Saturday, June 26, 2010

PM deposed

We had a dramatic week in politics here in Australia. Our Prime Minister was dumped by his own party.

The conspiracy against the PM is not that surprising. He was riding high in the polls seven months ago, but since then suffered a decline in popularity. The Labor Party powerbrokers decided, probably correctly, that he was an electoral liability and replaced him with the deputy PM, Julia Gillard.

There's little reason for traditionalists to regret the demise of Rudd. Just consider these disastrous policies:

i) When Rudd first arrived in office he set out to create an Asia-Pacific Union, along the lines of the EU. Fortunately his diplomatic efforts failed to interest the major Asian powers.

ii) Rudd ramped up immigration to astonishing levels. In 2008 alone there were 876,222 arrivals.

iii) Rudd set up a national curriculum for all Australian schools. There are three themes underpinning every subject in the curriculum from prep to Year 12: indigenous perspectives, Australia's place in Asia and sustainable living.

Julia Gillard, the new PM, was part of the inner circle who decided these policies, so we shouldn't hope for too much better from her. She is also someone who has ruled out the idea that women might be full-time homemakers:

If one suggested to a girl in school today that her future life would consist of marriage, raising children and tending the family home, she would no doubt look at you as if you had just arrived from Mars ...

... while she may not know what course she wants to chart out in her life yet, she knows work will play a role in it – and an important one. Whether for the thrill of career, the social integration of work, the pay packet or for a mix of all of them, she’ll work.

So much for choice. Gillard comes across as an ideological feminist in this quote, as someone who disdains the significance of the motherhood role.

Anyway, it's likely now that there will be an election soon, before Gillard's honeymoon period is over. She's a chance to win, particularly with the upsurge of the Greens (whose preferences will mostly go Labor's way). Time will tell.


  1. Mr. Richardson, what sort of sustainable living is being promoted in the revised curriculum? And what is your reason for opposing it?

  2. F you Julia Gillard.

    Typical Labour shit, rush to an election after a month of a new leader, late August is the favored date. Oh good on you Labour! I'm tired of quasi-impotent rage from the right, with people saying "this is outrageous, why is it being allowed to happen?". I just want Labour to be burned.

    The mining tax is what happens when one party is allowed to set the agenda for too long. (But they’ve only been in for 2 and a half years? 2 and a half years with every institution of the nations under their thumb) An impossibly ridiculous and ideologically dated policy is pushed up and assumed to get through on the nod, because after all Labour can, and are allowed to do anything right? And low and behold some people took offense, including the industry affected. After all it was only our most dramatically profitable industry being raped (and thereby made substantially less profitable) so that Labour could have more short term cash for spending and cash for redistributing to the nations other "vital economic sectors", like restaurants.

    Die, die, die, Labour.

    Also for anyone who hates the Murdoch press it was they who brought down Labour and the leadership of Rudd. They were far more effective than Abbott. Go Murdoch!!! That's right go Murdoch.

    Papabear didn't you read Mark's comment? The stated priorities within the national curiculum are the reasons for opposing it. Bloody read before you comment.

  3. Papabear,

    Sustainable living is important. And I have no objection to environmental issues being part of a relevant subject area, such as geography.

    But it's extraordinary for an entire national curriculum to be organised around three political objectives decided by a government committee. Particularly when two of these objectives (Aboriginal perspectives & the Asia Pacific) do not relate directly to the history, culture and heritage of the majority population.

    Why can't maths teachers just teach maths? Or music teachers music? Why not respect the significance of what these subject areas represent?

    The national curriculum could almost be labelled uncultured in its lack of respect for what each subject area has to offer on its own terms, separate from the political aims imposed by a government committee.

    Most teachers have a love for their area of learning which they try to impart to their students. That's the way to transmit culture to the next generation and that's what a curriculum should promote.

  4. Jesse,

    I didn't mind Papabear asking the question. I wrote the post in a more shorthand way than I usually do, without explaining as much. I could have explained that I didn't mind Aboriginal perspectives being included in an appropriate subject area (e.g. Australian history) or that like many conservatives I find environmental issues important.

    After all it was only our most dramatically profitable industry being raped (and thereby made substantially less profitable) so that Labour could have more short term cash for spending and cash for redistributing to the nations other "vital economic sectors", like restaurants.

    It's an interesting point to make, particularly given what's happening overseas. The Greek state has had to stop spending so much and make cutbacks and so has the UK. There are debt concerns in a number of other Western countries such as Spain and even the US.

    It's as if we've finally reached one of the limits that liberalism doesn't like to recognise exists. The state can't continue to be made the provider for everyone. Ultimately you hit a point at which there is massive debt or protest against increased taxation.

  5. Yes,

    Luckily Australia has largely been able to avoid this debt crisis (Can I hear 3 cheers for John Howard anyone?). But the penny is only just starting to drop in the Western World that services have to be paid for.

    There was a joke made about right leaning parties that their solution for everything was tax cutes. You cut taxes in lean times to ensure economic growth and cut them in prosperous times because you can now afford to. The left wing's equivalent is spending increases. Spend in down times to avoid recession, spend in good times as a reward and redistribution etc. Because of this Labour can call their tax and spending plan an "economic reform". Nobody believes this, but they call it that nonetheless.

    Just a minute ago I credited the Murdoch press with defeating Rudd. Well I just quickly glanced at the headlines and they're trumpeting a bounce in Neilson poll numbers, that notoriously weighted pro Labour poll, as news that Labour has bounced with the leadership handover. *Shakes head* They are cowards too. Anything for an easy life. Sure why not Lets spend the country down the drain and tax our best winner to a standstill. Hell its only the nations future its not like it matters. Its better to do that than disagree with the left wing status quo.

  6. Mark just a tip for the future since it is bound to come out someday..

    Julia is more fond of girls than is usual.

    It has been an open secret in the Canberra press gallery for some time. Her "partner" is also a well known personality in Melbourne's gay scene.

    There is of course no proof right now, but just remember that you read it first here.

  7. Jamie,

    I would have thought if her partner was a well known personality in Melbourne's gay scene that it would be a difficult secret to keep hidden.

    But if the rumour is ever proven, then yes I'll remember your tip.

    One thing for sure is that Gillard was never very maternal:

    "Her mother, Moira, told the ABC's Australian Story this week: "I never thought Julia would marry . . . I think she was about 18, she said, 'I don't want children, Mum, I never want children'.""

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Had to tidy up my comment--

    Mr. Richardson, thank you for your response and clarification.

    Would it be correct to surmise that the view of the elites in Australia is just an unreflective environmentalism which maintains that all we need is to use "clean renewable energy" and "to be green" and we can continue living the way we live?

    It seems to me that education should have a liberal part that is geared towards the transmission of culture and one's intellectual tradition, but another part should be practical. And if the only solution for the industrialized (and post-industrialized) world to issues like peak oil is a radical change in the political economy, does not the curriculum of the schools also have to be changed accordingly, with more vocational training, etc. ordered to a way of life that is less dependent upon fossil fuels?

    But based on what you wrote in your response, it does not appear to me that this is what is being done with the national curriculum.

    As an American, I am curious as to what you and other Australian conservatives think of peak oil and sustainability vis-a-vis natural resource consumption. If I recall correctly, when a local Australian government was asked to study the question of peak oil it refused to do so.

  10. "It's as if we've finally reached one of the limits that liberalism doesn't like to recognise exists. The state can't continue to be made the provider for everyone. Ultimately you hit a point at which there is massive debt or protest against increased taxation."

    Or, as Margaret Thatcher observed: "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

  11. Papabear,

    There has been a lot of debate in Australia about global warming but I haven't heard that much about peak oil.

    I think the aim of sustainable living is a worthy one, but at the same time I believe some of the environmental scares have been overly alarmist.

    Nor do I think that lifestyle changes are really going to help much when the Australian Government is willing to ramp up immigration to 900,000 per annum. If people take shorter showers or ride their bikes more, the effect is negated by all the extra houses being created, cars on the road etc.

    In these circumstances, what will really improve the situation are technological breakthroughs in terms of alternative sources of fuel/energy (with changes to urban design being the other area that could have an impact).

  12. Some good news. Gillard has come out against the massive immigration programme of Rudd:

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard has urged against a 'big Australia', saying we need to develop policies for a sustainable nation.

    The prime minister contradicted her predecessor Kevin Rudd, who was in favour of population growth, as she signalled a tougher approach, Fairfax newspapers say.

    'Australia should not hurtle down the track towards a big population,' she said on Saturday. We need to stop, take a breath and develop policies for a sustainable Australia.'

    Ms Gillard said she's not talking about 'bringing down the shutters on immigration'.

    'I don't want business to be held back because they couldn't find the right workers. That's why skilled migration is so important. But also I don't want areas of Australia with 25 per cent youth unemployment because there are no jobs,' she said.

  13. Mark,

    New Zealand blogger Trevor Loudon has a piece on Gillard's red past:

    God help Aus with her in charge.

    llion's mention of Thatcher has reminded me how few world leaders I've admired (or liked at all) in the last 20 odd years. Thatcher and Reagan would be the last for me. Nowadays they just all seem so awful.

    How about you? Regards, Lee

  14. Interesting comment, Jamie. Much the same has been said by Anna Bligh in Queensland - and she only married her "partner" of some 20 plus years right before the state election. I wonder if Gillardine will pull off a sham marriage before the federal election too.

    Tony Abbott has already seen off Rudd. I look forward to him beating Gillard, if only for the fact that the feminazis will throw a 3 year temper tantrum afterward.

  15. Mark said,

    "Some good news. Gillard has come out against the massive immigration program of Rudd"

    Its all lies. Preelection lies. Anyone can say anything. Where are the proposed substantial cuts to immigration? You won't see them.

    Its good when Labour tries to sound conservative though. It makes the whammy when they actually go in the totally opposite direction all the more obvious.

    So while she's clearing the decks of toxic Rudd policy she'll:

    1. Support a carbon tax, but not anytime soon. (One thing I agree with her on, at least the second part).

    2. Claim efforts to balance the budget, but again not any time soon. Kevin's pre 2007 promises of austerity spring to mind, which didn't last long. After all it was their reckless blowout of spending which turned a 20 billion dollar surplus into a 40 billion dollar deficit in less than one term.

    3. Claim to be tough on illegal refugees but actually do and change nothing.

    4. Bleed off the super profits mining tax issue (that was a real "Super" tax huh?) with some shoddy deal with the miners, which will be accepted by them out of self their self interest. Again there will be no recognition of what a completely unnecessary economy destroyer that would have been.

    Its the same shit Labour, but this time it has more of an election winning focus. Give me back Kevin Rudd and promises of "Big Australia". At least with that you knew how useless they were and precisely what they wanted to do. Better that than smiles and false promises, just prior to an election, and no doubt just prior to the election after that as well, from a person who was at the heart of policy for the last two and a half years and who is known as being one of the most leftwing in parliament.

  16. Jesse,

    You're right to be sceptical.

    Still, it sometimes happens that numbers are kept a bit lower for a while to appease the electorate. That's what Howard did early on, before bringing immigration numbers back up by the end of his period of office.

    Also, amongst some on the left the environmental argument is being taken seriously. The Anglican church leadership, for instance, recently called for lower immigration numbers on environmental grounds.

  17. Hmmmm, I hope you're right. I think it would be a mistake to think that you'll get lower numbers under labour than you will under the liberals though. There are several increasingly powerful voices in the Liberal party calling for very substantial cuts in numbers. I watched Abbott on the insiders today and I think the view that "she makes the talk but wait to see the action", is correct. She has to reduce numbers remember. Maintaining the status quo just won’t cut it.

  18. This new blog design slows down my browser (Firefox) to a crawl, and I have a modern system.

  19. Mine too. I've had positive feedback about the design but it doesn't scroll as easily as it should. I might try something else when I get the time.

  20. Bloody hell I've said "Labour" about 20 times. Of course its Labor.

  21. JCS,

    As a little technical experiment I've changed the template. If you happen to visit again, let me know if it's an improvement in terms of computer performance.

  22. This is a quote from the Australian:

    "Gillard: "Kevin Rudd indicated that he had a view about a Big Australia. I'm indicating a different approach. I think we want an Australia that is sustainable."

    But employer groups expressed concern, with the Business Council of Australia, Australian Industry Group and Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry all warning that population growth was needed to support the economy and offset population ageing."

    Lets see if these "people" still want an increased population if they have to pay a "migrant tax".

  23. Re “sustainability”

    Both the consumerism social model (which is the degenerate pseudo-capitalism of the US since Keynesian pseudo-economics became long-term government policy) and the socialistic social model (which is the drug that most of Europe and Australia are huffing, with the US not far behind) *require* a constantly growing population ... of workers. There are two main problems with this:
    1) The socialistic model *discourages* work, and so any population growth tends to be on the dependent side of the ledger -- and thus it devours its own social and economic future
    1a) The consumerism model *discourages* capital formation -- and thus it devours its own economic future
    2) Even without the structural flaws of the models which result in the problem 1), population grown cannot be sustained forever. The earth, as a whole, and localities in particular, do have a “carrying capacity.”

    At the same time, most persons (and they tend to be “liberals”) who go on about “sustainability,” are not at all concerned with the root issues, which are economic and cultural. These folk tend to violently resist any economic analysis of problems and solutions. Their concern about “sustainability” tends to be rooted in a hatred of mankind, rather than in a love of mankind.

  24. Speaking of genocidal immigration policies, I want to take the opportunity to ask Mark here a question.

    I assume most on here would agree that Australia's post-restrictionist immigration policies have been disastrous and should ended; but what I want to know is whether and to what extent you are concerned with the specifically racial/genetic interests of white Australians--as opposed to the economic/social/envoronmental arguments.

    A sequential question would then be: what measures would you like to see taken to reverse the damage?

    Opposing immigration, especially of the non-white variety, is well and good; but I'd like to invite Mark to go a little further and tell us whether, for example, he envisages repatriation, secession or a combination of both as a long-term solution.

  25. Secession? How about we just cut the numbers? That will be a big enough task.

  26. Clarence,

    I'll give you a direct answer shortly. But let me say that the reason I don't discuss long term policy very much is that it all depends on how the political situation unfolds.

    The first step is to get the principles right; then to build up institutional support; then to try to get some political successes happening; and only then to determine realistically what can be salvaged.

    Anyway, the answer to your question is that I'm not only concerned with the environmental and social cohesion aspects of the immigration issue. I want the Anglo-Australian tradition I was raised within to continue. There is an ethnic aspect to this tradition, involving not only race but also culture, history, language and religion.

    I'm not optimistic that traditionalists will ever get enough of the vote to gain office, though of course I'd like to see it happen.

    The next best option is to be well enough organised to have significant political influence, and at the same time to build up community organisations and perhaps to predominate in some part or parts of the country.

    If this is to happen, we'll need a critical mass of politically minded people willing to work at things over a reasonably long period of time.

  27. Luckily Australia has largely been able to avoid this debt crisis (Can I hear 3 cheers for John Howard anyone?). But the penny is only just starting to drop in the Western World that services have to be paid for.

    Both here and on other other blogs, the Australians's general sanguinity, in comparison to the near-panic the rest of us are facing, is a testament to Mr. Howard. In the US, we're all placing bets on when the government is going to collapse, so radical ideas are being more openly discussed. The collapse is so assured that the discussion has moved on to "What happens next?"

    It will be strange if the rest of the West is in crisis and Austrailia, Norway, and a few other countries look on with detached interest.

  28. he envisages repatriation, secession or a combination of both as a long-term solution

    You do realize that their home countries might not take them back, right?

  29. I don't think you have to panic Alte, you guys balanced your budget in the 90's and you can do it again.

    I'd like to quickly mention if I can why the Liberal party has had recent success in the polls or alternatively why labor struggled.

    Labor pushed a number of big ideas through the pipe recently, climate change and Big Australia. These were criticised at the time, however, there was no big drop in the polls for Labor. The drop occurred when they pushed for the mining tax. (You can argue that the drop was gradual and progressive, however, I think the mining tax was a bigger deal).

    Here's why I think that happened. Climate change was a "new labor" policy. New labor is the trendy progressive middle class labor. Big Australia was also a new labor policy. The mining tax, however was an "old labor" policy, ie soak the rich (industries). This smacks of class warfare and has echoes with communism. The public seemed to quickly reject this old labor policy, and the opposition quickly capitalised on it. On the other hand new labor seems to have a bit of a siren call with the public at the moment.

    Voting in a woman leader? New labor once again and so we've seen the Labor party has had an immediate bounce in the polls.

  30. I don't think you have to panic Alte, you guys balanced your budget in the 90's and you can do it again.

    That's why there's a growing panic. The debt is now so large that it would take 800 years of substantial budget surplus, a stable population size, and no more wars just to rid ourselves of it. Default is inevitable. The bets are ongoing for how long it takes, or if inflation will be used as an alternative to keep the corpse afloat a bit longer.

  31. From Alex Jones's website (I know nothing about him, by the way, but the facts on this page are 100% correct):

    According to Dr. Jerome Corsi, the U.S. national debt is now equal to 90 percent of gross domestic product.

    Most economists consider a level of 100 percent debt to GDP to be an absolute nightmare scenario.

    But things look even worse when you total up all forms of debt in the United States.

    The total of all government, corporate and consumer debt in the United States is now equal to 360 percent of GDP.

    That is far greater than at any point during the Great Depression.

    Yes, we are in a LOT of trouble.

    So can we just raise taxes on everybody just a little bit and get rid of this budget deficit?

    Well, unfortunately no.

    According to the Tax Foundation’s Microsimulation Model, to erase the U.S. budget deficit for 2010, the U.S. Congress would have to multiply the tax rate for every American by 2.4.

    That would mean that the 10 percent tax rate would become 24 percent, the 15 percent tax rate would become 36 percent, and the 35 percent tax rate would have to be 85 percent.

    Would you like to pay 85 percent of your income in taxes?

    And that would not reduce the national debt one penny - all that would do is eliminate the U.S. budget deficit for this year.

    The truth is that it is simply not possible to pay off the national debt. Most economists realize this and speak of more realistic goals such as getting our debt growth down to a level that is “sustainable”.

    But the reality is that we are way beyond being able to get this debt under control. If the U.S. government cut spending enough to make a real difference it would crush the economy and tax revenue would take a sharp nosedive. If the U.S. government borrows even more money and increases government spending even more it will help the economy in the short-term, but it will make our long-term problems even worse.

    No, the truth is that we have created an economic nightmare from which there simply is no escape under the current system. The national debt will never be repaid and the never ending spiral of debt and paper money that we have created is doomed to failure.

    So what will happen someday when the current economic system does collapse?

    That will be for the American people to decide. Hopefully they will learn from our mistakes and will return to our constitutional roots and devise a financial system based on solid economic principles.

    We have more debt than there is money. Seriously.

    Do you understand why we are panicking now? It is both practically and mathematically impossible to pay off the debt. It cannot be paid off. We own China because they have bought so much of our worthless paper (to keep their own exports up) that selling it would cause their own economy to crash.

    The US will soon receive an investment downgrade, and then our economy will crash. We can't afford (even short-term) for our interest rates to rise. We're just waiting for the pin to drop.

  32. Back to the OT, did you guys know that she was an atheist?

  33. Most modern-day westerners (including the women who chain-cc-email those stupid "devotional" emails) are functional atheists.