Collateral damage of the debased #MeToo crusadeJanet Albrectsen is generally right below but her claim that no conservative should copy the unscrupulous tactics of the Left is rather idealistic. A prophet long ago warned "Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind" (Hosea 8:7). The Left deserve a taste of how their bad behaviour affects people
In the latest outpouring of #MeToo miasma, former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie claims former chairman Justin Milne touched her inappropriately on her back. It was “unprofessional” and “icky”, she told ABC’s Four Corners on Monday evening. Guthrie has gone public amid a war of words over who said and did what to whom just before she was sacked and he resigned.
Let’s just say that Guthrie is a woman in her early 50s who stood on equal footing with the former chairman. She chose not to make a formal complaint at the time. Who knows what happened? And, quite frankly, who cares?
More of us are concerned about Ashleigh Raper. The ABC journalist became an innocent casualty when powerful men decided to exploit the #MeToo zeitgeist for their brutal political games. Before we get to that, if it is true, the alleged behaviour of former NSW Labor opposition leader Luke Foley towards Raper at Christmas drinks in 2016 was shameful. More than that, if a man puts his hand on a woman’s back, slides his hand inside her dress and rests his hand on her backside without consent, that is assault. At a press conference last week, Foley denied the allegations and said he planned to launch defamation proceedings. Given there was a witness, this sordid tale has a way to go yet.
Women are right to be just as outraged about Foley’s alleged behaviour as the contemptible and uncontested actions of NSW Liberal minister David Elliott and federal Liberal MP Eric Abetz who exploited the #MeToo zeitgeist for their partisan political purposes. A month ago, under the coward’s cloak of parliamentary privilege, Elliott alluded to Foley’s actions against an unnamed ABC journalist. Elliott’s actions made it impossible for Raper to remain silent.
A week later Abetz also mentioned an alleged “assault”, “sexual assault” and “indecent assault” while grilling ABC management at a Senate estimates committee. His base motives forced the ABC’s acting managing director into the ridiculous position of saying the matter would be investigated, even though Raper had not made a complaint.
Who gave these two men the right to set the hares running about an ABC journalist who was allegedly harassed or assaulted by Foley?
Elliott and Abetz knew that Raper had chosen to stay silent. She did what many, many women do in the same circumstances. She decided to get on with her life, in her case as a political journalist. She did not join the public #MeToo campaign that started a year later. Up until last week, Raper made no public comment or formal complaint.
These were not men in shining armour acting on behalf of Raper when they pursued Foley and the ABC respectively. The two Liberal politicians were acting for their own craven purposes; they knowingly disregarded her choice to remain silent. It is especially rank behaviour from two men who dress daily in the moral garb of social conservatives within the Liberal Party.
On Friday morning Elliott requested privacy. What a joke. Elliott and Abetz ignored Raper’s right to privacy, forcing her into the public domain against her will to damage Foley and embarrass the ABC.
Elliott’s late apology on Saturday only compounds the stench. This is politics 101: a politician apologises only when it becomes untenable not to do so. And even then the apology is predictably lame, a means of deflecting bad behaviour rather than serious reflection about what he did wrong.
We can all agree then that Raper became collateral damage when two senior Liberal men exploited the #MeToo crusade for their own political purposes.
But here comes the part that will cause some women conniptions, as is often the case with #MeToo: many women have manipulated the social media campaign for their own purposes, corrupting its focus and undermining its credibility. That doesn’t excuse the mistreatment of Raper by the men involved in this sleazy saga. It adds insult to injury that both sexes have used #MeToo for their own ulterior motives.
When millions of women, each with their own agenda, jumped aboard the #MeToo movement early on, it became a train wreck waiting to happen for men and women alike. This early exploitation was an open invitation to others to use the same confected emotion and rage for their personal and political purposes too.
Perhaps if the early champions of #MeToo had demanded a more disciplined focus on serious harassment and sexual assault, their campaign would not have gone off the rails in the way it has. Those who are so outraged over Raper’s treatment should have had the foresight to see this coming. Some unintended consequences are predictable even early on.
Instead, #MeToo became a shoddy conduit for political causes and trivial episodes. And a clique of female supporters would not countenance debate that veered from their fast-forming orthodoxy. They discouraged discussion about how we define sexual harassment and treated those of us who suggested some nuance, context, due process and less prudery as traitors to the sisterhood. The same women so quick to condemn men for exploiting claims of sexual harassment will not concede that women have done the same. Outing a man because he didn’t turn out to be Prince Charming and the sex was bad was lumped in the #MeToo basket with everything from a wink and a wolf-whistle, leaving their cause badly damaged.
Three key words suffice as evidence of the wicked manipulation of the #MeToo movement: women, Democrats and Kavanaugh. Even the American Civil Liberties Union exploited the emotion-laden #MeToo zeitgeist to try to stop Brett Kavanaugh becoming a Supreme Court justice. A group that includes civil liberties in its name is prima facie dedicated to due process. Not when it came to Donald Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court. Here, the ACLU used unproven and highly contested claims by women to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination.
The debasement of the #MeToo movement made it inevitable that it would be exploited by men and women and people of all political persuasions. Last week, during a fiery White House press conference, a Trump aide took the microphone from CNN’s Jim Acosta. Later that day Acosta’s press credentials were suspended and Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, accused Acosta of “placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern”, calling it “absolutely unacceptable”. The video shows Acosta’s hand brushing the intern’s shoulder as she takes the microphone from him. But in an age of confected #MeToo outrage, everyone gets a shot at emoting over even the most trivial #MeToo matter.
Now that a Republican president and two Liberal politicians in Australia have exploited this hashtag crusade for their own tawdry ends, maybe more backers of #MeToo will concede that its early corruption encouraged precisely this outcome: a political free-for-all where women have become collateral damage too.SOURCE Australia's annual wage growth the highest in three yearsDespite leadership troubles, a conservative administration has still delivered the goods. Even if a conservatve administration does no more than block the destructive Left from power, it can still do a lot of good
Hourly pay rates across Australia rose 0.6% in September quarter, meeting expectations, and have now increased 2.3% over the past 12 months for the highest annual growth rate in three years.
Public-sector hourly rates of pay lifted 0.6% in the quarter and 2.5% over the year, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Private-sector workers received a 0.5% increase in the quarter and 2.1% over the year.
The September quarter result was in line with economist expectations but seemingly below what traders expected, with the Australian dollar dipping in reaction to the data, from US72.35c to US72.21c.
“There was a higher rate of wage growth recorded across the majority of industries in comparison to this time last year, reflecting the influence of improved labour market conditions,” the ABS chief economist, Bruce Hockman, said.
In original terms, annual growth to the September quarter 2018 ranged from 1.8% for the mining and retail trade industries to 2.8% for the healthcare and social assistance industry.
The Reserve Bank has been scanning the economy for signs of stronger wages growth before it considers raising interest rates.SOURCE Australian universities miffed about inquiry into freedom of speech
The government has asked a former chief justice of the high court, Robert French, to review the health of freedom of speech on Australia’s university campuses.
The review will take four months, and French has been asked to assess the framework protecting freedom of expression and inquiry, including the multiple codes of conduct and enterprise agreements that govern campuses.
He has also been asked to consider policy options that could “better promote” freedom of expression, including the development of a sector-led code of conduct to govern university behaviour.
The request comes after a series of controversies on university campuses where students and academic staff have been accused of stifling public debates.
But Universities Australia has questioned why the review is necessary, saying campuses should be free of political interference. [Including interference from Left-Fascist goons
It has also criticised some media commentators for being “very wide of the mark” and “selectively quoting from university policies and codes” to make their arguments about free speech.
Dan Tehan, the education minister, said universities were important institutions where ideas were debated and challenged and freedom of speech had to be protected “even where what is being said may be unpopular or challenging”.
“The best university education is one where students are taught to think for themselves, and protecting freedom of speech is how to guarantee that,” he said.
“If necessary, the French review could lead to the development of an Australian version of the Chicago statement, which is a voluntary framework that clearly sets out a university’s commitment to promoting freedom of speech.”
French said he would respect the “legitimate institutional autonomy” of Australia’s universities while undertaking the review.
“An important object of the review will be the production of a resource including a model code which can be used as a point of reference in any consideration by universities of their existing rules and guidelines relating to the protection of freedom of speech on campus,” he said.
But Universities Australia said the country’s universities had more than 100 policies, codes and agreements that support free intellectual inquiry, ensuring a culture of lively debate and a vigorous contest of ideas.
Prof Margaret Gardner, the chair of Universities Australia, said some assertions in media reporting had mischaracterised academic freedom and downplayed the robust state of debate on campuses.
“Some commentators on free speech at Australian universities have been very wide of the mark – jumping to the wrong conclusions or selectively quoting from university policies and codes,” she said.
“These same conclusions would not meet the threshold test of academic inquiry — informed by evidence and facts.
“They are made by advocates who appear to want government to override university autonomy with heavy-handed external regulation and red tape.
“Despite these incorrect assertions, a wide range of opinions are freely expressed on campus – in the context of Australian law and university codes of conduct.”
Gardner also said Universities Australia had not provided input for the review’s terms of reference.
A press release from Tehan’s office on Wednesday said: “Universities Australia have been consulted on the review.”SOURCE Almost 300 asylum seekers prevented from sailing to Australia in past year
International authorities, with the assistance of Australia, have “disrupted” at least 10 alleged attempts to transport almost 300 asylum seekers to Australia by boat in the past 14 months, documents obtained under freedom of information reveal.
The documents, from the federal home affairs department, record the number of “foreign law enforcement agency” (FLEA) disruptions since 2013.
FLEA disruptions were set up as one of three components of the Abbott government’s border policy – alongside boat turnbacks and offshore detention and processing.
Since the establishment of the new policy there have been 78 disruption operations involving 2,525 “potential illegal immigrants” – the terms used in the documents referencing suspected passengers.
In the year to August there were 10 disruptions involving 297 people, the majority occurring in Indonesia but also in Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
FLEA disruptions are operated by a multi-agency taskforce led by Australian federal police and reporting to the head of Australia’s border enforcement operation, air vice marshal Stephen Osborne, and seek to prevent vessels carrying asylum seekers from leaving international ports including Indonesia.
The taskforce has stationed more than a dozen extra liaison officers in various countries, on top of almost 100 already there, targeting known transport hubs, Guardian Australia understands.
The operations involved weeks or months of intelligence gathering on individual plans for people-smuggling ventures, before local authorities intercepted groups – usually just prior to the point of departure.
The freedom of information documents note 614 arrests since September 2013, as well as 14 arrest warrants.
Most arrests – 489 – occurred in Sri Lanka, followed by 48 in Malaysia and 66 in Indonesia. Thirteen of the 14 arrest warrants were issued in Indonesia.
However the document notes the statistics are “indicative only” as they were provided by AFP posts from advice given by foreign law enforcement.
“Post experience is that results are typically under-reported because arrests in regional locations are occasionally not reported.”
Asher Hirsch, senior policy advisor with the Refugee Council of Australia, said the fact Australia was still working with Indonesian authorities to stop asylum seekers getting on boats “highlights the desperation of people there”.
“Refugees in Indonesia have no basic rights and are living in indefinite limbo and uncertainty. Instead of interceptions and disruptions of potential boat journeys, the Australian government should work with the Indonesian government to ensure refugees have the right to work, education and healthcare, and can remain in Indonesia safely until they find another solution,” Hirsch said.
“A better way to spend this money would be to invest in helping refugees in Indonesia through local initiatives and increasing our resettlement program to share responsibility for refugee protection.”
Indonesia is not a signatory to the UN refugee convention and has no status determination system of its own, and so asylum claims are assessed by the UNHCR.
As of December last year Indonesia was hosting around 13,800 refugees from 49 countries. About half originated from Afghanistan. At least 800 more have arrived in 2018.
The International Organisation for Migration has provided basic healthcare and shelter for around two-thirds of the refugee and asylum seeker population in Indonesia since 2000, under a regional cooperation arrangement between the organisation, Indonesia and Australia.
However in March the Australian government announced it was cutting funding to the IOM, saying it did not want Indonesia to be a “pull factor” for asylum seekers.
In 2017 only 763 people were resettled in a third country from Indonesia, more than half in Australia, according to the Refugee Council of Australia. The US settled 228, but has since cut its resettlement program from more than 96,000 to 30,000.
The IOM also administered the Australia-funded Assisted Voluntary Returns program, offering asylum seekers $2,000 plus airfares to return to their country of origin.
The Australian government refuses to resettle any refugee who arrives in Australia by boat.
Under the other two arms of Operation Sovereign Borders, Australian customs and authorities intercept and return vessels to their point of origin, “when it is safe to do so”, and have in the past commissioned replica Asian fishing vessels to put passengers on when their own vessel is unsafe. Australia was previously using orange lifeboats to do this.
Offshore processing has seen thousands of men, women and children held in detention centres on Christmas Island, Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, and Nauru, in many cases for longer than five years.SOURCE Climate, economy on govt agenda: Cormann
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has dismissed a colleague's concern that the Liberal Party needs to do more about climate change to gain support from younger Australians.
WA Liberal senator Dean Smith says the party's diminishing appeal to young voters is the "elephant in the party room" and is being ignored at the government's peril, The Australian reports.
"We are dealing with climate change," Senator Cormann told the ABC on Tuesday. "But in a way that doesn't undermine the opportunity for young people in particular to get a job, to build a career in Australia into the future.
"My view and our view is that we have to continue to take strong and effective action in relation to climate change but in a way that is economically responsible."
Senator Smith's concerns were reportedly fuelled after a Newspoll analysis showed 27 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds would hand their primary vote to the coalition, compared with 46 per cent who would support Labor.
Population and climate change policies were critical to the coalition's future success, he added.
Greens senator Larissa Waters says the federal government wouldn't know a climate policy "if it hit them in the face". "Young people can spot bullshit artists a mile off, so it's no wonder that young people don't buy the nonsense this prime minister is coming out with on climate," she told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday. "The tragedy is, it's actually better for the economy to transition to clean energy."
A new report on climate change shows it has fuelled the drought, with changing rainfall patterns increasing the risk of water shortages for agricultural and urban uses.
The Climate Council [A private Leftist outfit]
report released on Tuesday found the flow of water in the Murray-Darling Basin has declined by 41 per cent during the past 20 years, with fears it will continue to decrease. The catchment produces more than a third of Australia's food.
With no federal climate policy and rising emissions every quarter since March 2015, Australia is lagging behind the rest of the world on climate action, the Climate Council's Lesley Hughes told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.SOURCE Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here