Friday, September 30, 2022

Why I voted for Giorgia Meloni

Rocco Loiacono

As an Italian citizen resident abroad, I have the right to vote in Italian elections and referenda. While in past elections the options available may not have filled me with great enthusiasm, this time I was eager to put my cross over the centre-right coalition headed by Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) and its leader, Giorgia Meloni.

Over the last thirty years, Italy has been in decline. In 1992 and 1993, the tangentopoli (bribe city) scandal rocked Italy’s political system to the core. It all started when a Socialist Party (PSI) member of the Italian Parliament, Mario Chiesa, was arrested after taking a bribe from a cleaning service company. At the time, the Socialist Party was the second largest party in Italy’s governing coalition, after the Christian Democrats.

Within a couple of months, the Milan branch of the party was under investigation (which was called mani pulite – clean hands) and the net was closing in on its leader, Bettino Craxi, himself a former Prime Minister.

The scandal then proceeded to engulf the Christian Democrats, in particular leading figures such as Giulio Andreotti and Arnaldo Forlani, themselves having held the office of Prime Minister several times.

The political class of the time, which had governed Italy since 1948, was decimated.

Unfortunately, the tangentopoli scandal, while sweeping way the old political class, didn’t lead to any real improvement in Italy’s governance. The country has essentially been stagnant ever since, and the politicians that took over, as it were, have proven themselves (with a couple of notable exceptions) to be completely inept and probably more corrupt. In Italian we call them iene (hyenas) and sciacalli (jackals). Many of them are former members of the old Italian Communist Party (PCI), which for years had a stench of illegal funding from the Soviet Union surrounding it. But of course, none of that was investigated as part of tangentopoli and mani pulite, but that is another story!

These iene were able to expertly adopt, as I have alluded to before in these pages, the mentality of the Gattopardo (the Leopard), that is to ensure that any change is paradoxically implemented so as to preserve their power and privilege. Despite the obvious need for serious economic and structural reforms, the country is prevented from enacting them, principally as a result of this mentality.

One of these leopards is outgoing Prime Minister Mario Draghi. He was appointed prime minister by President Sergio Mattarella in February 2021 to head an ‘emergency government of national unity’ after Parliament had failed, as often happens, to find a prime minister from among its ranks. Draghi is a former President of the European Central Bank, ex-managing director of Goldman Sachs, and chief inventor of ‘quantitative easing’ or Magic Money Theory. He is, therefore, the ultimate ‘Leopard’, which explains why his government imposed the most brutal vaccine passport regimes in the world.

Draghi, in fact, was President of the ECB in 2011 when a sovereign debt crisis was engineered to justify removing the last democratically elected prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, and install a bunch of euro-friendly technocrats to ‘save the single currency’.

Draghi was feted as ‘Super Mario’, the ‘great reformer’ who would relaunch Italy’s stagnant economy. However, his legacy is that he increased national debt by €30 billion and Italy will experience the slowest economic growth in the EU bloc next year, at just 0.9 per cent, owing to a decline in consumer spending due to rising prices and lower business investment – a result of rising borrowing and energy costs, as well as disruptions in the supply of Russian gas.

Italy’s anaemic economy has led to, among other things, a generation of brain drain – a new wave of young, mainly professional, Italians leaving the country, looking for a better future elsewhere. Governments to address this have encouraged immigration, but Italy is on the front line of a wave of illegal migration that started in 2015 and never fully stopped. Of course, the EU has not lifted a finger to help, and neither have its member states. I have cousins that live in the town of Ventimiglia, near the French border on the Riviera. They tell me that any illegal migrants that manage to cross the border simply get taken back to Ventimiglia by the French police, leaving Italy to deal with them.

Fratelli d’Italia was the only major party that refused to join the Draghi government on the not unreasonable grounds that it is illegitimate given his unelected status.

What is more, Fratelli d’Italia was the only party that opposed not only Draghi’s brutal vaccine passport regime, but the draconian lockdowns as well.

Yes, the political elites, the iene, and sciacalli, are the ones who fear Meloni the most, and they will do whatever they can to bring her down. EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said, as Italians went to the polls, that Brussels would ‘punish an Italian government that violates the EU’s social policy consensus’. There is an Italian expletive which readily comes to mind in response to such insolent arrogance.

Day after day Meloni has been called a fascista, and the legacy media is writing the most disgraceful garbage, accusing her, believe it or not, of engaging in identity politics! Probably because in a famous 2019 speech, she declared:

‘Please answer me these questions … why is the family an enemy? Why is the family so frightening?

‘Everything that defines us is now an enemy for those who would like us to no longer have an identity and to simply be perfect consumer slaves.

‘And so they attack national identity, they attack religious identity, they attack gender identity, they attack family identity.

‘I must be citizen x, gender x, parent one, parent two … I must be a number.

‘We do not want to be numbers … we will defend the value of the human being.

‘I’m Giorgia, I’m a woman, I’m Christian, I’m a mother, I’m Italian, they won’t take that away from me.’

As Greg Sheridan wrote in The Australian, if we’re going to be forced to endure identity politics then there is nothing wrong with Meloni declaring proudly that she is a woman, a mother, a Christian, and an Italian. As she declared: Difenderemo Dio, patria e la famiglia che fanno tanto schifo a qualcuno! (We will defend God, country, and family. These things that disgust people so much!).

Moreover, as Sheridan, among others, also notes, Meloni’s program is a perfectly legitimate centre-right amalgam. She wants more police, less crime, cost-of-living relief, control over illegal immigration, lower taxes, reassertion of traditional Italian identity, support for moderate conservative social values and more independence from the dictates of the EU. She wants to address the energy crisis in part by increasing the supply of fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

That is why I voted for Giorgia Meloni. Viva l’Italia!


Biology will defeat feminism

Unhappy, screechy, metal-laden, neon-coloured, masculine, overweight women are leading the ‘feminist’ charge.

At least, they think they are.

But is their brand of ‘empowerment’ actually feminism, or are they eroding the unique power that women wield in the world by prioritising victimhood as a virtue and vulgarity as desirable?

The answer may lie in the success of their adversaries who are young, attractive, conservative, well-spoken, good-mannered, accomplished, highly-educated, working women who manage to assume positions of power while keeping their high heels and short skirts. American politics, in particular, has seen many examples grace our screens.

They are a generation of women who don’t fear walking past a magnet and might even give a cheeky wink and flick of the hair if a tradie manages a wolf-whistle from their ute at 6am. (Tell me again when verbal affirmation of attractiveness became offensive?)

These women know that embracing femininity does not mean abandoning power.

This is disastrous news to those women who were fooled by social media and university ‘action’ groups into ruining their looks as a means of rebellion against the patriarchy.

What started as a few boxy-shouldered suits in the 90s became a trend where women donned masculine attire in an attempt to mimic men. Boyish haircuts, deliberately ugly makeup, and androgynous fashion were all symptoms of a gender finding its feet in a land of corporate equality. Most women settled back into the new world without the safety blanket of faux masculinity, but the weaker fringes latched onto their ‘identity’ as a substitute for merit.

It’s sad, really, to watch a generation of thirty-something activists age poorly. What looked ‘edgy’ when they were teenagers is terribly cringe in 2022. Their youthful anger is stretching thin in an unflattering way – like a tattoo slowly deforming as the wearer lets themselves go – leading to bizarre social media rants.

Although it must be pointed out that at least the physical damage these women have done to themselves can be reversed with a few weekend spa retreats (mostly). The same cannot be said of those who subscribed to the surgical fad of they/them. There will be no going back for the youngest converts of Woke.

Biology has a funny way of correcting social politics. To that end, what we are seeing emerge, slowly but inevitably in the West, is a resurgence of conservative values.

No matter how much propaganda is put out there, men are more likely to be swayed into marriage by a traditionally beautiful, competent, and mentally stable woman. As Richard Dawkins likes to say, our genes are selfish. Men’s genes are telling them that well-presented women are a better option for raising children than someone who doesn’t know who they are and spends the weekends shouting about a non-existent apocalypse.

Deep down, the Woke know that desirable women have been a constant throughout history – a tried, tested, and successful template for a flourishing civilisation. Beauty and danger are two prizes that nature routinely rewards. The problem is, competing takes self-control. Instead of expending the effort, some women have fashioned a lazy rebellion against attractiveness. These revolutionary sisters look a bit like the back streets during the fall of Rome as they partake in an ideological arms race to see if there is a limit to human depravity.

Five minutes on a social media platform such as TikTok will disabuse you of the notion that this type of progressive ‘feminism’ offers any benefit to humanity. It is little more than a narcissistic binge that serves no one except perhaps the psychiatry industry who must be rubbing their hands together at the growing pool of lifetime clients. This is not a comment intended to be cruel, but a genuine observation that extreme activist ideologies appear to be manufacturing a mental health crisis – and they’re busy dragging children into it.

True equality (and true feminism) will be measured by what the next generation of women create. Are they destined to add value to the fields of science, literature, art, politics, mathematics, and music? Do they have the same ruthlessness as their male counterparts? Absolutely… But it is unlikely any of these fields will be enriched by the activist class.

Watching the swift decay of society, even if only through the female lens, is fascinating.

However depraved, lost, and woeful the narrative of ‘feminism’ becomes, we must always remember that ‘life finds a way’. Women are among the most competitive creatures on Earth and some have seen a niche – a crack, shall we say – in the chaos of Woke.

Now it’s up to men to decide which side of this feminist war they want to see win. ?


The fake food craze

A sign of the times emerged from a most unexpected place recently – my local butcher. The oxtail I was after had disappeared, replaced by a new range of ‘Paleo’ sausages. A staffer helped me find the oxtail and explained that the new kinds of sausages contained liver, heart and other offal; they were provided for the mainly female vegetarians and vegans who had been diagnosed with nutritional deficiencies, but who found dealing with the actual organs just too yucky. So much for the so-called ‘healthy’ alternative of plant-based diets.

Liver is the ne plus ultra of superfoods, much richer in nutrients such as vitamins A, all B vitamins and iron than steak; lions usually ignore the muscle meat of their prey and go straight to the chest, to feast on the heart, liver, kidneys and other offal. Flesh meats simply don’t contain the range of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients found in organs, traditionally offered in Anglo cultures as crumbed brains, lamb’s fry, steak and kidney pie, tripe and others.

But organ meats have fallen off our menus of late, and most under-50s regard the idea with revulsion. Vegetarianism has won the trend wars, with red meats painted as cancer-inducing, eggs and other animal fats blamed for heart ailments, and plant-heavy diets framed as more sustainable for the planet and kinder to our animals.

But what passes for science in one era can be debunked in the next. An old friend who has been vegan for decades looks like a wraith; he survives on regular vitamin B12 injections. I have just watched my one-year-old granddaughter gobble down raw oysters and prawns. A relative and occasional vegetarian shared an oxtail dinner at my place recently, to surprising effect. After chewing on the collagen and fat-rich meat and gristle, she got a strange gleam in her eye and fell upon the pot with an almost clumsy haste, gobbling down her fill. That was a food deficiency visibly being met. I cannot claim any special cleverness here, but as a one-time vegan who developed a vitamin B12 deficiency I know something of which I speak. Any diet that fails to provide all of our required nutrients is defective.

Try telling that, however, to the growing numbers of Aussies who are abandoning meat altogether, never mind offal. Around 10 per cent of Australians are estimated to be vegetarians, and around half a million vegan, but both categories are rising, as the expanding tiers of plant-based foods in your supermarkets will tell you.

Political crusaders are entering the arena too. A German animal rights group has urged a sex ban on meat-eating men, as well as a 41 per cent meat tax, while UK anti-dairy activists recently blocked access to supermarket milk racks, and drilled truck tyres to disable milk deliveries (#plant-based future). The green controllers are forcing their emissions-curbing preferences on all of us, even as they sneak away for their Paleo sausages and B12 jabs.

The irony, of course, is that large-scale monocropping of grains and vegetables is notoriously toxic to natural ecosystems, dousing fields with chemical fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides, compacting soils with heavy machinery and leaving a lifeless wasteland behind. Grazing animals on pasture is positively Elysian by contrast.

And then there’s ‘ze bugs’. The 2013 post-apocalypse movie Snowpiercer had a horror reveal in which proles’ food was exposed as jellied black cockroaches, while the elites dined on luxury meats and greens. What was then a shock scene is now real life, with Silicon Valley ‘philanthropists’ shovelling money into the ‘cultivated meat’ industry and other lab-created and insect-derived foods, including, yes, a variety of cockroaches.

Cricket flour is becoming big as an additive, already being fed to Australian schoolchildren as chips. In July the World Economic Forum promoted ‘10 eco-friendly foods’, including Air Meat made from microbes, a fake avocado made from broad beans and oil, solein, a ‘protein-rich food made from electricity, air and water laced with bacteria’, fake eggs made from ‘pea protein, salt and algae-derived acids’, and lab-grown meats. A 3D-printed steak, looking like the real thing, recently trended on Twitter. Bloomberg predicted last year that the plant-based proteins market could hit $162 billion by 2030, up from $29 billion in 2020.The Washington-based global ‘alternative protein advocate’ the Good Food Institute reported rapid acceleration in 2021, with 107 new start-ups and an unprecedented jump in monies raised. The Aspire group says it’s building the world’s biggest cricket farm in Ontario, to produce 13 million kilograms of crickets annually for human and pet consumption.

Meanwhile existing food supplies are in jeopardy. We’ve seen the Dutch farm protests at savage, government-ordered livestock cuts, and the riot- and starvation-inducing Sri Lanka organic food mandates. Supply chain issues are looming. Some would add the string of mysterious fires destroying dozens of food plants across the US.

Should a food crisis manifest, globalists will use it to turbocharge their new era of Frankenstein foods. Cheap! Tasty (given the right chemicals)! Available! And above all, green, requiring less water, land and other inputs, and generating fewer emissions. These foods might look like steaks, wheat flour, eggs and avocados but what they will be made of and whether they will be good for you is anybody’s guess. Your health is not the priority here.

As the old saw goes, you are what you eat. Slapping ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ labels on industrial sludge won’t make it any healthier. The US pioneered denatured, factory foods, created for industry’s ease rather than consumer health. Alas, the US is now also a global leader in ill-health. The CDC says 6 out of 10 adults have a chronic disease, and 4 of 10 have multiple chronic diseases – the highest rates in the world, despite having the highest healthcare spend per capita. Their obesity is legendary. US life expectancy is now falling after peaking in 2015 and many nations now surpass it, including China. Correlation not causation, you say? Maybe. Whatever the US is doing, it ain’t working.

I’ll trust farmers and gardeners and unprocessed traditional foods over lab-coated technicians, zealous greenies, fake foods and industrialists every time.


Misleading uses of the word "democratic"

When it comes to political analysis, Shakespeare may not get the credit he deserves.

One of his most memorable lines was delivered by Queen Gertrude in Hamlet when, in response to the overacting of an actor in a play created by Hamlet, the Queen says, ‘The lady doth protest too much, methinks.’

When it comes to protesting too much, the left wing of politics are the standard bearers and do it better than anyone.

There are far too many individual examples to consider in a short essay like this, yet one stark instance is in the use of language which implies that representative principles are employed by leftist totalitarian regimes.

Countries that use the words ‘democratic’, ‘peoples’, or ‘republic’ are generally the least likely to be genuinely democratic, for the people, or actual republics.

Arguably the most famous example of such a generous use of these terms is East Germany, which existed from 1949-90 and was officially known as the German Democratic Republic (GDR).

The GDR was formed after the second world war by the Soviet Union, when communist leaders were installed to govern half of the German nation using a planned economy controlled by a totalitarian regime.

The Potsdam Agreement committed the Soviets to supporting democracy, however the Soviets’ understanding of democracy was limited to naming rights only as outside the use of the words ‘democratic’ and ‘republic’, the GDR showed few signs of any such traits.

Today we have the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, better known as North Korea, which ranks 167th of a possible 167 countries assessed by the Economist in its 2021 Democracy Index.

The DPRK is another totalitarian regime in which people are repressed in every aspect of their lives, including voting rights, freedom of speech, travel, employment, and religion. The Kim dynasty has ruled North Korea for three generations. There is nothing ‘democratic’ about the DPRK.

At rank 166 there is the Democratic Republic of Congo, followed by another ‘democratic heavyweight’ in the Central African Republic which comes in at number 165. Also, let’s not forget the People’s Republic of China qualifying at number 151.

It is as sad as it is ironic that ‘Democratic Republics’ have turned out to be among the most authoritarian and the least democratic of all countries.

The leaders of these ‘Democratic Republics’ certainly doth protest too much. The President of China Xi Jinping once said, ‘We must uphold the principle that all power of the country belongs to the people.’

This slippery use of language also extends to left-leaning political parties in the West such as the Democratic Party in the United States. Founded in 1848, the Democratic Party’s website states that, ‘As Democrats, we believe that every person in this nation should be treated with dignity and respect.’ Yet the Obama Administration reportedly planted spies inside the Trump campaign to drum up false accusations of President Trump illegally interfering with the 2016 election. Doesn’t sound very ‘democratic’ to me.

From the Russian collusion hoax and the impeachment scam to blocking and frustrating the Trump Administration in critical announcements and culminating with the Democrats’ appalling silence regarding the Antifa/BLM riots across the country, it’s hard to see how they treated the United States, or the office of the President, with anything vaguely resembling dignity or respect from 2016-20.

In addition, the Democrats have the gall to call for unity following Joe Biden taking the whip hand in the Presidential race. We all know that by unity they simply mean compliance with their agenda.

The so-called party of democracy has seen fit to be at the centre of most of the unedifying conduct during the previous Presidential term culminating in some very undemocratic conduct during the 2020 election.

The Democrats have mastered the art of accusing ‘…the other side of that which you are guilty’. In essence, a form of political gaslighting on a grand scale. This quote is attributed to Vladimir Lenin, Karl Marx, and sometimes even modern leftist icon Saul Alinsky and succinctly sums up how the Left operate.

They love to call Republicans racist for banning Critical Race Theory, yet prior to the 2020 election, Joe Biden said, ‘If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.’ Furthermore, Democrats incessantly claimed Russian interference in the 2016 election, but upon Biden’s victory in 2020 they suddenly insisted that elections were foolproof.

In Australia, we see the same trend emerging from the Left on a routine basis.

Left-wing media outlets are fond of describing themselves as ‘independent’, despite being deeply ideologically motivated by collectivist attitudes. Leftist publications often seem to view themselves as being the ‘alternative’ or the ‘resistance’ despite often toeing the same lines as massive woke corporations and Hollywood.

In relation to energy policy, we see Labor and the Australian Greens vigorously protesting for the need for carbon neutrality, yet when offered virtually emission free energy in the form of nuclear power, they throw up their arms. A clear example of how ‘progressive’ policies prove to be regressive.

For all the Left’s protests about emissions, their energy policies have nothing to do with emissions reduction and everything to do with ideological zealotry regarding renewables dependent on government subsidies.

Accusing the other side of that which they are guilty of and then protesting too much – hypocrisy and political gaslighting, it’s in the Left’s DNA.




Thursday, September 29, 2022

Price Controls Have Failed for 4,000 Years

In 1892 the French archaeologist Henri Pognon made a historic discovery a few dozen miles northeast of Baghdad: a massive tell that held the ruins of the ancient city-state Eshnunna.

Though it was not excavated until decades later by another archaeological team led by Dutch Egyptologist Henri Frankfort, the tell was one of the great finds of the century, revealing secrets of a Mesopotamian city that had been hidden for millennia.

Among the secrets discovered on cuneiform tablets was that Eshnunna used price controls, a discovery notable in that it appears to be the oldest historical record of humans fixing prices. (I’ve attempted to verify this fact with economic historians, and will let you know if I get a response.)

1 kor of barley [she’um] is (priced) at [ana] 1 shekel of silver;

3 qa of “best oil” are (priced) at 1 shekel of silver;

1 seah (and) 2 qa of sesame oil are (priced) at 1 shekel of silver. . . .

The hire for a wagon together with its oxen and its driveris 1 massiktum (and) 4 seah of barley. If it is (paid in) silver, the hire is one third of a shekel. He shall drive it the whole day.

Eshnunna’s price controls edge out by a couple centuries the Code of Hammurabi (1755–1750 BC), a more famous record from ancient Babylon that was a “maze of price control regulations,” as the historian Thomas DiLorenzo put it.

This might explain why the First Babylonian Empire fizzled nearly a thousand years before the Greek poet Homer told the story of the Trojan War. Price controls don’t work, and an abundance of history (as well as basic economics) proves it.

A Brief History of Price Controls

The Ancient Greeks may have given us Homer and his wonderful stories, but they suffered from the same economic ignorance as the rulers of Eshnunna when it came to price fixing.

In 388 B.C., grain prices in Athens were out of control—largely because Athenian rulers had an incredibly complex set of regulations on agriculture production and commerce, which included “an army of grain inspectors appointed for the purpose of setting the price of grain at a level the Athenian government thought to be just.”

The penalty for evading these price controls was death, and many grain traders soon found themselves on trial facing such a punishment when it was discovered they were “hoarding” grain during a (man-made) shortage.

The Athenian Empire was history by the time Rome attempted its own price control scheme seven hundred years later on a much larger scale. In 301 A.D. the Emperor Diocletian passed his Edict on Maximum Prices, which set a fixed rate on everything from eggs and grain to beef and clothing and beyond, as well as the wages of laborers who produced these items. The penalty for anyone caught violating these edicts was—you guessed it—death. Traders responded exactly as one would expect to these regulations.

“The people brought provisions no more to market, since they could not get a reasonable price for them,” one historian wrote. Not coincidentally, Rome’s empire soon went the same way as that of the Athenians (though the eastern half would survive another thousand years).

And then there’s the British colony of Bengal, located in northeast India. Few people today remember the Bengal Famine of 1770, which is astonishing considering an estimated 10 million people died, roughly a third of its population. What’s even more astonishing is how little attention the event attracted at the time, at least in the London press.

While many attributed the famine to the monsoons and drought that plagued the region in 1768 and 1769, Adam Smith, writing in The Wealth of Nations, correctly observed that it was the price controls that came afterwards that likely turned a scarcity of food into a full blown famine.

“The drought in Bengal, a few years ago, might probably have occasioned a very great dearth. Some improper regulations, some injudicious restraints, imposed by the servants of the East India Company upon the rice trade, contributed, perhaps, to turn that dearth into a famine.

When the government, in order to remedy the inconveniencies of a dearth, orders all the dealers to sell their corn at what it supposes a reasonable price, it either hinders them from bringing it to market, which may sometimes produce a famine even in the beginning of the season; or, if they bring it thither, it enables the people, and thereby encourages them to consume it so fast as must necessarily produce a famine before the end of the season.”

And let us not forget the French Revolution, where in 1793 leaders paused their head-lopping to pass the Law of the General Maximum, a set of price controls passed to limit “price gouging.” (Henry Hazlitt had it right when he called the law “a desperate attempt to offset the consequences of [the leaders’] own reckless overissue of paper money.”)

The American historian Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918), a cofounder of Cornell University, explained the consequences of the policy.

“The first result of the Maximum [price law] was that every means was taken to evade the fixed price imposed, and the farmers brought in as little produce as they possibly could,” White wrote. “This increased the scarcity, and the people of the large cities were put on an allowance.”

Important Market Signals

Fortunately, today we have the advantage of not just history but the science of economics to show us that price controls don’t work.

Basic economics teaches that prices are important market signals. High prices might be an aggravation for consumers, but they signal to producers the opportunity for profit, which leads to more production and investment. They also signal to consumers that the good is scarce, which encourages people to use less of it.

Take gasoline. When prices are $7.50 a gallon, people drive less than they would if the price were $1, $3, or $5 per gallon. Meanwhile, the high price also signals to producers an opportunity for profit, which encourages investment and production, which ultimately leads to lower gasoline prices. As economists will sometimes say, the solution to high prices is high prices.


'I've gone from children's author to truck driver - all because I stood up for JK Rowling'

Having manoeuvred her 32-tonne lorry into a lay-by and joined her fellow HGV drivers for a bacon roll in the nearby greasy spoon, Gillian Philip couldn't help smiling at the stark contrast with her previous career.

As a successful children's author, the last work lunch she had enjoyed had been in a swanky London restaurant. That was another life entirely — one in which Gillian wore stilettos rather than steel-capped boots. But, two years ago, she had been unceremoniously dumped by both her literary agent and the company that had commissioned her to write books for more than a decade.

Her crime? Certainly not lack of talent or diligence — her books sold well. Yet that counted for nothing when she fell foul of the Twitter mob for expressing support online for fellow author J. K. Rowling.

Gillian, 58, couldn't have foreseen that, within a month of publicly backing the Harry Potter writer's criticism of a proposed change in law — one which would allow transgender people to self-identify as male or female — her literary career would be over.

'I know it's a controversial subject that evokes a lot of strong emotion, but in my worst nightmares I couldn't have predicted the devastating fall-out from adding the hashtag #IStandWithJKRowling to my Twitter bio,' she tells me.

'It started with online messages threatening to kill and rape me, moved on to emails being sent to my publishers demanding my sacking and ended, a day later, with me losing my livelihood.

'It was such a scary time. I was worried about mine and my children's safety.'

Unsurprisingly, the story attracted much media interest. But what Gillian didn't reveal at the time was that this all happened just six weeks after her husband, Ian, died.

Bosses at the publishing firm were aware of her family's tragedy and the fact it had left her as sole supporter, both emotionally and financially, of her teenage twin son and daughter.

Opening up for the first time, Gillian says: 'I didn't feel strong enough to talk about my husband's death at the time — I'd have become very emotional — and also I didn't want people thinking I was playing the sympathy card because I'd been widowed.

'This was a bad thing to happen to me even if I hadn't just lost my husband. 'With the perspective of distance, however, I'm horrified that they could have dropped me at that point. At the time, I couldn't see things clearly.'

Gillian's comments come in a week when the publishing industry is embroiled in another clash over free speech. Writer Kate Clanchy, who was last year accused of racism in her award-winning memoir, has said she's become a scapegoat for the entire publishing industry. In a letter to members of the Society of Authors, Clanchy accused Chocolat author Joanne Harris, the society's chair, of calling her 'ignorant, cruel and patronising'. She has also hired private investigators to look into the social media activity of Harris and several others.

In a statement made to those in receipt of the letter, the Society said the document 'made serious allegations about the chair which should be fully investigated', adding: 'Joanne Harris strongly denies these allegations.'

Reflecting on this latest spat, Gillian says: 'When authors can't even rely on their own 'trade union' to defend them, it's no wonder free creative expression is in danger of becoming a historical relic — and in the industry that should champion it most.

'I'm sometimes asked if I miss publishing. I do miss writing, and meeting readers, and of course I miss my pay, but it's a relief to be outside the industry. From my new vantage point, it's even easier to recognise the genuinely nasty atmosphere that prevails — especially in children's publishing.

'Writers are cowed by the vindictive rhetoric of small but over-powerful cliques; few dare to speak their minds, and even fewer dare to write them.'

Gillian is a strong, resourceful woman, but in the days immediately after her own ordeal, she couldn't drag herself out of bed. During one low point, her teenage son had to hold her up when her legs gave way.

She had been employed by Working Partners as an author on a freelance basis for more than a decade. The company produces series of books for children and young adults — among them Beast Quest and Rainbow Magic — and the books Gillian wrote, under the collective pseudonym Erin Hunter, with her real name credited inside, were published by HarperCollins.

Not only did she pen seven books in the series Survivors, which is about dogs, and seven in the Bravelands series, about African wildlife, with a contract to write two more (now cancelled), she also regularly toured the U.S. and Europe, addressing audiences of young readers as the face of Erin Hunter.

So great was Gillian's loyalty to the company that even when her husband had a mini stroke in 2018, and her mother became very unwell with Alzheimer's in February 2020, she finished the U.S. tours — organising care for her loved ones — so as not to leave her employers, and young readers, in the lurch.

She had been married to Ian, who was 26 years her senior, for 30 years when he died in May 2020, after a series of mini strokes which led to vascular dementia.

Working Partners sent her a beautiful bouquet, with a message of condolence and a note telling her to take the time she needed to grieve.

This meant a lot. In the early months of the pandemic, it was difficult for family and friends to rally round, and Gillian and her twins, who were then aged 19 and home from university, were each other's only solace.

'Any compassion intended had clearly evaporated six weeks later when, on June 26, the firm took away my livelihood,' says Gillian. 'My agent broke the news that Working Partners had ended my contract, under instruction from HarperCollins.'

Few writers dare speak their minds

At the time, the publisher stated: 'HarperCollins UK does not have a contract with this author, we have no direct relationship with her and we have not sacked her.'

Meanwhile, Working Partners has said that the decision not to continue working with Gillian was 'not in direct response to the nature of [her] personally expressed views', but rather because she had 'associated the Erin Hunter pen-name with her personal views on Twitter'.

A couple of weeks after her contract was ended, Gillian was dropped by her literary agency and 'all mention of me removed from their website, effectively ending my writing career'.

'I felt betrayed. And even though I knew the people sending messages were trolls, having so much hatred and venom — and those awful threats — levelled at you takes a serious toll.


Liberal author says the family unit is 'a terrible way to satisfy... love & care,' calls to abolish it

Feminist theorist and author Sophie Lewis was the subject of an article on Friday in the UK’s The New Statesman website publication following her new book "Abolish the Family."

Historian Erin Magalaque discussed Lewis’ book which described the family unit as "a terrible way to satisfy all of our desires for love, care, nourishment" and was highly critical of suggestions otherwise.

"The family isn’t actually any good at creating intimacy, Lewis argues; the family creates, in fact, a dearth of care, with shreds and scraps of intimacy fought out between overworked parents and totally dependent kids, hidden behind the locked doors of private property," Magalaque wrote.

Magalaque complimented Lewis’ efforts to mock what she called "inevitable knee-jerk" reactions to calls to abolish the family unit.

Sophie Lewis referred to the family as the "narrowly bourgeois love of biological parenthood."
Sophie Lewis referred to the family as the "narrowly bourgeois love of biological parenthood." (iStock)

"Lewis is clear-eyed and witty about the inevitable knee-jerk reaction to calls for family abolition. (‘So! The left is trying to take grandma away, now, and confiscate the kids, and this is supposed to be progressive? What the f**k?’) And it’s true that family abolition, like other abolitionist movements, presents certain discomforts. Maybe you love your family! Or maybe you just like cooking in your own kitchen. Lewis acknowledges these discomforts, and asks us to imagine beyond them," Magalaque wrote.

Magalaque noted the feminists like Lewis also frame the family unit through a communistic lens, referring to families as the "narrowly bourgeois love of biological parenthood" and communal relationships as a red love, a social love.

"The family, Lewis and other abolitionists and feminists argue, privatises care. The legal and economic structure of the nuclear household warps love and intimacy into abuse, ownership, scarcity. Children are private property, legally owned and fully economically dependent on their parents. The hard work of care – looking after children, cooking and cleaning – is hidden away and devalued, performed for free by women or for scandalously low pay by domestic workers," she said.

Although the article had some criticisms against Lewis’ arguments, Magalaque suggested that the "revolutionary" ideas she posed could be necessary following the economic issues today.

"Burned out from pandemic parenting, facing immense childcare shortages and costs, women are leaving the workforce in record numbers, and in the U.S., forced birth and baby formula shortages are making crisis-parenting the rule, not the exception. The call for a revolutionary way of reconfiguring how we care for each other is more essential than ever, and Lewis’s manifesto is an irrepressible spark to our very tired imaginations," Magalaque described.

The New Statesman promoted this article on its Twitter account on Saturday, leading to backlash from social media users.

Conservative columnist Chad Felix Greene tweeted, "They tell you exactly what they believe."

"If only this sort of unsurpassable foolishness wasn't taken inexplicably seriously by such a significant number of people in a position to bother the rest of us with it," author Helen Joyce wrote.

"Almost by definition, you have to be extremely damaged and abnormal to write something like this. It's like arguing that people should murder their pets for fun or force their children to eat feces. It's just bizarre," Right Wing News Founder John Hawkins tweeted.

Club for Growth senior analyst Andrew Follett wrote, "Restart the ‘Lib Academic Demands Something Deranged Because They're Human Disasters’ clock!"

Lewis previously published an article on The Nation following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade that women should embrace the fact that abortion is the justified killing of an unborn life.


Peta Credlin says Australians are being treated as if 'we're all but racist' if they don't support the Aboriginal "Voice to parliament"

Australians are being 'morally shamed' into voting for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, a conservative columnist argues.

Peta Credlin, the former chief-of-staff for Liberal prime minster Tony Abbott, said the proposed Voice will be a race-based body that is more about 'power than recognition' but this is not how it is being sold.

'It will be pitched to voters in oversimplified terms: as being for or against Aboriginal people,' Ms Credlin wrote in The Australian.

The Voice is a proposed body of representatives from First Nations peoples across Australia that will advise federal parliament on matters concerning Indigenous people.

Its creation will require a change to the Australian Constitution that will have to be brought in by a successful referendum vote.

As an example of 'oversimplification' Ms Credlin pointed to the launch this week of what she called the 'big business' campaign for a 'yes' vote, which is backed by the Uluru Statement Group.

The ad features Indigenous playwright and actor Trevor Jamieson telling rapt children the hopeful story of how First People are allowed a 'say' in matters affecting them, which they haven't had.

'The "feel-good" yarning to children around a campfire, is a sign of things to come,' Ms Credlin wrote of the minute-long commercial, which will be mainly targeted at online audiences.

She noted that for previous referendums the federal government had funded campaigns both for a yes and no vote, but Ms Credlin doubted that would be done this time by the Albanese government.

'Labor will rely on big corporations to deluge us with the Yes message and hope, without the millions to match them, that no one picks up the arguments of the No side,' she said.

Ms Credlin accused those pushing for a Voice of being deliberately vague about what the body will do.

'The voice has to make a difference or what's the point of having it?' she wrote. 'Yet that difference can't be spelled out without almost certainly dooming it to defeat, hence the lack of detail.'

Ms Credlin believed Indigenous people already have a substantial say in the nation's affairs, pointing to the number of MPs who identify as Indigenous.

'Why establish a separate Indigenous voice to the parliament when it already includes 11 individual Indigenous voices that were elected in the usual way, without any affirmative action or race-based selection criteria?' she wrote.

'Why give one group of people, based on race, a special say over the actions of our parliament and our government that's denied to everyone else?'

She argued the Voice was really a grab for power. 'There's abundant reason to be cautious about entrenching in our Constitution a race-based body that even Malcolm Turnbull once described as a third chamber of the parliament,' she wrote. 'It’s easy to see where this could end up going – down the path of co-governance.'

Ms Credlin said the Voice had not really been 'thought through' and the danger is that Australians would be morally shamed into voting a 'race-based' Voice 'based on a vibe'.

'A couple of decades ago, we would have marched in the streets about a race-based body in our Constitution,' she wrote. 'Now we’re told we’re all but racist if we don’t support it.'

Will Australians vote for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament?
A poll by the Australia Institute in July found strong support for the Voice to be added to the Constitution.

The poll found 65 per cent would vote yes, up from 58 per cent when the same poll was run in June. Some 14 per cent said they would vote no, with the other 21 per cent undecided. Support was highest among Greens voters, but even 58 per cent of those Coalition aligned would vote yes.

For a referendum to succeed, a majority of the states must also vote yes, but the poll showed that was also easily covered.

All of the four biggest states had comfortable majorities with Victoria on 71 per cent, Queensland 66 per cent, WA 63 per cent and NSW 62 per cent.

Support was highest at 85 per cent for Australians aged 18-29 but those over 50 were still above 50 per cent yes.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has indicated the Voice referendum question is likely to be: 'Do you support an alteration to the Constitution that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice?'

Three lines would be added to the Constitution to create the advisory body; one stating it may 'make representations to parliament' on issues concerning Indigenous Australians; and that Parliament may legislate how it works.

To succeed a referendum must both get an overall majority of votes and a majority of voters in the majority of states.

Polls conducted in July indicated Australians strongly support the Voice to parliament with 65 per cent of respondents saying they would vote yes.




Wednesday, September 28, 2022

A new "Iron Lady" -- in Spain

image from

When Isabel Díaz Ayuso recently spoke out against high taxation, it came as no shock to those who have followed her for years. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the president of the Community of Madrid has championed liberty to empower her fellow Spaniards.

Back in 2020, the “Iron Lady of Madrid” refused to lock down her city and impose excessive COVID-19 mandates, stemming the tide of government overreach that had overtaken other European countries. At first, Díaz Ayuso took action against the coronavirus, closing shops and non-essential businesses to stop the spread of the first viral wave. But, as the second and third waves came, she resisted the urge to impose unnecessary stay-at-home orders.

By the end of 2020, Madrid was buzzing. Bars, cafes, and restaurants filled up, while offices and schools opened. The regional economy hummed, and it remains healthy today. In August 2022, the Community of Madrid reported a more than 25 percent decline in unemployment since 2021—the largest year-over-year drop in history. Over the last 12 months, joblessness has dropped across all age brackets and productive sectors.

And that’s not all. As of September 2022, the Community of Madrid has recovered nearly 99 percent of the economic output lost during the pandemic—well above the national average. Last year, Madrid’s gross domestic output rebounded by 6.5 percent, outperforming the 5.1 percent for Spain writ large. The recovery continues now, with annual economic growth still exceeding 5 percent heading into 2023.

In Madrid, entrepreneurship and private-sector innovation are alive. Businesses are opening and staying open, while consumers are contributing to the market economy. It’s a model not only for the rest of Spain, but also for cities around the world. Before enacting new taxes and regulations, policymakers in the likes of New York or San Francisco can learn a thing or two from the pro-market policies of Díaz Ayuso and Javier Fernández-Lasquetty, her Cabinet Minister of Finance and Civil Service. Despite pushback from Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s socialist government, Díaz Ayuso’s leadership has shown that freedom and liberty are the safest and surest bets for sustained economic prosperity.

So, when Díaz Ayuso speaks out against government mandates today, people need to listen. As she recently put it, “Madrid is recognition of a job well done and respect for work and encouragement. It is a matter of political will, respect for the efforts of the taxpayer and effective management of public resources. Collecting is not governing. To govern is to manage.”

That is the role of government—to oversee, not to exploit. The proper place for political leadership is in enabling the free market to work its wonders, fostering an environment where employers and employees can truly thrive. Political leaders should incentivize entrepreneurs to innovate, rather than erect barriers in their way via mandates.

One example is high taxation, which Díaz Ayuso has consistently rolled back since coming to power in 2019. Under her leadership, Madrid citizens have saved an average of nearly $6,500 in taxes per person. That money can now be spent, saved, or invested. Judging by Madrid’s growth rate, the money is already going to work and strengthening the private sector.

From lower taxes to other policies, Díaz Ayuso is leading by empowering her fellow citizens, trusting the people of Madrid to bounce back from COVID-19 and fuel an economic recovery that lasts long after the pandemic.

Looking across the pond, Americans can only hope that U.S. policymakers take a page or two from the Iron Lady’s playbook. The power of freedom and liberty is universal—from the Plaza Mayor to New York, San Francisco, and beyond.


The U.S. Is Running Short of Land for Housing

In the Sunbelt, the hottest commodity isn’t oil, copper or gold. It is land. And rancher Robert Thomas has plenty of it.

Mr. Thomas’s family owns about 11,000 acres of ranchland northeast of Tampa, Fla. His grandfather, who owned newspapers and ran a minerals-exploration business, bought much of it for 10 cents an acre in 1932. Since then, the population of the Tampa metropolitan area has exploded to more than 3 million. The Thomas family’s ranch is now surrounded by communities of single-family homes.

Home builders, hungry for land, have offered to buy Mr. Thomas’s land. The family sold part of its holdings last year to a developer for about $70 million, or about $20,000 per acre, according to property records. Developers are now offering more than twice as much for some of his remaining land, Mr. Thomas said.

Tampa-area land prices are “booming right now like nothing I’ve ever seen,” he said. “And I’ve been in charge here for 44 years.”

The United States, a country of wide open spaces, is short on land.

Or at least land where people can live. Land-use restrictions and a lack of public investment in roads, rail and other infrastructure have made it harder than ever for developers to find sites near big population centers to build homes. As people keep moving to cities such as Austin, Phoenix and Tampa, they are pushing up the price of dirt and making the housing shortages in these fast-growing areas even worse.

In the Sunbelt, the average price of vacant land per acre more than doubled in the past two years through the second quarter, according to, a land-listing website owned by real-estate firm CoStar Group.

The Federal Reserve’s efforts to fight inflation might bring prices down. Higher interest rates and construction costs are already weighing on the land market, brokers say, and other parts of the real-estate market are starting to slow. While land prices haven’t fallen, there are fewer bidders on deals. Some landowners worry about a downturn similar to the 2008 financial crisis, when home and land values plummeted after years of debt-fueled excess.

Still, the lack of supply and the strong demand mean land prices will likely continue to rise in the long term, economists and investors say.

Even in cities such as New York and San Francisco, where populations shrank during the pandemic, land is far more expensive today than it was decades ago. U.S. residential land alone is now estimated to be worth more than $20 trillion, according to Morris Davis, a professor of finance at Rutgers Business School who studies land values.

This historic land boom has provided a windfall for homeowners. Land now accounts for 47% of U.S. home values, estimates Mr. Davis. That is up from 38% in 2012 and less than 20% in the early 1960s. The rising value of land is responsible for almost all of the surge in home values in recent decades, he said.

Few places have seen land values rise more sharply than Tampa’s exurbs. When Mr. Thomas’s grandfather bought the family ranch during the Great Depression, he was the only bidder. “It didn’t have a tree big enough for a bird to build a nest in,” Mr. Thomas, 66, said. “It was just a chunk of sand in a godforsaken wilderness in Florida.”

According to family lore, the bank that oversaw the ranch on behalf of an estate was so desperate to get rid of it that a banker urged Mr. Thomas’s reluctant grandfather to make an offer. “He said 10 cents an acre, and the banker slammed his fist on his desk and said ‘sold! You could have had it for a nickel,’ ” Mr. Thomas said.

Even after factoring in another $5 an acre in back taxes owed on the land, it was still a bargain, Mr. Thomas said.

Over the years, the family bought additional land around the ranch. Today, much of the property is densely forested. Cows laze in the shade of moss-covered oak trees while white-tailed deer pass through the bushes.

Increasingly, it is a green oasis surrounded by construction sites. As Mr. Thomas drove down a road near his ranch in his pickup truck on a recent Thursday, he could see dozens of two-story homes rising in neat rows. “You can reach out your window and tap on your neighbor’s window,” he said.

Asking prices for homes in these new communities go as high as $900,000, in part because the land underneath is so valuable. That has a lot to do with land-use regulations.

Tampa’s zoning rules prevent developers from building anything larger than a single-family home in much of the city. When officials for Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa, adopted zoning regulations in 1950, they said the measures were necessary to prevent overcrowding and traffic jams and would preserve the neighborhood character, all “with a view to conserving the value of buildings,” according to the regulations.

Not only did these restrictions help maintain home values, they boosted the price of developable land. Because developers can’t stack homes on top of each other, they need more land for each housing unit. That is driving demand for land, pushing up prices.

It is also forcing builders to look for lots farther away from the city, where they run into new restrictions. Hillsborough County in late 2019 put a moratorium on the rezoning of land for housing in some areas in a bid to rein in new development. The move followed antidevelopment protests from residents who said local infrastructure couldn’t keep up with the region’s growth.

Pasco County, to the city’s north, in 2021 also put a moratorium on rezoning to multifamily use in some areas.

Between early 2021 and early 2022, home prices in the Tampa metropolitan area rose by 35%, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index, the fastest increase of any of the 20 metro areas tracked.

Because much of the Thomas land, which is only a half-hour drive from downtown Tampa, is already zoned for housing, it is in high demand. Builders are competing for a piece of it. “I get letters, I get emails, I get calls,” Mr. Thomas said. “Somehow people got my cellphone number.”

Since 1932, the value of the Thomas family’s land, adjusted for inflation, has increased almost 200-fold, based on the price of last year’s sale. That is about 10 times the inflation-adjusted growth of the S&P 500 stock market index, which increased about 20-fold during that period.

Inadequate infrastructure is also boosting land inflation. In Nashville, for example, commutes have been getting longer as the population grows and traffic jams worsen, U.S. census data shows. A lack of public transit means commuters often have little choice but to inch down clogged roads. In 2018, voters rejected a proposal to build a light-rail system and expand bus service. That is putting a premium on scarce land close to the city center.

Lisa Maki, a principal at commercial real-estate brokerage Avison Young in Nashville, said her team last year arranged the sale of two lots in the city’s booming Gulch neighborhood to a real-estate investment firm for $7.1 million. The seller, a family from California, had bought the properties for $1.1 million in 2011.

The number of vacant lots zoned for residential use in Nashville fell by 43.5% between 2016 and 2021, according to an analysis of public property records by real-estate data, technology and services firm Altus Group for The Wall Street Journal.

A shortage of development sites and surging land prices, plus high construction costs, mean developers haven’t been able to build enough housing to keep up with demand. Apartment asking rents in Nashville rose 31% in the year ending in June, according to real-estate brokerage Redfin. The same phenomenon is playing out across the Sunbelt.

Five years ago, building apartments in the hottest Sunbelt markets was pretty easy, said Ryan Williams, executive chairman of real-estate investment firm Cadre.

“Now, almost across the board, you’re fighting for land,” he said. Bidding wars for vacant sites in cities such as Atlanta and Austin are common. Cadre recently looked at a lot in Tampa but didn’t have time to get a bid in because another investor snapped it up without even visiting it, he said.

Increasingly, the company competes not just against other developers, but also against investors looking to buy lots and flip them for a profit or keep them unused, he said. “It’s a literal land grab,” Mr. Williams said.

Wealthy investors, including billionaire distiller Tito Beveridge and golfer Phil Mickelson, have started buying up land in the Sunbelt in recent years. Some investors keep land vacant for years, betting values will keep rising and taking advantage of favorable tax treatment for undeveloped land.

Land wasn’t always so expensive. Until the second half of the 20th century, America’s population was far more spread out, living where land was cheap. But as more people moved to a small number of cities with abundant office jobs, and municipalities passed stricter zoning codes that made it tougher to build housing, land prices and housing costs surged.

Land values in Manhattan barely increased between the 1880s and 1970s after adjusting for inflation, according to calculations by Jason Barr, an economist at Rutgers University-Newark. But between 1977 and 2019, they grew at an average annual rate of about 13%.

Most economists say municipalities need to relax zoning rules and other restrictions to bring down land inflation and build more housing. But these changes are often unpopular with homeowners, who benefit from rising land values and make up around 65% of U.S. households. Adding more housing also often requires costly investments in roads and other infrastructure.

People are still moving to Sunbelt cities, and zoning restrictions are unlikely to disappear soon. Remote work has given Americans more choice, but economists say most young professionals continue to flock to a small number of cities. Some think the Sunbelt could see the same kind of stubborn land inflation that has haunted New York and San Francisco for decades and made them among the country’s least-affordable cities.


Judge Orders Unvaccinated New York City Police Officers Reinstated

TrialSite News has been covering the mandates imposed on New York City’s municipal workers since former mayor Bill de Blasio first put the rules in place in November of 2021. The former mayor’s vaccination requirement for NYC workers was widely criticized by unions representing the municipal employees who run the city on a day-to-day basis. Lawsuits soon followed. Now one of those legal actions has had the effect the municipal workers were seeking.

Judge Orders Fired NY Cops Reinstated

In a late ruling this past Friday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lyle Frank ruled New York City’s vaccine mandate on the NY Patrolman’s Benevolent Association (PBA) was invalid “to the extent it has been used to impose a new condition of employment” on the union.” The judge ruled the police officers who were fired for not being vaccinated were to be reinstated. “The mandate was also invalid because it issued enforcement beyond ‘monetary sanctions’ prescribed in the law,” Frank wrote. The judge added, “To be unequivocally clear, this Court does not deny that at the time it was issued, the vaccine mandate was appropriate and lawful. But the city hadn’t “established a legal basis or lawful authority for the DOH (Department of Health) to exclude employees from the workplace and impose any other adverse employment action as an appropriate enforcement mechanism of the vaccine mandate.”

In a statement, the president of the PBA, Pat Lynch, said, “This decision confirms what we have said from the start: the vaccine mandate was an improper infringement on our members’ right to make personal medical decisions in consultation with their own health care professionals.” New York City’s law department immediately appealed the ruling, which will keep the mandate frozen in place during the appeal.

Fire Fighters Demand Reinstatement

“It was only a matter of time before a common sense Judge concluded that the Covid-19 vaccination mandate was never a condition of employment,” said FDNY (Fire Department of New York) Uniformed Firefighters Association President Andrew Ansbro and FDNY Uniformed Fire Officers Association President Lt. James McCarthy. In a statement, the two fire fighter’s unions said, “The Uniformed Firefighters Association and Uniformed Fire Officers Association will send a letter to the Fire Commissioner demanding the reinstatement and remuneration of all FDNY members terminated or placed on leave without pay due to the vaccine mandate.” As TrialSite has reported, the New York City mandates have been opposed by firefighters and municipal workers from the inception of the ruling. Since taking over from Bill de Blasio, Mayor Eric Adams has been inconsistent with the city’s mandate policy. Adams lifted mandates for professional athletes and performers and then rolled back the vaccine mandate for private sector workers and student-athletes. But Adams never lifted the mandate for NYC’s employees. Perhaps the new ruling in favor of the New York City Police Department will give the mayor of New York City some clarity.


Conservative Australian senator calls out a Muslim whiner

Pauline Hanson has been labelled a 'scumbag' in the Senate for refusing to withdraw a tweet telling Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi to 'p*** off back to Pakistan'.

Ms Hanson doubled down on her attack on Tuesday, offering to take Ms Faruqi 'to the airport' after she tweeted saying she could not mourn the Queen's death.

The One Nation leader's offer shocked politicians with Greens senator Jordon Steele-John shouting 'you scumbag' across the chamber.

Ms Faruqi moved a motion to censure Ms Hanson, saying 'I have the right to talk about this issue (the Queen and the empire) without being racially vilified'.

Ms Faruqi had originally moved that the Senate (a) condemns all racism and discrimination against migrants and people of colour;

(b) assures all migrants to Australia that they are valued, welcome members of our society;

(c) affirms that, if Parliament is to be a safe place for all who work and visit here, there can be no tolerance for racism or discrimination in the course of parliamentarians’ public debate;

and (d) censures Senator Hanson for her divisive, anti migrant and racist statement telling Senator Faruqi to 'piss off back to Pakistan', which does not reflect the opinions of the Australian Senate or the Australian people.

Labor later amended the motion, changing the first and last parts to condemn all racism and discrimination 'in all its forms'.

The government also removed the censure of Ms Hanson in particular to broaden it to 'calls on all senators to engage in debates and commentary respectfully, and to refrain from inflammatory and divisive comments, both inside and outside the chamber at all times'.

During a heated debate on Tuesday, Ms Hanson would not retract her comment, which followed a tweet from Ms Faruqi calling the Queen 'a leader of a racist empire' on the day of her death.

'Condolences to those who knew the Queen. I cannot mourn the leader of a racist empire built on stolen lives, land and wealth of colonised peoples,' Ms Faruqi posted.

'We are reminded of the urgency of Treaty with First Nations, justice & reparations for British colonies & becoming a republic.'

Speaking in the Senate, Ms Hanson said: 'As I have explained myself, I will not, NOT retract what I've told Senator Faruqi or any other Australian that's come here for a new way of life, to disrespect what is Australian to me.

She then referenced her previous comment telling Ms Faruqi to go back to Pakistan if she did not support the Queen. 'And she can do and go where I've said,' she added on Tuesday. 'I make the offer, also, to take her to the airport'.

Mr Steele-John then roared 'you scumbag' at Ms Hanson.

Ms Faruqi had previously slammed the British empire for 'enslaving millions of black and brown people around the world'.

Ms Hanson, who once moved a motion in the Senate that it was 'OK to be white', fired back at the Greens politician by suggesting she get out of Australia and that she had taken advantage of everything the country had given her.

'Your attitude appalls and disgusts me. When you immigrated to Australia you took every advantage of this country,' Ms Hanson said.

'You took citizenship, bought multiple homes, and a job in a parliament. It's clear you're not happy, so pack your bags and p*** off back to Pakistan.'




Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Relax, Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers aren’t fascist

Only in Italy could the first female prime minister come from a party, which she herself founded, called Brothers, an allegedly far-right party that is, paradoxically, the most pro-American significant political grouping.

The apparent election to government of Giorgia Meloni at the head of Brothers of Italy is an earthquake in European politics but probably a minor earthquake. First, this label of far right. It’s increasingly meaningless.

As a young person, Meloni was a member of the Italian Social Movement, which was set up by people who had been fascists in World War II. It then gave birth to the National Alliance. Meloni, as part of that, was a capable minister in a Berlusconi government a decade ago. In 2012 she founded the Brothers of Italy, a name she took from the Italian anthem.

Ever since the second world war, Italy’s so-called post-fascists have behaved democratically and according to all the rules. The party Meloni now heads has been through several evolutions. She and her colleagues say the Italian centre right has “handed fascism over to history”. She condemns absolutely anti-Semitism and any breach of democratic rights.

That the most powerful European and American media continue to label parties such as Meloni’s as far right indicates double standards and an intensely illiberal desire to eliminate from public debate all the issues Meloni and her colleagues raise. The German Social Democrats emerged out of more extreme Marxists. Half the parties on the French left have communist roots but they are never labelled far left. Sinn Fein is the biggest party in Northern Ireland and will furnish the province’s chief minister. Only a few short decades ago it was directly supporting terrorism. Mind you, its opponents, the Democratic Unionist Party, a few decades before that, were in strong support of anti-Catholic persecution.

Democratic politics relies on accepting that extreme movements can become moderate and mainstream. If they obey all the rules for decades in a row then they should be evaluated on the basis of contemporary policies rather than historic associations.

Meloni’s program is a perfectly legitimate centre-right amalgam. She wants more police, less crime, cost-of-living relief, control over illegal immigration, lower taxes, reassertion of traditional Italian identity, support for moderate conservative social values and more independence from the dictates of the EU. She wants to address the energy crisis in part by increasing the supply of fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

Meloni looks a fascinating character. Certainly at times she makes populist statements. Like much populism, though, there is truth in much of what she says. In a famous 2019 speech she declared: “I’m Giorgia, I’m a woman, I’m Christian, I’m a mother, I’m Italian, they won’t take that away from me.”

That sounds, and is, a declaration of independence from woke ideology. Generally I don’t like identity politics, but if we’re going to be forced to endure it then there is nothing wrong with her declaring proudly that she is a woman, a mother, a Christian and an Italian.

On another occasion Meloni described the EU as “nihilistic global elites driven by international finance”.

Sometimes the words international finance can be code for anti-Semitic hang-ups. That doesn’t seem to be the case here.

She has endorsed the idea of the “Great Replacement”. This holds that Europe is being intentionally flooded with immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East to change its demographic and cultural identity forever.

That line of thinking also can be dangerous if it sees behind chaotic immigration mismanagement a sinister conspiracy by George Soros or international finance or the World Economic Forum. That sort of thinking is silly.

However, it is perfectly sensible for Europeans, and their political parties, to want their nations to reassert control of their borders and to implement coherent policies about who comes into their nations.

The EU has indeed been extremely foolish in attempting at times to force European countries to take immigrants they don’t want. European voters hate this. It has been an abject failure of European politics, in which the EU bears a huge portion of blame, that many European nations have been unable to control immigration from North Africa and the Middle East.

I have always believed a good immigration program benefits the recipient country as well as the immigrants who come to that country. But I’ve always also believed a national government has the right, and the obligation, to control its borders and make its immigration program orderly. John Howard is the standout example of this. Both his left-wing critics, and his right-wing supporters, however, tend to ignore the central fact that Howard re-established control of Australia’s borders and then increased the size of the immigration program.

Britain’s whole Brexit project was driven in part by a desire among British voters for their government to control the nation’s borders. European courts and bureaucracies, which under Brexit ought to have no influence on British law, are still interfering with Britain’s efforts to do this. But it’s fascinating that the new British Prime Minister, Liz Truss, wants to increase skilled migration. She can do this because, notwithstanding the interference of the EU, Britain has mostly re-established control of its borders.

Rich countries ought to be generous to refugees and host a sizeable refugee intake. But it is unrealistic, and at the level of the real world actually in my view immoral, to suggest that the whole of the population of Africa and the Middle East which would rather live in Europe is free to do so, provided they can physically get there. That is the practical outcome of an open-borders approach.

Meloni’s election slogan was: “God, homeland and family” and this probably was more acceptable coming from a younger woman rather than just another of the aged male suits that normally dominate Italian politics.

Meloni is sensible on geo-strategic issues. She’s a strong backer of the US, of NATO and of Ukraine. Unlike her coalition partners, Silvio Berlusconi and Matteo Salvini, she hasn’t fallen for the cheapjack nonsense of supporting Vladimir Putin, as though the neo-Stalinist Russian despot was a cham­pion of Western values.

Of course, Meloni’s party won only a quarter of the votes but her three-party coalition looks as though it will have a parliamentary majority. All Italian governments tend to be short-lived. Nonetheless, there are lessons for conservative politics in her victory.

Conservatives don’t prosper by surrendering to woke. They can actually lead a counter-reformation against the zeitgeist. All political victories are temporary. But they are still victories.


FBI Agents Raid Home, Arrest Pro-Life Advocate in Front of Wife and Children

Very Soviet

Mark Houck, a pro-life advocate and father of seven, woke up Friday morning to a team of FBI agents raiding his home in Kintnersville, Pennsylvania. Houck’s wife, Ryan-Marie, told Life Site News that 25-30 FBI agents entered their home around 7 a.m.

“The kids were all just screaming. It was all just very scary and traumatic,” Ryan-Marie Houck told Life Site News about her husband’s arrest, which she and her children witnessed. She says her husband pleaded with the FBI agents to be calm, referencing the couple’s seven children.

“They had big, huge rifles pointed at Mark and pointed at me and kind of pointed throughout the house,” Ryan-Marie Houck told the pro-life news outlet.

Catholic News Agency reports that the FBI confirmed that Mark Houck was arrested outside his home “without incident” Friday morning.

According to federal court documents, Houck was arrested on the charge that he assaulted a 72-year-old volunteer, whose name is not provided, at the Planned Parenthood Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center abortion clinic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, twice on Oct. 13, 2021.

The District Court in Philadelphia investigated and dismissed the charge earlier this summer, Houck’s wife, Ryan-Marie, told Life Site News. She said that her husband sometimes brought their eldest son with him. She added that on multiple occasions that a “pro-abortion protester” would say “crude … inappropriate and disgusting things” to their 12-year-old son, such as “your dad’s a fag” and other vulgar slurs.

Her husband repeatedly told the man to stop verbally harassing his son, Ryan-Marie Houck explained. But the man didn’t stop. On one occasion, the man “kind of came into [the son’s] personal space,” Ryan-Marie Houck said. “Mark shoved him away from his child, and the guy fell back… He didn’t have any injuries or anything, but he tried to sue Mark.”

Brian Middleton, a friend of the Houck family, told The Daily Signal that “[Mark] was defending his son from a man who was verbally abusing his son. He stepped between them and asked him to stop. The man continued to lean in and verbally abuse. Mark extended his arms to get the assailant away from his son.” Middleton added: “Mark will not be available until further notice under advice of counsel.”

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, who is the Republican candidate for governor in Pennsylvania, released a statement following Houck’s arrest. “The continued weaponization of the FBI and persecution by Joe Biden’s DOJ against ordinary Americans is an outrage,” Mastriano wrote, adding:

This morning, a heavily armed SWAT team of dozens of FBI agents raided the home of Mark Houck of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with his wife and terrified children inside over a case that was long thrown out by the District Court in Philadelphia. Mark and Ryan-Marie Houck’s seven children were traumatized and in tears as they witnessed their parents held at gunpoint and their father hauled away in handcuffs.

After his Friday arrest, Houck appeared before the U.S. Eastern District Court in Pennsylvania. He was indicted for violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which “makes it a federal crime to use force with the intent to injure, intimidate, and interfere with anyone because that person is a provider of reproductive health care,” the Eastern District of Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote in a Friday press release.

Authorities released Houck later that day, but he now faces felony charges. If convicted, Houck could have up to an 11-year prison sentence, and fines of up to $350,000.

Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts tweeted Saturday: “As I’ve said, the Mar-a-Lago raid isn’t just about President Trump—it’s about all of us.”

“Saying that doesn’t make someone an insurrectionist—if anything, it’s the DOJ that’s ‘threatening democracy,’” he added.,


Is America too Christian?

To say the founding of the United States reflects biblical Christianity is to state the obvious.

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution incorporated many fundamental precepts of the Reformation, and these precepts long have been recognized by American statesmen and jurists.

From overt assertions that people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” and are entitled to the liberties of “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” to the more subtle acknowledgement of the birth of Jesus Christ in Article VII of the Constitution, biblical Christianity was absolutely central to the American founding.

What’s more, 46 states explicitly mention God in their own constitutions, according to a report from Pew Research Center.

Clearly, Christianity remains central to our national character today.

Such observations ought not be controversial, but saying what is true can get you in big trouble these days. In this instance, the media outlet Politico is sounding alarms over some Republicans self-describing as Christian nationalists, while others are talking about formally declaring the United States to be a Christian nation.

Calling America a Christian nation today might be debatable; a 2021 poll by Pew found that the number of Americans who describe themselves as Christian fell to 63%, down from 78% in 2007.

But our national founding and ongoing civic philosophy are unquestionably Christian. President Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, said it most succinctly in observing, “America was born a Christian nation.”

Wilson is by no means alone in his recognition of the Christian roots of America and the absolute necessity of biblical Christianity in the United States.

President Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican, said: “The teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally impossible for us to figure to ourselves what that life would be if these teachings were removed.”

President Herbert Hoover, a fellow Republican, echoed Roosevelt by saying: “The whole inspiration of our civilization springs from the teachings of Christ and the lessons of the prophets. To read the Bible for these fundamentals is a necessity of American life.”

President Harry Truman’s observations of the importance of the Bible to America stretch back to the Old Testament.

“The fundamental basis of this nation’s law was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings which we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul,” Truman, a Democrat, said.

The House of Representatives was clear in its declaration of the American character. A House Resolution from May 1854 stated: “The belief of our people in the pure doctrines and divine truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ” was vital to the American system of government.

Presidents, members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, and many others long have recognized the role of the Bible and Christianity in the United States, both in terms of the nation’s founding and its continuation as a global beacon of liberty.

So why is it that in 2022, some are denying history and encouraging their fellow Americans to forsake our national legacy?

It’s no secret that a lot of people want an American future that is radically different from its past and present. The 1619 Project, critical race theory, and other vehicles that are built from the ground up to revile the United States and its founding are symptomatic of a deep enmity toward our nation. But these attacks also validate the truth of Christianity’s powerful influence on society, both here and across the world.

Biblical Christianity enshrines liberty and informs good government. Adherents of Marxism, socialism, communism, and other authoritarian structures know this too. They are well aware that the imposition of tyranny is far more difficult when the society they seek to subjugate believes in the truths of biblical Christianity.

That is why the political Left and its acolytes are so focused in their slander of the faith. The marginalization and destruction of Christianity is the necessary precursor to forcing despotism on Americans.

To claim that declaring America a Christian nation amounts to the establishment of a state religion is silly. If people of other faiths wish to live here in peace, they are and always have been welcomed and protected in the practice of their faith; the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of religion is an outgrowth of the Reformation.

But America and its founding don’t cease to be Christian just because a small number of political and cultural elites cast themselves as deniers of history.

Today’s attacks on Christianity are not new. They’ve been going on since the first century and will continue apace, just as Jesus Christ told his disciples. Today, these assaults are being propelled into our political discourse and only will increase.

Christians, indeed Americans of all faiths, must not permit the whitewashing of our history and the continued erosion of the liberties articulated in biblical Christianity.


Facebook reverses permanent ban on ads from conservative children's book publisher

Facebook opted to reverse a 'permanent' ban on ads from conservative book publishing company Brave Books after Fox News reached out to the Big-Tech conglomerate to see why the ban was imposed in the first place.

Brave Books is a Christian children's publisher that produces 'pro-God, pro-America and anti-woke values.'

Trent Talbot, the founder of Brave Books, called the suspension an 'existential threat' to the company, which, like many small and mid-size businesses, relies on Facebook and Google ads for a significant amount of its traction.

The initial message from Facebook to Brave on Thursday said the platform was banning the company's ad accounts without explanation, and called the decision 'final.'

However, when Fox News inquired about the ban, the company confirmed that the ad account remains active.

'This is a prime example of big tech today. They shut down small companies who say anything contrary to their woke agendas. They may reinstate accounts only when they are hit with bad PR, only to throttle those same accounts to make them ineffective,' said Talbot

Talbot says a similar suspension from Google was also lifted earlier this year after Fox News reported on it.

The most recent ad run by the account was promoting Fox News anchor Julie Banderas' contribution to the Brave arsenal: Fiona's Fantastical Fort, a book about a girl named Fiona who exemplifies the trait of perseverance as she struggles to build a fort for her friends.

Banderas, who said her enthusiasm for working with Brave Books stems from the Christian values of the company and the lessons that Brave Books puts into their lessons, tweeted that Facebook's attempt to shut down Brave's ad account was 'another attempt to cancel conservatives.'

'The lessons Brave Books is putting into their Freedom Island Series are what I want my kids to embody. The lessons include a sanctity for life, unconditional love within the home, the harmfulness of critical race theory — and more,' Banderas said during an interview with her employer about the book.




Monday, September 26, 2022


image from

image from

Giorgia Meloni has been called "Far-right" and connected to prewar Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. And her slogan above (Together for Italy") is rather like a Fascist slogan. Fascist parties did indeed promote a "one big happy family" future for their countries.

But if Meloni is Fascist, what are we to make of Hillary? Her slogan, with its stress on "stronger" is even more Fascist. It sounds very much like Mussolini.

The solution to the puzzle is that historic Fascism was Leftist. It was only Soviet disinformation that branded it as Rightist. And that disinformation is still the norm. So by historical standards, Hillary is indeed the heir of Mussolini.

Meloni's policies are, by contrast, clearly conservative: She focuses on defending national borders, national interests and the “traditional family.” She has always been staunchly anti-drugs and anti-abortion, although she insists she would not ban abortion. And Trump, another clear conservative, also appealed to national interests

So appeals to national interests can come from both the Left and Right and Meloni's appeal is clearly NOT to Fascist-type national self-interest. She is a conservative patriot. We can leave the Fascism to Hillary and her supporters

Far-right election winner Giorgia Meloni has vowed to govern for all Italians as she is set to be announced as the country's first female Prime Minister - and its most right-wing leader since Mussolini.

Meloni, head of the nationalist Brothers of Italy party, said voters have given a clear mandate to the right to form the next government and called for unity to help confront the country's many problems.

She added: 'If we are called upon to govern this nation, we will do so for all Italians, with the aim of uniting the people, of exalting what unites them rather than what divides them. We will not betray your trust.'

As polls in the run up to Sunday's vote indicated her as the likely winner, Meloni has moderated her far-right message in an apparent attempt to reassure the European Union and other international partners.

She said 'this is the time to be responsible', before describing the situation for Italy and the EU as 'particularly complex'.

It comes after an exit poll for state broadcaster RAI said Meloni's Brothers of Italy, in alliance Matteo Salvini's League and Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party, had won between 41 per cent and 45 per cent of the vote.

Despite Salvini's and Berlusconi's parties lagging behind, between them the Conservative bloc appear to have won enough seats to secure a majority in both houses of parliament.

The result must still be confirmed but risks fresh trouble for the European Union, just weeks after the far-right outperformed in elections in Sweden.

Meloni will face huge challenges, with Italy currently suffering rampant inflation while an energy crisis looms this winter, linked to the conflict in Ukraine.

Despite her euroscepticism, Meloni strongly supports the EU's sanctions against Russia over Ukraine, although her allies are another matter.

Berlusconi, the billionaire former premier who has long been friends with Vladimir Putin, faced an outcry this week after suggesting the Russian president was 'pushed' into war by his entourage.

According to the poll, the closest contender, the centre-left alliance of former Democratic Party Premier Enrico Letta, garnered as much as 29.5 per cent.


Registered Democrats are sick of the radical left—and some are switching sides

After living half of his life as a registered Democrat, Justin Roth, 42, re-registered in 2016 as an Independent — and then switched sides entirely to become a Republican in 2020.

“The reason I registered as a Republican has more to do with the Democrats than it does with Republicans,” said Roth, a single Staten Islander who teaches English as a second language. “I still consider myself liberal in a lot of ways, but I’m no longer a registered Democrat. They’ve just really gone off the rails for the past several years.”

As he’s watched the left wage cancel-culture wars and push for extreme political correctness, Roth said the Democrats have turned their backs on the issues that matter most to him.

“My top priorities right now are actually kitchen-table issues — inflation, the price of housing, food and gas. As a voter I really care about things that affect my life personally and the lives of my family members more than any of this culture war stuff.”

Roth is in good company. The social justice obsessed, ultra-progressive, increasingly illiberal Left is even alienating liberal celebrities. Once feted as a progressive darling, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted in May that he can no longer support the Democrats.

“In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party,” he wrote. “But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican.”

In June, he followed through on that promise by voting for Texas Republican Mayra Flores in a special House of Representatives election. Flores won in a massive upset, becoming the country’s first Mexican-born US congresswoman.

YouTube podcaster Dave Rubin resigned from his post in 2015 at The Young Turks, a popular left-wing news channel, after his own political awakening. He now dubs himself the “Why I Left the Left Guy.”

In a YouTube video that has garnered more than 15 million views, he made his position clear: “Today’s progressivism has become a faux-moral movement hurling charges of racism, bigotry, xenophobia, homophobia, Islamophobia and a slew of other meaningless buzzwords at anyone they disagree with. The battle of ideas has been replaced by a battle of feelings, and outrage has replaced honesty. Diversity reigns supreme unless it’s that pesky diversity of thought. This isn’t the recipe for a free society, it’s a recipe for authoritarianism.”

In November last year, HBO host Bill Maher echoed these same thoughts when he told Chris Cuomo on CNN that the Democratic Party was “toxic” because it had become “the party of no common sense.” He said he expected the Democrats to get “thumped” in the midterm elections this year.

He might just be right. According to an Associated Press report in June, more than 1 million voters in 43 states have left the Democratic Party for the Republican Party, especially in the suburbs, where swing voters can sway election results.

Meanwhile, almost half of registered voters consider themselves Independents, compared to just more than a quarter who identify as Democrat or Republican.


Groom who jilted his fat bride on their wedding day is rookie Gwent police officer... and he WON'T apologise to his ex-fiancée

Fat is a relationship killer

A groom who jilted his bride on their wedding day is a rookie Gwent police officer - and still will not apologise to his ex-fiancée.

Kayley Stead, 27, discovered she wasn't going to marry her partner of almost four years Kallum Norton, 24, the morning of her wedding.

It has now emerged that Kallum is a newly-qualified PC with Gwent Police who passed out from training just days before the big day. When asked by The Sun newspaper if he would apologise, Kallum said: 'I don't want to talk about the article.'

His ex-fiancée responded: 'I don't expect anything different, but I do expect someone to own their actions and be responsible for what they did.'

Despite the heartbreak, Kayley, who lives in Portmead, Swansea, Wales, decided to go ahead with the lavish £12,000 reception party, surrounded with her loved ones around her, on September 15 at Oxwich Bay Hotel in Gower.

Brave Kayley punched off the top tier of her wedding cake, and spent her first dance with the groomsmen, her brothers, and dad Brian, 71. She even entered the party singing along to Lizzo's 'Good as Hell' with her bridal party.

Now living alone, with her honeymoon cancelled, Kayley is pleased she still had the party - so money and effort didn't go to waste.


Former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard reflects on her blistering 'misogyny speech' 10 years on

Amusing. Omitted below is that the views she criticized were widely held among Australian men. So her popularity among male voters dropped to only 10%, fatal for the next election. So her own party then booted her out of the PM job

The former Australian Prime Minister - the first and only woman to hold the role - famously delivered a blistering speech on sexism in Australian politics during a session in parliament in October 2012.

The comments sparked a debate that reverberated around the world.

A decade later, the 60-year-old says that she did not realise at the time how significant her words would be.

'Giving the speech, I didn't have any sense of the impact it would have' Gillard tells this week's issue of Stellar Magazine.

'If you'd asked me 30 seconds after I sat down, "How is the press gallery going to report this? How is it going to reverberate?" I would have said, "I don't see that this is going to reverberate in the world." So I didn't have that sense about it.'

Within minutes, Gillard realised the true impact of her rousing words. 'Even by the time I'd walked back to my office from the chamber – which is only a two- or three-minute walk – there were starting to be calls and a reaction beyond Canberra' she tells the publication. 'So I got an early inkling from that, that it was going to have some sort of emotional resonance beyond the confines of Parliament House.'

Gillard believes her speech resonated with women around the world who shared her experiences.

'I think its power has been that there are millions of women – and I feel like I've met millions of them – who have lived through sexist experiences, misogynistic experiences' she said.

Julia served as prime minister from 2010 to 2013. In 2012, she was praised for her strong stance on sexism in government during a heated debate on the parliamentary speaker's text scandal.

Gillard spent 15 minutes attacking leader of the opposition Tony Abbott before the Australian House of Representatives during a debate over a motion to sack the Speaker of the House, Peter Slipper after a series of text messages he sent to his male assistant referring to women in a derogatory way were made public.

She accused Abbott of sexism, addressing the former Liberal prime minister throughout her speech.

Among her comments she said: 'I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will nota nd the government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever.

'If he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn't need a motion in the House of Representatives. He needs a mirror.'

Gillard was widely praised for her speech, with New Yorker Magazine even suggesting at the time that then-American President Barack Obama could learn a thing or two from Gillard in politics following the heated debate.