Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Anti-Semitism Now Mainstream in France
Was it ever otherwise in France?
A few weeks ago, when French Jewish actor Elie Semoun was a prime-time guest on one of the main French television channels, Canal Plus, the words of Sebastian Thoen, a standup comedian who introduced him may have been meant to be to be laudatory, but took quite a different turn: "You never plunged into communitarianism [Jewish activism] ... You could have posted yourself in the street selling jeans and diamonds from the back of a minivan, saying 'Israel is always right, f*** Palestine, wallala.' You show that it is possible to be of the Jewish faith without being completely disgusting."
Semoun was obviously ill-at-ease, but did not react. A couple hours after the show, the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF) issued a statement denouncing a "dangerous trivialization of anti-Semitism." The President of the TV channel responded by saying that the Jewish community had "no sense of humor." The incident occurred, however, in a context where the French Jewish community has no reason to have a sense of humor.
At the end of 2012, Jewish France was republished. The book is a tirade of extreme anti-Semitism, originally published in 1886 by the author Edouard Drumont, and reprinted repeatedly until after World War II and the fall of the Vichy regime.
The publishing company sent a press release for the latest book launch: "A classic of French literature is finally available again." When Jewish organizations protested, articles in Le Monde and Le Figaro (the two leading French daily newspapers) said that Jewish organizations had "overreacted." The publishing company that reprinted Jewish France issued or reissued other books at the same time, such as The International Jew by Henry Ford; The Controversy of Zion by Douglas Reed, the first anti-Semitic writer to deny Hitler's extermination of the Jews, and an Anthology of Writings Against Jews, Judaism and Zionism, including excerpts from the most libelous anti-Semitic writings of the last two centuries. These books are now available at all the most popular French bookstores. Thousands of copies of each have been sold. The CEO of the publishing company Kontre Kulture [Counterculture, with a play on words] is a famous French anti-Semitic writer, Alain Soral; his last book, Understanding Empire, purports to explain the "Jewish hold" on the world; it has been on French bestsellers lists for more than two years.
In recent months, an openly anti-Semitic black comedian, Dieudonné, presented a series of shows in the main cities of France and Belgium before large and enthusiastic audiences. One of his greatest hits is a song ridiculing the Holocaust and the "chosen people" : Shoah-Ananas (Holocaust-Pineapple). He popularized a gesture of greeting which he dubbed "quenelle" (a French dumpling), which echoes the Nazi salute. The "quenelle" salute consists of extending the right arm and straightening the hand, but the arm is lowered, and not raised at eye level. "Quenelle" is now used by many young people all over the country when they want to show what they think of Jews and Israel. Recently, pictures of French soldiers stationed outside a Paris synagogue and welcoming visitors with "quenelles" were published on several websites: a military investigation is now under way. The French Minister of Defense said that one should not attach "great importance" to what happened.
At the end of June, a documentary film, Oligarchy and Zionism, was supposed to be released nationwide. The movie poster, with a likeness to editorial cartoons from Nazi magazines at the time of the Third Reich, should have aroused suspicion: it showed a Jew turned into a spider crushing the planet with his crooked legs. The Jew wore a black jacket with the Star of David and the initials of AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] on his shoulders.
The film itself uses all the themes of "classical" anti-Semitism, with a modern twist. It is based on interviews with Shlomo Sand, author of The Invention of the Jewish People, and Thierry Meyssan, who wrote 9/11: The Big Lie, a book explaining that the September 11 terrorist attacks were organized by the CIA and Israel's Mossad. The film's director, Beatrice Pignede, had previously made the film Snapping up the Memory, glorifying the Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson, and she participated in the Fars film festival in Tehran in 2012.
The film was announced in various mainstream magazines as an "important event." It was not released because Jewish organizations threatened to picket movie theaters. It is available, however, on many websites, and has been widely circulated. Beatrice Pignede said she was a "victim of the Jewish lobby" and that the "fate" of her film is "proof" of what she wants to denounce.
To say that the majority of the French population is anti-Semitic would be going too far. Polls show that a favorite public figure this year is popular Jewish singer Jean-Jacques Goldman. But it is clear that anti-Semitism is rapidly gaining ground in France. It is clear there is a real trivialization of anti-Semitism that goes way beyond some ugly sentences uttered by a standup comedian during a prime time TV talk show.
A few years ago, anti-Semitism in France was still hiding behind the mask of "anti-Zionism" and hostility to Israel. It is still true, but more often now, the targets are the Jews themselves, and the mask of "anti-Zionism" has fallen away.
In a recently published book, Demonizing Israel and the Jews, Manfred Gerstenfeld explains that what happens in France is happening all over Europe. "Polls show," he wrote," that well over 100 million Europeans embrace a satanic view of the State of Israel (...) This current widespread...view is obviously a new mutation of the diabolical beliefs about Jews which many held in the Middle Ages, and those more recently promoted by the Nazis and their allies."
Seven decades after Auschwitz, the oldest hatred is slowly regaining its place on the continent, and it is no laughing matter.
More Scenes from the Tolerance Brigade
Most of those pushing the hardest for homosexual marriage don’t even really want it. In fact, wherever it is legalised around the world there isn’t exactly a stampede down the aisle. It is really all about symbolism and social acceptance. All this I carefully document in my recent book, with numerous quotes from homosexual activists themselves saying just these things:
But another reason why this is being pushed so doggedly is because it is a tremendous means by which the activists can silence any and all critics. By pulling these special rights out of a hat, they can impose all sorts of obligations on the rest of society, whether they like it or not. And I have already documented hundreds of recent cases of this happening.
All over the place people who dare to resist the radical social engineers are losing their jobs, being fined, and even jailed for their recalcitrance. Let me here offer just a few more examples of this, and then cite yet another homosexual who admits that marriage is a dumb idea anyway. Check out these recent cases of the tolerance brigade in action:
“A U.S. judge is allowing a lawsuit by a Ugandan homosexual group charging an Evangelical pastor with a ‘crime against humanity.’ The American pastor is accused of violating international law for speaking against homosexuality and discussing legislation with Ugandan leaders. Scott Lively, an attorney and author, runs the Holy Grounds coffee house in Massachusetts where coffee and Bibles are free and Sunday church services minister to homeless people, drug addicts and others. In 2009, he was invited to speak at a conference in Uganda where he said the goal of the homosexual movement is ‘to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity’.”
“A husband-and-wife bakery shop team in Oregon were forced to close their shop doors and move to cheaper digs — their home — after gay-rights activists hounded them and drove away contract business because they refused for Christian reasons to bake for a same-sex wedding. Aaron and Melissa Klein own and operate Sweet Cakes by Melissa. In the past few months, they’ve faced heated scrutiny — some in the form of physical threats — from those in the gay-rights crowd who decried their May refusal to bake for a lesbian couple who wanted to marry. The Kleins cited their Christian beliefs of traditional marriage when they turned down that business gig, The Blaze reported. But the lesbian couple filed a complaint with the state, accusing the shop owners of discrimination. Since, they’ve been hounded by vicious telephone calls and emails.”
“A restaurant owner in the Eastern Ontario town of Bancroft has been forced to remove a newspaper clipping that had been on a bulletin board for over ten years because of one complaint that resulted in a Facebook campaign to organize a protest at the privately owned business. The old Toronto Star clipping featuring the words ‘God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve’ has been pinned to the bulletin board of the Eagle’s Nest Restaurant and Bakery for a decade, according to owners Sadie and Doug Creighton. The clipping stirred no controversy until a lesbian couple new to the community complained that they were offended by it.”
“Thou shalt not refer to homosexuality as ‘a choice’ – at least not if you ever want to work for Fox Sports. That’s the lesson announcer Craig James learned this week when he was fired from his job covering college football after just one appearance, because of remarks he made on the campaign trail during his unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate back in 2011.”
“An Air Force sergeant who filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. military claiming he was fired by his lesbian commander for refusing to make a statement of support for same-sex ‘marriage’ may now face prosecution for taking his accusations public. Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk was relieved of his duties as first sergeant at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio in August after two separate confrontations with an openly homosexual superior officer, Major Elisa Valenzeula.”
“The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission announced that a mediated settlement has been reached between the owner of a Saskatoon bridal shop and a man who presents himself as a woman. Rohit Singh, a student from India who came to Canada in 2010, filed a complaint against Jenny’s Bridal Boutique after the owner of the shop refused to allow him access to the women’s changing room. When Singh selected a dress and wanted to try it on, shop owner Jenny Correia refused him, saying “I don’t allow men to wear dresses in my store.’ Singh retorted, ‘I’m not a man, I’m a transgender and my sex-change procedure is going on,’ according to media reports of the incident that happened on April 21. The owner believed allowing a man to try on dresses would make female customers in the shop uncomfortable.”
“Days after the Italian lower house passed the country’s ‘anti-homophobia’ law, the country’s leading homosexualist lobby group, Arcigay, appears to be testing the legal waters. Together with The Omphalos Association and Arcilesbica Perugia, Arcigay has launched a complaint, called a ‘denunzia,’ of ‘homophobia’ that they allege was committed during a religious education class at the Liceo Classico Mariotti, a university preparatory high school, in the Umbrian town of Perugia.”
“A Washington state judge has been officially reprimanded by the Judicial Conduct Commission after refusing to officiate same-sex weddings for what he said were ‘philosophical and religious reasons.’ Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor first came under scrutiny by the Commission after Washington voters approved a measure late last year authorizing same-sex ‘marriage’ in the state. Immediately prior to the law’s taking effect, in a private meeting between judges and court personnel, Tabor had expressed discomfort with the idea of officiating gay nuptials. One of the attendees later leaked his comments to the press, which reported them widely.”
So, all these folks are getting into trouble for resisting the homosexual tsunami, especially the push for marriage and adoption rights. Yet as I said, most homosexuals don’t even want marriage. And every once in a while some rather honest homosexual will come out and say so. I quote many of these folks in my book, but here is another one.
This in part is how one report discusses this: “An openly homosexual columnist in Ireland has written a piece blasting his country for considering same-sex marriage, warning the state has no business reinventing the family and undermining children’s ‘right’ to a mother and father.
“Paddy Manning, writing in the Irish Daily Mirror, tells of being arrested for hitting on a male police officer, but warns the solution to persecution of homosexuals isn’t to have government carve up traditional marriage. ‘Same-sex marriage is not some warm, fluffy equality bunny; it’s a bare-faced state power grab,’ Manning writes. ‘The state gets to entirely remake marriage, not as the man/woman/child model we’ve inherited from 10,000 years of history and across all cultures, but as an anything-goes irrelevant partnership agreement between adults.’
“Manning explains same-sex unions will render marriage ‘irrelevant’ because ‘for the first time, children and parenthood [will have] no place in marriage.’ ‘Only a man and a woman have children, despite every fantasy the gender-busters want us to believe,’ Manning writes. ‘Every child has a right to that natural life. Same-sex marriage asks us to ignore reality and children’s rights to a mother and father’….
“‘People get married for their own reasons, but we have marriage because marriage has a meaning and does a vital job – not just for individuals, but for society,’ Manning writes. ‘Claiming that equality demands that men and women be as interchangeable as Lego blocks shows you don’t understand men and women, marriage or much else.’
“Manning insists marriage isn’t just about two people who ‘love’ each other, but about ‘a man and a woman committing to making and raising children.’ When the government steps in and changes that, he reasons, the children will suffer.’ ‘We can ignore reality all we want, but the outcomes for children are not the same across all family models,’ Manning insists. ‘Marriage of a man and a woman gives children the best chance. That doesn’t mean there are not great parents in other circumstances, just that the weight of evidence is stacked against them’….
“Dr John Murray of The Iona Institute added, ‘This debate is really about the value we attach to a child having a mother and a father as distinct from two fathers or two mothers. … If we redefine marriage, we will be saying as a society that these things don’t matter. We will also be saying that the sexual union of a man and a woman isn’t different in any socially significant way from that of two men or two women. Given that only the former can result in children, this is plainly untrue. Different things should be treated in different ways. This does not violate the principle of equality’.”
It sure is nice when the occasional homosexual activist comes along and spills the beans. And I am more than happy to share their words far and wide. As I say, most homosexuals do not want marriage, but many are happy to push it knowing that the heavy hand of the law can then be used against all naysayers.
A Review of 'The Diversity Illusion' by Ed West
A number of leftist liberals have recently won quite lot of credit by noticing that mass immigration into this country has not necessarily been a good thing for everyone, especially for the poor. I think particularly of David Goodhart. Well, all right, I’m inclined to be sarcastic about the praise they receive, but I suppose one must welcome any shift away from the ‘All critics of immigration are evil Nazis’ position. It makes it easier for us tolerant, civilised critics of immigration to distinguish ourselves from the genuine Nazi sympathisers and apologists who unscrupulously involve themselves in these matters, and who might have been created by establishment liberals to discredit a perfectly reasonable case.
And I think we’ll find, as the election approaches, that various Labour Party figures will also begin to suggest that they, too, have begun to wonder if they did the right thing about immigration in the Blair years. Maybe they have, maybe they just need the votes.
This has eclipsed what I regard as a valuable book by Ed West. Now, I must say here that Ed has been friendly to me, has publicly written obliging things about me and is the son of Mary Kenny, an old friend and ally of mine from many years back. No doubt I’m influenced by these things in what I’m about to say. But I do think that ‘The Diversity Illusion’ (Gibson Square £14-99 2013) is a much-neglected work, scarcely mentioned in the book review columns of Fleet Street.
My copy is scored with notes, and if I mentioned every passage in it that I thought striking or well-put,. I would end up reproducing much of the work. I would mention some quibbles, to underline the fact that I don’t endorse everything he says. He really should know that Sparkbrook is not called ‘Sparsbrook’. And I have certain disagreements with his position. For instance, I deeply disagree with one assertion, on page 60, that ‘racism, or what anti-racists understand as racism, is a universal part of human nature’.
I simply don’t accept this. I think racial harmony is completely attainable, through the unifying force of a shared culture. The utter predominance of culture over ‘race’ is interestingly illustrated in reverse by this episode in Japan, about which I wrote in June 2009:
‘Japan has unintentionally conducted an astonishing experiment that establishes once and for all that culture and upbringing, not blood and genes, determine where and how you fit in and who and what you are.
‘Back in 1990, Japan's rulers began to wonder how to cope with an ageing population and a falling birthrate, without destroying the country's unique culture. They needed workers to do the jobs known as the Three Ks - kitsui, kitanai, kiken, or hard, dirty and dangerous. The authorities decided to encourage immigration from Brazil, where many Japanese families had emigrated about a century before and where there are now more than a million ethnic Japanese. The idea was that, being basically Japanese, the Brazilians would fit in. IT WAS not to be. More than 300,000 came from Brazil and Peru. Many of them ended up in Hamamatsu, a neat if dreary industrial city, making TV sets and cars, two hours south of Tokyo by Shinkansen bullet train.
‘There, all too many of them did not, would not, or perhaps could not, fit in. Coming from a chaotic, loud land of carnivals and exuberance, they found it difficult to belong in a place where failing to sort your rubbish into burnable and non-burnable items is a major affront to public morals, and modesty is very highly valued. Having been raised in Brazil's outgoing sunshine culture, with perhaps a few words of old-fashioned Japanese learned from grandparents with vague memories of the homeland long ago, they swiftly encountered problems over their graffiti, loud music, unruly children and generally non- Japanese behaviour. Shops, claiming that the migrants stole from them, began to sprout signs saying 'No Brazilians', which were eventually taken down after protests. But the sentiment lingers on and the experiment is coming to a sad end.
‘To me, these rather tragic people look completely Japanese. But my Japanese guide could immediately tell they were different. Even the set of their faces, formed by speaking Portuguese rather than Japanese, marked them out. So did their very different diet. Even when they spoke good Japanese, their accents instantly gave them away. Now many are on the dole, which, in Japan, means relatively generous unemployment benefit for a few months, followed by severely means-tested and regulated minimal benefits reserved for those who really cannot work - in practice, for many, nothing at all. Late in the evening in a bare and harshly lit café, in the corner of a Brazilian supermarket selling specialities from Rio and Saõ Paolo, I met Shuichi Shimomoto, who has lost his job in a TV plant and hopes to find new work before his benefits run out.
‘But what if he doesn't get another job? He wants to stay, but knows it will be difficult. 'A lot of my friends have already gone back to Brazil,' he admits. The authorities are offering £2,300 to anyone who goes back to South America, provided they stay away for three years (to begin with, the money came on condition you never came back at all but the terms have now been softened). Like all the Brazilian-Japanese I meet, he is confused by the 'soccer test', and doesn't want to say if he supports Brazil or Japan. Many also have Portuguese names as well as their Japanese ones, and are delighted when I thank them by using the Portuguese 'obrigado' instead of the Japanese 'arigato'.
‘Early the following morning, I see an even starker illustration of Japan's unembarrassed belief that to be Japanese is to have won first prize in the lottery of life, while others just have to cope as best they can. The Hamamatsu labour exchange, like all such offices in Japan, bears the jaunty name of Hello Work. But it might equally well be called Goodbye Foreigners. It has two queues - one for Japanese citizens and one for the rest. Both are alarmingly long but the non-Japanese line looks somehow more dispirited. It contains a few Koreans (another awkward minority here) but is mostly made up of Brazilians, who say their circumstances are much worse than those of Japanese citizens. After a few minutes, an official emerges from Hello Work and instructs me to stop asking questions.
‘Even the children of the Brazilians, many of them raised and educated in Japan, will find it very hard to be naturalised. They gain no rights from having been born here. Koreans who have lived here for five generations were only recently spared from forcible fingerprinting. An earlier experiment in allowing mainland Chinese to work in Japan on 'apprentice visas' resulted in unpleasant friction, with Chinese workers complaining of being singled out by the police as crime suspects. Many of the leaders of a recent anti-Japanese campaign in China were former residents in Japan. With the Japanese birth rate well behind the death rate, and a recent TV projection suggesting that in a few hundred years there will be only two people left in the country, the pressure is on to go multicultural. Or it would be if the economy had not shrivelled. As it is, there are more Japanese than jobs, and it grows worse every day.’
However, a few pages before thus, Ed West says something absolutely correct, and provides an interesting quotation to back it up.
This occurs on page 58, where West says ‘The New Left movement that emerged in the 1960s shifted the aims of Marxism from the economic to the social sphere. While European socialists were traditionally concerned with the plight of the workers, following the increased prosperity of the 1960sthe emphasis moved towards the ‘New Social Movements’, feminism, gay rights, third-world liberation struggles and the light of minorities and immigrants in the West. The African-American Civil Rights movement caused a major shift in the left, with non-whites in and outside the West replacing the workers as the agents of social revolution’.
This is dead right, and I remember, as an Oxford Townie, witnessing the transition as the university revolutionary Left , while still seeking vainly to gain support among largely apolitical industrial workers, and even more vainly to galvanise contented, dope-addled and pampered undergraduates into revolt against their conditions, began to engage in what is now called political correctness. I remember especially how they trooped up the Cowley Road to picket a small hairdressing shop which had been accused of discriminating against black women, an event which escalated rapidly into a major event, nearly rivalling the Vietnam war as an issue.
West (who has read very widely for this book) then quotes Chris Dillow, author of ‘The End of Politics’:
‘Inspired in part by Hobsbawm’s essay ‘The Forward March of Labour Halted’ many on the Left gave up the idea of the working class as a revolutionary force, and looked instead to what they called “new social movements”, women ,blacks and gays. Allied to this was a growing lack of interest in economics, and a rise in interest in cultural theory’.
Cultural revolution, West writes, ‘was a far more attractive idea for the middle-class radicals who comprised the bulk of the New Left. Economic radicalism is not just evidently unsuccessful, but involves financial sacrifice, and shunning wealth is often necessary for personal credibility. Political radicalism costs nothing; the benefits are to middle-class cultural revolutionaries, while the risks and costs are usually borne by people far away’.
The ‘people far away’ could be Latin American guerrillas, or American black activists, or, in these modern times, the remnant of the British working class among whom the new migrants tend to settle. Leftist radicals experience the migrants as cheap nannies and cheap waiters, not as competitors for work, housing, transport, school places, and social services.
If you ever wonder why old-fashioned Labour radicals, such as Tony Benn, seem to have so much more integrity and appeal than their modern successors, this may provide a clue. Benn, though far from poor, really does live a rather austere and unluxurious life, content with his pipe and his teabags. The same was true of Jack Jones who to my personal knowledge lived in a glorified council flat, and took his holidays in a caravan in the West Country (this is why I’ve always scorned suggestions that he took Soviet money. What would he have spent it on? If Jack was an agent of Moscow, and I strongly suspect he was an agent of influence - his wife Evelyn was undoubtedly a Comintern courier in the Stalin years - he did it because he was a revolutionary, not for pay). Blair, by contrast, no doubt harbours every fashionable thought about every fashionable cause, but has no love for dogged old trade union leftism, and has become a very rich man indeed through his political engagement.
There’s also this very important point(p.158) ‘The universalist idea of the nation being a collection of people with ‘similar value’ or interests is itself less liberal than the traditional nation state . Clubs made up of people sharing similar interests are voluntary associations where membership depend on like-minded views.
‘But most people do not choose their nations, any more than they choose their families, and where they do, as in the United States, the society has to exert strong pressure to integrate. England’s self-image as a land of eccentrics may be rather exaggerated, but not entirely so; that being English meant not having to conform along political, cultural and religious lines was a strength derived from its traditional homogeneity. The bond of the nation, irrational though it was, was strong enough to make people submit to the will of the common good without the need for authoritarianism.
‘Vastly diverse countries, in contrast, must force that submission on the people, whether through legislation, illiberal policing or other areas of greater state intervention’.
And of course, who better-placed to construct a ‘benevolent’ new authoritarianism than the new Left, whose belief in their own goodness authorises them to do things which they would fight if others did them?
The connection between open borders and authoritarianism is a fascinating one, which I had until recently seen as a simple practical connection. West explains why it is so much more than that, and why an increasingly diverse society is likely also to be a narrower and more repressive one.
West has a good section on the Andrew Neather affair, often mentioned here (rubbing the Right’s nose in diversity’), the one occasion on which a New Labour insider has ever lifted a tiny corner of the curtain which hides the real, revolutionary nature of the New Labour project. He records MigrationWatch UK’s discovery of an unedited policy paper, in which it was clear that Blairite immigration policy had economic and social objectives, and that ministers knew of possible disadvantages that might arise out of immigration.
I’ll mention( leaving much undiscussed) two other small points worth considering .This first one confirmed by recent studies by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, which found as many as 40% of voters considering abstention at the next election:
‘As diversity increases, democracy weakens. Faith in democracy declines when people see they cannot make a difference., and mass immigration, a policy clearly and consistently opposed by most people and yet which no mainstream politician will speak against, has shaken the public’s trust in politics. Since politicians will not listen to people’s concerns, they come to the conclusion that politics is pointless’.
As someone with serious doubts about the virtues of democracy, I might be thought to be indifferent to this. But most people believe that democracy, rather than inheritance, tradition or religion, legitimates our state. If democracy becomes obsolete too, then there will be nothing left to legitimate our state, except force.
Then there’s this sad footnote, another episode in the slow, silent disappearance of Christian Britain. The Charities Act 2006, West writes, removed from various Christian institutions (mainly but not wholly the Church of England) the presumption that they were acting charitably, which had previously been assumed by a Christian government of a Christian country. As of that moment, 13,000 Parochial Church Councils, many of the 43 Anglican dioceses, and countless other Church-linked bodies now need to satisfy the Charity Commissioners that they are of public benefit. The purpose of this change was of course to modify the law to suit a multi-faith nation.
The book is often mordant, (for instance , on p.149) ‘All the arguments for multiculturalism- that people feel safer, more comfortable among people of the same group, and that they need their own cultural identity – are arguments against immigration, since English people must also feel the same. If people categorised as “White Britons” are not afforded that indulgence because they are a majority, do they attain it when they become a minority?’.
It is unusual in understanding the nature of the modern left, as so very few conservatives even begin to do. Because it is written by a child of the modern anti-racist age who has no colonial guilt, and was rightly brought up to believe that racial prejudice was a grave wickedness, is far less coy about the subject that the various liberal epiphanies on the same topic.
Please read it. It will, at the very least, help you to think about this important subject.
Australian Federal Government has welfare abuses in sights as eligibility tightened
HANDOUTS will be slashed and eligibility tightened as the Abbott Government eyes off welfare wastelands draining the budget of billions of dollars.
Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has given his strongest indication that a crackdown on welfare is coming - and in his crosshairs are the 822,000 Australians receiving the disability support pension.
Mr Andrews has begun a review of the system with government agencies and the not-for-profit sector in a bid to curb a welfare blowout. The review will help guide the extensive reforms, which could be rolled out as a matter of urgency.
Those on a disability pension - now one in 20 working-aged Australians - face being booted off the entitlement and moved on to Newstart, which is less money and requires people to more actively look for employment.
Some doctors could also be stripped of their ability to assess patients as concerns grow about some overworked or lazy medicos not properly scrutinising claims.
It comes as the Government and the Human Services Department have been tipped off about people claiming the disability pension while being involved in physical criminal activity.
Key details of the Government's 2013 disability support pension report, exclusively obtained by The Sunday Mail, shows that just in the past financial year alone, $15 billion was paid out to almost 821,738 recipients - a 22 per cent increase in 10 years (673,334).
One-third of the disability pensioners claim they cannot work full time because they severely depressed, anxious or a debilitating mental illness. While having a "bad back" was often cited as the reason for not being able to work, the greatest category of people now claim to have a psychological illness.
Fears are growing that too many recipients are getting too much money because they are on the wrong type welfare benefit because they have been able to game the system. A single disability pensioner gets a maximum of $751 plus a $61 supplement a fortnight. A single person on Newstart gets $500.
Mr Andrews told The Sunday Mail the safety net would be there for people who had a genuine a disability.
"The Coalition Government is committed to improving opportunities for Australians with a disability participate in work," Mr Andrews said.
"We are consulting with stakeholders including employers to seek their ideas on ways to improve opportunities for Australians with a disability to participate in work. "
It is likely reforms will go beyond disability payments and include a broadening of quarantined payments for areas outside indigenous Australia.
Australian Medical Association president Steve Hambleton said doctors knew their patients well. "Doctors have got no reason to second guess their patients," Dr Hambleton said. "Doctors aren't the policeman of the department; they are the advocate of the patient. "GPs don't have private investigators ."
About 270,000 people are on disability pension in NSW, 200,000 in Victoria, 163,000 in Queensland, 76,000 in South Australia and 64,000 in Western Australia.
Human Services Minister Marise Payne said the Coalition is serious about tackling welfare fraud, including people wrongly claiming the Disability Support Pension (DSP) or any other payment.
"My department has sophisticated data-matching and fraud-detection systems, so if you cheat the system, chances are we will catch you," Senator Payne said.
"The DSP is only available for people with a permanent, fully diagnosed medical condition likely to last more than two years."
The former Gillard government introduced policies to get more people on the disability pension to work more hours.
The Department of Human Services received more than 55,000 tip-offs through the Australian Government Services Fraud Tip-off Line in 2012-13.
Ms Payne urged anyone who was aware of others cheating the system to call the anonymous Australian Government Services Fraud Tip-off Line on 131 524. "This information helps to make the system fairer for everyone," she said.
Fast facts about DSP
* To be eligible for a DSP you must have a permanent, fully diagnosed, treated and stabilised medical condition likely to last more than two years without any significant improvement.
* You also must have participated in a Program of Support (unless exempt), where trained allied health professionals tailor a program to help you find and maintain work.
* Claimants must have a minimum score on the Impairment Tables. These tables are designed to assess impairment in relation to work. They consist of a set of tables that assign ratings in proportion to the severity or impact of the impairment on function as it relates to work performance.
Medical eligibility for DSP is assessed by experienced allied health professionals using clear guidelines to assess DSP claimants' work capacity.
* A doctor's certificate advising the medical condition of an applicant for Disability Support Pension is just one piece of evidence that is assessed by the Department of Human Services in regards to a person's eligibility for DSP.
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.