Australian Politics 2016-09-25 15:50:00

Why are so many people fighting to protect Sydney eyesore?

Locating the building in a premium area was a wasteful act to start with.  As welfare housing it generated only a fraction of the income it could have generated if it had been used for high-end accommodation.  But it gave good views to a few privileged poor people and the Left liked that. Rationality is however now catching up.  The money made by selling the building will fund much more public housing than  before

The arty-farty arguments for retaining an ugly building are amusing.  They say it adds to “the social mix”.  So what?  Why is that a good thing? It is probably a bad thing. Having lots of poor people in a given area tends to elevate the crime rate in that area.  But you are not allowed to mention that, of course.  Assumptions are all the Left need — not those pesky facts.  They don’t even bother to argue for their assumptions.  They just “know” the truth

IS IT ugly and deserving of a wrecking ball? Or iconic and in need of protection?  It depends who you ask.

But for now, Sydney’s Sirius building — which has been used for public housing since it was built more than 30 years ago — appears to be living out its final days next to the iconic Harbour Bridge, in The Rocks.

The Cumberland Street apartment block is under threat from NSW Government plans for redevelopment, with most tenants having already moved out.

Hundreds of protesters have opposed the plans to replace the 1979 building with apartments boasting million-dollar views and price tags to match.

But their calls to save the building have so far fallen on deaf ears, with a heritage listing bid for the harbourside building ultimately rejected by the government.

The building is arguably the worst eyesore on one of the world’s most spectacular harbours. So why are so many people fighting to protect it?

Sydney’s Lord Mayor and NSW opposition members joined hundreds of protesters in a march from Circular Quay over the weekend, demanding one of the city’s most controversial buildings be saved from demolition.

Hundreds of protesters marched from Alfred Street, around the Quay, meeting at the base of the brutalist building on Saturday morning.

The vocal crowd, flanked by police officers, were addressed by several opponents of the building’s slated demolition, including Lord Mayor Clover Moore and opposition planning minister Michael Daley.

“If the government applies this policy to other inner city areas, it will destroy the social mix — the very soul of city — and we will fight that all the way,” Ms Moore said from the back of a truck in front of the building.

“This housing is needed just as much now, or even more, because the majority of social housing residents in Millers Point have already been dispersed.”

The mixed-bag of protesters included unionists, architects and social housing advocates.

The CFMEU granted a Green Ban over the building earlier this week, in an attempt to stall demolition plans.

Michael Daley warned the Baird government any attempt to tear down the building would be met by fierce opposition. “We’re here to say to Mike Baird, if you try and cheat the people of Sydney out of the Sirius building, when you come down here with your developer and your banker mates, we’ll be waiting,” Mr Daley said.

Architects Olivia Savio-Matev and Hugo Raggett said the Sirius building held more than just architectural importance in Sydney.   “We’re here to support and save the heritage architecture of Sydney, but also to support the residents who are being evicted.

“I think the government’s stance on this building is purely a money grab.”

Leading the charge to save the building of brutalist architecture is the National Trust’s advocacy director Graham Quint. “They’re dramatic and they’re meant to make a statement,” Mr Quint told  “I don’t know whether ‘beautiful’ would be the word, but not everything’s meant to be beautiful.”

The Sirius building had a unique history, said Mr Quint, built specifically for housing commission tenants turfed out of harbourside suburbs when the area was being redeveloped in the 1960s.

Far from blocking views of the harbour it actually “steps down” to reveal a wide sweep of Sydney, said Mr Quint. Any replacement could be even bigger.


Obstructive black man finally moved on

The internet is divided over a controversial video of a black man with a ‘stop racism’ sign being pepper sprayed by police on a busy street in Melbourne.

The video, which was uploaded online on Friday, shows footage of a black man being surrounded by three police officers as he stands in the street.

The man can be seen holding a sign which reads ‘stop racism’ near the Flinders St Station, a busy thoroughfare in Melbourne.

It is unclear why he is being arrested, but the police officers are eager to restrain him. The man resists attempts to move him, and an officer eventually pulls out a can of spray and directs it into the man’s eyes.

Police then grasp the man’s arms and lead him off the street. The man can be seen grimacing.

Onlookers appeared surprised by the arrest.  ‘Oh my god, they pepper sprayed him,’ a woman can be heard saying in the video. ‘Can they even do that?’ A man can then be heard saying ‘are you kidding me you hero’ as the police officers walk past.

But not everyone agreed the police officers’ force was too strong, with one woman claiming they were ‘just doing their job’.

The man can be seen with tears streaming from his eyes as he’s marched off the street, past the camera.

When the video was posted to Reddit yesterday, social media users were quick to jump in with their opinions, and the debate was split.

While some defended the man, others took the police’ side, claiming they’d seen the same man often standing in the middle of the road holding up traffic.

‘He has been there on many occasions and has held up the trams and essential service vehicles,’ one user said. ‘He has been warned about standing in the middle of the road and this time it appears as if he was moved on.’

But another user who claimed he’d seen the man a few times, said he never saw him causing any problems for traffic or pedestrians.

The bickering between Reddit users continued, with some even questioning the man’s motives.

‘Who is he accusing exactly of racism? What does he want done about it? What is the end point where he will be happy?’ they said.

‘(Melbourne is) the most multicultural city in the world, if he fails to see that, and disrespects that, then it is not our job to wear his manufactured guilt.’


Social Justice is a Racket

Despite his alleged financial savvy and alleged conservatism, Malcolm Turnbull has finally managed to fully outflank the Greens in a frivolous and economically wasteful gesture of virtue signalling.

Turnbull is just the latest sucker falling over themselves to pay a snake oil seller $187,550 for a three month contract to carry out an audit to find out whether our Prime Minister’s office has an unconscious bias against women.

Now let’s just say that feminist guru Deborah May does 38 hour weeks over the 12 week period, which I seriously doubt. But even if she does, her hourly rate will be a whopping $411.29 per hour (I’m being facetious of course… it’s Canberra. No way she’s putting in 38 hours a week). Now Malcolm… I don’t know if I’m missing something or not completely up to speed on third wave feminism, but if your office feels obliged to pay a “feminist guru” the equivalent of $411.29 an hour to ascertain whether your office has an unconscious bias against women, IT PROBABLY DOESN’T HAVE AN UNCONSCIOUS BIAS AGAINST WOMEN!

Of all places to conduct such an audit, the ACT public service surely seems to be the most redundant. It’s a little like charging PETA $187,550 to audit whether they have any inclination toward systemic animal cruelty.

Deborah May has quite a racket going on. She’s managed to trump many in the climate alarmist industry in terms of sheer profit for hysteria, and that’s saying something. She’s been awarded a bunch of federal contracts over the past 6 years totalling just over $2 million, which proves in and of itself that the patriarchy isn’t quite as oppressive as she indicates in her sales pitch.

She’s reasonably sure something is amiss. Only 66% of employees in Turnbull’s office are women. That’s less than half in Cultural Marxist newsspeak. Outrageous. If I were a betting man, I’d guess that Deborah May is going to find some systemic sexism in that office, even if she has to bring in mattress girl.

The line between identity politics and good old-fashioned satire is well and truly blurred in 2016. The regressive left are just so lacking in self-awareness that they’ve turned absurdity as an industry into an art form. Merely going about day to day activities in their natural state produces comic manna as a byproduct.

They say that war is a racket, but I’d argue that social justice issues are an even bigger racket. Whenever the Regressive Left get their ire up about something, you can bet there’s a lot of money to be potentially made. There’s no doubt that George W. Bush made a tidy profit from the Iraq war. His personal net worth is $20 million. But this is dwarfed by the Clintons’ net worth of $80 million accumulated from activism, or Al Gore’s personal net worth of $200 million from the war on climate change. Who’d bother bombing the s— out of a country for their oil when intimidating companies and government departments with politically correct teamster tactics is so much more lucrative?


Liberal director calls for debate after Medi-scare hit party support

THE man who ran the election campaign which nearly cost the Liberals government today emotionally condemned Labor’s “cold blooded lie” on Medicare privatisation.  Federal Liberal director Tony Nutt called for a public debate on the boundaries of negative campaigning and the use of scare tactics.

Not all his condemnation was driven by politics. There also was distress close to home.

Mr Nutt said the election result was a “near run thing” which saw the Government lose 14 seats and put that down to the so-called Medi-scare, campaigning by trade unions and third-party groups such as GetUp and redistributions in NSW and WA.

He acknowledged “some difficult and complex public policy issues” in February and April. This was when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull conducted a messy debate over the future of the GST and randomly raised the potential for state income taxes.

He said there had been “a cacophony of demands and high expectations” but had no criticism of Mr Turnbull.

But Mr Nutt focused in detail on the bogus text messages falsely said to have been sent by the public health insurer but actually from ALP linked groups on election day. They claimed: “Time is running out to Save Medicare.”

He said the messages and other campaign claims had upset elderly voters including those in their 80s. It is understood Mr Nutt’s mother was among those upset and this was the source of his passion on the matter.

“Are we really saying taking an absolute lie, a cold blooded lie, and shoving it down the throat of vulnerable people in their 70s and 80s who are scared to death that their Medicare might be pulled back is acceptable?” he said at the National Press Club in Canberra.

“Is there no standard, is there no tactic unacceptable? “I call upon the Labor Party to pledge that at least in this tactic on this topic they won’t do it again.”

Mr Nutt said the Liberals had not returned fire with negative tactics because their research had found voters wanted a positive vision and were sick and tired of “the distraction of political aggression”.

“(Labor Leader) Bill Shorten and Labor focused their campaign message on the extreme negatives and this delivered them the their second-lowest primary vote,” he said in a speech.

“While their negativity had an effect on the Liberal primary Party vote, those votes didn’t always flow to Labor. Instead Labor’s negative campaign helped drive a high minor/independent vote.”


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