Making Kids Shrill, Scared and Stupid

Oh my goodness! Australian schoolkids by the million are being saturated with actor and climate hysteric  Damon Gameau’s ridiculous climate-zealotry film 2040[1]

“By the million”? I’m scrupulous with facts and Gameau’s actual quote on a marketing video was “reaching as many as 948,400 students”. But the video was made a year or so back. Since then his total of “lesson plans downloaded” has almost doubled, from 23,684 to 42,696, by this week. So a million brainwashed kids looks like an under-estimate.

The video also says more than 550 schools have been “activated” by teachers to promote Gameau’s green brainwashing. Let’s update the school numbers by 50 per cent, which is the corresponding increase in “Action Plans” run by Gameau since he did the marketing video.[2] That suggests over 800 schools – and there’s only 9000 schools in all of Australia.

For The Greens, schools are the bulk store for its recruits. No wonder, since kids in class are swamped with greenwash that teachers download from Cool Australia[3] [4]Scootle, an alphabet soup of green lobbies like WWF, ACF, AYCC (Youth Climate Coalition, which runs the kids’ climate strikes), the AAS (Academy of Science), the Tim Flannery-led Climate Council, Greenpeace and, I suspect, here and there, Extinction Rebellion. All lessons scrupulously tied to federal and state curricula under the Trojan horse of “Sustainability” mandated as one of three “cross-curriculum priorities”.

Speaking of Tim Flannery, the Academy’s Fellow has been paired with Gameau on climate gabfests. Gameau has also shared platforms with Extinction Rebellion co-founder and ibogaine drug-tripper Gail Bradbrook and he comes recommended by would-be revolutionary Noam Chomsky and the bonkers climateer Christiana “Tinkerbell” Figueres, who led the Paris climate schemozzle in 2015. Another panegyric for 2040 is from the SMH’s kookiest columnist Elizabeth Farrelly, famed for charging her peons $25 a month to build fences and dig holes on her Southern Highlands hobby farmlet. Her take on 2040: “Engaging persuasive and urgent. It’s an exercise in what you might call muscular hope.”https://www.youtube.com/embed/p-rTQ443akE?feature=oembed

Gameau, who gets around unshaven in jeans and old flannel shirts, is not only saving the planet but running a nice little earner out of his doco. A US blog-site called “Net worth post” puts his net worth at $US13 million (AUD 17 million). Maybe that’s nonsense[5] but he’s turned 2040 into an international industry. A US speakers’ bureau has him listed, and its clients’ charge-out is from $US5000 to $US200,000-plus. Local corporates can become a Gameau “Climate Guardian” for A$7500-$10,650 which entitles them to toolkits, marketing, film licence, virtual workshop, and guest appearance by a 2040 big-shot. In a raft of optional extras are a tailor-made PR movie about the corporate’s “climate action journey” and a “Tailored C-Suite Engagement” with guru Damon himself. (I had to look up “C-Suite”. It means only for executives with titles starting with C for Chief). You can become a Gameau cut-price “Climate Advocate” for $3900. He claims personally to have a low carbon footprint, although he criss-crossed the globe by air making his film about low emissions. IMDB says the film itself grossed $US1,363,654 worldwide but I don’t know how current that figure is.

The premise of his film fantasy is that he time travels to 2040 and discovers that all his green solutions have been a brilliant success. He helps his real-life four-year-old daughter, Velvet, to navigate through climate perils to 2040’s nirvana. The movie closes with rapturous music and vision of youngsters of all colors and creeds dancing through a forest to celebrate low CO2 levels. One 20-something gal in a white frock grows from her shoulder-blades giant butterfly wings that actually flap. This must be the cheesiest movie clip ever made or even imaginable.[6] He doesn’t actually tell kids, “Vote Green”, but calls for strong new political leadership. “Wouldn’t it be terrific if new leaders emerge who could navigate us to a better 2040,” he says. Hint, hint, nudge, nudge.

Somehow Australian schoolkids (as distinct from Singaporean kids) no longer just learn stuff; they’re incited to change the world green-wards.[7] Political activism is now mandated by the curriculum. A typical Cool/2040’s lesson opens with a “Thought starter: “What excites you about the future” and kids are then exhorted to discuss the merits of “Carbon sequestration” and “Sustainability”. Never mind that carbon sequestration is just another ruinously expensive and futuristic “solution” to harmless CO2 emissions, and “Sustainability” is an undefinable feel-goodism.[8] Kids obviously will parrot that “the environment” is their future concern (notwithstanding that our air has never been purer and we’re putting out up to five colored bins weekly). Kids must then scrawl on their workpads answers to “What is one possible solution” and “Who is responsible for this solution and why?” Thus kids who have trouble solving 9×13=?, are coached to guide our planetary destinies. The 2040“Factsheet”, by the way, finishes by telling kids to send letters to politicians and join the school-strike manipulators Youth Climate Coalition. They are also to run around ordering adults to cut their emissions. It’s the strangest “Factsheet” ever compiled by homo sapiens.

Education authorities bemoan that curricula are crowded with extraneous content. But they have endorsed prodigious school time being spent on 32 lessons about a woke fantasy film. Dig this 2040 lesson plan of 70 minutes –and this is before kids waste another 92 minutes seeing the film:

Work through this resource material in the following sequence:

10 minutes – Part A: Activating Prior Knowledge – OPTIONAL
20 minutes – Part B: Concerns For The Future – Barometer Activity
15 minutes – Part C: Thinking About The Solutions
25 minutes – Reflection

 The lesson templates would do credit to Soviet-era indoctrination. Boggle your mind on these:

Part C: Testing Out Tone

 Step 1. You are now going to create a climate change message for school students younger than you. You might want to warn students about some of the dangers relating to climate change, give them actions to take, or include other information that you find important or interesting. It’s up to you. You simply need to create three messages with three different intended tones.[For whom? Six-year-olds?]

Some intended tones you could use might be: angry, sad, positive, hopeful, anxious. Example –

Angry. “Adults are ruining the world that we have to grow up in. Act now!” TIP: Show your three messages to someone in your house. Ask them which message they think is the most effective, and why.”

Sample – I saw: – Huge wind turbines with beautiful green background.

Tone – Positive

This made me feel – That the future could be like that.

A further Soviet-style technique pits the majority in class against any child with non-conformist views, such as “My parents say zero CO2 by 2050 is total b/s”. (Dissent is encouraged over orthodox detail like whether we should give up meat or how soon the planet risks frying up). Kids are paired and one writes down the other’s ideas about renewables. Then the ideas are “shared” with the class.

Clarify any questions or key points raised by students, including the following:

Sunlight – The sun is always shining somewhere. Renewable! [In reality, Unreliable!]

# Coal – Coal is formed from the remains of ancient organisms and can take millions of years to develop. Non-renewable! 

Given Victoria alone has supply of brown coal till about AD2400, running out of it isn’t urgent.

The teaching materials claim, “Most forms of renewable energy generally have a much lower environmental impact.” Sure, take a squiz at any wind farm stretching to the horizon, and scores of thousands more would be needed for “zero” emissions. I have found no mention of where electricity is to come from at night during a wind drought, although I find stray and misleading references to batteries.[9] Frankly, if teachers want to teach kids about electricity grid optimisation, let the teachers first swot up via electrical engineering textbooks (Caution, teachers: maths are involved).

The brain- and green-washing is having serious impacts on kids’ positive attitude to life and mental health. Hardly surprising when teachers confront kids with rubbish like:

In the IPCC’s most pessimistic scenario, where the population booms, technology stagnates, and emissions keep rising, the atmosphere gets to a startling 2,000 ppm by about 2250. That gives us an atmosphere last seen during the Jurassic when dinosaurs roamed, and causes an apocalyptic temperature rise of perhaps 9 degrees C (16°F)… If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted… CO2 will need to be reduced… to at most 350 ppm,” Columbia University climate guru James Hansen has said. We sailed past that target in about 1990, and it will take a gargantuan effort to turn back the clock.

Kids are even told air travel must cease:

Flights need to stop, or at the very least, be reserved only for emergency situations. 

Similarly,

You can take a positive step right now and Pledge to never buy another gas powered vehicle again and get the “Last Gas Car” bumper sticker.

Gameau says he had climate scientists fact-check his masterpiece. They’re all obviously crap at maths. Gameau in the film quotes that “Governments spend $10 million a minute subsidising fossil fuels.” That would be $A5.3 trillion a year. Australia’s total GDP is only $2 trillion.

The Cool/2040 crowd also spruiks WWF’s insane “Earth Hour” which sees kids and adults turn off lights for an hour to virtue-signal for the planet. It’s a pity the lessons don’t include info about the 800 million  peasants without electricity, and the life-threatening discomforts involved. Instead, and incredibly, 2040 promotes Bangla Desh as the energy model the rest of the world should emulate. Remember, maybe a million schoolkids in 500-1000 schools are being bombarded with these dark green fantasies.

The zealots throw science and truth out the window. They lie to kids that CO2 caused episodic warmings in the paleo-climate when ice cores show that warming preceded CO2 rises. They lie that warming causes droughts, even after Professor Andy Pitman has contradicted that. The warmist materials cite the 2011 Texas drought to prove their point – never mind that Texans lately have been freezing and flooded.

Even more ludicrous is the teachers’ notion that 11-year-olds can do field experiments demonstrating climate-change inter-relationships of food, transport and energy. “Develop a plan for research (what would happen and why this approach has been chosen). Use the Experiment Proposal Template provided by your teacher to record your ideas.” Someone should submit that Template for a Nobel.

Gameau is more catspaw for the Greens than even a rudimentary authority on global warming.

Interviewer: How much did you know about the specifics of climate change prior to making the film?

Gameau: Absolutely nothing. I found myself struggling to connect with it.

He claims he did homework for eight months before starting the shoots. This involved briefings from the usual pack of academic alarmist shills posing as “scientists” and offering their faux “solutions”. He’s candid that his forte remained the cinematic arts of emotion: “It’s really important that all artists get involved and disseminate the messages but also use evocative language that people can connect to.” His USP (unique selling proposition) is optimism, e.g. that growing and eating lots of seaweed will make life gay in 2040. He originally injected 45 minutes of politics into a three-hour filmic marathon – one can guess what partisan line he took. But luckily most – but far from all – of the politics fell on the cutting room floor. He still imagines Left and Right can unite to fight CO2. Perhaps, if one assumes Malcolm Turnbull represents the “Right”.

+Cool’s lessons on 2040 excoriate “climate deniers”. For example, kids can click on Cool’s link to Melbourne University’s Dennis Muller, who rants that the climate peril is worse than nuclear war. Muller says, “Media ‘impartiality’ on climate change is ethically misguided and downright dangerous.” Muller, who remarkably is Senior Research Fellow in the so-called Centre for Advancing Journalism, writes to laud our universities’ Conversation editor Misha Ketchell for his “zero tolerance” against any readers’ deviation from the party line on global warming. Ketchell was so troubled by commenters taking his academic catastropharians to task he banned comments on the site. Ironic, no? A ‘conversation’ in which only one party is allowed to be heard!

The green-brained Gameau has set up something called the Regeneration Group to help solve the “climate crisis”, adding, “We won’t tolerate posts or comments disputing the legitimacy of climate disruption.”

Because the Murdoch press hosts some sceptic and right-of-centre information (unlike Their ABC), kids’ lessons include anti-Murdoch propaganda. Says the class material:

Rupert Murdoch owns almost 70% of the newspapers that are read daily in Australia. He is the prominent ‘narrative gatekeeper’ in our country … 55% of stories that accepted the science contained incorrect facts or impacts.

Talking of “facts”, the Cool/2040 Factsheet[10] admits that recent warming is merely “believed” to be from human’s CO2 emissions, and that dire forecasts of warming are the mere product of “a range of models”. The fictive “facts” then arrive in legions. They include that sea ice in the Antarctic is “frequently at record lows” (record highs more like it) and that hotter weather is harming quality and availability of crops and foods. Not so. Recent bleaching supposedly harmed 93 per cent of the Barrier Reef. (Not so, but auditing that figure will get you fired, like Peter Ridd). Plants, fish and animals are scampering from the equator towards the poles. “Facts” include “Other impacts we might see…” such as species’ extinction, weather extremes[11] and worse diseases.

The doozy of all the Factsheet “Facts” is that “Sea-levels are expected to rise approximately 2.3 metres for each degree Celsius of temperature rise.” For starters, sea rise for the 20thC global warming of 1degC was about 20cm not 230cm. Second, the IPCC forecasts sea rise for the next century of under a metre. If Cool/2040 think we’re in for at least 3degC of warming by 2100, that implies 7m of sea rise, nearly twice the height of my townhouse. I fear for Tim Flannery’s waterfront mansion on the Hawkesbury

In a decade of googling Cool and other class materials, I have not once come across any reference to world-reputed sceptics like Anthony Watts, Joanne Nova or Ian Plimer. Rightists like Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones are sometimes cited but only as Aunt Sallies for kids to mock, while Gameau’s materials push kids to videos by “woke” oracles like “Bill Nye, the Science Guy”, a mechanical engineer turned actor-comedian-propagandist.

Gameau’s material for kids blithely advocates overturning Western civilisation:

Tackling climate change requires large-scale, systemic changes across all aspects of society. Simply aiming to reduce our C02 emissions is not enough: we need to rapidly decarbonise our planet. While this might sound challenging, the good news is we already have the knowledge and tools to do it…

Warmist dogma has been failing at federal elections for the past decade. The green-left’s strategy is to use schools as battering rams into office. I must say it’s “progressing” well.

Tony Thomas’s new book, Come To Think Of It – essays to tickle the brain, is available here as a book ($34.95) or an e-book ($14.95)

[1] A full account of barmy material in 2040 can be found here.

[2] 20,500 Action Plans when the video was made, today 29,652 Plans.

[3] Cool Australia operates in 8400 primary and secondary schools — 90 per cent of all schools. Nearly half our teachers use the lessons, downloading them 2.1 million of them in 2019.[i]

[4] herehere, here

[5] Another US celebrity site puts Gameau’s age at 62, noting that he is “still alive”. But considering he graduated from NIDA in 1999, around 40 seems nearer the mark.

[6] Australian actress, Davini Malcolm, plays a shaman in the film. She was born “Lindy” but received the name “Davini” from her Indian spiritual teacher, Osho, in 1994. She went on to help produce and write the 13-part children’s TV Series Teenie Weenie Greenies and do a film, Lotus Birth, of her experience having twins in the bath. The births were preceded by her partner, Peter, and their two boys around the piano singing what the DVD notes call their famous and delightful “fart song”.

[7] “Our units follow the narrative of the film encouraging students to discover information, identify and solve problems, students then make plans to take action.”

[8] “Perhaps the most significant new weasel word to have emerged from the UN’s equivalent of the Ministry of Truth is “sustainable.” Commitment to sustainability is now mouthed by every politician, bureaucrat, marketing executive and media hack on Earth. It sounds so benign, so reasonable, but what it actually means is “bureaucratically controlled and NGO-enforced within a UN-based socialist agenda.” Like most aspects of socialism, it is based on incomprehension and/or hatred of the nature and function of market capitalism, not least because markets — which signal scarcity, reward economy and promote profitable innovation — are the only true source of sustainability.” – Peter Foster, Jan 5, 2021. 

[9] Gameau claims that somehow we will get solar household batteries “so cheap you are not even going to notice”. The cost of a battery system is currently between $2000 and $20,000, which are certainly numbers large enough to be noticed.

[10] Much Cool/2040 material is password protected so not linked here

[11] Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore bluntly states: “The fact is there is no hard evidence that any of these things have been or will be triggered by human-caused emissions of CO2. It is all conjecture based on the hypothesis that carbon dioxide controls temperature, which itself has never been determined as fact.”

Of Ratbags, Protests and Selective Policing


Tony Thomas

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Victoria’s bold gendarmes in Ballarat last September arrested and handcuffed a 28-year-old pregnant woman in her kitchen in pyjamas for anti-lockdown “incitement” on a Facebook post., which she described as a “bit of a bimbo moment”. Yet somehow Dan Andrews’ police were impotent for nearly two hours after two Extinction Rebellion activists parked their hired truck across the tramlines by Flinders Street Station last Friday. Trams and traffic jammed up for a kilometre with tens of thousands of commuters disrupted.

The two activists locked themselves on the top of the cabin. Their truck’s planetary caption read, “I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.” (For “fire”, now substitute “flooded”).

Eventually the coppers marshalled the mojo to arrest them and shift the truck. One activist was fined $5000 for forcing half of Melbourne to a standstill. Compare that with $440 I myself was fined a while back for scooting with one foot (not riding) my pushbike through the same intersection against the pedestrians’ green light.

The fined truck bloke personifies the nuttery embodied in Extinction Rebellion. He wrote to fellow-zealots 18 months ago:

Thank you from our mother earth for being receptive to the pain of our times, and for taking on so much responsibility as part of the rebellion to try and amplify the earths (sic) painful sorrow till it can’t be unheard.

Thank you so much for the hours and hours of your brilliant vision, your brain and body power that you put into this movement. We are a multi-million-dollar organism now, comprised of some of the best and bravest… 

I’m grateful to you for letting me know that I’m not alone. And that if I’m mad, then I’m among the most beautiful and kind and lovely people there are and I’ll take that madness with a smile. (And obviously, the world is madder.)

On Saturday he disclosed that coppers had fed him toast with butter and Vegemite in the City West Watchhouse, where he spent 12 hours. The cops dropped nearly all of a bucketload of charges except committing “public nuisance” (once a euphemism for urinating in alleys). The magistrate, he said, wanted to jail him as a “ratbag” but refrained because he had no priors. After a rant about fictions like Pacific islands drowning (they’re expanding, even the ABC agrees about that), the “nuisance” said he’d send the notice re his “small fine” to Scotty from Marketing in Canberra.

The mad people and useful idiots of Extinction Rebellion are illegally disrupting cities all around Australia this week, except it’s been too rainy for them in Sydney and Brisbane:

 Extinction Rebellion Victoria will be disrupting Melbourne as part of a coordinated national Rebellion in all state capitals. This is a critical act of non-violent civil disobedience, to disrupt business as usual, and draw attention to the climate and ecological emergency we are facing and that the government is ignoring – endangering the lives of all of us, and all future generations of life.

Melbourne is saturated with XR material: yesterday, when my wife went to the butcher in Union Road, Ascot Vale, right outside was a poster in pink and blue: “March 22 – Rebel against climate chaos”.

In Victoria at least, XR knows the Andrews government will treat them with kid gloves, just as VicPol allowed thousands to parade for Black Lives Matter last June at the height of the pandemic lockdown. But VicPol brutally cracked down on mask offences and anti-lockdown rallies held in parks that didn’t involve disrupting other citizens. You can see this video of them brutalising a 69-year-old grandmother into hysteria.

VicPol is so politicised that in 2018 it billed Canadian anti-multi-culturalism speaker Laura Southern $68,000 for protecting her audience against Antifa and other left thugs.[1] “As per the Victoria Police (fees and charges) Regulations 2014, Victoria Police has the right to charge any event organiser for the use of police resources,” a spokesman explained. Southern, as an ideological foe of Premier Dan Andrews, declined to be blackmailed by VicPol. The plod buckled after belatedly getting legal advice that their charge was illegitimate. Basically, the law allows VicPol to bill for, say, traffic control outside Flemington Racecourse on Melbourne Cup day, but not if a riot were to break out in the Birdcage, the keeping of public order being a fundamental obligation of the constabulary.

XR’s Melbourne calendar for this week includes two “optional arrestable actions” on four days and one of them on each of two days. As the XR Yarra group emailed members this month (my emphasis),

Immediately after the meeting we’ll head out for a practice action at a prominent location nearby (very low risk of arrest).

Another event: “Plot the mass civil disobedience needed in response to the climate and ecological emergency.” A bit to the north of the CBD, XR Darebin every Friday “is swarming roads…” XR signs off confusingly: “XR VIC acknowledges that we rebel on the stolen land of the Indigenous people of Australia.”

XR solemnly assures recruits that it is a “politically non-partisan movement” but strangely, one Melbourne event is titled, “Scott Morrison BBQ the planet”.[2] Another is “March Against Murdoch”. The XR acolytes are finishing the week with workshops on “White Privilege Training – Cultural Inheritance”, whatever on earth that signifies.

Thankfully, and unlike Melbourne, not all world cities have capitulated to XR.

The Amsterdam police were ready and waiting at the first major crossing. They blocked off the procession and proclaimed that anyone who stayed put would be arrested. Around two-thirds elected to ignore this warning and were carried by police into waiting buses, which then drove them to the outskirts of the city where they were dumped and told to walk home.”

This pick up and dump tactic is a new and mutually beneficial arrangement for all parties. Images of rebels being arrested make it into the media, but the rebels don’t take up any cell space which is now severely limited thanks to covid restrictions. While protests of any size are legal in the Netherlands, social distancing still applies, and there is a strict 9pm curfew.

The rebels who escaped the police buses proceeded to the Museumplein, a large public square, blocking streets with ‘mini-swarms’ along the way. After a few hours they were re-joined by their bussed off comrades, who had walked back into the city centre. But they did not remain united for very long. 

As the parade headed for the National Opera house, a protest space prearranged with authorities, the police cornered them again, and another 40 rebels were loaded into the buses and deported to the suburbs.

In Oslo, during a blockade of the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy last autumn, police arrested nearly all the rebels who had taken part, kept them in solitary confinement overnight, and then fined them [each!] 1 million Norwegian kroner, around 100,000 euros or $A155,000. XR bleats that “the thorough police response and crippling fines are making civil disobedience very difficult in Norway.”  In Daniel Andrews’ Victoria, by contrast, flying squads of ratbags get police escorts.

In Melbourne, GoPro video-blogger Bill Thompson, 71, was caught by Friday’s truck blockaders and in his role as Everyman, reported the event to Youtube.[3]  Bill’s clip begins with a couple of XR stalwarts. One is a matron about 55 in a high-viz vest holding pamphlets about the global-heated end of the world.

Bill: “There’s a kilometre of traffic blocked because you people think you have a right to do this to other Melbourne people. I think it is absolutely disgusting. Why not demonstrate in Fed Square so you don’t upset other people’s lives?

Woman: We are trying to raise attention…

Bill: Meanwhile the Chinese are polluting the atmosphere to their heart’s content. Are you Marxists by any chance?

Woman: No

Bill: Well why not go on to Fed Square so you don’t upset other people? The Chinese are a bigger threat to the world than global warming…

Woman (anticipating her martyrdom a la St Catherine): I am a white heterosexual privileged woman and I am going to be fined…

Bill (unfeelingly): Well what about all the other people waiting in line while you are screwing them around?”

Bill, a mate, explained to me later that he didn’t see much point in further discussion with the white heterosexual privileged XR lady. Later in the clip, Bill arrives at the Flinders and Swanson streets intersection, where the truck occupies centre stage, but coppers block him from approaching it in order to GoPro the occupants.

Bill: I’d like to talk to these people.

Copper: No no no, sorry sir. Jump off the road.

Bill: They can stand here but I can’t?

Copper: You have a direction to move on.

Bill: What about them? Have they been directed to move on?

Copper: We are organising it now, sir. [The truck has been in situ an hour or so]. Come on, sir, please.

Bill: This happens on a regular basis here. People get disrupted all the time…

Copper: For your safety…

Bill: There’s a kilometre of trams and traffic. Get them (XR) out of here!

Copper: That is what we are trying to do.

Bill: You move me on, let’s move them on.

Copper: Thank you, sir. For your own safety…

Bill (to camera): I’ve had a gutful of what’s going on around here.

The quality of our life under the Andrews socialist government is captured by last week’s bland report on the truck snarl-up in the Herald Sun.

Police will allow a series of climate protests to take place across Melbourne next week but have vowed to ensure citizens will be allowed to go about their daily lives.

Thousands of people from the Extinction Rebellion movement are gearing up for seven days of planned [illegal] “disruptive action” starting on Monday at 7.30am.

Extinction Rebellion activist Violet Coco said the group had a “big week of action” planned.

 “Our demands are to declare a climate ecological emergency, zero emissions by 2025 and democracy is f..ked so we need citizens’ assemblies.”

Victoria Police said it had “undertaken extensive planning” to ensure the protests next week were safe.

“There is expected to be traffic disruptions at different locations and times throughout the week, and we plan to provide relevant updates to ensure those in the city are aware,” a spokeswoman said.

“We will have a highly visible presence in the area to maintain public safety.”

Talking of safety and XR protests, in London last year Extinction Rebellion protests caused the death of a man because an XR-created traffic jam meant his ambulance didn’t get him to hospital in time. According to Sky News host Rowan Dean, “The head of that protest, a woman, said that death was absolutely, perfectly excusable because what they were doing was in the greater good of saving the planet from climate change… when specifically asked whether she would do it again, she said yes.”

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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceXR neatly wedged Melbourne’s wokely Lord Mayor Sally Capp, who has overseen every variety of climate stupidity and green nonsense at city ratepayers’ expense. If she really believes the planet is doomed, she should be on the street with XR rather than wringing her hands at XR’s damage to the city’s nascent recovery from the gross economic damage inflicted by the COVID lockdowns.

Melbourne has been the focus of XR, being the sucker city of the south as far as police pushback is concerned. In November, XR blocked a major CBD intersection: “The emphasis was on exposing the planet killing lies of the Murdoch press.” A few days later four “rebels” glued themselves to the entrance of the Health Department while a dozen staged a corny ‘die-in’ to represent “symbolic victims of the climate and pandemic crises.” The campaign was capped with a ‘Festival of Love and Rage’ that “disrupted the city by land and sea.” (Nine festival goers were arrested).

On Monday of this week, XR’s corny red-garbed cultists blocked Spring and Bourke streets near Parliament by playing dead on the road. The ever-helpful VicPol thoughtfully diverted traffic. “The protesters have pledged to wreak havoc every day this week in the city as they call for climate intervention,” said the Herald-Sun.

Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius proclaimed that his troops “would not hesitate to make arrests”. This, after they hesitated for an hour and a half around the Flinders Street truck on Friday! There were a few arrests on Monday, but not anywhere near enough, as fuming drivers sitting idle in the resulting St Kilda Road traffic jam would have thought.

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Gutted by Daniel Andrews’ lockdowns, Melbourne’s CBD is awash with empty office space and shuttered stores.

VicPol has diverted 2000 police from local stations to ensure the XR law-breakers do not “unduly” inconvenience others, a police statement explained, as distinct from keeping the suburban communities safe from drive-by shooters and ethnic gangs of home-invaders. Melbourne’s media is so averse to getting on the wrong side of VicPol they describe toothless police leaders as “slamming” the XR mob. That doesn’t mean whipping out the handcuffs and truncheons but, rather, denouncing them to chatty radio hosts and concocting cuddly press releases. It doesn’t do to alienate the boys, girls and otherwises of VicPol. The next time they set out to frame a cardinal, they might do their leaking to another news organ.

In Brisbane things aren’t much better on the policing front. The ‘Defy Disaster’ protest by 250 XR dolts disrupted the CBD for two days. “In an effort to stop the reclaiming of the roads, police arrested 10 marchers,” XR noted. Wow! Less than a dozen arrests despite two days of chaos inflicted on millions of law-abiding residents.

XR’s PROSE forever strives for new heights of hyperbole.

We need immediate action to avoid unspeakable human suffering and irreversible damage to the natural world… this climatic and ecological nightmare that worsens with every passing day. This leaves all of us – and the planet we call home – in a desperate and dangerous position … a terrifying new reality…business-as-usual-profit-at-any-cost suicide mission. A terrifying new reality … we are in the midst of the Sixth Mass Extinction.

To inject a touch of realism, there’s been a levelling off of global warmingin the past half decade (despite huge growth in CO2).[4] After about 1degC of warming in the past century, agricultural production continues to smash records. CO2 is greening the planet and many types of extreme weather are reducing.  As usual, the official XR press is too busy sounding the tocsin to check facts. Thus Adani’s Carmichael mine in Queensland pollutes the planet in “Western Australia”.

XR’s climate caper involves out-doing every other left group in global warming hysteria and the urging of draconian “solutions”. For example, XR’s policy is for net zero in Australia by 2025, never mind 2050. Any engineer can calculate that zero-2025 involves us building a Hazelwood-sized nuclear power plant every 11 days from now until January 1, 2026, or 33 per year. Do-able? I don’t think so.

To by-pass their fringe-minority status, XR advocates “citizens assemblies” involving “sortition” or sampling the population. Once isolated, this group is force-fed XR propaganda and its conclusions then pushed to parliamentarians.

New XR tactics include

# Rebellion of One: a single person becomes a roadblock, holding an emotively-worded sign. “They sit in the road alone until they choose to move or are moved. But they have an incognito support team hiding in plain sight nearby.” A thousand such solos can cause traffic chaos.

# Naked protests: For clickbait and pics in the compliant media.

# Lawfare: From last year, XR began diversifying from law-breaking to “lawfare” – using existing ‘green’ laws to sue and harass those keeping society running. For example, Portuguese youth activists – one about ten years old– are taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights.

 # New Laws: XR’s international lawyers are promoting new laws, such as creating the climate crime of “Ecocide” analogous to a crime against humanity. These laws are leveraged into play at the UN via climate leeches such as the Maldives and Vanuatu. “One day soon,” enthuses XR, “negligent politicians and polluting CEOs could find themselves in the dock of the International Criminal Court!”

# Money Rebellion: Now launched in the UK involving tax strikes. Good luck with those — regardless of country, the taxman is infamously keen to enforce the law, unlike VicPol.

Typical of XR’s vandal mindset was their attacks last year on Cambridge’s Trinity College. They arrived with spades and wheelbarrows, chanting, ‘This is what democracy looks like’, and dug trenches through its ancient lawn to excoriate “digging for oil”. The supine Trinity College authorities made no complaint to police, who in any event were busy diverting traffic to assist the lawn diggers.

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XR’s real agenda is to by-pass the political process where the dark Greens seldom get more than 8 per cent of the vote. They have discovered, as did Lenin before them, that revolutions can be achieved with as little as 3.5% support, providing the 3.5% make enough racket and knows how to leverage its strengths.[5] Nicolle Flint, the Liberal South Australian MHR being driven from politics by a vile and sexually-abusive leftist campaign to destroy her sanity, is proof of that. She cites XR among her tormentors.

A UK founder of XR, Rupert Read, co-authored a tract “This Civilisation is Finished” with Melbourne University’s anti-growth guru Dr Sam Alexander. Read writes,[6]

It is just-about conceivable that this civilisation might survive by adopting an extremely disciplined eco-fascism.” Read says of the Covid epidemic that it’s a huge opportunity for XR … ‘It is essential that we do not let this crisis go to waste.’ The pair would also like to return Western civilisation to horseback.

As UK author Ben Pile describes XR,

They may call themselves ‘protesters’ and ‘rebels’, but the police treat them with kid gloves for a reason – their demands resonate with the authorities much more than they do with the public, who are largely fed up with all the pointless disruption. Even in this era of self-identification, Extinction Rebellion has as much chance of becoming a genuinely popular movement for change as I have of being the next leading ballerina at the Royal Ballet. 

The political class would gladly and immediately implement XR’s demands. What stops them is the very real possibility that imposing such draconian cuts to living standards would quickly unite the public once and for all on the issue of climate policy… against it. Thankfully, democracy is not dead yet.

If you’re keen on XR, you’d better give up your lamb chops, because you’re also rebelling against “speciesism”. As the Czech XR crowd puts it,

We were busy linking the climate crisis with other systems of human oppression – the crises of Capitalism, and Colonialism, and the Patriarchy. But one oppressive ideology was not being mentioned. Speciesism – the belief that one species of animal can be morally superior to and so dominate another.Quite simply, farming animals is one of the most ecologically destructive, oppressive and wasteful activities our civilisation does, and it is a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions.

XR thinks ending animal farming would please the planet. Local Melbourne groups week of rage was fuelled by toasted tofu sandwiches.

I’ll round off this critique with some spicy XR history. XR’s UK founders Roger Hallam and Gail Bradbrook have championed XR’s “plane truth” fight against CO2-intensive aviation tourism. Hallam for example was arrested and jailed for flying a drone by Heathrow Airport two years ago, claiming Heathrow expansion was “a crime against humanity”. Bradbrook championed the Keep It Grounded “mass civil disobedience” campaign at City Airport. The XR website proclaimed: “Scientists make it crystal clear that without rapid reduction of passenger numbers and flights, the goal of limiting global heating cannot be achieved. One of the greatest beneficial environmental impacts we can have as individuals is to reduce the number of flights we take.”

But Gail Bradbrook (below with Hallam), who has been on an anti-CO2 campaign since 2010, is a hypocrite. In 2016 she loaded up her Facebook with pics of her 11,000-mile air trip to Costa Rica where she stayed at the $A4500 per week New Life Iboga Retreat. She explained that her holiday of self-discovery included taking hallucinogenic drugs that inspired her “to get with the spirit of the otter”. She also gushed that she wanted to use her visit to “express my most passionate self” in “the most filthiest, animal way”. She contacted a spirit known as Grandmother Ayahuasca and got a “kick up the a*** on negative habits”.

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She claimed the West African hallucinogenic shrub ibogaine “rewired” her brain, giving her “the codes of social change”. She had a “mystical experience” — explaining: “I lay down and a voice that felt very external to me said, ‘Gail, you create your own reality’. When I got home I ended a marriage and separated my family. It was a huge decision but it was the right thing to do.”

Bradbrook is an adult version of Greta Thunberg, spouting even purer weirdness. In a speech sponsored by HSBC Bank, she began,

I am speaking to you as a rebel, as a mother, and more than anything, a mother of life on earth … We are f***ed. Humanity is f***ed. It [climate] is a disaster of Biblical proportions. We have to let in that feeling of grief. This is a feminine peace for all of us, men, women and other genders, to feel the grief …

Co-founder of XR Roger Hallam is relatively level-headed compared with Bradbrook. He’s an organic farmer-turned-civil disobedience expert based at King’s College London. Among his writings were “Escape from the Neoliberal Higher Education Prison: A Proposal for a New Digital Communist University.”

Hallam met Bradbrook while he was busy spraying greenist graffiti on King’s College gates and in its Great Hall. He possessed the supposed globe-changing codes for rebels sought by Bradbrook (no, this is not the script for another Da Vinci Code movie).

But his more recent mouthings have been catastrophic for XR. Interviewed by weekly Die Zeit , Hallam rated the Nazis’ murder of six million Jews was “almost a normal event … just another f***ery in human history.” He said: “The fact of the matter is, millions of people have been killed in vicious circumstances on a regular basis throughout history.” In the interview he repeated calls for the climate crisis to be treated with as much emotion as the Nazis’ Auschwitz, where 1.1 million people were murdered.

XR’s PRs went into meltdown trying to wish away their founder’s despicable comments. The trauma within XR UK was so great that it had to set up “Care Councils to care for individuals, teams and the movement.” XR flaks said,

We would like to recognise again how painful this situation has been for so many and to let you know that we have given everything we can to hold it for the organism … As a new and rapidly growing movement, XR UK did not have clear systems and processes set up to respond to the challenging situation where an individual made comments that were polarising and which caused harm to individuals, the movement and the wider public.

XR UK eventually sacked Hallam as spokesman for three months, a very light flagellation.

Continue reading by clicking HERE

Daniel Andrews’ Bad Case of China Envy

Like many Victorians I tuned in to Victorian Premier Dan Andrews’ morning press conference yesterday morning, happy to hear that the five-day lockdown here is not to continue.

The Premier looked his best against a pretty green backdrop which I now know to be the Parliament House gardens. The setup was such that questions were inaudible and media invisible (at least as far as I watched). We just got Dan doing his rhetorical rhodomontade.[i]

He emphasised several times that his anti-COVID crusade had no political overtones. It was such a tranquil and balmy scene that you could almost forget that Dan and his team’s utter incompetence killed 800 vulnerable Victorians, and that his cabal’s incompetence with quarantine continues. Just watch other video of quarantined hotel people exiting to buses the other day with black bin-bags over their heads, either as Personal Protective Equipment or to protect their identity, who knows.

Andrews, who gets on well with Victoria’s docile media tribe, has not got over his humiliation by that scourge of the Left, Peta Credlin. You’ll remember how during the ridiculous inquiry into hotel quarantines, Credlin suggested the inquiry take a look at officials’ crucial phone records, a point Dan’s media chooks had totally never thought to ask about. Dan’s Premier’s Department secretary resigned virtually on the spot although the inquiry later found that nobody/nothing was responsible for anything/nothing.

Well there’s one serious journalist in Victoria, Avi Yemini, who is national bureau chief  for Canadian-based Rebel News, run by free-speech warrior Ezra Levant. Avi is disliked by Dan’s Praetorian Guard, aka Victoria Police, but he has no fear of them, despite the previous encounter in the clip below.https://www.youtube.com/embed/mICilxtr2Ss?feature=oembed

He says his Australian channel has hundreds of thousands of fans, especially in Victoria. Since he’s been an Israeli Defence Force marksman, I imagine he’s dealt with tougher opponents than VicPol medium-weights. I must say his calmness under pressure is astounding and on top of that he can produce a stream of witticisms while daring coppers to arrest him and tangle with his lawyers.

Well, he’s the last person Dan would want at his press conference yesterday. Yahweh knows what embarrassing stuff Yemini might bring up.

So here in a nutshell is what was happening behind the scenes during Dan’s tranquil presser yesterday:

1/ Yemini was admitted to Parliament Gardens with his federal-government-issued media pass.

2/ But before he could reach the soon-to-start press conference amid its bucolic surrounds, he was swarmed by five Protective Services Officers (specialised quasi-police officers)[ii] who ordered him out because they believed “on reasonable grounds” that he threatened the “good order and security of Parliament”.

3/ While he was explaining that he merely intended to ask Dan some questions, Dan and his troupe approached from the other end of the path and passed within about 10 metres of Yemini en route to the presser. Yemini was able to ask Dan almost without raising his voice, whether Dan approved him being shut down from the presser to avert critical questions. Yemini also managed to ask Dan whether Dan’s tactic was more Chinese Communist than Victorian. Dan studiously avoided eye or any other human contact with Yemini and by-passed the Yemini/police crowd en route to his serried ranks of TV cameras.

4/ The PSOs, while unable to provide any ground for expelling or arresting Yemini, pleaded with him to go quietly so no media sensation would occur.

5/ Yemini got his lawyer Madelaine onto his cellphone loudspeaker. She asked the PSOs trenchantly what their “reasonable grounds” were for expelling him. Their leading light replied that Yemini wasn’t invited to the presser and might disrupt it. And he added, let’s hope he doesn’t get fired for it, “And the Premier’s Personal Assistant doesn’t want him here at the conferences.” (See transcript below).

6/ As Yemini can now truthfully assert: Dan’s satraps ordered PSOs and coppers to get rid of one of Dan’s politically-critical media attendees. That’s an interesting coda to Dan’s claims at the presser maybe 15 minutes later that his covid work was utterly devoid of political stagecraft.

7/ The embarrassed and jittery PSOs then called in the heavyweight coppers to get Yemini off their hands. The leading copper didn’t just get Yemini removed for no overt reason and banned from Parliament precincts for seven days. This police paragon claimed innocent citizen and reporter Yemini had entered via a fake pass and he (the copper) was going to, or had, revoke/d the fake pass, which as Yemini says, is a curious thing to do.

8/ All along, of course, the PSOs and police had their orders from Dan via his office to mis-use the Parliamentary Precincts Act (Section 16) to get rid of a reporter “on reasonable grounds” that the reporter might ask wrong questions.

9/ That’s Victoria, yesterday and today, or should we call it, “Danistan”.

All we’re waiting on now is saturation coverage of the affair by the ABC 7pm News, Leigh Sales’ 7.30, Laura Tingle via indignant tweets, Media Watch and Four Corners. Nor likely to make mention of this disgrace is The Australian, since it’s gone decidely left of late.

The video of the encounter is embedded at the foot of this page. Watch it by all means, but do make a point to first read selected excerpts from the transcript, which lay out in blunt and brutal black and white what happens when an arrogant premier, knowing his fixed four-year term means he cannot be turned out out of office until November 2022, uses a tame and trained VicPol as his personal bully squad.

Tony Thomas’s new book, Come To Think Of It – essays to tickle the brain, is available hereas a book ($34.95) or an e-book ($14.95)

[i]  rhodomontade – vain and empty boasting. braggadocio, rodomontade, bluster. boast, boasting, jactitation, self-praise – speaking of yourself in superlatives.

[ii] PSOs are sworn and armed officers with the same powers of arrest and use of force as police, but usually guarding specific official locations.

________________

Transcript Excerpt
by Tony Thomas

Avi Yemini: This morning I was forcibly ejected from Daniel Andrews press conference on the order of his personal assistant.

Policeman: “The Premier’s PA doesn’t want him here at the conferences”.

AY: So, the Premier called his press conference for 10.15am in Parliament Gardens, so I got there a few minutes early…

After Security comes to the gate his identity and media credentials are double checked, signed off by a Protective Services Officer and he is allowed in].[i]

AY: But as I approached the garden where the rest of the media were waiting for the press conference to begin, a different group of PSOs suddenly surrounded and stopped me.

PSO: For security and good order I am an authorised officer under the Parliamentary Precincts Act, we are asking you to leave.

AY: I don’t understand, isn’t there a press conference…?

PSO: In the interests of security and good order of Parliament House.

AY: Hold on, you can’t shut down certain media. Hold on, I want an answer. You know who I am, Avi Yemini. On what grounds…?

PSO: As an authorised officer in the Parliamentary Precincts Act in the interest of security and good order…

AY: Is there a  press conference here now?

PSO: Yes

AY: I am press. This is my press card.

PSO: That’s fine but I have just told you under Parliamentary Precincts Act…

AY: You can’t shut down media that is at a press conference.

PSO: I am not having a conversation with you now, I have asked you to leave.

AY: I am here for the press conference, just like all the other media.

PSO: So under powers of an authorised officer I am directing you to leave, not to enter. I believe on reasonable grounds ejection is necessary for the good order and security of Parliament.

AY: How is that in the best interests of good order?

PSO: I have just told you.

AY: How are you going to justify that? What am I going to do that is going to affect the good order…Asking questions to the Premier, is that? …

Yemini calls his lawyer, Madelaine, for advice. Five PSOs surround him. A call on their radio can be heard:

PSO: Are you guys on channel?

PSO to AY: Stand by, mate.

AY: I am not going anywhere, I am happy here, I am going to wait because what he is trying to do is unlawful. We are not in…You don’t have to like our network but you can’t expel us from a press conference.

AY to camera: Then suddenly I see Dan Andrews himself  walking towards me.

Andrews and his close team walk down the path directly towards Yemeni’s cluster . At a distance of about 10 metres Andrew’s group turns onto a side path to the conference.

AY: Mr Premier, do you think it is OK for the media to be shut down at a press conference just because they criticised you? Mr Premier, are you OK with this? It seems a bit like Communist China, not Victoria.

AY (to camera): I didn’t realise at the time, why he didn’t even look my way as if purposely avoiding me. But as you are about to see, not only is the Premier personally OK with  it [his office ordering Yemini’s removal]

… I have never seen such a thing from a democratic leader, removing journalists they don’t like.

AY to PSOs: Who is in charge? I can’t understand why I am not being allowed access to the press conference like all the other media.

PSO: No, it is not for me (to say?), it’s because you are disruptive.  

AY: No, how was I disruptive if I was not even in there.

PSO: Let’s go. I am told you have been disruptive in the past.

AY: On what grounds when I have not even been to a press conference? ….

PSO: As an authorised officer I have said that was… let’s go. It is in my power to make you leave.

AY: And if I don’t leave?

PSO: You will be arrested.

AY: Under what…

PSO: Parliamentary Precincts Act for failure to comply with the Act.

POLICE RADIO: The Premier just now is doing his press conference.  A male there is causing trouble.

AY: Your radio just said I am here causing trouble. How am I causing trouble? Why are you removing me?

PSO: In the interests of security and good order you are hindering us from doing our job right now.

AY: What is your job?

PSO: I am speaking to YOU

AY:  I want to do MY job.

PSO: You can’t do that here, you can do it outside

AY: Why not?

PSO: Because I have said so.

AY: We have hundreds of thousands of followers. It is a news company.

PSO: I have seen you at events, mate

AY: Do you know that the only other police that remove media from press conferences to protect leaders is Communist China. Do you work for the CCP [Communist Party of China]?

PSO: Of course not.

AY: So why are you acting like it?

PSO: I am not.

AY: You are. Have I disrupted? I am absolutely not here to disrupt.  I am here to ask questions for our thousands of subscribers who are Victorians who have the right to have their preferred news network at the press conference just like all the others (media).

At this point the PSO receives call on his two-way radio of which this can be heard: “He is not violent … not permitted”.

AY (to camera): “Not permitted”? It’s mental! You don’t have to like me, my style or my politics. I have never ever disrupted a press conference. I have never been violent on the job, in fact I am often the victim of violence and disruption at work.

Most importantly every one of our Victorian subscribers, all of you, deserve your preferred media outlet to be able to hold the government accountable. This is literally the point of  press in a free society….

It gets worse as Yemini calls his lawyer.

AY: It would look pretty bad for you if you arrest a journalist at a press conference … What is it you are asking (for)?

PSO: You are not violent. I am not disputing that. (But) good order and security. I don’t know what questions you are going to ask….

PSO: I can talk to her ( lawyer Madelaine) if you like.

AY: Hi, Madelaine. So I was let into the grounds of Parliament with my press pass for the press conference with Dan Andrews. As I approached the actual conference I was swarmed by PSOs who are citing…

Madelaine to PSO: Are you citing the Parliamentary Precincts Act? What is it you are citing?

PSO: I am an authorised officer, I have the powers of an authorised officer. I am not saying removing, I am asking you to leave. If you don’t, we can forcibly remove you … If you don’t leave we can arrest you or forcibly remove you which we don’t want to do.

AY: What section (of the Act)?

PSO: Section 16, I think.

AY: He thinks! It is always a good sign when they think. Mate, I am not going.

PSO: How did you get in?

AY: My passes.

PSO: Your pass has been revoked.

AY: No, it is not

PSO: Yes it is.

AY (to camera): … that media pass, you all saw it and how I got in. I used my government-issued media pass, like any other journalist, a pass that he suddenly threatened to revoke on top of arresting me. You can’t make this stuff up.

AY (to PSO): What I have learned doing this is you guys don’t know the law.

PSO: I have just told you.

AY: She [Madelaine] is reading and reviewing it. We are going to see what their powers really are.

PSO: We know what our legal powers are.

AY: Mate, I have been arrested so many times by cops who don’t know their (legal) powers and currently we are fighting (cases) in the Supreme Court. You don’t know your laws. I think I will trust my lawyer…..

Lawyer Madelaine: So what is the belief?

PSO: I believe on reasonable grounds that he may disrupt  the press conference. On those grounds I am exercising my powers as authorised officer under the Parliamentary Precincts Act in the interests of securing good order, I am asking him to leave. If he refuses to leave…

Madelaine: You don’t need to quote it, I have it in front of me. What are your ‘reasonable grounds’?

PSO: That he might disrupt the press conference and also he was not invited to these press conferences and the Premier’s Personal Assistant doesn’t want him here at the conferences. So they are the reasons.

Madelaine: OK, have you got a direction, have you been given a direction yourself to remove him?

PSO: No no, I am an authorised officer so I am giving that direction. I don’t want to arrest him physically nor forcibly remove him., which I have the power to do. I am just asking him if he can leave now.

Madelaine: No I just want really to clearly understand what the issue is. Basically, the Premier’s Personal Assistant doesn’t want him here, that seems to be the real trigger. OK, thanks, all right.  I will have a chat to Avi.

Here, all decent Australians, be they left or right, should pause, collect their breath and note what has transpired: acting at the direct instruction of the Premier Andrews’ chief gofer and dogsbody, a member of the press has been singled out and banned because he might ask the questions that tame members of the press gang never do. But back to the transcript.

AY: The cops are here now

Police (correcting AY): “Police”.

AY: Police. A sergeant.

Sergeant: Start walking. You have to get off the grounds.  You are not meant to be here.

AY to Madelaine: OK. Bye.

Sergeant: Let’s go for a walk, Avi, outside the grounds.

AY: Do you want to ‘cuff me and take me…?

Sergeant: No. You are also banned from here for a period of seven days, you are not permitted to return here for seven days. It is on film (presumably security cameras).

AY: Who advised that as well?

Sergeant: Authorised officers of Parliament House. That is me.

AY: Where are the boundaries that this journalist can’t…

Sergeant: You are not allowed on the footpath. [Points].

AY (to camera): An authorised officer of Parliament has banned a journalist that the government doesn’t like (laughs), (Dan or Sgt) doesn’t even seem like a fan, he’s watched a few (of AY’s clips?)…

Sergeant: You have come in here with a fake pass on, you have accessed grounds…

AY: Hold on! no no no no no no no no!

Sergeant: You are being removed…

AY: Hold on, how is it a fake pass? It says on the top there…

Sergeant: It is not a security pass. It says that on the top.

AY (to camera): They asked me for my media pass, how is that (pass) fake? It is issued by the Federal Government.

First he claimed it is being revoked, I am not sure how a ‘fake pass’ can be revoked, but we all know the truth that they were ordered to remove  me from the press conference by Dan Andrews’ personal assistant. Now they are banning me from the entire grounds including the footpath out front, for goodness sake, for seven days on the command of the Premiers personal assistant.https://www.youtube.com/embed/xGpD5qrpKbo?feature=oembed

[i] PSO’s are sworn and armed officers with the same powers of arrest and use of force as police, but usually guarding specific locations such as railway stations.

The Frozen Wastes of the Warmist Mind

The Frozen Wastes of the Warmist Mind

Tony Thomas

On New Year’s Eve I took a $3000 seat on an overnight 787 Dreamliner from Tullamarine down to the Antarctic and back. It was sensational to see some of this mysterious, beautiful and inhospitable continent by the light of the midnight sun, in crystal-clear air and from a low altitude. Not so pleasant was the tour-guide commentary from a couple of old hands from the Australian base, one a glaciologist and the other once an Antarctic maintenance plumber. The cockpit crew weighed in too with descriptions and opinions.

The pair of 70,000lb-thrust engines provided a low whining accompaniment to the talks. But there was already plenty of verbal whining, as if each talker wanted to outdo the others on the perils of global warming in the Antarctic. I cocked an ear briefly but then tuned out, as every speaker was talking nonsense. Normally, I’d have taken down their verbiage in shorthand to pillory them in print. But I was rivetted by the views as glaciers came and went, sea ice dotted the coastline and the smoking crater of Mt Erebus hove into sight. So I’ll just summarise: they blamed global warming for everything down there that moved, and everything there that didn’t move as well.

I think they had guilty consciences. After all, we were polluting the pristine Antarctic air with jet-A1 exhaust gases, and our plane was full of elitists (myself included). We cheerfully paid  as much as 7000 for a night’s trip to regions off-limits to 99.9 per cent of Australians. Sure, the Antarctica flights business professes to be carbon neutral by donating to things like the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Project, near Geraldton in Western Australia.[1] If we really believed in fairy tales about the looming Year 2100 hothouse extinction, we’d be building dykes in Port Melbourne and lunching on lentils. Our commentators were either out of touch or fibbing: the Antarctic is not warming. Sea ice there is growing, not contracting. The Antarctic refutes the climate modelling orthodoxy that global warming will be amplified at the poles relative to the equator.

Here’s a paper that appeared in Nature just last October: “Low Antarctic continental climate sensitivity due to high ice sheet orography [mountains]”. It’s by Hansi A. Singh & Lorenzo M. Polvani:

The Antarctic continent has not warmed in the last seven decades, despite a monotonic [steady] increase in the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases … Antarctic sea ice area has modestly expanded and warming has been nearly non-existent over much of the Antarctic ice sheet.

The paper uses modelling to blame the non-warming on the high altitude of the Antarctic land mass. Nice try — except real modelling experts says these “state of the art” models areincapable of dealing with climate complexities, being especially ignorant about clouds and future solar irradiance.[2] Meanwhile, scientists by the dozen have been scrabbling for explanations why their pet hypothesese is a dud in the Antarctic, eg.,the ozone hole and even a “negative greenhouse effect”.[3]

There appears to have been a bit of warming along Antarctica’s Western Peninsula, which scientists of warmist bent bang on about interminably. However, in 2017 researchers discovered no fewer than 91 subsurface volcanos well matching the geographic peninsula hotspots. Some were as big as the 4000-metre Mount Eiger. This Antarctic science is not exactly “settled”. Meanwhile, a lot of scientific commentary simply invents a warming narrative down there to bolster their “climate emergency” nonsense.

There are 19 temperature stations in the Antarctic with long track records. It would seem useful to analyse the readouts. Maybe, unlike applying for research grants, that’s too sophisticated a task for “climate scientists”. Luckily  there is young lay blogger in Japan who calls herself “Kirye” and has downloaded and graphed the 30-years of data from NASA records. She finds around half of the 19 stations show no warming or slight cooling, and the minor warming of the others is “nothing unusual”. Two stations show slight warming but are near the South Pole, where the mean temperature is 50 degrees below freezing, so their fractional warming is hardly significant in melting any ice.

Kirye did a further check of 13 temperature stations along the West Peninsular (about which all sorts of horror-show predictions are constantly bruited), plus some stations on Antarctic islands to the north. She found all 13 showed slight cooling over the past 20 years. Let me pause here for a personal aside about the incoherent rage that mere mention Antarctic cooling can incite. At a charity club’s social gathering in January, I was told to shut up because “no-one is interested in your sceptic crap”.  Professor Chris Turney, like my uncharitable social nemesis, was convinced the Antarctic has been warming, and eight years ago he and his Pied Piper followers got badly stuck in the ice on the Good Ship Climate Change aka the Akademik Shokalskiy aka Ship of Fools. Much the same happened to climate warriors who imagined they could take their rowboat happily into and through the “melting Arctic”.

As for the land-based Greenland ice sheet, it’s been growing for the past five years, along with some major Greenland glaciers.[4] Have you heard about  Glacier Girl, the P38 twin-boom fighter that force-landed on the Greenland ice in 1942? Ice has increased and the plane 50 years later was found 82 metres below the surface. In 1903 Roald Amundsen’s small boat traversed the North-West Passage, and a small ship made it in 1942.[5] Further back, Vikings settled in Greenland around 1000AD because it offered relatively warm green pastures.https://www.youtube.com/embed/fNEmGaAplgI?feature=oembed

After my Antarctic jaunt I flipped through climate books at Readings Carlton, where there are scores in stock, and observed how authors really let their heads go about the Antarctic. Know-all Barry Jones writes in What Is To Be Done? ($29.99, and described as “essential reading”): “If large areas of the Antarctic ice sheet and Greenland were to melt, it would lead to significant sea-level rise and risk drowning major urban coastal cities and towns.” That’s a big ‘if’, Baz.[6]

Gillen D’Arcy Wood in Land of Wondrous Cold ($31.56), writes that losses from Antarctic melting will top a trillion dollars annually by 2050, plus lead to 200 million climate refugees worldwide. The UN Environment Program (UNEP) in 2005 forecast 50 million climate refugees by 2010. When they failed to show up, UNEP furtively advanced the date to 2020. Hey, UNEP, where are they all? It’s 2021!. Wood continues that after 2100, things will get worse: stand by for over 200 feet of sea-level rise. Humankind will be like the Patagonians, he ventilates, leading brutish lives before dying out on their unrecognisable shrunken continents.

The fabulist animal fancier David Attenborough, in A life On Our Planet, (Kindle $15.99) frets about a billion people in 2100 fleeing 500 coastal cities, like Miami, and another billion farmers trekking to cooler climes. “In the background the sixth mass extinction would become unstoppable,” he writes. If you’re prone to depression, don’t even think of buying Attenborough’s book.

For some reason feminists adore the Antarctic. In late 2019, 112 ladies, each with at least a Bachelor degree, went down there on the Hebridean Sky, touring 10 bases in three weeks and doubtless distracting the real scientists from their work. The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest-warming places on the planet, they claimed ignorantly. Their expedition, at $A40,000 a head, was subsidised by a Spanish renewables pork-trougher Accione, “to promote women in science diplomacy and climate action.” These massed female expeditions were an annual event for the prior three years and, of course, all were claimed to be carbon neutral. The expeditions are the brainchild of Melbourne-based women’s leadership consultant Fabian Dattner and her “Homeward Bound” program.[7] She aims to send a total 1000 women down with the support of woke UN hypocrites like Christiana “Tinkerbell” Figueres.

The women had supranormal powers, apparently, as they claimed to have observed “with our naked eyes” the melting of the glaciers, the oceans warming and, “with breaking hearts”, the dying of the wildlife. As at play-school, they decorated the ship’s walls with their cheerful drawings. The women took inspiration from Sur, a novel which imagines a group of nine South American women beating Raold Amundsen to the South Pole in 1909-10. The plot is used

to ironically criticize and then undo both misogyny and colonialism. The nine women of Sur destroy the entire masculinity of explorations when they secretly arrive at the Pole before the official discovery by Amundsen and refuse to leave behind a mark of their success. The narrator recalls she was glad ‘for some man longing to be first might come some day, and find it, and know then what a fool he had been, and break his heart.’

Ms Dattner explains, “We are not custodians and stewards, we are conquerors and rapacious consumers. And so, we are now officially an outbreak species.” In somewhat circular reasoning, the 112 women tourists, having joined about 55,000 other visitors that year, “agonised” about the harms tourists like themselves do to Antarctica. Conversations were lugubrious as they “discussed the despair and depression about climate change”. One woman ecologist said she’d already felt “full-blown panic” over the “dying” Barrier Reef (she needs counselling by sacked Professor Peter Ridd), and she began “prepping” supplies in case of societal breakdown. “It felt like it’s all going to unravel, like what’s going to be next, the forests?” she said. “Everything is dying so fast, things are disappearing before we can even understand them.” I hope she included a shotgun to drive other families from her dugout.

They lamented that their children were “suffering from climate anxiety” and from worry about the planet’s future. Maybe they ought to let kids enjoy their childhood, rather than subject them to gore and terror, as features in the clip below. One tripper said, “I do too, every day, and I have done so for many years. I have felt helpless about how we treat and destroy our planet.”https://www.youtube.com/embed/qAkfEX0sqAI?feature=oembed

The Homeward Bound ladies are relatively sensible compared with those engaged in the new field of feminist glacier research. A key paper, funded from a $US413,000 grant from the US government’s National Science Foundation, was the work of a team led by Professor Mark Carey at the University of Oregon – the professor writing through a ‘feminist lens’. The other male, Alessandro Antonello, is an environmental history post-grad, who acquired his credentials at the University of Canberra. Those in need of a chuckle can read the exquisitely woke Carey’s thoughts on sexism and racism in glaciology at this link. Remember this man is a professor.

The paper — I’m not kidding — is titled “Glaciers, gender, and science: A feminist glaciology framework for global environmental change research.” The epic, 15,000-word monograph cites Sheryl St Germain’s rightfully obscure 2001 novel, To Drink a Glacier, where the author is in the throes of her midlife sexual awakening. She “interprets her experiences with Alaska’s Mendenhall Glacier as sexual and intimate. When she drinks the glacier’s water, she reflects:

That drink is like a kiss, a kiss that takes in the entire body of the other … like some wondrous omnipotent liquid tongue, touching our own tongues all over, the roofs and sides of our mouths, then moving in us and through to where it knows … I swallow, trying to make the spiritual, sexual sweetness of it last.

Continuing in the tradition as something akin to ’50 Shades of Ice’, the paper further cites Uzma Aslam Khan’s (2010) short story ‘Ice, Mating’. The story

explores religious, nationalistic, and colonial themes in Pakistan, while also featuring intense sexual symbolism of glaciers acting upon a landscape. Khan writes: ‘It was Farhana who told me that Pakistan has more glaciers than anywhere outside the poles. And I’ve seen them! I’ve even seen them fuck!’ (emphasis in original)

Icy conditions normally inhibit tumescence, but the paper’s four authors seem to be in a state of sustained arousal. To them, even ice core drilling evokes coital imagery:

Structures of power and domination also stimulated the first large-scale ice core drilling projects – these archetypal masculinist projects to literally penetrate glaciers and extract for measurement and exploitation the ice in Greenland and Antarctica.

In passing, and just to tick another of the progressive boxes, the study notes that climate change “can lead to the breakdown of stereotypical gender roles and even gender renegotiation”, whatever that may be. (Godden, 2013).”

 The Australian Homeward Bound circus gets a mention in the paper, to do with a program for smashing “stereotypical and masculinist practices of glaciology.” The program sent 78 international women to Antarctica in late 2016 to ‘explore how women at the leadership table might give us a more sustainable future’, the paper says.

By about 7000 words into Carey’s paper, readers are subsumed in an Alice in Wonderlanddiscourse. The Cold War, we learn, was apparently not about the contest with the Communist bloc, but a tussle “pursued by a particular group of men as policy-makers who were products of specific elite masculinities (Dean, 2003), operating in the context of anxieties about American masculinities (Cuordileone, 2005), and with particular discourses of masculinity and male bodies, especially in distant places like the Arctic (Farish, 2010.)”

The study includes citation of Scottish visual artist Katie Paterson, who made long-playing records out of glacier melt-water. These LPs play glacier whines and other noises for ten minutes until the ice disks themselves melt. Maybe caution is needed with 240-volt apparatus.

The paper insists on respect for folk knowledge about glaciers. Yukon indigenous women, for example, say glaciers are easily excited by bad people who cook nearby with smelly grease, but glaciers can be placated by the quick-witted, the good and the deferential. Cooked food, especially fat, “might grow into a glacier overnight if improperly handled”. Such narratives

demonstrate the capacity of folk glaciologies to diversify the field of glaciology and subvert the hegemony of natural sciences… the goal is to understand that environmental knowledge is always based in systems of power discrepancies and unequal social relations, and overcoming these disparities requires accepting that multiple knowledges exist and are valid within their own contexts.

Here is the study’s ringing conclusion:

Merging feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology, the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions.

It’s evening tipple time: could someone please add ice to my Barossa Pearl?

(Hat-tip Dennis Ambler for research help.)

Tony Thomas’s new book, Come To Think Of It – essays to tickle the brain, is available hereas a book ($34.95) or an e-book ($14.95)

[1] “10,000 hectares has been revegetated capturing 1.257 million tonnes of carbon. Carbon credits are legally protected by 100 year Carbon Right and Carbon Covenant registered on the land titles.” China’s annual CO2 emissions are 13 billion tonnes a year.

[2] https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2019/09/a-climate-modeller-spills-the-beans/

[3] Singh and Polvani: “Other factors have been suggested to have contributed to the absence of warming over the Antarctic continent in the past several decades, but these suggestions have been shown to be off target.”

[4] The surface mass balance data for the Greenland Ice Sheet from the Danish Meteorological Institute shows that over the past five years, the surface of Greenland has averaged a gain of about 400 billion tons per year, which is slightly above the 1981-2010 mean.”

[5] Amundsen: “We encountered no ice with the exception of a few narrow strips of old sound ice, carried by the wash. Of large Polar ice we saw absolutely nothing. Between the ice and the land, on either side, there were large and perfectly clear channels, through which we passed easily and unimpeded. The entire accumulation of ice was not very extensive. We were soon out again in open water. Outside the promontories, some pieces of ice had accumulated; otherwise the sea was free from ice. The water to the south was open, the impenetrable wall of ice was not there.”

[6] Jones’ book title appears to be a homage to V.I. Lenin’s What is to be done (1901-02) containing chapters like The Primitiveness of the Economists and the Organization of the Revolutionaries

[7] With Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas, no relation although I am from Melbourne.

It’s Official. I’m the One with the Problem

Tony Thomas

I’d better apologise to the ABC. I’ve been carrying on about ABCTV recommending and broadcasting pornography to 15-year-old schoolchildren, when all along the ABC was operating perfectly within its rights and codes, according to the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Ombudsman now endorses the same view I got from the Australian Communications and Media Authority. ABCTV doesn’t even need to self-rate its pornography at the most severe MA15+ level. An ordinary M rating is quite OK for ABCTV material about triple-penetrating a woman, defecating during coitus in a hotel corridor, raping a woman from behind with a two-metre penis. All that and more was presented as entertainment in just one episode of At Home Alone Together. 

Then there were Episode 9’s  “jokes” about a crowded household moving into a woman’s vagina, where there would be more room.[1] But the Ombudsman says it’s fine and dandy that it gets the same self-rated “M” — “Adult Themes, Violence” — as BBC Midsomer Murders

The ABCTV’s pornography was in its nine-part weekly “comedy” series At Home Alone Together that started last May 13 on Wednesdays at 9pm.

It’s not as though the material in the nine-part weekly “comedy” series, which first aired last May, was an aberration that slipped past feminist chair Ita Buttrose, her feminist board and the national broadcasters oh-so-woke senior management.[2] Incredibly, the series was praised in the ABC’s 2020 annual report as “morale-boosting” and creator Nick Hayden was promoted a month or two later to become head of the ABC’s entire entertainment empire.[3] [4]  Parents, never threaten to wash your little ones’ dirty-talking mouths with soap. It might adversely affect their future careers.

I have now completed a trifecta of failed complaints about ABCTV pornography causing gratuitous harm and offence to viewers, including 15-year-old schoolchildren. I complained that the material should not have been broadcast by ABCTV at all, but at least should have been self-rated by ABC at the severest MA15+ rating, not M. Here is a chronology of my efforts.

# The ABC’s supposedly independent complaints panel on November 5 threw out my complaint without considering it. It relied on an ABC technicality that complaints later than six weeks after broadcast date are “out of time” and invalid. In fact I’d accessed the material from iView, where it remains accessible to schoolchildren under and over 15 to this day. The six-week technicality relates to some pre-digital practice of ABCTV dumping tapes of inconsequential material after six weeks to reduce clutter in their physical archives.

# I then appealed the ABC’s dismissal with the Australian Communications and Media Authority. ACMA on January 22 informed me that it had “carefully assessed” my complaint, reviewed the material on iView and checked it against relevant ABC codes of practice and classification guidelines. In an implicit rebuke to the ABC , it ignored the “six week out of time” technicality but still ruled that, in context, the “M” ratings were fine by them. “Consequently, it [the material] is unlikely to constitute a breach of the ABC’s Code and as a result, we will not be taking further action.” ACMA invited me, if unsatisfied, to appeal to the Commonwealth Ombudsman. To save time and space, you can look up all these details from my previous articles herehere and here. Caution: graphic sexual themes.

# I appealed to the Ombudsman on January 27, saying,

I would like ACMA to revisit my appeal against ABC Complaints Panel and issue a public statement that the ABC wrongly classified its pornographic materials as M. I would like you to direct ABCTV to broadcast no further pornography to schoolchildren, regardless of whether ABCTV views its pornography as “comedy”.

With blinding and commendable speed, I had a 1000-word response from an Ombudsman staffer within 24 hours. Perhaps the office had nothing else on its plate that day and the whole organisation focused on it. So why have I not reported the reply of a week ago? It’s because, at the foot of the email, there was a dire warning that unauthorised publication of the contents could incur “legal sanctions”, so I wrote back and asked for permission to publish. Again with commendable speed, I received a friendly email from staffer Mark saying, “I apologise for the delay in responding to your query. While I can’t offer you a legal opinion on the question you have raised, I don’t believe there would be an issue with circulating our response given that the response only includes references to material you have provided to our Office and material that is already in the public domain.”[5] [6]

I can say sincerely that the Ombudsman’s office is a credit to the federal public service, both in courtesy and procedural efficiency. As for appealing against the ruling, I’ve got nowhere to go but the Federal or High courts. Where’s the Privy Council when you need it?

Here’s the Ombudsman in full, my emphasis added:

OFFICIAL

I have considered your complaint, but have decided not to investigate. My view is that ACMA’s [Australian Communications and Media Authority’s] decision was not unreasonable and I cannot see a good basis to conclude that investigating the complaint would result in ACMA changing the decision.

I understand you strongly disagree with ACMA’s decision that a number of broadcasts of the sketch show “At Home Alone Together” did not appear likely to have breached relevant sections of the ABC Code of Practice 2019 (the Code). In your complaint you suggested that ACMA’s decision was “capricious, arbitrary and wrong”. [Correction: I said the ABC Complaints Panel, not ACMA, had been capricious, arbitrary and wrong]. I cannot see a basis for concluding the decision was either capricious or arbitrary. It seems clear that ACMA considered the issues you raised, viewed the program, and assessed it against the Code. As to whether the decision was wrong, my assessment is that there was a not unreasonable basis for ACMA’s decision.

In my experience in assessing complaints about ACMA, whether the complaint involves the ABC or a commercial broadcaster, it is often the case that viewers or listeners find that the relevant code doesn’t provide the kind of protections or restrictions that they may expect. Standard 7 of the ABC Code provides an illustrative example of this in that it does not actively prevent the broadcast of content that is likely to harm or offend. Instead, the Standard merely requires that such content has a clear purpose, is prefaced by clear warnings when applicable, and takes into account community standards – noting that the Australian community is diverse, which means that what is acceptable content will depends [sic] on the particular context, including the nature of the content and its target audience.

You will note that Standard 7.1 requires that one take into account the editorial context in which the content is broadcast, while Standard 7.2 allows for content likely to cause harm or offence to be broadcast if it is accompanied by proper warning labels, advice, and/or classification labels. On viewing the program, it is clear that it is a comedic program that aims to amuse by satirising a standard lifestyle program. While I accept that many viewers may not have found the material amusing, it is clear that satire is the context in which to consider the program. This necessarily means one would expect to find content employing exaggeration, ridicule, absurdity, and inappropriate or unusual behaviour. [Really? Such as raping a dog?– TT] Importantly, understanding this was not left entirely up to the viewer as the broadcasts were also prefaced by advice such as adult themes’, ‘sexual references’ and ‘coarse language [Such as a lady saying, “suck your dick or lick my …” — TT].

I acknowledge your view that the content wasn’t appropriate for an M classification, but I don’t see a good basis to conclude that ACMA’s assessment was wrong. Under the ABC’s Associated Standard on Television Program Classification, a program classified as M is recommended for people aged 15 years and over. While there is an expectation that “less explicit or less intense material will be included in the M classification”, explicit material may be broadcast under the M classification, including content that “is considered to be potentially harmful or disturbing to those under 15 years”. This means that depending on the particular content, a satirical program such as At Home Alone Together does not require an MA classification.

The primary content ACMA focused on in assessing whether the broadcasts breached Standard 7.3 was the so-called ‘bonk ban’ sketch. This was because of an assessment that this material was likely to be more impactful than other material you cited. In essence ACMA found that the offending animations in that sketch were so lacking in detail and were shown for such a short period that, when seen in the context of a satirical program that was prefaced with warnings about sexual references, the sketch did not clearly exceed the M classification. In my view ACMA’s assessment of this material was not unreasonable[It would be good for Staffer Mark to adopt fewer double negatives. — TT]

As I do not see a basis on which we could be critical of ACMA’s assessment in this case nor have reason to believe that an investigation would result in a different substantive outcome, I have decided that an investigation of your complaint is not warranted.

I appreciate that you may be disappointed in this decision [I am-TT]. Should you wish to discuss this decision, please contact me by reply email.

Thank you for bringing your concerns to the attention of the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office.

Yours sincerely,

Mark
Complaint Resolution Officer

COMMONWEALTH OMBUDSMAN
Influencing systemic improvement in public administration

The Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, culture and community. We pay our respects to elders past and present. 

___________________________________

To sum up, the ABC Code (Standards 7.1-7.3) offers the public no protection against ABCTV’s broadcasting of pornography, except that such material should be in an “editorial context”, properly self-rated by ABCTV as M or MA15+, meet standards of some element of the community (bikie gangs, perhaps?), and include a warning about sexual themes, strong language, violence etc.[7] Strictures about such programs screening after 8.30pm are worthless given the they remain accessible by children of any age at any time on iView.

The only bulwarks against pornography being broadcast on ABCTV are the hoped-for decency, good taste and professionalism of ABC management. In the case of At Home Alone Together, ABC management was au contraire delighted by the material — “morale-boosting”, as the annual report put it.)

I’ll conclude with some random points partly covered in my previous articles.

# The schematised human graphic and animated figures depicted in numerous forms of copulation during the Home Alone series can also be viewed on the world-prominent porn site redtube.com. I previously speculated that the ABCTV producers had acquired them there, but logically this is impossible as animated graphics like the intercourse using a 2 metre penis must have been tailor-made for the series’ context, perhaps assisted by the two people named in the credits closing the episode as “motion graphics” specialists.

# Senior producers of the Home Alone series include several of the team that made the low-rated and dumped Tonightly show. In one Tonightly episode in March 2018, comedian/presenter Greg Larsen called Australian Conservative candidate Kevin Bailey a c**t. In the four-minute Tonightly rant, which was pre-approved by ABC executives for broadcast, there were eight “c**s” and two “f**s”. Home Alone’s Episode 4 animated graphic of a man raping a dog calls to mind the 2013 ABC incident with  Chaser Boys  mocking The Australian’s ABC critic, journalist Chris Kenny, by pasting his facial features on a man with his pants down raping a Labradoodle. A label said: “Chris ‘Dog F***er’ Kenny”. Kenny sued the ABC which dug in for nearly a year but finally reversed course and gave him cash and apologies.

# One of Home Alone’s actresses was banned from Twitter in 2018 for  posts: “Oi Scott Morrison, I’m gonna chop your f***king head off…Every politician is a disgusting c—t. I honestly think we need to chop their heads off.”

# It is a fair point that the nine-part Home Alone series contains a lot of acceptable and harmless (but lame) humor. The pornography and filth are extras, like brandy on a plum pudding. A few items on At Home Alone are genuinely funny, although possibly inadvertent, like the person “coming out” as heterosexual in Episode 9. It’s great for the ABC to be so inclusive. [I self-rate this joke as “satire” or “comedy”, classification MA15+, strong language warning and any harm or offence is justified by editorial context and modern community standards].

Tony Thomas’s new book, Come To Think Of It – essays to tickle the brain, is available here as a book ($34.95) or an e-book ($14.95)

[1] End-credits for Episode 4 include “Editorial Policy Adviser: Simon Melkman”.

[2] We discover board members’ feminist credentials on opening pages of the latest annual report. Ita Buttrose is a founding member and former president of Chief Executive Women. Trump-hating deputy chair Kirstin Ferguson has been a board member of SheStarts, and Chair of the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards. She’s a member of Chief Executive Women, Women Corporate Directors and the Women’s Leadership Institute of Australia. Donny Walford is a Founding Member of International Women’s Forum Australia, and a former director of Australian Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Georgie Somerset’s past roles include positions with the National Foundation for Australian Women.

[3] ABC top executives’ love affair with At Home Alone Together bore fruit last October in the promotion of its “ever-genial” creator Nick Hayden to Head of Entertainment, replacing Josie Mason-Campbell, who had exited in the course of a budget-led restructure last June. She cited Home Alone as part of her entertainment track record, saying“I have been privileged to work with the ABC and to lead a ridiculously talented and creatively brave factual and entertainment team.”

[4] “Other morale-boosting new programs included At Home Alone Together, a comedic take on the lifestyle magazine genre that went from concept to screen in just six weeks.”

[5] This email’s footer also threatened legal sanctions if published.

[6] The actual Ombudsman is Michael Manthorpe PSM. The “PSM” stands for “Public Service Medal”. He started as a journalism student in Queensland. The country’s always left-wing and usually incompetent journalism lecturers can warp a person’s character for a lifetime, but Mr Manthorpe has come through as a man of integrity and professionalism.

[7] ABC Classifications are performed in-house by two full-time and two part-time raters.

‘Time’ Returns to the Scene of the Crime

Tony Thomas

Many scammers have been done in because they couldn’t resist boasting. In regard  to Joe Biden’s dubious but now officially endorsed ‘victory’ in November’s US presidential election, this time the boasting takes the form of a giant, 7000-words piece in Time magazine, an impeccably progressive and anti-Trump journal.

Its scoop is headed, The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election, with the chief byline belonging to reporter Molly Ball, who was backed by a team of junior scribblers. Over months they sleuthed out the names and modus operandi of powerful cabals that conspired to ensure that Trump would not, could not, win. From Time’s point of view, the conspirators “saved democracy” from Trump. The participants are heroes, in the fading news magazine’s view, with Ms Ball laying out chapter and verse how the assault on a democratic election was planned, mounted and succeeded.

“They were not rigging the election; they were fortifying it,” Time claims, playing semantic games while rewarding the conspirators with attention and, albeit unintentionally, exposing their methods and alliances.

An ominous conclusion — passed off by Time as a good thing —  is that since these cabals succeeded while Trump was in power, their own power will be enormously magnified under the aegis of the Biden presidency. One can be certain America’s “fortified” future elections will be welcomed with official endorsement and all the resources, overt and covert, that the Democrat ruling establishment and “the swamp”can muster.

Ironies abound. Trumpers have been relentlessly mocked for conspiratorial thinking. But Time doesn’t just admit the existence of such a conspiracy, it gloatingly reveals how its architects and participants made sure he could not carry the day on November 3. All this was perfectly justified, according to Time, because Trump was an incipient dictator preparing to launch “an assault on democracy”. As it sings hosannas with the Left choir, the magazine feels no need to provide  evidence for that assertion.

The conspiracy’s goal, in the report’s words, was to ensure that “every vote” was counted. At no point in the magnum opus does Time make the distinction between “every vote” and “every legal vote”.

The key conspiratorial strategy, according to Time, was to shift electors to mail-in voting. The rationale was that COVID-19 would make in-person voting a potentially lethal exercise. Those who are not quite so gullible as Time readers, nor so vainglorious as the magazine’s editors, would be aware that, just as in Australia but more so, those same future electors were thronging supermarkets and maybe even drinking in bars. But marking a ballot or pulling a lever was presented as recklessness. In the event, many tens of millions of Republican voters – maybe 70 million-plus – trooped to the voting stations and nothing I’ve read attributes any COVID super-spreading specifically to stepping into a polling booth. As a result of all that pro-Biden scheming, nearly half the electorate cast ballots by mail in 2020, “practically a revolution in how people vote,” says Time with smug approval. About a quarter voted early in person. Only a quarter of voters cast their ballots the traditional way: in person on Election Day.

Time once prided itself on the expertise of its fact-checkers but that was in its distant glory days. These days, wrangling important facts seems no longer to matter, so nary a mention of  mysterious wee hours “dumps” of tens of thousands (or more) ballots whose various tranches in different states produced miraculously high Biden majorities and did so without without exception — sometimes in the order of 90 per cent or more. Even more curious were turnout numbers in electoral districts that formerly recorded miserable numbers of participating voters; in one Milwaukee black enclave, for example, far more voters purportedly exercised their franchise for Biden than they did Obama.That should raise an eyebrow, but not at Time.

Then there was the counting, which saw the illegal expulsions of Republican scrutineers and synchronised halts to counting, after which avalanches of Biden votes suddenly boosted his running tallies. Many of the anomalies  are laid out at Joanne Nova’s blog, but just two examples give the flavor:

1/ Overhead security cameras at the voting station at State Farm Arena, Atlanta, show that officials got rid of observers on the pretext that counting was over for the night. Then these same officials began pulling out suitcase-sized containers of ballots from their hiding place under covered tables, ready to be added to the tally. The same security cameras also captured wads of those same ballots being run through the scanners time after time after time.

2/ In Pennsylvania, there were 200,000 more votes cast than people who actually voted. That, surely is a hallmark of fraud, but Timeprefers to turn a blind eye.

Key points, drawn from Time‘s report, include

# The secret alliance of politicos, hundreds of corporate chieftains, and numerous Republican never-Trumpers “changed rules and laws”. Time does not explain why long-standing rules and laws suddenly needed to be changed.

# They “steered media coverage”

# They “controlled the flow of information” (such as by cutting Trump off from his 88 million Twitter followers).

# An important motivation for large corporations to support Biden was to avert leftist mayhem and arson against the business sector in the event of a Trump victory.

# “They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation [i.e. pro-Trump material] and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears.”

By ‘viral smears’, Time must be thinking of Hunter Biden’s laptop, with its references to kickbacks to “the Big Guy”, plus corrupt deals in Ukraine and with Chinese influence seekers representing CCP-controlled entities. As to those home videos of a naked First Son doing drugs and having sex with females of tender years, those were extensively explored and published only by Taiwan’s media, which no longer figures in Google search results. Need it be said that Google was an active participant in the conspiracy, or that Facebook donated  $300 million to hire, train and “educate” poll workers?

What, are we to surmise, is Time‘s definition of ‘a smear’? Apparently it translates as anything that reflects badly on Democrats.

Here’s another example of Time‘s spinning . See if you can spot the inconsistent logic:

PEOPLE POWER: The racial-justice uprising sparked by George Floyd’s killing in May was not primarily a political movement. The organizers who helped lead it wanted to harness its momentum for the election without allowing it to be co-opted by politicians.

Along with fact-checkers, Time appears also to have dispensed with competent editors, for how can the BLM riots be not primarily a political movement” when, in the very next sentence, organisers are said to have been intent on harnessing “its momentum for the election”?

Excerpts from the Time piece follow (emphases mine):

This is the inside story of the conspiracy to save the 2020 election, based on access to the group’s inner workings, never-before-seen documents and interviews with dozens of those involved from across the political spectrum. It is the story of an unprecedented, creative and determined campaign whose success also reveals how close the nation came to disaster. “Every attempt to interfere with the proper outcome of the election was defeated,” says Ian Bassin, co-founder of Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan rule-of-law advocacy group. “But it’s massively important for the country to understand that it didn’t happen accidentally. The system didn’t work magically. Democracy is not self-executing.”

Rather than being merely underscored, this paragraph deserves to be bolded in full.

That’s why the participants want the secret history of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream–a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information. They were not rigging the election; they were fortifying it. And they believe the public needs to understand the system’s fragility in order to ensure that democracy in America endures….

…“It was all very, very strange,” Trump said on Dec. 2. “Within days after the election, we witnessed an orchestrated effort to anoint the winner, even while many key states were still being counted.”

In a way, Trump was right.

There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes, one that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs. Both surprises were the result of an informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans. The pact was formalized in a terse, little-noticed joint statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO published on Election Day…

What Time minimises as “sometimes destructive” Black Lives Matter protests actually involved damage running to $US2 billion  and at least 25 deaths.

… For more than a year, a loosely organized coalition of operatives scrambled to shore up America’s institutions as they came under simultaneous attack from a remorseless pandemic and an autocratically inclined President … The scenario the shadow campaigners were desperate to stop was not a Trump victory. It was an election so calamitous that no result could be discerned at all, a failure of the central act of democratic self-governance that has been a hallmark of America since its founding.

Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time.

They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. They executed national public-awareness campaigns that helped Americans understand how the vote count would unfold over days or weeks, preventing Trump’s conspiracy theories and false claims of victory from getting more traction. After Election Day, they monitored every pressure point to ensure that Trump could not overturn the result.

Time puts trade union AFL-CIO apparatchik Mike Podhorzer at the apex as “The Architect” of the election-winning machinations.

Trump’s election in 2016–credited in part to his unusual strength among the sort of blue-collar white voters who once dominated the AFL-CIO–prompted Podhorzer to question his assumptions about voter behavior.

The article continues that Podhorzer was concerned that even if the blue-collars who lifted Trump to victory in 2016 failed to swing the 2020 election, Trump would seek to negate the Biden win by foul means. Apparently, like Time‘s redefinition of ‘smear’, a candidate complaining about fraud and petitioning the courts to intervene is nothing short of a scoundrel.

Time relates with admiration how vast corporate efforts and money went into “improving” state and local electoral governance. Once again spurning the grim details, Time neglects to mention that those alleged improvements were implemented not by state legislatures, as the law demands, but by appointed electoral boards with more than their share of party clubhouse hacks. When lawsuits were lodged with state supreme courts, most dominated by Democrats, as in Pennsylvania, they were refused hearings for “lack of standing”.

It turned out Podhorzer wasn’t the only one thinking in these terms. He began to hear from others eager to join forces. The Fight Back Table, a coalition of “resistance” organizations, had begun scenario-planningaround the potential for a contested election … The chief difference between the U.S. and countries that lost their grip on democracy, [Podhorzer] concluded, was that America’s decentralized election system couldn’t be rigged in one fell swoop. That presented an opportunity to shore it up…

… Podhorzer began working from his laptop at his kitchen table, holding back-to-back Zoom meetings for hours a day with his network of contacts across the progressive universe: the labor movement; the institutional left, like Planned Parenthood and Greenpeace; resistance groups like Indivisible and MoveOn; progressive data geeks and strategists, representatives of donors and foundations, state-level grassroots organizers, racial-justice activists and others…

…As 2020 progressed, it stretched to Congress, Silicon Valley and the nation’s statehouses. It drew energy from the summer’s racial-justice protests, many of whose leaders were a key part of the liberal alliance. And eventually it reached across the aisle, into the world of Trump-skeptical Republicans appalled by his attacks on democracy.

Keep in mind that the entire Time article, of which there is much more other than what has been excerpted here, is written by and for Biden supporters. In parts, there is open bragging about undemocratic tactics and strategies, such as changing state and local voting laws and procedures at the last minute, with COVID-19 as the pretext. There is also much crowing about how the conspirators controlled the political information flow to voters to suppress pro-Trump news and social media items. This extended, incredibly, to muzzling the President himself by denying him access to his Twitter and Facebook. Time takes it for granted that the mainstream US media was complicit in that strategy. In Australia, that goes not just for the Nine media but the once-respected Australian, with its relentless anti-Trump coverage led by US correspondent Cameron Stewart, who found nothing untoward about Trump being gagged.

But what Time omits is the last piece in the jigsaw – how the mail-in votes were tampered with. Maybe when the players start boasting about that aspect of coup, we will learn from Time what went on.

(editor’s note: it is not Quadrant Online’s wish that readers visit porn sites, but the deeply curious can still find the videos Google deep-sixed by searching for ‘Hunter Biden Sex Tape smoking crack’. It is a sad day when pornographers do a better job of presenting evidence than the mainstream media.)

The joke is on all of us obliged to fund the ABC

From the 2019-20 ABC annual report:

Children and young people– Principles: The ABC aims to provide children and young people (under the age of 18) with enjoyable and enriching content, as well as opportunities for them to express themselves. (p184-5).

In a bombshell report on Friday, the federal government’s Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) cleared ABCTV of broadcasting pornography to 15-year-old schoolchildren. The alleged porn was in the ABC’s nine-part At Home Alone Together“comedy” series that started last May 13 and ran on Wednesdays at 9pm.

The ABC’s own quasi-independent complaints panel last November 4 cleared ABCTV by dismissing a complaint on a technicality while ignoring the substance of the complaint.

The complainant (myself) then appealed to ACMA, which ignored technicalities and did deal with the substance of what any normal viewer would regard as the pornographic content. ACMA, however, considers that the (alleged) pornography complained of, does not even warrant the ABC’s maximum MA15+ classification warning, and that the ABC’s self-classification of At Home Alone as “M” was correct and adequate.  “M” is “Mature” and of moderate impact. “MA 15+” is strong impact. The ABC’s two full-time and two part-time content raters gave only Episode 7 of At Home Alone an MA15+ rating; the rest got “M”s. [1]

ACMA has invited me, if dissatisfied, to kick my complaint further upstairs to the Federal Ombudsman, which I did at the weekend. My previous analyses of the ABCTV material are published here and here.

I now need to describe the ABC’s filth for teens once again. Then I’ll document the ABC’s refusal to consider the complaint, and next you can read chapter and verse of ACMA’s bizarre defence of its ABC acquaintances last Friday. Finally, I discuss official moves to reform the anomaly of ABCTV  rating its own programs.

Incidentally ACMA has threatened:

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited.

I assume my disclosures are authorized by ACMA in the interests of governmental transparency and accountability. If not, I’ll have to hole up for half a decade in Canberra’s Ecuadorian Embassy in the style of the ABC’s perpetual hero-of-disclosure Julian Assange.[2] I might well earn not just Walkley Awards for journos but a Sydney Peace Prize Gold Medal.[3]

The ABC had blurbed that At Home Alone collected “Australia’s best comedians and revered actors to give audiences advice on how they can live their best life in the time of COVID-19.” At Home had 13 directors, 11 producers and nearly 50 writers. What audiences actually get from this talent bank is obsession with big (even giant) penises, and many illustrated and animated varieties of intercourse, including a man raping a dog (left). Teen viewers are deluged with coprophilia,[4] homosexual and heterosexual fellatio, cunnilingus and women as sex objects and/or nymphomaniacs.[5]

For example, a graphic about “triple penetration” [Episode 4, from 12.50 minutes in] shows a stylised naked woman crouched on all fours, straddling a naked man who reaches up to grasp her torso. The prone man is penetrating her vaginally. Behind the crouching woman, another naked man kneels, penetrating her anally while grasping her hips. The “triple” element involves a standing man grasping her head to push her mouth onto his penis. The ABC production team has enlivened the graphic with animation to show the rear and front thrustings.

In brief, to save readers suspense, ACMA finds that

while we acknowledge the lack of ambiguity surrounding the activity depicted, we note the rudimentary animation style employed, the lack of visual detail, the absence of real people, and the relative brevity of the depictions. We noted that warnings of sexual references and coarse language were provided and considered that any potential offence was likely to be justified by the editorial context of a satirical program about life during the coronavirus lockdown.

The ABC officially recommends the episodes – all currently available on iView — to 15-year-olds and upwards. Ninety-eight per cent of children aged 15 are at school. Even at Year 12, 89 per cent of girls and 80 per cent of boys in 2018 were at school. The ABC’s “M” ratingguide includes that

the less explicit or less intense material will be included in the M classification and the more explicit or more intense material, especially violent material, will be included in the MA15+ classification. Most themes [for “M”] can be dealt with, but the treatment should be discreet and the impact should not be strong… Generally, coarse language that is stronger, detailed or very aggressive should be infrequent, and not be gratuitous.[6]

The commercial channels would run a mile from broadcasting filth, not just from moral scruples but because filth would be poison to advertisers. Case in point: in 1992 Channel 9 ran a show, Australia’s naughtiest home videos. It included a man with his head wedged between a dancer’s breasts, animal genitalia and animal sex, a man lifting a barbell with his penis and footage of a couple having outdoor sex. The network’s owner, Kerry Packer, was watching the show at home. He lifted the phone and ordered: “Get that shit off the air!” The production team hastily complied, lying to viewers about “a technical problem”. They filled in the rest of the hour with a repeat of a serial. In contrast, ABC chair Ita Buttrose and her executives, far from phoning in to say, “Get that Home Alone shit off the air!” cited it as “morale-boosting” in the ABC’s 2019-20 annual report:

Other morale-boosting new programs included At Home Alone Together, a comedic take on the lifestyle magazine genre that went from concept to screen in just six weeks.[7]

I initially thought ABCTV’s sex graphics, including the animated triple penetration, were the work of ABC content creators. For example, end-credits acknowledge the work of two “Motion Graphics” specialists. However, a colleague has drawn my attention to Redtube, said to be the world’s most-visited porn-sharing site, where sex ads occasionally feature the very same animated graphics.[8] Possibilities include

# ABC content creators took the graphics from Redtube (most likely)

# Redtube took the graphics from ABCTV (least likely) or

# Both Redtube and ABCTV took the graphics from a third party (possible).

If adventurous readers can discover the origin of the graphics, please let me know.

As I described last October, the tone of At Home Alone is set from three minutes into Episode 1 by a Harry Potter send-up. Actress Becky Lucas in role says,

Maybe it’s another wizard girl from another house and she wants to suck your dick or lick my … I would love to give Dobbie a little gobbie…I would love to be moaning like Myrtle.

In Episode 2 in a woman’s erotic fiction fantasy a male character opens his pants to expose his large penis, and the female says, “All right let’s have a look. My, my we have been working out! You can’t beat the real thing, welcome to cougar town.” Then she kneels to fellate him. (11.00)

In Episode 9, a couple move into a “tiny house” and the male explains, “We want a house that best suits our very busy, very heterosexual lifestyle.” It appears some ABC people need to clarify that they are heterosexual. The tiny-house couple are soon squabbling over their cramped space, and the male says, “Maybe if we moved into your vagina we would have a bit more room.” [9]

George Orwell said that all animals are equal but some are more equal than others. All the episodes of Home Alone are filth, but some are filthier than others, like Episode 4’s “Important Message for Footballers”. A woman in voice-over says Home Alone has “introduced a bonk ban to keep [AFL] players safe. A cup of tea is fine, vaginal contact is out.” (A full-screen graphic shows two simplified human having sex in missionary position. In all instances the figures’ intercourse is animated.) “Discussing literature is all good, vigorous rogering is bad.” (The animated man enters a woman from behind while she leans against a table.) “A sunset stroll is fine, triple penetration is bad.” (I’ve already described that one). “So does that mean I can’t behave like a footballer any more?” “No, urinating in public is still fine (man urinates against a lamp post) but sex is out (woman rides man in reverse cowgirl position). Taking a dump in a hotel is fine (man defecates in a hotel corridor). Just don’t have sex while you take the dump. (Man defecates while entering a woman from behind). Simulating sex with a dog (a standing man holds a dog waist-high), that was never really fine.” “But can I still bonk if my penis is 2 metres long and I socially distance throughout the bonk?” (Man with 2m penis enters a clothed woman apparently without underwear from behind while she leans against the foot of a bed. The giant penis is pixelated in unusual ABC concern for possibly innocent 15-year-old schoolchildren and adults of a mental age greater than 13). The voiceover comments on the monster penis, “While we are all extremely impressed, no, that is not allowed.”

It’s a challenge to allocate responsibility for Episode 4, rather like allocating responsibility for hiring Victoria’s private quarantine guards. That particular episode lists two executive producers, one series producer, five producer/directors, and one contributing director, plus a “Screen Australia production executive”. It is striking that Episode 4 had its own ABC “Editorial Policy Adviser”, one Simon Melkman.

Keep in mind that the ABC actually announces that Episode 4 is “Recommended for people 15 years and over.” The sex-with-a-dog graphic calls to mind the earlier 2013 ABC incident with Chaser Boys mocking The Australian’s ABC critic, journalist Chris Kenny, by pasting his facial features on a man with his pants down mounting a labradoodle. A label said: “Chris ‘Dog Fucker’ Kenny”. Kenny sued the ABC which dug in for nearly a year but finally reversed course and gave him cash and apologies.

Episode 8 of At Home Alone features a “glory hole” in public toilets which allows one man to fellate another anonymously through an aperture hole in a wall. I didn’t know about “glory holes” until 2016,  when I was checking some green-gay performance art – see “Sex Pistils at the Oz Council Bathhouse”. The ABC “joke” substitutes handshakes through a larger wall-hole, in lieu of fellatio. The “comedy” writers — more than 50 0f them — also do a mock Four Corners exposing “the shady corporate underbelly” of frustrated business men unable to shake hands. Instead they visit the hole at a “disgusting public toilet” or “shake spot”. The hole is also large enough for banknote payments to be first passed through. Dialogue: “It’s 50 bucks for a handshake, or 70 for a nice firm one.” “What about a wet one?”

Next, “depraved members of amateur sporting teams” – the ABC seems to have special animus against footballers – line up at multiple holes for “consecutive shakes”.

ABCTV grossness has no lower limit. Senior producers of the At Home series include several of the team that made the low-rated and mercifully dumped Tonightly show. In one Tonightly episode in March 2018, comedian/presenter Greg Larsen called Australian Conservative candidate Kevin Bailey “a c**t”. In the four-minute Tonightly rant, which was pre-approved by ABC executives for broadcast, there were eight “c***s” and two “f***s”.Everywhere else, mind you, the ABC professes feminist credentials.

You’re probably wondering why Episode 7 of Home Alone got the sole “MA15+” rating. It’s actually not the worst for crassness. It has a character “Mary Seymour” bragging about her “multiple lovers”, and she thanks one elderly lover for “bringing me to arousal in the shower this morning”. She tries to get a romance going for a very old lady [19.30] by giving her conversation cards reading, “What is your favorite blow-job technique?”, “Who gave you your first orgasm?” and “Are you good in bed?”

Episode 5 is particularly gross, notwithstanding its mild “M” rating. “Mary Seymour”says: “People think things start slowing down in the bedroom but I have never been more sexually active. I love penises of all shapes and sizes [illustrated with half a dozen eclairs: she licks cream from one of them].”

Young man to Mary: I love to curl up in your arms and read a book

Mary: Well I like to see your dick and while working towards arousal get my big breasts out. Maybe I should get into my maid’s uniform

Older manF**k yeah.

It’s a rare episode of Home Alone that doesn’t have half a dozen big-dick references. In Episode 4, for example, bogan Nate says, “Stealing is fine — morals are only for rich people. Well that was a success. I nearly got pinched for the salami [pulls a huge salami out of pants] but I just told them that I had a really big dong.” He wobbles the foot-long salami like an erect penis. A placard says, “Nate says: Pretend salami is your dick.”

In Episode 5, TV gardener Costa Georgiadis is naked but with pixelated privates. He prunes his pubic hair with a brush-cutter. The sketch cuts to series presenter Ray Martin — a longtime ABC darling — fingering Christmas decorations and saying, “Nice balls.”[10] In another skit, Martin pretends to audition as another character,  saying, “Hey, I’m Jason, you wanna see my (bleep) dick?”

Episode 6 could be sub-titled ‘Defecation City’. At 2.50 minutes in we get a “parenting tip” from an actor sitting on the toilet: “Doing a poo is a great way to talk shit online.” Six minutes later, and actress Becky Lucas in character is discussing with her beau why a fly landed on her. “What are flies attracted to?” and they both reply, “Like shit, turd, poop, poo.” Beau says, “Maybe I have equated you with that in my head now. You are shit, so I’m moving on.” An adult sister says to her adult brother, “You make me feel like I want to take a shit on your head.” Their emotion chart reads “Pooping, Horny, Anger, Sadness.” Episode 8 ends with a placard, “F**k that’s yum as sh*t.”

HERE’S the resume of how the ABC’s notionally “Independent” Complaints Review Panel dealt with my first complaint last October. The ABC says complaints can be referred to the panel only if they were originally lodged within six weeks of the date of broadcast. This is a mere technicality, apparently based on the fact that the ABC deletes unimportant recordings after six weeks. I received the following reply from the panel on November 4:

Audience and Consumer Affairs will generally not accept for investigation complaints lodged more than six weeks after an item was broadcast or published. As you have not indicated that any special circumstances apply in this instance, we decline to investigate your complaint. 

Yours sincerely
Lauren Crozier
ABC Audience & Consumer Affairs

In fact my complaint did note special circumstances: “My complaint is probably past six weeks of the screenings but I have accessed the programs – as many 15-year-old’s would, through iView. I trust the six week test will not be used to invalidate my complaint.”

My appeal to ACMA was a rare event. In 2018-19, ACMA handled only seven classification complaints about all television broadcasting. Here’s what I got on Friday (January 22) from ACMA:

From: Broadcasting <Broadcasting@acma.gov.au>
Date: 22 January 2021 at 09:53:56 AEDT

Thank you for your recent correspondence to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA), in which you raise issues about compliance with the harm and offence provisions of the ABC Code of Practice 2019 (the Code). We thank you for raising this matter with us. 

We appreciate your patience while we gave due consideration to the issues raised in your complaint.

We understand you were concerned that seven of the At Home Alone Together episodes included sexual references and depictions that exceeded the program’s classification. In particular you were concerned that this would endanger the welfare of schoolchildren aged 15 years and over. 

We have carefully assessed your complaint, including reviewing copies of the broadcasts and considered the relevant provisions from the Code. Extracts from the harm and offence provisions of the Code are at the end of this email for your information.

The relevant broadcasts were classified M, with consumer advice that variously included ‘adult themes’, ‘sexual references’ and ‘coarse language’. 

The ABC’s Associated Standard on Television Program Classification states that, at the M level, most themes can be dealt with, but the treatment should be discreet and the impact should not be strong, sexual activity may be discreetly implied, and coarse language may be used.

The content of concern largely consisted of verbal sexual references and innuendo. We also carefully assessed the ‘bonk ban’ sketch that you described in detail from episode four and noted it was a series of animated graphics of sexual acts undertaken by stick figures (akin to the pictograms typically used on toilet doors to denote figures of different sex). It did not contain any nudity or implied, simulated or actual sexual acts by real people. [Describing the animated persons engaged in sex acts as “stick figures” is sheer sophistry, as a glance at our illustration confirms].

In program classification, verbal sexual references are generally considered to be less impactful than visual depictions. Graphical or animated representations would also have correspondingly less impact than depictions of real people performing or simulating sexual acts. [More sophistry. Check out the pornographic cartoon industry or Japanese “manga” comics].

Impact, and therefore classification, is also influenced by the amount of visual detail. 

In summary, we have conducted a detailed assessment of your complaint. While we appreciate that the matter was of concern to you, and taking the above matters into account, including the program context, we consider that, while the ‘bonk ban’ sketch was more impactful than other material you had cited in your complaint, the material we reviewed was unlikely to exceed the M classification. Consequently, it is unlikely to constitute a breach of the ABC’s Code and as a result, we will not be taking further action.

Your complaint has been logged in our database to help identify potential recurring or systemic issues with legislation, codes of practice and standards…

Thank you again for raising this matter. 

Yours sincerely,

Paul Kernebone
A/g Manager
Content Investigations Section

 At the bottom of the reply there was this:

Relevant Code extracts: Standard 7.1 of the Code states that content that is likely to cause harm or offence must be justified by the editorial context.

Standard 7.2 of the Code states: ‘Where content is likely to cause harm or offence, having regard to the context, make reasonable efforts to provide information about the nature if the content through the use of classification labels or other warnings or advice’.

Standard 7.3 of the Code requires the ABC to ensure all domestic television programs – with the exception of news, current affairs and sporting events – are classified and scheduled for broadcast in accordance with the ABC’s Associated Standard on Television Program Classification.

The whole issue of classification is sensitive at the highest level of federal politics. ABC and SBS alone have the privilege to rate their own TV shows. Other TV broadcasters’ material is subject to external and official ratings supervision. In 2018 the ACCC urged an inquiry dealing with “a nationally uniform classification scheme to classify or restrict access to content consistently across different delivery formats”. This led early last year to a departmental inquiry and report run by ex-bureaucrat Neville Stephens AO that is still under wraps.

Communications and Arts Minister Paul Fletcher is soon to decide on the classification issues, which got no mention in his Green Paper on television last November. The ABC submitted strongly that any interference with its self-rating would compromise its independence and value to Australian as a cultural standard-bearer. Indeed, such a move would have “a chilling effect”. It submitted:

The [ABC] Corporation maintains a rigorous Editorial Policies framework to ensure that high standards are met and the ABC is accountable to audiences through the co-regulatory regime with the ACMA. The ABC Editorial Policies state that the Corporation’s broadcast and publication of comprehensive and innovative content requires a willingness to take risks, invent and experiment with new ideas, while taking care not to gratuitously cause harm or offence.

The submission also includes:

The Corporation recognises that it has a privileged place in the media landscape, with access to spectrum and public funding. It is required, among other things, to broadcast programs that contribute to a sense of national identity, inform and entertain, while reflecting the cultural diversity of the Australian community… 

The introduction of any new classification regime must take account of the independent editorial decision-making processes of the ABC… 

The ABC believes any dilution of its independence, however subtle, may have a chilling effect on its ability to fulfil its core functions, including delivering diverse, innovative and sometimes controversial content to audiences. 

This dynamic framework for classification allows the ABC to take chances with programs that commercial media cannot or will not support. Public broadcasters nurture new talent and support cutting-edge program-making…

ABC audiences can understand precisely what to expect at each classification level and can rest assured that the decisions made by ABC classifiers have been made as objectively as possible. The existing approach is effective, audience centred, responsible and responsive.” [As if.]

The 2020 ABC annual report says (p81):

Classification has progressively exhibited heightened sensibilities with respect to editorial concerns in children’s programming, which has led to a significant increase in the number of episodes being referred for review. There is far greater oversight of children’s programming in terms of the content’s compliance with non-classification matters, such as ABC Editorial Policies…

The ABC believes online protection of children and young people under the age of 18 is a shared responsibility between the ABC, the parent or guardian, and the child, and aims to ensure that children and young people who engage with the ABC’s online spaces understand the possible risks they face and how to minimise them.

 The report says: “The trust with which Australians regard the ABC indicates the standard of its content at a time of declining trust in institutions and in media organisations in particular.” (p104). Personally, I trust the ABC to produce disgusting material for teenagers and to staunchly defend the practice, as if accountable to nobody.

Tony Thomas’s new book, Come To Think Of It – essays to tickle the brain, is available hereas a book ($34.95) or an e-book ($14.95)

[1]Material classified MA15+ deals with issues or contains depictions which require a more mature perspective. This is because the impact of individual elements or a combination of elements is considered likely to be harmful or disturbing to viewers under 15 years of age. While most themes may be dealt with, the degree of explicitness and intensity of treatment will determine what can be accommodated in the MA15+ category – the more explicit or more intense material, especially violent material, will be included in the MA15+ classification and the less explicit or less intense material will be included in the M classification.

[2] The embassy as everyone knows is in the Canberra suburb of O’Malley, 10 kilometres south of the city centre.

[3] Assange won a Gold Medal from the Peace Prize’s sponsors at Sydney University.

[4] “Abnormal interest and pleasure in faeces and defecation.”

[5] At Home Alone Together‘s contempt for women screened just a couple of months after the ABC’s International Women’s Day extravaganza featuring a cringe-worthy “all-female line-up across capital city Local Radio, ABC Classic and RN, as well as 24 hours of songs, stories, and discussions from female artists and presenters on triple j, Double J and triple j Unearthed.” (Annual Report, p67).

[6] A point worth noting is that films’ ratings is far more stringent than for television. With films and videos, MA15+ stands for “Mature Accompanied” and is legally restricted to over 15s or younger children accompanied by an adult. Young solo film-goers may be required to show proof of age on entry or when buying a DVD.

[7] ABC top executives’ love affair with At Home Alone Together bore fruit last October in the promotion of its “ever-genial” creator Nick Hayden to Head of Entertainment, replacing Josie Mason-Campbell, who had exited in the course of a budget-led restructure last June.She cited Home Alone as part of her entertainment track record, saying“I have been privileged to work with the ABC and to lead a ridiculously talented and creatively brave factual and entertainment team.”

[8] It ranked 520th of all websites in the world last year. For proprieties sake we provide no link to it.

[9] The latest ABC annual report says, “Avoid the unjustified use of stereotypes or discriminatory content that could reasonably be interpreted as condoning or encouraging prejudice...”

[10] The ABC promotes Martin as “beloved national treasure Ray Martin”. Other lefty celebs with walk-on parts included Leigh Sales, Sydney red-bandanna-man Peter FitzSimons, Dr Norman Swan and Andrew Denton, plus elderly ex-priest and friend to the Occupy movement Father Bob Maguire.

Some Riots, the Left Kind, Don’t Distress the ABC at all

What a mystery! Pundit Laura Tingle on ABCTV’s 7.30 last night (January 11) showed 13 seconds of clippage from 1996 of a crowd surging towards Parliament House in Canberra. We got glimpses of blokes pushing and shoving at the doors and at police lines, and then half a dozen police and blokes wrestling inside the foyer. She explained, after bagging President Trump for allegedly inciting the Capitol Hill riots,[1] “It is not as if Australia has not witnessed its own physical attacks on its Parliament.” Cut to 1996 ACTU secretary Bill Kelty saying, “If they [LNCP] want to fight, if they want a war, we will have a full set.”

Tingle says that Kelty “rightly” feared a new Howard government would represent “an assault on union power”. The union anti-Howard campaign led to a rally at Parliament House “that turned ugly”. After our 13-second glimpse of the ugliness, Tingle lined up Howard plus Opposition Leader Kim Beazley later condemning the violence – although Beazley in fact had revved up the crowd at the time. With concerned frowns to suggest ABC gravitas, Tingle wrapped up her historical excursion thus: “But there is a difference between an assault from outside the system [What? The ACTU and the federal Opposition are outside the Australian system?] and one encouraged by the man [Trump] at its very heart.”

Tingle next incited the cancelling of inconvenient MHRs George Christensen (Nats) and Craig Kelly (Lib). This renewed campaign by the taxpayer-funded broadcaster is not actually my topic here but the 7.30 attack is so viciously deceptive and authoritarian that I feel obliged to set it out for you. Then I’ll get back to those mysterious 1996 clips about unionists invading our own Parliament.

Tingle starts with some journo asking PM Morrison , “Will you condemn conspiracy theories being promoted by members of your own government?” When Morrison defends free speech, Tingle pivots to what she calls “concerns” (whose concerns, exactly) about Craig Kelly and George Christensen’s “social media activities” which have been “peddling everything from misinformation about results of the US elections to dubious claims about COVID-19.” She finds it anomalous for the government to defend the pair’s free speech, when at the same time the government “is pushing for action against social media abuse as well as its earlier push against terrorist-related hate speech.” She then shows Treasurer Josh Frydenberg condemning “publishing of that sort of terrible content” – i.e. China faking pics of our troops cutting a kid’s throat. Nice comparisons, Tingle! Let’s censor and cancel Christensen and Kelly straight away!

The nominal ethics of 7.30  require, or so one would like to believe, that evidence be shown to viewers about how despicable the pair’s media posts have been. Tingle flashes up on the screen, for all of five seconds (at 13.55mins), four supposedly incriminating posts by the pair. No viewer has time to read them, and that’s the point. One Christensen post in fact refers to a real-time video showing an apparent Antifa provocateur breaking Capitol Hill windows and Trump supporters throwing him to the ground. See it for yourself here. Pity the ABC doesn’t show such clips. Christensen’s other post makes the valid point that Biden’s vote patterns defy normal statistical patterns and laws. As for Kelly, he writes in one post that invading the Capitol is “completely unacceptable and they should all be arrested.” So what’s Tingle’s problem? Kelly then asks, “Is this [Capitol fracas] a greater threat to democracy “than a social media giant censoring and shutting down the account of a democratically elected President?” Fair point. His other post quotes a peer-reviewed and randomised trial study about Betadine and COVID-19, and he puts in capitals, “BUT ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR.”

Any 7.30 viewer with knowledge of history will spot the resemblance of this taxpayer-funded authoritarian deceit with its equivalent from Soviet era broadcasting from Moscow or the TV diet fed to East Germans by Walter Ulbrecht and Erich Honecker.

NOW back to 1996. They say history doesn’t necessarily repeat, but it does rhyme. And what a close rhyme there is between that mob invading Parliament House, Canberra on August 19, 1996, and the mob of mainly Trump supporters that broke into the Capitol last week.

Both incursions were indefensible: violent behaviour is bad, and worse when directed at any nation’s legislative chamber. Of the thousands of Australian “progressives” who stormed and looted our Parliament on that August 19, 1996, fewer than dozen were charged. I’m hanged if I can find out if any were convicted or fined, let alone jailed. On the other hand, I hope, like Craig Kelly, that all American demonstrators who committed offences in or around the Capitol get their legal desserts, and especially the Antifa thugs who ran false-flag operations there.

The Australian rioters and looters at Parliament were part of a national “cavalcade” to Canberra of some 25,000 unionists and supporters organised by the Australian Council of Trade Unions and backed by the Opposition, students peeved about their shrinking government stipends[2], Aboriginals by the hundreds peeved about reductions to their ATSIC money,[3] rent-a-ferals and drunken agitators.

Nurses, firefighters, and public servants earlier in the day were chanting, ‘What do we want, [Prime Minister] Howard’s head. How we gonna get it? Tear it off!’

Don’t imagine the rioting was just the scuffles shown by Laura Tingle. Weapons used by the rioters included rocks, sticks, cans, paint bombs, a sledge hammer, a wheel brace used to smash glass partitions, a steel shop-trolley, diluted acid, and most fearsome of all, Paul Kelly’s 794-page tome The End of Certainty, stolen from the gift shop and lobbed at the police lines like a mortar round. One rioter tried to trigger the fire sprinkler system with a lighter. Ninety police and Parliamentary security people were injured — lacerations, sprains, and head and eye injuries. At least a couple were hospitalised. Academic thesis-writer Luke Deer commented, “This was inevitable as two tightly packed groups of several hundred rammed against each other for nearly two hours.”[4]

The then-deputy opposition leader Gareth Evans afterwards described the protesters as “crazy, self-indulgent bastards” adding that “what happened yesterday was ugly, un-Australian, stupid and indefensible.”

Nurses treated about 40 of the injured, amid blood spatterings on the marble floor and walls, maybe rhyming with the famous first-aid scene in Gone With the Wind. The nurses were aided in their ministrations by Trish Worth (Liberal MHR, Adelaide) and a woman, probably with a nursing background, who had been showing off the Great Hall to her doubtless-bemused American guests.

The rioting was to the distant accompaniment of Solidarity Forever and the Internationale, sung by the ACTU choir at the official demo a little down the road.

Constable Rachel Benthein said the protesters she faced had violent motives: “Most of those involved in the assault weren’t there to demonstrate against John Howard — they were there to cause destruction and, on the second day, to have a conflict with police.” Constable Corey Heldon was part of the police group swept away by the initial charge toward Parliament House: “We ended up against the wrong side of the front doors. The mood was very aggressive, very angry. I’ve never seen anything like it … They tried to pull me into the crowd but I was pulled back by fellow officers, otherwise I might have been swallowed up by the crowd.”

A female officer was allegedly abused and kicked on the ground. Another female officer collapsed as she was crushed between the wall of protesters and police. A security officer also said that at least two female protesters collapsed in the crush. One was passed over the police lines, the other over the protesters.

ACTU Secretary Bill Kelty said the Cavalcade was ‘the most successful rally in the history of this country in Canberra’. According to Deer in his thesis, Kelty did not have a detailed knowledge of the events when he made his comments.

The battle was a day before the Howard government brought down its annual budget in a session targeting industrial relations changes. The union armies’ transport included a Sydney train re-christened the “Spirit of Protest” — a half-witty play on the venerable Spirit of Progress — and 47 buses just for NSW members of the AMWU.

The rioters, including a high proportion of women,[5] were led by full-time paid union organisers, as named and depicted later in the Sydney Morning Herald’s front page. As if that heinous assault on our most sacred democratic institution the Parliament were not enough, Aboriginal activists rioted further the following day at Old Parliament House. If you were an adult in 1996, but can’t recall those twin riots, I’m not surprised because bad behaviour by leftists and protected classes goes straight down the media’s memory hole. The 7.30 report last night was an exception, driven, I’d say, by the need for some action footage.

On that evening in 1996, ABC TV news held its nose as it pretended to report the vandalism and violence by its political mates. Of that 4.40 minutes coverage, their ABC tribe was  more preoccupied with disputing the newly-elected Howard’s policies, and petitions against the policies, than describing the trashing of our billion-dollar democratic edifice and injuring of 90 police and guards. As the ABC’s then news pundit Jim Middleton put it mildly, “It was the demonstration that got away … the Opposition’s concern is that today’s wild scenes have played into the government’s hands, diminishing broader public concern about tomorrow’s axe-wielding budget.” ACTU President Jennie George was quoted, “I regret anything that has occurred but I certainly don’t bear the responsibility for it. Thank you.” Contrast that with the ABC TV’s rabid reporting last week of the Capitol violence, preceded by an ABC placard, “Day of Shame.”

After the local riot, Senate President Margaret Reid told the House on August 20 1996 that the “disgraceful and totally unjustifiable” ugly and violent display was “one of the most shameful in this nation’s political history.” A peaceful demonstration around Parliament against industrial relations changes had been authorised, with the ACTU taking responsibility for its orderliness.

The protest rally remained peaceful until about 12.20 p.m., when a separate group of marchers entered the parliamentary precincts. This group refused to accept police direction, forced a breach in police lines and ran towards the main front entrance of Parliament House. Unfortunately, it was apparent that some of these demonstrators were affected by alcohol. This group was supported by participants from the more general demonstration who were incited to join those involved in riotous conduct by a speaker from the official platform. 

Police formed a protective line along the perimeter of the Great Verandah which was subsequently forced back to the main doors. The police line was withdrawn from this area due to the level of violence being experienced by officers, and was redeployed to an area inside the front doors in support of parliamentary security personnel. This deployment stabilised the situation for a short period. 

However, demonstrators using increasing force broke through the first line of doors. Once inside this area, demonstrators used weapons, including a large hammer, a wheel brace, a steel trolley and a stanchion torn from the external doors to break open the internal doors. Simultaneously, a second group of demonstrators used other weapons to break into the Parliament House shop, but were held at the internal doors. 

The shop was ransacked by demonstrators and major damage was caused by persons who subsequently occupied the area. After some two hours, the demonstrators were finally repelled from Parliament House and driven back onto the forecourt area and, shortly afterwards, they dispersed. In addition to the events which took place at the front entrance to the building, incidents also occurred on the Members Terrace, the roof of the Great Verandah and the Queens Terrace. 

There were 197 Australian Federal Police on duty at the start of the demonstration, in addition to the Australian Protective Service officers and parliamentary security personnel. A further 60 Australian Federal Police reinforcements were called out under established contingency plans. 

The outrageous events which took place yesterday resulted in not only financial but, more importantly and lamentably, human costs. So far about 90 personnel have reported injuries—including lacerations, sprains, and head and eye injuries. I understand one person required hospitalisation. 

An initial indicative estimate of the damage to the forecourt and the foyer is up to $75,000. The full extent of looting and criminal damage which resulted from the occupation of the Parliament House shop has yet to be determined. 

Finally, I want to apologise most sincerely to the Australian people and those from overseas who were visiting Parliament House and were unfortunately involved, inconvenienced, frightened or shocked in any way by this deplorable incident. To them I say: what you witnessed here yesterday is not typical of Australia or Australians. And I believe I speak for all my colleagues when I say: we hope and pray it never will be. 

Local Trots and ferals were unimpressed by such sentiments. One wrote in a feature in Marxist Left Review: “As long as capitalism exists, the exploited and the oppressed will fight back in one way or another. Riots will not go away. They are an elemental form of revolt that needs to be supported by all those who hate the current rotten system.”

When Jennie George of the ACTU was asked by Nine’s Sunday TV show about allegations that union organisers, “paid by the union movement”, participated in the riot, she claimed they ‘were on their own’. Deer concludes, “The effect of news footage and reports of Jennie George’s concerns about the riot reinforced the view that the Government was correct in its condemnation of the ACTU and the labour movement generally.” But his own view is, “The ACTU chose to condemn the rioters, rather than the Government for creating the situation.” Two years later, Ms George was gonged as one of Australia’s “100 living treasures”.[6] She was parachuted into a safe seat (Throsby NSW) in 2001 and got her AO in 2013.

Deer in his 1998 Honors thesis called the riots “the most forceful physical attack on the Federal Parliament in Australian history.” He was then at the ANU Political Science Department. Despite some of his Marxist-theory pontificating, one can get from him many gems of fact about the affray.[7] Deer makes the fine distinction that the attack was not against the country’s key democratic institution, the Parliament; but just against the building which housed the Government (President Trump ought to adopt this line). He relates how the first column on the Commonwealth Avenue ramp was led by a “prominent Aboriginal land campaigner” and his contingent, followed by the CFMEU and students.[8]  

Against the authorised plan, they moved in towards the Parliament against riot police opposition. “At that point ACT CPSU Secretary, Catherine Garvan [Community and Public Sector Union], called out on the public address system on the main stage that the police were trying to block the Aboriginal protesters from reaching the main demonstration and started a chant to ‘Let them through’. Protesters from the main rally began to stream towards the point of conflict.”

The police had left the Parliament forecourt vulnerable and backed off to protect the entrance. Think Isandlwana and the Zulu hordes, as the police retreated further to the redoubt behind the main doors. Deer writes:

Many more demonstrators continued to arrive from the main rally. Protesters forced open the first set of main doors and the police retreated inside the foyer of the building where they attempted to reinforce the second set of doors…This march of several thousands proceeded to join what seemed to be the main demonstration on the forecourt. One  journalist called it ‘The unstoppable passing parade’.

Deer doesn’t buy the story that the rioters were just a small minority vis a vis a peaceful 20,000-plus unionists. “Indeed several thousand people, if not the majority of the rally, appear to have participated in this activity…At least 2000 protesters were actively involved in pushing against police lines or directly supporting the act. Thousands of other demonstrators also filled the forecourt and supported the hoisting of banners and flags on the building.”

He writes that for most of the time demonstrators were separated from police by heavily reinforced steel and glass doors. They tried to force the doors with their bodies. Later they used a trolley from the Parliament House Shop to force open five of the main doors. These gaps were soon filled by police with riot shields. Police attempted to make arrests and protesters tried to break the police line. Punches were exchanged. A number of demonstrators “crowd surfed” over the police line, spurred on by huge cheers from the rioters, but they were quickly arrested by police.

Some demonstrators entered the Parliament House Shop by smashing its glass doors with a wheel brace. They looted teaspoons, tea towels, books and other  memorabilia. Some rioters demurred. “It would be wrong to suggest that material gain was the main or even a significant factor explaining the riot,” Deer writes.

An empty beer can from the scene allegedly bore a sticker which said “Time to f**k the system that’s been f***ing us”. The sticker also invited the drinker to throw the can at “anyone who represents the system” and featured a picture of John Howard with an axe buried in his head, “The best cut of all”. Deer quotes a facetious Canberra Times journo, Ian Warden, “There were huge cheers as [an effigy of Liberal minister Amanda] Vanstone caught on fire. An angry young man emerged from the cheering crowd to smash in her smoking wire and paper skull again and again with the full force of his skateboard.”

Deer says that the rally organisers at the official platform (a big truck) seemed oblivious to the riot just a few hundred metres away. Speakers included the Leader of the ALP Opposition, Kim Beazley, and ACTU President, Jennie George chaired proceedings. Beazley told the baying crowd how the Coalition ‘hated’ workers, the unemployed, pensioners, students and Aboriginal people. Strangely, the ABC at the time didn’t feel that was incitement. Jennie George said that workers were “relying on Labor and the minor parties to defend their rights by defeating the Government’s proposals in the Senate”. Each time George mentioned ‘defeating’ she was greeted with huge cheers. Deer wrote, George’s message to the minor party senators was that ‘the Australian community will support you in your efforts to defeat this legislation’. 

Interrupting the official speeches, Davie Thomason, an Adelaide CFMEU organiser, climbed onto the stage and with bloodied face demanded to speak. Shaking a captured police riot shield, he said: “Brothers and sisters, 100 of us have got into our House. And look what we got from the coppers. And we have to remember it’s going to be a long haul but these people up here will never defeat us … Workers, united, will never be defeated.”

Not all ALP federal politicians rushed diplomatically to condemn the onslaught. Deer writes, “Police allege that ALP Senator Rosemary Crowley was in the crowd twenty metres from the doors on the August 19, ‘yelling that it was everyone’s Parliament House and that everyone should be let in. If people had placards they could just pass them through the security machine and take them inside’. Senator Crowley denied the allegations. The other exception was the Western Australian Greens Senator, Dee Margetts, who suggested that the riot had become a ‘law and order’ issue “which was being used to mask a more fundamental violence in society.”

Deer gives credence to evidence the riot was premeditated by ‘hardline Maoists’ in the CFMEU.

They were joined by ‘troublemakers’ among the Aboriginal contingent. These were involved in the initial conflict, and in further violence at Old Parliament House the following day. Also jumping on the bandwagon were a range of political extremists – Trotskyist groups and anarchists. These three groups hijacked the event and caused the bulk of the destruction. Through their actions and encouragement these agitators managed to embroil a larger group of unsuspecting protesters in the riot. Combined they formed a violent mob.

One CFMEU official suggested that ‘insurgent student activists’ had ‘disguised themselves in union shirts and caps’. As mentioned, the Trump camp now is also alleging ‘false flag’ provocateurs.

A Canberra participant from Mount Bromlow NSW, explained (emphasis added):

I am appalled at the white-washing of the event as simple thuggery and the action of a minority of protesters. Everybody seems to be upset that the symbol of democracy, Parliament House, was challenged. But it was precisely because it was the seat of government that it was attacked … the busting of the main doors was both a symbolic and real challenge to the ivory tower of political power.

I hate to pick at old scabs, but “progressives” were at it again in 2012, this time involving a near assault on the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, who were at an Australia Day celebration at The Lodge restaurant, Canberra. Mainly-Aboriginal rioters besieged The Lodge posing a threat to break down the doors and endanger the politicians. Julia Gillard’s bodyguards and federal police had to literally carry her through a howling mob to safety (below). She lost a shoe on that trip, Evdokia Petrov-fashion, subsequently seized and brandished by rioters. Irony of ironies, the riot was instigated by a staffer in Julia Gillard’s own office, who intended only Abbott as the target. The staffer resigned forthwith, departing abruptly overseas for several years of media-free sojourn in UK and Europe before returning to well-paid employment as a Federal Labor apparatchik.[9]

I can hardly wait for Laura Tingle to re-use clips from that episode. Her commentary could go: “Prime Minister Gillard goes high while misogynist Tony Abbott looks at his watch. The Prime Minister’s remaining stylish shoe is by Manolo Blahnik.”

 Tony Thomas’s new book, Come To Think Of It – essays to tickle the brain, is available here as a book ($34.95) or an e-book ($14.95) 

[1] Notwithstanding that Trump told his supporters to remain peaceful: “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” His full quote:

We’re going walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong… I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard … But we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country… So, let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I want to thank you all. God bless you and God bless America. Thank you all for being here, this is incredible. Thank you very much. Thank you.

[2] The Coalition Minister for Education, Amanda Vanstone, noted sagely that ‘someone with a degree is foolish to reject a job at McDonalds’.

[3] One of the Howard Government’s first announcements after its election was that ATSIC would have its budget cut by $400 million

[4] This essay draws heavily on Deer’s material.

[5] Of those who broke into the building, five females were issued with civil orders for breaching the peace.

[6] This weird compilation is run by the National Trust (NSW).

[7] Samples of Deer at his worst:

Since the early 1970’s the industrialised core of international capitalism has experienced a period of protracted economic crisis characterised by an historical decline in growth rates, relative economic stagnation and mass unemployment … The actions of the rioters were not malicious, indiscriminate, or irrational. This is not to suggest that individuals did not ‘lose it’, nor that they were not destructive, rather that there were clear limits on the protesters’ behaviour … It is possible that [Prime Minister] Howard sensed he had provoked precisely the kind of backlash that he had sought to avoid…

 [9] Via Michael Smith: For some reason PM Gillard’s press chief John McTernan was uncooperative with those seeking to interview the much-travelled ex-staffer about his alleged role in the riot. “A man nobody has ever heard of, doing a job nobody knows what it is. It is not a story, that’s all I am saying. My staff are not stories. My former staff for f…ing sure aren’t stories. I think it is ridiculous. [The ex-staffer] is a private citizen, an Australian working abroad.”Show your supportDonate Now

6 comments
  • Phillip – 12th January 2021Tony,
    You’re at it again….you are just presenting the facts, the truth and reality based upon thorough investigative work!
    My goodness, how are the lobotomised darlings at ‘our ABC’ ever going to understand this.
    God forbid if this article landed on an ABC research/resource tool, like a Twitter tweet or a Facebook page, you’d be censored, doxed (I don’t know what that means but it sounds like the loss of ability to reproduce….), your car could be fire bombed (peacefully of course) and then you’d be accused of alleging the US Elections are operated by fraud. Excellent work.
  • PT – 12th January 2021The ABC are partisans, and barrickers. The fact lefties think they’re impartial speaks volumes.
  • Peter OBrien – 12th January 2021Thanks Tony, for reminding us just how bad this incident was.
  • Tony Thomas – 12th January 2021Thanks Phillip,”doxing” actually means publicising the home address and/or personal details or employment of someone, e.g. a conservative, to enable them and their family to be harassed or worse by ill-doers.
  • J Vernau – 12th January 2021I vainly searched the President’s words (see footnote 1) looking for alleged incitement. Then I realised that it is the “stolen election” claims—if not the entire Trump presidency—that constitute the “incitement”.
    It’s government by children.
  • padraic – 12th January 2021At the risk of being pedantic, I think the restaurant in the second incident was the Lobby. I had had a meal there at different times when visiting Canberra. It was another of those “largely peaceful demonstrations” so beloved of the ABC, not far from the “Aboriginal Embassy” – no secession implied there, of course.

The Hiliaria-ous Case of the Pseudo Señora

Tony Thomas

Escandalo! Among Hollywood’s Trump-hating and climate-doom celebrities, actor Alec Baldwin stands tall. I’ve enjoyed his Glengarry Glen Ross movie several times, but he’s a nasty person with sadistic impulses. Plus he’s another of those Hollywood hypocrites, splashing his $US60 million wealth on big houses and big toys in New York, while telling the plebs to catch buses and eat lentils. He sees both “climate denial” and voting for Donald Trump as forms of mental illness.

His wife, Hillary (above), runs a yoga business. She calls herself Hilaria, born in Majorca, but turns out to be Boston-born Hillary Hayward-Thomas (no relation to me). She brought mirth down upon Alec this week. A decade ago she adopted her Spanish persona and accent, plus a Spanish life history rich in paella and flamenco dancing. On a TV cooking show, the Latino lady even had trouble with that English tongue-twister ‘cucumber’ : “We have tomatoes, we have, um, how you say in Eng — cucumbers.”

The narrative fell apart after Hillary/Hilaria posted an inspirational pic of herself in saucy black lingerie and holding Eduardo, her latest of five Baldwinito babies. Comic Amy Schumer re-posted the pic on her own Christmas card with a message: “Enjoy it with whatever family members are talking to you this year.” Hillary/Hilaria, who it seems isn’t very bright, didn’t get the joke and accused Schumer of “body-shaming” her as a recent mother who happened to have shed all trace of flab. While they were duking it out on Instagram, a Hillary ex-classmate who goes by the pseudonym of “Leni Briscoe” (a name that might or might not have been inspired by Law & Order detective Lenny Briscoe), tweeted: ‘You have to admire Hilaria Baldwin’s commitment to her decade-long grift where she impersonates a Spanish person.’[i]

Hillary didn’t re-invent herself for money: she’s worth $US10 million thanks to book and TV deals gathered on her husband’s coat-tails.[ii]She’s also an unofficial brand ambassador for Tommee Tippee baby bottles. She grew up in a five-bedroom Boston mansion in swanky Beacon Hill, almost next door to ex-Secretary of State John Kerry. Now she’s under fire for hogging space in Latin magazines and shows and appropriating the identity of a woke-designated victim class. In 2016, for example, she posted indignantly about how often she is stopped and asked if she’s a nanny because she speaks Spanish.

The angsts of minor celebs is normally beneath the notice of Quadrantwriters and readers. But Hillary’s husband’s contortions over the affair, coupled with extensive record of general nastiness and hypocrisy, are too fruity for a local hack like myself to ignore. Alec fulminated in support of his wife , “It is troubling to watch people lie about what you have said and not said. You are the most principled and decent woman I have ever known.”

It was barely a week ago that Alec Baldwin was tweeting to the million followers of his Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation account that if Trump refuses to concede, he should be violently killed, a la George Floyd in Minneapolis. “The thug who has destroyed the country. What does he deserve?” Baldwin asked. “A knee on his neck, cutting off his oxygen? Does he wheeze ‘I can’t breathe?’”[iii] He also proposed that Trump be beaten in the way four policemen beat Rodney King in Los Angeles in 1991, which led to arson and riots. “Just whale away on him like a piñata? Rodney King style?” Baldwin suggested.[iv]

Last month Baldwin called for President Trump to be buried in a Nazi graveyard with a swastika placed on his grave. One responder added, “No. he does not deserve a burial. Dump him in an unmarked grave or better yet in a crematorium.” Baldwin has also called Trump a “fascist whore” needing to be “removed from our lives”. The multi-racial supporters whom Trump enlisted at his National Convention in August were, according to Baldwin, high on drugs.

 In February, Baldwin likened Trump’s rise to power to that of Adolf Hitler, saying, “You wonder how Hitler took control of a once great country. For those of you too young to remember the War or its aftermath, simply watch how this [Republican] Senate behaves. Their snivelling fealty and lack of courage… And you begin to get it.”

In May, Baldwin declared that President Trump “has a degenerative mental illness that is costing 1000’s of lives.” He tweeted, a little histrionically, “Trump’s presidency must die so that we can live.”

As for every movie star’s hobby of saving the planet, Baldwin said at the Paris 2015 summit that “this may be our last chance in the next 20 years” to take action against global warming. “There are things that we just can’t imagine that can happen in terms of the food supply, in terms of climate change, in terms of flooding in coastal areas in the United States and beyond,” he said. “The time is now to make certain sacrifices … so that this planet will remain habitable for today’s children.”

Alec Baldwin’s bad temper is documented from way back. In a custody dispute over his daughter, Ireland, with mother Kim Basinger in 2007, Basinger’s lawyers surfaced a voicemail of him abusing the daughter as a ‘rude, thoughtless, little pig’. He told her, “You don’t have the brains or the decency as a human being. … I don’t give a damn that you’re 12 years old, or 11 years old, or that you’re a child, or that your mother is a thoughtless pain in the ass who doesn’t care about what you do as far as I’m concerned. … You have humiliated me for the last time with this phone.”

Getting back to his spouse’s Dunciad[v], Hillary once told Vanity Fair España that her “Spanish” parents had difficulty pronouncing her married surname “Baldwin”. Actually, Mama is Harvard med-school ex-professor, Dr. Kathryn Hayward, whose family is fourth-generation Boston Brahmin, and Pop is David Thomas, a Georgetown educated lawyer hailing from Vermont. (As already mentioned, not a relative of mine).

Now Hillary has admitted she’s Boston born, saying: “Yes, I am a white girl Let’s be very clear that Europe has a lot of white people in there and my family is white. Ethnically, I am a mix of many, many, many things. Culturally, I grew up with two cultures so it’s really as simple as that.” Hillary explains, “I care because my thing is about being authentic — and then if people say I’m not being authentic, it hurts my feelings … ” She asked social media gawkers at her part-clad pics to be “a little bit kinder,” especially after a year when everybody is “suffering mentally.”

Perhaps her least likely claims were that she’d never owned a TV set and that when she fell for the ageing Alec, she had no idea that he was a movie star. “So what do you do?” she supposedly asked him, guilelessly. He’s 62, she’s 36, by the way.

Somehow borrowing identities is quite a trend. Apart from Democrat icon Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren, there is the famous Rachel Dolezal, aka Nkechi Amare Diallo, who despite her two white parents rose as a “black” woman to chapter presidency of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The pinnacle of role-snaffling was reached by left-feminist author/academic Jessica Krug, who claimed variously to be half-Algerian-American, half-German-American, and an “Afro-boricua” from The Bronx, nicknamed “La Bombalera.” She admitted in September she was actually a Jewish lass from Kansas, who had lied first about North African blackness, then US-rooted blackness, then Caribbean-rooted Bronx blackness.

Not that we are immune from such things in Australia. Between the 2011 and 2016 censuses, 130,000 people newly-identified as Aboriginal. Many claimants had compelling reasons but at least one New Age lady learnt she was Aboriginal via conversations with her chooks, and featured in one of those erudite Griffith MA theses.[vi] A recent spectacular Aboriginal identification was by “Aboriginal historian” Bruce Pascoe, now a Professor at an obscure Melbourne university, whose four grandparents are from the UK, and who mysteriously claims to be both “solidly Cornish” and “solidly Aboriginal”.[vi]

As for Mr and Mrs Baldwin, there’s a moral from their discomfiture, which in my native tongue of Spanish is:  Me importa un pepino.[vii]

Tony Thomas’s new book, Come To Think Of It – essays to tickle the brain, is available here as a book ($34.95) or an e-book ($14.95) 

[i] They were both from the elite Cambridge School, Massachusetts which a decade or two ago charged day students $US52,400 per annum.

[ii] Her 2016 book was titled, ironically, “The Living Clearly Method.”

[iii] Floyd actually died from ingesting enough Fentanyl to harm a horse

[iv] Three of the police were acquitted, the other involved a hung jury

[v] Alexander Pope, whose poem “celebrates a goddess Dulness  [sic] and the progress of her chosen agents as they bring decay, imbecility, and tastelessness”. 

[vi] “I was just different, really different, in that all the animals were my friends and I used to spend hours in the chook yard talking to my chooks, because like they were the only ones who understood anything that I was feeling or that I was thinking, but I felt very isolated and lonely growing up and always in my whole life just searching and wondering who I was.”

[vii] “I don’t give a cucumber”.

The White Privilege of Being Black

Between the 2011 and 2016 censuses, 129,649 people “newly identified” as Aboriginal. There might be up-to-date figures after the 2021 census. Aboriginality is so popular that I imagine newly-identifying is continuing or accelerating. Some academics think so too.[1]

New Identifiers’ motives have never been seriously examined. The first published study was by Watt and Kowal 2018, and that involved only 33 New Identifiers.

Many New Identifiers gain profound benefit from re-connecting with their Aboriginality. Many were separated from their heritage two or three generations back, largely for welfare and education reasons, and traumatised by the loss of family.[2] Other New Identifiers are whites who persist although they cannot point to any Aboriginal ancestor. The most famous of these currently is Dark Emu author Bruce Pascoe, who told the New York Timesenigmatically last August  that he was both “solidly Cornish” and “solidly Aboriginal”.

Woke folk take to Aboriginality like ducks to water, or should that be chooks? Here’s one case study from a 1996 Griffith MA thesis by Fiona Noble (p36):

I was just different, really different, in that all the animals were my friends and I used to spend hours in the chook yard talking to my chooks, because like they were the only ones who understood anything that I was feeling or that I was thinking, but I felt very isolated and lonely growing up and always in my whole life just searching and wondering who I was.

Compared with Australia, in NZ there has been much less contribution to Maori population from New Identifiers. And in the US and Canada, New Identifiers have to overcome major legal and social barriers, with native organisations calling the newcomers gold-diggers, ethnic frauds, culture-vultures, “pretendians”, New Age poseurs, cultists and wannabes. A classic case is Senator Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren (Democrat, Massachusetts), who got a career leg-up and much kudos for her claimed Cherokee ancestry, until DNA testing suggested she was from 0.097% to 0.156% American Indian, about the same as Americans generally.[3] Her great-grandfather was not a Cherokee as she claimed. but a white man who boasted of shooting a Cherokee. An equally famous US case is Rachel Dolezal, who became president of a Washington office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and an instructor of Africana studies at Eastern Washington University. Her two white parents outed her in 2015.

THIS essay is in three phases. It first covers the Australian data based on an ANU study by Nicholas Biddle and Francis Markham,[4] then explores the Watt and Kowal material [5], and then looks at how Australian life can be viewed through a racial lens, as illustrated by Professor Kowal herself.

There are good reasons why New Identifiers are a hot-potato topic, in white and Aboriginal society alike. For example, In Tasmania the Aboriginal population soared from 671 in 1971 to 19,625 in 2016. Long-established Aboriginals there claim they’re being overrun by New Identifiers with specious genealogies.

The New Identifiers are concentrated in Australia’s urban south-east, and the workings of federal-state tax formulas drain funds from the Northern Territory, where Aboriginal disadvantage is extreme. In NSW and Victoria, some New Identifiers are mopping up cushy government-funded jobs reserved for Aborigines.

The more healthy, educated and well-off New Identifiers are also making the “Closing the Gap” data look better than the reality of outback Aboriginal life. New Identifiers in the south-east get official encouragement and plaudits from the woke community on the basis that Aboriginal links were broken in the “Stolen Generations” era. Moreover, challenging a New Identifier is a dangerous move. For example, university or public service bureaucrats who deal with Aboriginal applicants for places or privileges could be deemed racist and have their careers cancelled if they require evidence from the applicants about their Aboriginality.[6]

From the ANU study, the  129,649 New Identifiers at 2016 were somewhat offset by 45,042 Aborigines (at 2011) doing the opposite – citing themselves as white in 2016. The net number of at least 84,607 was still greater than from natural increase and equal to 13.7 per cent of the 2011 Aboriginal population.[7] Assessing flows of “New Identifiers” in 2016 shows the highest number and rate in the babies-to-age-15 group – 17 per cent vs the 14 per cent total. The flow falls among adults but rises slightly among those over 65.

Nearly all New Identifiers hail from the cities and regions – only 3507 were from remote Australia. Victoria, ACT and NSW were over-represented and WA and NT under-represented.

Michael Connor: The white Aborigines trial

New Identifiers in 2016 had higher living standards than the always-Aboriginal. Their employment rate was 60 per cent vs about 50 per cent for traditionals. The Prime Minister’s Department in 2018 failed to allow for this and claimed Aboriginal employment was slightly improving. In fact employment rates for traditional Aboriginals actually fell from 2011-16.

The ANU authors say there is no evidence from the data that identifying as Aboriginal leads to the claimants becoming better off. In fact their employment fell slightly. The motivation seems instead to relate to social and family reasons, they say: “In no way do we suggest that there should be any intervention to reduce identification change – on the contrary, to the extent that a reluctance to identify is due to discrimination, this should be seen as a positive development.”

Deakin researchers Elizabeth Watt and Emma Kowal say other researchers are reluctant to explore the New Identifier phenomenon lest deplorables like Andrew Bolt and his racist or “mean-spirited” followers make hay with the findings. The comment is interesting as I thought academics bravely pursued truth whatever the consequences. Bolt was successfully taken to court by nine fair-skinned Aboriginals in 2011 under S18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.[8] They claimed Bolt had argued they “were not genuinely Aboriginal and were pretending to be Aboriginal so they could access benefits that are available to Aboriginal people.”

Judge Mordy Bromberg also banned republication of Bolt’s articles, and the ban continues to this day.

One of the nine fair-skinned Aboriginals was artist Bindi Cole who announced seven years later:

One of my identities is Aboriginal. I can’t stop thinking Aboriginal. I am what I am. But when I made this my sole identity it was confusing because I am also white so I was both Aboriginal victim and white oppressor. And then being female I was oppressed by the patriarchy. It was always kinds of ways of identifying that meant I was victim to so many different things that I didn’t actually have to take any responsibility whatsoever for myself or my behaviours. I could constantly blame everything and everyone else.” She continued that her role in the Bolt 18c court case was her first exposure to conservative ideas after life lived in a leftist bubble where she could be a social justice warrior and virtue signaller, constantly looking down intolerantly on all others with different views. “The more I read the more I realised I had been on the wrong side.”

Anyway Watt/Kowal say that some of the stories from New Identifiers collected in their article would 

no doubt provide fodder for Bolt and his followers.  While taking this risk seriously, however, we strongly feel that the fear of conservative co-option should not deter research conducted with respect, quality scholarship and in good faith. (emphasis added)

The Watt/Kowal paper looks at motives from interviews of 33 New Identifiers. Eleven interviews were by Fiona Noble in the unpublished Master’s thesis at Griffith University way back in 1996. Noble had an inside track as she herself late in life thought she had Aboriginal ancestry and recruited informants through her own group of “Brisbane inner city ‘alternative’ and feminist communities” (Watt/Kowal p66). Watt/Kowal say social trends “have created an environment where people are encouraged to both “choose” their own

ethnic identity and to experience this chosen identity as given, essential and fixed. Our research also affirms North American findings that, for those making this choice, White identities have lost appeal relative to Indigenous identities because of wider awareness of colonial injustice, an increased emphasis on autochthony,[9] and the rise of environmentalism and holistic spiritualism.

Watt says she has Scottish-German origins and Kowal, Polish-Jewish. They write,

Both authors are female anthropologists who identify as White Australians … but whose research has focused on Indigenous issues… Some may take the view that, as non-indigenous people, we should not pursue research on the sensitive topic of Indigenous identification – or, for that matter, any topic relating to Indigenous people. However, we believe that empirically-informed discussions about this subject will be useful to Indigenous communities that are currently dealing with its implications. We also intend to address the vacuum in Australia’s broader public debate surrounding this issue: a vacuum that has been readily filled with the polemical voices of right-wing commentators.

Take “right-wing commentators” as a reference to Andrew Bolt and Pauline Hanson.

 A Queensland interviewee said: “We’re talking about what’s the oldest culture on this planet. We still have genetic memory.”  A NSW woman believed she was a product of her grandmother’s affair with an Indigenous man, and used similar language: “Heritage is something that runs in your blood. It’s not necessarily how your skin comes out all the time either, how you look. It’s in your DNA down deep in there somewhere”. A third spoke of Indigenous ancestry as the “spark” or “consciousness” within their body, stressing: “You can’t get it out of your system. If you’re an Aboriginal, you’re an Aboriginal.”

Many “always felt different” from White Australians. One interviewee, who was told when she was 15 that her great grandmother was an Indigenous woman, described how she grew up in a “sort of glorified shack in the bush” in semi-rural area of Brisbane with her six olive-skinned, brown haired siblings, and never felt at home among the “blond, blue eyed girls” who lived “in a brick house, with carpet and a carport” and were “sleek and shiny”.

Some cited life-long connections to animals, “the land”, “country” or the “bush”, embodying their ancestors. Others had deep interests in Indigenous culture or people. One noted:

I have been drawn to the stories and art of the Aboriginal people since I was a small child. Now I know why … Whenever I hear about the atrocities of the past I really hurt deep inside. I never had that feeling when hearing about the European atrocities and death.

 One woman described a “magnet dragging me to La Perouse”, and a man explained how “strange” it was that “I used to pester my father, my parents, on a weekend to go for a drive over to La Perouse”. [10]

But a NSW interviewee who believed his grandmother was of Wiradjuri descent, didn’t identify that way:

Well, only to the extent that I ever identified with Aborigines all around Australia. As political allies and friends … [Identifying as an Indigenous person] has that danger of suggesting that blood links you, and I don’t accept that. My upbringing has been totally European.

Another described late identification as a “big farce”, explaining “I couldn’t possibly say that I was Aboriginal, because I haven’t suffered anything that Aboriginal people have”. Another claimed, “to stand up now and say, ‘Look I’m Aboriginal’, to me is like a little bit rude almost, because you’ve never been treated in the world as Aboriginal”.

Another complained of New Identifiers who have been brought up as White people all their lives:

They’ve never experienced any discrimination an Aboriginal person would feel … They’ve been identified by white people and then they turn around and say, “I’m an Aboriginal I know how Aboriginal people feel”. That really pisses me off, and I am sure that’s a real insult to Aboriginal people who have to try and struggle for their rights.

One attraction for New Identifiers is that they have been persuaded that whiteness has been downgraded culturally because of pluralism, anti-colonialism and holistic spirituality. “White is now commonly seen [by researchers] as ‘dull, empty, lacking, and incomplete’ … associated with ‘white bread and mayonnaise’, ‘guilt, loneliness, isolation’, either ‘bland nothingness’ or ‘racial hatred’”.

Subjects have been encouraged by interviewers’ Rousseau-like view of indigenous people who harmonised with nature.Thus

White Australians of a certain inclination can embark on ‘solo-dreaming’ – engaging with the land and evoking the spirits seen to lie within it. Yet this process is complicated for ‘White anti-racists’ because of their sensitivity to claims of appropriation and abuse of Indigenous culture. This tension has prompted many to search for Indigenous ancestors in their family tree, hoping this discovery would explain and validate their existing feelings of connection to Indigenous culture and people.

Many interviewees began searching for Aboriginal ancestors after hints, such as a family Bible with a mission address. “These searches were often fruitless, but many interviewees continued to identify as Indigenous regardless. These New Identifiers’ attachment to their Indigenous identity was sufficiently high, and their conceptualisations of ethnicity sufficiently subjective, to overcome the lack of material evidence.”

Some espoused New Age notions. As a Sydney interviewee put it

I see straight through materialism and don’t adhere to forced social conventions such as Christmas. I believe in sharing, community and compassion for the earth and human kind at its best. In other words, there is enough for everybody on this planet and no place for greed …  Living simply, looking after family, and caring for our Mother Earth for me is what defines my Aboriginality.

Some interviewees had stumbled across strong evidence of their Aboriginality but declined to accept the identity.

These differing motivations help explain why we observed an inverse relationship between the strength of evidence and strength of identification:  those with the weakest evidence tended to have the strongest convictions, and vice versa. (emphasis added)

The final phase of my essay is the insights from Kowal about what it’s like diving into the maelstrom of racial politics. Kowal is a highly-rated academic who has received $6m worth of grants and authored 100+ papers and books.  

WITH a privileged middle-class upbringing, Ms Kowal decided in high school to fight for “the oppressed people of the world” by air-mailing protest letters and joining activists. “In 1996 at the Canberra protests against the Howard government’s first budget, it dawned on me that, as an Australian, the gap of Aboriginal disadvantage was the one that should trouble me most,” she writes.

Graduating from Melbourne University as a medico, she packed a second-hand Toyota and drove it north to her new life as intern at Royal Darwin Hospital. She later figured public health research in the NT was the most fulfilling and joined a Darwin research institute. But there was disillusionment in store. Staff enjoyed power plays and in-fighting rather than cooperation; government programs promoted as panaceas turned out to be dubious on the inside; and staff loved to criticise others’ projects as disempowering or racist without offering any help themselves.

Much “closing the gap” effort was actually channelled into “creating and maintaining racialised identities.” Anyone walking in the front door to the “indigenous” research institute would be smartly categorised as Indigenous or non-Indigenous, and sub-categorised as “community” or “urban”. The whites could be classified “red-necks” or “anti-racists”, or “white” or “non-white and non-Indigenous”. Someone not known to insiders could be parked as “possibly Indigenous”, pending investigation. Maintaining identities was hard work: for example whites had to keep up the auru of a “good” white rather than an “ignorant, exploitive racist White person”. The main internal drive was for Aboriginal control of affairs: “The tendency to demonise white researchers in particular seemed an inadequate way to explain the situation, once I had got to know many of them and of course become one myself.”

What she calls “the moral politics of race and identity” became toxic. A question about Aboriginal pay rates could be interpreted as managers being exploitive or racist. White researchers involved with presentations to the public had to edit themselves out of videos and stand aside silently to let Aborigines make presentations. If an Aborigine’s facts were wrong, Whites wouldn’t contradict, and went along with exaggerations of Aboriginal inputs. Kowal wrote in her journal, “In the political world of Indigenous health we don’t have arguments, we have positions. And the position of the ‘authentic Aboriginal voice’ trumps even the most eloquent argument, and has no need for it.”

She found “closing the health gap” to be a minefield. The health gap could suggest continued colonial oppression but fixing it could undermine traditional, but unhealthy, ways of life. It could “leave White anti-racists concerned that their efforts to improve the health and social status of Indigenous people might be furthering the neo-colonial expansion of bio-political norms.” White anti-racist health workers might be tarred as no better than “racist bureaucrats and missionaries of the past.”

In another paper, Welcome to Country Acknowledgement, Belonging and White Anti-racismKowal dives deeper into the predicaments of  Whiteness:

In my reading of Whiteness studies, there is no way for anti-racists to act without reinforcing their privilege…

The acceptable modes of action for White anti-racist subjectivities are silence and experiencing the discomfort and self-loathing of being the source of pain for others without seeking relief or resolution…

My view is that silent and suffering anti-racist subjectivities may be appropriate and useful for academics, but they are incompatible with effective work in Indigenous affairs. The even larger wager of this article is that silent, suffering anti-racist subjectivities that don’t belong are not up to the prodigious task of charting paths to coexistence in this settler society.

She has studied how white anti-racists act both in front of the public at seminars, conferences and publications, and backstage, i.e. in tearooms, corridors, back verandas and closed talk. In this backstage, “group members can refine the performance without the pressure of staying in character…

For instance, at front of house, the number of Indigenous presenters at an event should be at least equal to the number of non-indigenous presenters—a stage full of White people discussing Indigenous issues is a bad look. Though, if some of the people on stage that appear White are in fact Indigenous, any overt, whispered or unspoken criticism from the audience is not a concern, as any such criticism simply portrays the critic as ignorant at best, and racist at worst, for assuming that a pale-skinned person is not Indigenous. Non-indigenous dark-skinned people are intermediate in their visual impact—better than a White person, but not as good as an Indigenous person. Indigenous men and Indigenous women should be equally represented. The appearance of White women on stage is generally slightly better than White men…

“Making explicit this knowledge of ‘how to be an anti-racist’ seems distasteful in print, although it is acceptable to talk of these things, if somewhat obliquely, in conference planning meetings. The techniques required to privilege Indigenous voices are employed tacitly on the backstage and are not for consumption by a public audience.

She notes that it is often hard to get good Aboriginal speakers because they are in such high demand and the job is usually honorary. A properly balanced cast of speakers might be organised, but then the key Aboriginal speakers might fail to turn up or leave abruptly. The organiser will then remark about “family” or “cultural” issues, getting another opportunity to display his/her anti-racism. She instances a departure she saw of  Aboriginal “Kylie”, which saw the presenter handle it tactfully.

The mainly white audience had an opportunity to not react, to not blame or judge, exhibiting their anti-racism. His [presenter’s] explicit comments acted to silence (but also, paradoxically, highlight through demonstrating the need to silence) the ideas that are certainly not voiced, and perhaps barely thought: musings about whether Kylie really had a family emergency, or perhaps was disorganised enough to be double-booked, or behind in her paid work, or offended at being asked to be a ‘token black’ by the organisers, or maybe she had a gambling habit and went off to the casino. Some of these imaginings would have raised the possibility that her absence was a snub to the organisers, undermining their implicit claims to have meaningful relationships with Indigenous people. Because if they did, Kylie would care enough to stick around. It was this smoulder of inchoate musings that necessitated the facilitator’s careful words. (emphasis added)

At another workshop, a white male had to stand in as presenter when the booked Aborigine did not show up. The stand-in apologised for being white, especially as an Aboriginal co-facilitator had a junior role beside him.

One can only imagine that he implored her, she whose identity was better suited to the task, to read out the notes accompanying the slides instead of him when the scheduled presenter failed to turn up. But for whatever reason (lack of confidence? lack of familiarity with the material? resentment she was being asked just because she was Indigenous?), she had declined.

I hope Australia doesn’t dissolve into a hotbed of racial claimants and discord. There’s not much corroboration these days of the “We are one” jingle perpetually played on the ABC, or of “Australians all” in our national anthem, which is a bit of a dirge anyway.

 Tony Thomas’s new book, Come To Think Of It – essays to tickle the brain, is available here as a book ($34.95) or an e-book ($14.95) 

[1] “We have no reason to expect that the process of identification change will not continue into the future.”

[2] Keith Windschuttle in The Fabrication of Aboriginal History – the Stolen Generations, Macleay, Sydney 2004, counts the numbers of Aboriginal children removed from their parents for all reasons nationally between 1880 and 1970 as 8250. That’s about 90 a year, including orphans, the destitute, the neglected and those given up voluntarily by parents. The small numbers leave small scope for any “stolen generation” national genocide involving a total 50,000-100,000 forcible removals.

[3] Warren even submitted recipes to a Native American cookbook called “Pow Wow Chow,” which was released in 1984 by the Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee, Okla. She signed her entries “Elizabeth Warren — Cherokee.”

[4] “Indigenous Identification Change Between 2011 And 2016: Evidence From The Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset.” Authors are from the ANU Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research.CAEPR TOPICAL ISSUE NO. 1/2018

An ABS spokesperson tells Quadrant: 

“The 2021 Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (ACLD) analytical outputs are expected to be released during the second half of 2023.

In September 2019, the ABS Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics (CoATSIS) published new analysis regarding identification as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person in the Census over time. This analysis is available on the ABS website

[5] They say theirs is the first such published study: “Existing sociological research is more concerned with politically defending identification changes than sociologically analyzing them.”

[6] Windschuttle, in The Break-Up of Australia (Quadrant, Sydney 2016, p113) cites the case of actor and Aboriginal elder Jack Charles, who applied to the Australia Council for a book-writing grant. When the Council applied its protocol and asked him to prove his Aboriginality, he created a cause celebre and an embarrassed Council thereafter dropped its requirement for proofs involving Aboriginality. In another case a white male author, Leon Carmen, who couldn’t get published, submitted his book to Magabala Books as a young Aboriginal woman “Wanda Koolmatrie” and it won prizes and was put on the NSW Board of Studies High School Reading List. No-one had checked his “Aboriginal” identity or even sighted him. Ibid p114.

[7] The data are from an anonymised sample of 23,059 people who identified in  2016 as Aboriginal, with links to the 2011 census.

[8] Mordy Bromberg J concluded: I have observed that in seeking to promote tolerance and protect against intolerance in a multicultural society, the Racial Discrimination Act must be taken to include in its objectives tolerance for and acceptance of racial and ethnic diversity. At the core of multiculturalism is the idea that people may identify with and express their racial or ethnic heritage free from pressure not to do so. People should be free to fully identify with their race without fear of public disdain or loss of esteem for so identifying. Disparagement directed at the legitimacy of the racial identification of a group of people is likely to be destructive of racial tolerance, just as disparagement directed at the real or imagined practices or traits of those people is also destructive of racial tolerance.

He banned republication of the Bolt articles, and added:

It is important that nothing in the orders I make should suggest that it is unlawful for a publication to deal with racial identification, including by challenging the genuineness of the identification of a group of people. I have not found Mr Bolt and the Herald & Weekly Times to have contravenedsection 18C, simply because the newspaper articles dealt with subject matter of that kind. I have found a contravention of the Racial Discrimination Act because of the manner in which that subject matter was dealt with.

[9] “Nativeness by virtue of originating or occurring naturally (as in a particular place)”

[10] La Perouse is a Sydney former Aboriginal reserve and continued to have a large Aboriginal population.Show your supportDonate Now

11 comments
  • Peter OBrien – 1st December 2020Tony,
    Warren’s initial pejorative nickname was ‘fauxcahontas’. It’s a pity it didn’t stick.
  • IainC – 1st December 2020If the true blue indigenes can classify themselves as First Nations, perhaps the pretenders can be grouped under False Notions.
    The only perspective on aboriginal thought ever presented is by hardcore activists, who I would wager represent the usual angry, loud 1% while the moderate 99% remain silent. We get surveys on a myriad of topics until they leak out the Khyber, but we never seem to get a random sample of (genuine) aborigines responding to various important life questions, such as: “do you really want to be segregated?”; “what is the most important issue that would better your life?”; “do you want to live a traditional lifestyle or be a doctor/motor mechanic/brain surgeon?”. It’s Time.
  • jvernau – 1st December 2020“… an increased emphasis on autochthony…”
    *Now that’s a word you don’t see every day. I suppose when someone becomes a “New Identifier” their previous self evaporates, and it is as though the new one has sprung up from the earth, full-grown and fierce like the Spartoi.
    In Mr Pascoe’s case, I imagine one of his ancestors may have appeared from the underworld by climbing back up from the depths of a Cornish tin mine.
  • en passant – 1st December 2020So where is the social dividing line when in many cases the name calling is actually intended by the user as a term of endearment? The first outback aboriginal I ever met fluently spoke several complex ‘desert languages’, yet his mumbled English, (through no fault of either of us) I could barely understand. He told me to call him Jacky. Would the Orwellian ‘thought police’ call me a racist if I called him that today? I have no doubt about it, not to mention the ASIO file opened on me as a right-wing racist bigot. As for Jacky, he would tarred and feathered as a full-blooded fake aborigine …
  • sabena – 2nd December 2020Tony,
    In Shaw &Anor v James & ors 1998 FCA 389,there was an issue for the purposes of being elected to ATSIC as to who was an aboriginal-link here:
    http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/cth/FCA/1998/389.html?context=1;query=aboriginal and tasmania;mask_path=au/cases/cth/FCA
    In the judgment Merkel J quoted the following from an earlier case as to what was sufficient:-
    the Aboriginal race of Australia refers to the group of persons in the modern Australian population who are descended from the inhabitants of Australia at the time immediately prior to European settlement (580); * some degree of descent is a necessary, but not of itself a sufficient, condition of eligibility to be an Aboriginal person (581); * a small degree of Aboriginal descent coupled with genuine self-identification or with communal recognition may, in a given case, be sufficient for eligibility (583-5); * a substantial degree of descent, given the general communal recognition of Aboriginality that usually accompanies it, may by itself be enough to require that the person be regarded as an ” Aboriginal person” (584); * communal recognition as an Aboriginal person may, given the difficulties of proof of Aboriginal descent flowing from, among other things, the lack of written family records, often be the best evidence available of proof of Aboriginal descent (585).
  • Blair – 2nd December 2020The question asked in the Census is simply:
    “Is the person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin?”
    Nothing to do with identification. by the respondent.
    The respondent can answer yes to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin or simply yes to either Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. But there is no question about (say) Aboriginal and English origin or Aboriginal and Irish origin.
    It is the ABS who identifies a person who answered yes to “”Is the person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin?” as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or both.and then counts them as either Aboriginals or Torres Strait Islanders or both.
  • Elizabeth Beare – 2nd December 2020“She continued that her role in the Bolt 18c court case was her first exposure to conservative ideas after life lived in a leftist bubble where she could be a social justice warrior and virtue signaller, constantly looking down intolerantly on all others with different views. “The more I read the more I realised I had been on the wrong side.”:I wonder if Bindi Cole has ever apologised to Andrew Bolt for the trouble and pain she caused.It well overdue for some very clear parameters to be legally placed around who is aboriginal and who isn’t, and perhaps a points system introduced (we do it for intending migrants) awarding benefits for both living assistance and self-improvement and employment on the basis of some pre-determined box-ticking criteria of need and disadvantage with special focus on remote area dwellers and those in rural Australia.
  • STJOHNOFGRAFTON – 3rd December 2020The trick cycling is that it’s about dressing up. A good example is the Russian figure skaters dressed up in an Australian Aboriginal theme. It’s great entertainment for a short while and then it is time to go home. These ‘New Identifiers’ don’t know when to go home to reality. They’re stuck in a theme. When the money runs out they’ll apply for a grant and call it art and run ‘workshops’.
  • Tony Tea – 3rd December 2020Is it possible to read Bolt’s article?
  • March – 5th December 2020Tony Tea… Link to one of Bolts articles… If that does not work just try searching “bolt It’s so hip to be black” https://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/1109_heraldsun09.pdf
  • DG – 8th December 2020So much for amusement here. First off. I’m indigenous. I was born here. I enjoy telling people that!
    Genes have feelings? No. Genes a chemical signalers. Let’s be real about that.
    Compassion for the ‘earth’. I’ll always bulldoze it lovingly, I guess. The challenge is, the earth is not compassionate back (ROFL).