Muslim woman accused of killing a grandma when she 'ploughed into her home while speeding with a baby in the back' later allegedly attacked cops
They had to claim that she is mad. Must not say her behaviour comports with Muslim lack of respect of "unbelievers" and scorn for the rules of non-Muslim society
Grandmother Robyn Figg, 62, was sleeping in the front room of her home in the western Sydney suburb of St Mary's and died at the scene.
Three other family members who lived at the property were uninjured.
NSW Police on Friday charged Ms El Dirani with a litany of offences including aggravated dangerous driving occasioning death, failing to stop and assist after a vehicle impact occasioning death and assaulting police.
She and the baby were uninjured in horror crash, and were stopped by officers nearby later that day.
Ms El Dirani, following her arrest, was taken to Nepean Hospital for mandatory testing where she remained for at least a week before being released.
Penrith Local Court last Friday heard she needed to remain at the facility because she was suffering a psychotic episode and hallucinating.
It is during this time she allegedly attacked two police officers.
She has since been released on bail under the care of her husband Abdallah Allaou who works in the financial industry as a business planner.
Home education popularity soars in past year as state school attendance sunk by floods, Covid
The Queensland Education Department has been slammed for failing to engage and retain students with the number of home school enrolments more than doubling in the past four years.
State school attendance rates plummeted this year, while home education registrations soared, according to Department figures.
The data revealed a gradual increase in home education registrations from 2018, with 3232 home school enrolments to 2021, with 5008, before a leap of almost 3500 to bring the 2022 level to 8461.
Shadow Education Minister Dr Christian Rowan said the state government had failed in student engagement and retention.
“Between 2017 and 2021, (Semester One state) school attendance rates have declined in every single educational region and it’s even greater among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander state school students,” he said.
He said Queensland families had experienced “profound difficulties” in enrolling their children in distance and home education.
“The time it takes for processing applications is leaving students at home and not learning. The lack of consultation and ongoing delays has caused parents immense distress,” he said.
The Department of Education said it does not fund home education programs and registrations still only accounted for one per cent of all enrolments.
However, it has commissioned research “to better understand the likely future demand for home education registration services”, due to be completed at the end of the year.
Home Education Association state leader Samantha Bryan said she was surprised by the jump in registrations, describing the 69 per cent increase as “staggering”.
“The pandemic did a few things,” she said.
“People have chosen to home educate because a family member is vulnerable and they wanted to minimise the risk, some did not want their kids to be subjected to the directions around vaccinations and masks, while others found they liked homeschooling during the pandemic and decided to keep going with it.”
Meanwhile, department data also showed a slow decline in Semester One state school attendance rates from 2018-2021, before a nosedive in 2021-2022.
Education Minister Grace Grace described the past few years as “disrupted”. “For large parts of 2021, Queensland’s schools were the only ones on the eastern seaboard that had face-to-face learning,” she said.
“Like everyone, students were asked to stay home if they were sick, and that’s exactly what they did. Widespread flooding and an influenza outbreak also impacted attendance figures this year.”
Elizabeth Galbraith pulled her children out of private education in October 2019. The family lives on acreage in Redland City, 20 kilometres southeast of Brisbane.
Ms Galbraith said 13-year-old Rebekah was getting lost in the crowd, 10-year-old James wanted to be around older children, and seven-year-old Patrick preferred to work on vehicle engines. “I felt the system was failing them,” Ms Galbraith said.
“For their individual needs, I felt the best way to meet them was independent learning, allowing them to work at their own pace on their own interests.”
“And once the children are done for the day, they can ride their bikes, or the two older ones go horse riding as part of a job-ready program.
“I used to do three pick-ups and drop offs, so this has also relieved so much stress, particularly because my husband works remotely.”
Ms Galbraith sends her children’s tests into Australian Christian Homeschooling every month for marking and they then receive an end-of-semester report card.
“The children say the only thing they miss about going to school is not playing sports, but they can still play sports at private clubs,” she said.
Older residents are defying ageism and returning to the workforce
Along the waterfront in Queenscliff on Victoria's Bellarine Peninsula, is a restaurant where customers are more likely to be served by someone over 60, than someone in their 20s.
All because one day, owner Barry Iddles had an innovative idea. Like thousands of other restaurant owners in Australia, Mr Iddles was struggling to fill shifts. Out of desperation he sent hundreds of postcards specifically asking retirees to come and work for him.
They didn't need a resume or experience in hospitality. They just had to turn up for a chat to see if the work was something they would enjoy.
Now, he has 12 people on the books aged over 50. "We've got two 74-year-olds, a 70-year-old, and then we've got [people aged] 57, 60, 64, 66 and 67," Mr Iddles said.
"There is a labour shortage and a labour crisis, [but] I don't have one. I have five too many staff at the moment. And I could actually open another venue to keep them all gainfully employed."
One of the new recruits is Kenton Savage, a 67-year-old who always thought he would retire comfortably with his wife after selling his distribution business.
But then the pandemic hit and the business went bankrupt. Without any superannuation and with the cost of living continuing to bite, Mr Savage and his wife had no choice but to find a job.
"The pension just didn't pay enough. So I looked around for a job and Barry was hiring," he said.
The benefits have been more than a boost to his back pocket. "I think it just keeps me fit and healthy and happy. Being able to get out and about, it's really been good for me," he said.
Ageism 'alive and well' in workplaces
The Council for Older Australians (COTA) chief executive Ian Yates said experiencing discrimination often kept mature aged workers from applying for jobs.
Mr Yates said Mr Iddles's technique of specifically asking older workers to apply, was what was needed to show older Australians they were wanted and needed.
"Many older people will have experienced a lot of knock backs and not being taken seriously as prospective employees," he said.
"The labour market is so tight, that employers are being forced to look at channels and groups that they wouldn't normally look at, including older Australians."
Alysia Blackham is a researcher at Melbourne Law School and agreed more employers needed to target their job ads to older workers.
"We do see that people who experience age discrimination and other forms of discrimination a lot, are less inclined to put themselves forward," she said.
"Businesses that are creative and open in their recruitment are going to see significant benefits from having a more diverse workforce."
COTA's latest Mature Workforce Survey of about 830 people aged over 45, found ageist attitudes and behaviours were "entrenched in many Australian workplaces".
Eighty-eight per cent of respondents said ageism was "alive and well in Australian workplaces" and a significant number of respondents said they had both a personal experience of, and had witnessed, workplace ageism.
One respondent said they felt "powerless" to change how others at work viewed their age, and that "well-intentioned jokes" about their age left them feeling "depressed" and "worthless … as if I had outstayed my welcome".
Pension limits work for some
Mr Yates said while employers were increasingly looking to hire mature aged workers, the limits on earning income before it affected the pension held older workers back.
Earlier this year the federal government raised that limit, allowing those on the aged pension to earn an extra $4,000 a year before their government payments were reduced.
Mr Savage works about four shifts a week and is no longer eligible for the pension. Under the current limits, workers can only work about one shift a week on the minimum wage.
"And that's not enough. I mean, that [policy] was all window dressing in my opinion. The pension just gets wiped out by the extra income," Mr Yates said.
"I think the government is putting its toe in the water to see what kind of reaction that generates."
Respondents to the COTA survey frequently said the pension was not enough to live on. One person said they would be able to last longer on their part pension and super if they were able to work a few shifts a fortnight.
"If this was to happen, I doubt I would ever have to apply for a full age pension," they said.
Not just about the pay cheque
While there are obvious financial benefits to working more into older age, Mr Yates said the social aspects should not be overlooked.
"Cost of living certainly bites for older Australians … but for many people there are other motivations as well; keeping connected, having activities that you want to be engaged in, making a contribution," he said.
Susan Burston, 73, also applied for a job at Mr Iddles's restaurant after receiving a postcard in her letter box and thought the work would boost her confidence.
"COVID made a lot of people depressed. And I know amongst the older ones, we're all saying we're actually finding it quite difficult to get out and about again," she said.
"[Working] makes me feel better. And I love putting in, I love contributing."
Ms Burston said employers were often surprised at how loyal older workers were. "How well we work and what a good ethic we have. We're reliable. We're not trying to get out of the work," she said.
Extreme rhetoric about climate doom raises the temperature
The reception for Anthony Albanese’s Labor government has been exceptionally warm, unquestioning and optimistic. There are a number of obvious reasons for this.
The political/media elite, progressive to a fault, always welcomes the arrival of a left-of-centre government, especially after spending years demonising its Coalition predecessors. This was probably exacerbated by the nation coming out of the pandemic and looking for a period of reopening and renewal.
And to give credit where it is due, Albanese and his team did not frighten the horses. On the contrary, they made a sure-footed and reassuring start on foreign policy, an area where many, myself included, feared weakness and regression.
Yet now the trajectory for this government appears clear, and it suggests a path to economic hardship and political chaos. When the scales fall from the public’s eyes – and that might be a year or two away – the reckoning will be savage.
There are two outstanding questions. How much damage will be visited upon the country? And will the Coalition make the hard decisions to present the necessary alternative for repair?
Jim Chalmers neatly summarised the nub of the problem while attacking the Coalition this week. “Before the government changed hands interest rates were rising,” the Treasurer said, “real wages were going backwards, inflation was going up and a big part of the reason for that was the electricity price and energy market chaos that the shadow treasurer should come to the dispatch box and take responsibility for.”
A reasonably factual analysis. But the missing fact was that on each measure the situation has become significantly worse since the election and, worst of all, Labor’s climate and energy policies will turbocharge the harm.
The hubris of Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen is extraordinary. His evangelical zeal for a renewables-plus-storage model as the enlightened path to lower prices, more supply, green jobs and a cooler planet ignores the simple fact that, despite numerous attempts, no country has achieved this.
In fact, all that have tried have ended up in an energy supply and cost crisis.
The International Energy Agency warns that net zero cannot be achieved with current technology, and even net-zero and renewables advocate Kerry Schott, the former chairwoman of the Energy Security Board, admitted this week that the government’s renewables plan might be beyond our wit.
“It may not be possible,” she told the ABC. “But I think we’ve got to try.”
That such an admission from her did not generate broad news coverage goes to just how delusional the debate has become. Media, climate advocates, politicians and diplomats are sticking to a script of unchecked climate catastrophism while promoting implausible energy solutions.
When this bubble bursts it will get ugly. For a debate that is supposed to prioritise “the science” the biggest missing elements are scientific facts and rational arguments.
As an illustration, consider these numbered quotes:
1: “We are facing an existential crisis in our region, which is climate change.”
2: “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.”
3: “We need radical change to save the planet.”
4: “There are no actions too extreme to take at this moment to draw attention to the urgency of fixing this problem now.”
5: “We are the developed country with the most to lose from unchecked climate change and natural disasters – floods, fires, and cyclones – all of this is at stake.”
These quotes are all of a likeness but come from the most radical protesters and people charged with implementing policy. We expect hysteria and hyperbole from the radical fringe but should see factual arguments and rational approaches from responsible politicians – yet now there is no difference.
The fearmongering from those who glue their body parts to roads at protests is indistinguishable from the speeches of the UN secretary-general or our own Climate Change and Energy Minister.
For the record, those quotes belong to Bowen; UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres; Mali Cooper, who locked her head on to a car’s steering wheel as she blocked the approaches to the Sydney Harbour Tunnel; retired teacher Tony Gleeson, who glued himself to a Picasso in an Extinction Rebellion protest at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne; and International Development and the Pacific Minister Pat Conroy at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt.
It should be deeply worrying that the fact-free alarmism is indistinguishable between this lot. It is as though the nation’s energy policy is being run by Greta Thunberg. (By the way, feel free to guess which quote belongs to who; I’ll include the quiz answers at the end of this column.)
Consider what this means for this country which, like every other developed nation, has built its prosperity on the foundation of cheap, reliable energy. We are accelerating an impossible renewable energy transition that has already constricted our electricity supply and elevated prices.
Through deliberate policy choices driven by ideology, we will further damage the reliability of our supplies while continuing to increase prices.
This is an act of national self-harm not seen since Kevin Rudd surrendered our borders – but the economic consequences will be much more severe and take longer to repair.
When the power shortages hit home, most likely over coming summers, the repercussions for the government will be dramatic. Ever-increasing power prices will cause household and business trauma along the way.
Two great lies are being perpetrated – and no, this is not climate denial, this is the opposite; this is recognising the supremacy of science, facts and rational analysis.
One is the gormless idea that renewables in countries such as ours are a practical solution to global warming, even as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise globally, thanks especially to China.
The other is the promotion of all natural disasters and weather events as being “unprecedented” and attributable to global warming. Scientists cannot make such links for our most recent droughts, floods or fires, but that does not stop some insinuating as much, and certainly it does not stop politicians and journalists leaping to conclusions.
This week the Prime Minister said: “We’ve had the devastating bushfires, including in areas of rainforest that had never burnt ever before – ever before!” This is typical of the alarmist claims we hear that scare our children and, presumably, help to justify radical but largely futile energy policies. They are simply wrong – yet stand uncorrected.
I have been through this in detail in these pages previously. Back in the spring of 2019 retired NSW fire commissioner and former NSW climate change councillor Greg Mullins told ABC radio that fires were “breaking out in places where they just shouldn’t burn … the west coast of Tasmania, the world heritage areas, subtropical rainforests, it’s all burning. And this is driven by climate change, there’s no other explanation.”
But the South Australian Chronicle of February 1915 reported lives lost and the “most devastating bushfires ever known in Tasmania sweeping over the northwest coast and other districts. The extent of the devastation cannot be over-estimated.” And The Canberra Times in 1982 detailed a “huge forest fire” burning out 75,000ha of dense rainforest in that region.
Around the same time Mullins made his claim, Guardian Australia linked bushfires in Queensland rainforests to global warming.
“I never thought I’d see the Australian rainforest burning. What will it take for us to wake up to the climate crisis?” asked Joelle Gergis, of the Australian National University’s Climate Change Institute, who was then a member of the Climate Council.
“As a scientist, what I find particularly disturbing about the current conditions is that world heritage rainforest areas such as the Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast hinterland are now burning,” she wrote.
Yet the Cairns Post reported on October 25, 1951: “A bushfire in Lamington National Park today swept through a grove of 3000-year-old Macrozamia palms. These trees were one of the features of the park. The fire has burnt out about 2000 acres of thick rainforest country.”
We live at a time when clear, recorded, easily researched precedents do not preclude the use of the word unprecedented and do not prevent concocted hysteria. And on the back of this fabricated alarmism, we undermine the reliable energy sources that underpin our industry, agriculture, economy, health, education and prosperity.
There is a lot of science denial going on. And it is on the climate action side. Most of the media that has been complicit so far will not apologise for their role. Rather, when the reckoning comes they will pivot to the interests of their audiences and amplify the assault on governments.
There will be economic, social and political disruption. Then we will have to embrace gas generation or nuclear power, or even carbon capture and storage to reclaim our plentiful energy endowment.
Meanwhile, China will have continued its economic and military expansion, perhaps with the assistance of “reparations” from the West. Spike Milligan could not have conceived of such satire.
Of course, I could be wrong. We might see $1 trillion invested to build 28,000km of heavy transmission lines through landscapes where communities welcome them, linking tens of thousands of hectares of wind and solar farms in places where their aesthetics are appreciated, and they could be firmed up by massive battery installations yet to be invented, and all this could be delivered to us at a colossal loss to the investors so our prices do not increase dramatically. And the former coal and gas workers, and those who used to work in manufacturing, could all have jobs mowing the lawns between the rows of solar panels, or collecting bird kills from under the wind turbines.
And all the while heatwaves will subside, floods diminish, droughts will shorten and fires will be quelled. It sounds too good to be true.
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://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs