Friday, April 14, 2017
Australia: Melbourne crime gang declared a 'non-entity' by Victoria Police
So all the people who reported being robbed and assaulted by Africans were colour-blind? Give us a break! Victoria police are notorious for cover-ups so the report below should be taken with a shaker full of salt. But you can to some extent read between the lines. Take this neat little utterance:
"Predominantly, a large cohort of that gang was in fact Australian-born offenders," Deputy Commissioner Patton said
Maybe they were. But who were their parents? Africans?
In any case, the problem is African crime, not one particular gang. And African crime is huge in Melbourne, as it is wherever there are Africans
Victoria Police have declared the Apex crime gang a "non-entity" saying it is no longer and never was predominantly African.
Giving evidence to a Parliamentary Inquiry into Migrant Settlement Outcomes, Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said at its peak the gang consisted of about 130 people who loosely claimed to be members.
He said it was now in recession and was not made up of one or two ethnicities, but from people from a range of backgrounds. "Predominantly, a large cohort of that gang was in fact Australian-born offenders," Deputy Commissioner Patton said
Police said they now believed they had "broken the back" of the gang. "We have charged the leaders of that gang and imprisoned them," he said. "We would call them a non-entity in terms of a gang."
The spectre of Apex came to prominence at the Moomba riots in 2016, when youths ran amok in the CBD and thrust the idea of migrant crime to the forefront.
In its first incarnation, the gang was named after a Dandenong Street and was made up of South Sudanese and Pacific Islanders.
The inquiry is being chaired by Liberal MP, and former police officer, Jason Wood who has been outspoken about the so-called threat of Apex and migrant crime gangs in Melbourne and called for the Federal Government to crack down.
However, the inquiry heard after the Moomba riots it morphed into an all encompassing group loosely linked through social media.
Deputy Commissioner Patton said the carjackings, home invasions and jewellery store robberies that have plagued Melbourne are being carried out by criminals from all backgrounds. "Over 50 per cent of them are Australians," he repeated when questioned by Mr Wood.
Commander of Victoria Police's anti-gangs division, Peter De Santo, said there may be "some remnants" of the Apex gang but they have morphed into "networked offending" linked by social media.
He added that Middle Eastern crime gangs had recruited some "disadvantaged youth" but it was the exception to the rule.
Extermination of Christians in Egypt Not Getting Enough Attention: Piers Morgan Asks, ‘Why?’
A three-month nationwide state of emergency took effect in Egypt on Monday, following the terror attacks on two Christian churches that killed at least 44 people on Palm Sunday.
ISIS said it sent suicide bombers to the two churches, one in Alexandria and one in Tanta. The head of the Coptic Christian church, Pope Tawadros II, was inside the cathedral in Alexandria when the bomb exploded, but he was not hurt.
ISIS also bombed a Cairo church in December, killing 30 people there, and it has threatened more violence directed at Christians, saying their blood will flow “like rivers,” the Associated Press reported.
While terror attacks in Paris, Nice, London and Sweden all got “huge attention,” the ones in Egypt did not, and that’s a problem, Piers Morgan, the editor-at-large at Daily Mail.com, told Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Monday night.
“And yet, what happened in Egypt was unbelievably significant,” Morgan said. “If you look at what ISIS really stands for, what they are carrying out now in the Middle East and in Egypt in particular, is a kind of genocidal attack on Christians and Christianity.
“They want Christianity eradicated, and they want to convert all Muslims to their crusade. They want it to be a holy war. And they want Christians gone. And I don't think that narrative is getting the attention it should get in the American media and, I have to say, in other media as well around the world.”
Morgan pointed to last week’s suicide bombing of a subway in St. Petersburg, Russia, that killed 13 people. Press reports on Monday said eight members of “extremist cells” have been arrested in connection with that attack.
Piers Morgan said ISIS was very blunt about the St. Petersburg attack: “They made it absolutely clear, this is a war against the cross. They said that. That is what the statement said.
“They are at war in their heads with Christianity. Not just with Christianity, they are at war with all other religions as well. But they have been signaling out in increasingly virulent terms that their real war now is against Christians and the cross.”
Morgan, a Catholic, said he’s concerned about the pope, who is due to visit Egypt on April 28 and 29. “He would be a massive target, a massive prize for these Islamist terrorists,” Morgan said.
“They have made it very clear that he is the number one target for them in that battle against Christians. They attacked the church where the Coptic pope was actually officiating. So they have made their intentions clear.
“Now, I think this is a huge story. This is the kind of story that ought to be dominating cable news in America. It should be dominating headlines around the world. The press in America should be full of headlines about this. This narrative, to me, is very straightforward. ISIS have declared war on Christianity. I'm not seeing that being covered enough.”
Morgan told Carlson he works “literally 500 yards from Westminster Bridge,” where a man named Khalid Masood rammed a rented SUV into pedestrians on March 22, killing four of them, then stabbing a security guard at the gates of the British Parliament.
While people like Masood are “dangerous,” what happened in Egypt “was hugely more significant in the overall war,” Morgan said. The attack on the Egyptian churches “looks very tactical by ISIS. It looked like they sent in highly trained people to do this.
“And it looked (like) a far more coordinated part of a much bigger plot by them to take on Christianity…But again, the coverage of St. Petersburg, the coverage of Egypt, not as high as the coverage of a handful of people being killed in Sweden and London. And I ask, simply, why?”
The multiple implications of Australia's high rate of immigration
With less than a month until the federal budget, a host of issues loom large on the Australian political landscape. Housing affordability, economic growth, the return of right-wing populism, groaning infrastructure, environmental stresses and the pressures of an ageing society.
They make headlines, divide communities and define elections. And they are all connected. The thread that links them is arguably the most important, and most sensitive, factor in Australian politics: immigration.
Migration to Australia currently sits at double the long-term average, down from triple during the last years of the mining boom. The bulk of this influx comes from the government's permanent migration program, currently pegged at 190,000 people a year and mostly comprising skilled migrants.
As the natural growth rate from births is low, it's immigration that takes Australia's population growth to 1.5 per cent, higher than the global average. Last year, the natural increase was 155,500 and migration amounted to 193,200.
The advantages, disadvantages and question of whether the intake should be reduced are deeply complex, and they are being discussed publicly and privately ahead of the budget. This is in part thanks to former prime minister Tony Abbott, who said the government should promise to "cut immigration to make housing more affordable".
The debate over the explosive growth of house prices in urban areas, especially Sydney and Melbourne, rages on. Various federal and state government measures - like changes to stamp duty, raiding super and caps on capital gains tax - are routinely tossed around and sometimes tossed out. But there's always the elephant in the overly-priced room.
"High rates of immigration put upward pressure on land and housing prices in Australia's largest cities," a 2016 Productivity Commission report into the migration intake said, noting that poor urban planning and zoning laws compound this.
"While this is beneficial to property owners," the report said of the demand introduced by migration, "it increases costs and thereby reduces the living standards for those entering the property market."
But even if reducing the migrant would reduce demand for housing, Reserve Bank chief Philip Lowe has called immigration a source of national strength.
"To give that advantage up just so that we can take some pressure off housing prices, I find kind of problematic," he said last year.
However, the pressure does remain and a recent NSW government forecast found Sydney will require 726,000 new dwellings by 2036 to keep up with growth.
Boosting the economy
The Productivity Commission found new migrants boost economic growth through consumption and the supply of labor, particularly jobs that struggle to get filled otherwise.
The valuable increase to gross domestic product has been a crucial ingredient in Australia's 25 years of unbroken economic growth and continues to mask other vulnerabilities in the economy.
At an aggregate level, recent immigrants had a negligible impact on wages, employment and participation of the existing labour force.
"We do not have the infrastructure capacity to support today's population, far less the population of the future."
That is what the former secretary of the Treasury Ken Henry told the Committee for Economic Development of Australia in February amid ongoing frustration about Australian roads and public transport.
"On the basis of official projections of Australia's population growth, our governments could be calling tenders for the design of a brand new city for two million people every five years" he said.
Both Mr Henry and the Governor of the Reserve Bank Philip Lowe agree: these are growing pains that we are not prepared for.
"This imbalance is compounded by insufficient investment in the transport infrastructure needed to support our growing population," Dr Lowe told a meeting of the Reserve Bank governors this week.
The Committee for Economic Development of Australia has questioned "whether the current settlement patterns of migrants, predominantly into Sydney and Melbourne, can continue indefinitely with these figures."
The more people you have, the more pressure is placed on the natural environment. This means that more work is required to protect it, particularly in urban areas.
In Sydney, more than 70 green spaces - the "green grid" considered a crucial part of a liveable city - have been identified as under threat from the booming population. Australia's largest city will pack in another 2.1 million people over the next two decades.
The gravitation of of migrants to urban areas, alongside the natural population growth in these areas, means that effective urban planning and environmental regulations are required to preserve local ecosystems, open spaces, clean air and clean water and minimise the impacts of waste and garbage.
An ageing society
It is one way to sell a migration boom, who is going to pay the taxes to look after an ageing population?
On this the Productivity Commission is clear: "By increasing the proportion of people in the workforce, immigration can reduce the impacts of population ageing," it found.
Accordingly, the government places an emphasis on skilled migrants with an age limit of 50. Last year, these migrants accounted for 128,550 of the 190,000-strong migration program while 57,000 came to join family.
But this "demographic dividend" does not offer a panacea, it delays rather than eliminates population ageing.
Based on the current rate of migration, Australia will still have 25 per cent of the population aged over 65 by 2060 when the population hits 42 million.
The figure is set to become far worse if the the intake is cut, as has been speculated, putting generations at risk of billions of dollars in higher health care costs and the burden of the aged pension.
There has always been a segment of Australian society opposed to immigration and hostile towards people seen as different.
According to the Scanlon Foundation's Mapping Social Cohesion survey, at least 30 per cent of people consistently feel immigration is too high, including a core that are staunchly opposed to immigrants on ethnic and cultural grounds. Built on top of this is sentiment driven by economic uncertainty and concern about the infrastructure and environmental impacts.
Professor Andrew Markus, author of the Scanlon report, says there has been no demonstrable boost to anti-migration sentiment in recent years. He argues those voices are now just louder and better represented in political discourse.
"If there are problems that are of concern to people that flow from population growth, such as infrastructure or housing, then governments need to deal with that. It's primarily a function of growth, not primarily immigration," Professor Markus says, asserting that government policy needs to keep up
Australia: Justice targets won’t help Aboriginal incarceration rates
Pressure is mounting for the Prime Minister to introduce Indigenous justice targets. But having targets for other social indicators hasn’t helped improve them. Ten years have passed since the Closing the Gap campaign was launched and only one of the seven targets is on track to be met — Year 12 attainment.
There is no doubt Indigenous incarceration rates are unacceptably high. Indigenous people account for a quarter of the prison population in Australia and the situation is even worse for Indigenous youth. According to the latest AIHW report, 59% of juveniles in detention are Indigenous, despite Indigenous young people only making up 6% of the population aged 10-17.
Having a target to aim for may make people feel they are doing something to address these appalling statistics, but there is little evidence to suggest it will help reduce the number of Indigenous people going to jail. If the government is serious about lowering the Indigenous incarceration rate, it needs to focus on strategies that will actually help reduce offending and reoffending.
The rise in Indigenous incarceration rates is often attributed to institutional racism, with the popular narrative being police unfairly target Indigenous people, particularly youth. But while this may sometimes be the case, it is not the underlying reason behind the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in jail.
The only way to reduce the incarceration rate is to reduce the number of Indigenous people committing crimes. The best way to do that is by improving Indigenous education and employment outcomes. Unemployment is a greater risk factor for offending than being Indigenous — with unemployed Indigenous people 20 times more likely to go to jail than Indigenous people who are employed. Latest statistics also indicate that there is no employment gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians with a University degree.
If the government was actually making headway on its Closing the Gap targets, the Indigenous incarceration rate would be going down. Rather than introducing yet another target, the government should try to achieve its existing ones.
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.