The voice of reason

Laura Jayes has an excellent op-ed in the Daily Telegraph:

People nodding along with the broader sentiments are sick of being branded racists for wanting to have a discussion on it. Australians aren’t racist, they just want to hear their political leaders talk about solutions. Solutions to better integrating ethnic communities. Solutions to better and more effective infrastructure. And assurances that those in charge actually know what they’re doing.

That’s talking about the Fraser Anning maiden speech.

Political elites – and especially the Liberals who crap on about the ‘forgotten people’ – need to start listening to what people are saying, and not just how they say it.  Laura Jayes again:

The oft-repeated platitude of “we are the most successful multicultural nation in earth” doesn’t cut it anymore. There are too many individual examples of this not being the case.

Political elites need to get serious. The Essential Media report two years ago should have been a wake up call. As James Campbell explains:

You can argue about the numbers. You can argue about the stupidity of his generalisations about Muslims. But what you can’t deny is that many people have reached the conclusion — from their own observation of events — that more Islam equals more trouble. And the lesson from Europe is, as many people have pointed out, that if respectable politicians aren’t prepared to talk about this, then the public will vote for the unrespectable politicians who will.

The problem is that nobody is arguing or making the point about generalisations being wrong.

Posted in Australian Story, Hypocrisy of progressives, Politics | 3 Comments

Follow the money

There is no greater truth than this: follow the money

To meet their Paris Agreement climate change commitments, both Australia & NZ will be expanding their pipeline of clean energy, low-carbon transport and sustainable water infrastructure as well as their stocks of energy efficient buildings. This transition will provide extensive investment opportunities for institutional investors looking to increase portfolio exposure to green and ESG related investment.

The forum will see the launch of a ground-breaking report on the exploration on green infrastructure investment opportunities and the simultaneous release of State of the Green Bonds Market, Australia and New Zealand 2018.

The forum is organised by the Climate Bonds Initiative together with ANZ, CBA, Macquarie Group, NAB, Westpac, and the CEFC, together with event partners Norton Rose Fulbright, IFM, IGCC, the PRI and RIAA.

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Call out in a loud voice: “Hypocrisy”

The Australian political establishment has been in overdrive today. Fraser Anning (who?) used the words “final” and “solution” in the same sentence in Parliament. For reader guidance I’m going to reproduce the entire two paragraphs that surround that hateful and terrible combination.

Finally, it should go without saying that, as a nation, we are entitled to require that those who come here not only have useful work skills and qualifications but also the commitment to work and pay taxes. In truth, it appears that many of those who claim to be asylum seekers are actually just welfare seekers who only come to Australia to live on welfare in public housing at the expense of working Australians. In the days of Menzies, immigrants arriving here were not allowed to apply for welfare and that attracted exactly the right sort of hard-working people this country needed. We should go back to that and ban all immigrants receiving welfare for the first five years after they arrive.

The final solution to the immigration problem is, of course, a popular vote. We don’t need a plebiscite to cut immigration numbers; we just need a government that is willing to institute a sustainable population policy, end Australian-job-stealing 457 visas and make student visas conditional on foreign students returning to the country they came from. What we do need a plebiscite for is to decide who comes here. Whitlam didn’t ask the Australian people whether they wanted wholesale non-European migration when he introduced it and neither has any subsequent government. Who we allow to come here will determine what sort of nation we will have in the future, so therefore this isn’t the right of any one government to decide. It’s too important for that. Instead, we need a plebiscite to allow the Australian people to decide whether they want wholesale non-English speaking immigrants from the Third World and, in particular, whether they want any Muslims or whether they want to return to the predominantly European immigration policy of the pre-Whitlam consensus. I for one will be very happy to abide by their decision.

The whole speech is here.

As a consequence we have had crying, and group hugs. In the Parliament. An outbreak of bipartisanship condemning this sort of thing.


What if he had said, “I propose we have a plebiscite on immigration” instead of, “The final solution to the immigration problem is, of course, a popular vote”. Would that have changed the meaning and intent of his speech one iota? 

I suggest “No”.

So let’s examine some tough factoids and realities.

  • According to Essential Media 49% of the population want to ban Muslim immigration to Australia. I am not one of that 49% – I think a statistic like that is damning indictment of our national leadership. It is a failure of liberal discourse.
  • The appalling treatment of asylum-seeking coming to Australia is bipartisan policy.
  • The mandatory detention of asylum seekers without trial has been policy since the 1990s – introduced by Paul Keating.
  • Offshore detention of asylum seekers to prevent judicial oversight of their plight has been policy since the late 1990s, and is now bipartisan policy.

Both the Liberal Party and the Labor Party have pursued appalling policies in government – yet both these parties are outraged that a minor party unknown backbencher used a poor combination of words to call for greater democratic participation for policy development in this area?

As most Cats know I’m an open borders person. I think, however, that the arguments need to be made. Simply dismissing Anning’s concerns (and, to be frank, a huge chunk of the electorate) because he used the phrase “final solution” and not engaging with them head on is a mistake. It is also a mistake to suggest that these views should not be expressed in the Parliament. When you live in a democracy ideas that don’t get debated in public often end up being debated in the Parliament.

I’m all in favour of more plebiscites and less representative democracy – the gay marriage plebiscite was a very successful experiment –  and I think Senator Anning wrong on the merits of wanting to ban immigration on ethnic and religious grounds.

Posted in Australian Story, Hypocrisy of progressives | 167 Comments

Territory Rights Euthanasia Bill defeated

It is not often that I completely disagree with my good friend David Leyonhjelm on important matters. But I’m not convinced that adequate safeguards can ever be written into voluntary euthanasia legislation to prevent murder.  I am especially unconvinced that the Northern Territory could achieve such a thing – just look at how well they manage things such as Aboriginal welfare and their prison system. Not that other states or territories do a particularly good job.

Now another good friend Helen Dale makes the argument that juries seldom, if ever, convict in assisted euthanasia cases. I’m happy to accept that argument as being true. But it tells me that someone having euthanised a loved one has been able to convince a jury of their peers that under the law of the land a murder has not taken place.  I’m happy with that status quo.

Posted in Australian Story, Rule of law | 23 Comments

Wednesday Forum: August 15, 2018

Posted in Open Forum | 720 Comments

Jordan Peterson trashes the left once again

Jordan Peterson strikes fear into the heart of the left [I know, big assumption there]. He has found a way round their gatekeepers and is laying havoc wherever he can.


It is not that there is no home to go to, either. Western history is rich with sustenance for mind and soul. Its longevity, richness, and vibrance are proof enough of that. It is that the people who consider themselves our leaders now deliberately strip America’s young of their roots.

Peterson and many others note rightly that most of our universities, and the other cultural institutions they gatekeep such as media and public schools, are anti-education, anti-culture, and anti-American. They gain power by separating people, by not only refusing to cultivate the capacity for self-government, but also actively cultivating intellectual, economic, and spiritual dependency.

This is why, as Flanagan has noticed, a worthy curriculum, an apprenticeship in the deepest wisdom of our heritage, is typically no longer delivered through the West’s “leading” institutions. To gain any real competence, most people must self-educate through a growing “parallel culture of ideas.” Where have we heard this parallelism language before? Among the anti-Communists of Eastern Europe, for one.

Read the whole thing [as they say themselves].

Via Instapundit.

In the comments there is also this which is an argument I see all the time, obviously from agents provocateurs, along with two replies.

Petersen is no conservative. Once upon a time he would have been considered a moderate. As with many who are classical liberals, they are not moving right, but the rest of the liberals and progressives are moving further left. He sounds conservative because they sound so – I don’t know, Stalinesque?

  • I might even be willing to argue that fact he’s clearly not, at heart, a traditional conservative is only helping him get an audience with those indoctrinated by the Left/progressives. Jordan Peterson has succeeded specifically where a traditional conservative might not have been able to get leverage – especially among the many young men starved for meaning and connection with something greater.

  • Classical liberal and libertarian–and for American politics, conservative– are all the same thing, and “moderate” has nothing to do with it but as an aspect of prudence.

Posted in Conservative politics, Philosophy | 16 Comments

Compare and Contrast

In the AFR today is a recycle of an oped by Robert Rubin in the Washington Post.  It is titled:

America’s debt has exploded. Why does no one care?

Robert Rubin is the former US Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton.  He is also the Rubin in the (Bob) Rubin trade as described by Nassim (Black Swan) Taleb:

Robert Rubin collected one hundred million dollar in bonuses from Citibank, but when the latter was rescued by the taxpayer, he didn’t write any check.

But this post is not about Rubin but what he wrote:

Tax revenue (in the US) as a percentage of gross domestic product is expected to be 16.5 per cent next year.

Now this 16.5% is after a large tax cut and is leading the US to a YUGE debt and deficit problem.  On the other hand, Australia has a “target” for tax revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product to be 23.9% – slightly larger than 16.5 and we too have a YUGE debt and deficit problem.

Is everyone out there relaxed an comfortable also?

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus
Subscribe to the Sparta-Blog at

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

John Cleese on why he leaving Britain, dreadful press and no comedy

Interesting stuff.

He is going to Nevis in the Caribbean.

Followed by Stephen Fry on Political Correctness, Greek mythology, Trump, the monarch and Canada. What he says about the stories of Greek mythology is important and he is a left liberal opponent of Political Correctness. “Don’t tell me how to speak!”

He might be opposed to political correctness but he is full of the Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Posted in Cultural Issues, Rafe | 15 Comments

Ian Plimer on the Australian power crisis

A brilliant talk that briefly and graphically sketches our descent into the valley of Green death. Only 15 minutes.

First they put interconnectors between the states and ended interstate competition in the energy market. They centralised the market under the control of bureaucratic regulators and the rest is history.

The book he was talking about. This is loaded with facts and figures on the cost of unreliable power with the kind of detail that I was looking for to put meat on the bones of my post yesterday about the cost of the Paris target.

How did one of the worlds largest exporters of coal, gas and uranium end up with unreliable and expensive energy? Massive subsidies for renewable energy, gaming of the electricity market and government mandates have closed coal-fired generators that previously provided cheap reliable electricity.

Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther objected to indulgences. Today indulgences are sought as subsidies from consumers for renewable energy generators in the name of the environmental religion.

It has never been shown that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive global warming and the recent massive increases in emissions produced no warming.

This book shows that renewable energy creates massive environmental damage and much of the generously-funded climate science is underpinned by fraud. The end result is high electricity prices.

Warning. Social Justice Warriors at Work! Enjoy your coffee while we still have coalfired power.

Posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe | 22 Comments

But … but … but crime in Melbourne is low.

By now all Cats would have heard the traumatic news. Melbourne has lost its most liveable status to Vienna. Already we have the excuses:

Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp, pointing to Vienna’s improved safety rating, conceded security was an area that needed improvement.

“They’ve got a very good safety rating, that’s one of the areas where we know because we’ve been discussing it with as well Neil, that we can continue to do better.” she told 3AW.

In addition to the generally improved security outlook for western Europe, Vienna benefited from its low crime rate, the survey’s editor Roxana Slavcheva said.

“One of the subcategories that Vienna does really well in is the prevalence of petty crime … It’s proven to be one of the safest cities in Europe,” she said.

Vienna is a beautiful city and the birthplace of a fine school of economic thought. It also gives me an excuse to play one of my all time favorite songs.

Posted in civil society, Libertarians don't live by argument alone | 37 Comments