Australian Politics 2020-01-29 15:05:00
Australia: When a government says a white man is black, dissenters have to be fired
I put up the post below yesterday on my Tongue Tied blog. It now has a sequel, which I reproduce below it. The disgrace has got worse. The truthteller HAS now been fired. Does anybody believe that the pink-skinned guy below is an Aborigine?
WHAT a scandal. Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt now threatens to sack a whistleblower who called out "Aboriginal historian" Bruce Pascoe as a white.
The whistleblower in Wyatt's sights is Josephine Cashman, an Aboriginal businesswoman on his advisory council. That's because Cashman claimed Pascoe, author of the bestseller "Dark Emu" and star of an upcoming MSC series, is a fake Aborigine, and she says she has plenty of evidence.
Genealogical records on dark-emu-exposed.org suggest all of Pascoe's ancestors are of English descent, and Pascoe refuses to say which is actually Aboriginal.
Indeed, his story keeps changing. Once he identified as white, until a reviewer of his first novel said it would have been better had Pascoe been black.
Once he claimed that one of his mother's grandmothers was Aboriginal, before admitting she was English. Now he claims he's descended from several tribes, including the Boonwurrung of Victoria, Tasmanian Aborigines and the Yuin of NSW.
But his claims have been rejected by the Boonwunrung Land & Sea Council, the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania and members of the Yuin, and now even the Yolngu of Arnhem Land.
Elder Terry Yumbulul says his fellow Yolngu want Wyatt to investigate Pascoe's "claim to Aboriginal ancestry" and what he's gained from an identity "he has been unable to verify".
Yumbulul, like the Boonwurrung and the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania, also rejects Pascoe's claims — based on false citations and exaggerations — that Aborigines weren't hunter-gathers but farmers in "towns" of "1000 people".
"There is no evidence of it in our art, languages or songlines," says Yumbulul, who accuses Pascoe of causing "concerns about our ancient cultures, our ancient traditions, our precious stories".
So what's Wyatt's reaction? It's to defend white Pascoe and
seemingly threaten Aboriginal Cashman with the sack. Wyatt told the Guardian Australia that Pascoe's Aboriginality was "being played out publicly" when "we should deal with (it) within communities".
He said he could ask one of his advisers to quit "I have to think of the greater good of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people."
Really? Is truth to be sacrificed for the "greater good"? And where's this "greater good" when Aborigines are being stripped of their past and even their right to say who is of their tribe?
No Liberal MP should tolerate what Wyatt seems to have in mind. If Cashman goes, so should he.
From the Brisbane "Courier Mail" of 27 January, 2020
Ken Wyatt dumps Josephine Cashman in wake of Dark Emu scandal
Indigenous Australians minister Ken Wyatt has sacked his one-time friend and ally Josephine Cashman amid a furious debate over Aboriginal identity.
Ms Cashman on Tuesday lost her position on the senior advisory group overseeing the design of an indigenous voice to government, seven weeks after she asked Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton for an investigation into acclaimed author Bruce Pascoe for “dishonesty offences”.
Mr Wyatt was said to have been blindsided by Ms Cashman’s email to Mr Dutton on December 11, 2019, in which she alleged Professor Pascoe gained a financial benefit by wrongly claiming to be Aboriginal. Mr Wyatt learned about her complaint in The Weekend Australian on January 11, after Mr Dutton had referred it to the Australian Federal Police.
Since then, The Australian has learned, members of the senior advisory group became increasingly concerned that Ms Cashman’s public criticism of Professor Pascoe was divisive and detracting from their work. Ms Cashman’s push for a national register of indigenous Australians as a way of confirming identity also drew criticism.
“Following recent discussions with the Senior Advisory Group Co-Chairs, Professor Dr Marcia Langton AM and Professor Tom Calma AO, and after careful consideration, I have decided that Ms Cashman’s membership of the Group is no longer tenable,” Mr Wyatt said in an email to reporters on Tuesday.
“Ms Cashman’s actions are not conducive to the constructive and collaborative approach required to progress the important co-design process for an Indigenous voice.”
The Australian has been told Ms Cashman’s future on the senior advisory group was considered untenable last Thursday after the AFP confirmed it had completed its assessment of her complaint against Professor Pascoe and identified no Commonwealth offence. Having identified no financial benefit on the material Ms Cashman provided, the AFP did not probe Professor Pascoe’s ancestry.
The Australian has been told Ms Cashman’s sacking was imminent when a debate erupted on Monday night over the authenticity of a contentious letter that Ms Cashman gave to Sky commentator Andrew Bolt, which he published on his blog. Said to have been from Northern Territory elder Terry Yumbulul, it was critical of the thesis of Professor Pascoe’s bestseller Dark Emu, which draws on the historical accounts of early settlers to call for a rethink of the hunter gatherer label for pre-colonial Aboriginal people. “It would have been impossible for my people to have built wells, silos, houses and yards to pen animals, as Pascoe promotes,” the letter states.
Mr Yumbulul later told NITV: “I did not say anything of the sort to write the letter on behalf of me”.
However Ms Cashman said on Sky on Tuesday that Mr Yumbulul approved a final draft of the letter. Bolt said Mr Yumbulul and his wife Clely were cc’d on several drafts and he published emails which he said showed they had replied with corrections.
Professor Pascoe is described on the back cover of his latest book, Salt, as a Bunurong man. He is accepted as Aboriginal by Mr Wyatt and other prominent indigenous Australians including Professor Langton, the co-chair of the senior advisory group.
On Bolt’s program on Sky on Tuesday night, Ms Cashman claimed: “There is a group of Aboriginal elites that decide who is Aboriginal and who is not and people on the ground have had a gutful of it.”
Professor Pascoe writes about claims he is “not really Aboriginal” in Salt. “What they say has cool logic. Clinical analysis of genes says I’m more Cornish than Koori.” he writes.
Any climate policy change is going to be slow burn
Climate politics is global. This is the ultimate message from the worldwide reaction to Australia’s bushfire tragedy. The backdrop to the demands that Australia do more on climate change is that the world is not doing enough and that the Paris Agreement is in serious trouble and may fail.
The global story is stark: the scientists intensify their alarm but governments are not responding. The gulf between the scientific consensus from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the pledges made by the governments of the major emitters grows only larger and soon will verge on gargantuan.
The US, following President Donald Trump’s decision, withdraws from the Paris Agreement on November 4, at the time of the presidential election. If Trump is re-elected it means no American return and that will cast an ominous shadow over the agreement’s structure and credibility. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says “we are still losing the climate race” but then feels obliged to sound an optimistic note: “But we can choose another path.”
The idea that nations will choose another path seems remote. Below the surface you sense the desperation from the architects and champions of a global model that isn’t working and was always a third-best solution. It is now more than 20 years since the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated with its binding targets only on rich, industrialised nations. It is almost 10 years since the failure of the Copenhagen conference to secure a legally binding global agreement, and almost five since the patch-up job in Paris — a weak fallback — asking nations to submit voluntary targets as nationally determined contributions.
Last year’s UN Emissions Gap Report, along with other UN documents, finds a “bleak” picture. Greenhouse gas emissions are rising. There is “no sign” they will peak in the next few years. By 2030 emissions will need to be 25 per cent and 55 per cent lower than in 2018 to limit warming to below 2C and 1.5C, the Paris requirements. The gulf between country pledges and what is needed remains “large” and growing, with countries needing to increase their pledges “threefold” to achieve the temperature goals.
The UN analysis says: “Essentially there has been no real change in the global emissions pathway in the last decade. The effects of climate policies have been too small to offset the impact of key drivers of emissions such as economic growth and population growth.” Understand what this means: the already “baked in” absence of progress means the steeper scale of adjustment needed in coming years will be so great it “risks seriously damaging the global economy” — decoded that warns about a global recession.
Paris is not a legally binding agreement; it has no compliance mechanism and no penalties for noncompliance. How does such a system work? By political pressure, public, media, peer group pressure and moral suasion. Invoke the Pope or Prince Charles or Greta Thunberg or the better angels of our nature. Pivotal to the political pressure is the fear of extinction or Armageddon. Guterres has bet his UN leadership on climate change action. Operating as a global politician, he told the General Assembly that unless big emitters act “we are doomed”. Big emitters will determine the fate of the Paris Agreement and our trajectory points to failure.
In this situation, the Australian bushfires become a test case, at home and globally. Guterres slotted the fires into “an existential climate crisis” where “our planet is burning” while governments “fiddle” as the globe “is edging closer to the point of no return”.
The raging bushfires, deaths, property destruction and terrifying pictures naturally prompted demands for action. Climate change constitutes a moral challenge for Australia and all nations to take stronger action. But media demands that Australia must now become a world leader on climate action or that more ambition on Australia’s part is a solution in its own right to our bushfire challenge are unrealistic, irrational and misleading.
The contradiction at the heart of the Paris deal now reverberates through the politics of the democracies. National pledges under Paris are utterly insufficient, as judged by the science. Every analysis shows this. In country after country the climate change champions demand greater action but national governments — essentially the big emitters — refuse to act with the urgency the scientists and the UN demand with doomsday scenarios.
The political battle is waged at the national and global level in constant interaction with each other. Guterres, like the activists, says the people are demanding “much stronger ambition”. Are they? Maybe, but global results don’t show it. At home Anthony Albanese backs coal exports and says Labor’s 45 per cent emissions target was a mistake.
For progressives, the bushfires are decisive. They show the climate is changing; that the threat is here, not just in the future. With quasi-religious belief they depict the fires as a “game changer” — the event that shifts public opinion towards greater action. These are declarations of faith. Do they pronounce too much? In reality, it will take many months to determine whether the fires are a game changer. The politics of climate change in Australia has fluctuated wildly over 15 years and fluctuations are likely to recur.
The human brain isn’t good at responding to a predicted catastrophe some time in the future. The domestic test is whether the bushfires have repudiated the May 2019 election settlement and made Scott Morrison’s modest 26 per cent emission reduction stance untenable with the public. The international test is whether Australia, having experienced fires of such notoriety, remains unmoved in its Paris Agreement pledges or concedes the growing threat by declaring more ambitious targets.
There is one certainty. Morrison will take his time on this judgment. He does not subscribe — at least so far — to the “game changer” conclusion of the commentators who demand he change his policy. His caution is understandable. What would be the political consequences for Morrison if, acting on the fires, he now announced a more ambitious emission reduction target?
First, he would never satisfy his opponents, who would pocket the concession, demand more and renew their attacks on his government. Second, he would inflame and alienate many of his own supporters, who would attack him for cracking under pressure, surrendering to his opponents, betraying his election mandate and dividing, perhaps fatally, his own side of politics.
In short, it would be meagre gain for truckloads of pain — that’s the political equation. At this stage it doesn’t make sense. Morrison’s aim is to hold his government and his voting base together. That may mean policy change at some point. But that will come only down the track after intense internal management and will surely involve targets beyond 2030.
In the interim, Morrison will make clear he accepts the reality of climate change, that he wants Australia to exceed the 26 per cent 2030 emission reduction target, that he prefers this be achieved without carry-over of credits and that he wants a new national framework for combating fires with greater emphasis on adaptation and resilience building.
Every sign is that Morrison will stick by his stance saying he wants power prices cut and won’t take further action on climate change if it hurts the economy and means higher power prices. But that is exactly what it means. The UN is talking about “transforming” policy change. That’s what the science requires. Wealthy Liberal electorates might accept this in principle but there is scant evidence most of the country will.
There is no escape from the fact that on climate Australia is a 1.3 per cent nation. This is our contribution to global emissions. It is wrong to say we don’t matter and don’t have obligations. But it is equally wrong to pretend that action by Australia makes any meaningful difference to global greenhouse gas emissions. Yet nothing seems to agitate climate activists as much as this truth.
It doesn’t negate the case for Australia doing more — in moral, diplomatic and self-interested terms. It is vital to avoid any trade or financial retaliation that singles us out from other rich commodity-based exporters (think Canada and New Zealand) by trying to claim we were doing less and should be penalised.
The climate change lobby demands, after the bushfires, a transformational policy change. That won’t happen because neither the policy nor political argument for such transformation exists. That may change. For the present, climate change policy will reflect a series of Morrison-judged compromises amid shifting reassessments involving the economy, energy, emissions reduction and prices, the bushfire legacy and how public opinion evolves, particularly within the Coalition vote.
Foreign students flock to some Australian university courses
FOREIGN students have filled at least three quarters of places in key university courses, after international student numbers soared 12 per cent in a year.
As Queensland school leavers sweat on university offers, The Courier-Mail can reveal that overseas students have taken 82.4 per cent of places in information technology courses at the University of the Sunshine Coast, and nearly two-thirds of IT places at James Cook University (JCU) and the University of Southern Queensland.
At the prestigious University of Queensland, which pockets $250 million a year selling places to Chinese students, foreigners outnumber local students in IT and management and commerce courses.
Cash-hungry universities are offering more places to fee-paying foreigners than to local students in 64 courses nationally, data obtained exclusively by The Courier-Mail reveals.
Nationally, the number of foreign students in Australian universities soared 12 per cent to 427,610 in 2018 — with nearly 10 per cent studying in Brisbane. At Central Queensland University, the proportion of foreign students studying management and commerce soared from 54 per cent in 2013 to 70.2 per cent in 2018, the latest Education Department data for 2018 reveals.
CQ University acting vice-chancellor Alastair Dawson said 40 per cent of students come from other countries. "Due to the successive decline in funding from government to universities, in order to build our programs and ensure a sustainable academic offering we've realised the opportunity to pick up our international market," he said. We don't cut domestic places to suit the international market — you would take as many domestic students as you can."
In agriculture and environmental studies, 61.3 per cent of students at JCU are from overseas. "Domestic students are not missing out on places in these courses because of international student enrolments," a JCU spokesman said. "All students — international and domestic have to meet strict entry requirements and academic standards to be enrolled."
International education is a $22 billion business for Australian universities. Australian universities have enrolled 152,591 students from China, 71,857 from India and 28,233 from Nepal.
Foreigners, who are charged $15,000 to $33,000 for a basic bachelor degree, make up a third of the 1.5 million students enrolled in Australian universities.
The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) has warned that some universities, including UQ — where Chinese students clashed with Hong Kong protesters last year — are too reliant on Chinese revenue.
CIS Emeritus Professor Steven Schwartz, a former vice-chancellor of Macquarie University in Sydney and Murdoch University in Perth, said foreign students flock to courses likely to lead to jobs and permanent residency, such as IT and management
"Permanent residency is one of the main motivations to study in Australia," he said. "If suddenly permanent residency was given to people who study poetry, it's likely they'd all be doing poetry."
From the Brisbane "Courier Mail" of 27 January, 2020
Kmart blogger mum tearfully defends herself against racism accusations for saying 'white is right' in a post about a QUILT COVER
A woman has tearfully defended herself after she was accused of being a 'racist' for saying 'white is right' about her new doona quilt cover.
Claire, from Tasmania, has been creating lifestyle content for her popular Instagram account The Kmart Lover as a hobby.
With more than 100,000 followers, her well-established page focuses on affordable fashion and home styling such as décor, furniture and bedding.
But over the weekend, Claire came under attack by cruel trolls who labelled her a 'racist' and a 'white supremacist' after she shared her thoughts on her new king-size waffle quilt cover.
'I wasn't going to address this... but as you can probably tell, I'm sad, but that's not from the thing that happened last night. It's from my sister Krista's beautiful words and the outpouring of love and support that you guys have given me,' she said.
'I've got a bad headache, I put it down to the stress that's come from here. I'm not racist, I was purely talking about a bloody doona cover, and it does hurt, it hurts me.
'I put some time into my page, it's my page, I don't get paid to tell you where the item is from. I don't get paid to give you a swipe up link. I don't get paid to show you what it would match with and so many of you ask things like that and I give you my views on it.'
After speaking out, Claire hit back at the nasty trolls by sharing a snap of herself sitting on her white quilt cover in her white Kmart outfit.
Claire was left in tears after receiving nasty remarks for sharing her thoughts about a doona
'This is me. On my white waffle quilt cover in my white outfit... Just a girl on a bed in what she considers a cool outfit sharing her love for home styling and fashion,' she said.
'Unshowered, heavy eyes from a bad headache, no make-up. Nothing more, nothing less. This week I have been trolled as being racist for saying "white is right" about the depicted doona cover.
'I could stay quiet as some of you have suggested and not respond to any of these remarks but that is not me. I am strong. I am independent and I am taking a stance against this small minority of society that feel this behaviour is ok because it is not.'
Claire has since updated her caption to: 'Can you beat a white quilt cover for a relaxing entrance to a bedroom? I love it.'
Greyhound cuts ties with Adani coal mine after backlash from climate Nazis
The bus company Greyhound Australia has ruled out any extension of work on the controversial Adani coal project after a backlash from climate change campaigners.
On Sunday the SchoolStrike4Climate group launched a campaign to boycott travel with the company until it publicly ruled out working on the mine.
Guardian Australia revealed last week that Greyhound had written to staff warning they could be caught “in the crossfire” of anti-Adani campaigners after the company took a three-month contract at the coal project, with an option to extend.
The Indian-owned Adani mine and railway project is the first to begin work to extract the vast coal reserves of Queensland’s Galilee basin.
Greyhound is providing transport to workers for the construction company BMD, which is building the railway to take the coal to Adani’s Abbot Point port.
In a statement, Greyhound Australia said it had “received numerous messages, emails and phone calls from people expressing their thoughts both for and against the Carmichael Rail Network and Adani Carmichael project”.
It said: “Following considered deliberation, and in the best interests of our staff, customers, and partners, Greyhound Australia has decided to not enter into a contractual agreement with BMD to service construction of the Carmichael Rail Network beyond our preliminary 31 March 2020 commitment.”
The company declined to comment further.
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