Strength for the Fight Against PC

There was defiance aplenty at the launch of Rowan Dean’s new book, and a measure of hope as well — hope that the politically correct tyranny of the self-anointed (and all too often taxpayer-funded) will soon be eclipsed. But only if those who recognise knaves and fools when they hear them dare to speak up

pc offends IIIAustralian university students are starting to rise up against Left brainwashing and political correctness. But such rebels must be prepared to pay a high price for openly challenging the zeitgeist on campus.

Case in point: a young woman studying and working at Melbourne University, who spoke up at an Institute of Public Affairs function in Melbourne last night (Wed). She asked Spectatoreditor Rowan Dean, who was there for the launch of his novel Corkscrewed, how she could openly express her politically incorrect views at the university and still hold on to her job.

Dean said she would suffer for speaking out but ultimately would be respected. Many others were in similar situations. “You have to be true to what you believe in. Put up with  the ratbags. It’s sticks-and-stones stuff.  But, yes, you can lose your job unfortunately.  That is Australia today. It is terrifying, but do you want to work in a place where you are forever watching what you say?  If they do you wrong,  go to Andrew Bolt and spread it on national TV.”

IPA policy director Simon Breheny said young people are now  recognizing that Western ideology is best and also under attack. He told the student,  “You will lose friends but gain others. People must know what is happening. So many people are making the same calculations as you.   If they all keep quiet to keep their job, no-one will know this is happening. You’re not alone at all. Our IPA campus coordinators say a thousand kids have joined  our program in the past 18 months.

“Academics, school teachers, contact us to thank us for our work and say they feel the same way. In future there will be universities set up where truth is important; there’ll be big big changes in the next five to ten years. It’ll be massive.”

IPA Executive Director John Roskam wondered what would happen in a university tutorial if a student suggested that Abbott had been an effective Prime Minister. “The spirit of inquiry at universities has entirely disappeared,” he said.

Dean, who has edited the Australian Spectator since 2014, said,  “If you don’t kick back against political correctness it gets you. Friends and family that 15 years ago were happy, strong conservatives have completely succumbed and think carefully about risking a wrong word — or they just stay silent.

“I had my sister-in-law screeching obscenities at Christmas lunch because I dared comment that London now resembles Bahrain.

“When someone says an idiotic, politically correct thing, strike back, say ‘no’. I talk of Sudanese gangs in Melbourne not because I’m racist but because that’s what they are:  Sudanese gangs. Your papers in Victoria won’t tell you that but in NSW, we know.”

A classic was Canadian PM  Justin Trudeau last week correcting a woman talking about charity volunteering who referred to ‘mankind’. Trudeau said the proper term was ‘peoplekind’.

“PC overtakes everything and is always there in the foreground clouding people’s vision,” Dean said.

Australia’s chief scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, Dean continued, had admitted it didn’t matter how much Australia reduced its emissions, as there would be no impact on global temperatures. ‘The whole climate story collapsed at that point. But most people remain genuinely confused, because conservatives have been too quiet and passive and continue to let climate people get away with falsehoods. In the UK if you query the climate change thing, they think you are completely bonkers.

“The chief scientist’s statement is one of those nuggets or insights  that sceptics should be spreading and provoking believers with, whatever the damage to goodwill at dinner parties.”

Dean ridiculed PM Malcolm Turnbull’s talk of a ‘trilemma’ [emissions, affordability and reliability] on electricity. “Piss off the emissions one; just have the dilemma about lower-priced reliable energy.”

He named Liberal MHR  Craig Kelly (NSW) as a person with the Margaret Thatcher spirit to sweep away falsehoods. “He is utterly unafraid to call out climate change as a fraud. We need politicians like that  who are not beholden to the prevailing political line. Another who is willing to speak the truth is Andrew Hastie [Lib., WA], in the face of vile onslaughts from the PC crowd.”

Dean was backed by Breheny, who noted another tragedy of the climat scare. “Science has been gripped by politics,”he said, “and politics has smashed science. It’s a great shame.”

Dean summed up by saying that humor and ridicule are the best weapons against the PC tribe, since humor reveals the absurdities of posturers. They want to be taken seriously for arguments that have no merit whatsoever.

He said his magazine’s three criteria for contributors were to be provocative, insightful and engaging. His London boss had told him the issue with the cover illustration of a young lady in a bikini and a burka was the best in Spectator’s history. But it could not run in the UK where political correctness ruled and the energy and excitement had been kicked out of the British people. It was as if all of Great Britain had become the ABC.


Drowning Truth in a Sea of Luvvie Piffle

Sooner or later the climate scam’s meal ticket will be cancelled. Tuvalu will still be getting bigger when that happens and catastropharian moochers will need another faux crisis to unlock the public purse. Meanwhile, if you fancy watching hysteria in a flooding Perspex tank, read on

opera house drownsIf you scamper along to the Perth Festival of Arts, you can catch body artist Latai Taumoepeau in a video of herself as a Tongan who’s drowning from the devastating seas of global warming. She dances inside a Perspex tank (pictured below), her movements becoming “more challenging and frenetic” as rising water finally submerges her.

Climate-horror has been her shtick since at least 2007 when, as a delegate, she joined the countless thousands of activists to the Bali season of the IPCC.  She recollects: “It really kind of annoyed me how Australia could not  take responsibility for demise of neighboring countries from climate change and global warming.” Her interlocutor is co-director of Performance Space, Bec Dean:

Dean: “There should be a place for anger…act now, do something about it or f–k off.”

Latai: “Our complacency seems to me like performing water torture  on groups of people who have contributed nothing to climate change.”

In that video Latai identifies as both a first-generation and a third-generation Australian. What’s definite is that she grew up in Marrickville, Sydney, as “a person of color” (ancestry Tongan) afflicted by open and covert racism that gave her a “sense of otherisation”.

tank girlHer actor-musician friend Jay Laga-aia says,  “She definitely is a voice that can’t be silenced.” Silenced? She’s had $27,000 direct from the Australia Council, plus indirect Australia Council help through its funding of events in which she stars. She is also an Australia Council peer assessor with a voice in deciding which of her fellow artists get funding and how much, as she explains in this video clip. When not  pursuing or distributing taxpayer grants, she has taken her show to London. I can’t detect a brutal silencing campaign.

She has another climate-horror dance involving fixing herself painfully to a 500kg block of melting ice (the Antarctic isn’t melting, but never mind). She cries and wails, to the distress of pal Bec Dean.

In a third show, called Disaffected, she says she’s in a climate disaster zone: “What it feels like to have your homelands swamped. What it feels like to have to leave your land and culture behind, or to see the bones of your ancestors washed away.”

Another show “Nothing to Lose”, at the Sydney Festival in 2015, wasn’t about climate horrors but a collaboration with six other dancers and “fat activist” Kelli Jean Drinkwater  “exploring the movement and sculptural quality of the larger physical form“. The SMH’s critic noted:

“A delightfully light-hearted sequence where the performers shimmy and shake each and every part of their bodies is contrasted with another during which one performer throws herself repeatedly on the floor – whether in frustration or despair, it is hard to tell.”

Re-done at Melbourne’s Malthouse, the audience was

“encouraged to lift the skin of a belly and to feel its weight as it fell upon release or to trace their hands along the contours of the body until they found a hair. And once at that singular hair to twirl it with their fingertips made for an intimate celebration of ‘the sculptural splendor of the fat dancing body.’”

Well, I have great news for Latai Taumoepeau. Seas are not drowning Pacific islands after all. The most low-lying of them, Tuvalu, continues growing in size, according to a new peer-reviewed paper in Nature Communications by University of Auckland scientists. Using aerial photos and satellite imagery, they found that, from 1971-2014, eight of the nine atolls and nearly three-quarters of the 101 reef islands grew in extent rather than eroded. Tuvalu gained 73 hectares or 2.9%. Of the 101 islands, 73 have grown.

After backside-saving kow-tows to climate orthodoxy, the paper says the Tuvalu islanders should  skip their doomsday caterwauling and hopes for antipodean visas, and instead “start planning for a long-term future”. Co-author Paul Kench  says that since Tuvalu land is expanding, there’s decades for the islanders to work out adaptation plans. “Loss of land is unlikely to be a factor in forcing depopulation of Tuvalu,”  he concludes.

It’s been established for years that  Tuvalu is growing, but this evidence has been ignored both by the Pacific islanders (who have used ‘international compensation’ for global warming as a money machine), and by all the green propaganda groups which use “drowning islands” as persuaders of the ignorant. Indeed my first contribution to Quadrant Online six years ago dealt with an earlier study by the same Auckland Professor Paul Kench, who had used wartime aerial pics to show Tuvalu was growing  and had nothing to worry about for the next 100 years.

That article noted, “Concerning atoll erosion, over-fishing of beaked reef fish and mining of sand, gravel and coral for Western-style house construction are primary causes.  Other ‘bads’ are  denuding of beach vegetation for fuel, asphalting of roads, and urban drift to the main island Funafuti. Waste and waste-water disposal are other serious issues. Above all, having lots of children in a seriously limited habitat is bound to create an environmental mess. The fertility rate in Tuvalu is 3.11 children per woman, compared with Australia, 1.78.”

Tuvalu nonetheless was great for climate activists, a literally tear-jerking issue. At the IPCC’s Copenhagen conference in late 2009, Ian Fry, Tuvalu’s lead negotiator, told delegates, “I woke up this morning crying, and that’s not easy for a grown man to admit, the fate of my country rests in your hands.”

As he said this, his eyes again filled with tears, and mortified delegates applauded him wildly. Later, some nark noticed that he was not from Tuvalu at all, in fact he was a lawyer from Queanbeyan, Canberra’s next-door neighbour. He’s an ex-Greenpeace liaison officer and a specialist in island-nation advocacy.

At the 2015 Paris climate farce, Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga said, “Tuvalu’s future at current warming is already bleak. Any further temperature increase will spell the total demise of Tuvalu.” For the sake of Tuvalu (pop 10,000) he wanted the whole world (pop 7.6 billion) to eschew fossil fuels in the phantasmagoric hope of capping warming at 1.5deg.

Climate huckster Al Gore in his Inconvenient Truth movie fictionalised that “the citizens of these Pacific nations have all had to evacuate to New Zealand.” A UK High Court judge Michael Burton, stating the bleeding obvious, said Gore’s claim was false. Gore has never amended his film, which has since been force-fed to millions of Australian schoolchildren. Undaunted by such strictures from the UK Bench (there were eight other errors judicially noted), Melbourne University chancellor Allen Myers AC QC  last July awarded Gore an honorary doctorate – in Laws, would you believe.

Australian taxpayer aid to Tuvalu  for the three years to 2017-18 is $24 million, not bad for an island population of a mere 10,100. DFAT mentions the island’s economic problems and adds, “Climate change impacts will exacerbate these development challenges.” However this “climate change” aid is  nothing  more than normal development, such as augmenting fresh water, food security and cyclone recovery. Apparently bureaucrats have to keep saying “climate change” to please Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull.

Last May a World Bank paper by Prof Stephen Howes from the   Australian National University urged that the Tuvalu and Kiribati (pop 107,000) get open rights to migrate progressively to Australasia in order to save residents from (non-existent) island shrinkage. “The worsening impacts of climate change have provided a new moral imperative for providing open access,” he wrote . Sea levels, he said inexplicably, “have already begun inundating land and homes across the islands.”

So far the number of climate refugee claims from the Pacific amount to 17. The successful ones: zero. This compares with the UN forecasting 50 million globally by 2010.

The Wikipedia page Climate Change in Tuvalu has already updated to include the Auckland land-growth results in its opening  paragraph. I suspect the warmist vigilantes who censor Wikipedia will find a way to smother and erase that good news shortly.

Catallaxy Files: Tony Thomas for quiet achiever of the year

Here is a hidden treasure, a stockpile of journalistic weapons to fight economic illiterates, communist sympathisers and biased and incompetent journalists. He has been posting on Quadrant on Line for years and I didn’t look often or closely enough to find him. Just as well Connor Court published this book of amazing pieces. There is so much in it – stories from the Communist Youth activities of the 1950s, brushes with Soviet agents in Canberra (courting journalists), climate alarm stories, the feminization of the defence forces and the amount of violence among the First Nation people even before they were “invaded and corrupted”.

“Once, it was common to encounter a Tony Thomas in Australia’s newsrooms. They were the wise and senior hands young reporters were encouraged to admire and emulate …
They’re mostly gone now, the men and women who wore professional honesty and scepticism as their badges of honour, and we’re all the poorer for the banishment of those skills and voices. That is why the essays in this book are so valuable and the man who wrote them a treasure.”
— Roger Franklin, Editor, Quadrant Online.

This book of 45 essays – ranging from purely humorous to politically and socially grave – provides samples of the lifetime’s work of a trained journalist of 60 years’ professional standing. Thomas was a prominent writer for The West Australian (1958-69); The Age as Economics Writer from the Canberra Press Gallery, (1971-79); and BRW Magazine from inception in 1981 to his retirement in 2001, including a decade as Associate Editor. He is currently a prolific contributor to Quadrant Monthly and Quadrant OnLine.
Thomas’ interests, particularly in the political, stem from his early childhood indoctrination into Communism, followed by an adult reaction towards conservatism. Suffice to say he has ink and politics in his veins.

Hal Colebatch reviews Tony’s book.

11 Responses to Tony Thomas for quiet achiever of the year

  1. Chris

    Agreed! I have his books and they are excellent value, as Roger says.

    Both the collection of past essays, and The Pocket Windschuttle.

    Tim Blair’s ‘risky conversational gambit’ piece in a recent Quadrant describes a certain lack of tact which pays off in various and uncertain ways; but Tony Thomas says to himself ‘Tact? We’ll blow that bridge up when we come to it!’

    But I am curious; is this ratbag author himself one of the magnificent, cynical bastards who make the Cat the splendid killing ground for leftist ideas that it is?

  2. Ian Plimer

    Because all my previous publishers had knocked back “Heaven and Earth”, at the suggestion of the late Ray Evans I approached Connor Court. Within 10 minutes they offered a deal and the book became an international best seller. Connor Court are now the only publisher in Australia that publishes non-PC books (often at a financial loss), books critical of the left and books supporting our Western Civilisation. It is absolutely no surprise that Connor Court publish the works of Tony Thomas and we should try to keep this husband/wife team of Anthony/Julie Cappello as the publishing voice in the sea of vulgarity.

    Buy the Tony Thomas book and other eclectica that Connor Court offer.

    Ian Plimer

  3. Tim Neilson

    Ian Plimer
    #2623177, posted on January 30, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    Thanks for the info Ian.

    There’s a lot of great stuff available on the Connor Court site, so I urge all cats to use the free market to the mutual advantage of themselves and a non-PC publisher.

  4. Tony has been one of the most consistent right wing voices in Australia for decades. Love him and love his work.

  5. Chris

    Tony has been one of the most consistent right wing voices in Australia for decades.

    I dispute that he is ‘right wing’. He is both anti-bullshit and anti-communist, which are not the same as ‘right wing’.

  6. JohnA

    Chris #2623216, posted on January 30, 2018, at 4:49 pm

    Tony has been one of the most consistent right wing voices in Australia for decades.

    I dispute that he is ‘right wing’. He is both anti-bullshit and anti-communist, which are not the same as ‘right wing’.

    The expressions “right wing” and “left wing” have been so worn by overuse as to now be meaningless.

    I recommend that they be interred for a couple of hundred years (hopefully in an unmarked grave) and we beg/desire/demand the use of more precise terminology along a spectrum of Liberty such as:

  7. herodotus

    Happy to support Quadrant and Spectator Australia, and will be doing the same for Connor Court. The Ian Plimer struggle to be published, and they way he and Bob Carter (and others) have been treated by the elite commentariat on climate matters has been a clear indication of the bent nature of the media.
    It is such a disaster that our politicians have been captured by the false prophets of climate to such a degree that we now see our power system disintegrating. Heads should roll.

  8. stackja

    Yet one also gets the impression, reading this insider’s account, that the Communist Party, despite elements of farce and Carry On bedroom antics, at times had more real power and influence than any except perhaps its natural enemies on the Right gave it credit for.

    USA and UK did not trust ALP/Communists, only when ASIO was created and Menzies elected did trust trust return. We don’t know what KGB/GRU did. Coal miners strike was the first battle in the war to destroy Australia. Chifley did his best. Evatt and others were of no help.

  9. Nerblnob

    Tagging someone as Right Wing these days is just a method of making sure they are not read or listened to by the very people who would most benefit. A Black Hat.

    I’ve read a lot of TT’s pieces and sometimes I have to kick myself to remember that Australia once had good journalists like this writing in the mainstream daily press.

    Go look at some old facsimiles of The Age or even the Melbourne Sun from the 60s and be shocked at how far they’ve fallen.

  10. Rafe Champion

    stakja, Santamaria and the movement did a herculean job in the 1950s to end communist control in several major unions but the lunatic Evatt pulled the plug before they cleaned out the wharfies and the consortium of building unions and others now the CFMEU which runs the country nowadays.

  11. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    It is a disgrace that under a so-called Liberal Government a quality magazine like Quadrant, which has a long track-record in Australian politics and letters, should have had its very small Australia Council funding axed in recent years, while a plethora of second-rate leftist publications get substantial funding. A few MP’s on Malcolm’s tail about this might help.

    I’m not particularly mounting an argument here for government funding of such publications, merely saying that if such funding is on offer then there should be some level of accountability in the grants made to ensure taxpayer assistance is given to a wider range of opinion than happens at present.

    Don’t give me the argument about Australia Council ‘independence’ here being inviolable. There is clearly a big leftist rort going on with their allocations of this funding, and it should be called out strongly and in the public eye.

    Connor Court are certainly worth supporting too, with personal purchases and library orders (for schools and universities).

At the ABC, Hypocrisy on Stilts

Suppose Quadrant Online were to suggest a certain TV presenter secured her prime-time slot by sleeping with the editor-in-chief. Scandal! Outrage! Misogyny! But when a sleazebag author levels the same groundless smear at a female US diplomat and Donald Trump … silence

sales IIOn January 23 the ABC 7.30’s star Leigh Sales conducted  a reverential interview of American sleaze artist Michael Wolff. He is author of Fire and Fury (see Geoffrey Luck’s Quadrant Online review), a salacious insider account of alleged goings-on at the White House under Donald Trump. Not once did Sales ask any question pertaining to Wolff’s admitted disregard for truth and authorial integrity. Her only interest was in allowing Wolff to vent his anti-Trump bile on her taxpayer-funded platform, for which she is paid some $400,000 a year.

On Friday, January 26, three days after the Sales interview, Wolff was publicly accusing Trump and his UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, of having an extramarital affair. Wolff, who didn’t name Haley outright, dropped such blatant hints about the identity of Trump’s alleged lover that her identity could not be in doubt. The “facts” that he cited in the book in an allusion to Trump and Haley’s meetings were wrong. In a word, Wolff is disgusting. So is the ABC and 7.30, for giving this Wolff creature prime-time and unchallenged exposure. Then again, given the ABC’s relentless anti-Trump narrative, what more could viewers expect?

The  sisterhood’s commentariat at the ABC has shown  no interest in Wolff sliming the UN ambassador as a woman who supposedly owes her job to Trump’s casting couch. My search of the ABC today turned up no reference to Wolff’s Trump/Haley sexual fantasy. It is another example of the ABC’s most effective propaganda device of all: news that doesn’t fit the narrative is ignored.

Here’s how the Wolff smear evolved. He was interviewed by HBO’s Bill Maher, a leftist with a gleeful leftist audience :

Maher: I want you to tell me something that people have not noticed in this book. Is there something (there), ‘Why don’t they ask me something about this that I put in there, that they are not talking about?’

Wolff: There is.  But I can’t tell you what it is. (Audience laughter)

Maher: F—k you Mike, teasing us like that (laughter)

Wolff: There is something in the book I was absolutely sure of but it was so incendiary that I just didn’t have the ultimate proof that…

Maher: Considering what he (Trump) has done, was it a woman thing?

Wolff: Well yeah, I didn’t have the blue dress.  [Wolff was referring to Bill Clinton’s ejaculate stain on Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress]. (Laughter).

Maher: Was it about a woman?

Wolff: Yes it is, it is someone he is f—king now. (Laughter). You just have to read between the lines.

Maher: What lines? Tell us the lines. You say it is in the book.

Wolff: It is at the end of the book. You just have to…you will know it,  now that I have told you, when you hit that paragraph you are going to say, ‘Bingo!’[i]

The paragraph referred to is necessarily this one:

“By October, however, many on the president’s staff took particular notice of one of the few remaining Trump opportunists: Nikki Haley, the UN ambassador.  Haley – ‘as ambitious as Lucifer’ in the characterization of one member of the senior staff – had concluded that Trump’s tenure  would last, at best , a single term, and that she, with requisite submission, could be his heir apparent. Haley had courted and befriended Ivanka (Trump’s daughter), and Ivanka had brought her into the family circle, where she had become a particular focus of Trump’s attention, and he of hers.”

Wolff adds that Trump “had been spending a notable amount of private time with Haley (below) on Air Force One and was seen to be grooming her for a political future.”

trump haley

Here’s some background on Nimrata (Nikki) Haley. She’s the daughter of an Indian Sikh woman  Raj Randhawa who was one of India’s first female judges, but who was unable to sit on a court because of anti-female hostility.  The family migrated first to Canada and then to  the small town of Bamberg in South Carolina, where they stood out as the only Indians. Nikki’s father, Ajit Singh Randhawa, became a professor  at the  historically black Voorhees College.

Haley’s career began as an accountant and entrepreneur in the family’s clothing business and after activism in community, pro-lifer  and women-in-business lobby groups,  in 2004 she was elected for the first of her three terms in the state lower house. In 2010 she defeated a Democrat to become the state’s  first Indian-American governor, and was re-elected in 2014. Despite her sometimes critical comments about Trump[ii], he nominated her UN Ambassador in January 2017 and she has played an outstanding and outspoken role in advancing American interests. Since her marriage to US Army officer Michael Haley in 1996, she identifies both as Sikh and Christian. They have two children.

I’ve transcribed Haley’s response to Wolff on Politico, which gives a nice character-contrast to Wolff and his fan, Leigh Sales. It also makes a nice contrast to PM Julia Gillard’s 2012 fake anti-misogyny speech against Tony Abbott. That much-lauded speech was, inconveniently, in defence of her Speaker Peter Slipper who had likened women’s genitals to “mussels in a bottle”.

Haley: It (the sex smear) is absolutely not true. It is highly offensive and it is disgusting. It amazes me what people will do and the lies they say for money and power and in politics it is rampant.

Here is a man saying I’ve been spending a lot of time on Air Force One. I have literally been on Air Force One  once and there were several people in the room when I was there.[iii]

He is saying I am talking a lot with the President  in the Oval Office about my political future. I have never talked once to the President about my future and I am never alone with him … If you speak your mind and are strong about it and say what you believe, a small percentage of people resent that and throw rumors and lies to diminish you, not just in politics but in corporate life  and elsewhere …With a small percentage of men, if you just do your job well and are outspoken about it, they resent it and they think the only option is to bring you down.

Interviewer Eliana Johnson:  How do you, as probably the most powerful and outspoken woman in the President’s cabinet, handle those types of rumors? It is a real challenge that strong women face in the workplace.

Haley: I hope other women and men stand up and say this is wrong. I hope the media doesn’t just let this blow up because it is not something that has just happened. As a cabinet member I see it, as a legislator I saw it, as governor I saw it, I see it now. When women work they prioritise, they focus and they believe if you are going to do something, do it right. Others see this as too ambitious or stepping out of line.

The truth is we need to continue to do our job. People see lies for what they are.  Do I like this (smearing)? No.  Is it right? No. Is it going to slow me down? Not at all. It only makes me fight and work harder.

I do it for the sake of other women that are behind me because they should never have to put their heads down and cower out of fear that someone is going to do something to them.

If you are doing the right thing you always win at the end of the day.

We all love America.  You help those in need who are struggling, you lift them up so they can do something for themselves … I am proud of the US and of my parents for how they raised me. It has all come together to make me who I am. I go back to what my Mom said, ‘The best way to appreciate your blessings is to give back’, so I am always giving back. It is what I do, what I enjoy and it has been the honor of a lifetime.”

In terms of identity politics, favored style of the Left, here is a minority-group woman being trashed by Wolff, an old white male,  with evidence-free claims that she has risen to a high executive position by use of extra-marital sex, rather than talent.

Clementine Ford, Anne Summers and the cabals of ABC feminists led by Leigh Sales will surely be calling out this misogyny any moment now.

Tony Thomas’s book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here.


[i] The US print accounts omit the crude language.


[ii] For example, she told CBS that the women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct deserve to be heard. She said Trump had not complained.



[iii] She was referring to a flight from Washington to Long Island in late July.


Inky Wretches’ Inky Retches

According to members of the Fourth Estate, Donald Trump is a fascist or something close to it. As yet unreported is the charge that he roasts puppies over a slow fire, but given the media’s Trump Derangement Syndrome — a virus especially virulent at the ABC — it is only a question of time

mind narrows IIPresident Trump’s “fake news” awards last week inspire me to make some Trump Derangement Awards on our local scene. It was only last night (Jan 23), for starters, that the ABC’s $400,000-plus woman Leigh Sales on 7.30 was fawning over Michael Wolff, author of a hatchet-job book on Trump, Fire and Fury, purporting to be an inside account of the presidency. Sales’ questions were as soft as a week-old puppy’s tummy.

LEIGH SALES: What is Trump like in private? When staff attempt to brief him on issues that he needs to know about, what is he like in those moments?

For heaven’s sake, Ms Sales! The White House says Wolff never got one interview with President Trump. Wolff never claims he did. In a typical obfuscation, he says he has had three hours of conversation with Trump including during the election campaign.

And in terms of the ABC’s impartiality charter, how’s this for a smug, insulting question from Sales about the American President, our most powerful ally in a rapidly-shrinking free world?

LEIGH SALES: How did Trump’s advisers work out what policies he wants and what he wants to do? 

It’s almost beyond belief, except that this is indeed the ABC. Trump is such a total moron, Sales suggests, that he’s just a puppet of nameless advisers. Trump himself, Sales imagines, has had nothing to do with turning the US into an energy superpower, driving home the biggest US tax cuts in 30 years, and sending the Dow Jones soaring 30% in the year to date.

Sales should have taken a look at the trenchant TV interview of Wolff by columnist Meghan McCain[i], who waded in : “You know, Michael, your credibility is being questioned. Trump says the book is full of lies.” When Wolff asked for specifics, McCain rattles off the following list of people: “New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, New York Times’ John Martin, David Brooks, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, Tony Blair, Tom Barrack, Kate Walsh, Anna Wintour all denying quotes.” Wolff lamely responded that lots of people hadn’t denied their quotes.

Inside the ABC bubble there seems zero interest in the book’s truthfulness and accuracy. It’s as if Wolff had never said: “Read the book. If it makes sense to you, if it strikes a chord, if it rings true, it is true.” Even key parties in the US liberal media have excoriated Wolff’s tome.  CNN anchor Jake Tapper, for example, said the book “abandoned all standards”.

Credulous Sales is therefore a front-runner for the Trump Derangement Prize, but she has plenty of competitors. When Trump had been in office a bare five weeks, ABC airhead Geraldine Doogue was burbling about Trump and fascism to her interviewee, a totally Trump-deranged London academic Sarah Churchwell:

Doogue: Quote, ‘…a Fascist  is someone whose lust for money and power is combined with such intensity of intolerance towards other races, parties, classes, regions or nations, as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends.’  It’s a pretty devastating old quote. You don’t think Trump is a fascist though really?

Churchwell: Yes actually I think he is. I do, I do.

Doogue: Oh you do! OK!

Churchwell:  That description is a very good description. I think Trump is a fascist in the strict sense of the term, a lot more like Mussolini than he is like Hitler.

Doogue (enthusiastically): or Berlusconi, it  is a very interesting comparison actually.”

If we follow the trend to giving prizes to collectives, like the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize going to the now jihadi-infested European Union, and Time’s person-of-the-year going to The Endangered Earth (Planet of the Year, 1988, no kidding), then in such a tradition, the ABC per se would contend for the prize.

If you google “ABC Trump Hitler”, note how seriously the ABC’s talent takes the Trump/Hitler analogy. Sometimes the analogy is raised and then disparaged, followed by a qualifying nudge the other way, as in

Mr Trump is no Roosevelt, nor Marx, nor Hitler, though there are some eerie parallels between the world that has given us soon-to-be President Trump and the period between the wars that gave rise to fascism.

My own variant, which makes equal sense, goes, “Victorian Premier Dan Andrews is no Roosevelt, nor Marx, nor Hitler, though there are some eerie parallels between the world that has given us soon-to-be Premier Dan Andrews and the period between the wars that gave rise to fascism.”

Night after night on the 7pm TV news are pieces-to-air on the past 24 hours’ anti-Trump fluff, no matter how trivial, faked or context-free.

Enough with the shilly-shallying. My Derangement Award goes to journalist Aaron Glantz. You’ve never heard of him? Fair enough, he’s a Californian  investigative reporter who has won a slew of prestigious awards on other topics, doubtless well deserved. But he displayed his drooling derangement in my own fair city of Melbourne as lunch speaker for the Melbourne Press Club.

The Press Club’s president last year was ABCTV newsreader Michael Rowland[ii] and CEO is  Mark Baker, former Age senior editor and former managing editor (National) of Fairfax Media. They organized a session, “Fake News Fightback”, in conjunction with the Walkley Foundation and featuring Glantz and another US journalist, Tonya Mosely, who among other things researches implicit bias in reporting.[iii]

I trotted along on August 29, naively expecting a clash of pro- and anti-Trump views from two dueling protagonists. No way! Both reporters were competing as rabid anti-Trumpers.

Glantz concluded, in all seriousness:

“I worry that America could slip in a fascist direction and you could have police rounding people up in my neighborhood, and throwing them in prison…

“It seems like members of Congress are not at this time inclined to move towards any kind of impeachment or anything like that.

“I don’t know quite how to approach it as a journalist. I say to myself , ‘This guy is going to be president for four years. You can’t kill yourself, they [media employers] are going to need you tomorrow. You need to be available tomorrow and the next day to continue to do your work. Sometimes I think we could all be dead tomorrow, so, anyway…’”

His co-speaker Mosely chided him,

“Oh Aaron, you were supposed to give us something to lighten up!”

The audience gave Glantz’s meltdown respectful sympathy. I didn’t laugh, that would have been like farting in church. I’ve disliked some Australian Prime Ministers — Julia Gillard, for example — but I never considered, in my professional capacity, killing myself over her.

Glantz scored this own-goal for himself, for the  Democrat-fawning media and for his hosts the Press Club, which is supposed to promote fair and balanced reporting, even on Trump.

Assuming Mr Glantz since August has not implemented his suicide, he therefore wins my antipodean Trump Derangement Prize. Readers can see how richly he deserves the award by watching the video below.

  • Community service announcement: Any ABC or Fairfax journalist contemplating suicide over the Trump presidency should contact Lifeline.

Tony Thomas’s book of essays That’s Debatable – Sixty Years in Print, is available here.

[i] Also daughter of 2008 Presidential candidate John McCain

[ii] Currently, Adele Ferguson.

[iii] Glantz is a senior reporter at Reveal, the publishing platform of the San Francisco based Center for Investigative Reporting, whose investigations have sparked congressional hearings, legislative changes and high-level criminal probes in the US.

Mosley is a senior Silicon Valley reporter for public radio station KQED in San Francisco,  and been named Journalist of the Year by the Washington State Association for Justice.

An Old Scrapbook’s Reminder of the Prague Spring

Fifty years ago this month, Alexander Dubček began the ill-fated bid to reform the government of what was then Czechoslovakia. In August, 1968, the experiment was crushed by Soviet tanks. Today, with communism’s apologists still peddling myth and equivalency, a refresher course in tyranny

prague tankI’ve had a couple of non-tourist encounters with Czechs from the Communist era. One I recall well from seven years ago; the other more spectacular encounter was 50 years ago and I have no memory of it whatsoever. Still, it’s detailed in print in The West Australian of June 14, 1969, so it must have happened.[i]

In late 2010, my wife and I were on a slow train from Munich to Prague and got talking to an elderly Czech lady, who gave us her potted life story. She told it all as though it was nothing exceptional. Her husband was arrested in the Communist era for saying something uncomplimentary about the regime and was sentenced to two years hard labor digging out underground coal from seams little more than half a metre thick. On release he couldn’t get a normal job anywhere and in desperation he took work in a uranium mine. After a while the uranium dust gave him cancer and he died, she said.  Their five children also couldn’t get higher educations or jobs because they were tainted by their father’s prison record. Four got out to West Germany and settled there. She’d just been visiting them.

She was talking about the time before the “Prague Spring” of liberalization that began in early 1968 and ended abruptly in late August when the Soviets and their Polish, Hungarian and Bulgarian allies invaded with 200,000 troops and 2000 tanks. There was only minor resistance  but 70 Czechs were killed and about 250 wounded. Passive resistance continued well into 1969.     This is the background to my other Czech encounter.

To suppress any vestige of free speech, the Soviets’ first target was the Czech TV, radio and press. Editors were forced to agree to a new ‘temporary’ censorship regime where the media’s prime role was to support the new hard-line Communist leaders. Any dissent led to closure of the media outlet or worse. By April 1969 censorship became total and continued until the ‘Velvet Revolution’ twenty years later, which brought democracy to the republic.

Forty years before our chat with the lady on the train, I had spent an afternoon interviewing a young Czech journalist stuck in Perth a few days on his way back to Prague. At that point the last liberties in the Czech republic were being snuffed out by the pro-Soviet regime.

I was 28, he was 25, and being in the same profession, we had a lot in common.  But he was braver than me by an incalculable amount. He talked with total frankness about the Soviet suppression of the Czech people, and was keen that I should publish what he said. He didn’t care one jot about consequences. I just moved on to writing my next article, about teachers’ union pay claims. But he would have landed in Prague and faced punishment in terms of career, and maybe liberty, for telling truths to the bourgeois press.  Here’s what I wrote:        .

 “Publish all of it!” – Czech journalist

Ales Benda is a 25-year-old Czech  journalist with an athlete’s build, bushy sideboards and a quizzical expression. He is assistant foreign editor of a Prague newspaper Mlada Fronta – at least he thinks he is.

Mr Benda’s English is a pleasant drawl, with ‘plarz’ for ‘plus’ and ‘moof-mends’ for ‘movements’. With his blue pullover and grey slacks, he looks quite Australian except that his lips are red and he wears socks with sandals. He would often frown, screw up his nose and laugh at the same time – an attitude savoring of ‘what the hell’.

To questions about the past and the present he replies volubly: asked about the future he  changes the subject.

He has been held up several days in Perth sorting out a visa hitch, and we talked for a few hours on a back lawn in the weekend. After, I asked, “Is it all right if I publish some of this?”

“Publish all of it,” he said. He gave his amiable chuckle. A contact had already remarked, “Oh boy, when you get back you will get into big trouble.”

This is what he told me. His paper swung from  conservative  to way-out crusading liberalism a few years ago, to the annoyance of the Russians and others.

A few days after the Russians arrived in August 1968, his editor Mr Jelinek got a phone call. “It’s General So-and-So here, we’d like you to come to Soviet headquarters for some discussions.”

“No thanks,” replied the editor. “Our paper is not your paper. Don’t give me orders.” He had been christened “The Trojan Horse” by Moscow newspapers and had nothing to gain from “discussions”.

The same morning an armored car roared into the car park but Mr Jelinek hid successfully in the attic. Three searches later the Russians got tired of hunting Trojan horses.

However, Mr Benda concluded, he had read during his month in Australia that the editor had been sacked, and if that was true his own days as assistant foreign editor were numbered.

On the fatal night in August, he was telephoned at 3.30am about the Russians. He wanted to rush to the paper but was shaking too much to do up his buttons and tie his shoelaces and took half an hour to get dressed.. When he arrived the power had been cut off and they couldn’t use the presses. They had to wait in the dark, with the sound of gunfire coming nearer and nearer.

“At 5.30am there came a little Mongolian with  an automatic rifle. “What do you want here?”  a bloke asked him. He just pointed his rifle. More Russians herded about 60 newspaper people into one room. The Russians were only kids, conscripts,  and they were worn out from three days on the road. Whenever they began to sleep we would wake them up and say: ‘Hey, you are supposed to be guarding us.’ Finally a colonel came down and kicked us out.

“They shut down our paper for three weeks but they didn’t know about  our provincial presses and we put out underground papers there.

“I sneaked between the tanks and got to our printing presses at Brno and was editor there for a few days – though we didn’t even have telephones. The  Russians caught up with us, and our main paper was still closed, so I thought it was a good time to take my annual holiday, and went to London.  I kept ringing day after day to see if the paper was going again. On this Australian trip my boss has told me he will dock every reverse charge from my pay.”

By now the occupation was largely symbolic and the threat was from Czech officials – either collaborators  or those under Russian political pressure.

Inflation was rife. Russian troops would go through the shops spending their accumulated pay, and a soldier  might buy ten pairs of shoes in one hit. Czechs, seeing trouble everywhere, were drawing their money out of the bank and buying a washing machine or fridge that would keep its value. There was quite a bit of black marketeering between troops and Czechs who were not loathe to run their cars on petrol from Russian armored cars.  

His most affecting experience was attending the funeral  of a 16 year old lad shot off his motorcycle  by Russian guards; the most  surprising experience was watching the arguments between Czechs and  bewildered young Russians in tanks. Within a week the army had replaced the youngsters with  occupation troops from East Germany and other tough professionals. No-one argued any more.

“The funniest thing about the business was the invitation we never gave to the Russians to invade us. They’d lined up two blokes to invite them, our minister for communications and someone  from the official Czech newsagency. But when they arrived at Radio Prague the technicians refused to broadcast the message  and the Russians had to come uninvited.

“The Russians set up a pro-Soviet TV station in the grounds of their embassy, But the two announcers were hopeless – one was a Prague official who was always sozzled, and one was a lady from the Central Committee who had never been before a TV camera in her life, and we split our sides every time she tried to perform. Then the Russians tried to set up a Czech radio in East Germany, but all the Czechs had ferocious German accents…”

Mr Benda is a graduate in economics, and I got a lecture on the needs of the Czech economy.

First, the Stalinist stress on heavy industry and steel production had harmed the country’s chance in international trade. To make steel, Czechoslovakia imported iron ore thousands of miles from Russia. This made it expensive and it had to be exported at subsidized prices.

 Workers had been given a social status with coal miners and foundry workers on top, then factory workers, and people in consumer industries  came last. The factories got a stranglehold on the government and decisions were all in their favor.

Things like housing were in a dreadful state – you waited ten years in Prague for a flat, and meanwhile had to live under a bridge, or with your parents, who were probably living with their parents, in a little flat. The overcrowding was even sending the divorce rate up. But construction work was almost all for the confounded factories – each one was a little empire in itself. The only solution would be to freeze investment in industry altogether till consumer shortages were overcome.

Heavy industry was not much use to Czechoslovakia in any case. It should be building up the plastics and chemicals industries and using its concentrated manpower on craft-work like glassware, and labor-intensive production like watch-making.

An unpleasant by-product of heavy industry was war equipment. South American juntas were lording it with Czech hardware; both sides used it  in Biafra and both sides used it in Egypt.

“Everywhere in the world you can find a Czech machine-gun,” he lamented. “Business is business, I suppose.”

The country was united against the Russians. But there were violent argument between Czechs about what resistance should be made; whether one should leave the country or not; what constituted collaboration; and whether the government should be   influenced from within or opposed.

“Generally it would be good for you to write this,” he said, “to show that Communists as a whole are not monsters, that they are not worse or better than other people – that they are just people.”

What happened to Ales Benda in Prague? Is he alive or dead? I have no idea.

UPDATE: Do read the comments, where Tony Thomas’ question about Mr Benda’s fate is laid bare — that and the insidious nature of communism. Far from being a disciple of Liberty, he was actually a regime informer. Now readon ….

Tony Thomas’s book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here



[i] There is no electronic search possible of The West Australian for the 1960s, owing to some unresolved copyright hassle. It can only be searched via microfiche, which is near-impossibly laborious unless you have a good idea of the date involved. I found the above article only when, for other reasons, I was  leafing through my musty scrapbooks which have followed me around for 60 years.

Sir Porritt’s Island of Climate Criminals

That catastropharians consider themselves so much brighter and more insightful than the knuckle-dragging rest of us is not news, yet the vaulting arrogance of climate cultists can still surprise. Take the deep-green Forum for the Future, which cheerfully anticipates penal colonies for sceptics

fasces IVThe Kerguelen islands are horridly cold and windy specks near the Antarctic, populated by a few score of French scientists and several thousand sheep. But to a leading British green group, Forum for the Future, it has enormous potential as an internationally-run penal colony for global warming sceptics.

The Forum’s founder-director is Jonathon Porritt, 67, Eton- and Oxford-bred Chancellor of Keele University,  adviser to Prince Charles, and Green Party activist. [1] The Forum’s fancy for Kerguelen can be found in its 76-page report “Climate Futures – Responses to Climate Change in 2030”,written in conjunction with Hewlett-Packard, a company which should know better. This scenario, one of five, involves the naughty world  delaying the reduction of emissions, for which we must all suffer. The document even conjures a fictional climate criminal and imagines him being deported to Kerguelen in 2028. He is Jean-Claude Bertillon, leader of the No Climate Change Party in Canada, “convicted of denying the existence of climate change”.

The report actually fantasises three  penal colonies which, from the context, must be for for climate criminals. The other two are Britain’s frosty South Georgia[2]  and the South Island of New Zealand. Written in 2008, the document attempts to show how CO2 emissions will wreck the planet within a couple of decades unless civilisation turns away from the sins of consumerism and economic growth. As we are now almost half-way to the 2030 forecast date it is possible to get a handle on how the Forum’s timeline is working out, and perhaps to gain an inkling of any substance to the report’s assertion that our descendants will look back on us with the same disgust we reserve for the slave-owners of yesteryear.

The   authors — and Porritt himself — long for an eco-catastrophe that would eliminate all public doubts about climate doom.  Their manifesto says,

“Because of a chilling lack of confidence in our leaders … our only hope would be for an isolated, serious pre-taste of climate change to happen soon enough for the political and behavioral response to have a useful impact.”

This is probably wishful thinking, as Porritt, founder director of Forum for the Future and chair of the UK’s Sustainable Development Commission, pointed out:

‘I have occasionally fantasised about a low mortality-count scenario where a Force Six hurricane takes out Miami, but with plenty of warning so the entire  city is evacuated with zero loss of life. The insurance industry in America would collapse because this could be a $50-60 billion climate-related ‘natural’ disaster. The industry wouldn’t be able to cope with that. There would be knock-on pain throughout the global economy, massive, traumatic dislocation. This would act as enough of an injection of physical reality, coupled with financial consequences for leaders to say: ‘Ok, we’ve got it now. This isn’t just about some nasty effects on poor countries: this is devastating for our entire model of progress.’ The response to that would be a negotiated transition towards a very low-carbon global economy that builds increased prosperity for people in more equitable and sustainable ways.’”

The report says its five scenarios are all possible, based on “a review of the current science” and “input from scores of experts.” In all five scenarios global warming and extreme weather are, of course, far worse and more perilous than even the 2007 IPCC report suggested.[3] Here are some of its prescribed green correctives:

Expensive, state-funded information campaigns reinforce the need for changes to lifestyles and aim to keep the mandate for state intervention strong. Inevitably parallels are drawn between this and the authoritarian state propaganda of the twentieth century.

“‘Climate crime’ is a social faux pas everywhere, but in some countries it is a crime to publicly question the existence of anthropogenic climate change or to propose actions that could in some way contribute to climate change.

“It is very rare to come across dissenting voices with any real power, but resistance to overly strong state intervention is occasionally violent. The media in some countries has been permitted to discuss whether the single focus on resolving climate change means that other equally important or inter-linked issues are being ignored.” (Report’s emphasis, not mine)


“in some countries a licence is now required to have children and these are awarded according to a points system. Climate-friendly behaviour means points…

 “It is not unusual for governments to monitor household energy consumption in real time, with warnings sent to homes that exceed their quotas. For example, citizens could be told to turn off certain appliances such as washing machines or kettles or even have them switched off remotely.”

In 2014 Harvard luminary Naomi Oreskes forecast the extinction of all Australians amid climate woes. The Future Forum is more moderate,  envisaging merely the abandonment of waterless central Australia, a “collapse of Australian agriculture”,  and a “particularly toxic” combination of drought and recession.[4]

In what the Forum authors call “alarming reading”, Australia’s Friends of the Earth climate experts predict the disappearance of Arctic summer ice by 2013, “almost a century earlier than suggested by the IPCC”. The actual 2013 minimum was about five million square kilometres of sea ice, and it was a bit more than that last year.

The authors let slip some of the green’s secret tradecraft, in terms of their projected advances in fostering ever-creeping state control under the smokescreen of controlling emissions:

“In most cases this has happened gradually, ratcheting up over time, with citizens surrendering control of their lives piecemeal rather than all at once, as trading regimes, international law, lifestyles and business have responded to the growing environmental crisis. And so in 2030, greenhouse gas emissions are beginning to decline, but the cost to individual liberty has been great.”

One is hardly surprised to find such a green-minded document citing Cuba as a beacon of hope for quality of life. But also Nicaragua and Bhutan?

There is the distinct possibility that non-western development paths could gain greater credence. At one extreme, the development strategies adopted today by Cuba, Bhutan, Nicaragua or Thailand could be the pioneers of future diversity. Here, new priorities, particularly around ‘quality of life’, have sidelined many aspects of traditional western development models.

Here are some snippets from the scenarios.

2009-18: Global depression and harrowing malnutrition are caused by high oil and commodity prices. In 2017,  “authorities (are) warned to prepare for a ‘suicide epidemic’ in the US caused by the Depression.” [Reality: Dow Jones index now at record levels and oil prices relatively low.]

2018: Reunification of Korea with Pyongyang as the capital. [Great work, Kim Jong-un!]

2020:  The year of no winter in the northern hemisphere.
 [Right now, the US and Europe are blanketed by extreme cold and snowfalls].

2022: Oil hits US$400 a barrel [current price: US$60],[5]  making world trade and air travel prohibitively expensive. The carbon price makes carbon “one of the most important and expensive commodities in the world today”. [In reality the carbon futures price has collapsed to about US$8 a tonne. Labor’s Rudd-Gillard carbon price was about $A23.]

2026: NATO has defined breaking the 2020 Beijing Climate Change Agreement as an attack on all its members, to be defended by military force.

2029: Planned permanent settlement of the Antarctic Peninsula, taking people from climate-stressed countries. Styled as the first true global community, its population is projected to be 3.5 million by 2040.

2030: Waterless Oklahoma has been abandoned. Texas becomes independent [so much for the Civil War of 1861-65].

2030: “The US president launches a re-election campaign with a populist speech entitled ‘What is the Point of the UN?’ after a debate in New York descends into factional chaos.” [Donald Trump last month beat the forecaste by 13 years].

Some predictions in the document are quite good, albeit easy ones. Try these:

2026: Supercomputer Alf-8 correctly predicts general strike in France. [Well, doh!]

2012-30: China is accused of lying and cheating on its emissions pledges.

The document’s part-hidden agenda is propaganda for the lunatic “simplicity movement” in which everyone returns to an idyll of backyard vegetables and disdain for material things, such as cars and toasters. For example, in 2022 “a general retailer in the UK announces that it has sold more wool for home use than manufactured knitwear for the first time in its history.” In other words, won’t it be wonderful when we all have to knit our own clothes.[6] [7]

The  authors also take for another run the failed Club of Rome’s 1972  “Limits to Growth” diagnosis: Prices for raw materials are very high and getting higher, having major impacts on manufacturing processes and the world economy… Proposals have been tabled for commercial mining ventures on the moon… The world is in a deadly race to develop new processes before resources run out completely.”

In a passage  obviously written by academics, the academics become the heroes of the future: “Communications like the ‘world wide internet’ have fragmented. A small group of academics preserve a global network, their dream to ‘re-unite’ the world.”

The report’s best prediction, undoubtedly, is for an upsurge in rent-a-bikes. I counted four of those yellow oBikes on my dog-walking path just this morning.

Tony Thomas’s book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here


[1] One of his predecessors as Keele Chancellor was Princess Margaret (1962-86).

[2] South Georgia’s national day each September 4 is dedicated to the Patagonian toothfish.

[3] “The scenarios are based on wide research and consultation and a rigorous methodology.”

[4] The 2017 reality: Australia’s winter grain harvest last year was down 40% on 2016, which had smashed records by 30%. World crop production hit a record, thanks partly to higher CO2 levels and mild long-term warming. Wheat production, for example, was at a record 750 million metric tonnes.

[5] In 2008, when the report was written, oil was at US$150 a barrel

[6] I tried knitting during train trips to school at age 14 but my outputs were never successful.

[7] A nest of “simplicity” people currently push the same line at Melbourne University’s Sustainable Society Institute. The green-infested Australian Academy of Science hosted a Fenner conference for zero-growthers in 2014, some of them  advocating 90% cuts to Australia living standards.

* the headline on this article was changed several hours after publication for no better reason than this seemed a better one – rf