Peter O’Brien: The Liberal’s reactionary right

We are getting used to commentators such as Peter Van Onselen and Niki Savva railing against the ‘reactionary right’ or the ‘hard right’ of the Liberal Party, who apparently had the numbers to tear down Malcolm Turnbull but not enough to install one of their own in his place.  Generally, one takes their observations with a grain of salt but every now and then the itch to respond becomes irresistible.

Just what is the agenda of this ‘reactionary right’ that is such an anathema to all right-thinking conservatives?  Let’s see.  Opposition to the continued destruction of our energy infrastructure, opposition to the as yet unspecified damage to be inflicted on the wider economy to combat the entirely imaginary threat of climate change, opposition to the inexorable march towards a politically correct society based on identity politics, opposition to the vile and insidious Safe Schools program, opposition to the trashing of free speech, opposition to the surrender of our sovereignty to the UN, opposition to the increasing polarization of our society under the banner of multiculturalism.  Need I go on?

But Peter Van Onselen, for example,  believes the ‘reactionary right’ is out of touch with mainstream voters:

The problem for the Liberal Party is that it is perceived as dominated by climate-change deniers and opponents of issues such as same-sex marriage. It is electoral poison among younger voters. Added to this is a gender problem. Women aren’t joining the party’s ranks and, even when they do, they struggle to get preselected.

Van Onselen gives only three examples.  I’ll deal with climate change later but has PvO forgotten that the arch reactionary righter, Tony Abbott, devised a mechanism whereby the Party’s official position on same-sex marriage could be overturned by a conscience vote based on the result of a public plebiscite?  Has he forgotten that we now have same sex marriage, enacted under a Liberal government?  On the gender issue, it may be true that women struggle to get pre-selection but at the national executive level, at least, under Nick Greiner’s presidency, three of four vice presidents are women.

Here’s Niki Savva:

Many voters no longer recognise the Liberal Party. It has forgotte­n how to speak to women and young people. Kelly O’Dwyer laid it out at a private meeting called by the Prime Minister to allow his Victorian MPs to vent when she warned the party was regarded as homophobic, anti-women, climate-deniers. “It has to stop,” she said, regretting the ­demise of the live-and-let-live philosophy of the Liberal Party she joined as a teenager.

‘Live and let live’ as the philosophy of a political party? Really?  That’s a great recipe for getting elected!

And here is Savva again, this time employing that time-tested leftist technique – the strawman argument:

A party that prided itself on being a broad church is now marked by intolerance. Alternative views are treated contempt­uously, as is anyone who dares put them forward. This is the modern face of the Liberal Party created by those who hog the airwaves and the screens, still parroting the mantra that Morrison has to get out of Paris, as if that is going to convince any normal person — emphasis here on normal — that this will make it rain in Longreach, give the cows in Gippsland free rein on emissions or cut power bills in Brisbane or Boothby.

No-one who promotes ditching the Paris agreement makes these claims, which are nonsensical in any case.

If the next-generation leadership of the Nationals, represented by Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, can talk easily about climate change because he thinks it’s real, because his constituents think it’s real, because they see its effects on the quality of the environment around them, then surely it’s safe for suburban Liberals to say those words about a policy that dare not speak its name without being pilloried: Climate. Change.

I doubt very much that David Littleproud really believes in climate change.  His recent appearance on Q&A would seem to give the lie to Savva’s assertion.

So the theme that the ‘reactionary right’ is taking over the Liberal Party to the detriment of its election  chances has now gained holy writ status in most of the mainstream press.  One of the things that the Left does well is hammer home its message ad nauseam.  The Right not so much. They seem to have the view that once having rationally stated their position, the unassailable logic should be enough to sway voters.  In recent times, the only Liberal who defied that limp-wristed tradition was Tony Abbott.

So let’s have a look at the record.

Turnbull was not travelling too well as Opposition Leader after he allowed himself to get shafted over the Godwin Grech affair.  No doubt there were murmurings against him then by disaffected conservatives but it was not until he conspired to grant Kevin Rudd his crowning glory, the ill-fated ETS, that they moved against him.  This was a step too far out of the hallowed halls of the ‘broad church’ and Tony Abbott took over, which led to the landslide victory in 2013.  Notable in this phase was that Abbott retained Turnbull’s services on the front bench as Shadow Minister for Communications.  No doubt this magnanimity was driven, in part, by the fact that Turnbull was seen to have had some skills in this area.

Once in government, Abbott made some mistakes (notably breaking a promise about ABC funding and sticking by his woke paid parental leave scheme) but he also had significant achievements –stopping the boats, axing the carbon tax, cutting back on corporate welfare and making a decision on Sydney’s second airport to name a few .  That didn’t stop Turnbull and his cohorts scheming against him almost from day one.   Another mistake Abbot made was to back away from his commitment to reform Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.  This could be seen as a sop to the moderates , a concession to the ‘broad church’ concept.  As was his agreement to hold a plebiscite on same-sex marriage and his commitment to be bound by the result.

In the event, Abbott never made it past November 2015 but no front bench position for him.  However, some of his closest allies (Cormann, Dutton etc) remained in Cabinet and served Turnbull loyally, despite his disastrous performance in losing 14 seats in the 2016 election, losing 38 Newspolls in a row , crashing out in the Longman and Mayo by-elections etc etc.   They were still supporting him at the time he sprung his ill-judged leadership spill in an attempt to thwart a mooted challenge by Dutton.  The trigger for all this was Turnbull once again pushing the ‘climate change’ envelope beyond what was acceptable to the conservatives, as they had made clear when they toppled him the first time.   In his time as Prime Minister, Turnbull made no concessions to the right apart from the fact that he held the line on asylum seekers.  (It seems somewhat sad to say that something essentially negative like  stopping the boats was Tony Abbott’s greatest achievement – but it was something Turnbull could never have done and even he was smart enough to know that his job depended on holding the line.)  During this period, Christopher Pyne, leader of the self-proclaimed Black Hand faction, boasted openly that the Left faction now had the whip hand.

We now have conservative Senator Jim Molan relegated to an unwinnable position on the NSW Senate ticket.  We have conservative Member Craig Kelly almost certain to lose his pre-selection to a former Labor operative.  We have Tony Abbott, perhaps the most successful Opposition Leader in history, under siege in his own seat.   What happened to ‘live and let live’?

And what do we hear?  The ‘reactionary right’ are talking over the Liberal Party.

It seems to me that the conservative wing have been content to’ live and let live’ on almost every issue except climate change.  That is the fault line that runs through the Party.

Feather-weight philosopher, Peter Van Onselen, in a recent column in the Australian observes:

(Senate President Scott) Ryan’s point is that you can believe in climate change and still vote Liberal (or be a Liberal).

‘Believe in climate change’.  (Voice goes up an octave) ‘Believe in climate change’!   What a mindless statement.   Van Onselen likes to claim that Abbott and co are not true Conservatives.   ‘Belief in climate change’ sounds like the very antithesis of conservatism to me.

Climate change has become an ideological issue when it should be a scientific/economic issue with arguments on both sides.  But the Left will not allow this.  With them, as in all issues, it is an all or nothing approach.  You cannot question ‘the science’, you cannot question the cost effectiveness of proposed actions, you cannot even debate if adaptation might be a more appropriate response than costly mitigation.  To do any of these things is to be dismissed as a ‘climate denier’.

Even belief in God – the ultimate act of faith – allows for variations and nuance.  But not climate science.

Van Onselen claims:

The problem with self-stylised conservatives today is that they are readily prepared to tear down institutions if it advances their campaigning cause.

What institutions are under threat from these renegades, one has to ask?  Responsible government?  The rule of law?  The separation of powers?   Religious freedom?  Freedom of speech?   Trial by jury rather than Twitter?

The only tearing down I can think f is the tearing down of a successful first term Prime Minister.

Where are we now after the reactionary right revolution?

We have an accidental two-bob-each- way Prime Minister who can’t bring himself to cut loose from the legacy of the man who’s now trying to destroy him, we have a two bob each way Treasurer who thinks business needs a social licence to operate, we have a Defence Minister presiding over both the emasculation of our fighting forces and a major defence purchase designed more to save seats in South Australia than to save the lives of sailors.  I could go on but you get the picture. The only remotely conservative Member in a senior position is Angus Taylor and even he will not state the obvious – that the Paris Agreement is a crock.   Takeover by the ‘reactionary right’?  Give me a break.

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72 Responses to Peter O’Brien: The Liberal’s reactionary right

  1. The only reason the Coalition can must for its support is “imagine what it will be like if the ALP win”.
    This has been the only argument the coalition has been able to mount since the stupid idiots brought Malfunction Trumble back.
    The argument is getting very tired. We now have a Uniparty system in this country. That’s the one we laughed at in the old Soviet Union when they had elections with only one option.
    Trumble has been successful at what he set out to do years ago; destroy the Liberal Party and had the country over to the new Soviets at the UN.
    Our only salvation will be a Senate that refuses to pass anything proposed by the Uniparty.

  2. stackja

    Reactionary right to what?

  3. Fisky

    The big omission from this article is immigration. The Liberal Party’s strategic reliance on the population ponzi growth model is arguably the number one source of tension withinthe party. You can’t claim to be a liberal or a conservative party if you have to import 250000 migrants a year to avoid technical recession

  4. Fisky

    The greatest threat to our productivity, long term growth, and arguably our cultural inheritance, is immigration.

  5. Herodotus

    The Liberals appear finished as a centre-right party. The “broad church” left has run it into the ground.
    They either regroup and expel all the lefties or the remaining conservatives have to go elsewhere.
    Purge or Split.
    Those are the options.
    Morrison is akin to their Romney at the moment, personable and Christian as he is.
    If he doesn’t release his inner mongrel soon it’ll be too late.

  6. wal1957

    If the Libs thought the Victorian election results were bad.. tell ’em they’re dreamin’.

    I do not believe that the Liberal party is worth reviving. As has been stated in the article, the Libs have backed down on so, so bloody much. Just what do they stand for, if anything at all?
    As for the line…”yeah but you don’t want Labor in do you?”… I personally don’t give a toss.
    Either way we are stuffed!

  7. Harken Now

    Hark! to this:

    Climate change has become an ideological issue when it should be a scientific/economic issue with arguments on both sides. But the Left will not allow this.

    It is, to all but the blind of the Right, an “ideological issue” primarily in the mind of the Right. Is this not clear from the conspiracy belief shown on the very site daily, the latest being the Katesian post that it is but a “Marxist hoax” and any Liberal who says they find the scientific advice (of too many advisory bodies to count) convincing is derided for being soft in the head and a gullible fool for falling for this grand plan to end Western, capitalist civilisation? How much plainer can it be that this is an ideological, evidence resisting response?

    I keep saying, because it is obviously true: the “we must debate the science before we can decide what to do” position is supported by a mere handful of climate scientist contrarians – just as there is are extremely few medical researchers who urge caution on vaccination.

    Of course, there has always been room for debate on appropriate policy response – and conservatives and capitalists have always been entitled to contend that (say) an argument that capitalism must be replaced to deal with it is unwarranted. Capitalism has successfully dealt with environmental issues before – hello, ozone recovery. But to participate in the policy response debate you need to demonstrate that you do believe there is an issue to address – otherwise your arguments are tainted by the obvious bad faith of being prepared to put up any argument because you do not want to see any effective policy at all.

    That this has finally become plain to the centrists of the Liberals is a good thing. Those who want to continue a debate on the science are simply seeking to hamper the Liberals from ever having an effective and plausible policy – and the public can see that clearly.

    It is the so-called conservatives who should leave the Party, because they should have enough sense to see that their desire for policy paralysis is not electorally popular, let alone a great danger to God’s creation.

    These words of enlightenment should need to be made – but it appears they have to.

    Now, back to my theremin.

  8. JC

    But to participate in the policy response debate you need to demonstrate that you do believe there is an issue to address – otherwise your arguments are tainted by the obvious bad faith of being prepared to put up any argument because you do not want to see any effective policy at all.

    Yes, we need more wind and carbon farming.

  9. Confused Old Misfit

    If he doesn’t release his inner mongrel soon it’ll be too late.

    I suspect it is too late. He would have to act mercilessly and I don’t think he has enough support to buck the party power brokers.
    He has to deal strongly with the energy situation which will involve overriding the climate wets in the party. He has to get the immigration system under control which will further inflame the wets.
    He has to stop, as do all “Liberals”, dancing to the tune of the progressive left.
    He has to start being a proactive conservative leader rather than a reactionary figurehead.
    I doubt his own party will follow him.
    They have not the guts.

  10. Fisky

    Morro can rant and rave all day long, it will mean nothing so long as he keeps importing over 200,000 permanent migrants per year. That policy, along with the monstrous subprime housing bubble, the destruction of standards in tertiary education, flatlining wages, etc etc, has already killed his government.

  11. mh

    Unfortunately the Liberals are guided by total cocks like Mark Textor and Michael Kroger who talk about occupying the centre ground. Kroger also puts on a bow tie just to emphasise how wise he is.

    Trump came along as a private citizen and said that climate change (agw) was a crock of shit, and the people made him President. Hahaha

    Others are catching on, but not the slow Liberals.

    Brazil’s Populist Minister Slams Climate Alarmism as Marxist Ideology

    https://www.breitbart.com/latin-america/2018/12/01/brazils-populist-minister-slams-climate-alarmism-as-marxist-ideology/

  12. Fisky

    Australia’s subprime housing bubble isn’t officially called that, but subprime it is. It took nothing more than a banking royal commission to wipe 10% off the market, with much more to follow. Hopefully Labor’s negative gearing reforms will kill off what’s left of the ponzi economy.

  13. Fisky

    Be very interesting to hear from any other Cats with recent tertiary teaching experience. The rampant plagiarism, shocking levels of English proficiency, the grade inflation and pressure to pass.

  14. Genghis

    Peter, I think that is one of the best pieces I have read for a long time. I hope you get it published in the Australian.
    However a comment or two – get the Mincing Poodle out of politics – he opens his mouth and another 1000 or so give voting for the Liberals a miss.
    Secondly lets go with the theory that man is having some effect on the Climate. If you keep banging on that this isn’t so you get nowhere. But if you show that Labor will destroy our way of living (and economy) you just might succeed but you are going to have to be ballsey. Do the sums on LCOE and show that ‘clusters’ of small modular nuclear reactors will mitigate CO2 and give reliable powe, and are cheaper than renewables. 14,000 derelict wind turbines tell a story and it isn’t pretty.
    This crap about women gets up my nose – just how many women lately have had to resign because their companies have gone off the rails. Men maybe stupid but so are increasing numbers of women!

  15. RobK

    Harken is self medicating again.
    Harken,
    Whilst scientifically the null hypothesis can be shown to hold, the policy settings should follow.

  16. Neenee

    The Libs are like an old shirt that doesn’t fit anymore. The debate is about whether the shirt has shrunk or the waistline has grown. Would you keep a shirt just hoping that it may fit again some day? The answer is the shirt is now an old rag that needs to be replaced. There’s a whole rack of new season shirts on display – try one on and see if it fits.

  17. Destroyer D69

    We have probably the most important election in Australian history looming ahead in the next few months. The timing will no doubt be decided on the most auspicious date to ensure victory for the current incumbent with no consideration ,except, a maximisation of the chances of victory. As there is no glaring differences between the two alternatives on offer,and our system of compulsory preferential voting which guarantees an administration by one of two cabals, I feel it is time for us to reclaim OUR vote. Decline to number any candidate who you refuse to consider for a seat in parliament Even if this means your vote will be declared “informal”the outcome will still be a “victory” for one or the other of the mediocracy forced upon us. And if this “informal” vote is great enough then a popular victory or “mandate ” to govern cannot be claimed. ,and as an added benefit they will be denied the taxpayer funded largesse of the cash for votes top up of the party coffers.YOU must decide who gets YOUR vote.RECLAIM YOUR VOTE.

  18. a happy little debunker

    Fascinating article interviewing Julie Banks over at The Guardian.

    She claims she was not elected as a Liberal or LNP candidate – rather as a member of the Turnbull Coalition Team (™) – as such she was not bound to support anyone but Malcolm and her good friend Julie Bishop, who was subjected to the ‘callous treatment’ of not getting many votes in the last leadership showdown.

    She was ‘furious’ that private messages on ‘whatapps’ were somehow revealed to the media – when all those messages were reported pro-Morison and Bishop-irrelevant.

    She detailed how she repeatedly refused to discuss her concerns with the leadership preferring the counsel of the newly elected Kerryn Phelps.

    She has decided that Dutton should be sent to the high court and it is something that she claims she shares with Phelps (not realising that Phelps is in precisely the same position by owning medical practices that receive Medicare payments)

    There are even more nuggets to be uncovered over the intolerance of the left as outlined this article.

  19. Squirrel

    “Just what is the agenda of this ‘reactionary right’ that is such an anathema to all right-thinking conservatives? ”

    In essence, it’s practical stuff, but in a world where a large chunk of the population simply wants to be told about what it’s entitled to (not about whether and how those entitlements can be sustainably funded) telling people what they want to hear is always going to win more votes than telling them unpalatable truths.

    A centre-right government should be talking to the public about the realities of Australia’s place in a global economy, and the sorts of things we need to do to survive and prosper in such a world. That would be a basis for a solid reform agenda, aimed particularly at those sectors of the economy which are still largely protected from healthy competitive forces. This goes well beyond so-called free-trade agreements and tinkering with corporate and personal tax rates.

  20. Harken Now

    Hark RobK:

    Whilst scientifically the null hypothesis can be shown to hold, the policy settings should follow.

    We are sure that (literally) thousands of scientists do not agree with you. That is fine politically, if you form and vote for the “Thousands of Scientists Do Not Agree With Us – But We Know Best Party”. Stop bothering the Liberals and making them un-electable by insisting they must bend to your “don’t believe the science – it’s all a Socialist plot” attitude.

  21. Snoopy

    Fisky
    #2877209, posted on December 2, 2018 at 5:48 pm
    Be very interesting to hear from any other Cats with recent tertiary teaching experience. The rampant plagiarism, shocking levels of English proficiency, the grade inflation and pressure to pass.

    But that’s enough about Skip students. What about the foreigners?

  22. Muddy

    Stranglers.
    Stranglers all.
    Why do we pay any attention to what stranglers like van Onselen and Savva write?
    It has been obvious for a long, long time that they, and other stranglers like them, want to cut the flow of oxygen to true conservative policies that value the individual and provide opportunities for anyone, anyone at all, regardless of tribal affiliation, to improve their quality of life if they are willing to work.

    I’ve often used the word ‘enabler,’ but now I believe that ‘strangler’ is more appropriate. Socially, culturally, economically, these insurgent collectivists wish to render stone-cold-dead everything that previous generations have built, and replace it with a society governed by the omniscient, omnipotent few.

    They want to, and are, strangling us.

  23. RobK

    We are sure that (literally) thousands of scientists do not agree with you. 
    Ditto to you Harken.

  24. Harken Now

    What the Hark, RobK: point out to me the actual (credible) scientific associations and professional bodies that specifically say “you know, we really don’t think anything’s been proved here and governments can safely ignore this as an issue.” Point to a Meteorology office in a government that says “climate change? haha”

    And don’t go quoting the Oregon Petition: no one in Heaven takes it seriously.

  25. Tel

    We are sure that (literally) thousands of scientists do not agree with you.

    We are sure that argument by authority is now all you have left, and you are going to spam the Heaven out of every thread, regardless of topic. Is this intended to impress anyone? Special love interest?

    By the way, if thousands of scientists disagree with me, and Freeman Dyson is on my side. I’d say that you don’t even have argument by authority.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/ann-reid/freeman-dyson-offers-up-a-smorgasbord-of-climate-change-misconceptions_b_7259170.html

    Carbon dioxide is what we’re producing in big quantities and putting into the atmosphere. This happens to be a very good fertilizer for all kinds of vegetation, good for wildlife, good for agricultural production, so it has many benefits.

    Yup, I agree with that.

    And here is the lame HuffPo rebuttal:

    This is one of the most tired and thoroughly debunked climate change denier arguments — the equivalent of the creationists’ “But where are the transitional fossils?” argument. Really, how many times do we have to kill these zombies? For a thorough take-down of this persistent misconception, visit Skeptical Science.

    Ha ha, in an argument by authority they choose John Cook as their authority. Hey, I choose the the chemistry of photosynthesis as my authority. Jean Senebier can explain it to you, religious man so he’s no doubt available for a chat if you can spare the time from spamming.

  26. candy

    Very well written post, a pleasure to read, thanks so much for taking the time to write it, Guest Author.

    I would comment that I always felt Malcolm Turnbull was so beloved by most of the media, even though he was LNP. His Green philosophies, bringing in SSM, a very strong believer in climate change, etc. As well, urbane, intimate with high placed Muslims, an art and high culture lover – he had it all in one package. He blew himself up, paranoid that there was more support for Dutton, although there was strong support, it was never going to be enough. The media are desperate now to get rid of Abbott, Dutton and other conservatives, as revenge for losing Malcolm.

    It’s not so much climate change issue at all, it’s the left media trying to destroy the conservative faction with help from Malcolm Turnbull in the background. I feel Julie Bishop or Chris Pyne may be in contention for the leadership. Even Tim Wilson.

  27. min

    Scomo has signed Compaq on Paris Agreement only Trump did not sign. I was asked for a donation today so replied to e mail and said . I hope you have read audit of Germany’s transitions to renewables Energiewendung and a review of U K’s energy program Both reported that the poor have suffered as result of su sidies etc. I not think China would invest in infrastructure on sinking islands. Tell those in Pacific that we will help them enlarge the islands like China has done to island in South China Sea if they go under .

  28. bespoke

    They always say lets come together and follow what I believe. They never say lets compromise or I agree.

  29. RobK

    Harken,
    The anthropogenic CO2 conjecture has been modelled by your authorities and presented as fact. All the models run hot, only the Russian one not so much. The anthropogenic component of any warming can be shown not only to be relatively small but also more likely to be an effect of man’s management of the water cycle, see http://www.waterparadigm.org/download/Water_for_the_Recovery_of_the_Climate_A_New_Water_Paradigm.pdf. If you study this easy to read pdf, Harken, you may realise that anthropogenic CO2 is not evil to man or beast. No amount of windmills and and light sensitive semi conductors are going to have a beneficial effect on atmospheric CO2 . Our management of the terrestrial components of the water cycle might. Read and learn. The linked pdf is written by experts in their field and the have written it especially for angels such as yourself.

  30. egg_

    Don’t allow the troll derail debate with CAGW tripe.

    Van Wrong-so-long and Savva?
    As if they have any cred.

  31. Boambee John

    Barken Mad

    The so-called science might have more force if its proponents demonstrated by their actions that they agree with it. Perhaps video-conferencing might be a useful symbolic action for them to take?

    Their claims of an imminent disaster might have more force if their proposed solution would produce reliable power 24/7/365 (hello nuclear power), but while the favoured solution is intermittent so-called “renewables” like solar and wind, one a centuries old technology, and neither of which can reliably operate 24/7/365, they are cruising for a bruising when the generation system collapses.

  32. DrBeauGan

    These idiots have a story to tell. It’s not about truth. They aren’t going to stop until they are dead. They can’t grasp logic. They are immune to facts. Very like children, in fact and they need to be treated the same way.

  33. Percy Popinjay

    gliberals sinistra delenda est, etc.

    Electoral oblivion awaits, imbeciles.

  34. egg_

    Electoral oblivion awaits

    +1

    The polls are betraying fate’s hand.

  35. Texas Jack

    Peter Van Onselen is so smart he thinks the absence of a political force that acts as a counterbalance to a complete takeover of the country by the green-Left is a wondrous thing. He’s so smart he thought the Turnbull Coalition’s wholescale validation of the ALPs policy positions was the mark of genius, as if it wouldn’t make a further leftward lurch of the ALP inevitable. He’s so well read he clearly hasn’t a clue that if the Liberal Party abandons its traditional base – the people who bother to turn up at meetings outside Neutral Bay and Woolhara, who hand out HTVs, and provide essential funding – its base has no reason to advocate a vote for the party, which is a really big problem for a party that doesn’t get the support of unions or GetUp. Bottom line is this – he’s about as useless as Niki Savva only Niki has form.

  36. Leo G

    A party that prided itself on being a broad church is now marked by intolerance.

    Savva misunderstands the meaning of “broad church”, even in the political sense. It refers to tolerance by a controlling progressive clique to associates who are more centrist. The political broad church excuded the extremes, just as the religious Anglican broad church excluded the extremes of the high church and the low church.
    The present problems in the Liberal Party originate in a ruling clique that has shifted into neo-Marxism and has become extremely intolerant of the middle-ground where most party members stand.

  37. min

    I see that Banks has said that she did not join Liberal Party she joined Turnbull’s Coalition Team.

  38. NB

    Scandal! Reactionary right rejects socialism.

  39. Steve

    PVO is an analysis free zone. For someone who purports to be an academic his level of analysis doesn’t even reach superficial. For example, it doesn’t take a genius to recognize that the Liberal Party’s attempt to become Labor-Lite has not resulted in an increase of votes, quite the opposite. All it has done is alienate traditional liberal voters and drive them towards the minor parties. But in spite of this PVO continues his usual nonsense.

  40. min

    I bet she campaigned under Liberal banner and took the help of Liberal workers. What money can buy.

  41. Harken Now

    Hark! Tel: yadda yadda “argument from authority”.

    Any group of eccentric “we know better than the establishment” types can use this to dismiss people who follow expert consensus advice: the anti-vaxxers & the anti fluoridation crowd for one – or two.

    And as for Freeman Dyson – poor human, he looks a lot like Dobby now – he’s 95 and perfectly capable of being wrong on any field, let alone one he never worked in. Did you forget that I gave the example of Linus Pauling – became obsessed with Vitamin C megadoses which no one now thinks is a good idea. It wasn’t a completely nuts idea – nor was it to question in the 1970’s what was going on with global temperatures and speculate that cooling could continue. But here’s the thing: further work in the field did not support them. That’s science for you.

    There are other examples of Nobel winners getting wrong ideas outside of their field: the Nobel winning chemist who thought everyone else was wrong about HIV causing AIDS; the dubious racial intelligence theories of others; the transistor whiz who is completely in the tank with telepathy. (Well, actually, angels know that that last one is true. It’s how we made Tony Abbott eat that onion.)

    You have to look at the arguments they are using and what others, particularly with more expertise, are saying about them. Dyson’s arguments are variously shades of shallow and outright wrong. He is not considered by the consensus experts to have any compelling arguments against them – because he doesn’t.

    Sorry to be the angel to break that to you.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Anyway, no one denies CO2 is good for plants – it’s just that humans don’t really need them back on Antarctica if that means a lot of currently inhabited real estate with lots of nice buildings is going to be underwater.

    Look, us angels don’t really care if a group of people want to be wrong in the face of evidence, and to sound like an arrogant prats by claiming that those who follow the actual expert advice are the ones who are being childish and dumb.

    This is what’s bothering us in Heaven – being wrong is one thing; being arrogant about it is another. Leave the poor Liberals alone, and go form your own party where you can be wrong to your hearts’ content.

  42. Tim Neilson

    But to participate in the policy response debate you need to demonstrate that you do believe there is an issue to address

    There is some merit in this, if you’re prepared to apply it consistently.

    E.g anyone who denies that there’s a problem with large scale importation of Muslims and African “youths” shouldn’t be allowed to participate in the policy debate about the solution.

    Those who want to continue a debate on the science are simply seeking to hamper the Liberals from ever having an effective and plausible policy – and the public can see that clearly.

    Anyone who has ever looked at the financial models and EROEI analyses of solar farms and wind farms knows that “renewable energy” is not an effective or plausible policy – unless your aim is national self-destruction and impoverishment.

  43. Iampeter

    No doubt there were murmurings against him then by disaffected conservatives but it was not until he conspired to grant Kevin Rudd his crowning glory, the ill-fated ETS, that they moved against him.

    This doesn’t make any sense, since the ETS was a long term goal of the Howard government before hand and he set everything up for it. None of you opposed it when the Howard government was moving us in this direction but suddenly it became an issue with Rudd and Malcolm?

    The whole laughable aspect of the suggestion of a liberal “reactionary right,” is that the party and it’s supporters have been further left than labor, for a large majority of the time they’ve been in office.

  44. bespoke

    None of you opposed it when the Howard government was moving us in this direction but suddenly it became an issue with Rudd and Malcolm?

    Ignorant BS!

  45. egg_

    I bet she campaigned under Liberal banner and took the help of Liberal workers.

    The price of the Turnbull loan was to have to endure his name on the masthead of the greater Party.

  46. hzhousewife

    Turnbull’s Coalition Team

    This was Trunchbull’s attempt to hi-jack the Libs and he is really really pissed it didn’t work out.

  47. egg_

    Iampeter

    Is this a regular’s retarded troll handle?

  48. Mater

    Is this a regular’s retarded troll handle?

    Yep. An open borders loon.

  49. bespoke

    Iampeter
    Is this a regular’s retarded troll handle?

    It crossed my mind more then once that it is Dot messing with us.

  50. EvilElvis

    Be very interesting to hear from any other Cats with recent tertiary teaching experience. The rampant plagiarism, shocking levels of English proficiency, the grade inflation and pressure to pass.

    Why bother getting it from an SJW dimwit when you can just hire a junior and work it out yourself that they’ve been screwed?

  51. EvilElvis

    I’m not sure the gender thing is really an issue. Surely enough males have left the party to almost balance the books?

  52. Seco

    It’s easier to blame others for your problems than blame yourself. The Liberals have dramatically veered left in the last 4 years but somehow it’s because of the Right that they’re stuffed now.

    Blind Freddy knew that the Libs would get no kudos for foisting homosexual marriage onto us, but somehow the idiots in the Liberal Party couldn’t see it. The party are now just useful idiots for Labor, putting in their policies they are too scared to do themselves.

  53. Entropy

    I’m not sure the gender thing is really an issue. Surely enough males men have left the party to almost balance the books?

    FIFY

  54. EvilElvis

    I didn’t want to trigger anyone with such a sharp yet blunt gender descriptor, entropy. 😁

  55. A Lurker

    It is easy to identify a Leftist because they always project their own actions onto others:

    Niki Savva:

    “A party that prided itself on being a broad church is now marked by intolerance. Alternative views are treated contemptuously, as is anyone who dares put them forward.”

    Q. In reality, who is being silenced, whose freedom of speech is being compromised?
    A. Conservatives

    Quote from Peter Van Onselen:

    “The problem with self-stylised conservatives today is that they are readily prepared to tear down institutions if it advances their campaigning cause.”

    Q. Which political ideology has infiltrated and white anted institutions in order to subvert them or pull them down from within?
    A. The Left – in whatever guise they wear.

  56. H B Bear

    Poor Prof van Wrongselen, now lumped in with a mad Greek woman. How much lower can he fall?

    Watch this space.

  57. Boambee John

    Those who want to continue a debate on the science are simply seeking to hamper the Liberals from ever having an effective and plausible policy – and the public can see that clearly.

    It is quite clear from their actions (perpetual global travel, waterfront houses, rejection of nuclear power) that the scientists don’t believe there is a problem, why should we?

  58. Harken Now

    Hark! A lengthy angelic comment from last night has been released from moderation.

    As for the continual complaints about scientist types flying to conferences: let’s be practical – meetings via webcam can work well enough for some meetings, not so well for others. And the emissions crime of
    plane travel is actually pretty low in the big picture – all air travel accounts for about 2% of global emissions. That’s not nothing, but it’s far, far from the main games in getting global emissions under control.

    The air transport industry is already well motivated to reduce emissions: growth in flights is somewhat offset by by the ever increasing fuel efficiency of new aircraft; the use of biofuel by some; and cautious routing. Within a few decades, it may well be that shorter air commutes will be electric powered.

    Angels like flying and don’t really want to really punish anyone for doing it. Substantial cuts in burning fossil fuel for other reasons is where the main game is at, clearly.

    Buying real estate which may be flooded in future? If they know the risk, who cares? Makes no sense to complain if a climate scientist who wants (say) 30 years of sea side living buys there, even if he believes in 60 years it will be regularly flooded. If you are going to insist that that is somehow hypocrisy, be consistent and tell the 9/10 of Catallaxy commenters who are continually horrified with the state of Australian politics and society that should all be expats.

    Nuclear – a tricky one. No doubt it has helped some nations reduce emissions substantially, but people don’t like its potential to blow up and emit invisible long term danger; it’s really quite expensive to build; and a bit like fusion, new safe cool designs are always just around the corner but never seen to arrive.

    Angels prefer alternatives, but admit it is an interesting challenge.

  59. Kneel

    “You have to look at the arguments they are using and what others, particularly with more expertise, are saying about them. ”

    OK, let’s do that. Here’s a few:

    IPCC: Infectious diseases such as malaria will spread and cause untold damage because: climate change.
    Expert: resigned from IPCC after they refused to remove this demonstrably wrong statement. Made statement at press conference, was ignored by IPCC mouthpiece who stated exact opposite of the expert that IPCC itself selected! Expert completely ignored.

    IPCC: unprecedented damage due to severe weather!
    Expert: nope, in terms adjusted for inflation, risk etc, there is NO TREND. Told he was a denier, despite using IPCC data and citing multiple published studies that all support his position. Expert completely ignored.

    MM: “look, my graph proves it!
    SM: “err, you forgot to carry the one”
    Consensus: “Denier!”
    Experts said: “can’t make head nor tail of the original, but the complaint is cogent, logical and seems to be correct.”Experts completely ignored

    Or maybe we can look at predictionsprojections.
    1988: Hansen: “in 50 years, this [points to building behind him] will be regularly flooded”
    Reality: 2018 (30 years later): no even close to 10% of the way to the target

    Me: “it’s been a while, how long before the pause is significant”
    Gavin Schmidt (RC): “If we have 10 years like this, we will need to look closely at the models”
    Reality: 20 years later, nothing has changed, models are still showing rises that aren’t there, and no-one has had a “close look” at the models to see why they’re wrong.

    Careless with the truth?
    NASA GISS: “hottest EVA!”
    Reality: actually, about 34% chance it was “hottest EVA”, and even then only by a few hundreths of a degree!

    Many: “It’s worse than we thought!”
    Reality: CO2 increases more than projected, temperature went up less than projected, yet somehow, despite the driver (CO2) being “high” and the driven (temperature) being “low”, and despite each successive IPCC report publishing a lower estimate of ECS than previous reports, things are worse and don’t try to deny it.

  60. max

    Fisky say:

    “The greatest threat to our productivity, long term growth, and arguably our cultural inheritance, is immigration.”

    Fisky who are “we” and what is our “cultural inheritance”

    Australia Demographics

    The Australian population census of 2011 showed that of the 21,507,717 declared residents, 25.4% of the population claimed their ancestry to be Australian. Those that claimed to be of English ancestry represented 25.9% of the total population. Other figures included Irish at 7.5%, Scottish at 6.4% and Italian at 3.3%.

    From the end of World War II through 2000, nearly 6 million immigrants came to Australia, accounting for 2 out of every 7 Australians.

    t the last census in 2011, over 30% of Australians were born in another country and over 46% had at least one overseas-born parent. The most common immigration sources in Australia are the United Kingdom, New Zealand, China, India, and Vietnam.

    In 2011, the official indigenous population of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders was over 548,000, or 2.5% of the total population,

    As of 2016, the population of Australia had the option to identify their religious affiliations through the census period and the findings show that 30.1% do not have a religious practice or belief, 22.6% of Australians are Catholic, 13.3% are Anglican Christian, 3.7% are affiliated with the Uniting Church, 2.6% identify as Christian in general, another 2.6% are affiliated with Islam, 2.4% are Buddhist, 2.3% are Presbyterian, 2.1% are Eastern Orthodox, 1.9% are involved in Hinduism, 1.5% are Baptist, 1.1% are Pentecostal, .7% are Lutheran, .5% are Sikh, .5% are other Protestant, .4% are affiliated with Judaism, another .4% are Jehovah’s Witnesses, .3% are Seventh Day Adventists, .3% are Latter Day Saints and .2% are Oriental Orthodox.

    where ever I look I can see only socialist and etatist
    

etatism:
    a form of state socialism.

  61. Harken Now

    Hark! Kneel: go meta – if this is so obvious, why do you think scientific bodies do not agree with you regarding the big picture?

    [Reminder – any field of science will have some mistakes, errors or other controversy in research; the big picture is more important. You’ve lost on the big picture. So sad, go form a crank’s party and leave the Liberals alone.]

  62. Boambee John

    Angels prefer alternatives, but admit it is an interesting challenge.

    So, destroy what works, and wait to see what turns up? If you do not have a workable solution, you are (even by your sloppy standards) stupid to use the Micawber response.

    As you say, look to the big picture. That is that there is no viable alternative to fossil fuels, except nuclear, at the moment. Come back when you have one.

    PS, very low energy response on air travel and waterfront properties. Try again, keeping your eye on the big picture this time.

  63. Boambee John

    My last addressed to Barken Mad.

  64. Harken Now

    Hark! to the B:

    As you say, look to the big picture. That is that there is no viable alternative to fossil fuels, except nuclear, at the moment.

    Renewable energy with adequate innovation in storage is probably enough, for most countries.

    Climate change deniers are whiners with no sense of perspective. Making the changeover to clean renewable energy has its technical challenges, but humans are pretty innovative when they have the right incentive.

    It strikes us as odd, and more than a tad tedious, that deniers are all “Stop telling us there is going to be an environmental catastrophe you panic merchants!”. But when its mandated that they have to stop using incandescent bulbs and it’s all “I hate these CFL bulbs, they drive me insane, and the mercury in them – it’s deadly, and this is the most offensive thing a government has ever done”. Then, a few years later, everyone is using LCD lights anyway, which are brilliant and long lasting.

    Get a grip, humans of the denier variety.

  65. Harken Now

    Hark! – LED lights, not LCD. So sue me…

  66. JC

    Renewable energy with adequate innovation in storage is probably enough, for most countries.Renewable energy with adequate innovation in storage is probably enough, for most countries.

    Lol, let’s all go wind farming.

  67. JC

    You know, Harken Then, is the typical leftwing canute. Ludicrous, hallucinatory and smug. Revolutions are made just to wipe this sort of subhumans out of existence.

    There isn’t enough wind in the world to provide adequate energy for industrial civilization, yet this is what these smug pieces of shit are advocating. Incredible.

  68. Notafan

    When you have ‘adequate innovation in storage’ and can deliver energy for the same price coal does without any hidden traps you can preach it.

    Right now all you are is another pious windbag.

    Then again I don’t believe carbon dioxide is destroying the planet.

  69. JC

    Fan

    Harken is suggesting you use AA batteries, not AAA so he could be right. I’ve heard that a set of four triple AA batteries have been able to provide enough energy for both NYC and Shanghai for 24 hours. Yes, a set of four that you can buy from the chemist – enough for a mega city.

  70. Harken Now

    Harrrk!

    When you have ‘adequate innovation in storage’ and can deliver energy for the same price coal does without any hidden traps you can preach it.

    Your emphasis on it having the same price as coal ignores the future cost of burning coal. Oh that’s right, you don’t believe there is any.

    You give a succinct summation of why climate change denialists have nothing useful to add to energy policy.

  71. A Lurker

    [Reminder – any field of science will have some mistakes, errors or other controversy in research; the big picture is more important. You’ve lost on the big picture. So sad, go form a crank’s party and leave the Liberals alone.]

    The big picture.

  72. JC

    Your emphasis on it having the same price as coal ignores the future cost of burning coal. Oh that’s right, you don’t believe there is any.

    You give a succinct summation of why climate change denialists have nothing useful to add to energy policy.

    Life is made up of trade offs, fuckface. “Trade offs”, something smug leftwing canutes like you have never understood.

    In any event, fuck off. Anyone peddling AAA batteries to assist in providing the massive amounts of energy industrial civilization requires is either mentally retarded or just a fucking liar. Seriously, you’re a moronic canute, so just fuck off.

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