Australian Politics 2022-07-11 08:46:00

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Aussie human rights activist Drew Pavlou removed from Wimbledon over Peng Shuai protest

Leftists are big on the right to protest and are quick to claim brutality when they are removed from a protest but the uncalled-for rough treatment received by the anti-Communist protester below mostly seems to have had unsympathetic coverage. Pavlou also got a hard time when he complained about his university's ties to China

Australian human rights activist Drew Pavlou has claimed he was “treated like a terrorist” while being ejected from the men’s Wimbledon final for staging a protest against the Chinese Communist Party.

Mr Pavlou, a renowned 22-year-old anti-communist activist who ran for the Senate under his Drew Pavlou Democratic Alliance Party, staged the protest over the whereabouts and wellbeing of Chinese women’s tennis player Peng Shuai.

The highly anticipated decider between Nick Kyrgios and Novak Djokovic on Sunday was interrupted during the third set when Mr Pavlou held up a “Where is Peng Shuai?” sign before shouting the phrase.

Played stopped as Kyrgios, Djokovic, officials and the Centre Court crowd looked on for the source of the commotion.

Mr Pavlou alleged that his head was smashed against a wall and his arms were twisted by security while he was being removed.

“Wimbledon security crash tackled me over a row of seats for trying to silently hold up a #WhereIsPengShuai sign. Security guard in the floral blue shirt then pushed me head first down the stairs and smashed my head into a wall while twisting my arms behind my back,” he wrote on Twitter.

“As he smashed me against the wall he said ‘the police are coming to arrest you now’. Team of security treated me like a terrorist, kept my arms twisted really painfully behind my back as they expelled me from the stadium, all while saying they were sympathetic to my cause.”

Wimbledon officials have rejected Mr Pavlou’s claim that excessive force was used.

“A spectator was removed from Centre Court after disrupting play by shouting, running down the stairs and causing a nuisance to their fellow spectators. The individual was removed by security colleagues and escorted off the grounds,” an All England Club spokesman said.

When BBC sports reporter Laura Scott said she was told that the reports of excessive force were “inaccurate”, Mr Pavlou alleged Wimbledon officials were lying to her.

Mr Pavlou revealed he snuck the sign into the stadium by hiding it in his boot. He also said he did not mean to interrupt the match and only shouted so his message was heard on the broadcast.

“I’m sorry that I disrupted the match for 30 seconds, I tried to pick a break in between games to silently hold up my Where Is Peng Shuai sign but security immediately crash tackled me which is why I shouted out so people would hear Peng Shuai’s name on the broadcast,” he tweeted.

“I didn’t want to disrupt the match, I just held up the sign and security started attacking me, it was only at that point I shouted out Where Is Peng Shuai because I wanted to get the message out, sorry Nick Kyrgios I love you man hope you win the match.”

Kyrgios said post-match he “didn't get distracted at all” by the incident after losing to Djokovic in four sets.

He also did not speak on the nature, reason or source behind the interruption. “I didn’t hear or see anything. I just saw a couple of people on each other and they got taken out,” Kyrgios said after being asked by a reporter to describe what happened. “But I like that you were trying to bait me, I like that. Good try.”

Mr Pavlou thanked Kyrgios for “backing our right to protest”.

There has been global concern for Peng after she alleged late last year that former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli had sexually assaulted her.

The three-time Olympian’s social media post was taken down and she disappeared from public life before making a limited number of appearances this year.

Mr Pavlou and other anti-CCP activists made appearances at Wimbledon throughout the week asking where she is.

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Stop vaccine mandates NOW: Dr Nick Coatsworth reveals the two fatal flaws in 'no jab, no work' rules that prevent thousands of Aussies from working

Australia's former deputy chief health officer Dr Nick Coatsworth says it is time for corporations to give unvaccinated Aussies back their jobs.

The outspoken critic of many of the harsher pandemic measures took to the pages of the Australian Financial Review to argue that punishing those who had not taken a jab was now morally dubious, scientifically ineffective and could be open to legal challenge.

Some of the nation's biggest employers such as Coles, Woolworths, Qantas, Virgin Australia, Telstra, the Commonwealth Bank and SPC have an open 'no jab, no work' policy.

And while official jab requirements have mostly been abolished for all but 'high risk' settings, many companies and organisations are enforcing 'shadow' mandates by simply refusing to hire un-jabbed workers.

Dr Coatsworth said that while he had supported the mandates initially to overcome the 'natural human inertia towards getting vaccinated' that period had passed.

'The Covid-19 environment has changed and the time for corporate vaccine mandates has changed,' he wrote.

He cited a quote from Monash University bioethicist Zeb Jamrozik: 'There are worrying signs that current vaccine policies, rather than being science-based, are being driven by socio-political attitudes that reinforce segregation, stigmatisation and polarisation …'

Dr Coatsworth gave two main reasons to argue that the public health rationale for mandates no longer outweighed ethical concerns.

He said it was now accepted that vaccines 'do not reduce transmission' because the Omicron variant was more infectious.

The second reason was that high vaccination rates had already reduced the impact on the healthcare system and working age Australians were not the ones needing hospital care.

'If companies could previously claim that their mandates were an exercise of corporate social responsibility to limit the burden of disease, that argument is now discordant with reality,' Dr Coatsworth wrote.

He then argued an employee who contracted Covid and then was fired for not getting the jab might be able to sue because recovering from the disease conferred a natural level of immunity.

'Immunity acquired through infection provides at least equivalent and probably more long-lasting immunity than primary vaccination alone,' he wrote.

Covid vaccinations are entirely voluntary across Australia however the federal government has mandated those who wish to work in high-risk settings must get the jab.

These include areas like the military and aged care settings. But rules in each state can vary.

Some large corporations which enforce mandatory jabs for workers include: Coles, Woolworths, Qantas, Virgin Australia, Telstra, the Commonwealth Bank and SPC.

In a lengthy interview with Daily Mail Australia earlier this year, Dr Coatsworth said restrictions should be removed as soon as they are not demonstrably necessary.

'My preference was always to look at the benefits and consequences of whatever restriction was brought in,' he says.

'I've thought in general that we were too slow to realise the negative consequences of most of the restrictions.'

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Peta Credlin: Flooding has always been part of the Australian environment

Sky News host Peta Credlin says the proposed inclusion of a statement on the nation’s wellbeing in the federal budget is “peak woke”.

With every big weather event these days cited as proof of climate change, it’s worth looking at the historical record. Because where the records exist, it’s remarkable how relatively routine these weather events are.

At Windsor in western Sydney, for instance, where the underwater bridge has featured in much recent TV footage, records go back to 1799. While the latest flood has undoubtedly been catastrophic for all the people whose homes have been inundated, it’s not been especially severe by historical standards, nor has the frequency of recent flooding been particularly unusual. So if it’s all down to climate change, this must have been happening for at least the past 200 years, and not just in the past few decades since we’ve become scared of it.

The Windsor flood peak, in March last year, was 12.9m. In March this year, the peak was 13.8m. And in this flood, it’s 13.9m. These have all been very destructive floods, no doubt about that, especially given the massive development in western Sydney in the three decades since the last significant flood in 1992, which peaked at just 11.1m.

However, between 1809 and 1978, on no fewer than 10 occasions, floods at Windsor peaked at over 14m. The 1978 flood peaked at half a metre higher than the current one. In 1816 and 1817, there were two floods within seven months that peaked higher than any of the three we’ve just had, in the past 15 months.

And the daddy of all floods, happened way back in 1867, peaking at 19.7m, or almost six metres higher than the current one. In terms of frequency, there have been six occasions between 1816 and 1990 when there were three major floods in under three years. In 1860, there were three major floods in a single year, at least as measured by the river peaks at Windsor. The most unusual feature of the recent floods has actually been the 29-year flood-free period that preceded them. But even this is exceeded by the 38-year gap between the floods of 1819 and 1857.

It’s noteworthy that while this month’s flood peak at Windsor exceeded the flood peak in March, climate alarmism actually peaked four months ago while Scott Morrison was still prime minister. Remember how the floods in March, that were especially severe in Lismore in northern NSW, were blamed on the Morrison government. Greens leader Adam Bandt was typically hysterical, claiming that “Scott Morrison’s only got himself to blame … He’s the one who has made terrible decisions, he’s fast-tracked the climate crisis (and) he’s refused to come and talk to locals about the floods that he helped cause”.

To Bandt, Morrison literally had “blood on his hands” even though Australia’s record in cutting emissions has actually been much better than a large number of countries such as Canada and New Zealand, despite the posturing of their leaders.

Unsurprisingly, with a change of government, climate change alarmism has somewhat receded, even if the floods haven’t. Last week, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese readily conceded that “Australia has always suffered from natural events, be they floods or bushfires, so we can’t say that every single event is because of climate change”.

Amazing what a difference an election campaign makes isn’t it? Still, the PM didn’t altogether abandon his green-left creed. “What we can say” he went on, “is that extreme weather events are occurring more frequently and with greater intensity” due to climate change. Only not floods at Windsor.

As the historical record shows, the recent ones have actually been nothing-especially-out-of-the-ordinary, notwithstanding the heartbreak they’ve caused to all those impacted or the billions they’ll now cost taxpayers.

How can it be all down to climate change, if the worst flood happened more than 150 years ago; and how is reducing emissions going to reduce flood severity, if the worst flood happened at a time when Australia’s emissions were minimal and global CO2 concentrations were about 25 per cent less than now?

And while it has to be conceded that this year’s Lismore flood was indeed the worst on record, two metres above the previous peak in 1954, there have been 29 major floods in that town since records were first kept in 1887. It was way back in 1906 that the poet Dorothea Mackellar famously described Australia as a “land of droughts and flooding rains” and this is likely to remain the case regardless of how much further the current government manages to cut emissions. At least, with a new federal government in place, responsibility for this particular flood isn’t being pinned on the government itself for allegedly not doing enough to tackle climate change.

But any government that really wants to help ameliorate natural disasters will need to focus on practical measures rather than emissions reduction. One way could be to raise the Warragamba Dam wall to give it a flood mitigation role.

And get on building dams so all this rain doesn’t keep flowing out to sea, and instead we get it from the places where there’s too much, to the places where with more water, we could increase our agricultural production, and our export dollars.

Sounds commonsense I know, but since when has the climate debate been sensible?

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Survey: The surging cost of living is the most important issue for a majority of Australians. Climate a low priority

Climate action and the transition to renewables was rated the 14th-most important national priority in June out of a list of 36 issues, coming in behind healthcare, the economy, reducing domestic violence, affordable rental housing, aged care, increased welfare payments and lifting wages.

The SEC Newgate “Mood of the Nation” report for June 2022, which surveyed 1201 Australians across the country, showed the number of people nominating the cost of living as a “top three issue” was running at 40 per cent while 68 per cent rated it as “extremely important”.

This was a 10-percentage-point increase on the number of people rating it as “extremely important” in March (58 per cent) when the former Coalition government handed down its $8.6bn cost-of-living budget package.

The survey noted there was a “sizeable gap” in June between the priority accorded by respondents to the cost of living and the second-most significant priority area, affordable healthcare. “Cost-of-living issues continue to surge,” it said. “Unprompted mention of cost-of-living has risen for the fourth consecutive month with 60 per cent nominating it as an issue that is most important to them right now (up from 50 per cent last month).”

“Grocery prices and petrol prices remain the main specific cost-of-living issues, with energy prices also concerning as new retail price hikes are announced.”

Asked specifically about support for the industrial umpire’s recent 5.2 per cent minimum wage increase, 61 per cent said it was appropriate, 29 per cent felt it was too low and only 10 per cent believed it was too high.

“Similarly, around half (47 per cent) feel the RBA’s recent 0.5 per cent interest rate rise was appropriate, with 31 per cent considering it too high and 9 per cent … too low,” the survey said.

The survey also showed very few Australians rated increasing migration to fill workplace shortages as a national priority despite the business community pushing for immediate action to help address the labour shortfall.

Increasing migration was deemed the least important priority area, coming in last at position 36 – just behind improving the treatment of asylum-seekers.

However, nearly half of those surveyed (45 per cent) supported the call from business groups to increase the migration intake to fill labour shortages, compared to just 29 per cent opposed.

One of the main findings from the survey showed that since Labor took office in May and Jim Chalmers promised there would be no “mincing words” on the economic outlook, Australians have been far more pessimistic about the future.

The survey results indicated that in June 57 per cent of Australians felt the economy would get worse in the next three months – up from just 36 per cent in May. When asked about the outlook for the next 12 months, 45 per cent of respondents said the economy would deteriorate compared to 38 per cent the previous month.

“This month has seen a sharp increase in pessimism about the economy,” it said, “(but) overall, 52 per cent still feel Australia is heading in the right direction.”

Reflecting on the state-by-state outlook, the survey suggested sentiment in Victoria was turning negative and could prove an issue for Daniel Andrews’s Labor government at the November election.

“The mood in Victoria has dipped, with 52 per cent feeling it is heading in the right direction. This is down from 65 per cent last month and, in an election year, may reflect growing concern around post-Covid health services and ambulance availability.”

Despite the growing concern, Labor was still rated federally by respondents as the party best able to manage the cost-of-living crisis, with 42 per cent nominating it as their preferred choice compared to just 23 per cent who nominated the Coalition.

Support for Labor as a cost-of-living manager was greatest among younger Australians 18-34 at 52 per cent and dropped to 37 per cent for those aged over 50.

More broadly, the survey found that nearly four out of every 10 Australians thought the government was doing a “good to ­excellent” job so far, with another 31 per cent rating its performance as “fair” and 26 per cent feeling it was doing poorly.

Other national issues ranked in the survey of 36 priority areas included strengthening borders against illegal immigration (15th place); keeping interest rates low (17th place); preserving freedom of speech and rejecting excessive political correctness (18th place); reducing personal taxes (26th place); investment in affordable childcare (28th place); reducing government debt (29th place), and; promoting diversity, inclusion and respect for minorities (30th place).

Addressing Aboriginal disadvantage and promoting reconciliation was rated by respondents as the 32nd-most important priority for the country to address.

SEC Newgate research partner David Stolper said the ­national mood had “soured this month with surging concern about rising costs and growing pessimism about the future of the economy”.

“By and large, the public continues to back the federal government’s handling of cost-of-living and energy issues, although any missteps will likely by harshly judged by an increasingly anxious electorate,” he said.

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Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM -- daily)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

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