Iain Hall's SANDPIT

Home » World Events » France

Category Archives: France

Some thoughts about mooted changes to Media ownership law in Australia



People are creatures of habit and it is only that so many people are habituated to buying the news papers that any are still being sold at all. Just take any kind of commute on public transport and consider how many people are reading a paper and how many are staring at a screen instead. Some certainly may be playing games or even watching video but I expect that they will be out numbering those who are still reading dead tree editions of the MSM.

Then there is the things in the paper that people buy them for, most papers are not exclusively about politics and current affairs anyway, so some readers will be buying the paper for its coverage of sport, lifestyle or even just for the crossword puzzles.  My point is that the political classes (in particular those from the left ) just look at the raw sales figured and they think that every reader of the Herald Sun is in the thrall of Rupert Murdoch and that the owners dictate to their readers directing their opinions. The reality is that all media entities write to their audience. If they don’t their audience wither away quite quickly.  With the coming of the internet this is even more how things work Online entities are even more in an endless quest for readers so you have to play to what your readers want rather than thinking that you can manipulate their thinking. I have been writing a blog for nearly a decade now and I have noticed just how quickly particular readers flit in and out its the same now with the way that people read things online from the likes of Murdoch, Fairfax or even the Guardian People don’t just get their news from one source any more no matter what the subject is they will read what several sources say about it and then make up their mind. This behaviour is the same when it comes to broadcast TV people flit form one channel to another seeking different perspectives. My argument is simple, if the media  consumers have changed their habits then perhaps there is something in the notion that media diversity laws from the last century should perhaps reflect those changes as well.

Cheers Comrades


One for Richard

I dedicate this vid to Richard Ryan, our resident Islamic fan boy who takes great delight at the prospect of the global caliphate.

Cheers Comrades


Feeding the animals

This story tickled my fancy this morning because it has a great deal to say about the silliness of European governments and it suggests a new and environmentally friendly way to promote suicide euthanasia tourism.

click for source

click for source

Really could anyone think of a cleaner or greener way to end the suffering of the terminally ill? All that has to be done is to throw them off the same cliff, a thousand foot drop will be enough to end their lives very quickly and disposal of the mortal remains will be assured as well as being a great way of helping the survival of an endangered species… Its a win win win idea whose time has surely come.

Levity aside though this story does highlight the  unintended consequences of  government decisions because if the long traditional practice of disposing of dead live stock  by leaving them for the vultures has made what was a benefit to the farmers a liability  which is itself symbolic of the way that the whole European experiment is failing because while the European union may have heralded an era of unprecedented peace it has replaced the cycle of war with the false hope of unity and the petty minded stupidity of an unloved bureaucratic hierarchy.

Cheers Comrades


Will Gay Marriage be put to the people?

I have been saying for years that if the proponents of Gay marriage are so sure of the community’s support then they should be advocating for a plebiscite to truly measure the real amount of public support for the the concept of  same sex “marriage”. Well it seems that it might even happen  if the report in today’s Fairfax press is to be believed:

click for source

click for source

Personally I doubt that the plebiscite will get up or even be debated in the parliament because neither Labor nor the Coalition are that keen on the “gay marriage” , then again Labor might go for it on the basis that they may get some small amount of positive PR from suggesting that they are putting the question to the people.  Its no surprise to me that the Gay marriage advocates like Rodney Croome are less than enthusiastic about the idea because the experience of votes like the one held in California on proposition 8 showed a substantially lower level of public support for Gay marriage than the often claimed 80+% that he and his fellow travellers are so often citing on the issue.

It could be  bit more spice into the pot for September 14  but I suspect that when it comes down to it that we won’t be having a plebiscite and that the only reason that this idea is being floated now is that the bit players  want an issue to campaign on that will differentiate them from both Labor and the Coalition, the former  because Australia’s oldest party has such a stench of death all around them and the later because they have so much momentum that independents will otherwise  be consigned to the dustbin of history…

I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Cheers Comrades

wedding rings animated

Tallarook, Gillard, Rudd, Greece, Spain, Fukushima, Jo Chandler, and the sizzle of snags on a barbie

Things are crook in Tallarook as the whole world seems to be in a worrying spin of decline and crisis.Close to home it looks like Ray’s hopes of a love resurrection for Labor may be on very rocky ground indeed with polling now showing that his blessed Kevin Rudd would not hold his seat at the next election:

Click for the awful truth about Labor’s prospects

But there’s more as the expected crisis in the euro zone is coming to a pustular head as panic stricken Greeks and Spaniards attempt to protect their savings by withdrawing their money from the banks which is precipitating the gamblers on the stock market to likewise run screaming from the markets:

Don’t Panic!!!!

Meanwhile Brendan O’Neil explains to us just why the Green panic about Nuclear energy is hurting Japan in a far more serious way than the tsunami disaster at Fukushima with more set to die in Japan’s sweltering summer than met their end as a result of the reactor crisis.

link to search result to avoid Paywall

Closer to home though it seems that Jo Chandler has been busy following the Fuzzy Wuzzy twitter-verse again as she gives us a rather patronising exposition of PNG politics where she waxes lyrically about the potential for “activists” to influence the results of the election through social networking. Maybe someone should explain to her that maybe good governance and an end to endemic corruption might just be more efficacious to that country rather than more idiots taking to Twitter:

Click for the whole patronising source

Well that’s what I have found on this morning’s trawl of the world’s news and views. Not quite sure that I can do better in terms of unifying this into something that is internally consistent as an argument beyond my initial observation that “Things are crook in Tallarook” But then that is just the way that I see things this morning. On a brighter note I’m off to a Barbie at the other end of the known universe (Cleveland ) today which should be  a nice day out in my sports car with my daughter .
Cheers Comrades

Roxon needs to light(en) up

Does she realise she's actually advertising cigarettes with this photo in the Herald Sun?

Federal Attorney General (and former Health Minister) Nicola Roxon’s anti-tobacco obsession knows no boundaries. Not content with turning all cigarette packets in Australia into a generic olive green (with large pictures of diseased lungs, gangrenous toes and other ghoulish images), she’s now having a go at British-American Tobacco (BAT) over their ‘Aussie Winnie Reds’ …. that they make and sell in France!

Huh? What’s that got to do with us, or her?

ONE of Australia’s most treasured national icons is being used to flog cigarettes in Europe.
An image of a kangaroo and the phrase “An Australian Favourite” are on packets of Winfield being sold in France.

The branding of the cigarettes, made by British American Tobacco, has angered health groups and the Federal Government

… Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, who as Health Minister led the charge to scrap branding on tobacco products, said the kangaroo packets were “outrageous”.

“Before we know it, we’ll see Sydney Ciggies or Melbourne Menthols,” she said.

“This kind of weaselly marketing tactic will soon have no place here in Australia when all cigarettes will be in plain packaging from December.”

Roxon’s father died from cancer when she was only 10 years old (believed to be smoking related) and, according to her bio, his death devastated her. And it shows. She seems far too emotionally attached to the anti-smoking issue and perhaps was not the right person to be given the health portfolio in the first place. She can’t let go, even though she’s no longer the Health Minister, as the above proves.

Look, Nicola, what BAT does in France is irrelevant to you, to me and to the rest of the country. I actually think BAT’s Aussie Winnie Reds is clever branding and good PR for Australia. What’s next on your wowser agenda? How about banning alcohol advertising – booze kills, you know? Maybe all beer should be in plain packaging too? And as for cars …. ?

In my opinion, if people want to smoke let them. Kids under 18 can’t legally buy cigarettes anyway and I doubt that the current branding on packets entices them to. And when they become adults, well, that’s their choice, The French obviously don’t give a shit about anti-smoking – not like you do – and they seem to live pretty long and healthy lives. Let it go, girl.

Making immigration work

Call me a cynic but I have been expecting this for some time because it seems pretty obvious to me that passport-less travel within Europe will only be acceptable to the governments and people of the member countries for as long as they believe that non EU citizens will not be allowed free entry by any of their member states as Italy has done recently with “refugees” from north Africa

click for source

This report comes from the Guardian and it demonstrates the leftist mindset to a tee. Notice how they want to insist that Italy and France have only a minor problem? well according to the China daily:

The number of people fleeing North Africa has soared since mid-January, after Tunisia overthrew its president and set off a series of uprisings in Egypt and Libya.

Some 25,000 people, mostly Tunisians, have flooded Lampedusa, which is right off the North African coast.

Do you get what the Guardian is dong here?

They are using the rather disingenuous argument that the world wide problem with people wanting to flee from failed societies is so huge that we should be unconcerned  when only a “small” influx of people try to get into Europe that any concern is far in excess of the problem’s real magnitude. It is a fundamentally dishonest argument that tries to guilt trip the public into ignoring their legitimate concerns about the flow of uninvited  immigrants into their countries. It is the actual numbers crossing the borders that worries people and not how “low” those numbers are compared  to some academic toting up the size of a  “global” problem. In the case of Lampedusa the numbers were not insignificant and easily overwhelmed Italian resources on that island. Further the rather cowardly decision by the Italian government to just let these French speaking asylum seekers  immigrants transit Italy into France has fundamentally undermined the trust of other European nations that the external  borders of Europe mean anything.

As I see it if you want  immigration into any society to “work” it has to be at a rate at which the indigenous populace are willing to accept and welcome the new arrivals. This requires an orderly process and some measure of dispassionate selection that considers the needs of the country as much as considers the reason that individuals want to come in the first place. If a government ignores this necessity for the sake of some sort of well meaning but naive  “we are all part of one world” philosophy (ever so popular with the left) all you are doing is creating a problem for the future, just as we are beginning to see in some of the previously  more generous to asylum seeker host countries in  northern Europe. Another example closer to home is the decision by the Hawke government to allow unfettered arrivals from Lebanon during his stint in the big chair. It was certainly an act of compassion on his part but look at the social problems  in parts of western  Sydney now.

So what I’m saying is that its fine to talk about high minded principles of inclusiveness and compassion but you have to take the people with you and you have  to make sure that those that you allow to immigrate into your country will either have values consistent with your social norms, like a willingness to accept gender equality, religious diversity  or the liberal views of sexuality or a sincere  willingness to freely accommodate them. Otherwise all you are importing is the sorts of problems that we have seen in Denmark or Sweden and that leads to the very thing that the well meaning but naive left fear most, the rise of far right nationalism as the indigenous people begin to fear the fast growing immigrant communities within their own cities. Frankly I think that here in Australia we have the opportunity to avoid such social discord buy making sure that we create and maintain an immigration system where the numbers that come and the schedule of their arrival is determined by the governments that we elect not by those who try to get in uninvited by the back-door.

Cheers Comrades

What do ya think of the Twizy?

This looks interesting on a number of levels it still lacks a range that would would work for many people in this country but it is good to see a major car maker thinking outside the box and producing an electric  machine at a more reasonable price than the alternatives offered so far.

Cheers Comrades

%d bloggers like this: