to deal with this nuisance.

When it comes to the right, “ignore them and they’ll go away” is generally bad advice, but skipping the Milo show, and using it as  to build something positive sounds like something that could also build the left ahead of the Summer of Trump.

Thus Wilson ends with whimper  here rather than a roar but that is hardly surprising given that Wilson has done nothing but give us an an extended ad hominiem attack on both Milo Yiannopoulos and the young Trump supporters who have been finding the Gay man  so engaging. To Wilson they are just the class  enemy rather than men and women who have as much right as his fellow lefties to be involved with the issues and  debates  about their society. In fact Wilson’s piece is an almost perfect example of why Donald Trump is  more than likely to be elected President. What we are seeing here is a whole movement of young people who are refusing to see that the SJW emperor is wearing a fine well tailored set of threads. They are trusting their senses and they are daring to speak the truth about the regressive left’s saggy arse that is in the breeze on so many issues, Things like the Myth of “rape culture” and other third wave feminist tropes are being seen clearly and actively denounced, Likewise the  willful blindness about the ideology of Islam that I have found Wilson himself guilty of is something that more and more people are no long willing to accept, especially after the horrendous slaughter at the Pulse night club.  Finally though I just want to say that  this  essay is not intended to be any sort of personal attack on Wilson himself I  have brought this humble blog out of its hiatus in part because I want to demonstrate to Jason Wilson that I have read and understood his piece but mainly I wanted to substantiate my suggestion to him on twitter that the “Why people love Trump” is a far better piece of journalism than the missive I have been considering here.

Protect yourself with technology

Well done comrade John


Saving the wet stuff for when you need it


I am very much in waiting mode at present mainly for the new water-tank that we have ordered for Chez Hall. You see if you were to be building a new house in our shire you would be obliged to have  at least 10,000 gallons of storage but because this place was built before such requirements came into force we have had to get by with much less than that, in fact our main house has just a 3000 gallon tank. and it has proved to be not enough on few  occasions which has meant that we have had to buy water and at $160 a load it is not cheap (especially when that load of water is too much to put in our tank). To make sure that we don’t have to buy  water so frequently (if at all) again We are buying a new plastic tank that will  hold 5000 gallons its not cheap though its going to cost us nearly $2700 but that will be a very worthwhile investment.

The site for it is to be the same spot that I had a metal tank previously. That metal tank was one I got for free some years ago and it just needed a few patches and a dab or two of silicone however those repairs did not make it last. It took a poor broken me a long time and quite a few cutting discs on the angle grinder to break it up in to manageable pieces for removal. Anyway the new  tank arrives Monday or Tuesday next week and you know what we are experiencing the first rain that we have had for ages right now just before it arrives, so does anyone want to give me odds that having installed the new tank the Gods will ensure that we have a sustained period of dry weather?

Its what I am expecting to be honest.

Cheers Comrades

Waiting for the full wash cycle on “work for the dole”et al

I’ve been watching the minions of the left have conniptions about the proposed changes to the way that Job seekers are expected to show their willingness to  find work. On one hand you have the Government suggesting that the Unemployed should be willing to make 40 job applications a month and on the other side you have people insisting that its too much to ask.

I sort of think that both sides are right and wrong here.

Its very clear that in some parts of the country there simply are not enough jobs for the people who need them. and no amount of badgering  the unemployed to make more of an effort is going to make thee needed jobs magically appear. Frankly the mad drive to import every more people is not helping either because every new arrival is going to be competing for that scarce commodity,namely  a job. Further the march of the technology that is so beloved by our Latte sipping friends is only going to make things worse. Take the example of your local supermarket. Have you noticed they all now have the self serve checkouts? well do you realize that those self serve checkouts only have one person watching say six units in  use and to help customers make their purchases? That represents the loss of five jobs right there. Now while working in retail may not be that glamorous it is an honorable profession that has sustained many workers, (mainly women) in the quest to provide for their own and the sustenance of their families. This sort of automation is happening in every aspect of our society. Its in the your library, its in your bank its every where and the trend is accelerating. The trend simply means that no matter how many more people we have the machine of our economy needs fewer people to run it. Likewise I draw the attention to those cute little robot vacuum cleaners  that are endlessly advertised on TV and ask you to consider how long will it be the case business will be using them to replace cleaners in their offices?

On the other side of the ledger  the obligation to make 40 approaches for those ever decreasing job opportunities will probably not be that hard to meet if a Job seeker digitizes a generic application letter and their resume that they send out to any business or potential job source entity. It does not even need to be customized for each instance that it is sent. Now I’m guessing (because I’m not personally playing this game) this on top of checking any jobs  that are actually advertised  would meet the obligation. How long till someone develops an app to do precisely that? However having made the obligation more onerous and punitive it hardly going to make the lives of the unemployed any easier. Worse yet it will turn every job seeker into something of a Spam merchant and if my friends in small business don’t just mark all of the extra job applications as “spiced ham” I would be very surprised indeed.

The other aspect in play is the old “work for the dole” which I have some serious reservations about. Mainly those reservations concern the amount of time that individuals will be obliged to work each week and the effective hourly rate that they will be working for. Its just manifestly unfair that any work people are obliged to do should be anything less than the going rate for such work. On top of that just what work are these people going to be asked to do and who is going to manage organize and supervise such work? Further I have concerns about the possibility that participants may be subject to bullying by those who run any  “work for the dole” schemes.   Finally there is the issue of cost, these schemes will cost more to run than any potential savings in the welfare budget so will it really be  about the savings?

In conclusion though we can’t escape the fact that all of these proposals will require legislation to be made to happen and I just can’t see  the current Senate passing many  of these proposals which means that when the rubber hits the road what we will see will be somewhat diluted from what is currently being discussed. Sadly what neither it nor any alternative from Labor is going to address the clear structural issues that the march of technology is going to pose for humanity  without that in the mix neither side of politics and certainly not the ordinary people are going to be winners. The Politics of this are pretty obvious though The Government is playing to its most  hardline economic  neoCon  demographic who believe that  welfare is just a waste of taxpayer’s money and that the poor or unemployed are just an inconvenience and generally a cohort of bludgers. The simple truth that conservatives like me recognize is that  our welfare system is a necessary bulwark that ensures that we have  a truly civil society and not one where the underclass is driven to a life of intrusive criminality to sustain the necessities of life Maintaining that bulwark at a cost that our economy can afford is the trick of it and on this score both sides of our politics play the “cruel to be kind” game (remember Gillard’s treatment of single parents?)  Taking the longer view  I am going to reserve my judgement on this whole thing until I see just how it comes out in the wash.

Cheers Comrades


By the numbers

Its a good thing that the use of signature  for electronic transaction is coming to an end, as far as I’m concerned

But advocates for the elderly and disabled still have concerns about the new system.

‘‘The purpose of this is better security but for some people it will have the reverse effect,’’ Council on the Ageing Australia’s chief executive, Ian Yates, said.

The council has had reports of bank staff advising elderly people with memory problems to carry a written record of their PIN.

‘‘I’m sure that’s not the official bank position … but that’s what some people will do,’’ Mr Yates said. ‘‘The security implications are worrying.’’

The president of Blind Citizens Australia, Greg Madson, said many older members had never navigated a terminal keypad. ‘‘We will be advocating for some sort of uniformity across the design of these [terminals] so that people who are vision impaired … [do] not have to struggle around the keyboard,’’ he said.

The executive director of the Australian Retailers Association, Russell Zimmerman, said retailers were prepared for the switch and the majority welcomed it.

‘‘It’s going to be far more secure,’’ said Mr Zimmerman, who knows of one man who regularly signed for credit card purchases as ‘Mickey Mouse’. ‘‘Retailers just do not look at these signatures.’’


I have long thought that it was just too easy to copy a signature on the back of a credit card, so much so that I have long had “Pin only” written on the back of my credit card. To be honest I don’t think that there will be a substantive number of may fellow codgers who have problems with this change. Heck I think that many of them will have , like yours truly, already embraced the Paywave tech which makes the use of even a pin number largely obsolete.

Sometimes change is worthwhile but you won’t hear that said  often from me.

Cheers Comrades

I have added a donation button the the blog sadly It does not work if readers just wave their credit card over it .......

I have added a donation button the the blog, sadly It does not work if readers just wave their credit card over it …….


There is a lovely Aussie tradition of mates helping each other out on big projects and this film is an example of that tradition made manifest. My brother Peter has built himself a super new shed to keep his vintage cars in and today he organized the pouring of a concrete floor for about half of the shed ( the rest will be done in a few weeks time) after setting up the boxing laying the moisture barrier and steel reinforcing mesh he also arranged for a whole tribe of his mates to come out and help lay the slab. Fortunately his mate Charlie has done this sort of thing before so the end result was the beautiful floor that you see in my final shot. In keeping with another fine Aussie tradition after the work was done it was my job to cook everyone burgers and snags on the barbie and most importantly a few ales were shared to celebrate the end of a job well done.

Cheers Comrades


Colour of the past

For a change of pace I wish to share this story of newly rediscovered colour pictures from the eve of WW2 in England. I just love this sort of thing in general but this in particular because the car featured is none other than a Morris Eight.


Click Image for source piece and more pictures

Cheers Comrades


Hell in the shadow of the high rise

Yesterday I visited the bowels of hell and it is actually a rather dull and dreary place that is far from being as glamorous as its public image would suggest.

You see I had to go to Surfer’s Paradise   so that my daughter could spend some time with her friend from Tasmania who was on holiday with her family there. The drive there and back  was nice for the conversation with my daughter , terrible for my back ( I am likely to be bed bound all day today as a consequence of the journey) but as it has been many years since I have spent any time on the Gold-Coast  I spent some of my time there at looking at just what sort of place it has become in that interregnum.

The overwhelming impression  one gets is of squalor with a veneer of tat  and pretence.  The footpaths are an unending patchwork  of different surfaces and pose a great risk to anyone, like yours truly,  who walks with a cane.  Once you raise your eyes to the many people on the streets its hard to see much real joy among them.  It seemed to me that most were trying very hard to  “have fun” with a rather grim determination.

To give my daughter the most time with her friend I spent most of my day reading  ” Dexter is Delicious”  I finished the book as it happens and in many ways it was a most apt read for the day because the Miami setting Of Jeff Lindsey’s novels are so very similar to the place were I was reading his clever prose. I also could not help but wonder about the lives of those people who serve the tourists because I did not see even one person in the shops and Cafes who looked even vaguely happy or even marginally cheerful .

By my calculation it must be more than thirty years since I have been to Surfers Paradise  and if I manage to go another thirty years before I again visit I will consider that  to be too soon for this old codger.

Cheers Comrades

Now this is a proper holiday destination.

Now this is a proper holiday destination.


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