Monday, March 07, 2011

Australia: Leftist hypocrite says people should respect their leaders

I am sure Hitler and Stalin felt the same. And this government is even less legitimate than Hitler's. Hitler's government was a coalition of nationalist parties. The present Australian governing coalition is an unholy alliance of Leftists, Greens and turncoat conservatives.

Furthermore it takes two to tango and respect has to be earned. If Leftists want respect from conservatives they should halt their abuse of conservatives. See here for some examples of the hate and abuse that the Left have recently hurled at conservatives.

The author of the excerpt below is Phillip Coorey, a reliably Leftist writer for a reliably leftist rag

When the boatload of asylum seekers smashed into rocks off Christmas Island just before Christmas, certain radio shock jocks went into a lather.

Julie Bishop was acting opposition leader and found herself being interviewed by Andrew Bolt and Steve Price on Melbourne's MTR.

Bolt, the conservative columnist who expends a great amount of energy lecturing members of the Canberra press gallery on how to do their jobs, has a particular distaste for Labor's asylum seeker policy. As is the norm for such "interviews", he tended to make statements and seek agreement.

"Look, Julie," he said, "this is a tragedy that is a direct consequence of the government policies that led to a resumption of the boat people trade. They were warned, the opposition warned them. I think today, now that the rescue operation is over, today is the time we start to hold people accountable. Would you agree?"

Bishop tried to play a straight bat. "After any tragedy it is natural and appropriate for people to ask how did it happen, could it have been prevented," she said. "There will be many questions, no doubt there will be an official investigation, there will be formal inquiries . . . a coroner's inquest, as there have been in the past. The Western Australian . . . "

Bolt interjected: "Julie, it seems to me you're reluctant, you've been intimidated out of talking about the contributing factors to this tragedy. Is it not true that these people were lured to their deaths?"

On it went until an increasingly agitated Bolt, according to Bishop, simply hung up on her.

Previously, Bolt and Price had hung up on independent Rob Oakeshott because he wouldn't give a straight answer on whom he was likely to support to form minority government. When Tony Windsor went public last week with concerns about the increasingly dangerous tone of public discourse, Bolt promoted his Wednesday morning radio show with the item: "Tony Windsor's attempt to play the victim to shut down a debate. We recall how this man who wants to 'take on' talkback hosts hung up on me the last time he tried."

The boys at MTR are far from the only culprits contributing to increasing disrespect for the nation's leaders. Gary Hardgrave, a shock jock who became a minister under the Howard government before losing his Brisbane seat and returning to radio, hung up on Greens leader Bob Brown 10 days ago.

Brown tweeted afterwards: "What a spineless uninformed jock Gary Hardgrave is, who when losing the argument cut off the i'view! Voters of Moreton knew a thing or two!"

In their defence, radio jocks are not journalists per se and therefore are not strictly bound to address politicians publicly by their titles or Mr, Ms or Mrs. But is there any cause to be rude, regardless of the temperature of the debate or personal views?

3AW's Neil Mitchell interviewed Julia Gillard just days after she announced the flood levy and the shock jocks were proclaiming the end of the world. The interview began with an accusation more than a question: "Prime Minister, with your government's history of mismanagement, like the insulation program, school rebuilding, who are you going to put in charge of the spending of this money you're going to take from us?"

Mitchell's line of inquiry was perfectly legitimate, but was the tone of the question?


How UK offers the worst tax deal for traditional families

Millions of families with one working parent get a worse tax deal in Britain than anywhere else in the world, a survey found yesterday. Compared with other western countries a traditional family – a working husband and a wife who looks after the children full-time – pays a third more proportionally to the taxman than a single person without children.

And despite Tory promises to help married couples and families, the plight of single-earner families is growing worse under the Coalition, the report said.

The criticism, in a study for CARE, the Christian social policy charity, contrasts with repeated speeches from Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith speaking up for married couple families. It said: ‘The picture is clear. The tax burden on the majority of families and individuals in the UK is not out of line with that in other countries.

‘However this is not the case with one-earner married couples with children. If their earnings are £25,000 or more, their tax burden is heavier in this country than other countries.’

The report found that since the 1960s the proportion of tax paid by a married couple with one wage close to average pay, and two children, has doubled – not least because of the abolition of the married couple’s tax allowance by Gordon Brown in 1999. Over the same period a single person with no dependants has continued to pay the same share of their income in tax.

The development of a tax system that penalises couples when one chooses to stay at home follows years of a Labour government which tried to encourage all mothers to go out to work. Despite the pressure on mothers to take jobs, there are still just over two million women who devote themselves full-time to caring for children and looking after the home.

But the CARE report, by tax analysts Don Draper, Leonard Beighton and Alistair Pearson, said: ‘The changes made by the Coalition Government will materially worsen the position of one-earner couples on an average wage, although they will improve the position of some other families.’ It added: ‘In 2009, a one-earner married couple with children on a wage of £33,745 paid over a third more in tax in the UK than in the average developed country, and a fifth more than in the average EU country.’

The authors said the shifting of the tax burden from single people with no dependants on to families with children ‘seems to have gone almost unnoticed, if indeed it was intentional’.

Under changes introduced by the Coalition, they said ‘one-earner families on an average wage are likely to find that their tax burden will rise.’ This is because although their tax threshold will rise by £1,000, the gain is cancelled out by loss of tax credits and an increase in national insurance contributions. They will by 2012 be paying nearly 80 per cent of the tax bill faced by a single person with no dependants, compared with 73 per cent now.

But, in the United States, for example, a one-earner married couple with two children, on an average wage, pays just 23 per cent of the tax paid by a single person. The percentage in other countries such as the U.S. and New Zealand is so low because of the unusually high levels of family allowances and tax credits that are given out.

The CARE report also warned that the high levels of tax on couples are a threat to single parents who want to form a relationship. The ‘couple penalty’, estimated by the Institute for Fiscal Studies to cost people as much as £200 a week if they choose to live together, has yet to be lessened by any Coalition policy.

The report said: ‘The major step the Government could take would be to introduce a transferable allowance for married couples. We urge that a start be made on this as soon as possible because of the time which is likely to be needed to make the administrative arrangement necessary to introduce it.’


Shock poll finds Marine Le Pen could become France's next President

Vive la France!

A SHOCK poll shows far-right champion Marine Le Pen leading the race for the French presidency. An opinion poll conducted by Harris Interactive for Le Parisien newspaper put the National Front leader Le Pen's likely support in next year's vote at 23 per cent, against 21 per cent for the centre-right's Mr Sarkozy.

The survey was conducted online, a method sometimes seen as less accurate than telephone polling, and it presumed that Socialist leader Martine Aubry would be in the race. International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn has signalled he is preparing to declare himself as a candidate for the Socialist Party's nomination - and other polls have shown him favourite if he does.

In any case, French presidential elections take place over two rounds, so even if Le Pen's score is enough to get into the second round, centrist voters would likely rally to whichever mainstream candidate joined her there.

But, reservations aside, the big surge in far-right support since Marine Le Pen took over the party from her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, in January shows she could repeat his 2002 feat and knock out the third-placed candidate. That prospect has sent shockwaves through the political establishment, and the left is training its fire not on the 42-year-old far-right challenger, but on Mr Sarkozy - accusing him of stirring dangerous anti-Muslim opinion.

The National Front has always been an anti-immigration party, but under the younger Le Pen it has attempted to shed its racist image and concentrate the debate on the place of Islam in French society, picking up votes as it has done so.

Mr Sarkozy and his UMP have followed suit, taking on the issue to stop support leaking to the Front and to force the Socialists off topics such as unemployment and purchasing power, where they have made inroads. The government has passed a law banning the full-face Islamic veil - worn by only a tiny portion of France's five to six million Muslims - from public places. The ban is due to come into effect next month.

Mr Sarkozy last month declared that "multiculturalism is dead" and said he wanted to see a "French Islam and not an Islam in France", while his party has called for a national debate on religious practice in a secular state.

Meanwhile, the president last week reached out to his conservative base, hailing France's "Christian heritage" in a speech in a Catholic pilgrim town.

The left, and many Muslim groups, sense a cynical plot. They accuse Mr Sarkozy of stirring up disputes that can only increase tensions in French cities, all in the service of 2012 presidential electoral mathematics. "It's doubtless a plan by Nicolas Sarkozy to boost the National Front in order to find himself in a head-to-head with them in the second round, and disqualify the left," said Socialist parliamentary leader Jean-Marc Ayrault.

The left remembers all too well that in 2002, Le Pen senior bumped their man, Lionel Jospin, out of the running in the first round, only to be roundly trounced in the second by the right's Jacques Chirac. "What's clear is that Nicolas Sarkozy has been playing double or quits for the past few weeks," said Ms Aubry, who should perhaps take some comfort from the fact that the Harris poll had her level-pegging with Mr Sarkozy on 21 per cent.

But while the Socialists and the UMP slug it out, Ms Le Pen has stolen a march on them. Elected leader of her party in January, she is already openly campaigning for the presidency.

No one expects Mr Sarkozy to drop out, but he has yet to declare his candidacy, and his personal approval ratings are catastrophically low.

And the Socialists have yet to settle on a candidate. The party will hold a primary in October but the apparent front-runners - Ms Aubry and Mr Strauss-Kahn - have yet to confirm they will stand.


Muslims, Jews united over circumcision plan

Jewish and Muslim groups are mobilising over an attempt to outlaw male circumcision in San Francisco by putting the issue to a popular vote. A self-described "intact-ivist", Lloyd Schofield, has been collecting signatures for a voter initiative that would criminalise infant circumcision in the Californian city.

After two months of collecting names, he claims to be more than halfway towards obtaining the 7168 signatures he needs by late April to put the matter on a ballot to be held in November.

Mr Schofield and a growing community of anti-circumcision activists say infants should not be forced to participate in what is essentially culturally accepted genital mutilation.

They claim the procedure can cause health risks and diminished sexual function and compare it to the clitoridectomies performed on girls in parts of Africa. "This is a human rights issue," he said. "What you're doing is you're taking an infant and removing the most sensitive part of their body."

Jewish organisations have pledged to fight the measure should it be placed on the ballot. The director of the Anti-Defamation League, Daniel Sandman, called Mr Schofield's effort discriminatory and misguided. "This is hurtful and offensive to people in the community who consider this a coveted ritual," he said.

Abby Porth of the Jewish Community Relations Council charged Mr Schofield with wasting city resources for an inappropriate political stunt that was unlikely to become law. "This is one of the most fundamental practices to our tradition of over 3000 years," she said. "It's symbolic of our covenant with God."

Ms Porth said the Jewish community would form a coalition against the initiative with medical professionals and Muslims, who also practise circumcision. "It's very similar to those of the Jewish faith," said Omar Nawaz of Zaytuna College, a Muslim college in the San Francisco Bay area. "It's a religious tradition and it's important for us."

If the ban is approved, those caught cutting the foreskins of infants and other minors would face up to a year in jail and a fine of $US1000.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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