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Some thoughts about Victoria while I listen to the rain.

Firstly I can’t help wishing that they were getting this downpour rather than us up here in Queensland , the Good Lord knows that they need it more than we do right now,

Nation to mourn bushfire victims

Jason South

The burnt remains of a one-time rural Victorian family home at Flowerdale. Photo: Jason South

A national memorial service will give Australians an opportunity to grieve as the nation comes to terms with its worst natural disaster, the prime minister says.

Kevin Rudd has announced a national memorial service and day of mourning to remember the victims of Victoria’s horrific bushfires.

“It is very important that the nation grieves,” Mr Rudd told parliament on Thursday, adding a date would be announced soon.

The Victorian government is consulting with churches on the details of the national service, and the federal government will help organise it and the national day of mourning.

Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull says the nation needs to channel its grief into a national day.

This just so necessary and it is something that everyone, no matter what their faith position may be will benefit from . As well as the heroic volunteers in the CFA there are the ordinary blokes like Peter Thorneycrof who saved lives by saving his local pub.

Peter Thorneycroft hits the roof to save fire victims

Tanya Cadman

HEROIC effort ... Peter Thorneycroft fights rooftop fires to protect the National Park Hotel at Kinglake. Picture: Tanya Cadman

TRADIE Peter Thorneycroft is being hailed a hero after almost single-handedly saving Kinglake’s National Park Hotel in shorts and thongs as a dozen children sheltered in its coolroom.

Despite pain from a serious arm injury, Mr Thorneycroft, 43, climbed on to the roof as the blaze dropped deadly embers.

He spent at least an hour dousing them with buckets of water handed up by locals from a semi-trailer and wetting vents and drains.

Up to 400 others who had piled into 200 cars around the hotel were also at risk if the pub had gone up.

“It was like a cyclone, like a tornado,” Mr Thorneycroft said.

“The ground was constantly shaking. It was absolutely deafening.

“I was using my torch to get up on the roof. It was just complete darkness.”

Addressing parliament, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd hailed him as a “genuine Australian hero”.

Just for once I am happy to agree with something that has been said by our Prime Minister because what all of the very many “Peter Thorneycrofs” out there represent is the epitome of mateship that sees so many ordinary Aussies go the extra mile for their fellows.

As we begin to unwind a little from the shock of this disaster some decisions and prevarications made by government (at all levels) are beginning to emerge under the “if only we had done this then” category.

Cover-up exposed of early warning system that could have reduced Victoria bushfire death

CANBERRA and the states baulked at the $20 million cost of a telephone-based alert system that would have given early warning of the deadly Black Saturday bushfires, a secret report shows.

The confidential review for Victoria’s State Emergency Service in December 2007, obtained by The Australian, reveals that the technology to bombard mobile and fixed phones with danger messages had been trialled successfully for the agency.

While the test run of Telstra’s Community Information and Warning System was for flooding, the Victorian SES found it would work “for all types of hazard”, including bushfire.

Despite this, the system was not introduced because the Howard government and the states bickered over the expense.

The internal report for the Victorian SES concluded: “Apparently governments are baulking at … their contribution to the $20 million cost.”

The Australian revealed yesterday that the federal Government was fast-tracking legislative changes to give emergency services in the states access to a national database of phone numbers so people could be warned on mobile and fixed phones of bushfires and other natural disaster threats.

The Issue of preventative fuel reduction on an ongoing basis is one that I do not think will very quickly disappear. And I have noticed more than one blog of shall we say a more Latteish  flavour, has  been rife with ardent Greenies keen to say that they too support  hazard reduction burning or that such burning would not have made any difference, or that it was the fault of government accountants who put the brakes on the fuel reduction strategies not them, anything so that they do not have to own their previous advocacy. The clear sensitivity of many urban Greenies on this issue is most revealing. There are sites that have used this disaster as a stick to beat their favourite (most hated) conservative commentators with.  They just look childish and churlish in their efforts.

Writing about a disaster of this sort of magnitude is bloody hard. If the emotion does not get to you there is something seriously wrong with your humanity but  as a writer you feel the need to say something, after all writers write and blogger blog, but we all just hope that in putting our thoughts down that we don’t say the “wrong” thing  that may cause offence. Apart from words and good wishes (or prayers from the believers ) something compels all people who care to do something and just as it was when we had previous natural disasters the way the Australian  people have rallied to do what they can by donating goods or money has shown  me what a wonderful nation we live in and that when it matters all of our differences will melt away like the trivialities that they are.

With respect Comrades


Guardian comments 3/6/2016

In response to Maggiemum


What universe are you in/ on ? Is up down and down up ? Oh Dear..

At least its not planet lefty….

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In response to dhome0


Have you been following the Lib’s pre-selection battles? Not bad for a party that does “not have factions”.

Not much such things are of little consequence to me because I am more interested in the ideas than the minutiae of party processes

Small l Liberals lost control of the party to the knuckle draggers 3 years before Abbott was elected. Some of the small l part are fighting to get their party back, others have given up and now support independents (like Windors) or the Greens.

The thing is, I firmly believe that being part of a major party is always better than being part of a fringe group like the Loopy Greens

That is especially true for the younger generation.
The right of the ALP have a lot more in common with the current Liberals than they do with the “progressive” side of politics like the Greens. That is why some many ALP heavies keep on attacking the Greens.

You point out the core problem for the ALP, namely it is uncomfortably wedged between the Liberals on their right and the Greens on their left and they risk losing support if they stray from the precarious tight rope they try to walk. Worse still they are restrained by the necessary pragmatism that they have to maintain on some controversial polices (like asylum seekers and Gay marriage) because if they abandon such pragmatism they risk losing more than they will gain form the left. Gay marriage is a good example of this while they may gain some preference votes as a consequence they can also expect that some of their conservative catholic base may also be lost. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
The Coalition simply don’t have the same problem and even though there are different factions they don’t have an ideological family member like the Greens snapping at their heels. In fact they truly are a broad and inclusive church and that enables them to have internal diversity that is a strength rather than a weakness.

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In response to johncrowe


Not so sure about the ‘one’ Ian; ,let’s not forget that last week you reported seeing the first swallow of the Liberal Spring.

I know its early days in a long campaign but I think that the government is traveling better than the ALP. Shorten already looks disheveled and burnt out where as Turnbull is looking confident and dare I say it Prime Ministerial…

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In response to fizzaturnbull


60% did not want to renew the crazed Abbott’s preselection. His party ditched him for a smarmy used car ute salesman.

Tony Abbott is re-contesting his seat and he is more than likely going to retain it so clearly you are talking nonsense.

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In response to johncrowe

One disgruntled former supporter does not a split make John

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The simple truth of all human history is that the we have always fought of the control of territory and resources and that means that every human being on the planet has ancestors who have killed for the benefit of their descendants. Thus its utterly pointless for any contemporary person to feel guilty about something that is ubiquitous to the human condition.
What is done is done and all of the guilt-tripping in articles such as this well may serve the identatrian politics of the far left with their hierarchy of oppression but in the real world we accept that unchangeable events of the past good bad and indifferent and instead look to making a better present so that we can build a better shared future.

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In response to Walsunda

Well predictions of sea level rise have tended to be quite exaggerated over recent years, if the sea level rises it won’t be a big deal here and It will bring the beach closer to my mountain home

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In response to Walsunda


In Queensland the Greens have been courting extreme right wing shock jocks recommending optional preference allocation that benefits the Liberal National Party. Which begs the question of whether they are an extreme right wing party or an extreme left wing party.

Err OK

In reality the political spectrum is not on a flat linear axis but instead is circular with the so called left and right extremes meeting on the other end of the diameter from the moderate centre of politics. Project that two dimensional circle onto one dimension and you get the standard spectrum.

Agreed its more of a compass and here is where I am

Both the extreme left and the extreme right of politics have more than their fair share of individuals whose hide bound ideological filter hinders their ability to see what’s really happening. They lose touch with reality.

Agreed and that is why I find the accusations that I am extreme right wing form people here both lazy and strange.

Bloody motorcycles they are such fun. One university friend was hit by as priest turning right across him at the intersection right next to the old Royal Brisbane Hospital. They put him in the ward overlooking the intersection where his fellow patients told him about the accident they saw last night. I lived for a while near the bone and spinal rehab unit on Swan Road where at night the carpark was full of the beautiful old motorbikes of visitors.

I simply loved the visceral experience of riding them and the elegance of some designs

I stayed away from those beautiful machines getting my adrenaline kicks from large and sometimes deep caves and again getting obsessed with the science of such places.

Caving? Mate, much respect but I could never do that because its simply to claustrophobic!

When I worked on coal petrology my colleague was a small Persian woman who’d been a gymnast who had a number of vertebrae bolted together. I think of her every time I see olympic gymnasts doing those double flips then landing thump on their two feet.

Well I have compression fractures in two of my vertebra from a crash and I have enough pain to be on morphine patches My friend had similar surgery to your Gymnast friend and he is in worse pain now than he began with which is why I am so keen to avoid the surgeon’s knife.

I used to run down loose scree slopes on mountains and in caves but am happy to move at some pace down stairs. At my local petrol stations I see the beautiful new modern bikes of people heading up the ridge through Mt Nebo and Mount Glorious. At walking pace I can see the plants. Keep moving for that hip’s sake and your own.

Are you talking motorcycles or pushbikes here?
But yes I keep moving and now I’m off to may workshop to build a jig for my current project

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In response to EponymousDuck


True, but in most cases this is to pay for drugs made prohibitively expensive due to their criminalisation – treat drug addiction as a medical problem, decriminalise the drugs and allow them (and safer alternatives) to be provided on prescription, and most drug-related crime won’t happen. There are numerous countries to have tried this successfully and it has worked pretty well.

I’m not sure that I totally agree with the ‘anything goes” approach mainly because the junkies that I have known have been socially toxic even when they had no trouble with affording their drugs without resorting to crime.

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In response to Walsunda


It downright silly to worry about the extreme left and right wings of politics as it’s in the moderate middle of the political spectrum that most voters reside and in which elections are won.

The thing is , when the ALP is so desperately trying to court the left wing voters defecting to the Greens mean that the “regressive left” have a great deal more influence than they deserve on issues such as this one.

That doesn’t stop the extreme regressive right wing of politics being obsessed with the extreme left wing of politics, but it does stop them both wielding any political power in the longer term as Tony Abbott found out.

Its the Left who have been the biggest worry to our society far more than anyone on the right

It was soon bumped off the top spot. It a bit unrealistic to program as Labor Government propaganda when the affected coastal councils are almost entirely Liberal National Party dominated.

Its the public this is intended to impress, especially those with, shall we say, a climate focus like yourself.

Both Allan Sutherland, Mayor of Moreton Bay Council and Margaret De Witt, Head of the Local Government Association of Queensland and Councillor for the west Brisbane ward of Pullenvale, are members of the Liberal National Party but were critical of Geoff Seeney’s attempt to outlaw responsible coastal planning by local government during the time of the ill fated Newman administration.

Local government are always willing to accept money form the state or federal government, its not really ever an exemplar of any political principles ap[art form their own empire building

I’ve spent some wonder(ful) times on empty (of people) beaches mainly in Western Australia.

Loved it around Esperance and cape Le Grand NP when we were traveling around the country the water is so clear over there. But one of our more favorite beach places is Hat head in NSW a lovely little town surrounded by National park outside the school holiday season its pretty close to being heavenly

It’s overpopulated in the east. In Queensland even on relatively empty beaches these days you have to dodge four wheel drives.

I am with you on that concern

I get a lot of exercise but none of it formal. It’s mainly walking down and up that maze of tracks in the national park between you and me. My scientific obsessions stop boredom during such exercise.

I used to do a fair bit of bush walking but I simply can’t do it any more because I injured myself in a Motorcycle crash 17 years ago I have to pace myself or my pain becomes intolerable

A year ago, I my osteoarthritis stalking horse took a turn for the worse but I’m now on the way back to doing 2 hour walks in the hill and will be scaling up to 4 and 8 hour walks as the weeks progress.

Paint me green with envy! I can’t walk that far without my hip giving me a hard time

I’ve entered a gym for the first time at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital as part of a program to delay knee surgery – last resort at best. Stationary cycles can be a bit boring but I can now walk down the stairs almost normally at a reasonable speed. Interesting to think about that interaction between muscles and joints.

I hope it works because I have known a couple of people who have had less that efficacious results from back surgery.

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In response to Walsunda


Understanding and punishing criminals are not mutually exclusive.

They are according to the regressive left play book where they tend to think that criminals are an oppressed victim of the system

Many reasonable people in the moderate middle of politics realise the advantages of both punishment and rehabilitation to both the prisoner and the economy and effective rehabilitation comes out of understanding the prisoner.

The important word in your sentence is “effective”and that is why I am VERY cynical about the alternatives like “community service” and even probation orders because the recidivism rates of such programs tends to be very high, so high in fact that they are obviously not fit for purpose. .

Currently the lead story on the Guardian Australia is entitled “Queensland bankrolls council projects that mitigate effects of rising sea level” showing a photograph of Burleigh Heads with Mermaid Beach waterfront properties in the foreground. This is one part of an area you characterised in your biblical language as “Sodom and Gomorrh”.

Its not the top story on my front page but having read it all I can say is that it looks like typical Labor lip-service to Climate change and them getting the best propaganda outcome from money they would have given those councils anyway.

I have got down to the Gold Coast one a year at most in recent decades. Last year in July I went down with my daughter, her husband and their two children and stayed in a waterfront high rise at Burleigh Heads.

She was presenting the medals for the Gold Coast Marathon while her partner was running in the half marathon. We looked after the kids and watched the race. What impressed us most about during our short stay was the number and variety of family activities suitable for all ages occurring on the foreshore strip under the Norfolk Island pines – a far cry from your characterisation of “Sodom and Gomorrh”. We’re looking forward to going back next month.

As I said its not my idea of a beach-side holiday, that would be an empty beach and no facilities to speak of

What do you do to keep yourself fit and healthy?

I am not a smoker or a drinker, I try to live a low stress lifestyle, eating sensibly, I must say that I am rather ambivalent about formal exercise (its time you won’t get back), for its own sake but then I have a chronic pain condition which means that I have to pace my physical activity but I can manage a little Yoga and a certain amount of walking.

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In response to EponymousDuck

Got my last two sentences in the wrong order

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In response to EponymousDuck


I don’t think it’s a left-right issue.

Well it always seems to be those from the left who are the ones wanting to “understand” criminals rather than punish them.

There is no single one cause for all crime instead, it is a result of a huge number of individual and social factors. It follows from this that, in some cases – many even – fear of punishment plays a major role in deterring crime. It also helps victims of crime deal with the outcomes.


The mistake, however, is to assume that it is an effective deterrent or an appropriate response in the cases of all crime. In the case of drug use, it may actually make the problem worse and lead to a cycle of dependency, crime and violence.

that said I am not totally opposed to the relaxation of the prohibition against the recreational use of cannabis. Anything that is a pill or a powder though is another matter entirely.
No I don’t buy that line of argument at all, in almost every case those who have become addicted to drugs turn to criminal behavior to sustain their habits after they have become addicts not before.

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In response to AlexJones


If you read a little bit about this subject (a quick Google will turn up plenty of articles) you’ll find plenty of prison governors, politicians and academics who believe that most of the women currently in prison shouldn’t be there. You could start by reading these two pieces:

Well that may play well to the gullible left but back in the real world we know that women are no less capable of continuing pernicious behavior than men are and as such the chances are that by the time a woman receives any custodial sentence they have in all likely hood racked up a long history within the justice system they would have had a go at all of the alternatives to prison well before they end up in jail . Their short sentences would probably translate into a substantially longer bid for the same crimes if they were men.

Both include the views of Clive Chatterton, a former governor of Styal Prison, who describes himself as “scarred” by the experience:

‘Chatterton is calling for a “warts-and-all review of the aims and intent of the use of custody”; an immediate end to short sentences; more women to be transferred to secure mental health units where they can receive the right care; and alternatives to prison that could be funded by the “huge” savings that would be derived from not jailing the third of women currently imprisoned for minor offences.’

Letting women “get off” and avoid prison undermines the entire justice system and I suspect that your problem here is that you don’t think that the purpose of prison is as much about punishment as it is about “reforming” offenders.

Of course, Chatterton merely has 37 years’ experience of working in prisons, so what does he know in comparison to the frothing mob of men’s right activists below the line?

Well I have had sixty years as a member of our society and that experience has taught me the necessity to punish criminal behavior in a fair and proportionate way regardless of the special pleadings from softhearted fools who think that female criminal is some sort of victim. They aren’t.
What the doogooders need to appreciate is that not every criminal can be reformed and more importantly “community corrections” like probation and community service are incredibly ineffective at changing criminal behavior and more importantly the crims totally understand this.

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In response to Jiri


This would be true if it were not a patriarchy.

Utter rubbish, if women want equality then they should have equality of sentencing in the justice system as well.

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In response to EponymousDuck


I think you’ll find that the second and third last paragraphs deal with this issue – imprison violent and sex offenders, regardless of sex; use alternative punishments for non-violent crimes for men and women.

The thing that you, and so many folk on the left fail to appreciate is that most of the alternatives to prison are tantamount to “getting away with it” In other words they have no utility as a punishment for crimes committed. but I imagine that you think that the point of prison should be all about “reforming” a criminal rather than punishing them don’t you?

This will result, based on the statistics presented here, in very few incarcerations of women.

Which goes to my point that treating women even less equally to men is a bad idea fro equality and for justice.

However, the question then, is: why not frame the article in a way that doesn’t sound like you are calling for special treatment for women, when in fact you are not?

My guess is that the author doesn’t think that women are equal in their humanity to men.

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In response to you guess

I am often misunderstood here

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Women already receive lesser sentences than men do for committing the same crimes and yet this article wants them to be exempted from imprisonment?
Equality before the law has to mean something and if a woman commits a crime then she should expect to do the same time as a man would receive. Any thing less than that is an afront to both gender equality AND justice.

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In response to Peter Mitchell

Peter Mitchell

By changing a supposedly factual document to protect their own interests,

Your adjective identifies the problem with UNESCO quite well its supposed to be factual but it isn’t and it never would have been because the Quango is simply agenda driven, corrupt and not to be trusted

Hunt’s team have both degraded the integrity of the document and that of the UN.

They simply wanted to disassociate themselves from a disreputable player in eco polititcs

Furthermore it was a deliberate attempt to deceive, even if you think it was only to deceive would be holidaymakers, deception is underhanded.

Your say so is not enough to make your case here..

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In response to PeaBea


Firstly, that’s a diversion, secondly, it has no relevance here. Your argument is that suppression of references to Australia is good no matter what those references are. You’re saying that reporting anything is bad because there will be potential for criticism. It makes no sense – unless your head is completely up the fundament of the LNP.

I simply do not think that anything produced by UNESCO is of any value or virtue and the usual suspects and all of the leftwing worshipers of Gaia were always going to seize upon a report that is even just partially critical of the government.
The rancor expressed here is imply not resonating enough to chnage a single person’s vote in the seats that matter. In other words its a confected outrage of no importance.

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In response to Javabeans31


So if I was your doctor and had a report saying you had cancer, but then proceeded to erase the diagnosis you wouldn’t consider that I’d lied to you?

Your analogy fails because UNESCO is nothing like a dispassionate doctor, its more like a snake oil salesman.

Using that logic do we need to correctly guess and ask every politician what they are witholding from us?

If this was about a the actions of a Greens government you would be saying nothing. Your problem is that you think that UN quangos are worthy of respect, we sensible folk don’t think they are.

Pretty sure you just enjoy the attention but in case you are serious it’d be interesting to gauge where your head is at?

Its at the top of my spine, as usual

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In response to RollyW


Iain, are you a Guardian ‘phantom’ poster paid to increase the number of ‘clicks’ with your silly, provocative and factsless posts?

They don’t pay me to comment here Rolly I do it for love.

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In response to Cd1994


Doesn’t matter which way you spin it, the department and the Minister are demonstrably incompetent

Well then you should have no trouble demonstrating precisely what they have done here that shows a lack of competence.

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In response to PeaBea


Your argument makes absolutely no sense and you know it.
Ignorance is strength for you isn’t it.

Show me any thread in this place that has ever praised the government for anything or not contained many comments attacking conservatives

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In response to Martin_C


Iain, isn’t it funny how often with your Liberals, what you consider to be “doing the right thing” is just flat-out lying to the public?

No lies have been told here.

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In response to VicOfBrunswick


Deflect, distract, cover up….seems to be all the LNP are good at (although not very good, clearly).

How have any of those things been evident here?

This is a government with no credibility and I believe that most of us live in a country where we’d prefer to be informed of the issues and of what those who are meant to represent us are up to.

This government are orders of magnitude better than Labor and the misnamed Greens on environmental issues because they appreciate that humans are part of the equation too.

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In response to aquaPura


It is pure fairyland to imagine that one’s party never gets anything wrong and yet that seems to be the predominant stance of Liberal supporters.

I have actually voted Labor more often than I have voted for the coalition during my life time. I don’t simply endorse everything the party does but I do like to point out when you lot make much ado about nothing as you are in this thread.

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In response to TheotherClaw


Yes it’s so much better now that we know they covered up not only the bad bits but the good bits as well…so we have a lack of transparency and stupidity walking hand in hand.

UNESCO is, like most of the UN, pretty worthless so dissociating from both praise and approbation from them is always a good idea

Sounds like another well trained compliant Dept. in need of a cleanout.

no they had the clean out when they got Labor’s grubby paws out of governing this country.

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In response to Themadquokka


The department did exactly what Grub Hunt ordered them to do, and you know it.

And what is the problem with that?

Bunch of liars and hypocrites.

Don’t be so hard on UNESCO

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In response to Peter Mitchell

Peter Mitchell

How is doing something underhanded the right thing ever?

How is what was done underhanded?

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In response to Petunia Winegum

Petunia Winegum

Talking of usual suspects, here’s Iain to spruik the usual climate change denying LNP bullshit. One thing about conservatives, you never tire of being wrong do you?

No Petunia we have a mission to bring the light of truth to banish your socialist gloom.

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In response to ID5300270


That’s bull dust and you know it

No its not, after all when has there ever been a report that criticizes a coalition government policy that has not been pounced up by the minions of the left as if its a starving man’s meal?

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The department Still did the right thing here, because the usual suspects would have been up in arms either way

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In response to CatVidHevn


It is called sexually transmitted sports.

Please explain what you mean by that

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In response to CatVidHevn


Do you mean “interest” as in “bank interest”?

Well there certainly is a low return form women’s sport

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In response to Walsunda

In my family NONE of the women are at all interested in sport and they look askance at me because I am marginally interested in watching the rugby league.
I know that Netball has a good following in terms of juvenile participation however the number of women who continue to play after they have finished schooling is quite small.

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In response to cdfern


Back to your cave Iain…

But I don’t want to evict you from that lovely subterranean accommodation

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In response to TheBeef


A start? No Ian., your not even facing the right way in the blocks.

If that is so (which it isn’t) then you are not on the same planet

Smaller pool? Netball, swimming, athletics, hockey, etc.. All new sports to you are they? What absolute tosh.

I’ll give you an example that vI have observed myself. Around here where I live we get people who are into cycling riding up and down our road most days and on the weekend there are literally herds of loonies in Lycra and of them I would say that there are less than one person in thirty who is a woman. And the best woman is going to be a long way behind the best man when they ride together in the same race.

The simple fact here is that women are less inclined to want to play sport or partake in sporting activities compared to men.

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In response to Metamade123


Ok Iain I’ll buy in: First:

Not to detract from Breachly’s abilities but the number of women surfers is somewhat smaller than the number of male surfers.

As In my first point Iain were the waves fucking smaller!!

No what I meant was that there are fewer women competing so any one person has statistically easier chance of winning. In any event Surfing, like forms of competitive dance is more about style than athleticism and in some senses its not a sport at all

And as for women’s tennis only playing 3 sets. Women have far more stamina than men, that’s how we have babies Iain, and are more than capable of playing five sets of tennis if the relevant authorities allowed. Just ask Sarina. Or don’t you watch her Iain because you know, shit….she’s not a man and all.

Your claims about birthing children does not counter what I was saying about women playing fewer sets, a difference that the women wanted to keep BTW, they play shorter matches because they want to.

All I can say is I hope you don’t have daughters and my commiserations to them if you do.

I do have a daughter and she detests sport in in any shape or form.

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In response to Copa

What you ignore here is that people can have more than one reason for watching a particular sport including the eye candy quotient. As a straight bloke I don’t mind watching fit women play sport either. But as you note not all sports people are equally easy on the eye .

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In response to TheBeef


By what measure Ian? Lets see how you justify such complete waffle.

Women have a smaller pool of opponents to compete against for a start.

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In response to Metamade123


Can you explain these standards to me Iain?

Basic physiology shows us that men have greater upper body strength and physicality when it come to any sporting feat. they run faster hit harder and can lift more than any woman playing the same game

So does that mean when Layne Beechley surfed a wave it was a “smaller” wave?

Not to detract from Breachly’s abilities but the number of women surfers is somewhat smaller than the number of male surfers.

Or when Lauren Jackson (voted best player in the US NBA) was the hoop lower? Or in the women’s cricket team was the pitch shorter? Or in the women’s rugby is the field shorter?

You tell me why women’s tennis matches have fewer sets than the male matches? And why are females always slower than the equivalent males on the track?
men and women are different in ways other than the content of their track pants you know.

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In response to Copa


I was at the Raiders v Bulldog’s NRL game yesterday and there were women of all ages sitting near me. Quite a few of them come with only their female friends.

Sure but that was for a NRL game played by some rather fit and buff men wasn’t it?

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In response to prismism


Your comment is a classic case of a strawwoman argument we are talking about sport not study in stem fields.

I was trying to show you how your statement represents a flawed logic by using your words but changing the topic.

I know what you were doing which is why I refused to dance to that particular tune

your argument essentially boils down to “things are like they are, so we shouldn’t try and change them”

No my argument is really about bill Shorten’s desperate desire to run up every possible “progressive” issue and try to win votes with it. Today’s is woman’s sport and he is like all minions of the left trying to play the politics of envy and to over egg the female sport pudding.

Can you see that any status quo isn’t “right” just because it is the status quo?

sure but by the same token can you appreciate the idea that we should not try to fix something until its broken? Sport is not broken in this country.

Hence my example of historical attitudes towards womens education, which mirror your attitude to womens sport.

I have never been that keen on any sport and I have serious reservations about professional sport because in someways amateur sport is more pure than sports that have become big business, played for the love of it rather than to honor Mammon its well more sporting

In any case, it seems you are letting your misogyny get in the way of your libertarianism by arguing against funding for

Not agreeing with every feminist issue and argument does not make anyone a Misogynistsport, rather that against funding for sport in general.

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In response to addledlady


I don’t expect that it would have been very high.

It was high enough that a couple of sponsors and a commercial channel (10? if I remember aright) thought it worthwhile to take it on for a few seasons – it’s now with Sky.

It was undoubtedly small change compare to other more popular sports

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In response to RollyW


There are ample slots where the ABC presently airs repeats of repeated programmes.
Just how many times do we need to view Antiques Roadshow, Midsommer Murders and the likes of Silent Witness.
SBS could prune any. number of Food presentations, and use some of the time wasted on advertisements. Half of them seem to be Liberal Party propaganda disguised as Government infomation anyway, so there would be little net loss to treasury in the process.

Don’t you dare limit the foodie porn on SBS!!!

The thing is I’m pretty sure that teh shows you cite would rate better than most women’s sport

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In response to Happyman1


Easy, instead of having news 24 they could have sport 24, or take all news a current affairs and replace with sports that get little to no coverage.

What a silly idea!

Why do we need so many foreign reporters globe trotting when all that cash could be used on local female sport. I mean its not like the ABC makes a profit!!

There is a simple reason really, what the journalists report on is actually significant and important, sport is at best light relief and trivia and women’s sports are uninteresting to the majority of sports fans. Coverage should reflect the public’s interest not some sort of ideological goal.

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In response to Metamade123

Thats only because the standards are lower for women’s sport all over the world

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In response to DougalLongfoot


I would be interested to see what the ratings were for the netball that the ABC was showing I don’t expect that it would have been very high.

Ignoring the fact that it is SBS and Fox Sports that have been broadcasting the netball, where does the fact Channel 9 have now paid a motza to broadcast the netball live on Saturday nights fit into your low rating theory?

What was the actual dollar amount paid, I bet it was not much compared to any men’s sport, more importantly will those broadcasts make a profit? I doubt that they will.

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In response to grahameasom1


I know of a better target for that “very simple” bit, and if you look in a mirror, so will you.

Starting with an Ad Homeniem is never a good look

Your argument is crap, and demonstrates that like a few misogynist pollies, (any come to mind?), you’re stuck too deep in the ‘men only’ syndrome.

No I am all for women as well but why does it have to be at the cost of things that men are interested in?

Get out a bit, look at the crowd make-up, and don’t play follow-the-leaders just for trolling purposes, there’s a good little soldier.

Its certainly a good thing that women share some of the interests of the men in their lives but the clear reality is that interest in women’s sport is orders of magnitude less than the interest in male sports and that difference is reflected in the respective the coverage.

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In response to CatVidHevn


Really? You mean there are other sports that women buy tickets for as well? Next you’ll be telling me that women pay the gambling debts on them too!

What proof do you have that women are the ticket buyers in the first place?

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In response to RedsRedsReds


Back to the cave for you! Have you ever thought this may be a supply issue, not a demand issue? I watch ABC because more womens sport is covered… simply supply meeting my demand. Well done ABC!

You would be part of a very small fan base then

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In response to Happyman1


Actually the ABC should be forced to televise these sports. That’s is the reason for the ABC to televise things other privately owned broadcasters either don’t or wont.

Even for the ABC its important that they have viewers, so how do you propose that they fund this extra sports coverage?

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In response to prismism


Its amazing how your argument can be used to justify any status quo, for example, as rephrased to fit an equally outdated line of thinking:

Your comment is a classic case of a strawwoman argument we are talking about sport not study in stem fields.

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In response to 37jerra


How misogynistic of you.

On the contrary I am just suggesting that the sport that is broadcast should reflect that actual interest shown by the fans and not be skewed by a regressive left ideology.

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In response to CatVidHevn


Really? Has someone done the stats on sales of footy tickets and who buys them – better still, who pays for them?

Check out this article for the very big difference in interest in sport between women and men over all codes of football .

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In response to Petunia Winegum

Petunia Winegum

Iain, where is the suggestion that something is being taken away from men? Did you not read the story which said “an additional 500 hours of women’s sport”?

Read the comment from photographofgeorge that we are both responding to because he is making the suggestion I am denouncing.

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In response to photographofgeorge

Why take away form men something they enjoy to air something for ostensibly for women that they will in all likelihood not even watch?

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In response to CatVidHevn

Football is not the only sport Cat.
I would be interested to see what the ratings were for the netball that the ABC was showing I don’t expect that it would have been very high.
The problem here though is not that Shorten wants to encourage women’s sport but that he wants to force the ABC to show it. Why should the national broadcaster have such a burden imposed on it by the Labor party?

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The reasons are actually something very simple men are generally more interested in watching sport than women are and as such the amount of hours devoted to the sports that men like to watch have been maximized. As spectators = revenue either from ticket sales of from selling advertising its entirely reasonable that there should be more male sport on TV.

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In response to TheotherClaw


Well there’s a surprise, iain in his alternate looniverse saw the debate as a win to the right winger…would have thunk it?

Read what I said again:

watched the leaders debate last night and while neither player landed a mortal blow. I thought that Turnbull gave a slightly stronger presentation and narrowly won on points.

It was close to a draw and I said so

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In response to cookedgoose

can’t say it better than I did before:
Watch it again and see how rushes all the way over to Malcolm’s lectern and instigates the handshake. Like Latham before him he is simply just a bit too eager and a bit too strident. He is simply trying too hard and it shows.

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In response to roscoc


Did you watch the same debate as me?

On the ABC at 730? Yes? then I think I must have been.

No clear winners but purely on performance, I found Malcolms style with all that hand waving and finger pointing more like a lecture to a group of school kids than a serious debate.

Like you I thought no one “won” but I thought that the things you chide malcom for were actually a positive for his performance

A couple of things that won it for Shorten in my opinion
were when he pulled Malcolm up on his comment that the Libs were better economic managers and condesendingly suggested that Labors projections were erroneous and the surplus expected not to return for quite a while.

The clear message form last week was that Labor’s figures are at bets dodgy and its just a question of how dodgy they are.

Shorten pointed out the bleeding obvious, tripling of the deficit under this term of government.

Of course what shorten failed to mention is that much of that is because the government were unable to get a goodly number of their countermeasures through the senate thanks to Labor being less than helpful.

The other issue was on how jobs & growth would be achieved.
MT said this would be achieved by a basic trickle down effect, hence investment in big business (clearly now shown to be a load of tosh)
The second was that we have to invest in technology for the 21st century. I just about laughed out loud.

Personally I tend to agree that this should have been better argued but we were never going to get much detail in this sort of debate , it was always going to be very broad aspirational principles rather then nuts and bolts.

Not one journo picked him up on the outdated shambolic mess the NBN is. Definitely not 21st century technology.

To be fair not one Journpo picked up on what a Mess the ALP NBN plan was either.

Shorten to me had the slight edge and did not prevaricate on any issue.

Its probably confirmation bias for both of us but I felt that Shorten was far more disheveled in both his appearance and his delivery

As to your comment about hand shaking. It is the polite thing to do after such an event and if MT was reluctant to engage then that just shows the mentality of the man that just gets in a snit when he hasn’t rattled his opponent.

Watch it again and see how rushes all the way over to Malcolm’s lectern and instigates the handshake. Like Latham before him he is simply just a bit too eager and a bit too strident. He is simply trying too hard and it shows.

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In response to lindyhy


If some one keep bullying his way to get there and constantly telling lies n cheat.
I would kick his ass. Voters will grab thier baseball bat or the pen is more mighty
Than the sword.

You are commenting from your Phone aren’t you?

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I watched the leaders debate last night and while neither player landed a mortal blow. I thought that Turnbull gave a slightly stronger presentation and narrowly won on points. Shorten’s desperate urge to shake Turnbull’s hand at the end did have a rather Lathamesque twinge to it though.

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In response to Walsunda

part 2

I have expressed no distain for religion. You are imagining things that don’t exist.

No see my previous comment

Time scales beyond the human lifetime and distances as great as and much greater than the diameter of the Earth have not stopped science developing by experimentation in geology, astronomy and cosmology. What big gaps that must be filled by speculation and guesswork are you talking about?

All of those “known unknowns” like the assumptions about climate before the beginning of the instrumental record.

Climate sensitivity to CO2 increases expressed as degrees C rise in the climate of the Earth for a doubling of CO2 concentration is between 2 and 4 degrees C with most calculations putting it at 3 degrees C.

Which is a rather wide range that hedges lots of bets doesn’t it?

Major changes in the planetary orbit have not occurred in the last 200 years as no mechanism exists.

Really? That is not what Wiki says

Solar activity has not changed at the scale necessary to explain the warming of the last century or so.


Climate and the Sun
One natural factor attributable to climate change may be that the brightness of the Sun varies over decades or centuries. Brightness variations are in step with the sunspot cycle, a series of changes in the Sun’s magnetism that have a period of ~11 years. Climate models suggest that changes of ~0.5% in the Sun’s brightness would produce global average temperature changes of ~0.5 °C over a century or so (5).

In defining the tremendous impact the Sun has on climate, we must understand the actual movement of the Earth around the Sun. Three variables—orbit shape, tilt, and wobble—profoundly affect weather patterns. The Earth’s orbit is not a circle, but an ellipse, in which one end is farther from the Sun than the other. In a 100,000-year cycle, the tug of other planets on the Earth causes its orbit to change shape. It shifts from a short, broad ellipse that keeps the Earth closer to the Sun to a long, flat ellipse that allows it to move farther from the Sun and back again.

While the Earth travels in its orbit, it also spins around an axis that tilts lower then higher over a 41,000-year cycle. Close to the poles, the contrast between winter and summer temperatures is greatest when the angle of the tilt is large. The Earth also wobbles because it is spinning on its axis, tilting back and forth. Thus a temperature drop in the Northern Hemisphere occurs when the planet tilts away from the Sun; the Southern Hemisphere cools as the tilt changes, and the cooling trend moves north again over a 22,000-year cycle. This means that ~11,000 years from now, the northern midwinter will fall in July instead of January, and the glaciers may return in full force. It also means that summer temperatures peak in the tropics twice as often as the concentrated heat of the Sun passes back and forth across the equator.

The Sun drives the climate. Even if the Sun’s energy output did not vary as it does, the amount of sunlight reaching different areas of the Earth would still change because of the way the Earth moves around the Sun. Climate drives the ebb and flow of glaciers and vegetation: Ice sheets spread and shrink within the 100,000-year cycle of orbital change. Glaciers dominate the land for 60,000–90,000 years during the cold phase of the cycle, and they all but disappear during the warm phase.

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In response to Walsunda


Was biology the only science subject you did in years 11 and 12 of high school?

I dropped out of school when I was 16 and it was only in my mid twenties that I went back to get my matriculation as an adult student

Did you do any maths subjects in those years?

No maths its never been my thing, to matriculate I had to do four subjects, English, Ancient History, Modern History and Biology.

When I say that the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere increased from 280 ppm or 0.028% to 400 ppm or 0.04% which is an increase of 40%; I am simply being mathematically literate and correct. I am not trying to be dramatic. Percentage is not an absolute measure but a way of expressing a fractional increase of the original quantity.

The CO2 concentration increased from 0.028% of the total atmosphere by 0.012% to 0.04% of the total atmosphere. 0.012 divided by 0.028 multiplied by 100 gives you a percentage increase in CO2 concentration of 42.9% which is rounded down to 40%.

Yes I do understand all that however you don’t seem to be comprehending That its equally valid to describe the change a from 0.012% to 0.04% but that doing so does not make that change appear to be so significant, so which way do you think makes the same data look more serious.or more urgent??? You would have to say that the “40%” clai8m has a greater propaganda value wouldn’t you?

You can look up both in the scientific literature. I am as familiar with plant species data as I am with climate change data. I am no more relying on the authority of authority of climate scientists than I am relying on the authority of the botanists who have worked on that catchment.

But you can’t seem to lay that data out and explain why it convinces you that the AGW proposition is correct can you?

You are making silly assumptions now about me.

Well I don’t know you so I have to make assumptions and deductions based upon our conversations here don’t I?

What eucalypt and rainforest species do you have on your five acres?

I am not big on plant taxonomy to be frank but we have most of the species endemic to the area

The key papers on climate science are not hard to find. Which ones pertaining to which facets of the current established theory and its evidence are you having difficulty locating? I don’t need to give you citations to such well known work.

But you do actually because you are the one saying that you have seen the evidence and it convinced you, so I’m just asking to tell me what that eveidence was and why it was so definitive for you.

There is no such thing as an AGW (anthropogenic global warming) proposition? You keep repeating the same ludicrous mistake. There is a well established anthropogenic global warming theory well substantiated by much evidence.

First you denounce my choice of words as a descriptor then you define precisely what I am talking about, so its neither ludicrous or a mistake is it?

Science is the best way to find out the truth about the real world around us. If you made the effort to study it properly you would not make such silly mistakes. You may have to go back to high school and study some physics, chemistry and mathematics.

I have the greatest respect for most science and I even agree with you that it provides a good way to understand the world but I am rather less impressed with the one particular disciple that deals with climate because I see it as something that has become the captive of the misanthropes from the regressive left.

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In response to Walsunda


When I say no climate scientist s are telling you the world will be destroyed, you say just “look to google to find an almost endless list of dire predictions about the climate” (with an attached link). The link to a googled page provides four scientific websites that do not tell you the world will be destroyed and four dodgy newspaper articles. Once again you have lost touch with reality.

You don’t seem to get that a google search result has more than one page of results don’t you? in fact that search has About 96,600,000 results so you finding 4 contrary results on one page does not counter my point.

“It all boils down to the same sort of emotional blackmail that the Profits of other religions have explored.”

And you’re the bloke who asked me if English was my first language. There’s no religion here mate and no emotional blackmail just a direct question to you about human qualities that you yourself have mentioned.

If that is so then how can you explain the religiosity of so many of those on your side of this argument? As for emotional blackmail Just read through any thread on climate here at the guardian and look at how any heterodox opinion is desperately screamed down.

You misunderstand Michael Mann’s use of the word trick and the process of peer review – the perils of eavesdropping. Your disagreement is of no consequence.

No I perfectly well understand Mann’s “trick” of trying to replace part of a data set with an entirety unrelated data set because it fitted his narrative better and gave him the result he was seeking. Its simply bad and dishonest too boot.

You as an atheist say I have a dismissive view of religion.

Yes that is because I have known many atheists who feel the need attach the belief of others. My relationships with religious people are cordial and frequent. So why do you say I have a dismissive view of religion?
Because you are so offended by the notion that science is filling the role of religion in our more secular society.

The know what science is and I know what christian religion is and I know they are not the same. You are confused about both.

My argument is that Science is A religion which does not require it to be the same as Christianity, No more than the Rastafarians , Or the Buddhists, its similarity to religion comes from the way that we as a society look to it to answer the big questions, you know things like “why are we here?” “where did we come from?”, “how does the universe work?” This is actually a good thing in my view because its way of explaining these things “works” better than with supernatural explanations of other faiths, to me anyway.

Were you born in Queensland?

No I was born in London

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In response to Walsunda


I’m not part of your “we” who you claim to know something or other.

I was of course using the word “we” to designate something that is generally known, but I suspect that you knew that and you are just being unnecessarily pedantic.

The term denier is used to denote what someone is doing and is not by itself a perjorative term. The something denying the existence of evidence. Climate change deniers deny the existence of evidence of climate change.

Holocaust deniers deny the existence of evidence of the Jewish holocaust. They are denying different things What is being equated is the denial of evidence. Both groups are deniers.

No matter how you define it the term is used as a pejorative in terms of climate change discussions something you do not deny…
Oh and when it comes to the evidence I am still waiting for you to produce said evidence something I have asked you to do more than once

Climate change denial and holocaust denial are both associated with the extreme right of politics.

Really? Only by the minions of the extreme Normal folk don’t see any common purpose between those of us who are skeptical about the AGW proposition and the atrocities of the national socialists being subject to historical revisionism.

One of Australia’s extreme right wing climate change deniers Eric Abetz is the nephew of the military officer who was the administrator of Paris during the Nazi occupation and was responsible for the rounding up and dispatch of many thousands of French Jewish to the holocaust death camps.

Talk about going the smear! mate I thought you better than that!

There are no “true believers” involved in climate science as science is about evidence not belief. You have been told this before but you do not know what science is.

Is the evidence really and truly definitive beyond all doubt?
Are there any gaps at all in the understanding of how the climate works?
If, as I suggest is the case, there are any “gaps” in the evidence then it takes faith or belief to accept the proposition without being able to fill said gaps with the necessary evidence.

The only sceptics in this process are the scientists as scepticism comes the discipline. No one is equating scientists with holocaust deniers. Your one sentence above shows a most astounding disconnection with reality.

Wal that is such a great example of semantic hair splitting that I might think that you are a secret wannabee hairdresser!

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In response to Walsunda


as we can when we read the scientific papers on climate science.[..]
With climate science the evidence is clear and much of the processes involved are as well understood[…] That you can’t understand the evidence and the processes involved reflects more on your knowledge of science than on the quality of the evidence and scientific work underpinning these three fields.

well established ” AGW” (anthropogenic global warming) theory ” as clearly, can you.”

I can. Why can’t you. Haven’t you read the scientific literature on the subject?

You keep saying that you can see the evidence and I keep asking you to present it but instead all you do is assert again that you can see the evidence.
So please lay out the evidence that convinces you that the AGW theory is correct.

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In response to Walsunda


Climate science is no more willfully obscure then medicine or engineering.

That is simply not true. with engineering its easy to test the strength of materials , how to cut them and how to join them to achieve your goal we are a too using ape and even our most complicated tools work on easily understood principles and medicine, although we take care with it is comprehensible. But Climate is chaotic and is so vast and with so many variables that much more difficult to comprehend.

There are sizeable segments of the public that do not accept facets of medicine such as immunisation and facets of engineering such as the need for sufficient but more costly structural integrity in a retaining wall above their neighbors property.

Its not a good analogy really because in medicine if people are anti vaccination then its only they or their children who may be affected (my children are fully vaccinated BTW) and as long as their numbers are quite small they won’t affect anyone else. As for retaining walls well most people who build shonky ones are doing a quick and dirty renno to sell a place

The changes in the climate resulting from global warming affect us all if only in that we wonder if we’ll ever need to buy new winter clothing again. They don’t wear out with one week of cold weather on average per year.

Only if it happens as predicted and so far they are not that accurate in the predictions at all

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In response to Walsunda


“You blithely say that the rise in CO2 is the cause of the recent warming” (over the last century or so) “but how can you be so sure it is the actual cause.”

I didn’t say that without proper thought or care or in any way that could be construed as blithely.

There is no need to split hairs about my choice of adjectives you don’t like.

We can be sure that the recent global warming of the last century or so is due to a 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 because all the other possible causes have been eliminated as possible suspects.

That is not definitive proof or in fact any sort of substantive proof for the proposition and in reality its not a “40%” increase at all because the only way to properly describe the increase in CO2 is in terms of the whole atmosphere and in that case going from 0.028% to 0.04% is really only a 0.012% increase which is just a bit over one hundredth of one percent. Of course that does not sound as dramatic as your claimed “40%” though does it? I tend to think that this is in fact a very minuscule change in the atmosphere and that there are other variables that are more significant than that.

“You have a belief that it is the cause”.

No I don’t. I have evidence.

Then kindly enunciate what that evidence is and explain why it convinces you.

In the same way as I have evidence of the 3,000 species of plant in the Enoggera Creek catchment.

That can not be the case because with those 3000 species you have seen the data and respect the process used to gather it. Have you been as intimate with the climate data? I doubt it in stead you are clearly relaying on the authority of the climate scientists

What trees and other plants do you have on your 5 acres at Mount Mee?

Its mainly “gum trees” with a smattering of rain-Forrest species That my wife and I have planted at I have a few nice Grevllia robusta, lots of stag horns , other epiphytes and orchids the bird life is quite varied too here, lots of different parrots, Tawny frog mouths, Wallabies, snakes, Lace monitors, Antchienus.

No. It’s been done many times and at various stages with the passage of time, with the various steps of what is a complex hypothesis and with the various alternative null hypotheses.

Citations needed I think

As true sceptics scientists are not proponents of any particular theory. They don’t believe in the theory but accept the evidence of the mechanism the theory explains.

We both know that the AGW proposition is NOT treated like that. Its the truth and the aim is to substantiate that Truth

What is happening fits with the theory so once again there is belief involved merely observation of what is happening. You are projecting the way of thinking of the religions that you have long been fascinated with onto the very different way of thinking practiced in science.

No I am making an observation and once again I suggets taht you need to take a step back form your usual disdain for religion so that you can see the religisity of the “climate change” true believers

A theory is an hypothesis that has stood the test of repeated experimentation. Experiments are designed to disprove null hypotheses not to prove hypotheses or established theories.

Well I put it to you that as the theory encompasses the entire planet and time scales beyond a human life span it can not be tested by experiment and observations. There are some very big gaps that must be filled with speculation and guesswork

The climate models are based on empirical data and established theories which are not crap. What assumptions are you talking about?
“It is not the devices I am suspicious of its the assumptions used in the models.”

What assumptions?

Climate sensitivity to Co2 increases for a start, an assumption that the planetary orbit is unchangeable, that the solar activity is unchanged. The assumption that the effect of water vapour is a zero sum game.. The effects of clouds is a big unknown

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In response to Walsunda


You seem to be saying you have observed something that you call climate science that is like many millenialist religious cults and provide five observations that you claim illustrate this similarity, namely in summary.

No seem about it I am saying that it is a Millenarian cult

1.It takes many years of study and hard work to understand the subject matter fully. Note this applies to all areas of science and its applied forms such as medicine and engineering.

Sure but the public can easily understand the utility of Medicine and Engineering where as “climate science” is very often willfully obscure

2. We are told to trust the experts. This I do every time I cross the Captain Cook Bridge. I also trusted my cardiac surgeon and large number of other medical professionals when my faulty mitral valve threatened my continued existence.

Sure but with each of those we can easily see the proof of their respective puddings can’t we?

Having a basic understanding of science over a number of disciplines I’m able to discuss matters of bridge design and mitral valve repair plus their ensuing complications with the relevant experts. It pays to go to the right person. The evidence was clear and the processes involved were understandable.

With climate the evidence is less than clear and the processes are not that well understood no matter how much certitude is asserted.

I did not go into denial about my medical condition nor the recommendations regarding the safety of the bridge.

Because you can see the evidence for both, you can’t see the evidence for the AGW proposition as clearly can you?

Denial is not just a religious term, yoiu need to broaden your field of study. In all these matters the true sceptics are the scientists and applied practitioners.

We both know that its used as a pejorative by the true believers and we know that the connotations are to equate skeptics with the holocaust deniers

3. We are told the world will be destroyed. No climate scientists are telling you the world will be destroyed.

Just look to google to find an almost endless list of dire predictions about the climate

4. We (who ever that is) are told we are not caring for the future or the future of our children. The disruption of ecosystems and human economies dependent on them resulting from the changes in climate wrought by global warming will have deleterious effects on the future of our children and our grandchildren. Kindness and caring are important human considerations independent of religion. Do you object to kindness and caring about the future for your kids and grandkids.

It all boils down to the same sort of emotional blackmail that the Profits of other religions have explored

5. There was nothing of any consequence in what you hysterically call “climate gate”. Your talk of ends justifying means has more than a hint of conspiratorial paranoia.

As I’m sure you will appreciate I disagree with your dismissal of the “climategate” revelations. Distortion of the peer review process to exclude heterodox papers on climate is a pretty big deal, as is the “trick” used by Micheal Mann to make his Hockey stick “work”

So your “observations” are either features common to all areas of science and its applications or you are seeing things that really don’t exist. If you see climate change and climate change science as a religion you are deluding yourself.

No I am not deluding myself, nor is my view of science taking on the same social role as religion has in the past that controversial. I think that you object because you have a dismissive attitude to religion and you resent the comparison as a consequence.

Understanding how the oceanic dipoles interact with global warming has direct benefit to a country such as Australia whose weather systems are more at the mercy of such processes than any other place on Earth. We are also the Southern Hemisphere leaders in this field for obvious reasons.

Maybe, it is but how much more does it need to studied?

Many of sciences nice to know moments such as quantum theory and evolution have with time come to underpin our industrial and technological prosperity.


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In response to Walsunda


As the global warming of the last century or so is a result of an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration from 280 to over 400 ppm to say that “the claim that it” (global warming) “is all due to human activities certainly does” have something “to do with true belief”, begs the question of where else did all that extra CO2 come from?

You blithely say that the rise in CO2 IS The cause of the recent warming but how can you be so certain it it is the actual cause? You have a belief that it is the cause but what is the foundation of that belief? Is it any more substantive than you believing the so called “experts in the field” asserting CO2 as the cause the way that yo8u assert it here?

The claims of relative certainty of the well established anthropogenic global warming theory are based on empirical evidence.

As a man of science then you should surely be able to show just how the hypothesis has been tested by the scientific method, you know by a properly repeatable experiment. Hang on that is impossible isn’t it? The proponets believe in the theory and they also believe that what is happening fits with the theory but it simply can not be definitively proven can it?’

The climate models are scientific models like any other scientific model or algorithm based on empirical data and the best current scientific understanding of the processes involved.

As the old adage goes “crap in =crap out” in other words the veracity of the models very much depend on the assumptions that go into those algorithms so while its good that these models are based on empirical data if the assumption are wrong then so to will the results be wrong.

They are not electronic idols of what you call “the religion.” In the seventies, I used to bash out ecological models on a glorified adding machine with a printout like a supermarket cash register. Personal computers were a decade away. There is no need to be suspicious of electronic devices. This is science not religion as it’s based on the evidence from the real world.

Its not the devices I am suspicious of its the assumptions used in the models

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In response to samiamnotaus


Anyone with a GPS that can tel you elevation can tell what the risk of a rising sea level might be to a particular property

You have to be shitting me ? This complety misunderstands how GPS works
and misunderstands the dangers of SLR.

Its even easier than that really, If the property is close to the current sea level you could be subject to flooding, So what? My brother has a beach side house and the ground is just a couple of feet above the high tide level neither he nor his neighbors are worried about SLR and nor should anyone else.

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In response to Walsunda


In answer to my question as to the value of a beachfront property at Mermaid Beach, you ask if I “really think it would be a loss to our culture if the Gold Coast were to be swallowed by the sea?”

I thought that you might have worked out that I am no fan of the sort of development that has seen the Gold Coast become a rather glitzy and crass tourist trap.

That stretch of sandy coast is my friend’s country and it’s important to his culture and mine. As a Queenslander of many generations I have a great respect and love of the many parts of this wonderful state. Where do you come from?

Your friend must have either a good memory to still see the spiritual in that blighted stretch of sand it what would qualify as our own Sodom and Gomorrah

The local state LNP member for the area would have a concern for the multimillion dollar monetary value of those beachfront properties.

If I never visit the gold cost within the next two life times it will not be long enough away from it. I happen to like beaches undeveloped and largely unpopulated by spivs and shysters.

The Gold Coast and in particular the beaches from Burleigh south including Currumbin, Kirra and Snapper Rocks have played a pivotal role in the history of Australian and world surfing. Have you tried surfing. A three metre point break on the southern Gold Coast breaks is a wonderful thing.

I have never been much of a swimmer and I only learned how to do it at all in my late twenties. As a consequence I simply do not swim in water that moves. On the other hand I did love riding motorcycles on winding mountain roads like the ones around here but now I have a clubman sports car which can be just as sublime as your point break to drive up and down the mountain.

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In response to Walsunda


Notwithstanding the fact that the reality of global warning has nothing to do with true belief,

The empirical evidence of warming that we can see certainly does not require belief, however the claim that it is all due to human activity certainly does

which begs the question why you are stuck in religious ways of thinking, it’s should be patently obvious to you, if you were paying attention, that the scientists were talking about the basic facets of climate science which are most certainly settled.

On the contrary the claims of relative certainty of the AGW proposition are all based upon faith in the electronic idols of the religion, namely the climate models, You see I see this issue in religious terms because that understanding absolutely with my observations and they are so much like other millenarian cults both recent and modern.
1/The understanding of the faith (science) is said to take years of study just the same as the religious claim for the aspects of their belief
2/We are expected to trust the experts (priests of the faith) and heretics ( called skeptics or deniers, very religious term) are told that they will burn in hell or that they are evil for not accepting the truth.
3/ we are told that the world will be destroyed if we don’t repent/accept the orthodoxy .
4/ we are accused of not caring for the future or the future of our children if we don’t accept the one true Climate faith .
5/ True believers have demonstrated time and again that they are operating on an “ends justify the means” principle as was revealed in “climate gate”.
And you wonder why I see “climate change as a religion?

Many of the consequences of that global warming on climate patterns and oceanography are far from settled. At least one of the scientists made redundant by the changes in focus of CSIRO, under the leadership of Tony Abbott’s appointee, is an expert on oceanography and the interaction between oceans, global warming and longer term weather patterns which have considerable impact on Australia’s economy.

Sure but would his work have any direct benefit or is it just going to be another those nice to know that moments?

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In response to ID7745510


Do you like making a mockery of yourself Iain? I’ve got a nice throne, once owned by King Canute, yeah, genuine, that I’ll sell you and you can sit on it at your favorite waterside location and command the seas not to rise. I’ll throw in a snorkel once owned by Doubting Thomas for free.

If you are going to cite the story of king Canute then you would do better if you understood the point that king was trying to make too his own people with that apocryphal tale. essentially he was trying to show that he was not in any way the super human that many of his people thought him to be. Although his exercise in demonstrating his humility has often quoted it is just as often misunderstood the way that you misunderstand it here.

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In response to Walsunda


My cousin also completed an arts degree from UQ majoring in English literature but in her retirement has taken an interest in the flora and fauna of Australia and in that of the Enoggera Creek catchment more specifically. She has come to appreciate the importance of geology and other physical sciences in understanding biology and ecology. Not that either of us have stopped reading novels and poetry. You would do well to learn from her insights.

I have lived in a rural circumstance for more than thirty years and I do actually have a very sincere interest in ecology and have done so since I did my matriculation biology* as an adult student in the seventies.
We have five acres hillside here and it is apart from the house area rather wild bush which keeps me quite grounded and well aware of the biosphere

*managed to get a 7 or a high distinction for the subject

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In response to Walsunda


“I have a degree already.”

However as you wish to comment often on scientific matters you would be well advised to complete a degree in science to prevent you from looking so gormless when commenting.

the point that you are missing with that advice is that the Guardian is mot by any stretch of the imagination a scientific journal, it a place of politics and current events not science .

Note that there is one little bit of England north of the Tweed and it’s bigger than Tweed Heads. It’s rather flat country and as you drive the short distance north into Scotland the country changes as the ravines, becks and ridges increase. It seems the English could go no further once they reached the country the Scots were at home in. State of Origin on Wednesday. Do you remember the Tweed Heads tick gate?

I certainly do recall the tick gate and I also recall a time when the Gold Coast was worth visiting for a nice day at the seaside.
Looking forward to Wednesday BTW

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In response to Walsunda


I knew Tim as a intelligent,helpful and pleasant colleague in the mid 1980s and at no time found him lacking in any sense of initiative nor foolish. We talked about Pleistocene paleontology which of course included climate change but at no time made mention of anything called “Gaia”. After all we were talking about science. Tim’s warnings about the increased dangers of drought and declining water supplies are still valid as the residents of Perth and the farmers of western Queensland will attest.

I don’t doubt that he is a nice Guy Wal but he has made a few dire predictions that were well to be generous “over reach” You know like his suggestion that our dams will never be filled again
made just before the drought broke.

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In response to JJRichardson


And what is the value of where I grew up, the Gippsland Lakes, only centimeters above sea level.

Which probably means that the area has been inundated before

I could show your kids amazing things, but you should hurry up, they won’t be there for much longer

There is no need to panic

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In response to Walsunda


“That might be because the work they were doing was of no real value you know…”

I could not possibly tally the number of times AGW true believers have told us that ‘the science is settled”so the refocusing of CSIRO on adaption was a sensible move which is the fact I was alluding to with the line you cite.

what’s the value of a beachfront property at Mermaid Beach?

Do you really think it would be such a loss to our culture if the Gold Coast were be swallowed by the sea?

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In response to Walsunda


Your lack of contact with reality in regard to Tim’s old residence on the Hawkesbury only leads to mocking of your assertions about the risk of sea level rise to such a location. The fact that the area is called something or other Point makes it plain to anyone familiar with the region that the house would be located high above the river level on steeply sloping sandstone. Get real mate.

Ah but you never know what erosion could do to any riverside property even one at seemingly safe elevation…

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In response to Walsunda


That neither he nor any of his kids have anything to worry about. Anyway Tim’s a good swimmer having spent his childhood snorkeling in the then not some polluted waters of Port Phillip Bay 100 metres south and 10 metres below his family home.

Sure sounds like he comes from a rather privileged background.

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In response to Matthew2012


I assume that we are talking two different courses because while you could apply games theory to almost anything, this really seems like a very odd pairing.

You assumed right they were two different courses. Both quite interesting though.

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In response to YouthWasted


You already have a degree? Well that appears to have been a waste.

Not at all it was three happy years in my life, and where I met my wife and had that meeting not happened then I would not have my lovely children…

If you’re using the Herald Sun, or any News Ltd source for that matter, as a source of evidence then you’re doing it wrong.

I just took the first reference form Dr Google and to be frank the Herald Sun and News ltd are no worse than the Guardian as a citation. they just have different biases

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In response to mintslice


Still waiting for you to take up some tertiary education Ian.

I have a degree already

Its not too late.

Which is why I recently did a course on Hadrian’s wall and Games theory for the pleasure of it.

First year logic in a philosophy course would have dispensed with the “Tim Flannery lives near water therefore no need to worry about climate change ” sophistry.

But that was not what I was arguing, my point was that there is a certain delicous irony in the contrast between what Flannery claims we should be worried about and what he chooses to have as a holiday home

You really think the global re-insurance industry and the Pentagon and NASA are making it up just to increase your blood pressure?

My blood pressure is fine, good for my age in fact

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In response to uptherecrazies


Quoting Tim Flannery, could just as well apply to Duncan or Nova or…….

The thing about Flannery is that there is something so wonderfully gormless about the man that just makes he perfect for mockery about his failed dire predictions made in his service of Gaia.

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In response to SlenderTheCat


Every time,

as evident by your consistently inaccurate postings,

you fall for any old meme that comes along….

……………………….especially when it’s hatched by a shock jock.

No its just a delicious irony that someone so big on “we are all going to drown panicking should want to live by the (rising)sea and I can’t help but wonder if he has a Lifejacket under his beach-side pillow…

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In response to JJRichardson


Perhaps you should stop obsessing about Flannery and read some science.

Its hardly an obsession because this is the first time I’ve mentioned him here for ages.

Then you would find out sea level rise is uneven around Australia and inundation risk is also affected by landform.

Well as a mountain dweller I like to make jokes about rising sea level bringing the beach closer to my house…

Don’t leave it too long, the CSIRO scientists who look at this stuff are being sacked.

That might just be because the work they were doing was of no real value you know…

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In response to prmorri

Any waterside property bought by Flannery was bound to be a good reason to mock his previous panicked pronouncements about our climate and sea level rise the fact that it is not actually that vulnerable to sea level rise is immaterial.

View discussion

Anyone with a GPS that can tel you elevation can tell what the risk of a rising sea level might be to a particular property. But as even Tim Flannery has a water-side property maybe there is no real need to worry about this sort of stuff after all.

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In response to R_Ambrose_Raven


Strange comment. One minute you want our borders closed, next minute you want us forcing open other peoples’ border to wage wars of aggression against them.

Pretty sure that I did not mention border control in this thread, hang on I will check…. what I was alluding to of course was the ex[ecation that in the event of a war, any war, that the civilized world should “do something about it”

Terrorism? You really mean NON-WESTERN terrorism. Violence and terror (and of course torture) are as much the everyday tools of our ruling classes as they are of any (very much smaller) non-Western “terrorist” groups whose methods you profess to despise. While the West officially claims to promote international equality and the international rule of law, “our” conduct is precisely the reverse. Western nations are the worst enemy of international prosperity and order.

Typical Trotskyite nonsense !

Such is the bloodlust and arrogance of such buffoons and their attack hyenas that every opportunity for criminality, stupidity or wanton slaughter continues to be used to demonstrate the impunity with which they can practice their gratuitous viciousness. Afghanistan, then Iraq, then back to Iraq, then to Syria – a litany of cost, killing and impunity– and of failure.

You do understand that if we (the west) wanted to we could kill every single human being in all of those places don’t you? We have the technology and we have the bombs to do it yet strangely enough there are still people living in all of those places. How could that be if the desire of west was just to slaughter of theses countries as you claim. You of course ignore the fact that vast majority of the killing in all those countries has been done in the name of Allah and you also ignore the blatantly imperialistic aspirations of the Jihadists which is why we had to go into Afghanistan in the first place (you are probably one of those conspiracy nutters who blames Israel for 911 aren’t you?) As for Syria do you really want to leave it to the Jihadists? You probably do.

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In response to trueblueozzy

The NDIS sounds like a good thing but is is really? From what I can see it may be a good thing for those in the caring professions but for the disabled? I am not so sure that they will really benefit as much as Labor propaganda claims they will.

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In response to dopey_ninja


while the blood was flowing in the dusty streets

Think of that all by yourself?

I did actually.

Yeah, that’s not over the top at all.

Sadly its an understatement in a world where not a day goes by without a new atrocity done in the name of Allah by the unending extremists. Believe me I wish that it were not so but one thing that is certain is that looking away will not staunch that blood flow.

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In response to R_Ambrose_Raven

Until the extremists of Islam are comprehensively beaten we will need to take them out where ever they oppress and make war upon their fellow Muslims, lest we be deafened by the cries of people like yourself for standing by and doing nothing while the blood was flowing in the dusty streets

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In response to yoghurt2

Except that there is not the infrastructure to distribute said energy to where it might be needed NOR is there any way to store that energy for later use. All such pie in the sky claims should be taken with a with a very large grain of salt because until there is a cost effective way to distribute and or store the collected energy its a big pile of steaming camel crap to claim that solar panels in the desert is any sort of solution at all.

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In response to DavidFTA

We are already doing better than our targets David

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In response to Red_Herring

An ETS is simply a Ponzi scheme and a rather bad way to address emissions, a far better and more effective way to lower emissions is to simply mandate, through a bill in the parliament energy/emission standards the way that it has been done with cars in other places. That way you get the result you want without enriching a whole swag of sleazy derivatives traders in the process.

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In response to BennyBlanco

The suffering of a few is sadly necessary because nothing else actually works in stopping them coming here

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Great Southern State of Victoria puts the Coalition of Crap in its place – in Opposition

(by Ray Dixon ~ a proud Vic)


“See ya later Denis”

I have to admit that in the last week leading up to Saturday’s Victorian State election I had this nagging and worrying feeling that Labor would fall at the last hurdle and fail in its bid at history to out a Coalition Government after just one term in office.

After all, despite the opinion polls showing Labor still in winning territory at 52-48 two-party preferred, the fact is the gap had narrowed from 56-44 just a few weeks ago and any further narrowing would see an anything result.

There’s also the fact that Governments, be they State or Federal, be they dysfunctional, incompetent, disunited, changing leaders, do-nothing, semi-corrupt and obnoxious (i.e. be they just like the Victorian Coalition Govt of Ted ‘Bailed Out’ Baillieu & Denis ‘The loud mouth Vet’ Napthine), are usually given a second term just to see if they can finally get their act together. It’s almost – or was – an Australian tradition to give a ‘Fair Go’ to the incumbent and not throw the baby out with the bath water so to speak.

Making matters worse (for Labor supporters like me) it was Denis Napthine who stole all the thunder and limelight in the last week of campaigning, aggressively ramming home his message that if Labor tears up the contract for the East-West tunnel project, as they had promised to, Victorians would not only lose the $3 billion in infrastructure spending promised by Federal PM Tony Abbott, they would also have to pay a compensation bill of $1.1 billion to the appointed contractor (due to a ‘side deal’ Napthine had secretly signed).

Meanwhile, Labor leader Daniel Andrews remained at the one-pace, not ramping up his campaign or attack on the Government one little bit (it’s noticeable that throughout the campaign, Andrews actually steered away from any such negative tactics and, instead, focused on what he would do rather than what Napthine was doing or not doing).

Instead, Andrews simply stuck to his guns: the East-West tunnel would not be built; the so-called contract was “invalid” and “not worth the paper it was written on”; no compensation would be paid and what Victorians needed more was improvements to outer areas, removal of level crossings and a much improved public transport system. Andrews gambled on the wider electorate not really seeing yet another freeway link as an important election issue. And won.

He focused his efforts on those outer areas particularly the so-called ‘Sandbelt’ areas from Bentleigh in the south east all the way down the Frankston railway line to, well, to Frankston itself. Those were the seats that cost John Brumby office in 2010 when he was surprisingly voted out having focused his efforts primarily on protecting 4 inner-city seats from the Greens. He held those seats but lost the ‘burbs … because he ignored them … which saw Ted Baillieu become the accidental Premier, a job he never seemed to expect or want, and one that he eventually walked away from at the first hint of dissatisfaction from his party, thereby handing Denis (the forgotten man) Napthine the premiership by default.

No, Andrews totally ignored the Greens and let the inner-city latte set have ‘em if they wanted them. The Greens actually took the seat of Melbourne from Labor and may end up with one or two more, but that didn’t matter because Labor won enough seats back from the Liberals in those outer suburbs to form Government in their own right. Sure, the Greens can claim ‘history’ in getting their first MP(s) elected to the lower house but it’s a totally hollow victory as Labor can (and will) govern without them.

Andrews’ script was copybook. He gambled (correctly) that Napthine’s aggressiveness and threats over the $3 billion Federal funding and $1.1 billion compensation package would not wash with an electorate that clearly did not like Napthine’s stance and tone that amounted to an effective attempt at blackmailing them into voting for a return of the Coalition, in order to save $4 billion. He let Napthine rattle on and, as it turned out, gave him enough rope to hang himself.

Make no mistake, in the last week the election was still there for the taking by the Coalition. It was still up for grabs. If only Napthine had not chosen to emphasise how he was using the East-West tunnel funding as a sort of booby trap to ward off people from voting Labor. If only he hadn’t underestimated the voters’ intelligence. And if only if he’d had the balls to tell Tony Abbott NOT to announce in that last week that the threat of withdrawing that funding if Labor won was very real.

Much to my delight, Victorian voters reacted quite angrily to being treated like second class idiots and the polls did not shift one little bit. Well, actually they did shift marginally … to Labor. The final result on a two-party preferred being Labor 52.5, Coalition 47.5, a remarkable result to actually not only halt the trend back to the Coalition but to even turn the tide back in their favour.

All thanks to 3 people being (in order):

Daniel Andrews for sticking to his guns in the face of a full on Coalition onslaught throughout the final week.

Denis Napthine for going over-the-top in aggressively threatening voters would be ‘punished’ (by both him and Abbott) if they dared to vote Labor.

Tony Abbott for publicly endorsing Napthine’s gun-at-the-head approach.

Victorians (well, Aussies in general) don’t take kindly to that sort of political bullying. Denis Napthine certainly shot himself in the foot with his semi-blackmail tactics, aided and abetted by Tony Abbott.

BUT, does this result mean anything Federally? According to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten it does:

“They said this couldn’t happen. They said that a first term government couldn’t lose… (this is) history in the making … Victorians have made a clear choice that will be heard all across the nation.”

I think Bill might be getting a bit carried away. I mean, it’s not like Abbott is on a knife-edge majority like Napthine was. It’s not like the ALP only has to pick up 4 or 5 seats in 2016 to defeat Tony Abbott. No, they actually need to win at least 20 seats to do that.

This result makes it clear that Abbott is on the nose in Victoria at least and will suffer some kind of reduced numbers next time around. But I hardly think Tony Abbott is losing much sleep over it. Let’s face it, Victoria doesn’t really figure on his radar. Does he even know where it is? Does he even care? I doubt it.

Anyway, it’s well done to Daniel Andrews. At 42 years of age he should easily be Premier for at least 8 years – i.e. two terms – because I seriously doubt Victorians will turn back to the Coalition again anytime soon, having seen how unready they were to resume Govt in 2010 after 11 years in Opposition. And having seen how little they’d learnt.

On the other hand, Labor is back in its right place in the great southern State of Victoria while the Coalition of Crap is in disarray with both Napthine and Ryan (the Nats leader) stepping down.

It just shows you that doing favours for your big construction company mates and property developers – as the Coalition in Victoria is renowned for – is a real voter turn off. I doubt they’ll ever change. Not down here.

You people up north in NSW & Queensland probably don’t understand that, in Victoria, the Liberals are not so much about governing the State as they are about carving up public property for developers and doing big favours for their big mates. It’s been that way since Kennett won office in 1992. They won’t (and can’t) change. And that’s why Vics can’t stomach them.

Victorian Labor, on the other hand, is actually about responsible and conservative Government, exemplified in such conservative stalwarts as Steve Bracks, John Brumby and (now) Daniel Andrews. They hold all the important and relevant political ground from moderate left to centre to moderate right, whereas the Libs down here actually seem to operate outside the political sphere in some kind of corporate and secret deals la-la land.

Good riddance to them. And well done to my fellow Victorians for having the good sense (and guts) to call the Coalition on their phony projects, side deals, hollow threats, bluffs and outright bullying. It’s certainly a better State today. Sanity has been restored.

Mike Carlton’s Career suicide bombing via twitter


You  just  got to love crap like this:

In a letter to the Fairfax chief executive, Greg Hywood, and editor-in-chief, Darren Goodsir, the Australian National Imams Council, Islamic Council of New South Wales and Muslim Legal Network New South Wales, among others, said they would boycott the Sydney Morning Herald unless the outspoken columnist was reinstated.

Carlton quit the Herald on Wednesday after being told he would be suspended for the language he used when replying to readers who objected to an article he wrote discussing the conflict in Gaza. The editor-in-chief of the SMH and Sun-Herald, Darren Goodsir, said Carlton had used “inappropriate and offensive language” – not in the column, but in his responses to readers.

In Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald, Carlton’s column was replaced by one by author and columnist John Birmingham.

The letter to Fairfax said the Muslim groups would consider notifying community organisations and spokespersons to cease cooperating with Fairfax journalists for media interviews.

“As representatives of the Muslim community we have always regarded Fairfax to be one the more balanced media organisations in the country and where possible we have co-operated with your journalists on countless stories,” it said.

“But with the resignation of Mr Carlton from your publications we have now lost one of the very few voices advocating for the Palestinian cause in the country.”

A media campaign targeting Fairfax advertisers was also being considered, the groups said.


Lets face it Mike Carlton has always been a rather nasty piece of work in the boorish leftard mould and it was his boorishness that has cause Fairfax to give him the opportunity to resign. He forgot the most important thing in public life which is no matter how nasty your interlocutors may be one has to maintain a certain level of decorum and you certainly don’t publicly abuse them on twitter or any other forum.

As for the threat to boycott Fairfax from the   “the Australian National Imams Council, Islamic Council of New South Wales and Muslim Legal Network New South Wales, et al” I can’t help thinking that the only significant thing about these groups is their overly grandiose titles and inflated notions of their own self importance. Honestly who could possibly care if they won’t talk to Fairfax?  I ‘m sure that the Fairfax editors are laughing into their Lattes this morning at such an impotent attempt at blackmail.

As for Carlton anyone want to give me odds that he will soon be embraced by that leader in apologia for Islam, The Guardian, sooner rather than later? After all it is where all of the otherwise washed up hard left Journos all seem to end up.

Cheers Comrades


Of selfies and lies

As i wait for this game to arrive in my PO box from the UK * I can’t help thinking that the launch trailer says a lot about the ALP campaign thus far. Right have you watched the trailer (this means you Ray 😉  )yet? The save the world speech, although laden with profanity very much reminds me of our new Again Dear Leader  who would have the nation believe that Tony Abbott is an alien invader and that only he can save the country by putting his underpants on over  his trousers and spreading the word that  the nation will be destroyed under an Abbott government.

For a man who declared that he was opposed to negative campaigning  we are seeing a great deal that is negative coming out of Team Labor  but worse still we are seeing a great deal that is fake as well like the ads staring Susannah Hardy that purport to be a struggling housewife asking the hard questions of Tony Abbott. You probably recognise this:

Her posts on her blog reveal a woman who loves to live with style - rather than fretting about the number of nurses and teachers employed by governments like the hard-working mother she portrays in the attack ad. The 44-year-old boasted on her blog last weekend that her lawyer husband and their two daughters, aged 5 and 2, had been living with her parents for the past 10 weeks while undertaking renovations.   "Being a Parent Never Ends - at least not for my parents,'' she wrote. "I've cooked about three meals in 10 weeks and yet have enjoyed countless gourmet dinners. "Apart from one vacuum, I've done no cleaning and not really sure if I've changed our sheets or towels. My parents wine supply is slowly diminishing because my husband and I have whole-heartedly embraced the pre-dinner drink and chat.'' Hardy's parents are also helping by looking after the children. "Friday night, they babysat our children and I think we're going out next Saturday night as well," she wrote. But life can be hard when you've got renovations to worry about - even if you aren't concerned about whether Mr Abbott has got something to hide. "I was furious!'' she wrote earlier, referring to a misunderstanding over a bill. "I hadn't been told about a courier charge, which would add another $15 onto my expensive Spanish handmade tiles. Not a lot I know but it's the principal [sic]."

Her posts on her blog reveal a woman who loves to live with style – rather than fretting about the number of nurses and teachers employed by governments like the hard-working mother she portrays in the attack ad. The 44-year-old boasted on her blog last weekend that her lawyer husband and their two daughters, aged 5 and 2, had been living with her parents for the past 10 weeks while undertaking renovations.
“Being a Parent Never Ends – at least not for my parents,” she wrote. “I’ve cooked about three meals in 10 weeks and yet have enjoyed countless gourmet dinners.
“Apart from one vacuum, I’ve done no cleaning and not really sure if I’ve changed our sheets or towels. My parents wine supply is slowly diminishing because my husband and I have whole-heartedly embraced the pre-dinner drink and chat.”
Hardy’s parents are also helping by looking after the children. “Friday night, they babysat our children and I think we’re going out next Saturday night as well,” she wrote.
But life can be hard when you’ve got renovations to worry about – even if you aren’t concerned about whether Mr Abbott has got something to hide.
“I was furious!” she wrote earlier, referring to a misunderstanding over a bill. “I hadn’t been told about a courier charge, which would add another $15 onto my expensive Spanish handmade tiles. Not a lot I know but it’s the principal [sic].”
Click for source


It reminds me of several other campaigns run by the ALP over the last few years, like the one for which the built an expensive set  that pretended to be an average Aussie Kitchen at the cost of many thousands of dollars to promote the Carbon tax compensation when they could have just used the real thing for just a couple of grand. Sadly this dedication to artifice and faux reality is all too common and you would think that given the clear intention to try to use social media in its campaign that  the ALP would have grasped the fundamental importance of veracity when it comes to their advertising. Surely there must be some real people who are actually afraid of an Abbott government  rather than a professional liar sprouting her lines for a fee.

Ah well that leads me to a question for our dear readers, which is to ask what political ads have struck you as being above average or real clangers. More importantly which ads do you think have been effective in selling their message?

Cheers Comrades


*This little black duck does not want to have a censored version of the game  ho hum…

Throw another Greenie on the Barbie…

Ah those loveable Greenies have blood upon the hands once again as the stories of how they made hazard reduction burns for all intents and purposes impossible to  get at the time when they could have been carried out safely:

Mr Arnold applied in August 2011 for a permit to spring burn some of the build-up of weeds and scrub undergrowth beneath blue gums covering Steele’s Hill that runs the length of his now-blackened 1000ha property.

He said it would have been a nice and steady little fire after winter that slowly crept through the bush, destroying the high fuel load.

He was knocked back because Steele’s Hill and its blue gums contained a wedgetail eagle’s nest and was classed as foraging habitat for the endangered swift parrot.

“I took that to mean that the bird might call in for lunch occasionally,” a frustrated Mr Arnold said yesterday.

“But I look at the devastation there today and ask where the Greens are? But they are more concerned about the pattern on their cappuccino in Salamanca than what has happened here on our farms this week.”

Mr Arnold said he could not say for sure that if he had been allowed to burn off Steele’s Hill in the springs of 2011 and 2012, that the bushfire could have been stopped on his farm before it roared down into the small Connelly’s Marsh beach community destroying more than 15 homes.

click for source

Its a story that we have heard before in relation to the terrible fires in Victoria a couple of years ago and I expect the very same lily livered  counter arguments  this time as we that were so unconvincingly mouthed then . We live in a nation that is covered with very flammable eucalyptus trees and we very clearly have a price to pay if we don’t have a fire  management regime that acknowledges that the only way to keep our homes  and our lives safe in the burning time is to reduce the fuel loads when it is safe to do so.

Maybe the only way we can do this is to throw another Greenie on the barbecue so that they will know what the people on the fire-fronts  have experienced…. Hmm  what is the best barbecue  sauce for long pig again?

Cheers Comrades


Nixon & Chandler – who’s worse?

Age senior writer and author of Nixon's book, Jo Chandler, claims she was abused on the Internet as "Nixon's lesbian lover". Click on image to enlarge, if you must.

Another day, another self-serving article in The Age pushing the controversial Christine Nixon book Fair Cop  ahead of its Prime Ministerial launch this coming Wednesday. Only this time the article is actually written by Age senior writer Jo Chandler herself, you know, the book’s author! Wow, talk about blatant commercialism; you could be forgiven for thinking that Chandler & Nixon were getting PR advice on how to maximise media exposure (and sales) in every possible medium. And it’s working a treat.

Think about it. The current furore surrounding Nixon & Chandler’s book started just a few days ago when The Age published an intentionally provocative article headed “News out to ruin me: Nixon” that I wrote about here. The self-serving Age article was clearly a puff piece, designed to gain widespread media attention with its controversial (and bizarre) allegations that Nixon’s downfall was all a conspiracy and the result of a vendetta by the Herald Sun, other News Ltd papers, the Police Association and even the Royal Commission, which she criticised as a “kangaroo court”.

These claims, complete with large slabs of excerpts from Chandler’s book, were always going to be picked up right across the spectrum of mainstream media, and they were. That was the intention, the aim. Not only that, this pair of ‘buddies’ (Nixon & Chandler) then went on the airwaves with Nixon appearing on TV and being interviewed on radio, while Chandler got her two bob’s worth in as well.

Sure, ABC interviewers Leigh Sales and Jon Faine were both sort of on the attack against Nixon, but what did it matter? It was publicity for the book. Free publicity. Even the Prime Minister was forced to make a statement distancing herself from the book’s controversial content, although (amazingly) Julia Gillard says she’ll still go ahead with the book launch.

The time has come, I think, to reiterate my warning to PM Gillard. The one I mentioned in the post Don’t do it Julia!!! :

If Julia Gillard thinks it’s okay to stand next to Christine Nixon this Wednesday to launch her book, maybe she should also think again about standing next to the book’s co-author, Jo Chandler, who will probably be there too. You know, the one who wrote today that she was subject to online Internet stalking, defamation & abuse. Wow!:

I would gain a confronting sense of the ugliness inspired by all this when word of our book spread, and the anti-Nixon brigade got me in their sights. A colleague tipped me off that according to one thread of internet discussion I was her new lesbian lover. This came as something of a surprise to my bloke. And my kids.

Then there were characters like ”Call Me Wal”, who kindly phoned to inquire whether I was looking forward to my reputation going down the gurgler, just like that of my disgraceful mate. ”Are you threatening me Wal?” I wondered out loud. ”No mate – never.”

Hmmm, I wonder if Chandler thinks “Wal” has any connection to this site? Let me make this clear – he doesn’t. And I haven’t seen that “lesbian lover” claim on these pages either, so it must have been on some other blog.

But, well … okay, it’s no secret by now that Iain and I do not hold Ms Chandler in very high regard. Trust me, there are very good reasons for that. Exactly what they are I obviously can’t say. But it does go beyond what you read and see of her in the mainstream media.


Zane Trow AKA Eric Sykes AKA Clint Barton AKA ???????????

Zane Trow: picture from his personal website

I try very hard to be entirely fair to those who decide to drop in to the Sandpit especially when it becomes clear that they have political views at odds with my own. However its hard to be entirely sanguine when some one starts to bad mouth me personally both here and elsewhere with claims such as this:

“I really don’t get why you are so pissed off with me. Is it just that you are incapable of appreciating that there is more than one way to understand the world and the machinations of politics? (Iain)”

My response to this would certainly not be “generally civil”, so using words I have used here before I think you are a bottom dweller and you talk complete rubbish most of the time. And your complete ignorance of your own stupidity and prejudice makes me laugh. Most of the discussion here is just so dumb that the lure of your site remains, throughout even the busiest of days. The other site you and little Reg refer to also makes me laugh, so I will continue to post there as well, especially when I am not feeling “generally civil”. OAO, have a good weekend slobbering over right wing propoganda(sic).

Now Trow seems to spend a bit of time around the Lefty political traps, usually he posts under the screen name of “Eric Sykes” and I only know his name because one day he decided , unprompted, to post some comments here under his real name ,  it was his choice .

  Under the Eric Sykes moniker   you get  comments such as these:

Eric Sykes

May 25, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

London has ceased to fund the arts. Yes indeed, hard to believe right? “No arts organisations are to be funded by London Councils beyond this summer…”. It seems to me that this is also bound to happen in Australia; and Brisbane the most likely place to go first. I could be wrong, I often am…but all the indications are there for anyone who cares to look. I give it five years. I am sure there are many who will find it hard to imagine; this bleak state of affairs. Local Government arts funding seems so much part of the wallpaper; those of us that remember or have bothered to study how hard it was to get Local Governments in Australia to even consider the arts will have no trouble envisioning the down turn. We’d better campaign better, for sure. But we’d also better get ready for the inevitable and find ways to survive…and by that I do not mean we should all turn into businesses or “extend our corporate partnerships”. I mean we need to get back to basics and stop taking the corrupt State for granted.


This comment is actually rather self-serving given the fact that Trow works for an Arts organisation

Eric SykesEric Sykes

May 16, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

“nobody is suggesting that in order to avoid becoming the victim of a glassing, you may want to consider avoiding pubs”….

I haven’t been to a pub for the last 15 years for exactly this reason, other than on a Sunday for lunch with the kids amongst other families. Even then things can get ugly. Pubs are very dangerous places in Australia and I suggest that they be avoided at all costs. That’s a shame, but it’s real.

Having said that I agee(sic) whole heartedly with – “the way to stop sexual assaults is for people to a) find out whether they have consent, and b) care about the answer….”. This will need an esstenial(sic) shift in overall Australian (male) culture, and that is going to take a while. As men, we’ve just got to keep at it, and not let sexism pass when we are confronted by it, ever.

Trow has obviously caught a severe case of gender self-loathing , and here in relation to the “Slutwalk” nonsense we find him uncritically accepting the notion that men as a gender must for ever be held to account for the acts of a very small number of evil individuals.

Eric SykesEric Sykes

May 19, 2011 at 9:43 am | Permalink

“It is a filthy, sexist and dishonourable argument which condemns all men, and all decent people, with the violations of a few rotten men.”

This (kind of) retort, (in my experience) often (not always) emerges when one is (broadly) critical of (male) culture(s) overall. The culture (very often) frames the individual (of course), but one can (I believe) discuss the frame without (attacking) the individual. So the discussion of the frame is not personal, it’s not about (my) father, (my) sons, (my) grandads(sic), (my) brother. But it is about what fathers, sons, grandads(sic) and brothers are.

However, challenging sexism is (also) about the individual (& the culture, the frame..phew), it is about challenging your father, your son, your grandad, your friends, your workmates and whoever…whenever the misogyny appears. It is hard work, and sometimes it can be dangerous (one gets the old self rant hate for example, or one is ostracized(sic) by male peers, and rarely, but occasionally physically attacked) but in the long term it is worth the effort….(for example) I do not want (my) (or anyones(sic)) daughter to live in fear ….

Here the gender self-loathing is given full flight Trow has bought the trendy Feminist meme about the innate evil of the male gender and while his personal commitment to fight against misogyny is in one sense admirable, but  the entirely one sided view that he is endorsing actually does a disservice to humanity. There is a great deal of misandry inherent in feminist  ideology; A more balanced position is of course desirable  but unlikely from Trow.

Eric Sykes
Posted October 19, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

One wonders then why anyone would seriously bother about “charts” any more? And why a metal band that only sells 3600 CD units is somehow…newsworthy? Plenty of bands sell more digital units than that…sheeesh, even I sell more than that. Does that mean I’ll get on the cover of Rolling Stone finally?

Angst about a cruel music buying public not recognising Trow’s “musical genius ” maybe?

Eric Sykes
Posted June 10, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

Paradise Motel have always been such a great band IMHO, a rare and beautiful moment of character in a characterless landscape. So glad to hear they are still pushing it. All power to them.

He likes this band 🙄

Eric Sykes

Well Ray that assumes that elections have anything whatsover to do with what people actually think and feel; and further if the options presented to them have any actual meaning for them at all. Thus the shift towards THE AGENDA has been progressively growing since the turn of the century. You can play King Canute on tha(sic) beach all you want. But the actual evidence is clear – social change is rarely if ever introduced by elections or by governments. Again, not rocket science, just history.

What is it with the right and history?

Translation: Come the revolution you will see the futility of democracy and the glorious triumph of the vanguard party …

From his commentary you would have to assume that he is pretty much your standard far left arty type and when you do the inevitable google search of his name you will easily find his personal profile (its on the first page of the google results)  While perusing his personal website (which is rather dreary) I was trying to find out some substantive writing to get a handle on just what his actual political philosophy is. His writing page is a great example of how not to create a portal to your prose (no matter what the subject). Of the ten items cited only three of the links actually go to pieces that can  be read by the casual visitor, the rest go the index pages of Arts magazines and then to read the cited pieces you are required to either buy the hard copy or pay to read the material on line. Of the three pieces that are accessible one is a piece at Crikey (under his Eric Sykes pseudonym) about George Telek  and the other two go to pieces he has had Published at On-line Opinion [1] [2]

IN the first of his Online Opinion pieces we find Trow bemoaning the state of “the Arts”

They are always reasonably successful at this since they are the only ones (apart from touring rock stars and movies) with anything remotely like a marketing or advertising budget. After a while you get used to seeing them next to the cinema ads everyday in the paper. Then you gradually forget that anything else might exist: you’ve been subliminally conditioned into thinking the Queensland arts industry only ever produces art from somewhere else. And what’s wrong with that? At least it’s entertaining. And because the visibility of contemporary Queensland culture is so low, the big boys get to behave as if they are, in fact, the only art around; they are the “ARTS”, luxuriating on (yet another) South Bank just like in London … or Melbourne, or Adelaide or … well … any city with a river and a cultural inferiority complex really.

It is twisted but true – when government says it is going to increase “the ARTS” budget, usually what it means is it is going to extend (or build, or develop) new bits of the buildings it already owns, to get the staff that already work for it to do what it says. Spending money on itself. Very clever, and easily mistaken for an investment in culture.

Our culture doesn’t develop in buildings, it breathes through the city like a mutating virus and it is never, ever in line with a government policy. But like David Byrne once said “I’m a tumbler, I’m a government man …” and the government arts staff will try their best to pull it into line.

The line that I have emboldened in the quote above is very telling indeed when it comes Trow’s attitude to the arts, he clearly thinks that it has to be transgressive and at odds with the wider society yet he wants support from the public purse for its creators.  This strikes me as either being naive or profoundly hypocritical but worse still he seems to have nothing but disdain for the common people who might, gasp, just want to be entertained.

His other piece at Online Opinion is in a similar vein but it is very revealing about his attitude to accountability for the public money that he thinks should be spent on “the Arts”

What can be done? I would advocate the small but highly effective Australian independent arts centre sector as a model.

The independent centres have grown out of communities not been imposed on them. Always governed by independent Boards of Management elected at AGMs by members, they have, almost by default, much more diverse, contemporary programs because they are linked directly to their local community. They are always friendly places to visit even though they are falling down, and most of all they are able to pick and choose their programs and their staff (and their architect if they get to afford one) on the basis of knowledge of the arts and response to audience demand rather than response to some twisted colonial bureaucratic compliance.

So I would hand over all the civic arts centres to community elected Boards of Management, while insisting that operational funding from government remain the same – with a regular injection of capital funds to compensate for all those civic centre capital works dollars drawn down from other than arts budget streams that assist in cyclical maintenance; all the money the independent sector hasn’t got – which, by the way, is why the civic arts centres always look clean and new and the independent ones are dirty and falling down. Or even if (God and Her Royal Highness forbid) the independent Australian centres were funded at the same level as the government centres they would also be able to advertise and market themselves far wider than they can at present*. Which is why of course “mainstream” Australia, especially the media, has never heard of them – and why contemporary Australian culture is always so controversial when the mainstream stumbles across it. It just doesn’t look like “arts” because “arts” is what we have in our performing arts centres isn’t it? All that opera and ballet and that merry happy go lucky third rate Broadway with the occasional Pink Floyd or AC/DC tribute band thrown in to show we aren’t afraid of popular culture. (Hey! Did you know that Queensland Orchestra did a gig with that really groundbreaking Australian rock band Kiss a while back? Wow! Talk about orchestras getting new audiences and public money going on Australian culture – fantastic!)

The use that public arts centre money is put to could be decided by the public, not government. This is not rocket science. Most arts funding in Australia is government funding government. The independent Australian arts centres have been around a long time (well over 30 years in some cases), and rather like the Australian community radio sector they are directly and heavily supported by real people with real wants and needs: large audiences who feel culturally connected to the art that is presented to them.

*My bold

Like so many of his oeuvre  Trow is very much a cultural elitist (see his derisive reference to  “Pink Floyd or AC/DC tribute band(s) “ above) who seems to think that the primary purpose of any “Arts” entity is to maintain the lifestyle of its proponents all of his writing on the subject that I have managed to access on line entirely ignores any critique of what the social goals of any art practice should or can be (apart from his clear belief that it should always  be at odds with the government agenda). Nor does he even consider the question of what makes something “good art”. By his choice of career its obvious that  Trow thinks that the arts is an industry and that organisations like the one that employs him should get more money and be less accountable for the way that it is spent. Gee you would not guess that he is a lefty now would you?

This quote from the Diary page of his website is very telling:

12 May 2011

Well the USA has managed to kill OBL without even a hint of anything remotely resembling the “rule of law” they say they are so fond of. And the Australian Labor Party has managed to set about punishing those on welfare because they are on welfare. And I am captivated by a book on Malcolm X that clearly shows the issues that drove him have got worse not better. I also note that the free jazz musicians of the day were actively involved in social action, alongside X and others. The “radical avant garde” then meant something quite different from using the latest stomp box in (all be it) unusual ways with the factory pre-sets on your soft synth.

I am a great supporter of Mr Assauge in his efforts to re-invent the underground, I suspect he and Malcolm would have got on like a house on fire, literally, and he has cheered me up immensely this week with the following little quote.

So it has to be reasonable to assume that the rule of law is important when it comes to dealing with the worlds most wanted man but a hindrance  to any artist who wants to make art on the public purse.  He eulogises the “underground” and anyone who he considers a “revolutionary”   Well the overall impression that I get is that he is a man with lots of unfulfilled ambitions who seems to be rather bitter that life has not recognised his talent or given him the affirmation that he so clearly desires , the comment above where he praises a computer hacker and an anti Semitic black activist is deeply worrying If anything from my interactions with him here he reminds me a great deal of the central character in the 1980’s comedy “Citizen Smith”  but with far less charm than Robert Lindsey brought to the show.

On one aspect though he is not like the character of Wolfie Smith, Trow  does appear to have some musical ability. He  is a musician who makes “ambient music”  listen to his music  here or here although you might soon  feel that it is a waste of time and your internet  downloads to spend too much time doing so because after checking out a few tracks I was struck by a   lack of variation there is in his output. Certainly not to my taste  but it might please some in much the same way as piped music in public places does, and as he tells us he has met  “been in the same room, twice” with John Lennon  😆

I started to research this post because I was curious about the chap who has developed a very negative opinion about me and I was rather keen to find out why. I’m now a bit closer to understanding what sort of political viewpoint he is coming form. It seems to me that he is really little more than a  Marxist/Leninist disappointed that the revolution won’t come and that the evil capitalists won’t continue to finance his revolution (through Arts funding) or the recognition of his musical “genius

Cheers Comrades

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