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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


Well that’s another fine mess you’ve got us into Christine

I’ll let you all in on a little secret comrades, my vision on the political maelstrom that we comment on from our individual perspectives   here at the Sandpit  is that it is all just one big soap opera and like soap operas we have a number of different story arcs that intersect and weave in and out of each other. Some times there are moments of high drama, at others there are the political romances, there is love, hate, manipulation and behind the scenes machinations enough to keep fans like us endlessly arguing about the true meaning of every plot point and new moment of intrigue. But there is also little asides that just give us a damn good laugh.

Frankly the recent attempts by Julia Gillard to sell her  toxic Carbon Tax have had more than a dash of the Greek tragedy about them as she tries to convince a cynical nation that this piece of, ah- hem, “Creative accounting” will bring about a great and grand “clean energy future ” when it just looks like a dogs breakfast with a sweet sauce to disguise the fact that it has no nutritional content all. Like all good soaps our political drama has some, err, “colourful”. minor characters which is one of the things that Ray and I have been having a bit of fun with, hence our various pieces about Christine Nixon recently. If ever a woman was the perfect comic bit player in a larger drama it is Nixon. The script writers could not draw a more convincing caricature of an idealogical leftist if they tried and her whining promotional efforts for the book that she has written with Jo Chandler trying to disguise her utter incompetence on that fateful Saturday is quite rightly being seen as the biggest joke of this political season:

click for a good laugh!!!

With Jo Chandler taking on the role of Stan to Nixon’s Oliver at tomorrow’s Book launch we should all look forward to a few more laughs as the members of the sisterhood try their darnedest to pretend that any criticism of Nixon’s incompetence is all about sexism, fatism, Rangaism, or any other ism that can be imagined except that one that really matters: competentism  and Nixon’s obvious lack in that department, ah well we don’t expect the comedy arc to be serious now do we?

Cheers Comrades

Too much spinach makes for a Popeye definition of family

Our learned friend has been plugging this post by his paramour Keri James because it broadly agrees with his new AFL creature. Now as much as I respect Keri James I could not let this post go unconsidered in the light of Jezza singing its virtues.

Who gets to decide what a family is?


Keri James

Families come in all forms. Young married people with children, biological or adopted, same-sex couples, unmarried parents, grandparents or extended families living in a cohesive family unit, separated and divorced couples raising their children separately, re-married couples with children from multiple marriages….

I think you get the drift.

This is a Popeye definition isn’t it? Keri is saying that “families are what families are” with a definition so broad that it loses all meaning. Hmm not such a good start as far as I can see.

If you look at the the organisations out there who claim to speak for families, they’re by-and-large talking about one type of family; man, woman, children. There’s no room for anyone else at the Christian Value Family table. Same-sex and raising a child? Nope, sorry, one of you needs to have the opposing genitals to the other. Don’t ask why. Divorced and parenting co-operatively? Nope, you’re ruining society with your children from broken homes. Unmarried and parenting with no rings in sight? Don’t you realise that a marriage certificate makes you a much better parent? There’s a secret instruction manual handed out on the Big Day!

This is where Keri’s use of logic begins to  fail. The organisations  she derides make it quite clear that they are advocating for a particular demographic and that they are arguing for a particular model and definition of family. Those organisations put the case that what they define as a family needs advocacy and they work from their own definition so it is just a nonsense for Keri James to complain that they don’t meet her Popeye definition of family or that they don’t sing to her preferred song sheet.

As far as I am concerned, the only people who get to decide what a family unit is (or even what the best family unit for their particular situation) is the family concerned. All very well for the God Squad to preach from the plinth what is best for society (usually based on studies that do not stand up to any kind of scrutiny, or based on “self-evident” truths); the rest of us live in the real world.

The point being so widely missed here is that in a democracy anyone may advocate for anything they please and they are free to put the argument to the people in any manner that they think will be convincing. That is precisely what every different lobby group of any persuasion or for any cause exists for. They have no power to make decisions for the people. If what is advocated displeases anyone there is no reason at all that their arguments have to be heeded but to suggest that they should be silenced as Keri does in this sentence is profoundly undemocratic

The world where more than half of marriages result in divorce, where same-sex parents have been demonstrated by several long-term studies to be as good at parenting as heterosexual parents, where more and more parents are parenting equally, either from the necessity of needing two wages or the realization that Dads are just as able to raise a child as a mother (sans breastfeeding, of course).

According to Divorce Statistics Australia only on third of marriages end in divorce so I don’t know here Keri got the claim that “more than half” of marriages end in divorce and as for the long term studies about gay parenting I suspect that Keri is alluding to this research which is usually cited by Gay advocates  but its methodology and very small self selecting sample really makes it rather less suited for drawing general conclusions about gay parenting.

Frankly the claims about “equal parenting” above are absolutely ludicrous, As someone who has spent the better part 0f the last eleven and a half  years being the primary care giver for my children I know that it takes team work to raise them (and I dips me lid to single parents who must do it all on their own) but you can’t pretend that who does what in the parenting task within a couple raising their children  has anything to do with “equality” Men and women are different and they each bring to the role of parent what they are capable of giving.

Families are awesome. They’re an endless source of support, camaraderie, learning and love. My own family wouldn’t fit into the Australian Family Associations incredibly narrow definition of a family. My parents are re-married, I have five step-siblings, and I’m engaged to a raving lefty, and we firmly intend to share the parenting responsibilities equally when the time comes.

Of course families can be “awesome” but they can also be entirely ordinary  or even rather toxic. As for making a family herself I suspect that Keri may actually be leaving her run rather too late in her life. Like far too many women who have focused on their career rather than respecting the biological reality that children are most easily conceived  before a woman hits thirty.

Further, we don’t live like we used to. I grew up in a mining town in Wales, and my great-aunt lived three doors down, my other great-aunt lived a street away, a third great-aunt lived a street further up and my aunt was also within walking distance. We wandered in an out of each others houses and some of the closest bonds I have to this day are with my great-aunts and second-cousins. Families lived closer, and the family “unit” was larger, and included a greater diversity of extended relatives. The old adage “It takes a village to raise a child” has never been more true, but the availability and willingness of that village to get involved isn’t there anymore. The inter-generational care and bonds dilute as we live further away from each other, and place more and more responsibility on the primary care-giver of a child (usually the mother) for the upbringing of children. Further narrowing the definition of a family adds to that pressure. We need to step in and step up with each other more. I want my children to have that same bond I have with my aunts and uncles and cousins. It’s sad that we’re losing that as a society.

Call me naive if you like but isn’t this lament for the disappearing extended family somewhat at odds with Keri’s endorsement of a Popeye  definition of family that she opened her missive with? As much as I agree that involvement with an extended family sounds nice and lovely it can also be something that stifles diversity and change. Like all things a large and socially active extended family can be a blessing or a curse depending on the nature of the dominant  personalities in play within the family dynamic (think of the Morans in Melbourne for a less than sparkling extended family)

The motives for keeping the definition of Family “Pure” are fairly obvious. Take the Australian Family Association as an example. On their “Your state” page for Victoria? Links on how to elect Pro-Life MPs and “Protecting religious freedom in Victoria”. On their main page is a link to their current campaign on preventing Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide.

Gee who would have think it that an organisation would advocate for what it believes in or that it would run its arguments on its own website But Keri is rather gilding the lily here and being a little unscrupulous by not linking to the site she is deriding. Well I googled the Australian Family Association and rather than the site is far from being as rabid as Keri is suggesting. The page for Victoria really only contains the two links that she mentions and one other to an out of date function invitation. The pages f9r the other states are equally sparse. But one thing that the site does have that the AFL site does not have is a page that makes clear just who those responsible for the site are .

All well and good, they’re entitled to lobby for whatever they like, but I don’t see anything, anywhere declaring them to be an organisation based on religious values. It’s not anywhere. The aim? You don’t associate them with any church, or religion, you associate these views (These religiously informed views) with “Family”. I also see nothing encouraging an increase in funding and awareness campaigns for parents of intellectually and physically disabled children, which if you “believe in the sanctity of life from conception to death”, presumably you’d be screaming for. They’re anti-abortion, but not campaigning for increasing adoption services, or increasing funding for disability support services. They’re anti-euthanasia, but there’s nothing about increasing palliative care funding, or aged-care funding. The care they demonstrate ends at the delivery room door and a long way before the grave.

Well in the first instance The Australian Family Association  has a series of names on its About/patrons page that contain two people with the title of Reverend :

Rev. Dr. Margaret Court, A.O., M.B.E., Ph.D. (Hon), LL.D. (Hon).
Major General Michael Jeffery, A.C., A.O. (Mil.) C.V.O., M.C. (Retd.).
Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, A.C., D.B.E.
Major General Peter R. Phillips, A.O., M.C (Retd), B.A. (Qld), F.A.I.C.D.
Major General W.B. “Digger” James, A.C., A.O., M.B.E, M.C., M.B.B.S.(Syd), F.R.A.C.S.
Rev. Dr. J.I. Fleming, B.A., Th.L. (Hons), Ph.D.
Sir Peter Lawler, O.B.E.
Dr. T.B. Lynch, A.O., M.B., B.S., F.R.A.C.P.
Dame Mary Scholtens, D.S.G., (Papal).
Judge Frank Walsh, A.M.

Keri seems here to be suggesting that a website (and by extension the organisation who own it) should be all encompassing and containing all of the answers to the questions it raises and I can’t help wondering if she would be as critical of Jeremy’s attempt to create a rival  “progressive”  lobby group about families.

The Australian Family Association is also hella misogynist. In it campaign to increase funding for mothers to stay home, there’s plenty of mother-blaming in the argument that kids in all-day daycare fare worse than those who don’t. The mother should be staying home to rear the children. The mans job is to be the bread winner. Direct quote from the about page of the Australian Family Association;


“Society should recognise the different biological and psychological functions of the mother and father. It should require the latter normally to maintain the family by virtue of his work, which society should reward with a minimum wage or salary sufficient to maintain a family. The maintenance of the family should be the financial responsibility of the father and not of the State, unless the father proves incapable of fulfilling his obligations. The law should not inhibit the legal or ethical right of the mother to engage in outside employment. Society, through its systems of taxation, family allowances and endowment, and similar provisions, should ensure, however, that no mother is forced to engage in outside employment through economic pressure.”


So the definition of a family narrows further. It’s not just man, woman, children. Your roles are defined by this group as rigid and inflexible, taking into account none of the individuality of your family, your careers, the opportunity to equally parent. It’s not up to you. They know best.

Where is the link to your quote Keri?

Can’t find it?

Try here .

Good blogging etiquette surely demands clear and unambiguous citations that link to their source but perhaps you failed to do so on this occasion because the full page you quote from is not arguing that the Australian Family Association is defining “family” as you suggest as much as it is advocating for a particular definition for marriage having more virtue than any other. As it happens I don’t agree with them about gender roles in a family because my own circumstances (of doing a role swap with my wife) mean that I appreciate that  there is more than one way for a family to function well but the important aspect of any family is cooperation and negotiation between husband and wife but beyond that I do think that there is virtue in families consisting of both biological parents of the children that they make being promoted as a superior model to any other.

I believe that the best people to decide how a family functions, how it changes, how it is defined, are the family. That the government should support families in all their forms, and that pushing “Religious Values” in the name of “Family Values” is dishonest and destructive, and we need to take back the word family to ALL it applies to, not just the Righteous, noisy few.\


Keri we are all free to make any sort of domestic arrangements that we think will suit us. The Raison d’etre for the existence of any lobby group is advocating for the values that its members and patrons believe in. In a democracy even the most obscure groups and individuals can freely  make the arguments for their ideas just as you or anyone else. But the reality is that the government does broadly support all kinds of families, children of any kind of domestic arrangement are all equally entitled to a free education in the state schools, no individual is denied medical treatment because they have an unorthodox domestic arrangement  there is no practical difference between a homosexual  or straight couple are treated by Centerlink when it comes to claiming benefits. Surely you are not saying that being righteous is a bad thing?  Its funny how the so called progressives are all for diversity and tolerance until it comes to anyone advocating a conservative position on issues such as marriage or family.

Cheers Comrades


The validation process

Our Warminista friends have been rather quiet lately about “runaway global warming’ mainly because their credibility has been shot to pierces over the Cliamategate scandal and the fact that the weather has simply not been playing ball with their dire predictions at all. Nowhere is this more so than in the United kingdom, Europe and North America where we have seen three years of colder than usual winters. Now I expect that warming fools like our resident J(trust me I’m a scientist but I won’t tell you what I am qualified in)M will insist that what we are seeing here is “weather” and that it is not the same as “climate”, well frankly I think that JM is talking out of his over rated (by himself) arse.

Back in November, when the Met Office was still doing its “mild winter” schtick, Corbyn said it would be the coldest for 100 years. Indeed, it was back in May that he first predicted a snowy December, and he put his own money on a white Christmas about a month before the Met Office made any such forecast. He said that the Met Office would be wrong about last year’s mythical “barbecue summer”, and he was vindicated. He was closer to the truth about last winter, too.

He seems to get it right about 85 per cent of the time and serious business people – notably in farming – are starting to invest in his forecasts. In the eyes of many punters, he puts the taxpayer-funded Met Office to shame. How on earth does he do it? He studies the Sun.

He looks at the flow of particles from the Sun, and how they interact with the upper atmosphere, especially air currents such as the jet stream, and he looks at how the Moon and other factors influence those streaming particles.

He takes a snapshot of what the Sun is doing at any given moment, and then he looks back at the record to see when it last did something similar. Then he checks what the weather was like on Earth at the time – and he makes a prophecy.

I have not a clue whether his methods are sound or not. But when so many of his forecasts seem to come true, and when he seems to be so consistently ahead of the Met Office, I feel I want to know more. Piers Corbyn believes that the last three winters could be the harbinger of a mini ice age that could be upon us by 2035, and that it could start to be colder than at any time in the last 200 years. He goes on to speculate that a genuine ice age might then settle in, since an ice age is now cyclically overdue.

Is he barmy? Of course he may be just a fluke-artist. It may be just luck that he has apparently predicted recent weather patterns more accurately than government-sponsored scientists. Nothing he says, to my mind, disproves the view of the overwhelming majority of scientists, that our species is putting so much extra CO? into the atmosphere that we must expect global warming.

The question is whether anthropogenic global warming is the exclusive or dominant fact that determines our climate, or whether Corbyn is also right to insist on the role of the Sun. Is it possible that everything we do is dwarfed by the moods of the star that gives life to the world? The Sun is incomparably vaster and more powerful than any work of man. We are forged from a few clods of solar dust. The Sun powers every plant and form of life, and one day the Sun will turn into a red giant and engulf us all. Then it will burn out. Then it will get very nippy indeed.


Weather is to climate in the same way that the one millimetre mark is to the the one Metre mark on a measuring stick, it really is just a matter of “scale” because when you get enough “weather” measurements and consider them together you get climate. Surely this is an uncontentious observation on my part?   You see I can’t get past the fact that despite the claims that “this is one of the hottest years on record” we have experienced a rather cooler and somewhat wetter year here in my part of the world and that I have been consistently seeing reports of record cold temperatures in the northern hemisphere so I wonder just how the “hottest year” claim is arrived at because as far as I understand how averages work if large parts of the planet have experienced extraordinary cold weather this year  then it must be the case that more of the planet has had extraordinarily warm weather  for longer periods than usual  but I have heard no such reports of longer and hotter summers … well at least not enough to balance out the reports of colder and more severe winters

I freely admit my limitations on the science and the maths but I do know that those who make dire predictions and prognostications about the weather and climate require more than just a bit of luck which is why we see most predictions drawn on a scale larger than the seer’s lifetime. That way the prognosticator can safely sell their predictions to the world knowing that they will never have to answer the obvious questions when they are shown by events to have been on the wrong track.

Personally I reckon that the next couple of Christmases will be just as white as the last few in the UK and I base that on nothing more than a sort primal “I feel it in my water”  instinct unlike the sort of assertions we  get from our Warminista friends I admit that I could be entirely wrong and that with humility we all have to accept that the only  true validation of any prediction comes in the fullness of time.

Cheers Comrades


We can’t show you her face because she cried rape, but its fine to identify those she accused

And here we have yet another story of a false accusation of rape that has seen a young woman sent to prison but this time she has been given anonymity whereas those she has accused have been named shamed and humiliated by invasive forensic examinations.

Innocent: Alex Lewis, left, was falsely accused of rape He spent 36 hours in custody

by a 16-year-old girl (whose face is obscured for legal reasons).

Mr Lewis spent two months on bail before police finally cleared him days before his 21st birthday.

Mr Pugh said: ‘The reason she said she gave the false account was she was scared her boyfriend would find out she cheated on him and it would lead to violence.

The girl pleaded guilty to trying to pervert the course of justice.

Alex Greenwood, defending, said: ‘This is as serious an example of attempting to pervert the course of justice as one can imagine.

‘The three men were subjected to a terrifying experience in the knowledge they were entirely innocent.

‘She is truly sorry.’

He said that once she made the rape allegation, ‘a juggernaut was set in train’ – and the girl was too scared to admit she was lying.

Judge Mr Recorder Jeremy Jenkins QC yesterday sent the teenager to a young offender institution for six months.

The girl sat with her head bowed during the 20-minute hearing at Merthyr Crown Court and showed no emotion as the judge sentenced her.

He told the teen: ‘When a woman makes an allegation of rape, it has to be treated with the utmost seriousness.’

‘Rape is an absolutely vile crime and it’s the duty of the police to investigate it thoroughly and carefully.

‘False allegations of rape can have dreadful consequences to the men concerned.

‘For innocent men to be confronted with an allegation like that, held in custody for 36 hours and subjected to intrusive medical examinations is a terrible experience.

‘The police spent many hours and there was a substantial financial cost in investigating your wholly false allegations.’

He added: ‘Every time somebody makes a false allegation of rape, the public has less confidence in the truth of other complaints of sexual abuse made by genuine victims.’

Barrister Mr Pugh said the girl should be named and shamed – despite her age.

There is something bigger than a silly girl making up excuses for her wanton behaviour evident here and that is a culture that rewards lies and deceit. I will suggest that the problem is very much the sort of thinking that allows the ends to justify the means, which added to a culture of promiscuity means that young women who are more than willing to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh may see being dishonest about it as no big deal.

Hmm am I the only one who can see some value in restraint? Am I the only one who thinks that being honest with the people that you have a relationship with has some value? Sadly it seems that such ideas do not have as much currency as would be good for society.

Cheers Comrades

Guest post by Dr. Hans Labohm nicked from Anthony Watts

This Post is unashamedly nicked from Anthony Watts because I liked it and I’d like to consider what it is saying about the Warminista faith. I some how don’t think that either Anthony or the Dr Hans Labohm will mind if I help spread the good word by putting it up in the Sandpit.


WWF scare tactic ad, not working

The upcoming climate change (and wealth redistribution) summit in Cancun – coupled with Bjorn Lomborg’s ongoing publicity campaign for his new film – makes one thing painfully obvious. The fight against the delusion of dangerous man-made global warming remains an uphill struggle.

For decades the climate debate has been obfuscated by cherry-picking, spin-doctoring and scare-mongering by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other climate alarmists, including the environmental movement and mainstream media. Their massive effort to overstate the threat of man-made warming has left its imprint on public opinion.

But the tide seems to be turning. The Climate Conference fiasco in Copenhagen, Climategate scandal and stabilization of worldwide temperatures since 1995 have given rise to growing doubts about the putative threat of “dangerous global warming” or “global climate disruption.” Indeed, even Phil Jones, director of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and one of the main players in Climategate, now acknowledges that there has been no measurable warming since 1995, despite steadily rising atmospheric carbon dioxide.

People are paying attention, and opinion polls in many countries show a dramatic fall in the ranking of climate change among people’s major concerns. They are also beginning to understand that major rain and snow storms, hurricanes and other weather extremes are caused by solar-driven changes in global jet streams and warm-cold fronts, not by CO2, and that claims about recent years being the “warmest ever” are based on false or falsified temperature data.

In various parts of the world, the climate debate displays different features. The US and other parts of the non-European Anglo-Saxon world feature highly polarized and politicized debates along the left/right divide. In Europe, all major political parties are still toeing the “official” IPCC line. In both arenas, with a few notable exceptions, skeptical views – even from well-known scientists with impeccable credentials – tend to be ignored and/or actively suppressed by governments, academia and the media.

However, skepticism about manmade climate disasters is gradually gaining ground nevertheless.

In my own country, The Netherlands, for instance, it has even received some official recognition, thus dissolving the information monopoly of climate alarmists. The Standing Committee on Environment of the Lower House even organized a one-day hearing, where both climate chaos adherents and disaster skeptics could freely discuss their different views before key parliamentarians who decide climate policy.

This hearing was followed by a special seminar organized by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences, using the same format but focusing on scientific topics. The Academy will soon publish a report about this seminar.

Europe often brags about its emission trading scheme (ETS), regarding itself as the vanguard of an international climate policy. In the European view, the Copenhagen climate summit should have produced a worldwide extension and sharpening of its ETS. But the vast majority of countries in the world refused to follow Europe’s example, so the meeting turned into a fiasco. Its follow-up in Cancun at year’s end will surely produce a similar result. And for good reason.

Contrary to official claims, Europe’s experience with ETS is dismally bad. The system is expensive and prone to massive fraud. More importantly, it serves no useful purpose.

The European Environmental Agency tracks Europe’s performance regarding the reduction of CO2 emissions. Its latest report states: “The European Union’s greenhouse gas inventory report … shows that emissions have not only continued their downward trend in 2008, but have also picked up pace. The EU-27’s emissions stood 11.3% below their 1990 levels, while EU-15 achieved a reduction of 6.9% compared to Kyoto base-year levels.”

On the face of it, the scheme seems to be pretty successful. However, much of the downward trend was due to the global economic recession, not to the ETS. Moreover, both climate chaos proponents and climate disaster skeptics agree that the scheme will have no detectable impact whatsoever on worldwide temperatures – perhaps 0.1 degrees – though this crucial piece of information has been carefully and deliberately shielded from the public eye.

What about renewable energy as an alternative? Consider these EU costs for various sources of electricity in cents per kilowatt-hour: nuclear 4, coal 4, natural gas 5, onshore wind 13, biomass 16 … solar 56!

Obviously, the price tag for renewables is extremely high, compared to hydrocarbons. The additional costs can be justified either by imminent fossil fuel scarcity (the “oil peak”), which would send petroleum and coal prices through the roof, or by the threat of man-made global warming. But on closer inspection neither argument is tenable.

The authoritative International Energy Agency does not foresee any substantial scarcity of oil and gas in the near to medium future, and coal reserves remain sufficient for centuries to come. As to global warming, the absence of a statistically significant increase in average worldwide temperatures since 1995 obliterates that assertion.

Meanwhile, recent peer-reviewed studies indicate that increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere (natural or man-made) have minimal effects on climate change – while others demonstrate that, on balance, this plant-fertilizing gas is beneficial, rather than harmful, for mankind and the biosphere.

All this argues for a closer look at the cost/benefit relationship of investing in renewable energy projects, to prevent a massive waste of financial and natural resources on unreliable and thus uncompetitive forms of energy. Since every cloud has a silver lining, the ongoing economic crisis might give extra impetus toward that end.


Hans Labohm is a former professor at the Dutch Institute of International Relations and guest teacher at the Netherlands Institute for Defense Studies. He has been an IPCC reviewer and has written extensively on global warming, petroleum economics and other topics.

Cheers Comrades

(there you go JM now we can get back to arguing about our favourite topic 😉 )

Half a million page views at the Sandpit

I know that statistical miles stones are really meaningless but that does not stop you feeling pretty good when you reach them. Well if you keep an eye on the hit counter at the bottom of the page some time today I expect that you will see the counter tick over t0 the magical “500,000” mark . That is pretty good for a modest blog written as a bit of fun .

Thanks very much to all of those who take the time to read what I and my friends put up  here and a special thanks to all of those who take the time to comment and argue with what is on this web-page. Commentary and argument is the life blood of blogging and long may it keep pumping at the Sandpit.

Cheers Comrades

Wort, rotational velocity and magic puddings

Well here was me waking up and thinking that I would have to dig through the most dreary news from our most dreary Treasurer and try to distill some truth from the wort of Labor spin and misdirection that is the budget and what should I find in today’s news but a lovely nugget of goodness; Labour is out of No 10 and the Conservatives will form the next British government. A far more cheery prospect on this fine autumn morning.

Queen Elizabeth II greets David Cameron at Buckingham Palace in an audience to invite him to be the next Prime Minister in London. Source: Getty Images

CONSERVATIVE leader David Cameron has become Britain’s youngest prime minister in almost 200 years, after Gordon Brown stepped down and ended 13 years of Labour government.

In a carefully choreographed dance, Cameron visited Buckingham Palace and was asked to form a government by Queen Elizabeth II less than an hour after Brown himself tendered his resignation to the monarch.

Cameron, whose party won the most House of Commons seats in last week’s election but fell just short of a majority, is, at 43, the youngest British leader since Lord Liverpool in 1812.

The high political drama came as the Conservatives and the third-place Liberal Democrats hammered out the details of a coalition deal after the country’s inconclusive election.

Standing outside 10 Downing St. alongside his wife Sarah, Brown announced he would travel to see the monarch to resign – allowing Cameron to take office, possibly as part of deal with Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Of course I am yet to find out the details and I have some reservations about the terms that he has had to pay for a deal with the Lib Dems but an end to Labour rule is a good thing and I really hope that the land of my forebears can now have a chance to recover from the PC madness that has made it the epitome of officious stupidity, now what was that about a grand repeal bill???

Next cab of the rank is our Dear Brother Number One… assuming that there is not a coup from Labor’s red army faction that is…
Cheers Comrades

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