Their ABC: Unrepentant and Unfixable

From the independent ABC Complaint Handling Review, released yesterday (emphasis added):

A related concern expressed during this review is that the ABC complaint process is seen as being less effective in dealing with more complex complaint issues of poor editorial judgement, inherent bias, unbalanced panel composition, or prejudicial investigative journalism. The complaint process may be less suited, for example, to dealing with an allegation that a content maker has a set perspective on the story to be told and selects only information that supports that perspective.

The flagship ABCTV 7pm News ran a “Climate Questions” feature for Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and SA last night (May 17) by reporter Kate McKenna who is the state political reporter for ABC News. By adroit selection of her on-screen talent Ms McKenna fashioned a typically-ABC piece of anti-government propaganda.

Her chosen authority on the climate topic was former Greenpeace spruiker “Dr Bill Hare, Climate Scientist” (Qld, 7.00 mins, Vic 18 mins, Tas 5.30 mins, SA 10 mins).[1] In reality he is renewables lobbyist Mr Bill Hare B.Sc. (Hons), Murdoch University. Mr (purportedly “Doctor”) Hare within a few seconds managed to say the Morrison policy on zero emissions was “quite bad”, the Albanese Labor policy was “mediocre” , the Teal (fake) independents were consistent with the Paris 2015 climate deal, and — here Mr/Dr Hare’s tone becomes even more warm — “Greens policy is even more so.”

Great! Vote Greens, everyone!

Ms McKenna also wheeled out a sole representative of the public, Lee-Ann Handley, to conveniently spruik the ABC’s line on zero-emissions. Here’s what Ms Handley had to say:

Australia has a shameful reputation for dealing with climate change. I would say it is Number One priority for me in terms of voting. I would want it to be on top of the government’s agenda.

Reporter McKenna adds, “Like many, Lee-Ann Handley is feeling the cost of living pressures, but it won’t be her key concern when she heads to the ballot box.”

Handley: A society that sacrifices the environment because of economics is highly reckless.

McKenna strives to back up Handley’s rant, saying, “More Australian raise climate change as their No. 1 issue than any other topic, according to the ABC’s Vote Compass, but it is receiving less attention from the leaders’ campaign than three years ago.” What Ms McKenna doesn’t mention is that Vote Compass respondents comprise self-selecting ABC viewers who are almost as “progressive” as the ABC reporters themselves.

So four days out from the election, the flagship ABCTV 7pm News does a hit job against the Morrison campaign, inflating the credentials of climate lobbyist Mr Bill Hare while dubbing him “Climate Scientist”, and choosing for a vox pop a lady keen to demand climate action, with no contrary view to be heard on the segment.

Moreover, any few seconds googling turns up that Ms Lee-Ann Handley is a go-to source for ABC reporters. On March 19 the ABC’s “video journalist” Baz Ruddick did a sob story about Ms Handley. She made an unwise decision to buy a house in flood-prone Rocklea, Brisbane, last year, spent nine months doing loan-funded renovating and then got flooded to gutter level a few months ago. We learn from Handley via Ruddick that she’s lost $170,000 from the floods, but as a full-time-employed teacher she earns too much money to access many government hardship grants.

Further googling finds she crowd-funded $1820 compared with her $1000 target, while she conceded,

There is an embargo on my street for flood insurance, like many in Rocklea we are not covered.

Hmmm. Not that I don’t feel for her as a fellow human but I hope she’s not teaching civics or economics.

But let’s get back to the ABC’s “Dr” Hare. He founded and runs the lavishly funded and Greenpeace-linked Climate Analytics lobby, endlessly quoted by the ABC and other Left media to buttress their anti-capitalist CO2 narrative. Climate Analytics was born from the dark-green Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) , which has led the way into Germany’s current energy crisis. PIK has its anti-gas and anti-coal tentacles all over Australia.

Hare is a spruiker in the green lawfare in WA against Woodside’s plan to build the $16.5 billion Scarborough gas project. His outfit wants an end to Australia’s thermal coal exports by 2030 and gas production ceasing soon after. Back from Glasgow last year, he gloated about COP26 forming “a new coalition, led by Denmark and Costa Rica, known as the Beyond Gas and Oil Alliance. Sooner rather than later, we can expect it to come for Australia’s fast-expanding LNG export industry.”

The woke Murdoch University by 2008 was so thrilled with Hare’s climate spiel that it gave him an Honorary Doctor of Science, citing, among other things, “his climate change activism and political acumen have seen him described as ‘the best climate lobbyist in the world’.” Then it told him he could strut his Honorary Ph.D. all over the place, contrary to long-established Murdoch, pan-academic and government protocols. (Don’t let someone with an Honorary Doctorate in Veterinary Science spay your Labradoodle).

“Dr” Bill Hare shamelessly allows media and institutions like “community educator” WA Museum Boola Bardip[2] to call him “Dr Hare” without correcting them. The museum and others have even called him a Nobel Laureate, which is good going for a bloke who got his B.Sc. (Hons) from Murdoch at the age of about 26. Indeed the Nobel Prize howler remains uncorrected to this day on the museum website. It also calls Hare a “world-leading climate policy expert”, and “The Master Mind … this homegrown superstar in the climate science arena”, with “expert opinions on the urgent action necessary for our survival.”

Bill Hare, thanks to Quadrant’s repeated exposure, has modified his credential on his website to “Bill Hare D.Sc. (hon. causa)”, the Latin noting that the doctorate is honorary. Sadly, ABC reporters don’t speak Latin. But type “Dr Bill Hare” into his Climate Analytics search box and you find it there 31 times. This absurdity is par for the course in climate “science”.

I’ve complained officially to the ABC multiple times about ABC hacks inflating Mr Hare to “Dr Hare”. Among the ABC’s amateurish reporters falling for “Dr” Hare have been Kerry O’Brien, Laura Tingle, Stephanie March (Four Corners), the ABC’s climate “expert” Michael Slezak, Sally Sara and, last but not least, Leigh Sales.

It just so happens that yesterday( May 17) the ABC published the independent McMillan/Carroll report on its in-house complaints handling system, initiated last October by chair Ita Buttrose in the wake of serious editorial failings and factual errors across some of its flagship programs. I’ll use the ABC’s repeated “Dr” Hare goof-offs as a case study to match ABC reality against ABC piety.

The inquiry terms of reference included

♦ Whether appropriate actions are taken and remedies provided for breaches of ABC editorial standards

♦ Measures taken by the ABC to ensure the organisation and its staff are fully informed about complaints and complaint outcomes

♦ Measures taken by the ABC to ensure that the complaint process is tied to continuous improvement in ABC editorial standards, and feeds into standards-setting, training and day-to-day content-making .

The inquiry recommendation outcomes included

 The ABC make corrections and apologies more visible to audiences that may have an interest in receiving them, including by publishing a correction or apology on the same platform as the original content and at an equivalent time or place.

♦ The ABC ensure that staff involved in pre-publication processes are alert to the findings and lessons stemming from the editorial complaint process.

In her submission to the inquiry, head of the ABC complaints unit Kirstin McLiesh described how efficient the ABC is at improving its ways after successful complaints. She says all ABC staff get a searchable log of the audience complaints and successful complaints  “are notified to content teams promptly”. If the issue is minor, she might just share the result with editorial advisers rather than directly with content teams. Her unit also writes frequent reports for staff about complaints and outcomes “as well as drawing attention to clusters in editorial underperformance or issues that have recurred or may recur.”

But the two-man inquiry team weren’t convinced, writing,

♦ A core purpose of complaint handling is to identify ways of improving organisational performance. For this to happen procedures must be in place to ensure that complaint lessons and outcomes are captured, circulated within the organisation, and acted upon. 

♦ This is well understood within the ABC and appropriate structures have been adopted. 

♦ However, it was evident in many submissions and stakeholder interviews that there is a perception that the ABC does not learn sufficiently from mistakes or other editorial policy breaches. A strongly held view is that there are few, or even no repercussions for staff found to have breached the ABC’s editorial standards. This perception has been reinforced by the ABC’s defensive response to adverse ACMA rulings and by social media activity by high profile staff… We nevertheless believe that a firm response is required within the ABC to the issues we have outlined. In a sense, there is ‘smoke’ and further efforts are required to douse the fires that have arisen regularly in recent years.”

Now let’s look at the (non-existent) impact of my successful complaints to the ABC about “Dr” Hare. I might add that the ABC is not alone in falling for Mr Bill Hare’s bombast. Just the other day The Age extolled lobbyist Hare as “Respected climate scientist Dr Bill Hare”, and the SMH and the Climate One propaganda outfit are keeping up the “Dr” nonsense. My ABC updated campaign diary reads:

April Fool’s Day, 2019: Four Corners transcript refers 13 times to Bill Hare as “Dr” Hare.

April 7, 2019: I complain to the ABC and request corrections. I say the ABC would not refer to comedian Mr Yahoo Serious as “Dr Serious” even though he has an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Newcastle University, 1996. Others are TV chat-show hostess and ex-Dolly editor “Dr of Letters Lisa Wilkinson” via Wollongong University and disillusioned Age cartoonist “Dr Michael Leunig”, three-fold endoctored via Latrobe, Griffith and ACU.

April 11, 2019: Four Corners executive producer Sally Neighbour responds,

I am advised that Bill Hare has an Honorary Doctorate of Science awarded to him in 2008 by Murdoch University for his work on climate change science and policy. Murdoch University itself refers to Bill Hare as ‘Dr’ in some of its publications. 

It is not uncommon practice to refer to people with Honorary Doctorates as ‘Dr’. I understand this is often qualified with the reference (h.c). For the purpose of our program, we did not feel this was necessary as most viewers or readers would not be familiar with the term. I am happy to take your comments onboard should we interview Bill Hare again on Four Corners. I will also convey your comments to Laura Tingle.

May 7, 2019: Michael Slezak on ABC News Analysis interviews “Dr” Bill Hare.

October 24, 2021: David Speers on Insiders interviews “Dr” Bill Hare.

Nov 5, 2021: RN Breakfast with Sally Sara: “Dr” Bill Hare again

Nov 11, 2021: ABC 7.30: A fawning Leigh Sales achieves six references to “Dr” Hare on one 7.30 program.

Nov 14, 2021: I complain again to the ABC about “Dr” Hare:

It is particularly egregious to refer to him in his science capacity as “Dr” Hare. A couple of years ago I complained about your use of “Dr” Hare and Sally Neighbour informed me the ABC would be more careful about it. Please correct all ABC versions where you call him “Dr” Hare — or at least explain that he has only an honorary doctorate for his lobbying activity.

After 18 days, on Dec 2, 2021, Matt Galvin of ABC News Management replies:

I have referred your concerns to ABC Language, a unit that meet (sic) regularly and advise (sic) ABC staff on correct language usage. They have pointed me to the ABC’s publicly-available style guide

 Titles (medical and academic)

Honorary doctorates do not usually confer the Dr title. A rule of thumb: if someone’s academic or medical status has no bearing on a story, they probably don’t need the courtesy title…

Considering the above, ABC News agrees that as Bill Hare is the CEO of Climate Analytics, it would have been sufficient in both of these recent instances to introduce him without the ‘Dr’ honorific. Please be assured that both programs will be advised about the correct usage of such references. Thank you for bringing this matter to the ABC’s attention.

So Four Corners and Laura Tingle stuffed up about “Dr” Hare in 2019, the ABC organised a corrective, Leigh Sales et al stuffed it up again and the ABC again conceded fault and applied its corrective to ensure it would be repeated no more. All well and good, the system seemed to be working, albeit with some sand in the gears. But the very day after I received the apology from ABC News Management’s Matt Galvin (Dec 2), the ABC published a new report by reporter Rebecca Turner (Dec 3) touting “Dr” Hare all over again.

Dr [sic] Hare, who received support from the CCWA [Conservation Council of WA] for the [Woodside] study, said WA did not need Scarborough gas to keep the lights on …”So really on the time scale of a decade or so, we could be 100 per cent renewable in the electricity space by the early 2030s, as are other places.” [Like where, exactly?].

Ms Turner confusingly called him “Bill Hare”, “Mr Bill Hare” and “Dr Hare” all within six paragraphs.

 So I file yet another complaint to the ABC on December 7:

Despite being twice advised that the ABC would cease calling Mr Bill Hare of Climate Analytics “Dr” Hare, ABC News has reverted to “Dr Hare” just one day after Matt Galvin (ABC News Management) assured me it wouldn’t happen. Can you please correct that Dec 3 report and take steps to ensure that ABC people cease referring to “Dr” Bill Hare. Thanks. 

Dec 8, 2021: ABC News Management’s Matt Galvin responds promptly and politely, “Thanks for pointing this out Tony – the correction has been made.”

However, instead of a correction, the ABC merely did a ‘stealth edit’ to remove the “Dr” from its reference to Hare.

May 17, 2022: For ABCTV 7pm News, it’s “Dr” Hare all over again.

May 17, 2022: I complain again to my friend,Ms McLiesh, at ABC Audience & Consumer Affairs. Watch this space.

Tony Thomas’ latest essay collection “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from publisher ConnorCourt

[1] Bill Hare was a Greenpeace International spokesman as “Climate Policy Director” 1992-2002, its “Chief Climate Negotiator” in 2007, and a Greenpeace “legend”. Notwithstanding, he was also a 2007 IPCC lead author and an expert reviewer on two out of three sections of that report, and one of 40 people on the “core writing team” for the big-picture Synthesis Report. He was a lead author for the 2014 report. A list of funders on Climate Analytics website as at 2018 includes Greenpeace Foundation, Australian Conservation Fund (ACF), Christian Aid (huh?), World Bank, UNEP, Carnegie, and numerous EU and German agencies. It has more than 30 scientists on its payroll.

[2] “WA Museum Boola Bardip” is its real name, don’t laugh.

Suffer the Little Children to Come Unto Green

POSTED ON BY TONY THOMASIN UNCATEGORIZED11 MINUTES READ

In the run-up to the federal election, teachers and third-party groups are inveigling schoolkids with propaganda about the green/Left independent candidates. In this essay I’ll take a look one such tool of sly persuasion, dark green climate activist Damon Gameau’s latest film, Regenerating Australia, which is heading for authorised mainstream usage in classrooms and spruiks nameless green/Left independents. Then I’ll document half a dozen class-lesson templates about the film, created by Cool Australiawhich is a Leftist online platform used by 52 per cent of Australian teachers with their reach to 3.2 million students.[1]

Two minutes into Gameau’s film, a fictitious planet-saving independent, “Lucy Jameson”, gets a surprise election win to rapturous acclaim. “The message from the voting public could not be clearer,” says the newsreader, claiming “frustrations with leadership and politics had boiled over”. Set in the future, the film fantasises that demonstrations by two million people led to a poll or referendum of 12 million Australians, with 82 per cent wanting net zero emissions by 2040.

So how is the flick being received? Let’s start with Melbourne’s upmarket Brighton Primary School. The principal, Steve Meade, organised a screening for May 3.[2] There are starring roles for Kerry O’Brien, the leftist ex-ABC icon; the Climate Council’s Tim “Wonthaggi”Flannery (of course), and greenish independent MHR Zali Steggall, who hails the film’s new federal law protecting “30 per cent of Australian native forest and bushland”.

Principal Meade invited along ersatz independent candidate for Goldstein, Zoe Daniel (ex-ABC) and Climate 200’s Svengali, Simon Holmes a Court, for the event’s question-and-answer session. Conservative parents mutinied and the school deleted the invitation and rescheduled the event with no mention of the Daniels/Holmes a Court’s Q&A. Principal Meade justified his stance with the time-honored nonsense about less than ten years to save “our kids and the planet.” [3]

The Herald Sun quoted one parent, “Political activism has no place in the classroom. I don’t think children in primary school need to be politicised in any way.” Brighton’s Liberal MLA James Newbury quoted outraged Bayside parents, summing up their objections thus: Our public primary schools should be places of learning not a shopfront for political activism. State Labor is taking advantage of young kids by politicising our schoolyards.” Several other schools in the Goldstein zone had previously featured Zoe Daniels, who is no doubt looking forward to further invitations.

Departmental anti-indoctrination rules vary by state (and are usually ignored). I set them out here last month. For example, SA Education Department policy is, “Members of parliament and candidates are welcome at schools and preschools within their electorates when it will not disrupt normal activities. School and preschool visits must not be for political or campaign purposes.” I doubt the guideline endorses candidate visits a mere fortnight pre-election.

Gameau’s 17-minute Regenerating “documentary” is heavily supported by WWF-Australia and  philanthropist Ian Darling’s Shark Island Foundation. Gameau claims Regenerating is based on a thousand interviews in 2020 with people of diverse views – though the film involves not one iota of doubt about green cure-alls. Set at end of 2029, it’s a prequel to his full-scale futuristic epic 2040  and also fantasises that every green gimmick has worked like a charm2040 was seized on by teachers who force-fed it to 1.5 million students and downloaded 2 million copies of the notes.

All this planet-saving has taken its toll on Gameau, as The Guardian reports:

He says that in the wake of the first Lismore floods, he was on a plane when he heard the news about the record heatwave in Antarctica – with temperatures nearly 40 degrees above average – and he “just burst into tears.

Dry your tears, Damon, momentary spikes in Antarctic temperatures are insignificant and the icy continent hasn’t warmed for 70 years.

I suppose some Gameau emotion is understandable as he couldn’t get back to his home town of Broken Head (Northern Rivers) when the floods hit, and his two daughters had to be rescued by a friend on a longboard. This has zero relevance to CO2 emissions, a fact emphasised by omission. His film doesn’t mention the planet hasn’t warmed for the past seven years and six months, according to the UAH satellite monitoring, and Australia has not warmed since end-2012.

Instead, in a rather sadistic (or sentimental) touch, the film shows in 2029 our last coal-fired power station’s stack, likely to be blown up, but with coal workers’ names first inscribed on it. It’s also rather sadistic for Gameau, circa 2029, to plant mini-forests on what looks like Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena. A lot of balls will get lost in the trees. The scariest scene in the film shows Melbourne’s Luna Park headed for at least 3m of sea rise by 2100 – that’s 4cm a year from now on. Even the alarmist IPCC expects well under a one-metre rise by 2100.

Gameau modestly likens his climate pitch to that of slavery abolitionists and the human rights movements. He finds Australian traditional democracy dissatisfying, and his film introduces some Swiss-style decision-making via on-line voting, restrictions on political donations and “citizen juries”. He claims that the masses are disillusioned with politicians who won’t recognise “the Code Red for humanity, the window is closing, now or never” and their alleged capture by the fossil fuel industry and the (Murdoch) media.[4] Hence the film’s urging for more direct local power for climate activists. Gameau says he has no political ambitions.

Naturally the film reaches a “clear consensus on First Nation’s Sovereignty”, but a kicker is that we also create a “Youth Parliamentary Advisory Council” with teenagers – Heaven help us! – advising parliament. Youthful woman speaks: “We hope to see climate change on the forefront of their (politicians’) minds and really pushing the fight for climate justice.”

Gameau’s shtick is to only terrify schoolkids a little, while claiming they can run around “taking action” to save the planet. “If you’re going to sound the fire alarm, you’ve got to show people where the exits are,” he explains. Kids come up to him crying with relief that the planet can be saved after all. There’s no mention in the film of China and India, with their vast expansions of coal-fired power that will swamp every emission cut by the West.[5]

For the scary stuff he depicts the 2020 bushfires as (bogus) demonstrations of climate change. He has a firefighter saying, “We could hear the screams of people” and a distraught housewife thinking of setting fire to her own house because of her stress. Gameau fantasises that devastating fires later in the 2020s leave “hundreds of Australians dead, and saw any doubts about climate change finally put to rest.” So much for not scaring kids.

But on the plus side, future-Australia has no trouble putting in a three-hour Melbourne-Sydney rail link, implying top speeds of circa 400kph, with an extension to Brisbane in 2032. Clever electricians install a sub-sea power line to Singapore turning us into a renewable energy export superpower, in the fantasy of Nicky Ison of WWF (curiously labelled as with AMEO – Australian Energy Market Operator). A dozen actors in a conference room – many in jeans and sneakers — see Singapore on a screen lighting up with Australia’s green electrons. They leap to their feet waving arms and exchanging high-fives. The price of renewables and batteries has of course “plummeted” and the country runs solely on renewable energy for an entire month. (After which the wind drops and we have blackouts?)

In Gameau’s imagination, we send off hydrogen-powered ships laden with “ammonia and green steel made from our iron ore and renewable energy.” We revel in a billion-dollar seaweed industry and offshore wind farms, while the feds pass a law banning single-use plastics and the Murray-Darling is granted “Rights of Nature” (whatever that might be). Every green triumph creates “thousands of new jobs”. Bikie gangs are so happy with roof gardens and extra street greenery that there is “reduced crime and reduced anti-social behaviour, because we can deal better with the world when we are getting to nature.”

Melbourne’s dark-green Mayor Sally Capp shares filmic fantasies that her electric bus fleet cuts emissions and boosts jobs. Don’t tell her that in Paris in the past month, two electric bus fires caused 150 of them to be taken out of service as a precaution.[6]

Gameau is now winding up an Australia-wide tour of about 70 screenings. The scheduling during the federal election campaign was not intentional, he says.

The screening in Batemans Bay, NSW, seemed more like a revivalist meeting with attendees calling out “yeeeew!” and “boom!” The Guardian enthuses:

A dance troupe from the local Walbunja people of the Yuin nation perform, and when they greet the audience in Dhurga, a blonde-headed girl licking a choc-top yells back “Wallawani” and pumps her hand in the air. As the event ends, one woman walks out of the cinema and stretches her arms up into the night sky. “My God, I so needed that.” 

SO NOW to the  “curriculum”. Schools have jumped aboard via Cool Australia, the third-party provider of free downloadable prefabricated lessons. The packs are  described by Cool as “the Regenerating Australia curriculum”. Cool is adulatory in tone about the cast who “shared their hopes and dreams for the country’s future.” The class brainwashing campaign got under way last February with this spiel:

Calling all teachers in Australia! 

You’re invited to a free virtual teacher preview screening of our new short film, Regenerating Australia, ahead of the national release in March!

Join us for a live Q+A with Director Damon Gameau, Cool Australia’s Head of Education, Mark Drummond, and WWF-Australia’s Earth Hour Coordinator, Jasmin Ledger, to learn about the free educational resources we are developing and how schools can get involved in Regenerating Australia! 

Cool says,

The Regenerating Australia curriculum has been designed to tune your students into the concepts covered in the film, and deep dive into the solutions presented. The lessons in this unit can be used in isolation or mixed and matched in any sequence that suits your curriculum planning. We recommend that you start the investigation of regeneration with the ‘Watching the Film’ lesson for your year level.

Cool tells teachers to take their classes to cinema screenings (there goes a morning’s real education), or get their own licensed copy and “School Action Toolkit” and “Fact Sheet”.

 Here are a few specific lessons of the Gameau curriculum (paywalled, my emphases).

# Sample One:

Subjects: Civics and Citizenship

Year Levels: 9 & 10

Topics: Democracy and politics.

Teaching Time: 180 mins (best taught over two lessons). Yikes!

Quick summary: 

Have you ever wondered what it might take to rejuvenate Australia’s democracy and get you (sic) adults involved throughout the process? In this lesson, students watch a section of “Regenerating Australia” that explores a rejuvenated and transparent democracy system and begin  to unravel truths. Students will research their local MP and find out how they vote on issues, then become active participants in the democratic system by communicating with their local MP about a topic that is important to them. Finally, students will return to the questions asked in the barometer activity to reflect on whether their understanding has changed.

Learning intentions:

* Students will understand how and why individuals and groups participate in, and contribute to, the democratic process

* Students will recognise some of the challenges to sustaining a resilient democracy

Students will become familiar with ways that the resiliency of the Australian democratic system can be improved.

A characteristic of Australian school education is that kids learn how things “should” be before they learn what they are.

Sample 2:

 Activity: Regenerating Australia – Watching the Film – English & Geography – Years 9 & 10 

Teaching Time: 90 minutes.

Quick summary: 

In this lesson, students will build an understanding of the concept of ‘regeneration’ and its benefits for our communities and ecosystems. They will complete a 3-2-1- Bridge Visible Thinking Routine and review a set of key terms related to the topic before watching “Regenerating Australia.” Students will be invited to evaluate the content and develop questions about the film’s content. The class with (sic) re-watch snippets of the film to extend their understanding, then work collaboratively to dive deeper into the topic of regeneration in a jigsaw-classroom activity. 

Sample 3:

Activity: Regenerating Australia – Watching The Film – English, Science and Civics and Citizenship – Years 5 & 6.

Topics: Sustainability, Regenerating Australia

Teaching Time: 90 minutes.

Quick summary: 

In this lesson, students will work towards understanding the concept of ‘regeneration’ and the impact of regeneration on our communities and ecosystems. They will review their understanding of a set of key terms, then watch the film “Regenerating Australia”. They will make their thinking about the film visible through the See/Think/Wonder tool, then read through a factsheet on regeneration. They will summarise their understanding of regeneration, then extend their understanding through a Gallery Walk activity, before returning to their summaries as a reflection exercise.

Learning intentions:

* Students will understand the concept of ‘regeneration’

* Students will understand the impact of regeneration on our community and ecosystems.

 Sample 4:

Regenerating Australia – Watching The Film – English, Science and Civics and Citizenship – Years 7 & 8

Topics: Sustainability, Regenerating Australia

Teaching Time: 120 minutes. [That’s half a day’s schooling up the spout].

Quick summary: 

In this lesson, students will understand the concept of ‘regeneration’ and its impact on our communities and ecosystems. The teacher will activate children’s prior knowledge on the topic in a vocabulary matching game, prompt their critical thinking skills using the 5Ws, and invite students to develop questions about the concept of regeneration. They will view “Regenerating Australia”, then return to their questions and summarise the key themes. Students will be invited to explore their school with an open mind and capture spaces that could benefit from regeneration. 

Learning intentions:

* Students will understand the concept of ‘regeneration’

* Students will understand that regeneration is something that we can implement in our communities and ecosystems.

Sample 5:

Regenerating Australia – Film And Production Analysis – English – Years 9 & 10

Teaching Time: 180 mins (this lesson could be split over a number of teaching periods).

Quick summary: 

In this lesson, students will view the film “Regenerating Australia” and then watch a video interview with the Writer and Director, Damon Gameau. They will respond to a set of questions that will prompt them to consider the intended impact of the film and the structural and/or visual choices that were made in order to create this impact. Students will use their knowledge on regeneration to create a news report about a real or imagined example of regeneration.

Learning intentions:

* Understand how cultural perspectives and other texts can influence the construction and interpretation of news reports

* Be aware of how people, cultures, places, events, objects and concepts are represented in texts, including media texts, through language, structural and/or visual choices

* Know how to create informative texts that present a point of view and advance or illustrate arguments.

Sample 6:

Activity: Regenerating Australia – Regenerate Your Community – Design and Technology – Years 7 & 8

Topics: Critical and Creative Thinking, Regenerating Australia, design, environment. 

Teaching Time: 95 mins.

Quick summary: After watching Regenerating Australia, students will work through an investigation of creative and critical thinking tasks to gain an in-depth understanding of what regeneration and sustainability mean in the context of their local communities and areas.

Teachers say the curriculum is too crowded – but they can always squeeze in some more net-zero propaganda.

Tony Thomas’ latest essay collection “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from publisher ConnorCourt

[1] Cool Australia brags that Teachers Health insurance fund, with its 300,000 clients, is “Our Coolest Partner”. Other funders include various Rich-Listers’ foundations (e.g. the Fox family, Purves, Fairfax, Smorgons), billionaire-run Atlassian, Google and Cisco, plus odds and sods such as the Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation.

[2] Herald Sun April 17, 2022: Brighton Primary School parents furious after political candidate asked to speak. Paywalled.

[3] The Liberal’s Goldstein MHR, Tim Wilson, was also invited but it’s not clear to which event or both.

[4] Stanford University has just received a $US1b donation for an alarmist climate institute. Sceptic bloggers live off tip jars.

[5] China plans to boost coal capacity by 300 million tonnes this year, from its already-record levels.

[6] Gameau: “With the NSW Government recently pledging to convert its 8,000 diesel buses to electric by 2030, we are on the way to lighter-touch long distance travelling.”Amon Gameau

The Green Goblins Terrifying Our Kids

There’s a problem with being a councillor on Tim Flannery’s Climate Council. While they’re very good at scaring Australians with climate apocalypse hob-goblins, councillors are now also frightening themselves, their kids and grandkids.

The Council is the go-to resource for Australia’s lapdog media, getting in 2020-21 more than 19,500 media mentions and 22,000 media items elevating “trusted voices”.[1] When the-prime minister Tony Abbott axed the government-funded Climate Commission in 2013, it morphed into this Climate Council funded by donations.

Pre-election, it’s gone even more demented than usual, complaining on March 31, for example, that the horrible Morrison government has “no effective mechanisms to “eliminate coal, oil and gas”. I suppose the Council would first “eliminate” all base-load electricity, then “eliminate” Australia’s non-electric cars, trucks and buses (98 per cent of the total) and then “eliminate” everything being made of plastics.

Simple, really. What else would you expect from experts led by Tim “Wonthaggi” Flannery, who prophesised that “Even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and river systems”, and Will Steffen, the council’s chief doom-cryer.[2] Worth noting, Steffen’s recent co-authored paper in Nature included the grotesque correction reproduced below.

Council policy is that by 2030 (a mere seven and a half years’ ahead) Australia should cut emissions by 75 per cent below 2005 levels and reach net zero emissions by 2035. In the disruption to our way of life, this would make the Soviet revolution of 1917 seem just a hiccup.

The Council’s “eliminate” document claims that Australia is an “international pariah” for slacking on net zero emissions. It’s taken less than a month for this hyberbole to collapse, since Western Europe is now fast back-pedalling from renewables programs that made them hostage to Russian energy. As Matt Canavan, the rational National, told an aghast ABC on April 26, “The net zero thing is all sort of dead anyway”. Unlike the Climate Council, he wasn’t engaging in hyperbole:  Britain is pausing it, Germany is building coal- and gas-fired infrastructure, and Italy is re-opening its coal-fired power plants. Canavan didn’t get around to mentioning China’s plans to boost coal capacity by 300 million tonnes this year, from its already-record levels.

Rather than Flannery or Steffen, I’m actually interested today in a third Climate Councillor, Dr Kate Charlesworth. The Council describes her as a “mother and public health doctor”. She’s undoubtedly well qualified in treating hospital patients but, like many of the medical, psychology and psychiatry tribes, she’s been badly bitten by the baloney bug. She drifted away from laudable UK hospital work to Cambridge University, studying how to reduce English Health’s carbon footprint. She now works in NSW as “a medical specialist on environmentally sustainable health care” — the very first such role in Australia, fighting “the biggest health issue of all: the climate emergency.”[3] Cancer? Heart attacks? Diabetes Type 2? They’re just also-rans. The three-time mother also wrote, “We must act urgently and decisively to protect ourselves and those we love. This is literally becoming the fight of our lives.”

I agree with her tract, “A new guide for parents: managing eco-anxiety in your kids”, that “it’s tough being a parent”. She cites the unrelenting grind of packing school lunches, getting the kids to look away from their screens for a few seconds a day, and sundry COVID woes. But her appraisal of the purported “climate crisis” dwarfs all that:

My eldest child is now 11. So I’m adding one more issue to my list of parenting challenges: managing eco-anxiety. My psychology and paediatric colleagues report that once children get to the ‘tweens’ they start to comprehend the urgency and enormity of the climate challenge, and with that can come anxiety and depression.

A recent survey of 10,000 children and young people (aged 16-25 years) in 10 countries (including Australia) found that 59% were very or extremely worried about climate change, with 84% at least moderately worried. Of note, climate anxiety and distress correlated with ‘perceived inadequate government response and associated feelings of betrayal’. 

I’d interrupt Dr Charlesworth here to mention that this study in The Lancet was funded by climate activist group AVAAZ, and included such non-sciency activist blather as, “These psychological stressors [feelings of betrayal] threaten health and wellbeing, and could be construed as morally injurious and unjust.”

It’s not as if kids from age six leaf through alarmist IPCC reports at bedtime. Such kids would be happier if adults stopped berating them with climate-extinction doom and party-political propaganda. For example, in Germany last year, seven climate activists as young as 18 went on a 27-day hunger strike and several ended up in hospital.

Dr Charlesworth continues that kids’ eco-anxiety is all too real, based on “robust” scientific evidence (no, it’s based on much-adjusted data, and also on climate models tuned to hide their many weaknesses and to get plausibly-alarmist results). She claims we are beginning to witness the actual “climate breakdown”. Really, Dr Charlesworth?

After a century of warming, Australian farm output is expected to hit new output and value records — an “incredible” $78 billion, according to the ABARES Agricultural Report of December 2021. As federal agriculture minister David Littleproud put it,

Production is expected to increase for every major livestock commodity and almost every major crop. It is the first time in half a century that production will increase for so many products at the same time.

If this is “climate breakdown”, let’s have more of it. Dr Charlesworth, why not pass on the good news to your anxiety-riddled kids?[4]

Her article passes along what psychologists recommend and reject as means to calm kids climate anxieties, for example: “Attempts to discredit the science, diminish their reaction or shield them from the truth will only worsen the situation.”

These psychs, along with Dr Charlesworth, also want kids to “join a local climate action youth group. This is building your child’s ‘self-efficacy’: their belief that they can make a difference. This step has really important mental health benefits, as action is one of the best antidotes to anxiety.” One such group is Roger Hallam’s Extinction Rebellion. Hallam does videos such as ‘Advice to Young People as They Face Annihilation‘ which kids might not find all that re-assuring.

Dr Charlesworth says that if kids are budding lawyers, steer them towards suing the government for wrecking their climate future: “These are fantastic examples of children taking agency over their situation.” And, she might have added, massively wasting kids’ and everyone’s time, as these stupid cases all fail.

Her final advice to parents: “So, at the upcoming election, vote the way your children would, if they had the chance: vote for climate action.” Her sources for this indoctrination include the Australian Psychological Society, a cabal of kiddy-scarers:

Alarmed small children may show behavior changes —“ e.g., in their play, drawing, or dreams that might suggest that something is unsettling them.” They might find it easier to talk about environmental issues via a toy or puppet. Try asking, “And how are you feeling today, Teddy?”.

Psychiatrists aren’t any better. One leading  Melbourne shrink wrote in 2019:

In Australia there continues to be Government denial. Our leaders could be seen psychiatrically as deluded and a danger to others and if so certifiable. At worst they can be seen as guilty of crimes against humanity and nature-homicide and ecocide — and indeed in the future they may be found to be …

Australian pediatricians are matched for wokeness by their offshore counterparts.  

In 2020 the International Pediatric Association adopted a declaration about climate’s “existential and universal threat”  to children, and about achieving “climate justice in an ecologically grounded and sustainable world.” Child health facilities are to be re-purposed for climate propaganda, by “engaging clinical and non-clinical staff in practices, hospitals, and health systems as advocates”.

Child health professionals are to use “the framework of anticipatory guidance at office visits for discussing climate change with families.” Just picture it: bring in seven-year-old Daphne to get her eczema fixed and you’ll first get an earful from the staff about the wonders of wind turbines.

The gamut of child health professionals are now supposed “in unison” to advocate for causes like green electricity, “plant-based food” (delicious!), electric cars, and “inter-species justice”. To prepare the ground for all this, there would be professional education for  “Child health professionals at all levels of training and in all venues of practice, on all aspects of the climate crisis.” This education includes

…collaborative movements such as One Health, Planetary Health, and Traditional Ecological Knowledge, which identify the root civil-political, social, economic, cultural, ecological, and philosophical causes of climate change.

The international association laments that too many health professionals fear spruiking climate stuff publicly. One survey showed 22 per cent thought their peers would object; 16 per cent thought the topic too controversial, and 14 per cent didn’t want to risk their careers over it. The association claims its declaration will soothe such concerns, advising that “public engagement is expected of pediatricians.” Professionals are now meant to “advance and support” kids’ own climate-crisis advocacy (as if kids acquired their views independently).

Amongst all the nonsense are a couple of good ideas, like less jetting to glamorous conferences (a great tax lurk for medicos). Such conferences should now offer “primarily vegetarian, climate-conscious, and locally-sourced meals.” Maybe lentil soup, mealworms and grilled grasshoppers.

The donation-funded Climate Council has grown to a $6 million a year propaganda behemoth with a $4 million salary bill.  It started in 2013 with $1m.  I suspect someone’s tipping in multi-million dollars there now. As for the nitty-gritty, the only (derisory) public disclosure about salaries is that 24 key managers got in total $545,733 last year.

All up, $6 million is a lot of money to spend on hogwash.

Tony Thomas’ latest essay collection “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from publisher ConnorCourt

[1] Climate Council Annual report, p7

[2] “The ultimate drivers of the Anthropocene if they continue unabated through this century, may well threaten the viability of contemporary civilization and perhaps even the future existence of Homo sapiens.”

[3] She’s also a member of Doctors for the Environment Australia, the Climate and Health Alliance, and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians Climate change and Health group.

[4] The deluded Climate Council claims, quoting our equally silly Academy of Science: “The long-term drying trends in southwest and southeast Australia, punctuated by severe droughts, are already hammering our most important agricultural regions.”

What the ABC Decided You Didn’t Need to Know

Media

Let’s do a case study of the ABC’s handling of an important political controversy. That is, the contents of the laptop abandoned in a Delaware repair shop in 2019 by Joe Biden’s dissolute son Hunter. The New York Post exposed it just three weeks before the election. Key to remember is that the ABC loves Joe Biden to distraction, as the comments below demonstrate:

Stan Grant: “Joe Biden’s appeal to decency, to bring Americans together…”

Leigh Sales: “When you talk to people who have spent time around Joe Biden, including Republicans, there is one word that keeps coming up…”extraordinarily decent person”… “the most decent, honourable politician I’ve ever known”…”a person with decency”… 

Joe actually leads a sleazy family of grifters. For example, on August 13, 2018, after son Hunter drove to Las Vegas from LA in his Porsche at up to 175mph, one prostitute warned him to stop using more than two prostitutes simultaneously because they might steal his stuff.[1] Hunter has traded on his father’s position to enrich himself by multi-millions. of dollars As a quid pro quo Joe got his cut from Hunter – who  whinges at having to hand over half his earnings to Dad as part of their comingled paypacket.[2] In the past decade Hunter was soliciting riches from corrupt Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs and from princelings in China tied to the Communist Party – indeed cash connections extending all the way to China’s then-rising star Xi Jinping.[3] [4] Joe Biden, as US vice-president and president, denied any knowledge of the drug-addled neophyte Hunter’s business deals.[5]

One 2017 email on the laptop referred to Hunter warehousing for Joe 10 per cent of profits from a multi-billion China belt-and-road funder, called CEFC, associated with Chinese intelligence actors and controlling “more money than God”, said Hunter, who cruised to China on Air Force Two in 2013 when Dad met Xi Jinping.[6] The 10 per cent was for “the big guy”. As one of his partners put it: “Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u are face to face.”[7]

Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post front-paged the materials. For six hours it seemed an election-winner for Trump – until  Twitter and Facebook blocked the story from circulating online, even suspending the Post’s own Twitter account. One post-election poll showed 36 per cent of Democrat voters didn’t know about the laptop, and 13 per cent would not have voted for Biden if they had known.

The ABC’s team was comfortable with Twitter/FB’s censorship jihad and themselves trashed the Post’s story as Russian-inspired disinformation or worthless. They were impressed by 51 retired senior intelligence executives who claimed the story had all the hallmarks of Russian hackdom – citing no evidence whatsoever.

Last month, the New York Times finally conceded Hunter’s laptop contents were the real thing. The Times had suppressed the truth for well over a year. The Washington Post next day sheepishly followed suit.

Contrition?  None, of course, and none yet from the ABC. As for those 51 intelligence “experts”, the New York Post splashed their portraits as a rogue’s gallery of lying Deep State operatives. One of them, 28-year CIA veteran John Sipher tweeted: “I lost the election for Trump? Well, then I (feel) pretty good about my influence.”

NOW let’s get forensic about the ABC’s laptop coverage.

First, the Post’s initial bombshell was that Joe Biden was lying that he had no knowledge of Hunter’s lucrative business dealings with dubious offshore players. The laptop emails showed Hunter  setting up Joe for a  meeting in 2015 with the corrupt Burisma operatives paying the unqualified Hunter $US83,333 a month. However, the laptop’s email wordings were ambiguous whether the meeting was consummated. The ABC repeatedly seized on the “unconsummated” interpretation to protect Joe Biden. After eight months of denials and stonewalling,  the White House admitted last year that Joe did attend the meeting at Café Milano’s private Garden Room in Georgetown DC, on April 16, 2015, but claimed it was just a “drop by” because Joe (improbably) wanted to meet a Greek Orthodox priest there and no business was discussed. As Miranda Devine notes, “That’s not how it works. Joe just has to show up and shake hands. All that matters is that Hunter demonstrates his pulling power” to justify pocketing $US83,000 a month.[8]

Among other invitees were Moscow billionaire Elena Baturina and husband, the corrupt Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov. Baturina the previous year had wired $US3.5 million to Hunter’s business, a transfer US Treasury flagged as a suspicious transaction.

The ABC might now protest that it knew nothing of those dinner facts at the time. But since the facts have emerged, the ABC has declined to inform its Australian public or correct its previous smears.

Here’s the ABC’s reporting timeline.

October 15, 2020: 

Associated Press/ABC runs an unsigned explainer  about why Facebook and Twitter were suppressing the laptop story. The ABC describes as “an unfounded idea” that Hunter Biden “may have enriched himself by selling his access to his father.” Well, useless crackhead Hunter certainly collected multi-million payoffs from bagmen from America’s antagonists like Russia and China, but for no reason, apparently.

The piece continues, “Disinformation experts have said there are multiple red flags that raise doubts about (the emails’) authenticity [they’re authentic], including questions about whether the laptop actually belongs to Hunter Biden.” [It did]. The ABC quoted one “disinformation expert” that the emails could be either hacked or forged or both. [The emails weren’t hacked or forged or both].

The mere involvement of Trumpers Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani is viewed  as “another potential alarm” – though the ABC never viewed as “potential alarms” any  leak from double-dealing Democrat FBI/CIA chiefs, hookers, grifters or nameless “officials”.

AP/ABC next  spin the story as Twitter and Facebook limiting “hacked” material on their platforms “ahead of the election”, rather than desperately censoring material damaging to candidate Biden. (After the election Twitter CEO Dorsey admitted the emails weren’t hacked, and Facebook never published its promised Fact-Check).

The ABC  inserts a correction to the story three months later, walking back a detail that had been over-favorable to Biden.

 October 16, 2020:

Planet America with John Barron – also of the US Studies Centre, Sydney University – and “comedian” Chas Licciardello claim that struggling candidate Trump, with Murdoch’s backing, is “desperately resurrecting” his attacks on Hunter Biden.

In a  vile ad hominem, Barron in his smart grey suit spits at the  legally-blind albino repairer of Hunter’s laptop: “He is a piece of work!” This repairman, Mac Isaac, legally owned the laptop in August 2019 when Hunter failed to pay and collect it. His father, a retired Air Force colonel, reported the contents properly to the FBI, which declined to even receive the laptop. In December 2019, however, the FBI had second thoughts and  seized the laptop from Isaac’s shop. In the national uproar, Isaac’s public-spirited act tore his life apart. He got violent threats, feared for his life and closed his thriving business to move interstate. He has since brought suit against Twitter for its lie that he ‘hacked’ the laptop.

Barron also calls the Post story “a pretty poor piece of journalism” and “a very very credulous piece of reporting”. This applies exactly to the ABC’s  coverage. If anyone is “a piece of work”, it’s ABC’s John Barron.

The pair agree that Twitter/FB’s censorship is “extraordinary” but put that down to the “fishy” laptop story being “simply bunkum” from Russian hacks and misinformation.

The pair run the gamut of laptop excuses, eg that

♦ Hunter maybe didn’t give the laptop to the repair shop (he did)

♦ Hunter was living in Los Angeles and the shop was in Delaware (pundit Chas seems unaware that for generations the Biden family seat is in Delaware)

♦ The laptop would have been password protected (Well, doh!)

♦ Why didn’t the repairer contact Hunter? (He tried in vain)

♦ The FBI did nothing about the laptop  because “there was nothing to it” (No, because the material was dangerous to Joe Biden).

♦ Why didn’t the repairer charge more than $US85? (So what?)

♦ Why would Hunter agree to forfeit the laptop if not collected in 90 days? (Perhaps because he was on crack cocaine and anyway it’s standard repair boilerplate).

♦ Wasn’t it “convenient” the repairer couldn’t recognise Hunter? (Come off it, he was legally blind)

♦ The repairer was a “rabid Trumper” (as were 74m Americans).

♦ The media has to be very careful about foreign election interference and Russian email hacks (except when covering the Democrat-funded “Steele” dossier fakery about prostitutes peeing on Trump’s bed in Moscow).

♦ The emails on the laptop aren’t significant or smoking-guns – “there was nothing actually there”. (So why the unprecedented Twitter/FB crackdown?)

October 20:

The ABC’s David Lipson runs a three-minute audio piece headed, “America’s top intelligence official dismisses Russian disinformation campaign.” This was a reference to John Ratcliffe, Director of National Intelligence. I thought, “Good for you, David, some honest ABC reporting at last.” But Lipson’s actual audio was the usual disgusting ABC spin. The item was introduced as “Reports of a Russian disinformation campaign” and Lipson, claiming “big questions about the veracity of the story”, next cut to Democrat Congress Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff saying, “The whole smear on Joe Biden comes from the Kremlin.”

Lipson clings to his conspiracy: “Multiple news outlets have suggested the FBI is investigating whether the report is part of a Russian disinformation campaign.” He then commendably inserts intelligence boss Ratcliffe saying it’s not Russian spooks and he intends to “stop people using the intelligence community to leverage some political initiative.” Lipson scoffs and dismisses Ratcliffe’s words with a sneering,

Here is the kicker! Before his appointment Ratcliffe was a Republican member of Congress and a staunch Trump loyalist who defended the President in his impeachment trial… Now he is America’s most senior intelligence officer and weighing in on an intelligence issue 15 days out from the election! 

The trouble with Lipson’s ad hominem is that Ratcliffe was right and Lipson is a goose.

October 22:

The ABC’s Steven Smiley and Angela Lavoipierre introduce an audio on the laptop: “Donald Trump’s favorite news story is the one about Hunter Biden, he won’t stop bringing it up. By contrast most of the reputable news media will not touch it, and Twitter and Facebook have both put brakes on related posts. But do they have good reason?”

Lavoipierre: Sometimes you end up with a terrible story that might not stack up.

Smiley: Yeah which is a pretty good description of latest chapter to the Hunter Biden saga.

A certain Adi Robertson, who sees herself an expert on office furniture at an obscure US blog, Verge, is quoted damning the laptop story because, or so she claims, the repair-shop man “subscribes to some weird anti-Clinton conspiracy theories” and Trump’s Rudy Giuliani at some point unwittingly endorsed a Ukrainian MP later exposed as a Russian agent.

Democrat leader Adam Schiff is also quoted: “The origins of this whole smear is from the Kremlin. The President [Trump] is only too happy to have Kremlin help to try to amplify it.”

The on-air trio then bruit (without evidence) that the laptop story is a lookalike to how the Russians allegedly hacked the Democrat National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s private servers in 2016. Robertson hedges her bets but says the laptop story is “really troubling” and they agree it’s “dubious” and “really strange if not outright disinformation”. She concedes the censorship is beyond normal Twitter/FB practice — but no, it’s not suppressing a story “that might harm the Biden campaign”. It’s just that social media allowed too much disinformation in 2016, so Twitter/FB are  over-correcting: “Once bitten, twice shy.”

They all agree that “many conservatives” claim it’s a violation of free speech, but conclude that the problem  is merely “platform power” involving “news distribution”.

October 23:

The ABC’s Matt Bevan admits the laptop scoops have been coming from the Murdoch Australian press, while US rival outlets “wrestle with whether or not to publish”. Indeed. Bevan sneers that the laptop “supposedly” belonged to Hunter Biden (it did), and that its murky stories of Joe, Hunter and Ukrainian gas company Burisma  are inconclusive or false. What Bevan omits is why Burisma was paying Hunter Biden, a libidinous crackhead, $US83,000 a month and billionaires from Moscow and China were showering him with millions.

Bevan touts Russian conspiracy:

“Then, starting at the beginning of 2020, reports emerged [huh?] that Russian government hackers had gained access to the emails of Hunter Biden, and were planning to release them before the 2020 election, timed to do maximum damage to his father’s campaign, in a direct re-running of their 2016 US election interference campaign… Journalists [un-named] at the New York Post have told the New York Times and New York Magazine that they are concerned about the veracity of the story.” [That’s weird because the story was correct.].

There are a few possibilities for what has happened here. One is that Mr Giuliani, despite his recent record of lying about this story repeatedly [no, it’s the ABC lying repeatedly], really did by incredible coincidence come into possession of these materials. [The repair shop owner, after long FBI indifference, turned to Giuliani to make something happen. That’s not an “incredible coincidence”].

The other is that Russian intelligence hacked into Hunter Biden’s information and then laundered what they found through a laptop and a drop at a friendly computer shop. [Yeah right, Matt, taxpayers ought to dock your ABC salary for that nonsense]

Either way, the information on the laptop is highly questionable. [No, it’s accurate].

Which is why American news outlets have been hesitant to touch it. [No, it’s because they are in bed with Democrats and the Bidens].

But Australian media has shown no such qualms. [You mean, the Australian Murdoch media has run rings round the cowardly, truth-suppressing ABC on this affair]

Bevan’s piece required two incidental corrections by the ABC itself.

October 24:

ABC’s David Lipson surprisingly concedes the laptop is not Russian disinformation. But then he  spins it as “more sideshow than showstopper” because Biden probably didn’t attend that Hunter dinner (he did).

Lipson even mentions laptop emails describing Joe Biden “as the ‘Big Guy’ in business deals being sought in China”, but forebears the detail that this “Big Guy” was to be cut in for a secret 10 per cent of the money warehoused by Hunter and Co. Lipson spins: “But the emails are dated May 2017, when Biden was no longer serving as vice-president.” In other words, the Hunter Biden/China financial sleaze was just during Joe’s private capacity, so who cares? Lipson approves Joe’s zinger in the third debate that  his tax returns show no “untoward” money. Actually, Matt,  politicians keep dirty money out of their financial records and the laptop provides how-to examples.

November 1:

 The ABC’s Echo Hui and Hagar Cohen do a long “investigative” piece about a wealthy Chinese expat  blog “New Federal State of China” touting the laptop. The ABC narrative thus associates the scandal with a bunch of what the audience is encouraged to regard as odd/crazy Chinese diaspora activists. This group’s anti-CCP stance is a particular black mark:

Dr Anne Kruger, the director of Asia Pacific at the fact check organisation FirstDraft, studied the group’s operations and said followers flood the internet with questionable material. “Their main tactic is really to try to appeal to people that might have a gripe against the Chinese Communist Party and to push conspiracy theories,” Dr Kruger said

This blog became, say the ABC duo, “the centre of Hunter Biden’s laptop scandal” (what nonsense!). The duo add that “most mainstream US media have not reported the allegations because the source and substance of the material could not be verified.” This Chinese blog, according to ex-members cited, is “very, very dangerous to any country, and the misinformation it recklessly spreads will seriously harm democracy.”

November 3:

The ABC’s “music and pop culture reporter” Paul Donoughue brazenly instances the “discredited” laptop story, and says Twitter “briefly” stopped users from sharing the “misinformation”. (“Briefly” meaning two of the crucial three weeks until election eve).

Donoughue quotes UWA academic Michael Douglas likening Twitter/FB’s crackdown to legitimate censorship of child exploitation material: “In my view, suppressing dubious content designed to influence an election is also justified.”

Donoughue also cites another deluded academic: “Professor Bruns and other researchers say there is no evidence that social platforms are biased against conservative voices.” Reality: Twitter censored the Trump campaign 625 times from May 31, 2018 to Jan 4, 2021, the Biden campaign, zero.[9]

March/April 2022:

Despite their favourite sources, the New York Times and Washington Post, now admitting the laptop is bona fide, the ABC reports nothing about it. Another angle the ABC ignores is that Leigh Sales’ chum Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) were fined $US8000 and $US105,000 respectively on March 30, 2022, for lying about their $US1 million funding of the anti-Trump  “pee” dossier.

Maybe the (hopefully) next-term Morrison government will set up a Truth & Justice Commission into the ABC. It seems needed.

Tony Thomas’ latest essay collection “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from publisher ConnorCourt

[1] Devine, Miranda, Laptop from Hell, Hunter Biden, Big Tech and the Dirty Secrets The President Tried to Hide, Post Hill Press, 2021, p247-8

[2] Ibid, p61

[3] “Hunter Biden had business associations with Ye Jianming, Gongwen Dong, and other Chinese nationals linked to the Communist government and People’s Liberation Army. Those associations resulted in millions of dollars in questionable transactions.” Republican-chaired Congressional Investigation Report, September 23, 2020

[4] Devine, p72

[5] Ex-VP Joe Biden, wife Jill, brother Jim and Ye Jianming even had keys to Hunter’s business office in Washington DC. — Devine, p184

[6] Devine, p125

[7] Hunter referred to another CEFC official as “the f***ing spy chief” and told cronies that CEFC was “coming to be MY partner to be partners with the Bidens.” (Devine, p191). The Bidens windfall from CEFC cash was $US5 million. CEFC founder Ye Jianming gave Hunter a 3.16 carat diamond after their first meeting. In Hunter’s later divorce suit, its value was put at around $US80,000. (Devine, p54).

[8] Devine , p102

[9] An October 2021 Media Researh Centre study even found that Big Tech giants overwhelmingly censored Republican members of Congress by a rate of 54-to-1 compared to congressional Democrats.

How the UK Combats Activism in the Classroom

Tony Thomas

This essay, the first of two, looks at the UK education system and its praiseworthy laws under the Education Act 1996 against teachers pushing partisan views. The ban prohibits not just touting for political parties but promoting contentious ideas in a one-sided way – trashing Winston Churchill as an imperialist, for example (let alone “Critical Race Theory”). The law would require teachers to also discuss Churchill’s positive achievements. The Ministry issued 9000 words of further and comprehensive “guidance notes” for teachers on February 17 on interpreting these laws.

Indoctrination by schools is also a boiling political issue in the US. School board elections are now political battlegrounds across states. In Virginia, anti-indoctrination candidate Glenn Youngkin became the first Republican to serve as governor since 2009.[1] Florida Republican governor Ron DeSantis is a likely presidential nominee, on a platform that includes condemning Critical Race Theory, explicit sex materials and other “woke” indoctrination by Democrat brainwashers in schools.

Part II: Why Australian teachers are free to brainwash kids

Do the Australian states’ education systems have similar laws? My second essay will spell out these policies plus examples of how they are violated continuously and with impunity.

The UK ban on classroom indoctrination

Under the heading “Political Indoctrination’, Section 406 of the UK Education Act forbids

(a) the pursuit of partisan political activities by any of those registered pupils … who are junior pupils [under 12],[2] and

(b) the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school.

 Section 407 is headed, “Duty to secure balanced treatment of political issues” and comes with sub-sections that enable teachers to advocate fundamentals such as rule of law and religious tolerance. But the key clauses ban partisan political teaching of any subject or distribution of partisan material, and require that teachers give kids a “balanced presentation of opposing views.”

February’s guidance notes provide teachers with about 20 illustrations of contentious situations in class. Clarification was needed because many schools have been convulsed by angry parental protests about teaching and withdrawals of kids from state education.[3] At the sharp end is the teaching of issues like Black Lives Matter and “white privilege”, LGBTQI+ affairs in Muslim-heavy schools, #metoo, statue-trashing, “Critical Race Theory” and of course, the supposed climate apocalypse. Even if a topic like net-zero is bi-partisan in Parliament, UK schools must give it balanced treatment if it remains contentious in the UK community.

The Guidance was precipitated by an adverse Commons education committee report last June and a dossier to Parliament from the Free Speech Union last November, citing partisan teaching in 15 schools, described as ‘the tip of the iceberg’:

“They [teachers] are so far down the woke rabbit hole, they think these claims are incontestable facts rather than contentious political positions and regard anyone who challenges them as completely beyond the pale,” the Free Speech secretary said. Examples included a history teacher comparing Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler and diatribes against the police, racism and colonialism. The earlier Commons report said teachers preached against “white privilege” even though their working-class white students were low-achieving and disadvantaged. Tory MP Jonathon Gullis, an ex-teacher, said teachers pushing “white privilege” racism should be disciplined and reported to counter-terrorism programs as extremists. The Ministry agreed any such teaching was contrary to the Education Act’s impartiality clauses.

UK teachers hit back at the government’s ‘awful’ Guidance, calling it a “war on woke” while dismissing it as patronising and gratuitous advice to schools. Some teachers argued the guidance is “non-statutory” and could be ignored.

The Minister for School Standards, Robin Walker, explained in the Commons, “Pupils must form their own political views, and schools should not indoctrinate or encourage children to pin their colours to any particular political mast.” Similarly, the Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi, says in the foreword to the Guidance,

Parents and carers want to be sure that their children can learn about political issues and begin to form their own independent opinions, without being influenced by the personal views of those teaching them.

The Guidance says, “Given the changing nature of political issues and how they are taught, schools may wish to consider reviewing their approach to political impartiality even where issues have not already emerged.” The department clearly expects schools rife with parental complaints will rigorously review and reform any illegally-biased teaching.

“Teachers are role models and authority figures, and hence should seldom share their personal political views,” the Guidance says. If they do, they should alert pupils to equivalent contrary views. Schools should consider whether or not to ban teachers altogether from expressing personal political opinions.

Third parties, including charities and campaigners are welcome to supplement teaching, but schools should ensure in advance that speakers or materials do not undermine schools’ legal impartiality, and visitors should represent a fair cross-section of views. The guidance instances an external agency invited to speak on economic challenges of the Global South, but the agency wrongly promotes partisan free-market economic reforms like privatisation and deregulation.

On climate, the guidelines cite the 2007 legal challenge by citizen Stuart Dimmock[4]against schools airing Al Gore’s 2007 Inconvenient Truth disaster movie. The UK High Court, ruling against the Education Department, defined “partisan” as “one-sided” and defined “political views” as “those expressed with a political purpose, such as to further the interests of a particular partisan group, change the law or change government policy. This could be on a wide range of matters such as economic and social issues at a local, national, or international level.”[5]

The High Court ruling was that Gore’s movie was politically partisan and the court required teachers to alert kids about this and provide balancing material, as well as obliging them to point out nine major errors in the film (which Gore has never corrected).[6] [7]

The UK guidance notes define climate change as “scientific fact” (whatever that’s supposed to mean) and not political, but says correctly that discussion of causes and policy responses to it might well be politically influenced. Teachers and pupils should distinguish between climate facts, solutions and opinions. Teachers need not reference misinformation that “anthropogenic climate change is not occurring,” it says. [A straw-man as the controversy is over how much is occurring and why].

An inquiry by the skeptic-minded Global Warming Policy Foundation in 2014 picked up these examples of UK teachers’ partisan preaching on climate:

♦ A mind-map (schematic) suggests global warming will be worse than famine, plague or nuclear war. The mind-map was sourced to a pamphlet from a “passionate” green activist.

♦ “Scientists believe that a 1◦C increase in world temperature is all that the world can tolerate before climatic chaos sets in.”

♦ “Explain why developed rich countries should provide money to poorer, developing countries so that they can reduce their CO2 emissions.”

Academics and renewables executives invited to a Norfolk school did a futuristic presentation:

♦ As the day begins, the students are informed that the Earth’s remaining reserves of fossil fuels have finally been exhausted and, as a result, the fabric of what we consider normal life has immediately started to crumble. No more light, no more heat, no more iPods. No more anything, in fact, meaning something needs to be done – and soon – before the world falls into total chaos.

♦ Only when the last tree has died, and the last river has been poisoned, and the last fish has been caught, will we realise that we cannot eat money. Is it all about money?

UK teachers’ comments to a draft survey suggested that even half a decade ago UK schools were overdoing the climate scare:

♦ “It’s done to death in UK schools across a range of subjects and in nearly all year groups. We risk turning them off it.”

♦ “Blimey, it is virtually impossible to do any science topic without some reference to greenhouse effect/global warming/climate change having to be included.”

♦ “It has become a bit of a joke in my higher groups that on the long exam questions the words carbon dioxide and global warming will always get a mark regardless of the question!

GWPF said the “sustainability” teaching isn’t improving kids’ scientific and economic knowledge.

Our research for this report suggests, perhaps unsurprisingly, that having unqualified primary school teachers explain complex physical phenomena to primary school children has not been a successful strategy…

The slant is on scares, on raising fears, followed by the promotion of detailed guidance on how pupils should live, as well as on what they should think. In some instances, we find encouragement to create ‘little political activists’ in schools by creating a burden of responsibility for action on their part to ‘save the planet’, not least by putting pressure on their parents… Children are being treated as political targets by activists who wish to change society in fundamental ways…

The fact that children’s ability to pass their exams – and hence their future life prospects – appears to depend on being able to demonstrate their climate change orthodoxy, is painfully reminiscent of life in communist-era Eastern Europe or Mao’s China. Politicians seem to have given the nod to this process, effectively handing much of the curriculum to green activists.

Many kids — possibly most — became upset and frightened for their future, GWPF added.

The UK Ministry now urges teachers to thoroughly review third party material on all controversial topics. It instances fact-sheets about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which might seem balanced and helpful but omits historical and other contexts. It welcomes anti-racist views but warns that organisations such as Black Lives Matter can have partisan policies — ‘defund the police’ for starters — that teachers should not promote.

Teachers are encouraged to talk politics but not to promote their own, or anyone’s views, as worthy or factual, instead to use a ‘fair and dispassionate’ approach. Teachers should not offer mere variants on their preferred views, and instead should give kids “at least two significantly different perspectives.” Pupils’ engagement and interest in political issues should be encouraged, on an age-appropriate basis. Political/environmental activity by senior pupils is acceptable and should be encouraged, providing staff do not incite or direct them. Teachers should ensure a dominant group of pupils doesn’t over-influence others.

It would not be appropriate for a teacher to suggest that pupils join a certain campaigning group or engage in an upcoming protest. Teachers and staff can, however, explain to pupils how they can get more actively involved outside of school. This might be by:

♦ explaining the different partisan political views campaigning groups advocate

♦ telling pupils where they can find out more about this

♦ providing a balanced account of political issues related to the environment.”

Reading the Guidance, I got the impression that the opposite can apply in Australian schools. This will be documented in Part 2 on Australian State policies.

 Tony Thomas’ latest essay collection “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from publisher ConnorCourt

[1] The Democrats and media brazenly lied that “Critical Race Theory” was not being taught in Virginia schools.

[2] That is, within school or outside school with school involvement

[3] Up 34% in 2021, but with COVID an important factor.

[4] A school governor and father of two schoolboys

[5] This appears to be the ministry’s paraphrasing of the judgement

[6] In Australia, literally millions of kids have been force-fed Gore’s film.

[7] For example, Gore lied in the movie that entire island populations had been evacuated to NZ to escape rising seas from climate change.

Why Teachers Get Away with Preaching Green Rubbish


Tony Thomas

In the impending May federal election, how are young voters (18-24yo) going to vote? For sure they’re keen on the Greens Party, and for sure they’re biased against the Coalition.

To elaborate, the March Newspoll of The Australian showed 17 per cent of youngsters (18-24) intending to vote Greens compared with 9% of all voters. Youngsters favored Labor 47 per cent (all voters 41 per cent) and youngsters gave the Coalition a derisory 24 per cent support (all voters, 34 per cent). On two-party preferred, the poll went 66 per cent of youngsters for Labor and only 34 per cent for the Coalition (all voters 55/45 per cent).

How the UK combats activism in the classroom

I’d say they’ve emerged from 13 years of brainwashing by teachers, with further years at university getting them fully indoctrinated. States have anti-brainwashing policies, but the ability of all teachers to understand them, let alone implement them, is doubtful. In NSW and ACT in 2015, school leavers who scored in the bottom 50 per cent ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank) scores made up half of all teaching degree offers. There were 28 offers made to students scoring an ATAR of 0-19, 29 offers to those scoring 20-29, and 73 offers to students with an ATAR of 30-39, according to a leaked study by academics which the universities had sought to suppress.

It’s no accident that schools are awash in green-Left dogma, such as from WWF, Cool Australia and Oxfam. Here’s a little time-line.

1985: Joan Kirner, soon to become Victoria’s Education Minister and Premier, argues that education must be reshaped as “part of the socialist struggle for equality, participation and social change, rather than an instrument of the capitalist system”.

February 2005: Wayne Sawyer, the president of the NSW English Teachers Association and former chairman of the NSW Board of Studies English Curriculum Committee, bemoans in his editorial for English in Australia that the Howard Government was re-elected. He cites this as evidence that English teachers have failed in their job.

2006-22: Teachers uncritically force-feed literally millions of schoolkids Al Gore’s movies Inconvenient Truth and Inconvenient Sequel, often multiple times in various years, followed by Damon Gameau’s green propaganda movies 2040 [2019] and Regenerating Australia [April 2022].

December 2008: Federal Labor Education Minister Julia Gillard and Labor education ministers from five states[2] concoct the “Melbourne Declaration” leading to “Sustainability” and the environment becoming one of three cross-curriculum priorities in Australian education.[2] This gives free rein in schools for direct green/Left indoctrination and via third party curriculum material.[3]

December 2015: School lessons compiled by the Australian Academy of Science and used by a third of secondary science teachers and 50,000-60,000 students include this for 15 to 16-year-olds:

♦ “Ask students if they have ever taken action or advocated for a cause.

♦ Lesson outcomes: At the end of this activity students will … appreciate the need to lobby at all levels of government to ignite and lead change – even if it is unpopular with the voters.

♦ “If you were concerned about Earth’s sustainability, who would you vote for?” 

♦ Could we do without It [mining]? Would you work for a mining company?”

November, 2018: Woodville High (SA) teacher, ex-Fair Work inspector and union delegate Regina Wilson, 58, posts to the Australian Education Union’s Facebook page her vow to “ensure that the next generation of voters in my classroom don’t vote Liberal”.  She is the international student program manager at the 1000-pupil school and teaches classes in Years 8, 9 and 11. She claims in her defence that she is being targeted because of her gender. She retires with thanks from the principal a year later.

November 2020: Education Services Australia (ESA), a company set up by federal-state education ministers to provide free supplementary online materials for teachers (“Scootle”), gives Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating 17 hits, virtually all laudatory; Labor PM Gough Whitlam gets 56 hits, none hostile and most laudatory, and the Liberal’s PM John Howard gets more than 20 hits, none laudatory and most hostile.

June 2021: A climate-change manual for 5-14yo’s by the Primary English Teaching Association of Australia says,

Chapter 9 is a call for action. Without students taking personal action to mitigate climate change, there is no point to this book.

It urges schools to get kids chanting

an Earth-focused school or class ‘anthem’ at assemblies. (This) is a great way to build emotional attachment to the planet. 

Education Publishing Australia gives the book its “Educational Resource” award for 2021.

September 2021: Cool Australia promotes to kids “Seated protest of national anthem:

  1. Strengths — Anyone who witnesses the national anthem can do it; Easy – doesn’t cost money or require organisation; Non-violent 
  2. Weaknesses – May not get a chance to share reasons for sitting downDoesn’t necessarily change any other people’s behaviour.”

I wrote here about the UK’s 1996 legislation and 9000-word Guidance Notes in February banning teachers from politically-partisan teaching in class. “Political” there refers not merely to political parties but to all politically contentious themes and materials such as Black Lives Matter, #metoo and Britain’s recent imperial history. By law, UK teachers must treat such issues with a “balanced presentation of opposing views”.

In Australia’s state-based education systems, green-Left politics has already bolted through classrooms, partly by government design. The nadir is third-party green/Leftists like Cool Australia’s free prefabricated online lessons used by more than half of Australia’s teachers. So I’ve asked each education department – and NZ’s too – what restrictions it puts on partisan teaching.

Replies came in promptly and courteously, with only Queensland and NT failing to respond. Summaries are below. None have anti-political policies remotely as strong as the UK system. Unlike the UK, no state has an outright ban on school political activity by under-12s – think here of the School Strikes for Climate.

Federal Department of Education: 

It directed my query to the states.

Victoria 

Schools must ensure the teaching and learning resources they use are challenging, engaging and age-appropriate with content that is not offensive to students or the wider school community.

The Department provides guidelines to inform teachers’ and principals’ decisions regarding the selection of teaching and learning resources.

Schools and teachers work hard to develop their students’ knowledge about Australia’s representative democracy and key institutions, processes, and roles in Australia’s political systems, in an apolitical manner.

The Teaching and Learning Resources — Selecting Appropriate Materials policy is available online.

Partisan or party political materials, including materials that advocate for or against a particular political party, candidate or political issue in relation to an election campaign, must not be distributed, promoted or displayed in a school, other than for educational purposes.

The policy on Political activities is available online.

The “Appropriate Materials Policy” says schools shouldn’t offer materials and resources that offend students or the school community because of their “obscene, offensive or controversial nature” or by being age-inappropriate. Principals should alert the school community in advance to use of possible controversial texts, and give students and parents alerts. The principal should provide respectful and conciliatory responses to objections.

The Materials policy links to further “Guidance”. Teachers must anticipate reasonable objections and on request, offer alternative resources to be integrated into the class program, so the students involved are supported and not isolated.

Texts officially recommended for the Victorian Certificate of Education do not need further vetting for VCE students.

Teachers should use movies only in conformity with the movie’s rating, e.g. G, MA 15. Invited audiences for school public events and performances should be age-appropriate.

The Department gives schools a list of sensitive topics. In normal teaching, controversial subjects cannot be avoided. It is concerned about racial or religious themes or satires, sex themes, drug addiction, violence, suicide and “excessively bleak scenarios”. (Do “excessively bleak scenarios” include the imminent collapse of civilisation and even life on the planet based on climate scenarios from unvalidated computer modelling?).

Valid objections should involve the objector believing the student would be harmed in some way.

Objections based solely on the grounds that the teaching and learning resources are alleged to be educationally unsound or aesthetically unsound do not warrant action in relation to these guidelines but should be managed in accordance with the school’s general complaints policy.

This clause is in severe contrast to the UK Act which bans one-sided teaching of contentious matters. For example, I think Victoria permits principals or teachers to brush off any parent complaint about brainwashing, with parents having no legal recourse. To clarify, one would have to drill down into each school’s individual complaints-handling.

New South Wales

I was referred to departmental weblinks. Key extracts:

Schools are neutral places for rational discourse and objective study. Discussion of controversial issues in schools should allow students to explore a range of viewpoints and not advance the interest of any particular group [including green groups?]. Contemporary material of an overtly political nature must not be distributed to students unless the material is for study purposes and is curriculum-relevant. Parents, carers and students may hold different views, to be treated respectfully.

The study of controversial issues provides valuable learning experiences when managed appropriately. Staff and students may advocate for issues or activities that are important to them, consistent with expectations in the department’s Code of Conduct for staff and Behaviour code for students. Principals, teachers, external providers and visitors are in a privileged position to influence students. All staff therefore have a responsibility to address the study of controversial issues in accordance with this policy.

Teachers, other school staff, contractors and volunteers maintain objectivity, avoiding distortion of discussion and acknowledging the rights of students, parents and carers to hold different viewpoints. Where possible, pre-check presentations and materials used by visitors and external providers for appropriateness and advise the principal.

Establishing how parents will be informed about programs and involved in consultation is a school-based decision.

Controversial issues are not static and are impacted by changing attitudes, world events and social values. They may be questions, subjects, topics or problems creating contention and debate. Controversial issues will differ across schools and communities. Teaching approaches to controversial issues need to be sensitive, objective and balanced. They should ensure that a range of views on a subject are taken into account.

Welcome to country and/or the acknowledgement of traditional owners is not considered a controversial issue.

In regard to the last point, why aren’t welcomes to country deemed controversial?

Schools are not places to proselytise, that is, to convert students who are not already members of a particular belief system . Schools should not be used to advance political platforms or for recruiting into partisan groups organised upon restricted party lines. Material inconsistent with the values of public education or the school’s purpose and goals or that advances the interest of any particular group, political or otherwise, must not be distributed.

I hope that includes WWF, Earth Hour, Greenpeace, School Strike for Climate and ACF.

Teachers are in a privileged position to influence students. A teacher’s personal view should not impact on teaching a subject. Sharing their knowledge or view may be necessary to assist students to form their own views or to answer a query. The response should be balanced and presented as one opinion to be considered critically along with any others. Teachers must ensure that all views and evidence are presented impartially in all discussions of controversial issues. Visitors and external providers are not permitted to proselytise.

Local Members, whether in Government or Opposition, should be warmly welcomed at schools within their electorates.

All materials that include controversial issues are to be reviewed and approved by the principal in advance. This responsibility cannot be delegated to people from outside the school, including the publishers of material for use in the school. Distribution of material makes the school a ‘publisher’ and therefore answerable for the views expressed.

South Australia

The department replied: “The Department for Education’s ‘Political matters policy’ is an internal-facing document for departmental employees, but we can share the following excerpts with you.”

Employees must not use their position to advocate for any political party or view. This extends to employees using their position to help or facilitate a political party, lobby group or vested interest in using department facilities and resources, or gaining access to department employees or related persons, for example parents or students.

Discussing political issues with children and students should always be driven by the educational program, not by partisan groups or individuals. A balanced view must always be presented to students.

Department equipment and materials must not be used for the promotion of a political party, candidate or lobby group. The distribution or display by any means, including emailing material for a party, candidate or lobby group, is not permitted.

Members of parliament and candidates are welcome at schools and preschools within their electorates when it will not disrupt normal activities. School and preschool visits must not be for political or campaign purposes.

 Tasmania

Tasmanian teachers are required by the Tasmanian State Service Principles, (State Service Act 2000), to be apolitical and to act in an impartial, ethical and professional manner. In addition, teachers follow the Australian Curriculum, which includes the subject area of Civics and Citizenship.

Western Australia

The stipulates the curriculum and teaching in government schools is not to promote any particular political party . It also stipulates that information intended to generate support for a political party is not to be disseminated on school premises (section 121 on page 100pdf). This is narrowly confined to political parties, rather than sensitive political issues.

ACT

Teachers in ACT public schools are to abide by the Code of Conduct for Teachers, School Leaders and Principals.

Section 17 of the Code says teachers have the same speech rights as everyone else. However, teachers need to ensure that there is no reasonable perception of conflict of interest between their private political opinions or activities and their official responsibilities.

Teachers need to be careful about expressing political opinion in the workplace and sharing their views with students. All ACT public servants, including teachers, are also subject to the ACT Public Service Code of Conduct. This code illustrates by saying that teachers should not wear political slogans and proselytise to kids in class. But they could wear union T-shirts on Fridays to promote the union and invite other teachers to hear about the union in the staff room during breaks.

New Zealand

There are no legal provisions that specifically prohibit the promotion of political materials by teachers in schools. New Zealand operates largely off a system of constitutional convention, which includes the neutrality of the state services, and this is overseen by the Public Service Commission. Teachers are, however, subject to the Code of Professional Conduct as set by the regulatory Teaching Council. It is a set of aspirations for professional behaviour – not a list of punitive rules. It reflects the expectations teachers and society place on the profession. As part of the Education Act, it is binding on all teachers.

I suggest conservative parents hold principals’ feet to the fire over indoctrinations, with the help of these policy extracts.

 Tony Thomas’ latest essay collection “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from publisher ConnorCourt

[2] The WA Education Minister was an independent.

[3] The “sustainability” push in schools dates to a UN conference in Stockholm in 1972, when the scares de jour included future mass starvation, acid rain and (malaria-fighting) DDT. Two UN conferences in Belgrade and Tbilisi, Georgia in 1976 and 1977 reinforced the plan for kids as activists– both venues being on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain with their own environments exploited and trashed. The Rio Earth Summit followed in 1992, launching “Agenda 21” to drench kids globally in environmentalism and use their pester-power to shame parents into green activism.

[4] Sustainability education is futures-oriented, focusing on protecting environments and creating a more ecologically and socially just world through informed action. Actions that support more sustainable patterns of living require consideration of environmental, social, cultural and economic systems and their interdependence… The third concept is aimed at building capacities for thinking and acting in ways that are necessary to create a more sustainable future. The concept seeks to promote reflective thinking processes in young people and empower them to design action that will lead to a more equitable and sustainable future… Designing action for sustainability requires an evaluation of past practices, the assessment of scientific and technological developments, and balanced judgements based on projected future economic, social and environmental impacts. 

Sounds a tall order for 10 year-olds.

Born Not Yesterday but the Day Before

They say that bad stuff comes in threes. I can vouch for that.

First, our beloved nine-year-old Cavalier Spaniel, Natasha, got the heart/lung problem common to the breed and began gasping for air. Our vet put her down. Second, on the eve of our three-week holiday to Tasmania my wife, Primrose (pseudonym), and I hid our car keys somewhere unobvious but where they would re-surface automatically. When we got back we couldn’t remember who hid them, let alone where. Weeks passed and we steadily lost hope. While using the spare set, I checked the price of new keys: $800!

And third, I advertised my Macbook Air laptop on Facebook for $1250. Our daughters told us Facebook was the best bet with no fee on sale, unlike eBay which charges 13 per cent. But they warned me of Facebook scammers: unlike eBay, Facebook offers no seller protection. “Listen up, Pop! Accept nothing but cash!” said Winsome, my eldest.

I’ll now tell you how I got brilliantly scammed by a master (actually mistress) criminal who walked off with my laptop and never paid me a cent.

The Macbook was slow to sell, so I  cut the price to $1080 and still got few nibbles, let alone customers at our front door. Then my mobile rang with a woman, Sammy, on the line, quite keen. I gave her our address but she was a no-show.

Next morning, a Friday, a different woman, Hermia, rang, ostensibly a friend of yesterday’s caller. She’d be round in 15 minutes. That was great news but just then Primrose  announced she was heading out to Woolies. I said, “No, you mustn’t go yet. This lady might be nervous about entering a house alone with a large virile male. Women have been attacked. You stay here to make her feel safer.”

After some marital back-and-forth she reluctantly laid down her grocery list and we spruced up the dining table. The laptop looked pristine in its original box. Alongside we laid its 2019 purchase receipt for $2135 and Primrose brought out the good teacups and some Florentines on the off-chance of socialising with our lady visitor.

“Get cash,” Primrose warned me, unnecessarily as I wasn’t born yesterday.

The doorbell rang and there was Hermia. She was 5 feet of heftiness, about 40 and well-spoken. Straw-colored hair was cropped half an inch all round for spikiness. She sported a nose ring and had thrown on a none-too-spotless T-shirt. While she did small talk with Primrose, I had time to study her. At the top of her left arm was a tattoo of an attractive female face with red and yellows flowers in lieu of eyes. Next down was a full-frontal lioness face and on her forearm was a mess of symbols surrounding a naked but modest woman in profile clasping her knees. Her shorts were so baggy and loose that, when she turned to sit down, an inch of plumber’s crack came into view. There were leg tattoos which I don’t remember. Old thongs completed the ensemble.

Primrose and I exchanged glances. Far from being put off by this lady’s appearance, we felt an obligation to re-double our friendliness in the inclusive and accepting way expected of enlightened citizens in the 2020s.

She inspected the laptop. I’d reformatted it and it was asking for a new owner’s name, password etc before it did any demo. Embarrassed, I explained that I was a long-retired journalist and she in turn explained her finance and insurance-broking job and its COVID problems. I did wonder about clients’ first impressions, but reasoned she could be running her business online, or maybe dealing direct with like-minded ladies.

She admired the laptop and I began mentally slavering. I steered the conversation lightly towards payment, and mentioned how a friend had been scammed selling a large garden fixture.

Hermia (animated): “Facebook is full of scammers! They’ve tried things on me. People advertise stuff and just want money first and won’t let go of their stuff. Be careful, let me tell you.”

We all nodded knowingly about this naughty world.

“Well,” she said, “I’ll take it. It’s for my partner. She does graphic design. It’s just right.”

I felt a surge of relief after weeks of no-sale frustration. What’s more, she wasn’t haggling me down to sub-$1000.

“Great,” I said. “I’ll give you a receipt for the cash.”

“Oh, I don’t have cash on me. I’ll do a direct bank transfer on my phone. You needn’t worry. Here’s my driver’s licence to photograph, and I’ll screenshot the bank transfer. The funds will be in your account Monday.”

She pulled out her driver’s licence and photographed it for me. This became a distraction as she made sure the text was well-lit. Primrose was uncomfortable but I was familiar with bank transfers and screenshots. Moreover, I was still in mode, “Be inclusive and tolerant of minorities.”

I looked on carefully as Hermia inputted the $1080 transfer and hit the ‘send’ button. Acknowledgement and receipt followed on-screen. OK, I wasn’t getting cash, but the money was in e-transit. I did recall daughter Winsome warning that to be fully safe, accept only transfers between accounts at the same bank, in my case ANZ. Hermia was CBA. But I had her driver’s licence, seen the transfer, so what could go wrong?

Hermia and I now bonded. I went to write a receipt but she waved the idea away.

Jumping ahead, I’d forgotten that Winsome, a veteran travel  consultant, had also warned me to document any transfer of goods.

Hermia departed with the laptop and a wave of her tattooed arm.

Primrose fretted with her female intuition: “Something isn’t right.”

 I assured her Monday would produce my $1080. But Monday came and went.

Oh well, clearance often take two working days.

Tuesday and Wednesday, still no money.

At this point I was convinced the sale had been on Saturday. Primrose said it was on Friday.

“Give me a good look at that transfer,” she said. We pored over it.

“It says the funds are to be transferred on Saturday. Your sale was on Friday. This was a scheduled transfer not a live transfer,” Primrose said.

She was on the ball and I was an idiot.

Hermia had gone straight home, logged onto her bank and cancelled the future transaction, which I now know is a piece of cake. Unlike trying to reverse a live real-time funds transfer.

I began phoning and texting: no response. I finally threatened to report her to her local police at Sunshine, an industrial suburb 12km west of Melbourne. Still no response.

My daughters, both financial experts, were incensed I’d ignored their advice on Facebook salesmanship. Winsome took over proceedings.

“It’s not a police matter,” I told her. “It’s now just an unpaid debt.”

Winsome: It’s Sunday, we’re going to the cop shop right now. We’ll play on their sympathies. You are to be a doddering old coot, which in fact you are, who’s been robbed of $1000 by a vicious young thief. Get your walking stick out of the cupboard. Shut up there and let me do the talking.

She armed us with our documents, and soon we were at the police station (above), behind flagpoles and a high cream-brick façade. It’s in a big complex including a children’s court. Cop cars were ranked alongside. It was my first time in a cop shop since a motorbike speeding incident in 1963. There were no other customers. The place had a hermetically sealed look and security warnings against photographs. Behind one counter slot was a door covered by a disquieting poster of a big police dog, a German shepherd, held in check by a copper’s muscular and hairy arm. On another door was: “Justice of the Peace service here.” Other signage:

“Bail reporting here” (with arrows pointing to the south end).

“Firearm licence applications.”

 “If you are reporting a lost phone you must block the IMEI number first.” (Knowledgeable Winsome muttered that this stops anyone using it).

“If you have been affected by crime, support is available at this station.” That fits us, Winsome said.

A business-like young cop beckoned. “I’m Constable Matijević,” he said.

Winsome told our tale while I looked on piteously, leaning on my stick and twiddling my hearing aid.

“I’ll check if Hermia is known to us,” he said, re-emerging doubly business-like . We knew better than to ask if Hermia was a known local rogue.

“I left her a message to contact us. I suggest you make a report.”

He took us into a small bare room and inputted our story, not encouraging any emotional embellishments.

“What do you want?” he finished pointedly.

Winsome: “Our thousand dollars.”

Matijević: “Or your Macbook?”

Winsome: “Sure. She lives just a few klicks away. When your patrol’s got nothing better to do, why don’t they drop in and get it back?”

Matijević (giving the police version of an eye-roll): “Thanks, we might be in touch. Shame for this to happen to this gentleman.”

Winsome: “We’re very fond of him. You can see he’s quite alert for 81.”

Back in our car, Winsome and I de-briefed excitedly. It all went well, the cops are going to prioritise our case.

But weeks passed. Primrose and I came back from our Tassie holiday, and another week went by.

I got a call with “No Caller ID” and was about to give him a mouthful but just in time heard, “Constable Matijević again. What’s your Macbook’s serial number?”

Luckily it was on a screenshot on my Facebook ad.

 A week later, just before lunch today I got another call.

“Constable Stankić here from Sunshine. The station could be renamed ‘Little Serbia’, I mused. Come and pick up your Macbook. Mention reference 4596B50Y66.”

“Wow! Thanks mate.”

In an hour I was back at Sunshine Copshop, now crowded with five swarthy young men, a sixth wearing a sweater in vivid red yellow and black, two ladies of Chinese appearance and one other Skip. The men seemed all in tan workboots or black leisure boots. Two were talking quietly about a recent fight. I wished I had better hearing. One bloke was directed to the bail reporting section.

Every few minutes pairs of coppers came in and out, bulked with equipment like Ukrainian commandos headed for Russian lines. I wondered how female coppers could ever lug such burdens and if they were good shots.

A bespectacled blond non-Serbian copper emerged and I gave him my code and my ID. He came back with a huge brown security bag, which I signed for.

I had brought along a box of Guylian Sea-shell Belgian chocolates and a gift card reading, “Thanks everyone at Sunshine Copshop!” I became uneasy about regulations on such gifts, so will draw a veil over what happened therewith.

Back in the car I fished out the Macbook from the bag. Its outer box and the Macbook itself had stickers, “Cash Converters, $899”.

Obviously Hermia had gone there with my Macbook, and Cash Converters had reported the serial number. I wondered whether Hermia had made off with, say, $500 cash from Cash Converters, or whether they avoided paying her pending the police check.[1] Also, Cash Converters pricing was reasonable – $899 vs my imagined $1000.

I was within minutes of Hermia’s home and decided to take a squiz. Not a good idea on unfamiliar roads clogged with trucks, and I had two near-misses. My car-navigator took me to a tired 1960s bungalow with white couch, two red chairs and dirty cushions on the verge. But I found Hermia’s unit was actually down a long driveway amid middle-class villas backing onto green sward and a creek. Most had mid-tier cars. Hermia’s unit was tidy too. I wasn’t sure about our line of conversation if she materialised but she didn’t.

To wrap up this drama, I now had to make good on the 20 per cent commission I’d rashly promised daughter Winsome for Macbook recovery and also reimburse Primrose for $500 she’d transferred to cheer me up after Hermia’s malfeasance. Primrose had earlier bought me a cute Tibetan Spaniel pup from a breeder in Cairns, and the car keys did turn up this week – Primrose had wrapped them inside a winter nightie. It was unseasonably warm and she’d continued wearing her summer satin ones, labelled Victoria’s Secret which she told me was a K-Mart house brand. So good things also come in threes.

Meanwhile, anyone want a 2019 Macbook Air, strictly for cash?[2]

 Tony Thomas’ latest essay collection “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from publisher ConnorCourt

 
[1] “Cash Converters stores in most states regularly upload a file to their State police service notifying them of all items bought or borrowed against. The police check these reports against their own databases for any matches. If there is a possible match, the police will contact the appropriate store to determine if it is the same item that has been reported to them as being stolen. All outlets are required to hold second hand goods for a period of time prior to them being offered for sale to enable these checks to be made.” But Cash Converters also advertises:

Get instant cash for quality items. We buy everything from smartphones, tablets and digital cameras, to musical instruments, jewellery and everything in between.

[2] For tech-heads, I’ve just discovered that Hermia or Cash Converters locked my Macbook with their password. This looked grim for me. “Admin”, “Password” and “Macbook” failed  and I was in despair until I tried “1234”. Mirabile dictu, it worked!

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  • Tony Tea – 12th April 2022I’d always thought you were in Perth. Is there Cashies over there. The kids at school are always going on about the bargains you can get. I think the laws regarding pawn shops in Vic and WA are different. If I remember rightly, the WA system of ID qualification is better.
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Thanks For That $3.3 Billion. Now Cop This

MediaThanks For That $3.3 Billion. Now Cop This
Tony Thomas

I was in a cheap overnighter in Launceston on March 18, with screaming druggies or drunks two floors higher ditching their Chinese take-away tubs onto my landing. It was like a scene from a profanity-laden Tarantino movie. Seeking more cerebral things I switched on the TV to savour ABCTV Tasmania’s 7pm flagship news.

It goes without saying that the ABC is campaigning to rid the land of Morrison’s conservative government come May. I was also conscious that Tasmania, with about the same population as the ACT or Newcastle, sports six MHRs and twelve Senators.

But who’d have thought that ABCTV 7pm News (Tas) would be experimenting with subliminal messaging to smear the Prime Minister, and maybe divert Tasmanians’ attention from Penny Wong and her “mean girls” in the Senate?
Subliminal messaging involves flashing a visual cue so quickly that viewers are hardly aware of it. An example was the gin brand that showed a poured glass with the word “SEX” hidden in the ice cubes. That was a riff on the Ogden Nash poem, “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”

In the ABCTV (Tas) case, the item involved the Hillsong Church admitting indiscretions by its former head, Brian Houston. These involved an inappropriate text to a woman parishioner in 2013 and a 40-minute alcohol and medication-fuelled visit to a woman’s hotel room during the Hillsong July 2019 conference in NSW. Both the woman and Houston said no sexual activity took place. Whatever did take place remains a mystery, akin to the 18-minute gap in Richard Nixon’s Watergate tapes.

While these unsavoury Hillsong incidents were recounted by newsreader Guy Stayner, ABC back-office activists spliced in two seconds showing Scott Morrison and wife Jenny Morrison onstage with then-Pastor Brian Houston. The clip then focuses in for another two seconds to show Morrison hand-shaking Houston.

What is the context for introducing the recently-elected Prime Minister into the scene? There is none: viewers are invited to imagine whatever they like about it and Morrison’s choice of friend. Me? I think the subliminal message was designed as follows:

1/ PM Scott Morrison is religious and therefore a bit creepy by ABC standards.[1]

2/ He goes to a big Hillsong ceremony and schmoozes with the pastor the church now outs as doing two creepy things

3/ Scotty from Marketing therefore has two strikes against him and viewers should definitely not vote for this creepy conservative leader next May.

 My transcript of the item’s relevanty passages is below.

Guy Stayner: The head of the Hillsong Church has told a staff meeting that two women had complained about the founder of the Church Pastor Brian Houston. In a video conference meeting today Pastor Phil Dooley said a female staff member left Hillsong after Mr Houston sent her an inappropriate text message in 2013. Pastor Dooley said that a second woman complained about Brian Houston after he spent 40 minutes in her hotel room while under the influence of alcohol and anti-anxiety medication during a Hillsong conference in Sydney in 2019.

Dooley: The truth is we don’t know exactly what happened next. This woman has not said there was any sexual activity. Brian has said there was no sexual activity, but he was in the room for 40 minutes.” 

(ABC backroom activists insert two seconds of a distant PM Morrison and Jenny greeting Pastor Houston.)

Stayner: Pastor Dooley said the allegations were treated seriously and Mr Houston had apologised for his indiscretion. 

(ABC activists switch the vision to close-up of Morrison and Houston shaking hands.)

Stayner: He (Dooley) denied that Hillsong board had tried to cover up the incident. (#Item ends).

At the weekend I checked other state ABCTV 7pm bulletins. Victoria, SA and Queensland ignored Hillsong, but on ABCTV NSW newsreader Kirsten Aiken delivered the same item as Tasmania. Doubtless it was created by the NSW team and recycled via ABC Tasmania to my seedy Launceston bed-sitter.[2]

The subliminal Hillsong item is the latest in the ABC’s vendetta against Morrison. His personal and family life is blameless, unlike, say, Labor’s Prime Minister Bob Hawke, who ran around forcefully propositioning females who today would be called “Hawke survivors”. Instead the ABC runs “guilt by association” hit-jobs against Morrison based on his friendships, which I’ll concede can be peculiar. The ABC attacks have been led by its own mean-girl trio Louise Milligan, Sally Neighbour and Laura Tingle (I’m not suggesting they bullied Morrison, he can look after himself).

The ABC concedes that both the Liberal and Labor leaders for decades have cultivated Hillsong leaders and members, given the megachurch’s large following. The newly-elected Morrison thanked Hillsong leaders including Brian Houston in his maiden speech in 2008.[3]

First, I’ll fill in the context to Morrison’s appearance with Pastor Houston at the 2019 Hillsong conference. Second, I’ll set out the ABC’s previous “guilt by association” gotcha involving Morrison, Pastor Houston and a Washington DC State dinner. Thirdly, let’s not forget the infamous Louise Milligan/Four Corners attempt to stitch up Morrison as allegedly suckered in by mates to do the bidding of conspiracy mob QAnon.

The Hillsong Conference

Morrison surprised the big crowd there by showing up to pray for the nation in the wake of his “miracle” win two months earlier. [4]

“We pray, Lord, that you will break the curse of suicide in this country,” the church account reported him, mentioning his plea for intervention against the mental illnesses driving self-harm. “He stood next to his wife, Jenny, and Hillsong Church Australia pastor Brian Houston as he addressed the crowd for roughly 10 minutes.” Other Morrison prayers addressed veterans, young people, remote and indigenous people, and protection of religious freedom.

Defining a miracle as something “the world can’t see but God can see,” Morrison shared how one of his two daughters was born on 7/7/2007 after the couple had struggled with infertility and waited 17 years to have a child. 

“[Pastor Brian] Houston asked the political leader what believers in Australia could be praying for the Prime Minister and his wife. Morrison asked the crowd to pray for humility in leadership, for wisdom, and for grace. ‘Grace is amazing’, he said with a smile. He ended his speech by emphatically stating “God bless Australia.” 

The Washington DC State Dinner:

In September 2019 Morrison was scheduled for the honor of a State dinner with President Trump and Trump-selected guests at the White House’s Rose Garden. A Wall Street Journalreporter Vivian Salama sussed out that Morrison persistently asked for Hillsong Pastor Brian Houston to be invited only to have the White House refuse the requests. The ABC’s reporting was that Salama had been told by her contacts that the White House might have learned about Australian police investigations of Houston for allegedly having failed to report historic sex abuse evidence involving his late father, Frank, and a young male. The ABC reported, buried in its 33rd para,

There is no suggestion that the Prime Minister was aware of the police investigation into Mr Houston at the time.

This rather knocks the stuffing out of its would-be gotcha. But at the time, Morrison parried questions about Houston and the state dinner as “minor gossip”. Then, five months later, he confirmed he had put forward Houston’s name with others, some of whom the White House also declined to accept. He said he had known Mr Houston for a “long time”, and Hillsong had a “very big network of churches all across the United States”.

He declined to comment further on what he called “the decisions of a foreign government.” He’s also not commenting on the charges against Brian Houston. Houston denies the charges and will fight them in court.

The ABC’s would-be QAnon stitch-up.

On June 14, 2021, after hosing down doubts by ABC managing director David Anderson, Four Corners ran Sally Neighbour’s and Louise Milligan’s beat-up,  “The Great Awakening”.It was about Morrison supposedly being in thrall to his old mate Tim Stewart who Four Corners said had become a QAnon conspiracist about global satanic paedophiles. Tim Stewart’s wife, Lynelle, was a long-standing friend from high school of Jenny, Morrison’s wife. Jenny had been Lynelle’s maid of honour and Lynelle was Jenny’s bridesmaid. Lynelle, to late 2020, helped Jenny as a staffer with kids and household affairs at Kirribilli. Morrison invited Tim to Parliament to hear his 2008 maiden speech. 

Four Corners’ narrative was that Tim Stewart bragged to his fellow conspiracists at QAnon that he had access and influence with the Prime Minister. According to Stewart, he somehow got Morrison to include a QAnon code-phrase “ritual sexual abuse” into his 2018 national apology to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.[5]

All this was well-ventilated old news anyway and Four Corners just warmed it over with embellishments. Morrison’s people responded that the word “ritual” in the speech was normal usage and not QAnon-related.

The bulk of the story was the anti-Tim Stewart wing of the Stewart family cataloguing the alleged poor behaviour of Tim and his son, Jesse, under the influence of the QAnon cultists. The anti-Stewart wing included Tim’s mother, Val, and husband Brian and in particular Tim’s sister, Karen.

As Louise Milligan put it, “Val and Brian Stewart and their daughter Karen have decided to speak out as a warning to others.”

Morrison, judging by Milligan’s phrasing, briefed Four Corners off the record but refused comment on the record. He then announced,

I find it deeply offensive that there would be any suggestion that I would have any involvement or support for such a dangerous organisation. I clearly do not. It’s also just so very disappointing that Four Corners in their inquiries seek to cast this aspersion, not just against me but against members of my only family. I just think that is really poor form.

 In the Senate, Labor’s Penny Wong had tried several times to make mileage over Tim Stewart’s friendship with Morrison. The government response was basically that Morrison’s friendships were a personal and not an official matter.

Karen Stewart told Four Corners she had been repeatedly sexually assaulted and traumatised at age 14 by two young men from the church community. The church pastor acknowledged the “serious crime” but police said in 2011 they lacked evidence to proceed.

Apropos of Karen, a curious stuff-up or conspiracy occurred within the ABC itself. After the national broadcaster posted its Four Corners transcript online, commenter “Nancy” on my favorite Michael Smith blog read it and accused the ABC of concealing that Karen Stewart was a former State NSW candidate for the Greens Party.

Nancy, 16/6/21With sisters like that, who needs enemies! ABC was quick enough to let us know about the family relationship, but oh, forgot to mention she is a failed Greens candidate. Nothings changes for me, though, for the last whatever years, I have never trusted the ABC reporters. 

“Craig”: I watched the show, it was referenced that the sister ran as a Greens candidate, it was disclosed.

 MyselfI’ve searched the transcript, where is the disclosure? I can’t see it but would welcome someone showing me the passage.

Myself (after re-watching on iView): I am baffled as to why the transcript omits the politically-vital statement on the show itself that Karen Stewart is an ex-Greens candidate: 

Louise Milligan  (on the video clip, but not in the transcript): “Karen ran as a state candidate for the Greens.” 

Myself: I  immediately sent the following to the ABC complaints panel. Let’s hope there is a prompt reply and fix. Stuff-ups do happen rather than conspiracies and I’ll keep an open mind:

Error/omission in transcript 

At 31.39sec of the QAnon program, Ms Milligan says Karen Stewart was a previous Greens candidate. In the transcript on 4 Corners website this is omitted. How did this politically-important misstatement/omission occur? Please correct the transcript and acknowledge this important error.

Prompt reply from ABC:

“Dear Tony, Thank you for your email. We have amended the error and apologise for any inconvenience caused. Thanks for watching and taking the time to write.

Kind regards, The team at Four Corners.”

On reflection, I can’t credit that the ABC crowd just happened to accidentally omit from the transcript the reference to their major source being an ex-Greens candidate, a reference which qualifies the credibility of that whole ‘gotcha’ show. I hope I’m wrong but I assume some idiot or idiots there thought it was a politically-savvy idea to snip the reference. Those at the Louise Milligan/Sally Neighbour level are certainly not idiots nor transparently unethical. The bad deed was probably done by some ABC clown(s) at lower level, oblivious or indifferent that the attention of the ABC from MD David Anderson downwards and the whole Australian political class was focused on this particular program.

Bottom line is that in Scott Morrison we have a very Christian Prime Minister. The ABC smites him on the right cheek, and he restores their funding to 2018 levels with $3.3b for the coming triennium. I’d prefer him to be more of a devil, and by the way, for the ABC to look up its charter for impartiality.

Tony Thomas’ latest essay collection “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from publisher ConnorCourt

[1] The ABC never sneered at the religiosity of Labor’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and venerates Labor’s priapic Prime Minister Bob Hawke. ABC stalwart Barrie Cassidy was Hawke’s personal press secretary from 1986-91. It only dawned on him later that Hawke was having multiple affairs.

[2] The other states junked the Hillsong story in favor of the umpteenth ABC warning since 1980 that the Barrier Reef is doomed unless we shut down Australia’s coal industry. Its logic-challenged environment reporter, Michael Slezak, said that our greenhouse gases threatened “an outcome that risks losing this global icon for good.” Slezak (ex-far-left Guardian) didn’t mention that coral cover in 2020 was at its record extent in 36 years of measurement.

[3] “Growing up in a Christian home, I made a commitment to my faith at an early age and have been greatly assisted by the pastoral work of many dedicated church leaders, in particular the Reverend Ray Green and pastors Brian Houston and Leigh Coleman.”

[4] He also prayed – somewhat too successfully – for an end to the Eastern States drought.

[5] Morrison: “The crimes of ritual sexual abuse happened in schools, churches, youth groups, Scout troops, orphanages, foster homes.” A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said: 

“The term ‘ritual’ is one that the Prime Minister heard directly from the abuse survivors and the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Reference Group he met with in the lead up to the Apology and refers not just to the ritualised way or patterns in which so many crimes were committed but also to the frequency and repetition of them”. 

The spokesman also said,

“This is a personally motivated slur against the Prime Minister and his family by a Four Corners program that is already facing serious questions about the accuracy, bias and credibility of its journalism, that is now giving credence to irrational Twitter conspiracy theorists and raising the profile of what the Prime Minister clearly deems a discredited and dangerous fringe group.” 

Manipulating Kids, It’s Child’s Play for Climateers

On your calendar, mark tomorrow — Friday, March 25 — as Climate Stupidity Day. There’s Earth Hour Schools Day, sponsored by lobbyists Cool Australia and WWF, and yet another looming School Strike for Climate manipulated by adults from the Youth Climate Coalition.[1] [2]

At the moment the world is on the brink of global hot war over Ukraine, and Europe is frantically back-pedalling from its Russian-backed switch to green energy. But down in Australia the green crusade rolls on, with schoolkids – pre-schoolers too – marshalled to the front line.

It’s all so insane I hardly know where to start. For example, the ex-Just Jeans and other Rich-Listers who bankroll Cool Australia are accessing preschool and schoolkids literally by the million, i.e.[3]

♦ 3,200,000 million students per year

♦ 182,000 members (teachers, early learning educators and parents)

♦ 2,100,000 lessons taught annually

♦ 52% of Australian teachers 

Cool knows it is on a winner. It says 45 per cent of teachers are teaching outside their field of expertise, and 76 per cent find their workload unmanageable. So Cool’s free, downloadable lessons keyed to the curricula are like manna to teachers.

Teachers and kids are to turn off the lights for an hour tomorrow (Friday). Switching off electric appliances is also recommended, though I imagine freezers, intruder alarms and smartphones are reluctantly excluded. I doubt that kids in Mariupol will empathise, given that Russians knocked out electricity there altogether.

As for tomorrow’s School Strike for Climate, it actually straddles Four Days for Future. For example, the weekend program for kids in Naarm (alias Melbourne) includes a few Saturday workshops. Sunday’s none-too-arduous activities include “resting” and planning stunts for Monday’s strike.[4]

The nonsense all dates back three years to disturbed teen Greta ‘How dare you!’ Thunberg. The actual school-strike aims need only to be stated to reveal their absurdity:

We are striking to send a clear message to the Environment Minister and the whole Federal Government, that we want climate action now, and we will not stop fighting until we see the action that is needed to achieve climate justice… all [of us] telling our governments that now is the time to act and put people before profit! [5]

The kids have been taught the gross untruth that our fossil fuel industry is massively subsidised and want an end to that.[6] In the real world it’s renewables that are getting the subsidies,  $7 billion on 2019 figures. More broadly, the school-wagging kids demand

1/ Net Zero by 2030 which means no new coal, oil or gas projects.

2/ 100% renewable energy generation and exports by 2030

3/ Fund a Just Transition and Job Creation for all Fossil Fuel Workers and their communities.

The last point is a classic, as the former power workers now cooling their heels in Victoria’s coal-rich LaTrobe Valley would tell the bureaucrats and politicians who haven’t been notably successful in finding them those much-vaunted well-paying green jobs they were promised with their last pay packets.

The missing ingredient in school climate teaching is their ‘science’, which ignores the genuine variety demonstrating that

1/ There has been no global warming for the past seven years and three months.

2/ Weather disasters globally have not increased and global warming has saved a net 500,000 lives in England and Wales alone in the past 20 years (deaths from reduced cold minus deaths from increased heat).

3/ CO2 is boosting crop yields enough to more than cater for population growth.

The previous kids’ school strike was last October. As the Sydney Morning Herald helpfully recorded,

Australia’s education unions have thrown their support behind Friday’s strike. ‘Students and young people are counting on us. Australia must take an ambitious pledge to the Glasgow COP26 Summit and work towards a safe, fair and prosperous future for young Australians,’ the joint statement from the Australian Education Union, Independent Education Union and National Tertiary Education Union said.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe, October 14, 2021 —

We know students are counting on us to support their democratic right to express their views and take direct action on the impacts of climate change and to put pressure on the Morrison government. 

The strikers’ backroom adults are promoting a current election emphasis, e.g. here’s an alleged schoolkid email by an “Owen” – pronouns “he/they” – from Gadigal/Bidjigal/Warrang alias Sydney:

Our Election Actions are a range of diverse climate actions that local groups across the country will be hosting such as climate forums, artistic expressions of climate protest, activities which help students register to vote, fossil fool fiestas and much more! We will be sending a clear message to voters as this election, we are asking people to stand up to our politicians and #VoteForOurFutures.

The teachers’ unions are feeding their 300,000 supporters with climate propaganda from Education International, which has supplied them with a “Teach for Climate Action” toolkit. And behind Education International’s propaganda is the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals with their green-left-socialist assumptions and agenda. At a pre-Glasgow Asia-Pacific “Mobilising Educators” conference last year, Education International general secretary David Edwards told so-called educators that

climate education must be grounded in scientific facts. But [I love the ‘but’] it must also centre on climate justice, which entails understanding the economic, social, cultural, historical and political causes and implications of global temperature rises.

He demanded that his adherents prioritise climate education such that “every student leaves school climate literate.” Typical propaganda in EI’s teaching kit includes (my emphases)

What can teachers do? 

♦ Focus less on the inevitability of disasters, as worsened by climate change. Instead, delve into their economic, political and cultural dimensions…

A massive falsehood is involved in that claim. The climate-related death risk from weather disasters — floods, cyclone, droughts etc — has fallen more than 99 per cent during the past century’s mild warming of about 1degC.

♦ Carry out socio-affective or empathetic exercises. Encourage students to share their fears, hopes and anxieties, especially in post-disaster environments. Unpack stories of historical disasters. Explore and envision the futures students want in the face of climate change. 

No wonder so many Australian kids are coming down with climate-teaching-inflicted anxiety issues.

As for Earth Hour, it’s been limping along since 2007 when it was launched as an initiative by WWF and co-sponsored (no kidding) by the green-leftist Fairfax newspapers. A few ethical Fairfax journalists mutinied at being told to bung on the favorable news coverage. This recent claim of Earth Hour is particularly spectacular: “1 in 3 Australians took part in Earth Hour last year. Let’s make this year bigger and better.” I suppose, by next year, Earth Hour will claim that ‘1 in 2 Australians took part in Earth Hour last [i.e. this] year.’

Nothing surprises me about Earth Hour claims, e.g. climate change causes “Fires, floods, drought and pandemics”. Never let a crisis go to waste, even a notional one! Earth Hour’s tossed-in claim that outbreaks of nasty viruses are due to the prevalence of SUVs and reliable baseload power gets that leaky Wuhan virus laboratory nicely off the hook, which was perhaps to be expected.

Cool’s website lists a running total of pre-schools and schools that have signed up for Earth Hour. Climate consciousness is scheduled at Little Adventurers, Penrith; Little Scribblers, Peakhurst NSW; Creative Kids Pre-School, Mornington, Vic; Tiny Town Children’s Centre (location unstated); Only Early Learning Centre, Baulkham Hills, NSW; Guardian Child Care and Education (at least one of the eastern states’ chain); Fit Kidz, Warrawee, NSW; Harold Wheen Preschool, St Clair, NSW; Angel Tots Early Learning Centre, Salamander Bay, NSW; Bluebird, Croydon, Vic, and Tiggers Place Early Learning Centre, Waterford West, Qld.

The identifiable primary schools listed are   St Johns Grammar Junior School; Auburn South; Mount View, Glen Waverley Vic; Bonython ACT; Nakara (Darwin); Dromana (Vic); St Justin’s Primary; St Finbars Primary; Holy Family Catholic Primary; Wonthaggi North, Vic;  Corpus Christi Primary; Ardross Primary; Allanson Primary; St Patricks Catholic Primary; Carnegie Primary; Mill Park Heights Primary; St Peter Julian Eymard Primary; and Delaney Creek Primary. All schools and pre-schools listed on March 23 total only 66. Doubtless many schools and pre-schools will take part without actually signing on.

I checked 90 per cent of the pre-school and primary websites for overt climate propaganda and didn’t find any — presumably the adult educators will use free-range explanations for why lights are needlessly switching off.[7]

Cool and Earth Hour want “early learning” (pre-school) classes to download some of their 60 pre-digested climate lessons. Schools are supposed to sign up to “Switch Off” and watch climate propaganda films like Damon Gameau’s ridiculous future fantasy 2040 and his new sort-of-doco Regenerating Australia. I say “sort of” because it’s set in 2029 and looks back at a decade “that saw Australia transition to a fairer, cleaner, more regenerative economy that values Australia’s greatest assets – First Nations’ wisdom, our unique natural environment and our sense of community.” It doesn’t just star failed weather prophet Tim Flannery but also ABC stalwart/alumnus Kerry O’Brien. Year 9 and 10 kids have been competing to make 60-second climate propaganda films for Cool, “shot in the style of a news program.”

You guessed it! These kids’ film must also be set in the future, where CO2 emissions are defeated (and unicorns dance in the meadows). “The video is to be set in 2030, and must explore a solution to one or more impact (sic) of climate change. Students must also explore how this solution benefits people and nature in their local community.”

The winners actually get to meet Damon Gameau in person “and an industry expert from WWF-Australia!” Appropriately, entries close this April Fools Day.

Yet another futurism can be found in an Earth Hour English Year 9/10 lesson:

Quick summary: Working in pairs students are asked to investigate how news stories about climate change were reported 10 years ago compared to the present day. They then imagine the news about climate change 10 years in the future based upon the actions they can take for climate change today … Students then determine an action they could do now to fight climate change, and what news this might create 10 years in the future. They then create a news piece around this story, presented to audiences from the future.

I feel sorry for the kids. Any story from the regular media of 2012 would be saying, “We have only ten years to save the planet”, and any story from today’s ABC or Nine and its former Fairfax mastheads will also be saying, “We have only ten years to save the planet”. Same-same for news stories in 2032, I predict.

WWF and Cool have worked up an officially accredited professional development course on climate change. Teachers are not merely using lobbyists’ propaganda, lobbyists are officially training them.

This course will help inspire your students to feel optimistic about their future by investigating how animals adapt to climate change.[8] You’ll discover how to teach curriculum-aligned lessons using WWF-Australia’s Earth Hour. You’ll build your confidence to teach about climate change in geography and science by learning:

 ♦ How others teach about climate change in their curriculum.

 ♦ How to explore climate change by focusing on animals.

 ♦ The basics of climate science such as weather, global warming and climate change.

 ♦ How to teach about climate change and care for students’ mental health. 

Despite the crowded curriculum and literacy challenges, Cool, WWF and Earth Hour have been wasting kids’ school time this week with their propaganda film festival. Schools that have signed up for Earth Hour access six “incredible documentaries” on climate and alleged biodiversity horrors. Here’s one of the films – perfect for brainwashing impressionable kiddies towards Extinction Rebellion:

Wild Things – a lens on the frontline of environmental activism

Filmmaker Sally Ingleton spent a year with environmental activists across Australia – at rallies, sitting in rainforests, standing up to bulldozers – and the result is 2020’s feature-length doco about the current generation of ecowarriors. It’s a snapshot of a time when young people are fighting to be heard against a backdrop of drought, fire and floods.

Never let it be said that Cool Australia doesn’t encourage class debate on the (dodgy) science of climate change. Here’s a pseudo-debate template for the classroom:

Are we doing enough to address Climate Change?

Agree:

♦ Govt has a carbon tax

♦ Govt have (sic) electricity saving schemes

♦ Investing money in alternative energy sources

♦ Lots of environmental organisations about (sic)

Disagree: 

 ♦ Don’t trust the media [Hear hear! Except they probably mean to attack the media from the Left]

 ♦ Fossil fuel companies still using coal [Huh?]

 ♦ Important for our economy (export import food)

 ♦ Too many cattle farms — need alternative food sources. [Such anti-farmer propaganda is rife in schools].

Another class pseudo-debate is about how to get rid of coal fired electricity – Queensland coal electorates please take note:

The potential solutions to reducing coal fired power stations are: 

1/ Have a carbon tax that allows alternative energy to compete with coal fired power stations and use the money from the tax to give everyone a tax reduction. 

2/ Have a carbon tax that allows alternative energy to compete with coal fired power stations and use the money from the tax to build solar farms, energy research, invest in energy efficiency and better public transport. 

3/ Have a carbon trading system where a fixed amount of carbon pollution can be purchased at market prices. 

4/ Ban any future building of new coal fired power stations. 

 One Cool lesson includes material reading like nonsense, even by the standards of alarmist true believers,for example:

Thought starter – Which comes first; climate change, the greenhouse effect, or global warming?

Ignoring the semantic muddle, the real answer is that ice core sampling proves warming happens first, followed by CO2 rising around 800 years later. In other words, throughout paleoclimate CO2 is a consequence not a cause of warming.

All up, kids in education are drenched in climate alarmism for some 16 years from pre-school to university. One needn’t ask who’s winning this culture war — and which side takes refuge in believing the sound policy course is to go along to get along with the alarmist implacables.

 Tony Thomas’ latest essay collection “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from publisher ConnorCourt

[1] The School Strike for Climate crusade couples itself with the anti-Australia Day/”Survival Day” push. Here’s from an email ‘SS4C’ sent me last January 25:

My name is Ethan; I am a Wiradjuri striker living on Darug Land in Warrang (or so-called Sydney) & I’m Heidi; I live on unceded tipina, paredarerme pungenna Country (Oyster Bay Nation), trowunna/lutruwita (Tasmania).

We have a question; what is there to celebrate about so-called Australia? Is it a justice system that targets, imprisons and kills First Nations Mob? Is it the fact that sovereignty has never been ceded and giant corporations continue to profit off of destroying sacred lands and water? The answer is: there is nothing to celebrate… 

[2] AYCC answers its own question, “Who is this organised by?”

The idea for the strike came from kids in Central Victoria who are worried about climate change and tired of our politicians not doing anything about it. We, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, have put an invitation out for other kids who share our concerns to join us.

[3] Cool Australia brags that Teachers Health insurance fund, with its 300,000 clients, is “Our Coolest Partner”. Other funders include various Rich-Listers’ foundations (e.g. the Fox family, Purves, Fairfax, Smorgons), billionaire-run Atlassian, Google and Cisco, plus odds and sods such as the Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation.

[4] Email from SS4C, 22/3/22

[5] ibid

[6] “Four Days for Future is our way of showing the government that our future is far more important than funding fossil fuel-giants for profit.”

and

“Despite the clear science they continue to accept huge political donations from the Fossil Fuel Industry.” SS4C emails

[7] I was astounded to discover that Dromana Primary’s

Science and Aboriginal Studies Program looks at science through an Indigenous lens. The program focus is for students to engage in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s unique culture through ways of being, knowing, thinking and doing … Acknowledging that Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have worked scientifically for millennia and continue to contribute to contemporary science.

Who knows, after 60,000 years of scientific endeavour Aborigines might have pioneered inter-planetary  travel except that the British invaded them in 1788.

I found from the websites that it is now common for each day at a pre-school to start with an Acknowledgement of Country. If this goes on from say, ages 3 to 18, the kids would do 3,000 Acknowledgements in the course of their school education.

[8] The alarmist crowd has twigged that scaring the daylights out of kids with futuristic horrors — think here of polar bears dropping from the clouds, as per one infamous scare clip. It seems this approach has been recognised as counter-productive, so the narrative now is to promote feel-good emission actions to save the planet, based on the amusing assumption that China, India and Russia will join the crusade.

The Media is the Massage

Tony Thomas

Why is the media so mistrusted? That’s not a question much raised at journalism schools or debated on the ABC’s The Drum. The mistrust is because the left-leaning media dispenses such muck that only fools give it any credibility. Read on and I’ll document that statement– understatement, really — using as case studies the giant global news wholesalers such as Agence France Press (AFP) and Associated Press (AP), and the New York Times, flagship of America’s progressive newspapers.

In Australia reporters are the second-least trusted of 30 occupations, ahead of politicians but behind delivery drivers. That’s according to a Readers Digest poll last year. Among 46 countries, the US media is the least trusted (29 per cent), according to a Reuters Institute poll last year. Australians who trust the media were 43 per cent, which is less than in Poland, Croatia and South Africa. Within the US, last October’s Gallup Poll assessed trust in media at 36 per cent, the second-lowest on record. Only 11 per cent of Republicans – who comprise half the population – trust the media, and only 10 per cent of Americans trust the media’s reporting on COVID.[1]

The normal focus is on mastheads like the New York Times and Washington Post – and here The AustralianAge and Sydney Morning Herald (SMH). But such a narrow focus detracts from the less obvious role of news wholesalers AFP, AP, Reuters and Bloomberg. Without them your morning paper or online bulletin would be half empty.

In days gone by the wire services’ watchword was political and ideological neutrality. Playing such a straight bat made them unremarkable. But now AFP, Reuters and Bloomberg have literally signed the climate pledge and partnered with 460 other media groups at Covering Climate Now (CCN). That “partnership” involves hyping warming and cancelling whatever doesn’t fit the narrative. And AP, in a jaw-dropping breach of journalistic ethics, this month began hiring 20 climate-crazed reporters using an $US8 million gift from five green/Left billionaire philanthropies. From now on we’ll be reading the best AP climate news that can be bought with activists’ money. Here’s a snapshot of the agencies’ reach:

AFP: This world’s oldest news wholesaler (186 years) has 1700 journalists operating in 150 countries. It’s independent but gets about 40% of its funding from French government subsidies.

AP: A 175-year-old New York-based non-profit group of US newspapers and broadcasters, with 3300 workers wholesaling and sharing news with 1300 print and broadcast outlets in 99 countries.

Bloomberg: The Manhattan-based, 40-year-old,  privately-owned business conglomerate with 20,000 employees globally. It was co-founded by Michael Bloomberg, who is now now worth $US70 billion. Print and broadcast media are just one leg of its operations, with financial software the mainstay.

Thomson Reuters: 170-year-old London/Canada-based news wholesaler running 3100 reporters and photo-journalists worldwide and reaching 1 billion readers.

Taking AFP specifically, its impartiality statutes include (emphasis added)

♦ Agence France-Presse may under no circumstances take account of influences or considerations liable to compromise the exactitude or the objectivity of the information it provides; it may under no circumstances fall under the control, either de facto or de jure, of any ideological, political or economic grouping;

♦ Agence France-Presse must… provide French and foreign users with exact, impartial and trustworthy information.

By partnering with Covering Climate Now, AFP has trashed those ethics. CCN’s founders view fossil fuel executives as criminals against humanity. They also want to “revoke the social licences” of “deniers” in the same way tobacco companies were shafted last century.[2] CCN pushes absurdities like a billion “climate refugees” by 2050.

I’ll get back shortly to AFP and its malign influence on our local media, including Murdoch flagship The Australian. AFP’s lapse is small beer compared with the grotesquerie of rival AP taking that $US8 million handout from the likes of Rupert’s green/woke spawn, James Murdoch, and his wife, Kathryn. [3] Young James’ political sympathies can be easily discerned from Open Secrets’ register of his generous donations to Hillary Clinton and Democrat state committees far and wide.

Julie Pace, AP senior vice-president and executive editor, explains the alliance with CCN: “This far-reaching initiative will transform how we cover the climate story.” The converse would involve the Institute of Public Affairs and Pauline Hanson giving $A11 million to The Australianto hire 20 conservative journalists to report on The Greens’s electoral campaigning. Obviously, AP’s bought-and-paid-for climate team won’t be writing anything critical about warmist dogma or dodgy people manipulating temperature data at the IPCC or NASA.

AP explained candidly that, among other motives, it needed the money:

The announcement illustrates how philanthropy has swiftly become an important new funding source for journalism — at the AP and elsewhere — at a time when the industry’s financial outlook has been otherwise bleak.

Concern about conflict of interest is out the window, as AP admits without blushing

For many years, journalists and philanthropists were more wary of each other. News organizations were concerned about maintaining independence and, until the past two decades, financially secure enough not to need help

 AP hails other newspapers and mastheads for also accepting foundations’ tainted money for their journalism.

Here’s some detail about AP’s five generous donors

Hewlett Foundation: Assets $US13 billion. Awarded the Climate Works lobby a massive $US460 million in 2008, and an ongoing stream of further grants. Opposes fossil fuels and coal and gas developments.

Rockefeller Foundation: Founded in 1913 by the oil barons (of all people). Assets at least $US4 billion. Many worthwhile medical and education projects, but its track record also includes a wartime study that infected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis and, before that, the funding of a German eugenics laboratory frequented by Dr Josef Mengele en route to his human experimenting at Auschwitz. 

QuadriviumAbout $US20 million in assets. Co-founder and president Kathryn Murdoch, wife of co-founder James Murdoch. Her net worth is said to be $US2 billion. She also works for Hillary Clinton’s Clinton Climate Initiative. Quadrivium’s viewpoint:

Climate change threatens the security and stability of our country and our world. We recognize that communications around this threat have been politicized and we are working with organizations that are capable of reaching a majority of the public, regardless of country or political tribe. We are helping to expand the successful Climate Matters program which uses meteorologists as trusted messengers of the links between extreme weather and climate change.

Walton Family FoundationAssets of about $US7bClimate activists on agriculture and water resources.

Howard Hughes Medical InstituteAssets $US29b. Supports and mentors medical researchers and scientists. Not much obvious climate preoccupation but its research emphasises the controversial alleged link between warming and the spread of malaria.

New York-based climate communicator Marc Morano juxtaposes AP’s acceptance of the $US8 million with the Code of Ethics of the US Society of Professional Journalists, and writes:

SPJ Code of Ethics: “Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; do not pay for access to news.”

Reality Check: The AP will NOT ‘be wary of sources offering information for favors or money,’ but instead, it will be seeking even money from additional donors for a job well done promoting climate hysteria.

SPJ: “Deny favored treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests, and resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage.”

Reality Check: Instead of ‘denying favored treatment’ to ‘donors,’ the AP will be dishing out ‘favored treatment’ not only to its current funders of the news but to any other potential donors who could help expand their ‘climate’ reporting.

SPJ: “Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.”

Reality Check: The AP will now be subservient and timid ‘about holding those with power accountable’, especially those who gave them untold millions to promote climate propaganda

The $US8 million to AP would also batter down Australia’s MEAA (journalists) Code of Ethics

5/ Disclose conflicts of interest that affect, or could be seen to affect, the accuracy, fairness or independence of your journalism.

6/ Do not allow advertising or other commercial considerations to undermine accuracy, fairness or independence.

7/ Do your utmost to ensure disclosure of any direct or indirect paymentmade for … stories.

I trust that all AP climate stories recycled by the Australian media will include a footnote: “This reporting funded or influenced by money from green/Left foundations”.

Rupert Murdoch’s daily broadsheet, The Australian, had been a beacon of sanity against the billion-dollar ABC, the SMH and Age, Malcolm Turnbull-created Guardian Australia, university-and-tax- funded The Conversation and Murdoch’s online leftists at news.com.au. Within The Australian there have been obvious pushes by woke elements towards a green-Leftism, until now without much success. The Australian continues to run commentaries by the unfashionable climate analyst Bjorn Lomborg, by long-term Labor apparatchik Graham Richardson and all politics in between. The good work of its environment reporter Graham Lloyd airs material that both fits and doesn’t fit the warmist agenda. But The Australian is coming to resemble a cold-store apple – healthy on the outside but starting to rot within. The rot’s coming from propaganda and drivel in its AFP feed from “global coordinator for climate change”Marlowe Hood, who has laughably self-titled himself “Senior Editor, Future of the Planet”. He tells us he was “born at 314 ppm (when CO2 was 314 parts per million) and is now a “herald of the Anthropocene.” Ta-da!
The Australian has run more than 20 Hood pieces, nearly all falsely dubbed by its sub-editors as “Breaking News”. They have headlines like “Acceleration of global warming ‘code red’ for humanity“and “Climate cataclysms set stage for key UN science report.”

Marlowe Hood has done nicely from his climate shrieking. Last year he applied for and won 100,000 Euros ($A160,000 ) cash from green/Left Spanish foundation BBVA. Blurbing the prize, BBVA extolled Hood as “one of the foremost environmental journalists and communicators of his generation”.[4] Qualified in Chinese (that’s it, but), Hood praised to BBVA the “largely unheralded but quietly influential” climate reporting by agencies like AFP. Agencies, he kids himself, are not just news-breakers but “impartial arbiters that set the tone and steer the global narrative.”

His submission for the 100,000 Euros says he was at an Oxford conference in 2009 on (supposed) impacts of a (supposed) 4degC warming. “And suddenly the reality of global warming and the human misery it will trail in its wake hit me in the gut and left me gasping for air,” he hyperventilated. In preacher mode, he told BBVA how “Humanity is standing at the crossroads [of a “sixth mass extinction”, no less] and doesn’t have long to decide which path we will be taking.”

In a soliloquy of self-delusion, he asked himself if his journalism is “the best way to wield influence, since an agency’s job is to deliver news, not opinion.” He yearns “to explicitly denounce what I know to be harmful or wrong, and to champion what I think is the right course of action” but manages (he says) to restrain himself. He boasts how his activism earns him under-the-table scoops from the UN-based catastrophe spruikers:

These stories are not only directly accessible to tens of millions of people through AFP’s media clients, they are also read by other journalists who take their cue from top level agency reporting.

As for his teaching duties to 100 young journos a year,

He asks what he describes as the question for anyone interested in environmental communication: ‘How do you scare people enough to take it seriously, and at the same time show them that there are solutions and hope, so they don’t just throw their hands up in despair? It’s all about striking that balance.[5]

I nearly choked over Hood’s latest “news” piece in The Australian, Feb 14. The propaganda, almost beyond satire, is illustrated with a nameless city cocooned in lush green parks and dappled skies lit by the sun’s rays. But the artists change it to a hellscape of broiling heat, fires and parched cracked earth thanks to the evil of carbon dioxide emissions.  The Australian‘s  sub-editors have grabbed the illustration from the range of Goebbels-standard  propaganda pics on offer at Shutterstock including dying polar bears on ice floes, drought-stricken deathscapes and wind turbines glowing in heavenly pastel landscapes.

Hood’s story, based on leaks from his alarmist pals, says the IPCC is going to release another “harrowing” Summary for Policymakers on February 28, more of the doom that UN people have claimed is just around the corner, every few years since 1990. Hood parades a litany of fake facts:

Species extinction, ecosystem collapse, mosquito-borne disease, deadly heat, water shortages, and reduced crop yields are already measurably worse due to global heating.

Just in the past year, the world has seen a cascade of unprecedented floods, heatwaves and bushfires across four continents.

All these impacts will accelerate in the coming decades even if the carbon pollution driving climate change is rapidly brought to heel, the IPCC report is likely to warn.

Is “global heating” really making “reduced crop yields measurably worse”?. In fact there’s been slight global cooling in the past five years, as measured officially by satellites and from the surface. On February 2, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation estimated last year’s world cereal production at yet another record of 2793 million tonnes, with a graph showing the rising trend from 2012. Yields for virtually every major crop have been on that rising trend during 60 years’ worth of global warming. Closer to home, Australia has just had its coolest year since 2012, according to the Meteorology Bureau, and in 60 years Australian cereal yields have more than doubled.

Hood drives his truck through AFP’s guidelines for proper sourcing within its news articles. His piece in The Australian includes the bland, “experts and advocates say”. But AFP Protocols stress:

Analysts should be clearly identified, along with the organization for whom they work and their area of expertise… Anonymous analysts lack credibility and must not be quoted…AFP is a global news agency and we should seek out analysts who offer conflicting points of view and not be content with analysts who follow a particular narrative. 

Hood’s “news” piece looks even more stupid considering the IPCC summary he’s blurbing is not finalised and its authors are continuously changing the draft. Moreover, Hood is just another mouthpiece for the orchestrated campaign by activist scientists and lobbyists to hype the impending Summary. Verify this by looking at other tame journalists’ output, like AP’s science writer Seth Borenstein’s version headed: “Scientists and governments meet to finalise UN report on ‘nightmare’ impacts of global warming“. Borenstein is at least more frank in sourcing his garbage to an activist group, writing:

The IPCC’s horrifying evidence of escalating climate impacts is set to show a nightmare painted in the dry language of science,” Teresa Anderson, who heads climate justice issues at ActionAid International, said in a statement.

If you think the agencies’ output is on the nose, you’ll gag at the stench from once-eminent mastheads like the New York TimesWashington PostWall Street JournalLA Times and Chicago Tribune. The NYT took $US100,000 a month from the Communist Party of China, via the CCP’s “China Daily” mouthpiece, for the decade to early 2020 to run pages of advertorials like “China Watch: Diaoyu Islands Belong to China.”[6]

The NYT, the progressives’ “paper of record”, takes pride in its archives stretching back to the 1850s pre-Civil War. But when caught out getting paid for CCP material, it furtively deleted those 200-plus pseudo-news pieces from its archives. The slimy deals with the CCP were exposed only when Republicans in Congress forced China Daily to properly disclose its US influence-peddling since 2016.

The NYT was further hostage to the CCP over its heavy investments in China a decade ago. This might (or might not) have influenced its determined efforts in early 2020 to discredit and smear as ‘racists’ and tinfoil-hatters those suggesting COVID leaked from the Wuhan laboratory part-funded by Dr Fauci’s team.[7] In turn, China Dailysometimes played back the NYT hit-pieces to its own domestic audience.

Murdoch-owned Fox News demolished left-liberal rivals  MSNBC and CNN in early February, out-rating their combined offerings among both total day and primetime viewers for the 25th straight week. The dismal-ratings fate of left-liberal US cable channels demonstrates that media shills can’t fool all the people all the time. 

All up, Xi Jinping’s men needed to pay a paltry $US20 million to get their messages to the US public via the cream of America’s progressive newspapers. Was Trump wrong to say this media is “the enemy of the people”? And are we wrong to so distrust the media?

Tony Thomas’ 2021 essay collection “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from publisher Connor Court

[1] Overall, just seven percent of U.S. adults say they have “a great deal” and 29 percent “a fair amount” of trust and confidence in newspapers, television and radio news reporting.

[2] CCN: “As journalists, we must write about climate change with the same clarity of the scientists who have been sounding the alarms for decades. Platforming those scientists’ detractors in an effort to “balance” our stories not only misleads the public, it is inaccurate. Where climate denialism cannot be avoided — when it comes from the highest levels of government, for example — responsible journalistic framing makes clear that it is counterfactual, if not rooted in bad faith.”

[3] The AP illustrated its announcement with a supposedly endangered polar bear pic beloved by propagandists since Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth fakery.

[4] For a long list of six- to seven-figure personal cash rewards to climate spruikers, see here.

[5] Hood is channelling the late climate scientist Stephen Schneider, who memorably asked,

On the one hand we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but, which means that we must include all the doubts, caveats, ifs and buts.

On the other hand … we have to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.

[6] One 2019 NYT video ad promoted Xinjiang tourism by depicting the oppressed Uyghur people as content under Chinese rule.

[7] In an early 2020 article the Times stigmatised the lab leak as a “fringe theory”. Its reporter claimed on Twitter that it was “the kind of conspiracy once reserved for the tinfoil hatters”.

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12 comments
  • ianl – 21st February 2022Thank you Tony Thomas for the detailed tracking of these dangerous charlatans. You are right – someone like me simply cannot overcome nauseous distaste in keeping up to date with it.However, I do not think I am wrong in noting that Canada is become the clearest example of the pathway we are being herded along (if one can herd a line, as it were).It’s clearly not about the rona now. Even Bill Gates says outright that our natural immune system has proved more effective against omicron than all the vaccines he can develop for sale. Quelle surprise. Yet still the mass of people are bashed down – literally. This is quite obviously building to a forced devolution in living standards, to save the planet of course. If you object, your bank accounts will be frozen (yes, our Big Four will be quite willing horses there). If you stand in the street to protest, an entitled THUG will clobber you with State-supplied state-of-the-art armoury. We are here. Now.
  • Ceres – 21st February 2022Great stuff Tony with your comprehensive listings.
    Once upon a time we all bought a newspaper and when that all faded away the MS media giants needed funding. With few exceptions their backers are leftie activists as you have outlined and he who pays the piper calls the tune.
    A lot of us turn to independent internet news and blogs because the rubbish spruiked as honest, reliable reporting wouldn’t pass muster with a primary school kid. I’ve noticed that even the few outnumbered conservative journalists who get a column feel the pressure to thrown in muted support occasionally for the nuttiness, presumably to keep getting paid.
  • Claude James – 21st February 2022Yes, excelent compilation.
    And the severely anti-empircal energy-wokeism of the likes of high-wealth “leaders” like Andrew Forrest and Cannon-Brookes will not only turn out the lights, it will halt the transports systems.
    So forget about eating, and the alcohol will cease arriving too.
    Oh, and the ADF will just have to march, swim, or flap its arms to get anywhere.
    Idiocy, in the name of Virtue.
  • Biggles – 21st February 2022A first-rate piece, Tony. I am surprised you have time to sleep, so prodigious is your output.
    Richard Feynman, Nobel Laureate, said; No matter how beautiful your theory, no matter how clever you are, if it doesn’t fit with experiment, it’s wrong. Melburnians; how many 40 deg C days have you experienced this summer? Could your answer be ‘zero’ because of global warming, or is it possible that the Earth is cooling due to the current Grand Solar Minimum?
  • Lawrie Ayres – 21st February 2022If the media had maintained even the smallest of integrity concerning the scam that is climate change and if their reporters had once asked an expert about the failure of their past predictions we may not have closures of coal fired power stations. Real journalists might have seen the connection between increased CO2 and increased crops. They may have bothered to check the satellite record or Ryan Maue’s data on accumulated cyclone energy which would dispel the notion that cyclones/hurricanes are getting stronger and more frequent. The modern journalist cannot read and cannot research so is but a stenographer recording the statements of some second rate so called scientist applying for another grant. Not only has journalism been debased but it has allowed science itself to be debased. We know journalists tell lies, are ignorant of the most basic facts and we know that climate science is also unbelievable so I am surprised that more responsible scientists are not coming forward to debunk the charlatans and grant junkies to preserve their own reputations. Fortunately as the old MSM commits Hari Kari and disappears into irrelevance a new generation of online reporters and photo journalists bring raw information to your screens. It is through them alone that we have seen the excesses of Trudeau’s storm troopers just as we saw Andrews enforcers harassing the elderly and pregnant. It is also through them that we can follow the failures of the vaccines and the profiteering of big pharma.
  • Elizabeth Beare – 21st February 2022Yep, spot on Tony. It’s a religion with a well funded climate theocracy at the media helm of it.
    Excellent delving into the financial chicanery and hysterical denunciations that they make with it.
    Chilling to see it put into a practice run in Canada with Covid, all ready for the coming planetary economic devolution.
  • lbloveday – 22nd February 2022I’d not read The Australian’s article by Marlowe Hood; still haven’t but I did scan the comments and that was encouraging as almost all commenters derided the article, with the standout exception being “GuyM” who contributed 9% of accepted comments, totalling 24 “likes” for his/her 23 comments, all of which were, in my opinion, nonsense.
  • Stephen Due – 22nd February 2022The ongoing success of the climate hoax is merely more evidence that the human race is just as gullible as ever. Now we have the pandemic hoax to add icing to the cake. My solution in both cases is online access to videos of lectures by people with intellect and expertise, who are also patently honest and without conflicts of interest. One of the joys of the pandemic has been having the opportunity to watch online presentations by wonderful speakers like John Ioannidis and Peter McCullough. These are experts whose commitment to truth shines brightly through the darkness that has descended on the legacy media, including, sadly, the elite medical journals.
  • DougD – 22nd February 2022Thanks again Tony. You don’t need suggestions from me for what to write about but could you ( or some other Q reader) help with information about where I can find something on the extent to which, and how, renewables are subsidised in Australia.
  • Tony Thomas – 22nd February 2022HI Doug, ALan Moran, energy analyst, has useful renewables subsidy data in this chapter of his book
    https://www.regulationeconomics.com/_files/ugd/b6987c_446351278b4446dd80a9a97b8febed97.pdf
  • Elizabeth Beare – 22nd February 2022Remove electricity from any large city, or even a portion of that city, and people will start to die. Ambulances won’t get to emergencies as traffic light systems fail. Electronic gates and lifts will fail and trap people in large unit blocks and offices and some schools. Hospitals will move to emergency power but be greatly affected in how they cope, as equipment will fail, especially mid-procedure if the failure is sudden. Rescue operations will be in overdrive to release trapped people and maintain their own staffing levels, and if the halt is long enough then major transport systems will fail. Retail outlets and large retail centres will be affected from the start.
    Do this regularly to a population and see how you fare politically. Although people will tolerate a lot. I think it was Ian Plimer who commented that people really will have to start to die in urban centres for the message about economic devolution to be truly driven home. We’ve already seen how easy it is to disrupt the supply chains on which our economy depends. Devolution would be nothing but a disaster, for employment, wealth creation and a good living situation for all.
    It may not even be quick. The slow-boiling frog analogy applies.
  • Doubting Thomas – 22nd February 2022Off-topic, but my latest rejected comment in the Oz:
    “Mr Bramston, your constant harping about republican issues is almost as bad as the dreaded Red Bandanna Man’s. It matters not one whit whether the Queen or the Governor-General is Australia’s Head of State. Constitutional Monarchists, the only adults in the argument, understand that for all practical purposes the Governor-General fulfils the role except when Her Majesty is actually present in Australia, and sometimes even then.
    Your arguments are petty and irrelevant, but keep it up. The more you and the likes of FitzSimons show the childish side of the Republican movement, the more secure our present system of government remains.”